Life’s about balance.

Well it’s about time I started writing another blog post! In fact, it’s well over due.

What spurred me on is being sat in the living room with my flat mate, guzzling a bottle of wine, proudly purchased from Lidl, (nothing wrong it Lidl!) as we chatted about life and how far we’ve come. I proceeded to bring up a previous blog post I wrote a year ago. Titled, ‘It’s okay to fail multiple times.’

We started too well up reading it, as we glared at each other in amazement, we’d really come a very long way since then!

So that leads me onto now, right here, currently just word vomiting up into the notes section of my IPhone at 23:00 at night.

I’ve just been at an event one of my best friends hosted. I felt so proud to stand there cheering her on at how hard she’d worked and how far she’d come.

Now half on my bed, still in my shoes, I thought, “Fuck it”, let’s write a blog post!

The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind. I’ve spent evenings crying, pulling my hair out, drinking endless bottles… Keep it professional Lauren!

It’s been tough.

To summarise, I was moving 100 steps forward before I’d even began to take the first step.

I thought to myself, I’m not good enough. I’m failing. And every day I’d tell myself that I must work 24/7 in order to succeed and follow my dreams.

I was wrong.

I crashed…

In fact I completely and utterly threw myself under the car (Not literally, just the saying)

A few weeks back, on a Friday night, I felt exhausted, deflated and unwell.

I said to my boyfriend at half 8 that it was time for bed. I switched my phone to flight mode, took a swig of night nurse, lathered myself in fake tan, ready for the weekend and, headed straight into a very deep sleep…

Knock, knock, knock

Why on Earth was someone be knocking on my window at stupid hour O clock on a Saturday morning…

I got up immediately to answer the door, ready for an argument of course. It was Harry, looking rather confused, flustered and panicked!

“Lauren… IT’S 2 IN THE AFTERNOON!!!”

Oh shit…

Of course, my immediate thought was, fuck I’ve slept in my fake tan for 16 hours, not the fact I’d been asleep for that long and I was supposed to be at the pub over an hour ago…

So thank you to my amazing boyfriend who cares as much to drive 40 minutes into London to check if I was still alive!

Moral of that story is, self care is so so important. I’d tried to move forward 1000 steps before taking the first 100 and I’d simply, crashed.

Now I’m sat here, in my bed actually having a lie in, writing this of post with a clear head. (Yes I’m writing this section on a different day, I got tired)

It feels good.

Be sure to split your work time from your own personal life. No matter what career you’re in, at some point, you’ll crash if you’ve got no time to yourself.

I feel like we’re growing up in a generation where all we do is compare each others success stories and feel we put pressure on ourselves if someone else has “made it” or is at a different part of their lives to us.

It doesn’t mean we’ve failed one single bit.

Notes to myself from this blog post and the last few months: (take what you wish)

1. Always keep your weekends free for friends and family.

2. Get plenty of sleep!

3. Set yourself hours in the day for your working life so when that final hour comes you can switch off, read a book, have a bath or even just enjoy your dinner.

4. Relax! You’re doing amazing. Think back to last year when you would have only dreamt of being were you are today.

5. You’re amazing. Tell yourself that every day. Tell yourself it’s not a race, enjoy the process of growing up. Because, we only live once.

I hope you all have an amazing Sunday!

Although I can’t promise you a blog post every week, i’m pleased to be back writing again.

Lots of Love

L

Xxx

I GOT HAIR EXTENSIONS – With Great Lengths and Matthew Curtis Rosewood Hotel/Salon

Hello, you lovely lot!

Read on if you’re thinking about getting hair extensions!

Happy Sunday Funday 😝

Never did I ever think that when I was a little girl I’d wish for longer hair. I’ve missed my long hair so much and the day I got hair extensions was literally a game changer.

Before I start, I’m not saying that you need long hair to feel confident at all. I’m saying, from a personal opinion, it’s made me feel so much better about myself!

“You know when it feels like a part of you is missing?”

I’ve been going to Matthew Curtis Hair Salon for around 6 months now and I honestly would hate to change both hair stylist and salon.

Everything about this Salon is a 10/10. The interior, the service, the food, the location, even the prices are extremely reasonable. I’d almost compare them to some of your high street hair salon prices but with such a personable service.

From the fact it’s within The heart of The Rosewood hotel is unbelievable. It’s completely hidden away, which is why I guess I am sat here writing about it. It’s a gem not wanting to go missed. From my lovely hair stylist to the welcoming of the doorman, everything is so personable.

My last visit was my longest one yet. I came in with short, dark brown hair and left with long luscious dark blonde locks!

I thought long and hard about where would be best to get my hair extensions from.

I even looked at going out of town but the convenience and relationship that I have with my hair stylist fully settled my decision. I went with Great Lengths for my hair extensions and they honestly can’t disappoint. If you have a stalk through my latest posts on my Instagram feed you shall see why!

