The Jack Wills Belles & Whistles Collection

Jack Wills Belles & Whistles Collection
Jack Wills Belles & Whistles Collection
Jack Wills Belles & Whistles Collection

So this might just be the most feminine piece of clothing I've actively chosen to put on my body in my entire life. Ever. The top is a part of the Limited Edition Belles & Whistles collection from Jack Wills, sold exclusively at the Covent Garden store in London. Somehow, I managed to get my hands on a piece. Why do I say 'somehow', you ask? Well, I mean it's not a big deal or anything (ahem) but there are only TWENTY of these tops in existence. Which first of all means that hey, that's pretty darn cool, but secondly it means that there's only a 20 in 6 billion (give or take) chance that I'll ever come across someone wearing the same outfit as me. If that's not a fashion blogger's idea of heaven then I don't know what is. 

'Jardelle' Strapless Top - £129
'Enid' Broderie Bodie Dress - £249
'Lutton' Brocade Bustier Dress - £249
'Milverton' Broderie Sleeveless Dress - £349

Click on the images below to see the rest of the collection! 

So, what's the verdict? Can I pull off this sort of top!?

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Jack WIlls 'Jardelle' strapless top *
ASOS leather trousers
Steve Madden sandals *

How to be a more productive blogger

how-to-be-a-productive-blogger
How to be more productive with your blog

Being told I need to relax more is pretty much a daily occurrence. I'll be honest with you, if there's one particular thing I pride myself on (apart from my ability to nap just about anywhere) it's that I'm pretty darn productive. In other words, I get shit done.

I won't lie, being a workaholic definitely has it's flaws (and that's something I'll be going into in a future, more personal post) but today I want to share the upsides of getting things done, and all the tips and tricks I use to do approximately 4,0758.6 per day. Give or take.

So for those of you that don't already know, I blog full time as a job, which is pretty awesome (you can find out how I became a full-time blogger here). On top of that I'm also a full time journalism student, which again, is good. On top of all that I'm also a freelance writer, multi-media content creator, Youtuber and a generic human being with basic hygiene needs etc etc. I'm not blowing my own trumpet here, because I'm actually bloody exhausted, but like I said, if there's one thing I'm good at it's getting a lot of things done in one day.

Last week however was a completely different story, and I pretty much sat around for days looking at my computer screen doing absolutely nothing. So in order to stop that from ever happening again I decided to make a little list in my diary featuring ways to get my mojo back. They worked, and I'm finally back on top of everything again, so I've decided to share a few of my not-so-secret secrets. Brace yourselves, it involves minimum sleep and a lot of coffee.

Make a list the night before

I make lists for pretty much everything I do, but every night I like to make sure I jot down all of the stuff that needs to get done the following day - even if it's something as simple as 'do the dishes'. Not only does this help me sleep better without having 500 things on my mind, but it also means that I don't have to mock up a new to do list the following day. Am I the only person in the world that puts 'make a to do list' on their to do list? Maybe.

Develop a routine

This is probably one of the most important ways I stay productive. As you all know, every Tuesday I do a Tip Tuesday style post, which helps give me a guide to stick to every week. I also post my Youtube videos on specific days each week, which gives me another routine I can rely on. As well as all of this, I tend to do a lot of my 'admin' work on Sunday afternoons. I'm not completely organised just yet, but I am getting there.

Plan in advance

Basically, I could pretty much tell you every blog post I'm uploading for the next month or two. This isn't always possible depending on what it is you actually blog about (for example, travel etc), but for me I find I work so much better knowing that I've got the next however many blogging days covered. It can be a little easier said than done sometimes, but I find that having a bunch of my posts already scheduled really takes a load off. It does mean you need to be seriously on the ball with blogging for a few days though. But once you're ahead it feels so darn good.

Be (fairly) realistic

I'm really, really bad at this. But I do try. Basically, if you're looking to get a month's worth of Uni work done in one day - amongst a slew of other things - think again. Even now I still find myself over-filling my to do lists, but I no longer bully myself if I don't get everything done. That being said, don't get lazy with your lists. If you're looking to push you productivity a little more it might even be beneficial to you to be ever so slightly unrealistic. Just, you know, don't expect to build Rome in a day.

