BLOGGING WITH A FULL TIME JOB

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Some days I feel like a professional juggler, I'm not even sure if that's a fully recognised profession but I definitely think I'd give them a run for their money! Since I started my blog over three years ago, it has gradually grown over time. I started Northern Magpie when I was in a job that was very quiet and I had time to focus on building a platform and working on my website. Then it all changed when I moved jobs and my role as a designer stepped up. This last year has been amazing for my career but since my workload has increased I've been left with little time to focus on my blog. This has meant strategically fitting things like writing and photography into an already packed day. I know how precious my time is, whether I'm spending it with friends or working on a project, I always want to get the most out of life. Friends and family always ask how I manage a full time job, blog and still have a life at weekends. It honestly comes down to planning and taking advantage of situations that occur from day to day. I thought I'd share how I keep my blog running along side my job.

Planning

For me I can be a scatterbrain and a proper creative when it comes to ideas. I have so much going on in my head I have to make notes of what content I want to create for the following week and even month. For me I like to physically write down my thoughts in a notebook or if I'm on the go I quickly get them written down in my notes app on my phone. Sometimes I will get an idea from talking to someone or while I'm in a meeting in work, so have to write them all down before I forget. I would recommend starting a notes page on phone just for blog post ideas.

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Bulk take pictures

As a fashion blogger photos of course play a massive part of my blog and social media channels. Over the years I have learnt that bulk taking photos on a weekend helps me out tones. Planning my outfits so I can take up to 5 outfits on Sunday, means I have enough content to post across my Instagram and blog. Sometimes I pick different areas to photograph my looks, but this mean carting all my clothes across town. The less glamorous side of blogging is the outfit change in pub toilets, cafes and even McDonalds toilets. They didn't tell me about that when I started blogging! If I have a busy weekend ahead I try and fit in a mini photo shoot on my lunch hour. Joe being a good egg will come across town to meet me at work or I'll travel to see him. The aim is always to have enough content to last the week.

Early starts

I get up around 5am and head to the gym for a workout. After my workout I then have around half an hour where I post my first image of the day on Instagram. I spend at least ten minutes to half an hour engaging with my followers, liking and commenting. Thinking about how people head straight for social media apps when they first wake up, I like to make sure my photo is out there for all to see. This doesn't take up a lot of time if you plan it well. With bulk taking images and editing, posting actually only takes a couple of minutes.

Making the most of your commute

Living in London I have quite a commute to work, some days it can take over an hour to get to work. I use this time sat on the tube to write my blog posts, like I said time is precious, so I make the most of these two hours a day to write, edit photos and answer emails.

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Taking advantage of situations

This is a simple one but can help you get ahead with blog work. Anytime you find yourself waiting for a friend, stuck on a delayed train, on long journeys or have a spare hour on your lunch break, take advantage of this! Use this time to research on Tumblr for new outfit ideas, engage with your followers on Instagram or comment on other bloggers blog posts. I find taking advantage of these moments can take you on a journey of inspiration and you end up brainstorming new blog posts and outfit ideas.

Passionate

The number one thing that keeps this blog going strong against my full time time is the passion and love I have for it. Without that it wouldn't be much fun. You have to want it to make something like a blog work. It's not about working late, it's about working smart. God I sound like a Ted talk but it's so true. For now my blog is my hobby but it doesn't make it any less important than my job. It's important to say how passionate I am about creating content and and I love the fact I can inspire people. This little place I have on the internet is about escapism. Fashion is something I love and want to share with you and inspire you, so I'll carry on creating content until I don't feel that passion anymore. Thankfully that's not going to happen any time soon.

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Hopefully, these insights into how I run my blog were interesting. If you run a blog and work full time, how do you keep on top of things? Do you have any tips or tricks?

Joey x

P.S. This top is a silky dream and goes perfectly with my vintage jeans. Styling tip for summer, tie necks are very much in!

SILKY TOP - TOPSHOP

JEANS - VINTAGE

BOOTS - MISS KG

SUNGLASSES - ASOS (alternative ones here)

THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT ME

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I actually saw this tag on Instagram and saw a few bloggers post three random facts about themselves on their stories. But I thought it would make a good blog post. I did one of these kinds of posts a couple of years ago, but thought it would be a good thing to do again for anyone who's new to following me. 

 
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EBay queen 

EBay is actually something I have been doing for over 10 years now. It started when I'd booked a holiday to go away with the girls. Knowing it was going to be a party week in the sun, I wanted to kit myself out with lots of new looks for the  week. So I ruthless went through my wardrobe to clear any clutter out and sell it on EBay. Honestly it feels so good to clear out old items you might have only worn once, plus knowing they will go to a home that will love them more than I will, is even better. Since then I've been listing pieces nearly every month. I don't see the point of keeping something that you know you wouldn't wear and the added bonus of course is that you have all this extra money, which can be spent reinvesting back into your wardrobe. I would highly recommend if you need a clear out and some extra cash!

