How To Motivate Yourself To Blog

Do you ever get those days where you want to sit down and write down all the blog posts you have in mind – but it just does not happen. No matter how much you want to, the words just don’t come. Your motivation is non existent, and everything else just seems so distracting. You spend hours scrolling through the internet, watching cat videos & conspiracy theories (ahem, not me), but you know you should be typing up that review of your new makeup brushes…

Now – in the (almost) 2 years I’ve been blogging (wow has it been that long?!), I have found that certain things really help me get in the right blogging mind, not just the inspiration side but also writing. Of course – whenever I find certain things that help me blogwise -it’s always a good idea to share them. I know that most bloggers go through the same thing (we rant about it on Twitter all the time right guys) – so ya gal here as got some things that can help you feel inspired & motivated when you are in a bit of a slump.

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Have a blog set up

For some people, they can find the inspiration to write anywhere – whether that is on the bus/train, on their lunch break or on the sofa whilst watching TV. For me – I need a proper set up. I’m talking cosy pillows & blankets, a cuppa & plenty of candles & fairy lights. Even in the summer, I love having candles & a warm drink. I find just being in this sort of chilled environment helps me stay motivated and want to write. It also inspires me to come up with ideas too. If I’m ever feeling a little lost for ideas, I just get in my cosy environment & think about the things that have effected me recently & what I’ve been loving – and some ideas always spring into my head !

Pinterest is your SAVIOUR

Pinterest has so many ideas & inspiration – if I’m ever stuck for ideas I always have a trawl through Pinterest. Whether it is inspo for some post ideas or blog/Instagram shots – Pinterest always has something to help. Plus – making season themed boards is SO much fun – have you SEEN the Autumn ones?!

Sometimes your thoughts/feelings are the best posts

For a while, I’d only feel motivated to blog if I had new beauty products/an interesting, hot topic to post about – simply because I felt like that was what brought in the most views. This eventually made me stress out when I didn’t have anything ‘exciting’ to post about. Then one day – I just literally sat down & wrote a whole blog post about everything that was on my mind. It was almost like a diary entry – and I posted it – and not only did it get a good response, but I felt like a massive weight had been lifted off my shoulders too. I actually LOVE reading personal, diary-like blog posts too – I think they help you really connect with the blogger too. So, don’t feel disheartened if you don’t have any new products to talk about – your thoughts are enough loves.

Read other blogs & gain inspirationΒ 

Now – I’m not saying go and copy another bloggers post idea – they probably worked their ass off to not only come up with the idea, but to put the whole thing together. But – getting inspiration from other blog posts is definitely a way to motivate yourself and get some ideas. I always feel so out of the loop when I don’t read other blogs, so I always make sure I set aside some time every few days to have a scroll through my fave blogs. Funnily enough – I always find I miss writing blog posts when I read others – so that always helps me get motivated!

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Lastly – blog for YOURSELF & because you LOVE it

Sometimes – no matter what you do – the words/motivation just don’t come to you. If this happens to me, I find taking a few days out really helps. This usually leads me to find inspiration and realise how much I miss blogging. Also – blog because you LOVE to, not because you’re trying to get the next PR package or some extra followers. Blogging is so much fun & it should be something that you do to relax & unwind – but if it is becoming something that stresses you, it’s time to take a few days out. Trust me – you will come back feeling more motivated than ever!

There we have it – a few little pointers that I always find help motivate and inspire me to write when I am having one of those rubbish, slump moments with my blog. If you have other tips you use – make sure to let me know !

Guys – I can’t even tell you how excited I am for the next few months – it is almost AUTUMN – I am already planning my “reasons to be excited for Autumn” post – as well as some other content. I have a few Summer themed posts coming up – then it is ALL about Autumn (how many times did I say Autumn then!?).

Take care m’loves – and I will see you all in my next post!

Love, Saira x

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Travel Diary – Amsterdam

Hi GUYS

How ya’ll doing? Hope you have had the best week EVER. Been up to much ? If you follow me on practically any social media – you will know that I recently went to the ever so popular, BEAUT city of Amsterdam. Oh yes. One of the most popular places to visit ATM – especially amongst my fellow blogging gals. In fact – booking a city break and travelling to Amsterdam was actually on my Spring bucket list (ahem – post here if you fancy a gander) – and I was SO chuffed to tick it off!

So – as I was saying, unless you’ve been avoiding me on Twitter (hope not) you will know that I went to Amsterdam over the May Day bank holiday – and as the typical blogger would do – am writing up my travel diary for you (WOOP). Now – I have decided to incorporate a travel series on my blog – so will be doing a few posts on my trip, so keep your eyes peeled for those.

For now though – a quick run through of what I got up to, with plenty of shots of one of the most picturesque places I’ve EVER visited.

Day 1

Armed with our bags, we scuttled off to Leeds Bradford Airport and boarded our flight to Amsterdam, which only took 50 minutes (I couldn’t even fit an episode of 13 Reasons Why on it). We arrived at Schipol Airport around 4pm & got the train to Sloterdijk Station. We stayed at the Mercure Hotel just opposite there, so getting the train to central was an absolute doddle (literally took around 8 minutes).

After settling in to our hotel, we freshened up and headed out to central Amsterdam to explore. It honestly is one of the most beautiful places. It sounds odd but I found it one of the most lively, yet calm places ever. There was so much going on, but I never once felt stressed walking around. We were absolutely starving so found a cute Turkish restaurant to have dinner (you will be spoilt for choice -there is SO much to eat!), and then explored the centre a little bit more. We also found ourselves walking down the Red Light District too (don’t judge – hear me out guys), and I found it so fascinating to walk around. It didn’t have that ‘seedy’ feel to it that I thought it would, and honestly it was more of a tourist attraction than anything else. Prepare for a lot of ‘live show’ adverts & naughty shops though. Lol. After that – we scoped out where we’d be having breakfast the next morning, then headed back to our hotel.

