Monday, 21 May 2018

WHAT DOES SUCCESS MEAN TO YOU?

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, success, blogging, industry, future, success is subjective, lifestyle
The definition of success is the accomplishment of an aim or purpose, but what does success mean to you? 

I came across a tweet about making it in the blogging industry and it got me thinking, how can someone decide that they are the definition of success? What have they done or accomplished that makes them successful? Success is subjective, it can be influenced by personal feelings, tastes or opinions. What one may regard as being successful, another may not see as being successful.

I feel successful in the blogging industry every day. I may not have 100k followers on Instagram or 20k on Twitter, but I consistently create content that I am proud and happy to share. There was a time where I was inconsistent and was not proud of the content I was sharing, and I felt like I was never going to be successful in this industry. Until I realised that being successful in the blogging industry is defined by you and what you would like to achieve from your online presence. My biggest aim is to work with one of my all-time favourite brands, I still have a long way to go before they will even notice me or until I feel confident enough to pitch to them, but I will keep consistently producing content and engaging with my audience and one day that email will come, speak it into existence! 

I asked a fellow blogger, Emilia from Emilia Rachael, her view on success in the blogging industry

"Blogging will always be something I do as a hobby and because of this, I measure my success in terms of my own personal goals. I call myself successful now because I have grown 500 Instagram followers since April and to me, that is more than I would ever have imagined. I don't measure my success on how many brands want to work with me or how much money I make, I measure it based on my relationships with other bloggers and how I have grown with my blog through the years"  

When I think of success, I want to set myself up to succeed, not set myself up to have a goal that I will never achieve just for the sake of having a goal. Maybe I am too much of a realist, I understand that setting yourself goals beyond your reach gives you something greater to strive for but I take comfort in knowing that I can reach the goals I have set myself, with no uncertainty in whether I will reach them.


So, what does success mean to you?

Fran
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Monday, 14 May 2018

MY THOUGHTS ON THE REVOLUTION CONCEALER

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, concealer, beauty, makeup, drugstore, revolution beauty
I am sure you have seen this concealer all over your socials. Every blogger and their nan seems to be obsessed with it but is it worth the hype? Absolutely! This is the first product I have tried from Revolution and I am very impressed! 

First of all, the shade range is insane. 18 shades ranging from fair to deep in cool, neutral and warm undertones, so there is a concealer for everyone! If that alone is not enough to convince you to give it a try then the price will definitely have you sold, this steal is only £4. You read that right, £4, an absolute bargain! A good concealer that doesn't break the bank? I'm HERE for it! 

As you can see the packaging looks very luxurious and sleek and is weighty giving it a very high-end feel. I'm the shade C13 which is for dark skin with warm undertones and I use it to cover my dark circles for a night out as it gives a full coverage while being lightweight, it doesn't even feel like you have anything on. The large doe foot applicator allows for a smooth application so if you are using it for your under eyes, there won't be any drag on such a delicate area of skin. 

The only negative is that it is quite small so if you wear makeup every day, I can imagine it would run out very quickly. However, for £4 stocking up won't break the bank. You could buy 5 of these for the price of one high-end concealer. This concealer has been promoted to my drawer of go-to products and I just ordered a darker shade to use for contour. Sorry LA Girl Pro conceal but there's a new fav in town. 

Have you tried this concealer? If so, what are your thoughts?

Fran 
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Monday, 7 May 2018

WORKING OUT AT HOME

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, spring, home workouts, youtube
Some days, I really don't fancy heading to the gym and working out in that environment. You know the days where you look at yourself in the mirror and your skin has broken out or you are on your period, feeling sluggish and the last thing you want to do is pop on some tight workout gear that is going to expose your bloatedness. Days like these I pull out my yoga mat and work out at home in the comfort of my oversized Adidas tee with all its food stains and some regular Primark leggings. I know there are probably a lot of you who have been in a similar position or you don't like the gym environment at all and would like some guidance on effective home workouts.

