ADVICE GIVING, LIFESTYLE BLOGGER

Friday, 28 July 2017

10 Songs To Get You Moving This July


You have probably heard on numerous occasions; people talking about the importance of self-discipline and how it is a vital component to the attainment of any worthy goal. But, have you ever considered what self-discipline really means? Self-discipline to me; is the process of building habits. It's about taking small consistent actions that help you form habits, habits that will subsequently help you attain your goals. However... it's something I have been lacking.

I'm sure if you read 'Headspace' on Monday morning, then you'll know exactly where my heads been at and just how much I have been struggling. How tired I have been physically and mentally and how I've been going through an awfully strange faze of saying 'I can't'.

That's where music comes into play; in order to get myself motivated and self-disciplined for the entirety of this month, I have compiled a list '10 Songs To Get You Moving This July'. Who knows you might just find something that gets you going this summer.

10 Songs To Get You Moving This July:

1. Icona Pop - Girls Girls

2. Duke Dumont x Gorgon City Ft. NAATIONS - Real Life

3. Martin Solveig Ft. Alma - All Stars

4. Pham Ft. Malcolm Anthony - My Way

5. Liz Lokre - Buh Bye

6. Zedd, Liam Payne - Get Low

7. Nick Jonas Ft. Anne-Marie & Mike Posner - Remember I Told You

8. Marc E. Bassy - Plot Twist

9. Dagny - Wearing Nothing

10. RL Grime Ft. Miguel - Stay For It

What have you been listening to this month? Do you have any suggestions?
SHARE:

Monday, 24 July 2017

Headspace


Initially I was quite hesitant about writing this post; not just because I've been procrastinating about it for the entirety of two weeks, but also because I've been experiencing this real love/hate relationship with my blog and blogging in general. Truth is; I wasn't prepared to admit this, but I'm worried about the future of She In The Know and I'm actually a little worried about myself.

It's Monday; its 6 o'clock and the sun is splitting the trees. Matthew and I are currently cooped up in-front of the TV watching the Home channel on repeat, whilst a small fan blasts cool pockets of air at us from the corner of the room - I have managed it, once again I have managed to avoid a full day of blog work and I feel dreadful for it.

Truth be told; I've been making my way through some of my previous content, recalling moments where it was just me and my little notepad brimming with ideas and frankly, I've been finding it strange how in January I had no difficulty staying motivated, but now I'm lucky if I can even string together an introduction of sorts and I am exhausted. I am literally in every sense, physically and mentally exhausted and I feel as though I've lost my way a bit - I've actually been hoping that this would be some sort of weird faze that I'd snap out of, but in all honesty... things aren't looking too peachy.

I believed that it was only going to be a matter of time before I found myself taking yet again, another sporadic break. My passion for writing and creating content has been coming in ebbs and flows, I've needed more time to myself and more time to recuperate, to think about what I needed to do for myself and for my blog - even if it meant risking the abandonment of my social accounts for some time. I feel as though I've been in a bit of a vicious cycle and I'm sure I'll find myself in a similar headspace time and time again, but now that I am settled into my new job and Matthew is home for the Summer holidays, I'm hoping things will fall into place.

Speaking realistically; I've been taking each day as it comes, but I think it's about time I focused a bit more on being fearlessly and relentlessly true to myself, because let's face it... good things take time and I believe that this is one of those things.
SHARE:

Monday, 3 July 2017

MAC COSMETICS / Next To Nothing


I'm going to be completely open and honest when I say this; but when I initially launched She In The Know in January, I don't think I had ever envisioned myself writing a post of sorts about makeup and this is strictly because I hadn't even owned a lipstick of my own until I was sixteen years old.

STORY-TIME!

Let's picture the scene; it's 2012, we're in High School. I'm in performing arts with Leanne and Tamara and we have some time to kill before lunch. They are being quite persistent that I allow them to give me a makeover, but let's be honest... I'm not entirely convinced it's going to turn out well - so, I go ahead and I do it anyway. Now let us fast-forward twenty minutes - I have my slightly wonky eyeliner applied, after being scolded for ten minutes about over-blinking and the foundation I'm currently wearing is three shades darker than my actual skin tone - it's lunchtime and the boy I like is looking straight at me, FUCK. Nonetheless I endure a full day of oh my god's and you look so different with makeup on, it's just a blessing that I'm going straight home today - sorry girls.

It's funny how things change eh? I mean it only took me to my twenties before I actually started indulging in Mac Cosmetics and dared to step out of the house on any given day with a face on. But that's where MAC's Next To Nothing Face Colour and Powder comes into play - a perfect addition to any newbie or natural seeking makeup wearer's, makeup bag.

Next To Nothing is an innovative, ultra-balmy fluid infused with nourishing ingredients and opalescent microspheres for a youthful glow that looks lit from within. It's a tinted cream, which can be used under or over your foundation, or simply to bring a translucent luminosity to the skin. Its smoothing texture creates that no-makeup, makeup look that diminishes imperfections and fine lines, whilst moisturizing and protecting the skin. You will look instantly retouched!

MAC claims that the Next To Nothing Face Colour will; hydrate, nourish, improve and provide radiance and can be used for all skin types.

Alongside this I also purchased the Next To Nothing Powder / Pressed. The powder is a creamy, lightweight formula that boasts long-lasting, high comfort wear. The silky-soft texture features micro-light boosters that guarantee the look of healthy radiance - there will be no filters required! You'll walk away with a soft-focused glow and sheer to medium build-able coverage as well as a natural luminous finish. 

Mac claims that the Next To Nothing Powder; refines skin texture, provides instant radiance, provides a stay-true colour, is long-wearing, controls oil and is non-drying. 

I purchased both products in the shade Light.

Have you tried MAC's Next To Nothing collection yet? 
SHARE:

Friday, 30 June 2017

4 Strategies That Will Help You Find Balance


If you managed to read my post on 'Where I've Been, Blogging & More', then you'll understand my persistence on the topics of 'Becoming A Go-Getter', 'Songs To Keep You Motivated This June' and now 'Strategies That Will Help You Find Balance'. Let me explain; blogging is something I have been thoroughly enjoying, but unfortunately at times I was finding the process a bit overwhelming. I was making mistakes, I wasn't concentrating and I felt like I was just simply writing for the sake of writing. I guess you could say I wasn't being my true self and that's why I'm putting strategies in place to get me back on track. I'm finally finding balance.

So, with that being said - here are 4 Strategies That Will Help You Find Balance this incoming month;

Step One: Cut The Crap
It's about time we started prioritizing ourselves and prioritizing self-care so we can feel balanced and able to handle the pressure that comes with juggling a social life, a hobby or perhaps even employment, alongside study. Let's cut the crap - cut the negative self-talk and the self-deprecation out and understand that you don't have to be perfect to be better. Sometimes silencing the negative voices in our heads is the first step to cutting unnecessary drama out of our lives, because lets face it... who even needs that nowadays?

Step Two: Time Out, Time Off
When life gets overwhelming, that's when you know that it's your time to take a step back; it's time out and time off simply put. Step back from the situation; whether it means taking a day off and staying at home in our pyjamas to recuperate or booking a spontaneous week long holiday in Bora Bora - lord only knows I could use one now. If we keep going the way we're going and pushing ourselves to the edge, it's only inevitable that we're going to disrupt our physical and mental health in the long run. Surround yourself with family and friends who will build you up.