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The weather 

Oh man I love the weather, not just watching to see what weather we have here. I am interested in what the weather is doing around the world and on turn how it effects us in the Uk. One of my favourite weather points to follow are storms. That muggy feeling before a storm is about hit and the air goes really thick and dark clouds start to roll in. All sounds a bit like the world is going to end, but I love watching the storm roll in. I find the whole weather system fascinating especially how the weather affects us, to how the moon controls the seas. Honestly if you ever meet me, start a conversation up about the weather and we will be talking for hours. 

I love Coronation Street

This one cracks people up but I am an avid viewer of Coronation Street. Making time each day that it's on to watch every episode. I bloody love! I actually can't remember a time when I've not watched. From an early age I remember my grandma and my mum watching it, so I think it's just stuck with me. Plus it has that nostalgia feeling to it, making me think of Manchester and how much I miss that manc twang. 

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I can cook but I love to bake instead 

This one comes from my mum, she would always be baking every Saturday and Sunday. Making all sorts of cakes and pastries goodies for the week. She would always give me the chance to get involved with the baking and help her out whenever I could. And it meant I could eat the cake mixture. So when it comes to baking I feel like a natural who can throw ingredients together without measuring. This I think it quite a skill. But cooking on the other hand I find rally hard and measure out everything. I know this is so backward as so many people do the opposite. 

My unhealthy obsession with cheese 🧀 

Talking of food I have an unhealthy obsession with cheese, I would eat it for breakfast with my scrambled eggs, having it in my salad at lunch and sprinkle it on my dinner if I could. I love cheese that much that people have bought me cheese for Christmas and birthday presents. A perfect Friday night in, would be a cheese board plus some Aldi chutney. Chuck a bottle of Malbec and some Blue Planet and I would be a happy girl. 

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Phobia of holes 

Yes, you read that right I have a fear of anything holey. I'm fine with unified holes, like speakers, it's more the holes in plants. Just thinking about makes my skins crawl. It's the fear of what might come out of the holes and if you cut open the plant and find even more smaller holes. Writing it this all down makes me sound like a crazy but it's something I just can not look at. When eating crumpets I have to not think about what's inside. It's honestly the thought of what might be inside and the fact they can keep getting smaller. I might be alone here, but DM if you feel the same then I'll know I'm not alone. 

Hopefully, you enjoyed reading these random fact about me and what makes me tick. Let me know if you like this kind of post? And if you have a random fact you want to share!

Joey x

CROPPED RIB TOP - H&M

TROUSERS - MANGO

BOOTS - EGO SHOES*

COAT - STAND

HANDBAG - ALEXANDER WANG*

OVERTHINKING

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Everyone has a vice that makes there stomach flip, worry about what might happen or what might not happen. Everything else in your life can be going swimmingly but you end up losing sleeping over that one area of your life that's not going as you planned. To quote Carrie Bradshaw 'everyone is either looking for a job, apartment or a partner' and when one of those areas is less than perfect we focus on the bad and pick ourselves apart.

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Taking that one area and overthinking, can cause so much stress to yourself. Everyone has fallen victim to it at some point. At the moment I am having pure worry pangs about my career from the workload to where I see myself in the next couple of years. Even though I'm at an all time high within my design job, I have moments of thinking where do I go from here and is this really for me? Sometimes the self doubt can be crippling. It's at it's highest when I feel over-worked, over-tired and hangry leaving me feeling overwhelmed and quite vulnerable.

I know it's just a frame of mind and that I am actually a happy person. It's just after a long day at work I struggle massively to see the positive outlook on life. I also know I'm not the only one that suffers from this kind of anxiety. I've been following a few steps to ensure I get my positive attitude back.

Taking yourself out of the situation. This one is far easier said than done but it's a step I've been following for a while where work is concerned. It's making myself leave work at work, once I've finished a task I physically and mental leave it at work. Walking out that door knowing you can only do so much and leaving all the stresses at work then focusing my full attention on Bernard and Joe and having a relaxing evening.

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After leaving the stresses the next thing that I find helps me is hashing it out with a friend who wants to listen. By voicing your worries to someone you start to realise you were overthinking a situation and helps you put life into perspective.

Sleeping on it really helps any situation for me. When I'm over tired I start conjuring up all different scenarios, making myself more worked up. I will then sleep on it and wake up the next morning feeling refreshed about my problems and ready to face them.

One of the best ways I find to forget any worries I may have is to exercise. Having a morning workout routine sets me up for the day. Working out makes me focus on the task in hand and helps relieve me of any stresses from the night before. Plus if I workout in the morning I tend to eat right for the rest of the day, which in turn helps ease any anxiety I may have. 

