'Distinctive and mysterious, yet comforting and soft; Alien by THIERRY MUGLER conveys passion, sensuality and the essence of absolute femininity’.

Unleash your celestial being with THIERRY MUGLER's Alien perfume. As mentioned above Alien is a unique scent and a bold one at that; which I find much more suited to Autumn/Winter, due to its deep, heady notes that might just be to overpowering and to out of place in Summer. It's a scent out of this world and can be instantly recognizable if worn before.

MUGLER never disappoints - I mean, does this perfume really need an introduction?. I would say that I have found myself wearing this fragrance religiously for several years at most... in-fact Matthew claims he can remember it vividly wafting through our house as teens. But, I guess that's what happens when you're a spritzaholic with a fad for collecting refillable bottles.

Would you believe Alien was released in 2005 and soon became Thierry's second major fragrance? Well... I'm not surprised!

The overall scent itself has a rich, floral, woody, amber fragrance which contains Jasmine Sambac, Cashmeran Wood and White Amber, it's a perfume whose magic trails really awaken your senses. I especially find wearing it on a night out get's me several compliments and truly believe it's the perfume you should use when you want to grab someone's attention.

Appropriately encapsulated in a deep purple glass bottle, reminiscent of a precious stone... it is designed to mimic an amethyst, a symbol of femininity and up-most refinement. A sacred talisman that is alive with intense energy and physical attraction.

I for one, thoroughly enjoy Alien's wear time and find it's one of the prettiest bottles to capture on camera as of yet.

Have you tried MUGLER's Alien perfume? What were your thoughts?

As I'm sure some of you may know, Monday the 2nd of January 2017 saw the official launch of my blog 'Sheintheknow' - if you missed my Anti-Bucket list post, you can catch up here. It was through this very write up that I openly discussed how I was going to defy tradition and that's exactly what I did, but this doesn't mean I can't set aside some blog related goals for the incoming year, can it?

Setting up my blog was an extremely daunting task and as a new writer and creator I felt it was only necessary that I put my time to good use, especially when I have this little space all to myself.

So, here we have it... my blog related goals for 2017:

Goal #1 - Consistency
Since officially launching my blog on Monday, I feel it's an absolute must that I try to blog consistently, not only to keep my potential readers updated, but to ensure that my audience continues to grow at a somewhat steady pace. Although I fully intend on staying consistent with my accounts linked in with this blog, I  decided to purchase a diary... this way I'll be able to jot down what I'll be writing next, when it needs to be posted and how I'll be able to squeeze in time to plan and schedule amongst working - even if that means sacrificing 20 minutes every morning.

Goal #2 - Increase Traffic and Social Media Reach
As a new writer and creator here on Sheintheknow, it is essential that I work towards increasing my traffic and social media reach - my blog wouldn't progress otherwise. Thus I intend on joining more blog related communities and groups (as well as chats), so I'll be able to network with other writers/bloggers... I'm also going to look into advertising myself and my blog, in order to get that promotion I so long desire.

Goal #3 - Blog Design 
Despite only launching my blog on the 2nd of January, I really want to work towards ensuring my layout is professional and as easy to use as possible. This means that whilst I am publishing twice on a weekly basis, I also spend that time looking for small ways to enhance my website and my readers experience - whether it be updating an image, changing the size and font my blog is currently using or simply adding gadgets to the sidebar. I want to ensure my blog is readable, and appealing to any potential readers/followers that I may encounter.

Goal #4 Monetize your Blog
Although I love writing and publishing posts here on Sheintheknow, I also want to work towards monetizing my blog itself, this way I can ensure a wider audience will be reached. Monetizing may take shape in many forms such as; Google Adsense, or advertising spaces and products via my blog. It'll also be the perfect way of making connections with other blog owners and businesses alike.

Now to put these to work...

I hope you enjoyed today's post, have you set aside any blog related goals for 2017?

Let's face it, very few of us are morning people. It's not uncommon that we hit the snooze button a few times (or a dozen), before finally mustering up enough courage to rip back the bed sheets and even then we'd need a good cup of coffee to get out of that half-asleep state, which only reminds us that we ought to become better morning people.

Surprisingly, now that I've had time to adapt to my 7am mornings, there's just something I really enjoy about being an early riser. Getting up early has allowed me to take advantage of the daylight hours (which means more time to snap photographs and write blog posts), but its also made me much more productive over the years. So today I wanted to share a few tricks I've picked up, that will enable you to become a better morning person too.

-The Snooze Button: I have a confession. There used to be mornings where I'd find myself pressing snooze every ten to fifteen minutes, for an hour straight... and every time it would happen, I'd end up feeling doubly frustrated with myself when I realized that I could have just set my alarm much later and gotten a solid hour of sleep instead of a disrupted one. Hence why I suggest you avoid pressing snooze altogether... be realistic with yourself about what time you're going to get up and stick with that plan.

-Get A Head Start: Having time to relax in the morning is great, but it can feel even more liberating when you start your day off on a productive note. When I manage to sort through my emails or reply to comments before 9am, I feel motivated and it sets the tone for the rest of the day. This also means I can end my working day much sooner than expected.

