Monthly Archives: July 2014

Treating your sweetie – Long-distance love by air mail

We all love showing our special someone how special they are to us, and giving gifts is a fun way to show that. I love giving gifts to my bf and that is no different when he is on the other side of the world. I just like giving him stuff and treating him (Damn, I’m an awesome girlfriend!)

I’ve already sent him one package, but I have just sent him the first proper “Care package” type deal-y. The first package was mainly souvenirs that I couldn’t have given him before he went for fear of overloading him with stuff. This next one has had more thought and time and planning put in.

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Obviously, I can’t actually say what I bought until he’s actually received the package, but I can offer some good advice for putting together your own long-distance-love box.

 

 

Give it thought

I put a few days of thinking and shopping around into this so that it would be just right. Look for stuff that your s.o (significant other) would really like and have use for. Empty and unplanned gifts can be great, but there is something really special about when someone goes the extra mile of thinking about stuff that you don’t have and maybe can’t easily get.
My guy being in Korea, there is a lot of stuff I can easily get here that perhaps might not be as easy to get in Korea, so I had a lot of options.
Try to listen closely to stuff they say to see if you can get any ideas directly from them of what they might like or need.
I know that my bf has been studying a lot recently, so I came up with loads of ideas for gifts that related back to studying, without being entirely about studying.
Is there anything in particular going on in your s.o’s life right now that they could use a boost or some stuff for?
Are they saving for anything, working on anything or have any hobbies that you could help or support?
Any of these little things can give you ideas that will give them big feels to unwrap, especially if you’ve come up with and transported that thoughtfulness around the world (romantic!)
Check the rule book

It’s always a good idea to familiarise yourself with the rules when sending stuff in the mail – ESPECIALLY via air mail!!
photoThere are a lot of rules and restrictions over sending some items in the mail. I only learnt today how strict those rules are!!
One nifty example is nail polish: If you are mailing within the UK, you can only mail 4 small bottles of nail polish at a time – But don’t even try mailing nail polish remover as that is totally banned!
I made the unthinking mistake of trying to send a cute little candle to my boyfriend, which only resulted in my having to cut the box open and pull it out in the middle of the post office.
Seriously, save yourself the time and sticky tape by checking the rules early.
As well as general mailing laws, some countries have their own laws about stuff you can sent to and from different countries.
You can get “Prohibited and restricted items” leaflets from your post office, and information about each countries’ mailing laws can be found at the embassy for that country, either by looking on their website or calling them up.
Remember, don’t get mad at these rules. In these crazy times, everyone is having to be more careful. I know I’m not a terrorist, but, to the people in charge, my care package is just another box that needs to get safely transported from A to B and the rules are for all of us, so let’s play within them. 🙂

Not to cheap, not too pricey

Make sure when planning your package that you have a weight and money budget. That includes, the price of the packaging, the contents and the postage and fees. This can all mount up very quickly and, before you know it, you’ve spent £25 on the gifts and £30 getting it to its destination!
Get a leaflet from your post office or look online at the shipping costs to the country you are sending the package too (If your s.o lives in the same country as you, that makes it cheaper) and decide the maximum weight you are going to pay getting it there.
I decided that I was willing to pay around £10 for the shipping, not too much but not stingy either.
In the end, my box ended up weighing 0.401kg and cost £8 to send – Not too shabby! 🙂
I was careful to buy quite light stuff for the box. Fun and useful stuff that could also take a bit of tossing around in there (Korean Mail can get pretty beaten up in transit).
And together I spent about £15 on the contents. Nice but not too pricey!
When sending stuff overseas you have to be careful that you’re not sending stuff that is too expensive to the postage or too little to make the postage worth it.
You want to get your money’s worth from the postage, but you don’t want to send stuff that is too valuable without paying for a better postage (remember, tracking and signing costs extra).
Make it personal

If that means decorating the box, including a card or anything, make the personal message of “This is from me to you” the key focus of your parcel.
Sure the gifts inside it are great, but it is the element of feeling close and cared for that your partner will love most, so do whatever you need to get that across in your gift.
Write a letter, include a voice recording, send them a CD of your mutual favourite artist or anything. It’s the connection that you are looking for.
In the end, the most important part is conveying your intent behind the gift. Making your partner feel loved and special and telling them that, even though you’re not together in person, you’re still looking out for them and trying your best.

