24 April 2016

Trip to Dallas, Texas | Travel

4 countries in 4 months, man I love it! I'm very lucky because I get to travel for work and another great thing is they are all countries I haven't been to before (apart from London).

It was time to visit Dallas for a conference, when I found out I was literally so excited! I have heard so many wonderful things about Dallas and Texas as a whole, I couldn't wait to go, my work colleague was actually from Dallas so as you can imagine she took us to all of the best places! I won't go into detail about the work part of my visit but I did want to share with you guys my overall experience whilst I was's safe to say I'm in love with the place.

I think one thing America does really well is customer service, no matter where you walk into people welcome you, ask you how you are and always tell you to have a great day! I love it, I used to work in retail so customer service is something I always look out for! However, this being said Dallas takes it to a whole other level, like the people on the streets are just as warm and welcoming, I found myself saying good morning to strangers and everyone holds the door open for you, it's true what they say about southern hospitality!

How could I not go to Dallas and talk about the food...Oh.My.God, I mean just wow! The portions are bloody massive, I didn't finish a single thing, which is heartbreaking enough but I ate so much! It's actually really common for people to take their left overs home with them which I think is pretty great, the restaurants are always so accommodating! We went to a few different places, one was called HG where I had pulled pork tacos and vegan nachos! It was a very random place but the food was great, I would actually say it was pretty healthy because you could have vegan options or gluten free and it was clean in the sense there were a lot of preservatives! We also went to a place called Kitchen LTO which stands for Limited Time Only, now this restaurant has a super cool story! Basically every 6 months the chef changes which means the menu changes but the chef that joins the restaurant is actually voted in by the locals who taste test their best recipes! How cool is that? We met with the owner of the restaurant who was so lovely and wanted to hear more about us and what we were doing in town! On our last day we decided to have brunch at the cutest restaurant ever called Bread Winner, it's actually a well known bakery that does amazing cakes, a really nice touch about this place is that once you have ordered food they bring over some random cuts of muffins and cakes which are to die for! I went an ordered fried chicken with waffles, now doesn't that sound like a winning combination? The waffles actually had bacon bits baked into them, the chicken, as you can see in the top right, was huge! It was served with a cheese sauce that had hot sauce drizzled over it and maple syrup, I mean it was just amazing, I was really gutted when I couldn't finish it all! And then what trip to America would be complete without a piece of cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory...amazing!

Dallas is literally massive and I would say that you need to get Uber if you are thinking about visiting! I stayed in downtown Dallas and had a fantastic variety of places to eat and shop but I feel if you want something more you have to get an Uber or a taxi to take you places, all of the restaurants we ate at we had to get taxis too, now some of them were just like 10 - 20 min journey so not very far but you can't walk there! I would say if you are into shopping you have to visit  the Galleria, by far the best mall and has a lot of character!

Also, I didn't know but Dallas is actually where the US president JFK was shot and there is a museum that is located on the 6th floor of the building where the gunman fired his rifle that killed him! In all honesty I don't know too much about American history, I knew that JFK was shot but I didn't know the story behind it or even know about all the work as a president he did beforehand! It was actually really interesting to visit if not a little sad but I would definitely recommend it

I have to mention the sunsets, I was very fortunate because the hotel I was saying in was amazing, it's called the Magnolia and I would without a doubt recommend it! My room was amazing but the way the bed was positioned was facing so I could look out of the window from where I was laying and had the most perfect view of the sunrise, I've never seen anything as beautiful as that before!

I would definitely, without a doubt, go to Texas again but maybe somewhere on the outskirts just to see what those areas are like!

Have you been to Dallas or Texas before?
17 April 2016

How to work with brands, from a brand perspective | Blogging

You guys probably don't know but I actually work for a luxury fashion retailer in Italy, I won't go into too much detail but one part of my job is working with bloggers. So today I thought I would just talk about a few things that I have found when working with bloggers. I'm writing this from a luxury fashion perspective, I know that beauty brand or highstreet will probably have a very different out look and way in which they work. 

So let's dive in with some key topics starting with....

Numbers and stats

Ok guys look, we know when you're faking it. You have over 200K followers on instagram and only 100 likes with 4 comments, c'mon we have to check these things. Don't get me wrong I know many bloggers will inflate the monthly visits a little but personally I would prefer you to be honest. The thing is unfortunately numbers really do mean a lot, because sometimes the people above you don't care that a blogger's engagement levels are higher than the followers because they want to go for the ones with the biggest reach. They want their brand to be see by thousands. It sucks but sometimes it just is how it is.


This one is always a little cringe, no one ever wants to out right say my posts cost X amount, but sometimes it's just easier to be upfront because then we know whether this could be a partnership we can actually develop. Some brands cannot pay flat fees but would rather work on a gifting or giftcard basis, which some bloggers are happy with and others not so much. The value will also depend on your reach and sometimes when we specify a value it's really because we can't go higher. 


Nothing annoys me more than when I recieve an email saying "Great, I have cc'd in my talent manager who will discuss with you". I get it, I know some bloggers are really big and don't have a lot of time to be going back and forth with negotiations however you have to see it from the brand side sometimes as well. If I'm reaching out to you it is probably because I actually really love your blog and would personally love to work with you, I want you to be excited to at least interested to work with us too! When you cc in your manager it just gets very impersonal, so we can lose some of the excitement of working with you. Also I work with some amazing bloggers who have very big numbers who I know are managed by an agency but work direct with us and it is so easy because the conversation doesn't have to go through a middle man. 


