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21.6.16

Etsy Treasures

 
Hello lovely readers! An impromptu blog post here just because I wanted to share my cute new Etsy finds.
You may have already read my prior post featuring Jemma aka Dorkface... Yes!? No? If you missed it you can catch up by copy/pasting this link
(Pretty please do have a nosey so you can read more about Jemma. She's an incredible lady!)
In that post I mentioned her gorgeous sticker range so I decided to go one further and share her lovely creations with you all.
Featured in the header photo above is just some of the designs she's created.
As a child and even into my teens I was an avid sticker collector. These days I don't collect them as such but I still love buying them to adorn everything from my notebooks to my makeup bags.
If you want to buy stickers from Dorkface's Etsy shop, just copy/paste this link https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/DorkfaceShop.
 
 
My second 'must follow' Etsy shop is Martha and Hepsie. I previously shared some of their gorgeous notecards in this post...
I didn't know that they also made notebooks but after perusing their Instagram feed I discovered these cute designs so I got straight onto Etsy to nab a couple.
Want one too?
You can get yours by checking out this link https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/marthaandhepsie.
 

My final Etsy buy is another notebook but this time from DizzyMissJames.
I fell in love with this as soon as I spotted the pastel colours. And who can resist unicorns!? Not me! Obviously I just HAD to have one! ;)
A girl can never have too many notebooks. Especially if she's a writer!
You can check out DizzyMissJames' Etsy shop by copy/pasting this link https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/DizzyMissJames.

Sorry for the tardy links today. *Hides behind hands. Either blogger or my computer is playing up. Links weren't working. At least this way you can still check out the relevant sites.

Hope the week is treating you all kindly. Until weekend...

Lots of love xxx

18.6.16

Next Nail Polish

 


Whenever I want to feel a little more glam and girly, my go to quick fix is nail polish!
It doesn't cost the earth and as soon as I've applied a sparkly polish I find myself throwing my hands around in grand gesture not totally unlike Adele - ahem... :)
What can I say? There's something about pretty nails that makes me feel that bit better about myself.
The gorgeous colours featured here actually belong to my friend Lauren. From good old favourite Next they cost £4 each or you can grab 3 for the price of 2!
 
 
 
 
 
 
For maximum impact, first apply Naked 01. Once dry, apply the Rose Gold Glitz. Both are hard wearing so hopefully will last the week without chipping. Now all I need is for my nails to grow! Which are your favourite nail polishes?
Until next time... xxx
 
 
 
 

 


10.6.16

Love of Etsy notecards


I stumbled across Etsy only recently. Before that I was totally that girl that looked blank at every mention of Etsy/Snapchat/Pinterest etc. And although I haven't mastered the latter two yet (give it time) Etsy is now one of many constant open tabs on my phone so I can browse at will.

I must have spent my life living under a rock to have missed this little gem of a website. What makes it even more marvellous is that so many of the items are home/handmade.

I'm a huge advocate of supporting local and smaller businesses so naturally I decided to make a few purchases. I opted to go with these notecards because they were so unique and pretty. They look right at home with all my other inspirational bits and bobs although my brother and nephew have put dibs on a couple!

Here are my favourites... Are you an avid Etsy shopper too? Do let me know which have been your favourite purchases! xxx



WWW.CJDESIGNSPAPER.COM

CJDESIGNSPAPER is based in Leeds.
'Luxury Card And Stationery For The Style Conscious.'
Click HERE to visit Catherine's Etsy shop.

WWW.VERALALUNE.COM
VeraLaLune is based in Burnham.
'Stylish and funny greeting cards for all occasions.'
Click HERE to visit Rebecca's Etsy shop.



www.foxandvelvet.com
FoxAndVelvet are based in Liverpool.
'Mid Century Modern Illustrated Prints And Cards.'
Click HERE to visit their Etsy shop.


WWW.VERALALUNE.COM
 As above.


www.marthaandhepsie.com
martha and hepsie are based in Sheffield.
I'd describe their designs as quirky, quaint and unique.
Click HERE to visit their Etsy shop.


