Inform. Inspire. Innovate

Monday, 21 December 2015

Merumaya Iconic Youth Serum Review

This time of year, the weather gives my skin a battering. Not helped by the cold harsh wind and rain, the lack of sunshine makes my skin feel a bit meh, so it's always a great time to try out new radiance boosting products to get that summer glow back - as much as possible.

The Iconic Youth Serum is the first product I've tried from Merumaya but the brand has been circulating blogsphere for a while, well loved by some of my favourite (and most trusted) fellow bloggers. 

They say, 
"Iconic Youth Serum™ significantly improves lines & wrinkles, elasticity, radiance, hydration, dark spots and plumpness, resulting in a more youthful, healthy-looking skin. Low mollecular weight Hyaluronic Acid is anti-ageing while it simultaneously helps to prevent spots and blemishes. Echium Oil, a plant source of Omega 3,6,9 provides the best anti inflammatory action to soothe sensitive skin, problem skin and helps prevent skin ageing." source

Sunday, 20 December 2015

A Year in Career Guest Posts

In 2015, my Career Series was born and I couldn't be prouder of the inspirations women that have taken part so far. 

The reason I started the career series was to give everyone an insight of different jobs and industries, and hopefully inspire people who are either looking for career inspiration, to change jobs or just want to find out a little more about a certain industry. The questions asked included, a brief description of the role and industry, what an average day consists of, what qualifications/experience is needed, what the career progression is like, their best tip to crack the industry and also the best and worst things about their jobs. 

I know there are lot of posts on the series now so here's a round up of everyone who took part in 2015 with the link to their post. 

I'll definitely be looking for more career guest bloggers, either on their own career or something about the subject of work and careers so if you're interested and the topic isn't already listed above, please get in touch. 

Most importantly, thank you SO much to the wonderful ladies featured above, for taking the time to talk to everyone about their career. 

Wishing everyone the biggest success in their careers in 2016. 

Love Lauren xx


Friday, 18 December 2015

777 #RaiseTheSteaks Event

It's not a secret that two of my favourite things are Gambling and American Diner Food, preferably in Vegas, but you know, we can settle for London! 

To celebrate the launch of a new 50s style online casino brand, (part of the well known brand, I was invited to #RaiseTheSteaks, to play Roulette, Blackjack and Texas Hold'Em to win an all American Diner dinner. 

We arrived at the suitably chosen, Diner in Soho and the rules of the night were explained. The chips we won by the end of the night could then be cashed in for food from the menu, or if you're totally broke and lose everything, you could pay for more chips and the money went to charity. My kind of event. 

I LOVE roulette, it's a family favourite and reminds me of our annual casino trip on Boxing Day for my Dad's birthday. I'm pretty clued up on how to play Roulette so chucked down my chips and ended up with pretty decent wins.

We then moved on to Blackjack, I'd never played it properly by betting before so I gave myself a few round practice before really getting into it. The last round I threw down all my chips and won to double my money! 

All of the staff were on hand during the evening to explain the games and help out which was really helpful. It was great looking around and seeing everyone have so much fun.      


Wednesday, 16 December 2015

NYE Party Dresses Under £40.00

With everything going on at Christmas, the chance of two things happening is highly likely; either we'll forget about New Year's Eve completely, let alone about what to wear, or secondly, we'll be skint. Or in my case, both. 

As I covered off your perfect New Year's Eve value for money venue in last week's post (you can read it here), this week I've found you 18 gorgeous New Years Eve dresses that certainly won't break the bank! Get them quickly though, most of these are currently in the sale! 

*All photos are clickable*

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

10 Karakoy, Istanbul; Hotel Review

Located in Karaköy in the heart of Istanbul, 10 Karaköy is a luxury boutique hotel where history meets the 21st century. 

You may know the Morgans Hotel Group from their well known London properties, Sanderson London, St Martins Lane or the newly opened Mondrian. The brand has a worldwide reach across their four main and distinctive brands; Delano, Mondrian, Hudson and the Originals - which is where 10 Karaköy stands. 

Due to my job, I organise events all over the world and often get invited on incredible trips to explore new destinations, hotels, restaurants and venues in all corners of the globe. In November, I was lucky enough to get to visit 10 Karaköy recently with Morgans Group to experience the hotel and the history and culture of Istanbul. 

