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A Day in The Life of A Digital Marketing Apprentice

Woohoo, she’s back! This time its to share good news with you all – I have a new job and it’s something I’m 100% interested in. When I started working for Thomas Cook at 18, I was still pretty naive and didn’t know what I wanted from a job or even life. Now that I’m more in control of the things that I want, I’ve decided my love for Social Media (No matter how toxic it can be) is something I want to do long term.

I’ve been interested in Marketing for a long time and in fact, I’m the perfect customer for those who work within the marketing sector because I will buy things purely for their look or packaging. Yes I hate Kettle Chips but will I buy them in my meal deal because they look more sophisticated? Yes.

During the pandemic, I lost my job within events due to being made redundant and needed something to focus on. I initially took the plunge and dove straight into The Open University and studied Business Management which included marketing. I thought this would be a great way to gain my qualification but soon realised it wasn’t for me as I wasn’t necessarily guaranteed a job after completion. Plus the course would be finished in three years. Three years was a long time to gain a qualification and I was still looking for a job so when the Estio team contacted me about about an apprenticeship opportunity I was thrilled to accept. The whole course could be completed within 15 months and at the end I will have gained a qualification in digital marketing and I will have had job experience. This was exactly what I needed.

I currently work at Ashwood Solicitors in Manchester, it’s just off of the famous ‘Curry Mile’ – I’ve only been working here for a month or so but I am loving it. It’s a very different role to what I’ve had before as I don’t deal with customers apart from on social media. My job and team allow me to have creative freedom whilst creating content and I’ve never had that before – I am really appreciated where I am and I think it shows in my new outlook towards life.

Without further a do, let me take you through a quick day at work with me.

Follow @ashwoodlaw on TikTok to see more of me!

Every Monday I start the day by planning the week ahead social media content. This allows me to be fully planned in advance, but don’t get me wrong I still juggle some content around when needs be. It is a very flexible plan. I use an app called Monday and this allows me to colour co-ordinate and lay out the weeks social media before then adding it to Publer which allows me to schedule the content. I tend to create content in batches so that I don’t have to spend hours every day thinking of new ideas.

Close-up Photography of Smartphone Icons

We also work with charities at work and often create collaborations for their social media – right now I am working with Women Matta, Life Share and Mustard Tree. It’s really great I have a chance to work with charities and give back in a way.

I then check my emails and write my to-do list. My Manager likes to keep me busy! But I am grateful for that as it keeps my anxiety demons away. I also take charge of the YouTube & Tiktok channels, so I create thumbnails and upload the content to there before taking a lunch break.

After lunch I get on with whatever needs doing be it Estio Apprentice work, Newsletter making, training, attending webinars or just general admin. I always like to keep myself busy but have a laugh along the way and that’s what it is like at Ashwood. As soon as I came to the office I was welcomed as one of team, a valuable one at that. It is so nice to be within a company that appreciates your work.

If you got this far, thank you for reading. I appreciate it.

There will be more from me soon – don’t forget to follow Ashwood Solicitors on social media, where you will see all of my fabulous content.

See you soon,

DDQ XO

Featured

How to be an Ally: A personal connection

I figured it would be quite apt for me to write this post, as Manchester Pride has just passed (May I just point out I wrote this post whilst I was in Dubai, about a month ago. Oops.) I should have wrote this before hand but never got the time, hey ho all that matters is that I am writing it. I think this post is important, important to show others acceptance and love.

Being so involved with the LGBTQ+ community, I often get questioned or judged. Questioned as to why I am so passionate about the rights and equality this community deserves but also judged by those who do identify with this community as I do not. I am not gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans. I identify as straight however I do have a personal connection to the community and feel as though I want my voice to be heard for those who cannot fight.

My brother identifies as a gay, trans man. For those who do not know, transgender is when an individual has transitioned from female to male or vice versa. In my brothers case, this is female to male or FTM for short. I could not be prouder of him. There are a lot of feelings around this, and I’m choosing to blog about it because I know I am not apart of the only family in the world to have experienced this. This will also help those who’s family members come out in the future.

Just before I tell my story, I need to point out that this is my opinions and my part of the story to tell. I cannot speak for my brother nor any other family members and I do have the permission from my brother to post.

