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the weekly roundup #10

 Happy Sunday guys and welcome back to (the 10th) Weekly Roundup. Now if like me this weekend has got your emotions running and feelings feeling then SNAP! Whether you're into the Royal family or not you can't deny that yesterdays nuptials between our very own Prince Harry and the gorgeous Meghan Markle were like something out of a fairy tale. I'm a self-confessed romantic as it is, so I'm not ashamed to say I may have shed a tear or two during the ceremony. Not only was the love between the two so visible but the bringing together of two people from two very different backgrounds and cultures made it a day in history that will change the world forever. There are to many highlights to mention but I have to give a shout out to Bishop Michael Curry who's heart-felt sermon was unlike anything we've ever seen over here in the UK. It may have come as a shock to some of the more traditional church folk however the passion he exuded was undeniable.
“We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we discover that, we will be able to make of this old world a new world. Love is the only way." 
So before we get back to the wedding, I'll quickly scan over the rest of the week. To be honest it's been a pretty quiet one. I've been working from home most of the week and working out in the gym for the rest. I'm finally back with my personal trainer Jay and back to having a good routine exercise wise. I'm actually going to be running the Westminster Mile next weekend for charity alongside Sir Mo Farah...crazy! So as well as getting ready for that (it is only a mile so not much training involved haha) I've also been doing lot's of spin classes along with getting my own pair of boxing gloves to use in my sessions with Jay. I also, very spontaneously booked a holiday for my mum and I in 9 days time, nothing like being last minute eh?! We're going to Spain for four days to have a little beach break and swim in the ocean (my absolute favourite thing to do.) Other than that however this week really has been centred around the weekend so lets get back to the wedding and how, where and who I spent it celebrating with!
 Most of you will already know Yasmin as she's appeared on here a few times now but yes, I headed along to the BBC with Yasmin's mum Colette to watch the wedding, have a picnic and listen to Yas do her show. For those of you that don't know, Yas has her own show on BBC 1xtra everyday day (Mon-Fri) 1-4pm. Yesterday however she was in the studio for a special wedding show and we toasted the newly weds several times in the process of listening to the cracking tunes Yas was playing. After the studio we headed to the Southbank to continue our picnic as well as another 2...3...4... bottles of fizz. Annoyingly I forgot to take a picture of the picnic but trust me it was great! We literally stayed in the sunshine outside the Southbank centre for the rest of the afternoon until finally heading home around 9.30pm. We had the best day, like one of those days you just don't want to end. We played games that literally had us all crying with laughter and I mean full on hysterical tears whilst we continued to drink bubbles to our hearts content. A perfect day for a Royal wedding and a perfect excuse to celebrate with friends.

 Today I allowed myself a super lazy day, the sunshine is yet again out in full force (we have been doing very well on the weather front recently!) So I sat in the park for a couple of hours then came to my little cafe on the corner to have an iced latte and to write this post. It's been a great week all round, culminating in the perfect weekend. I can't wait for the week ahead, so many exciting things happening and then HOLIDAY TIME!!! Remember you can keep up with my daily goings on over on Instagram - @littlemisswinney and I shall see you back here for another post on Wednesday! Thanks for stopping by guys, enjoy the rest of your Sunday and stay safe.

K x

How to pitch yourself to brands

Pitching to brands is how I make a living.
Pitching to brands is how I turned a hobby into a career.
Pitching to brands is a necessity in this business.
Pitching to brands is literally what has allowed me to be successful in this field.

