Category: Lifestyle

Valentines Day: 10 gifts under £10 [for her]

chocIt’s cropped up again, yes that day that no one really likes but EVERYONE talks about… Valentines Day!

Couples hate it because its forced romance and it means forking out for a gift, and single people loath it because it reminds them the only love of their life waiting at home for them is their Netflix account.

HOWEVER I have some good news for you. I have created a guide of 10 fantastic gifts under £10 that are are awesome and also won’t break the bank either. So guys, either treat your lady, or women get sending links to your date, mate or even just buy it for yourself (you deserve it!).

These great items start with the yummy Hotel Chocolat Salted Caramel chocolates (top right) that are guaranteed to have anyone drooling and are a bargain at just £3.75.

You can check out the rest of my V-day picks below…

Happy shopping & have a happy love day on Sunday please, whatever your relationship status!

Sam x

Vday collage

  1. Red Contrast Trim Lace Brazilian Briefs, New Look, £3.99 
  2. Pink Polaroid Photo Frame, New Look, £4.99
  3. Little Book Of Chat Up Lines Book, ASOS, £5.99 
  4. Valentines Glitter A5 Notebook, Paperchase, £7 
  5. Brushed Tartan Scarf, Boohoo, £4
  6. Happy Jackson Big Love Mug, Debenhams, £8
  7. Nails in Bittersweet, Topshop, £5
  8. Gold Arrow Ring, Urban Outfitters, £6
  9. Grow Your Own Birthflower, NotOnTheHighStreet.com, £7.50 

Flamingo Candles launches new pastel collection

lavender-_-white-teaUK firm Flamingo Candles has launched its new pastel range.

The firm combines natural soy wax with luxury scents. The new range features five different pastel shades to choose from; Rose Velvet & Precious Oud, Lotus Blossom & Water Lily, Tuberose & Orange Leaves, Lavender & White Tea, Lemongrass & Ginger.

Each candle gives a burn time of 60-70 hours and is priced at £22 each. However, customers can pay an extra £6 for engraving on the lid.

Check out the pastel range on the Flamingo Candle website here.

Event: Wimbledon Art Studios Open Access Free Show

Open studioSo, still being quite new to London (I moved here properly in January), I still don’t think I have seen very much of the city yet.

I mean, once you’ve done a full week and had a few bevvies on a weekend, it is easy to just stay in bed and watch Netflix to recuperate, especially in those horrid, rainy winter months.

However, now that the sunshine has actually started to come out, I have decided that I really want to make the most of my weekend and see and explore all that London has to offer!

Now, I know what you’re thinking ‘It’s too expensive to do loads in London every weekend’, and it can be. However, it can also be very, very reasonable when you start searching out the whole host of free events that are going on in the city.

One such event was the Wimbledon Art Studios Open Access Show that took place at the weekend (Thurs 14- Sun 17 May).

This free show allows visitors to come and view the art of all those based at the studios, as well as buy the artwork commission-free. There is also fashion shows, food, a bar and a tearoom on hand to keep you fed, amused and hydrated whilst you make your way around all the different art on offer.

As I said above, the event was open from Thursday, but I decided to take a little stroll down to the studios on Sunday for the afternoon. As soon as I walked in my eyes were treated to an array of amazing works full of colour, texture and interesting concepts.

I’m the type of person that always needs to be stimulated in some way, and I definitely wasn’t disappointed with the amazing paintings, photography, jewellery , clothes and accessories on offer.

peter vaillantThe first thing I saw when I walked in was Peter Valliant‘s breathtakingly colourful acrylic paintings. His inspiration behind the work is the ‘dramatic essence of light captured from the last hues of colour from the day’, which you can definitely tell from his pieces.

Next I came across Atlas & I, who specialises in making personalised products all printed on vintage maps of your choice. This brand really grabbed my attention, as my sister Kerri loves maps, so I wanted to get lots of photos just to show her! Sophie Kirkpatrick, who has been running the brand since 2011, creates a whole host of products, including leather stationery and fashion accessories, to wall art and greetings cards, all made to order, printed with a vintage map, location of your choice, here in the UK.

