Personal blog by Ashleigh Dougherty. Read with a pinch of salt and a cuppa' rosy lee.

30/04/2015

APRIL 2015 REVIEW

Happy Thursday, everyone! I've decided instead of doing my week in photos every weekend (which you may have noticed I haven't been doing the last couple of weekends); I am going to review my month on the last day of each month.

So, I thought... why not kick start this today?

Firstly, I cannot believe how quick April has gone and that we're already in May. April has been a month of ups and downs for me. I will be addressing the downs in a separate post as I feel now sitting here (I'm in track suit bottoms and a sports bra and I swear together they're the most comfiest things ever), that I would like to address something negatively in a positive way. Watch out for that post, folks.

FOOD

I have been trying to eat a lot healthier this month with the hope of finding the motivation to return to the gym. Honestly, I did return to the gym. Once. Ha! - I've been eating lots of spinach, avocado (obviously... I mean, seriously), tuna and chicken and forcing myself to have healthy breakfasts such as granola or a banana and a pint of water. I've been reviewing a plan from Exante Diet this month too which I will be posting about soon. 


MUSIC

Obviously, James Bay's album has been on repeat over and over again. I've even managed to persuade my mum to keep the CD (which I reviewed here) in the car! Here's some other tunes I've been loving... (and dancing around in my underwear to - don't judge me okay)
  • Stronger - Clean Bandit
  • The Ballad of Mona Lisa - Panic! At The Disco
  • 88 - Sum 41
  • Won't Look Back - Duke Dumont
  • Talking About - Conor Maynard
  • Open Up - Gallant
  • Since U Been Gone (cover) - A Day To Remember 

WORK

This month I said to myself I wanted to really push myself with my photography work. I had actually taken a few months off which left me feeling refreshed and extra inspired to get shooting again. A few weeks ago, I organised a full team with a female model and I'm so happy with the editorial. It's being published too, yay! I will be sharing the full edit on my blog in the next few weeks but here's a sneaky preview!


TV/FILMS

It literally feels as if I hardly watch films and stuff anymore which is quite sad so I need to start taking some time out to myself more! I did see Cinderella at the cinema last week which was AMAZING and I can't wait to get it on dvd! - I've also been loving The Returned on Netflix which is rather gripping. It's about people who have died and return to their families/friends as if nothing ever happened. So good!

POSTS

Have you been enjoying me posting a hell of a lot more over the last couple of months? I think I've really upped my game and I feel a lot more happier about my blog. ALTHOUGH, I do feel like last month's content was better than this month's but that's just me being hard on myself haha!

My top 3 favourite posts of the month have been:
Things have been a little slow on the dating front but I am actually super content with my life at the moment. Nothing progressed with the guy I was dating last month which was sad because he was a cool guy but that's how things go, right? I went for a meal with a guy a couple of weeks ago but again; just another time waster. I did meet a nice guy a few weeks ago who bought me a cactus who I have named Colin and I love him an awful lot. 

(The cactus that is.)

Here's Colin just chilling.


READING

I've tried to read a lot more blogs recently. I sometimes spend hours reading and commenting on them and then go a few days reading none and then find out I have 800+ to catch up on. Ooops. I've also been reading a really cool novel called Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick which is a good thriller which I am yet to finish. Here's some blog posts I really loved reading!

How has April treated you? My month in general has been okay however I haven't addressed the negatives yet but will do soon. I'm off to get a change of scenery and stay at my cousin's by the seaside. I never leave London. Ever!
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29/04/2015

Things To Do In London: English National Opera


The English National Opera House is not somewhere I have ever been or thought of going to. I absolutely love the theatre, films and music and I was always involved with London orchestras in school.

English National Opera is near Charing Cross in London with stunning brick exterior which almost makes you feel as if you are travelling back in time. The only reason I suppose I haven't been is because I have always judged operas to be very string instrument based with hard to understand story lines. However, that is all about to change. 


ENO is creating the future of opera; presenting award-winning work that is new, exciting and surprising. Creatives are now seeked all over the world from different aspects of artist talent to produce new productions and contemporary opera. There is now a strong reputation for the ENO who are producing highly theatrical productions resulting in many high profile artistic collaborations with other opera houses.