Also – when booking the hotel I only selected a ‘room’ option – as there were SO many breakfast places that I wanted to try rather than just having what the hotel would serve (quick tip there for you).

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Day 2

We had a little bit of a lie in then headed out on the train to central again for breakfast. I’d planned on having breakfast at the famous Pancakes – which there was actually a queue OUTSIDE for. But luckily we only waited around 15 minutes until we were seated. The pancakes were INSANE though and pretty reasonably priced too which was fab! After – we hopped on a ferry to North Amsterdam (which we could get with the travel ticket – more on that in my tips post!) and found a cute little cafe where we hung out for a while & for some lunch. Then, we got the ferry back to central & went to the Body Worlds museum – which was FANTASTIC. It is literally a museum with real human bodies that people have ‘donated’ and they have been preserved so you can see every single bit! It sounds creepy but it’s amazing and such an interesting place to see. We then got some fries (which Amsterdam is popular for and DAMN were they good) and then went back to the hotel for a quick rest, before heading back out to central for some dinner and another wander round! And yes as you can probably tell, we ate A LOT. I actually went past the Anne Frank museum – which unfortunately I couldn’t get into as it was SO busy, but it was just nice to see it in person. I love Anne Frank and her story and am definitely looking at going again so I can actually visit the museum next time.

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Day 3

Our last day (boo!). We visited a place called Omelegg for breakfast which is again a very popular place – and I can honestly say it was one of the nicest breakfasts I’ve ever had! As you can probably tell by the name, they serve up omelettes (literally any one that you can imagine), and it was SO GOOD. The interior was also so adorable, but again this was quite busy too. We did have to queue to get a seat but we were seated pretty quickly, and it was worth the wait! After – we headed to a place called Beginhof, which is a courtyard in the middle of central Amsterdam where nun’s actually live, but it is open to the public to visit. This was a highly recommended place as it is so peaceful & beautiful, despite being in the centre of the city. I would highly suggest checking it out if you want to get away from the hustle & bustle for a while. We then walked around the gardens of Amsterdam museum for a while, before getting on a tram to Vondelpark. Ahh guys … the park. I feel as though this is Amsterdam’s version of Central Park in NYC (despite me never visiting New York LOL), it is definitely a beautiful place and if we’d had enough time, we would have rented some bikes out to ride around (as it was a BEAUT day). Unfortunately, time was ticking so we headed back to central, where we got some souvenirs and churros (which were SO good), and then made our way to the airport.

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So – that was my short but very eventful trip to Amsterdam. I regretted not going for a canal boat ride, but we just did not have the time *cries*. Amsterdam is definitely a city where you are never short of things to do – and I am hoping to take another trip soon to visit other places such as the Anne Frank House & the outer regions (where the popular windmills & cheese farms are!) OH- we also managed to taste a lot of cheese whilst we were there in one of the many cheese shops (yum).

Right guys – I hope you enjoyed this travel diary of my trip! As I’ve said I will do another post with tips where I’ll go into detail about getting around Amsterdam, things you have to do and just some general helpful things! If you are thinking of visiting, I would 100% reccomend as there is SO much to see and do, whether you fancy a chilled out break or one spending your time in the coffee shops (hehe), or exploring all the history & museums!

Let me know if you liked this post – and also if you’ve been to Amsterdam! I’d love to know and see your posts if you have done any!

I’ll see you all in my next one – have an amazing weekend!

Lots of LOVE

Saira xxxxx

Cozy Spring Bedroom Tips*

Oh hey

How you all doing ? Currently – it is almost May Day bank holiday and I am prepping to go to Amsterdam! Can I get a WOOP WOOP?! I am SO excited I cannot even tell you – I’ve wanted to go to Amsterdam for so long and the time has finally come ! I have got a LOT of posts planned around it so make sure to keep your eye out for those !

Onto this post though – if you follow me on social media you will know that I recently redecorated my room! I went from having the most horrific, bright pink room (I was 16 guys please don’t judge), to something a lot more classic & neutral. I thought this would be the best thing as it meant I’d be able to change up my room depending on the seasons and my mood with the addition of some room decor.

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So … at the moment I’m feeling all set for Spring/summer .. yet I still want that cosy vibe to my room ! I thought it would be fun to go through some tips you can use to make your room Spring/Summer ready .. yet still have it feeling cosy. Sounds about right ey?

Change up your sheets

This is probably the BIGGEST change you can do to your room – seriously guys you wouldn’t believe the difference a new set of sheets makes to your room. For spring … I love light coloured sheets with slight bits of colour. These sheets* are perfect as they are a light colour but the few bits of pinks/purple/blue really make them stand out. It also means I can accessorize my bedroom with coordinating decor. I LOVE having a variation of decor – so I tend to pick sheets that have quite a few colours in them.

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Don’t lose your blankets

Sure it’s getting to summer & you might not need that extra blanket to snuggle up with when you go to sleep – BUT THAT DON’T MEAN YOU PACK IT AWAY GIRL. Sling it on the edge of your bed for that perfect, Pinterest worthy bed shot. I love having a blanket on my bed as it adds such a cosy feel to my room and adds more ‘texture’ to your bed. The same goes for pillows too – they add so much cosy-ness to your bed & it’s always nice to add some colour too!

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Fairy lights

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I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of my beloved fairy lights – they add so much to your room. I seriously can’t imagine my room without them – tbh I blame all the bloggers for this (LOL)… I don’t think I was this obsessed with them before I’d started blogging ! I like to add a spring touch by getting some floral lights* instead of the standard lights – think they add a nice touch! I also have some cactus ones which I use when I have my beaut palm tree bedding on (probably show these on my Instagram soon!). There are SO many different styles of fairy lights that you can get now – so you’ll find SOMETHING that matches your room !

