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15 blog post ideas that don't totally suck

I've done a couple of these blogging prompt posts before (the most popular one is here), but I thought it was about time for another! Blogging is such a saturated area of the internet at the moment and I really do struggle to come up with content that's original and interesting sometimes.

I find grabbing a pen and paper and just brainstorming some topics much more helpful than opening a blank post and staring into the emptiness. The below is what I've just come up with and I know these topics will be easy to put an individual spin on!

1. Love what you do for a living? Discuss how you ended up in your career and give some tips for anyone wanting to get into the same business.
2. Share your wardrobe essentials for a particular occasion or theme, whether it's work, date night or the beach.
3. Good at staying healthy? Put together a post linking to some of your favourite recipes, workouts and playlists.
4. I love to travel and thrive off of other people's travel blogs when I'm too poor to book flights! Share your top tips on your favourite destinations - don't forget to add some photos!
5. What's the one book you'd recommend to all your friends? Why?
6. Set yourself a challenge (e.g. sign up for a 10k race, don't buy anything new for a month, give up sweets) and check in on your progress weekly.
7. Reveal a controversial opinion - everyone has one about something!
8. Was there a particular moment that totally changed your perspective on life? What was it? Maybe it was something a teacher once said, a breakup, a low moment, a career breakthrough - share it with your readers.
8. Give us a tour of your room or house - even if it's the box room in your parents place!
9. Gather some snaps of yourself throughout the ages and bring us in on the cringe.
10. Be a tourist in your own town.
11. Share a DIY or 'how to' if you know how to do something nifty, from knitting a scarf to getting the perfect eyeliner flick.
12. What would your death row meal be? Ask your readers to share theirs.
13. Grab your best friend and have a Q and A session - you could vlog this too!
14. Create an 'ultimate guide' to something you're awesome at. Turn it into a nice long post with images throughout!
15. Don't just share a wishlist of stuff you'll actually end up buying - put together an uber wishlist of the ridiculous things you'd buy if you suddenly hit the lottery jackpot (I'm assuming people would buy ridiculous things because my first purchase would probably be a monkey butler).

I know I'll be attempting some of these over the next few weeks - will you? Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to link the post if you do!

Finding calm in a chaotic world

OK, I admit it - I'm a bit of a stresshead. I find it so hard to just chill and remove myself from all of life's ups and downs and really get swept up in everything. I'm fairly sensitive to stress, hate just doing nothing and have a bad habit of over-analysing everything.

But there comes a point when I'm throwing a hissy fit about the fact that we're out of potatoes and I don't have time to go out and buy more or I'm having one of my wardrobe meltdowns (anyone else have drawers fit to burst but nothing to wear?) or I'm worried about work stuff that I really just need to sit the eff down, let it go and relax. I'm not going to tell you exactly how to do that because I've given plenty of helpful tips in the past here and here. I'm actually just gonna ramble on a bit and probably not even proofread because I need these thoughts to be out of my head and into the world, okay? Good.

Like many other people my age (dare I say millennials? ugh, buzzword alert) we started university or entered the working world during the global financial crisis - we've never known a world where getting on in life was considered fairly straightforward. We've always been told that the glass is half empty, that you'll have to grind your life away just to make ends meat and that's if you're lucky enough to even land a half-decent job relevant to your interests, that we'll never afford to be homeowners and our pensions won't be big enough and we shouldn't be going on holidays because we should be saving and oh, don't forget to actually put your phone down and have real life interactions from time to time and blah blah blah. The result is a constant conflict between the scaremongering headlines we're still being fed about our prospects and the way we're living our lives and endless, endless worry.

I'm beginning to feel like I spend so much time fussing, worrying and being downright irritable that life is properly passing me by. If I stopped wasting time on the stressors in my life I'd probably be in a better mindset to put together a solution and conquer these things, or maybe I'd just straight up forget about my worries and my strife. Maybe I actually just need to take some advice from a talking bear...

I'm happy to see that there's been a big shift in the last year or so towards encouraging people to focus on wellbeing and doing what they love. Whether you find your calm through exercise, meditation, colouring books or simply some good old-fashioned Netflix and chill (no I don't mean it in that way although maybe you could do that too), it seems like being a little bit selfish and shutting the world away is becoming more and more acceptable. More and more people are giving up on the life they've been told to lead - they're travelling the world, starting charities, going offline, becoming entrepreneurs and going back to school all in the name of finding inner peace.

Our generation is starting to get a reputation for buying experiences, not things - for wanting to live life in the now rather than agonise over the future. Maybe my seventy-year-old self will be a bit peeved that I didn't manage to save every single penny into a pension but I'm damn sure she'll be OK with the fact that I refused to let the world around me swallow me up.

Even more to be read

My 'to be read' list is getting out of hand and I only have myself to blame. I've been very slow at reading lately and feel like I've been struggling to find time, when all I really need is to pay someone to slap me every time I spend more than 5 minutes trawling Twitter and reading crummy celeb gossip articles. Maybe that way I'll pick up a book more often. 

I recently picked up All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and I'm eager to start it, but the story sounds like an emotional one so I'm waiting for a full free day to get properly stuck in. For some reason I'm always drawn to unusual stories based around World War 1 and 2 - this novel follows a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths become intertwined in Nazi occupied Paris. I absolutely loved The Book Thief which carried similar themes, so I think this is gonna be a good one!

I know I'm late to the party but I've also finally purchased How to be Parisian Wherever You Are. I adore Paris - the fashion, the food, the way of life - so for me this was a natural buy. I'm hoping to pick up some tips and learn emulate a bit more of that laid back but chic vibe. It's written by multiple authors and it has a friendly, relaxed tone that is making it a really engaging book to dip in and out of.

What have you got lined up to read next?

What's your opinion on Valentines Day? (plus a Thorntons chocolate giveaway!)

Whether you're in a relationship or single, Valentines Day is very much a love-hate (see what I did there?) occasion. Some people feel it's just become commercialised, others live for it. I probably fall somewhere in the middle. I wouldn't cry if the date wasn't marked because in the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter much, but if you're gonna take me for a scrummy dinner and buy me flowers, that's also totally fine by me!

Increasingly I think most people are looking to spend a little less on Valentines Day and make it more about quality time (not that you shouldn't do this every day anyway). Maybe you could cook together instead of going out - restaurants always enforce pricey set menus for the evening anyway. You could go for a long walk and explore somewhere new, see a film or a play - just share an experience. What you do (or don't do) is up to you!

One thing though that I really think you should skimp on for Valentines Day is chocolate. It's pretty much the key to my heart - no really, I think I might be made of chocolate! It's a relatively inexpensive gift to give and it's always going to be appreciated!

That's why this Valentines Day I'm teaming up with Thorntons to give away one of their HUGE continental selections. Whether you'll be spending the day with a significant other or simply looking after number one, it's sure to go down a treat. And take you a good few days to polish off.

You can enter the giveaway below, and the winner will be drawn and contacted after it closes on 15th February. If you're stuck for ideas on how to spend your Valentines Day this year, Thorntons have also put together this handy list of recipes, gift ideas, activities and more!

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