Five NaNoWriMo Tips for when Life Throws You Lemons

NaNoWriMo

Life is incredibly unpredictable, and discovering that fact is a major part of the growing up process. It is really easy to make the decision to dedicate an entire month of our lives to something like NaNoWriMo, but sometimes life doesn’t feel like being obliging. Instead, it will throw you everything it has got in some vain attempt of throwing you off track, and it is even easier to give in to life and put NaNoWriMo off for yet another year.

But, do not give in to life. No matter how chaotic things get, it is possible to fit NaNoWriMo into your busy schedule. You can do it, there are enough hours in the day and you will complete this epic task, even if it (nearly) kills you…okay, I’ll stop with the hyperbole, I promise!

1. Make Time

“There’s not enough time in the day”, has got to be one of my favourite excuses, but it is merely another form of that writer-love – procrastination. There is time in the day, you just have to make it.

No matter how busy life gets, promise yourself that you will schedule in time to work on NaNoWriMo. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time, anywhere between ten minutes and an hour should do fine. You will probably have to alter the amount of time, or even the actual time-of-day to slot in with each different day, but as long as you promise to write, on each day, for a certain amount of time, then you can work around the hectic chaos of life.

2. Don’t be Afraid to miss Daily Word Counts

1,500 words is a heck of a lot of words for most people, especially if you don’t have a lot of free time. But one of the good things about life, is that whilst some days you will have time to do 1,500 words (or more), there will be days when you can barely fit in 500.

You know what? That is okay. There is nothing wrong with only writing 500 words on the days when you only have a spare ten minutes to write, or you just can’t get your writing mojo going.

Having off-days is perfectly normal.

Not making your daily word count does not mean that you have failed. It just means that you will have to work a bit harder on other days, but life may have its busy days, and it also has its quieter days when you’ll find it easier to write.

3. Remain Focused

When you do sit down to write, especially when things are getting stressful around you, the only way to survival is to force yourself to remain focused. Easier said than done, right? Wrong.

Here are a few extra tips that will help to keep you focused:

  • Tell everyone what you will be doing and when. Ask them not to disturb you at a specific time, and make sure that you turn your phone off.
  • Turn your Internet off. Either unplug it, or switch off your wi-fi. The Internet is a breeding ground for procrastination; so don’t allow yourself to give in to the temptation. For this time, the Internet is NOT your friend.
  • Turn up the volume. Put on a good set of sound cancelling head phones and listen to your NaNoWriMo playlist as loud as you can concentrate with. It’s amazing how focused having music blaring directly into your ears – rather than through speakers – can be, and it cancels out any background noise that might put you off, like the sounds of children killing each other….

4. Stress as Motivation

It sounds crazy, but for a lot of people, stress is actually a really good source of motivation. It’s like the world is going crazy around you, everything is coming at you from all directions and somehow, from somewhere, you get this need to work harder in order to meet all of your goals for the day, week, month etc.

However, if the stress feels like it is getting on top of you, don’t be afraid to step back and take some chill-out time.

Allow yourself to figure things out in your head, and then when you’re back in the right frame of mind, get back into it with guts and determination!

5. Just Write

One of the biggest problems a great deal of writers face when it comes to writing pretty much anything, is knowing where to start. The problem, for me at least, is that I feel this need to write with a sense of linearity. This need to write the beginning, the middle and the end in a specific order.

But, who said that you have to write like that?

The Answer? You don’t.

If the beginning flows easily, that’s great, keep going. However, if the beginning is just looking like this huge wall, jump right over it, pick a random scene and get writing.

It really does not matter what order you write in. Do you really think that Directors film movies in the right order? Well, the don’t.

Once the first draft has been written, you can rip all your scribblings apart, and put them back in the right order – a bit like a jigsaw puzzle. Then, your second draft will be like stitching each chunk together.

Also, if you’re struggling with moving a scene along. Leave it – for now – and move onto another one.

The important thing isn’t about the story being perfect – remember that this is only a first draft, it will not be published in its first form – it doesn’t need to fit perfectly together, it just needs to exist.

Imagine that you are creating the bare bones of the story, and your following drafts will be pulling together the muscles, padding it out with organs, and then finalising it with the skin – also known as the book cover!!

