How To Blog On A Budget

If you, like me, run a blog, then you can very quickly realise that over time, you might be investing some money in it. Be it paying for a domain, to feeling the need to buy every palette as soon as it’s released, we can very quickly find ourselves needing to save some pennies, while keeping up to date with the blogging world.

So today I thought that I’d write a post with some tips on how to save money, while still producing interesting blog posts!

Be Resourceful | It may be incredibly tempting to buy new products to test and review, but why not review something you already own? Even if you’ve already reviewed it, you can do an updated or empties post!

Follow Up | Following on from my previous point, you don’t need to do reviews, you can simply update previous posts. Anything from a personal post you’ve previously shared, to a wishlist post.

Playlists | Making a sharing a playlist is fun, your followers get to know your tastes, and it’s absolutely free!IMG_7847

Collections | I’ve loved reading and creating posts like these lately. All you have to do it talk us through your existing collections!

Lists & Tips | These posts perform outstandingly well, they are so quick and simple to put together, and once more, they’re free!

Personal | If you feel comfortable doing it, why not get personal with a post? Your readers will enjoy getting to know you better, and it can feel really good to get some things off of your chest.

Reviews | If you are obsessed with writing reviews, and you don’t really want to stray from that, you can try reviewing a movie, book or tv show that you have watched. You don’t need to buy anything new, just tell your readers what you thought about it!

Those are some of my tips for blogging on a budget, I hope you enjoyed this post and it gave you some ideas! Let me know if it did in the comments, and feel free to leave any ideas you have too!

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Would You Rather?

Hey guys! I haven’t done a tag in a while, so today I was looking for a new and fun one to do, and found this “Would You Rather” beauty one, so without further adieu, here we go with the questions!

1.Would you rather go out with messy hair and nice make-up or Nice hair and no make-up?

Messy hair and nice makeup is like my go-to on the daily.

2.Would you rather shave your eyebrows or have your eyelashes fall out?

I would rather have to wear falsies everyday than draw my eyebrows on!

3.Would you rather be forced to shop at only MAC or Sephora for the rest of your life?

Sephora I guess because there is much more choice and I could shop around.

4.Would you rather wear lipgloss/lipliner look or 80’s perm?

I think that the lipgloss/lipliner look can work with the right colours and blending, so I’d go for that one.

5.Would you rather leave the house with an obvious foundation line or overdone blush?

I would rather neither or these, come on now!

6.Would you rather wear MC Hammer pants or biker shorts in public?

MC Hammer pants, for sure.

7.Would you rather have a bad orange-y spray tan or really weird tan lines that can’t be covered?

Weird tan lines, it’d make for an interesting story.

8.Would you rather have a bad haircut or bad hair colour?

Aaaaaaaaaaaah, a bad hair colour I guess.

9.Would you rather have YouTube or Twitter taken away forever?

Twitter, because there is so much amazing content on YouTube that I like to watch daily.

10. Would you rather give up using makeup brushes or mascara?

Mascara because that wand can’t flawlessly blend for me!

That’s it for this tag, it’s quite fun and different from other tags that I’ve done, so if you enjoyed it, be sure to give it a go yourself!

Let me know how you would’ve answered some of these questions in the comments!

Work In Progress // Introductions, Sound & WIN Tickets To Dartmoor Zoo

The wait is finally over! I know I’ve been teasing you guys since the 1st, as I announced that myself and my friend Gemma were going to be putting together a weekly podcast for this month, alongside me posting everyday. But we’ve made it to the first one!

We had a lot of fun planning these podcasts, and even more fun recording them. The theme of this weeks podcast is our magazine, Sound. We put it together with our fellow students at uni, and it’s now all over Plymouth! In this weeks podcast, we take you through the process of putting the mag together, alongside playing some music, discussing Instagram captions and how you can win a family ticket to Dartmoor Zoo.

So without futher adieu, here is week one of our podcast series: Work In Progress.

I’d like to give a major thanks to Gemma, from An Ocean Glimmer, for helping out with this podcast, and being my partner in crime for this new venture. Another thanks to Sound, for providing us with the fuel to create an hour-long podcast (as you heard, we were convinced that this podcast was half an hour long, and not the 54 minutes that it actually is.) Don’t forget that you can keep up to date with us and the magazine by following us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/soundofplymouth That leads me into my final thank you, thank you to you, for listening to our very first podcast. As I said, it means a lot to us and we’re hella grateful.

