Tuesday, 30 December 2014

What I Got For Christmas 2014


As this Christmas is/was my first Christmas here in the blogging world, I just wanted to make a little disclaimer, as some may assume exactly what I don't want them to. I don't mean to show off, or brag in any way, shape or form, I personally love looking at what other people received for Christmas and knowing how happy and grateful they must feel. At Christmas all of our family come round to our house and we all open presents and then eat a delicious dinner which my mum had cooked for us. I always get so many lovely presents, and I know I am very lucky to have them. I won't post everything, but I will post some of my favourites to share with you.


My mum and dad brought me lots of little presents, but one of them that stood out for me was the lovely Daisy perfume by Marc Jacobs. I had been longing for this for a while now, and I was so pleased to receive it! It smells lovely, and I was delighted when I unwrapped it. I also received from my Gran and Grandad some Zoella perfume, and it smells lovely too. I love the pretty packaging, I am honestly a sucker for that kind of simple design!


As I am hoping to really push on my photography in 2015, I was thrilled to receive this Guide to Photography Social Media book from my Auntie and Uncle. It shows all of the hidden features on my new camera that could be useful, as well as some really good photo inspiration! I am really looking forward to taking some more pictures with what I have learnt from the book. I also unwrapped two diaries/organizers which I was super happy about! I am going to use the bigger, patterned organizer for personal things, and then use the smaller one for my blogging schedule and post ideas.


Another present my mum and dad brought me was a lovely wooden fox, which had been placed into a picture frame with a really pretty background, which matches the colours in my bedroom! We saw this a few weeks ago at a frost fair, and I pointed it out to my mum, saying I liked it. My mum obviously popped back while I wasn't looking and made a swift purchase! 


I also received a lovely microwavable owl. He looks so cute, and smells of lavender, one of my favourite scents. I can't wait until it starts snowing, and I can warm him up for a cold winters night. My gran and grandad brought me this as well, and I must say, they do know me right down to the ground! 

I also received some other lovely presents, however they were either too difficult to photograph, or I felt they were too personal. I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, and got everything you dreamed for this year. I also wish you a happy new year, and enjoy staying up until midnight!

Saturday, 27 December 2014

A Few Blogging Tips


In my recent survey, many people are asking for additional beauty and blogging posts, which to me is kind of scary. I never thought I was a beauty person, nor a blogging expert, however those are the posts which you want to read, so I will give them a shot. Now I am not an expert on blogging, nor am I a 'big' blog. However, I do feel like I have some experience in the matter, so I decided to share some of my tips on blogging today, and depending on whether it goes down well or not, I might a few more posts on it.

Not everything happens in one night. A lot of new bloggers start a blog expecting to have 1000 followers within the first week (slight exaggeration there), and then quit because they don't get their followers. Or, with the people who stick at it, become really catty to popular blogs because they are just frankly jealous. Believe it or not, those people with the 'big blogs' with thousands of followers once started out with a big fat 0 too.

Don't do follow for follow etc. Nothing gets on somebodies nerves like a good old follow for follow. Still to this day, I get so excited receiving comments and replying to them, and I was always so disappointed when several comments I received was a copied and pasted 'nice post. follow me and I will follow you back'. Being new to the blogging world, I thought this was the 'done thing' and willingly obliged. I think this is a disgusting way to gain followers, somebody has put work into writing a post and beginning their blog, and it is so obvious by the manner the person speaks, that they haven't read the post at all. I wouldn't want anybody to follow me just because I followed them, I would want people to follow me because they liked my content and enjoyed my blog. Recently I have unfollowed several blogs which I did 'follow for follow' with as in all honesty, their content just didn't interest me, which meant their posts were popping up on my dashboard with no intention of me reading them.

Get a good design. Unfortunately, 'don't judge a book by it's cover' doesn't apply in the blogging world. Yes, there may be a few people who take the time to read somebodies post when they have a design which they hate, but the majority of people just click off the blog. Having a clean, simple design is essential for blogging, and I bet you it will gain you readership. Stick to two or three colours maximum, have a white background, and make sure your font is readable to all ages are all rules that will gain you those extra few followers.

