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Blogging Events - Are They Worth It Part 2

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Go Away I'm Blogging Mug

My recent post Blogging Events - Are They Worth It? has been picked up quite well and since the events season has started with all the press days for SS16 and Christmas parties around, I had enough inspiration lately to extend my index of blogging related events. 

In the past few weeks, I went to my first Blogger workshop, attended an overcrowded spa party, lusted over new dainty jewellery pieces and decorated my Christmas tree (yes it is already up, #becauseICan). 

Warning, this is a lengthy post!

Bloggeration x Penguin Workshop At The OBag Factory In North London


Bloggers contribute to the community in the most diverse ways: some produce regular quality content, others run their own RT service and then you have bloggers who organise their own events. I have a lot of respect for people who work full time and write an awesome blog on the side AND can plan events. One of these extraordinary people is London and Lifestyle blogger Sarah.

She has organised a couple of individual workshops for bloggers, held at the OBag Factory in North London. I was lucky to get invited to her most recent one, which was an afternoon workshop in collaboration with publisher Penguin.

Before I tell you all about the workshop, I need to spend a few words on OBag’s amazing shop. The moment I stepped in, I felt in handbag heaven. The Italian brand creates handbags with a twist; the idea is to provide basics, such as the bucket or the handles and additional accessories so you can change your handbag’s appearance constantly. 

You can choose from a wide range of different colours and materials, which makes your handbag unique and individual. Customisation on the next level! Though they also produce smaller crossbody handbags, my favourite has to remain their signature bucket bag. Just look at the cute winter accessories and imagine how much shopping you could carry home.

OBag Factory in London

OBag Factory Bucket Handbag

Only ten bloggers were invited to the workshop which felt very private and intimate. Over tea and delicious macarons from Anges De Sucre, we introduced ourselves and our blogs. As this was a workshop with a literary focus, we would also recommend our favourite books and Sarah arranged a meet up with a representative from Penguin.

In the afternoon, Stephenie would join us and talk about her job at Penguin. She gave us great insights into the publishing industry and tips on how to break into the industry. It was a relaxed atmosphere and I learnt a lot about career perspectives at a publishing house. 

Macaroons and Notepad
Penguin Blogger Workshop

Workshops - Are They Worth It? : This was an interesting and highly informative experience as I’ve never been to an event with less than ten bloggers. Workshops are an ideal blogging opportunity if you feel comfier in a small group. Though we were strangers at the beginning of the day, we quickly opened up to each other, started chatting and laughing. You got the chance to speak to people and find out about their blogs and concerns. You could give feedback, discuss ideas and exchange improvements. It is very hard to get into publishing these days, so the chance to get first-hand information and insights from an industry professional was an added bonus.

Atmosphere: 5/5, Company: 5/5, Structure of Event: 5/5

Champneys Moments At The Hospital Club In Covent Garden


Blogging events are not always as intimate and private as a workshop. You can get the complete opposite with hundreds of bloggers turning up – or as I had to learn this week, a mass gathering of the press. Press days have been ok for me so far, as they are usually an all-day event where you can just go in and out, but with press events, it’s a different story. Media people rarely show respect towards the work of bloggers, so be prepared that they will be constantly in the way and make your life hard. 

Champneys Spa Press Event In London
Overcrowded Champneys Spa Press Event

When I arrived at the venue, I stepped right into a spring garden with the smell of fresh, citrus in the air. The centrepiece of the venue made a stunning tree in blossom with cute rabbits running around it. Though I arrived for the events start at 6:30pm, the venue was bursting. It was so busy and working was extremely difficult. I barely got good shots of the products as people were constantly in the way, not making a move.

Champneys new range
Champneys Pillow spray

I queued a good 15 minutes for a neck massage just to be pushed out of the way when it was my turn. As I was too tired from work and not up for drama, nor for another 15minute wait, I left the event a bit disappointed after half an hour.

Press Events - Are They Worth It? Depends. I've been to press days which were a lot more relaxed and more of an in-and-out nature. However, at all press events, I've been to this year, people have been fairly reserved towards bloggers even up to the level of complete ignorance. Most won't tolerate us as equal, which is fair enough as the majority of us aren't professional journalists. 

However, we do a lot more work by ourselves such as the PR and photography side. We stress a lot about our stats and make sure that we get our daily traffic in. It is also expected of us to be available 24/7 on our Social Media (have you ever had a reply tweet from any of the big magazines or journalists?), so labelling us as 'not important press' feels often very frustrating and I wish the respect for our hard work would be more appreciated. 

