Thursday, 27 October 2016

A Long Awaited Update


Hi everyone! I'm baaaack!

It literally feels like I haven't written up, and scheduled a blog post in absolutely ages - and, I guess that's true to some extent.

Although posts have been going up quite consistently throughout this past month, I haven't actually been the one writing them. A lot of different bloggers volunteered through Twitter at the end of September, letting me know that they would be more than happy to produce content for my blog, whilst I was away on somewhat of a mini break from the Internet, and all things social media.

Since I started back at school, I've found it incredibly challenging to balance my time. When I was in Year 10, I was still pretty busy, but it was no-where near as hectic as things are now that I'm in Year 11. Ultimately, my education has to come first, because I have high expectations for myself in regards to my GCSE's, which are due to start next Summer.

I didn't want to neglect my blog completely for a whole month. It's something that I think about every single day, and I begin to love it more as time goes on. Neglecting it, and leaving all of my readers with nothing new from me just felt completely wrong, and I was in no way prepared to do that. I understand that some bloggers can justify themselves when it comes to such a decision, but I just wasn't able to.

Everybody that has written a post for Simply Jadey this month is an absolute diamond. It just goes to show how unique everyone's writing style is, and I've thoroughly enjoyed publishing all of the fabulous work on my blog. Clearly, we are all a great team here!
So, I guess I just want to say a massive thank you to all of you. Every single post has been to such a high standard, and I can clearly see your dedication, and the hard work that you have put in. I really have needed these last few weeks to pull myself together, and get my head down to make sure that my grades are as good as they can possibly get.

Having said that, I actually got an A* overall in my Geography Controlled Assessment! For those of you who may not know what a controlled assessment is, it's essentially an assessment that you have for the particular subject that you're doing. This one for Geography was where we went to Windsor for the day with all of the students in my year group that study the subject for their GCSE's, and we did fieldwork. So, each group that we were in had a different objective. Some of us (like myself) had to take photos, others had to do a bin count, a pedestrian count, and so on. We all had to fill out questionnaires, and also get the public to fill out surveys too. After that day was completed, we spent the next few weeks writing up our findings, and discussing them in class, producing maps, and other pieces of data, as well as comparing them with other people to make sure that we had got the same results as others in our group. The last part was all of the computer work. We had to write everything up that we had found out as part of the investigation that we were doing for tourism in Windsor, and then during the last few lessons, we were in 'high control', so we had to be silent, and do the analysis, evaluation, conclusion, and everything else to finish it off. This was back in the Spring/Summer time, but we only just got our results a couple of weeks ago. That's how long the whole process takes!!

I'm still working like crazy to create revision notes, complete past papers, and use all of the resources that my teachers have given me in order to help me succeed, and ace all of these exams. I actually ordered new highlighters, revision cards, fine liner pens, paper clips, and popper wallets to help me get more organised with my studying, so fingers crossed that works for me!

So, you may be thinking, what's next for both myself, and Simply Jadey??

For a start, I'm on half-term until the 1st of November now. Technically, everyone else goes back on the 31st of October, which is Halloween (I'm not a fan anyway...soz), but my sister has her Graduation then, so I'm going to be attending that instead! I'm also going to be blogging as much as I can throughout the next week to make sure that I have enough content scheduled for November. As I'll obviously be back at school again then, it's unlikely that I'll be able to write up that many posts during the weekdays, so I'll have to rely on the evenings, and the weekends, whenever I'm free from coursework/studying, or going out with people in my personal life.
However, I'm actually considering doing Blogmas! I know I haven't really discussed it yet, but would that be something that any of you are interested in? It probably wouldn't be the sort of thing where I'd post everyday, because even I find that a little bit tedious, but I'd probably do something every other day? What are your thoughts on that?

As for me, I've got quite a busy few months ahead. I've got Parents Evening at the beginning of November, and then I've also got Sixth Form Information Evening a week, or so later. I'm pretty sure that I want to study Psychology, and Photography, but I haven't considered all of the options yet, and so, of course, nothing is set in stone.

From the 28th of November, to the 16th of December, I'm on study leave, as I have all of my mock exams, which are incredibly important. They are for all of my subjects, and so really, I'm having to start revising pronto. They do actually count towards the final grades that I'll be receiving next August, so hopefully I'll do well. Keep me in your thoughts, please!

