30.6.10

A case of mistaken identity...


I love Summer, but it has its downfalls.

In the colder months, we can layer up our clothes in any way we like to express ourselves - and in turn identify which cultural niche we belong to. Whether it's chavvy, emo or 'you can't label me, I wear whatever the hell I want!'   eclectic, everything is nice and clear and we all know where we stand.

But in the summer, particularly in the immense heat we've had lately, the layers come off and we all look pretty much the same, which gives way to the summer downfall I'm talking about - wrongful chav attention!



[Dress - c/o Tesco, Sandals - Dorothy Perkins]

I'm not the kind of girl that gets whistled in the street. My outfits aren't that edgy, but I usually wear something that will turn da ladz off, and let them know we see the world differently! But now it's hot, my outfit regime consists mainly of mini dresses and gladiator sandals... Which puts me straight into the 'whistle/leer at anything baring flesh' category for the British neanderthal man. It's just too hot to wear my usual chav-gaze armour! It almost makes me want to shave a mohican just so I can be crystal clear in all weather conditions 'I'M NOT YOUR EFFING TYPE'!

I just wish they made a toeless version of creepers or some other ugly shoe so these gross men would NOT mistake me for their usual perv meat.

All I can say is roll on Autumn, so normality can resume!

Speaking of Autumn, I saw the Topshop A/W lookbook in my inbox today. At first glance it really didn't grab me, but I've selected a few of my 'favourite' looks and it's not so bad... It has some really nice elements (chunky knits, mega thick socks, sheer maxi skirts & shearling) but it doesn't exactly sing to me. It seems so directional, I struggle to see how it will fare with the regulars in the Topshop I work in... Hmm. What are your thoughts?









29.6.10

Tuesday tip: Fringe t-shirt DIY!


Hola!

This week's tip is a good'un for two reasons. 1) It's a more subtle alternative to the crop top, for those who aren't keen on baring their midriff to all and sundry! 2) It's better than wearing a normal t-shirt in these hot hot hot conditions, as you are fully ventilated!

Eagle-eyed readers may have seen me do a similar post last year, but I thought I'd do a proper tutorial for the fringed t-shirt as a Tuesday tip. This idea is entirely mine and I've never seen a top the same as it in shops (Urban Outfitters have dabbled with fringing but not in a crop-top way) which either means it's not a very good idea, or I am a highly gifted and innovative designer. I'd like to err towards the latter, but I'm sure you'll tell me straight!

Here's a before and after:



So, you will need, scissors and an old t-shirt, or a cheap charity shop one. I say 'cheap' but I bought mine earlier for £2.75 in a charity shop which did sicken me a little, but I just thought the 'recycle' motif was appropriate for a DIY project :)

Take a crop top and line it up against your t-shirt (or estimate the appropriate length if you prefer). Draw a line in chalk. This will be where your fringing stops (any higher and you will be flashing more than your midriff!)



Snip the bottom hem off the t-shirt, so the fringing is all the same, without chunky bits at the bottom.



Cut up the middle of the shirt first and start snipping your tassles! I snipped mine just under a centimetre wide (but if you click the link from when I did it before I did them thinner and that looks good too, but takes longer). Snipping the middle and doing one half first rather than working from one side all the way to the other in one goes helps to keep your tassles straight. Don't worry if you cut some wonky, though, it doesn't really show!



Now you have this:



But I decided to cut the neck off mine and give it more of a scoop neck. I find the easiest way to cut across the neck of a t-shirt is to fold it in half first. This means the result will be totally symmetrical.



And you're all done!



For a more shapely look, you can take two of the strands at the back and tie them in a bow so you're more cinched in.

There's lots of scope to make this DIY suit you. If you love the full-on crop look, you could cut lots more fabric off when you chop the bottom hem off and just do the little fringey bits a couple of inches long. You could also do the sleeves too if you like!

Find an old t-shirt and give it a go! Not only will you look cooler than everyone, you will be quite literally cooler than them too!

xo

28.6.10

A cautionary nail...


