Sunday, 31 May 2015

May Favourites: Posts From Others


Lots of you seemed to enjoy my last Monthly Favourites: Posts From Others I wrote for you, so I am back with another! There have been so many posts this month that I have loved, so to make it easier for you and myself (read: so I don't have to spend hours linking every single one because I am lazy!) I have created a Bloglovin' collection instead.


Have you got any favourite posts from May?

Friday, 29 May 2015

What I Have Learnt In 8 Months of Blogging


Although technically this blog was created in April 2014, if you look through my archives I didn't start blogging regularly until October. I have thoroughly enjoyed these past few months writing to you; reading your feedback and discovering your lovely blogs has also added to the whole experience! While running my reader survey, I was thinking about the things I have learnt along my blogging journey; and while I have still got so many new things to learn, I feel that I have come so far. However cliché is sounds, I do think I have bettered myself as a person too.

Everything takes time, and lots of it. When I first started blogging, I was vain enough to think I would get about 100 followers within the first week. When that didn't happen I remember feeling very disappointed and felt like I wasn't good enough and I should just quit. Still, I carried on publishing posts and eventually, I gained a audience (you guys) who I enjoyed writing to on a weekly basis! I think it is important to understand that not everything happens at once, and once you realise that the further you will go; not just in blogging but in life too!

You can't write content that you don't like. For a period of time, I went through a stage of writing about things I really didn't enjoy writing about and didn't have any enthusiasm for the content I was creating. As a result, I lost a ton of readers who obviously knew I wasn't as enthusiastic as I claimed to be; another big disappointment! Since then, I have turned this around and only write content that I am truly proud of and feel my readers will appreciate.

I love designing blogs. I remember my first blog design, the default Watermark template provided by blogger. Not too bad for a girl who had absolutely no idea what she was doing! However, this didn't last long and before I knew it I was spending hours designing a new blog design and finally created something I loved. Blog designing is something I have real enthusiasm for, and I still enjoy designing and developing my skills today!

Photography. Believe it or not, I didn't know anything about photography when I first started blogging. All of my posts were pure writing, and they must have been pretty boring! It was only when I started to follow the bigger blogs who had beautiful photography did I start to consider that it looked fun and something that I could have a go at. If you had told me when I first started blogging that in 3 months I would have a DSLR camera and be taking photos on a daily basis; I would have laughed in your face and politely said goodbye!

Numbers don't matter as much as you think they do. I would never go as far to say numbers don't matter but when I first started out, I was obsessed. I would check my stats about 10 times a day just to see a slight increase in viewers. Thankfully, I am over that now after realising that it doesn't matter how many people are viewing my posts at what time; instead it matters about the readers that are already viewing your blog, and to make sure the content you are writing appeals to them. Of course, if the readers you are attracting are the complete opposite to your target audience, you may want to reconsider your content but I always think the readers come first.

Blogging will change you. I can't even begin to say the amount blogging has changed me. It sounds impossible, but blogging has made me a more confident person; both within myself and talking to others. Perhaps this comes from talking to a complete lot of strangers friends as my audience, but I have to say I wouldn't of had it any different. My interests for hair and beauty have also been activated through blogging, and after seeing lots of pretty styles on blogs I follow it has become something I love doing on a daily basis.

What have you learnt from blogging?

Thursday, 28 May 2015

A 3 Step Guide To Google Analytics


I'm not going to lie - I look at my blog stats. So many people tell you to blog for yourself, and not worry about the numbers, but I find this a load of nonsense. Of course you need some idea of your blog stats to help guide you in the right direction in blogging, they help you determine who your content is attracting, discover which posts are most popular amongst your readers, and help you run your website or blog easily and efficiently.

For months I have been using the default Blogger stats, which are great as a starting point for anyone looking at blogging seriously. However I wanted more, and after reading lots of reviews online I decided to have a go with Google Analytics. Now, I have attempted to install Google Analytics quite a few times in the past (unsuccessfully, may I add) so I was a little wary. I signed myself up, set up the code and waited. It says it usually takes between 24 - 48 hours to set up on your website, but I found results at around 18 hours later.

Altogether I had to use about 10 tutorials to get the grips with Google Analytics, which is quite a lot considering it is meant to be easy to use. After that experience, I decided to make a short 3 step guide on how to use Google Analytics to help develop your blog.

