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All Posts By Hannah | Admin

What I’ve learnt being the only Social Media manager

By Posted on 0 3 m read 17 views

Being the sole Social Media Manager can be an exciting and challenging experience. It can feel like a huge responsibility to be the sole person responsible for a company’s online presence. However, with experience comes knowledge, and over the past seven years of being the only Social Media Manager, I have learned some invaluable lessons that I want to share with you.

1. ‘Social Media’ is never just social media

As a Social Media Manager, your job is not limited to creating and posting content on social media platforms. You will also need to link to other content such as website content, blog posts or video content. Being able to think creatively and quickly to create content is a skill that will come in handy in this role.

2. You’ll learn skills that go beyond social media

Beyond algorithm understanding and hashtag optimisation, you’ll also become an expert in other areas such as copywriting, brand management, crisis response, and videography. Being a multitasker is a necessity, and being able to juggle these responsibilities will make you stand out in your role.

3. You’ll need to educate

Colleagues may not fully understand the vastness of your responsibilities. To ensure you have the support of your internal team, it is important to educate them on how much you do and the importance of your role. The more understanding they have, the easier your job will be.

4. Take breaks – yes, stop checking socials when you get home!

With all the responsibilities that come with this role, it can be easy to become overwhelmed. It is important to remember to take breaks and prioritize self-care to prevent burnout. And that means trying to restrict the amount of time you spend on your own social media after you clock off for the day.

5. Analytics actually become fun

Maybe it’s just the nerd in me, but one of the most enjoyable parts of the job is checking your analytics. It’s exciting to see how well your content is performing and using that data to create more effective strategies for future posts. However, it’s not just about gathering data – it’s about understanding it and using it to make informed decisions. Being able to interpret metrics such as engagement rates, click-through rates, and conversions will help you create more effective social media strategies.

6. Communication is key

As the sole Social Media Manager, you are the primary point of contact between the company and its customers on social media. It is essential to maintain open communication channels and respond promptly to any customer inquiries or concerns. Good communication skills will help you build trust with customers and ensure a positive brand image.

7. Flexibility is essential

The world of social media is constantly evolving, and you must stay up-to-date with the latest trends, changes in algorithms, and new platforms. As a Social Media Manager, you need to be flexible and adaptable to change. This requires a willingness to learn new skills, experiment with new strategies, and adjust your approach to stay relevant.

8. Collaboration is crucial

While you may be the only Social Media Manager, you are not working in a vacuum. You need to collaborate with other departments, such as marketing, sales, and customer service, to ensure a cohesive brand message across all channels. Building strong relationships with your colleagues and understanding their goals will help you create content that supports their objectives.

9. Be passionate!

Finally, to be successful as a Social Media Manager, you need to have a genuine passion for social media and a deep understanding of its potential to connect brands with their customers. This passion will help you stay motivated, stay up-to-date with the latest trends, and ultimately create content that resonates with your audience.

Being the only Social Media Manager can be challenging, but it can also be a rewarding experience that provides you with a diverse set of skills. If you’re considering a career in social media management, be prepared to wear many hats and stay on top of trends and innovations in the industry. And remember, always prioritise self-care to avoid burnout.

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‘LinkedIn Creators’: the new influencers?

By Posted on 0 2 m read 19 views

Have you noticed how there’s been a LinkedIn resurgence?

Yep, it seems like LinkedIn is the new frontier for people to become influencers with the introduction of the LinkedIn Creator feature.

According to recent news articles, LinkedIn creators are individuals who use the platform to share their unique insights and perspectives on various topics. They’re not just sharing their professional experience and knowledge, but also their personality and stories.

It’s no surprise that LinkedIn is becoming the new home for influencers, given that the platform has over 700 million users worldwide. And with the rise of remote work, people are turning to LinkedIn more than ever to network, find job opportunities, and share their expertise.

Hannah's LinkedIn posts - creator mode

What’s interesting is that the content shared by LinkedIn creators is different from what you might see on other social media platforms. Instead of flashy photos or witty one-liners, LinkedIn creators share articles, thoughtful posts, and long-form content that delves deep into industry-specific topics.

And the best part? You don’t need a massive following to become a LinkedIn creator. According to a recent article by The Guardian, even those with a modest following can become a LinkedIn influencer by consistently sharing high-quality content that resonates with their audience.

One great example of a successful LinkedIn creator is Shay Rowbottom, who has gained over 130k followers on the platform by sharing her thoughts on social media and entrepreneurship. She’s even landed speaking gigs and consulting opportunities through her LinkedIn presence.

So, if you’re looking to build your personal brand and establish yourself as an expert in your field, it’s time to hop on the LinkedIn creator bandwagon. Share your unique perspectives, engage with your audience, and watch your following grow.

In conclusion, the rise of LinkedIn creators is proof that the platform is more than just a place to post your resume. It’s a place where individuals can showcase their expertise, share their stories, and build their personal brand. So, what are you waiting for? Start creating!

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2022 – do people even blog anymore?

By Posted on 0 3 m read 121 views

Hi

It’s another new year! Another new start and another new promise to myself to keep my blog alive.

