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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