I’m not sure of the exact date of when my brother came out to my mum but it was around 2005/6 when he was 14/15. I was only young, 8 or 9, and don’t remember much, I just remember my mum coming into my room and sitting down with me on my Barbie bed spread…(Yes I was nine and yes I was totally into Barbie. SO WHAT), she’d come to tell me that my then ‘sister’ was becoming my brother and that we would call him AJ. Short for his full name Adam Jack. At first, I cried. I cried for a long time and I’m not sure if this is because I was confused about the situation or because I was worried about my friends judging me. It was a mixture of both but I was a child. I never ever did not accept him or his decision, I love him and would never disagree with his decision on how to live his life. At the end of the day I would rather have a brother who is enjoying life than a ‘sister’ who is unhappy and depressed.

To begin with I struggled with pronouns as I’m sure everyone would. Going from ‘She’ to ‘He’ was a big thing in our family and we all struggled. However, we would always correct ourselves. A lot of people who experience this go through stages of grief, as if they have lost someone which to a certain extent they have. A Mother will have lost their daughter. For me, I don’t think of this as losing a sister, more of gaining a brother. I’d always wanted an older brother, maybe because my cousin who I’m closest to, Charlotte, had an older brother and I wanted to be just like her when I was young. Now I have a brother, a brother who is happier in himself and appreciates life more.

Let’s move onto the shock value. Within my family, there wasn’t any. This whole thing didn’t come out of the blue, it was more of a “okay, this is happening and we shall roll with it” and I’m grateful for that. Having a sister for me was not like your stereo typical ones who share clothes, gossip about boys, and shop together. Oh no, it was far from that. Adam liked football, wore mens clothing and preferred anything stereotypically boy-ish. We never had that close-ness that ‘sisters’ would. We argued like cat and dog, mainly because I was annoying and young. God damn Louise for not getting a move on and leaving a seven year age gap between the two of us!

The reaction was actually very good from our family and to my knowledge nobody had issues with calling said person now “AJ’ or “Adam”. Like I mentioned before pronouns were difficult to get used to but one day it just all clicks and you forget this even happened. It’s true, I don’t find myself thinking about it often only when it is brought up by others or my family.

I am unbelievably proud of Adam, he’s faced horrendous bullying and knock backs with anxiety but he still continues to shine. Yeah, pass me the sick bucket. When he reads this he’ll be like “Woah, Abbie can be nice. She does have a heart” LOL. I’m even more proud of my family for being so accepting. Families often get left out of the process when a huge change like this happens especially within the media. They focus on the person who is transitioning (Of course they will because this is the person going through the hardest process) but it does affect the family too. It causes confusion and worry, I know for sure my Mum worried about surgeries and just wanted him to be happy. I’m super happy to report that he did achieve this.

Adam has been on this journey for fourteen years, he is happier within himself and gives back to his commuity every day. He owns Rainbow & Co. which is a LGBTQ+ Apparel internet store, and he gives a portion of his profits to a charity which helps LGBTQ+ people. Throughout summer he has attended the majority of local pride events to build a better community and a bigger business for himself with the help of my mum. Whilst I’m on the subject of our mother, the good ol’ Louise Pemberton, I would just like to give her recognition. Since this life changing decision with Adam, my mum has joined ‘Manchester Parent’s Group’ which is a non-profit group that helps the parents and families of LGBTQ+ youth. This group has been a huge support to my mum and I’m truly grateful for it, and I’m even prouder of my mum for giving back to the community too and helping other parents in similar situations to her.

A lot of people will see this as a bad thing to happen, “you lost someone’ blah blah – it is not a bad thing. Having this happen in my life has opened me up to so many things. I’ve met people who I wouldn’t ‘normally’ have done, I’ve become more compassionate and it’s allowed me, to completely be myself even when I’m being a little bit extra LOL. Without this happening there would be no Rainbow & Co. , most likely no acknowledgment of the Manchester Parents Group and no charity work from us. So this has made an impact, for the greater good.

I’m now going to list some tips for being a good ally as I do believe I am one, not to toot my own horn.

  • Listen. Do everything you can to listen. Someone who is going through transitioning or even just having a struggle will want to talk. Just be quiet and understanding. Many people in the LGBTQ+ family don’t have accepting families so this will mean the absolute world.
  • Challenge hate. Before you do this check your surroundings. If there is immediate danger to you and the person, do not challenge. But online, challenge it or if someone makes a passing comment, call them out. We will not get anywhere if people let this shit slide.
  • Ask questions. Rather than make mistakes and call someone the wrong name, or label them why don’t you simply ask them nicely. For example; if you’re unsure of someones pronouns ask them. This will mean a lot to them. If you’re struggling to understand, ask them. Please do bare in mind when you are being rude, do not ask about previous names, do not ask about surgeries. It’s rude. Let them tell you and if they don’t, then its none of your business.
  • Educate yourself. Know your LGBTQ+ history. Google Stonewall, Google iconic LGBTQ icons. Educate yourself on the struggle this community has had and is still having. Be the change and the difference!
  • Give back. Give back to the community. Attend prides, show your solidarity. Buy merchandise. Attend rallies. Do your bit to protect a community that shares so much diversity and individuality to the world. Without the LGBTQ+ community, the world would be a little less brighter.

