5 Things I Have Learned In My First Year Of Blogging

IT’S THE BLOG’S ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY SOON. I feel like the blog has come a long way since the start. My photography still isn’t amazing but it has definitely improved and I’m looking to continue to improve it as the time goes on. My content has also changed ever so slightly and this is something I’m very happy about. I feel like my blog focused on solely on beauty for a little too long and I became really repetitive so it was like a breath of fresh air to change things up a little bit and add more lifestyle to the blog.

Even though I took a few months off, which affected the blog, but I’m still very proud of myself for getting back into it recently. In that time, I got a job where I was made to feel anxious and uncomfortable at work so when I recently changed job, I got all my motivation back to do things I love, blogging being one of them. I’m happy with how well this little adventure has gone so far. I had no idea how this would go when I started but I have received so much support from other bloggers as well as my readers and that is definitely a motivation boost too.

I chose to start blogging at a time when I was going through a fair few things. My son was also very young so he was at that stage where he was still sleeping a lot, so I had TONS of free time. I wanted something to focus on during that free time so I enrolled on a course at Open Study College and started blogging the same day.

To celebrate the one year anniversary of the blog, I wanted to come up with a list of things I have learned during my first year of blogging. In fact, I have learned a lot more than I initially expected.

  1. Blogging isn’t easy. Trust me, it may all seem easy but it really isn’t. There is so much work that goes into a single blog post. There’s photos you’ve got to take (if your post requires them), writing also takes time, and writer’s block is actually a thing. I don’t think anyone realises this unless they are a blogger themselves. Whenever I have told anyone I’m a blogger, they just assume I don’t do anything, I’m lazy and am blogging because I’m too lazy to work. But for many people, their blog is their job and it’s a hard thing to maintain.
  2. Don’t be afraid to write about whatever you want. Honestly, there’s someone out there that will love reading your content. I have learned that it’s super important to write for yourself too, not just thinking about what others would want to read. At the start, I felt the need to stick to just beauty on the blog and I started feeling like I was being repetitive and I stopped enjoying writing posts as much. But when I added lifestyle to the blog, I loved re-reading my posts, writing them and reading what others thought of the posts. But I started writing things I would love to read.
  3. Unfortunately, not all bloggers are supportive. From the very start, I was always keen to make blogger friends. In fact, I’ve made some of my bestest friends along the way. But not everyone in the blogging community is supportive. There will be people in the blogging community that just won’t like you, ignore that. There will always be people that will go on witch hunts just because someone said this and someone did that. I have seen some drama in the blogging community in my first year of blogging that wasn’t pretty. Don’t let the negativity scare you away. There are still amazing people in the blogging scene. Just know some people will see you as competition.
  4. Being patient is key. A blog takes a while to grow. Don’t worry if you don’t always meet your blog targets. It’s okay. My blog still isn’t where I wanted it to be after a year but I’m happy it’s still something I want to do. Everything good will come in good time.
  5. Social media presence is important. I’d heard about it being important before I started blogging but I didn’t make much of it. But it’s true. I feel like most of my blog’s traffic is from people checking my blog through my social media. I don’t always have time to be 100% active on Twitter and Instagram but my blog has done so much better when I’ve given my public social media a little more attention.

I have really enjoyed my first year of blogging. I haven’t achieved half of what I wanted to achieve in the past year but I’m happy with all the things I have learned and all the other amazing bloggers I have gotten to know along the way.

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I Won Six Sets of Custom Made Nails From Melissa’s Beauty and Nails

This post is well and truly overdue but it’s here…finally! Okay, so I won six sets of custom made nails from Melissa’s Beauty and Nails back in May and it’s taken me this long to post about it, I know, I’m terrible. I previously wrote a post about this business so click here to check it out.

One thing I love about Melissa’s Beauty and Nails’ custom nails is that they come really well packaged. They are all stuck down with pink or blue tack, meaning the nails stay secured in the boxes during transit but also don’t get damaged by what’s sticking them down. They also come in a lovely box, one set (both hands) per box. I also love that the nails come with nail glue as not everyone that sells custom nails actually sends nail glue with the set.