Here's the new nail trend in my life!



Here's how I got the look!



Yep, that's right. After months of constant nail abuse in the form of leopard spots, hearts, mix 'n' match, world cup stickers and confetti, my exhausted, flaky and weak nails have finally admitted they have an addiction and have gone to Rehab.

Joking aside, I used to have such strong and lovely nails that would grow really long, but it seems to be ever since I started uni they've been prone to peeling and flaking. I like painting them because it gives them a bit of armour, but recently from using so much nail polish remover and changing my nails all the time, they have been at an all time low and go so flaky and awful.

So, I bought some Sally Hansen Miracle Cure which is specifically targeted at my ugly problem, am taking Biotin and Silica vitamins to strengthen those babies up (and hopefully thicken my hair in the process - will update!) and am just giving them a little holiday.

I'll let you know how I get on with all of the above! My nail's are going to need to be in full health for the plans I've got for them. I've bought the most insane nail accoutrements on eBay for a future Tuesday tip, so stay tuned! :D

Will be back tomorrow for a Tuesday tip and will also be updating my new blog shop!

Hope you've had a better day than me. Work was so stressful because the Chip & Pin stopped working and I basically hopped on the express train to Stress City. Have only just managed to chill out (metaphorically, of course, it's sweltering in my flat!) and am now going to enjoy some Big Brother and Haribo. :)

<3

26.6.10

Outfit of the [next] day!

Hey all!

I didn't get a picture of my work outfit today because I'd already changed into something a bit more comfortable (AKA t-shirt and undies!) for this stuffy weather by the time I decided I wanted to post a blog tonight!

So I thought I'd plan tomorrow's outfit and share that instead! I'm working 1.30-5.30 at Topshop tomorrow which is rubbish on two counts. 1) I'll miss the England match, 2) It is going absolutely scorchio, and the air con at work is not up to much.

So I'm dressing in the most breeaaatheable and comfy clothes I can find, including my new h&m £2.99 jobby, the big floaty vest. It's obviously sleeveless and made from a very thin material which are ideal conditions for minimal sweatage! I'm going with cycling shorts on the bottom half, as they are nice and light too.

I'm essentially wearing about as few clothes as possible without actually wandering into work naked. Never a good idea, but I suppose work will be dead tomorrow seeing as everyone will be down the pub watching the football, so nobody would be around to notice if I did do that! So I think I'll keep my options open and see just how hot it is tomorrow!

Oh, I'm also wearing my new £4.99 glasses from H&M! I think they are the perfect mixture of cool and tacky. Alex is not really a fan. He hasn't said so, exactly, but he did that boy-thing where you ask if they like something and they don't say 'Yeah!', they say '.....yeah'. I hear the exact same boy-thing ten times a day at Topshop when I'm on the fitting room. The Hesitant Yeah. A girl's worst enemy!




[Shorts - Topshop, Sandals - Dorothy Perkins, Nail colour - Mint Choc Chip by 17]

Off for a bit of Big Brother now (you know me!) and then some late night adding of items to my new shop! It had a lot of success on its opening night and I've made about £50, which is great considering it's about 5% of the clothes just sitting in my flat unworn! I thoroughly recommend starting your own blog shop if you have bits you'd like to sell. It's so much better than eBay because you can state the price you want for your items, without risking them going for 99p as happens on eBay!

Hope you're having a lovely weekend thus far ♥

25.6.10

Gem Fatale's blog shop is now open!

I've just opened up my little blog shop!

I will be adding more vintage and high street items in the very near future, so feel free to follow it, but I'm sure I'll be spamming updates on here too.

CLICK HERE AND GIVE ME A BIT OF MONEY!

Heaps of ♥

Competition winners!


Here are the winners of the giveaway:

Prize 1. Claire from Jazz pad
Prize 2. heartshapedbruise
Prize 3. Helen from Afeitar
Prize 4. Emma Jade from Daisy Chain Adventures
Prize 5. Lily Mcleod from Love you Better
Prize 6. Izzy (the one without a blog - there were a couple of Izzy's that entered!)
Prize 7. Nikki Sunshine

Congratulations girls!! Send me your addresses and I'll have your prizes off to you as soon as possible!

