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  • Blogging Tips

    Affordable blog photo props

    Blogging can be an expensive hobby, but it doesn’t have to be if you’re clever about what you buy. A big thing that I’ve been focusing on recently is improving my photos. When I first started my blog I would just quickly snap a photo and “It would do”. I don’t really know why I had this attitude as I studied photography at college and I’ve always really enjoyed it. I think I was honestly just trying to write as many blog posts as quickly as I could as I hated the fact my blog had very little content when I first started.

    When I look back at old posts some of the photos are really bad! I kept seeing all these pretty photos on other peoples blogs and decided I wanted to work more on my photography. The big thing I felt I was missing out on was photo props. Below is one of the first photo’s I took. It just looks too plain and boring and there isn’t enough too it. (If we’re being honest, It’s terrible haha).

    I spent a fair bit of time looking through other peoples blog posts to see what type of thing they were using. Once I had a rough idea in my head of what I wanted to get I made a trip to The Range. I literally love The Range, they sell pretty much anything you could ever and want and it’s cheap. Each item I picked up cost under £2.00 which I think is such a bargain. I really don’t see the point in spending a fortune when you don’t need to.

    Affordable blog prop photos

    Above is a photograph of lots of bits and pieces that I picked up. From the craft section I picked up the sparkly Christmas trees that are meant for card making. These are great for scattering around objects in photos. As we’re right on top of Christmas I got a fair few winter/ Christmas bits. I love the furcones and the holly leaves. I also picked up some pretty pink and white petals as well as some flowers.

    It’s so nice being able to add decorations into the background of photos and having items to scatter in between objects. My photo’s look so much prettier and have a lot more details. Below is one of my up to date photos using my new props.

    blog prop photos

    If you’re looking for ways to improve your photo’s I’d definitely recommend investing in some props to use. The Range is definitely a great place to go and I’d also recommend any local craft shops. If anyone has any other suggestions on where to buy photo props please leave them below!

    Charlotte xx

  • Recipes

    Quick and easy homemade burger recipe

    I don’t do complicated cooking. Quick and easy to whip up when I get home from work has always been my favourite type of cooking. I recently tried out making burgers, but I did it the cheat way to make it even quicker and easier.

    Normally when you look at homemade burger recipes it includes eggs and onions and various seasoning. Nah … I can’t be bothered faffing around with that. Also, I hate onions so I don’t want them in my burger!


    • 500g mincemeat
    • 4 burger buns
    • a dash of oil (I use a couple of sprays of frylight)
    • Any filling of your choice.

    What you need to do 

    1 – Divide the mincemeat into 4 sections.

    2 – Roll a ball shape with each section and flatten it in your hand. It needs to be roughly 3 inches wide and just under 1 inch thick.

    3 – Heat the oil in the frying pan and place each burger into the pan. They take roughly 12 minutes to cook and you’ll need to flip them during cooking. Make sure you cut into the burger to check the meat is fully cooked before serving.

    4 – Place your burger into a bun and add any toppings that you fancy.

    And that’s it … Super quick and easy and really really tasty. I like to add a cheese slice as nothing beats a good cheeseburger!


    Charlotte xx

    Pinterest - homemade burgers
  • Blogging Tips

    What I’ve learnt in 4 months of blogging

    I launched Charlotte Shares on May 15th; the day after my 25th birthday! So I’ve now been blogging for pretty much 4 months. I’ve wanting to start a blog for years, but I was always too scared I would be judged. When I turned 25 I sat and thought to myself, “I’m an adult – why do I care if people judge me?” If they want to judge me, then they can quite honestly just f*ck off!

    So here I am 4 months later and Charlotte Shares is still going strong. I’ve posted regularly since my launch and am actually really proud of myself and what I’ve achieved. My blog is by no means successful or big … I don’t get hundreds of views a day. In fact the most views I’ve ever achieved in a day is 70 **I fangirled at this slightly haha**. To most people this is rubbish, but we all have to start somewhere.

    During the past 4 months I’ve learnt a lot and thought I would share this with you.

    1 – Being organised is really really hard! 

    I’m actually a really organised person in my day to day life, but trying to maintain my usual life and organise my blog is hard. I always think to myself ‘I’ll write a blog post tonight’; but then I get home and life gets in the way and it doesn’t happen. I see some people totally stressing over this … Personally I’m not going to have a meltdown over it, but I will openly admit I hugely fail at having lots of posts scheduled and ready to go live.

    2 – Scheduling tweets is really important 

    On a Sunday night I’ll sit down and schedule all of my tweets for the week to promote my posts. I use Tweetdeck and it honestly makes my life so much easier. I keep a word document with all of my blog posts in categories where I write a title, have the link to the post and have the relevant hash tags. This means all I need to do is copy and paste into Tweetdeck and select when I want to schedule it for. It’s so simple and saves me so much time during the day.

    3 – Pinterest is confusing as hell!

