SPRUCENEWS

BEAUTY & LIFESTYLE BLOG

Big This Week

Recent Posts

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

How to see who's unfollowed you on Instagram

Has anyone else fallen victim to the follow/unfollow rubbish on Instagram? Not just me then. To be honest, I already knew the answer to my question before I asked. But I wanted to let you know, you are not alone in this. 


I don't think there has been a day where I'm not casually scrolling through Twitter and seeing some other influencer/blogger/YouTuber feeling frustrated about this. So I decided to do a bit of research to understand what's happening. 

Here's what I found...


So I have categorised the issues into sections...

The follower count obsessed

There are so many people out there that want to increase their following so badly that they bulk follow a load of people and comment something meaningless on one or two of their pictures in hopes of gaining a follow. Then after you've been sucked in and followed them back, they unfollow you after a few hours. Sound familiar? 

The dreaded BOT

There are SO many of these on Instagram. In fact, a few times Instagram have done a sweep to get rid of bots on their channel - with little success it seems. Now you can spot a bot a mile away when they comment underneath one or more of your posts with something completely unrelated to what you've shared. I've had a few and just deleted them. 

Bots are something people pay for to auto-comment underneath your pictures. Why? Your guess is as good as mine because lets face it, I could live without them 100%. 


So what can you do? 


To be honest, I'm still trying to figure it out. However, I am focused on gaining a loyal following that I can also support (you can follow me here.) and socialise with and here's how:


  1. Be more social on accounts you really like - The algorithm sucks, so I try to go through my following and like/comment on their latest pictures to show my support. I usually do this once per week if I can. 
  2. Don't just unfollow someone because then haven't followed you back. I get this a lot, I don't always follow everyone that's following me and that's the same for many people I'm sure. But I don't unfollow people just because they have chosen not to follow me back.
  3. Post content you love and really showcase why you're passionate about it 
  4. Don't overload on the hashtags. Select hashtags that are unique and not over-saturated - that just attracts the bots (we don't want that).
  5. If you really want to know who is unfollowing you all of the time, there are apps you can get to track it - just type in Instagram Unfollowers in your app store. Saves you from going through your follower count one by one - I know you've probably tried that! 
Follow me on Instagram!
Share:

Monday, 18 March 2019

Hazelnut & Ginger Flapjack


I cannot explain how delicious these flapjacks are. I felt the urge to experiment and I came up with Hazelnut and Ginger Flapjacks. I also contemplated adding some chocolate chips which I think would honestly taste amazing as well. These were what I like to call 'healthier' options - which is a big fat lie because how can something filled with butter, sugar and golden syrup be healthy... 

Ingredients:
200g Jumbo Porridge Oats 
100g butter 
40g light brown sugar 
2-3 tbsp golden syrup 
20g chopped roasted hazelnuts
1 tbsp ground ginger 
20g chocolate chips (if you wanted to go down that route)

Method:
Place the butter, sugar and golden syrup into a saucepan and heat gently until the butter is melted. Then add in your ginger and stir. Take the saucepan off the heat and add in your chopped hazelnuts and oats and mix thoroughly until they are completely covered in the buttery goodness you've just created. 

Once this is done, pour the mixture into a tray lined with baking paper and pat down with a table spoon until flat. You want the mixture as even as possible in the tray. Place in the centre of your oven on 190°C for 20 minutes. 

Once done, leave them to cool for 10 minutes before cutting them into whatever shape you like. As soon as they have completely cool, place them in an airtight container - these should last you around 5 days. 

Happy baking!
Share:

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Buttery Shortbread Biscuits Recipe

Makes: 15
Prep time: 40 minutes
Bake time: 20 minutes
Ingredients
  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 110g caster sugar (you will need a little extra for dusting)
  • 225g plain flour (Keep a little extra aside for dusting)
  • 110g cornflour
  • Pinch of salt

Method
  1. Lightly butter 2 trays of use baking parchment paper
  2. Mix together butter and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk until creamed together
  3. Add the plain flour and cornflour into the bowl with the sugar and butter, and then add the pinch of salt. This is better if you sift the flour
  4. Dust your worktop with flour and then tip the mixture onto the surface then knead into a dough
  5. Once the dough is made you can now start to make your shapes. I usually do this by hand as I’m not fussed about every biscuit being the same size. However, if you are, roll this out into your baking trays so they are even then begin to make your shapes.
  6. Chill for 20 - 30 minutes
  7. Heat your oven to 170°
  8. Bake your shortbread's for about 20 minutes until golden brown on the edges. Leave on your baking tray until cool. You can then move onto a plate or wire rack and dust with sugar.
  9. These will keep for about 3 days in an airtight container.

If you would like to add some flavouring you definitely can. You can add lemon, cinnamon or even chocolate chips! Just mix these in at the beginning of your method after your flour and cornflour. 
Share:

Saturday, 17 November 2018

The ultimate wedding checklist

People say that wedding planning is stressful but in my opinion, it's only stressful if you let it get on top of you. Yes, there are certain elements of the process which are hard and take a lot of work to get right. But it's really all down to your approach, the right planning, and budgeting.

So how easy is it to plan a wedding? 

Honestly, I wouldn't say it's easy but if you know the steps you need to take and ensure you're keeping to time, it can be a much better experience then you're anticipating. I personally loved the planning process, it made everything more exciting and allowed us to succeed in achieving our perfect day. 

However, not everything is smooth sailing, things can be tough and well, they don't say it's one of the most stressful experiences of your life for nothing. 

I thought as a new bride I could impart my wife wisdom. Gary and I planned our wedding ourselves, we couldn't afford a wedding planner so it took a lot of effort to get this done. 

So for any couples looking for some wedding tips, here's the breakdown of the steps we took and hopefully it will help you. 