Aside from school, I've got other exciting things going on. So, as I've already mentioned, I'm on half-term now, and then I have my sister's Graduation from University on Halloween, which means I'm not celebrating that (I never do anyway), but instead, I'll be celebrating with my family! On December 15th, I'm going to see The 1975 with my sister, which I'm absolutely buzzing for. I can't wait! After that, it'll pretty much be full on Christmas mode for me, and I'll probably be flapping around like an over-excited headless chicken. Wow, what a great description..

Once the Christmas cheer is over, I'll be heading to my Auntie, and Uncle's for a couple of days, as she's booked in for all of us to see The Nutcracker Ballet in London. All of the hard work from my mocks will be worth it when I get rewarded! Well, fingers crossed..

I've got my proper exams for my BTEC's in January (Health & Social Care, and Business), but I'm aiming for, and on track to get Distinction's in both of them, so here's hoping that those are the results I receive in the end!

That's it for today, folks. I'm off to write some more posts now that you're going to be seeing from me in November. Isn't that just so exciting?!

Leave me a comment down below letting me know what you have been up to, and what plans you have for the next few months as well. How many of you have got your GCSE's coming up too? I'll be doing plenty of posts about revision, and exams as time goes on, don't you worry. We're all gonna smash them!!

Lots of love always,

Jade xo



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Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Autumn Makeup Edit | October Guest Post Month

 
Hey Everyone! It’s Lexi here, from Lexi The Newt. I am a huge lover of Autumn and makeup. I love the dark lips, and the gold eyes. So, today I am going to show you the products I will be using this Autumn.
 
 
 
NYX Vivid Bright Eyeliner in Delight

NYX Lip Lingerie inn Embellishment

Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid Lipstick in Rebel Red

Seventeen Mega Matte Lipstick in Looking Buff

Maybelline Color Tattoo in Metallic Pomegranate

Hourglass Blush In Diffused Heat

Freedom Black Arts Eyeshadow Palette

Seventeen Tan Liquid Skin Wow Highlighter
 
 
 
 

I hope you enjoyed this post, and let me know what products you’re going to be using this Autumn?! And a big thank you to Jade for letting me write a post on here and hopefully I’ll be back another time!

& I Will Write To You Soon!
Bye Guys!

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Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Halloween Jelly Treats | October Gust Post Month

 
For this post, I have a spooky treat for you monsters today, and it comes in the form of this disgustingly great jellies!

Originally, I saw a video on
Tastemade's website for these, but they were fish bowls instead, and looked amazing. So, me being me I was like I neeeed to try these out, but I will add a twist to them, and make them for my favourite day of the year - the 31st of October.
 
Now, these are so simple and so easy to do, perfect for if you have little monsters or if you are hosting a Halloween themed party! One thing I will mention before we get started is that if these are for an event then do them the night before. Believe me, the more time these creepy jellies have enough time to set, the better!!!
 
This recipe idea was originally from Tastemade. I have put my own twist on it, but no copyright is intended.
 
In the Tastemade recipe, they used gelatine. Now, you can obviously use this, but I had left over red strawberry jelly, which I used as a substitute, so I didn't have to go, and buy any gelatine.
What you will need:
 
 
Wine glasses (or plastic ones if you are doing it with children)
Jelly (I used one pack of red so it looks like blood, you can use whatever colour you want) or gelatine (you'll need food colouring for this)
A selection of Halloween sweets (I used glow stick pumpkin -lolli-pops, chocolate eyeballs, Haribo trick or treat mix and strawberry laces, all from a pound shop)
A wooden spoon
Two jugs
A fridge
 
How to make these blood inspired treats:
 
