Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Art Focus: You’re either an artist or a business woman

On a little break away from home, I found my family sitting around by the fire, drinking horlicks - It was all very picturesque - talking about my little business SillyMooArt/BethanyRogersArt. My Grandad actually said something very insightful to me and everything just seemed to click. "You're either an artist or a business woman, the two very rarely mix." 

For almost three years i've been an artist, to varying degrees of success! But nonetheless, I've been painting, drawing, calligraphing and illustrating my way through the last three years of my life. It can be so easy to get caught up in art that you actually find it hard to promote yourself and make the sales.

I have really been trying to get my head into the idea of social marketing. I love social media and feel like i should try to take advantage of that. I have definitely been successful to a certain degree, as i make the majority of my sales through instagram and feel like i have a great community on it.

However, i know i still have so much to learn. You always have to accept that you are not going to be able to know the best way of doing everything. But i am making progress and i feel like in the near future i should take  a small at home course in marketing/social media marketing.

But i wanted to write this for anty fellow artists out there that are starting out or feel like they're not getting anywhere with sales/promoting. Your art may indeed be beautiful but my advice is make sure you know how to promote yourself, get to know your customers, and always accept commissions - they give you amazing insight into your target market and what people really want.

Keep going and accept that we still have much to learn.

Much love, Beth xxx

Friday, 13 March 2015

The Realities of living with IBS - IBS attacks

I’ve been debating doing this post for some time now, due to the very nature of it. But really, this is a reality for so many people. It's estimated the 20%-25% of the population suffer from IBS. But i will tone things down a bit for those of you who haven’t had to put up with any sort of bowel problems before.

I definitely think there are varying degrees of IBS, for those who don’t know 
IBS = Irritable Bowel Syndrome. 
The mere fact that it is labelled a syndrome suggests you have it on a permanent basis, however i do believe i have quite a severe case of it.

If you want to find out more about IBS check out this Bupa article

Honestly, it’s all about managing it. But like anything, it’s hard to keep on top of and maintain control. About 18 months ago, after suffering really badly with it, i realised i actually get IBS attacks. Within a week i had two of these attacks, one i suffered on my own but the second, my parents witnessed and were on the brink of calling an ambulance. 

It made me realise just how life altering a syndrome this is and something that needs to be talked about. 

Here’s where we get icky… stop reading if you are easily grossed out. 
I thought it might be helpful to quickly sum up an attack as you might relate to it if you already suffer from IBS or its sounds similar to something you're going through and you may want to run it past your GP/doctor.

First off, is major pain in my stomach coupled with extreme tiredness. Then something similar to gastroenteritis (diarrhoea/vomiting), which you’ll know is always awful to go through. But most of my symptoms don’t fully develop till about 5 mins later. I always become light headed, i struggle to stand up, very often i loose my sight or black clouds form infront of my eyes. I start shaking and i mix between being too hot and too cold (similar to a fever).

These attacks are really scary to go through, especially for the first time and if you don’t know why it’s happening. But when i know I'm going through an attack there are a couple of things i try to do, at the very least i sit down. But quite often if i can make it, i’ll lye down on my bed and get under the covers to counteract the shivering. I try to drink some water if i can. What i hate most about these attacks is the mental confusion, whilst going through it, i find it very hard to talk or communicate with my family about what’s happening or how i’m feeling. Also, my body usually goes into a state of shock afterwards, i usually lay in bed or try to sleep for up to a couple of hours afterwards.

I think it all sounds horrendous and scary, but once you’ve realised whats happening and why, it helps you to cope.

I feel it really necessary to share this as i've yet to find much information about these attacks. I feel like people are maybe too embarrassed to share this, but for me, its my life. If i can help anyone by writing this, then it'll be worth it.

Don't worry, i'll be back to my usual posts soon :)

Much love, Beth xxx

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Guapo - THE best Mexican in Northern Ireland - Review!

If you’d ask me a couple of years back what my favourite Mexican restaurant was in the local area I wouldn’t haven't been able to answer. There has been a complete lack of good Mexican food in Northern Ireland for way too long. Thank goodness for Guapo!! 

The only experience of mexican i’d had was what my mum cooked at home (which by the way is pretty awesome!). About a year ago, My mum introduced me to Guapo and i’ve loved everything i’ve had from there since. 

Before i talk about the food, i have to talk about the staff. They are always incredibly polite! Mum & i always have loads of questions about the food and they are always happy to answer them. Oh and get this, the food is all made fresh everyday, as it should be!!! But unfortunately a lot of restaurants & cafes don't!