Hi guys, so today's post (if you couldn't have guessed already) is about...PITCHING! And in particular pitching - blogger to brand. Now when I say 'blogger', this encompasses bloggers, youtubers, influencers... all of the above and 'brand' means brands and PR agencies etc. I wanted to write this post as I get sooooo many messages over on Instagram and Facebook asking how I get collaborations and sponsored posts. I like to think I'm pretty open when it comes to the blogging world and I hate that the industry is often very secretive when it comes to how we get jobs and earn money. There's enough room and work going around for all of us to be here and letting you in on 'the secret' isn't going to take work away from me or anyone else, instead it will open up more opportunities for more people and I'm all about that life. Let's lift each other up instead of tearing eachother down yeah? Yes!
So lets get started with the fundamentals shall we. First off let me just say, I am no marketing/PR genius. This is literally my own personal take on things and how I personally go about it. In all honesty, I learnt by trial and error as when I started out i didn't know any bloggers at all and had no clue how this world worked. It definitely took time to get into my groove and although I still have lots to learn, here's how I go about pitching myself to brands...
So first things first, groundwork. 
You have to do your research and prepare before making a pitch. As someone who receives hundreds of emails per day with the majority titled 'Hey you!!! We LOVE your content!!!!' ...I can tell you first hand that an impersonal, copy and paste job does not stand out (no matter how many exclamation marks you add.) Right off the bat address your contact by name. There really is little excuse for a 'dear who ever it might concern' opener now a days. Remember guys,  Google is your friend, Google will help you. I literally Google everything! If it's for a fashion brand for instance, Google them. Often enough you'll find the PR company or in house marketing team on Linkedin and get the name you need. Also if it turns out to be the wrong name for some reason, I like to think it shows intuitive and often everyone knows each other and will know who you're referring to and forward it along. Basically show that you've put some kind of effort into contacting them and not just send a random email to anyone that will listen.
Another point is that your pitches should be brand appropriate and in line with their tone of voice. For instance the tone of voice I'd use in an email to PrettyLittleThing would be very different to the one I would use for Corinthia Hotels. Get a sense of who the brand is and what kind of bloggers/influencers they already work with. You can do this easily by using either Google (my best mate tbh) or searching for content on Instagram. I always like to do this as it shows me want kind of collaborations they are already doing and with who. Next step is actually getting their contact information and if Goggle isn't playing ball then it's time to hit the socials. Before sending a pitch if I can't find a contact or I unable to find out via friends/other bloggers etc I like to use social media to reach out. I tend to use Instagram more so than Twitter as I find the response time quicker. I'm usually already following the brand so I'll like some of their posts and leave a comment, something like -  'Gorgeous! Is there an email I could have in order to reach your PR at all? I'd love to work with you.' Sounds too casual right? Not hard at all. Many people will disagree with this approach I'm sure but I can tell you that the majority of my collabs and sponsored work has started right there with that comment and I'd say nine times out of ten I get a response within the hour, either a reply or a DM with a contact name and email. Simple right!
 When you've done all of that you can start on the actual pitch, this is where the real work begins. Now again, I am not an expert but I tend to send something along the lines of :

'Hi [insert name],
I hope you're well. I just wanted to send a quick email to introduce myself and to say that I absolutely adore [insert brand]. I've been using/wearing [insert brand] for a while now and would love to work with you on some content for my blog and social channels. It would be great to meet for a coffee to chat about the brand in more detail and to hear about any upcoming projects you might be working on over the next year and how I could potentially be involved. Do let me know if this would be of interest. I look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes,
Kate Winney'
 
Obviously depending on who I'm emailing my use of language might change slightly but you get the gist. The above isn't really the full pitch but more an opener to set up a potential meeting as well as start a blogger/client relationship. I think every blogger will tell you that If you are able to meet someone in person it makes discussing future collaborations over email so much easier! Whenever possible I like to arrange a face to face breakfast/lunch meeting as it's a much better way of getting a feel of the brand, it's ethos and the team working behind it. My best collaborations come from PR girls and guys that I've met and chatted to over the phone on countless occasions. We've built a relationship and know how each other works, some even have me on Whatsapp and will send over last minute projects! Simply put - the more comfortable you get speaking to someone the more likely you are to get work from them.
So you've got the meeting and made the initial reach. What's next? Well hopefully you'll meet up or in some instances where this just isn't feasible due to location/schedule etc. another option would be to set up a Skype call so you can still get a sense of that face to face interaction. I know this can be daunting, trust me the first time I had a Skype call with a brand I was super nervous but alas, it was fine, they were friendly and the world kept on turning so just take a deep breath and go for it. Anyway as I was saying, after that initial introduction it's time to get down to the nitty gritty and put together your master plan. My top two tools whenever I plan to pitch are 1. Media Kit/Portfolio and 2. Idea/Execution. To learn how to make and what to put in your media kit you can read my previous 'How to make a media kit' post here. For the idea and execution, well that ones down to you. Before sending a pitch you need to have a long, hard think about why they should want to work with you. What can you bring to the table? What makes you stand out from the rest? Always be realistic in regards to your time and resources and make the idea relevant to both you and your audience. Once you've done that it's time for the actual pitch. here's a draft of the kind of thing I would send :

'Hi [insert name],

Hope you are well and enjoying this gorgeous weather! It was so lovely to meet you the other day and finally put a face to a name.
I'm still dreaming of those cupcakes... the third was probs a step to far haha!
I loved hearing about all the exciting things [insert brand] has coming up and have some ideas I'd like to run past you in that hope that we can work together going forward.
I'm a style and travel blogger with a niche in glasses and eye wear and have previously worked with Glasses Direct, Specsavers, RayBan and Silhouette to name a few. I have a strong and loyal following which range from around 18 - 35 (I have attached my media kit for more exact stats & demographics.) My aim is to reclaim the phrase 'four-eyes' and get people feeling confident in their specs. I would like to create outfit and product shot's to post on my blog and social media, showcasing [insert brand] new glasses collection over the next few months. 
Do let me know if this would be of interest and if your marketing strategy and budget for this year would enable this as I'd love to work with you.
Please find attached my media kit and do let me know if you have any other questions as of course I'm happy yo discuss further.
Looking forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes,
Kate Winney'

Now again, that's just an example of something I might send to a new glasses brand I'd like to work with but I hope you get the idea. I'm sure it goes without saying that it's a learning process, your first pitch is unlikely to be your best but be confident and remain positive. You will get knock backs and you will get declined sometimes but keep going and it'll eventually pay off. I hope this helped and I hope it answered some of your questions. Do let me know if you have any other questions surrounding this or any other blogging topics.
Thanks for stopping by once again and I hope you start pitching your butts off and turning your dreams into a reality!

