Female Creative Series: Q&A with Beauty Blogger Chichi

Female Creative Series: Q&A with Beauty Blogger Chichi

I started a female Creative Series to celebrate the women around us who work hard and hustle in the creative jobs. This week I spoke to Chichi, a beauty blogger who lives in Cambridge.

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

My name is Chichi and I’m a beauty blogger. I’m from London and I currently live in Cambridge. In my spare time I like to read books, watch YouTube videos, visit museums and blog!

What do you do for a living?

I work in digital media and marketing. I specialise in content writing and copywriting, but I’ve also worked in content marketing, blogger & influencer outreach and social media management.

What made you decide to do what you do for a living?

I kind of fell into the digital media world. My original plan was to become a journalist and work in traditional media – I wanted to work as a beauty and fashion journalist for magazines. But after discovering the digital media world and realising that I could write for online media, I chose to do that instead.

What would be your advice for someone looking to go into your profession?

If you want to enter the industry then definitely try to get some experience and build up your network. Your network is your net worth! Consider taking professional qualifications – this is something I am working on right now. Also, create a website or portfolio to showcase your best work.

What are some of your hobbies or skills that you’d like to improve this year? 

I’m currently teaching myself to play the keyboard after briefly learning as a child. The thing is that learning to play an instrument requires so much practice and consistency so I need to keep it up and keep it going.

What’s a quote that makes you feel empowered/motivated?

“Your value does not decrease based upon someone’s inability to see your worth.”

Can you tell us some of your favourite female creatives you love to support? Feel free to link to their socials or blogs!

I am always reading blogs and these are some of my favourites:

Sophie Milner (formerly Fashion Slave)

Gemma Louise

A Woman’s Confidence

Kate La Vie

Albertine Sarah

Demi Colleen

Cruelty-Free Kitty

Can you recommend your top 5 books for creatives? 

The Joy Of No

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff by Richard Carlson

What A Time To Be Alone by Chidera Eggerue

The Courage To Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga

Get Your Sh*t Together by Sarah Knight

You can find Chichi on her socials:

Blog: https://www.chichiwritesbeauty.co.uk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/chichiogwe
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/chichiogwe/

 

Review: Clean by Juno Dawson

Review: Clean by Juno Dawson

Hi guys! So last week I posted a review of Melvin Burgess’ Junk. I read that before Clean because Juno referred to that as her inspiration.

About Clean

Clean is centred around Lexi Volkov, the daughter of a wealthy hotel owner who so happens to be spoilt and can get whatever she wants, when she wants. Which essentially means she can also do drugs with her boyfriend Kurt whenever she wants.

However, Nikolai, Lexi’s brother kidnaps her and takes her to a special clinic on an island where she can do the ten step progam to get clean.

She meets a lot of different people (with money) who are there for other addictions such as anorexia and OCD. Lexi needs to decide whether she wants to recover or waste her life away. Her new found friends may just be the answer she needs…

Review

I’ve been to a few events where Lexi has been said to be very confident and commanding. I thought she would be a total bitch – and she is at the start – but really she has a soft centre to her.

She seems to want to hide all her secrets and blames everyone for her mistakes. She doesn’t realise she has a problem until it’s nearly too late.

What I love about this book is the character development of all the addicts. Juno really can get into the mind of an addict and it’s amazing. At times we just want to tell Lexi to put the coke down and step away. But we see her go through the ups and downs all the way to the end.

I warmed to all the addicts at the centre, even Sasha. Everyone has issues but it’s how you deal with them that counts.

I loved the writing and the characters. And obviously the fact it’s set in London. What more could you want?

Have you read Clean? What did you think?

Book Review: Junk by Melvin Burgess

Book Review: Junk by Melvin Burgess

Hey guys!

I read Melvin Burgess’ book, Junk ages ago and wanted to share my thoughts about the book.

About Junk

Junk is a book about a group of teens who get caught up in all sorts of dodgy dealings, from drugs, to stealing to even prostitution. Two teens run away, Gemma who is loud and confident, and Tar, shy and quiet. They fall in and out of love and we see their lives unravel through the years.

Review

I thought Junk was incredibly clever and well written. It is written in first person and has lots of the characters’ opinions and view points in. It was a book that needed to be written. We see how easy it is to get into drugs, smoking, alcohol and more when Gemma and Tar start to live with two other teens in a squat.

We see Gemma become reckless and full of herself after she leaves her parents. Whereas Tar, beaten up by his dad and abused by his mother, starts to make friends and a life for himself. But that all seems to change when Gemma meets Lily, a quirky girl in her own world. They become instant friends and Gemma decides to live with Lily and her boyfriend Rob. Tar, being the hopeless romantic he is, chases after Gemma and decides to live in the squat with them.