DOWNLOADING GOOGLE ANALYTICS ONTO YOUR BLOG


This step isn't hard at all but it does include quite a bit of information to take in, so in that case I will direct you to this tutorial which will guide you through all of the steps of installing Google Analytics onto your blog. It is a excellent tutorial, and is the very one I used myself as it is very clear and easy to follow!

UNDERSTANDING THE DATA

One of the things I think people get most confused about when using Google Analytics is the amount of data that is available for your blog. There are several different features, each with a valuable contribution and a help to you when you look at your blog stats. As I mentioned before, Google Analytics says that data can take between 24 - 48 hours to appear, but it is different for everyone. There are lots of different features, but these are just a few of my favourites. Oh, and yes - these are screenshots of my own data, unlike others I don't really mind if you see them. Quite a bit of data is missing, as you can see as I only set this up on Sunday!


AUDIENCE OVERVIEW
The audience overview is one of the most important features of Google Analytics. It includes so much data, and really helps you get to grips with the most essential parts of your blog.

Sessions - the period time a visitor is actively engaged with your website.
Users visitors that have had at least one session within the selected date range. Includes both new and returning users.
Page Views - the total amount of times pages are viewed on your site.
Pages/Session - the average number of pages that users visited per session.
Avg. Session Duration- the average length of a session.
Bounce Rate - the percentage of users who only viewed one page before leaving your site.

If you can see, the little pie chart at the bottom shows the percentage of new and returning visitors. The green shows the percentage returning visitors I have, (who I am very happy to see) and the blue shows the number of new visitors coming to my blog. I am quite happy with this, as it means plenty of traffic is coming in but if I were to say one thing to improve on, I would like a slight increase in returning visitors. My bounce rate is okayish, but ideally I would like it to be below 45%. Factors that can reduce your bounce rate is things like Related Posts widgets and I plan to be adding one soon. 


REAL TIME
This is by far by favourite feature, and I think it is just because I am nosey! Whenever I publish a new post, I always like to watch the active users go up and see how long they spend on my blog. This helps because if they only spend 30 seconds on my blog then click off, the chances are that they didn't like the post and found it boring or not useful to them. However if they spend, lets say 5 minutes on my blog, then the content I have posted is obviously interesting and useful to that visitor.

The picture is a screenshot of Real Time in use. This was captured at around 8:00 last night, (hello, 8pm visitor!) and it tells me that, because only one person was browsing my site, 8 pm isn't really a very popular posting time - but lets flash back to that morning around 8am when 12 visitors were browsing and reading my latest post, that is the time to post!


MY DASHBOARD
This is also a really helpful feature, it shows a much more detailed graph than Blogger about where your site is being viewed and by how many people. This will help me focus my content onto certain areas that I may not be writing about in terms of language, celebrations etc, that could potentially gain me more visitors. 

My Dashboard also shows which browser your site is being viewed in, which is great to know. Why? This means you should test out all of these browsers to view your website so you can make sure your design works well in all browsers, if you haven't already!


WHAT SHOULD YOU PAY ATTENTION TO?

As there is so much data available to you and your blog, I don't think anyone would blame you if you skipped half of it and just read your favourite features. However, these are the things I think you should pay attention to, just so you can maximise your blog stats development as much as possible. 

On what day/s do you get the most pageviews?
What are readers searching for on your blog?
Has someone mentioned you somewhere on the internet?
What are your most popular posts?
Do they match your blog's theme? Did you enjoy writing them?
How many people return to your blog? Are they your vision of ideal readers?
Is your blog design compatible with all of the browsers?

Have you installed Google Analytics? Did this guide help you at all?

TAKE MY READER SURVEY

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Love, Tanya Review


Maybe I am a little late to be blogging about this, but it's better late than never! I recently bought Love, Tanya by Tanya Burr, and thought I would write a little review for any latecomers like myself who are considering purchasing this.

I absolutely love lifestyle blogs, so I had no doubt I would love a lifestyle book too! After reading the book, I feel that the target audience is around 13-18 years, however that isn't to say younger or older people wouldn't enjoy this book, because they would; it's just that the writing style is more like a reading a journal more than reading a book, therefore making it very easy going.