The communication via Facebook message with this business was great and the lady behind the business is really kind and friendly. She goes out of her way to create something you want and  I felt fully comfortable asking her questions regarding the nails .

So, let’s have a look at the nails.

These nails! They are super vibrant and really stand out, regardless of what you’re wearing. I actually attended a job interview wearing these nails along with a floral blue blouse, a black blazer, and black skinny jeans. Let me tell you, they stood out! Plus I got the job so , maybe they’re my ”lucky” nails too now.

This set is a lot more subtle but really elegant. I would personally wear these maybe to a meal out or a formal event such as a wedding. I would personally wear something black or white (I know, I’m seriously basing what I wear depending on the nails) as I feel everything would just compliment each other.

When I posted all these photos on my personal Facebook page, these were by far everyone’s favourite. I loved them too. The shape really compliments the nails. I love the fact that every nail is different. Totally getting Disney feels from these and I have no idea why. Maybe Ursula?

I’m really  into glitters and greys right now. Which is odd as I usually associate grey with winter but nope, this year I like it in the summer. I love that the nails without glitter on are actually matte. I usually hate matte nails but I loved these.

Again, these are the kind of nails I would wear to a formal event, dinner, or a wedding. I think these would look great with any outfit. I love that they actually look real, to those that don’t know me because those that do will know that my nails would never grow this much without breaking.

These are the perfect summer nails, really. I love the chunky glitter on one of the nails, it really makes them pop even more. These look great with a tan going on too. These are what I like to call ”holiday nails”. Going to Cyprus? Put orange nails on. Going to Italy? Orange nails. You get my point. I think these would look great in bright yellow too.

That’s all the nails out of the way. A huge thank you to Melissa’s Beauty and Nails for making these beauties. I highly recommend you check out the Facebook page here. You won’t regret it.

 

 

Behind The Blog | Meet Jack Deyes

I started blogging nearly a year ago. It didn’t take long for me to realise that Jack Deyes was one of the supportive bloggers in the blogging community. From sharing other people’s content across his social media to helping them grow and supporting bloggers as individuals whilst keeping up with the work.

Jack is a lifestyle blogger based in the UK. He has been blogging for 3 years which is pretty incredible, especially as blogging is something super difficult to keep up with. He is also an animal lover and has a bunny called Kiara that has her own little Instagram account.

Now, lets get down to the interview

 

 

What made you want to start a blog of your own? Is there a particular reason that led you to start?

 

“I have 3 reasons to what made me want to start up my own blog. 1, I was reading other bloggers and after reading all kinds of different blogs, I really wanted to start my own one. 2, I was looking for a hobby at the time but I had no clue what, so when I started my blog after about a week or so, I thought this can be my blog. After all, it’s so fun. And 3, I wanted to have my own little place on the web and well, my blog seemed like the perfect place”.

You seem very close with your mum. Is she one of your inspirations?

“My mum means everything to me. The help and support she gives me is amazing. I’m so lucky to have such a loving and caring mum. And yes, my mum is my inspiration. She is amazing and I would be lost without her”.

What do you have in mind for the future of your blog? Can you see a change in the horizon?

“I love this one. I’m always planning blog posts and thinking of new ways to make my blog and blog posts fun and different. So yes, I can see loads of things on my blog changing and I have some things in mind that I will be changing like my blog URL and layout”.

What are your blogging goals for this year?

“To help and support as many bloggers as possible”.

The past few months, there’s been a lot of mixed feelings about the blogging community. Some say the community is extremely supportive and kind, and others say it’s full of drama and people seeing each other as competition. What are your thoughts on the matter?

“I will always see the blogging community as a happy and supportive place. I don’t get involved in anything that’s happening. I don’t get involved in anything that’s happening in the blogging community apart from anything that is happy and helping one another”.

Do you have a favourite blogger? What’s a post you think people should totally check out by them?

“I have 3 favourite bloggers.
1. Katie | It’s The Little Things
2. Jasmin | Home Sweet Home | Sunday Chat
3. Maria | Filling My Free Time With Podcasts”.

