I am going to try and make this post as detailed as possible, because I know how truly stressful buying a house can be I also know that people find these posts particularly helpful, especially if it's not an easy transaction. 

1. The first thing I would absolutely recommend is ensure you have a decent deposit before you begin looking for properties. This means putting away a set amount of money from your paycheck each month until you reach your target. There's no point house hunting when you have £1000 in the bank, because if you find your dream home, by the time you save the rest of the money it will be sold to someone else. 

There are many schemes out there now that are available to make the process easier for a First Time Buyer, so definitely do your research. For example, the Help To Buy ISA's. It is free money from the government, why would you not do it?

2. Get your mortgage sorted. Yes you can do it online and compare what all the banks are doing, but it's time consuming. My best advice would be to visit a mortgage broker. You can walk into any estate agents and ask to book an appointment to do this. They will talk you through a lot of lenders across the market who are offering the best rates, they will tell you what you can afford to look up to and they will do all the work for you. The downside to this is you have to pay a fee if you decide to proceed with them, but I personally think it lifts the stress.


3. Prepare for the upcoming expenses. So not only will you have the upfront expenses regarding the purchase such as solicitors fees, searches, survey fees, moving costs and deposit monies. But you have to prepare for the lifestyle you are getting yourself into. This means paying all your bills - that's gas, water and electricity. You'll need to account for food shops, furnishings, updating any decor or works and ensuring you have savings in place at all times in case any emergency repairs or replacements need to made. 


4. Now you can get on Rightmove and start house hunting. I would recommend downloading the apps for Rightmove and Zoopla to get notifications as soon as properties go on the market as they can sometimes sell within 24 hours of them being on. So you do need to be quick. 

When you have some free time try to pop into the estate agents in your local area and register with them for email updates. Be very specific with what you are after, and be nice to them too! They're much more likely to remember you and want to sell you a house. A lot of the time, if a property is due to come to the market, agents will call whoever they remember were after something like that before it goes live. So it is especially key to build a rapport and remain friendly.  

5. Prepare, prepare, prepare. When on viewings, you need to ask the right questions, because you don't want to go in unprepared and miss your opportunity. Ask the questions you want to know the answers to, whether it's if it is a nice area, regarding parking or whatever else! Just make sure it is what you are looking for and if it doesn't tick all the boxes you can cross it off your list. 

6. Offering. This might sound like common sense, but negotiate your offer. Never go in full asking price, because more often than not, there is flexibility on price. Don't be stubborn about it, and try to reach mutual ground. If you can't agree, you can always bargain with some of the appliances and fixtures. 

7. Budget for fees. As I mentioned previously, there's lots of fee's involved with purchasing a house, and even more if you are selling too. You need to account for these, of course if you see a mortgage adviser they will be able to work all the budgeting out for you and tell you exactly what you need to spend where. 

8. When instructing solicitors, the estate agent you are looking to buy through will always, always try to get you to use their own. Of course they will, they get a teeny amount of commission for it. I would recommend you don't do this, and use someone who is big and well known - usually someone you know will be able to give you a positive recommendation. The issue with small, local solicitors is that many of them are quite old school and don't do things online. You want to avoid this as things tend to be a lot slower when they are involved with a chain.  

9. Try to avoid shopping. I know buying a house is one of the most exciting things a person can do, and all you want to do is go out and buy everything you see - but don't! There is nothing definitive by having your offer accepted and your sale agreed. I wouldn't even begin to think about looking until you have at least received your mortgage offer and had your survey come back to say that the property is fine. So many things can go wrong, you don't even realise. So if your sale were to fall through, you don't want the added stress of trying to return stuff you might've bought. 

10. The only time when you are really safe and at the home stretch is when you officially exchange contracts. This is the legally binding contract for the ownership of the property. Now you just have to set your completion date.  

11. Completion. Please please be efficient. When the solicitors ask you to transfer your deposit and funds, do it asap. Completion will usually happen mid-day so you need to ensure you have done what they have asked so they receive everything in time to process it. Once you get the call to say the property is officially yours, pop down to the estate agent, pick up your keys and move in.

12. Don't forget to change your address on everything!


I hope you found these tips helpful and if you have any other questions let me know!