Fake flowers

I love love LOVE fake flowers in my room – they add the loveliest touch to any room and you can get so many different styles! They add a touch of Spring/summer to your room too which is just perfect. Of course – every now and again I’ll get real flowers too – but nothing is more reliable than fake ones right?

Wooden storage/trays

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I am IN LOVE with wooden storage crates & trays – I think because they give my room that cottage, shabby chic feel. They also look amazing in any photo too – and again give it your room a cosy feel. I love the wooden crate* to store my Lush goodies in .. and it matches nicely with my bedsheets too which is always a plus!

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So m’loves… they are my tips to getting your room set for Spring/Summer but making sure it still has that cosy feel to it! It is amazing what a few new bits can do to your room. I actually picked up most of the things mentioned from my local Poundstretcher… I was so pleasantly surprised with all the cute stuff in there.. and obviously it was all SO affordable too. I highly recommend checking them out if you are after some cute decor bits for your bedroom or living room. You can check out their range & where your nearest store is online πŸ™‚

Right guys.. I hope you enjoyed this post.. if so let me know and I will definitely do some more! I am all set for Amsterdam and cannot WAIT to get there.. expect lots of travel posts from me all about it too! Make sure you are following my Instagram as I will be putting up a  lot of pictures from my trip!

Have a fabulous bank holiday weekend guys.. and I will see you all in my next post! MWAH xx

Lots of Love,

Saira xo

*Items have been gifted to me and this post was kindly sponsored by Poundstretcher.. but as already mentioned I frickin’ love that store!

Spring Bucket List

Oh hey

Y’all good? Hope so… I’ve missed you all *squeezes*. I’ve wanted to blog more often.. but my inspiration is just not there! So – I’ve let myself only blog when I feel inspired – like today!

Ahem… not to mention I am insanely obsessed with Gossip Girl and have been watching as many episodes as humanely possible each evening

So bucket list posts ey? I absolutely LOVE reading these. Why? You find out more about the blogger, and it also gives you some ideas of what you can get up to!

I am honestly thinking of doing one of these each season – and the things on my list are not going to be huge… just little things I want to do during Spring time! There’s nothing more satisfying than creating a list and ticking things off ey?

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Buy flowers every week during Spring

This is something I’ve stuck to since Spring started! There is just something so wonderful about having flowers in your home – they add so much colour and I also find they give any room a real homely feel. They definitely make you feel set for Spring too – so I’m going to ensure I ALWAYS have a bunch of flowers nearby! My new favourite flowers – tulips (the just scream spring time to me).

Have a picnic

Picnics are literally one of my favourite things ever. There is nothing better than packing up a little basket with food and finding a quiet place outside. We’ve been lucky enough to have some nice weather up in Yorkshire recently – so fingers crossed there will be some more soon!

Visit the first car boot of the year

Ahhhh if you know me you’ll know I LOVE a good car boot sale. And the best thing about Spring time? They start having them again! Although I might not always find something I like, there is something so lovely about waking up early in the morning and visiting a car boot (I think it’s the nostalgia kicking in guys).

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Take some pictures of cherry blossoms

Oh cherry blossoms. These might be the ultimate blogger cliche – but DAMN are they beautiful ! You know Spring has arrived when the cherry blossoms come out – and it is my aim to take some outfit pics with some cherry blossom background!

Learn to make the perfect mocktail

OK… so this one might be more of a summer one – but I want to spend Spring time PERFECTING my technique – then can spend Summer time drinking them right? NOTE it’s Mocktail as I don’t drink alcohol. The reason behind this one is because I am in LOVE with the ones you can order in restaurants – but WOW are they expensive. Plus – I can be as creative as I want with ones I make myself! Oh – and I will definitely share them once I have mastered some recipes!

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Book a city break

I have been wanting to book a city break for the longest time EVER .. but for no real reason I have just been putting it off. I think the warmer months will be a perfect time to escape real life for a few days and explore a whole new place. My destination? 100% AMSTERDAM. It is literally one of the most picturesque places – and everyone that has visited has only fallen in love with it. Anyone been? Leave me a comment and let me know.

So – that is my short .. but sweet (and do-able) Spring bucket list! I hope you found some inspiration for some things for you to get up to during Spring time! Is there anything you want to do during the spring months? If so – make sure to let me know!

Hope you all have the best week guys!

Lots of Love,

Saira xo

Twitter // Instagram // Blog LovinΒ //YouTubeΒ β™₯β™₯

 

Fuss Free Mother’s Day – Gift Ideas & Things To Do

Happy Sunday loves…

So.. Mother’s Day is right around the corner – and I thought it would be the perfect time to write up my first ever gift guide ! But of course – I wanted to do something a little bit different (as you do!). For me, Mother’s Day is more about being a fuss free day that you spend with your mum making memories & just making sure she feels as loved as she deserves. So.. I’m going to share with you my fool-proof Mother’s Day gift ideas that just cannot go wrong, as well as some activities that will definitely create some wonderful memories with the most special woman in your life!

Beauty Goodies

Every woman loves being pampered, especially your momma ladies. Of course, my favourite place when it comes to beauty goodies? Lush! And obviously they have the most amazing gift sets EVER all themed around Mother’s Day, including the ‘Mum’* set, which includes 6 products set around pampering herself from head to toe. You can never go wrong with Lush goodies – and guaranteed your mum will absolutely adore them too!


Caudalie Products

I have loved Caudalie products for so so long – they are such good quality and have a whole range of skincare items designed for every single skin type out there. They are a SUCH a good quality brand and I can definitely see every mum out there loving their products. It’s always nice to treat your mum to some new skincare bits (or stock up on some of her known faves!). I love that Caudalie ranges from really luxury items (such as their Premier Cru Du Cream) to a more affordable range (Vine Active Anti-Aging Range*). Highly recommend checking them out loves, as they have some stunning gift sets, as well as some Spa Gift Vouchers – which your momma definitely deserves!

