One Year On…

Today riannemitchell.com turns one!

And I feel it’s only right to dedicate a whole post to my blogging journey.

Since I was quite young I always wanted to have a successful blog. I’ve always loved writing, and enjoy sharing my experiences, however, it wasn’t until this day last year that I plucked up the courage to actually make this blog a reality.

It’s still surreal to me that people read my blog (like I actually have real like subscribers-eeek). People who tweet me, like my sh*t and follow me on multiple social platforms. Although I’ve hit many milestones, a year on and I’m feeling a mixture of emotions about being a ‘blogger’. There have been ups and down, great events and PR invitations, as well as the chance to become involved in something big, where I’ve been able to make friends and craft real relationships with fellow bloggers as well as companies.

But, I can’t lie, it’s been hard. Hard to balance life, working full time as well as creating content to blog about. Hard to choose what events to attend, because who wants to take Annual Leave for an event that’s totally cool but will have no relevance on my blog and last but not least, majorly hard to keep up with ever-rolling timelines of social media – because who cares about what was tweeted 10 minutes ago.

But, in some of life’s crisis’ there’s always a silver lining and one thing that I read very recently taught me that if I want an interest or hobby of mine to succeed, I need to work at it full time and put in the same amount of time and effort I put in at my 9-5 – which really put things into perspective.

So with that in mind, I’ve listed a few goals that I’d love to achieve and look back in a years time and say check! (and sometimes that means going back to basics)…

Goals

  • To grow my blog presence – I still can’t believe people actually read and comment on my blog, but I wana go global baby! (maybe not global but definitely bigger and better)
  • Post 2 times a week
  • To join at least 2 twitter chats a week – I mean who doesn’t love a good twitter natter
  • To grow a travel & lifestyle blog that people actually go to for date night ideas, travel destinations etc.  – I love finding new destinations from publication like Time Out so why not gain a real review from moi
  • To comment on blogs that I love reading – This is the hardest thing for me as i’m always reading something, so I feel it’s only right to show appreciation if I enjoyed the read.

One year on, and for the first time I’m feeling confident about my vision for this blog, so as I switch things up a bit, I hope you all stick around for the journey.

See you on my next post x

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5 Podcasts you NEED to listen to

Hey guys,

I’m back in full force, and let me tell you…there’s reason for it!

Living with very limited internet connection for nearly 3 weeks has made me really… really value internet connection. I mean lets be fair… it practically rules our every second.

But, when it’s suddenly taken from your fingertips is it any wonder why we… or matter of factly speaking I was left not knowing what the hell to do with my time. It’s actually crazy how much my life is consumed by online shopping, blogging, social media and everything else that comes with owning a smartphone.

While my phone was practically out of service, I had to become creative with how I managed my ever depleting data (there’s just never enough is there?!) so instead of downloading movies on Netflix I decided to discover, subscribe and download different podcasts. (Just click on that little purple icon, you wont regret it)

Podcasts literally saved my sanity. I had no idea that podcasts were a thing (again) until Christine put me on to one, on our trip to Paris and it’s now become a personal fave.

Keep reading and let me fill you in on podcasts you NEED to listen to just because… or if you ever find yourself in your bedroom that doesn’t have a TV and no friends to call (Yes it was hell and some tears were shed but I’m seriously living for the moment when I can laugh at this 😫😂)

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The Read
This podcast is my absolute fave. If you love keeping up with music, pop culture, sipping and spilling tea, take some time out with the cool kids; Kid Fury and Crissle as they throw the utmost shade at celebs you love to hate. They literally make my Mondays worth living and have me dying with laughter at my desk and on my commute. Each episode lasts at least 2 hours but it’s still not enough.

Pandolly
I have been a fan of Pandora Sykes forever – she has the coolest blog and is Fashion Features editor for The Sunday Times Style. Little did I know, that she’s teamed up with her buddy and dating columnist Dolly Alderton to bring you feminist debates, news, and general girl talk without any limitations. If you ever wondered what privately educated women talk about, plug into Pandolly airwaves and be a fly on the wall for an hour or two.

