A YEAR FREELANCING: THE UPS, DOWNS & WHAT I’VE LEARNT

A YEAR FREELANCING: THE UPS, DOWNS & WHAT I’VE LEARNT

I’VE ALWAYS DREAMT OF WORKING FOR MYSELF & PAINTING MYSELF INTO ‘THE PERFECT, WORKING FROM A COFFEE SHOP ON A RAINY DAY PICTURE.’

October this year marked a year of being a freelancing, full time blogger and creative. A year full of incredible highs, some lows and a lot of uncertainty. The other day I did a little jokey tweet all about the sometimes unpredictable income that comes with a freelance life. I love how so many people felt like they could relate when I further posted it on my insta stories, so with that, I decided to pop together a little something all about my first year as a freelancer and what I’ve learnt along the way. Whatever your job, whether your part time freelance or have a wide business, I’m really hoping these little words help you at some point!

I’ve always dreamt of working for myself and painting myself into the perfect, cliche scenario of working from my shiny laptop, surrounded by notebooks in a coffee shop on a romantically rainy day (this does happen btw ūüėČ ) However, there are also some aspects of being a freelancers that aren’t so romantic. (See my blog post all about the pro’s and con’s of being a blogger!) Here’s hoping this makes you laugh, smile, relate and feel inspired and hopefully perhaps learn form my mishaps along the way.

DON’T ALLOW ANYONE YOU DON’T TRUST TO PLAY A PART IN YOUR BUSINESS

This goes without saying really, but you’ll be surprised how easy it is to let others in that you wish you hadn’t. I won’t get into the nitty, gritty here – this one is for a wine fuelled evening with my gals over a chick flick (love a good, cliche scenario don’t I.) Your business – wether you’re a writer, a photographer, cake maker or dog walker – is your passion and livelihood and it’s a scary thought of it being out of your hands and into someone else. I’m a control freak and have grown my blog and career from a little corner in my bedroom and I’ll be damned it let anyone ruin that for me.¬†Some experiences in life have to be endured in order to learn a lesson from them. Keep your cards close to your heart and don’t feel like you have to say yes to everything. Admittedly, I’ve had some crap experiences amongst the good, but I would never have known what I should and should not tolerate had I not gone through that. Take it from me, be cautious and trust your instincts, they’re pretty much always bang on.

KNOW YOUR WORTH AND LEARN TO BE SAVVY

I‘ll admit – I can be a total walkover and tend to shy away from speaking up when something bothers me. More often than not, I’d rather avoid difficult situations by staying quiet – however enough is enough sometimes, even for the calmest of people and sometime you just need to bite the bullet and speak up. Unfortunately I’ve learnt this through experience – you do not have to accept other peoples crap and if you think you’re being taken advantage of – speak up. If your gut tells yousomathing’s off, it’s probably because it is so follow through with your questions and make sure you feel 100% about something.

Chase up payments, do your research, learn the legalities of things and always read through contracts (a second eye also helps too!) Know your worth, don’t settle for anything less, except if you feel comfortable with it and don’t bend over backwards for those who don’t deserve it. Remember warning signs from bad experience and value those who are a dream to work with! Be Pro-active and get out there and make stuff happen! I’ve been more pro active towards the end of my first year working and I’m reaping the reward and it feels uh-mazing!¬†

MY FREELANCE LIFE HAS 2 VARIABLES: BEING ABLE TO AFFORD A CHANEL HANDBAG OR NOT BEING ABLE TO AFFORD A SANDWICH

Like I mentioned, this post was brought on by one of my recent tweets – see above! One day you’re hit with a life changing project and the next someone is trying to entice you into working for free with a pack of seasoned chicken fillets. (yes, this actually happened. I’m a vegetarian) Not everyone has the same budget and I’d never expect that – the problem though, lies within the torment of one day someone totally valuing your worth and the next completely taking advantage. It’s also a little painful to assume contributing chicken fillets might somehow pay rent or amount to a mortgage deposit.

Being a freelancer, for me, has meant my flow of work can be uncertain, sometimes I have no idea if I’ll be, paid for 2 weeks or 2 months. Financially it’s taught me to grow up, check my bank regularly (and begrudgingly) to calculate my cash flow and to grow a pair and chase people up. These people are probably guaranteed a pay cheque at the end of the month so why do I have to wait months for mine? One month you could be rolling in it and the next all the late payments have caught up with you – I’ve got to admit it definitely keeps me on my toes (and I’d secretly wouldn’t have it any other way)Be nice, work hard, know when to put your foot down and reach out to others and introduce yourself!¬†

 

SHOP THE LOOK

 

I hope you found this post interesting beauts – I’d love to know your thoughts or if you’re freelance, how you have found the experience! There are for sure pro’s and con’s, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

I’ve also got so much Style & travel goodness coming to my channel, so make sure you’re¬†subscribed!¬†

As always you can tweet me @stylepetalblog, catch up on all my posts over on BLOGLOVIN or see my latest beauty and fashion buys and vlogs over on my YouTube channel!

