Welcome to my brand new and first ever linky! I've been debating starting a linky of my own for a while, but I've been so nervous noone will link up! I decided to brave it and just go for it, and if it's a flop? Well at least I gave it a go.
I also thought it would be a great help to all bloggers, both old and new, to have a place where we can all share our latest blogging tips and learn from each other.
These tips can be anything that are helpful to a blogger. So not necessarily just blogging tips, but anything that can help a blog such as photography advice, small business guides, how to stay motivated when working from home. Basically any tips that relate to blogging as a hobby or business.
I've no idea if this linky will be popular, so for now I'll do it on the last Friday of each month.
To take part
Link up any posts with blogging related tips and advice (blogging, photgraphy, working from home, self motivation, small business tips, etc)
Add my blog badge to the posts you are linking up
Visit as many other blog posts as you can to share the love and learn something new
Use the hashtag #blogtipslinky if sharing posts on Twitter and I'll retweet
What I'll do
Visit your blog post and comment
If you share your blog post on Twitter with #blogtipslinky and tag @lyliarose or @lyliaroseuk I will retweet for you (56000/4500 followers)
I will also share my favourite posts each month with a link back to you (currently DA33)
I’d like to think of myself as an ‘expert’ at moving house (I’ve been watching Peppa Pig far too much!) Not because I want to toot my own horn, but because I have moved house over ten times. I’ve had ten addresses since I was 17 and decided to move out of home. I also sometimes had in-between addresses for days or weeks, so had to move my stuff more than once for a single house move!
Moving house is the best time to declutter and rid your home of any items you no longer want or need. If you’re downsizing then you’re going to have to do this, but even if you’re moving to a larger pad or a similar size, it can be very therapeutic to clear out the old unwanted items and start afresh in your new home.
Here is my timeline for preparing a house move and some of my top tips:
As soon as a move is on the horizon, start saving boxes, big and small. You’re going to need an awful lot of boxes if you’re moving an entire family house, so start flat packing every box you receive and store them in an attic or cupboard. This will save you money nearer the move as you’ll not need to buy new boxes.
Start with the attic
A few weeks before the moving date start going through your attic. This is where most of our unwanted goods end up stored and quite possibly a lot of junk! Have a good sort through and be ruthless. If it’s been in the attic for years and you haven’t used it, then do you really need to keep it? Not only is it great to pass it on to someone who can make us of it, you’ll also have less stuff to move. Win-win!
Once you’ve narrowed it down to the items you want to keep, you can pack up the rest of the attic stuff ready for the move. If it’s in the attic then it’s unlikely it’s something you use regularly, so it can be packed for a few weeks. If you do think you’ll need it, then keep it to one side and don’t pack it!
Label your boxes
There’s nothing worse than moving home and having no clue to where anything is packed! Make sure you buy a couple of sharpies and clearly mark which room the boxes are for. Make a note of any key items that are in the boxes so you can find them at a glance. If you’re like me and start packing well in advance, then perhaps pack the boxes, mark them, but leave them open at the top just in case. You can tape them all down when it gets nearer to the move.
Work your way down
For me I prefer to work my way down the house. Once the attic is cleared out and packed I will move to the bedrooms. I’ll start with the wardrobes, sorting through and clearing out any clothes we no longer wear/need or fit into. I’ll follow the same process or selling on eBay or donating, until we only have left what we need. Once it’s only a couple of weeks to the move I’ll keep out ten or so outfits, but pack the rest in clearly labelled boxes.
After the bedrooms I’ll tackle the cupboards and the kitchen. This is where things can accumulate in cupboards and there are often things we no longer use. I’ll leave the living areas and bathrooms until last as these usually have items in we use daily.
The garden shed can also fill up with bits and pieces as it’s a great storage space. If you’ve no idea what is in the back of your shed and things are piling up, then you’ll want to start sorting through your garden near the beginning too.
Recycle, donate and sell
‘Getting rid’ does not mean throwing in the bin and adding to the ever increasing terrible landfill problem we have. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure, or something like that! If you’re short on cash then sell your unwanted items. You’ll be surprised at the items you think really are junk that will actually pick up a decent amount of cash at a car boot. Sell higher quality items on eBay or local Facebook selling groups. Put your profits towards new items for your new home, or use them to pay towards moving costs. Anything that is left over can be taken to the charity shop.
Book a van
If you don’t know anyone with a van and you have too much stuff to fit in your car, then you’re going to need to hire a van to move your belongings or large furniture. Start looking for van hire 4-6 weeks in advance. This allows enough time to get quotes and to budget for the cost.
Instead of trawling through numerous sites and directories, use a quote comparison site. Simply post your request on Shiply and delivery companies will send you quotes via email. Sometimes you can save up to 75% as the delivery companies compete for your business and may even be able to squeeze you in on existing routes.
A few days before
You should, by now, have everything packed that you don’t need to use daily. Now you can pack everything else! Make sure you keep out any kitchen utensils you need for a couple of days, enough clothes and toiletries. Pack everything else.
If you have children keep out a few extra outfits just in case and a box or two of toys.
Keep one of two boxes back to throw in all the last bits and pieces on the day of the move.
If you’ve started planning the big move weeks in advance, like I do, then the day itself should be quite hassle free. All you need to do is load up the van and move everything to your new location. Rope in as many friends and family to help as you can to make the whole process as quick as possible.
Boats, turquoise seas, sunshine and a bucket load of feta – yes please!
I am ever so jealous of friends of ours who have just jetted off on holiday to the beautiful Greek island of Zakynthos, which we also call Zante here in the UK. Home to the stunningly picturesque ‘Shipwreck Bay’ it’s a must see. I visited as a rather temperamental teenager, 16 years old if I remember correctly, and I’ve wanted to return ever since. Even through my teenage mood swings I was able to appreciate and see the absolute breath taking beauty of the Greek Islands. As an adult I am dying for Ben and I to enjoy some luxury holidays to Greece so I can revisit these beautiful islands, explore the beaches and show Ben why I think Greece is one of the most incredible holiday destinations.
I was also lucky to visit Rhodes and Corfu with my mum and sister when I was a teenager. We stayed in small hotels in Greek islands and sometimes in self-catering apartments, always getting the cheapest last minute deal possible. I’d love to do a similar holiday as a family, but most of all I want to go Greek Island Hopping with Ben. This may be a far-away dream, perhaps once the children have left home or if we ever feel comfortable to leave them and go so far when they’re a bit older, but it’s a dream that has to happen so I’ve added Greek Island Hopping to my travel bucket list.
Greece has a staggering 6000 islands. Out of these, approximately 227 are not inhabited, so that’s an awful lot of exploring to be done! Obviously some of these are very small and not accessible at all, so they can’t all be explored or easily travelled to. The larger islands have airports, but some of the smaller ones can only be reached by boat. Travelling to each sun drenched island across the turquoise waters does not sound half bad at all! The islands are split into groups such as Saronic Islands, Ionian Islands, Dodecanese Islands, Aegean Islands and The Cyclades to name a few. To make island hopping easier it would be best to visit a cluster of islands from the same group to see as much as possible and limit the time spent travelling from one to another.
I was going to write a list of islands I’d love to visit, but it’s so hard to narrow it down. Once you start researching the islands you’ll discover they all look so inviting with their rugged coastlines, white dome capped buildings, ancient ruins, postcard perfect beaches, delicious cuisine and friendly laid back attitude. I’d be happy to take a trip to any of them. My only avoidance would be the party resorts as I prefer a quieter relaxing scene with plenty of early mornings to explore the wonders each island has to offer.
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.
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!
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):
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:
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?