Monday, 31 October 2016

Road Trip Part 5; Zion National Park, Utah

Zion National Park, Utah
We were never originally supposed to go to Utah. Our trip bypassed it as there just wasn't enough time and we didn't know enough about it. However, flights ended up being about £300 cheaper for some reason if we added two days to the trip, and though the original plan was to just add some more days in San Francisco I decided to have a look around and see what else we could add to the trip. And through that, I found Zion.


Friday, 28 October 2016

How I Instagram

Who I Follow
I am really, really picky when it comes to who I follow on my Instagram. I'm also probably a bit weird in that I look at a lot more accounts than I actually follow. My follow list is always quite small, however I actually watch many more accounts.

I don't particularly care if accounts have a theme or not. I really don't think it matters at all. To be honest, if all your pictures look the same, I'll probably lose interest and stop anyway, though of course there are exceptions to that.

The accounts that I follow can best fall into three categories.
1) Hedgehogs. No, really. I follow a lot of hedgehog accounts. I don't know why. That may be one of the more ridiculous things I've ever typed. One night, whilst particularly sleep deprived, I found myself browsing Instagram and slowly adding and finding more hedgehog accounts. I actually really look forward to seeing more photos of these dang hedgehogs. It doesn't even make any sense. I didn't even know I particularly liked the animals, but apparently I secretly find them adorable and want to see them all the time.
2) Flat lays. I really, really like food flatlays. Sometimes of a whole table, sometimes of a particular plate, sometimes just of doughnuts or ice creams or something like that. If you post a lot of flat lays, I'll probably be following you.
3) Travel. I like looking at pretty places from people who get to travel a lot. I also just like looking at pictures of where people happen to live if they're interesting or exotic looking.

When it comes to interaction, I generally browse through at least twice a day. I don't necessarily comment often, unless I have something to say. I'm most likely to comment if your post is about food, an outfit, or, of course, a hedgehog. If your post includes a little bit of a story, I'm more likely to comment on it. If I suspect you're using some sort of bot, even if I really like your stuff, I'm less likely to comment. I don't know why.

If you'd like to see some of my favourite instagram accounts, click here. That's just part one of a series - I have a fair few more I'm planning on sharing with you soon!

How I Post
I am equally picky with what I post, though sometimes that won't be quite so obvious to you...

I don't have a theme, or if I do it's not deliberate. Of course, there are certain colours that I like. I only really like about two filters. I like making pictures brighter, and that's about it. I should probably edit them more, but generally I already like how they came out.

I use a combination of my phone and my camera. If I'm posting travel photos, they probably came directly from my camera. If they're not, they're probably from my phone. I'm finding myself using my camera more lately, even though I really sort of look down on myself for that, I'm not sure why.

I post things that I like, without a particular subject preference. I suppose my pictures are, more often than not, of food, travel pictures, clothes, or plants. These are just things that I like. I would never have an instagram posting exclusively images of one particular subject. Unless I owned a hedgehog, of course.

I don't write stories on my posts enough, even though I really like reading them when other people do it. I really enjoy writing, so I'm not sure why I don't do it. I think it's just because I find typing on my phone to be quite frustrating.

How do you instagram? All pictures above are taken straight off mine, so if you like the look of them please do come and follow me, here!

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

A Mini Homeware Haul

On returning from America, I was more than a little disappointed to find out that some of my lovely plants just hadn't quite done as well as I'd hoped, despite careful looking after from my housemate. And therefore I decided that a trip to M&S was in order to pick up a couple of new additions, as well as some other goodies whilst there. Before I write this, I should mention that this post has been in no way sponsored by M&S - I've just found that when it comes to plants, they tend to stock really high quality varieties and also tend to have a pretty good mixture. Plus, they do absolutely adorable containers and vases.

Anyway - let's take a look!

First up we have this beautiful peace lily. I absolutely love the container that this is in - it's simple, but I think it looks really good. They had a few smaller plants in this style container too but I was really drawn to this peacelily, and the fact that it looks a bit wild really suits my room as well. Unfortunately, my lily doesn't seem to like London water very much, and so I've had to start leaving a pot outside to collect rain water to feed to it!

