July 2017 / Charley Lucy



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Thursday, 13 July 2017

When's the Best Time to Tweet?

When's the Best Time to Tweet - Blogger Help, Small Biz Help, Twitter Help

In this post, I talk you through how to find the best time to tweet on your social channels, including how to stay on top of it for free in a matter of minutes.

So, when is the best time to tweet? It's a question I'm used to seeing all the time on social media and am asked frequently in my role as a Social Media Executive. Here's the honest truth: the there is no best time. It depends on a lot of variables including your following, their hobbies, demographic and living situation, even popular television shows like Love Island can create a spike in when your followers are most likely to be online. Consequently, when the optimum time is for you, is likely to vary ever so slightly week upon week.

But why is tweeting at the right time so important? Firstly, because it's when more of your followers are online and therefore you get more exposure for your 140 characters and secondly, because of this algorithm your best chance is to hit people when they're online, and not compete into thir 'what you missed' box.

How do you find it this magical information? We're going to use Followerwonk. Followerwonk is a fabulous social media analysis tool by Moz. I use it in my job as a Social Media Executive to figure out my posting schedule each week, use snippets for reporting on monthly performance and run regular, basic competitor analysis. What makes it even better is that, as a blogger or small biz with a limited marketing budget, you can do all this for free if you spread out your research over a few days to avoid reaching their daily cap of 2 search queries.

To find your best time to tweet, head over to Followerwonk and click on the Analyze tab. Or, if you're lazy, click right here. Alternatively, if you've already granted Followerwonk access to your Buffer or Twitter account an account you can visit followerwonk.com/analyze/charleylucy and swap out you username to view an instant report. Or, have a cheeky peek at how your competitors are doing.

On the Analyze tab, you'll need to type in your username and select the 'analyse their followers' option from the dropdown. This is important as you want to make sure your schedule fits best to your followers and not who you're following. Though, this is valuable information to know too! Click the 'Do it' button and watch in awe as your Followerwonk report is generated. Go on, have a play around! This blog post will still be here when you get back.

The third section down: 'Most active times for your Twitter followers' is what we'll be using to create your own schedule. If you're on Buffer you'll notice there's an automatic scheduler under the graph, simply select the number of times you'd to post on Twitter per day and Followerwonk will overwrite your existing Buffer schedule with a series of optimum times.

When's the best time to tweet, Followerwonk, Charleylucy

If you're not on Buffer - why not? It's fabulous! - you still can use the data from the graph to collate a social media schedule. As you can see, the majority of my followers are night owls, but I also make sure to include slots in the early morning, lunchtime and after work to make sure I reach a wider audience. In an ideal world, I'd revisit this tool every week, but I don't always have the time, so aim to revisit and rejig my social schedule once a month to keep my exposure at its peak.

There you have it, you now know the best time to tweet. For me, it's between 8-9pm so I've adjusted my blog post schedule accordingly and automated my new post social too as an added bonus. I'd be interested in reading yours in the comments below!


Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Car Boot Haul: Cameras Lenses, Alex Drawers & Gel Polish

Ever since I was little, I have loved going to a good car boot. They were a Sunday morning ritual at my house, even if I did tend to moan about the lack of lie-in! From getting secondhand kids toys to a library's worth of books, clothes and home ware for my student house. I have always loved hunting for a hidden gem.

Though, since I move to Hull I have yet to find another car boot quite as good as the ones that surround my hometown. So am always grateful, when visiting my parents, of the 6:30am start and it looks like I'm not the only one from the amount of you who liked my tweet!

Here's what I bought this past week.

Car Boot Haul - Camera Lenses, Manual Focus Secondhand Lenses, AF Canon Lens

Camera Lenses

Over the past five or so years, I've amassed quite the collection of manual lenses, usually from film cameras, collected from the car boot. Buying good quality second-hand lenses is a great money-saving hack when it comes to photography as you can often cheat the look of a much more expensive auto-focus lens by using it's analogue counterpart and an adaptor. Top tip: If you can't get to a car boot, there's always a selection on eBay, but beware of bidding wars with camera nerds like myself.

