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The Wonder Years..how much of this life can we do? : March 2014

Monday, 24 March 2014

I don't want a yellow coat!

This is the £100 coat that is flying off the peg at Zara.. it's the coat we all want this Spring apparently. Am I the only person not taken with this coat? I have almost bought a yellow leather jacket whilst in a leather emporium in Spain, but I think it's different when on holiday and also it was leather.. I'm not sure what the fuss is about with this one, but then I'm not a dedicated follow of fashion. 
In fact my latest challenge for myself is not to shop. I don't really need anything and my hubby has issued the challenge to me to see if  'We live like no one will' so that we can 'Live like no one can' These are big words I know, however he is a man with a dream which includes building our own house so we need to curb our spending. So I'm going to see how much I can not buy. I'm not overly indulgent - long gone are days of impulse buys. I've even made a point of sticking to the tips I read in a book by money man Alvin Hall years ago, that if you want something you must leave it at least 24 hours and if the desire and need is still there.. you can purchase. 9/10 times it's gone. 

How do you manage your finances? Has the recent budget made you think more about saving? Do you have a spreadsheet or are you guilty of hording your receipts in the hope of some accountability? It's not easy is it. But this year is the year I've decided to be completely on track with my pennies and no longer be scared of checking my bank balance.  

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Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Sean Bean has me hooked!

You know that sad moment when you've reached the end of the final episode of the latest box set you've been binging on... what to watch next? Do you follow hype or a friend's recommendation? Last night the Hubby and I watched our first episode of Game of Thrones. Yes I've seen the hype and my best buddie has been raving about it.. but I just wasn't buying it. But I've been at a loss as to how to fill the void. I do want to go down the House of Cards route but other half hasn't shown much interest and after Breaking Bad we need to be hooked in Episode 1. Sadly this didn't happen with The Wire, Portlandia or Arrested Development.

But Game of Thrones - you got us BOTH!

In fact my hubby has just confessed that after I went to bed (as I have to get up at 4am) he watched episodes 2 + 3 without me. I'm secretly pleased as it's fun to have that show you both like. He's still doesn't get Girls but I'm fine with that!
So, I shared my new interest with my pal last night who had been trying to convince me and she replied 'Look out for the Lesbian Lick off in Episode 5' I've not told my husband about that yet.. Has that suddenly got your attention as well?
I must admit to feeling a sense of calm now I know we have a new series to binge on, although there is something to be said for the anticipation of having to wait a week. But there's also great satisfaction in knowing we have our social lives sorted for the next few months thanks to our Sky + box

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Friday, 7 March 2014

Do you think it's important to have a profile?

Whatever ever you do as a job it's a given that you need to have some kind of profile whether it's within your company or your industry. How relevant is its presence online? How important is building it and maintaining it? 

About six years ago, when I trying to get on in my radio career I had a conversation with a boss at a London station who said to me 'Do you have a profile'? I remember, in my naivety, not really knowing what he meant. I'd been spending my time getting radio work . The twitter phenomena hadn't started, it never occurred to me to put my demos on MySpace or get myself invited to the hottest parties so I'd get snapped in London's free papers that were still lining the floor of the tubes. I was just busy juggling several jobs whilst making CD's and sending them to people. I didn't have a website my methods were calling and sending emails and asking if there was work - I didn't want to be famous, I just wanted to carry on being on the radio. 

Oh how that's changed (not the fame side mind you) I now have: 

A website www.natalieb.co.uk
Twitter @NatalieBonAir
A facebook page www.facebook.com/NATALIEBTALKSFORME 
I'm on linked in http://www.linkedin.com/in/nataliebonair 
Google plus google.com/+NatalieB 
I put snippets from my radio show on audioboo http://audioboo.fm/natalieb

It can feel like SOCIAL OVERLOAD!
I have a tumblr account but don't use it and I'm sporadic on Instagramme. Oh and not forgetting my You tube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/NatalieBonAir

So along with doing my day job, there is all of this to maintain and I do find it overwhelming at times. It's taken me a good while to get used to these outlets and enjoy using them. I'm learning about time saving tools, ways to schedule tweets and one of my tech savvy pals has been talking to me about ways in which you can consolidate all you can do.

In today's social media crazy world, if you want to work in the media you have to have an online and offline profile. There's no two ways about it.I was chatting with a younger presenter pal of mine the other day who is in her early 20's. She's a graduate, working three jobs in cool media agencies whilst presenting two radio shows. She's already got a good presence online and has been chatting to an agent - which is amazing and I've been brainstorming ideas on how she can maximise this opportunity. Her concern is that she's up against models being picked for their looks and given radio or tv presenting roles. It made me shudder to hear this. You just have to hope that real talent will be the ultimate winner but this proves you have to keep putting in the hours and chasing down these opportunities - which is where the online profile helps. 

I've been asking myself questions about what new challenges can I take on and I've decided to go back to University to study how we can operate better online. A 'techology'! There's so much that can be done in a free online space - the mind boggles and to deny the change is relevant to you is just plain stupid.

What it comes down to is working SMART NOT HARD. 

This week I got myself on National TV - on Daybreak (yes you have to look closely) 

Plus I got to give a little insight into what it's like doing a breakkie radio show for the brilliant Sound Women podcast which you can hear here

All items of content I could tweet and blog about. Thus raising my profile. 
Along with my radio work there's my voiceover business and this week I've just started working with a new voiceover agent www.devinevoices.com and I'm currently on a 7 day course thanks to www.voiceovergarden.com on how to boost my business. Its non-stop which is what I expect. 

I can't help but wonder though whether life would be more straight forward if I did one job rather than several but I just don't think I was made that way. 

I guess I'm trying to highlight that if you thought working in the media was an easy ride - please don't underestimate what is involved. I do feel there are times in my working day when those around me think just because I'm leaving their office that my day then becomes leisurely. 

Oh how wrong they are. This switch is always on and I don't think it could be any other way. 

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Poor Spiced chai tea gets a well deserved rant!

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Are we too lazy to make our own pancakes?

I just met Aldo Zilli this morning, as he was in Olney home of the oldest and longest running pancake race in the  UK.  He was in good spirits, appearing on ITV's Daybreak (as did I). It's also his wedding anniversary and he told me his fave filling is a savory one, more of a lasagne styley. I asked Aldo  what he thought about the fact that most Britons are apparently too lazy on Pancake Day to make a mix of flour and eggs, opting for all-in-one mixes. Demand for ready-made batter mixes – to which users just add water – has doubled in the past three years. A spokesman said “These days, as society tries to make everything simpler, it seems many more of us are opting to make pancakes from a mix rather than use the old fashioned way.” Come on people!

Aldo didn't seem to think it was a problem, which surprised me but he did go on to say it's so easy to make them, there's only three ingredients after all. I hope we don't become SO time poor that we end up not knowing any of these skills. With only 3 in 10 young people being able to cook anything in the kitchen long gone are the joyous days of Home Economics where you'd carry your basket home with your precious eggs au gratin! Surely we should all have one signature dish, even if it is a pancake!

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Monday, 3 March 2014

How many dates hould you wait before you 'take it to the next level'?