The last one is simple but works every time for me.. I enjoy a cup of green tea. Before I have a cuppa I can be a grumpy bitch and have a real pessimistic view. I know this might not work for everyone and can make some people’s anxieties worse but for me a little boost of caffeine in the morning brings my energy levels up and gives me confidence to tackle anything that's thrown at me.

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I would love to know if like me you also overthink situations, making them seem bigger problems than they actually are? How do you go about soothing your self-doubt? Let me know below.

If you would like to read more on anxiety and where to receive support on this visit: www.mind.org.uk

Joey x

JUMPER - MANGO

JEANS - VINTAGE LEVI

BOOTS - EGO SHOES*

NECKLACE - TOPSHOP

HANDBAG - ALEXANDER WANG*

2017 TOP INVESTMENTS

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There's been a few bloggers covering their top investments for 2017 in blog posts and videos and I've been enjoying watching and reading them. I've found these posts really interesting as it gives an insight into how the person you follow online thinks and feels. I've seen people credit their family to really big investments like a house or something special for their home, that no one would have given them for free. There are so many versions of this kind of post but I've gone for a blog talking through why 2017 was actually a really good year for me.

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Bernard

It doesn't feel quite right calling Bernard an investment, he has been more of an addition to the family. He is well and truly in our lives and it's nearly been a year since we got the little fella. Getting a dog had been high on our list of things to do in our life. He is the most loving, cuddly dog ever and will do anything for treats. He lifts my spirits after a bad day at work with his piggy noises and his bum wiggles. He is literally one of the best things we have ever done. BUT ... it hasn't been all plain sailing. We have had to put in the time and effort to train our puppy - things like teaching him to go to the toilet outside, fetch, and even walk! Yes when we first took Bernard out he did not want to walk at all. Plus we read Frenchies dig their heels in whenever they don't want to do anything, they are very stubborn creatures. But after nearly a year of having him, our house wouldn't be the same without him!

 
 
 
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Health & Fitness

For the last two years, I have made a real change with regards to my health and fitness. I've always enjoyed the gym but I  lost my way for a while. So I decided to invest in a training plan with lots of different workouts to keep me focused. It has been one of the best things I've done for my health & fitness. I've tried and tested the LDNM Bikini Guide for weights but my favourite has to be Carly Rowena workout guide. The guide actually makes you want to work out, with easy to follow instructions plus Carly explains everything to you as if she's sat there with you. After starting this guide towards the end of 2017, I have re-started the guide this year from the beginning, documenting my progress fully and keeping a diary of my food. I'm already seeing progress!

Happiness

Happiness is a hard one to define, it comes down to personal preference. 2017 had some amazing highlights and that was down to visiting festivals and going on holidays. Last year was the first time I really felt happy in myself. Don't get me wrong I have down days but on the whole, I was super happy. It was the first time I started to see the benefits of working hard on my blog and creating content can have. The content I create for you guys is the best part of my hobby. I always feel so inspired to create more content even after a bad day at work because it makes me happy. It was also the year I realised time spent with friends and family makes me the happiest. I work to live, not live to work.

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Ankle Boots

You guys know by now I love ankle boots, just enough heel to give me some height but not too my feet are killing by the end of the day. This year I fell hook line and sinker for suede ankle boots. They are not the most practical fabric for the winter months but they are sure pretty in my eyes. In the first couple of months, I invested in a pair of very 'on trend' red suede boots from Topshop. I wore them so much I had to have the heel replaced. After this pair, it only cremated how much I love suede so I invested in another pair by Senso. Between the two styles, I wear them  4 days out of 7.

Jeans

Jeans are always I top investment for me, I would say they are my number one piece I buy. They are my building blocks for most of my outfits and my go items when I don't know what to wear. As always, I say the high street has the best jeans, you only need to go into Topshop, Urban Outfitters and & Other Stories to find jeans in every style to fit any shape. I already have an idea for another pair I've had my eye on!

Midi dresses

This investment is a new one and one that took me by surprise, to be honest. I admire dresses on other people but when I get them on I sometimes feel uncomfortable. Plus I'm not happy with my thighs, there is still some work to go with toning before I get them out in the summer. That's when I found this midi dress from H&M and fell in love with cool librarian look from the ruffles to the button up neckline. Plus the added bonus they easily cover my thighs until I'm ready to get my legs out.

Winter coat

Coats are always an expensive purchase even when you get one from the high street. After carefully planning my wardrobe I now can add a winter coat each year. Meaning I can splash out a little more than I have done in the past, knowing they will fit nicely into my wardrobe and with my style. This year I invested in my teddy bear coat. This coat will be worn for years to come, it's not as heavy as it looks but it keeps me toasty in these freezing months.

I hope this post has inspired you guys in some way and I love writing posts that you want to see from me. If you see anything on this list you would love to see more of simply comment below or message me!

Joey x

MIDI DRESS - H&M

CARDIGAN - NEXT

BOOTS - SENSO

HANDBAG - ALEXANDER WANG*