Behind The Blog featuring Shelly Ray…

Shelly Ray

Howdy chums,

Firstly a huge thanks to everyone who checked out yesterdays post How To Deep Clean & Remove Grubby Stains from your Blender Sponge. As a bit of a neat freak, I’m a stickler for keeping things clean and tidy – and my makeup sponges are no exception! So many of you found it a really useful little formula, and I can honestly say it’s worked wonders for me – heck just check out the final results, they speak for themselves ladies 😉 I forgot to mention, if any of you’s are giving it a go do let me know how you’s get on, I’d love an update. And thank y’all from the bottom of my socks for leaving such awesome tips of your own too!!

However onto today’s post as I get down to introducing our second blogger of the week, the lovely Shelly Ray from her lifestyle blog Shelly Ray, Ramblings of a 20 Something. Shelly’s blog is a fun mixture of thoughts, musings, reviews and life updates… sprinkled with a dose of wanderlust and personal ramblings. From posts on landing an exciting new job to long distance relationships, Shelly writes from the heart and with a few awesome tips along the way from her own experiences. It’s personal, friendly, welcoming and a generally lovely blog to catch up on, so if this sounds something a little truly unique to cast your eyes upon then do get yourself over and check it out!

However before you go anywhere; pour yourself a cuppa & curl up for five whilst we take a peek behind the blog…

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In only 5 words describe what readers can expect from your blog:

Fun, personal opinions and insights.

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What inspired you to start blogging?

My dad is actually the person who first suggested I start a blog. He writes a blog for his business, and he thought I might enjoy it too! Turns out, he was right. I tried blogging a few times in high school and then really got into it when I studied abroad for a semester in Spain.

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Tell us about your blog name… what made you decide on it?

My blog name is actually just my first and middle name. When I was younger I thought that Shelly Ray could be my stage name when I became a famous actress, but a blog will have to do for now.

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Do you ever suffer from Blogger’s Block & if so how do you overcome it?

Oh yes, I definitely suffer from it. I’ll go through phases of having no problem writing, and then phases of suddenly having no ideas and no motivation to blog. What helps me is to actually set a day and time that I want to commit to writing so that I can’t keep making excuses. I also like to get out of the house and head to a coffee shop to write, because once I’m there I don’t have the option of watching YouTube or TV instead of writing!

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What’s your favourite post to date?

I think my favorite post would have to be Be proud of yourself. I had a moment of inspiration, headed to a coffee shop, and just typed away until I finished it. I have gotten a lot of positive feedback from it, and it also just made me feel really good to get my feelings written down like that.

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Describe your everyday clothes style:

I would say my everyday style is casual-chic (I just made up that term on the spot, aren’t I clever?) I tend to go for comfort over fashion and can hardly ever be caught wearing heels or a dress. However, I do like to look put together and cute. A nice sweater, jeans and boots is my go-to for Winter.

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How do you like to relax & unwind after a stressful day?

I like to come home, make a hot cup of tea and/or treat myself to a yummy dessert and watch some YouTube, or whatever TV show I am into at the moment.

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Describe your ideal Saturday night:

My ideal Saturday night would be very relaxed and low-key. I would probably want to go out to dinner somewhere new, then invite some friends over to play Cards Against Humanity or something fun like that, and just hang out. Nothing too crazy.

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What’s your most cherished childhood memory?

When I was eleven, my parents, younger sister and I went on a six-week-long vacation and visited a bunch of different states! We camped for part of it and stayed in hotels for part of it and just had an awesome time exploring new places.

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What was your favourite school subject?

My favorite subject was always English in high school, because I love reading and writing. In college I took some fun electives like Film Music where I learned all about movie soundtracks.  

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What’s your dream job?

 I would love to be an author. I’ve had a few ideas for books throughout the years, but never taken the time to actually write one. I think being a full-time writer would be awesome!