Yoga with Adriene
I never thought I would be one of those people that are into Yoga but after starting classes a few months ago out of curiosity, I have become a Yoga enthusiast. Since discovering Yoga with Adriene on Youtube, I alternate between my weekly Yoga classes at the gym and Adriene's various 30-day challenges. Yoga is more than just meditation, it focuses on strength, flexibility and breathing to boost physical and mental wellbeing.  Adriene guides you through each video at a slow place on how to improve your practice and her calming voice helps you to feel relaxed.

#GFHG
I am sure you have all seen GraceFitUK's resistance bands and home fitness guides floating around on Instagram. Grace is a student fitness blogger from London who started off filming her workouts on Youtube and over the past year has produced both gym and home workout guides which you can purchase at https://gracefitguide.com - I believe each guide comes with a resistance band and some guides come with dumbbells too. Grace has created a community of women who follow her guide which you can become a part of too using the hashtag #GFG on Instagram. The hashtag is also a great way to meet other women who are in the same position as yourself and form friendships.

Blogilates
Cassey Ho is one of the women who inspired me to push myself on my fitness journey. The first video of hers that I discovered was the Victoria Secret Angel Arm workout almost 5 years ago and to this day, I still use this video as part of my upper body routine when I am training at home. Her channel Blogilates has tons of home workout videos for every muscle group so all you need is a yoga mat and Cassey will guide you through the rest.

Fran
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Monday, 30 April 2018

LIFE UPDATE WITH CASEAPP

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, spring, university, summer, exam season, caseapp, collaboration


This post is in collaboration with CaseApp 

We are now at the end of April which means exam season is well on its way for all students. The next two months are going to be an endless cycle of eat, sleep, study, work, repeat but once its over, we'll have the entire summer break to fully relax and catch up on sleep. 

It's been a while since I have sat down and updated you guys on what is going on in Fran's world. April has been my busiest month so far, I have had brand collaborations, I went down to Brighton to meet fellow blogger Phoebe from Its Phoebe Rose, I had a shoot in Camden and have thought about introducing fashion back onto my blog, I bought my first Pipdig design, which will be live shortly, a trip to Ireland for early next year has been booked and plans for the summer are shaping up.

The following may come as a surprise as I was previously adamant about taking a gap year but after careful deliberation, my plans have changed. I will be going to the University of Liverpool to study BSc Geography with a year abroad in China providing I get the grades on results day, fingers crossed. Since I am going to be in education for another 4 years, I am going to need a new laptop and I have been saving up to buy a MacBook Air, which I will be the proud owner of at the end of August. There's still 3 months until I make the purchase but I am excited to stick this beautiful laptop sticker from CaseApp onto my Mac. I have been given a 20% off code for you guys to treat yo'self to a new laptop sticker or phone case from the CaseApp website, the code is TUXICES20. 

I have never talked about my love life on my blog before as I am not usually one to discuss this topic with people outside my close circle but I want to be more open with you guys and let you in on more personal details of my life. For quite some time now, your girl has been seeing someone. I have kept this very hush-hush, there have been a few cryptic tweets here and there but nothing too obvious. I have been happily single for 18 years and I went into this year hoping to make it 19 years of being happily single but life happened and a handsome man walked into my life and stole my heart, *cringe*. For now, that is all the information you are getting, I know Lucy from Forever September is sat reading this waiting for me to announce that I am off the market but the question is yet to be popped but you guys will be first to know when I am no longer a single lady.
How has April treated you?

Fran
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Monday, 23 April 2018

SPRING CLEAN YOUR ROUTINE

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, spring, cruelty-free, vegan friendly, vegetarian friendly
I was contacted by Pravera on behalf of Fair Squared and they asked if I wanted to be part of their Spring campaign to 'Spring Clean Your Routine'. So, let me tell you a bit of background information about the company, Fair Squared is a cruelty-free, fair trade and vegan company that produces products using ingredients from some of the world's poorest countries. With their products, they want to make a change and contribute to a fairer, more eco-friendly and sustainable future. 

The aim of the 'Spring Clean Your Routine' campaign is to encourage individuals to consider what cruelty, chemicals and toxins may be lurking in their current daily routine and to make the switch to responsible, certified organic, vegan and cruelty-free products where possible. Fair Squared produce a wide range of products from skin care, hair care, shaving products to shower gels and even condoms! 