Another highlight for me was Raj Burnett’s adorable jewlellery line. Raj has been working on the range for the last four years and creates all her pieces by hand – hoping to create a unique product that her customer can treasure. Again, her tea range particularly caught my eye as my friend Laura loves tea-inspired accessories, so it reminded me of her and how much she would like them! She also has a ‘Laser Garden’ range too, inspired by nature and a semi-precious line on its way.

However, I do have to say that my favourite artist that I discovered at the event was Gavin Mitchell. On display at the show gavin mitchellwas his ‘East Meets West 2015’ artwork that I instantly fell in love with.

Describing the range, Mr Mitchell says: ” The ongoing collection of work using early 20th century Japanese postcards depicting the daily routine of a Geisha. Disrupting the inherent tranquility and ethereality by juxtaposing Western iconic imagery and exposing the implied seductiveness behind these culture portrayals.”

I have also looked at Gavin’s other art collection and they are just as inspiring – I would definitely recommend you having a look at his website.

Of course, there were many other great artists on display, however I don’t want to bore you by listing my view of every single one of them here.

You can check out all of the artists at the studios here though and definitely keep an eye of for the next free event coming in November.

For now, check out the Wimbledon Arts Studios website, Twitter or Facebook page if you’re after more info and check out some more pictures of the event below…

Sam x

Lifestyle: The Charlatans ‘Brits Week’ Gig @ The Brooklyn Bowl

brooklyn bowlI’m not that used to going to a gig where I don’t know the band really well, however when my friend Bex invited me down to go and see The Charlatans at Brooklyn Bowl at the O2, I though, why not?!

Seeing as the band formed in the late 80s, when I wasn’t even born, I wasn’t familiar with their music. The day of the gig, I looked them up on Spotify to see if I recognised a few songs, but I didn’t even know one!

This left me a little apprehensive before the gig. However, there was really no need for me to worry. Despite not knowing one song, I instantly started enjoyed myself the second the band came on stage.

Considering the band have been around some time, it wasn’t a surprise that most of the audience were middle-aged, and the vast majority of those were men. However, this wasn’t intimidating. In fact, it was kind of nice to go to a gig where everyone was a bit more sensible, and they definitely gave you more breathing space than your usual gig-goer does.

One guy did come up to me and my friend however and commented that we looked ‘far too young’ to know the band, but he did in in good jest and was said ‘fair play’ to us as he high-fived us, which was quite funny.

Anyway, back to the actual gig… as I was saying, the band were really fun to watch. Frontman Tim Burgess had a good energy about him, and I loved his long blonde crazy hair, we he liked to swing around. He had a good repore with the fans too telling them as he came on stage ‘It’s been a while, hasn’t it?!’.

The venue was also great too. If you hadn’t guessed already by the name, Brooklyn Bowl is used for bowling in the day, however hosts a number of events in the evening. The fact that it only holds a few hundred people meant that the gig felt really intimate, as you are quite close to the band, even if you are a fair way back.

The gig was held as part of ‘BRITS Week’ – celebrating British music in the lead up to the BRIT Awards 2015, which is this Wednesday coming (February 25). To mark the occasion, there was a massive BRIT Award statue by the stage, as well as Brit Award signs throughout the venue, which added a nice touch and a good Instagram opportunity!

All in all, it was definitely a fun night and I would 100% go back to The Brooklyn Bowl to see many more bands in the future.

Check out some pictures of my night below…

charlatans       selfie

Left: The band on stage. Right, me and Bex having a selfie outside the venue.

bex   me

Both of us having a little pose inside.

brits         another tube pic

Left: Bex with the BRIT statue. Right: Capturing our tube journey home. 

Lifestyle: I’ve moved to London!

tooting broadwaySo if you haven’t seen from my Twitter and Instagram profiles yet, I have now made the big move up to London!

This is so exciting for me as I have literally dreamed about living and working as a journalist in the city since I was about 15 or 16.

