Pixel2Print: Bringing Instagram to Life

I recently had the opportunity to receive numerous free prints of my choice from printing company, Pixel2Print, to see if I could use them for my blogging – I have been so impressed by the experience, that I NEED to rave about it to you.

*Before I go any further, I want to make it super clear that I received the prints free of charge from Pixel2Print, in exchange for the opportunity to try them out – this review is entirely my own opinion and I’d like to thank Pixel2Print for the wonderful  opportunity!*

The Power of a Backdrop

A backdrop is powerful in your content. It’s completely underestimated, but completely vital for a good feed.

When you look at certain blogs and Instagram feeds, themed content is always more engaging – isn’t that just how it is? As a predominantly lifestyle-based blogger, I find it really difficult to create any sort of ‘theme’ in my Instagram and blog, purely because my life doesn’t have one! I don’t just wear pink clothes, or drink from white mugs, I don’t live in a white box, or have marble kitchen tops… Life isn’t always Instagrammable!

So I explored a way of using the opportunity with Pixel2Print to create more themed content which could look professional, whilst sticking to the type of content I wanted to share – By no means does my Instagram feed have a consistent theme, but I like to create splashes of linked content every now and again!

I chose three high resolution pictures that I thought would make cool backgrounds – A blue splashy effect, a pink splashy effect and of course, marble. To find these pictures, I wanted to make sure that I could use them, so I searched for copyright free images and discovered a few free pictures that I liked via vecteezy.com.

Pixel2Print then printed my backdrops in their three most popular print types and sent them to me. The delivery and print experience was super speedy – my prints arrived the next day in perfect condition!

Each type of print is different – some are glossy whilst others are more matte. I personally think I have preferred the glossy prints, but the matte are equally as useful, especially when combining the two together…

So what do they look like on my feed? Here are a few snaps of my Instagram feed recently…

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To fit into a lifestyle blogger’s feed, you don’t need to use the prints in every post. Instead, I have tied in the colours to a few photos that link e.g. the last few shots have a pink theme, in contrast to the blue theme which tied in from the print alongside my trip to the seaside! And it isn’t all about a ‘theme’ – its about creating neat and tidy looking content which engages with my followers.

Since using this more tactical approach to Instagram, I have seen my average likes soar from around 15 per photo to 30/40 per photo – isn’t that evidence enough that this works?! Here are a few shots of what my feed would generally look like before the prints…

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My feed was messy and inconsistent, and would drive me insane! But now, I make sure to incorporate the prints into my feed to help tie my content together more – they gave my feed a natural flow.

Thank you so much to Pixel2Print for sending me the free samples, I will certainly be looking into getting a few more different colours and styles to experiment with!

If you want to check them out, here is their website for all your printing needs –Pixel2Print!

Nutribuddy: First Impressions

I have been fortunate enough to receive some free goodies  from Nutribuddy to review this month, and can’t wait to share my experience with you! I am really excited to try out the products as part of my attempt to get fit and healthy this year, whilst also trying to slim down after the heavy eating over the christmas period… I will let you know how I get on with the products in the next couple of weeks! So – what gifts did I receive?!

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  1. Sculpting Whey and Shake Bottle

Ah I am super excited to try this out! The shake is chocolate flavour, so should hopefully serve as a craving deterrent (the vending machine seems to have my number and keeps calling me?!)

Nutribuddy claim that the shake contains ingredients that boost metabolism, so it should hopefully burn calories quickly whilst giving me a nice energy boost – fingers crossed, I’m gonna need a boost now I’m starting to work out again! I like that they say the shake is natural, as it is super reassuring that I can trust the product. The bottle is super cute too and perfect size for taking out with you when you’re in a rush – so yeah, I’m really excited to try this one out!

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2.Recipe Book

Totally adorable, this little recipe book is full of good ideas for shake and meals. I think this is going to be really fun to try out, as theres a couple of recipes in here that I am dying to try – they sound so delicious! This is a great little addition to the pack as it gives you a little bit of guidance on what you should be eating, so the whole process seems so much simpler. Planning meals is my downfall, so this should be pretty motivating!

