As a blogger and marketer, I have a unique perspective about how to run a successful blog that will garner dedicated readers and will be brand-friendly. Blogger Love is a series dedicated to helping both new and seasoned bloggers grow their blog and create content that is impactful. Throughout this series, I will be sharing advice on how to put your best self forward and create a kickass blog.
In today’s Blogger Love Post, I’ll be sharing five simple pieces of advice that I wish I had known before starting my blog.
1 | There will never be a perfect time to start blogging
How often do we hold ourselves back from trying new things because we’re waiting for the right time, the most high-tech equipment, or the best resources?
Throughout college, I told myself that I wanted to blog about the beauty industry, but I always felt like…
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I had the realisation today that I started my blog without properly introducing myself! So I thought I would start a little blog series answering 5 get to know me questions each week until I’m satisfied you guys know enough about me, but not too much that you might try and steal my identity.
So here’s my first 5 questions, enjoy!
What does your name mean?
Well, according to Urban Dictonary, Nicole means “a selfless person who is very outgoing. she doesn’t care what other people think of her and she is a great friend. She has her bitchy moments but she will fix it. she doesn’t care about being the most popular, she sticks with her close friends and makes new friends easily. she is the bestest best friend.”
And Keates is apparently a verb which means “The act of vomiting in a pub in front of everybody, especially when one of the onlookers is an attractive barmaid who then has to mop up after you.”
So you know…there’s that.
What has required the most courage of you in your life so far?
Without a doubt it would be seeing my dad go through having a stroke and surgery and then having to have an aneurism in his brain clamped a few months later. It was terrifying knowing there was a high possibility we could lose him, and was the hardest thing I’ve had to go through so far in my life. But you have to have courage in those incidences because if it was hard for me to witness, imagine being the one who was going through it? I count my lucky stars that I still have my dad in my life, he never gave up and is competing in triathlons and all sorts now! He is truly an inspiration.
What do you do for work?
I have been a personal assistant for just over a year and I have to say it has been the most I have ever enjoyed a job. I never in a million years thought I would become such good friends with the boss lady – her family are all so welcoming too, I feel very lucky to be a part of their lives!
If you want to know a bit more about my job role, we actually filmed some YouTube videos together a while back about what it’s like to have a carer and what it’s like to be a carer. I warn you now I am VERY awkward in these videos, I cringe at myself… hard, but it spreads awareness, so please do check them out! – Carer Tag Video
Where’s your favourite place to visit?
I really love visiting London, I used to spent a lot of time up there when I worked in salons, and my other half used to go to Kings College, so we explored the city quite often together.
I love finding little activities to introduce my friends to. One of my favourite places I’ve visited is The Magic Roundabout in Old Street station, it is shutting down in the new year, so if you get the chance to visit before that happens I really recommend it!
How long was your longest relationship?
The longest relationship I have ever been in is the one I’m in right now, almost 8 years down the line and I’m still with Mr Sarcastic himself!
We went to the same school together and were in the same year but never really spoke, in fact Reece was under the impression I didn’t like him, but I was just a socially awkward teenager who didn’t know how to talk to boys.
It wasn’t until college when our friendship groups started hanging out together that I got to know him and man, was I crushing HARD. Almost 8 years later he still makes me laugh more than anyone ever could and I really couldn’t be without him.
Is there anything you would like to know about me for my next get to know me post?
If so, please leave me a comment with your questions!
At the start of Summer, I had some weird roll-on blusher that was just sitting there, all lonely and unused at the bottom of my make-up draw. I never wear blusher, so instead of it going to waste I used it in my hair – naturally.
Here’s the result of my boredom induced blusher experiment – I absolutely loved the colour!
This month I decided to dye my hair pink for real using L’Oréal Colorista in the colour Dirty Pink, I also used the Bleach London Rose shampoo!
My hair was in desperate need of a good wash, so before getting started I used the Bleach London shampoo in the hope it might give me a subtle pink base to work with. I applied this like a normal shampoo and left it for a couple of minutes before rinsing. When I dried my hair I was pleasantly surprised, it had left a slight rosy tint – more so than I was expecting!