Plan your posts ahead. This is a tip I need to start using myself actually! I am one of those people who waits for inspiration to find them, instead of hunting it down. Usually on the day when a post is due to all you lovely people, I am organised, but sometimes I am frantically trying to find a post idea to use. Some bloggers schedule posts ahead, some even do it months ahead, but I prefer to write a post then publish it, not schedule one, unless I am on holiday, or I am having a post marathon (hasn't quite happened yet). I think it is a good idea to take all your pictures in a bulk (tip: use natural light, NOT artificial!) and then write up your posts, either to schedule, or write them when you want to publish them. Pace yourself too, don't publish loads of posts in one day and then don't post for weeks. Divide your posts within a month, and then your readers will have consistent content coming through their dashboard.

Don't work with brands just for the sake of it. A good tip to learn if you want to have a successful blog is learning when to say no. Quite a few PR companies have emailed me asking if I want to feature their product on my blog, but I have had to turn them down because I don't feel like the product relates or would be beneficial to my blog. Saying no won't halt your future PR requests, or cause a decline in followers. In fact, if you say yes to the wrong thing, you may reduce your followers. Now, I am not saying all PR requests are bad and you should decline them, as some can be really beneficial to you and your blog, I'm just saying be careful!

I hope this tips were helpful! Have you got any others?
Oh, and if you haven't already, please just take a few minutes to fill out my reader survey?

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas...


Hello! I just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I won't be posting much for a couple of weeks - you may see the odd post or two, but until the New Year arrives I will be taking a small blogging break to enjoy mince pies, presents and candy-canes.

Have a good one x
Oh, and if you haven't already, please just take a few minutes to fill out my reader survey?


Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Reader Survey


I know everybody seems to be doing surveys at the moment, but I for one love them! I love completing the forms and helping out other bloggers, and I thought I might try my luck in creating one of my own that you could fill in? I am really interested in knowing you better and improving my blog to be the best it can be. So, if you have time, please do fill out the survey!

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Blogs I Have Been Loving Recently


One of the reasons why I love blogging is reading other blogs, and supporting the blogging community. I have a list of blogs that I enjoy reading everyday, but I thought I would go a bit more in detail about 5 of my favourite blogs, of which I have discovered recently.

Bonjour Luce
Ah, Luce's posts are lovely, and although I don't really follow beauty blogs because they seem to bore me, her blog is definitely an exception! She has a boot-i-ful blog design too, and she also does lifestyle and advice posts too.

Let it Be Cosy
I only discovered Rocio's blog last week, and already I have scrolled through all her posts and the photos. Oh boy, the photos are beautiful! She creates beautiful recipes and I always look forward to when she posts.

The Life of a Private Girl
You know when you discover a blog and then read through all of their posts because you just can't get enough? Sophie has a beautifully co-ordinated blog from design to content, and I love it. Her photos are always so bright, and you enjoy seeing what she comes up with for posts.

Jenny Purr
Jenny's blog is everything I want mine to be. Her content is lovely and interesting, and I can relate to all of her posts. And seeing as I am having a craze about minimalism at the moment, her blog design is right up my street.

Lisette Loves
Fun, bright, Lisette has it all. As soon as you click onto her blog, her little side picture caption makes you feel like you know her. Her beautiful pictures of food and recipes make my tummy hungry just looking at them. When she isn't posting recipes, Lisette posts little cute updates and favourites.

Do you like any of these blogs? Are there any you would recommend? 

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Homemade Gifts


1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

I don't know why, but there is just that something special about a homemade Christmas gift. They are so cute and unique, plus you are making a gift especially for someone, which has a lovely personal touch. Today I thought I would put together a list of cute D.I.Ys you can make for your Christmas presents for friends, family, or even the neighbors next door.

What's your favourite? Will you be making any of these?

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Lately


I know, I know, I haven't blogged in a week! My History, Geography and RE teachers thought it would be a good idea to set our class three different essays for the same week, so I haven't had time to blog. Also, the lighting in our house is rubbish when I'm trying to take pictures, I have to rely upon the weekends! Anyway, excuses out the way I thought I would just write a chatty post this evening, as I haven't done one before, and it might be interesting.

