What I turned to in March 2020 to find some hope and keep my mind positive.
MARCH 2020 DIDN’T GO AT ALL ACCORDING TO PLAN
What a month. We will always remember March 2020.
I’m having moments where I am not sure what to post, as I am sure you can understand. While I’ve been sharing more blog posts, stories and sometimes Instagram posts lately, it is hard to know if it is right. Does anyone need to be shopping? Not so much. But I can tell that people are and I am getting plenty of questions for advice. So, in the interest of sharing the things I’ve loved across fashion and beauty largely, for now, I will keep on sharing.
I want to support the brands I know, trust and go back to again and again. Truly if I can help in a small way I am happy to. Around about now is when I usually do a roundup of my favourite things from the month prior.
So this is roughly that, with a very different filter.
In all honesty, I know how tough it is out there. Personally, I don’t like to discuss my income or workload but over the past few months, it has been really tough. I’ve not made a lot and have had to stretch what I get however I can. Maybe this is obvious in the sense that I haven’t been flush to do things like travel. I just have to find contentment and do what I can. A lot of people have lost their jobs, been told to take leave and so on. And it is stressful.
But stressing over it all hasn’t helped me. It’s allowed me to lose sleep a lot but never solved anything.
MY OWN EXPERIENCES WITH INCOME LOSS
In terms of work, a lot of my income over the last few years came from projects in collaborations with brands I love. They partner with me to generate content for my blog and socials sharing things I use and love. In terms of sustainability, that isn’t so practical. Circumstances and often budgets change. There are times I have a ton of projects like those, and other times I have nothing.
I aim to have a certain amount if I can per month. Enough to keep me busy/ earning a minimum but not too many that my posts feel ad-centric. (Either way, I only share brands I love.) If a few contracts get canceled and I don’t have a chance to get others in that place, I’m stuck. This happened at the end of last year and again at the beginning of this year. Just as things were starting to get busy again, the world has gone into lockdown, myself included.
So, I hope that clears things up a bit if you wondered what my job was. In addition, I also freelance work creating content for brands, be it photographic content, copywriting or video content. This has been where the biggest chunk of my income has been over the past year. I love working on those projects. Plus I don’t feel like my own social pages are then filled with too many sponsored ads which turn a lot of people off. I get it, I have been put off by excessive ads too.
While I only work unpaid or paid with products and brands I back 100%, there are other social media personalities who are not as credible. As with any industry, there are people who ruin it for others who work hard and stay authentic. I feel I can only lead by my own example and hope my community understands me.
The shift in the direction to work on content creation has been a welcome one for me. I really have to get around to putting a website portfolio and IG page together to advertise and share this work. Mario also works with me on various projects at times, as he is a graphic designer.
The last place I earn an income is through commission sales from my links, which I’ve explained in detail in this blog post. Essentially, with no added cost to the consumer, a brand rewards me with a thank you for referring people to them. This can be between 7 to 20% of the total cart sale price. It takes about 60-90 days for those payouts to be processed, so again, it isn’t the most effective income. And I don’t actually generate enough to say pay my rent each month from it. I see it as a bonus.
WE ARE ALL IN DIFFERENT SITUATIONS, SO I WILL KEEP SHARING FOR NOW
But as I said above, people have been asking me more and more about where to order this or that, what size to try, and so on. We are all in different situations. So, at least for now, I’ll mix up the lifestyle and personal posts with fashion and beauty recommendations. Styling videos and tips I think can be a helpful way to share ideas with you on how to style things you already have. Please reach out if you are stuck on how to style a certain thing in your closet. Or maybe you are trying to work out which colours suit you best or something like that. Hit me up. My IGTV styling videos are a good place to start, more on those here.
Now that I’ve overshared a disclaimer, here is a brief list of my favourite things in March, keeping it as positive as possible.
I love seeing how people are using their social isolation time to reach out to one another digitally. I’m seeing so many Instagram Live crosses, Q and A sessions, open chats and more. It’s the best time to call friends, keep in touch and share the basics like, how we are going.
I add this in every month, but I feel like I’ve recently leveled up somehow in my own routine and been able to push further. I am feeling much stronger and my posture has improved. That is the coolest feeling. As much as I love/ hate working out, there is no denying the improvements.
