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Archive: 2017

2017 Reflections | heythererobyn

Ending the year is always strange, isn't it? No matter how terrible or great the past 12 months have been it eventually draws to an end. For many people, the end of a year is nothing, a passing of time, a sign that you're getting older, for me it is a time to reevaluate, to look back reflect and adapt. I love the feeling of new beginnings, which is probably why I adore new year so much, sure it is just another day, but it gives you the chance to think of it like a fresh start, to turn the page and become a better version of the person you are. The thing is, in order to move forward we have to look back, we have to think about where we have been and how we have changed and how we can change, whether you've changed for better or for worse, looking back gives you clarity and closure from the year you are leaving behind and so I think it is important to reflect upon 2017.

LOSS
The biggest aspect of my 2017 was loss, the loss of a loved one. In May 2017 we lost my four-year-old nephew. He was diagnosed at birth with a rare terminal illness that would shorten his life, but we were never told how long we had, so losing him came as a shock. It engulfed my entire 2017 and no matter what else happened it will always be how I remember this year. It broke not only me but my entire family, we are still not completely okay even now, 7 months on and I don't think we ever will be. For a long time, I found it difficult to continue normal, everyday life again, I think that is the part which will always affect me, anytime I would smile or laugh I'd hate myself for it because I shouldn't be happy, not when he's not here. Any time something good would happen in my life I would feel terrible for celebrating, my graduation was a clear sign of this, I felt guilty for being happy I graduated, what right did I have to celebrate my successes when he wasn't able to celebrate his anymore? It is still something I struggle with to this day, to a smaller scale, but nonetheless, I still find it hard to continue when he cannot. I guess it's a huge part of why I wanted to write this post, to let people know it is okay to live after loss and to be happy, although maybe I should take my own advice. 

2017 Reflections | heythererobyn
GRADUATING
I graduated in July of 2017 from university with a 2:1 bachelors with honours. After being a third-year entrant who had no idea what Harvard referencing was nevermind how to do it I graduated with the second highest grade I could get and a first in my dissertation. I've always been one of those strange ones who enjoy education and find learning fun and exciting, but I never expected I would graduate university with such a fantastic grade and a whole year ahead of my peers who are all graduating from university this coming year. Graduating was a big deal to me as I had a rocky couple of months beforehand and I found it hard to be happy for myself leading up to the day, I even told my parents we didn't have to go because my graduation fell on the 2 month anniversary of my nephew's passing and not only was that hard for me but I felt like I was forcing my parents to leave their grievancies and be happy during a time when they didn't want to, but that wasn't the way it was at all. I know deep down that all my nephew would want for his family is success and happiness and knowing that is what allowed me to be happy and to graduate with a huge smile across my face, I was doing it for him. 

THE MASTERS DEGREE
On the 15th of June 2017, I was offered an unconditional placement to undertake my masters degree. Like I said I enjoy academia and learning is one of my favourite things, so giving up university wasn't so easy for me. In April I applied for my masters to continue on at my current university and do marketing, a subject I slowly began to admire from afar during my time as a blogger. I was accepted as a conditional applicant just days later, but it wasn't until grades were released that I was giving my unconditional placement and further a scholarship. I remember the moment I got the email, I was visiting one of my sister's as she had just had a little boy earlier that month. my mum, my sister and I were chatting and my phone vibrated and there it was in bold letters. I couldn't believe it, I got in, I was going to study a subject I felt a rumble in my tummy for. So far it is going absolutely swimmingly with great grades and I am learning more than I had my entire undergrad, I could not be happier with my decision to continue in education. 

2017 Reflections | heythererobyn

THE BLOG
The blog, oh the blog, how I loathed you this year. My blog really took a beating this past year and I could not be more upset or annoyed with myself for it. I continued to grow across social media and a tiny fraction on my blog, although my views have gone through the roof since last year, overall I became so unhappy with my corner of the internet. I can't tell you what happened this past year because I truly don't know much myself. All I know is that I found myself disconnected, I still wanted to blog, but I couldn't connect with most of my content, content I would have connected with any other time was just so clunky and unreadable, my content became boring and redundant, my writing style became unrecognisable, I mean I am probably making it out to be way worse than it was but trust me, great things are coming in 2018 when it comes to 2018, 2018 is the year of heythererobyn (well for me anyway). 

PERSONAL GROWTH
In 2017 I learned a lot about myself, actually, a lot is a bit of an understatement. I experienced a lot from the likes of my first bullying-esque experience to the passing of my nephew to graduating university, this year I felt a lot and it allowed me to understand myself better. I know my own strength a little better than I did before, I know that I put other's feelings before myself, I know that no matter what I always try to see a positive, I know that I am a slight push over and need to stick up for myself more, I know that I am smart and no one will be able to tell me otherwise, I know that I am me and I am weird and complicated and occasionally I make a really good joke. This year I learned a lot and I grew a lot, I allowed the situations around me to mould me, maybe too much leading to my lack of ambition when it came to my little blog, but I am now learning from that mistake. This year was a whirlwind, a rollercoaster and one that I would like to erase from the history books, but I know that doing that would not be right, after all, this year moulded me a lot, even if it was due to terrible circumstances, I wouldn't be me without this year. 

This year was all over the place and I could write about it for days, but I don't want to bore you. So how was your year? Write in the comments 3 things you are grateful for this past year. 

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The Blogging Goals of 2018

I have been blogging for a while now, it will be 3 years next year from when I began to take my blog seriously, but it has been a bit of a rough year which has taken its toll on my blog. I mean, I have reached all of my blogging goals from last year, but I just don't feel like I love my blog quite yet, but maybe, just maybe 2018 will be the year that all changes. I would like to think that as of 2018 I will finally fall in love with my blog, after all, I have been in love with blogging all this time, it would be lovely to finally fall for my own blog. I have taken a week off blogging this past week because a) I felt myself forcing content and I don't want to be that person, b) I had a crap tonne of uni work to get ahead of and c) I was/am ill and fighting what may as well be the bloody plague. In this week off I have planned and strategised and researched and I am back with a whole load of motivation that I have been lacking. I want to change heythererobyn for 2018. 

