27 Jul 2014

OOTD: Got my bad baby by my heavenly side

Damn right this is my bad baby, for anyone who is new around here, this is Jacob Cracker Jack. Walking Jacob through a busy area is like walking a celebrity, people just stop and ask questions constantly, they want to know what dog he is (as you don't see many) and they often just laugh at him falling over his ears with his comical face. In case you are wondering he's 4 stone of pure, slobbering basset hound! I had this crazy idea to put Jacob into my outfit post, you know like when you see bloggers with little daschunds in their arms, I thought I'd get the same effect but no, Mr was too busy being nosey at everyone else rather then looking at the camera! or dragging me along 
when he picked up a scent.  
Anyway, after Jacob dragged me around the marina and had a really good frozen moment on a bridge meaning everybody had to wait to cross whilst jacob had his diva moment, we managed to get some photos taking of this beautiful playsuit that Wal-G. I love a good playsuit, but what I love about this one, is the skort effect to it, making it a little different to all the others I own! I also don't have much yellow in my wardrobe, and I love adding any colour to my wardrobe. It's the type of cute playsuit you can wear in the day and dress up at night with some bright heels to match! 

What do you think of a skort playsuit? 
Much Love
Natasha x

21 Jul 2014

Win £100 to spend at hair trade ( this means you could have hair like rapunzel)

This morning at work I got a lovely delivery from Hairtrade which certainly brightened up my boring monday morning (blog post coming soon) As you know I love hair extensions and these guys offer some amazing quality hair extensions! I love putting them in and feeling like rapunzel! Now hairtrade sell lots of different kinds of hair extensions/wigs/weaves and will have something to suit you! 

So to enter here is what you have to do.
You can gain more entries depending on how many different ways you enter, so heres the list.
Follow Hair trade's blog here (3 Entries)
Follow Hair trade on  facebook here (5 Entries) 
Follow my blog through Bloglovin (1 Entry)
Follow my blog through GFC (1 Entry)
Follow me on twitter here (1 Entry)
Follow me on instagram here ( 1 Entry)
Tweet about the competition (2 Entries)

If you have entered through any of these ways please comment on here to let me know, don't forget to give me your username for each way you have entered. I will check! If you tweet about my competition please provide the link. At the end of your comment please provide your email address so I can let you know if you win. Giveaway open INTERNATIONALLY and ends on 26th July at 23:59 

Much Love and good luck 
Natasha x

20 Jul 2014

OOTD: My baby lives in shades of blue

For the first time in 3 weeks I do not have to moan about the rain, I actually woke up to a dry sunday morning, but apparently we had a big thunder storm in the night, however I slept right through! I can actually sleep through anything, I think the biggest proof of this is that this week I feel asleep having an MRI scan, I know, I'm a sleeping machine. How have have the storms been near you? Anyway enough of that, I have yet another lovely dress to share with you! This dress was sent to me from Chi Chi and its an absolute beauty! They have so many beautiful dress' and have a kick ass sale on right now! I feel this dress is like a modern day cinderella dress, the bright blue colour is beautiful and the tulle style skirt makes me feel like a princess! Of course it has a collar, you all know I love a dress with a collar but what is even better about this is the blue netting between the body and collar, it makes it that little bit different. The lace effect on the body is really pretty and adds enough detail to make this feel really expensive. I teamed my Chi Chi dress with my new pointed primark heels, new look head band and a casual messy up-do! 

Much Love
Natasha x

15 Jul 2014

Instagram your way to a better account

Now I am no instagram guru, and I am definitely no super account but what if I told you in 3 weeks I have got my following up 50% from 400+ to 600+ with my own little instagram mission? 

I bet you are listening now right? Now some of you may be thinking, oh how fake, a "plan" to get followers, thats not very genuine. But to me there is nothing more rewarding then when someone finds my instagram or even my blog, and thinks I like this, I'm going to follow because I want to see more from this person. Why wouldnt you want someone to appreciate a photo you just spent 20 minutes getting the angle right. In the gazillions of people on instagram, it's near enough impossible for you to stand out on instagram and unless you have tens of thousands of followers, you're going to have to try really hard to push your account out there. As a blogger you make yourself a brand, and this is just an 
extension of the image you are creating for yourself on your blog! 

Now a few weeks ago I went to a blogging event and everyone had tonnes of followers on their super pretty instagram accounts, and I thought " Oh fudge I'm really bad at this" So I started to look into amazing instagram accounts and thinking how can I make my instagram worthy of people wanting to come back. So after a little investigating I went into my instagram mission mode. Heres what i found, and what I did.

1. First of set yourself a quality standard and go back through your instagram and delete photos you dont think meet this standard. I like to look at my photos and think is this photo pinterest worthy, nope? delete. Your instagram is a reflection of your blog, any brand could be looking through, right back to two years ago before your blogging days. Remember those photos of you on a drunk night out laid in the road with make up all over your face? Yeah you get the picture. You are trying to create an image here, your own "look" to your account.