Remember these things and always remember to be a decent human being. Love will always conquer my dears.

Visit rainbowandco.uk for your LGBTQ+ Merchandise. (Not an Ad, just a good sister.)

Best wishes,

Abs

XO

Featured

She remembered who she was, and the game changed.

I hate quotes. I hate those people on Instagram that post quotes that somehow mean nothing to them, especially those random ones that were supposedly said by Marilyn Monroe. Yet here I am, sharing a quote as the first post of my new blog. Crazy huh?! Guess you could now say I’m one of those annoying motivational people…without the motivation.

Those of you who know me will know that I used to blog on Saving for Chanel, that was my primary fashion blog where I ripped the shit out of celebrities for wearing ugly clothes. I hardly made time for it, and I guess you could say I’ve grown up. Not that I don’t love fashion anymore, I just feel as though we should build each other up rather than tear each other down. However, it was all just my dry humour and that will never stop.

So, what’s this new blog about you may ask? This is my place. A place where I can talk about what I want and leave it open to discussion with the general public. A place where I can share my feelings, and hope that some of you too can share yours. Being open and honest really helps me figure things out, it’s sort of a therapy. The name ‘Diary of a Delusional Drama Queen’ comes from my online Penzu journal which I did consider making public, however I would be in serious trouble with certain people and code names just aren’t my thing. As mentioned above, here I will show you my life, talk about how I’m feeling, maybe talk about what’s going on in the world. Just anything and everything. Some may find this boring, but for me it’s therapeutic.

Now as for my relation to this cringey quote. Over the past few months I hadn’t been feeling myself, I’m not going to go into too much detail about why as I respect people and do not drag people through the mud no matter how much they hurt me. Long story short, I was put down and made to feel small. A bubbly confident girl like myself lost her shine and most definitely my closest friends could see it. It took me five months to realise what had been happening and I’d lost my self confidence, something that I knew I had a lot of. Realising that something was not right, I made positive changes and changed my outlook. Right now, I’m glad to say that I’m on the right track. I’m not 100% there but I will be. In fact, I have contacted Thinking Ahead which is a counselling program in the UK. They deal with anxiety and depression (something that I’m no stranger too, I plan on blogging about this) as well as other things like grief counselling and self worth classes. I’m not afraid to say that I will be seeing a counsellor, talking and especially journaling really helps me articulate my feelings and if I can help other people whilst I am doing those things then all the better. Onwards and upwards folks, life will get better.

I have lots of exciting things coming up including a Dubai trip for work and seeing the iconic Queen Cher. I literally cannot cope! It’s going to be amazing. Here will be the ups & downs of my life, and I hope you can join me on this journey. I’m really open to audience participation too, so if you have things you’d like me to discuss email delusionaldramaqueen@gmail.com.

So the point of this first blog post was to introduce you to it, see if you liked the vibe and also for me to express my feelings because boy do I have a lot. I’m an emotional mess haha! But guess what, I’m remembering who I was before I felt so low and I’m definitely on my way back.

Again, I hope you can join me on my crazy journey throughout life! It’s hard being a human!

Sending lots of love and positivity to those out there who need it. My inbox is always open.

All the best,

ABS XO

I even cut off all my hair to make me feel better, and I do. It’s amazing what a change in look can do.

Side note; my opinions are my opinions. I know others will differ and I love that! Opening discussions and debates are my fave.

The Strength of Vulnerability

Over sharer and over thinker are words that are often used to describe me. If you have ever read this blog, you’d agreed with that and realise I always wear my heart on my sleeve. Apart from the fact that I was wired this way emotionally from birth, I do it to help others. Opening up emotionally can be both helpful to others and at detriment to myself, this is because vulnerability is seen as a weakness but in fact, it’s a strength. If you think about it, it takes a lot of strength to pour your heart out to strangers and in return it can help them through their issues or problems, always remember you never know what people are going through behind closed doors.

