Bloggers Fashion Week- Pampering Must- Haves

No matter how much I preach the mantra of balance (between business and personal) or of how you can take pride in how you look and still focus on the career goals, its inevitably not a flawless plan. At the moment I am in one of those phases where I am pitifully comparing myself to photos of before I  started my own business. So when the opportunity came to write a blog revolving around pampering I knew I would manage to squeeze it in and it would be as good for me as it would be for my readers.

Next week is Bloggers Fashion Week hosted by Bloggers Hangout. Think London Fashion Week for the blogging community. I am actually not attending this one as I will be sunning myself on a beach, or more likely surfing. Either way I am taking a well deserved break from business to recharge my batteries. However, I have attended before and to prepare like a true blogger is a joy. We get to try out the latest and best products and share with you our favourites so here goes…

 

Starting with the basics, body wash. Urban Veda: Purifying smells pretty divine and that’s a must for me. When I come out the shower I want to be clean and smell lovely, this lived up to that expectation. There are a number of products in this range and they’ve won plenty of awards too.



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Now Batiste Stylist Dry Shampoo is something I am such a big fan of. If you are as busy as me then anything to look good while saving time is an absolute must! I’ve used dry shampoo for a while but this is a twist to cater to the style you are trying to go for.
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Now typically day-to-day I will be wearing a pretty casual style, usually driven my necessity to be up and ready for meetings rather than any style choice. Typically this might look like this:

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A 30 second spray and ruffle of my hair with my fingertips later and here was the result. I was impressed. A beauty must-have for all!

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When you are run down there are many things that might suffer. I am usually pretty meticulous about looking after my skin but when training to run a marathon, my feet are taking a battering of late. This next product provided instant relief to dry skin, it smelt slightly on the medicinal side (think tea tree) which is not a criticism and I suppose the things really designed to heal will contain these ingredients.  I’d recommend if you have dry skin and there is currently 10% off everything using code SALE10 Weleda.

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Now oddly I know way more about fragrance than is healthy for a lawyer turned entrepreneur. The reasons for that are the subject of a whole other blog but for now I used my finely tuned nose for this next product. A reed diffuser by Kenneth Turner. In the modern world we get used to synthetic fragrances. Even the high-end brand names we all love are largely synthetic if you do a bit of digging. The finest fragrances source natural ingredients and that’s what this reminded me of. It was a beautiful but earthy scent and everything about this brand from the scent to vessel whispers luxury and I am always looking for ways to treat myself!

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Now these are genius. Great French or patterned manicures that layer on in an instant. When I got these I promised myself that by the time I went on holiday I would have done them so A) I could show them off to you and B) for once I had amazing nails. Unfortunately I haven’t had time to get to grips with them but I will be taking them on holiday so look out for a tweet @misslaurenriley showing them off. Again looking good but not spending ages getting there is a winner for me! IMG_9633

And last but not least my attempts at being a ballerina wearing this Jones + Jones black skater dress. I really love this dress there is enough of a lace and leg combo to feel dressed up but not too much, it remains a classy piece. I can be a little old fashioned when it comes to dresses so anything ‘skater’ that flares out makes me feel that bit more of a princess. This is preferable to me than a skin-tight look. I felt this could be night out with girl or date night easily,

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There you have it, my tips shared from typical prep for Bloggers fashion week. With thanks to The Bloggers Hangout.

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From Edinburgh to Essex- Why it was important to take my business on tour!

If any of you are following me on social media, you will have no doubt seen that I have been doing a LOT of traveling with my business recently. I thought I would share with you some of the reasons why I did it and what I have learnt from this process.

Where you will usually find me...

A little over 18 month ago, I founded a technology company called The Link App. I did so because, as a lawyer I could see there was a better way of working and that technology could make the difference. As part of The Link App’s commitment to customer service I decided it was important to make it out from behind my desk and begun a series of visits to lawyers in various parts of the UK. The purpose of the visits is not only to find out what lawyers current and future needs are for simplifying client communications, but also to Continue reading

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Named in the top ten for Technology in the UK by LinkedIn

12568357_1643897072542992_48947378_nAs you have probably have read before, I am a fan of celebrating the little wins in all aspects of life. It is one of the things I focus on most when I do my public speaking. Anyway January 2016 has given me quite a few things in business to celebrate but the subject of this post is my recent LinkedIn accolade.

