Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Meet the Blogger! // Simply Jadey


Hey lovelies! It's been 3 years now since I first began blogging and in that time I've loved both writing my own blog and discovering the most amazing other bloggers in the community. Some I now call my internet friends and I don't know what I'd do without them, and others I think more of as inspirations that I'd love to be like one day. Anyway, to share my love for these people with you I'm starting a new 'Meet the Blogger' series on my blog, featuring my favourite bloggers and new people I'm sure you would find interesting to read too. If there's anyone you'd specially like me to interview, feel free to request a few names in the comments below but for my first post we'll be meeting the Blogger behind SIMPLY JADEY. 

I've known Jade ever since I first started blogging and I find in incredible how much both our blogs have evolved since we first started chatting on twitter (which must have been 2 years ago now!) She's 17 years old and her blog is filled with beautifully written lifestyle, beauty and mental health posts. Jade is always there for advice and super involved in the blogging community and I thought out of everyone, I'd love to kickstart my first "Meet the Blogger" post with her.




1. HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTO BLOGGING AND WHEN DID YOU START?

- I first got into blogging back in the April of 2015, so I had just turned 14 then. I'd been watching YouTube videos and reading blogs since I was around 9 years old and without knowing that, a friend at the time spontaneously suggested that I give the whole blog idea a go. I agreed that it would be my own place on the internet where I could share advice and help people, which is exactly what I wanted. It's been 3 and a half years now and I haven't ever looked back!

2. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE MAIN TOPICS / THEMES YOU DISCUSS ON 'SIMPLY JADEY?'
- Although I tend to talk about a range of different topics, I'd say that I mainly cover lifestyle, mental health and travel. Beauty and fashion have taken a bit of a backseat over the years, as I've grown older and generally experienced a change in the things that I'm interested in.

3. HOW DO YOU MANAGE YOUR PERSONAL LIFE AND BLOGGING?

- I've never really found balancing my personal life and blogging a challenge, if I'm honest! Understandably, my education will always come first, but whenever I feel particularly motivated to do a blog post, I'll start writing it up whilst the ideas are fresh in my head. I usually take photos in bulk and I take them in my bedroom on the weekend, so then I just upload them to my laptop and lay them out on the relevant post, enabling me to just write it up when I have the time or desire to. I like to stick to a bit of a schedule for organisational purposes and yet again, whenever I get the chance, I'll go onto Blogger and sort out which posts I want to schedule for when. If I know I have something specific to review or if I know I'm going somewhere that I'll want to blog about, that does make things a lot easier! Whenever I want a break from studying or for if I just want to relax in my room, that's when I'll dedicate some time to my blog. I know that during exam season, it will most likely take a backseat, but that's when themed content can make an appearance and scheduling will become my very best friend again haha!

4. WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE BRAND COLLABORATION YOU'VE EVER DONE?
- Without being a cliche, I have loved every brand I've worked with, but one that will always stand out is Good Girl Gang. I've worked with them twice now and I couldn't have picked a fashion brand that better represents the views that I believe in. They offer a variety of different tees and totes, which are available in a range of colours, and they all feature slogans or images that are somewhat inspiring or relatable. I think they are sassy and quirky and exactly what any girl of any ethnicity needs in their wardrobe! If you want to check out the post that I'm most proud of, you can do so here.

5. WHO INSPIRES YOU MOST IN THE BLOGGING COMMUNITY? 

-  I personally think that all bloggers are inspirational in their own right, whether they have been part of the community for less than a month or over 5 years. We all make it what it is and we all have something that we can bring to the platform as individuals. However, some of the women in particular that inspire me the most are: Florence GraceA Beautiful Chaos, and of course, Gracie Francesca. I know Flo and Nicole on more of a personal level and have massive respect and admiration for them as individuals, but I do think that Grace is now a global sensation, who has built up her online presence over the years to something quite phenomenal. 

6. WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR BIGGEST STRUGGLES AND GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT IN YOUR BLOGGING JOURNEY SO FAR?