Step Three: Build Your Ideal Day
Now that we're well rested, why don't you take some time to jot down the way you would prefer to handle tasks. Whether it's coming up with a morning routine, scheduling dinner with your gal pals or simply sitting down to do some blog work - build your ideal day from start to finish. If something doesn't make the cut, i.e. you're dreaming about a life without going to your current job, then perhaps you need to change your mindset and weigh up the pros and cons as to why you aren't being satisfied in your position.

Step Four: Get Going
Now that you have both your mind and body renewed, take some time to set new goals. It's so easy to lose track of our original goals, that it's an appealing process to start over again come Monday morning. It rejuvenates us when we can press reset. So get going, put your new goals in place where you can see and start on them, but ensure that you take time to break them down into manageable chunks - just like this post, create steps.

How are you finding balance this incoming month?
SHARE:

Monday, 26 June 2017

Becoming A Go-Getter


A Go-Getter; is someone who is energetic, determined to be successful and able to deal with new or challenging situations easily and there is truly no time like the present to create a better you. After-all it is Summer and they say Summer is the season of getting shit done, changing our mindsets and generally just being a bit more positive - perhaps this is because we've been getting better weather or that we've finally escaped the clutches of all commitments for the next 2 to 3 months, but whatever the case may be we are ready. We are ready to kick ass and ready to become the go-getting girls and boys we so long desire.

Becoming A Go-Getter

- Be Fearless:
We're all guilty of being our own worst enemy, but we need to stop talking ourselves out of opportunities just because we're scared of new things - be fearless. Go-getters believe in themselves! If you have confidence that you will achieve something, others will quickly follow suit and believe in you too. Learn to say 'I can' and 'I will' more often, I promise you won't regret it. Who knows, you could really go places if you just let go.

- Routine:
It's absolutely imperative that to become a go-getter, you have a routine. A routine means stability and allows you to keep on schedule. Put a routine in place that covers; exercise, social events, work commitments and me time - pre-planning this will mean you're less likely to break the cycle and thus will help you achieve your aims for that given week.

- Try Something New: 
Try something new - give that bold lipstick you've been too scared to try a test, or go wild and have your hair cut and coloured, let's just go all out! A different look will make you feel like a new person, and this will truly build your confidence when going out and getting exactly what you want. Let's nail those meetings at work this week.

- Treat Yourself:
Being a go-getter can seem like you have to be this pristine, perfect person. But a little indulgence never hurt anybody. Have a drink, get a takeaway, do something that makes you feel totally relaxed after another stressful week in the office. No one will pamper you, better than you.

Are you a go-getter? 
SHARE:

Friday, 23 June 2017

10 Songs To Keep You Motivated This June


Motivation is literally the difference between waking up before dawn to go for a run and lazing around the house all day in your pyjamas. It's the crucial element in setting and attaining goals and research has shown you can actually influence your own levels of motivation and self-control. Figure out what you want, power through those sporadic moments of wanting to throw in the towel and just start being who you want to be, what you want to be.

I'm sure if you read 'Where I've Been, Blogging & More', then you'll know that around the Easter holidays I found myself struggling to stick to a routine. I was feeling out of sorts, lazy, unmotivated and just generally tired - I needed a break and that's what I took. I went away, I had a think and I came back ready to kick ass. However... aside from just putting things into perspective; which was initially what I needed to do, I also spent an awful lot of time indulging in music. In-fact I spent numerous nights laying on-top of my bed, listening to the same playlists over and over again, as if in some daze - you'd be surprised what a song can make you think about.

So in order to keep myself and you motivated for the entirety of this month, I have compiled a list of '10 Songs To Keep You Motivated This June'. Who knows, you might just find something that inspires you to get going.

10 Songs To Keep You Motivated This June:

1. Sigala, Ella Eyre - Came Here For Love

2. Major Lazer, Travis Scott, Camila Cabello, Quavo - Know No Better

3. ALMA - Chasing Highs

4. Jax Jones, Demi Lovato, Stefflon Don - Instruction

5. Zak Abel - All I Ever Do (Is Say Goodbye)

6. Bakermat Ft. Kiesza - Don't Want You Back

7. Robin Schulz Ft. James Blunt - OK

8. Junge Junge - I Don't Love You (I'm Just Lonely)

9. DJ Khaled Ft. Rihanna, Bryson Tiller - Wild Thoughts

10. The Weeknd - Secrets

What have you been listening to this month? Do you have any suggestions?
SHARE:

Monday, 19 June 2017

Where I've Been, Blogging & More


I would be lying to myself and to you, if I didn't wholeheartedly admit that I've been trying to write this post for the entirety of a week, or-least procrastinating about it. Procrastinating to a point where I was at a complete an utter loss for words and let me tell you; this would be a first - but it does happen, it has happened and this is why I find myself taking quite sporadic breaks from blogging.

Initially when I started writing in January, it was just me and my notepad brimming with ideas. I had no real trouble staying motivated, well at-least until Easter. Don't get me wrong... nothing drastic happened in my personal life, I just became lazy and out of sorts. To be fair I've been struggling to get back into a routine since; both with blogging and with exercising... so, I decided to take a step back, think about where I wanted things to go, what motivated me to start in the first place and how I was going to get back to work - basically I did a massive overhaul and I'm finally back to my usual self.

Aside from taking a break from content creating, I also became an Auntie - yep. My sister Ashley gave birth to Jack William Kelly on the 10th of June 2017. A perfect, bouncy, baby boy at 9lbs 13ounces and we're all secretly doting on him. I mean it's pretty hard not to.

I also left my full-time job as a Food-To-Go Assistant and am set to take up a new role within the Perfume Shop this July. Frankly, I couldn't be more excited about the prospect of working for my favourite High Street store - who knows, I might just review more scents here on She In The Know.

Nevertheless as a means of getting back to work, I have compiled a short list of blog and personal related goals for June. Here goes...

BLOG GOALS -

Goal #1 - Routine 
It's imperative that I start working towards a routine and this doesn't just apply to blogging, but it also applies to exercising. A routine means stability and right now that's exactly what I need. I want to be consistent so, I'm going to return to my routine of blogging twice a week (Monday's and Friday's), alongside setting aside writing and photo-taking days.

Goal #2 - Work Towards Increasing Traffic & Social Media Reach
Whilst on my break I noticed that along with my views, my following was also decreasing and this was purely down to being inactive. I really want to focus more time and energy working towards increasing my traffic and social media reach - my blog simply wouldn't progress otherwise. I want to make more of an effort to join in Twitter Chats and Facebook Groups, I want to network network network this month.

Goal #3 - Be Active
Alongside working towards increasing my traffic and social media reach, I think being active is also important and it was time away from blogging that taught me this. I want to start being active on Twitter and Instagram more often than not, especially since these are two of my favourite platforms. Perhaps I could do some reading on ways to promote my content better and what times I should be posting at.

PERSONAL GOALS - 

Goal #1 - Create A Consistent Workout Schedule / Be Active
If you've been following along with my fitness related posts here on She In The Know, then I'm sure you'll be well aware of my significant weight loss since January. However; this hasn't come without wanting to throw the towel in on several occasions. This June I want to create a consistent workout schedule and overall just be active. I mean it's been about two weeks since I even stepped on a treadmill or lifted a weight.

Goal #2 - Drink More Water
I decided it was best I carry this goal over from last month, despite drastically cutting down on fizzy drinks this year, I'm still not drinking enough water. For the rest of the month I want to make more of a conservative effort to drink the suggested 2 litres a day - it'll be interesting to see how my body will adjust to this or if I'll even manage to stick with it. 

