Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Playlist - Your Questions Answered!

Hello Glitterbugs!

If you've been a Glitterbug for a long time now you might remember THIS post from 2013 when I answered all your questions about Vidcon. I thought it might be fun to do the same kind of thing but for Playlist Live, the convention I just attended in Orlando and shed some light on some of the things you have been wondering about!

All questions are taken from my Facebook Page. It's quite a chatty community over there so do be sure to give it a follow and get involved.

I'm going to answer everything very honestly and in as much detail as appropriate <3

Maha - I wanted to ask, does the YouTube company make all the arrangements for the YouTubers for their stay, like your hotel and airplane tickets?

For an event like Playlist (a convention about online video content) it depends. Generally the event will cover the cost of flights and accommodation for some of it's guests. I am very fortunate to be supported by an incredible management team who liaise with the event to arrange this kind of thing. In the past, when my channels were smaller, I have arranged and funded my own expenses.

Elizabeth - Do these conventions possibly create a larger divide between fans and creators by providing them with 'celebrity' status and controlling all interaction? (Don't mean it negatively! Just curious!).

This is such a good topic of discussion, with lots of points to look at. Broadly, I don't think so. It's important to remember that it's not Playlist that controls the interactions, it's a number of people. The creator firstly decides what they are willing to do. So for me, I chose to do my usual- a panel, a Glitter Time and an interview with Hollywire. I'm happy to do lots of panels and stage things. I also spent a little bit of time walking around and talking to guests. I tend not to say yes to traditional meet & greets because I'm dubious as to how worthy they are of everyone's time. Everyone is rushed and waits for hours to just have a quick hello and a selfie. I don't think that makes me feel like a valued human (more just a thing to stand next to and photograph, like a statue or landmark haha) and I don't think fans should be encouraged to partake in that when there are so many better learning opportunities or ways to enjoy the convention. To be crystal clear, I don't think less of other creators or fans who do this, I just don't think that right now, it's for us. Hang outs yes, queues and soulless selfies, no. 

Playlist has to step in with a level of control for safety at some point. It has to provide security (for ticket holders and guests) to ensure that the event runs smoothly. No, I don't like that there are barriers in the carpark but I'd like it even less if a fan was overcome with excitement for someone, ran to the car to bang on the windows (this happens) and had their feet run over or something. I think Playlist do a good job with keeping everything secure and calm and well organised. Initially these kinds of events could be a bit crazy but these days I think everyone has the hang of stuff and it runs well, for everyone. I'd be interested to hear what ticket holders feel on this. So whilst some experiences can feel a little 'them and us', I think if we look objectively at why there are security measures and negative things that have happened in the past (girls getting squashed, people being over crowded, all the connotations of those experiences etc)

I think the divide is subjective (as is the term 'celebrity'). I don't feel like a celebrity and I would hope that when I interact with people, it's with warmth and kindness. I think that yes, there might well be a few creators who enjoy the celeb 'status' and let that go to their heads but that feeling won't last because I don't think their fans will be fans for long. There are certainly perks to the job and perks to these events but the key is to see them as luxuries rather than entitlements.

Not sure I've answered this one very clearly but I hope some sense can be taken from all that!!

Talia - YouTube Conventions are improving all the time. What things did Playlist do right this year?

I'll answer this but I might be biased because I only saw it from a guest view rather than ticket holder. I think Playlist are incredibly organised. My hotel room and information pack was all ready when I arrived and everything I needed to know was in there. I love the attention to detail throughout the venue with the branding and design work stuck and projected everywhere. I thought there was a really interesting range of panels to attend and lots snacks available in the greenroom!

From a guest standpoint I liked that you all had a lot of things you could go to- panels, signings, performances etc. I enjoyed that pool parties and evening entertainment was put on for you too. I think I would like to see more things in the expo hall for ticket holder though. Vidcon does a pretty good job with this but I'm not sure there was much this year at Playlist. I saw a lot of ticket holders just kind of chilling out in halls and the lobby so wondered if that was a choice or because they were out of other options. 

Talia - What makes you want to attend YouTube conventions? What attracts you to them? 

I love the interaction between viewer and creator. Making videos can be a bit lonely sometimes, especially as I don't live near any other creators (most of whom are dear friends now) so it's really lovely to see so many friends and also meet so many of you, it's a very social weekend. 

