Friday, 31 January 2014

Blogging; the top five tricks of the trade

So I've been blogging for about 6 months now and I have learned quite a bit about the blogging world and thought I'd share it with you lovely people!

1. Labels.
This is a big part of blogging. If you use then you just click the 'labels' header on the right and add any labels that relate to your post. I'm not sure about other blogging templates, but I'm sure a little look around and you'll find it. Labels will help your readers to find specific things on your blog that they want to read about. Say you've written an amazing recipe and someone wants to see if you've written anymore, any post you've labelled with 'recipe' will come up. It's a great way to get your old posts seen again and again.

2. Share, Share, Share!
I know it seems pretty obvious, but the more you share the more traffic you'll get! Social media is the top way to get your posts seen. I find that Twitter is more successful to Facebook, mainly because the majority of fashion and beauty companies have Twitter accounts and some will retweet you if you feature them and tag in the tweet, which is even more helpful to gain new readers. 
Other sites you can promote your blog on is (mine can be found to the right) just make sure you put a button on your page otherwise nobody will know you're on it!

3. Show the love.
I know blog writing can take up quite a bit of your time, especially when you get into the swing of it. But you should make sure to read other blogs. As well as finding out things you wouldn't necessarily know and then would want to try yourself, it's another way to promote yourself. If you comment on another blog (and I mean an actual helpful or original comment, not just 'ah that's well nice') chances are they'll share the love back one day. They've spent just as much time writing their posts as you have yours, we're all in the same boat! Posting about your favourite bloggers of the moment is another good way to show you're not just self involved and happy to help promote others. (check out my latest one here)

4. Write from the heart.
Another sure fire way to get your readers coming back is to write from the heart. Yes, I know you're writing a review or showing off your latest haul, but there's nothing wrong with putting a bit of your personality into your writing! Being yourself is always important and will be a constant in your writing, it will also set you apart from the rest and make you more memorable. 

5. Don't be afraid to try something new.
Even if you are a fashion or beauty blogger, there's nothing wrong with throwing in something a little different every now and then. I started primarily as wanting to just review the great products I'd found, but I find that people don't mind if you stray away from the original demographic of your blog. Throwing in the occasional food or lifestyle post is another way to set you aside from the rest and make your blog more original. 

Well if you're just starting out or been blogging for a while and nobody seems to be reading your posts, I hope this has helped!
Feel free to post your blogs below and I'll be happy to check them out :)

Thursday, 30 January 2014

The Homemade Manicure

So last week I was feeling a little bored, a little down and thought I'd give myself a little pick me up by giving myself a mini manicure. Now I'm no professional at all, and it's not even really a proper manicure, but I always find it thoroughly relaxing and there's something about doing my nails that always makes me feel good.

Here's everything I used (excluding the sink!). 

1. First take off any remaining polish from your nails with any old nail polish. I like to use the cleansing ones as my nails can be a bit dry sometimes. Then go fill up the sink with warm water and soap and just soak your hands for a few minutes. I've heard not to clip your nails before, and just file them down but this always seems to make my nails break off so I clip a bit then file them so they're more rounded. It's much easier to do this after you've soaked your nails as they're softer :)

2. Paint them! Start with a base coat, I use Collection 2000's 2 in 1 nail strengthener (I find it stops chipping a lot better than normal base coats!). I wasn't originally a fan of the Elegance touch rapid dry spray, but it's done me well to just dry them off so I don't have to wait ages in between coats. Just a quick spray then you're onto the colour. I used Barry M 279 bright pink, trying to stop just going for reds over and over! I always use two coats of colour. 

3. Wait for them to dry, or use the spray, then use a top coat. Again I use the Collection 2000 one, it's just always done me well! Did my nails at the weekend and not a single chip yet!

4. If you're like me, and have tiny nails then inevitably, you're going to get some on your fingers. This is where the eyeliner brush comes in. Of course make sure it's not the same one you use for your eyes that could be pretty painful! Just dip it into the remover and brush it over the sides and anywhere you've accidentally painted. 