The second great thing about Great Lengths is the charity you support when it’s time to part ways with your long locks.

Your hair is carefully removed and given to The Little Princess Trust. A charity that provides free wigs to people who experience hair loss, cancer or other conditions.

The fact that there is a charity involved made the decision a lot easier and without a doubt is one of the loveliest ideas I have heard of instead of the hair going to waste at the end.

So here is the finished look!


Because I had a full head, the process took around 4 hours. I have been told they will also last between 3-5 months depending on how well you look after it. So far so good and 2 months in!

This year is going so fast!

Each strand is sealed to your hair with protein bonds so the time dedicated is super important.



 

I must say, Sophia has patience. (My hair stylist) but oh my goodness I can’t thank her enough!

If you’re wanting a change or fancy popping in for a free consultation, please do feel free to message @hairbysophiahamid or me at @matthewcurtisrosewoodhotel to book a free consultation!

This has been a gifted experience but a very honest review and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading!

A huge thank you to:

@greatlengths

@hairbysophiahamid

@matthewcurtisrosewoodhotel

Love L xxx


 

“Shop this blog post!”

[shopr_shopthepost collection=”casual”]

The most Instagrammable diner ever?!?

Big Moes diner!

Today was insane! Rather productive also as I seemed to smash out three campaigns this morning AND filmed my everyday make up look for you all which I’ll be posting on my IGTV in the week!

Angee and I headed over the Big Moes diner in Whitechapel today for some lunch!

Now if you haven’t ever seen an Instagramers dream, then you haven’t visited Big Moes diner yet! Oh my goodness!

This place is filled with 60’s style decor, American diner, red leather, booths, a juke box and a cut out old retro car which, we ate our cheat day lunch in!

The food was proper American style burgers, shakes (pretty much every flavour covered) , stick BBQ chicken wings, ICE CREAMS! They even catered for vegetarians. I opted for the sharing platter of nachos and a large veggie burger and sweet potatoes friends! Currently writing this on the sofa and resemble something of a couch potato. Pardon the pun.

A worthwhile experience and could imagine this place being epic for a birthday party as they kept dropping 60’s bangers on the speakers.

Fully content this Sunday.

Happy Sunday my loves xxx

http://bigmoesdiner.co.uk

*This was a gifted experience. But I highly recommend going if you fancy re living a scene out of Grease!

2019

It’s remarkable what a common cold can do to one’s brain after having lots of sleep and drowning in scrunched up used bog roll. (Gross I know)

New Year’s Day. Always a funny one in my eyes. I always imagine the nation in complete zombie mode after the festive season has put them through, some people might say, a ravenous period of indulgence.

Nevertheless, our poor souls have sat slumped in front of the telly watching shit films and compiling a productive New Years resolution list together. Which looks something like this:

1. Join gym

2. Eat healthily

3.Dry January (attempt)

4. Drink lots of water

5. Save save save …

6. Self-love

Yeh I know right? January has always been a bit of a dull month, not to mention half my family has their birthdays in January so number 5 can come off my list for another month.

It’s crazy to think that this time last year I was in Australia with my boyfriend and his family. I was a little worse for wear but that hangover definitely beats the cold and chest infection I currently have this year. I saw 2019 in stone cold sober which was a surreal moment for me seeing as the last few years I’ve woken up not remembering a thing. But hey, at least I didn’t have my head in a bin this year regretting the percentage of alcohol consumed.

The reason I thought I’d write this is that I’ve noticed a lot of us speaking about self-love. Whether you found it last year or you’re only just putting it into action for 2019, I too am on the path to find self-love.
2018 has been an insane year for me. I’ve learned a lot. Gained some lifelong friends via the out favorite and most loved social media platform… Guessed it? Oh, you’re too clever! Of course, Instagram has become a portal for many opportunities for me. I’ve gained a part-time job as well as some people I’d call some of my best friends, I’ve found that I have a niche for creating Lightroom presets and I bloody love taking photos and creating content.

One thing I never found really was self love. I mean, I am happy. I am very happy and I have never been in a place before within myself to say that I am fully content. However, I also seem to have got so warped in this little app that I have forgotten to look after my physical and mental health.

Self-love isn’t about looking in the mirror at the vanity. To me, it’s working out who you really are and where you see yourself in 5 years time.
This year I am looking forward to reading a good book and putting my phone down after 9 pm without fail.

This year I am looking forward to heading down to the gym after work and at the weekends and looking after my body.

This year is the year I will travel. I want to look up from my phone and see the world more.

This year I will fill my bullet journal up and educate myself.

This year I will find self-love before anything.

I wrote a blog post this time last year about social media and how our generation has become so involved in these tiny little squares. A parallel universe between expectation and reality. I am smacking myself for almost forgetting my own words I wrote!