It’s 2022 and I have not posted anything since 2020! I should take my own advice, and stick to a goal, get over my fears of imperfection and just post.

Perhaps at this point I should just delete this website completely, but there is a reason I’ve kept on paying the domain fee and hosting subscription and may be that means I’m just not ready to let it go… at least not without a fight or some ceremonial digital funeral.

With the increase in popularity of video apps and the decrease in our attention spans, TikTok has seen a surge in popularity (as we all know); competitors Instagram and YouTube are following suit by pushing their short-form portrait videos.

So it begs the question, are we still reading blogs?

Writing is a from of catharsis and gives a form of expression that viral videos can’t necessarily. When we want to put our minds to it, we will happily listen to a 90 minute podcast, watch a 3 hour film and so long-form content isn’t going anywhere.

So what’s been going on?

So – a quick overview of 2020 and 2021

Well I don’t need to go into lockdowns etc, we’ve all been there and got the loo roll, but with the exhaustion we all felt with the pandemic – not enough socialising without the use of screen-time and too much blue-light – I couldn’t bring myself to spend even more time sitting at a computer.

I was asked to go on BBC radio to talk about my blog.

I completed Red January and raised money for charity.

I pretty much gave up on Instagram and with it lost over 1,000 followers (2018 me would have been so upset!) and I couldn’t care less how low my reach is now.

I adopted the sweetest black and white kitten from Cats Protection.

Stephen Fry (Stephen Fry!), Anya Hindmarch, Richard Madeley, Griff Rhys Jones, and more, made videos for my Christmas campaign at work,

I learnt to be my own hairdresser – experimented with pastel colours and dyed over my salon perfect blonde highlighted mane with various colours of the rainbow. I bleached my hair. It didn’t go too badly. I grew it out and went back to my natural brunette shade. I got extensions. I lobbed it off again.

I have tried more colours, style and lengths in two years than I have in twenty.

I was a bridesmaid to one of my longest friends. Attended seven weddings!

I turned 30.

I was whisked to Paris by my boyfriend. Returned days later to find France shut its borders to the UK. *we made it to Disneyland just in time!*

Fulfilled one of my lifetime dreams of making a purchase in the 31 Rue Cambon CHANEL store and posed on Coco’s famous steps. Tears of joy! 

A few days ago I was asked to be a godmother.

Ignoring some really (really) shit parts of the last two years – this list shows there is so much to be grateful and happy for.

So, there are a lot of reasons I’ve been too busy to pretend that I’ve been living my best life on social media. Because I’ve just been living life.

How are my blogging friends? Hope you’re well and taking care.

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Fashion trends that need to die in 2020

By Posted on 0 5 m read 2.7K views

Fashion trends that shouldn’t follow us into 2020.

New year, new trends. However, some trends tend to outstay their welcome (or were never even welcome in the first place) and stick around for too long.

One of my previous blogposts ‘Fashion trends that need to die in 2018‘ seemed to be popular, so why not reflect on the trends of 2019 that need to die?

This is a disclaimer: don’t get offended if you like any of these trends; this is just my opinion. If you like to dress like this, I’m sure you’re still a nice person.

Here are the 8 trends that need to disappear in 2020:

1. Cycling shorts

Unless you’re training for the Tour De France, you have no place wearing these outside of a gym. They do not look good with a T shirt, a baggy jumper, a nice top, a shirt, trainers, sandals or heels… they do not look good with anything. I’m sorry, cycling shorts are awful and should not be worn for “every occasion” as Glamour magazine suggests you should.

2. Ridiculously tiny ‘bags’ aka ‘micro bags’

It was the 2010s – where mobile phones started to get bigger and bags became so small the phones cannot fit in them. It is extremely logical… (note the sarcasm).

These are not functional by any means, but fashionable? Also no. There is literally no point in these but to make people look at you and think ‘did that bag get shrunk in the wash?’ or ‘is that person carrying a Barbie doll’s bag?’.

I’m not talking about the bags that are also classed as a ‘wallet on chain’, you know, a device that can actually fit in your credit cards and a set of keys. No, I’m talking about the micro bag by French designer Jacquemus which sparked the tiniest trend yet.

The bag I’m referring to is a massive one inch deep, two inches high and wide and weighs 3oz. You’d be lucky to fit a Lil-let tampon in there.

But don’t worry, for your £200, you’ll also get a dust bag included, and I can see why a dustbag is necessary, because by the looks of it, it’ll only take two specks of dust to disintegrate this thing.

3. Bucket hats

The only person that can get away with wearing a bucket hat, in my opinion, is Billie Eilish. But, even the most stylish celebrities I’ve seen wearing a bucket hat end up looking like a long-lost member of Hanson. Bucket hats paired with floaty dresses and chic suits? For me, it just doesn’t go and looks off-balanced. I guess it works if you’re going straight from fashion week to fishing though.

But maybe I’m just jealous because I struggle to find hats that suit me.

