The Lifestyle Blogger UK

I’ve followed The Lifestyle Blogger UK for a little while now and I absolutely love the range of articles on her website. She includes so many useful articles from the latest list of Blogger Hashtag Hours (which are amazing for scheduling Twitter chats into my diary!) and the most delicious recipes including a Salted Caramel Brownie recipe (Yum!!)

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So imagine my delight when I found out The Lifestyle Blogger UK also has her own gorgeous fashion boutique! The Lifestyle Blogger UK asked me to choose a product to review either a necklace or bracelet and as I favour one particular necklace at the moment I opted for a bracelet. At this point I had no idea what the bracelet would look like and it was quite nice to know there was a surprise coming in the post for me!

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The bracelet arrived so promptly and safely wrapped so as to not get damaged in the post. It was wrapped in a gorgeous little packet with a “The Lifestyle Boutique” label attached. Inside was a pretty little organza bag (and as a quick top tip – don’t throw these away! They are perfect for using to carry earrings or other delicate jewellery on holiday in your suitcase!) This bag held a lovely gold and tan coloured bracelet.

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I always find bracelets quite fiddly to put on. After all usually you need two hands to put them on, resulting on some sort of bizarre finger yoga movements in an effort to get the most delicate of bracelet on your wrist. This one however, was so easy and effortless. Due to the sturdy nature of the material of this bracelet it was able to keep its shape when sliding onto my wrist. After entwining the clasp together it clasped together with ease using a magnetic clasp.

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This bracelet is the perfect accessory for outdoor adventures and holidays in the sun. It would look perfect with that khaki or tan coloured outfit which seems to be making a comeback as we move into Spring/Summer months! It makes the perfect gift for friends and family.

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Definitely make sure you pop by The Lifestyle Blogger UK website when you have a minute. Her articles are fabulous and a new one goes live every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday! You can also subscribe to ensure you don’t miss any!

Becky at Pretty & Petit

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#apovgiftswap – Part 2

First off, a belated Merry Christmas to you all! I have been enjoying the festive season to the max, spending time with friends and family, eating(!) as well as decorating my first real tree. It’s been nice to have a few days to catch up with myself and to reflect on the year too – something which I explored back in my Achievements and Resolutions post for 2016/17 which you can read here. Back to this one though and I recently wrote about the #APOV Gift Swap. We were each swapped with fabulous bloggers, we shared an idea for budget and a few things on our wish list before hitting the shops. I had a fantastic time choosing for my blogger, The Trendy Orange, and had a great time reading her fashion and lifestyle blog too. In turn she sent be a box of gorgeous goodies which I was so excited to open on Christmas morning!

So what was in my box of goodies? I opened it up to find the cutest little card from Ashley with a gorgeous glitter Merry Christmas. Underneath I spotted the Pusheen Cosmetic Bag straight away. I love anything Pusheen – the cutest cat – so I was so excited to see this. Pusheen has plenty of room for storing all my make up and is so furry. His little face is gorgeous and can brighten anyone’s day!

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Next up, I spotted bright pink flamingo paper clips. I love cute stationery especially when it involves animals or fun things. I’ve just created a new desk space to enable blog and writing for 2017 so these will definitely brighten up the space!

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The next gift I could smell as soon as I opened the box – a gorgeous Lush bath bomb in the shape of a parcel. I must admit I went in Lush just before Christmas just to smell all the beautiful bath bombs! I also jumped in on the online queue for the sales on Boxing Day and spent my day waiting from 75,000th in the queue! By the time I got onto the website there was nothing exciting left! Do let me know if you grabbed a bargain though!

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My final gift was the most gorgeous candle I’ve ever seen. It’s a little pine cone with snow decorating the base inside a pretty glass jar. The most perfect Christmas decoration which I am planning to save until next year as it is far too pretty to light!

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To complete the box Ashley included a number of yummy chocolates which I can’t wait to indulge in! You can never have too much chocolate at Christmas – Yum! Thank you Ashley so much for all of my fabulous gifts – even though we have never met the gifts you bought were so special and truly wonderful.