Then voila! You're all done.
As I said, I'm definitely not a professional and I know I haven't used any of the tools really used in any normal manicure. But if you're feeling down and want a little pampering but don't have the money to go out, give this a try and have a little 'me time'.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

What I ate Wednesday #4

Been a bit of a boring day food wise, but there you go!


Just my usual cup of tea and granola, although I added a couple of strawberries as my trainer has tad me I need to add more fruit to my diet, especially at breakfast! I also had a Muller vitality drinking yoghurt, it's the summer multi-fruits one, that counts as more fruit right? Ah well even if not, they're yummy!


Okay bit of a random lunch here, but I hate thinking of what to have!
I had some cucumber sticks and honey and mustard dressing (would have had pepper usually as well but ours tasted a tad funny..), Jacob's multigrain chive crackers with some low fat chive and onion, or garlic and onion.. something with onion anyway crackers. I also had this cup of Miso soup I got free with my Birchbox (review to come after I've tried out the products) and umm.. yeah Miso soup is NOT for me. Even after I stirred it and it settled it looked like it was sort of erupting from the bottom! So weird. Also had a nectarine and apple and grape juice.

Had bit of a nutty craving when I was picking Tayla up from nursery earlier so I picked up this little bag of fruit and nuts, it's lovely! Still got half to eat when I go upstairs later tonight. Ooonly thing that annoyed me is that there were only three chocolate almonds! They're the best in the bag as well :(


Apologies for the crappy photographs today, this one was mainly because I may have forgotten to take a picture of it.. again. In my defence I was pretty hungry! Yes it's another stir fry and a few prawn crackers, but it's different from last time I promise! I saw a Chinese BBQ sauce while in Tesco earlier and it was in the deal with the veg so decided to try it and I think I might like it even more than my staple chilli and garlic!

Hmmm so you say pudding or dessert? I'm a pudding person. Only just noticed how blurry this is! I think that was from the steam, I couldn't see it on my phone! Anyway I had an ykos citrus (it's lemon, don't know who they're trying to fool) greek yoghurt, which are really nice by the way and also a mug of apple and pear green tea which I'm currently still drinking. 
Pretty shocked I only had one cup of normal tea today! I don't know what's wrong with me!

What did you have today? Hope you had a good day and feel free to link your WIAW  :)

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Fashion Throwback - Carrie Bradshaw style!

I'm a big fan of Sex and The City, so of course when The Carrie Diaries came about I jumped at the chance to go back into Carrie Bradshaw's fashion filled world.
It's on it's second season and I've been noticing the fashion more and more and getting jealous of it. I've never really looked much into 80's fashion, I thought it was all just leg warmers and leotards but I was quite wrong! Here are a few of my favourite outfits and styles from the show as well as a little 80's fashion that's been creeping it's way into our own wardrobes 30 years later.

Chunky/costume jewellery.

These two were worn by Miss Bradshaw herself (Ana Sophia Robb) in series two. I've seen loads of this bright costume jewellery around lately. The 80's were all about the glitz and glamour. Chunky and costume jewellery was a huge deal then, especially as the rich and famous were able to display their wealth through their big gold necklaces. Obviously not everyone could afford this so costume jewellery was a good way to still show off a little. These two 80's inspired necklaces are available via the links above. 

Bold prints and bright colours

Bold prints and bright colours (especially neons) were also a big thing. When I think of the 80's colour definitely springs to mind. This style was brought back during 2012, with many store displays showing off neons and bold graphic prints. These were both again worn by Carrie in the show and I love the purple coat! I wouldn't wear it myself but it definitely represents her style. I'm not sure if this heart print jumper is necessarily THAT 80's, but the show's set in that time so it must have been something they'd have worn, plus it's lovely!

Oversized tops.
This first top is from Topshop again, but is currently unavailable. The second is from Urban Outfitters and also sold out! It's very similar to my own green check shirt as seen here. Oversized tops were very popular in Carrie's era, especially over leggings. Hmm that sounds like familiar! This is one trend I'm glad came back. I love the oversized top look and I hope it's here to stay as it looks good on anyone and is so versatile!