Goal #3 - Work On Getting A Better Nights Sleep
I want to say goodbye to late nights once and for all - for my own sanity. I want to start working towards getting a better nights sleep each night, for the remainder of this month. I want to be tucked up in bed by 11 pm, with my phone off. Perhaps this will help with my motivation situation.

Have you taken a break recently? How did you find returning to work?
SHARE:

Monday, 5 June 2017

Habits You Will Need To Let Go Of If You Want To Be Happier This Summer


When was the last time you were truly happy? When was the last time you had an uninterrupted moment of complete positivity? Small moments of happiness and pure positivity can come along in the middle of the week, when you're riding shotgun in the front seat of your boyfriends car, listening to The Kooks on the radio or simply having a G and T on the front porch. These moments are great, but often illusive - unless you're a real go-getter and can manage to turn negative thinking into positive action 24/7.

It's really important that we remember just how much we deserve to be happy, so - here are a few bad habits you need to let go of if you want to be happier this Summer.

- Not Being Your True Self:
Stay true to yourself; don't agree just for the sake of agreeing. The younger you are the harder this one can be, because somehow we seem to think that to be friends with people we have to like the same things, but this isn't always the case. Be proud of who you are as a person, you are an individual and there is nobody quite like you - literally. You shouldn't have to change you to be successful or liked by anyone.

- Caring What Other People Think:
Unfortunately not everyone is going to like you, just like not everyone will be willing to support you. If you listen and care about what every single person you met thought about you, you would never be truly happy. Cut people out of your life who haven't supported you and try not to dwell too much on it. Once you stop caring, you will start living.

- Trying To Take Control:
Not everything can be controlled. Some things may be just too far out of reach. I know that can be hard to hear, if you're anything like me you will like to stay on top of everything, but sometimes you just have to let someone else take lead, this will help ease the pressure and allow extra room for an outside perspective.

- Dependent On Others:
This is one that I've had to learn personally and I think it's a lesson you learn in your late teens/early twenties, to stop being dependent on others. You learn to be alone and to love yourself before you love others. It's really important that you can make yourself happy whether that's in your career, family life or in a new relationship, no one person can determine whether you're happy or not.

What habits will you be trying to let go of this Summer?
SHARE:

Friday, 2 June 2017

5 Tips To Help You Fight The Fear Of Failure


As an adult and teen (for the most part), I had developed a habit of feeling as though I genuinely couldn't do things. I felt paralyzed by a sense that I wasn't capable, I wasn't capable of doing what I was required to at High School or College and that I just simply couldn't achieve what I needed or wanted to if I were to pursue a career in Healthcare. It's quite ironic really, given I have recently applied for University - but back in 2012, 'I can't' was a staple part of my vocabulary and remains so at times.

I have to credit my parents here; for their persistence over the years. Every time I lost belief, lost hope, they have always been there to push me on, to show me that I can and that the world is most definitely my oyster. I put my feelings of incapability down to the fear of failure and the fear of imperfection - but there are ways to cope with it.

5 Tips To Help You Fight The Fear Of Failure:

- Rome Wasn't Built In A Day: 
Often we can look at a task or challenge ahead and feel blinded by the pure scale of it and that's a big hurdle on its own to overcome. Take GCSE's for instance; they are such a challenge, but actually in reality... when you break it down, break time into small manageable deadlines and forget looking at the bigger picture, you'll find it much easier to make that start and more often than not, starting can be the hardest part. Remember that Rome wasn't built in a day.

- Stop Comparing Yourself:
The fear of failure can often stem from comparison of others; stop worrying that you're not good enough in the context of something or someone else, stop reviewing your successes versus another's... It's negative, unhelpful and absolutely irrelevant. The sooner you learn to stop comparing yourself to others, the more energy you can then channel into yourself and your own work - it will be truly liberating, especially when you see results.

- Perspective:
Majority of the time, when I look back at my 'I can't' days, I realize that I had lost perspective. I had become so wrapped up in my own stresses and panic that I simply couldn't see what needed to be done. You should take things gradually - what's the worst that could happen if I did fail? Having perspective will help ease the pressure, the stress and the panic.

- Learn From Your Mistakes:
Failure is all part of growing up, it's a learning curve that helps you grow and evolve as a person. You should accept your failures and learn from them, but remember to move on. Too often in society we see leaders fail and then give up... this sets a bad example for young individuals. This could all be a part of your journey to success.

- Well Done/Congratulations:
Positive reinforcement works. When we do something we felt we couldn't at the start, we feel overjoyed, proud, perhaps even beside ourselves. That positive reaction reinforces the mind to think 'I can' and 'I will', so the more you overcome, the more you can reinforce that positive sentiment in your mind. You should be able to say well done to yourself without feeling bad, you should know how hard you have worked, the obstacles you have overcome and the self doubt you have proved wrong. Congratulate yourself and in bigger situations treat yourself to a reward i.e. a new handbag, because I know I certainly will.

Can you relate to this post? Do you have moments of self deprecation? 
SHARE:

Monday, 29 May 2017

The Itty Bitty 21 Day Gratitude Journal Results


Gratitude is the quality of being thankful, having a readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. It's a proven method of bringing more happiness into your day-to-day life, without you even noticing.

On Monday the 8th of May, I posted a short introduction to the Itty Bitty 21 Day Gratitude Journals, sent lovingly by IttyBitty Book Co themselves for me to use, review and giveaway over Mental Health Awareness Week - but being grateful and spending a bit more time looking after my mind and my body this year, was already on my ever-growing to-do list.

During the 21 days, I did find that these pocket-sized journals had been proving difficult to complete; however the prompts such as -3 People You Are Grateful For Today-, certainly came into good use and encouraged me to think about those both in and outside my family circle and why I was grateful for those individuals at that particular time. 


Not only did the gratitude journals change my perspective in a matter of days, I found sifting through the Itty Bitty Inspiration Books for guidance very useful also - especially when I was having an offish day.

The Results - 21 Days Of Gratefulness: 

