National Social Media Day

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Today is National Social Media Day (yes that really does exist!), so I couldn't let the day pass without writing about it! 

Social media has quite literally changed my life. It has opened my eyes to so many issues I wasn't aware of, it has connected me with people all over the world, it has strengthened me as a person, made me new friends, given me a voice and, best of all, created my career for me. 

I have worked on and off with social media for the last year, and I have been blogging for almost two years. I have had all of my media opportunities presented to me via social media. I have found jobs via social media. I have used my online presence as a portfolio. It has always helped me and never let me down. 

Of course, social media hasn't always been my friend. When I was younger, I suffered a lot from online bullying. It really damaged the person that I was, it damaged my confidence, it made me hate myself for a period of time. Now that I'm older, it's changed to just thick skin, now that I realise the problem is with the bullies and 'trolls', not me. But the issues are still there. Occasionally I get a nasty tweet or two, sometimes I'm even stalked in the most inappropriate ways. But I suppose these are things that come with living life so openly online. 

Mostly, I'm grateful. It's taken me in a direction I never thought it would. Before, social media was just for chatting with friends, sharing photos. Now, for me, it's so much more than that. 

That being said, it seems almost fit that on today, National Social Media Day, I landed myself a brand new job! (Yes...another one!) I am now the social media and blog handler for a beauty company, beautstar.com 

I am so, so thrilled to have landed myself this job, it is such a dream come true! They say its about who you know, right place, right time, all that jazz and it is true, but at the same time, it's my hard work- particularly with social media- that has gotten me to where I am today! A massive two fingers up to everyone who has ever mocked me, criticised me or slagged me off for being a social media 'addict', for being online 'too much'. It's creating a dream job for me and taking me one step closer to my end goal every single day! 

Happy National Social Media Day to all of you...how has social media changed your life? Let me know in the comments below!

Love from,
Florence Grace

Like this? Why not try... #InternetFriendDay | Internet Bullying | Internet Trolls

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Beating the holiday blues!

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No one likes a holiday to end, knowing they have to go back to their routine of school or work and bad weather (well, if you're from the UK that is!). Having just come back from my holiday and being straight back at work at 9am the following morning, I definitely had a case of the holiday blues, and boy did they hit me hard! Here's some tips on helping to beat them...

Make a photo album.
Print off all of the photo's from your holiday and collate them into an album. Then, whenever you're feeling down about not being on holiday, you can have a flick through the album and reminisce on the memories!

Make a scrap book.
Similarly to a photo album, make a scrap book that not only has photo's, but also tickets, maps, wrist bands and the likes. This will bring back all of the memories every time you feel a bit blue. 

Start planning the next one.
Look at where you want to go, prices and then start saving up. All of the future planning not only keeps your brain occupied but it also fills you with excitement, rather than feeling sad about your last holiday. 

Keep the memories alive.
Did you go on holiday with friends? Family? Keep talking about the good things that happened on holiday and laugh together about them, keeping the memories of the holiday alive. 

Blog about it!
Write about your holiday and share it with your readers! That way you get to recap the entire holiday and it's the next best thing to living through it all over again, right?

Make a playlist.
Was there any songs you heard on holiday, perhaps whilst travelling there or in a restaurant? Make a playlist of all the songs that remind you of your trip and listen to it when you're feeling down!

How do you beat the holiday blues? Let me know in the comments below!

Love from,
Florence Grace

Like this? Why not try... Blogging on holiday! | English holidays

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Blogging on holiday!

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In case you have missed all of this last week's worth of posts, I have just come back from holiday in Devon. However, despite being on holiday, I still wrote a blog post every single day, in order to keep up my 365 days of blogging. Now, some people might not like to blog on holiday or might want to be struggle with it...so here's how I handled blogging on holiday.

Lost for content?
Post about your holiday. They can either be diary posts like I did, recapping on the events of the day, or simply filled with all of your photos of the day. Photo's are of course, easier and require less effort, but its totally up to you!

Post a day later. 
I wrote about my day at the end of the day, and then posted it the following day if that makes sense? So I arrived on Tuesday, at the end of Tuesday I wrote about the day, and then that post went up on Wednesday. This helped my content to flow all week long. 