Nowadays every Tom, Dick and Harry has a blog and it can be incredibly daunting wanting to get involved. Setting up a blog is simple, you log onto Blogger/Wordpress, sign up and boom blog made. 

However, when it comes to creating a blog it becomes a little more complex. It is definitely not as easy as you think it may be when you see your favourite bloggers posting on Instagram in the middle of the day when you’re stuck at work.

Well good news for you guys, I am here to help! With a few blogging tips and tricks I have picked up along the way, my aim is to help give at least one person the confidence to create a blog for themselves.




Research

Do. Your. Research. Can’t stress this enough. If you want to set up a successful blog, you need to learn the basics for SEO, Keywords and HTML. Not only that, but you need to check out your peers, learn how to create an attractive and fully functioning site etc. Knowing what you are getting yourself into is the most important thing. https://moz.com/ is a great tool for beginners.


Social Media

Get yourself on the main socials. Yes, it is time consuming trying to manage 5 different accounts and work your full time job. But unfortunately, we are living in the day and age where if people want to look for something, the first place they will go is the internet so you need to get with the times. This will also help you communicate and build a rapport with your readers a lot more. 





Regular Content

Posting regular, consistent content is so important as it keeps your readers hooked. If you drop off the face of the earth when you are still working on gathering your following then you have no chance. People want to see regular updates from you, and from that you will begin to see your blog grow. Loyalty is a two way street. 





Practice Taking Photo’s

Images increase the SEO of your site, so I personally think it is important to utilise that. Taking great photos won’t come to you naturally; it does require practice to figure out what angles work best with the lighting and equipment that you have. My only advice would be to practice until you find what suits you and the theme of your blog. 





Lense Kit

I do not recommend buying much when starting a blog, as all you really need is your ideas and a computer. But there are some things that are worth investing in, just to make your job that little bit easier. One of those things is a lense kit, if you are like me and don’t have a camera, but use an iphone. This will help maximise your photos, and give a more professional look. You can literally pick these up for as little as £7.99. See Here





Props

Props are what will take your photo from mediocre to great. You don’t need to go out and buy lots of luxurious décor, look around your house and bedroom and scour your make up bag! I promise you, you have everything you will need. Some of my favourites to use are: Fairy Lights, Candles, Mason Jars, Magazines and Artificial Flowers.





Wallpaper samples

My favourite hack. This takes my photos from zero to hero. If you ever wonder how all these bloggers have these perfect backgrounds for their pictures, it’s because they don’t. It’s totally false, and you can achieve it too. Completely free! Just go into a DIY store and rip yourself off some wallpaper samples. You can try out a few different ones to give your posts some diversity too. My favourite places to visit are Wilkinson’s and Dunelm.



Thanks for reading my blogging for beginners. If you found these tips and tricks at all helpful then please let me know! 


Do you have any useful tips?







I know what you are all thinking. 

"Does this girl ever stop moaning about her life?"

And the answer is no, and it's my blog and I can do what I like so there. 

I'm sorry, I know it's boring and I know it's lame but I treat this as my outlet for my thoughts and feelings. I tend to jot all my blog ideas down when I am at work and hating life, so if there is a depressed tone to a lot of what I write that would be why. 




Anyway, today as I scrolled through Instagram, envious of my feed, I got to thinking. This can't be it. This can't be all there is to life. There are people out there living every day as their best day, and I am here not being able to decipher between weekdays because they're all the fucking same. 

I work 9-6, Monday - Friday staring at a computer screen all day long. I do the same thing day in, day out, I work with people who outside of the office I wouldn't dream of spending time with, and I generally just sit there hating every moment, except for lunch. 

I got a full time job pretty much as soon as I left school, which as you can imagine did wonders for my social life. When all my friends were at Uni, I was out making money and I kind of have nothing to show for it. 





I find it physically impossible to arrange things when I spend so much time working. When I get home I am mentally and physically exhausted, that going out with my friends just seems like pure hell. Especially when they are at completely different stages in their lives. I am at a stage now where I am looking to buy a house and settle down etc. 

A lot of my friends either live far out or are still studying, which just makes it so much harder to try and arrange plans. Everyone has their own schedules and it's almost impossible to pin you all down to one day.




I guess my point is, why is it like this? I mean I know why, because you gotta work to make a living. But it's so hard when you literally prioritise your shit job over your loved ones. 