 

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A post shared by BILLIE EILISH (@billieeilish) on

4. Shoes without socks

I’m talking about the typical Essex boy look here. Leather loafers or trainers worn WITHOUT socks. I mean, some shoes will lend themselves to the ‘no-sock’ rule, such as espadrilles, but fully enclosed leather brogues? That’s just screaming fungal breeding-ground.

Every time I see a guy without socks I want to ask: ‘are your feet not extremely sweaty??’. I’ve even seen some go sockless along with tight, rolled-up chinos to a wedding. Unless its a wedding on the beach, this is not acceptable and Ascot agrees – as men without socks will now be refused entry to the races.

Finally, this trend has introduced the word ‘mankles‘ to the English lexicon. MANKLES! If that’s not a sign to ditch this trend I don’t know what is.

5. Socks and sliders

Now this is why I’m confused… Aforementioned men who don’t wear socks with shoes will also be the ones who wear socks WITH sandals? Oh, the irony.

Socks and sandals has notoriously been a fashion faux-pas, so it’s actually quite impressive that this one has caught on. Well done socks and sandals.

6. Joggers

Couple joggers with the socks and sliders and you’re on track for the perfect outfit for taking the bins out in the morning.

I’m not hating on joggers; they are very cosy. I have many pairs. The reason I wear them is either for slobbing about watching Netflix, travelling or actually jogging (pffft who am I kidding? I don’t jog).

I would just like to campaign for people to stop wearing joggers to restaurants and other public places. Nando’s isn’t Michelin star cuisine, and Odeon doesn’t call for a black-tie dress code, but come on, have some decency to wear actual clothes to go out to eat. And proper shoes with socks too.

7. Saddle bags

Okay, this may be controversial… but the Dior saddle bags and all the liver-shaped replicas that it inspired should have stayed in 1999. I liked it on Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City and that’s where my interest in this bag ends. Vintage pieces can bring another layer to a modern outfit, but a brand new copy-and-paste version of the original that has been brought back by Maria Grazia Chiuri still feels out-dated (and over-priced at that).

Carrie Bradshaw played by Sarah Jessica Parker in an episode of 2000's Sex and the City. She wears a Dior saddle bag (original) with a white vest top and a purple flower brooch on the strap.

Photo: Getty Images.

8. Boiler suits

So this last one I’m a bit on the fence about. Perhaps it’s because I’ve not yet found a flattering boiler suit, and yet, it can look quite chic when styled up the right way. However, I can’t really get the image out of my head that if I wore one I’d look like I’m about to shovel some coal or like an extra in ‘Orange is the New Black’.

Trends will come and go

Every year there’ll be some new weird and wonderful clothing styles and I look forward to seeing them. Perhaps we’ll have creative clothes made out of old Tesco uniforms, in the same way the IKEA blue bags had a moment. I was going to say Sainsbury’s in stead of Tesco, but Beyoncé’s brand Ivy Park already has that covered.

Are there any ‘ugly fashion’ trends that you like? What do you think 2020 will bring?

Thanks for reading, please leave a comment and be sure to come back again 🙂

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How to break the blogging break

By Posted on 4 4 m read 2.2K views

Blogging breaks…

Sometimes they’re done with intent and most the time, they’re not.

A lot of things have happened since I last posted. It’s been months… whoops. This is my first post of 2019 and it’s April now.

Things that have happened in the influencer realm this year already:

  1. Pipdig scandal
  2. Article 13 has been approved
  3. T series overtook Pewdiepie and Pewdiepie overtook again
  4. Evidence of a YouTuber grooming underage girls but people are more concerned with a joke about Shane Dawson molesting his cat
  5. Attack on influencers taking photos outside of houses in Notting Hill
  6. Tanya Burr and Jim Chapman announce divorce and people are upset that ‘the old days are over’
  7. List of 28 influencers accused of cheating their way to top was published and removed
  8. Threat of potential jail time if influencers do not disclose advertisements correctly

Yeah, it’s a crazy place and it’s enough for anyone to feel overwhelmed. Notice, that a lot of (if not all) stories about ‘influencers’ in the press are negative. Couple that with the pressure on numbers and it’s easy to be demotivated.

Negativity in the industry

The negativity around this industry doesn’t worry me into stopping blogging, but maybe the portrayal of bloggers as “detestable freeloaders” and cancel culture has caused my subconscious to make me take a step back from blogging out of fear of being branded a bad person and have people ‘coming for me’ if I make a mistake.

That, and the fact been I’ve busy, ill, renovating a house, working a full-time, can’t be bothered, focusing on Instagram (delete as appropriate).

Read related post: Why are we ALWAYS so busy? Even when we’re not?

Hannah steps off of the pavement looking forward, in front of a blue door and two red doors. Wearing a Zara leopard dress and a cream oversized jumper with over the knee black boots.

Leopard print dress: Zara

Post more and worry less

So, it’s time to get motivated and start posting. How? I’m making a promise, mostly for myself, that I will try to post at least once a week.

I need to be forgiving and get over everything trying to be perfect. As I said before in another post ‘am I shit at blogging?’: “it’s just not always possible to create the vision in my head, which is why I end up with a long list of ideas and unfinished blog posts.”