2018:

Upon reflection, 2018 has been a rather eventful one to the day the least. I moved in with my two best friends, boogied at festivals, I started earning money through my blogging and even switched jobs.

It’s been a crazy year for every one of us.

Brexit has swamped news headlines, whilst we had the beast from the East back in March and thank fuck he left! Will we experience the beast from the east part 2 March 2019? In Summer we encountered quite the sweatiest heatwave in recorded history. We even saw 12 boys rescued from a cave back in June… I bet you forgot that one didn’t you!

We almost made football history since 1966 as we played Croatia in the Semifinals…

We had ANOTHER Royal wedding, which made most watched tv history. Although it didn’t quite grip me, I think I was preoccupied with a glass of Prosecco at Pergola on the roof in Paddington.

Turning 25:

2017 seems so very far in the past yet it seems that only yesterday myself and my best friend Zoe said that turning 25 would be our year. A year to remember and a year of big things.

So I sit here this evening writing for the first time in just over a month (bad me) thinking about what 2019 will bring.

Note to self:

I want you to read this back at the end of the year (set reminder on mobile for a years time with funky alarm tune) and write a list of everything you have achieved just like the below list for 2018 and give yourself a round of applause.

I’d like to hope that you’re reading this in the same spot that you wrote this – In the comforts of your bed. Here are a few of your achievements:

You started earning money through your passion

You moved in with your two best friends

You hit 10K then 15K by your birthday

You’ve started a new job in social media marketing which you love

You didn’t learn Spanish like you said you would in 2017 but you gave it a good go! You can order 5 beers and that’s okay!

You’ve learned to keep organized

Thank goodness, that little savings bank has finally started to fill up!

Through blogging you’ve made some lifelong friends

It’s the first year you haven’t struggled for money or been in debt

You’ve found a new hobby keeping a bullet journal and have got back into art.

Finally got to go to Reading Festival

So what will 2019 bring?

As 2018 free to an end I’ve learned one huge thing. Self-love. I sometimes forget to love myself. A lot of the time I’m hard on myself and forget about all the things I have achieved and all the things I am working towards.

Health:

Join the gym

Eat more greens

Drink more water

Meditate

Social:

Head off to more events

Spend more time with loved ones and friends

Switch off from Social media at 9 pm

Career:

Be blogging part-time

Get to 50K by the summer

Find your niche – Could it be editing and inspo? Could it be happiness and self-love?

Pre plan more flat lays for lifestyle work
Expand my preset catalog

Monetary:

Save £10,000 by the summer

Utilise more vouchers

Travel funds?

– Set to separate savings account for that future mortgage

Life:

Take every day as it comes

Count your blessings

Be positive

A problem shared is a problem halved

Material:

Not important.

Work and blogging are great and has helped with a lot of things but I always need to remind myself why I started in the first place.

To spread positivity and happiness but to also share real experiences and stories and to create a bank full of memories.

So really this message is a reminder to myself but also to everyone and anyone.

Don’t forget to love yourself first and the rest will follow.

Right, so I am off!

Time to unblock my nose and take some of that awful night nurse and hit the hay…

Sweet dreams and here’s to 2019! X

Being a tourist at home with Stranded international Hair extensions {AD}

I don’t know about you but I have never been one to explore my own home. I’ve been very quick and lucky enough to be able to jump on a plane and travel to some amazing places of the world.

However, it struck me the other day that I hadn’t seen Buckingham palace since I was 4 years old. Wow. I mean that’s a poor show from me. Not very patriotic at all if I say so myself!

So off I went with and a friend. We headed early on Sunday, It was her idea to get up at the crack of dawn not mine (cry face), we got the tube up to the Buckingham palace. It was the perfect day for shooting photos and having an explore around the city. My advice is listen to your friend when they say travel up early to see the palace because you’ll beat the main bulk of the crowds and queues. What a postcard picture we saw.

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It was all the day I tried out hair extensions for the very first time. I’ve been trying out Stranded International hair extensions for a few weeks now and I must say, they have lasted so well.

When I received them, I thought the colour matching prices would be quite tough because my hair colour has a fair few different tones. I was so surprised and impressed when the beautifully paid large box arrived at my door and the hair was perfectly colour matched. Not to mention the swanky name of my hair colour… Vanilla Bomb.

They sustained a whole day of touring around London. I was able to style them in the morning, tie my hair up without them falling out all throughout the day, by the end of the day they kept their exact appearance as they looked when I took them out the box.

Everything I’d expect from purchasing hair extensions.

Not only that, their site was quick and easy to choose from with long/ short styles that cater for different hair types.

A huge thing for me was being able to shoot in them. As you know I love a hair swish, needless to say they passed the test!