I also like the glitz of going away, flying, feeling nice in dresses each day and having a bit of a change of scenery. Saying that, I suffer quite a lot from homesickness so in the coming years I'd like to see if Darcy or one of my sisters will come with me. 

Chloe - Where are your favourite places to visit in Orlando? 

I love this question because I love being in Orlando! Rather obviously, I love DisneyWorld but also I always like to try and stop by Bahama Breeze for yummy food and cocktails and Mall of Millenia for a mooch round.

I hope some of those answers have given you a bit more insight into conventions and how they tick! I enjoyed answering. Thank you to every lovely person who has ever made my convention experiences so good, I look forward to many more! My vlogs of this year's playlist are now up on my channel, Sprinkle of Chatter. You can watch them HERE



Monday, 16 May 2016

Summer Listings

Hello Glitterbugs,

Not a Motivational Monday today, I looked and looked at quotes and I couldn't really find anything that suited. Last week was quite challenging in my personal life (although great in my work life) so I won't try to preach to you how to do something when I'm not feeling it myself. 

Instead, I thought I'd do one of my favourite blog activities, a list! 

Lists bring me the greatest of joys. I wrote a similar one last year and remember enjoying trying to tick everything off. As life has progressed there are new things to try and more adventures to be had so I thought it would be nice to set out a hopeful goals list of things to do this summer. I'll check back in September and see how I got on. 

Summer Listings

Buy new garden furniture. 
Host at least 5 'Drinks on the Decking' afternoons.
Spend time with Darcy outside.
Build her picnic table.
Have a day at the seaside.
Organise a Mummy Group picnic somewhere beautiful.
Cheer for Darcy on her first sports day!
Absolutely stuff myself with strawberries.
Have an afternoon at a PYO farm with friends.
Have a grown up night out with nice dresses and cocktails.
Go to the health club at least twice a week. 
Take Darcy to the play farm place with her friends. 
Write more.
Download and watch Darling Buds of May. 
Have long evenings in the garden with friends.
Pick a month and vlog every day of it. 
Work towards de-cluttering my office. 
Take a big trip to Seattle with Darcy and love each moment!
Learn to cook one amazing thing.
Learn to bake one amazing thing. 
Find an amazing party shop and stock up on themed supplies. 
Clear out my kitchen (so many junk drawers) a little bit. 
Create a summer playlist and lay listening in the hammock. 
Just once get up early and watch the sun rise. 
Spend more time at my parent's house. 
Film and Mummy and Darcy lookbook. 
Print off nice pictures, frame my art and make a gallery wall in the lounge. 
Drink more water. 
Explore London again. 
Relax, properly. 

For now, I think that will do. I'm walking into this new season feeling stronger than I did last year. I am so grateful for all my blessings and all the sweet things that I have and intend to enjoy each and every day. 

What do you look forward to in the Summer? 



Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Darcy at 5

Hello Glitterbugs!

If you followed my blog last month and read this or this post, you will know that my little girl, Darcy, turned 5 in April. 

I wanted to write a post all about her character and mannerisms as a way to document and remember all the little things she was into and also, one day, she might read this as an adult and smile- Hello grown up Darcy, if you're ready! 

(Thank you so much Courage & Kind for this darling silk dress, Darcy loves it)

Five years old, I think, is my favourite age. I remember saying that specifically about 4 months old and hoping it would never end so I'm thankful that this, 'favourite age' thing doesn't wear out. I'll probably say it for everything haha. 

Darcy is a gem. I know any mother would say that about their child so perhaps she's downright awful to everyone else but I don't think so. 

Where do I start? I'll begin with all the little tiny things I want to cherish forever and then move onto the big character stuff. 

Darcy likes little things, she always has. She likes tiny weeny toys that she can clutch in her hands for long periods of time. She likes the brushes you get with My Little Ponies or the accessories that come with Sylvanian Families. Tsum Tsums too are high up on her light of 'good things'. When we were in Seattle this January, I gave her $10 to choose whatever she wanted and she was straight over to the (Anna & Elsa) Tsums. She likes putting things in bags, boxes, tins and baskets. I'll very often find an assortment of random treasure in a handbag or envelope- not always all her own though I'm afraid, a lot of my bits and pieces go missing too! haha. She loves the trampoline and I'm regularly treated to grand performances that she's spend a long time perfecting upstairs. I always make sure to give big, big claps! 