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Sweet Treats

Of course – you can never go wrong with some good old chocolates ey? But why not take it up a notch and order a handmade gift tin from the EVER so popular Biscuteers*? Ahh… I am so sure you have seen these stunning biscuits around, and they have the most amazing range of Mother’s Day themed gift tins. Whether your mum loves flowers, afternoon tea or sewing … there are themed biscuits for all these and more! I was lucky enough to be sent a flower themed biscuit tin and they are honestly the most beautiful biscuits I have ever seen. They are for my mum but I may have sneakily eaten one myself (shhh!), and I can confirm they taste bloody yummy. Definite, fool proof gift idea guys – I don’t know who wouldn’t be chuffed to receive these as a gift.

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Perfume

Ahhhh perfumes are one of the easiest (but most loved gifts) you can get your mum. Whether you know her staple scent, or pick up something new for her, you can’t go wrong. A very popular scent is LancΓ΄me’s La Vie Est Belle.. it is a sweet (but not sickly) scent that settles into a musky, powdery scent.. and this stuff lasts for AGES with it being an Eau Du Parfum (winning).

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Personal gifts

Nothing will mean more to your mum than something personal. You don’t even have to spend a fortune to make your mum happy – collect up some of your favourite pictures together and put them in an album, and you can spend Mother’s Day just going through them and re-living all the memories you had together.

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How to: Have The Perfect, Fuss Free Mother’s Day

So … a lot of people may have planned days out for Mother’s Day.. but you know me and how I’m a massive lover of chilled out days at home .. & Mother’s Day is no different. So.. I have some ideas of how you can have the perfect, chilled out, fuss free day with your mum.

Start off with a walk together

Β There is nothing more perfect than having an early morning walk with your mum to just catch up & get some gentle exercise. With Spring upon us now.. it’s the perfect time to take a walk in the park and just enjoy seeing the flowers now blossoming, the lighter mornings & (slightly) warmer weather.

Have an unhealthy breakfast

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Mother’s Day is all about treating your mum right! So whether she loves a sweet or savoury breakfast, make it a treat. I have a recipe for the best sweet pancakes ever if you fancy something sweet, or of course you can just make a fry up right? Cos everyone (including your mamma) loves a fry up every now & then!

Get the gifts out

After breakfast would be the best time to pass on your gifts to your mum – so whether you’ve treated her to one of the special gifts mentioned above, or just made her something yourself… she’ll definitely appreciate being spoilt!

DIY Afternoon Tea

So – rather than have to spend time/effort going out for afternoon tea.. why not just do it yourself? Make some sandwiches, pick up some mini desserts & stick the kettle on to have your own afternoon tea together.. in the comfort of your own home! Afternoon tea in your PJ’s? Yes please.

Pamper Time

If you’ve brought your mum some goodies to pamper herself.. it’s the perfect time to have her use them now. Run a bath for her & let her just chill out for a few hours. Do some face masks & mani/pedi’s together & I can guarantee she’ll feel hugely spoilt. It’s seems like such a small thing but it’s one of the best ways to unwind with her!

Get comfy together & stick on some movies

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Whether you have a TV series you both love watching or a movie that you’ve not watched together for years… get yourself loads of blankets & sit in front of the TV together for a few hours. It’s the perfect way to end the day together.

Right guys – they were my tips for having the perfect, fuss free, chilled out Mother’s Day! I hope you got inspiration if you’ve been stuck for some ideas! Remember.. you don’t have to spend a fortune… Mother’s Day is a for making your mum feel special and creating memories with her. Of course .. every single day should be spent like that – but it’s always nice to make that extra effort! Make sure to let me know what your plans are .. I’d love to know !

Lots Of Love,

Saira xo

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Teeth Whitening 101

Hey there

I think I need a slap on the wrist for how long I have been away from my little blog. I know.. it’s been a while. You know the usual drill .. things just got busy in life. Oh.. and my obsession with the Twilight movies started again.. meaning I spent most of my evenings after work rewatching the movies.

Hehehe. No regrets.

Right.. lets talk about teeth shall we? This post has definitely been on the cards for a while … I just really wanted to test any products before talking about them.. as you do. Now… for me… oral hygiene is a biggie, and someone’s teeth is probably the first thing I notice about them (not sure if this is weird or not .. let me know if you do the same thing!). So of course, with this is mind, having good teeth & healthy gums is VERY important to me.

Now.. I am no dentist guys.. but I do think I have picked up a few tips & good habits, and thought it would be helpful to talk about MY routine, and also the steps I take to ensure my teeth are white & healthy. Lets get on shall we ey?

Invest in a good brush

If you are yet to buy an electric toothbrush, you are seriously missing out. Trust me… I wouldn’t say this if it wasn’t true, but buying a good quality Β brush is such an investment, and a good starter point too. I definitely recommend the Oral B ones, and what I like is that they start at around Β£25, yet they still do an amazing job at cleaning your teeth. At the moment, I use an Oral B Vitality brush (which I got from work, but I think it is usually Β£25-Β£30), and it does an amazing job at cleaning my teeth really well. You can definitely tell the difference in how clean your teeth/mouth feels, as well as helping to remove stains. I love that it also has a timer so you can brush for the right amount of time. Win.

Floss

Ah.. the dreaded job of flossing. I know it can seem like an absolute chore, but if you really want to clean your teeth properly AND have healthy gums.. you gotta floss girl. I tend to floss on a night, as I personally don’t think it is necessary to floss twice a day, and I have more time in the evening to floss well. Also.. if you are lazy, pick up some flossing brushes, as they are so much quicker. For me, flossing helps with removing stains between teeth (if this makes sense), as sometimes brushing can’t even reach those bits. My favourite floss to use recently has been the Nano floss, as I really find it helps clean between my teeth well and has a slight minty flavour which is always nice! If you have pretty bad staining between your teeth, try inter-dental brushes – these are really good at cleaning vigorously between your teeth.

