Thursday, 30 April 2015

Top CSS Additions to Your Blog

Since opening Twenty-One designs (you can see the full post here) many of you have ordered a new design or a single design element to add to your blog. However, many choose to design their own blogs to save costs or just personal preference, so I thought I would share with you some of the top CSS codes I found useful for my blog. CSS code is really quick and easy to use - this post is for Blogger as I have no experience in Wordpress or other blogging platforms - and you can add these by going Template // Customise // Advanced // Add CSS. Any CSS you add here will go automatically before the ]]></b:skin> tag, if you wanted to add your CSS 'by hand', so to speak. 

Automatically resize images to fit post area
People who have been reading this blog for a while may have noticed that I recently changed the post images to be a lot bigger, so that they align with the post text. I always think this looks so much neater and I wanted to add this to my blog for a while, but couldn't find a code that worked until a couple of days ago! First of all, you need to resize all of your images to Original Size (I recommend doing one to begin with, to check it works!)

 .post-body img {
max-width: 100%;
max-height: auto;
display: block;
margin: auto; 
box-shadow: none;
border: none;
padding: 0px; 

Make image fade on hover
I always think this looks really creative, especially if you have a PinIt button on your blog they flip back and forward when you hover! It also adds a professional feel to your blog, and this code eases the opacity in and out instead of 'flashing' upon hover!

img {
opacity: 1.0;transition: opacity 1s ease-in-out;-moz-transition: opacity 1s ease-in-out;-webkit-transition: opacity 1s ease-in-out;}
a:hover img {opacity: .6;transition: opacity 1s ease-in-out;-moz-transition: opacity 1s ease-in-out;-webkit-transition: opacity 1s ease-in-out;}

Make post title uppercase and centered.
Although this code applies to only the post title, you can easily customise it to be date header by replacing .post-title with .date-header! You can try different code patterns until one works, the CSS style usually goes in the same format as the post and date header, but you can get the odd one out. Usually, if you Google it then there will be a solution!

.post-title {
text-align: center;
text-transform: uppercase;

Did you like this post? What CSS additions do you recommend?

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Top Places To Get Free Stock Photos

 photo Top Places to Get Free Stock Photos_zpseddqxdoi.jpg

When you blog, sometimes it can be tricky to take new and original photos for every post, and this is where stock photos come in. Stock photos are photos taken by photographers, and many can be used for personal purposes and for your blog. Most of the photos stored on stock photo websites are under a license called creative commons. This means you can modify, copy, and share the work (some websites even let you do it for commercial purposes) without having to ask permission off the photographer. However, you cannot sell the photographs. There are some websites which require you to add a attribution, so it is always a good idea to check the permissions of the website or photo. All of the websites below are ones I have checked to be non-attribution websites, however if you are reading this post months after it was posted, I suggest you check again as some can change!

Unsplash // Uploads 10 photos every 10 days. Creative Commons Zero license, so you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commerical purposes, without asking the permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Unsplash. 

New Old Stock // Regularly posts real, vintage photos from the Public Archives. This is so cool, and all photos are free of known copyright restrictions. However, you cannot use these for commercial use!

Snapwire Snaps // 7 free photos every 7 days. Beautiful photos, under Creative Commons license so you can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.

Little Visuals // Unfortunately, the original owner of Little Visuals passed away suddenly in November 2013. As a dedication to Nic, his family have decided to keep the site running, and all of the photos he posted are still available to download. There is a notice up on the site asking for any small donations if you do download the images, as the family want to raise money for the Hand in Heart charity, which stops young adults dying suddenly like Nic. 

StokPic // A really nice collection of high-quality images, all for personal and commercial use. Free from any known copyright restrictions. 

Have you seen any of these? Are these helpful?

p.s: I just wanted to add that I DON'T use stock photos on my blog, this post was a informative one for if any of my readers wanted some good sites. The photo used was edited and originated from Unsplash. 

Friday, 24 April 2015

Misconceptions about Bloggers

First of all, I want to apologize for my absence, I haven't blogged for 11 days - oops. Originally, I just didn't have time because of coursework and then I caught a cold and literally couldn't even think without wiping my nose! Anyway, I am eventually back and feeling better, and I hope you will enjoy the post I've got for you today!

I think one of the main job people make misconceptions on has got to be blogging. I don't know about you but if you tell a older person that you have a blog, blank faces are all you get. However, even though these people have no idea what you are talking about, or only have little knowledge, are the people who seem to think themselves as experts! Today I thought I would share some misconceptions I have heard and my response to them. 

Their Job is Easy. I don't really understand where this came from, because in most bloggers experience, blogging is anything but easy. You get the few exceptions where they are a 'overnight success', but for the majority, people have to work for their audience, spending months perfecting content, design and online presence. Personally, I don't think it is fair for people to say that blogging is a easy job and isn't as good as lawyers etc, because for many people blogging has been a massive journey for them and they have overcome so much to achieve the position they have today.