Fussy eating is the bain of my life. I don't think there are a lot of foods that Darcy specifically hates but quite often she'll just decide that she doesn't want to eat something. I have worried and continue to worry that she doesn't eat enough. I offer and offer but mostly she'll take a few bites and say she's done. She eats really well at school with her classmates but at home, she's like a little bird. However, if I were to give her an endless supply of puddings, she'd more than manage. She has a sweet tooth!

Talking of teeth, none lost yet. I have something really special planned when she looses teeth so I'll keep you posted on that. I would hope that if her first tooth fell out whilst she's with her Dad that he'd somehow find a way to share that with me but right now, we are keeping things very separate which is a shame. 

Separation-wise, Darcy seems to be handling everything so, so well. As you know, we share 50/50 and are still both flexible with changing days here and there if needed. I tell Darcy often that Mummy and Daddy love her and when she says, 'I love Daddy', I say, 'I love so much that Daddy loves you' and she seems to really like that. Sometimes she sends texts to each of us from our phones (a great big paragraph of emojis) and we respond with emojis too. We've talked about having 2 teams, a Mummy & Darcy and a Daddy & Darcy team and she loves having 2 bedrooms. I try to be quite honest with Darcy, she has a lot of questions. She knows I have a new man in my life and I've told her he is kind and handsome and funny. As yet, she still hasn't met him but when the time is right, I'll introduce. I feel nervous about that (I'll perhaps write a separate post because this is meant to be all about her). 

Darcy has a huge social group! I've mentioned a few times about my mummy groups and how Darcy and I both love having them. I've made friends with a couple of Mama's on my street and from there we've all met each other's friends too and formed a nice circle of support and fun. Between all of us there are about 15ish littles so Darcy is never short of a friend to play with after school or on the weekend. I don't let her 'play out' (on the street like I did when I was little- I worry about weirdos) but I do let her play in my neighbour friends gardens or have her friends over here to wreck her bedroom (it's amazing how much destruction little children can cause in under an hour). Last night we got back from playdate number 1 with some of the school Mama's and their littles (that's my other Mummy Group) and went straight into playdate number 2 for strawberries and waterfights in a garden with the local littles. Life for Darcy is full of love and friendship and socialising, just as it should be. 

When playing with older children, Darcy loves to observe and be led but when playing with her peers, Darcy is assertive with her ideas. It's almost like in the wild where there is an alpha lion and she respects that but then when everyone is on a level pegging, she gives leading a go. I hope this develops both ways because I think there is something to be said for having the courage to be in charge but then something valuable about knowing when someone else can do it better. 

Sometimes, Darcy is unsure of her own abilities. Before trying something new she needs a lot of encouragement and reassurance. She's not the first kid to jump into the ball pool and it took a lot of praise and cajoling for her to believe she really could buckle up her own seat belt. With time I think she'll grow in self-believe but until then, I'll carry on nudging warmly. 

Screen time is a big thing for my girl. She's loves it! If I would let her watch TV/play on my phone all day, she would. I'm breezy about her watching films (we often snuggle up together for movie time) but I'm a lot stricter about the phone and limit it heavily. Her current favourite app is a Palace Pets game where you groom all the animals and add accessories to them for the Princesses. 

Travelling is another thing Darcy enjoys. This summer I plan to take her to Seattle to visit the Bitsandclips and Matt will be taking her to Orlando for DisneyWorld. She's a lucky kiddo. Before the year is out I'd really like to try DisneyLand Paris with her and I'm looking into Disney Cruises. I'm sticking with the Disney theme because it feels like something we could easily do just the two of us (not booking any holidays with her and bf yet, although him and I might be going somewhere soon yay) without me freaking out or feeling super lonely. When she's older I'd also like to take her to New York for a Mummy & Me trip! 

All in all, I'm really happy with how Darcy is growing up. She's gone from an easy baby, to a fun toddler to a really great child and I'm thrilled to be her Mama! I have lots of plans for our summer so keep your eyes peeled for those or check out my instagram!



 photo older.jpg  photo homebot.jpg