Archive: December 2017

2017 Reflections | heythererobyn

Ending the year is always strange, isn't it? No matter how terrible or great the past 12 months have been it eventually draws to an end. For many people, the end of a year is nothing, a passing of time, a sign that you're getting older, for me it is a time to reevaluate, to look back reflect and adapt. I love the feeling of new beginnings, which is probably why I adore new year so much, sure it is just another day, but it gives you the chance to think of it like a fresh start, to turn the page and become a better version of the person you are. The thing is, in order to move forward we have to look back, we have to think about where we have been and how we have changed and how we can change, whether you've changed for better or for worse, looking back gives you clarity and closure from the year you are leaving behind and so I think it is important to reflect upon 2017.

The biggest aspect of my 2017 was loss, the loss of a loved one. In May 2017 we lost my four-year-old nephew. He was diagnosed at birth with a rare terminal illness that would shorten his life, but we were never told how long we had, so losing him came as a shock. It engulfed my entire 2017 and no matter what else happened it will always be how I remember this year. It broke not only me but my entire family, we are still not completely okay even now, 7 months on and I don't think we ever will be. For a long time, I found it difficult to continue normal, everyday life again, I think that is the part which will always affect me, anytime I would smile or laugh I'd hate myself for it because I shouldn't be happy, not when he's not here. Any time something good would happen in my life I would feel terrible for celebrating, my graduation was a clear sign of this, I felt guilty for being happy I graduated, what right did I have to celebrate my successes when he wasn't able to celebrate his anymore? It is still something I struggle with to this day, to a smaller scale, but nonetheless, I still find it hard to continue when he cannot. I guess it's a huge part of why I wanted to write this post, to let people know it is okay to live after loss and to be happy, although maybe I should take my own advice. 

2017 Reflections | heythererobyn
I graduated in July of 2017 from university with a 2:1 bachelors with honours. After being a third-year entrant who had no idea what Harvard referencing was nevermind how to do it I graduated with the second highest grade I could get and a first in my dissertation. I've always been one of those strange ones who enjoy education and find learning fun and exciting, but I never expected I would graduate university with such a fantastic grade and a whole year ahead of my peers who are all graduating from university this coming year. Graduating was a big deal to me as I had a rocky couple of months beforehand and I found it hard to be happy for myself leading up to the day, I even told my parents we didn't have to go because my graduation fell on the 2 month anniversary of my nephew's passing and not only was that hard for me but I felt like I was forcing my parents to leave their grievancies and be happy during a time when they didn't want to, but that wasn't the way it was at all. I know deep down that all my nephew would want for his family is success and happiness and knowing that is what allowed me to be happy and to graduate with a huge smile across my face, I was doing it for him. 

On the 15th of June 2017, I was offered an unconditional placement to undertake my masters degree. Like I said I enjoy academia and learning is one of my favourite things, so giving up university wasn't so easy for me. In April I applied for my masters to continue on at my current university and do marketing, a subject I slowly began to admire from afar during my time as a blogger. I was accepted as a conditional applicant just days later, but it wasn't until grades were released that I was giving my unconditional placement and further a scholarship. I remember the moment I got the email, I was visiting one of my sister's as she had just had a little boy earlier that month. my mum, my sister and I were chatting and my phone vibrated and there it was in bold letters. I couldn't believe it, I got in, I was going to study a subject I felt a rumble in my tummy for. So far it is going absolutely swimmingly with great grades and I am learning more than I had my entire undergrad, I could not be happier with my decision to continue in education. 

2017 Reflections | heythererobyn

The blog, oh the blog, how I loathed you this year. My blog really took a beating this past year and I could not be more upset or annoyed with myself for it. I continued to grow across social media and a tiny fraction on my blog, although my views have gone through the roof since last year, overall I became so unhappy with my corner of the internet. I can't tell you what happened this past year because I truly don't know much myself. All I know is that I found myself disconnected, I still wanted to blog, but I couldn't connect with most of my content, content I would have connected with any other time was just so clunky and unreadable, my content became boring and redundant, my writing style became unrecognisable, I mean I am probably making it out to be way worse than it was but trust me, great things are coming in 2018 when it comes to 2018, 2018 is the year of heythererobyn (well for me anyway). 

