Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Percy & Reed: No oil oil*

It’s no secret that the summer does a real number on your hair. The heat causes it to go wild with frizz, the sun dries it out until it snaps and beach hair is not the sexy reality we were all led to believe. Wouldn't it be great if there was a product that could help with all these problems? Spoiler alert…there is!

Recently I received a sample of Percy & Reed's ‘Smoothed, sealed & sensational volumising no oil oil’ and was challenged to see if the product provided all it promised. The ‘no oil oil’, which has violet extract, promises you smooth, shiny and silky locks as well as added volume to finer hair. It also uses vitamin B5 to help nourish and repair damaged hair as well as giving heat protection – just what you need for a long day in the sun!

Did I believe what it said on the label? No I did not. Was I proven wrong? Yes I was. I have tried what seems like endless amounts of hair products to try thicken my fine hair without damaging it and have never been successful so I was fairly sceptical when trying this product.

The instructions say to work one or two drops of the product through towel dried hair, smoothing it in from root to tip, then you can dry and style as desired. The first time I tried it I used one drop as I have short, fine natural hair and didn't want it to loo greasy as it does with Argon Oils, but after a few seconds of smoothing the oil in I added another drop as it didn't feel too heavy on my hair.

The texture of the product is absolutely nothing like oils (the clue was in the name really) and is quite smooth and slick, it feels light and almost like nothing is there once you've rubbed it into your hair. After I applied the product I dried my hair and I have to admit my scepticism was unjust, my hair did look a little let frizzier and a lot shinier than usual – score one Percy & Reed.

Another tip for application given in the instructions is to warm a little bit of the product in your hand, run a blusher brush over it and brush through your hair lightly to smooth over any split end or frizzy parts to give your hair a smooth shine. I for one was very reluctant to start sticking my make-up brushes into hair products so ditched their advice and blobbed a teeny tiny bit of the oil onto the tip of my finger, rubbed it in slightly, then pinched the ends of my hair with it to smooth over split ends. It worked a treat and kept the mane at bay until I washed my hair.

The no oil oil was great for taming my frizzy locks and did help to make it look a little thicker and healthier, I didn't see much change on the volume front but I assume it's the kind of product that the more you use it, the more it works so we'll see how it goes! As for heat protection I'm definitely seeing a lot less visible damage to my hair after blow drying and using heated styling tools - go B5!

So over all the product was a success and I will definitely be stocking up for summer! It is a lighter and longer lasting alternative to hair oils and is a must have if you’re travelling to humid locations for your holidays! The product I used was for fine hair which you can get here for a reduced price at M&S. There is also an option for thick hair which is also reduced, you can get it here.

Let me know if you've tried any Percy & Reed products before or your favourite summer hair tamer in a comment below!


Sunday, 28 June 2015

Kendal and Kylie for Topshop

To say it has been a big week for Kardashian/Jenner clan would be an understatement. Yesterday morning Kimye announced they’re expecting their second child, rumours have sprouted about Khloe getting back together with Lamar and we were treated to a sneak peak of Vanity Fair’s history making front cover sporting Bruce Jenner transformed into his beautiful ‘true’ self, Caitlyn. Turns out it wasn’t Kimmy K that broke the internet, it was the stunning Caitlyn Jenner.

With these dramatic events it’s easy to forget the younger members of the family, Kendall and Kylie Jenner. However we would be foolish to do so. Amongst all the paparazzi worthy drama that comes along with the family, Kendall is busy blossoming in her modelling career and Kylie is rumoured to be releasing her first single with brother in law Kanye West.

The two are also up and comers in the world of fashion design. They have already had numerous successful collections for PacSun and now have designed their own collection for Topshop. With just one whole day to go before the launch I thought I’d give you all a sneak peak of the collection and the price range that will come along with it – a lot less than you’d expect!

As you can see from the pictures above the two teens have gone with a very boho style, fitting with their usually wardrobes. They’ve also included a few pieces that just ooze LA chic, floaty maxis and trenches in black and white, the only colours that exist in LA evidently.