The performances have strong story lines which are very much like watching something in the theatre; except with extra powerful theatrical lighting and overall general fantastic production. Personally, I am looking forward to Queen of Spades; a powerfully dark masterpiece about a countess who has the power of secretly winning at cards. The whole performance is about an army officer who aims to seize her rare and dark power; even if it cause death.

There is something quite appealing about dressing up nice and smart if you're a gentleman or in a stunning evening dress if you're a woman to attend a night at the opera. I am really considering taking my mum for her birthday. Question is; there's too much choice so what performance should I choose?!

Disclaimer: In collaboration with ENO but all words are my own.
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28/04/2015

Sienna-X Gradual Tanning Lotion



I'm a little late to the party as I have only just started trying out different fake tans. I am actually very white (but you probably already know that) so it's often quite difficult for me to find any kind of skin based make-up product that doesn't make me look like an extra oompa-loompa on set of Charlie & TCF.

I remember when gradual lotion tans were huge when I was a young teenager as you could moisturise your body every time after a few showers and the result is a natural and sun kissed tan. I have really enjoyed using this one particularly because the tan is very gradual and easily build able. It's perfect if you're pale and not used to tanning products like me because you can carry building up the colour to get your desired shade or use it once and twice for a healthy glow.


Sienna-X stock a whole range of different tanning products from mists, gels and mousses so there are a lot on offer depending on what you are looking for. The gradual glowing self-tan smells SO delicious as it's main ingredient are sweet almonds. It also has an interesting anti-celluite formula which is great for prepping your body for the beach this Summer!

(Except me... no holiday for me...)

I also tried out some samples of their body scrub and body balm which prep your skin for the tan so you're super soft which allows for a much better application. It's great that you can get all these products in one place!

I've really enjoyed using the Sienna-X tan and will be using it a lot over the Summer for that gradual but natural looking tan! It's also a product you can get for under £15 which I think is very purse friendly as tanning products can be pricey!
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27/04/2015

Printing With Leaflet Distribution Team


It's essential for any business owner (no matter how big or small) to promote their product or services as much as possible. I'm kicking it back old school today and talking about a fab printing company which print many promotional products. It's not just about social media promotion these days, kids!


Personally, I run two businesses. My blog and my photography freelance work. It's essential I have business cards for both businesses to hand out at events and to people I work with on shoots. Or to make things easier; just merge both businesses into one business card i.e Ashleigh Dougherty; photographer and blogger.


Leaflet Distribution are a great printing, design and promotional company based in London who not only print different products such as leaflets, business cards, stickers and customer surveys; but you can also leave your business in their hands and get the team to design you a creative flyer. Perfect if you have no spare time whilst running your business or if you're just completely clueless when it comes to anything creative!


Printing can be expensive and sometimes it's hard to know where to go but it's great to know there is one very reliable company in London who are very passionate about printing should I need any more business cards in the future. I really want some postcards made up of my photography work. I think these would be great to hand out with a business card to whatever team I work with on a photo shoot. Always nice to keep something, isn't it?
Disclaimer: In collaboration with leafletdistributionteam.co.uk reviewing their printing services; however all words are my own.
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25/04/2015

Crafty Afternoon + Weekend GIVEAWAY! (closed)

This weekend is all about chilling and having some time to myself. I thought I would save this afternoon for some craftiness; because.. well, why not?

A little while ago, Hobbycraft kindly sent me over a really nice white wooden frame which goes perfectly in my black and white bedroom. So, this afternoon was spent looking amongst family photos hanging around the house and piecing them together to make a collage for the frame. However, I still haven't decided what wall it will be hung up on yet and will have to wait around for my dad to get onto that job as I quite frankly do not trust myself with a hammer.



 I used a mixture of old family photos including ones of me as a baby/young child and some more up to date photos such as a snap of me and my mum on her wedding day last year.

It was super fun putting this together so Hobbycraft have kindly kept one back to give away to someone who reads my blog! Read more details below.


It's a small little giveaway leading up to the big 4 year blog birthday in July (still planning this!) so this giveaway will only be running over the weekend until 11.59pm (UK time) on Monday evening!

TO WIN:


- Make sure you're following my blog on bloglovin. (I will be checking!)
- Comment on this post saying you want to win with your twitter handle or email address.

