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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!



Monday 9 May 2016

Relaxing || Motivational Monday

Hello Glitterbugs!

Merry Monday to you, how are you feeling? 

I feel slow and sluggish but I've just made a big to-do list, had some toast and I'm writing this. Sometimes completing just one task gives you the motivation to tackle and complete another, you just have to start. 

Yesterday was a write off. I had such plans for so many things since I had just returned from a week in New York but none of them happened. I wanted to organise my footage, begin my edits, start some writing, wash my laundry, see to my post and bills, visit some family and so on. Instead, Darcy and I took everything into the garden (hammock, cushions, paddling pool, snacks, toys, music) and spent the entire day there. 

We cuddled and chatted and played. Some of my Mum friends called by and our littles bounced in the sunshine on the trampoline, I whipped up drinks and food with whatever I had in the kitchen, we sat on the decking and just watched the day go by with birds tweeting and bees buzzing and children getting sticky hands from ice lollies. 

It was beautiful. 

I didn't do any of my jobs. I didn't earn any money. I didn't further my career. I make my mark on the world. I just lived my day. 

It was so, so beautiful. 

Last year was cray. I did so many things (managed both channels, wrote a book, released a diary, completed 2 book tours, performed my first live comedy tour, travelled a bunch of times, designed and released a clothing line, etc) and I felt like career-wise it was such an amazing year. Personally though, I was crumbling. In 2016 I made the resolution that Darcy and I come first. Obviously I still want (and need) to work and it's one of my biggest passions but sometimes, just sometimes, it's OK to throw in the towel and have a garden day with your babe. 

This week remember what you're living for. Remember that there is so much more to your life than working and think about what really makes you rich. 

Love you lots Glitterbugs. 



Friday 6 May 2016

LouiseLIVE Info and Chat

Good Morning My Glitterbugs!

I say morning, but who knows what time you're reading this? Wouldn't it be amazing if there was a little bit of tech that could change some of the words in blogs to suit your time? Like morning and afternoon or even seasonal if you're reading this at like Christmas or something? Why am I talking about this?? I'm jet lagged, let's blame that!

I'm typing this blog post from my hotel bed in New York, with a 14th floor view over Manhattan at sunrise. I'm not even kidding. It's glorious. I feel like such a go-getter haha. If you're super interested, THIS, is my current view, except I'm actually under that duvet of dreams. 

Anyway, what was the point of this post, oh yes, LouiseLIVE! I thought that since I've been talking about it so much on my social media that I would make a blog post to kind of A any Q's and fill in the gaps for people who might not know much about it. I've also included some images that guests from LouiseLIVE 2015 took- thank you for sharing those with me <3

What is LouiseLIVE?

LouiseLIVE is a live theatre show where I try to bring the essence of my channel to the stage but also a lot more personality that I'm not always able to convey via a screen. The general theme of the show is comedy but there are big elements of self empowerment and hopefully a little bit of inspiration in there too. It's audience interactive (so some guests are invited up on stage with me) but not audience led (so not a Q&A). 

How did LouiseLIVE all begin?

A few years back I was at a YouTube convention in America and I wanted to find a way to spend time with my audience but in a different format to the traditional meet & greet, which I felt wasn't offering the quality that we all deserved. I wanted a way to interact face to face but wasn't just a human conveyor belt of a quick hello and a selfie. I needed more than that and I felt like the audience did too. 

So, I came up with this idea where I would have a bunch of you in a room, you could ask me anything at all you wanted and I could ask you anything and we'd have a sort of giant conversation. 

With each question that someone asked, I ended up talking for a few minutes, sharing stories, asking more about you and we all came away having learnt something more, deepened our relationships and having had a higher quality experience than a fake smile and blurred selfie. It was GOOD. 

After that someone said, why don't you develop this and take it to the stage? So, in 2014 we did a pilot show called, 'The Sprinkle of Glitter Experience", in my home town (woo yeah Northampton! ha) that was very unstructured and audience led, with Q&A's, quizzes, chats etc. The reviews were crazy positive!

When we launched LouiseLIVE in 2015 (much better name, non?), I wanted there to be a proper structure (like you would get in any stage show) and to focus a little bit more on the comedy element of it as that's something that works really well in a live setting. I was also keen to maintain a section about confidence and self empowerment since this is something I'm so passionate about and I think really resonates with a lot of guests. 

