Saturday, 28 December 2013

Lifestyle: Revisited - Did I Stick To My 2013 Resolutions?

So if you're one of my older followers you may remember me making a ton of goals and resolutions at the beginning of this year. That included my 100 Goals, but also 13 Resolutions for 2013. I decided now that were coming to the end of 2013, I would revisit them and see if I managed to achieve, or at least stick to any of my 13 resolutions! 
It's always a pretty hard one to judge, but I think on a general scale I probably have been a lot happier in 2013. Once I'd finished school and all the exams that went with it, I think I was relieved to get away from a lot of the people that ever put me in a bad mood, and so naturally making me a lot happier. Lets hope it continues!

When I read back my New Years Resolutions this year, I realised I had contradicted myself. Although I want to be independent in having my own money, getting myself from A to B and doing certain things alone, I also wanted to stop being the one to look after everyone else, and let myself be the one that needs looking after sometimes. I think in 2013 I've moved closer to that than I ever have. 

This is probably one of my biggest successes in these resolutions as in 2013 I became (probably) as financially independent as any 16 year old can. I finally got myself a job doing something I really enjoy and I'm in control of my own spending and saving, just what I wanted!

Again this is a hard one to judge, I guess the true verdict would come from you guys! Personally I think I've tried to improve all aspects of my blog this year, which included putting a lot more thought in to the types of posts I produce.

I've had mixed success with this one. Although I got a job and therefore an income, I don't save as much as I'd like to. Every so often a few products creep on to the wishlist meaning a trip to Boots or Selfridges, and everyone knows once you're there its hard not to go a little crazy sometimes!  I'm off to the US next year and so I'd like to grow a bit of funding, but so far I'm only a fraction of the way there!

More mixed success! I definitely go out more than I did last year, but even so there's room for improvement!

100% achieved! Once I finished school back in June my life pretty much turned upside down. I feel like you cant ever really have the greatest life when you're locked up in a classroom 7 hours a day! Thankfully I managed to  get a good balance by the time I went to college!

What a big fat fail! I value sleep even less these days. I'll admit that some nights I don't even go to sleep, oops! My sleep disorder can cover the blame on this one!;)

I really didn't think I'd do this one as I was never really 'in to' books. However, I've definitely read a lot more this year. I think I read The Hunger Games series about 4 times over.
I've had great success upping my water intake. I wanted to see if drinking more water would improve my skin at all, and for the most part I think it did! I'll definitely continue!

I appreciate that to the majority of you this probably sounds ridiculous, but I've never really been 'pushed' to use public transport which somewhere along the line helped me to develop a bit a 'fear'. Public buses are still my idea of hell on Earth but I've started using trains a lot more this year, It makes my life so much easier, I like it!

This is probably the biggest fail of them all. As long-term followers will know, I've had weight issues for close to a decade now so I was a little naive to think this might be possible. Having said that I have gained and maintained around 3 or 4lbs leaving me feeling a lot healthier than before! My main aim was to be in the 'normal' BMI category but as yet, I'm not there. Perhaps It could be a 2014 resolution?

Over the course of 2013 I've come to realise you don't necessarily need to have a set-in-stone plan of where you're going. I'm not saying I'm a fan of 'winging-it' but I'm definitely more relaxed now, and I like it!

Did you stick to or achieve any of your 2013 resolutions?

Remember you can follow AIFA on Bloglovin' and Twitter!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Lorde Style Steal | Outfit Inspiration

Hey guys! My name is Amira and I blog over at Holy Chic and I was invited over here by the lovely Ayla to do a guest post for her. So I am going to start by telling you guys a little bit about myself. I would consider myself to be mostly a fashion blogger however I do sometimes do beauty posts, DIY’s and reviews or anything random.

I have only been blogging for a little while now, but I have honestly spoken to some amazing people and I just love the overall experience of blogging at the moment. Thank you for giving me the chance to do this guest post on her blog because words can’t even describe how amazing it really is. So all of that aside, today I am going to be doing a Lorde inspiration Style Steal. I am absolutely obsessed with Lorde; her music, fashion and just her overall look on life and seeing things from her perspective. Her style and overall fashion sense is really interesting and i feel like there is something in it for everyone. And hey, it won’t hurt to get some more fashion ideas for the up and coming temperature change. Of course you can add more layers or less depending on where you live but this is just the basics of her outfits. So I hope you guys enjoy.