I went Christmas shopping today, and only came away with wrapping paper and nail polish. Guess I am going to be going shopping again then, aren't I?! I am planning to wrap my presents in the cute wrapping paper I brought today, put them in a jar, and then stuff the rest of the space with sweets. Oh, and I am also planning to make some homemade fudge! I have also been cuddling our chickens today (yes, chickens like to be cuddled too) and my dog too (pictured above)

I have discovered quite a few new blogs lately, so I may be doing a wee post on them soon...? I love reading new blogs, especially lifestyle blogs so if you want a new reader, just pop your link below, I would happily add it to my reading list! 

Lately I have been listening to Christmassy music, of course, but I have also been listening to You Ruin Me and been obsessing over The Hanging Tree from Mockingjay. My favourite Christmas songs vary from: Fairytale of New York, Last Christmas and of course Its Beginning to Look Alot like Christmas by Micheal Buble.

Oh, and I almost forgot to say! I am looking for a few guest posters that would be willing to write a post for me that could be featured within the next two weeks. If you are interested please email me at thejoysofbeingpaige{at}gmail{dot}com. I am open to almost anything, just please make sure it fits with the content of my blog, but all that can be arranged via email if your would like to. 

I hope you liked this style of post for today, if you did maybe it can become a weekly series? If you didn't, I will be back at my normal schedule this week, so don't fret! 

What have you been up too this week? 

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Skincare


Lately, my skin has been looking good, and while I am sure this is just a result of my drinking more water goal, I think it also has something to do with my new skincare routine. I haven't been doing anything to complex or complicated, nor spent a fortune on a skin product as I know that I would either forget or not use it. My skin isn't really problematic anyway, but can be a mixture of dry and oily, so I try to keep up with this skincare routine to keep it looking naturally healthy. 

Evening: I will remove my days makeup either using my Simple wipes, or my Lush toner water to prevent spot breakouts due to makeup clogged up pores. Then, I will wash my face using really hot water and whatever facial soap I have on hand. At the moment, I am using Lush's Godmother as it has a gorgeous sweet fragrance.

Morning: I will do exactly the same as my evening routine, except I will moisturize my face using some Nivea moisturizer and a cotton pad. Then, I just spot apply my Clinique Anti-Blemish gel if any new spots or blackheads have developed. After that, I just apply my makeup which is really simple; concealer, eyeshadow, mascara, bronzer, and finish off with my Rimmel Clear Skin powder.

Extras: I always keep a pot or tube of lip-salve with me to prevent my lips from going chapped or dry. At the moment I am using my cherry Carmex lip-balm jar as once again, it has a gorgeous sweet fragrance of cherry sweets. Also, when I want to treat myself, I like to apply a facemask. At the moment it is Mask of Magnaminty, which is a lovely minty mask that works on removing spots and blackheads.

I know everyone's skin is different and while this may seem like a lot to you, or may seem very minimal, this works for my skin and is just the right amount, as me and my skin seem to be happy with it. Please notice I have used quite cheap products as I appreciate not everyone can afford the expensive high end products that will do just as good of a job as the cheaper products! What does your skincare routine look like, and is there any miracle products you have?

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Blogging Under A Budget


I have been blogging for about 8 months now, and only once have I splashed out on a expensive, high end product. Once being my new Canon EOS 100D, which I absolutely love. Many bloggers discontinue their blogs due to money issues, but I disagree. Blogging is a cheap hobby as all you need is a computer and a camera. I have never struggled with money issues as I just take products around my house to blog about and take pictures of. I thought I would share with you today some tips on how to blog under a budget successfully.

Use products you already have. If you are a budgeting beauty blogger, I think it is safe to assume that you already have quite a large beauty collection. Use the products you already have, or enjoy using. Post about your makeup collection, or high end makeup dupes as those are perfect if you don't have the cash to splash.