And so, 3 years later, here we are about to embark on the second official tour and I couldn't be more excited! I was so happy with how 2015 went so will be going with the same format but of course, all new stories, new ideas and hopefully a lot of new audience members too!

Why is LouiseLIVE so special? 

I have been growing, nurturing and loving my GlitterWorld for 6 years now. I consider it a part of my family, like a second child. When I read comments from you or open your letters that land in my PO Box, I feel like we are connected. Unfortunately, there is a certain distance and coldness that having screens and technology between us brings, so, to have an experience with you all in a theatre setting is very special. 

It allows us the unique opportunity of being amongst this community that we have all worked to create and to celebrate it. We are all sharing in one common interest and the vibe is always incredibly positive and exciting. 

I also think it's special because I feel so much more free on a stage than I do in front of a camera. I feel a lot more like the Louise I am when I'm with my friends and find myself relaxing and hitting on so many more topics than I would on my channel. Hearing the audience laugh and seeing faces with all the feels, it's special. 

Where can I buy tickets for LouiseLIVE?

Right HERE. A lot of tickets have sold out now but a few remain for most of the venues so do be quick if you're wanting any. 

Can I vlog at LouiseLIVE? 

This is just my personal opinion and not that of the theatre venue (they all have their own individual policies). I would love for you to not film the entire show but if you are vlogging your day and want to include little snippets that are a few seconds long here and there, go for it. Also, still photos (as far as I'm concerned) are completely fine. If any of my youtube friends attend, I'd love for them to not be filmed and just be left to enjoy the show <3.

I suffer from anxiety, will I be ok at LouiseLIVE?

I've seen this question a lot. I think because there is an element of audience interaction, some people worry that they'll be picked on or dragged up on stage. DON'T WORRY. If you look terrified or are shaking your head or not raising your hand, I'm 100% not going to pick you. I don't want anyone at my show to feel uncomfortable or embarrassed or afraid. Also, I want to have super bubbly confident people on stage so it's not in my interest to pick a person who's just not feeling it.

If at any point you need to leave, I'm not going to call you out or make a fuss, I'm just going to hope you're ok and leave you to it. 

So, if anxiety is your worry, I hope this has eased it for you. 


And that's it! If you have any further Q's, leave them below and if there are any that I see multiple times I will address them in another blog post. 

Can't wait to see you there!!



Monday 2 May 2016

Mistakes || S3P3 || Motivational Monday

Aloha Glitterbugs,

Merry Monday to you, a brand new day and a brand new start. How refreshing. 

Like every single person except Mary Poppins (who as we know is practically perfect in every way), I've made a lot of mistakes in my life. A lot. From big ones like not working harder at school to little ones like that Krispy Kreme donut at 1.40am last night, I'm a mistake maker. 

It's really easy, I think, to let those mistakes fester within us. For a long old time after my marriage broke down I would sob and sob to my friends that I'd failed. I felt like I was walking around with this huge neon sign floating above my head and everyone could see all the things I hadn't achieved. 'Couldn't Make Her Marriage Work', 'Didn't Try Hard Enough'.  Over time I realised my failing didn't mean I was a loser and nobody thought that. Nobody was forcing these negative labels on me, except me. It wasn't a mistake to get married (we had a lot of wonderful years and brought Darcy into the world) and it wasn't a mistake to move on (we're both infinity happier now and I feel like a better parent for it).

Same for my A-Levels. I did terribly. At uni in freshers week the hot topic was, 'Which A-Levels did you take? How many UCAS points did you score? Did you get your first place of course??'. Truth be told, I got into my uni through clearing. I did brilliantly in my GCSE's, moved schools for my A-Levels, discovered boys, took my eye of the prize and was a bit of a flop. Still went to uni though, still came out with a degree, still lived my life. My mistake didn't define my success. 

What I'm trying to illustrate is that even if you make a mistake, you can fix it. You can work through it and with the right attitude, over come it. 

Whatever little or big mistakes are niggling away at you this week, let them go or refocus. You don't need to beat yourself up and you are not the walking embodiment of failure. You are a human and you're doing OK. I promise. 


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