Florence Finds Reader Survey 2013


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Good morning readers! Instead of Friday Frock today I have decided it’s time to touch base with you guys and get some feedback on Florence Finds. It’s been over 2 years since I started Florence Finds and almost as long since I canvassed your opinions in my Saturday Survey series. There have been a few changes since then, topic changes, new posts and the biggest change, dropping down to one post per day. As my life evolves, there are more changes in the pipeline and I have a few new things planned already. I think my style has changed too and how I approach the blog so I would love to hear what you think about it all. Please do fill in the survey, even if you are not a regular reader or avid fan, in some ways your views are all the more important. Thank you so much guys!

Have a great weekend,
Rebecca
xo

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Instagram Month

It’s time for my Instagram round up again with only one more day left until December and the full on festivities that it brings. You can expect A-LOT of Christmas cheer over the coming month here so get ready!

In the meantime, here’s the best of my November via Instagram, do share your highlights and anything good you’re looking forward to in December!

  • Beach wear that already feels like a distant memory in Sanibel Island, Florida.
  • Neon Nails with Bling it On ring finger
  • Travel in style with Globe Trotter and stripes
  • A new J.Crew necklace
  • Violet nails by Orly (Rio)
  • Thinking pink when it comes to make up – tutorial coming soon…
  • Packing up Pimp it Pretty Lanyards for Dream. Find. Do.
  • Essie’s ‘Lapis of Luxury’ with H&M Gold sparkle polish layered over.

  • Clearwater beach and American dognuts
  • My favourite bookstore in America – Barnes and Noble
  • Probably the most important thing to happen to America all year, Obama got elected back in.
  • Amazing American Salads and stunning sunsets over downtown Miami
  • Retro cars on Ocean Drive and returning to the England’s ‘green and pleasant land’.
  • Getting back to healthy breakfasts – porridge with berries accompanied by a happy cat, back from the cattery.
  • Michelle teaching at Dream. Find. Do. this weekend.
  • Giant sprouting parsnips being harvested at the allotment and winter walks as the last of the leaves fall.
  • Amazing chocolate fondant with salted caramel ice cream at Malmaison London.
  • Students in class at Dream. Find Do. London.

If you want to follow me on Instagram, search for Rebecca_Norris in your Instagram app, or now you can follow me on the web here at Instagram.com/rebecca_norris

Love,
Rebecca
xo

All Change…

I’m not going to lie, this is probably one of the hardest posts I have ever had to write. I write it in fear of your disappointment but knowing that it has to be done.

I always strive for Florence Finds to be a reflection of real life, not a glorified glossy representation of the unattainable. I want it to inspire and reassure you that whatever woes you may have, there’s somebody else out there having it too. That’s the main message, with plenty of inspiration for improving all the textures of your life too. I have always felt strongly that I should practice what I preach. Recent posts I have written about work and life have meant that something has to change in mine, and it’s news of that that I’m sharing today.


Balancing Act silhouette portrait from thepairabirds on Etsy

You see I love Florence Finds, don’t for a second get me wrong on that or think I’m tiring of it. We’re not going anywhere :) But do I love it more than my husband, my family, my friends, my life? Of course not. I couldn’t. A lot of bloggers pay lip service to their chaotic, over stressed and over worked lives and the oft repeated mantra is that ‘they wouldn’t change a thing’. Well, I beg to differ. One of the best things about having Florence Finds is that I’m control of it, rather than it controlling me. So when the workload gets too much, I can say enough is enough.

You all know I took a temporary job recently with longer hours, and my reasons for doing it. As a result, I’d be lying if I thought I could keep the blog going at the pace I have so far. Actually, I totally could, I’ve done it before – earlier in the year I did the same job and just waded through every evening spent blogging. I actually wrote this post in mid-July, planning to make the change at the beginning of last month, then limped on. Not only did the lack of ‘down-time’ make me feel one dimensional, but I wasn’t happy with the content I was putting out. But do I want to do that again? No.

So, from this week, until (and if) there’s some semblance of change in the precarious balance that is life there will be 1 less post per week on Florence Finds. I asked for your feedback a while back with this in mind and carefully considered the responses. Of course there is no pleasing everyone but I hope the changes I’m making won’t be too much of a disappointment. Monday mornings will see a lighter post but no less addictive – ‘Monday Must-haves’, which will make it a little easier for me to get back on track after the weekend and also nicely fills a gap we had at Florence Finds for sharing single items of lust.

Friday is the other change you’ll see, but do not fear, it’s Friday Food that is going, not Frocks – I couldn’t do that to you! Food won’t be disappearing from these pages completely, rather making an appearance in the week whenever I have something to share. That way they will be a better reflection of my life and also coming to you from my own kitchen.

