Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Coming Soon - Goals For 2015

2014 was the year I turned into a baby adult. I turned into a fully functioning member of society (I still don’t really know how to work the washing machine but we’ll pretend that doesn’t matter), I’ve experienced upsets, setbacks and I’ve worked my arse off trying to establish my career in marketing. I’ve made big decisions - some I’m happy with, some I’m maybe not so sure about. Being a twenty-something year old is not easy. We have this idealistic image of what our lives should be like and our obsession with social media certainly doesn’t help matters. I turned 23 this year, the age I would have thought I would have started to get my shit together and I’m not even close. I have been very lucky this year and I know I can’t overlook that, 2014 certainly did not start off that way so I am very thankful that at the end of the year I can see how much I’ve progressed. For 2015, I can only hope that I continue to learn and grow. I’m not one for New Year Resolutions, so lets look at this more as some key points and goals for the coming 12 months…

I’ve met some amazing people this year and my best friends have been so supportive over the last 12 months. Since most of us now work full time it’s hard to find time when we’re all free and when we are, chances are we don’t have the energy to get out of our jammies let alone hit the town. I live in the middle of nowhere, so it’s easy for me to use that as an excuse but for my own sanity I need to keep actively making time for my friends - who else will put up with my random rants, drooling over silver foxes and listening to my mother’s latest antics?

I’ve learned a lot in the past 12 months and I’m excited about what 2015 will bring. At the beginning of the year I was planning on going back to University to do a Post-Grad but a position for a start-up beauty company became available and I decided to put a Masters on hold in favour of hands on marketing experience. Marketing is constantly changing, particularly in digital marketing so I need to make sure I'm staying up to date with new ideas and theories. As well as marketing I’m really excited to start focusing more on business development, something I think would be really valuable to have more experience in.

What I do need to remember is that I've only been out of University for 18 months. If I don't get shortlisted for that interview for my dream job or if that meeting/presentation doesn't go well, it's not the end of the world. It's ok to take time off and not check emails or obsess over email open rates or sales figures. I also need to stop second guessing myself, sometimes I'm not sure if I made the right choice with choosing not to go on to do a Post-Grad, but ultimately everything happens for a reason and working for a start up has meant that I do have a lot more influence and control over the basic structure and strategy of the company. 
You can find me on Linked In here if you’d like to connect with me.

I do not need 7 pairs of black ankle boots even if they all do have varying heel heights. I do not need to buy that new £60 serum that promises younger looking skin in seconds. I do not need another mauve/nude/pink/red/burgundy nail polish. This year I’ve been able to save a fair bit of money while living at home but I'm planning on moving to Glasgow with my boyfriend pretty soon so my obsessive saving probably won't be for much longer. I’ve always been pretty good with money but now I need to start considering rent, council tax, bills and insurance all the while still being able to put some money aside for holidays/deposit for the house etc. My priorities need to change and I need to be willing to accept that I won’t be able to go on a little spending spree in Space NK if I have a bad day.

I need a lifestyle overhaul - there are no ifs or buts here. My weight goes up and down but at the moment I’m definitely in one of the up stages. I haven’t been the gym since the clocks changed and I’m more likely to spend my weekend binge watching The Good Wife or Gilmore Girls than going a run. I’m coming home from work and making myself something quick for dinner rather than something healthy even though I enjoy cooking. My boyfriend and I spoke about trying Slimming World or some other variation, hopefully having someone to keep me in check will stop me eating as much rubbish. If I look at it like I’m going on a diet it’s not going to work for me, it’s more about changing the way I eat and becoming more active. And drinking less Cola Zero. I genuinely think I'm addicted to the stuff.

Over the last few months I’ve been feeling quite intimidated by the blogging world due to the number of people who are taking it so seriously. I’m still trying to find my niche with my blog but I’m looking forward to trying new things and seeing what works and what doesn’t work for me all the while remembering that this is just a hobby and I don’t have to take everything I do so seriously. 

What are your goals for 2015?

