Saturday, 26 December 2015

9 New Year blog post ideas that don't involve relolutions

I don't know about you but I'm just not that into New Year's resolution making. What's the point in setting yourself a (far too broad and unrealistic) goal for the sake of the occasion if deep down you know it'll get dropped within a matter of weeks? I never keep anything up that I decide to do on a whim!

So while the blogging world makes outlandish promises to itself left, right and centre this week I thought I'd put together some post ideas that are more related to reflection, intention setting and renewal. No crash diets or grand revelations here! Here they are:

  1. Did your life change a lot this year? Talk about five things you learned in the last year
  2. Give your readers a sneak peak of what they can expect from your blog this year
  3. Take an end of year survey or poll and publish the results - a great way to learn what makes your readers tick
  4. Share your favourite posts from other bloggers from the past year
  5. Share your favourite posts from your own blog from the year!
  6. What were your favourite books, films, beauty products etc from the past year? Film them in a vlog or write a post about them
  7. What was your most popular post of the year?
  8. Talk about what blogging has taught you this year
  9. List 5 things you're looking forward to in the next year, whether in blogging, life or work.
Stuck for regular post ideas too? Check out these awesome prompts.

Share your own ideas below too!


Monday, 21 December 2015

5 unexpected things that happened in 2015

They say that life is what happens when you're busy making plans. Or, someone said that. I'm just sure it wasn't John Lennon like everyone says it was so I'd hate to misquote him. For me 2015 has been that kind of year. You think things are trundling along nicely and bam - life throws you a little curveball.

Sometimes it throws you a slightly inconvenient but mostly manageable curveball. Other times you're gifted with a boulder-sized curveball. Sometimes life picks you up and throws you as well as the curveball. Then suddenly it's six months into the year you declared was going to be 'your year' and you realise your several paces (or maybe) miles away from where you wanted to be by that point.

But it's not all bad - plenty of things have happened to me this year that I hadn't really banked on, and many of these have turned out to be great changes that have made my life all the richer. I thought I'd have a little look back on the last 12 months, including everything from blog to real life and in between.

My blog has finally taken off - I should preface this by stating that this hasn't been down to luck. I've worked a lot harder on the quality of my content, bought a professional layout and an putting more time than ever after work into the blog. I was invited to events, got my first sponsored post, my pageviews have tripled in 12 months and I'm investing in a new camera after Christmas that will give me the clean and crisp images that my 7 year old bridge camera just can't. I'll be outlining my intentions for this blog in another post next week but watch this space because it's world domination is next!

I 110% leave 2015 as a Belieber - I'm actually not even sorry. Who would have thought that the annoying Canadian kid everyone loved to hate would have won us all over with a seemingly reformed maturity and a serious banger of an album. I can now regularly be found singing along in the car and it's not that much of a guilty pleasure. Love you, Beibs.

I left the job I thought was the one for me - If you'd told me I'd be in a different (read: better in every way) job by now this time last year I'd have laughed in your face. But somewhere along the line everything went sour, the working environment became unbearable and that was the tipping point. It was a stressful and difficult time but ultimately I've come out empowered and on top and I couldn't be happier where I am at the moment.

I've grown some strong friendships - I've never been the type to have tonnes of friends, just a circle of very select humans with whom I might be social with from time to time and even cry on occasionally. Through university I grew apart from some of those friends but this year I've made a concious effort to keep in touch, set aside time to spend with people and to remember I'm not the centre of the universe. The result has been much closer bonds and many a good night out. Go sisterhood.

I've grown in confidence - I've made more of an effort to embrace the crap that life throws at me. To be a bit more headstrong in the face of bullshit. I think I'm all the better for it and it's made me want to speak up for myself more and have a bit of self belief. I'm more tactful in social situations and not so afraid of asking for what I want in a professional capacity either. I'll always question myself in some way or another - it's just how I am - but I'm learning that most of the time doing this will only hold me back.

Here's to silver linings and more unexpected events in 2016!!


Wednesday, 16 December 2015

The ideal 'hard to buy for' Christmas gift (plus 20% off at Thorntons!)

I love Christmas shopping - at least in theory. Spending a day seeking out the ideal gifts for loved ones by ducking in and out of festively decorated shops, stopping off for a hot chocolate to warm up and then heading home to wrap them to the sound of carols. But the thing is, it's not always so easy!

In my circle of family and friends at least, there's always someone who's very hard to buy for. They either have everything they could possibly want or I just can't find what I'm looking for. As December 25th approaches at the speed of light I usually find myself stressing about that one last present!

Novelty gifts are one way to tackle this problem - they tend to be readily available and there's probably something that the recipient will sort of laugh at and maybe half appreciate. It probably won't make their face light up upon opening though.

When Thorntons approached me about their Christmas gift finder the email couldn't have come at a better time - I've never really thought about getting someone a box of chocolates at Christmas before, but it suits this purpose perfectly.

I mean, think about it. A pair of Keith Lemon socks doesn't really say 'I saw this and thought of you' (no offence Keith, love you long time), a hand soap set sort of screams 'I picked this up in the supermarket Christmas isle at the last minute' and don't get me started on buying somebody a celebrity chef chopping board as a gift because you seem to remember they like cooking a bit now and then. Why.

