Sunday, December 21, 2014

Bronx Zoo

Sunday, December 21, 2014
Bronx Zoo
Bronx Zoo
Bronx Zoo
Bronx Zoo Bronx Zoo
Bronx Zoo
Bronx Zoo
Bronx Zoo
Bronx Zoo
Bronx Zoo
Bronx Zoo Bronx Zoo
Bronx Zoo
Bronx Zoo

All the reviews led us to believe the Bronx Zoo was huge and impossible to complete in a single visit. I don't know if that's because Americans are reluctant to walk as far as us Brits (snicker) or if the map is just incredibly misleading, but we found it easily do-able in one trip and we managed to visit all the exhibits at a leisurely pace (but only just in time for closing.)

It was a crisp, chilly day but the sun was shining; the grounds were beautiful even at this time of year when the leaves are turning reddish brown and the floor is littered with them.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Creative Advice and Links You Should Read

Saturday, December 20, 2014
Creative Advice and Links You Should Read

A while back I shared some useful links on marketing as a business and marketing as a blogger; below are a few of my favourite resources for creative advice and specific posts I would recommend reading.

The Copyblogger
      - The Ultimate Copy Checklist
      - The 3:00 a.m. Secret Question That Drives Meaningful Success
      - The Prepared Writer’s Process for Creating Excellent Content Every Day

Create As Folk
      - A Heartbreaking Simple Truth
      - The Money of the Entrepreneur
      - Stop Asking Us to Support You

Ember and March
      - Growing your Blog vs. Growing a Following
      - Thoughts on Pushing Yourself and Blogger Burnout
      - The Art of Knowing

The Fresh Exchange
      - It's Not All Business
      - 4 Ways to Network like a Cool Kid
      - On Growing

Life Hack
      - Why You Should Quit Multi-Tasking Now
      - When You’re Bored, Do These 15 Productive Things
      - 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously

Friday, December 19, 2014

How I Keep Organised and Productive

Friday, December 19, 2014
How I Keep Organised and Productive

I have developed a personal routine
Building a solid, personalised routine is the key to productivity; I have a daily routine that takes advantage of my most productive working hours, creates "associative triggers" that prompt my creativity, and accommodates my energy levels.

I am realistic about what I can achieve
Over time I have learned how much I can realistically expect myself to get done in a single day. So instead of fretting over a daunting and endless to-do list, I focus on the most important "I must get this done today" tasks and forget everything else until tomorrow.

I prioritise my workload
I dedicate my most productive hours to working on meaningful creative work. I leave the rest of my day free to deal with the less important tasks such as answering emails, making phone calls, and packaging orders.

I have an editorial calendar
I draft, create, and schedule content for the blog and plan marketing for the business up to three months in advance. Planning in advance means less pressure and much more breathing room on a daily basis; editorial calendars make you more consistent and intentional with your work.

I know when to take a break
Renewing our creative energy is just as important as working hard on creative pursuits. Working long hours day on day is unproductive and destructive to creativity. I work a limited number of hours per day at maximum potential, and take regular breaks to renew my energy. I'm happier, healthier, and more productive because of it.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

What No One Tells You About Achieving Your Goals

Thursday, December 18, 2014
What No One Tells You About Following Your Dream

- it will be hard
- you will struggle
- you might want to give up
- you might have to give up
- sometimes things don't work out
- but sometimes they do, just not the way you expected
- you might not be so good at the thing you thought you were good at
- there will always be someone more talented than you
- there will always be someone more successful than you
- there will always be someone who thinks you won't make it
- if you work hard, have patience, and don't quit - you can prove that person wrong

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Best Books Of 2014

Wednesday, December 17, 2014
The Best Books I Read in 2014
The Best Books I Read in 2014

I read over 75 books in 2014 (smashing my reading target - aww yiss!) and so I thought it would be good to share with you the ones I felt stood out to me the most and those I would wholeheartedly encourage you to pick up and read.

#1 The Secret History by Donna Tartt
#2 Naomi's Room by Jonathan Aycliffe
#3 The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood
#4 What Was She Thinking? by Zoƫ Heller
#5 Voyage in the Dark by Jean Rhys

Non Fiction
#1 Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
#2 Ignore Everybody by Hugh Macleod
#3 In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
#4 Farmageddon by Philip Lymbery
#5 Brandwashed by Martin Lindstrom

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Secret to Successful Blogging

Tuesday, December 16, 2014
The Secret to Successful Blogging

The secret to successful blogging is:
- knowing why you blog and what your goals are
- defining what success means to you
- knowing who your target audience is
- networking to reach your audience
- writing first class content

Why are you blogging and what does success look like to you?

Reasons for blogging and the definition of success means something completely different from person to person. Are you blogging to engage with other bloggers? To build a community of people who share similar interests? Offer advice and support? Are you hoping to monetize? Or use your blog as a way of promoting your skills?

For me, my blog is a success if I write content that attracts the kind of people who are actively engaged, who comment regularly and return daily, and who I can form friendships with. I want to offer advice on something I know about - running a small business - and share my interest in other (more general) subjects. If those posts are helpful or interesting enough to engage with readers, I consider that a success. For others, success could mean monetizing to the point where blogging pays the bills or hitting readership milestones or using their blog as a marketing tool to raise the profile of a business.

To be successful you have to focus on achieving your goals, not someone else's.
If you judge yourself by someone else's goals, you will always fail.

Who is your target audience and what do you do to find them?

Knowing who you are writing for and where to find them online is extremely important. You have to actively seek out those readers and show them your content. Join Twitter chats, post on forums, engage with like-minded bloggers, leave blog comments, and promote (at the right times) on social media; actively engage with the audience that will enjoy your content the most. Don't wait for them to find you - chances are, they won't.

Regardless of your personal blogging goals, the same thing is true for everyone: in order to have a successful blog you need to write good content and share it with the right people. Know your target audience, understand what they want, write exceptional content tailored specifically for them, and make sure it grabs their attention.

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Third A/W Purchase: The Whitepepper Polka Dot Smock

Monday, December 15, 2014
The Whitepepper Polka Dot Smock

The Whitepepper Limited Edition: Multi Colour Polka Dot Smock Dress (sold out)

This was one of those impulse buys encouraged by four people. You know who you are. Seriously, you know when you see a dress and you just want it? At first I wasn't sure it was a wise purchase, I mean, it looks pretty childish, right? Multi-coloured polka dots and and a smock cut.. but I'm so pleased I bought it. The material is thick and soft with a padded texture making it a pretty mean winter dress. Paired with thick tights, a belt, and conservative shoes, it transforms this piece from a child's party dress into a more adult-appropriate outfit.

Since my wardrobe is pretty much where I want it to be in terms of new purchases (all I really need to do is buy "more of the same"), I felt there was a little room to be a bit more playful with my choices and The Whitepepper Polka Dot Smock Dress definitely nails it when it comes to being playful.

{ the minimal wardrobe series }

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