Saturday, March 30, 2013

Floral

Outfit c/o Boohoo

Happy easter everyone! Hope your long weekend is off to a great start :) It's been a little bit of a sad time for me as one of my best friends (@davidgrr) is moving to Australia this weekend, so I'm feeling a little emotional and not at all looking forward to airport goodbyes later on this avo. 

But it's not all bad news.. I'm excited to say we got the house we applied for (this one) and we can move in next weekend. So excited! So the thought of that can help distract me from everything else. It's a beautiful refurbished villa with polished wood floors, high ceilings and our bedroom has a window seat! I'll be sure to take some pictures once it's all set up :)

P.S I've heavily marked down all remaining items in my shop & I'll be closing it on Monday so make sure you grab yourself a deal before then! 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Contributor | What film to use

It's Laura from BOOKM▲▲RKS back in the house :) Last time I posted about celebs who shoot analogue for some inspirations and a bit of a warm up, this time I'd like to talk to you specifically about different types of films.
// ISO 200 is best used on sunny day

I have to admit it, I've had quite a few fails with my film rolls. Nothing came out of my film roll. Some photos were really dark. Some photos were blurry. Having the you-don't-know-what-you-get-until-you-develop-your-film-roll scenario, the results could either be an amazing surprise or at times a disappointment. But that's okay and that's a part of the excitement right? It's all about trials and errors and learning the character of your camera and getting the hang of it.

One thing I've learnt that I want to share with you: choosing the right film to use at the right the occasion and light condition is really important for your photoshoot. Depends on what kind of camera you are using, some lomo cameras or point and shoot film cameras have very limited settings. When you don't have many options to control over your camera, the type of film you use becomes a very important element to give you the results that you want.
// ISO 200 is still a good compromise for overcast days or under the shades. 

There's a selection of film rolls with different types of ISO or ASA, which is pretty much the film speed ratings. It's a kind of measure of film sensitivity to light. What you need to remember: the lower the ISO number, the slower the film speed, and therefore more light is required for exposures. Here are a few general tips on which film types to use for different occasions.

ISO 100 - best for outdoor events with bright lighting, like sunny days at the beach or snow
ISO 200 - for similar condition as ISO 100, also great for overcast days
ISO 400 - great for general all purpose use, both outdoor or indoor with natural lighting, rainy days
ISO 800 or above - faster film speed best for evening or fast moving subject in a lower light condition without using flash

// One of the photos that I wish I have taken with ISO 400 instead of ISO 200. It was gloomy grey rainy foggy day, this photo is just too dark and you can't really see many details. 

Having said that, depending on what kind of results you're after, you might want to experiment using different films for different conditions outside these guides. I personally use ISO 200 most of the times just because that type of film happens to be the easiest one for me to get. So most of my photo examples here are using ISO 200, which I have used at lower light condition but I actually didn't mind the results I got.
// This photo is also dark, taken with ISO 200. But I didn't actually mind this being dark and grainy because I like the ambience it brings to this photo. 

I don't really want to bore you with ISO talking, but lastly I just wanted to point out that whether you are using a digital or a film camera, in general the same photography technique applies to both. I love the portrait photography tips that Jenni posted here, pretty much all the tips she mentioned there are definitely helpful for film photography as well so kudos to Jenni!
// Another photo taken with ISO 200 in the evening time that I'm quite happy with. Could definitely be clearer should I used ISO 400, but I didn't mind the grainy looks. 

// ISO 400 is great for general use outdoor or indoor with natural lighting. The yellowish colour is probably coming from the fact that I used expired film.

// This is why they say it's great for general all purpose use, I used ISO 400 for bright sunny day on the beach and I still got good photo without having it over exposed. 


Hope you'll find this useful, and if you do have more tips please do leave a comment and let me know! Or if you have any further questions, I'll try my best to answer if not research the answer for you. Happy Friday everyone!


Laura Tj
BOOKM▲▲RKS
Here Comes the Sun Contributor

Thursday, March 28, 2013

E A S T E R

(Pictures from my instagram: 1. Blogging from bed 2. Drinks & nibbles with friends 3. Out for breakfast 4. Champagne & over sized balloons.)

I feel a bit slack on the blog front this week but I promise I have the perfect excuse: house hunting is time consuming and exhausting. We've found a couple of options that might work for us so fingers crossed we have the winning application! 