In 2017 I learned a lot about myself, actually, a lot is a bit of an understatement. I experienced a lot from the likes of my first bullying-esque experience to the passing of my nephew to graduating university, this year I felt a lot and it allowed me to understand myself better. I know my own strength a little better than I did before, I know that I put other's feelings before myself, I know that no matter what I always try to see a positive, I know that I am a slight push over and need to stick up for myself more, I know that I am smart and no one will be able to tell me otherwise, I know that I am me and I am weird and complicated and occasionally I make a really good joke. This year I learned a lot and I grew a lot, I allowed the situations around me to mould me, maybe too much leading to my lack of ambition when it came to my little blog, but I am now learning from that mistake. This year was a whirlwind, a rollercoaster and one that I would like to erase from the history books, but I know that doing that would not be right, after all, this year moulded me a lot, even if it was due to terrible circumstances, I wouldn't be me without this year. 

This year was all over the place and I could write about it for days, but I don't want to bore you. So how was your year? Write in the comments 3 things you are grateful for this past year. 

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The Blogging Goals of 2018

I have been blogging for a while now, it will be 3 years next year from when I began to take my blog seriously, but it has been a bit of a rough year which has taken its toll on my blog. I mean, I have reached all of my blogging goals from last year, but I just don't feel like I love my blog quite yet, but maybe, just maybe 2018 will be the year that all changes. I would like to think that as of 2018 I will finally fall in love with my blog, after all, I have been in love with blogging all this time, it would be lovely to finally fall for my own blog. I have taken a week off blogging this past week because a) I felt myself forcing content and I don't want to be that person, b) I had a crap tonne of uni work to get ahead of and c) I was/am ill and fighting what may as well be the bloody plague. In this week off I have planned and strategised and researched and I am back with a whole load of motivation that I have been lacking. I want to change heythererobyn for 2018. 

Little Mix - Hair came into my head as I thought about this one. I have broken up with the heythereobyn.com of the past and now I am getting a new haircut to prove I am over him and by a new haircut I mean a new layout. I am not 100% sure what I want yet, it is going to be hard to part with my current one as I do adore it and I put a lot of work into it to get it to where it is and a place that makes me happy, but it has to go, I want a fresh start. I want a more professional layout, I want to maybe add a splash of colour? I am not sure yet, but I definitely need to just have a blog makeover and create a space I am truly and utterly obsessed with the way I am with all my favourite bloggers' blogs. 

I don't think I will be changing my content a whole lot, my content is something I am very happy with, I like not fitting into a box of being 'just a beauty blogger' or 'just a lifestyle blogger' I cover a whole range of topics and I am happy with that. What I do want however is to publish better content, more engaging content, content that makes me happy while being engaging, entertaining and worthwhile. There is a load of posts on this website that I am proud of, but there is a load that makes me want to pull the covers over my head and hide because I hate them so much, I don't want a single post of 2018 to make me feel that way.

This one is kind of self-explanatory, I feel like I really slipped when it came to photography this past year. I don't think my photography has been as good as it could be and I feel like my lack of motivation for it is the cause. I have slim to none confidence in my photography skills therein I don't like to take photos, but I want to change that this coming year. 

This one is something I think we all struggle with and could do with less of in 2018, comparing ourselves to other bloggers out there. Why am I not on the same PR lists as her? Why has she got more followers than me? How come he gets more comments than I do? I want to stop this, I am tired of letting other people's success spark envy within me, it is something I don't really do in any other aspect of my life. I grew up with three older sisters and being the youngest I always hated how they would compete in grades, attention, looks etc so I have grown to compete with only my past self, except when it comes to blogging. When blogging I compare myself far too much and it truly does effect my self-esteem. 

This year has been a bit of a hectic one from beginning to end and along the way I have lost touch with the blogging community, I hardly talk to anyone, I never take part in chats, I don't comment on blog posts as much as I'd like to, heck I don't even read blogs as much as I would like to. I want that to change, in 2018 I want to communicate with fellow bloggers more, I want to post my favourite blogs on my Instagram stories or my favourite Instagram accounts, I want to take part on blogosphere chats, I want to be friends with people from within the community. 