Someone once said to me "you work to live, not live to work" and that sticks with me everyday. I know one day I won't be here, and I will be happy with everything I do in life, but that just seems so far away, it's hard to see the finish line. 

I am going to start to make an effort for the more important things in life, because I know this isn't it. I need to start living and making  real memories. Not just sit in a dingy office all day dealing with shitty clients. 

Anywaaay, rant over for now.

Jumper - Primark, Trousers - Marks&Spencers, Shoes - Miss Selfridge


Love Always!



I love fashion with all my heart. It is the one thing in life that I could talk about endlessly and never get tired learning about. It is my one true passion in life. Judge me if you want, but it's true. I'm not that interesting, but I'm a true fashionista at heart. 





The Perks:

Being so invested in fashion can be quite exhausting, not only on myself trying to keep up but also on my bank balance. Yikers. So, today I wanted to break down the best and worst points of a fashion follower, because believe you me, there's many!

When a new trend comes about, I love putting my own spin on it and adapting it to my wardrobe and taste. Just because something isn't your usual style, it doesn't mean you can't go for it without putting your own flair onto it. 

Everyone has their own unique style. Operative word there being unique ​as it means no two people will ever look the same.

It's fun and creative.

Just because you styled one outfit one way doesn't mean you have to wear it like that forever. Mix and matching different items in my wardrobe to create new styles is one of my favourite things to do.

Regularly shopping and browsing the fashion sites means my Winter and Summer wardrobes are always fully stocked and as the seasons rolls around, transitioning between the two is easy peasy.

Having a variety of up to date, fashionable clothes is great for Insta shots and keeping the feed up to date. Obviously.

Everyone loves receiving compliments, and when you constantly look and feel good people notice that. By regularly switching up outfits and trying new trends that are a little out there means I get endless compliments on my style and how I carry myself. 

There is no better feeling than when you get ahead of the curve and end up beating a trend before it's huge and Primark kills it. This is where the term 'influencer' really means something, as you are able to influence people with your own style via your social media accounts or blog and prove that actually this is a new trend, I'm making it work and so can you. 

With the rise in influencers and bloggers etc means we are never short of inspo for new ideas and outfits online. If you have an item of clothing you are desperately looking to revamp, you only have to search it on Pinterest and a thousand new ideas will come up. There is opportunity everywhere. 

I get very excited when I order a new must have piece, especially if it is designer and I have saved the money to splurge. 

With all that spending means ending up with a lot of clothes, but there is always the opportunity to make some of that money back. With sites such as Depop and eBay about, it makes it tonnes easier to shed your wardrobe of dead weight. But if you're not necessarily interested in making money, it does mean you have lots to donate to charity should you think you'll never wear it again which ofc is your good deed for the day. 

I know that when I rock a new outfit that is a little out of the ordinary, my confidence boots by a mile. 

When you constantly follow trends and influencers daily, you can see some pretty outrageous outfits. Every so often the time will come that you think damn that outfit is cool, I'm going to try that and once you do it one time it gets easier every other. People are often in awe as you are always well presented. 
I know, I've made it sound really good but don't get it twisted it's not all sunshine and rainbows! There come some bad points too, and in true Ripped Glam fashion, I'm going to break those down for you as well.





The Downsides: 

Yes buying endless clothes and shoes is the dream, but it's so expensive. I do not earn enough money to fully support my shopping addiction, so I spend a lot of time being poor and well dressed. 

Trends, trends, trends. The bane of my life. I love to follow them and have the latest style, but they come and go so quickly that when you manage to pin an outfit down, by the time you get to debut it it's already out and the fashion world has moved on to the next thing which also makes it incredibly hard to keep up with.

One of my biggest ​gripes is when I have been saving my money to buy a unique designer piece, I finally purchase it spending a few hundred pounds only to open Facebook and see an article that Primark are selling designer dupes for £5. I get that it is ideal for those people who love the style and can't afford to, or just simply don't want to, spend the money but at the same time I feel like those designs are a little sacred and it can be quite insulting when you see someone in a total rip of your shoes. But I could be being selfish idk

As a person who doesn't have a bucket load of hobbies, when I have free time it is usually spent at a shopping centre. Something that has been ingrained in me since I was a nipper (I am the spawn of a shopaholic, shock.) So that means every time I go it is likely that I will pick up something whether it be a haul or just an accessory. The issue with this is that I have no space for it. I switch my wardrobe between AW and SS and even though I do that, it is still full to the brim. Unfortunately, I buy a lot more than I get rid of so putting clothing away is a constant battle. No joke, I literally wrestle with them to squeeze it in. 