Photography by Ben Kapur

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5 THINGS YOUR WINTER WARDROBE WILL LOVE YOU FOR

5 THINGS YOUR WINTER WARDROBE WILL LOVE YOU FOR

winter style blogger outfits fashion

COSY KNITS, BOOTS, SCARVES AND COATS MAKE ME HAPPY AND I LOOK FORWARD TO CRACKING OUT MY WINTER WARDROBE EVERY YEAR!

 

If I haven’t told you a million, trillion times before (see my post about how to boost your mood in the winter!) I LOVE winter! Everything about it, but also; the fash-unnn’. Cosy knits, boots, scarves and coats make me happy and I look forward to cracking my winter wardrobe out every year. I also love delving into Zara and Primark for the latest wintery, style offerings (spoiler – Primark are killing it once again – have a peek at my haul on my Youtube – which by the way WE HIT 1000 SUBS! NO BIGGY!) So with that, I thought I’d do a big round up of 5 things your winter wardrobe will love you for!

In celebration of my FAVE season being in full swing, I thought I’d do a little round up of my current fashion faves – from killer boots, statement jumpers and chic denim, I’ve linked the best of the best (and affordable) for you guys to indulge yourself with!

KNITWEAR WITH A TWIST

I genuinely miss knitwear in the summer months like a hole in the heart, so every time autumn/winter swings, by the prospect of buying new knitwear very much excites me! This season I’ve strayed away from the classic black and grey plain knits or high necks and gone for something with a pop of colour, a large sleeve, uneven hem or a bit of embellishment. Knitwear can totally be a feature piece and night time appropriate, so grab something a little bit more eye catching this season and make it the hard working piece of any outfit!

 

BOOTS FOR EVERY OCCASION (AND SEASON!)

Boots are probably, most definitely, going to be the hardest working shoe you own (espesh in the UK!) Summer festivals, forest walks, winter evenings and lazy days – they’re practical, chic and come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Particularly fab for colder days and layering cosy socks underneath!¬†

Classic, black and elegant, pointed toed Chelsea boots are my weapon of choice – they simply go with everything! However recently I’m partial to a pop of red or pink and embodied flower styles are everywhere! I love a chunky, small heel too to carry you from day to night !

A PLETHORA OF WINTER DRESSES

I‘m normally the type of gal that reserves dresses for a super, spesh occasion or for a beachy holiday but as of recent, I’ve been loving the idea of layering them up for winter! I think florals are fab for a winter floaty number, with a cosy coat or chunky knit chucked over the top for warmth!

I grabbed this amazing number from Next the other day and I cannot wait to layer it up for the next few months – I love the ruffles, frills and dark, floral print! Dresses are a great choice as they’re super comfy but don’t have to be reserved for summer – layer those babies up!

 

A CLASSIC COAT

 

Coats are my total fave and come winter I’m always left feeling like my outfit is missing a huge component! I love big, masculine structured coats, classic shapes but also love a good shearling or pink fluffy number! They have the absolutely to really complete any look!

My seasonal faves this year have been teddy bears, aviators and also really plain, blazer coats! Even a simple outfit of denim and a white tee is lifted with an embellished or coloured coat! I love to experiment with styles but they¬†have to feel super cosy and soft – that’s without question!

COMFY, COSY AND UTTERLY CHIC DENIM

Denim will forever and always be my go to gal. I love skirts, dresses, leather leggings and trousers but no one does laid, back chic quite like the faithful denim jean. Loose, boyfriend, ripped, figure hugging or bleached – I’ve popped my faves below. I just love how you can be comfy, casual but instantly transform ready for any evenings event with the swipe of lippy and a touch of patent heels!

I really hope that you loved this one and that you found some new wardrobe inspo and pieces you want to grab this season – I’d LOVE to know what your winter, wardrobe must-haves are!

I also have so much style and travel goodness over on my Youtube Channel so make sure you’re¬†subscribed!¬†

As always you can tweet me @stylepetalblog, catch up on all my posts over on BLOGLOVIN or see my latest beauty and fashion buys and vlogs over on my YouTube channel!

