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  1. Shopping addiction or capsule wardrobe?

    In my early twenties, and older teenage years, I used to go clothes shopping on a weekly basis.  Actually that’s a lie.  It was a several times a week, if not daily, habit.  I was hooked!  I had a clothes addiction at one point and it actually contributed to me getting into a lot of debt.  I touch on that in my blog post:  A very honest account of how I ended up in £17500 of debt by the age of 20

    I really did love to shop and buy clothes and never liked wearing the same outfit twice.  It gave me a massive confidence boost when someone said they liked my outfit.  I had rails and rails and boxes under my bed filled with clothes, shoes and accessories. 

    Nowadays I’m the total opposite.

    Shopping addiction or capsule wardrobe

    I’ve gone from having a clothes addiction in my early twenties to having a minimal addiction in my early thirties. I now realise less is more and live with a capsule wardrobe instead.  I have gone from one extreme to the other when it comes to clothes shopping.  I now share a wardrobe with Ben which is a triple sized wardrobe and we have half the rail each.  I have to fit my clothes into this half.  If I want new clothes then I have to make space by selling things I don’t wear or donating them.  Though I try not to buy clothes unless I really need something or an item has worn through. 

    It’s such a different outlook to ten years ago.  It suits me now and I realise how frivolous I was with my money back then.  It also didn’t matter if I wore the same outfit more than once.  I try my hardest now to only buy clothes I love to wear so I can wear them as much as possible without getting bored!

    win a lugano green clutch handbag in my blog giveaway

    Handbag Giveaway!

    One thing that is always good to have whether you’re a hoarder of clothes or surviving with a capsule wardrobe, is a great handbag.  A good handbag can really make an outfit.  Today I’m giving away this very versatile dark green clutch handbag in a rather generous large size.  It has a gold chain with it too.  (Told you it was versatile)

    If you’re trying to cut down on your clothes or create a capsule wardrobe then one of the best things you can do is accessorize!  A few fashion accessories can totally update an outfit, even if it’s the same outfit you wear over and over.  This handbag is from my online fashion accessories store where you’ll find a load of great printed scarves and jewellery to update your look in an instant.  Pop over and check it out!  (There’s a huge clearance sale on now too)

    For your chance to win this Lugano green clutch handbag just enter on this Rafflecopter widget (UK only):

     a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  2. How being online can improve your small business

    It seems recently there has been a massive boom in the number of people starting their own small businesses.  Not only have I read this is the case in various news articles, but it also seems to be the case in my close circle of family and friends.  Perhaps it could be to do with my age.  Now I’m in my thirties and have settled down with a family, many of my friends are in the same situation.  We’ve re-evaluated what’s important to us and want a flexible working lifestyle that fits around our children.  We are also tired of working for other people for low wages to make only the bosses at the top richer, and thus we seek the more satisfying reward of earning our own income.  Nowadays it is becoming much easier to start a small business, generate leads online and market a business effectively thanks to the wonderful world wide web.

    Here are six ways you can use the internet to effectively grow your small business:

    6 ways small businesses can use the internet effectively online

    Use online forms to generate leads

    There are now many great tools you can use to create responsive interactive forms to help generate leads online.  Whether you want to capture email addresses for your newsletter, a potential client’s interest or customer details, using an attractive easy to use form makes things a whole lot easier for you and your customer.

    Talk to your customers in real time

    There’s nothing more frustrating than having a question as a consumer and having to wait several days for a reply to an email.  Luckily you can now reply almost immediately to queries using online chat or social media.  A fast response can make the difference between a customer deciding to purchase from you or looking elsewhere for a quicker reply to their answer.

    Share your expertise through blogging

    Blogs are a great way to share your expertise and prove how knowledgeable you are in your field.  Blogging gives you more content for your website to increase your digital presence and make you more visible online, especially when it comes to search engines.  There is an abundance of blogging tips and guides online to guide you through setting up a blog.

    Show up in local business listings

    It is super important for you to list your business in business listings and especially in the search engine business listings, such as Google.  Almost everyone nowadays will perform a search online when they are looking to buy a product or need a service.  There really is no better way to be found than online in the present age.  Make sure you have a local Google listing to show up in local search results.