I have been named as a LinkedIn Power profile. That means I am officially in the top ten most viewed profiles of all the people in technology in 2015. LinkedIn now has 20million users so to be in the top ten is amazing. I share the list with some key influencers in the Continue reading

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Winter Fashion Fix

For those of you who caught my last vlog on my channel… http://youtube.com/c/misslaurenriley will know that in 2015 I didn’t get the balance quit right. Hard work is vital for the success of a business and I will continue to work hard but this year for me is about balance. More ‘me time’ and indulging my passion; fitness, travel, well being and fashion! So welcome to my first ever fashion blog. I hope you like it. It was a lot of fun to put together for you guys.

Now I am not a fashionista but I do like to feel I look good and fashion is a big part of all of our personal brands. I put this together entirely from ‘high-street’ fashion piece and shopping online. When you are super busy, being able to give your wardrobe a boost from behind your desk is key and the feeling when all those parcels arrive is like Christmas all over again. For this blog I chose all the clothes from the same simple to use online retailer Jane Norman and the shoes were from a very special collection indeed: H & M Balmain. The bad news is I got the shoes in 2015 although this is the first time I have worn them, they sold out in minutes and I was very lucky to get them. The good news is you can shop the rest of the look at the end of the post. Continue reading

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When Technology Meets Fitness

So, my business is tech, my passion is fitness: imagine my excitement when I was invited to try, IMHO (that’s text speak for ‘in my humble opinion’, for those of you not yet familiar with the lingo that youth is speaking these days), the most fun fitness equipment going. It’s an anti-gravity treadmill whose technology was developed by AlterG founder Sean Whalen.

WP_20150818_058 Continue reading

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New Year New Me: a look back to 2015 and forward to 2016

What's everyone's New Years resolutions??? Happy new year all!! A big year for me and @thelinkapphq I hope everyone's 2016 is ridiculously amazing!!!!

Happy new year!!! My first blog of 2016 to give you an honest look back at last year and what went needed to change. And more importantly a motivational look forward to 2016 and what it holds for me!

 

I have recorded a video for you to watch on my YouTube Channel.I hope you enjoy it and that you continue to share my exciting journey into 2016…

 

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I interview one of my fitness inspirations

During the course of my blogging I get to meet some really great people. One such lady was the wonderful Zanna Van Dijk, personal trainer, Instgram star and fitness inspiration to many. I have often mused about the link between entrepreneurs and athletes and there are fascinating studies providing insights about the similar characteristics needed for success in both fields. Zanna is also a business woman in her own right, successfully turning her passion for fitness into her business and I am keen to learn more.

Zanna and I at a recent vlogging event

Zanna and I at a recent vlogging event

It’s great to be able to interview you Zanna, to start please tell us a bit about yourself. 

 

Thanks for having me! I am 23, live and work in SW London and have my finger in many pies. I am a fitness, lifestyle and travel blogger, personal trainer and fitness model. I am a speaker, event host and the co-founder of the #girlgains movement. I am also a little bit of a social media addict and enjoy sharing content across various platforms from youtube video-blogs to instagram posts. I love the multi-faceted nature of my job! 

 

Turning your passion into your business is the dream for so many, how did you achieve this?

 

I get asked this a lot and I actually find it hard to answer as my journey to where I am now was not a typical path. I actually studied speech therapy at university, but alongside my degree I started my fitness related social media accounts. These were simply there to share my passion and find other people with the same interests. Before I knew it, I had unintentionally gathered a fairly significant following and started to collaborate with brands and get new opportunities – all alongside studying. When I finished university I got a first class degree and everyone expected me to become a speech therapist. I went against expectations. At this point I had around 30,000 people following me and the chances I was getting were more and more exciting. I decided to give the fitness industry a go. I made my website and rebranded myself. I got offered a free personal training course in London and moved down on a whim. I intended to be here 6 weeks… here I am 8 months later. It was a struggle at first to make ends meet but now I have learnt how to monetise my social media and am finally grasping what it takes to succeed as a blogger. You have to have an element of entrepreneurship as you need to pull together a series of incomes and find new ways to expand and develop your brand. Its risky, exciting and rewarding. I love it.