Just remember:

Five NaNoWriMo Tips for when Life Throws You Lemons

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How to be on Social Media All the Time

Freelance, Marketing

social media tips

Perhaps the full title for this post should really be: “How to be on Social Media All the Time…or at least make people think that you are!

Social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter require you to appear “visible” practically all of the time, to be available to answer questions, respond to complaints and generally encourage new and existing customers to interact with you, not only as a brand, but on a personal level as well. People want to be able to trust you, but if you’re not around, they might come to the conclusion that you don’t care, and that you’re not really interested in what they want.

The problem with being permanently visible, is that in the world of business, it’s just not possible for someone to literally be visible all of the time.

You can’t exactly hire someone to spend 24 hours a day, seven days a week to stare obsessively at their computer screen, just waiting for someone to ask a question or enquire about something.

When a customer contacts you through your website’s contact form, the most common way of addressing the time it will take to respond, is by setting up an Auto-Reply to assure them that you will deal with their query as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, in the fast-paced environment of social media, auto-responses are considered slow, and most importantly cold, because the reason people use social media is to talk to a person, not to what they consider to be a machine.

So, how can you go about your every day business, whilst still appearing to be available all of the time?

The trick is to adjust the settings on all of your social media accounts so that every time someone writes on your Facebook Wall, leaves a comment on a status, tweets you on Twitter, or mentions you, you will receive a notification straight to your email informing you about it.

As a result, you can quickly respond appropriately.

How to adjust notification settings on Facebook:

  1. Open up your Facebook business page, and click the button that says “Update Page Info”
  2. Click the “Settings” tab at the top of the screen, scroll down until you reach “Notifications” and select to edit
  3. Here you can select to have notifications sent using Facebook, or to your email account.

How to adjust notification settings on Twitter:

  1. Sign into your Twitter business account, and click on the cog symbol next to the “Compose New Tweet” button
  2. From the drop down menu select “Settings” and click on “Email Notifications”
  3. From here you can select everything that you want to be notified about, including whenever you are mentioned, when your tweets are re-tweeted and even when someone joins in a conversation that you are a part of.

Setting up such notifications are ideal especially when you are not in your email account all the time, or when you are out-and-about, because the notifications can be set up as alerts directly to your smart phone.

 

For advice, guidance or questions about Social Media, feel free to get in touch.

I am more than happy to help 🙂

 

5 Ways to Conquer SEO

Diary of a Freelancer, Freelance, Marketing

In case you managed to miss the memo: SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, and the online world seems to be absolutely obsessed with it. And in my opinion, a little too obsessed with it. So the real question is: SEO: is it worth the hassle?

Initially, I want to say a huge, big, fat and resounding “NO”. However, despite my reservations about this obsession, SEO does have its benefits; as long as you get it right – and so many people, just don’t.

Therefore, here are my five ways to conquer SEO:

1. Content is Always King

Oh yes, it’s the old cliché that Content is King, but content really is the master of your success.

Problem:

Imagine the ideal scenario:

Image sourced here.

Image sourced here.

You’ve created lots of keywords, and the Search Engines are bringing traffic in by the bucket load. Yippee, you’re thinking – excellent, lots of business heading your way! But wait, you’re sat by your inbox, waiting ever so patiently for all those orders to come and hmm…nothing!

You check your website analytics (as you should be doing, on a regular basis), and barely anyone has remained on your site for longer than ten seconds.

Here is where the problem lies, just because you’ve brought traffic in, doesn’t mean that your job is over with. Your second job (after drawing people to your site) is to ensure that you keep them there, and tempt them with your amazing wares. Unfortunately, keyword-heavy content that is boring, full of jargon or doesn’t even make sense, is not going to do that for you.

Solution:

  1. Create content that is interesting to read and packed with relevant information 
  2. Ditch the jargon – no one has a clue what you’re talking about, so seriously, don’t do it!
  3. Make your content easy to browse – remember, we’re lazy, so make things easy for us with headings and keywords and important phrases highlighted (although, don’t do overboard)

2. Do your Research

It’s really easy to fall into the trap of thinking “Oh, I can do that – it’s easy!” when it comes to SEO, but in reality, you can’t expect to get anywhere, without doing a little bit of research.

Research helps you to determine your market, and target it to perfection.