    Prove your professionalism through your website

    First impressions really are key.  In the online world this translates to an easy to use, professional looking website which is optimised across all devices.  If your website is cluttered or hard to read, people will soon click away and find a more visibly pleasing competitor of yours with a friendlier website.  It’s also important your website can be accessed by a mobile as more people use mobile phones to browse the internet than ever before.  Creating a website is very easy thanks to the internet and there are ready made platforms even for those with no technical knowledge.

    Showcase your reviews

    If you offer a great service or product, then let everyone know through the power of reviews and testimonials.  Set up a testimonials page or a review feature for your products and share these on your website.  A bucket load of five star reviews is sure to sway any pondering customer’s mind.

    Do you have any more tips on how to make use of the internet for a small business?

    6 ways small businesses can use the internet effectively

    *collaborative post

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  3. Makeup and skin care bloopers we are guilty of

    Let’s face it; we are all guilty of beauty blunders now and again! On more than one occasion I have been too exhausted to face taking my makeup off in the evening and have slumped into bed sleeping in the leftover day’s makeup residues.  While this is not something that I can correct if it happens, as the only solution will be to make sure I remove the makeup before bedtime, there are plenty of other makeup mistakes that are easy to correct.

    Here are some common makeup blunders and their solutions:

    Not exfoliating before you apply foundation – Concealer and foundation may cover up an uneven complexion and blemishes, but it is not going to hide your dry skin. In fact, it is going to make dead skin even more obvious. This is why it is so important to use a face scrub to exfoliate and renew your skin before you apply any makeup.  I have been guilty of forgetting this ritual and end up with a load of dead skin rolling up as I apply my concealer.  Nice!

    Common Beauty Problems and the Easy Ways to Deal with Them Makeup and skin 

    Washing your hair excessively – You may think that there is no such thing as washing your hair too much, however, it can leave your hair looking dull and dry. Shampooing every day is okay if you have fine hair and you use products that are gentle. If you have coarse or thick hair, or you lather more than you should, it will strip your hair of its natural beneficial oils. The best thing to do is use a natural shampoo every few days.

    Making misguided treatment options – Cosmetic treatments have become very popular over the past few years, with lip fillers being a good example of this. However, a lot of people don’t really know what they are getting themselves in for when it comes to cosmetic facial surgery and non-surgical cosmetic treatments. For instance, there are so many different types of lip filler injections. The best way to overcome this problem is to book a consultation with an experienced surgeon and listen to their advice on the best treatment for your desired outcome.  Make sure you thoroughly do your research and don’t just book something on a whim.

    Ignoring your neck – It is easy to ignore your neck when it comes to your skincare and makeup routine. However, your neck needs just as much care as your face does. You should use moisturiser all the way down your neck. Plus, you will want to avoid that infamous foundation line, which means you need to blend your foundation into your neck carefully. Nothing looks worse than your face being a different colour from your neck!  Remember to cleanse and tone your neck too, and don’t forget behind your ears.  It’s also good practice to exfoliate your neck as dead skin will build up here just as much as the rest of your body and face.  Being a busy mum can mean I quickly whip off my face makeup, but often forget about my neck, so I’m certainly guilty of this one too!

    Common Beauty Problems and the Easy Ways to Deal with Them - Makeup and ski

    Not washing your makeup brushes – We all get lazy and forget to wash our makeup brushes from time-to-time. Not only is this ill-advised because you are going to end up with a mixture of products and shades, but it also means that bacteria will build up. This can cause you to break out, especially if you have spot prone skin. 

    Not using enough heat when straightening your hair – If you straighten or curl your hair, do you use the low heat setting to try and save your hair from damage? This could actually have the opposite impact. Using a low heat means you will probably have to go over sections a number of times, which could be more detrimental than using a high heat setting. Of course, it’s important to only use flat irons on your hair on rare occasions and try to restrict daily use.  Why not let your hair be wild and free?

    Makeup and skin care bloopers we are guilty of

    You Baby Me Mummy

     

    *collaborative post

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  4. Are you a selfieholic?

    Did you know there is a national selfie day?  There was a hashtag floating about on June 21st to mark this occasion.  It seems there is a crazy national day for everything nowadays. I did not partake.  I’m not sure you’ll even find a single selfie of me on my social media accounts.  I’ve disliked my photo for years, but I hope now I have made a few changes to my face I’ll start to learn to like it a bit more and happily take some snaps with the kids.