This first look is really interesting because it takes one of the big summer trends of pinafores and makes it more autumn/winter appropriate. Pair it with a crisp white collared shirt and some chunky platform boots to get Lordes’ edge.

Look 1
Skirt / Shirt / Socks / Shoes

For look two, this is a very simple, clean cut dress. And midi/maxi dress will do with tights and some chunky ankle boots which seem to be a staple piece in her wardrobe.

Look 2 
Dress / Shoes Tights

In the third look, we can see a clash of colours, print and textures and different textures are really in this autumn/winter. So to make it more seasons appropriate, switch it up. Go for some monochrome patterned trousers and a brightly coloured fluffy jumper. Add a touch of mess class with these patent brogues and some socks

Look 3
Jumper / Trousers / Socks  / Shoes

In the fourth look, we see black on black but again, playing with the textures. This is a great way to get away with wearing all black this time of year. Pair a mesh cropped top with a black strap top, pleather skirt and the same boots as look 1. Wearing all black can work and look good in this case.

Look 4 
Socks / Skirt / Top / Shoes / Fishnet Top

Looking at outfit 5, we can see that Lorde only adds a splash of colour to this outfit, so take a bright coloured patterned top/shirt to achieve the same look. This would look great with Topshop highwaisted jeans and again those patent brogues.

Look 5
Jeans / Top / Shoes

Looking at outfit 6, a matching set was really in for spring/summer time and this look can still be wearable in the autumn/winter too. I couldn’t find one like Lorde’s but you can keep in with another big autumn trend and go for a check print two piece. The colours are muted in keeping with the weather. Add some tights and more layers if necessary and and some buckle ankle boots to complete the look.

Look 6
Top / Skirt / Boots 

So I think that what we can take away from Lorde’s look is that you don’t need to get a complete new wardrobe but just a few staple pieces to achieve some of the hottest trends this AW13.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post and thank you Rachael once again for allowing me to do this on her amazing blog here. If you want to see more from me, you can check out my blog here as well as Follow me viaBloglovin if you really loved it. I have a wide variety of posts over there for you guys to read. 

Please go and check out my social media sites:

Thank you guys for reading! 
A x

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Featured Blogger: #15: November

Featured Blogger posts were always intended to be a happy, upbeat post sharing the love for other bloggers, so It almost feels wrong to start of with a massive apology for essentially *disappearing off the face of the Earth* for the past few weeks. I haven't even been tweeting, which anyone that follows me will recognize as some pretty odd behavior. I had to take a little break from blogging but I'm hoping to be back. What better way to return than with a Featured Blogger post? I only recently met Alexandra (you may remember she wrote an amazing guest post a few weeks ago which you can read here). You'll all know by know I'm very very fond of Alexandra's blog 'The A Style'. Her photos are honestly some of the best I've seen, and its one of the few blogs that I love absolutely everything she posts about. If that wasn't enough to make you want to pop over to see what she's all about - she's also Canadian, do I need to say anymore?! Once again I've pestered Alexandra for a little blog interview, so you can learn a bit more about her and her blogging antics.

In less than 50 words, tell us a little about yourself, and your blog
Hello my name is Alexandra. I'm from Montreal, and am 21 years old. I'm a lover of anything beauty related, books, and TV shows. I will soon be starting a makeup artist course, and am so excited! My blog is something that I love to work on, and includes loads of beauty reviews, wishlists, and some lifestyle bits with bright clear photographs. 
When and why did you initially start blogging?
I started my blog a year ago in September really out of nowhere! I had been reading blogs on and off for years, and felt like I too could be a fashion blogger but that quickly switched to beauty after a couple months in because I was and am more passionate about that subject! I mainly started it because I wanted to have a hobby that would bring some creativity out of me, and writing was the one thing I was good at! I also discovered that photography was something that I started being good at! 
Do you have any tips or ideas for someone wishing to start a blog?
Don't go into it head first without any research like I did! I didn't know anything about blogging and how it worked. Here is an example: For months I didn't know I could enlarge my pictures and was never happy with them being too small and when I found out, I felt stupid because of how simple it was! Also be true to who you are and don't write about something just because others are doing it because the readers will know when it doesn't come from the heart! Just write about what you are passionate about and have fun!

