Whats in My Bag? Spring 2016


It’s been a long time since I’ve done my normal ‘What’s in my Bag’ post but they are such a traditional and nice post to do, it feels like a shame not to do one. If you want to see previous editions including “What’s in My Compact Bag?”  or “What’s in my Festival Bag”  click on each one respectively, or check out all of my past ones here. I don’t think what I keep in my bag tends to change but I always think this is an interesting thing to find out what people lug around, do they carry their whole life in their bag or if they have such a streamlined organised bag and I can do nothing but look on in amazement.

whats in my bag - new look duffle bag

Let’s start with a little bit about the bag itself, I got it as a gift for Christmas and it was greatly received as I wanted a more slouchy type of bag but that was still a practical size and I love this. It is the New Look Pin Stud Duffle Bag, which is a suede type texture and obviously stud detailing it has a super long adjustable strap so you can really make it work for you. It has one internal side pocket and other than that is a good sized space to ram everything in. I’m not someone that has to carry everything but I need some space at least.

the essentialswhats in my bag - essentials

So first up are the usual bag essentials which we might as well get away starting with my phone and keys, my keys are huge so they are easy to find. Another must is my purse, which is a Primark Purse from summer 2014 and it just has everything in it from cards to receipts all in their own special section. I also keep a reusable shopping bag in there at all times, seeing as there is now the bag charge so it’s handy if I pick something up unexpectedly.

keeping organisedwhats in my bag - organisation

With a full time job and a blog I like to make tons on lists and note everything in order to help me stay on top of things. I have my personal planner with my pen attached so I don’t use it, I love this planner to death. (If you want to see an indepth view of my planner click here). As well as my planner I have my blogging note book, to help me make notes on current posts, post ideas and check my blog schedule.

 

just a little vainwhats in my bag - makeup

I keep thinking about getting a small makeup bag, but as I just carry powder and my current lip product is I just used the inside pocket for now. So I carry my Ruby & Millie Kabuiki Brush, Collection Pressed Powder in Ivory and an assortment of lip stuff. So with no rhyme or reason I have 5 different lip products at the moment including: YSL Volupte Rouge in Lush Coconut, BareMinerals Marvolous Moxie Lipstick in Be a Star, P.S. Love Matte Long Lasting Lipstick in Whisper, The Body Shop Lipstick in (I can never remember), Rimmel London Appocalips Lip Lacquer in Nova. Got a good mix of colours, finishes and budgets for once, and I can change it up during the day.

the bag of useful bits

Finally I have a little (or maybe not so little) Ted Baker Makeup Bag which holds all of my ‘essential’ or useful bits to have in your bag. Most importantly there is medication such as my inhaler, allergy medication and painkillers as well as the basics such as plasters (my friends love me for these) as well as tissues. The usual girly must haves such as hair ties and hair grips, although I tend to go for hair ties as I’m most likely to want to keep my hair out of my way. As well as the not such important but always wanted Peach Delight Hand Gel, Ted Baker Lip Balm, Ted Baker Body Spray and Molton Brown Coco & Sandalwood Body Lotion which to me are all pretty self-explanatory. As one pair never seems enough I have two pairs of headphones and finally a little random but I find them endlessly useful in the form of the Primark Footlets.

So what do you carry in your bag? Let me know in the comments below or link me you ‘what’s in my bag’ post I adore reading them.

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Blog Organisation

blog organisation calender

A new year and a new blogging note book, with a more organised and perfected method of organising my blog and mind set for keeping me on track this year.

size matters

First up I switched from an A4 notebook to a more compact A5 notebook, this was one of the biggest steps in this, having a comprehensive notebook which had everything I ever needed for my blog all in one place. It can now fit in my bag alongside my diary, so I can make notes and plans when I’m out and about or on my lunch break at work. Also when I was planning out the notebook situation I noted the number of pages I required for the notebook so I could pick something that was an appropriate size in terms of the number of pages required with a few extra for additional notes than could be made etc. Also by switching and downsizing and been able to take the notebook to work I was no longer left with pages and pages of notes that amount when creating the blog posts, or wanted to make notes on blog posts while at work or when my notebook wasn’t available to me.

lessons learnt

 So what lessons have a learnt from last year’s blog note book and how am I learning from these with this year’s notebook. First up I now know what I want and need within my notebook for effective blogging and therefore can better organise my thoughts, creating a more seamless and flowing note books for notes and scheduling so that everything has its place. I need more space for thoughts the old note book was huge but there was no logic to it I’d end up losing notes and they weren’t where they need to be in order for me to make the most of them.

blog organisation check list

Therefore this time I am making more of an effort to split up the months, having their own calendar, schedule and checklist, as well as having notes for every single post that is coming out that month either the ideas, key points, photos, categories and tags etc. This makes the space a lot more usable, and practical.

creating flow

Establishing a flow for your notes is important, make sure you know where everything is so you can find the notes you want as and when they are needed. Work out the logic you use to find and do things and use this to create a note book which works for you. For me everything has to have its place and then I can find everything as and when I need them. It’s no longer all over the place and I feel as though the notebook flows better than before.

additional tools

Sometimes you want a few more tools than just a biro and your notebook, in order to add additional notes or the odd ideas as well as to differentiate between notes and headers etc. For this I always ensure I have post it notes and coloured fine liners, which aren’t anything special the fine liners are from Asda and are only £1.00 much cheaper than the branded ones and the post its are also just cute small post-it’s from Asda as well. There is no need to spend a huge amount of money on these stuff head to your local supermarket as there are great inexpensive items which can help improve your productivity.

