Vlogmas 2016 and the #adventchallenge

It is the 30th November meaning that tomorrow is the start of Vlogmas. I was going to do this last year but between my Master’s and a five-day power cut and flooding I would have failed. So this year I am feeling a lot more optimistic.

So for me Vlogmas will be a little different mainly because it will centre around the Bible Society’s Advent Challenge. Where each day they email a few challenges to pick and to do something good for someone else.

I love the different way that people do Vlogmas as we have all been given this project that we all do a little differently depending on your own style and channel. So focus more about their personal life or about their channel’s content be it books or beauty.

So this year I am going to focus on charity and doing good rather than the commercial and capitalistic side. Saying that I am currently being a Christmas Temp in a shop and yes, I understand what irony is.

You too can sign up for the Advent Challenge on the Bible Society website to receive the emails about the daily challenges. I think that even if you are not a Christan that you should consider doing this as it will be a great way for you to send some Christmas spirit this year.

So that is what Vlogmas is going to be full of, parts of my daily life with charity and doing good in the world each day.

This will also help me get out of my own head a bit because I won’t be focusing on myself so much as I have something to distract me.

Also warning for those who are going to follow this because I am going to film, edit and upload on the same day. Not film one day and then edit and upload the next because I wanted each day to have the challenge so I start December 1st.

But I a prepared – I even made the thumbnail and title card:

All prepared for #vlogmas 2016 – end card and thumbnail outline are done!

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I am so organised! So if you want to see the videos then go to my channel but I am going to be posting them here everyday.

Bookcase Reshelving and Tour

Bookcase tour and reshelving! Video on my channel // #booktube

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A beautiful shelf // video tour on my #youtube channel

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Mini Makeup Haul

Engaging in acts of consumerism and purchasing makeup and nail varnish and here is what I got!

My #maxfactor haul // Mostly free items due to @bootsuk

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A few purchases from #maxfactor

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An open letter to Instagram

Hello Instagram, my best app-friend,

You have changed a lot over the past few months and I want to discuss this. Call it an intervention or a friend who has your well-being at heart but you are changing and I don’t think you know what you are doing.

First of all, stories.

You are trying to roll with the cool kids and be like your younger counterpart Snapchat but what you are doing is compromising yourself. You are great for beautiful, perfectly shot photos. People spend hours on photos for you but now you want to demean yourself with silly filters and shots that disappear.

You are missing the point of yourself Instagram. People go to Snapchat for those features. They come to you when they look their best and want to show off their flawless lives. Don’t degrade yourself for not being on trend. Be individual.

I know I sound like a mother giving a teenager a pep talk in a crappy rom-com about how the girl doesn’t need to act stupid or degrade herself to fit in with the popular crowd or get the boy. But that is what it feels like.

Be you, Instagram, and realize what you are doing. Don’t be Snapchat and fit in with every other social media site.

We come to brag about how awesome our lives are and to have our best days preserved forever and for them not to disappear after a few seconds.

Now, I am directing this letter to you today because you have done something that is unforgivable, you are getting rid of the maps tool. Your excuse to focus on other features.

Once again you prove that you have no idea why people go to you. The location map is my favorite part of the app as it can guide you to all the things that you have done. Even if I am lost, and I need to remind myself where that cafe was with the amazing brownies.

Get back to your roots Instagram and keep your current features and don’t add or take away without realising what people come to you for.

Instead of changing the interface and the overall feel of Instagram how about you do some serious soul searching of why you are so well loved. You are declining as Snapchat is rising but so is Twitter and they aren’t changing too much.

Social media is changing but keep to what you know and what people are familiar with and you will keep your users. Change too much or act differently and people will quit.

I love you the way you are Instagram. Don’t go changing.

Much love,

A faithful, unless you screw up everything, Instagrammer


dear-instagram

Manchester Independent Coffee Shops

A tour of a few of my favourite independent coffee shops in Manchester plus details about my coffee shop crawl.

Ancoats Coffee

#latte and a #cappuccino from @ancoatscoffeeco

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Roasting their beans onsite so the smell of fresh coffee is wafting through the cafe the entire time. The house blend is quite strong and bitter however have it with a latte it becomes much smoother.
The overall feel of the cafe is industrial and perfect for meetings or working away from the office. It is not overly cosy but, if you are like me, and spend half your life in coffee shops blogging this one is perfect.

Federal Coffee

#avocado #bacon and #eggs from @federalcafebar

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An Australian and New Zealand style cafe that feels a lot like it would fit perfectly into Albert Park in Melbourne or Parnell in Auckland. The latter, I can say from experience.
Rustic and chic with great food. I didn’t actually have coffee here due to the coffee shop crawl and needing to minimise the amount of caffeine I have in the day. But I did eat the food and it was the best lunch that I have ever had.
I had smashed avocado with bacon, rocket and eggs. Everything was to perfection and worked so great together. The cafe also sold traditional Australian cakes although if it were authentically OZ or NZ, there wouldn’t have lattes and cappuccinos on the menus – flat whites all around.

Pot Kettle Black

#coldbrew at @pkbcoffee

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#saltedcaramel #brownie at @pkbcoffee

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Located in an arcade just off Deansgate, I have probaly walked passed this coffee shop more times than I can count but I wish I had found it sooner. This is you all rounder. The place you go to catch up with friends or with work as it has a very balanced mix of seating and atmosphere.
The coffee is smooth and served with a wafer biscuit. It is also one of the few places that I have found places to serve cold brew.
Cake variety is a bit lacking unless you like brownies and then you have a choice of about ten different flavours, I went for the salted caramel because I was on a hipster trip.

 

The video of the tour