10 Gift Ideas For Any Occasion

Beauty, Fashion, Favourites

With Christmas just around the corner you’re probably thinking about what to get for the special people in your life. It can be difficult buying presents for people for any occasion particularly if you are under a tight budget. Here are a couple of my favourite unique finds…

For the Tavel lover – Scratch Map

917OTaZsNhL._SL1500_.jpg

They can scratch off the places they’ve been on the map and plan trips they hope to go to. The idea is that they will try to scratch off as many places as they can. I have one of these my self and I love it.

If they are a student there are loads of gap year and bucket list books by lonely planet that you can get on amazon or any good book store.

For the book worm – Book cover locket

I think these are so unique, they do a variety of book covers so you could find their favourite classic novel to put on to the locket.

il_340x270.1627662875_1mpw.jpgil_340x270.1332967182_smmr.jpg

For the film lover – popcorn machine and bags

I mean it is their own cinema at home!

or for the person who wants to get into movies… a scratch off 100 bucket list movies poster 

91Sfcl+VhlL._SL1500_

(photo from amazons website linked above) 

For the music lover – (if they have vinyls) a vinyl frame, new earphones or portable speaker. For the person who I into hearing all the classics there is also a scratch off 100 albums bucket list poster.

For anyone – books

I don’t think anyone can go wrong with a book, it can be about anything they are interested in from gardening to traveling. There are loads of thoughtful books on Urban outfitters if you need some ideas.

 For the fashion aficionado – The new fashion rules by Victoria Magrath

I have followed Victoria’s blog for a long time now and she has the most amazing style and knowledge of fashion – definitely something a fashion lover would love to delve into.

For the Make up addict – Makeup storage or a set from their favourite brand. ASOS do some great ones by a variety of brands or if you want to go more upmarket SpaceNK do some beautiful sets as well from bath and body to lipstick and eyeshadows.

UK200022265_BUMBLE_BUM.jpgUK200022358_THIS_WORKS.jpgUK300052624_RODIAL.jpgUK200022294_LIPSTICK_Q.jpg

For the foodie – something for the kitchen or you can get books of the best places to eat in different cities.

For the sentimental – A photo book

I recommend Snapfish as I have used them before – the quality is really good and they are the cheapest company I can find that do them. I did one for my Dad documenting all the places we had travelled to and adventures we had been on. You can customise the pages yourself, adding text, changing the layout of the pictures and the background.

For anyone – Candles or bath things

Everyone likes gifts that they can use to relax. My favourite bath oils are from Aromatherapy – they can be a bit pricy but smell amazing.

images.jpeg

I hope this little guide helps! Do you have any go to or unique gift ideas that you love? Tell me in the comments 🙂

Thank you so much for reading!

Advertisements

The Dangers of a Social Media ‘Overdose’

Thoughts

Social media, created for social network and for users to share and create content – to keep people in contact with each-other. The idea was an incredible one, we can now have friends all over the world and keep in contact with them, however as with all things it has its downsides particularly when it becomes over used. So I ask you – How often do you use social media? And are you aware of how much time you may be spending on it?

4AD9B871-C90E-4723-8996-9BC37C242CCB

The problem:

You may be wondering why I refer to a social media ‘overdose’ in the title of this post, this is because using social media and mobile phones has been proven to be really addictive. When you get messages or likes on your recent post a hormone is released, the same hormone that is released when drinking alcohol or smoking. It’s this ‘happy’ hormone that makes all of these things so addictive. So just like you can overdose on these things you can overdose on social media.

Some apps such as Snapchat deliberately make using it addictive. In this case it’s the use of ‘streaks’, having to send a photo to your contacts every day that becomes really addictive; people using the app have to add sending ‘streaks’ into their daily routines, often making it a priority first thing in the morning. I was at a party recently in a place with no signal and no wifi and in the morning it was like a meltdown because they had a ‘timer’ meaning they were going to lose their ‘streak’ unless they sent a photo right away. I know so many people who get like this with Snapchat and I used to feel it too until I realised what I was doing and how pointless it really was to get so caught up in a number next to a name. So I deleted snapchat for a while and only re downloaded it so I could keep in contact with the friends who have been trying to contact me on there. When I deleted it so many people messaged me, so annoyed that we had lost our streak and I was so relieved to rid myself of that pressure, to not have to think first thing in the morning that I need to go on Snapchat.