Do you feel you've taken anything out of being part of the blogger community?
I've learnt how to manage my blog so that it is constantly updated with new posts without me feeling like I had to write anything! I've never had a hobby that I've actually enjoyed, and my blog is something that I love writing and realized that if I truly enjoy doing something, it won't be something I will dread! I also love the fact that I can read honest reviews on other people's blog, and love to see their perspective of things! Also the best thing that has come from blogging, is all of the amazing people I've gotten to know! It is good to see that other people are as passionated about something as I am because nobody in my friends, or family understand how much I love writing! 

What are your 5 favourite products right now?
Nars - Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla
Revlon - Lash Potion in Black Mascara 
L'Oreal - La Lacque lipstick in I laque you a lot
Urban Decay - Naked 2 palette
Escada - Cherry in the Air perfume

Who are your 5 favourite bloggers right now?
Megan from Thumbelina Lillie
Charlotte from Style and Splurging
Emma-Louise from A Day in Beauty
Laura from Laura Through the Lens

Where can we find you? (twitter, lookbook, bloglovin' ect.)
You can find me on Bloglovin', Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Tumblr! I really hope you will come and say hi! 
Any final words of wisdom?
They would have to be to have fun and to truly enjoy your blog, because it's meant to be that place for you where you are supposed to be proud of something, and not the place that stresses you out! Do whatever you want with it, and be happy with your hard work!! 

Remember you can follow AIFA on Bloglovin' and Twitter!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

MUA Make Up Academy 'Build Your Own' Palette Review & Swatches

Hello lovely people! For those of you who don't know me, I'm Megan and I blog over at student-stylexo I am a beauty blogger who likes to review and talk about student friendly beauty products. I'm excited to be guest posting for Rachael and sharing my views on the MUA create your own palette with all her lovely readers! If you like what you read then head on over to my little blog for more of the same kind of thing.


So, on my latest browse of the MUA website I discovered that you could create your own blusher, bronzer or eyeshadow palettes for under £8! Like a typical blogger I was hooked and had to buy two. I decided to purchase the black & red palettes, one for eyeshadows and the other for blushes.


The palettes were on sale for £2 each and the shades were also on sale for £1.65 which is super cheap. I chose 4 eyeshadows and 4 blushers, you can also buy bronzers too. The shades come in individual packaging which you then pop out and press them into the palette. It was really simple and easy to do yet it looks so expensive.



Top to bottom - Shade 2 'Silver Lining', Shade 28 'Honey', Shade 42 'Berry Brown', Shade 7 'Double Take' 

I love all four of these shades for different reasons, they are all shimmer shades and Double Take is a baked eyeshadow with several different colours blended together. I love Silver Lining to use in the centre of the lid to reflect the light. It's also a really lovely colour to use to create a dramatic smokey eye in the inner corners. Honey is a shade I would never buy but it's really nice blended with Maybelline 24 hour colour tattoo in pink gold and applied in the crease. Berry Brown is a gorgeous brown with speckles of gold and purple which again looks gorgeous in the crease. This is a really nice colour for this time of year and looks lovely as an everyday shade. Finally, double take is a browny, gold shade that create a lovely copper shade. I love using this as a base shade with Berry Brown in the crease. All the shades are really pigmented and last on the eyes for around 4-6 hours without a primer which I think is pretty good. They are also really easy to blend.



Top to bottom - Shade 12 'Cinnamon', Shade 7 'Flush', Shade 4 'Amber Glow', 'London'

I love a good blusher and I think a girl can never have to many so I tried to buy a few varied shades than my current collection. Cinnamon is a lovely matte brown shade which could be used as a bronzer, this would be perfect for when you have a lovely tan. Flush is a gorgeous nudey pink shade which I use for every day wear. It applies lovely and give a nice pink tint to the apples of the cheek. Amber Glow is a crazy pink, coral, glitter shade I've not used this much as it is SUPER pigmented and I'm scared of looking like a clown but as the Christmas season approaches I think i'll be giving this a whirl. It reminds of an 'in your face' version of Sleek's Rose Gold. Finally, London is another baked product mixed with brown, pink and rose coloured pigments. This is my favourite of the four blushes as it gives a lovely, subtle wash of colour. Just be careful when applying these blushes as they are so pigmented that you can end up looking a little silly.