The book is split into 12 chapters covering everything from Tanya growing up to baking and her favourite recipes. Each chapter includes photos of Tanya and although some may not enjoy this, I personally really liked them and felt like it added to the overall feel of the book. I also enjoyed the little lists of Tanya's favourite things and tips - it helped break up the book a bit and draw your attention to her main advice. Their is also space to fill in your own thoughts, but as I am a perfectionist - I don't think I will be writing inside the book, instead jotting the answers down inside my journal!

I have brought my hardback version for £9.99, but after looking online you can get this book for a bargain price at WH Smith! I would recommend this book for anyone who is 13-18 or a fan of Tanya's, otherwise only about half of the content would be of any use or interest to you. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't have a read, because it is; but this is just my personal view!

Are you going to read this book? If you have already, what are your views on it?

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

The Joys of Being Paige Reader Survey

It's been over 5 months since I have done a reader survey, so I thought it was about time I ran a new one! As you may know, I am always looking to make my blog better for you as readers, and encourage you to feedback on what you think is working and what you think needs improving.

I would also love to know a bit more about you! After all, the main aim for this blog is to provide entertaining content for my readers - I would love it if you could tell me a few facts about yourself so that we can be friends! No questions are compulsory, so feel free to answer the questions as you please, nobody is complaining! If you do have a few moments to fill out the survey, I would be greatly appreciative as I can then tailor this blog in order to fit your needs.

Monday, 25 May 2015

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Camera


I think it is safe to say that photography is a big part of blogging, yet good cameras are far from cheap. Many people say investing in a DSLR camera is the best, and although I do agree with them to some extent, I don't think they are necessary. I thought I would share some of the things I think you should do to get the most out of your current camera, whether it be a big fancy DSLR or just your phone camera.

LEARN THE BASICS
Sounds pretty simple, but taking 10 minutes to study your cameras guide booklet is always a good thing to do. If you don't have the paper copy that comes with the product, why not Google it? You are bound to find something that will help you. Once you have read the guide, practice the functions and experiment with the new ones - see if you can find a new setting you love.

USE NATURAL LIGHT
Something I cannot stress enough is to use natural lighting. It is guaranteed to produce a better lit photo, and I personally find natural light improves the overall quality of the photo, getting rid of the graininess of artificial light. If it is hard or inconvenient for you to take photos in natural light, why not use stock photos?

SWITCH OFF FLASH
One of my biggest pet-peeves when looking at photography is seeing a massive white hole in a photo, obviously from a flash. Although flash can sometimes look good, more often than not I find that it ruins a photo by making it too bright and fake. Using natural light eliminates the need for flash on your camera, so why waste the opportunity?

LEARN THE LIMITATIONS
Although cameras are brilliant, they all have a point which they are at their limits. Obviously, phone cameras are a little more limited than DSLR's, but its a good idea to explore how far your camera can go, and push it to the limits. Playing round with the zooming features and the focus points are a good start. This can help you when you take your photos, so you can think about how is best to take the photo to fit in with your camera capabilities. 

PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!
You can only get better if you practice lots, especially when it comes to photography. Something I am doing at the moment is analysing each of my photos and asking myself questions like; Is this something I am proud of? Does this reflect my photography style and identity? This will help you develop and improve your own photography style and define your identity as a photographer.

Did these tips help you? Do you have any others? Comment down below!

Thursday, 21 May 2015

A New Pandora Charm



A few months ago it was my birthday, and for a present I received a Pandora gift voucher to pick out my first bracelet and charm. I had to put some money towards the bracelet too, but I love it so I didn't mind! I picked out the original Pandora bracelet with two ball safety clasps and the Starry Heart Openwork Charm which is a heart shaped charm with little star holes. Isn't it cute?

A few days ago, I brought my second charm, Openwork Heart Charm, which is a sphere made from little hearts joined together. As you can see, I am going for quite a simple bracelet, and in the future I will buy charms with pops of colour that will brighten up the bracelet. For now though, I am really happy with it, and I can't wait to add to the collection! I want to collect a charm for each new place I visit, so each charm holds a certain memory.