Work in bulk

Since I have so many different things to do each week I usually try to designate a different day to various tasks. This is a little more difficult when I have loads of deadlines, but even so I still like to get lots of things done in one go. In fact, when it comes to me filming Youtube videos I normally do them in bulk throughout the day, depending on what I'm doing. A few weeks ago I made a makeup tutorial video, a lookbook video and two skincare videos in a few hours. It saves me time in the long run and gives me back-up content to use over the next few weeks, just incase I get ill or busy or something!

Take a break

I don't know anyone that can work well for hours on end, so taking a break every so often is a must, even if you don't think you have the time. I always used to feel like I was too busy to take some time out of what I was doing, but when I finally got into the hang of it I started utilising my time a lot more. I tend to work for an hour then give myself a quick ten minute break. If I don't, I just end up getting lost in the weirder corners of the internet. Don't go there.

Prioritise

I mean this in two different ways. First of all, instead of just doing the easiest thing on your list first, do the most important. It sounds so easy but hey, who really wants to start their day with a 4000 essay? Not me. But hey, it's gotta be done. The next way to prioritise things is perhaps a little controversial, but I will be doing another post on my experiences with it. Basically, I like my blog a lot more than I like University. I earn money from blogging, I pay for University. Since I have to pay for my rent I prioritise blog work over University any day. That isn't to say I don't get my work done on time, and to the best of my ability, but my attendance there really isn't great. It would be impossible for me to do everything perfectly, 24/7, so I have to let something slide on the odd occasion. It's not for everyone (and I'm sure my parents are rolling their eyes as they read this) but hey, it's what works for me.

Start now

FYI, tomorrow never comes! It's like when people say they're going to go on a diet tomorrow. Why not just start now? If you want to do something (or you know, have to do something) but feel like putting it off, don't! If you have the time to do it just do it. I'm not saying cancel all of your life plans just to write a blog post, but if you want to do something you may as well start now. 

Create a personal space

To some of you that watch my Youtube videos, you'll know I had an on-going issue in my old office with my crazy neighbour (long story short, she has loud sex, a lot. It's gross). Since then we've moved my office/desk area into our bedroom, and have turned that room into what is essentially a walk in wardrobe (#bloggergoals). My little corner of the room is so much quieter than it was before, and I now find myself getting more done than ever before. It also helps if you tell people in your house that you're going off to do some work so that they'll let you work in peace. Basically, just tell everyone to leave you alone or else.

Don't multi-task

Don't ask me the scientific stuff here, but I've read on countless different smarty pants websites that our brains weren't built for multi-tasking (yes, even us girls). So these days I try to focus on just one task instead of five - unless of course it's the sort of multi-tasking that involves doing the dishes and catching up on my favourite Netflix shows. Doing this means I can put 100% of my effort into whatever it is I'm doing, as opposed to half-assing a selection of tasks.

Get healthy

Gah, isn't healthy talk just so BORINGGGG?! But alas, generally being healthier will make you work a lot more efficiently. When I was going to the gym and drinking more than a teaspoon of water a day I had so much more energy and my brain woz a lot more gd at finking. It'll seem like such a chore at first if you're a bit of a non-fitness-fanatic, but once you realise how much more you get done when you do feel good, you'll wanna do it more.

Let me know your favourite ways to stay productive!

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Lily Lulu Odessa Cut out Midi Dress *
3.1 Phillip Lim clutch bag *
Steve Madden SANJOSE boots *

Five simple SEO tips that will make your blog grow (woo!)

5 SEO tips to grow your blog audience
5 SEO tips to grow your blog audience
5 SEO tips to grow your blog audience

So first up, don't these little green plant ball things make you so very happy? I don't know why, but seeing them all lined up in a neat little row really pleased that minutely OCD side of me. I'm the only one that loves them? Okay, moving on..