NEW LAYOUT
Little Mix - Hair came into my head as I thought about this one. I have broken up with the heythereobyn.com of the past and now I am getting a new haircut to prove I am over him and by a new haircut I mean a new layout. I am not 100% sure what I want yet, it is going to be hard to part with my current one as I do adore it and I put a lot of work into it to get it to where it is and a place that makes me happy, but it has to go, I want a fresh start. I want a more professional layout, I want to maybe add a splash of colour? I am not sure yet, but I definitely need to just have a blog makeover and create a space I am truly and utterly obsessed with the way I am with all my favourite bloggers' blogs. 

CONTENT OVERHAUL
I don't think I will be changing my content a whole lot, my content is something I am very happy with, I like not fitting into a box of being 'just a beauty blogger' or 'just a lifestyle blogger' I cover a whole range of topics and I am happy with that. What I do want however is to publish better content, more engaging content, content that makes me happy while being engaging, entertaining and worthwhile. There is a load of posts on this website that I am proud of, but there is a load that makes me want to pull the covers over my head and hide because I hate them so much, I don't want a single post of 2018 to make me feel that way.

BETTER PHOTOGRAPHY
This one is kind of self-explanatory, I feel like I really slipped when it came to photography this past year. I don't think my photography has been as good as it could be and I feel like my lack of motivation for it is the cause. I have slim to none confidence in my photography skills therein I don't like to take photos, but I want to change that this coming year. 

NO MORE COMPARISONS
This one is something I think we all struggle with and could do with less of in 2018, comparing ourselves to other bloggers out there. Why am I not on the same PR lists as her? Why has she got more followers than me? How come he gets more comments than I do? I want to stop this, I am tired of letting other people's success spark envy within me, it is something I don't really do in any other aspect of my life. I grew up with three older sisters and being the youngest I always hated how they would compete in grades, attention, looks etc so I have grown to compete with only my past self, except when it comes to blogging. When blogging I compare myself far too much and it truly does effect my self-esteem. 

TAKE PART
This year has been a bit of a hectic one from beginning to end and along the way I have lost touch with the blogging community, I hardly talk to anyone, I never take part in chats, I don't comment on blog posts as much as I'd like to, heck I don't even read blogs as much as I would like to. I want that to change, in 2018 I want to communicate with fellow bloggers more, I want to post my favourite blogs on my Instagram stories or my favourite Instagram accounts, I want to take part on blogosphere chats, I want to be friends with people from within the community. 

THE NUMBERS
Okay, so here is the number goals, the following numbers I want to reach across my social media platforms and so on, because of course one of my goals is to grow. All bloggers want to grow and numbers do matter, although not the most important factor. So here are the figures I want to reach by 31st of December 2018 23:59;
Twitter - 5,000 followers.
Instagrams - 2,000 followers (1,500 if they don't fix their bloody algorithm).
Facebook - 500 likes (I need to focus on this more in the new year, I have abandoned it).
Bloglovin - 1,000 followers.
I would like to double my unique monthly viewing figure and I would like to be happy in blogging and ready to set my goals for 2019. 

So what are your goals for this year? Do you have any blog based ones? What is your biggest blogging achievement of 2017? Tell me in the comments below.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland at St Enoch Centre

Have you ever walked in to somewhere during the month of December and you just automatically sing Winter Wonderland in your head? That is definitely how I felt last Tuesday when I was invited over to St Enoch Centre in Glasgow for their Christmas event. There was Santa, there was an elf, there were Christmas trees, tinsel, reindeers, presents and of course a bunch of gorgeous clothing items and beautiful beauty pieces. I spent most of my time walking around taking photos of everything, from the decorations to the clothing and beauty pieces, everything was just so photogenic and perfect. 

So if you're not aware, St Enoch is one of the big shopping centres in Glasgow city centre and for me, it may just be one of my favourites. It is home to Debenhams, Boots, Starbucks, Disney, Topshop and so much more. There is such a massive variety of shops and then even just popped in a cinema, adding in the amazing food court upstairs and you have a full days activity ready to go. I think that is why I love it so much, everything is just so easy. Especially at this time of year where you want to be inside as much as possible, being able to shop then go for food is so easy when you can stay under the one roof and not have to deal with the wind messing up your hair or dealing with an umbrella blowing inside out.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland at St Enoch CentreWalking in a Winter Wonderland at St Enoch Centre

Thankfully there was no messy hair or broken umbrellas on the night of the Christmas event. Upon arrival we were able to get our massive winter coats off and handed a drink, we had a choice of prosecco or orange juice. We then proceeded to have a look around, talking to the lovely workers both of the shops within the centre and workers from the PR agency and having a snoop at the pieces they had on show for the night. Within minutes of being in the event space I fell deeply in love with a faux fur coat from Topshop, I have actually linked in below in a collection of things I spotted at the event that I need in my life this Christmas. We then went over to the Guerlain section where we chatted to the lovely Harriet and Megan for a while discussing exciting new releases which are coming up soon, discussing my love for Mon Guerlain and how I was trying to get my hands on some for my mum's Christmas because she keeps stealing mine. 

Guerlain have so many amazing releases coming up and it was amazing to get to hear about them all, I definitely found myself getting more excited than I probably should have, but Guerlain has slowly become one of my favourite brands. They actually have a Christmas gold palette that I have also linked before in the goodies I want from the event, it looks absolutely stunning and has the most amazing neutral shimmer shades, perfect for anyone who likes a subtle yet glamorous look. 

Walking in a Winter Wonderland at St Enoch Centre

After Guerlain we had a chat with Olivia from The Body Shop, TBS is one of my all-time favourite places for skincare, in fact, a good 80% of my skincare is from TBS. I just adore their products and the morals behind them, I know when I shop with The Body Shop that the products have not been tested on animals, that they are natural and they work with my skin. We got to have a peek at the three Christmas scents, just like last year there is frosted berries and vanilla chai but this year spiced apple has been replaced by frosted plum. I adore the berry and plum scents but the vanilla chai is not for me, mostly because the smell of vanilla gives me a headache, even though it's the only syrup I'll take in a latte. Olivia was so incredibly lovely and bubbly chatting with us about her favourite products, telling us all about the advent calendar and doing short demonstrations on us. I may also have TBS products on my short wishlist below. 

Next up was Bobbi Brown, I adore Bobbi Brown and love so many of their products and it turns out there is now a gorgeous, massive counter in Debenhams inside St Enochs making it even easier to access, swatch and lust over the gorgeous products Bobbi Brown have to offer. If you recently read my wishlist you would know I included the gorgeous Christmas palette by BB and I got to swatch it all over my arm once again this Tuesday. BB eyeshadows are just so creamy and pigmented, I feel deeply in love with a gold single shadow that was on display and can definitely see myself picking it up after Christmas, it is just too good to miss out on. 