Thanks to all that entered, I wish you could all have won a prize, but as I pointed out on my Twitter earlier, you're all winners really. Winners of my love! And that's better than clothes and makeup right?!?*

... Moving on! It took me HOURS to select the winners. I had to add up all of your entries and list them all into a Word doc for each separate prize, then do a random line generator for each prize, typing in each of the entries on a new line (The individual entries came to about 600lines for some of the prizes!) Aargh! Worth it for a few happy faces, of course, but I'll be happy to kick back tonight and watch a bit of Big Brother!

Sorry they blog has been quiet, I've been setting up a little blog shop, which I might launch later tonight. I have loads more to add to it, though, so might open the shop once it's completely stocked and ready to go! I'm just selling some clothes and cosmetics etc. Stay tuned!

Hope you've all had a lovely week and are looking forward to the weekend! Well, it's basically here now, isn't it? Yay!

I'll be a better blogger as of tomorrow! ♥

*- Don't worry if you didn't win, I have some cool competitions coming up in the future, so there'll be plenty more chances to win lovely things!

22.6.10

Tuesday tip: Confetti your claws!


The gods were not smiling on today's tip at all. I wanted to see if you could use glittery confetti as nail art accessories. My friend Jen & I went into town and bought some 99p packs of heart and star shaped confetti in the cheapie card shop, and came home, full of wonder of what we might create!

The tools:



Jen's nails went quite well. She put some delicate little stars on her Models Own Purple Grey coated nails. And stuck a pearlescent heart on her thumb for good measure!



Mine on the other hand... I just couldn't get anything right today. Whenever I stuck any stars on, I'd smudge the nail polish, and when I'd finally stuck some little red hearts on perfectly, I put a topcoat on and it took the paint off the confetti and turned my nail into a blurry red mess. I tried to do some Tiger print nails as a last ditch nail effort, but it was a disaster. I decided to give up and we went to Wetherspoons for dinner to feed my sorrows!

Jen went home and just as I was trying to think up a new tip that I could do in about an hour (Boyfriend time starts at 10pm sharp, after the world cup games!) I just thought I'd give my confetti nails one more shot with renewed vigour after my hearty BBQ Chicken feast!

I decided on a statement starry thumb, on a base of Topshop Rose Royce nailpolish. I carefully popped the stars on using tweezers, and this time round, it went really well! I think I must've been a bit sunstruck earlier or something. After a couple of coats of topcoat to seal the stars it, I was all done! The pictures don't do it justice, as the mixture of foil and pearlescent stars catch the light so much more than it looks in the pics. A total blingfest! And only using about 1/1000th of the pack of stars! A lot cheaper than nail stickers! And of course, a bit more imaginative!





So... A bit of a failure of a Tuesday tip this week because I spent so long buggering it up. But I'm adamant it's a good tip and I recommend it! I'm sure you're less cack-handed than me. Jen did hers on the first go!

Good luck if you do try it! Email any pictures to contact@gemfatale.co.uk!

21.6.10

My new purrrchases!


In true mad-old-cat-lady style, my latest purchases have had a feline theme!

Firstly, I bought a kitty-tastic iPod Nano case with my birthday money from Paperchase. I have to say, it is 30000% better than the silicone one I had from HMV, which was forever slipping off. This one is a hard case, but you can still control all the buttons fine, and it comes with a screen protector too. So it's completely perfect, technically and aesthetically (I'm sure most 10 year old girls would agree with me on that!) Great for £10! Plus, I went past Paperchase today and they're having a 50% off sale, so there might be some cheapie ones if anyone's interested! Am going to investigate this sale further tomorrow, as I didn't have time to go in because I overslept and was late for work. (I was literally eating my Marmite crumpets out of foil on the walk to work. Classy!)



