Monday, 29 May 2017

Top 10 Tips for Building your Instagram


Over the last year Instagram has become an almost daily ritual of The Quiet Resolution team. We aim us much as possible to post an on brand image every single day. We decided to do this for a number of reasons, most importantly we all love photography and capturing and creating beautiful images. We also knew it was a really good way to help to build an audience for our blog and connect with other like minded individuals. It is also an amazing way to record our lives over the last year which is something we really value now we can look back on almost a year worth of photos.

Instagram is an ever growing and changing platform that is becoming harder and harder to grow an audience on. Between algorithms and shadow bans I know many of us are struggling to stay inspired and continuously post when we feel our content is largely going unseen. Through some pretty extensive research I have developed a few tactics and tips that ensure I am getting the most out of Instagram, without having to resort to following and unfollowing or buying followers and likes.


1. Find your people. Instagram is full of millions of different types of people with unique interests and insights. If you look hard enough you can find people who will love your content. As much as following is important, having followers who actually engage with you and follow you day to day is much more valuable. If you are looking to work with brands yes they want big numbers but they also want to see that your followers are active and interested in your content long after they initially hit the follow button. If like us you blog locally this is where engagement is of vital importance. Local businesses want to work with bloggers who have a strong audience who trust and enjoy an influencers content regularly. A huge number of unengaged followers won't fill seats in a restaurant or get crowds through the door.
                  
2. Be consistent. To find success on Instagram you have to be reliable you have to be producing content regularly. I personally will not continue to follow an account that only posts once in a blue moon even if there content is glorious. People only want to follow a certain amount of people because otherwise their favourite accounts get lost amongst the masses in their feed. I understand not everyone can post everyday but at least three to four times a week should be the aim. If you are busy, plan ahead of time. Dedicate a few hours of your day to creating and capturing content to use throughout the week. Your following is also going to grow much quicker if you have content for people to stumble across every day rather than once per week.    
              
3. Produce high quality content. Treat your feed as a gallery of only your best work and take real pride in that. Your photos should be bright, clean and of gorgeous quality that represent your brand and tell some kind of story about you. Daylight is your best friend and any photo taken in great lighting is going to look that little bit better. Whenever somebody stumbles across your page they are going to easily decided from your gallery if you are worth the follow, so make sure everything you post is your best work that you are truly proud of.  
                                                        
4. Choose a theme. Okay I know some people are very committed to this and have a gorgeous pink or monochrome only colour theme and that kind of artistic dedication isn't for everyone. By theme I almost mean just finding what works for you and your page and run with it. Whether it is outfit posts, pretty flowers, food photos or flat lays find your niche and your look and make the most of it. You want to be giving your followers the content they expect and enjoy because that is important for maintaining and growing your following too. It is also worth keeping note of which of your posts seem to be the most successful and creating content with a similar theme.
                                                                   
5. Collaborate. If you have a blog find other bloggers in your area to follow and build a community with. There is nothing better than being able to talk to somebody who has similar interests and shares your passion. We are lucky enough to be part of some amazing Instagram communities within Edinburgh and Scotland and also as lifestyle bloggers. Whether it is meeting up for a catch up and a coffee, taking photos and collaborating on content or offering help and advice to each other there really is so much to gain from finding likeminded creators to work with and along side. Here are links to the Instagram pages of some of the people we have been lucky enough to not only work with but also befriend in the last year. They all have such amazing and beautiful content and I really admire all the passion and hard work they put into their feeds. 

Ruth at @urbanity_blog
Bex  @bexrobb
Talor @talorgilchrist_
Jess @almost_chic
Laura @thestylestoriesblog
Kimberley @wardrobeconversations
Hayley @amodelmoment
Laura @little_laura_loves
Gillian @elevatormusik_                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
6. Link your social media platforms. This sounds pretty basic and obvious but it is a great way to make sure people can find you on every platform. If I think a certain Instagram photo would work well on Facebook I will share it and then just edit the caption afterwards. There are also really great sites such as IFTTT that will post your Instagram on Twitter for you as an image rather than just a link. It is also great for killing two birds with one stone, you are using one piece of content across all platforms.       
                                                                                       
7. Find inspiration. Everybody has days when they feel uninspired and have no idea what to write about or to post, it's completely naturally. The best thing though about Instagram is that inspiration is right at your finger tips. There is literally no better place to be inspired by the work of others online than Instagram. On days when I am in a rut I go onto my favourite accounts or search through my favourite hashtags and find images that I love, save them in a folder on my phone and let myself take inspiration from it. There are millions of beautiful photos of coffee or flowers on Instagram that are very similar and that is amazing. It is about being authentic and creating your on version and giving your content your own creative twist.     