I hope you've enjoyed reading my review because I really enjoyed writing it. Let me know if you have or are going to buy one of these palettes and let me know which shades you get. If you've enjoyed my guest post then you can head over to my blog now :)! Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Haircare Routine For Growing Long, Healthy Hair

I've been reading Rachael's blog for months, and always enjoy the posts she puts up because it always seems like she's put so much effort into her posts! When Rachael asked for guest bloggers, I jumped to the chance because I wanted to be part of her blog! My name is Alexandra, and you can find me at To me, having long healthy hair has been something I've always wanted but was never able to tend to my hair properly. Ever since I cut my hair back in February, I've been taking extra care, and I think I've finally found the routine to ensure I have healthy hair and that it grows instead of always breaking off!

1. L'Oréal - EverCrème Shampoo & Conditionner
I've used the same shampoo almost all my life, and felt like it just didn't do anything for my hair so before summer started, I went on the hunt for a new shampoo, and conditioner. The EverCrème collection caught my eye, because of the fact that it is sulfate free, paraben free, and 100% vegan. The coconut-vanilla scent is just perfect to help me relax when I am in the shower. I've really been impressed by how it has kept the moisture locked in my hair ever since I started using it. My hair feels very soft whenever I use it!

2. L'Oréal - Deep Nourishing Masque & Macadamia Oil - Deep Repair Masque
The L'Oréal, and Macadamia Oil mask have helped me a lot, and are my two current favorite hair masks. They smell amazing, work fast, and always leave my hair feeling nourished, and soft! Even if my hair isn't looking dull, and I haven't used heat on it, I try to use a masque at least once a week, because my hair always looks and feels great after using it!

3. Macadamia Oil - No Tangle & Healing Oil Infused Comb
I have the worst hair possible once it is wet, because it gets knotted so quickly, which then results in me trying to brush my hair for at least 10 minutes. The No Tangle spray has been a lifesaver for me. Whenever I use it, brushing my hair becomes the easiest task, brings my hair extra nutrient, and since brushing becomes so much easier, my hair doesn't break off. I also try to comb my hair whenever they are wet, because it is so much easier, and is another way for me to prevent breakage. Now I don't really know if the comb has helped bring nutrient to my hair, but I know that when I use it, my hair pulls less, and gets the job done quickly!

4. Organix - Argan Oil Penetrating Oil & Lush - R&B Butter
This is my favorite part of my hair routine. I find that hair oil, and hair butter is that one product that gives me instant result whenever I use them. I like applying it in the morning before I leave my house to the ends of my hair to make sure the weather doesn't dry it up. The smell of these products is so perfect, and I quite enjoy the fact that it lingers on my hair throughout the day!

5. Hair Ties
The last step to my hair care routine might seem odd, but I find that whenever I use hair ties in my hair, my hair thanks me for it. I find that hair elastics pull too much, and my hair also gets knotted into them resulting in so much breakage. The hair ties are thick enough to hold my hair but never leave a crease in it. It also helps that they come in so many different colors, and patterns!

All of these products have helped my hair grow longer, and make sure that it doesn't dry, and break. I am quite happy with the routine that I keeping up at the moment but am always on a lookout for new products!

What do you think of my hair care routine? Which product do you like using to make sure your hair looks healthy?

Connect with me:

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Blogging - "Am I Too Late?"

When I saw Rachael's post about guest blogging I jumped at the chance - A Is For Ayla is such a lovely blog and I'm really grateful for the chance to contribute! My name is Lily and you can find me at, where I blog about life as a 15 year old in north west England, my outfits, trips etc. and occasionally my original knitwear designs. I properly started blogging a few months ago, and I thought it might be nice to share my favourite aspects so far! So why blog?

There are literally thousands of UK bloggers, so what can I possibly bring to this party - latecomer that I am? The beauty of blogging, I think, is it's diversity. My taste is actually quite random, as I am equally likely to be found browsing the big lifestylers like The Londoner, as I am laughing my head off at Allie of Hyperbole and a Half. I especially love it when I find posts that are just soooo relatable. You know, when you have a real 'wow I'm not the only one' moment - anyone else get this? It's especially nice to come across someone a similar age to me and from the same patch, like Rachael. As the perks of blogging go (and there are many), the social element is by far my favourite. It's great when someone new drops me a comment, and it often amazes me how much it's possible to have in common with people you've never met! I swear there's some people I could've been separated from at birth. Do you have a blogger twin?

