Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Tips For New Bloggers

 I've been blogging since the age of eleven. Over the last eight years, I've done everything myself. Back in 2012, it wasn't too common for blogging courses to be taught, even more so for eleven year olds starting their own. Unfortunately the interest in reading blogs is going downhill compared to the peak back in years such as 2014 where we rushed to read Zoe Sugg's latest monthly favourites. Many people nowadays prefer swiping photos on social media and scanning through the short captions rather than investing time in reading lengthy content. It is sad. But things change all the time. It is easier and quicker to search up an influencer and just look at what they've been wearing recently through their latest pictures instead of reading an entire blog post. I do believe that there are other souls out there that prefer the written content and find joy in reading an article in a magazine or on a blog. I compiled a list of tips and tricks I have picked up over the years. For the handful out there that wish to start this journey themselves, this is for you.

Write For Yourself

Seems obvious, but is ever so easy to not do. Focus on what you're interested in and what you would like to read about. If you find a few people out there who share the same joy, that's brilliant. If you haven't yet, don't worry. Whether you want to be a food blogger and document your diet, share your fashion views with others or admire cars and want to dedicate a web page to them, you are free to do so. Trends are good in their own way but don't follow what is popular at the moment if it is not something you are interested in.

Research Which Platform You Want To Use

There are many. The most commonly used platforms are Blogger, WordPress, Wix and SquareSpace. Each has their own set of advantages and disadvantages, ranging from complexity to pricing and design. I use Blogger, it is the one that was the easiest for my eleven year old brain to wrap around as it is very straightforward to use. You won't need any guidance or support in uploading a post using this platform. Also, it's free to use. The only charges I ever faced where my custom domain and custom templates which were add ons I chose myself. However if there is anything I learnt from my one and only economics lesson in college, it is that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Yes Blogger is quick and simple, but it is very plain. I've edited their own themes in every way I could think of, purchased a theme from Etsy and now have one from PipDig and there are still limitations to what I can do with this site. This platform has many design limitations, however readers or new bloggers probably won't pick up on this. You can migrate between different platforms in the future however it is very complex to do. The possibility to pay for the migration service is there, however it will cost you between £150 and £200. It's easier to choose a platform you like before putting yourself in that position. 

If You Want A Fancy Template, Buy One From Etsy

Etsy is flooded with creative minds who design templates for blogs. Whether you use Blogger, WordPress or any of the others, you will find something on Etsy. You don't need a super snazzy and expensive template, especially when you're just starting out. I've spent the majority of my eight years on Blogger's own templates and a very affordable one I bought from Etsy back in 2017. This summer I invested in a PipDig template as I've dreamed of one since finding out that is the software that InTheFrow and Zoella use, but I was much happier with my previous choice. Many Etsy templates are around the £10-£15 mark and are often on sale. As long as you choose a seller with high reviews, you should be pretty impressed. Many help with the installation for free if you wish, however the process is easy enough for you to do yourself when following their instructions. Also, templates are not a subscription. You pay once and use without expiration on your website. Don't pressure yourself into purchasing a more expensive template just because of the brand at the bottom that most people don't notice anyway.

Change is Natural

As with everything in life, change is bound to happen. Same with blogs. You're allowed to wake up one day and want to take your website down a different path. Those of you who have been with me since the beginning will remember the 'Teens New World' days with a silver boombox radio as a background of a page dedicated to Movie Star Planet and whatever thoughts came through my head. Your interests ae bound to shift at some point. Despite needing my loom band tutorial and phone case wish list days to get me to where I am currently, I prefer focusing on other topics now.

Make Sure Your Images Are Their Original Size

This point deserves to be shouted from the rooftops. When adding photographs to your post, click on their sizing and ensure you select 'Original Size'. This means that your photo won't be stretched or 'pixelly' when the blog post goes up. It is the easiest way for your image to achieve the best quality. Sometimes photos need a bit of polishing up regarding their brightness but you don't have to professionally edit your photos for your website. Especially when you're starting out. 

And last but not least, have fun. We are living in very stressful times and this is a wonderful way to relax whilst being productive.

K x


Wednesday, August 19, 2020

The Best Series To Watch For Fashion Inspiration

I know you have probably spent the majority of your 2020 binge watching shows, so why not spice it up? I have compiled a list of the best Netflix, 4OD and Amazon Prime shows to watch for major fashion inspiration.