10 Karaköy is a historic property built in a neo-classical style and designed in collaboration with award-winning architect Sinan Kafadar to bring a fresh, modern vibe to the dynamic energy of Karaköy. 10 Karaköy offers 71 unique guest rooms, ON10 their top floor bar, and also Rudolf, home to World-renowned chef Rudolf Van Nunen's first restaurant in Turkey, his home for over 20 years.

10 Karakoy Hotel Istanbul External Image


Friday, 11 December 2015

New Years Eve at Dirty Martini

For everyone who knows me and/or follows me on any social media account, you probably would have noticed, my love (maybe obsession) with Dirty Martini. I've held everything from corporate events to blogger events at one of their 7 venues across London, with my March birthday party being held there too. 

But why do I love it so much? 

- There's a venue pretty much everywhere in London that I tend to go; Covent Garden, Bishopsgate, Clapham, Hanover Square, Islington, Monument and St Pauls and near to stations

- They have happy hour EVERY NIGHT

- Their cocktails are amazing

- All the venues are similarly styled, so you always know what you're going to get; great music and an even better vibe

- The barmen are fit - extremely important in a venue if you ask me! 

...and before we start, this isn't a sponsored or an affiliated post, I just genuinely do love the venue! 

Dirty Martini Hanover Square Martini Lounge
 Photo of the Martini Lounge at Dirty Martini Hanover Square 


Thursday, 10 December 2015

Nature Knows Better Gift Box Review

It's now that time of year when we're all searching for the perfect gift. I for one spend hours searching the internet for something perfect, and unique for everyone. A difficult feat in my opinion. 

Earlier this year, I was introduced to the brand Nature Knows Better. A company selling DIY skincare gift sets. The brand was founded by Linda Yates after years of producing her own skincare and toiletries for personal use using old fashioned recipes. Linda's story and entrepreneurial spirit is extremely inspiring. You can read more about her here. 

Nature Knows Better Gift sets include:

DIY Make It Yourself Kit for Children - £19.99
DIY Make Your Own Foot Care Kit - £16.95
DIY Make Your Own Hand Care Kit - £16.95
DIY Make Your Own Hand and Lip Care Kit - £16.95
DIY Make Your Own Facial Care Kit - £16.95

The kit shown below is the DIY Make Your Own Facial Care Kit.


Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Manuka Doctor Skincare Reviews

After sticking to the same products most of my adult life, in 2015, I made it my mission in 2015 to try as many different makeup, hair and skincare brands as possible and explore the products that were on the market. 

One of my favourite brands of the year is a new entry to my collection; Manuka Doctor. All the way from New Zealand, the products focus around Manuka Honey - a product in which my boyfriend absolutely swears by to cure literally anything. Their products also contain the famous Bee Venom which is known for it's anti aging properties.
"Harnessing the power of the highest performing ingredients from the hive, Manuka Doctor offers naturally inspired, scientifically enhanced skin care formulations that are refined, concentrated and 100% bee friendly. Manuka Doctor puts women’s needs and concerns at the core of everything it does resulting in high performance skin care regimes that deliver genuine benefits for the ultimate in skin confidence, every day." source

I have been trying out the Illusionist Rapid Lift Mask, Purifying Facial Peel and the Lip Enhancer


Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Ultimate Beauty Wishlist

Clickable Photos

Hourglass No 28 Primer Serum • Hourglass • £62

After reading review after review of Hourglass products, I feel like it's now time to try it out for myself. Since I still haven't found a primer I love, I want to give some high end products a go to see if that makes a noticeable difference in quality. 

This multifunctional primer instantly softens and hydrates skin, both of which my skin is in serious need of. Containing 28 nourishing natural ingredients including Lavender, Jojoba and Rosehip, the serum acts as an anti aging product, a makeup base and also can be used on your hair to heal split ends. 

If this primer lives up to it's claims, it's definitely worth the price point in my eyes. 

MAC Lightful C Marine-Bright Formula SPF 30 Moisturizer • M·A·C • £32

I mention on my blog all the time how much I struggle with dull skin, particularly in the winter. No matter what products I use, I just can't fake that summer glow during the winter months. I've started to fall back in love with Mac recently and whilst in Duty Free a few weeks back I discovered their Marine Bright Formula, Moisturising Hydrant. 

