Happy 1st blog birthday!

1 year ago today I pressed publish on my first post as ‘Always Believe In A Miracle’. I can’t believe how quickly this year has gone by and I’ve learnt so much about blogging since starting, people don’t realise how much work goes into running a blog and sometimes that really frustrates me. It’s not just oh I’ll write this post and publish it there’s sooo much more to it. I know I’m not the best blogger in the world, as I don’t have a posting schedule and sometimes I don’t post for weeks on end, sorry! I’m trying to work on that.. but I really enjoy writing and I love that I have had messages from all over the world saying how my blog has helped them, that is seriously the most rewarding thing ever and definitely inspires me to keep writing so I can help even more people.


My first year of blogging has definitely had some up moments and well as some downs, but I made it! I still love blogging as much as the day I started and I still get really excited when someone has liked my newest post or followed me, I don’t think that excitement will ever go away. Hopefully by the end of the year I should be self-hosted.. EEEEKKKK. I can’t wait to see the wordpress.com dropped and become .co.uk / .com and also purchase a beautiful new theme and customize my blog to exactly how I want it, I also want to do so much more this year with my blog including guest posts.

I would like to thank every single one of you who read, like, comment & follow my blog as it really does mean the absolute world to me. To everyone who I have connected with on twitter through the blogging community I can’t thank you enough, you are all amazing and inspire me every single day. I know this is only a short post but I couldn’t let my first blog birthday go by without posting something haha, I have loved each and every moment and I am looking forward to the future as a blogger, whatever that may bring.

Love Samba

x

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Blogger Recognition Award 

Helloooo!

I don’t know about you but I’m so happy it’s February, January seemed to last ages! So, last week I got tagged by the lovely Gemma from An Ocean Glimmer for the Blogger Recognition Award! I really appreciate the nomination so a massive thank you to Gemma. She blogs about food, beauty, lifestyle and I always look forward to reading her posts, I would love you guys to check out her blog.. You won’t be disappointed as she’s got some amazing content!

If you are nominated you must follow these rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  2. Write a post showing the award
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started
  4. Give 2 pieces of advice to new bloggers
  5. Select 15 other bloggers to pass the award to
  6. Comment on each blog with a link to the post and let them know you nominated them

How I started my blog

I originally started blogging in July 15 with a blog then named ‘Samba Beats HL’ which I started just after I had finished treatment and I wanted to write about how I dealt with every chemo session and basically my whole story with cancer, to be honest I probably should have started the blog when I first got diagnosed. Anyway, I just couldn’t remember half the things I wanted too and I was getting so frustrated with myself. I had written a few blog posts but to be honest I wasn’t feeling it, it was just too hard and I felt like I was forcing myself to write, ugh. Obviously I didn’t want it to be like that so I then had a think of where I wanted to take my blog.. I took a little break and then I started ‘Always Believe In A Miracle’ in February 2016 as I wanted to write about life after cancer, raising awareness for blood cancer, the charities I’m most passionate about and lifestyle. I am so much more happier now and I can’t believe how much my blog has grown since starting, I appreciate the support so much! 

Advice for new bloggers

My first piece of advice would be that it’s okay to take a break from your blog if you need too, I have done this on several occasions and yes I did feel a little guilty but once I came back I felt sooo much better for it. I would say as well still try and keep active even if you are on a break, by reading and commenting on other blog posts and interacting with other bloggers on twitter / insta!

My second piece of advice would be to just be yourself, write from the heart on the topics you are passionate about, I think that brings the best content. Not everyone is you, you are unique and people will see this.

I now nominate..

  1. Naomi – Naomi Rowan
  2. Katie – Silver Glow
  3. Elle – Elle Grace Deveson
  4. Natasha – Natasha Bolger Media
  5. Sally – Like Sally Bee
  6. Mary – 1 Week Mary
  7. Romina – Romina’s Little Corner
  8. Laura – Laura’s Little World
  9. Jessica – Jessica Anna Revill
  10. Srna – A Crush On Life

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and please go and check out all the bloggers I nominated!