They Spend More Time Playing Than Working. I do see where this comes from, but at the same time if you think about it carefully then you will see the flaw in this misconception. Blogger's and Youtuber's do look like they are having lots of fun in their posts and videos, but that is only because that is so much more entertaining than a watching somebody on their laptop all day. It's all to do with the audience and what they want to see.

Everyone is Confident. As most blogs are either fashion or beauty themed, the bloggers behind the screen usually posts quite a few pictures of themselves online trying out different makeup looks and outfits. However, although I try to be as honest and relatable on this blog, the truth is the Paige you imagine in your head isn't actually 'me'. I used to be mega shy - literally would NOT join in any social activities, but now although I am cautious when I first meet new people, that soon goes and I have a great laugh. For many people, blogging is a great way to express their views when they don't want to in real life.

It's All About The Numbers. When bloggers seem to have hundreds of page views per post, and have hundreds of followers, it is very easy to assume that the blogger is just obsessed about the their stats. Truth is, yes they probably are. However, they probably aren't as obsessed as media makes them out to be. Going back to the first point, bloggers most likely worked their hardest to get to where they are today.

What do you think some misconceptions about bloggers are?

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

New Brush Additions

Since I started applying makeup (not counting the 'i'm-so-cool-orange-look' I had when rummaging through my mums drawers) I have been using my RealTechnique makeup brushes, which I love and am still using religiously to this day. However, when I received these EcoTool brushes for my birthday, I was really excited to test these out and to expand my collection. 

The first one is a makeup sponge, which is just a sponge shaped into a brush holder to blend in your foundation or BB cream. This is really good, and I have been loving using this every day. The sponge has a flat edge and a curved edge, making it really easy to blend in your base without the length of time.

The second brush is a Fine Eyeliner brush. It is okay - it does what it is meant to! I personally don't use eyeliner often, so maybe this is why I wasn't as excited for this brush as the sponge, but when I do use it the brush works well and creates a nice line without any mess. I create my line and wing with black eyeshadow instead of a pen or liquid, and this brush creates a lovely smoky look. This method is a lot easier, and doesn't make my eye go all black!

Overall, I am really happy with each brush and look forward to using them again regularly in the future! 

Have you tried out EcoTool's? What is your opinions?

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Revision Tips

Lately I have been finding it quite hard to revise my school work when I am meant to. In fact, I am sitting down writing this post as it comes to the end of my Easter holidays when I have eventually finished doing my coursework! Anyway, I thought I would share some tips I have thought of that will help me get motivated and hopefully help all those in a similar position.

Get things to motivate you. If you are a visual learner, this is a great thing to do before you start studying as you have new things you want to try out. I personally like to get a pretty notebook, some new pens and a reward for after I have finished.

Find your ideal workspace. I find revising best when I am in a tidy workspace, and with some music playing in the background. This is completely different to my family, but this is something that works best for me! I don't know why I like to work in a tidy space, my bedroom often disagrees, haha, but I find that a 'clear space equals a clear mind'! However, this doesn't apply to everyone so take some time to find what works best for you. 

When do you work best? Many people like to work at school hours, and this is something I think would work well for me too. Wake up like you would do normally on a school/work day and work according to the times you have there. This is especially helpful to make sure you don't get those end-of-holiday-blues (yes, that is now a thing!) as your body will be used to waking up at the right time. Working according to school hours also means that once the time ends, you can have the rest of the afternoon and evening off!

Keep revision or notecards. I love keeping notecards for things I have revised. I find these especially useful for Science revision to pick out the main facts from my fact sheets. These fact sheets are ones I print off from BBC Bitesize and arrange in alphabetical order in my new folder! Very geeky I know, but it really helps!

Reward yourself. After revising it is really important to reward yourself for all that hard work! I usually find having a reward for afterwards inspires me to work faster and harder to get the reward sooner! Find something that you enjoy, for me this is having a lush bath bomb in my bath, or a evening taking photographs outside!

What are your favourite ways to revise?

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Instyler Review

If anything, I do have a good relationship with my hair. I have naturally wavy hair that, with a quick brush, does pretty much what I want it to. However this is not to say I don't have bad hair days once in a while because rest assured, I do! These kind of days are the days where I usually wash my hair and restyle it, but when it is on a school morning, or a tight schedule, the hair straighteners are usually my go to item, as they can do pretty much anything - curls, straight, you name it. Still, I am not one to say I haven't read and heard about straighteners crushing and damaging your hair so I decided to look for a better alternative.