Avoid long term DIY whitening treatments

Now guys, I know these are so so popular guys .. I used to use DIY whitening treatments, and they can seem to make your teeth whiter .. but the damage they cause your teeth is not good at all *sad face*. I’m talking about the lemon & baking soda trick .. I was pretty guilty of doing this quite regularly .. but stopped because I noticed my teeth becoming VERY sensitive and becoming more stained rather than white (confusing right?!). Basically what this trick does is wear away the enamel of your teeth, which is the strong, white layer your teeth have.. and in turn removes the “stains” but also damages enamel. Also – lemon juice can start to eat away at the calcium in your teeth too (eeek!). So.. your teeth may look shinier & glossier, but really your enamel is being damaged & your teeth are left more prone to decay. Now guys .. don’t get me wrong .. once in a while is not going to do a great deal of damage, but if you are doing this every few days.. it will harm your teeth. But don’t worry.. I’m here to help you find healthy ways of whitening your teeth πŸ™‚

It’s all in the routine

Trust me guys .. have a routine and you will notice the difference. I am talking brushing twice a day (standard) flossing (maybe not so standard) & mouthwash. Do this morning & night and I can guarantee you will notice a difference in how clean your mouth feels and how healthy/white your teeth look!

Using the correct products

I have definitely used my fair share of whitening toothpastes guys… so I think I’m in a pretty good place to share some of my faves with you. All these have been put to the test and I can definitely Β say they work amazingly in whitening your teeth, as well as cleaning them really well.

WhiteWash Nano Range

Ahhh this range. Where do I even start… not only is it probably the most instagrammable paste/wash/floss set ever … it works pretty damn well too. I tend to use this routine on a night, as I find it has a much more subtle minty flavour, which I prefer on an evening. I definitely have noticed a difference in how white my teeth are since using this, and I love that is is so gentle on my teeth too. It also helps build enamel which was a massive plus for me because I have really sensitive teeth (thanks to all the harsh whitening treatments), as well as being paraben & alcohol free. I also adore the mouthwash as it leaves your mouth feeling so clean, but doesn’t sting at all. Now .. the flavour of this range is pretty different compared to other pastes, it has more of a ‘soft mint’ taste, yet my teeth literally feel like they have been cleaned at the dentist. I highly recommend checking this brand out – I’ve even lent the paste to my sister to use because I know she’ll love it – meaning I’ll need to stock up on some more!

Beverly Hills Perfect White Range

I got testers for this range from work and can honestly say it’s the best toothpaste I’ve ever used ! I’ve tried both the Charcoal black paste/wash and the Gold paste and they are amazing ! They have whitened my teeth better than anything and have a really strong minty taste to them, so I tend to use these in the morning! It is a little strange using a black toothpaste at first but it works so well so I just look past that. Charcoal toothpaste is the latest hype and I can definitely see why! Using this and the wash together work an absolute treat to help keep my teeth white ! Woop wooop! You can pick up this range in Boots, Superdrug & Morrisons.

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Listerine Mouthwash

I know this stuff stings your mouth like an absolute b**** .. but it does an amazing job. You can pick up the whitening washes too which help maintain your white teeth as well as keeping your mouth clean! FYI… how adorable is this packaging ?!

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Build up that enamel

So.. I mentioned enamel briefly before and this is basically the stuff that keeps your teeth white and strong! Using harsh pastes can damage this, and make your teeth look slightly ‘see through’ .. which is not good at all! I like to use Sensodyne Pronamel every few days to strengthen my enamel and keep my teeth from ever getting sensitive. This is pricey stuff but it work SO well.. and I’m sure you’ve seen the dentists raving about this little gem too!

Some general tips to keep teeth white!

Avoid dark coloured drinks as much as possible i.e. coffee, tea… as these can stain your teeth pretty bad

Use a straw when having fizzy drinks to avoid as much exposure to your teeth

Don’t rinse your mouth fully after brushing. Let the toothpaste stay on your teeth so it can carry on working its magic even after brushing

Use mouthwash about half an hour after you’re brushed your teeth. I know right ? I couldn’t believe this .. I’d been using it straight after brushing.. but it’s actually better for you to wait before rinsing.

Don’t smoke. Pretty self explanatory. Smoking makes you smell, is so bad for you and makes your teeth pretty yellow. Bleugh.

So guys .. that is my teeth whitening routine & some tips on how you can have whiter teeth! Let me know some of your favourite products too .. I’d love to try some new things!

Hope this post helped some of you – I have some exciting posts coming up too which I cannot wait to share with you ! Make sure to leave me links of your blogs below because I am due a SERIOUS catch up!

Lots of Love,

Saira

 

How To Up Your Blog Photo Game

Well hey.

How you all doing? Survived Storm Doris? Seriously though .. DORIS. Β The amount of times I’ve seen this name on SM is insane ha. Anyhoo… blog post time, woop. And it’s a good one. Ya know why? Cos a crap load of you have requested it… CHECK ME OUT GETTING REQUESTS FOR POSTS.Β 

So… I’m finally writing a blog post all about my photography & upping my game. I did a blog post on photos when I first started blogging .. but recently I’ve really been trying hard with my photos, both on the blog & my Instagram (totes should follow me on there if you don’t already .. shameless plug.. I’m at @throughtheglitterglass). And you know what I love? So many people have noticed too. I thought I’d talk you through some of the things I’ve done to up my game, and also just some general tips too.. and I hope it helps some of you out!