5.6.16

Blog Love

 
I think it's nice to spread a bit of blog love around so today I'm sharing with you my recent favourite blog reads. If you've been following me for a while then you know even before you scroll down this page that Dorkface and Hello Miss Jordan are gonna be featured ha ha! If you don't already follow these girls, then go do it now. They consistently produce amazing blog posts and photos. Forget Zoella. It's all about these two for me. Happy reading. Happy Sunday! xxx


'Thank You' by


http://www.dorkface.co.uk/2016/05/thank-you.html#more


Jemma is the brains and talent behind blog 'Dorkface' and also the growing bloggers community 'GirlGang.' Click HERE for more info or to join for free. The caption on her Instagram account reads 'Colourful blogger/illustrator hoping to inspire.' Well you can certainly see for yourself just how much colour this lady injects into everything she does. But in terms of inspiring? I can honestly say that Jemma continues to motivate and inspire me EVERY single day. It's no easy feat making a decision to work freelance full time and yet she's doing it. Bloomin' brilliantly too if you ask me! Not only that but she seems to have her hand in every pie going. Pop along to her Etsy shop and you can even get stickers designed by the lady herself! I got some in the mail the other day and the girls at work were all cooing over them. One other thing to note about Jemma's blog, she knows how to keep it real. Which is what blogging is meant to be about right? An honest sometimes raw account of every day life. Jemma ticks all the boxes with Dorkface. Click HERE to be redirected to Jemma's website. And if you want to check out or even buy some of her cute stickers just click right HERE! :)

Other favourite reads from Dorkface... 9 Easy Ways To Support Your Favourite Bloggers, 2016 Blog Goals Update, I'm Making Stickers, The Guilt I Carry, Help Me I Need To See The World, 50 Thoughts This Week, Five Things I've Learned About Relationships, Struggling A Little, 2 Years Blogging Giveaway... Ok you get the gist. They're all pretty awesome!


Take a glance at the photos below from Jemma's Instagram account (click HERE for more) and you'll instantly see what the attraction is. Always cheerful and full of colour. Puts mine to shame. No I'm not jealous. Really. Well ok, maybe a teensy bit. But I heart this girl BIG time and consider her to be a friend. She's been nothing but lovely and supportive and sorry to get all mushy here but I just feel lucky to know her even a little bit. I can see her doing great things in the future with both her blog and illustration career! Time will tell just how so...




 
'Washed in Happiness' by



http://www.hellomissjordan.com/2016/05/washed-in-happiness.html


Meet Jordan. Real life Disney Princess. No really. You ought to see her Instagram pics!! I've shared some below. It has to be said that I am slightly in awe of this lady. She is incredibly talented and beautiful to boot. The competitive side in me says that there should be a smidge of jealousy, but instead I find myself just adoring her and willing her to succeed in everything she does. Jordan's posts are always just so 'readable' (for want of a better word) and the fashion photos look like they've been styled by a professional. I lust after most of her outfits and damn if I could look just half as good as her then I'd be one happy bunny! The other thing that gets me is just how nice she is! Like REALLY nice. She'll always take time out of her busy schedule to reply to an email or message. Yup. Jordan is a star in the making alright. Watch this space...

Other favourite reads from Hello Miss Jordan... The Misunderstood Curse of Shyness, The Rapunzel Ring, Fields of Gold, A Goodbye to Brighton, Where Have I Been, Summer Styling with New Look. So basically every post! :) Click HERE to be redirected to Jordan's website.


Photos like THESE are why you should go follow Jordan's Instagram account. Click HERE to see more!




*All photos taken from respective blogs and Instagram accounts except header image which is my own. Lipstick stickers from Dorkface Etsy shop.

4.6.16

Catch Up...


I have a confession. I am a terrible blogger. I've only just realised how long it's been since my last post. I really have no excuse other than that I've been busy doing other things, for instance my novel which btw is coming along nicely. In fact straight after I upload this I'll be back to typing up my indecipherable scribblings from this last week. In all honesty I've been so wrapped up in the world of Emily (my main character) that I've not wanted to work on anything else. One day it'll be finished and I can't wait to share it with all of you.

