Monday, July 28, 2014

{Life} Blogging Tips!

I was really happy with this photo..until I realised that there was a random girl's head slap bang in the centre of the photo....always double check before you snap..as it ruined an otherwise pretty good photo!! 

Hi Guys, I've now been blogging for about nine months now.....which I can't quite believe, mainly for the fact I can't believe the time has flown past so quickly!!....Anyway I thought I would throw in my 10p's worth of blogging tips. So far these are tips I have learnt along and the way and blogging tips I feel are genuinely useful. (I think!)


1. Get Organised
Whether you want to run your blog as a hobby or build it into something larger..then you need to get organised before you do anything. Posts don't write themselves and pictures don't just magically appear on your screen. Firstly spend time thinking about what you want your blog to be about....you don't need to be too rigid at this point....as you may start writing about shoes...and later on find you more enjoy writing about cats! If you have some sort of idea...then you can start to jot down notes and idea's....Secondly how often do you want to post and more importantly how much time are you willingly to dedicate to your blog? If you work full time, have commitments outside of work and realistically only have about four hours on a Sunday afternoon to write posts...then planning to blog everyday isn't going to happen however you probably will be able to manage two posts per week. On the other hand if you work part time/study or are a quick fluent writer then you may find you are able to posts four/five times a week. How often you post is personally and down to you..only you know what you can manage and it doesn't matter that, that person posts fives times a day...don't stress or your posts will suffer.  It's a good idea to have a calendar to hand, whether  it be paper or online to jot down on what days you are going to write your blogs and which days you are going to post. Keep this close to hand..

2. Blog Layout
Your blog layout out should go hand in hand with the message you are trying to send out about your blog. I am using blogger at the moment which comes with a basic template. The one I am using is  *Etheral* mainly as I liked the line detail. I didn't like the coloured background..so I changed this all to white. If you are good with HTML and CSS codes then you probably will be able to create a really good blog layout....in time I will change mine to a more professional design...personally I prefer a plain white background but I know some bloggers like Essie and Wish Wish Wish have more colourful design.

BELOW are some blog templates I like.
These guys are more streamlined in their designs Milk Blog Designs and this is reflected in the price. Ideal if you want your blog to look professional and pared down. I know lot's of bloggers who have used Maira Gall designs. Lots of choice if you are using blogger and the price point is good value as well. If you are looking for something a little different then Mlekoshi Playground offer some pretty cool designs.. be warned for some reason....it looks like the blog designs are all slanted...when you click on them... there not!! Marketing ploy to look different I'm guessing!! I found some pretty designs on Designs Blue Moon I prefer bars at the top of the blog...and I have  my eye on a couple of her designs...so you may well see it on her very soon! Another good choice is Kotryna Bass Designs Good selection of choice and good price point. Modern designs as well.

Some people like to start their blog by choosing a pre made blogger template...some have a professional one's made...it's your call....it helps to have some idea about what you do and don't like..Do you want one column, two columns?.....Do you want your pages above your blog title or down the side of your blog?...A really good idea is to look at your favourite blogs and note down what it is you like about their blog and why? Then use these as a rough guide when creating your little masterpiece!

3. Quality over Quantity
I now the feeling only too well....you have a product you really love and can't wait to get it down on your blog pronto...but you're not feeling in the most creative of  moods and your camera doesn't seem to be working it's magic...so you end up using a photo you don't  really like and writing up a post that so so but *Hey at least it's another post written..yeah??  Sometimes you have to look at your blog objectively and think..*If I was a new reader to my blog...what would I think of the picture I just looked at and the post I just read?*...chances are maybe you might have ended up taking a different photo..or re-writing paragraphs!!....I know when time is short and you want to finish a post...you can cut corners or post something that you know you could have done better with (I know I have!) But once something is live on your blog...it's there FOREVER....or until you press the delete button....I know all blogs are a work in progress...but do you ever look back at certain posts and feel slightly embarrassed!? Don't be..but assess why and then think of ways you could improve on this situation....maybe you take your photographs on a Sunday morning...but you have flatmates or a family who create a lot of noise/havoc when you are trying for a sense of calm...you feel flustered and you end up taking them as quickly as possible to get it over with....if this is the case, then think ahead.... either get up earlier perhaps to take your photo's, change you day from maybe Sunday morning to Wednesday morning...or inform said people to SHUT-UP!!

