Thursday, 25 February 2016

HOW TO CREATE A PERSONAL BRAND FOR YOURSELF*


You’ve got the talent, skill and ability - where are all the customers? Whether you’re a blogger starting out or a self-employed beautician looking to find clients, success in the digital age depends on creating a personal brand and helping new faces find you across multiple platforms. Uniform supplier Harveys give me their tips on creating a personal brand for yourself.


Personal Style


This one’s most important for fashion bloggers or those who are creating a business for themselves. If you’re a self-employed beautician or spa therapist, for example, a good uniform is essential in helping people view you as professional and can also be a fantastic way of expressing a bit of your personality - choose something in your favourite colour or a style that makes you feel fabulous - if you exude confidence, it will make your clients feel instantly better.


For bloggers, it’s about feeling as comfortable as possible in what you wear and expressing as much of you as you can. If you’re starting a fashion blog, for example, what angle are you going for? Upmarket or bargain? Make sure your clothing practises what you preach and use your style as your biggest advocate. If you don’t feel comfortable in leather trousers and a crop top, don’t wear them. Your brand is all about you and your personality - sell that and the followers will flock in.


Logo, imagery and website


If you’re a blogger, this is a pretty obvious consideration but it’s also something all self-employed individuals need to consider too. You don’t have to be a designer and web developer to create something special nowadays and even the most basic of design skills can help (ask a friend if it’s really not something you’re comfortable with). You need to look out for something that stands out and showcases what you do - for example, if you’re creating a business, clean and crisp bold typefaces tend to work best. If you’re a beauty or lifestyle blogger, something softer and more floral can look lovely.


It’s important to remember that the investment you put into your brand is exactly what you’ll get back. Spend time researching different blog designs and hosting options - free is absolutely fine and fantastic when you’re starting, but to progress and make it to the big league you need something people will remember you for!


Social Media


While it might be tempting to run out there and open every social media channel you can think of, consider your time and what is actually possible to achieve. Juggling a full-time job, a blog and five or six accounts is not easy and won’t benefit anyone.


Do some research into the channels most used by people who work in your industry; for example fashion bloggers can do extremely well on visual channels like pinterest or instagram, while beauty bloggers often sell extremely well on Twitter. If you’re a beautician or makeup artist, Facebook is fantastic due to its function of targeted advertising to the people you want to speak to. Experiment and don’t be afraid of investing time and money into the areas that work best - it’s your brand afterall!


It’s all about you!


Remember it’s called a personal brand for a reason - it’s all about the person creating it. There’ll always be someone else offering what you do, but what makes your offering unique is your personality. Never try to emulate or copy someone else - it won’t make you original and you’ll only attract people for the wrong reason. Be proud of who you are and you’ll find the right audience - whether that’s customers for your products or visitors to a site!

Harveys is a workwear and uniform supplier with over 60 years’ experience. With a UK factory and only the highest quality products on offer, they’ve earned a reputation for products that aid professionals and help businesses become a brand.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

RECIPE: 4 INGREDIENT NO BAKE VEGAN CHOCOLATE SNACK BARS


Hi lovelies! So, we're switching it up today! Since moving into our own place last year, I've really enjoyed experimenting and cooking different recipes for Darren and I and lately, I've been obsessed with cooking Vegetarian or Vegan meals. While neither of us are Vegan or Veggie, I like to have at least 3 meat free days per week for several reasons, the first being that I just enjoy experimenting and getting creative without meat, the second because I genuinely tend to prefer meat free meals (I'm very fussy with any meat I do eat and am easily grossed out!!) and finally, it generally works out much cheaper to go meat free - contrary to popular belief! 

So today, I'm going to share the first of what will hopefully be many recipes on my little corner of the Internet and I'm kicking it off with one of my favourites, mostly raw*,vegan, all natural chocolate snack bars! While I do eat regular chocolate, sometimes it's nice to have a healthier alternative when you're craving something sweet. These are fab and cheaper alternative if you love Nakd bars, as you can make a bit batch of them and they'll keep in the fridge for a good week or two in my experience. So, let's get into it!

