My thanksgiving to-do list!

Hey Guys!
Believe it or not I am one of the few bloggers out there with the worst organisation skills ever. Therefore, as promised this morning, I thought I would share with you the to-do list I created to assist me with the lead up to Thanksgiving! Let me know in the comments if I’ve forgotten anything or if you’d like to see any recipes from my menu! I really hope you enjoy!! 

My To-Do List Includes:

3-4 Weeks Before:

Write a guest list

Invite family and friends you are genuinely thankful for. In my case this involves missing out toxic individuals, or those who I know or suspect would disrespect the house and the beautiful environment I’m working hard to put together (especially if there is alcohol involved). After all, this is my home.
Don’t feel pressured to invite people who you or other guests may not feel comfortable around. Drama free evening please!! (I divided my thanksgiving in two, not to prevent drama, but because my family isn’t very social, and I don’t want to force them into an uncomfortable situation with strangers- a.k.a. my potentially very drunk friends.)

Purchase an outfit

If you’re planning on wearing something a bit special, like a new dress or possibly something a bit Autumnal, think about ordering this a few weeks in advance in order to avoid heartbreak and paying next-day delivery.

Read magazines/browse for inspiration

Find recipes and decor ideas either online or in magazines. Even in the UK magazines this is possible, because most places will already have released Christmas magazines that probably contain a lot of recipes that can translate for Thanksgiving as well. This year I loved reading the Tesco 2017 Christmas mag because it had some amazing recipes and visual stimuli. As usual, for decor, I was obsessed with Pintrest. I spend way too much of my life on Pintrest.

Order decor/other

Order or craft any decor you’ve seen on Pintrest that you just ‘need’. Also, consider whether you need extra cutlery or plastic cups. For example, I ordered an ash-tray to put outside, and a drinks dispenser for the punch.  

Write your menu

 Of course, this is the most important one of all! and needs to be done ahead of time so you don’t waste money on food that won’t be used, or forget to order certain items.
Consider any guests with dietary requirements or allergies; for example, my mother is what I like to call a sh*tatarian. She is technically a pescatarian, meaning that the only meat she eats is fish- but she can be very fussy with vegetarian options. I worry about her nutrition often, as she has a tendency to cook for her omni family and forget about herself. Normally with a roast we would cook a bit of salmon, but for this occasion I bought her a Linda McCartney pie, because even as a meat eater I think they are absolutely delicious. Mine includes:
***
Starters:
Frozen Hors d’oeuvres (cheating I know),
Bacon and Cranberry Puff Pastry Snowflake, with Melted Brie
Main:
Roast Turkey,
Roast Pork,
One Linda McCartney vegetarian pie,
Green Bean Casserole,
Cranberry Sauce (both smooth and whole berry),
Roast Veg with Seasonal Roots,
Asparagus Tips,
Pigs in Blankets,
Mashed Potatoes,
Carrot and Swede Mash,
Roasted Sprouts with Bacon,
Broccoli & Cauliflower,
Cauliflower Cheese,
Homemade Yorkshire Puddings (Just try serving a bunch of Brits a roast with no Yorkshires, & their faces contort in disgust!),
Stuffing (meat inside and vegetarian outside the bird),
Meat Gravy (Plus vegetarian one separate)
Dessert:
Sweet Potato Pie,
Chocolate Tart,
Pear and Chocolate Crumble with ice cream.
Drinks:
‘Apple Pie’ Punch
“Open Bar”

***


1-2 Weeks Before:

Write a shopping list & Order Non Perishables

Make a list based on your menu, then divide into 2 by frozen/non perishables, and food you need/want to order fresh. Order frozen and non perishables such as alcohol, then put your other list somewhere for safekeeping. That way, later on you can grab fresh food such as veggies + add any thing you forgot onto the new list.

Think about a punch that would be widely enjoyed– for example I held off on the Malibu as I know many people dislike/have allergies to coconuts. I love to watch Tipsy Bartender on YouTube- even though I rarely drink outside of big events/Christmas nowadays.