8. Hashtags are key. I really can't express how important it is to really utilise the 30 hashtags Instagram allows you to use. This fantastic tool allows your content to reach as far and wide as you want. If you don't hashtag your photos effectively then you might as well not hashtag at all. The best advice I can give is to do your research. Firstly establish what your photos theme is; is it food, fashion, make-up, travel then from that look at accounts with similar content and take note of the hashtags they use. Usually hashtags come in sets like #darlingweekend or #simplethings and you will stumble across similar effective hashtags to use along side it. It is also useful to vary the size of the hashtags you use, by this I mean don't use only hashtags that already have over a million tags on them because pictures appear chronologically and if the hashtag is popular your photo will very quickly disappear and be lost amongst other content. Mix it up, use five with a couple of thousand then five with a couple of hundred thousand tags. This ensures your photo has a bit of longevity to it and you can experience engagement days later this way. Another amazing tool to utilise is the amazing Sara Tasker's mailing list sign up here and receive a list of popular hashtags to use every month.            
        
9. Invest in Instagram stories. Instagram stories are new on the scene, similar to Snapchat stories as they only appear for 24 hours on your feed. I love Instagram stories because it is a way to keep your followers invested and engaged with you on a more personal level. Utilise this feature to introduce yourself and post about what you are up to some of my favourite account on Instagram I follow purely for the story for example @mother_of_daughters. It is also a fantastic way to beat the algorithm as you can keep your followers updated with new Instagram content as well as new blog posts and updates on other social media platforms. Definitely one to give a go if you haven't already. 
                                                          
10. Be supportive and be nice. This final point is honestly the most important tip of all. Champion one another, if you think somebody's post is amazing and beautiful comment and tell them. It costs absolutely nothing to be kind and supportive and it is the single most effective way to build a strong and trusting audience. We do our absoloute best to support everybody we connect with on Instagram whether it's liking their photos or reading their latest blog post or even helping them decide which dress to wear via stories. I also make a point of following and supporting smaller accounts that are starting out on Instagram as we have all been there and 5 followers or 5 million if they have beautiful content I am a fan!

That was a bit of a long one for you all but I hope it was helpful. I am sure I will post an update at some point as Instagram seems to be changing on the daily. If you have any further question regarding Instagram or social media in generally please do not hesitate to comment bellow! Another amazing source for help with Instagram is on the blog Me and Orla by Sara Tasker who I mentioned before. I have received tones of helpful advice from this source and continuously listen to her podcast Hashtag Authentic on iTunes.

L x




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Sunday, 21 May 2017

#useyourvoice


Image: Simone Rocha


There's only hours left to register to vote in the UK. Meer hours left to take your future by the balls and decide what you want to do with it. We're a generation that has the most to lose yet we're a generation with the lowest voter turnout. But why?

TV babe, film and documentary maker, a solid voice for a silent generation; Billy JD Porter along side WHO, publicly launched the campaign '#useyourvoice' to help people understand WHY it's so important for us to use our voice and vote. This video 'Use Your Voice' is how it all started and a pretty sound explanation from people of all walks of life and different ages as to why they don't feel involved in politics and the unfortunately deprived issue that needs a lot of attention. The point of the video isn't to sway or influence your voting chose but to raise attention and encouragement for young people to use their vote.

Billy has drawn a social media following attention to the importance of using your vote and how you should pay attention to the politics of today because inevitably it's going to be us that will feel and see the biggest changes and effects on society. The campaign is in collaboration with people like social media influencer Gemma Styles to British Youth Council chairperson Anna Rose Baker and poet Isaiah Hull. Billy made it clear it's not about showing your specific support for a party - nobody is expecting that but a simple reminder that the deadline to register to vote is coming is suffice. 

Politics can be a bit of an ugly word and still today seems to be awkward to talk about amongst friends but it's so important to get involved in to understand our future. Whether you want to study abroad or at home, it affects your chances to do this. If you want to go into the international field of work or you're thinking of working from home- it affects you. It affects your food shopping, your kids, your mum, your gran, your favourite lady in the Tesco checkouts that always gives you a sweetie she hides under her till. YOU. It will effect your everyday life and can have massive changes on things that are important to you. Don't think that because you're not shouting about your political opinion or think you don't really know enough THIS guide will help you understand. If you want an easier channel to listen about politics and the manifesto's or challenges parties are facing and what they care about there's TV programmes like 'The last leg' that are weekly leading up to the elections and talk about what's going on in a more comedic approach. I personally love it and can't get enough of Josh Widdicombe.