1. Start off with the jelly or gelatine. Your instructions may differ from mine, depending on what brand you use. However, mine are:
Separate the jelly into cubes for best results, and pop them into one of your jugs. With your other jug, pour in 1/2 pint (285ml) of boiling water, and add to the jelly.
Stir with your wooden spoon until the cubes have dissolved completely.
With the jug, fill it up to 285ml again with cold water, and stir into the jelly mixture.
Leave to cool down.
I obviously have no idea what your gelatine says to do since I am using that
 but do what it says, and then at the end at some food colouring, if you want to do what I did, use red colouring.
2. Whilst your jelly/gelatine is cooling, take your wine glasses, (or plastic ones depending on what you are using) and place the Haribo trick, or treat mixture at the bottom or any other gummy sweets that you have.
3. Add a little bit of the jelly, just enough to cover the sweets at the bottom of the glass, and put in the freezer for about 10 minutes, just so it has set a bit. Check it every 5 minutes!
4. Take them out of the freezer, and add more jelly to the container, and place your strawberry lace worms in there, twist them around a bit, and be sure to let them hang off the rim of the glass. Then pop your creepy eyeball in there, and place in the fridge to set completely.
Now, this is where you would leave them for a few hours or overnight so they can set.
5. Once they have set into chilling, wibbly wobbly blood then take them out, place one of them cool pumpkin glow in the dark lollipops in it, and enjoy!
The creepy sweet treat in all of its gruesome glory...
 
Not going to lie, them eyes are following me everywhere - they are creepy as!
Anyway, this is so easy and so simple to do. Where have they been all my life?!
You can switch the sweets around though. You can do it for all sorts of occasions (not just Halloween) and they are really fun to do so great if you have little monsters at home.
If you don't want to drink blood, then why not try doing it with slime (green jelly) instead!
The list of what you can do with this is endless.
I hope you have loved this ghoulish treat for the big day. Thank you for having me Jade!
Well, I am off on my broomstick now!
*Cackles* 
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Sunday, 23 October 2016

The Process Of Writing A Novel | October Guest Post Month

 
 Hiya! I’m Trisha, writer of a lifestyle blog at http://cakeandpoetry.wordpress.com. Despite my blog mainly focussing on my life, I am an avid writer who is hoping to get published someday. For my guest post for Jade today, I thought I’d talk about the process I go through to write a novel!
So before I start, I should give you some background information about my novel. What Not to Do Purple Lipstick is thee name, which I am actually quite proud of despite it being so long. The basic premise of the novel is centred around two girls – Spencer and Trisha (and no, I’m not a narcissist, my blog name is actually my MC). They’re both struggling with mental health issues, as Spencer is bipolar, which is diagnosed in the novel, and Trisha is struggling from depression after the death of her mother. When Spencer punches Trisha, they’re made to paint the school gymnasium together as they both love art.
I am aware that the description is rather fluffy and cheesy, but I’m trying to centre this book around some of the major things that have impacted my life and the people around me – sexism and the journey of becoming a feminist (as Spencer’s friend Bea is a lesbian feminist), mental health, and the stigma surrounding LGBT people. I am straight and cisgender myself, but I am trying to represent her as accurately as possibly, I swear! The title comes from the fact that both girls in the school are the only ones who wear purple lipstick, therefore making them outsiders. It’s kind of a metaphor for the whole novel, really.
So, what’s my process of writing a novel? Let’s get started!
Number One: Getting the idea.
For me, my ‘getting an idea’ is quite different from most. It is slightly based off The Breakfast Club, aka my most favourite film of all time. However, it mainly just started from me writing an article for the school newsletter about our school shoes. Random, I know! But, for me it developed to ‘what if the girl was walking to the principal’s office?’ and just developed from there. I must say though; it has developed considerably from its first incarnation.
Number Two: Write write write.
You might have noticed that I skipped over the plotting bit entirely. This is because I do not plot. At all. I’ll take my idea and I’ll immediately start writing because, well, why not? So for me, the writing is the first real incarnation of putting this novel on paper.
Number Three: Edit
I’ll put it out there; editing a novel sucks. You just want to be writing, letting all your ideas flow out, but no, let’s comb through this 100,000-word novel for weird sounding sentences and typos and any other jazz that comes to mind. I’m currently in the fourth round of editing WNTDWWPL, and even now I know that I’ll still want to edit it at least two more rounds before sending it off to beta readers.
Number Four: Send to beta readers.
This is possibly one of the scariest steps in this post. Sending it to beta readers – aka, people who tell you whether your novel is crap or not – is so terrifying as you never know whether they’ll love it or hate it. And I’ll tell you from personal experience; it’s hard to take criticism when you’ve been working on this little baby of yours for so long. It hurts when people take the decision to shred it to bits.
I would put in how to query an agent and/or a publisher, but I’m not even up to there myself! I have so much further to go in my writing journey, and I’m so excited for every step of it.
Well, I hope you enjoyed the post! Thanks to Jade for letting me blog on Simply Jadey, and I hope to return sometime!
Trisha xx

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Saturday, 22 October 2016

Top 5 Makeup Products | October Guest Post Month

 
I love trying out different makeup products, however there is always a few I end up going back to. Today I am going to be sharing my top 5 makeup products with you all, these are products I would recommend to anyone and enjoy using them so much!
 
Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics Palette:
When I decided that I really wanted to try a Naked palette from Urban Decay, I settled on the Naked 2 Basics palette, because it comes with 6 shades, and I knew that I would use all of them. The six shades are all matte (apart from one demi-matte for highlighting) and you can create a number of looks using them, from minimal to smokey. They are more cool toned than the original Naked Basics palette, which personally I really like too.

 
MAC Lipstick - Velvet Teddy:
MAC lipsticks have to be an all-time favourite for me, and out of the few I have tried my favourite has to be Velvet Teddy. It’s the perfect brown toned nude in their matte finish, which feels really nice and it isn’t drying at all. The lipstick is actually really long lasting too and in my opinion definitely worth the money!
 
 
Benefit High Beam:
Benefit’s high beam is my favourite highlighter ever. One of the reasons for this is, because it’s a liquid highlight, so it is so easy to blend onto my cheek and brow bones. The highlight itself is a lovely pink iridescent highlight, and illuminates my face very well, giving me a lovely glow.

 
Maybelline Baby Lips:
I honestly don’t know what I would do without these lip balms! My favourite is the Dr Rescue Too Cool shade. This is just a clear balm, and I take it with me pretty much everywhere. It feels so moisturising on my lips, and is so easy to apply on its stick compared to other lip balms. They are super affordable too at about £3!

 
NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams:
I own several of NYX’s Soft Matte Lip Creams, because at £5.50, they are such a dream. I hadn’t tried a liquid lipstick before these and I fell in love with their formula! They dry matte, but aren’t at all drying. Their shade range is very impressive, two of my favourites being ‘Abu Dhabi’ and ‘Stockholm’.

 
What are your favourite makeup products?

 
Erin x

 



 


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Friday, 21 October 2016

What I Learnt During Adolescence | October Guest Post Month

 
Good Morning/Afternoon!
 
I hope you are having a fab day so far!
 
So, although I am still technically a teenager because I'm 19, I'm also technically an adult so we'll just go with that instead! I thought it would be a great idea to come up with some pointers of what I learnt during adolescence and how certain things definitely made me life a lot better, or in some cases, a lot worse. I'm not going to lie to you, I absolutely hated my adolescence years, and they were possibly the worst years of my life with everything which went on. However, during this time of my life, I also learnt a lot and they do say, everything happens for a reason. If I didn't go through what I did, I probably wouldn't be the person I am today so I'm slightly grateful at the same time. 

So let's get too it;

Do not over pluck your eyebrows
I'm not afraid to admit it, I was one of them girls who over plucked their eyebrows and to be completely honest, I don't regret it either. I absolutely loved my eyebrows even though they were ridiculously thin, I feel like they suited my eyes and I preferred them to big bushy eyebrows. During my adolescence years, everyone went through the craze of drawn on square shaped slug eyebrows and I didn't like this nor did I want to look like this so over plucked eyebrows was the best route for me! However, if I could go back in time, I wouldn't have even touched my eyebrows. If you're in school and you have beautiful eyebrows without drawing over them or plucking them, then please do not touch them! 

It doesn't matter if everyone doesn't like you
I learnt as I finished college that it really doesn't matter if everyone doesn't like you. I went through school and college of having hardly any friends and to me, this was a big deal and it did make me feel very unhappy, especially while being bullied. However, now being an adult and knowing who I can and can't trust and what sort of people are toxic to my life, I'm completely fine with someone not liking me. If someone doesn't like you, screw them, they're missing out! Be you and embrace who you are, and it doesn't matter if this annoys people in the process because it's your happiness at the end of the day. You're not pizza, you cannot please everyone.