If you loved what you heard, and wish that you could binge-listen (if that’s a thing) to our podcasts, then have no fear, for a brand new podcast will be coming next Friday, June 17th! The topic of our next podcast is set to be Spotify Playlists, so if you’re a big fan of music, particularly a mix of any music from the 70’s, all the way up to current tunes, we’ve got you covered.

Tips For De-stressing

After I wrote my post on procrastination, I realised that as it is still exam and deadline season, that a lot of us will be feeling stressed and tense. So naturally I thought, why not share some tips for de-stressing? So today I’ve collected 4 tips that I’d recommend for how to de-stress, to share with you guys.

Exercise | I know everyone always says that exercise is great for alleviating stress, and we all roll our eyes and say we’ve heard it before. But the truth is that if you’re starting to feel yourself getting more stressed and tense as the days go by, it is a good idea to invest some time undoing that tension. You don’t have to go for a 5 mile run every night, in fact the types of exercise that I find are most useful for undoing knots and relieving tension, are yoga and light walks. Another benefit of walking is that you are removing yourself from the area that is causing your stress.

Socialise | Set some time aside every week (or day, if you prefer,) to spend with your friends. During this time you can easily forget about your stresses, or you can actively talk about your stress, which will help you in combating it.IMG_7767It’s not you | When you’re feeling stressed, you can find it incredibly easy to blame yourself for things not going to plan, and therefore find yourself stuck in a negative cycle. But it’s important to remember that it isn’t you, so try and give yourself some positive affirmation, it could be through doing something you’re really good at, or just taking some time to pamper yourself.

Change | If your stress is not due to exams, or other deadlines (i.e your stress has a time limit) and it’s a much more permanent part of your everyday, then it’s highly important to see what you can do to change. Be it working with different people, changing your work area, or looking for alternate work altogether. It might seem like a daunting idea, but stress is not something that people should just put up with, if it’s more permanent, you need to make a change.


Those are my main tips for de-stressing, I hope that if you’re feeling stressed that you can take something from each of these tips, and that they’ll help you out. As I mentioned, stress shouldn’t be a permanent part of your life, so don’t leave it if it is starting to affect you every day.

Thank you so much for reading this post, be sure to let me know what type of posts you’d like to see from me in the future!

Are Sub Boxes Worthwhile?

I’m sure that we’ve all heard a lot about subscription boxes, whether good or bad, we all know what they are, and it seems like everyone has at least tried one out at some point. Unfortunately, recently all of the reviews I’ve seen surrounding sub boxes have been negative, as the receiver seems to be disappointed with the products included.

I managed to get May’s Birchbox to review, but today I’m also going to be weighing up whether or not I feel that subscription boxes are worthwhile.IMG_7760

May Birchbox

Products Included:

Spectrum Collection’s Unicorn Tears Wonder Sponge RRP £4.99

theBalm cosmetics Stainiac in Beauty Queen RRP £10

Philip Kingsley PK Prep Polishing Balm RRP £18.50

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturising Sorbet RRP £23

Rituals Tao Wai Wang Mild Exfoliating Body Scrub RRP £19.50

IMG_7753

Wonder Sponge | The sponge is cruelty free, which is a great aspect, as I think that we are all gradually becoming aware of cruelty and non-cruelty free companies and products, and this is beginning to affect our buying habits. This sponge is just as easy to use as any other sponge or the famous beauty blender, and comes in roughly a pound cheaper. However I do think that this is a product that people either already have, or don’t have it because they prefer using brushes. It’s not necessarily a worthwhile product to ‘try out’ in a sub box. It is also, as Birchbox boast, a full size product, but it would be difficult to dispatch these sponges in smaller, tester size.

Stainiac | I was actually nicely surprised by this lip and cheek tint. The deep blood-red colour of the tube made me weary of trying it, as I thought it’d be far too pigmented, and perhaps sticky and uncomfortable on the face or lips. However when I did try it, it just added a light touch of a pink-red hue to the lips, and dried to the point that I couldn’t even feel it, not sticky or uncomfortable at all. I would probably look into repurchasing this if I wanted a tint.

However, this product showcases how I think sub boxes are misleading. The stated RRP for this product is £10, showcasing that you’re getting a great deal, as the box itself is £12.95. However that RRP is for the 0.3oz stain, and in the box, you get a 0.04oz product. This might sound confusing and like it doesn’t matter, but what it means is that you’re getting 1/12th of the product that is worth that £10. So technically, this product is worth 83p. Or you can get it free as a tester HERE.