4. Social Media.
 Oh where to begin with this one!?....So you've written your post....you feel you've taken an amazing photograph....and then you're going to show it to? That's where social media comes in and you have to blow your trumpet whether you like it or not! All blogs should have an added Twitter/Facebook/Pinterest and Instagram account at the very least. Now I don't have an Instagram account  at the moment and I do feel this has been a bit of a hindrance with my blog. I need to start practising what I preach!.... I will be updating my phone contract next month though so watch this space. I tweet daily with links to my posts, I also pin and update my posts to my Facebook page. This is another thing to consider when decided how much time to dedicate to your blog. Its all very well writing posts but no one is going to read them unless you promote them. Make it easy for readers to find your social media buttons/words on your blog and make sure they are working and that they take you to the correct link! You need to factor in the time you will need to spend on various social media's to promote your blog. There are tools out there that make this easier for you such as Hootsuite, Futuretweets, Latergram, ScheduGram, Buffer to name a few.

5.Don't be disheartened. 
 Numbers do matter..even though they aren't supposed to!..When you have put your heart and soul into your little baby and you have only a handful of followers sometimes you can wonder if it's all worth it...especially if someone else started their blog at the same time but already has ten times more followers than you (let's be honest here) and you're thinking *Why!?!*  I have been writing my blog now for nine months and have 200 followers which I am  very pleased with but I have seen some bloggers gain this amount of followers in a couple of months....it does take time to build a blog...as long as you are genuine about your blog and interacting with your readers then you will gain loyalty which will last longer.

These are some of things I have learnt about blogging...I hope you enjoyed reading.

Jessica

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Friday, July 25, 2014

My Week #8

This is a photo I took of Weston-Super-Mare! 

Saturday I live in East London, and today was a scorcher of a day.  I constantly felt like I was melting and it wasn't a nice feeling.  Didn't really feel in the mood to do anything as it was so hot!! I did eat some Ben & Jerry's that was nice...and pottered around a few charity shops..but a lot don't have air conditioning...and the smell in some of them wasn't too great! I love a bargain but at the end of the day..I won't find one if I pass out! No offence to Charity Shops!
BlogLovin Read Of The Day  I didn't read any blogs today...sorry!! Catch up tomorrow!

Sunday I was a bit under the weather today with a migraine ....damn this warm weather...so felt rather sorry for myself....a quiet day reading...and trying to sleep it off. I hate feeling ill on the weekends! Feels like such a waste!
BlogLovin Read Of The Day Another no go day!

Monday Never keen on Mondays, I guess it's that feeling of starting things all over again and repeat...isn't it really...life is on repeat or so I feel....and I'm sure it's the same for lots of you guys out there as well...routines form all of our lives to one degree or another...we all know when we are going to see a certain person on the tube...or you see that same person shopping...buying the same foods (that's me!) Does anyone else feel like just jacking it in or do you find comfort in your routines of life? I often feel like this..sometimes I want to just grab my suitcase and just go.somewhere.different.
BlogLovin Read Of The Day I love reading  Karlas Closet and I love this fashion post.

Tuesday Someone up there..is looking after London...as the hot weather is continuing..thankfully I have air conditioning...I don't know how I managed without it. I went to a BBQ party this evening...I feel like all I'm doing lately is going to BBQ parties..not that I'm complaining...but I do feel I'm eating more than I should be...luckily my weight seem to go straight to my chest.......my freckles have really come out...on my arms...I only have freckles on my arms as I use a block on my face....my friend (who was a little tipsy) joined them up with a permanent marker....and I spent ages trying to remove it....it seemed funny at the time...remind me next time to say No and mean NO! NO! NO!
BlogLovin Read Of The Day I've just started following this and I'm really enjoying it! SF Girl By Bay

Wednesday  Another scorcher of a day in London..although sadly I look more Sweaty Betty than Babe....not sure as English are made for this kind of weather...almost wish I could turn the weather on and off...a bit like hot/cold water taps!! *Stop* moaning about the weather!! I shall change the subject...I can tell you I ate very healthily today after yesterday's delicious feast...when I woke up I felt really stuffed...and couldn't remember why I still had biro marks on my arms. Watched Love Actually this evening..I love this film...seen it so many times but it never gets old.
BlogLovin Read Of The Day I've been following this blog for a while now A Cup Of Jo love all features.