Research KeywordsProblem:

The real problem is distinguishing what keywords you should be using. If Search Engines are going to bring traffic to your website, you’re going to want to make sure that you use the best keywords. Using the wrong ones might draw in the wrong kinds of people. You should also be aware of using keywords that could be interpreted as misleading.

Solution:

  1. As the heading suggests: Do your homework. Check out the competition, find out what keywords they’re using and look into how you can adapt that into your website. However, don’t just copy all of the keywords that they use, because some of them might not be suitable for your brand.
  2. Think about your brand, and the types of keywords that people might search for, in order to reach that brand
  3. Put yourself into the shoes of your customers. What are they looking for? What are they likely to type into Google?

3. Stay Relevant

Why would someone buy a product or service from a website that contains content that isn’t relevant to the product or service? Honest answer: They wouldn’t. It’s as simple as that. Therefore, relevant content is just as important as good content.

The Problem:

What exactly is relevant? One of the mistakes that I have made, and a lot of other people make, is to write about the things that interest

Bananas

This image has no relevance to this post whatsoever.

you. If you’re writing a personal blog – that’s great. Nevertheless, in the world of business, writing about how hilarious your cat is, well, it’s hardly going to draw customers to your company that sells lipsticks, is it?

If someone comes to your website looking for a funny story about cats, then it’s likely that the website they are probably looking for is going to be something to do with cats; a vet, an animal charity, a retailer who sells animal toys for example.

Solution:

Ask yourself a few questions:

  • What are your customers interested in?
  • What information could you provide?
  • What could you teach?
  • What would customers find helpful?
  • How could you provide this information?

4. Imaging

The Problem:

I once read that you shouldn’t bother putting images onto websites, because Search Engines can’t read anything other than text, so why bother.

The problem is that images are useful when it comes to whether or not a person will read your content. Take me, for example, I’m your typical internet surfer, I want to be spoon fed information and I don’t want to have to work hard for it. Why? Because I’m Lazy, and because the internet is so full of information, it starts to get boring. If I come across a website that is just one big huge paragraph of content, I’m likely to yawn, and click away.

The Solution:

The critics might have been right, Search Engines can’t read the actual images, but they can read the ALT Tags and ALT tags are an incredibly valuable part of SEO. ALT Tags should be used to describe the image, allowing Search Engines to read what the image shows.

One way of approaching this, is to imagine that you are describing the image to a blind person, or someone who – for whatever reason – cannot see it. Ask yourself a few questions that a blind person might want / need to know:

  • What does the image depict?
  • What is it representing?
  • What is the images purpose?

5. Don’t Get Obsessed

Despite what we’re quite often told, keywords are not the centre of the universe. Yes, they’re important and yes, they can help your business, but they’re only one part of a very big puzzle.

The Problem:

For many businesses, it’s easy to become so obsessed with keywords that you lose sight of what you are actually hoping to achieve. Content becomes boring, stress levels sky-rocket and you don’t enjoy working on a part of your own company.

Solution:

Don’t allow yourself to be consumed by keywords.

The truth is that if you know your product/brand/service well (and you should) then it’s likely that keywords will flow into your text with absolute ease.

Concentrate on creating content that is interesting, and relevant, and you’ll find that your job is a lot easier. Just remember not to give up, and don’t allow yourself to forget to post regularly to your blog, because that’s a sure-fire way to notice a nose-dive in your blog’s statistics.

 

How to move Images from your Phone to your PC without Cables

Uncategorized

Mobile Phones are pretty amazing things, aren’t they? Not only can you check your email no matter where in the world you are (as long as you have signal, of course!), but the capabilities of mobile phone camera sometimes takes my breathe away.

Cameras, on mobile phones, are great for taking pictures of lots of things, whether you are a blogger, a business owner or just about anyone, including:

  • Capturing special moments
  • Offering sneak peeks of upcoming products (I always think Instagram-based sneak peeks are a great idea, because there’s something more personal about it, almost as if the company is letting me peek into their personal life – so yeah, that sounded creepy!)
  • Taking pictures of products that you want to review
  • Snapping funny/silly/rude signs that you just have to share

But, if you are anything like me, you might have noticed that cables have this inate need to somehow sprout a pair of legs, and disappear into some random hole – presumably under the sofa, in a pets mouth etc. I don’t know how it happens, but it nearly always does, so for a long time I was always stuck with images on my phone, and no way of moving them over to my phone. Which was pretty annoying.