Having a social media addiction is not a mental health disorder in itself but being addicted to it can cause many other mental health problems such as anxiety and depression because you’re counting the number of likes and having people unfollow and unfriend you. Many people also spend more time on their phones than spending it with people face to face, this lack of true social interaction can make people feel lonely, anxious and upset.

The health secretary is urging tech firms to enforce minimum age rules and I do think that this has got to be a really great thing to happen, I never had a phone until I was 11 and even then it was a little pay as you go phone but I loved growing up playing outside with friends, dressing up and doing role play; so many kids now just play games on their devices instead of getting dirty outside.  Many of the tech giants don’t even allow their kids to have mobile phones or social media platforms.

However this is not just an issue for kids, I often see parents picking up their kids from school and their child is trying to tell them about their day yet more often than not that parent is looking down at their phone. The misconception of social media use, I think, is that its just the young generations that use it but it affects all age groups because in the modern day they have to use it in work.

How can we reduce our social media use? 

In the new update for iPhones, Apple have added a feature where you can put a time limit on using certain apps so you can truly see just how long you are spending on instagram or snapchat or Pinterest. You can then tailor your social media use to your life.

The best way, however, to reduce our time spent on social media is simply to be wary of when we are using it. For example; when out to dinner with friends, put your phone away and turn it on silent. Sometimes we all need time without the distractions of our mobile phones; to simply be with your own thoughts, it’s in these time that we can be innovative and come up with new ideas.

To summarise, as the saying goes ‘everything in moderation’, using social media can be a positive way to spread messages and create content but using it too much and letting the likes and follow count get to you can cause a problem. Talk to people and take time for yourself to do things you love and use social media only when you’ve done these things; don’t let social media control your life.

I hope you enjoyed this post, I found it really fascinating researching the impact social media has on our lives in the modern day – if you want to find out some more here are a few links to some books and websites you might find interesting….

I have also done a post about the impact technology and social media has had on ways we get information and its contribution to creating ‘fake news’. Have a read here —– Fact Or Fiction

 

 

 

 

5 Tips for festival packing

Travel

AE8372BE-F3CF-4B0A-AEB1-A9F2304D0393

Last weekend I went to RiZE festival in Chelmsford. It had an amazing line up – Stereophonics, Liam Gallagher, Bastille, Rag n Bone Man, James bay… the list goes on. Whilst there my friends suggested I wrote this post as they both couldn’t believe I had brought so little with me. So here are a few of my tips for festival packing…

 

IMG_3537.JPG

1. Pack light.

For RiZE festival I took a pair of trousers, shorts and 2 tops so I could mix and match my outfits. Then I recommend bringing a couple of jumpers, one you can use as a pillow by putting it inside a pillowcase and another if it gets cold at night in the tent or in the evenings although to be honest, when you’re in the crowds of people dancing its pretty warm anyway.

2. Check the weather.

If it’s not going to rain you will only need a couple of pairs of shoes. I just wore my timberlands because I knew it wasn’t going to rain all weekend, if theres a slight chance I would bring flip flops because then if your feet get muddy you can just wash them off. However if you know its going to rain its time to bring those wellies out.

3. Remember toilet roll and hand sanitiser.

At any festival the toilets are always a problem, they usually run out and its much easier if you have your own.

IMG_3570

4. Bring a small bag.

If you have a big bag they are unlikely to let you into the arena, and if you only have a small bag and have packed lighter it will take less time getting through security.

5. Invest in a bum bag.

They don’t cost very much, Im pretty sure mine was the cheapest one on amazon but they are incredibly handy – you don’t have to worry about someone stealing your bag or leaving it anywhere and you can keep all of your valuables close to you.

These are only a few tips I have found that work for me but, obviously, you may have to pack more if its longer than a 2/3 night festival. But  I hope you have a great time at what ever festival you are going to, they are such a laugh and amazing fun particularly when you are with a good bunch of people and there is a great line up – have the best time 🙂

 

Sustainable Fashion

Fashion, Style

Sustainable fashion is a concept that I have recently been intrigued to find out more about, with the environment and what we can do to help being in the news so heavily in the past few years. I recently read an article by Marnie Woodmeade for Huff post In which she discusses how far the fashion industry has come in terms of sustainability, in which she claims ‘Is on the rise’ but ‘Is not enough’.