So, I’m going take a leaf out of Maria J’s book and try to write more on the fly, when the mood strikes, with or without curated photos. I loved what she said here because that’s exactly how I want to go forward with my blog:

I haven’t given up all quality, I just want this to be more casual and more me.

Ways to break the blogging break

(And what I vow to do from now on).

1. Set a goal and stick to it.

Set a goal of how consistently you’re going to post. I’d like to do two posts a week, but I’m going to say at least once a week.

2. Post when the mood strikes

To help with the first goal, write when you feel like writing.

Type it up, put it into your editor, quickly read it back and HIT PUBLISH. I never posted often because I faffed trying to make sure I had the ‘correct’ photos and ‘proper’ research all put in.

3. Write every random thought down

No motivation nor ideas? Just type up/write down any thoughts that come into your head. It doesn’t need to be in full sentences or even make sense. You don’t need to post it but, I find this helps me to get ideas flowing and get some motivation to write.

4. Read a few blogs

When I’m really not motivated to write anything at all, I’ll check out content from other people in the hope it inspires me.

5. Set a schedule

I’m going to try this. Set aside a time slot to blog a week. Maybe 6pm – 8pm on Mondays is blog time and that’s the only thing you do in that time.

6. Stop focusing on Instagram

The reason my blog is being neglected is because I’ve been paying more attention to Instagram. The blog is the only platform you have full control of, and I’ve been forgetting that. Instagram is great, but not when I’m spending too much time on that. I’m sure I’m not the only person that is guilty of this.

(PS go follow me 😉 )

7. Do something blog related

Not in the mood to write a post? Just do something that will help your blog. Update a few of the image descriptions, update your plugins, tick the admin thing off the list that you’ve been meaning to do. There’s always something easy that you can do to help.

Question for you! Leave a comment 🙂

So, do you have any tips to get your blogging mojo back? And what do you think about the representation of bloggers and influencers in the media… do you think this has a subconscious effect on you or your ability to create content?

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Five Bloggers, One Trend: Leopard Print

By Posted on 3 4 m read 4.1K views

The Leopard print trend, styled by five bloggers.

This blog post is literally what it says on the tin! Lindsey who blogs at cozystylist.com rounded us bloggers up together to create a collaboration blog post and I think it’s been a success. It’s so interesting to see one trend styled in different ways by bloggers with unique, personal styles. We hope you enjoy it!

🐆

1. Leopard print coat

Me | hannahgladwin.com

Hannah wears leopard print coat, pink culottes and wrap knot top

Coat: H&M | Bag: Diane Von FurstenbergBlouse: River IslandCulottes: Asos |Shoes: Asos

A faux fur leopard print coat adds a bit of luxuriousness to any outfit… plus it’s really warm! Normally, I’m not afraid to mix prints together but, for this outfit, I let the coat be the statement piece and chose a neutral palette for the rest of the outfit.

Oversized pieces and flowy fabrics has also been a big trend, so I put together my favourite nude-pink culottes with a light copper tone blouse with a twist front. I think the tonal colours really compliment the leopard print – the mix of textures and colours create an elegant final look (so, of course, I wore this to the Dorchester!).

To finish the look, I picked out the black spots in the coat and accessorised with a beautiful croc textured DVF bag (another animal print big for autumn and winter!) and some simple black heels. However, the great thing about this look is that you can easily dress it down, by wearing some chunky sneakers or some leather chelsea boots, if you’re wanting to go more casual.

🐆

2. Leopard print boots

Kait | teacupsandthings.com

Sweater and hat: H&M | Jeans: ZARA | Purse: Kate Spade | Boots: Blowfish Shoes

I’ve always been a huge fan of statement accessories – be it a necklace, statement earrings or a loud shoe. Statement accessories are a great way to experiment with trends that may be out of your comfort zone, and for many people, animal prints can be a little intimidating. What I love about these leopard print boots is that they are so incredibly easy to dress up or dress down. You can wear them with virtually anything, like jeans and an oversized sweater for a more casual look like I did here. These boots also look great with a dress or skirt and some tights for a dressier look.

Follow Kait on

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3. Leopard print dress

Michelle | dressingwithstyle-s.com

dressingwithstyle-s.com
Dress: ASOS Shoes: Vans Earrings: H&M
I’m a 90s gal through and through, so when animal print came back into fashion, I immediately picked up literally everything in leopard print. My favorite find?! This ASOS dress that is perfect for nearly every occasion! I’m always running late in the morning, so a dress is my perfect go-to outfit. With this piece, you can easily dress it down –like I’ve done here– with a pair of Vans. If it’s chilly where you live, black booties and a nice leather jacket give it a bit of an edge. Headed somewhere a bit fancy? Throw on a pair of heels and you’ve got yourself a sexy drape neck dress. And, because of the leopard print, there’s a little pop of that extra something!
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4. Leopard print scarf

Lindsey | cozystylist.com

Linsdey Stout Cozy Stylist - wears leopard print scarf, copper coloured sweater and over the knee greige boots

I am usually the type of girl to stick to solid colors or very simple prints like stripes or polka dots. So when I saw that leopard was going to be a big trend this season I had to think of ways that I could incorporate the print into my wardrobe. I ended up buying this fabulous scarf and pointed flats. I found that I could style this scarf with many different outfits. It goes perfectly with a long sleeve tee, jeans, and flats or a cute sweater dress and boots. You can mix the leopard print with other patterns but I choose to wear it as the only printed piece so that I don’t overwhelm my outfit. The scarf works perfectly against fall tones and neutral colors.

