GlowBites: Saturday in York

GlowBites York

Helloooo so it’s time for my weekly update for you guys with some cute piccies! So again it’s another food/restaurant kinda post but hey I love reading these kinda posts and nosying at amazing pics on other blogs!

Lil back story for you >> I was travelling through to York for the day (where I lived/went to Uni) to meet my best friend from Uni who I haven’t seen since coming from Aus aka far too long! And we decided to meet for the day to have food, shop around and have a couple of drinks – we had the sweetest day. We headed to a place called Missoula for lunch and I was pretty blown away with just the decor alone! We both chose to have kebabs – and nooooo before anyone judges not your nasty takeout kebab but the most amazing kebabs ever! (Mine was veg and halloumi << mmm)

We also headed to the The Star Inn The City – so I had heard of this place for a while now but never actually knew where it was and o m g. It didn’t disappoint. From the location to the decor to the food and service. Everything about this place is a-mazing. We just stopped by for desert and a lil wine – both were incredible. I definitely can’t wait to head back there and try the rest of the menu (Afternoon tea looked fabbb)

Missoula Interior 1

[Missoula Entrance]

Missoula Interior 2

[Dining area]

Missoula Interior 3

[Decor]

Annie :)

[The BFF]

Kebabs

[Lunch time @ Missoula]

Rose Prosecco

[Rose Prosecco]

Chocolate Indulgence

[Chocolate Indulgence @ The Star Inn The City]

^^^So how amazing does that desert look?!

Has anyone else visited these places in York? If not and you are local or ever visiting you seriously need to check them out!

Happy Wednesday!

How To Fake Blog Editing Like A Pro

Blog Editing

I love blogging and it definitely must be close to a year since I started TheGlowDown – I feel terrible for not remembering, I honestly feel as though I have forgotten an important birthday!

There are so many blogs out there that editing your own blog is essential to help create the best possible version of your blog/brand/image. And yep, if you want to take blogging seriously it is likely you’re gonna need to invest your time and a lil £ in your tools used to edit and create. But don’t panic, you don’t need the latest MacBook or Photoshopping tools to help create your vision, just some time, patience and drive to get your blog looking pro!

Here are just a few low-budget, user-friendly programs/tools/apps I use to make the most out of my blog…

iPiccy

iPiccy

Great for photo editing – slightly similar to Photoshop but free! You do need to register and create an account, but once you do your images you upload for edit are saved to your profile. I have probably used this program the most for photo editing such as adding clip-art and adding text.

PicMonkey

PicMonkey

So you have probably heard a lot more about PicMonkey than iPiccy for photo editing. Again it is free and you don’t actually have to register/create an account with this one. It is super user friendly and a little more visual with the different tools you can use – a definite must-have editing tool if you aren’t too used to any other photo editing programs.

Polyvore

Polyvore

So it took me foreverrrrrr to figure out this was the program everyone was using to create those perfectly simplistic outfit wishlist style posts. Simply go online and create an account and you’re ready to start creating your own collage of fashion/beauty/home wants. There is minimal editing with the images you chose to make up your collage, however you don’t really need to over-edit these kinda posts. The great thing too is that you can add a sort of toggle bar (that polyvore automatically creates for you) so people can easily shop your looks/items!

WordPress

Wordpress

So I feel like this is kinda an obvious one, and if you’re already blogging chances are you have either heard of WordPress or you’re already using it! But I decided to include it just for those who may be using the Blogger platform to see as a comparison. It is a little more complex to use – editing a blog post itself is pretty simple and easy, but there are a lot more tools to help edit your blog on WordPress which may be a little daunting, but personally I definitely think it’s the better platform out of the two.

Etsy

Etsy

So you might be wondering why I have included Etsy for a post on how to edit your blog like a pro but waitttttt…if like me you are still discovering and learning about the world of html, then you might want to check out some of the amazing blog templates or custom designs that people sell on Etsy. I think a big part of blogging is creating your personal style and brand, and that definitely comes across in your blog design. So unless you are a whizz-hand at blog design, do look in to blog friendly template designers.

iPhone Editing Apps

Iphone Apps1   IPhone Apps2

Ahhh okay so this is kinda like find the apps but I will give a brief overview of the ones I use for editing photos for my blog!

