Flo la vita

Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle

Confession: I don't read much. I know, I know, I should do it more, but I'm but I'm not really the type to sit down and just read. I mean, when I do read I do it in the evening, but lately I've taken to a scroll through Instagram instead. I hate that I do this and I do try not to, but then there's just one more photo I want to like, and that one turns into ten and then that ten turns into an uncountable number....

One of the possible reasons for this could be that I struggle to find reading material that I actually like and won't get bored of after a couple of chapters. I'm a typical millennial and don't like reading something that will drag on, which is why I'm most definitely a magazine lover. Marie Claire, to be specific.

Another issue I face with finding a good book is the amount of non-fiction books that a just bullish*t. I like self-help books that aren't too self-helpish if you get me? I want someone to offer me a better solution to something without using that strange soothing tone, somewhat similar to a therapist that self help books often use. If you tell me to "Start from the begging, re-live it all" then I'll know this is not the book for me. I have hurled a self-help book across my room before, just FYI. They're not my thing.

However, there are a couple of books I've discovered that have the same message that a self-help book would offer, but they're written in a comedic way. Which is something I love, I don't like it when people take themselves too seriously. I think we all know what books I'm talking about right now... it's the Sarah Knight ones.

The Life changing magic of not giving a f**k

Whilst I was reading this, my Instagram inbox was full to the brim with messages from various different people asking how the book was or telling me how much they'd loved it when they read it. Turns out a lot of people had their eye on it, but weren't quite sure if it would be worth a read. Well I can confirm it definitely is.

Usually with a book like this, I'll enjoy the read but not really take much away from it. With this particular book this was not the case. I found myself questioning wether or not I gave a f**k about certain situations and wether or not they were worth my energy for a long time afterwards.

The book taught me to think of the f**k's I give as if they are money, or real life objects. You wouldn't go around handing out money to anyone or anything with no thought, or just to be nice. Why do it with your f**k's?

The F Word

The F word seem's to be a bit of a reoccurring theme here!?

The F word is a book all about Female friendship and Lily Pebbles documents her experience of friendship with other women beautifully in the book. It was honestly one of the most relatable reads and you're bound to see your own friendships in the book as there is a chapter for each type of friend.

I loved the chapter titled 'The single friend'. Lily described her as the one who is always feeling a bit left out due to the circumstances, even when you try to include them it just doesn't work out for a reason you can't change. In her case, the single friend didn't feel comfortable being around their friends when their partners were there. This was the chapter I found the most relatable, although none of my friends are dating (were a lonely bunch.... jokes, were happy single!) I have experienced friends not being as involved in the group as others for a reason that can't be changed. Which was something I saw a similarity to in the chapter about the single friend.

Bethan, better known as Bepbeee is a teenage Fashion and Lifestyle blogger. She documents her life and outfit of the day's on her website and Instagram feed, as well as talking about her own experience in the blogosphere. Her personal style is a little different from the crowd, but without a doubt gorgeous! And she also happens to be one of my favourite blogging gal's, so I'm only the tiniest bias. Seriously though, she's fab. 
We chatted all about her personal style and how she doesn't just follow trends, navigating our way through the online world and why being yourself when doing so is so important, and of course the blogosphere.

Flo: Let’s start by talking about your fashion sense. 
You update your blog with outfit of the day’s quite frequently, and what I love about your style is that it’s quite mature, you always seem to be able to style an outfit so that you don’t look like every other teenage girl. Do you have any tips on styling outfits?

Bethan: Thank you! I have always loved clothes but have never gone along with trends I don’t like. I love that my style is quite different from ‘the average teenage girl’ as that makes me who I am. I’m not one for buying an item of clothing purely on the fact that loads of girls my age are wearing that kind of thing, I have to love it because I want to wear it. I would say my tip for styling outfits is exactly that, if you love it, think it looks good and you are comfortable in it, that’s all that matters. There is so much judgement and a pressure to all look a certain way that now is the time to stop caring about what anyone else thinks and style outfits how you want to style them.

F: I’m exactly the same, I’m not a huge fan of the ‘teenage’ trends and will often opt for something a little different. I feel like a huge ‘teenage’ trend at the moment is those Adidas leggings and i’m just not into that.

