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City Break: Paris

Thursday, 29 June 2017

So, it's been a while right?! I'm so sorry it's been so long! Life has been absolute madness with lots of laughter, travel, tears and pure joy thrown into the mix. What better way to restart my blogging journey then by sharing some details of my favourite city; Paris

This Spring I booked a little surprise for my boyfriend and we escaped to Paris for a few days! As you'd expect, it was beautiful. It was a little cold, very rainy and my feet truly suffered but it still managed to be the best trip ever. I've put together a little list of some things I'd really recommend (and perhaps what I wouldn't!!) if you're spending a long weekend in the city of lurvve...

Eiffel Tower
As much as I love avoiding cliches, Le Tour Eiffel can be nothing but number one on my list. Believe it or not I actually wanted to avoid going up the Tower altogether as I had been before and didn't really feel the urge. But as my boyfriend had never visited the city he was absolutely determined to, so we paid and went up to the top. I was first to admit, I was wrong! Compared to other activities it was such good value for money and the views were incredible. 

The architecture of Parisienne buildings is something that's not escaped my mind since. I admit, I visualise myself drinking wine, eating pastry from PAUL's on a balcony above a cobbled street far more often than I should. But it's certainly something that cannot be missed on your visit. We actually saw a rainbow while up there which made the whole experience magical.

Champs-Élysées/Arc de Triomph 
We decided to spend our last morning strolling up the Champs-Élysées. For those of you don't know, it's filled with beautiful stores. Many of the most luxurious, exclusive designers have stores lining the streets. Perfect for anyone looking for a little piece of luxury, when in Paris - right? 

There's also chain brands; a Sephora, Zara, Disney store and even a Five Guys can be found at one point or another. What's more? They all lead to the Arc de Triomph, which is incredible in it's own right. We wanted to go up and view the streets from the top too, which is meant to be amazing, but unfortunately we had luggage with us which was too large to be allowed up! The views from the bottom were pretty spectacular anyway as you can see, but if you want to go up- bring handbags only!!

One side note: nearly every store/restaurant we went in searched our bags. Rightly so, I might add given the awful terror events in the city. But it's worth bearing in mind. We took a padlocked bag with us on our final day, which then needed to be opened each time I wanted to have a look inside. I would definitely recommend storing your luggage rather than taking it out & about!

Galeries Lafayette 
Now the next on my list was a complete surprise! We wanted somewhere with a roof terrace so we could find a good view of the Eiffel Tower and the galeries came highly recommended. I knew it was a department store, but I didn't know quite how breathtaking it was going to be...

As you can see, the stained glass is incredible and overlooks the bottom floor which is conveniently filled with make up! This was heaven and I have to say the view inside was almost as beautiful as the one from the terrace itself. Although the weather was against us, I'm sure you can see why it comes so highly recommended...

The Louvre
And finally, the Louvre (aptly listening to Lorde's new song of the same name as we speak). Everyone is completely right when they say you could walk the louvre for weeks and still not see everything. We walked for hours and saw so much, the Mona Lisa, Crown Jewels, old ruins of the fortress which today's Louvre has been built upon. All of it took our breath away. 

We actually entered and left through the Carousell de Louvre which is almost a back entrance. It is actually at the bottom of the pyramid, inverted from the one you see from above ground. The entrance was much quieter and housed tasty restaurants where we stopped for lunch.

We visited on the first Sunday of the month in February which means visiting was free! In Paris lots of attractions are free on the first Sunday of the month between October-March - so it's absolutely worth popping to see all the sights then! The front entrance was super busy because of this so we went through the shopping centre instead and it was well worth it. The only downside of the museum for me was the queue for the toilets (felt like hours!) and the heat! Most of this was because we had visited on a really busy day so it is probably much more relaxed on a weekday during termtime! 

Special mention to the Musée de l'Orangerie which houses Monet's famous water lillies in a small, circular room. This had to be a highlight of the trip for me! This museum is a tiny compared to the Louvre, but within the grounds and is definitely worth a little detour. 

I hope you've enjoyed my little insight into the highlights from our trip and please let me know what you love to do on your visits. xxx

Night Out Make Up Look: (Ft. Chanel Illusion D'Ombre)

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Eyeshadow, Chanel, Illusion D'Ombre, Double Wear,Estee Lauder, Girl, Night Out, Make Up

If you know me, you'll be well aware that there is nothing I like more than to cuddle up, order a takeaway and have a night in. I'm 2/3s through my first year of University and I can count my nights out on my fingers (that's commuting for you)! Don't get me wrong, in my teens I would drink far too much, too often. I started to develop an unhealthy relationship with alcohol (blackouts are so not cool) so now I only drink on special occasions. One of my closest friends turned 21, so what better occasion?! We left our little, cosy Cornwall & headed up to Cheltenham to celebrate with her.

Eyeshadow, Chanel, Illusion D'Ombre, Double Wear,Estee Lauder, Girl, Night Out, Make Up, H&M, Lace, Dress, Fashion

I bought this little lace H&M number for £19.99 last year, but I have never had the chance to wear it! (Unfortunately it's not stocked in the UK at the moment!) I've lost a little weight since 2015 so I embraced it. The bardot style isn't always flattering, but I think it ended up looking not too shabby, if I do say so myself, ahaha. The thing I was most looking forward to was doing my make up. We were staying in a hotel so I had multiple mirrors (and lots of time!) at my disposal. 