Buying a new outfit and debuting it on my blog is exciting, as it means I am showing it off to the whole world. But normally when you buy a new outfit, you want to wear it all the time. You can't do that as a blogger as you constantly need new material and content. Therefore a lot of outfits tend to just get wasted and forgotten about. Insert sad, dramatic music here. 

As a self confessed fashion obsessed girl there is so much pressure. If you say you're into fashion, you're expected to look pristine and well maintained at all times. If you have an off day, it could mean no content and there's nothing worse than judginess from judgy people when you decide to just rock a sweatshirt, jeans and trainers. 

On the opposite side of the spectrum, if you want to stay relevant you need to offer new and innovative ideas. ​​But the fear of getting judged for out there outfits, is one that sometimes cannot always be overcome. Yes by putting yourself out there you have to know you are opening yourself up to it, but that doesn't necessarily make it any easier. 






So, as a fashion victim we have it good, but with the good does come the bad. But hey ho, it's the life we choose to live and it's the life we love. 

​Let's celebrate our love for fashion! 


Jumper - Primark, Skirt - Primark, Boots - Zara 

What are some of your highs and lows of being a fashionista?






Break ups suck. Even if it was completely your choice and you know you'll be truly happier without them, they still suck. 

You may have gone through months of emotional hell with them, but for some reason when it comes to the break up all the good stuff comes rushing back to you. 

You start thinking of all your milestone moments, such as when you first met as complete strangers and spent the whole afternoon creasing with laughter. Or when you had your first kiss, whether it was a drunken fumble or under the stars in the most romantic way possible, although I'm not sure that exists. Every moment meant something to you, and it was something you both shared together. 

The strangest things can happen as you start remembering times you hadn't recalled in years! Just the little things, like when he turned up to your house when you were ill with your favourite magazine, medicine and chocolate to get you through the day. Or that time when you thought she hadn't been listening to you rave about this new band, and in a weeks time surprises you with tickets to the gig. 

All you want is to talk to that person and reminisce about the good times because you know they're the only other person in the world who will understand what you're experiencing.  But talking to them is definitely the wrong thing to do. If you know in your heart of hearts you don't belong with that person, then you need to cut them off cold turkey. No going back. 






Getting out of the depressive rut can be a tough one, but once you get through the utter shite stage of constantly thinking about them and listening to your T Swift and Adele on repeat, you can start to see the good things that come from a break up. 

Firstly, turn Adele off. Yes she is a fantastic artist but come on. Put some Beyoncé on and come to the realisation that actually they aren't Irreplaceable, they are the Best Thing I Never Had, I am a Survivor and from now on it's just Me, Myself and I

(Some Beyoncé songs I would recommend if you are currently going through this. They work, trust me!)

Everything you do, you are doing for yourself. When in a relationship, the decisions you make you tend to have your partner in the back of your head whether its a career move, a new outfit, or a new hair do you always end up thinking "Hmm will so and so like this?" So the pressure to please anyone but yourself has gone. 

With them gone means, duh, more time for yourself. You don't have to worry about them popping over one evening when you're shattered after work and just want to sit quietly and watch TV til the cows come home, you don't have to share your bed, you only have to make dinner for yourself, you don't have to pee with the door closed. You wont feel suffocated as you have your own personal space that isn't being invaded and your own freedom to do what you like. 

The great thing about being on your own is; you make all the rules and if you choose to break them it won't matter as you answer to yourself anyway. One of the worst relationships I have ever been in is when my SO tried to control me and dictate who I could and couldn't speak to etc. It's just the most irritating thing at the time, but so many of us have been blinded by love. Once you realise how toxic that is and you know to get out, you will be so much happier in the long run.