K x
Photography by - Rebecca Chivers

The Weekly Roundup #9

 *This post is coming to your from a very tired (slightly hungover state, why? ...because last night was EUROVISION!!!*
Hello guys and welcome back to another Weekly Roundup. First things first, I apologise for not posting last week but you know what, the sun was shining and I decided to spend the bank holiday weekend enjoying life with my friends so I hope you understand. Sometimes I just need to take a little step back and allow myself to enjoy life in real-time and not just for an Instagram shot or blog content. So here we are, another week and into another month all together. May already....what?! I feel like i say this each week but where is this year going?! It scares me how quickly time goes sometimes. Regardless, this week (and last) has been really great. Not only has the weather been blissful but life in general has been pretty peachy. I had another shoot with my wonderful friend and photographer Zoe. The picture above was one she took whilst testing the light. I always like to strike a silly pose when she does this but I actually end up loving this shot, it just captures exactly how I felt at the time. Other than the photo shoot though, I've pretty much either been catching up with friends or working this week. The beginning of the week saw me doing a tour of London parks, Clissold Park which is just down the road from me is always a favourite of mine, so on Monday and Tuesday I headed there to work and read and take some time out. I also found a new running route (I'm still attempting to run) which is alongside a canal and nature reserve so it's really beautiful and inspires me to run more which is good as I need all the help I can get!
 I feel I'm back on a role with content too, ideas are literally popping up everywhere. I've got a few more collaborations in the pipe line which makes me super happy. Obviously I only ever agree to work with brands and on projects I truly believe in. I get emails everyday from a whole range of companies and I turn the majority of offers down. Integrity is key so if you do ever read any of my sponsored posts on here or see #AD on my Instagram posts please always know I will always be telling the truth. It's not worth lying, you guys and your support is why this is my job. Without you I wouldn't be able to do what I do so I'd never praise something if I didn't in fact like or use it. With that being said I am working with two new brands in the next coming months and I'm really looking forward to it! 
This week has also seen me take charge of my thoughts and really start to concentrate on the power our minds have over our lives. I've been following Jinti Fell and her gorgeous family, Chris and Aya for quite some time now over on Youtube (check them out HERE if your haven't already.) Although our lives are completely different and we live on the opposite sides of the world, I find her videos so inspiring. She has in fact inspired me to start journaling and using positive affirmations. It's something I've somewhat laughed at previously but I do think it is the secret to unlocking so much potential and so each day when I come to my little cafe (Charlies in Wood Green FYI) to work I bring my note book along and write out my affirmations as well as a daily visualisation and journal my thoughts for that day. I've only just started on this journey but if you are interested in finding out a bit more of exactly what I do and the process of journaling/affirmations let me know in the comments and I can write a separate post about it.
 Now you might think a random image of Coronation Street is a bit odd for my blog and I guess it is. First of all for those of you who aren't UK based, Coronation Street is a soap opera on the TV that's been around for years and years and is loved my millions of people. I used to watch it with my mum growing up but since living in London I don't really watch that much television anymore however, last week saw Coronation Street tackle two very real, very tough subject matters. The writers of Corrie are in my opinion some of the best in TV and the way they handled such difficult subjects was and continues to be outstanding. I watched the episodes and felt compelled to mention them in this weeks roundup. Sadly there are many people that really struggle with mental health and sometimes feel like there is no way out. The episodes I'm talking about covered two separate story lines revolving around suicide (male suicide to be specific) and rape (again male rape on this occasion.) The episodes where heart breaking yet so so important to be seen on television and to lift the taboo. The conversation needs to be started and to be seen by a wider audience. As I said, I don't usually watch soaps but the writing and acting is some of the best I've witnessed in a long time. Conveying such a difficult topic in the hope that it reaches someone, somewhere who is going through a tough time. If you are reading this and are struggling yourself or are worried about someone you know, remember there is always someone to talk to.

- Samaritans (for everyone)
Call: 116 123
email: jo@samaritans.org

- Campaign Against Living Miserably (for men)
Call: 0800 58 58 58 (5pm to 12am everyday)

- Papyrus (for people under 35)
Text: 07786209697
Call: 0800 068 41 41

- Childline (children and young people under 19)
Call: 0800 1111
*The number won't show on your phone bill*

- The silver line (for older people)
Call: 0800 4 70 80 90

Don't suffer in silence.
 Finally, last night as I referenced at the beginning of this post... Eurovision! Now just to clarify, I think Eurovision is dreadful and that's the exact reason why I love it! Tacky, cheesy, crazy - exactly why it's the best event of the year haha. I spent it with my gorgeous friends at their flat in Crystal palace (see what we got upto at last years Eurovision) and it was brilliant! I have started drinking again, I did 2 months and one week sober all together and although I may go back to not drinking as I actually preferred it, last night we toasted each act with a glass of bubbles. Cue a very sore head this morning but totally worth it!
And that gang, is that! Thanks for stopping by, I hope you're all happy and healthy but again, if not please know there's always someone to talk to. You are not alone.
Have a lovely week ahead, I'm mainly working form the Barbican Centre this week coming but I still have lot's of other little bits coming up so I look forward to catching up again next Sunday. Love you all!

