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

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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

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

 

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™₯

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

Life Update … & My Favourite Purchase

Hey!

So .. I know I have been a little bit of a stranger to the blogging world recently (slap on the wrist I know!)… but I have a genuine reason .. promise. If you follow me on Twitter you would have known that a) I have started a new job recently, and b) my husband had major knee surgery last week. So… a combination of these has meant my little blog has unfortunately been pushed to the back of my mind – but hey, life gets in the way sometimes and guess what… that’s OK. It took me a while to really get that in my head because every time I didn’t take my blog/Instagram photos for that day or draft up my post, I felt guilty. But what you have to remember is that certain things in life are more important than that perfect Instagram shot or getting a post up at a certain time … I blog as a hobby, not a forced activity. So taking time out helps you realize that and for a long time I have had the mindset ‘quality over quantity’, which has really helped me because I never rush my posts and love every single one I put up.

Also … another thing that has probably led to my lack of posts is that I am getting slightly bored of the layout of my blog… but I have done some research and am actually going to (finally) self host.. AND get a whole new theme! I am also on the hunt for a new camera (yes I know I still have my Β£40 Samsung), but I am so torn as to whether I want a Canon or the Olympus Pen (help me!).

Phew.. that felt good to get off my chest! That is what I love about blogging .. you can literally pour your heart out on a post and instantly feel better about it. Β 

Now … another reason why I want another camera is because I really miss doing fashion posts… and I just feel my camera is not up to taking shots that I am happy with. When I first starting blogging, it was completely fine and I was happy with it, but now that I want to up my game slightly (eeek), I want to invest in a camera that will give me shots I will be happy with and proud to put on my blog.

Speaking of fashion posts … I HAD to share with you probably the best purchase I have made recently. A few reasons why I love it.. it’s velvet, it’s black, it’s over-sized, and… it cost me Β£2.50 (!!)

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This the reason I love charity shops so much … you can literally pick up some of the nicest, most unique things ever. As I was trawling the rails, I spotted this little velvet beauty and just fell in love. Velvet is absolutely huge this season… both for clothes and accessories… in fact I have velvet ankle boots on my wishlist because I just NEED them. There is something so luxe about velvet .. it is honestly one of my most favourite things to wear!

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Sometimes velvet can be seen as something that is worn mostly for evenings out… but I wanted to show you that paired with the right things, you can rock velvet during the day. In fact.. I’ve been nice enough to come up with some helpful tips:

  • Wear something over-sized (over-sized tops, swing dress etc) I think it’s best to save the body-con stuff for the evenings guys (although if you feel like you want to rock it.. you go girl.. fashion is all about personal preference and being unique)
  • Make it casual by wearing it with some black jeans/trousers and boots/trainers
  • Try mixing up textures … velvet and knitwear are gorgeous together… especially if you have a velvet dress with an over-sized cardigan (ultimate Autumn outfit goals)
  • Velvet blazers are so easy to style and go with so much (a lot more than you would think!)
  • Personally.. my favourite colours in velvet are black, burgundy and forest green. What are yours?
  • If you want to incorporate a little bit of velvet, get your hands on some loafers/boots or a bag

So guys ..there are some of my tips for Β wearing velvet … I really want to pick up some more velvet things and show you how easy it is to style them up!

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Details

Top – Charity Shop
Trousers – H&M
Trainers – Topshop

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I went for a really casual look and just love how comfortable this whole outfit was. The only thing I WISHED I had was a metallic backpack … I feel like that would have just completed the outfit SO well (I can imagine right).

I know I’d definitely be able to take this look into the evening by pairing it with some heeled boots and a bold lip (perfect!)

Right girls and boys … I think I have rambled on enough .. I hope you enjoyed my little life update and also tips on bringing some velvet into your wardrobe! I am off to watch Friends and cuddle up with my poorly hubby! I will see you all in my next one!