In their statement Kendall and Kylie said: "When working on the inspiration, we very much wanted to capture the essence of our own lifestyles and create pieces that would fit perfectly into our wardrobes. We hope you have as much fun wearing the collection as we did designing it!"

My favourite parts of the collection are the beautiful floral prints, in particular the tie front crop top and cut out jumpsuit. Check out my picks from the collection below, ranging from super affordable to small savings prices.

Palozzo trousers: £40
White crotchet blouse: £38
Denim shorts: £30
Floral print maxi dress: £55
Angel sleeve top: £35
Varity slogan T: £30
Floral jumpsuit: £55
Slogan sweatshirt: £35
Floral print shorts: £30
Cream trench coat: £75
Black maxi dress: £55

The final bit of this post goes out to the beautiful Caitlyn Jenner. You are an inspiration to people everywhere, you have made history by appearing on the cover of Vanity Fair and by doing so you have made thousands of people’s lives that little bit easier. You are wonderful and sensationally beautiful and your family and the world support you.

Friday, 26 June 2015

By Terry: Baume De Rose*

By Terry is an absolutely stunning French collection of make-up which combines beautiful colours with sumptuous scents and added protection for our delicate skin! What’s not to love eh? If there’s one thing to say about this product it’s that the French always get it right!

The lip gloss I have is from the BAUME DE ROSE collection and is designed to care for your lips by nourishing, smoothing and regenerating the skin. The lip gloss also comes in a balm pot but has been design in the compact tube shown above to make it more handbag friendly meaning it can be there for you whenever you have a lip SOS!

I never used to be a fan of lip gloss but recently I’m obsessed and this product has pride of place in my collection! It’s a pale pink, almost clear lip gloss with slight mother of pearl look to it. When applied to the lips it has an almost hologram like affect and can be worn on bare lips or over lipstick.
The gloss contains regenerating essential rose wax, lipid-boosting floral oils and anti-aging biotechnological ceramides – basically a load of stuff that’s good for your skin and makes your lips look younger!

I absolutely love the look of this gloss, it’s almost sheer but very eye-catching and it’s become my everyday gloss. I've also been very it over lipstick for nights out just to give my lips more of sparkle. Once it’s applied it tends to last for a couple of hours before needing to be re-applied and I tend to re-apply it after drinking and eating out of habit more than anything.

As well as being a great gloss, I am absolutely in love with the smell of this product! I love floral scents and rose is such a classic favourite of mine so this product was right up my street! I can’t wait to invest in more products from the BAUME DE ROSE collection.

The lip gloss costs 39 Euro (about £27) which I think is a really reasonable price for a designer product, especially one as lovely as this. You can purchase the beautiful gloss here!

Let me know if you've ever tried any By Terry products or let me know what your favourite lip gloss is in a comment below – I’m always on the hunt for a new gloss!

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Top ten summer beauty products

Summer is a time for sun bathing, ice cream, days at the beach, beer gardens and fun in the sun. However with summer also comes dry skin, oily faces, sweaty bodies, beach hair (not the good sexy kind, the sand covered, knotted greasy kind) and the dreaded appointment with a razor needed after a long winter of growing your leg hair into a style even Chewbacca would envy.

Also for those of us blessed without the ability to tan naturally, summer brings months of fake tan induced stress. So I’ve made a list of my top ten beauty buys that you won’t be able to live without this summer!

The first thing on my list is E45 moisturising lotion. I started using this when I was diagnosed with psoriasis, since then I have moved on to stronger skin creams to try tackle the problem, but E45 has remained one of my favourite products for banishing dry skin. It’s great because you can use it on your face and body and you will notice a difference in your skin overnight! You can purchase E45 from most supermarkets, chemists and stores like Superdrug and Boots. Get it from Boots here.