I know you don't think you'd notice it, but when you're single you can dress and just generally do things with only yourself in my mind. Everyone will say how they don't dress for men or whatever. But I know that if your man didn't like green, you would consciously not wear green around him, just out of respect really. But when he's out the picture, you can wear green everyday and not give af.

I hear it all the time when people are in long term relationships about how they miss dating, or they want to know what else is out there etc. Becoming single after a while and thinking about getting back out there is daunting as hell, for sure. But once you get over the stigma Tinder (and other dating apps) has and just download the app, you can have so much fun! There is no limit to how many guys or girls you can talk to, you can go out for dinner to a new restaurant every week and socialise with new people.

Trust me when I say there is no better diet than the 'break up diet.' For some reason, when a girl is dumped or whatever she suddenly gets ten times hotter than she has ever looked before. You have to utilise this ladies, it does wonders for your self esteem. That moment when you break up with your fella and post a bangin' selfie on Instagram and your DM's start blowing up or you suddenly get that "I think I made a mistake" text. Yes you did bitch, and now I know my worth so keep on dreaming. 

Breaks up aren't always a bad thing, as you can definitely find the beauty in them if you are willing to look. If any of you reading this are currently going through a break up then please know; you are amazing! It's not the end of the world and you will find the right person for you. He/she wasn't it! 

Hoody in XL - Ebay, Trainers - Nike Air Force 1





Where the heck does Instagram get off tryna tell me how I gotta look and what I gotta wear? Pfft...

Syke. Well kind of, actually there is some truth in that but it's not Instagram's fault. It's entirely our own. 

I know this has been talked about endlessly from all angles and every view point, but I decided to weigh in too. Cuuuus why not, right? Right.

Instagram can either make or break us. Should you have a good feed, a pretty aesthetic, post regularly, have all the latest designer clothes etc etc you will do extremely well. However, when you're trying to keep up with that amongst other things in your life, it is really quite difficult. 

Not to mention the fact that not all of us care about a bloody theme. If I was to do Instagram my own way, without being influenced by any other accounts, my feed would be a mess and I'd be posting constantly. Not just things that are fashion related, but everything to do with my life. As I believe that's what it should be for. 

Try as I might, I will never be in that position. I can't help but browse the popular insta feeds and see how pretty their themes look or how clear their pictures are. I also can't help feeling completely and utterly inadequate compared to them. 

It sucks because I KNOW that what you see is not what you get. 

Those perfectly symmetrical faces we see are absolutely face tuned, and that girl who has all the latest designer clothes probably returns them once they have been photographed. Everything we see is through rose tinted glasses.






But the point is, it's there. Every day I scroll through my feed and come across these people who will rock a brand new outfit in front of beautiful blue skies and white buildings and all I can think is "How tf does this person get to flock around the streets all day taking pictures of themselves?" "How do they capture photos in day light? Don't they have a job? It's dark when I get home."

One of the worst things on there is those pages where it constantly shows beautiful, tanned people on yachts drinking champagne and doing shopping sprees at Chanel. Like, obviously that is not a real, sustainable lifestyle. It is someone on holiday or whatever, but does that stop you from comparing yourself? No, it does not. 

We have completely shot ourselves in the foot here, because the bar has just been set so high it's depressing to even try. The most annoying thing of all is that, in order for bloggers to promote their content you have to be active on all social media channels. But Instagram just feels like a waste of time. You obviously can't think of it that way as it's a portfolio of your work, but it's hard to feel motivated. 

That leads me on to the biggest bone of contention right now. The Algorithm. So you can upload good quality images every single day, but if you are just a small time account it can be a total waste of time. With the new set up, for some reason a tonne of your followers won't even see your posts and when you get zero engagement what is the point? You are literally just wasting minutes of your day by even bothering.






I find Instagram so deflating and because of that it affects my motivation to blog and engage with my Twitter followers too. It shouldn't, because Twitter is amazing, and full of so many wonderful and supportive people and blogging is my passion and escape from my every day boring life. So, I resent Instagram for making me feel that way towards it. 

I hope the whole "Instagram Issue" dies down at some point, because I do love the concept without all the added pressure, but right now, it just makes me sad. 

Since you made it this far, comment your Instagram accounts below so we can follow each other and beat the Instagram blues.

