Malteaser Chocolate Tiffin

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

A few months ago I blogged about the Nutella and M&M Cookie Pizza I'd made as part of my works 'Bake Off' and announced that I actually won that round. This week was the final and we were told to make our 'showcase' bake that would win us the competition. I instantly knew what I was going to bake - Malteaser Chocolate Tiffin. This is a recipe my friend sent me a few years ago and it's always my 'go to' bake as it's super easy to do and always gets lots of compliments.

What you'll need
100g Dark Chocolate
300g Milk Chocolate
100g Butter
3 tbsp Golden Syrup
275g Digestive Biscuits (crushed)
250g Malteasers

1) Melt dark chocolate, 100g milk chocolate, butter and syrup together
2) Stir in digestives and malteasers and pour into lined tin – flatten
3) Melt remaining milk chocolate and pour over
4) Leave to set in the fridge
5) Once cold, cut into pieces

As I mentioned, it's super easy to make and again, they went down really well. I'm definitely glad I chose those as my final bake. Unfortunately, I didn't win, however, the person who did was definitely a worthy winner. If you're after a really easy, but effective bake to impress you friends or have for a party, I really recommend these Malteaser Chocolate Tiffin.

If you do make these, make sure to let me know what you think!

8 Ways I've Grown my Blog

Sunday, 21 May 2017

For those who don’t know, I first started Ramblings of a Blonde back in 2013. However, due to uni and then new job commitments, I never really had the opportunity to grow it. Not only that, but I was quite naïve, I didn’t realise there was a thriving blogging community and as a rare user of Twitter, I didn’t appreciate it was the optimal place to meet fellow bloggers. Therefore, I've only recently started to have more time to concentrate on my blog and  to grow it, so I thought I'd share some of my tips for growing your blog.

1./Twitter chats
I definitely think this has been the biggest contributor to my blog growing. One Sunday last August, I was sat scrolling through Twitter, which was very unlike me and I came across the hashtag #BDIB. I was intrigued by what this meant and after a bit of investigation I realised it was a Twitter chat. I joined in and gained quite a few followers from it and really enjoyed chatting to fellow bloggers. From there, for the next few months, I tried to join whatever chat I could. As I work full time until 6/6.30 I do end up missing a lot of them, so I can’t take part in as many as I’d like, but whenever I have a free evening, I always join as they’re a great way to chat to others.

2./Scheduling Tweets
Again, this was something that I’d never considered before, but started seeing other bloggers scheduling tweets. I discovered that there were several different apps / websites where you could schedule tweets to help increase engagement and traffic to your blog. I chose to use Buffer as it’s a free app and is so easy to use on the go. Whilst scheduling tweets can be quite monotonous, it’s definitely increased traffic to my blog. As much as I wish I could sit on Twitter all day, I have to work and so this is a great way to engage my followers and direct them to my blog whilst I'm at work.

3./Retweet Accounts
This is something that I was aware of for a little while, but didn’t actually know that many accounts, so tended to use the same one over and over again, but found they stopped being responsive. For those who don’t know, retweet accounts offer you the chance for your posts to reach a wider audience by retweeting the posts you tag them in. Whilst there’s no guarantee that every tweet will get retweeted (the owners of those accounts have lives too!) when they do, it’s an opportunity for readers to be made aware of your blog, who it might not have reached otherwise. It’s a really simple and effective way to grow your following.

4./Increase your presence on social media
For me, I always used to post my blog posts on my personal Facebook account. I didn’t know there were other ways of reaching people (I said I was naïve!). However, I didn’t massively enjoy doing that because I knew not all of my friends were interested in what I had to say. Therefore, I recently set up a Facebook page and then only those who want to see my posts can ‘Like’ the page. It’s a great way to reach the audience that don’t have Twitter and is just another channel by which to attract readers. Also, I use my Instagram account to post photos featured on my blog and again, direct followers to my blog with each post.

