Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy NYE

Only two hours until the years ends. I'm looking back over the year and it's been a ride. I have never stepped out of comfort zone or learned so much about myself. I have met so many cool people and have made some wonderful friends.

This time last year, I was overwhelmed by sadness, disappointment and hurt. You can read my pity party here. A year makes a huge difference. I can barely recall those down moments because so many great ones followed.

I hope you had a great year and I hope 2013 is even better.

See you next year...

Sunday, December 30, 2012

How to tell if you are a blogger

1. Your friends are...
a) Childhood buddies;
b) Mums from the school your children go to;
c) All on-line.

2. Your perfect night out is...
a) Dinner at a nice restaurant with good friends;
b) a funny movie with a bunch of girlfriends; or
c) Joining in a twitter party with a # and a bottle of wine.

3. When you see a pretty sunset do you...
a) Snuggle with your partner and admire it;
b) think it's about time to get dinner started; or
c) Take a photo, filter it and share it on Instagram.

4. It's time for bed. Do you...
a) Put on you and your partners favourite TV show;
b) Open your latest book on Kindle; or
c) Check Twitter, Instagram and facebook once more.

5. When buying a new product do you...
a) Check out the Choice reviews;
b) ask your mum or sister; or
c) check if any bloggers have reviewed it or ask on twitter.

6. You just watched a movie and loved it. Do you...
a) Tell your friends they have to see it;
b) buy another ticket and watch it again; or
c) Write a review for your blog.

7. You are about to go to a party, wearing a new dress with great hair and makeup. Do you...
a) Spitz on perfume and put on your latest piece of jewellery from your partner;
b) Check for lipstick on your teeth, skirt tucked into your undies or handprints on your top; or
c) Take photos for your OOTD (Outfit of the day) post.

8. Your mood improves when....
a) Your partner sends you flowers;
b) People compliment you on your well behaved children; or
c) People 'liked' your facebook status, your stats increased and your tweet was re-tweeted.

Did you get mostly Cs? If so, you are a blogger or close to being one.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Vlogging (video blogging): Why you should and how to create a simple vlog for your blog

You might notice a few bloggers create the occasional vlog. I love watching these because it makes me feel like I know them a little better after hearing them and seeing them in motion. Earlier this year, I decided to bite the bullet and give it a go. I knew NOTHING and I was terrified. I have now made a few and have gotten over the stage fright but I am far from a skilled professional.
Why YOU should vlog
1. It gives your readers a chance to get to know you a little better;
2. It improves your google ranking;
3. It can save time when you are time poor;
4. You can reach a new audience using a new medium; and
5. Sometimes it's easier to say something than it is to write it.

Tools you need to get started
1. I started with just my iPad but many people just use their iPhone; and
2. I would strongly recommend an external microphone,  like this Belkin one. It improves the sound dramatically.
1. A quiet area that you won't get disturbed;
2. A neat background or backdrop. A messy room or grotty toilet might distract from your awesome message;
3. Check the lighting; and
4. An idea of what you are going to say. I prefer not to practice or be scripted but maybe have points or products ready. You will seem too stiff if it's over rehearsed.

1. Speak clearly and not too fast;
2. Pretend you are talking to your sister or a friend;
3. Keep it short. People are more likely to watch a shorter video;
4. Say hello and goodbye; and
5. I always brush my teeth beforehand. I am not sure why, but it works.

You made your video, now what?
1. Create a YouTube channel. For consistency I would recommend using the same name as your blog. Here's mine: Redcliffe Style;
2. Load your video. I usually load it onto my computer first then onto YouTube;
3. Name your vlog and complete necessary details; and
4. Share it.

I haven't gotten into the editing of videos, this isn't always necessary and is a longer tutorial.

Blogger makes it very easy to load your video from your Youtube channel directly into your post. I am sure Wordpress would have a similar way but I know squat about Wordpress.

Do you vlog? What tips can you share?

Vlog examples
This is my very first without an external microphone. You can tell the sound isn't very good and I'm pretty friggin' nervous. The original post is here.
External Microphone and a backdrop and getting use to the camera. The original post is here.

Friday, December 28, 2012

My Top 5 Posts from 2012

2012 is almost over and I have had so much fun writing and sharing this year. These 5 posts were some of my most clicked on for the year. I giggled a little writing some of them, I hope you enjoyed them too:
1. In February, I roped my sister into co-writting an article about facebook annoyances. I think it's obvious that we were enjoying ourselves a little too much.

