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Monday, 12 June 2017

Blog and Social Media stats: May 2017


Inspired by the absolutely wonderful Megan, I thought I would start publishing my stats every month. I have personally found Megan's posts so informative and as someone who is very interested in looking at and analysing statistics I thought I'd share mine with you too!

I really struggled to be active on my various blogging platforms last month. I had an absolute tonne of uni work, which is thankfully all complete. I generally struggled to find the motivation to be creative in the month of May and had many lazy evenings trying to wind down after a few weeks of deadlines that kept coming at me! I last blogged on the 3rd May, after the Blogger's who Brunch event so thought it would be interesting to see in what had happened to my stats in a month when I was very inactive.

Twitter

I reached my goal of 500 followers at the beginning of last month, which led to me doing a giveaway. I am now on 612 followers as of right now, and Twitter tells me that I have gained 70 followers in the last month (28 days) which is fantastic! While I haven't been as active as usual, I can probably say that my surge in following is partly down to my giveaway, but also the fact I met and connected with so many new bloggers at the #BWBLaunch event back at the beginning of last month. I would love to reach 650 by the end of the month.

Unsurprisingly, apart from my follower count, everything else Twitter wise was lower in this month. I only put out 61 tweets, which although may sound like a lot, is nothing for me: a self confessed serial tweeter! I definitely haven't been involved with Blogger chats much in the past few weeks which I think is probably the main reason for this. Luckily, I have the time for these once again.

Instagram

I gained 101 followers on Instagram this month which I am so pleased with! I've definitely started to try and put out better content on Instagram and vary what I post in order to avoid being 'shadow-banned' or whatever the next Instagram controversy is! My most liked post this month got 105 likes, a picture of myself wearing a bargain £6 T Shirt from Primark (they've definitely upped their game in recent months). I posted 6 times in May, which is less than normal but I'm quite surprised I managed to post at all due to the amount of times I was attempting all-nighters to finish essays...

At the moment I am definitely struggling to maintain my follower count, probably due to not posting as regularly as I had been and have been around the 470 mark for the past week, but would love to hit 500 by July 1st!

Bloglovin'

I only gained 10 followers on Bloglovin' this month and am now at 327 followers. To be really honest with you all, I haven't been trying to make use of Bloglovin' so much because I find it a bit difficult to use and I know a lot of followers I have on there aren't active anymore so don't put so much time or energy into trying to direct people towards it!

Blogger/Google Analytics

In May I had 926 page views, which is mad! I'm nearly at my target of 20,000 total blog views and hope to hit that in the next month or 2 (currently around 18,500 I think). It makes me so happy that people are still looking at and interacting with my content, even when I'm not putting out anything fresh, so thank you all! My most popular post was my 'Uni Tips: what I've learnt in first year' post, which I am so pleased that so many people have read as my advice is genuinely sincere and I do really want to help people who are in positions that I have been in and hopefully give them a helping hand. I only posted once within May, which is not great, I want to try and get myself back to posting weekly over the summer: possibly more if I can!

Overall, it's been a bit hit and miss this month. Although I have increased my followers, I haven't put out much content meaning I've also lost followers at the same time!! I'm very excited to post about my holiday which I'm going on next Tuesday to Lanzarote, and have a lot of fun things I will be up to soon and can't wait to take some pictures and be more active again.

Lottie x

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Bloggers Who Brunch Launch!














Last Saturday, I traveled up to London for the Launch of 'Bloggers who Brunch' organised by Kirby Small. Luckily, I was planning to be back from university this weekend anyway because I was seeing Ed Sheeran on the bank holiday Monday, so I thought I'd buy myself a ticket to the event.

I met around 15 other bloggers beforehand which was lovely as I was able to put a face to a name at last. I also was so pleased to see Megan as last saw her almost 3 years ago and a lot has changed since then! We all hoarded into Starbucks/Costa and had a drink and a chat and got to know each other a bit better and then we walked to the event which was being held in Clerkenwell (London).

The event featured fantastic talks from Katie of LexiLife and Katherine on the subjects of Youtube and Photography respectively. Katie and Katherine both were fantastic at answering everybody's questions on the subjects and provided a lot of really useful insight into both these areas. I think many of us definitely felt inspired to give vlogging a go after Katie's talk!

