Sunday, 19 March 2017

Mother's Day Gift Guide 2017

I am not ashamed to admit that my mum absolutely spoils me to death, so I kind of go a little overboard every year when it comes to Mother's Day because she deserves the entire universe and more. (Doesn't every mum?!) As I am one of four children (my Dad counts as a child), I take it upon myself to decide on what to buy her, as if it was up to the boys she would probably end up with a massive selection of whatever had MUM slapped across it from the Card Factory. And my mum is definitely not a me-to-you bear kinda woman.

Below I have shared some treats and trinkets to spoil your mum with this year. Enjoy!










I was very kindly gifted with a gift card from Debenhams to treat my Mum this year! They have also created a Mother's Day edit which you can shop here.

*Some items in this gift guide have been gifted to me, however I only ever accept PR samples from brands I would buy myself, and I am always 100% honest in my reviews.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Should We Celebrate Numbers in the Blogging World?


I've seen this topic discussed more and more frequently in recent months, so of course I had to give my opinion. There has been so many discussion, arguments, debates, whatever you want to call it, over whether numbers matter any more in the world of blogging. When I say numbers, I mean stats, followers, subscribers.

In short, my answer is yes. Of course! Bloggers should have a right to celebrate the fact they have hit a certain milestone of followers on a certain social media platform, whether it's 100, 1,000 or 10,000. I feel like it's the 'bigger' bloggers who are weighing in on the topic saying that numbers don't matter anymore, but that's easy to say when you've got half a million and are being jetted off around the world on press trips and showered with designer gifts from various PR agencies. 

As much as we would like to think we are judged and contacted by brands based on our content, and not our followers, it's not always the case. Do you think PR's really have time to read through alllllll our recent blog posts and discuss how good it is? No. I work in marketing myself, and when we look to reach out to bloggers we check a couple of recent blog posts to check the layout, photo quality, and actual content, then go straight to the social media channels to check out the followers. Massive following and decent content! Great! One quick email later and a collab is on the cards. Would this really happen to someone who produced amazing content but had 20 followers on Twitter, no Facebook and 90 on Insta? Course it wouldn't!

Even blogging collaboration sites such as The Blogger Hangout and The Blogger Programme specify that you need a certain amount of followers across your social platforms, or they won't even consider working with you. Your DA score is a deciding factor as well, but if you have a high DA score and low follower count, how are you getting your content out there? I'm not the most experienced with SEO, but in my experience, it's lot easier to gain exposure through social media than trying to rank highly on Google for certain things, especially as bloggers have a high tendency to blog about certain products- the ABH glow palette for example, or Kylie Lip Kits. So chances of being on the top pages for Google are slim (to non!)

Growing a following is TOUGH. Yeah, you might think you write amazing content, or take the best photos, but there are so many factors getting in the way of getting your content actually in front of people to actually read/watch it. You need a dedicated following of readers and subscribers or how else would they get notified or see that you have a new post up? Because they follow you on Twitter, that's why! They follow, read, comment, share and that's how your blog gets more views. And thus your follower count goes up. (and you should be extremely proud of yourself!)

Yeah, we all know how easy it is to buy followers, but why should this ruin our excitement about growing our following organically? (and what kind of legit blogger even does that?) As bloggers, we can spot a faker a mile off. And even if you do have 1983832 followers, is it going to give them a verified tick? No. And it's pretty obvious if they have 100k followers on Instagram but only rack up 15 likes per photo with no comments, so we know to just disregard it because the fact the person has bought their followers just crushes any slither of legitimacy or trust to their site (and their content is probably terrible.)
Be proud of your milestones, celebrate each one, no matter how small, or how big. It's YOUR blog. Your tiny space on the internet, which you have every right to be excited about hitting that next milestone. There is SO much competition in the world of blogging, so instead of competing, and slagging off another blogger because they've 'only just hit 1k', why not help them to hit another? Tweet them congrats! RT their latest post! Share the ❤️!

'Let's root for each other, and watch each other grow'.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

The Best Series to Watch on Netflix (IMO)

Orange is the New Black


This the first television series I would say I properly binge watched. I think I steamed through the entirety of series 1 in about 2 days, I think at one point I watched 8 episodes in one day! (#unemployedlife) It's a comedy-drama series about a woman named Piper who ends up in a Litchfield, women's prison institute when her criminal past catches up with her. as well as the plot, one of my favourite things about OITNB are the characters! I love how you learn more about the backstory of each one throughout the series. For example, you start off hating a particular character (not naming names but if you've seen it you will know!) but after you hear about their childhood you have a massive change of heart and they become one of your favourites! It's so hard not to go into detail on this one because I don't wanna ruin it for anything who is yet to watch, but trust me, if you are planning to do so, cancel all your social plans for the forthcoming weeks because you will be hooked. (Lucky for me, when I was watching this, two of my best friends started it too, so we could discuss every episode in detail like the super-fans we are.)