(FYI my iPod has mostly been playing This Providence, Mayday Parade, Underoath, Miley Cyrus (don't judge me!) and Futures in the last week)

Secondly, this cute Cat brooch mysteriously appeared among the Topshop sale jewellery the other day. And for £2, I definitely couldn't say no! I'm not really the broochy type, but that will have to change now this little critter has entered my life!

(dress - courtesy of F&F, jacket - Topshop from about 2001, socks - Dotty P's, boots - Charity shop)



Time for Big Brother, as ever! The world cup has done wonders for regulating my blog posts. I am boyfriendless until 10pm (when all the games have finished), leaving me lots of time to blog! And then it's Big Brother-with-snacks (Maltesers tonight!) and then reading in bed. It's just as well I love having a routine!

I hope you've all had a lovely day? See you tomorrow for a Tuesday tip! Haven't thought of one yet, so don't expect much :)
x

20.6.10

Embrace the lace!


Today, the little lace dress I bought from Primark in Glasgow made its first public appearance. I've been umm-ing and ahh-ing over how to wear it, but then remembered my Topshop unitard thing. It would look better if the unitard was black instead of grey but it serves its purpose when wearing see-thru dresses!


[Worn with my super cute little charity shop lace-ups, Topshop socks, Primark belt and Urban Outfitters clocklace]

I bought the dress on a whim, because it was only about £7 and looked really pretty but I can't think of any other ways to wear it. It's quite uncharacteristic of me because I normally buy things I know I can get a lot of wear out of. I haven't worn the H! by Henry Holland sheer shirt I bought in Glasgow either yet because I don't know what to wear under that either. I think my chest is a bit too obese to wear just a bra like some cheeky tinkers do! Maybe a bandeau or something?

Do you have any ideas of what to wear under lacey/sheer stuff?

Off to watch Big Brother now! Loving this series so far. I don't think Rachael should've been evicted. My boyfriend is pretty happy about it though, and awaits her inevitable Nuts/Zoo photoshoot with baited breath. FML. I don't actually let him buy those cringebomb magazines, by the way. I think one of his friends buys them. Eurgh. Men!

19.6.10

Scout's honour


For work today, I wore this awesome H! by Henry Holland scout-style cropped top, courtesy of Debs. I was pretty chuffed to notice it matches my little leopard nails!

I'm going to have to re-leopardise my nails soon, as they chipped whilst I was doing the washing up tonight. Yet another piece of evidence in my case for banning all housework. Or at least creating robots to do it so we can all live a tidy existence without wrecking our nails and/or moods. Wowzer, how bimbo do I sound?! I'm going to shut up now and go and read some intelligent literature... (The sad truth is I'm going to watch big Brother. FML)!




(Top - available here, Skirt - H&M, Boots - charity shop, Bag - charity shop, Blazer - Per Una via charity shop, Ring - Topshop)

Love! xxx

18.6.10

One step forward, two steps back


Don't you hate when you go into a shop to do a refund and come out with new purchases? I had a small case of this today, but the dress was such a bargain, I just couldn't say 'non merci'. It's from H&M and only cost £7.99! It looks a bit shapeless here, but it comes with its own ribbon belt and is really rather lovely.



H&M seem to be doing lots of these dirt cheap promotions at the moment. I tried on some £7.99 faded skinny jeans the other day but apparently I needed a size 11 in them. Boo. And one of my favourite bloggers, LLYMLRS also picked up a lovely leopard print playsuit a little while ago for the same price. I have noticed that a lot of the clothes that aren't in these promotions have gone up in price a tad (eg. Blouses that look £9.99 are now £12.99), which my boyfriend wisely pointed out is how they make their money back on selling dresses like mine. Makes sense I guess! Have you found any good H&M bargains?

Here's what I wore into town today. I wore my faux leather jacket too, as I am a bit nervous about all this belly flashing that's around at the moment. It just offends me a bit, seeing other people's belly buttons... It feels a bit personal! I wonder what's next... A casual flash of the Areola?! I shouldn't joke about that actually. A girl that worked at Topshop once came in wearing a lace body and no bra! Luckily I didn't see it. It would have been a one way ticket to Awkwardsville.