Photography by Ben Kapur

LATEST WATCH
MY ADVICE ON HOW TO START EARNING MONEY FROM BLOGGING

MY ADVICE ON HOW TO START EARNING MONEY FROM BLOGGING

THE THING IS, BLOGGING, YOUTUBE, CONTENT CREATION AND HAVING AN INFLUENCE OVER AN AUDIENCE IS A CAREER AND ONE I BLOODY LOVE AT THAT!

In October my first year of being a full time, freelance blogger passed and it got me thinking about a whole lot of stuff (more blog posts and freelance life highs and lows coming soon!) It’s still such a difficult concept to explain to people and if you’ve read my article that was in The Blogosphere magazine, all about the judgement surrounding a bloggers career¬†you’ll know that a year on, I still struggle to explain how I make a living to some, without doing it any justice and leaving people thinking my job doesn’t require me lifting a finger. The thing is, blogging, content creation, youtube and having an influence over an audience¬†is a career and one I bloody¬†love at that!¬†

I was also thinking about how difficult it is starting out: no friends in the business, no idea what to do or how to progress and it’s not exactly easy discussing monetary matters with someone you’re not close to. I’ve always been more than happy to share my knowledge with anyone that asks; the way I see it, it’s not going to affect my income and success if I share what I know with others, because only I am¬†me.¬†I’ve always been a sharer, I love to help others and give advice if I can, so here I am sharing my experience and my own advice on how to start earning money from blogging!

MAKE YOURSELF ACCESSIBLE

 

Okay so before I dive into specifics, a bit of an obvious point here but important none-the-less. In order for people to contact you, you need to make yourself easily reachable. No one wants to hunt around your blog or insta trying to find the best possible way to reach you – make it super easy for people to contact you and shoot you any enquiries! I had a little play around with my blog the other day and set up a few new sections, to make it easier for any prospective brands that want to work with me to see my previous work and read up about how I work,etc.

In my eyes, I like to think this helps people out a lot and saves them a lot of time – so if there’s anything you can do to make a PR’s life easier – do it I’m sure they’ll thank you and if you’re a pleasure to work with, that will reward you in the long run. Making yourself some snazzy business cards also helps if you’re out and about or at events and someone asks for contact details or your social media! You want people to remember you so it starts with being impressionable (on and offline ) and being contactable! Set up a dedicated email address for all your blogging platforms and whack it everywhere!

RESEARCH AND SIGN UP TO AFFILIATE

PROGRAMMES

Affiliate programmes are the sales person side of blogging – if you recommend a product through an affiliate link and someone makes a purchase, you’ll earn a bit of commission from that sale. So you’re essentially being rewarded for making sales through your influence, which personally, I really think is well earned! If people love your style or trust your opinion enough to make a purchase from something you’ve recommended, that should definitely be recognised! The earning potential is huge for this and you don’t have to have a large audience to earn – you just need to experiment to see what works best for you. I personally use them for any products within a blog post, so whenever you like an outfit I wear I will always pop a little slider (like at the bottom of this page) so you can easily shop what I’m wearing! I also like to link any new items in my wardrobe and things I’m lusting after on my Shop my wardrobe page!¬†I also always link items in my Youtube Videos in the description box with affiliates too (always make sure to disclose links).

The swipe up function on¬†Instagram is also amazing – I don’t like to overuse it though as I tend to personally not watch insta stories that are super long and sales-y – but that’s just my personal preference! I save it for new videos on my channel and items lots of you have liked and asked where to purchase (such as these boots I’m wearing here – loads of you loved them!) There are loads of affiliate programmes to sign up to – some retailers have their own programmes, like Amazon or the most popular ways to use affiliate links (and personally the easies) are the larger programmes like Awin, Shopstyle and Reward Style (or LikeToKnow.It). I personally have switched to using Reward Style as I find it’s the easiest to use with the widest selection of items to link to! Affiliates are a great way to have an insight into what your audience enjoy and what’s popular amongst them, helping you create better, more tailored content!