Think about areas where it may be possible to cheat! It doesn’t make you a bad person to cut corners in some places. For example, I realized my life would be made substantially easier if I purchased a pre-made shortcrust pastry for my sweet potato pie. No- it’s not that difficult to make- but it saves time and energy later on when I will be rushed off my feet.

Make Placeholders

This is especially useful if there are attendees who don’t get always along. In my case, Due to being extremely picky with my invites, I hope they will just serve as whimsical keepsakes.

1-2 Days Before:

Clean/tidy house

This may seem obvious, but make sure your home is guest ready. For me, I had to make  a list including chores I would normally put off- for example things such as bleaching skirting board and treating my bathroom for limescale. (Norfolk is an area that has very hard water, which causes a frequent build up). Austin and I also had a small domestic regarding whose duty it was to catch the unwanted guest in the bathroom… he is terrified of spiders! Make sure all your dishes are clean, or else you might find yourself scrambling on the day looking for something that is in the dishwasher!

Entertainment!

Bring your speakers downstairs, make a playlist. Consider games/activities for when it gets quiet. Cards against humanity is a must- but as massive nerds we actually are planning to introduce D&D to our friends for the first time. Not to mention probably some drinking games later on. My favourite is the nomination game!

Pamper yourself

 Pick an outfit, do your nails, shave, pamper yourself for the long day ahead. Speaking from the experience of last year, you won’t have much time to do this on the day- even despite the precautions you have taken. It is probable that you will still be standing in the kitchen until the very last minute!

Prepare your veg

Clean, peel, chop and vacuum pack vegetables so all you have to do is cook them the day after.
To do this, place your vegetables into a ziplock bag, and pop a straw into the outside corner. Do the zip up all the way to the edge of the straw, then use it to suck out all the excess air. Seal the bag, and pop in the fridge!

Cook the desserts

Hot ones such as crumble that can be refrigerated and then warmed up on the day. The day before Thanksgiving I’m setting some allocated time to make all three of the desserts on the menu. Luckily, the crumble is a fairly easy one, as the temperature required doesn’t necessarily matter-  so it can go in at the same time!

Put up decorations

Set and lay the table, as well as placing any center pieces and pretty bits where you would like them to go. I added an autumnal wreath, some themed balloons and candles for ambiance.


On the Big Day:

Consider roping off areas

Yes, they are guests, and you shouldn’t make the night feel too artificial by enforcing a 2 page list of rules. However, they should respect your boundaries, especially if there is alcohol and or children involved. Don’t feel bad for roping off a certain area of your house if you think it may cause issues or unwanted mess.

Cook

Obvious, I know (as though you need to be reminded). Cook the foods you have planned out in your menu. This should be much easier with your squeaky clean kitchen and ready-to-go vegetables. However, if you find yourself extremely stressed or short of time be sure not to push yourself too hard. There will almost definitely be enough food regardless of whether or not you miss out or forget one or two dishes, as it’s the custom for guests to bring something along.

Get Ready!

Lay out all the beautiful food on the table, get yourself dressed and ready and have a glass of wine while you wait for your guests to arrive! You’ve earned it!

Mini Drugstore Haul || Superdrug

Hey guys! Here’s a little haul/first impressions for you from a recent online shop I did where I picked up a few essentials I was in desperate need of, I hope you enjoy!!

Now, I only got a few bits and bobs, so what I’ve done is divided it into the things I loved, and the things I didn’t love so much.

Products I didn’t like so much unfortunately were the lashes I tried.

Eyelure No 101

To be fair here, I haven’t been into lashes for very long, so I didn’t know what I was looking for. Foolishly, I didn’t read in the description where these say “shorter”. I thought that meant the actual lash length, not the band- so unfortunately these were too short for my eyes, and left me struggling to make them blend. Too small for me unfortunately, but if anyone wants the two pairs remaining let me know, as they are beautiful after all… just not for me!

Revlon Lengthen

Ok, so… These look BEAUTIFUL in the packaging if you ask me, and I saw no reason why they shouldn’t look amazing on too- that is until, I tried, and I couldn’t even apply them. Yes, I am inexperienced with lashes, but I am not incapable of applying them when I concentrate. The band on these were so rigid and horrendous to work with, I ended up having a tantrum and giving up. I would certainly not recommend these to beginners like myself, and probably not to more experienced folks either. There are thousands of lashes out there that are just as beautiful, and far less awkward to work with!!

