Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Weekly Love #4


Although January has felt like the longest month in history, I also can't quite believe that it is February on Wednesday! When did that happen? I've had quite an enjoyable January (which makes a change) but I'm also excited for what the rest of the year has in store.


1. Brunch and Catch Ups

If you follow me on social media, you might notice that I went for a slightly boozy brunch on Sunday with a girl I used to work with at Altrincham Market. If you've never been to the market, it's an open plan dining room, with food stalls around the edge (some of which have won awards) and it's a really chilled place to go for some food. Luckily Rosie got there first and managed to get us a seat, which usually proves quite hard  (although someone did basically eat a pie sat on top of me...) and we spent about 3 hours in there catching up and eating amazing food (and drinking prosecco!) We both had the steak benedict from Tender Cow, which is as good as it sounds, and I'll definitely be back for more.


2. Manchester with Hannah

Speaking of catch up's, I spent most of my Saturday with my girl Hannah (from Hannah gets hench) just wandering around Manchester, drinking tea and eating incredible cake. We also got to see the Terracotta statues outside Selfridges in Manchester and may have been told off a few times for almost pushing them over when we were taking selfies... We spent a couple of hours just wandering around the different parts of Manchester and chatting, and I remembered all the reasons that I love living in Manchester. We also stopped off at North Tea Power, and Chapter One, which is my new favourite place to go for tea and cake in the city.


3. La La Land

On Friday evening, I went with my friend Sarah to see La La Land, and have pizza at Croma. I'd heard mixed reviews about the film, but a couple of close friends said I would really enjoy it, so I decided to take their recommendation over everybody else's... and they were right, and I loved it! I thought the cast worked really well together, and for someone who isn't the biggest Ryan Gosling fan (I know, sacrilege) I thought he played the role really well and was very engaging.


4. Charity Talk

On Thursday afternoon, we had a lunchtime meeting with a charity called Business for Society, who help out local homeless charities in the Manchester area by pairing them with businesses who want to do their bit. Just before Christmas, I started to feel as though the homeless situation in Manchester especially, was getting a bit out of control, and after hearing the talk from the CEO, it felt as though I was not alone in thinking this. After the chat, we had a discussion about how our company could help out, and I'm excited to be involved.


5. Rejuvenate

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I had been invited to the Rejuvenate clinic in Manchester to have a complimentary treatment. At the time of my consultation, it was just after Christmas, and I was feeling a bit sluggish, so I went for the slimming wrap. I won't give too much away as I'll be doing a full review in the next couple of weeks but the whole experience was really enjoyable, and Leena was lovely to sit and chat to and made me feel completely at ease.


6. Cake at Chapter One

It wouldn't be a weekly love post without the staple food that makes up about 90% of my diet... cake! As I mentioned, we visited the adorable Chapter One just outside the Northern Quarter on Saturday, and I'd never heard of it, or even seen the little cafe. It's set inside an independent bookstore so there were books everywhere, as well as a fireplace, comfy seats, fairy lights, and quirky bits and bobs. I said to Hannah that it reminded me of  Alice in Wonderland because you just don't feel as though you're in a city centre because it was so chilled and peaceful (picture at the top of this post). They didn't have as many cake choices as other coffee shops in Manchester, but we did go at 4pm and found the jaffa cake, which was honestly one of the most squidgy, orangey, delicious cakes I have ever eaten! I am a huge chocolate orange fan, but I think even if you weren't you would have enjoyed this. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it!


xx

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Thursday, 26 January 2017

My Attempt At Adulting


Maybe I'm not the best person to write this post, as there are some days where I find myself not changing out of my PJ's, struggling to pay bills on time, and having to YouTube things like how long to boil an egg for and what all the different lights on your dashboard mean (I’ve also burnt pasta once, but I try to tell myself that all the best chefs started somewhere...) I think as you become an adult, your priorities and outlook on life begin to change. Once you start realising the value of the things and people around you, you appreciate it’s not spending all your money on new clothes, staying out till 4am and having the latest beauty box subscription that give you happiness; but it’s the memories you create, and the people you make them with.

