Wednesday, 25 February 2015

BBC Shortform Vlogging Audition

BBC Shortform - What's it all about?

Hey guys!

Today I wanted to share with you an interesting thing I got to be a part of recently. I received an email a few weeks ago from one of the team at the BBC, asking if I wanted to take part in a vlogging audition for BBC Shortform.

They were basically looking for digital talent exclusively in the West Yorkshire area (which isn't something you get often wheyey for Leeds/Bradford!!), and wanted participants to create a short engaging video on an interesting subject. I said yes excitedly then started to think about how I'd never vlogged before in my entire life. AHHH. After a bit of worrying about how on earth I was going to pull this off with the very little camera action skills I had, I decided I had to ask my pal & fellow Yorkshire blogger Alex if she could help a girl out and join me! She said yes and then it was over to brainstorming for what we could do! 

What I Learnt From Vlogging

I have to say we had a pretty funny evening practising filming ourselves - lots of laughter fits, camera mishaps, and almost falling off our chairs. And although I can honestly say I'm no pro at this v-logging business - here are a couple of things I did learn from it.

1. A glass of water in the hand keeps dramatic hand gestures at bay! 

2. Try not to nod your head like the churchill dog (like I did!!) - instead try to relax and engage in the conversation naturally. 

3. Random leg/nose/eyebrow scratches don't look so good. And neither does overly playing with your hair! 

4. Remember to project your voice so you don't sound mumbly - a little louder than you would in a normal conversation but not so loud that you give the crazy vibes!

5. Actually remember to have fun with it! Being on camera is nerve racking but also, it is quite fun if you allow it to be!

An afternoon with the BBC

The big day finally arrived and I was a combination of excited and nervous as you can imagine. When we first arrived we were given a short presentation on how vlogging and youtube has gotten to be so big in the last few years, and how the BBC are interested in creating their own digital platform to showcase a variety of different vloggers with different skills and interests. There was even a mini video from Youtube's Jim Chapman on what makes great short video content, which I thought was really good! 

After that we were whisked off to our private room to start shooting our very own vlog! (Cue the quick selfie action!)

After a bit of thumbling with the camera we started on our vid, which was all about our top 4 tips for keeping a good online and offline life balance. Social media is pretty amazing, so it's easy to let it take over sometimes! But it's good to take a step back and think about how you can use your online time more wisely rather than spending a good chunk of your evening aimlessly scrolling through instagram pictures you've seen 10 times already (which I'm definitely guilty of!). 

Anyway, I think the video went okay (minus maybe a bit of nervous waffling and over excited giddiness haha!). After we were done we headed to a meeting room to have an interview with 2 guys from the BBC, which was pretty scary! I'm so bad at answering questions about myself - What makes you unique?! Ha, they were really nice though and it was all actually really good fun! We now have to wait a couple of weeks to find out if we got through to the next round, but whatever the outcome is it was a great experience and I'm so glad we got the opportunity to take part. :)

The Outfit

For the event I ended up wearing an outfit I'd gotten some snaps of from a recent Sunday strolling trip with the BF. I went for the pastel vibes in a floral Miss Selfridge playsuit, teamed with a pastel blue Asos coat, & a pink Miss Selfridge bag. 

Floral playsuit - £39 Miss Selfridge / Pink Bag - £35 Miss Selfridge / Pastel Blue Coat - Asos / Knee High Black Boots - £70 River Island / Wool Camel Beret - Accessorize (Now only £3.60!)

And that's it for todays post - thanks so much for reading and have a lovely week :) 

See you soon!

Gabby xo

Sunday, 15 February 2015

#CurrysIntroJuicing Leeds Blogger Event

When I got an email from the Joe Blogs Network about attending a health event in Leeds it couldn't have been better timing. I'd been needing a kick up the bum with my health and diet for a while, so was excited at the prospect of learning some new tricks to help me out!

The event was held at the lovely Lamberts Yard in Leeds with around 50 other bloggers - it was great to get chatting with so many lovely girls, many of which were Leeds bloggers I'd never met before. We got split up into groups and then spent the afternoon at several different stations, which I'll explain more about now. :)

Nutrition Advice with Nutrishan's Shakela 

It's not every day that you get a nutrionalist on hand to ask questions too, so I was impressed when we had the chance to spend 30 minutes with Shakela from Nutrishan. She had a table full of bright fruit and vegetables - just looking at them made me feel healthier! We went through some information on how to make the healthiest smoothies and she made us one of her special radiance skin recipes to try. I've always thought vegetable smoothies would taste pretty rank, but this one was definitely drinkable - and if it's good for skin then even better! We even got to take some recipes home with us which was awesome :)

Mocktail Station (with a slight disaster!)