Polishing Balm | As I’ve spoken about my love for them before, I was actually really excited to try this out. I was really impressed by the consistency of this product, it isn’t quite a balm, but it is similar in consistency to that of a conditioner. It distributes easily throughout the ends of the hair, and does leave it smelling delicious, while it also smooths down any flyaways and frizz.

However again, the impressive RRP of £18.50 is for the 75ml product, and you receive a 20ml product. So this tester is actually worth £4.93. Although this is again, misleading, I do still find almost £5 worth of product to be impressive.IMG_7755Moisturising Sorbet | It takes some time to work out what this product is for, as it explains that it’s a moisturising sorbet, but it doesn’t say where it is to be applied. Fortunately on the back of the product, underneath the French usage instructions, it says that it’s for the face and neck. It is a somewhat moisturising product, but I found it to be like applying cold water to your face, at first you feel moisturised, but then your face is just wet, not actually moisturised. It took a lot of working this product in for it to completely be absorbed into the skin. I did find that it left an incredibly light and flowery scent, but nothing overpowering at all.

This product is clearly the most expensive included in the box, an insane RRP of £23. I know, more boring maths coming your way, but please bear with me. The product that you receive is actually worth just under £6. Again, this is insane for a 10ml product, so it’s better to have it included in a sub box than it is for you to buy it alone, but I don’t think this is the type of product that anyone is going to fall so madly in love with, that when this tester is empty, they buy the £23 version.

Body Scrub | As I’ve spoken about Rituals recently, you can see my review of their hand cream HERE, you know that I love everything about their products, so when I saw that this body scrub was included in the box, I was pleasantly surprised. Obviously I loved this product, and am impressed to say that you can get 2 uses out of this sized product. I also think that this particular size is good for a tester, as it gives you a good sense of whether or not you want to repurchase the full £19.50 tub version at 325ml.


Ultimately I think that sub boxes are a really good idea, you get to try out new products each month, and you don’t have to shop around for them. However I do think that people can be mislead into think that they are getting more than the box is actually worth, for example, if you took the RRPs as gospel for this Birchbox, you’d think you’re getting £76 worth of products, when in fact you get £19.83. (Assuming you paid for the lip and cheek tint, and didn’t get it free as you can elsewhere.)

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m obviously not just talking about Birchbox here, this is true of all sub boxes. I’m not dismissing the fact that the company need to make a profit, while still paying some companies to feature their products, but I do feel that sub boxes need to be more inventive with what they include. I’ve seen many people complain about receiving toothpaste and clear nail polishes. To me, the key to a good sub box is, getting to try products that you either don’t already have, or wouldn’t buy yourself, either because it’s slightly more luxurious, or a brand you haven’t heard of.

I also am aware that you pay £12.95 a month for these boxes, so even if it is worth £19, you’re still up by £6. But to me, I think that the prices of sub boxes can come down drastically and perhaps feature less, but full sized products. Or the prices can be increased slightly, but you’re guaranteed full sized products, and you can input preferences. (i.e. no toothpastes)


Thank you so much for reading this post, it really means a lot to me as I know it’s really long, but this felt important to me. Also don’t forget that I am daily blogging for this entire month, and you have a brand new podcast series that starts THIS FRIDAY!

5 Tips To Stop Procrastinating

With a lot of people going through deadlines and exams this month, I know that it can be a difficult and taunting time, and that at some point, you might experience yourself procrastinating. So today I wanted to share some tips that I’ve collected, on how to beat procrastination, and stay on track with your work and revision.

Set Big Goals And Small Quotas

This tip is really useful because you can start implementing it, and it doesn’t even feel like you’re working. Essentially all you have to do is work backwards. Firstly you outline your ultimate goal, i.e. Revise Maths, or, Write 3 Essays. Then you work backwards with what small quotas you can easily achieve within a short time, for example, Select 2 Units To Read, Summarise Those Units In A Paragraph, Write An Essay Plan, etc.

Pre-Commit

This point is quite an obvious one, but it does make a great difference. Instead of leaving any attempts of your work or revision until the last minute, take advantage of the time that you’re allowing to be free time, to just jot down and bookmark things that might help you when it comes down to actually getting the work done. That way you’ll save a lot of precious writing and revising time.

IMG_7748Lists

Written lists help just about everyone. This tip links into the small quotas one, because f you’ve written down small easily-achievable tasks, you’re more likely to achieve them quickly, because you get the quick reward of being able to tick it off of your list.