Extra entries
- Comment 'i wanna win' on the picture on my instagram @ashllyd
- Follow me on twitter @ashllyd
- Follow Hobbycraft on twitter @hobbycraft
- Mention the giveaway in a tweet with a direct link to this post

Terms and conditions:
- One winner only.
- Hobbycraft will send out the frame to the winner once I contact the winner.
- No cash alternative.
- If you're under 16 please make sure you have parental permission to enter.
- Giveaway closes 11:69pm Monday 27th April, 2015.

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23/04/2015

How To Ace That Job Interview

Job interviews are a scary thing. From start to finish you're begging the employer in your head to take you on whilst trying to impress them and set yourself apart from other average candidates. Even then, nothing is ever certain. You usually have to apply for a few companies, have a few interviews and knock backs before a company give you that once chance to work for them.

I've had a few interviews for job vacancies for different things over the last couple of weeks which are all for that dream job of mine; as opposed to an interview for a retail assistant position in a clothes shop. I was fortunate enough to have had my interviews in a relaxed environment with a team of bubbly and inspiring people however it was still very nerve racking considering the position I was after was for my dream job.


Here is a little instruction manual type thing to ace that job interview you're about to walk into...

BEFORE THE INTERVIEW

- Eat a good breakfast! Mine is avocado on toast always.

- Pre-plan your journey using Google Maps. I'm a bit OCD and use the satellite option and plan my journey that way. I will then remember certain places e.g the destination is after the Starbucks on the left.

- Allow an extra 30 minutes whilst travelling there. TFL for example is never a reliable service.

- Plan your outfit the night before. It will save a mishap on the actual day!

- Wear something classy and minimalistic. I wore black and white with one splash of colour.

JUST BEFORE THE INTERVIEW

- Now you've reached your destination, stand and breathe for two minutes. Adjust yourself. Check lipstick isn't on your teeth. Remove chewing gum. Basic stuff.

- Walk in confidently with a smile and address who you are and who you are there to see.

- TAKE THE OFFER! I was offered a glass of water on one interview and politely declined and instantly regretted it. The next time, I said yes please to a glass of water and it instantly put my nerves at bay (well, most of them!).

BEGINNING OF THE INTERVIEW

- Stand up, smile, shake the employer's hand and politely address them i.e "Hello John, how are you?".

- Let them sit down first before you sit back down.

DURING THE INTERVIEW 

- Keep your back straight, no slouching! Keep smiling! :) :) :)

- Briefly describe who you are (as a person), what you do and your work history without boring them. i.e "I graduated University of East London last year in Photography and I've been freelancing as a menswear fashion photographer since. I've worked with a various number of clients such as xxxxxxxxx. Another hobby of mine is blogging which I have been doing for four years but full time as of the end of last year. I've interned in various fashion placements such as PR, social media and blogger outreach and am now looking for a brand new challenge".

- Slow down briefly whilst they make notes. You don't want to stress your possible future employer!

- Ask mini questions to things they are saying. It will show a real interest in what they are saying and the job role itself i.e:
Employer: "We are looking for a junior to the join the team as soon as possible". 
My response: "I am definitely interested - is there a chance to progress from a junior in the future?

- Use positive words such as 'fantastic' and 'excellent'. It shows you are a strong and positive person instead of dull and not THAT bothered if you land the role or not.

- Have your questions prepared. They WILL ask you if you have any questions and sitting there with a puzzled expression on your face with the possibility to start 'erm vomiting' will not get you anywhere. A few questions I always keep in mind for interviews are

  • Can I work my way up within the company?
  • What do you like about working here?
  • Do you have any worries about me working for your company?
  • How many people work here?

- PREPARE for the dreaded salary question. It's bound to pop up somewhere but always let the employer do this instead of throwing them the question of "How much will I earn a year?". Have a yearly price set in your mind. Really think about it and weigh up things like travel costs, child care costs etc.

AFTER THE INTERVIEW:

- Shake the interviewer's hand and ensure them how lovely it was to meet them. i.e "Thank you for the opportunity John. It was lovely meeting you.'

- Exit positively. If another employee of the company smiles at you, smile back! You never know who it is! 

- Leave the area well behind before getting your phone out to ring your mum or friend to fill them in how your interview went. Who could be watching from the window above?

I hope those were some insightful tips into how to ace a job interview! Good luck if you have one coming up. My biggest tip of them all is to just relax, be yourself and keep smiling :)

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored but all words are my own.
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22/04/2015

'Go Freestyle' With Lurpak Lunch Challenge!


