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Great Tips for Booking a Trip for Yourself or an Opera Loving Friend

Friday, 29 June 2018

If you’re a fan of opera, or you know someone who is, you may want to consider booking an opera inspired getaway. What better way to enjoy your annual holiday, than by catching an opera show in a beautiful, foreign country?

Here, you’ll discover everything you need to know to book a trip for yourself or an opera loving friend. 

Book through a specialist agency

Although it’s totally possible to book an opera getaway yourself, it is much easier to turn to the help of a specialist agency. Companies such as Opera Tours Italy, have been organising opera inspired breaks for many years. They have relationships with opera houses, can book the best possible tickets and they arrange absolutely everything for you.

Just like using a standard travel agency, it’s much less stressful to book through a specialist opera break agency. 

Research the best opera getaways

You’ll be surprised by how many opera inspired breaks there are available to book. Therefore, it’s a great idea to research the best opera getaways onlineIt’s worth noting that what’s considered best right now, will likely change next year. So, you’ll need to make sure you’re looking into opera breaks that are available around the time you plan on going.

Don’t forget to check out online reviews too. It’s always a good idea to see what other travellers have to say about the opera breaks out there. Were they worth visiting? What was their experience? This will give you a good idea of what to expect and also ensure that you don’t waste your money.

Make sure you get good seats!

The last thing you want is to arrive at the opera house, only to discover you can’t see anything! So, it’s essential you make sure you’re booking good seats. If you do book through an agency, they’ll typically have access to some of the best seats in the house. However, if you’re booking the break yourself, you’re going to need to pay attention to the seats before you book.

These are just some of the things to consider when booking an opera inspired break away. There’s some truly beautiful opera holidays out there that you can experience. 

Whether you choose to head to Venice, Verona, Brussels or Milan – you’re sure to have an amazing and memorable experience.

SEO Tips for Bloggers

Thursday, 28 June 2018

For most bloggers, growing your blog by increasing traffic and reader engagement is the ultimate goal. Of course, many of us blog simply because we enjoy doing so, but if nobody is reading your content, it can be incredibly disheartening. 

Blogging is most fun when people are reading your content and engaging with you, whether it is by commenting on your blog or sharing your posts. Of course, blogger communities are a great way to boost engagement and chat with fellow like-minded bloggers within your niche, but the reality is that if people aren’t visiting your blog, you are much more likely to lose interest in blogging.

Luckily, there are a number of ways in which you can work to boost your blog’s traffic and engagement. The digital environment is constantly adapting and evolving, and along with the regular updates to Google’s algorithms, it is important to keep up to date with the latest online trends. 

One of the most enduringly popular methods of improving traffic is SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) which is the process of organically growing your blog’s rankings in Google search results for specific keywords and phrases. 

Although this tactic is usually employed by businesses looking to increase traffic, sales and conversions, it is still applicable for bloggers looking to grow their own readership.

For those new to the world of SEO and digital marketing, the whole concept can understandably seem a little overwhelming. However, for bloggers looking for continued success, it is important to stay ahead of the game. 

If you are interested in learning more about what SEO can do for you and your blog, keep reading for some top SEO tips for bloggers!

Pick the Right Keywords

First things first – you have to pick the right keywords and phrases to targetThere are multiple ways that you can find keywords, but the best rule of thumb is to try and pick ones with decent search volume, low competition and, of course, ones that are relevant to your blog. Similarly, it’s important to get the right keyword density and variation in your content when optimising for SEO. Try to include your chosen keyword approximately 2-3 times per 500-word blog post andinclude a mixture of long-tail variations as well as the exact match keyword. A word of warning – avoid keyword stuffing!

Put Your Keywords in the Right Place

Of course, it’s important to have the right keyword, but if it is not in the right place on your blog, you won’t reap the benefits. As well as being in your posts, your keyword should be in the title ideally, or a header within the article if not. In addition, your keyword should also be in the page’s title tag,meta description and post URL where possible. Some blogging platforms like WordPress have additional SEO packages that you can add to your blog, which will enable you to easily take care of the SEO side of things.

Utilise Your Meta Description

Once you start to optimise your blog for SEO purposes, it won’t be long before you come across the meta description. This is the short snippet describing your post that is displayed in Google search results and is an integral part of marketing your blog. When writing a meta description, you should always keep in mind that potential readers will be deciding whether or not to visit your blog based on your meta description, so it is important to make it as engaging and appealing as possible. Don’t forget to include your keyword!

Optimise Your Images

No matter how good your content is, every blog needs good images to accompany the text. 

Go for images that are relevant to the topic of the post, well-lit and in focus. Although this isn’t strictly SEO related, your images should always be your own, where possible, or if not, fully credited to the rightfulowner of the image.

On the SEO side of things, you should always make sure to optimise the alt text of each image you upload to your blog. Not only are these employed by screen readers for people with poor eyesight, but search engines read alt text to understand the content of the image, making it the perfect opportunity to boost your rankings and add in a few targeted keywords.

