Healthy Work/Uni Lunchbox Ideas

Lunchboxes aren't just for kids. There are loads of ideas you can use for making a healthy packed lunch that you can take to work/uni/college/school. I've found some really great healthy lunchbox inspiration and wanted to share them with you. These are especially great if you're on a budget or want to cut down on spending - buying your lunch every day really adds up! If you're looking for a cheap lunchbox, you can find them in your local supermarket, home bargains, wilko's or B&M. I also like these too!
All the images below belong to their respective blogger - just click on the bold title to go straight to the blog post!

Project Lunch 30 Day Challenge

If you're looking for ideas then this blog has a free printout that you can use to inspire you!

Vegetarian Lunchbox Ideas

If you're looking for vegetarian ideas then this blog is for you. These are ideas with kids in mind but you can easily adapt them to suit you.

Lunches for Grown-ups

Lots of inspiration here, including salads, sandwiches and pasta!

Lunchbox Ideas for All The Family

Lunch ideas for all the family, including little ones!

Back to School Ideas

Easily adaptable ideas with a free printout. These are also good for those who prefer a light lunch.

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Why Other Bloggers Are Not The Competition!

Blogging is a funny old thing. On one part, its incredibly fulfilling and enjoyable. On the other hand, there is a wave of negativity that often comes seeping to the surface. I think its completely natural to feel slightly envious of others from time to time, especially if you see someone doing well for themselves and you're going through a rough patch or struggling with a confidence crisis. 

As I wrote in my post 5 ways to avoid the comparison trap, its easy to feel like your content or photography isn't good enough and compare yourself to other bloggers in your genre. However, I genuinely feel there doesn't need to be the need for competitive blogging whether that's related to views, subscribers, general feelings or being supportive of each other.

In order to feel less competitive with each other, lets look at the ways you can feel good about your own blogging adventure.

1. Believe in yourself
That's often a lot easier said than done but having confidence in your content will help you to feel much more positive about your blog and less likely to compare yourself in a negative way. Try and do what you want to do - your blog is your space and you can create whatever you like!

2. There's a person behind the blog
Most bloggers/vloggers only share a small portion on their lives online - nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors. You may feel envious of someones blog/looks/beautiful home but nobody has a perfect life. Sometimes people can come across very differently online and may appear confident but that's not to say they're are. I also think its very easy to come across badly on the likes of twitter and instagram when in reality it may not be the case (obviously, I'm not including those who are arses in real life).

3. Take inspiration
Be inspired by others rather than competitive. If there is a blog you're envious of, what is it that makes you feel that way? Is it the design? content? no of subscribers? How can you use that envy and turn it into something positive? Perhaps you could improve your own design and content - I'm not saying copy ideas as that wouldn't be cool but maybe you could utilise some of the blogging tips around the web and use it to your own advantage. I've been very envious of those with great photography skills but I've tried to improve my own photography so I'm happier with it - its far from perfect but building my own skills has made me more fulfilled.

4. Think about your long term goals
Do you have any long term goals in mind? are there things you can do that will make you happier in the long term with your own blog? Remember its OK to change things around - there are no rules when it comes to blogging!

5. Success means different things to different people
To some success may mean views and followers but to others it might be building content that you're proud of. It might be making friends in the community, reader relationships or gaining a career from your blog. What you deem as successful, may not be the same for everyone but don't be afraid to celebrate your personal goals or milestones. Celebrate other bloggers achievements too - I'm  firm believer that positivity radiates positivity (that may sound like a cliche to some) but its surprising how letting go of negativity can make you feel much happier!

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5 of The Best Pieces of Blogging Advice For New and Established Blogs

Blogging advice is something that's cropping up more and more. I've shared a few posts of my own but I wanted to share five posts that have really helped me. These posts are suitable for both newer and established blogs - theres a mixture of tips and advice that really gives you something to think about. All images belong to the respective bloggers - click on the post title to go straight to the article.

Launch a blog on a budget

Regina's blog is one of my all time favourites for blogging advice. For anyone who is on a budget, this post is for you. This is one of the most detailed posts I've read on this subject and theres worksheets to download too.

13 ways to drive traffic to old blog posts

Some great tips for helping to increase traffic to your blog via older posts.