Your hair goes through a lot in summer, you take it from beach to beer garden without giving it a second thought, but that much sun can have a lasting damaging affect, especially to coloured hair. Make sure you condition your hair well during the summer months and try to wash the beach out of it as soon as you can. But for those of us who just want to keep going this summer there is dry shampoo!

The best brand out there is probably Batiste which is great for use between washes. It will help transform the greasy beach hair into fresh, voluminous looking locks. It’s also an absolute must have if you’re attending festivals this year! It’ll keep you looking fresh and party ready. My favourite Batiste product is their floral scented ‘blush’ dry shampoo which you can get here.

The next product on my list is for all you pale lovelies out there! It’s Dove’s Summer Glow moisturising lotion. This is a gradual tanning product that you can use daily to help give your skin that natural summer glow you so desperately crave! I’ve used this product for years and my only advice is that your wear a tanning mitt or glove when applying as it will tan your palms! It comes in two shades ‘fair to medium’ and ‘medium to dark’, if you’re a pale girl like me just looking for a glow I recommend the fair to medium and then working up to medium to dark if you want a darker tan. Get the fair skin option here.

The next two things on my list I’m going to review together. One of the worst things about dry skin is how painful having dry hands and feet can be. Walking around in heels at summer parties and sandals at the beach can really do a number on your heels, this is why I make sure I always have a handbag sized ‘heel genius’ from Soap & Glory at the ready, get it here! The ‘hand food’ from Soap & Glory is also a handbag essential for those of us who deal with dry skin in the summer. You can get that here.

Sweat is easily the most annoying thing about summer, as much as we all want to deny it, us girls get sweaty too in the summer! And sweat does absolute horrific things to our pores, they block them up with sweat and grease and all the perfectly applied make up from the morning will ultimately sweat off and into our pores by the end of the day.

To tackle this I use T-ZONE clear pore anti-bacterial cleanser. All you have to do is dab a tiny bit onto a cotton bud and rub it onto your face morning and night. It cleanses your skin and removes oil, grease and spot causing bacteria. It also helps tackle spots that are already on your face! This product is available on eBay and Amazon but is stocked in Home Bargain stores across the UK, so head to local store ASAP!

Finding a foundation that adapts the way your skin does during summer is nearly impossible and the majority of us can’t afford to buy a new one every time our tan (fake or otherwise) darkens. The best product I have found for this to date is Rimmel’s Match Perfection foundation, it’s a medium coverage foundation which means it still shows some of your natural skin colour underneath. Each foundation covers a shade darker or lighter which is great if you expect to tan during summer! I have shade 010 Light Porcelain which is the palest available – I would not advise buying this shade if you aren’t the colour of snow naturally! Shop the range here.

Next on the list is another Soap & Glory product, it is their wonderful body butter ‘The Righteous Butter’ which is a beautifully scented dry skin formula. After showering all you have to do is rub it onto your skin like moisturiser and you’re good to go! It smells floral and is a beautiful replacement for pore clogging perfumes in the summer months. You can grab it here!

The next product is a super bargain, the Collection 2000 pressed powder is just £1.99 is great for brushing on to help matte out sweaty/burnt summer faces. It can be used on bare skin, with primer or over foundation to help give your make up a matte look. The pressed powder comes in seven shades and the one shown above is shade Ivory 18. Browse the shades here.

The final product on the list is my absolute favourite beauty buy at the moment! It’s one of those products you wonder how you ever lived without after you’ve used it once! It’s the Kleenex shine absorbing sheets which you can use on your skin with or without make up (it leaves your make up completely intact!) All you do is wipe one sheet around your face like a makeup wipe and it gathers all the oil and grease off your skin leaving your face looking smooth and shine free! They are a serious must have for the sweaty summer months and genuinely don’t know how I lived life before these sheets! Get them here!

All the products above are great for summer holidays and most are travel sized or can be purchased in travel sized versions. I hope this post has helped those of you looking for some great summer products, let me know if you try any out! Also let me know what your favourite summer products are in a comment below!


Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Green stuff

This morning I posted a picture of my breakfast smoothie on Instagram saying “Green stuff in bed”. I was planning on doing a recipe post for it sometime this week but as I’ve already received a lot of your requests to post the recipe I thought I may as well put it up today!

I’ve been on a bit of a health kick recently (something that is very rare for me) as I’ve noticed my skin and hair were looking slightly off. I decided to ditch the bad diet I’ve had recently, which consisted of eating junk food all day or not eating at all, and aim for a healthier lifestyle.

Is there a more Instagram-able way to get healthy than by making smoothies? I think not! So I started research some good recipes for breakfasts. I’ve always struggled with breakfast, I’m just never awake enough to eat anything, so being able to drink my brekkie was an excellent alternative! Plus it’s an excellent way to aim towards your five a day!

The recipe I have is designed for two medium servings or one large serving, the picture on my Instagram shows a large serving. I’ve dumbed down the recipe slightly as I found it hard to follow and removed all the weird pricey ingredients – trust me it’s good enough without them! Here’s what you will need!

  •          3 Apples
  •          1 Banana
  •          1 kiwi
  •          15 green grapes
  •          1 mango
  •          ¼ cucumber
  •          ½ lime
  •          1 handful spinach
  •          1 tea spoon of flax seed
  •          1 smoothie maker, food processor or hand blender

Step one: Start by prepping your fruit. Peel your apples and banana, remove the apple core then chop both into small pieces and put them in your blender. You can put the grapes in whole.

Step two: More fruity prep! Cut your mango and kiwi in half then scoop their edible insides into your smoothie maker with the rest of the fruit.

Step three: The veggie bit. Peel your cucumber and chop into small pieces and add it to the fruit. Shred the spinach with your hands and chuck that in as well. Squeeze your ½ lime into the smoothie maker as well, get as much juice out as you can but don’t worry if there isn’t a lot – a little goes a long way with citrus!

Step four: Add your flax seed and put the blender’s lid on, or cover whatever your making your smoothie in – this is important! Then get blending! When your mix is smooth and runny you can either sieve it to make it extra smooth or serve it up bits and all!

Tip: Remember to serve it in your most presentable cup and vintage paper straw to make it Pinterest worthy!

Okay so that last tip was a bit of a joke but good props never hurt! I hope you all enjoyed this post and have fun making the recipe! I got all of the ingredients for this recipe (except that flax, you can get them here) from Aldi, so it was super affordable and there was plenty or fruit and veg left over to snack on and make smoothies for the rest of the week!

Let me know if you try this recipe, if you do share your pics on Instagram and tag me in them ‘@alicelouisealk’. Let me know what you think of this recipe in a comment below!


Monday, 15 June 2015

Primark high summer preview

Summer is finally upon us and the fashion gods have spoken, this season will feature whimsical patterns, dainty lace motifs and floaty fabrics. The weather finally matches the high street window displays and the time is now to bulk buy for your last minute vacays!

For those of you (like me) who are doing holidays on a budget will find there is no better place to get this seasons must haves than good old Primark! You can say what you want about the bargain branch but there is no denying that they cut costs in style.

The collection coming into the UK's stores, "High Summer", is absolutely stunning and enough to satisfy any boho babes shopping lusts. As you can see above Primarni are providing a range of angelic blouses, vintage look denim and free flowing maxi-dresses.

In the first picture the model wears the 'Peasant blouse' which is priced at £5 - total style steal - and some lace lined denim shorts which are £13. Primark have a huge range of sunglasses to suit every style and the ones from the first picture cost £2. The second picture features the same shorts and a bikini top for £6.

In the third picture we have another boho blouse and some high waisted denim shorts. The sandals featured are £6. To help maximise your glowing tans stick to white floaty fabrics and pale denim, opt out of pinks and peaches as they wash the colour out of you.