Today's Tip Tuesday is potentially a little bit boring, but it seriously reaps the benefits. In my last post about how to grow your blog traffic a load of you mentioned how much you'd like some posts on SEO. So ladies and gents, here I am with my SEO hat on (metaphorical, of course, although please feel free to send one in the post) ready to share with you five basic SEO tips that are sure to help you grow your blog audience. Like I said, it's not the most exciting topic in life, but it's really useful to know if you're looking to take your blog to the next level. Now now students, quieten down. I don't want to go and put anyone in detention now. God I'm hungry. This post is getting a little weird. Onto the SEO tips!

Make your website mobile-friendly

A few weeks ago Google decided to switch things up with their algorithms. Wait, what now? Basically an algorithm is the formula that Google uses when figuring out how to rank different web pages - and one of the latest changes is that Googs is going to start penalising websites/blogs that aren't responsive on mobile devices, meaning your website may rank a little lower than you'd like. If you're on pre-made templates, chances are the majority of you won't have to worry about this, but it's always good to check whether or not your site works efficiently on mobiles/tablets. You can check to see if your own site is responsive here.

Submit an XML site map

YAWN. Don't those words sound so boring? I almost added the word pizza at the end just to make it more..tasty (?) but hey, I'm trying to be serious here. A site map is a file that allows you to list the pages on your site that help tell Google (and Bing, Yahoo etc.) about your content. Long story short, submitting your site map can help Google process more of your pages, which helps you become more visible on the world wide web!

Use relevant anchor text

When you search for a product online, you're not typing in 'link here' are you? So why make that your own anchor text!? I used to do this all the time, but since using relevant text I've noticed my pages and posts rank a lot higher than before. Basically, whenever you're linking out to a page, be sure to link out using words that relate to the site/product you're talking about. For example, why don't you all check out the latest post I did on How to triple your blog traffic ? See what I did there?

Make search-friendly URLS

This is pretty similar to what I mentioned above. When I'm making a blog post I like to pretend I'm a potential reader looking for a web page. What would I type if I wanted to know how to get rid of my moustache? Well, I'd probably type 'how to get rid of a moustache' into Google or something. Same goes for your URL and blog title. Instead of allowing your blog URL to be blogname.com/684694-468468-273 change it to blogname.com/how-to-get-rid-of-moustache. It'll show up on Google a lot better that way. So uh, about that moustache..

Optimise your images

Again, this is pretty much the same as the last two, only in terms of images. It can sometimes be annoying to do (and by sometimes, I mean most of the time) but when saving your images be sure to save them with a relevant name. No one is going to go searching for 'DCM 440716', are they? Nope. So name your images as if you were searching for them yourself! To give your images that extra boost be sure to use the ALT text to describe your images. Try not to use too many key words though - Google hates that.

Hope this helped some of you!

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Iris and Ink leather shirt
Missguided neoprene skirt *
Topshop boxy bag
Steve Madden Sanjose boots *

150 things to be happy about

150 things to be happy about
150 things to be happy about
150 things to be happy about
150 things to be happy about

Us bloggers are just so darn happy all the time, aren't we? I get it, I get it, it can be annoying when everyone else in the world is talking about how great their life is and you're just sitting at your desk powering through a 500 page case study with a loud neighbour hammering on your walls, an empty fridge a migraine from hell and a cat that just peed on your favourite sweater. Ahem. That's the situation happening right now, and before I decided to fall 100% into moody bitch mode I decided to write out a few things to be happy about - something I've found helps me whenever I'm feeling down in the dumps. Then I thought, hey, I have no real story behind what I'm wearing in this outfit (other than a story about how bloody great this jacket from Missguided is) so, why not just throw all of my thoughts on here? 

I like a nice rounded number, and hey, I like a challenge (and I also like procrastinating instead of writing this case study) so I've decided on jotting down 150 things that come to mind that make me feel a little bit better about whatever situation I'm going through. Hopefully - if you're nearing bitch mode like I was - they'll make you feel a bit better too! 