K x

Don't let anyone dull your sparkle

Hi gang, sorry for the (unintentional) break, I'd had enough of social media last week and so decided to have a mini detox. This also coincided with some seriously stunning weather here in the UK so I decided to skip a week of blogs and allow myself to simply enjoy it without worrying about followers, likes and analytics. Although we don't get sunshine here that often, British summertime really does bring out the best in people and seeing every ones smiling faces made the last few days simply beautiful! So after a little break and some much needed TLC, I'm now rested and ready to get back to it, which brings to this post - these images are some of my favourites ever shot with the wonderful Zoe. Although on first glance they may look care free and graceful, getting there was quite the mission and had both Zoe and I in fits of tears and laughter. I'd love to have a film crew follow us one day when we're shooting so you could see the real 'behind the gram' goings on because wow, the things we do to get a shot you wouldn't believe! Anyhu, I wanted to write this post with this very apt title - 'Don't let anyone dull your sparkle' because it's something I imagine we all need to hear and more so, something I really need to start listening to.
On first glance and even to those who know me quite well, I can seem really confident. I find it easy to make conversation and wouldn't get nervous about entering a room full of strangers. However underneath that lies a rather fragile sense of self worth. I hate confrontation, I'd rather walk away from a situation or calmly talk through a disagreement rather than have a shouting match. I don't enjoy bringing people down or asserting authority and I often find it difficult to stand my ground when I feel intimidated. I sometimes take things to heart but instead of big, dramatic events it'll more likely be a singular comment made by someone - months or years back and I'll allow it to slowly chip away at my self confidence instead of facing it head on. I think the common mistake that people make about me is 'oh she takes pictures and poses in front of a camera - she must love herself' when in fact that's not the case at all. Yes, I find it easy to stand and glance off into the distance while someone presses click on a camera and yep, I can stand on a stage and sing/dance whilst the audience watches me but again, this doesn't mean I'm 100% confident with who I am as a person. In fact it's standing on stage as a character or taking fashion shots as 'littlemisswinney' that I find easy, It's not me - It's my character and so I feel less vulnerable. 
I find posts like this hard to write, it's so hard to articulate these kind of thoughts and so my writing tends to trail off into some kind of ramble but please stick with it. I write it because I figure/hope I'm not the only person that has these thoughts and struggles with these things. Sometimes I'll be having a great day and one comment can completely turn it upside down. At the moment I'm trying to let go of things that have happened in the past. I have such a hard time doing it but I know I need to in order to move forward and grow as a person. It's taken a long time for me to accept but I really do hold on to things and I need to be able to acknowledge this as appose to ignore it. As the title of this post suggests, I find the idea of putting people down in order to lift yourself up a difficult one to digest. I'll only say it once -  blowing out someone else's candle doesn't make yours shine brighter! There's been so, so many instances were people have tried to put me down, my work, my body, my opinions and my personality. I have to remind myself not to let any of it sink in and to not let anyone dull my sparkle. There are some people who always seem angry and continuously look for conflict. Walk away; the battle they are fighting isn’t with you, it is with themselves.
Dress - River Island, Shoes - Kurt Geiger, Watch - Larsson & Jennings
Glasses - Glasses Direct, Necklace - Daniella Draper
Photography - Zoe Griffin
Last week, I had a little glitch in the mental health system - another reason why I decided to take a little step back from the blog and from social media. I think it's a wonderful thing that the stigma surrounding mental health is slowly lifting, it's normal people! Everyone has good days and bad days regarding their state of mind and I'm happy that I'm now comfortable enough to find writing about mental health the same way I do my physical health.  Going forward I want my blog to be more open, a safe space with conversations surrounding mental help as I wouldn't want anyone reading this to ever feel alone or isolated. In an age of social media it's easy to compare ourselves to others but let me tell you - no one's life is perfect and everything you seen online or on social media is a snapshot. A single second of someone's life and the exact moment they've chosen to share. Don't let a shiny, well edited image distract you from real life, your life is just as special so never feel inferior to what you see online.
I'm currently back meditating a few times a week, something that really helps me. I've talked about the app Headspace on here lots of times before but if you're not familar check it out. I've also (shock horror) started running again, I've never found running easy however I find it's the best way to clear my head and  dismiss negative thoughts. I suppose saying 'don't let anyone dull your sparkle' is far easier said than done, however it's important we remind ourdelves of it regardless. Nothing worth having is easy to get but this next month I fully intend to take more me time, focus on the inside and practise a little bit more self love because as mama Ru Paul says time and time again - "If you can't love yourself, how are you gonna love anyone else."
So once again (I did warn ya) a bit of a rambling post but one I thought necessary to share. I hope you enjoyed it and I hope you got to see a little bit more of the 'real' me. I'd love to hear you're thoughts, any tips you have or exercises you do to improve your mental health and also if you enjoy reading the more personal posts. I'm constantly striving to write more engaging posts and to share different parts of my life. As always, thank you for stopping by. I'll be back on Sunday for the Weekly Roundup. Enjoy the Sunshine!

