Monday, 29 February 2016

Makeup Revolution Ultra Eyeshadows Flawless Palette



Lately I haven't been feeling 100% so to cheer myself up I went on a little bit of a shopping spree. Most of the things I bought were from Primark, however I did get one thing from Superdrug - the Makeup Revolution Flawless eye-shadow palette. I'd heard so many good things about it so when I saw that it was actually in stock in my local store I had to pick one up. Although, I know the new one is now out and I probably should have ordered that instead...

As a huge fan of Makeup Revolution's eye-shadow palettes I had high expectations and I really wasn't disappointed. It's almost as though this palette was made for me. 



I didn't actually know before I bought this but the outer sleeve for this palette is an amazing rose gold colour, it's so cute although very very difficult to take photos of as it's so shiny. The same goes for the palette it's self as it's a shiny black material. I kind of wish these palettes were in the same packaging as the Iconic Pro one's as they're a beautiful matte black and it's much harder to leave finger print marks on them.

One of the best things about the packaging though is the fact there is a huge mirror the size of the whole palette inside. I rarely buy palette's without mirrors now as I find it so much easier to use the mirror in a palette rather than my own, or is that just me? Okay...

The palette is also smaller than imagined it would have been, however I don't really mind this too much as it means it will so much more easier to take with me on weekends away or holidays.



The colours in this palette are so stunning. I'm a huge nudes/neutral eye-shadow fan, but I also love using reds and coppers, which is why this palette appealed to me so much. It's the perfect combination of both. It also has a few darker shades for me to experiment with too.

My favourites are definitely more on the right hand side of the palette, the shimmers. I absolutely love Highlite, Unlimited, Golden Night, Gold Digger (helloooo Half Baked dupe), Cheerless, Universal, Copper Shimmer, Darkest Shimmer, Tarnish, Red Night, Molton Chocolate and Burgandy Nights. I think I may or may not have just listed the entire palette, but it is absolutely amazing. 

The quality of the eye-shadows are much better than I thought, especially considering I only paid £8 for 32 shades! There are a few shades that don't have as much payoff as others and these are mostly the matte ones. The shimmer shades are such high quality - so much so I'd say they are up there with some of the most pigmented shadows I have owned.





Overall I am so impressed with this palette so far, I am so glad I picked it up and I will definitely be picking up the Flawless 2 when I get the chance. Have you tried any of the Makeup Revolution Ultra Eyeshadows palettes before? Which one should I get next? 

Lots of love, 


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Friday, 26 February 2016

Rawr Organic Chocolate Review



A couple of months ago I was sent a lovely parcel from Rawr Raw Chocolate* with a selection of some of their favourites. I love chocolate so I was really excited to try their organic, dairy free, fairtrade and raw chocolates.

Raw chocolate is beneficial as it has no added refined cane or beet sugar, no artificial junk and no chemical preservatives. It's basically guilt free!

Rawr do a large range, however I was given 68% Cocoa, 80% Cocoa, Mint, Chocolate Orange and Goji Berries with Vanilla.

Of course, a big package filled with chocolates called for a major chocolate tasting session for me and my boyfriend. It took a while, but we managed to try all them all. As I hadn't ever tried raw chocolate before I wasn't sure what to expect, other than it wouldn't be as creamy as what I was used to.

The first one I tried was the Mint, as I thought it would be my favourite. It tasted a little bit more bitter than I expected and I found it hard to eat a lot of it, but it was still really nice. The mint was strong and tasted really really good.

The Chocolate Orange raw chocolate was definitely my favourite, it was sweet, tangy and so chocolatey! The best thing about it - I didn't feel as guilty eating it!

Rawr Chocolate's 68% and 80% Cocoa bars were delicious. The dark chocolate was a little bit too rich to eat a whole bar, but one or two pieces were a perfect chocolate fix.

I wasn't really a fan of the Goji Berries with Vanilla chocolate, however I think that's because I don't really like berry flavoured chocolates, it's just wrong! My boyfriend loved this one so much he finished it off though, so it can't be that bad!



Have you have tried raw, organic chocolate before - what did you think?

Lots of love, 


If you enjoyed this, you can follow me on social media to keep up to date and never miss a post! 
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*These were kindly gifted to me for an honest review.





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Thursday, 25 February 2016

What ever happened to helping each other out?