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Just Burgers and Beers

Burgers seem to be the food of the moment and I'm certainly not complaining. I've been to my fair share of burger restaurants this past year and Just Burgers and Beers is up there with the best. Located on Royal Mile, it's very easy to find although I'd image with the small front it would be easy to just walk by (I was following Google Maps just in case) - don't be fooled by the size, once you're in it's a decent size. The interior is trendy but not pretentious and there's a really friendly atmosphere with friendly staff. 

The menu offers an array of burgers, all of which can be made with chicken, beef or for veggies and there is the option to build your own - even the fussiest of eaters will have a hard time complaining. The Beer menu is even bigger than the food menu but unfortunately I did find that a lot of the beers that I would have went for (i.e. fruity beers) were out of stock - our waitress was really helpful in suggesting alternatives though.

I went for the Mac Attack with chicken and my friend went for The Anna Nicole Smith, we got curly fries and onion rings between us. The food was really tasty - mac and cheese on a burger is a genius idea. 

Burgers are around £10 without sides and beers are £5-6, which is on the higher end of your average burger restaurant price but these are no ordinary burgers. 

Have you been to Just Burgers and Beers?

Monday, 29 December 2014

Blogs I’ve Loved in 2014

I spend a lot of time reading blogs. And I do mean a lot. My obsession with beauty, fashion and lifestyle blogs turned into part of my job this year and it certainly has made me realise just how many amazing bloggers/writers/photographers there are. This year has been an amazing year for bloggers. When I first found Vivianna Does Makeup and Fleur De Force when I was at University, I was almost embarrassed to tell people what I was reading, fast forward 4 years and now so many bloggers are household names - my dad  even knows who Zoella is. Here are some of the blogs I've been reading religiously this year, I've got a mix of old favourites which I've been reading for years and some I've only discovered this year.

Best of Beauty

If you're a beauty addict you need to read these blogs. Although they all cover a similar topic, they're all so different and offer their own unique take on the world of beauty. And they know how to take a good photo.


These girls sure know how to put an outfit together! I'm more of a jammies and fluffy socks kinda gal myself but after finding these blogs this year, I've definitely found myself being more adventurous when trying on clothes and trying to take clothing inspiration from some of their looks.  

Hilariously Honest

These ladies are brutally honest, hilarious and massively relatable to a twenty-something recent graduate. 

Are there any other blogs I should be reading?

Monday, 8 December 2014

The Future of Blogging

A few weeks ago I was at a Digital Marketing Conference in London and I was fortune enough to hear some amazing speakers share their expertise and their thoughts on the future of Digital Marketing. Firstly, I know what you’re thinking, “Nikki calm down, this isn’t a marketing blog just you stick to talking about lipstick”. In reality people who blog about their favourite lipstick and are hoping to build up a following and possibly even make some financial gain from their blog are essentially using content to market their blog. Part of my job as a digital marketer involves content creation so I write a lot of blog posts and schedule social media updates much like your average beauty/lifestyle blogger. Blogging is particularly popular in digital marketing and is widely used in both B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer) capacities to help the brand share their expertise help convey the company’s USP. One session I attended spoke about how blogging in digital marketing has changed. People feel the need to publish posts when in reality they’re not adding any value – the priority has switched from quality content to the quantity of posts. They’re not providing any new information or a new take on a situation or sometimes the post needs developed further or maybe the topic just isn’t actually that interesting in the first place.

I would suggest the same is true about blogging in beauty and fashion. When I first started my own blog I wanted to post 3 times a week. I mean, the hundreds of blog posts with blogging tips said I needed to publish regularly and keep to a schedule so that’s what I was going to do. I’ve realised that on occasion I’ve been writing for the sake of writing and not because I actually had anything new or valuable to say, I just felt I needed to get a post out and I doubt that I’m alone in admitting this. Does the blogging world really need another blog post declaring their love for Jo Malone Candles/Bioderma or Christmas Gift Guides with the exact same products? Is this adding value to your blog?

I’m by no means saying that if you fall head over heels in love with a hyped up product that you shouldn’t be declaring your love from the roof tops (Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, I’m looking at you), but I think that in 2015 we need to think creatively. We need to do something different and not always follow the same tried and tested method of beauty blogging.  

What do you think? Have you ever found yourself publishing a post for the sake of it?