Denim Jackets

Ahh denim jackets, how I love you. Of course they were huge in the 80's worn by everyone from Madonna to Marty Mcfly (huge back to the Future geek). I think this is definitely one fashion staple that is here to stay for good. The first picture is a snapshot from the show, worn by Donna and the 'Le Donnas' (got to love the mean girls) and the second is a jacket worn by Maggie, one of Carrie's friends on the show. 

I never knew so much of today's fashion came from the 80's! It's a long way from the monochrome trends of today, I don't think they'd be caught in something so dark and plain. What era's fashion do wish would be revived?


Glossybox January review

It's that time again folks! The monthly Glossybox review is here and it's not a good one. I shall try not to rant, but it's a bit inevitable at this point. 

So they've 'revamped' the Glossybox! I don't like it.. Yes it is more 'Glossy' but I personally preferred the matte effect to the box, gave it more of a sophisticated feel. Also, they've made the lid deeper giving the impression you're going to get more in the box, although that's not really the case. There was a lot less of the silly tissue paper than usual but the products also were a lot less in quality if you ask me.

First up is the Anatomicals 'Puffy the eye bag slayer wake-up under eye patches'. That's a mouthful for a product name! Quick and catchy definitely isn't the anatomicals way. The full price is £6.99 for 3 pairs at We got two pairs in our pack, why they didn't just give us the full size pack I don't know but there you go. They apparently reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and all that usual stuff under eye products promise to do. They feel pretty weird to be honest, and be careful when you take them out as I put mine on in the bath and one fell out and stuck to the side of it. 
I can't quite say it made me less wrinkly, as I don't have wrinkles, (yet!) but it made my eyes feel more awake.

This is the Yu-be moisturising skin cream, which according to the tube can also be used for dry lips. It doesn't smell which is quite good, and did make my lips a tad smoother. It's £13.50 for the full 33g tube and I think the ones we got were 3g each. I've only used it the once, so I don't have much more to say on it, although I have heard you can get these exact samples for free on their website, which if true, I'm definitely not impressed with Glossybox.

The first make up we've actually received in ages from Glossybox! It's the beautyuk cc cream with spf 30. I'd say this is my favourite item of the box, because it's actually my shade (10 natural) and it does just as good a job as my Maybelline foundation! It's £4.99 for the 25ml which is what I got in the box. I'd most likely buy this again, although I'm still not sure what the big deal on these CC and BB creams are..

Oh look, more skincare! Seriously Glossybox, you are a BEAUTY box, give us some more make up! This is the Balance Me super toning body wash, retailing at £10.25 for the full 250ml. It can be used as a body wash or added to your bath for an 'all over luxurious soak'. Again I've only used it once, and it was okay. It has a really nice smell, but it smells like something my nan would be using!
Not my favourite.

And the star product of the 'back to basics' box was a pair of tweezers from The Vintage Cosmetic Company. Yes, I pay £13 a month for this box and they gave me tweezers. Yes they're worth £8 and they look pretty and I adore anything vintage, but I don't use tweezers! So that's another wasted product. 

All in all, this box was an utter disappointment. Yes I like the CC cream, but it's £4.99, and I paid (well I used my glossy dots so I got it free but that's not the point) £13 for the box, and it's the only thing I would actually buy in there! After receiving this box, like many other blogs I've read out there, I promptly cancelled my subscription. I gave them a chance, I gave them 5 months of chances and over £50 and each month it got worse. If they spent less time and resources on changing their box and writing the magazine and more on the contents, maybe they'd be better, but for now I'm not going to continue. But not to fear, I'll still get my beauty box fix as I've moved on over to Birchbox. Let's hope it's better and I get more make up! Review to come soon as it's arrived :)

How did you find this month's box?