Walking in a Winter Wonderland at St Enoch Centre

To end the night we decided to have a little nibble at the vol-au-vent that was available prepared by the wonderful people at Kimble's. I am now obsessed and if Kimble's could just make me a dozen of each to go that would be great. I tried the roast chicken and stuffing which was absolutely stunning, even though I am not a huge cranberry sauce, I did, however, prefer the Turkey, sage and cream cheese because I am the biggest cheese fan to ever walk the Earth. Cheese is my one true love and I won't lie about that. I absolutely adored both of them and if I could have, I would have taken 12 of each home with me just for a little midnight snack. I need to get over to Kimble's for some tea and try to talk them into making me these gorgeous nibbles. 

So, I know what you're thinking, it's me, of course, I went into this event thinking "I don't need anything, I have control over my spending habits, I won't walk out of here with a wishlist the size of my forearm" but, it's me, of course, that didn't happen. I have a massive wishlist just from attending the event and here are my top six items of the night that I just have to pick up and get myself;


What is your favourite thing about Christmas? What is at the top of your Christmas wishlist? Tell me in the comments below. 

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THIS POST IS IN COLLABORATION WITH ST ENOCH CENTRE.
THE FIRST PHOTO OF THIS POST IS CREDITED TO ST ENOCH CENTRE.
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Why I Won't be Doing Blogmas

I can't quite put into words how happy I have become with my blog in such a short space of time. I had a little bit of a rough time when it came to juggling my blog with my masters degree and throughout the months of August and September, I dipped in and out of blogging. Once I found where I wanted to be and I found my motivation for blogging it was easy to slide back into my three posts a week, especially because I have begun writing for me and focusing more on enjoying my blog than the numbers, although numbers will always be important to me. The only problem is juggling can be hard, it's tricky already when it's just university and blogging, but add in events, internships, life, family, social events and just all of the little things that come with daily life and things get very complicated.

I have always been someone who strives to be 'the girl who does it all' or the 'how does she do it?' girl. Y'know who I am talking about, that girl that manages to juggle all of the things in her life easily and somehow manages to also have a fabulous social life. That's the girl I always wanted to be, but being her isn't so easy. Don't get me wrong with my blog I am truly happy and with university, I am extremely happy, but sometimes I push myself too far. I try to do it all, I stay up to all hours of the morning then get back up 4 hours later to get to university, I don't take a day off and I'm not going to lie, I love it. One of my favourite things to do is to just spend a Saturday or a Sunday on my laptop from early morning into the evening, going between writing blog posts and doing university work and it is one of my favourite ways to spend my weekend, I know, you're probably thinking "what a saddo", but I wouldn't be juggling both if I wasn't completely invested in both.

I have been found to stress myself out, however, I find it hard to not be the 'girl who does it all' and because I just want to be able to juggle it all I often take on too much and it leads to a lot of stress. Just this week I somehow developed an ear infection which I am pretty sure has been stretched out because of how much I pushed myself to not let it get me down and stressing out about mundane things. I took yesterday off university after recommendation and it actually made me feel so much better, I still spent all day on uni work and blog work, but I was in my own home and comfortable. That's when I decided nope, I'm not going to do blogmas.

I've always wanted to try blogmas and maybe I will, but despite having masses of posts written up, I just don't think I need the added stress. I have found happiness with my blog, I post 3 posts a week and I've stopped feeling guilty if I miss one. I worry that with blogmas I'd push myself back into posting blog posts I'm not 100% happy with and I'd stress myself out about getting content out every single day and maybe it would result in me disliking my blog again and I don't want that. I have a lot going on with university and in life right now and so I think my best bet is to continue 3 posts a week throughout December despite my desperation for trying blogmas.

It is so important that I do things right by my blog and myself, I would hate to think doing blogmas would lead me to post content that I would otherwise never post or become even iller because I'd stress myself out. Sometimes I think it can feel like you're the only one not taking part in these trends and you worry people think differently of you for it, but it's better to post quality content and be proud of everything your blog embodies than be a trend follower. I actually spoke a little about this in another post that I will link here.

Are you taking part in blogmas? Why or why not? What do you think of juggling blogging with life? Tell me in the comments below. 

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Five Reasons to Adore December


It's the most wonderful time of the year, well it will be soon, this Friday marks the first day of December and I cannot wait. I absolutely adore December and everything about it, from the music to the weather to the Christmas lights and markets. Everything about December just gets my heart going triple time. Part of me wonders if maybe I prefer the month of December to Christmas day because it is just so fun and everyone is so happy, jolly and excited for the big day. Even shopping in December can be made easy if you just try to remember the reason you are willing to queue for 45 minutes to buy your mum the present you know she is desperate for. So here are the 5 best things about December, not including Christmas Day.

THE JOY
Is it just me, or is everyone so much more happy during December? Take away the stress and the angry shoppers who have waited until the last minute and everyone is incredibly happy. My favourite thing about this time of year is just that, the joy and the spreading of joy. I find people are more willing to smile at you on the train or pick up your glove when you drop it and just all over be nicer people than they are all other 11 months of the year. I love to walk into Glasgow and see women and men walking hand-in-hand with their little kids and you can just see the excitement on their faces as they sing along to the Christmas songs playing in the shopping centres. I have nieces and nephews so the children and how excited they are for the big day always makes me so happy and it's so infectious. I probably only feel this way because I'm not a parent yet though, the parents always seem to be more stressed out by their kids' excitement than anything. 

FAMILY
Family is always a big deal for me, I adore my family and spend the majority of my time with them. While most people cannot wait to move out of their parents home I'd happily live in mine forever, I love being surrounded by my nearest and dearest. Christmas time is the time to celebrate your loved ones for me so I just find that having my family around makes me happy, especially when I get to steal shots of my niece's and nephews' Christmas toys because let's be honest I am a big kid and I will definitely be playing Pie Face and Headbandz this year with them. Although we may not always get on and we fight and argue we will always be there for one another and continue to love each other despite any mistakes or problems we make and I just love that. Family means the world to me and December means getting to spend even more time with them. 