Another M&S buy was this little one, taking up the place of my sadly departed succulent. This plant is so far doing really well, and again, I love the fact that it looks a little bit wild in the way it splays itself out!

Armed with some new photographs, it was time to find a frame to put them in. I really struggled to find a nice photo frame as my room is very minimalist and so there were only certain colours that would work well with it. In addition, it seems that the current trend is to make really really thick frames, which I just don't like the look of. In the end I found this clear one which was absolutely perfect for what I needed and was only £10, here, from John Lewis.

My final pick up was this lovely reed diffuser in Apricot Blossom, from Next. I think Next do the absolute best home scents and this one is no exception - it just smells so lovely and vibrant and is one of those that really hits you when you walk into the room. These diffusers cost £6 to £16 depending on the size you want - though I just went for the smaller one - here, from Next.


Monday, 24 October 2016

Road Trip Day 4; Monument Valley, Utah/Arizona

Monument Valley
 After the disappointment of our trip to the Grand Canyon, our next stop was somewhere we were all much more optimistic about; Monument Valley.

  Monument Valley was our first Navajo tribal site, and also marked our first day in Utah.


Friday, 21 October 2016

Eating Clean, with Everdine

As you may have noticed, my social media presence over the last week has died down a little bit. Well, I managed to cut my head open at work, and now I have this horrendous scar across the top of my face :-( As such, I've been feeling quite sorry for myself and not really getting up to too much, and therefore it was great for me when Everdine* offered to send me over a box of their frozen meals! I don't know about you, but when I'm feeling like crap I'm not going to leave the house more than I have to and I'm definitely not going to cook anything, so something like this was exactly what I needed.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

30 Things That Surprised Me About Blogging

I felt it was about time for a good little list post - and I don't think any further introduction is needed! Here's my list of 30 Things That Surprised Me About Blogging.

1. Taking a good flat lay picture is incredibly difficult. I still don't even know how to do them properly.
2. You'll need props. Lots of props.
3. You may end up actually choosing a flat because of the fact that the lighting would be really good for pictures.
4. Despite my flat being very minimalist, I am constantly tempted by the idea of buying THINGS so that I have background items for pictures.
5. Too many people spam on twitter. I get fed up seeing the same posts and the same people over and over again.
6. ...But, you'll find yourself doing it too, because that's basically the best way to get traffic to your posts.
7. Some great brands have come to me to work with me. I never really expected anyone to be very interested in me or my blog!
8. Some brands work with bloggers in combinations that just don't make sense.
9. I've found out about a lot of great beauty launches through blogs.
10. When stuck at the airport, I ended up buying a couple of magazines. Until that moment, I hadn't realised just how much I preferred blogs now. I just didn't care about the articles or the pictures for the most part, I would be much more interested in reading the opinions of my favourite bloggers on the same topics though.
11. An increasing number of people are becoming full time bloggers now.
12. I still don't think that's actually something I ever want to do.
13. I feel kinda old to be a blogger at times.
14. The blogging world can be incredibly cliquey, and it can be hard to progress in it if you're not part of that clique.
15. But that being said, the blogging world also contains some of my favourite people.
16. A big part of blogging actually involves plain old interaction. Particularly on twitter, which isn't great for people like me who work shifts.
17. That also means we miss most of the twitter chats.
18. And that I generally don't recognise the majority of the people in the chats anymore.
19. For whatever reason, the blog post you liked writing the most and were the most interested in? Very rarely the one that other people actually really care about.
20. A lot of people have been blogging for a really, really long time.
21. The twitter drama never stops being entertaining.
22. It's a lot more difficult to keep posting than you'd think it is. I always have a list of back up ideas for when nothing relevent is going on, and yet I never actually want to write about any of those things.
23. The people that you least expect will somehow find your blog at some point.
24. It's a great way to find out about all sorts of brands you probably wouldn't ever have come across.
25. Even your boyfriend will eventually start catching on to the fact that sometimes photos need to be taken when food is involved. This point is written literally minutes after we finished making a meal and he sadly asked, "Do you have to take a photo first?" before taking a bite of it.
26. Even after a few years, you'll probably still find the idea of blogging at least a little bit embarassing.
27. I don't think you ever actually do stop thinking about the numbers.
28. You'll follow some of your favourite blogs for literally years.
29. And then you'll be incredibly disappointed when they eventually stop posting.
30. The level of effort that some people put into their Instagram is actually amazing - but respect to them!

