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Archive: May 2018

5 Reasons to Have a Social Media Clear Out

Social media is a wonderful thing, it brings people together, it has the power to bring tv shows back (thanks NBC), it can promote charity and raising awareness, it educates and promotes personal and societal growth. Basically, I could go on forever telling you all the wonderful things social media can do from increasing someone's confidence in helping to save a life. Social media affects lives on a daily basis and although I like to focus on the positives impacts it has we must also note the negative effects it has on the lives of many. Just recently I sat scrolling through someone's Instagram page feeling sorry for myself and wondering why I didn't have as fabulous a lifestyle as this other person. Social media, particularly Instagram has the ability to eradicate our self-esteem so it is important that we keep our feeds clean and we follow people who make us feel good about ourselves or who inspire us. This weekend I decided it was time to have a social media clearout and the process was so cathartic and I now feel like my social media life is much simpler and positive. I want you to feel the same way so here are five of the main reasons you need to have a social media clear out. 

REASONS ONE: SELF-ESTEEM
Like I said, social media has the ability to completely destroy any self-esteem we have which is why it is important for us to follow those who don't make us feel terrible about ourselves. Everyone on social media likes to reveal nothing but the good memories and times in their lives, sometimes it can feel like everyone else in the world has perfect lives and yours just doesn't compare. If you are feeling this way you have to take control, remember everyone's Instagram feed is a highlights reel, no one's life is perfect and then take a breath. Are there people whose constant luxurious posts make you feel worthless? Unfollow them. Is there a blogger who brings a damp cloud above your head because you feel they are just much more successful than you and you cannot take it anymore? Unfollow them. Jealousy can be an ugly trait but we all feel it from time to time and if you feel like taking the account off your feed is much easier than a visit from the green-eyed monster daily then do it. 

5 Reasons to Have a Social Media Clear Out

REASON TWO: INTERESTS CHANGE
Sometimes people change what they blog or post about, sometimes you no longer feel interested in the topics you once were. There is nothing wrong with a change of interest on either side, but if someone's content isn't of interest to you don't continue to follow them just because you feel bad. At the end of the day, Instagram's algorithm is hiding posts we love from us enough without us blocking up our own feeds with accounts we barely ever take a second look at. If you're like me you will feel riddled with guilt but it's okay, things change. 

REASON THREE: FAKES
Have you ever scrolled down your Instagram feed only to find someone has grown in followers overnight by over 5,000? Trust me, it happens. Don't feel ashamed about unfollowing those who are buying themselves, followers, they're cheating a system that you're working hard to beat. I often find that I unfollow these people as and when I notice it but if you've been putting off unfollowing that person with the sneaky expanding follower list for a while use a clear out as your excuse. It's okay to want to unfollow people who are inauthentic, after all, what else are they lying about if they're willing to cheat the system. 

REASON FOUR: KEEPING TABS
Ex best friends, ex boyfriends, ex-boyfriend's dogs, enemies, frenemies and everything in between. Everyone has someone they secretly keep tabs on. Maybe you want to know if he's moving on faster than you are, maybe you want to know if that girl who bullied you in high school got her comeuppance or maybe you're just plain nosey. Whatever your reason is, stop it. We never grow if we are always looking back, delete those people from your social media so you cannot be tempted to scroll their feed and soon you'll forget all about them. All you are doing is making yourself feel bad, so what's the point?

5 Reasons to Have a Social Media Clear Out

REASON FIVE: MOVING ON
I like to have a little social media clear out anytime I am entering a new chapter of my life. Leaving high school, done, leaving college, done, graduating my undergrad, done and so on. It allows more space for the new people and new interests in your life. None of us are who we were a year ago or two years ago, we change, who and what we are interested in changes so strip yourself of those old interests and open yourself up to new people and new opportunities. Social media is a great way to stay in touch with people from your past, but sometimes you just have to let go of those people, most likely because you didn't want them in your life to begin.

Have you had a social media clear out? What were your reasons? Tell me below in the comments. 