As you can probably guess, it’s been so busy and hectic getting myself settled in my new flat and getting everything sorted. Plus I’ve been out lots mingling with my new housemates and my friends down here, which hasn’t really left much time for blogging!

However, I feel like I’ve finally getting settled and back into a sort of routine (as much as you can do in this exciting city anyway), so you can expect lots more posts coming up!

In the meantime, I’ve included some photos below of all the things I’ve been getting up to so far…

You can probably tell I’ve had the best time and I’m looking forward to having much more fun in the big city!

Sam x

IMG_8871  IMG_8873  IMG_8826

My new flat… and yes that is our very own private bar on the right! 

 IMG_8872   IMG_8892  IMG_8893

More flat pictures… this was our first roast on the right – it was so tasty!

IMG_8787     IMG_9060     IMG_9055

My new flatmates Kat & Hannah! Kat’s birthday on the left, enjoying a drink at our local & cosy wine nights in.

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A random Sunday night out in Clapham…

IMG_9103   IMG_9142   me and aimee

Partying with some of my besties 🙂

50 shades premiere    bex premiere   premiere

Getting to go to the ’50 Shades of Grey’ premiere in Leicester Square!

IMG_8974   IMG_9001   IMG_8978

My sister Kerri coming up to visit.

V Festival 2014

256px-V_Festival_UKHi guys,

So I thought I’d write a little post about my time at this year’s V Festival!

To be honest, I never thought I’d see myself go to V, as I’m into more rockier music & usually favour Reading & Leeds. However, when I heard Justin Timberlake was on the bill, I knew I just had to go! You see I’ve loved Justin forever and really wanted to see him sing some of his new material (epecially ‘Suit and Tie’). I know he did a tour recently, but the tickets were so expensive I couldn’t really justify it to myself.

Anyway, we were a bit worried about the weather as it was a tiny bit overcast when we got to the Hylands Park site in Essex, however luckily it stayed nice all day & was only a bit chilly in the evening. We just bought a day ticket for the Saturday (Justin’s headliner spot), however looking at the line-up for the Sunday, I would have liked to have gone to both as there was people such as Paulo Nutini, Tinie Tempah, Lily Allen, Rita Ora & Rizzle Kicks who I missed out on, who always seem fun acts.

We got to the festival a little later than the opening time so didn’t get to see everyone. However, we did see some great acts such as Bastille, Example, Birdy, Ed Sheeran, Josh Record (who we got a photo with) and Justin, of course.

Also to brighten up our day we took an inflatable banana, which we named Barry, with us as a laugh. That made for some funny pictures and a great talking point as people called us the banana girls.

I would definitely say V Festival is great for younger people who like good pop music, or for first-time festival-goers as it’s not too big or scary. I can’t really say I found any great new bands at the event, however I definitely had fun.

Check out some of my snaps from the festival below…

 

banana     bastille

Left: Fooling around with Barry the Banana. Right: Bastille perform!

 

fruity     drink

My sister Kerri with our yummy (but expensive) fruity drinks.

 

josh record     fs

Watching Josh Record on the Futures Stage was one of the highlights of the day!

 

Southsea photobook

Now, Portsmouth gets a lot of flack for being the a bit rough sometimes, however it is getting a lot better with things such as the Gunwharf Ways outlet, where you can shop designer and see our very own tower, the Spinaker.

My favourite area of Portsmouth has to be Southsea however. Now, some people don’t even class it as Portsmouth as it is so different. With the beach, pier, loads of shops, restaurants and bars it’s like its own little town.

I’ve always wanted to live in London & many parts of Southsea remind me of East London with their alternative boutiques, vintage shops, cool bars and pubs & with an added beach too!

I had a day off this week, so made the most of it & had a proper day out in Southsea. Check out my photolog of the day below…


  

Left: The Parlour cake shop on Albert Road. Right: Some of the yummy cakes on offer!

  

Left: The lovely Southsea beach. Right: A retro cafe.

graffiti  

Left: Southsea street art. Right: A cute house

  

More cake at the Garage Lounge in Palmerston Road washed down with an elderflower lemonade.