In this particular haul I picked up two film lenses and two dated AF Canon-compatible lenses to add to my collection:

  • Front left - Super Paragon F2.8 28mm Macro Lens (£1.50)
  • Front right - Canon EOS Zoom AF Lens 55mm F4.5-56 II (£5)
  • Back left - Quantary AF 77mm F3.5-4.5 Lens (£5)
  • Back right - Hanimex Tele-auto F3.5 135mm Lens (£2)

I've yet to play around with them properly but can say the auto-focus on the old digital lenses just about works on my - only slightly less dated - Canon 600D, though I occasionally need to switch to manual before taking shot. I'll be taking each of them out for a proper whirl next week, follow my Instagram to see the results.

Elite 99 Gel Nail Polish

Elite 99 Gel Nail Polish

As I talked about here, I've recently purchased a gel nail kit and am loving the non-smudge effortless nails that last two weeks. When rummaging in one of the beauty bins at the car boot - I'm nosy okay? - I saw a handful of Elite 99 gel nail polishes and purchased a bundle of mattes, shimmers and glitter top coats for £3. It might not be the bargain of the century, but I doubt I'm going to be able to pick up another for 30 pence anytime soon. It's just the find I needed to expand my small gel nail polish collection.

IKEA Alex Drawers on Castors

Photo credit: IKEA

IKEA Alex Drawers on Castors

Admittedly, I picked up the IKEA Alex Drawers en route home from the car boot after I spotted them in the window of a local BHF Furniture shop on clearance for £30. They were in in such good condition, bar a little crayon. I couldn't just leave them, so plan to purchase new set of wheels and place them next to my clothing rail, making a flexible dressing room space in my small, L-shaped office and doubling as a blogging flatlay set up that gets great light from the nearby window. I'll be sure to take a snap on my Instagram once they're in place.

With the added value of the drawers, my total spend was £46.50, which is more than my typical week but less than half of the IKEA price tag alone. So, I'm pretty chuffed. Let me know what your best secondhand car boot and charity shop buys have been in the comment below!


Tuesday, 11 July 2017

'Bare it All' with 'Rock Solid' Nails by Leighton Denny

'Bare it All' with 'Rock Solid' Nails by Leighton Denny

No, I'm not talking about that brand new summer bod. I'm talking about expert nail brand Leighton Denny's line of nail-enhancing polishes that are all about the base. Promising to strengthen, perfect and repair your nails.

Rock Solid Strengthening Treatment & Base Coat by Leighton Denny*

Rock Solid Strengthening Treatment & Base Coat* promised just that: rock solid nails. Which, as an ex-nail-biter, is very much appreciated. It's a clear, one coat strengthening treatment for all nail types that can be built up over time or applied underneath polish. I did the latter and finished off my at-home manicure with a couple of coats of Bare it All CC Base Coat in Beige*. But before I began to cover it up I noticed just how damn good my nails looked. My ridges appeared reduced and the glossy finish was just so classy.

Though I unfortunately just had the time for the one treatment before my at-home gel nail kit arrived, further fueling my current nail obsession, I only had one minor nail breakage that week, which is a win in my book. This is definitely one of those subtle polishes I'd recommend to those of who are still in school or who are unable to wear brightly coloured nail polish to work.

Bare it All CC Base Coat in Beige by Leighton Denny*

After reading that this nail polish was perfect for concealing discolouration, I'd expected the finish would be sheerer, so was impressed when the coverage of this cc base coat packed a punch when it came to pigmentation. The formula is one of my favourites in a nude - I generally find them too gloopy, too watery or unable to dry? - as it leaves you with a smooth, high gloss, a salon-worthy result that lasts a good few days without a chipping. On my fair skin, the tone sits a few shades darker than the colour of my nails but wouldn't look amiss as a lighter nude on a deeper tone.

The secret ingredient behind all this is allegedly Marula Oil which locks in moisture and smoothes the surface of the nail for an almost gel-like finish. Note to self: buy more Marula Oil-based polishes.

Let me know in the comments below that nail varnishes you've been loving recently, especially if they're gel!


Monday, 10 July 2017

Travel-Friendly Summer Skincare - whatever the Weather!