(Tee - Hobbs via charity shop, Jeans - Topshop, Belt - H&M kids, Flats - Topshop, Necklace - UO, Cling Film - Tesco!)

Thanks so much for all of your entries to my competition. It's been great to see so many of you getting involved and blogging and tweeting about it! I'm also super-pleased that some of you think it's the best giveaway you've ever seen! Smiles all round, basically! Can't wait to find out the winners... Not looking forward to the actual process of selecting a winner (pasting everyone's entries in a random line generator 7 times over!)... Oh well, I guess this is what they call a labour of love!

Hope you've had a sublime day ♥

17.6.10

Amazing 300 followers giveaway!

COMPETITION CLOSED!

As my little blog has now reached an amazing 300 followers, the time has finally come to unleash my fantastic giveaway! I feel so lucky to have so many lovely readers and followers (♥ to you all), so I'm giving away a lucky 7 separate prizes, with a total retail price of £315! As well as buying some bits myself, I've teamed up with lots of fabulous companies to make this competition huuuge, and thus representative of how much I appreciate the readers of this blog.

Prize 1. The Sunshine set

This prize features some oversized sunnies a la Miss Hepburn, courtesy of Polaroid Sunglasses, worth £65.99. I have teamed them with a gorgeous Laura Geller Bronze & Brighten compact (with brush) worth £26.50, which I received in a goody bag from QVC. It's got some great reviews on the QVC site!



Prize 2. The Wonderland collection.

This Alice in Wonderland themed prize is provided by Made In Wonderland, with a total RRP of £85! Made in Wonderland is a brand new site stocking Junkfood t-shirts and an extensive range of Disney Couture jewellery. The prizes featured here are the 'Drink me' Junkfood tee in size Medium, awesome 'Drink me' pendant and an adjustable Teacup ring, both by Disney Couture. Click pic to see the detail!



Up next, two awesome dresses from the fantastic H! by Henry Holland range I always bang on about, courtesy of the generous and lovely folk at Debenhams. They are both size 10, but the denim one is more like a 12, so I'll put them as two separate prizes. Btw, there are heaps of H! bargains to be found in the Debenhams half price sale at the moment!


Prize 3. Multi-coloured 'Lindsay' bustier dress from H! by Henry Holland


This gorgeous dress is a size 10 and measures 34 inches across the bust, for reference.



Prize 4. Denim studded dress from H! by Henry Holland

This little number is a size 10/12, measuring 38inches across the bust for reference.



Prize 5. Hello Sailor!

The nautical prize features an absolutely adorable Anchor pendant by Elsiebelle. Besides having the cutest website in all the world, Elsiebelle also have a wonderful selection of vintage and vintage inspired jewellery for very reasonable prices. This anchor pendant was my favourite piece and I'm slightly jealous that one of you will get to keep it! Have also popped in a nautical tin of 17 goodies I got free in Boots, which includes Fast Finish nail polish in Knockout Red, eyeshadow in Viva Diva and a Perfect Definition eyeliner pencil in Azure.



Prize 6. Who wears short shorts?

The winner of this prize, that's who! Bitching & Junkfood have given us a pair of their Remade Levi's shorts, RRP £35! The shorts are a size 12, measuring 32inches on the waist/hip. Check out the Bitching & Junkfood site for more remade vintage bits and cool brands/designers such as Cheap Monday, Belle Sauvage and Wildfox.



Prize 7. Hands on!

This handy prize contains everything you need for a good nail job! Girly website Plume Life Style have supplied us with this scrummy smelling Banana & Beeswax hand cream by Burt's Bees. Besides Burt's Bees, Plume Life Style also sell some adorable and bargainous jewellery, and stationery too. I also bought some gorgeous pastel 17 Nail polishes for the competition (Parma Violet, Mint Choc Chip & Sherbet Lemon - yum!) and got this cute looking travel beauty kit free, so I'm giving away that too! Click here for details of what's inside. Finally, some Vanilla scented nail polish remover pads I bought on my birthday in Whitstable.