2. Now you have a quality set, you need to stick with it, and editing tools are a great help. A few months ago instagram updated their app to be able to edit photos

I found bigger and prettier instagrams tend to try to keep with one look, so I've being using "valencia" filter to keep my photos consistent, I then brighten, increase the highlights, sharpen and up the contrast to make my photos more "dreamy"  

3. Think before you click, you have a brand new purchase and you can't wait to share it on instagram when you get home from work, and you rush and take a photo at night and it looks naff! Stop, and wait till the next day, with natural light near a window. 

I took the photo on the left at night, and the one on the right in the day in front of the window. As you can see it is worth waiting, sometimes no matter how much you edit a photo the quality won't improve. 
Another thing to think about is what is in the background of your photo. I don't know if you all know, but as a designer I actually design food photography shots for a leading supermarket and sometimes art direct them, so I always see all the little annoying things in people's photos! A pile of clothing on the floor will be so noticeable and isn't exactly "pinterest worthy" Getting the washing machine in your ootd snap doesn't scream Chic.  Same if you use a piece of material, little things like creases or a hair on the material stand out in a photo. 

In the photos above I have used wallpaper samples I picked up from my local DIY store to create interesting backgrounds for my photos. Beats my sideboards and carpet!

4. Post your blog photos, its a great way to reach out to people outside of the blogger world on twitter and bloglovin, plus it shows the more "professional" part of your blogging. But also post little snips of your day, your style, a little detailed shot of the print on your dress, the things you wouldn't put on your blog.  It is also a great way to give little snap shots of what could be coming up on your blog! 

Treat you instagram as a blog, look for things that you can instagram, take a little longer getting your shot, and don't force a shot, if it aint looking good don't post it, it will only ruin the overall look of your instagram account! 

5. The selfie. Now a whole account full of selfies, errr maybe a bit too much. I never posted selfies on my account, and I realised in my little investigating, a few here and there actually give your account personalty, not as formal, its a good way to show people your make up  if you are into beauty but also it just shares a little bit more of you. I was a bit hesitant at posting one, I felt a little how can I say "like I loved myself" even though I post all these posed blog photos! But once I did, I got more love from that then many other photos on my instagram and do you know what, it gave me a lil confidence boost! Just remember to mix them up a little and you don't always look the same, different angles, expressions will make it a bit more exciting! 

6. Post daily, I've been posting every day and its really made a difference. Also post at the correct time! Posting on a saturday night isn't going to get the best response, people are busy on saturday nights, they aren't checking instagram, so save that amazing photo you have till sunday! However now if you want to bid on ebay, saturday nights are the best... but thats another story! I have found posting at night any other day of the week is best, when people are all home from work, finished their tea and having a good relaxing browse online! 

7. Posting daily can be hard work, taking a few photos EVERY day isn't always possible. I've started to repost things I have found on pinterest, it shows what inspires me, my tastes and what I'm lusting over which is just as important as to what makes you who you are. I've found people have "liked" my inspo photos, then followed me and then liked the next ones I've posted a few days later. People will see it as another source of inspiration and get more of an understanding of what gets you ticking! 

8. Post the odd photo of your actual life, I don't mean blog life, I mean, with your non blogger friends, your family, your boyfriend. People will appreciate seeing a more natural you. A photo of you acting silly, not exactly looking perfect will make people feel like they can have the beautiful pretty instagram from you but also a real person

9. Share the love! every night I lay in bed and search #fbloggers  #lblogger or #ootd and I find some INCREDIBLE accounts! I follow, comment and like
 their photos,and sometimes the person will have a look back at mine and do the same! Now you've 
started a chain, you've like someones photo and followed them, and now they've done the same to you. 
Now all theirfollowers will see in their news feed under following, that this user liked your photo, 
and then they may have a peek at your account! Now don't go liking in the hope you'll get some back, 
go liking following for the pure joy of sharing some love, remember what goes around comes around! 
Also make sure to thank people who leave lovely comments, its only polite! 

10. Make sure your profile photo is one of your best photos, make sure its a good quality one to make
you look a bit more pro, and also one heavily dominated by a certain colour like yellow for example will
stand out when you are commenting other peoples photos. 

11. Recycle old shots, when I was going through my instagram to delete photos I found some photos I felt
had got a little lost on my account in the early days of my blogging, so I deleted them and reposted them 
now, when I have more people able to see them. I also have been throwing in some old holiday snaps from
last year I never posted, the colours are great on them, and again it just mixes it up, and acts like a back up 
for when you have no photos to post.

The photos I posted above meant I was reaching out to other people outside the blogging 
community, I haven't been on my holidays this year yet, but these photo meant I was able to reach out
to people looking for travel shots, or city photography. Keeps my feed a bit more interesting!

12. #HASHTAG Yep hashtag baby, like I said at the start unless you have thousands of followers
its not going to be easy to get people to see your photos without having to do anything, thats why for us
striving for the perfect instagram account, hashtagging is key! Hashtag away and don't be ashamed, for 
example on my latest inspo post I used these- #hair #inspo #tumblr #blonde #bbloggers #bow #fbloggers #fashion #model #sfs #follow #pretty You might think, yeah but lots of hashtags looks 
desperate, trust me it doesnt, as long as it relates to your photo and your not just hashtagging #onedirection on a photo of your dog to get it seen, then you won't. Since I started hashtagging properly the traffic to my instagram has really increased! Get the right hashtags to get noticed! Your working bloody hard to make your account pretty why shouldnt you shout about it!

