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  • is blogging dead

    Do you think blogging is dead? It sure seems like a lof of people think so. Just do a quick search on Google. Or look at people solely focusing on Instagram or TikTok. Essentially putting all their eggs in the same basket. And leaving blogging or not giving it a second thought. Well, I think blogging is not dead. I think it is well alive and getting stronger. And below are six reasons why!

    1. Blogging is beyond trends

    There are trends in social media. One day, Twitter is in, the next it is not. And a few years later it’s back in full force. As time comes and goes, so do social media. Sometimes it is a trend, some other times a buzz. Look at Vero. Gone as quick as it arrived. Snapchat, which is losing users. Look at Facebook, super popular a few years back, deserted by young demographics, adored by older demographics. We have seen people switch from one social to another to keep up with trends, buzz, what is currently in. People have not deserted blogs. Blogging has not been discarded on the side because other social media are proving popular right now. Blogs are still there, they are staying and people are still reading them.

    2. Blogs beyond to bloggers

    Ah, this. Should Instagram shut down, all your photos will be gone too. Same for all the other social media out there, where you might have a profile. Because you create a username and a profile but you will never own it. It is not yours. You are just using it. Instagram can delete your profile as it sees fit. Like when you use nude photos of yourself to raise money for Australia. Men can show their penis, no problem, but a women’s skin? Oh god no! Not the point though. When you start a blog, if you buy a domain name, the blog is yours forever. I mean, as long as you pay for your hosting. Except is out of a sudden all blogging platforms and hosting company shut down, you will always have your blog. And be able to download a back up should anything arise.

    3. Blogs are informative and searchable

    When people have questions, where do they go? Who do they ask? Instagram? No, of course not. Instagram is not a search engine. People use Google, Bing, Yahoo or any other search engine. And the particularity of those search engines? They index websites. And they pick up information, keywords from those websites to find who has the answer and what to show to whomever typed in a request. Blogs are informative. They provide information about different topics, niches, fields, that people are looking for. Blog are searchable because they are indexable. You can find them via search engine. People need information and they will go wherever they need to, to get answers. Which won’t be on other platforms most of the time.

    4. Blogs are evergreen

    The lifespan of an Instagram story is twenty-four hours. The lifespan of an Instagram photo might be around seventy-two hours. Simply because once it is posted, it will get immediate attention and engagement, then will slowly drown in all the content, be pushed back to make space for new content and be forgotten. Same with Twitter, Facebook, etc. And the content on social media is not content that you’ll be looking for or that you’ll be able to find again. Except if you remember the name of the user, check their profile until you find said piece of content. But in general, it won’t be content that will be used in the future. As opposed to blogging content which is evergreen and is permanent. As long as you don’t delete a blog post, it will be there, on your blog, indexable by search engines and foundable. Your blog content will always be there for people to find.

    5. Blogs are good for SEO

    SEO is something big these days. Whatever your industry, go SEO is the secret to make your website searchable, make it rank higher in search request, get it seen and get new business. The better your SEO, the better your chances that people find you. How to improve your SEO? Of course, there are a lot of things you can do yourself. However, some others things can only be done by working with other websites or blogs. Like backlinks, increasing your domain authority, reaching out to new audiences, etc. Websites need backlinks because search engines will give more credit to websites that have a good number of quality backlinks, and consider those websites more relevant than others in their results pages for a search query. And how do you get backlinks? By working with bloggers!

    6. Blogging is evolving

    And finally. The main reason why people might think blogging is dead. And why it is not. These days, blogging has another name so that’s why we might think that it is not as big as before. Nowadays, blogging is content marketing. That’s it, that’s the new name. And a much shinier one at that. And bloggers? They are content creators. Blogging has evolved in a way that actually makes it much bigger now. It is not just writing blog posts, taking a few pictures here and there, tweeting once or twice a day. It goes far beyond that and represent much more work than it used to: copywriting, photography, editing, SEO, web design, web management, coding and HTML, sometimes filming videos, social media management, brand ambassadorships and collaborations, etc.

    Blogging is still there, strong and all but it is now called content marketing.

    is blogging dead is blogging dead

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    What do you think? Would you say blogging is dead? Are you a blogger? What’s your take on the topic? How did blogging evolve since you started?

    Thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope you liked this post.

    See you soon,
    Love,
    Corinne.

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    manage my time

    How I manage my time to do it all. What a clickbait title, am I right?! Like is it even possible to “do it all”? Social pressure out there push us to do a lot at once, reach many milestones in our twenties and sell us an ideal of people who do it all. Doing it all. What does that even mean? To me, everything and nothing. Since everyone has a different definition of what their “all” means. Myself included.

    And yet, I do manage to do a lot. That’s a conclusion I came to not so long ago. I work full-time, from 9am to 6pm five days a week. I also blog, twice a week. Meaning I write two blog posts a week, shoot photos for those posts, do some social media management to promote them. Plus there is some website management to do: plugins, SEO, blog speed, performance; which is a lot of time and research. I also have a booktube channel for which I post one video per week. Of course, as a fashion blogger Instagramming once a day, I also need to shoot street style photos. Plus I read on average five books a month. And I freelance on the side. 

    Add to that a social life, meeting friends, spending time with the husband in and outside the flat and OMG… it does sound like so much! It may also seem overwhelming. And I know some people have worried that I was doing too much. Although I understand their concerns, I also think that right now, I am managing my time so well, that I can “do it all” without feeling pressured, stressed or overwhelmed! So, how do I do it, then? How do I manage my time?

    1. Get organized

    I used to be so disorganized. In some aspects of my life, I still am. Everything was done at the last minute because I did not what I wanted to do or did not remember what I needed to do. Thus, it happened that things were half-done or just not done at all. How many times I did not think about my blog for days or ignored it just to realize later that I had nothing to post? How to manage your time starts with getting organized and deciding on what you want or need to do. For example, blogging twice a week, I need on average 8, sometimes 9 blog posts per month. I need 4 videos and 30 to 31 photos for Instagram per month, which I can use on the blog. Because I make videos about books, I need to read books. But I also want to engage with other booktuber so I need to watch their videos. And I just subscribed to the gym. For all that, I need time. You see, it all comes down to having time. Deciding what you want and need to do help knowing what you will have to do and start thinking of the time you will need to dedicate to each task.

    2. Make the right choices

    I talked about the opportunity cost of social media back in July. The concept is simple. In its most economic term, it is basically the fact that to do something, you need to give up on something else. To buy a book, you give up on money. To go to university, you give up on an income you could make working straight out of school. And to be on social media scrolling aimlessly and endlessly, you give up on what… Time! You got it! So, one of the secrets of managing and make the most of your time will be to make some sacrifices. Or to rethink how you used that time to make sure you get more out of it. In that particular blog post and another one on my Instagram consumption, I said that I chose to spend less time on Instagram: less scrolling, more engaging, and making a better use of that reduced time. If you want to get more time or get more out of your time, there will be things that you will need to spend less time on. That’s the trade off. And it’s inevitable.

