Monday, 17 August 2015

After a Short Break...

Some of you may have noticed I’ve been out of action for the last month or so. It's not been ideal, the blog is still new but it’s had been crazy couple of weeks, and it was impossible to do everything:

1) Work suddenly went off the hook. Doing 55-60 hour weeks at the studio, teaching and gigging at weekends!!! I was literally a walking zombie.

2) We went on holiday for some much need chill time and of course ate good food and wine with the best of company.

3) We moved house. We did it in one day, just the two of us and it was perfect, tiring & stressful, but perfect. 

Its true to say that the last couple of weeks have proven you can’t really do it all, especially not on your own. Of course trying your best and working hard is something we should all strive to achieve in both our professional careers and in our personal lives, but expecting too much from ourselves sets us up for failure and causes unnecessary stress and worry, which is why I chose to take a step back for a few weeks. 

However, now the craziness has calmed down and normality has returned, to a degree, the Blog is Back. 

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Becoming You

We all fear being our true selves. We're guilty at some point in our lives, of editing out who we really are in fear of being disliked or judged.

Becoming who you are meant to be is something only ourselves can define and achieve. Being able to be your true self is something that takes time, experience, risk and lots of trial and error. 

No one is perfect so don't compare yourself to other people. Take influence and advice from those who you aspire too and admire, and make it work for you. 

I'm totally guilty of the above and I'm constantly questioning how I dress, my body, my hair and even my mannerisms (very odd, but I bet you do too)! I know who I would like to be but what I'm realising is that I will be forever working towards becoming that person. As I grow and reach my goals, my ambitions change and therefore my priorities shift.  

When I'm working with my artists, we focus a lot on self development and the kind of artist they want to be or be perceived as. We call it an Alter Ego, an extended more elaborate version of yourself.  However, my theory is that this is the person that they actually want to be most of the time, but feel that in real life they can't. Isn't it ridiculous that we are afraid to be ourselves?! 

A quote I adore from the amazing designer Diane Von Furstenberg is this: "I didn't know what I wanted to do, but I knew the woman I wanted to become". 

The most powerful people in the world have insecurities, they're human, but they are confident, they are themselves and they are unapologetic for it. 
I think if we all tried to be a bit more of that daring, free spirited, outspoken and creative person we want to be the world would be a better place. 

Knowing who you want to be is the start, but becoming who you want to be is the journey, and an exciting one at that.

Here are 5 Things you should do this week to Become More You:

1) Style
Stop looking at other people walking down the street and comparing their style to yours. Instead take a risk and where those high heels to work (or pack them in your bag if you've a stupidly long commute like me), wear the devilish red lipstick or those skinny jeans you've been putting off. You will immediately feel more fabulous and confident with yourself.

2) Lists
Write down a list of 10 things you want to achieve but are too afraid to do because there's some risk involved. Rank each one from 1-10 (1 being low risk & 10 being high risk DANGER DANGER!), now write next to each point, what the risk is. You'll probably see that you've been probably freaking out about nothing, so pick 5 points and do 1 a day, and save the best most exciting for the weekend! 

3) Social Media Break Time
It's time you logged out and logged off! When you take time out from all the social media, you stop looking at the lives of people around you and start focusing on your own life. You will stop feeling guilty for things you haven't managed to do (gym, see friends, eat healthy) and spend that valuable time on yourself.

4) Be Selfish
Do something for you. Take up a hobby, join a gym or that cooking class you've always wanted to do. Don't depend too much on having a companion or friend to go along to things with you, who knows you may make a new friend or two. Being independent is a beautiful thing. You want to go to dinner but all your friends are broke, go on your own, order a glass of wine and chill (/people watch).

5) Mirror Mirror On The Wall...
Stand in front of the mirror and tell yourself..... 
"I am proud of myself. I love myself. I love who I am. I can be anything I want to be. I can do anything I put my mind to and I am capable of achieving greatness."

This may sound all a bit odd, but trust me, it's harder than you think, but feels damn good when you praise yourself once in a while, rather than somebody else.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

6 Ways to Feel Fabulous Instantly

When you feel fabulous, you look fabulous! Nothing can stand in your way and you're ready to take on the world. 

I know when I feel fabulous I'm more productive, assertive and ambitious. I work better and I feel better about myself. I exude confidence and happiness and above all, I don't care about what other people think.

Here are 6 simple things that will make you feel more Fabulous instantly:

1) Good Hair
Get up 15mins earlier and wash that hair! We all know when your hair is on point you feel better. Curly, straight, updo, top knot, whatever you're feeling make that small extra effort in the morning, you'll thank yourself later.

