Monday

OOTD // Blush Pink Dress

This weekend, Rich and I were invited to the wedding of one of his school friend's. Cue frantic panic about having nothing wedding-appropriate to wear. Luckily, and predictably, ASOS were there to rescue me. Phew!
Plus size wedding guest dress

Sponsor Becky Bedbug in September

Oh, September. Not my favourite month, I'll admit. A new school year means back to the day job for another 12 months. However, this time it's different! This is when I start my new hours so I'll have four whole days a week to devote to blogging (what's a weekend?) and I cannot wait! 
Sponsor lifestyle blog
Not only that, but this August has been my best month for traffic ever! Could there be a more perfect time to sponsor? No. No there could not!

For details on the packages I offer and how to puchase, check out my sponsorship page here.

Bloglovin' // Twitter // Instagram

Sunday

Review // Lush Skydancer Bath Bomb

As most bloggers will know, Lush have built their brand on promoting causes that improve the world for humans and animals alike. One of the ways they do this is by periodically releasing special limited edition products to raise funds. Right now, the bright Skydancer- Far From the Madding Guns Bath Bomb is in store to fund equipment that will help the endangered hen harrier birds.
Review of the limited edition Lush bath bomb, Skydancer- Far From the Madding Guns, to raise funds for endangered harrier hen chicks

Live like common people // On class

I'm working class through-and-through. Proper, full-on, broken home, council estate childhood. And proud. Unfortunately, this seems to be a bit of a rarity in the blogging world. At least when it comes to the top bloggers: All nice, well-spoken, middle class girls*. This seems to have extended to social media, too. Time and time again, I see derogatory comments about people on benefits, council estates and those who get grants under income-assessed student loans (don't get me started on the latter!)

*Edit: It's been brought to my attention that this sounds like a dig at other bloggers. This isn't what I intended at all. What I meant was that, in blogging circles, I've often felt alone in my background, especially as the top bloggers (by which I mean the bloggers who are household names) appear to be from middle-class backgrounds. 
Class divide in the UK
It's insane how class is still used as a weapon. As though, by being working class, you're somehow a lesser person. The lower classes, and all that. As an example, here's some of the experiences I've had in the past:

Saturday

101 in 1001 XXIX

Last month was pretty dire in terms of my goals, so it made more sense to combine these past two since I crossed off a lot in the past 4 weeks! 

#1 Visit Pere Lachaise
Oh my goodness, I did it! I finally explored Pere Lachaise cemetery and it was everything I hoped for and more! (Technically I could also use this as #51- Visit 10 cemeteries but I'm challenging myself!)

Book Review // Mort

Rich recommended I read Mort. He's a big fan of Terry Pratchett and reckoned this would be right up my street. Having never read any Pratchett before, I'd been nagged at for ages to read one and finally got round to it. I'm not entirely sure I'll be reading more. 
Review of Mort by Terry Pratchett

Friday

FF CXXXVII

I've been nominated for best longstanding lifestyle blog in the Bloggers' Blog Awards. Woohoo! Vote for me here.

Thursday

What's in my bag // Summer 2015 edition

I love reading What's in my bag posts, and I know I'm not alone. There's something inately curious (or just nosy!) about all of us that means we love peeking into other people's handbags. Luckily for everyone I ever cross paths with at the moment, the newest addition to my bag collection is transparent, so they can all have a snoop!
Blogger What's in my bag photo
Admittedly, I think this flamingo bag from House of Fraser is designed as a beach bag since it's made of flexible, waterproof plastic, but it's just too cute not to use more often. Look at his cute little beaded eye! And his handle-neck! Besides, he's a flamingo! Bloggers love flamingoes! 

Sponsor Shoutout // August

What a bizarre summer we've had! The hottest day on record followed by torrential downpours and flooding. At least one thing has stayed consistent, and that's how awesome my sponsors are. 

ALI CAITRIN
During the general election, I had many a political chat with Ali Caitrin since our political views are fairly similar (in fact, she was a participant in my who to vote for post!). You'll be glad to hear, however, that if the ins and outs of British politics isn't your thing, there are still loads of reasons to check out Ali's blog. She's first and foremost a book blogger, with an enviable backlog of books read in 2015 and a penchant for Harry Potter, although her lifestyle posts are also well worth a read!

WATER PAINTED DREAMS

Hayley, the blogger behind Water Painted Dreams, is a girl of many talents! Not only is she insanely clever (she's a chemistry student) but she's a fantastic blogger and she crochets the cutest little elephants ever! Based in Edinburgh, she features restaurant reviews, advice for fellow students and lots of reading posts. If you like your blogs with a bit of everything (which you probably do, since you're reading mine), go and check her out!