    3. Plan ahead

    Right. So now you know what you need (or want) to do. As far as I am concerned, 8 blog posts, 4 videos, 31 photos, going to the gym, my freelance work, and a social life. Plus my full-time job of course. I sit down for 15 to 20 minutes at least once a month to come up with blog post ideas: I write down what I am being inspired by, what I would like to write about, what other are writing about, what people are searching online, etc. Then I save as draft some titles to write about later. You do not need to plan a month or two ahead. One week ahead, as I often do, is good enough. When I know what blog posts must be out when, I can start thinking about the content and the photos.

    4. Prioritize tasks and time

    Since you did a bit of planning, you know roughly what you need to do, when things are due. This works for both work and your private life. Blogging and other things as well. And because life is unpredictable, sometimes, you have to change your schedule. And prioritize tasks. Or just decide amongst all the things you have to do, which one is the most important. Do that first. Important things are often stressful. Sometimes a lot of work, other times daunting. But they always need to get done. Having them out of the way allows to relax, breathe and move onto less important tasks. Especially because as the day goes on, you have less and less willpower to do things and you might end up procrastinating. So, do the most important things first. It also helps with productivity.

    5. Do things in bulk

    Some things can take a lot of time. Such is the case of photos for instance. For example. I always shoot 3 to 6 outfits at once. I dedicate two hours to shooting but the commute adds an hour. If I did one outfit at a time, with the commute every time… I would be wasting a lot of time. Same with doing flatlay. You need to set up everything beforehand and tidy up everything afterwards. So better do a lot of photos at once. Especially as it may be easier to do a lot when you are feeling very creative and productive rather than hope that you’ll be as creative next time. The same goes for videos. I usually film three videos at a time so that I have three weeks of content. And since the equipment is out already, I should just take advantage of that. Instead of procrastinating the next time because I am being lazy with setting everything up.

    6. Combine things to save time

    Not to confuse with multitasking. Multitasking is a trap set by men on women to force them to always do more. Combine things that can be. For example, in the morning before work, I have breakfast and while I drink my coffee, I engage on Instagram. I do the same at lunch. And that is the only two times I am on Instagram actually. I go to the gym three times a week. To make the workout more enjoyable and also save some time, I catch up with Youtube. So while I am on the elliptical machine, I watch videos. It helps me save so much time in the evening that I can dedicate to other things like reading, or writing blog post, etc.

    7. Don’t force yourself

    And finally, last tip. Do not force it. If you sit down and cannot work, cannot think, are not productive, then call it a day. Have a break. Go do something else. Forcing yourself to do something while you are not able to, will only be a waste of time. Work done when you have no energy, no willpower, no creativity, no productivity often is work half-done that need some attention later on. Being productive is great, being good at managing time is amazing, but feeling good while doing it is important too!

    So that’s how I learnt to manage my time!

    manage my time manage my time manage my time

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    That’s how I manage my time. Or at least until now. What about you? How do you manage your time? What are your top tips to make the most of the time you have and be productive? How do you do all the things you have to do?

    Thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope you liked this post.

    See you soon,
    Love,
    Corinne.

    *Gifted items.

     

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    declutter your wardrobe

    To declutter your wardrobe is just as hard as unhauling books. I mean, getting rid of books is harder. And I will write a blog post about it. Later. I did it twice and OMG, it was difficult to make decisions. It can prove just as hard when it comes to decluttering your wardrobe. Because anytime there is an emotional attachment to something, whether because it was an impulse buy or because it was a gift, you always find excuses.

    “I might wear this dress this summer.”

    “If I pair this top with this skirt it might work.”

    “I will wear this eventually.”

    “I don’t know when I’ll wear this but I like the look of it so much!”

    Or any other excuse. But then, things stay in your wardrobe, unworn, abandoned, neglected. If like in Toy Story, your clothes could come to life when you are not watching, I am sure they’d be complaining. And sometimes, it is good to declutter your wardrobe. To make more space, to remove old things, to start anew. 

    How to declutter your wardrobe

    1. Get everything out of your wardrobe

    When you accumulate things, you tend to forget what you actually have in your wardrobe. Thus, trying to declutter your wardrobe while keeping everything on a hanger will not really help. Since you might not see everything you have, some pieces may stay hidden. Take every single piece of your wardrobe. Dresses, jackets, jumpers, shoes, underwear. Everything. Decluttering works better in an open space. You can put everything on your bed and then organize the space around you to separate your clothes in categories: keep, maybe, donate.

    2. Ask yourself the right questions

    Marie Kondo said you should ask yourself whether the things you possess bring you joy. Sure, I think it’s good to look at it that way. Although, it does not necessarily works for clothes. Some questions you may ask yourself:

    • Do you love that piece?
    • Does it fits you?
    • Does it looks nice on you? Is it flattering on you?
    • Do you feel confident wearing it?
    • How often do you wear it?
    • Is it in good condition?

    If you answer yes to all of those, keep the piece of clothing. Keep in mind that seasonality plays a big role into how often you wear certain pieces over others. If you are not sure about some items, put them on and look in the mirror. Ask yourself some of the questions again. Then you will know whether to keep or toss.

    3. Reorganize your wardrobe

    Now that you have decided what to keep or not, you can put back your clothes where they belong. The clothes you decided to keep I mean. Since your wardrobe is now free of any clothes, you can also reorganize and decide what goes where. Also, you can fold everything neatly, make sure all your clothes are nicely sitting on shelves or hanger. Same for your bag and shoes. The thing with hoarding and accumulating is that at some point you do not have space for current or new things. Thus, as far as I am concerned,  I do not really bother to keep things organized and neatly folded. I just throw things onto the shelves and it ends up being a huge mess.  So, having less means you can keep it n ice.

    4. Decide what to sell or donate

    I barely ever toss things away. Because I feel bad about it. Especially when it is something I paid a lot of money for or that I worn just once. The only way I bin something is because it is old, damaged, full of holes. Otherwise, I either sell or donate. Every single time I have moved out of a flat, I have donated massive bags of clothes to charity. When I am not in a rush, I will list everything on Vinted, very often using photos of the pieces I did for Instagram. However, after a month or two,  if the things have not sold, I will donate them. Because I can’t keep them in my wardrobe forever,  hoping they might sell. Whether you decide to sell or donate, make sure the clothes are always in pristine conditions. If there is a stain, a flaw,  some damage, it it goes to the bin.

    5. Be honest with yourself and keep your wardrobe decluttered

    I can already tell your answers to the section 2 of this blog post will be influenced by your emotions. What about that dress your wore once at prom but you love it so much because it brings back memories? Surely you cannot toss it, right? Well, yes, you can. If you will never ever wear the dress again, see the light of day and occupy space in your wardrobe, then it is just wasting away. Because unworn clothes will also be damaged. By time, dust, moth, etc. Sometimes you will bring up the investment you made. Sure, it will hurt to sell or donate that designer bag but again, what is the point in keeping if you will never use it? Sometimes, you gotta be honest with yourself, forget about that ROI or those memories. It all goes down to whether something is bringing you joy. Chances are, if you do not use something, it probably does not.

    declutter your wardrobe declutter your wardrobe declutter your wardrobe

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    Leather Jacket – Shein
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    So, here are my top five tips to help you declutter your wardrobe. Let me know if you have any more and how you do it. Also, how often do you going over your wardrobe and do some cleaning up. Do you find it difficult to get rid of clothes, even those you do not wear?

    Thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope you liked this post.

    See you soon,
    Love,
    Corinne.

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    Improving your blog performance. What even does that mean? Your blog is up and running, you publish articles once or twice a week, you promote them on social media and work on your SEO. That’s what you need to bring in traffic, no? Yes. But no. That’s what you need, sure, but not just what you need. Because before taking those gorgeous photos, spending time on writing posts and coming up with tweets, you need to make sure that people will actually be given the best conditions to go on your website.

    Because it’s all good and fine to have a lot of people on your website and a lot of page views, but if they don’t stay? Worse, if they do not stay more than a few seconds? Do not read your content, browse your other pages, spend time on your blog? That’s what we call bounce rate. And a high bounce rate is bad. Amongst other things, what can deter people from your blog, make them click the little cross up there and be gone forever? 

    Any ideas?

    Poor blog performance. Long loading times. A slow website. And sure, some performance tricks will require coding skills and if you are like me then, that may scare you. But fear not! There are plenty of other tips and tricks that will help you improve your blog performance without going to the dark back end of your website!

    So, without further ado, let’s get into how to improve your blog performance and speed!

    1. Compress your images

    Images are key to a visually pleasing blog. Sure the theme helps but pretty images will make a better impression. The thing is, images can be heavy and can slow your website down. Because of the time they may take to load, they can impact your blog performance and speed. Fortunately, that’s an issue you can deal with rather easily. First of all, make sure all your images are JPEG instead of PNG. You can convert PNG into JPEG online or using plugins, so it is no problem. Then, you either use a compressor outside of wordpress or install a plugin such as WP-Optimize or Imagify to compress all the photos that already are on your website. The gain in space and size will really help to improve your blog speed.

    2. Minify and combine files

    Something else that can be heavy for your website are files associated with plugins, images and other things you are using on your blog. If you go onto your Google Analytics, then on the left column, “behavior”, “site speed” and “speed suggestions”, you will see how long each page take to load on average. Google will also give you suggestions to help improve your blog performance. Amongst other, minifying files can really help! It involves removing unnecessary formatting, whitespace, and code. If your site runs multiple CSS and JavaScript files, you can combine them into one, using plug ins such as WP Rocket or Asset CleanUp.

    3. Inline or remove unnecessary or unused CSS

    CSS describes how HTML elements are to be displayed on screen or in other media. CSS saves a lot of work. It can control the layout of multiple web pages all at once. External stylesheets are stored in CSS files. They sort of are rules that your browser follows to display websites correctly. Thing is, some rules become outdated, are no longer necessary, etc. They can come from plugins, your theme, etc. If you do not know anything about coding, I would not recommend you to work with plugins that require you to manually choose what CSS to inline or remove. Install plugins like Autoptimize and its extension CriticalCSS. Or again, WP Rocket. They will list unnecessary or unused CSS for you and will work on each on them in turn. You won’t have to touch or worry about anything. This is one thing I was so scared of doing, too afraid of ever touching something and disabling something essential on my blog.

    4. Enable browser caching

    When you visit a website, the elements on the page will be stored on your hard drive in a cache. It is like temporary storage. Thus, next time you will go on that website, your browser will load the page without sending a HTTP request to the server. As a consequence, your browser will not have to download all the HTML documents, stylesheets, javascript files and images, since it “already knows them”. You then won’t have to wait before being able to use the page, which will load much faster. Of course, as your website changes, a few components will need to be downloaded but it will not take much time. As caching is great for returning visitors, you need to make sure that your page is fast to start with (using the other tips in this blog post).

    5. Set up lazy load

    Lazy load will not only improve your blog performance but will also improve user experience. Lazy load will allow the top of your page to load faster while the rest of the page takes a bit longer to fully load. It works especially well when there is a lot of content on your website. So basically, instead of loading all 10 photos on the page at once, lazy load will have the first visible one to load and then will move onto loading the remaining pictures. Lazy load will help decrease loading time. Plenty of plug-ins have that function. You can use WP-Optimize, WP Rocket, etc.

    Here are five easy ways to improve your blog performance and speed without doing any coding or having to know coding. The best way to check your blog speed score is to go on Google Analytics and head over to the left column, then “behavior”, “Site speed” and “speed suggestions”. You can analyze each page one by one and work on each in turn. Google Analytics will also give suggestions that will require better knowledge of a website’s backend but for now, you can focus on the “easy” ones.

    improve blog performance improve blog performance improve blog performance

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    There you have my five easy tips to improve your blog performance and speed! Have you tried any of those? Or checked on GA your blog performance score? Have you ever struggled to make your blog faster? Any tips to share with us that were not mentioned here?

    Thanks a lot for stopping by. Hope you liked this post.

    See you soon,
    Love,
    Corinne.

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    lessons learnt

    Ah, the new year… The occasion to reflect on the past year, think of the lessons learnt and to make promises we are likely not to keep. That’s what good resolutions are, am I right?! Even though, this year, I will make an extra effort to keep those promises for as long as I can. They are not self-validating or anything. They are changes I need in my life. That’s all it is.

    Of course, each year that goes away usually is rich in lessons learnt. Some might seem like small lessons and inconsequential, some are big and life changing. They are all important in equal measures. Because just a tiny little thing can help you move on. Sometimes we do not realize that there were indeed lessons learnt. It is later, after taking a step back, that we get it.

    Better later than never. 2019 has been busy, intense, crazy. I talked about it in my retrospective post. So much happened, of course there will be some lessons learnt. And thus, here they come!

    1. I can sleep in planes

    Let’s start with a light easy one. I can sleep in plane. And that’s good news. How did I come to this conclusion? After years and years, convinced it did not matter how long a flight would be or whether it’d be overnight, that I was not able to sleep in a plane, it happened. I slept in a plane. And for six hours straight! Sure, we flew to Europe overnight so I sort of was following my biological clock but still! It never happened before! And, sure, again, the past times I was flying long hauls, I very often was either drunk or hangover so it probably did not help. Or maybe I had convinced myself so hard that I could not sleep in planes, that I could not. Until I could. And believe me, it’s gonna make life so much easier because you can only watch so many movies!

    2. Everything happens for a reason

    I always was skeptical of this maxim. First, I believed that pushed to its extreme, it became the excuse to justify anything that may happen. And an excuse to not face failure or take responsibility. Did not get that job? Everything happens for a reason. This did not work out? Everything happens for a reason. Instead of taking a step back, reflecting on the why and how, and maybe telling yourself that it did not work out because of many factors, including your actions or lack thereof. Second, what does that even mean?! I gave it one or two thoughts. And came to the conclusion, that indeed, everything happens (or does not) for a reason. Reasons that can be of any nature and kind: you did not put in the efforts, you were not nice, you did not do your research, etc. Reasons that include your environment, circumstances and things out of your control. But also things within your control. It is a mix of both. And finding the reason as per why something did not work out, questioning where your responsibility lies helps to move on and improve.