 

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I follow you on Snapchat so I get to see snippets of your day, but for those who do not, can you give us an insight into a typical day? 

 

A typical day does not exist! No two days are ever the same. Some days I will be working from home in my PJs, others I will be all over London in meetings with brands, sometimes I will spend an afternoon shooting and often I am awake super early to take early morning PT clients. If you want to see a day in my life then add me on snapchat where I show little snippets: zanzapan 🙂

 

You are doing amazingly well on the social media side. One of the things I love about your page in the odd refreshingly honest post that documents your tricks and what real life looks like the other side of a lenses, that’s refreshing. Do you feel a responsibility, particularly those followers younger than you? 

 

Well firstly, thank you. I am glad you appreciate those posts! I definitely do feel responsibility to my followers. I am very aware that many of them are younger than me and often say that they look up to me (and not just because I am tall!). I try to make sure that I show my imperfections, the lows as well as the highs. No one is polished all the time and eats salad 24/7. We all have down days and it unrealistic and unattainable to only show the good bits. People often compare themselves to those they follow on social media, so it is our responsibility as influencers to make sure they are comparing themselves to real, honest and open human beings.

 

The online world you occupy can unfortunately be notorious for negativity and trolls, have you ever experienced this? If so, do you have any tips for dealing with it for any readers who might experience the same? 

 

I have to say, I am very lucky and have received very little negativity online; which is a miracle as the internet seems to be full of trolling. If I do ever receive a negative comment, I am confident enough in myself to just let it roll off my back. I just delete the comment and move on. There is no point dwelling on the opinions of people who don’t know you.

 

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As you know from our previous exchanges, I love fitness but recently have struggled to strike the work life balance, do you have any fitness tips for busy people or entrepreneurs? 

 

I think everyone has their moments where the work life balance falls to pieces, and that is ok. Sometimes business has to come first. I will be the first to admit that sometimes I don’t train for days because I am too busy. However, here are a couple of strategies which you can put into place to help fit fitness into a busy schedule. The first is to plan it into your diary for the week ahead, writing it in like an appointment that you can’t miss, so you organise your other work around it. The second is to be efficient with your workouts, you don’t need to be in the gym for over an hour. Most of my workouts are between 35-45 minutes long. I just use techniques like supersets (doing exercises back to back) or HIIT (high intensity interval training) to cut down on time. If all else fails, do 8 minutes of tabata training. It is hard to make an excuse to avoid an 8 minute workout!

 

It is great to see you doing so well but what is next for you?

 

Thank you! Lots of exciting things are in the pipeline. I have my clothing collection coming out in a couple of months, a few press trips before the end of the year and some exciting magazine articles being published. In terms of the long term, I hope to continue to grow my own brand as well as #girlgains and eventually have world domination…. it’s ok to be ambitious right?!

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It is more than OK to be ambitious Zanna! Thank you for the interview. I hoped everyone enjoyed the read and picked up a few tips too!  

Social media: @zannavandijk on Facebook, instagram twitter and Facebook, @zanzapan on snapchat, www.zannavandijk.co.uk

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The Apprentice Series 11 Episode 8 My view

It’s been few weeks since I have done a review for The Apprentice, sorry about that but I am so busy in my day-to-day life TV is the last thing on the list. I make a special effort to watch it to compare it to my time on the show and to get the blog done but I wouldn’t be good business sense if I let it take away at all from running The Link App. Anyway, I am back. I concluded a call 5 minutes into the show so watched almost all of it.

Week 8 so a more serious stage of the programme, those left standing have done well to get to here. This week’s task was an events planning one, children’s party planning to be specific. It had lots of promise to be a fun episode but it was a bit flat for me. The editing team decides what particular aspects are going to be heavily featured and this week it was the turn of health and safety. As a lawyer this pleased me immensely as a viewer not so much.

I got to the end of the whole thing feeling there were fewer than usual business lessons to be had, save for Richard’s well thought out but poorly delivered comments about focussing on the margins. I think one of Lord Sugar’s assistants may have uttered the customer is king- or words of that sort. I am not the biggest Apprentice fan or anything but I do like to make a case for its relevance on UK television if it somehow at least ties to business lessons and they have a glimmer of hope to inspire a younger generation to be entrepreneurial. However either I missed them in the five minutes I was on the phone or they were sadly lacking. Also not a lot in the way of entertainment for me either.