To be honest, I'm really flexible with this one, once I come to an agreement with a blogger in terms of fees, I am happy for them to write whatever content they would like, it's their blog after all. Don't get me wrong, if it's in a video make sure you mention the brand or if it's a blogpost still mention the brand. Remember the brand you are posting the content for, are they a mono brand like Alexander McQueen or a retailer like NET-A-PORTER, if it's the latter still mention the retailer even if the designer item you bought is Gucci, it's a Gucci handbag you bought from NET-A-PORTER. Another thing to note is to be honest with when you will be able to get the post up, we are just as excited as your other readers to see what you have posted. 

Affiliate Links

All about measuring performance, lots of bloggers are signed up to affiliate networks or platforms that work with networks, like rewardStyle for example. For us this is so important because we need to see the level of engagement, sometimes the audience isn't a great fit and they is absolutely fine we will tailor how we work with bloggers and other times we try something and see a massive amount of engagement which is a pleasant surprise. The good thing about affiliate links is that you can also earn money from each sale you make as well so it's kind of a win win situation to include them . 

So I guess the key things are, be honest... about everything, fees, schedules, content, we can often get things done a lot quicker if we know everything to start with. Don't take it too personally if a brand can't work with you because of your numbers, sometimes it's really out of our control. If you're excited about the brand, tell us it'll make us love you all the more. 

What tips do you have about working with brands? 

10 April 2016

Blog Birthday | Blogging

So, I may have just missed my blog birthday I'm such a bad parent!

I mean, I guess it doesn't really mean a great deal other that I have actually managed to stay committed to this tiny blog of mine! I will say in like the last 5 months it's really evolved into something quite different! When I first started it was all about the beauty products and the beauty reviews with other food/baking posts thrown in for good measure! However since everything changed in my personal life it has definitely filtered through into my blog life!

The posts have so much more content and fewer pictures, but I have always been a lover of words, they mean everything so I'm actually pretty happy with this however it has impacted my followers and my growth! I have seen so many other blogs grow at a much quicker pace than mine, but they are putting in the time and the dedication to constantly keep promoting and this is definitely my biggest downfall! I can sit and write for hours, but to actually remember to tell people about my recent posts I fail at! I think it's actually a very competitive industry because everyone wants success on some level, whether that's to be able to blog full time or get free stuff, so I think it's actually very hard not to compare your blog to others.

I don't think I have ever really set goals for my blog, I really believe that in a lot of cases you set specific goals and then you miss the bigger picture, I always said I wanted to work with more brands but I didn't actually reach out to any, they kinda came to me which was a massive compliment. Of course I have always wanted to grow my followers, but it's actually really hard because I'm not one of these people who engages a lot of social media but I try and join chats where possible. I also hate the "Follow for Follow" culture so when I get new followers I know for a fact that 90% of them will unfollow as soon as they realise I don't follow them back immediately, but that only ensures that I am growing organically and at my own rate. 

I have had so many wonderful opportunities to work with numerous brands, probably on a smaller scale compared to some but I have been so thrilled when asked to collaborate and without my blog I just wouldn't have this access so it's really amazing.
3 April 2016

Easter in England | Lifestyle

I decided to have a little trip to England last weekend to see some beautiful people over Easter. To be honest, I hadn't really thought of coming back to the UK but I was sitting in my room and couple of weeks ago thinking, "I have an extra day off, my roommates won't be here so I could spend the weekend by myself or just go back home for a few days..." The next day I booked the flights.

I was really looking forward to going back to the UK just to see some of my family and friends, as I have said in a previous post, I haven't really felt that homesick since being in Florence! Of course I miss people but I didn't really have any desire to go back to England, but the really weird thing was as soon as I booked my flight, I just wanted to be home! It's psychological because as soon as you know you are going back, you just want to be there but if you literally have no idea when it kinda moves to the back of my mind!

The thing that I found a little hard was trying to fit everyone in, I want to sit and just be with my family but I also want to go out and visit my friends but then it's about trying to balance 2 or 3 friends on the same day which is pretty hard but I must admit I kinda like the chaos of it all! I made sure that I didn't rush my time with each person because I didn't want them to think I don't appreciate their time so I kinda kept plans regarding timings quite broad but it worked out beautifully! I love being busy and being outside whether it just be wandering around London or sitting in a restaurant or even having a cup of tea at a friend's house, as long as I'm not cooped up all day in the house I am happy.  

It was a little weird being back, in some respects it felt like I have never been away and on the other hand I really loved being back in London. My parents live in Essex but I used to work in London so for me, I have always simply adored London and any chance I get I always find myself doing the commute back into London. But as I was walking through it, I remember how much of a buzz London has, everyone is rushing around doing their own thing going from A to B and that skyline, I mean, admittedly it's a grey skyline but my goodness, I will always love looking at that. 

The one negative thing about going back to England...I bloody got a cold!! Typical ay! 

What did you do over Easter?