2. May saw me get a little serious talking about qualities I value in friends now that I'm older.

3. In August I gave some tips on how to look fit when you aren't.
4. In October I answered your questions about my botox experience.

5. Finally, in December I realised I took too many selfies and decided to share some selfie dos and don'ts.

Have you written a post about your top blogs for the year? I'd love to check it out, so please feel free to put your link into the comments.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

10 Things I couldn't do if I lost my phone

The iPhone has been around for a few years now and in that time it has made itself indispensable to me. I think this could become a problem. If I lost my phone, I wouldn't....
  1. Know how to contact people. I use to remember important numbers but I don't try to memorise them anymore. I still don't know my husband's number but for some reason my thumb does. It can make the moves without thinking. At least I would have them in the computer when I got home.
  2. Do maths. I whip out the calculator for some pretty basic sums. In the past, I called myself the human calculator. Now I just call myself the human that carries a calculator.
  3. Know my schedule and appointments. Everything is immediately put into the calendar and I set two reminders. Then completely forget about them until the first reminder. 
  4. Drive into new areas. Whereis directs me everywhere. I have her use the Dame Edna voice and I would drive around in circles blinded by tears without her.
  5. Know the date and time. I never wear a watch anymore.
  6. Take photos of myself doing really boring things, filter and frame them and then share them with everyone.
  7. Walk in the dark. It is a beacon of safety with it's glowing screen.
  8. Know what is going on in the world. Twitter keeps me up-to-date with breaking news, the latest makeup products and what colours I should be wearing.
  9. Know how well some people plate up, scrub up, step up, kids grow up and clean up in Instagram.
  10. Find people in shopping centres. How on earth did people use to do it?
Do you use your phone for everything too?  

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Yes, this is my family Christmas photo

No tinsel, knitted sweaters or fake smiles here.
We decided to go with 'The Walking Dead" theme. We made videos too. When I have time I might upload them too. I might be disowned by the family but I think it'll be worth it.

edit: here are the first audition videos. As you can see it was very hard to keep a straight face playing zombies.
Were you scared?

I hope you had a fabulous Christmas too.

Monday, December 24, 2012

My Daily blogging schedule

Previously, I have shared my weekly blogging schedule but what about my daily schedule. This is my Monday to Friday schedule. I do blog on weekends but it isn't as structured.
Bright eyed and frizzy haired, I reach for my MacBook, check overnight emails, reply, check twitter interactions and respond.

My scheduled post should be live. I'll reduce URL of the post in bitly and share on twitter. Then open Buffer and schedule basic tweets for the day. Then share new post on Facebook.

If you participate in any linkys, link up now. It's best to get in early.

6.30am - 9am
Breakfast, children wrangling and school run

9.30am - 10am
Visit my favourite blogs, read and comment
Visit link ups, visit and comment
Check Facebook

The following activities must get worked into whatever else I have on for the day. They always get done but not in any particular order or time:
  • Write new posts;
  • Write any other pieces I have agreed to;
  • Spend time learning something new: Currently it's Photoshop CS6. I think I'll be stuck on this for a while;
  • Read bloggy blogs. These are ones that provide information to help improve my blogging;
  • Respond to any comments I have received on my posts;
  • Review products or movies;
  • Continue to check in on Twitter and Facebook. Buffer doesn't make up for your real presence;
  • Respond to emails. Delete spam;
  • Work on 'the bigger picture'. Whatever that may be. Improving media kits, emailing PR, talking to advertisers etc; and
  • Schedule a post to go live at 5.30am the next day. In a perfect world, my posts would be schedule much further in advance. Maybe that can be my new years resolution.
How is your daily blogging schedule? Similar to mine?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Weird Search Engine requests - Part 2

I love checking my traffic sources and finding out what people have been searching to land on my blog.

Some of them are expected:
Bad eyebrows (I'm eyebrow obsessed)
Ruby Rose hair (My girl crush)
Creamy blonde highlights
Gym motivation (Mine's lost, I need to read these articles again)

Some are a surprise:
Kate Hudson's tummy (I don't think I have ever mentioned her before this)
Beetroot polenta (sounds good)
The Walking dead lego (I know I wrote about it, but I never thought anyone would actually look for it)

Some are WT....?
Ugly Ass hobo (It's bad enough that they are a hobo but they are ass ugly too, that just makes me sad)
very much dry sex at party (I wasn't at that party)
porn sex warez crack serial f&^% (some seriously messed up person)
Gym nudity (interesting workout)

I wrote about some funny ones I found earlier in the year too. Nude blue man still cracks me up.