Camera

Now.. I recently invested in the EVER so popular Olympus Pen because I knew I really wanted to focus on creating high quality images and this one is so highly raved about in the blogging world. And oh my goodness I can see why.. not only is it the most instagrammable camera EVER.. the photos it can produce are AMAZING. So many of you have complimented my pictures since getting this camera, and it definitely was the first step for me in upping my game. If you also want to do the same .. I highly recommend investing in a good camera.. as the difference is crazy. In fact .. I’m also going to be picking up the 30mm lens too because I want those beautiful, blurred background photos! Another thing I LOVE about this camera is the Wifi feature… it means I can easily send myself photos and post these directly onto my Instagram! If you’re not really feeling the whole spending Β£400 on a camera, fear not, because my babe Holly over at TheKittyLuxe uses her iPhone for her photos and my GOD her imagery is stunning. She did a whole post on it too.. so make sure you check it out.

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(Taken on iPhone)

Play around with manual mode

Not gonna lie.. manual mode on my camera scared me at first. All it seemed to do was make my photos blurry and dark.. not a good look. BUT.. Β a little bit of research really helped and now I refuse to use the auto settings on my camera! A few tips I’ve picked up:

  • Lowering the ‘F’ feature when you want a close up for that gorgeous blurry background. This reduces your focal point, meaning your camera will focus on a small part of your image, and slightly blur out the rest. This is amazing if you want to do a close up of something (i.e. lipstick/bathbomb). I also find it helps when I’m filming YT videos.. as the camera will focus on me and blur out the background. Yay!
  • Increasing/decreasing aperture based on how much natural light you have – this helps so much if you are taking photos on a cloudy day. This allows more light into the lens (if it’s dark) or less if you have a lot of sun.
  • Increasing ISO – Again.. this helps if you do not have a lot of light coming through (this is more about the sensitivity of light). Be careful with this one though.. as a higher ISO means grainier photos.

These are basically the only settings I’ve got to grips with .. there is so much more but I’m learning! If you need more in depth info, Lydia Millen did a fab snap story on the Olympus settings (I think you can find this on YT), as well as an amazing post byΒ Robyn.. who has fab tips on getting to grips with manual mode, and her photos are absolutely STUNNING.

Natural Light

I’ve definitely had my fair share of having to photograph with artificial light and natural light .. and to be honest, natural light wins by FAR. Of course, with it being Winter, we get like 5 hours of light and even then for most of the time it horrible & cloudy… so we don’t really have a choice but to pull out the soft boxes. Where possible though.. I always photograph by a window… and even on cloudy days I can faff around with my camera settings and make it work. The best times for me are between the hours of 9am-11am, and 3pm-4pm. And the best tips for soft boxes? Use 2 and extend them quite high to get as much light as possible (rather then up close & using just one).. I find this helps so much with getting rid of shadows and too much brightness. Instead, you get a nice glow. Perfect.

Have a good backdrop

Since I’ve developed a ‘white theme’ for my Instagram… I needed a good sized backdrop. My solution? A double sized duvet/white sheet. I use this as my base, and add blankets/scarves as needed. This means I have a huge drop to work with and can get really creative with my photography without worrying about anything getting in the way/having to crop anything out.

Get yourself some props

Props. Are. Everything. Literally the most important thing ever if you want to up your photography game. One thing I love to do is match up my props with the type of photo I’m taking/what season it is etc. A few of my favourite props are:

  • Blankets
  • Fake flowers (essential)
  • Small trays
  • Cute bowls/mugs/plates
  • Bows
  • Candles
  • Perfume bottles
  • Fairy lights
  • Plants/cacti
  • Cute notebooks

Literally ANYTHING can be used as a prop… and you don’t even need to buy anything extra if you don’t want to – you probably have plenty of stuff that you can use! The key is to experiment! I’m still learning on how to get my perfect flatlay.. but once I’ve worked it out.. I will definitely do a post on it!

(Taken on iPhone)

Get your editing right

Editing really doesn’t have to take you hours..I honestly think it takes me about 10-15 minutes to edit all my photos for a post/weeks worth of Instagram shots. And you know why? Because I do more or less the same thing for all my pictures:

  • Increase Brightness – but not too much where you can’t see certain things (i.e. images/writing). Just enough to highlight your picture and not make it so dull
  • Increase Contrast – just enough to make the darker things in your photo be slightly more prominent
  • Increase Highlight – this gives your pictures a little but of a “glow” – again increase slightly, not too much otherwise your image becomes too bright
  • Increase Sharpness – to make small details stand out nicely
  • Decrease Temperature – this is a personal thing for me because I like my pictures to have a slightly cool tone to them
  • Whiten Whites – this is where my fave app FaceTune comes in. It is especially helpful in making my backgrounds whiter and giving them that lovely crisp look. It has been my saviour since developing my white themed Instagram too!

That is literally the quickest way to tell you how I edit my pictures – let me know if you want anything in more detail though gals!

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OK -I think I have covered everything? These are basically the things I have been doing to really up my photo game – and it has helped too because I receive so many compliments on my pictures recently (you guys are DA BEST). If you have ANY more questions about my pictures, make sure to let me know in the comments and I will help you out πŸ™‚ For now – hope this post helped you!

I’m off sofa hunting with my parents & hubby – so hope you all enjoy your weekend!

LOTS OF LOVE,

Saira

xo

Twitter // Instagram // Blog LovinΒ //YouTubeΒ β™₯β™₯

BEAUTY FIX: Get RID of Large Pores

Well guess who’s baaaaaaack! Back againnnn. Ok sure you’ve realised by now it’s me ha. Hey guys. It’s been way too long I know.. but I am so excited to be back at yaaaa with none other than a beauty post. ‘Cos everyone loves a good ramble about beauty ey? Well I know I do.

So .. today ladies & gents (if any gents even read my blog), I am going to be talking about pores. Wow.. how much of an obnoxious teacher did I sound like then (seriously, say it out loud in a demanding voice and you’ll get me). Seriously though… pores are a pain. Yep I know they have a use… but my goodness if you have oily skin (like moi), they are pretty annoying.