Like the Hourglass Serum, this is a multi-purpose product with use as a moisturiser, UV protector (SPF 30), foundation primer and a skin brightener. The product is said to help skin look clearer and brighter immediately and over time. A more affordable option in comparison to the Hourglass Serum, and one I'll definitely be purchasing early in 2016 to test it's claims. 

Beauty Blender Beautyblender Classic Single • Beautyblender • £16

Whilst I am extremely reluctant to give up my beloved stippling brush, I can't deny the vast array of bloggers (and celebs) crediting their flawless finish to the (original) Beauty Blender. 

The world's first edgeless, non-disposable, high definition sponge applicator, the Beauty Blender works by bouncing against your face to apply primers, foundations, powders, cream blushes and any other complexion and face products. 

The versitility of the Beauty Blender really appeals to me and I've been having massive trouble with getting my Real Techniques Stippling Brush clean, so maybe it's time for a change on the makeup application front. 

Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick - Ibiza • Charlotte Tilbury • £30

It's official, the world is crazy for Charlotte Tilbury, and judging by product reviews, the new hype is completely justified. I'm waiting to try their products in January when I'm having a makeover at their new store but I have been stalking the products online beforehand. 

One product I'm looking forward to taking a closer look at is their Beach Stick, particularly in the shade 'Ibiza'. A creamy formula, the Beach Stick aims to help achieve a summer glow all year round and glides on effortlessly for an illuminating flush of colour (Yes to that!!). The burnished bronze shade is inspired by the golden sands of Ibiza, my favourite place in the world and another reason to love the product. 

Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit - Light to Medium • Anastasia Beverly Hills • £39

Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll have heard of the Anastasia Beverley Hills Contour Kit. The six shade palette contains smooth powders to sculpt and highlight, Kim Kardashian style. 

It's a palette I've been considering purchasing every since I first saw it and as I've never read a bad review, it's definitely a product I'll be trying out next year, once I've mastered how to contour - properly. 

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush - Mood Exposure • Hourglass • £28

Another sought after Hourglass product and probably the most well known in the blogger world, the Ambient Lighting Blush. Containing light reflecting particles with bold pigment, this product gives a natural looking flush of colour catching the light on every turn, brightening the complexion naturally. Mood exposure is a plum shade, which I thought would be more suited to my skin as I don't like anything too pink. 

Whilst I would LOVE the six shade ambient palette, I thought the single shade would give me a good taste for the product and the brand. 

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade - Medium Brown • Anastasia Beverly Hills • £15

I'll be the first to admit, I only started paying proper attention to my brows in the last year. I'm slowly trying out a range of products and the Anastasia Beverley Hills Dip Brow Pomade is one that keeps popping up. 

This product vows to be waterproof and not fade or smudge, being perfect for humid climates so I'll definitely be buying it ready to the summer season and my holidays. 

EOS Sweet Mint lip balm • EOS • £6.50

Whilst by trusty Balmi is sat on my desk as I write this, I know the blogger world goes crazy for EOS balms, and I haven't had the chance to try one yet. The price is pretty steep for a balm but my Balmi one has lasted so long so as long as this one does the same, it's definitely worth it.  

Burberry Lip Velvet Nude Apricot No.401 • Burberry • £26
Laura Mercier Crème Smooth Lip Color - Brigitte • Laura Mercier • £20

Not that long ago, I confessed to my friends that I don't wear or even OWN a lipstick. Shocking I know. Since then I've been trying, and I mean really trying to get into them and I've found my love for the nude shades. I know for sure I won't be going for anything bold any time soon as I feel like it's way too much when I wear heavy eye make-up everyday. 

In honour of my new love, I want to treat myself to these two fabulous shades from Burberry and Laura Mercier and you only need to look at their beauty to see why!

Givenchy Very Irrésistible Eau de Toilette Gift Set • Givenchy • £66.50

You know when smells just remind you of the certain place or time? The Givenchy Very Irresistible Eau de Toilette was the first perfume, I properly fell in love with. Before I could afford it, every time I was in Duty Free at the airport I had a spritz and now it always reminds me of happiness and being excited to go on holiday - not to mention it smells as amazing now as it did back then. 

I've asked for it for Christmas so fingers crossed, but if now, this gift set would be perfect as it also comes with a travel spray which is perfect handbag size.  