Follow Lindsey on:

Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Bloglovin’, Pinterest

🐆

5. Leopard print skirt

Brittany | brittanyabraham.com

Brittany wears leopard print skirt, black sheer tights with a black knit sweater and black boots.
Skirt: Forever 21 | Top: Target | Tights: Forever 21 | Boots: Vince | Watch: Michael Kors

I love incorporating prints into my fall wardrobe, and leopard print is the perfect way to spice things up while staying on trend. I decided to style this leopard print skirt from Forever 21. I love this piece because this particular print is subtle and great for everyday wear. I paired the skirt with a knit black sweater and lace-up suede booties. I accessorized my outfit with polka dot tights and rose gold jewelry for a cohesive and warm look.

Follow Brittany on

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Which look is your favourite? If you’ve been given inspiration for outfit with leopard print, let us know in the comments! 🙂

Thanks for reading and thank you to all these lovely bloggers for putting together this post, especially Lindsey for organising it.  x

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If you invest in only one autumn fashion trend, make it this…

By Posted on 3 4 m read 3.3K views

The bouclé jacket

It’s a timeless classic that will never go out of style.

And this one from River Island is the best thing I’ve worn this year.

*In collaboration with River Island 😍

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Body confidence: what if you’re not ‘body positive’ about yourself?

By Posted on 12 9 m read 3.9K views

*In collaboration with UK Swimwear.

📍Arenal d’en Castell, Menorca.

In an online world full of contradictions, do you feel conflicted about your body image?

This post is about how a simple bikini photo shoot (pics courtesy of Dan – thanks) led me to feel more confident and ask myself if I should feel guilty for not always being happy with my body.

When you go on a week-long beach holiday do you take enough bikinis for a month or is that just me? I love the sea and swimming (and apparently bikinis) so when UK Swimwear reached out to me about collaborating I said yes straight away. You’ll find designer swimwear to suit all different needs and styles – for me I loved every single item by Watercult (their stuff is beautiful!)

But then, I realised for this blogpost that I would have to photograph myself in a bikini and put it up for everyone to see and I wondered if I wanted to do that… It’s weird because I post photos of myself wearing outfits, so why should this be any different? I’ve been struggling with my body confidence so now, so I was worried about putting photos of me semi-naked on my blog…

Hannah with on hand on her head in the sea.

Wearing Watercult Bandeau bikini*

So, originally I was going to write a holiday checklist (I always need to do this before every trip, so I’ll still publish that) but now have these bikini photos ready to post, I thought that talking about body confidence in this post would be more fitting.

At the end of this blog post, I have three points for you to take away that I hope helps if you ever feel bad about yourself… or feel bad for feeling bad about yourself.

Conflict of feelings

I feel ashamed to say that I’m not happy with how my body is at the moment.

Whatever body shape or size you are, unfortunately, you’re not immune to feeling body-conscious. We’ve come a long way in the representation of women’s bodies but there is a lot of damage to undo. We’ve seen the supposed ‘perfect body type’ presented by the media and advertising for so long now that social media and society has created an ingrained pressure for women to look a certain way.

But now, there are conflicting messages in the media too – “you should be proud of your body whatever it looks like!” “Don’t conform to the patriarchy’s ideals of beauty!” “Be confident” and other slightly aggressive demands amongst all sorts of inspirational quotes. We still see ‘perfect’ images of Victoria Secret models everywhere in magazines but we’re now being told we should always be positive about our own bodies.

80% of people have stretch marks and 90% of women and 10% of men have cellulite. That’s 90%! How can that be something we are embarrassed by when literally almost every woman has them? Click To Tweet

Hannah sitting on the beach in the waves. Arenal d'en Castelll

It’s kind of confusing.

And it’s making me feel guilty that I’m not always ‘body positive’. On the other hand, I don’t feel like I can use the expression ‘body positive’ because I don’t want to appropriate a message that’s been created for plus-size women. I’m just an average size with the average concerns… I’ll obssess over so many things wrong with my body,  yet I would never think so harshly about other people..

It’s not just me or you that feels this. Here are some quotes from other people that we can probably relate to:

“I obsess about my weight constantly, and I really hate myself for it, especially for being such a hypocrite. I preach self-love all the time to my friends and can’t seem to find any for myself.”

From article: ‘’I feel guilty but I hate my body’: a feminist confesses’

“If you’re one of the girls who still feels inferior no matter how many body-positivity articles you read, you’re not alone.”

