A press award nomination, travel opportunities and a Dior Makeup masterclass, with a fabulous range of new products to try are some of my highlights from February.
Read all about what I’ve been up & check out my brand new blog design in my February month-in-review post.
My Month in Review
I don’t tend to do personal posts on the blog. Though, I was genuinely overwhelmed by the comments and requests on my Goals For 2018 & 2017: The Happiest Year posts that I thought I’d share a bit of insight about what I’ve been up to the past month.
Sometimes the start of the new year can leave you in the dumps. I always feel sad to see the back of the bright lights and excitement of Christmas, which brings plenty of opportunities to socialise and spend time with loved ones. In comparison, January is a bit of a dull month with cold weather and not much to look forward to on the social front.
Laying down my goals has helped me see the positives in the things I do and this time around I’ve had a brighter outlook.
Award Nomination & Future Travels
The start of the new year has been anything but boring, some exciting things have happened to me, which I’m thrilled about. Following my press trip with Visit Holland in November, I’m very honoured to be nominated for an award at the upcoming Holland Press Awards. My Festive Shopping in Den Bosch post is in the ‘Best Online Article’ category and I can’t stop smiling about this!
I’d never dreamed that my little hobby would result in so many fantastic opportunities and, you can read all about my trip to The Netherlands on the links below:
If that isn’t enough to be happy about, I’m delighted to be invited on another food and fashion trip to check out Rotterdam and Eindhoven in April.
I’d vowed to do more trips in 2018 and so far the year hasn’t been disappointing. A couple of days prior to the press trip, I will be at the Keukenhof Tulip Gardens in The Netherlands with my Mum.
Adam and I have just returned from a long weekend in Paris, which had a couple of scary moments, as well as being a thoroughly enjoyable weekend – more to come in upcoming posts! We’re then off to Prague over Easter…woohoo!
Those of you who read my Italian Masterclass will know I absolutely adored both the food and meeting the Giovannini family, who had flown in from Tuscany. This introduction into Italian life will hold me in good stead as I go to Puglia, working with Bookings For You reviewing one of their villas.
I’ve never been to Italy and I cannot wait to get my fill of Italian culture as well as food! Bookings For You are organising a mozzarella making class for us and, being able to share this experience with my best friend Yvette will make it even more special.
Nothing makes me happier than upcoming trips. I love exploring new cities, trying local dishes and seeing all the destinations I’ve been wanting to see for so long. Life is about finding your own happiness and for me, travel, especially with loved ones, is something that gives me a lust for life.
I’d sworn to live life at a slower pace for 2018, but low and behold, I’m still flitting around as the name The Life of a Social Butterfly would suggest. It goes without saying, I wouldn’t take on so much and be as busy as I am if I didn’t love what I do!
A couple of people asked how I got to attend so many amazing events last year and more recently go on press trips. Though to be honest, I often wonder that myself! Jokes aside – networking is key and I truly believe attending events has not only helped build my confidence but has also given me more knowledge of the blogosphere, as well as enabled me to meet some incredibly lovely new friends and brand collaborators.
I don’t blog full-time, have hundreds-of-thousands of followers or post to a schedule; my real life and career are far too demanding at the moment for these factors to be a consideration. Though I haven’t let this be reasons to hold me back and neither should you. I love writing and taking photos; a passion I’d like to think shines through not only on my blog posts but also on my social media. Whilst the blog can often be a full-time job in itself, I can’t recommend real-life face-to-face networking enough as it can create opportunities you may not have thought were available to you.
It can be daunting (read about my own experience from last year’s U.K. Blog Awards Roast event) but leaving the comfort zone is never easy.
Here’s a little run down of events I’ve attended recently:
Harben House Hotel Launch
At the end of January, I attended the Harben House Hotel launch in Milton Keynes with my friend Sorma. More will be shared about the launch in an upcoming post, as Sorma and I have kindly been invited back to Harben House to stay.
Dior Love Chain Event
You may have noticed I’ve moved away from doing Beauty posts on The Life of a Social Butterfly. I’m not a makeup expert enough to show myself looking fabulous using the latest beauty innovations. I can blame being a tomboy for my lack of skills in the hair and beauty department!
Dior Love Chain is a campaign by Dior to raise awareness for schoolgirls out in Kenya and, the event itself included a makeup masterclass, which quite frankly I was in need of!
The masterclass was conducted by MakeUp Artist Joey Clouter and provided some really useful tips. I was also given some incredible products to try at home.
I absolutely love the Dior Forever Undercover foundation and I will definitely be purchasing more! A small amount of foundation really goes a long way, creating flawless coverage and, it’s so light it doesn’t feel like you’re wearing makeup!
I tend to avoid lipsticks as I find they often leave my lips cracked and dry. The new Lip Glow products are super nourishing and come in some great colours.
Thanks to Beth on the Dior team in Debenhams Milton Keynes for inviting me to the event. Check out my Instagram Stories from the event by clicking the following link: Dior Love Chain Video.
Keeping a gym schedule (bar this week’s snow) and walking on my lunch break has kept me active! They do say summer bodies are made in the winter so I’m trying my best! I’ve also managed to capture some beautiful pictures whilst I’ve been out walking…
Catching up with friends and I’ve even managed a girls night out with my friends in the past month. Nothing beats letting your hair down, having some drinks and dancing the night away!
Investing in myself
Outside the blog, I’m currently undertaking an NVQ in Digital Marketing, which is the equivalent of two A-levels and is being supported by my current employer. I’ve learnt so many new skills since I started blogging and I’m keen to develop these skills into a qualification.
I’ve used some of the money earned from last year’s sponsored posts to invest back into my blog and, my website’s new look is once again thanks to Phil at Pipdig.
I’ve been wanting to move from Blogger to WordPress for some time to make use of all the SEO benefits and plugins. I’d heard all about the benefits of Yoast and now I get to finally try it out for myself!
The migration service from Pipdig was seamless and I now have a fancy post slider and widgets for my Pinterest and YouTube. Phil was even able to migrate my Google + comments on my posts, which was one of the aspects I was most worried about losing.
I love my new map feature and the WordPress dashboard, which is so much easier to use than my previous Blogger dashboard; I am now able to change the colours and appearance of my blog with ease.
If you’ve been contemplating the move from Blogger to WordPress I can’t recommend Pipdig enough.
Thanks for reading my month in review post. Hope the above explains all the busy things going on behind the scenes and why I haven’t been as regular with the posting. But, hold on to your seats as lots of travel posts are in the pipeline!
The Paris spam will be coming on the blog next week!
The Blogosphere Awards are back – If any of you would like to vote for me in the travel, lifestyle and blogger categories in the Blogosphere Awards I would be very grateful – Click here to vote.