Category: Adventures In Style

 

Excellent, now that I have your attention, I am here to tell you the truth, and you know what, you don’t even need me to say it as you know this already. There is No. Such. Thing… Yet we still click on links that kid us into thinking that ‘purveyors’ of such trash (whoever ‘they’ maybe) hold the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. You may have noticed them penning similar sneaky articles entitled ‘How to get a Victoria’s Secret body, while eating a tub of ice cream, and lying in bed all day’… OK not quite, but you get the picture I’m sure.

I went to see Magic Mike XXL on Friday and I am not ashamed to say I loved every minute of it! Dancing, theatrical performances, hot men and a special shout out to the awesome Jada Pinkett Smith – in my book, WHAT is there not to like?! But once all the hype of seeing these perfect bodied men had calmed down, it seemed that there was something missing, and I suppose that elusive thing was depth. “It’s a film about strippers!” I hear you cry, “It’s not supposed to have depth”, and yes I do acknowledge this. The point is, the snapshot that you see of them performing is just that, a teeny tiny brief glimpse of them and from this point it is easy to get carried away musing things from this one angle. They look amazing (full credit to their self discipline and personal trainers), and based on this along with the output of other media channels, women start to build lists of ideals in their head for their perfect match. Lists of requirements that no poor perspective partner is ever going to be able to live up to.

Then the worst bit kicks in…you build your list, then get totally disappointed. Cue long discussions with girlfriends full of self doubt musing about how you are never going to find ‘the one’, let alone keep him. Meanwhile, the poor decent guys you meet, are discarded as they don’t have David Gandy’s body, Lord Sugar’s business empire, Gordon Ramsay’s cooking skills, Professor Brian Cox’s intelligence, the Dalai Lama’s insight, Channing Tatum’s dance technique, and Lewis Hamilton’s driving skills (hmmm that last one needs to come off MY list!)… breathhheeeee.

Finding the perfect man is like asking you to be the perfect woman. I was going to state it is a nice sentiment, but you know what, I don’t think it is even that. If you let the pursuit of perfection whether this be in yourself or a lover take over your life, you don’t need me to tell you that the results will be anything but perfect.

So maybe, we strip it back to basics, and a man becomes just a man… just as you are, at the end of the day, just a woman (albeit an awesome one). Just as we are never going to be perfect for them, we should also make allowances for their character quirks (I HATE the word flaws).

Supposing they were made up of noble characteristics such as striving to do good in the world, and showing courage in the face of adversity, would we be prepared to negotiate on the super flat abs? Perhaps you could even just whittle your list down to one thing –  That they love you in the best way for you, and this love is returned. Sure they will mess up, but then again so will you, and if it’s nothing that is monumentally important to you, shouldn’t we just let it slide? They maybe in your life for a good time or a long time, but as the saying goes, make hay while the sun shines and enjoy your journey together… wherever that may lead.

The secret is not perfect, the real secret is knowing you nor anyone else you know will ever achieve perfection… and owning all that you are anyway.

 

Love always,

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Adventures In Style Inspiration

 

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Taken from a Conversation with Justine Picardie & Susie Lau of ‘Style Bubble’

It can be argued that as a population, we absolutely love a ‘How To’ guide. In fact, helped along by the presence of the internet, you can literally find a step by step guide on anything. How to apply make up like a pro, how to bake almost anything under the sun (Pinterest must be given a well deserved shout out in this category) and of course, how to write a blog is no exception. While it is extremely useful to have support to achieve your goals (be them teeny, moderate or HUGE), the process can become quite prescriptive, and putting your own creative stamp on things becomes more tricky.

The conversation between two powerhouse women at The Dorchester, reminded me clearly of the intentions that should sit behind any blog. So, in summary, I give you 10 things to consider when starting a blog… the list that doesn’t include creating the ‘perfect logo’, as inspired by Justine and Susie.

Add value through your blog

It is a quote often said – opinions… everyone has one. Not only does everyone have one, everyone has one on EVERYTHING, and that is just fine. But don’t make a blog just a record of your opinions, make it something deeper. Conduct your research, collect your evidence, and then make an intelligent comment on your findings. Know your subject, and then share the knowledge – there is no greater gift.

Be True to Yourself

If you do this from the very beginning you will thank yourself. Not only will you feel better in your work, but pretending to be something you are not is just plain exhausting after a while! Honour you truth and the respect will come. You will draw the readers that you want, people can smell insincerity a mile away.

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Write your blog with unbridled passion

If you aren’t passionate about your subject or blog, find something else to do (This rule applies to everything in life) Quite frankly, life is too short, and as cliché as it sounds, you are going to have to love, love, LOVE your baby blog.

