Friday, June 16, 2017

A Peek At Some Home Details

A post I've been dying to share and what I know some have you have been dying to see, a first peek inside my home. Although, I'm not giving away too much just yet as I feel like I have so much left to do and buy first, but I'm enjoying the long process of making it my home bit by bit.

I now find myself rushing to nab a bargain at the 40% La Redoute Home Sale, getting excited over Lidl Spanish food week and going to B & Q on a Sunday to purchase a bathroom wall hook, I hate who I have become. I am my parents. 

This is definitely not what I bargained for when I signed my life away to a 25 year mortgage but I secretly like it, shhhh. I'm still ticking off a list as long as my arm for things I want to buy, but for now here's a little sneak peek inside my home, as you'll see, barely any pastel pink, copper, or white in sight ;)....
Copper Celio Table Lamp - Oliver Bonas
Tala Elva Light Bulb - Oliver Bonas
Jimi Bedside Table - La Redoute
Vase - Ikea

My bedroom is slowly becoming my ultimate haven. I don't know myself now I have both a double bed and a room bigger than a box, it's amazing! I really want to make this room a little retreat where I can come and relax at the end of the day. The walls are still very bare, and the decor is very minimal and white. The high windows make the room incredibly light, and I've chosen pinks and copper to add some warm pops of colour to the room. I still have a few things on my list to add to this room.

My favourite purchase so far? Without a doubt the Oliver Bonas lamp! It matches my bed frame perfectly and I've been on the lookout for something like this for so long. There's something so quaint but minimal about industrial style lighting. I'll probably 'rarely' use the lamp itself, but it looks great right?
Bedding & Cushions - Primark

The comfiest bed ever!! I have an endless love affair with my bed every morning and it's getting ever more difficult to get up in the morning. I think my little PG Tip monkey likes it too! 

I was worried Primark bed sheets wouldn't give that hotel quality and feel, but I've been so impressed with them and they make a perfect background for flatlays! I'm on the lookout for one more cushion to join and a throw before my bedding is complete. 
Basket - White Stuff

You can thank Pinterest for this little creation which I lurrrvvve!! Makes a great talking point when people come over too, in my boyfriends words 'what's that?' - 'well it's a basket with a rug inside, DUH'.

I can see my apartment slowly becoming overrun with wicker baskets though, sorry not sorry.
Pineapple  - H&M Home (old)
Mongolian Fur Stool - DIY

Still smitten with my DIY mongolian fur stool which I posted about earlier this year. It's the softest most comfortable stool and it looks fab underneath the high windows.
Clock - London Clock Company

Bedside table styling is harder than it looks and I'm constantly pinning to my home details board with more inspo! I'm still learning what I like best, but this copper clock perfectly blends in with the bed frame and I like how each bedside table has a completely different look, I personally don't like the 'show home' look. 
Mirror - The Range
For under £70, this has been one of the best budget buys for my room. Most huge, decorative mirrors like this are in the range of about £200. I live in a Georgian house so the contemporary feel of this mirror works so well with the high ceilings. Expect to see it in many selfies to come...
Geometric Cushions - Maisons Du Monde
Mongolian Fur Cushion - Oliver Bonas

Love! This sofa setup is SO me and I feel warm inside every time I come home to it, mission accomplished. I'm just waiting for my new pink gal from Made to arrive now and the living setup will nearly be complete. CANNOT WAIT. 
Pineapple - Primark
Copper Table - Made
Ring Holder - Oliver Bonas

Oh, there's a surprise, another piece of furniture from Made. I bought this copper table full of optimism back in December when I though I would be moving in January. It was the first item I setup when I moved in, and I just love it so much. It's the perfect table for styling, and fresh flowers every week to add to the top is a must.
Candle - Space NK
Cactus - Ikea

I splurged and finally caved in on the Diptyque hype, but how could I not when it looks this pretty. This and my bunny eared cactus from Ikea make the perfect pair.
 Print - Lisa Bengtsson
Hmm, I wonder how long this print will stay on the floor waiting to be hung up? But I don't really mind when it looks this cute, this was another Pinterest inspired find which took me agggess to track down. I just need a real life Dachshund to fulfil my dreams now.
 Rug - La Redoute
It's that La Redoute rug <3 The one that even has it's very own Instagram account to document its beauty, the love for this is real. It's so cosy on my tootsies too!
 Fake Plant - Primark
Coasters - Old English Company

I have the perfect Ikea table for my kitchen area, it's mostly just me eating here so I can keep it as minimal as possible. My friend picked me up this little fake plant for a moving in gift and it literally couldn't be more perfect. I have a penchant for The Old English Company's prints and coasters too, Buy Me Pizza and tell me I'm pretty is literally me.
 Chopping Board - Wilkinsons
Teapot - Shop In Copenhagen

Ending the post in my Kitchen, here's just a couple details that are currently sitting on my sides. I have a cream theme going on with the kettle and toaster so the mint teapot contrasts perfectly with it giving it an almost retro theme. 

I think I'll be very happy here, and I'm loving making my apartment my own. Keep an eye out for a more in-depth peek inside my home very soon!

