Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Festive week with Lady Hunter has come to an end and I am so thrilled that this year I chose to focus my Christmas content into one week and deliver a few posts that for me really highlight my favourite parts of the season. If you have missed a few, why not pop back to the home screen and have a little read?

I just want to take a quick moment to wish all my readers a very Happy Christmas. I can’t believe this blog is in it’s sixth year! I absolutely adore writing on here and never thought in a million years that I would find a hobby and actually stick with it! I am very much looking forward to using my Christmas break to dedicate a little time to blogging, prepping for the new year and finding some new inspiration.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and I will see you just a little before we enter 2020!

 

 

Leaving you here with a few pics from my home this Christmas!

Introducing Arbonne | Happy & Healthy Living

Introducing Arbonne | Happy & Healthy Living

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

In the Summer I jumped at a new and exciting opportunity that was shared with me. I may already have my plate pretty full with work, blogging and my law studies, but I just knew that this was something I had to get involved in. Sometimes you just hear of things and they totally make sense… well this was a moment like that for me. The role itself is a network marketing role, which always seems like a taboo subject in the UK, but in my head I really can’t understand why. As this is my platform and my space, I am going to share exactly why I jumped at this opportunity and why I can’t understand for the life of me that not everyone does… I mean… it just makes total sense!

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The business itself is all about networking, sharing and engaging with others. Something I already love to do. Basically, I get to talk about the things that I already love… win win. I’m not going to go into a heavy amount of detail, as if anyone is interested in finding out more, I am always around to share, but the principle is you get out of it what you put in. It is a total level playing field with a limitless amount of potential, where basically, you only succeed if other people succeed too! You build your dream life by helping others live their dream lives…. How amazing is that?!

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The thing that I probably love most about this new role is the products themselves. Arbonne was founded 40 years ago by a Norwegian gentleman, with the idea of creating a safe and healthy brand for the consumers, as well as creating an opportunity for people to make a living and succeed through the business. We all know, the best form of marketing is a recommendation or a positive review from an organic consumer of a brand. Ever since the very beginning, Arbonne has been a vegan, cruelty free, sustainable and paraben free brand, with a 2,000 ingredient not allowed list. What makes this even better… the company is continually creating new ways to ensure their products only get better for the consumer and our world. In my eyes this innovative brand was something I simply had to be a part of, whether that was working the business or becoming a loyal consumer. I am proud to say, after a few months I am happily doing both.

The products themselves feature skincare, cosmetics and nutrition. Arbonne prides itself on the amazing quality of all the products and is number one in the US for healthy living from the inside out. It is HUGE in the US, and let’s be honest, what does well there usually makes a swift appearance in the UK! Again, I am not going to go into huge detail about the products as we have endless resources of information for them, including my new Instagram page which is a private page to share the info with others who are keen on these sorts of products. If you fancy following along, the new page is called @happyandhealthylivingcommunity.

I am just going to finish this quick post by sharing a few personal reasons as to why I jumped at this opportunity, and why I think it is such an amazing fit for so many others.

 

  1. I love my job but being self-employed is hard work and extremely unpredictable. Yes, I am lucky to have created a good business, but the everyday uncertainty can become a real strain. Building this on the side is giving me a little more security and really easing a lot of pressure off.

  1. Again, I love my job, but what’s to say I am going to love it in 5, 10, 20 years’ time. Building something that can give me a passive income gives me the freedom and the choice in case I get to a stage where I no longer have complete job satisfaction.

  1. Time – I try my best, but quite frankly I do not have time to do everything I want to do in life. I spend countless hours working, blogging, trying to study whilst also maintaining a social life, exercise and keeping on top of my home. Like everyone, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. Building this business is going to allow me to gradually take away a lot of time-consuming aspects of my life, giving me the ability to actually focus on the things I want to do.

  1. A big thing for me is family. Not just my current family, but the family I have always dreamed of having as I grow up. Having children is something I cannot wait for, and I have always dreamed of being able to dedicate a lot of my time to my future children, focusing on being a mum and getting to do all the things not all parents are able to do. If I start this business now, what’s to say that by the time having children comes along, I could be completely free from working 12-hour days and able to focus all my time on them. What a wonderful thought!

  1. Extra income – now building a passive income means different things to everyone, but for me not only does it mean a quality of life that I have always dreamed of, but it also means so many other things too. I can help my family out in a way like no other job could give me, I can donate to as many worthy causes as possible, I can travel to my heart’s content and see every part of the world I have dreamed of and most importantly I can feel secure during every stage of my life.

Arbonne means different things to everyone, but I know for me, it certainly is the vehicle to creating a life I love. Want to know more and get involved? Leave me a message below and I will get back to you.

 

If you are interested in browsing through the products, click here.

 

 

This is not an AD. I am a proud independent consultant for Arbonne.