What surprised you?

Monday, 17 October 2016

Road Trip Part 3; The Grand Canyon - Or, The Okay Canyon

Grand Canyon, Arizona
When you're planning a road trip around the west coast, a trip to the Grand Canyon isn't something that you can really miss off.

I definitely had my reservations. I figured I would probably look at it and think it was just a hole in the ground. However, some of the pictures I saw really were amazing, and I'd previously visited sites like Niagara Falls and Victoria Falls and thought exactly the same thing - it's just a waterfall, how amazing can it be? And in both cases, I've been wrong, both really are very impressive and well worth a visit.

I therefore tried to get myself a bit more optimistic about The Grand Canyon. So many people rank it so highly, in real life I'll probably think it's really awesome. 

Friday, 14 October 2016

October's Blog Spotlight Post

Hi all! Rather than keep up my Follow Friday posts which I found were becoming just a bit too much of a pain in the butt to keep up, I've decided to do one monthly blog spotlight post - featuring all of my favourite blog posts from other bloggers from the past month. So I hope you enjoy having a look through the following 16 posts, and that you find some new favourites to read! :-)

001. First up is the ever fantastic Amber, who's written a post all about why you're probably not going to get rich blogging. I think this is a great post to read and very realistic.
002. Courtney posted all about things you can relate to if you shop in Primark, which at times was painfully accurate to read.
003. Paige had a fab photoshoot along with a little showcase of what the Huawei P9 can do.
004. I seemed to return from holiday to a huge selection of fashion week posts, so it was great to break it up a little with Jordan's post on why she's never been to fashion week!
005. Carrie went to Copenhagen, which was great timing when I was thinking of going there myself!
006. Lottie took a trip to the Impulse changing room, which looked like lots of fun!


Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Christmas Flowers from Beards And Daisies

If you have been here for any time at all, you'll know how much I absolutely LOVE flowers and plants. I never thought I would become someone who was into gardening and nature, and yet here I am, sitting in my bed where directly in front of me I can see four new plants, and where immediately upon completing this post I'm going to go out to the balcony to give all of the growing vegetables some food. I don't exactly know when this happened, but somewhere along the line I've become a very big fan of all things green.

Beards & Daisies is a company that I've been aware of for a little while now. They are on an online florist, sending out beautiful flowers in both bouquet and letterbox format for an average price of around £25. I've been admiring some of their beautiful summery flowers for a while now, and so when owner, Jo, asked if I would be interested in receiving some of their new Christmas flowers, of course I said yes!

 The flowers I received came in a very large box, delivered by courier. The box itself is absolutely massive and so the flowers are well protected - though of course they do have a little bit of padding on the inside as well! They come tied up in a neat little bouquet that has already been arranged for you, making it really easy to set them up inside your home. The flowers all came in excellent condition with no damages or sad looking flowers whatsoever!

Along with the flowers you get an information card which tells you how to look after them. You also get some plant food to mix in with them - it's all very straightforward! The card also gives you some tips and advice on how to arrange your flowers. However, in our case we liked them exactly how they were when they arrived. We did get a bit enthusiastic and try to move them around ourselves, but that was very much a mistake and we had to try to put them back how they'd been when we first received them!