But wait, there’s got to be another way

And there is!

Virtually everyone is on Facebook these days, and if you’re not – why not? Because if you’re looking for a really easy and super fast way of moving images from your phone to your PC without cables, then Facebook is your new best friend.

Basically, I recently discovered that you can now sync your images with Facebook. This means that whenever you take photos on your phone’s camera, they will sync over to your Facebook account, meaning that they are ready for you to download and edit, by the time you switch your PC on – pretty neat huh?

But wait, I don’t necessarily want to share my unedited images with all my Friends and Family

Of course you don’t, that would just be crazy. However, don’t panic, because all images that sync to Facebook can only be seen by you, until you authorise them to be shared. So, don’t worry, those blurry images of the cat doing cartwheels, are totally safe!

So, how does this syncing malarky work?

First of all, you’ll need to set Facebook up to sync, which isn’t too difficult to do.

1. Open up the Facebook App on your phone (if you don’t already have the Facebook App, it’s really easy to download from the Play Store, or wherever else you can download apps).

2. If you have the updated version of Facebook (you might need to update it, if it doesn’t look like the image below), then you’ll see four icons at the bottom of the screen, and you want to select the one that looks like an open book (far right). The icons look like this:Facebook App Settings Button3. The Top of the Screen that you arrive on should say “Bookmarks“, and you’ll want to scroll down, until you are nearly at the bottom, where you will find the sub-heading “Settings“: 1062408_10201667071907572_216088095_n

4. Select “App Settings“, and you’ll come to a white screen. From here, underneath “General Settings“, you want to select the option:  “Sync Photos“:1060630_10201667072107577_686301083_n

5. Now you’ll be given three options:

  • Sync over Wi-Fi or Cellular (only choose this option, if you are happy to use your own date allowance. So, if you have limited data usage, you might want to avoid this one).
  • Sync over Wi-Fi only (select this if you have limited data usage, but are able to connect to Wi-Fi, either at home/work/school/library etc).
  • Don’t sync my photos (this is what you’ll click, if you decide – in the future – that you don’t want to sync your images any more

1062466_10201667071947573_730971339_n

This area will also allow you to sync all of the photos that are already on your PC. If you don’t select this option (as you can see I haven’t), then only new photos, that you take in the future, will sync to Facebook.

That is basically all you need to do to set you the syncing, so go take some photos, so that we can move on to the next stage!

Okay, great, now how do I get this photos off Facebook, before they’re revealed to the entire world?

1. The first thing to do is make sure that your images have actually synced to Facebook, because your phone probably won’t tell you. So,  head over to Facebook on your PC, and on the tool bar, at the top left of the screen, you’ll want to open the “Notifications” tab, which is the globe-shaped icon to the left of the Search Bar:

facebook tool bar

 

2. If the Sync has been a success, you should see something that looks like this, somewhere in the depths of your notifications:

facebook sync success

 

Notice, that this does confirm the fact that the synced photos are indeed “private”.

3. Click the notification, to open up the private folder, and you’ll be able to see all of your pretty images (oooh eeer!):

Facebook sharing synced images

4. If you do decide to share your images on your timeline, then as demonstrated above, all you need to do is select the Tick button at the top right corner of the image. The button will then turn green, and a green number will appear next to the Share Photos button, confirming how many images you are going to share.

I really do not want to share anything – argh!

5. If, on the other, you don’t want to share the image (because you’ve accidentally included the volume button, perhaps!), then all you do is leave it unselected, and it will remain private, so that only you can see it.

6. To download the picture, to your PC, just click on the photo to make it bigger:

Facebook Download Image

You’ll be able to easily scroll through all your images here, using the left and right arrows.

7. At the bottom left, you’ll see two buttons. Click “Delete” if you really hate the image and want rid of it forever, or click “options” if you still want to download it.

8. Under “options“, select Download and it will be downloaded onto your PC.

And that’s it. Pretty simple huh?

If you have any questions about syncing images to Facebook, please feel free to ask 🙂

Top Tips: How to be a Great Blogger

Blogging, Marketing, Writing

Virtually every single “advice” blog and website is telling us that we need to be writing a blog, especially if we run a business. However, what a lot of those sites never seem to do, is tell us exactly how to write those blogs, or even what we should be writing about. So, how are we supposed to get it right?