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The Receipts
The ultimate girl talk. When I’m talking to my girls this is kinda what it sounds like. The Receipts podcast is hosted by four women from different walks of life who just happen to be friends. Controversial they may be, you can be sure to get the real from these ladies, who will have you nodding, chuckling and wanting more.

Champagne Room (available on soundcloud)
Please Urban Dictionary the name of this podcast and you’ll get the vibe lol. If you know you’re the bad and boujee type, the Champagne room is for you! The perfect evening podcast. Turn on when chilling at home, and get ready to turn up and these girls -will have you mmhmmm’ing in agreement.

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Cut The Chat
OMG. Ever wondered what guys talk about in the barbershop? Check this podcast out! Hosted by four inner city men, you get to know a general consensus around hot topics like Chocolate City, music and more important hot topics like the recent inauguration. Please Check it out…

So there you have it. If you’re ever in need of a pick me up, plug into one of these podcasts and be entertained.

Many thanks to Starbucks for being the real MVP and providing me with free wifi during this tough time 😂

Blogmas: Office Christmas Party Etiquette

Whether you’re rearing up for your office Christmas party, or one of those people who just want to get it done and dusted, because lets face it, who wants to spend more time with colleagues you can’t stand,  there’s no denying that there are rules to follow when attending the office Christmas party.
(many of which I did not follow myself this year smh – just picture me dabbing on the dance floor well after midnight 🚫)

I consider myself someone who’s always up for a party, but there have been many a time when I’ve fully embarrassed myself and woken up with flashbacks and mixed emotions thinking – why the hell would I do that?… so I thought this would be a fun way of letting you all in on polite party etiquette to definitely do and major faux pas to avoid.

So before you head out on your office party or get together before the New Year remember these golden rules…

Do pace yourself – I’m the type of person who always says – I’m only staying for one, just to show my face – then 12am strikes and I’m the life of the party. NO NO NO NO NO! Just because there’s a free tab at the bar, doesn’t mean you have to drink away. So pace yourself, look classy and elegant and have fun! No wants to see you stumble home it’s just not a good look.

Don’t wear anything too daring – Everyone wants to look good and show how different and  glamourous they can look outside of office hours, but it doesn’t mean you have to show Kevin from IT what you’ve had for brekkie, lunch and dinner. Have in mind office party not your besties birthday bash.

Do socialise with other departments. What I love about Office Christmas parties is that it gives you the chance to socialise and interact with other departments. Plus, if you’re new to the team like I am, it’s a great opportunity to make some new friends.

Don’t be afraid to have a good time. It’s is actually OK to have fun, that’s the point of a shindig right?! It’s a great chance to see people out of action, relaxed and at an event where everyone genuinely wants to have fun. So be yourself and let your personality shine!

Don’t get drunk. Leading back to my first point – pace yourself. If your workplace has been clever and  decided to host your Christmas party mid-week, you really have to watch how much you’re consuming, take advantage of the free bar if you have one, but just remember you can’t pull a sickie…because EVERYONE knows that old chestnut lol

Don’t get handsy. We’ve all had a lil’ office crush. But before you decide to pounce at the ‘perfect’ moment, make sure it’s mutual and don’t get too handsy with them either. reporting to the HR office is like sitting on the naughty step, not cool and highly embarrassing.

Do & Don’t Avoid the ‘Big Dawgs’. This is a controversial one. But, I think it depends on your personality. It’s great to know your more senior counterparts, and it could even help your career progression, however, the office Christmas party is not the place to discuss a how Shauna pissed you off today or that you’d appreciate a pay rise lol. Just remember they’ll remember what you say and how you say it well after the nights over.