Power


First things first, I can't talk about Power without mentioning the sex scenes! Oh my WORD. They are intense. Not for the faint-hearted. But Power is so addictive, and every scene has some form of twist/drama/action. Plus the main characters are F-I-T. Back to the most important part- what it's actually about. Basically it's a crime drama series about Jamie, or 'Ghost' as he is known, who appears to have it all: a huge house, a beautiful wife and two kids, the best nightclub in town and a successful career. Except his 'successful' career is a drug network. You can see where I'm going with this... Season 4 is set to air this summer, so you have plenty of time to catch up!

Girls


I started watching this recently, after raaaaave reviews from my colleague at work. It's a comedy/drama series following four 20-something girls growing up in Manhattan, New York. I'm still on series 1, and there are SIX series for me to catch up on, so I am gonna have to put some serious hours in! (I did watch 6 episodes in a row on Sunday though, just saying')  It's such an easy watch (ideal for hangover days) and I LOVE Lena Dunham. Plus anything that talks candidly about sex, the struggles of growing up and basically anything I can relate to is a hit with me. And did I say I love Lena Dunham?

Ru Paul's Drag Race


Gentlemen, start your engines! Ok who doesn't love Ru Paul? Seriously. I watched one episode and I was hooked. From the outrageous contestants, to the guest judges, and of course Ru himself! The bitchiness is just on another level, and I love the ridiculousness of the challenges- posing seductively whilst submerged in a 10m deep fish tank, or having 10 seconds to dig through a trash can and create haute couture from it and walk down a runway. Oh and of course lip syncing....FOR YOUR LIFE! So cringe, but I can't take my eyes off the screen. In fact, I have actually noticed Ru's catchphrases sneaking into my every day vocabulary. And I'm not complaining. 

Black Mirror


I never imaged myself being hooked on anything that fell into the sci-fi or Utopian genre but Charlie Brooker is a GENIUS. The mini-series is based on everything that is wrong in modern day society, and each episode of the three series so far is equally as dark and twisted as the last, sparking SO.MANY. QUESTIONS. I highly recommend The National Anthem (series 1) White Bear (series 2) Nosedive (series 3) and Shut Up and Dance (series 3, and my personal fave!) 

If you are looking to create the ideal environment for Netflix and chillin', the sleek design of the UHD TV Panasonic is designed to deliver professional cinema display.


*this post has been sponsored.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

MY 2017 BUCKET LIST


Take a course in make-up artistry
I get so jealous every time I scroll down my Insta-feed to see mega-babes looking absolutely smokin' with their flawless skin, nose highlight and fleeky brows which I can not seem to achieve through YouTube tutorials (ok so I've attempted it once, whatever) so I am going to admit defeat and book a 1-2-1 lesson with an MUA. I have already found the girl I want to learn from so I just need to pencil something in now.


Hit 10k followers on Instagram/Twitter
My social following has been slowly but steadily increasing more and more recently, so hopefully things will continue and I will get those numbers up! (please note- this does NOT mean I consider quantity more important than quality. If I did I would have bought 10k followers for £15 or whatever it is already.)

Go on another holiday
Which isn't Marbella. I wanna go somewhere faaaaar away, like Thailand (again) or Vegas. And if I end up booking too many mini-breaks this year (I've already booked Belfast and Amsterdam) I want to at least put the deposit down for a 2018 mega-break.

Save a reasonable amount of money
'Reasonable' being the key word here. I'm scared to write an actual figure in case my mum is reading and keeping hounding me about it. If you didn't already know, I am unbelievably skilled in pissing money up the wall (pardon the expression) so I need to  use some serious willpower to achieve this. In theory, it shouldn't be hard, because we have a family accountant, so I just need to set up a standing order to her every month and watch the $$$$ roll in! Just kinda never got round to that standing order.........

Work with some more high profile brands
I have worked with some pretty exciting brands recently, so I just need to keep up with the consistency of my blog, actually USE my brand spanking new Olympus Pen and do a little more networking!

Get a promotion at work
I love my job, and I think if you love your job you genuinely want to push yourself and get more responsibilities and recognition. So I'm in a good place!

Learn how to use iMovie to make some killllller YT videos
First I need to film them. Watch this space.

Take on another challenge
I definitely caught the fitness bug last year. I stepped WAY out of my comfort zone and completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks, Born Survivor, Rough Runner AND a half marathon! All within 5 months! *dusts off shoulders* I really enjoy pushing myself to complete things I never dreamed would be possible for me, so I'm currently the look out for my next challenge!

Get an Oliver Bonas pink velvet tub chair for my bedroom
*swoons* If anyone is feeling generous I've linked the title straight to the product. DM me for my address.

What are you hoping to achieve this year?