    3. The more they say they are, the less they are

    A lessons learnt at my expense. I wasted a lot of time. Because I sort of saw it coming but ignored it and carried on as if nothing was bothering me. You can bet that when someone keeps on repeating the same thing over and over again, they are just trying to convince themselves (or believing it) that they are what they say, when they are not. For instance, a company I was interviewing with for a job insisted on how important transparency is to them. Turns out, their interviewing process was absolutely not transparent and the company as a whole was not either. This can apply to many things including when people swear they are not racist, sexist, etc. They more they say it, the less they are what they say. And if the way they insist makes you feel uncomfortable, it’s time to walk through the door.

    4. Everything goes both ways

    I do not know why but people tend to expect a lot from others… while not being willing to produce the same amount of efforts themselves. Because, yes, it is well known, others should just give and you just take. Of course, it does not work like that. I had previously talked about it in my post about friendship after university and in my resolutions for 2020. Everything goes both way. I mean, sure, I knew that already, but it is really living in a country where nobody ever follows through with what they say that made me realize that truth even more. Maybe someone who says “let’s meet up for coffee one day” does not expect you to follow through. But what if you did. And they are pleasantly surprised, and the meet up happens, and it starts a friendship? You never know. And you can only blame yourself if things do not work out because you don’t produce the sufficient amount of efforts or wait for everybody else to take the initiatives. Lesson learnt.

    5. You can’t talk politics with everyone

    You know what they say. If you want to lose friends, start talking about politics. It works every single time. Not sure about that as politics is a topic I engage with quite often with my friends or people I just met. Maybe because in France it is something that people do. Debating and talking politics is part of the culture. We do not shy away from discussing politics. Obviously discussions can go sour rather quick, especially if your interlocutor is on the other end of the political spectrum. And although I do not have friends that lies on either the extreme left or extreme right, I still have friends who disagree with me, vote differently than me. And that’s fine. That’s why democracy works. A plurality of opinions. However, living in the US for sometimes now, the culture is totally different. First, talking politics makes people uncomfortable. Second, the fact that there are just two parties, makes it difficult to position yourself on a spectrum. You are either Republican or Democrat. There is not really an in-between. If you are more left than Democrat, you are branded a socialist or a communist, which in the US, are both bad words. And of course, I experienced first hand trying to discuss with Republicans and Trump voters, which did not end well. So, you just give up and accept that you cannot discuss politics with everybody. 

    Of course, when it comes to lessons learnt in 2019, there might be more. Because, as I said at the beginning of this post, sometimes, lessons learnt are teeny tiny. And some were learnt a long time ago but I got confirmation recently. But understanding things, admitting some truth and learning your lessons is the best way to move on with life. No need to stay stuck on something that will not budge.

    lessons learnt lessons learnt

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    What about you? Any lessons learnt back in 2019? Is there anything you suddenly realize? Or any conclusions that were long overdue?

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    Thanks a lot for stopping by. Hope you liked this post.

    See you soon,
    Love,
    Corinne.

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    good resolutions

    Today is the 1st of January. I am posting my good resolutions for 2020 on the first day of the first month of this new year 2020. How appropriate. I never take good resolutions. I talked about before. When the new year starts, we are full of good intentions. New year, new you, right? Unfortunately, by January 17th, also known as national give up on your good resolutions day, we forget we ever decided to become a new person.

    Knowing myself, I would maybe manage to keep up with those good resolutions for a few weeks before growing lazy and just give up. However, this year, I have decided it is gonna be different. I won’t go for crazy things, massive changes or drastic improvements in my life. Because I know that very often, when your objectives are overly ambitious, you eventually give up on them.

    Small steps. So here come my good resolutions for 2020.

    1. Sign up to the gym and work out

    I have not been to the gym for more than two years. I was quite consistent and good at it when I did go, back at university. When I moved to New York, I was going running every other day for twenty five minutes at least. However, in summer, under a super strong sun as soon as 8 in the morning, and 30°C, I gave up. Unfortunately, not working out and eating extremely unhealthy did not play in my favor. Life in New York is hectic. It is a life of convenience. You eat out or take away food because it is often cheaper than buying groceries. And I (we) did that a lot. Which of course is now very visible on my body. I gained weight. Not that I have issues with body image. I settled with what I have a long time ago, knowing that my body shape will never allow me to be filiform. That’s fine. But seeing that some clothes I used to wear all the time do not fit me anymore did hurt my ego a bit. I will sign up to the gym and try to go twice to thrice a week. To get back to my pre-New York weight and be a bit healthier.

    2. Eat better and healthier

    This resolution ties in nicely with the one above. They go hand in hand really. No point working out if you are gonna eat a lot of shit on the side. No matter what we say, working out will never fully balance out eating junk food. Beyond trying to not gain weight, I just want to be healthier. Sure, junk food, unhealthy food, does impact your weight and body. But it will also have consequences on your skin, on your hair, on your mood and on your energy. I have felt low on energy quite often this past few months and considering how unhealthy my diet has been, I can bet it’s because of that. I am not saying I will give up on sugar altogether. As I said, small steps, achievable goals. Plus, I love baking. I will work on the size of the portions of food I have at home or at work. Speaking of work, maybe I can meal prep meals that have a lower calorie intake. I need to drink more water and eat more fruits as well.

    3. Read the books I have before buying new ones

    I love to read. A few months back, I started a French booktube channel and then an English booktube channel. Of course it has been the excuse to buy and hoard books. So I have a shelf full of them. I actually need to buy a second shelf. However, most of them are unread. Like I’d say pretty much 75% of them are on my TBR. I love buying books. Like someone would love buying stationery or clothes or homeware. The thing is, books are heavy and they need space. Having a hard time parting ways with books, it is very hard for me to unhaul. But I forced myself and already started. It’s a difficult decision but they are books I did not like reading and will never read again. So they better go to make space to books I will hopefully love. Maybe I’ll save some money in the process as well.

    4. Following through with friends

    This is something I have not been very good at when I lived in the UK, but it got worse since I moved to NYC. When life gets in the way, it is hard to find the energy, motivation and time to see your friends. Yours and their agenda might not allow it anyway. But still. Friendship goes both ways. If you never make the first step, take the initiative, things might never happen. And the less effort you put into it, the weaker the relationship becomes. The thing with the US, is that friendship is more superficial than in Europe. You have a lot of acquaintances and very few friends. Someone telling you “we should meet for coffee” will most likely never follow through, coffee will never happen and this beginning of a relationship will already be in the past. If you want something to happen, if you want to make friends, take the initiative and follow through. It does not matter if you appear as pushy. At least you tried. And that’s something I should do more often, instead of waking up one day telling myself “well, that’s a bummer, it did not happen, but no one talked about it anymore.”