GHD Heat Protect Spray • ghd • £10

Since recently getting hair extensions, I'm not concious about looking after my hair. Previously I didn't really blow dry it and I very very rarely used any heat but now I need to thoroughly blow dry my hair and quite often straighten it so it's definitely time to invest in a decent heat protection spray. 


I could have gone on forever with this wishlist. I know a lot of these products are well loved by the blogging community and I haven't tried any of them before so I'm really looking forward to updating my collection in 2016. 

Let me know if you have any reviews on the above items! 

Love Lauren xx

*affiliate marketing links used

Monday, 7 December 2015

Amphora Aromatics Gift Box Review

If you're a regular Blonde Vision reader, you'll probably notice I feature Amphora Aromatics on my blog a lot as I love their natural and soothing ingredients, and their great value for money.

AA Skincare has recently launched seasonal skincare gift packs which are ethically sources and made from essential oils and natural ingredients such as Lavender, Frankincense and Sandalwood. 

Kits available include: 
Vitamin Boost Face Kit
Helping Hands Kit
Soothing and Balancing Face Kit (featured here)
Natural Remedy Kit
Detox & Restore Face Mask Kit
Rose & Pomegrante Hair Care Kit
Face Rejuvenating Kit
Refresh & Renew Face Kit
AA Skincare Essentials


Sunday, 29 November 2015

Breast Augmentation; One Year On

As I write this, one year ago to the minute, I was laying on the operating table in theatre, ready for my breast augmentation - or as it's more commonly referred to, boob job. I was freaking out so much they had to give me gas and air because my heart rate was just too high to administer the anesthetic, to say I was nervous was an understatement. Funny looking back... not so funny at the time. 

I have previously blogged about the procedure, firstly on the technicalities (you can catch up here), and also on the actual surgery and initial recovery (you can catch up here, if you're not too squeamish), simply because when I was researching the procedure, I genuinely didn't feel like there was enough support, advice or real life accounts of what it was like to go through, what happens before, during and after etc. On the same note, I feel like one year on, a reflection is just as important because it's not always an easy (and pain free) road to recovery and it's important for people who are thinking about going through it themselves to decide with all the facts - not just the fluffy, surgeons website who will tell you nothing hurts and you're basically set for life and won't have any complications. Not true. I also asked everyone on Twitter to submit anonymous questions they would like answered honestly so I'll cover all of that too. 


Mary Berry's Malted Chocolate Cake Recipe

In honor of the Good Food Show in Birmingham this weekend and the competition I ran on my blog a couple of weeks ago to win tickets I've given Mary Berry's Malted Chocolate Cake Recipe a go. 

With a little (okay, a lot) of help from the world's second best baker (obviously Queen Mary comes first), my Mummy, we gave the cake a go ready for a family dinner. Of course, it went down a storm.

The cake is really easy to make, is extra creamy, and serves between 8 and 10 people - depending how big your slices are!!


Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Heaven Skincare Review

I was first introduced to Heaven Skincare at my event, Big Blogger Conference back in August. Heaven's founder Deborah, is out to conquer the world (literally) with stockists in nearly every corner of the globe, but whilst this is an international brand, the thing I love most about it is how clearly involved Deborah is. 

Deborah came to our event and spoke most enthusiastically about the brand, really showing her passion for the products. I don't know about you guys but seeing the owner, even after massive success still being involved and going to such a small scale event really makes me love the company more. 

Anyway... on to the products!

Heaven Skincare is synonymous with the famous Bee Venom Mask, being the first skincare brand to use ABEETOXIN. Dubbed as 'Botox in a pot', this cream is popular among celebrities all over the world. Rumour has it, even our Princess, Kate Middleton uses it; and if it's good enough for K-Mid, it's good enough for me!

At the Big Blogger Conference, Deborah kindly gifted me some products to try out for myself which was great as I didn't actually get much chance to talk to her about them during the event as I spend most of it running around like a headless chicken. 

The Products

Silver Bee Venom Mask - 5ml (£7.50), 30ml (55.00) or 60ml (82.00)
You can buy yours here

Weekender Skincare Kit - £28.00 (available for different skin types)
You can buy yours here


Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Janjira Skincare Review

Before Blonde Vision, I was always so rubbish with trying out new products, choosing to stick with what I knew - or what I thought I knew. Now I love exploring new brands and finding out how they can change either my skin, my looks, my make up etc. 