... And breathe! So there's the truckload of goodies available for y'all, now here's how to enter!


(ONLY FOLLOWERS CAN ENTER THE COMPETITION)

(Edit: If you have a really good excuse why you can't follow, you can email me your entry!)

1. Comment below to enter, and specify the numbers of the prizes you want to be entered for unless you want to be entered for every prize: (eg. Enter me for prizes 1,2,4,5 & 6, Plz!! Ur da bezt!)

2. To up your chances of winning a prize, there are some ways to gain extra entries into the competition:

♥ Follow me on Bloglovin and Twitter. 1 extra entry for each!
♥ Tweet about the competition - 2 extra entries
♥ Blog about the competition - 3 extra entries
♥ Befriend Made in Wonderland on Facebook and Twitter- 1 extra entry for each!

Please tell me which of the above you've done in your comment. I may be the most generous blogger in the world but I'm not pyschic aswell!

The comp will run for one week until Thursday 24th 11pm GMT.
I will then painstakingly enter all of your entries into a random line picker and select a winner for each prize, whilst downing coffee and cursing myself for holding such a complicated giveaway :)
It is open to international readers, but they will be responsible for the postage charge (Usually about £5-7).



Good luck everyone! :)

x

16.6.10

From my lap, with love!


I had intended to launch my amazing giveaway today, but I got my eiffel tattoo on my ankle re-inked and ended up too scared to walk around too much, so I didn't get anything done. SO, I'm definitely going to launch it tomorrow.

I would like it to be a nice milestone giveaway as I'm very close to 300 followers, so if any of you are regular visitors that don't yet follow the blog, please click 'follow' instantly! Only followers can enter the giveaway, anyway so you might as well do it now!

Would the words Polaroid, Henry Holland, Alice in Wonderland, Burt's Bees or 17 tempt you...? Hmm...

Anywho, just a couple of pictures from my boring day of tattoo recovery! Here is my slightly bloody but much blacker tattoo:



Watching afternoon TV, keeping my tat raised for a while:



And here's little Roxy sat in my lap (her favourite spot!) and my mint green and grey leopard print nails (click here if you've never seen my tutorial!). It took me forever to do it, I don't know how I ever found it easy before! But it's worth it to have wow-worthy nails, I guess (Well my right hand is more WTF-worthy if I'm honest, but I guess it emphasises the DIY effect..!)



Bonsoir then, girls and guys, see you tomorrow for an altogether more enthralling post!

Be there! ♥

15.6.10

Tuesday Tip - Gem's Blogging Guide


Welcome to this week's Tuesday tip! Sorry it's so textual, but it kinda has to be! As voted for by you, today I'll be sharing a few blogging tips as part of a new subsidiary of Tuesday Tips, Gem's Blogging Guide! As this is the first in the series, I do feel the need to have a bit of introductory waffle, and explain why I consider myself fit to be dishing out blogging tips.

As I've had this blog for nearly 3 years, I'm in the position of having been a blogger at both ends of the spectrum. For a good 2 years, I'd just post random blogs for the sake of it. My outfit photos were incredibly unprofessional and often un-rotated! As a result, obviously nobody particularly wanted to visit it! Read my archives if you dare! Witness the shitness.

Last summer, after having the chance to develop my opinions and writing skills a bit on my course at uni, I had a bit of a wake up call and realised I didn't have to be a crap blogger anymore. I got a decent camera, some confidence, started putting more time into my posts, realised there was a blogging community to be a part of out there and decided to make this here blog a nicer place to visit and something I could be proud of, not just something to kill time when I was bored. In the last few months I've tried to develop it more and am really pleased to find that the blog is growing more every day. More importantly, it's more of a community than it ever has been before and it's just the loveliest feeling to read comments and feedback from readers.

So in this new Tuesday tips series, Gem's Blogging Guide, I'll aim to share a few tips every now and again of things that have worked for me so far. Obviously in terms of followers, and indeed layout, I may seem to be at the lower end of the blogging food chain, but since changing some things in the last 3 months, my visitors have increased by almost 200% to 15,000 a month (and counting) so I must be doing something worth sharing!

And may I add, my blogging guide is not about making your blog huge so you'll get freebies get invited to fashion week or any of that shizzle. If that's your intention, you might as well close this window now and carry on frantically copying style.com images to your desktop. L8erz! My tips are intended so the talented bloggers out there can hopefully help their target readers find them, like what they see, and come back for more.

In the sea of identikit blogs out there, it's harder than ever to make your blog float to the surface. So here's some of the trickery I've used recently that has led you to be reading this post right now.

Tip 1. Fidget your widget.

Ah, the double edged sword that is Google Friend Connect... If you've got 500 friends, awesome! If you're billy no mates, you kinda don't wanna shout from the roof tops about it, but without your sidebar widget, how will you make any mates? If your blog is only just starting out, or if, like me, you've had a blog for yonks but have only started taking it srsly recently and have a low follower count, people can be quick to judge you by the number of followers you have. So with my impressive D grade in Psychology A level (don't be jealous, guys!), I dreamt up this little method...
Move your followers widget down, down, down. You can't see mine right now. Know why? Because as you are reading I am, with any luck, luring you in and making you want to be my friend! Then by the time you see the widget, I've bought enough time for you to make your own mind up about whether I'm worth following! I think in February I only had about 70 odd followers! I was really surprised to see a noticeable increase after moving the widget down.

Well, that's kinda my star tip but I'll share a couple of other generally useful tips!

Tip 2. How to enlarge images on Blogger.

Any Blogger users will be familiar with Blogger's warped concept of what a 'large' image is when it comes to uploading images in blog posts. I've tried using sites like Photobucket before but due to my layout, the photos I embedded would often have the sides chopped off. Through the wonders of Google, I found this site on how to rejig your html to override Blogger's thumbnail large setting and make your photos the size you want. Yippee! It saves your reader having to click to enlarge, and just looks a lot better

Tip 3. Vary your posts.

I try not to let two consecutive posts be the same. If I've babbled about my life too much in one post, I'll just post a short outfit post next. This relates to the first point about seducing those new readers and means you're showing them the different things you have to offer them before they reach the dreaded make or break widget! It's also good fun to challenge yourself to think up different things to post and contributes to an all round valuable experience for the reader!

That's all I'm posting for the first instalment of Gem's Blogging Guide. You didn't think I was going to give away all my goodies on our first date did you?! I'll be back to share more blogging tips on some other Tuesday in the future! Follow me if you don't want to miss out! (Tip 4. Don't be afraid to directly ask for followers, it definitely doesn't make you look like a massive desperado!)

xo

14.6.10

New obsession: She Draws!


I very recently discovered the cute and crafty She Draws by chance, after Laura, the illustrator/designer behind it, Twittered me to thank me for enlightening her to the Konad nail stamps I mentioned the other day! I'm glad she did or I wouldn't have followed the link to her website and found all of the awesome items in her Folksy store.

A bit like this over-saturated blogging world of ours, sites like Etsy and Folksy are so crammed with entrepreneurs, it's more important than ever for your designs to stand out from the crowd if you want to be a success. And I'm sure you'll agree that Laura's designs certainly do stand out. The mix of cute illustration craftsmanship and imagination have lead to a strong and quirky brand identity that can be tailored to all tastes. Sewing kit pendants for your crafty friends (utter genius!), luggage tags for your globe-trotting friends and t-shirts, candles and mugs for everyone inbetween! I have fallen slightly in love with Laura's barmily British hat and monacle pendant!

I could say SHE has really DRAWn me in... But that would be beyond cheesy and quite possibly end my writing career before it has even started. So I won't... Oh, what the hell! Why don't I just shut up and show you some of the fabulous items She Draws has to offer?



Awesome, hey? What's your favourite She Draws item?

13.6.10

World Cup nails + a request!


Good evening guys!

Thought I'd share with you my craptastic Nail job I did the other night in preparation for the first England game of the World Cup (what a let down it as!) I got the cringey nail stickers in Sally's, and used my White Barry M and Grey Models Own nail varnishes for alternate spots. It took forever for some reason. It just kept going wrong and I was about ready to chop my fingers off at the end of it! An omen for the frustrating USA vs England match that was to follow, perhaps!


On another note, do you have any requests for future posts you'd like me to do? Am writing a big blog to do list and just wondered if there's anything you'd like to see me post?

For this week's Tuesday tip, I can't decide between 'Random things you can do with hair straighteners' (I'm not giving any more info on this post away yet, but I have discovered a couple of nifty tricks!) or a few blogging tips I've found useful in increasing my blog's popularity that others may not have thought of. I'll post both ideas at some point, obvz, but which would you rather read on Tues? As always, feel free to comment or email me new Tues Tips ideas!

Hope you've had a scrumptious day. I'm watching come dine with me and eating some Terry's Chocolate Orange (only £1 in Tesco at the mo! Why do they do this to me?!)

So yes, don't be shy, give me blog ideas and tell me what Tues tip you'd like to read about more! I'll heart you forever!

Earning my stripes!


Look at this Zebra-tastic little cutie I found in the charity shop for £1.50 on Friday! It matches my lovely blue nail varnish from Topshop! On the downside, it has sparked a custody row between the boyfriend and I. I wasn't sure if it would look a bit tragic and/or boyish on me because I have short hair but I was pleasantly surprised. It's taught me that as long as you've got something kinda girlish on the bottom and lots of eye makeup on, I think us short-haired folk can get away with more than we think!

I'm thinking this will be the perfect jumper to wear on mine and Alex's little walks to Tesco for sweets on nippy summer evenings. Wow. My life is so cool I surprise myself sometimes!



Off to Topshop now until 5.30. I had an appraisal which went really well yesterday so I'm very pleased, but I need to work on my punctuality. I promised I'd start being on time as of today, so I'd better get going!

Hope you have a lovely Sunday! x

11.6.10

Life's peachy



I finally lost my maxi dress virginity to Dorothy Perkins at the weekend! This peach and black striped number was actually the first maxi I'd ever tried on and I was smitten. I was so surprised... I thought it would look heinous and cling to all the wrong bits (read: beer belly), but I was so wrong. It helped that I bought it in the next size up and that it is also more of an A-line style. Some of the styles we have in at Topshop do look like a bit of a cling-fest.


I just feel like some kind of grecian goddess swishing about everywhere in it. If any of you remember your first maxi time, you'll know the feeling I'm talking about! It's a great dress to wear on a windy day too as it can't blow up (never a good look - trust me on that one!) I've been mainly wearing it with my sandals and pleather jacket from Topshop (I don't want to look too ladylike!)

On another peachy note, I bought a Topshop cream blusher at the weekend too! I got it in the shade Flush, which comes out a lot more peachy than its fluoro colour implies! I had gone to work with my Benefit Coralista on, but when I went to try the Topshop blusher on one cheek (during my shift, oops!), I realised the difference a cream blusher makes. It actually sticks on, not like powder, which (as I realised) just wears off. It felt so nice to have a vivid but natural tone to my cheeks, and I realised how pointlessly subtle my Benefit blush is in comparison. And at £6, I had to have it in my life!

Another benefit of the cream blush is that you can wear it on your lips. Because it dries as a powder, it's very drying so the best thing to do is apply it with lashings of lip balm! The matching cheek and lip look is my new makeup habit! Here is a clever little picture of me with the blush on my cheeks and lips, with a reflection in the mirror from the screen of my Mac (I used Photobooth to take the pic!)



Have you lost your maxi virginity yet? In keeping with the sexual metaphors, I have a feeling I'm about to become the town bike of Maxidressville... Ha!

xo