Social Media: The 21st Century Business Non-Negotiable.

Lifestyle, Management & Business, missjessamy

We have all heard about the importance of having business non-negotiables that allow us to ensure our branding and workflow is on track as we strive for overall success. And these factors truly are ‘tales as old as time’ including: 

    • focus on customer service 
    • supply and demand considerations 
    • sticking to deadlines etc. 

However, there is now a new kid on the block, and despite it taking over the world at a rapid speed, it is still a seeming pain point for many companies due to the lack of education on its benefits. 

So, what are we talking about? Well, it is SOCIAL MEDIA

Gone are the days where paying big dollars for television and radio advertising during peak news and movie times was the only way to reach your customers. Nowadays, social media platforms have transformed the landscape for businesses when it comes to raising awareness and creating customer relationships. Additionally, it has also created a more cost-effective, controlled and insightful form of advertising and marketing that allows YOU to target YOUR target audience directly. Along with being given the ability to track their movements online (peak usage times, click-through rates, viewing time, what they are searching for, etc.). 

One of the most significant benefits of having an established social media presence and utilising adverting and marketing opportunities through this is that it is innately free. Even though to fully maximise the effectiveness of social media for your company, I would recommend putting some money behind your content and accounts. However, this is not to say you HAVE to pay to see growth online. Making a business social media account, posting branded content, hashtagging and tagging are all ways to propel your business to reach target audiences, and they are all free. Additionally, replying to comments and making genuine connections with your audience and other businesses without having to do face to face communication in meetings or at events are timesaving activities that offer an invaluable growth opportunity to your company. 

If I could say one thing about social media, it is that you truly never know who is watching you. You never know when you might gain 100+ followers instantly from a shoutout from a larger business or influencer. Or when your hashtags reach the right audience at the perfect time, which leads to a bunch of your followers tagging their friends and sharing your content on their accounts. 

In my view, the risk of consumers missing your advertisement on social media is a lot harder than something like television advertising. If you think about, when people are watching television, they are rarely sitting there totally committed to the footage they are seeing. Instead, they are talking, eating, taking toilet breaks, on their phones etc. However, when you are scrolling through your feed, you see each image or video that appears and can consciously or subconsciously take in that content. Also, instead of relying on customers to take the information from television advertisements to then further investigate the company (online or in-store). On social media, consumers can immediately click through to company’s accounts and websites; overall streamlining the advertising process and increasing the accessibility to your company’s information at a (literal) click of a button (or screen tap). Also, once your target audience shows interest in your company or similar companies, advertisements can be directly re-targeted to them to encourage further engagement and appeal to their specific interests.

Who Does Social Media Work For?:

Short answer? Everyone. 

On the surface level, pretty much every potential customer utilises some form of digital/social media through search engines or platforms. Even if they are looking up a phone number for a nearby plant shop, they are going to have to use an internet-based application to find this. 

And realistically if you think about, what is the first thing you do if you cannot figure something out? You Google it or look it up on YouTube. 

Speaking for myself, my Youtube watch history was filled with IKEA furniture tutorials when I first moved out of the home. And I am continually googling how to cook certain types of food or how long I can keep my Spaghetti Bolognese in the fridge for before it goes off. And, those searches right there should be opening me up to advertisements from cooking schools, food safety courses or groceries store deals; as they are all companies that could assist me in solving my problems I am turning to Google to solve. 

In this day and age, most of us cannot go a day without using the internet for something, and that is an EXTREMELY privileged opportunity consumers are giving to companies.

So, if you are not on social media, why not?

It truly needs to become a part of ALL successful business toolkits in the 21st century and it is definitely something that is not going away. So if you cannot fight it, then join in!

Top Tip – Engage, Engage, Engage: 

If you want people to comment, like and share your content, then why are you not returning that engagement? This is a trap I had fallen into before purely because I had become lazy and just continually scrolled on my feed instead of remembering to like, comment and follow new accounts. 

Do not be hesitant to tell people that you love their content/social media strategy. Because as this form of media continues to develop we are all striving to keep up and keep on top of everything to grow our accounts – so a pat on the back from likeminded strangers or companies is always really reassuring and creates a supportive online community.

Engage with me online today @jessicatathem and comment that you came from this post and I will be sure to return the social media love. 

What are your experiences with maximising social media’s offerings in your personal or business life? Let me know below. 

Also, if you want help understanding the world of social media more, let me know, and I can share more focused content around this developing topic. 

Have a great day!

Going from Miss Bossy Boots to being The Boss: A 20-year-old female manager’s thoughts on and experiences with the #girlboss movement.

Lifestyle, Management & Business, missjessamy

All my life, I have been called bossy. Told I should ‘rein in’ my personality at times because it might ‘rub people up the wrong way’ or make people, not like me.

‘Bossy Boots’ was a nickname I became quite accustomed to and to be honest, it never really impacted me too much until I became a boss in 2018 at 18 years old. Suddenly, I was extremely conscious of people thinking ‘the power had gone to my head’ and that I was ‘too demanding’ when requesting for specific work tasks be completed.

