Monday, 13 November 2017 / Northern Ireland, UK

Headspace


Initially I was quite hesitant when it came to writing this blog post; not just because I've been procrastinating about it for the entirety of a week, but because I've been experiencing this real sluggish and out of sorts feeling - something that just normally isn't me. Whether it's down to a lack of sleep or simply overdoing it I'm not entirely sure at all, but I have to admit that I do worry about the wavering future of She In The Know and often myself at times.

It's Sunday the 12th of November; it's 8 o'clock and it's currently 2 degrees outside - because of this, I've spent the entire day cooped up in-front of the TV watching E4 on repeat, in my comfiest clothes whilst the fire blasts hot air in my direction. I have managed it, once again I have managed to avoid a full day of blog work and I feel pretty shitty for it. I really do. I feel as though when I don't produce content, or a high enough standard of content that I'm not only letting myself down, but I'm letting my readers down essentially and that's just another reason why I am my own worst enemy.

Frankly I know that I don't pat myself on the back enough for the things I've achieved, so maybe I'm just in the wrong headspace? Maybe I needed to write this post and the previous one so I could come to terms with the fact that I don't appreciate myself enough - cue 2018 goal planning.

Truth is; I've been riding this wave hoping that what I've been experiencing would fizzle out and that I'd make some form of progress before Monday morning and I think I am. Mostly because I have managed to draft this blog post and send it to Matthew for proof-reading, but could it be a sign that what I've been going through is set to come to an end? I can't wait to go back to work and back to creating to-do lists, because that's what motivates me and I enjoy routine - I enjoy having a clearer headspace.

Do you ever feel out of sorts? How do you deal with it?
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Monday, 6 November 2017 / Northern Ireland, UK

I Am My Own Worst Enemy


For the longest time I had tunnel vision; but it's come to my attention recently that in-fact, I am my own worst enemy. When I left High School I surrendered my dreams to feel a sense of comfort, because I wasn't sure who I was yet or who I wanted to be - I was a naive sixteen year old girl, who had lost all sense of direction and instead of going on to study what I had initially wanted to; ended up doing what everyone else expected me to. I spent years crafting limiting beliefs and shielding myself from happiness by refusing to put myself out there and as a result wondered why my life was so miserable.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure it's something most of us have experienced - we've all caused problems for ourselves at some point and made things more difficult than they probably should have been, because we're human and we're a little bit silly at times. But it's when I sit down now as an adult and look at the successes of my fellow students that I have come to realize just how much I've been blocking myself this entire time and how it is my attitude and my focus that has been detrimental to my own development and progress both in my career and personal life thus far.

Like most people I would assume; I do question myself. Am I doing well? Am I going anywhere? Is this where I need to be right now? I mean, I didn't go to University when I probably should have and I didn't go travelling this summer but everyone else did and that's part of the problem. I focus more on what everyone around me is achieving and doing in their spare time that I almost forget to pat myself on the back for the things I've been doing myself.

That's how I've come to realize that I am my own worst enemy. Instead of driving my own success by pushing myself, I've been questioning whether I'm good enough. I've been comparing my life to the life of others and I know I shouldn't be - I should be doing what makes me happy, what makes me feel successful.

I really need to come to terms with my own self-worth and realize that in-fact I am at the root of my own issues. I can't expect to sit back and wait for life to set the pace, if I want to be successful I need to work harder for it - whether that's in the gym or simply with my blog. I need to stop basing my life of everyone else's because this isn't a race - it's a marathon and although we're all on different roads, we only get one chance at it, so we might as well enjoy it when we're here.
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Monday, 30 October 2017 / Northern Ireland, UK

Being Fired & Why It Was The Best Thing That Happened To Me



Let's be realistic here, being fired at the time... was most definitely not the best thing that had ever happened to me. I had spent months upon months applying and re-applying for jobs, attending interview after interview with little success, but just as I felt things had started looking up - I got the sack. I had been pushed into accepting a job I knew absolutely nothing about and didn't necessarily want in the first instance, but there I was again... slaving over a hot food counter wishing the ground would open up and swallow me whole. Not only had I put my goals on the back-burner for this shit part-time job, I felt as though I had busted my ass for a business that wanted me out as soon as I had walked through their door. I bet your thinking it couldn't have been that bad, well... do you know how long that job lasted? It lasted a mere four weeks, four weeks of hell before I was out on my ear and back to being jobless and broke again.

There's this saying; 'everything happens for a reason' and it's quite funny to me actually, because I can remember a time where I would have smirked at this, rolled my eyes and possibly brushed it off. Now it is my reality.