What do you think of my home details? Can you spot anything you'd like? Do you love homeware shopping too?

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

6 Things You Didn't Know About #YourNewMcDonalds

So it's official. I got to make my own Big Mac last week! Like I really think I've finally fulfilled my childhood dreams of winning Bob's Burger game. There always was something so satisfying about building burgers and serving the customer's within the one minute time frame, and McDonalds really isn't that dissimilar!

But it's not as easy as putting a few patties on a burger bun and passing it to the customer in the queue, as I found out after my behind the scenes tour in the kitchen. There's no surprise that McDonalds didn't become the multi national success it did without an efficient production line, hard workers and the commitment to customer care, this was all evident at my night I spent at McDonalds in Plymouth.

As ever McDonalds have always had to keep abreast of changes in the industry to stay at the top of their game and with that, they've transformed 800 restaurants in the UK, and Plymouth just happened to be one of them which has been updated to provide customer's of 2017 with what they need. It's fair to say that McDonalds has evolved over the years to meet the expectations of the public. Here's 6 things about Your New McDonalds that might just surprise you!

1. Self-service Kiosks
One of my favourite new elements of the digitally updated store are the self-service kiosks. There's no more queues or human interaction required, perfect if you want to pop in and out in a rush or want to customise your food and not get embarrassed asking for a completely plain big mac (so me). #fussyeaterprobs

The kiosks allow you to customise your food, add in what you want and remove the elements you don't want. The kiosk is also available in a variety of different languages and the screen can be displayed at a lower setting too which has fantastically catered to children and those in wheelchairs too. It's a thumbs up all round from me!
2. Table Service
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT - MCDONALDS DO TABLE SERVICE. In all the updated stores, McDonalds now offer table service, genius!! Whether you're feeling a bit tired, have a big party of people or just fancy being waited on this is a brilliant idea that really makes the whole McDonalds experience centred towards the customer's needs. 

When ordering on the self service kiosk it will give you option for table service, you then take a number and they'll locate your table with the tracking device on the number. 
3. Revolutionised Kitchen Design
It's evident that McDonalds have got their production line and kitchen design down to a tee, when you have to get the orders out within a short time frame everything has to be as efficient as possible, as I learnt when I got to make my own big mac! Despite it taking me about 5 minutes to get from A to B with building it, everything is lined up in order of the different elements of the burger, there's instructions how to build each burger above (but you're not likely to need this if you've been working there a while) and each step of making a big mac was under 10 seconds, so you can be sure that the big mac is out within a minute. 

The sides of the kitchen are warm too which I thought was really clever, this means that as the food is made and moves along the production line it's always staying as warm as possible for the customer at the end.

4. Tablets For Customer's 

As part of their digital evolution, they've also added in tablets to the store so you can browse on the go with your big mac, do some shopping, catch up with your blog reading or just check your emails. These are perfectly positioned so children can use them too, they're apparently a big hit with business people in the evening who are popping in to check their emails and grab a bit of wifi in a comfortable place.

5. New Summer Drinks

I couldn't not include the new summer drink additions to the range. I automatically only think of lemonade and coke when it comes to McDonalds drinks which is incredibly inaccurate! Their new summer drinks definitely give a few big coffee houses a run for their money, and at a fraction of their price!

The Frozen Strawberry Lemonade was a favourite of mine, it's the perfect refreshing cooler drink for the summer. I'll definitely think twice about what drink I'm ordering next time I'm in there!

6. Fresh ingredients

Contrary to a lot of people's assumptions about McDonalds, their food is made with fresh, natural ingredients. How many of you actually knew that? But seriously, their chicken nuggets are made with 100% chicken breast meat, their fries are made from British potatoes and YES, they do use real eggs! Take a look at their FAQ's for the inside scoop on their food!

Over the years they've become a lot more transparent with their food, what it contains and the nutritional information that consumers really want to know about their food. All of this information is now easily accessible, it can be found on the new self service kiosks, online, on the packaging and by asking members of staff. Just because McDonalds is known as that fast food place, it's not all bad - it's just about making the right decisions with your food and educating yourself about what's going into your body!

It was certainly an eye opening experience getting a behind the scenes tour of a real working McDonalds kitchen. It was also amazing to hear about how much McDonalds do for the community and their commitment to keeping their staff happy, it's definitely something a lot more companies could learn about! 

I had a lot of fun making a big mac, but I don't think I'll be quitting my day job anytime soon...

What do you think of the new McDonalds?

*This is a collaborative post with Mcdonalds, but as always all opinions are 100% my own, and McDonalds chicken nuckets and dairy milk mcflurries really are life!
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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

OOTD | The Last One As You Know It

Pineapple Shirt* - Closet London
Skirt - New Look
Shoes - River Island
Watch - Cluse

You may have seen my blog content change over the last couple of months and with that I think it's the perfect time to start switching up my outfit posts. I've been emulating the same style of outfit posts in both content form and pictures for almost 4 years now, wow. Albeit, the early day ones were shot in my parents hallway, and our garden for a about a year, but it worked.

But change is good, and I think where the future of blogging is a bit uncertain that it's more important than ever to ride the waves of this journey and switch it up a bit. So what will be changing?