Are we friends on social media? You can follow and chat with me here: 
A Cruelty Free Fix+ Alternative

Over the past few months, I've been attempting to live with a much more aware lifestyle and a much more moral lifestyle. In doing so I have stopped buying a lot of my favourite products in order and instead opt to finish what I have left and find a cruelty free alternative. I am in no way, shape or form a cruelty free blogger, there may well be products that I post about on here from problematic companies with questionable morals, but I am taking a journey and I am finding what works for me and taking it slowly in order to fully indulge and learn from the experience. MAC is a questionable brand, one some say obviously tests on animals through its sales within China, other opt to disregard this because the products being sold within the UK in which UK citizens will use and touch cannot by EU law be tested on animals. Either way, I have found a product that is not only a cruelty-free dupe of Fix+ but is also less than half price and created by a very moral brand. 

I actually didn't intend to find this dupe, I stumbled upon it when I attended an event hosted by The Body Shop on the launch of their brand new body yoghurts. Alongside these body yoghurts, The Body Shop has released a facial mist in five different scents each targetting a different skincare problem. Upon the first appearance, I totally wrote them off as a simple setting spray, nothing more, nothing less, but I was so wrong. These facial mists are multi-purpose with more uses than you can count on all your fingers and all your toes. First and foremost they are hydrating mists, they give your skin a quick perk, they also work as setting sprays to be applied after or before makeup to keep your makeup in place all day long, but on top of this they also do everything fix+ can (read the five ways you can add fix+ or rather, this facial mist to your daily routine here). 

A Cruelty Free Fix+ Alternative

Taking it one step further, each scent has its own unique set of skills, Rose Dewy Glow does what it says on the tin and gives you a glow from within look, Strawberry Smoothing smooths out your complexion, Coco Calming calms your dry or sensitive skin, Mandarin Energizer has caffeine to give your skin a pick me up, lastly, Mint Mattifying mattifies the skin or your makeup look. Of course, as a caffeine addict, I went for Mandarin Energizer, also because uni stress made my skin look like it had died a slow and painful death and I love the smell of mandarins. 

Despite looking much larger than the TBS facial mist fix+ only holds an extra 40ml despite being £13 more expensive, thus you could actually buy three TBS facial mists at £6 each amounting to 180ml of product, 80ml more than fix+ and still save yourself £1 (fix+ costs £19 for 100ml, TBS facial mist is £6 for 60ml, in case you want to do the math yourself). Personally, I prefer the petite size of the TBS facial spray, it is super easy to carry in your bag with you, unlike fix+ which is clunky and awkward to carry in a handbag. Not only does the TBS mist have a lovely scent to it but the way the product spritzes out is a lot calmer with less product hitting your face than that of fix+. I use my TBS spray to hydrate my skin, before I put in makeup, dampen my beauty blender, intensify shadows and highlights, revive mascaras and gel eyeliners, mend broken shadows, all of the things I use fix+ for, but there is one thing The Body Shop facial mist does which fix+ could only dream of, it sets your makeup. 

A Cruelty Free Fix+ Alternative

The Body Shop setting spray not only sets your makeup but actually helps to keep it intact for much longer. I have opted to use the mist instead of my usual Urban Decay All Nighter setting spray since I got the little guy and each time I have used it my makeup has stayed intact longer than it would without a setting spray. The first time I used it I was going out for lunch with my mum and wore makeup for 6 hours and the only thing to move was my lipstick. The next chance I got to try it out it was super warm and I decided to see how it kept my makeup on despite the humidity, again I opted for 6 hours and just my chin was problematic, but even UD's All Nighter can't fight with my chin on a humid day. I then attempted a 12-hour wear and by the 8th hour, my makeup began to fade and look patchy in areas particularly that pesky oily chin area and the dry area around my nose. 

All in all, I prefer The Body Shops mist to MAC's Fix+ and can definitely see myself fazing fix+ out in exchange for this gorgeous product. I definitely want to pick up some of the other scents to try out and at that price, it is hard to actually say no.

Have you tried this product? What are your thoughts? Would you swap our a product for this one? Tell me in the comments below. 

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ITEMS IN THIS BLOG POST WERE GIFTED BY THE BODY SHOP. 
ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN. 
The Burger Joint I Can't Stop Dreaming About...

Have you ever been to a restaurant and knew right away that you'd be back? Without even eating a bite or ordering a drink, you just know that the restaurant is perfect for you? That's how I felt upon walking into Burger and Bun, the brand new burger joint to enter the competition. if you've ever been in Glasgow you would know burger joints are everywhere, walk down St Vincent street and you'll pass four. Despite being a little outside Glasgow's city centre Burger and Bun definitely gives them all a run for their money. Burger and Bun is in Bearsden, straight across the road from the Hillfoot train station, the perfect location for anyone travelling by train. The perfect location for this sunny weather too with an outdoor area for you to eat or sit, relax and have a beer, think a beer garden with food that will blow your mind.