This is more of a catch up post I suppose. Just to let you know that I am still lurking lol. And I promise to try upload more frequently. I decided that while I am catching you lovelies up, I may as well share some of my favourites from this last two weeks.

I love my magazines. I don't spend half as much money on them as I once did but I still have a few staple monthly reads.

Writing Magazine is a MUST for any writers, aspiring or published. Filled with helpful advice, and competitions to hone your skills. At £4.10 it is on the pricey side but I don't have many vices so I can justify this one!


Vogue is not one I'd usually buy to be honest. I find it's just crammed with adverts. But... I bought the June issue at £3.99 purely because one of my favourite ladies was on the cover. Hello to the Duchess of Cambridge! Are there any other Kate fans out there? This issue was still filled with loads of adverts but I also found myself being inspired by the skilled photography featured.


I subscribe to Love From... and I suppose yes you could say I'm biased because I write the Let's Talk column but I DO so love this little publication. It's just different from anything else on the market. I love that we include fresh new talent and that we don't conform to the 'style' of other traditional glossy magazines. The birthday issue is no exception. In fact I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's the best issue yet. LF's first birthday also sees the re-launch. As such if you order currently, you'll get it for free! Featuring informative articles, helpful tips, inspirational pull outs, recipes for cheesecake and of course an interview with the founder/editor Florence! Try it for size and let me know what you think! Click HERE to visit the LF website and to order your free copy.


Last but not least I want to mention the new book I bought just yesterday by Paige Toon, 'The One We Fell In Love With.' I began this last night and ended staying up rather late as I got drawn into the story of three beautiful women (identical triplets) and their love for one man, Angus. I don't want to spoil the story for any of you but it's an easy going read, perfect for de-stressing after a hard day. Plus who doesn't love a bit of romance? As a paperback format it's a standard £7.99 but you can usually pick it up cheaper online or in the supermarkets. If you click HERE you'll be redirected to Paige's website.


http://www.paigetoon.com/

Well it's been rather nice doing this post. I forgot how much I loved blogging! Hope you all have a fabulous weekend and I'll catch you soon... xxx

20.4.16

Career Insight: Magazine Journalism


Happy Wednesday folks! Sorry that this is the first post in a couple of weeks. I've been super busy as per. Talking of busy, I'd like to introduce you all to a lady who surely never sleeps! She holds down three jobs, writes for two blogs plus various publications, studies Journalism AND has founded her very own magazine. I'm exhausted just typing all that! Everyone say hello to Florence Grace!

I've been promising these 'career' posts for a while now and Florence is the first to kick start the series. The aim is simple. To give an insight into various jobs/occupations. So whether you're a teenager looking for ideas, or someone older simply plotting a career change, I hope that these posts help to inspire you!

This particular post is all about starting and producing your own magazine, something I didn't even realise was possible until I came across Florence.
If you've ever had a yearning for this, now is the time to sit up and pay attention... Over to my interview with the founder/editor in chief of LoveFrom...

Firstly Flo, could you please tell us a bit about your background...

I attended an all girls grammar school, completing GCSE's and then A Levels (with my two main subjects being English lit/lang and Communication and Culture).
I was accepted in to my first choice uni, London South Bank, to study photography but I just didn't feel right... I knew nothing about cameras or photography, I just enjoyed taking photos! So I decided to defer for a year, allowing me time to study photography at my local college.
When I went to enrol, they shifted me from photography to a brand new university level course called Creative Business. This involved studying a creative subject (for me, photography) and learning how to make a business from it.
Throughout the course I began blogging and doing my radio shows, along with numerous other media work experience days and the likes, and realised photography wasn't what I wanted to do at all... Media work was.
I used my course materials as a starting point for my brand Love from, Florence Grace, which branded me as a 'content creator' meaning I could specialise in freelance writing, social media work and also start my magazine!
Towards the end of the course, I knew this was what I wanted to do, so I very nervously withdrew my university application. I just didn't feel I needed a degree to do what I was already doing successfully! However, not long after I saw an online discounted NCTJ diploma, and thought 'hey, here's a great qualification that journalists value more than degrees, it's discounted and I can do it in my own time, so why not?' I enrolled on this course and still do this in my free time now. I specialise in Magazine Journalism.