The Champneys Spa event was very high-end and well thought out, but I felt more than once massively out of place. There wasn't a familiar face around and it seemed a general disinterest in networking. The event was far too overcrowded to make me feel relaxed but I caught up on that bit when I went home and indulged into some of the generously gifted samples from my goodie bag.

Atmosphere: 3/5, Company 2/5, Structure of Event: 3/5

Paperchase SS 16 and Christmas Challenge At Their Flagship Store In Tottenham Court Road


One day after work I made my way over to Paperchase's flagship store in Tottenham Court Road. If you've never been there, I highly recommend you to do so, as the store stretches over three floors full of cute stationery. I arrived a few minutes before the official start of the event and had a tiny look around (and spotted so many things that went straight onto my Christmas wish list!). 

Alongside a few selected bloggers, amongst them my dear friend Nadja, I was introduced to the marketing and PR team as well as the design team who presented the SS16 collection. There will be some very pretty items available next year and here's a little glimpse of what you can expect:

Paperchase SS16 collection

In the first part of the event, we were introduced to the new range and pieces. The SS16 collection is very Paperchase, think delicate florals, folded ornaments, cute rainbow coloured pens and sleek rosé golden pens. My favourite part of the new collection was the Mother's Day-themed 'Madame Romanta' series which you'll see below. Very girly and pretty. Some items even had a little art nouveau touch.

Paperchase Mother's Day SS16
Paperchase Mothers Day Diary
Paperchase SS16 tea candle

The second part of the event was more creative and action-packed. Give 11 bloggers a £25 Paperchase voucher and 1h to decorate a mini Christmas tree and you'll get a shopping scenario that could rival a Black Friday Sale. Most girls stormed the Christmas section straight away, others found random items on the way. This was my result at the end of the evening:

Paperchase Christmas Tree Challenge

I know it looks a bit colourful and it might not be the taste of everyone but I had so much fun decorating my tree (and competing) with the girls. The whole point was to make the Christmas tree as personal as possible and since I love Pizza I couldn't resist getting this massive slice as my centrepiece :)

Blogger Previews - Are They Worth It? - Yes, definitely yes! This event brought together a handful of bloggers, which made it very easy to network and to get to know people. I enjoyed myself so much and it was exactly what I needed after a long, stressful day at work. I had a lot of fun with the girls and the high level of interaction and engagement to fully immerse into the experience made this event really unique. Whenever I'll get my Christmas Tree out in the years to come, I will think back to this wonderful evening at Paperchase.

Atmosphere: 5/5, Company: 5/5, Structure of Event: 5/5

Jewellerybox Pop-Up Store In Brick Lane 


On a cold and miserable Saturday evening, at an hour when you shouldn't be wandering around on your own as a young attractive woman, I decided to head into Central to Brick Lane #yeahwhynot. Don't get me wrong, Brick Lane is nice with its hipster shops, vintage houses and massively over the top fashion bloggers who bring an entire photography team just to pose in the street. But once night-time has fallen, it is dodgy and you can't shake off the feeling that you shouldn't be carrying a DSLR and iPhone with you. Once I walked it up and down twice from the Liv Pool Street side, I checked out the other end and finally found the small JewelleryBox pop-up shop on the corner. 

I had the pleasure to get to know JewelleryBox a year ago as they are a subsidiary of The Charm Works, a brand that has specialised in charms. 2015 has been their year and their dainty jewellery collection took the blogosphere by storm. I met the lovely PR team a few times, lastly at the Bloggers Festival. So when the invite to see their pop-up store came into my inbox, I felt honoured to get another chance to work with the brand. Blogging is not just writing and taking a few pictures here and there, but it is networking and building long-term relationships after all. 

JewelleryBox Pop Up
C Charm JewelleryBox

The shop was decorated with a thousand little light strings which gave the place a warm and cosy atmosphere. It was so festive and Christmassy inside with all the sparkling jewellery pieces and little holy branches. 

Alongside a handful of carefully selected bloggers, I got introduced to the brands Christmas collection which features the snowflake in all its variations. The evening was super relaxed and I met my friends Olivia, queen of London Blogging Events, and Laura. We got drinks, we had some snacks and nibbles and lusted over the pieces including this very cute C charm and reindeer necklace.