There have been so many amazing new bloggers joining the community. What is one piece of advice you would give to a new blogger just starting off? 

“You may be thinking something across the lines of ‘Ha, what’s the point in me setting up a blog, it’s just not going to work out’ but believe me, it’s going to work and I know how you feel because when I thought about setting up a blog I thought it was just going to be a waste of time but after thinking about it, I just thought ‘let’s get this blog set up and see what happens’.”

So that’s the first interview on the blog. Do you like this new little series going on over here? Are there any bloggers you would like me to interview? Let me know in the comments or get in touch over on Twitter.

Find Jack
Blog: jackdeyes.wordpress.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jack_deyes/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jack_Deyes
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/jackdeyes/

This or That Challenge

I saw steffsjourney.com do this challenge this week and I couldn’t resist but do it too. I’ve been struggling to get back to my usual blogging schedule as I have been very busy to date and planning new things for the blog, so what better way to do it, right? Let’s get straight to it.

Question 1: Shower in the morning or evening?

Definitely morning. I hate showering in the evening. Everything is always so quiet, too quiet. Plus, showering in the morning actually wakes me up and gets me ready for my day… Regardless of how I then have to rush and get my hair done before going out. Can you tell I’m always late to meeting people?

Question 2: City centre or close to nature?

As much as I love the country side and having 10 wild bunnies hopping around me in the tall grass, I have to say city centre. It’s where you’ll find me most days because I always go to coffee shops.

Question 3: Bright colours or neutrals?

Hmmm, I was going to say bright colours but I dress in black, white, red and purple most of the time, my house is decorated with white and light wood furniture but my kitchen and bathroom are kind of bright. So I think I will still go with bright. Why was that such a tough question for me? Mondays…

Question 4: Spring or Autumn?

I love both but I’m going to have to go with Spring. I love the colours and the weather that comes with it too. As soon as Spring hits I just want to go out all the time (I usually stay home more during the colder months). When Spring comes around, I start going out on pointless walks. Well, I wouldn’t say they are pointless, what I mean is that I go out without the reason being to go shopping which is the main reason I leave the house during the colder months. I just go to a coffee shop, grab a drink and just walk.

Question 5: Mint or cinnamon?

Erm, mint.

Question 6: Planned or spontaneous?

Hmm, another tough question. It depends. I love going on spontaneous trips and days out. BUT… if it’s a long trip, I have to plan everything because I’m so scared I will forget something. Unplanned long trips give me anxiety.

Question 7: A movie at home or at the cinema?

I love movies at home but I get easily distracted with things to do so I’m going to have to go with cinema. Which I haven’t been to in something like 3 or 4 years. I know right. How old am I?

Question 8: Espresso or latte?

Latte. I’m Portuguese, meaning my family is Portuguese too and I don’t know if it’s just my family and Portuguese friends but whenever I go to a coffee shop with them, they always order Espresso and I don’t understand how anyone can drink that with the tiniest bit of sugar. I put three packets of sugar in one once and I still couldn’t drink it. Too strong for me.

Question 9: Hugs or kisses?

Hugs. Even though I have the habit of greeting people with a kiss on each cheek. But yeah, hugs.

Question 10: spicy or mild food?

I like spiciness to my food and will occasionally try a new volcano pizza for example and then cry about it when my mouth is burning, I can no longer speak and I’m only one pizza slice down but I think I’m going to have to go with mild food. But if you challenge me to eat something super spicy then I’m going to do it because I’m an idiot.

Question 11: Leather or lace

Is both an option? No? Okay. I love leather jackets and leather boots. But I love lace dresses, lace tops, lace everything so I’m going to have to go with lace for this one.

Question 12: Overdressed or underdressed?

I would rather be overdressed. Sometimes we go to parties and a friend will comment ”are you going to a fashion show?” but the truth is that I love overdressing for me because it makes me feel comfortable, I don’t usually care if people look.

Question 13: Adventure or comfort?