When I first started blogging I don't think I could have possibly imagined what the blogging community would be like, if anything I would say I was quite naive. Don't get me wrong, I have made some of the most amazing friends, met people that have changed my life and seen some of the most beautiful acts of kindness I have ever seen before. The majority of bloggers are wonderful and I couldn't imagine my life without them.

However lately, I have been noticing that there are so many bloggers are not willing to help someone out when they reach out to them publically. 

A couple of weeks ago I posted on a couple of different Facebook groups that I was looking for some feedback on my Instagram account as I wanted to improve and gain more followers. I was expecting (out of 1000's of members) that at least five or six people would comment with some honest, constructive criticism. They didn't even need to visit my profile or follow me as I included a screenshot of my latest Instagram photos in the Facebook post.

In the morning I woke up to 32 notifications and I was in complete shock! How could that many people want to offer me advice? When I clicked on it however I could see that I was mistaken, nobody wanted to help me at all. Instead, I had 32 bloggers leaving the links to their Instagram accounts in the comments saying things like "I'd love it if you could follow me" or "you can find me here".

Nobody had actually read my Facebook post properly. They literally couldn't see past the words 'Instagram' and took it as an opportunity to gain another follower. 

I couldn't believe that people had looked past the fact that I was asking for feedback and thought I had posted a 'like for like' post - another thing I can't stand about some Facebook groups for bloggers. I really feel like bloggers are becoming more and more reluctant to help each other out lately.

What ever happened to just helping each other out and giving honest criticism?

Is it really all about the followers?

I want to point out that this does not apply to all groups and that there are a number of Facebook groups for bloggers where people are always willing to offer advice and help. My favourites are #TheGirlGang and UK Bloggers, and if you're not already following these you should definitely check them out. nc

Have you ever experienced something like this? Do you think that bloggers are less reluctant to help others out than they used to be?

Lots of love, 


If you enjoyed this, you can follow me on social media to keep up to date and never miss a post! 
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Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Munchpak Mini



A few months ago Munchpak* asked me if I would like to review one of their Munchpak Mini subscription boxes - a monthly box that includes popular treats from all over the world. As I love subscription boxes and trying treats from different countries I thought this would be absolutely perfect for me, so of course I said yes!

The box was a lot smaller than I imagined, despite it being called a mini box. The mini box has five full sized treats, however there are larger boxes you can subscribe to too. My box included a packet of Meanies from Ireland, Lindor chocolates, some Dip N Lik Fla.Vor.Ice popping candy, a Turkish chocolate bar and some Pizza flavoured pretzals from Thailand.



The Meanies are basically the Irish version of Monster Munch, just with a lot less flavour and mess. I definitely wouldn't eat these again, as they reminded me of the store bought versions of the real deal. Flavourless and cheap! 

The Dip n Lik popping candy was actually quite nice. It came with a lollipop which was gone much quicker than the candy was, so I ended up just pouring it into my mouth. The grape one was my favourite, but my boyfriend snatched that out of my hand before I had time to finish it! Cheeky! 



I took one bite of the Turkish chocolate bar and threw it away, there was far too much wafer and the chocolate was really bland and tasteless. 

The Lindor chocolates were limited edition for Winter and absolutely amazing, I kind of wish the pack was a little bit bigger. They were a white chocolate creamy filling coated in delicious milk chocolate, amazing! I didn't see this flavour in the UK, but I am hoping they are something I can get my hands on next Christmas.

Finally, the pizza flavoured Pretz. Again, this isn't something I would buy but they weren't bad. I am not a bit fan of crunchy pretzels, but the cheesey taste of these was bearable. 

Overall, I wasn't really impressed with the contents of my Munchpak Mini, but that was just one month! I am sure that I would love others, which is the exactly the point of a monthly subscription box - to find new things you love! 

Would you try Munchpak? 

Lots of love, 


If you enjoyed this, you can follow me on social media to keep up to date and never miss a post! 

*This post includes a PR sample


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Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Eat Your Photo Cupcakes Review



I really love cake, like a lot - but do you know what's better than regular cake? Cake with your logo on it! When Eat Your Photo* asked if I wanted to reviews some of their personalised cupcakes this was my first thought, I actually couldn't wait to have cupcakes with my blog logo on.

I sent a picture of my logo off to Eat Your Photo via email, unsure whether or not it was too big, but the team reassured me that it was the perfect size and my cupcakes would be on their way to me very soon. The delivery was fast and I even received an email the day before letting me know what time they would arrive. I love this as if there's one thing I hate it's sitting in waiting for a parcel.