Favourite parts of New York City

Favourite parts of New York City

As you may have seen from Instagram, last week my bestie and I spent the week in New York. It was our first time in the city for both of us, as well as our first time in the States, however we have been told that New York simply cannot be compared to the rest of America. We had dreamt of this trip since we were about 13 years old and used to watch the movie Bride Wars on repeat. We both knew that the year we turned 21 was the time to go, so in January we booked the trip with a very good British Airways offer and started preparing for our Winter getaway to the big apple. Wow, it did not disappoint.

We had the week of our lives, simply exploring the city, getting to know all its charms and most importantly visiting all the places we had seen so many times on our TV screens. I thought I would simply share some of our favourite parts of the trip to hopefully inspire you if you ever plan on visiting.

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge was towards the end of our week in the city but such a memorable few hours. We got an Uber from our hotel on the East side of the city to the hot Instagram spot in Dumbo, Brooklyn, to get that iconic shot of the pebbled street with the Manhattan bridge behind. We were pretty proud of the images we got, all thanks to another tourist who got very snap happy with the camera. After our photos we then chose to walk back over the bridge, which probably took around half an hour in total with our gentle stroll. Unfortunately, it was raining cats and dogs, but still happened to be one of my favourite parts of the trip.

911 Memorial

Now I wouldn’t say that this part of the trip was a particularly ‘enjoyable’ experience, but I am so glad that we did it and I have to say it is definitely something everyone needs to do at least once. The experience was more what I would describe as ‘chilling’, reliving the day and paying tribute to those who lost their lives in such a tragic way. The memorial itself was very peaceful and the waterfalls felt like a wonderful way to mark the site and for people to come and mourn and pay their respects. I guess remembering these tragic incidents is a key ingredient in ensuring that history never repeats itself.

Fifth Avenue

As I imagined from the very beginning, Fifth Avenue was my home from home. Shop after shop making me feel at ease and totally in love with the magical city. We tried our hardest not to empty our bank cards on Fifth Avenue in one day, but you all know me, my bank card did take a little bit of a hit on the last day in Gucci situated over three floors in Trump Tower. The way I see it, how often do I get the chance to have fun and make a purchase on the classic Fifth Avenue in New York frickin City?!

Ice Skating in Central Park

This was possibly the most hilarious part of the trip due to my extremely appalling ice-skating skills, or lack of. We did two laps around, which took the best part of half an hour, and decided to give up and head for lunch due to my lack of ice-skating confidence. However, what an experience to ice skate in central park just like Blair Waldorf in Gossip Girl!

Mean Girls

Saving the best to last, and our agreed favourite part of the trip, on the second night in NYC we went to see Mean Girls on Broadway and it was INCREDIBLE. It was a wonderful musical adaption of the classic film with talented acting, amazing performances, laugh out loud humour and even a few controversial remarks on the state of the US which seemed to go down a treat. Despite paying $27 for a ‘on Wednesdays we wear pink’ cocktail, I was very happy to even be able to bring home a Mean Girls souvenir in my reusable cup! Such an enjoyable and memorable experience from being in NY and I would definitely recommend this show if they bring it to the UK!

 

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Teddy Coat – Mango

Black Bag – Gucci

Ugg Boots – Ugg

 

 

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I have not been paid to feature any brands and all views and opinions are my own.

Working with brands as a micro influencer

Working with brands as a micro influencer

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

Blogging. Whatever you feel about that word, there is no denying that blogging is something that goes and comes around continuously. Brands quickly picked up on the success of bloggers and have chosen to invest a huge part, or for some their entire marketing budget on blog campaigns and social media posts to advertise their business. Why? Bloggers have the power to interact with their audience, organically sharing the things they love and inspiring others with their choices of products, services and even experiences. I myself have chosen a particular destination twice now based on where some of my favourite bloggers have visited. How crazy is that?! There is no denying that bloggers and Instagram stars are the way forward, which means us as micro influencers are actually incredibly powerful. We have very engaged audiences and are often chosen by brands as we have the power to influence whilst also being much more affordable.

I worked with my first brand five months into blogging and have probably worked with over 50 now. During this time, I have learnt so much about the relationship you need to have in order to benefit both parties. Hence, why I wanted to share my best tips with you today.

The relationship micro influencers and brands have is often a great one, although a major fall back for us micro influencers is two things. Firstly, this is usually a hobby and secondly, we don’t have fancy management pulling or the strings and making it all happen. We are a one-man band, and it can often be difficult to establish what sort of relationship we need to have with brands if we are very new to the blogging circle. So, if you are a micro influencer and feel like you’re struggling to get the most out of your relationships with brands, carry on reading!

