Sunday, 2 August 2015

Tweet Eats: The Grey Goose Boulangerie François Terrasse, Harvey Nichols Manchester


Have you ever seen such beautiful cocktails? These beauties taste as good as they look too, from the perfectly formed Anjou Martini finished with fennel (my personal favourite) to the classic Dry Martini with a twist of lemon. Each one is paired with a delicious petit four, perfect for sharing!
Dry Martini: Grey Goose vodka and Noilly Prat. Served dry with a lemon twist.
Provencal Martini: Grey Goose Le Citron, Noilly Prat, benedictine and kummel. Served with a lavender stem.
Anjou Martini: Grey Goose La Poire, Noilly Prat, suze and orgeat. Garnished with bronze fennel.
Martini Aromatique: Grey Goose L’Orange, Dubbonet and white cacao. Garnished with a viola. - See more at: http://www.harveynichols.com/news/2015/06/02/grey-goose-boulangerie-francois-terrasse/#sthash.Krw7mCNV.dpuf

Dry Martini: Grey Goose vodka and Noilly Prat. Served dry with a lemon twist.
Provencal Martini: Grey Goose Le Citron, Noilly Prat, benedictine and kummel. Served with a lavender stem.
Anjou Martini: Grey Goose La Poire, Noilly Prat, suze and orgeat. Garnished with bronze fennel.
Martini Aromatique: Grey Goose L’Orange, Dubbonet and white cacao. Garnished with a viola. - See more at: http://www.harveynichols.com/news/2015/06/02/grey-goose-boulangerie-francois-terrasse/#sthash.Krw7mCNV.dpuf
Transport yourself to the Côte d'Azur momentarily to indulge in a Grey Goose cocktail and beautiful pastries to compliment the tastes, the alfresco pop-up Grey Goose Boulangerie François Terrasse is open just outside Harvey Nichols on Cathedral Street in Manchester until the 6th of August as part of Dig the City so hurry to make sure you get your hands on one! You can find out more here, they are also offering mini consultations to create your perfect cocktail too!
Côte d'Azur
Côte d'Azur
Côte d'Azur
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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

9 Tips and Tricks to Make you a Pinterest Expert


Even though it sounds really bizarre to explain Pinterest when a lot of us use it every day, it might not be quite what you think it is. Pinterest isn’t a social media network, it’s a discovery tool. Think of Pinterest as a search engine, but with added benefits.

I’m a complete Pinterest novice from a profile perspective (for now) but I use it every single day as a search engine, whether I’m looking for styling tips to help with a feature at work or a recipe for dinner. I love how easy it is to find information and as a visual person, I adore all the amazing imagery! But after spending a morning with Pinterest learning all about how the platform works and how to make it amazing, so I thought I should pass on some of the tips I learned! Here are 9 tips and tricks to make you a Pinterest expert...

1. Verify your Pinterest and convert to a business account, this will allow you to see the analytics of your profile and pins from the point where you have added the tracking code to your website. You can see how much traffic is hitting your profile as well as understand your audience, this is ideal for helping you to improve in the future by understanding who has engaged with your pins.

2. Be intelligent and think about the description as well as including key words, Pinterest has a much larger character limit than twitter (at 500 characters) so there is room to be creative! Use descriptive titles instead of something like ‘my style’ to make sure it shows up in more search results, also make sure your board is in the right category.

3. High quality, portrait images work best on Pinterest as the majority of images will be viewed on a mobile, they will be clearer to see and larger. Text overlays also work really well as it captures people’s attention and encourages them to click through. 

4. Never delete a board as this will also delete those followers, simply re-name and amend the board if you don't want it any more.

5. Lists work really well on Pinterest, for example if you link through to a blog post of 10 of the best cafes in Manchester, that is something a lot of people will be searching for and will attract more readers to your blog.  

6. Hashtags are pointless, it’s far more valuable to have a clear, useful description that adds value to the pin. Emojis are the same, there is no way that anyone will be able to search for your board if the title is a sassy emoji.