The Burger Joint I Can't Stop Dreaming About...

The Burger Joint I Can't Stop Dreaming About...

My mum and I headed there to check out their menu a few weeks ago and we had the best time. Upon entering you instantly fall in love with the interior design, it's small, homely and extremely rustic with both a downstairs area, an upstairs area and an outdoor area, so no running out of seats anytime soon. We got to pick where we would sit and since I would be taking photos I opted to go for a window seat with a lovely view of the road outside. The restaurant seems to be positioned in such a lovely housing area with gorgeous little cottage styled houses, not what I expected Bearsden to look like at all. One of the lovely waiters got us set up with some drinks, my mum had a glass of apple juice and I took a lemonade which we sipped while searching the menu. My mum opted for the classic burger, a beef patty on a brioche bun which usually comes with lettuce and tomato but my mum opted to swap these out for some crispy onions. I decided to get the classic chicken burger, a crispy breadcrumbed chicken fillet on a brioche bun with their homemade burger sauce. We both absolutely loved out burgers. My mum said it was the best burger she had eaten in a long time and I could say the same for the chicken burger I had. For my burger, the chicken was the perfect middle ground of crispy and tender. My mum noted that her burger was extremely tender and cooked to perfection. 

The Burger Joint I Can't Stop Dreaming About...

We also opted to get some sides with our burger, my mum opted for the simple, original fries while I went a little more adventurous with the bacon fries; fries topped with bacon, cheese (and cheese curds) and onions. You could smell the onions on my plate as soon as it was sat on the table, well it wasn't really a plate but rather baskets on top of wooden chopping boards, they were so cute and fit the rustic feel of the restaurant. I honestly adored my fries, I would make the 50-minute journey back just for those fries, they were cooked to perfection, still crispy despite being under more cheese than I could ever imagine, the onions were cooked perfectly so the flavour soaked through onto the chips underneath leaving everything tasting perfect. My mum loved her fries and finished them all explaining that they were cooked perfectly, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, just how my loaded fries were too. My mum cleared her plates finishing both her fries and burger while I had a struggle finishing my fries since the portion was so large, but I did have to loosen my belt to help with how much I was determined to finish it. 

The Burger Joint I Can't Stop Dreaming About...

We then opted to share a dessert, the hot chocolate fudge cake which I had a strawberry milkshake with and my mum opted for an Americano coffee. The cake was absolutely amazing, so sweet and rich. It came laid out lovely o the plate with ice cream, chocolate and caramel sauce and a sliced strawberry, it was almost hard to ruin how pretty it was by eating it. We demolished the cake loving every single bit of it and I let my mum finish it since it was originally just for her, but it was absolutely amazing and I would definitely order it next time. The milkshake was made fresh with strawberries and ice cream which was obvious by how beautiful it tasted and how creamy it was. It was absolutely wonderful. My mum's coffee in her words "definitely cleared the cobwebs" she said it was definitely full Italian roast as it energised her like no coffee had before, so strong and delicious. 

The Burger Joint I Can't Stop Dreaming About...

We honestly had the most amazing time and will definitely be going back, despite not picking up the bill at the end of the meal it wouldn't have cost all that much for what we had ordered despite it filling us for the full day. six pounds a burger, three for fries, five for the loaded fries, four for a dessert, three for a milkshake and two pounds fifty pence for an Americano. Without our drinks, it wouldn't even have reached £30, which is much less than all the other burger joints around the Glasgow area, despite now being my favourite of them all. We will definitely be returning, even speaking about possibly going for a meal there after my graduation ceremony in November. 

Have you checked out Burger and Bun? Where is your favourite burger joint? What is your favourite type of food? 

Are we friends on social media? You can follow and chat with me here: 

THIS POST IS IN COLLABORATION WITH BURGER AND BUN.
ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN (AND MY MUM'S). 
Is Blogging Dying? My Take on the Future of Blogging

We've all heard it, we've read it, we've all thought it. I was looking at my stats the other day and I noticed I have been getting the highest level of views I've ever received but somehow my blog posts just aren't getting comments. I checked some of my favourite blogs and I noticed the same thing. I scrolled down Instagram and each post has over 20 comments, it got me thinking... is blogging dying? I sat with this thought, I thought carefully through my experience as a blogger over the past few years and I've got to admit, everything is so different compared to how it used to be. Everything is much more curated, our blogs are planned months in advance, our Instagram pictures are taken in bulk, our social media feeds consist of scheduled tweet, there isn't as much interaction, everyone is moving to Youtube and it just seems like the blogging world is crumbling beneath our feet... but is it or am I being dramatic?