Thursday A totally delightful day today...even if I do say so myself....a gentleman held the door open for me today and gave me a wink...he was very charming and not at all in the last bit sleazy...I think I muttered something which was so high...it probably registered on the dog whistle scale....I think I need a bit more practise in this flirting business!!
BlogLovin Read Of The Day I love these guys and now they gone and done a ruddy commerical  Bleubird

Friday  Last day of the week before the real week begins!! It's so strange updating this everyday..as it really does seem that Monday was a couple of days ago....oh well..that's time for you! I have a busy weekend lined up...I have a lot of blogging to do for the forthcoming week...I promised a friend I would help with her garden..why!?! good question...but I said yes...so I can't really back out as she reads my blog *waves* Hello! I cannot wait to help you with your gardening this weekend...Make sure you have Ben & Jerrys in the freezer! You can buy my love with Ice-cream and sprinkles!!

Jessica

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

{Beauty} Current Hair Care Routine


Hi Guys, I thought I would do an update on my hair care routine. I'm on mission to grow super long hair..well that's not quite strictly true...if I'm honest, I just want one length hair..a hairdresser ( who shall not be named!) hacked  into my hair at the back and left me with lots of unwanted layers, which seems to be taken forever to grow out...my hair is naturally dark brown...but with some colour growing out...hopefully in the next couple of months..I shall be having a trim and  a vegetable colour to give it some opphmf! I will do a post on this....so keep you eyes peeled...I also keep hearing good things about biotin and pre-natal vitamins are meant to be as well for hair growth...I think I will add both to my shopping list the next time I'm on Amazon!

Fudge Smooth Shot Shampoo  This is a newbie for me..bought a couple of months back from Tk Maxx..prior I had been using a protein based shampoo..but it had been making my hair dry..so I decided to switch to a hydrating shampoo for dry hair. This was a leap of faith for me..considering the size of the bottle and the fact  have never used anything from this range before ..but I really love this shampoo....my hair feels much softer from using this.....I  want to add to my collection and try some of their other stuff.

Fudge Smooth Shot Conditioner This was purchased at the same time as the shampoo above...actually the conditioner was the only thing I really wanted as I have lots of half empty bottles of shampoo at home..but you know what it's like!!  Like lots of you I'm sure, I was familiar with fudge..and not just because its a delicious  treat to eat...but  just for whatever reason I hadn't used anything before...maybe  due to stockists...not being available near where I lived....any hoots...it was the  *extra smooth silky hair* jargon that got me on the front...as that's exactly what I was  looking for. So far, I am really pleased with this conditioner..my hair can be difficult...it's fine..but I have lots of it....and lots of product's seem to weigh my hair down...and it gets  greasy really quickly but these seems to leave my hair shiner without the weight.

Headmasters Miracle Moisture Mask I'm not exactly brilliant when it comes to applying masks, I do try to aim for at least one per month...but sometimes I just can't be bothered ( that's the honest reason!) and it all seems a bit of a hassle...I divide my hair into four sections and do all this she bang bang!....but in the past couple of months...I have gotten way better and I have been doing one per week...so I can pat myself on the back for that..... this is a lovely mask to use...and it only cost me something like £3.00..although I am always on the holy grail for masks...as I seem to have a thing for them....this has been giving my hair that extra moisture boost and for three quid...I am entirely grateful. I have been alternating it (just to make my life more complicated) with the Percy & Reed Totally TLC Hydrating Mask You may remember this came free with a certain magazine last year...and I only went completely bonkers and bought loads of said magazine..to get my hands on this little beauty.  I pretty much apply this mask in the same way as the Headmasters....I would say both these masks are really good and I couldn't or wouldn't like to say...one is better than the other...mainly for the fact...I wouldn't know as I'm alternating them every week....

