Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Calling all bloggers and followers - HELP!!

Ok so it is quite apparent from my lack of followers (thank you to those that do follow my blog hugs and xxxxxx’s) and dwindling amount of hits that isn’t that popular. This I would love to change and thought maybe you as my readers could share some of your thoughts with me and point me in the right direction – the pathway to a successful blog.

So what is it that people look for in a blog? The writing quality is a given and whether the general topic appeals to them but what about design features, aesthetics, ease of navigation, logo’s, pictures, and writing style? Do these matter?

I think if you have a specific genre that you base your blog on or a theme such as fashion, reviews, film or recipes then you are found through search engines more easily but for the likes of myself whose blog is fairly random in its points of interest or discussion, then you aren’t stumbled upon as frequently as say a fashion based blog. Also there are specific websites for fashion bloggers to join which allows them to be found easily by fashion conscious readers. But what is there for the likes of my blog which gives a mixture of opinions, life stories, reviews and current issue related posts?

Would giveaways help to encourage you to follow perhaps? If so, what would you like in the giveaway? And to all you computer/blog whizzes out there, do you have any tips for the best way to advertise a blog and receive more traffic?

A friend of mine has a fabulously successful blog called ‘Daisybutter’ and if mine could flourish half as much as hers I would be ecstatic!! So please, fellow readers and high achieving bloggers, let me in on your secret!

I don’t quite know where I am going wrong so feedback from those that do read and enjoy my blog would be amazing! Let me know what could be improved, what you like or dislike, and what would encourage you to read a blog. And please feel free to leave COMMENTS. It would really make my day to see more of your thoughts on my blog as well as a bigger following.

Either comment your thoughts and ideas on this post or fill in my quick questionnaire. Any contribution will be hugely appreciated and if this post proves successful in generating more traffic to ‘Written and Posted’ then a reward will be in store for a lucky follower (ideas for that would be appreciated too!)

Thank you very much x x

Saturday, 24 July 2010

At Long Last - Eyelash Enhancers

(Images sourced from Google Images -

As much as I favour being a woman and all the girly perks that come with it, there are a few things that I envy of men. Don’t get me wrong there are one (or two!) things I definitely count my blessings for having missed out on by being female but aside from the very small amount of time it takes for them to style their hair, their pert tiny bottoms and their avoidance of monthly bloating, I very much envy that so many of the male species have lovely long, thick eyelashes. It just isn’t fair!

Well move over jealousy and enter RapidLash!! A new lash enhancing serum from Boots ‘that conditions your lashes to look longer, fuller and stronger in as few as 8 weeks’, and all at an affordable high-street price (£39.99). Finally!!

Now I have always been a fan of luscious lashes and began having extensions applied from the age of 17. Semi-permanent 3D lashes were my life-line for a while and I still consider them a great investment however their beauty comes at a fairly high price (one that is slightly too costly for a poor student unfortunately). Although I was lucky enough for the beauty queen to send me Emily, a mobile beauty therapist who offers lash extensions at unbeatable prices and her application of them is incredible!! I have never tried the do-it-yourself lashes that you can buy from Poundland or the like just because I am very funny about eyes and would fear gluing mine together but for those of you who have been brave enough to test them and liked them, I can assure you lash extensions would change your world!

(My holiday photo with eyelash extensions)

After an hour and a quarter of laying with your eyes shut you awake to a fuller, brighter, dramatic and down-right gorgeous set of blinkers. No longer do you have to fiddle with mascara (a pet hate of mine as my application skills are dire!), you wake up looking fully made-up and when on holiday you are the Eva Longoria around the pool looking immaculate even after a dip. Trust me, they are fantastic!

But now girls we have the chance of achieving naturally longer, fuller and thicker lashes without the need for glue or cosmetic treatments. RapidLash is one of the few new lash enhancing products introduced to us this summer and holds ingredients designed to ‘replenish and strengthen the structure of lashes, while adding shine and elasticity’. It just takes one application a day before bedtime to the base of the upper and lower lash line.

Other treatments with the same aim have also been introduced to the beauty scene but at much higher prices such as those featured in Elle’s March issue in a great tried and tested article. But this is the god-send we’ve all been waiting for.

At last we have a recovery aid for the stress our lashes endure what with make-up, removers, curlers and tints, not to mention the everyday occurrence of finding them on your pillow, cheek and clothing. We can now compete with the likes of Kate Moss and Jessica Alba who expertly advertise the newest faux Loreal or Rimmel mascara that supposedly gives you a ‘False lash effect’ when it is so obviously clear that the celebs are sporting lash inserts and are therefore in on the scamming mascara scheme.

So move over Miss Moss, men and models and watch as we grow, lengthen and flutter towards the extinction of Girls Aloud DIY inserts and vibrating mascaras. Quite the revolution I’d say.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Privacy...what's that?

(Images sourced from Google Images -

Ahh the joys of living in a time where life is centred around modernisation. Technologists, scientists and the Japanese have brought us Ipod touches so you can never be bored on the tube again, economically friendly cars that emit about as many emissions as a dingy and so many different forms of communication, never again will it be acceptable to lose touch with an old friend.