You’ve either heard of it and love it or you’re about to watch it for the first time and love it. Fallon’s outfits truly radiate boss lady energy. Her looks prove that you can look powerful and feminine at the same time. I also really like that many of her outfits are very bright and colourful which show that you can wear some of the brightness in the office. This is by far the wardrobe I would like to own most.


A Spanish high school drama. Imagine Gossip Girl but with murder rather than an anonymous submission website. The outfits are great and cater to many different styles. My personal favourite has to be Lucrecia. It's the pearls and Blair Waldorf Inspired hair accessories. Just look at her outfits, so glamorous and feminine.

Cable Girls

A couple of years ago I went through a very strong love for this show, the plotline itself is brilliant. Set in Spain in the late 1920s, you already know you’re going to witness elegance. I am automatically drawn to any story that features powerful women, even more so when the same people empower others. If you’re fancying a break from shows set in current society, I highly recommend you give this one a go.

Killing Eve

Of course, Villanelle had to find her way onto this list. Loud colours, bold patterns, strong shapes. One of my personal favourites was her Oxford outfit in episode 5 of season 2, giving very strong Ralph Lauren vibes. Such a simple colour palette that always looks clean and put together.  Obviously the puffy two shades of pink moment in Amsterdam in the prior episode has to be mentioned. The gold chunky earrings compliment the pink tones wonderfully. The horse blazer is another unforgettable moment.


Last but not least, I could not write this post without featuring Buffy. With so many badass outfits, she has an entire blog post already dedicated to her. Whether you prefer an all-leather look or some pink flowy patterns, you’re bound to want to recreate at least a handful of Buffy’s outfits. I am a big fan of Buffy’s wardrobe as it shows that your style can be quite wide. Yes, you can wear red leather trousers with a zipped up black leather jacket today and then a blue satin skirt tomorrow. 

K x


Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Eight Years Online


Those of you who have been here since the beginning (or have read my 'About Me' page) know that Chic and Grooves isn't my first venture. Yes, this particular name was established during the initial lockdown but this tiny corner of the internet has been mine for nearly a decade. Join me as I share my story on its eighth birthday. 

Close your eyes, it's 2012 again. There is no mention of Covid-19, Freddos cost 20p, Company Magazine is still publishing. It was a completely different world. My childhood best friend was the one who introduced me to the possibility of blogging, telling me I would 'love it'. Noor had her own blog, dedicated to her very strong love for Movie Star Planet. It was truly the coolest thing an eleven year old could imagine. This was back when Youtubers and Bloggers ruled the world, before the TikTok stars and reality influencers. Yes, images were a big part of the website (or Movie Star Planet screenshots should I say), but it was the words that mattered the most. In the summer after finishing primary school, I received my first laptop and this was the green flag to create my own space.

There isn't much an eleven year old knows about blogging, or the internet for that matter. Apart from Noor, there wasn't much guidance available so it was all truly from my mind and heart. I didn't research different blogging platforms, Blogspot was the only one I knew. The original name was 'TeensNewWorld', since I was still so overjoyed about hitting those double digits in age. When I say that my page was as though someone grabbed a paintbrush and just dipped into my soul, I mean it. A photo of a silver boombox repeated around twelve times as the background featuring a header banner I created myself on Paint with Movie Star Planet characters and Cher Lloyd. In other words, the definition of 'cool' back in 2012. I reviewed music videos, wrote in-depth reports about Movie Star Planet and expressed my love for the up and coming popstars. It blew my mind that my thoughts were being read all over the globe.

This then led to the birth of 'Beautie Bloggy', arguably a worse name than the original. I wanted my page to have more of a theme. These are now the Zoella days on the internet, monthly favourites and Bethany Mota's DIY halloween costumes. It was Miss MacBarbie07 who inspired me to write about my own DIY halloween outfit and magically, my minion logo stencil post was read over six thousand times. This absolutely blew my mind.  This was the marble background and lilac accents phase. My blog had always been something very close to my heart, because no matter whether it was a loom band tutorial or an outfit of the day post, I always put in my entire heart into my work. This led to my website being quite private and not necessarily common knowledge. At the age of fifteen, some people from my school found my corner of the internet and took it apart. I was heartbroken, I didn't understand why one of my greatest achievements and interests was a laughing matter. All was well in the end though as my site needed some redesigning anyways, which led to 'K's Yesterdays'. 

