Monday, September 18, 2017

I Went To My First Networking Event & This Is What Happened

Last Thursday I entered the unknown and mysterious world of networking, a private event for old white men in suits if you will, because it was exactly that.

I've been wanting to go to a networking event for a while now, not necessarily to gain anything, but for experience and to see what this parallel universe to reality was actually like. And I'm not talking about blogger networking events where all the seats are pink and you pose for selfies for the whole evening. I was glad I went with my friend Brett, because let's just say I'd probably have got bored of talking to myself after 10 minutes.

The evening was held at the Gin Distillery Refectory Bar on the Barbican, Plymouth, perfectly fitting for a teetotal 24 year old who only wants to drink lemonade, lol life. The evening is known as the 6 o clock club, v catchy seeing as it is held at 6pm and not 6:30pm like I thought until I was frantically rushing home in 5:30pm traffic.

We arrived on the dot at 6pm like the totally fashionable and cool people that we are. There was only a handful of people when we arrived so there was limited options to get amongst people. This is an event that is held once a month so it did feel cliquey, like seriously though, what group of Middle Aged people are going to want to talk to someone who looks 16 and ask what barbies she played with on the weekend, no one. It will be no one.

2 gin and tonics down for Brett, and half a lemonade for me, we finally plucked the courage up to talk to someone. Like another person. I was nervous. Despite recognising this person from the business park that I work on, he pretended he'd never seen me before, not embarrassing one bit. This guy really liked laughing at his own jokes that were NOT FUNNY and he also found it totally hilarious when I mentioned that there are a group of bloggers in Plymouth that brunch once a month. Like the obnoxious middle aged man that I expected to be at this event, I moved swiftly on and vowed to never say hello to him next time I bumped into him at work. 

We were getting more into it and even managed to speak to 2 other people. Now if 2 and a half hours of only speaking to 3 people is not 10/10 networking then I don't know what is! The other 2 people were interesting, one seemed to be working the event as a recruiter, and the other a man who thought that just doing Facebook boosted posts is a job. Not even the content, nope. Literally just putting a budget onto a post and clicking boost. Lol. Enough said. There were some interesting characters for sure and albeit it probably wasn't for me. However, I'm glad I have dipped my toes into the networking thing and it's fair to say I learnt these 3 things about the evening that will help me to do bigger and better again, Just maybe not at THAT event.

1) Actually network. Try to talk to more than 3 people, at least I have a target to beat next time, huh?

2)Don't laugh when people are speaking. I was that totally rude and embarrassing person that was laughing during mid conversation. I'm sorry, but when Brett was explaining his job and that 'I do a bit on the side too' - I totally couldn't keep it together, and yes I am totally immature.

3) Networking doesn't make you a better person. If you go to regular networking events you're a likeable, excellent business person with solid connections, right? Well maybe, but I don't see it that way. Networking isn't for everyone, and I think it's quite a skill to have. Maybe it works for middle aged people, but millennials are not 40 year olds and the way we do things is so different these days. So if that's blogging brunches, meeting people on Twitter or sliding into someones DM'S then that's how we do it. That's the way I like it.

Haver you ever been to a networking event?

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Pink Velvet Shoes Everyone Needs In Their Life

GUYS, look how candid I am. Can always count on my mum making me laugh after calling my dad a stupid man for ringing her 4 times in a row when HE KNEW WE WERE DOING OUTFIT PHOTOS THOUGH. Men, huh?

Enough about that, let's turn our attention to the real stars of the show here. The sneaks. I have fallen hook, line and sinker for these beauties from Rocket Dog and I don't care who knows. 

I thought my glittery pink brogues were my favourite ever shoes, but I appear to be mistaken. Velvet, pink and ribbons - what more could a girl seriously want, huh? I've really moved towards sneakers, flat shoes over the last year and if that doesn't shout IM GETTING OLD, I don't know what is. Or maybe I've dealt with enough blisters to last a lifetime that my poor feet deserve better. I'm 167% taking these on my trip to Paris in a couple of weeks, as there is going to be a lot of walking, but I also need to look v cute for those Eiffel Tower shots, and these velvet sneaks are a must!

It feels good to be back with a bit of fashion content, I'm already feeling 10 times happier with my new approach to these as my content was getting samey and I wasn't always happy with the pictures. After revisiting 4 of my favourite blog posts and my old type of content, going back to basics is what works best, remembering why you first started. I mean the 10's of comments my blog used to get might not exist these days, but if I'm happy with my content and my outfit what else matters? You do you.
Top - Topshop
Jacket - Zara
Jeans - Hollister

Are you a fan of these sneakers? What is your ultimate pair of shoes?

*Products marked with an asterix (*) have been sent to me for review. However, all opinions in this post are 100% my own
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Sunday, September 10, 2017

10 Things That Only Happen On An All Inclusive Holiday

I mean I DO love waking up somewhere different every morning on a cruise, having my crumbs brushed off the table and donning a different ball gown every night, but needs must, and this girl bought a house this year.