    Do you take a lot of selfies?  If you do then you need to always be camera ready!  As a busy workaholic mum of two kids I often leave the house in a messy mum bun as I’ve forgotten to brush my hair, once again, in the chaos of getting the kids out the door dressed whilst answering a billion dinging emails on my phone.  I don’t think I’m ever selfie ready!  I usually get back from the school run and realise I have not rubbed in my under eye concealer totally under one eye, or I have something stuck in my brace!  Yep I’m one of those mums where I’m probably always trying to do too much all at once and take multitasking to the next level, forgetting about myself and what I look like in the process.

    Luckily there are a few cheats to make you always look your best (or as good as can be if you’re a hectic mama like me):

    Dry Shampoo

    Dry shampoo is a god send for those who don’t want to wash their hair all the time. It helps to soak up oils and give fresh smelling and looking hair in a flash! Plus, if you spray it onto your roots and rub in with your fingers, it adds volume. Now, you can even get natural shampoo with no nasties.

    Great Skincare

    Taking care of your skin should never be taken for granted. Using quality products every morning and night will make all the difference.  I try to always use organic products, and definitely natural cleansers and toners.  They make my skin so much clearer and more amazing than chemical filled beauty products.

    Self-Tan

    Self-tan for a subtle glow is great for pasty girls who want to look a little healthier or even for us darker folk who don’t want to tan in the damaging sun rays. There are so many great self-tans out there, including natural based products.

    Know Your Angles

    If you are a ‘selfieholic’ then you’ll want to take your snaps from the best angles possible to show your best sides.  The infographic below is full of tips on taking the best selfie possible.  Perhaps I’ll even brave up and give it a go one day!


    Credit to Mytrendyphone.co.uk

     

     

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  5. My minimal inspiring blogging workspace corner

    Our bedroom has been one part of our home that, until recently, has had the least attention.  I’m not the sort for a romantic boudoir or anything particularly girly, so it’s been hard to reflect my style in our bedroom.  It’s taken a long time to come up with ideas, or find things I like.  I finally feel like I’m getting there, three years after buying our home.  The most recent addition to our bedroom is a blogging desk in the corner of the room.  A brand new space for me to sit and blog to my heart’s content late into the evenings!

    sneak peek at my new bedroom minimal blogging space design with desk from k

    Owl Vase - sneak peek at my new bedroom minimal blogging space with desk fr

    I’d not thought about putting a desk in our bedroom before.  We had an office desk in the bedroom of our old home, but it really didn't look right.  It was a big typical looking wooden desk with a black swivel office chair.  It just felt way too office like for a bedroom and not visually pleasing at all, so when we moved we got rid of the lot and I said ‘no desks in the bedroom!’

    bedroom minimal blogging space with desk from kit out my office

    copper star geometric candle holder - new bedroom minimal blogging space wi

    Luckily desks don’t all have to look so formal and work like.  They can actually look quite fitting in the corner of a bedroom if you pick the right frame and colour.  To suit my white minimalistic theme throughout my home I chose a small A-frame desk with one single drawer; nothing too fussy or large, just a perfect little desk to fit neatly in the corner of our bedroom and to blend in with the rest of the decor.

    sneak peek at my new bedroom minimal blogging space with desk from kit out

    I had no idea if it would make our room look any less like a bedroom and perhaps even strange, but it actually brings the whole room together.  We had rather a blank space of wall and floor opposite our bed which looked quite plain and I had no idea what to fill it with, until the blogging desk idea.

    Hello Lovely Notebooks - sneak peek at my new bedroom minimal blogging spa

    We do have a home office space downstairs.  It’s a converted garage which is two thirds a playroom and one third an office and storage area.  It feels like quite a formal area with calendars, household bills, paperwork, printers, scanners and the general clutter of family life regularly piling up on top of it.  I mostly choose to blog in the calmer living room sat at the dining room table, or with the laptop perched on a cushion on my lap.  Now I have my very own separate blogging space away from the hustle and bustle of organising our family schedules and separate from the living area.  A place I can sit away from the craziness of family life, if I need to, to work in peace and quiet.  A little blogging corner of my own.

    sneak peek at my new bedroom minimal blogging space with desk from kit out

    Working from home is definitely more of a pleasure than a chore, but cabin fever can set in and I often feel I am here 24/7.  The walls can start to feel though they are closing in sometimes.  A new blogging space will give me the freedom to change my surroundings and pick and choose where I work in the house.

    Do you have a dedicated blogging area in your home?

    A sneak peek at my new dedicated bedroom blogging space - My minimal inspir

     * Collaboration with Kit Out My Office

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