Love Samba 

Twitter giveaway

Hey guys, I hope you’re all having a lovely week. 


So, this is just a quick post but I recently reached 1000 followers on Twitter! YAYYYY! If you follow me on Twitter thank you so much for your support, it really means a lot and if you’re not following me .. yet, click HERE and give me a little follow! My goal for January was to reach 960 so I’m VERY happy that I’ve been able reach a 1000! I wanted to celebrate by doing a giveaway and I’m so excited to hold one so here are some of the details! 


I’m guessing you want to know what the prizes are right?!

▪️ A6 light box (pink) 

▪️ Ted Baker gift set 

▪️ Pink metallic ’embrace your inner unicorn’ pouch

▪️ Eyeshadow palette from Maybelline 

▪️ Hanging heart plaque – ‘life is beautiful’

▪️ Face & body scrub (ocean salt) and dusting powder (silky underwear) from Lush

▪️ Sweets – love hearts  


Here are the rules and how to enter:

▪️ UK ONLY (Sorry guys, I will be doing an international one in the future though).

▪️ The giveaway ends at midnight on Wednesday 22nd February 2017.

▪️ The winner will be notified and contacted within 24 hours of the giveaway ending.

All you have to do to enter is..

Follow me on TWITTER (@SAMBAAAA_) and RT my pinned TWEET! 

Yep, it’s that easy! 


Head over to my twitter, give me a little follow and retweet! Also I would love if you could share it with your followers to help spread the word. Good luck everyone 🙂

Love Samba 

x

Hello 2017

I know, I’m more than a week late but Happy New Year! I hope you all had an amazing Christmas & New Year also 2017 started off great for you all. I don’t really know where I’ll be taking this post, I’ll probably just ramble on but I hope you enjoy! 

So, I had a lovely Christmas with my family and enjoyed every minute but to be honest New Year wasn’t too good, we didn’t exactly celebrate it. I don’t want to get into the details about it at the moment as it’s too soon and it’s a very personal and close thing that I don’t feel like sharing right now, I hope you all understand. I didn’t want 2017 to start on a negative note but I believe things will get better, all about those positive vibes, right?! 

2016 went SO fast and I saw a lot of people who were glad it was over, to be honest 2016 was a pretty good year for me. A couple of highlights for me were our holidays to Italy (Lake Garda) which you can read about here and Cyprus which I really enjoyed and I raised just over £2,800 for charity. There were obviously some low points too as I struggled a lot with anxiety and I missed out on a few opportunities but this year I’m determined it’s not going to stop me. I still can’t believe we are now in 2017, I’m excited for this year as in June I’m going to NEW YORK! I look at my countdown app every day that’s how excited I am haha, I went to New York about 3 years ago but this year I’m going back to meet some of my amazing friends I’ve connected with via social media because of our battles with cancer. These people have become my best friends and I can’t wait to meet them! 

fstockphotosb-10

As of this month I’m officially 19 months in remission! WOOO! I still can’t believe it’s been that long.. This year my first cancer check up is in March at Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham which is where I had my transplant. Not gonna lie I’m pretty nervous already for this one. Last time I went to see my consultant he hinted that I may get discharged from him and I don’t want to get my hopes up that he’s going to say it as if he doesn’t I’m going to be so disappointed. I’m still under the care of my local hospital which is like my second home haha and I’m guessing I will be there until I reach the 5 year remission mark.

Last year I never set any goals personal or blogging as it was kind of a crazy year with organising my charity night so I knew I would never have hit them but this year I have decided to make myself monthly goals as I find this easier than yearly goals, for me it’s more achievable. I’ll only be sharing my blog / social media goals as my personal goals have now changed (I might do another post with these though), so here are my January blog goals: 

▪️ I want to reach 960 followers on Twitter, when I reach a 1000 I think I’m going to do a giveaway! YAY! Twitter has always been my favourite social media platform and I don’t think that’ll ever change.