I could sit and I could blame the loss of this particular job for a lot of things; but it did give me the self-reflection that I needed. I admittedly wasn't the best person for the job because it wasn't me, it wasn't something I wanted to do nor did I ever imagine myself doing. Being in that position highlighted my weaknesses, weaknesses I never really knew that I had and it made me question a variety of things about my life, it made me question what I wanted, but I knew if I wanted another job that I would have to get my act together and I did.

Being pushed out of a job pushed me down a path that I needed to take and it helped me overcome the fear of taking career risks, because isn't that what life is all about? Life is about risk taking and trying again. I got up, I dusted myself off and I persevered. I continued to apply for jobs that I felt were closer to my areas of interest and abilities and I even went back to College as a means of giving myself focus.

It's strange how things work out, I mean... I never imagined I would ever work in retail or at the Perfume Shop for that matter, because I had no experience. But, it was at this job that I sort-of found my feet. I became passionate about writing, photography and digital marketing and I became passionate about working with new people and selling a product. I even managed to find friends for life at the Perfume Shop, who inspire me every single day to do better and I honestly don't think I would be sitting here on a Friday night, frantically typing up a blog post if it weren't for my job and the people in it. I wouldn't be pursuing blogging, or pursuing running my own photography business if it weren't for my manager and deputy manager giving me that push to move forward.

If I have taken anything away from this; it's that I need to do more for myself, I need to take every single day as it comes, whether it's good or bad because I know I'll regret it if I don't do things for myself when I can.

Have you ever been fired? How did you deal with it?
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Monday, 23 October 2017 / Northern Ireland, UK

Urban Decay Naked Heat


If you thought Urban Decay's Naked palettes were hot before; then you need to brace yourself - because the latest addition is on a whole other level. This is Naked Heat, Urban Decay's most sweltering palette yet and you won't want to miss it.

Unlike Urban Decay's previous palettes, Heat is presented in a plastic case making it slightly more bulky but also more durable and easier to clean, because let's face it... we all know how messy things things get with time. The design I found in particular is quite retro, in-fact it left me feeling as though someone had just plucked it from the 80's and placed it directly in the palm of my hands (the thought of it gives me goosebumps), it's certainly different and it makes a change from the typical Urban Decay style - I can already see it being a cult favourite.


The textures and formulations are totally on point throughout, but I do feel as though the palette is missing a warm brown shade, primarily for lining and defining and this is my only criticism. Its wearable, it's warm and it's only £39.50 in the United Kingdom which I feel is reasonable for what you're getting.

So; why not give in to the heat of the moment with the 12 all-new, can't-live-without, amber-hued neutrals, from warm browns to burnt oranges and deep red eye-shadows. This is the most shade-driven Naked palette Urban Decay has ever released and one of which has taken the blogging world by storm. From a super-smooth red-brown matte and a glimmering copper to a deep, shifty bronze, the Naked Heat eye-shadow palette has everything you will ever need; whether you want to create a sultry daytime look or an intense eye for a night-out, there really is something for everyone here.

What are you waiting for?
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Monday, 16 October 2017 / Northern Ireland, UK

6 Life Skills I Want To Master In My Twenties


Since turning twenty-one last month, it's become apparent that the future is literally all I have been able to think about. It's quite funny how deceiving a twelve year old's mind can be; because I can recall all those conversations about how I'd have went to University by now, graduated, landed my dream job, be in a long-term relationship and possibly even started looking into purchasing my first home before the mere age of twenty-two. Truth be told, I haven't done any of these things yet and I'm not sure when I will, but something tells me that it's okay and what I'm doing right now, is honestly the best thing for me.

Goals take time and that's why I'm hoping to master these six life skills in my twenties.

1. LEARN TO COOK:
I say this lightly, because although Matthew is very much the chef in our relationship... he has the patience of a saint and has been teaching me how to cook the entire summer break. Whether it's a family meal or a Spaghetti Bolognese for lunch, I really want to get a few recipes under my belt, I want to be able to experiment more with my meals, which means saying farewell to my trusty pot noodles and cheese toasties for a while. I'd also love to give baking a whirl.

2. MAKE SMALL TALK:
Raise your hand; if you have ever found yourself aimlessly scrolling through Instagram, Twitter or Facebook during an awkward social situation. I know I am absolutely, 100% guilty - especially now as a student. This is why in my twenties I want to learn how to spark up interesting conversations, I want to learn how to make small talk - you would be surprised what being brave can do for you.

3. HOW TO SELF-CARE:
Self-care is important; anyone who tells you differently doesn't know it yet. This is why in my twenties I want to learn how best to self-care, I want to know which foods will nurture my body and which foods won't. I want to learn the importance of exercising daily and how to come to terms with my imperfections. I want to put some time aside for my mental and physical health and in general I want to know when I should be switching off.