Although the benefits are clear to see, it is worth mentioning that SEO is not a quick-fix solution. Effective SEO strategies can take months, possibly even years to perfect, especially for bloggers in competitive niches. However, this isn’t to say that it can’t prove beneficial to your blog. 

With dedication, commitment and perseverance, your blog’s traffic should begin to grow and hopefully, it won’t be long before you’re well on your way to meeting your blogging goals!

Finishing touches with Posterlounge - review

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Often when you are decorating, things don't look complete until the finishing touches are applied don't you agree?

When Posterlounge asked if I would like the chance to place an order with them to try out their services and products, it's safe to say I jumped at the chance!

The first thing I noticed was the quality of their website. It is bright and very easy to navigate, with lots of sections to search and a search bar which allows you to simply type "Unicorns" for example. Once you find an image you like you simply click on it and look through the options available for that design. All options are laid out in a straightforward manner enabling you to chose your final size and materials easily.

The first selction I made was for Livs room. As anyone with a young Daughter will know, Unicorns are the big thing right now so when I saw the Rainbow Unicorn Pegasus I knew she would absolutely love it so we ordered the 30 x 40 canvas priced £26.95 

It has beautiful pastel colours which mach perfectly with her baby pink and mint bedroom. It adds a touch of magic and she absolutely loves it! The canvas itself is very strong with the image on lovely thick canvas. The canvas also came fitted with teeth on the back ready for hanging, this gives far more grip that placing the frame on a picture hook. 

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Next we fell in love with this image of a Mule Deer in winter, we selected it on a 60 x 40 canvas priced at £33.95.

Again the canvas is excellent quality, very sturdy and printed on lovely thick canvas. The colours are crisp and vibrant and the image itself is absolutely beautiful, making it look an awful lot more expensive than it actually was.

I think it would be a brilliant festive addition to the house at Christmas but the Husband wants it up permanently, what do you think?

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Lastly we decided on getting something for our kitchen which we are planning to decorate in a few weeks. We chose this Red hot smoking chilli still life, size 30 x 30 cm and priced at £22.95.

It compliments our black and red gloss tiles really well and I absolutely love the finish! Our kitchen is quite small and gets hot quite quickly, we have had canvasses in the past but they end up damaged by the moisture, so we looked into the Alu Dibond option and thought it would be a better fit for our needs.

It also comes with the fixings required to attach it to the wall and will give a floating appearance when it is mounted.

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Our parcel arrived promptly 2 days after ordering, safely packaged with minimal packaging used to ensure safe receivership (unlike some companies that use several feet of bubble wrap and inflated plastic cushions for the smallest items)

With over 300,000 happy customers, free delivery from DHL GoGreen in 2/3 days and peace of mind with a 30 day returns policy, you really have nothing to lose!

I would definitely recommend Posterlounge to Family and Friends and will be back to make more purchases!

*Disclaimer* I was sent the above products in return for a review, however all thoughts and opinions are my own and 100% honest.

Celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary!

Friday, 22 June 2018

Apparently, although I'm not quite sure how, we have been married 10 years in September and together for 14 years! Back in 2004 when I was just 19 years old, I would never have imagined I had just met the Man I was going to buy a house with, marry and have Children with.

We decided last year that we would like to make a celebration out of this anniversary, silly I know but it feels like quite a milestone in a way!

After deciding that a vow renewal, while lovely, just isn't our style, we decided to go for a nice Family holiday instead.

The wedding in 2008!

I have been looking for a while now with lots of ooh's and ahh's from the Mr but nothing really stood out. That was until I came across Alta Vista Property and found the stunning Santa Maria Village in Marbella - pictures below!

Copyright Alta Vista Property

Copyright Alta Vista Property

Copyright Alta Vista Property

We have both absolutely fallen in love with the look of the apartments and the amenities. We are hoping to get everything booked next month. How exciting! I still can't quite believe we have been married 10 years, how time flies.

Our top 3 things to do in Marbella:

1) Vineyard tour and wine tasting at Vina & Bodega Remsamen. We did something similar on our honeymoon so are very much looking forward to this!

2) Art Museum - Museo Ralli. A small local Museum, we are hoping to visit one afternoon and spend a few hours soaking in some culture.

3) One for the kids (and the big kids) - Pirates Park! Ideal for Children up to 9/10, Liv is very excited to spend the day enjoying the rides and shows.

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Two top tips when travelling abroad.

1) Always make sure your whole party are fully covered with medical travel insuranceAny kind of illness abroad can prove to be very costly, even a simple ear infection - as we discovered a few years ago in the Dominican Republic.

2) Another must is full vehicle insurance for rental cars, again something we have unfortunately experienced! I shared our story of fearing a huge bill after a minor bump back in Florida 2013, you can read it here.

Do you have any tips to add or recommendations of places to visit in Marbella? If so I would love to hear them!