Lots Of Love,

Saira

Xxx

Getting Your Dream Career & My Storyβ™₯

Happy Friday guys!β™₯

Now.. I mentioned in one of my previous blog posts that I had some news to share with you.. and that is.. I HAVE A NEW JOB. This post is going to be telling you ALL ABOUT how I researched to find the career I wanted AND how I landed my new job as a Buying Assistant.. and hopefully some motivational tips to help you get your career going!

For over a year now, I have worked in HR in a busy head office.. and at first, I REALLY enjoyed it. There was so much to learn and I felt like I had found the profession I wanted to make a career out of. However, a few months in.. I found that I was just not loving what I did anymore.. I was becoming bored of the same queries, there was no place to move up and improve my skills, and I just felt I wasn’t getting anywhere in my job. Now.. I am not the type of person to just grin and bear it… I have always believed that if you are not happy with something.. you need to go out and fix it. Nobody is going to do it for you.. YOU are in charge of your life and how successful you become. So… I thought to myself, I need a career goal to focus on… something that I can be passionate about and love what I do too.

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That is when I came across the world of Buying. I was familiar with the ever so popular career of “Fashion Buying”, ( I am thinking Rachel from Friends here guys).. I did my research.. became familiar with the type of skills/personality qualities that you need.. and do you know what? I knew it was what I wanted to do. So… I am going to give you some tips that I personally picked up on how I found out what was for me, how I went about getting a job.. and even some tips for that dreaded interview (Ooooh, aren’t you all lucky, hehe!).

Do your research

I cannot stress this enough.. sure we can all think about a job we want to do.. and googling it in itself is not enough to go off completely. However.. it is a good starting point. I googled general information about Buying, what industries there are, how to get yourself into the industry, what qualities/skills are required Β and whether or not I needed a degree/further study to land a role. Then.. I looked up interviews of people who were already buyers in a variety of fields (fashion, beauty, food) and got an idea of what it would be like day to day. Once I was set on what I wanted to do… I spoke to a lady at work who looks after careers/early training and got some advice from her. The first (and most important) thing she said to me? Network. Onto my next point….

Network

Oh my goodness guys.. I cannot even tell you how important it is to network… now more than ever people are landing jobs because of WHO they know.. not what. This was actually how I found out about my new job (more on this later). Nothing will help you get a job you want more than putting your name out there and making the effort to speak to people you want to work with. So, I got a list of people who were currently buyers at the place I work (including managers), and sent a good 20 emails out to arrange a catch up with them. I probably met with a total of 5-6 people (I also found out buyers are VERY busy and hard to get hold of).. but these catch ups were probably the best thing I did. I got SO much valuable information from them, and it also helped get my name out there and show them how passionate I was to land a role in buying. Meeting people who currently work where you want to be helps you know the in’s and out’s of the job.. all the good and bad bits that articles on Google won’t tell you and helps you decide if it is what you want to do.

Check for internal positions/training schemes

I am lucky in the sense that I work in a head office of a massive supermarket branch.. meaning I was in the same building as the traders, so it was easy to set up meetings. However if you are not in the same position.. email is your best friend. It is so easy to find details of managers/recruiters.. and to be honest the worst thing that can happen is you do not get a response. If you are in a position where you can change roles internally.. check them out. You are more likely to land a role if you are internal.. companies prefer these to external candidates as they are easier to get hold of, they also know the business and have that loyalty to stay with them too. It is also worth checking if your company offers any sort of training/graduate schemes… again if you are internal it helps because you are able to get your contacts together and you will have the advantage of knowing how the company works beforehand. I originally tried to get myself onto the graduate scheme, and met with people who had been on it. However… I actually started my research a week before the graduate scheme started.. so I think it had gotten too late to get myself onto that. BUT… whilst I had been networking, I met a buyer who was actually looking for a buying assistant. THIS is how I found the role I have got … it meant I had a good starting relationship with the buyer, and she knew that I was interested. She was actually one of the ladies that interviewed me too.. which I think helped massively in me landing the role (talk about good timing ey).