Five Reasons to Adore December

BUYING PRESENTS
I adore buying presents for people, I think I actually enjoy buying for other people more than I do myself. I will walk into Topshop and see a jacket for £70 and think "I can't possibly spend that kind of money all on myself at the one time" but would happily buy my mum a £80 perfume if it was what she had been wanting for Christmas. I just love buying people things they have been wanting and seeing how happy it makes them. I guess it is kind of selfish if you think about it because I purposely buy presents I know people want so their happiness can make me happy, but I don't care, it makes me so happy. I spend the longest time just scouring the internet for what I think people would like and I try to listen intently to whatever they are talking about trying to pick up on things just so I can buy them the perfect gift. 

THE MUSIC
Is there anything better than the music at Christmas time? I am talking the classics like Wham!'s Last Christmas and The Pogues' Fairytale of New York, in fact, I probably couldn't tell you my favourite Christmas song as it is just too hard to choose. My least favourite is easy though Driving Home for Christmas by Chris Rea because it always seems to come on when I'm in the car and it's just too cliche and cheesy for my brain to take. I just love listening to a good old Christmas playlist on the train, hearing Mariah Carey blast from every store you walk past and again it just makes everyone so happy, except all the Scrooges out there who better just keep their opinions to themselves, I don't care that you think it's "annoying" go away. Everyone knows the lyrics of every Christmas song, they are iconic and you can't help but sing along, it's wonderful. 

MARKETS, BIG WHEELS AND MORE
The chances of me actually finding things at a German market that I like it very slim, well based on the one we have in Glasgow anyway, it seems to just be filled with food, nuts and cakes, but I still love it. I love walking around it while the Christmas songs blast, I love the little wooden huts and the smell of all the different foods and the atmosphere that comes with them. I also love the fayre rides, we have them in George Square every year and up in Princes Garden and they are so fun and it's become a tradition to go on the big wheel with my friends. It is just so lovely to spend time with people having a holly jolly time in your own city and acting like children despite the fact you're in your early 20s. I adore all the hustle and bustle that comes with Christmas time, oh and the lights, the over-the-top, extravagant decorations from most stores and people alike, I love it, House of Frasers, Debenhams and Princes Square are killing it this year in Glasgow with how beautiful their decorations look. 

So there are some of the reasons I adore this time of year and why I cannot wait for Christmas. There are so many scrooges out there trying to take the fun out of Christmas and I just wanted to spread some of the joy. I adore Christmas time, I am 21 and I don't care, if you're going to tell me I shouldn't be excited then you shouldn't be talking to me. It is totally okay to love Christmas and Christmas time no matter what age you are, never forget that. 

What is your favourite thing about December? How far into Christmas shopping are you? Let me know in the comments below. 

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A Beauty Wishlist

I was very tempted to call this one a beauty hint list, just sending a little hint out into the atmosphere for anyone planning to buy me any Christmas presents this year. I have been wanting to add some new beautiful pieces to my collection now for a little while, but I always feel terrible splurging on myself so close to Christmas so instead, I thought you might like to have a snoop of what is on my 'buy after Christmas' list. There is a whole mixture of goodies across all price ranges in this wishlist and y'know if you happen to be a friend or family member spying on this for some inspiration, thanks, love you. 
A Beauty Wishlist

1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10||11||12

PALETTES
Is it really a beauty wishlist if there isn't an abundance of palettes? I originally started out with six different palettes on this post, but I thought I should rain it back in and it took me some time, it really did, but these palettes are all ones I'd love to have in my collection. 4 is the priciest of the picks, a Bobbi Brown Christmas edition, I have never tried the brand, but the shades on this palette are stunning and super wearable. 6 is a Too Faced one and of course, Too Faced are famous for their amazing shadows so I had to add one to the mix. I am obsessed with these pink and orange shades, plus they are all matte which I adore. 7 is the cheapest one of them all and definitely one I could see myself buying in the new year, there is such a diverse selection of colours and you could definitely find an occasion to wear this palette any day of the week. 

HAIR CARE
Another trend within this hintlist (patent pending) is haircare, recently I have begun really listening to what my hair needs and am trying to keep it as healthy and nourished as possible. 1 is a hairspray by Bumble and Bumble but thickens the hair which I love, I recently tried some thickening products that changed my hair's life and I'd love to see this do the same. 5 is a leave-in treatment for damaged hair which I think my hair could really use just to revive its liveliness. 12 is a gold tangle teaser and for someone with extra tangly hair, I am surprised I haven't gotten my hand on one of these bad boys sooner. 10 is an Ouai shampoo which I  have heard fellow bloggers raving about so of course, I have to take a seat on this bandwagon and check it out.

LIPSTICKS
I didn't add too many lipsticks to this wishlist because I am quite frankly a weirdo when it comes to lipsticks, I just pick the same colours from different brands, but I wanted to flag it up to give blog post spoilers. 9 is the L'Oreal lip paint, which I own in Off White, but this shade is With The Nude and I think it is cute and more girly pink than I usually buy so it could break my habit. 11 is a Stila giftset of 3 which I love the look of, plus they are advertised as sheer which may help me get over my fear of dark lipsticks. I tried not to add to many giftset items because there is a blog post coming soon with gift sets *spoiler* but I couldn't help myself, they are so adorable and tiny. 

SKINCARE
Can I publish a wishlist without an abundance of skincare being on it? Well apparently I can since only 2 items of the list are skincare items, but I did roll this back from 6. 2 is a Bare Minerals eye cream, I have been wanting to get a new eye cream for a while and I just haven't found one I love yet, but I have never tried Bare Minerals skincare so I thought it would be a great idea to try this out. 8 is a Soap and Glory radiant boosting serum which I am so intruiged by as I love anything that gives me a radiant glow.  

Are there any pieces here you think you will be picking up? What is at the top of your Christmas hintlist? 

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Who am I as a blogger?

I was talking to my friend a few days ago about blogging and my new motivation for putting out content I love and how I have found a real happiness with my blog right now. She spoke about the doubts she had for her blog and I told her the doubts I have for mine, and it really got me thinking about who I am as a blogger, where I stand and where I could one day potentially be. I told her that I have found a happiness with my blog purely through producing content that I want to share on topics that I want to write about. She intercepted that maybe my lack of a niche is what hinders my blog's growth and I panicked, maybe my lack of a niche is stopping me from growing? Maybe my lack of a niche is why I don't get to work with as many exciting companies as other bloggers? But, if I were to give myself one genre to write about, if I were to focus purely on beauty or purely on lifestyle then I would be hindering myself and my creative flow and that is the last thing I want to do. 