I do feel Gary’s team was somehow on a road to failure as soon as the nut allergy was mentioned, that no matter what happened from that point they were lining up Lord Sugars puns about the mother going out on a stretcher etc. Allergies are a serious issue of course but no doubt the options were limited and drama expected.

In the end David was the one fired. I knew he wouldn’t last (see my previous blog) even when he won as project manager. There is a particular type Lord Sugar seems to prefer and no slight on him, he’s not it. From the clips we saw he wasn’t particularly entertaining in his role and it was clear he was the weakest target for the other three left in the final boardroom to pick off.

Next week’s episode is property sales, now that should be interesting.

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Zanna Van Dijk interviews me about fitness business and life!

Earlier this month I interviewed with Zanna Van Dijk, who is an Instagram star and fitness inspiration of mine, so it was great to be involved. As it is mostly about my attitude to fitness, life and business I thought you guys might like to read it too. Here it is, thanks to Zanna:

Interview: Lauren Riley - Zanna Van Dijk Blog

Interview: Lauren Riley

8th November 2015

I had the absolute pleasure of meeting the gorgeous Lauren Riley at a press event earlier this year. As a woman in business myself, I find her incredibly inspiring. She is a successful entrepreneur with a lot of knowledge to share, I hope you enjoy getting to know her.

Tell us a bit about yourself:

Where to start…I’m Lauren Riley and I’m a lawyer, public speaker, blogger, vlogger but most recognise me as a business woman. I founded The Link App a communication tool revolutionising the way law firms interact with their clients. I was on BBC The Apprentice last year so I can be found on the odd red carpet too. I am super keen on health and fitness although at the moment I’m working 6-7 day weeks so this is suffering much to my dismay. I promise I am not just saying that because I am talking to you. I think keeping on top of my body, keeps me on top of my mind and I’m just a normal person outside of my business, I am quite girly really and where I can I like to look good. Travel is a major passion of mine, I’ve been very lucky and been round the world a few times but its hard right now with all that’s going on with work. Currently loving life as a newbie to London town, I’m a bit of a social butterfly!

Obviously many of us know you for your time on the The Apprentice – can you tell is more about what that was like? (Is Alan Sugar as scary in person?!)

You know what it was actually a lot of fun to film and it been an amazing place to start a business from so I can’t complain. I always say that he is exactly the same in person as he is on television. So if you think he’s lovely then he is, if you think otherwise… you are also right. That’s my diplomatic answer but the whole process is designed to be scary or it wouldn’t make good TV. We won two awards last week including the most inspiring TV show so we must have done something right, thanks to all those who voted. I have one of the awards on my dresser at home.

You’re a successful entrepreneur, can you tell us how your career developed and progressed this point?

Sure. When I was younger I wanted to be a barrister or an actress. I was close… I’m a solicitor. I was pretty proud of that being the first generation in my family to go to uni. I worked in the civil service to help financially through my course. So although I did a straight academic route I always had to work pretty long hours. When I graduated I was completely fed up with exams and only part way to qualifying as a lawyer so I took three years out. I worked abroad and enjoyed my early twenties, enriching myself with travel and life experience. After a year I went to do a business graduate scheme as I was always interested in business, I loved the skills but hated the job so went running back to the law. I qualified from my post grad with distinction and was lucky night to land a training contract that year. I put this down to my ability to talk but mostly the ‘mistakes’ I had made, taking three years out to pursue something outside the law gave me ‘commercial awareness’ and that’s very important no matter what your industry. Then when I qualified I was a divorce lawyer and I enjoy that side of my work but I spotted a huge opportunity for technology to improve the way lawyers work for the benefit of them and their clients. The idea for The Link App just wouldn’t go away and I eventually went for it with the thinking that it would take off slowly but from almost day one the reaction was amazing. I feel very blessed and I LOVE what I do. As my journey isn’t conventional I am asked to speak regularly and I love sharing my journey through my talks and my blogs.

You are smashing life right now! How do you juggle everything you do – especially with an interest in health and fitness?