NOTE: While Justine was discussing the creativity she is allowed to express, and the legacy that has been forged at Harper’s Bazaar, you could see the passion literally radiating out of her.

Be honest… but never rude

If something makes you feel uncomfortable then of course you have every right to express that, but, do so with respect. Chances are whatever you are commenting on is the result of another person’s hard work and effort, so be mindful of that when putting across your point of view. There is nothing admirable in being difficult for the sake of it either.

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Engage with your audience

Start each article with your audience in mind, and when they comment on your content, take the time to connect with them. Consider what they may want to read, ask them, then action  if appropriate. Nothing makes a person feel more valued than actually being listened to.

Always act with integrity

Integrity… A loaded word if ever there was one! Easy to say in an off the cuff comment, yet not always so easy to implement! This becomes more relevant as your blog starts to become more successful and especially if you consider monetising you blog. If you are being sponsored to write a post, say. If you have benefited from a free product, thank the provider (after all, it’s only good manners!), and write an honest review. Consider carefully brands that wish to advertise on your site. Do they back your ethos? Do they conduct their business ethically? Ask yourself what is non negotiable in the quest to stay true to yourself, and then consider whether that particular brand adopts the same stance.

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Start small, but always deliver the best quality

So when you start, it maybe that only a handful of people read your blog… in fact, being harsh, it maybe no one reads the articles that you have poured your heart and soul into. But, even if this is the case, I urge you to continue pouring your very best into your writing. From small beginnings come great achievements, and the habits that you instil within yourself early doors will serve you well in the future. Set out to deliver the best, do your research, write and re-write, edit and re-edit. Do whatever it takes for you to know that once you have hit publish, you have given it your all.

Seek inspiration continually. Keep it fresh

Keep your content awesome. Easier said than done I know! Look for new adventures to share with your reader, and seek out things you haven’t done before. Even if you have a regular post that you publish on a weekly basis, consider switching this up from time to time. To keep inspiring, you need to keep moving forward.

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When you want to give up… don’t

So, if you are continuously ‘giving it your all’ and the results are coming a little slower than you would like, it’s only natural that you start to get, shall we say, a little fed up. There is so much literature, not just on the internet, but everywhere you look, advising you to ‘keep going’ or, to quote our favourite ‘tick’ sportswear brand, JUST DO IT. Now that’s all very well and good, but sometimes this type of talk which we can all be prone to, is just not helpful. So, in response, take a little time to step away from things and just recharge yourself. Get away from the laptop, and go seek inspiration. Remind yourself WHY you started your blog, and rebuild the belief that you can achieve amazing things. Work through your resistance to starting, and then gently lean back into it…

Success is not measured by numbers

This comes back to the age old question… how exactly does one measure success? When reading about  starting a blog, especially guidance about how to monetise your blog, the emphasis seems to be on building traffic. In fact, it seems to be all about traffic and followers. Success is reflected in thousands of Instagram likes, and general worldwide acclaim. I urge you to consider this choice. Which would you rather have – 1000 new followers on Facebook, or to know that your work had struck a cord with just one person at their lowest ebb and encouraged them to reach out and follow their dreams. Success is a personal journey, just like everything in this life, and I guess the point here is can you really measure ALL success by numbers. Is it statistical success you look for, or do you seek to inspire something more emotive in people ? The choice, as always, is yours.

With love,

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Adventures In Style

Hello and welcome to the world of CocoBelle.

Why am I writing this?

I am writing this because I believe in beautiful creations whatever shape that may take. I believe in lovely clothes, fabulous hotels and experiencing life in all kinds of ways possible. But I also believe in something deeper. I believe in inspiration and hope, and about spreading this so when people get stuck, they can see how colourful life can really be. I believe in women supporting each other through it all, and that when genuine women come together to support each other’s dreams, well that’s just a fabulous thing.

So CocoBelle is a record of inspiration. Things that have made my life brighter and encouraged me to chase down my dreams. I hope they also inspire you to realise that the world is there for the taking, and it’s a beautiful, wild place.

I also feel that it is important for me to tell you this – being you, and whatever that looks like to you is just dandy. In fact, it’s more than that, it’s amazing.  It’s fine to be 30 and still love Frozen, it’s also fine to want to climb Everest and still like to have pink glittery nails. If you are anything me, you will have spent hours pouring over tricks & tips that will make you a better person… Well the great news is that it all starts with you…you are the question… but you are also the solution.

With love,

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Adventures In Style