When they arrived I was actually really surprised to see that the courier service had followed the instructions on the box and kept the box the right way up. I didn't realise this even happened anymore, as most of the packages I get look like they've been been through a lawn mower. The cupcakes were still in perfect condition!

I obviously had to take photos before taste testing them which took so much willpower. They smelt really sweet and the chocolate frosting looked amazing. I was really impressed with how nice they looked too, despite the logo being a little bit blurry. I don't know if I can complain about this though, as it was amazingly printed onto a cake...

I've mentioned before that I am currently on Slimming World so I saved up all of my 'points' allowance to be able try one, but they were so good I ended up eating two in one sitting oooops. The cupcake was soft, gooey and sticky - it kind of reminded me of what I imagined the chocolate cake on Matilda to taste like. My favourite part was the rich chocolate frosting, which is possibly the best chocolate frosting I've had in a long time.

Is it wrong to admit that I ate my second cupcake upside down so that I saved the chocolate frosting and the icing with my logo on until last... 

I took a few of the cupcakes into work the next day so that my colleague Sebastian could try them and even he loved them! He said he loved how sticky the base of the cake was and although the icing on the top was too much the fondant was gorgeous.



Eat Your Photo cupcakes come in five different flavours including chocolate, vanilla, toffee, lemon and carrot. You can personalise them with any image, photo or message making them perfect for pretty much anything. I have so many different ideas of ways I can use these cupcakes, so I can definitely see an order being placed in the near future...

What would you get printed on your cupcakes? 

Lots of love, 




If you enjoyed this, you can follow me on social media to keep up to date and never miss a post! 

*This post includes a PR sample, however all views are honest. 


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Monday, 22 February 2016

Life Lately



We're not even into March yet and my life feels like it is so different to how it was at the beginning of 2016. It's actually amazing how much difference a month or two can make. This post is going to be a little bit of a life update, as I feel there is so much going on at the moment that I should share it with you all.

Health

I mentioned in my News Years Resolutions post that I had a lot of health related goals, one of them being to lose 4 stone. I have started making progress on this and I joined Slimming World a few weeks ago. I was doing really well, but last week I had a small gain, which is probably down to me not being well (more about that later) the last few weeks. I have lost 2.5lbs in three weeks so far, and my next weigh in is tomorrow and as I have worked hard this week I'm keeping my fingers crossed

The last few weeks have been pretty difficult for me as I have been experiencing a lot of pain in my knee. I have a lot of different injuries with my ankles/heels/feet which I really don't want to get into yet, but my knee started playing up for the first time last year. I was in pain for a few months with it last year, but this time it has come back ten times worse so I have been in and out of the doctors and the hospital more times than I'd like to admit the last few weeks.

I'm not entirely sure what it is yet but I have an appointment this week to discuss my x-rays. I kind of hope that they find something, as bad as that sounds, as I would much rather have an answer than be left in the dark. For the time being though, I am taking Tramadol for the pain. I tried Naproxen and CoCodamol but as they were not strong enough and didn't stop the pain I had to get it increased. 

I really really don't like taking them, in fact I find it takes me five minutes or so to pluck up the courage to actually take one. They make me feel tired, dizzy and sick all at the same time. It's a horrible feeling and I don't like knowing that I have to feel like that if I don't want to feel the pain in my knee anymore. I had a few days of work because of this, but now I feel like I have to get on with it despite how my tablets make me feel as I really can't afford to not be earning. 

Sorry, that's a little bit longer than expected, and that's just a health update.. 



Blogging

I'm pretty pleased with how well blogging has been going lately and that I have managed to blog every Monday to Friday so far in 2016. This has dramatically improved my views, my increase in followers and how much I enjoy my whole blogging experience. It is a little difficult at times, especially with a full time job and now that my tablets make me fall asleep as soon as I get home, but I am going to try my hardest to keep this up. 

I've got a lot of exciting posts planned up until the end of March, so I am really excited to write them and share them with you. 

I've also been spending a lot of time working really hard on my Instagram, in fact I actually managed to increase my followers by 100 in just a week by doing a few simple things every day. One of my goals was to focus on Instagram this year so I am really pleased that it's starting to pay off. 