From article: ‘I hate my body and think I always will’

Everyone has scars and ‘imperfections’

I am able-bodied, thanks to a surgery I had when I was two. If it weren’t for the NHS and a fantastic surgeon, it’s possible that I wouldn’t be able to walk properly. So, why am I putting my body down when it has managed to go through so much with me?

Ever since then, I’ve had a large scar on my right leg and hip and one going through my stomach across the pelvis. Yet I’ve never been ashamed or embarrassed by the scars. I never mind telling people where they came from when they see it and ask. I’m actually proud of them – my war wounds 🙂

Hannah doing scynchronised swimming in the sea. Arenal d'en Castelll

(I used to do synchronised swimming but I’m rusty so don’t judge my technique!)

 

However, when it comes to my cellulite, my stretch marks, and my lumpiness it fills me with disgust. But it’s totally normal and natural for anyone to have these. In fact, 80% of people have stretch marks and 90% of women and 10% of men have cellulite. That’s 90%! How can that be something we are embarrassed by when literally almost every woman has them?

I feel ashamed to say that I’m not happy with how my body is at the moment. I know that’s because there’s more to life than our bodies and, to other people, there may look like there’s anything ‘wrong’ with my body. And there isn’t – so that’s why I feel bad sharing my insecurities.

I shared an Instagram post a few weeks ago saying I felt uncomfortable in my own skin and everyone was so kind; a lot of you were saying that I had nothing to be worried about. There’s nothing wrong with how my body is but right now I feel that this isn’t my body.

That probably makes no sense.

I’ll explain…

Hannah faces a rock in a rock pool, with both hands on head clutching hair.

It’s more of a psychological issue than a physical issue.

Never before have I had any issues or worries about how my body looked. I did a lot of exercise and managed to maintain the same weight for years. That was until I took some medications a few years ago which had the side effects of weight gain. Ever since I took those, they changed how I felt about myself; now I’m focused on so many ‘flaws’ I never had or noticed before. I’ve been struggling to get back to where I was – the ‘old me’ who didn’t worry about that.

It’s not that I think my body shape or size is not nice and I don’t want to write anything that would make someone else upset or self-conscious. But, I don’t feel like my body suits me. I feel uncomfortable having a bit of chub I didn’t have before. I look at my old photos and that is a happy person who didn’t worry.
So, I suppose my problem is not how I think I look but how it makes me feel.

The body I have now is one that hasn’t healed itself yet. My scars from my operation have healed. But, the lumps, the extra cushioning around my cheeks and waist are scars that haven’t healed yet… because they are reminders of a mentally tough period in my life which I’m not over yet. When I’m out the other side I’ll either have lost these parts I don’t like or I’ll be happy enough to accept them.

But that’s why I’m not joining in with the movement of shouting from the rooftops that I have flaws and I’m proud of them. Does that make any sense?

Hannah stands in the sea wearing black and white balconette bikini.

That’s one of the reasons I like fashion. It makes me feel better.

You may look at my photos and think I have nothing to worry about… And I know that I shouldn’t worry, which where this guilt comes from. You may also say, well if you’re not confident why are you posting these photos?

To that I say, well, it was a lot of fun taking these and I felt more confident as we went on. I feel happy with how these came out. They have happy memories behind them. My boyfriend and I were on holiday together, having a laugh playing around taking these photos and I felt good wearing this bikini*. Also, it helped that I knew that no one on the beach knew me that day so I didn’t worry about looking silly.

Sun is behind Hannah's face

I wish you could see behind-the-scenes of this photo… I’m demanding that Dan ‘get lower down’, ‘no, lower so the sun is behind my face’ … Him: ‘No I don’t want to get all sandy; I’ll have to go and wash it off in the sea again!’ ‘I can’t see you, it’s so bright!’

And trust me, these photos aren’t all realistic themselves – I’ve put up the best photos of the bunch and we took a lot of photos… and a lot didn’t make the cut. In these I’m stretching out, facing my back to the camera, and trying to angle myself so the lumps and rolls don’t stick out. Same as what models do on photoshoots and everyone does on Instagram. Just take Iskra Lawrence’s example that we can all hide certain things when we pose a certain way.

So, the last thing I’d want is for anyone to compare my images to themselves and feel bad. These are just some photos that I think turned out well.

What you wear makes a difference

Putting on this bikini, I could tell it was of a much higher quality than the bikinis I normally wear… As soon as I put it on I felt really good in it; it fits well and the bikini top gives the support of bra. (A good supportive bikini top is necessary when swimming – trust me! I’ve had a few rogue floating bikini tops after diving into the pool before!). I love the embroidery and the elastic on the bottom is supported with Petersham so I’m sure these will last for quite a few holidays to come.

Close up of the bikini bottoms - black with white aztec embroidery with tie-sides and gold filigree pineapple charms.

Look at the little gold pineapple charms!!!

What you wear really can dictate how you’re feeling about your body and image. When I’m dressed in something I love, I feel confident and am therefore happier with how I look. When I’m in panic-mode and having ‘nothing to wear’ (we all know that’s not true, but we’ve all been there) and I chuck on something I’m not quite feeling, then I know I’m not going to be thinking positively towards my body. I’m fairly sure that I’m not alone in this.