I’ll hold my hands up and admit that it’s taken me a good few years to realise that sometimes spending a night with loved ones on the sofa brings much more contentment than drinking too many jagerbombs and regrettably sending too many drunken snapchats to 90% of your phonebook. With being an adult comes a whole host of responsibilities, but it also means that we have the ability to indulge ever so slightly now and again and what would life be without treating yourself? With me and my other half hopefully buying a house in the near future, one of the things that I have been looking at is a new TV and in particular the Ultra HD 4K TV by Panasonic.

If you haven’t seen this bad boy, get yourself down to a showroom. Not only is the HD quality unreal, the HDR (high dynamic range) delivers images closer to how we see the real world and how filmmakers envision their creations, which sounds pretty cool and futuristic to me. The overall design is beautiful as well, and the features such as the adjustable pedestal make it perfect for any home and surface.

At the moment, as I am trying to save every little penny for our deposit, spending a cosy night in has become my favourite pastime, especially in the winter months. Also, with Hygge becoming all the rage recently, I’m sure I’m not the only one opting to spend more time indoors with good food and good company.

If you’re looking for a sweet treat to make, my favourite banana bread recipe can be found here – and let’s face it, it has to be ever so slightly better for you than a regular cake because it has fruit in!
We’ve also started watching the newest season of Suits once again. If you aren’t aware of this series, I would highly recommend you give it a go. It is very fast paced, but also quite comical and makes you feel very intelligent when you watch it, even though it's all lawyer-talk (which I'm pretty sure is the technical term.) I definitely prefer bulk watching it as you find yourself so invested in the characters that you just want to know more, and it's been a while since I've felt like that with a TV programme.

Although I may be slightly late to the party, I think that nights in with the people that mean the most to me will be what I fill most of my weekends with in 2017. Plus, when we actually buy a house, I might not have the money to do much else! 

xx

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This post was written in collaboration with Panasonic. All views are my own.
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Monday, 23 January 2017

Weekly Love #3



1. Blogging Friends Meet Up

On Tuesday evening, I met up with two of my blogger friends, Holly and Katie, who I hadn't seen in what felt like a really long time, We all had ideas that we wanted to bounce off each other for our blogs and just in life in general. As Holly runs the We Blog MCR group, I know she would have loads of exciting things coming up in the next few months, and we weren't disappointed! We went to the Laundrette in Chorlton Green - a place specialising in cocktails and cards, the ultimate way to my heart - and opted for a table outside under the heaters (and my under a blanket!) I went for a strawberry puree, vanilla milkshake concoction (picture on my instagram - search @eleanorgraceful) with a sachet of popping candy, because I have the ultimate sweet tooth.


2. Jimmy Carr

One of my Christmas presents to my boyfriend was tickets to see Jimmy Carr, and it finally rolled round! We saw him at the Stockport Plaza which is a really beautiful venue in the centre of Stockport, which suited me better because it saved us driving into the centre of town. I'd seen Stephen Merchant there a few years back, and I really enjoyed the more intimate venue - don't get me wrong though, we were pretty far back; the last thing I wanted is to be picked out in the crowd! He did a mixture of his old jokes with new ones, and it was just a great way to spend a midweek evening.


3. Alphabet Come Dine With Me

On Friday evening, I went to my friend Alison's house for an evening of come dine with me. This is something we have been doing for the last 2 years where we all get together and one person cooks for the group - and to make it extra exciting, we go through the letters of the alphabet. As I couldn't make the last get together, there were some of the girls that I hadn't seen since June last year so it was a really good evening for catch ups and great food! The letter for this time round was O and the country was Oman. We had a white fish and pomegranate salad to start, spiced chicken and onion and garlic rice for our main and a sweet spiced tea and figs for dessert. As an after dinner drink, we also had something that tasted even better than baileys, hard to believe I know. It's always a great way to sample new cuisines whilst seeing old friends!