Hope this put a smile on your face. Do you have any top tips to share on how to survive your workplace Christmas party? Let me know in the comments x

 

 

Life Update & How I De-Stress

Hiya,

It’s been a while, but I’ve got exciting news to share – I’ve got a new job! 🎉💷 

It’s been a long time coming and I’m super excited to start the next chapter in my career, but since finding out, and telling my current employer that I’m leaving the company, plus sorting out my whole big hand-over, it has been nothing short of stressful.

It’s weird how such exciting news can quickly turn into a daunting process 😑 😒

Thoughts like; How the hell am I going to tell my manager? Am I meant to look upset or be more apologetic that I’m moving on to different and better pastures? Should I give up a great opportunity? – kept popping into my head, and I found myself quickly stressed with not a clue of what to do. There really should be a handbook for dummies on the subject.

I’ll be starting my new adventure towards the end of the month, but before I can really enjoy and bask in my excitement I’ve got a mammoth job of creating a ton of content before I leave, and to be totally honest it’s all just too much to deal with.

So, if you’re like me and are transitioning into new waters, here’s my tips on how to deal with stress at work…

Plenty of breaks. This point has been said a bazillion times, but it’s totally true, and while I’ve got even more work to do, I’ve found myself stepping away from my desk a little bit more, to take a stroll, make a coffee, and just talk to people. As I stare at computer screen for most of the day, it helps me to take a break from the harsh computer light and take my mind off of my ever growing work load.

Drink lots of Water. Water refreshes and hydrates and to be totally honest with you a nice cold glass of water is calming. It keeps me alert and when I’m rushed off my feet. It’s crazy what a simple glass of water can do. 

Make Music Work. When I arrive at work the first thing I do is put on 1xtra in my browser and plug in my head phones. It helps me disconnect, focus and helps me relax as I’m listening to music I love. Plus, it means I’m not distracted by stupid office politics and it means people don’t disturb you unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Side note: Do you have any albums you’re loving atm? Solange’s new album ‘A Seat At The Table’ and Wretch 32 ‘Growing Over Life’ have been on replay!

A Lovely Bubble Bath. I try and not to take any work home with me – mentally & physically. I also really try not to dwell on things that have really bothered me throughout the day, so once I’ve got home, I like to take some time to myself, grab a cup of tea, chill in a warm bubbly bath using with a Lush bath bomb and turn on an episode of Narcos – the perfect relaxing evening!

 

Enjoy Exercise. I’m sure many of my loyal readers know that I go to the gym, but throughout the month of September I took on a massive challenge of running 26.2 miles for The British Heart Foundation, which meant running at least 2 miles every night. Although it was tough, I’ve tried to continue running a couple times a week as it gives me something to look forward to and actually helps me to de-stress, which I guess is due to my body releasing endorphins. After each session I  actually feel happy and proud of my accomplishments which is a plus!

Reading & Instagram Scrolling. This is a weird de-stressing mechanism I use, but escaping to another place through a book or looking at amazing imagery really helps me chill out and relax. I guess being a serial Instagram scroller has its perks 😂

Do you have any tips on how to handle stress levels? Have you ever had to deal with an awkward resignation? Let me know…

How to Travel the World While Working Full Time

If you follow me on any other social media platforms you’ll know that I’ve been suffering with some serious wanderlust. Like why can’t my full time job not be blogging, travelling and blogging about my travels?

I just know that I’m not meant to work (don’t we all lol) which is why I thought it’s about time I do a post on how to travel when you work full time, because somehow, I manage to.

I consider myself pretty lucky to have been able to travel to two beautiful destinations (Thailand & Dubai)  already this year and hopefully (god-willing) I’ll have another trip sorted before Christmas, but, I have to say, I haven’t spent my work holiday allowance wisely this year, and I know I’m not alone.

What I do know is that wanting to travel while holding down a full time job is definitely possible, although very inconvenient.