In other news, my Easter plans for the most part consist of catching up on things for my blog. I've got some outfit posts planned, another smoothie recipe and some guest posts from Jeremy all coming up soon! Other than that I'll be heading off on a couple of long runs, enjoying a few easter treats and catching up with family. 

I kinda love Easter :) What are your plans?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Homewares Wishlist


It's weird how much you can both love and loathe something. Jeremy and I are in the middle of house hunting and as much as I hate parts of it (e.g actually finding the place that fits all your requirements), I do love the excitement of a new space to decorate and make feel like home. We haven't had much luck so far but hopefully within the next week or so we'll find the right place. In the meantime, I can't help but love dreaming of all the different ways I want to decorate and new touches I want to add to the place. How cute is that cat-spatula!!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Follow me on Bloglovin'


By now I'm sure all of you would have heard about Google reader's decision to close their service. I know a lot of you follow my blog through it so I just wanted to share a link to Bloglovin' where you can easily import all the blogs you read on google. You can import your reader to Bloglovin' here or begin following me here. And while we're at it, if you're ever looking for suggestions of blogs to read, you can check out all my favourites on my blog roll. Enjoy xx

Friday, March 22, 2013

Contributor | DIY Geometric Beaded Necklace


Hey guys! It's Bec from Clouds of Colour and it's nice to be back again on the amazing Here Comes the Sun. I hope you have been enjoying the other contributors posts as much as I have. There are so many talented people out there! Today I am sharing with you a simple geometric beaded necklace DIY.



Firstly you will need to choose your favourite coloured beads. I used 2 different shapes; long thin black tubed beads and small gold ones. You will also need chain, a clasp, nylon (I stole some of my brothers fishing line!) and pliers. Lay out your design on a flat surface as seen above then follow these steps:


♥ String one long black bead, a small, then another long onto a string of nylon and center it.

♥ Add a gold bead to either side. Pull both ends of the nylon through one long bead and you should have a triangle as shown above.

♥ Add another 2 long beads (always adding a small one in between each) to either end of the nylon and using the same technique, pull both ends through the top gold bead. It may look confusing at this stage... But you're almost there!

♥ Add a long bead to each end again and pull the nylon through the first 2 gold beads.

Your geometric design is done!


All you need to do now is attach two small loops of wire to the top and fasten the chain. You can make the chain any length, depending on where you like necklaces to sit. This looks really cute layered with longer and shorter necklaces.


Have fun and experiment with different beads and designs. If you have any questions, I'm happy to help. I can't wait to see what you come up with!

Bec Brown
Clouds of Colour
Here Comes the Sun Contributor

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Lessons I've Learnt | Blogging Sponsors + Partnerships



Recently I shared a post about my blogging journey and the lessons I've learnt, which if you missed you can read here. Since then I've had quite a lot of emails asking for a part II to this series - specifically with a focus on blog sponsors and brand partnerships. 

This can be a difficult topic to address but I'm going to give it a go! Please bear in mind that my advice isn't the be all and end all and I definitely recommend accompanying anything you read here with further research and your own trial and judgement. However I hope this answers some of your questions and please do email me if there's anything you'd like me to cover in future blog posts of this type! 



WHERE TO BEGIN

This is aimed at bloggers who have begun to build an audience and are looking to begin working with brands and sponsors. I personally don't believe you need to wait until you have thousands of hits per day before beginning this step, you can start with baby steps that are appropriate for your size.

Ad swaps: If you want to start somewhere, this is a good place to begin. It helps with figuring out your layout and how advertisements fit in, but can also be beneficial for exposing yourself to new readers. When I first began I did a swap with Bleubird Vintage and Daydream Lily. It was a great start for me as I gained a lot of new readers and also learnt about adjusting my layout to work with the changes. (Please note - this was before both these blogs have reached the sizes they're at now - if you're reaching out for an ad swap it helps to pick a blog with a similar size to your own).

Affiliate Programmes: There are plenty of reward programmes available for you to sign up to. You can apply to join and once you're accepted there are different banner sizes you can use or text links you can embed. Do make sure you learn all the regulations around these but they are a good place to start and will help you easily measure the amount of click-through your advertisements get (and will therefore help with pricing strategies for future). Rather than joining every programme available, it's more beneficial to join less but devote more time to making them work for you. Full disclosure: I am part of Reward Style and the Modcloth programmes, but there are plenty out there - find the one that's the right fit for you!

