This week the Amazon Wish List was brought to my attention for the first time after I received an email from a follower called Jeff on one of my social media profiles asking if I was already registered or if I would like help in setting one up. I’ve used Amazon a handful of times over the years to buy items and presents online, but I mostly go direct to a store or manufacturer when shopping. I prefer to handle and see the product I want for peace of mind, rather than buying through lots of random, and unknown, online private sellers.
But after looking into the purpose of a Wish List it seemed like a pretty cool idea. Basically you select the items you would like to buy and store them up in a list to purchase at a later date, like liking a facebook page, or favouriting a blog post, ready for a convenient time to return to it. You can come back to the list whenever you like and purchase your items or add and delete things off. It has proved very popular for people getting married, having a new baby, starting up a new home or to give friends and family ideas on what you would like for birthdays and Christmas. You can add things from as little as a penny right the way up to millions of pounds and people can select how much they want to spend and how many things to get you; which I guess is the modern alternative to giving a gift card. It sounded like a great idea and I thought I’d give it a go, if anything to have a little browse for some treats I might like over the coming year and nail varnishes I was running low on and would need to replace. As I clicked away I chose all sorts for my Amazon Wish List; shoes, a houseplant, handbags, makeup, perfume, clothes, jewellery, everything you’d window shop for on the high street really and think “ooh, I wouldn’t mind one of those”, it was great fun and incredibly addictive.
Obviously I don’t expect to own every single item, as it is what it is, a wish list, for things that you’d like to have. Each year my family always ask me what I’d like for my birthday or Christmas and I rattle my brain and always conclude that there’s nothing that I really need which can be extremely frustrating and unhelpful, and it can be stressful shopping for a present and not knowing if the person you’re buying it for will like it let alone use or wear it. But now I have a virtual collection of the things I like it will make present buying so much easier and I’m keen to get my family to make ones of their own too. If you have enough items on your list then it’s still a surprise as to which one they’ll pick, and at least you know it’s not going to get returned or sit at the back of the wardrobe for twenty years unopened.
So back to Jeff and his email:
Jeff found me through Flickr which is a photo site, much like Instragram and Tumblr where I post pictures of everyday things that I take on my iPhone which inspire me; my children, food that I cook, flowers that I like, my fitness progress, clothes, fashion, beauty, pets, my life through the lens really, and because of this it brought him through to my blog here where he became a fond reader and felt the need to get in touch. In his email he asked if I would like to receive gifts in exchange for pictures, and I quote “not xxx” meaning nothing rude. At present I blog review for local businesses and charities to help to raise awareness and support their marketing whilst informing the public of their services. I get many requests from people asking me to cover their products and services followed by them wishing to thank me. I often tell people to send a donation to charity instead as I like to help others however I can, and a couple of times I have been asked out to lunch and received thank you cards for my help, none of which I ask for nor expect. It is fair to say that I go out of my way to help others as I firmly believe in karma, whereby you do good things for others and good things will come upon you in return. I treat others how I would expect to be treated, and I never turn down a request for help.
I asked Jeff to elaborate on what he wanted me to do and what he was proposing to which he replied “I just thought you deserved something in return for all the hardwork and effort you put into others. If you aren’t interested that is fine but I’d still be interested in helping any way you could use some.” It seemed a little out of the ordinary to me that an apparent stranger would want to send someone a gift in exchange for a friendly picture and we batted a few more emails back and forth as I determined whether or not it was acceptable; I guess some people might ask for naked pictures of girls in exchange for gifts and money but that’s not something I would ever consider, and who am I to judge others? I am no longer a page 3 model and I only ever worked with magazines and photographers in the past and not strangers online. After researching the Amazon Wish List and as blogging is what I do, I can see the need for such a gift service and think it’s a fab idea, hence this post. I receive many lovely emails on a regular basis from people all over the world asking to send me gifts and products to review and I’m always cautious as to giving out my contact details or address so I always do a background check first to be sure. However with the Wish List your details are kept completely private and people can search for your name and send things to you directly without having access to your personal account or contact information. Seeing as I want to use the list for family gift ideas I took Jeff’s helpful advice and created my Amazon Wish List.
And in return for his help and advising me on how to set it up I asked what I could do for him and he said he’d like a photo of me holding his name. It may sound like an unusual request to some, but he explained that people like to feel a connection to those who they communicate with and to know that they have taken 30 seconds out of their day to respond to them, acknowledging your efforts or doing something to help. I guess it’s a bit like getting a retweet on Twitter from somebody you follow, it just feels good, so I sent him this. Please note: Jeff has not sent me any gifts for my picture.
And Jeff’s response was “OK that just made my friday!” which made me smile to know that one good turn deserves another. I’m very excited to have discovered the Wish List and will now be encouraging my Dad to set up his own as it’s his birthday next month and so far every time I ask him for ideas on what I could buy him he responds just as I usually would with “there’s nothing I really need.” Finally Jeff advised that I link my Wish List to my social media profiles so that friends, family and contacts are aware of it as it’s a lot easier than telling everybody one at a time when they ask you what you’d like, which makes sense as we all list our birthday on our profiles already so our contacts don’t forget.