Timings.
So, how to fit it in? As I said, I posted a day later. So, before I left on Tuesday morning, I posted a post that morning, and that was Tuesday covered. Then, I would write up the next day's post in the evening when we were watching TV or when I was sat in bed. Sometimes, if I woke up early enough the next morning or before my friends, I'd write it up then. If you think you aren't going to have time, you can always write posts before you go away and then schedule them! 

Need help?
Maybe whoever is on holiday, such as your friend or a family member, might like to contribute to your blog, writing a post for you if you're stuck for ideas! 

Promoting. 
Twitter is the most common way to promote your blog posts, and if you're struggling to find time to tweet on holiday, or to find internet, don't forget you can also schedule tweets using programs such as buffer. 

Do you blog on holiday? Or do you take a complete break? Let me know in the comments below! 

Love from,
Florence Grace
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DEVON DAY 6

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Sunday 26th June. 

Waaa. Today it was time to come home from Devon- and I was not happy about that one bit. We had to be out of our cottage by 11am, and then had plans to spend some of the day in Devon before starting the long drive home. Leaving the cottage was pretty emotional (for me anyway!). We might only have been there for 5 nights but it had felt like home to us, 'our house'. Locking the door for the last time almost made me cry, because I'm emotional like that!




The weather wasn't too brilliant but we drove to Westward Ho! which is where we had gone to the beach. We had a reservation for lunch at the nice restaurant we had tried after last nights dinner failure. We also spent some time taking photo's of the beach and, of course, playing on the 2p machines in the arcade. BJ managed to out do me this time which was surprising! 



After Westward Ho!, we headed back to Appledore to purchase some gorgeous glass necklaces we had seen on the second day here. We also stopped off at a chocolate shop we'd seen before but hadn't remembered to visit. Appledore is really such a cute town, the houses are so beautiful and everything is so quaint! I love it. 



After we had finished up in Appledore we had to face the facts; it was time to go home. We just didn't want to leave! Thankfully the car journey back wasn't too bad but I had wished it lasted longer because I just didn't want to leave my friends. I slept for some of it and don't remember feeling more content than waking up to hear my friends playing the supermarket game but rather than foods they were listing sexually explicit items. It made me laugh and reminded me just how lucky I am to have such brilliant friends. 

I'm so sad that the holiday is over but so glad that it happened at all. This time last year we'd left college and I braced myself to not really see them again. I would have been planning to go on holiday with my boyfriend. Everything has changed so much in the last year but it really has changed for the better and I wouldn't change a thing. I'm so lucky and I love my bunch of besties (just for you, BJ) ever so much. 

Bring on the next one!

Love from,
Florence Grace

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DEVON DAY 5

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Saturday 25th June.

Today was our last proper, full day and night on holiday *cry*. We were determined to make the most of it. The weather wasn't amazing but it was mostly warm and it was dry so we went on a day out to Combe Martin Dino and Wildlife Park- a place home to dinosaurs and zoo animals, which we'd heard great things about. It was only a 40 minute drive away and cost just £11 to get in, so we were impressed!





However, we think we may have been a little...well, old. We walked around the park in just over an hour and didn't really find the dinosaurs impressive, whilst the zoo animals enclosures shocked us and the animals themselves just looked incredibly sad. However, we still had fun and stayed there for lunch too, so it didn't matter.


After finishing up at Combe Martin, we drove to a nearby attraction called Atlantis Adventure Park. On the way to the park, we worried about whether we would enjoy it, as adult prices were half the children prices. However, we had an amazing time here! We played crazy golf, something I had never done before and was shockingly bad at but enjoyed nonetheless. After this we went through a maze, which was hysterical because at 20 years old you'd think the four of us could handle a kids maze but we really couldn't! Then as we were leaving, we noticed the giant inflatable cushion was free of children...we we let out our own inner child and had a ten minute bouncing session as though we were seven years old! It was so much fun.