Everything is fine at first. Until they start smoking hash and then get on to Heroin. Their personalities change over the years. They become less caring, depressed and even more irresponsible.

I think it was important for Burgess to put this book out there to one, explain to people what addiction is and how hard it is to come off, and two, how anyone, literally anyone, can get into the same situation Tar and Gemma found themselves in. Like Melvin said, he didn’t want to write the book at all, but he knew he had to.

I thought that the character development in this was phenomenal, even if it wasn’t a good character development. It showed us how peoples personalities can change when on drugs. After all, these kids were impressionable, they were both only 14 when they left their parents.

It’s no wonder Tar got addicted to drugs so easily coming from the family he had. But he should have recieved help before it got to that point. But at the time, he didn’t think he needed help, he just made out as though they were having a bit of fun and could easily come off the drugs if they wanted.

But unfortunately it’s not that easy. Things don’t always go to plan. And that’s what I love about this book; the way Burgess is so honest with the readers. He doesn’t shy away from the topic of drugs, sex or anything. He openly discusses it and I found the book to be an eye opener.

I look forward to reading Melvin’s other books!

Until next time, love, Vee x

Christmas Markets – Frankfurt

Christmas Markets – Frankfurt

Last weekend we visited Frankfurt and its Christmas markets. We packed jumpers, coats, hats and scarves but the weather was just the same as the UK.

My aim was to have a Baileys hot chocolate, come back with a mug and have a pretzel the size of my face – which I did.

We arrived really late on Friday night and stayed at the Bristol Hotel next to the train station. After someone (Oliver’s dad) forgot the directions, we eventually made it to the hotel after 45 minutes but it should have taken 5 😂

We woke up, had breakfast and walked to where the Christmas markets are. We stopped in a store that reminded me of Flying Tiger before heading into the markets to grab hot chocolate with amaretto.

We stayed out for a few hours to take pictures, buy drinks and get some food. There were so many stalls, from food, drinks to hardware and Christmas ornaments. I’ve never seen a market so big. We also walked over a bridge the other side of the river where there were a few flea markets and we also went into a large church with a choir performing.

We went back to the room for a while and caught up on I’m a Celeb before going out again at 7pm to see the markets in the dark.

We ended up having a Maccy D’s. We always like to see the difference in food choices when we go away. You can make your own mcflurrys and get different types of burgers. In France you can even get seafood.

On Sunday we got up, had breakfast at the Bristol Hotel and headed off to the markets again. This is when I bought my pretzel (it only cost €3.50). I also managed to get myself a Baileys hot chocolate! First time I’ve ever tried Baileys and I definitely approve.

Overall, I’ve really enjoyed attending my first European Christmas Market. It was so festive and I can’t wait to go to a new Christmas Market again.

A few tips for anyone thinking of going to a Christmas market:

  • If you buy a mulled wine or hot chocolate, you’ll pay more for the mug and get a token. If you take the mug back, you’ll get some money back. If you decide to keep it, just swap it for a clean mug.
  • Bring warm clothes such as a coat and hat but don’t worry about bringing gloves and scarves as it’s currently the same temperature as it is in the UK.
  • Check times of when markets open and close before you go and see if you can find any secret markets or indoor stalls.

Unique Things To Do In London

Unique Things To Do In London

If you’ve been to London before, you’ll obviously be going to all the touristy places such as the London Eye, Tower Bridge etc etc. But what about unique and quirky things to do in London as a tourist? Or even as a Londoner? Here’s my ultimate list of unique things to do in London.

Lady Dinah’s Cat Cafe

Oliver and I went to Lady Dinah’s earlier in the year and we fell in love with all the cats. You can read about our experience here.

The cats are all rescue and sometimes they’re put up for adoption. Entry and a cuppa is only £10 per person so well worth it! You can read more about their prices and rules here.

The Cereal Killer Cafe

The Cereal Killer Cafe has become a really popular unique London experience with hundreds of people queuing to get inside. They have tons of stuff on their menu, from milkshakes to american cereal and more! It’s the perfect breakfast date for any tourist.

You can read more about the Cereal Killer Cafe here.

cereal
Picture from Cereal Killer Cafe’s Instagram

The Underground Supper Club

The Underground Supper Club is a unique experience to do in London, with talented chefs cooking delicious courses. Be part of a relaxed and quirky atmosphere here.

yes-3
Photo from the Basement’s gallery.

The Dinosaur Park at Crystal Palace

Oliver and I went to basketball ages ago and he said he wanted to go to the Dinosaur Park in Crystal Palace. Although it’s really run down, it’s a creepy and unique thing to do in London that you would never ever think of.