Nail your media kit

First things first, this is a business. When you have a business, you have to market yourself, simple as that. A media kit is the absolute starting point. This media kit should say who you are in a few bold sentences, record your stats, an image of the brands you have currently worked with and of course a selection of your content so a brand gets a general gist of what you are about. If charge a fee, you can also add your fee sheet to this media kit, so a brand has all the information in one go. Want to know more about media kits? Send me a message below and I will happily send you a copy of mine so you can see what they are meant to look like! We are all in this together peeps!

Treat it like a business

Ultimately, as the old saying goes, ‘treat it like a hobby, get paid like a hobby’. In business there is a general etiquette as to how you contact, communicate and work with other brands. For example, a professional first email is always a must, laying out exactly what you can offer simply as well as what you are looking for in return and delivering more on what you have promised. Business 101, promise less, give more. An example of this in blogging for me, is after I have done a collaboration and fulfilled on my side of the campaign, a few weeks later I will revisit the content and often discuss more. This shows my audience that I am authentic and definitely gets notices by brands.

Never be afraid to say no

A big blogging tip here. Never be afraid to say no. Ultimately you are going to be contacting my brands who are taking the piss with what they want from you, and you are also going to be contacting by brands that don’t fit in with your brand or personal beliefs. My advice is to always say no. Never accept a collaboration if it is something you wouldn’t pay for yourself and never give a brand more than what they are giving you back. My biggest hatred is when brands offer a discount on products in exchange for content. THEY ARE ASKING YOU TO PAY IN ORDER TO ADVERTISE THEM!!! That is not okay. I did this once in the early days and it is one of my biggest regrets, however I have learnt my lesson!

Gifting and Getting Paid

Now, here’s the thing, in your job you wouldn’t turn up for an hour if you weren’t getting paid for an hour. Well at least I hope you wouldn’t. It is the same in blogging, whether you are doing this as a hobby or a paying job. Never under sell yourself and know you value. In my opinion every single blogger should be paid for every single piece of work, however I do personally make exceptions. If it is a campaign where I would purchase the product or service myself and it feels like a good deal in my heart, then I will do it. If I have even an inkling of a doubt, my media kit and fee sheet will be sent via email. Ultimately, we all live busy lives and doing something for nothing really isn’t an option. Let me just quickly define two things for you.

Paid for campaigns: full brief before agreeing; a time scale of the content provided by the brand; everything laid out in advance to payment; you as the blogger will invoice the company.

Gifting: No time scales; no full brief should be given; there is to be no formal agreement of what can be expected from you.

The final product

In my opinion when working with a brand, and when everything has been done properly, your content should be of your highest level. Not only does this look good to the brand and usually lead to future work but it acts as a constant portfolio for future campaigns and of course the growth of your blog and brand. Basically, make sure you are proud of the content that you have created and share the crap out it!!

 

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All products can be shopped via this link.

 

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I have not been paid to publish this blog post, however the products featured were part of a campaign in August 2019 and were gifted to me. As always, all views and opinions are entirely my own.

 

1 + 8 =

Surviving dull winter days

Surviving dull winter days

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

The Winter is really starting to set in and there seems to be a general lug in the air since the clocks changed again. I hate to write it down as I feel like I am being extremely negative, but let’s be honest, the dark and grey days are depressing. It can have such an impact on us mentally and unfortunately, there really isn’t much we can do about it. The British weather isn’t going to change any time soon, so the only way to take control and work towards a happier ‘YOU’ is by working on you. There are many things we can do to help ourselves, and these things are all going to be different depending on our own personalities. I wanted to write today about these Winter days and share the small things I do to help myself overcome them.

I mean, let’s get one thing straight first, if you are going through a difficult or a stressful time at the moment, this is all going to be about 100 times harder. However, rest assured, doing a few small things every day and consistently can make such a huge difference.

Start your day by moving. This one sounds a bit odd and the first assumption would usually be to that I am talking about going to the gym. I’m not. I mean, going to the gym is one version of it but definitely not the only one. Every single day for the last few months I have made an effort to ensure that the first thing I do is move my body and stretch it out before starting to get ready. This can be going to the gym and working out, swimming, a little yoga, or simply just walking around the flat for a little while whilst sipping my coffee. This doesn’t just get your body ready for the day, but it totally readies your mind.

Let’s be honest, what we put into our bodies has such a major effect on what happens with the outside, and of course our minds. At this time of year, the importance of a healthy balanced diet is crucial, however often something that is the last thing we want to do. Yes, being on the sofa every evening with a glass of wine or two and a whole bar of chocolate is definitely wanted, it really does have such a negative impact on us mentally. We can all have our treats, but to help us mentally we all need to be getting our daily nutrients and feeding our bodies with the ingredients that lead to happier and healthier minds.

Saying YES! At this time of year, it is so easy to put life on hold and switch off from the real world for the sake of feeling comfortable. Don’t do it! Within reason, say yes to as much as humanly possible. Get out the house, network with new people, enjoy socialising and most importantly make some memories from new experiences. Life can become very dull when nothing much changes and you never push yourself, so always remember to say yes before saying no!