Okay, so here is the number goals, the following numbers I want to reach across my social media platforms and so on, because of course one of my goals is to grow. All bloggers want to grow and numbers do matter, although not the most important factor. So here are the figures I want to reach by 31st of December 2018 23:59;
Twitter - 5,000 followers.
Instagrams - 2,000 followers (1,500 if they don't fix their bloody algorithm).
Facebook - 500 likes (I need to focus on this more in the new year, I have abandoned it).
Bloglovin - 1,000 followers.
I would like to double my unique monthly viewing figure and I would like to be happy in blogging and ready to set my goals for 2019. 

So what are your goals for this year? Do you have any blog based ones? What is your biggest blogging achievement of 2017? Tell me in the comments below.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland at St Enoch Centre

Have you ever walked in to somewhere during the month of December and you just automatically sing Winter Wonderland in your head? That is definitely how I felt last Tuesday when I was invited over to St Enoch Centre in Glasgow for their Christmas event. There was Santa, there was an elf, there were Christmas trees, tinsel, reindeers, presents and of course a bunch of gorgeous clothing items and beautiful beauty pieces. I spent most of my time walking around taking photos of everything, from the decorations to the clothing and beauty pieces, everything was just so photogenic and perfect. 

So if you're not aware, St Enoch is one of the big shopping centres in Glasgow city centre and for me, it may just be one of my favourites. It is home to Debenhams, Boots, Starbucks, Disney, Topshop and so much more. There is such a massive variety of shops and then even just popped in a cinema, adding in the amazing food court upstairs and you have a full days activity ready to go. I think that is why I love it so much, everything is just so easy. Especially at this time of year where you want to be inside as much as possible, being able to shop then go for food is so easy when you can stay under the one roof and not have to deal with the wind messing up your hair or dealing with an umbrella blowing inside out.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland at St Enoch CentreWalking in a Winter Wonderland at St Enoch Centre

Thankfully there was no messy hair or broken umbrellas on the night of the Christmas event. Upon arrival we were able to get our massive winter coats off and handed a drink, we had a choice of prosecco or orange juice. We then proceeded to have a look around, talking to the lovely workers both of the shops within the centre and workers from the PR agency and having a snoop at the pieces they had on show for the night. Within minutes of being in the event space I fell deeply in love with a faux fur coat from Topshop, I have actually linked in below in a collection of things I spotted at the event that I need in my life this Christmas. We then went over to the Guerlain section where we chatted to the lovely Harriet and Megan for a while discussing exciting new releases which are coming up soon, discussing my love for Mon Guerlain and how I was trying to get my hands on some for my mum's Christmas because she keeps stealing mine. 

Guerlain have so many amazing releases coming up and it was amazing to get to hear about them all, I definitely found myself getting more excited than I probably should have, but Guerlain has slowly become one of my favourite brands. They actually have a Christmas gold palette that I have also linked before in the goodies I want from the event, it looks absolutely stunning and has the most amazing neutral shimmer shades, perfect for anyone who likes a subtle yet glamorous look. 

Walking in a Winter Wonderland at St Enoch Centre

After Guerlain we had a chat with Olivia from The Body Shop, TBS is one of my all-time favourite places for skincare, in fact, a good 80% of my skincare is from TBS. I just adore their products and the morals behind them, I know when I shop with The Body Shop that the products have not been tested on animals, that they are natural and they work with my skin. We got to have a peek at the three Christmas scents, just like last year there is frosted berries and vanilla chai but this year spiced apple has been replaced by frosted plum. I adore the berry and plum scents but the vanilla chai is not for me, mostly because the smell of vanilla gives me a headache, even though it's the only syrup I'll take in a latte. Olivia was so incredibly lovely and bubbly chatting with us about her favourite products, telling us all about the advent calendar and doing short demonstrations on us. I may also have TBS products on my short wishlist below. 

Next up was Bobbi Brown, I adore Bobbi Brown and love so many of their products and it turns out there is now a gorgeous, massive counter in Debenhams inside St Enochs making it even easier to access, swatch and lust over the gorgeous products Bobbi Brown have to offer. If you recently read my wishlist you would know I included the gorgeous Christmas palette by BB and I got to swatch it all over my arm once again this Tuesday. BB eyeshadows are just so creamy and pigmented, I feel deeply in love with a gold single shadow that was on display and can definitely see myself picking it up after Christmas, it is just too good to miss out on. 