So, you’ve been blogging for three years now and you’ve said before that blogging has helped you to grow as a person. Do you think you could say the same for your style?

B: Definitely. My style is completely different now to how it was three years ago and that is partly down to being surrounded by huge fashion icons in the social media world that have influenced me to step out of my comfort zone and dress with confidence. Back when I started, my style was very basic and I didn’t ever experiment. I had set outfits, knew what looked good with what and bought from a handful of different shops. I feel like that needed to happen for my style to be what it’s like now and I’m looking forward to seeing how it changes in the next five or so years time. I’ve now found out about so many different shops, mostly online, that I feel lucky enough to have discovered and bought from in the past year. My style has changed and definitely matured so now I do wear different outfits, I try out lots of new things and ways of wearing items too.

F: Speaking of the influence social media has on you, one of your blog posts that I particularly love is ‘Living in the world of social media as a teen’. Although your space on the internet is very clearly a very happy and positive one, have you ever had any nasty experiences online?

B: I feel extremely lucky to have mostly had a positive journey so far online but obviously no journey is completely plain sailing. The only bad experience that I have had online wasn’t actually on social media, it was on Depop. I ‘thought’ I had bought a iphone 6 with some of my birthday money from what seemed a nice lady, she asked if we could pay through Paypal and if we had thought about it more then we would have said no but we didn’t. However, the phone has never arrived and I don’t think her Depop can be found anymore. She had also blocked me. We tried as best as we could to get the money back but as the transaction was with Paypal, it has nothing to do with Depop neither Paypal as it was done with ‘Friends and Family’. Looking back now, it was a really stupid idea and if it looks too good to be true, then it normally or most definitely is. 

F: Oh my god, that sounds horrible! Do you have any advice for other teenage girls who have dealt with or a dealing with similar situations?

B: Even though, I’ve never dealt with any kind of nastiness on social media or cyber bullying, and I’m really grateful for that, one bit of advice I would give is that it’s okay to either unfollow, block or report. If anything like that happened to me I would be pressing all of those buttons! Obviously if you are going through something as serious as cyber bullying, please talk to someone you trust and that way, you feel better for speaking about it but also other people can get involved to sort it out. Social media should be a safe place for everyone to be who they want to be, and if a certain individual is ruining it for that someone, they shouldn’t be on it. No negatives vibes here.

F: I couldn’t agree more. I feel like online, especially in the blogging community, we just don’t unfollow. Whatever reason we may want to unfollow, if it’s Cyber bullying like you said or even if you simply don’t like someone’s feed anymore and feel it’s not having the best influence on you, I think there’s always some sort of fear about pressing the button and cutting that person out. But, in all honesty if you don’t want to look at it then don’t. I do it all the time and I think of it as slowly curating my feed into something I actually want to see.

And finally, I know that for me, in some cases my blog has had quite a large impact on my personal life. Sometimes I’ve had to turn down invites because I’ve had work to do, but then I’ve also experienced a friendship break up that was partly down to my blog. Would you say that your blog has much of an impact on your life offline?

B: I think around early 2017 when more people started to find out about my blog, I would get either of two reactions; one being ‘Oh cool, can I see it?’ and the other one would be making fun of it. I’ve experienced a lot of fake friends just because they knew I got ‘free stuff’ or people wanting to be friends with me to ‘use’ me. It affected me a lot at the start because I knew I was doing something I loved but some people for some reason weren’t okay with that. I think quite a lot of people deal with similar things to this if they blog or do Youtube and what I’ve realised over time is, to do you and don’t worry about what other people think. This is so important because we should be proud of what we create without other people ruining it for us.

F: I love that attitude you have of just being proud and not letting anyone tear you down for creating and having an online presence. I honestly wish I was like that four years ago when I started out. 
I actually only really talk about my blog with my close friends who didn’t know about it for a long time so i’ve never had any fake-ness from them because they’ve always known me before any of it happened. However, I do find that I’ll usually get a positive reaction, especially from people my age because they’re more familiar with the industry, but lots of my friends said “I want free stuff I’m going to start a blog” when I told them. 