    5. Budget better and save money

    Life is New York is incredibly expensive. More than in London. Yes, it is surprising, but that’s how it is. In the US, inflation increases faster than salaries. In Europe, it usually is the other way round. We are lucky enough to now both work and have a combined income that allows us not to worry about our daily expenses. But still. I don’t mind spending money, I actually love spending money. When you work for it, I don’t see why you should not be able to spend your money. BUT… sometimes you have to be reasonable and think beyond your short-term life. There are plenty of expenses in my life that are unnecessary. Beyond books. One typical is that we go grocery shopping to Fairway (the local Waitrose) instead of Trader Joe’s (more like Asda) because it is five minutes walk closer (and is just 5 minutes walk away from our flat). We are being lazy and complaisant. And spending a lot of money because of it. I am also well aware that our future is not in New York or in the US. We will be heading back to Europe in a few years and hoping to buy a house there. So yes, we have to think about how we will finance that. And we will need a deposit. Which is what I want to save money for. I can already see some expenses that will be unavoidable: rent, utilities, gym membership, groceries. But I know it is possible to save money and I will try to be better at budgeting in 2020.

    good resolutions good resolutions

    Shop my outfit*
    Faux Leather Jacket – Shein
    Red Dress – Rosewe
    Heeled Sandals – Shein
    Sequin Clutch – Shein

    What about you? Are you making good resolutions this year? Did you make good resolutions last year? Big ones or small ones? Do you usually focus on small goals at once? What are your good resolutions?

    Thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope you liked this post.

    See you soon,
    Love,
    Corinne.

    *Gifted items.

    Follow:

    year 2019

    The year 2019 went in a finger snap. Thus, it is time for a little retrospective of the year 2019. I did one last year, on 2018. Talking about everything I did and happened back in 2018. As well as all the lessons learnt back then. It was quite a busy year too. Not as busy as 2019 though. Maybe just as eventful? Don’t know. The year 2019 sure was much more intense than 2018 and it was a blast of a year.

    So, without further ado, let’s get into this retrospective of the year 2019.

    January

    I am off for a week after New Year, which I spent in Germany, in Philip’s family. Back to work for a few day. I am reunited with the cat. We spend a few days in Edinburgh because we need to work some details for the wedding. I fly back to London with Philip. He goes to the US embassy for his visa interview, I get back to work. For a few days. Before flying back to Edinburgh to get married. Both our families fly to Scotland from Germany and France. We spend the Saturday before showing the town to our relative and go for Italian food in the evening. We get married the next day at City Chambers, right off the Royal Miles, after brunch at The Ivy On The Square. Our wedding dinner is at The Outsider, on George IV. I stay a bit longer in Edinburgh. Philips moves to New York a few days later.

    February

    Philip has moved to New York and started his new job. I am in London, preparing my own visa application, waiting for the marriage certificate and the paperwork from Philip’s employer. February is actually pretty quiet. Not that much is happening. It’s been one year that I have stopped talking to a former best friend who turned out to be quite abusive towards me. I still think about it sometimes, but less and less, and I have been happier ever since. I shoot outfits with Ana, do some blogging work, spend time with my university friends, play with the cat. Again, February is rather uneventful.

    March

    I have completed and sent out my visa application. The interview at the Embassy is set up for a few days after. I go during lunch. It was pretty fast actually. And much easier than expected. I came in, gave my paperwork, got checked into the system, got back to my seat, waited for the actual interview. The officer asks me a few questions and then approves my visa. I am convinced I heard “visa approved” but it all went so fast that for some time I fear that I misheard and that the officer actually said “visa not approved”. So I wait until I have my passport back in my hands with the visa before giving notice of my flat, job and booking my flight. Ten days later, I have my passport back. So I guess it is really happening.

    April

    My last day at work is on the 12th of April. I then have a few days free for photo-shooting with Ana and packing the last things that need to be. Work throws me a super thoughtful little leaving due with some very nice gifts to take with me to the US. I did have a great experience working at ADEXE, great fun with my colleagues, and I can already tell London feels so much like home, I will really miss it. Ana and I shoot every morning the week before I leave the UK. My mum drives to London from France to help me move out. Good thing the highway exits at Canary Wharf, it made it easier for her. The next day we load the car, go for a last walk in central London, have lunch and then head back to pick up the cat and drive off to Folkestone. We take the Euroshuttle there until Coquelles, in France. Then, we drive home. It is the Easter weekend so I get to see my brothers and sister as well. I drive to Besançon to see my grandparents with my brother one last time before leaving for NYC. I introduce them to Aperol Spritz and now they are obsessed.

    May

    I fly to New York on the first of May. The kitty cannot come with me. Our flat does not allow pets and flying a cat as fidgety as Gingembre in the cabin would be a nightmare. The journey would also be extremely stressful for him, so he stays at my parents. He does not get along very well with their cat though. 1st of May, I land late in the evening. I get get off the plane, through customs, pick up my suitcases, hail a taxi and head over to Midtown Manhattan where we now leave. It is my first month in the US and I cannot really believe. It feels surreal and sometimes like a dream. A month… that what it took to sink. I apply for a work permit, knowing that I won’t receive it for at least three months. In the meantime, I explore NYC.

    June

    It’s been a month already. I took a Citibike membership to explore the city. Cheaper and faster than the tube. Also, it’s easy work out, so win win. I turn 27 and Philip takes me to the musical Aladdin on Broadway. It was amazing! Such a blast! So funny, beautiful and memorable. I put more time into my blog, get back into baking but also starts Youtube. First, in French, because I felt more comfortable speaking in French in front of the camera. I also decide to start learning German and take classes at the Goethe Institute. I make friends through Girl Gone International and Meet up app, plus I meet bloggers through Instagram.

    July

    We completely forgot the 4th of July is holiday in the US and did not plan anything. It’s a four day weekend. I go on a road trip with Colette, a blogger I recently meet and shot with. We do Newport (RI), Martha’s Vineyard (MA), Portland (ME) and Portsmouth (NH). This trip obviously is the opportunity to take many pictures. Back in New York, learning German, doing Youtube, still exploring the city, working freelance as well for a client I had back in the UK that decided to work with me still in spite of the time difference.

    August

    My parents and two of my siblings come to the US for holiday. Two weeks in New York and a week in Boston. Since I do not work, I show them the city, museums, parks, visit with them. We go to restaurants. The highlight is all of us going, my husband included, to Fette Sau, a BBQ place in Brooklyn. That was amazing. We go to Boston for Labour Day. Old friends of ours live there and my parents are staying with them. We stay at an Edinburgh friend’s flat. We visit Boston, Cambridge, Harvard. It is hot and the weather is gorgeous. Boston is so much quieter than NYC. Also, it smells nice, there is no trash everywhere and people are polite. After Labour Day, we head back to NYC. I receive my work permit.

    September

    I start applying for jobs in the US. My time is divided between freelancing, blogging and job applications. Someday I apply to so many jobs, I don’t even know what they are anymore. I start getting interviews here and there. It is reassuring to see that my resume interests recruiters in NYC. The process with one company goes really far, which makes me stop applying. I spent so many times preparing interviews and interviewing anyways that I don’t have time for anything else. September is great for blogging and paid campaigns. So great that I manage to pay my entire stay in London in October with the money made in September.

