A Lifestyle, Grooming & Technology Blog

I've been following Jim Chapman for quite some time now over on his YouTube channel and had been following the hype surrounding the release of his book. So can you imagine my surprise when I was sent a signed copy...that's right signed! I usually get a bit miffed that YouTubers can just publish a book without necessarily having the talent, but Jim Chapman genuinely has the talent! The book contains 147 facts or "things" as Jim refers to them as.

If you're someone who's not that into facts I'm sure you'll still love this book. Don't assume it's a boring read. It's actually written in a very chatty, down to earth way and includes lots of Jim's personal stories which were often really funny! This book is a unique blend of fun, factual and autobiography! I wondered how the fun sciencey facts and personal twists would work, but it certainly does! I found myself getting excited about what I was reading and wanting to learn more, which would be perfect for younger audiences.

My favourite thing about Jim's book is the way that he manages to make huge, scary things feel just as matter of fact and easy to talk about as the smaller things which he discusses. My favourite Thing comes in pretty early at Thing 18, in the section titled 'You and 'you' are totally different things'. Jim discusses how the way that we perceive ourselves is often super clouded and how none of us really give ourselves enough credit for how brilliant we really are. He reminds us all that 'Billions of years of adjustments and tweaks have led to the evolution of the perfect vessel whose only purpose is to pass on genes and keep the fragile bit that is really you safe.'

Basically, what's on the inside is the important bit. Remember that.

You can pick up 147 Things from Amazon 

I'm a massive fan of homeware, candles inparticular. Autumn is a great time of year to revamp your living room or bedroom with some new accessories to get you through to the colder months. I think of homeware as a more excusable spend than clothing. Though I can't exactly put my finger on why. Perhaps because I'm unlikely to wear something every single day but I will see it in my home everyday...Homeware shopping = totally justified. Here's a few of items that I've added to my wishlist over the past few weeks..

House plants are quickly becoming an addiction for me and what better way to display them than this Cutout Hanging Gold Planter from UO. It's about 12.5cm in diameter so it's ideal to get younger plants off to a great start. As I said candles are quite an obsession for me and this Sage & Fig Jar from UO is the perfect Autumn scent. They're hand-poured in Virginia, USA and you certainly pay for the privilege but trust me when I say the smell is incredible.

Hanging Planter | Sage & Fin Candle | Printed Duvet Set | Pumpkin Jar Candle | Ceramic Table Lamp | Brass Wine Rack

Autumn weather calls for new bedding. This Printed Duvet Set from UO is actually covered with orange lips, but at first sight I thought it looked like autumn leaves so that's totally acceptable right? Maybe..

What says Autumn anything more than Pumpkins? I know i know candle overload on this post but you were warned! This Jar Candle from Anthropologie smells like autumn baking and the iridescent jar is pretty incredible too.

As the evenings get darker over the next few weeks adding a new lamp to your bedroom seems like a must right? This Ceramic Table Lamp from West Elm sure isn't cheap but really fits with the grey theme I've got going on right now. It's also got a solid wood base so it's a quality addition to the home - worth the price tag!

Last but not least this Brass Wine Rack is just awesome. Whether you've got a growing wine collection or just don't want to get your bottles on the kitchen side (like me!) then a wine rack is a great option for the kitchen or lounge. This Brass one from Anthropologie  is sturdy and holds up to 5 bottles. Plenty... right? Better order two.

So that's what's hit my Autumn wish list recently, which ones are your favourites? What are you most looking forward to about Autumn?

Having beautiful images on your blog is only the beginning, learning how best to make them work for you to gain your blog traffic and followers is the next stage. Here are my 4 quick tips to optimising your blog images for SEO and followers.

1. Pinterest Hover Button

Pinterest can be a very handy tool to help you grow your blog following and also to publicise your posts. Make it as easy as possible for people to pin your images by installing a plug in that will give you a Pinterest ‘pin it’ button over your images. When a visitor views your post and scrolls over your image a ‘Pin it’ logo will appear and at the click of a button, your image has been shared to Pinterest. Don’t forget to pin your own images too. Try hovering over the image below to see this feature in action. I use the ‘Pin It Button for Pinterest’ plugin, there are a few options for personalisation, I chose the most discrete button option.

2. Alt Text

This is the most important tip for optimising your images for SEO.  When you add an image to WordPress you should be able to edit the title, caption, alt text and description. Alt Text tells the internet the context of your images, for instance, if the image doesn’t load the Alt Text may be displayed instead. But the biggest use for Alt Text is that it makes your images searchable by google.

When considering what to write in your Alt Text think about key words related to your post, don’t spam with random words but choose a few niche words that are relevant to your image.

3. Captions

Writing clever captions can give context to an otherwise out of place picture, it may not do much at all to help SEO but used well, captions form another layer of interaction with your reader, like a second private conversation.

4. Links

Quite often your blog posts will probably refer to something you’ve previously written, either directly or indirectly. Links are a way to gently direct your readers to other parts of your site, make it as easy as possible for them to do so by linking either in the text itself or by using a picture. When adding an image to WordPress, in the same side section as the caption and Alt Text you can scroll down to add a link.

There are three sections that I always make sure to fill out, firstly the link itself, then I ask the link to open in a new window, so as not to force the person to leave the current post, and finally, I ask the Gallery Link on Effect to stay not be removed once it has been clicked.

So there's my 4 top tips on optimising your blog images for SEO. Do you have any other ideas?

Turns out there's loads of bargains to be had on ASOS right now from all kinds of brands including Vans, Tommy Hilfiger and A&F to name just a few. It's so easy to spend hours scrolling through their latest arrivals but there's so much on there it's often completely overwhelming. I've pulled together my top picks under £20 to give you a few ideas on ways to fill up your shopping bag. 

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