But WHY was I thinking this? Leadership had always been something I was involved with. Since Grade 6 (to be exact) where I was a semester year level house leader every year until I became one of two house leaders in my final year of school. Through my degree, I also requested the Account Manager or similar positions in group work to ensure I knew what everyone was doing and to enable me to learn more about leadership.

So, it makes sense that management is a field I have always had an enthusiasm for. I am innately passionate about management and leadership practices that promote growth in both the leader and team members. Along with being fascinated with the exploration of applying different management frameworks in various situations to maximise the effectiveness of company functions.

I also love the challenge of management. The constant demand and requirement to keep learning and need to stay connected to ensure I can empower and guide my team is exciting to me.

I also like how focused management keeps me. I quite literally can not be selfish or singleminded in leadership situations, and I love that.

However, as the second year of my management position rolls around, I have been reflecting on my management practices but also trying to reflect on how I have grown as a leader. And what has blown me away is what I have learned about the #girlboss movement through personal experience with staff and customers while trying to establish myself as a ‘worthy’ leader in a male lead workplace and with an at-times challenging and confronting customer base.

Being someone who tends to struggle with stress, anxiety and social anxiety as well as being a complete Type A personality who continually strives for the unattainable level of perfection in everyday life and work. Being in ‘control’ through leadership roles has allowed me to apply this energy into something beneficial to a community or workplace. However, after once being told to ‘leave work at the door’ I was faced with the reality that my mind wouldn’t let me.

Things affect me, and although I try my best not to show it publicly; I am incredibly vulnerable. Situations get to me, I work myself up so much I feel physically sick, I get shaky, I cry, I get angry, I second guess myself, my breathing increases and my head spins. I feel ashamed when I show that something has impacted me in a management situation, I think the only way to be taken seriously is if I am a brick wall and keep it cool. Acting like I can quickly shake things off and move on once I leave the shift, especially after an aggressive customer or other serious incidents.

Furthermore, I second guess myself in the way I ask for tasks to be done and tend to feel a sense of annoyance or judgement when I (respectfully) execute my managerial role to get staff back on task or deal with customer’s issues.

Unfortunately, we still live in a world where any emotion is a ‘female weakness’, instead of being interpreted as an individual working hard to maximise their workplace through their leadership skill.

In a recent work incident, I was put in a situation where I felt threatened and felt the safety of my staff, myself and the workplace was at risk and working through this issue was hard. Trying to hold back the fact that my stomach was flipping out and I was covered in goosebumps from my adrenaline was not easy.

And while I stood there, talking to the perpetrators, my mind was questioning everything I said. I felt that if I raised my voice and made my tone sterner, it would only worsen the ongoing situation and cause a more aggressive reaction from the male I was trying to deal with.

The condescending and derogatory way this male and many other people in the past have treated me while in a management position is shocking. I regret not writing down all my experiences so I could share them with you.

I became a manager in my workplace when I was 18 years old. Midway through my university degree, with chubby baby cheeks and a severe issue with second-guessing my decisions in and out of the workplace. I was forced to deal with customer commenting on my ability, age, gender, looks and more. Being questioned as to why I was wearing a blazer instead of the work uniform to being spoken to like it was my first day on the job was and still is a very regular occurrence to me. I couldn’t tell you on how many occasions I was met with a puzzled face from customers when the manager was called out the front, and little ole’ me came out of the office.

I had a discussion with my sister recently (who also works in a position of management) about how not only is the perception of women in leadership positions consistently condescended but also how vastly their road to promotion varies from their equal or lesser male co-worker’s journey and access. I look at males in similar or the same positions as me and see how easily they were accepted and integrated into management status. And how although I am there striving to always better myself, I still feel I am two steps behind with my ability to establish authority to staff and customers.

How about instead of judging someone’s leadership ability on their gender, let’s look at their skill set and ability to inspire and empower a group of people to reach their individual potential that promotes team growth and company success?

I have been fortunate to grow up with strong-minded females both in my family and friendships. Additionally, going to an all-girls school since my early school days exposed me to major #girlboss vibes throughout my whole upbringing.

However, I still grew up in a world where to not be reserved and accepting as a female was not the norm, where I was surprised to see females in management positions and where the glass ceiling was still very much existent.

Unfortunately, despite being very grateful for my private all-girls education which exposed to a high level of opportunity. At the end of the day, my school was a religious school that strived to ‘keep us in line’ when it came to the way we expressed ourselves physically and verbally. And I do not want this statement to be interpreted as me saying a level of respectful behaviour is not necessary! I think EVERYONE should learn how to be courteous and polite to one another and themselves. However, I believe these ingrained practices need to be reviewed to try to lessen the overt inequality that is still inflicted onto females in this modern age.

So, if I am still experiencing this level of inequality in 2020, do I feel optimistic that it will change?

Yes, I genuinely do. When I feel particularly defeated or low on my leadership ability or persona, instead of being pessimistic I make the active decision to fill my mind with powerful #girlbosses who show me that there are plenty of us out there fighting a patriarchy that is slowly breaking down, with shards of the glass ceiling slowly beginning to crack away.

