Posts by Lauren Jewell

Isolation content

This isolation has pushed many accounts to change up their normal daily post and thrusted us into having to get comfortable with taking our content at home.  I can definitely say that for me its been a hard process to get behind, before we entered lockdown I feared that my account would have to start creating content from home, something I had never successfully been able to do. As someone who does not live in an typically aesthetically pleasing home I knew that it would be a challenge for me to create images that I liked and felt were good enough to post. In the first few days I continued posting my outdoor shoots praying that they would last me through the lockdown. Oh how I was wrong. It became clear quickly that I was going to have to bite the bullet and shoot at home. I started looking at what other people were creating fretting at the fact their content quality had not dropped and they were still creating amazing content at home.

My first attempt at home content shooting involved cello taping a white bed sheet to my wall, I’m not sure I recommend this as I tore all my wallpaper in the process. I got out my trusted tripod which had only been used once since I bought it after searching my whole room for it, and started shooting away. The easiest thing I could think of shooting was me sat in front of the camera posing indoors with sunglasses on, hoping my neighbours weren’t looking through my window at me.

 

My second attempt I knew I was going to have to change it up because I wasn’t going to be able to post sat down selfies in front of a white bed sheet forever. I started looking at peoples photos posing on their bed, as my room was not arranged in a way where I could get those photos I tried something different and put the duvet on the floor to look like a bed and this works perfect. My bed in my photos looks like it is right by a window which gives beautiful shadows. I can honestly say this was the best thing I did because it’s what I have done for pretty much every photo recently as it creates a nice texture to the photo. Also a simple flatlay!! Here are the images I created, I think a duvet just creates such an aesthetically pleasing background and helped keep my feed more together.

 

The newest thing I’ve been loving is playing around with mirrors and fake plants. Now I’m going to say it from the start mirror shots look amazing but they are hard work to ensure 1, you don’t have the camera in the reflection, 2 trying to get a good background in the photo. Here are some of the shots I have created using a mirror and some fake plants we had in the house.

As for now being told we are going to be in lockdown for a while longer, well I’m trying to come up with ideas for content but hitting a block…

Current Style Loves

So lets distract from everything that is going on at the moment and create an escapism, I find shopping is a great way to escape. If you are like me keep reading because I am going to be sharing my current faves at the moment and it won’t break the bank I promise!

Heels:

I have been loving recently paring my fave jeans with some heels and then just adding a top, doesn’t even have to be a particularly dressy one but it just works! I have been just loving this look and it is beginning to be my go to look especially for shooting content on Instagram because it is what I would wear as a go to. I have been reaching for my heels which I got from Everything 5 Pounds (Gifted) because they are just the right type of heel for jeans. You may not even have to buy new heels because I am sure you have ones very similar already. They are just a great way to dress up an average outfit and make it that bit EXTRA and who is not here for that!

Jeans:

So jeans have to be everyones staple right? I have about 5 pairs of black jeans (well they range in faded black colours) and about 5 blue jeans. My go to black jeans are actually from TU clothing, Sainsburys, they are the only ones that have kept their colour and they are just super comfy. My go to blue jeans are my Primark, vintage mum jeans for the price they are far superior to other brands, although they are a bit snug so may need to size up. I have a pair of Levi jeans and i have to say the quality of the Primark ones are very similar, they have the same feel and both look great!

Doc Martens:

I could dedicate a whole blog post to my boots, I just adore them, they are and will always be my best purchase. Mine are over a year old now but they still look incredible with everything. styling them is simple they go with everything, I wear them to placement, I wear them on shoots, I wear them casually and I wear them on walks. In short bite the bullet purchase them you will not regret it!

Belts:

You don’t need to break the bank with belts all mine are from Primark and they are perfect. You can stick a belt with nearly everything and it will take the outfit to the next level! I put them around my dresses most of the time to create a more cinched waist. My tips is don’t actually put the metal bit through the hole but pull it as tight as you can and use a bobby pin to secure it in place. The same can be said with any accessories, it just puts the look together, I feel I look more mature the more accessories I use, it looks like I have actually thought about my outfit!