    October

    A super busy month. Interviews and all. We fly to Germany to see Philip’s sister and friends. We spend a few days in Heidelberg before heading to Stuttgart for a night to see Philip’s dad. Then we are off to Edinburgh for a friend’s wedding. The ceremony was beautiful. We stay a long weekend in Edinburgh before flying to London. Philip flies earlier back to the US because he must attend a conference in Chicago, while I stay a whole week. I stay at Ana’s and shoot many outfits with some gorgeous London fall displays. I have brunch with Helen, lunch with Allison, and catch up with Ana of course. We have a bottomless brunch next to Victoria’s station before I hop on the Gatwick express. Barely back and I have interviews again. One company had me go through 8 interviews but it ends up not working out. Never mind. I start applying for jobs again. And I start a Youtube channel in English.

    November

    I get some more interviews, go through first and second stages. Mid-December, I got a job as digital marketing manager for a New York spa. It is a relief. First, because I won’t have to stress about finding a job. Second because I won’t have to dedicate all this time to job hunting and interviews. Third, because it is always easier to find a new job when you are working one. That’s sad but that’s how it is. We learn that the flat we were waitlisted for is now available. It’s bigger, it has hard wood floor, a massive window and so much natural light. A job and a new flat. It feels like Christmas before Christmas. I start buying Christmas presents. Absolute Vodka works with me on my new Instagram on a paid campaign. I get some more paid collaborations. I start the new job on the 25th of November.

    December

    December is also a great month for paid collaborations. I worked with Tribe a lot and even though I am still a bit doubtful of how it works, when the product is cheap or you have it already, it works amazingly well. We move to our new flat on the 2nd of December. It is amazing. It looks amazing. What a good change. This new flat improves our New York experience so much. We prepare Christmas and buy a Christmas tree. It is our first Christmas just us two, without our families, or traveling to France or Germany. But it is really romantic. We have Champagne, oysters, fish and vegetables as well as tiramisù on the 24th. Germany does Christmas on the 24th, France on the 25th, so we decide to open some gifts on the 24th and some on the 25th. Philip gives me a ring. An engagement ring. We’ve been married for almost a year but I did not have one. I did not expect it and it’s a marvelous surprise. We have a Christmas dinner on the 25th with all our friends who did not go home. I am off from the 24th to the 2nd and play Pokemon Sword on the Switch or read most of the time.

    The year 2019 is not over yet but this year has been insane for us. Insanely busy, intense and full of adventure. So much happened in just one year. Our wedding, moving to the US, getting a new job, etc. It was a blast and I hope 2020 will be just as fun!

    year 2019 year 2019 year 2019

    Shop my outfit
    Pink Blazer – New Look
    Maxi Split Sequin Dress – Rosewe*
    Cross-Body Bag – Shein*
    Heeled Sandals – Shein*

    What about you? How was your year 2019? As good as you’d hoped? Tell me what were your highlights. What are you hoping for in 2020?

    Thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope you liked this post.

    See you soon,
    Love,
    Corinne.

    *Gifted items.

    Follow:

    November 2019

    I know November 2019 is quite far behind us already. I mean, not that far, but still. So, I started November 2019 with a very good reading pace. Half way through the month and read four books. They are in the vast majority, excellent books as well. And then I started to watch The Crown on Netflix and that’s basically what I spent most of my evening doing ever since.

    I finished watching all 3 seasons so I started reading again. Most of the books I read back in November 2019 are books I did not really have any expectations on. Yet, I was very pleasantly surprised and this month ended up being one of my best reading months! You may know that October and September were not that good for example.  

    So that’s four books in total. Not as much as I read in the past, but still a good number if you want my opinion!

    1. Strange The Dreamer – Laini Taylor

    Author: Laini Taylor
    Published: May 2018
    Genre: YA
    Pages: 560
    Series: Strange The Dreamer

    Plot: 4/5
    Characters: 5/5
    Ending: 4/5

    Synopsis: The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around–and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was just five years old, he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the form of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

    What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? And who is the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams?

    The shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage. The answers await in Weep.

    My review: I read Laini Taylor’s other book series, and loved it so much, I had to give her other work a go. And what a work it is! Sure, it is not as extraordinary as her other trilogy but still, I had a great time reading Strange The Dreamer.

    It is quite a long book, and although the descriptions are beautiful, sometimes they have felt too much and too long. I did not dislike reading them but I did not always feel like they were necessary. Although most of the time they do bring a lot of information, help to understand the plot better and bring in more mystery. I found the characters very interesting, well written with very good development. Nothing is black or white, it is more complicated, more contrasted and the message of the novel seemed to be “what goes around, comes around” or “if you are being a dick, karma will make you pay”.

    I did find the book somehow predictable at times. There was some mystery around the origins of the main character and just one clue mid-way through the novel made me understand who he was, while it is revealed way later in the book. The end shook me up a bit. Not because it is bad, just because the main character does something regarding another character against her will and while she expressed clearly her disagreement with whatever he had in mind. So, I was a bit uncomfortable reading that bit and I hope it will be addressed in book 2.

    Because I am 100% reading book 2 as this series is so unique and unlike anything I read before!

    2. Once & Future, Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy

    Author: A.R. Capetta & Cory McCarthy
    Published: May 2019
    Genre: YA Sci-Fi
    Pages: 368
    Series: Once & Future

    Plot: 4.5/5
    Characters: 4.5/5
    Ending: 5/5

    Synopsis: I’ve been chased my whole life. As a fugitive refugee in the territory controlled by the tyrannical Mercer corporation, I’ve always had to hide who I am. Until I found Excalibur.

    Now I’m done hiding.

    My name is Ari Helix. I have a magic sword, a cranky wizard, and a revolution to start.

    When Ari crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls a magic sword from its ancient resting place, she is revealed to be the newest reincarnation of King Arthur. Then she meets Merlin, who has aged backward over the centuries into a teenager, and together they must break the curse that keeps Arthur coming back. Their quest? Defeat the cruel, oppressive government and bring peace and equality to all humankind.

    No pressure.

    My review: Right. This book. I am not a fan of Camelot and the Arthurian’s legend. I find it deeply misogynist. Even though never clearly described as such, the women in the story are always somehow shown as responsible for Arthur’s demise. They are all clichés and somehow the enemy. So a retelling with a Queen instead of a King? Why not. I did not expect to like the story.

    But I did. I adored it. The humor, the mystery, the banter, the suspence, the characters, everything. I read through the novel in two days, wanting more, unable to put the book down. This book has diversity and representation. This book does not fall into easy clichés. Yes, the relationship is at time a bit cringe and cheesy, slightly insta-lovy and I did raise my eyes to the sky a few times. But at the same time, it was sweet, endearing, touching.

    The story raises a lot of questions about many things: environment protection, climate change, ethics, fairness, freedom, rights, greed, business practices. I was shocked when Ari was. Outraged when she was. Heartbroken when she was. The book gave me strong vibes of Star Wars and Illuminae, both sci-fi sweethearts of mine.

