Thursday, 29 March 2018

How to get the most out of networking events.


At most universities around the country networking events are held to try and encourage current students to put down that pint and think about their future for a second, mine is no different. I have now been a part of three alumni days through my university, meeting ‘ex-students’ who have walked the same path, (well crawled it with a hangover probably!) hearing their stories and seeing the career paths they have taken.
Like so many before me I didn’t understand the importance of these events at first, this means I didn’t quite know how to make the most of them! So here are my top tips for making sure you kill it at every networking event you attend.

Research.

Research seems like a bit of a pointless place to start but it is more important than you might think. You think that each person will introduce themselves and tell you everything you need to know but with so many people who need to talk this isn’t quite true. Doing background research on everyone attending will also help you decide who you want to make a bee-line for when you get the chance to have a chat, you’ll have a million more questions to ask and you’ll feel more confident in your ability to strike up a conversation. Linkedin profiles are a god send for this!

Introduce yourself.

I am guilty of forgetting this one and by the end of the conversation they’ve probably forgotten your name already but introducing yourself properly creates a lasting impression on a person. You come across as polite and committed to the conversation.

Ask questions.

This one seems extremely scary to some people, whether its putting your hand up in a room full of people or asking one on one, make sure you get your questions out there. The only way you can learn and gather information to help you make the most of networking is by asking! Remember, there is no such thing as a bad question, I’ve even asked what someone’s favourite uni meal was to start a conversation! Everyone speaking at an event will be expecting to have a load of questions thrown at them, so they are willing to answer them as well as they can for you.

Structure yourself.

This is an odd one, because conversations are meant to flow and be pretty much effortless, but it is important that you have an idea of what you want from the conversation. Do you want to know more about their career, how they used their degree, what advise they have for you, if you can have work experience from them or something completely different? They will be having to try and split themselves in several directions to make sure they help as many people as they can so having a clear structure and purpose helps you get everything you want from the conversation.

Make sure you listen.

Simple I know but you would be surprised how often people forget this. Sometimes you can be so focused on what you want to ask that you forget to actually take in the information you’ve been given which wastes your time and theirs! Listen to the conversation, you might get an answer to three of your questions art once even though you only asked one. You could come up with another question completely! You don’t want to sound like you’re trying to interview them (especially important for us journos!)

Follow up.

Try and make sure you take contact details for the person you’re talking to and get in touch with them soon after whatever event you’re at, this will mean they remember you! Everyone you talk to will be able to help you further your career in some way, they can become great mentors and help you get amazing opportunities but they won’t if they don’t remember who you are! Staying in touch also shows you’re committed to your future so they should invest time in you.

Ask for work experience.

This one is so self explanatory so I’ll keep it brief, ‘If you don’t ask you don’t get!’ There are very few people in the world who won’t happily help someone gain an opportunity if they think you deserve it.

Be honest.

This is a big one for me. I’ve had opportunities I’ve taken with open arms from contacts I have from networking events and otherwise, one of these I wasn’t able to attend at the very very last minute but I was honest and upfront about my reasons for not being able to attend and I have been able to rearrange. Honesty goes a long way, even if you don’t directly work with a contact they do almost become a colleague and will see through a lie or an excuse but will help if you give them the truth!  

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

My favourite Mother's Day gift ideas!

With Mothering Sunday fast approaching the shops will be filled with children searching for the perfect gift for their mother. Many people see Mother's Day as an opportunity to express their love and appreciation for their mum and all she does for them but no gift ever seems enough.
Mums all around the world deserve a day of lavish gifts and expensive treats but that's not something the majority of their children can afford. I however am a great believer that not all thoughtful gifts have to break the bank so here are my favourite ideas for this March 11th.



Everyone knows how stressful life can be so why not treat your mum to a spa day? The perfect way for her to relax alone or for you to relax together. Captiva Spa in Caerphilly offers a range of treatments and packages which are truly amazing and great value for money!

Mothers Day Spa Package 

£59.50 just for her or £109.15 for you both!

www.captivaspa.com
















Mum's cooking is something you either run home for or run to your Nan's to get away from! Either way give her the chance to pick up some amazing new culinary skills that will give your local take away a run for its money in the form of an Indian cooking class. Curry on the Curve in Newport is a family run business which offers just that and their curry is to die for! (Well I think its the best anyway!)



£50 per person.
















If your mum is anything like mine she will like to get her groove on on the dance floor , well in my case a muddy field as Glastonbury but whats the difference? Why not hop online and get her favourite song made into a lovely piece of art?