This stage was needed. 'K's Yesterdays' was created during a time I had so many questions for the universe. How do you deal with heartbreak? How do you find a greater source of positive energy? How on earth do you deal with UCAS? I spent those three or four years dealing with stress regarding all those topics, so I tried to help others in the same situation by analysing my experiences. This was without doubt my most 'philosophical' phase, but doesn't every seventeen/eighteen year old go through that? This website was the first time I felt like a real blogger. I searched online for a template to buy. My mum and I went halves on a very cute design on Etsy, it had a slider, widgets on the top and bottom and the look of something special. I actually designed the header myself whilst sat in my GCSE Art lesson. I used my watercolours and swished the paintbrush on some card which I then scanned onto the computer systemI remember sitting in a revision class and photoshopping the name 'K's Yesterdays' onto the paint. Slowly but surely, I worked in order to build the page up to look exactly how I envisioned it. And for the few years it was around, this truly was my pride and joy but sometimes you need a breath of fresh air, which leads us to where we are now.

I actually wrote a post titled 'My Blogging Journey So Far' back in December 2018 where I shared my little story and finished it by saying 'I cannot wait until I move to university and have some more time to base my blog from a  fashion point of view, by then I will hopefully have Elle Woods' wardrobe and be walking around either in vintage blouses or pink outfits every day.' I dug the now drafted post out today when working on this piece and it made me feel very warm inside. A year and a half after that sentence I rebranded yet again as Chic and Grooves, doing exactly what I said I hope I would. Writing about fashion and some elements of life from a woman's point of view, no longer a new teenager's. And as for the vintage blouses and pink clothes around campus, I can confirm this manifestation also came true as I rocked both of my pink suits to lectures last year before the doom of lessons on Zoom took over. I purchased a domain for the first time and a big label template from PipDig. This website grew up alongside me and will continue to do so.

I guess the message to take from this ramble is to follow your interests, no matter how random they seem or how many people think they're weird. Imagination and ambition are the key directions to any bright road.

K x


Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Uncommon University Tips

University is an experience like no other. I know I’m not the only that has watched countless YouTube videos about realities and expectations, room tours and everything in between. And even though that information is important and needed to be heard, not all topics are covered.  Out of the subjects that seem less common to be discussed, these are the top university tips are often missed out.

Wear whatever you want


University is often the first-place people feel like the can express their individuality, whether it is through their room décor or subject choice. I regularly hear people online saying statements such as ‘don’t ring heels to uni’ but why not? If you want to wear something, wear it. Yes, university life in general isn’t the most glamorous and it is socially acceptable to wear vans or air force ones with dresses but if that’s not you, that’s totally fine. Want to wear moonboots to your lectures? Stilettos to brunch? You do you. Going back to the heels example, wearing them boosts my confidence drastically and so far, I’ve managed not to break either of my legs so why should I sop wearing them just because they are not the number one shoe choice? I assure you that whether you study in comfy loungewear or a blazer and skirt two piece, everyone is too busy with their own business to mind or judge. 


Can’t find a society you like? Start your own


Granted this will be a lot easier for students that aren’t freshers, but don’t be discouraged. Societies really are a brilliant way of meeting new people, whether you’re living in student accommodation or commuting. It’s so helpful to meet new people who share the same interest as you. I have just finished my first year of university in which I was briefly in two different societies which gave me the opportunity to meet a lot more people than if I would not have branched out. However, my ideal society would be revolved around fashion and my university currently doesn’t offer that, so I applied to start it from scratch myself. Fingers crossed, everything will be approved, and I will be able to create a fashion network within the campus where I study and live. And even if it doesn’t work out, I’m granted to meet at least a few new friends on this journey. Just because something doesn’t exist does not mean it cannot be done.


Don't be afraid to try things out by yourself

Probably the first university tip anyone will give you is to join societies. And rightly so, it's one of the easiest ways to meet new people and even if you don't become the besets of friends, at least you now have more familiar faces around campus. But if there is an event or society you're interested in and you don't know anyone else who fancies it, go by yourself! Seems daring indeed, but I assure you that you won't be the only one in this situation. 

Set up a Depop account


Bargains aside, you can earn yourself. Of course, you can list day to day clothes but don’t forget fancy dress costumes from socials. Chances are that at some point you are going to need some groovy or spooky outfit that you may never need again, so pop it on Depop and help out a student who is in need of one just like it. You’d be surprised how many outfits from previous socials can be found on the preloved market. Likewise, if you’re after one yourself, it’s worth checking Depop before Amazon.

Of course with Covid-19 glooming over us, university life will now probably look different to how it used to, but that doesn't mean it has to mean any less. Enjoy a photo from one of my favourite evenings out with my best friend.

K x


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