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Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I see myself in more of a leadership/influential role in my career, with a successful blog and maybe even a book written (or at least partly written). As far as my personal life, I see myself being married by that point, which is kind of crazy to think about. But also exciting!

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What top 5 things are on your bucket list?

The top item on my bucket list would have to be writing a book, like I just explained. As for the other four, I actually can’t think of specific things besides that I really want to travel more! So I’ll give my top four travel destinations: Brazil, Greece, Norway, Germany.

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What’s your biggest achievement to date?

I would say my biggest achievement would be studying abroad. It’s actually the topic that got me started with blogging (check out my study abroad blogs). But I was really really nervous to leave behind my friends and family for an entire semester, and it was very difficult at times, but I got through it and I will always look back on my time abroad and feel proud of myself for doing it!

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Who inspires you?

My family and friends are my main inspirations. I feel really lucky to be surrounded by amazing people in my life.

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Do you have a favourite inspirational quote?

“Close your eyes and imagine the best version of you possible. That’s who you really are; let go of any part of you that doesn’t believe it.” C. Assaad

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What top tips would you give to someone who is thinking of starting their own blog?

My main tip is to just go for it! You won’t know if it’s for you until you try it. I also recommend to be patient and stick with it. As I said above, Bloggers Block is definitely a real thing and sometimes blogging might feel more like a chore than a hobby. But if you stick with it I promise it will be worth it!

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QUICK FIRE QUESTIONS:

Tea or Coffee = Tea

Coke or Pepsi = Neither. I actually never drink soda.

Messy mayhem or Super Organised = Super organized

Cute kitten or Playful puppy = Both!

Night In or Night Out = Night in

Heels or Flats = Flats

Lip Stick or Lip Gloss = Lip stick

Rock Chick or Pop Princess = Pop Princess

Paperback or E-book = Paperback

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Contact Shelly:

Twitter: @shellycrossland

Instagram: @shellycrossland

Blog: shellyray.wordpress.com

Don’t forget: If you would like your blog featured on Behind The Blog then get in touch via the contact page by clicking *here*, I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks so much for reading & of course do say hi in the comments below… we adore a good chatter here on Confetti & Curves  :)

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Behind The Blog featuring Deborah Bazeley…

Deborah Bazeley Wanderlust

Hey Blog Buddies,

Before we jump right into today’s exciting addition, I’d like to thank y’all soooo much for your lovely comments on yesterdays post the Spring Inspired Makeup Menu featuring Max Factor. I’m chuffed you guys enjoyed the finished look, your comments we’re indeed a treat to read! Also, quite a few of you seem just as impressed with the gorgeous Excess Shimmer shadow as what I am! It really is just as stunning up close & personal ❤

Talking of up close & personal, I have a incredibly inspiring gal gracing the virtual sofa today as the gorgeous Deborah Bazeley stops by for a quick chatter on her blossoming lifestyle blog: Deboarh Bazeley Wanderlust. As much as I adore my daily news feed sprinkled with beauty related news & reviews, I’m also a great fan of travelling, lifestyle & heaps of encouragement when it comes to *trying* to be a little more health conscious… heaven knows I need all the inspiration I can get from the aftermath of the Easter weekend *hides a multitude of chocolate egg wrappings*

So if all this sounds like something you’d love to check out too then get yourself over to Deborah’s blog – word of warning though, you may end up getting slightly addicted as it’s packed full of a multitude of fun features: procrastinators beware! 😀

Deborah Bazeley

In only 5 words describe what readers can expect from your blog:

Backpacking, healthy living, fitness + humour

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What inspired you to start blogging?

I discovered blogging back in 2011 when I was in my final year of university. I attempted to write a number of blogs ranging from a cringey anonymous relationship blog (less Carrie Bradshaw and more Bridget Jones) to an incredibly embarrassing politics blog (I was studying Political Science at the time). The idea of having a free platform on which to voice your opinions and be published was almost unheard of back then, and I jumped at the opportunity.