So, if you’re going to a pool or a beach, my advice is to find a swimsuit that fits you really well in the style and design you really like. It’ll make all the difference to your confidence.

And if you want to do what I did, try taking some photos and you might end up with ones that you think you look banging in.

Hannah sits on the sand looking out at the sea.

What’s the conclusion to this then?

I have three things that I’ve realised:

1. You’re not alone if you feel guilty for not always liking your body.

In today’s world of social media, it’s hard not to escape the paradox of ‘this is how to improve yourself!’ and ‘be fine with how you are!’. We can’t blame ourselves for having mixed feelings about our image.

2. Don’t compare yourself to images online

Although almost it’s unavoidable seeing these images everywhere and it’s become an unconscious thing to do – comparing ourselves is not healthy for our esteem. When you catch yourself with these thoughts make a conscious point to tell yourself that a photo online doesn’t always tell the full story.

3. Make a small step towards body confidence and dress up in something that makes you feel good

I’m not meaning that you should ‘dress nicer’ and I’m not insinuating you need a magic makeover, not at all. This isn’t just surface-deep. On a psychological level, you can boost your self-esteem if you’re happy (or happier) with how you see yourself on the outside.

Now go out and treat yourself! It’s the perfect excuse 😉

Have you ever felt bad for feeling bad or are you always confident no matter what? Honestly, I’d love to hear different points of view on this. Leave me a comment and maybe we can start a discussion.

 

*This bikini was gifted.

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10 Instagrammable places in Mayfair

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*This experience at the Dorchester was gifted by hotels.com, but all views are my own.

📍Mayfair, London, UK.

Looking for the perfect Instagram spots in London?

Look no further than Mayfair.

Mayfair is arguably one of the prettiest, best-kept areas in London. Well, that’s not a surprise given its status and has the top spot on the Monopoly board. There are few places that you’ll always see on Instagram but you might not necessarily have known where it was.

If you’re coming from out of town and are looking for a location that’s within walking distance of tourist attractions, the West End, shopping and anything really, consider hotels near Mayfair, because whilst it’s amongst all the buzz, it can also be a bit quieter than other areas.

Dining

1. The Dorchester

You know us Brits love our tea, and I’m no exception, so when I was invited for afternoon tea at the Dorchester, there was no way I was missing it.

Built in the 1930s and recognised as one the world’s most prestigious hotels known for hosting Hollywood icons throughout history, you can’t imagine a hotel much more luxurious. Walking into the Promenade, you feel the glamour of the Golden Age wash over you.

The waiters and concierges were so amenable and helpful. This experience isn’t just about eating lunch and drinking tea; it’s about receiving the VIP treatment and dining in such a beautiful setting which makes it special. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, an afternoon tea at the Dorchester is simply something you have to do at some point.

Afternoon tea at the Dorchester

2. Sketch

It’s no surprise that bloggers flock to Sketch in Mayfair to get a snap for their ‘gram thanks to its beautiful powder pink decor and velvet furniture. Plus it has a reputation as one of the best restaurants in London with two Michelin stars.

 

 

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Shopping

 

3. Fortnum and Mason

Okay, so I had to make a trip here. My friend introduced me to the cocktail salon hidden away in the men’s department. It’s a lot quieter and easier to get a comfy chair than its other bars. So, shhh don’t tell too many people about this secret!

It’s well worth a visit here around Christmas time! They have already opened up their Christmas shop. I couldn’t resist getting a tree decoration in the form of their iconic F&M wicker baskets. Expensive but worth it.

Whilst you’re there, stop for a sweet treat in this cute little pastel perfect 50s style ice-cream parlour. Guaranteed to get some really cute selfies here.

 

4. New bond street

Chanel. Prada. Saint Laurent. Louis Vuitton. Cartier. Tiffany. Name a designer. It’s on this street.
Whether you’re splurging or window shopping, taking photos down this beautiful street is free. So take a snap and upload it to the ‘gram and keep people guessing as to which one you’re doing 😉

 

 

5. Dover Street Market

It’s not really a market – not in the traditional sense. It’s not anything like Camden. It’s more a multi-brand retailer or a ‘concept store’ with installations of different boutiques and exhibition areas.
It was created by Rei Kawakubo of the label Comme des Garçons. It also sells streetwear and high-end designers like Gucci and Loewe.

Expect some quirky props like fluffy flamingoes that you can pose in front of!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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COMME des GARÇONS SHIRT Basquiat installation has arrived at Dover Street Market. Ground Floor. @CommeDesGarcons

 

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6. Burlington Arcade

My first memory of this small shopping lane was when I was a lot younger – we always saw a show at Christmas time after looking at all of the department store Christmas windows. Full of tiny tiny boutiques, it’s really quite a unique place to shop.

Back then, I never recognised any of the brands, but now there are more recognisable ones, like Manolo Blahnik.

Touristy spots

7. Speakers’ Corner on Hyde Park

At the top of Park Lane, I stopped by Speakers’ Corner. If you haven’t heard of this before, it’s basically an area of Hyde Park, where anyone can take their soapbox, and speak until their heart’s content. It’s open-air space for public speaking, debates and discussions.