Day 1 -
  • The Blogging Industry,
  • Warmer days in Northern Ireland &
  • Having a supportive family.
Day 2 - (3 People You Are Grateful For Today):
  • My Mum
  • My Dad & 
  • My boyfriend Matthew.
Day 3 - (Today I'm Grateful For):
  • Having options,
  • Having a stable income & 
  • Having my own independence.
Day 4 -
  • Itty Bitty Book Co,
  • The Gratitude Journal & 
  • The challenge.
Day 5 - (Nice Things That I've Done):
  • Fundraised for Northern Ireland Chest, Heart & Stroke,
  • Walked for AWARE NI & 
  • Walked for Alzheimer's Society in Belfast.
Day 6 -
  • The ability to have me-time,
  • Evening walks with Matthew's sisters & 
  • Coco cuddles (Matthew's dog).
Day 7 -
  • Almost Adulting by Arden Rose, for providing something to think about, 
  • Freshly washed bed-sheets & 
  • Good company.
Best Things About Last Week -
  • Matthew returning from University,
  • Date nights in Kampar & 
  • Evening walks.
Day 8 -
  • Love Give Ink & their beautifully packaged notebooks,
  • Night-time talks with Matthew & 
  • Having two, very understanding parents.
Day 9 - (3 People You Are Grateful For Today):
  • My sister Ashley,
  • My brother Johnathan & 
  • My soon-to-be nephew, otherwise known as 'wee man' or 'bump'.
Day 10 - (Your Happy Places):
  • The beach,
  • The Slieve League Cliffs & 
  • Home sweet home.
Day 11 -
  • Late night phone calls with Matthew 
  • Car chats with my Dad & 
  • My clients for returning time and time again.
Day 12 -
  • Good reads,
  • Gin and Tonic & 
  • BBQ's at the McNamee house.
Day 13 -
  • Anderson's Injury Clinic for finally sorting my back out,
  • Good music &
  • The ability to take time out from social media.
Day 14 - (Nice Things That I've Done):
  • Volunteered at an Animal Shelter,
  • Fundraised for Cancer Fund For Children & 
  • Given money to the less fortunate.
Best Things About Last Week -
  • Car chats with my Dad, 
  • Night-time talks with Matthew & 
  • Being in good company.
Day 15 -
  • Longer days,
  • Late nights & 
  • Movies with Mum and Dad.
Day 16 - (3 People You Are Grateful For Today):
  • My Client Donna and her chocolate treats,
  • Ella (Matthew's sister) & 
  • My driving instructor for kicking my butt.
Day 17 - (Positive News That I've Heard Recently):
  • That my application for Ulster University's Foundation Degree in Counselling was acknowledged - pending interview,
  • That my nephew will be here in a matter of weeks (June 7th) & 
  • Matthew is coming home on Tuesday 30th.
Day 18 - (3 Memories That Make You Smile):
  • Visiting/staying with Granny Johnston & our mutual love for Charlie's Spar garlic cubes,
  • How/when Matthew asked me out & 
  • Days away with Mum and Dad i.e. walking the Gortin Glens Forest Park.
Day 19 -
  • Tea talks with Mum, 
  • Living out of town & 
  • The outdoors in general.
Day 20 - (Today I'm Grateful For):
  • New reads,
  • Better weather & 
  • The ability to work from home.
Day 21 -
  • My readers/those who continue to return, 
  • For passing my driving test first time today & 
  • Chilled evenings.
Best Things About The Last 21 Days -
  • The Itty Bitty Gratitude Journal/Itty Bitty Book Co, 
  • Spending time in good company & 
  • Better/longer days.
What are you grateful for today? Is the gratitude journal something you would try?
SHARE:

Friday, 26 May 2017

Love Give Ink / The Copper Name Notebook



Love Give Ink was established at the end of 2013 by Martha Keith, when she left her job as a Business Director at a healthcare company to follow her passion for creative ways to say 'I love you'. Inspired by gifts that her and her husband had given each other over the years; including a treasure hunt when he proposed and a box of 'reasons why I love you' on their first wedding anniversary, they decided to create delightful ways to help others show they care to. 

According to the website, All Love Give Ink designs are created by Martha herself and turned into gifts and stationary by the team at Paint HQ in Chiswick, West London. They have a wide variety of products ranging from; Notebooks, Planners and Diaries, Boxes of Love as well as Invitations and Cards - among many others. They are a company I would move countries, just to work for. 


To celebrate the Bank Holiday Weekend at the beginning of May, not to mention the companies new copper foiling - which I find is outstanding in quality, they decided to hold an Instagram giveaway wherein three lucky people were given the chance to win a personalized notebook of their choice. Fortunately and quite lucky actually, I was one of these individuals and I knew exactly what I was looking for.

I chose the 'Copper Name Notebook' - delivered in a grey box with pretty white ribbon and a card handwritten by Martha herself, it felt wonderfully personal.


The personalized copper foiled notebook with a geometric design would make the perfect gift for any stationary lover. It has a hardback cover and is filled with thick white pages, it's wire-bound so it can be easily flipped open or laid flat to capture ideas and inspirations (in this case, blog post ideas). 

Soft to the touch and printed lovingly with real foil, it has a quality about it that certainly stands out from the rest, so much so I have gone on to purchase the '2017 Is Your Year Weekly Diary'. 

I can't thank Martha and her team enough for my notebook, I've been getting plenty of use out of it and I can't wait to sift through their website and see what other items I can manage to pick up over the coming weeks. 
SHARE:

Monday, 22 May 2017

Music Monday's - May


Music has always been something that I have dabbled in, quite sporadically actually over the last five years. I took music as a GCSE, sang in various school concerts and gigs, never mind YouTube videos, which have since then been removed - but unfortunately that's as far as it goes. I started College, began pursuing new things and ultimately that meant music had to take a back seat as a result; nonetheless this doesn't mean I don't sing at the top of my lungs in the shower, or when I'm running on the treadmill, despite how out-of-tune it must sound.

Since setting up She In The Know in January, I have found a real interest, a real passion in writing advice-like posts, however these can become quite samey same if you're seeing them all the time - hence why I have decided to chop and change to create a series called -Music Monday's-, which will cover all the artists and songs I have been listening to throughout the month, some may even have a bit of a theme.

Music Monday's - May: 

1. Camila Cabello - Crying In The Club

2. Iggy Azalea Ft. Anitta - Switch

3. Galantis - Hunter

4. Katy Perry Ft. Nicki Minaj - Swish Swish

5. Dua Lipa Ft. Miguel - Lost In Your Light

6. Halsey - Now Or Never

7. Bebe Rexha Ft. Lil Wayne - The Way I Are

8. Sub Focus Ft. Alma - Don't You Feel It

9.  Chace Ft. Yade Lauren - Something About You

10. Lewis Capaldi - Bruises (Delta Jack Remix)

I'd love to know what you've been listening to this month; do you have any favourites? What do you think of my new series - Music Monday's?
SHARE:

Friday, 19 May 2017

Stress And How You Should Deal With It


In today's day and age it appears that our lives are pretty jam packed with things to do, to think about or if you're unfortunate enough; to stress about... but I'm sure you, very much like me, find yourself constantly running from a to b, juggling too many tasks at once and generally just living on high energy to keep up with you ever demanding life - this is why we can often forget to take some time out, to stop, to get some perspective.

It comes as no surprise that stress is a fact of life, we all experience it - particularly when we want to succeed; it's inevitable that challenges will arise along the way, but don't let this be something you think of negatively. Stress can actually be a really good thing. It pushes people, helps them react and is a sign of physical and mental hard work, so essentially all you need to learn is how to make stress your best friend, not your enemy. Here's how:

1. ACCEPT IT - 
More often than not we like to think we are in control and that we are on top of it all; but this isn't always necessarily the case. You need to learn to accept it for what it is - this doesn't mean you're giving up, but it does mean you'll find a way to deal with your current situation. We're only human, we experience and deal with things in different ways (preferably not by hyperventilating into a plastic bag).

2. TAKE YOUR TIME -
Stress is great at helping you reach certain achievements, but; being overly stressed occurs when there is just too much pressure. You'll need to come to terms with the fact that slow and steady wins the race and it's going to get you places. Take your time and don't try to overdo it by tackling too many jobs at once. If you're feeling stressed open up about it, whether it's by writing it down or simply talking to a close friend or family member - create a plan of action, but take it slow.

3. TALK / ASK FOR HELP - 
Don't let your stresses or worries get out of hand, talk - ask for help. Knowing when the stress you are currently experiencing is something you can handle, or can't handle is absolutely essential. If you recognize that things are starting to pile up, it's time to speak up. Talk to friends, family members or a partner about it, jot your thoughts and feelings down, I promise it will help.