The truth is, that there isn’t really a right or a wrong answer to blogging. For most people, it’s a case of trial and error and discovering what works for you and your business.

Nevertheless, here are a few tips for how you could start on the road to success, as a blogger, no matter what your business, your niche or your passion in life.

Write about what you are passionate about. I am a huge believer that it is only possible to create anything successful, if you are truly passionate about it. It all goes back to when I was choosing my GCSE options, and my Mum told me to pick subjects that I enjoy, because I’d enjoy studying them and hence I would do better. She was definitely right, and I think the same applies in both business, and in blogging. If something interests you, the chances are that there are people out there, that are just as interested as you are.

Blog regularly, but only when you really have something to say. It’s easy to find yourself trying to write a blog, because you feel that you need to get something out there, so that readers don’t lose interest. However, readers are far more interested in reading interesting posts, every few days, than reading poorly written and underwhelming posts every day that waste their time.

Don’t be afraid to step away from your blog if you are struggling for inspiration. There is nothing wrong with taking a break, especially when you’re just not “feeling it” with your blog, however, be careful not to completely abandon it.

Keep posts short, because most internet-users are “skimmers“, meaning that they probably don’t read things fully, but rather skim for the most important points. If it interests them, there’s a good chance that they’ll read it in depth.

If your posts do need to be long, make sure that you make them interesting. Plus, to help skimmers to figure out if your post is worth reading – for their own interests – try putting key points and words in bold and/or italic. Also, remember to use sub headings, to further enhance what your post is all about.

Put a lot of thought into headlines, because this is what is going to draw your audience in. Entice them, and give people a real reason they want to read your post.

Write in first person, and make your posts really personal. People love to read content that they can relate to, and feels like a human being in talking to them, because it’s like reading the inner thoughts of a friend.

Add images, to break up the monotony of a long post, or to help in making a point. Images can also help to show what you are talking about, or a product that you are selling.

Be uncomplicated, and avoid jargon. I don’t need to tell you how annoying I find jargon, slang terms and highly technical language. So, keep your posts simple and easy to understand. I’m not suggesting that your over-simplify, but ensure that someone who knows nothing about your industry could understand what you are trying to say.

Don’t be afraid to be controversial, especially if you have an opinion that “goes against the grain”. In other words, don’t be afraid to say what you really think about something, however, avoid being controversial just to stir up a reaction, otherwise you may be accused of “trolling“.

On the other hand, expect to bear the brunt of “trolls – people who deliberately say controversial things (typically in comments, disagreeing with you or making personal comments), to stimulate responses of anger. Trolls are typically not very nice people, and certainly not worth the hassle. Try to ignore them, and definitely delete any troll-type comments.

Include links to other websites that are relevant to what your blog is about. It’s good to share the love, and search engines feel quite highly about outgoing links, as much as they do for incoming ones.

Most importantly, enjoy blogging, because it isn’t meant to be stressful.

Hire Me // Portfolio

How to Write Kick Ass Product Descriptions

Marketing

It doesn’t matter what you are selling. Whether its beauty products, jewellery, computer software or mobile homes, you need to write a solid product description.  Without a good description of your product, what it does and what your customers should expect from it, then customers may jump to a few conclusions:

1. That you are not passionate enough about your product to tell them why it is so amazing.

2. That you don’t know your product very well

3. You’re only interested in making money, rather than customer satisfaction.

It doesn’t matter if these three “notions” aren’t strictly true, but this is what people are going to be thinking. So, it really is important to take some time to sit down and really analyse not only your product, but also your potential customers.

1. Step in your customers shoes and get personal

What gap in their life, is your product going to fill? What problems is it going to solve? Try and get to know your customers well, so that you can really understand what is going to motivate them into buying your product. If you’re not entirely sure what kind of person your customer is going to be, look at the competition. Who are they selling to? How are they promoting their products?

How to use this: Once you fully understand your customers wants and needs, write as if you are talking directly to them. Be light-hearted, casual and urge your customers to feel like you are their friend and that they can trust you.

Remember: Get personal. Solve their problems. Make it look like this product was designed especially for them.