I was challenged by Lurpak to Go Freestyle and switch up my lunch choice for something a little different. A study found that the majority of us buy or make the same lunch every single day. That's around a staggering 233 of the same lunch a year! Boring, right?


I've been eating clean for a couple of weeks now so haven't been eating as much bread as I usually would. I've been swapping jam on toast for healthier cereals for breakfast such as granola, and healthy, fresh salads instead of sandwiches on white bread for lunch.

This got me thinking... How could I create a new kind of lunch for myself using Lurpak butter* WHILST keeping things healthy?

I went to the supermarket to look at possible ingredients and ended up coming home with Lurpak butter* tuna, an avocado (or 4), feta cheese and spinach. I eat spinach and avocado pretty much every day but usually with chicken for a bit of protein so decided to switch things up and avoid my usual lunch by swapping chicken for tuna; whilst also picking up some wholemeal rolls rather than bread.


I added a little bit of light mayo to the tuna so it wasn't too dry with some pepper for a little flavour. Then it was time to lightly butter the rolls and prep the avocado. Yum! I also chopped up a few cubes of feta cheese which is one of my favourite (slightly naughtier) things in salads.


I then added some spinach (an even bigger YUM) - and some lemon and pepper salad dressing for a little flavour for the leaves.


Ta-da! So, this week I faced a challenge to switch my lunch up and I really enjoyed putting a little more effort into it. I'm now thinking of other possible recipes to pop into a roll or a sandwich for lunch. I think I might try something with spicy chicken next time!


What would you put into your sandwich/roll to make it a little different? Would love to hear your ideas below!
*Disclaimer: Some of these ingredients were paid for using a gifted voucher for me to take part in the challenge! :)
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21/04/2015

Denim Dungarees

I feel like I have quite literally been searching for absolutely AGES for a pair of black denim dungarees. I couldn't find any in any high street shops and then finally found a pair on ASOS. However, much to my dismay, they were sold out in my size for ages resulting in a super sad Ashleigh. Forwarding on a few more weeks, they were back in stock and I had to quickly order myself some!


Top: Primark | Dungarees: ASOS (here) Boots: ASOS | Hat: Depop | Sunglasses: Chicnova*


This is another location I am thinking of shooting my outfits in from now on. It's literally right next door to my house and I can't believe I've never thought of using it before. However, I don't live in the NICEST part of London so I think I will need to be extra careful in terms of security.

 Boo. East LDN problems at its finest. 


I picked up this longer fit crop top for a barganious £3 so got it in a washed out red colour too. I think they're perfect to go with dungarees as it shows that little bit of flesh on the sides which is great to break down a lot of denim material.

Paired with my uber cool glasses; I felt super funky. (I probably look like an idiot).


I am also a total fedora nerd and have a fine collection building up. I just think they complete an outfit although I do find the wind is their worst enemy ever!

Anyway, a little update in the hair department which I forgot to  update you with on my previous outfit post; I've had my hair cut... again! My hair seems to grow super quick (I hate it) and so my dreaded roots need doing again soon. Being blonde is such a faff sometimes. (Sigh!)

I have so much planned for my blog at the moment that it looks like I am going to be blogging near enough every day for the rest of the month aswell as May! I hope you're ready for the daily content? I am so excited!


Do you like how I've styled the dungarees? Would you style them differently? Let me know below!
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20/04/2015

Alice McCall at Avenue 32

Fashion.  If it's quirky and cute, I love it. Alice McCall is no stranger to the fashion industry. She is a London born Australian fashion designer who launched her fashion label way back in 2004. Her pieces are now stocked in around 160 shops in 10 countries world wide. Amazing!

Let's take a look at some of the pieces in her latest Spring/Summer collection which is available to buy at Avenue 32.

Believe me, it was very hard to choose a few of my favourites as I love pretty much everything on the site. As you can see, there's a lot of short cuts on pieces, scallop detailing and quirky, bold prints. A range of materials have been used such as denim, polyester silk and light cotton. 

Denim jumpsuits are readily available just about everywhere but this one looks a lot more relaxed and I love the huge, deep pockets! Why are pockets so important to us ladies?  A strong, modern and digitalised print of lips are used to create a collection of a dress, skirt and cropped top. I think I would go for the dress paired with some little white heels and a slick of red lipstick. Oh, and let's not get started on scalloped cuts. SO CUTE!