I love the whole range of Pandora charms, and I think there is something for everyone. They also range in price, some cheaper ones and some more expensive - but they are all stunning. Everything also comes beautifully packaged, with the gift bag, ribbon and box. When I first went to buy my bracelet, I went into the store, as then I could try on a few bracelet for sizing etc, and because I have a tiny wrist I had the smallest! They have a range of sizes though, so don't feel worried if you have a odd shaped wrist. The lady who served us was lovely, really helpful and chatty and helped me choose which charms to have, which made the whole process easier!

Have you got a Pandora bracelet? Are you going to get one in the future?

TAKE PART IN MY READER SURVEY.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

What I Like In A Blog


I realise that the post title sounds a bit up itself, but it can't really have any other name, as the post is literally what it claims: what I like to see in a blog, and what a blog has to make me follow it. I came across this idea while scrolling through Bloomin Rouge, and I thought I would share the things that make me personally follow and enjoy a blog. Here goes...

A clean and simple layout. As soon as I click onto a blog, I look to see if they have a clean layout free of clutter and overloads of colours etc. If they don't, unfortunately I won't stop around to see and read any more. It sounds harsh, but I won't be the only one who does this and I certainly won't be the last. Simple layouts and colours are visually pleasing but also encourages the reader to read the content you have created. My tips as always are: stick to one or two colours, fonts and that less is always more.

Good photography. The second thing I look for in a blog is good photographs. I like to look at photographs for inspiration for my own, so I prefer ones that have been well thought out, and presented nicely. Good quality images are also a must for me, the post always seems so much nicer then, does anyone else think this? If you don't enjoy taking your own photos, there are lots of free stock photo websites available for your use. If you do choose to go down the stock photo route, it might be worth noting that you use stock photos somewhere on your blog - reader trust and all!

Good reader navigation. Reader navigation is something I have tried to focus on in this design, making sure the reader can easily access everything on the blog without really having to try. Lets face it, if we spend ages trying to reach something online, we just click off the page. Things like a clear search bar, fixed pages gadget, social media icons etc, are always a great start! Even though you should blog for yourself, it is also important to consider the reader when you blog, as they are the ones who read what you write!

Enthusiasm. There is nothing worse than clicking onto a blog, and reading something that someone is either not enthusiastic about, or has rushed. Blog authors may not realise, but it is so obvious to the reader when someone hasn't proof-read their work, or wants to be doing anything other than blogging. I follow blogs which have little mistakes, and content which reads like the author has spent lots of time editing and perfecting. I think this adds a more caring touch, and really engages the reader into the post, which is a lovely thing to see. 

Interesting content. It sounds simple, but I won't follow a blog that I am not interested in. The blogs I follow each post content I am interested in: whether it be the photographs, subject matter or something else. I always enjoy content which I can relate to, and I don't think I am alone on this! I think it is a good idea to write about things you would be interested in, so you gain a similar minded audience, and you always show enthusiasm. 

What do you look for in a blog? Do you agree with my points?

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Lately


It's been a while since I have updated you on what has been going on in my life, so today I thought we could have a little catchup session before the regular posting scheme starts again. This week has been quit exciting, yet very busy as revising season is coming - I am really looking forward to the summer! The weather has been very mismatch this week, one day really sunny and the next pouring it down with rain! Don't you just hate that when it happens? Anyway, here's a little round-up of the highlights of my life lately!

I have been wishing I joined in with the French exchange our school is doing, everyone looks like they are having so much fun! I have had quite a few conversations with some of my friends exchanges - trying to explain what a theme park is when you don't speak very good French has proved to be a challenge!

Having bonfires on the sunny evenings k has been lovely. My dad has recently just sorted out lots of wood that has been in a old barn of ours, so we have been burning it. P.S: raiding the cupboards for marshmallows to toast is also a added bonus...

I have been wearing some of the perfume I received for my birthday lately, as the scent is a very spring scent, light and floral. Does anyone else feel so much more elegant when they wear perfume, or is it just me still being a 5 year old kid at heart?!

I have been trying to stick to a regular hair routine, and make the most out of the products I own rather than sidestepping them. The main aim of this is to keep my hair looking as healthy as possible for longer, so I don't wash my hair too often and dry it out.