Monday, 27 January 2014

Just can't live without

These are 5 items I've been buying as soon as they run out, some even before they've ran out! The toner is my second bottle of it and it still makes my skin feel amazing. The barry m brush is either the second or third one I've had, although the cheaper brushes are usually quite crappy and the bristles all fall out, these ones are great and stay soft for ages! The garnier make up remover is a bit of a love and hate item as it depends on my skin. Sometimes it can make it feel really greasy and sometimes I love it. I've been buying this repeatedly since the middle of last year mind you, so I think it's here to stay. Ah I'm so happy I found the Rimmel Stay matte collection! This is my second of the pressed powders and it's nearly out again! Although I put on quite a generous amount throughout the day they last me quite a while. The in-shower moisturiser is my second bottle and this one must be different to my last as it's a lot less thick and actually does wash off really easily. Either way, I love it.

What items can you not live without?

Friday, 24 January 2014

Oops I've done it again!

You know how after Christmas it seems like every shop in the world thinks you have unlimited funds and will put gigantic SALE signs in their windows, which if you're like me will beckon you into the store and convince you to rifle through every single rack and then be either disappointed that you didn't find what you were looking for, despite not actually knowing you were looking for anything or a mixture of happy and guilty at buying those items you just 'had to have'. 
My problem is unfortunately the latter. I said to myself 'No buying clothes until you've gone down a dress size and have saved all your holiday money'. Yeah, that didn't go so well…

I did not need another cardigan. But as I was waiting to meet up with my friend for Coffee last week, I found myself in NewLook and this caught my eye! I was in there the week before and saw a lovely black and white cardigan that was in my size but made myself put it back, as luckily after trying it on I didn't like the feel of it. That's when I saw this lovely fluffy piece calling to me from the rail. It was only £12 and although I could have done with the small size it was so warm and comfy and £15 cheaper than usual so it leapt into my basket.

The other thing that I didn't need but had to have was this shirt. Again it was in the size above my usual but after trying it on I fell in love. It's so light and plus it feeds my anything tartan/checkered addiction that I have at the moment. It also has a sort of chambray denim blue patch to the back and down the front. It was only £8 reduced from £16.99. When I got to the till I did also find that the cardigan was in fact £9 not £12 so I ended up spending under £20 for what should have cost me over double that!
The guilt is currently being smothered by the warm cosy feeling of the fluffy star cardigan.

Have you fell in love with any sale items lately?

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

What I ate Wednesday #3

Love doing these posts, even if I do forget to photograph until I've eaten half of the meal sometimes!

I usually either have toast or Granola for breakfast, just not really a breakfast person if I'm honest! This is the Tesco's finest wholemeal with grains loaf, it's a tad different but still nice, and toasts better than my usual Kingsmill does! 

For lunch I once again had subway! I don't know why I just don't think about lunch when I'm doing a food shop so I never have anything in, plus I have to walk past Subway after dropping Tayla off, so I might as well go in. Today I was good and had the chicken tikka salad bowl with ranch sauce. I also had a big glass of orange juice, which you can see me propping up on my bed here. 

I never quite feel full for long after a subway so I had an afternoon snack before picking Tayla up from nursery. It's the graze Cherry fudge sundae which consists of almonds, dried cherries and cherry infused raisins with tiny chocolate fudge squares. It was really nice actually! I'm a big fan of Graze, it's one of the only times I can eat chocolate and that for snacks without feeling like I'm eating unhealthily!

For dinner I had a homemade chicken curry with wholegrain rice. It's pretty easy to make the sauce actually, just fry off a clove of garlic with some onion and then add a teaspoon of curry powder, half a cup of passata, a dollop of natural yoghurt and a bit of chicken stock and voila! It was really nice, although I was starving by the time I ate it so I felt like I could do with two of them really!

I made these mousse's the other day, when I was having a HUGE chocolate craving. It's really light and low fat as it's made with yoghurt instead of cream (yes I use natural yoghurt in loads of my cooking) I also chopped up some strawberries and threw in some blueberries at the bottom for a bit of my five-a-day.

Well that's my Wednesday, what did you have? 

Also, here's this months discount for 10% off any order!

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Insta round up

So not quite a 'weekly roundup' as I think a few of these are actually from earlier than last monday but still.