I am a person whose mood can be significantly impacted by my surroundings, so taking the time to fill my mind with inspiring people helps me to refocus on my job and goals when it comes to management.

So, where am I going with this post?

Well a) I just wanted to express my feelings and experiences as a #girlboss. But b) I wanted to provoke thought about this topic and to inspire some other girls out there to know their leadership worth and ability. And c) hopefully, in the long run, I can make someone rethink their view on managers and how gender has NOTHING to do with one’s ability to lead a team to success.

So, can’t we create a world where a manager is a manager? Or even better, a person is a person, and we all speak and treat each other with respect and equality.

Being in front of house for a company turns you into the face of the company, and I think people need to learn that that does not negate basic human to human respect. You are not superior to the person behind the counter, desk or phone and vis versa. Nor are you superior to a different gender, age group, race, sexuality or personality type.

Just because I am a 20-year-old female does not negate my ability to be a BOSS who knows what she is doing and who is willing to lead a team to success and empower the people around me.

And I am not just saying this for other people, I am saying it for myself. Because change starts with one person, and I believe with confidence being key, my mindset and hopefully, this post will inspire me and you to think harder about how we view different genders in leadership positions. Or how we could work together to break that glass ceiling a bit more. Because all we need is a crack to start an explosion and for the #girlboss movement to gain further positive momentum; leading to a more supportive and empowering leadership industry.

What are some management or leadership barriers that you have had to deal with? Let me know! I would also love to hear your advice or thoughts on ‘the glass ceiling’ and the #girlboss movement.

A Rainy Rainforest Getaway

Food, Lifestyle, missjessamy, Travel

This past weekend, my family surprised my Dad with a weekend away to the Tamborine Mountains to celebrate his birthday. 

It rained ALL WEEKEND which we were not mad about at all because a) Queensland really needs the rain and b) this rainforest area turns into the cosiest and more beautiful area when it rains. So we still had a really lovely time. 

Even though the weather limited our activities of going out and about on walks and exploring the town, it was really nice just to have some downtime and cuddle up inside and enjoy warm drinks, wine and yummy food. 

So, here’s my breakdown of this weekend covering where we stayed, what we ate and what we did. Enjoy!

Accommodation: Songbirds Rainforest Retreat

We stayed in the Villa at Songbirds Rainforest Retreat, which was a fully self-contained house with two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a spacious living area, kitchen and balcony. 

The only downside to this accommodation was that there was the need for some general maintenance in the house including shower nozzle and sink deep cleans and locks on the screen doors leading to the balcony. 

These issues were nothing major at all, and the end of the day may have led to making the experience more quaint and homey. However, to take this accommodation to the next level, this maintenance is needed. 

Gallery Walk offers a super quaint and cosy selection of cafes and local stores selling homemade/locally produced produce including fudge, honey, candles, Cuckoo Clocks, the lists goes on. 

We dined at two places along Gallery Walk, both for our Saturday and Sunday breakfasts. 

Songbirds’ restaurant is not open for breakfast, so unless you choose to have the breakfast basket delivered to your accommodation, you will have to venture out. 

Saturday Breakfast: The Treehouse

This cafe was very cosy and their menu offered a great mix of sweet and savoury breakfast options, including some very unique and delicious gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan options. 

I got the ‘bucket size’ turmeric latte on almond milk, and it was the perfect spicy drink to find comfort in on this rainy Saturday. This latte was definitely heavier on the turmeric side of things, which I LOVED! But the cafe supplied honey you could mix in to sweeten it up if you like. 

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I was most impressed with the gluten-free and dairy-free french toast this cafe offered. My mum ordered this dish, and I totally forgot to snap a picture of it- but trust me, it was DELICIOUS! And I would order it if I returned to the cafe without a doubt. 

However, I ordered the Vegan Breaky with added vegan cheese, and this was so yummy. A super comforting meal that was filling and full of flavour. It featured a tomato, onion and bean mixture with avocado, mushrooms, spinach and gluten-free bread. It was super yummy and was the perfect cosy breakfast choice in the rainy weather. 

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My Dad went for the salmon eggs Benedict, and my sister opted for the classic eggs and bacon on sourdough toast; both reporting back that their dishes were super tasty. 

All round, this cafe was a winner and I would 100% go back and would also recommend it all Mount Tamborine visitors. 

Saturday Activity: Songbirds Wine Tasting 

As part of the gift for my Dad, we set up to have an afternoon wine tasting onsite at Songbirds. This was a fantastic afternoon that exposed us to a variety of delicious local and international wines. 

The staff were very well educated and took the time to offer as much information as possible about each wine and tell us its full history; which was very interesting and enhanced the wine tasting experience. 

The only downside of this tasting was the variety offered on the charcuterie board. For the number of wines we tasted (10), a small amount of cured meats, a few pieces of dried peach and pickle and some bread was all that was offered. 

However, the overall experience was lovely, and the wines we tasted were all so varied, and most of them were delicious. The staff took the time to select wines my Dad would like but also offered us some that were unique, which was really lovely.