Jacket - Nike, Tee - TK Maxx, Jeans - TK Maxx, Trainers - Nike Roshe Run

Unless you blog, I don't think you can truly understand the pressures it can have on a persons life. We all love it and that is why we continue to do it, but that doesn't take away from the fact that it's pretty hard work, especially if you are a perfectionist. 

Coat - Allsaints 
Khaki Shirt - H&M
Ripped Jeans - H&M
Western Buckle Boots - Dorothy Perkins
Choker - Zara 
Bag - Diesel


There are many factors we have to take into consideration during our everyday lives, to name just a few: 

Phone Battery


My charger is with me all day every day. My mom is incredibly judgemental about it, but then again she only uses her phone to make calls and send important texts, like that's even a thing anymore. 


You need a fully charged phone for the spontaneous moment you spot the perfect sunset, or your lunch looks particularly appealing as you eat a la carte. And you can't forget every single time you have prosecco and strawbs.





Outfits


Gone are the days of just throwing on jeans and a sweatshirt to run some errands. You need to get DONE UP. Every outing is an opportunity for blog content, and if it doesn't make the cut for Ripped Glam, it's good enough for the gram at least. I can't be displaying the same outfits over and over again, it needs to be fresh and new, people.





Make Up


Very similar to the outfits, unless it's a 'no make up' make up look, I can't be going out barefaced. I do not have the confidence to photograph myself that way just yet, but I need content so therefore my face must always be beat. 





Food


When I go out for a meal I have to be conscious of what I order as it's got to look insta worthy. We all know promoting food envy is the best way to get likes. 





Lighting and Angles


It's easy to get your angles right when taking selfies, but when you have pictures taken of you it's so much harder as you can't see what is going on and what you look like. So, not only do you have to work out your right angles in front of a camera, but also make sure you get the right lighting. You can't go out for a shoot when sunrise is due in half an hour, and nothing beats the natural sunlight when it hits you and makes your skin glow and your highlighter pop.





Grooming


Every girl loves winter because it means grooming pretty much goes out the window. Your hair grows less and you don't have to worry about shaving your legs. But as a blogger you don't get that luxury. You have to camera ready 24/7! That means legs and armpits always have to shaved, my hair always needs to be neat and my nails always need to be done. A camera picks up things that a naked eye could never spot, and beady eyes on the internet don't miss a trick. 





Perfecting the perfect 'candid'  


We all know those pictures we see of those gorgeous girls on Instagram aren't real, and actually whatever they are laughing at wasn't that funny. The reason I know that is because if they are anything like me, the funnier something is the uglier my laughing face gets. So mastering that look is near impossible. You have to time it right so your skin is glistening in the sun, your face is tilted at just the right angle to disguise your double chin, your mouth is parted slightly to make it look like you aren't posing. It's hard af. If anyone has posted a YouTube video on how to take the most perfect candid lemme know please. 





Reading those you might not think it's an issue at all, and individually they aren't but let me just break down a little scenario for you, that I'm sure we have all experienced at some point in our blogging lives.


It's Friday afternoon, you clock off at 4pm so you're sitting there counting down the minutes. 3:57pm, you immediately start logging off and packing up your belongings. The phones are ringing, clients are wandering in and out in and your colleagues are battling the phones in the background but you don't care 'cause you're outta there in 3. 


You're praying the person on the other end of the phone isn't returning your left messages before you get out the door and then you hear it... "Sorry Dionne, I know you're on your way out, but I have Mrs Jones here to see you." 


Fucking Mrs Jones. 


So you sit there for 10 minutes watching the sun slowly melt behind the clouds and your chances of the perfect outfit shot go with it, whilst Mrs Jones blabbers on about something completely irrelevant as she blocks your way to freedom. 


You manage to make it out alive and begin the mad dash of finding the perfect outfit and doing a full face of instagrammable makeup. Then you're out the door leaving your bedroom looking as though a bomb has hit it. 


If you're organised you will have already planned the location in which your photo shoot will take place. So, you check your weather app and find rain is due in about half hour, time to get down to business. 


You do your poses in the middle of the street, stopping occasionally as cars and onlookers pass you by. But you come away thinking what a bloody good job I have done there. I cant wait to look through those.


You get home, open up your laptop and load the pictures only to find that... Your zipper was flying low or your hair had a kink in it. 


No. Pain. Like. It. 



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