I'd love to hear what weird ones have you found?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

10 Makeup Tips I will pass onto my girls

  1. Don't over pluck your eyebrows. It's better to leave them alone and let the professionals deal with them. Also, don't follow eyebrow fashion too closely. Stick with what works for your face. I remember being so jealous of Drew Barrymore's fine brows. I'm so glad I didn't go there.
  2. Blend your foundation. Always double check your chin line and then blend again.
  3. Just because your friends are wearing a particular craze it doesn't mean you should (cue flash back to apricot eyeshadow and bronze blush)
  4. Lip liner isn't meant to be obvious. If you don't have the right one, then either don't use it or colour in your complete lip area.
  5. Too much bronzer doesn't make you look like a bronzed beach goddess, more like a sun damaged hobo.
  6. Pick one feature and bring it out. Either dramatic eyes or bright lips. Too much will make you look like a clown. Been there, done that.
  7. Glosses won't melt in your hand bag
  8. The one product that does EVERYTHING doesn't exist. Don't waste money on things like Thin Lizzie thinking they will.
  9. Learn how to perfect liquid eyeliner.
  10. You don't need makeup. Make sure you are happy not to wear it too.

Friday, December 21, 2012

"Here's to you Boo"

I'm not ready to sign off for the year yet, but I wanted to catch you just in case you were.

Just over a year ago, I started this blog. I wasn't really sure why or what I was doing. I was just writing 'stuff' and it was mainly to amuse me. It worked, I was amused! Somewhere along the way you visited, read and, maybe even commented. I can't begin to tell you how much that thrilled me. I noticed every comment and every visit. I did question your sanity and taste but you still made my year.

Your comments made me giggle, spit coffee at my screen, groan and smile.

I worked hard to visit everyone else's blogs too. I have found so many cool, funny, clever and inspiring people. You are awesome and I can't wait to get to know you better in 2013.

I planned on sending friggin' amazing presents to everyone but time got away from me. Can you just pop a mint, spritz on some perfume and grab the closet person. Give them a sloppy, smooch on the cheek and a tight cuddle. That's what I would do to you.

If I have been slack visiting your blog, please write something reprimanding me and write your blog details below. I'll never make that mistake again.

I love youse all!!!

"Here's to you Boo"

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Laughter and love

The blonde and 
the brunette.
Loved each other...
from the day they met.
 Watching out for one another and 
 ignoring each others flaws.
 They are not perfect and sometimes they fight...

but I must have done something right.
They slay me.

I am joining up for Wordless Wednesday with My Little Drummer Boys

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Life of Pi Movie Review

I was one of the lucky winners of Nuffnang's double passes to preview Life of Pi. This isn't released until January. Woohoo!! Last night, I organised my date for the night, Lisa from Mrs BC's House of Chaos, got pretty and headed off to Dendy at Portside. We got there with 15 minutes to spare. This is just enough time to have a quick drink and enjoy the river view.
I am a huge fan of Yann Martel's book and I couldn't see how this gorgeous, crazy, unbelievable story could be translated to the big screen. Oh, my friggin' gosh!!! This was simply beautiful. It completely exceeded my expectations. It was amazing in 3D. I think this is one of those movies that should be seen this way. I could really feel the rough seas, the deep bengal tiger growl and the gentle rocking.

The casting was excellent. Suraj Sharma was perfect as 16 year old shipwrecked Pi. I had seen it mentioned that Gerard Depardieu was in it. I am surprised he was even mentioned for the brief 30 seconds he has on screen.

I love Richard Parker!

Thank you Nuffnang and 20th Century Fox for this experience.

Girl on Raw

I have been following Girl on Raw for a while now and find her so inspiring. Robyn used to live in Redcliffe but now resides with her family in Saudi Arabia. Robyn is an international flight attendant and a qualified Raw chef.
If she wasn't impressive enough, she has now found time to write an ebook titled 'Smoothies and Juices for Newbies'. I was so excited when I saw this. My husband has been known to go through the odd diet and he recently brought home a shiny, new, industrial strength juicer. He had been whipping up the oddest combinations which he would then attempt to balance as he chased me through the house to taste test. I still have fennel flashbacks.

Now, I am getting on the same bandwagon but I have some tried, tested and delicious combos to drink. I am a huge fan of the Ginger Top and the Honey Bee. These are both so simple and yummy. I also think I will be drinking the Detox Juice quite a lot after the Christmas season.

This book has much more than just recipes. Robyn also provides a great guide to help and inform you about raw, organic diet and health. It's full of great tips and excellent advice. You don't have to go completely raw to enjoy this, you can just add elements to your existing diet.


