Wednesday 22 July 2015

Sharing The Love - My Current Favourite Bloggers

Hi everyone, as some of you that are close friends may know there was a bit of a family crisis last week which needed my full attention, so of course my little space on the internet was not my top priority hence lack of last weeks post!  So, to get back in the swing of things I thought I would share with you some of my favourite bloggers and their blogs, these are ones that I visit very regularly and always read every single post :-)

I'll also leave some of their various links below, so feel free to follow them and say hi.  And just to note, I've not been asked to mention any of these lovely ladies or promote them in any way, they are just blogs that I really enjoy reading and want to share :-)

Corrie - DizzyBrunette3

I can't help but admit that my most absolute favourite blogger has to be Corrie from DizzyBrunette3.  I've been reading her blog and watching her on YouTube for nearly a year now and I just find her so genuine and lovely.  She writes with wonderful quirky humour and honesty, she makes me laugh so much, her gif posts having me in stitches.  It's so sweet the way she talks about her gorgeous cuddly dog Frank too, he's just adorable.

I love blogs that have a little bit of everything, beauty, lifestyle, pets and humour and DizzyBrunette has it all, I look forward to every new post.  I love the way as I'm reading through one of her posts, it almost feels more like we're chatting over a coffee!  And after following her for this length of time, I've come to realise we actually have loads in common too.  I can honestly say I would love to get to know her, because I think she'd be a lovely friend to have.

Jasmine - Color U Bold

If ever I feel uninspired or need a little bit of encouragement in life, Jasmine's posts always make me feel better, she writes so much about being positive and learning to have confidence in yourself, it's very inspiring!  I first got to know Jasmine back in January when she nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award, she was also kind enough to feature me in her February - Bloggers of the Month series and again she is just a very sweet, genuinely lovely girl.

I have to admit I'm a little bit obsessed with becky's photos, they always look so beautiful, on her blog and on her Instagram uploads, I love her simple/white/pastel style and the photos of the pretty little things she buys, they're all so cute and adorable!  I love her style and reading about her life, and as for her little dog Oscar, awww so cute!!

Oscar - just look at that pose!

Victoria - Victoria's Vintage

The first post I ever read of Victoria's was this Claire Bowman Cake Lace Butterflies post, showing some of the lovely little cupcakes she'd made, they looked so cute and so I quickly fell in love with the vintage/rosey theme of her blog.  After looking through some of her other posts, I quickly realised she had a love of anything pretty and shabby chic style, which is something I adore and so it was easy for me to want to follow her blog.  I love reading about her diy and craft projects as well as her beautiful cat too.  And, it was thanks to reading that first post about the cupcakes, that got me back in to doing my own baking and reminded me how much I love to do it.  Some of the cakes she's made look amazing :-)

I actually found Amy's blog only a couple of months ago.  I was reading through the comments on one of Victoria's posts about her cat, and read Amy's reply.  She mentioned about her mums cats and about a recent breakup that had left her feeling very down and I just felt so sad for her.  I clicked the link to take me to her blog and I read all about her breakup as well as other things in her life.  I love the beautiful descriptive way she writes, every post is almost like a story, you can really visually see the things she describes and writes about, like her last post about being a child playing in her parents garden, which sounded so beautiful.  I've also been really happy to get to know her and chat to her lately too, she's a very nice, lovely lady :-)

Heather - PorcelainBeautyx

As you may have seen on several of my other blog favourites posts, I have been a long-time fan of Heathers blog PorcelainBeautyx.  I can't even think of a time when I've missed a post, I just love them.  Her blog has changed a good bit since I first started following her over a year ago, it's lovely to see how well it's doing and how much more confident she's seems to be.  I particularly loved her recent post The True Face Behind The Blog, from last week which I thought was so well written and took a lot of courage to upload.  I really enjoy her Tuesday Thoughts posts as well, as they're always written from the heart, and her photography is just amazing!  She's a great girl, always lovely to chat too and it's nice to think that we started our blogs only a couple of days apart!

Rebekah - Rebekah Koontz Site

Rebekah is hilarious, that's the first thing that comes to mind when I think of her.  Every post has me smiling like Cheshire cat or laughing like a crazy person.  Again I've had the lovely opportunity to chat to her and she's a very nice girl.  I think one of my favourite posts of hers had to be the People With Pets post, since I'm a Poodle owner and have always had pets, I could totally relate to this, she really captured the hilarity of it all and it really had me smiling :-)  I loved her post What I Imagine The Blogging World To Be post as well, which was wonderfully true and funny.  I can honestly say as with Corrie's blog, I look forward to every new post!

Lauren - Lauren Rellis

Sarcastic humour is what springs to mind with Lauren, I love reading her funny take on the world, her daily struggles with travelling on the tube and the hilarious things her friends come out with!  I love going through and reading her older posts too, like with Corrie and Rebekah, I always find it so enjoyable, relaxing and interesting.  Her take on feminism, travelling, friends, and being a 20-something girl dealing with everyday life is really quite inspiring!