My advice to those who are thinking about a bloggers gift swap is totally do it! It’s such a lovely way to meet new blogging friends, learn about others’ interests and in turn it’s so fun to go out and choose unique gifts for someone.

Happy Christmas and wishing you all a wonderful New Year!

Becky at Pretty & Petit

Achievements and Resolutions 2016/17

So here it is, a brand new fresh year to start again. New ideas, new focus but also a good time to reflect on all the fantastic achievements from the last year. I always take a day between Christmas and New Year to do this. I usually head out of the house (most likely to my local Starbucks) grab myself a mocha and write two lists. I start by writing all of my achievements for the year, using social media and my blog I start at January and work my way through the year, noting key highlights and achievements along the way.

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This is such a feel good exercise and truly makes you focus on all the positive aspects from the year, opposed to the negative which is often what we tend to do without really meaning to.

The next list I create is my resolutions list. It’s worth noting that both of these lists that I write are kept in my notebook that I carry everywhere with me. It helps me keep track that I am actually on course to achieving my goals for the year. I look back at my resolutions twice in the year. The first is at 6 months – usually when I am on holiday in the Summer. I look at what I have achieved so far and make notes on how I can keep on track to achieve the others going forward. I then look at it again in December when it comes to making a new list to find those resolutions I can carry over into the new year and to produce new ideas for future resolutions.

My Highlights and Achievements of 2016

Passing my driving test – It took a couple of attempts but I’m finally out on the road! Hooray!

Getting a new car – My dream first car, a Ford Fiesta, 5 door in red.

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Moving into a new job – I now am in a brand new college, meeting new people and getting involved in new challenges (which involves learning about a whole new range of careers!)

Visiting beautiful Lake Garda in Italy – On my wish list for a few years now and I finally was able to go and visit this beautiful lake.

Started Hula Hooping – Through attending HulaFit classes.

My Resolutions for 2017

These are a few of my top resolutions for 2017! Hopefully they give you some ideas for your New Year’s resolutions too!

To find a new hobby – I am such a creative person and I think this is something that has truly been lacking in my life. I’m setting out to find a new creative hobby and hopefully I’ll post some of my makes up on this blog!

To go on more day trips – I have made a list of days out in the UK and plan to visit at least one per month.

To walk more – I have set myself the challenge of completing one long walk a month and entering myself into a walking challenge. I am due to have another foot operation so we’ll see how we get on with this one! In some ways in may aid my recovery!

To read more – I have set myself a target of 2 books a month minimum.\

To have a Sunday night movie – I find this is the best way to help me relax for the week ahead. I’m planning to make a record of all the movies I watch throughout the year.

To be more creative – I feel so much better when I have spent a few hours being creative. I would like to draw at least once image per month and also create one collage a month. I’ll be posting these on my Instagram too to prove it!

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What are your new year resolutions? I’d love to hear what you have planned for 2017!

Becky at Pretty & Petit

New Year, New You – How to Gain Instagram Followers That Stick Around!

As part of my ‘New Year, New You’ series this month I’m asking bloggers to share their plans, tips and resolutions for 2016! 

Today is the turn of the lovely Louisa Rogers, who has a vibrant and beautiful blog accompanied by a fabulous and equally stunning Instagram feed. She shares her tips on how to use Instagram, how to gain followers and most importantly how to keep them. Make sure you take a read of her blog by clicking here.

Contrary to popular belief, Instagram is not an easy business. Amongst the meme pages, the self-obsessed 12 year olds and the Russian spambots lie real people who are interested and passionate about your content. The only problem you have to get around, is finding them, and keeping them interested. I used to notice that my follower count was volatile and I would lose 5 people overnight for no apparent reason, now I only ever notice the odd person unfollowing and I can put that down to one thing only…

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My Instagram pre-overhaul… as you can see there was no over-riding aesthetic style, and the whole thing looked messy and a bit crap!

