19 June 2017

Staying Sane Whilst Growing A Business

how to start your own business, tips on running your own business, Hampshire lifestyle blog

I'm 8 months in to managing my own business and I'll tell you once thing - it's the wildest roller coaster you will ever get on in your life. Being freelance has brought the highest of highs and occasionally the lowest of the lows - eventually balancing itself out. With such emotional hurricanes it can be difficult to keep your feet on the ground, and stay sane in the process.

There are different stresses that come from working or yourself - the fact is you're the boss, and your actions, decisions, and attitude is what keeps the business afloat. When you're working for someone, you effectively stress out about their decisions and rules, or at least I did. For example I hated how even though my hours were 9-5, I still had no control over when I could leave. I remember when I took half a day off as holiday because I had an important family get together to go to, my boss made me sit at my desk and work for an extra 3 hours. Not only did that mean that I technically only got 1 hour off instead of 4, I also stressed loads and missed the family event. Thanks boss!

Of course now I have full control over my hours - but don't think it's all stress free. Yes I can choose to have a day out in the middle of the week to enjoy a sunny day or a special occasion, but I have to then make up those hours which go into client projects usually in the evenings/night time or at the weekend. And it's pretty safe to say that by 1am when I'm editing photos or a video, it can get pretty stressful.

Or on the other hand, the slump you get into when work goes quiet. It's very rare that you have balanced weeks in freelancing - it's usually either a week of working from dusk until dawn, or dead silence. With a schedule this hectic and unpredictable, you need to make sure you're getting enough rest, and keeping motivated.

Then there's financial stresses - unlike working for someone, you don't have secure income and no 'pay day'. Trust me, even if you plan to invoice your clients so you have an actual pay day, it's more like one whole month later that you'll receive payments from 50% of the brands you're working with! So you need to plan ahead, constantly scout new opportunities, approach companies, go to networking events - all to make sure you have rent and bills money. For me perhaps this has been the biggest worry because I have a house to pay for, bills, pets, a car, and of course you want some disposable income to do some pleasurable things too. I'll also let you in on a secret - I've had clients before who think I do this as a part time job for fun, live with my parents, and someone even went as far as asking if I was in college. Baby face problems - because I'm a young looking girl, apparently it's OK to think I'm a little princess who runs around playing 'business woman' in her spare time. Be prepared for that if you're a twenty-something woman who doesn't have kids, the undermining comments are never ending.

And of course apart from worrying about your own business and what you're going to do next, there's the stress of something going wrong with your service or client accounts. You have to be prepared to fight your cornet, or accept that you've made a mistake - regardless, you'll have to answer for your actions on your own, there's no boss to do that for you.

So with all that in mind (and that's just a gentle dip into freelancing!), it's easy to get stressed and dig yourself an emotional hole to climb into. And trust me, I did just that a couple of weeks ago. I stressed myself out to a point where I've had to take a couple of days off as a 'sanity break' and remove myself from work, social media, and most people around me. I know I'm not the only freelancer who feels like this, so here are a few tips which have been tried and tested to keep you sane whilst growing your business:

1. Make a schedule for yourself. The same way as you would work an 8 hour day, then go home and rest (or blog!) - you need to have a limit as to how much you can work in one day. Slot your client projects and your own promotion into an 8 hour day - and remember to take a lunch break. That's not to say you have to work 9-5, if it suits you better work 12-8 or 6-2pm - the beauty is you choose your hours. But remember that cramming everything into one day and overworking yourself is a sure way to burnout city.

2. Take a break. Learn how to take a time out from work - especially if you're business is mainly digital. Have a day or a couple of days off to focus on yourself, do things you love, live in the moment, and DO NOT LOOK AT YOUR EMAILS! If something is dead urgent, people will call/text.

3. Invest in essential oils that help you de-stress - Bergamot oil is a winner in my mind, it's the perfect relaxer to burn around the home office, add to a warm bath, and even to the tips of your hair after washing!

4. Talk about your stresses with friends and family - don't keep your frustrations in because it's just going to come out in one big outburst. It especially helps if you have a freelance friend who knows how stressful it can get sometimes - and you can bounce ideas off each other and help each other through the rough times.

5. Remember that everything is a learning curve. No one who starts their own business is 100% sure of how to run a business. You may be the perfect hairdresser setting up on your own, but do you know how to market that business? No? You're going to make mistakes. You may be the most incredible cook who started their own catering company - but are you a mathematical whizz who can do accounts? No? You're going to slip up eventually. So don't kick yourself when you make a mistake - instead learn from it.