I would highly recommend this experience; it was a lot of fun and a great gift idea for any wine lover in your life. 

Saturday Dinner: Songbirds Restaurant 

For dinner, we booked the restaurant located onsite at Songbirds. The set-out and overall vibe of this restaurant was beautiful and very cosy. However, in my opinion, this restaurant was overpriced for the quality and complexity of the meals.

My mum and I ordered a chicken, coconut and pumpkin dish and it was extremely basic with not much going on at all. The portion size was enough for us without an entree, but for others, I would say it would be too small and I think some added vegetables would be great. 

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Also, this restaurant does not offer ANY side dishes, which is something that would have helped bulk out the meals and probably made me like my dish more because I could’ve added in some salad. 

On the other hand, my Dad and sister ordered the steak, which was pricey but it was a generous serving when compared to the chicken dish and was ultimately worth the money. 

We did not have dessert at this restaurant because we had brought along a birthday cake for my Dad and it was back in the room. However, across the board, the selection on their menu was minimal and slightly disappointing. See their menu here.

Although the food was nice, it was not overly exciting and it was overpriced, leading me to say that I would not go back to this restaurant. 

Sunday Breakfast: Wild Plum Kitchen

On Sunday morning we headed to this great cafe with many gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan food and drink options.

Another day, another big ole’ turmeric latte. This latte was one of the most unique ones I have ever had due to the kick of spice that was mixed in. I am assuming there was some kind of cayenne pepper in the mixture and it was delicious.

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My mango smoothie bowl was simple but delicious. Being made on frozen mango and banana and simply topped with nut-free granola and coconut chips, this was a fresh and light breakfast that was super yummy and tasted like mango sorbet. 

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My sister got the sourdough french toast with bacon and maple syrup, my Dad got the Croque Monsieur, and my mum got a mushroom dish that came with feta, pumpkin hummus, dukkah and gluten-free bread. All reporting back that they thoroughly enjoyed their meals!

The coffee here was grea with the coffee art and milk texture being 10/10. 

Both of the cafes I have mentioned (The Treehouse and Wild Plum Kitchen) are located at the top of Gallery Walk directly across the road from each other. They both offer a varied and delicious menu with options for most dietary requirements or food cravings. 

If you are looking the ultimate weekend getaway destination that takes you away from the hustle and bustle, then Mount Tamborine is a great option. Everyone was so lovely and the surroundings were stunning and tranquil. Overall, we had a great weekend getaway celebrating my fantastic father’s birthday <3. 

If you want to find out more about Mount Tamborine, check it out on Visit Tamborine MountainThis is not a sponsored or affiliated post, all opinions are my own. 

 

Simple Ways To Increase Your Productivity (& Grades!)

Lifestyle, missjessamy, Study

I graduated university back in December 2019 with a Bachelor of Mass Communication (Public Relations & Advertising). I am so proud of my acheivement and the effort I put into my degree to graduate with distinction at 20 years old. However, this was not easy and university really challenged me in both good and bad ways. Nevertheless, through my degree I feel I developed some really great study and time management skills that allowed me to meet all my degree requirments, work a full on job and still have time for friends, family and travel. 

So, now that school is back in session in Australia and university is almost back as well, I thought it was the perfect time to give you some simple ways you can increase your productivity that aim to improve your workflow and grades. All of these methods are ones that I used during my school and university years and are ones I still use now in my personal and work life. So if you want to ensure your 2020 is super productive then keep on reading!

#1 – Find Out What Kind Of Learner You Are

For me, I am a Kinaesthetic Learner which means I learn by doing. I am an active learner and love to immerse myself in the learning experience to extract the information from the situation. By understanding what kind of learner you are, you will be able to streamline your study approaches, so they benefit you.

Four Types Of Learners:

Visual:
  • Learn by visualising and seeing the content.
Auditory:
  • Learn by listening and hearing information rather than seeing or writing it out.
Reading/Writing:
  • Learn by reading content and writing about it.
Kinaesthetic:
  • Learn by doing and prefer to be immersed in their learning experience.

Keep in mind that you can be a combination of types of learners, or your learning style can change over time. But just try and identify the one the aligns with your learning needs the most at this moment in time so you can maximise learning effectiveness.

Understand How To Apply Your Learning Style Into Education

Sometimes you have got to get crafty when translating materials into your learning style. But this process is one that you must do to enhance your educational experience and to ensure you are as productive as you can be with your precious time.

So if you are a Reading/Writing Learner, then ensuring your lectures are transcribed into notes/flashcards is vital. Or if you are a Kinaesthetic Learner, then do practice quizzes to enhance your recall of content.

#2- Be Real With Your Schedule 

It is so great to write a massive schedule/ to-do list and be optimistic about what you can achieve in your day, but you HAVE to be realistic. This is vital because (on the flip side) there is nothing worse than trying to wind down at night knowing you have not achieved what you wanted to. I hate ending my day with an incomplete jobs list – I feel flat and disappointed; ultimately losing some my motivation.