    I loved this book, I still can’t believe it but that’s how it is.

    3. Finale, Stephanie Garber

    Author: Stephanie Garber
    Published: May 2019
    Genre: YA Sci-Fi
    Pages: 416
    Series: Caraval

    Plot: 2/5
    Characters: 1/5
    Ending: 1/5

    Synopsis: A love worth fighting for. A dream worth dying for. An ending worth waiting for.

    It’s been two months since the Fates were freed from a deck of cards, two months since Legend claimed the throne for his own, and two months since Tella discovered the boy she fell in love with doesn’t really exist.

    With lives, empires, and hearts hanging in the balance, Tella must decide if she’s going to trust Legend or a former enemy. After uncovering a secret that upends her life, Scarlett will need to do the impossible. And Legend has a choice to make that will forever change and define him.

    Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win, and those who will lose everything.

    Welcome, welcome to Finale. All games must come to an end.

    My review: Jesus Christ, what a disappointment! I was not a fan of book 1, liked book 2 much more, but book 3 finished me off. I know a lot of people love this trilogy, I respect that and I can understand why. As a matter of fact, I myself quite like the world building and magic system. It was quite unique. But the rest…

    Scarlett is insufferable. She is selfish, egocentric and obnoxious. She makes stupid decisions and never suffers the consequences. Donatella who was strong and fierce in book 2 becomes the neediest girl in dire need of love. She is also a hypocrite. Legend is a toxic, controlling and unbearable dick but because he acts in the name of love, it’s fine.

    I found the book predictable and a lot of things did not add up. Half-way through the book, I learnt that Caraval was meant to be a duology but then turned into a trilogy. This explained why so many things seemed to come out of nowhere. I solved the mystery of Scarlett’s inheritance not even half way through the book.

    But it really is the toxic relationship that killed it for me. Legend is manipulative, cold, power-thirsty, controlling, tells Donatella he can never love her while encouraging her to carry on with the flirting and never allowing her to move on. He decides where she should be, when, with whom and starts controlling her life. He is mentally abusive towards her and you cannot convinced me otherwise. I do not understand why YA authors (and many authors in general) continue to romanticize toxic relationship. What message does it send to younger impressionable girls?! So yes, not book of the year to me.

    4. And I Darken, Kiersten White

    Author: Kirsten White
    Published: May 2017
    Genre: YA
    Pages: 512
    Series: And I Darken

    Plot: 4.5/5
    Characters: 5/5
    Ending: 5/5

    Synopsis: NO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

    Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

    But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

    My review: I don’t read historical fiction. Nor retelling. But I gave this book a go. And I am happy I did! What a read! Such a great story! From start to finish.

    The writing was beautiful. The representation of Islam as well. I learnt so much about Islam, the Ottoman Empire, life back in the 15th century. The representation and diversity was amazing. The political intrigue on point as well. And, the characters so well-built. Flawed but endearing. Annoying but touching. Nothing was black or white. Empathy was at the center of it all.

    I don’t really know how to write this review. The story was amazing, I discovered a part of history I was not familiar with. Wikipedia became my friend while I read this book as I was looking for more information all the time. The novel raises so many good questions about women, their status back then, their place in society, their rights. I was outraged with Lada, upset when she was, annoyed when she was. I am so happy I picked up this book. Such a good read!

    November 2019

    What books did you read this November 2019? Any good find or good reads? Anything you liked a lot? Any read to recommend? Did you read the book I listed? What did you think?

    Thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope you liked this post.

    See you soon,
    Love,
    Corinne.

    Follow:

    festive outfit ideas

    The year ends in a few days, and with it the decade. Can you imagine. I am not gonna lie, I am quite mitigated when it comes to the 2010s. Personal-life and career wise, there were ups and downs but to be honest, I mostly had a blast. I did go onto some crazy adventures. Other events-wise, hum, how to say that…

    Brexit. Trump. The 2019 general election. Most of those will make it to history as some of the biggest mistakes humankind ever did. Moving on…

    Right now, let’s focus on the most important. A festive outfit for Christmas or New Year. Or both. Because there is nothing wrong with recycling. It is even advised. Yes, you can wear the same outfit twice! Once again, I am working with Shein to bring you some outfit ideas, but this time, festive outfit ideas! Use code 9TEA for 15% off your Shein order!

    1. Sequin power forever

    I adore sequins. So shiny. And pretty. And hypnotizing. Look at me, sounding like a magpie obsessed with sparkling things. Which I am. Such a shame I don’t get to wear sequins as often as I’d want to. Because it is still associated with partying and festivities. How would it be if I was to turn up to the office in a sequin dress? I mean my boss is quite chilled so he would probably just say “nice dress” and move on. Let’s keep that in mind for the future. I am never one to say no to wearing a red dress, so of course, when I saw this one, I could not resist! And how pretty is it! Even better, styled with some more sequins! Thus, it makes the perfect festive outfit!

    festive outfit ideas festive outfit ideas

    Shop the outfit*
    Faux leather jacket – Shein
    Red sequin dress – Shein
    Heels – Shein
    Clutch – Shein

    2. Head in the stars

    Right, that one. That galaxy print dress. You know I love maxi dresses. I mostly wear them in summer. I adore midi skirt too. But midi dresses? I do not wear them that often. If ever. Can you imagine if it has a high neck line too?! Thus, it is not necessarily my style. I don’t know what took hold of me when I saw it though. I had my doubts. What were the chances I could pull it off. Unknown. But you know, it’s the end of the year and of the decade so why not doing “something crazy”? Emphasis on the quotation marks. And sure it is not my usual style but I think the print is super festive. Golden stars and galaxy for the perfect festive outfit!

    festive outfit ideas festive outfit ideas

    Shop the outfit
    Faux leather jacker – Shein*
    Starry midi dress – Shein*
    Platform boots – Shein*
    Beaded bag – Zara

    3. The perfect dupe

    Remember last year when Giambattista Valli launched his collection in collaboration with H&M. What a stir! Don’t get me wrong. The dresses were gorgeous. But one, they were very unaffordable. Too, they sold out in a few hours. So that was that. Bless the actual high street for giving us the opportunity to parade in the perfect dupe for one of those dresses. I saw Hello Miss Jordan in the original and was like “wow”. Then I spotted the dupe on Shein but told myself not to. Finally, it is seeing Katie Couture LDN wearing it that made me do it. So I caved. How happy I am I did! Sure, it is a monster of tulle and fluff but OMG how pretty is it! Beside New Year’s Eve (and even then), I don’t really know when I’ll be able to wear the dress but you can bet you’ll see it often on Instagram! The most festive of all festive outfits!

    festive outfit ideas festive outfit ideas

    Shop the outfit
    Military jacket – Boohoo
    Tulle bustier dress – Shein*
    Platform boots – Shein*
    Clutch – Shein*

    Have you found your festive outfit yet? Do you usually wear the same outfits as usual on Christmas? Do you wear something shinier on New Year’s Eve? What do you think of those festive outfits?