    I’ve been doing a lot of research into Pinterest and how you can use it to help with blog traffic. I’m still a bit baffled by the whole thing to be honest. I’ve upgraded my Pinterest account to a business one, I’ve slowly started joining Pinterest groups (trying to find ones to join is a mare), and I’ve also started making posts with hidden Pinterest images in … Fancy right?! … Well it is for me haha. The link to my Pinterest is here and I’ll always follow back 🙂

    4 – The community is awesome

    I have to say the blogging community is awesome. I’ve built up a nice little group of lovely people who always respond to my tweets and comment on my blog posts. A big shout out to Hayley and Brooke who have been so kind and welcoming to me from the start.

    Their links are here: BrookeHayley

    I find it so interesting and exciting to be able to talk to like minded people and be able to share our interests and passions.

    5 – Time is a big problem 

    Having a full time job, making cards to sell to family and friends, writing blog posts, taking photos, scheduling tweets, promoting content, interacting with others and trying to maintain a social life is a massive challenge. I’m trying to come up with ways to make the most out of my time, if anyone has any tips please leave them below!

    It’s been a pretty incredible 4 months and I feel like I’ve learnt a lot and had a lot of fun along the way. I’m always thinking of ways that I can expand Charlotte Shares and I’m excited to see what the future holds for my little space on the internet.

    Charlotte xx


    Here's what I've learnt from 4 months of blogging


  • Recipes

    Simple and tasty chocolate fairy cakes

    I don’t do complicated recipes. I like everything to be quick and easy with minimal ingredients. These chocolate fairy cakes are beyond simple to make and they taste A-MAZING!

    So let’s get started!

    Ingredients –  For the cake (makes roughly 20)

    • 225g Caster Sugar
    • 225g Margarine
    • 225g Self Raising Flour
    • 4 Eggs
    • 3 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder

    For the topping:

    • 225g White chocolate
    • 150g low fat cream cheese
    • Chocolate sprinkles to decorate

    Now to get baking!

    1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5
    2. Set out 20 cake cases into a baking tin.
    3. Cream together the caster sugar and margarine until you get a smooth mixture.
    4. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix after you’ve added each egg.
    5. Sieve in the SRF and mix until the mixture is smooth.
    6. Add the cocoa powder and mix again.
    7. Fill each cake case wth the mixture and place in the oven to cook for roughly 30 minutes. (Check the cakes are cooked properly as they may need slightly longer)

    Leave the cakes to properly cool down before you decorate the top of them.

    Now lets make to topping …

    1. Melt the white chocolate in a bowl and leave to cool slightly for a few minutes.
    2. Add the cream cheese to the melted chocolate and mix until smooth. You will end up with a relatively thick and sticky consistency.
    3. Spread the mixture over the top of each cake and decorate with some chocolate sprinkles.

    Make sure to keep the cakes refrigerated because of the cream cheese!


    Charlotte xx



  • Recipes

    Strawberries & Cream Cake

    I love cake and I love strawberries and cream in the summer – So the perfect combination is a strawberries and cream cake! It’s lovely and light and perfect for the summer months. Here’s how you can make one too:


    For the sponge:

    • 8oz Margarine (not butter)
    • 8oz Caster sugar
    • 8oz Self raising flour
    • 4 Eggs

    For the butter cream: 

    • 4oz Icing sugar
    • 2oz Butter

    For the fresh cream:

    • 300ml Whipping cream
    • 2 Teaspoons of Sugar

    Plus a large punnet of strawberries for decorating.

    Step 1 

    • Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 (190 degrees)
    • Grease two 8″ round baking tins (I also put a round piece of grease proof paper in the bottom as my tins don’t push up)

    Step 2

    • Cream together the sugar and margarine in a large bowl (I always sieve the sugar to get rid of any lumps)
    • Add the eggs 1 at a time and mix together until you get a smooth mixture
    • Sieve in the self raising flour and continue to mix until completely smooth

    Step 3 

    • Separate the mixture into your two baking tins making sure to evenly spread the mixture in the tin
    • Bake in the oven for 30 minutes (always put a knife into the cake after 30 minutes to check its properly cooked)
    • Remove from the tins and leave to cool

    Step 4 

    • In a bowl mix together the butter and icing sugar to make the butter cream – WARNING – this will make a massive mess!
    • Evenly spread the butter cream over one of the cakes.
    • Slice the strawberries and place over the top of the butter cream.

    Step 5 

    • Put the other half of the cake on top to create a sandwich affect
    • In a bowl mix together the whipping cream and 2 tea spoons of sugar (I’d recommend using an electric whisk else you’ll be there all day) – The cream will start off runny and you need to keep mixing it until its thick enough to spread over the cake without it running everywhere.
    • Spread the cream over the top of the cake and add strawberries to decorate.

    And hey presto you have yourself a delicious strawberries and cream cake! Make sure you keep it in the fridge as it has fresh cream on the top of it.

    ‘See ya real soon!

    Charlotte xx