Another gift I received for my birthday is No Stars At The Circus from my lovely friend Kate. This is a great book, and I can't recommend it enough. It is set in the second world war, about a little boy who is a Jew escaping from the Nazi's. It is told from the viewpoint of Jonas, who is whisked away to live with a elderly music professor. It was so interesting I just couldn't put it down. The other book she brought me was All The Truth In Me which was about a girl who, after two years of being missing, returns home with her tongue cut out and her best friend dead. Nobody knows what happened, and Judith cannot speak of it. Another great book that I literally had to keep reading.

I am going on a cricket coaching course tomorrow, and I am really looking forward to it! I love cricket and I am excited to have a go at coaching some. I hope to improve my bowl as the angle is still a little off, but these things will come in time! Even though I am not taking GCSE PE, I do love playing sport so I am grateful to have this opportunity!

How has your life been lately?

Saturday, 16 May 2015

The Joys of Being Paige Facelift


Have you noticed? The Joys of Being Paige has undergone a new blog design, and wasn't it about time? Well, it was for me anyway - I always find I get bored of a design after a few months, does anyone else feel like this? I think it is because I always find myself lusting over other peoples beautiful designs, often adding them to a wishlist in my head!

So, tada! Here is the new design! I have introduced a sidebar which has all of my gadgets so it's more accessible to everyone. There are also some new, cute social icons, so have a follow through them too! I realise I haven't blogged in a week, as I have been a bit uninspired, but having a new design has sparked my creative side again! Look forward to some new posts this week, hopefully you will enjoy them.

Do you like the new design? Have you re-designed yours lately?

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Beauty Tips I Wish I Learnt Sooner

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I think it is fair to say that when I was younger, I really had no idea what I was doing with my makeup and beauty products. Today, I thought I would share a quick post on the tips I wish I had known when I first started taking a interest in beauty, and if these match up to any of yours comment below and we can have a laugh together!

- It's not enough to just wash your face twice a day, hot water and facial wash are a essential.
- You don't have to spend hours googling 'makeup looks', you can do a pretty good job yourself, and it is more your style.
- Use a brush or sponge to apply your base, and if you have lost them - wash your hands before applying makeup.
- Moisturise after washing your face with face exfoliator.
- So your hair doesn't get damaged, use heat protection on your hair before applying heat to your hair.
- When washing your makeup brushes, don't use oil - just settle for warm water and hand wash.
- Don't use hair removal cream on your eyebrows - you're the one who will suffer!
- Just because your friends are wearing a certain foundation that is the right shade for them, doesn't mean it is your shade too!

These are some beauty tips I wish I learnt sooner, what are yours?

Saturday, 9 May 2015

What Is A Media Kit and Why Do You Need One


A few weeks ago I updated my PR/Advertising page, and instead of displaying my ever-changing stats (those who have their stats on their blog will understand the struggle - anyone new who follows, the page has to be updated!) I decided to design my own media kit, to offer to the brands that email me asking for collaborations. Seeing as I only discovered what a media kit is recently, I thought many of you wouldn't know either, and I thought I would run through why you need a media kit and what to include on yours.

WHAT IS A MEDIA KIT?

Also known as a media pack, a media kit for bloggers is a document that is available to PR brands or advertisers who are considering or choose to work with you. It includes all of the information they need to know about you and your blog, such as statistics, reader demographics and what types of sponsored posts you offer. If you think about the leaflets you get in shops for New Look etc, a media kit is the same things for a blog - just a electronic version!

Why do you need one, I hear you ask? A media kit is essential for those who want to pursue blogging seriously - it adds a professional touch to your blog, and it shows brands and advertisers that you take blogging seriously and aren't going to mess them around. It also saves endless emails explaining your blog stats and advertising packages, which is a plus for both sides: blogger and company. 

WHAT SHOULD A MEDIA KIT INCLUDE?

A media kit should include the following:

- Your name and a picture of yourself.
- A short paragraph about your blog. 
- Your reader demographics and stats.
- Any social media your blog is on, or you are willing to advertise companies on.
- A short paragraph of why they should work with you.
- Content you offer.
- Your blog policies.
- Contact details. 

Remember, first impressions count. Keep your layout clean and simple, and stick to one or two colours and fonts that compliment each other. It is also a good idea to have your media kit matching your blog or at least complimenting it in terms of fonts and colours. Remember to update your media kit every month or so, because then companies always get your better, updated stats.