Eyeshadow, Chanel, Illusion D'Ombre, Double Wear,Estee Lauder, Girl, Night Out, Make Up

I'm wearing:
Smashbox Primer - Boots, £25.50

This was my first time using Chanel eyeshadow & I was very impressed. The formula is odd, like you've already applied water to a wet/dry shadow but it was fantastic! It was blendable, buildable and beautiful. 

I choose Double Wear in this case as I wanted long lasting coverage and it matches my notably paler skin tone perfectly. I tried to ignore it drying out my skin and it ended up being the perfect match for the night!

Friends, Night Out, Bar, Drinks,

We ended up in a Hawiian themed nightclub in a VIP booth. Our champagne was fantastic (although I'm more of a cockail girl myself). It was an amazing day & I had the chance to meet another friend's newborn baby the following afternoon (more on this later), so, all in all, a great weekend! 

How did you spend your last weekend? And what do you think of my evening look?

5 Reasons Your Bounce Rate is High

Monday, 8 February 2016

Now, I want you to be honest, how many of you have logged into Google Analytics and held your head in your hands? *Throws hand in the air* It's so complicated... Don't get me wrong, it is such a useful tool. It tells me nearly everything I need to know about my traffic, but some days it just isn't worth the headache!

Before starting my blog I couldn't begin to tell you what Bounce Rate was, but I've managed to pick up some little tricks along the way. For those of you who don't know, your Bounce Rate is defined as "the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page."  Whilst I'm still an amateur in the blogging world, I consider myself a bit of an expert in reading other peoples blog posts! I can easily pick out the reasons I will leave your blog, and not come back.

Misleading Headlines
This one is a pet hate of mine... Why would you title your blog post "Thoughts on Charlotte Tilbury's Lip Cheat" if you haven't actually tried the product. The reason I clicked on your post was to read your thoughts, not to see a stock image and you talking about your wishlist. Pleeeeease can we be done with misleading titles? If you want to post your wishlist, that's great! If you want to post a review, brilliant! So long as the 'headline' matches up, I'll be happy! If I'm looking for photography tips but I find a camera review, I'm almost certainly going to leave the page there & then. If I find what I'm looking for I'll be much more likely to view other linked posts on your page! 

The goal of decreasing your bounce rate is to encourage people to explore your blog posts and increase readership. The more pages visited means a longer time spent browsing and more opportunity to win readers over with your witty words & fancy photos, am I right?!

Block Text
If I've come home from a long day at University, or better yet a lazy day spent binge-watching House of Cards, the last thing I want to do is read a whole bunch of words (or at least notice that I am)! Naturally, us bloggers tend to write 300+ words, which is fine provided they are broken up! If I click on your post and find a whole page of block text, then I'm going to click right back off again. Do all of us lazy readers a big favour and break up your text! Bye Bye high bounce rate.

Annoying Adverts
I, mostly, keep my Adblock extension on, so I fall victim to this far less. But there is nothing worse on this planet than pop ups. Am I being melodramatic? YES. Are pop ups seriously irritating? YES. I quite frequently browse blogs on my mobile and this is where I suffer (I promise I'll stop exaggerating now). Pop ups on mobile will take me straight off your site and it is very unlikely I will make the effort to find your page again. Your bounce rate will suffer. This also goes for annoying adverts on your blog itself. There is no need for a little video to play in the corner that takes me 2405 minutes to find, I will just close the tab. Sorry, not sorry. 

Twitter & Mobile Users
This point is something I have been thinking about over the last few days. How often do you see a really interesting blog post on twitter and open it via the mobile app? I do this a few times a day but rarely do I then browse the site further. I go back to twitter, talking to you lovely bloggers and tweeting about tasty food stuffz. It could be funny buzzfeed links, serious news articles or that latest nail polish review. Regardless, it's not often I will stay on that site for more than a page. It's worth looking at the proportion of social media referrals in conjunction with your mobile readership. If most of your readers are from mobile devices & fans of twitter, you will need to find a way to keep them on your page. Internal links are your bounce rate's best friend people!

This is going to sound completely petty of me, but let's face it... looks matter. I'm not afraid to admit that bad blog photography and an awful layout puts me off. I don't know if it's just the perfectionist in me, but there's something about a pre-made theme that makes my head hurt! Unless your content is incredible, I can't stick around. Now, my photography is pretty crappy, Cornwall's not the brightest place in the world. But I work with what I've got, you should do the same. You don't need to spend money on a fancy theme, but pretty please make your page easy on the eyes. A good layout will be the perfect post for all your great content. 

*Breathes* There we go, post over, I'm sure you're all relieved. While I'm on a roll, there are a few other things that you can think about:

  • Check how quick your post loads over on pingdom. No-one likes to be kept waiting, if you find your page is taking a long time, try to fix it!
  • Make sure your blog post is responsive! If I'm on a mobile and I need to scroll and zoom to read your posts, I won't be on there for long. You can check if your site is mobile friendly over on google.
  • Who are you writing for? If you're posting blog tips and sharing them on twitter, but your twitter following comprise mostly of non-bloggers, are they going to want to read more? If you're sharing lifestyle posts on a strictly fashion forum, it may not be well received. Make sure your social shares are relevant and working for you. 
  • Internal links are so helpful. If you have a relevant post on your own blog then link to it! While you're at it, ensure all external links open in a new tab! Big rookie mistake. 

Hopefully this has given you a little insight into my personal reasons for bouncing away from your page, and will allow you to see what is affecting your bounce rate. Please leave any other tips down below and let me know what you think of mine!

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