 

#AdandProud

So recently one of my lovely Insta friends @helloellielouise_blogs started a new hashtag #AdandProud, it comes from the fact we as “Instagram influencers” are almost shamed from doing Ads on our account. Posting an Ad whether it be gifted or paid it takes effort, this effort is what you don’t all see. People just see the word Ad and continue scrolling yet on any other post people are happy to engage on it, what’s the difference?

The effort people put into Ad content is huge, its all the unseen, behind the scenes bit that is hard. Shooting any type of content for your page takes time, we all get criticised for wearing the same clothes, or isn’t that the same location as last week, all time time? What people forget is that some Influencers do this as a side thing, we still work, study and have a social life all alongside running a social media account. Growing an account organically is not as simple as just uploading a photo and hoping it will get some engagement, it takes hours of engaging with others, researching hashtags and looking up whats currently trending. We didn’t all just stumble into a growing account every influencer will have and will continue to work hard on their account and yet people shame us into feeling bad for posting an Ad or Gifted content?

Lets just set the record straight as well, not all #Ad means paid, it can mean that the person has been gifted an item in return for content featured on their account. Now there are lots of debates as to whether we should be accepting gifted content anymore but thats a whole other story. I can remember my first paid post, I was so excited a brand was going to pay me £25 (Not a lot but a lot to me for a post at the time) for one picture on my feed. What I hadn’t realised is the demands brands put on people when they are paying, I had to have the photo uploaded within one week of getting the item, I had to communicate back and forth with the brand around whether the picture I took was what they wanted, I had to rewrite my caption 5 times to make sure I had included everything they needed me to promote. Working full time alongside studying this demand was actually harder than it seemed even harder when the weather is pants, and then my big £25 felt like not a lot of money. Taking the image for the brand had taken me 2 hours to shoot, 30 minutes to edit and then 3 hours worth of emails back and forth not even taking into account the time to post and engage with those who were commenting on it. So I did 5.5 hours work for £25 thats just over £4.50 an hour, thats less than minimum wage.

Sadly this is the reality most people don’t see, it’s not as easy as everyone shames people into thinking it is. So what if your favourite influencer has posted more than one #Ad in a week, what about all the other weeks when they posted none. I think we should all be supporting others with their #Ads not making people feel bad about posting them, why shouldn’t you engage with a post just because it’s an Ad its still the same influencer behind it.  So make sure if your posting an Ad you use the #AdandProud because you know what

You should be proud!

 

Where to go in Bath

 

So your thinking of heading to Bath, well this blog post will point you to all the best places to visit on your trip. Bath is a stunning city located in Somerset, it is about 2.5 hour drive from London and a 2.5 hour drive from where I live in Plymouth.

Where to stay?

Bath is not short on gorgeous hotels you can stay in some beautiful hotels in around the city centre for a more indulgent weekend or if your on a bit of a budget there are some cheaper options like the Premier Inn. Here are some options for hotels that are in the city centre.

The Gainsborough Bath Spa
The Gainsborough Bath Spa

This 5 star hotel is based in the centre of Bath close to some of the main attractions such as the Thermae Bath Spa.  The hotel is decadent in design and will most certainly make you feel like royalty. When you book to stay in this  hotel you get full access to spa facilities and yoga classes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abbey Hotel
Abbey Hotel

This 4 star hotel is also based in the city centre close to all the attractions I will be mentioning in this blog post. It is cheaper than the Gainsborough Bath Spa hotel but doesn’t offer the same spa facilities.

 

 

 

 

 

Premier Inn City Centre

Or if you on a budget like we were definitely take a look at the Premier Inn in the city centre we got a room for £33.oo for the night and it was so close to everything we wanted to do.

I have also stayed in the Premier inn in Trowbridge and drove into the City Centre as its not too far away and can be cheaper than the city centre version.

What to do

Whether your after pretty Instagram pictures or there for the history there is plenty to do in Bath. I went to get some cute photos but also to explore the city so here are a few things that I recommend doing on your visit.

The Crescent

Now are you even on Instagram if you have not seen pictures of people in front of The Crescent! This has to be an iconic place in Bath for Instagram photos and of course I obliged it would have been rude not to. Here are a few snaps I took, when we went it was empty but we were the crazy people taking photos in the pouring down rain.