The answer is, I really don't know, I don't want blogging to die, most of us don't. Writing has always been something I have found so much happiness in, being sat at my laptop writing out blog posts makes me happy, it relaxes me, it allows me to feel content. I've always loved to write, from the age of eight I have been sure that one day I will write my very own book. So, of course, I don't want blogging to die, Instagram is not the same, Youtube is not the same, Twitter is not the same. A blog can be a ramble, it can be a rant, it can be 100 words long or 10,000 words long and neither is right but neither is wrong. Social media is restrictive, it doesn't capture viewers attention as much and not all of us are confident enough for the whole Youtube get up, so of course, we don't want blogging to die, but we have to revive it. 

I began blogging in the midst of Twitter chats when the blogosphere was actually a community, we interacted, we chatted, we shared one another's content, we read blog posts and left comments, we cared more for what was written than the photo attached to it. It's 2018 and no one wants to read blog posts nevermind leave a comment on the post, everyone's attention spans last 6 seconds and then we are yawning and scrolling down our Instagram feed looking for the next photo to get green eyes over. There is a level of competition among bloggers that was never there before, bloggers are no longer a loving, sharing, helpful community but a never-ending moan fest with subtweets and eye rolling gifs. People don't want to draw attention to other people's content anymore, a like is enough, no sharing because then the attention won't be on me and I want to be the next big blogger, it cannot be her! Bloggers are killing blogging for us all and that's what is so sad. 

Is Blogging Dying? My Take on the Future of Blogging

We are all blogging because we all enjoy sharing our thoughts, our tips and tricks and our content online with other people, but we just don't want other people to share theirs quite as well. In a time when brands are taken notice of bloggers much more than ever before we find ourselves competing with the bloggers beside us to have the best blog who the best brands want to work with. Instead of cheering our fellow bloggers on for getting that dream collab with Urban Decay we are subtweeting about how they bought their following or we are texting our friends angry that we aren't there yet. I am so grateful to brands for taking notice of how hard-working bloggers are and willing to work with us, but I'm disappointed in what it has turned bloggers into. Not all bloggers are like this, but the overarching community is no longer a community like it used to be. I remember logging onto Twitter and every night a bunch of bloggers would be having a chat and sharing advice and you'd join in, gain 30 followers and find 100 new blogs to read now you're lucky to log on and not see 5 blog posts promotion tweets in a row. 

In other ways blogging has become better, we are no longer just bloggers typing away some blog posts every now and then, we are photographers, social media managers, we work in PR and marketing, we are public speakers and some of us are even public figures. Blogging has opened up to include our Instagrams where we can share our daily going ons and chat on a much more friendly and relaxed manner to those who follow us, we get to know bloggers better now than we ever could before. We see them daily on our Instagram feeds, we get to follow them on their day-to-day life on Instagram stories. The blogging world has opened up to include a whole new way of seeing our favourite bloggers and allowing bloggers to collaborate and have fun. It's exciting, it's fun and it may be hard work but it is so worth it. 

As Twitter becomes less common and we find ourselves having real conversations less we also find ourselves knowing the blogger behind the blog better than we ever did before. Blogging has evolved and as much as I want the  2015 blogging community back I just don't think we will ever get there again, but this new era can still be just as exciting and fun if we just stop to see we are not in competition with every other blogger. Blogs are still being read but commenting is becoming so much easier on social media and although social media has become a major blogging tool, I don't think the blog will ever die out. People love to read blogs, find advice, look at reviews, it's much more personal and as much as it is less interactive than Instagram people love blogs for the detail, the chatty posts, the learning and connection. Personally, I don't think blogging is dead, I don't think it will ever die but I do this it has to be resuscitated, it is nothing like it used to be and the only people who can change that is us, the bloggers.

What are your thoughts? Is blogging dying? Tell me in the comments. 