Now being real with what you can achieve in a day does take some trial and error. And it is essential to be kind to yourself when setting daily or weekly expectations so you can feel accomplished and maintain your motivation. But ensuring you are honest with yourself with your time management and daily ability is crucial to the promotion and integration of productivity in your everyday life.

My Tip:

When beginning your scheduling journey, set low expectations for your days. This will allow you to gauge how much you can realistically achieve in your day.

#3- Write Out Your To Do’s

Do it on some paper, on your phone, in your diary, on some notepaper or on the back of your hand – whatever writable surface you have!

There is nothing more satisfying than ticking off to-do items on your list as you go through your day. And it also ensures you stay on track and use your time wisely when it comes to completing tasks based on their requirements.

My Tip:

Write EVERYTHING on your daily to-do list. This includes going to the gym, replying to emails, making your bed, washing your hair etc. Not only does this approach promote a more satisfying end of the day, feeling when you tick everything off. But, it gives you a realistic and visual overview of everything you need to fit into your day, so you can move items around if need be (and that’s okay)- DO NOT OVER COMMIT!

#4- Find Out When and Where You Are Most Productive

University libraries, cafes, at home, study groups, public parks, work offices etc. These are all places that I utilised to get my university work done.

Overall, I prefer to work alone at home as I find I can keep myself focused. However, when you are in the throws of intense study, a change of scenery can reinvigorate your motivation, allows you to refocus and overall enhance your productivity.

Often I would get myself out of the house and head into my university’s library or even go to work to use one of the empty offices as alternate study spaces that I was comfortable in and where I felt I could hone in on my work.

Finding places where you are most productive is vital for your workflow and like most things in this list, requires a level of trial and error. I am not productive everywhere, nor am I always productive at home. When you are consistently working, you need to be prepared to be fluid with your study spaces and be ready to move around.

#5- Read Your Feedback & Ask Questions

Life Lesson: learn from your mistakes to enable personal growth and and accept that effort will not always equated to your envisaged reward.

Okay, so you didn’t do as well as you had planned on a project? How you react and process this plays a BIG role in your ability to grow and improve your future work.

It’s easy to get annoyed and upset when a grade or some feedback is not as good as you wanted after you put so much effort in.

However, if you’re going to understand where you went wrong so you can improve and learn, you NEED to read or request feedback. And that means immersing yourself in the feedback by asking questions and then integrating this into future work.

I have always been one of those students and people in general, where I question everything because I feel the need to understand every possible aspect. This need to know where I went wrong really came out during my final year of school and through my university degree because I was always putting 110% effort into my work, but my grades were not always reflecting that. However, I learned quickly that although it was sometimes time-consuming and a hassle, whenever I requested feedback, I always felt better. The feedback always powered me through my next project and made me more aware and motivated.

#6- Base Your Timeline Schedule On Their Requirements

If you have four tasks that need to be done that will each take 2-3 hours each, is it realistic that you get them all done in one day? Probably not. And even if you did, would you be in the best and most productive headspace to do them all in one day along with your other day to day requirements as well?

These are all vital aspects to consider when crafting your daily to-do schedules.

To combat this need to get everything done all at once, I recommend writing a weekly to-do list that states all of the big items that need to get done. And then break these up into your daily agenda. This approach ensures you remain fully aware of what you need to get done but reducing the risk of feeling overwhelmed and losing your motivation for day to day tasks.

#7- Commit To Yourself

Overall, If YOU want to improve your productivity, grades and overall success, then you HAVE to commit to yourself. There is no point in attempting to make changes and realign your organisation and study approaches if you are going to continually make compromises that interfere with your commitment to this vision. Like any goal, it is not always going to be 100% easy, and you are going to have to work at it daily to ensure you are on track. But like anything, the more you do it, the easier it becomes and the more confident you become in being able to operate your schedule productively.

So, as long as you are prepared to make some exceptions so you can stay true to yourself to meet your goals – then one of the hardest parts of this goal is already done!

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the best feeling when all your commitment pays off to meet your goal.

Hopefully now you are feeling inspired to get your time management under control so you can maximise your 2020 productivity and workflow! I hope these tips have helped you out and that all your endeavours in 2020 whether they are study or work focused, are a success. 

My Day Through A Camera Lens: 23/2/18

Lifestyle, missjessamy

Today I thought I would share something different with you all and potentially make it a post series. I have designed ‘My Day Through A Camera Lens’ to show you what I get up to in my day to day life, and give you an alternate visual when visiting MissJessAmy. So I hope you enjoy.

8:07am

I didn’t have work or Uni today, so I allowed myself a sleep in. I always leave one of my blinds up at night so I wake up to the morning light.

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8:15am

First things first in the morning is a workout. I lay my gear out the night before to ensure there are NO excuses in the morning.

shorts: NIKE, top: Cotton On Body, bra: Kmart, shoes: NIKE

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8:23am

Here is my workout set up, morning news on the big screen, workout videos on my laptop, and workout plan laid out.

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9:07am

I was truly smiling post workout today because it was a hard one and I was happy it was over (40min HIIT).