5./Ensure all your links are easily accessible
Although I had my links on my blog to all my social media channels, I wasn’t consistent with my links across my other social media channels. I now ensure that in the ‘bio’ sections of all my social media I have all my links. Also, I set up an email address specifically for my blog and again, ensured this was easily accessible across all my channels. Since setting up that email address, I’ve had so much more communication with brands, definitely one of the best things I’ve done.

6./Make a few small investments
This was something I was adamant at first that I didn’t want to do. Being a skint student and then a graduate with a low salary, meant I rarely had any spare cash and didn’t want to spend it on my blog. However, now that I’ve started to establish my career more, I can afford to spend the odd bit here and there on my blog. The biggest investment I’ve made was my new blog layout. Back in January, I launched my new look for Ramblings of a Blonde. As I’m on ‘Blogger’, there’s very little I can do with my layout myself, so I decided to purchase one online. Then, my very talented boyfriend personalised it for me. I was hesitant about buying a layout because I liked the idea of doing everything myself, however, I’m so glad I did. It makes it look so much more professional. 

7./Attend Blogger events
I'd seen a few blogger events on Twitter, but always found excuses not to go. I'm not the best at breaking out of my comfort zone and going to an event with people I'd never met before was definitely out of my comfort zone. However, earlier this month, I saw an event Twitter and was finally out of excuses so decided to go. I'm so glad I did because I had the best time and had the opportunity to meet lots of lovely bloggers, you can read all about it here. Also, it was a great way to gain exposure of my blog and engage with new followers.

8./Be Yourself
This is arguably the most important. If you're not true to yourself, people will see right through you and won't be as warm to you, so won't be interested in following your blog. Some of my favourite bloggers aren't those with the perfect photography, the prettiest theme on Instagram or the nicest looking blog, but instead they're the ones who I can relate to. The ones I know who are just being themselves and aren't trying to be something they're not. I am definitely myself on my blog. I don't try to be someone I'm not and I hope that shines through and encourages people to follow me, for me. 

So that's everything. I'm by no means an expert in this as I'm still a tiny blogger with a small corner on the internet, but it's definitely helped increase my online presence. I'd love to know your tips for growing your blog!

Favourite LUSH Products

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

As with most beauty bloggers it seems, I'm a huge LUSH fan. I have a whole jar of bath bombs / bubble bars and soaps in my bathroom, ready for whatever type of bath I'm after (it also makes a very pretty bathroom ornament!) However, despite this, I do have my favourites that I find myself repurchasing over and over.

I know this is a favourite amongst many. I really like this one as you only need to crumble a bit in your bath and as it's quite big, the bar definitely goes a long way. It's great for those relaxing baths that are needed after a stressful week. It's like a huge berry hug to help make you feel all warm inside!

I think this was the first ever bath bomb I tried from LUSH and it's still a firm favourite. It's a very calming bath bomb full of mimosa and jasmine oils, complemented by lemon oil and orange flower. I find this bath bomb really helpful when I'm after a relaxing bath.

This is my most recent discovery from LUSH. It's definitely the sweetest scents out of all of these and it contains almond chunks and butter which help moisturise the skin whilst you soak in bubbles. I was first attracted to it because I thought it looked really cute with the little flower on it. The combination of the sweet smell and the moisturising element make for a great bubble bath when you need cheering up.

This one is slightly different to the rest as it's body butter in soap form. It's blend of bananas, avocados, oatmilk and butter make the perfect combination for a nourishing and hydrating body butter. I use this after all my baths; smoothing it over wet skin and then rinsing it off which leaves my skin feeling silky soft.

I've definitely left the best to last year. This is by far my favourite product at LUSH (I've actually bought it for a few friends because I love it so much and want to share the joy of it!) I originally discovered this scent when I was given the shower gel for my birthday and I loved it, I then went in store and discovered the bubble bar and fell in love. I'm not normally a fan of rose scents, but the mix of rose, lemon and geranium oil are a magical combination and smell divine. Also, it contains Fair Trade cocoa and shea butter which leave skin feeling soft. Again, you only need to break a bit of this off into the bath, for lots of gorgeous bubbles. A Rose Jam bath, never fails to cheer me up!

What are your favourite products from LUSH?

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