So, this summer I went on my first all inclusive holiday, as an adult. I didn't know what to expect except England tops, tattoos, multicoloured desserts and the fear of getting food poisoning that was almost stopping me from getting on that plane, almost. English people flock to all inclusive holidays every year, because HELLO free food and alcohol for a whole week, your clothes won't fit when you return, but you gave it your all.

I actually had a really good time, but the lack of pink walls had me freaking out and I am laughing so much at these 10 things that literally only happen on an all inclusive holiday...

#1. The Judgement At Dinner Time

Yes, I only want to have Pizza and Chips for tea every night like a child, and wot? You hate waiting in the queue when you know you only want the pizza, like a school dining hall EVERYONE who is everyone looks up from their table and peers at your plate when you walk past, even the kids. You hold your plate up higher each time so no one can judge you on your eating habits.

Just FYI, pizza and chips after a whole week will nearly send you over the edge.

#2. No One Dresses Up

LOL. At least I didn't buy 7 nice new dresses for the holiday. Helps you cut down on your suitcase space, because why not just wear the neon bikini and see through kaftan you did to the pool all day, cuts down on washing when you're home too. 

So all inclusive holidays are NOT like cruises, wear your rags down to the buffet in the evening and less people will gawp at you than when you wear that cute new dress from Topshop. 

#3. Sunbed Runs

Apparently people miss their 6am alarm at home so much that they just let it run through. Hmm I know what 6am is perfect for on holiday, reserving the sunbeds. The sunbeds we won't actually use until 12pm. 

The same family hogs the same sunbeds for the whole holiday, a bit like how cats territorially wee on their walls to show it's theirs. 

#4. You Forget What Hunger Feels Like

Well, you gotta get your money's worth, right? You eat everything, you eat because you can, and you almost certainly can't remember what it's like to feel hungry. Wait, people don't eat until they're hungry?

That will be one full stack of pancakes every breakfast followed by all the pastries, oh and no fruit, don't be silly. Plate of fries every lunchtime, has to be finished with something sweet. You'll then snack some more and come dinner time, your dessert has to be at least 4 cakes because, let's face it, why bother else?

#5. Welcome Rep Meeting

Oh the welcome meetings? Yep, except you never go to those. Why do you need to be told what to do on an all inclusive holiday WHEN THERE IS NOTHING OUTSIDE THESE FOUR WALLS. Skip the chat and reserve those sunbeds before anyone else does.

#6. All Day Drinking

Excuse me, but I didn't think I was staying on the strip of Malia with my mates for a week. If there's something Brits love more than junk food, it's alcohol. The bar opens at 10am and shuts and midnight, and they'll be sat there out in the sun with their beer and fag for the duration. Every. day. for.a.whole.week. You might even get to hear your neighbour being sick in the night too. You're just praying it's not something they ate in the restaurant...

#7. You Don't Leave The Resort For The Entire Stay

There is nothing. You don't remember reading that there was nothing to do within 167490 miles of the resort. I mean, take your pick from the offering of 3 English bars and a Chinese restaurant. 

The only thing to do is sunbathe, swim and eat for the whole week. The most cultural thing about an all inclusive holiday in Spain is the rice pudding for the dessert. That was probably tinned.

#8. You Go To Bed at 10pm

If you like evening entertainment like they have on Benidorm then crack on. If not it's back to your room by 10pm, because you forgot there wasn't anything else to do here. Maybe you'll watch sky news again or watch everything you downloaded from Netflix before you went away. Or most probably you'll fall asleep by 10pm because sunbathing and eating all day kinda takes it out for you.

#9. 'That' Wristband

The wristband that a) grants you all your food and drink for the week b) ruins all your outfit photos (like NO that is not a cute green bracelet) and C) looks like you discharged yourself from the local hospital (plz see photo above). I hope to god people do not leave these on like people do with festival wristbands, because v ugly.

#10. The Sunburn

Apparently English people have not heard of sun protection, because come 8pm in the 'canteen' - you can't tell the difference between your sachet of Tommy K and the lady from 2 tables down face. Ouch.

If you didn't get sunburn on holiday did you even go on an all inclusive holiday though?

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Friday, September 8, 2017

6 Months of Being A Homeowner - What I've Learnt So Far

I can barely believe as I'm writing this that I've now been in my apartment for 6 months. 6 months of mortgage repayments, 6 months still without TV, 6 months of of wondering what the hell I'm doing and 6 months worth of lessons I've learnt the hard way. One's I won't make again. Oh, and 6 months spent to fill my home with copper, pink and white, so there's that.