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9:13am

Breakfast time = smoothie bowl. Banana, Mango, Spinach, Coconut Yoghurt, Coconut Water, Almond Milk, Ice, Cacao, Tropeka Protein Powder, Cinnamon, Peanut Butter, Calcium Powder.

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11:51am

Visited the ‘Mind, Body and Spirit Festival’ and treated myself to Cocofrio’s Coconut and Choc Ice Cream (dairy free, gluten free and refined sugar-free). So yummy!

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2:06pm

Having some relaxation time after being out all morning. I am obsessed with editing the look of the blog at the moment to make it as user-friendly as possible. I was also multi-tasking by watching an Acting seminar on my laptop.

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2:10pm

Emails, Blog, Seminar are done and up to date = happy Jess

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2:18pm

On my way to meet my friend Mahlee to get my nails done and got a Green Tea to go. I have been trying to be more environmentally friendly this year, so I have been using my ‘Keep Cup’ and I’m obsessed.

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4:00pm

Nails are done, now time for a snack with Mahls.

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4:09pm

Time to go home as thunderstorms approach.

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4:44pm

En route home I stopped by my parents’ house.

Outfit detail: jeans: H&M, shoes: Steve Madden, bag: Target, jumper: Vintage, top: Decjuba

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4:49pm

PUPPY TIME! Meet our family dog, Beau. He is a 4-month-old French Bulldog.

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8:08pm

Winding down after a big day and after eating dinner by watching a movie, listening to the rain and writing this post. Goodnight.

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Talk soon,

Jess xx

My Tanning Routine

Lifestyle, missjessamy

As Summer begins to draw to a close here in Oz, I would like to think I have been able to finesse my tanning routine. So I thought I would share my carefully crafted routine with you all today to make it easier for any first time tanners out there, or to offer some tips for any tanning pros.

One: Dry Brushing

Something that I have recently gotten into is dry brushing. I have read about the benefits of this routine for a while and finally decided to give it a go. I don’t do it daily (because I just forget), but I do always do it before doing a tan. I find it assists in heightening the effects of scrubbing and shaving; leaving me with smooth legs that are easy to tan. I start at my feet and move in upwards circular motions all over my body.

Two: Exfoliation

An absolute must before tanning is to exfoliate. You want to ensure all of the dead skin is removed from your body, so your tan applies evenly and smoothly. I use Thankyou’s Coffee Body Scrub, and much like the dry brush, I will work in circular motions with the scrub, all over my body. I then allow the scrub to sit on my skin for at least 5 minutes, so all of the moisturising oils soak in. I also ensure to focus on rougher areas when scrubbing to ensure my tan applies evenly; so I scrub a bit harder on my knees, elbows and heels.

Three: Shaving

After my skin is smooth and prepped, it is time to remove the hair. When shaving I use Natural Instinct’s Relaxing Body Wash as my shaving cream as I find the natural oils and ingredients further help to soften my skin and assist in the reduction of post-shave bumps. I just shave my legs, underarms and bikini line. I find the hairs on my arms don’t interfere that much when I tan, as long as I have done an efficient exfoliating job.

Four: Moisturise

Now it’s time to moisturise, a key part of the tanning process. Before tanning, I use two different moisturising products that help me get a silky smooth and prepped body. I will first use Alpha Keri’s Anti-Cellulite Body Butter and then I will go over the top with Collagenesis by Skinn Essential Radiance Body Oil. I find these two products work well together as the cream is thick and focuses on firming up the skin, and then the oil offers major moisture and makes your skin silky smooth and shiny.

I will generally either do all the above the night before or morning of tanning. This allows enough time for all the moisturisers to soak in and for my pores to close before applying tan in the evening.

Five: Tan

Now it’s time for what we’ve all been waiting for, tanning time. Over the past few years, my go-to tan has been Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam in Dark, and I would normally apply three pumps to each body part (so three pumps for the left leg, three pumps for right leg etc.), sleep in it and wash it off in the morning. But at the moment I am trialling Bondi Sands 1 Hour Express Tan. Personally, one of my least favourite things to do when tanning was having to sleep in it. I found it uncomfortable and messy and I always had to worry about which sheets I had on my bed because I didn’t want to mark the expensive ones. But with this express tan, I can just put it on for 1-2 hours (depending on the colour pay off I want) and I can get on with my day. This is especially great if you have an event at night and want a touch of colour before you go.
I apply my tan on a tanning mitt (mine is from Mecca Maxima), in long motions up my legs and arms. I then go in circular motions on my stomach and chest to around to my back. I don’t tan my face, as I find I just break out or go red, so when I am tanned I normally just up my bronzer ratio. I also tan my hands and feet, but will only do that right at the end by using the leftover residue on the mitt; just to make sure they don’t go too dark.

Six: Maintain

After all the effort you go to, to apply your tan, you want to maintain it. So, I recommend using a Gradual Tanner to assist in the maintenance and further development of the colour. I use Dove’s Summer Glow Gradual Self Tan in Medium to Dark Skin, and love it. It gives the most amazing tan colour, is easy to apply and smells amazing.