Love your blog: you dont have to create content every day

I've mentioned Dana's blog before but it really is great for tips and advice. I love this post - it's easy to get wrapped up into thinking you need to post every day when you really don't need to pressure yourself!

5 fail safe tips for taking great blog photos

A great post if you want improve your blog photo's - the tips are easy to follow and understand!

Why its OK to make money from blogging

I love this post so much!There's a bit of negativity when it comes to making money from blogging yet more and more bloggers are making it their full time jobs. I think this post sums up everything that many bloggers feel!

p.s. I'm now offering new and update advertising packages - click here to see more info!

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Giveaway! Win a £30 Feel Unique Voucher

This month sees this blog's third birthday!I'm not sure how I've managed to stay blogging for three years when I'm the sort of person that doesnt stick to things very well. Weirdly, I love blogging more now than I did when I first started and I thought this would be the appropriate time to say thank you to everyone who has subscribed/commented over the past 3 years. As a little thank you, I've decided to offer a £30 feel unique voucher to a lucky winner. Feel unique is one of my favourite online stores - they stock lots of great brands and they ship worldwide too, meaning this giveaway is open to everyone (just make sure they ship to your country!). 

To enter, simply follow the details in the rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Kate Moss Rimmel Lipsticks 34, 35, 36, 37, 38 Spring/Summer 2015

The Kate Moss for Rimmel Lasting Finish lipsticks are great value for money. Shade 110 is one of my all time favourite lipsticks. Rimmel have recently released five new shades in the Kate Moss range - I'm not sure whether these are limited edition or permanent but all five are beautiful shades for spring and summer. 
As normal these have numbers and not shade names - my pet hate as surely it doesnt take two minutes to come up with a name! If you love pink lipsticks then theres definitely something here for you. 

34 -  a light barbie toned pink. This shade does highlight any dryness and its one of those tones that can make your teeth look yellow. However, it is a very pretty shade.
35 - A lilac toned pink. So beautiful and surprisingly fairly easy to wear.
36 - A bright pink. Very similar to MAC girl about town but not quite as bright. 
37 - A red toned lipstick that's similar to 110 but without the matte finish.
38 - A nude toned pink that's very wearable. A great lipstick if you don't want to commit to a full on nude lippie. 

The formula of these is great - very pigmented, comfortable to wear and without feeling drying. Only 34 showed up really dry lips, so I recommend wearing a lip balm underneath. My personal favourites are 35 and 38, however I'm sure all these will be very popular this spring and summer. I purchased mine from Superdrug but I'm sure you'll find them instore and at Boots too!

Have you tried any Kate Moss Rimmel lipsticks?

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10 MAC Dupes from the high street/drugstore

I love finding dupes for mid to high end cosmetics. Today, I have 10 MAC dupes for you. All of them are from the high street/drugstore. These are ones I've found from my own makeup collection, so they're probably different to other dupes you may have seen. MAC prices seem to be getting more and more expensive, so if there's something you've been lusting you may find a cheaper version here. You may already own some of these products or something similar!

Shy Girl Dupe

NYX lipstick in pumpkin pie is a great dupe for shy girl. It doesn't wear as long as shy girl but its a decent lipstick and £10 cheaper than MAC lippies.

217 brush and ebay 99p dupe

This 99p dupe from Ebay is such a great blending brush. As you can see, its not completely identical to the 217 but it does a great job of applying shadows and concealer. Whilst I find it slightly too large for blending shadows, its good for applying a wash of colour. It needs a bit more work than the 217 in buffing/blending product but its a good brush for 99p. You can find it here. 

Lovelorn dupe

One of the best dupes I've discovered is Loreal Rouge Caresse Lipstick in Rose Mademoiselle which is similar to lovelorn - they're pretty much identical in colour. Lovelorn wears longer but rose mademoiselle has a lighter formulation as its more of a balm/lipstick hybrid. You can currently get rose mademoiselle for £4.19 at direct cosmetics here.

Viva glam Rihanna dupe

You may find last years viva glam Rihanna lipstick at CCo's but if you missed it then you may be interested in this dupe. Milani cherry crave is very similar. They look identical in the swatch but I'd say cherry crave is slightly more metallic and orange toned than viva glam Rihanna but it may depend on your skintone as to how it pulls on you. I got the Milani lipstick from this ebay seller but you can also find it on amazon here.