▪️ I would LOVE to reach 1,700 on Insta but that’s probably not going to happen with the algorithm and everything, so basically my goal is not to lose any followers haha, I do need to start posting more as well!

▪️ Reach 200 likes on my Facebook page! So, if you didn’t know already I have a Facebook page and it’s called Team Samba, I wanted to make more people blood cancer aware so that’s why I set it up and to fundraise for Bloodwise.  

▪️ I have 63 Bloglovin’ followers at the moment but I would love to get to 75, I know that’s only a little jump but I don’t go on it that much and I find it so hard to grow.   

These next few are just general blog goals..

▪️ I want to post and just put more effort into my blog as I know I don’t post a lot and I want to change this. I don’t want to start a schedule as I would worry I wouldn’t be able to stick wih it so I will just be posting when I want too basically, I hope that’s okay with you guys!

▪️ I want to go self hosted.. AHHH! This probably won’t be until the end of the year though. I am going to have a brand new theme and layout which I’m excited about! If anyone has any blog posts about going self hosted please send them my way as I will need them haha

▪️ I want to get more involved in the blogging community in general, for example make some blogging friends and join twitter chats as I have never joined one before as I always miss them, ugh.   

These goals might seem small to some people but I’m happy with them. This year I want to be happier and more confident in myself as I’m still quite self conscious post cancer, and I’m not going let anxiety win. Letting the negativity go and thinking all things positive! If you have a similar post, let me know in the comments as I would love to read them!

Love Samba 

The Christmas Tag

Hey guys, Happy Holidays!

It’s officially Christmas week, only 4 days until Christmas Day! YAYYYY! It’s come around so quick! I noticed a Christmas tag going around although I’m not sure what version is the actual one, I just went with the version I like the most! So, here it is..

 

1.) What is your favourite Christmas movie? 

Oh, there’s just so many.. Miracle on 34th Street, The Santa Clause, Home Alone, The Holiday.. I could go on and on but my favourite Christmas film has got to be Elf! I could watch it over and over and not get bored of it.  

2.) Have you ever had a white Christmas?

Erm, no I don’t think so. I don’t remember waking up to snow ever in the UK, I mean I could be wrong (I probably am) It’s more than likely that we see some snow at the beginning of a new year like February / March time.   

3.) Where do you usually spend your holiday?

I usually spend my holiday at home with my lovely family. When I was younger we used to go to my Grandma and Grandad’s house and wake up there on Christmas day and open all our presents together but now we stay at our house and they come to us, our auntie, uncle and cousins also come round for a few hours too.

4.) What is your favourite Christmas song?

Mariah Carey – All I want for Christmas is you. I play her Christmas album over and over around Christmas time, it’s my favourite.

5.) Do you open any presents on Christmas eve?

Nope, I’ve always opened mine on Christmas morning, I think it would spoil the excitement opening them before..


6.) Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? 

Rudolph, Vixen, Prancer, Dancer, Comet, Cupid.. I can’t remember the rest but I don’t think I did too bad haha

7.) What holiday tradition’s are you most looking forward to this year? 

Just everything. I love everything about Christmas so I’m looking forward to all of it. I can’t wait to have my own family and start some traditions.

8.) Is your Christmas tree real or fake?

Our tree is fake and always has been since I was young but once I’m living in my own house I’d love to get a real one, I know they make a mess and they take a bit of maintenance but I just love the smell of a real Christmas tree. 

9.) What is your all time favourite holiday food/sweet treat?

Oooooo, I would have to say the turkey roast dinner as I always look forward to it. Oh and all the tins of chocolate, e.g. – Roses (there my favourite) I love all the Christmas food though.

10.) Be honest, do you like giving gifts or receiving gifts better? 

Obviously I love receiving gifts, I mean who doesn’t? but I love giving people presents too as I love seeing their reaction to what I have got them, it’s the best feeling when you see that they love what you brought them and it makes me smile a whole lot.

11.) What’s the best Christmas gift you’ve ever received?

Oh, this is a hard one, mostly because I can’t remember but I would have to say I got a PlayStation one year, I’m not sure which one and me and my sister were so happy and would play on them all the time haha 

12.) What would be your dream place to visit during the holiday season?