I've always liked to write, and blogging gives me the perfect excuse to waffle on about whatever I want. It makes a change to be able to write without worrying about the exam criteria! Take OOTD posts for instance - I like the chatty ones best where people share little insights into their day. No tiny detail is too trivial for me. Love it all For this reason I try to accompany all my OOTD photos etc. with little snippets of what I've been up to, as I really do feel that it's easier to get to know bloggers who share a bit about themselves. I think inside every blogger lurks a bit of an inner nerd. It's definitely given me scope to indulge mine. It's ridiculous how long I've deliberated over the exact shade of greyish blue for my background! Someone tell me I'm not the only one to do this? Rachael's 'Layout Tips and Tricks' can help here. It feels so techie tinkering with HTML and SEO codes and the like! I can't wait to finish making my little corner of the internet look exactly how I want, so here's to a load more faffing about!

I've read a couple of articles recently saying that blogland is reaching saturation point. It would be kinda disappointing seeing as I'm just getting into it haha! What do you think? Is there infinite room for new writers? What makes you return to a blog? I'd be really interested to know.

Thanks again to Rachael for lending me this space!
lily x

Monday, 28 October 2013

Drugstore Gems / Favourites

Hello! I'm Elise and I blog at I am here doing a quick guest post on the lovely Rachael's blog about my favourite drugstore products. Although I do love saving and splurging on my high-end makeup, makeup from drugstores like Boots and Superdrug will always be one I love experimenting with. Over the years I've found my top 5 holy grail drugstore makeup products, and squished them into this little post. So, here are my drugstore gems!
L'Oreal Superliner
I like to switch up and alternate with powder, gel and liquid liner to give different looks, but L'Oreal's Superliner is my best liner for creating a winged, cat-eye line. The nib holds just enough product and is the perfect shape for creating a thin or thick line with an easy wing.

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer
This will probably be nothing new to you whatsoever as it is a holy grail concealer in the beauty blogger world. It has a very full coverage and will cover anything from spots to freckles and red patches. For only £3.99 you really can't go wrong!

Maybelline Mega Plush Volum' Express
This product was actually a funny one for me because when I originally bought it, I hated it with a passion. The formula was too wet and runny yet ended up clumping my lashes, but when I returned to it a few months later I loved it. It separates my lashes (without clumping) and adds and nice, even coat on my lashes.

Bourjois Colorboost
I remember a few months back, every man and their dog raved about these. They're almost identical to Clinique's Chubby Stick with 4 gorgeous shades. My favourite has to be 'Peach on the Beach', which is a beautiful light pink colour. They glide on with ease and are very luxurious and glossy. I also recently read that they're bringing out a few more shades for Autumn and Winter. Yay!

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder
Yet again one of the most loved drugstore products, and rightly so it is. The perfect cheap powder for only a mere £3 or £4. It can look quite cakey if you overload it, but I suppose that's the same with any powder. It sets makeup and concealer nicely and stays all day. I really can't fault it.

You can visit Elise's blog by clicking here!

Friday, 25 October 2013

Featured Blogger #14: October

You might recognise Octobers featured blogger as she's appeared here on A Is For Ayla before now. She recently wrote a guest post on her favourite drugstore products which wen't down an absolute storm with AIFA readers and followers! You can read her post by clicking here! I've invited Elise back to be this months featured blogger as I've absolutely adored her blog for a long long time. Her photography is incredible and you can really feel her lovely personality shine through every post she writes - something that's pretty rare in the blogging community at the moment. I highly recommend visiting her blog, right after you've had a read of her blog interview below!

In less than 50 words tell us a little about yourself and your blog
My name is Elise and my blog is predominantly beauty based, with the odd lifestyle and fashion post thrown in for good measure. I am an aspiring makeup artist, and soon to be a makeup student! Makeup is my passion and I hope to share this with like-minded people :)
When and why did you initially start blogging

I started blogging originally on Tumblr, and then migrated to Blogger (which I must admit I think is the best of the two!). I’d been reading blogs like the likes of Zoella, Lily Pebbles and ViviannaDoesMakeup for the past few years and never had the courage to start up myself. In November last year I made my Blogger blog and have stuck to it ever since!

Do you have any tips or ideas for someone wishing to start a blog?

Remember that there are no rules for blogging! Post as often or infrequent as you like – you’re blogging for yourself! Post as often as you like and post what you like. Blogging is meant to be fun, not a chore!