2. Avoid Technical Jargon

Virtually every industry is full of jargon that only people in “the know” really understand. You have to come to pretend that your customers are very young children or an older person, even if they most definitely are not. This isn’t to say that you should patronise them, but what it does mean is that you should try to avoid using jargon as much as you can, and if you absolutely have to, then you should explain what certain things mean.

Think of it this way, if your Grandmother doesn’t understand exactly how your product works, then you’re not explaining it well enough.

How to use this: The beauty industry is bursting with jargon, that the majority of us don’t understand. Terms like “Non-comedogenic”, “hypoallergenic” and “ophthalmologically tested” often appear on packaging, but what do they mean? If they don’t mean anything, don’t use them. But if they do, consider including a dictionary of terms, or actually explain what it means in the description.

Remember: Breaking things down is not patronising. Of course a lot of people will know what terms mean, but a lot of people won’t.

3. Offer all the information that Customers need

Some advisors might tell you that offering all the information is counter-productive because it stops people asking questions, and once you have people asking questions, it allows you to draw them in with sales pitch. This might work well – at times – in the real world. However, on the Internet – and very often, in the real world too – people do not like asking questions, for the exact reason that you want to them. They just want the basic information, but are too intimidated to ask, because they are not interested in the hard sell. Therefore, you have just lost a potential customer.

How to use this: Think of all the questions that a customer might have about your product, and try to answer them in your description. Have a FAQ if necessary, but try to keep things simple.

Remember: Include everything that they might need to know about buying, as well as using, the product. You should include things, such as: Price, Colour, Size, How to Use, How to Clean, How many uses they should expect to get out of it, How to Replace Parts (include links if necessary) etc. If you are selling different colours, try to describe what the shade looks like.

4. Be Descriptive

It’s easy to say that a “dress is red”, but red doesn’t sound very interesting does it? How about “fire-red” or “passion red”? In fact, the word “dress” doesn’t really offer a great deal either does it? Describe the style. Is it knee-length, a maxi or a midi? Does it have a halter neck, sleeves, slim straps? How does the dress fit in with current trends? Is it suitable for the current season, or a specific event, such as a Christmas party or a wedding?

How to use this: Most people tend to buy things such as clothes and beauty products, with a specific occasion in mind. So, tell customers when they might wear it, and even how they should wear it.

Remember: Get personal, and create a narrative that speaks directly to your customer. Get into their head and try to understand what they might be looking for.

Make a product sound alluring and appealing.

5. Always stay Positive

All products have their minor flaws, that’s a given. However, there is a fine line between being honest about your product and making your description sound negative. Doing the latter is of course going to put people off. Therefore, it is essential that everything you write should always be positive, no matter what you are trying to say.

How to use this: If your product isn’t necessarily are good as a competitor, imagine the reasons why a customer might choose you, even in the knowledge that yours might not be as amazing. Things like cost, larger variety of shades. Draw their attention to these facts, without mentioning that the rival product might be better.

If you feel yourself becoming negative in your copy, cut it out and don’t mention it.

Remember: Never lie about your product, because the moment you do is the moment you tread on dangerous ground. A lot of beauty companies exaggerate about how good a product is, but again be careful if you decide to do this.

Stay positive.

Final Thought:

Don’t be afraid to take inspiration from the competition – a little – as long as you only use their ideas as a jumping off point, twisting it around and leaving your own stamp on things. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to do the complete opposite to your competitors either. Sometimes, being different is enough to intrigue.

Be faithful in your product, but not so faithful that you leave it to sell itself. Unless you are one of the really big companies, it is very unlikely this will succeed.

Don’t be afraid to admit you are wrong. If something isn’t working, take a look at it and re-work it to see if that works better.

Most importantly, good luck.

To hire me to write your product descriptions, please do get in touch

Email Me / Portfolio

Tips: Give your Glasses their Sparkle Back

Uncategorized

Continuing the theme of glasses, whether you wear them all the time, or occassionally, cleaning glasses can be a pain in the royal rear! When I first started wearing glasses (I was about 12/13), I used to wipe them with a piece of Kitchen Roll, however, my Optician told me off for doing that, because apparently this scratches them. Obviously, I didn’t want that. And of course, she recommended that I buy their “reasonably” priced Glasses Cleaner (I’ll decide what’s reasonable, and yeah, their pricing wasn’t reasonable!)