The rest of the collection features nautical stripes with scalloping, a beautiful white gypsy dress and more digital printed dresses but maxi and midi lengths.

An absolutely dreamy collection that I can only wish I owned! Head on over to the Alice McCall page on Avenue 32 to see the full collection. 

Disclaimer: This post is written in collaboration with Avenue 32 but all words are my own.
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17/04/2015

Sponsored Video: Nivea Micellar Cleansing Water

I think every woman has secretly said thank you to the gods above for inventing Micellar Cleansing Waters. I know I have! The evening routine of being able to remove your makeup in the comfort of your own bed is something I religiously commit myself to every single evening.  I have tried a whole bunch of brands and find some are still quite difficult to remove stubborn eye makeup; so I end up really hurting my eyes; but not no more...

What is a Micellar Water?
Firstly, have you been living under a rock? Micellar Cleansing Waters are a skincare product which remove makeup whilst cleansing the skin at the same time without having to use a face cloth or warm water. Every beauty brand seems to bringing one to the beauty  market recently due to the high demand from women like me who simply have had all their prayers answered to. 

The NIVEA Daily Essentials Sensitive 3 in 1 Micellar Cleansing Water (what a mouthful) is a fairly new release and has become a cult product amongst women who want to remove makeup quickly so they can get straight into bed!  The water magically cleanses your face whilst removing all traces of makeup. YES, even that stubborn mascara that usually takes some good old elbow scrubbing.
The NIVEA daily essentials range requires little effort at all. Infact, all you need are some cotton pads  and your face and you're good to go. I usually start with my eyes and soak two pads in the product and leave them on my eyes. This results in melting the eye makeup which you then just have to wipe away instead of scrubbing at like normal makeup removers or those dreaded thins called makeup removing WIPES. The sensitive formulation including vitamin B5 (moisturises the skin) and natural grape seed oil means it reduces those horrible traits that sensitive skin gifts some of us; redness, tightness and dryness.

NIVEA invited four of the UK's top beauty bloggers to try the product out for themselves and the results sound rather promising! Watch the video below to see one of these four bloggers talk about its glory some more!


The micellar cleansing water from NIVEA retails at £1.84 from Boots - an absolute budget buy that does exactly what it claims to do! You can find out more on their social media pages by liking Nivea on Facebook or following Nivea on Twitter.


 Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Nivea but all thoughts are my own.
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16/04/2015

Shades Of Cool


Wearing: Top: H&M | Trousers: Peacocks (here) | Kimono: TU Sainsburys
 | Sandals & Shades: Primark (old) | Bag: Urban Outfitters 


 A really relaxed and chilled outfit which I absolutely love! I picked up these trousers last week in Peacocks for a mere £12 (still have a valid student card; so good *winks*) and I just KNOW I will wear them so much! They have an interesting slit on the legs at the bottom which gives amazing airflow haha!


I've decided to start looking at better locations around my area to shoot in and this little road is a possibility. It was a little awkward though as some strange man was staring out of his bedroom window and wolf-whistling but I just ignored him and carried on. Very annoying when you're not used to shooting yourself in public!


 I feel like I wear so many sunglasses now; hence the title of the post - boom!! I've been wearing contact lenses for a good couple of months now. It was always a pain of never been able to wear shades when I wore glasses. Now, I just can't get enough and have a fine collection starting to grow!


 How nice has the weather been so far? It's so nice to wake up to the sun, work in the sun and end the day with the sun setting low. I'm fully taking advantage now by taking my time working throughout the day. Instead of rushing to take photos at 9AM; I can now do them at 5PM.

 It's bloody brilliant; as Ron Weasley would say.


I'm on a bit of a downer today. I feel like a bit of a failure in life but I know we all have our ups and downs. I know full well this time tomorrow I'll be happy knowing I have a photoshoot with a full team and my first agency represented female model. Shooting new work ALWAYS makes me incredibly happy and feeling sky high! :)

Oh, and before I forget...

I am fast approaching 400 Bloglovin followers. Thank you sooo much! I have a few giveaways planned for the next couple of weeks so make sure you're following if you're a new reader so you don't miss out! Have a glorious Thursday and I'll write again soon x
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