I then moved on to the dirty pink Colorista hair dye, which is semi-permanent and washes out gradually within 1-2 weeks. The instructions were very straight forward and there were options for full head, Ombre and highlights depending on which look you wanted to go for – I went for full head.
The thing I loved about the dye was that there was no need for mixing or shaking, you just squeeze it out and get cracking! My hair is quite thick, so I bought two boxes and ended up using every last drop, so if you have long or thick hair I recommend getting more than one box– you can get them on offer for buy one get one half price at Superdrug at the moment!
The instructions say to apply the dye 2 fingers away from the roots. But I quickly whacked it on all over because I’m not about that life.
After making sure it was all covered I left the dye on for around 25 minutes. Rinsing the product out was a dream! It’s also a hair mask, so there is no need for shampoo or conditioner, just rinse until the water run clears and you’re good to go!
I dried my hair and it felt so soft! The colour was nice but had really taken to my roots more than the rest – I probably should have followed the instructions, you live and you learn!
Here’s the results of day 1 – The colour was lovely but a little brighter than I was expecting.
The next day I decided the colour wasn’t quite right for me, and the areas that were brighter on my roots were distracting. So, I scrubbed my roots with shampoo and rinsed my hair to try and fade it. I then applied my trusty Bleach London rose shampoo again, only this time I treated it like a toner, leaving it in for 20 minutes before rinsing.
Afterwards I dried off and my hair was the exact colour I was originally hoping for, hallelujah! Plus, my roots were no longer patchy which was a massive bonus!
So, would I do this again? 100% – I love having pink hair, it makes me feel like a sassier version of myself!
Although next time I think I’ll use the Bleach London hair dye rather than L’Oréal Colorista, because after seeing how well the shampoo worked for me I really rate their products!
Now I’m just holding out on washing my hair so the pink lasts longer, how long you can get away with using dry shampoo before it’s seen as gross? Asking for a friend…
If any of you have used similar products, please let me know your recommendations for achieving the perfect pink hair! Next time I’ll be good and follow all the instructions!
I don’t know about you, but when it comes to buying clothes I usually stick to the sale sections of high street stores. So much so in fact, that I can’t actually remember the last time I bought an item of clothing that was brand spanking new! You would usually find me rummaging through the £10 or less section in New Look – however, more recently I have started to spend more time looking through the huge variety of clothes that charity shops have to offer!
Last week I bought 8 items from my local St Clare Hospice charity shop, and the total came to under £10, which absolutely blows my mind!
Here’s a little break down of my purchases;
Floral shirt – £1.50
M&S white shirt – £1.50
Red flared Primark trousers – £1.50
UNI QLO Jumper – £1.50
Grey River Island jacket – £2.00
Navy blue and white belt– 50p
Dawn French, A tiny bit Marvellous book – 50p
Jodi Picoult, Small great things – 50p
I walked out of that charity shop experiencing feelings I’ve never had after shopping in a high street store.
I felt like I had just been on an episode of bargain hunt and had won the show – I was waiting for Tim Wonnacott to come round the corner to give me a golden gavel pin!
It also felt lovely knowing my money was going to good use, and I started wondering about whether any of the items I’d bought had a back story.
It can be a bit daunting when you first step foot into a charity shop, but with perseverance there really is something for everybody!
Here are 5 tips I’ve found help when exploring charity shops;
Stay calm – This may sound silly, but the structure and organisation of a charity shop is very different in comparison to most shops, which can be a bit overwhelming when you first walk through the door.
Look through everything – It may take quite some time to sift through all of the clothes, but trust me, there are some real gems to be found! Occasionally you may find some items that haven’t even been worn yet with the labels still attached! And it has been known for some people to find designer wear for a fraction of the price! Whatever you find though, will be a real bargain.
Don’t limit yourself to size – When you’re working your way through all of the rails try not to worry too much about size. If it looks like it will fit, great! If it looks a bit big, not to worry, that’s what belts and accessories are for! The only time I worry about size is if I think something may be too small for me, anything else is fair game and can be sewn / accessorised to suit you!
Be open-minded – Charity shops give you such a good opportunity to try something new! Pick a style that is out of your comfort zone and run with it! You can probably get an entire new outfit – shoes and all, for less than £20! – That’s less than you spent on Domino’s last week!