I used Instagram (@louisagrogers, if you’re curious) for a long time without taking any notice of aesthetics: I guess you could say that I used it for its’ intended purpose, as a real-time photo-sharing app with an emphasis on the social! However as I became more serious about my blog, I realised that if I was going to gain a decent number of followers on Instagram like my influences @Helibells and @LisaMcconniffe (amongst many others!) I was going to start making sacrifices.

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My Instagram pre-overhaul… Once you realise how important the cohesive feed of images is to followers, not just individual photos, it’s a lot easier to use Instagram more wisely and make your whole feed look awesome and appealing.

I stopped posting random, funny moments with friends and only posting from my camera roll. I started considering using the same filters for every post to keep things quite coherent (Ps. I use Clarendon, that’s mine now, no touching) and making sure any images I post fit my colourful, slightly vintage, slightly funny aesthetic.

I do make the odd exception for a hilarious meme because they are uber-shareable, people always tag there friends in them, thereby increasing your visibility and I think humour and fashion should be placed together more often!

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My Instagram post overhaul… My new approach is still as quirky and varies, but I make sure to use similar colours and filters throughout to keep things relevant. I can thank this change of attitude for all my new followers!

I now wholly understand why many bloggers have separate blog and personal Instagram profiles , as the ultra-curated content of influencers who have over 10,000 followers is often very glossy and impersonal, almost business-like, and I understand them wanting to retain Instagram for those fleeting, semi drunk moments with friends that we all used it for back in 2012.

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My Instagram post overhaul… I even feel happier looking at my feed when it’s nicely composed!

Curating your Instagram may be upsetting at first, and I still sometimes hate how disciplined I’ve become, especially when I upload a photo that I think will fit and it suddenly throws off the entire photo-feed with the wrong colours or composition, but it does pay off. I had about 300 followers on Instagram for the first year and a half that I used it. Since changing to a more carefully considered use of the app, and hashtagging mercilessly in my comments (yes, I’m that girl – but it works) I have garnered over 600. This number is by no means impressive or putting money in my bank account, but I think it does prove that anyone is capable of gaining followers and therefore exposure by making a very simple choice.

So what will you do? Do you want to keep Instagram as a platform as light-hearted and spontaneous as Snapchat? Or are you looking to boost awareness of your blog and personal brand by stepping up your #instagame? Let us know in the comments section below!

A Very Belated Birthday

With all the chaos of starting a new full time job and various other bits and pieces I totally forgot to celebrate Pretty & Petit’s first year anniversary! My first post, promoting a small business called Hugo’s Workshop was written just over a year ago and was posted on 28th September 2014. Click here to take a look!

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I’m so pleased at how this blog has developed over the past year and I hope you enjoy what I put on here with the mix of fashion, beauty, events and small business promotions. Please do let me know if there is anything you want to see more (or less) of! Let’s see what 2016 brings!

To celebrate my very belated birthday I will be hosting a competition on Twitter to win a goody bag of prizes from some of the small businesses I have worked with over the past year. Keep an eye out and make sure you follow and retweet for your chance to win!

I’m off for a slice of cake!

Becky at Pretty & Petit

#BigBloggerConference

Yesterday I attended the #BigBloggerConference! The event was organised by @LDNMeetUp and was held in Hotel Russell, a beautiful hotel in Russell Square, London. Chandeliers adorned the hallways with beautiful decorative mirrors and gorgeous hanging baskets lined the fence to the grand entrance of the hotel.

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Front of the Hotel Russell, London

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The beautiful chandeliers throughout the building.

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Desperate for one of these mirrors for the hallway!

We were provided with some cute gifts from Ohh Deer and Jelly Belly and started the day with a number of really insightful workshops, starting with ‘Pinterest 101’ in which Elizabeth Sellers, Pinterest UK Ambassador gave loads of fantastic tips on how to use Pinterest with blogging. This was great as I have been using my personal Pinterest account more and more lately. I love looking through the beautiful pictures, gaining inspiration and creating wishlists! It’s fantastic for my blog too as it features a lot of smaller businesses and Etsy shops which I have not come across yet. I’m always excited about what I may find on there. So make sure you keep an eye out for Pretty & Petit on Pinterest soon!