Adventure. I love going on adventures even though I feel like I haven’t done it enough in the past few years.

Question 14: TV series or movie?

TV series. Netflix is my best friend. If I finish a show, I will usually manage to find another show or documentary to watch. I love movies too but TV shows totally beat it for me.

Question 15: Rock or country music?

Rock. I didn’t even have to think twice there. I hate country music. Give me some Kiss and I’m happy.

Question 16: Red or white wine?

White wine, by far. Even though I’m not much of a wine person. I’m more of a Mojito, Pina Colada and Margarita kind of person.

Question 17: Working alone or in a team?

In a team. I actually love being around people and working with them. I work pretty well by myself too but it gets pretty lonely. I’m the sort of person that makes people laugh in the office, kind of need a team to pop my hilariousness at.

Question 18: Swimming or sunbathing?

Sunbathing. Mainly because Jessica here, can’t actually swim.

Question 19: Fast food or sit-down restaurant?

Sit-down restaurant. I never eat in fast food restaurants. I prefer the whole feel of chatting away with people with a nice cold drink while you wait for your food to come out.

Question 20: Matched or mismatched socks?

Matched.

Question 21: Dancing or singing?

If I’m alone, dancing but if I’m with people then singing because I don’t sound so bad if people are singing too. Strategy, my friends!

Question 22: Phone or the internet?

Internet. I barely ever make phone calls or text and I literally use the internet for everything.

And that’s the last of the questions answered, I hope you have enjoyed this post. I will be back with another post this week, now I’ve managed to organise myself better.

I would like to tag the following people (if you want to of course):

Becca – becxblogs.co.uk
Frankii – quitefranklii.com
Olivia – dungarees-and-donuts.co.uk
Sophie – thevelvetfox.co.uk
Naomi – naominatters.com
Leslie – leslieleon.com
Ashleigh – ashleighannerose.com

I’ve Never Seen Custom Nails Like These Before|Melissa’s Beauty and Nails | Tip of Your Finger

It’s been a while since I’ve been on here (feel like I say this all the time nowadays), but I’m back and I’m here to stay. I lost my blogging inspiration not long after Christmas but with this awesome weather, it has finally come back. So without further ado, let’s get into my first post back.

As some of you may be aware, I had a little injury to one of my natural finger nails, caused by a nail extension I had done. My nails always seem to become more damaged for a reason still unknown whenever I have extensions soaked off so I tend to let them grow out and file them off along the way as they grow out. Only this time, I clearly didn’t file one of them enough, it got caught and half my real nail ripped off along with the nail extension. Since this incident, I promised myself I wasn’t going to be getting nail extensions done again regardless.

So I started looking for other alternatives and couldn’t find any I liked, I went into various shops to look at their fake nails and none of them were ”my thing”, they looked too fake and you could tell they were shop-bought (nothing wrong with that, just not my cup of tea). I was close to just scrapping the idea and sticking to gel polish when I came across this small business on Facebook. The name is Melissa’s Beauty and Nails, the business is based in Edinburgh and the lady behind it is actually a nail technician, so she does clients’ nails and then makes these stunning custom made nails made to order as well. These are the Tip Of Your Finger custom made nails.

The nails come packaged in a super secure way. They are secured down in the box with blue/pink tack and then topped off with a layer of sponge/foam to stop them from moving around and breaking in transit. The tack doesn’t damage the nails whatsoever when you remove it from the back, don’t worry. All the nails arrived in excellent condition and there were no broken nails (extra happy Jess, we all know broken products make me veeeery sad).

I think my favourite out of the two sets is definitely the white/bridal set. I think the shape makes them look even more elegant which I love. I also love the fact that the nails look like I just went to the salon and paid £40 to get them done, only I didn’t. I paid £10 for both sets together instead. No, they don’t last as long as if you went to have them done at the salon but I see that as a good thing. I hate when nails get to that point where you either need to spend more money on an infill for the same colour or have them removed to have them put back on. I get bored of having the same colour nails for a long time so I like that I can change the colour by simply removing the nails and putting new ones on at home.