2) Bubble Bath 
I love a good bubble bath. There is nothing more relaxing then some candles, relaxing music and sinking in to a luxurious bath of bubbles with maybe a cheeky glass of wine on the side. 

3) A Tan
I have very fair skin and I don't really like to spend too much time in the sun for both health and beauty reasons, not too mention walking around like a lobster is just not a good look. So my answer is FAKE TAN! Yes I said it, I love fake tan. It's puts a glow to my skin and I feel better when I'm less pasty.

4) Sunglasses 
You're running late and you've no time to put on your face, so stick on a pair of sunnies and you'll instantly feel more glamorous. I have a serious sunglasses problem and I love investing in a beautiful pair, but I've found equally as stylish sunglasses in TopShop and Zara as I have Bulgari and D&G.

5) Pedicure
Now let's get something straight, feet generally aren't very pleasant to look at, so help them out and get a pedi. As a woman who loves heels, I feel really strongly about keeping my feet looking fabulous, (no one needs to see crusty toes and your own personal stash of parmesan) especially in summer. Indulge and book yourself a spa treatment (Ki Day Spa in Cheshire is by far the best Spa I've been too) or go DIY and make time at home. 

6) Makeup
Investing in good makeup is worth every penny but making the time to try out what suits you is the key to your makeup success. I've spent hours watching makeup and hair tutorials and here are some of my favourite blogger and vloggers who have inspired me to try out new techniques and products: Huda Kattan, Carli Babel and Sazan Barzani

 "A girl should be two things: Classy and Fabulous!" by Coco Chanel

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Reflection #2: Summer Bucket List

So this past week was a pretty mental one. 14hr days at the studio, teaching in the evenings, events and thankfully we weren't gigging this weekend and there has been time to relax however, does anyone else find it hard to use their days off effectively?

At work I have a lot of responsibility and 100s of things going on all at the same time. There's no denying I love my job, the studio, working with my team and the artists we have, but I find that when it comes to doing things for myself outside of work, it's almost like I can't fit anymore in.

At home I'm very relaxed and often don't necessarily see the urgency or importance in getting stuff done straight away or at all, but I need to start focusing on myself.

I've accomplished a lot within my career during the last 6months, but personally not so much....
A previous post I wrote Make A life or A Living talks about finding the balance between work and life, so my goal this summer is to do exactly that.

Summer Bucket List 2015:

1) Take part in a 10k run for charity

2) Spend a day wondering around Brick Lane and Columbia Road Market

3) Go Camping 

4) Holiday with my family

5) Start a fitness programme and stick to it

6) Learn to make the ultimate homemade burger

7) Watch the Sunrise

8) Go hiking

9) Road Trip

10) Horse Ride

11) Learn to take a great photograph

"Sometimes you will never know the value of something, until it becomes a memory." by Dr. Seuss

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Make A Living or A Life?

It's often hard to decide what the right thing to do is, when you have so many pressures and obstacles flying at you from every direction. In today's society of 'Generation Rent' I find it difficult to find a balance with wanting to live the life I would like, whilst still thinking about the future, savings, wedding, a house, babies, pension etc.... Where is the line? 

I had an amazing childhood, my sisters and I never wanted for anything. We went on amazing holidays, had all kinds of hobbies incl horse riding, golf, scuba diving, skiing, dance (the list goes on, but I'll stop there) and we have the best family relationship I know of, and I can't thank my parents enough for all of those things. 
However, the constant and internal battle with myself on a daily basis - 

'How can I live and give my kids (still a few years away yet) the same lifestyle I've always had?'

It's a pressure I have put on myself for years and everything to do with the success of my career revolves around the above.

I'm 26 years old and getting married next year. My fiance and I don't live near any family and everything we have we've worked for ourselves. We also live in one of the most expensive parts of the country and the thought of owning our own home is not on the cards for a quite some time. 
We Rent! 

Now tradition says, you should get married before you live together and you should own a home before you start a family, but I don't see how this is possible for most of us. Only a handful of people I know under 35 have bought their own home, and how did they do it? Lived with their parents for 3-5 years, which is amazing but not always an option.

Maybe the pressure comes from older generations whose first house could have cost £19,000 (can you imagine buying a whole house for £19k??! Where we live you couldn't by a garage for that much), or maybe the pressure comes from ourselves.

I am a hard worker, but I'm never satisfied and I'm always looking for the next challenge to improve my career or financial situation. But, is all the work in the world worth all of this if you are never home and spending time with your family, you can't work out and look your best and your exhausted and moody? I don't really think it is!

