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

New Year, New You – Try Something New in 2016

As part of my ‘New Year, New You’ series this month I’m asking bloggers to share their plans, tips and resolutions for 2016! 
My final post in January comes from Charlotte Corner, a lifestyle blogger at www.crunchcorner.co.uk who is sharing her ideas for trying something new in 2016. Let us know if you have tried something new in 2016 by sharing in the comments!

The start of any New Year is always far too chaotic: back to work, everyone’s feeling the need to set New Year resolutions (most of them often fade come March), and you have to pull yourself out of that cosy Christmas slumber where it was acceptable to have a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie every night.

One of my favourite things about the start of a new year is the fact you’re just motivated and willing to make an effort with everyone and everything. One promise I made to myself a few years back was to always try something new and be the happiest I can be. So if that’s something you’re wanting to promise yourself too, here’s my super easy five top tips anyone can stick to.

Venture out somewhere local – You might be surprised what lovely little spots you will find close to home. Here in Leeds, there are tonnes of things to do and places to see, but try and dig a little deeper and see what unusual activities may lurk below the surface. Some of my latest blog posts have featured nearby walks such as Ripley Castle Gardens which was absolutely stunning, with so much to take in; we also had the cutest of cats follow us around until the very end when tea and scones were calling my name!

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Surprise your friends – After all, they’re the ones that put up with you regardless how awful your mood may be, they will make you laugh when you’re feeling down, and listen to your rants about pretty pointless irritations and still take them seriously. Therefore my friends, just take them out, wine and dine them for no reason other than they’re bloody brilliant, and show your lovelies just how much they mean to you. Food is good for the soul and friendship; but what nourishes the soul more is knowing you’ve made someone else happy. Cheesy I know, but it’s so true!

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Redecorate a room – whether that’s a complete makeover, jazzing up your layout or treating yourself to some new accessories to glam up your décor; shifting a room around can be so refreshing. We’ve recently moved home and kitted our bedroom out in white, meaning our old pine pictures frames had to undergo a little makeover.

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Bring the outside in – Everyone needs a little nature in their home, whether it’s plants, pine cones, dried berries or herbs growing for your cooking. For me, this makes a house homely and checking in on the tiny seeds you planted which is now growing is so exciting. Lavender is also a scrumptious plant to pick, bundle together and place in a room- it smells divine.

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Practice yoga – As bizarre as it sounds, I have never attended a yoga class until last year. I was invited to a blogger session focused all around the Ashtanga and learnt fantastic positions to help find your inner peace, release tensions and just feel more relaxed as a whole. Whether you join a class, or check out some online tutorials, learn and practice yoga!

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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!

UK Blog Awards – Voting is open!

I’ve entered into the UK Blog Awards under the Lifestyle and Events categories, so if you enjoy reading my little blog please take a second to vote for me! Whilst you’re on there make sure you take a look at all the other fabulous bloggers that have entered – there’s some truly wonderfully written blogs out there.

Vote for me now in the UK Blog Awards #UKBA16

Thank you!

Becky
Pretty & Petit

#LoveMe Challenge – Day 18

Prompts

Something that feeds your brain

So I’ve managed to miss a few days as I have been manically revising for my driving theory test but I’m back on it now!

I absolutely love to be creative. I love to write, to draw, to paint, to design new garments, to visit new events to get ideas for stand layouts – all sorts of things! This creativity certainly feeds my brain. Whilst I was off work with my poorly foot I spent most of my time colouring an epic paint by numbers – believe me, they’re not just for children. I was mixing paint to get precise colours and almost using a magnifying glass to paint the tiniest of spots! I haven’t quite finished the painting yet but will definitely share it all with you when I’m done! I’ve also recently bought some adult colouring books including a Tropical World book by Millie Marotta.71Hq3HWcpoLThey’re meant to help relax and de-stress so I’m looking forward to taking some time out of my busy lifestyle to start colouring!

Have you used any adult colouring books? What did you think of them? Are there any you can recommend?

Becky at Pretty & Petit

14. Hergest Designs Ltd

My featured business is… Hergest Designs Ltd!Hergest-landscape-RGB-master.A “Quintessentially British” business producing handmade handbags, woollen blankets and steamer trunks!

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Growing up in Kent, the founder and Creative Director of Hergest Designs Ltd, Elinor Fielder uses inspiration of a traditional English lifestyle to incorporate into her range of bags, blankets and steamer trunks.

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My favourite products on the website incorporate a Hergest tweed, a bespoke woven tweed which is used to create tote bags and luxurious woollen blankets. The tote bags, shown below, come in small, medium and large sizes in a variety of colours and each bag also comes with a matching purse.

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The beautiful blankets come in a range of colours and start at £100. The blankets are of a high quality and aim for optimum warmth and comfort. I love the Dorstone Heather colour! Perfect in time for Spring and picnics in the park!

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Do you have a favourite product on the website? I’d love to hear what you think! To view the full range of products available click here.

All images taken from the Hergest Designs website.

Becky at Pretty & Petit