Redirect Your Procrastination

When you do find yourself procrastinating, try and take advantage of it. This might sound quite confusing, but why I mean is, when you’re mindlessly browsing through the Internet, and not doing what you intended to, or should be doing, redirect your attention onto something else that needs to be done, for example, clean out your emails and respond to whoever you need to. This means that when you’re running out of time on your work tasks, you’ll have eliminated other distracting things to do, so you can identify your procrastination faster, as you’ll only be able to waste time by watching cat videos.

Rewards

This is another obvious tip, but if it has been proven to work, why wouldn’t I include it?! If you are really struggling to get something done, just bargain with yourself, and decide on a reward for when you’ve completed it. You can also set up things to do with your friends after you’ve done your work, and then you have an outside independent motivation to get your work done.


Those are my tips on how to avoid procrastinating, I hope some of these tips can help you guys out! I’d also like to quickly mention that if you are going through a stressful time at the moment due to work and exams, it will all be worth it in the end. You’re working right now, for yourself in the future, and you won’t let yourself down. So keep your head up and don’t let procrastination kill your vibez.

3 Easy Snack Recipes

I’ve been baking for what feels like an eternity, so I don’t want to ramble in this intro. Instead I’ll just say, if you’re feeling peckish but don’t have anything to snack on, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

Peanut Butter Cookies

IMG_2394Ingredients:

  • 200g peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp fine table salt
  • 1 large egg

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c, and line 2 large baking trays with baking paper. Place the peanut butter and sugar into a bowl. Add the salt and mix well. Add the egg and mix again until the mixture forms a dough.
  2. Then cut out your cookies. I used a heart cookie cutter, but you can make them any shape you want. Then place your cookies, well spaced apart, on the trays. Bake for 12 mins, until golden around the edges and paler in the centre.IMG_2395

Fruit Scones

IMG_2498Ingredients:

  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 85g caster sugar
  • 57gbutter
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 113g sultanas
  • 150ml milk

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Put the flour, caster sugar, butter and baking powder in a bowl. Mix it in with your fingers until it starts to look a bit like breadcrumbs.
  2. Add in the raisins (or optional fruit) and milk a little at a time until the mixture comes together. Try to make sure it doesn’t get too wet or you will have to add more flour.
  3. Roll out the dough. If it feels too wet when you are rolling and starts sticking to everything, add a little more flour to the surface and turn it so that both sides are floured. Cut out little circles around 2cm thick and glaze with milk. Place on the baking paper.
  4. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until golden brown.IMG_2502

French Fancies

IMG_7735Ingredients:

  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp milk

(For the butter cream)

  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 150g icing sugar

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190c, grease a cake tin and line the base with baking paper. Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat until pale and fluffy.
  2. Lightly beat the eggs and vanilla extract in another large bowl. Add 1/4 of the egg mixture and a tablespoon of the flour to the butter mixture and beat well. Add the rest of the egg mixture, a little at a time, mixing as you go. Add the remaining flour and milk, fold in.
  3. Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin and bake for roughly 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. To make the butter cream, mix the butter and icing sugar until smooth. Then slice the cake horizontally and spread the butter cream on one half, then sandwich the two layers together.
  5. I then added some coloured icing and sprinkles to the tops of the cakes, and you’re done!IMG_7737

There you have it! 3 super simple and quick recipes to make yourself some delicious snacks! I hope you guys enjoyed this post, I had a lot of fun putting it together, and can’t believe how quick each of these recipes took!

Please let me know if you make any of these things, I’d love to see them!

Spring Favourites

Hey guys! I haven’t done a favourites post since November of last year, a huge 7 months ago, as this year I decided that I’d do my ‘Snippets’ videos instead of monthly favourites posts. So since it has been so long, I thought I’d share some of my favourites that I’ve been loving throughout Spring.IMG_7712Maybelline’s Colour Show Nail Polish in ‘Dusty Rose’ | When Maybelline released their ‘Blushed Nudes’ collection, I knew that I was going to love almost the entirety of the nail polishes, because I’ve been adoring lighter and more muted tones on my nails lately. The brushes of these polishes are a good size, not quite as big as Rimmel’s, but not thin and difficult to use. I love this colour in particular because it’s so pretty, goes with any colour outfit, and perfectly matches my new LYDC bag!

Rimmel’s Brow This Way Brow Gel | At the start of this year I decided to step up my brow game, as I occasionally filled them in, but they never stayed looking how I wanted them to throughout the day, so I decided to try out a brow gel, and with this product, I enjoy doing my brows every. single. day. This product has also inspired me to keep on top of my brow game by shaping them, so that when I use this gel, they look exactly as I want them to. This gel keeps them put all day long, and is slightly tinted so I don’t even need to pencil them in before using this product.