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Five Ways to Use Fix+ in Your Daily Routine

In my time as a blogger and a blog reader, I have always found one thing pretty consistent with beauty bloggers, everyone owns Fix+, another consistency is how few bloggers actually know how to use Fix+ to its full advantage. Many believe it is a setting spray, others only use it as a hydrating mist, but the truth is Fix+ is one of the best multi-purpose products out there and it is so under appreciated for all its wonderful uses. Fix+ has always been one of those products everyone owns, it was one of MAC's most famous products on the internet for a while, especially in the 2014/2015 period when MAC was absolutely everyone's favourite store for a while. Just like everyone else, I bought into the hype but then it just sat there on my beauty shelf like a prop, I never used it, I never knew how to, so I began experimenting and I found five of the best ways you can use fix+ in your daily routine. 

NUMBER ONE: DAMPEN THAT SPONGE
One of the easiest and most obvious ways you can use fix+ is to dampen your beauty blender before using it. I always find I have all my makeup set out, I just want to get started and I let the biggest sigh out at the idea of having to get back up and take that sponge to the sink. Instead, I get my fix+ and give the beauty blender a good old soak, holding it a lot closer to the bottle than I would my face to really get it covered. There are a few reasons I like to do this; I am lazy and don't like having to drag my butt to the bathroom, I feel like my beauty blender always feels a little too soaked after putting it under the tap and it hydrates the skin as it applies foundation which gives a nice finish. For me, it takes roughly three or four sprays of fix+ to dampen my beauty blender and doesn't use much of the product at all. 

Five Ways to Use Fix+ in Your Daily Routine

NUMBER TWO: INTENSIFY YOUR LOOK
Another pretty simple one, but so overlooked, I was reading a blog post on how a blogger likes to slightly dampen her brushes a half hour before she applies her eyeshadow, she said in doing so it intensifies the pigmentation of the eyeshadow. I'd only ever tried this with wet and dry eyeshadows, but I was playing around one day and decided I'd give my brush a quick spritz of fix+ holding it a good few inches away so as to not completely soak the brush. I then used this brush to apply my eyeshadow and was shocked at how intense the colour pay off was. A few weeks later I tried it with my powder highlight and once again it was much more intense than it would be without fix+ and from there on in I have used this little trick to intensify my powder products. Beware, however, with some powder products touching the powder with a wet brush can ruin the powder, so make sure you're brush is just slightly dampened. 

NUMBER THREE: BRING PRODUCTS BACK TO LIFE
A few years ago when winged eyeliner was all the rage and I had it on every single day of my life I accidentally left my gel eyeliner open, yup, big mistake. It dried out, but of course, I couldn't buy one until I was out and I had to do my makeup to go out so I came up with a DIY solution. I sprayed some fix+ into the little container and did some mixing. In under two minutes, the product had been resurrected and was useable. Since then I have used this trick with mascara, we have all been there, out favourite mascara starts to clump, my spraying it on the wand and dipping and repeating under the wand looks usable. Another trick is to fix cracked eyeshadows, dropped my Urban Decay Naked 2 palette, cracked a line right down the centre of one of the shades, dampened an eyeshadow brush and went over the crack until it was gone. One of the best tricks for a time of trouble. 

Five Ways to Use Fix+ in Your Daily Routine

NUMBER FOUR: GET THE OVERDONE UNDONE
Y'know when you're doing your makeup and someone distracts you and the next minute "oh my god!" your face looks dirty, how did you manage to put that much bronzer on? Well, I discovered that if I dampen a buffing brush with fix+ almost always I can undo any overdone makeup looks by just buffing the product gently with the dampened brush. Or maybe you accidentally drew a line right across your face with your eyeliner, just dampen a cotton bud/swab with a little fix plus and gently dab it on the area and done, you'd never know you even made a mistake. So simple, but so overlooked. 

NUMBER FIVE: GO FOR LESS COVERAGE
There have been foundations I have purchased that are just too full for everyday wear, but the colour match is so perfect I really want to wear it every day. To sort this out my best move is to thin the foundation down using fix+. I usually spray some foundation on the back of my hand, then pop some fix+ on there and mix them together before applying to the skin. This can transform a high coverage foundation to a low to medium coverage depending on how much fix+ you add. Perfect for the days where you want a perfect colour match but just aren't up for wearing a lot on your face. Doing this also adds a natural glow from within look to your foundation as it adds a little more hydration to the skin. 

Have I missed any? What is your favourite way to use fix+? Should we all start using it again? 