So, although I haven’t followed these rules as strictly as I’d have liked to this year due to my personal life, here’s a few tips for those of you who want to make the most out of your holiday and travel the world, one destination at a time, while also keeping a full time job…

Use Bank Holidays & Weekends to your advantage. This has to be the golden rule. If you haven’t tried this trick, where have you been?! To get more days off for less, it’s smart to plan your travels around major UK holidays, Bank Holidays and weekends. For example a great month to try this is May as we get two bank holidays plus weekends!

Prioritise, Prioritise, Prioritise. Once you’ve booked your holiday, it’s easy to get carried with how many days you need after to ‘recover’ from jet lag. I am so guilty of this, but it’s really so unnecessary, especially if you’ve only taken a trip Barcelona where there’s only like 1 hour time difference. To save days it may be worth taking a half day. This really comes in handy when your days start to run low. Plus, it means of you have a weekend getaway planned with an evening flight, you can leave a little earlier on a Friday, just bring your suitcase to the office! If you’re lucky enough to have an amazing manager, they may even let you off officially taking a half day which means you can save it for another time!

Weekend Getaways. Never under estimate the power of the weekend getaway. For the longest time I’ve slept on trips around the UK, and I really don’t know why as there are plenty of beautiful places that you would never believe are a couple hours away from your doorstep. Brighton, Cornwall, Devon, Scotland… and of course the Lake District are now on my ‘to-do’ list. Meaning I can travel more without having to spend ‘holiday’ on well needed weekend breaks – a great way to becoming well-travelled.

Work overtime. If you’re unfortunate enough to work full time with very limited holiday, maybe having a word with your manager or HR officer will allow you to get a few extra days holiday, by working overtime. It’s a great way to accumulate extra days and you’ll be getting paid that little bit extra which can only mean one think = more holidays!

Be Kind to your colleagues. This doesn’t happen in every company, but it’s common that department members who are not allowed to go on holiday at the same time as each other.  If you’re lucky enough to have a cool relationship with your fellow colleague who wants to take the same time off as you do, it wouldn’t harm asking if they could maybe rearrange their time off, it’s all about negotiation. After all, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

So, these are a few tips that have helped me travel when I desire, do you have any tips/tricks?

 

 

Impending Doom

 

impending doom blog

I’m one of those people who experience the horrible feeling of impending doom every Sunday evening.

It’s not something I thought I’d ever experience, and I don’t think that’s down to naivety, it’s just that I always believed if I didn’t like my job, I’d just leave and find something I enjoy doing. Sadly – I have bills to pay!

It’s not that I hate my job, but I feel like I’m trapped. Having to do something, not necessarily because I’m passionate about it, but because I have adult responsibilities and that’s one of the reasons why I started my own blog. I can’t live for my 9-5.

So, if you’ve ever felt like me, here are some tips that I use to clear my headspace and take one working day at a time.

Talk to someone new
Im the type of person who is comfortable and content with my own company. So, I have to consciously make an effort to talk to people, or I could go through my day happily without any social interaction. However, I’m the first to admit, segregating yourself when you’re feeling trapped at work is the worst thing you can do. Talking to someone new and making friends can help you enjoy your working environment more, even if you don’t like your job.

Go out for lunch
Taking time away from your desk or immediate work environment is a great thing. Getting some fresh air, some hot food and a good coffee, gives you time to clear your head, focus on something other than work and splits up the working day.

Create a role you like doing
This can be a challenging and daunting task, especially if you haven’t got support from peers at work, but, if you don’t like certain aspects of your job, change them. Suggest new ideas to your manager, talk about things you’re passionate about and try to incorporate them into your work.

Work hard, play harder
There’s nothing worse then going to work, coming home and repeat 5 days a week. If you’ve got a group of friends at work, try and go out once a week after work, or Payday drinks. You spend so much time at work, so it’s worthwhile making it a place you enjoy going or at least a place where you know you can have a good laugh with people you like.

Be Proactive
Life doesn’t start and end with your job. Know’s the time to do something you’ve been telling yourself you’ll start tomorrow! Change your situation proactively 🙂

I hope this post has helped someone, do you have any tips?