Share:

Friday, 19 October 2018

G&T with ice please...

I very rarely drink alcohol and I can honestly say I never thought I would be writing a blog post about Gin. However, as of late I have been loving creating a variety of Gin concoctions, one of which I wanted to share with you all today. 

Gary is a huge Gin lover and has always enjoyed a cheeky G&T ever since I met him. Myself, on the other hand, haven't really been a fan - until recently that is. I'm not sure if it's a hormonal thing or because my taste buds have changed but now I love the taste. 

Previously, Gin used to really change my mood in the sense where I could have a glass and feel really angry for no good reason. I also know that Gin is known as a depressant for some people and can change people's emotions making them feel sad. 

This year I noticed that the old effects that Gin used to have on me and my mood has completely altered. I no longer get mood swings or feel angry, I now just feel happy and content. 

One thing I really enjoy about drinking Gin is the fact that you can create something different by changing the tonics and garnishes. It makes the drinking part that little bit more fun for me. 

I received this bottle of Premium Pink Gordon's Gin for my birthday this year and I have been loving it. Don't worry, I've been sharing its contents with friends and Gary, hence why there's only half a bottle left. 

I've particularly enjoyed having a play around with flavours and as someone with a sweet tooth, this is definitely one of my favourite Gins. 

Here's my chosen recipe...

  • 1 Gin glass (I got mine at a Gin festival but you can buy these pretty much anywhere)
  • 1 shot of Gordon's Premium Pink Distilled Gin (Approx 42ml) 
  • 3/4 ice cubes - crushed ice is usually better I think 
  • 2 large strawberries cut into quarters 
  • 250 ML of Elderflower Fever-Tree tonic (Full fat or low cal) 

Stir together and it creates this beautifully refreshing G&T that's perfect all year round. It's a great drink for a girls night in. I absolutely love it. You can also add raspberries if you want additional fruit. 

I hope you enjoy testing this out! 

***********
Please note, this blog post isn't for everyone. You have to be over 18 years old to drink this in the UK.  If you have personal issues with alcohol or an addiction please seek the guidance you need. Here is the link to Alcoholics Anonymous who can provide you with the support. 
Share:

Monday, 15 October 2018

Beauty Christmas Advent Calendars 2018

The countdown for Christmas is on. With only a few months to go, it's got me thinking/excited about what advent calendars I would love to buy this year if I could afford to.  

After the huge Zoella scandal last year that was the talk of every blogger, vlogger and customer, I think people are more and more aware of what they are spending their money on and conscious of being over sold a product that quite frankly isn't reaching the standard that's expected. And let's be honest, the cost of advent calendars have again increased in price, so not all of these will be affordable for everyone, but I thought I would share with you what I found that I thought you would enjoy as well. 

Share:

Monday, 24 September 2018

My tips on how to de-stress

We all get stressed from time to time. It's a natural reaction to certain situations that we just cannot avoid. However, there are methods which I use to help me when I feel stressed that I wanted to share with you today. 
Regular Exercise 
One way I de-stress is hitting the gym or going for a run. I find this is a great way to release some tension and relax your body. Plus, exercise helps release endorphins which essentially trigger a positive feeling in the body. Basically, making you feel a little bit happier. This option is perfect for those who suffer from depression, anxiety or constant stress. 

Meditation
Shifting your focus from negative to positive. Meditation is a great way for you to take a step back, breathe and look at things with a new outlook. Sometimes we worry about things that are out of our control. Through meditation, you will be able to refocus and review what's bothering you and tackle it with a fresh mindset.

Calming music
Gary and I listen to calming music before we go to sleep. We find that this helps to relax us before bed. I find that this is particularly helpful when I have had a bad day at work or something in my personal life has affected my mood. It stops me from overthinking and soothes me. I know for Gary, it helps to ease his anxiety. It's definitely worth giving it a try. 

Go offline 
Sometimes was all just need to turn off from the world for an hour. Go for a long walk or read a book - an actual physical book not your Kindle. I find that switching off from everything digital can really relax my mind. It gets rid of so many distractions and allows me to think about me for a change. 

Treat yourself
Whether it's a chocolate bar or a pair of shoes. Treat yourself to something you want that will make you happy. This feeling won't last forever, but it will remind you that you can be happy and regardless of how stressed you are feeling, it will pass. 

Socialise 
One of my favourite ways to de-stress is to meet up with friends or see family. It helps take my mind off the situation I'm in and 9 times out of 10 I end up laughing and having a great time. Laughter is the best medicine.

Increase your potassium intake 
When you get stressed, your blood pressure rises. By increasing your potassium intake - such as eating a banana, you will reduce your blood pressure, in turn helping to reduce your stress levels. I'm not a doctor, this is from research that I have done into how food can relieve your body from stress/anxiety. It's definitely worth giving it a go. 

Get creative
Arts and crafts, knitting, pottery or drawing are all things you can do to help decrease your stress levels. By being creative you give yourself something else to focus on, rather than just thinking about what's stressing you out at that moment. 

Talk it through 
Do you ever find that talking through your problems enables you to see things more clearly? I do. I find that just chatting or 'moaning' about what's bothering me puts things into perspective. I actively seek advice from my friends or Gary. It helps me to change my outlook and do something about the problems I have. 

Sleep 
And finally, get a good nights sleep. This isn't always easy but a lack of sleep can increase stress levels. Try and go to bed at the same time every day and wake up and at the same time every day. We all love a lie in every now and again but having a routine can really change your mindset. 

I hope you find these useful. Sometimes you just need to change one thing in your life and you will see a massive difference in your mood and stress levels. 

Watch my video on stress here
Share:
© SPRUCENEWS | All rights reserved.