4. LEARN FROM YOUR EXPERIENCES - 
Periods of stress can be a great lesson, or a kick up the ass. Take every challenge as it comes and use these as opportunities to grow, to learn from your experiences. Being stressed isn't the be all and end all, you're going to come out of this much more head-strong, you'll appreciate down time and you'll appreciate your friends and family for lending a helping hand. A good way to eliminate stress is to exercise - I'm sure you'll have heard all about endorphin's, so I won't bore you with the details.

5. FIND THE POSITIVES - 
Sometimes when we're stressed we can adopt a negative mindset and attitude. We focus far too much on the little details, as though they are mountainous. Gaining perspective will help you overcome this and in turn can make stress a much more positive thing - who would have thought? Be grateful that you are busy, making achievements and progressing in life.

It always seems impossible, until it's done - remember that tomorrow is a new day and although your stresses may seem endless, you will get there, I believe in you.

How do you cope with stress? 
SHARE:

Friday, 12 May 2017

Almost Adulting By Arden Rose


For fans of Alexa Chung and Grace Helbig comes a fresh-faced, hilarious guide on growing up in your own way from social media influencer and lifestyle vlogger Arden Rose.

In Almost Adulting - a book fit for budding adults, failing adults and eaters of microwave mug brownies, Arden welcomes us to the future, where there are more things to know than ever before. Topics include:

  • Making internet friends who are cool and not murderers 
  • Flirting with someone in a way to make them think you are cool and not a murderer
  • Being in an actual relationship where you talk about your feelings in a healthy manner??? To the other person???????
  • Eating enough protein 
  • Assembling a somewhat acceptable adult sense of style when you have zero dollars
  • Going on adventures without starting to smell and 
  • How sex is supposed to feel, but, like, actually though 
On top of;

  • Dealing with Trichotillomania and other Mental Health problems
  • Her two-year relationship with Will Darbyshire; including their first encounter, their budding romance and all the things in between as well as 
  • The pros and cons of online friendships/online dating
By the end of this read - which consists of essays, lists and illustrations - you'll have learnt not only how to dress yourself, how to travel alone, how to talk to strangers online and how to date strangers (in PERSON!), but how to pass as a real life, functioning, appropriately socialized adult/human being.

Above all I thoroughly enjoyed Arden's take on Almost Adulting as a whole and found her honesty and candid thoughts somewhat refreshing. I appreciated how she was able to put a real focus on it being more of a memoir, than your typical generic advice book and feel that Arden and I connected on many levels; particularly when it comes to long-distance relationships, struggling to connect with people in person and her condition; Trichotillomania - a condition wherein a person feels compelled to pull their hair out, as I have a tendency to pull my own eyebrow hair out when I'm feeling anxious or stressed. 
SHARE:

Monday, 8 May 2017

The Itty Bitty 21 Day Gratitude Journal And Giveaway


The Itty Bitty Book Co, was established in 2013 by husband and wife - Astra and Al, who run their entire business from home; in Belfast, Northern Ireland. According to the website, everything you see is 100% made in Ireland, has been recycled, is eco-friendly or is ethically sourced.

If you you've been following my Facebook page closely, you'll know that I became an Ambassador for the Itty Bitty Book Company at the beginning of February and thus have been very fortunate enough to have since then, been sent their 'Itty Bitty 21 Day Gratitude Journals' - two in fact; one for my own personal use and one for a reader.

Gratitude is the quality of being thankful, having a readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. It's a proven method of bringing more happiness into your day-to-day life, without you even noticing.

The pocket-sized journals challenge you to write three new things each day, for 21 days that you're grateful for. In doing so; it will train your brain to scan the world for more positive things, helping you stay healthier and happier in the long run. Would you believe I've just completed day 6 and I'm already reaping the benefits.

Each page within the book has been intricately designed, some come with short prompts to inspire your writing efforts such as; '3 people you're grateful for' or 'nice things I've done today'. Other pages have been sporadically designed with quotes to help you maintain focus on the task at hand.

At present the journals are available in three colours; Yellow, Light Gray and Blue Gray - they also make a pretty thoughtful gift for someone in need of a positivity boost.
The Gratitude Giveaway:
As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, Itty Bitty Book Co and I have partnered up to comprise the Gratitude Giveaway - this will ensure you're about to take your first steps into a more positive and happier you. The giveaway includes;

- One Itty Bitty 21 Day Gratitude Journal in Light Gray,
- One Gift Set of 3 Itty Bitty Books including; Positivity, Motivation and Strength.

To enter the competition, head over to my Twitter and start retweeting!

I hope this post empowered you to think a bit more about what you're feeling grateful for today.

*DISCLAIMER* - The Itty Bitty Journals were sent to me on a gifting basis by Itty Bitty Book Co.
SHARE:

Friday, 5 May 2017

May Goals


If you're a regular reader here on She In The Know, then I'm pretty adamant you'll have gathered just how busy April was for me as a whole. I started working part time as a Coffee Shop Assistant on the 19th and Matthew came home for the Easter holidays - not to mention I'd somehow managed to leave myself feeling overwhelmed, sluggish and generally in a bit of a creative funk with my blog and its content. This meant that I took an Unexplained Break from writing for the entirety of a week.

However; with that being said - May is very much a new month and I'm really looking forward to getting back into a regular blogging schedule. I'm also looking forward to expanding my blog in order to cover a myriad of subjects and passions of mine.

Thus, I have compiled a list of 'May Goals' - both of which are blog related and personal.

BLOG GOALS - 

Goal #1 - Consistency 
Since officially launching my blog in January, 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. I'm hoping to put my Dot Creates Ultimate Blog Planner to good use this year, by jotting 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 alongside working part time - even if that means setting aside 20 minutes each morning to focus on content or updating my social accounts.

Goal #2 - Increase Traffic And Social Media Reach 
As a relatively new blogger/creative, it is essential that I work towards increasing my traffic and social media reach - my blog simply wouldn't progress otherwise. Thus I intend on making more of an effort this month to join Twitter chats and Facebook groups, so I can network with other writers/bloggers/readers. In particular; I would love to hit 300 Bloglovin follows this May.

Goal #3 - Take Stock Photos / Work On My Flat Lay Photography 
Flat lay photography is new territory to me; but it's something that I've always wanted to dabble in and I have to say I've been really enjoying the process so far. Thus I want to spend the month of May stock taking photographs and practicing/playing around more with my current Nikon D7200 and up my use of natural light/artificial lighting.

PERSONAL GOALS -

Goal #1 - Create A Consistent Workout Routine / Stay Active
If you've been following along with my fitness related posts here on She In The Know, then I'm sure you'll be well aware of my significant weight loss since January. However; this hasn't come without wanting to throw in the towel once and for all - this month I'm going to focus on staying active and setting up a consistent workout routine. 

Goal #2 - Create A Weekly Budget / Save
This year I've been gradually tightening the belt when it comes to spending and it's safe to say I have completely ditched impulse purchases. Since January I have managed to accumulate a substantial amount in savings and hope to continue working on a weekly budget, in order to lodge savings from week-to-week.

Goal #3 - Drink More Water
It's safe to say I've managed to cut drinking fizzy drinks well and truly out of my life. I no longer have to deal with heart burn after a can of Coca Cola and instead have been able to focus on just drinking more water. However; this May I really want to make more of an effort to drink the suggested 2 litres a day - it'll be interesting to see how my body adjusts to this.