I also want to share another change that I’m making today. Some of you might have noted the change this morning to my right hand sidebar. Right at the top there you can see a larger than previous advert and that is because I have recently taken the decision to sign up with an advertising agency, Handpicked Media. Until now, I have treated Florence Finds with the professionalism that it and you, the readers deserved, but it has never in anyway been a business. I do use affiliate links, where they fit with pre-planned content and NEVER the other way around. I do not plan content to increase the links and potential revenue. To explain affiliate links to those of you who do not already know, some of the links I place on Florence Finds earn me a percentage of the sale on any purchases that are made when clicking through from the site. This varies between about 3-8% on average and that percentage comes from the brand, in no way affecting the cost of the item to the consumer. In fact you could argue that you get extra benefits from it as I promote discount days, flash sales and free delivery offers from the brands I am affiliated with if I think they are of any use. I have a similar arrangement with Amazon. I’m not going to go into pounds and pence but the earnings I get from this are in no way enough for me to a. be swayed into unethical behaviour or b. renumerate even a fraction of the time I spend on Florence Finds. Given how much effort I put in, I decided that joining an agency like Handpicked was the most sensible way to gain some return from my hard work and retain control over the content.

All the adverts you see on Florence Finds will be personally approved by me. They will always be something that I can see myself or the average Florence Finds reader being interested in, no cash for gold or online bingo adverts here. I may from time to time also accept sponsored posts, however once again they will always be personally selected and approved, in the interests of the reader and clearly marked as such.

Lastly, in the process of making these changes you will see the long column of brand adverts have been removed for now. In their place, I have added some new buttons to highlight prime content areas that I know you all enjoy. I took my cue from the feedback in this survey for the buttons and chose your favourite posts so when you’re in need of a little lifestyle inspiration, you can have a click through and browse your favourite area instantly.

I think that’s all for now folks. I’d love to hear your thoughts as always, good or bad and hope you’ll stick with me through the transition. My number one priority is ensuring the quality of the posts on Florence Finds and these small changes are going to make a big difference to me and my life, in turn helping me to do just that. Thanks readers, just for coming back and reading. I will never take that for granted.

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Save the Date! [Manchester and London]

Update! This is a reminder post for those attending the London afternoon tea, and the release of the Manchester afternoon tea date.

For London Attendees: Thanks to those who have already emailed and paid – I do have to meet a minimum spend in order for the event to go ahead and need numbers and payments confirmed by March 9th so if you haven’t yet paid, or need to send me your email request in please hurry! (Don’t forget to specify the location of the tea you want!)

For Manchester Attendees: Florence’s Afternoon Tea will be held on SUNDAY 1st April between 2 and 5pm at the Great John Street hotel. It’s a stunning venue and perfect for Florence’s stylish readers. Champagne afternoon tea is £29* (with the option to take tea only.) Being a Sunday, I understand if people need to shoot off, but early drinks can also be arranged afterwards. If you would like to come, just email me now on hello@florencefinds.com to confirm your place, with the subject titled INVITE ME!

Hooray!

We have a confirmed date for the Florence Finds Afternoon Tea (London) at Beas of Bloomsbury’s St Pauls branch!

Unfortunately I couldn’t arrange payment by you directly to Beas, therefore I am going ask those who wish to attend to email me directly and ask for an invitation, at which time I will send a paypal request for your £26.88* (or more if you are bringing a friend etc, just let me know.) Hopefully this will give you a degree of protection and you’ll have to trust I’m not about to run off with your money. I also promise faithfully that should the very worst happen and the whole plan disappear in a puff of smoke, I will not, and will return all funds to each of you directly.

Please note, there is a maximum capacity of 50 persons, so get in quickly to make sure your place is confirmed. There is also a minimum spend which depends on at least 29 of you attending for the full champagne afternoon tea, so don’t be shy! (If you prefer to have the tea-only package at £18/head please let me know and as long as we achieve the minimum spend this shouldn’t be a problem.)

So that’s all for now – further communications will be made directly with those attending, via email. I’m so excited and can’t wait to see you there. What are you waiting for – email me now on hello@florencefinds.com to confirm your place, with the subject titled INVITE ME!

UPDATE: Once your payment is received you will receive an email invitation which acts as your ticket for the event and your receipt. You should bring them along on the day but there will also be a guest list at the door in case anyone forgets. :)

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS Tweet about it, using the hash tag #FFafternoontea and please make sure you are following @FlorenceFinds on Twitter or like Florence Finds on Facebook for updates nearer the time.
PPS Manchester date tbc, likely the weekend before or after Easter. :)

*Charges include a service charge where applicable and pay pals transaction fees.

My Month…

I can’t believe it’s the end of November already and almost Christmas!

It’s been a crazy busy month for me, only the second of Florence Finds but I’m so happy with how everything is going.

I thought once a month I might share some insights into what I’ve been doing this month using my Instagram photos – those of you who follow me on Twitter may have seen these already, but if not, I hope you like having a little nosey!

Top row: Remember that Cinnamon bread? I got my new business cards :) and treated us to some new bedding – the white set was getting bit tired and I fancied something cosy for winter… a grey toned checked pattern from M&S.
Second Row: Snaps from the Laura Ashley press day, Cupcakes at work for Children in Need and digging out my favourite winter bag.
Third Row: Stripping the red wallpaper in our Dining room, ready for our current decoration project – it’s in full swing – more to come! The tiniest visitor to our house when we had friends to stay with their 11 week baby. My Warehouse jumper purchased after this post.
Fourth Row: Rouge Noir for my winter toe tidy, A DIY necklace (coming soon) and the shop window at Blossom – full of snow and owls for Christmas – A.Mazing.

How was your November? And did your other half do Movember?

Love,
Rebecca
xo