Now everything I have said here is what I have been doing, and it really has made a difference. It's just like improving your blog, and instagram is a reflection of your blog. It's not a sneaky game plan to get
followers, it's making sure hard work gets a little bit of love and notice from others, plus in the 
process you find amazing users who inspire you to make yours even better!

Let me know what you thought of the post!
Oh and my instagram can be found in my side bar ;) 

Much Love 
Natasha x

13 Jul 2014

OOTD: Hot summer nights, mid July, when you and I were forever wild

Hello, I am so so so excited to share this post with you! Sometimes a post just gives you a good feeling, and Im very proud of this one! Last week I was lucky enough to recieve this absolutely beautiful dress from Darccy London This brand is possibly the most suited brand to me- ever. All their pieces are vintage inspired, elegant and feminine, you know I love anything with a vintage/retro feel! Delicate and flirty pieces, what more could a girl living in the wrong era want? -
Where did the Darccy magic start? With an Architecture design back ground, Diane, the creator of Darccy went on to study at New York University. Despite the busy studying schedule, Diane couldn’t stop her passion for fashion. She partnered with her friend who was studying Fashion Design at Parsons and opened their first boutique in Nolita, New York. After university Diane then made the bold decision to move to London and start her own label from her living room in Camden. The romantic and unique style of the collections instantly gained attention and orders from retailers all over the world. Following the success of the wholesale label, Darccy Boutique was born in the world renowned Portobello Road, Notting Hill and became one of the most popular indie fashion destinations for the local Londoners and international visitors.

I was sent this romantic "Uniform Gold" dress, and I love everything about it! The collar, the gold sheen on the beautiful daisy lace, the amazing quality and the length is really flattering. Its the kinda dress, dress dreams are made of. I decided to take these photos at these beautiful medieval church ruins at Wharram Percy in North Yorkshire. The location was absolutely stunning, a stream near by, the foundations of medieval homes and nobody about. It made the total stress of driving up VERY steep hills worth it!
  (You can get 10% off with the code "darccy10")

Much Love
Natasha x

11 Jul 2014

A dreamy macaroon necklace giveaway!

Hello beautiful people, now if you remember ages ago before the days of native wolf (in one of my mini del boy moments) I was making and selling jewellery that looked like food, and the other day I realised I'd saved a few of these necklaces because I couldn't bare to part with them. I love macaroons what can I say! But now I'm thinking this is pretty silly, I don't need two of the same necklace right? So I thought I would give you lovely lot the chance to win one of these handmade pastel macaroon necklaces. The necklaces are long and the macaroon stack is a pretty decent size, great statement necklace! 

So to enter here is what you have to do.
You can gain more entries depending on how many different ways you enter, so heres the list.
Follow my blog through Bloglovin (1 Entry)
Follow my blog through GFC (1 Entry)
Follow me on twitter here (1 Entry)
Follow me on instagram here ( 1 Entry)
Tweet about the competition (2 Entries)

If you have entered through any of these ways please comment on here to let me know, don't forget to give me your username for each way you have entered. I will check! If you tweet about my competition please provide the link. At the end of your comment please provide your email address so I can let you know if you win. Giveaway open to UK & EU residents only and closes on 31/7/2014

Good Luck! 
Much Love
Natasha x

6 Jul 2014

OOTD: Lost but now I am found

Today has been one of those days the weather ruins. I woke up yet again to enough rain to make me feel the need to go build an ark. I had been planning to goto some beautiful church ruins to take photos, but being in the middle of a field, I didn't think welly's would go with my dress. So to plan B, we visited the grounds of a manor house, and guess what it started rain- a lot. However in the shelter of the woods I managed to get some shots, even if it was with very wet flat frizzy hair. This beautiful dress was sent to me from Quiz Clothing and I immediately fell in love. I'm pretty much obsessed with tulle skirts ( you will know this if you follow my instagram) and lace, so in one dress it was always going to be a winner! I felt very fairy tale like in it, like a dark alice in wonderland, all I needed was a black rabbit. This dress would make the perfect evening dress with a pair of heels! 

 Much Love
Natasha x

1 Jul 2014

Native Wolf goodness!

Hello, I thought I would share with you a little update for my shop Native Wolf The support I've received from the blogging community is amazing, and I am so thankful for this! I've had a little break for a month or so due to being busy and supply issues, but OH MY DAYS I have the most beautiful crystals waiting to be played with. I CANNOT wait to get making. My shop is full of pretty crystal jewellery waiting for new homes. Personally I am not a spiritual person but I am always amazed at these natural formations, and appreciate them as one of the most amazing things the earth has to offer us. Make sure you follow my instagram account for native wolf - nativewolfjewellery as I often update it when my new crystals arrive and please feel free to ask any questions or make any requests! 
(Ps dont forget to follow my blog instagram- adesignrookie

Much Love
Natasha x