Sunday, 28 February 2016

20-SOMETHING BLUES //


This month I feel a bit like I've hit a wall as far as life as a 20-something goes.


I have all the ingredients that is often thought necessary to make your twenties great: fab friends, a nice flat, a super boyfriend and a job I enjoy. I'm hugely appreciative of this, don't get me wrong. I've been ridiculously lucky in my life so far and this year is no exception.

However, I can't help but feel a little lost right now.

Have you ever felt like you're sort of wandering, going with the flow in a direction you're not sure you want to stick with, yet you have no idea which direction it is you're supposed to go? We spend so long in school, college and sometimes university, meeting people, learning and being guided towards an end goal. If we're ones of the lucky ones, we end up achieving that goal (or finding something that makes us equally as happy) and then we're left to make our own way.

A couple of years on from experiencing this, I've found myself with everything that was expected of me and everything that I desired, yet I'm still feeling a bit empty.

It's the sort of time that everyone predicted, where a lot of your friends are all now getting engaged/married/becoming parents. I'm sort of jealous of these people. Not because of what they have in regards to husbands and kids however (jeez, I can't even look after myself) but because they know what they want and they're embarking on a new path.

I could get a new job,
I could move house,
I could go travelling for a couple of years.

There's nothing keeping me in one place at the minute and I'm free to make all the decisions I want. So what am I complaining about? Should I actually just reflect on what I already have, be grateful and settle in this humdrum flow of unsurety?

I'm a huge advocate of the phrase 'if you want something then go get it' but even I'm having trouble right now figuring out exactly what it is that I want.

Let me know if you're feeling the twenty-something struggle, too.

leanne

x

Monday, 22 February 2016

GIVEAWAY OF 'HUMAN LOVE' - NEWTON FAULKNER //

In honour of festival season being around the corner (well it's a few months around the corner but you know I like to drag it out) I'm hosting a music giveaway.

Courtesy of Outside Organisation, I'm giving away a copy of Newton Faulkner's new album 'Human Love'. This is an addition to his previous four albums and it's clear that even without the crazy long dreadlocks, the guy can produce some pretty great music.

I've been listening to Passing Planes and Far to Fall on repeat - it's such an upbeat album that will have you jigging about in your seat. Not to mention the prettiest album art, it's the sort of cover you want to frame and put on your wall.

Just enter my Rafflecopter widget below to be in with a chance of winning the latest album 'Human Love', simple as. Good luck!


*Please note you can only enter if you're currently living at a UK address and have a valid email address. Check T's & C's before entering to be sure your entry is valid.


Also, let me know if you're heading to any of his gigs in the coming months. I may see you there!


leanne

x


Tuesday, 9 February 2016

GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR FITBIT //

It's that time of year again. When January 1st comes around and everyone dons their overpriced Adidas gear and takes to the gym they think is totally worth £45 a month. Then this month, all of those plans go to shit and instead of training to run 26 miles, we're sat on the sofa watching the latest Netflix fad and bringing a completely new meaning to the word 'marathon'.

According to Engadget a LOT of people received a FitBit for Christmas and I'm here to share some of my top tips with you. I'm far from the top of my friends list on FitBit but I'll be working hard to change that this year!


Bounts

You can connect your FitBit to various other apps and simultaneously track the same exercise on both. Bounts is my chosen app of this year; not only will you rack up the steps and active minutes on FitBit, you'll receive rewards based on a points system. When you have enough bounts, you can swap them for a decent high street voucher.

If you want to join, use my code 'morgan712' and we both get 100 points. Win, win. 

Walking

It sounds obvious but you don't really have to make an entire lifestyle change, just do more walking. If you could walk to work and just choose not to (and in the Winter weather, I see where you're coming from) then that's already a few thousand steps you're missing out on. If you use public transport, walk the long way from the train station to your house or get off the bus a stop early. You'll be surprised at how much a small change will affect your daily step goals.

Challenge yourself (then others)

Adding friends to your list on the FitBit app can sometimes be a little depressing if you're always at the bottom. Don't let this put you off, use it as motivation to step up your game.

The whole point of FitBit is to increase your own awareness of your fitness and keep a track of your progress. Make yourself daily goals, set alarms on your FitBit to remind you to keep active and concentrate on achieving your step count goals every day. When you've mastered this, then make it your mission to challenge others and get to the top!

Accessorise

For Christmas, I received new straps for my FitBit and I love being able to change it daily! FitBit have their own range of straps in various colours and styles: have a look here. Mine are a set of patterned straps that were found on Amazon but there are also some available on eBay. My next purchase will be one with a watch strap, they're much more practical for high energy workout classes and there's less chance of it flying from my wrist whilst in the middle of Zumba (true story!)

These are just a few of the tips I have for using a gadget to track your progress this year. Hope this is useful and have a wonderful 2016 mastering the FitBit and using it to help you achieve your goals!



What are your fitness goals for 2016?

leanne

x

Friday, 5 February 2016

THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN BLOGGING IS YOUR HOBBY//

You can bet that the majority of bloggers started writing their blog as a hobby. Whether they enjoy keeping a diary of their day, reviewing their favourite products or offering advice to others. What happens though, when you get swept up in it all and realise that blogging is taking up too much of your time and becoming stressful?

