5 Free Blogging Resources

Lots of Love Lottie Blogging Resources

Hello everyone! So today I thought I’d do a bit of a blogging tips post. I was a bit unsure about doing this type of post as I am in no way a professional blogger at all. But if you’re just starting out then I thought I would help you with a few of my favourite free blogging resources. Enjoy!

Dana from The Wonder Forest

1. The Wonder Forest

Dana is the QUEEN of blogging tips and cheat sheets. Her advice is very useful and she also offers blog makeovers and blog templates. I found her through Zoella’s blog design. Dana explains everything in a way you understand but you still receive the right amount of information.

Wordpress

2. WordPress.com

This is where I host my blog. I was told that this is the best for beginner bloggers, and you can transfer over to .org when you’re ready. I love the security I have on here, I know there aren’t going to be any dodgy comments and hacking. I’m thinking of buy the whole domain name (without the .wordpress.com bit) but for £17 I don’t know if I can justify it. I bought my domain from GoDaddy (or something like that) but didn’t know you had to buy it on the actual WordPress website. You are a bit stuck with your creativity of themes and plugins but it’s great for beginners.

Hootsuite

3. Hootsuite

This is how I get all my tweets out to promote my new posts. It’s really easy, you just space them throughout the week. A tip is to use the blogging RT’ers (?!) so more people see your posts. For example I could tweet: ‘NEW Post…. @UKBlog_RT’ and UKBlog_RT would retweet to their followers. It’s a really good system!

bitly

4. bit.ly

I used to use bit.ly ALL THE TIME until I found out I could shorten the link in WordPress. You basically insert your link and it shortens it, meaning, for example, you wanted to tweet about your new blog post but the link takes up so much space you can’t tweet the actual title of the post! This is very useful for Blogger users as well as I don’t believe you can shorten links on that platform.

Twitter

5. Twitter

Twitter is my main source of views, I’m not even going to deny it. It’s such a great way to promote your blog, you’ve just to schedule at the right time of day! On the day of publishing I usually tweet 3/4/5 times the a couple times each day for the next week. Then I’ll promote it a week later, then a month so if people missed it then they can find my post. There are loads of tips posts around on what time to schedule, so check those out as well.

And that’s it folks! Hope you found this post useful, and let me know if you’d like to see more posts like this.

What are your favourite blogging resources? Or are you thinking of starting a blog?

Lots of Love,

Lottie ♥

Twitter – Instagram – lotsoflovelottie Facebook Bloglovin – Spotify

Essie Sale: Nail Polish Haul!

Essie Rainbow Row

L to R: Full Steam Ahead, Style Cartel, Strut Your Stuff, Naughty Nautical, Ruffles & Feathers (big and small!), Roarrrange, Sunday Funday, Jump in my Jumpsuit, Haute in the Heat, Fifth Avenue

Hey! So I was reading the lovely Helen‘s blog and I saw she had posted an Essie nail polish haul. How can you not read a post about the cutest (and best quality) nail polishes ever? So I read and saw she had picked up all of these lovely colours for £2.50 on sale at Fragrance Direct Online! I was so excited! I love Essie nail polishes…apart from the price. £8 a bottle? Nah mate, nah. So you can believe how enthusiastic I was when I could buy these polishes for a little over 25% of the normal price? So, um, yeah. I may have bought a few. Like *cough* 5 regulars and 3 gift sets *cough*…

Essie Polishes

Essie Polishes Together

First up are the regular 13.5ml bottles. The first one is this gorgeous dark deep raspberry called Jump in my Jumpsuit. The second is the ever so famous Fifth Avenue, a coral-orange red that is a complete classic. I wore this on my toes at the weekend and it was pretty much opaque with one coat! Third is Strut Your Stuff, an aqua blue. Then this teal sea foam is called Ruffles and Feathers, I think this will look perfect on the beach in summer! And finally Style Cartel, a purple navy.

Essie Gift Sets

Now onto the gift sets. These were all £5 each, normally £14.99! The 2014 is now reduced to £3.99 as well! I got two of the summer 2013 collection, one as a gift for a friend. The polishes inside are called Naughty Nautical, similar to Ruffles and Feathers. Then Sunday Funday is a really cute pinky coral. Then finally Full Sunday, a pretty lilac which would be perfect for spring.

The second gift set is the summer 2014 collection. I’ve only just realised there is another Ruffles and Feathers in this set. Oops! All well, can just give it to a friend for a birthday! There is also Haute in the Heat, a lovely raspberry red. Then finally, this is one of my favourites, an incredible tangerine orange called Roarrrange (get it? Roar? Like a tiger? GENIUS)

Essie Sizes Comparisons

Essie Ruffles and Feathers

I do realise that a lot of these are past collections, but I still think they’re gorgeous. I think my favourites are Roarrrange and Strut Your Stuff. Love it! What are your favourites Essie nail polishes? Let me know below!

Lots of Love,

Lottie ♥

Twitter – Instagram – lotsoflovelottie Facebook Bloglovin – Spotify

5 Things to Know When Going to China

The Forbidden City 5

Hey! So, as you will probably know, I went to China at the beginning of April (a whole post on it here). It was freakin’ fantastic, and I’d definitely recommend visiting this incredible country. But it is so so so different to England.  Like, seriously different. So I thought I would tell you some things that probably I wish I’d known before staying in Beijing for 8 days. Just to make your experience a little more enjoyable than shocking/surprisable. Enjoy! Btw, if you enjoy travel posts I’d really like to know as I love writing them!