- Compared to when I first started out blogging, I don't have as many struggles these days, but the main ones that come to mind and that are still relevant to this day are feeling like you don't have any ideas for new, original content and feeling like you're inadequate compared to everyone else in the blogosphere. I'm a Sixth Form student, and so money is quite tight, meaning that I can't afford to always keep my content fresh with beauty reviews, luxurious holiday shots and designer jewellery on my Insta. I do get envious of the bloggers, who go on press trips and get to do really cool things, but I have to ground myself and remember that to someone who started their blog yesterday, I'm already a success in their eyes. Just because I've never been sent to the Maldives and just because I'm not on Chanel's PR list, it doesn't mean I'm not successful in my own way. I will always be proud of how far I've come and I know that everything is happening at exactly the right time. Comparison is the thief of joy and whilst you should be inspired by others and aspire to keep improving your blog and the content that you're producing, your main focus should be on yourself - always! 
My biggest achievement has most probably (although this is a hard question!) been when I reached 1,000 followers on Simply Jadey. Every milestone is a big deal, but for me, 1,000 is the one that shook me up entirely. That's almost unfathomable! I'm so grateful to everyone that hits the little follow button though and that will never change.

7. WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE SOCIAL MEDIA AND WHY?

- Don't get me wrong, I used to ADORE Instagram, as I find I can really express myself there and other people can do the same, but with all of this algorithm saga going on, I just don't really have time for it anymore. I post as and when I want to and I enjoy it that way. Yes, I seem to lose followers every single time I post, but hey, the people that appreciate my feed will continue following regardless, so that's what I need to focus on! I'm much more of a Twitter gal now, as that's where my most loyal following is and it's also where I interact with more people and keep up to date with more fellow content creators.

8. HAVE YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS ALWAYS KNOWN ABOUT YOUR BLOG? DO YOU FIND IT DIFFICULT EXPLAINING TO PEOPLE 'WHAT YOU DO?'

- My family and friends have always known about my blog! They get the general gist of it and they are always super supportive in my achievements, but they don't necessarily understand what I do to the extent that others do, if that makes sense? For example, my grandparents look at my blog when I'm there and they think it's really interesting and the whole concept of having followers blows their mind, but they don't actually know the ins and outs? My mum is the one who sees how much effort I put in on a regular basis and she gets excited for me and sees when I get sent products or make money from it, but yet again, she appreciates it because it's what her daughter does. It isn't something she'd look at in her free time! I read posts to her and my grandparents every so often, my sister follows my blog and talks to me about it and my aunt and uncle do the same! Some of my friends follow it, but they don't really appreciate it as much as my family do, in my opinion, unless I go out of my way to mention something particularly exciting.

9. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR BLOGGING PROCESS?

- I'd say that my blogging process is fairly standard really! Sometimes I get an idea for a post and I already have some sort of scenic shot that I feel would be appropriate from my camera roll, so then I just need to write it up and attempt to promote it (an aspect which I've been majorly slacking in recently!) and reply to comments etc, but then other times, I'll bulk-take photos for particular products or on days out, import them, go through them all and ask people's opinions, then arrange them on the post and write it up after that's all sorted. I'll work out if there's any links I need to include, label and schedule the post and then that's me done! For anybody wondering, I either use my iPhone 6S to take photos or my Sony Cybershot DSC-H300 camera, which I love.

10. WHAT IS YOUR MOST-READ POST ON 'SIMPLY JADEY' AND WHY DO YOU THINK THIS IS?

-  My most-read post at the moment is 'A Short Stay In The South of France', which focuses on my recent trip to Nice. I think it's gained a lot of attention and interest, because it's quite different to what you typically see on people's blogs and readers are naturally nosey, so they like to see what you get up too! It's not like I was writing about an average day in my life, so I think that's what drew people in more.

To read more from Jade, head over to her blog here and I hope you enjoyed the first post in my Meet the Blogger series!

QOTD: WHAT BLOGGERS WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE INTERVIEWED NEXT?


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Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Post-Holiday Detox // How to Get Back on Track


Hey lovelies, with August drawing to a close and everyone getting back from their amazing Summer vacations, it takes a lot of adjusting. During my trip to Mauritius for a week then Athens shortly after it, like all of us on holiday- I indulged like crazy. There's nothing wrong with this of course, I'd give anything to be back by the beach, drinking cocktails and eating pizza, chocolate desserts and gelato every night... but getting so used to these habits meant it was NOT easy to get back on track when I arrived back home. Jet-lag and post-holiday blues don't exactly do wonders for your health and fitness, right? Maybe you put on a few extra pounds when you were away, developed some bad habits, or just want to get back into a healthy routine; all these steps will help and I've already followed, myself, to get myself back on track. 


01. DON'T JUMP STRAIGHT ON THE SCALE WHEN YOU GET HOME

Most of the time, after getting back from a holiday like me, you're not going to like what you see! Before you start panicking over numbers on a scale, remember that 'holiday weight-gain' is only ever going to be water-weight. This means if you've put a bit of weight on in the space of a week or two, it's just temporary and will be lost just as fast as it came. Give yourself a couple of days to go through the steps below before jumping on the scale and you'll feel so much better already.