Katherine also spoke about shoots she had done with other bloggers, some of whom were at the event which was really interesting to hear about. I've always taken my own photos for my blog but it would be fantastic to have the chance to shoot with somebody for things such as OOTD posts which as seen through other photos, she really captures people amazingly well.

It was lovely to have the chance to meet new bloggers and get talking to people from not so far away. I had some really great chats with people and really enjoyed hearing other people's thoughts on blogging and their goals for the future: everyone was lovely and very willing to chat with each other which is exactly the kind of thing you want, especially if it's your first event or you've come on your own.

Kirby did a fantastic job of organising the event, it was super stylish and chilled out which was just what I was hoping for. Everyone was really friendly and the event ran incredibly smoothly with a very relaxed atmosphere. I can't wait to see what she has in store for us next!

Kirby Small:

Twitter: @kirbysmall / @BWB_UK
Blog: www.kirbysmall.co.uk

Katie (Lexilife):

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjf_Yy-CZV0Tq9EgU2RG9Jw
Twitter: @lexilife95
Blog: www.lexilife.co.uk

Katherine

Twitter: @k_mcmorran
Instagram: @katherine_mc
Blog: www.katherinemcmorran.photography



Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Let's talk about Instagram

(Me from 2014, how cute)
There's been so much talk about the negativity of online tools such as Instagram lately. With the issues of the 'Instabots' (if you don't know what I'm talking about, where have you been?) and the pressure to make your Instagram look prettier than everyone else's (#instagoals am I right?), Instagram isn't always the positive and useful thing it can be.

I've always enjoyed using Instagram. I love being able to flick back down through my pictures from 2/3/4 years ago and see how I've changed and remember some of the really fun things I've done in the past, it's like a visual diary which is quite cool, especially to someone who loves reminiscing

I have a personal account and a blog account and enjoy having that separation and being able to tailor what I post on each one. For example: it might not be appropriate for me to post a picture of my friends on my blogging Instagram because you're probably not all that interested and they might not want their picture being accessible to people they don't know. In the same way I probably won't go posting EVERY SINGLE make up product I buy on my personal account because that's not what it's there for and I honestly doubt my friends care about the latest edition of Glossybox no matter how hard they try. However, that's not to say there's no crossover at all!

The thing I noticed once I started posting more on my blogging Instagram again was, in a way, how rigid and structured some people's accounts are. I'm that kind of person that just posts whatever they feel may be relevant even if it doesn't stick to a 'theme' or look particularly 'aesthetically pleasing' because I'm trying to come across as genuine as I can. That's not to say that people who have these beautiful themes aren't, it just is perhaps a more rose tinted version of their lives, which I can understand.

I applaud any blogger who manages to keep up an Instagram theme because honestly I don't have the time or the patience. I'm a full time student who barely gets her work in on time, an Instagram theme is the least of my worries!

Another thing I worry about with Instagram is the idealist image that some (bigger bloggers mainly) give out to their followers. They always have perfect hair, outfits, all the latest products and some really pretty backgrounds. As someone who has always really struggled with self-confidence and body-image, I do find myself getting jealous of people who seemingly have it all, don't we all? However, I love seeing bloggers living their dream and am so proud; that 'jealousy' definitely drives me forward and makes me want to do bigger and better things!

Oh and as for the Insta bot thing, I kinda get why people do it, the pressures can be so big. However, what I don't like is people who have been working hard for years get opportunities snatched off them from people who've made it big in a very short time frame from using these methods. Some of my favourite bloggers are honestly people with 2/300 followers who have absolutely amazing content. I respect people who have gone about blogging in entirely honest and authentic way because I have so much respect for people who've worked hard to make their dreams come true.

There's definitely some more things I'd like to address in the future but these are just a few of my current thoughts on the topic. let me know what you think!

To sum up:

You are not defined by how many followers you have on Instagram
You don't always have to look 'perfect' on camera, nobody does all the time
Post what you want and do it for yourself, it's your account after all!


Saturday, 22 April 2017

My favourite palette ever?



I love eyeshadow palettes way to much for my own good. This one in particular is the Stila 'In the Light Palette'. I have raved about Stila a lot on Twitter to people looking for new brands, as Stila is a UK brand (stocked in store in M&S and I also think some Boots stores?) but I also feel that it's so underrated due to the amazing quality of all their products! 

I bought this palette around a year ago as it was on sale on their website and could finally justify buying it, so it's a bit of a throwback! However, it's not all good news as this palette as well as the 'In the Garden' palette are no longer stocked by Stila, I guess to make way for bigger and better things... how exciting!