THE CENTR APP
I jumped on the Centr app when they announced the 6-week free trial. It’s been awesome, just in terms of using it to help plan my meals. I decided to use it to plan out a few weeks’ worth of meals as I’d just done two weeks on my own, combining recipes from my favourite cookbooks and some I’d saved online. It is so handy having them all in one app which quickly generates a shopping list too. One bonus is that the app is Australian based, so I don’t have to substitute ingredients that aren’t in season or available here. So far, so good.
With the workouts on the app, I’ve got it set to the advanced level and admittedly it is pretty intense for some of them but you can adapt it. Some are guided and some are self-guided. Thus far, I was still finishing out my existing month’s exercise plan so I’ve yet to try all of the classes. I will keep you posted on how I find them. Have you used the app? What did you think? How about any other fitness apps? I’d love to hear what you use.
Last month, I had this one on the list but I have it yet again, as it had been really hot here in March. Actually, this was further emphasized by the bright sun on our balcony. SO hot and so bright! Naturally, I turned to linen. I have a zebra linen jumpsuit (which also comes in a paisley print that I 100% want!) and this white shirt dress from Boden. Both have been so breezy but chic on the hot days. By the way, this dress came with a fabric belt but I swapped it for a leather one that I feel like makes it cooler.
Boden has also partnered with Helpforce, who coordinate initiatives to help make the lives of NHS staff and patients better. Boden is donating clothes to those that need them, from nightwear for NHS workers who can’t return home at the end of their shift, to clothes for recovered patients to wear when they leave the hospital. It’s been heartwarming to see so many bigger brands committing to initiatives like this.
GETTING DRESSED PROPERLY
Since going into self-isolation, which we started early, I’ve been trying to make more of an effort than I usually would get dressed properly. I already work from home so I’m usually in either activewear or jeans, a tee, and my Birkenstocks. Over the last few weeks of March I have been trying to make sure to wear a low heel shoe, sometimes a blazer and mix up the pants options, weather permitting. I’ve even made the effort sometimes to style my hair and put makeup on. I usually only do this if I’m going to an event or shooting photos.
JO MALONE LONDON LAVENDER
Two limited edition fragrances arrived late March from Jo Malone London and I was so so excited. I loooove Lavender. Like, I’ve loved it so much for so long people thought I was weird and super old fashioned. The two scents are Silver Birch & Lavender and a Lavender and Coriander Cologne. Though very different, I love them both and have been mixing them up day-by-day.
Good old fashioned blogging. Though, actually, I never stopped. I’ve been blogging now since about 2010. A good ten years! But while I’ve been trying to get a hold on the COVID-19 situation, blogging has been a good outlet. I’ve shared my
- healthy meal stock up plan,
- ideas on what to do at home,
- what to wear at home for work,
- my beauty for at-home self-care recommendations,
- where to find loungewear and
- the things that are keeping calm.
None of these posts were as planned. In fact, I have a month’s worth of posts I am putting off as they are all outfits shot outside and I’m not sure how much they will be of use now. Though, I don’t want to share them later only to find the things I am wearing have since sold out. So, I might just have to do a mixture going forward.
I guess the main thing has been to stay positive and hope other people are also doing what they can to help flatten the curve. I want to encourage people to limit their time outside so the pressure on our hospitals can be as minimal as possible. With friends who work on the Coronavirus wards, I am aware of the pressures and I can only stay positive for them. It’s scary, sad and easy to feel helpless. But if I can stay home for them I will. Even if or when the internet drops out and I am back to non-digital activities. Let’s all hope we see things improve rapidly and can get back to our normal day to day soon, even if it is forever different. I think it’s a great lesson in gratitude which nobody saw coming.
< SHOP THE LOOK >
Click the image icons or links to shop this look below.
BODEN LINEN SHIRT DRESS
BODEN DRAWSTRING BAG
VELA PEARL BRACELET
MEJURI CROISSANT EARRINGS
VELA DIAMOND BRACELET
Be sure to follow me on the LTK App to shop my outfits & beauty edits. Check out my LIKETOKNOW.IT page here. PHOTOGRAPHED BY: MARIO RECCHIA
BTW: as you lovely readers know, my links are sometimes affiliate links. This means if you do like something featured in this post and choose to buy it, I may receive a small commission from the brand as a thank you, at no cost to the consumer aka you! Usually, this is through blogger affiliate websites like rewardStyle.