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Leaving My Shoe Comfort Zone

Do you know I have a huge weakness for shoes? Probably not unless you know me in real life. I can't go anywhere without picking myself up a new pair of shoes, a good 90% of the time these shoes are boots, ankle boots to be precise. I just cannot help myself, shoes are an essential item, we need them to be able to go outside, without them we would be cold and have sore feet, so my obsession isn't that bad, it is actually helpful really. The only problem is, I have found myself constricted to a comfort zone when it comes to shoes, they tend to be black, block heeled ankle boots or pointed toe flats, I stay away from trainers because I don't feel like I can wear them, but maybe I was wrong all this time. 

When Ego got in touch with me to work on a collab I was so excited, I have admired their shoes for a long time now and thought it was absolutely perfect that they had just introduced their summer trainer line. Their trainers come in such natural colours and designs that I was sure a pair could be injected into my wardrobe without too much problem. I opted for their Horton oversized trainer with white heel tab in a white faux leather. They are simple white trainers with a bit more of a platform on them than a conventional trainer, it gives them a little more edge and me a little more height, which I love. They were sent over to me the very next day which is absolutely insane since I live up in Scotland, I have had parcels take weeks, even months to get here from brands. 

Leaving My Shoe Comfort Zone

The first thing I noticed once I got the shoes out of the package was how little the packaging resembled what I had seen on their Instagram. My trainers came in a simple, small brown wood effect cardboard box as opposed to the white 'Ego' branded boxes they have all over their Instagram. I am not sure why this is, but I found it slightly odd, but not that big deal, I normally just recycle the boxes for my shoes either way. I pulled the trainers out and was happy to see they looked exactly as they did on the website and easy enough to style with their plain exterior, the sole of the shoe, however, was a giveaway that the shoes are not expensively made, the insole had frayed edges and there was no branding here either. This isn't that big a deal to most of us especially for a shoe where the insole will barely be seen, I think if I had opted for a mule style heel or a pair of sandals wherein the insole was more visible when the shoes weren't being worn I'd probably have wanted a branded insole, but it's not that huge of a deal since the branding almost always wears away on a shoe no matter how high the price tag. 

I couldn't wait to try them on so I got my secret socks on and slide my foot in, I knew from looking at them an ankle sock would still be visible, so secret socks are the way to go with this style of trainer. Even on the first go my feet slipped into the trainers with no issue and they felt comfortable right away, almost like I wasn't wearing any shoes at all. I buy a lot of shoes so I am used to having busted, blistered heels so the fact these shoes had no wear-in time is a real big seller to me, it was a breath of fresh air not to have plasters lining my ankles and be limping around the house trying to wear them in. I tried them on with jeans and was surprised at how effortless yet chic the look was, so simple, so comfortable yet still looking put together, it was the perfect look and one I am currently sporting constantly now. I have worn these trainers with jeans, with shorts, with skirts and they go with everything. They are so simple and easy to style because they can be the statement piece or just a pair of shoes you chuck on for a dog walk. 

Leaving My Shoe Comfort Zone

They look great, despite the insole of the shoe is a little frayed the exterior of the shoe is gorgeous, very simple detailing, not too close to the Adidas Superstar trainer to look like a dupe but close enough (especially with coloured heel tab) to look as expensive. I never thought I'd be a trainer fan, but I barely take these ones off right now, taking the dog a walk, going for a shop, going into town with friends, even going to events I can wear these shoes. They do get dirty easily because of the white, especially if like me you have to chase your bunny through the flower patch in the garden. Despite this they are so easy to clean, a little damp cloth to wipe the dirt off and they look good as new. They also don't scuff as easily as I thought when I first felt the material, I have a habit of not picking my foot up high enough when taking the stairs (I have no idea why) and despite hitting the stop a few dozen times the toes still look good as new. They do bend out of shape more easily than say the Adidas Superstars if you hit something or use the toe of your shoe to lift something but after seconds they go straight back into shape. 

They're not the most expensively made trainer in the world, but their also not the most expensive trainer in the world, you get what you pay for and to be honest, for me, you actually get more than you paid for with these trainers. They go with absolutely everything, they work as a statement piece to an outfit, they can be worn for fashion or to kick a ball around with your nephew or dog but they also seem to be very long lasting. I've had mine for three weeks, have worn them religiously and they still look good as new. I am so glad I chose them instead of sticking to an ankle boot or the mules I was eyeing up because they have really shown me that trainers aren't just for kids. men and the gym. They give every outfit a look of ease, a laid-back feel like "I know I look good, but I'm totally not trying to". I definitely think I might even order myself the pink tabbed version of the trainers just so I have another pair to rotate and not look like I haven't worn different shoes in two months. 

