Thursday, 18 February 2016

Mini Beauty Giveaway - Part 1!

As I'm in the process of moving house, I've recently found myself sorting through all my storage boxes and found that there's a LOT of make up and other beauty products that I've never actually used. Some I knew that I'd never use, some I just ended up never getting around to. And therefore I decided, how about doing a little giveaway of some of the products so that someone who'll get much more use out of them can give them a new home?

Obviously this isn't some huge giveaway and they're not brand new products, but all of these products are completely unused (with the exception of the perfume, which was sprayed twice to see if I liked it or not!)

All of these products were bought by myself, primarily through a combination of beauty boxes and advent calendars. Some products I just never would have used, some were duplicates of products I already had. Please don't expect all these products to be full sized - you can see that it's about 50/50, and please note the security seals will often have been removed so that I could do photos or just never came with one. If you have a problem with any of these facts and just want 100% brand new products, please don't enter this giveaway as you're not going to be happy! However, again, with the exception of the perfume which has been sprayed to see if I liked it, none of these products were ever used.

Right - Let's take a look at what's on offer!

Products include Talika's Photo-Hydra Dry, Body Shop's Italian Fig eau de toilette, an eyeliner, esta revive and renew, a Kryolan eye dust, body shop's wild argan oil miracle solid oil, and S5's calm serum.

You may have cleverly noticed that this giveaway says part 1. Yep, there's a whole other batch that will be posted here in about two weeks! I didn't want to overload too many products in one giveaway as I didn't want people entering and receiving lots of items they had no use for. :-)

If you'd like to enter, use the rafflecopter widget below. Please note you must be in the UK to enter this contest. You'll be contacted when the giveaway ends and will have 48 hours to get back to me with your address before I assume you're no longer interested!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Monday, 15 February 2016

My Experiences with Blog Advertising

Last month I came across a post all about advertising that I found really interesting over on The Prosecco Diaries, which you can read here. I really enjoyed this post and thought it was such a good idea as you never really know what you're getting when it comes to advertising with other blogs. Some blogs have an enormous amount of followers but you find no one actually seems to come over to your blog from there. Some have the opposite; a small amount of followers, but those that they do have are really dedicated and flood over to come and check out yours!

Therefore, clearly heavily influenced, I decided I'd have a post of my advertising experiences as well, and decided to order them in price order - although, to be fair, I have advertised with some blogs more than once in which case I've just picked a price at random out of the options I took! I've included seven blogs, but before I start I want to make it very clear that you shouldn't take anything you read in this post as a certainty. What works for me may not work for you. And if I didn't have much luck with a particular blog, that doesn't mean you won't, nor is it saying anything negative about that blog or the blogger behind it! I also want to make it clear that though in some cases I've mentioned number of clicks, some bloggers, myself included, also promote you through other posts - and in my experience the majority of your clicks come through that which can't really be tracked.

Noor's Place - $3.50
This is one of the earliest ads I placed and I had literally no luck with it whatsoever. Literally, not a single click. I know this one wasn't very expensive but still, this was a disappointment! I'm not sure what caused this, if I remember correctly Noor wasn't very active that month. Life just got in the way as it somehow does, and she was perfectly honest about this afterwards as she felt bad and offered me another ad space to make up for it. I think this one shows that you do need the blogger in question to be active - and if life gets in the way, which it so often does, this does impact your advertisement! Well, normally anyway. We'll get back to that one as it's not always the case as you'll see later on...!

Daydreams of Summertime - $4.90
I've advertised over here twice, and both times I had similar results. Not too many results, but definitely worth it for the price and the amount of effort that's put into helping promote you which is
always something I really appreciate.

Daydream in Blue - $8.00
I advertised with Tom a couple of times, and, I'll be entirely honest, I never saw much come of it. I never really noticed any new followers coming through or anything mentioned in my referrals. However, saying that, I never actually minded too much - I really, really, REALLY liked this blog, and I was happy to support it.

Sunny Sweet Pea - $21.24
This is another one I didn't ever have any luck with - but I have advertised here more than once so clearly I really wanted this one to work. Out of 5k views I got 15 clicks. I definitely got a follower or two out of this one as I remember a few people mentioning it, so what does matter is that some of those that did take a look ended up deciding to come and be followers. That being said this was a disappointment to me as this was one of my earliest attempts at advertising so of course I'd have loved to see it be a bit more effective for me.

From Roses - $37.00
So here's a strange one. This is one of the blogs I advertised with most recently and I had brilliant success from it. I saw a LOT of click throughs, and this blog was pretty consistently listed in my top referrers each day so I was really, really happy with this one and definitely consider it worth the money. However, here's the odd thing. I thought this was the first time I advertised with From Roses, however I looked back and I apparently did a few months ago, with no luck whatsoever! Strange how things work I suppose, but I've decided to ignore the first attempt because the second one went so well.