02. GET BACK TO DRINKING LOTS OF WATER

Chances are you're probably really dehydrated, sitting in the sun all day and abandoning your usual drinking habits. Drinking lots of water will mean you flush all the toxins, reduce any bloating...and will need to pee all the time oops! It's one of those classic tips though, and will leave you feeling great. 

03. EAT ON A SCHEDULE AND AT NORMAL MEAL-TIMES

I know personally, when I'm on holiday and indulging all the time, all meal times and patterns go out the window. I'll be snacking on everything and everything without thinking and so a routine is quite hard to adjust to when I get home. Plan out 3x healthy and regular meals each day, and this will help level out your appetite and help get you back into a healthy routine again. 

04. GET BACK TO THE GYM

The hardest thing is going from weeks of relaxation and barely moving from your sunbed...to a sweaty gym. But baby steps. Try going for light sessions at the gym, or booking yourself into a class one week, and you'll be surprised how the familiarity puts you at ease. If you're not a gym person like I am, then go for other forms of exercise you enjoy, but most importantly get moving! I wouldn't recommend jumping straight into an intense workout the day after getting back, but slowly getting back to your routine will make you feel so much better in the long-run. 

05. KEEP A SLEEP SCHEDULE

With jetlag, late nights and overall feeling mentally exhausted, sleep is essential for getting you back on track. Not getting enough sleep can have an effect on your stress levels, blood pressure and weight, and the sooner you keep a regular sleep schedule the better you'll feel. It will also make it easier for you to get back to your healthy habits and follow the steps above.



Most of all though, try not to stress about how much you've indulged (that's literally what holidays are for) and if you've had an amazing time that's really all that matters. No crazy diets or dramatic juice cleanses needed, just 5 simple steps to getting back to a healthy routine and I hope you've found this post helpful. 


QOTD: BEST FOOD/MEAL YOU ATE ON HOLIDAY?
Fresh King Prawns in Mauritius. They were insanely big I was so shocked when they arrived at the restaurant but the most delicious meal by the sea!


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Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Breakfast In Bed // 6 Healthy Rice Cake Toppings You Will Love


Hey lovelies! Summer means more time, lazy mornings and the nicest thing to treat yourself or someone else to: Breakfast in Bed. For this post I thought I'd show you an idea for a healthy and delicious breakfast platter for two including my favourite food staple, rice cakes. I love rice cakes as a healthy alternative to bread, so easy to pick up as a snack or breakfast but let's face it, without toppings they might as well taste of cardboard right? However they really do work as a great base for all sorts of toppings and so in this post I'll share with you a few of my favourite ones (sweet and savoury) to spice up a simple rice cake and make a delicious breakfast that you can each pick your favourite from. Also, let me know in the comments below if you have any interesting toppings/combinations you would put on yours? Each person in my family has their own 'favourite rice cake' from the platter so I'd love to know yours too.


"Avocado with Cayenne Pepper"

The 'avo-toast' trend has already swept the health-food scene but it tastes just as good as a rice cake topping too. I love to spice mine up with some lime juice and cayenne pepper for more flavour.


"Dark Chocolate and Raspberry" 

If you've got a sweet tooth in the morning, then you'll love this one. Take a teaspoon of your favourite chocolate spread (whether that be nutella, or for a healthier option this Raw Dark Chocolate Spread by Biona) then top with fresh raspberries. 


"Tuna and Chopped Cucumber"

If you're looking for a filling topping, packed with protein then this is the perfect one. A serving of canned tuna on top has less than 1g of fat and the omega-3 in it is also great for your skin. Add some chopped cucumber to get your veggies in and some salt and pepper, and this is delicious. 


"Blackberry Compote and Coconut"

When sometimes a jam is too sweet and sugary, a simple berry compote makes a great topping. For this I simply cooked the blackberries over a medium heat with some lemon juice and honey, and I love keeping a pot of it in my fridge. Top with a teaspoon of desiccated coconut for an added crunch. 


"Humus and Chive"

Humus is one of my favourite savoury toppings and along with chopped chives tastes delicious on a rice cake. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper and it makes for such a nice breakfast snack.


"Peanut Butter with Pumpkin and Chia Seeds"

You all know I'm a bit obsessed with peanut butter so of course this was going to pop up in the post! To kick start your morning and for that boost of protein, a low-sugar peanut butter is a great and healthy option. I also sprinkled some chia seeds and pumpkin seeds on for even more crunch. 