Dino

Word On The Water

Word On The Water is a river boat that is also a bookstore. How cool is that?! You can look around downstairs (although mind your head) and take amazing Insta worthy photos (if no one gets in the way).

Swingers

Swingers is a unique golf experience in London where you can chill with your friends, have some drinks and snacks and have a game of golf. You can read more about the 9 hole course here.

Swingers-9
Photo from Secret London’s website.

I hope you enjoyed this list! Tell me below some unique places you’ve found.

Vee x

V-Eco Food Wrap Review

V-Eco Food Wrap Review

I was kindly gifted some amazing eco friendly and vegan wraps which can be used for packed lunches as an alternative to cling film and plastic bags.

I was so excited to receive these since I want to try and be more sustainable and watch how much plastic I use.

I was gifted some Butty Wraps, food wraps and a soapsaver which are super handy for work or travelling. These all come in different designs but I was gifted the food wraps in the butterfly print, the butty wrap in the unicorn print (which is the best, don’t argue with me) and the soap saver in cherry blossom print.

These can all be reused by just washing them under cold water with a little bit of soap after use. Don’t put anything hot in or near these as they are made from tree resin and will therefore melt because they are a type of wax!

The soapsaver will come in really handy when I go on holiday to put my soaps and toiletries in instead of buying those plastic freezer bags that I chuck away after use.

I am really looking forward to making wraps and sandwiches in these so I don’t have to buy those meal deals and chuck all the plastic and clingfilm away afterwards.

If you are interested in trying to become more sustainable and want to use these vegan alternatives for your every day use then check out V-Eco’s website!

What are you doing/buying to be more eco friendly and sustainable? Have you got any suggestions for me? Let me know in the comments!

The Pros and Cons of Being Freelance

The Pros and Cons of Being Freelance

In some ways, freelance can give you a sense of freedom that you don’t get with being on a contract. However there are some downfalls…

Pros

  • You can manage your time better when you aren’t being nagged to do something by a colleague sitting right next to you. You can take your time and work on your own terms and hours.
  • You can sit in your pajamas all day if you really want to!
  • You can eat whenever you want without Susan sitting in the corner judging you for snaffling three twix bars in a row…
  • You can have as many clients/gigs as you can manage.
  • You’re effectively your own boss.
  • You avoid the commute in and out of work meaning you have that precious time to yourself.
  • You don’t have to work with people you dislike and who just watch you out of the corner of their eye.
  • You don’t have to worry if you’re a bit sick to go into work, you can probably work from home! (Unless you have the flu…)
  • You can take as much holiday when you want.
  • You can work however much you want with no cap.

Cons

  • It can get lonely being at home all the time.
  • You aren’t guaranteed to be kept on with some clients.
  • You have an uneven amount of money from working odd hours.
  • You don’t get paid sick pay.
  • You don’t get paid holiday or bereavement pay.
  • You have to work out all aspects of your business, including the dreaded tax.
  • Having multiple clients wanting things done at the same time.

Do you think the pros outweigh the cons? Would you consider going freelance or staying employed on a permanent contract? Let me know in the comments! Vee x

Why Your Job Will Never Make You Happy

Why Your Job Will Never Make You Happy

Did I get you with the clickbaity headline? Good, now I have your attention, let’s dive in.

Now, I’m not saying you’ll never be happy with the career you’ve chosen, the people you work with or some of the tasks you do. But, in my experience, no matter what job you’re in, there’s always bad parts that come with it.

I have waitressed, worked in retail, in marketing, admin, social media and volunteered. When I was in retail, I hated it, I wanted to move and become a waitress. But then the hours were shit so I moved back home and became an apprentice on little to no money. Again, I moved, worked in marketing and had to work with women who didn’t like me. While I was working this marketing job I was looking into becoming self employed because I had wanted to make the leap and become my own boss for a while.

I knew that because of my mental illness and the negative experiences I’ve encountered over the years, that I didn’t want to ever experience it again. So I delved into freelance work and left my job.

Now, freelance is great. You get to work from home, choose your own hours, answer phone calls in your PJs. But the harsh reality is that you may still have to work with people you don’t like. Or you’ll have to attend meetings with pretentious people or work on weekends. Unfortunately, no matter whether you’re self employed or work full time in an office, as a waitress, in retail ect, you’re always going to encounter issues.

I was naive when it came to becoming freelance. I didn’t realise how lonely it would be, the amount of motivation you have to have and the amount I’d have to deal with.

I just want to tell you not to have high expectations for every job because there will always be something to make you upset. It’s unfair, but I’m learning that that’s the way life is. There are hard parts, but the hard parts are outweighed by the good.