The Crescent is now home to a 5 star hotel, private housing and there is a museum in Number One showing what it would have been like in the Georgian era. So if you want a bit of history with your Instagram shot definitely check out Number One.

The Roman Baths

Have you even been to Bath if you don’t check out the Roman Baths. If you are planning on going to Bath I would purchase your tickets online as you can save yourself £2.00 on each ticket. It is cheaper to go to most things in Bath on a weekday which is what we did to save ourselves some extra money. The Roman Baths were so interesting and we spent around an hour walking around. When you have bought your ticket you get a free audio guide to help with some of the explaining around the Baths which I found so good. It was so good to hear about the history of Bath without having a tour guide rush you around.

 

 

The Thermae Bath Spa

This was by far the best bit of the trip, I was kindly gifted the access to the Spa to take photos but was not obliged to post any blog posts so this is all my opinion. The Spa is stunning from the moment I stepped in, it was so tranquil, we were greeted with towels, robes and flip flops for our two hour slot . I headed straight for the iconic spot the rooftop pool, the views were incredible I got there before opening time so were able to see the sun rise. As for the pool itself I was so surprised by how warm it was I knew it was going to be but yet still didn’t expect it to be as warm as it was due to it being outside. I had the whole pool to myself and got to watch the sunrise and shine on the Abbey! It was perfect.  I then headed down to the steam rooms, they all had their own unique designs and were so relaxing. For the last part of the tour I headed down to the pool on the bottom floor, again it was lovely and warm but this time it had a lazy river in which was so cool. I was able to grab a pool noodle and just float around the pool in complete tranquility. As it was a press tour I was able to take my camera to capture some photos of the Spa but normally they have a no phone and camera rule which I love because it means for two hours you can zone out from the outside world and just soak up the minerals from the Bath water and enjoy the moment. I can’t recommend this place enough it has to be a must on your to do list in Bath!! Like most things its cheaper to go in the week £37 for two hours but if you do go on the weekend its not that much more £42 for two hours. If you think two hours is not enough you can add an extra hour for just £10. We went early in the morning but I will say we were so relaxed after we didn’t really feel like doing much else.

The Abbey

One of the most beautiful places in Bath, you can either take a photo outside or pay a donation and take a look inside the beautiful abbey. I did take a little trip into the abbey to see the architecture from inside and it did not disappoint. The donation is optional but they do suggestion a donation of around £5 for adults and £2.50 for children.

Sweet Little Things 

Now if you are after a cute Instagram cafe which food looks as good as it tastes then head to the little cafe Sweet little Things. It has the perfect backdrop for all those Instagram shots that give you Bali vibes and the most amazing food. I opted for an afternoon tea which had a variety of sandwiches, a scone and cream and some little cakes to top it off. I couldn’t finish it all because of how big the portions were so I was able to take the left over cake in a box to save for the car journey. I was kindly gifted my afternoon tea and will be definitely coming back on my next trip to Bath! Make sure to check out their Instagram for food and location envy.

I hope you have enjoyed my blog post about Bath, I will be doing alot more of these soon. Be sure to follow me on Instagram @LaurenJJewell and my travel account @Travelswithjewells 

How safe is the internet?

So a few weeks ago I went to a public lecture at my uni, I didn’t even know these existed before but it basically is a lecture open to the public. The lecture was around the safety of the internet and how to keep kids safe online. It got me thinking how safe is the internet really?

You only have to type in google “Tic Tok” or “snapchat” and you will have a page full of headlines telling you how dangerous they are and that they are the worst thing in the world. Now being an “Instagram Influencer” I definitely think about how safe I make myself online as I do share a lot online and its finding that line where you are sharing enough but not sharing everything that could make you unsafe. This area for me is still grey doing what I do on Instagram, I always worry am I posting too much, should I post that photo of me in a bikini, studying what I do as well it makes this grey area even bigger as we are meant to keep our social media pages more private. I still chose to post on my Instagram as I feel I can keep myself safe and I would never post anything I felt was going to come back and bite me.