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer

I bought this recently after Becca from becxblogs recommended it, as I’d been trialling the wet and wild stick concealer and finding it didn’t work very well with my Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation (click the link for my review on that!). I bought the lightest shade (I think) in shade fair 1. I always buy my concealer as light as possible as I can always use some brightening under the eye, but I also need it to blend seamlessly with my base coat as I’m definitely a full coverage kind of gal. This concealer works great for me,its long-wearing with minimal creasing, and blends with amazing buildable coverage. Good one Bec!!

Elf Makeup Mist & Set

I bought this on a whim after running out of my Morphe fix plus, as I don’t really have the funds to be that boujee right now. I love to liberally spray my face when I finish my makeup and lightly go over it with a beauty blender (a tip I picked up from Laura Lee) because I feel like it really presses the spray into my foundation and makes it sit more naturally with my skin.

I was actually super pleasantly surprised with this product, this spray really finishes my look, makes it more long wearing and is cooling and pleasant to apply with the perfect spritz bottle.

 


I hope you enjoyed this little mini haul! 

Lots of love,

Frankii x

 

The Autumn Tag!

THE AUTUMN TAG 2017!

A huge should out to Becca over at Becxblogs who created this tag based on a blog post by Naomi over at roomtoglow.co.uk and Simply_Kenna’s YouTube video. Thank you for thinking of me for this tag!

I love Autumn SO much, it’s always been my favourite season. I can’t wait to get started and to see other peoples answers!!

 

My Answers!

 

  1. What signifies Autumn to you?

Oranges, Browns, Red tones. Falling leaves, dark lipstick, cinnamon scented candles, hot tomato soup, jumpers, gloves, hats and scarves you’ve waited to wear all year, and cosy nights in with a blanket beside the fire.

  1. What is the best way to spend a rainy day?

In PJs, wrapped in a blanket maybe cooking/baking or making something pretty.

  1. What is your most fond Autumn memory?

One of my earliest memories is getting pulled through a muddy puddle by my dog when I was about four- we were walking through a forest, I can still picture the orange ground and trees and laughing with my mum. Obviously, getting married on Halloween is right up there too, but it doesn’t seem like the most “autumnal” memory I have!

  1. What is your favourite Autumn scent?

I have always loved the way the ground smells when it rains, which might sound weird to some! I also love the smell of apple pies, cinnamon, and coffee.

  1. What are you most excited for this Autumn?

Its our first ever wedding anniversary on Halloween, we were initially going to throw a party because I am obsessed with hosting parties, I love doing the house up and such. But as it drew closer Austin and I decided to cancel it as its our first, and we want to spend it together and do something just the two of us. I’m excited to see what Halloween has in store for us!

  1. What is your favourite Autumn song?

Because of our anniversary, for Christmas last year I bought Austin the soundtrack to Nightmare before Christmas on vinyl, I love putting that on as I clean the house, it really gets me excited for Halloween!

  1. What is your favourite Autumn movie?

I love all the Tim Burton ones, but I always look forward to watching Hocus Pocus!

  1. What TV shows are you most looking forward to this Autumn?

I always look forward to The Great British Bake Off, although this year I’m taking a bit of adjusting to life without Mary Berry, Mel and Sue! Besides that I don’t actually watch that much TV! I’m more of a Netflix girl!

  1. What is your favourite Autumn colour?

That’s such a hard question! I love the whole autumnal palette… I’d probably say like a deep red orange, the colour of pumpkin pie!

  1. What is your most loved outdoor Autumn activity?

Gosh, a few years ago I would have always said galloping down the stubble fields. I miss horse riding so much! I also like to stroll in the brisk air and look at the leaves. What a little romantic I am!

  1. What is your favourite Autumn fashion trend?

I love skirts with tights, and of course JUMPERS! I have never been one for tight fitting clothes, so autumn is my favourite season for fashion 100%.