Personalised song sound wave print.

£30

Dancing around the house, pub, field or wherever else and having a glass of wine or two go hand in hand for every mum I know. They all pretend the be classy but after one too many are dancing on the table with your surrogate aunties singing hits of the 90's. How about letting them 'pretend' they're classy for a little while longer with a wine holder and pourer? 

                                                                                    
Soiree Wine Bottle Holder And Pourer

£17.99

















Who doesn't love a cupcake and a cup of tea? (Also how British was that sentence!)
Get your mum the perfect surprise to go with her 11am tea break, a cupcake delivery. Not all mums will have Mother's Day at home, everyone works at different times, so have her favourite sweet treat delivered to her wherever she may be. You can order some delicious cakes online or pop into your local bakery and ask if they can help. 


Mothers Day Cupcake delivery.

From £2.50 







Let your mum lock the door and shut out life for a little while in a nice relaxing bath or even better help her do so with a bath tray. A bath tray is basically a shelf that sits across the bath meaning she has somewhere to rest her wine, light a candle and lean her book (or tablet if she's brave enough.)
A bath shelf/tray is the perfect gift that keeps on giving, at her disposal to relax whenever she gets a chance. Usually for those with little ones, when shes shipped them to Nana's for being a pain in the bum. 


Bath Tray 

£25

Blankets, blankets, blankets. The one thing that always seem to go missing in my house (because my brother seems to steal them all) leaving mum constantly asking for them back, its not cold enough to put the heating on but we don't exactly live in a tropical climate either! Get her a blanket that is unmistakably hers, so much so that even moving it makes you think 'that smells like mum'. 

Chunky knit blanket.

From £69

















Finally, no woman can resist a bit of bling, I think its actually, scientifically impossible, especially when it comes from the heart. You can get so much online these days for a range of prices but my personal favourite is a personalised necklace from Not On The Highstreet. You can personalise the necklace in pretty much any way you like (within reason obviously), adding something that isnt just pretty but full of sentimental value to her jewellery box. 



Personalised necklace.

£24



Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Times Up - celebrities criticised for their outfit choices at the Golden Globes.

The Golden Globes for many celebs is one of the most anticipated nights of the year, celebrating amazing achievements of those in film and television alike.

After the scandals that have come out in the last 12 months about the treatment of women in this industry and the types of harassment they face many celebrities decided to make a statement. In support of the 'Times Up' campaign the biggest names of Hollywood decided to take to the red carpet in Black. A pretty bold statement right? I think so.


Catherine Zeta-Jones
Photo credit E-News 
Kate Hudson
Photo credit E-News




I was then horrified to see and hear people criticising the likes of Catherine Zeta-Jones and Kate Hudson for wearing dresses which included transparent detailing. I was even more surprised to see these comments being made on a popular breakfast show, presented by a woman!








These women were branded as showing too much skin! Too much skin? Excuse me? These dresses if anything (to me anyway) drive home the point of the statement being made at the awards ceremony. That women are no objects, their bodies are not there to be spoken about or criticised. Woman are equals and should be treated as that and their choice of clothing, quite frankly is no one else's business.

These women excel at their profession and that should be the only focus of any individuals view. They're standing up for what is right, to make sure future generations don't have to go through what many of them went through themselves.

I personally think the dresses chosen by every woman at the Golden Globes were flawless, not matter how much skin they chose to show. They showed they own their own bodies and they're ready to stand up and fight for what they believe. Keep standing up for what you believe in.
 
via GIPHY

Friday, 8 December 2017

No.7 Advent Calendar - Week one update!






If you read my last post you’ll have seen I got the No.7 advent calendar for my birthday last week! No7 products are a staple of my make up bag, I don’t think I could live without seeing that gold, sparkly mascara tub sat waiting to make my lashes pop. After week one of opening the many doors I thought I’d share with you what lovely goodies I have gotten so far!






On day one I got Protect and Perfect Intense advanced serum. So for anyone who doesn’t know what this is, it’s an anti-aging product. Now again, if you read my last post you’ll understand the irony of this, if not, go have a read! I’ve never actually used a product like this so I didn’t quite know what to expect but I will say I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. It is a really light serum, which I expected to be really greasy but in fact it’s the opposite. It spreads really well and almost instantly sinks into the skin and because its so light and spreadable you only need the smallest blob.
As I’d never used this product before I had to ask a few people how best to use it, all over like a face cream or target specific areas. The verdict I came to was to use it on specific areas that are likely to develop wrinkles over the years. This means I’ve been using it around the eyes and on my forehead for 7 days now and I think I’m starting to see a difference. The skin around my eyes seems a lot brighter over the past few days which is great.