K x

THE WEEKLY ROUNDUP #8

Hey guys, happy Sunday, I can't get over how quickly this year is going! Yet again another week has gone by so quickly and here I am once again writing my Weekly Roundup. This week sadly said goodbye to the sunshine...come back! But I have to say all in all it's been a pretty good one for me. Lot's of events and catch ups with friends and some really interesting work related bits and bobs, so let's dive into it shall we.
Monday started off with a lovely little trip to the Rush Hair & Beauty Salon in Moorgate for a complimentary blow dry. I absolutely adore getting my hair done, I can never achieve quite the same amount of bounce and shine when I do it myself as when I get it done in a salon. So I headed down to Moorgate, coffee in hand and had a relaxing hair wash and massage before getting it styled into curls by the lovley senior stylist Robert. The salon was so cool with a paint splattered wall which I loved and made sure to get photographs in front of! The style held really well and was perfect for a few drinks with my friends later that day. Also a quick shoutout to the gorgeous jumpsuit (pictured below) from Dorothy Perkins, I was kindly sent it a few weeks a go and it has been a style staple for when the sun has been shining - that print though!
Midweek I was lucky enough to go to a couple of beauty events with my right hand woman Yasmin. We headed to the Foreo UFO event in Oxford Circus (loving the gold balloons!) and learnt about their new Smart Mask Treatment. Then we headed down to Covent Graden to the Benefit Cosmetics #BoldIsBeautiful launch. A pop-up charity shop that will be travelling around the country to raise money and support local charities for woman. For the month of May Benefit will be donating 100% of their brow wax proceeds to local charities for woman and girls across 19 countries, so if you're in need of a little brow maintenance make sure to show your support and head to a Benefit store near you.
Friday was spent at the Barbican centre, I was there super early for a 7.30am call time but it was pretty exciting as I got to assist and be the onsite host for a Miu Miu fashion shoot. I wasn't given too much information about where the editorial would be seen but it was for their pre-fall collection and was a video shoot using various staircases around the arts centre. The team were really lovely, I spent the majority of time with the camera crew and logistics teams helping them get to various locations and making sure they stuck to time etc. I learnt so much by chatting to the camera men and women on the team and finding out the various jobs they had to do and what shots they needed to get. The guy heading the shoot was Alasdair Mclellan who is apparently quite a 'big deal' in the fashion world. The models must have been freezing - as was I but they did amazingly and the shoot was a huge success. It was so interesting to be around and see such a high profile brand in action.
Bringing the week to an end, yesterday I once again met up with Yasmin... Lee was supposed to be meeting us as well but he was still feeling a tad fragile from the Friday night so decided to stay in instead. Me and Yas headed to Pergola Paddington Central, a night-market/beer-garden kind of vibe. It's a really cool place with loads of tables and benches, we didn't book but managed to walk-in and get a table anyway. We got our food, me nachos and Yas bao buns, then drinks. Guys, after 2 months and 1 week I had my first alcoholic drink! A glass of prosecco saw me cheers the end to my alcohol free phase. I'm planning on writing a post regarding my relationship to alcohol so I won't go into it to much here but I'm so pleased I went without it for so long and learnt so much during that time. We made a toast and enjoyed our food before being joined by some other friends. 11pm, kicking out time and we headed back, I decided to saty over at Yasmins as it was far easier than trekking back to North London and her bed is the comfiest bed in the world! We grabbed an apple pie and some custard from M&S on the way back (because we were craving something sweet) then curled up on the sofa to watch an old school favourite - The Sweetest Thing. Basically, a perfect Saturday night!
So there we are, once again another week done and dusted. I'm really looking forward to the next few few weeks and even months for that matter. I have all my fingers crossed that we get a little bit of sunshine back as it really does make a huge difference to my mood and productivity! The week ahead has lots of cool things in store including a mammoth photoshoot with my photographer Zoe. So as always, I hope you've had a delightful week yourselves and if you'd like to keep up with my day to day musings do go ahead and follow me on Instagram - @littlemisswinney. Other than that I'll see you again for another new post on Wednesday. Hope you have a relaxing Sunday night, I plan on running a big bubble bath and catching up with last nights Britains Got Talent...wild!