QOTD: ARE YOU A SWEET OR SAVOURY BREAKFAST PERSON?

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Sunday, 12 August 2018

A Week in Paradise // Mauritius Lookbook


Hey lovelies, some of my favourite posts to scroll through are travel lookbooks and after getting back from my trip to Mauritius with one of my best friends last week I knew I'd have the perfect pictures for it! My holiday can literally be described as 'a week in paradise,' spent in the most beautiful villa in Trou-au-Biches, with  sandy beaches, palm trees and sunsets and as well as that I also ended up doing so many activities that week that I never dreamed of: like swimming with wild dolphins, whale-watching and an underwater scooter ride. Normally, I'm not one for these sorts of holidays, my family (ugh) loves camping, driving and being super active on holiday which although I do enjoy...sometimes we all need a holiday like this for a change. Mauritius was stunning, a tropical island off Africa filled with wildlife and beaches that could've come straight out of a holiday brochure. The mix of African, Chinese and Creole culture there was amazing too, which could be seen in all the markets, streetfood and we spent so many days just wandering around the towns in the area we stayed- eating our way along! Anyway I hope you enjoy this post and let me know in the comments below where's your favourite holiday destination you've ever been to? 




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Wednesday, 8 August 2018

The 'New' Just Morgs


Hey lovelies, long time no see - or at least it feels that way.
Every blogger goes through this from time to time but lately I've had a complete mental block when it's come to blogging. I've felt so uninspired, plodding along in the same routine and writing posts that I thought I 'should' be but not ones I actually liked. 

I just felt really deflated all of a sudden. Engagement isn't everything and stats don't define you but blogging has always been something I saw as an upwards journey, always building on numbers and getting better with every day. And when suddenly I hit a standstill for whatever reason, I thought I must be doing something wrong. Why isn't it good enough now? If you've been here a while, you'll remember I'm a total perfectionist and this means I'm always pretty hard on myself, so instead of taking a step back I made it my job to boost these stats and numbers, fix everything and churn out more and more posts. But if you're a blogger too, you'll know that if you carry on with that mindset, eventually you'll just burn out. And that's exactly what I did. 

Then hit Summer, and I ended up doing the complete opposite. I went on holiday to Mauritius, met up with friends and pushed blogging to the furthest corner of my mind like a chore instead of a hobby. There was even a point where I wondered why I even bothered with it and who would care if 'Just Morgs' just disappeared. And looking back on this it makes me feel so sad because blogging has been my passion for years now and the idea of it fizzling out and becoming something labourious for me is so sad. 

One morning I woke up at 7am and for whatever reason I decided enough was enough and I did what I'd always done ever since Year 7 me started 'Just Morgs,' and sat down. Pulling out my laptop, scattering coloured pens about my desk, getting out my notepad...and just spilled everything out. Ideas. What was going wrong. Negative thoughts I was having about blogging. And then, once it was all out I wrote what I wanted to do now, what I wanted to write, what my actual interests were. When you grow up with a blog it's understandable that you're interests change and I realised there's never any point clinging onto what I used to and my blog will naturally mature as I grow up too. 

I needed a refresh. A new chapter. And this is exactly what I plan to do this month, beginning with mundane tasks like updating social media's, banners and links, to eventually re-designing my site template and putting out posts to suit me. As well as my recipe posts, I'd love to delve deeper into lifestyle and fitness (things like gym-intimidation, food inspiration and body issues) as well as mental health, school and productivity (which is going to be an even bigger part of my life in Year 11 soon) and also female and GRLPOWR related topics that I've never talked about before (like periods, self esteem and the amazing blogging community.) To sum it up I want the 'New' Just Morgs to be a place for positivity and inspiration, whether that be through fitness or mental health and to basically reflect me. Because I am a teenager, I'm not like the 26-year-old bloggers you might read from and there's no reason why I should try and change myself to fit that.

So let me re-introduce myself. I'm Morgan. A 15 year old blogger from London, with a love for green smoothies, netflix shows, the gym - weird for my age I know - and always trying to over-organise my whole life. Also have an obsession with peanut butter, forever stressing about my GCSE exams soon and you guessed it, on top of it all I'm still your typical hormonal teenager.

I want to share what I love on my blog. That's what I've always wanted to do since I first started. And even though I may have got lost along the way, I'm back and Just Morgs is ready for a refresh. Thanks for sticking by and let's see what the 'New' Just Morgs brings.


QOTD: HAVE YOU EVER CONSIDERED QUITTING BLOGGING?

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