MAKING IT UP
Jess at Making It Up has a beautiful blog design, and her content lives up to it. A beauty blogger through and through, Jess features fantastic make up and skincare reviews, as well as some more unusual post ideas such as No Buy July

Bloglovin' // Twitter // Instagram

Wednesday

Review // Lush Retread Hair Conditioner

I was told categorically to not buy Retread because it smells horrific. After giving it a good sniff in store, I couldn't work out why at all! It's quite a heavy musky violet fragrance but not an unpleasant one by any means.
Retread Hair Conditioner review

How to increase your Facebook referrals

In April, Facebook came 20th in my list of referring sites. Just a month later, it had shot up to 5th and my views from Facebook had increased by 1165%. Yep. One thousand, one hundred and sixty five percent in 30 days. So what changed? Well, I started using it properly for one thing.
How to use Facebook for your blog

For years, I believed that Facebook had no role to play in my blog. I stopped using my personal Facebook around 2012, and statistics seem to show that this is true for many people in my generation. Milennials have deserted Facebook in favour of Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram but I didn't stop to think about all the other age groups. My mum is regularly on Facebook. So are my teenage siblings. In fact, the number of active users is growing, so it's fairly clear that, even though I've long abandoned Facebook as a social media site, there are ample opportunities for blog use. 

These are the steps I've taken to use Facebook as a referring source.

Tuesday

4 free things to do in London

I bloody love London but man, it gets expensive! By the time you've paid to get there, plus food, drink and TFL tickets, you've pretty much spent half your wages. With that in mind, I've written a guide to five of the best free things to do in London. Best bit? They're not all the usual touristy gimmicks! The list is based on places that I have visited- Just click on the links to read my posts about each attraction.
Free attractions in London

Top 5 books about death

At the beginning of the month, I tentatively questioned the possibility of starting a monthly series on death. To my surprise, it was really well received so I'm excited to begin! To start my series, I've decided to look at my books around the topics of crime and death, and choose my favourite 5 for anyone who's interested in reading more around the subject.
Books about crime and death

Monday

Big Blogger Conference

Blogger conferences seem to happen a fair deal over in the states, but there was never anything similar here in the UK. That is, until Lauren of Blonde Vision stepped up and created the Big Blogger Conference. Held in the gorgeous Russell Hotel in London, the day was a combination of blogging workshops and brand networking, and, if you ask me, was a huge success.
Powerpoint emailed to phone

Sunday

Nails // OPI That's Berry Daring

As soon as I saw this bottle sitting in the nail salon, I made a beeline for it. OPI's That's Berry Daring is the most perfect berry pink shade!
Swatch of OPI That's Berry Darling

Sponsor Shoutout // Kim Bettasso

As far as I remember, all of my sponsors have been UK- or Europe-based, so it's really interesting for me to have a sponsor from across the pond this month! Kim Bettasso is a new parenting and craft blogger from Indiana who also works as an investment adviser, so she is pretty much a superwoman! 
Kim Bettasso logo
If you're looking for new blogs to read, here are three reasons to check out Kim's blog:

1. HER CRAFT POSTS ARE REALLY INTERESTING

I love this tutorial on how to make a hand-bound notebook from scraps materials. It's really easy to understand and the end result looks great. These notebooks would make lovely personal gifts too!

2. THEY'RE ALSO EDUCATIONAL

My favourite of Kim's crafts are those that are geared towards educating her children. I love the idea of a salt dough map which allows children to access a whole load of learning: Geographical topography, map work and co-ordinates, landscapes and habitats and so on. As it's a hands-on, kinaesthetic activity too, it doesn't feel like learning which, let's face it, is the best kind of learning!

3. SHE'S HAPPY TO SHARE THE LOVE

Whether it's explaining what she's learned from other bloggers, or interviewing fellow bloggers, Kim is a great supporter of other bloggers. 

Kim's only been blogging a few weeks, so go and say hello! 

If you'd like a feature about your blog, check out my sponsorship page for details.