Do you feel you've taken anything out of being part of the blogger community?

I feel like I've learnt that every person in the blogging community is so supportive and helpful. If you ever have any questions, post them on Twitter with the hashtag #bbloggers and your question will be answered!
Who are your 5 favourite bloggers right now?

Rosie from The Londoner
Ellie from Ellalogy
Celine from 
Vintage Teapot
Anna from 
Fash Boulevard
Milly from 
Pearls and Poodles 

Where can we find you? (twitter, lookbook, bloglovin' ect.)

You can find me lurking around the #bbloggers Twitter feed, or on my 
TwitterFacebook or Instagram.

Any final words of wisdom?

Love your blog! If you’re not happy with it, change it. If you don’t want to post, don’t. Your blog is not a chore!

You can visit Elise's blog by clicking here!

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Cheap Drugstore Makeup FOTD (Perfect For Everyday!)

I appreciate how frustrating it can be when bloggers reel off posts of high end cosmetics, the majority of which the average person wouldn't be able to go and out and buy based purely on their recommendation. I admit sometimes I'm guilty of doing this but always try to balance it out with drugstore products. It's especially important as I know the vast majority of my readers (and some of my followers) are younger girls who don't have jobs or constant income to go splashing on high end makeup. This all inspired me to do a Drugstore FOTD (Face Of The Day) - or make up look to those from outside the #bbloggers world!
All the products used were from the drugstore and are listed below. Although still on the lower end of makeup, its possible to do looks much much cheaper. I was thinking I might do a really really inexpensive look for those who don't like to spend too much, almost like a 'lets see how cheap I can get a good full face of makeup without compromising on the quality' kind of post. Would you be interested to see that? 
Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation 100 Ivory
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in shades 1 & 2
Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in Sandstorm
Bourjois Delice De Poudre Chocolate Bronzer in 52
Sleek Blush in 'Guipure' and 'Crochet'
Seventeen Highlighter (cant find a name - sorry!)
Collection Eyeshadow Pencil in Hot Chocolate & Vanilla
Maybelline The Falsies Waterproof Mascara
Collection Extreme 24 Hours Felt Tip Liner in Black
Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil in 001 Dark Brown
Natural Collection Eyeshadow Duo in Mocha Latte (brows)
Natural Collection Lip Stick in Autumn Sunset
P.S please excuse the eyebrows (aka the bane of my life) they're in the process of being reshaped;)
Remember you can follow AIFA on Bloglovin' and Twitter!

Blog Layout Tips & Tricks #6: How To Make A Blog Button & HTML Grab Code

Along with how to make 'tabs', how to make a blog button is the most frequently asked question in my email box. It's one of the easiest demos to do and is a good way to 'ease yourself in to' HTML if you're not very confident. In my experience, when I've button swapped with a lot of bloggers, I'll ask for their code and their reply will be something like "code? I don't have one of those?" but in honesty, swapping buttons using a hyperlink is a bit tedious for bloggers, especially when you swap with lots of people. You'll appreciate how quick and easy 'grab codes' can make your life once you've learnt how!
For this particular tutorial I'm using Picmonkey and Mycoolrealm, although there are lots of different programs and sites that can recreate the same thing. These are the sites I personally use and find the easiest to follow.

It's sort of 'customary' for your blog button to be either 200x100 or 200x200, a sort of unwritten blogging 'rule'. However don't feel like you NEED to stick to this. I believe mine is slightly bigger on one measurement as the text wouldn't fit on to a 200x100 box. It's also advised you use a white background if you round the corners of your blog button. Otherwise, those with coloured sidebars will have annoying white borders around the images. Using Picmonkey you can make the corners transparent so look out for that. If not, maybe try and stick to white for the convenience of the bloggers you are swapping with, remember they may be quite a 'perfectionist' about their layout, so try to keep things as pretty as possible, even if you aren't too bothered.

To start, I create a simple box shape with the attributes 200x100 (or 200x200) and save. Mine is coloured grey in this demo so it stands out against my white post background. I use Photoshop software to create the box, although simple, free, Paint software does the exact same thing. You could definitely create the entire button image on Paint or PS very easily. For those who want it a bit more fancy or with different fonts, Pic Monkey is a simple, free*, online editing website. Upload the simple box image to Pic Monkey, add in the text, images and effects you want and save!