Top left; cocktails with my friend before she went back to uni// pretty sky after walking home from the gym last week// tiny cute bottle of Sailor Jerrys I picked up for only £2.50 in ASDA// the start of my Harley Quinn drawing and a cup of tea// Mine and Tayla's muffins we baked last Friday (which were lovely!)// bit of a selfie before going to the pub last week// Decided to take a quick photo of me and Tayla on the way to nursery// Reading Knockemstiff and yes drinking tea// My graze popcorn :)

Monday, 20 January 2014

Fitness fashion

So you may have read that I recently started the gym. It's going really well actually and I'm loving it, even if I do feel like I'm dying the day after I've been with my personal trainer. 
Of course as I was going to the gym, this called for new gym clothes so heres a few things I bought.

I didn't want things specifically just only for the gym so I thought a couple of normal vest tops (in the size up just so they're a bit looser) would do the trick. I did look at special fitness ones, but my running vest top irritates the hell out of me as it just rises up with any movement. The grey speckled one was £4.99 from H&M and the green was reduced to £2 in NewLook's sale. I did buy a few more colours as well, even though I know nobody's looking at me I hate wearing the same things all the time!
I also bought leggings as I thought these would be much easier to move in, these blue ones were £3 from Primark, probably won't last all too long but ah well. I also got two plain black pairs from Select for £8. 
The sports bras were obviously an essential and I was surprised at how expensive some are! I got these two from SportsDirect for £7.99 each and considering I only go to the gym twice a week right now I have time to wash them in between sessions! After my first session with my trainer he recommended I buy weightlifting gloves as my hands weren't getting a very good grip on the weights and there's no way I want to be dropping one of those bad boys on my feet! I think these were only £6.50 and surprisingly were from Tesco!
I also got the bag from JDsports in their sale for about £6, I think. All in all I spent about £60 ish on everything I bought which isn't too bad! I don't get those girls that go into the gym, full face of make up and spend more time fussing over what they're wearing than actually exercising. So far I'm deciding to stick with it, up until my holiday in June at least! 


Thursday, 16 January 2014

Throwback Thursday!

I realise that I've not posted anything particularly fashion or beauty related lately, but I just haven't found anything that's wowed me that I need to share with you guys! Although I do have some stuff planned for next week. 

Another popular post I've seen from quite a few bloggers out there is the Throwback Thursday. I was looking through my old Facebook pictures the other day and found these!

I, for some reason had a weird obsession with having my hand at my mouth.. This was during my particularly grunge/grebby phase when I was about 15, although I happily don't look too much older now! Ah the days of black nails, studded belts and panda eyes..

Did any of you go through a teenage fashion phase?

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

What I ate Wednesday #2

Seeing as last week's WIAW was actually my most viewed post ever, I assume you all liked it! 
Here's this weeks.

Um I may have actually forgotten I was doing this post until halfway through my breakfast.. in my defence it was nearly 10 and I was starving! Same as last week, I need my tea in the morning, usually in my amazing Breaking Bad mug! 

Considering I've been asked to write a food diary by my trainer, I probably shouldn't have had this Subway.. but it was just calling to me after I'd dropped Tayla off! I did have the brown bread and I did actually end up swapping the crisps for an orange, so I can't be moaned at that much, right? 

This was actually last night's dinner, I completely forgot tonight! My memory is awful.. But I did have pretty much the same thing as this tonight. It's sour cream paprika turkey steak with sweet potato chips and veg. Was so so so filling and lovely! 

I did also have a muller light peach greek yoghurt and of course more tea.. Completely addicted. I'm even drinking tea whilst typing this.. I may have a problem. 
Second session with the trainer tomorrow at the gym, I'm going to do a little post on this on Friday for any interested!

What did you eat today?

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Steal her style - Jennifer Lawrence

Anybody who knows me quite well knows I am completely in love with Jennifer Lawrence. I mean who seriously trips up the stairs at the Oscars because she couldn't stop thinking about cake?!
She's done so much in the short time she's risen to fame and seeing as how she's such an amazing woman, with an amazing sense of style I thought I'd do a quick profile on her and some of the outfits I've loved on her.