Bloglovin' // Twitter // Instagram

Saturday

Lemon Aid // Making Lemonade With Bloom & Wild

You already know Bloom & Wild, the letterbox flower company, I'm sure, but I bet you didn't know that they are now branching (heh) into gifts too. The Lemon Aid Kit has just been launched, and is the perfect treat for your friends with a sweet tooth!
Lemonade Recipe Equipment
Inside the, quite frankly gorgeous, box is practically everything you'll need to make enough deliciously sweet lemonade for two- three lemons, muslin cloth, Elderbrook cordial, two Kilner jar glasses and even pretty pink paper straws and crepe garland. 
Raspberry, cranberry & blueberry Elderbrook cordial
How to make lemonade
All you need is some sugar, boiling water and a way to remove the zest from the lemons, such as my little cheese grater here. 
Removing zest from lemon using cheese grater
You'll be glad to hear that the lemonade is super-easy to make! I managed to do it myself and I am not talented in the kitchen! 
Lemonade in Kilner jars
Homemade pink lemonade
The lemonade I made was amazingly sweet and refreshing. As you can see, I added a little of the raspberry, cranberry and blueberry cordial to make a glass of pink lemonade too- the berries perfectly complemented the citrus flavour. 
Bloom and Wild logo
Making lemonade was so much fun! The perfect alternative to flowers for a creative, unique gift! 

Post written in collaboration with Bloom & Wild


Bloglovin' // Twitter // Instagram

Friday

FF CXXXVI

Flashing neon sign gif
Every time I see photos of God's Own Junkyard, I get more desperate to visit! 

Thursday

Lush Summer 2015

If you read this blog, there's a very high chance you're aware that Lush opened their flagship Oxford Street store in April, packed full of brand new, exclusive products. Which is all well and good if you live near London, but for those who weren't, it was kind of annoying. Thankfully, Lush have rolled out dozens of the bestselling exclusives to stores all around the country. Rejoice! To celebrate, Lush Reading invited me to their store and gave me the chance to check out their new products.
Lush Karma Pyramid

Wednesday

Is replying to comments necessary?

Hands up: I rarely reply to comments. I know some people think this is hideously rude and ungrateful, but I still don't do it and I resent people making fellow bloggers feel guilty about it. I promise I'm not rude or ungrateful- I've just found that replying to comments doesn't work for me. Let me explain.
why don't bloggers reply to comments?
When I started blogging, I replied to every. single. comment. At first, it wasn't a problem but I soon realised that people rarely come back to check and typing "thanks", "thank you", "thank you so much" repeatedly felt insincere and hollow, which is exactly the opposite of what replies should be. I wouldn't want my favourite bloggers to reply to my comments just because they feel obliged to. 

Tuesday

Southampton Bloggers Meet Up

Last weekend, before I went gallivanting around Europe, I headed down to Southampton for the Southampton Bloggers Meet Up, run by Alice and Amy. Not only did I manage to drive me and Natalie all the way down the M3 without crashing (yay me!), I had a great time at the actual event!
TIE IT AMY TIE IT

Monday

Pere Lachaise Cemetery

A long, long time ago (well, two years ago exactly), I wrote a post about my visit to Highgate Cemetery. A couple of people recommended Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris and, after a bit of research, it went straight to the top of my second 101 in 1001 list. Needless to say, when I found out we were going to Paris for our anniversary, this was at the very top of my itinerary.
Tombs at Pere Lachaise Cemetery

Sunday

Review // Lush Pumice Power Foot Soap

Foot care is something I really care about since I suffer from horribly dry heels. If I don't keep them super-duper moisturised, they get really, really bad so I tend to use a lot of product on them and, of course, this is almost exclusively from Lush. Needless to say, I made a beeline for the foot care section when I visited their Oxford Street store, and picked up Pumice Power.
Review of Lush Pumice Power Foot Scrub

48 hours in Paris

To be completely honest, I didn't think I'd like Paris. I suspected it was one of those blogging clichés that everyone pretends to love but would just bore me, like peonies and marble trays. Turns out I was wrong. I completely fell in love with the city!
Parisian architecture

Saturday

48 hours in Berlin

I started learning German in 2001 and I've wanted to visit Germany ever since. Although I strongly considered continuing with the language at A level, I decided against it and, as such, can now confidently talk all about my work experience (Letzten Juni, habe ich mein Arbeitspraktikum in eine Schule gemacht) but can't really hold a useful conversation. Nevertheless, I've held on to the dream of one day visiting Germany and last week, as a surprise for our first anniversary, Rich whisked me off for a mini-break to Berlin. 
German flags flying

Friday

FF CXXXV

My Little Pony underwear
OMG! My Little Pony bras! I'll never fit into them but SO CUTE! 
I love Ellie's photos of the Art Deco hotels in Miami
Carrie and Miguel have set up a wedding photography business, WishWishWeddings. If only it had been a year earlier- I would have snapped them up for mine! 
Katy went to St Paul's which is officially part of Hogwarts.
Remember when I published my diary entries? Amber has located her teenage diaries and posted some hilarious extracts! 

