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    My Dream Bathroom

    Since my housemate moved out of our house in October last year and Ben moved in, there has been a definite transition – for me – from it being “the place I live” to “ my home”, and now that we are living there as a couple, with our little furry family, it’s taken on a whole new lease of life.


    Being there, in those four walls, tucked up inside our little haven brings me absolute joy and sometimes I’ll be watching TV and just for a moment I’ll find myself completely hyper-aware of where I am. I look around, take it all in and feel a swell in my chest as my heart aches with contentment. That said, living in rented is pretty annoying. We pay such a lot of money to live there and we have nothing to show for it; those bricks and mortar are no more ours now than they were the day I moved in, and they never will be. However, we are gradually saving for a house, although it’ll be a long way off into the future.

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    FURminator Pet Grooming

    As I’m sure you’ve worked out by now if you’ve read this blog before or follow me on any of my social media channels, my pets are a huge part of my life. I was brought up with the mindset that they aren’t just pets; they’re members of the family, and that way of thinking has continued to where I find myself today. The proud fur-mum of a dog and two cats.


    So, when the people from FURminator contacted me to ask if I would like to review their de-shedding brushes (for cats and dogs) I jumped at the chance. Not only could I bring two of my loves together – blogging and my pets – but if the brushes turned out to be any good it would be a godsend, as with three animals tearing around my house at all times, there’s an almost permanent layer of fur over everything, no matter how much we hoover!


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    While I’ve Been Gone…

    Now I’m back after going AWOL and having some time away from blogging, I thought the most sensible thing  would be to recap what I’ve been up getting up to.


    The time spent away was definitely good for the soul and I had a lot of fun just living life – not worrying about whether or not I was getting content online was an absolute dream! But, I missed A Penny For Them and despite a few wobbles where I thought I might vanish from this online world forever, I’m glad to be back.

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    Guest Post: Squibb Vicious – Five Things to do in Copenhagen

    It’s all been a little quiet over here on A Penny For Them recently as my day job has been frantically busy and my personal life has been non-stop too. Every time I think I’ll find an hour or so to sit down and write something for this little space on the interweb, something else comes along that is more needy of my attention and off I go, away from the laptop and away from any opportunity to blog.


    I miss it.

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    1-Year With These Keys

    It seems crazy to think that I moved out of my mum’s spare room (for what I hope is the last time!) and into my little house a year ago today. Back then I was living with a house mate, had just adopted Poppy and was in the early stages of my relationship with Ben.


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    So, I’m Back


    To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I ever would be. When, a month ago, I decided to take this blog offline it wasn’t a decision I’d made quickly, it was something I’d been thinking about for a long time. Months, perhaps even as much as a year.


    I’ve mentioned a few times, both on here and on social media, that I was struggling with blogging. I’d lost my mojo and was starting to wonder where I fit into the blogging world. Add to the mix the negativity I’ve seen in the blogging community (seemingly more and more) over the past year or so, and I was left unsure whether I wanted to be part of that world anymore.


    I took time out, I tried to find a different direction, I stepped back from ‘the community’ and started to try and work out what I wanted from this little space on the internet.


    All in all it came down to one big question: What did I blog for?


    I talked to friends, I talked to Ben, and I spent a lot of time thinking. Each time I did I found that the same answer was coming back to me – I want this blog to be a snapshot of my life. So where was I going wrong? The answer to that is simple: self expectation and self criticism.


    All my life writing has been something I’ve loved doing and, for a time, I really hoped I would be able to make a living of it. I was lost in my day job and my personal life and so I started craving fulfilment elsewhere. But with that striving to make a career out of blogging and writing came a pressure that essentially ruined it for me.


    As you all know, life changed for me just over a year ago. I left the house and relationship I was in and started afresh. I got a rented house, I got a dog, and I got together with Ben. Suddenly my offline life took on a quality it had never had before and I found myself with less time to spend online as I no longer found myself home alone every night, lonely and trying to find a way to pass the hours.


    And so I found myself in a new position; in a job that is alright and a home life that leaves me happy, and with my hours so full, there was less time to blog. As a result of this, with less posts going live, I found my hits dropping – as is to be expected. But the self critical side of me would nag at my brain telling myself I was failing, I wasn’t good enough and so I began to feel like perhaps there was no point me continuing with this website.


    Another factor, as touched on briefly above, was the sheer amount of negativity that seems to have reared it’s head in the blogging society lately. It’s always been there to some degree, but – and this might be my perception – but it seems to have blown up in recent months. I’ve lost count of the amount of dramas I’ve seen. As a rule I tend to keep out of them (I’m a lover, not a fighter) but it really made me question whether I wanted to be part of it.


    Don’t get me wrong, for the most part bloggers are AWESOME and I have met so many amazing friends through it – two of my best friends (Haydy and Sian) I met through blogging and Twitter – but I’ve seen some real nastiness lurking about too and that really isn’t my bag.


    Having dropped out of school at 13 due to being bullied, then having a nasty, abusive ex, I have fairly low self confidence and a ever-present need for people to like me. That’s not a good trait to have as it’s impossible to be liked by everyone, you’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. I worry to the point of distraction, I overthink, I self-doubt, and the negativity I saw floating around online often filtered into the crevices of my brain and left me second guessing myself and feeling inadequate. I don’t want to live life like that anymore. I’m 30 and the things that happened to me in the past happened, yes, and they will always be a part of me, but I don’t want them to affect me anymore.


    With all of these factors and me not really knowing what I wanted from blogging anymore, I decided it was time for action. So, I took it offline, redesigned it (what do you think of the new look?) and am back with a new mindset and plan of action.


    From now on, I blog for me. I’ll blog about the things that make up my world, I’ll use it to create an everlasting record of my life and everything that makes it up. I want it to be somewhere I come to share my experiences, my thoughts, and everything in between. I don’t want to ever feel like it isn’t good enough. It’s just me, simple as that.


    So, from here on in, A Penny For Them is going to be firmly back in the ‘Lifestyle’ genre. It won’t be for everyone, but you can’t please all the people all the time.


    I hope you’ll stick with me for the ride.


    Penny xx


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