7. Content on Pinterest is evergreen so people will continue to find it, for example Christmas recipes and gift ideas will continue to be popular and drive traffic every year. Pins can take a while to build up momentum so don’t expect an instant result, it requires dedication and regular pins to increase reach. Also, people start researching 2 months in advance for events like Christmas!  

8. Local content is great, this way it is more tangible for the audience around you. For example ‘10 things to do in London for free’ would work really well for people around and visiting the London area but would not be as interesting to some on the other side of the world. 

9. You can add widgets to your site using the widget builder in the Business Centre, from the classic pin it buttons to embedding a board into a post. This will also encourage people to pin more from the site. 
  
The Business Centre has everything you need to get started and the search bar in the Help Centre can answer pretty much any question you have! 

I'm going to be spending a lot of time building up my Pinterest, you can take a look at it here to see what I've been pinning! Do you have Pinterest? Leave a comment with your url below and I'll take a look!
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Monday, 27 July 2015

The Big Impact of Small Changes


In recent months my career has taken over my life as my team is growing steadily, I've been trying to update my blog as much as possible and see my friends, family and boyfriend as much as possible. This means I spend around 12 hours a day in the office, have pretty much no time to myself and the gym has only seen me once this month (whereas I've been a regular at Tesco after dark for cheese and wine). Something needs to change before I go mad, miss my little nieces growing up and balloon to post spell Aunt Maud size proportions.

But what is the best way to tackle this without damaging my career, blog or relationships? Instead of making huge changes, I've decided to take the advice of Margaret Heffernan from her TED book 'Beyond Measure'. I picked it up after a bloody lovely lunch at Harvey Nichols with my friend Liv who is starting a whole new career next week, there's nothing like someone else taking big steps to make you re-evaluate yours.

The book is focused around company culture but there are plenty of tips in there that can be applied to work, blogging and 'real life'. I thought I'd share a few with you in case you're in a similar predicament to me but don't want to make drastic changes, little steps might be all that you need.

Monotask


Instead of trying to work on as many projects as you can at once, try focusing on just one. Not only will you find your concentration, focus and efficiency increases, your mind will also be able to remember what you've been working on better. Try to ignore emails for an hour if you're in the office or turn the TV off if you're blogging, you'll find yourself more motivated to complete the task and you'll be done before you know it.

 

Power Listening


If you're in a meeting at work (unless you're leading it of course) try simply listening. You'll find most of the time you're looking for something to add to the conversation rather than taking in everything that everyone else is saying, it will make you more open to other people's thoughts. This is also worth trying out in blogger chats, take the time to read what everyone else is saying rather than looking for a chance to join in.

Get Out


This isn't as drastic as it sounds, promise. In the book Heffernan champions the idea of going home from the office to reinvigorate the mind and inspire new thoughts. But if you're stuck in a blogging rut, move your work space. Whether it's heading to a local cafe (with wifi of course) to change up your environment or simply moving to a different room in your house, a fresh perspective can change everything.

Wanderlust


Let your mind wander, you never know what you might stumble across in there. It could be the most incredible business idea, the answer to a problem at work or inspiration for a new blog post.

While You Were Sleeping

While your body sleeps, your brain goes into overdrive processing everything from the day and working on your problems for you. Scientists have been known to solve equations in their sleep so imagine what you can do. Sleep deprivation is also awful for productivity; by working for 11 hours your reaction times get poorer, after 12 hours your creativity takes a dip and after 13 hours your vocabulary is substantially reduced. The moral of this story to go home, this is definitely one I need to take on board.

Could you do one more thing to make a difference?


After you have finished something you have been working on, think to yourself; is there one more thing I can do to make a difference? Is there something you can add to your blog post to make it even better, is there something you can do to boost the morale of your team at work or is there something small you can do to make a friend's day? You'll probably find that the answer is yes every time.


I hope some of these small changes will make a difference in your work, blog or real life, I know I'll be applying them to mine. Take a look at Margaret Heffernan's site here to find out more about her career and business advice.
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