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3.  The Little Book of Weightloss

Another adorable little read, this Little Book of Weightloss tells you everything you need to know about the products and how to use them – it also includes an eating plan which I am excited to follow. It features a FAQ section, covering all the things you might be concerned about – just that little bit more reassurance, if you’re like me and need it!

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4. Hunger Fix Tablets and Multivitamins

I’m a little sceptical about the hunger fix tablets, purely because I only really eat when I’m bored, not necessarily when I am hungry. Therefore I’m not sure whether I will be using the tablets, but will definitely let you know how I get on with them, should I get any big cravings that need fixing! The multivitamins look like a really cool edition to this kit, providing daily vitamins for a healthy boost whilst using the kit. I’ll be using these, definitely!

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Overall, I’m really excited to try out these products and can’t wait to let you know how I get on! Thank you Nutribuddy for sending these to me – lets see what happens!

Let me know if  you join the Nutribuddy family too!

Nutribuddy

NB: *This product was provided to me free of charge from the company in order to review it. The opinions expressed in this review are my own*

Christmas 2016

Ah what a lovely few days it has been. I always say that Christmas is my favourite time of year and I am never wrong – whenever I reflect on Christmas, I get a warm happy feeling about all the wonderful gifts I have received, all the amazing food I have eaten but most importantly, all the precious time that I have managed to spend with the people that matter the most.

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I spent Christmas Day with Molly & Mom (and of course, Gilbert the Bullmastiff, Martha the Deaf Cat, Delilah the Kitty and Horace the Rabbit… of course). We have plenty of christmas traditions at home, starting with myself & Molly waiting at the top of the stairs until my mom has ‘checked if Santa has been’ (aka she turns the Christmas music and lights on and makes a cup of tea!) 15727239_10205914133771389_4826680422176394380_n

We then enter the living room where we both have a pile of gifts to open from my mom. After that, its onto gift giving to Mom from Molly and Me, and then gifts to Molly from me and vice versa. Finally, the animals get their gifts. Some of my wonderful gifts (to name only a few!) include an Amazon Firestick, a beautiful 2017 Journal, an Amazing 2017 Agenda (I cannot wait to have the most organised 2017 EVER!), perfume, clothes, Twinkies, Lindor chocolates (Fave), colouring books, plenty of other books, pretty things for my desk, a mac skin, artwork…. the list goes on. I was spoilt. And so were they!

We also have a tradition of having a photo taken with me and Molly laying in all the wrapping paper in the room on Christmas Morning, which has been a tradition for as long as I can remember! However for the past three years, the photo has also included our little Gilbert. Oh how he has evolved…

15747387_10154745696113548_2519256650241061999_n.jpgMe and Ben exchanged bags of pressies on Christmas Eve and then FaceTimed on Christmas morning to open our gifts together. Again, the list goes on… to include a Michael Kors watch, Gucci Perfume, Disaronno (my fave next to Malibu!), a Jack Wills gift set… I was spoilt. And so was he!

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After plenty of unwrapping, the three of us popped over to visit family and exchanged a few more gifts and conversations before returning to our cosy nest to prepare for Christmas Dinner. My mom becomes a kitchen goddess at Christmas and cooks for thirty thousand instead of three. But the quality of the food always outweighs the quantity in every aspect (which seems impossible considering how much food she actually cooks.)

FullSizeRender.jpgAfter entering a food coma, it was onto relaxing in front of the television with Cards Against Humanity played and numerous desserts consumed. I even had a nap.

My Christmas Day was amazing, and always extends further into Boxing Day. On Boxing Day, my dad collected me and Molly and we spent the day at my nans house where we ate a beautiful lamb dinner and exchanged even more gifts, to include further clothes, makeup, perfume, chocolate… the list goes on again!15585212_10157967991310015_9097848052750148767_o.jpg

We then relaxed further and stayed the night at my nans – cheesecake & christmas pudding were again, consumed.

