Travel | When in Rome

Colosseum - Rome, ItalyItaly had been in my travel wish list for as long as I can remember and a couple of weeks ago I finally made my dream come true! My boyfriend and I did a little trip to Rome, Amalfi and Capri in 7 days. 

Pane e Salami - Rome restaurant recommendation

We started our trip in Rome. Even though, I definitely had high expectation for Rome (having been a massive fan of Mary Kate & Ashley's When in Rome and Lizzie McGuire's Movie), but somehow Rome had managed to exceed all of my expectations. Colosseum was beautiful and rich with history. Trevi Foundation was breathtaking and more beautiful than I could ever imagined. The food was just scrumptious and just better than all the Italian food I've ever tried in all my life, combined. I would highly recommend Pane e Salami as an awesome lunch place for both sandwiches and meat board. Hedera has the tastiest gelato and no other gelato had even came closed to being as delicious. 

Path of the Gods - Amalfi Coast, Positano
When we arrived at Amalfi Coast, my boyfriend and I decided to spend a day trekking on the Path of the Gods which is something that I would highly recommend by the way. Even as someone who isn't that particular keen on that kind of thing, the view from the trek was just simply too wonderful to miss out. The trek itself wasn't too difficult to complete either. Add it to your to do list! 

Faraglioni - Capri, Italy

For me, Capri was a disappointment of Italy. Everything is overpriced, the beauty is just so-so and throughout the stay I felt like I was stuck in Chelsea, the island. Too many people were walking around with Louis Vuitton and Chanel as their beach bag. The things I did enjoy were the view of Capri from Anacapri and the boat trip around the island. The picture above is of Faraglioni and it's said that if you kiss your other half as you go through the arch, you will stay together for a lifetime. It's all very lovey-dovey and cute.  

Have you been to Italy?

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Guide to working with brands

Firstly, I am going to start this off with a massive disclaimer. I don't work with brands as a blogger very often but I work with bloggers as a brand everyday (you get me?). It's my job to contact bloggers pretty much on a daily basis and I am not saying that what I write here is the ultimate guide but it's just all from my point of view at the end of the day. 
apple, white, and nars image
Image from We Heart It
The Initial Contact
I regularly get emails and messages from blogger wanting to collaborate and the ones that grab my attention would the ones that have a clear and concise message about their blog/stats and link to their profile. I don't need your life story (sometimes it's nice to read a bit about you but that's what your 'About' page is for). Don't lie about your stats because I can see them...(no point saying you have 15K Instagram followers if you only have about 15 likes per post, no one is buying it). 

TIP: Send a brief message about you/your blog, a few stats and what you want from the collaboration. For example, "Hi, my name is xxx. I have a blog with xxxx followers and I would like to collaborate with you on _____".

The Greediness Balance
Yes, it is very exciting to be working with brands and getting free products. However, don't be greedy! I have had people that basically send me a shopping list of about 20 products and when she received the parcel and found out that I didn't send her everything, she decided kick up a fuss and was very rude to me. Rudeness and greediness mean that you have burn down the bridge with that brand. If the brand were generous enough to let you choose products you want. Bring yourself back a little bit and think that it's probably not a great idea to ask anyone for 3 ghds... 

When the money are being exchange for posts, don't just pull a random number out of your a**. Think if the amount is well justify for the amount of followers and coverage you have. I have seen one person asking $40K for one video. I laughed...and then I cried a little bit inside... I also would expect professionalism for any paid posts as well, I do not want to see you grumpy and crank all throughout that video (yes, that happened before). If you are having a bad day, just don't film. 

TIP: Ask for what you want and say "oh, any of these would be great but it's up to you what you would like to send me :)". 

The Communication
When you receive products, it's always polite to let the brand know. It doesn't take a lot, a simple email will do and let them know when they can expect a post. Email them again when the post goes live. Post when you say you are going to or if you have any issues why you can't post. Let the brand know because you blog might be your hobby but it's someone's job. 

The Important Notes
Always mention where you got the products from, especially when you are working with a retailer. They didn't send you products out the goodness of their heart. Link to the site and the products. List any information they have given you (e.g. discount code). I know this might sounds like common sense but you'd be surprise by how many people that do not do this and just pretend that they bought the products themselves (I don't think that this is even legal). 

The Honesty
Some people might feel like they have to be nice to brands because they received the products for free but honestly you don't have to be as long as your opinions are well justified. For example, if they shipping takes forever and the parcel came damaged, let the brand know but don't be rude. As a blogger, I find the fact that some bloggers do not put a disclaimer on their posts/videos can be misconstrued as dishonest and make me trust their opinions less. 

That's all from my personal experience from working with bloggers/youtubers. Obviously if you disagree with anything I've said, do let me know. Although, I have to say that I really do enjoy my job and nothing pleases me more than when I sent products to people and they ended up loving it. I feel a bit like father Christmas haha. 

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A Graduate Guide to Graduation

How crazy is it that it has been nearly a year since my graduation from university? Let me tell you, the first 6 months after graduation is the hardest but things do get better after that!

To be very honest with everyone, about a year before my graduation I had this image of what I want to look like on my graduation day and I spent quite a bit of time looking for the perfect dress and shoes to go with it (in hindsight, I should have spent more time revising haha). This might seem like a shallow moment for some people but to me, it was a very special occasion. Even more important than my wedding because it was a day to celebrate my hard work and of course a day where my mother can be proud of me. And obviously I wanted to look good for the graduation pictures...obviously.

Makeup and styling
One thing I truly regret about my graduation day is not getting up early enough to get ready properly. Since my graduation was at 9 in the morning, I naively thought that an hour would be enough to shower, do my hair and face but I was so wrong. I forgot to leave time to do my mum's hair and makeup and picking up the graduation gown as well. So to all you upcoming graduates out there...leave at less 2 hours to get ready so you are not rushing around. 

On special occasions, always stick for a safe look. DO NOT on any level experiment with a bold 'on-trend' look for that day. A lesson I learnt the hard way...as I look back onto my high school day pictures... Honestly, wtf was I thinking and omg why did I thought that back combing my hair was a good idea. My friends even told me my hair looked stupid...but I insisted. Anyway, back to the story... for makeup, I went for a very simple and understated look, just concentrated on the achieving a flawless base, light eye makeup, lashes and a slight pop of colour on my lips. For my hair, I just curled it and pinned one side back with hair pins (which it loosen and got messier throughout the day).  

Finding your perfect dress
For me, I imagined myself wearing a white pencil skirt dress or something that has a bit of a figure hugging shape and reaches my knees, something a bit classy. I saw a couple of dresses from ASOS that I liked but with my student budget, I couldn't afford to buy them both online (ah...being a poor student, what a life). So, as a way to save money. I usually look for dresses on eBay as some shops on there will sell new ASOS dresses at a discounted price.  

Getting your perfect shoes
I wanted a pair of shoes that I can walk in... I mean no one want to trip over when they are walking across the stage (a la Lizzie McGuire). Nude colour shoes for me is always a good idea because they will make my short legs look longer. The shoes I went for was also bought on ASOS but it's the Steve Madden shoes because I have had several pair of Steve Madden and I find them to be very comfortable for my feet. 

Not forgetting the essentials
Bring a lot of safety pins because that graduation gown is not going to stay on you by itself. I spent the majority of my day adjusting my gown and pulling it up because it kept sliding off... 
However, most importantly remember to cherish every moments and enjoy yourself. 

P.S. How cute was my flower bouquet that my mum made me?

 *Throws your mortarboards in the air like you just don't care*

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