We're three women who want a brighter and better future for us and generations to come. Please register by midnight tonight and think about what really matters to you and make a change that matters.

Please register here: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Z x

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Sunday, 14 May 2017

KYLOE: Sunday Roast review

If you live in Edinburgh and still don't know about KYLOE then you 100% must be living under a rock. KYLOE is the only gourmet steak restaurant in the city and is situated above the Huxley in the West End of Edinburgh. It has a glorious reputation for its luxurious menu and is probably best known for their Sunday Roast which definitely does not let down. 

The atmosphere as soon as we were welcomed was warm and relaxed as host Emma greeted us and took us up to our window side table looking over Princes Street. There's quirky little pegs you can pull down from the wall to hang your bag and jacket on to avoid the usual floor dump. After settling in we were offered starters but to be honest we were far too excited being surrounded by the smell of Roast beef around us to even think about waiting any longer to try it. So with that, we swiftly declined and chose a 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon which was a great match for the richness of the beef that was coming. Our first waitress was lovely and so knowledgeable about each wine we discussed to find the perfect taste for what we all liked and were looking for.



We waited what felt like a lifetime but realistically was probably only about 25 minutes and through the restaurant came a steaming prime piece of roast beef in all it's glory. It was hand carved in front of us and we were kindly asked if it was pink enough. Naturally, it was. What followed was only what I could describe as Christmas, birthdays, New Year and every special day of the year rolled up and served in the form of the most perfectly fluffy duck fat roasted potatoes, the creamiest cabbage, just crunchy enough mix of diced carrots, parsnips and turnips which had a nutty sweet glaze too. Obviously there were Yorkshire puddings which were impressively puffy although a bit too crunchy for my personal taste (Toni and Lyndsey thoroughly enjoyed them however!). Now, please keep yourself seated for what I can only describe as one of the most luxuriously creamy and ridiculously moreish creamy, buttery horseradish sauce. So good in fact I may or may not (definitely did) have eaten it with a spoon even though I thought I was about to burst due to excessive roast potato consumption. The only thing that slightly took away from the perfectness of the meal was that it wasn't as hot as I personally would have enjoyed but I was only 1 of four who felt this so take of that what you will.



After a break to decide whether we really could squeeze in dessert we without hesitation, after moaning and groaning about how full we felt and how no more food could possibly fit, we said yes to the apple strudel. We were informed it would take around twelve minutes which we welcomed and encouraged as long as a wait as possible but as soon as the waitress said there was a fresh vanilla custard I could see our eyes all lighting up. It arrived beautifully on a wooden board with two jugs of freshly made vanilla custard (Toni literally couldn't help herself but to drink it, that's how good it was). The dessert admittedly was too heavy after the roast and from what we could see around us on other tables everyone took it home in a doggy bag- including us. 



KYLOE's Sunday roast is definitley a contender for your Mum's roast, if not better (sorry Mum). It's traditional, rich and delicious. We enjoyed the Sunday Roast that could easily be shared between 4/5 and was a set price of £100 which includes the dessert. Any drinks and starters are additional.  It's a light-hearted but warm and professional atmosphere paired with passion from each and every member of staff for what they're delivering: expect only the best. 

KYLOE is considered by many as a very formal environment reserved only for special occasions, but it is also an ideal atmosphere to enjoy a relaxed and casual Sunday roast. The food is exceptional and sharing the roast with friends and loved ones makes it an even better experience whether it be for a graduation, rainy Sunday's or a day visit to Edinburgh. Without realising we ended up spending the best part of the day here. Great company, a wonderful atmosphere and delicious food made the time pass effortlessly, but it was undoubtedly time well spent.


Visit KYLOE:
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Saturday, 13 May 2017

Four Cleansers you need in your Skincare Collection


Cleansing is the most vital part of your daily skincare routine, FACT.

Do you need four cleansers, probably not. What I will say is that these four cleansers represent four different states of mind I may be in as a busy, glowy skin seeking but sometimes lazy twenty-five year old woman. You definitely don't need all of them but select the state of mind you relate with the most and that cleanser is the one for you.

First of all I do my absoloute best to cleanse twice a day, every day. It's one of the best ways to kick start my day and also wind me down in the evening. I tend to use a different cleanser in the AM to the PM. In the morning I just want to give myself a nice gentle cleanse, but in the evening you are removing all the grime of the day from your face and tend to need something a bit more heavy duty. So four cleansers isn't that excessive when you really think about it.