Taking Time

One thing I will say about this is, is that as I did it mainly by hand which clearly takes time, but I feel as though it is absolutely worth it as you do it once and then that’s it everything is clear, concise and ready for the rest of 2016. Some may prefer something more causal but I personally prefer to have everything all in one place ready for me to plan out the rest of the year, this isn’t for everyone so do what works for you.

blog organisation post notes

So that is how I have chosen to organise my blog planning this year, hopefully it’s inspired you, how do you organise planning your blog? Is January your time of year to reorganise your blog or is it back to school time in September?

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How to Write a Blog Post?

How I Write Blog Posts

So we have all had those moments where we have an amazing idea but have no idea how to put pen to paper so to speak, over the past year I have developed a tried and tested method for writing a fool proof blog post. Earlier in the year I should you how I got my blog organised, which you can check out here, this starts with that and takes it that step further. So here is how I go about writing my blog post, this was all written and illustrated around when I was writing my morning routine post which you can check out on my page.

writing

First comes first I start with the idea and look about planning it out, what content do I want and what do I need to do to achieve this such as research. This can vary depending on the type of blog post I am creating a haul post takes very little thought just a little bit of organising the items into sections to take pictures and structure the blog post e.g. organising by shop or type of product. When looking at reviews it takes a little bit more work, I look to take notes while using the product and looking at how it wears throughout the day over the course of a week. Taking notes and orgainsing points and paragraphs for a post has made writing so much easier considering I used to do this all the time for essays but never thought to do this with the blog post. For example with the morning routine post I started by jotting down everything I do in a morning in order elaborating on each point if needs be to remind myself what needs to be mentioned.

Then I will build up the post, I aim to just sit down and write solidly but I always like to have something on in the background. This varys sometimes if I need to work a lot of the pictures or do a lot of photo editing I will opt for spotify, where I listen to Man Overboard radio so I get a nice mix of music. Other times I will but all my subscriptions to the watch later playlist and watch my wierd mix of channels from Achievement Hunter to Fluer de Force, or sometimes I watch a bit of The Simpsons always a classic.

Appropriate TAG’s for your post is highly important for new people finding your posts and blog, so I note down important possible TAG’s as I go along such as brands and related key words. I find this way better than trying to think of all of the keywords at the end. Its basically doing anything that can make the whole thing simpler and much more efficient.

pictures

Once the post is finished I move onto the pictures, sometimes the pictures are taken first but the editing is always left until after. If I am taking photos after the post has been written I sometimes make notes of what I need to take photos off for example with the morning routine I listed everything i needed to group within each picture. I use picmoney as it is free (you can pay for additional tools) but its great for basic editing and collages which is all I need really. So then I organise the pictures, upload them to wordpress and name them all accordingly so they come up within a google search result. Once the pictures have been added to the post I check through everything and make sure I’m happy with everything.

As I go along I tick everything off on my tick chart and schedule the post according to my plan, trying to ensure variety with the content of the posts while still ensuring regular quality content. After scheduling the post to wordpress I will hop over to HootSuite where I schedule a few tweets to go out around it to alert people of the new post and make the most of hash tags ect. to make everything more searchable. Then I can sit back and relax and wait for it to post, and see the reaction.

So how do you guys write posts? Do you have a general structure or do you just go for it?

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Day 85: Back To School Essentials

So it’s not long until term begins again and I thought I’d do a mini back to school post with all the essentials and some things you may or may not of thought of. I’m aware in most cases schools provide exercise books however, colleges and sixth forms provide nothing so I suppose this post is more aimed at alevel/college students or even those starting or going back to university this September. I am excited myself for picking out my folders for my final year at University.

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♥ Bag: New Look £24.99 ♥ Diary: Paperchase £12.00 ♥ Heart Post it Notes: Amazon £5.44 ♥ Black Ring Binder: Tesco £1.00 ♥  Pink Swallow Ring Binder: Paperchase: £3.00 ♥ Owl Lever Arch File: W H Smiths £2.99 ♥ Pink and Orange Pencil Case: W H Smiths £3.49 ♥ 

Bags: Make sure when picking a bag that it is strong and sturdy, preferably with large straps so when its fully loaded with books and everything it will support the weight and be comfortable to carry. Another highly important thing to think about is size, yes it might look good but if you end up needing a second bag or you end up carrying things in your arms its no good, I always used to prefer to carry my ring binders but for things life your note books and texts books you’ll need your bag to at least be an A4 size and big enough to carry everything you need.