What goals have you set aside this month?
SHARE:

Friday, 28 April 2017

How I'm Getting My Blogging Mojo Back


If you're a regular reader on She In The Know, then I'm sure you'll have seen my post on 'An Unexplained Break' where I talk about how blogging has become a huge part of my day-to-day life this year; whether it's brainstorming content, just writing or simply taking photographs, I'm always in work mode. But unfortunately over Easter it all got a bit much, a bit overwhelming and I decided that taking a step back and pressing pause would possibly be as good a job as any.

Easter felt like the best time for this - Matthew was set to return to University, I started working part time as a Coffee Shop Assistant and overall I was feeling a bit sluggish and uninspired in my work online. Let's face it, creativity comes in ebbs and waves, it's illusive and the more we seem to go searching for it, the harder it is to grasp.

But alas, creative funk aside! I'm really starting to get my blogging mojo back. So, I wanted to share ten things that might help you shake the funk, get motivated and assist you in refocusing on your goals once again.

1. CLEAR YOUR MIND.
By now I'm sure you're physically at the point where your head is about to burst. When we feel like everything is getting on top of us, that's when the real slump hits and we don't want to do anything other than stay in our pyjamas and watch television for the rest of the day - and even that's a push. Take a moment to clear your mind, jot down everything you're experiencing, feeling, thinking and try to stop worrying so much about things that are well and truly out of your control - often easier said than done, I know. I find going for a walk or a cycle when I'm feeling sluggish and a bit out of sorts, even if it does seem like an unnecessary chore at first, the best thing for me. I promise when you take time to unwind, you and your brain will quickly come around.

2. WRITE IT DOWN.
Write down some things that you're feeling grateful for this week. Believe it or not, this was something I started doing over the weekend, when my Dot Creates Life Planner arrived - you'd be pleasantly surprised what jotting down three things you're grateful for at the end of the week makes you realize, I mean are things really that bad at all? It's all about how you react to situations you find yourself in that make the difference. We can't be happy, bubbly, motivated people all year round, but we can chose to be grateful for what we have, whether it's an apology from a friend, some time out or even some quality time with a family pet - the best kind of medicine is always right in-front of you.

3. REMEMBER TO DISCONNECT.
It's important that we remember to disconnect from social media sometimes, just to make sure that we're really looking after ourselves. Are we getting enough exercise? Are we eating the right amount of foods? When was the last time we had a tall glass of water? If you aren't feeling 100%, your brain isn't going to either. Taking some me-time will in effect help top up your creativity reserves - disconnect from the internet for the evening and read a book or go for a walk. You'll be pleasantly surprised how much it will help boost your mood and productivity. If you're interested, you can read all about how I'm improving my productivity here.

4. SWITCH UP YOUR ROUTINE.
If you're doing the same thing each day, it's no wonder you've ended up losing sight of your goals and become so sluggish. Switch up your routine, exercise in the morning, work away from your desk, go somewhere new like a coffee shop, do your research, read a book, take a course - work on getting inspired again.

5. BRAINSTORM.
This will be one of the easiest things you do, but personally the most effective. While on my break, I thought about everything I wanted to achieve this year, broke it down into small achievable chunks and got to work. If you're lacking in creativity for blog posts, sit down with a friend or family member and just brainstorm. Talk about topics you are passionate about, whether it be home decor, travelling or baking, think about content that will slot into each theme. For example, this year I've been trying to shift some extra weight and I've found writing about this really motivational, so why don't you give it a go yourself? Put your thoughts down on paper, clear your mind and just get to work. You'll be back to your usual self in no time.

6. SET GOALS.
I can't tell you how long I've been floating around with a head full of ideas, yet not really doing anything about them, besides the obvious - telling myself I'll start tomorrow. This is why I can't stress enough how important it is to set goals, if you're in a slump and you feel like you're not really getting anywhere, write it down, write down what you'd ideally like to achieve and work out the steps to get there. My two goals for May are to go back to the gym on my own and to hit 300 Bloglovin follows - I want to do something out of my comfort zone and joining a gym is definitely one of these.

7. BREAK IT DOWN.
As mentioned above, with setting goals it's all about breaking it down to see what needs to be done. For instance; in order for me to hit 300 Bloglovin follows, I need to create a list of everything that could make this happen - a pop up, a tweet, an Instagram or an email. Once it's broken down I'll be able to start working towards my targets for the month. But remember, this can also translate into any aspect of your personal life - whether you're applying for jobs, trying to lose weight or perhaps even contemplating setting up your own blog. 

8. CLEANSE YOUR WORK-SPACE.
You've got a few deadlines on the horizon, but your creativity has decided it's going to take a week off and you've just about had enough of it - don't worry, we've all been there, it's nothing new. Even though you might feel as though you need to push yourself to focus, stepping back and taking a break to cleanse your work-space can be one of the best things you do. I find having a clean and well organised work-space helps me get things moving. Another great way I've been getting organised recently is by jotting everything that needs to be done throughout the week, down onto my Dot Creates Life Planner or in a diary.

9. GET ORGANISED.
Majority of the time when I find myself in a bit of a slump, it's because I've fallen out of my routine and I'm not being particularly organised. I also have a tendency to let things slide and often find myself feeling overwhelmed because of it, so getting organised, such as using Excel spreadsheet with all my finances on, prepping lunch for work tomorrow morning or even pre-planning my blog content for the week makes me feel ready to take on the world. Even just tidying and rejigging things in my room and on my desk can have the same effect.

10. DO MORE OF WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY.
I can't stress this enough - if you're waking up every morning with nothing to look forward to, that slump is going to stick around for a hell of a long time. So make plans, do more of what makes you happy, book holidays, drink strawberry daiquiris at 2pm, read a book, watch all the classics, catch up with your friends and family, but most importantly - just do you.

How are you getting your mojo back this year? Are you taking some well deserved time out?
SHARE:

Monday, 24 April 2017

An Unexplained Break


It appears that in today's day and age our lives are pretty jam packed with things to do, to think about or if you're unfortunate enough, to stress about... but I'm sure you, much like me, find yourself constantly running from a to b, juggling far too many tasks at once and generally just living on high energy to keep up with your demanding life - this is why we can often forget to take some time out, to stop, to breathe, to get some perspective.

This year I decided I really wanted to focus on improving my overall health, both physically and mentally. I wanted to spend more time looking out for myself, in the gym and at home and I also wanted to spend time working on something of substance, rather than nothing at all and this is miraculously, where blogging comes in.

Blogging has become a huge part of my day-to-day life; whether it's taking photographs, jotting down post ideas, writing new content, updating my layout or even getting social. But at times, blogging much like anything else, can become overwhelming... and that's why I decided I needed to take some me time and why I decided to press pause.

Easter felt as good a time as any to do so - Matthew was set to return to University, I started working part time as a Coffee Shop Assistant and overall I was feeling a bit sluggish and a bit uninspired in my work. Let's face it, creativity can be illusive, especially as a blogger and the more we seem to go searching for it, the harder it is to really grasp.

But alas, creative funk aside - I'm really looking forward to getting back into my regular posting schedule of Monday's and Friday's. I'm looking forward to discussing a myriad of subjects and passions of mine and overall just being able to use written word for the greater good - hopefully this will explain the unexplained break I just had.

Have you taken a break recently? How do you unwind?
SHARE:

Friday, 14 April 2017

Why You Shouldn't Become Fixated With The Scales



I'm sure this isn't the first time you'll have heard someone talk about the importance of why you shouldn't become fixated with the scales and it's most definitely not going to be the last. But cliche's aside, understanding the importance of why you shouldn't become fixated with the scales and knowing how to to set targets that suit you; will be a crucial element in accomplishing great things.