1. THE FACT THAT TODAY IS FRIDAY
2. UNIVERSITY DEADLINES ARE COMING TO A CLOSE
3. SUMMER IS AROUND THE CORNER
4. NAPS EXIST (IS THIS NOT THE BEST THING EVER?)
5. FRESH FRUIT SALADS IN THE SUNSHINE
6. HANGING THE WASHING OUTSIDE WHEN IT'S SUNNY
7. HAVING MY CATS TALK/MEOW BACK TO ME 
8. STRETCHING OUT ON THE FLOOR LIKE A STARFISH
9. WALKING IN GRASS BAREFOOT
10. SPENDING FAR TOO LONG IN THE SHOWER
11. CLIMBING INTO FRESH BED SHEETS
12. JEANS THAT FIT PERFECTLY
13. TICKING THE LAST THING OFF A TO DO LIST
14. NATURALLY WAKING UP EARLY
15. HAVING A GOOD MAKEUP DAY
16. KNOWING ALL THE WORDS TO A RAP SONG
17. TAKING A GOOD SELFIE THE FIRST TIME AROUND
18. LAUGHING UNTIL IT HURTS
19. PROVING PEOPLE WRONG
20. LATE NIGHT TRIPS TO THE SHOP
21. STRANGERS SAYING 'MORNING' TO YOU
22. BUYING FRESH FROM FROM A MARKET
23. PASTRIES AND COFFEE
24. FINISHING ALL THE CHORES
25. BRAND NEW SOCKS
26. FINISHING A CROSSWORD PUZZLE
27. HAVING BACK BACK TICKLED
28. NOT HAVING TO SET MY ALARM
29. EATING CAKE MIX STRAIGHT FROM THE BOWL
30. HAVING A TIDY DESK
31. VIDEOS OF SMALL CUTE ANIMALS
32. CATCHING UP WITH OLD FRIENDS
33. FINDING OLD PHOTOGRAPHS
34. FAST FOOD WHEN YOU'VE GOT A CRAVING
35. BROWSING SHOPS FOR NO REASON AT ALL
36. CACTIS AND SUCCULENTS
37. THOSE REALLY SWEET PIECES OF POPCORN
38. BRAND NEW NOTEBOOKS
39. FINDING RANDOM MONEY IN YOUR BAG
40. THE MOMENT YOU REALISE YOU'RE OVER SOMETHING
41. THE FEELING OF BUTTERFLIES
42. THAT WARM PATCH OF SUN THROUGH THE WINDOW
43. SCRATCHING A STUBBORN ITCH
44. LISTENING TO GRANDPARENT'S STORIES
45. NAPPING WITH SOMEONE ELSE
46. PICKING UP THINGS WITH MY FEET
47. DRIVING AT NIGHT
48. NO MAKEUP DAYS
49. WATCHING MY CATS SPOON EACHOTHER
50. SCENTED CANDLES
51. WATER FIGHTS IN THE SUN
52. HAVING THE HOUSE TO MYSELF
53. GOING OUT WITHOUT A BRA ON
54. FRESH HOT DONUTS FROM THE FAIR
55. SURPRISE PACKAGES IN THE POST
56. GETTING GOOD NEWS
57. CLEARING MY INBOX OF ALL EMAILS
58. A GLASS OF RED WINE IN THE EVENING
59. TWITTER CHATS WITH RANDOMS
60. SIAMESE GUMMY BEARS
61. TAKING MY HAIR OUT OF A PONYTAIL
62. LAUGHING FITS WITH FRIENDS
63. RE-ARRANGING ROOMS
64. BREAKFAST IN BED
65. MAKING FRIENDS WITH STRAY ANIMALS
66. OVER COMING OBSTACLES
67. HOT WATER BOTTLES EVERY DAY
68. THE PERFECT CUP OF TEA
69. LIKEMINDED PEOPLE 
70. FREE MUSEUMS
71. HEELS THAT ARE ACTUALLY COMFORTABLE
72. SQUEEZING SPOTS YOU KNOW YOU SHOULDN'T
73. THE SMELL OF OLD BOOKS
74. NETFLIX DAYS
75. THAT FEELING AFTER THE GYM
76. LEARNING A NEW SKILL
77. FINDING SOMETHING YOU LOVE ON SALE