Remember you’ll be making a difference – It doesn’t matter how much you choose to spend, because every purchase helps. The charity shop I visited recently provide compassionate care and support to adults with life limiting illnesses, alongside support for their families and carers. It’s nice to know my money will go towards such a worthwhile cause.
I been thinking about doing some OOTD blog posts showing you some of the looks I have put together using clothes I have found in various charity shops – if that sounds like something you would be interested in seeing please let me know!
This post is all about one of the ways I find motivation, kinda.
You see, the best way to motivate me is to tell me I can’t do something, it’s one of my biggest pet peeves and instantly makes me feel as though I’ve just been challenged.
This can actually be really helpful in certain situations. If I tell someone I want to go to the gym more this week, (knowing the likeliness of me actually going is about 2%) and they reply “Yeah, but I doubt you will” suddenly I’m star jumping my way out the door, and cursing their name as my legs turn to jelly on the StairMaster.
This trait of mine is both a blessing and a curse.
For my birthday this year, my boyfriend Reece took me to see The Book of Mormon – Which is absolutely hilarious. I cackled like a witch through-out the whole thing!
After the show, we went for a nice dinner, and then snooped out somewhere for cocktails, because, in my personal opinion a trip to London isn’t complete without partaking in Happy Hour.
A few cocktails in, I ordered a martini that was garnished with chillies. Reece didn’t believe I would eat them, so naturally, I did. And they were HOT! Way too hot for me to handle. You would think after that experience I wouldn’t do the exact same thing the next day, but I’d already faced Nicole’s chilli challenge so I figured I was now immune to chillies and went in for round 2 whilst out for a meal. And now every time I see a chilli I’ll probably do it again and again until I die.
Above are just some silly, light-hearted examples, but joking aside, at some point in life someone unexpected may criticise you. It could be someone you really respect at work, a family member, or it could be your best friend, who you’re shocked to hear has such low expectations of you. When it’s someone who means a lot to you it can be a real kick in the teeth, but if you take that criticism, turn it into a challenge and work at proving them wrong, then you’ll be a better person for it!
Just take a leaf out of Barney Stinson’s book.
Have you ever been spurred on to do something after someone told you that you couldn’t?
I’d love to hear your stories, please feel free to share them in the comments!
Wood shavings everywhere, paint all over my skin, and a little on the desk I was attempting to resurrect. Suddenly, amongst this mess I was making, I felt a sense of calm and a feeling of achievement. I was literally just painting a table… funny how silly little things can have such an effect on you!
You see, in the weeks leading up to this moment I was feeling very down. We all have those weeks, right? I didn’t want to do anything, and I was feeling very antisocial, which was showing when spending time with friends and family. Whilst sitting in my room feeling sorry for myself, I was staring at my dressing table. I bloody hated that thing, and I had been putting off fixing it for weeks. I decided I needed to get myself out of this weird funk and began working on making my desk less of an eyesore.
I was proud after forcing myself out of that negative mindset, and I had something to show for it too! Because I was feeling happier, my mind subconsciously started looking at ways to get that feeling in other aspects of my life, which began a ripple effect. That week I had some important conversations with people I had been putting off, which led to positive results, and I reconnected with a friend I had lost touch with for almost 7 years!
I wrote about this little change in mindset on Instagram, it was the first time I had ever put anything particularly personal on my feed, but I felt an urge to share and see if anyone could relate.
I had such a positive response! Some friends reached out privately, and others told me how “they really needed to hear something like that today” or how “they were feeling inspired” and “were going to take a leaf out of my book”.
I mean, wow.
It felt great knowing how this little project had helped me, but it felt even better knowing that writing about it had helped others too.
So, in a nutshell I guess that’s what inspired me to start this blog. If even a shred of what I write is relatable or helps someone else in their life, then it has served its purpose!
Now would probably be a good time for an introduction so… Hello! I’m Nicole.
By day I am a 25-year-old personal assistant/carer and by night I am a human sloth who resides in Essex. I have plans for this blog to be lifestyle related, with a few stories thrown in of me embarrassing myself. Trust me, that happens a lot more than I care to admit!
Until next time, thanks so much for stopping by! I can’t wait to begin this new chapter in my notebook, and for you guys to come along with me!