4. LEARN HOW TO DEAL WITH CRITICISM AND REJECTION:
Our twenties are a time for exploration and development; whether it is an academic, personal or career driven choice - it's important that we understand everyone gets rejected and that its okay. Some things will be made to work out and some things just simply won't. I want to learn how to continue moving forward, I want to learn how to deal with criticism and rejection.

5. LEARN HOW TO STAND UP FOR YOURSELF & MAKE DECISIONS:
Whether it's at work, out with a friend or even in the comfort of your own home - you should never let anyone make you feel small. I want to learn how to voice my opinions in a controlled manner, on topics I know and feel passionately about. I want to learn how to make important life decisions and how best to stand up for myself.

6. ASPIRATIONS - LEARNING HOW TO HAVE A LONG VIEW:
Writing or essentially blogging - has always been a long-term dream of mine, it's this dream that has continued to push me forward; no matter how many people have told me that it's unrealistic and silly of me to rely on it. Yes, it may take months... possibly even years to get to where I would like to be, but anything is possible if you put your mind to it and that is something that has been instilled in me from childhood. I need to remind myself more that being in my twenties isn't a race and by developing a long view I'll have the ability to see beyond the immediate set-backs and see them more as small detours or humps along the way.

What life skills do you want to master in your twenties?
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Monday, 9 October 2017 / Northern Ireland, UK

Who Are You Obsessed With?


OBSESSED by Calvin Klein is a modern day re-invention of the iconic, heavy and then sexy scent known as OBSESSION - curated in the nineties. OBSESSED for Women, Eau de Parfum is for the everyday woman, who oozes the up-most confidence and isn't afraid to go after what, or whom... she wants. After-all we are all #obsessedwith someone.

Born from Mario Sorrenti's love and obsession for then eighteen year old Kate Moss, when the pair shot the iconic Calvin Klein fragrance campaign in 1993, it was an idea radical in its simplicity; instead of fabricating romance for marketing's sake, what if you document it? Klein himself tapped the rising photographer and muse - then inseperable and in love - sending the couple off to Jost Van Dyke, in the British Virgin Islands, where they camped out at a beachfront ruin for 10 days. Sorrenti describes a moment drenched in freedom and possibility - "We had nothing to lose.".

OBSESSED for Women really comes into its own when in contact with OBSESSED for Men - a perfect gift, for a perfect yet passionate couple. It is sensuality, bottled. It's a warming, seductive fragrance - one that should be worn on a date night and one that I find I have personally become obsessed with.

Opening with sharp citrus notes, the perfume unfolds; mixing desire and memory, masculinity and femininity, past and present. White lavender is at the heart of the fragrance; a traditionally masculine note used in men's aftershave, blended with creamy musk to envelop the wearer in a sensuous warmth from the base. You will instantly fall for it.

Launched in July 2017, OBSESSED has become a new must-have and I am loving its fresh, modern day take on an absolute cult favourite.

Who are you obsessed with?
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Monday, 2 October 2017 / Northern Ireland, UK

Where I've Been, Blogging & More.


I would be lying to myself and to you, if I didn't wholeheartedly admit that I'd somewhat fallen out of love with writing and being a blogger as such this summer. I felt as though my words were becoming forced, uninspired and generic, so much so that I've been trying to write this post for the entirety of a month, or at-least procrastinating about it to a certain extent.

Initially when I started blogging in January 2017, I had been planning to study a foundation degree in counselling and this is why majority of my posts were advice based and not so much about me or the things I was finding interesting, but more so about someone else's problems. It's quite funny actually, as time progressed I'd found myself gradually drifting from the idea of running my own counselling firm, to running my own photography business and working in marketing full-time. I'd even hm'd and ha'd about why on earth I didn't just study these in the first place... yet it took stepping away from blogging for me to realize this, because I knew I was struggling to keep up, to keep my head above water. I wasn't driven to write anymore, I would spend more time at work than at home working on my blog and when I was on my laptop, I'd avoid my dashboard at all costs - I'd more or less thrown in the towel and there was absolutely no looking back.

Since stepping back from blogging and content creating, I have become an Auntie, I have started working in the Perfume Shop on a part-time basis, I have returned to College to study NCFE Level 2 Photography and OCN NI Level 2 Digital Marketing and I have finally fallen back in love with photo-taking, writing and advertising. It's honestly as if someone has come along and lit a fire under my ass, because I am absolutely itching to write, to work.

So; in order to get into a routine as such... I'm going to be blogging once a week - every Monday, I have completely and utterly pulled apart my layout, I have removed everything from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and I am now looking at a literal clean slate to kick-start October.

I can't wait to get started.
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