BRAND OUTREACH

Outreaching is a super important factor if you’re actively wanting to make an income from blogging. Yes, it’s true that some work does come¬†to you, which is always a total dream when it’s a brand you love that have a budget, but alas not everyone does and it isn’t all sitting back and waiting for it to happen. I actually now make a conscious effort to outreach to new brands I haven’t worked with before, one’s that I love and know that work with bloggers. Me and my blogging friends also are getting into the habit of passing on our fave contacts to each other, because it’s nice to help a gal out! If I know a brand would love one of my friends, why not introduce the two and do favours for each other! A quick google search will also bring up press and media emails or you can sign up to Diary Directory for a fee if you want access to basically alllll of the beauty contacts and PRS!¬†

Insta DM’s are also a total legit way to pop a brand a message to ask for their media contact/email – I’m always getting messages from brands so similarly if I can’t find a brands email I’ll simply pop them a message and ask – what’s the harm! I’ve had nothing but good responses from brands when I’ve emailed with a pitch and concept – it shows passion and organisation. Don’t expect every brand to have a budget – some will gift for posts and sometimes it takes building a good relationship for campaigns to come through. Just kindly ask for them to keep you in the loop about any campaigns they have up coming and if they suit you! Having a good relationship with PR’s and being a lovely person gets you in a good place.

 

GO FORTH AND CONQUER BLOGGING APPS

 

Within the last few years blogging apps have exploded onto the scene and mean that earning from your blog has become more accessible to everyone – which is amazing! I’ve found with personal experience that money and how to earn it is always a little hush, hush within the community – as if people aren’t willing to share their knowledge. I understand you wouldn’t want to give everything away but I don’t personally see my earnings depleting by helping someone out. Whenever anyone asks I’m more than happy to share and quickly recommend anyone starting up to some apps that I’ve used before, because it’s such a fab way to get out there, get proactive and get earning! After all, these are really where the money started for me!

Takumi was the first one I ever used, followed by Tribe.¬†Both are similar with that you simply download and search through campaigns, where you can then choose ones suited to you! With Takumi, I find that less campaigns show up and you do have to be quick to sign up to one before they go, however once you’ve completed creating the images, posting, etc – payment is guaranteed. Whereas with Tribe, you create the image first, submit it and it can either get declined or accepted, which can be disheartening when you’ve spent ages and followed the brief only to have it declined, but everything happens for a reason huh! The Blogger Programme is also a fab way to submit yourself for gifting and paid opportunities! There are tonnes more programmes similar to these which can be found through a quick search – these are just a few I’ve had experiences with!

BE BALLSY, BUT ALSO, TOTALLY LOVELY

Being lovely, hard working, considerate and friendly can go a long way when it comes to getting more work. People aren’t going to want to work with someone again if they’re late at sending drafts and images across, hostile to talk to and don’t deliver well thought out content. Work super hard and over deliver, because in the long run – it will probably get you repeat work! However, also know your worth and if you believe people have a budget – don’t be afraid to ask! Be open to negotiate, not every brand has the same budget and be flexible to ideas! I’m usually a massive walkover and am afraid to ask for things, but when it’s your business, sometimes you need to ask and put yourself out there! I introduce myself to brands, email and ask if they’d like things featured if it fits in with a project I’m working on – I’m sure they’ll appreciate the favour! Always be polite and thankful and professional, people will remember you for that! If someone says a campaign is only gifting, there’s no harm in asking if they have a budget, even if it’s small – don’t ask, don’t get and I’ve learn this the hard way!

 

SHOP THE LOOK!

 

I really hope that you loved this one and that you found it helpful! If you have any questions at all please do get in touch – I’d also love to know your tips and how you’ve found blogging and your best ways to earn!

I also have so much style and travel goodness over on my Youtube Channel so make sure you’re¬†subscribed!¬†

As always you can tweet me @stylepetalblog, catch up on all my posts over on BLOGLOVIN or see my latest beauty and fashion buys and vlogs over on my YouTube channel!

Photography by Ben Kapur

LATEST WATCH
A WEEKEND IN KRAKOW THE TRAVEL DIARIES

A WEEKEND IN KRAKOW THE TRAVEL DIARIES

“THERE’S NOTHING I LOVE MORE THAN IMMERSING MYSELF IN NEW CULTURES AND FALLING IN LOVE WITH LITTLE CORNERS OF THE WORLD”

There’s nothing I love more than exploring new places, immersing myself in another culture and falling in love with little corners of the world. Last week The Blogger Programme whisked us off for a jam packed, long, weekend in Krakow, Poland and I left with a hunger to return soon. The food, the people, the architecture, the history and the atmosphere makes for the most amazing break away and for once, although we had a super busy few days; I felt relaxed, refreshed and like I really had time to step back and enjoy the city for all it’s worth.

I was blown away by how romantic and charismatic Krakow is; if you’ve ever been to Paris I personally feel like it’s a really similar vibe, but much more slow paced and easy going. It truly did steal my heart and I felt really peaceful and happy there. I’m already planning to return ASAP – it seems like a really affordable destination and I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed it! The vlog will be over on my Youtube, but for now, here’s my little Weekend in Krakow and a travel diary of my time in this beautiful city.