Which definitely annoyed me because as we both know, blogging is not just getting some free beauty products sent to your house. There is so much work involved in brand partnerships, and of course so much work involved in getting to the point where brands are approaching you and sending you products. But then I don’t blame them for thinking like this because there is a certain image put across on social media and being a blogger does look like a lot of fun to some people because so many people’s feed is purely a highlight reel which gives such a sugar-coated version of events. 
It feels like a bit of a reality check now that summers officially over here in the UK. Its like the world is trying to remind us that, no this weather will not last and you're gonna have to suck it up and get used to all this rain. Don't mind me sounding just a little crazy over here, but I don't mind.
Living in the UK, my body has gotten used to the year round cold weather so the heatwave that just happened wasn't something I found bearable. Although, it was nice to have a bit of sun.

 However, going into Autumn is something I've been looking forwards to for a long time. I just love wrapping up in hats and scarves, going on long walks followed by hot chocolate when you get back home. And, of course the winter coats. For me, going into a new season is like a mini fresh start, and I'm always motivated to set goals with a new season too.

01. Long walks
If you read my July goal's post then you will be very much aware that we've got a puppy!
I mean, yes it was a while ago and I don't mean to go on and on at you about it, but for almost all of August Dylan wasn't allowed to go on a walk because he hadn't had all his jabs that would protect him from all sorts of nasty illnesses. So, now he's finally had them we can take him on lots of walks.

Although I live in London, where I live is surrounded by woods and woodland trails so I'm sure it will be a great environment for Dylan. I'm also loving the idea of stopping for a cup of tea at the cafe's in the woods on a crisp Autumn morning. It sounds like Bliss.

02. Taking a different blogging route
Usually my blog post style would be quite a wordy, thought provoking piece, but this month I wanted to try and do some more editorial-style pieces. I'm thinking recipes, gift guides, and I definitely want to share some more interior snaps. But, if you're a lover of the wordy-pieces, don't worry this isn't me ditching them forever, I just wanted to try something new out and there will most likely be something interesting coming your way in October.

03. Breakfasts
I don't know about anyone else but when I'm having one of those chaotic mornings where I'm very quickly running out of time I will simply pour myself a bowl of shreddie's for breakfasts. But, is this really the healthiest option? Nope...
I always feel way more inspired and up for working on the blog in the morning when I've had a good breakfasts. So, I've just popped to M&S to pick up a whole lot of fruit and yoghurt and I'm making it my mission to have a gorgeous breakfast that will fill me up and get me motivated for the day, every day.

Any other blogger can relate when I say that my inbox is full of sh*t.
I mean, yes, there are some amazing pitches from amazing brands, but they are definitely outweighed by the brands who just don't do their research. And of course, those 'Insta boost' emails from people claiming to send you free followers if you pay them £30. No thank you.

On an average day my inbox will look a little something like this: a pitch to review hair growth pills, someone offering to send me free weight-loss coffee, about five people claiming they can help me grow my Instagram following if I pay them £30, a 'start-up' blogger asking me to publish their writing on my blog, a watch brand who wants to work with me but insists that I pay £150 for the watch, someone wants to send me their re-make of aqua beads, and another wants to send me a face mask that (apparently) will get rid of 'bum chins' (are you suggesting I have a 'bum chin'?).

It's just a HUGE waste of everybody's time

It seems so simple: do your research so you know who you're pitching to.
You wouldn't go into any old restaurant and order a Pizza if you didn't know if they served it, would you? For all you know you could be standing in a Sushi bar asking for a pizza and well, looking like a bit of a dick. It's no different when pitching to bloggers.
I can't tell you how many weird pitches I've gotten in the past four years. I mean, if you'd looked at my blog just once you would know full well that no, I don't want you're re-make of aqua beads.

You're being a little rude

Although it's not massively offensive, it is just a little rude to pitch any old crap to a blogger. Especially as so many of us do this as a job.
Not only is it a little rude, it makes your company look bad because you clearly don't care that much.

If you could actually tell me what you want me to do then that would be helpful...

