Thursday, 30 October 2014

Things To Consider When Blogging

Blogging is so personal & subjective. I hate to think there are 'rules' when it comes to what I write.

However, in reality, there are things I 'consider' when piecing together a post, so I thought I would share them with anyone that's interested. I do enjoy being nosy and seeing other peoples creative process, so here's my two cents on how I do things...

Title : In a nutshell, I like to keep my titles short and to the point. That isn't always possible, of course, but I try to be as consistent as possible. I sometimes think that keeping that in mind often helps me create a more concise & interesting title than if I just tried to sum up what the post is about. Obviously it's down to personal preference, but snappy, to the point titles always draw me in. 

First Image : This is essentially related to Bloglovin' more than anything else, however I always try to put my best image at the top of the post, if there are numerous to choose from (my 'best foot forward' if you like). This will obviously be the first thing everyone sees, but also the image associated to your text when published on Bloglovin'. I've definitely noticed certain patterns on BL, as I sometimes think it's seen in a Pinterest visual way and that people like to collate posts that look pretty, rather than perhaps what the post says. So it's something I always keep in mind. 

Opening sentence : One of the things I also like to do is create a subtitle at the beginning of every post. Just something short and interesting that sets the tone for the rest of the text. Again, if you look at posts on Bloglovin', you only see the first few sentences, so it's nice to be able to get a feel for what you're about to read before you've even clicked the link.

Working links : Speaking of links, if I'm going to include them in a post, I always check that they work. This applies to sharing on social media & when leaving comments on other blogs, if you like to leave your blog link (here's a basic HTML trick for doing so). I also try make sure I click the 'open in new window' box, so that anyone reading can stay on the page, while checking out something else. 

Proof read : I sometimes think the reason I can end up spending hours writing a single post is because I'm forever checking & previewing what it looks like. It's almost bordering on an obsession. Of course there are always going to be spelling mistakes and grammatical errors (we're only human, after all) but I like to get it as well put together as possible, before pressing publish. Even then, I will always check links and proof read again once it has gone to live to check that I'm happy with it!

Ending : Again, just something I like doing, possibly because I'm forever chatting away, is to ask a question at the end of my posts. I think it encourages conversation and I love hearing from people, so I always include one. I could be wrong though...

What do you think?
(Do you see what I did there?)

Have you had a look at my wonderful advertiser Amelia Writes? If not, you should!

Friday, 24 October 2014

A Few Of My Favourite Things #7

Although I haven't bought many new things lately, I've been loving some trusty old favourites.

So here are a couple of things I've been using on repeat over the past few weeks (if not months & even years) that are definitely worth shouting about. 

Garnier Ultimate Blends Marvellous Transformer Shampoo & Conditioner : For the majority of this month & a lot of September, I've been using this shampoo & conditioner. I was faithful to Dove's Nourish Care duo but fancied a change and perhaps something a bit more heavy duty. This definitely ticks that box! The blend of camelia and argan oil have really help nourish my hair and leaves it feeling so, so soft! It's quite heavily scented, but I actually love the smell and it lingers for a few days afterwards, too. 

SP Wella Luxe Oil : Another hair favourite! If you have dry, frizzy hair - this luxe oil is an absolute life-saver! I've had this bottle for over a year and a half now (and to say I bought it on offer for £10 makes it even more of a bargain). It's not too heavy, smells sweet like peaches and completely tames my hair post blow-dry & in between washes when my hair is super fluffy. 

Mac Baron's Rose Lipstick : Another product that has been with me for quite some time (possibly far too long for a beauty product, but... shh) It has been loved right down to the very bottom. A beautiful deep brown red, with a subtle gold shimmer running throughout, that actually applies quite sheer but can be built up to an unusual take on a red lip. It's definitely something different but absolutely perfect this time of year. I've never found anything like it and I may even shed a tear when it finally runs out. 

Iconemesis iPhone Case* : This super cute coffee illustration phone case was kindly sent to me by Iconemesis and I love it. I'm a very clumsy person, so a bit of added protection to my phone is always necessary. The plastic feels nice & sturdy without adding loads of bulk and weight to my phone!

