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You may have noticed I’ve been AWOL. In fact this is the first blog I’ve posted on Hannah Gets Hench for a really long time. Have you missed me?
In this post I’m going to explain why. And more importantly, why I’ve returned. (Don’t worry reader, I’m as dramatic as ever, or ‘extra’ as the kids would say.)
I dropped off the blogosphere for a number of different reasons, and maybe you’ll be able to relate to some of them:
Working full time and blogging is tough
About the time I stopped writing on my blog was when I took a job at a financial company as a content editor. It’s not like it was the first time I’ve tried to juggle writing, working and blogging, my first job was a copywriter where I’d churn out 5 articles a day, but this job drained every last ounce of creativity I had. I’d get home and loathe the idea of doing anything, let alone writing.
Anyway, blogging began to feel like a chore and I was already so stressed/bored at my job I didn’t want to spend my free time feeling like that too.
The blogosphere is intimidating
I don’t think I’m the only person who feels inadequate to the blogger norm these days. It’s not enough to be good with words now, you have to be a photographer, a model, an SEO expert, or have over 100k followers to get any traction.
I could never find nice but provoking photos, optimise posts for SEO, make it mobile friendly – and all the other things ‘real bloggers’ do. I got the idea in my head that if I couldn’t be bothered to do it properly, then why was I doing it at all?
Where do I fit in?
As I’ve grown older (and hopefully wiser) I’ve changed a lot and I didn’t feel like this blog reflected who I was. The name is childish and not relevant and some of the posts make me cringe. Am I a travel blog? Am I still fitness? Am I a therapists now? Who knows!
Another issue was with the blogging community. I never fully immersed myself with it, partly because I am a little embarrassed to say ‘I’m a blogger’, also because I am quite shy when I’m not behind a screen. I didn’t attend many events, I didn’t accept opportunities, and I didn’t make much effort with other bloggers. After a while people stopped inviting me to things, brands stopped emailing me, and I faded into the background with my tiny violin and woe is me t-shirt.
Asking people to read your blog
Is it just me who finds promoting their blogs on social media awkward? I’ve always been bad at scheduling anyway, but promoting my blog is just not my style. Hats off to bloggers who do it -there’s no shame in hustling your content I know it’s my own issue. I also found it really weird when people I knew in real life found out about my blog – especially reading personal posts.
Don’t worry friend, it’s not all doom and gloom! I briefly started a new blog to coax myself back into blogging. It was a travel blog called Last Stop Lunar and although I am proud of the posts I’ve written, it’s been so hard starting from scratch with a DA of 1.
Why have I written this?
You might be thinking, stop bitching about blogging Hannah. No one’s forcing you to write!
The thing is, I actually really missed blogging. And I missed making content for this particular blog and sharing my thoughts with you. I’ve had a few emails from readers who have seen my mental health posts and said it helped them, or they enjoyed reading about someone who’s had a similar experience, and that meant a lot to me.
I’ve come to realise that this blog will never ever be anything near perfect. It’s a basic blog at the end of the day. I mean have you seen my theme? It’s a hot mess. Links everywhere! For now I’m going to focus on enjoying creating content that I’m passionate about, which is probably going to be mental health, feminism, fitness, restaurant reviews, travel, and maybe some beauty.
If you like that stuff please keep reading. In fact if you’ve read this far, bravo. Bravo and goodnight. Should I get a cool sign off like that? But anyway I really do appreciate anyone who has read all of this – I will be back posting regular content shortly.
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It seems like the NBAs was only last weekend, but I’ve realised it was a few weekends ago now and I still haven’t written about it!
Hosted by We Blog North, the artist formerly known as We Blog MCR, it was a night of glitz, glam and giving Northern bloggers a well-deserved pat on the back.
I was nominated for the Best Fitness & Lifestyle category which was very exciting, but to be honest I would have gone even if I wasn’t nominated because I’d have major case of FOMO if I didn’t.
London is kind of where it all began for blogging and now most of the successful full-time bloggers reside there, only fuelling the ‘everything happens in London’ theory, but the Northern blogging scene has exploded massively over the last few years and I’m delighted that events like these are cropping up.
As much as we love London bloggers, it can feel as though us Northies (can I do that?) are neglected due to our postcodes. The amount of amazing blogging events I’ve been invited to (ok, about 4) that take place in London is ludicrous and it would be nice if brands could foster the same enthusiasm for bloggers up North.
Ok so back to the awards night…
Category is: Red-Carpet-Realness
The dress code was ‘red carpet glamour’ so of course I spent the day watching Ru-Paul’s Drag Race and listening to Lady Gaga to channel my inner diva.