The lecture spoke about what parents should do around their children’s internet usage, its crazy how many parents have no idea what these apps are and what they can be used for. Now I am going to add that it is a small minority of people who abuse these apps and use them to target younger sometimes vulnerable children but it does happen!! However, if you are a parent and you type these apps into google the papers would have you believe that everyone on the app is out to get you and that you can never be safe on the internet, this has some validity but there are some people who just want to use the app for what it was designed for. You can imagine reading these papers the first instinct for many is OMG what is my child doing, I need to take them off this immediately, but ask yourself what are you really gaining from this? Yes okay they may not use Snapchat and be safe from people on there but the next big app will come along and they will be using that instead.  What are we really teaching people by removing everything from them? Are we not just giving them the opportunity to find the next best thing?

The lecture talked about how providing a safer space for people to talk openly about what they are doing online is much safer than taking it away. How can we teach safety when your instinct is punishment? Now I use social media a lot and there is so much that even I don’t understand, which makes me wonder well how safe can you ever be on the internet? As the whole world of apps and social media develops the way we need to look at online safety needs to adapt and move with it. What worked for me when I was younger won’t work now, the younger generation have the whole world at their finger tips and these apps bring everything closer. Instead of shying away from these apps I think we need to embrace them, learn about them, encourage safe usage, this is in my view the only way we can get safer on the internet!

 

It’s a New Year

Now I will try not to follow the same path as every other blog post you have read about the New Year but I can’t make any promises. 2019 has been a good year in terms of so many different things, I got to tick Bali off my bucket list, I got to go on a all girls holiday, I made it to third year of Uni, I grew my Insta and got to collaborate with some amazing brands. How do I top this year, how do I make 2020 the best start to a decade? Well here in this blog post are some of my goals for next year, we can check back next year and see if I do achieve these!

1) Graduate- I want to graduate next year, I don’t want to resit the year I want to finish my University journey and graduate with the rest of my class. I want to say goodbye to student me and hello to adult me (well I’m not sure graduating will make me anymore mature).

2) Get my first real job- by this I mean a job that is a career, whether it be in Social Work which is my degree or by somehow managing to land myself the Wowcher job.

3) Be looking to buy our house- by this time next year I want to be able to look to buy a house and have a mortgage in place ready for when we find our perfect home.

4) Go on one last exotic holiday- I’m graduating and I want to celebrate in style with a nice holiday, I’ve not decided where I want to go yet but I think after three long years at uni I will deserve this holiday!!

Okay so this one maybe a stretch but you never know…

5) Get to 10K on Instagram- I know I know this maybe unachievable but I never thought I would get to where I am now with Instagram so this may just be achievable.

6) On the same note Up My Insta Game- I’ve let it slip of recent and I want next year to be a fresh slate and up my content, I want to not just be posting for the sake of it but making every post count!

7) Finally hit the gym and work out which I have been saying for the last 5 years and never doing (will be interesting next year to see if I stick to this one!)

8) Not waste money on clothes- this year I don’t want to be buying new clothes for the sake of it because I am bored and am finding myself online shopping. Instead I want to save that money for our house.

9) Stop being so anxious, I suffer with anxiety and this year I want to pus myself to overcome it, I don’t want to not go to things because I am too scared instead I am going to start saying yes more to new things.

10) Have the best year- I want to start this decade on a high so what better than having the best 2020 that I can.

This year I want to grab life by the reins and enjoy every minute of it, each New Year comes around faster than the last and I want to be sat next year typing this blog post thinking wow look at everything I did, look back with no regret and smile at what I have achieved I want to make 2020 a year to remember, I’m not sure what will be instore yet but I can tell you one thing, I am bloody excited to find out.
2020 LETS HAVE IT!

What quitting my job means to me

Recently I said goodbye to my first ever job which I had since the age of 17. My job was a sales assistant for Marks and Spencer which I did for a year, and then got a promotion to a Team Leader which I did for the last 3 years there. This post won’t be about the job but what it represented to me and what leaving has meant to me. This job has seen me through college, and my first 2 years of uni, in a weird way I grew up there. It has given me the opportunity to save for a home and also contributed to all my holidays, which made all the hours worth it even when I questioned why am I waking up[ at 5am for this.