If you follow me on Twitter you might have seen that I love a good cocktail (in a non alcoholics anonymous kind of way!), so I was intrigued to try the alcohol free ones being offered up at the mocktail station. All in all I thought they were pretty nice, apart from one that had beetroot in aka my vegetable enemy. It's quite a strong flavour so I find no matter how much you put in of other vegetables, you can always taste it. 

They then offered the chance for a couple of us to go up and have a try at making our own. Somehow I ended up going up onto the station with Laura from Laura Cinnamon's blog - despite the fact I happen to be pretty disastrous in the kitchen. It was all going well and we started to get quite into it, with the rest of the girls guiding us on what to throw into our new exciting cocktail mix. Bit of cucumber here, some carrot there, a nice plum for good measure. Then all of a sudden there was a BANG, the juicing machine made a terrible screeching sound, smoke started coming out and I was just hoping for a hole to appear that I could dive into. It turns out I'd forgotten the little matter of the solid stone that appears inside a plum. Oops. 

Thankfully, the event organisers were nice about it and didn't throw me out for possibly breaking one of the expensive juicing machines! But hey, I feel like we all learned a valuable lesson about juicing that we'll never forget ;) 

Rocket Yoga with Amanda from Yoga Elementz 

I have to say I was a little scared at the sound of rocket yoga, I mean, I've never really done normal yoga so was sure I'd end up a twisted mess on the floor! However, surprisingly it wasn't too bad and for the majority of the work out I managed to keep up. Amanda did a great job of taking us through it all, and it's actually inspired me to give yoga a proper chance since even from the short 30 minute work out we did with her, my stomach muscles were aching days later. Success! 

Product Play Station 

After my little incident at the mocktail station I tried to take a step back from touching anything electrical, but we did end up getting to have another play around juicing up some more fruit and veg mixtures with the hugeee table of ingredients provided at the product play station. No smoke this time, phew! Here's Fran from A Style Creative blog making us up something tasty. :)

I have to say I found the whole afternoon really engaging from start to finish, which isn't something you always experience at these events, but it was organised so well I was really impressed and had a great time! Thank you so much to the lovely people at the Joe Blogs Network and Currys for putting on such a fab event! If you're interested in picking up a juicing machine check out their range here

Thanks for reading, and see you soon. :)

Gabby xo

Monday, 26 January 2015

Valentines Day Outfit - Casual VS Fancy

Hey guys,

So today I'm going to share with you 2 outfits that I think would be perfect for a Valentines day shindig - one for if you're going all out fancy and one for a more casual date. I've also included some date ideas - so if you're struggling about what to do with your other half then stick around!   

This idea was actually from one of the first posts I did back when I started blogging a year ago. If you fancy a good ol CRINGE then you can find the post here. I'd like to think my photography skills have improved slightly and that I'm a little less awkward in photos now ha! (Especially now I'm not smiling through braces!). 

The Casual Valentines Date Look

First up is the casual side of todays post - featuring a lovely floaty dress that I got from Missguided. They have LOADS of cute dresses in at the mo that will have you looking as sweet as a nut for Valentines day - I love this one because I think the print is super gorgeous and I love the button front detailing. 

Just a little heads up though - when I first tried it on my boobs tried to make a full blown escape, and I was considering sending it back to save my dignity, however it was nothing a little black Asos crop top couldn't solve, which I wore underneath the dress to keep the nip slips at bay. I would definitely suggest doing the same if you're not one for a bit of flashing either!  