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SO… that is how I decided what role I wanted and how I got myself the interview… now for some tips for the interview itself!

Preparation is VITAL

One of the worst things you can do is go into an interview without doing some sort of preparation… Β this sort of thing stands out by a MILE when you are being interviewed… TRUST ME. Obviously.. every interview is different but doing some research about the company and the role itself, and also being clued up on your CV and how it matches up with the role profile will definitely help you feel prepared! Also.. finding out what type of interview it is will help (group, value based etc)… mine was actually value based meaning I was asked questions about the values the company holds and how I would fit in and deal with any issues. Giving examples is always really good in these types of interview… so this is where your prep will come in very handy!

Eye Contact

There is nothing more important than making eye contact in an interview… I KNOW how nerve wracking and scary they can be.. but it is your chance to show off your skills and knowledge you have. Making eye contact shows confidence and the ability to hold a conversation well… just don’t stare with wide eyes for too long guys.

Dress Well

Again.. there will be a difference in what to wear to interviews depending on what industry it is.. but for the most part, a smart shirt/dress will work fine. JUST DO NOT WEAR JEANS/TRAINERS.

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OK guys… so that is the advice I have about interviews.. if you want me to go into any more detail.. just let me know and I will be more than happy to help you!

Now … just a few points that I think are so important to consider when trying to find your career path.. again these are all based on my personal experience and is just some general advice! If there is anything that you have picked up … I would LOVE to know!

Take a chance

There might be a job you really want to apply for or get more information on.. just take that chance. You really have nothing to lose.. especially if you are currently employed. If you get it.. WELL DONE.. if not.. you still have something to fall back on. You will not get very far with “what if’s”.. if you are passionate and want to change something enough, go for it girl.

Start from the bottom

Everyone has to start somewhere… so don’t be disheartened if you just start with some filing or picking up the phone. This is your chance to show people you are going to work hard and you can achieve what you have your heart set on. I think this is the same in any sort of job, whether that is buying or even blogging… everyone has to start somewhere right? People will see your effort and it DOES pay off.. I am SUCH Β firm believer of this too.. I don’t focus on “good things come to those who wait”, no no noo… “good things come to those who work their ASS off”. Also… another good thing about starting from the bottom.. it means you have access to the industry you want to be in.. so you can focus on research and networking (see above!).

You know what? I feel like that was probably one of the most serious posts I have written.. but I really hope it helps some of you! I am actually starting my new role in a few weeks so will definitely keep you updated on how things go! Thank you SO much for reading.. and I really hope it motivated some of you! Let me know if you have a career you really want to go for..OR if you are already doing something you love!

I will see you all in my next one!

Lots of Love,

Saira

xo

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

 

My Beauty/Lifestyle hacks you HAVE to try!

Hiya girlies

It’s been a while. Sorry. You know when life just gets in the way? Yep that happened. Work has just been busy, I have been SO tired everyday.. and to be honest it was nice to have a few days away from everything blogging-wise. Sometimes it is just needed, right?

ANYWAY.. I am back and all set to blog properly again (I am aware I have said this for the past few weeks… this time I mean it, hehe). I think now that Autumn is peeking it’s little head through.. I am more motivated to post. If you didn’t already know (lets be real.. you all probably do because I haven’t stopped talking about it since the beginning of August, HAHA!), I bloody LOVE Autumn. I even posted about the reasons why I cannot wait for it (shameless plug right here guys).

Now.. onto this post. I am such a huge fan of beauty/lifestyle “hacks”.. tricks that people use to make their lives easier. There are SO many out there.. it can be easy to drown in them and not be sure which ones to use. SO… I thought it would be fun to talk you through MY “hacks” that I use. I have SO many.. but to be honest, I’d be here ALL DAY if I spoke about them all!

My GO-TO Beauty & Lifestyle Hacks!

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Coconut oil really CAN be used for everything.