But what with the BBMs, Tweets, texts, emails, instant messages, Facebook messages, Facebook chat, MSN, Pings and many more, are phone calls and catch up coffees becoming obsolete?

With old school friends, university buddies and family members all on your ‘Friends’ radar, each declaring who they are ‘Married to’, ‘In a relationship with’, and their likes and dislikes, you can find out just about anything without even dialling a number. Not to mention the millions of photos that are posted each day revealing to all what you look like, who your friends are and what state you got in on a Friday night out.

I am not socially backwards and I too have a Facebook profile that dons just about everything I have mentioned. But where do you draw the line on your own privacy? In many cases, through status updates, it is clear that people simply don’t. Not even a faint trace of pencil rubbings let alone a line.

You get the everyday ‘I love my boyfriend so much’, ‘I’m going on holiday in 5 days time’, and ‘I’m so proud my little boy slept through the night’, which I think are quite unnecessary but tolerable. Then you get those that completely push the invisible mark and bring nothing but shock. ‘I’m 5 weeks pregnant’, ‘I have a new angel RIP dad’, and the posting of baby pictures and sonograms!

I’m all for sharing news but considering around 75% of your Facebook ‘Friends’ are people you know vaguely but never see or talk to (you simply confirm them to boost your friend numbers – we’re all guilty!) so many of you bookers are freely willing to expose private and personal information at the drop of a hat.

It seems to me the minute bad news hits, or any news of that matter, ooh let’s put it on my status!

Is this a cry for attention or for sympathy perhaps? No longer is the happy surprise of ‘I’m getting married’ or ‘We’re pregnant’ news that is broken at a family meal or even during a weekly phone call but broadcast on a social networking site instead.

The popularity and over use of a site that now rules everyone’s lives in that it’s become imperative to check it at least once a day, if you’re on holiday with no access you get withdrawal symptoms and the fact many companies have had to ban it from employees computers, just goes to show the worlds obsession with notifications, updates and friend requests.

It would be hypocritical of me to say I don’t participate because I do but I think we have lost sight of the social substance’s purpose. It was originally created in America by a Harvard student for fellow university students to meet one another and make friends. Obviously it took off and is now used by 400 million members (lucky Mark Zuckerburg) but instead of it being a place to meet new people and form friends, it is used as a broadcasting vice to advertise as quickly as possible, to as many as possible, what is going on in their lives.

Facebook reads ‘Facebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them’ but should be changed to ‘Facebook is a fast an easy way to let the world know about your life, to encourage stalkers and strangers to follow you and to seek attention via comments and cyber friends opposed to real life socialising’.

It does have its benefits in terms of broadcasting information at the click of a button. For instance posting links to websites, as I do with my blog. Keeping in touch with those far away. And re-connecting with people from your past, but how often does that happen?!

But it seems to me too open during a time where we have to be most guarded. Having access to strangers profiles and pictures can be convenient when you want to check out who your ex is dating now and what that girl you used to work with 5 years ago is up to but personally, I think it’s slightly intrusive.

‘I had a lovely weekend at the beach’ or ‘Thank you for all the birthday messages’ is more my cup of tea and saves face at the same time rather than watching your dignity decrease with every typed letter. Private information should be kept as just that.

So however did we survive before without nosying at pictures, having birthday reminders and secretly stalking without the wonders of Facebook, Twitter and MSN? What must we have done with all that extra time on our hands? Oh yeah...socialised with real friends rather than cyber buddies!

Monday, 12 July 2010

The wonderful world of work

(Images sourced from Google Images -

Last week I was reunited with the wonderful world of work. You could say I hadn’t actually stopped working what with all the essays, assignments and projects that had to be completed during my first year of university but between the parties, sleeping in til noon and the fact that I spent money rather than earnt it, my working world was shaken slightly when I re-entered the 7am rises and seven and a half hour days of grafting.

Well I say day consists of sitting in a rather comfortable, spinning desk chair, sorting through piles of folders, pulling out important legal documents and photo-copying them. This is carried out with chats every half an hour and biscuit breaks every two. Oh and the occasional data inputting on spreadsheets. Sounding cushty??

Yes it is and my colleagues there are lovely but the work consists of the most mundane jobs I have ever had to do. Today, no word of a lie, I spent my seven and a half hours PHOTO-COPYING!! Ohh my days there are so exciting but I am eternally grateful for finally landing a job and earning money! So much so that I would happily (well probably with some moaning along the way) stay on the project until it was time to head back to Southampton but unfortunately their need for me is coming to an abrupt end in two weeks time (fingers crossed it will be longer!).

Now I know I may sound like a hypochondriac but I swear it is bad for you to undertake such frequent use of a photocopier in such close proximities. I know what you’re thinking, this is my way of trying to escape the boring job but seriously I get headaches from standing next to the ultra-violet light all day and if we have to use it with the lid open, I can’t help but put my hand on it to keep the document flat and look at the bright light as it scans across (stupid I know!), both of which I’m sure are very dangerous! Or am I just being irrational?