Another article will follow up with some cool suggestions for gifts, so please keep coming back.
Have you send your s.o a gift parcel? Let us know what was inside and how it went!
You can also come and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter  (as well as my personal Twitter and Instagram) and share your stories and opinions – I  love chatting with readers!
Hope this has been helpful to you and see you soon! X

Straight-talking advice: Working in the service industry

Amy Kingsley-Hughes
Amy Kingsley-Hughes

We all know the plucky, charismatic waitress, who floats around the room with charm and command, who always knows what’s going on and who really makes the customer feel special.
Well, that waitress has a few tricks up her sleeve and I’m here, as a waitress myself, to share some tips that might help you out at work!

And this article’s song is, quite fittingly, Florence and the Machine’s ‘The Dog Days Are Over’

Love your feet!
As a waiter or waitress, your feet will really take the brunt of the work, carrying you all around the place as you stand for hours, so you’ll want to do your best to take care of your feet and legs.
Ladies, don’t wear ballet pumps. I wore those for a month at work and my feet were always shredded the end of the day. Find some more comfortable shoes, maybe tennis shoes, to keep your tootsies from getting damaged. You might think now that pumps will be okay, but think again, because I already made that mistake!

Don’t be afraid of customers, but remember who’s boss

Some customers can be really difficult and some may seem like they come there purely to make you want to cry, but you mustn’t be afraid and you must treat every customer with respect, consideration and make sure you are giving them your attention.
If you need to get a little order at a big noisy table, you can turn up the authority a bit, but don’t be patronising or insulting. In the end, their custom is the reason you have a job!
No matter how difficult some customers may be, remember that the customer is always right. ALWAYS.
That isn’t just some phrase we go by to stop losing customers. It’s a promise to keep people satisfied, even if we have to bite the bullet occasionally.
Think of the restaurant as your theatre. People come there to escape into that little world for a while and satisfy both hunger and a want for interaction. As a waiter, it’s your job to make sure the customer gets the experience they want when they go there (and very soon you’ll be able to work out very quickly what certain customers are looking to gain from their visit).
You are a showman of sorts, and it really helps you do well in your work to remember that for when things get stressful.

And don’t be afraid to chat with customers a little bit. Enjoy their company, listen to them and have a nice interaction with them! Everyone wins!

You’re a food therapist
Part of the job of being a waiter is that you will kind of act as an unofficial therapist of sorts. You’ll talk with the customers (sometimes going by a loose script of sorts), give them the interaction they need in a comfortable environment and interact with them with an unconditional positive regard, no matter if they are being difficult, rude, messy or whatever. At times, you may even be required to discuss feelings and problems.
Of course, I am not telling you to give customers advice or act in any way as a real therapist, but the two jobs to run some parallels with each others, and you can do a better job knowing that similarity.

Eat, sleep and breathe
This seems like a given, but seriously – REMEMBER TO EAT! It’s so easy when in a rush or you think you have more important stuff to do to forget to feed yourself, but that quickly catches up to you. You need to make sure you’re eating, because all your work will be no good to you if you’re making yourself sick in the process!
Eat before and after your shifts but also, if you are allowed, take small snacks with you to work to nibble on when you have a free minute. It will really help your performance to keep your blood sugar stable, so have something you can eat or sip if you start to feel yourself going.
Getting good sleep will go a long way to ensure top-notch work performance and safety. Sleepiness is very dangerous and it’s nothing for it to cause an accident. No matter if small or large, any accidents at work are a pain and can make you look pretty bad.
Take a moment every now and then, especially if swamped with customers, to just have a quick breather. I don’t mean a long break, just a couple breaths to steady yourself and clear your head.
When I feel everything getting on top of me, I stop and take a couple breaths just to remind myself I’m okay and continue working.