WHERE WE STAYED

We stayed at the Sheraton Grand hotel in Krakow, right opposite Wawel Castle and the river which made for beautiful views outside your bedroom window! We arrived in style by¬†Wizz Air (who operate daily flights from Luton to Katowice with fares starting from ¬£22.99 ( I KNOW!)¬†and were then taken to our hotel by Krakow Excursions & Transtour (hello wifi on the bus ūüėČ ) The Hotel is just a 15 minute walk into the centre of the city so the location was perfect! The Lobby is a huge, open space with a glass roof flooding the whole room with light and has a very grand feel! Outside the bedroom doors is a balcony overlooking the whole lobby and restaurant, as well as a club lounge for afternoon refreshments which was really well needed after a day of travelling! The rooms were beautiful and the hotel make sure to really pay attention to the smallest details which is always really appreciated and makes for special memories of a trip!

On our beds were some goodies from The Blogger Programme (I always get excited like a 5 year old at Christmas when it comes to things like this!) The softest, most luxe Figleaves PJs, my fave XLASH eyelash serum (which was featured in my travel beauty essentials video!) as well as some wonderful makeup from Urban Decay and a dainty little purse from MyWalit! All of the staff could never do enough for you and little touches like fruit, chocolate and a little bottle of vodka to take home really made it such a memorable place to stay!

WHAT WE DID

Krakow and Poland is dowsed in culture and we stayed right next to Wawel Castle (a total must see in Krakow it makes for the most incredible picture backdrops!) There’s loads of excursions available and a particular favourite of mine was the Segway experience, organised by Tell me Travels, it was the most incredible way to see the city, especially at night time! The town is beautifully lit up when the sun goes down and street musicians line every corner with violins and saxophones. There really is the most incredible atmosphere in Krakow which is primarily why I fell in love with it so much! Emma also took us to the most amazing Vodka shop that all the locals frequent (for someone who isn’t keen on vodka – the chocolate cream was actually incredible!)

Evenings were spent wandering around, getting fresh pretzels and donuts and popping into all the local, little shops! There are also horse and carriages gliding past every 10 minutes which you can hop on for a quick tour and there’s so many historical buildings to see. On Saturday we headed for a tour of Auscwitz, which is something I’ve wanted to do since I missed our schools history trip. It’s hard to put into words and is quite an emotional experience but the tours were really sensitively done and I think it’s good how we’re able to pay our respects and remember those involved. It isn’t for everyone but if you do have any questions, as always you can always pop me an insta message or tweet!¬†

 

WHAT WE ATE

 

If you’ve read my post all about discovering the luxe side of Benidorm know I love experiencing the cuisine when I travel – it’s the best way to get to know where you are and throw yourself in!¬†For our last dinner we went right into the centre of the old town at Boccanera – a beautiful italian with the most amazing decor and music! The thing I love about the City so much is that there’s an amazing buzz that fills the streets and every corner you turn down is adorned with the coolest bars, restaurants and cafes. I definitely want to head back for a long weekend to really work my way around all the spots!

I didn’t totally know what to expect from Polish cuisine – it’s not something you find much of in British cuisine apart from if you pop into a nearby Polish shop so I was quite wary at first with how well they would cater for veggies (some countries can be better than others, understandably depending on culture, etc!) I was blown away by how incredible the food was and how many options there were! Fresh, wholesome, healthy and delicious! (We also tried the most incredible cheese that I’m determined to find in the UK!) The breakfast at the Sheraton had everything you could possibly want from cheeses, carrot juice, coconut lattes and even to olives, waffles or probiotic drinks! We also celebrated our first night with a spread of the best Polish cuisine at the Sheraton, finished off with a little Aperol Spritz!

 

WHAT I WORE

 

The temperatures were beautiful at this time of year in Poland – crisp, refreshing, cold (but not too much!) and just chilly enough to get you excited for the full swing of winter! Fluffy coats, scarves, boots and knitwear were my best friends and perfect for the climates. It can get super cold in Poland (-30 I’m told!) so make sure you check the temperatures around the time you’re looking to go!¬†Primark were absolutely incredible and really kindly sponsored the trip so off we all went to our locals stores to amass piles of cosy goodness ready for our take off!

I actually filmed a ‘come shopping with me’ and a big, old Primark haul for my channel so make sure you’re subscribed to catch them! I was so impressed with the things I managed to pick up (this aviator jacket is so well made!) and love the pop of pink with my knitted hat and scarf! I also cannot recommend enough grabbing yourselves a teddy bear coat – SO COSY (the next best thing after PJS!) The architecture in Krakow really makes for some incredible outfit shots so it’s always worth a quick google at where your staying if you’re thinking of snapping some pictures for the ‘gram!