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Check out these cute gifts from Ohh Deer and Jelly Belly!

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The lovely Elizabeth navigating us through Pinterest.

Next up we had a workshop from Jasmin Charlotte, Lifestyle Blogger in SEO. I have to admit, whenever I hear ‘SEO’ I seem to cower a little. I absolutely love social media and marketing – I do it as my full time job! but when it comes to SEO something about it makes me want to run into a corner and hide. It’s just not an area that I have an interest in. Jasmin however changed that yesterday. Through providing fantastic tips and advice she informed us of the best ways in which to aid SEO through our blogs. She noted that content is key and provided useful stats about the optimum number of words to include in blog posts and so on. It was very insightful and it was a fun approach to looking at SEO from a bloggers perspective.

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The lovely Jasmin providing us with an insight into the world of SEO.

Finally we had a workshop with Sarah Moody of The Prosecco Diaries in how to monetize our blogs. It was so nice to hear a bloggers perspective on how to do this. It is rare to hear of how much a blogger may be earning but with the rise in blogger and vlogger ‘celebrities’ it just goes to show that if you can put the hard work in you will definitely reep the rewards. I’m excited to take on board some of her advice through consultancy and developing my blog brand. It’ll be exciting to see what the future holds for my little blog!

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The lovely Sarah sharing her top tips on monetizing our blogs!

We headed out to have some (really delicious) cake! before heading out for lunch in the park opposite the hotel. As you might recall it was a beautiful 29 degrees in London yesterday and it was so nice to see everyone enjoying the hot weather. I definitely recommend heading over to Russell Square if you are ever in London. It’s close to the British Museum and is such a lovely place to stop and have a picnic. They also have a cute little cafe there that sells sandwiches, cake, ice cream and even prosecco!

We headed back to the hotel for the second part of the day which incorporated an exhibition. This interactive exhibition provided us with the opportunity to meet with brands and see their products first hand! I handed out my lovely new business cards and collated information of the amazing brands that were exhibiting. Brands included:

  • Shoeaholics
  • Scoliosis UK
  • Made by Jade
  • The Gifting Lounge
  • Look Fantastic, Beauty Expert and HQ Hair
  • Designed by Henna
  • The Parlour
  • Comb
  • Beau Bronze
  • Suti Skincare
  • SASS
  • House of Fraser
  • Heaven
  • Jewellerybox.co.uk
  • My Protein
  • Bee Good

(Sorry if I have missed anyone!)

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The amazing Shoeaholics stand. I absolutely loved their cute cupcakes and check out the leopard shoes on the right! Stunning!

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Made By Jade stand. Loved the cute leather bracelets!

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The Gifting Lounge stand. So bright and colourful! Such a cute range.

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The Look Fantastic stand, full of beautiful boxes of beauty gifts.

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Beautiful packaging on the SASS stand.

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A sneak A/W preview from House of Fraser!

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JewelleryBox.co.uk has the cutest range of jewellery. So many dinosaurs!

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The Heaven skincare stand. Loved the packaging of their gorgeous products.

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Bee Good with their bee inspired products and cute sweet and savoury biscuits!

There were also ‘tweeting’ challenges throughout the afternoon in which we had to provide tips and our favourite products to the brands we had come across throughout the afternoon. Make sure you look out for some reviews of these fantastic brands in the coming weeks!

The Parlour were offering cute braiding on their stand and how could I resist? These cute braids literally lasted all day and I really didn’t want to take it out at the end of the day. Their salon isn’t too far from me so I’m so excited to go and try them out – especially after reading all the amazing reviews they have received!

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Beautiful braids from The Parlour

At the end of the day a raffle was held with proceeds going to the Scoliosis UK charity. I never say no to a raffle and was absolutely delighted when I didn’t only win one prize but two! The first was a lovely gift set from Paul Mitchell and the second was an amazing beauty bundle from W7. I couldn’t wait to get home and try everything out so be prepared for some upcoming reviews soon!