However, my travel and lifestyle blog (and the one that you see today) began when I merely wanted to document my solo backpacking adventure through South America, USA, Fiji and New Zealand for my friends and family. I wrote purely for fun and from the heart, and it was the first and only blog of mine to receive a decent amount of hits and followers. From there, I started writing stories and discussing lifestyle and fitness, and I’ve never left it since no matter where I have been in the world!

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Tell us about your blog name… what made you decide on it?

Deborah Bazeley (‘Bazeley’ is pronounced ‘Baze-ley’, like ‘paisley’) is my full name and super easy to find on Google. I also wanted my name to be the primary focus so that if my travels ever stopped or if I wanted to talk about topics beyond backpacking, my blog could expand.

Wanderlust is the irresistible urge to travel, but I also see it as the urge to explore life itself. My blog is about exploring the world with our minds and bodies, as well as our passports. That’s why you will find everything from fitness posts, to solo female travel advice and reviews, to creative writing pieces.

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Do you ever suffer from Blogger’s Block & if so how do you overcome it?

Yes! At those times there are a few things I do. The first is that I go for a walk as this is when all of my best ideas come to me. Secondly, I read other blogs and scour Pinterest for ideas. Thirdly, I ask myself “What information would you have found useful when…[travelling, writing, getting into the gym, etc]?”. (This was how I came up with my First Time Backpacker Series.) Fourthly, and finally, I write any old thing down and tell myself that it will be good enough – blogger’s block often comes when we’re determined to be the best, or when we start comparing our blog to other people’s. Some of my most popular posts are the ones that I thought to be my worst! Write it, edit it, add a picture and tell yourself, “It is good enough.”

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What’s your favourite post to date?

I would say my first post because it’s where I began, but my absolute favourite was my “Bridget Jones in Ilha Grande” post. It’s written in the style of the Bridget Jones’ Diary series, but it is actually what happened to me on a beautiful island off the coast of Brazil. The horny couple, the storm and the food ordering debacle are all real!

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Describe your everyday clothes style:

Jeans/leggings, loose t-shirt, check shirt over the top + Converse (or boots in winter). Easy, comfortable and simple.

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What are your current top 3 beauty items?

Rimmel’s Radiance BB cream – it’s light and yet offers pretty good coverage, and it’s hands down my favourite BB cream that I’ve tried so far.

Coconut oil in my hair – I have so many hair masks, but nothing softens my hair like coating it in coconut oil overnight and washing it off in the morning.

Radiant overnight mask (skin phase 2)

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How do you like to relax & unwind after a stressful day?

I have the same routine every evening: Turn on my fairy lights and light the candle by my bed. Write in my journal (I’ve kept a diary since I was 10). Write down five things that I am grateful for, as well as the happiest moment of that day. Then I curl up in my bed with my colouring book and my two ragdoll cats (called Merry and Pippin), and watch some Netflix.

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Describe your ideal Saturday night:

Netflix, cuddles with my cats, a good hearty meal, and either my friends, family or boyfriend. I haven’t been particularly interested in going out or partying for more than a year now!

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What do you do to relax?

If I’m really wound up and have a tension headache, I do a four minute meditation and stretch out like I used to in ballet class. Otherwise I go for a refreshing walk/run or I lift some weights in the gym.

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Everyone has their bad habits, what’s yours?

I bite my nails, and I let anxious thoughts run the show a lot of the time.

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What’s your most cherished childhood memory?

I don’t have a specific one, but my parents, brother and I would all go for either a hike or a bike ride every weekend. We didn’t have proper gear or fancy bikes as we didn’t have much money, but all of my best childhood memories come from those trips. Plus, I have never felt fitter or more alive as I did back then!

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What was your favourite school subject?

English, though I equally loved Politics when I reached A-levels.

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What’s your dream job?

Full time cat nanny, but I will settle for working in marketing!

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Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Working in marketing, writing and blogging, living with cats (and hopefully my boyfriend!), and exploring the world.