78. DOING THINGS YOU KNOW YOU SHOULDN'T
79. BEING ABLE TO UNTAG FACEBOOK PICTURES
80. SWEATPANTS, SWEATPANTS, SWEATPANTS
81. REMEMBERING YOUR DREAMS
82. NOT SMUDGING MY NAIL POLISH
83. INSIDE JOKES
84. LEAVING WORK EARLY
85. EATING DESSERT FIRST
86. GETTING AN EVEN TAN
87. WAKING UP TO 'GOOD MORNING' TEXTS
88. HAPPY POSTMEN (MINE'S THE BEST)
89. UNEXPECTED PEOPLE WITH TATTOOS
90. QUITTING SOMETHING YOU HATE
91. LEAVING ALL THE WINDOWS OPEN
92. THE COLD SIDE OF THE PILLOW
93. SCORING A BARGAIN ON EBAY
94. FORGIVING AND FORGETTING
95. KISSING MY CATS ON THEIR COLD LITTLE NOSES
96. PERFECTLY SHAVED LEGS
97. NEW UNTOUCHED MAKEUP
98. FRESH FLOWERS
99. CHIPS AND CURRY SAUCE
100. THINKING IT'S LATER THAN IT IS
101. WHEN SOMEONE SAYS THANK YOU
102. BEING SURPRISED WITH A PIZZA DELIVERY
103. THAT FEELING AFTER TIDYING MY HOUSE
104. TAKING A DAY OFF WORK/SCHOOL
105. FEELING GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF
106. SECRETLY DOING THINGS FOR CHARITY
107. OVERSIZED SWEATERS
108. DANCING ALONE IN MY BEDROOM (GUILTY)
109. HAVING SOMEONE ELSE DO THE DISHES
110. BIG FAMILY DINNERS
111. HOT DAYS AND AIR CONDITIONING
112. BARBECUES IN THE GARDEN
113. BUY ONE GET ONE FREE
114. THE SMELL OF FRESHLY CUT GRASS
115. THE SMELL OF SUN LOTION
116. DOING ABSOLUTELY NOTHING
117. LISTENING TO MUSIC ON LONG JOURNEYS
118. FINDING OUT FUNNY STORIES ABOUT YOUR PARENTS
119. PUTTING JUST ABOUT ANYTHING IN A MILKSHAKE
120. SOCK SLIDING ON HARD FLOORS
121. BATHS THAT ARE THE PERFECT TEMPERATURE
122. THE SMELL OF BACON IN THE MORNING
123. NON-AWKWARD SILENCES
124. DIPPING CHOCOLATE IN PEANUT BUTTER
125. HEAD MASSAGES (NEED ONE NOW PLEASE)
126. WINNING AT SOMETHING..ANYTHING!
127. TALKING ABOUT OLD MEMORIES WITH SOMEONE
128. CRISP BANK NOTES
129. PEOPLE WATCHING
130. SUCCESSFUL DIY PROJECTS
131. LATE NIGHT TEXTS WITH A FRIEND
132. THE SMELL OF LAUNDRY DETERGENT
133. DRINKING FROM THE CARTON
134. BEING THE ONLY PERSON IN A CAFE
135. MELTED CHEESE ON EVERYTHING
136. 80S DANCE MUSIC
137. LAUGHING UNTIL I CAN'T BREATHE
138. CAPTURING THE PERFECT PICTURE
139. IMPROMPTU HAIR CUTS (THAT WORK OUT WELL)
140. WAKING UP ON HOLIDAY
141. THE SMELL OF RAIN ON A HOT DAY
142. HUGS FROM LOVED ONES
143. BABY ANIMALS, ALL ANIMALS!
144. PULLED PORK WITH EVERYTHING
145. SLIMMING MIRRORS
146. BEING A SLOB WITH SOMEONE YOU LOVE
147. THINGS GOING BETTER THAN EXPECTED
148. DAYS SPENT ON THE BEACH
149. DRIVING WITH THE ROOF DOWN
150. REALISING EVERYTHING IS ACTUALLY PRETY OKAY