PicFX – great little app for adding light effects to photos, for example when ‘orbs’ appear on photos, you can add these to your photos in a creative way.

Evernote – so this isn’t a photo editing app but it does help with the editing of my blog. I use it to create checklists and to write down blog ideas when I’m out and about and getting out my notebook isn’t so doable.

Moldiv – this one I have been loving lately. Great for creating collages or adding text to images.

Afterlight – this is the only photo editing app I have that wasn’t free, but for 79p you still can’t go wrong. Perfect app for editing photos – esp. if you have taken photos without great lighting and need to edit them to look lighter/brighter.

Fotor – again, a great app for creating simple but effective collages.

& Other Tips

So here are a few quick blogging tips I want to share with you guys that help to make the most out of your blog…

+ Use Bloglovin (follow me here) to promote you blog posts and also to connect with other blogs

+ Hootsuite is a great way to schedule social media posts to promote awareness of your blog

+ StumbleUpon is a great website that allows you to submit links to your own blog posts, but also to ‘stumble’ across other people’s blogs

+ Get organised. Use your phone notes, a notebook, an organiser or create your own blogging calender. Getting organised = more balanced, professional and focused blog

+ Use Instagram and We Heart it for simple images and inspiration (just be wary of copyright issues)

+ Be social media savvy. Everyone says it but it is soooo relevant to blog promotion today. Fake being a pro who has a team of people working on their social media accounts and link up all your social media content – just make sure you don’t overshare/spam your followers with too much content to handle.

So that is it – my top tips on how to fake blog editing like a pro! I know it’s a pretty lengthy post but I hope you guys find my tips useful – this is my first kinda post like this where I have shared blog tips, but seeing as though TheGlowDown has been running for around a year I thought I would share what I have learnt!

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend and enjoys the start of their week!

March Fashion Must-Haves

March Must-Haves

So working in fashion does have it’s perks in discovering new and upcoming trends – and usually leaves me with an endless list of must-haves and wants for the rest of the season! And to help make it easy for you guys, and to just share what I am lusting after this season, I have created my perfect wishlist/moodboard of what I think is hot this month – even though we are nearly towards the end of the month! Let’s just say it’s a kinda early Springtime collection of what I’m after in my wardrobe!

March Fashion Must Haves

Valentino Heels (I wish) £630

Zara City Bag £39.99

Kurt Geiger Sunglasses £70

Marble Effect Phonecase £12

Topshop Stripe Shirt £34

Topshop Joni Rip Jeans £38

Topshop Camel Trench £79

Boohoo Maxi Thigh Split Skirt £10

So aside from the Valentino shoes (how dreammmyyyy) I think everything else is fairly reasonably priced…I mean £10 for a thigh split maxi…yes please!! I am also obsessing over marble print (like everyone else) and definitely want to invest in this phonecase – anyone else struggling to find nice cases for the iPhone 6 plus – nightmare!

What are your  guys current fashion must-haves? Share the inspiration!

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend, I have had the most perfect Saturday catching up with a friend over food and drink – definitely some pics to come!

GlowBites

19 GB

Another week another GlowBites! And surprise surprise I’m back to the food related posts but I do have other things to share!

So yesterday I went for a celebratory lunch with my sister and a close friend to Eat Me Cafe in our hometown and it was pretty amazing as usual – my sister had never actually been before for the lunch menu so I was excited for her to get to try what they had on! I chose a Thai Green curry (quite a lot of their food has an Asian twist/inspiration) with brown rice and tofu – lemme tell yaaaa it was pretty hot!! And I had to be a little naughty and get a portion of their homemade skin-on chips to share – the.best.chips.ever.

Eat Me Sign

Eat Me Collage

Eat Me Bathroom

Eat Me Thai Green Curry

Selfie

How cool is their style of decor?! The lion head photo is actually of their bathroom – sorry/not sorry for being a little weird  and taking a pic of a bathroom but I had to share! And of course a selfie of what I was wearing!