Wikipedias definition of sustainable fashion:

“Sustainable fashion, also called Eco fashion, is a part of the growing design philosophy and trend of sustainability the goal of which is to create a system which can be supported indefinitely in terms of human impact on the environment and social responsibility. It can be seen as an alternative trend against fast fashion.”

0bbc34c1-eebb-4d84-bfc3-cea078159c54

Plastic and how we can reduce its use has been in the news a lot in the recent months, with the plastic bag tax and the reduction of plastic straws. However, another way in which we can reduce our carbon footprint is by reducing the amount of clothes we throw away. With shops opening that sell cheap quality clothes, we have become a throw away society – we buy things that are ‘In trend’ and throw them away after only a couple of uses due to the bad quality.

I hadn’t realised how much waste the fashion industry produces until doing a bit of research on it – according to Edge (used by Huff post) ‘the clothing and textile industry is the largest polluter in the world’. Apparently ‘Last year alone, 12.8 million tons of textiles were discarded’.

Reducing Waste

Vivienne Westwood was one of the first designers to be an advocate for reducing waste in the fashion industry and she recommends that consumers “Buy less. Choose well.” and to “Make it last. Quality, not quantity.” And she mentions that “Everybody’s buying far too many clothes.” Her recommendation is to buy good quality clothes that suit your own individual personal style, to buy items that you will still love in years to come and will last that time. Westwood has also been a pioneer and activist to climate change, openly talking about her concerns – she says to the guardian ‘I’m just hoping that people will realise that climate change is on our doorstep.’

These ‘good quality’ clothes don’t need to be expensive, there are many reasonable priced shops that do some great quality, unique clothing too. My personal favourite is Zara, sometimes little rips can form in the clothes but I have not brought anything yet that I couldn’t sew back together easily.

If you do have items you no longer want, why not make a bit of money by selling them online. My favourite is depop, its easy to use and is mostly used by people who want to sell and/or buy clothes but there are many others out there too such as eBay or shpok, Or you can give the items to a charity shop – one mans trash is another mans treasure.

For some other ways to think about how to shop more ethically heres a great article by ‘ELLE’ titled the lazy girls guide to sustainable fashion.

c6d601d2-1410-48d2-b2ee-07364afd88d1

Brands That Focus On Sustainable Fashion

There are also certain brands who are making an effort to be more conscious of where they’re sourcing the materials to make clothes, who is making them and the chemicals that are being used to make the materials, here is an article by the independent highlighting some of last autumns best sustainable fashion brands. And here is another by Marie Claire. I found these really interesting because some of these brands are ones that I’ve never heard of before and I will certainly consider shopping in some of these in the future.

These aren’t all high end brands, many high street stores now are making an effort to keep the environment in mind, for example, H&M came out with a collection a couple of years ago called H&M conscious that focuses on ethically sourced materials.

Being conscious of your clothing choices and reducing waste of clothing is only a small step but it will certainly make a huge difference to the environment.

Fact Or Fiction

Thoughts

fullsizeoutput_20f0

‘Fake news’. I by no means mean to quote Trump here, but certainly much of the ‘truth’ has been contorted by journalists and social media in recent years.

We have, now, got most information at our finger tips. With thanks to the internet we can find out the breaking news and the height of your favourite celebrity; any kind of information that will satisfy your curiosity and allow you to figure out how to build that Ikea coffee table. The internet has been an incredible invention that I doubt many of us can imagine life without. However, as with all things, it has its downsides. We can get brand new information quicker then ever before which means journalists are biting at the bit to get out the next news story; this often means that much of the information has not been backed up and that it could, in fact, be just a rumour. And it’s not just the information we are given, it’s the information that news broadcasters can choose not to give us. After all, as Sir Francis Bacon once said ‘ipsa scientia potestas est’ – Knowledge itself is power.

I recently read an article from a couple of years ago by Katherine Viner (editor in chief at The Guardian) entitled ‘how technology disrupted the truth’ it was a fascinating read and really got me thinking about the society we live in now and our dependance on technology.

fullsizeoutput_20f6

IMG_0397

Viner talked about how “In the digital age, it is easier than ever to publish false information, which is quickly shared and taken to be true”. Not only does this mean that some of the information is censored but that rumours can be quickly spread just like in high school movies. She is referring to the use of social media. It is easy for anyone to read a post and share it to let everyone they know about this information, or for anyone to make up information and share it without any evidence. And with our busy lives we tend not to have the time to check the facts, we just assume and trust that the information we are provided with is true.