Reindeer Necklace JewelleryBox

Blogger Gatherings Organised By Brands - Are They Worth It? - Yes, definitely. It was again a super relaxed atmosphere and though I love mass gatherings, these smaller events keep on growing on me. It brought together my friends and we admired jewellery in an enchanted environment. What's not to love?!? JeweryBox have been very generous and we received a small heart-shaped charm, that we got to stamp with our initials. This was a very thoughtful gesture and underlines again the personal and intimate nature of the gathering, which will create a long-term memory and relationship. 

Atmosphere: 5/5, Company: 5/5, Structure of Event: 3/5

JewelleryBox Christmas Collection

Thanks for reading, 

Till next time, 
Carolin

Life Lately In London 5

Friday, 13 November 2015

Life in London

London - the city that never sleeps and which I can now call my home. Yes, you've read correctly, I've moved here for a new exciting job and my second week as an 'official Londoner' is nearly coming to an end. On the weekend I'll be busy sorting out our boxes as our moving van will be coming today. But before I sign off to build furniture and settle into our new place, I'd like to give you a little recap of what has been happening lately in London. So, it was the week, when ...

Popchips Held a Blogger Event in Central London


Though I try to cut out salted food as much as possible from my diet due to health reasons, I can't deny that I now and again risk a cheeky packet of crisps. I discovered my love for Popchips in late 2013 and have been a fan of their sour cream & onion version ever since. It goes without saying that I agreed straight away to an invitation to a three-course meal when the brand reached out to me. 

Popchips held a really lovely intimate blogging event in the style of a dinner at The Hospital Club in Covent Garden, a few weeks ago. What I didn't know by then was that the brand also introduced bloggers to their new limited edition, which features a diverse range of sea-salted crisps. Each dish was therefore inspired and linked to one of the new flavours. This was a bit tricky for me as I can't have any iodine intense food for health reasons such as sea salt or seafood. It was a shame that I couldn't try the crisps and I had to be careful that evening.

Popchips limited edition range
Popchips crisps launch event London

The entire meal was thought out so well and presented nicely. The idea to link Popchips flavours to each component of the meal was extremely thoughtful and worked well. Under the motto 'Dine Light' we were treated to a starter, consisting of a sweet onion tart followed by the main, a tender garlic & rosemary lamb and a salted caramel cheesecake finished the evening. 

Popchips event in London
Photo Credit: Popchips
Popchips blogging event in London
Photo Credit: Popchips
In between courses, Popchips entertained us with a bubble artist who would create the most magical bubble performance ever. Little child alert here as I'm so easy to impress! We had the chance to be 'inside' a bubble, which was basically done through the blogger standing in the middle of a water tray and a Hula Hoop was then used as the device to create the bubble around you. 

It was good fun and worth considering for my next party. We also learnt how ice cream was made using nitrogen technology (you know the fancy technique they use in high-end restaurants to blitz ice food) and we sampled some alongside the salted caramel cheesecake dessert.

Popchips blogger event in London
Bubble artist at the Popchips event in London
Dine Light Popchips Blogger Event
Photo Credit: Popchips
Food salty crisps Popchips event
Photo Credit: Popchips
Though I was really tired that day, I enjoyed the event a lot. It was great to connect with a brand that has been a personal fav of mine for a while and also see some familiar blogging faces. This time I took very little pictures because I recently got caught up a lot in creating and editing good photography. 

I felt exhausted and also wanted to go back to experiencing the event in reality and not through my lens alone. Hence why I took only a few pictures, which I will add to the post, once I find my equipment which got all lost in our moving boxes at the moment. I usually don't cover food that much but I think I should treat Style Lingua to a little blogger snack now and again. What do you think? 

The new Popchips limited edition range is available for a short period of time at Waitrose only.

Style Lingua Received Recognition


Given the fact that there are over 90.000.fashion blogs in the UK and I recently got a bit upset about my blog, the news that Style Lingua ranked 19 in a poll of 50 fashion blogs in the UK gave me a little confidence boost. Blogging is a hobby after all, though very time-intense that requires a lot of determination and commitment, so this being actually acknowledged felt incredible. The entire list can be found below:


Now that Friday is here and the weekend only a few hours away, how will you spend Saturday and Sunday? Our moving van came today so I'm most likely unpacking boxes and starting to transform our flat into a home. I'm also going to a blogging event with Penguin tomorrow (so excited!). 

What have you been up to lately? Have you seen the Hunger Games premiere live on Youtube the other day or did you get the chance to purchase anything from the H&M x Balmain collection? 

It was such a busy week in London and I'm sure more is to follow. 