Before I was asked to review Janjira, I admit, I hadn't heard of it. After doing some research, I realised it's definitely the kind of brand I'd like. In their words,

"Inspired by nature's beauty, and built around the bathing rituals of ancient Thai Royalty. Janjira is an innovative, skin and body care brand born in Thailand that provides the ultimate well-being experience. Our uniquely formulated spa inspired products balance the body, mind and spirit by nurturing the skin." source

I tried out the brightening cleaner, Illuminating day cream and the Regenerating Night Cream, all from the Marine Radiant White range as shown in the photo below. 


Monday, 23 November 2015

Amphora Aromatics Candle Review

If you haven't heard to Amphora Aromatics, you need to check them out. 

Taking inspiration from their travels through Europe, Iran, Pakistan and India, founders Christine and Peter Carroll combined traditional formulas with exotic herbs and oils to creative high quality products at competitive prices. 
"Providing specific beauty or wellbeing solutions, Amphora Aromatics extensive range of essential oils, creams, gels, balms and body care products are the result of many years experience seeking out independent producers from across the globe to source the best quality ingredients." source
With Christmas coming up, I know we are all diving for the nearest Christmas / Winter smelling candle to snuggle up on the sofa with some good TV, and if you're one of those people, this candle is for you. 


Friday, 13 November 2015

Introducing Audley Travel

During the crazy week of WTM, I was invited to an event hosted by Audley Travel to find out more about the brand. This was one blogger event that caught my interest straight away, as I love to blog about travel but I also work in travel, organising events all over the world, but had never heard of Audley. 

It was one of those nights where I walked away from the event thinking, 'wow, I really love this company'. Not just for their totally unique offering, but for their culture and staff. 

Because they can explain in a nutshell, much better than I can, Audley Travel explain, 
"Our trips don’t come off the shelf, there’s no set recipe - they're tailor-made down to the finest detail around your tastes and interests. Quite simply, we listen to what you want and then carefully design an individual trip to match, working to your budget and with an absolute commitment to quality."  source
 This most definitely isn't your average holiday company, in fact, they don't even like the word holiday, preferring to describe it as a journey or experience, which is much more exciting don't you think?! 


Thursday, 12 November 2015

London Haunted Pub Tour

On 30th December, to celebrate Halloween, I took a group of bloggers on a Haunted London Pub Tour on behalf of Best London Walks and Lantern Ghost Tours to discover London's haunted past and have a couple of drinks in some supposedly ghost filled pubs.

I'll try not to spoil the tour just in case you give a go yourself but we heard tales of Sweeny Todd the Fleet Street Barber and visited Mrs Lovett's Lair, heard a spooky story about Spencer Perceval's death (the only Prime Minister to ever be assassinated), before heading over to the famous Cheshire Cheese a regular watering hole for Charles Dickens, Oliver Goldsmith, Mark Twain, Alfred Tennyson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, G.K. Chesterton, P. G. Wodehouse and Dr. Samuel Johnson. 


Wednesday, 11 November 2015

A Tribute to the Victoria's Secret 'Bombshells'

Last night, the elite in female supermodel's took to the stage for the Annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show a.k.a my favourite night of the year. 

I know there is always a lot of controversy around the show, due to the slim body types of the women involved but in my opinion, these people take life WAY too seriously. 

Most of the world's supermodel's have starred in the show at some point in their career including, Naomi Campbell, Stephanie Seymour, Tyra Banks, Gisele Bundchen, Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, Karolina Kurkova, Heidi Klum, Miranda Kerr, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Doutzen Kroes, Candice Swanepoel, Behati Prinsloo, Lily Aldridge, Cara Delevingne, Karlie Kloss and most recently Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid. To be asked to walk in the show, in a pair of those astounding wings, is an accolade saved for the best, as the names above show. 


Monday, 9 November 2015

Competition Time; BBC Good Food Show

Anyone who knows me, will know I spend the majority of my time either eating, meal planning, recipe searching... You get the picture! 

I know a lot of you out there share my love for food so Blonde Vision has teamed up with BBC Good Food Show to offer you guys the chance to win a pair of tickets to the show in either London at Olympia or Birmingham at the NEC on the dates stated in the terms and conditions.