This palette features 10 shades, a mixture of matte and shimmer including everyone's favourite nude shimmer 'kitten' and a host of other super pretty colours. These are all super pigmented and long lasting and the top left shade 'bare' also makes the perfect eyeshadow base for any look. I love how well all these shades blend together and compliment each other amazingly. It's the perfect kind of palette for lovely summer day looks but the shimmer shades give it that sense of glam as well.

Did I mention that it also came with a free eyeliner stick (which is amazing btw)

All in all, this palette is beautiful and I'm super sad they don't stock it anymore. However, having looked at their newer palettes I think I know what will be in my shopping bag once I've finished this one!

Have a lovely weekend

Lottie x






Sunday, 16 April 2017

UNI TIPS: What I've learnt in first year




Hi everyone! Hope you are all happy that it's the start of spring and the rain that's come with it and having a lovely Easter. I've (very) nearly finished my first year at university and as part of my uni tips series I thought I'd share with you a few things I've come to realise (it's a bit Kylie Jenner-esque really isn't it).

  • There will be people from home who you'll fall out with and grow distant from, and potentially never see again - I mean we might as well start it off on a light-hearted note... I've had a couple of friends from home who I've fallen out with massively since starting uni and plenty more who I've grown distant from just because of well, the distance! I feel very lucky that I still have a lovely core group of friends at home who I see a lot of when I'm back and all my friends at uni too but there are some people who I've pretty much completely lost contact with which I'm fine with.
  • Budgeting is so important - This may sound fairly obvious but I've been so bad at budgeting in first year. I've been the kind of student to always rely on the fact I have an overdraft to get me through the term. I also can't stress enough the importance of planning ahead. Plan all your meals to make sure you a) don't waste food and b) have enough food to last the week. I'm such a culprit of convenience food but I'd say the best way to budget food is to factor in an amount to spend on a big supermarket (in store or online) shop every week so you know exactly how much you have left for other things
  • I work very well under pressure - I am one of those people who if I've been told to do something will put it off until the very last minute, which rings true for uni work also. I am one of the kind of people who will smash out a 2000 word essay in a day or 2 and still get a fairly good mark! (disclaimer: would not recommend this strategy at all)
  • I'm extremely indecisive: I've considered dropping out/transferring universities at least 50000 times in first year. My uni is great and I honestly can't imagine myself somewhere else which is fundamentally the reason why I chose it and why I've also chosen to stay there for good! 
  • You have to take risks and come out of your comfort zone in order to get noticed. For example: I'd been on the mailing list for content calls from my student newspaper since freshers but didn't write any actual articles until around February time because I thought my writing would be crap and no one would want to read it! Every little thing like this will show people who you are and get your name out there as well as boost your confidence: be brave!

Hope you've enjoyed reading this post, it's not a very long one but hopefully somewhat interesting? I think I'm going to do a post about results day tips soon so if anyone would like to read that let me know!

Lottie x










Thursday, 23 March 2017

Glossybox March 2017 - Review: Spring has arrived!






Hey everyone! 

Today's post is on the March Glossybox UK edition, I'm so excited to tell you all about it because it's a good'un.

After February's Glossybox I was worried that it would go downhill in my expectations because last month's was SO GOOD. Thankfully, they've kept up their high standards into March and I've got some fantastic products to share with you all!

Firstly, we have a lovely hand cream from Crabtree and Evelyn called 'Somerset Meadow Hand Therapy' which sounds positively spring-like! It comes in bright yellow packaging signally the start of those sunny days, however knowing Britain, it's still going to be cold for a little while which means the hand cream is a perfect addition to my handbag this spring. It has a lovely subtle floral scent and goes onto the hands so easily without being sticky like some other cheaper hand creams are! With the key nourishing ingredient of shea butter in, it feels genuinely like it's doing some good which I can't say for many hand creams I've tried and for the very reasonable price of £6 you really can't go wrong!

RRP - £6 for full size (currently on sale for £4.20 on their own website!) Shop: http://www.crabtree-evelyn.co.uk/hand-care/hand-cream/somerset-meadow-hand-therapy-25g-801323/

Next up we have the 'Eye Love' eye cream from oOlution (I promise I spelt it right). It contains 100% natural ingredients and is full of hydrating and rich antioxidants which promises to get rid of dark circles and puffiness around the eyes, perfect for a uni student with a rather messed up sleeping pattern... The product feels really nice around the eyes and definitely feels a lot better on my skin than some which are full of synthetic ingredients! The inventor of this brand wanted the products to be luxury and it has a price tag to match, so perhaps not something I would purchase myself just because I don't really use eye creams that much, however I will be using it until it's empty; I can guarantee!