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You know when people used to say you can do anything with coconut oil.. I was like .. meh sure. BUT .. I thought I would actually try and see how many things I could use it for. And you know what? You are right.. it can literally be used for EVERYTHING… and I thought I would make a good ol’ list of my fave ways to use it, so you can also incorporate coconut oil into your life. Thank me later guys.

Teeth Whitening

You know that age old trick of oil pulling? Yep it works. I know the idea of swishing oil around in your mouth for 15 minutes would be enough to make some of you vom, but it really is worth trying. I’ll be honest, the first time you try it.. it is weird. A trick to make it easier? Instead of putting a spoon of solid coconut oil in your mouth, try melting it first… it will still feel strange, but not THAT strange :). It is something that takes some time to show results, but it is easy enough to add into your routine (just don’t let anyone make you laugh whilst you are swishing away).

Removing Make-up

I discovered how good coconut oil was at removing makeup once when I was lazing around downstairs and noticed a jar of coconut oil on the fireplace (I don’t know what it was doing there either). I literally just scooped some out on my hand and massaged it over my face. I pretty soon had panda eyes and melted foundation on my skin (exactly what happens when I use my cleansing balms). It did an AMAZING job of removing every ounce of makeup.. although it did leave my face feeling a little on the greasier side. I washed my face as normal.. and noticed the difference in how soft my skin felt.

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Overnight Foot Treatment

I have never been one to invest a lot of money into overnight foot treatments… mainly because people rave about the old trick of vaseline and fuzzy socks.WELL… I am not the biggest fan of vaseline (the smell, feel, taste… OK I am joking about the taste, HA).. so I thought I would give coconut oil a go. Guys… it does an AMAZING job at making your feet feel so soft and hydrated. All I do is put LOADS of this stuff over my feet, put socks on over the top and sleep with them. Seriously, try it.

I wanted to list SO many more uses of coconut oil… but I would be here for days. These are just my favourite things to do.. beauty wise. Let me know if you want another post/video specifically on this!

Showering after work/school/uni

I was always one to either shower in the morning (and end up rushing, getting stressed/sweaty, and thinking WHAT WAS THE POINT), or leave showering right before bed (and then usually end up being too tired, thinking LEAVE it, and showering in the morning.. read above).Β I am sure so many of you can relate.. especially those who work full time. So.. how have I got myself out of this circle? Shower as soon as I get in from work.Β This might be what a lot of you already do.. but I always wanted to catch up on social media after work, then have my dinner, then catch up on soaps.. and the time would just keep ticking. Now.. I force myself to shower as soon as I get home.. and it helps SO much. I feel so much more awake after work so feel like I can be more productive.. AND I can get my makeup off straight away (and usually do some sort of face mask too).

My go to makeup for getting up late?

We all know the feeling… seeing that you have slept in and literally have 15 minutes to get ready. S***. Showering the evening before comes in handy now doesn’t it? Now.. unfortunately I am not lucky enough to be able to leave the house without looking poorly.. so I have mastered doing my makeup in 5 minutes with my essential items!

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  • Foundation – I have the most pale, dull skin .. so foundation is a MUST
  • Concealer – Dark circles.. biggest problem ever. Concealer = My bestie
  • Mascara – I look dead without mascara
  • Cream Blush – I find it so much quicker and easier.. and it looks so much more natural
  • Highlighter – Makes such a difference to how awake you look – an ESSENTIAL
  • Brows – I didn’t realize how much of a difference these made – now no matter how much I am rushing.. I ALWAYS do my brows.
  • Dark/Bright Lips – unless it is a work day.. then I will stick to lip balm.

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It might sound crazy.. but I suggest testing yourself to see if you can do your makeup in a rush… it can be fun and will prepare you for those rushed mornings πŸ™‚

Concealer application – the RIGHT way

For SO long.. I would apply concealer by just following the shape of my eye.. BUT .. there is a better way to apply it. It is called the triangle trick.. and yep you guessed it.. just apply your concealer in the shape of a triangle under your eyes (the point facing your cheek), and blend as normal. Why is this better? It helps brighten your face, as well as still concealing your dark circles.