Just minutes after posting my Wish List to my Facebook account I received a message from a shocked friend telling me that somebody had posted about me on the Aylesbury Grapevine; which is a page set up for people to message over their comments which are then posted anonymously in a newsfeed for all to see. After seeing me post my Wish List they decided to send out a horrible message suggesting Wish Lists are ‘a new low’ for ‘needy’ and ‘materialistic’ girls.
And people who know me have been laughing their heads off at the thought of me being called needy as I never ask anything of anyone, I’m almost stubbornly independent and go miles out of my way to help others. If people speak to me or contact me I am always polite and respectful to reply and genuinely help however I can. You could call me materialistic for having everything I need in life, or it could be down to the fact that I’ve worked since I was fourteen years old, I’ve paid for it all myself, and as I’m now twenty-six I’ve had a good few years to build up my life and home for my children. It’s not that I have everything that I want in life, but that I don’t need anything anymore, just treats such as perfume or clothes for the sake of giving birthday ideas. I much prefer the things that are priceless in life; love, health and happiness.
As has been the case over the past few months, somebody on my Facebook friends list is doing all that they can to try to get at me, by reporting my pictures, posting about me on the Grapevine and making unkind comments. They choose to remain anonymous in the trolling that they do, setting up fake accounts in order to post comments and then deleting them afterwards, whilst they use their real account to watch my profile and see what I’m up to everyday. I think it’s incredibly strange that somebody would do such a thing and they clearly dedicate a lot of their time and efforts to try and upset me for whatever reason they may have, but I’m always pleasantly surprised by the publics response to such behaviour as not one person agreed with these cruel words. I am happy to share what I share online with my friends, family, connections and the public, if I didn’t want people to see it then I wouldn’t post it on a public forum. So if somebody chooses to silently stalk me and say and do horrible things in the hope of upsetting me then I’ll just keep it logged and present it as evidence when necessary. Because that’s the beautiful thing about karma, it always comes back around and there’s never an excuse to be a bully. In the mean time it’s lovely to know that everybody recommends and enjoys using the Amazon Wish List as it’s something I look forward to using too.
I received some lovely pictures back from a photo shoot I had with Robin Beckham the other week. It was fun to try some commercial shots and video’s based around technology and online advertising which is something that I can tick off of my bucket list. I also had a fabulous non-surgical facelift procedure at The Belmore Centre in Stoke Mandeville, which will be published in the coming months. The process uses a mild electrical current to stimulate the face muscles and I had the most amazing anti-ageing results from just one treatment. It may look a little scary but I didn’t feel a thing and afterwards my cheekbones had such definition and the fine lines around my mouth, forehead and eyes were greatly tightened and improved. I love trying out new procedures and helping others to make informed decisions, and this was one that really got me excited.
Millie has just completed her week of medication to clear up a water infection we discovered when she was sent home sick from school last Friday. She seems a lot more perky now, isn’t in any pain or discomfort and has been trying really hard to drink more water throughout the day. It seems children are forever getting ill for one reason or another, but they must use this time to build up an immune system whilst catching everything under the sun. It’s just a part of life!
It was hotdog day at school on Friday to mark the half term holidays beginning, and now I’m racking my brain for fun local activities to keep the two children busy for the week ahead. We’re visiting friends and family, planning baking afternoons and stories we’d like to read together as well as exploring outdoors on a nice walk to somewhere we haven’t been on foot so far, and finally a few Disney films under the duvet with some nibbles. How much or little we get done will be down to the individual day it seems, and I just hope the weather stays nice as it’s been so bright and sunny for the first time this year.
I had a lovely surprise on Valentines Day when the doorbell rang and a delivery driver presented me with a bunch of red roses, box of chocolates and a card. I can’t actually remember the last time I received flowers and it put the biggest smile on my face. I hope that you all had a wonderful Valentines Day and showed those you care about most just how much they mean to you. It’s the time of year to be thankful for love, friends, family and children and a little bit of thought goes such a very long way.
The children asked to have pizza for dinner, and in the spirit of love we decided to have homemade heart-shaped deep pan margaritas all round. It was lovely to all take a seat around the table and tuck into our wonky freshly-baked love bites which were gobbled up in seconds. I cherish such precious memories with my babies, and hope that they will remember these blustery rainy afternoons spent getting dusted with flour baking and snuggled up on the sofa after, nibbling on treats with a cheerful DVD because it means the absolute world to me.
And to top off such a wonderful week I was greeted with my first 100,000 hits on my YouTube channel. It’s not been long since I started it up and began using it to display my vlogs and adventures. I’ve had such a fantastic response from people and it pleases me to know that the subjects I cover are of value to others and have made a difference, no matter how small. It gives me encouragement to continue to add interesting and new content to my channel, pushing myself harder and to strive to achieve more. Thank you to all who have supported me on my journey. As always I love to hear from my readers as your thoughts, comments and feedback are always appreciated whether they be good or bad. So drop me a line, get in touch and tell me what you’d like to see more of.