4. Bridesmaid's Day

One of my best friends is getting married this year in May, and I am lucky enough to be one of her bridesmaids, but as we hadn't had a proper reunion with the other two bridesmaids as well, we decided it was about time to tie all the loose ends together for the wedding day. We went to Sugar Junction in Altrincham and I opted for the sampling trio of cakes, and a scone, which I shared with my friend Sophie. The cakes we chose were chocolate orange, black forest gateux and lemon and raspberry sponge, and they were all delicious. We spent the afternoon talking about the wedding, houses, jobs whilst drinking prosecco, and it was really great to spend some quality time together. (Please ignore the stupid face I am pulling but it was the only picture of the 4 of us!) 


5. Everyone Knows This Is Nowhere - Alice Furse

I started reading this new book at the start of the week and I am already loving it, and finding it quite hard to put down before bed. It was recommended to me on Twitter after I finished Emma Gannon's Ctrl Alt Delete (which I would also recommend) as being quite similar. In a nutshell it is about a girl who has finished university and starts working in an office admin role, which she hates. I find her character really relatable, and I can't wait to finish it off hopefully next week. If you're looking for something that is very down to earth and relatable, I would suggest this.


xx

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Thursday, 19 January 2017

Beauty | My Skincare Saviour


Over the winter months my skin has been... how shall we say... less than perfect. I've found many more dry patches than before, it started itching in places and I was breaking out all over my chin. I kept putting it down to the weather, but I don't think this was the only culprit.

I follow a lot of beauty bloggers and YouTubers, and one thing they always talk about is the importance of a serum in your skincare routine, morning and night, without fail. I first heard this on Caroline Hiron's channel, but I thought it was going to be one of those fads that never sticks around for long, so I didn't take much notice. Fast forward a year, and here I am, raving about my own little discovery and it even got a mention in my first weekly loves post.

Being the ripe old age of 26, I've decided that this year is going to be my year to start using anti-ageing creams (I actually spoke to a skincare expert a couple of months ago, who said that the age to start doing this is actually 25, so I'm a bit late to the party, oops!) After trawling the shelves of boots for a good hour, I returned to my trusted Botantics brand (Boot's own) and opted for their All Bright Radiance Serum.

I've always been a fan of the Botantics range, as they use natural plant extracts, the products are easy to understand, and it doesn't break the bank (if you're interested in an eye cream, I find this one really combats dark circles). I've been using this serum every morning and evening since boxing day after cleansing and toning, and I already love it.

My skin feels softer and more nourished which is definitely what it needs in this weather. At first I was slightly reluctant to buy anything like this as I didn't want to make my skin oily, or my makeup not to blend as well, but it has been the complete opposite, and my skin drinks it up, just showing how much it was crying out for something like this! I'm kicking myself for not trying a serum sooner - I've been converted

If you're in the market for a new serum, or just want to try one that is slightly more on the cheaper side, I would definitely recommend this one. It also smells amazing, which is always a plus in a skincare product.

What other serums would you recommend?

Shop the product here

xx

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Sunday, 15 January 2017

Weekly Love #2


I've had a bit of an odd week this week. If you follow me on social media, you might already know this, but I've had quite a bad bout of anxiety, and a small panic attack towards the start of the week, and I haven't been able to shake off the feeling of uneasiness. Saying that, I've been looking forward to writing this post all week to have a little think back to smaller things that have made me smile. So here we are at the second instalment!

1. Making a Calendar

I didn't know what to call this one really, but yep, I made my own calendar. Well, I say made, I actually just downloaded it off the internet, printed it, and colour coded all my plans for the first 4 months of the year. These include social plans, family plans, blog plans, important dates, birthdays and holidays. I know how much of a lame-o I sounds right now (especially with just actually writing the word lame-o) but it has helped me feel so much more control of my life (especially with how I've been feeling this week) and I hope I can keep on top of it and have things to look forward to. 


2. Getting Organised

Following on from the first one, I feel like this week I have really managed to screw my head on and get organised with making plans for blogging, seeing friends and family, trips away and work: I even started a bullet journal! Last week felt like a bit of a blur with starting back after the bank holiday, and if I'm honest, I sort of felt like I was still in holiday mode. But despite feeling incredibly anxious towards the start of the week, I'm ready to take on January and the rest of the year. I've noticed as well that there is a lot of positive posts already in the blogging world about the new year, which is nice and refreshing after 2016. 