The advantages for me are that I get to spend time in the place I feel most comfortable in; I don’t have to ask if I can eat or use the bathroom and I don’t feel like I’m doing something wrong if I finish work early. I get to spend more time with my partner, have more holiday and control my future. And that makes me happy. What makes you happy in your job?

The Boyfriend Tag

The Boyfriend Tag

So I’ve wanted to do the boyfriend tag for a while and I finally made Oliver answer some questions about me.

I’ll be writing his answer down first and then I’ll respond to whether it’s right or not!

1. Where did we meet?

Virtual: On MeetMe
Physical: At Norwich Train station

✔️

2. Where was our first date?

Nandos and cinema to watch Jurrasic World

✔️

3. What was your first impression of me?

I thought you were cute

I don’t know if this is true but I hope it is 😂

4. When did you meet my family?

First time I came to Norwich

✔️

5. Do I have any weird obsessions? If so, what…

Yeah, Taylor Swift.

Not weird, just a fangirl.

6. How long have we been together?

4 and a half years

✔️

7. Do we have any ‘traditions’?

We have had some that go on for a month or so and then they stop. We tend to go to TGI Fridays when we celebrate something.

✔️

8. Where was our first holiday?

Portugal.

✔️

9. What was the first thing you noticed about me?

I thought you had big eyes.

I did have huge eyes but he says they’ve shrunk 😂😭

10. What is my favourite restaurant?

TGI Fridays

✔️

11. What do we argue about the most?

Before we moved in we argued about moving in together.

Yup. ✔️

12. Who wears the trousers in the relationship?

Me.

✔️

13. If I am watching tv, what am I watching?

Friends, Gilmore Girls, Jane The Virgin, Love Island.

I also have a bit of an obsession with Greys Anatomy now.

14. What is one food I do not like?

Vanilla ice cream.

I also hate soup and jacket potatoes.

15. What drink do I order if we go out for a meal?

Water but now you’re not such a tight arse you now order diet coke.

True. What can I say? I’m earning now😂

16. What size are my feet?

5

❌ Size 6 actually

17. What is my favourite kind of sandwich?

Ploughman’s

I don’t really have a favourite but I do eat a lot of ploughman’s and ham and mustard sandwiches.

18. What is one talent I have?

Your ability to creep around undetected.

This is true. I scare everyone ✔️

19. What would I eat everyday if I could?

Pizza 🍕

✔️

20. What is my favourite Cereal?

Choc pillows

YASSS ✔️

21. Where was our first kiss?

On your bed.

It sounds dirty but it’s not. We had been dating online for a few months and the first time I met him we were at home with my family because I was too anxious to go out😂

22. What colour are my eyes?

Green

❌ Blue!

23. Who is my best friend?

Angie.

✔️ And you.

24. What is something you do that I wish you wouldn’t do?

Put my clothes on the floor instead of the wash basket.

Yup. Bingo ✔️

25. What kind of cake would you bake me on my birthday?

Chocolate cake.

Half true. My favourite cake is coffee and walnut.

26. What can I spend hours doing?

Moaning

Urm no. ❌

27. If I could live anywhere where would it be?

NYC

✔️

So there you have it! He can be a tit sometimes but he’s my tit. How about you all try this tag, I’d love to see the answers😂

Why I Want To Move To New York

Why I Want To Move To New York

So since it’s #TravelTuesday I wanted to share my reasons of why I want to live in New York, the city that never sleeps.

If you have moved from the UK to the US I would also love to speak to you so do get in touch!

Endless possibilities

Even though I now live very close to London, it is so difficult to find work and get to London on time for events. I don’t think London even compares to NYC at all, but there is a lot that goes on here.

Despite that, New York is the city that never sleeps and it has so many opportunities. There are countless things to discover within the city and outside of it. There are lots more publishing jobs in New York than London and if I actually lived within New York it wouldn’t cost me as much to get to work as it would to get to London every morning. Plus, who doesn’t want to be walking the streets of New York with a Dunkin Donuts in hand?

It’s Busy

You’d think, as someone with social anxiety, I would hate the fact there are so many people. But I actually become more anxious when there are fewer people around because I feel as if they’re judging me.

Whereas in New York because it’s heaving, I can just blend in. Everyone is so busy caring about their own lives that they don’t even notice you.

Sense Of Belonging

Whenever I go to New York I feel like I belong there. It ticks every box on my list and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I feel at home walking the streets. I don’t feel this way in the UK and I don’t think I ever will.

Now I just have to let fate decide. Because it’s so difficult getting a visa, I have to pray one day I’ll find a job that enables me to work there. But that’s very hard to do when you’re a freelancer!

Have you ever moved abroad? And if so, where did you come from and where did you go? (I now have the Cotton Eye Joe song in my head.)