Maybelline’s Lash Sensational Mascara | I know I’ve spoken about this mascara before, but I’ve been loving it again this year because it’s affordable, but really elongates and curls the lashes.IMG_7715Katy Perry’s Mad Potion Perfume | I recently got this perfume, and I’ve been wearing it every day since. I really feel like it’s light enough to be worn as a perfect Spring daytime perfume, but also sultry and deep enough to wear in the evenings. It’s a really unique but sweet scent, with the main accords of vanilla and peony.

MAC Lipstick in ‘Please Me’ | I had actually seen someone with similar colouring to myself wearing this lipstick, and it looked amazing, so naturally I decided to buy it. It’s a matte formula, but not like most matte lipsticks where it turns crumbly and just makes you want to lather your lips in lip balm. It’s surprisingly creamy, and a gorgeous medium pink shade, I’d recommend it to anyone with a fair to medium skin tone, as it’s not a distracting and overboard pink, it’s just really pretty and adds a touch of colour.IMG_7717Garnier’s Micellar Water | As I’ve been gradually growing my makeup collection, and therefore the amount of makeup I’ve been wearing daily, I often get to bed at the end of the day and can’t really motivate myself to get up and carry out my usual skincare routine, so I’ve been incredibly grateful to having this product (alongside a stack of cotton wool pads) right next to my bed. I can be half asleep, but I’ll always remember to take my makeup off with this handy and quick micellar water.

Rituals Miracle Balm | I’ve only just talked about this product to you guys, see that post HERE, but I’ve been loving this hand balm for a little while now, as it’s everything I’ve been looking for in a hand lotion, but haven’t found before.

John Frieda’s Frizz Ease Touch Up Creme | With dyeing my hair a fair few times this year already, I have seen something of a change in the condition of my hair, so I recently decided to improve my haircare routine, see a post on that HERE, but this product in particular has really been saving my hair on days when it is determined to be frizzy and kinky. This product acts as a leave in conditioner that you apply to dry and styled hair, working as a sort of moisturiser for the ends of your hair. I love applying it to my hair after blow drying it.


Those are all of the things that I’ve been loving this Spring, I hope you enjoyed this post!

What products & things have you been loving throughout this half of the year?

Rituals Miracle Balm Review

Recently when I was shopping in House of Fraser, I wandered over to a counter that I hadn’t really given much attention to before, but found myself really drawn to particular products. It was the Rituals counter, and I found myself really liking the look of their newest ranges, so I decided to try something out (also taking full advantage of the 20% store-wide discount that was on at the time…) and let you guys know how I got on with it!

There were lots of products that enticed me, and sounded really interesting, but I decided to stick to just one product at first, to see if I thought that other products were worth me investing in. So I chose a hand lotion, because I thought it was something that I could immediately get use out of, and keep in my bag, and it was one of my favourite scents when I had had a cheeky smell of a couple of things.IMG_7696

PROS

The first pro of this product for me, is the fact that it’s in a metallic-like packaging, that easily dents. Now to a lot of you, this would be a con because if you don’t treat it right, it might look a bit bashed up, but for me it’s an enormous pro, because you can clearly see how much product you’ve got left, whereas with most hand creams, you have no clue until you’re finishing the product. I also think that the packaging is really unique and pretty.

Another pro for me is its consistency. This formula is unusually thick for a hand cream, (as the name boasts, it’s a balm) which again might put some people off, but if you really suffer with dry hands, or you’d just like a hand cream that really feels like a treat (as this hand balm states that it can also be used as an overnight mask) you can really feel the difference when using this one. I fee like it really lives up to the Rituals slogan, “Transform your everyday routines into meaningful rituals.”

The smell. I’ve never smelt a hand cream that is this pretty and perfume-like. It’s white lotus and ginkgo biloba, which is a leaf that contributes to normal blood circulation, which means that this balm can actually improve the condition of the skin on your hands, in the long term.IMG_7694

CONS

The only real con I can think of for this product is its price. Not everyone wants to spend £10 on a hand cream, but for me, I thought that the price was definitely worthwhile, because this is a much more luxurious and hard working product, unlike most unscented and watery hand lotions.

Obviously as I’ve also mentioned, a lot of the ‘pros’ for me, are actually going to be cons for other people, but for me, the only obvious con could be the price.


That’s it for my review of the Rituals Miracle Hand Balm, let me know if you enjoyed it in the comments!

Have you tried this product, or anything from Rituals? I’d love to know what you’d recommend!