My top tips for touring your home town:

  • Make a plan: before you set off on your day write an itinerary. It doesn’t have to be details but remember, you’ll be walking a lot so it’s good to have a route planned.
  • Search for events/ tourist attractions and coupons. See if there are any current deals on for tourist attractions you want to see! Like 2 for 1 deals or a free coffee to energise your day!
  • Start early or go during the week… Beat the crowd if you want to get some smashing shots of landmarks and historical architecture. I’ve arrived at both St Paul’s and Buckingham palace early on a Sunday morning and was able to take it in properly without all the front way wearing backpackers and tourists queueing and overcrowding the front.
  • Take a camera – Don’t miss those shots!
  • Pack a bottle of water as you’ll get bloody thirsty.
    Oh and don’t wear impractical footwear. 😂

The hair extensions I am wearing in my photos around London is the 18 inch three-piece flicks clip set in vanilla bomb.

Link here: Click here

Which I actually couldn’t believe were only £21.99?!?

I can’t even begin to tell you how soft and sustainable quality and finish is.

I’ve added their fall site for you here: Click here

My final honest review:

I never thought that having hair extensions could make me feel more confident within myself. I know we should all be happy with who we are but having long hair has been something which isn’t easy for me. My hair takes years to grow and Stranded International, although an ad, I’ve been wearing the now for a few weeks and will definitely continue to purchase from them when I need to renew my currently set. If you’ve seen my Instagram feed you’ll see they’ve made a few appearances already, including Halloween!

I’d love to hear your thoughts and if you end up purchasing one of these sets! Please do drop me any questions if you have any 🙂

Seeing as Christmas and new year is coming Stranded International have issued me a discount code for anyone who wants 20% off until December 31st so use:

LAUREN20 at the checkout 🙂

Have a lovely rest of your Sunday!

Love 

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Ella Iconic – A new Era of diary

Well hello there

(This blog post is an ad)

Some of you are most likely thinking, “nice of you to drop by Miss Shepherd!”

I am SO sorry I haven’t been active over on my blog however, I have had a rather eventful few weeks and I just haven’t stopped. But alas I’m back!

Which leads me onto telling you about a rather sexy diary that I think you need to get your hands on ready for 2019.

A few weeks ago I stumbled across what is quite possibly the most beautifully presented planner I have ever picked up.

I’ve always been a diary user. It wouldn’t feel like it was nearly the end of the year if I didn’t go and pick up some sort of bible to arrange next year in.

I’ve tried them all, those old leather back ones (too boring), my phone (get distracted), endless lose bits of paper (life starts to turn chaotic and I forget my shit)

Ella Iconic’s diary/ planner range has so much to give and so much to get out of.

I want to talk you through each page before you go investing in any form of diary this year.

The look

Let’s start out the shape and style. In the version I have, there are two styles. A weekly planner which is slightly smaller and doesn’t has as much of the bulky stuff in it or you can opt for the full size planner. This is the one I opted for as I really do like to keep myself organised. They vary in colour, so if you’re not as bland as me the range comes in coral, I’ve also seen a beautiful teal and Midnight blue. My favourite thing about all these planners is they are dripping in gold leaf… I’m an absolute sucker for gold so there we have it. In the famous words of Jerry Maguire, “You had me at hello.”

The pages

The main reason of loving this planner so much is because of how finally detailed yet easy to use the pages are. Each month is blessed with its own page to fill out your adventures, health notes, to do lists, shopping lists, a career progression plans. There are even motivational quotes that set you up for the day.

“Don’t limit yourself…”

It’s not just a planner its a book of memories 

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You really can’t limit yourself with how beautifully structured this diary is. I cannot wait to fill up the pages and look back at the end of next year and see how much I have achieved. My favourite aspect about this diary and is why I am writing to you to say, go and get that as your loved ones Christmas gift is because of the memories it will hold. I’m going to call it a book of positivity.

Conclusion

Now I didn’t want to write too much as I know sometimes reading on a Sunday can be a little long when you’ve got a roast dinner to attend to or a hangover dominos order you need to collect from your front door. But when you have sometime, have a mooch around the site, I’ve linked below short cuts to both this diary and Ella Iconic’s new 2019 collection which is just to die for. Filling this diary out is going to be so satisfying, not to mention, it makes perfect for a little instagrammable flatly. And let’s face it, if its instagrammable it’s worthy.

The book I went for: TAP HERE

The new 2019 collection: TAP HERE

The main site: TAP HERE

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How I’m working towards being my own boss and what I’m learning along the way

Hey Chickens,

I hope you’re well and the weekends treated you to booze, food and retail therapy! A few people have asked how I manage to work full-time along with trying to build my own business on the side lines. Now before I go on, I am not anywhere near ready to work for myself. There is so much more I need to learn before undertaking the title, “boss”. And please, let’s stray away from that term girl boss.