I was sent the Vanilla Body Butter*, Shea Lip Balm* and Vanilla Shower Gel* to try out. I was greatly impressed by the packaging and quality of the products, particularly the Shea Lip Balm. Anyone who knows me in real life will know that I swear by Carmex lip balms but after trying the Shea Lip Balm, I may have discovered a new favourite. 

I loved the ethos of this brand and the aim of this campaign, so I decided to pitch to a few other cruelty-free brands to help me out with my journey to a cruelty-free routine. So Eco kindly sent me a few brushes from their range, which after a few uses have become my preferred tools over my non-cruelty-free brushes. 

I think it's important to be more conscious of the products and tools you are using and to make an effort to opt for cruelty-free alternatives where possible. I put my hands up and admit that a lot of the products I currently use are not cruelty-free. In my defence, a lot of cruelty-free makeup brands do not cater for my skin tone, however, I have no excuse when it comes to beauty tools and skincare products and after doing some research on www.peta.org I now know which brands are cruelty-free and will be trying some of these brands out, once my current products are finished!

Are you on a journey to a cruelty-free routine? If so, let me know which brands I should try 

Fran
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Monday, 16 April 2018

THE WORLD'S MOST HIPSTER CITY

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, spring, hipster city, day trip, hispster
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, spring, hipster city, day trip, hispster
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, spring, hipster city, day trip, hispster
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, spring, hipster city, day trip, hispster
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, spring, hipster city, day trip, hispster
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, spring, hipster city, day trip, hispster
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, spring, hipster city, day trip, hispster
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, spring, hipster city, day trip, hispster
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, spring, hipster city, day trip, hispster
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, spring, hipster city, day trip, hispster
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, spring, hipster city, day trip, hispster
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, spring, hipster city, day trip, hispster
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, spring, hipster city, day trip, hispster
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, spring, hipster city, day trip, hispster
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, spring, hipster city, day trip, hispster
Last Saturday, I went to visit fellow blogger Phoebe Rose in Brighton, the world’s most hipster city. Phoebe took me around to a few of the hipster and instagrammable spots. First stop was Pelicano, an independent cafĂ© on Sydney Street, we had a quick refuel before heading to Snoopers Paradise on 7/8 Kensington Gardens, if like myself you love having a rummage through charity shops then you will love Snoopers Paradise. 

Close by to Snoopers Paradise was Beyond Retro, a vintage clothing retailer, a hipsters dream shop which is reasonably priced too. We also visited Magazine Brighton on Trafalgar Street, an independent magazine shop of beautifully designed magazines about design, fashion, culture, sport, people, gender, science, the arts and more. Resident Brighton, a record shop with every record you can imagine!

We popped into the Photomatic because a vintage photo booth is a must when in Brighton. Then before heading home, we had a nosey around Oliver Bonas, the North & South lanes, the Pier and our last stop were the Brighton Pavillion gardens and the Pavillion Museum & Art gallery. 

Have you visited Brighton before? If so, what are your favourite spots?

Fran

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Monday, 9 April 2018

SPRING WISHLIST

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, spring, spring wishlist
Spring has sprung and since the warmer weather is on its way, I have the perfect excuse to update my wardrobe. I was browsing some of my favourite sites and decided to put together a little wishlist. Now, I know I’m not a fashion blogger but back when I was, wishlists were some of my favourite posts to do so I decided to go back to my roots and create one for this season. Who knows, I might implement fashion back onto my blog in the future, someday when I have the confidence to shoot in the middle of London.

As you can see, I am loving the colour yellow this season. I love how vibrant the yellow jacket and kanken are, on a dull day if I pop on something yellow, I instantly feel warm and more positive. I remember when I used to hate wearing colour and then I discovered that yellow does something for woman of colour, it makes our melanin pop and I am here for it. Embroidery is back and here to stay, this denim skirt from Pull & Bear is embroidered with two small bees. I am not a huge fan of embroidery all over an item, so I love how subtle it is on this skirt. To pair with this skirt, I was thinking hi-top converses. I have two pairs of regular low converses but I would really love some hi-tops to wear with a skirt or a tshirt dress this Spring and onward into Summer. 
What items are you loving this season?