I have got to say New York! There is no other place I would love to go to around Christmas time, it just looks so magical! Strolling around Central Park and going ice-skating at Rockefeller Centre, It’s definitely on my bucket list. 

13.) Are you a pro-present wrapper or do you fail miserably?

Well, I’m not the best at wrapping presents, I always fail at the corners. All my family usually know their presents off me as I always use too much sellotape haha so I’d say I fail miserably. 

14.) Most memorable holiday moment?

Hmm, I don’t think I’ve got one special moment. Every single moment throughout Christmas is memorable to me.


15.) What made you realize the truth about Santa?

Oh, I can’t remember the exact age but I think one year it just clicked and I knew. When I was younger my mom used to take mine and my sister’s presents to our grandma’s house and hide them there and she would tell us she has sent them to Santa.  

16.) Do you make New Years resolutions? Do you stick to them? 

I haven’t ever made any to be honest, If I did I probably wouldn’t stick to them.   

17.) What makes the holiday’s special for you?

The whole excitement of Christmas, watching Christmas movies, opening gifts, playing games, listening to Christmas songs but the thing that makes the holiday’s special is being around all my family, family is just so important and if they are happy it makes me happy.

So that’s the Christmas tag DONE! I hope you enjoyed reading! Let me know if you have already done this tag or are planning to as I’d love to read all your answers! 

*The pictures I used do not belong to me, they were found while doing a google search*

Love Samba

x

Christmas wish list 2016

So, I LOVE Christmas! The adverts, the food, the music, the decorations, the family time, I just love everything about it. Now it’s finally December I’m getting so excited! Every year everyone always asks me what I would like and usually I haven’t got any idea’s but surprisingly this year I have so I thought I would share some of the things on my Christmas wish list, I’m obviously not expecting all this I just thought it was fun to do! So let’s get into it..

First up are these beautiful makeup brushes from Spectrum Collections, just look how pretty they are! Makeup brush goals.. right?! I’ve wanted this set for ages, it’s called The Bomb Shell and includes 12 gorgeous brushes! It’s priced at £79.99 so it’s a little pricey but I definitely think it’s worth it as it has a detachable rose gold chain so you can also use it as a bag.

(Image – Spectrum Brushes website)

Next up on my wish list is the Cannon M10 camera, I’ve been needing a new camera for ages and I literally stumbled upon this one on the Currys website and fell in love with it, after watching some reviews on YouTube I knew this was the one for me. Even though this is on my wish list my mom has already brought this for my Christmas present! YAY! I’ve always loved taking photo’s so I can’t wait to start using this!

cannon(Image – Currys website)

 I’ve been going to the gym for a while now (GO ME)! I’ve got some gym wear but when Beyoncé brought out her Ivy Park collection I knew I had to get some things, unfortunately I haven’t had chance to get anything so I thought I would put a couple of things on my Christmas list! I’m literally obsessed with everything but the three pieces below are my favourite 🙂 

(Image -Topshop website)

To be honest I only found Oliva Burton about a month ago when I saw an ad on Twitter but I love the design of their jewellery especially the watches! This Chrono Detail Mink and Rose Gold watch I fell in love with.. I’m obsessed with anything rose gold, that’s the only colour I buy my jewellery in now!  

oliva(Image – Oliva Burton website)

When the Zoella lifestyle range  (linked on Superdrug) came out I was so excited as it’s all SO pretty, at the time I couldn’t afford a lot so I just brought the Lazy Days candle which smells amazing by the way but I couldn’t resist putting a couple of things on my Christmas list..

zoella-2(Image – Superdrug website)

If you know me you’ll know that I’m obsessed with Lush, I can’t pass their shop without going in and buying something. It would be rude not too right?! The smell just draws you in! I have only ever brought bath bombs until a few weeks ago I randomly thought I’d try a couple of face mask’s and I’m so glad I did, they are amazing and would definitely recommend if you haven’t tried them yet! So, anything from Lush would be a hit with me.