I saw two interesting characters there this Sunday. An American man wearing a cowboy hat, boots and bootleg denim jeans speaking the word of God, contrasted with a eighty-something-year-old tattooed Eastender, Ronnie, accompanied by his shopping trolley which had a plastic bird perched on the handle.

If you have time I definitely recommend getting involved or just going to listen!

8. Buckingham Palace

Okay, it’s technically not in Mayfair, but it’s just a short walk and if you’re in the area, you might as well pop in to see if Her Majesty is home.

9. Shepherd Market

This has a bit of everything: eateries, shopping, cute houses – definitely a cute place for an outfit shot.
Whilst doing my research, I discovered that this was where Mayfair actually began.
In the 1730s and ’40s local architect, Edward Shepherd started a 15-day market and festival to become Shepherd Market Mayfair.

And you just have to go and see the Christmas lights there in December.

 

 

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Festive wishes from a very quiet Shepherd Market • • • #shepherdmarket #mayfair #5hertfordstreet #christmasinmayfair

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10. Marble Arch

Cute fountains and 19th-century architecture – such a photogenic spot. This was erected as the state entrance to Buckingham Palace. It’s just at the end of Oxford Street, so if you’re out doing some shopping around Westminster you may eventually reach it. It’s based on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris… see the similarities?

I hope you enjoyed this post! Has it inspired you to go to any of these places? Anywhere you would recommend? Leave me a comment 🙂 As always, thanks for reading!

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Four staple pieces you need this Autumn

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On-trend staple pieces for autumn

*In collaboration with Boohoo.

Okay, it’s time for round two. By that, I mean I’ve written this before. Déjà-vu. If you think you’ve already read or commented on this post, then you probably did. Just for context, I was having a bad day (I mean really bad) and something went wrong with my code in the back-end. What was a fairly simple fix, I made things more complicated than they needed to be and restored my blog to its last backed up state. So, the last four blog posts I’d written WERE DELETED FOREVER * crying face emoji *.

Autumn fashion

I don’t know about you, but autumn fashion can be tricky to get right. The weather in October is never sure what it’s doing in the UK. Will we have a mini heatwave or will it storm? You just never know what to dress for. This is why knitwear is always the answer for me. You wear can wear a knitted cardigan or jumper on its own when it’s too warm for a coat but you can also put a coat on top for when it is cold.

Four staple pieces for autumn

1. Black turtleneck

The black turtleneck has never really gone out of style. They are so simple, chic and classic. It’s been a fashion favourite ever since the 1930s. While the first person to come to mind when you think of black turtlenecks may be Steve Jobs, who isn’t exactly known for his style sense, you can’t deny the number of fashion icons that have been photographed wearing the black turtleneck: Yves Saint Laurent, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Steve McQueen… and of course, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson in that vintage photo. (I’ve included it at the end, you’re welcome).

Hannah wears a black turtleneck, leopard print skater skirt and black sock boots with a perspex heel

Channeling Posh Spice

Hannah wears a black turtleneck, leopard print skater skirt and black sock boots with a perspex heel

Cropped turtleneck knit* | Leopard print skirt* | Sock boots*

Hannah wears pink knitted trousers and a black knitted cropped turtleneck

Cropped turtleneck knit* | Knitted Co-ord set* | Sock boots*

2. Animal print

Animal print is a massive trend for autumn. I love this leopard skater skirt (it’s only £12 – bargain!) not only does it look stylish but it’s also comfy. You could get away with wearing this bare-legged on the warmer, balmy days or put on some knee-high boots or tights for warmth on the cold days – which makes this skirt a great transition piece.

It doesn’t just have to be leopard print though. Snake-print is everywhere, as well as tiger, zebra (I’m lusting after these beaut palazzo pants), crocodile – anything exotic.

Cropped turtleneck knit* | Leopard print skirt* | Sock boots* | Knitted Co-ord set*

3. Sock boots

These were on-trend last year and they’re back again. They’re so flattering because they fit, well, like a sock. The ones I’m wearing are perfect if you want to wear a statement but are not ready to go all-out. The clear perspex heel is an interesting twist on a classic black boot which makes a statement but is still classy.

Cropped turtleneck knit* | Leopard print skirt* | Sock boots* | Knitted Co-ord set*

4. Knitted co-ords

I love a co-ord. Even better when that co-ord is knitted and comfy. I was afraid knitted co-ords would look too much like pyjamas… but the pyjama as outerwear is still going strong so I’m all for it. I also love that you get more outfits for your money with this. You can wear the top and bottoms together, or you could mix and match with other items in your wardrobe and that’s what makes it so versatile.

*These items were gifted.

What are your staples for autumn? Are you loving the animal print trend too? Leave me a comment 🙂

Thank you to my lovely friend Laura for taking these bomb photos! Follow her for yoga inspiration: instagram.com/ripetideyoga

This post is in honour of the Rock rocking a turtleneck. We stan. 🙌The rock rocking a turtleneck

 

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