What is the Good Food Show? 

Bursting with special new features, first class entertainment, fantastic inspiration and great shopping from London’s finest selection of artisan producers – the show has all the ingredients to be the tastiest day out in the capital.

Don't miss highlight of the show, the Super theatre where you can watch the best celebrity chefs in the business cooking delicious dishes. Get tips for tasty seasonal food and plenty of culinary inspiration in this entertaining show whilst hearing from the likes of Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood, Michel Roux Jr., James Martin and Tom Kerridge live.

The BBC Good Food Bakes & Cakes Show is now part of BBC Good Food Show London. Your ticket will grant you entry to this second show free of charge (subject to capacity)!

Sunday, 8 November 2015

LDN Meet Up Events & Holidays

As most of you will know, since January 2015, I have been organising Blogger events in and around London with a couple of fellow bloggers helping me along the way. 

If you don't know anything about LDNmeetup, our events have ranged from Hula Fit to chocolate making, small events for 10 people and large events for 60. Our aim at all events is for everyone to make new friends and learn something new. Our events have now also turned into holidays spanning across Europe which is even more exciting! 

I'm always asked what events we have coming up so this page will constantly be updated with all of our past and upcoming events, as well as any info about events yet to be announced. 

Whilst we always send invites to everyone on our database, you can now quickly look at a list of our events right here. To find out the scoop on any of our previous events, search the hashtag's listed and I'm sure there will be loads. 











18-21st March 2016

5-12th July 2016

Race for Life, Hyde Park
31st July, London

If you haven't already done so, make sure you sign up to our database to receive the full invites to all of these events. 

Thank you to everyone who has supported our events in the past, and we look forward to welcoming more of you for the rest of 2015 and also into 2016. 

I'd also love it if you'd been to a previous LDNmeetup event if you could share your write up of it on the comments below! 


Saturday, 31 October 2015

Career Guest Post; Working as a Florist

Name: Kayla


Industry: Retail

Job Title: Flowershop Sales Assistant & Florist

Brief description of job role and industry:

Working both as a sales assistant and florist can be demanding at times because I'm constantly running back and too. But what job in the retail industry isn't demanding? There are lots of different things to do on a daily basis such as stock replenishment, completing arrangement orders, as well as dealing with customers needs as every customer is different. 

An average day consists of... 

My job is based around various shifts from starting at 6am, to as late as 2pm. The early shift consists of setting up the flower displays and horticulture section, watering all plants, checking and completing any customer orders we have that day and quality checking. The store opens up at 8am so that's when customers become priority. We're a pretty busy store so there's always a customer around with a query or a walk-in order. We can't always accept walk-in orders in situations where we are too busy, or they need something that I have yet to be taught how to do, which is unfortunate. 
Doing the late shift its more about cleaning, stock replenishment as well as keeping customers happy and completing any walk-in orders. You're always busy, there's always something to do.  

Qualifications/experience required:

My job role doesn't require any floristry qualifications, you learn along the way. I was taught to do normal hand tied bouquets and flat packs/sprays on my first day. Practice makes perfect, I practice different techniques everyday, different combinations of flowers/colours etc. I have since been shown how to create buttonholes and simple wedding bouquets. But I'm still learning everyday. 

Career progression:

There's always progression available in retail, from supervisors, to team managers, store managers. Where I am in floristry; I still have a long way to go, but it's fun learning new things all the time. There's always new techniques, different things you can do. That's why it's so fun. Everyday is a new challenge. Although it requires some sort of experience in retail or a customer service based industry. 

Best tip to crack the industry:

An open mind, creativity and passion are always 3 great things to have when working in a creative section of retail. Always be open to new ideas and challenges. A friendly smile goes a long way. 

Best thing about my job:

It's very creative, there's always a new challenge around the corner and it's very, very fun to do! Making a customers day by exceeding their expectations is always rewarding too. 

Worst thing about my job:

The company I work for don't offer actual training courses to have a qualification in floristry. We have one trained florist with qualifications who shows us the techniques and the rest is just practice and using a creative eye.


Friday, 30 October 2015

Career Guest Post; Working as a Midwife

Name: Jenny    


Industry: Health, NHS, Maternity

Job Title: Community Midwife

Brief description of job role and industry

My role is to look after and support women physically and mentally during their pregnancy from the first point of contact, the birth (if having a home birth) and the postnatal period, usually for about 10-14 days after the birth but we can continue visiting for up to 28 days.