PR Emailing Lists: This is a great first step in developing relationships with brands. If your email hasn't already been added to any PR lists there's nothing wrong with approaching a company and being asked to be included in the newsletter mail outs. This will keep you informed of potential opportunities, event invites and new information on brands you admire.



THE NEXT STEP

Sponsorship information: If you're ready to start taking on paid sponsors I recommend putting together a PDF about your blog. How you design it and what you include is up to you but a few of my suggestions are: Information on what your blog is about and who the target demographic are, statistics on blog hits and social media reach and a break down of your different advertising options (banner sizes, costs, payment options and any other services you're offering).

Pitching and putting yourself out there: Now for the scary part - approaching people! Although there are many advertisers looking for blogs to work with who will approach you first, it also helps to put your information out there. There's nothing wrong with sending a friendly email to brands you admire (whether they're big or smaller/independent) and letting them know about your blog and the mutually beneficial opportunities you can offer. Keep it short, stay humble and don't be afraid to give it a go.

Brand Integrity:  Once you begin to monetize your blog, different opportunities will come your way. You don't have to say yes to everything and often you might feel like you're saying no to more than you accept. If you're a food blogger who's suddenly doing a sponsored post about diamond necklaces your readers probably won't be so happy. Always keep your blogs authenticity intact and remember if an opportunity isn't right for you, you can often pass it along to a friend who it might work for (pay it forward!).



BUILDING FROM THERE

Selling advertising space, joining affiliate programmes and developing sponsored posts are all great ways to monetize your blog but they aren't the only ways! If you have an audience and are looking for the next challenge, it's time to think about what it is that sets you apart from others and how you can capitalise on it.

• Developing your expertise: What are you an expert on? Are you like Gala Darling - full of encouraging self-help advice (she sells podcasts and bootcamps), are you a graphic designer like Tabitha Emma (she has many different design services and illustrated my blog header) or are you a talented photographer like Nirrimi who would like to offer your services to others as well? Your blog is your platform, use it for opening doors and gaining new opportunities!

Opening a shop: Nicole from Gary Pepper sells vintage dresses on the side, Kate Gabrielle from Scathingly Brilliant sells stationery, prints and jewellery and many of us open pop-up shops to down size our wardrobes. (There are a few pieces left for sale in mine here.) Opening a shop isn't the right step for everyone, but maybe it's right for you.

Making a pitch: If you have an idea of a brand collaboration you'd like to do, why not put a pitch together and send them an email? You've got nothing to lose but the potential for a whole lot of gain! Rather than waiting for amazing opportunities to come your way, you shouldn't be afraid of reaching out to grab some yourself, you never know what might happen and what further doors it could open for you.



So I think that answers most of the questions I've been asked lately and I hope that helps a little! If you want to break it down to my key messages my overall advice is: work hard, don't be afraid to reach out for things, always be polite and humble, keep your brand integrity and find what opportunities are the best fit for you.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Contributors | Recipes, Tutorials & Freebies

One of the biggest changes I've made to my blog this year has been bringing on board a team of contributors to add more dynamic content to this site. Every Friday the team of 9 share tutorials, recipes, freebies and tips and now that we're in March, each of them have already had a chance to share their first post. I thought I'd give you an overview of what has already been posted in case you've missed anything!










I hope you find these posts as inspiring as I do! Do check back each Friday for more exciting content from the team and make sure you take a look at their beautiful blogs as well.

Thanks! x

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Recipe | Protein Cookies


If you've been reading my blog for awhile or if you follow me on instagram you'll know I'm a big fan of healthy eating. Salads, smoothies, fresh fruit and vegetables are my faves but of course I love my treats (in moderation) as well. This recipe was passed onto me by a friend and it's my favourite guilt-free treat at the moment. There's no flour or sugar involved in making these cookies but they're still super yum! (and so simple to make). 


Ingredients:
2 bananas
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup oats
1 scoop of protein powder
1/2 cup raisins


Preheat your oven to 170°. Mash the bananas then add all the ingredients together in your bowl and mix together with your hands.


Combine into balls the size that you want your cookies and flatten only slightly. Pop in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden.


Enjoy! I like having them for breakfast or as a healthy snack throughout the day.