I'll keep you updated.
Till next time, 

Carolin

The Blogger Guilt

Friday, 6 November 2015

The Blogger Guilt Lifestyle Post

You may have noticed that I haven't been much active on my blog lately. It's not that I'm giving up on blogging - no, no, never! I'm on a break. For once. Since I started back in February 2014, there hasn't been a single day going by without me thinking about my blog. The design needs improvement, my photography needs training, my writing has to be tighter, I've got so much to do and so little time. Sounds familiar? Well, then you do understand that a break was much needed.

What have I done since I started my break though? I've been thinking about blogging. Like literally every day. I drafted new ideas, I did an entire blog maintenance for SEO, installed Analytics and updated links. I've been so active on my blog (in the background though). Can't win can I? This week I started a new job in London and whilst I'm trying to settle in finding my place in the big smoke, I couldn't entirely switch off my mind from Style Lingua.

Whilst I wanted a break away from the pressure and focus on my new life in London, a pang of massive guilt has crept in. I feel like I've abandoned the community with my sudden disappearance (though I doubt anyone has recognised it). Have you ever felt guilty of not blogging? Or thought about what might happen if you'd stopped blogging? Suddenly I'm confronted with a whole lot of questions such as will the break affect my following? Will readers return? Is the break damaging my DA? Are people going to forget about me? You know aka 'out of sight is out of mind'?!?

This 'blogger guilt' has bothered me for a while now and a close observation on Social Media has revealed that bloggers who aren't constantly present get simply forgotten. My Twitter Analytics have dropped massively and I did notice that my tweets received fewer RTs and outreach. Because I don't want this to be a permanent state, something has had to happen. So I started to develop a new strategy to get me safe through my blogging break - just because my schedule is a bit mixed up and I don't blast out post after post it doesn't mean I'm completely gone.

The Blogger Guilt And How Yo Keep In Touch With Your Audience


As I've said I worked on my SEO profile, edited a few things and made changes to enhance the usability. I'm still available on my Social Media accounts and try to support the community as much as possible. I usually comment a lot on blogs but this is at the moment not very convenient for me. That's why I do other things to interact:

1) RT and share. If I see a new post from my blogging friends, I RT and share their content on my timeline. Most of my blogging friends have the same interests and it is a nice gesture to show appreciation. Furthermore, I find it interesting what other bloggers in my niche have to say and I hope by sharing their content I can show you which blogs I personally enjoy reading.

2) Shout Outs. My friend Kirstie recently hit a massive milestone and I gave her a shout out on my Twitter which gained over 1000 impressions and triggered more than 12 engagements. I feel very proud of my friend so why not share their achievements? Like a post, share their content on your timeline, make it clear you're there to support and reward their hard work. When was your last time you've shared the happiness of a friend?

3) Instagram comments and likes. Let's be honest, everyone likes some attention and it doesn't take much time to like a picture or leave a quick comment to let the other person know their posts won't go unnoticed. It can make people really happy even though the comment might just be a quick 'love your outfit, hope you're well'. People share content to get reassurance and attention, and as I said everyone loves a bit of appreciation and love.

4) Refer blogger friends to PRs. Yes, I did that recently. I did get a lot of requests and I had to decline a few opportunities lately because the products weren't a good fit for my blog or I didn't want to commit to a review due to my move and limited time. However, I referred to some of my close blogging friends to the brands and pointed them to bloggers which I feel were a better fit. Also from first-hand PR experience, I know that this can save the PR a lot of time and also it shows how well we bloggers are connected with each other. I don't see my blogging friends as competition so I'm happy if they get involved in awesome opportunities. If there's the chance and I see something that could be of interest to a blogging friend then I link them up and point them in the direction.

5) Share old content. This has less to do with supporting the community but more contributing content to it. Who says you can't re-share some of your best posts? First of all, you still show presence, it drives traffic to your blog and you may rediscover a post you were extremely proud of. Let your content work for you even though you're not producing new one at the moment.

I'm a firm believer that a blogging community lives of respect for each other and can only be successful if bloggers support and work with each other (I'm looking at you German community!). Without the support, engagement and interaction bloggers can't survive in this industry which is highly oversaturated. By following these steps, I feel much more relaxed and I'm positive that my blog is still active and contributing to the community. The blogger guilt is still there but it is less present.

Have you ever felt blogger guilt? How do you stay in touch with the community if you're on a blogging break? Let me know in the comment section.

Thanks so much for reading and till next time,
Carolin

Autumn Fun With My Dogs & Remembrance Day

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Autumn in the forest of dean

Sorry for the lack of posts recently, but as I’ve mentioned in my Life Lately post, I’m taking it a bit more relaxed with blogging. I’ve also got some exciting news to share. I’m going to move to London this week! Not the occasional limited-time move, but for real - like in forever. 