Also this week I thought I would share a few kinda miscellaneous things I have been loving lately…

Game Of Thrones // The Walking Dead // Gossip Girl (duh) // The Hunger Games (film and books) // Spotify

Can we just talk about Spotify?! So I created an account years and years ago literally before anyone cared so much about it, and when we were at Eat Me yesterday they had the most amazing tracks playing, like I seriously loved every song! And when I asked what was playing they said it was Spotify! Cue me coming home, logging in to Spotify for the first time in yonks (does anyone even use that word anymore?!) and trawling through the different genres/moods and playlists. I’m loving the ‘mood’ section – so many feel good playlists! Not sure about the £9.99/month fee for premium but we will see!

What has everyone been up to this week so far?

Happy Wednesday!

Top 5 Love Your Hair Tips

Processed with Moldiv

Eek yes that is my hair in the pic above!! Anyway so most of us are never completely satisfied with what our parents/genes/god gave us and that is especially true when it comes to our hair! And I am definitely someone who is never completely satisfied with my own – it never grows long enough, it gets dry and/or oily, it’s not as thick as I want it. Everything bar the colour (loving how my hairdresser colours it!) is always kinda in between – I’m talking a barnett with a mind of it’s own…who else is with me here?! So I have decided to narrow down my top 5 most important and crucial haircare tips that you can follow too to help rule reign over your do..

Haircare Collage

1. Use sulfate free shampoos – all those nasties essentially damage your hair as they are only in there to create a lather. Also avoid silicones if possible in your shampoos too.

2. Wash your hair less – Kim K only does it once every 5 days and so should you.

3. Use a hair oil – my favourite is the original Moroccan Oil. It helps soothe and smoothe, nourish and protect, my hair always feels a million times better when I pop some on freshly washed just-towel-dried hair.

4. Use less heat – banish those styling tools! Okay that’s a bit drastic but you should definitely limit them. Try let your hair air-dry or if you need to blow dry it, skip the straighteners.

5. Use gentle hair accessories – lover of a pony-tail or hair bun? Harsh elastics/bobbles break off your hair so opt for more hair friendly alternatives. Think alligator clips and invisbobble style bobbles – seriously they are the best thing since sliced bread..they even keep hair in place when working out!!

Oh and did I mention I am a serious lover of the sleep bun a la Lauryn Evarts on The Skinny Confidential? Yep the sleep bun means serious business and a must for that perfect next day hair with zero effort!!

What are your top haircare tips? Please Share!

Also check out my post here on the best dry shampoo I’ve found on the high street that only costs £1!

GlowBites X Outfit MashUp

GB18

Excuse time…(yawn) but I have been kinda busy with work and things and have been a lil naughty on keeping TGD updated as I promised I would, but here I am with my regular GlowBites post and shock horror it isn’t food related!! I hope you guys like this kind of post as I don’t do so many fashion related posts and I thought why not share the outfit stages/changes I went through at the weekend trying to pick the right look for a Saturday night in town!

*Just a little warning that if you are offended by cleavage then look away!! (Although lets be calm..it’s only one of the piccies!) Also please excuse any background mess you can spot and the mark on the mirror (grr so annoying) – I didn’t initially think of ever using the pics on my blog!

Outfits

Ok ok ok this is not in any way trying to be an outfit post of the day or a look book – I took pictures of my outfit options so my gfs could help me decide what to wear and thought they would be fun to share!

And just in case you’re wondering, I went with option 5 in the end which is a dress from Aqua that I have only ever worn once before! Which outfit do you guys like best?! Let me know what you think!

GlowBites x My Favourite Blogs

TGD 17

It feels like forever since my last GlowBites post! Sometimes it feels as though every other post is a GlowBites one so I wanted to throw in a few other posts and then of course return to my weekly thaaaang (LOL) And seen as I am loving blogging/reading blogs at the moment (btw…how well are bloggers doing at the moment?!) I thought I would dedicate this weeks GlowBites to the blogs that I without fail check daily, and help to inspire me as a blogger – plus a lil rundown of what to expect from each one if you didn’t already know!!