SONY DSC(Image – http://www.tothotornot.com)

Gift Cards.. I mean who doesn’t love a gift card?! I love them. They are great to buy for people too if you don’t know what to buy them! So, yea I would be happy with any kind of gift card. 

Mermaid Blanket’s are so cute and look super comfy. I’ve got a story about one of these actually. A few days ago me and my sister went Christmas shopping in Telford and we just popped into this random store and I noticed they were selling mermaid blanket’s.. Well I’ve been wanting one for ages and my sister knew this. I was contemplating buying it when my sister came over and gave me the funniest look and didn’t say anything, I said “you were planning on getting one of these for me as a surprise for Christmas weren’t you?” So I ruined my own surprise. I ended up leaving the blanket as I’m hoping she will still get me one. The one below is from Miss Guided as I love the colour.. 

mermaid(Image – Miss Guided website)

Lastly on my Christmas wish list is the Barry M Coconut Infusion collection, it’s so lovely! I’m literally obsessed with nail varnish, my nails are ALWAYS painted! Every time I go into a shop I go straight to see if I can buy another one even though I don’t need anymore as I have got too many to count haha. The colour below is my favourite but take a look at the whole collection here.

barry-m(Image – Barry M website)

I hope you enjoyed reading and I would love to know what’s on your Christmas wish list? Let me know in the comments! 

Love Samba 

x

Charity night in aid of Bloodwise

Hey lovely people!

I know, I know it’s been while.. 7 weeks exactly. I’m not sure where the time went but it’s nearly December! I can’t explain how excited I am for Christmas even though I’ve not started my shopping just yet, I’m always the person who leaves it until the last minute and then I’m rushing to finish, I always say to myself next year I WILL be more organised yet when it comes down to it never happens. I will hopefully getting some Christmas posts up in December so look out for those 🙂 Okay, I’m going to stop going on about Christmas and get back to why I’m writing this post..

After almost a year of planning, stressful emails / phone calls, and a lot of crying (don’t ask) last Saturday I held my charity night in aid of Bloodwise and I couldn’t have been happier with how the night went. To be honest I think I’m still recovering.. Over 100 people came out to support and it means the absolute world! The night started off with my talented cousin George performing a 45 minute set full of great songs. 

After George had performed, the buffet opened. I had a few people tell me when they had been to charity events they were asking for donations for the food so that’s what I did. We had cobs, crisps, sausage rolls & cakes, it went really well so if anyone is thinking about holding a charity event I would definitely recommend asking for donations as people were actually giving more than the stated donation. 

I then held a raffle and auction which went great, I couldn’t believe how many raffle tickets we sold! (The picture below doesn’t show all the raffle prizes as I took this before the event started) 


I contacted SO many companies to get donations for the raffle & auction and it wasn’t easy, I think I sent nearly 500 emails and only got around 50 replies which isn’t great. Anyway thank you to all the companies who did donate, I really appreciate it! 

To finish the night off we ended with a disco. Finding a DJ was probably one of the most stressful things EVER.. I had one let me down with only 3 weeks to go, it wasn’t his fault as his garage got broken into and they stole all of his equipment 😦 So I then put an appeal out on social media asking for help, I must have contacted at least 50 DJ’s but at the short notice all of them had been booked. I did finally find a DJ but unfortunately he wasn’t great. Things happen, it’s inevitable but I’m glad it all worked out even though it wasn’t what I planned. 


The night ended around 11ish which to be honest I was expecting as it started at 7pm but I was kinda relived because by that point I was seriously exhausted and couldn’t wait to get into bed haha, it was such a great night and I hope everyone enjoyed it! The grand total from my charity night (with donations on my just giving page) is.. £1,250! 

Thank you to everyone who donated money / raffle & auction prizes, seriously the support I’ve had has been incredible and I couldn’t be more grateful. The money raised will go such a long way in the fight against blood cancer. This is only the beginning of my fundraising.. 


If you would still like to donate, please click HERE

Love Samba

x