Fran
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Monday, 2 April 2018

PITCHING TO BRANDS AS A SMALL BLOGGER

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, brands, stationeryTo celebrate World Stationery Day on Wednesday 25th April, Old English Company* is running a competition to win four planners from their new stationery collection here. To enter the competition head over here - The winner will be randomly selected on Thursday 26th April, good luck!

After tweeting, “over the past month, I have started pitching to brands and engaging more with other bloggers. It’s true what they say, don’t wait for opportunities to come to you, GO GET THEM!”, I received an abundance of messages asking me to share any tips and advice on how I have increased my engagement and started pitching to brands as a small blogger. I am no expert so take my tips and advice with a pinch of salt, these are things that I have been doing and have worked for me.

Increase your following 
At the beginning of March, I looked at my current stats and set myself some milestones. I found that the best way to increase your following is to be engaged. You can publish your content and wait for people to see it or you can actively share your posts by tweeting them out during peak times, posting on Instagram during peak times, using hashtags like #bloggingsgals, #girlboss, #discoverunder1k in the comments section of your post, to make sure your content is seen. If you are using a specific brands product or service, tag them in the post, a lot of the time the brand will like the photo, comment or regram your post, which brings new traffic to your profile. 

Increasing engagement is not just about putting your work out there, follow other bloggers and comment on other bloggers latest posts. @bloggerstribe on Twitter do a comment thread every Friday and Sunday at 8pm where you reply to their tweet with one link to your post and comment on other bloggers posts. Once you have commented on someone’s post, you give their tweet a like and let them know you have commented. This is not only a great opportunity to promote your work but a great opportunity to engage with other bloggers.

Before pitching
Before I started pitching to brands, I made a media kit on www.canva.com – It is super quick to set up an account and the site is super easy to use. If like myself you are not a creative person, there are premade templates and examples which you can use for inspiration or search “media kit” on Pinterest, there are a lot of great examples there too.  A media kit should include your blog name, logo (if applicable), a summary of what you write about, your stats and social followers e.g. total page views, the number of followers on each platform – that sort of thing. Your audience e.g. gender, location and interests, affiliations and previous work, affiliations you currently have and brands you have worked with in the past, and your opportunities, what you are available for and what you offer through your blog. 

Two other things that I did before pitching to brands were improving my photography (bigger and brighter photos) and setting a schedule (posting weekly instead of fortnightly) to ensure I was being consistent. Consistency is something a lot of brands look for!  

Pitching
Pick a brand that you would like to work with, which of their products or services can you use to produce a post, series or whatever it is you would like to use them for. Find out their pr email either by going to their site or sliding into their Twitter or Instagram DMs. If you are successful, they will give you their pr email and you are ready to go. Start with a greeting, keep it professional. Write a few lines telling them who you are, why you are emailing them and what you have to offer them in exchange for their good or service. End the email by stating that you have attached your media kit, outlining your current social stats/page info and that you look forward to hearing from them or something that shows that you are genuinely interested in working with them and would like a response. If you try and fail, just remember that the first three brands I ever pitched to, either did not reply or declined the opportunity to collaborate with me. Do not let a few disappointments stop you from pitching. If you want opportunities, go get them!

*Paid collaboration. The image is not my own and has been provided
Fran
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Monday, 26 March 2018

TIPS FOR NEWBIE RUNNERS

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fitness, newbie, running
So, you have cancelled your gym membership due to lack of motivation or you are making spending cuts or would simply prefer to spend the hour you would at the gym, snuggled up on the sofa. Whatever your reason for giving up on your new year’s resolution to get fit, I am here to help you get back on track. With just 13 weeks until British summer, there is still time to smash those fitness goals.

Ever thought about running? You can do it anywhere, anytime and at the cost of nothing. If the price of a gym membership each month is out of your budget, then running is a great alternative. Not only are you in complete control of where you run and how long you run for, but it is a lot easier to slip a 30-minute run into your daily routine than a drive to the nearest gym for 30 minutes on the treadmill.

Tip #No1
Invest in a ‘feel good’ running kit. This tip is completely optional, but I find that when I am kitted out in running gear that makes me feel good, then I instantly feel like I am ready to get going.