Urban Decay Naked Palette : I've been enjoying smokey brown eyes lately and of course, nothing quite beats the original Naked Palette when it comes to a lovely array of shimmery neutrals. Shades such as Sidecar, Half Baked & Toasted have been some of the ones I've been reaching for most in particular.

Gucci Guilty : As much as I'm a sucker for Victor & Rolf Flowerbomb, I do love this scent during the colder months. With notes such as peach, amber, pink pepper & patchouli - it's a sophisticated warm, musky, floral scent that I think is absolutely lovely for Autumn. 
Oh! And I'd also really love your candle recommendations. When we had the ratties, we never lit any candles or anything smelly (two years!) and so I'm a bit out of the loop with what smells good at the moment. I'd love to know what your favourites are this time of year!
What have you been loving lately?

Have you seen my lovely advertiser Amelia Writes? She's awesome. Go, go, go!

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Natural Beauty : Enhancing What You've Got

I remember the first time I ever used make-up. 

I was eleven years old and getting ready for my very first awkward school disco. After a lot of begging, my mum allowed me to apply some glittery eye-shadow & a swipe of mascara and I - felt - awesome. 

Fast forward fourteen years; many beauty disasters & a second home in Boots later, and I still get that invincible feeling when I've 'put my face on.' However, inspired by Alex's comment that she very rarely wears makeup, I've really been trying to cut back, go for a more natural look and just embrace what my face truly looks like.

Freckles, scars, beauty marks, pigmentation; these are all things that make us different from the next and sometimes it just feels good to look in the mirror and accept them for what they are. No criticisms allowed. Because what you might see as a flaw, could be perceived as your most beautiful feature to somebody else.

So I thought I would share some of my natural beauty enhancing products for make-up beginners and minimal make-up wearers alike. Nothing heavy and covering, rather tools & products to make the most of those features that make us who we really are.



Monday, 20 October 2014

A Little Catch Up

This morning I met up with my mum for brunch at Browns. 

It was lovely to have a little catch-up and a natter about anything & everything (plus the food was amazing, so that always helps). So I thought it would be a good excuse to get a tad snap-happy and also to update my blog on general life antics. 

I haven't updated my blog as often as I'd like lately. I normally aim for three - four times a week, twice minimum, but this week has been more like... once. I guess life has been a little hectic & I've been feeling a bit uninspired. However, I'm hoping this week will be slightly different, but thank you for bearing with me!

I've been working hard on my Etsy shop, although being a bit of a perfectionist means I'm taking a few steps forward and an equal amount backwards, but hopefully by the end of this month I'll have some things to show for it all! I just need to keep reminding myself that these things take time and there's light at the end of the tunnel yet. 

In more fun news, George and Alan came to stay again last week and it was so much fun! I'm so in love with their little wrinkly faces. If you're into cute pooch pictures (as I'm sure you all are), you can check out my Instagram or Twitter to keep updated. 

In all my dishevelled glory...

Anyway, what have you all been doing lately? I hope you don't mind the casual style of this post... I just felt like typing. And chatting. And saying hello. *waves*

Hope you're all well!


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Recipe : Squidgey & Simple Banana Bread


I don't bake all that often but when there are some sorry looking banana's in the kitchen - only one thing springs to mind... BANANA BREAD.

It is probably one of my most favourite puddings & one of the things I could happily bake over and over again as it's so easy to make. Chances are you probably have all the ingredients in your cupboards right now, so here's how I made it!

You will need :

140g Self Raising Flour
140g Softened Butter
140g Caster Sugar
2 Large Eggs
2 Ripe Bananas - Mashed
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon 
1 tsp Baking Powder
50g Icing Sugar - Optional

1. Heat up your oven to 180c/160c Fan/Gas Mark 4. Using a bit of spare, butter a 2lb loaf tin and line with baking parchment.

2. Cream the butter & sugar together until light and fluffy looking, then add & mix one egg at a time with a little bit of self raising flour. 