Day one of my journey quite simply began with not having any clue what so ever about working freelance or even how I wanted to pursue the likeness of my blog. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, it has ultimately come down to a lot of trial and error.

Balance and being organised:

Balance is key when it comes down to juggling hobbies, career, friends family, eating, sleeping, socialising. You name it theres a lot to juggle right? If you can crack this then you’re laughing. When I first started blogging, I spent my weekends, evenings and days trying to create content. I ended up being a little bit too obsessed with trying to get content and actually forgetting to have an actual life away from it. I stopped going out as much and my mobile was stuck in the palms of my hands almost 24/7. Its an unhealthy habit of mine that I am still trying to master. I’ve massively gotten better. Knowing when to put work to the side and enjoy life for what it really is, is so important. So I came up with my own rule, that content will only be created once a month in bulk. It really does come in handy when you’re still working Monday to Friday. You then still have seven free weekend days to see family and friends.

Being organised really does help when It comes to content creating. I often plan my social feed weeks in advance so I know exactly what I am posting. I plan days/ nights out with friends and family in advance but also always leave a few days free for downtime and those days when you might just want to be a bit spontaneous. Oh and lastly book your content creation day in a month ahead of schedule so you can get planning.

If you can, get yourself a photographer who understands you:

Not everyone uses a photographer but if you can find one or someone that knows and understands your style, you feel comfortable with from day one, they’re worth the investment. Especially if your only shooting content once a month like me. Book a photographer once or twice a month depending on how much you’re getting paid that month to create content. you can shoot 7/8 outfits in 2 hours so it really does mean you’re sorted for posts and content. I always book mine in for the end of the month so I know that I then have a month to earn the extra income if needs be.

Whats your plan?

If you’re like me, you’ll have endless note pads scribbled with notes and endless lists. I find that lists often clear my mind and put everything into perspective. Whether its work related or just general errands to run, lists are my best friend. I use whats called the dot system. I actually picked this up from a past job role and ever since its been something I swear by. Its simple. Once the thing on the list is complete colour the dot in next to it! Plan ahead and set yourself goals that you want to achieve monthly. That way you’re not looking to far ahead but the future and getting ahead of yourself. I’ve learnt that slow and steady really does win the race.

Do your “How to freelance research first:

For me, I’m absolutely clueless when it comes to anything to do with tax, self assessment, keeping a recons of what expenses etc. So far I keep my own ledger with every single job/ Lightroom preset sale I make. This currently works well for me but I need to get it onto a desktop version in the next few weeks. Make sure you know your dates for self assessment. The tax year runs April to April so be ready when the time comes to declare any additional income. Setting up a separate bank account to store your tax is also a good idea (one on my to-do list this week for that matter). Get yourself a spreadsheet going and an expanding folder to keep record of every expense. Make sure you keep track from day one though!

Oh! Lastly, if you’re unsure of anything, always ask for help. Whether that be a relative, friend or an accountant, or even another blogger, it’s worth tackling this all early and making it a good habit.

Who are you creating content for/ Do you believe in the product?

Whether your being approached or a brand has approached you, theres one thing I have learnt and thats to never offer your services for free. You wouldn’t do this in any other industry so whats different here? Try not to work for free, I know its more difficult when you start off but at the end of the day this is a job and it will affect you in your later blogging career, as well as fellow bloggers, if brands see you posting for free all the time. Always ask yourself, do you genuinely believe in the product or brand before saying yes to a new contract? I have turned down a few jobs down recently. Even when the money is good, it doesn’t make sense if I don’t believe in the product in the first place.

Your full-time job:

Whatever you do, keep working full-time until you are 1000000000% financially ready. I rent and have bills to pay so it would be utterly Ignorant if I were to walk away from my job anytime soon. I am a long way off blogging being able to pay the bills, but for now the extra income has opened a lot more doors for me. Its a tough ride but you’re not as busy as you think you are. Plan ahead, see friends and family and dedicate 1/2 days a month for content and it will all come with ease.

Don’t forget to have fun:

We have all been there, instagram has the tendency to put us down at times and it can really affect the way we think. Before the summer started, I began to forget why I took up blogging in the first place and I practically fell into the trap of solely using my blog and instagram to make money. WRING WAY TO THINK. I lost authenticity and really got myself into a rut. I then taught myself that it isn’t about the likes or the follower game. I mean, it is lovely when you receive virtual love when all your hard work pays off but its not all about that. Don’t forget why you started your blog/ instagram in the first place and keep that with you all the way to the end.

It’s okay to fail multiple times

Hello Chickens

Well isn’t it a divine Monday morning! Suns out, let’s all have a kickass week!

This is something I’ve wanted to discuss with you for a while now. Only because failing and changing my mind seems to come second nature to me. Might as well eat the two phrases for lunch and dinner. (I don’t like breakfast).