The last few weeks have been busy finding a place and we managed to agree on a cosy flat in South East London. We hope that our moving date will be announced shortly so within the next few weeks I will be pretty much occupied with sorting out a move and settling into a new life.

I’m going to share all the exciting news in more detail once I’m settled in London and for now I’d like to share with you my latest ootd post. Alex’s parents live in the beautiful Forest of Dean which is very pretty this time of year as all the trees are covered in colourful leaves and we have relatively sunny weather here. 

They’ve adopted a Mini Schnauzer puppy which came as an unexpected surprise to us. Alex's parents have an acquaintance who wanted a new dog but it turned out that he couldn’t cope with the lively puppy. He sold it to them and the cute baby dog has brought so much delight and happiness to our family.

Casual autumn look fashion styling post
Zara and Stradivarius fashion oodt

Jarvis is, of course, a bit jealous but he is still our number one. They look gorgeous together when they play in the garden and I used the opportunity to join them. I’ve recently bought a few items in Zara, inter alia the navy blue boyfriend blazer and the Breton shirt. 

The last one was inspired by Duchess Catherine’s gorgeous summer outfit when she was all over the magazines playing with Prince George. I feel the combination is very casual but also conveys sophistication and a classy chic look.

Hotter shoes leather boots autumn
Riding boots Hotter Shoes

Shoe-wise I love wearing boots in autumn and winter. I’m a big fan of riding inspired footwear and Hottershoes offered me the chance to review a pair of their latest AW 15/16 collection I decided straight for the Briony Leather Boots.

The shoes are made of soft leather and the shaft has an additional elastic panel which makes wearing them extremely comfortable. Through the stretchy material, the boots apply an optimal fit and it is easy to wear them over jeans. I feel with some boots, you can't-do that so easily, as they tend to be designed rather slim and are hence why quite tight around your legs. 

Not with these ones. There is enough space in the shoe to wear jeans and also woolly socks if your feet tend to become ice cubes fairly quickly like mine. I had boots before, where this wasn’t possible and even with jeans tucked into the shoes, they got so tight that they would pressure and squeeze my legs and feet so much that the blood circulation couldn’t work properly and I ended up with freezing cold feet. This can’t happen with my Briony’s as I ordered them in a UK7 (EU 41) and there’s enough space to move my feet and wear thicker socks for winter.

The design is totally my style. I love everything related to riding and the boots have a wonderful buckle detail on the side to underline the look. I’m very happy with the quality of the shoes and I’m very sure you’ll see them very often in future ootds on Style Lingua. 


I’d also like to remind you of the upcoming Remembrance Day next Sunday. Germany recently celebrated its National Day and I’ve nearly forgotten it! The commemoration is so important and especially the tragedies in the first and Second World War should never be forgotten. I haven’t lost anyone in the First World War but my grandparents have experienced the Hitler regime and had to flee their home. 

My granddad was forced to join Hitler’s army and when he refused to do so, they would look out for him. Luckily he was able to escape them but he lost his brother in the war. The wartime has impacted and traumatised my grandparents’ life and I want to pay tribute to people who have lost their lives in the war and who have fought to stop it. 

In the UK, it is common to wear poppy brooches to remember the loss of armed forces in the First World War and The Royal British Legion (RBL) annually offers poppy brooches to wear and show commemoration. This year the official RBL collection is available from Buckley London. The new collection features jewellery encrusted brooches, earrings, bracelets, necklaces and cufflinks. All profits from the sale of The Poppy Collection are donated to the Legion and Poppyscotland.

Labradoodle and autumn
Me and Giotto in autumn
Giotto's first autumn
Fashion post with Jarvis

This is Jarvis and our little Mini Schnauzer puppy. At the moment we've called him 'Giotto' but none of us really likes the name so we will most likely re-name the cheeky sod soon :)

Duchess of Cambridge fashion look
Breton Shirt Duchess of Cambridge look ootd

Here's What I'm Wearing:

Blue Jacket: Zara (AW15/16, £50)
Breton shirt: Stradivarius (AW15/16, £10)
Jeans: Uniqlo (£29.99)
Watch: Daniel Wellington (£159)
Briony Leather Boots*: Hotter Shoes (AW15/16, £150)
Poppy Brooch*: Buckley London (AW15/16, £15)

Thanks for reading, 

Till next time,
Carolin

*PR Sample
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