I found the application really effortless. You receive a little bottle of glue already in your package but if you have a preferred nail glue for fake nails, I’m pretty sure it would work just as well.

The nails are comfortable to wear and I don’t find myself constantly scared I’m gonna get one caught and injure myself again (this is never gonna leave my brain… ever).

I honestly highly recommend these custom made nails by Melissa’s Beauty & Nails. The nails are amazing and the service is really friendly and I felt comfortable messaging the business via Facebook.

Are you interested in purchasing these? Find the business details below:

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/melissasbeautyandnails/

Where Have I Been The Past Few Weeks

Don’t worry, guys, I’m still blogging.

For the past few weeks I have been gathering new equipment for the blog. This includes cameras and backgrounds. This will allow me to take professional photos of products I review in the near future.

I feel that having better equipment will allow me to produce blog posts to my best standard. I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my posts and I always want my photos to look the best as well as the rest of the posts. Before this, I was taking photos on my iPhone. My phone’s camera isn’t the greatest quality as the phone is now almost 2 years old. So I went on a little adventure. I already had quite a few cameras but they had problems, they’re now all fixed. There was a camera I wanted that can really focus on products and produces photos of awesome quality, so I got it.

I felt like my background were a bit plain so I went and got some new backgrounds, along with some new photo props. I promised you guys that this year I would work my hardest on my blog and even though we are now 5 months into 2018, I finally have the money in order to make this happen.

This year, I’m going to be working with a few businesses, and I want to produce the best photos for these posts.

Which brings me to this week. This week, I have been on the search for small businesses to work with. I know a lot of bloggers complain about brands and businesses not being willing to pay £100 for a blog post but I believe this is different for smaller businesses. I own a small business and know first hand how difficult it is. Some months you could be making something like £800 from your business and the next you can barely make £40. I had mentioned that I wanted to do this last year but I didn’t have the equipment I felt was necessary to do the products justice. But now I do and want to help. I’m offering slots this year for small businesses, for free. This means I’m not expecting any form of payment from the business, only for the business to send me a product to review, photograph and post photos of on all my social media with links to the business (if you know of a small business that would be interested, please let me know).

And that’s where I have been, it’s been a rather busy past few weeks but I will be back to posting every Monday & Friday (with some Wednesdays here and there). I’m really excited to see what the rest of 2018 holds for the blog.

We Got A New Pet | Hades

Wooow. It really has been a while. Writers’ block has been sticking around for quite some time now. BUT… I am currently working on lots of blog posts to schedule now my motivation to blog is back (while it lasts) so don’t worry.

I wanted to quickly make an appearence on the blog to announce we have got a new pet. His name is Hades. He’s a hamster and is currently roughly 9 weeks old.

We have been wanting a dog for a while but it’s just not the right time to get a dog yet. I love caring and looking after animals, I’ve had animals all my life and the house just felt a little empty without a little pet (even though we do have fish).

So, last week, we had a day with no plans so we decided to pop to Pets At Home. We initially looked into getting a rabbit but he/she would have to stay outside and I felt too bad keeping a rabbit outside in the cold. We then spotted the hamsters and decided to get one.

Now, before anyone jumps up saying “you can’t just decide to get an animal like that”. Relax, a lot of thought went into getting this pet. We also bought everything and got his little cage ready before actually going back to buy him because we wanted him to feel comfortable while he settled and we also wanted to be prepared so the little cutie had everything he needed from the moment he stepped into his new home.

We initially wanted to get a Syrian Hamster but the girl at Pets At Home that helped us with purchasing the hamster mentioned they can get a bit aggressive so we ended up getting a Russian Dwarf Hamster instead.

Hades took a couple of days to get settled. We left him alone in his cage for 24 hours and then attempted to pick him up but he would squeak and attack. So we gave him an extra day to settle before handling him. We sat with him in an empty bath tub and just let him go where he wanted until he felt comfortable climbing us and being picked up. Hades has been with us for a week now and he’s settled really well. He hasn’t tried to bite us since and we handle him every day and he runs about in his hamster ball a little bit every day.