Walking in a Winter Wonderland at St Enoch Centre

To end the night we decided to have a little nibble at the vol-au-vent that was available prepared by the wonderful people at Kimble's. I am now obsessed and if Kimble's could just make me a dozen of each to go that would be great. I tried the roast chicken and stuffing which was absolutely stunning, even though I am not a huge cranberry sauce, I did, however, prefer the Turkey, sage and cream cheese because I am the biggest cheese fan to ever walk the Earth. Cheese is my one true love and I won't lie about that. I absolutely adored both of them and if I could have, I would have taken 12 of each home with me just for a little midnight snack. I need to get over to Kimble's for some tea and try to talk them into making me these gorgeous nibbles. 

So, I know what you're thinking, it's me, of course, I went into this event thinking "I don't need anything, I have control over my spending habits, I won't walk out of here with a wishlist the size of my forearm" but, it's me, of course, that didn't happen. I have a massive wishlist just from attending the event and here are my top six items of the night that I just have to pick up and get myself;

What is your favourite thing about Christmas? What is at the top of your Christmas wishlist? Tell me in the comments below. 

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Why I Won't be Doing Blogmas

I can't quite put into words how happy I have become with my blog in such a short space of time. I had a little bit of a rough time when it came to juggling my blog with my masters degree and throughout the months of August and September, I dipped in and out of blogging. Once I found where I wanted to be and I found my motivation for blogging it was easy to slide back into my three posts a week, especially because I have begun writing for me and focusing more on enjoying my blog than the numbers, although numbers will always be important to me. The only problem is juggling can be hard, it's tricky already when it's just university and blogging, but add in events, internships, life, family, social events and just all of the little things that come with daily life and things get very complicated.

I have always been someone who strives to be 'the girl who does it all' or the 'how does she do it?' girl. Y'know who I am talking about, that girl that manages to juggle all of the things in her life easily and somehow manages to also have a fabulous social life. That's the girl I always wanted to be, but being her isn't so easy. Don't get me wrong with my blog I am truly happy and with university, I am extremely happy, but sometimes I push myself too far. I try to do it all, I stay up to all hours of the morning then get back up 4 hours later to get to university, I don't take a day off and I'm not going to lie, I love it. One of my favourite things to do is to just spend a Saturday or a Sunday on my laptop from early morning into the evening, going between writing blog posts and doing university work and it is one of my favourite ways to spend my weekend, I know, you're probably thinking "what a saddo", but I wouldn't be juggling both if I wasn't completely invested in both.

I have been found to stress myself out, however, I find it hard to not be the 'girl who does it all' and because I just want to be able to juggle it all I often take on too much and it leads to a lot of stress. Just this week I somehow developed an ear infection which I am pretty sure has been stretched out because of how much I pushed myself to not let it get me down and stressing out about mundane things. I took yesterday off university after recommendation and it actually made me feel so much better, I still spent all day on uni work and blog work, but I was in my own home and comfortable. That's when I decided nope, I'm not going to do blogmas.

I've always wanted to try blogmas and maybe I will, but despite having masses of posts written up, I just don't think I need the added stress. I have found happiness with my blog, I post 3 posts a week and I've stopped feeling guilty if I miss one. I worry that with blogmas I'd push myself back into posting blog posts I'm not 100% happy with and I'd stress myself out about getting content out every single day and maybe it would result in me disliking my blog again and I don't want that. I have a lot going on with university and in life right now and so I think my best bet is to continue 3 posts a week throughout December despite my desperation for trying blogmas.

It is so important that I do things right by my blog and myself, I would hate to think doing blogmas would lead me to post content that I would otherwise never post or become even iller because I'd stress myself out. Sometimes I think it can feel like you're the only one not taking part in these trends and you worry people think differently of you for it, but it's better to post quality content and be proud of everything your blog embodies than be a trend follower. I actually spoke a little about this in another post that I will link here.

Are you taking part in blogmas? Why or why not? What do you think of juggling blogging with life? Tell me in the comments below. 

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