The next picture shows one of my favourite pieces from the collection, a beautiful patterned maxi dress. It's main colour is red which is usually a shade I tend to stay away from, with my ginger hair and pale skin it tends to wash me out! However the pattern on this dress takes away from the bold colour and makes it more relaxed and elegant. You can get it in stores now for just £13!

The dress in the next picture is perfect for chilled beach strolls and summer drinks in beer gardens. The off the shoulder dress is £13 and would look great styled with an over-sized denim jacket and some gladiator flats, or some lace up heels for a dressier look.

The bikini in the final picture is just one of many beautiful designs in Primark at the moment. I love the print of this particular one and the cut-outs and colours are perfect for summer - you can get the set for just £10. There is such a large range of swimwear designs in Primark now including triangle bikinis, high waisted, tank tops, full suits and push ups for us ladies who lack in the cleavage area! And with even more cup sizes than ever, it's now so much easier for all of us to get a bikini that suits our shape and size for an affordable price!

Have you seen any of this in stores already? Let me know what your favourite pieces are and what you think of the whole collection by leaving a comment below!

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Weekly update #1

As I get back into blogging on a regular basis I’m reintroducing some of my old style posts, one of which is my Instagram updates! I used to do them on a monthly basis but over the last year I’ve started using the app more so I’ll be doing the posts on a weekly basis from now on.

Top row, left to right:
1: My cat Figaro with an infected eye after being scratched by another cat, my poor baby! 2: The latest addition to my Funko family – Spike, my favourite character from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. 3: A naughty Chinese the night before starting my diet. I had a spicy chicken satay, it was amazing and I miss junk food – cry.

Middle row:
1: A Leonardo DiCaprio movie night with Josh and my pug – Sir Pugslington. 2: Celebrating National Donut Day with a cute pic from Tumblr since I wasn’t allowed to eat any myself. 3: My beautiful clutch bag from New Look, it’s in stores and online now for £19.99!

Bottom row:
1: My Maxi Nutrition* meal replacement shake and green tea – I was sent a sample of their product and I’ll be doing a separate post on that soon! 2: Figaro recovering from his eye infection by sleeping on my dressing gown. 3: The world’s largest strawberry in the punnet I devoured the other day!

Over-all a very uneventful week! But let me know if you enjoyed this post, and if you would like to see them on a weekly or monthly basis, in a comment below!

Tuesday, 9 June 2015


I've mentioned in a few of my previous posts that I absolutely love to collect things. I'm a huge hoarder of all things science fiction, Disney, Alice in Wonderland and more. So when the Disney Store released an adorable new addition to its family I just had to have them!

TSUM TSUM are stackable little soft toys that are like fat baby versions of all your favourite Disney characters. They come in three sizes, small, medium and large, and I collect the smallest ones. I think they’re extra cute and the big ones would take up too much of the already limited storage space in my flat!

The small TSUM TSUMs are £3 from the Disney Store, or 5 Euro for my Irish followers. They’re each about 2.3/3 inches long and all come with adorable Japanese style features. You can also get TSUM TSUM accessories, stationary and other bits, but I’m only really interested in the actual plushies.

The first addition to my collection was Dumbo, my favourite Disney character of all-time. I have a love hate relationship with the Dumbo movie, it’s such a fun film with a lovely story and brilliant animation, but it’s just so damn sad!

Still to this day I can’t sit through the scene where Dumbo’s mother rocks him through her cage bars without turning into a blubbering mess! I'm tearing up just thinking about it!

Despite me being an emotional state it’s still one of my favourite films and I have a collection of all the different Dumbo soft toys Disney produce. So it seemed fitting that my first TSUM TSUM was Dumbo. He was from the Liverpool One Disney Store.

The next addition to my TSUM TSUM family was Marie from the Aristocats and she was from the Disney Store in the Trafford Centre. This was one of my favourite films growing up and I still know every song in it by heart.