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My beauty bundle from W7

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Collection of goodies from Paul Mitchell

Overall it was a fantastic day and I wish I could do it all over again! Thank you so much to the organisers from @LDNmeetup, including  and . You put in so much hard work for us all and it truly paid off. I can’t wait until the next event!

Becky at Pretty & Petit

Disney Drawing

I’ve recently got really into drawing! Usually I’m not very good at it but I do find something quite relaxing about it when I’m just copying a design. So I recently jumped onto Pinterest and scrolled through to find a few cute Disney designs and now I’m even contemplating getting one as a tattoo! What do you all think? Any recommendations as to which character I should draw next?

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22. My Flash Trash

This week my featured business is… My Flash Trash!

My Flash Trash are a jewellery business based in London. I first came across them at a Pure London event as I spotted their mini trash cans and thought they were such a unique, cool way of storing jewellery! They were originally founded by Amber Atherton who developed a blog into an online marketplace for up and coming jewellery designers. My Flash Trash now has a celebrity following with everyone from Rihanna to Beyonce, Cara Delevingne to HRH the Duchess of Cambridge.

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They specialise in charm jewellery and specifically a unique style of charm bracelet. I love charm bracelets as they’re such a cute way to keep memories with you and My Flash Trash offer a range of different charms for every occasion. I have included a couple of my faves below!

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I absolutely love their quote: “we create playful and bold accessories to bring out your sassy side. we share a passion for not taking life or fashion too seriously, and believe in empowering girls to run the world.” I love the playful nature of this business, emphasising that girls just want to have fun!

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My Flash Trash has recently also just launched in Topshop so make sure you head down to Topshop Oxford Circus to check out their range of fun charms available and why not personalise your own!

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To visit their full range click here to visit their website and let me know in the comments which are your favourite charms!

Becky at Pretty & Petit

All images are taken from the My Flash Trash website.

Guest Blog by Becky Prowse – Fight or Flight (My Battle with Agoraphobia)

A few weeks ago I guest posted on a mental health blog, By Lauren Hayley. I’ve had a busy few weeks so have been off the blogosphere for a while but when I visited the page this weekend I was overwhelmed by all the positive comments that had been left on my post. Thank you so much Lauren for letting me share my story. Make sure you check out her blog: bylaurenhayley.wordpress.com

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I’ve decided recently to feature some guests here on my blog to showcase some other people’s troubles with mental health. Here we have Becky Prowse who talks about her journey with Agoraphobia. Rebecca also has a fantastic blog where she features and reviews small business across the UK, Pretty & Petit

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Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder, which means when the sufferer is in an environment or situation that they feel could become difficult or embarrassing to escape, they have a feeling of fear and ultimately this ends up as a anxiety attack. For myself, I usually feel extremely hot, dizzy or ‘spaced out’ and feel I need to get out of the situation as quickly as possible. I also feel like I need to be holding on to something or someone so I won’t fall. Falling is my main fear or being sick, which in turn has caused me to…

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21. Foxford

This week my featured business is… Foxford!

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I first came across this independent clothing business on Twitter and absolutely fell in love with their clothing. Launching in 2014 they are based in London and have produced collections that include hoodies, T-Shirts, bomber jackets and beanie hats. Each item includes either a really cute fox emblem or a beautiful typography of their Foxford Vintage logo making each item unique.

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They have both womenswear and menswear collections and every product looks as though it is made to the highest quality. Prices are very reasonable ranging from £9.99 for a beanie hat to £49.99 for the bomber jackets.

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My absolute favourite item is the Foxford bomber jacket. It looks so comfortable and warm! I have also put a couple of my favourite items below including a couple of cute T-Shirts so you can see how beautiful the typography is. All the items are perfect for Sunday lounging around or walks in the park.

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Click here to visit their website. To get your 20% discount use the code “PRETTYPETIT PETIT”

Becky at Pretty & Petit

All images taken from Foxford twitter feed and website.