K x

Natural Cycles - Q&A

A few weeks a go I wrote my first 'Body Talk' post about contraception (you can read it here) and the response was amazing. I was flooded with questions and comments not just on here but across all my social media platforms as well. I loved being able to start a conversation with you guys and be able to share opinions and experiences. Obviously the post was centred around contraception and in particular my personal experience using the Natural Cycles app as a form of contraception. I had so many questions about how it works, what effects it has and how I've found it so I thought I'd answer all your queries in one big post and hopefully explain more about what it actual does etc.
So here we go - a quick Q&A about Natural Cycles...
Q: How does it actually work?
A: Natural Cycles involves an app and a digital medical thermometer which is used to measure your body temperature every morning before you get out of bed. You place the thermometer under your tongue,  as far back as possible. Your temperature varies depending on the hormone levels in your body, and where you are in your cycle. You then enter the reading into the app where you'll then be given a notification of either a green day (safe to have sex) or red day (possibility of getting pregnant and need to use protection.)

Q: How long does it take the app to get to know my cycle?
A: The app works effectively from the beginning however In my experience it went quick, it took about 2/3 weeks for it to find my ovulation and get to know my cycle. It usually takes a few months, therefor at the beginning you should expect more red days but be patient, as the app continues to get to know your cycle these will reduce.

Q: How many 'red' days will I get?
A: This can differ person to person but on average you will get around 10 red days per cycle. During this time you and your partner must be comfortable with either abstaining from sex or using a condom in order to prevent pregnancy.

Q: I'm on another form of contraception, can I use both?
A: This would depend on the type of contraception you're already on. If it's a NON-hormonal contraceptive ie: condoms, copper IUD etc you can get started with Natural Cycle straight away however hormonal contraceptive such as the pill affects your cycle and temperature so you cannot start using Natural Cycles until you have come off it and have been off it for approximately one week. The exception for this is the hormonal IUD, which as well as the copper IUD can be used in combination with Natural Cycles. After coming off hormonal contraception cycle irregularities are quite common so you may have more 'red' days at the beginning.
Q: Is it 100% effective?
A: No, like any other form of contraception Natural Cycles doesn't claim to be 100% effective. It is 93% effective which is less effective than the IUD, comparable to the contraceptive pill and more effective than forms of barrier contraception ie: condoms.

Q: Does is protect against STI's?
A: No, much like the pill and copper IUD you must use a condom to protect yourself from STI's.

Q: Is it suitable for everyone?
A: Natural Cycles isn't for everyone, I spoke about this quite a bit in my original post.  It is for people who have a daily routine and a fairly structured lifestyle. I could never have used this as a student as my sleeping patterns were too sporadic however now that I have a much more settled routine it's a great alternative contraception method for me. The app is for those 18+ however Natural Cycles encourages couples in a steady relationship again with a structured lifestyle and therefore the average age of users tends to be 30.

Q: How often do I need to measure my temperature?
A: You should be willing to measure preferably five times a week and use protection (condoms) on red days if you wish to prevent pregnancy, having this discussion with your partners makes this a shared responsibility too - which is great!

Q: Are there any side effects?
A: No (hurrah!) Natural contraception means non-hormonal  and non-intrusive so zero side effects - in my opinion...finally!

Q: How much does it cost?
A:Well guys this is were I can help! I you do think Natural Cycles is something that would suit your lifestyle then I have a code for you to get a yearly subscription, free thermometer, Durex condoms and Yuppie tampons all for £39.99 (that's less than half the usual price) just click HERE to claim.
I hope you found this useful, regardless if Natural Cycles is for you or not I think it's always good to research into every option before picking a form of contraception. I plan on doing another post in the next month or so talking about my journey with the app from start to 'finish' and what I think of it after using it for 6 months. So if you have any other questions that I haven't answered above or anything you'd like to add in general, please leave a comment below or reach out over on my Instagram - @littlemisswinney and I will do my best to answer all your queries as well as share the good AND the bad. In the meantime you can always head over to the Natural Cycles website to find out more and if you do think this would work for you make sure to make use of my discount code.