Argania Hair Oil I bought this in TK Maxx..although it is widely sold in Boots....I didn't buy this in Boots as the bright packaging  put me off...but due to the price in  TK...the colour didn't seem so bright and off putting! I wanted to try an alternative to the MoroccanOil as I had been getting through rather a lot...I read some people have their bottle for a year as they only need a small amout...but I have lots of hair....I don't want to spend nearly £100 a year just for MorocconOil....unless Boots decide to stock this product and it becomes part of the 3 for 2 deal *we need to make this happen guys!*......so as I put the above hair products in my basket..I decided to add the Argania oil in and give it a whirl...this is a very nourishing oil..actually....the first time I used   the Argania Hair Oil, I used way too much and it left my hair very flat and greasy.....but the oils content's  here are very high...with Almond oil being the highest. Later that evening I had to wash my hair again...which was rather annoying. On my second use, I was much more careful and used probably about a tenth of what I used before! I do like this oil, it's nourishing...but I'm not sure if it suits my hair as much as the MoroccanOil which is a shame.

My hair has improved no ends since I have started using more moisturising products....as I completely overhauled my hair care..it's hard to pinpoint which specific product is actually helping the most as I have also been using the Bumble & Bumble Tonic Spray and the Bumble & Bumble Styling lotion as well. (On the occasions I blow dry my hair) I have laid off colouring my hair for the past year, so that's helped and I only use heat on my hair about once a week, which is where the Bumble products come in. Before my new regime I was using some form of heat on my hair everyday...I do feel the break has helped...although I will need to put some colour through my hair as I have some random bits..that need blending in to my own..but I am looking into glossing and sticking with colour only two shades away from my natural hair colour rather than bleaching and dying my hair blond. Even though I have fair skin, people are surprised for whatever reason that blond didn't suit my skin tone...but being fair really washed my out..which I was really annoyed about as I do love blond hair...but *sigh* some things are not meant to be....


Jessica

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

{10 Reasons} Why I Love July


Hi Guys, I thought I would share with you, what I love about July, I don't have a favourite month or season as such..as they are all unique and different in their own special way! 

July always calls for Denim Shorts I always make my shorts from a battered old pair of jeans I have laying around rather than specifically buying a pair..just an easier and cheaper option really.

I know some people wear their hair in a Pineapple Do all year round..but the hot/smoggy weather tends to make this hairstyle my favourite choice in the summer..it's so simple and quick to do..and  one of the best ways to disguise a bad hair day!

When it happens it great...I love the Sunshine...everything seems that bit prettier and everyone seem that bit happier...I always get that holiday feeling even when I'm just sitting in my courtyard garden.

I love Flowers and if I could, I would display  a fresh bunch in my house every single day..but they are a bit of a luxury for me. I try to buy a bunch once a week..my local Sainsbury's tend to sell some pretty nice flowers actually! Fresh Flowers always make any room that little bit prettier.

Luckily my skin tends to behave itself on the whole..so July always sees my bringing out the Tinted Moisturiser. I do wear less make-up on the whole in the warmer months..although I still probably wear a lot compared to most people...

I do love a good BBQ or four. I feel in the warmer months, you go back to basics more. I tend to eat more fruit and vegetables...there's something inside me that makes me want to eat healthier or course there's always the pressure of fitting into your bikini..that keeps you on tracks..

I'm not sporty by any means but I love watching sports from the comforts of my chair...I'm a supportive competitor if you will..which is very important! I love tennis..it's one of the few sports  I could watch day in, day out...Wimbledon tennis especially is one of my favourite tournaments to watch and this year was amazing even though no Brits..lasted very long...this year.

I'm a bit of a walker it has to be said, the summer months sees me visiting lots more Parks than usual. I feel it's something to do with connecting with nature. London is brilliant and has some amazing parks with boating lakes and other fun things to do...and most sell Ice-Cream as well. {Two birds, one stone!}

I love Tea Lights, I buy them quite cheaper and place them into jam jars and little pots that I collect, I always spend more time in my garden, like everyone really. I spend more time eating, reading and entertaining in July and August and I always bring them out. It's lovely when the sun is starting to go down and you get that faint light...quite romantic really.