Being completely honest, if you’d have asked me about fitness a month ago I’d have said I was doing alright. Just recently there has been zero hours in the day for me and I hate to admit that as I strongly believe that balance is the key to a happy life. I’m still in OK shape as fitness is such a priority so if there is ever even a small amount of time, I’m on it with HIIT type exercises. I get up early and go to bed late and work every day except Sundays. However I am NOT complaining, I love what I do and I realise it’s a choice. I took on a lot but I don’t want to give up any aspect of my work. I love blog/ vlogging it’s a form of self-expression and I only agree to take on brands that compliment my lifestyle. For example I’m passionate about fitness and tech so I’m working with Move GB at the moment, it’s an app that allows you to have flexible access to hundreds of gyms across London. Working with fitness and technology, two of my things, does not feel like work! Same with law, I am passionate about my clients and as The Link App is aimed at lawyers it make sense for me to understand them from inside the industry. There’s no magic formula I can share I am afraid, it’s about hard work and surrounding yourself with the right people to support you. There is that famous phrase something like “entrepreneurs spend a few years like most people are not willing to, to spend a lifetime like most people can only dream of”. If it all works, I will take my downtime then…..from a villa in Barbados and I will work out every day and look like a Victoria secrets model haha.

Can you summarise your own personal approach to training and nutrition?

Sure, I don’t like to mess about. I am time poor determination rich so I chose high intensity every time. Classes like Insanity, kettlebells etc. I do like the body weight stuff, burpees, pushups etc but I’m also a fan of weight training. I quite often Instagram the stuff I am up to in the gym too, battle ropes etc. When I was employed I went to the gym 4-5 times a week and that’s what I would still like to achieve. When I’m being good I eat ‘clean’, everything from scratch, nothing processed etc. I also instagram my food from time to time. I am not perfect though and do indulge in things that I know aren’t great from me. I think life is about balance so if you eat right most of the time that’s OK, 80/20 is a good principle. I am a massive fan of hot lemon water in the mornings and religiously drink green tea.

I can imagine you’re pretty busy – what is a typical day in your life?

There is no such thing. One day I will be chained to my desk 8am to 10pm pushing through things for the business. The next I will be in my own law firm seeing client, or in other law firms giving training on how to use The Link App. The next I will be travelling to give a motivational talk elsewhere in the country or at a launch of a product for the blog and that evening I could go to a celeb event; although I usually only allow myself time for these if they are for charity or a brand I like. The good thing about the blog/ vlog is that I will nearly always be doing things I love; like taking spa breaks or trying out beauty or fitness products, so that’s really like my time off. If im lucky I will have the time to eat right and smash it in the gym.

I love seeing whats on peoples plates. What does a typical day in your diet look like?

Good question, breakfast is nearly always scrambled egg made with oat milk and spring onions and hot lemon water and green tea. Lunch will be chicken cooked in coconut oil and soy sauce with broccoli and flax seeds and dinner will be similar to lunch. I try and make double portions so I only have to cook once. I live in London so I eat out too much, steak is my favourite!

Everyone else seems to hate burpees, but I personally love them! What is your ultimate favourite exercise move?

I wouldn’t go as far as love, but I actually do like them because you can smash though them in a relatively short period of time and they really work to change your body. I am with you on the burpees.

If you could go back and give yourself one piece of health/fitness advice and one piece of business advice what would they be?

Business: don’t be so hard on yourself. You are not making mistakes when figuring out your path. They are all just lessons leading you to where you are meant to be. Fitness: educate yourself first. I spent years in the gym doing low intensity stuff and eating badly and it was doing nothing for me.

Well done on all your success! What are your future plans?

Thanks lovely. Well I have only just start the vlogging channel. I am lining up some fab things, among them interviews with people like you, Amy Childs, Olympic athletes etc. I want to give people a real insight into my life and advice and that of others. The channel is www.youtube.com/c/misslaurenriley so that is very exciting. New thing happen with the business everyday so I cant wait to share how that turns out with you all!

Check Lauren out across the web:

www.laurenriley.co.uk

twitter @misslaurenriley

insta @misslaurenriley

www.youtube.com/c/misslaurenriley

END

I hope that you enjoyed reading that, to find out more about the inspirational Zanna head to http://www.zannavandijk.co.uk/

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