First thing's first, for these you need only 4 ingredients for your base, any other ingredients are entirely optional. Just a quick disclaimer, I'm not a measurements type of person, these were made the first time using the definitely not foolproof 'trial and error' method, so there are no actual measurements, but this should still be pretty easy to follow. So, here's what you'll need:
2 Parts Dates
1 Part Nuts & Shredded Coconut Mix (explained later)
Cacao Powder to taste (can be substituted for cocoa powder if you prefer)

To measure, I use any cup or mug and use two mugs full of pitted dates, then half a mug of chopped nuts (I used a mix of peanuts, walnuts and almonds, but any chopped nuts will work) and half a mug of shredded coconut (*I used desiccated coconut this time to save time, these are only 'mostly' raw, because desiccated coconut is not technically raw. to make this completely raw, you could use a regular coconut and grate it, or just use extra nuts), so you've got twice the amount of dates as you have nut/ coconut mix. As I've mentioned, this is trial and error, you can use more/ less of either ingredient if you wish, however too much of nuts and shredded coconut mix can be quite difficult to mix into the dates properly, so perhaps give it a go this way the first time, then experiment on your second go! 

First, you'll want to blend your dates slightly until they all form together into a big sticky ball. Before, blending, you'll want to add your cacao or cocoa powder, I used two teaspoons as I do like them quite chocolatey, but again, you can experiment with this. This is optional, but I chopped my dates up into small pieces, as this makes them much easier to blend. I used a hand blender to do this, but I'd definitely recommend using a regular blender or food processor with a lid as they will fly around your kitchen if not. I added a tiny bit of water before blending just to help them bind together a little better, literally just a tablespoon or so, this isn't totally necessary but it can make them easier to form at the end.

Once your date and cacao mix has formed into the aforementioned 'sticky ball' (the technical term), you'll want to add your coconut and nut mix. For this, I personally find the only way to do this is to get your (clean!) hands in there and smush it all together (again, technical terminology, apologies if my vocabulary is too sophisticated for you). This is very messy and very sticky, but it's a lot of fun!

Once all of your ingredients have formed together, you'll need to transfer the mix into a flat dish and again 'smush' it all down so it's flat and packed tightly together. After this, all you need to do it pop it in the fridge for a couple of hours, then remove and slice into bars. These will remain sticky and won't completely set, but they should stay formed when you cut them up. 

All that's left to do now is serve and enjoy! These work out to roughly 125cal per 30g bar, but of course this will depend entirely on your measurements. Remember though, those are 125 much healthier calories than you'd get in a bar of Dairy Milk! If you like, you can add other ingredients, such as other dried fruits, vanilla powder, cacao nibs etc to add your own twist, this is just a basic 'base' recipe so you can adapt it however you like!

Let me know what you think of this post, as it's a bit different for me and I'd love to know your thoughts and if you'd like to see more like this!

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Friday, 12 February 2016

VALENTINES PICKS: NEW LOOK


Hi lovelies! Today, I thought I'd create this little wishlist/ top picks list for Valentines Day, in case you're stuck for ideas for gifts or a Valentines outfit. This particular post is going to be items from New Look, as I think it's a nice place to get items that aren't too expensive, but still fab quality. New Look have a special Valentines section on their site right now, so it's really easy to browse perfect items for Valentines, be it for a gift to yourself, an outfit for a date, a hint to your partner or a little something for a friend or family member! I think all of the items above would be perfect within a Valentines outfit or as little gifts.

As soon as I saw this watch, I absolutely had to have it! So, I do have it and I've been loving wearing it as a fun addition to plainer outfits or even for work when I don't want to wear a more expensive watch! I think this would make a great gift for Valentines Day as the blush pink is definitely a perfect Valentines colour and at £12.99 it's super inexpensive! Speaking of Blush, the leather look skirt is just gorgeous for a Valentines outfit, I've actually got this skirt too (I'll update this post with pictures of my planned Valentines outfit, so keep an eye out!) and I think it's perfect for a more casual Valentines date, as it's a pretty, feminine colour but isn't as formal as a dress. Again, this is very affordable at £14.99. The blush pink top and grey heels would be perfect with some black skinny jeans for a meal out or slightly more casual evening date, they'd also make fab gifts if you know the person you're buying for well enough to buy them clothes!

If you're having a chilled Valentines night in, then the little PJ Playsuit would be just adorable, perfect for a night in with your partner or for a girly sleepover with friends! As for little gifts for friends, family, your partner (or yourself!), there's such a fab selection at New Look. If you're looking for an inexpensive fragrance, the New Look ones are honestly gorgeous. The Pure Blush fragrance is my favourite, its a light, fruity floral, perfect for everyday. I think the mugs, glass and candle would all make super cute little gifts for Valentines and they're all under £10 - bargain!