My Christmas always extends into the following days because I have so many people I want to see! On 27th, I enjoyed a third Christmas with my handsome beau, chilling with yet more food and television – after all, thats what December is made for, surely?!

I hope you all had an amazing Christmas and are looking forward to the New Year – I certainly am!

Speak again soon,

Katy xx

“Describe happiness without saying a word”

Ask me this question and I will show you this video. The moment I could finally see Ben, after 3.5 months in training, and after witnessing him in his passing out parade, feeling so overwhelmingly proud of the man he had become. This, is happiness.

My first Birchbox

Hello beauties. Tonight I finally signed up for my first ever Birchbox. The advertisements were too tempting! So I’ve taken the plunge.

I really hope to be able to let you know how I feel about the products I’m getting and would love to hear from you too with your opinions! If you haven’t already signed up for a box and joined the hype, my personal referral link is: https://www.birchbox.co.uk/invite/3j35k

(I hear you’ll get £5 store credit if you use the link!)
I’m really excited for my first box to arrive and can’t wait to tell you all about it! 

Love Katy xx

What are sister’s for?

Hi everybody – I have JUST THIS SECOND (maybe not quite literally) uploaded a brand new video on YouTube from today! Yes! A video that wasn’t filmed 6 months ago, but instead, today!

My beautiful sister kindly agreed to let me do her makeup today (and she kindly followed suit by doing mine, pictures below!) So, I figured it would be nice to give you a quick speedy version of me doing Molly’s makeup today.

Heres the link: Molly’s Makeup

I had so much fun putting this little video together and really hope to be able to post many more to come. We also filmed Molly doing MY makeup, but I haven’t quite got round to that footage yet (I do have an exam on Wednesday remember!) So for now, here are a few pictures of the makeup Molly did for me today!

Hope you enjoy the video, speak again soon!

Katy x

 

Molly’s 21st Birthday

Hi everyone!

Last weekend, my big sister turned 21 years old… 21! *shouts 21 in the voice of that vine kid for the next week*

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To celebrate the occasion, the weekend planning was left to me… And we had an amazing weekend, because, well – I am the best. I really am. Okay so maybe not the best, but we had an epic time! Lets start at Friday…

I decided to book Friday afternoon off work in order to prepare for the weekend, so left work at lunch time. There is no greater feeling than leaving work at lunchtime on a Friday. No greater.

Once I was home, it was decorations time! I had a trusty team of helpers (well, Mom and Ben…they were useful) who helped me decorate the house with balloons, banners and these weird streamer things (?!) from all the windows.

We invited a tonne of Molly’s friends round for a pre-drinks get together, allowing me to play hostess, providing pizza and snacks. (Guys, I ruled at this hosting thing.)

We then went out to town and partied the night away at Snobs. For those of you who don’t know, Snobs is a timeless classic here in Brum. Those that say Snobs is a bad night, do not understand Snobs. They are Snobs themselves! WE HAD A GREAT NIGHT!
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On Saturday, we were all a little fragile. When I say ‘we’, I mostly mean myself. My hangover defeated me.

But come 5:30, we were out again, enjoying a dinner out with our dad, boyfriends, uncles, aunties and cousins (Chinese Buffet Island – look it up. Fan-tas-tic.)

So it was definitely a well earned early night for me on the Saturday, ready for Molly’s birthday the next day. And yes. Lets not forget. Molly Love, is of course, a Valentines Baby!

14th February: Valentines Day aka Molly’s 21st

I woke up on Sunday to a delivery from my beloved beau – it was adorable. 12 red roses, two teddies and a cute balloon. I was totally feeling the love.

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But of course, Valentines day isnt just Valentines Day… its Molly’s birthday! To celebrate, I am taking Molly to London for the first weekend in March. I’m planning lots of cute lunches and dinners, sight seeing and general tourist crap that everyone enjoys. PLUS we’ll be indulging in the shops – perfect.