3. Seeing Old Friends

This Wednesday I went to my friend's for dinner, with another friend, both of whom I used to work with. We hadn't all seen each other since before December, and spent most of the evening talking about weddings, holidays and babies (one of  the girls is a new mum!) It was really nice to catch up with them both, and it's one of my goals (see how I didn't say resolution...) to spend more time with people I don't get to see as often. We also had a shepherds pie with sweet potato, which was something I'd never tried before and loved! Definitely a winter recipe I'll be cooking up this month. 


4. Olympus Pen

Yes I did it, I finally bought an Olympus Pen, not that I have any idea how to use it, but I am officially the owner of an actual camera! If I'm being honest, it did come last week, but I stupidly bought the camera with no lens, so I then had to fork out more money for one to go with it... One of my blogging goals for this year is to learn more about photography and cameras, and I've already been in talks with a friend about doing a photography course in the next couple of months. I researched this a lot about what camera I wanted, and spoke to a few different people in the industry, and the Olympus Pen came highly recommended for those who are just starting out with their photography, which is 100% me... I'm even so much of an amateur that I took it out on the first day without the battery!


5. My Homeware Post

I don't want to use this blog to talk about my own work, but it was more of the process of writing Wednesday's blog that I loved. I've always been a lover of homeware and finding new bits here and there, and this was the first time I had ever done a homeware wishlist. It helps as well that hopefully at some point this year I'll be a homeowner, and can maybe buy a few of the things on the wishlist (or if people want to surprise me with a housewarming present, I could get on board with that too!) 


6. Oxford 

This weekend I took my very first trip to Oxford to see one of my best friends who is living there until the end of the month. Oxford has always been one of those places that has been on my list to visit, but I've never found the time to, so this weekend was a great excuse. We arrived on Saturday afternoon and spent the evening catching up, eating amazing food and drinking, and on Sunday took a walk around the city, which was just as beautiful as I imagined. The girlie weekend was definitely needed and I can't wait for the next one.


7. My First Trip to Zizzi

Obviously I needed to get something food related in here! Whilst in Oxford today, we went for lunch at Zizzi after we all seemed to be craving pizza. I've never been to Zizzi despite the fact I eat pizza about 4 times a week, so I was really looking forward to it. Although the restaurant was really busy, we got our own booth, and spent over two hours eating and chatting in there and it was the perfect end to a great weekend with two of my best friends. And the food was amazing too (I had the Sofia Rustica - chicken, pepperoni, spicy sausage, chilli's and rosemary)


8. We Blog MCR

This evening when I got home I had a message off my friend Holly who runs the amazing blog Holly Goes Lightly and is the founder of the We Blog MCR group which I am a member of, asking me to be the blogger of the week for the weekly newsletter. Although it isn't quite being asked to Buckingham Palace for afternoon tea, it did make me smile, and ended my week on a high which is definitely what I needed - so thank you Holly!


xx

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Wednesday, 11 January 2017

My 12 Homeware Picks

I'm going to do a bit of a different post than what I've done before, and I'm pretty sure this will be the first one (but don't hold me to that, I only went back to 2016...) Today's post is going to be my 12 favourite homeware pieces of the moment - some of these I own, some I want and some I just think are pretty sweet. There's a range of prices here, so hopefully something for every wallet.

In my ripe old age of 26, I find myself looking more and more towards homeware, and receiving it for birthday and Christmas presents, instead of florescent nail varnishes and liquid black eye liner, and to be honest, I am a-ok with that. It almost feels better investing in something for your home, rather than a piece of clothing, but maybe that's just me... (I'm hoping it's not!)

Hope you enjoy and maybe even find a lil something for yourself!