Life is hard and stressful but we should never loose out on today or look back on yesterday and regret, enjoy every moment. Be smart, be cautious, ask a 100 questions, work hard, have fun and be happy!

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Reflection #1 - Confidence

So the first week of my blog has come and gone and I'm quite overwhelmed with the amount of views I've had on here, so I just want to say Thanks to everyone who's read either or both of the posts and Thank you to anyone who has like my FaceBook Page.


So this last week wasn't as crazy as it can normally be and it was nice to have the time to work on the blog and create content for the days I wanted to post. The hardest thing I've found is to write content that I would want to read, but I think this is all down to self belief or lack of it.

Confidence is a funny thing. With Instagram, Facebook and Twitter we all tend to make things look bigger and better than they might seem. Taking multiple selfies before we post the perfect pic online and editing photos with filters to enhance the quality of said pic to make it 'perfect' is something we're all guilty of.
Is this a bad thing? no I don't think so, as I believe it can encourage people to push themselves to do and experience things they would never thought possible, but on the flip side we are creating this online persona and personal brand of how we want to be perceived which may be far from the truth.

Publishing the blog this week and promoting it to friends and family made me very nervous. I am still scared of what people might think, but yet intrigued to see how people will react to the blog and if anyone will read it.

No one from back home really knows what I  actually do in London as I don't really talk about work online (I run a music studio and music management company btw). The truth is I'm not really in contact with anyone I went to school or uni with. Obviously on my Facebook I have lots of friends who I've met through the years and yet I have only invited a few selected people to see my blog and not others.

Why is this? I guess because I'm still conscious of their opinion, which is ridiculous and makes me think if I should have them on my FB at all, but a part of me knows we're all the same. Everyone of us has confidence and self belief issues, but it's how to get through them and eliminate them that is the most important thing.
There's a few old friends of mine on Facebook that really inspire me and I feel proud of them for what they are doing with their lives, but yet I've never told them, why, who knows, probably because I haven't seen them in years and we've all moved on, but isn't that a bit sad? Shouldn't we be celebrating each other, and lifting each other up?!

Confidence is a funny thing and my mission with this blog is to take risks, take myself out of my comfort zone and do things that scare and challenge me every week.

You should always be yourself and make yourself happy, I'm going to stop worrying about others opinions and do things for me. After all I am the one living my life, not them.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

How To Own Your Day

It's hard to stay disciplined and motivated when you're tired and worn out especially after a long day, but the key I've found this week to reaching my targets and achieving my goals is to plan ahead and stick to it no matter what.

Yes ok, this is easier said then done, but pushing yourself for that extra 30 minutes to finish that workout (hello summer is here.....bikini body please) at the end of the day before bed, will boost your mood and have you falling asleep feeling positive and proud of yourself.

Being organised makes the biggest difference in the outcome of your day. Of course, things pop up and occur that you hadn't expected, after all that is life, but ensuring you have allocated time for each task you want to complete is essential to your daily progress and sense of achievement.

Here are 8 different factors that will make your day more successful:

1) Plan Your Day
Make your To Do list. Set out what you want to achieve and complete within each day.

2) Be Realistic
The biggest mistake we all make is over stretching ourselves. Setting to many unrealistic goals in the end sets us up to fail, and then you feel like a failure and disappointed in yourself.

3) Prioritise
Figure out the most important things you must have done by the end of the day, and then work backwards.

4) Be Selfish
Allowing time for yourself each day is essential for your wellbeing. Read that book you've been wanting to for ages, go to the gym, or put on a face mask and relax for 10 minutes, the results you will feel within are more than worth it.

5) Take A Break
Reclaim Your Lunch Break! You're not a machine, you can't work consistently 24/7 without a break, so take one, go for a walk and have a breather, you will be refocused and ready to take on all the tasks and goals you've set for the day.

6) Routine
We are creatures of habit who achieve more when we are comfortable and relaxed within our environments. Try to enforce a routine when you get into work even if it is making a coffee before you check emails, or taking a bathroom break to refocus and ensure you look the part before a meeting or starting your shift.

7) Eat & Drink
I can not stress how important this is to your day. Drinking enough water and eating regularly will be the ultimate decider on if and how you achieve your goals. Do you find yourself moody, ratty and sleepy if you haven't eaten for a couple of hours? I know I do, I don't even want to be around me when if I do get to that point, so I ensure I always have a 2litre bottle of water at my desk which subconsciously reminds me often to take a little drink.

8) Enjoy!!!
The most important thing is to enjoy each and every day. As the famous saying goes 'We only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough' Mae West.

Cameron Diaz - The Body Book
Miranda Kerr - Treasure Yourself