One of my Mom’s gifts however, took place on that very day! SPA DAY! The three of us enjoyed massages and facials whilst circulating between the steam room and jacuzzi, indulging in a wonderful afternoon tea afterwards. We had a perfect day, and it was so nice to spend some time with just my beautiful mom & sister.


 

So that was our weekend! It was pretty busy and I certainly went on a roller coaster of feelings, from excited to nauseas to full with chinese to relaxed… but it was a perfect weekend.

To finish the post, I’d like to share with you a video I made for my sister’s 21st. Theres lots of home videos in it, so I hope you enjoy… p.s. i was a cute kid.

Love  Katy xx

 

 

 

A Level Results, Fancy New Career and a Hot Sunny Holiday…

Hello everybody and welcome back to my little space on the internet! I have so much to talk to you about today, and I’m honestly not quite sure where to start! I’ve been having so much fun lately, and if you follow my Instagram or Snapchat (katylouise15), you’ll likely know more than I will write about today (such as Nerf wars & Ukuleles!) To keep things at a reasonable length and enjoyable read for you, I’ll just stick to three BIG things i’ve been up to recently!

Let’s start from the beginning…Sort of…

The ‘Hot Sunny Holiday’

I’ve been on holiday! 7 days in the hot sun in Cala D’or, Majorca, spent with my Dad, Step-Mom, Sister, Aunt, Uncle, Cousin & his girlfriend (That’s a lot of Brummies!) I had an ace time soaking up the sun, eating ice cream and tasty meals every night, and making memories that will last for a very long time, such as jumping off of a big boat in the middle of the sea and going for a swim! Okay I confess – I PERSONALLY didn’t jump off of the boat, or slide down the huge slides that were attached of either end of the boat, purely because I’m not my most confident in water… but I DID get in and have a swim. And it was amazing! The holiday was a real treat and I enjoyed every single day, even if I was practically melting in the 37 degree heat every day, with no air-con to retreat back to (Never again will I go without air-con!)

Here are a few pictures of our lovely stay – enjoy!

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The Fancy New Career

I finally know what I’m doing in September! I finally have a job! And I am over the moon!

Before I went away, I had an interview with a big law firm at their Birmingham offices, hoping to become a legal apprentice within their Real Estate group… and I received an offer of employment the following week whilst I soaked up the sun in Majorca – It was surreal. I begin at the end of September, and am so excited to finally have something to tell people about, because i’ve really struggled with finding which route to take whilst almost everyone around me seemed to be going to university. The job is a blessing and I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to work with such an amazing company and start my career at such a fantastic place!

A Level Results

Today’s date is Thursday 13th August 2015, aka A Level Results Day. I have been (as you know already..) extremely nervous about today for a very long time, after working to levels I never knew existed before the world of A Levels – and I am THRILLED to let you know that it was all worth it!

I received a B in Geography, B in Business Studies, and Distinction* (A* equivalent!) in Law. It is an amazing day for me today, and these past few weeks have been a whirlwind due to suddenly seeing results from my hard work; I’ve never been so happy!

The best thing about getting such brilliant results is that I finally feel like I have proven myself against all the odds which were set up, saying I wouldn’t catch up, then saying I shouldn’t expect higher than a D grade… So take it from me, on a day of complete and utter happiness due to being filled with a sense of accomplishment – if anyone tells you that you can’t do something, if anyone ever predicts your result, or if anyone ever puts you down before you’ve even tried… do it anyway, because proving them wrong is the best feeling out there.

So here’s to the future everybody! Everything finally seems to be going right for me recently, and I couldn’t be happier! I hope that if you received your results today you received the results you worked for, and are super proud of yourself – but remember that if they didn’t go so well, don’t let teachers or parents or any other figure in your life stop you from making the next choice if it’s what you want, because its our own choices which lead us to the best pathways (If I hadn’t have continued my A Levels in September, I wouldn’t be where I am today!)

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Speak again soon!

Katy xx

Beep Beep: Coming through!