Cider with Rosie - $52.00
I've advertised with Rosie a couple of times because I really appreciate the effort she puts in to helping to promote you, particularly through Twitter. I found that in terms of gaining click throughs or followers, it's actually pretty random. Sometimes I did, sometimes I didn't, despite Rosie always putting a pretty consistent amount of effort into promoting you. I can only assume that maybe it came down to time of year, or maybe I was just writing better content at different times.

Sprinkle of Glitter - $65.00
So, here's a complete contrast to my very first mention. When I advertised with Louise, she hardly posted that month. I was actually pretty worried about it because this is a lot of money to be spending and then when she posted maybe once or twice in the month I was definitely worried that I'd just chucked money straight down the drain! However, Louise is such a massive YouTuber and blogger that it really didn't matter. She still put effort into her monthly advertisers post and I saw SO many people come through because of it. To the extent that even months after, I'd still randomly see a trickle of a few people coming through in my referrals. So in the case of Louise where you're pretty massively known, the amount you're posting REALLY doesn't matter. But for your average blogger? Definitely does!

How does this compare to your experiences with advertising?

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Bar Review: Ice Bar London

 I recently attended a blogger event (courtesy of Lauren) to the wonderful Ice Bar London, a place I'd been wanting to visit for quite a long time but have just never got round to.

Before we were allowed to venture into the Ice Bar itself, we were divided into three groups and spent some time with everyone together enjoying the downstairs bar which was a much more ordinary and perfectly warm bar! We were all given a delicious free drink - but most importantly, were also able to sample lots and lots of delicious canapes which were SO GOOD. I wasn't expecting much from the food as bar food is so often just there seemingly because they feel they SHOULD serve something, but the food was so good. When I return here, I'll definitely be ordering some of the food choices!

 We also met the very lovely events manager at Ice Bar who gave us a talk and some information on the bar. He was great at this and seemed genuinely enthusiastic to have so many bloggers at the bar! He gave lots of information and made a real effort to circle the room and have at least a little bit of a chat with everyone who was there which was very much appreciated.
 At last - we were able to go into the bar itself, donning our giant hoods and our mittens!
 I was mostly impressed by all these beautiful skulls - including one very giant one! I don't know why but I didn't expect such artistic pieces to be there - I was expecting the place to be much more basic, with some ice chairs and tables or something!

 The drinks are also served in these glasses made of ice - which is a bit of an ordeal! Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed it, but you end up unsure as to whether you should be enjoying your delicious drink or downing it so you can stop holding the glass as soon as possible!
I spent the majority of the evening with these lovely bloggers - Sophie, Chanel, and Nevena. It was great to finally meet Becky as well!

Overall I had a great time at the event. Ice Bar is amazing and very much a unique experience. There's so much to look at and the drinks are delicious as well! It was also a very friendly and social event - I've found a lot of blogger events are a bit difficult to be at, an opinion shared by some of the other people I spoke to, but this event was fantastic so I definitely need to attend more of Lauren's in the future :-) You can check out Ice Bar's website here!

Friday, 5 February 2016

Follow Friday 006

001. Josie wrote a brilliant post full of tips for bloggers covering all sorts of areas and formats. I think thist post would be particularly useful for you if you're a new blogger, but contains plenty of information and is a good read even for the more experienced writers! Plus, of course, the post is filled with lots of lovely photos of Josie!

002. I know I feature a lot of posts from Amber, but, well, she just keeps writing such good content. She's written a brilliant post by taking a look at the google search results have somehow managed to lead people to her blog. As always, there's plenty of very strange ones in there that Amber has done her best to provide answers to! I think this is such a funny post as sometimes the leads you get truly are random.

003. Polly wrote a post all about her recent restaurant disappointments. I can't help it, I really like posts that are that little bit negative. As much as it's nice to read happy posts and blogs that are just plain happy in general, I love reading a bit of a rant post and reading some negative feedback along the way. No idea why!

004. The news of the new body shapes of Barbie dolls has been very interesting - while most reviews I've read have been positive, Jaclyn wrote a new post about her opinions of the change that I found very interesting. It's a longer post but definitely worth a read!

005. Aly posted all about a new subscription box called House of Wonderland. I've never heard of this box before and won't be getting it just yet as I want to hang back and see what the quality of the boxes is like - but I think this one looks great, and Aly posted some wonderful pictures!

Want to be included?
In order to be in my Follow Friday posts, you just need to have written a blog post that I've come across and enjoyed reading. That's it! Of course the blog posts that I read tend to be from blogs I already follow or that I see mentioned through Bloglovin or Twitter, but I'm always looking around for new blogs and posts to have a look at so you've still got a good chance of being included even if I don't follow you anywhere. If you'd like me to have a look at your post, come follow me at @pinkconfettiuk on Twitter and go and leave me a tweet with the link and a quick description in response to this tweet! You can use more than one as I keep the same link up for a month or so!


Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Nakd Bars: A Review

Recently, my desire to be healthy has been at an all time high. I've been cooking so much more, juicing a lot more, and trying to fit a lot more yoga into my day. However, it's not been a complete success; my gym motivation has been at an all time low (seriously, I pay £80 a month and last month went a grand total of once. ONCE.) and I'm still snacking just as much as I always do on whatever I can get my hands on. Therefore, I was pretty happy when I was offered a box of Nakd bars* to try out as I've long been intrigued by them, especially now their beautiful adverts are covering the walls of my local tube station!

One of the first things that appealed to me about the Nakd bars is that they were dairy free. Very few things are, and while I'm not completely lactose intolerant, I'm also not the best with the stuff. My co-worker saw me as I took the first one out of my bag and was very quick to tell me that he had lots of them at his house as they were one of the few bars he found that were vegetarian friendly as well. 

But the thing that appealed to me the most? The flavours! Look at all of those beautiful name choices! I was really stuck with which ones to eat first (apart from cocoa mint. I don't want me some cocoa mint. Mint and chocolate should not be a thing.) so I went the good old fashioned way of closing my eyes and picking one out of the box lucky dip style. Every day. Yep.

Here's a look at the ingredients - as you can see, very healthy and pure! Actually, even more so than I expected them to be. I knew they were a healthier choice and of course I'd seen that they describe the products as a raw fruit and nut bar, but for some reason I was still expecting a lot more to have been piled into them.

So the important thing - how do they taste? Well, I was initially a bit surprised when I opened the first one as the texture is absolutely nothing how I expected. I expected them to be a bit more like a flapjack or something in texture I think as most other bars I've tried have been. These are much more solid and not at all crumbly and are a little bit sticky. However - they were delicious! My first one was a lovely berry flavoured one that definitely lived up to expectations, followed by a cashew cookie which I was initially unsure about but still found myself wanting more of after. I also found myself really enjoying pecan pie, of course loving bakewell tart - and I still can't tell you how I feel about that mint one because I'm a little bit afraid of it but I'll get to it eventually, promise.

Overall, I'm really glad I got the chance to try Nakd bars. They've become part of my daily routine as I take one to work with me every day and either have it with lunch or as a snack in between lunch and dinner depending on what shift I'm working. Nearly all of them have been delicious and I feel healthier eating them as otherwise I would just be constantly eating Kit Kats. I love that there's such a big variety of flavours so there's bound to be one that suits you - though Berry Delight is the flavour I would recommend the most!

You can find out more about Nakd bars over at the NaturalBalanceFoods website where you can also purchase yourself a box, and they're available all over the place if you'd like to give one a try! What's your favourite flavour? :-)

Monday, 1 February 2016

The Month Through Instagram - January 2016

  •  The month started off COLD and so it seemed like it was finally the perfect oppurtunity to start using some bath bombs. I got this one in the boxing day sale, and on NYE I ended up working a horrificly long night shift so I definitely needed this one, everything ached! :-( 
  • My favourite sale items always end up being Lush goodies and chocolate, and I got the lovely reindeer super cheap. I bought a few as gifts for friends and, uh, a few for myself too...
  • Finally, I'm not a coffee lover at all, but these limited edition kit kats are absolutely delicious. The odd thing is, the only place I've ever seen them are in the vending machine at work, and they appear there at random. I check it basically every day because I LOVE THEM.

  •  Guys, this month I accidentally got trendy and bought an Olympus pen. What's funny is I didn't realise it had become *THE* blogger camera until afterwards when I googled it to find some tips on how to use it. Although, I seem to have gone for the colour choice that absolutely no one else has so at least I still have hipster rights.
  • I made this really healthy mac and cheese. Mac and cheese is basically my favourite thing but to make it healthier I used some posh garlic and herb cheese and added leek and mushroom. It's alright actually, but I do prefer the old fashioned one! The mushrooms made a great addition but I think I overdid it with the leek.
  • Just a humble yet delicious cupcake :-)

  •  I went for a lovely meal at a Peruvian restaurant called Lima. There's a post on this coming up most likely next month so you'll be able to see more photos of it then :-)
  • I made this paella with peas and beef and I was impressed with it! It also froze really well.
  • I got this mug as a present, and I just love it :-)

  • This month, I've been eating a lot of Nakd bars. A LOT. And if you're interested in them, come back on Wednesday as I have a little post all about them :-)
  • I went to Ice Bar this month as part of Lauren's fabulous blogger event. How awesome does it look? So awesome. Well ,if you want to see more photos from the event check back in two weeks :-)
  • If you follow me on Twitter, you'll have seen how house hunting has currently completely taken over my life. IT'S SO HARD. London sucks. (But I don't want to leave!) Anyway, after lots of searching and way too much rejection it looks like I've finally found my dream place - and it actually looks like they may take me! Anyway, this bakery is underneath the flat and it's so lovely. I want to make it my new local and eat their delicious fresh bread every day (without the price tag pls)

Whew! That's January through instagram. And if you want to see all my instagram pictures - go follow me!

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