I love all of the Disney cats, so much that my actual cat is named after one, Figaro – after the lovely little feline from Pinocchio. Figaro's name also comes from the lyrics of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody - "Galileo Figaro" - I'm a die hard Queen fan. So I think Figaro will have to be the next TSUM TSUM added to the collection.

I know that Disney have also released a Cheshire Cat and an Alice in Wonderland TSUM TSUM but I haven’t spotted them in stores yet! But they will be obvious choices to add to my little pack.

I know this is a very different post to my usual content but I wanted to mix things up a bit and post about things I really enjoy – like nerdy collections. So let me know if you enjoyed it in the comment box below! Also let me know if you collect TSUM TSUMs or anything else! I love to know what other people collect so leave your comment and link in the box below!


Monday, 8 June 2015

Primark home haul

It has been so long since I have done a haul post of any kind! This is mainly down to the fact I spent the last few months as a student living well below the UK poverty line – thank you student loans.
But as of last month my deadlines are gone, library sessions are over and 24-hour study sessions are gone forever! I'm back working and it feels so good to be earning my own money again!

So my first order of business after getting back to work was a good old Primark shop! Last weekend I went to Liverpool and the Trafford Centre for a shopping weekend and the following weekend myself and Josh went to Preston for the day so this haul is coming from two different Primark stores.

The first thing I got is something I have wanted since a viewed the SS15 preview back in like January. It was those adorable flamingo lights! They’re so tacky but so cool and I just had to have them, at £6 they’re probably a little over-priced for battery lights but I couldn't resist. These were from the Liverpool Primark and they weren't in stock at the Preston store.

The second thing I got was another piece I spotted way back in the summer preview, the pineapple cushion! As regular readers know I collect all thing pineapple and the cushion was a must have part of my collection. On the front is a faded pineapple design and the back has a pastel/mint green geometric print and the Primark ‘Tropical’ logo on it. At £3.50 I class this as a bargain but I don’t know if that’s just because I'm a biased pineapple enthusiast. This was also from the Primark store and couldn't be found in the Preston shop.

I also go another cushion which is a pale peachy/pink colour with white flamingos printed on it. This was from the Preston store and I just couldn't resist getting it after buying the lights! It was £4 which I think is a good price as the cushions quite large and good quality.

I also got bedding that matches the cushions, it’s a funky mixed geometric print style duvet and pillow cover set in pastel colours with black and grey detailing. The bedding was £11 for a double set which is an absolute bargain considering most places sell plain duvet sets for £14 at their cheapest! I saw this bedding on Instagram and fell in love so it was first on my shopping list when I went to Liverpool, sadly I couldn't find it in their store but ended up tracking it down in Preston the next week.

The next piece I found has featured as a prop in a few of my previous posts so you might have already seen it! It’s the adorable little white pineapple. This little came from Preston's store and I think it’s intended to be a small candle holder but I've been using it as a ring dish. I have a lot of white ornaments in my room (including several pineapples) so this £1.50 bargain was the perfect addition. 

Last but certainly not least is the pug mug! I loved the print on it and of course I love pugs so for £1.50 I couldn't really say no could I? It was intended to be my new work mug but I loved it too much to risk it getting smashed there so it’s currently serving as a make-up brush holder whilst my ancient Hello Kitty mug has been sent to work. When I got the mug to the till it turns out it had been reduced to 90p so it turns out it was even more of a bargain than I originally thought! This cute little mug was also from the Preston store.

Thanks to Primark my room is now summer ready, with a beautiful range of tropical prints and pastel colours yours can be as well with Primark’s bargain collection! Have you purchased any Primark goodies recently? Or have you revamped your room for summer? If so let me know in a comment below!

Saturday, 6 June 2015

5 easy ways to grow your audience

A lot of people come into the blogging world with the idea that they’ll have thousands of readers, advertisers and sponsors in a month. However that’s not how it works and many writers are put off when they don’t get a decent following to their blog.

I’m a big believer that you should do what you love whether you have a big audience or not, however it is always nice to know you have peoples support and user generated content, or UGC, always comes in handy!