Good morning everyone, how are you doing today?

Recently I began my driving lessons, and have now had 6 HOURS worth of lessons (lets not even begin to dwell on the amount of money I’ve already spent…), so I believe that this is a reasonable volume of hours to be able to share some experience with you. If it had just been 2 hours, I probably wouldn’t have a lot to say…

My first lesson was a 2 hour block, and from then I’ve been having 2, 1 hour lessons per week, with the exception of one lesson last week due to a lesson being cancelled because of illness! So I’ve been driving a car for on average 2 hours per week for the last 3 weeks… and wow it is scary yet exciting!

You don’t actually appreciate your everyday sense of spatial awareness, or your ability to judge distance, for example. However when you begin your driving lessons, you appreciate it so much more, because as soon as you get in that car, your judgement fades. I currently perceive a car that is 1 metre away from me on the drivers side, as 10cm away from me, in contrast to a car that is about 10cm away from me on the passenger side, being perceived as 1 metre away from me…. This isn’t great when trying to steer a car (which is a challenge in itself!) because I always try and dodge the cars on the drivers side (which look SO close!) but in doing so, forget about the parked cars on the passenger side (nearly had a few ‘whoops’ moments there…)

Another thing that is not appreciated is how DIFFICULT it is to steer a car! I’ve heard so many people tell me when they start driving that they underestimated the steering and how difficult it would be, but as I hadn’t experienced it myself yet, I would often just shrug it off, and panicked more about changing gears and knowing where my feet would be. But after starting driving lessons, I totally understand!

Steering is so weird. To steer correctly when driving to the appropriate test standards, you must feed the wheel through your hands as you turn round a corner. This sounds so easy, I know it does. But it isn’t when you try! Yes practice is certainly helping, and my steering is finally improving, but I had never taken into account how difficult it actually would be.

Changing gear and controlling my feet across three pedals, is a skill that has actually been pretty decent if I’m being honest. And it was this that I was the most concerned about as a new driver! God knows why… I guess it just sounds complicated when someone tells you, you have three pedals and two feet, and they can’t all go down at the same time and you must be smooth and you must change gear and you must change gear again and again and again and oh look…. that sounds complicated!

But it actually does become easy very quickly, as you begin to learn to handle the car. Listen to me sounding like a pro on my 6th hour of lessons, pft.

What I must stress is the importance of keeping your lessons going! When I only had one lesson last week, it was the worst lesson of them all. I literally forgot everything. I had entered the car with the mindset that it had been over a week since my last lesson, and that I had forgotten everything already. With this mindset, I honestly fulfilled my expectation. I was steering into random places, stalling the car, putting the car into neutral ALL THE TIME, and just totally forgot because I had worked myself up prior to the lesson.

So although I’m certainly no expert in this field, and I definitely have a long way to go before I ever receive my driving licence, I believe it is important to let you know some important little details I’ve learnt as a new driver, which could help you if you are soon starting driving!

1) Don’t work yourself up – you’ll end up wasting a lesson, and feeling really unhappy with how it went, all because you set yourself up to fail! Believe in yourself, trust your instructor, and take it step by step. You’re a learner – you didn’t learn how to walk without falling back down when you were little, so why would driving be easy?

2) Practice steering on a plate! Grab a round plate, and practice feeding the wheel if you’re as bad as me! It honestly helps. I spent 15 minutes before my lesson on Monday, using a round plate to practice feeding the wheel through my hands, and my steering was so much better on the lesson. It totally helps.

3) Dont panic if you try and change gear and you mess it up. For some reason, I really struggle with going into second gear! My instructor says I’m being too ‘girly’ because it’s quite a tough gear that requires a big push – but with a bit of practice, I’ve began to ace that gear!

4) REMEMBER – Practice makes perfect. You won’t be a good driver immediately. You’ll probably suck. But when you start improving, you’ll certainly notice. And it’s a great feeling!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post today and are all doing well in your driving ventures too! Speak again soon!

Katy xx