Do you own any Ego shoes? What is your footwear obsession? Tell me in the comments below. 

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THIS BLOG POST IS IN COLLABORATION WITH EGO.
How I've Begun Seeing Regular Instagram Growth Again

So in the recent month or so I have begun to really change up my Instagram tactics and it seems to have worked. Despite the monstrosity of the algorithm I have actually started to have a regular and steady increase in followers and likes, which is pretty amazing in my personal opinion. Despite only having just over 1,000 followers over there I thought it would be a good idea to let you guys in on my tactics and how I've gone from gaining 1/2 followers a day to roughly 10 a day. I still have people doing that damn follow/unfollow game on me, but at least now my followers are actually increasing now instead of staying on the same number for 4 months. Now watch me gain zero followers for months after I publish this blog post. 

INTERACT
This is the one that I started to see growth directly after doing. I used to love interacting with the accounts I followed but with how busy I have been and how sucky the algorithm has been I started to just like the odd post here and there. Now I am back to liking as many posts from my favourite accounts as possible and commenting on posts that have a fun and interesting caption or that I just have to compliment for the photographer's style or theme. Not only do I really enjoy doing this and getting to know other Instagrammers but it also encourages others to click on your profile and check out your content, and who knows, maybe they will like it enough to hit that follow button. 

How I've Begun Seeing Regular Instagram Growth Again

POST YOUR BEST CONTENT
This is such a simple one, but people always seem to get it wrong, of course, you should post content you enjoy, but you should also post what your audience enjoys. Find your posts that receive the most likes and post similar content. If your fashion content garners the most likes then post more fashion content, or maybe it's your flatlays or your food photos. If you post what your audience likes they will come back for more, it is as simple as that. Catering to your audience's needs is simple but effective.

SEARCH THE TAGS
I have found a few hashtags I absolutely love searching through to find new accounts to follow such as #discoverunder1k and #slowsundayclub but searching these tags is also useful to gain some followers. I love just scrolling through these tags liking gorgeous photography and finding accounts to follow but through doing so I've also found it increases my following, maybe someone whose photo I have liked stumbled on over to my account and liked my profile so hit the follow button. Be careful doing this though, you want to be authentic, you don't want to start liking everything you see in the hopes you end up gaining a following, you want to like the content you would have liked if it were on your feed and follow the accounts you genuinely enjoy looking at. Otherwise, you start to be disingenuous and it becomes almost like a cheat.  

How I've Begun Seeing Regular Instagram Growth Again

SHARE YOUR CONTENT
When you are sharing your posts onto Instagram also link them to your Facebook and your Twitter attaching the photo in your tweet so people from your social media channels notice you have amazing content over on Instagram too. A lot of people just share straight from the app, which is perfect for Facebook, but when sharing to Twitter the best way to do is to you copy and paste your caption into a tweet, attach the photo and then add the link once you've published it on Instagram, this way your photo is visible on your Twitter and anyone who likes it can click through the link onto your profile and hit like. Simple as that. 

POST REGULARLY
I have been posting once a day every single day lately and it helps you to stay relevant. People don't start to lose sight of you on their feed, you stay up near the top, easy for them to find and hit like. Posting regularly stops you from losing followers and if you're gaining from these posts by following the other steps you usually start to build a steady following. The only issue is that sometimes you are too busy to take, edit and post photos, so take photos in advance from time to time, just in case. I like my posts to be authentic and most of my photos are taken the same day as they are posted, but sometimes you just don't have the time so always have some back up available to whip out whenever you are low on time. 

How I've Begun Seeing Regular Instagram Growth Again

STORIES IS YOUR FRIEND
Instagram stories is such a simple yet effective way to stay relevant. If you're regularly posting Instagram stories you are being seen by your follower regularly and reminding them of your account, doing so can increase your likes. Further, if you have interesting, helpful or fun looking Instagram stories people will want to follow you because you keep them interested in your stories. They want to see your next rant or your next holiday, they want to watch the next tutorial you pop up on there or keep up with the makeup you've been adding to your collection. Insta stories can be less curated than your actual feed and this makes it extra fun, your followers can see the real you and how your life is behind the lens and that is always interesting. I try to post to stories daily even when it's boring. 