I’ve wanted to create a discussion on this for a while because often the vulnerability can be used against ones self. I make choices all the time, some serious and some everyday, ‘easy’ choices just like everyone else. When I decided to post A Serious Reality Check, I knew there would be questions and a bit of shock from most, especially my family. I made a decision to post it because I am emotionally driven when I write and I just had to get it out there as I knew it would help me and others. However, with putting yourself out there comes the down side. The downside of using your vulnerability against you.

Have you ever been in this situation? I wrote a post about the debt I was in to hold myself accountable and sort of make it seem real if that make sense. It was now out in the world for everyone to see, I guess it was a way to shame me into stop with the credit card and pay it all off. I’m now on my way to paying it off, albeit it will take a while on my current salary but I’m on my way and that’s all that matters.

When the post went live, after the inital discussions with friends and family, I noticed that my vulnerability was used against me. In ways like “You shouldn’t discuss money publicly” or “You can’t be shopping or posting on social media things you’ve bought after you have just moaned about being in debt” – now I do understand the frustration in the latter. However, this is MY debt and although I’ve chosen to share the information with you all, I did it for me. This blog is mine and mine only. Every decision is up to me. Behind the scenes I am working hard to pay this debt off, you don’t see it. My partner and I (my financial adviser lol) have discussed a plan for me to pay monthly and I will have it sorted sooner rather than later. So if I want to buy a handbag and post it, I will. I have my plan and I will stick to my plan. Being on this blog is sort of a catch 22 situation.

Let’s all take the opportunity to praise those who have allowed themselves to be vulnerable. It isn’t easy to some, although it is for me. Remember – there is strength in vulnerability and you’re braver than you will ever know.

I’d love to start a discussion on this – what are you thoughts? Let me know in the comments or head on over to @delusionaldramaqueen on instagram for a chat!

All my love,

DDQ XO

The non – existent ‘Time line’

I’ve wanted to talk about this topic for a long time, it’s something that since I’ve gotten older (Yes I know I’m not old but I still have feelings ok Susan?!), has become more prominent to me and it becomes a problem when thinking about the future. In fact, as a natural born worrier, I do stress about the future, my goals, what my life will be like and why don’t I have a plan?…these are things I think about daily all because of this invisible timeline I put myself on. Does anyone else do this?

For a long time I’ve put this pressure on myself, forgetting I’m only twenty one and that things will eventually fall into place. We all have different timelines and its the comparison to one another that simply ruins your own thoughts about your own. This is a big thing for me, I will see someone thriving, people buying houses, creating families and travelling and fill myself with worry thinking should I be at that stage now? Do I need to save for a house? Should I think about travelling? But, I realise that the answer is no. I do not need to do any of those things in order to be happy or have a good life, I have to do what I want.

A huge factor of me putting the timeline on myself is of course seeing other people thrive but I’ve also known people who have passed away young. I couldn’t help but think that could be me or a family member, you really don’t know what is around the corner. I feel as though I have to do things straight away, even if it’s silly little things like acting on impulse. “Buy the shoes Abbie…you might not be around to enjoy them next week. Who knows? You don’t know.” Now that was a silly example for sure, and material things shouldn’t matter but the moral is, I am taking every opportunity whilst I can.

The timeline is actually non existent and more a frame of mind, it’s the pressure we all put on ourselves. I always feel rushed to do things, especially dating! I think “Oh god, that girl I know is buying a house with her fella, and they’re gonna have a family” so I literally feel as though I have to find someone quickly forgetting I have so much more time to do that. Those things cannot be rushed, especially if you’re looking for love.

Recently, I’ve seen an image doing the rounds on facebook and it really resignated with me and spurred me on to finish this long awaited post. (I started writing this in August Oops, writers block.)

I loved this message and it explained to me that I don’t have to constantly compare myself to others, I know it will be hard but I know I’m doing whats right for me. For example; I take self care and my mental health really seriously because it’s something I struggle with as you readers will know (Read an open letter to myself). So, when I do take time for myself and simply do ‘nothing’ all day but relax and maybe throw on a face mask I feel as though I am being lazy. I’m not, I’m doing whats best for me and it’s about time I started thinking this way all of the time.

I know that I’m not alone with this bull shit time line, I’ve spoken to people about it and ultimately, it gets people down and affects their self worth. They’re beginning to question have I done enough? We all need to stop the self doubt. Making your own decisions shows a strong person and it will lead you onto a life you’re happy with. Not all decisions will be correct but they sure will be learning curves.