 

SHOP MY KRAKOW WARDROBE!

 

I hope you loved my little travel diary of my time in the beautiful Krakow – I honestly cannot recommend this city enough for a cultural, relaxed and affordable escape! You can catch the vlog over on my channel loves so make sure you’re¬†subscribed!¬†

As always you can tweet me @stylepetalblog, catch up on all my posts over on BLOGLOVIN or see my latest beauty and fashion buys and vlogs over on my YouTube channel!

Big thanks to my babes Emma & Jamie for helping take some killer snaps! 

MASSIVE thank you again to The Blogger Programme for whisking us away on this¬†beautiful trip, to Wizz air and The Sheraton Grand krakow for looking after us so well and Tell Me Travels for the best activities! Also a big thanks to all of the brands¬†involved also for making it extra special Primark, My Walit, XLASH, Figleaves, Urban Decay, Maria Nila! This post was not sponsored but made in collaboration with the lovely trip and it’s sponsors.

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FESTIVE EXCITMENT ASIDE, I’M STILL REALLY PRONE TO THE ODD SPELL OF WINTER BLUES

As much as I used to force myself to be as highly anticipated as my peer for summer, the truth is, I’ve come to accept the fact that I just enjoy winter so much more! As soon as September hits I’m overwhelmed with a sense of excitement for the months ahead – Halloween (I filmed my first ever tutorial for my channel this year too!) Bonfire night, Christmas and New Year. All things wintery and cliche make me super happy. This was massively heightened by our gloriously autumnal Trip to Soho Farmhouse with Get More Vitamins!

Festive excitement aside, I still am¬†really prone to the odd bout of winter blues, low motivation, mood and productivity as the darker nights and colder temps draw in. I learnt so much whilst away all about the importance that minerals and vitamins play a part in boosting our immune system and improving our general wellbeing and mood! With this new found knowledge under my belt I decided to compile a little list of things that perk me up when a bout of SAD hits – here’s hoping this gives you guys a little help too!¬†

PINTEREST REMINDS ME OF ALL OF THE REASONS I LOVE WINTER 

For me, I love the cosiness and little rituals that come with winter. I love putting on my fave, fluffy slippers and PJs, reserved for the colder climates, which I look forward to getting out every year. I love lighting candles, having hot baths, baking and feeling festive. I also love winter fashion, layering my fave chunky knits, a cute bobble hat and shiny new boots. Spending time with loved ones, going out for a warm, hot chocolate and making your little space happy and warm and welcoming. At times where I feel I lack this feeling I resort to my beloved Pinterest to reignite my love for all things wintery and cosy. I have folders for events, such a Christmas, Halloween and dinner parties, as well as wintery fashion inspiration, my fave shoes and pictures of the world and cosy home interiors that make me want to go out and get motivated to enjoy winter. Create yourself a calming, cosy space and take time to enjoy it; it will soothe and relax your mind. (Fast track tip: Grab yourself a cliche wintery scented candle = instant happiness.)

GET OUTSIDE AND GET YOUR HEART PUMPING!

A pretty cliche and standard peace of advice but, to be honest, exercise pretty much does solve a lot of problems. I’m not talking gruelling 2 hours gym sessions 6 times a week – it could be a half an hour walk, morning yoga sesh from a Youtube routine, a bike ride or dancing around the kitchen for 20 minutes. When I’m feeling low and unmotivated, the first thing I will do is force myself to move (easier said than done sometimes, of course ūüėČ ) A run first thing in the morning makes me feel so much better within myself and for the day ahead, so if I can manage this – my whole day is generally a lot more improved and I feel a great little sense of accomplishment.

I had a pretty jam packed week during our escape to Soho farmhouse, yet, after getting to bed at about 1am after a late dinner I still set my alarm for 5.30am for a morning swim followed by a yoga session at 8am. I felt so awake and rejuvenated (I NEED to remember to do yoga more!) In particular I find these activities are fab as they aren’t too strenuous and they really relax you and are so great for your body and flexibility! We also hopped on these amazing bikes which pop up everywhere for guests at the Farm – cycling is also such a lovely way to clear your mind and get your heart pumping and endorphins flowing!¬†

NOURISH YOURSELF

The one thing I really took away from this trip was that, as much as I like to think that the majority of the time I have a healthy, wholesome, vegetarian diet – in actuality, it’s probably missing a lot of things! We had the most amazing nutritionist talk, followed by a beautiful breakfast and freshly pressed juices. (make sure you have a peek at my channel to catch the Vlog – this trip was filled with laughs and wonderful people!) I learnt all about the vitamins we¬†really need in winter to help boost our immunity and general wellbeing!