TGD Fave Blogs

The Skinny Confidential (Of Course)

>>Lifestyle/fashion/beauty/home/DIY<<

Milk Bubble Tea

>>Cute lifestyle bits<<

Zoe London

>>Quirky/edgy lifestyle and makeup bits<<

Cupcakes and Cashmere

>>Amazing home style/DIY bits/Advice<<

BLAWNDE

>>Fashion/Food&Health/Spiritual<<

Western Wild

>>Lifestyle/Advice/Fashion<<

Fashion Lush

>>Fashion/DIY<<

Queen of Jetlags

>>Travel/Fashion/Blog Tips<<

The Sunday Chapter

>>Lifestyle/Recipes/Blog Tips<<


 I love finding new blogs! I have actually written all of these down because my list is getting longer and longer and harder to remember to make sure I check them all! I’m currently loving The Sunday Chapter – she’s an Australian Blogger and I love that her blog is really simple, easy to read but has so much interesting and useful content – a definite recommendation, check her out now!!

Hope everyone is having a lovely week so far – nearly the weekend woo! What are your favourite blogs?

TheGlowDown Daily Top 10

Daily Habits

Here is my second weekly installment of a how to/DIY/to-do list style blog post and what better way to start your week and your month with making some new and positive changes to you day-to-day schedule!! So I have created my ultimate beauty/mind/health daily to-do list which I intend on doing for at least the rest of this month to help maintain a positive and balanced me! Plus…read on to find out my top secret #1 skincare tip!

 TGD daily To Do

Keep tuned in the next couple of weeks as I totally need to do a couple of posts on oil pulling (which I love) and jade face rolling – bye bye puffiness!

Andddd…here is my #1 to skincare tip (it’s so simple it’s silly)

Pat in your facial skincare products! That’s right – eye creams, serums and moisturisers! Don’t rub them in and drag your skin about, pat them in! They absorb better this way and I always feel as though my skin looks really fresh after doing it! Use your ring finger for around your eye, and the length of your fingers for the rest of your face and pat gently all over (inc your neck) until it is practically absorbed and you’re ready to go!

This week I’m keeping it short n sweet with my top 10 list! What are your daily to-dos for a better you?

Plump Your Pout

Plump Your Pout

So I am not naturally blessed with the plumpest of pouts, in fact circa 2003 (secondary school/high school years) I developed a slight complex over it as one boy told me that I had a ‘small mouth!!’ (Mega LOL) Anyway so jokes aside I think most girls have  sought after ways to plump up our lips and make the most of them. I am guilty of neglecting my lips when it comes to makeup at times but I definitely believe it should be at the top of our priorities to keep them healthy and moisturised >> a moisturised pout = halfway there to lips a la Angelina Jolie!!

Whilst I was having lunch and catching up with a couple of girlfriends we got on to the subject of fuller lips as I had just received my CityLips lip plumping gloss. And this is when one of my friends (who happens to be a beautician fyi) mentioned that she had heard of a method that plumps your lips without using any kind of beauty product!! She told us how if you create a suction around the lips, whilst the lips themselves are being sucked in to what is almost like a ‘vacuum’ then it draws blood to the surface and makes your lips swell/grow. Now the kinda things she had used were the necks of water bottles and it had worked for her. There is actually a brand that creates lip plumpers that mimics this exact suction/vacuum effect that you can watch here and buy here.

Now before you all think WTH and is she crazy I googled this craze and look a little more in to it and actually found endless posts and tutorials on how to use this method at home with simply using products you would already have around the house. So I decided to test out a couple of the methods and decided of a firm winner…the bottle cap.

So bear with me here…

 Yes it is just a regular bottle cap from any kind of drinking bottle – they are all pretty a standard size/depth. The technique with the bought version is exactly the same as with your DIY home alternative. Now I apologize as I won’t be creating or uploading a video on how to do this anytime soon (you look kinda crazy doing it!) But I will describe how it’s done.

Firstly, it is your choice whether you want to start with product free lips or to coat them first with a little lipbalm – either works just fine. Secondly you wana take your bottle cap (make sure it is CLEAN) and hold it over your lips >> smaller pouts will find if they pout they can pretty much cover most of their lips >> plumper pouts you may find you want to do this step in 2 parts. Once your pout is covered you want to suck until the bottle cap is suctioned in place and it holds in place on its own – no hands. You will then start to feel a strange pulling sensation as your lips start to plump – you then have to continue the sucking motion so the bottle cap stays in place – do this for about 15 secs then release. Repeat this process up to 6 times.

Lips Before

Before..

Lips After

…After!! So I changed in to a different top here just to clarify! And you can definitely notice that my top lip looks fuller, especially at the outer corners! They look lightly more pink/red as the blood has been drawn to the surface. This was with 4 lots of about 15secs – so you can definitely plump them more!

