Blogging: Five Things I've Learnt

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

The art of multi-tasking
As a blogger, multi-tasking becomes second nature as I'm usually doing five things at once. Whether its replying to emails whilst typing up a post or taking some photos whilst checking social media and thinking of new content, its pretty much go go go ALL THE TIME. I'm definitely not complaining about it as I enjoy how busy it keeps me but multi-tasking is something I've had to learn how to do and how to do it well. Running a blog, working full time and having a social life can be slightly crazy to say the least!

Hard work pays off
I can say proudly that since starting my blog, I've worked super hard on it! There hasn't been more than a few days go by that I haven't posted and I've always tried to give it my all - whether that's taking the best photos I can, writing in-depth reviews or doing my absolute best to reply to all the tweets/emails I receive, I always try my hardest and often sacrifice a lot of my free time to do so. However, although I sometimes have no free time, its taught me that hard work definitely pays off. I've managed to grow my blog from 0 to almost 15,000 followers and I'm really proud of that because I know its hard work that got me here.

You can't please everybody
This is probably the biggest thing I've learnt from blogging - realising that not everybody will like me and being okay with that. I've learnt not to let silly comments about me get me down and instead let them go over my head. When I first started blogging I was in a really low place with self-confidence issues but blogging has definitely given me a thicker skin and taught me not to take negativity that isn't constructive (you know, the silly 'you're ugly' types on Instagram) with a pinch of salt. I've learnt that if I'm going to put myself out there to be judged by people on the internet, negativity will never be too far away. Its just part and parcel of the internet unfortunately and although it shouldn't be, I like to call these kinds of people 'keyboard warriors' as they're likely the type that would never say their hateful comments to someones face. There will always be people who like to drag others down but just ignore them and keep being the best you can be. After all, success is the best form of revenge ;).

Its okay not to be okay
I've had the opportunity to speak to people from all walks of life through my blog and I've also been able to share my story with those people. I shared my anxiety/bullying stories and although I was super nervous to do so, the comments, emails and tweets I received from readers who have been through something similar made me realise that its okay not to be okay. Before starting my blog I didn't know anyone else who suffered with anxiety and it made me feel very alone and scared that I was 'going crazy'. However, blogging has made me realise that I'm certainly not alone and just being able to write my story down and get things off my chest has helped me get through some hard times.

What I'm passionate about
I was 21 and had just finished my Journalism degree at uni when I started this blog and I didn't have a clue what I wanted to do with my life. However, blogging has definitely given me a direction and made me realise that my passions are the beauty industry and writing. I LOVE everything about beauty and writing about it so the fact I now have a place where I can write all about is perfect. I thoroughly enjoy writing, being creative and expressing myself so blogging is a great outlet as it allows me to do just that. It also landed me a job with a fashion company which I'm SO happy about - its the best thing I I can honestly say blogging has changed my life.

What have you learnt by being a blogger? 

Lots of love,

Homeware Haul ft Gifts & Pieces, IKEA & Ebay

Friday, 24 October 2014

Home Ware Haul, Home Decor, Interior Design, IKEA Home Ware, Gifts and Pieces
As some of you may or may not know, I recently moved from Newcastle to Manchester as my boyfriend and I both landed new jobs and we decided it was time for a change. Although we LOVE Newcastle and I'll really miss it, I think change is good. I don't think I'll ever be one of these people who will stay in the same place my whole life - well, at least not while I'm young and able to move around anyway!

Anyway, ramble aside, I've been buying lots of lovely bits and pieces to make my new flat feel more like a home over the past few weeks so I thought I'd share them in a haul. There's quite a lot so I thought I'd split this post up into two parts! I was also lucky enough to get sent some gorgeous bits from 'Gifts & Pieces', one of my favourite home ware shops run by fellow blogger Abby from Beautyfull Homes - make sure you go and check them out.

Home Ware Haul, Home Decor, Interior Design, IKEA Home Ware, Gifts and Pieces
Weekly Schedule Chalk Board | Link
Although there are parts of my life that aren't the most organised *cough messy bedroom cough*, when I want to be, I can be quite a good little organiser! I'm very much a planner and like to have things wrote down and a plan in place. With this being said, in order to keep me on track, I need a bit of a helping hand. Be it notebooks or the calendar and notes section of my Iphone, they're usually full of 'to do' lists and little reminders that give me that little bit of encouragement I need to get things done. Well, the most recent organisational item to make its way into my life is this 'weekly schedule' chalkboard from ebay. I'm just a bit in love with how it looks propped up against the wall in my kitchen and I love that I can jot little notes on it to remind me what I'm doing throughout the week. The above photo isn't the best example (we had lots of visitors that week as you can see) but what I plan to use this for moving forward is weekly meal planning. I'll jot down what I'm going to have for dinner each night of the week and I'm hoping it'll help me get into a good healthy eating routine rather than dashing across the road for a pizza because we've got nothing prepared! Also, who doesn't love playing with chalk? Forever a child!

Home Ware Haul, Home Decor, Interior Design, IKEA Home Ware, Gifts and Pieces

Ikea Stockholme Cushions | Link
These cushions are a bit of a blogger favourite so I'm sure you've seen them before but I just had to share them anyway as I absolutely love them! They're a bit pricier than other Ikea cushions at £12 each but they're totally worth it as they're huge and so squishy and soft. I love the cool monochrome print and these look perfect in our spare bedroom with a plain white bedspread and grey throw (also Ikea) along the bottom. You just can't go wrong with a bit of monochrome sometimes!