Enjoy it!

I know there’s a lot of negative stigma around being a waiter and so many people will look down on the job, but I know for a fact that it’s not a job everyone can do.
Whether you are tired, achy or freaking out, you need to function quickly, efficiently and with a smile on your face. Feel pride in what you do, because your job brings a lot of people joy.
I’m an actress, so you think that being a waitress would make me miserable because it’s such a cliché. But I enjoy my work! It’s something which makes people happy, I get to feed people (something that I really like doing) and I get to interact with a lot of people I might not have met otherwise.
While waiting tables isn’t something I want to do as my only job, I’m happy with it and determined to make the whole experience a joy for me, my customers and co-workers.

Know when to take time off

Sometimes I get very tempted to just work with every free second I have and to just keep working all the time and keep piling on hours and hours. I can go from working for one website, to the restaurant, back to working on this site, to another site, to writing, to designing, and the next thing I know I have three hours until I’m back in the restaurant (that also brings back the point of sleep. GET IT!) The truth is that working too much will just lead you to burn out and that isn’t good for your productivity, your colleagues, your health or your loved ones.

I have to promise my loved ones that I’ll take time off because they get worried that I’ll just run myself out of steam, and I know that maybe it’s best to trust their judgement over mine when it comes to taking time off.  Don’t give in to the temptation to just keep going, because it’ll make it even harder if you hit a wall. Work sensibly, keep your health in mind, think of your loved ones, think of your performance and be objective enough to know when you need a break. And, man, will that break feel good!

Use your gut

occasionally, you will face trouble and you have to trust your gut when you have a bad feeling. If you have any problems or doubts, ask for help. Whether that is calling for help to fix the card machine or because you are being made to feel uncomfortable by someone, take care of yourself and don’t be afraid to seek back-up. As my boss says “It’s not a failure, it just shows you don’t want quality to drop”!

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You can also find me on my personal Twitter and Instagram! Thanks for reading! X

 

Meet Anna: Charismatic, fearless and truly kick-ass

 

©Anna Akana/Youtube
©Anna Akana/Youtube

Anna Akana, is an actress, filmmaker, youtuber and possibly one of the coolest women online. One of her latest videos, “How to put on your face”, is going viral online as she spreads the messages of confidence, health and inner beauty.

She’s confident, intelligent, geeky, educational, honest, creative, friendly, so beautifully open – AND HILARIOUS!
Anna’s videos are well thought out, relatable and addictive (and from a filmmaker’s perspective – oh my damn, she’s a fantastic filmmaker!!)

As well as making a ton of fun and creative videos, Anna is also on a mission to create 12 short films in 2014 before making a feature film. This is a lady who understands and respects the process of learning and earning your stripes!
This geeky, cat-loving video goddess is captivating to the audiences and I totally love her open and fearless style.
In her video “How to deal with sexual harassment” she cleverly and humorously tackles the very common issue of sexual harassment in a manner which makes the viewer feel safe, comfortable and enlightened.

 

While in her video “Pregnapocalypse” she plays out a brief scenario of what would happen if every woman in the world was suddenly 9 months pregnant (trust me, you won’t be expecting the twist)

She even did a very helpful video about money in filmmaking to share with people that might not know where the money goes in filmmaking. Is there anything she can’t do?!

She even has quite the “Overactive imagination” (I just needed to squeeze this one in because I love it so much)

Seriously, how can one woman be just so awesome? It’s amazing!
I’m really looking forward to watching Anna’s journey and supporting her work (heck, if she decides to go the crowd-funding route, I’m in!) I plan on sharing any big news she breaks in future (kickstarter plz) and I’m really excited to see what she brings out next.
Stay awesome, Anna!

If you liked this, please keep coming back for more. I love sharing new content and people for you all to enjoy and there will be more people posts like this too. (Also, if you are a youtube content creator who thinks their work deserves some love, send me a message on the contact form here and I’ll take a look at your stuff!)
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