An average day consists of... 

Seeing women in my clinic, performing routine checks, referring on as and when needed, weighing babies, doing paperwork, answering phone calls, making phone calls, visiting women and helping support them in the days after birth with feeding issues, sleep (or lack of) issues, booking in newly pregnant women, saying goodbye to them at the end of their time with us.  Could be attending a home birth.

Qualifications/experience required 

You need A levels or equivalent as you need to do a degree in midwifery.  No experience necessary prior to starting the course but it is advisable to gain some work experience in the care sector to understand the demands of the job. 
I became a qualified nurse first but this is not necessary.

Career progression

You can become a manager, teacher, speaker, researcher if you want to progress your career.

Best tip to crack the industry

Work hard, keep up to date, be compassionate.

Best thing about my job
Knowing I have made a difference in a family's life and successfully helped them transition into this life changing event.

Worst thing about my job

Having my hands tied by policies and having to give difficult news


Thursday, 29 October 2015

Career Guest Post; Working as a Portrait Photographer

Name: Caitlin Jade


Industry: Photography

Job Title: Portrait Photographer

Brief description of job role and industry

I photograph children from newborn (up to 5 days) and then babies, toddlers and children. I sometimes do families but not as much as others. I'm glad that I have my childcare qualifications that puts me a little higher up the pecking order when it comes to picking a photographer! 

An average day consists of... 

I usually get up at about 7AM and check all emails, phone calls and my facebook to check for any enquiries or any bookings that I may have. I'll do a little promotion on my page and facebook to generate some interest. I get most of my bookings through Facebook (social media is amazing ok!). If I have some photoshoots booked in I'll usually schedule one in for around 10am which will last anywhere from 1 to 4 hours (usually 4 hours if it's a newborn) and I'll set up everything I want for the shoot an hour before so I'll have my beanbag with all my props and backdrops ready for when they arrive. I'll talk them through what it is we will be doing, I like to give the parents as much input as they like and I love hearing their ideas and I love it when they bring their own props! After the shoot everything goes into the washer! Next shoot would be around 3pm and ill repeat the same process as before. Then begins the editing I edit all of the photos before putting them on a private gallery for them to choose from and I try to get that done as quickly as possible and I'll share the best photo on my facebook to promote. Once they have picked what they want I then get ordering the prints. Of course when they arrive I just have to be all cute and package them up in pretty boxes with gigantic massive bows!

Qualifications/experience required

In my sector of photography there isn't any formal qualifications you need, of course if you have a degree in photography that's brilliant! You don't need to go to university to be a photographer though. I think my Childcare qualifications help me out in my photography because it shows I know children well and parents feel more assured! You could do what I have done and do some photography courses and work shops I have done some for newborn posing, photography business courses and others just to top up some knowledge of mine!

Career progression

You really can take it anywhere you want to. I started off just photographing children and quickly developed on to taking photos of babies, newborns and families! I could take pictures of cows if I wanted to! Working for yourself as a photographer really gives you the advantage to branch out into whatever you want to do!

Best tip to crack the industry

You have to be tough! Before I even considered setting up a business I put my photos up for critique by professionals that had been doing it 10+ years and their comments can be harsh...VERY HARSH! It's a very competitive industry and you have to be a strong person and not back down, you have to do what you can to get where you need to be.

Best thing about my job

I love the creative side of it I get to set up entire photoshoots and style them myself I have the freedom of being my own boss and working the hours what I want to work (even though I get up at 7am and go to bed at 4am!). I love that I don't have to leave the house and meet people...I really don't find it all that lonely but I'm a huge introvert so that could just be me!

Worst thing about my job

Takes a lot of patience! It takes roughly 4 hours for a newborn shoot and in that time frame you probably spend about an hour and a half taking photos the rest your settling the newborn, they want milk, then they poo on the blankets and then they take time falling asleep you have to be very patient! You never know when your going to get a job coming in I'm always promoting and keeping on top of things but I still worry about having a stable flow of clients or else I don't get paid! Running your own business is hard, especially at 19. Although I'm running my own business I'm still yet to work out how to use our washing machine ha!!!

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