Spots are not the end of the world
Did anyone else go through school being called spotty? I did, and I know a lot of people who also did. Spots are normal, everyone gets them because it's part of growing up and developing hormones. As a girl, spots are one of them things which I now get if it's my time of the month and I'm okay with that, it gives me some warning. However, through school you get the childish people who don't seem to understand that one day they are going to mature and get spots and then they'll feel stupid when they think about all the times they called someone "spotty". These people irritate me! But trust me, they're not the end of the world, they'll disappear in no time.

School is for learning, not for messing around
I also learnt that school is for learning, not for messing around. You have to go to school, we know this but there's a reason to this and people don't seem to understand that. Although you can get into sixth form or college with rubbish GCSE grades anyway because you can just resit Maths and English as many times as you want, learning is one thing you can't do if you don't go to school. Okay, so there's google which can teach you pretty much anything, but you'll never get the experience of learning different subjects if you don't go to school and you can gain so much knowledge in the process as well. Do you know someone who messed around in school who now does nothing with their life? I do.

It's very unlikely you'll still be friends with people from school in 3-6 years to come
Friends for life? No I don't think so. I left primary school with my best friend and we agreed we'd talk every day and see each other every week. I haven't seen her or spoken to her since. I had the same situation happen in high school too and well, that ended on a bad note when I was in year 10. You will find friends for life, but to be friends with people from school and stay friends with them when you're in your 20s and 30s, it's highly unlikely. However, you'll meet more and more people as you go to college, and university and then when you're working, that these people from school won't even matter anymore! So don't worry, you're not going to end up 60 years old with no friends because you stopped talking to your friends from school.

It's not the end of the world if your boyfriend dumps you I wouldn't say I regret being with the boys I was with throughout adolescence, but I would definitely 100% say they were a mistake. I remember being heart broken so many times in school. In year 7 I wouldn't snog my boyfriend after a year and a half of being together so he dumped me.. I still liked him for the next five years too which was so difficult. Meh, was he worth it, no he wasn't! In year 10 & 11, I went through so much with my ex because I truly believed I loved him, I did anything and everything for him, even while battling with depression while he also was. He cheated on me so many times, and I cried every night through pain but at the end of the day, he really was not worth it and it weren't the end of the world when we split up for good. They say, you have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince and I completely agree with this. If your high school boyfriend dumps you, it's his loss. You'll find someone better darling!

Last but not least, have fun!

What did you learn during adolescence?

Thank you for reading and make sure to follow me on Bloglovin

I'll see you soon
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Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Self-Care Routine


In the midst of the craziness of life, we need to take time to care for ourselves. If we don’t, we can become burnt out and unhappy with our lives. Self-Care is the root of self-love, and we need to love ourselves in order to fully love another. I am so passionate about self-care, and today I will be sharing with you my daily, weekly, and monthly self-care routines. I hope you enjoy these tips and you implement them into your own self-care routines. If you don’t have a self-care routine, I hope this inspires you to create one. You will see the difference in your quality of life. (I promise!)

Daily Self-Care Routine:

I work a full-time job, and I have a long commute into New York City. Therefore, I don’t have much time during the day. However, I always make time to at least one thing for myself every single day. Typically I do the following:

1. Clean up my room after a day of work (I always feel so much better when my space is clean and I can fully relax)
2. Meditate (I highly recommend meditation! It has completely changed my life. Definitely check out the Head Space app)
3. Hot bath with bath salts while l listen to an inspirational podcast
4. Light a candle or use my mini diffuser (Scents are so relaxing)

I always feel so much better after doing these activities every single day. A clean room results in a clear mind. Meditation helps ease my anxious thoughts and listening to an inspirational podcast while in the bath is an absolute treat. Finally, ending your day with beautiful scents is a great way to relax before bed.

Weekly Self-Care Routine:

I love to take myself on a weekly "date". Loving yourself and taking care of yourself is important, ladies! If you go on dates with your significant other and put a lot of time and effort into it, you need to do it with yourself.