We Brits know that summertime doesn't always equal sunshine and with the ever-changing forecast, it's difficult to know what skincare products to pack for a summer getaway. Do I need a higher SPF? Can I handle foundation in this heat? What is my skin doing in this weather?!

In this post I talk you through three travel-friendly skincare products that I've been using in a rotation with the weather to keep my skin feeling moisturised, looking radiant and, most importantly, protected from the sun this summer.

Nivea Daily Essentials Tinted Moisturising Day Cream in Natural

During my teenage years, I was obsessed with the Nivea Young range's tinted moisturiser, that saved me from precious months of Dream Matte Mouse cakeyness. Back then I was blessed with almost acne-free skin and my basic makeup routine went something like: moisturiser, a dab of concealer, powder to set and a flick of mascara. It was a simpler time.

During the UK's recent heatwave, I couldn't stand the thought of wearing a heavy foundation but wanted a no-fuss product to help cover up any unevenness, so nipped into Boots to see if they still made it. Now repackaged as part of their Daily Essential line, Nivea's Tinted Moisturising Day Cream with SPF 15 is my favourite sunny day skincare solution, leaving my skin looking radiant and healthy and feeling moisturised. If you're jetting off on holiday this summer, I'd highly recommend taking their travel-friendly 50ml in your makeup bag for those no-makeup-makeup days sitting by the pool.

Piz Buin Ultra Light Dry Touch Face Fluid*

The Piz Buin Ultra Light Dry Touch Face Fluid* does exactly what it says on the tin. The formula is impressively matte and quick drying without leaving a white cast to the skin. Making it ideal for wearing underneath some light, summer makeup and, at 50ml, very beach-bag friendly. Plus, it doesn't hurt that the scent reminds me of summer. If I shut my eyes, I can almost imagine the sand beneath my toes...

Caudalie Vine Active 3-in-1 Moisturiser*

After raving about the Caudalie Overnight Detox Oil* a few weeks ago, I tested out the anti-pollution Caudalie's Vine Active 3-in-1 Moisturiser* from the same line. Designed for all skin types, this summer skincare product is a great all-rounder that works on normal to combination skin as it's lightly moisturising, sinks in fact and doesn't oxidise or move my makeup. However, I would advise those with dry skin to supplement it with a rich and nourishing night cream and I've experienced a few areas of flakiness. TMI?

What summer skincare would you recommend? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!


Monday, 3 July 2017

The Foam Roller Workout for Chronic Pain

The Foam Roller Workout for Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia

As a spoonie, I understand the struggles of exercising with chronic pain. But what if you could reduce pain whilst working out? I talk you through my experience with a foam roller and just how much it's helped my pain and activity levels.

Recently I attended a chair pilates class to build up my muscle memory and improve my flexibility. As someone who has fibromyalgia, I find it difficult to get motivated to exercise and can sometimes suffer painful consequences as a result. But the class, held by my local Pain Clinic, really helped build my confidence and left me able to do things, like empty the bin, without getting the pain that usually follows. I even built a few cabinets on my own! If you're a spoonie too and can access a pain service where you live, I'd highly recommend enquiring what services they offer.

From the class, I was given a fitness band that I use to help stretch out my shoulders, arms and legs and have progressed to doing some light yoga stretching on my mat each week. But I wanted to try something more, I just wasn't sure what I would be helpful. It was around this time that a Youtuber I subscribe to, Invisible I, posted a video about how foam rollers had helped her fibro foot pain so I purchased one on Amazon and Youtubed a quick workout by Christine Salus to try.

The foam roller workout consists of rolling your body across the foam roller to provide relief from tension as the different, usually textured, areas of the roller work your muscles. I now use my foam roller whilst I'm catching up on my Youtube sub box for around 5-10 minutes every other day or when I notice a tight or aching sensation in my legs or lower back, where my fibro pain usually sits. I usually notice an immediate relief after my session, with the pain in my legs disappearing altogether. Although I haven't been able to master the movement to help my target area of my upper back, for that, I've always got my percussion massage and TENS machine.

Have you used a foam roller in your workout before? Let me know in the comments below!

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