What do you think of my picks? Will you be treating yourself or a special someone this Valentines Day?
Shop: New Look Discount code 20 off
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Tuesday, 9 February 2016

VALENTINE'S DATE IDEA: KINKY BOOTS THE MUSICAL


Hi lovelies! If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, then you'll already know that last night, I spent the evening in London seeing Kinky Boots The Musical. I love musicals so when I was asked if I'd like to see the show, I said yes instantly, despite not actually knowing very much about it. So of course, I looked into the show to find out a little more about it and learned about the story of Price & Son, the Shoe Factory run by Charlie Price, played by Killian Donnelly, who is struggling to live up to his Father's expectations. While the future of Price & Son is looking uncertain and staffs careers are hanging in the balance, help arrives in the form of Lola, an absolutely dazzling Drag Queen played by Matt Henry, who is in need of some fabulous boots that are sturdy enough for men to perform in.

Kinky Boots Ensemble

I don't even know where to begin with this show, I have to say, I honestly had no idea what to expect, as I hadn't seen the film, so I only knew the very basic storyline from what I'd read online. I have to say, I'm honestly so glad that I sort of went in without many expectations as I think it made me enjoy the show all the more as I never knew what was coming next. I'm not going to go into fine details of what happens in the show as I'd hate to give away any spoilers but I can honestly say I'd recommend this show to anyone. I took my Mum with me, because she absolutely loves the theatre and to be totally honest, I wasn't sure my boyfriend would really like it. I was so wrong, despite being a bright, colourful, flamboyant performance throughout, the storyline is incredible and intensely gripping from start to finish and while it has a wonderful, heart warming message, it's also riddled with slightly dirty jokes and humour, which I know my boyfriend in particular would find hilarious. With this in mind, I think this show would be just perfect for a Valentines date, be it with your partner, or even just with a group of friends, as it has a genuine feel-good factor that I'm sure would appeal to just about anyone.

Matt Henry as Lola

The fact that the show is based on a true story makes it that bit more enjoyable as while it is of course dramatised for entertainment factor, you can really relate to the characters and their individual stories. In particular, I thought Matt Henry who played Lola was just phenomenal, his performance, though massively flamboyant and theatrical, is so believable and real, I personally felt real emotion for the story of young Simon from Clacton, who was disowned by his father. He plays the two sides to the character perfectly, making you literally laugh and cry until it hurts! Killian Donnelly, who plays Charlie, gave one of the most passionate performances I think I've ever seen in a West End show, despite his ups and downs, you really come to love the endearingly awkward character of Charlie and you're really rooting for him throughout the show. There are another couple of actors that I think are worth mentioning, the first being Amy Lennox, who plays Lauren, easily one of the most relatable, loveable characters in the show, while her character is a bit of comic relief, she also does a perfect job of depicting the very real emotional conflict you feel when falling in love with someone that you perhaps shouldn't. Another favourite of mine was Jamie Baughan, who played Don, a factory worker, who at first, is intimidating and somewhat nasty, believing men should be 'men', he's incredibly uncomfortable around Lola and gives a very believable performance, showing, in my opinion, how a lot of men might act in a situation like this. Watching his character develop throughout the show is just fantastic and without giving away any spoilers - you'll really come to love him in the final scenes!


The Show is currently at the Adelphi Theatre in Strand, London. The theatre itself is a good size, with plenty of seating and great leg room, particularly where we were sat in the stalls. It's large, without being so huge that those in the back would struggle to see, which I think is really nice when you want to enjoy a show! Our seats were a few rows from the front, which I'd definitely recommend, as you're not so close that you're craning your neck to see, but close enough to really see every single emotion on the perfomers faces and the tiny details in the costumes, props and backdrops. The costumes were actually one of my favourite parts of the show, being up close, I could see the impeccable attention to detail in each and every outfit, particularly on the Drag Queens costumes.

Overall, I would thoroughly recommend Kinky Boots as an idea for a Valentines Date (there's still time!) or as a Mother's Day or Birthday gift for someone who loves Musicals. The current booking period goes right up until 24th September, so there's plenty of time to get your tickets. Again, I'd recommend this for just about anyone, as it's a feel good show with a lot of humour and emotion. If you've been thinking about going to see a musical soon, or if you've been umming and ahhing about going to see Kinky Boots, then you have to go. I've seen lots of Musicals and I can genuinely say that this one has topped them all, I was hooked from start to finish and there are no 'dead moments', where you're waiting for the next bit, this show is all go from the opening jingle to the big finale and I promise you won't be disappointed.

If you're still not convinced (you should be!!), then check out the trailer below for a preview of what you'll be missing out on if you don't go!



What do you think? Is Kinky Boots something you'd like to see? Or maybe you've seen it already! If so, let me know what you thought in the comments below!

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