So for those of you who are looking to raise your websites stats, I've come up with five easy ways you can grow your audience!

1: Learn how to engage your audience
By this I mean not only learning what your reader wants, but also how to deliver it to them. Firstly to know what your reader wants you’ll have to know your reader. To do this you need to create your target audience, are you interested in beauty, fashion, movies, cooking? Whatever it is stick to your theme as much as you can.

This way you will gain a set demographic audience, e.g. cooking blogs will gain chefs, cooking enthusiasts and domestic goddesses/gods. A beauty blog will attract make-up artists, beauticians and those looking for advice in their beauty routine.

Once you have done this you can target your audience directly. A super easy way of doing this is sharing your posts on Twitter, Facebook, Bloglovin’ etc. But just writing ‘check out my new post’ is not enough. If you are going to promote your site sell what you’re writing to the reader, e.g. “Check out my review of the new Bobbi Brown make-up brushes” or “Want to know what I thought of the new Bobbi Brown make-up brushes? Then take a look at my blog”.

This way you will target an audience who are searching for key words or phrases as well as your normal readers and followers. This will also make your blog posts more search engine friendly – this brings me onto the second point.

2: Do not fear the hashtag
I cannot tell you how important hash-tagging is when it comes to blogging! So many people have this strange idea that using hashtags is frowned upon and people will judge you for using it, this is incorrect, plain and simple.

Just sharing your latest post isn't enough and using hash tags is the best way to target your audience directly. You can’t expect people to just miraculously see your website, you have to put your work out there for people to be able to see it.

So if you are a beauty blogger try sharing your latest link along with a catchy line and the hash tags: #bblogger #BobbiBrown #beautyblog if that is what you are writing about. Using relevant hashtags is the easiest way to get your chosen audiences to click your links. It will again help with search engine optimising.

At the same time don’t go crazy with the hashtags. You don’t #need #to #hashtag #every #single #word. As you can see it just looks messy and unprofessional – so not the look you are going for.

3: Invest time and effort
Getting people to click your links isn't all you need to be a success though. You want them to click on a post and then enjoy it so much they follow or subscribe, or at least read a bit more of your work!
To do this you have to make sure you are providing good quality content. Three paragraph posts with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors will put your readers off and portray you as an unreliable source. I advise writing your post on a programme like Microsoft Word instead of directly onto your blog, this way you can run it through a reliable spell check as well as the standard one on your internet browser.

Also if you can get someone else to read over your post before you publish it you should. Just because it makes sense to you does not mean it will make sense to everyone so getting a friend or family member on board to be your copy-taster is a good idea.

The same goes for pictures. If you display a blurry image where it is hard to make out the subject then people won’t want to look any further than your first post. You don’t need an expensive DLSR to take good photos, all the pictures on my site are taken with the IPhone 5c. All you need to take a decent picture is good lighting (preferably natural light), a plain background that won’t distract or hide the pictures subject and a steady hand.

These factors along with a clean, non-cluttered blog template are sure to keep the reader’s attention that you have worked so hard to attract.

4: Make your blog attractive
This is such an easy step to take but one bloggers often neglect. The best way to get people to read your blog is to make it look good. Both Blogger and WordPress offer hundreds of free templates that you can choose for your blog to make it look more attractive. All you have to do is select design and the sites will guide you from there.

Alternatively you can use sites like Pipdig who offer to redesign your whole blog for you. You can choose one of their standard designs or a custom job, their prices currently start from around £29.

5: Be a team player
This is perhaps the most important part of being a blogger. You can’t become successful without help. If you are one of these people who expect others to write on your posts, follow you and share your work without doing anything in return then you will not get far in the blogging world.

Blogging is a social game, it’s designed to bring people together and share ideas so you can’t expect everyone to love you and your blog if you don’t return that love to an extent.

Try following other bloggers, commenting on their posts and sharing their work and most will return the favour. This way you will grow your readership and probably make some great friends in the process. I know I have made a lot of close friends through blogging and that was by striking up conversations on blogs and Twitter.