Button Through Floral Swing Dress - £25 Missguided  / Black Fedora Hat - Topshop (bought last year) / Black Knee High Boots - £70 River IslandBrown Satchel Bag - £19.99 New Look / Camel Coat - £59 Miss Selfridge

Valentines dates I would wear this on:
  • Ice Rink Date - If there's one thing that cheesy films have taught us - it's that ice rinks are perfect for a lovely dovey date setting. There's currently one in Leeds at millennium square - but they seem to pop up in lots of cites around this time.
  • Our First Times Date - This isn't what it sounds like. How about spending a whole day or night doing the things you did on your first dates? It could include anything from eating at the first restaurant you went together, watching the first film you saw together, even re-visiting the first bar you went to. Even if it's completely random it's bound to stir up some funny (and possibly embarrassing) memories! :)
  • Valentines Cookery Class - Lots of restaurants do cookery/baking classes around Valentines day, so keep an eye out for one near you. And don't worry if you can't cook you could always turn it into a food fight!
  • Shopping in a New City - Explore a city you've both never been too and split up for half an hour to buy each other one surprise gift. OR have the gift already secretly bought and use it as an excuse to spend 30 mins in Topshop uninterrupted ha! WIN!  

The Fancy Evening Valentines Look

You may have seen in a previous post that I bought myself a beautiful pink dress from Chi Chi Clothing just before Christmas. So you can imagine my excitement when the opportunity to collaborate with Chi Chi came up! 

After spending a good chunk of an evening browsing through/falling in love with all their dresses, I finally managed to pick this beautiful formal evening maxi dress. It's like nothing I've owned before, and I couldn't help but feel a bit special in it! 

 Navy Maxi Dress* - £57.99 Chi Chi Clothing  / Silver Clutch - Accessorize  

Valentines dates I would wear this on:

  • Theatre & Meal - If you're wanting a bit of a fancy night out (who doesn't love an excuse to get dressed up?) then there are always some amazing restaurants that do pre theatre meal offers! My favourite in Leeds is the french restaurant Kendells Bistro - I always think it feels like christmas in there because of all the pretty lights - such a romantic & cosy atmosphere!
  • Night in a Castle - You could go super fancy and take advantage of some of the castle stay & dinner offers that are available around Valentines. Because us ladies deserve to feel like a princess every now and again! (Cheese). 

If something a bit more adventurous is your thing then I think GO APE is an awesome date idea! Climbing trees & zooming down the zip wires - what could be more fun! If you're thinking it lacks the romantic vibes, then you could always get all cosy in the cafe after with a nice hot chocolate. :)

Hope you've enjoyed the post - let me know what your favourite Valentines day dates are, or what your plans are for this years! 

Have a great week :)

Gabby xo

Monday, 19 January 2015

After Uni Work Struggles & 4 Work Outfits!

Hey guys,

Today I wanted to share with you a little about what it's been like since I left uni, and jumped feet first into the real work world. If you're just interested in the outfits then feel free to scroll to the bottom for 4 of my favourite work looks from this past month :)

After Uni Work Woes

I can't believe it's nearly been 6 months since I started at my not-so-new job! I was thinking recently about how much I enjoy it, especially when I compare it to the horrible 7 months I did in recruitment, and how hopeless I felt when I didn't know what I wanted to do after uni.

When I left uni with a Chemistry degree, there was only one thing I was certain about when it came to what job I wanted, and that was that I didn't want to do anything chemistry related. Most people thought I was crazy and that I had completely wasted 3 years of my life studying it. In fact they wanted me to waste another 5 or so years doing something I knew I wouldn't enjoy just so it was all "worth it". Well, we can't predict the future or how our feelings change, and I personally think we're made to choose our degrees far too early on anyway. I picked chemistry just because I was good at it and was told uni was the best option for a good career. However, towards the end of my second year I had completely lost any passion I had for the subject, but decided to push through and finish the degree off (which I am glad I did really!).

"Nothing you'll ever do will be wasted"

When Uni was over I remember the sudden pressure and realisation that I had to now decide my future, despite having no clue as to what I wanted to do and being told from friends and family that I had to do something with my degree. But during those times when the pressure was on I remembered a talk we once had in school. It was from a lady who ran her own successful business, and she explained how she'd gone from the most randomest jobs before she got to where she was, but that everything she'd learnt along the way had actually contributed to her success. It was the one line she kept repeating throughout "nothing you'll ever do will be wasted" that kept me confident that I was making the right decision. And I'm glad I did because it wasn't wasted! There's loads of things I've taken from my degree, even just things like being able to do reports which has made things a little easier when I'm doing them for my current job, or even the fact I met one of my best friends and had some of the best times of my life!

First Job In the Real World

So when I first started out applying for jobs, I uploaded my CV to a popular job site and started looking through available roles. I seemed to keep coming across loads of recruitment jobs with phrases like "UNCAPPED SALARY" "HUGE BENEFITS" etc, so when I got a call to ask me to come for an interview for a healthcare recruitment consultant role, I was really excited!