The purpose of this post was to change the way I think and hopefully it can get you guys thinking about your life and whether or not you adhere to this ridiculous, pressured time line like I do. Here are some things to take from it;

  • Live each day as if it’s your last, but also plan a future if that suits you.
  • Don’t be fearful of judgement. Your descisions, your life.
  • Fuck the time line and society pressures. You do you.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others. You are on your own path to happiness.
  • Jealousy is an illness, get well soon hun

Thanks to every single one of you who read my posts. They may seem unimportant to you or you may not relate but luckily there are people out there it will resonate with. It takes just that one person to see it, who needs it the most. I love that and I’m loving this new way to get my feelings out. Stay tuned for more, I promise they won’t all be deep and miserable.

*Please note:- This post was written 2 years ago! Before I met Craig, before I started a new career and before I moved house! Sometimes the time line does creep back on me when my life is a little stagnant but life can’t always be moving fast can it? I’m happy to report that I take better care of myself these days, mentally I take days for self care, I am eating better thanks to Mr Chef McGregor and I am now the proud owner of a Bannatynes Gym Membership. Personally, I think big Dunc should give us a free membership but we move.

Thanks for reading!

All my love,

DDQ

XO

I’m in a YouTube Advert!

Yes! You read that right! I’m in a YouTube Advert!

I am beyond proud to be featured within the Transfriend.ly YouTube campaign as part of their Trans Friendly and Non Binary friendly business scheme. As many of you know, I am a huge advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and equality, and I would say I consider myself a good ally. Yes, I know – I’m so modest. So when this opportunity at work came about I was thrilled to be involved.

My manager at the immigration solicitors I work at, signed Ashwood up to the Transfriend.ly business directory which allows the LGBTQ+ community to choose a friendly business where they will feel comfortable. Businesses on the directory take a pledge to show that they will treat everyone with dignity and respect, and train all staff to do the same. Ashwood Solicitors have good values anyway so it was a great fit for the firm.

Transfriend.ly contacted us and asked for a video, of course my camera loving self had to be involved and after all it is something I am passionate about.

Check out the video below and see if you can spot me!

This means so much to me! What a way to celebrate Pride Month!

So Happy Pride Month my lovelies – why not revisit my post on ‘How to Be a Good Ally’

All my love.

DDQ XO

Our 70’s Road Trip

Alexa, play ‘The Chain’ by Fleetwood Mac.

Yep, that’s right. We’ve been camping in Cornwall whilst bopping to Fleetwood Mac, in our original Sunset Camper Hire VW van. We have definitely been living our 70’s dreams.

We travelled to Newquay, Penzance, Fistral Beach, St Ives, Saint Michaels Mount, Marazion and Lizard. With only a three night stay we decided to stay in Trencreek Holiday Park for the first and third night and the second night at Henry’s Campsite in Lizard. Henry’s was so cool with a hippy vibe and even a live jazz band playing every night.

Now I know I’m not the type of girl to go camping and I’m still not sure I am but I was absolutely buzzing when Craig showed me the camper. I felt like buying flares and curling my hair like Farrah as soon as the trip was booked.

Although, the gas guzzler of a van was expensive, I’d recommend it to anyone. It was a once in a life time experience and one I’ll never forget. Adventures with Craig are my favourite – the amount of laughs we had was unreal.

Thanks to Simon at Sunset Camper Hire for renting us this beauty.

A vlog is on the way – I just need to edit it which is proving rather difficult with Windows as I’m used to a Mac. Yes I know, what a basic bitch.

Have this gallery for now and I’ll update you all with the vlog when it is on YouTube.

Thanks for another great adventure Craig. In the words of Carly Simon, Baby you’re the beeeeessssssttttt.

DDQ XO

Bra Measuring & Lingerie Try On Haul

Saturday I went to get my bra measured as I’m now 6 weeks post op! It’s gone by so quickly, I’m now allowed to wear normal bras woo! This short vlog includes, try ons, my experience and showing you what I bought.

For more information and blog posts, visit http://www.delusionaldramaqueen.com

DDQ XO

Under The Knife Surgery Day

A short vlog about surgery day 15/1/20. The day was incredibly quick and as soon as I arrived I was more or less in theatre. The afternoon was spent eating toast and facetimeing family so apologies this vlog isn’t better. I will however be filming updates as well as what to pack in a surgery bag.

If anyone has queries or questions, please message on my socials below. Please note this is not a promotion for cosmetic surgery or MYA. This is my own journey. More details to follow in more vlogs. Stay tuned. For more information and blog posts, visit http://www.delusionaldramaqueen.com

DDQ XO