The BEST thing for spots/breakouts

I have mentioned this before but I cannot emphasize ENOUGH how good this trick actually works. Savlon or Germolene (an antiseptic cream usually used for cuts/grazes or bites) is what I have been using on my spots for YEARS.. and it has been a lifesaver. As soon as I see a spot coming along.. I apply a thin layer of this, and it reduces any redness/swelling SO quickly. I swear by it.. and even keep some in my handbag for any Β emergencies!

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The yummiest face mask EVER

If you know me, you will know how much I LOVE Β a good face mask! I also dabble in some DIY projects here and there, so it is no surprise that I am a huge lover of DIY face masks! I have a go-to face mask that is literally good enough to eat (ahem.. I know from personal experience). It is a worth a try guys.. I am so sure you will love it!

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1/2 cup cocoa powder (dark is BEST .. as it has lots of anti-oxidants!)

1/4 cup honey

4 tbsp cream (both double and single are fine)

3 tbsp oats

Mix it all together.. apply onto clean skin, leave on for around 20 minutes and wash off!

SO.. they are my top beauty/lifestyle hacks.. I hope this can help some of you! I LOVED this post so so much.. let me know if you want me to do a fashion one too?

Thank you SO MUCH for reading loves… let me know your thoughts!

LOTS OF LOVE,

Saira

xo

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

 

HOW TO: Work Full Time & Blogβ™₯

Hiya loves!β™₯

Hope you have all had a fabulous start to the week! Mine has been VERY busy and fun .. but VERY tiring. On Monday – I got up at 4:30AM for a 5 hour coach journey to London – SO tiring but I literally loved every minute of it! I am sure you all know that I went to my first big blogging event yesterday – which you will hear ALL about later on this week lovelies.. so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for that!

I am so excited for this post – because it is definitely something that is SO personal and applicable to me, and I know SO many of you have to deal with this too – and that is… Β Keeping up a blog whilst having a full time job!Β 

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Now.. there are two different views that non-bloggers have of us bloggers – and they are.. “Oh, how hard can it be to take a few photos and write a few lines about make-up/clothes” – which I am sure we all know is SO NOT THE CASE.. and this comment can be SO annoying to hear haha! Then we have another.. “Wow.. how on earth do you have time to have a blog with a job etc..”.. this is definitely the question SO many people ask me! So.. perfect opportunity for a post right…… Oh come on let’s be serious ANY opportunity is perfect for a post hehe!

So.. I have been blogging for over 6 months now and usually aim for 3 posts a week… I work full time 8-5, Monday to Friday.. and think I have built up a few tips to ensure I make the most of my time – which means I am always SO happy with every single post I put up… and most importantly, that I enjoy every moment of blogging SO much!

Know Your Prioritiesβ™₯

Obviously when you have a job.. you need to completely RULE OUT the hours you are at work and know that your time/mind must ALWAYS be in work mode. At the end of the day loves.. your job is what pays the majority of bills so work must ALWAYS come first… I know it is SO hard but make sure you have your head in the right place whilst at work, and NOT thinking about those beautiful shoes you picked up in the Topshop sale that are just WAITING to be pictured in your next outfit post. I know the struggle girls… but don’t worry – we will talk about making the most of our free time for our blog soon!

Planningβ™₯

Wow.. I cannot even express to you all the IMPORTANCE of planning. I find it helps to have a “Blogging Journal” – this is my little life-saver when it comes to noting down what posts I am going to write and WHEN I am writing them/scheduling them etc. UnfortunatelyΒ for us working girlies.. we cannot always think of a post and start writing it straight away.. (boo!!).. SO this is why planning is SO important. Personally, I make a note of the titles of my posts a week ahead, so I always know what I am writing for that week. I used to have a schedule for specific days and what I would post.. however this was a FAIL (haha!).. so now I just blog about whatever I want and put it up on whatever day I want! As long as I know what I am writing for the week – I am good to go!