K x
*This post was sponsored by Natural Cycles*

THE WEEKLY ROUNDUP #7



Hi guys, sorry this one is a tad late. Today has just ran away with itself (marathon pun intended!) This week has been one of the best, not only have we had a mini heat wave here in London but my week was jam packed with so many exciting things. I'm gonna whiz through everything and catch you all up with my going's on but firstly - how glorious has the weather been?! London in the sunshine really is the most beautiful city, it's sad we don't get it often but when we do, us Brits know how to enjoy it! Everyone was hitting the parks and the rooftop bars, Aperol Spritz was pouring and BBQ's were firing up. It's been a delight and I, along with everyone else took full advantage.
So lets rewind to the start of the week, Monday and Tuesday were spent being ever so cultured at the Theatre. Monday I was invited along side my bestie Yasmin to STK restaurant and the Aldwych Theatre by Swarovski to go and see the new Tina Turner musical. Swarovski has provided the crystals for all the costumes in the show and treated us such a special night. The show was fabulous, if you're a Tina fan you must beg, borrow or steal a ticket! The music and costumes are amazing and the story - heart breaking but powerful. The singing was insane and finally at the very end of the show the audience got the chance to sing and dance along, which I was dying to do the entire time. Tuesday, again with Yasmin but this time joint by Lee and Holly as well, we headed to the Noel, Coward Theatre to watch the new play Quiz. Based on the coughing scandal on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, the play shows both sides of the story as seen in court. Guys... we LOVED it! It's super stylised and really interesting, the audience get involved - Millionaire style. We thought it was brilliant, maybe not everyones cup of tea but for us it was a hit!
Midweek I spent working from the park. With the temperature hitting 27 degrees I couldn't bare staying inside so instead made myself a little work station in the park. I burn really easily so was very much under a tree, in the shade and covered in factor 50. It was beautiful though, I pretty much did the exact same on both Wednesday and Thursday which was so nice, working al fresco is definitely my favourite thing to do when it's nice weather. Saturday I headed off the meet my girls, Izzy T and Alice. We met at Liverpool Street and headed to Dinerama for drinks and food. If you've never been you should check it out. It's a big warehouse full of different bars and food stalls. It's the same team that are behind Street Feast and Hawker House and the perfect spring/summer hang out. We had a good catch up and ate all the food, I went for a steak plate and it was so good! We then headed to a gin bar around the corner. I'm still not drinking, 7 weeks in and still going strong. I'm discovering lots of mocktail recipes, I had a chilli and ginger mocktail at the gin bar which wasn't my favourite but certainly a bit different and cleared my sinuses big time haha. I love seeing my girls, we always have such a good time when we're together and it made for the perfect Saturday night!
And we have today, a very special Sunday in the British calender - The London Marathon! I love going to watch the marathon, it's such an inspiring event and always makes me emotional. I went along with Holly and her Uni friends to cheer on one of their friends Niamh who did brilliantly. Every single person running did such an amazing job, the heat made it so much harder and honestly I don't know how they did it. So many charities being supported and people of all ages, sizes and cultures taking part. If you ever find yourself in London for the marathon weekend you must go and cheer on the runners, it's such a brilliant event and again, so so inspiring! Well done to each and every one of you!
So there we are, another great week. I'm in such high spirits at the minute, I think the weather makes a huge difference to everyones mood. I can't wait for the week ahead and to get stuck into more work. Lot's of exciting things coming to the blog so keep your eyes peeled. I hope you've had a lovely week!

K x

Is blogging dead? I don't think so!

The whole blogosphere seems to be having some sort of melt down at the moment. I've seen endless twitter threads with bloggers voicing there thoughts and opinions on how blogging is on its way out and how the once thriving community was now more jealous than supportive. It's so sad to see this and yet I suppose it was always going to happen. When I started blogging, almost four years ago, I had no idea it was something you could earn money from let alone turn into a full-time job. The community was smaller back then and people truly loved reading content and sharing opinions. Whereas now it's all about the likes and numbers, more quantity over quality. I'm not going to harp on about the Instagram algorithm, yes it's shit but there's nothing we can do about so it's pointless moaning about it...am I right? Anyhu, nowadays the term 'influencer' (a term that in all honesty, I'm not a huge fan of) is given to lot's of people, you don't need a blog - simply having a following on Instagram can boost your profile and give you 'influencer' status and so people are asking the question - why bother blogging? For me the answer is simple, I love it. Even though blogging is my job now and something I do rely for income, it is first and foremost a passion project. If the brand collaborations stopped and I had to go back to working full time at my job at the Barbican, I would but I'd still blog. Blogging wasn't something I got into for the money, I was oblivious to the fact you could earn money from it, it was something I started as a creative outlet and something I very much intend to continue.
Towards the end of last year I completely lost my blogging mojo and didn't post for weeks. I didn't force it because I knew if I did the content would not only be dull but it would be pointless. Thankfully a couple of months a go it came back and once again I started to love creating posts, writing, editing, styling and organising photo shoots. Now more than ever I am so excited to share all of my various musings with you guys and hope you enjoy reading them as much as I do writing them. Sometimes, I click onto my website and try to see it through the eyes on a new reader and I have to say I'm pretty proud of myself, something that I don't say to often but in all honesty, I love what I've created! As well as writing a blog myself however, I also still love to read blogs, yes Instagram and Twitter give quick bursts of content and small glimpses into people lives but I still very much enjoy taking in long-form content. I still read my favourite blogs each week, not only because I enjoy reading them but because I get inspired by them too. Some firm faves I enjoy reading come from the likes of Victoria at InTheFrow, Megan at MeganEllaby, Hannah at HannahGale and Hayley at FrockMeI'mFamous to name a few.
Jacket - Primark, Jumper - H&M, Trousers - Primark, Glasses c/o - Specsavers,
Bag c/o - Radley, Bracelets - Daniella Draper & Monica Vinader, Shoes c/o - ASOS
Photography - Zoe Griffin
I mentioned at the beginning of the post how the community has turned into a very jealous pool of people, know obviously this isn't said for everyone! There are some lovely, genuine bloggers out there some of which I've formed great relationships with, however there always seems to be so much blogger drama on Twitter usually involving people calling out other people, voicing their frustrations over someone else being picked for a brand campaign or how certain bloggers are faking there way to the top. I try to stay on the sidelines when it comes to all of that, I'm just not interested in it all! You do you and don't worry about anyone else.
As the fabulous Ru Paul says - "Unless they gonna pay your bills, pay them bitches no mind." A truer word has never been said!