I enjoy writing about a range of subjects from beauty to fashion to university and lifestyle posts, I like that I have somewhere online where I can share my thoughts and feelings on a whole range of topics. I don't know if I've written about this on here but at one point I debated a career in journalism, yeah journalism. It became clear to me that I could never be a journalist because of the control that a company has over their journalists, they have to write about whatever they are told to write about, whenever they are told to write about with a certain point-of-view which they might not even agree with. For me, my blog was my way to bust out of that, I am my own little boss on here, I write what I want when I want and I get to share my real thoughts, feelings and experiences. For me, having that creative freedom is what makes blogging so special, being able to just write from the heart and not have to worry that a boss is going to be upset by the point-of-view you have is why blogging is so freeing. 

I know I am a tiny blogger, I don't even like to write on here about "my readers" because even though my analytics show quite a lot of regulars come on here, I can't quite believe that people regularly come on here to read what I have to say. I know the chances of me being as big a blogger as those I look up to in the community; Victoria from inthefrow, Em from EmTalks and Lydia from LydiaEliseMillen, are slim to none, but I would like to think that I still have a little wiggle room to grow my little blog over here. I have been blogging for about two and a half years now and I have stayed pretty small, but we all grow at our own individual paces, which I wrote about here and you should totally read it. I like to think that my blog will continue to grow, but of course, I have doubts, everyone has doubts. I sometimes wonder if I am off-putting, I stress about the content I publish and try to publish content I think people would like, but I also like to only publish content I enjoy writing, so I worry that I should be writing content I don't like to write because maybe that's popular? In short, I stress about a lot of things when it comes to my blog, but I guess we all do. 

Who am I as a blogger?

I recently took a step back from my blog and thought about who I am as a blogger and whether who I am correlates with who I want to be. I decided to take action to become the blogger I want to be, but I also wanted to stay true to myself, after all, that is what makes me, well me. So when I think of who I am as a blogger I think; small, honest, passionate and when I think of who I want to be I think popular, trustworthy, memorable and innovative. For now, I don't think I am very memorable as a blogger, I haven't really found my unique selling point as a blogger and maybe that is what my next move has to be, maybe I have to find that one thing that makes me stand out from all my fellow bloggers. When it comes to blogging, however, it is quite difficult to find your USP, after all, different people view us in different ways and what I think my USP is you might not, there are so many bloggers out there it is hard to actually stand out, but it is also amazing because no two bloggers are the same, so maybe in a way we all have USPs, we just don't realise because we are too busy trying to make ourselves different? Our USPs are just that our blog is writing by us? 

Who I am as a blogger is someone who is willing to work hard, someone who has a passion for every piece of content I put out. I am someone who only puts out content I love and that I want to share. I don't give in to every single trend, I do what works for me. I research for many of my blog posts so I know I am giving those reading it the truth and the most up-to-date information. My blog has become a personification of me and in a way, people reading my blog get to know me a lot better than they probably ever wanted to. One day I will have double the views I get now, have double the following I have now, but for now, I just want to work hard and write content and be true to myself here on this little corner of the internet. I may not be fully aware of who I am as a blogger, but I know damn well who I want to be and I am willing to work hard to get there. So maybe, what makes me unique is that the passion, ambition, creativeness and willingness to help that I embody shines through in my blog, maybe my blog is just a personification of all of my best qualities and maybe that is all I need to make me stand out. 

So, who are you as a blogger? Do you think our USPs as bloggers are just our own personalities? Do you think you have a distinctive USP? Tell me below in the comments. 

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The Only Black Friday Round Up You Need

It is a funny thing really, that Black Friday has become such a big deal to us here in the UK. The tradition of Black Friday began with the day after Thanksgiving being understood as the first day of Christmas shopping in America, but lately, it has become a huge deal over here in Britain too. Not only do we have major sales on Black Friday, but sometimes these start early and for other stores they continue into the beginning of December too, then we have Cyber Monday with online retailers cutting their prices, a tradition which started because research proved that some people were too busy to actually shop on Black Friday or would go online because physical sales were too much for them. This year Black Friday is the 24th which is next Friday. I wanted to put this blog post together for anyone out there looking for some good Black Friday sales. 

BEAUTY 
Crabtree and Evelyn - 25% off everything and 30% off everything when you spend £50 or more,
Braun - Up to 70% at Boots, Amazon, Superdrug and Argos.
Boots - No figures have been released but the brand previously discounted up to 50% off their products,
Elizabeth Arden - 25% off EA products from Debenhams, FeelUnique, ShopDirect and the EA UK website,
Superdrugs - No overall discount price, but each brand has their own discount prices online and in store,
Pai Skincare UK - 25% off the entire website with discount code 'BLACKPAIDAY' with £1 of each purchase going to GIRLSvCancer,
Foreo - Up to 25% off the entire website,
ARK Skincare - 30% off everything with 'BLACKFRIDAY' discount code,
Rituals - 20% off when you spend £40 or more online and instore,
Oskia - 20% off all full-sized products with proceeds going to Evelina Children's Hospital,
YSL - 15% off skincare online only,
Lipstick Queen - £10 off when you spend £40 or more online only,
Spectrum Brushes - Up to 30% off all products,
Elemis - Buy one get one free across all full-sized products,
L'Occtaine - Up to 20% off all full-sized products excluding gift sets and advent calendar,
Collection - All products in Boots will be lowered to £4 or under,
Aveda - Up to 20% off over cyber weekend,
Benefit - 3 for 2 on selected products,
CloudNine - £20 off all electrical items,
Eyeko - 50% off brow and eye products,
Real Techniques - 50% off face set in Boots and online,
House of Fraser - No set discount but they are taking part,
The Hero Project - Up to 30% off all products,
Escentuals - Up to 50% off online,
Debenhams - No set discount but taking part with rumoured major discounts,
John Lewis- No set discount but will match competitors discount prices,
Illimasqua - 70% off selected products,
Birchbox - 20% off box subscriptions with code BF20 and 20% off all full sized products,
Look Fantastic - Exact discount coming soon,
Feel Unique - 20% off beauty and fragrance,
Beauty Bay - 30% off everything.  