And I found this: Instyler Rotating Hot Iron. At almost £50 online, it certainly isn't a cheap option but you can pick these up at cheaper prices at places like QVC etc (I got mine for £25, which is a bargain, considering!). My first impressions were overall quite good - the packaging was up to standard, and although there was a rip in the inner box the actual product wasn't damaged so I wasn't too bothered. The rotating iron comes with a set of instructions of how to achieve all of the different hair styles, and also comes with a safety clip-on which you can attach to prevent you from burning yourself on the hot barrel. I personally don't like to use this as I find the whole thing too bulky then, but it is a good safety add on! 

When using it, I did find it to be very good, although I wasn't as amazed as I thought I would be. It works in exactly the same way as a straightener or curling iron does, either glide along the hair, or wrap it round the barrel for 10-20 seconds. A feature I did like about the Instyler was that my hair appeared glossy and shiny when you released the hair, so this was a added bonus, and meant there was no need for additional products as the shine lasted a few hours. As the barrel rotates to prevent your hair from being crushed, it did make quite a bit of noise. It's not really loud, it just takes a bit of getting used to, that's all! 

Final conclusion is that I definitely be using this again, however I won't choose this if there are already some straighteners are on hand! Overall it was a good purchase, and I think this would be great for travelling to save taking two different hair tools. 

What do you think? Have you tried the Instyler?

This post wasn't sponsored, and the Instyler was gifted by my family. All opinions remain my own!

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Happy Easter

Just wanted to say Happy Easter to everyone! Have a lovely day x

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Blogs I Have Been Loving Recently

It's been a while since I shared some of the blogs I have been loving recently, so I thought I would update you all! I recently updated my Favourite Reads page, so if you want to have a look you can do, but this list is a few of my favourites! I did a post like this a while back, you can see it here, but as I said before it has been a while!

Ahem It's Emme
Pronounced Ahem It's Em, Emily produces some of the most beautiful posts I have seen. Her photos blend in so nicely with her newish blog design, and her words have that extra touch to them that just make you want to read on. She recently shared her birthday party to Disneyland (jealous girl over here!) and the time when she did her cousins makeup, on which was amazing! If you are looking for a blog to read for a hour or so, this one is for you!

The Sunday Chapter
This is a blog that I have only recently started following, but I already love all of Angela's posts. From her chatty style posts to her beautiful photos of her cat, this blog is a must read for anyone! Angela posts some beautiful recipes, all I have yet to try, but the photo of the finished product looks so good I always feel hungry!

As Loud as Love
Lauren has the prettiest blog I have seen in a while, simple and classy with a splash of pink, your eyes are already in love before you have even started reading her posts. She appears so lovely in all of her posts, what with presents for her mum, a juice reboot, and her photos are lovely too! And oh my, have you even seen her Instagram feed?

Rush and Teal
Where do I start with Allies beautiful blog? Her photos are a absolute dream, and not to mention her sassy hedgehog! Allie posts all sorts of things, ranging from London's fashion week to her latest bakes and it is sure to have you adding her to your blog reading feed!

What are some of your favourite reads?

Thursday, 2 April 2015

How To Grow Your Instagram Following

Instagram is fast becoming one of the most used social media sites. I don't use Instagram continuously, but I do have an account that I do regularly post pictures of. My account isn't the best, there are plenty of other prettier accounts than mine with a much bigger following, but I do like to share my photos with my friends and it's also a great way to discover new blogs - I have discovered quite a few bloggers myself! Of course, everyone is different and use Instagram in many different ways but I thought I would share with you my idea of a good account and tips that I try to use!

Post Regularly - People will keep coming back if they know there will be new content there for them when they visit your account. Try to keep to a schedule too, find out what time of the day is busiest for you in terms of likes/hearts and post then!

Quantity over Quality - Slight contradiction to the point above here, but don't post photos for the sake of posting. People will get annoyed that random photos are appearing on their feed and will likely unfollow you. Make sure the pictures you post are good quality, and you don't feel you are going to delete in the next hour.

Consistency - Try to keep your photos the same in terms of lighting, and quality. It looks so much cleaner and more eye catching when your photos are consistent instead of some light, and some really dark etc. 

Relevant Hashtags - Nothing turns me off more than a load of irrelevant hashtags cluttered at the bottom of the image. Its okay - I get it, you want lots of people to see your image and like it, but maybe tone it down a little? Surely you would want people who actually care about a element in your picture to like it, than a random stranger who is just looking to get followers? Then you get to gain a genuine following, instead of a few active people. 

Work for it - Followers don't just magically appear, you have to make your account known to them! Comment and like other peoples posts, some popular, some just your average account. There are lots of people that give shout-outs to accounts who are nice to them in the comments etc. Make sure you post relevant comments to the picture as this always looks ten times nicer than a F4F comment. Don't go overboard though, and spam them because that just gets annoying ;)

I hope this helped, and let me know if these tips improved your instagram feed!

p.s: if you would like to take a look at my Instagram feed, some of my latest pictures are at the bottom of my blog!