As it was our final night here, we decided to go out for dinner again, making it a special last night together. The joke was on us because if you haven't pre booked a table at a small seaside town for a Saturday night, guess what? Everywhere is going to be full! We looked for somewhere to eat for over an hour before caving in and deciding to cook. But guess what? We had a nicer night than I feel we would have had in a restaurant. We cooked together, we ate way too much food and then we played games until the early hours of the morning.


We are going to try and spend a lot of tomorrow doing something fun during the day before heading home, whilst we're still here. I'm incredibly sad to leave and genuinely can't believe how fast this week has gone. It's been the best week ever and I'm so glad we booked this holiday!

Love from,
Florence Grace
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DEVON DAY 4

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Friday 24th June. 

Best. Day. Ever.

I'm not even kidding you, today was definitely in my top 10 best moments ever, if not my top 5. It was so incredible.

As you know, we woke up to the EU Referendum vote. All of us voted in, so we were more than a little disappointed with the result. On top of this, it was drizzling and grey and we had our sea safari booked for today, so this didn't exactly thrill us. However, we set off bright and early to the town of Ilfracombe for a spot of breakfast and a wander around before our trip.

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At 2pm we made our way to the harbour, where we were first in line for the sea safari. It was on a speed boat, and being at the front meant we didn't get to sit on the normal bench seats like the other 8-10 guests. Myself, Alec, Ricarda and BJ had to sit on a thin ledge, straddling it like a bike seat. There was a metal bar in front of me and Ricarda for us to hang on to and the boys sat behind us. At first we were a little wary of this seating arrangement, but it turned out to be the best seat in the house. 




I hadn't been in a speed boat since I was 13. It was an experience I loved then and one I loved even more now. There is genuinely no words to explain just how great the trip was. First of all, the weather improved massively, with the sun coming out and the temperature rising. Whilst we didn't get to see any dolphins, we did see some seals which were cute. But for us, the best part was how the speed boat was treated as a...ride! The driver was clearly bored of the same old trips and instead took us for the most incredible, bumpy, exhilirating ride over some huge waves! One wave jump was so big I went flying out of my seat almost above Alec's head- if I hadn't been hanging on for dear life, I would for sure have gone over board! It was an hour and a half of the most fun I have ever had in my life, and now all I want to do in my free time is be driven around in speed boats!




After the sea safari trip, we decided to spend a little more time exploring the town of Ilfracombe. I'm glad we did because we discovered several ice cream parlours with incredible flavours such as white chocolate with malteasers, as well as discovering an item in a gift shop that was not only pink but had my name on- my name! That never, ever happens! It was a stamp, and of course I had to purchase it. We went to another arcade to play on the 2p games again, but they were disappointing this time round, laid out differently and not very generous when it came to letting you win! 





Returning home for the evening, we decided to go out for dinner to a pub in the village we were staying in. As it was our first meal out, we decided to dress up a little more. I'm always wary of 'pub grub' but the place we ate at could not have been more classy, the staff could not have been more brilliant and the food could not have been more delicious. Furthermore, they catered to all of our dietary needs- nut free, gluten free, vegetarian- something that has been a struggle all holiday long! I was thoroughly impressed. 





After dinner, we finished our evening off on the small beach close to our house. The sand was almost like mud at the start of the week but today it was perfect, fine, soft and golden. We strolled to the top of some sand dunes and spent an hour or two watching the sunset, having a laugh and taking some photo's for the scrap book. 








Tomorrow is our last, proper full day here, which makes me incredibly sad. I have had the time of my life on holiday with this bunch. They make me laugh like no one else and we have had so much fun together. I'm so lucky to love and be loved by such amazing people! It's the best feeling ever to have such fab best friends. Whilst I'm sad the holiday's almost over, I'm looking forward to the few plans we have left...let's just hope the weather holds out! 

Love from,
Florence Grace
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DEVON DAY 3

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Thursday 23rd June.

Well weren't we lucky that today was an absolutely gorgeous day in Devon! Waking up to nothing but sunshine and blue skies was the best thing ever...and, of course, it meant only one thing. Beach day!