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What top 5 things are on your bucket list?

Learn French and practice my skills in France, volunteer for a cause I believe in, travel South East Asia, write a novel, and go on safari somewhere in Africa.

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What’s your biggest achievement to date?

Travelling by myself around the world. I started in Brazil and I was utterly terrified as I suffered with General Anxiety Disorder, but I faced my fears and did it anyway.

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Who inspires you?

Elizabeth Gilbert – I am such a walking cliché with my adoration of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, but I bloody love both her writing style and her worth ethic.

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Do you have a favourite inspirational quote?

“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

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What top tips would you give to someone who is thinking of starting their own blog?

Just go for it.

I used to get so worried about what people would think of my writing (“What if they hate it?” or “What if I write something that I would be embarrassed of in the future?” or “What if no one reads it at all?”), but after a few posts I realised that when you first start out, the only people who will really read your blog are your friends and family (ie. the people who support you the most). This makes it a hell of a lot less scary and takes the pressure off when you first start posting content! See it simply as a chance to practice your writing skills (try to keep all posts to around 1000 words) and share your thoughts.

When you feel ready, get on social media and seek out similar blogs and new blogger friends, and get sharing and posting. Networking and supporting others is the only way that your blog will grow – take an interest in the community, and it will welcome you back.

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QUICK FIRE QUESTIONS:

Tea or Coffee = Tea 

Coke or Pepsi = Coke

Messy mayhem or Super Organised = Somewhere in the middle, but closer to the organised side of things

Cute kitten or Playful puppy = KITTEN

Night In or Night Out = Night in (I’m an old cat lady these days)

Heels or Flats = Flats

Lip Stick or Lip Gloss = Lip Stick (or a lip butter)

Rock Chick or Pop Princess = Pop Princess

Paperback or E-book = Paperback (the majority of the weight in my travel backpack was taken up by my many paper journals and novels…I probably should invest in a Kindle but I just love an actual book!)

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Contact Deborah:

Deborah Bazeley Wanderlust – http://www.dbwanderlust.com/

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Pinterest

Bloglovin

Don’t forget: If you would like your blog featured on Behind The Blog then get in touch via the contact page by clicking *here*, I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks so much for reading & of course do say hi in the comments below… we adore a good chatter here on Confetti & Curves  🙂

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Top Travel Essentials for your Jolly Holidays…

Travel Essentials

For many of us, the long haul of travelling to our destination is all part and parcel of the honeymoon or holiday excitement – but if you’re not properly prepared it can soon turn into a terror trip than that relaxing vacation you’ve been dreaming about for the last few months. So whether you’re off on a romantic getaway for two, heading home to family this Christmas or planning a fun weekend away with friends it’s essential you get yourself geared up & prepared for the journey ahead…

The Travel Bag:

Okay, so I’m assuming you’re checking an overstuffed trunk of holiday goodies into the check-in desk which leaves you pondering what handbag should accompany you on your journey. Well, before you dust off that favourite designer tote, stop and think about where you’re going and what you’ll be doing when you get there. If sightseeing is top of your list & you’re hitting a high tourist destination spot it could be worthwhile leaving your mesmerising Michael Kors bag at home and choosing a much safer option. With pick-pocketing, bag slashing, muggings and handbag theft at a serious high, it’s a good idea to treat yourself to one of these handy little travel buddies by Pacsafe

Citysafe 100 anti-theft handbag

So what’s so unique about them? Actually, quite a lot! Not only are they designed to neatly store every gals travel needs, the sleek Citysafe 100 is undoubtedly the James Bond of women’s handbags. The adjustable straps are reinforced with lightweight stainless steel along with similar reinforced panels in the most vulnerable and commonly targeted areas to help prevent bag slashers running off with your contents.
As most passports, credit cards and ID Cards have an RFID chip that contains personal data that many thieves can access via certain radio frequencies (scary thought!!) the Citysafe 100 boasts the award winning RFID safe micro-chip that blocks out these transmissions – helping to prevent your data from falling into the wrong hands.
This brill bag also has a variety of anti pick-pocketing features such as zipper security hooks and secure fixture mechanisms that allow you to secure your bag in place when set beside you… making it even harder for any savvy snatcher to make a dash with your beloved belongings!

