Wednesday, 21 March 2012


I am obsessed. Obsessed with a website, and that site is called
I cannot rave about this website enough. I swear I spend a good amount of my day at work telling everyone how amazing it is, what co-buys are currently live and how they should be doing what I do and spending all of their wages on the site!
If you’re unaware of what it is basically buyapowa is a website that (mostly) sells beauty products at a reduced price. The way they do that is by having “co-buys” that you join – the more people who join, the lower the price goes until they sell out. It means that normally they have 4 products on sale at the same time and new co-buys don’t start until the others end. So far I’ve bought 7 products from there and I’ve always got the cheapest price. The most expensive one I did was the new GHD Air – GHD’s first ever hair dryer. It should have been £99 but I got it on buyapowa for £73... absolute bargain.
It is definitely my new favourite thing so get involved and sign up to their news letter... you won't regret it. OK so you might when you're broke from buying too much pretty stuff but never mind!

Friday, 10 February 2012

Balls Brothers Minster Exchange review

So you're probably aware that I'm a bit of a Twitter addict (if not I have no clue how you're reading this blog!) and I love a good competition. Back in November last year the lovely people at Secsinthecity had a competition in conjunction with Balls Brothers at the Minster Exchange. The prize was a free lunch at Balls Brothers and I was lucky enough to be the winner.

My diary being what it is I actually only made it down there last Friday lunch time but it was worth the wait as they've recently just finished a complete refurbishment of their bar area and, most importantly, their conference and private dining rooms downstairs. Now granted I hadn't been to the venue before, so have nothing to compare it to, but after the refurb it looks absolutely gorgeous.

My first impression of the bar area was that is looked very stylish and smart but not too corporate. We were then shown round the three function rooms downstairs which are a great size with lovely brand new equipment and beautifully decorated. It's really a great space for away days or any event really. It's completely separate from the rest of the bar/restaurant so really feels like your own area. I also took a peek at the private dining rooms upstairs which are lovely and intimate, with some absolutely gorgeous furniture that I would quite like to nick for my flat!

After our guided tour we settled down for some lovely lunch in the restaurant. A very varied selection of choices on the menu which is always great, definitely something for everyone. We even managed a cheeky desert... which was scrumptious!

So if you're looking for a venue for away days, parties or corporate events I'd definitely recommend it. All of the people working there were lovely and helpful which to me is really important.

If you want to check it out yourself they're throwing a party to show off their new facilities - more details at Secsinthecity so definitely go and check it out.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012


Happy New Year all! First blog of 2012. Take a moment to let it soak in. Apparently this year is going to be a big one.

All this talk of the Olympics and how this is going to be such an historic year for London is making me feel like I should try and achieve something this year and set some goals to work towards. So here goes...

1. Implement and co-ordinate the mentor scheme at work and make sure the momentum is kept up
2. Blog more often.
3. Continue with the digital elearning training at work and aim to get 100% in all the modules, therefore beating as many of the planners and buyers as possible. Competitive... moi?
4. Go to more PA networking events such as the next one SecsintheCity and Global PA Network are doing on the 19th (more details here)
5. Earn as much money as possible, because when it comes down to it, that’s the point of work. My big trip to Canada & the US isn’t going to pay for itself!

Fairly simple, not too ambitious and hopefully I'll actually be able to achieve these. I have my review in a few weeks so I'm sure we'll come up with even more PO's to work towards!

On a more personal level I'm going to try stop biting my lip and eat more fruit & veg but we'll see how those ones turns out!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Managing Multiple Men (or women)

Sometimes being a PA to one director can seem like a big enough challenge, let alone looking after multiple people. However in many companies it is becoming increasingly common for PAs to look after more than one person. I’m currently PA to three board directors, having previously looked after seven at one time, so I thought I’d share with you my top 5 tips that I find help me manage:

1. Lists, lists, lists! Personally I don’t understand how people get anything done without having to-do lists. I tend to have two lists – one for my directors and one for other projects that I’m working on. It also helps to code your lists so you know what’s important and what has to be done sooner. Give yourself deadlines and stick to them where possible.