I came away with a growing list of supplements I want to buy (I’m probably waaay to low on Vitamin D which is most likely, resulting in why I feel down frequently in winter) I’ve also learnt which foods are nutrient rich and what to stock up on to boost my levels! It’s made me consciously think more about not just eating healthy, but eating for what my body¬†needs. Certain vitamins are¬†essential for normal bodily and mental functions, which is why I want to start eating the right kind of foods for what my body is screaming out for! Having a Get more Vitamins is also an amazing way to pack some goodness into your body (whilst tasting super yum!) They’re also launching a Vitamin Gum which has changed my life haha!

 

SHOP MY A/W WARDROBE!

I really hope you loved this one guys and that you got a few ideas! I’d absolutely love to know how you beat the winter blues!

I’ve also got so much style & travel goodness coming to my channel, so make sure you’re¬†subscribed!¬†

As always you can tweet me @stylepetalblog, catch up on all my posts over on BLOGLOVIN or see my latest beauty and fashion buys and vlogs over on my YouTube channel!

Massive thanks to my babe Emma for helping to capture some fab shots ūüėÄ

This post was in collaboration with the wonderful people from Get More Vitamins!

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THE PROS AND CONS OF BEING A BLOGGER

THE PROS AND CONS OF BEING A BLOGGER

“IT’S BEEN THE MOST INTERESTING, EXCITING AND ALSO PROBABLY ONE OF THE MOST STRESSFUL YEARS OF MY LIFE BEING A FULL TIME BLOGGER.”

Ahh the life of a blogger – something which has been firmly at the forefront of my mind recently, what with my first year of being a full time blogger surpassing recently. It’s been the most interesting, exciting and also probably the most stressful year of my life too. If you follow me over on my Youtube Channel or Insta,¬†you’ll have seen that I’ve been working with my favourite people at Ice Watch for a while now and when they told me about their ideas for their halloween campaign I jumped right on board!

As part of their #NaughtybutnICE campaign (see what they did there ūüėČ ) they challenged me to style two looks based on these two watches – The white, ‘nice’ watch and the more vampy, dark, black and rose gold watch and talk about something contrasting.i Wth my career on my mind, I decided to talk about the two sides of blogging – the pros, the cons and my recent musings of Instagram VS real life and how different our expectations can really be of someone we learn to know through those little curated squares on our phones.

I’VE HAD OPPORTUNITIES & EXPERIENCES I HAD NEVER EVEN DREAMED OF

Truly, I never¬†would¬†have expected some of the¬†opportunities that have been thrown my way somehow over the course of my blogging career. Never at the start of this year, had I thought I would¬†have been on 5 trips, 3 of which were¬†abroad – something I am ever lastingly¬†grateful for! I’ve been whisked on luxury retreats, stayed in beautiful hotels, flown to new countries and experienced amazing cultures and food! I also had the pleasure of working with¬†Bicester Village and getting my first Gucci and brands press days are continually getting better and better, lavishing us with champagne, fine dining and overwhelming gifts. Never did I think I’d be sat at the Lanesborough having dinner with the guys behind Manolo Blahnik and Farfetch or having¬†breakfast with Lee Stafford. There are some huge¬†pinch me moments ( and this is just the start!) but it’s not without it’s cons too (I know, it’s hard to¬†believe after all of that but there really are two sides to this world)

THE PROS, PERKS & PROSECCO

I‘ve met some of my most cherished adult friends through blogging and I now know so many inspiring, motivated and creative people thanks to this blog! Whether friendships have blossomed through Twitter, Instagram or sparking conversation at events, it’s such a wonderful and supportive environment to have and even if we’re 1000 miles away I still have girls I can count on for advice, support or just to have a little moan with! I do also, get the privilege of working from where ever I choose and whenever I choose – my bed for Sunday morning editing, a coffee shop to really spark my motivation or from my cosy desk at home. This is something I definitely try and not take for granted, being someone who used to work 3 jobs at once and barely had a moment to go to the loo I understand how lucky this working lifestyle has become.

