Sunday, 30 April 2017

How to Improve Your Blog When You're Not Posting

How To Improve Your Blog When You're Not Posting
We've all been in a blogging rut at some point or another, whether we're too busy with life, can't think up content or just simply don't want to post. I don't know about you but whenever I hit a wall, it starts to stress me out. I worry that people are not caring about my blog, are getting tired of me not posting and are ultimately losing interest. So as of late when I've been taking a few breaks, I've been trying to improve my blog in other ways which I'm going to share with you today. Grab a cub of tea and have a read.

The biggest tip any Blogger will probably give you is to interact and there are so many ways you can do this. First up we'll start with Instagram. Open up your feed and instead of posting or searching for #kittensofinstagram, search for the hashtags you use and see what people are posting. Like and comment away and really engage with other people, bloggers or not - I normally do this in work when I'm not able to sit and write a post or if I have a spare few minutes waiting for the kettle to boil. Next up is Twitter. I like to use Twitter to talk to other people, see what's going on in the world but to also find new blogs to read. I follow a few accounts like @FemaleBloggerRT and @Lbloggerschat for example. They will retweet most people that use their tag and I'll often click on what they share and comment. This moves me onto my next point. Read other blogs. Whether you're finding them to Bloglovin', Pinterest, Twitter whatever, just read other peoples post and if you have something to say, write a comment. Let them know you've read their post and share your opinions and contributions. 

The next tip I want to talk about is the use of hashtags. For the longest time hashtags were pretty much seen as a pain in the behind and to be honest when I see #lovemyboyfriend it still makes my skin crawl. When used properly and strategically however hashtags open up your content to brand new eyes. I spent the longest time looking up different hashtags, reading other peoples posts (hit up 'Hashtags for bloggers' on Google or Bloglovin') and seeing what works for my content both on Twitter and Instagram. I use the text replacement function on my iPhone so that when I type a particular phrase - #general - in my case, it replaces that text with 15 to 20 hashtags that are generic enough for what I'm posting. You can change this up to be as specific as you want. You could have a set of hashtags for travel, fashion, outdoors, cooking, interiors, art, literally whatever you choose. Same goes for Twitter. Take the time to look up different accounts that have a # for a retweet or test it out and see what different hashtags get your content seen and interacted with the most. 

The last way I like to improve my blog is by updating old posts and just sprucing up my blog in general. I start by checking for broken links every few months and updating them or deleting them as necessary - There are so many websites you can use to do this. Next I go through a few post at a time and make sure they're still formatted correctly - I changed themes not too long ago and it sent my posts haywire. Moving on to the actual content, I like to check all of my old posts are still relevant. I ask myself if the post was just trivial or is it still something that can be promoted? Does it still make sense? Are the photos good enough? All of these questions will help you decide whether you want to take a post down or update it and recycle it. 

I hope you enjoyed this post. I'd love to know how you improve your blog when you're not posting!


Tuesday, 25 April 2017

What I Really Take In A Short Haul Carry On

It's no secret that I've travelled somewhere recently. In fact, if you read my blog or follow me any of my social media profiles I'm sure you'll be sick of hearing about it. I went to Dublin. There, I said it for the 37845th time. So even though I've been home almost two weeks, I thought I'd share with you what I take with me when flying short haul.

To kick this off, I'll give you a bit of a back story on the bag itself. A few weeks before we flew, I thought long and hard about my carry on situation along with what bag I was going to be carrying round while I was in said Irish city. I searched what felt like every single online shop and after almost giving up, I found potentially my most practical purchase ever. The Fjallraven Kanken Mini. It's adorable, it's compact and spoiler alert, I love it.

Then came what I was going to put into the bag. Now, I watch 'what's in my carry on?' videos before every trip I take - I'm addicted - but since my last holiday overseas, it seems people are taking so bloody much with them that it almost seems unrealistic. A bit like those 'what's in my bag?' videos where they whip out a £20 note from a forgotten pocket. Who has a £20 stuffed in the bottom of their bag, like really? It's not me, so I thought I'd show you my own and what I really take in my carry on. It's not too little, it's not too much. It may be boring, you might love it. Who knows, but here we go.
As you can see here, I really don't like to pack too much. For me, packing a lot just makes it harder to find what I'm looking for and makes my bag heavier to carry. Two things I'm not a fan of. Hopefully this list will inspire you when you're next packing your carry on or maybe you'll laugh at how little I take with me.

Let's start with the obvious, my card holder and passport. I use a card holder for the simple reason that it's far more convenient than a purse. Usually before I go away I'll pop some local currency in there and just use my cards whilst in the airport. That way then, I don't have to decipher between a pounds, dollars or anything else when reaching my destination. The passport goes without saying right? I need it to get places. 