So there you go, insider tanning tips and tricks. I hope you enjoyed learning about my tried and true tanning routine and use some of my tips in the future. Talk soon.

Jess xx

@jessicatathem 

How To Stay Fit and Healthy During Uni.

Health & Fitness, Lifestyle, missjessamy

It’s that time of year when we all head back to Uni (in Australia) and get a step closer to getting a degree. But for a lot of people, heading back to the books means heading back to eating takeout and halting working out because our lives become ‘too busy’. Well, fear not because I have put together five of my personal tried and true tips and tricks to help you stay on track and ace your finals and fitness goals this year.

#1- Start Your Day With Exercise

Now trying to juggle work, university and a social life is hard enough, which is why having to add in regular exercise is too hard for some, me included. Going to bed late and having to wake up early while being constantly tired is something all students deal with, and eliminating factors that make our days longer is ideal. But, exercise is an extremely important part of keeping yourself healthy and also assists in stress control.
My biggest tip for keeping up with your exercise routine in University is to do it first thing in the morning, even if you can only squeeze in 15 minutes before you have to run out the door; you’ll feel the difference in your day.
I used to be an afternoon exerciser, but after my workouts, I never felt overly accomplished and found I struggled to push myself to my limits. So I wanted to mix it up and began working out in the morning after breakfast. Well, this didn’t work either, I was full of food and was trying to jump around (rookie mistake). Instead, I set my alarm that little bit earlier and worked out before I did anything else in the morning, between 30-50 minutes depending on how I felt and how busy I was in the day.
This time change in my workout has honestly changed my life completely (sounds dramatic, but keep reading). I have found my digestion is better throughout the day, I feel more awake, I have more energy, and I feel so accomplished in the morning. It is also a great feeling to finish Uni or Work at 5 pm and know I can just come home a relax.
Now, I understand working out in the morning doesn’t suit everyone, even fitness extraordinaire Kayla Itsines has shared her dislike for working out in the morning. You have to do what suits you but I would highly recommend giving this a go! I only have to wake up 30 minutes earlier in the mornings, and that’s a small price to pay to feel good all day.

Favourite Workout Channels:

Popsugar Fitness

Blogilates 

Boho Beautiful 

Love Sweat Fitness

Yoga With Adriene 

Gabriella Whited

I combine multiple videos from the above channels to tailor workouts to what I want to focus on each day.

#2- Fuel Your Body Right

Being on the go all the time, it is easy to slip into the constant ‘eating out’ routine. Coming home on the bus and opening Uber Eats to see what’s nearby or skipping breakfast and grabbing a chocolate bar for a quick pick me up en route to a lecture is not a good way to go about your health.
The easiest way to avoid these diet downfalls is to meal prep or snack prep. When I go to Uni, I am a snacker much more than a meal eater. For me, breakfast is the biggest meal I have for the day, and it’s usually either a smoothie bowl or GF oats with Banana and Protein and everything else throughout my day I keep light and sustainable.
I am not much of a meal prepper, but I do prep snacks. I always have cut up capsicum, carrot, cucumber and cooked sweet potato in my fridge with homemade hummus. And I also always homemake GF, DF, RSF protein balls and bars as well as Fruit and Nut mix, so I can keep myself fuelled in-between classes.
However, if I don’t have time to make the sweet treats, I have a few go-to brands I chuck in my bag including:

Tom and Luke Protein Bars

Golden Day Paleo Bars

Blue Dinosaur Paleo Bars
I also always carry a large water bottle with me around campus with apple cider vinegar, this helps me stay hydrated and helps combat any sweet cravings I might get when I am bored in class (haha).

#3 Find Local Gems

Now, this slightly goes against what I said above about avoiding to eat out, but sometimes it is unavoidable. So my biggest tip for this would be to do your research and find places close to your Uni that provides healthy and yummy snacks and meals. Also, if all your friends want to go to a burger place, just read the menu well and try to opt for the healthiest option. For example, all my friends love Grill’d, so whenever we go I order:
*Veggie Vitality or Zen Hen
*on the Low Carb Super Bun
*and with Sweet Potato Fries (I only order fries if I share or I am particularly hungry)

Now, this is still a treat meal, but it is the healthier option and allows me to stick to my healthy lifestyle, while still being involved in the fun with friends.
Being in my second year now, I have also scoped out places around campus that sell my favourite Coconut Water, Kombucha and Paleo Bars.

#4 Write Down Your Goals

What do you want to achieve with this lifestyle? A more positive life outlook? Increased motivation? Stress relief? Weight loss? Toning up? Whatever it is, write it down! This not only holds you accountable for every positive decision you make towards a better you, but it also helps you visualise your end goal which increases your day to day motivation.
For me, every night before I go to bed I write down my workout plan for the next morning. This both keeps me accountable for my workout, but also allows me to go to bed and wake up motivated, as once it’s on paper, it has to be done. Since commencing this routine in mid-January, I have only missed ONE day, and that was because I woke up with a stiff neck and my doctor recommended I give it a break.