Blogging has a strong community and it is important to be a part of this community instead of isolating yourself from it to seem cool – it won’t work and you will get left behind.

I hope this post has helped any blogging new-comers or those of you just wanting to grow your existing audience! Let me know in a comment below if the post helped with your blogging experience or if you have any more tips for newbie bloggers!

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Pandora Jewellery

Today I thought I'd share with you a post about one of my absolutely favourite possessions, my Pandora jewellery. I think Pandora is absolutely beautiful and their charm bracelets are the perfect way of commemorating the special times in your life.

I'm going to take you through my charms and then tell you a little bit about my ring. The first charm on the left is my ‘Good Luck’ charm, this was a present off my mum given to me on my last day of university. It was to wish me good luck in my future and it’s my most recent charm.

The next charm on the left is a little member of the Queen’s Guard who stand outside Buckingham Palace. This one was a gift from my step-dad after him, my mum and I went away on a mini holiday to London.

Third from the left is my little diamanté Christmas tree which was a Christmas present (duh) off my boyfriend Josh. It was our first Christmas together and the charm will always be a great way to remember that.

The small dangly heart charm was a gift off my mum for Christmas. There’s no particular reason behind this charm other than it’s a love heart and she loves me! I think it’s so beautiful and delicate, it was the second dangly edition to my collection.

Next to the small heart charm, in the centre of the bracelet, is my princess charm. This is another one Josh got me and it was for our first year anniversary/valentine’s day – they’re within like two days of each other. It has a pink cubic zirconia in the centre which matches my ring and ‘Princess’ is engraved into the back of the charm.

Josh got me this charm because he calls me Princess and he’s soppy and I'm a brat! This is my only charm with gold on it, which you can see on the little crown! I think the crown on the heart is just so adorable – I absolutely love Pandora’s fairy-tale collection.

Next to the Princess charm is the Eiffel Tower charm. Josh got me this after we went on our first holiday together. We went to France, in case you didn't guess from the charm, and it was my first ever dangly charm!

Next to the Eiffel Tower we have my pineapple – not a sentence I ever thought I’d write. This was a Christmas present from my mum and the main reason I wanted a Pandora bracelet. I collect all things pineapple and when I saw this charm I desperately wanted it. Sadly it retired before I could get one but mum managed to track one down for me – what a gem.

The next two charms were both 20th birthday presents off my mum. The first is a dangly heart charm that has two halves to it. One half says ‘Daughter’ as you can see on my bracelet, and the other says ‘Mother’ which my mum wears on her Pandora bangle.

Last but certainly not least is my Russian Doll charm or the ‘Babushka’ charm. As I said it was a 20th birthday present and is really special to me as I collected Russian dolls when I was younger. I still have a collection of them and this charm is a beautiful addition to that collection.

Finally shown in the pictures above is my Pandora ring. This was a 20th birthday gift off Josh. It’s a silver Eternity ring with pink cubic zirconia and beautiful engravings around the edge. I wear the ring every day and people are quite judgy when I say it’s an eternity ring assuming it’s like an engagement ring or one of those crazy American promise rings.

That’s not the case, it’s just a nice way of saying I love you and reminding me of that every day. I know that this ring is available in plain white and purple as well as pink and is stackable with Pandora’s other rings.

I also wear my bracelet everyday as it’s not so dainty that it’s not wearable but still pretty and delicate looking, plus it goes with just about every outfit.

Pandora charm bracelets are an excellent gift idea for a loved one and are a great way of building memories with them. I love looking at my charms every day and being reminded of some of my happiest times.

I’d also recommend a Pandora as a gift as it’s not overly priced and you’ll never struggle to find a present for your loved one as Pandora stock such a wide variety of charms and jewellery to suit every occasion.

Do any of you own any pandora jewellery? If so tell me about it in a comment below! Or tell me about your favourite bling.
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