Tip #No2
Make a playlist. Ensure that your playlist only consists of ‘feel good’ music, any songs that remind you of a bad memory, leave it out even if its a tune. Create a bubble of just you and your music and you will probably end up running for miles because you are distracted by those ‘feel good’ tunes.

Tip #No3
The backbone of a good workout is nutrition. To maximise results you need to eat light and balanced meals, 2 to 3 hours before you train. I was sent some products from Herbalife and have been trialling them for the past month alongside balanced nutritious meals. I use their Formula 1 Sports Shake* as post workout fuel, I mix 2 scoops (roughly 26g) with 250ml of semi-skimmed milk, give it a little shake and its good to go. Most of the protein powders on the market are either banana or chocolate flavour which I find very sickly but this one comes in vanilla cream flavour, which I love! So now, I enjoy drinking my post workout shake rather than just tolerating the taste for the recovery benefits.  

Tip #No4
Staying motivated. A great way to stay motivated when running is to run in a group. I know this is not for everyone, I prefer to run alone a lot of the time but if you are a person who struggles to keep themselves motivated, running with a partner or in a group can help to instill motivation.

Tip #No5 
Listen to your body. Learn the difference between when you are having a bad day physically and when you need a day off to rest. If you miss a day of training, you can make it up another day, no biggie!
PR/Gifted Items*
Fran
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Monday, 19 March 2018

GLAMOUR BEAUTY FESTIVAL 2018

francisca rockey, blogger, lifestyle blogger, beauty blogger, fitness blogger, beauty, health, wellness, hair, london, pixi, nails, treatments
francisca rockey, blogger, lifestyle blogger, beauty blogger, fitness blogger, beauty, health, wellness, hair, london, nails, treatments
francisca rockey, blogger, lifestyle blogger, beauty blogger, fitness blogger, beauty, health, wellness, hair, london, patricia bright, glamour, nails, treatments
francisca rockey, blogger, lifestyle blogger, beauty blogger, fitness blogger, beauty, health, wellness, hair, london, nailsinc, nails, treatments
francisca rockey, blogger, lifestyle blogger, beauty blogger, fitness blogger, beauty, health, wellness, hair, london, twinings, nails, treatments
On Friday 9th March, I had the opportunity to attend the GLAMOUR Beauty Festival. It is renowned as a weekend of ‘unforgettable pampering and luxury’. This year, the event was sponsored by Phillips and as a guest, we were truly spoilt. The festival took place at London’s Saatchi Gallery for three days and I attended the Friday session which ran from 5 to 9pm. Can I just mention that anyone attending received a Goodie bag worth over £180? The contents of which was amazing. I am so eager to try it all out and review all the products I received.

There were two floors which were sectioned into zones. There were 12 zones: a Phillips zone, two hair zones, an Instagram zone, two skincare zones, a cover star zone, a fragrance zone, two make-up zones, a nail zone and a wellness zone.

At the Phillips Zone, you met with Phillips experts and you were able to try tools that could change the way you brush. The goodie bag also contained one of the items you could try, a Sonicare electric toothbrush head. This year’s hair brands were Schwarzkopf, Batiste, GHD and OGX. Each of them was offering hair advice, styling and freebies. The Alcatel Instagram zone was a bloggers dream. This zone had flat-lay stations, a great way to boost your blogging credentials and a botanical selfie background for the perfect Instagram shot. 

My favourite of all the zones was the skincare zone. This year’s skincare brands were Pixi, Fresh, Caudalie and Elizabeth Arden. I am now the proud owner of the infamous Pixi Glow Tonic and yes, a review is coming soon. If wellness was your area of interest, Gold Collagen showed you how to look radiant from the inside out. You could also try a shot of their Pure Gold Collagen and take a few bottles home for a discounted price as well as the sample inside your goodie bag. 

Before leaving, I headed over to the beauty and nail zones. This year's beauty brands were Nude By Nature, Revlon, Laura Mercier, Nars and Kat Von D. Each was offering beauty services, samples and a chance to buy some of their popular products at a discounted price. At the nail zone, Nails Inc were offering hand and nail tips along with a complimentary nail bar. Orly was offering a fresh mani using their new Breathable treatment. 