Let’s have a little lesson in pores shall we? Pores are basically little openings in your skin which allows the release of sebum… and of course, oiler skin can mean larger pores. Also.. picking at your skin/spots can damage your pores too making them more noticable. DON’T do it… I picked at a blackhead and it literally scarred my skin for over a week. I WISH I left the bloody thing alone.

So… that’s my little bit of background .. now it’s time to get to the best bit. MY tips on de-clogging your pores (ew that sounds gross), reducing your pore size, and in turn helping to keep your skin clear!

Thoroughly cleanse your skin

 

You gotta get your skin feeling clean AF girl. Things like makeup, heavy moisturizers and the general environment you’re in all clog up your pores. So firstly, make sure you cleanse your skin really well. I’ve been OBSESSED with removing my makeup with a cleansing balm & going over it with a miceller water. The Body Shop Chamomile balm has been a long term fave of time, and then recently I’ve been enjoying the Soap & Glory Drama Clean 5 in 1 Micellar water to remove any last bits of makeup. Then… I use another Soap & Glory product (FYI.. LOVE the S&G skincare range)… the Fab Pore Purifying Foaming Cleaner, it is AMAZING. There’s just something about foam on my face that I love (lol).. it makes it feel so clean & refreshed! In fact .. to make the most of my cleansing, I use my Magnitone Facial Brush too! And that my friends, is how you cleanse your skin. Boom.

Steam the s*** out of your face

Whether you do this by having a really hot shower, or having your fave over a bowl with hot water… you gotta steam your face guys. This opens up your pores and helps us move onto the next step. EXTRACTION. Ew .. I love/hate this part.

Removing all the dirt from your pores

 

I can’t even remember where I read/saw this.. but one of the best ways to remove dirt from your pores is using Wisdom Clean Between flossing brushes. Yup you read that right. Don’t bother with cotton pads between your hands.. use the brushes. I use them by ‘dragging’ them across my nose/cheeks .. or anywhere you have larger pores. You’ll notice after a while that you are clearing them. I was so surprised by how well they worked .. seriously try it guys!

Rinse & Exfoliate

Right.. after you have cleared your pores as much as possible .. it’s time to give your skin a quick rinse and exfoliate! This will help remove any dirt left over & also remove dead skin cells. I’ve been loving the Nip & Fab Glycolic Fix scrub.. it works so so well .. although does make my skin tingle a little bit (but not too much.. don’t worry!). I love the scent of this too… it’s really citrusy and makes your skin feel so soft after using!

Get That Mask On

 

What would this routine have been without a mask ey? I feel like a mask is ESSENTIAL after you’ve cleansed/exfoliated. I finally got my mitts on the L’OrΓ©al Pure Clay Purity mask and guys let me tell you. They are worth the hype. Oh yes. This mask is frickin’ amazing! I got the purifying/mattifying one and it does a fantastic job at just that. I like to leave this on for around 20 minutes.. and find it really helps to close all my pores and ‘tighten’ my skin up.. if that makes sense?! It also makes my skin glow afterwards which is what you all want from a mask! Definitely try these guys .. they are pretty affordable too ! I want to pick up the other two in the range and see how they work together!

 

Moisturize WELL

After all of that… you gotta remember to moisturize your skin well! I love using an oil free moisturizer… just something simple as you don’t want to be clogging up all those pores again! My favourite has been the Neuotragena Visibly Clear Oil Free Moisturizer…. it sinks into my skin quickly and leaves it feeling soft and moisturized, but not greasy at all. It’s a fab one if you have combination/oily skin! And another good point about it guys, it’s dead cheap :).

 

Woo! Check you out with those clear pores & that beautiful skin! This whole process took me around 45 minutes so it’s definitely one to keep for those pamper evenings. I also only do this once a week because it’s a pretty intense, deep cleanse you give your skin. It definitely works amazingly though … so you have got to try it!

Ah.. it felt good to just babble on about beauty after so long .. remind me to do these more often guys. Do you have anything you do to reduce your pores? Any fave products? Make sure to let me know.. I’m always on the hunt for new skincare things to try (products strictly for oily/combination skin though, Ta).

Let me know your feedback once you’ve tried this… I’d love to know if it worked for you!

Lots of love,

Saira

Xxx

Twitter // Instagram // Blog Lovin //YouTube β™₯β™₯

Feeling Under The Weather?

Hey guys *waves*

Already 2 weeks into the new year! Can you believe it!? And you’ll never guess what I did for the first week? Well.. if you follow my twitter you’ll know .. but I spent the whole week bunged up, coughing non-stop and with a constant headache. Yep.. the joys.

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So… first day back at work I was drugged up with Day Nurse hoping I could soldier through. Funnily enough, 2 other girls at work were just as poorly too so ended up going home before me! By about 11am.. I could barely concentrate so KNEW I had to go home! I spent 2 whole days off work … in which I did all the things to make me feel better… and thought hey, it would be fun to make a list of all the things you can do to make yourself feel better too! I know (from Twitter) that SO many people are still poorly too (hope you Β feel better soon babes!).. so I hope this post can help you!

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Get into your comfiest clothes

This was literally the first thing I did as soon as I got home (despite me wanting to just crawl into bed!). I got into my comfiest pj’s, hubby’s oversized t-shirt & shoved my hair up. PERFECT. If you spend sick days in any other attire … you are doing it WRONG.

Stay Hydrated

Probably one of the most IMPORTANT (but probably boring) things you have to do .. it is so important to keep a bottle of water next to you and drink crap loads (more than you normally would). It definitely helped me as I was sweating all day (TMI I know) and it just meant I didn’t get dehydrated !

Use A Sheet Mask

I LOVED using these so much whilst I was poorly… because they are lovely and cool, they really help soothe your skin and head! They obviously help brighten up your skin too which probably is looking dead thanks to your illness! If you don’t have a sheet mask.. you can use a cold flannel (works just as well TBH).