So far I've cut through onto my new kitchen worktop, chipped the worktop, sliced my hand open with a bread knife, burnt a tea towel on the hob ETC. Am I just clumsy or no? Or is this me doing everything my mum used to do for me and learning as I go? Moving out is a bit like when you pass your driving test, you have all the skills to be road worthy, but you don't start really learning until it's just you in the car with Heart blaring on the radio. It's both scary and exhilarating by yourself, with plenty of mistakes and near misses to be made. Moving out is exactly like that.

As expected there has been some euphoric highs and devastating lows. Everything will suddenly be back on track and then someone shouts HERE HAVE SOME MORE SHIT. That is the worst. Just waiting for what the next thing to come along is. I guess that's life and life goes on, but it sucks. I feel like there is always something to go wrong or stress about as a homeowner. I've learnt a lot, but I think these 4 things stand out to me most.

Lesson 1 Learnt - Nothing Stays Nice Forever/ Accidents Happen

It's like that brand new white raincoat you buy and truly adore, you couldn't imagine anything bad happening to this baby. Within the week it's been stained. It's hard to accept, they'll be tears, but nothing can stay nice forever, however hard that is to accept.

I've already damaged the kitchen worktop, a tile has somehow chipped in the bathroom and I scrubbed white paint off the wall on the first day of moving in, whatcha gonna do?

Throwing tantrums by yourself does not work to the same extent. Whilst I want everything to stay nice forever, accidents do happen and scratching a worktop or chipping a tile doesn't make something not nice anymore. It shows it's loved and well lived in. I've learned to just move on and be more careful next time.

Lesson 2 Learnt - You Can't Choose Who Your Neighbours Are

Probably the worst and hardest lesson I have learnt is that you can't choose your neighbours. Like why is there not a dating app for neighbours yet? I basically don't hear any neighbour either side as it's a Georgian house with incredibly thick walls, one saving grace at least. No, I'm talking about them up there.

I don't want to go into too much detail here, but I have the neighbours from hell, they're renting so it is temporary, thank god. But it's been hard. When you work so hard for something for so long and have it ruined/tarnished by people in a second, it makes you wonder why you bothered.

It seems to be something that apartments, houses, all suffer from and if it's not the neighbours it will be something else. Suddenly living on a remote island by myself seems incredibly appealing.

Luckily for me, these are temporary tenants and not homeowners. So I can sit in my pink armchair here quite smug in the knowledge that they'll be gone soon, and forget about the last 5 months that I've had to endure of them.

Remember, everything is temporary. Bad neighbours don't take away the lovely home that you have, which is yours.

Lesson 3 Learnt - If You Want A Thing Done Well, Do It Yourself

Okay, so I definitely knew this one already, but it's been somewhat clarified over the last 6 months. As a 24 year old who knew nothing about buying a home, I suppose I was either naive or misjudged myself that I have a good judge of character. The developer of the property was everything you could have asked for and more. Also promised was that for 6 months they would sort out any little snags. Sooo, yeah about that. I still have a list as long as my arm, and I'm feeling battered down with constantly having to remind, text, call and most often be ignored by said developer.

I do sometimes wonder how people get where they get in business because they have a serious lack of organisation and people skills. This is the person who left dressing furniture in my home on the day I moved and gave me only ONE key to my apartment (I mean the builders), like who even needs a front and back door key, right? Pathetic. Get what they want and then they're gone. Time has gone on for too long now and I'm going to start taking matters into my own hands. As the saying goes if you want a thing doing well, or even done for that matter, do it yourself. No one is worth my stress anymore, a few things are going to cost, but I can't be expected to keep hanging off someone's every words who has a tendency to blow hot air, you don't fool me love.

Lesson 4 Learnt - Accept Help

When it's half way through the week, my breakfast dishes are still stacked on the dining table from the last 3 mornings, my bed hasn't been made in days and my dirty clothes have been dumped on the bathroom floor, I know I need help. An intervention is needed.

I'm not ashamed to admit that I have found it hard since moving out. It's exhausting. From someone who depended so heavily on my mum to have dinner ready for me when I got in from work, a clean home and clean washing, the adjustment has been hard. As well as all of my other commitments, some days I just can't be a girl boss anymore. My parents have been a huge help since I moved out and I honestly don't think I could have managed if I was living away from Plymouth. 

It's okay to accept help when you need it. Sometimes we just need to be mothered again, if only for an evening to reset and help yourself get back on track. I know it will get easier in time and it has. But sometimes, sometimes I just need a meal cooked for me and an evening off washing up the dishes. Having a good support network around you is invaluable and I think I've done pretty damn well so far by myself, so here's to more weeks of not struggling and not leaving all my chores to the weekend..Well, I'm not sure about that one.

I've learnt so much in 6 months which has scarily flown past me in no time, I think if I can survive the first 6 months then I can survive anything. Homeownership has been hard, but oh is it worth it when I can curate my own Instagram home of dreams!

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