  1. If you could have a familiar/ spirit animal, what would it be?

I actually mentioned this on my Harry Potter tag (see here), but I think my familiar would be a wolf. When I meditate I often see a wolf, and I’ve always felt very connected to canines in general.

  1. Name one place you wish you could visit during Autumn?

I’d love to visit the house they filmed “Pemberley” for Pride and Prejudice (the 1995 version not the awful Kiera Knightly one). It’s so beautiful and I’ve always wanted to go, I think with the leaves falling and the additional colour it would be spectacular.

  1. What is your favourite photo you took last Autumn?

Probably this one we took on the way to elope… I can’t help but remember how giddy and excited we both were in that moment.

 

  1. What are you being this Halloween?

Oh god, what am I not being this halloween!? I’m obsessed with halloween, halloween makeup especially. I can’t wait to share loads of different makeup looks with you over the next month on my instagram! find me over at instagram.com/quitefranklii !

 


I Tag…

  1. Britt @ alternativelyspeaking
  2. Natalie @ gorgeousandgeeky
  3. Zara @ itsallzara
  4. Emily @ thatweirdgirllife
  5. Savana @ officialsavanarae
  6. Meg @ mysticmogwai
  7. Meggan @ cardiganjezebel
  8. Kaelin @ livinginsaturn
  9. Emma @ canuckersem
  10. Hannah @ rand0mg4l

 


The Questions

  1. What signifies Autumn to you?

  2. What is the best way to spend a rainy day?

  3. What is your most fond Autumn memory?

  4. What is your favourite Autumn scent?

  5. What are you most excited for this Autumn?

  6. What is your favourite Autumn song?

  7. What is your favourite Autumn movie?

  8. What TV shows are you most looking forward to this Autumn?

  9. What is your favourite Autumn colour?

  10. What is your most loved outdoor Autumn activity?

  11. What is your favourite Autumn fashion trend?

  1. If you could have a familiar/ spirit animal, what would it be?

  1. Name one place you wish you could visit during Autumn?

  2. What is your favourite photo you took last Autumn?

  3. What are you being this Halloween?

10 Tips for new bloggers!

Hey guys! I thought I’d share with you some of the things I wish I’d known before I started my blog seriously a few months ago! Hope you enjoy x

Start thinking of yourself as a brand.

This may seem a little daunting, but if you’re new or thinking of starting a blog it’s probably no different to what you were doing on social media anyway! We all have an “online persona”. Make sure your web design and content reflect you! When I first started I did a little brainstorm and considered the bloggers/influencers that inspired me. Set aside some time to really think about what it is you have to offer, and try to make sure that your personality shines through in your work. For example, for me, I’ve always been known amongst my friends for my humor and wit, so I like to break up some of my more serious posts with something a little light-hearted.

Engagement is key!

I know this one might seem obvious but the best way I’ve found to get a regular readership is simply making genuine connections with other bloggers and, well… just being pleasant! Twitter will become your best friend, you can genuinely never go wrong with following bloggers and engaging with their content. One of the best things that ever happened to my blog was joining a group chat on twitter, and a pod on Instagram. ‘Pods’ like this are a great way to ensure engagement because it allows you to connect and share links with people who have common interests as you. If nothing else, the mutual support will do wonders for your confidence, and especially if you are introverted like me, provides and amazing opportunity to make friends.

 

Participate on hot topics

Because the blogging community is so large and diverse, there is often controversy or ‘hot topics’ such as a controversial blog post, a new television show, or a trending hash-tag. While I’d never recommend getting involved with drama, sometimes it’s worth being aware or weighing in with an opinion or an issue. Again, these can be a good networking opportunities or at the very least a way to build familiarity with other bloggers/potential readers.

Also, there are often “chats” held at certain times. Usually this involves an account hosting a Q&A where people answer and discuss questions asked by a host. These are great chance to make new connections and can be great fun!

These Apps may save your life

Here are some of the apps I personally use and love:

One of the most frustrating parts of being a blogger is people who are only out for themselves. People who follow you, wait for you to follow back then unfollow you. This can be combatted by using:

Followers+ (instagram) This allows you to track your followers and see your unfollowers.