If you are interested in trying new brands, complimentary luxury treatments, make-up, hair, fragrance, nails and wellness then the GLAMOUR beauty festival is for you and when tickets for next years event become available, be sure to grab a ticket. It's an event not to be missed!
Fran
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Monday, 12 March 2018

WHAT I'VE BEEN READING AND LISTENING TO LATELY

Francisca Rockey, blogger, lifestyle blogger, beauty blogger, fitness blogger, reading, podcasts, audible, girlbossFor the past 13 years, most books I have read have been compulsory. Now, I am a matter of months away from finishing A Level English Literature and never having to read another Shakespeare play again. I have always had a love for reading but in recent years it has felt more like a chore and not something pleasurable. I decided to pick up a few new books to get myself back into my old reading mojo.

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k by Sarah Knight
Last week, I discovered audiobooks and in under 24 hours, I had bought and listened to this truly life changing book. Since last Tuesday, Sarah Knight has had me feeling like I can kick ass and I am ready to take on whatever the world has to throw at me, all while giving less f**ks. This book will help you to redefine what really matters and help to relief a toxic mentality.

#GIRLBOSS by SOPHIA AMORUSO
Inspiring, motivating and empowering. I feel like everyone and their nan has read this. I know I am late to the bandwagon but better late than never, right? #Girlboss is the story of Sophia Amoruso, founder of Nasty Gal. I am only a quarter of the way through, but every page so far has been filled with truth, wisdom, home truths and humour.

At Home With…
Also last week, I discovered podcasts. Again, I am late to the bandwagon. I wish I had discovered them sooner, it’s like listening to a blogpost. Instead of listening to music while showering and doing other miscellaneous tasks around the house, I have been listening to Lily and Anne’s At Home With podcasts, THIS IS THE FUTURE!

Fran
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Monday, 5 March 2018

TOXIC FRIENDSHIPS

Francisca Rockey, Blogger, Lifestyle blogger, beauty blogger, fitness blogger, friendships
“No more toxic friendships, no more toxic relationships, only toxic by Britney Spears”
We have all had that one friend or group of friends who are toxic. The friendship is one-sided, you are making all the effort and you are always the one chasing them for a catch-up. You want to drop them, but you have an overwhelming feeling of guilt as you have been “friends for years” and the thought of not having them in your life is quite upsetting despite knowing the friendship is toxic.

If a friendship becomes one-sided, drop it. There is no reason why you should keep a friendship going if you are the only one trying. Effort works both ways. No more one-sided friendships in 2018. If they are not putting in the effort, then neither should you.

When you start to let them treat you badly, make sly comments, put you down and you excuse their behaviour, it is time to let them go. I am guilty of keeping friends who have treated me like this. It's not you, it's them. No matter how badly their day is going or what they are going through in their personal life, there is no reason for someone to treat you any less than you deserve to be treated. Know your worth.

You feel drained being around them. At this point, it is time to create a distance and breathe. Being around people who are draining can be detrimental to your mental health. Reclaim your happiness and surround yourself with people who bring nothing but positive energy.

The older I get the more increasingly difficult it is becoming to make new friends. I have learnt that the quality of the friends that you have is more important than the number of friends that you have. Surround yourself with people who uplift and empower you and who you can rely on.


Fran
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Monday, 26 February 2018

CURRENT BEAUTY FAVOURITES

Day to day, I go about my life completely make-up free. But for the days I do wear makeup, usually Friday and Saturday nights, these are the products that I am constantly reaching for. 

Whenever I start a makeup look, I start with brows. I use a mix of the ABH Dip Brow Pomade and ABH Brow Wiz both in the shade chocolate and apply using the ABH number 14 brow brush. Earlier this month, I was digging through my Muji drawers, stumbled across the Brow Wiz and decided to add it back into my brow routine. Why did I ever stop using this product?! God knows but it is back and here to stay. This combo is perfect if like me, you want strongly defined brows. 

So you know when you order off the Urban Decay website and you get the option to pick a free sample? I always hear people raving about their eyeshadow primer so I thought what better opportunity to give it a try. My order arrived and this sample went straight to the back of my Muji drawers. For NYE, I wanted my eyeshadow to stay in place and so I gave this a try and wow, just wow. It has a similar texture to the Nivea post-shaving balm and once you put eyeshadow on top of it, it does not budge. 