WHERE DO I DESIGN ONE?

If you have Photoshop, that would be a good place to design one, but for people who don't, Microsoft Office have some great options: Publisher, Word etc. Just remember, save your media kit as a PDF and a Microsoft Office file, so you can easily edit the document without having to design the whole thing over again. If you are wondering when to use it, the next time companies email you asking for your policies, send over your media kit so you look super professional and organised!

What do you think? Are you going to design a media kit for your blog?

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Reader Discussions


Is it worse to fail at something, or never attempt it in the first place?

I thought I would do something different today - and leave you in charge of the post. I'm opening up this post as a reader discussion, something you can talk to each other about in the comments. If you check the Notify Me box at the bottom right hand side of the comment box, you can tell when someone has replied to your comment! 

I personally think that nobody can fail at something, but instead it is their lack of self motivation. I am pretty sure anybody can do anything if they truly put their heart and soul into it, and will achieve an outcome of success. Therefore, it is worse to never attempt it in the first place, as you haven't even given yourself a chance of success, instead doomed for failure. 


These are just my opinions, what are yours?

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

15 Things You Need To Do This Week


I know it may be Tuesday, but as it was Bank Holiday yesterday this is basically the start of the week! Goodness knows why, but I woke up yesterday wanting to spend this week doing a few nice things during my everyday routine. Whether they be for others or myself, I thought I would share them with you to see if you wanted to join me on my little pact! So, what do I plan to do this week?

Compliment someone different everyday.
I always love it when I receive lovely comments, so I'm going to make it my aim to compliment other people each day throughout this week. I don't know about you, but when I give out compliments I always feel great about myself too! Bonus for you and the complimented person.

Plan out your week ahead, perhaps stretch to two weeks ahead!
I consider myself as a organised person when it comes to workbooks and pencilcases, however I would like to have a routine set in place for the next week or so, as it will help me prepare for each event in terms of outfits and supplies so I am not grabbing things last minute in order to arrive on time!

Take a photo per day and Instagram it.
I feel like I haven't posted on Instagram for ages, and because it is one of my favourite social media platforms (after Twitter of course) I want to use it more! I aim to take at least one picture per day, and upload it to Instagram to share with all of my friends and family. As it is so light these days, it will be a great activity to do after school. If you want to see these posts, a little Instagram widget is at the bottom of my blog!

Invite friends over.
I love organising things with my friends, I have done ever since I was little. Although the days are long gone when I planned out the games we were going to play, but I always find having a friend over makes the evening seem much more fun and enjoyable than on your own!

Eat three solid meals a day, and cut out on snacks.
Although I am happy with the weight I am, it would be nice to cut out some bad habits - one being snacking. I snack way to much, and I have decided that I will try out something where I eat 3 solid meals per day, and cut out the after school snacking I do and see what a difference it makes!

Clean up after myself.
I said before that I am quite organised, however I do have a habit of being messy, particularly in my bedroom! It drives my mum crazy, so I will try to make a effort to be tidier this week, putting clothes away when they have finished being washed, tidying up after myself when I have my hair dryer out etc, so everything will look tidier! Also, it means I don't have to do a mad tidy up the night before my friends come round ;-)!

Try a food I can't pronounce.
Usually, if I can't pronounce a food I don't want to eat it, but I want to try something new this week. Whether this is a new food from the supermarket in our weekly shop, or a exciting dish from a local takeout, it will be fun to give this a try. Who knows - maybe it will become my new favourite food!

Spend 24 hours without electronics.
Now, I am not quite sure if this will work out as well as I want it to, because our school does quite a lot of ICT but I'll certainly give it a go! I often read about people doing this and how proud they feel afterwards, and I think it would be a great experience for me, as I do spend lots of time on electronic devices. Oh dear, I have made it sound like I am out of touch with the outside world, but rest assured I'm not!

Start a journal - and stick to it.
I really like writing journals, but often I stop after a week or so because I just forget. This time, I want to keep writing, as I always love reading through my old journal entries from when I was little. To encourage myself, I even bought a new notebook which I can write in - always a good starting point!

Go to the movies.
There are lots of films I want to see at the cinema at the moment, so this week I plan to go see some of them! Whether it is with my friends or family, it will be a fun thing to do after a busy day of school and work, and it will be interesting to see if I can cope without popcorn!