Events 

Over the next few months I am attending quite a few blogging events and I can not wait. The first one is next month and that's the Makeup Revolution 2nd Birthday Party and I am so excited to go! I never in my wildest dreams imagined I would be invited to my favourite beauty brands birthday celebrations so I am completely over the moon that I received an invite. There are loads of bloggers going that I am really excited to meet including Jemma (Dorkface), Flo (Florence Grace) and Ami (Perks of Being Ami). 

I'm also going to the #BtonBloggerMeet, which is being hosting by Laura from Lola and Behold, at the end of next month. I'll actually be visiting and staying in Brighton for the first time ever! I can't believe I didn't go while living in London for three years! 

The next events after that (so far) are Sam and Katy's meet up in Liverpool at the end of April and #Bloggersball in June. I'm so excited for both of these, however I am sure I will be adding a few more to my calendar between then and now.



My Secret Little Project

If you follow me on Twitter you may already know that I have been working on a secret project for while now, and over the last few weeks it's really started to come together. I've had the idea for months and months but I finally took the leap and started putting things into motion to actually set up my own company! 

I'm not going to reveal anything yet, mainly because I am really worried it won't work out and I don't want to jinx it, but also because I still have a long way to come. The next few weeks/months are going to be spent working on the website (when I am not working and blogging), then after that I still have a lot of things to finish off before launch. 

I'm really excited to finally put all of my ideas into motion and get my little company started, this really is a big step for me as for as long as I can remember I have wanted to start my own company - I just had to wait for the perfect opportunity that's all

Holiday

January payday was very exciting for me as I booked my first ever 'proper' holiday for me and my Boyfriend. We're going to be spending 10 nights in a four star, all inclusive resort in Spain and I could not be more excited. It's not until the end of September - but I am SO EXCITED already. Sun, sea and unlimited food and drinks, what more could I want?

So, this is a lot longer than I was expecting but that is pretty much a complete life update in terms of me...

Lots of love, 


* Oh, I have a new blog sign off too - designed by the amazing Jemma from Dorkface!


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Friday, 19 February 2016

The Wild Peanut Review



It's no secret that peanut butter is one of my favourite things EVER, so much so that I don't think there is ever a time where I don't have two or three jars on the go at once (gotta have both smooth and crunchy, of course). I'm always on the lookout for new brands to try too, as I think that every single one has their distinct flavour, the Tesco own brand one for example is PERFECT spread on Oreos. Thanks The Parent Trap.

I first discovered The Wild Peanut at BBC Good Food Show last November and I absolutely loved them. I tasted most of the flavours there and ended up buying a banana and chocolate peanut butter as they were doing a great offer on the day.



The Wild Peanut kindly agreed to be a part of the #PLBSantasGrotto event that I hosted with Adele, so when there ended up being a couple of jars spare I was quick to offer to take them off Adele's hands. Taking one for the team, as always. With my new additions this took my total PB count up to 5 jars, almost one of each flavour. Banana, chocolate, cinnamon, smooth and crunchy. They also do a honey (yum!) and a chilli flavour, which I'm not too gutted about missing out on.

Now, 5 jars of peanut butter is a lot, even for someone who likes it as much as I do, which is why this review is now three months later - I needed the time to be able to taste each flavour properly.

The Wild Peanut is all natural, which means their peanut butter has quite a runny consistency. This however is how peanut butter should be, as it's made with no unhealthy additives or palm oil. As a brand they're hoping to change the common perceptions of peanut butter and help people to see that doesn't need to be hundreds of ingredients in one jar. The Wild Peanut have a great page detailing why they don't use palm oil here.



The banana flavour peanut butter was my favourite as it reminded me of the banana and peanut butter smoothies I used to make for breakfast when I was at University. It also tasted amazing on toast with some sliced banana, the perfect mid morning snack!

My next favourite was the chocolate one, as I am firm believer that chocolate and peanut butter were meant for each other. It didn't taste quite like a peanut butter cup, but it was almost there and that was enough for me.

Both the smooth and crunchy peanut butters were amazing, and knowing that they were natural and contained no palm oil made it ten times better. They are very oily (peanuts have natural oils) and runny however as I tend not to eat many peanut butters with palm oil in anymore I was half expecting this, but for those who are not used to it may take some getting used to.



The Cinnamon one is a little different, I'm still not sure what I think. I only really tend to have cinnamon on pretzels and even then I am unsure if I like it or not. It's just something about having a really dry mouth that I don't like. The peanut butter didn't make my mouth as dry as a pretzel would, but still it wasn't as enjoyable as the other flavours.