This red maxi dress was the one she wore to the 2011 Oscars, made by Calvin Klein. I love how she could go to something so Hollywood and posh and get away with a simple red maxi dress! I couldn't quite find one the same but the similar (above) is from Asos and comes in at only £55. I know I wouldn't look as amazing as her in it, but a girl can dream! 

I love this green dress on her, it really suits her skin tone. I don't know who this dress is by, but she wore it to the Hunger games signing back in March 2012. I think this dress, again from Asos is quite a similar copy, especially with the plunging neckline! It comes in at only £65 so is quite a steal for such a beautiful piece. 

This is more of a casual look on her, which I've recreated using
It's similar to an outfit I saw in H&M's store window last week, only that was with a white blazer, which, in my opinion would brighten up the outfit a little. The link to the items in the outfit can be found here. I quite making my own little outfits on there, it's a good way to see what goes together if you aren't too sure on trying something new. 

Thinking about doing this for a couple more of my favourite celebrity women, what do you think?

Monday, 13 January 2014

Blogger love!

One of my new year's resolutions was that I'd try to read more blogs, comment more, and hopefully gain some new readers. I've been reading quite a bit over the last two weeks and I thought I'd just share with you a few of my favourite bloggers/vloggers out there at the moment.
I came across this blog a couple of months ago, and it's one I added to my bloglovin straight away. I can relate really well as she's also a young mum and is always on the lookout for ways to save her cash and still get lots for her money! I found her via her youtube channel which you can check out Here.
Ah Corrie, my favourite fashion and beauty blogger out there. She's actually the first blogger I really got into, if I'm totally honest! She's always showing me knew things I never even knew existed and she's so bubbly all the time. To check out her blog including her little cutie of a dog (who sometimes will sneak in the odd guest post!) Frankie, follow the link above.
Lily is another blogger I've known for a couple of months, she's a 23 year old London girl and has a great sense of fashion. I'm always trying to be a little more adventurous with my outfits and purchases and she's shown me quite a few outfits I'd love to own myself (even if I don't have the money!)
Kate is a 22 year old Glasgow girl I've been following for about 6 months now. We're quite similar in certain beauty products we like and I'm always finding new products similar to my old favourites. As well as beauty and fashion, I also follow her on Instagram and love seeing little pictures of her cat, (I really sound like an animal person, which is strange as I don't want my own pets!) and she also posts the odd lifestyle post which is a nice change.
Although she's only 15 years old, Maddy's blog is really good, and so pretty! We have the same dreams of one day working in a publishing/fashion house which will happen, I'm telling you! She's also got great photography skills, makes me realise I need to sort my own out and be more creative. Check her out, she's a great read.
Rhiannon is someone I actually found through her youtube channel - FashionRocksMySocks. I love her style and also the fact she has a bit of a tattoo obsession like me! She's another one with a really pretty blog (I'm thinking of changing mine, keep your eyes peeled) and posts things quite similar to me, so I love reading about her new finds or seeing her Instagram weeklies.

That's just a few of my favourites from the last couple of months, who are you loving at the moment? Leave me a comment below, I'm always looking for new blogs to read and inspire me!

Friday, 10 January 2014

What's in my bag?


This is my new bag as featured in the Presents post. As promised I've taken all the junk out of my bag to show you what I carry around on a daily basis at the moment. 
Excluding the few wrappers you can see in the top picture (oops!) this is the contents of my bag. I have really bad circulation in my hands and gloves are a must, right up til April time! I think I got these ones from Asda a couple years back and they've done the job and lasted quite a while. Always need a little pack of tissues and deodorant in your bag. I also always carry my hairbrush, which I'm in dire need of a new one as you can see it's a bit battered. My purse and umbrella are both from New Look (of course) and are also quite old, although I do get a bit bored of my purse sometimes. Another must is my carmex, especially in this cold weather. I also always have my FCUK glasses and my passport as it's my only form of I.D, I really must get a provisional licence.. 
The little owl keyring is from Clintons and is so cute! I'd just like to point out I don't always carry cinema tickets around with me, they're leftover from going to see Paranormal activity last weekend, as are the sweet wrappers!

Bit of a rambling post, but there you go. What's in your bag?