Being a WOC, finding a highlighter that compliments my skin tone and does not look ashy is the ultimate struggle. The struggle is no more since discovering the Betty-Lou Manizer. If you are someone who likes a warm-toned, gold coppery highlight, this ones for you!

And lastly, everyone's holy grail product for a night out, the Urban Decay all nighter setting spray. This stuff is amazing and does exactly what it says on the tin, keeps your makeup looking flawless all night. 


Fran
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Monday, 12 February 2018

GYM ANXIETY

We have all been there, wanting to go to the gym but feeling anxious about actually being in the gym. Gym anxiety is real and here's what I tell myself each session to overcome it. 

BUT I don't want to go alone. I always see people tweeting about how they wish they had a gym partner because they are scared to go alone. Truth is, you do not need a gym partner to go to the gym. Book an induction before your first session, learn how to use all the machines and from then on, plan out your workout prior to your session. This way, you will be knowledgeable on how a machine is used, what it trains and you will also avoid standing around thinking about what to do next, with a plan you will already have the next exercise planned out reducing unnecessary breaks between sets.

BUT everyone is looking at me. They really aren't. Unless someone finds you attractive and wants to ask for your number, no one looks at you because no one gives a shit about what you are doing. They are too busy concentrating on their workout.

BUT the weights room is full of men. True, the weights room is full of men but so what? You can not let a group of men put you off making them gains. Put on whatever gym outfit makes you feel confident, chuck on a pair of converses, the best shoes for weight training, and walk into that weights room. Start small, 5-10kg is a good starting point and each session increase the weight gradually.


Overcoming gym anxiety is coming to terms with the fact that everyone else in the gym is there for the same reason you are, to reach a goal. They are not interested in what you are doing, as they are focused on hitting their goals. Some people will look at you but this happens a lot less than non-gym goers think. Gym anxiety is experienced by everyone, male or female, tall or short, big or small, weak or strong, fit or unfit. You are not alone. 

How did you overcome gym anxiety?  


Fran
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Monday, 29 January 2018

MY FITNESS JOURNEY



January comes around and every other TV advert is fitness related. Now, I am a total sucker for the whole “new year, new me” fitness thing and so I decided to restart my fitness journey on January 1ST and push myself to new limits.

The background
From a young age, I was sporty and obsessed with fitness. I did ballet up until I was in high school and was a part of various school teams from reception through to year 11. I was that kid who was a member of every sports club from Netball to Rounders, Football, Hockey, Cross Country, you name it and I was there. I loved the feeling of being part of a team, winning games and training each week. Once I left high school, the sixth form I decided to go to did not have any sports teams and so I decided to join the gym at 16. I had previously joined a gym for a short while when I was like 13 but I was not entirely sure what I was doing and so stuck to swimming instead.  I was going to a gym in the town where my sixth form is but during half terms and summer holidays, it was impossible to go to as it was a good 15+ miles from where I am located and my bus pass was only active during term time so I stopped going and took a year-long break. Despite taking a break, my body remained in good shape as I walked everywhere and had good eating habits.

The current
Over Christmas, I completely lost motivation. I made it my new year’s resolution to use my car less, join a new gym, eat clean and bulk. As I am writing this, it is Wednesday 24th January 2018 and I have been going to the gym 3 times a week since January 1st and I have never felt better. My aim is not to lose weight or tone but to bulk and improve my overall stamina. I go to the gym at 5:30am every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and on Tuesday’s I go to a class at 7pm. Monday’s are leg days, Tuesday’s I do a fitness class at my local trampoline park, Wednesday’s are upper body days (my least favourite days) and lastly, Friday’s are another leg day. I have also entered myself in to do a Tough Mudder run in July, I know I am crazy but I am very excited for the physical challenge. 

If you would like to know how my fitness journey is going each week, I post regular updates on my twitter account, @franciscarockey using the hashtag #FransFitnessJourney. I will also be posting monthly updates and other fitness related posts here on my blog.

Fran
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