Social media is not only a place to spread information but according to many articles the companies can censor what information we are presented with online. So unless we are actively searching for a piece of information, it won’t be shown on our social media feeds. Viner writes about how “Algorithms such as the one that powers Facebook’s news feed are designed to give us more of what they think we want – which means that the version of the world we encounter every day in our own personal stream has been invisibly curated to reinforce our pre-existing beliefs.” This can be particularly an issue in Politics. If we are given information about a campaign or about someone running for prime minister then that information may sway our decisions about what or who we vote for, if after the decisions have been made and we find out that that information was in fact false then we may look back on our vote and regret it – then we have the issue of whether there needs to be a revote. (Just like we are having now on the Brexit ‘vote leave’ allegations.)

Facebook has pledged to begin to do something about this ‘filter bubble’ (as Eli Pariser, the co-founder of Upworthy, coins it). Although some think even this is ‘Fake news’ too. (Facebook ‘fake news’ article here)

Many people now rely on social media to gain information on current affairs and to help construct opinions but how can we do that if that information may just be a rumour? We are unlikely to check these ‘facts’ and just regard them as the truth without any further investigation, after all the news should be something we can trust in.

Many writers in the past have talked about issues with misinformation, the most famous of all being George Orwell in his novel ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’. The phrase Orwell uses to sum this up is “Freedom is the freedom to say 2 plus 2 equals four” in other words, freedom only exists if all the information we are given is actually true. He comments on how easy it is for those in power or those we trust to say that “two plus two equals 5”. The sales of his best selling novel he wrote in 1948 shot up when Trump ran for president, with people making links between society now and the dystopian world Orwell presents for us.

Also in Margaret Atwood’s ‘A Handmaid’s Tale’ she writes that ‘there are 2 kinds of freedom, Freedom to and freedom from’.

fullsizeoutput_20e1

fullsizeoutput_20e2

Im not saying that all the information we are told is false only that perhaps we need to be wary of what allegations being made by the media are true. This can only be done by checking on the sources and by reading around – To ask ourselves if the information we are being provided with is Fact or Fiction?

5 Summer Clothing Items I’m Loving

Fashion

dad07f2f-4c50-4630-bf3b-1ea3df02fb19

I’ve been having all the holiday vibes lately – led outside in the sun with a good book and an ice cream. But also, summer is a great opportunity to mix up your wardrobe, pack the coats away and grab your sunnies. If you are looking for some summer wardrobe inspo then look no further because you’ve come to the right place. Here are my favourite 5 items i’ve been wearing so far this summer.

  1. Miss Selfridge button down yellow dress.

I brought this dress in the sale a couple of months ago and absolutely fell in love with it, it’s really comfortable, the most beautiful subtle warm yellow and great for layering over a bikini. This style of dress is something I have seen everywhere this summer, so if yellow isn’t your style there are loads of gorgeous ones in different patterns and colours for you to own your summer look. I am a firm believer in tailoring your wardrobe to you, whats the point in looking exactly like everybody else, right? Dare to be you and choose items that feel like your personality is written all over it.

I then love styling this item when it’s a little chillier with an oversized denim jacket that I hand painted. (check out my Depop page for more information)

img_1703

2.  Reebok classic trainers

These white trainers are great because they are super comfortable and look great with almost any outfit. I love that they are leather too because they are easier to clean and should last longer than my canvas vans.

IMG_0098

IMG_0108

3. Zara shorts

I feel like I could be in Jurassic Park when I wear these but I have no problem with that – just living out a childhood fantasy haha. But nevertheless these shorts are so comfortable, sometimes I find denim shorts a bit unbearable in the heat so these are a great alternative.

4. Pull & Bear Jumpsuit

Jumpsuits are easy to wear and loose fitting perfect for warm summer days. I love the stripe pattern on this one, it has a beachy vibe. IMG_2837

5. Sunglasses

I love these because they are such a unique pattern with the tropical banana leaf print so they really spice up an otherwise fairly plain outfit.