Perhaps the last point is the most important tip in keeping your sanity whilst starting your own business - especially for perfectionists. I took everything so personally and any mistake I made was like the end of the world. And kicking yourself like that is a short road to getting yourself stressed out about everything! Embrace the mistakes - we're only human!

Do you ever feel like running your own business is driving you a little insane? What do you do when you feel like that? Comment below!
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16 June 2017

Tips On How To Soothe A Sunburn

How to soothe a sunburn, tips on soothing sunburn, help heal sunburn, Hampshire lifestyle blog, lifestyle blog, Sandbanks

It's summertime and we're all excited about seeing more sunshine, higher temperatures, BBQ's, trips to the beach, and being nearly able to tan. I went to the beach the first time this year on a hot and sunny day - had the best time ever! And would highly recommend visiting Sandbanks and Studland if you want white sandy beaches, pubs and restaurants with incredible views, activities, and fish and chips on the beach.

But my amazing day trip cost me 48hrs of pure pain - I got the worst sunburn of my life because I didn't take the right precautions (i.e. putting on high SPF, didn't cover myself with the appropriate clothing, basked in the midday sun which is the worst, and forgot my straw hat to help reduce the risk of sunstroke) - so because I'm stupid and made this mistake, I wanted to share with you top tips on how to heal a sunburn if you find yourself in a hot situation.

Although spending time in the sun has masses of benefits like absorption of vitamin D, uplifting moods, getting a healthy natural glow - it also has it's downsides when we don't take precaution: premature skin ageing, damage to the skin, sunburn, increased risk of skin cancer, and damage to the eyes. So before embarking on a sunny day out or a trip to the beach make sure you have the following essentials:

  • SPF 30+ and take this with you because you'll need to reapply as the day goes on
  • Sunglasses to help protect eyes from sun damage
  • Light hat, especially if you're prone to sunstroke!
  • Light cover up if you're wearing shorts and a stroppy top - remember that clothes can help protect your skin from sun rays so it's good to have a light cover up in case your skin starts to feel too hot
  • Water, water, water! You need to keep hydrated in the sun


Equipped with the items above, you'll have a great day out in the sun. However, if you find yourself coming home and realising you've been sunburnt then you can immediately soothe it with items you have at home:


  • Have a cold shower, or use a cold compress on the affected areas - you need to cool your skin as quickly as possible
  • Apply fresh aloe vera to the burnt areas. I have an aloe vera plant in my house and it's been an absolute skin saviour - my sunburn was really, really bad and from one aloe vera leaf I managed to apply the gel all over my legs and arms so little goes a long way. Aloe vera contains zinc which helps fight inflammation caused by sunburn
  • Apply cold natural yogurt, it's not going to feel amazing when you do that but trust me yogurt works wonders on burns - dairy soothes the skin
  • Apply a natural moisturiser without any perfume or other allergens - restoring moisture is so important as your skin will go dry and tight when sunburnt. Apply at least 3 times a day, or more if needed!
  • Keep drinking water and rehydrate your body - the chances are if you're badly sunburnt you'll also have mild sunstroke so you'll need to replace the fluids in your body and drink twice as much as you would normally do
  • Have plenty of rest and listen to your body - it knows how to help itself. I spent a whole day in bed because my sunburn was all over my legs and I physically couldn't walk anywhere! Frustrating, but that's what you get for being silly and just running out into a whole day of sunshine without thinking about the sensible actions!


I hope these tips on how to soothe a sunburn are helpful if you find yourself in a predicament like I did - and next time take care in the sun because I know I will! And if you have a trick which has worked for you, please share with the Dalry Rose community - comment below!
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5 June 2017

Restaurant Review: Bill's Restaurant, Southampton

Bill's Restaurant review in southampton, Bill's in Southampton, Hampshire food blog, Hampshire blogs

I enjoy hearing about more and more restaurants around us using local, British produce which is grown seasonally - not only is this great news for farmers, but also for us who get to eat seasonal goods at their best, grown just down the road from us.

It's even better to hear that it's not just our local artisan pubs, but also restaurant chains on the high street that are embracing seasonal. We were delighted to come and review the British asparagus meals at Bill's in Southampton - asparagus is in season through Spring, but still grows strong in June.