Have you tried different flavour peanut butters before? Do you have any recommendations for me? I'd love to try some new brands! 

Lots of love, 

Kirsty Leanne xx 

If you enjoyed this, you can follow me on social media to keep up to date and never miss a post! 
You may also like my reviews of this delicious dairy free chocolate or my review of these amazing gluten free porridge pots.
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Thursday, 18 February 2016

A Guide to Twitter Analytics



The last few months I have been taking blogging a lot more seriously, which has meant that I have been analysing pretty much everything - including my social media accounts. I'm obsessed with Twitter lately too, which is why I spend a lot of my time using Twitter Analytics.

I actually didn't know this existing for a while, but when I discovered it I was so amazed to see the real time information you could access for free, considering you have to pay for information about your Instagram on sites like Iconosquare.


How do you access Twitter Analytics? 


First of all, to access Twitter Analytics click on your little profile icon in the top right hand side navigation bar. The sixth option down will open a new window with all of your analytics. You can also access the analytics of a single tweet by clicking the icon that looks like a little graph in the bottom right hand corner. 


What does your 28 day summary show?


The first thing you'll see is a 28 day summary that includes number of tweets, tweet impressions, profile visits, mentions and followers. Next to each number you'll also see a percentage, will tells you how much these have increased or decreased in the past 28 days. If it's green and has an upward facing arrow they have increased, however if it's red with a downward facing arrow they have decreased. 

Tweets - this is the amount of Tweets you have posted in the past 28 days, including replies to other Tweets. 

Tweet Impressions - this number details how many people have seen your tweets in the past 28 days, including any retweets. Basically, every time your Tweet pops up in someones time line, it is counted as an impression. If you appear in search results this also counts as an impression. 

Profile Visits - this is how many times someone has clicked on your profile. 

Mentions - this details how many people have mentioned you in their tweets, including replies. 

Followers - this is quite simply how many people follow you, this is a total number and not counted over the past 28 days, however the percentage increase or decrease is based is based on the past 28 days. 


What can you see in your monthly highlights? 


Your monthly highlights show your best bits from each month, in real time! This means that although these screenshots were taken half way through February, I can still see how well I have done so far this month. The main part of this dashboard shows your top tweet, top mention, top follower and top media tweet. 

Top Tweet - This shows which tweet has had the most impressions for that month. As you can see mine is my Happiness Planner giveaway which has had an amazing 13K impressions so far this month. 

Top Mention - This tweet won't be one you've posted yourself, but instead one that you're mentioned in. Most of the time for me this is a #FF Tweet, however this months is from when the lovely Daisy 

Top Follower - This shows who out of your followers has the most followers, and is therefore the most 'influential'. Unfortunately for me I find this is often someone hoping I will follow back, so they unfollow me within a few days. 

Top Media Tweet - This is one of your own Tweets that includes a form of media (an image, video or GIF usually). Your top media Tweet will be the one that had the most impressions. Mine are usually Tweets that have been retweeted by whoever I tagged in it, this month's is one where I tagged a brand - which goes to show tagged them in your Tweets about them definitely helps!

Your monthly highlights dashboard also has a smaller section to the right which details your monthly Tweets, Tweet impressions, profile visits, mentions and new followers


Can you view the analytics for one Tweet in particular? 


Yes! As mentioned before if you click in the bottom right hand corner of any Tweet you've posted you will be able to see it's analytics. This option is also available in the monthly highlights dashboard by clicking 'View Tweet Activity' on any of your top Tweets. 

Clicking to view Tweet activity will show you the following things for a particular Tweet:
  • Media Engagements 
  • Retweets
  • Profile Clicks
  • Detail Expands
  • Likes
  • Replies
  • Follows
  • Link Clicks
  • Hashtag Clicks
  • Impressions
  • Total Engagements 
I find this extremely helpful when looking at my Tweets for promoting blog posts as it allows me to see how many people are clicking the links on my Tweets, what time's my Tweets appear more and which have more impressions. I've discovered that my lunchtime and afternoon Tweets are popular, as well as my late night ones, so now I schedule more Tweets at those times. 

What other dashboards are available in Twitter Analytics?