Home Ware Haul, Home Decor, Interior Design, IKEA Home Ware, Gifts and Pieces

Bathroom Accessories Trio | Link
I'm a big fan of the whole 'shabby chic' look so when my Nanna bought me this little bathroom set as a new home gift, I couldn't have been more chuffed. I'd actually been eyeing them up myself only a couple of days before she gave it to me which was pretty spooky coincidence - we clearly have very similar taste! I love the little worn looking stand they come in and the distressed hearts embossed on the front is a super cute touch! I've gone for a white a fresh colour scheme in my bathroom and even though white towels are a nightmare combined with makeup and fake tan. I do love the overall look!

Home Ware Haul, Home Decor, Interior Design, IKEA Home Ware, Gifts and Pieces
Wooden Drawers with Heart Handles | Link
My lovely Nanna also bought me this cute set of drawers and again, they're very 'shabby chic' which is a style I absolutely love! I have this sat on my IKEA Malm chest of drawers with a few other bits and bobs and it finishes it off really nicely. At the moment I'm keeping little things that don't have a home elsewhere in the drawers like hair ties/gribs, perfume samples and lip balms!

Home Ware Haul, Home Decor, Interior Design, IKEA Home Ware, Gifts and Pieces
Little Things Storage Box | Link
This has to be one of my favourite things in my new flat and it was very kindly sent to me from 'Gifts & Pieces', a gorgeous home ware site selling the prettiest shabby chic 'gifts and pieces' you've ever seen. They sell everything you can think of to prettify your home and I could send a small fortune on their site. This 'Little things' storage box is super cute and its taken pride of place on my coffee table. We keep little nick nacks like spare batteries and a lighter for lighting candles in there at the moment but I'm sure it'll come in very handy for lots of 'little things' over time. However, even if we don't put anything inside it, it makes a gorgeous decoration!

Home Ware Haul, Home Decor, Interior Design, IKEA Home Ware, Gifts and Pieces

Wicker Candle Holders (can't find link but bought from Wilko)
These were a bit of a random purchase and I'm still not entirely sure what to do with them as when they arrived they were LOADS bigger than I expected. On the website I imagined them to be small candle holders that I could put on my bedside tables but when they arrived they've pretty big and I don't think they work well as candle holders. I still think they're super cute though so I don't want them to go to waste. I'm thinking I might buy some little battery powered fairy lights to pop in them and make a light feature instead, what do you guys think?! Any ideas??!

Home Ware Haul, Home Decor, Interior Design, IKEA Home Ware, Gifts and Pieces
Letter Rack | Link
Another super cute piece from 'Gifts & Pieces' is this Letters rack which is obviously for keeping letters in. I keep this on a little table in my hallway and its really handy because if I arrive home to any post (boring bills and what not), I can pop them in this little holder to keep them neat and tidy. In the past I'd end up with a pile of letters on the side with nowhere to store them so this has come in really handy! I love it!!

I hope you like these little bits and bobs I've picked up recently - keep your eyes peeled for part two next week!

Where's your favourite place to shop for home ware?

Lots of love,

OOTD | The Checked Cape

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

A/W Cape Trend, Blue Vanilla, OOTD, Outfit Post, The Checked Cape,

Oh look, here I am doing an outfit post, for the first time in MONTHS! Back when I first started writing Couture Girl, photography wasn't really high on my priorities and I'd often take shoddy looking outfit snaps on my phone and upload them to my blog. However, times have changed and things have moved on since then so taking photos for an outfit post now requires a lot of effort. It means finding a good outdoor space to take the photos because my messy bedroom just doesn't cut it, finding some free time when I'm not at work, have time to make myself look presentable and its actually daylight outside. I'm also super picky with photos of myself and there isn't often many I'm happy with. I don't know about you but I over-analyse every single photo of myself, usually end up hating them, feel self concious and don't bother to upload them. I'm such a worry wart, let me tell you. 

A/W Cape Trend, Blue Vanilla, OOTD, Outfit Post, The Checked Cape,
A/W Cape Trend, Blue Vanilla, OOTD, Outfit Post, The Checked Cape,

Anyway, rant aside, today I'd like to showcase my beautiful new cape from Blue Vanilla, a new fashion website that I urge you all to to check out. Their site doesn't officially launch until next month but when it does, you can get your hands on beautiful items like this one for very affordable prices so its well worth checking out. For now, you can follow them on FacebookTwitter and InstagramCapes are the big trend of the moment since Burberry had the likes of Cara Deleveigne, Suki Waterhouse and Olivia Palermo rocking their checked cape from their new A/W range at London fashion week and as we can't all afford Burberry, this one is a great alternative. 

I love the monochrome colours, the way it hangs and how it instantly makes a very simple outfit 10 times more chic. As you can see in the photos, paired with a plain black cami, my trusty Topshop Leigh jeans and a pair of ankle boots, it instantly spruces up the outfit and makes it look more stylish. I know I'll be getting a lot of wear out of it throughout the colder months. It can even double up as a blanket - always a bonus!

Anyway, that's all from me - I feel a bit apprehensive about posting this after not doing a fashion post for such a long time so please do be kind and if you'd like to see more, do let me know! I may have to pester my boyfriend to be my photographer and get a few outfits posts taken every weekend! Let me know what you guys think!

Are you a fan of the cape trend? 

Lots of love,