The Only Black Friday Round Up You Need

FASHION
ASOS - Up to 70% off everything, already started,
Missguided - Up to 50% off everything, already started,
Urban Outfitters - Up to 40% off starting Wednesday the 23rd,
House of Fraser - No set discount but they are taking part,
Debenhams - No set discount but taking part with rumoured major discounts,
John Lewis- No set discount but will match competitors discount prices, 
Monsoon - Up to 25% off selected lines, 
B London Boutique - Up to 35% off everything online and instore, 
Charlotte Simone - Up to 20% off everything, 
Karen Millen - 25% off selected lines, 
Sweaty Betty - 20% off everything, 
FarFetch - 10% off everything, 
All Saints - 30% off everything, 
Jaeger - 25% off everything, 
HOBBS - 20% off everything with additional deals added daily on top of this, 
Kurt Geiger - 20% off all shoes, 
Ego - 50% off selected lines, 
Matalan - Up to 50% off across entire website, 
Topshop - Rumoured to have up to 50% off everything again, 
Missoma - Up to 20% off everything, 
Daisy London - 25% off everything online, 
Forever 21 - Pre-Black Friday sales and suspected to be more on Black Friday and over Cyber Weekend, 
Monica Vinader - Up to 30% off from Nov 22nd, 
Own The Look - Up to 20% off and free shipping, 
Lavish Alice - 30% off everything from the 22nd, 
Very Exclusive - Discounts vary, 
Cheap Monday - 25% off entire website, 
Curvissa - 25% off everything, 
Revolve - Up to 50% off, 
La Redoute - Up to 40% off selected lines, 
Rebelle - All black merch discounted a further 10%,
Dorothy Perkins - Rumoured up to 50% off selected lines, 
Miss Selfridge - Up to 50% off selected lines, 
Missoma - 25% off entire website, 
OwnTheLook - 20% off and free worldwide shipping,
New Look - No official discounts, but rumoured to up to 50% off selected lines,
Jack Wills - No official numbers yet, but set to have massive sales,
Mango - No official discounts but promising money off,
GAP - 50% off except leather, suede and cashmere and any sale items,
Boohoo - 25% off everything with code BUYME,
Jaeger - 25% off everything,
Aldo - 50% off some lines and 20% off others,
Boux Avenue - 20% off everything with code INSTAMAS,
Stella and Dot - 30% off some lines and 60% off others,
Wallis - 50% off selected lines,
Barbour - Free scarf when you spend £150 online,
Kirtri - 25% off selected lines,
Coast - Up to 40% off selected lines,
River Island - Up to 40% off selected lines,
Astrid and Miyu - 25% off entire website.

TECH
Currys and PC World - No specific figures released, but major sales are already starting,
John Lewis- No set discount but will match competitors discount prices, 
Sky Cinema - 2 months pass for the price of 1,
Amazon Echo Dot - Save £15 or £20 for the Amazon Echo,
Amazon Music - 3 months unlimited music for 99p,
HTC - Rumoured up to 20% off,
LaptopsDirect.co.uk - 47% off (what a weird and very accurate number) various products,
Maplin - No official discounts, but rumoured to be a huge sale,
GAME - Will be taking part, no official numbers been released, but promise to have greats deals and bundles on,
AO - A whole fortnight of Black Friday deals,
Dell - On their website, they have announced they will be taking part, but are yet to give specific discounts,
Apple - Rumoured to be giving away free gift card with purchase,
Samsung - No exact details, but have said to be taking part.

OTHER
Amazon - No official figures, I guess the website is too wide to have an overall discount, but amazing deals starting this week,
BKR - 20% off entire website including their gorgeous waterbottles,
John Lewis- No set discount but will match competitors discount prices, 
Tesco - Full 7 days of varying Black Friday deals, 
M&S - No official discounts but said to have incredible deals on across the store and online, 
Dyson - Save up to £220 on selected products across their website, 
Halford - A week-long event of discounted products, 
Disney - Up to 20% off online and in store, 
Toys-R-Us - Rumoured to have up to 50% off, but with their recent money issues, I wouldn't count on this one.

So there you have it, the biggest list of Black Friday deals you may ever see, but I will be continuing to add to this post as I discover new deals, so feel free to comment, tweet me etc if you find any deals I haven't go on here. I just know myself how annoying it is to search website after website of Black Friday deals so I wanted to put them all in the one place. These figures may not be exact and they have all been sourced from multiple websites and hours of research so I am in no way, shape or form telling you these are exact. 
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Three Beauty Tools for Your Christmas List

Finding products that I truly adore to the point of using them day in day out, repurchasing them over and over again year in year out has always been something I find difficult. I am so indecisive about products, I always love trying out new things and I guess it often leads to me writing "this is my favourite..." one week then the next something else is my favourite. I promise I am not one of those girls who just favour any product that is sent to her or has been sponsored by a brand, but I am very experimental with my beauty products and love to test out the newest releases and I guess I am also slightly materialistic and love a good old shopping spree. That being said, however, I have found one brand that I use consistently throughout my skincare regime and I cannot see them leaving my heart anytime soon. I love this brand so much I use three of their products religiously every single day of my life and have done for months now, that brand is Magnitone London. 

For me, Magnitone is a brand everyone should own at least one product from, they are one of my top 5 brands especially when it comes to beauty tools. Since Christmas is on its way I wanted to share with you the beauty tools that you should either have on your own wishlist or have on your gift list this season and they are all from my favourites over at Magnitone. 

I started using Magnitone way back in 2015 and since then I have owned three of their Barefaced cleansing brushes, in fact, their Barefaced was called the lucid when I got my first one, a throwback for any OG Magnitone fans out there. I have been using the Magnitone Barefaced daily on and off for over two years now. I have taken small breaks here and there when it comes to my skincare regime, but I have basically used it daily for over two years. Before my discovery of the Magnitone Barefaced I had never even heard of a cleansing brush, it was so intriguing, how on Earth did you cleanse with a brush? Why would you brush your face? There were so many questions and I'm guessing you may have the same questions. 

Three Beauty Tools for Your Christmas List

THE CLEANSING BRUSHES
I recently spoke about why you need to own a cleansing brush and you can find that post right here, but for now, I just want to cover the basics. These brushes are so amazing that I barely ever get any spots and when I do they fade much quicker than they did when I wasn't using one of these. You can switch it up and use different cleansers, different types of cleansers, I have even used a face wash with my barefaced, it all works fantastically. My favourite is to use a gel cleanser, not only does it seem to soak into the brush bristles better but gel cleansers are my favourite for everyday cleansing to keep the skin in tip-top condition. These brushes are definitely travel-friendly, they may look big and clunky, but it is definitely worth it to pop this in your bag, plus the battery lasts forever so you don't have to worry about recharging it when you're away. 