Although the main dashboard gives a lot of valuable information, there are a number of different dashboards you can explore - Tweets, Audiences and Events. I don't use Events too often, however the other two are really interesting and give some real insights into how I can use Twitter to benefit me. 


What does the 'Tweets Dashboard' tell me? 


One of my favourite things about the Tweets Dashboard is the day by day graph showing how many tweets you post and your total organic impressions for that day. As you can see, there is a bit of a pattern showing that when I post more, I get more impressions (of course!). This info is shown for the past 28 days, not monthly and it details roughly how many impressions you're getting daily. 



This dashboard also shows your Tweets in chronological order, detailing their impressions, engagements and the total engagement rate (%). It gives you the option to view all your tweets and replies in this view, just your tweets or your top tweets. 

On the right hand side of your Tweets dashboard there are five graphs, which are probably one of my favourite features of Twitter Analytics. 


Engagement Rate - This shows your engagement rate as a percentage each day (across 28 days). I love this as it also shows your average as a straight line, so you can clearly see days when you haven't hit your average or days when you have done really well for engagements. My engagement rate has gone down over the last few weeks, so this is definitely something I need to work on.


Link Clicks - This shows how many people have clicked links that you post in your Tweets. As you can see my link clicks were much higher at the beginning of the 28 days, however I was scheduling a lot more tweets then. This shows that I need to set aside more time to schedule my tweets, as it helps with my pageviews and unique visitors too! 


Retweets - This graph shows your retweets per day and uses that information to work out your average. My average for retweets is currently higher than normal, but I think that's because I am running a competition where you have to retweet a tweet, then follow me. 


Likes - Similar to retweets, this graph shows your likes per days and then uses the information to work out your average. Although my average is only 43 likes a day, I am pretty pleased with this at the moment as a lot of the stuff I post I don't intent to get likes from, I much prefer replies and conversation. 


Replies - Again, this graph shows how many replies you're receiving per day and your average. I'd like to increase this average to more than 22 a day, so I might actually start posting about my progress over the next few months. 


Can I change the dates I view my 'Tweets Dashboard' information from?


If you want to change the dates you are viewing this information for then you can. In the top right hand corner there is a box that says 'last 28 days' with a picture of a calendar next to it. If you click this it gives you the option to change the dates to the last 7 days or to a particular month. If you want to pick a custom date you can use the drop down calendar choose what date you want your analysis to start and end. 

There is also a handy little export button to the right of the calendar, making it easy to download the information as an Excel spreadsheet. 


What does the 'Audience Dashboard' tell me?


 This dashboard tells you everything you need to know about your Twitter audience, including:

  • Your daily follower increase
  • Their interests
  • Their mobile provider 
  • Their gender
  • The device they're using
  • Their favourite TV Genres 
  • Their location (including region)
  • The language they speak
Okay, so a lot of this isn't useful, but it is great to know that the majority of my Twitter audience are interested in the things I blog about so I must be doing something right! 

You can also compare your Twitter audience's analysis to that of your organic audience, or even the rest of Twitter. I've not used the feature to my advantage yet, however as I progress I imagine it's something I may loo at using in the future.



How can I use Twitter Events to my advantage?


This section lists all of the upcoming events that are happening in the specific area you choose, like the UK for example. This is great in a sense as it gives you an insight into what may be trending on twitter in the near future, so you can write your posts accordingly. 

So, there you have it! A guide to using Twitter Analytics for bloggers. I hope you found it helpful and that it will help you to see your strengths and weaknesses on Twitter. I may start writing updates on how I am increasing my Twitter stats as they have dramatically improved over the last few months, so if you'd like me to share how I have improved them then let me know. 

Have you tried using Twitter Analytics before? Do you a different platform to monitor your social media, or do you prefer not to monitor it at all? 

Lots of love,



If you enjoyed this, you can follow me on social media to keep up to date and never miss a post! 
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If you liked this you may also like my guide to changing your blog name and URL

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Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Why You Should Live Abroad at Least Once in Your Life



In 2012 I was in my first year of University and after a couple of rough months I decided to move to America for four months on a J1 student visa, using BUNAC's Work America Programme as my sponsor.

It had been my dream for as long as I can remember to visit, let alone live in the States, so when I finally had the chance to actually to live in California was possibly one of the most amazing experiences of my life so far.

Although it was a long time ago, my time in America is still something I talk about often so I thought I would share some reasons I think everyone should try to live abroad at least once in their life...