Here are some activities I like to do:
1. Order a delicious meal and eat it while I watch my favourite show on Netflix
2. Go to the movies (I know going alone might seem scary, but it feels amazing not having to worry about someone else talking to you during the movie!)
3. Explore a new place in my town by myself
4. Sit in a café and read my favourite book while sipping a delicious drink
5. Go shopping or get my nails done

Monthly Self-Care Routine:

I try to treat myself once a month to something special. I like to buy myself a nice new pair of shoes, plan a reunion with my college friends, or travel to a new place. Your monthly self-care routine can be anything that you love to do. Devote your Saturday to learning a new song on the guitar. Turn off your phone and have a full day dedicated to you. If you love travelling to new places, plan a trip with your friends or your significant other. Spend the entire day exploring a new town. If you love to treat yourself with new makeup, buy a new highlighter or mascara. Treat yourself to something really nice. If you love seeing a friend who lives a couple of hours away, make the trip one day during the month to see that friend. You will feel refreshed and feel so happy after you saw them.

Remember, you are beautiful, smart, and amazing. Treat yourself like a queen. Loving yourself is so important and creating a self-care routine will result in you loving yourself even more.

xo,
Stephanie

Blog: lifestylebystephanie.com
Twitter: twitter.com/lifestylesteph
Instagram: instagram.com/lifestylebystephanie






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Tuesday, 18 October 2016

My Favourite Autumnal Lipsticks | October Guest Post Month

 
I am SO excited that we're officially in Autumn! It's by far my favourite season; there's the crunchy leaves, the thick layers, the autumnal boots, and of course the gold eyes, and berry lips. So, I dug out my favourite Autumn Lipsticks to share with you all today. Some are drugstore, and some are higher end, but these are my Go To shades for the next few months. I hope you enjoy!
 
 
From Left to Right: Revlon Colourburst Lip Crayon in "Crush", Kylie Lip Kit "Kourt K", Rimmel Kate Moss in "Retro Red", MAC "Diva", Topshop Lips in "Inhibition", and NARS Sheer Lipstick in the shade "Damage".
 
Revlon Colourburst - Crush

My favourite thing about the colourburst range is the peppermint tingly sensation you get once applied! It's also really hydrating, which is exactly what I need in the chilly Autumnal weather, because if you've read my previous posts, then you will know that I get the worst dry chapped lips possible. It's quite a deep berry colour, but due to it's sheer finish, it looks so gorgeous and natural on the lips.

Kylie Lip Kit - Kourt K 

I've already talked about this in my Lip Kit Reviews, but I just need to give a bit hats off for Kylie for creating a dark shade liquid lipstick formula that doesn't look patchy!! There's a lot of mixed reviews about these Lip Kits, but I honestly love them. I think they're fab, and if it wasn't for customs fees, I'm pretty sure I would own the entire collection by now. This shade is arghhh.. just wow! It's my colour completely - I love a good dark lip in Autumn time, as you can probably tell by my swatches!

Rimmel Kate Moss - Retro Red

This one has more of a pinker undertone compared to the rest; it's that perfect berry colour. It looks so great on it's own too! I wear this when I'm feeling lazy with my eye shadow, because it's just a nice statement look. Saying that, it obviously looks perfect paired with a gold eye too. I think this is the cheapest of the selection, so if you're on a budget I would highly recommend picking this up during the season.

MAC - Diva

This, and Velvet Teddy will always be my favourite MAC Lipsticks. I don't know what it is about the matte formulas from MAC, but I find they work really well with my lips opposed to every other matte formula which will eventually dry out my lips. I really love the red/pink vibe it has going for it. I went through a phase 2 years ago where I pretty much wore this every day of Autumn, and I think it's definitely going to make a big reappearance this season too.

Topshop - Inhibition

This is my second repurchase of this shade, which was actually the first purple shade I ever owned, and I've stuck by it ever since. I do find that it dries my lips out slightly, but out of loyalty, I will never give up my love for this lipstick.

NARS Sheer Lipstick - Damage

Again, pulling this out from excessive wear through previous Autumns. I can't express my love for this enough! I think the NARS Sheer Lipsticks are so underrated. The formula is so moisturising, and so satisfying to sit on the lips all day. This colour also looks so perfect in a sheer formula! It's become my handbag lipstick now. Whenever I forget to apply a lip colour in the morning, I just apply this on the go, and due to it's sheer finish, its guaranteed an easy application too!

What are your favourite Autumnal Lip Picks?