For years I had no bloody clue what I wanted to do with my life. When I was younger, all I wanted to be was a vet. I loved animals (I still do) As a teenager, it was all about learning a musical instrument, guitar, piano… I quit them both. I turned to sport and genuinely thought I’d found my forte in cross-country, then hockey came along, well I quit those too. Nothing stuck. I thought I was failing, people never took me seriously because I always had a different game plan, a new adventure I wanted to explore. (Miss Dora the explorer over here)

But it wasn’t until recently that I realised, it’s okay to try out new hobbies and have new career aspirations. Why? Because we aren’t at the finish line yet. The beauty of it is we are all learning things about ourselves every single day. We adapt, we change, we mould into the people we are.

Now, I’m no wise old man but I know I have learnt one thing growing up. Its damn right okay to fail. It’s what makes us stronger, try harder with what we want to succeed in.

We spend years working it all out, we stress and worry over exams, our grades, schooling, that part time job. We think fuck it I don’t have a clue what I want to do with my life. But that time comes with trial and error and each time we fail and try new things we broaden our horizons and open new doors.

Today I sit writing this smiling, smiling about the fact that I will still fail at things in years to come but in years to come I will have also developed and progressed so much more than the person sat here today.

It’s like with writing. I scrolled to the bottom of my blog this evening and decided to read my very first post. It made me emotional, proud of my present self and how far I’ve come. (NGL it was also quite humorous to read little novice me’s first blog post). Never did I think I’d be sat over a year on writing about my progression. I am ever so happy about it. My personal note to you is:

You should be too.

I sit in a community of bloggers and friendships that have grown alongside me doing what they do best and I’m grateful to see everyone succeeding in what they love.

So remember this week, next week and whenever you think to yourself, “I have failed”. Take a step backwards and look at how far you’ve come. And more importantly, how far you will go.

Happy Monday chickens x

I’ve taken sometime from blogging to discover who I am on the internet “Av a lil read”

As you’ve probably seen I haven’t really being “creating content” as such this summer. I’ve been enjoying my time in the sunshine. I’ve been on holidays, trodden through muddy fields at festivals, got stuck into my full time job, learning the ropes of it and improving on my photography skills along the way. It’s been a whirl wind. I moved in with the girls just over a month ago now and finally feel at home, settled into our crib. I’m really in a good place. It’s taken a while for me to feel the way I feel to be honest. I’ve had some rookie past times, like we all do, we learn from things and take the best from a bad situation.

I have taken the summer to really think about what I want to give to you guys as my audience. I love you all so much and I really am grateful to everyone of you for clicking the follow button this year and hope to see my little corner of the internet grow into a beautiful little flower 🙊

I have literally thought about everything, likes, dislikes, what’s trending, what’s just utter bullocks on the net right now. Nothing was sticking. I tried the whole bright and colourful blogger thing, the non theme and the I cba layout, fashion, lifestyle you name it I’ve been thinking about it this summer.

But then it struck upon me that actually I want something that appeals to me and to me mostly. That’s what Instagram and these social platforms are about right? Creating a platform to show case YOU. And then I started to really think. I thought about MY likes and dislikes, what appeals to ME and what I think is bullocks on the net right now.

I want you guys to see a bit of me. So here’s a bit about me to give you an idea on how I have come about my new theme and style of, well, me.

Let’s start with the fact I am fucking lazy. If I had it my way, I wouldn’t be working. I’d have a 40%/60% ratio of bed time and just doing what ever the hell I want time. Obviously the higher figure will be spent in bed.

I’m arty. Yeh, I love art. Old art, historical art. Art that tells a story and has emotional attachment to it. Not Mona Lisa type shit. Let’s be honest here, it’s rather small and sat in a museum in France. If you’re lucky enough you might even get into the room next to it to simply watch people’s dull expressions. I’m talking about the art you don’t see plastered all over billboards. Art from da soul. You get it. I like soulful art.

I love me time. Me time comes with great opportunities to write endless lists, I love reading poetry by Rupi Kapour (yes I am basic but please proceed) I hate baths but on the odd occasion it comes in handy for me time.

My friends are my family. I love them to bits and the fact I get to live with two of them has made me feel more at home than I have ever done before.

Coffee dates with old friends and cake in unknown cafes. It’s a thing I think most people like to do. Catching up with an old friend you haven’t seen in a long time like you only saw them yesterday. One of comforts best attributes.

I’m wild and a bit nocturnal.

“Lauren why are you so tired?”

“Oh I was up until 2am.”

“Why?”

“I fancied a plain bagel as a midnight snack”.

I’m rarely asleep but like I have a relationship with my bed. Fact. If you catch me on a blue moon the term Wild is probably loosely used to depict a night out with Sheps. It’s not an often occurrence but I don’t like to take like too seriously. Motto: You only live once and my personal favourite. You can get money back but never your time. Live up your 20’s like it’s your last frolicking day.