Upload the image to photo-album style site. An account on one of these sites is essential if you are to do any kind of blog design work yourself. I use Photobucket, it works perfectly for what I need. Upload the image saved from Pic Monkey and view it. Find and copy the 'Direct Link'. On Photobucket this is on the right hand side of the page. By clicking the box it will automatically copy it for you. 

Go to Mycoolrealm and fill in the boxes with your blog URL and title. Paste the 'Direct Link' we took from Photobucket in to the Image URL box. Play around with the options below the boxes to get a style right for your own personal layout. Press Preview > Get Code > Scroll Down > Copy The Code. Go back on to Blogger > Layout > Add Gadget > 'HTML/Javascript' > Paste The Code > Save. Now view your blog and notice the button with grab code sat in your sidebar! The code is the part other bloggers will copy in to their own 'HTML/Javascript' gadgets to add your button! No hard work for you once your grab code has been created!

Remember you can follow AIFA on Bloglovin' and Twitter!

Friday, 18 October 2013

Whats In My Makeup Bag?

Hey world, I'm Noor from Noor's Place  -A lifestyle blog with bits from my life as student and as most talkative person on earth. I am happy dappy to be guest posting on this blog today, I met Rachael on Twitter chat and it's been great fun. If you don't join chats, oh c'mon you deffo should.

I'm not a make up guru but I am totally a lover. All things pink and sparkly just catch me. So my make up stuff is usually full of pink or shiny, shimmery eye shadows. Today, I am sharing some of my favourite items of my "pro" make up bag. Well, when I say pro, it means the stuff I use while going to totally fancy events like school functions, parties or wedding. Truth ended!

1- Maybelline mascara : If I say I can't live without mascara, you must believe me. Maybelline mascaras are thick in texture, the lashes created with them are long lasting. Though I feel their brushes could be more better. All the tubes I own are either twisted or got loose. In anyway, they're best .

2- Lip shades : Again comes the Maybelline but with MAC. Baby lips and MAC lip sticks shades are the easiest and stylish thing.

3- Daisy from Marc Jacobs : I don't know if somebody else keeps a perfume in a make up bag and then proudly states that? Tell me if you're with me. I think first smell is the last smell (revamped the first impression is the last impression). Daisy from Marc Jacobs is probably the best scent of 2013.  I had been using Chanel 5 but that's too serious for a sweet sixteen.

4- Brushes : I mainly use a blusher and a standard sized brush for eye shadows. So I hardly have good brushes. Okay, that happens when you know nothing about brushes. I am still learning brushing tips so perhaps in future, I might be able to show off some good brushes. PS. But I like brushes with cute patterns, ha!

5- Black pencil : I have big eyes that ask so much pampering. I use a dark, black pencil to enhance them.

6- Nail polishes : My favourite shades are from Essie and Top Shop. I only wear pastels or shimmer colours but some times, red & orange rocks everything .

7- Eye shadows : Victoria Secret and L'Oreal's are my favourite eye shadow brands. I go for natural colours as base and shimmer up to it. Sounds much old buuuttt it works best all the time .

8- Hair brush : Oh god, who doesn't put a brush in a make up bag? You know hair matters.

9-  Mirror : Though I usually use front camera while doing make up ( high five to technology) but having a mirror packed with me is never a bad idea . You can lend it to someone, be nice .

10 - Bobby pins : How could I go without them? I have almost frizzy hair so I need tons of them.

So what does your make up bag contain? I could have included a photo but it's all a mess right now #BloggerProblems. You can read my blog here, I am also a blog designer so gimme a call if you need one . Meanwhile, let's hang out on twitter!

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Thursday, 17 October 2013

Blog Layout Tips & Tricks #5: How To Save Your Layout Design Template

In the last post I spoke about how important exporting your blog is. Saving or 'backing up' your blog template layout design is equally as important. If you make a big mistake when attempting to edit your blog layout yourself that you later regret, you can undo it by uploading your old blog design. It's even more simple than exporting your blog so there's no excuse!
Go to Template > Backup/Restore > Download Full Template > Save
Like exporting your posts and comments, the template will save to your hard drive so you can access it whenever. You can then upload or 'restore' your template in the same way to reverse any new changes. As I mentioned in the last post, I use backing up and restoring my layout designs to make my test blogs more accurate. They can help you get a clearer image of what changes to your template will look like on your 'real' blog, without disturbing readers or making dangerous, hard to reverse changes.
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