Moving on to sunglasses. I like to keep these in my hand luggage because there's nothing worse than arriving at a sunny destination only to realise your sunglasses are in your suitcase and probably broken. I also like to keep headphones with me and usually have two pairs. Some comfy over-ear ones like these beautiful Frends ones and also a pair of Apple in-ears. I make sure I keep these in a pouch so they don't get broken or tangled.

Tech wise I obviously packed my camera which you can't see because it's busy taking the photo and I also like to bring it's charger, my iPhone charger and a power bank with me for two reasons. Firstly, like the sunglasses, for easy access and secondly, should my case get lost (which actually happened to me once!) I have all the chargers I need so I can Instagram my frustration with ease.

Moving on to my clear plastic bag. I usually keep this to a minimum but I do like to make sure I'm fully prepared. In no particular order I like to keep; lip balmeye dropshand sanitiserhand creamface wipesa mini facial moisturisera lightera travalo full of the perfume for the trip, an inhaler because it ain't easy being wheezy, paracetamolmouth wash (which I'm sure isn't the right size) and also on this trip I also had a mini shampoo and conditioner. Most of these things I keep in my everyday bag with a few extras in there as in flight essentials - I like to stay clean and take all of my make up off basically. 

The last few items which I haven't mentioned above are my iPhone because I thought this was pretty obvious and documents like insurance policies and my boarding pass

I'd like to think I'm a pretty light packer but then again, you haven't seen my suitcase! 
I'd love to know your carry on and in flight essentials. Let me know in the comments! 



Saturday, 15 April 2017 / Dublin, Ireland

Photographs from Dublin, Ireland

Photographs from Dublin, Ireland ItsHollieAnn

Photographs from Dublin, Ireland ItsHollieAnn

Photographs from Dublin, Ireland ItsHollieAnn

Photographs from Dublin, Ireland ItsHollieAnn

Photographs from Dublin, Ireland ItsHollieAnn

Photographs from Dublin, Ireland ItsHollieAnn

Photographs from Dublin, Ireland ItsHollieAnn

Photographs from Dublin, Ireland ItsHollieAnn

Photographs from Dublin, Ireland ItsHollieAnn

Photographs from Dublin, Ireland ItsHollieAnn



Monday, 10 April 2017 / Dublin, Ireland

What To Pack For A City Break In Dublin

If you haven't already guessed from the title of this post, I'm heading to Dublin tomorrow. I can't actually believe how fast it's come around, it feels like we only booked it yesterday. I've never been to Dublin or even Ireland before so I'm super excited and since my 'What To Pack For Scotland' post went down a treat, I thought I'd share with you what I'm packing this time around. 

Now at the moment, I don't actually know what the weather will be like, my Weather app says it'll be raining but BBC tells me it'll be overcast. I have no idea, so just know that as well as the below, I'm also taking my new Regatta rain coat

So, once again you can see that I've broken my outfits down by day. Row one is basically the outfit I'm travelling in. We arrive in Dublin around 9am and won't be able to check into our hotel until at least 3pm so I've packed an outfit that's kind of a 'step off the plane and ready to go' as oppose to basically travelling in my pajamas. The duster coat is super light and practical for travelling - I actually used it for Las Vegas and it was so fuss free that it was the perfect option for tomorrow. I've teamed this with some high-waisted jeans, a cold shoulder t-shirt and my Nike trainers just so I can walk around comfortably. In case you were also wondering, the bag I'll be using for my carry-on is my new Fjallraven Kanken Mini.

Next up is my first night time outfit and it's exactly the same as my first night outfit in Scotland. I absolutely love this look the bardot top and the jeans are casual but still stylish and depending on how tired my feet are and the weather, I'll either wear it with these gorgeous Topshop flats that I'm still in love with or my low marble block heels. 

Moving on to day two and I've kept it super casual with a 3/4 striped top and these New Look jeggings. These jeggings are so comfy, super skinny and I have no trouble wearing them all day. I've styled them with my black Nikes again just for extra comfort. I've added my leather jacket to this outfit just for extra style.

Okay, so we're on to night number two or as it looks, the indecisive night. I have no idea what we'll be doing while we're in Dublin so I thought it best to pack two potential looks. Both of these tops are absolutely stunning and are that crepe/chiffon material that is everywhere at the moment. I also love the detailing of the crochet and the lace and even though these tops are less fitted than I'd usually wear, they're so flattering. Again I've added a choice of two shoes because the weather is so unpredictable. I've chosen my marble block heels again and then some little pointed flats which I picked up in Primark for next to nothing. 

Last but not least, it's travelling home day. Now as we'll probably checking out quite early and not flying home until quite late, I need something that's going to see me through the day. This bardot t-shirt is cotton and super comfy and it works well with the jeans I mentioned earlier. Again, I've added the mink coloured waterfall coat for extra comfort and my Nikes for walking around.

Once again, I like to think I've packed light but we all know that's not the case!

I hope you liked this style of post, let me know what you're go to airport outfit is! X 
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