Lily xo
 
 
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Monday, 17 October 2016

Behind The Brand: Aloha Lola Cards | October Guest Post Month

Aloha! My name is Claire, and I am the owner of Aloha Lola Cards, a design business which creates blog banners, logos, business cards, caricatures, and more!
 
In my lifespan, I have had an abundance of jobs - the good, the bad and, well,  the ugly - but I am as pleased as punch to say this job has, by far, been my favourite. I have always been an imaginative individual, and combining this with my love of animating... well, it's like the magic combination!
 
So, enough harping on. Here's a behind the scenes peek of what I do for you lovely lot...
 
Let's Get Inspired
 
The first stage is just a friendly, informal chat to ask what you want from your design. We will go through vibes, colour themes, illustrations, font choices, layout... Chucking around ideas, and inspiration ,and seeing what we both come up with! I have a variety of requests, including logos featuring pastel unicorns, banners starring the blogger as a caricature surrounded by her passions, and loves, business branding featuring Disney castles, and characters - and lots more besides! 
 
Putting Your Design Together
 
I always create the design in stages - ensuring I get a nod of approval before continuing on to the next. Everything you see featured on my banners is hand drawn by me, which I think is incredibly important for various reasons. Firstly, it is always very obvious - at least to me -  if artwork has been copied or lifted, the banner will look odd, or mismatched, because it samples different types of illustration styles. In addition, it's important for copyright reasons that the designer creates their own artwork, and that is also proof you're getting your money's worth. 
 
 
Finishing Touches 
 
I will always present the final copy of the banner to you with the option for any final touches. It's so important that you're pleased with it. Honestly. It really is. I am a bit of a perfectionist (I realise that's a clichĂ© for an artist!) so making sure it's spot on is just as significant for me as it is for you!
 
Need a new banner or logo? Visit me on Etsy: alohalolacards.com
 
I'm on Twitter and Instagram! - @alohalolacards 
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Sunday, 16 October 2016

Apps Every Blogger Needs | October Guest Post Month

apps every blogger needs.jpg



Hi! Firstly, I’m Laura. I have been blogging for over a year, and I thought that today I would share apps with you all that I use that I find very helpful. Blogging can be a very time worthy hobby. You're having to plan, write, take photos, edit said photos, and then promote your posts! I find that these apps save me a lot of time, and seeing as they are on my phone, I can use them anywhere and anytime. I just want to quickly say that not every blogger has to use them. These are just my suggestions!



In the blogging process, the first thing I do is plan and to do this, I use Google Calendar. At the start of every month, I sit down with my notebook, and make a list of all the posts I want to write in that month, and then put them on the calendar. I have them colour coded for each category, and this corresponds with the colours on my spread sheet (more on that later!). I can then see what blog posts are up when, and what else I have on at that time, so I can plan when to write the posts.



Secondly, I put all the posts into my spreadsheet on Google Sheets (this can be found in Google Drive), where I colour code them. On the first page, I have a list, and then 6 columns titled “Photos Needed”, “Photos Taken” “Photos Edited” “Written” “Proof Read”, and “Scheduled”. When each of these things are done, I colour in the box. This helps me keep track of all the posts for that month, as well as what they need.


The next app is for writing and drafting posts and that is your  host app. For me, it would be the Blogger App because my blog is with Blogger. I personally don’t like the blogger app, but I know that a lot of people do, so it really is up to personal opinion. On the apps, you can draft posts, and upload images, which is really handy if you can’t get to your computer,or for if you are blogging on the go.


This one is kind of cheating, because it is actually a website that is bringing out an app. I use Picmonkey.com to edit all my blog photos and I really couldn’t recommend it enough! They have 4 main features “Edit”, “Touch-Up”, “Design” and “Collage”. They have loads of tools within these sections such as overlays, brightness and contrast editing, filters and text. The best thing is that it is free to use (although some features you pay for)!


The last apps that I find good are Buffer, and Hootsuite. I always forget to be active on social media, especially Twitter, and these apps are really useful for that. You can go on the app, and schedule tweets to go up at certain times, which is perfect for if you are going away, or want to be off your phone for a bit. They are both really easy to use, but my favourite is Buffer. You can also set reminders for you to post on Instagram, which is also great!


I hope this post was helplful in someway. Maybe I told you about some apps that you didn’t know about before?
xx

 
 


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