The Beginning—Take 2

Romantic London

I know what you’re thinking. If you’ve been following me along my blogging journey you’ll notice I haven’t posted in so long! And if you haven’t, well I welcome you to what I hope will be a regular blogging experience that I can fit into my work-life integration system.

I think one of the reasons it’s taken me so long to get back into things is because I’ve been limiting myself, topic-wise. If you’ve ever blogged before then maybe you’ve also felt that same ‘I’m-not-completely-sure-what-my-brand-is’ feeling.

I’ve been taking social media courses over the past few months that have really helped me identify my interests and what kind of “different” perspective I can provide.

In the current world we live in, finding out what your unique traits are is crucial. There’s a fine line between admiration and imitation of those we find inspiring, which is something I’ve been thinking about recently.

I used to think that there was an exact science to creating the perfect website—you get that streamlined, modern design (which often comes at a price), promote throughout different channels and provide continuously spectacular content.

I’ve decided to take a more organic approach and see where I wind up. Blogging is supposed to be fun, right? And I really do love this writing style. Expect spontaneity if you do continue to read any of my future writing, because it feels more like an adventure when I step back and let the words flow—plans be damned.

SIDE NOTE: I am still interning in London, England (for PR) this fall (2016). I am excited about this new chapter and will share my thoughts along the way! (This isn’t a plan, though). 😉

Have any of you ever prolonged writing because of that ‘all-or-nothing’ mindset?

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Plans for 2016

Anyone who’s been keeping up with my posts since the beginning might notice that I’ve been quite absent over the past few months! Well, let me tell you, I’m back. I’ve been keeping myself very busy with working full-time, taking online social media courses, volunteering with my university’s alumni association as a Social Media Officer, and developing my Twitter profile. I am officially accepted into an internship program for public relations in London, England for the fall, and I have many exciting things planned over the next few months.

Let me start by out by outlining what I intend to do with this blogging platform:

  • Create fashion/beauty/lifestyle posts every Tuesday
  • Create travel posts every Thursday
  • Post occasional updates on anything else happening in my life (on Saturdays, perhaps?)

I have always possessed a particular aesthetic for images, products and scenery. I enjoy collecting and storing these things in a database, and different media networks allow me to do so. I have also always wanted to travel abroad, and I am greatly looking forward to getting this chance come September. I plan on posting any travel tips I come across, along with stunning photos that other travellers have taken along their own journeys.

I will be creating content by next week, so hopefully by February I am posting regularly! I also plan on developing my Pinterest account and my Instagram account. My Twitter page is devoted to fashion, beauty, media, and travel; essentially, it’s the micro-version of my ideas for this network. For my Instagram, I plan on fully committing to a white theme comprised of mostly fashion and beauty photography. I will provide links to them here when I feel they are worthy…

Lastly, I hope to use both this network and my others to get to know other bloggers interested in these same areas of focus. From social media to fashion and travel, there are endless avenues to pursue that are all equally beautiful and exciting.

Any beauty/fashion/lifestyle or travel bloggers out there have any tips? How did you start blogging? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Volunteering with House of PainT

So, it’s been a while since my last post, and that’s because I’ve been busy volunteering! It has been quite the experience. Working full-time and volunteering during my down-time has been tiring but enjoyable nonetheless. I still think it beats all the readings and assignments from school. One of the places I have been volunteering the past few weeks is called House of PainT. And yes, that ‘t’ is capitalized! They are an Urban Arts and Culture festival that runs in September with music performances, live art, and many other cool activities.

At first, I began by helping out with social media. This included creating possible tweets for Twitter, along with making lists for badge identification for all involved with the festival. I definitely found the social media aspect interesting; it’s crazy how much of an impact those little reminders you see in your feed have on things like fundraising and getting noticed by the right kinds of people. Much of what happens through these media networking sites requires precision with timing and appropriate tags/hashtags that are easily searchable.

Along with being in their office working on these tasks from my computer, I got to see how people outside of school actually do things. It may sound weird, but it’s quite exciting to see how people interact when they aren’t studying or talking about their classes. I really have no idea what life is like outside of school, and even my boss at work asks me what it’s like to finally be done since it’s been about 18 consecutive years of school with no break! And the past few months I haven’t really had an answer.