Design your own blog design. The number of bloggers purchasing $70 blog designs is ridiculous. Yes, the designs may be lovely, but a design you are proud of is much better than a pre-made template. There are so many brilliant tutorials on the internet, make use of them!

Don't buy something you don't need. Don't go and buy something because every blogger has one, or because there is a massive hype about it. I went through a stage of wanting a Apple Mac, because every blogger has one, but I decided to just use the perfectly good laptop I had in my bedroom.

If you love a product, talk about it! If you have a product at home that you really love - blog about it! Don't feel afraid because no other blogger is writing about it - that is what makes your blog you! I once didn't want to post something because nobody else had blogged about it, but when I eventually did post it, it turned out to be one of the most popular posts on my blog!

If you don't have anything to blog about, do a wishlist! You don't have to actually wear the clothes to be able to blog about it! I have on several occasions designed a wishlist of the clothes I would wear if I had purchased them. It is a great way of designing a outfit post without breaking the bank.

I think that blogging on a budget is such a fun way of blogging - you have to hunt for ideas instead of just splashing the cash easily. It also makes your blog much more creative - it doesn't just feature the high end products that nobody is really going to buy. Is there any more tips you would recommend to people blogging on a budget?

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Gelly Nails


I love having colourful nails, but unfortunately my school is one that has a nail polish ban. However, at the weekends I love to paint my nails and try out some new purchases. When my local Boots store had a 3 for 2 offer on, I couldn't resist picking this little beauty up. Chai is a gorgeous grey colour which applies smoothly and is fully pigmented. As well as going with nearly everything, it also stays on for at least five days without chipping. I really like wearing this colour to brighten up my outfits and I don't think I will be changing my nail polish any time soon!

What are your favourite nail polishes?

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

How To Make Your Blog Look Professional


I love Blogger. It is so easy to use, and I haven't had a bad experience with it yet. However, there are some features on the Blogger platform that I kind of twitch about when I see. Literally. So many people keep them on their blog because; a) they don't know how to remove them and b) they don't think they are allowed to. Yes, you are allowed to remove Blogger features, and in this post I thought I would share with you some of my tips on how to make your Blogger blog look less bloggery and more you.

Remove the photo border. When you create your blog, your pictures will have a annoying border and a slight shadow around them. Some people may like that, but personally it is one of the first things I remove.

Nav Bar. Again, when you create your blog, at the top will be a Google nav bar. Although this may seem helpful, if you look at the stats, it is pointless. This is easily removed by selecting 'off' on the gadget.

Favicon. If you want to make your blog more you, the orange 'B' favicon can be really annoying. Luckily, this can be easily removed.

Attribution. The 'powered by blogger' at the bottom of your blog can be irritating, especially if you want to add your own, but once again it can be removed with some simple code on the internet.

If there is any other item you want to add/remove, in the past I just Googled it. There are plenty of tutorials on the internet, and when you achieve it, it is greatly satisfying!

Do you like the Blogger platform, is there anything else you would remove?

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Tea and Cake

This picture is a updated one of a chocolate cake I baked - the other image of a lemon drizzle has somehow disappeared!

A couple of days ago, I decided to invite a few friends over to help make some cakes for a tabletop sale event, and they all looked so great I decided to share with you my favourite - the Lemon Drizzle.

I used a lemon drizzle sponge recipe: 8oz butter, 8oz sugar, 10oz self-raising flour, 4 eggs, 4tbs of milk, and baked that in the oven for about 40 minutes. I then stabbed a fork into the top and mixed sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest together and poured that over the cake and left it to set.

I was pleased at how the cake turned out and when we sold the cake, everyone said it tasted nice, (and from personal experience later, I can clarify that it did), and I will definitely be baking this cake again.

What do you think, will you try this out?   

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Pins I Love

I only began Pinterest a few weeks ago, and already I am addicted. It's full of all sorts; inspiration, cute DIYs, and really pretty photos. You can follow my little collection here, but I thought it would be nice if I shared my favourite pins that I have been loving this week.