RRP - £30 for full size (which is included) Shop: www.oolution.com

The next product is one I am super excited about, it's the 'In transit camera close-up' primer from This Works. Glossybox reports it to be loved by stars such as Victoria Beckham so it certainly has a lot to live for. As well as a primer it claims to balance, plump-up and brighten the skin leaving it ready for the camera! Any primer that acts as a moisturiser is great in my books however I'm unsure I'd be willing to pay £30. I'm looking forward to giving it a try and see if it is any good!

RRP - £30 for full size (sample size worth £15) Shop: http://www.boots.com/this-works-in-transit-camera-close-up-40ml-10156109

Next up, Skinfix Foaming oil cleanser, something that to be honest, doesn't particularly thrill me a great deal. As someone who has fairly oily skin already, I really don't delve into any cleansers that are oil-based because they just don't feel right on my skin. However, this is a foaming cleanser which is then washed off afterwards and has a coconut base so perhaps this will be more gentle than some of the other oil based make up removers/cleansers. I do really like foaming cleansers as a concept because my face always feels so clean and fresh afterwards so I'm definitely going to give it a go in the hope that it won't leave my skin feeling more oily!

RRP - £14.99 Shop: Boots.com

Finally, the product which I think is the highlight of the box, the Sleek 'Dancing til Dusk' Palette! It's a beautiful eye and cheek palette which has a couple of lovely pink/peachy blushers and some nude-toned eyeshadows also. I'm so excited to try this because I love Sleek's products so much. (if you haven't tried the Cleopatra quad highlighting palette do it right now) It's always good to a product from a brand you already adore in a box so I'm super pleased it was something I didn't yet have and can't wait to try properly!

RRP - £10 Shop: www.sleekmakeup.com/uk

Verdict: This is a good box which is particularly good value for money, as the products together are worth around £65. I am really looking forward to using my Sleek palette as they are perfect shades for my skintone, I personally like to see more make-up over skincare in a box so it's lacking slightly, however I think all these products set us up well for the start of spring, which in England is still pretty cold so the inclusion of more skincare is probably very sensible!

Hope you've enjoyed reading about the products included in my March Glossybox! Have you tried any of the products above? What do you think of Glossybox?

Lottie x






Monday, 13 March 2017

Norwich Fashion Week #NFW

















I was lucky enough to be invited to come along to the Hair and Make Up show last Friday as part of Norwich Fashion Week sponsored by local opticians Dipple and Conway. As you can tell from the pretty close up photos I also got to sit in the front row which was a fantastic experience! I had never been to a fashion show before and thought 'It's hardly going to be London Fashion Week' but by the way it was produced it really could have been!

After a pre-show G&T (in the VIP area even) we made our way to our seats. The show started with local opera singer Emma Nuule providing a sensationally dramatic opening which set the scene for the rest of the show perfectly! 

As you can tell, the effort that the various groups put into. The one which I think caught everyone's eye in particular with their breathtaking detail was a group called 'Paintopia' where the artists had depicted all sorts of images and colours onto their models which had some somewhat mad but sensational results! 

The thing that struck me the most was the confidence and professionalism of all the models that ran the catwalk. Going up there in itself is daunting but everyone looked so cool and comfortable up on the runway (Special shout out to the group of women styled in burlesque clothing; I'd never have that confidence)! 

There were so many wonderful looks showcased which perfectly fit the dramatic and bold theme. Everything seemed so original and authentic and I love how daring some of the looks were. It's brilliant for artists to be able to show off their creativity with this freedom. 

Also I got the chance to meet another Norwich based blogger (at last!) the lovely Kerry from Sparkle with Kerry  so do take a look at her blog! I think it's fantastic that this event collaborated local MUAs, designers and salon stylists. It was a perfect opportunity for people based locally such as Lowestoft College, The Cottage, Millie Rose, The Norwich School of Beauty (and much more!) to show off their stunning work and talents that they may not be able to show off in other ways.

I really hope you enjoy looking at the various looks and I want to thank Norwich Fashion Week for inviting me to view their show as it was truly wonderful!