Satin taupe dupe

Satin taupe is my favourite MAC shadow but it does have a few dupes. One I've found is Maybelline's iced fudge. Iced fudge has silver shimmer running through it and is a lot more powdery than satin taupe. I do think satin taupe is far better quality but shade wise its very similar to iced fudge! 

All that glitters dupe

MAC all that glitters is a popular shade. A similar shadow is scheherazade's tale from the Arabian Nights palette. All that glitters leans more orange toned and is less metallic but scheherazade's tale is a lovely soft and smooth shadow and well pigmented too. You can find the Arabian nights palette here for £7.99 for 12 shades.

Impassioned nail dupe

China Glaze's make some noise is identical to MAC impassioned nail polish. I've swatched both on my thumb nail and there is literally no difference. If you're after impassioned, I highly recommend make some noise instead. China Glaze's polishes are brilliant quality and just as good as MAC's in my opinion. You can pick up China Glaze make some noise for £4.25 here.

girl about town dupe

As you can see, these aren't identical but they are similar. MAC's girl about town is darker and more pink toned, however, the Makeup Revolution Lip Hug in shes up all night has a sheerer formula and is only £2.50. You can find it here. 

espresso dupe

A dupe for MAC espresso is the bizarrely named white from the Makeup Revolution Naked Chocolate white palette. These two are almost identical but I'd say espresso has better pigmentation. The naked white chocolate palette is £7.99 but its a great budget palette and I have a feeling there might be a few more dupes in there. You can find it here.

Brave dupe


As I ran out of dupes in my stash, I had a look on instagram and found this great dupe of MAC brave - they look almost identical. You can find Maybelline warm me up here. 

Do you have any favourite dupes?

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MAC Wash and Dry Collection 2015

MAC summer collections are always my favourite and this year the Wash and Dry collection looks a real crowd pleaser. The special multi-coloured packaging is super pretty. This range usually launches at the beginning of May in the UK and slighter later in the US. Full colour story below.

Studio Sculpt Defining Bronzing Powder
Delicates – neutral deep bronze w/ fine gold shimmer
Golden Rinse – light brick reddish bronze w/ fine shimmer

Bronzing Powder
Matte Bronze
Refined Golden

Nail Laquer
Washeteria – blue green
Monday Blues – blue

Crips Whites – pale tangerine w/ pearls

Tumble Dry – light peachy coral
Steam Heat – vivid yellow red
Creme D’Nude
Morange (Repromote)

Hot/Cold – true red
Laundry List – vivid orange
Domestic Diva – frosty watery pink
Girl on Board – light creme nude

Coin Operated – metal grey w/ silver pearl
Practice Makes Perfect – deep blue green
Colour Matters – lime
Sudsy – marine blue

Veluxe Pearlfusion Eyeshadow
Permanent Press – white beige / calm brown bronze / black w/ gold pearls
Green Clean – pale white green / lime / deep khaki w/ gold pearls
Warm Wash – white w/ orange gold pearl / peachy orange / copper gold bronze

Highlight Powder
Freshen Up

Makeup Bag

2 Brushes

Eye Brows
Stylized – brown
Tapered – red brown
Delineated – cork taupe
Accentuated – ashy grey brown


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A Guide To Successfully Blogging On A Budget

As someone who doesnt blog full time (i.e. earn a living from my blog), I have to blog on a budget. Sure, I have spent a small amount on my blog but generally I have to limit my funds. I simply cant afford to buy every new product to review or splash out on a new camera. 

This post is an update to my previous ones on how to blog when you're broke and no money, no problem. I feel I've learnt a lot since writing those posts last year and I wanted to show you how I mange to blog effectively on a budget. 

Make the most of the tools you have 
Whether that's a camera, backgrounds, accessories etc. I use a regular laptop for blogging and work purposes. I would love a Macbook but I simply cant afford to buy one at this point. For blogging, any kind of laptop/desktop will do - you can even use your phone to blog on the go!

When it comes to cameras, you really dont need a DSLR or fancy schmancy camera. I'm not saying that you can compare a very cheap camera with one that costs thousands of pounds and I'm sure some would say that higher quality photos are better. However, you can get decent enough photographs with a cheaper camera that are perfectly usable for blogging. If theres one thing that I've learned about photography over the past 3 years, its to take photos in natural light - it makes such a difference! That's obviously easier said than done in winter but you can brighten photos by using a photo editing site.