TIP: You can help plump and accentuate the outer corners of your lips or the top of your lip by moving and placing the bottle cap – you can allow the bottle cap to simply cover just the top lip, or move the cap to the left/right. This works best too if you have already naturally fuller lips.

And don’t worry..there will be some redness/marks from the bottle cap around your mouth area but these die down pretty quickly. Just don’t over-do it with the suction – I have read some people have caused themselves to bruise from being a little over enthusiastic!! Your plump pout won’t last forever unfortunately, fullness can last for 2-6 hours depending on your natural lips and how many times you repeat the steps. Although I have to say I feel as though gradually my lips seem to have become fuller – maybe it’s psychological?!

I hope you enjoy my weird trick to help plump your pout…I would love to hear of any strange and wonderful beauty tips/tricks you guys have to share! Also why not pair your new plump bout with some Kylie Jenner style lip colour and see how I re-create her look here!

How To: Look after you

How To: Look After You

So I want to start another kinda weekly series (checkout some of my regular weekly GlowBites here and here) and I’m really drawn to something that involves lists/how to’s/DIY/top tips as I find I always click on links that share something interesting to do/make. Now I’m not an all-wise guru who knows everything about everything there is to know but I thought it would be fun to share some ways in which I create! And the first idea that popped in to my mind (after a very spiritual/mindful last post) was a sort of how to/to-do list of ways in which we should take time to nourish ourselves – mentally and physically >> in other words how to take care of you…and don’t worry there is nothing expensive or wacky on the list, just a simple (if not ‘obvious) run-down of what works for me…

Mind

Everyone is so different – no two minds are alike. I think it is important to feed our brains in many different ways – enough water, nourishment from foods, sleep, mental stimulation. I think happiness and positivity are key to a healthy mind – I understand this may not be so easy to people suffering from mental health conditions, but I believe a positive mental attitude will always benefit you in life. Worrying always complicates our outlook and can cloud rational judgement (totally guilty here) sometimes it’s best to step back and stop thinking so much and take time to clear the mind – focus on what positive outcomes you may face – most times our worries will not change or affect the course of any actions.

Actually You Can

Sight

This one is kinda personal one for me but I do think it tends to get overlooked. Eye health is so important so make sure you have regular check-ups at the opticians.

Hair

So there are already a million and one tips and tricks that we are always being told to follow to make our hair grow longer, thicker or to get shinier, more voluminous hair. For me having oily hair means I like to keep it really simple but I think it’s something anyone can follow. Shampoo and condition with products that don’t contain sulfates or silicones (and cruelty free if poss!) If you want to go chemical free try out shampoo bars – these ones are great! Use as little heat on the hair and go longer between washes. Coconut oil makes a great over night mask too!

Skin

I think it’s really important to take care of our skin, we seem to forget that it is our biggest organ and therefore the most obvious part of us that radiates how we nourish and take care of ourselves. Moisturize everyday and I promise you will see a difference – skin looks more firm and toned, colour tone improves and so much more!

Body

So by this I am talking about fitness. I really believe that if you truly want to give yourself the best possible chances in life then you really need to take care of you body. Diet isn’t enough – period. There are far too many benefits of exercise to mention but I love the mental benefits you get from it – how good it makes you feel about yourself, how you are mentally and physically working towards something. I don’t care who you are, you are lying if you don’t feel more positive after a workout!

Health

AKA nutrition and what you put in that pie-holeeeeeeeee. I’m vegetarian but any diet has the same principles and food groups – not all protein is meat based. If we look to nature, all animals are grazers and eat throughout the day – what I’m saying is it makes sense to eat small meals more frequently than say 3 large meals. It gives the body more time to easily digest and you don’t feel so hungry for longer amounts of lime.

Relationships

Relationships are the sum of our mental and physical being. We need to be treated no less than we deserve. Stand up for what you believe in, but also remember it is always about give and take and balance. You will never be truly happy with others unless you are happy within yourself – don’t place the search for happiness in others. Be true to who you are, be kind and honest. << Big believer in karma!

Happiness

I would love to hear your input on some of these ideas and what you guys do to look after your well-being!

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