The only time of the year, you will see me drinking for a jar! Pimms! For some reason, people seem to start ordering more jugs of drinks. never last long though but the change is good I guess!

Jessica

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Random Pictures Of Flowers From My Sister's Back Garden.

Hi Guys, how are you all? Not that I can hear your response BUT I hope things are good. Quick post today....like lots of you fellow bloggers out there..I'm into taking photographs....but I am by  no means an expert of any sort of description but it makes me happy so? I don't have a camera worth hundreds nor do I have an assortment of different lens attachments..I wouldn't understand what to do with them for starters! I love flowers and I thought it would be nice to upload some on to the blog. I have no idea what any of the flowers are called, sorry but they're in my sisters garden!


My sister has a very large rambling garden in the country, the type of garden you see in Mid summers Night Murders (popular TV programme in the UK)  Over flowing with lots of gorgeous flowers with unpronounceable  names in every direction you turn...under your feet a bit like a carpet! Albeit a much prettier, nicer smelling one!


I've always been really interested in flowers from a young age, although I'm no gardener by any stretch of the imagination. There's something that fascinates me about flowers, how they develop and grow with the changing seasons through the year. They grow, they bloom, they wilt and then they die..


It's quite amazing to think how many different types of flowers there are...probably millions throughout the world. They all have a job to do working in balance with Mother Nature.  Although I love a fresh bunch of flowers, I prefer potted flowers, namely as they last longer..although I REALLY love Red Roses....a huge bouquet of Red Roses...if anyone is reading this!


I love the white flowers above, they look so delicate and pretty.  In hindsight it's pretty amazing how many different types of flowers my sister has  growing in her garden. I'm guessing about one hundred different types. The next time I visit, I will have to make this a project and take a photo of each one and try and see if I can find the name of them.


I hope there are still some flowers in bloom by this time though! My next visit will probably be in Autumn..and then the garden will be changing all over again...this will bring more interesting developments....which I can't wait to see!


The countryside is so wild, that even the walls are covered in a flowery blanket..I love moss on stones as well. This wall is in their garden, although it doesn't look very secure..it is perfectly safe..it's too high too sit on...not that I would anyway...I would be too worried about something crawling up my legs!!


Actually that is one of the bad things about the English Countryside, all the creepy crawlies there are both flying in the air and crawling on the floor. I hate spiders of any description no matter how small they are..they give me the chills...I can't sleep properly if I know one is in the room with me..I have to remove it...which takes me a long time to do..


Apart from the spider/crawling insects...For any non UK readers, the English Countryside is completely amazing! The UK is and has so much more to offer than London...and it's a shame that more English people don't explore the UK as well!! These pictures below are taken from my sisters garden looking outwards towards the Countryside.


Living in London, it's almost kind of bizarre...when I'm greeted with this type of scenery. I'm almost like what?? Am I still in England.!?! ..I love London but it's  built up in certain area's and it  can feel a bit claustrophobic. But I guess you balance the pro's and the con's. I would love to live in Chelsea or Crouch End in London..they are my favourite places..although they are also a couple of the most expensive places as well..


How much greenery is too much!?! There is no such thing...I'm really looking forward to seeing what Winter does to this view...hopefully it will beautifully different! It looks like something from a film set doesn't it?..I think so too.


I love how you can see all the separation between the land.  The hedges that divide them..I have no idea who owns any of the land behind...possibly farmers as there are cows nearby. We don't always see them but  we certainly hear them mooing all the time...and I swear it sounds like they're arguing between each other by the volume of the moos...


This is one of my favourite pictures below.  The day was one of those lovely sunny days..which made everything look that little bit more beautiful ...it was one of those days...where I could have just stood rooted to the spot just staring at the wonderful scenery....it really looks magnificent..but that's Mother Nature for you!!


 Until my sister moved to the Countryside, I never really thought it was  *Me* but having visited my sister's rather large and rather grand house...I have completely changed my mind! The pace of life is that bit calmer and that bit quieter. It's such a complete contrast to London, it's hard to think..I'm living in the same country!



Jessica

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