I decided to be brave today and despite not exactly loving how I look, don a bikini for the day anyway! I haven't worn a bikini on an English beach or in front of people I know since I was about 14, so it was a bold move, but thanks to the cute high waisted bottoms, I actually felt like I looked okay.





We made our way to the most popular beach in the area (according to the internet!), Westward Ho!, which was just a short 10 minute drive away from where we were staying. It was so exciting seeing the sea in the distance getting closer and closer, I felt almost like a child again. When we got out of the car, I just couldn't believe how beautiful the beach was- it actually looked almost like we were abroad!


Whilst the boys played football on the slightly damp sand, me and Ricarda braved the sea and decided to go for a paddle, in our bikini's! Surprisingly, the water actually wasn't that cold and we managed to go in right up to our knee's. Only then did it start to get a little bit chilly, so we decided to make a quick escape! I went back to sunbathing and Ricarda and the lads continued to play some beach football. 


Lunch was at a snazzy looking restaurant with a lovely beach view called The Blue-Green. The food was reasonably priced, the portions were very generous in size and the service was excellent. I went for fresh fish and chips- I had to, right? 




After lunch, we strolled around the few seaside shops, indulging in some pick n mix from a sweet shop that sold some really crazy things, including a sweet sushi tray and sweets that had dolls attached! The pick n mix came in a really cute jar, rather than a bag, which I will use for some kind of storage back at home.


We then headed back to the beach to make the most of the good weather, where I allowed my friends to bribe me into a game of football. We'd already had a quick 'game' earlier on on a grassy patch, but down at the beach it got serious. My friends were so sweet, encouraging me to kick the ball and not letting anyone *coughBJcough* kick the ball or take it from me so I could try and play properly. And guess what? I actually ended up having a lot of fun!

When the tide came in, we headed to the arcade, and that's where the real fun began! I spent £1, turning them into 2p's and headed straight to the 2p machines...where I stayed for about half an hour winning and winning and winning. I'm not even joking, I was the champion of the machines. I actually won prizes alongside additional 2p's which I've never done before and I had a bit of a break down about it, much to the amusement of my pals. 




Heading home, we picked up a take away and spent the evening playing games and watching the EU vote, relaxing and having way too many stomach aching laughs, as per usual! The plan for tomorrow? A sea safari! I can't wait! 

Love from,
Florence Grace
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DEVON DAY 2

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Wednesday 22nd June. 

Today we woke up and unfortunately, it was raining. This didn't alter the fabulous views from the roof of the house though!



We woke up at 9 with the aim of getting out of the house at 10...needless to say, this didn't happen! By the time we'd cooked and eaten breakfast and decided (ahem, argued) about what to do with the day, we didn't leave until around 11:30, deciding to make our way to the close small town, Appledore- you can see this town across from our part of the island!




When we got to Appledore, thankfully the rain stopped! It still wasn't sunny but it was warm and clear. The town itself is bigger than the one we're staying in (only slightly) and there was even some younger people around, although still not as young as us! BJ is a photographer so we spent some time taking good photo's of the scenery- and each other! 







Appledore is a small seaside town, so the shops were all quite quaint and sweet- some were even just the down stairs of people's own homes, which was very weird, just pushing open people's front doors and strolling in! 

For lunch, we stopped off at a local cafe called Susie's Tearooms. The service there wasn't completely fabulous but the food was delicious- I had a brie, bacon and onion toastie and a strawberry milkshake with cream and a flake. 





After finishing off in Appledore, we drove home, stopping off at Tesco on the way to buy dinner for the night (luckily we weren't as out of control as yesterday!). Whilst we were there we picked up flyers for allllll of the local attractions and took them home with us to plan for the rest of our time here! The most exciting thing I feel we have planned is the sea safari! We get to go out on a speed boat for two hours dolphin spotting and seeing seals! How cool?! 



We spent the evening cooking together, making fajita's and nachos and watching the Italian football match (I hate football, but for my Italian stallion Ricarda, I'll allow one match). I'm looking forward to tomorrow- we're hoping for better weather so that we can have a beach day, but with England's unpredictable weather, I guess we will just have to wait and see! 

Love from,
Florence Grace
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