For backgrounds, a white sheet of paper does a great job - I've also used chopping boards, my chest of drawers, bedding and cushions to take photos on.

Utilise free resources 
Try and make the most of free resources available. There are tonnes of free resources on the internet.
Whether you need an editorial calendar or blog design resources - its all out there. Not everyone can spend £££'s on a blog design but there are many tutorials that can help you tweak your own layout. I've written some here and I'd also really recommend reading I can build a blog as there's some really helpful tips on there. If you're looking for a free template for your blog then check out my post here.
When it comes to photography, I often use stock photos for posts like this one and then just edit it in Picmonkey (which is free for basic functions) to put text on!

Create a pool of ideas for content
Creating a pool of ideas will help to keep you inspired and help you stick to a budget. For example, I  said at the start of this post that I cant afford to buy every new product. I'm lucky enough to receive a few PR samples here and there but its not enough to fill every blog post. Instead, I try to think outside of the box and write posts like this one or share other bloggers content, such as in my heathy eating lunch ideas post. If you're stuck for inspiration, have a look at my 108 blog post ideas.

Make use of budget buys, freebies
You dont need to purchase high end products in order to blog. Some of my most read posts are on budget products. If you're wanting to spend money then its a good idea to shop around for good offers - I try to wait for 3 for 2 promotions, buy one get one half price and I like to look in shops like B&M, Home Bargains and pound stores too. Make sure you get loyalty cards for shops, such as Boots, Superdrug, Space NK and Debenhams - if I'm buying a higher end product, I usually wait for the 10% beauty promo at Debenhams - its a great way to save money and pick up some extra points too. The Boots Advantage Card is also one of my favourites as you can pick up extra points via the Boots App or from coupons you're sent. Check out my post on how to get free products too!

Be inspired by your own lifestyle 
When it comes to creating content for your blog, why not be inspired by your daily life. For example, if you're on a day trip, take photos and share them on your blog. It makes an interesting post and wont cost you anything extra to create.
If you're going to the gym, you could document your workout routine. You could write a post on your work wardrobe and take photos of your outfits. Don't be afraid to try new things when it comes to content creation. 

Collaborate with others
Collaborating with others is a great way to save money. For a giveaway, you could collaborate with several bloggers and hold a group contest with a big prize, rather than individual small prizes. You could also collaborate with other bloggers by creating a blog interview series, take outfit photo's for each other or plan a meetup. 

Look around
If you're looking for something, ask yourself do you really need it? Can you get it cheaper elsewhere? I shopped around for lighting and found that buying the lights and lightbox separately worked out cheaper than buying them in a set (I saved around £15). If you need a new camera or laptop, have a look around on the web to compare prices. You could also try second hand shops and eBay too. 

Do you have any tips for blogging on a budget?

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Garnier Pure Active Micellar Water Vs Garnier Original Micellar Cleansing Water

Micellar waters are something I religiously use to remove my makeup. The Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water is my usual go to as it removes makeup really well, its cheap to buy and easy to get hold of. During a recent shopping trip, I spotted a newer version - the Garnier Pure Active Micellar Water aimed at oily/combination and sensitive skin types.

There isnt a massive difference between the two products. Both are 400ml bottles, however the new pure active version has a blue toned bottle rather than clear which makes it easy to know which is which. The only difference between the two in formulation is that pure active micellar water contains alcohol.

Having tested both out, I'd say that the pure active version soaks into the skin better and leaves it feeling completely matte. In terms of makeup removal, both versions remove makeup effectively. If I had to choose between the two, I'd go for the original version which is alcohol free. As this is a product that I use regularly, I prefer to avoid alcohol as it can be drying on the skin. However, if you have oily skin and using skincare products containing alcohol isnt a concern for you then you'll likely prefer the newer version.

Have you tried any Garnier micellar cleansing waters?

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5 Ways To Avoid The Comparison Trap

As far as blogging goes, its completely natural to compare yourself to others. I regularly fall into the trap of thinking my content and photography isn't good enough and my mind goes through a mixture of 'someone is going to realise I have no idea what I'm doing' or 'my blog is rubbish compared to X blog'. When that happens, there are a few motions I put into place to try and build my blogging confidence back up again and these tips may help you if you're in a comparison trap.