I have purchased Cleaning Sprays for my glasses, in the past, and whilst I do genuinely think they work well, I can never be bothered to go buy another when I run out, purely because they don’t get any better results than the results I’d get from using the stuff I already own. So, this Tip is more of a “this is what I do”. It’s probably not right for everyone, but I still thought I’d share it anyway!

What you’ll need:

  • Washing Up Liquid
  • Soft, Clean Towel
  • Soft Toothbrush

I can imagine a lot of people screaming “Washing Up Liquid, are you crazy??” but think about it, we wash wine glasses with this stuff and they always (okay, normally) come out all sparkly, so what’s the difference when it comes to your spectacles?

  1. Squeeze a small amount of liquid on to each lens, and gently rub it in using the tips of your fingers. Don’t forget to do both sides of each lens
  2. Clean the nose pieces using a soft toothbrush (it’s amazing how many spots arise on the bridge of the nose because the nose pieces are greasy!)
  3. Rinse the glasses under hot water (using hot water, rather than cold, avoids smearing)
  4. Using a clean, and soft towel dry them in circular motions. It’s important to dry them as quickly as possible, again, to avoid smears on the glass.
  5. Notice how amazingly clear your glasses now are (Eergh! That just shows how dirty they were!)
  6. Done!
What method do you use to clean your glasses? 

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Tips: Bring your Nail Polish Back to Life

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One of my biggest beauty grievances has got to be that moment when you sit down to paint your nails with your absolute favourite polish (in this case: Rimmel’s Blue My Mind), only to pull out the brush, begin applying and realising that it’s gone thick and gloopy, and disgusting. It’s annoying because you always expect to run out of nail polish, but you never do, because they always manage to go gloopy first!

But, have no fear, because there is a solution that works most of the time (please note, this method doesn’t always work, but it typically does!). I can’t remember where I learnt about this, but be assured that this method is not mine, but as I’ve said, it has worked on most of my nail polishes that have gone gloopy, so I thought I’d share it.

Here’s what you have to do:

  1. Fill a mug with about an inch of boiling hot water
  2. Carefully place your favourite polish into the water. I don’t know if it matters, but I try to make sure that the water doesn’t reach the neck of the bottle
  3. Leave the polish in the hot water for a couple of minutes
  4. When you think you’ve left it for long enough, take it out and dry the bottle with a towel
  5. Apply your polish as normal, and you should notice that your polish is no longer gloopy!
  6. Admire your favourite polish, on your beautiful nails!
It’s pretty simple really, but I really have to repeat that this does not work with all polishes, well it hasn’t worked with every single one of mine, but it’s still worth a try. Or, I think so anyway!

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Sunday Tips: Brush the Grease away

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Do you find that your hair seems to be getting greasy during the day, quicker than normal? Frustrating isn’t it, when you can’t even go out for After-Work drinks without worrying about your oily roots? Well, before you grab your Batiste or Tresemme Dry Shampoo products, you should consider what could be causing your hair to suddenly be growing greasy so rapidly!

Amazingly, the most common cause isn’t necessarily your diet or stress-levels (although these are both important factors that you should always investigate!). It is in fact, the common household….

Hair Brush!!!

Think about all the products that you use on your hair:

  • Hair Spray
  • Styling Gel/Creams
  • Straightening Products
  • Hair Serum
  • Hair Mousse

And think about everything that your hair comes into contact with during your daily routine:

  • Cigarette Smoke
  • Vehicle Exhaust fumes
  • Perfumes
  • Air Fresheners
  • Etc, etc

It might be hard to believe, but all of these things that cling to your hair, are potentially being transferred to your hair brush, every single time that you brush your locks. Together, these will all transform into “nasties”, bacteria and one great big oil-slick which will then be returned to your head the next time you apply it to your hair, making it…yep, you guessed it…greasy!

 What can you do to stop this?

The solution is actually incredibly easy to combat. Simply make sure that you regularly clean your hair brushes and combs, removing everything that could be on them. Using your normal shampoo should be perfect, as you use that to clean your hair anyway, so once or twice a week, make sure to give it a quick wash.

If, however, you still find that your hair still seems to be getting greasy quicker, it is always useful to consider altering your diet, or perhaps even taking a break, if you are feeling particularly stressed.

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