I am fucking weird. I have a weird sense of humour. I can’t comment much here. Ask my friends.

I’m a bit moody if I don’t get my own way. HA. Definition of a pre Madonna in the making maybe? Nah I’m not a diva at all but I don’t like when something doesn’t go my way.

Comfort and cuddles win all.

I like wine.

My wardrobe has had a total transformation into a 90’s Victoria Beckham or Jennifer Anniston fashion line. Watch out for neutral tones galore and a dash of editorial.

So I hope that gives you a bit of an insight into the mind of Lauren and I do apologise for the atrocious foul language in this blog post. I just felt it made it a bit more dramatic seeing as my vocabulary isn’t exactly inspiring.

So here it is…. Welcome to me and welcome to my new space on the Internet ⭐️🌙✌🏽

A FASHUN LIST:

Dress is Loavies – Tap here

Bag is Vintage Gucci – Unknown soz

Hair is Daniel Galvin – Tap here

Necklaces are Pretty Little thing – Tap here

All photos are credited to the wonderful @sarahellen_photogrpahy – Sarah Treacher

All Lightroom Presets are credited to @laurenhannahshepherd and will be launching soon…

How I get back into work and eliminate those Holiday Blues

“Getting back into that dreaded ‘routine’ after holiday doesn’t have to be so boring and to be frank exhausting straight after a holiday. Whether that’s a summer or winter holiday, I always get the holiday blues without fail on my return back to work.” 

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love my job but there’s noting better than sipping strawberry daiquiri poolside listening to cheesy Spanish music. (Okay minus the cheesy Spanish music) 

So I have come up with my own plan to eliminate those holiday blues every time I get back from a mini break.

Clear space = Clear mind

First things first, I’m a true house wife at heart. I love a good spring clean and sort out after holiday. I feel it really clears my head and gets me on track for just focusing on earning money. I work from home over the weekends so having a my own space where I feel comfortable in really makes the difference. I will be writing up a blog post showing you my new room details soon… So if you like home decor kind of shit, keep a look out for one of my next posts.

Work and need food on the go? /AD

I have recently been following the SO Shape health and nutrition guide and drinking the SO Shape shakes for breakfast most mornings just because I’m simply too bloody lazy to make breakfast and I get up fairly early. Having an on the go drink means I get more beauty sleep in the morning and in my books, that’s a yes from me. These work perfectly if you pop them in the blender for a few seconds as the powder doesn’t then stick to the sides of the flask. The ice ones are my favourite. Salted caramel and cookies and cream go down a treat and are a thumbs up from me.

Another on the go ritual I follow is fruit infused water. It sounds daft but, its such a simple way to have organic fruit juice, instead of artificial fruit juice which I find can be bad for your stomach. I use my SO Shape shaker for my infused water.

Favourite infused waters:

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Top up your favourite beauty products 

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Ultimately, we all want to keep our sun-kissed glow and bronzed goddess look after holiday but it was seems to fade within a week of being back home. Depressing right? We also need to be conscious about our sun exposure , especially after a long holiday in the sunshine. I use a few products to keep my skin feeling, not only well moisturised but also still tanned. I am a huge fan of gradual tanning moisturiser. My favourite one at the moment is the Garnier along with the new range from BOD (Body on Demand) BOD had a variety of moisturiser including my go to, to remove cellulite and give you a stronger golden tan (currently writing this and its pissing it down outside my bedroom window. All the more to use gradual tanning products because the suns decided to bugger off.

You might have seen in my summer essential blog post me raving on about the Garnier Hydration day cream. I can’t go on about how light weight and dewy the formulae is. I’ve recommended this now to a few of my friends and they’ve all agreed how it doesn’t sit heavy on your face. It’s really great if you have combination skin like me.

Next up with have my little pot of dream from Alya Skin. I have been using this natural clay mask for around a month now and I really can feel and see a difference in my skin. Its cleared my pores and just makes my skin feel tight and refreshed.

Lets talk hair…. Anyone else’s hair feel and look like a bleached Brillo pad after they get back from holiday? No? Ok well, listen anyway. I use two products and two products only. Heat protection from the Kérastase new range. It has vitamins and thermal protection which both protects and rejuvenate’s bristle and broke hair. My last hair product which, I have used for around 3/4 years on and off is the OGX nourishing coconut milk anti-breakage serum. Its thick clear serum which spreads easily through your hair and smells absolutely divine. The scent reminds me of being back by the beach sipping milk from fresh coconuts and it really does put life back into your hair. This isn’t an ad or sponsor just pure love and honesty so go buy it here and let me know your thoughts! it’s a relationship for your hair in a bottle… I’ve linked to the whole collection but you can easily pick them up in Boots and Superdrug.