'I Am Overweight' was the first time I talked about body confidence on my blog, that and my experience with weight gain and weight loss in general. Embarking on this journey hasn't been an easy ride however; it's meant adjusting to a lot of new things such as - changing my routine to prioritize exercise, to constantly remind myself that I need to drink more water and to stop eating all the biscuits. It's also meant stepping away from the bathroom scales for good.

Truth is; being fit and healthy has absolutely nothing to do with a number. It pains me when I see people actively talking about how they are weighing themselves, because personally, I haven't been having the best experience with this myself. That and the fact you can now take a photograph and use a measuring tape to keep track of your progress. Remember; a number on the scales does not in any way define you, your health or level of fitness.

Here are five reasons why you shouldn't weigh your successes:

1. SCALES SHOW WEIGHT, NOT BODY COMPOSITION - 
Muscle weighs more than fat. So, the number on the scales can stay the same or even increase as you gain muscle and lose body fat. Scales don't measure these positive metabolic changes unfortunately.

2. SCALES SHOW DAILY FLUCTUATIONS -
Your weight can vary by 2-3kg each day, depending on what you eat, hydration levels, fluid retention and bowel movements. Daily weight changes do not in any way reflect changes in muscle or fat.

3. SCALES DISTRACT YOU FROM BETTER HABITS - 
Obsessing about kilos takes your mind away from celebrating positive habits, like eating well today or achieving three workouts this week. Ensure you cheer for all your small successes and changes.

4. SCALES SHOULDN'T DICTATE YOUR MOOD - 
So, the scales didn't change today... that doesn't mean you have to feel deflated or angry about it. Don't let your bathroom scales set your mood for the week, keep moving forward.

5. SCALES SHOW A NUMBER, NOT HOW YOU LOOK -
If your clothes fit better, you look leaner in the mirror and people comment that you look like you've lost weight, then why bother weighing yourself? You've got enough proof it's working, so why do you need a scale to say anything else.

A good way to track your progress is to use a tape measure, the mirror, your clothes and before and after photographs. Check for changes once a week or less, and go from weighing yourself every day, to once a month.
SHARE:

Monday, 10 April 2017

What To Do When You're Having A Bad Day


Bad days happen. Whether you've been stuck in traffic the entire morning, somehow managed to step in dog poop or much like the rest of us, managed to wake up on the wrong side of the bed - it's all about knowing what to do and how to boost your mood, so we can begin the process of shifting that seemingly off or deflated feeling the week has since left us with.

So, how do you get out of this funk? Today I'm talking what to do when you're having a bad day, in a bid to help some of my own readers. 

1. DISCONNECT:
It’s important that we disconnect from social media sometimes, to make sure that we’re really looking after ourselves. Are we getting enough exercise? Are we eating the right amount of foods? When was the last time we had a tall glass of water? If you aren’t feeling 100%, your brain won’t either. Take some me-time, disconnect from the internet for an evening and just go for a walk, or a read a book. It will help boost your mood and perhaps even your productivity. You can read all about how I’m improving my productivity here.

2.  EXERCISE:
Whether it’s a calming yoga session, endorphin boosting cardio or perhaps even weightlifting, exercise is a great way to eliminate stress. Plus, if you work out later in the day, those mood-boosting endorphin's are likely to keep negativity at bay when you’re trying to fall asleep. Not to mention that you will be extra tired, meaning your brain won’t fight the rest it needs. A good way to start is to set somefitness goals. I find running really helps improve my mood, particularly when I’m having an off day.

3. BE REALISTIC:
Often this is easier said than done, but be realistic. How bad is the situation? Get a notepad and jot down what happened, all the potential consequences and outcomes, along with a final solution. Not only are you going to come to grips with the situation, but you’re now facing it head on. Be rational – take a few moments to compose yourself.

4.  HAVE FUN/ SPEND TIME WITH LOVED ONES:
Nothing lifts my mood more than being around people I love. Whether it’s a catch-up with a relative or a cuddle with a family pet, you should remember to laugh a little longer and louder. Before you know it, you’ll be back to your good old self. Talk to a partner, friend or family member and binge eat all the ice-cream.

5.  FIND THERAPY IN MUSIC:
When I’m feeling deflated or de-motivated about something, there is nothing better than popping on my headphones and a good playlist. You should let it be something that sets you up for the day, such as Monday Motivation. Sing your heart out if you know it’s going to make you feel better but remember; tomorrow is a new day.

How do you deal with a bad day?
SHARE:

Friday, 7 April 2017

5 Things You Should Be Doing Today, To Boost Your Blog's Popularity


Setting up and running a blog can be an extremely daunting task. but getting noticed is another. If you want to take your blog's popularity to the next level, it's going to require a little bit of strategy and a lot of dedication. This includes; creating quality content and being able to post on a somewhat regular basis, after-all you aren't going to move forward if you throw together a half-assed job, once a month.

Don't be disheartened however; world-changing statistics won't happen overnight, but they can certainly be achieved through time and effort. Thus, I'm going to share '5 Things You Should Be Doing Today, To Boost Your Blog's Popularity'.

1. DEDICATION:
Being a successful and popular blogger isn't an easy task by any means. Its hard work and a lot of hours will go into making your posts engaging and aesthetically pleasing to your desired audience. You need to make sure this is going to be a hobby you love and one you enjoy; don't just create a blog for the benefits of making money or gaining brand recognition - start a blog because you want to write, because you want to talk about your passions, your likes and dislikes. Start a blog because you want to make an impact... but do your research and talk to other creators.

2. CONNECT:
The perks of having internet access, is that you can literally connect with anyone from around the world - whether it be through a tweet or an Instagram comment. There are a range of different accounts that will enable you to connect with bloggers far and wide, such as; @GRLPOWERCHAT and @BloggingGals on Twitter. In-fact these accounts are well-known to actively re-tweet hundreds of accounts and posts a week, in order to share them with their vast audiences. Not only this but you can connect on other blogs by leaving comments; although you won't always get a response, it's well worth a try. Don't be afraid to connect or to ask questions - we don't bite.

3. SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIES:
You can now share your blog posts with the click of a button on social platforms such as; Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - but are you sharing the right content, with the right audience, at the right time. Typically I try to schedule my blog posts for 7.am; this means that I'll be able to catch the morning scrollers, before they shoot of to work and school for the rest of the day. I will also schedule tweets, making sure to use all the appropriate mentions and hashtags... this ensures that my blog posts are being seen by the correct audience, at the correct times.

4. HASHTAGS:
Do your research here. Using hashtags when you're sharing a blog post with your readers, means that the correct audience will always be reached. For instance; if your post is about fashion, a popular hashtag to use would be #FBloggers - would you believe that this hashtag has been used 2 million times on Instagram? Using hashtags will almost always guarantee a boost in traffic.

5. PHOTOGRAPHY:
I love taking photographs and have done for quite some time; cameras really intrigue me - whether it's a Nikon DSLR or a 1950 Conway, which proudly sits pride of place on my bedside table... you can guarantee I'm going to be attached to it. I find that I'm always attracted to a good photograph and if there is a blog post with it, then it's your lucky day, because I'm going to read it. Working on taking good photographs will benefit your blog in the future and will make it much more appealing. I'm not telling you to invest in an expensive camera, but perhaps try playing around with different photo editors - change the contrast, test the filters and up the exposure, then bob's your uncle! you'll have a photo ready to be used in your next blog post.