So after reading so many articles on how the world of blogging is dead, I'm here to say that this one isn't!
Are blogs bringing in the same amount of views as the days before Instagram... perhaps not but am I bothered? Not one bit! As long as you have content creators who love doing what they do regardless of how the industy changes along the way you'll always have bloggers, great bloggers in fact! So please do me a favour - if you do read them and you do enjoy what they write/share then engage! Leave a comment, reach out, tell them what you'd like to see more of. I can't speak for us all but the majority of bloggers love getting feedback and love starting conversations that readers can join in with. And for those wanting to start a blog DO IT!
It's truly the best decision I ever made but start for the right reasons, because you love it and not becuase you want to make money from it, passion should always come first.

K x

THE WEEKLY ROUNDUP #6

Guys! Welcome back and happy Sunday. How quick has this week gone? This year in fact, I'm trying not to panic but HOW is it already April...nearly May, like where the hell did the first quarter of the year go?! Today I'm back for another Weekly Roundup (I hope you're enjoying them) It's been lovely for me to sit down each Sunday and just recap everything I've been up to. It's also been quite therapeutic and keeps me motivated to write content each week. Along with this post I also wrote another beauty review on Wednesday so if you're yet to read it you can find it by clicking this link here and as always if you fancy reading any of my previous Roundups you can find them all here. With that said, let's get straight to it.
This week was lovely and we finally had some sunshine!! Word has it it'll be sticking around for the week ahead too, so I have my fingers firmly crossed for that. I'm pretty chuffed that I managed to back into my gym groove this week, I only did three sessions but I feel so much better for it and hope to get back to my standard four sessions a week very soon. I always find it easy in the lighter/warmer months, I'm just more motivated in general when it's not dull and rainy outside. Monday I did a boot camp class and the other days I did spinning (I'm becoming addicted to spin classes - I love them!) After the gym on Wednesday I was invited to the Wellness Clinic at Harrods to have a treatment with LPG endermologie. It's  a non invasive, 100% natural - slimming and anti-ageing beauty therapy. Basically it's a machine that lightly pinches (not painful at all) your skin to remove resistant fat as well as firming the skin and smoothing cellulite. The treatment can be used anywhere on the body but I had the facial treatment. It was fabulous and super relaxing. The wellness clinic itself was so chilled and definitely somewhere I'll look into going again...any excuse to go to Harrods!
 The rest of my week days were a mix of working from home on my laptop - I'm chuffed to have signed a contract to work with another brand on a really cool campaign... I'll share more when I can but it's a brand I've wanted to work with for a long time and I can't wait to shoot all the content! Other than home I've worked a couple of days at the Barbican Centre, I even managed to watch The Isle of Dogs (Wes Anderson's latest film) which I loved! If you haven't seen it I'd definitely recommend it, it's really funny. So yes, all in all my week was pretty chilled leading up to the most delightful of weekends. Yesterday I met my besties Lee and Holly for coffee and brunch at Ozone in Old Street. The food was worth the queue, sadly we ate it before I had a chance to take a picture (it was that good) but trust me, the omelette's are crazy good. After brunch we headed to Kings Cross to meet my momma at the station, she's been in Paris visiting my brother all week and had a couple of hours before her train home so we grabbed a cocktail (just OJ for me) and caught up. Yes guys, I'm still going alcohol free, it's been six weeks and I feel great. Mum left and me Lee and Hol headed to Balans in Soho for more drinks and some light bites. I honestly can't even describe the friendship I have with these two, we just laugh constantly when together and I don't mean giggles, I big fat belly laughs. I just love when we're together!
That leaves us with today. Today has been such a classic Sunday, I slept in, I had a long bubble bath and I cooked a gorgeous dinner. I then headed to my favourite local coffee shop and sat with my flat white and lemon drizzle cake, watching the world go by whilst doing some admin and emails. I love days like this, where it's just so relaxed and yet still fairly productive. I'm now back in my flat, sat on my bed typing away and intend to write another couple of blogs before painting my nails and popping on a face mask. I have a super exciting day tomorrow but I'll save that for next weeks RoundUp. Hope you've all had a lovely week and I hope to see you back here again on Wednesday for my next post. See you soon!

K x