Where to find them

1. Neom Lavender, Basil & Jasmine Candle - £30

2. Next Marble Effect Kettle - £35

3. New Look Metallic Cushion - £13

4. Kitchen Aid - £399

5. Robert's Radio - £180

6. Habitat Copper Vase - £12

7. M&S Photo Frame - £12

8. Oliver Bonas Clock - £35

9. Cath Kidston Mug - £7

10. Dunelm 3 x Heart Bowls - £10

11. Wilko Copper Lantern - £12

12. H&M Home Pineapple Glass Jar - £8


xx

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Sunday, 8 January 2017

Weekly Love #1


I mentioned back in this post that I wanted to start doing a weekly blog about what I'd been up to, what I was thankful for and what I loved to in the previous 7 days... and here we are today! I'm hoping I'll be able to keep these up as a regular occurrence and that you'll enjoy reading them. It'll be a nice reminder as well of all the little things I got up to in the year that ordinarily I might have forgotten. I'm going to try and keep this post on a Sunday, but if life gets in the way, I apologise in advance.

1. Getting back into a routine

Even reading that back makes me feel like a massive sad case for actually looking forward to getting back to work, but I really was. Over Christmas, my sleeping pattern was all over the place, I was eating all of the food 24/7 and I barely stepped foot in the gym - so this week it was nice to get back to some sort of normality (even if it did mean finishing off the celebrations in the office for no future temptation!)


2. Yoga with Adriene

You might have heard of this YouTube channel, but if not, you can find it here. One of my new year's resolutions was to get back into yoga and start back at my old Saturday morning class, but unfortunately this week I couldn't get to it. Instead, I'd been recommended Adriene's yoga revolution, which sees you doing around 30 minutes of yoga every day for the month of January. Now, I'll admit, I've only done this once, so I'm already behind, but even if I don't stick to it every day, it's a great channel to come back to time and time again if you want to do yoga at home.


3. Blogosphere Magazine

Like most of the population, my wages really didn't go too far this month with having to pay off Christmas and my impending credit card bill, but saying that, I found enough money to pay for a Blogosphere 6 month subscription. I meant to ask for it as a Christmas present but I completely forgot, so I felt like I should treat myself, even if it does mean I can't afford to put petrol in my car for the rest of the month. I started reading it over the weekend whilst the other half was watching the football, and already I'm hooked. If you're a blogger or into the whole world of social media, I couldn't recommend this magazine more. It's easy to read, has great interviews and engaging content. I can't wait for next month's already!


4. Botanics Serum

If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen me raving about this the other night, but I've only been using it since boxing day and my skin already feels softer and more supple. I've decided that 2017 is going to be the year I up my skincare routine in general and maybe even start to apply anti-ageing creams because this 26 year old isn't getting any younger (yes I did just do a little cry to myself...) so this serum was my starting point.


5. Catch Ups

My bank holiday Monday started with a catch up at a local coffee shop with one of my oldest friends Emily. Although we only live 15 minutes from each other, we really struggle to find time to meet up mainly because of our hectic schedules (mainly hers!) It was really nice to chat to someone who knows me inside out but also have loads to fill each other in on whilst trying to ignore the fact there was 5 cakes behind me (see top picture!). She also bought her laptop to show me how easy it is to edit videos for YouTube, so you could be seeing a lot more of my content!


6. Rejuvenate Clinic

Towards the end of last year I was invited to have a complimentary treatment at Rejuvenate Clinic in the Northern Quarter in Manchester, and this week I went to meet the manager to talk about what I wanted to go for. Rejuvenate specialise in non-surgical procedures and making their customers feel the best they can about themselves. I won't give too much away about what I'm having done, as they'll be a blog post on it coming in the next few weeks, but the whole experience was really informative. If you want to know any more about their treatments, visit their website here.


7. Wedding Invite

On Thursday I got home from work to a save the date for my cousin's wedding in August. This specific cousin is from my Dad's side of the family and someone who I barely get to see so it'll be so nice to spend her special day with her and the rest of the family. One of the challenges I've set myself for this year is to spend more time with the people I love, and this will be something to look forward to (and buy a new dress for!) So far I've got three weddings to look forward to this year!


8. Country Drives

On New Year's Day we tried to go to our local National Trust park, but because it was sunny, and everyone had the same idea as us, we couldn't find anywhere to park. Instead we decided to have a drive through the countryside, which is only about 10 minutes from my house, and something I want to do more of this year. The day was absolutely beautiful, and the sun was a couple of hours from setting so the lighting was gorgeous too and it was a great way to start the year off.


xx

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Thursday, 5 January 2017

So You Think Blogging Is Easy?