Anyway, aside from my new found skill of photocopying, which of course is going straight to the top of my CV skill list (not!), I have learnt a lot in the short time I have been there. Not in terms of office skills as I would have thought but of the bogus sham that we call work. Through a fellow member of the project team, a 47-year old administrator who was made redundant this year, my eyes have been opened to the hypocrisy of employers and selfish, only-in-it-for-themselves attitude of supposed colleagues.

It must just be the naivety within me but these are a few of my unknown, new-found discoveries:

•If you temp for a company for any period of time, the majority of people would perform at their best thinking that ‘temp’ will soon become ‘permanent’ but as soon as the person you are covering for returns to work, you are out on your heels before you can say ‘Are there any other positions available?’ and you are merely a name in the sand

•The redundancy process – this one was a shocker – the company will know way in advance of making cuts that they will need are in trouble and will therefore plan their actions to their own advantage. The employee becomes a measly number on a wage slip and regardless of how long you have worked there for or however valued a member you are, you’re expected to accept your meagre redundancy fee and walk away silently
without a fuss

•Where losses could be avoided through higher earners taking a small pay-cut, companies choose to get rid of staff as opposed to do everything in their power to keep them

•When a company need a position filling, sometimes they hold interviews under a false pretence knowing full well that the successful candidate is an existing employee but interviews are held just for show

•Everything is to suit the employer. No matter how many ‘benefits’ your job boasts, in this economic climate, no-one is safe except the big executives

It all sounds very cynical I know and without meeting her you would think my colleague is an outrageous pessimist but she has taught me some working world knowledge that I can share with you and take with me when I attempt to enter the 9 to 5 society for good.

It is quite ironic - the government want to decrease unemployment so they cut down on public sector jobs (nice one Cameron!) but then every big name company that is responsible for employing thousands of Britons and paying many many mortgages, well they couldn’t care less about their staff when it comes to the almighty crunch.

So what hope do we have as future employees when we will all be job-hunting in the midst of an economic recovery? Perhaps my photo copying talents will come in handy after all...

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Vampire Craze-ies

(Images sourced from Google Images -,,,

I know I am going against the majority here – that is the majority of children, teenage girls, well probably just about everyone nationally but the new vampire revelation that has taken over just about everything, for me is just a big, fanged no no.

I won’t profess how bad the Twilight Saga’s are because to tell you the truth, I haven’t seen any so it would be wrong of me to have an opinion. But that is how interested I am in this dark, mythological, weird craze...I don’t even want to see them.

I am a huge movie lover and will willingly watch just about anything (minus scary ghost films!) but another genre I care to pass by are vampire/zombie films. I can’t say that the reason is their obvious faux-ness because I love the comic-book turned movie chronicles that see’s Batman, the Hulk and Spiderman in action, and they couldn’t be further removed from realism. But at least they are part human for half of the feature film length. Maybe that’s what puts me off. I don’t know, it seems a pretty poor excuse so I’ll just have to safely say it’s because they don’t appeal to me whatsoever!

So how come the whole world has gone crazy for the theme??!!

We now have Twilight, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, we have fashion lines promoting the monochrome, Dracula look, we have magazine spreads following the dark, and mysterious fantasy and we have upteen millions of freakishly obsessed fans!! So what am I missing?

Is Rob Pattinson the sole reason for burdening us with this delirious vampire take-off by using his apparent ‘Drop dead gorgeousness’, oozing ‘sex appeal’ and ‘vampishly good looks’?? I’m really sorry girls but I just don’t get it.

To me he’s flat-faced, has sunken in eyes, a mis-shapen nose, big, messy Jedward hair and is overall rather creepy looking. And hello, he’s actually quite dull. I’ve found squirrels more interesting than he.

He almost won me over with his performance in ‘Remember Me’ but I’ve come to decide it was his character I quite liked and not him as to me he still looked messy and dishevelled. But maybe that’s his thing? Ok ok the boy has great bone structure. What girl doesn’t fall for a chin as chiselled as a rock?

But maybe I’ve hit the nail on the head there. To all vampire fans, did your obsession stem from Rob’s hard-to-resist facial structure?? Because really I can’t see any other reason for it. So enlighten me, please??

One thing I do know though are that many of you vampire/Twilight/Pattinson junkies will be crossing over to the dark side after tonight (the dark side being over here with me – the side that has remained sane from the blood-sucking crazies). Because tonight see’s the premiere of the new Twilight film Eclipse in Leicester Square where thousands of fans have queued for almost two days (really girls?!) to be first in line to catch a glimpse of Rob himself and his co-stars Kristen Stuart and Taylor Lautner (who by the way is way more attractive!!).

But tears will be heard instead of screams from the capital’s night-life centre as guess what? Pattinson isn’t even attending.

Sorry dedicated fans, I guess his love for you is about as strong as mine is for him.