1. There is NEVER a set price China is where haggling is going down. It’s like real life Ebay! I stuck with the rule of 25% of asking price and most of the time I got that or just above. Plus do not be scared to walk away if they don’t give you the price you want. You can always find it cheaper another place!

2. They will take a lot of pictures The Chinese have this thing for white, well dressed, blonde foreign students. Maybe they don’t get many tourists? Who knows. But they will take plenty of photos of you, especially if you do a group photo or whatever. It does get slightly annoying, so what my friends and I did was just turn away and most of them got the idea.

Blossoms

3. It is NOT big Chinese takeaway! They do not serve prawn crackers with every meal, I’ll disappoint you now. Sometimes you see aspects of an English takeaway in your food but a lot of the time it is totally different. For example there is a sweet crispy chicken which you could say was slightly like sweet and sour, but not really. But that’s the whole point of going to the other side of the world, to experience something new!

4. The Chinese aren’t very polite Ok that is a really bad generalisation. Maybe Brits are just really polite but our group found that people pushed quite a lot and we saw one man actually push through a couple who were holding hands. Also, don’t be surprised if deformed men come up to you in the street asking for money. It is quite disturbing but it won’t last long, just keep moving and take no notice. I know that’s harsh but you can’t always give them money.

5. You will have the experience of a lifetime I know I have probably made China sound like a horrendous country and you should never go, I did not mean to do that! I jut wanted to give you some information that might be helpful. China is an absolutely incredible country which is growing and growing in tourism. This means it’s easier for us when we go! There are some truly beautiful places to visit like the temples, Great Wall, Terracotta Army, dumpling banquets and shows and so much more. I am so so so grateful to of had the chance to go to a fantastic experience. I did get a little homesick, (kinda missed my chicken pasta bake for dinner) but that made it even more exciting.

Great Wall of China

If you EVER get the chance to go on a trip to this incredible country, or any country in fact, take it. And really really enjoy it! It may be scary, but when you get to tell your little sister that you got to see real life Giant Pandas, and see her face light up, it is sooooo worth it, telling all these incredible stories (who can count how many times I’ve said incredible in this post?!)

So. What do you think? I don’t often do advice posts, but I do like to switch it up every now and then! Also, I want to know what posts YOU want to see! Let me know in the comments, through my twitter or instagram or maybe we should create a hashtag? That would be so cool! How about…#LottieRequests . Yeah, I like it! I’d love if you took part!

Lots of Love,

Lottie ♥

 Twitter – Instagram – lotsoflovelottie Facebook Bloglovin – Spotify

April Favourites 2015

Hey everyone! How has your week been? Mine has been full to the brim with Maths revision, ugh. That being the reason that there was no #LottiesLife last week. Leading to my next point, sadly I don’t think I can continue with #LottiesLife as it’s just way too much putting up two posts a week, let alone one. I’d much prefer to have one brilliant post a week than two meh-it’s-ok posts, and I hope you’ll agree! Maybe in the summer when I’m off school I’ll do a few but for now, sadly not. BUT, back to the point of this post, here are my April Favourites!

April Favs EE Charger

I hope you picked up your free EE phone charger last weekend! I love this little charger, first of all LOOK AT THAT TURQUOISE and secondly it’s perfect for when I’m out on the go. It’s also a great alternative to bringing a huge chunky charger with you when staying at a friend’s. And, it’s got a limit of 500 recharges but if it’s out of battery when you’re out you can pop into EE and get a new one! For free! How cool is that?!

April Favs Benefit Theyre Real Mascara

April Favs Benefit Theyre Real Mascara Close Up

As the UK’s Number 1 mascara I thought it about time I tried out Benefit’s They’re Real! Mascara. Luckily I got a free sample sized version in a magazine so I gave it a go this week, and I’m actually really impressed! I love love love the brush, it really grabs at your lashes (in the gentlest way possible). The formula can be a bit sticky and wet, sometimes I found that my eyelashes were sticking together! Not sure if I can fork out £20 for the full sized though… anyone have any dupes?!

April Favs Italian

I decided I wanted to do something different this month, and learn a different language! I already do French and German at school so I thought it time to release my inner pasta-loving-moped-riding-gelato-making self and start with Italian. I use this brilliant app called Duolingo (available for iOS, Android and Windows phones and as well as online). It has already catergorised the different vocab so I chose to do 10 minutes a day which is perfect for me. Once you’ve completed that day’s section you can earn ‘Lingots’ which add up to a new outfit for your owl or an extra heart! It makes learning a language really fun.

I am also starting to record what I’ve learnt on Duolingo in my binder which I decorated with a collage of Italain pictures! It means I can quickly flip back to what I learnt 7 days ago without having to work out what challenge I did that day.

Music ♪

Ship to Wreck – Florence + The Machine

(here)

Been There Before (Shook Remix) – Ghost Beach

(here)

Billie Jean – The Civil Wars

(here)

April Favs Dork Face

Jemma is such a lovely lovely person and I really enjoy reading her blog posts. Her photography and blog design is FANTASTIC and she is so professional for someone who’s only been blogging for one year, her professionalism is very similar to bloggers who have been blogging for at least 5 years. Here are the links to her blog, Twitter and Instagram.

And that’s what I’ve been loving this month? What are your favourites? Tell me below!

Lots of Love,

Lottie ♥

 Twitter – Instagram – lotsoflovelottie Facebook Bloglovin – Spotify