Monday, March 18, 2013

M O N D A Y


Confession: I don't hate Mondays, I kinda love them. I love the feeling of freshness that a new week brings. I love starting the week with a huge cup of coffee and planning the days ahead. For me, Mondays aren't so bad at all!

This week I'm planning to share a part II to my Lessons I've Learnt | Blogging post as well as a quick and easy recipe for protein bites so keep your eye out for those :)

Anyway, it's time I get up and get going. I'm going to kick off my Monday with a nice, big run! xx

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Just a Minute in March


I'm in one of those moods today where everything seems perfect. We've had a drought here for the last few months but today we woke up to glorious rain. I'm wrapped up on the couch, feeling cozy and just content with life. I thought I'd play 'Just a minute' today but after I'm done with blogging I'll be making myself a cheese toastie (guilty pleasure) and snuggling up with my book or a dvd. Perfect lazy Sunday! Anyway here's a bit about what I've been up to lately:

Reading... Jane Eyre for the first time and I'll be honest - my husband's marketing text books. I can't help myself, I love marketing and I love learning! Self appointed study is ok with me haha.

Watching... Arrested Development reruns with Jeremy and Gossip Girl reruns with one of our flatmates.

Eating... Home made everything! Home made soup, burgers, pizza. I love cooking and there's nothing more satisfying than being able to make your favourite meals completely from scratch.

Listening to... Ellie Goulding, The Lumineers and Mumford & Sons.

Loving... Waking up to rain on the roof, barbecuing with friends, reaching out for new opportunities, home made sangria, organising my closet and meeting new people.

If you want to play along just leave your link in the comments! x

Friday, March 15, 2013

Contributor | Healthy Snack Recipe

Happy Friday lovely Here Comes The Sun readers. My name is Nicola and I'm excited to be a guest contributor here. I'm a Registered Nutritionist and run the website Eat Well NZ. I'm passionate about helping people become the best version of themselves and nourishing their bodies with healthy, delicious food.


Today I want to share with you a delicious, healthy snack recipe of what I like to call "energy balls". These are my favourite go to snack that's packed full of good nutrition. When you think of snacks, it's often easy to automatically think of pre-packaged, off the shelf products. While there are some good options to buy, many off the shelf products are high in refined carbohydrates and lack nutrients. I prefer to choose natural foods or make my own snacks. These energy balls make a yummy, healthy and filling snack option that's high in protein, fibre and a source of vitamins and minerals - and you know exactly whats gone into them.


Here's what's in them and what nutrients they provide:

Dates
If you don't like dates, don't be put off this recipe - I promise they don't at all taste like dates. Dates provide a natural source of sweetness and are also an excellent source of fibre - good for digestion and keeping you feeling full. Dates also contain B vitamins, vitamin C and the minerals selenium, potassium and magnesium.

Rolled oats
A wholegrain carbohydrates, oats are a great source of slow release energy. They are also high in fibre and a source of selenium, magnesium, and zinc.

Almonds
Almonds provide healthy fats and protein as well as vitamin E, calcium, riboflavin and niacin.

Pumpkin Seeds
A good source of zinc which we need for a healthy immune system. They also provide magnesium and iron and are a source of good fats and protein

Coconut
The main reason for coconut in this recipe is it adds a nice flavour but it is also a source of some of the B vitamins.

Dark Chocolate
Chocolate lovers listen up - chocolate is a source of beneficial antioxidants and is associated with some health benefits. Yup, it's true - read more here.

The honey, vanilla and coconut oil add taste and help keep them stuck together.

So enough about what's in them and here's how to make them:

Chocolate Oat and Nut Energy Balls
Makes 22 balls

Ingredients:
1/2 cup of dates + boiling water
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup almonds
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup coconut
6 pieces of dark chocolate
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon coconut oil

Soak the dates in boiling water for 15 minutes. Drain well and set aside.


Blend the almonds in a blender until they are cut up into small pieces. Add the remaining ingredients, including the dates. Pulse the ingredients until combined. You may need to stop the blender and push the ingredients down from the sides with a spatula.

Squeeze a spoonful of ingredients together in your hand and push firmly into a ball shape. You can either roll these in coconut or leave as is.


Store in the fridge and enjoy for a delicious, tasty snack.

I've also made a similar recipe with cashews which you can find here - it's equally as delicious.

Nicola Graham
Eat Well NZ
Here Comes the Sun Contributor
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