Fleur Danielle is the newest edition to my favourite blog reading list, in fact I only found her a couple of days ago, but I instantly fell in love with her writing and her style.  I couldn't help being a little drawn to her blog to start with purely because of the name (my full name also being Danielle) but I was so glad I clicked on it and had a look around.  Her photos are gorgeous and the post topics are so interesting, I look through her Bloglovin feed and just want to click on and read every single one!  I particularly liked her 25 Female Problems post, so true!  I can definitely see myself loving this girls blog for a good long while :-)

I hope you all like this post and don't forget to stop by and check out these great blogs, and if any of these ladies read this, I hope you liked it too :-)

Until Next Time Stay Happy
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Saturday 11 July 2015

My Blogging Routine

Hi everyone.  When I first started properly getting into blogging 18 months ago now (wow that's gone so fast), I got into a routine quite quickly with how I write and upload my posts.  I've tweaked it a bit here and there, and I've found many various tools and apps along the way that I now find very helpful, so this week I thought I'd tell you all about it :-)

The first thing I do as soon as I get an idea in my head for a new post, is jot it in my little note book.  I love this one, it's so cute and pretty and was given to me for my birthday last year by one of my best friends.

The next thing I do, is work out the main details of the post and write it down properly in my main blog planner.  I also have a couple of pages that I use as a calendar and I write down the titles of all the posts I plan to do over the coming months, usually about 2-3 months in advance.  It sometimes gets altered around, I might decide to leave one post till a later date or I may suddenly come up with a new one that I want to write sooner, so I have to fit it in.

If I'm doing a baking post, I write out all the full details in this book too, like the ingredients list and how to make the goodies.

I also make a note of what photos I need to take to go with each post, I find that really helpful too.

I have several pages full of ideas, ones that I've thought of myself or ones that I've seen suggested by other bloggers, general ideas as well as various tag posts (as you know I love doing them every-so-often), and then I tick them off my list once I've written and uploaded them.  Funnily enough, I always seem to come up with the best ideas when I'm in the shower!  But I find inspiration anywhere and everywhere, from Pinterest, to magazines, youtube, new products or just life in general!

When I come to type up my posts, I don't have a particular schedule, I just work on it a little at a time over the week and always try and upload midweek (yes I try, doesn't always happen I grant you!)  One thing I enjoy doing is listening to music while I write, sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn't.  But when I do have it on, I always play very chilled out or dance-type instrumental music, I love things like this and this, it relaxes me and helps me to concentrate.

I always really enjoy taking my photos.  I don't claim to be an expert at the technical side of things, but I have a lovely DSLR camera which I treated myself to last Christmas and still have no idea what half the settings do! But I do enjoy setting up the items (bluetack is a must!) and I'm usually quite happy with how my photos turn out.  Good lighting is everything!!

I was lucky to find my 'photographing style' quite early on and I've stuck with it.  I always photograph most of my items on top of my little wooden drawer unit from Ikea which I painted white.  I really like the texture of this and I think a white background always looks very clean and makes the products and colours stand out more.  If the items I need to photograph are too big for the drawer unit, then I'll usually display them on my bed sheet or rose blanket as that can look nice too.

For props, I always use my little pink paper roses, I think they're so cute and add a touch of prettyness to the photos.  I've been looking for some bigger roses for so long but can never seem to find any!  I also like to use my lovely Ikea flower pot and one of my beautiful handmade fabric flowers, that I got a while back from Stitched Blossoms on Etsy, both of these look so pretty with certain items in the background.
If I need to use photos that I haven't taken myself, Google images usually helps (but of course, always use copyright free images!)  Sometimes I find myself searching for the perfect photo for HOURS, yes that's definitely been known to happen, especially when I'm looking for the best GIF images!!

Whenever I take photos on my phone, the first thing I always do is upload it to Dropbox, I love this app it's so useful and I'd be lost without it.  Within minutes the photo is then on my pc and ready to edit.

When it comes to editing my photos, I love using Photoshop, just to tweak things like the brightness, shadows, saturation and cropping, I usually have to resize my photos as well, especially for Twitter as my camera makes them ridiculously humongous and so they need to be a lot smaller to upload.

I find PicMonkey is a really great site for collaging images too and adding things like a transparent circle and text, I love using this look for main header images, I think it just gives a really nice first impression of a post.

Of course when it comes to promoting my posts, social media is pretty vital.  Several months ago, I heard about a great app called Buffer and I used it every time I post now.  With a couple of clicks, it will post your post (lol) to various social media sites (i.e. Twitter, facebook, google+ etc), in one go and you can schedule it to do the same throughout the week or several hours during the day.  Because let's face it, once you've tweeted about a new post, 5 minutes later it'll be halfway down everyone's feed and forgotten about!  So in all it's pretty good.