Bloglovin' // Twitter // Instagram

Tuesday

5 tips for holidaying on a budget

For me, holidays should be an adventure, packing is as much as possible and soaking up all the culture as you can. (Erm, Florida may be an exception to the whole culture thing!) Problem is, of course, that the cost of travelling, accommodation, sightseeing and so on soon adds up and eats into your budget. In order to keep costs down as much as possible, allow me to share my top five tips for saving money on a city break.   
How to travel cheaply

Monday

Nails // Essie Spin the Bottle

Last time I got my nails done, I really wanted to try a nude/beige shade. However, when I got to the salon, I discovered that they had nothing along those lines and instead settled on a pale pink. This time, when I turned up, the owner excitedly told us they had new shades and, to my delight, they included three nudes. After quickly Googling some swatches, I settled on Essie's Spin the Bottle.
Essie Spin the Bottle swatch
Oh my goodness, it's gorgeous! Such an elegant, sophisticated shade that I couldn't stop looking at. I think I might try it again in future with a matte top coat, which will give it a softer appearance. Definitely a new favourite!


Affiliate link has been used in this post.
Bloglovin' // Twitter // Instagram

Sunday

Review // Anna Sui Liquid Foundation

Remember how I bought that Paul and Joe Foundation Primer just because the packaging was pretty and I had ASOS vouchers? Yeah... I may have bought this at the same time. It looks so similar that it's hard to believe it's from a different brand!
Anna Sui Liquid Foundation 101
I bought the Anna Sui Liquid Foundation in 101 which isn't the palest shade they have but appeared to be the pinker of the two porcelain colours.

Afternoon Tea Moodboard

Did you know it's Afternoon Tea Week? Yep, that's a real thing... As if I need an excuse! Inspired by this theme, I've created a moodboard to show off my perfect afternoon tea!
Vintage afternoon tea ideas

My tea would obviously take place at Sketch London purely for the Wes Anderson-esque interior. Since this is my perfect afternoon tea, I would chuck in some macarons from Ladurée served on vintage crockery. I'm strange and don't drink tea or coffee, which does make ordering afternoon tea "without the tea" very difficult! Instead, I'd have sparkling elderflower or pink lemonade (or both! Pink elderflower lemonade?) served in a gorgeous elegant glass like this Villeroy & Bock Charleston glass from House of Fraser.

For music, I'd play the Mamas and the Papas, and carry through the 60s theme with a pretty, full-skirted dress. Yes, I know the music and outfit are from two completely different eras within the 60s but it's my afternoon tea and I make the rules!

What would your perfect afternoon tea involve? Let me know in the comments!

This post was written in collaboration with House of Fraser.


Bloglovin' // Twitter // Instagram

Saturday

Candle Making at Lumieres de Londres

I am a big candle fan. I'm also a fussy candle fan- I got a taste of Diptyque and there was no going back! Unfortunately, as you can imagine, this makes for quite a pricy habit, so I was pretty excited when Lumieres de Londres invited me to experience a taste of their candle making workshop. 
How to make candles

Friday

FF CXXXIV

Girl jumping over bollard
I bloody love dinosaurs so Carrie's dino jumpsuit is my dream!
Bush of purple hydrangeas
A great post from Vix on being good, but not quite right (she's also included me in her blogs I read every day post. What a babe!)
Full polkadot skirt
Oh God, Amber's skirt! The puffy, polkadot skirt of wonders! I must have it!
Bloglovin Challenge
Hayley's rant on Bloglovin's follow challenge is on point!
Georgina has written the best post ever on sponsored posts, including what she charges. Go and read it now.

Bloglovin' // Twitter // Instagram

Thursday

11 productive things to do when you have bloggers' block

You know those days when you just can't be bothered to write? You pretend you have bloggers' block but really you just don't feel like it. Don't worry, I understand. There's no judgement here. However, there are still loads of super-easy, productive things you can do for your blog without taking photos and writing posts all the time. Think of it as productive procrastination!
How to procrastinate productively

5 exhibitions I must see this year

One of the first things I did when I started earning a monthly wage was to buy an Art Pass. In fact, it was one of the goals in my original 101 in 1001 (you can see the -horrendous- post about it here). With this little card, I can get into most major exhibitions for half price, although sometimes I can even get free entry. Although it renews annually, I haven't made the most of it for a while, so I'm determined to milk it for all its worth from now on. 
Using the Art Fund website, I've created a list of my top five must-see exhibitions this year. Since I'm a southerner through and through, they're all London-based, but will hopefully be useful to anyone who's looking for some creative inspiration! I've included some interesting UK-wide exhibitions at the bottom too, for those who aren't near the capital.


Blog Design by Get Polished | Copyright Becky Craggs 2017