What on earth possessed you to start your own magazine? Or rather what was it that inspired you?

I was trying to break into the media industry and started this with a blog. I found my love of writing from my childhood came flowing back and so I really wanted to get a writing job for a magazine!
I managed to get a few voluntary positions for small or up and coming magazines, which is great don't get me wrong! But I knew no magazine would take on someone like me - a then 18 year old with no journalism experience/qualifications - so I thought alright then, I'll start my own!
So that's exactly what I did ha ha! Now that I'm actually running the magazine, I realise that subconsciously I had wanted to fill a niche in the market too. All women's magazines focus mainly on women's bodies, clothes and looks. I decided to steer my magazine away from all of these topics, and whilst we have one article on how to do make up looks and one article about fashion, we talk about more exciting things, like gaming reviews, music, feminism, personal issues, travel... We are predominantly a lifestyle magazine and I don't see many of those kicking about.

Very true. We definitely could do with more lifestyle magazines! Describe how an issue of LF gets put together, from beginning to end.

First of all I pick a cover star. It has to be someone that readers will want to hear about, someone readers will be interested in. I then approach the cover star and ask if they're interested. If they are, I send them over interview questions and arrange a photoshoot or for them to send me a suitable photo to be used for the cover.
I then plot out articles written by both myself and my writers. As Love from... is released at the start of each new season, the issues are seasonal and this helps very much! I check what articles all the writers plan on doing and whether they're suitable, plan my own articles and then set the deadline. During the waiting time, I plan out the page order (although this changes on almost a daily basis, right up to the day of publishing!). I create eye catching titles in bright colours and fonts, source images that I can use legally and design different page layouts.
One by one as the articles drip into my emails I write them up into the magazine layout via copy and paste and then edit them as I go along. I might change the odd word here or there, correct some grammar, things like that. I also insert photos if the writer has provided none.
I go through the magazine, making sure every single page is perfect and then I send it off to print! (Whilst all of this goes on over the space of three months, I also promote continuously over social media, engaging with the audience all of the time so they don't forget about us between issues!)

Where did the name LoveFrom... come from?

It came to me whilst on a walk with my sister as I discussed what I would name a magazine I intended on making in the future. (the not so far off future as it turned out!)
I said, "Well, my blog is called Love from, Florence Grace, and that's me, so the magazine could be Love from... and then the name of whoever is on the cover, e.g. Love from... Rihanna". Low and behold that is the name that I chose. It links back to my blog and me, and so really ties in with my overall brand.





What would you say to a GGD reader who wants to start their own magazine? Where would they start? Can anyone do it?

I would say don't! Ha ha, I'm joking. I mean, it is super hard work... My days are often as long as 18 hours and you have to work all the time. It's not just design the magazine and you're done. You have to constantly create content, hire writers, treat friends who may write for you as employees, even fire people sometimes. You have to promote on social media, try to make an income, try to raise awareness.
It is a huge challenge but it is incredibly fun, you get some great opportunities and you never know where it's going to take you! I would definitely not start the same way as I did (with no clue what I was doing and taking on three random people to contribute a column!) but plan it all out first. What software you'll use, who will write for you, how often you'll release an issue, everything like that. Have a really detailed idea about what you're doing!

Any long term aspirations for both LF and yourself?

To see LF in shops like Smiths and Tesco so that people can pick it up and buy it whenever, not just via the internet and my PayPal!
I also want to increase readership and to be able to pay my writers!
For myself, to keep developing as a writer, a content creator and a magazine editor... Also to get a breakfast show at Radio 1! That is the dream my friends, that is the dream!
And a mighty fine dream it is Flo! Wishing you all the luck in the world.
If you would like to read Flo's magazine then check out lovefrommag.bigcartel.com where you can buy a copy from as little as £1. Alternatively you can order print issues for £2.50 each or subscribe for £10 per year. Flo is currently running a prize draw for those that pre-order the next issue and also for subscribers! If you want to be in with a chance to win a £50 gift bundle then don't delay, order asap!
 