The bright eyed and bushy tailed cleanser

The Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel makes for the perfect morning cleanse. In the morning before applying make-up you want your skin to look as bright and awake as possible which is exactly why I like this cleanser. It contains pumpkin enzymes which help to deeply cleanse the pours and remove dead skin cells without being overly abrasive on the skin. It is also full of Vitamin C and E which are known to restore and protect the skin from the elements. If you have had a late night studying or drinking too much this cleanser will aid you in looking far more presentable. Your face and skin are usually what betrays you when your looking extra tired so for the very busy, or very tired Oskia is for you!

The I need an early night and to chill the hell out cleanser

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish is a classic and I imagine this isn't the first time you have read about it. These raves are for good reason as this is one of the most consistently great cleanser I've ever used. I reach for this cleanser on evenings where I am in for the night and I really want to relax and take care of myself. With ingredients such as chamomile and rosemary it doesn't only deeply cleanse your skin but also helps you to relax and wind down for bed. It is also great for removing light make-up so it is something you could use daily if you wanted to. The consistency of the cleanser is a lovely rich cream and it is a really beautiful product for evenings when you really need to pamper yourself. 

The I am wearing all the make-up in the world and need it off my face immediately cleanser

The Clinque Take the Day off Cleansing Oil is a firm favourite of mine. This is the cleanser that I reach for the most and you can purchase it in either an oil or a balm consistency but I am definitely an oil girl as its more hygienic and I like the way it feels on my skin. This is a quick, no nonsense product that will remove any amount of make-up you have on. Waterproof mascara was the real test and it passed with flying colours! Seriously though if you often wear a full face get this cleanser it takes your make-up off in two minutes and leaves no residue whatsoever. 

The I can't be arsed taking my make-up off cleanser

Okay so admittedly this cleanser isn't used very often but it has a firm place in my bedside cabinet for emergency purposes. The Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water is a lifesaver and I am sure most of you reading this have had experience of this quick fix cleanser. I wouldn't use this everyday because lets be honest it isn't cleaning your face very well, but when I am drunk as hell it comes in very handy. All you need is some cotton pads and your sorted, with enough determination you can get almost all of your make-up off which is the most important factor here. 

The best way to ensure beautiful skin is to clean your face, it really is that simple. So whether you are double cleansing and delving into a 10 step skin care routine or grabbing the emergency micellar water after a heavy night, your looking after your skin. As my mum always says you only get one face, so take good care of it.


L x














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Wednesday, 10 May 2017

ONDINE: Restaurant review

Ondine is a Seafood and Shellfish restaurant in the heart of Edinburgh just past the Royal Mile that has now become my favourite fish restaurant in the city. Ondine was the perfect place to rediscover my utter love for seafood. Everything I ate was freshly caught no less than hours before AND every single thing on each plate boasted only the best flavours from the local produce. 

The restaurant pride themselves on providing 'proper seafood' and that's exactly what they deliver. The food presented is serious and the attitude from the staff and their passion to explain minute details from where it was caught, and who caught it to everything about the seafood itself is admirable and made me feel comfortable that this wasn't just another seafood restaurant.



We were introduced to the Spring menu preview and talked through each dish briefly before the meal began to which they proceeded to discuss the dish individually prior to each course being served. The menu was five courses which I was slightly concerned about being a bit overwhelmed by the seafood but I was totally proven wrong. Each course was delicately put together and proportions were just enough.



We started with Oysters from Cumbria; one of which was served traditionally fresh and the other was crispy and served with a light mayonnaise. Both were light and a taste of the sea really came through. Colin the restaurant manager explained to us when and where the Oysters were caught as well as why they chose Oysters from this region. It was a nice touch from the restaurant to be able to leave with new knowledge about each dish.


Next we were served Skye Langoustines accompanied by a wild garlic mayonnaise which was so creamy it married well together with the freshness of the fish. The langoustines were difficult to eat as we had to break apart the shellfish ourselves which turned out to be quite messy. Although obviously provided with all the correct materials to do so adequately I would have preferred not to do this as it took time. I could understand why they were served like this to maintain freshness and their mantra. 

  
A palette cleanser of Grilled Wye Valley Asparagus was served with crispy quails egg and a hollandaise sauce was next. Simple, fresh, tasty and easy to eat.The flavours spoke for themselves with no fuss. The wine served was a Rioja Blanco from Spain that shared tastes of coconut and mint. Although, yes this sounds weird on paper it was honestly one of the nicest and freshest wines I've ever had.  