What are your tips for regular Instagram growth? Have I missed any? Tell me below in the comments.

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The End of my Postgraduate is Coming, what's Next?

Finishing my masters is something I've tried my hardest not to think about. Whenever I do, I get a rush of emotions, sadness, happiness, excitement, fear, anxiety, I could name 50 emotions that I feel all at one point. This chapter of my book is drawing to an end, I have my dissertation to do and then July will fade into August and I'll submit my dissertation and the chapter will end. The postgraduate chapter of my life will draw to a close and when that happens, what is next? I know I want to work in marketing, take on a role where I can work in a job I find interesting, maybe even enjoy getting up each morning to head there, but what if it doesn't happen? What if nowhere wants to take me? Despite being a sunny, positive person, these questions still flash through my mind. making me worry, making me anxious. What if I leave my postgraduate degree and then I don't do well in life? Will it have all been a waste of time? 

I guess it is why I don't like to think about August and the end of my postgraduate because that negative side of me starts to show and take control, I forget that I'm not a negative person and I begin to worry about all the ways life could go wrong. It's a question I have to begin thinking about though, it may only be May and August is months away, but it takes time to apply for jobs, it takes time to figure out that next step, especially when my brain is filled with dissertation titles and survey responses. I have to start pinpointing where I want to work, where I don't, do I want to go back and do a PhD? Do I want to continue blogging once I get into a career? Do I move out of my parent's house? Do I research job roles or just jump into the deep end and let fate decide what is next for me? 

The End of my Postgraduate is Coming, what's Next?

PhD?
I researched PhDs for a while, wondering if it would be the right move, would I be able to cope with the stress? Do I want to do a three year PhD? Or do I want to go out into the world? If you had asked me this last year chances are I would have said I'm not ready for the real world and a PhD is on the cards but it's changed. Maybe one day I will return to university and become Dr Robyn Murray, but it's not on the cards right now. Maybe my mind will change come August and I'll decide that a PhD is for me, but right now I want to live in the real world. I've been in education for 17 years, I am kind of ready to go out there and be in the adult world, have a career. I think there will come a time when I do a PhD, but not right now. It's not for me. 

A MARKETING CAREER?
Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. I want to have a career in marketing, maybe I will go into a job and love it, adore it, stay at it forever. Maybe, I will start my first marketing role and hate it, want to rip out my own hair every day, maybe I'll move to another within months, but that all kind of excites me. I want to find what is right for me, I want to figure out where I want to be and what I want to be doing and what better way to figure that out than jumping in and trying? I know the field I want to go into, I know what type of companies I want to work for and I know the positions and roles I am able to take on, so I am hoping to be on here writing about my fabulous job at the end of the year and how happy I am, but I also know that not everything runs smoothly and I am willing to make a few mistakes and stumble a little before I find that one job I love waking up to every day. 

The End of my Postgraduate is Coming, what's Next?

BLOGGING?
I used to say I would never go full time but as time has gone on I don't know if it's an opportunity I would pass up, maybe one day, but not right now and not any time soon. I want to continue to blog throughout my dissertation period, into my new career, take my blog with me on the journey, but it will consistently stay as a part-time gig, I'm not big enough to go full-time and I won't be blowing up any time soon, trust me. Blogging may be shaky for a while, when I get into my career and have a weird schedule I am not used to and I may take a period of time away from the blog, but I don't want to. I love my corner of the internet and I will be grasping it tightly with both hands for as long as humanly possible. 

OTHER LIFE GOALS?
1. Worry less - I want to be less of a worrier, I worry far too much about everything in life and I'm fed up with being like that. 
2. Be less type A - This year what used to be a slight type A personality that I had has moved into crazy town and I have become one of the most type A people you will ever meet and I don't have to be like that.
3. Be more spontaneous - I used to love just waking up and deciding, this is happening today, I never used to plan down to the very last millisecond, so I want to be more spontaneous again, more adventurous. 
4. Live in the moment - I feel like I am constantly assessing what needs to be done now to make the next thing happen, it's stupid, I want to be someone who can let go and just be in the now. 
5. Be as happy as can be - Above all, I want the next chapter of my life to make me happy. 

The next chapter of my life may look scary now, but I hope it is filled with a lot of joy, laughter and happy memories. I am so ready to move on from university for a while. Just this pesky dissertation to get out the way. 

What do you see happening in your next chapter? Do you have something big coming up? Tell me below in the comments. 


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