I am really excited to be able to offer a free copy to 3 lucky readers. If you would like to own a copy of  Smoothies and Juices for Newbies, all you need to do is:

1. Leave a comment either here or on facebook telling me why you would like to win a copy.
2. Enter prior to 6am on 28 December 2012.
3. If you would like to 'like' Redcliffe Style or Girl on Raw on Facebook that would be nice too.

Good Luck!!

Robyn's Bio
Robyn Law is 'Girl on Raw' a certified raw food chef, writer, coach, speaker and teacher. Although based in Saudi Arabia with her family, Robyn often travels home to their native Australia and other parts of the world, where she educates other on how to make more raw food a part of normal day-to-day living.

With over 6 years of eating a predominately plant and raw based diet, Robyn has been sharing her tips, tricks and knowledge gained from both formal training as well as self study through both her blog, eBooks, coaching programs, group and personal classes.

You can find and follow Robyn at: | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn
On Tuesdays I link up with IBOT at Essentially Jess

Monday, December 17, 2012

Swearing Loop holes

A few weeks ago I made a joke that my dog was half donkey and half dog so I could call her my 'ass n' bitch'. Not a funny or appropriate joke but my audience (the girls) really enjoyed it. I also mentioned that 'ass' isn't swearing when you are referring to the donkey like animal and 'bitch' is the correct name for a female dog.
What an ass!
Fast forward to now...

Occasionally the girls will say things like:

'Can we take the ass n' bitch to the beach?'
'Have you fed the ass n' bitch?'

I feel partly responsible for this.

Do you sometimes make throw away remarks that come back to haunt you?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

2012: The selfie roundup. The good, the ugly & the hair

When I was looking over photos for 2012 I noticed there was a ridiculous amount of selfies. I guess this happens when you're a blogger. Initially when I started the blog just over a year ago, I was going to remain anonymous, my name wasn't going to be mentioned or my face seen. I guess I failed big time.

The Hair...
The good....
 and the ugly!
If you want some selfie tips I wrote some here. By the looks of it, I probably shouldn't be giving advice. In fact, I think my new years resolution will be to stop taking silly photos.

Have you been taking more selfies over the last year?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Dos and don'ts: 6 Important Selfie tips

I am not a super model, or a model of any kind. In fact, I am the opposite. Just a normal girl with an iPhone. This can get you into all sorts of trouble.

Here are a few things I have learnt:

1. I know it's tempting but the next day you will regret it. Don't let your friends take photos of you either.
 2. Check yourself, then look at the camera. Direct eye contact is better in the photo.
3. How many times have you seen this?
 4. If we are going to learn anything from Britney Spears, it's this. It looks terrible.
 5. Be selfish and think of yourself. No-one looks good hunching.
 6. I am so glad social media wasn't around when I was younger. I would have been disowned and probably would never have worked in law.
What are your tips?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Product Review: Image Skincare

In August I attended the Beauty expo in Sydney. There were hundred of stands and thousands of products. I stumbled across an Image Skincare stand. I'd never heard of them before and they were offering free facials. I couldn't resist for three reasons. It's a facial, I am a product whore and I needed to get off my tired, sore feet.
I immediately loved these products on a very shallow level. They smelled amazing and felt gorgeous. But smelling and feeling good isn't enough. DO THEY WORK?

Let's get real here. I am almost 40 years old. I have suffered from pimples and blackheads all my life. Pregnancy blessed me with lovely hyper-pigmentation and now I have wrinkles to add to the mix.

My skin looked great after the facial. I bought a small trial pack and within a week I was contacting them to purchase more. Still, one week isn't enough to know if they really work but it's long enough to know that they are working at a low level and my skin was reacting in a positive way

4 Months Later
I have had another two level 1 peels. My skin is smoother than it has ever been and my pigmentation is definitely fading. My love of these products had deepened. I am planning a few level 2 peels before my 40th as a present to myself. I am really excited to see the results.
What I like

  • My home care range includes only 6 products. I love that I don't need to buy 25 products to achieve results at home
  • I also find them well priced compared to other high end products.
  • They work at a cellular level
  • They are Paraben free, animal cruelty free, environmentally friendly, no chemicals preservatives or artificial fragrances

I am thrilled that my local beauty salon fell in love with Image too. This is very convenient. If you would like to check them out for yourself, contact Beautiful You and tell them I sent you ;)

This is not a sponsored post but an honest review of some gorgeous products.