Before reading this, please don't get the impression I'm judging people by what they feel is or isn't important when it comes to blogging! Your piece of the internet is wholly yours to do with whatever you please and I love how passionate people can be about it. Some of these things also apply to those who are writing a blog as their full time job and that's okay, we all have our differences and here are the things that I've learnt personally through my time writing on The Dress Diaries.


You don't always have to say YES

It's so easy to be swept up into blogging oblivion and inundate your schedule with free events. I love seeing people at launch events and it's always nice to meet people who I've only ever seen before in their Twitter pic.

On the other hand, sometimes I want to have a night at home watching Strictly, or a catch up with friends where we pay for our food and drink in full (shock, horror). Your blog will not suffer if you turn down the odd event (unless you rely on these for content, then you're all kinds of mistaken to begin with) so just relax. If you don't feel like it, don't do it.

Numbers don't matter

Now, when it comes to that day every month/every 3 months (I don't even know) and there's an outcry on Twitter of 'oh my god, my DA has gone down!' I breathe a heavy, heavy sigh. I'm absolutely behind everybody who wants to improve and have their blog move up in the world but honestly? A number on a website is solely not going to do it.

Yes it's marginally important to some brands but I'd much rather people try opportunities for being an honest and hard working person, not because they whinge about how much of a struggle increasing their DA is.

It shouldn't be a negative part of your life

There have been a lot of cries of 'I'm taking a break' and 'It's getting me down' recently in regards to people feeling their blog isn't as successful/improving/pretty as they'd like it to be. We all really need to take a step back and re-evaluate. It's great to be good at something but come on, if there's anything I'm going to get stressed over it's certainly not going to be some writing on the internet that I don't even get paid for. Take that how you will.

Lose that sense of entitlement

There's been all kinds of uproar about blogger entitlement but I'm hoping it's few and far between (macaron, anyone?) If you started writing a blog last month and you've got 1000 views OR you've had your blog for over 5 years, do not and I repeat, DO NOT cry about it if you're the only blogger who didn't receive that new moisturiser sample through the post to review.

When invited to events, it's easy to compare it to others you've attended. If one offers you a three course meal and free beer all night, it's likely you'll write much more about it than the event that gave you a cocktail and a single canapé. This still doesn't mean you should complain or write a half arsed, conceited blog post about it. If it weren't for an establishment or PR company inviting you in the first place, that free pina colada wouldn't be in your hand at all.

Write about what you love

This is really tricky territory here though it really shouldn't be. If you want to make money from your blog, it makes sense to a lot of bloggers to write about things they'd been given or sponsored for in order to pay for their electricity bill or their weekly shopping. Sometimes, it's something completely out of their comfort zone and really obscure, like when someone writes a post about a dog collar when their blog is usually about beauty.

I've reviewed all sorts of random things and not necessarily those I would go out and buy myself BUT it's always something I'm interested in trying or I know would be useful to me. I don't choose things 'my readers' will enjoy, I write for myself and about things I know. This is my hobby and one I really enjoy and hopefully people appreciate it's about the things in life that interest me. If they interest you also? Win.


Do you have any tips for people who feel consumed by blogging?


I am far from what other bloggers would call 'successful' but I've definitely achieved a lot of things writing my blog and I'm hoping to improve every day. This being said, I hope some of you can relate to this post and remember it's about doing what you enjoy!

leanne

x

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

SAND AND SEAGULLS //


I've such a fondness for the seaside after living in Scarborough for a few years. Anything that reminds me of being by the sea, in such a beautifully calming place, is welcomed by me - particularly when it comes in the form of a pretty necklace.

Sand and Seagulls is a family-run business (they of course, live by the sea) who create wonderful seaside themed trinkets and jewellery. Zoe kindly sent me one of her handmade pieces and it's just SO CUTE.




This little seashell necklace is a lovely piece; the chain is super delicate and any dainty charm is right up my street. It's definitely one that's been noticed by a few people despite it's tiny size and my mum adores it!

Sand and Seagulls have an amazing range online and plenty of options to choose from, whether it be something just as dainty as this piece or some colourful nautical earrings. Handmade jewellery is given such care and attention and it's near impossible to find something similar in any high street shop. If you're a fan of unique, pretty pieces then definitely check them out.

Other favourites of mine are the oyster, sandcastle and hummingbird necklaces - seriously, they are as cute as they sound. They've got lots of other beach-y gifts too, from fishy greetings cards to a sweet, sea-themed plaque for your home.




This necklace has brought a little bit of Summer to my jewellery stand and I'm already itching to get back to the beach - despite the current UK temperature not being so generous!

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, a cute seaside quote for the home or a beach inspired piece of jewellery should definitely be on your list.

What's your favourite thing about the seaside?

leanne

x

This post features items sent to me for review purposes.
All opinions are my own and honest and seriously though, I screamed 'oh it's so cute' when I opened this so you know it's truthful.