2. Prioritising. It’s really important to know what’s important! Many directors say that something is urgent and needs to be done right away but learning to be confident enough to ask them if it really is that urgent is a skill that every PA needs to have. You also need to prioritise the work that each director gives you based on importance, time it takes and when it’s due. This is where the lists come in use!

3. Managing expectations. If you’re super busy then let them know, politely say that you are currently working on “xyz project”, so you may be slower in responding to everything but it will all get done ASAP. It’s better to push back rather than take on too much and then disappoint people. In most cases you’ll end up getting it done before you said you would anyway so everyone wins. Good communication with your bosses is vital, they don’t need to know every detail but just make them aware of what you have on if you’re especially busy.

4. Egos. They all like to think they’re your number one priority and making sure you keep them happy is important. It’s all about juggling them and their workloads, some are more busy than others so try to divide your time accordingly. Not everyone works the same so it’s good to figure that out when you start looking after them.

5. Catch ups. Where possible try and make the time to meet with each of your directors at the start of your week. I’ve previous tried to plan time in the diary for scheduled catch ups but sometimes it’s not possible if they’re always in back to back meetings. Generally try and grab them at the start of the week where you can. Slot yourself in between meetings just so you know what they need done that week.

It’s hard to say no when you’re a PA, your instinct is to want to help with everything but you’d be there till midnight every day! It’s all about prioritising and organising your time as well as theirs. I couldn’t survive without my colour co-ordination and lists. It really helps having a great PA support system. At my company we all meet regularly and always there to help each other – whether it’s during pitches, providing holiday cover or just generally on one of those days when everything goes wrong!

Juggling multiple bosses can be challenging but in the end it’s very rewarding and really helps you learn how to communicate and work with different types of people effectively. Personally I’ve got two new directors who have just started so I’m looking forward to building and shaping those relationships... Though I'll always have my favourites!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

In case of emergency...

I find it highly amusing (or tragic) that I have memorised the boss man's mobile number.

Every time I call him without having to look up the number I do wonder what am I doing with my life. I can safely say that after three and a half years of trying my hardest to not remember his details they are now engraved into my brain. I can recite his mobile number and home address without having to think about it.

I don't even know my own blackberry number without looking it up!

If I got stranded without my blackberry or mobile (god forbid!) the only people I could call for help are him and my parents. Tragic.

Some say that it is vital information a PA must know. I say it's just plain sad, but let's hope I can count on him when/if I get kidnapped by blood-thirsty vampires... it could happen!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Christmas Party Planning

Do you ever wake up in a cold sweat thinking about work?

This happened to me on Sunday morning. My subconscious rudely awakened me (and ruined my lie in) with thoughts of the upcoming Christmas party I'm organising for my team. It dawned on me that I had just less than 3 weeks to sort it all out. I'd obviously already booked the venue MONTHS in advance to get the date I wanted (Thursday 8th Dec - prime Christmas party time) but other than that nothing had been finalised. I still need to pay the deposit, sort out the budget, finalise the theme and most importantly plan my outfit!

Thankfully this mini semi-conscious epiphany helped kick me into gear! I immediately Googled outfits for the theme that I had been thinking about since September - having found plenty of inspiration I decided to go for it. I decided to make sure that I pencilled in some time to focus on the budget on Monday afternoon whilst the boss man was in meetings (always the best time to get things done) and I pulled out my beautiful spread sheet from last year and went about updating it.

So today I'm feeling way more prepared. The guest list has been updated with everyone who has confirmed, budget is sorted and best of all I sent an email this afternoon telling everyone our theme which is... Prohibition - the roaring 20's! Well if it's good enough for Made in Chelsea!

I also sent them all a couple of links to help inspire them. Think Bugsy Malone and Broadwalk Empire!

So we're now back on track and hopefully I'll be able to get a good lie in this weekend.

Being a PA in Media and how to get there

I recently did a guest blog post over at Secsinthecity about being a PA in Media, talking about what it's like and my tips for getting a job within the media industry. You can check it out over here and feel free to comment and ask me any questions.

Whilst you're over there check out the other blog posts, they've had tons of great PA's doing guest blogs on various different subjects with PA's from many different industries. My personal favourite is The Secret PA and she's on Twitter as well. Talking of Twitter you can follow me on twitter/lulubell13.