One of my absolute favourite things about these brushes is that they have interchangeable heads, this means you can always make the brush work with your skin or your skin problems at that moment. They have heads for sensitive skin, heads for dry skin, heads for normal skin, heads for a deeper cleanse and I have used most of them and loved them. The exfoliator head can be a little strange to get used to as it is quite uncomfortable but the brush's sensitive cycle helps with this as it slows the movement of the brush head. The brush can be adjusted to suit anyone and any skin type and that is what makes it so incredible because skincare cannot be a one size fits all kind of deal.

Three Beauty Tools for Your Christmas List

THE PEDI SET
Magnitone later branched out into more than just cleansing brushes and along came their pedi set. Now, I had never used an at home pedi set before I got this one because A) I was terrified and B) I don't trust myself because of A. I found myself very drawn to the idea of an at home pedi set however, after all they are super convenient especially if you are like me and tend to get very rough skin on your feet. I know feet aren't something a lot of people like to think about nevermind having to read about, but if you want a full review of this product I have posted one previously over here. 

This product terrified me and I was sure I was going to burn myself or accidentally shave away half of my toe, but they are pretty safe, I mean I wouldn't give it to a child, but I am a semi-functional adult and I use mine all the time. This product works absolute wonders, upon my first use I used the harder and rougher head which really got to work on the rough skin of my feet, smoothing it down and getting rid of it, since then I have only ever used the softer head, this may be because I now use this regularly and never let my skin get too hard or it could be because I now moisturise my feet to no end. 

I have told every single person who has complained to me about having hard skin on their feet that they just have to buy this product and that they will thank me later because I love it that much. It is definitely something people will need in the winter especially if you don't want to have horrible looking feet in when you head out to Christmas parties with strappy shoes on. Once again it is another travel-friendly product and it could maybe even be better since it takes batteries so you never have to worry about it running out as long as you have some spare double As lying around. 

Three Beauty Tools for Your Christmas List

THE VIBRATING MAKEUP BRUSH
This one is their newest release and I am absolutely obsessed to the point I use it every single day when I wear makeup. It is such an innovative product and definitely one you have to see for yourself. I was incredibly excited to try it out and I feel so lucky to have been sent one by the brand. I use it every day to apply my foundation and blend in my concealer, I love it for liquid products but have used it before for both setting powder and powder foundation and loved it. I did a full review here too if you want a more thorough talk through the product. 

Just like all other Magnitone products it has a variety of interchangeable heads to suit whatever makeup you are using or makeup look you are going for. This is something I adore about Magnitone, they are never a one size fits all brand, they understand that each and every single customer is unique and has their own unique needs. The brush leaves you with a stunning airbrushed finish to your foundation, but there is one problem and that is getting used to it. Within my first week or so of using the brush, I found my makeup could look heavy and cakey because I was using the same amount of product as I would with a beauty blender. You use much less with this brush and the vibrating head blends it into your skin perfectly.

The brush is one you would be popping into your makeup bag for retouches throughout the day so don't go throwing out your beauty blenders, they are definitely useful to carry with you, but I don't think I could ever go back to applying my foundation with a beauty blender again. I compared the finish of this brush to the finish of a beauty blender in the post I linked above and knowing the difference it made to the texture of my skin has sold me on this brush being my only foundation application tool from here on out. 

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So there are the three Magnitone beauty tools you need to add to your Christmas list, what brands are you loving right now? Are there any brands that are consistent throughout your beauty routines? Tell me in the comments below. 

THIS POST IS IN COLLABORATION WITH MAGNITONE LONDON.
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Not Everyone is Going to Like You and That's Okay

Today I have been doing a lot of thinking, a lot of reminiscing, thinking about the people I hold dear, the people I once did and those few people whose company I did not or do not enjoy. The one thing that became crystal clear was that my dislike for people has always diminished when I no longer have to be around them, but my adoration for people or the friendships I once held close always stick with me like little nostalgic bubbles of happiness. It made me wonder if maybe we focus too much of our energy disliking people when that energy could be channelled into something so much more worthy and positive. The only problem is that contempt and dislike are feelings we cannot control, it is human nature to dislike people, everyone has to be around difficult people at one point in their life and it is natural to dislike people. That doesn't mean we have to let these people control us. 

I was lucky, I have never experienced bullying at all throughout my life, but, I have had my fair share of difficult people, I have had people dislike me for no reason, I have had people sabotage me, I have had people accept my apology only to stab me in the back the moment I open up to trusting them again, but I have never allowed them to break me. That is what is most important, however, is to be in control of how you react to difficult people, to never allow your anger or your dislike for them to take over. For me, the easiest way to do this is to remember that the feelings, the anger, the hurt, they're all temporary because once that person has left my life I won't care anymore and any energy I once focused on them will be nothing more than a waste of time. 

DO NOT RETALIATE
We all love a little rant, to turn to the people who we trust the most and complain about terrible people in our lives, but it is important that this is as far as we take it. The worst thing you can possibly do is retaliate because we just become as bad as they are. Instead turn the other cheek, be the bigger person and look forward to preventing any further issues with that person. This can be hard especially if it is a difficult individual at work because they often allow their personal problems to interfere with the professional, but don't be that person. Stay professional, speak about any professional issues you have and deal with them in a mature and civil manner and leave the personal out of it. The less you allow the difficult person to affect you the more bored they become and they eventually give up playing their one-sided game. I found that those who often don't really have a reason for disliking me tend to give up very quickly when I don't play their little games. Plus if this is someone in a work environment retaliating can be extremely dangerous and may be exactly what they want you to do so they can use your retaliating against you. 

DON'T LET THEM DULL YOUR SPARKLE
One of my favourite quotes is "An entire sea of water cannot sink a ship unless it gets inside the ship. Similarly, the negativity of the world cannot put you down unless you allow it to get inside you." I think it is so powerful, that we cannot allow the negative and spiteful feelings others have of us become how we see ourselves because if we do, there is no way to go but down. If you are perfectly happy in knowing that you have done no wrong to this person then do not allow them to make you feel bad. A person often reflects their own insecurities onto other people and in doing so they often bring people down for no reason, so do not let the thought of others become your own thoughts. Knowing that you have done no wrong to this person can be the way to let yourself sleep better at night. This person has built a version of you that they want to see and their version is seen through obscured eyes, you wouldn't trust someone who needs glasses to read you a menu without their glasses on, so why should you trust someone who cannot see the real you to tell you what kind of person you are? Be confident in who you are. 