Now in my final year of uni I decided that I needed to take a higher priority in my degree which meant leaving my job, I was struggling to manage full-time placement hours alongside work and assignments. So I decided the only thing to do would be to leave. I left nearly a month ago and now am coming to terms of what that means in my life. This job for me represented my childhood still, I wasn’t a real adult with a career yet, I wasn’t a uni graduate and it took me a while, in leaving I had to accept that this door was closing, my safety net job was gone. It wasn’t until I was at my leaving do that I realised, the next job I get will be my career, in less than a year I will be fully qualified and will be entering the world of Social Work. My next job no matter what sector of Social Work I go into will be playing massive roles in people’s lives and improving them for the better. Since leaving I have had to come to terms with the fact that this time next year I don’t know where I will be, for the first time in 4 years I don’t have a plan and that scares me. As this year is flashing before me, final year will soon be over and I am not sure I am ready with what comes after graduation. All year we think about how we can’t wait to walk across that stage and pick up your certificate but we don’t all think what happens after that.
For the first time in 4 years I am worried, I haven’t got my safety net job, I haven’t got Student Finance there ready to bail me out and it scares me yet at the same time it’s exciting. As I sit and rewrite my 16 year old CV and turn it into a professional CV I realised that my life will really begin then! By September next year I hope to have my career all set up and working towards my future. But I sometimes can’t help but think am I doing the right thing? Am I just following the norm, get a job, save for a house, buy a house. Is my life meant for more than that, am I meant to just follow this path I have been told is the right thing to do or am I do diverge and look at what life brings? Do I just take a year to “find myself” travelling, do I throw myself into blogging and wait for the payoff, or do I just simply follow the norm? With no clear path for next year I am finding myself questioning everything. I don’t think you will ever know if you chose the right thing but I do think that any decision I do decide to make will be the making of me and I can’t wait to see it through!

My travels so far

If you don’t already know by now I love travelling, well being on holiday. I genuinely hate the feeling of not having another one booked for next year at the moment so I thought to try and take my mind off it I would write about my travels so far as I start this I am unsure whether I want to make this a series talking about all the places in detail or whether to summarise but stay with me here and we will see together.

So I guess it makes sense to start from the beginning, I will be blogging about my travels in the recent years that I have funded myself rather than ones I went on with family as I can’t then tell you the cost of things. My first solo travel without my parents was to Rhodes, Greece with Sam for my 18th birthday. We left for Greece on my birthday (4th August) and flew from Exeter which was perfect as it is a very small airport and less than an hour away from Plymouth so meant we didn’t have to travel far. Our flight was late in the afternoon which meant we didn’t get to the hotel till gone 10pm which meant most of my 18th birthday was spent in an airport and a plane. Call me spoilt but it wasn’t an ideal way to spend my 18th! We went half board which meant we only got breakfast and evening meal included. The hotel was nothing special and for our first holiday away it was perfect. Rhodes old town was about a 30 minute bus journey away and I still remember now the fear I had getting on to this bus fearful that we might get lost and would be stuck in Rhodes. By the fact I am writing this now you can guess that didn’t happen.

Rhodes itself is beautiful and I would love to go back for sure, we did a boat trip where the boat had a glass bottom and the diver was showing us different fish from under the sea. we explored the markets and the old town but looking back I wish we spent more time there as we only did it twice in the week holiday as we were so scared we would miss the bus back. I think this was more because it was both of our first holidays away from family so we were a bit nervous. I don’t really have much more to write about Rhodes as it was 2015 we visited and we both were reluctant to go very far for too long, this is definitely not the case now!

Our next holiday together was 2016 Antalya, Turkey, let me tell you this was one of the best hotels we ever stayed in. we stayed at Aska Lara Resort & Spa, it was our first experience of 5 star which we now do on most holidays. Lara Beach, the area is stunning, the beach is perfect not too rough seas and the perfect sand. We did lots of water activities like paragliding, banana boat and jet ski’s. the whole holiday was amazing and we would definitely go back that’s for sure. We went when the hotel was brand new so it was a little cheaper but I would say it is worth every penny the food is amazing, the waterpark was super fun and Turkey in general was amazing. On our last full day we did have an incident which did make us feel unsafe and not want to be there. We went to the markets to just have a browse, when we went in one shop the man was persistent in making Sam try on a jumper, little did we know the other man locked us in the shop. When Sam said he didn’t want the jumper the man shouted at us and swore at us then physically pushed us out the shop telling us to never come back. Only being 18 and 19 we were both really scared and practically ran back to the hotel, looking back now we laugh about it but at the time it was a really horrible situation which could have ended a lot differently. We tried not to let this one experience taint our whole holiday but for a while it did because it was scary, now we are a bit older we don’t find it so scary and would go back but would just watch out for this in the markets.