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Β Have simple, ‘comforting’ meals

This might sound a bit odd .. but when you are ill you probably don’t have much of an appetite. For me.. I could barely taste/smell anything which can be SO annoying and really put you off having any food. Having things like soup/bread are quick & easy… and they really do just warm you up and make you feel better! Chicken soup has magical healing powers, seriously. Also .. chocolate when you’re ill is never a bad idea (hehe).

Have a Bath

At first .. I thought what even is the point in having a bath.. I’d feel like I was wasting my bath bombs as I wouldn’t be able to smell them.. BUT when your muscles are aching so MUCH, there is nothing better than going for a soak. I used a bubble bar and the Snow Angel bath melt which made my bath so ‘soft’ (if that makes sense ha). A few drops of essential oils would be amazing too .. but I just love my Lush stuff too much, lol. Honestly .. I felt so much better after my bath, so make sure you jump in your tub if you’re poorly with achy muscles.

Get Plenty of Rest

You’re ill, the first thing you need is plenty of rest. I know you’re probably feeling crap because you have to miss work, but your body needs you to rest up, so sleep in, stay comfy with your blankets all day and don’t feel guilty. Trust me.. I tried to stay at work and battle it but I NEEDED rest. Chill out, catch up on some Netflix (when you’re not resting) and only focus on getting yourself better.

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There you go guys … a few tips to help you when you’re feeling under the weather ! My cold has JUST about cleared up, and if you have been ill too I hope you are on the mend!

Have a fab Sunday guys … and I will see you all in my next post!

Lots of love,

Saira

xo

My Plans for 2017

Hiya guys…

Here I am.. being basic AF and writing up my 2017 goals.. but you know what? I actually love posts like this.. both reading and writing them. There is just something so satisfying about writing out a list and planning things you want to achieve in the new year.

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Now, I know that so many people have the mindsetΒ that if you really wanted to make changes to your life then you would do them whenever and not wait for the new year… but I personally think there is nothing wrong with setting some goals/making changes if you want to… it is always nice to have things you want to achieve. Some of my goals might be small, others bigger.. I might achieve them, I might not.. but I am going to try my best. That’s what is important… I think it is all about the effort that is put in, and I am a firm believer that if someone tries their hardest and puts in the effort you really can achieve.

Lets see what I have on my 2017 goals/to do list ey?

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Make more of an effort with my YouTube channel

I love making videos… and in 2016 I started my YT channel, and before the end of the year I literally was *touching* 700 subscribers.. which to me is a phenomenal amount, considering the fact that I went almost a whole 3 months without uploading! In 2017, I definitely want to make more of an effort to upload regularly and creating exciting content! I think there is such an amazing YT community with so many supportive/inspiring people, so I definitely want to carry on uploading as many videos as possible!

Stop giving a s*** about followers on Instagram

I think I speak for the majority of people when I say Instagram has been an absolute b**** in 2016.. with the introduction of the algorithm, followers/interaction on Instagram has dropped dramatically. This can be so disheartening especially when you put so much effort into your Instagram feed. Recently though, I have been trying my hardest to stop focusing on followers, and just on creating my feed and making it something that I love. I also have become part of some blogger commenting groups on Instagram, which means I get to see all my fave blogger’s feeds and we have the opportunity to increase each other’s interactions. Also.. the amount of follows/unfollows that happen can get pretty ridiculous, but again I am focusing on my feed and not numbers!

Get fit & eat healthy

Ohhhh this always seems to be on the majority of people’s goals for new year and I feel like it is a given when it comes to them, hehe. But you know what? I am going to give it my best shot and really try. I am not going to try anything drastic at all, because let’s face it, I love chocolate and sugary cups of tea way too much. A few things I am going to do though? Start drinking green tea again, have healthy dinners (I am planning on making full use of the slow cooker I got) and cut down on the amount of takeaways I consume on a weekend. As for exercise, I am aiming for once a week, and gradually increasing to either 2 or 3 (I definitely need to be realistic!).. exercising puts you in such a good mood too so I am going to try my hardest to fit it in!

Go to NYC

This has been an absolute dream of mine for a while now.. and I really want to make it happen this year.. I know it can be a pricey trip, especially when I am trying to save for a house too… but I would LOVE to see if I can find a good deal! I have never been to NYC, and all I seem to do is watch vlogs of people’s trips there.. I don’t think my obsession with Friends has helped this either!

Come out of “bad” fashion habits

I wasn’t really sure what to call this besides a “bad” fashion habit… but I am in such a rut when it comes to clothes. All I ever seem to wear is black leggings or jeans (my Joni jeans are my most worn item), and I really want to start wearing other things. In fact.. I have already got myself on the bandwagon by purchasing a pair of “Mom” jeans (and yes I feel weird calling them mom, not mum). I think it has been years since I purchased a pair of bottoms that weren’t skinny… in fact these are BLUE and EMBROIDERED. I am so excited to style them more, and purchase more pairs!

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Make the most of my evenings (and plenty of pamper time)

You know why? Because pamper days/nights make you feel so good. In 2016,Β I spent so many of my evenings falling asleep on the sofa, only to go straight upstairs to bad (I blame the unhealthy dinners, very early mornings, and not enough “proper” sleep). Β My aim is to spend my evenings after finishing work either pampering myself (involving lush baths, face masks and plenty of blogging), spending proper time with my family, and being productive rather than just lazy!

Show more love to all you babes

I want to spend more time showing you guys more love, through commenting on your blogs/youtube videos – I absolutely love when someone leaves a really meaningful comment on my blog (I mean those REALLY sweet, heartfelt, makes me want to shed a tear comment) … so want to spend more time showing you guys love!

And I am going to stop there because let’s face it, I think that is a decent (and realistic) amount to have.

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I love you all lots. Thanks so much for all your support in 2016 – here’s to an amazing 2017 πŸ™‚

Love,

Saira xo