You can keep up with Flo on a daily basis via her blog LoveFrom,FlorenceGrace or via Twitter @flomatthews_
 
The magazine LoveFrom... now has it's own website. Click here to be redirected.
 
If you are interested in getting involved whether it be contributing a piece or advertising then please drop Flo a line at lovefrommag@gmail.com or over on Twitter @lovefrommag
 
Facebook link: lovefrommag
 
Platform for starting your own magazine as used by Florence - blurb.co.uk

That's a wrap for one evening! Hope you enjoyed the read. Have any of you ever wanted to start your own magazine? Do let me know in the comments below! Catch you all soon...

As always, sending you lots of love

Justine xxx


*All photos supplied by Florence Matthews

3.4.16

Dare To Dream



Hello lovelies! How are you all? First and foremost I must apologise for my lack of blog posts this last two weeks. I've had a few other projects on the go including my novel which had sort of been pushed to one side for a while there, but I've really been feeling creative of late so I'm back on with it!

Today's post is actually more of a story. I was told it a couple of weeks ago and wanted to share it with all of you in the hope that you take something positive from it.

There was a car crash involving a young boy. And although the boy survived the accident, the emergency team had no choice but to amputate his left arm in order to save his life.

As you can imagine loosing a limb must be pretty horrific for anyone. But take a moment to imagine what it would be like as a child, your whole life ahead of you, and suddenly you can't do all the things you took for granted just yesterday.

Luckily these days there are many aids available to ensure a person can live a mostly fulfilled life. But what if your lifelong dream suddenly seemed an impossibility?

You see, the young boy had dreamed of mastering Judo. I'm sure most of you have heard of Judo but for the benefit of those that perhaps haven't, it's essentially a modern marital art.

The boy approached a Judo master, pleading with him to give him a chance. Reluctantly the Judo master agreed and so began lessons. The master taught him his first move and instructed him to practice. After weeks of doing this same one move the boy became frustrated and asked why he couldn't learn more moves with the rest of the class. But the Judo master told him no, keep on practicing that one move. Obediently the boy continued practicing.

Months passed by and the boy heard about a competition coming up in which one pupil from the class would be picked to enter. Disheartened in the knowledge that he'd never be picked, he carried on practicing his one move and gave no more thought to it. To his surprise the following week, the Judo master informed the boy that he had in fact entered him into the competition.

On the day of the tournament, the boy took on his first opponent. He waited for the right opportunity to use his one move and won the first round. The second opponent came face to face with the boy and again waiting for the perfect moment, he used his one move and took the opponent down thereby winning the second round. Now in the final, the boy grew nervous as he saw his opponent was much bigger and well built than him. The boy took a thrashing and the referee even wanted to call the fight off. But the boy's Judo master insisted he fight on. Waiting for the perfect moment, the boy finally got the chance to use his one move and by doing so he won the tournament and became the champion against all the odds.

Travelling home later that day, the boy still couldn't believe he'd won the tournament. He asked his Judo master how he'd been so sure that he could win. The Judo master explained that firstly, the boy had practiced his one move until it was perfection. Secondly, for anyone to get out of that move, they'd need to grab their opponents left arm... And as the boy had no left arm, the opponent couldn't defend himself...
 
So why have I shared this story with you? I want you to take what you want or indeed what you need from it. Since hearing it myself I've googled and found different versions online. I still don't know for sure if it's a true story or not, but regardless I think the sentiment behind it is heart warming and inspiring.
 
For me? I like to think that it means ANYTHING is possible. That dreams can come true if we only dare to try. I encourage all of you to go forth and dream big!
 
Have a fabulous week.
 
Love Justine xxx
 

*Please note I have re-told this story as best I can remember from how I originally heard it. Apologies for any errors.