But now that I have an insanely busy schedule, I feel more productive than I did in school. Mainly because with volunteering, it seems like I am adding something to the community while meeting new people with similar interests to myself. And with my job in retail, I’m at least saving a lot of money for my future travels which will then benefit my career if I land an internship abroad. As much as there were good times during university, it didn’t feel like I was contributing enough.

There was first the fact of tuition that I paid out in full every semester with my own money (okay, and 25% of help from my parents and scholarships), which was a downer. Then there’s the strange feeling of completing assignment after assignment only to have it marked by someone who was also marking hundreds of very similar papers. It just didn’t feel distinctive enough for me. Those who I were involved with for House of PainT felt more interesting and exciting than the tedious life of the average university student.

Anyways, here are some pictures that I took from the event! There are a few that were taken from last year’s festival, which I personally find quite gorgeous. I’ll have to go back and see what the final version looks like from this year, as I have a lot of pictures that are in the midst of being painted. By the way, the graffiti writers were painting on a bridge underpass, it was the first place in my city that legally allowed graffiti, which was in 2003. Enjoy these pictures! I did edit them, my ancient 8MP iPhone 4s could only do so much.

On a side note, the new Communications Coordinator for the festival (who awesomely has the same name as me) had a lens that attached to her iPhone. How cool is that?! If anyone knows of great, but inexpensive, cameras for taking pictures, please leave a comment! So far I have been looking into the Canon PowerShot G7 X. Within the next year I would like to get a camera for travelling that could also be great for taking shots on the train from London to Paris and Switzerland.

Info for House of PainT:

Website: http://www.houseofpaint.ca

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HouseofPainTFestival

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HouseOfPainT/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/houseofpaint

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ_96kV1v43zBgk2eE8YsAg

Instagram: https://instagram.com/houseofpaint/

Volunteering

It’s funny how fast time flies by. I haven’t done too much this summer since I’ve been trying to figure out what my plans are for this year. I decided to work as close to full-time as I can get from my retail job to save money for possibly going to London next September for an internship abroad. On Wednesday I also had a few meetings with volunteering opportunities, and now I am officially doing three regularly and one on an event basis. One of the meetings I had was a legit interview, which was a bit nerve-wracking since I haven’t had one of those since 2012 for the retail job.

I got the position, which is mainly being responsible for posting social media updates one day a week on campus about upcoming events. There’s a lot I need to learn first though, since I am pretty new with the whole Twitter thing. So I’ve been practicing with my own personal account but am having a hard time gaining followers. I’m also not too sure what to post, but I might just treat it like Facebook for now and see what happens. Hopefully I don’t manage to screw up my University’s account, there are a few thousand followers so my grammar and punctuation must be carefully edited.

I’m also responsible for fundraising for an animal shelter, which again, is a lot to prepare. We don’t plan on having an auction until November, but I need to start calling stores and businesses to see if any are willing to donate a small amount worth of products. In exchange, we provide some local promotion on our social media pages (the animal shelter’s, not my personal ones). I’ve never made cold calls before, so there’s that to look forward to. I’m hoping to start an online fundraiser as well, just to add to that since I have no idea how successful I will be at these calls.

I also volunteered to help out twice a week at this other organization which hosts events for local artists and musicians, which requires more work with social media. This one is really fun, and the atmosphere is extremely chill. I was able to be myself right away which is rare for me, considering my introverted nature. I’m usually more of a silent observer for a while, but here I felt quite excited from the start. It helps that everyone there is close to my age. I’m hoping that I will be able to keep volunteering there every once in a while, even after the events are done for September.

Lastly, there’s this event-by-event opportunity with the Ottawa Hospital Foundation, requiring volunteer work with set up and support for members participating in events to raise awareness for Cancer. This one isn’t as tied in to social media as the others, but I really just liked the idea of helping out for such a cause. Now that I’m not in school, I really think I need to get more involved with the community. It’s crazy though. You’d think that since I am now out of school I would have more free time on my hands, but now I work 5 days a week and volunteer on my days off. I feel happier now, though.