Books!

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To be honest with you, it’s a rare sight to see a book in my hand and if anyone ever caught me reading, well, it’s never. Except the odd spot of poetry. I only really read poetry when I’m in bed and have nothing to do or I need a break from the computer screen. (All this talking to you does get tiring sometimes ;)… I joke, that was mean of me) Rupi Kaur’s poetry books came into my life around a year and a half ago. I have always been intrigued by her words of wisdom and how she creates beautiful poetical sentences from them. If your feeling down, need motivation, inspiration or have holiday blues, her books a pure simplistic and beautiful. I’ve even convinced my house mate to give them a read… Zoe? What are your thoughts! Accompanied by a good candle and the Spotify essential piano album goes without exception with these two charming books.

These are all little things that help me get back into a daily routine both with work and post holiday blues.

Lastly, one of the main things I find really works is booking some super exciting adventures to look forward to for when you’re home. Summers not over just yet, even with autumn fast approaching, its always a great idea to plan ahead and book out your diary. I find weekends away to the countryside are idyllic. Spa weekends, festivals or even a weekend away  playing tourist and exploring your favourite European country can put a sprong back into your step. Being organised and pre planning can mean you can pick up flights super cheap. I’m jetting off to Amsterdam for my Birthday in a few months for just £25 each way…. It’s a no brainer really! Sometimes I’m told I’m too organised at times but it always works out well when I manage to bag cheap flights and accommodation. Got no money? I also struggle with this sometimes and it can be tough finding things to look forward to. Sometimes my friends and I enjoy long walks in the parks, take a picnic to an english beach or explore the new forest and meet wild horses. You don’t have to brake the bank account to book up your diary with fun things to look forward to.

So there we have it On the go foods, getting booking out your diary and stock up your beauty cupboard and keep that tan on! I hope I haven’t rambled on for too long but nevertheless, have a wonderful rest of the week.

Peace out beautiful people x

NEW PRESETS ARE HERE

MILKY PRESET PACK – FOR MOBILE

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE

The wait is over! I have actually not been lazy for once and I have filly published my most favourite presets of all time. 1. because they can be downloaded to the Lightroom mobile version straight from your desktop and 2. I have used these on all my latest instagram posts.

I hope you like what I have made, I am so pleased to finally have these launched as I have been working on these for a long time.

PLEASE READ THE BELOW TO MAKE SURE YOUR’RE HAPPY BEFORE PURCHASING 🙂 NO REFUNDS. COPYRIGHTED.

*Once a purchase is made it is irreversable. All presets are under copyright of their rightful owner. Basic Lightroom knowledge is needed. Not all presets work perfectly with one click. Skin tones almost always need altering.

Click the below link to an older blog post for tips and tricks and basic Lightroom knowledge:

Read this is you are buying my presets 🙂

About these presets:


In this preset pack you will find my most favourite up to date filters that I have been using all over my instagram feed.

You get a total of 6 presets. Three strong and two subtle.

LS MILK – Great for everyday use. Bright, light and milky? It takes out yellow tones and gives your photo a creamy effect.

LS MILK BAHAMAS – Ready for holiday? this is the same as the above but puts back blues and turquoise into it for those holiday tones.

LS MILK BRIGHT BAHAMAS – A slight adaptation to the first one but better for original images with a lower exposure (darker images)

LS MILK STRONG BLUE – Works really well on deep ocean photos but play around with them all as they work on other sceneries not just the ocean!

LS BAHAMAS EVENING EDIT– Make a subtle, glossy different to your portrait photos. It tones down greens and gives the image a warm evening effect. (Can be used over other presets)

LS AQUA – Like the colour blue? This will naturally darken your tan and really bring out the turquoise waters on your holiday pics.

MILK has been created for everyday use along with additional holiday presets which, I created these during my trip to the Bahamas so, as blue is my favourite colour, it is stronger than other colours in these presets.

CLICK TO TO PURCHASE

£35 for 6 presets. 

HOW TO DOWNLOAD:

  1. Using Gumroad should be super easy and straight forward. Click the to buy option and then download the files onto your desktop. (Max or windows) These will be called DNG files which mean you can transfer them ( with the edits) straight onto your mobile.
  2. You need to have the mobile Lightroom version in order to use these filters so make sure this is downloaded first.
  3. Once they are on your phone, you will find that they are in your camera roll.
  4. Now open up Lightroom on your phone and open the DNG files into the editing screen on your mobile app.
  5. At the bottom you will find all of your editing tools. Scroll all the way to the right where it says [PRESETS]
  6. Click on the three … at the top right of your screen and click [CREATE PRESET]
  7. Name the preset what they are and click SAVE.
  8. You will now have your presets saved forever under the [USER PRESETS] section.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE MILK PRESET MOBILE PACK

MY PRESETS IN ACTION: