divya

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A Valentines Day Manicure

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Ah Valentines Day. As well as being one of the most argued about days of the year, it also happens to be my birthday! I love and hate my birthday, mainly because I can never get a table in a restaurant if I want to eat out with my family, but generally I hate that people judge whether you want to celebrate it or not.

I get the whole ‘you should show love the whole year round, not just one day’ but if people want to shower extra love for one day a year, let them!

Anyways, I didn’t want to do a gift guide because I don’t personally like receiving gifts for Valentines Day and everyone has different ideas about what to get and receive so I avoided it.

Instead I wanted to show you guys what I put on my nails!

Whether you’re single and want to have a cosy night in or are going out for dinner with your S.O. and want an easy way for your nails to look fabulous, you’re going to love these!

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I was sent some packets of stick-on nails and I usually hate these but I liked the look of these ones, I much prefer French manicures because I think they look super classy and you can always paint over them as well. I loved how easy they were to apply; the nail glue is veryyyy sticky and stringy though so just be warned that you do have to be careful when applying it, as you don’t want it to touch your clothes.

It also says that they last for around 7 days, I’ve only just applied them so I’m looking forward to seeing how long they actually last, but quality-wise, they are very strong and have shown zero signs of coming off.

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What are your plans for Valentines Day? Will you be doing a DIY manicure?

*This post contains PR samples, but as always all opinions are my own. Read my disclaimer here for more info

8 Tips For Travelling Alone

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If you follow me on Twitter, you will know that I recently visited Berlin alone. Yep, alone. I haven’t got around to uploading the pictures from Berlin yet because my camera was being a douche, and I hate technology.

Travelling alone is a bit like Marmite – you either love it or hate it and I loved it! Even though I was only there for one night, it was so much fun travelling alone so I thought I’d share everything I learned.

  1. Be prepared. Yes I stole this phrase from the Brownies or the Guides or someone, but it just makes good sense. This could literally mean anything, but for me it was more about weather and things happening around where you’ll be. I knew that Berlin would be really cold so I wore appropriate clothes (not hard considering I live in London).
  2. Be aware + alert. Travelling alone anywhere, especially these days and being alone and being a female is scary. Being aware of your surroundings and making sure that you’re mindful of late night jaunts, keep an eye on your drinks and take care of your valuables.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask. I love asking locals for directions and where their favourite spots for coffee or dinner are, they always have the best advice and often it turns into cute little conversations. Obviously be careful and don’t spill information that the other person doesn’t need to know.
  4. Pack light. The last thing you want to do is have a huge suitcase and have to lug it around to where you’re staying, especially if you’re not staying for very long, and only take the essentials.Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset
  5. Bring a good book. The thing that I was most worried about when travelling alone was eating alone. I’ve done it before when I was at Uni but this felt different, more grown-up. Reading a book was what kept me going and when I was at dinner it was a great way of feeling less alone.
  6. Plan ahead. Obviously if you’re staying overnight, have your hotel booked. But you should find out how far the hotel is from the airport, plan how you will get there, find out how much public transport costs, what are the best deals for travelling around the city etc. I always use public transport wherever I travel because usually it’s cheaper than taxis and a lot easier once you have a map 😉
  7. Make a list of must-sees. I always do research before travelling anywhere, TripAdvisor is my best friend! It has the best reviews of hotels, attractions, restaurants – pretty much anything you will need wherever you’re going or doing.
  8. Enjoy it. Even when I felt lonely, I thought about all the reasons I wanted to do this in the first place. Not having to consult anyone when plans changed, being able to pick the place to eat without taking anyone else’s dietary requirements into consideration – basically pure freedom (and being totally selfish).Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

It is amazing. I guarantee that once you’ve done it once, you will want to do it again and again (just like me who is trying to find a cheap deal to Europe right now, with no luck FYI).

Have you ever travelled alone? Did you love it or hate it?

Going Self-Hosted

After 5 years, 3 hosting sites, 2 name changes and a whole lotta blog posts, I finally made the decision to go self-hosted. I honestly can’t believe it’s taken me this long. Even though free templates and hosting sites have helped my blog get to where it has, with my own domain and design, my blog finally looks so professional and I couldn’t be happier!

*This post contains affiliate links. This doesn’t change my opinion in any way, it just means that by clicking any of the links in this post, I will make some money that helps me to run this blog.

Please note that I transferred my blog from Blogger to WordPress. I actually originally started on WordPress but changed to Blogger around 2 years ago, so if you have a blog with another host then this post may not be of any help to you.

When I first started blogging, there were so many bloggers that I looked up to who had these beautiful and professional-looking blogs, and it looked so difficult to get! I was pretty scared about it and I had no idea how to go about it. Now that I’ve taken the plunge, I really wanted to do this blog post to help others who are thinking about taking the plunge but like me, are scared.

I went self-hosted with SiteGround and they were so amazing and professional to work with. There are three simple steps you need to take in order to get your site up and running (which FYI, takes around 24 hours – insane!)

1. Choose Your Plan

I chose the StartUp plan, it was the cheapest but I also only have the one website so it was the best option for me. If you have one or more websites, you might want to look at the other options.

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Picture taken from SiteGround – prices are subject to change.

2. Pick Your Domain

It will definitely help you to have a few different options just in case your first choice is unavailable.

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3. Complete Your Order

 

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And that’s it! It really is that easy! If you are thinking of going self-hosted for your blog, I would really appreciate if you clicked any of the links in this blog post like this one. It won’t cost you anything, it just means that I will receive a little bit of money, which goes towards this blog.

If you are still not convinced, there are so many reasons to go self-hosted and that’s probably why you’ve read this post and you’re probably aware of the majority of them, but let me list the ones that swayed me.

  • No more .blogspot or .wordpress – it’s your website and it can be called anything you like!
  • There are more varieties of themes. The free ones on Blogger and WordPress are great, but it’s nice to be able to customize and download ones to make the process easier and have your blog looking the way you want it.
  • Advertising is also easier. You may have noticed that I have a few ads on my blog right now, I couldn’t have had that with my old .blogspot blog! It’s a great way to earn a few pennies here and there, which you can put back into your blog.
  • It looks so much more professional. I tried my hardest to make myself look more serious, but when someone visits my blog now, it’s clear that I have put time and effort in.

Also there are a lot of benefits with signing up with SiteGround:

  • One fixed price for the entire year – no hidden fees!
  • You get your own email address – ooh fancy, e.g. hello@yourblogname.com
  • Discounts at the time of purchase. For example, SiteGround had an offer for a free virus checker for the year which was added to my basket.
  • Free site migration – this means they move your site over to a self-hosted blog with no complications. Bear in mind that you have to give them your username and password to do this, but you can always change it once they’re finished.
  • They have an amazing set-up. They have a live chat which is so helpful, because even though my site has been up and running for a few weeks, I still have questions and they always respond so quickly. On top of that, they call you to make sure everything is good!

After I signed up for my own hosting, I decided I wanted to buy my own design to make my blog look more professional. I’ve always heard fantastic things about PipDig, and they did not disappoint! After hunting around on their website for a design that I liked, I finally found one, and PipDig were so helpful in their set-up, and even when you have questions way after, they always respond so quickly. I can’t recommend them enough!

I hope this blog post helped any of you who are feeling unsure about going self-hosted. If you have any more questions about going self-hosted, or if you’re unsure about something then feel free to comment below or email me!

Sanctuary Spa Advent Calendar: A Review

First of all, can I just say that I have FINALLY updated my blog, bought myself a new domain and a new design and although it is not exactly how I want it, I’m so glad that I’ve taken the plunge because I loveeeee it! Blogpost on my experiences coming soon!

So last Christmas, I had the Yankee Candle Advent Calendar and even though I am candle-obsessed, I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would. It was very repetitive and I would’ve preferred to buy one of their bigger jars! So thats why, this year I decided to buy myself an advent calendar that I would actually enjoy. 

I love Sanctuary Spa brand, I’ve always used their products and they just always smell insane. I knew I’d use everything so I was so excited to open this on December 1st!

It was also a lot cheaper than other beauty/non-chocolate advent calendars I’d seen so I jumped at the chance when I saw it online! I’ve seen people say that they didn’t like it so much or didn’t think it was worth the money but I totally disagree! It’s only £25 which was a lot cheaper compared to other advent calendars (my little sister had the Jack Wills advent calendar which was worth £35 and had smaller products and didn’t have the same variety). I feel as though you got good sized products and different varieties. For example, I got a detox mask, and various lotions and their matching body scrubs but never more than one variety of the same product, and they were all between 30-75ml, which I was impressed with!

There were a few things that were clearly fillers, a cookie cutter and the bulldog clip weren’t particularly relevant, but I really liked the eye mask and the toe dividers. They were items that I needed to buy for myself but never got around to getting, so it was quite handy for me.

One thing I didn’t particularly like was how flimsy the doors were. I kept ripping the cardboard and I’m so fussy when it comes to advent calendars, but it is definitely something that I can live with.

I honestly think that this advent calendar was a bargain and I’m definitely going to be buying it next year!

Did you have an advent calendar this year? Which one was it?