How do you boost your traffic? Do you have any advice for a new-comer?
SHARE:

Monday, 3 April 2017

March Moments


Two thousand and seventeen for me; has been a year of both personal growth and discovery thus far. To say I've been through some testing times since the beginning of January would be, somewhat of an understatement... I have gone from one job to another, struggled greatly with my mental health and even managed to go off my feet for an entire month; courtesy of a very dodgy ankle... but here I am, persevering.

March was a relatively productive month for me; I started working part-time in a florists, I hit my monthly weight loss targets and even managed to pass my Theory Test - it appears that I was on a bit of a roll from the get-go. So, I have decided to compile a list of March moments or at-least some of the best bits.

March Moments:

  • I passed my Theory Test (47/50)
  • I started working part-time in a florists - turns out I really enjoy battering the ends with a hammer and now I've even got my own pair of flora-best cutters.
  • I hit 500 Facebook likes & ran my first giveaway.
  • Matthew came home & is due to come back again this Tuesday.
  • I managed to snap up three job interviews; two of which are this week (Monday & Thursday).
  • I hit 200 Instagram follows.
  • I reconnected with an old friend, who might I mention was absolutely amazing with me.
  • I hit my fitness/weight loss targets for the month.
  • I finally decided on a course to apply for this September - which means I could eventually go to University.
  • I kicked all bad habits out the window - I haven't bit my nails all month.
  • I've been spending much more time with direct family this month & I've found myself becoming increasingly excited about being an Auntie this year.
  • And finally; I got to spend time Coco & Georgia this month (I totally underestimated how much I adore animals).

What did you achieve throughout March? Would you like to have done more?
SHARE:

Friday, 31 March 2017

The Blogger Essentials Box By Dot Creates


Dot Creates is an online stationary and gift shop based in Essex. The business was established in 2015 by Danielle Timcke; who according to the website was originally a painter and lifestyle blogger at Dot About Town. With her penchant for painting Danielle quickly merged her blog, business and art and design experience into building Dot Creates - DOT being a clever play on her own initials.

If you have been following my social accounts closely, you'll know that I have been actively boasting about Danielle's work since the beginning of the year. In-fact I used her 'Ultimate Blog Planner' in my 'Important Life Lessons I Learnt Last Year' post and soon after purchased her 'Dream Big, Dream Often Print', 'Get Shit Done A5 Notebook' and 'Gold Foil Pencil Set' for my Facebook giveaway... However, most recently I did manage to get my hands on the 'The Blogger Essentials Box' and I am more than pleased with it.


The Blogger Essentials box contains a mixture of Dot Creates best selling and/or most popular products if you prefer, all with the purpose to help you stay organised and inspired whilst at work. Gift wrapped in white tissue paper and bubble wrap, then fastened together by a pocket sized print with spotty yellow washi tape - it's the perfect gift for any blogger.


Inside the box you will find four gold foil pencils engraved with; I NEED COFFEE, UM..., PUT THAT MAGIC ON PAPER and EAT SLEEP BLOG REPEAT. My collection of pens and pencils is quite extensive, but these are by far my favourite as the unique design stands out from my usual black and yellow Staedtler sets.

Alongside the pencils Danielle also included the Ultimate Blog Planner in peach. This is an all-in-one, A5 blog planner and is the perfect way to keep both your daily life and blog content well organised. It's small enough to carry in your handbag and easy to write on. With daily space, loads of post planning pages, upcoming events, sponsored content space and note pages; it's the planner of all planners - you won't need another. 


Also included were two hand drawn, motivational sticker sheets under; 'Believe and Achieve' and 'You Got This!' - they will certainly keep you going through tough assignments and/or blog related deadlines. You can pop them in your diary, on your notebook, laptop or perhaps even on the back of your phone as reminders.

Skillfully cut into an A6 sheet, with a glossy finish, these are an adorable addition to the blogger essentials box and will allow you to remain minimalistic, yet colourful all at the same time.


Next Danielle added four hand drawn quote designs, printed on premium thick paper stating; Eat Sleep Blog Repeat, Do More Of What Makes You Happy, Life Is Better In Rose Gold and Learn To Rest, Not Quit into the box.

I'm really looking forward to hanging these in frames above my bed or if you're looking for a decorative piece for your desk, you can purchase a wooden print stand from the Dot Creates website and have it sit pride of place, beside your abnormally stained cup of coffee come Monday morning.


And finally, what better way to organize your thoughts than with this cute 'Blog Planner Notepad'. With a large space to jot your ideas down, a content to-do section and the added bonus that this notepad actually makes a fantastic photo prop - this really is a blogger essential.

Printed on A5 tear-away sheets, you can use this as a space to brainstorm when having your favourite hot chocolate in Cafe Nero, or perhaps even sitting on the train to work. I can't wait to see what Danielle conjures up next.

Have you purchased the Blogger Essentials Box yet? What are your thoughts?
SHARE:

Friday, 24 March 2017

Part 2: How To Get A Better Nights Sleep


It would be safe to assume that very few of us are morning people. It's not uncommon that we might hit the snooze button a few times (or a dozen), before finally mustering up the courage to rip back the bed sheets... but even then we'd still need a strong cup of coffee to get us out of that half-asleep state, which only reminds us that we ought to become better morning people.

Whilst I did write a post on 'Becoming A Morning Person' this year, it's safe to say a lot has changed since then. For example; I have just started working in a florists, which means I'm not required to wake up at silly o'clock anymore - thank god. It would also come as no surprise, that productivity starts with a good nights sleep. Even if you are getting the recommended 7-10 hours each night, the quality of sleep you get is really important, this is why I have compiled a list on:

'How To Get A Better Nights Sleep' -

1. CREATE A SLEEP SCHEDULE:
Erratic sleep patterns can leave you feeling out of whack, so a regular sleep schedule may just be what you need. Routine is one of the easiest ways to get a better night sleep. For instance, going to bed and waking up at the same time each day can really help your body adjust, this way you’ll start to fall asleep naturally. It also means you’ll spend less time fidgeting and worrying, but in-fact more time resting properly.

2. SWITCH OFF:
There’s no end to the research telling us that our phones are often the cause of a shitty night’s sleep. Apparently, the constant need felt to be glued to our devices causes us a great deal of worry. Plus, spending time on our phones makes us less likely to engage in other stress-reducing activities, such as exercise or reading. Swap your late night scroll with a good book, and you will find yourself with a clear, sleep-inducing mindset.

3.  EXERCISE:
Whether it’s a calming yoga session, endorphin boosting cardio or perhaps even weightlifting, exercise is a great way to eliminate stress. Plus, if you work out later in the day, those mood-boosting endorphins are likely to keep negativity at bay when you’re trying to fall asleep. Not to mention that you will be extra tired, meaning your brain won’t fight the rest it needs. A good way to start is to set some fitness goals.

4. EAT A BALANCED DIET:
It’s not just what you eat – it’s when you eat. While you know that it’s not a good idea to go to bed on an empty stomach, being stuffed is just as bad. Having dinner around the same time each night will help keep your whole body on track. Also, limit how much you drink before bedtime to avoid trips to the bathroom – it’s a real pain in the neck when you’ve just found your comfy spot and all of a sudden you’re busting for a piss. Say no to interrupted sleep!

Do you have a night time routine? What advice would you give to someone trying to get a better night sleep?
SHARE:
Blogger Template Created by pipdig