BE MATURE, CIVIL AND FORGIVING
If you have made a mistake or you have said something you should not have, say sorry, be the bigger person and put your hand out first, if they do not shake it and forgive you then that is on them. Life is too short to hold grudges, especially with people we don't have to spend a lot of time with, forgive and move on. If they cannot do so then that is their problem, but doing so will give you peace of mind. Don't go around throwing insults or creating gossip, let them be the childish one, it will catch up with them eventually. You can complain and moan to your friends, your boyfriend, your family, but keep it civil. True colours always show clear and if you are happy to move on, forgive and be mature then people will see these, people will understand who is being the bigger person and who is holding onto childish grudges.

Not Everyone is Going to Like You and That's Okay

BE OKAY WITH NOT BEING LIKED
This is a difficult one, especially for us people pleasers out there, but it is true, not everyone is going to like you and you have to be okay with that. You cannot conform to every expectation, you cannot try to please everyone at once, the only person you should be looking to please is yourself. You can be the juiciest, ripest apple in all the land and there will still be someone who doesn't like apples. If someone doesn't like you leave it alone, let it be, do not change who you are to please them, it will only lead to disappointment. Afterall as a wise Dr Seuss once said: "Those who matter don't mind and those who mind don't matter." If someone doesn't like you then they really don't matter and it is those who like you without a second thought who truly matter in life. Focus on love, focus on positivity after all it is those relationships that will continue to grow and conquer long after the people you dislike are out of your life. 

LEARN FROM THEM
This is one I have learned recently. That I can actually learn from the people who dislike me, this doesn't mean I learn to be a different person, sometimes someone can teach us how to be better of course, but what I mean is to learn from the situation. Being able to handle yourself in a mature manner around people who dislike you is something you will continue to do throughout your entire life, so learn how to act around different types of difficult people. Learn how to work with different types of people so you can become a better team player, learn how to avoid confrontation with different types of people to become a better team player. Above all, learn how to stick up for yourself in a professional and civil manner. I have always been someone who strays away from confrontation, it scares me, I am a people pleaser and the thought of anyone disliking me is something I am still trying to get used to, so I never want to be the one to point out issues or problems. However, it is important that you don't allow others to walk all over you, take credit for your hard work and so on, so learn how to stand up for yourself and learn how to do it in a civil and professional manner, because trust me, it is possible. 

SUCCEED
The best kind of revenge you can serve up to anyone who has treated you terribly, who has made you feel like a terrible person or who has made your life difficult is to succeed. People who dislike you always want to see you fail, they are waiting for you to trip up, to make a mistake and sometimes they even go out of their way to sabotage your success, but do everything you can to succeed, sure it will make them hate you even more, but you'll be too busy being a girl boss to care. Of course, revenge should not be the only reason you want to succeed in life, you should want it for yourself first and foremost, but a little extra push doesn't do anyone any harm. Be your best, do your best and leave them wishing that they had been nicer to you.

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Do you have any tips and tricks on how to be okay with people disliking you or how to deal with difficult people? Leave them in the comments below or tell me a time when you had to deal with a difficult person and how you got through it. 

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50 Beauty and Lifestyle Blog Post Ideas

So I am back to blogging regularly, this post will be my third one this week and I am so excited, happy and motivated to be back at it. I have a bunch of blog post which I can't wait to share with you all and I am even planning my schedule way into December. Since I am so motivated and have so many ideas buzzing around my head, I wanted to share them with you all, so here are some blog posts ideas for anyone lacking in motivation, finding it difficult to come up with content or just looking for an interesting new blog post to write up. 

BEAUTY
If you are a beauty blogger or you want to try to incorporate some more beauty posts into your blog schedule then here are a bunch of ideas you could try out. 

1. Products that weren't worth the hype,
2. Comparing two of your favourite mascaras/foundations/lipsticks, 
3. Makeup collection,
4. Trying the products you loved as a teenager,
5. Trying Instagram tutorials at home i.e. extreme contouring, 
6. Testing a brand you've never tried before, 
7. Beauty Advent calendars you like the look of, 
8. Your pamper night must-haves,
9. Updating your winter skincare routine, 
10. How to deal with a spending ban, 
11. Small ways you can incorporate vegan products into your everyday routine, 
12. Beauty wishlist, 
13. Anti-wishlist - products/brand you don't want and why, 
14. The story of how you became interested in makeup, 
15. FInding the perfect primer for you, 
16. Your top 5 beauty hacks, 
17. How to save room in your makeup bag, 
18. Your top 10 favourite beauty bloggers/vloggers, 
19. Your beauty evolution, 
20. Your top 5 beauty tools, 
21. Swapping your everyday products for drugstore alternatives, 
22. The best fragrances for autumn/winter,
23. Trying other people's makeup hacks, 
24. How to save for beauty splurges,
25. Beauty trends you don't want to keep up with. 

50 Beauty and Lifestyle Blog Post Ideas

LIFESTYLE
Are you a lifestyle blogger or do you want to try to add some lifestyle posts to your blogs? Here are a bunch of ideas to get you started. 

1. How you juggle blogging with uni/work/kids,
2. What you've learned since you became a blogger,
3. Book recommendations,
4. What tv shows you have been watching, 
5. A day in the life of you,
6. Transferable blogging skills you can add to your CV,
7. Your goals for the rest of the year,
8. How to grow your social media accounts, 
9. The importance of self-care,
10. How you round off a stressful week, 
11. Why it is okay to love who you are,
12. Write a letter to your younger self,
13. Write a letter to your future self,
14. 50 things you are grateful for, 
15. Why you are looking forward to winter, 
16. Your fitness routine, 
17. Travel diaries, 
18. 5 places you would love to visit, 
19. 25 items from your bucket list,
20. Movies everyone has to watch before they die, 
21. Your blogging experience and the problems you have run into as a blogger, 
22. Why it is important to love what you do, 
23. Your tips for anyone who is struggling, 
24. Homeware haul/wishlist, 
25. Bloggers/women/men who inspire you. 

Which ideas are your favourite? Will you be using any of these? Let me know in the comments below. 
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