I remember my first month of recruitment. Everything was amazing, there I was being a grown up in a proper office,  being given proper responsibility and earning my first wage - all the general excitement and buzz of being in the real world. But, as more weeks went on, I started to get this nagging feeling in the back of my head. Is this really what I wanted to do for the next 5 years? Did I really enjoy being shouted at down the phone daily, working all evenings & weekends and being told to lie to people?.. My answer was (unsurprisingly) no. And I realised, quite sadly, that recruitment wasn't for me. Maybe I'd never be happy in a job I thought, maybe I was just afraid of hard work and should man up!? It took me a while before I fully admitted to myself that I was doing the wrong thing. I thought about how I'd wasted even more time of my life...when that saying whizzed round my mind again "nothing you'll ever do will be wasted" and I began hunting for my next job.

Moving Forward Into Digital Marketing

It wasn't easy finding the right job and figuring out what I wanted to do. I did one other role before I found the one I'm in now (doing digital marketing). And again when I realised I had to move from the last job I just thought.. you've got to be kidding me!? Who's going to want to hire someone who's spent 3 years in chemistry and done 2 roles in the space of about a year!!? But, after searching online for some local digital marketing companies I came across one who's website really interested me and despite having only a little experience in the field I bit the bullet and sent my CV in. And I'm so glad I did! I think it was actually having this blog that helped me get the role as digital marketing involves a lot of social media - and i've even done some blogging for companies! That and, really good timing (they were just about to start hiring!). Don't get me wrong I'm no digital marketing pro and I've still a lot to learn, but I can at least say i'm enjoying learning it.

So if there's one piece of advice I can give you and feel confident about, it's not where the best place to get a bargain skirt is's to remember that you don't have to be unhappy at work. Don't feel bad if you've spent 3-4 years somewhere and decided you don't enjoy it. You'll thank yourself in the long run for finding something you do enjoy, even if it takes a little while. Ignore those who try tell you you've got to stay where you're unhappy - they're not the ones going to a job they hate day in and day out. And of course remember that whatever you do, maybe it's a job in a factory that you're not enjoying or an office job you want to escape, whatever it is, you learn something from everything you do and nothing you'll ever do will be wasted :) So take control of your own happiness and go after something that makes you happy, and don't feel guilty for doing so.

And Now For The Work Wear!

Hope you didn't mind me sharing all that, now onto my favourite 4 work outfits from the past month.

1. Monochrome Dogtooth Style

Black & White Dogtooth Skirt - £20 Missguided / Black Crop Top - Boohoo / Black & White Heels - £19.99 New Look (bought last year) / Necklace - £3 Primark / Black bag - £7 Primark

This is probably the most "normal" work outfit of the 4, featuring the staple black and white work colours, to create a classic chic monochrome look. 

2. 60's Topshop Prints

Paisley Print Tunic Dress - £36 Topshop / Green Crop Top - £8.99 New Look / Statement Necklace - £7.99 New Look / Black Bag - £7 Primark / Black Knee High Boots - New Look

Now to mix it up a little! I love a good printed dress and had to grab this one from Topshop as I though the paisley print was amazing. I think it looks really cute with a green crop underneath (and I'm sure black, dark red or other colours would work well too!), whilst teamed with a pair of black knee high boots for a 60's office girl look!

3. Feminine Florals 

 Dark Floral shirt - £30 Miss Selfridge  / Purple Pencil Skirt - £25 Miss Selfridge / Brown Bag - New Look / Brown Heels - £19.99 New Look / Necklace - £3 Primark

This bright and floral look has to be the most girliest of styles I'm sharing with you today! I love how the bright purple skirt brings out the colour in the shirt. Work wear doesn't have to be boring and I love having fun with my work wardrobe to create looks like these! :)

4. School Girl Chic

Monochrome High Neck Tunic Dress - £19.99 New Look /  White Shirt - £9 Primark / Necklace - £7.99 New Look / Black Boots - £35 Miss Selfridge 

I say school girl school uniform consisted of a bright red jumper and blue blazer...yuk! But I do think this monochrome check print dress brings some school girl chic to the outfit, creating a cute & fun work look! 

And that's everything, thanks for reading. Let me know in the comments what your first experiences of job hunting were like, and what your favourite work styles are. :)

See you soon! 

Gabby xo