First off, what really stood out to me was the variety of choices and combinations you could make. It was like Subway… but way better.
I personally love their burrito bowl, everything you’d get inside a burrito without the guilt or in my case, bloating that comes from eating bread. But you can get a burrito, fajita, tacos & nachos as a base instead
You can then choose from a variety of meats (chicken/beef/chilli/pork), all of which are amazing, if you cant decide you can try a bit of each or simply have a vegetarian option. 

(Mum's Vegetarian burrito bowl!!)

Next up, Two of my favourite things you get on every dish are the Beans and the salsa. I’ve not advanced past the ‘mild’ options in each of those… someday i’ll be brave! But its so flavoursome!! Then they top off your meal with lettuce, cheese & sour cream.

Also they’ve just started with lunchtime deals, which was i got last time i was there. I got soup & mini burrito for £3.50, it was so tasty & filling, i’ve been craving it ever since! I can’t wait to go again!!

 (Lunchtime Deal -  Soup & Mini Burrito £3.50)
I’d definitely recommend giving Guapo a go. Whatever ideas you have about Mexican food, don’t judge it until you try it for yourself - i reckon you’ll love it.

Be sure to check out their Facebook page here, Give them a like and show them some love! 

I hope if you're in the area soon you'll give it a go,
Much love, Beth xxx

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Be Kind For Everyone You Meet Is Fighting A Hard Battle - Be Honest

Have you ever stopped to ponder the true meaning of this quote? 

We are all facing battles. Externally, Internally, From others, From ourselves, In our health and In our lives.

Somehow this idea has come about that we are all 'great', 'fine', and we need to portray ourselves as doing so. Don't get me wrong, positivity is such an important part of my life. I love it, but theres a big difference between being positive and being honest about whats really going on in your head & in your life. 

I hate the physical pain i feel every day. I absolutely hate it.

But more than that i hate the mental anguish it puts me through daily.

I've learnt recently that i cannot get rid of it, but having people that i can talk to about it, ultimately helps others to understand what i'm going through. I've been trying to reach out to people in my life that are willing to listen. That might sound selfish, like i want people only if i can unload what's on my mind, but it's actually the opposite. I've been working hard at building real friendships were we can both be honest with one another.

I just wish we could all be more honest with one another, and that it would come easily to us. But it doesn't, being honest takes a lot of courage. Be courageous, try to share with someone whats really going on in your mind, you never know, they could open up too.

I'm not okay. 

But i'm ok with not being okay. 

I don't know if my anxiety, if my insecurities, or my fears will ever go away. But i'm trying to change what i can. And i'm happy with that. 

Love to you all, Beth xxx

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Benefit Hello Flawless Foundation REVIEW!

BACK in December my mum and i were doing a bit of shopping in Belfast, actually we were having a day out together, something we like to do every month or so. 
By this time Boots had taken on extra staff, they were working the promotions and trying to entice customers. As my mum and i were having a relaxed day, we listened to what they had to say. They then offered to try some products on us. My mum and i had been talking about brow products so we say Yes!

(After our makeovers... look how beautiful my mumsie is!!!)

An hour later, my mum had her eyebrows and mascara done, and i had a full scale makeover. As a result of this my mum very kindly treated me to benefits ‘they’re real!’ mascara (RRP £19.50) and i got myself ‘hello flawless oxygen wow!’ foundation (RRP £26.50) in Ivory. I’ve been using both products for a couple of months now so i thought it was high time i did a couple of reviews!

For this blog post we're gonna focus on my review of ‘Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow!’ foundation in Ivory. 

One of the main things that stood out to me when the benefit staff member put this foundation on me, was how well it matched my skin tone. Ive always felt any foundation was a shade too dark or it had a yellow undertone that make me look ill. 

Then there’s the texture, I've always hated that the majority of foundations are cakey, really obvious and hard to work with once applied. However, i love that this foundation works so well with my moisturiser and primer. It gives amazing coverage, whilst looking glowy and not drying my skin out. It lasts well throughout the day, really hides my redness and blotchy skin. The application is made easy as the bottle has a pump top, and i find i get the best results by applying it with my fingers.

(After 6 hours of wear with minimal makeup...seriously love this foundation!!)

This was such a risky investment for me, but it felt so great on me, i wanted to take the chance. To be honest, i can’t see myself changing to any other foundation for the foreseeable future. Nothing compares at the moment.

If you can get your hands on a sample or get an application of this foundation at your local benefit stand, i would definitely recommend you give it a go.

Much Love, Beth xxx