Diary: Some schools/collages/universities provide there own versions which I have never particularly liked but my school had compulsory planners, nowadays I will always have a diary with every deadline in as well as every lecture/tutorial/shift at work written in every week so I can plan my time effectively. I’m such an organisation freak that this is all on my phone and laptop calenders too however, the most effective way is writing it down. Weekly views are best with plenty of space for writing something for each day but not too big I tend to buy 18 month/academic diaries as they suit the time I tend to use them most.

Post It Notes: Perfect for quickly jotting bits down, keeping track of pages and helping you keep organised. I don’t know what I’d do without them, plus they now come in a huge range of colours and shapes so you can buy ones that suit your personal taste/need.

Folders/Ring Binders: Which you get tends to depend on how much work you need to stuff in and they vary from cheap and plain to pretty and pricey, so you can easily find one that suits your need and budget.

Notebooks: Some people prefer to have pretty note books per subject but since university I have found these hard to organise with sometimes going straight from a lecture to a tutorial about a previous weeks lectures. This depends on individuals however, I much prefer to buy a cheap asda refill pad and then rip it out and organise it this way.

Pens: You don’t need to spend a fortune on pens I brought a box in tesco a few years ago and I’m still working my way though, select a good range of pens, pencils ect in a variety of colours depending on what is appropriate for what you are studying.

So I hope this has been helpful in regards to advice and finding items that make you excited about studying? Tomorrow I will be doing a post on School bag essential or things I think should be in your school bag or that are in my bag for term time at University so come back tomorrow for that.

Love
Gwenllian Branwen
xox

This is a scheduled post all links and prices are correct as of the time of composing.

Whats in my Bag: Univesity Edition

DSCF4229

So I’ve been back almost a month and just thought as I’m now in week 3 of lectures I’d do a little what’s in my bag of what I take into university for lectures/tutorials.

The bag this huge tote style bag as it comfortably fits everything in including my laptop its great, sometimes if I’m going in for a major study session and want to take loads to the LRC (learning resource centre eg. library) I will take my laptop bag. My main bag is by DropDead which I got as an 18th Birthday present from my best friend.

Laptop: 

I don’t write notes on my laptop during lectures as I know I will get distracted so I mainly use it for studying session in between or working on group projects.

Note Book:

I take tons on notes in lectures and tutorials and then always rewrite them up when I get home for two reasons. One, it helps me learn and two if I didn’t write them up  when it comes to needing them again I’d have no idea what I wrote. So this year instead of a bog standard refill pad I thought I’d go for a pretty one which I picked up for a couple of quid in the works.

Lecture Notes/Tutorial Tasks:

So I just have a small folder with the days lecture notes that needed printing out, sheets given to us or work to hand in. Basically a boring but that is practical and really needed to be packed safe in my bag.

Pens & Calculator:

One day I will get organised enough and sort out a pencil case full of all the things I need especially as I have a whole draw jam packed with stationary. So basically I have a bunch of pens floating around my bag. The calculator is also a big must as of course I’m an economics student and as well as theory we do an awful lot of maths and statistics.

Keys, Phone and Purse:

All of these are pretty self explanatory all must haves and essentials. A quick tip for those with massive bags so you never find your keys put a big kerring on it, I have the cute teddy attached to mine and it makes finding my keys so much quicker and easier. Also if your curious my purse I bought from Primark a few months so it may or not still be there.

Mints:

I always used to carry around chewing gum but the taste goes and you never have anywhere to stick the old gum, since then I’ve switched to mints freshen your breath without any of the fuss. I especially love the wrigley’s extra ones as they come in a tin so don’t get lost or damaged in your bag.

Hand Sanitiser:

I never go any where without hand sanitiser and now have one that stays in both of my main bags so I’m never without it ever again. I use it several times daily especially when I’m working as I work in retail and you never know where the moneys been or before eating something when I’m out and about. They are literally everywhere now and so inexpensive.

Tissues:

It’s that time of year so tissues are a must, the only ones I buy the ones with balm in as they are so much nicer/kinder on your nose. So here I have two packets of kleenex balsam tissues and they really are great. Also as well as for coughs and colds they are great for fixing make up messes and spills ect. So always a must.

Ellen Tracy Small Make Up Bag with Make Up:

So most days although not every day I take a selection of my make up the bits that need touching up throughout the day, although sometimes they do sit there. The most important things that stay in here is that there are always a few hair slides, hair bands/hair elastics, a must to adjust your hair.

So in the bag from today it has in it: Wilko Stippler Brush (that I use as a face brush); Cosmopolitan Blush Brush; Maybelline New York Baby Lips Anti-Oxidant Berry; Soap and Glory’s Kick Ass Concealer in Light; Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Sample in Eden; Collection Pressed Powder in Ivory and Sleek Face Form Palette in Light.

So thats whats in my unversity bag? What do you take to university/collage/school with you?

Love
Gwenllian Branwen
xox