#1 Cute crafts is one of my favourite things to search on Pinterest, so its no wonder I am in love with these cute teacup candles! I think they would make such cute gifts for friends and family, and they cost near to nothing to make!

#2 Forget the toffee apples, these cupcakes are brilliant. After all the excitement yesterday about bonfire night, you can bring back the festive feel with these super-cute Toffee Apple Cupcakes!

#3 I particularly like the new Autumn Looks, with the neutral eyes, dark lips, but it may be a while until try it myself! I use Pinterest to inspire most of my makeup looks, and I love them!

#4 It's brilliant when you have a good breakfast, even better if it's healthy! Most of my baking inspiration comes from Pinterest as I love baking cookies and cakes. Recently, I haven't been able to sit down and eat breakfast, so these oaty raspberry cookies are perfect for out and about too!

#5 This is another one of my to-do DIYs, Sharpie Mugs are so cute, as before, they would make the coolest Christmas present, especially since you can customize them!

Are you a Pinterest fan? Leave your links below...

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Recipe: Tortilla Wrap Pizza


If you have never attempted making bread dough before, or just can't make bread (like me) the thought of diving in and making a whole pizza can be a little scary. My pizza recipe uses a tortilla wrap as the pizza base, so you don't need to worry about yeast and timings. 

What you will need:
- Tortilla wrap (alternatively, you could use a bread dough mix, or make your own pizza dough)
- Tomatoes (alternatively, you could use shop brought tomato puree)
- Cheese and other toppings

Method: 
- Preheat your oven to 210°C and line your baking tray with greaseproof paper or drizzle with oil. 
- Place your tomatoes on a baking tray and bake for about 7 minutes, or until soft.
- Peel the skins off and blend together with water until a puree is formed.
- Spread your puree over the tortilla wrap evenly.
- Cover the tortilla pizza with your cheese and other toppings.

See, easy peasy, lemon squeazey. 

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Little Habits


Not too long ago I was sitting down watching a television programme with my friends. My sister just happened to be there too, and turned up the volume down because it was too loud. Just as I was about to reach for the remote, I noticed my friend doing something that made me stare with pure shock and delight - she reached for the remote and turned it down once more so the volume was a even number...I stared for a while, as she was the first person I have ever seen that does just as I do myself.

This moment made me think about the little habits we all have, and how many of which we think are just our own, when there are hundreds of others that thinking exactly the same about their 'unique' habits. Lets just say it wasn't long before I came up with a whole list of little habits I, along with many other people, have:

- Can't concentrate on the television programme unless the volume has been turned up or down to a even number.

- Can't enjoy the first five minutes of a conversation with a stranger of fear of being judged.

- Can smash Just Dance but when asked to dance on the spot, just awkwardly shuffles on the spot.

Talks to yourself when something bad happens; e.g: *Trips over your own foot* "Ow! That hurts! Wait, did anyone see that? What if they did? Are they laughing? Just keep walking. Not to fast, you look like you just robbed something"

Can't wear a good outfit without good makeup.

Won't use the same tissue twice.

Searches the back of the shelf for items that have been less handled by strangers.

Will decide their desert before even looking at the main course menu. I mean, you got to leave the restaurant on a high, right?

Why not comment below your little habits, see if anyone is the same!

Monday, 13 October 2014

Autumn Wishlist: Clothing

Now that Autumn is in full swing, I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the clothes that are on my wishlist for this year. I opted for creams, greens, greys and reds, as well as some skinny jeans which is a must for the Autumn season. As usual, the above list is small and select but hopefully this has saved a wardrobe crisis!

I also have some very exciting things planned and written on my blogging schedule and I can't wait to share them with you! They should be posted within the next week or so, so do keep an eye out!
What do you like wearing in Autumn?

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Bedroom Decor


I have been a big fan of IKEA for a long time now, and my love for it's products has only grown since moving house and getting a new bedroom to decorate and design. I opted for white walls and a cream carpet so I could change the colour scheme more regular, if I ever wanted too.

Above is a few items that I put together that caught my eye while browsing through their website - small and select, but perhaps you have picked up some inspiration!

What is your favourite item from IKEA?