On top of these items I mostly just love wearing a t shirt and a pair of shorts or trousers, fairly simple put easy to wear on these hot days.

Thank you for reading 🙂

What is your favourite outfit to wear in the summer?

July Favourites

Favourites

Its almost August! I hope you have had an amazing July and been up to some exciting things. This month, I thought I’d share with you some recent favourites as I have not done a post like this in so long and there are some incredible films, theatre and books i’d love to share with you.

1DFA09BA-BAC8-4326-B131-8F30D1F036A9

Beauty:

To be honest, I don’t tend to mix up my beauty regime very often; I wear the same makeup every day (if any at all) and have had the same skincare routine using the Proactive 3 step regime twice a day and it has been the best skincare products I have used to date so I stick with it. However a couple of months ago was my Birthday so my sister Kindly got me the IT pore perfecting powder which I have been loving adding to my everyday makeup particularly as it’s getting so much warmer to set my Makeup on those days I do decide to wear it.

Fashion:

My most worn item of clothing this month was probably my grey Timberlands, which I brought in the sale the month before (sometimes it’s good to be a size 8 haha) because they are the comfiest shoe I’ve owned, I’ve got the lightweight ones so they are not heavy and you can walk around everywhere without getting sore feet.

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

Films:

I have managed to tick a few movies off my movie bucket list this month; King Lear (A new adaptation of it that recently came out with Anthony Hopkins) , About time (what a thought provoking story!) and The devil wears Prada (I can’t believe I hadn’t watched it till now, it’s so funny). Unfortunately I hadn’t managed to get to the cinema last month but there are loads of film I really want to see.

I did, however, go to the theatre and finally got to see The National Theatres production of War Horse. It was absolutely breathtaking, It was so well done and really captured the emotion of the book. The book was my absolute favourite as a child, I remember reading it before the Steven Spielberg film came out and because the words of the book were so fresh in my mind (being from Joey, the horses, perspective) thinking the film was rubbish (having rewatched it more recently I could fully appreciate it) and worried the theatre production would be the same but it was so clever with the puppets and incredible set design.

Series:

The Hollow Crown: I know this is not a new series, but I have only recently discovered it and have loved it. If you haven’t seen a lot of Shakespeare so far but want to get into it i’d definitely recommend The Hollow Crown – the acting is superb and the storyline is really understandable even though the language is that of the Elizabethan era. I particularly liked Henry IV part 1, following the story of Henry IV (played by Jeremy Irons) and his son Prince Hal (played by Tom Hiddleston) and the journey and commitment it took to be on the throne.

7E756556-010A-49E6-9344-F5FCA85ECF00

Books:

This month I have read The Da Vinci code by Dan brown, A Dolls House (a play by Henrik Ibsen) and have just started reading a Handmaids Tale and Angels and Demons (the prequel to the Da Vinci Code). I really enjoyed The Da Vinci Code,  I have read a couple of Dan Browns’ novels before and I love them because despite an incredible thrilling story you also learn a lot about symbols, cultures, history and architecture along the way which is really interesting and puts you into the mind of this highly intellectual Harvard professor.

A Dolls House was also excellent, admittedly it had a bit of a slow beginning, but the ending is incredibly powerful – Ibsen explores the wife and husband dynamic and treatment of women in the 19th century. So far Angels and Demons is very similar to The Da Vinci Code story line but it may get better as I’ve only read the first couple of chapters, and the Handmaids Tale beginning is very captivating, diving straight into this dystopian world Atwood has created. Ive seen the first series of the BBC adaptation which was good although a little confusing so i’m looking forward to how the book pans out.

Overall I’d 100% recommend The Da Vinci Code and A Dolls house and i’ll keep you updated on the ones I’m currently reading on twitter, instagram and on here.

Music:

Tom Odell’s new song ‘If you wanna love somebody’ came out recently so I have been loving listening to that and I very much am looking forward to his new album that comes out in October.

Next month I have got a few things I’m looking forward too, hopefully going on holiday somewhere with my family and going to RIZE festival with a couple of friends.  But I have just got back from Pub in the Park in Bath; Tom Odell was playing and there were lots of yummy food stalls from some very talented chefs, pubs and local food stores.

Thank you so much for reading!

What have been your favourites this month?