Think again.

I wanted to write this blog as a sort of off the cuff response to some of the negativity surrounding the blogging community in the past few months. I usually turn a blind eye to things like this; however, this time round, I felt I should stand up not only for this incredibly prominent industry, but also my friends, fellow bloggers and those who inspire me. Some people might not understand blogging and think that we are wasting our time online, but you can't deny the fact that influencers are taking over the digital landscape - slowly but surely.

You may or may not have heard about Vogue's arbitrary article last year suggesting that Bloggers and YouTubers are 'pathetic' and should 'find another industry', and quite frankly it is comments like this that anger me about people's day-to-day jobs and livelihood. These people dedicate a lot of time, effort and money to their own 'brand' identity and blog, and just because they work for themselves, doesn't make them any less of an entity in the world of business and marketing. In fact, bloggers and YouTubers have such a large and genuine following that they are more influential to millennials then a 'regular' celebrity ever will be. And if you're clever in your marketing, you'll use this to your advantage.

I'll be the first to admit I am not a full-time blogger, and that this is merely a hobby: I work full-time and try to blog as much as possible which changes week in week out, because hey, that's life - but I do feel very strongly about this industry which has opened so many doors for me, introduced me to new and influential people and allowed me to try different and exciting things that usually I would never get the chance to do... so I thought it was about time that I personally stand up against the criticism.

To me, the niche of blogging falls under the 'Digital Marketing, Social Media & Content Creation' umbrella which is ever-changing and will continue to do so with the invention of new social platforms, creative agencies and brands in general. Track back 10 years, and no one could have predicted how big the blogging scene would be, or that you could even consider it to be your full-time job which to me is just a massive indication of how far this industry has come - and there's no chance it's stopping there.

For most people working in Marketing now, creating content, writing blogs and maintaining a website, are generally just part of our day jobs and something that we can do with our eyes closed (apart from the hoops we have to jump through, the people we have to OK everything with, and the endless proof reads we need to do...) but you get the picture. I didn't study Marketing at university, and everything I know is self-taught or learned through previous roles, but I don't think that has hindered me at all in my career or for my blog.

Most of the bloggers I know personally, alongside those I read a lot of, work in Social Media, PR, Outreach or Marketing (ordinarily in the digital sector) which comes as no surprise, as this crazy world is clearly an innate interest. To me, there is a massive overlap of what we learn day to day inevitably helping us to create our own content, build our own websites and promote our brands... and vice versa.

Working in the industry helps me to appreciate how hard full-time bloggers work to make money, increase traffic to their blogs and create engaging posts that make people want to come back time and time again. I only blog when I have time and sometimes still feel completely overwhelmed with the pressure of it all and want to call it a day, so I can only imagine what full timers go through. Let's also touch on the fact that brands sometimes will only work with bloggers if they have over 2k, 5k, 10k followers on Twitter, Instagram and Youtube, regardless of how good their content is. To get to that point can takes months, even years, and a hell of a lot of engagement across numerous social platforms that we're meant to be able to manage ourselves - but how can we do this when the majority of us work full time? Well the fact is, a lot of us struggle.

Sure, we can schedule tweets, photos and Facebook posts, but sometimes they come across as so automated and transparent that it can actually do you more harm than good.

And then comes the expense...

Yes, technically it is free to set up a blog; but what about when you want to buy your own domain because having .wordpress or .blogspot looks unprofessional? It costs. And what about if you want a blog template that is a bit more fancy and personalised and isn't a standard, generic one from blogger? It costs. And what about if you want to up your photography game to not be left behind when everyone else's blogs looks über glossy with beautiful photos? It costs. So you may think that bloggers and Youtubers have it easy, but in reality, they have to invest in a lot of equipment for sometimes no return for the first few years.

And then there's the technical side of it all...

How do you make one blog rank higher in Google search terms? How do you get your blog noticed when you work 40 hours a week? How do you increase traffic to your site, remain genuine but keep people wanting to read more? How do you know what to class your blog as if you're touching on a whole range of different topics? How do you up your Instragram and Twitter followers without wanting to gauge your own eyes out at how hard it can be. And how can you use your SEO knowledge to up your DA and get on the radar of the bigger brands?