As much as I love working with brands who give me a lot of creative control in how I share sponsored and advertorial content with my followers, I do need some sort of guide lines.

I've come across a lot of brands who aren't very clear at all in their pitches and will often just say something like "Hey we want to work with you". But, that doesn't tell me very much, what are we doing? Are you sending me something, inviting me to an event...? Sometimes you just never know and in the end the email gets deleted.

But on the rare occasion that you send me a crappy pitch but I still like the look of your brand I might ask for some more information. But for god sake, when I do please don't just copy and paste your pitch email again...

Actually find out my name

I know, I know a lot of brands do send the same email to a lot of bloggers and yes, I know that often lots of bloggers are involved in the same campaigns. And I mean, just think of the poor PR girl if she had to send a separate email to every single person...

But, if you are just emailing me then please use my name. It just makes it more direct, and personal. Very often I don't reply if someone doesn't use my name because I know it's been sent around to so many people, but If it's addressed to me by name then I'll always give you some sort of answer.

Today is the 15th. That means that four years ago today I started this blog (ummm... what?!). It's a bit mind-boggling to think that I've been doing this for four year, that seems like such a long time.
But, with doing it for quite a while a lot has changed in my life. Simple things like getting older and maturing, but I honestly think that having this blog has sped up that process for me.

My confidence has changed quite drastically since putting myself our there and exposing myself to the online world. I'm still quite a shy person, although it really depends on the situation I'm in, but since starting Flo la vita, or Liliieee as it was called back then (how do you even pronounce that?!) my confidence has gotten a lot better, and I think thats down to this blog and the fact that it's been my own space to be completely myself with.

Personal style
And I'm not just talking about my fashion sense... I'm talking my taste in everything.
My photography style, my fashion sense and not to mention my writing style. I think that since starting a blog I've seen so many different interior styles, photography styles, writing styles all of which have influenced my personal taste in absolutely everything.

My opinions
Speaking of, blogging has introduced me to so many people with so many different opinions. If I hadn't started this blog I don't think I would have taken an interest in people like Emma Gannon, Dolly Alderton and Grace F Victory. People like them who are so open about their thoughts on such interesting, yet serious topics have really pushed me to formulate my own opinions. And it's not even as simple as my thinking 'so do I agree with this or do I not agree with this?' it's just a natural thing that happens from listening to their podcasts and seeing what they have to say on social media. I've always been such an opinionated person and I'm never shy to tell someone what I think (when it's called for, of course) but I genuinely think that people like them who are so open online have helped me form even stronger opinions on topics that I probably wouldn't have formulated opinions on, or even known that they existed. We all know that I am an open book and feel no shame when telling a period story that could be a little TMI, but Emma Gannon especially has made me see that we should never be embarrassed to talk about something that matters to us, no matter how taboo its been made to be, and I've definitely down just that. 

My writing style
Four years ago I wasn't a terrible writer but I certainly wasn't great. Reading back some of my older posts is cringe-worthy and if I'm honest I'm glad I've deleted so many of them, but there are a couple remaining ready for you to read...

Then-   a section of my proper corn AD post

When i was looking through the box and found this flavour, i was so happy. Before i recieved the bundle of popcorn from Propercorn i had no idea that you could get coconut and vanilla flavoured popcorn! I didn't know if it was going to taste nice but it was honestly amazing. I think its definately my favourite out of all of the flavours. 
To be honest i think this is the best popcorn i have ever had!

Thank you so much to Proper corn for sending me all this amazing popcorn, its honestly so yummy!

You should all go and buy some of this as its honestly the best popcorn i have ever had, Its so worth going out especially to buy one!

Now-  a section of my '4 things an Instagram detox taught me' blog post

Before taking a lengthy break from the Instagram world, this was something I was quite confused about. Typically, when you think of a blogger you think of the brand collaborations and the press trips and the 'glamourous' lifestyle they lead. Heck, I change my outfit in the McDonald's toilets when I'm out shooting, but that's beside the point.

Throughout my Instagram break I did ask myself many times if I would be able to carry on my blog in the same way without Instagram. And the answer is yes, because I'm not blogging as an influencer, I'm blogging as me.

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