#5 Vitamin It Up

One thing that I think has truly allowed me to properly focus on my health is taking vitamins that help my body seize the day. I am currently taking a Calcium, Mega B, Vitamin C and Horseradish and Evening Primrose to support my health. I have never really been into these approaches, but with feeling the way I do right now, I have no idea why I wasn’t. Now, of course, I am not a healthcare professional, so you should always consult them before adding these supplements to your diet, but I would highly recommend going to them and figuring out what you need. I am calcium deficient, so a Calcium supplement is a must for more. Additionally, I suffer from anxiety and elevated stress levels, so my Mega B supports that and the Evening Primrose helps with my skin and in reducing my serious symptoms of PMS. Finally, the Vitamin C and horseradish is a general wellbeing one that helps with my immune system. When taking vitamins, it’s important to understand what you are taking and why you are taking it.

Despite everything above, you have to do what works for you. It is so important to take care of your health and wellbeing throughout your whole life, but when you have to juggle 100 different things throughout the day, your body needs some help. I hope you at least try one of these tips above and good luck with your studies.

Jess xx

@jessicatathem

Things I Learned in 2017

Lifestyle, missjessamy

A list of things I learned in 2017; a year that was unexpectedly splendid and life-changing.

  1. things get better
  2. some people and relationships need time
  3. feeling confident within yourself changes your outlook on life
  4. parents are people too
  5. sometimes, people just need someone to talk to
  6. life has a funny way of bringing happiness when you least expect it
  7. friends come from the most unlikely, but obvious places
  8. you are loved
  9. living on your own is scary but freeing
  10. stress is a roadblock
  11. spontaneity is thrilling
  12. a normal day can change your life
  13. the world has a funny way of working itself out in your favour
  14. giving back is important
  15. alone time is important
  16. pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is important
  17. inner health is important
  18. there are more important things than followers on social media
  19. being skinny and healthy can be two very different things
  20. people can change, some will and some won’t
  21. forgiveness is important for your soul
  22. moving on doesn’t mean you have to forget
  23. heartbreak ends
  24. sometimes you need a good cry
  25. trusting within yourself will open doors
  26. it’s good to treat yourself and others
  27. staring at the night sky is sometimes all the therapy you need
  28. everyone says “don’t sweat the small stuff,” and it’s hard, but don’t sweat it, there is no point
  29. you can’t change others, they will make their own mistakes
  30. it’s okay to make mistakes
  31. always consider others opinions and experiences
  32. people are good
  33. the world is kind
  34. the media focuses too much on the negative
  35. there is joy in turning up a song and dancing like crazy
  36. all good things take their time
  37. have trust that the universe has your best life in mind
  38. sometimes one good day can change your mindset forever
  39. being tall is good, even if cute dresses don’t always fit
  40. the feeling that live music offers is like no other
  41. getting emotional is nothing to be ashamed of
  42. getting passionate is nothing to be ashamed of
  43. others opinions literally do not matter
  44. people can be mean, but it shouldn’t change you
  45. finding true happiness is one of the most liberating things you can experience

My 18th and Changing​ Up The Blog

Lifestyle, missjessamy

Hello Everybody,

This is a very exciting post to make, as it is something that has been being planned for a while now. I love this blog, but over the past 18 months, I have really struggled to maintain regular quality posts on here due to my crazy schedule. So this blog is now becoming a ‘mixed media’ blog. I want to start incorporating video content for you guys to watch, allowing me to post more variety and more regularly. I’ll explain this change in more detail in the video below.

So for my first video, I thought I’d do a chatty ‘Get Ready With Me’ for my 18th Birthday.  Hope you enjoy. xx

P.S. this video has bad sound, it’s sometimes out of focus and I keep getting out of shot haha. I’ll get better, promise!

Chapter 2015

Lifestyle, missjessamy

a-new-chapter

Hello Everyone,

Honestly, not to be cheesy (at all, this is a meaningful and true but mandatory New Years post), but it’s amazing how we can go from one year to another. One minute, second, millisecond, a blink of an eye can transform one year to another. All of one years memories are stored, so you can have new experiences in the new year. Everything you did and achieved in the year is added to a list to be edited by more experiences and achievements in the new year.

I really think this year has been the most fulfilling and happiest years I have had for a while. For a few years coming up to 2014 I had a lot of issues with friendships which really impacted me. Finally, I formed strong friendships this year (I’m not saying there weren’t moments I didn’t have an issue with friends) but I had an overall positive year.

I think the Christmas/New Year season it the best time to reflect and look back on your development and life over the closing year. I like to think as though every year is a chapter and as soon as that clock strikes 11:59pm on the 31st of December we are in the last sentence of the chapter then the clock changes to 12:00am and we have began the new chapter in which we have no clue what will happen in our life, what experiences we will have and where we will end up by the last sentence of the new year very much like a new chapter in a book.

I hope you had a great 2014 and enjoyed it’s chapter and have a Happy New Year.
Enjoy Chapter 2015.

Love,
Jess xx

Photo: http://lifequotes-best.blogspot.com.au/2014/06/new-chapter-in-life-quotes.html

This is not a sponsored blog post.