So where did April go? Have you seen it? Me neither. I have a feeling May is going to shoot by as well and before we know it I'll be on a plane to Europe saying Sayonara to you all for 10 weeks. However, before we jump the gun, there are some things to catch up on.
May is turning out to be my busiest month yet. I have really excited to be working with some fantastic partners on some sponsored content for The Residents. It's also turning out to be my most busy year for readership - 50,000 unique views this year, already - and counting! I really got an amazing response the other week to this post I put up explaining how sponsored posts work, so I thought I'd embed it here to show you. If you'd be interested in a more deep-dive where I can explain the nuances a bit more, like the importance of writing agreements, building trust etc, just let me know. Anyway, I've embedded what I popped up last Sunday below.
Today I’m going to be doing a little planning for the month. I’m so lucky that after two and a half years of blogging, some fav brands want to work with @theresidents.nz! When I started blogging I saw this was happening over in the UK and America, and took a gamble that we would also end up in the same boat. A blog, like anything, requires a bit of cash to run! And even though I have a full time job still, earning from my creativity is really important and allows me to do meaningful things with it. Maybe one day it will even be full time (although that isn’t the end game - I always would rather work with people I love over doing it for the money; if Chanel want to rock up, I’m there!) . . I thought I’d explain a little about what this involves and the differences between content which is branded and how it’s different. . If a brand approaches me and wants to work with me, I’ll first assess whether they’re a good fit. I turn down about 6/10 opportunities because they don’t fit. I always disclose if a post is Paid with ‘Ad’ or ‘Sponsored’ so I need to be accountable. We then collaboratively come up with what the content should include. Most people are awesome and trust me. Next we negotiate on price. If a brand wants something fast, wants lots of rights over the content or wants specific things, it will be more. . . I then need to create the content visual. I work with @nadiadarby for video and @dinosaurtoast for photography (if I don’t do photos myself). I always pay my collaborators because I believe you’d be a jerk if you didn’t and karma in Wellington is important. How could I expect to be paid as a creative if I didn’t do the same to others? . The I write the piece and send for approval. Social media may also need approval. Generally a brand wants one or two key messages included, but they’ve come to me because they know I know what to talk about and what you guys care about. So generally if something sounds not like me, I would give them a heads up or explain why I shouldn’t to do it. Mostly they’re cool. . Finally we publish at an optimal time. It’s then all about putting across the different platforms! Hope you’ve found this interesting! 😍
As mentioned, I did A LOT of planning on the weekend (some of which I need to re-do but hey that's life - things change!).
The awkward stuff
As mentioned on Instagram, I had a treatment for "down there" last month. This all came up in February when I had a regular smear *sorry boys, look away - or ya know, educate yourself* where my results came back as abnormal. I hadn't had a smear in a year and so I was a little worried but not excessively so until I was called and told that my cervix had pre-cancerous cells. This naturally scared the shizz out of me, especially when I was told they were high risk (Cin-III). Having never even broken an arm, I felt pretty crap. I knew I couldn't change anything, but it had to happen. This meant I would need to get the cells removed. The night I found this out is the night I went out and got the so called 'White Girl Wasted' in my blog post here. I really felt awful and broken.
When I had my culposcapy and biopsy, it was my first time in hospital ever which I can remember (not bad for 28). I wept after my treatment was over, feeling really upset. After we left the hospital, I cried in the car for a while. Fortunately, Matt was there with me every step of the way. It was horrible, truly awful, and I finally understood why people say they hate hospitals. You can't help but think about why you're there and how you'd give anything not to be. My biopsy was so crap, though my doctor was lovely, that I really was dreading the actual treatment LLETZ surgery (only google if you're prepared).
I felt anxious in the lead up to it, and finally just super distracted the day before. On the day of the treatment, we went in at 9am. It wasn't as scary as I'd been there before, but of course I still was like 'I'd literally rather do anything else than be here'. Finally I got called in by a very kind nurse, who was amazing to me, and made me feel much much better than the nurses I'd dealt with regarding my biopsy. She spoke to me softly and soothingly while she found a vein to stick a needle in. Pretty much, that was the worst part, because I was led into the surgical room, and then was sedated - which frankly rocked. I could still hear everything but I was in a lovely happy sleep. When I came out, I spent an hour or so coming too and was even fed, telling Matt in a groggy but accusatory voice that no, he couldn't have my Mrs Higgins cookie.
And after that, everything was fine! I didn't even have a heavy false period like I did the time before. The biggest downside is no baths for three weeks - we're already two down though! Why am I writing about this? Well, now its all over, the one thing I really wish is that I'd had someone to talk to about it. It turned out SO many women have had this treatment, like almost everyone I'd raised it with had had it themselves or knew someone who had. Yet it felt like I'd never heard about it, and it felt really horrible and shameful. So hopefully to reduce the stigma about your vagina screwing up, I am going to put it out there in the hopes some other woman will read this and know I felt like she did.
Exercise - Starting Again...BUT SOMETHING DIFFERENT - A Fresh Start
Just as this all wound up, I had a quiet weekend, where Matt and I cleaned the house from top to toe with my mum and I sat down and planned my blog posts for the next month. I then spent the Sunday taking photos, invoicing, sending emails and planning. It was very satisfying. I even pre-organised my clothes for the following week, dropping them into work, because I was about to start exercising on Monday. Yes, you hear me right!
So for those of you who AREN'T up to date on the boring and very repetitive story of my exercise saga it goes something like this: Non-sporting girl, does Hockey and other bits and pieces for two years at High School (only below-average skills), leaves school, runs for stress at uni, starts Bikram Yoga at 20, does on and off stints of this, and other types of yoga for next 8 years, had a 18 month Gym addiction and mild orthorexia at 20 (self diagnosed), hurts knee, swims a bit for a few months, overall has healthy relationship to body but lazy approach to consistent exercise. Go figure.
Unbelievably, an amazing company, Result Room, on Featherston Street, approached me asking if I'd be interested in producing some content with them. Results Room is a PT facility, where you just do PT sessions. It is quite different from a typical gym, and perfect if you're not into the grunting, huffing big gym vibes.
After speaking with Angie (who broached the topic to me) I put the idea to Result Room to train for my trip to Europe, so I am in peak physical condition for my trip, and thus a new partnership has been born. So far, I am on week one (I'm putting up posts on Instagram Stories Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays) and I know that I have zero core strength and that I have a bit of a girl crush on my PT Laura (who has an aaamazing accent). We struck on the idea to make my fitness goals about functional fitness, centered around the different countries I'll be visiting. For example, being able to cycle the canals in Amsterdam or run up the Spanish Steps in Rome. I haven't quite got my ideas all together, but if you have any suggestions, feel free to shoot them to me to propose to Laura.
I'm actually very grateful for a fresh start and after my surgery it feels amazing to be taking some time out to look after me. If you want to try a session at Results Room, you can use the code 'ResultsfortheResidents' to get one personal training session free with them (or just call them up and email and ask, mentioning this blog post). So I'll keep you posted on how I go! Luckily I've got a draw full of Ipanema Girl activewear. I'll need it! Check out their new stuff online here (including these Peach Leggings, Meshed Crop Top and Classic Black Leggings - they hold me in well!).
Finally just thank you so much for all your lovely comments and encouragement. I love what you guys do and think you're wonderful. I can't go on too much or I'll get misty eyed but its very much noted.
Have a great rest of your week and let's catch up soon.