Hello to you...

Am I Back Already?
Bye bye Ben and hello to you!  London was wonderful, but I am happy to be home! Thank you so much for keeping my guest posters company and of course a huge thank you to them:


It was so nice to read my own blog for a change!  I am settling back in and catching up, so posting will be back to normal in no time!  I have loads of stories and snaps to share with you...can't wait!

Work Space Inspiration


Hi there, I'm Lana from Lanalou Style, a lifestyle blogger from Cape Town. A big thank you to Nadia for inviting me to join you today while she is off on her trip... hopefully gathering plenty of inspiration! Today I wanted to share some inspiring work spaces as I'm sure many of you work from home. The trend is definitely increasing these days and it's important to work in an environment that is practical, functional and that looks good, especially if clients visit regularly.

Some must haves are:
* good lighting
* a pin board for inspiration
* a journal or planner
* a good shelving and storage system
* the right tools/equipment 
* plants to add life
* your own personality/style

I hope the following images give you some new ideas, there's something in each of these that appeals to me. Happy working!







Image credits: 1) Creature Comforts, 2 & 8) A Creative Mint, 3, 5,6 & 12) Hübsch Tendancies 2013, 4) Bodie and Fou Blog, 7) Chic Sprinkles, 9 & 10) Hübsch 2012 via Scandinavia Deko,
11) Bodie and Fou Blog

Blogging: Staying True to Yourself {a guest post}


Hello lovely readers! My name is Roxy and I blog over at CityGirlSearching. I blog about all sorts of lovely things from makeup reviews, to DIY bits and pieces, loads of photographs of this and that and yummy recipes too. Come by and say hello, I love {meeting} new people.

While Nadia is off on her exciting trip, she asked me to keep you company here on her blog by sharing something with all of you. 
I spent many an hour on Pinterest and some of my favourite blogs looking for inspiration for this post, when I realised that I was beginning to form a blend of other peoples idea's instead of writing something that came from me. So I thought I would write a post on staying true to yourself and your blog when putting yourself out there on the world wide web.

I often need to remind myself of the reasons behind why I blog. This helps me to stay focused on what I should and could blog about, especially when I'm feeling a little drained of my creative juices.

This is different for everyone. Some people enjoy seeing their words and thoughts come alive on the page, others enjoy the feeling of affirmation that comes from gaining another follower or like on Facebook. I have loved meeting new friends through my blog, as well as the outlet it has given me to be creative, something I never dreamed was possible.
Whatever your reasons were for first wanting to start your blog, write them down, so when you start to feel guilty for not having written a post in months don't beat yourself up about it. Instead, go back to your list and remind yourself of the real reasons you wanted to blog in the first place, I'm sure you will feel inspired to get started again.

I find I am at my least creative when I stare at other peoples awesome blogs all day. I find I am unable to think of anything new or original to write about. How I deal with this (and I have my incredibly creative husband to thank for most of my idea's) is to go for a walk, camera in hand, and snap away at anything and everything that takes my fancy. Sometimes I take a notebook and jot down notes about my day, about the people I see around me, about the things I want to do with my life. Pretty soon I have a messy jumble of potential content for my blog. Look around your world, your office, your family, your community for idea's. Do you work with some strange and fascinating people, what about interviewing them on your blog? What about doing a post about a day in your life (with photo's of everything that makes your day unique)? The world around us is so rich with colour and life, its an endless supply of idea's if we just take the time to look.



I used to think that my blog could become popular by just reposting great content I found on sites like We Heart It and Pinterest. I've now come to realise that there are too many mediocre blogs out there that just repost other peoples creative content. That's why I try to post original content on my blog. That doesn't mean I don't 'borrow' idea's from other bloggers, but it does mean that if I want to showcase an awesome DIY lampshade, I will try to make that lampshade myself, take my own photo's and write in my own words how to go about making one yourself. And I also try to link back to the original source of the idea, as a way of saying thank you for the idea.
But now I'm getting distracted here...the title of this tip is to take your own photographs. You really don't have to have an amazing camera to take incredible photo's. You just need to play, and fiddle with your camera and the angles to get your photograph just right. This is how I started getting into photography. Etsy has a great article on taking better product photographs, click here to have a read.


The most important thing with taking photo's for your blog is to take, and take, and take, and take some more! For this one photograph, it took 9 takes until I was happy with it. Don't be afraid to make mistakes, you can always hit the delete button!