Moving on to day two now here I got the day cream from the same product range. I decided to use this every morning after cleansing my face but before applying my make up. This product, again, is super light and spreads so well. It has made my skin less oily through out the day, I’ve found my makeup has needed less touch ups from oily skin. I’ve found a blob the size of a pea on each cheek really is enough to cover the entire face. It has UV protection and SPF 15 which are amazing tools against skin damage. It also smells amazing, well slightly like sun cream but I love that smell!






Day three came and this was a mascara. People who know me will confirm I give people lash envy in the era of lash extensions, I regularly ask where I get them done (compliment right, people would pay for lashes like mine!) This means that I do have to spend a considerable amount of time on my mascara when putting on make up, it takes a good few layers and sometimes several mascaras to get the look I like so I am very fussy when it comes to mascara. I was so excited to try this out that I decided to just go with however it turned out and to only use that mascara. I have to say, personally I was disappointed with the results. It got the lengths and the colour was perfect but it seemed to make my lashes clump together and no matter what I did I couldn’t seem to get them to separate once they were together. This mascara is called exceptional definition and I feel like if I already had my staple mascara on as a base it would very much live up to this name. I’m thinking of getting my mum to test this mascara as she has more naturally spaced out lashes, lets see if she has any better results!



Behind door number four lay the gift of the perfect base, a primer. When it comes to primer I swear by Porefessional by Benefit and I didn’t really want to try this product in case it was better. After giving it a go however I found it worked just as well, its thicker than I’m used too and I found I needed a little more that I would with my regular primer but I liked it. Dare I even say I preferred it on the day or a rather bad outbreak. As its thicker it helped conceal the spots better than my usual primer does.  





Day five always makes me sing FIVE GOLD RINGS (in my head) even though I’m fully aware that it is the fifth day of advent not the fifth day of Christmas! Once I’d had my little outburst of misplaced festive cheer I opened door five to find a new lip cream which is the perfect fix for the dry lips winter gives you. I’ve only been using it for a few days and already my lips feel more moisturised and less chapped which is fabulous. Where’s the mistletoe?!





Day six was a tad disappointing to start off with, after the range of skin products I’d had so far, but once I got it out I was so impressed. What is ‘it’ you ask? A new eye-shadow brush. The handle is a tad short but the brush itself is so soft and blends out product so well. Perfect for blending out that glittery smoky eye look at the Christmas doo, #InstaReady!
Last but certainly not least came a lovely eye-shadow, in the colour of Matte Mocha. Its fairly dark and has the slightest shimmer. When I saw the shimmer I wasn’t too sure how I felt, eye-shadows that aren’t meant to be a glitter shadow can sometimes be a bit too much when they have a shimmer but it really makes the colour stand out. I was pleasantly surprised by how pigmented it was when I tried it (with my new brush of course). It worked well as a stand alone shadow or mixed with other products for a fuller eye-shadow look.  





So after week one I must say I’m so happy with everything so far! Lets see what the next week brings!

Thursday, 30 November 2017

21 and feeling good!

Your 21st birthday is one of the biggest birthdays you'll see before reaching the ripe 'old' age of 30. It's a time to get drunk and celebrate your youth before people expect you to buck up your ideas and become a fully functioning adult in society.

Lets face it, no one actually knows what they're doing in life, when things go wrong you look for a slightly older adult to take on the burden of the situation.

Is there enough Prosecco to deal with this yet?

Now as if there aren't enough rules you have to follow as a now functioning adult, people are about to start telling you to use this product or that product, invest in weekly facials, use a mega expensive eye cream and start doing some weird exercise like Hot Yoga in order to preserve your youth.
Um what? Anti wrinkle cream was not and should not be on my radar yet, well at least that's my take on it.

Knowing this you can imagine my delight at getting the No.7 advent calendar as a present from mum. Seeing what makeup and beauty products lay behind each door is almost too much excitement to handle, even more so now I know my beauty routine needs to be stepped up!