You can see where I'm going with this... Not so easy right?

And those are just some of the questions that bloggers face on a daily basis amongst many, many more. They also have to be constantly on the ball replying to comments, tweets and emails, but also not letting the negativity that comes with it all affect them. When you work in an office, you will rarely get a colleague calling you fat, ugly or telling you they hate the way you did your makeup: But for online influencers who put their whole life on the internet, this can be a reality. It's hard enough harbouring your own insecurities on a daily basis, but when you create something that you hope people are going to love and relate to, the occasional antagonism can be quite overwhelming.

As I've said, I can only talk from my own experience as a part-time blogger, and I've been lucky enough to have had quite a positive experience overall, but I think something needed to be said for people who don't believe that permanent bloggers have a real job, that it's easy and they should find something better to do - quite frankly, these people work all hours under the sun, dedicate their evenings and weekends to creating content that their audience will enjoy, and have to find the motivation to keep doing it day in and day out. But thank god they do.

So if you think blogging is easy - think again!

xx

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Sunday, 1 January 2017

26 Things I Learnt in 2016


1. No one texts anymore. Except your Nan. And even she uses iMessage.

2. Car chargers are an absolute life saver for commuting home after scrolling through Instragram for so many hours that your battery has gone from a hefty 72% to the deathly red bar, in the space of one afternoon.

3. Your career doesn't define you. There are so many other elements to you as a person than just saying, 'I work in Marketing, I work in Retail, I work in Finance'. Embrace the other areas of your life too and never forget about balance.

4. Don't be embarrassed to ask for help. Whether you don't know your right bra size, which train platform to be on, or how to parallel park properly. People are kinder than you think.

5. The education system fails to teach you important things like how to budget, how to buy a house or what to do if you crash your car. But at least I know how to do a cross stitch and what the capital of Luxembourg is.

6. Nothing makes you feel better than having savings in the bank each month just smiling back at you. Hi there you!

7. Cook books, photo frames and cushions are some of the best presents you will ever receive.

8. The overwhelming thoughts of 'oh god what am I doing with my life' are completely legitimate and don't mean you are some kind of over-obsessing moron. You are, in fact, quite normal.

9. Recruitment consultants pester you a lot.

10. Your friendship group will change year in, year out, but the real ones stick close by.

11. It's definitely ok to have Rightmove as your most visited website, rather than knowing when the ASOS sale starts. (I'll give you a clue, it's probably the week after you bought that new skirt)

12. You need to keep challenging yourself to grow as a person and not get bored in life. Whether that means a change of job, moving to another city or packing up your life and going travelling. Be scared once in a while: It's good for you.

13. Some of the best places to visit are right on your doorstep (or maybe a two hour drive away...) but definitely reachable within a weekend.

14. Making the perfect poached egg takes many years of practise.

15. Guys will never understand how much of an effort washing your hair, taking your makeup off or perfecting your cat eye look is.

16. Sometimes the best weekends are the ones with no plans.

17. Without iPhone notes, most people would struggle big time.

18. Carrying hand cream doesn't make you an old woman, but a super-swish hand goddess (who struggles to hold anything for longer than a couple of seconds).

19. Time does not heel all wounds, no matter how many times people repeat it to you. Don't ever feel pressured by others.

20. High-waisted jeans are an absolute godsend. Goodbye Christmas gut. Ain't nobody got time for you.

21. Everything tastes better with avocado.

22. Your mental health is just as important as your physical, and you should never feel like you are alone. They'll be more people than you think going through something similar.

23. It's totally ok to not know what number 1 is, and to not have done for a good few years.

24. If you have an iPhone, chances are you will crack the screen a good 8 billion times and have to sell a kidney or take out a loan to pay for it.

25. Clearing out your makeup collection and cleaning your brushes could be someone's full time job.

26. Nothing can prepare you for all the crap that life is going to throw at you. Some expected, some not; surround yourself with the best people.

xx

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