I think for one blog post that maybe enough but stay tuned for the next batch of our holidays, coming next Florida, Venice, the cruise and Bali.

My go to makeup routine

I love creating makeup looks and trying out new things but I thought I would share with you my go to routine when I want to do something a little extra. I always go for this eyeshadow look because I find it super easy and love the final outcome although no photo does it justice. Anyway here is what I do.


I start by preparing my skin as I normally go for a heavier make up look and use a high coverage foundation so don’t want to trigger any reactions in my skin. I like to use Dermalogica Start Clear moisturiser as my base. Whilst waiting for this to sink into my skin I apply the Jolen crème bleach to my upper lip to lighten any darker hairs as when you put foundation on it can give the affect of even darker hair.

I was kindly gifted the Jolen Crème Bleach to try and review, I jumped at the opportunity as I had used the product for years and knew that I already loved it. I have always used the sensitive one and have never had any reactions to it but definitely patch test it before you try it out for yourselves. It lightens any dark hair you may have, I find I get darker hair above my lip and Jolen does a fab job of getting lightening it. I have always been conscious of the hair so have lightened since the age of around 15, so this collaboration couldn’t have been any better matched to me.

For my eyeshadow I used my PIXI palette which was a collaboration with @Thatsheart. It blends seamlessly and the pigmentation is incredible, it has the perfect colours for this time of the year. For foundation I use Dior which has a matte type finish. Then because its Christmas I’ve been adding a shimmery lip from PIXI glosses.

If you guys ever want me to create a video around this please let me know, would love to try it if that’s what you guys would all like.

How I have saved £10,000 in less than two years.

Yep you read that right I have managed to save £10,000 in less than two years.  I know your thinking but wait Lauren’s a student and yes you are right I have saved this whilst being a student. I have also not been one to shy away from a holiday or two as well each year as you all know. So here is a guide of how I have managed to save myself £10,000 and not lived my life on a complete budget.

So I think the best way to save money is to have a reason for saving, whether that be for a holiday, a deposit on a house, a new car or even just for a shopping trip. I am saving for a deposit on a house which is a big motivator in my saving as I know that the more I can save now the easier it will be. If you have a reason to save for it makes it harder for you to crack and take the money back out of your savings as you know that money is for something else.

First off if you are saving for a house I highly recommend the Help to Buy ISA for every £200 you save the government put in £50 when you cash out. Also the actual interest rates are much higher than any other cash ISA accounts. I have spoke about this more in depth in my other blog post budgeting as a student.

Other ways to save, so I am fortunate enough as a student to get student finance and also work alongside. I often save well over half of my student finance and put it into premium bonds each time. The bonus with premium bonds are they are out of sight out of mind, I always forget how much I have in my bonds because I don’t see them in my bank account all the time so it’s a great way to save because you can’t see it. Each month there is also a draw where each £1 of your bonds are entered to win a cash prize.

Disclaimer I do still live at home with my parents which has allowed me to save a lot more money but why should this been seen as a bad thing! So many people right me off because I still live at home but I just think well I have been able to save a lot of money, go on holidays to places like Bali and run a car. So if you can there is no shame in staying at home and living with parents, why pay for rent elsewhere when you can live at home and save for something else??

I work full time from when I finish uni in May right up until September when I go back, this way I can earn as much as possible in order to save as much but also it means that by the time student finance arrives I can actually put most of it if not all of it in savings because I have money left from my pay. Whilst at uni for the last two years I have worked alongside studying so that I can afford to save and also still go on holidays. If you remain organised then it’s easy to do it.

I hope this guide helps and that you guys found some options of how you can too save money.