The temptation of opening all the doors like a kid at Christmas is quite big but in the spirit of being traditional, I have decided to open each door day by day and review each product as they come.
Watch this space for reviews and to see what comes out as my favourite product.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

ASOS launches a same day delivery service

We’ve all been there, hating every outfit we put on our bodies before any night out or event of importance. Finding that perfect outfit can be hard and it’s even harder to resist the temptation to look for online inspiration. We do it anyway of course then hate ourselves that little bit more from the torture of finding the perfect outfit that simply won’t arrive in time.

It would seem the genius guys at ASOS also know this struggle, they may be fashion gods but they’re all still human. This means they’ve now released their same day delivery service! Yes, you can now order clothes from the online shop and receive them the very same day, how thoughtful.

via GIPHY

This all sounds way too good to be true, right? Well yes, it is, this service isn’t available to the entire UK yet. ASOS are trialling this new service through out London’s 122 post code areas. If all goes to plan they say the rest of the country will be added to the service.

For those in London who can receive the service it’s handy to note the terms of getting next day delivery and the cost. You will have to place your order before 10am (yawn) Sunday to Friday. You will then get your bag of presents from you to you between 6 – 10pm that day. Saturday isn’t on the agenda right now, meaning that outfit disaster will have to stay that way.



The price tag is also not the most exciting prospect, coming in at £12.95. This is steep but in a fashion emergency totally worth it. I think this will soon become a service any shopaholic simply wont be able to live without. Let’s just hope it comes to Cardiff soon!

Friday, 8 September 2017

Always be you.

This year, like every year, I told myself was going to be my year. I was going to lose two stone, start a celeb inspired skin care routine, revamp my style and write more posts. "2017 is this time to make a start on my future", and this was true for the majority of the new year. Until April, when life took an unexpected turn.

A few years ago, back in my sixth form days, I had knee reconstruction surgery, which fixed one problem but seemed to cause several more. Unexplained pain and swelling means my crutches have never been far from reach and are never out of action for long. Painkillers become my best friend and my bed becomes a prison, instead of a place of refuge. But these ‘flare ups’ only seemed to last a few weeks before all the issues vanished. It was a mystery, so when I started to get a flare up in April I thought nothing of it, carried on and tried to ride it out! After all I thought it would be over soon.
Now its August and the pain is worse, the crutches are constant and using a wheelchair outside of the house is a necessity. A pretty crap thing to have to come to terms with when you had a summer of adventure and travel planned. I was forced to wave three of my best friends off interrailing, a trip I so desperately wanted to still be able to go on. I had to watch as people carried on with life, working, going on amazing work experience placements and having a normal social life, while I lay in bed, lonely and depressed. My life had been put on hold.

Glitter and festival ready. Wheelchair selfie but you cant see it! 
Coming to terms with the fact you’re becoming disabled is one of the hardest experiences, possibly the hardest emotional strain I’ve faced. I didn’t want to be different, I didn’t want to face people who knew the person I was, I didn’t want anyone to see my struggle. People don’t understand that I don’t seem to be getting better this time. People don't understand I can go from having a ‘good’ day to a ‘bad’ day very quickly, this makes it harder. It is true, ignorance truly is bliss, while people don’t see me struggle, if I don’t have pictures taken with my crutches in them, if I don’t make it obvious to people, I’m not disabled to them, but this choice isolated me more.

With my third year of university around the corner, I considered deferring a year, or transferring to a university at home, until one day something clicked. Can I take being away from home? Can I cope? I rely on my mum for so much, can I manage alone? This summer I had plans to travel, eat, have new experiences, gain work experience in an industry I love. I had no choice but to put these plans on hold but why should I put my life, my future on hold? I started thinking I can be a television presenter, no matter what happens with my leg, so why shouldn’t I start living again. Becoming disabled, losing the independence you’ve always had is a barrier, but it isn’t a barrier that can’t be overcome, or completely smashed.

“If your legs don’t work please don’t contact me for work experience again” – I was told this by someone I’d arranged work experience with this summer, it knocked my confidence to the point I haven’t written or filmed for months. This sentence now motivates me to keep going, smash the barriers and not let anyone tell me no. I will carry on and be the best version of myself I can be. I will present music festivals. I will still admire my idols, watching Phil and Holly on this morning, wanting their jobs, becoming a big of a star-struck fan girl when I get the chance to meet people like Fearne Cotton at Glastonbury.

Always be the best person you can be, lift people up, don’t knock them down. be understanding of peoples struggles and admire their determination.
‘Be the girl who helps someone glue their eyelashes back on in the club toilet, instead of the one who walks away laughing.’