Cook a three course meal for family.
I love cooking for the family, so I want to challenge myself and cook not one, not two, but three dishes for my family to eat for dinner. Or tea, whatever you call it! I want to have a go at making chocolate mousse, my last ones didn't set but there is always a second shot!

Go make-up free one day. 
This won't be hard, as I usually only go with BB cream, eyeshadow, mascara and powder, but it will be interesting all the same! I like to experiment with makeup, trying different eyeshadow colours etc, so I wear it quite often, but I do sometimes need those extra 5 minutes in the morning!

Spend my evenings doing a DIY.
As I won't be using electronics for 24 hours I will most likely get bored, so I have decided I am going to find a DIY that will take a few evenings to do. I love DIY, and I have just handed in my Design Technology GCSE, so I am looking for another project to keep me busy!

Do all work the night I receive it. 
Oh, wouldn't this just make life so much easier? I did all of my homework due in this week yesterday, and although I don't have to do any for now, it would be better if I didn't have to do it over the weekend!

Be happy!
My final aim is to be happy. I am nowhere near a negative person, but sometimes we can all get into a slump and I don't want this to happen - especially if I have all of this list to do! I also want to encourage the people around me to be happy to, I find that when you surround yourself with happy people, you become so much happier too!

Are you going to do these too? Have you got any other suggestions?

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Blogging Advice


I think it is fair to say, blogging advice has become 'the thing' to blog about. Whether this is because everyone wants to share their knowledge to help others, or whether people know that advice type of posts will be popular amongst their readers, it is almost impossible to scroll through your blog feed and not notice some kind of advice post there.

Before anything else, I'm just going to put my hands up here and say I have probably read and re-read every type of advice post there is out there, from design tutorials to SEO tips - heck, I have even written a few myself! But, I recently realised that although these authors are writing these looking out for the readers best interests they are actually doing the opposite.

I first started thinking about blogging about 5 years ago, however I never actually started a blog until 2014. Back then, blogs were almost like personal diaries, places where people could document their daily lives and many people would be interested. Now they have developed into businesses, jobs and income streams for many people. And, although it is great to see this happen, it leaves lots of people wanting to be in the spotlight and trying to be someone they aren't, buying all of the latest beauty releases just because they think they have to.

Perhaps I am being a bit weird, and rambling on about nothing, but I do think it is sad to see so many people so desperate to be like everyone else that they will do almost anything. I grew up to the belief that everyone is unique and they should treasure that, because it is the one thing that they can truly keep to themselves. With all of the blogging advice posts there are out there, so many people are being shaped into what everyone calls the 'perfect blogger' when in fact, there is no such thing.

From now on, I have made a pact with myself to only publish posts that feel right to me, and something that my readers will enjoy, instead of trying to please the audience that hasn't yet discovered this blog. The readers I am writing for will come along, and will enjoy the words I am writing. And, although I do care about stats, I understand that blogging isn't about how many readers or pageviews you get per post, its about the impact you make on those people who have read and listened (I couldn't think of the right word to use, but that'll do!) to you and bettered their life.

What are your opinions on this? I would love to hear them.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

April Favourites: Posts From Others


I always love reading other peoples end of month favourites, so I decided to start my own little series! However, I wanted to do something a little bit different, and share my favourite posts from the previous month! Let me know if you like this idea - I've wanted to have a little series for a while now, but I couldn't think of what to do! Getting straight into it, here are my favourite posts from April.

The Effortless Side Braid // Ahem It's Emme
Can You Recognise Happiness // Nishaantishu
A Few Tips on Photography Styling // From Roses
5 Tips To Grow Your Blog // Media Marmalade
Dark Chocolate Banana Bread // Chocolate Covered Katie
DIY Wooden Clothes Rack in Under 15 Minutes // Chloe Larkin
30 Day Challenge To Show Your Blog Some Love This Month // JennyPurr
How and Why to Create a Media Kit for Your Blog // The Nectar Collective
My Colourful Eclectic Living Room Makeover // Wonder Forest
At Home Manicure // Fashion + Beauty Tribes
50 Blog Post Ideas For When You're Feeling Uninspired // The Sunday Chapter

What were your favourite posts from this month?