I went with a long navy dress from Boohoo which I’ve had for about 3 years and a beautiful sparky choker I borrowed from my friend. Plus, I rocked a dark red lip.
With my trusty Instagram Boyfriend by my side, we arrived at the most beautiful venue; The Principal Manchester.
There was a red carpet and a photographer, The Vain Photography (who I had previously pestered at a Cocktails in the City event a few months ago with Ellie, i.e. followed around asking for photos) and everyone looked so bloody glam!
The actual awards were in the ballroom and the tables were decorated beautifully, plus there was a giant bed courtesy of the home wear experts The Christie, which I still regret that I didn’t climb into.
It was surreal looking around the room and recognising people but not actually knowing whether it was them, and therefore whether to speak to them, or knowing only their blog names. Or not being able to pronounce their blog names, but recognising their faces.
I was pleased to see that I was sat on a table with a few people I knew. As in, people I followed on twitter and Instagram but have never met.
There was Rihanna, Joe , Anoushka , Faye, who I actually met at the Tampopo event) and Tanesha Jade. I really enjoyed getting to know everyone on my table, although I hope I wasn’t too weird in all my excitement! Plus it was lovely to catch up with other bloggers who I hadn’t seen for a while.
We dined on a delicious 3 course meal, which included this goats cheese and beetroot starter and the best mashed potatoes I have EVER eaten.
I’m afraid there are no photos of the mash, so I give you permission to close your eyes and imagine the little dollop of heaven before reading on.
I was definitely sat on the winning table! Rihanna won the Lifestyle award, and Anoushka won the Beauty Blogger award, however I sadly did not win the Fitness award. Although, my friend Emma did and I couldn’t be happier because I love her blog and she works so hard.
After the awards finished, we mingled and danced and got merry before collecting our goodie bags and calling it a night. The goodie bags were absolutely massive and I still haven’t managed to unpack everything just yet!
Thanks so much to Holly and the rest of the Team at We Blog North for putting on such a fabulous event. Roll on the NBAs18!
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If you’re from Manchester you may have heard of Tampopo, a group of restaurants that celebrates Pan-Asian cuisine and the flavours of South East Asia.
Interestingly, Tampopo is also the name of a 1985 ‘ramen western’ film about the joys of Japanese food, but for today’s blog post I am going to be focusing on the restaurant Tampopo and their new menu (although if you’re curious, you can read about the film here.)
Tampopo is one of my favourites because a) I love the name, it’s impossible to say it without smiling, b) it has an inviting atmosphere that lends itself to quick bites as well as sociable meals with groups, and c) because the menu is affordable and always evolving.
With restaurants in three locations around Manchester; Albert Square, Corn Exchange and the Trafford Centre, Tampopo has captured the hearts of the Mancunians everywhere. As the restaurant are always striving to improve their menu, they regularly change things up and a few weeks ago I was kindly invited to try out the new dishes and review the experience.
We had a sharing platter which contained Fresh Spring Rolls, Sticky Wings, Pork Dumplings, Coconut Prawns, Satay Chicken and Corn Fritters. I enjoyed the pork dumplings so much that I didn’t even realise I had eaten both mine and Liz’s…Ellie had the veggie platter which looked just as appetising so I would love to try that next time I’m there.
For our mains, I had Singaporean Curry which is described as a ‘Creamy yellow curry with coconut milk, turmeric, curry leaves, galangal, sweet potato, tamarind and cherry tomatoes’ with added chicken and Liz had the Pad Krapow which is an ‘Asian Basil in a fiery oyster sauce with fine beans, red chillies and red peppers’ with chicken.
As someone who isn’t very good with spice, the Singaporean Curry was perfect for me. It was packed full of flavour and not bland at all like some mild curries can be. Liz enjoyed her Pad Krapow but it was incredibly spicy and she struggled to eat it all due to the heat. Both dishes also came with a large side of rice or noodles.
For dessert, I had a Roti Pancake and the girls opted for a cocktail each. The pancake was a delicious and drizzled with condensed milk, cinnamon sugar and served with cinnamon ice cream. As a complete cinnamon addict, I loved this dessert!
I was stuffed and content after all the food. Before we left, we had a chat with the Manager Sarah, who told us about how the chefs came to final decisions about the new menu, including dialling down on the spice (I wondered how spicy was must have been before, were they dragons?!) and adding more unique flavours. It was clear that the whole team were passionate about getting the food absolutely right.
Overall Tampopo is a great restaurant if you’re looking for a quick and tasty meal. They do lots of vegetarian and gluten free options, as well as catering for meat lovers. You must try the cocktails or mock-tails too!
Thanks for reading my review, what are your favourite South East Asian dishes?
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