1. Remember why you started
Ask yourself why you created your blog? what inspired you? what was your focus? What were your passions? Reflecting on the reasons why you started your blog can help to give you focus and help you to review your blogging journey so far. 

2. Focus on your personal goals
Setting yourself personal goals can help your blog to grow and keep you inspired on your blogging journey. Creating realistic goals can assist with maintaining your production levels - something I find helps overcome self doubt. I find my confidence starts to wain when I'm in a blogging slump. Consider setting micro-goals as these are more attainable. What direction do you want your blog to go in? what improvements can you make to help you reach your goals? Review your progress regularly. I've written more on blogging goals here, including a free download to help you. 

3. Discover and nurture your strengths
Identifying your strengths as a blog helps you to use them to your advantage. What are you good at? What content do your readers enjoy? Analysing your stats and reader interaction can help with this. Are reviews your strong point? Do you have amazing photography skills? How can you use your strengths to build your content. For example, if you have an eye for photography, make sure your blog pictures are enlarged to really capture the readers attention. 

4. Stay influenced by your own ideas
Every blogger has influences but trusting your own ideas will help to build your confidence. Dont be afraid to try new things once in a while, even if its something outside the box. Doing what you love instead of doing what you think you should is also a great confidence booster. If you're really struggling for ideas though, have a look at this post on generating blog content.

5. Other people often feel the same
I'm sure the majority of bloggers have fallen into the comparison trap at least once. Even a blogger who greatly inspires you will more than likely have felt the same at some point. Even those with thousands and thousands of subscribers will have suffered with self doubt. Remember its not all fairy lights, white walls and pretty homewares behind the scenes. 

How do you get out of a confidence crisis?

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5 Easy Ways To Boost Your Blog Views

I've always been kind of wary of posts on how to increase your blog views, so I may sound somewhat of a hypocrite writing this. Many articles I've read on the subject all say the same thing - write great content, write sticky content, write viral content etc. 

I don't focus as much on blog views as I used to when but I think for anyone who wants to grow their blog then views do play a part. Obviously its a nice feeling when you love writing your blog and people are reading. When you first start out, its a struggle to increase your views and it does take time to build a blog.

As with all these blogging posts I write, take my tips with a pinch of salt - I'm no expert nor will these tips get you millions of hits. These are a few practical and easy ways you can slowly improve your blog views - I've used these and I definitely noticed a difference when I implemented them.

1. Link posts on social media - seriously, social media is great for getting your blog out there. I personally love twitter as you can add popular hashtags to your blog links, join in with blog chats and schedule tweets. A lot of bloggers also use Facebook and Instagram to promote their blog posts too. I wouldn't recommend Facebook as you may gain a lot of subscribers but your posts are only seen by a small fraction of them unless you pay for ads.  I think if you have an eye for photography then instagram is definitely worth considering. 

2. Use pinterest - Pinterest is great for boosting your blog views. That said, it does take time. I'd recommend signing up, pinning your images to boards as well as other images too. I wrote a post here on using pinterest for blogging purposes

3. Backlink to previous content in your blog posts - backlinking to older posts can help reduce your blogs bounce rate (i.e. readers stay on your blog for longer) and increase the no of blog clicks you receive. I try and link back to similar posts, so for instance in this blog article I've linked back to another post on blogging that I've produced. 

4. Use engageya/other posts you might like - try using a tool like engageya or having a blog design that includes an 'other posts you might like' widget at the end of every blog post. As a reader, I've often clicked on other posts used in these widgets and I end up reading the blogs content for longer. It's a great way to link to your previous posts and ensure they still get traffic. 

5. Give your content a new edge - Okay, so I am going to mention content but hopefully this is a valid point. If you're writing about something that has already been written about many times before then its beneficial to give your post a different slant. For example, if I see a review of a certain product on my bloglovin feed and I've already read/seen posts on the product millions of times before than the chances are that I'm not going to click on and read that post.
If say, you're writing about a makeup palette thats already been reviewed a lot then how can you make that post different to the ones already out there? How can you grab the readers attention? How are you going to ensure that readers click on your post? A good idea would be to perhaps include the product in a round up post, a makeup tutorial, a favourites post, dupes....basically something that makes more people want to read. I find this quite difficult myself as its hard to know what readers will respond to but trying different things, having a look at your stats, what people are searching for and how much interaction you get on a post are all good pointers to set you off in the right direction.