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Make The Most Of Weekendsβ™₯

One thing that I ALWAYS do on weekends is take ALL my photos for the week ahead.. as we all know the struggles of taking pictures in RUBBISH lighting right? I like to set aside a few hours, get together all my products/blog props, find a GOOD spot and take pictures to my hearts content! ALL my outfit pictures are taken on the weekend too and I normally like to take two OOTD pictures in one go! I know SO many of you are aware of how TIME CONSUMING taking photos can be – so knowing that I have 3-4 lots of pictures ALWAYS helps when blogging! ALSO.. you can bulk write… however I am yet to do this as I much prefer writing my posts the day before I put them up.. I like my blog posts to feel like they are a conversation between myself and you lovely lot.. so if a post was written a week ago, I don’t feel like it has that “personal” touch!. HOWEVER.. it is completely up to you if you like to bulk write…It can definitely save SO much time!

Schedule Tweetsβ™₯

This has been an absolute LIFE-SAVER for me… I know I cannot spend my WHOLE day on Twitter.. as much as I would LOVE TO… so I always schedule tweets for when I am busy working away! This just means that all your hard work you put into your post the night before is still being seen by your lovely readers! It also means that you are not GLUED to your phone whilst you are supposed to be working hehe! My favourite programme to use is Buffer.. I definitely recommend it.. it is SO easy!

See Blogging As “Me Time”β™₯

For me.. my blog is my hobby and I absolutely LOVE coming home after a long day at work and either writing up my post, reading other blogs or editing photos! I see it as “me-time”, and I think the second you start seeing blogging as a “hassle” or a “job”.. it can start to be stressful and not enjoyable. Literally girlies.. I LOVE sitting down with a cuppa and just spending a few hours in my little blogging bubble! ALSO.. SO many Twitter chats are in the evening.. so you will be able to take part in SO many of these if you want to wind down after a long day at work! They are the BEST way to network with SO many other bloggers.. I LOVE them and have met SO many of my blogging babes through them!

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Do NOT Compare Yourself To Full-Time Bloggersβ™₯

Remember – you have other priorities that take up your time on a daily basis – full-time bloggers can use their whole days to put time into their blog/social media/networking.. so you should never compare yourselves to them as there will be quite a difference! HOWEVER.. this is NOT to say your blog cannot be amazing.. OF COURSE IT IS… If you blog because you love it, then your blog will honestly be the best it can be.. regardless of how much time you have to put into it!

It Is OK To Have A Breakβ™₯

Don’t worry if it sometimes gets all too much.. if you need a break, TAKE IT! No matter how much you love your blog… if you just do not feel like blogging, DON’T DO IT. There is nothing worse than typing up a post you are just not 100% happy with, and feeling “forced” to upload it just for the sake of it. If one day… your job has just left you feeling SO tired.. take some time out. Working full time is tiring loves.. we all need time away from EVERYTHING every now and again. Have a lush bath, eat some chocolate, cry a little if you need to, get some well deserved rest.. and wake up the next morning feeling SASSY and ready to get back onto it!

So loves.. that is how I have managed to keep a blog that I am 100% happy with AND work full time too! Of course.. every blogger is different.. so I am SO open to any more tips any of you have! ALSO.. I know SO many of you are still at Uni/School AND have blogs… so I would love to know any tips you have! I also know there are SO many mummy bloggers who juggle work AND kids.. you are AMAZING.. I would LOVE to know how you manage too!! I really hope this post helped you in SOME way… make sure to let me know what you thought darlings!!

Right then angels… I still have another day off work.. before it is back for Thursday.. and then working from home on Friday… Phew! I am lucky to have had such a chilled out week .. I do SLIGHTLY miss the busy-ness of work though (I know call me crazy ha!). I cannot WAIT to put up my next post loves.. it will be ALL about my trip to London AND about the fabulous Blogger_Hangout event I went to! Β I will see you there angels?!

Lots of Love,

Saira

xo

Twitter // Instagram // Blog LovinΒ β™₯