So, what do you think? We were all very happy with these flowers. It's an unusual mix, but we really liked the colours and we think that they look great. The flowers are all very healthy and in great condition and I was really happy with the variety of the flowers included. As mentioned, this is a Christmas bouquet so there is a very obvious theme - and one that we felt that these flowers really lived up to. The deep reds and greens look fantastic and definitely get you in a festive feeling - and, just in case you need a little bit more of a push, there's some light glitter on the flowers too which makes them look so pretty and like they've had a little dusting of snow.

My boyfriend is a huge Christmas fan, and though he knew flowers would be arriving, I didn't tell him that they were going to be Christmassy ones. He was very excited to see them and agreed that they really lived up to the theme. And luckily my housemates were fans too, as this bouquet is currently the centre piece in our living room!

At time of writing, this bouquet has been with me for four days and is still in fantastic quality. The flowers are really healthy and I'm surprised but pleased that they've continued to be in such good condition.

If you'd like to buy your own bouquet as a gift or to brighten up your own home, you can buy them through Beards & Daisies, here. This bouquet is called Santa Baby and will be retailing for £31.99. If Christmas flowers aren't quite your thing there are plenty of other options in both bouquet and letterbox varieties - my personal favourites aside from this Christmas bouquet are Wild Thing, Strawberry Fields and Morning Glory

Monday, 10 October 2016

Road Trip Part 2; A Very Hot Trip to Scottdale, Arizona & Fountain Hills

The second part of our road trip took us on to the first city of our trip, Scottsdale, Arizona. We didn't know very much about Scottsdale, aside from the fact that it was a city with heavy native American influences and that it was supposedly a very artistic city. We were excited to see what it held for us!


Friday, 7 October 2016

15 Fashion Favourites: October 2016

It's time for October's fashion favourites! Of course, the stores have started stocking up their Autumn pieces and jumpers and the like are coming in quickly - however, I'll be honest, there aren't anywhere near as many as I was expecting just yet! Despite that, I've found 15 favourite pieces to share with you that I hope you'll enjoy.

This month features pieces from Forever 21, New Look, Apricot, River Island and Oasis.
FOREVER 21: Striped Zip-Up Crop Top: £9
FOREVER 21: Lace-Up Front Jumper £16
FOREVER 21: Self-Tie Bodycon Dress £15

Forever 21 was my absolute favourite store when it came to Autumn clothing last year, and I was really worried that this year they wouldn't be able to live up to the high standard of last year - however, their first items have been released and they are absolutely lovely. Of course I like the colours, but more than anything I really like that they've gone a bit different with the styles that they're choosing.


Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Some of My Favourite Instagrammers - Part 1

The other day I decided to have a big reshuffle of all of the social media accounts I use the most often. As well as organising and listing all of who I follow on Bloglovin and Twitter (ALL OF THEM) I decided to have a look through everyone that I followed on Instagram as well.

While I was there, I decided I'd take advantage of this and make a mini post recommending some of my favourite Instagrammers to you. I don't know about you, but I find it quite difficult to find new people to follow - I don't know where Instagram gets it's recommendations for me from, but 99% of the time they tend to be way off! And therefore, here's a little look at five of my favourite accounts that I'd recommend you go and give a follow.

Don't be offended if you're not included in this post - I already have another post of this type planned as I didn't want to include all my favourites in one post and just end up overwhelming everybody, so have no fear - there will be another one soon!

And of course, there's always my own account, here, if you'd like to follow me :-)

The first account I'm featuring in this post is Tara of taramilktea. She posts beautiful, bright photos of her daily life, particularly focusing on gorgeous flatlays and luxurious foods. I absolutely love food photography in the style that she posts and there's always something delicious to go and take a look at.


Monday, 3 October 2016

Road Trip Part 1: Joshua Tree National Park, California

Cactus in Joshua Tree National Park, California
As you probably already know if you follow me on Instagram, I've recently come back from a two week road trip around the western US, covering California, Arizona, Utah and Nevada. Every Monday for the next couple of weeks (probably around 10-12 depending on how I split up a couple of the later posts) I'll be posting a little update on some of the things that we got up to whilst there.

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