Don’t just wear black – I love this one as I know how true it is. At this time of year, we are all amazing at falling into our Winter habits and one of these has to be a constant black wardrobe for the duration of the season. Believe me, if this is your go-to every single day, it is going to start to take effect on your mood. Start experimenting with your wardrobe and be confident in some bolder colour choices and styles that are guaranteed to lift your mood time after time.

Flowers, candles and fairy lights – my three must haves in my home at this time of year to counteract the grey and dark days to evenings that we simple must endure. I have all three in abundance throughout my home.

Fresh air – often we all shy away from being out at this time of year as it is cold, often raining and let’s be real, just not exactly appealing. But I can assure you, even by having ten minutes out in the fresh air, it can do the world of good for your mind. I see it very much as pressing the reset button, using it as a little time to switch off from devices and the real world.

Phone free hours – moving swiftly on and complimenting my last point well, some phone free time is ALWAYS a huge factor is surviving these days. Social media sees a huge increase at this time of year, with many of us opting for our beds and sofas as opposed to beer gardens, which ultimately means we are all sat on our phones aimlessly scrolling through Instagram, possibly opening the app more than 30 times a day. When you are struggling a little, choose to put your phone away and engage with everything else going on around you.

Organisation – I have personally found that the best way to keep on top of these days and be as productive as possible is by always being organised. I give myself quite a strict routine and do find that when I stick to it both these things become so much easier. Focus on being organised at this time of year and I can guarantee that you will find the days so much easier.

What are the best tips you have for overcoming a dull day?

 

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Nightie – M&S

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I have not been paid to feature any brands and all views and opinions are my own.

 

Getting Focused for 2020

Getting Focused for 2020

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

Now is the time of the year that many of us decide to throw in the towel with the statement ‘oh well I’ll start in the new year now.’ I am here to tell you; this is absolutely not the right thing to be saying! The final weeks of 2019 need to be seized, so we can all go into the next DECADE knowing we did everything we can to help ourselves in that time. The main thing I love to do at this time of year, as well as carrying on working on everything in life, is beginning to think about my big goals that I am going to set for the next year. I always dream big when it comes to new year’s resolutions as quite frankly if you don’t dream big, you will never get big.

Being focused is extremely difficult when the rest of the world is starting to become a big festive bubble that everyone just becomes so engrossed in! However, it is no excuse, it is all about working hard in order to play even harder!

Goals

So, this point comes in two stages. Firstly, working to ensure your 2019 goals happen and secondly looking forward to the new year and setting some brand-new ones. I have always been such a huge goal setter and simply am just someone who needs goals in place in order to be productive each and every day. Put simply, how can you expect to move forward if you don’t know where you’re actually going, which is where your goals need to come from. Dream big, work hard and stay on track. Getting to the end of the year isn’t an excuse to give up. Instead of thinking ‘oh it’s only two months, I’ll start next year’, think ‘WOW I HAVE TWO WHOLE MONTHS LEFT TO GET IT DONE!’

 

 

To-Do Lists

 

So, once you have your constant goals set and, in your mind, the only way to then be productive is by having a clear lay out of what you should be doing every single day. Last year I was constantly flustered by my endless list of things to do in my mind so made the decision that every week and then every day I would write a list with absolutely everything, no matter how big or small. I have set notebooks for the weekly and daily to-do lists which then means it is all organised and easy to access as and when I need it. Yes, this can be done on your phone, but I have just got a thing about pen and paper. It apparently takes 21 days to break a habit, so if you started this now, by the new year you will be raring to go!

Routine

 

Let’s be honest, the best way to stay on track, especially with something to get done in a short space of time is by sticking to a routine. I always used to think I was a very spontaneous person who could just roll through life aimlessly, but the truth is, I can’t cope without my routine. When I miss something, or I get distracted my mind goes into overdrive and all my plans get thrown out the window. The only way to stay on track is to decide on the best routine and stick to it.

Exercise & Diet

This is the time of year when a lot of us have completely given up on our diets or healthy living routines, but I can assure you that if you want to be productive for the next two months, or at least until Christmas, you have to keep fit and healthy! It can be even more tempting in December, so my rule generally is that in November I will be as good as humanly possible in order to enjoy myself over the festive season and enjoy all my treats completely guilt free.

Planning

 

One of my best ways to stay motivated and on track is by planning and planning. This always motivates me so much as it gives me a purpose to stay on track and excites me for what is to come. Never think too small as anything can be achieved if you put your mind to it and basically work your absolute a** off!! So, to hold yourself accountable, email me with three things you are going to get done by the end of 2019!! >> ladyhunter@abigailhuntermarketing.co.uk

 

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Pink Loungewear – ASOS

 

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I have not been paid to feature any brands and all views and opinions are my own.