Crowdfire (Twitter) Crowdfire is great because it also allows you to schedule tweets, so that they post automatically at optimal times.

Bitly- This can be used to shorten links so that you fill up less characters when sharing your links on twitter. This helps you to include more vital hashtags that might get your post noticed!

Bloglovin’- Bloglovin’ is another way to help you keep up with other blogs and for others to follow you. This is particularly useful If you use a platform that isn’t WordPress as it gives you a “timeline” so you can keep track of content you love!

Influenster- Influenster allows you to make a profile tailored to products you love and is designed to let you review them. This can help brands to see your writing skills and to assess whether or not you might be suitable to review their products. Let’s be real, who doesn’t love a PR package?

 

Photography

Before I started blogging, I knew that photography was important but never knew quite how important it was. I would recommend purchasing a decent camera, because it just sets you apart from other bloggers and makes your content look more professional. However, if you can’t afford to splash out, or you don’t have access to a camera; there are some apps (for iPhone) that can help you out: the ones I use most often are VSCO, and Facetune. VSCO is great for general editing, lightening/brightening images, or adding tints/filters that might help you if you have an Instagram or blog image ‘theme’, where as Facetune is more aimed towards editing selfie’s or images of people.

Having mentioned ‘themes’, this is where all your images or photos abide by some sort of colour scheme or subject theme. This is regularly seen by bloggers on Instagram. Don’t feel pressured to have a theme or set aesthetic, but some people feel it adds something to their ‘brand’, as I mentioned before; since it makes their content more recognizable and consistent.

Buy your domain

This one isn’t essential, but it does help your website links to look more professional. The sooner you do this the better, that way it allows you to get to grips with your new website. If you aren’t ready to make this commitment yet, at least consider doing it as soon as possible.

Schedule/time posts for optimal times

Think about the time and day you personally are most likely to sit down and read other peoples posts. Often people do this on weekend afternoons, however, this also runs the risk that your post will be buried amongst many others written by people who were thinking the same thing. Some of my most viewed posts have actually gone live in the morning around commute time, presumably read by people using the tube or other public transport on their way to work. Find the time that works best for you! Using crowdfire as mentioned previously, you can schedule tweets (or links to your post within them) and they will post automatically for the “best time”.

Be consistent

As a newbie I know this can be daunting, but one of the easiest ways to lose followers and readers is to be inconsistent or to forget to post regularly. People are far more likely to subscribe and return to your site regularly if you are consistent. You don’t want return followers and potential subscribers to forget about you! Definitely think of writing and scheduling posts in advance to prevent this happening. If you haven’t yet launched I would even consider doing this a few weeks in advance while you find your feet with your new site.

This also applies to the content you are posting. Subscribers and repeat visitors are most likely returning to your page because they enjoy your content. As I said before, don’t feel pressured to fit into a theme or a niche, but try and work out what it is that your brand will concentrate on for the most part. For example, if you have gained subscribers through blogging about food, you might notice a decline in your engagement if you suddenly start to focus on interior design, and neglect your regular food posts. For example, for me, I try my best to stick to beauty and lifestyle. I will occasionally however break from that niche to discuss wider issues such as mental health, because it is important to me personally. I also think it is good to use my platform to do good and spread awareness. This is effective because it makes me seem relatable and human, and a lot of my audience are fellow bloggers. Blogging is a fantastic creative outlet and often a safe space to share! So, as it turns out, more of us than you know suffer from anxiety and/or struggle with mental health. I discovered this as this occasional change actually boosts my views, as a pose to harming them.

Don’t expect to become a Hollywood name overnight.

It takes time, work and a lot of learning to build your audience and become a big name in blogging. If you are blogging purely for numbers, free products or fame this is probably not the career for you, as your lack of passion will eventually shine through your content.

Most of all, have fun!

As I just mentioned, make sure you are truly passionate about what you are writing about, and provide genuine engagement and gratitude to your readership. But don’t tie yourself in knots trying to fit a niche or a theme that makes you feel less passionate about what you are doing. We blog for the love of blogging- it really is an affair of the heart. As the old saying goes, “if you chose a job you love, you will never work a day in your life.