Another great site is IFTTT, where you can connect all your various accounts.  Then if you wanted to posted a pic on Instagram for instance, it will automatically upload it to Twitter without you having to do it all separately.  And, you can choose between absolutely loads of various social media parings!  I only found this site about a month ago and it's already been invaluable :-)

I'm also hugely obsessed with Instagram, I love looking through it when I have a few minutes free but I've also found that if I share a photo and a link of my post a few days after my post is up, that usually gains even more views, which of course is great.  Bloglovin is another great site of course which displays all your posts and suggests your blog to any members who might be on the look-out for a new one to follow!  I've been trying to get more into using Pinterest and Tumbler lately too.

And course you can follow me through any of these various links (shameless self promo there :-)

I hope you like this post and find some of the apps useful.  Let me know in the comments which apps you use to help with your posts, I'd love to know as I'm always on the look-out for new ones to try :-)
Until Next Time Stay Happy

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Friday 3 July 2015

All Men Are Beasts! – My Experience of Online Dating

I have recently been delving into the dubious world of internet dating, I've been there several times over the years and let me tell you, it is a very scary, confusing place!  For a girl like me, with a few health issues (you can read about that here), working from home and only having a handful of close friends, it's extremely difficult to not only find a decent guy, but to meet any in the first place, and so I turn to online dating as pretty much my only way of meeting a possible future Mr.Right, although 99% of the time, they're far more wrong, than right!

So I thought today, I would write about my general experiences and thoughts about internet dating.

Hulk photo 2 Beast hulk_zpsmbnblg8k.gif

To start off with, a guy's profile pictures says a lot about him, and these tend to go into several categories

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The Party Go'er; photos taken in a club, pub or generally anywhere else, whilst holding a beer.

Show off photo 4 Show off Oh yea you fancy me_zpspastytez.gif

The Show Off; the photos that show off their perfectly toned muscles and prove that they do go to a gym, they then have this as their main profile pic thinking this be all you need to see of them!
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The Last Minute photo; the 'ooh I need a photo for my profile quick', so take any quick photo usually sat in front of their webcam!  Or they get someone else to take a photo of them and they're usually stood ramrod straight looking very uncomfortable and like they're about to fall over lol
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The In Your Face / Too Close for Comfort sort of photos!  The ones with their faces almost pressed up again the camera, so close in fact you get to see more details than you'd like.  Do all guys have that much nose hair?!

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The Traveller; numerous photos all taken during different holidays, up hills, on horse-back, in a parachute!  I've seen all kinds!!  Even if they only show one travel photo (which was taken 10 years ago) just to prove that they have been somewhere outside the uk!
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The Sports/Fitness Enthusiast; photos taken by someone else of the guy on a bicycle, doing weights, rock climbing, you name it!  Anything to show that they workout and keep fit.  In every single photo! :-/

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And then there's the ones who 'borrow' a friend/relatives pet dog, just to look cute and adorable, then write 'have no pets' in their profile!  Yes I've seen that too, a lot!
Double pics needed here - No matter how they look or how old they are, they think they're totally gorgeous . . . 

I'm sure you've thought about me naked photo 10 Thought about me naked_zps5h81m4vc.gif

. . . and all women should swoon and faint in their presents!  (rolling eyes)!

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Some guys think to get to know you, they have to ask the most rude and inappropriate questions and want to know all your deepest, darkest secrets and fantasies.  Christian Grey they are not! . . .

Mens thoughts photo 12 Thoughts_zpspfs2fenz.gif

. . . And then they proceed to tell you all of theirs, which is sometimes just a little TMI  :-/

One of the questions on the websites is 'do you want children' and you can pick 'Yes, No or Undecided'.  And you can guarantee on 9 out of every 10 profiles, the guy will have put 'undecided'!  I mean what is it with these men, at their age they should know by now whether they want kids or not, do they want to end the existence of the human race!?!

Marriage, run photo 14 Marriage_zps3c0xowz7.gif

And godforbid you might happen to mention that you want to get married one day, and then you don't see them for dust! Can you say commitment issues!!

Frightened man running photo 15 Horror Scared 1_zps4bb7q6fe.gif

And one last bit of advice, something I've learned from chatting to and meeting up with different men over the time I've been 'dating' online, never trust a guy that doesn't like watching horror movies; if he can't handle a bit of gore, what use is he going to be when life gets tough!

But really, they're not all bad, I have met some quite nice decent guys online, but I have met quite a few not so nice ones too!  Either way, it's definitely been an experience!

So have you tried online dating, was it successful, did you meet the man of your dreams or have you had similar experiences?  Let me know your thoughts and let's have a good moan about men in the comments :-)
Until Next Time, Stay Happy

Just because! :-)

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