Chocolate on the other hand has a real 'I appreciate you and want you to take some time to totally treat yoself' vibe to it. You can either go all in and get something really luxurious like this Prosecco hamper (ideal for mums, aunties or gal pals), or give the gift of yum in the office Secret Santa with these cocktail chocolates. There are even personalisable gifts made to order by Thorntons' chocolatiers.

There's definitely something for everyone when it comes to giving a sweet treat at Christmas. Unless they don't like chocolate, in which case you should consider excommunicating them.

Thorntons are also currently running a 20% off everything promotion (ends 9am Mon 21st) with the discount code 'XMAS20' so get in there while you can. Other than the box of chocolates Thorntons sent me as a thank you for collaborating with them, I was not compensated for this post in any way - what you read is my own honest opinion.

If you've yet to start your Christmas shopping (naughty!) then don't forget to check out my gift guides for him and for her!

Friday, 11 December 2015

Three to try: Lush

It's come to my attention recently that I'm a creature of habit. Even when I discover a new brand it's through reviews etc that I judge whether or not I should make the purchase, and then I end up sticking to the same product or line for years. I reckon I'm not the only one.

Lately though I've been trying to explore other products from brands I enjoy, so every so often I'll be featuring a short round-up of whatever I've discovered. These won't be sponsored posts or anything, just products I really want to rave about. Today I thought I'd share a few products from Lush, a beauty brand which I've always loved, but which has such a huge range you could probably never try it all!

First up is the Grease Lightning spot treatment gel. I use this on alternate days between treatment with a somewhat harsher medicated spot cream to combat bad breakouts. It's cooling on the skin and really works to combat redness and oil. I tend to apply a thin layer over spot-prone areas and dab a bit extra on actual zits. Yummy.

The Rose Jam shower gel had been on my radar for a while but I was unsure about the expense as my skin has reacted to bath products with strong fragrances in the past. I'm pleased to report that not only has that not happened in this case but that this stuff smells seriously good - that signature Lush smell that lingers on the skin all day. No perfume required.

Something I hadn't heard of before but then received in a gift box was the Buffy scrub bar, which has since become a regular feature in the shower. I don't use the entire bar but instead break off a chunk and rub into the skin. It exfloliates and moisturises at the same time and is amazing on nobbly knees, elbows and dry patches. Perfect for parched winter skin in need of rejuvenation.

So what are you waiting for? Go try something new from Lush!


Saturday, 5 December 2015

A cute little delivery from

On Black Friday this year I tried not to get caught up in a mega spending spree that might make me wince come the end of this month. That said, I did make a few gift purchases and also ordered myself a little treat from

I'm not sure how long this jewellery website has been around but it seems everyone's talking about these guys at the moment. I saw the rose gold studs on offer for just £1 and just had to snap them up. While I do like rose gold jewellery I hadn't found anything to add to my own collection yet, so I thought something simple and chic would be a good place to start. I also snapped up a 9ct gold nose stud with a little black gem. I generally prefer wearing my nose ring but it's not always appropriate for work-related stuff and sometimes I just fancy a change.

I was surprised how quickly the little package came (it arrived on my doormat on the Monday) and the box inside was beyond diddy. Bonus points for cuteness. The earrings are such lovely quality with a perfect finish, long posts and snug-fitting backs. The nose stud is also pretty darn fab and another steal at a mere £4. 

So yeah, I'd highly recommend these guys for your jewellery needs. Great service, low prices and a seriously lush selection of products. Some of the pieces would be ideal as little Christmas stocking fillers, or there are of course some more expensive gifts!


Tuesday, 1 December 2015

4 reasons to watch Marvel's Jessica Jones right now

Here's the thing. Until now I had really not been a fan of these superhero spin-off shows. I couldn't get into Arrow, found Agents of Shield wooden and cheesy, and zoned out of Daredevil within two episodes. My experience watching the Jessica Jones series, all of which is currently on Netflix, could not be any further from this. 

It. is. brilliant. This raw, gritty and totally unapologetic anti-hero is right up my street and the focus on girl-power has me hooked. Here are 10 reasons you should 100% binge watch this right blimmin' now.

1. This is not your stereotypical female superhero. Jessica Jones is a straight-talking, take-no-shit private investigator, who just happens to have a few super powers to help her along the way. There are no tight costumes, no saving babies from burning buildings and some of her actions are sort-of morally questionable as she struggles to come to terms with the fact that only she can stop the story's villain.

2. It gets close to the bone. The story is heavily focused around PTSD and also deals with the concept of sexual consent, It's extremely well done which makes it so believable. I think it's about time issues like are tackled head-on and the impact that these things can have on someone's life are dealt with in a way that doesn't paint victims as weak. Expect drinking, sex, and gore throughout as the show isn't restricted by ratings and censorship the way the Marvel film adaptations are.

3. It's totally hoes over bros at all times. My favourite part of the series is the relationship between Jessica and her best friend Trish Walker. The two couldn't be more opposite but will defend each other 'til the end, even to the point of near death. Their friendship is a pivotal part of the plot's conclusion and it had me welling up.

4. The cast is amazing. The show starts Kristen Ritter, who I adore, as Jessica Jones. She's just perfect for the part with a balance between total badassery and vulnerability. Rachael Taylor and Eka Darville also really stood out to me. David Tennant stars as a mind controlling villain and I can't think of anyone who could have made Kilgrave's character any creepier. 

Have you been watching the series? What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

© kelly anne rist

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