It's a great way to gain independence | Moving to another country, let alone 5000 miles away, was definitely scary as a 19 year old but it really allowed me to build on my independance. I had to find a job, find a place to live and pretty much learn everything I could about a foreign country in a really short space of time - and that was just before I left! When I got there I had to make friends, find my way around and completely fend for myself. It was such a great experience in that sense and I can honestly say I grew up a lot while I was there.

You meet the most amazing people | Living and working abroad meant that I got to meet loads of new and interesting people, most of which I still talk to today and consider my closest friends. I met some amazing people while I was there and they all helped me to have the best possible experience I could. They took me to all of the tourist places, their favourite restaurants and all of the secret little gems that you wouldn't find on a tourist site.

You get to travel | This one is a little bit of an obvious one, but being in California meant there were certain places that were a lot easier for me to get to than when I was living in the UK. I managed to spend a long weekend in Boston and travel to for a short period of time - two places I wouldn't have been able to visit any time soon if I was still back home.

It enhances your CV | In pretty much every interview I have had since I lived abroad I have been asked a lot of questions about it, it definitely gives a competitive edge. The skills and confidence that you gain while living abroad are a great asset to a CV.

You get to try new food | I'm a huge foodie, and living in America gave me the opportunity to try loads of new things, especially when I travelled to Mexico. I discovered lots of new American favourites while I was there (Santa Fe Burgers from Veggie Grill - yes please!) and got to try some of Orange County's local foods too.

You can learn a new language | You're probably thinking "what? a new language in America?" Well, some of my roommates were Mexican and they helped me and encouraged me to learn some basic Spanish. I would spend a lot of time with their family, which is when I would pick up certain words or phrases. I even got to go to a Spanish church service, which was so interesting to experience.

Have you ever lived abroad before? Where would you go if you could? 

Lots of love, 

Kirsty Leanne xx 

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Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Huge Stationery Haul


Over the last few months I haven't been able to stop myself when it comes to Stationery, despite the fact I already have a huge box filled with everything I could possibly need. As I have managed to build up quite a collection over the last month or so, I thought I'd share my latest purchases with you. A couple of the things in this haul were gifts, but they were too cute not to share. 



'Do What You Love' Notebook - Wilko £2.00
Yep, you read that right. This adorable A5 notebook was only £2.00, so naturally I had to get it.



A5 Project Book - Wilko £2.50
This A5 project book is absolutely amazing! I've been after a cute affordable one for a while now and when I saw this I couldn't resist. There are colour pockets on the inside of the front and back covers, and each of the divides has a gorgeous pattern on it.

A4 Wallets - Wilko £1.50
I got these A4 wallets mainly because they match the super cute patterns in the A5 project book, but also because I want to start keeping important documents safe. There are 5 all together, which for £1.50 isn't bad at all.



100 Day Happiness Planner - thehappinessplanner.uk £20.00
I have been after a Happiness Planner for a long time, so when I was given money for Christmas it was the first thing I bought! I had to wait quite a while for it to arrive, but when it did I fell in love. I'm currently running a giveaway on my Twitter to win a 100 Day Happiness Planner of your choice, so if you want to be in with a chance check out my pinned Tweet here.



A6 Mini Notebooks - Not Only Polka Dots £3.50 each
I won these cute little notebooks from the Leeds Xmas Meet hosted by Rhianna from Robowecop last December, however I think they're so cute I had to share! I love that they're pocket size and fit perfectly in my bag, as most of the time I find my bag gets weighed down with a huge notebook. The fruity designs are adorable too!



Velvet Ghost Primark Range - Primark Prices Vary from £2.00 - £5.00
While shopping with my Mum just before Christmas I noticed that Gabriella (Velvet Ghost) has brought out a Stationery range in the Primarket section. I thought everything was really cute, so my picked me up a few bits for Christmas. I got the Notebook, the Stationery set, the Pencils and the Pencil Case. I also got some post it notes, however they were used pretty quickly so I didn't get to photograph them.



Scrap Book
This scrapbook was one of my favourite Christmas presents from my best friend Adele. I have wanted to start a scrapbook for a long time, but never got round one. As this one was a gift from a fellow blogger I am going to dedicate it to all my 2016 blogging antics, so I can't wait to start filling it up with lots of photo's and memories.


So, have you bought any great stationery you think I should know about? I need to fuel my addiction! 

Lots of love, 

Kirsty Leanne xx

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