3. Fold in the remaining flour, mashed bananas, baking powder, vanilla extract and cinnamon. It should resemble a beautiful, banana pillow that you want to stick your whole face in.

4. Simply pour into the tin & pop in the oven. Bake for around 35 - 40 minutes - using a skewer to check if it's cooked (it should come out clean)

Cool on the side for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and resist all temptation to eat the entire thing in one. For extra moisture, I like to mix water into the icing sugar to create a runny icing. Prick some holes in the loaf & drizzle over the top. Plus, it makes it look a little fancier, if you're into that kinda thing!

It's so delicious and so, so simple. If I can bake it, then I pretty sure anyone can... Definitely a household favourite!

Will you be trying this?
What do you like to add to your banana bread?


Sunday, 12 October 2014

Hedgehog Shaped Perfection

As I was browsing my favourite stationary shop; Paperchase, yesterday, I came across two lovely little hedgehog cups 

If you know me, you'll know a) that I love anything small & furry and b) that hedgehogs are my weakness. I *squee'd* a little in excitement, but then swiftly put them back, as I'm trying not to spend too much at the moment.

Anyway, five minutes of regret later and a text/picture to the boyfriend at how cute these cups were and I was sent back to buy them... Unfortunately they had gone - lesson learnt on buying what I want, when I see it (that's my new excuse, anyway). However they did have one little cup left in the back and I was so happy. I couldn't pass up on such cuteness!

To cut a long story short; this is the best mug in all the land. 

And of course, I had to get Herbert in on the action... I think he agrees that it's a super cute mug but not quite as adorable as his super cute self. For once, he even let me get a picture to prove it! So I had to share them with you... Because if there's one thing I know, it's that the internet loves a cute animal picture, just as much as I do.

Hope you're having a lovely Sunday!


Friday, 10 October 2014

Products Of The Day #11 : Minimal Eyes, Bold Lips

I feel like the infamous Kate Moss 107 lipstick is a right of passage come Autumn.

Truth be told, I haven't worn a bold lip in quite some time, especially throughout the day. It always seems like too much fuss and I feel a little bit over done for the majority of the things I'm doing - y'know, working from home/cleaning the house etc - fun. However, I do love to change things up every once in a while, so I thought I'd try make a bold lip as day-time appropriate as I could muster.
I think the trick to it, is to go very minimal on the eyes and face and focus solely on the lips. It stopped me from feeling overly put together, but definitely gave me an all over 'glam' feel to the day (I can completely understand why so many people rock it on a daily basis).  And actually, taking out a few products that I'd normally use on a day to day basis, made this look even quicker to apply than usual!

For the base, I kept it dewy and natural with YSL Teint Touche Eclat; BD40, which I still absolutely love. It has a wonderful 'blurring' effect to the skin and makes my face glow like nothing else. I kept my brows fairly natural but quite structured with the Hourglass Arch Sculpting Pencil; Soft Brunette, as I knew I'd have minimal eye make-up on, so I could perhaps over compensate in that area! Then a quick sweep of Bobbi Brown's Creamy Concealer on any pesky blemishes & my under-eye area. 

On my eyes, I opted for two of the lightest matte shades from the Stila In The Light Palette, which are essentially just a cream white & blush/brown taupe to add depth the socket line. Then I added a little smidgen of Kitten to the inner corners to brighten everything up. Followed by a coat of Maybelline The Falsies Flared Mascara (I prefer the original version).

I contoured lightly with Kevin Aucoin's Sculpting Powder - which is honestly one of the best contour shades I've ever come across and you only need the smallest amount, so it will last forever. Then a smidgen of NARS Douceur Blush, another classic, which I think every woman needs in their make-up collection. It added to the contoured look but with a very slight hint of plum/blush pink. 

Then finally, onto the lips, as I said, I opted for the Rimmel Kate Moss 107. I dived straight in without a lip liner and hoped for the best - and that was the outcome! It's not the best formula for such a bold lipstick as it really does move around if you're not careful, but it was fun while it lasted! I'd love some more long lasting, not completely matte, bold lipstick recommendations though, if you have any! 

What's your favourite bold lip combination?
Have a great weekend!

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