Most bloggers would probably think I'm crazy for saying this, but for me it works. I am a very organized person, I love to plan EVERYTHING and my favourite past time is makings lists (can you say *nerdy*?!). But I find that if I spend too long planning a blog post, I lose interest in it and it stays in my drafts for weeks, even months without ever seeing the light of day. If an idea comes to mind, I straight away log onto my blog, start a new post, and I just roll with it. I try not to leave it till the next day to finish it, as I often get distracted by the next post. In some ways I find this helps me stay inspired as I am always putting new content up, and my readers know that they can come back every day or so for something new. This pressure helps me to stay motivated to continue putting posts out there!
Your readers want to know about you, so be true to ourself. This doesn't mean gushing about each and every last detail of your day and how depressed you feel after finding out that your local Woolies Food was out of fresh basil. But rather, this means writing in your own voice and letting your personality shine through the page. Don't be scared to put yourself/your business/your idea's out there, your readers will respond to your 'genuineness', and you never know where that road may lead.
Good luck to you and your blog!

Roxy
aka CityGirl
 xxx

Six tips on choosing a logo

Six tips on choosing a logo

Hi there! Fathima here from Happiness is... with a guest post for you while Nadia's away. If you haven't come across my blog before and don't know about me, I'm a freelance graphic designer and illustrator and I blog about art, design, illustration, photography, music, cats and pretty  much anything that makes me happy. Today I'm going to share some tips with you on what to look for when choosing a logo. 

A logo is a huge part of your company and is often the first contact a potential client has with your brand. Because of this it's important to make sure that it's strong, well-designed and correctly represents you. Here are a few points to bear in mind:

Versatility
A logo may need to be used at any size, from being shrunk down to a postage stamp, to as large as a billboard or larger. Make sure that you get a high resolution version of your logo at the end of the process to allow for scalability, even if you're only using your logo at a low resolution online for now.

Six tips on choosing a logo


Keep it Simple
Keeping a logo simple and clear will really help to make it stand out strongly and become recognizable and memorable wherever it's used. If it has too much detail, this will all be lost and will look messy when it needs to be used at a small size. 
Six tips on choosing a logo

Black & White
A logo needs to work in black and white as well as colour, because there will be times when it needs to be used in black and white only. If your logo relies on colour to make it work, this won't come across if someone has to print it in black and white. 

Classic
Remember that your logo needs to last you a while, if not forever, so be weary of choosing a style or effect that is trendy at the time. You want to go for a look that won't look outdated in six months' time. 

Six tips on choosing a logo

Be objective
Of course you want your logo to look fantastic and to represent you, but it also has to be appropriate. If you love pixel style fonts but need a logo for your new accounting firm, you need to choose a font that's best going to represent your company.

Six tips on choosing a logo

Do your research
Before going to a designer to get your logo created it's a good idea to think about what you want from your logo. Ask yourself questions, do some looking around, and make some notes of elements you may have come across in other logos that you liked. Also make note of all the places it will most often be used to ensure that it suits its purpose. This will firstly help to give the designer a starting point and will speed up the process, and secondly will ensure that your business doesn't outgrow your logo or get tired of it too soon.

sources: meat & bread, alex petrov, jenny wilson, fresh, R, foot, the gallimaufry, ee, thread, walker, tim, the wigwam cabins.

If you're on the lookout for a new logo in the near future, I hope this helps make your process easier. 
peas & happiness
* fathima *

Victoria Tatham's Beauty Treats

While I am away I asked the lovely Victoria from Kiss, Blush and Tell to share her top beauty treats to invest in while in London!  Just added these to my list - thanks Tori!

Top 5 Overseas Indulgences {Beauty}
You know how some people get overly excited about trawling a grocery store overseas? Well, that’s how I feel about trawling pharmacies and apothecaries overseas. The packaging, variety, great offers and new releases get me (and my wallet) every time!

Even though I always allow for the odd spontaneous purchase, below are a few products that are always on my shopping list and have been for a few years. They range in price, but are all absolute absolute essentials in my mind and not available in South Africa therefore a real treat!


This range is available at the well-known UK pharmacy, Boots, and is an absolute favourite. The packaging, quality and price point is amazing. A few favourites are the Foam Call Body Wash, the Hand Food Cream and A Great Kisser Lip Balm in Juicy Peach! Well worth the added luggage weight else try and get these in duty-free.

The Diptyque candles have been my pick of scented candle for ages and are probably the brand that made me fall in love with candles. They are pricey at R600 each (urgh that makes me feel ill saying that) but if you are wanting to treat yourself then pop one of these on your list. I am not going to say they are ‘worth it’, because how the hell can I candle be worth this amount, but they are amazing and I adore everything about what this brand is about.