Roasted North Sea Cod followed which was served again with crispy asparagus and romanesco. The dish was vibrant with the green coming through against the bold orange. Although the cod was cooked beautifully and flaked like a dream I would have preferred a crispier skin. Flavours were bold and with a bit of heat it brought the dish together. Accompanied by an Alberinio wine, the crisp and dryness of the wine was perfect against the heat from the fish.



The dessert was lemon meringue Mille Feuille (which can I say is my favourite dessert when done perfectly). I won't lie when I saw it on the menu I was slightly worried that this was going to be the make or break moment for me. The lemon was vibrant, the meringue was fluffy and the pastry made a crack Mary Berry would be proud of. Although it was perfectly made, it was a heavier dessert than I would have chosen to end the meal. The wine was a Mondazillac Jour de Fruit from France which was effortlessly light and perfect against the zesty lemon and sharp sweetness from the meringue.

If you ever get a chance to make a trip to Ondine whether it be for a tasting menu, a special occasion or to visit for their famous 'Oyster Hour' then please do. It's the kind of place you can roll your sleeves up and get involved with every dish you choose. Even if your'e not a massive fish lover, you'll only leave with a smile on your face and a full tummy. 

Expect nothing less than freshly caught seafood and shellfish, local produce and exceptional service.


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Thursday, 4 May 2017

Big boobs and Bodysuits




There's something special about wearing matching underwear; whether it gives you that extra confidence for the day ahead or makes you feel that little bit more sassy. If its your fave M&S matching comfy set or your Agent Provocateur slinky lace bodysuit it's always going to do the job. 

It's that time of year when we're itching for full Summer and slowly buying our summer wardrobe piece by piece trying not to indulge too much on the new-in section of ASOS every night like I do. Now is when I love to invest in amazing new underwear. Whether it's an embroidered bra, a full lace bodysuit or a super pretty matching silk set, I can guarantee you it's gunna lift me up that little bit. If you've got someone you want to impress, even better but it'll make you feel 10/10 knowing underneath your work or uni clothes you've got something pretty on underneath. 

My obsession with bodysuits came after a birthday when I was wearing a full white jumpsuit and couldn't find any underwear to go underneath it so a friend recommended a nude spanx style bodysuit from M&S. I almost shrieked at the thought of nude underwear but following her advice- it's one of the best things I've ever bought. Yes is nude, yes it's Spanx style and no it isn't the prettiest piece of underwear in the world but honestly wearing it and having everything in the right place AND it sucks everything in, is like a dream (and it's the comfiest thing ever).

 After this revelation I decided to venture into some more attractive bodysuits which lead me to my obvious go-to ASOS. As usual, I was spoilt for choice and got over excited but because I have big boobs, small shoulders, a small waist and a bum to match my boobs it can be a little tricky to actually chose underwear I know will fit properly. Because we're now in the bodysuit phase this needed a lot of buying and returning but thanks to premier deliver this was obviously no hassle. I ended up trolling trough every colour, every style, shape and fabric until I found three I absolutely love. I tend to stick to high leg styled suits because of my waist and so they're not too tight across my bum. This navy lace body is honestly one of the comfiest things I own- if I could wear it every day I would. It's saved outfits and even though it's sheer, it's been very durable on nights out. It's cups my boobs perfectly and feels really good so it's a solid 10/10. This pink one looks really pale online but it actually a full blush pink. I'm not a pink underwear gal so this was nearly a return situation but after trying it on- it was just dreamy. It's so so soft and the lace detail is so pretty and compared to the navy it's a good in-between sexy and pretty. The cups are a little small on me so it acts as a push up for me but it general it's a 8/10. This Topshop black lace bodysuit was something I bought on a total whim, didn't try it on situation when on a girly city break in London because we were going out and I wanted to wear a sheer t-shirt and had no good underwear with me so I had approx 25 mins to find something before a hair appointment. Anyway, it's just fabulous. It holds everything in, has a high leg and looks good just on its own if you want to impress someone. Because of my bigger boobs I had a little bit of worry they'd just spill out but they're secure enough. I don't usually go for mesh but it looks pretty against skin and the back is just beautiful. This one is ideal for layering because there's a bit more to it rather than just being full underwear making it a 9/10. 

I've picked some of my favourite bodysuits that are ideal for any occasion, outfit and body shape. If you've never tried a bodysuit before, just try it. They hold everything in, keep everything in place and saves on the washing in the long run. Perfect for going out, layering and when you're feeling like you need that little cheeky boost mid month to make yourself feel better. 

Z x
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