-Have A Morning Ritual: To become a better morning person, you should make mornings something to look forward to. When I used to wake up late, I'd find myself rushing to make it out of the door on time and often I was so stressed I'd forgotten something important i.e. my purse. Now, I have enough time to sit and enjoy a proper breakfast before my working day begins, not to mention I'm able to catch up on all my social accounts too.

-Hydrate: This was something I actually picked up from an article several years ago... It's absolutely essential, that after a full night's sleep you start your day with a nice tall glass of water, lemon water or a herbal tea - why? because you've just gone several hours without hydrating and this can lead to fatigue. A good way to stay hydrated throughout the day, is to drink a bottle of water before every meal.

-Routine: Once you get into the habit of waking up early, try not to break it. Obviously it's okay to give yourself a break from time to time i.e. at the weekend, but if you're going to sleep in until 3pm, it's going to be much harder to get back into your routine come Monday. Motivate yourself by sticking to plans, such as a morning walk, or brunch.

I hope these tips come in useful, but make sure that if you're going to get up early tomorrow morning, that you've also had a good/early night's sleep too!

Are you a morning person? What advice can you give to those who aren't?

Support 2gether is a charity set up and run by two sisters; Una Leonard and Brenda McCaskie – in Northern Ireland, Co. Tyrone, Omagh. It is here they provide support for families and mothers who are living with Ante/Post-Natal Depression.

According to the NHS; it’s a common problem, affecting more than 1 in every 10 women within a year of giving birth. It can also affect fathers and partners, but is less common.

Signs someone may have post-natal depression are:
  • A persistent feeling of sadness and low mood, 
  • A lack of enjoyment and loss of interest in the wider world, 
  • A lack of energy, feeling tired all the time, 
  • Trouble sleeping at night, 
  • Difficulty bonding with your baby, 
  • Withdrawing from contact with other people, 
  • Problems concentrating and making decisions, as well as 
  • Frightening thoughts, i.e. hurting your baby.

This is where Support 2gether’s 2017 calendar comes into play. In late September 2016, Una posted online looking for a photographer, fortunately I happened to be on Facebook at the time and saw this post, so we got chatting. Una talked me through how the charity uses a sunflower as their symbol and how the group were looking into creating a calendar based around this. I couldn’t wait to get out and get shooting.

The calendar itself was released on the 14th of November 2016, enclosed in a CD case with 12 cards (one for each month) – all of which come with quotes and facts that the Support 2gether Mum’s found inspirational. A favourite was April's - 'I'm thankful for my struggle because without it, I wouldn't have stumbled across my strength', whilst my favourite fact was June's - 'One in 25 fathers live with post natal depression'. It's certainly something to think about. 

You can find Una and Brenda on Facebook or their website @ Support 2gether.

Remember, it's important to Talk. 

Tip sharing is something I want to entertain on Sheintheknow - whether it be a simple do's and don'ts write-up or in particular a 'How To Improve Your Productivity' post... There is no denying, we all secretly wish we were better at being productive, goodness knows how many evenings I've spent fretting over assignments or wondering how on earth I'll achieve that perfect Instagram feed.

Running Sheintheknow has certainly opened my eyes a bit, alongside working full-time and juggling general life demands it can all be a bit of a challenge, a daunting one... but I feel mastering organisation and learning how to be more productive will be two tricks that will help ensure things are much more manageable in the long term - who knows, I might even take my own advice this time.

How To Improve Your Productivity:

-Today's Activities (To Do): Create a to do list. This may seem like the most obvious thing to do, but writing a to do list, not only for work deliverable's but life admin and blog related tasks and projects can really help establish a clear picture of what needs doing and when. It will keep you well organised, but also ensure you remain productive. Besides if you're anything like me, ticking everything off will make you want to internally burst with glee!

-Organise: Very much linked to having a to do list, a diary or notebook will keep you on-top of key projects, dates, meetings, work or blog deliverable's, events and if you're lucky holidays. Learn how to manage your time effectively so the jobs required are done efficiently.

-Stay Positive: The most important thing of all is to stay positive. This won't always be an easy job but the more optimistic and calm you remain, the more able you'll be to handle life and any hurdles that might come your way. No more stressing, flapping or smacking the keyboard, spend some time on delivery and if you need to take a break remember that it's absolutely okay. Your well-being is a critical element to success, so don't forget to schedule time for it.

-Take A Break: Alongside staying positive, it's essential that you take breaks as and when required. Often when you're juggling a lot or working on something quite demanding you might feel overwhelmed, stressed or perhaps even tired. I know I'd certainly love to be somewhere sunny right now, but unfortunately a weekend away will have to wait for the time being. Actually on the topic of taking breaks... as a frequent migraine sufferer, I find stress can leave me feeling deflated, although it would be interesting to hear your suggestions on what a suitable break is.

-Don't Over Promise: You might as well accept it now, but sometimes its just not possible to get everything done. I know I'm constantly trying to multi-task, committing to too much and pushing myself to wrap things up as quickly as possible... ultimately this just ends up stressing me out and if there's one thing that hinders productivity, that's stress. Be selective, but be conscious of any decisions you choose to make.

There are of course no rights or wrongs, but for me I think these factors really drive my productivity and ensure I stay on-top of my blog, social life and work.

Do you have any suggestions on how to improve your productivity? 
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