Bill's Restaurant review in southampton, Bill's in Southampton, Hampshire food blog, Hampshire blogs
Bill's Restaurant review in southampton, Bill's in Southampton, Hampshire food blog, Hampshire blogs
Bill's Restaurant review in southampton, Bill's in Southampton, Hampshire food blog, Hampshire blogs
Bill's Restaurant review in southampton, Bill's in Southampton, Hampshire food blog, Hampshire blogs

Bill's is a chain of quirky restaurants who have a good bar, and an even better menu. Catering to all tastes: from healthy salads, to juicy burgers, you can enjoy a delicious meal whatever your dietary requirements are. The problem is, sometimes with restaurant chains you are likely to get frozen meals which quite frankly taste frozen. So knowing that Bill's source local and seasonal produce whenever they can really made my day - and in May they teamed up with British asparagus, who tell you all about recipes, benefits, and where you can buy British asparagus.

I enjoy meals at Bill's because of the informal, and very Instagrammable setting - plus, I've never been but everyone who has enjoyed a breakfast at Bill's says it's the best. So we really do need to check it out soon!

Bill's Restaurant review in southampton, Bill's in Southampton, Hampshire food blog, Hampshire blogs
Bill's Restaurant review in southampton, Bill's in Southampton, Hampshire food blog, Hampshire blogs, British asparagus
Bill's Restaurant review in southampton, Bill's in Southampton, Hampshire food blog, Hampshire blogs, British asparagus

We shared two starters: a vegetable crudite bowl with spiced avocado dip, and deep fried calamari with a garlic sauce. YUM. The vegetable crudite bowl was probably the healthiest starter option I have ever chosen, but I have to say after a weekend of pretty unhealthy habits I enjoyed the freshness and crunch of vegetables, and the slight creaminess of the avocado sauce. Plus, did I mention there were parsnip crisps? I also ordered up a watermelon juice which was absolutely delicious and much needed in the heat of the beginning of June - keep those coming!

The calamari, in the words of Heidi Bawden, were the best she's eaten! They were not chewy at all, tasted like the sea and holiday, plus the dip was the perfect accompaniment with hints of garlic.

Bill's Restaurant review in southampton, Bill's in Southampton, Hampshire food blog, Hampshire blogs, calamari
Bill's Restaurant review in southampton, Bill's in Southampton, Hampshire food blog, Hampshire blogs, British asparagus
Bill's Restaurant review in southampton, Bill's in Southampton, British asparagus, Hampshire food blog, Hampshire blogs
Bill's Restaurant review in southampton, Bill's in Southampton, Hampshire food blog, Hampshire blogs

Mains are always the 'main event' (that's why they're called that, duh Lana!) and I have a favourite at bills which I always go for - the buttermilk chicken burger with slaw and swap sweet potato fries for normal fries because I just love fries. It comes with a slightly spiced mayo and delicious coleslaw, plus a soft brioche bun which is forever the best bun when stuffing a burger into your face. There's one problem I have with this main though - every time I order it, I just can't finish it. The burger is so delicious - but so filling at the same time! It's a mission of mine to one day clear the plate, and it's a challenge I'm ready to take on!

Heidi ordered the grilled halloumi salad with grilled vegetables, including British asparagus, and a portion of chips because chips are life. The salad came with pesto covered toasted slices, delicious halloumi, and freshly grilled vegetables. It was a delicious combination of freshness and lightness, with some carbs thrown in for good measure.

Bill's Restaurant review in southampton, fresh peppermint tea, Bill's in Southampton, Hampshire food blog, buttermilk chicken burger, Hampshire blogs
Bill's Restaurant review in southampton, fresh peppermint tea, Bill's in Southampton, Hampshire food blog, buttermilk chicken burger, Hampshire blogs

After a pretty heavy meal, we ordered one dessert which were sugary doughnuts with a chocolate and caramel sauces, and syrupy strawberries; and I just had to have the fresh peppermint tea which is great for digestion, and is simply refreshing. It gave me a brilliant idea to do the same at home - I have a peppermint plant and all I need is a mug and hot water!

Bill's Restaurant review in southampton, doughnuts at Bill's, Bill's in Southampton
Bill's Restaurant review in southampton, fresh peppermint tea, Bill's in Southampton

We always have a great time at Bill's Restaurant and can't wait to go back there again. Especially now that we're going to be on the lookout for seasonal menus!
And I'd like to thank British Asparagus for sponsoring us to come and review the menu at Bills' - asparagus is one of my favourite veggies, especially at breakfast when I can dip it into runny eggs, or just on its own with freshly made hummus. Asparagus is also full of antioxidants which are great for you, and can help with weight loss (especially when you substitute sugary and fatty foods with raw asparagus strips).

What do you think about eating seasonally? Do you tend to try and keep to local and seasonal foods?
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