 

What makes you happy?

 

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I'M WEARING:

Missguided faux leather fringed jacket *
T by Alexander Wang black tee *
ASOS longline boy shorts *
Converse Chuck Taylor shoes *
 

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How to deal with haters and bullies on the internet

How to deal with bullies haters on the internet

I will admit, the picture above has no real relation to what I'm about to talk about, but let's pretend there's a seriously meaningful, er, meaning behind it. You see those sunglasses? They're blocking out the haters. You see me standing alone in the dark alley? That's a metaphor for how lonely bullying can make one feel. But the light at the end? That's another poetic metaphor for just that - there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Okay so I'm trying to make light of the situation, but we all know I'm never one for a super serious blog post. Either way, the topic of online bullying is something I'd like to address, in true, rambling Steph form.

I won't divulge into this too much, but I've been at the receiving end of both real life and internet bullying multiple times, probably just like most of you reading this! Last week I had a few comments regarding a certain blog post of mine, and they weren't exactly the nicest. No biggie. I mean, I like to think of myself as fairly thick-skinned (that saying always grosses me out for some reason) but a few months back it was enough to turn me into nothing short of an emotional wreck. In fact, that's probably an understatement. Now? Well, just call me the..hater see you later...er. Okay, I'll work on a better name, but you catch my drift. What I'm trying to say, is that when it comes to dealing with internet nasties, I like to think I've got a few tricks up my sleeve.

You know what they say - any press is good press. I mean, it's a little general, but it's pretty much true. If you're a good person (which I'm sure you all are!) the bad things being said are probably pretty inaccurate, which means you don't need to take personal notice of them anyway. For things like this, I like to think of it as the previous: it's all good press. If someone hates me enough to continuously come back to my site, then hell, I'll just go ahead and think of them as one extra unique visitor per day. It's a crappy thing to do (categorising people into being just a number, that is) but if it helps, I'm all for it. Just delete the nasty comments and subconsciously say thank you to the visitor for upping your analytics.

The next thing I like to do is to actually take the comments on board. Now obviously, if the comment is something along the lines of 'You're a *insert insult here* then please, feel free to block and delete that comment and person entirely. Bad vibes are not where it's at. But when it's a comment with a purpose, even if it's one that's not worded in the kindest way, I do like to take a little time to actually consider what these people are saying. Once upon a time I had someone tell me my videos on Youtube were too long and boring. Ouch. But hey, if they were thinking it (and happened to say it too) then maybe others were as well. And maybe they were just too polite to say anything about it. So I took that on as creative criticism, and voila! On the next video they complimented me and even apologised about the comment the time before. Score.

This leads me onto another way to deal with online bullies. Kill them with kindness. I said this on a Twitter chat the other night, and so many people agreed. Remember when your parents told you ignore the bullies? I was never very good at that. In fact, I'm still not very good at that, only now - instead of getting angry - I get friendly. Seriously friendly. If bullies (both online and off) don't get a negative reaction, they'll soon stop having fun. It's your blog/website/Youtube/whatever, and they're the ones encroaching on your little space. Have some fun of your own. Smiley faced emojis are my secret weapon. 

Now obviously one way to get rid of trolls is to delete them and/or simply ignore them, but let's face it, once you've seen a nasty message you may as well have it imprinted on your forehead for the rest of the day. One way that I've found to decrease the amount of negative comments even popping up on my blog is to address pretty much every issue imaginable in that one blog post. I mean, take this post for example. I'll be the first to admit that I am no psychology genius nor am I a poster-girl for anti-bullying. I blog, these are my thoughts, and that's pretty much all this blog is ever for (and the odd blog post about how much I effing love leather jackets). I tend to tackle any negative issues straight up, so that when/if anyone trolls the comments saying the same thing, I'm prepared for it. I know my downfalls, I know there's probably eighteen different typos in here and I'm fully aware that I've probably said something stupid within the past few paragraphs. Guilty as charged. So just as long as I'm aware, these commenters can't hurt me. Sticks and stones my friends, stick and stones...

How do you deal with the h8rs?

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Lily Lulu waterfall coat *
ASOS faux leather trousers
Forever 21 mules *
Ray-Ban sunglasses *
Forever 21 trio bag *