I don’t know much about Barry M as a make-up range but I do know that their nail colours are amazing and pretty good quality. They are also cheap as chips which makes it fun to buy some colours you possibly wouldn't usually splash out for. Pink Flamingo is my best colour – such a pretty coral/pink.

I love these. They are sold in South Africa sporadically but they have an amazing selection overseas – from water-resistant one’s to matte/shimmer – all of which come in a great variety of shades. These bronzers really are the perfect product to slap on when you in need of that emergency tan – this is always the case with me as I hate the thought of self-tan on clean linen!

Again, I can’t really tell you that spending R250 on a nail polish is ‘worth every penny’ but treat yourself to one of these. Trust me. They are such amazing nail varnishes and add something different to your normal nail look. I got the gold flaked one which looks great on top of virtually any colour. It’s minimal and quite chunky which makes it a lot classier (according to me, at least).

Toodles

Bye Bye my darling readers!  I am off and so excited.  While I am away there will be a few posts - dotted here and there.  To stay in touch with what I am up to you can follow me:


You can also read my House and Leisure posts as there are a few of those lined up too. 

Sweet picture is from The House Sparrow on Etsy.

Alt Summit: Business Cards

I often mention Alt Summit - to my clients and it really is something I dream of attending.  I believe it can be a reality - I don't know when as yet, but I just do!  I really enjoyed Ez of Creature Comforts' business card roundup from the event.  It is so awesome to see the effort and creativity that bloggers, crafters and makers put into standing out!  Aren't these just wonderful?  I hope they inspire you to add that extra special touch to your branding and packaging, it really can make a difference!

Seven Things

You know the deal - seven things I have been up to, seen and loved lately, all taken with Instagram!

1 >  Mollie Makes:  I have only heard wonderful things about this magazine and love looking at the site, but it wasn't until last week that I discovered an issue at CNA!  Happiness!  I bought it and it came with a really amazing 2013 calendar styled by Selina Lake (personal fav) and photographed by Catherine Gratwicke who I featured recently.

2 >  An Old Globe:  I have been on the hunt for one for quite a while.  It needed to be just the right amount of old, not too new and kitsch looking...blah...blah!  Daniel my darling found one for me recently when he was working on a job at my old primary school!  Random, but decor fate!  He is going to create a wooden base for it.

3 >  Woodnewz Shoot:  I work very closely with Woodnewz. Yesterday I worked on their latest product shoot. I really love the styling aspect of creating little scenes with products.

4 >  The Good Old Days:  Spotted this old fashioned beauty at Bonnie and Clyde Vintage (behind Corner Cafe).  Golden oldies and good vintage too!

5 >  Photo Taking:  A mess I made after taking some blog snaps.  Fun to style, not so fun to clean up, but so worth it when I can share things with you!

6 >  I NEED This:  More Woodnewz work - this was on the factory floor being made for a client.  How perfect would it be in a craft room or creative space, so ideal for storage!  Mmmm...now to convince them that they need to make me one too!

7 >  If the Shoe Fits:  Buy it in every colour - I did!  Elegant black pumps are my staple footwear, but I battle to find the ideal pair, it must be just so.  I spotted these at Zara and after almost hugging the shop assistant for finding my size, I decided I needed the nude pair too!  I adore shoes, but am quite a big size (blush) so it is an ongoing battle and these were just what I was after!  LOVE!

I hope you have a really awesome week!  I am counting sleeps - three to go before I head to London!  Yikes!

Party Perfection with Pinterest & Smirnoff

There are few colours as delectable as red...it ravishing and conjures up images of vintage vixens and old Hollywood screen sirens!  This season I am looking towards glamour and introducing a little more sparkle into my life and what better way than with a party to dazzle!  The essentials are of course an array of baubles, beads and shiny delights, but least forget to charge our glasses!  Smirnoff's Sexy Red Vodka and Cranberry will be the tipple of choice at my next soiree to celebrate and toast with the clinking of glasses and Summery festivities.

Smirnoff is running a competition so you too can add some glamour to your life.  Head over to their Facebook page for all the details and follow my Sexy Red themed pins to see more!  Create your own Summer Mood Board inspired by any three of the Smirnoff Premix variants and stand a chance of winning R10 000 (T&C's apply).  Now who could say no to that?  Cheers darlings!

Images: Net-a-Porter, Mrs Lilien and Tom Binns

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