    Thanks for stopping by. I hope you liked this post.

    See you soon,
    Love,
    Corinne.

    *Gifted items.

    Follow:

    Basic Invite

    The holidays are my favorite time of the year. It’s the whole festive vibe. The city gets all Christmassy, with lights everywhere. Stores and restaurants set up beautiful displays that also provide for the best photo opportunities. You know the holidays are in full swing when Instagram becomes invaded with all the festive photos!

    The holidays and Christmas are always the occasion to get together with your family. That’s what we try to do every year. And so far it has worked. My family is in one country, my husband’s family is in another country and we are in a third one. So that’s quite a bit of travel. As we moved to New York a few months ago, we are not traveling to Europe to celebrate with our families. It’s our first Christmas in New York. Which is quite exciting.

    It is the first time we also do not celebrate with our families. It does feel weird, I am not gonna lie. It’s a tradition, you know. One that we will not respect this year. However, a tradition that we will carry on with, is writing Christmas cards to everybody. And Basic Invite is the perfect website to do just that.

    Basic Invite is a website that allows you almost unlimited color options with instant previews online. Once you select a design, you can change the color of each element on the card. With over 180 colors to choose from, you can make sure the card is exactly how you want it. You can also add your own pictures for some very cute holiday cards!

    So that’s just what my husband and I did. We went above and beyond to find the most ridiculous Christmas jumper and hats, rushed back home and made the most of the declining natural light to snap a few shots and create some funny picture Christmas cards.

    Basic Invite has a lot of different templates that you can use and add your pictures into. The website also allows you to order a printed sample of your actual card before you place the final order. You can see the paper quality and how it will print in real life and make sure the card is perfect. You can also do Christmas party invites! And if you lack inspiration, the website has a lot of Christmas party invitation ideas.

    We ordered our cards on December 8th and they arrived just a few days later, on the 11th of December. Philip and I had picked together five different templates and they all came out nicely. Very colorful and festive. I love that you can order a sample to have a real life preview of what the card will look like. It allows you to make some amendments to the picture or design as a whole. For example, we did not have much natural light when we took our photo so I had to do a bit of editing. With the sample, I can see that I should have added more contrast and shadows for stronger colors.

    But they still are super nice and we’re very happy with them! We do look good in our ridiculous Christmas jumper! The cards are ready to be sent out to families and friends in Germany, France and the United Kingdom. You can too make your own very unique Christmas cards and get 15% your order with code 15FF51.

    Basic Invite Basic Invite

    Do you write Christmas cards? When do you start sending cards out? Do you receive may? Have you heard of Basic Invite before? Ever thought of customizing holiday cards?

    Thanks for stopping by. I hope you liked this post.

    See you soon,
    Love,
    Corinne.

    *This post in sponsored by Basic Invite.

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    six years

    I feel that this article comes in a bit late. I graduated back in November 2016 so three years ago. Maybe the lessons taught by those six years of studying came to me just now as I grew and matured. Sometimes results are not a short term things. They take longer to be seen. And taking a step back, I am realizing only now what I accomplished through those years at university.

    1. You’re capable of more than you think

    It’s in human nature to compare and to think that the grass is greener elsewhere. I wrote a whole post about it. Thinking that whatever others did, it is better than my own accomplishments. It worsened a bit when things did not go as planned after graduation and I was seeing my friends succeeding much better. And now, I am realizing that, in spite of a rocky start to my career, what I did through university, very few people did. I moved to New Zealand, the other side of the world, miles and miles away from home, while barely speaking English. I was all on my own there. Then I moved to Italy, with a poor level of the local language. Then back to France, then finding in internship in London, getting into the university of Edinburgh, getting an internship during the spring of the same year and starting my career after. Looking back, most of it was pretty bold and not everyone would have been able to jump into the unknown like I did. And when I first started university, I did not think I would have been capable of this.

    2. Listening to one self is important

    This can apply to any part of your life really. University, work, relationships, friendships, mental health. We live in a world where we compete with everybody. Our generations is the most educated. Most of us went to university and got out with a degree. That makes a lot of us qualified people but not as many jobs. It makes it all about competition. Which makes it all about stress, being better, improving, doing more, going above and beyond, fearing to not perform, never taking a day off. But you know what? If you’ve tried for an hour to study and you could not focus, then give up for the time being. Do something else. Read a book, watch a movie, play Mario Kart. Have a break. And go back to studying later. Same at work. Do not chastise yourself because one day you are less productive than usual. That’s life, it happens. You are allowed to be tired, to take breaks and days off. Your body has amazing ways of telling something is wrong. And when it tells you so, listen to it. It knows better.

    3. It’s okay to loving your degree without wanting to make a job out of it

    Some people know really early on what they want to do. And so they pick a degree that specifically allow them to get into their dream job. Medicine, biology, engineering, etc. For some others, it is harder. We don’t always know what we want to do after school so for now, we pick a degree that we will like. When you do something you love, you are more likely to do it very well. And it is also fine loving something while not wishing to make it half your life. I studied languages and business, which is very helpful in today’s world. For some reasons, I ended up in marketing, of which I had just one class over the course of those six years. And it was very superficial, just touching the surface. I loved my studies but ended up not working in that particular field. Even though I do use things I studied in my job.

    4. It’s never too late to change life direction

    I guess this goes in the same direction as my previous point. You can study something you love and then work in a complete different field. The most important is your willingness to learn. The skills you get, you mostly get them on the job. You learn a lot while doing. And it is almost fine to grow bored or tired of something. You can work five or ten years in a particular field and then decide you want to try something else. You can even change your mind even after a few months. What matters most if how you feel, your well-being and your happiness. If started a grad job in finance after graduating but the experience did not work out as I thought it would and I moved onto marketing. Which I am still doing now. And as my career grows, so will my interests so I may just decide to change from marketing to brand, or something else who knows.

    5. There is always a silver lining

    This is a lesson that I took longer to learn. Because when something bad happen, when you go through a lot of sh*t, you are not really able to see the positive. There is always a lesson, something to help you move on, that you will see the light at the end of the tunnel. But yes, when it happens, it hard to be positive. After my grade scheme did not work out, I got a job at a big famous fashion retailer. The job started well but it ended up quite badly and I really felt it that this bad experience would follow me everywhere and make it hard for me to get a job. But it also did teach me a few things: how to see red flags, how to talk about them, what sort of people I want to work with, a few really good skills, a good name on my resume, many good ideas to use in the future. And I found a job not even two months later. Sh*t does happen. It’s bad but that’s life. You can either learn from it and move on or focus and made it worse. Positive brings positive and it may hard sometimes to see it, but it’s always worth it.

    six years six years six years

    Shop the outfit

    That makes five lessons for six years at university. There probably were more but those five were the first to come in mind. Good lessons they are and they also helped in standing my ground. That’s important too.

    What about you? How long have you been a student? What did you study? What lessons did you take from all those years in school? The most important one to you? Do you agree with any of mine?

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    Thanks a lot for stopping by. Hope you liked this post.

    See you soon,
    Love,
    Corinne.

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