It’s a very lavish industry and almost alike celebrity culture – people want to leave a good, lasting impression of their company on you and therefore events can be extremely luxurious (and I can totally feel out of place!) Prosecco and canap√©s are pretty much the diet when it comes to meetings and events and having a car pick me up will never be something I become accustomed to. I also get to work with brands I’ve adore for years (ICE being an example, love the GLAM watch that inspired this pretty look!) The earning potential is also incredible and one days work could have almost equated to my old monthly salary. The most rewarding thing above anything materialistic, is the ¬†feeling of connecting with people, helping others and inspiring them – whether that’s to buy a new pair of shoes they thought people would laugh at or making a lifestyle change. This is sometimes short-lived, as some freelancers would agree, which brings me onto the¬†very different side of blogging.

SHOP THE LOOK

“I FEEL LIKE I’VE MASTERED THE SKILL OF MAKING

EVERYTHING APPEAR WONDERFUL WHEN IN FACT

I’VE BEEN UNHAPPY AND STRESSED FOR WEEKS”

For me, every job isn’t without it’s cons and it’s really difficult for me to express these to people outside of the industry or to those who haven’t experienced them for themselves. I have this wonderful job and my life appears seemingly wonderful on my instagram feed (I definitely compensate for this on my insta stories haha – gal’s gotta bring some unfiltered realness to the game!) I love to discuss my struggles, worries and moan about funny little things to you guys – it’s actually what gets the best response as I guess we can all feel connected and like we relate and aren’t alone in our troubles! I thought this vampy (slightly in fitting with Halloween, minus some cat ears ūüėČ ) ¬†look perfectly compliments the Black GLAM watch¬†and leads me on to the not so sparkly side of things! I love my job but I do struggle sometimes, so I think it’s only honest of me to discuss the pitfalls. A few things that get me down about blogging (twitter witch hunts aside!) is the universal killer that is comparison. One moment you’re really proud of your work and the next moment you question the whole point of what you’re doing and where you’ll be in 5 years time. It’s also pretty hard to get over the fact most people assume your job is pointless, vain and a total breeze sometimes.

¬†Some days I get less work done than others and totally beat myself up for ‘achieving nothing’. Events, whilst super amazing can also be painfully lonely, isolating and leave me feeling left out, disregarding or just stupid. I’m a really lively, and probably at times, way too chatty person. Sometimes this goes down like a lead brick and leaves me feeling ashamed of who I am and constantly talking myself out of being so chatty. I forget peoples names and then feel like an awful human for it and financially, it can be a stark contrast of bloody wonderful and then not being able to afford any bills or grab a coffee. This has left me very unhappy and left with a feeling of not knowing what to do anymore, because when I’m waiting 2/3 months to get paid and there’s nothing I can do about that, I feel pretty useless, emabarrased and like a bit of a failure (oh, hey there pity party ūüėČ )

I FEEL LIKE I’VE MASTERED THE ART OF PRETENDING LIFE IS WONDERFUL WHEN REALLY, I’VE BEEN STRESSED AND UNHAPPY FOR WEEKS

Creating the illusion that life is wonderful and rainbows when I’m probably, quite unhappy inside is something I’ve unknowingly done my whole life. I don’t like to ask for help, I don’t like to cry, I don’t like to admit I’m struggling but over the last few months I’ve realised it’s okay not to be okay all of the time and it’s not a sign of weakness. The last year has really tested me but if anything it’s giving me valuable life skills and building me as a person, something which is super important growing up. Sometimes you have to go through stressful times to come out the other end better (silver linings and all that!) It’s been highs and lows I’d say, which can really confuse you as a person and leave you feeling a little numb. When things are great, I’m ecstatic and when they’re bad I’m unsure of how to pull through or what my next move should be, especially if situations are out of your hands. Being a blogger truly is the most wonderful thing but not without its pitfalls, like any other job – and I think it’s important to discuss these in order to re-evaluate how we approach things. Life and our careers aren’t always plain sailing, but if you have the passion and drive you can pull though! Appreciating the not so easy parts makes us stronger, more resilient and truly appreciate the wonderful things!

SHOP THE LOOK

I LOVED putting this post together and had so much fun styling up look around the gorgeous watches! I’d love to know what your fave outfit was, make sure you let me know in the comments below! I also hope you loved reading all about my time as a blogger and what I’ve found to be the most contrasting sides – I’d love to know your thoughts and experiences as always! I love this crazy thing I call a job but didn’t want to paint it rainbows 100% of the time, so I hope you appreciate the honesty.

I’ve also got so much style & travel goodness coming to my channel, so make sure you’re¬†subscribed!¬†

As always you can tweet me @stylepetalblog, catch up on all my posts over on BLOGLOVIN or see my latest beauty and fashion buys and vlogs over on my YouTube channel!

Photography by Ben Kapur

This post was a sponsored collaboration with the lovelies from Ice Watch!

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