Do you have suggestions on how you can boost your blog views?

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How To Apply Makeup Like A Pro | 5 Tutorials

There are some parts of makeup application *contouring* that I'm not overly confident with. I think I've improved my application since I've started blogging as I've watched/read various tutorials and practised my techniques. While I'll never have the skills of a pro makeup artist, there are so many tips and tricks out there that can really help you improve and apply your makeup better. Here's a few of my favourites;

This is one of the best videos I've seen on contouring as it makes it so easy to follow. It explains the products used and exactly how to apply them with close ups.


A really easy to follow guide to styling your brows

Winged liner

A brilliant guide on how to create a winged line. I always have trouble with this, so its highly useful.

Fuller lips

A quick and easy tutorial for creating fuller and defined lips

Bright eyes

Another The Beauty Department guide - their site has so many good tips! I love this one for hiding tired eyes!

Do you have any favourite tutorials?

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The Body Shop Vitamin E Range & 40% Off Code

If you're looking for a last minute ish gift for your mum this mothers day or just fancy treating yourself then have a look at The Body Shops Vitamin E range. This range has been given a little make over in time for Mothers day. I love the limited edition union jack packaging - it just feels that bit more modern and fresh. 
The vitamin E range is a hugely popular skincare line for The Body Shop. There's a mix here and something for every mum. 

The Vitamin E Overnight Serum in Oil* is a 28ml bottle of beauty oil designed to replenish and nourish skin. I've used this in the past and found it too much for my oily/combination skin but for normal to dry skin types this would a be a good addition to your skincare routine. 

The Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet* is summer in a pot. I love this moisturiser - it feels light, fresh and softening. It makes your skin feel velvety soft after use and its also good to use as a makeup base too. If you buy one thing from this range then make it this one. 

The Vitamin E Eyes Cube*  is a new product for 2015 and probably the strangest new product I've tried in a while. This twist up stick is pretty much a solid version of a cooling and refreshing eye cream. Its ideal for travelling and applying on the go, though its best used on bare skin. I've found it works well on tired and slightly puffy eyes and it helps to brighten the under eye area. I generally prefer an eye cream in a pot or tube rather than stick but this is an interesting concept and its very handing for keeping in your bag. 

*There's currently 40% online and instore with code 14665*

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Real Ways To Make Money From Blogging

Blogging is constantly evolving and its now a way that many make a living from. I'll be completely transparent and say that I make a little from this site and I'm nowhere near being a full time blogger. I don't really have a plan to do so at this point but I thought it might be helpful to share the ways that many do make money from. 

When I first started out blogging, I wondered how anyone could possibly make revenue from their website. There are a few bloggers who do share how they make their money and I've linked some below. I don't have a problem talking about how I make money via this site as its no secret and I don't see it as bragging as I'm hardly sat on a yacht sipping champagne while I write this. 

I make a small amount each month via Google adsense - I wrote more on how to make money via adsense here. You need to earn £60 before you can cash out and I'm not quite there yet but generally I earn around £5-£6 each month via a small google ad on my sidebar. I recently joined Media Nexus which 'run' my other ads on site. I've not checked my earnings yet, so I'll have to update on that one. I also have advertising space on my sidebar for sponsors (other bloggers and small etsy shops) which are £4 each, so that revenue really depends on how many slots are filled. 

I also have skimlinks on this site which is basically affiliate marketing - it someone clicks through a link and makes a purchase, I receive a small %. I generally earn around £4 to £5 per month. As you can see its not much but it helps to cover the cost of giveaways, domain renewal etc. There's also sponsored posts too but I dont really do many of those, so its just when one pops up that fits with the site and readership. I'm normally emailed those opportunities and I turn them down if they're not suitable as I want to keep things genuine on here. 

As I'm not a full time blogger, I wanted to share a few links to bloggers that either run a full time blog or earn via their blog. I hope you'll find these helpful if you're thinking of monetising your site (click on the bold header to go to the site).

