November 29, 2014

Sweet Little Pretties Christmas Challenge 2014

Who doesn't love a little Christmas Challenge where you can use your creativity and showcase your traditions and how you celebrate Christmas

Like last year I am sharing the 
Sweet Little Pretties Christmas Challenge, starting December 1st share your photos using the prompts as inspiration and tag your photos with #slchristmaschallenge on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

How you showcase your Christmas using the prompts is up to you but it is nice to look back at all the fun and festive photos and memories.

Here is the 2014 listing for the #slchristmaschallenge

Share your love of Christmas! 

November 28, 2014

The Hardest Part of running a blog that you wouldn't expect

This post is sponsored by iVox

Running a blog is meant to be all dandelions and roses, right? Well, no – far from it. Although creating a blog is a fantastic way to tell the world exactly how you feel and post photos from that epic trip to India, anyone who’s been in the blogging game for more than a few months knows how hard it can get at times. If you’re about to start a blog, and want a heads up over what to expect, read on. Here are 3 aspects to running a blog that anyone new to blogging might find challenging.

Internet Issues

Internet issues can mean a whole lot of different things: from having your blog hacked, to having your website down due to a bad hosting provider, to simply not being able to get online to post that highly anticipated article. You can reduce the chances of your site getting hacked by opting to use a secure hosting provider and changing your log in details periodically. You can also prevent your site going down due to bad hosting by only signing up with a reputable hosting company. If you want to ensure that you’ll always be able to post that epic blog post, then you’ll need to ensure you only use a reputable Internet provider like iVox to look after your broadband needs. Running a successful blog is like running a successful business, and you’ll always want to ensure that your blog is open to visitors.

Running Out Of Post Ideas

In the enthusiastic rush to make a killer blog, coming up with quality blog post ideas isn’t that hard at all. In the beginning, great ideas seem like a dime a dozen. However, once you’ve been blogging for some time, great post ideas seem harder to come by. Most successful blogs adopt the two posts a week blogging schedule. Although two posts a week doesn’t sound like much, working under this pressure to create two epic blog posts in a week is not an easy task at all. In fact it’s quite stressful, and many bloggers find they are unable to cope with the demands of this creative life.

Dealing With Criticism And Trolls

Imagine the following scenario. You’ve been blogging for a little over three months and have started to see a trickle of new visitors to your website everyday. It’s all organic traffic, meaning that your blog is being noticed by the Internet public at large. You’re feeling excited that your hard work is beginning to pay off. But then, after pouring your heart and soul writing a killer blog post that you feel is your best offering yet, your struck by a few bad comments from an anonymous troll who doesn’t even seem to be fair in their criticism. What to do? Well, you need to understand that some criticism may be fair. If that’s the case you’d be wise to reflect on their comments and see how you can improve your view on the world or the way you express it. But you also need to understand that “haters will be haters” and you need to take some criticism in with a pinch of salt!

If you run a successful blog, then please let us know what aspects of it you find personally challenging. Leave your comments below and contribute to the discussion today.

November 27, 2014

A Little Different - Fun Meals to Cook for an afternoon Barbeque

This post is brought to you by Barbeques Galore

The barbie arvo is a favourite staple of the Australian lifestyle, a tradition as entrenched as backyard footy and leaving dad in peace during the Boxing Day Test Match. But, as with many enduring customs, the occasional tweaks and additions are required to keep the afternoon barbeque fresh and exciting. As delicious and satisfying as the standard BBQ dishes are, it’s a delightful change to sometimes try out something a bit unusual, something a little bit left of centre. Read below some fun ideas that could be right up your alley for your next outdoor feast. By the way, both these different recipes and the classics are at their best when produced on a top-of-the-line barbeque; if you’re not yet equipped, you’d best get to browsing at a specialist retailer like!

Killer Kale

Kale is, without a doubt, one of the most talked-about vegetables of today. And for good reason – this leafy green is stocked full with beneficial antioxidants and healthy vitamins. If you’re already on the kale bandwagon, here’s some great news: this stuff grills beautifully. Who says delicious food can’t be good for you? If you haven’t experienced the wonder that is kale yet, a BBQ’d batch with your favourite herbs and spices is the best introduction you could ask for.

Neat Nachos

No longer do you need to drive to the nearest Mexican restaurant when the craving for nachos strikes; simply turn on the BBQ and grill your own fiesta! The added smokiness will add a unique flavour that will blend perfectly with your extra ingredients of choice – jalapenos, shredded cheese, tomato, pepper, red onions… it’s entirely up to you! This idea will always go down well, but would be particularly suitable for house parties and family gatherings (who doesn’t love nachos?).

Fantastic Fruit

Fruit is something we all love to eat fresh, true. But some fruits take on a whole new exciting flavour when grilled for three minutes or so! Once you’ve tasted these cooked items, you’ll wonder why you hadn’t thought to try it sooner. Some fruity pieces that are great grilled include bananas, peaches, pineapple, and avocado. Combine all four, grill with olive oil or lime juice, and prepare for an unexpectedly delicious dessert!

Outstanding Oysters

Grilled oysters are a culinary luxury that deserves to be tried at least once. If you’re already a fan of this delicacy or just enjoy seafood in general, there’s a high chance that oysters off the barbie will send your tastebuds to heaven. If you’re worried about under or overcooking them, there’s a handy hint to know when they’re ready: when the first one opens up, that’s usually the sign to take them all off the grill. Needless to say, butter and lemon juice go perfectly with these divine little treats.
The Aussie BBQ certainly isn’t limited to sausages and steaks; hopefully the above suggestions have cooked up a creative storm in your mind or at least inspired you to come up with your own original, unusual barbequed meal!

November 26, 2014

Packing a suitcase for an island holiday

This post is sponsored by Luggage Direct

Right now I would love to be packing for an island holiday, where I could relax by a pool or the ocean and forget about all the small things waiting for me.

With Christmas holidays coming thick and fast packing a suitcase for your island holiday doesn't have to be overwhelming. I have put together a small  list of items to pack to ensure your holiday is refreshing and uplifting.

Island Travel Essentials

Packing for an Island Holiday

1. Lightweight Luggage - Essential for any holiday. Lightweight luggage allows you to pack a little extra when weight issues apply to your travel booking. 

Lightweight luggage also comes in Hard or Soft Shell - I recommend hard shell to ensure that all your items are protected and  for durability of your luggage.

2. Clothes - Clothes will be minimal during the day on your island adventure. A few statement bikinis with sarongs or kaftans are the perfect accessory for an island adventure.

For the evening some nice summer dresses or kaftans can be dressed up for the Long Island nights you will endure.

3. Sunglasses - A statement for every outfit; you wouldn't want to get stuck on your adventure without a pair.

4. Reading Material - A perfect opportunity to relax with your favourite magazines or the novel that you have not had a chance to read all year.

5. Sun Safe Accessories - If your anything like me you are prone to being burnt you need extra sun safe accessories. A wide brimmed hat and a good moisturiser and sunscreen. 

What are your essentials to pack for a island holiday?

November 25, 2014

30 Days until Christmas 2014

With 30 days to go Christmas in is full swing!

What to expect over the next 30 days!

- Christmas Challenge with Sweet Little Pretties
- 12 Days of Christmas Baking and Creating 
- Little Kris Kringle Swap 

and so much more!!!

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