Are you considering taking your designer bag now? Hmm, maybe not!

Looking Good:

So now that we’ve got our super-safe travel bag, if you’re anything like me the first thing you’ll want to do is fill it with the absolute essentials of any trip… make-up! Considering all those hours waiting (patiently) in queues, recycled air, sweat, headaches etc. you’ll probably want to freshen up your holiday face at some point. Freebie samples and testers are perfect for this as they’re compact and easily tucked into a pocket. Other handy items to keep with you are make-up removal wipes, small deodorant, hair clip, nail file, travel hair brush with mini built in mirror.
Just don’t forget to bring along those little plastic zip-lock bags for security check-in!

The Nibbles:

Even just an hour or two of travelling on a rumbling tummy can leave you feeling like a wilted grape – however before you stock up on goodies wait until you’re through the security checks or you’ll more than likely end up waving goodbye to that huge bar of galaxy you’ve been hoarding. Once through security you can treat yourself to a range of snacks & refreshments. Cereal bars are a traveller’s best friend as they’re so easy to pop in your bag, won’t cause a huge mess and are a great little boost to keep the energy levels up. If you’re prone to air pressure ear popping *ouch!* it could be a good idea to buy a little bag of boiled sweets to suck along the way… I’ve heard it works a treat to help reduce the discomfort!

The Entertainment:

I personally enjoy catching up with some of my favourite glossy mag’s such as Glamour & Cosmopolitan when I’m on the move, especially the smaller travel sizes that are hassle free for popping in your handbag. If you’re a book reader it’s always a good idea to get your Kindle (or other device) well stocked up with a good variety of top reads. There’s even an app for your smart phones if you want to keep your e-book tucked up at home, or why not give Audible a go –you can just lie back and listen to a great story without even having to glance at a page! Alternatively if you’re travelling at night it could be a good idea to take along a sleep mask so you can catch a quick nap if you’re feeling worn out from all the excitement.

The Important Stuff:

Yes, you know – all those vital documents you need to get from A-B without the intervention of frenzied relatives or government officials. Make sure you keep an easy-access compartment in your bag for passports & other important paperwork that is easy to access when needed. Ensure you have confirmations of travel printed out & at hand should anything be queried (the same goes for medical insurance documents) and of course don’t forget to make a list of important contacts should your phone get misplaced or stolen! Important numbers to note should always include travel agents, family members, friends, Doctors surgery, your hotel, credit card company, insurance company, bank etc. Don’t be tempted to lift your address book, as if that goes walkies you’ve just handed a stranger the entire contact details of your nearest and dearest!

Feeling Comfy:

You may have your travel bag organised to perfection but it’s important you travel just as well as your belongings do. Wear something light & comfortable as opposed to tight and tailored. Stretchy layers are super comfy & a great way to let you regulate your temperature to the surroundings – if things get a bit chilly you can hop up in your vest top, long shirt tee & hoodie or if you’re feeling the heat you can remove whatever you need to cool off *within reason of course ladies, ah hem*
Slip on shoes should definitely be considered an essential! In fact I’d go as far as saying they should be a legal requirement… especially if like me you’re always the one who is stuck behind the person that decided to wear knee boots with 40-something zips and buckles *sigh*

Have you a romantic honeymoon booked or are you travelling over the Christmas Jollidays? If so, do you have any top tips or tricks when it comes to travelling? Is the commute something you enjoy as part of your holiday, or are you the ‘get me there pronto’ type?

As always I’d love to read your thoughts and feedback in the comments below, so do stop by and say hello…

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