Makeup Savvy - Top 10 ways to make money from blogging

A really useful resource of ways to earn money from your blog.

Making sense of cents - How to make money blogging

A few other ways to make money blogging - Michelle also details her income on her blog which is a really interesting read.

By Regina - Blog income report 

I've linked to this before and I definitely think its food for thought. I love reading income posts as it shows you what can be achieved.

Bella the blog - How I get paid to blog

Some more ways to earn from your blog. Some of these may be US based but definitely something to think about if you're across the pond.

A free and useful Ebook on money making and growing your blog.

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The Top Blogging Lessons I've Learnt

As its been almost three years since I started this little online space, I thought it was time for reflection. I've learnt a lot over the past three years from blogging - about blogging in general and about myself. Blogging has evolved so much in recent years, what once was a hobby for many is now something that you can earn a living from, gain career opportunities and learn new skills. I've whittled down the top blogging lessons I've learnt over the last 3 years. If you're a blogger you might be familiar with some of these. 

1. Do what makes you happy
If anyone asked me for advice to give new bloggers it would be this. Even though I've written a few tips and tricks posts in the past, I always say that you need to do what makes you happy first and foremost. I think it really shows if you're not happy with the content you're producing. Go with your gut instinct. Some of my favourite posts to write have gone down like lead balloons but I'm still glad that I wrote them. I've seen a few bloggers say they're not sure whether they should publish a post and essentially you have to remember that your blog is your space - you can create your own rules! 

2. Take blogging tips with a pinch of salt
I'll probably sound like a hypocrite for saying this as I've written a few blogging tips posts but I generally believe that you shouldn't take blogging tips too seriously. Different things work for different people. You could follow all the tips on a 'how to gain more followers' type post but thats not to say its going to work for you. Every blogging journey is different - whats worked for one person wont necessarily work for someone else. Of course, theres lots of great advice out there but I think the key is to balance it with what you want to do and what works for you. 

3. You cant please everyone
As with life, you just cant please everyone. Some people will like your blog and some people wont. It would be pretty boring if we all liked the same thing. Dont beat yourself up trying to win everyone over.

4. Be true to yourself 
Its OK to turn things down, do things a little differently from everyone else and stick to your guns. There's a few things I'd wish I'd done differently but I've learnt and grown from those experiences. 

5. Organisation helps.
There's no need to put pressure on yourself to keep a regular schedule but an editorial calender, notebooks to jot down ideas and generally keeping things organised definitely helps in the long run. I'd be completely lost with keeping notes and a planner. 

6. Its OK to do new things 
I've changed a few things since I started blogging and I'm planning to introduce a few more things on here to keep things fresh. I've had a million blog designs too but I'm finally happy with how my blog looks at the moment. I've even changed my blog name along the way (it was originally called The Beauty Shelf) but I felt it restricted what I posted. Sometimes, its good to try out something new or change the direction that you're going in.

7. Blogging is awesome
I'm so glad that I decided to start blogging. It really has given me more confidence and provided some great opportunities. Getting to interact with amazing bloggers is a massive plus too. There's an incredible blogging community out there and if its something you're considering 100% go for it.

Have you learnt any valuable lessons from you're blogging journey?

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5 Quick & Easy Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Following on from my healthy lunch inspiration post, I thought I would tackle breakfast. My mum always drummed it into me and my sisters heads that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating a good breakkie sets you up for the day and helps to give you a bit more of an energy boost in the morning. Usually, I just have a bowl or cereal or weetabix. I'm not someone who can eat a massive breakfast but I want to make some healthier choices, so here are a few ideas I'm going to try out (click on the bold header to be taken straight to the recipe).

This looks so delicious - why does food look more appetising in a mason jar?

raspberry sunrise smoothie

Smoothies are great for a quick snack too. I personally don't find them mega filling, so they're not for the days when you wake up starving. On a lazy day though, they're perfect and nutritious too!

Healthy 5 ingredient granola bars

These bars look so good and also great for taking with you to eat on the go.

Easy spinach & egg white omelette

I love omelettes as they're so quick and easy to make - if I can make them then anyone can!Full of protein and iron!

Tomato & goat cheese on toast

OK, so maybe not the healthiest of options but sometimes you just need some cheese on toast to get you through the morning. Full of calcium and fibre.

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