I feel that OOTD is very 2013 - does anyone even use this term anymore? Every time I used it in the title of the post, it felt harder to stop doing it. It feels outdated now and really isn't a top ranking keyword as you can imagine...

Along with the content, I'm not going to be just focusing on every aspect of the outfit details... You can all see what the outfit looks like and hopefully appreciate it too, I find most people are more visual on outfit posts and look at the pictures and not much else. The content will be based more around something that is going on, sharing snippets of my every day life or anything in between. I want it to be more interesting to read than 'these shoes literally go with everything!' - very 10 year old and something I feel has outgrown both myself and my writing style.

I spend ages finding the perfect location for photos sometimes, so much so I even dedicated a post to some of the best locations for outfit photos in Plymouth - dedication right there! I'm much preferring fashion bloggers with the more candid style/plain backgrounds now, anything else seems to detract from the photos too much and looks like I'm trying too hard. So I've decided to strip it all back, go back to basics and scout out some plain locations. As Instagram seems to be the place to constantly be, I'm taking more inspiration for what I would want to post on there and actually 'Like' myself. There's nothing like a killer outfit set against a crusty, pastel, pink wall - am I right? 

So there you go, stripped back content, a more grown up approach and simply sharing photos to showcase the outfit and not so much the location! 

Have you changed how you shoot outfit pictures over the years? 

*Products marked with an asterix (*) have been sent to me for review. However, all opinions in this post are 100% my own
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Sunday, June 4, 2017

4 Things We Can Do When The World Is Falling Apart

I have no words for the monstrous beings that are roaming our world and are taking innoncent people with years of life left to be lived, with futures waiting to be fulfiled, with the excitement that you never know what is round the corner. And that's it, you just don't. It only takes a split second for a life to be ended, and for a world to be turned upside down.

I feel heartbroken, heartbroken that innocent people's lives are being taken, hundreds of people are being caught up in what must be terrifying situations and that their partners, family members and loved ones will never come home again.

I want it to end. I want to be able to do things without fear, fear that it will be my turn to end up in the wrong place at the wrong time. But we never know what is next, it's simply heartbreaking that 2 attacks have taken place in the UK in the space of 10 days, what is next? 

I felt like I woke up in a different world yesterday, it's like a war that I simply cannot see how it can be stopped. But we must not stop living our lives. We can pray, be nicer to others, share the love and simply live every day like it's the last, love conquers fear.

We Cannot Live In Fear

It's difficult to not fear the world, to fear something happening to our loved ones, to fear our next holiday, the fear that stops up from booking a holiday or heading to London for a weekend away. We have to continue our every day lives, we simply can't stop.

The chances of being held up in a terrorist attack are still very slim, it is a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and we cannot predict what will happen next, it could be anywhere.

But we simply cannot live in fear, this is what the terrorists want. We can still go on holiday, we can still go to shows, we can still go to bars on the weekend, we just have to remember to be vigilant and take care. 

Relish In The Little Things

I reached for my 14,000 things to be happy book this morning and soaked up the lines in the book to help me remember there is good in this world, there is a lot of good. 

There's feeling the dappled sunlight against your skin, watching rain lash against the window, cuddling a loved one, pizza, fresh flowers - write a list of 5 things that make you happy each day and you'll soon have 14,000 things of your own. 

We must remember the little things in life, not get hung up on the not so good, every bad situation you may come across is only temporary and we must remember that.

Reach Out To Others

I'm always trying to be a better person and be nicer to others, the world would be a much better place if each person reached out to whoever they meet and show compassion.

Help those that may not be as fortunate as you, donate, spare 5 minutes out of your day to have a conversation with a stranger, take time to spend quality time with your family and try to do something nice every day.

Stop With The #FirstWorldProblems

We cannot get bogged down in silly, insignifcant things that we feel are significant. Your Instagram post not reaching the same amount of people it did 6 months ago does not matter, being starving does not matter - it means you're alive. Having the icing of a fresh cinnamon bun stick to the paper bag does not matter - you can buy another. 

Wishing for each weekend to come around needs to stop. We have to be grateful to be alive and appreciate the little things that make up our life, they might not seem like much now, but believe me they are.

Be nicer every day, stick together, look to the future and never fear what might be next. I love you London <3

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Saturday, June 3, 2017

How To Get Regrammed By A Big Brand On Instagram

If I knew how beneficial getting regrammed by a brand on Instagram was 3 years ago, I'd be laughing now. Sure, it's not all about the followers, but building your Instagram following also comprises of a number of factors like 'Can you actually take nice pictures?', 'Do you have a theme?' 'How much do you engage with others and post?'. But since that algorithm launched and has slowly grown into an incurable disease, what ways are left to actually boost your following quickly, without paid ads, comment pods and dare I say it, Instagram bots?

My follower account has stagnated for months, and whilst my motivation has waned to continually post, I've found that the only way you can really boost your following organically in a very quick period of time is getting regrammed by a big brand on Instagram. I'm talking about gaining between 100-300 new followers in one day.

With the potential level of exposure you can gain by reaching millions of followers it seems like a dream too good to be true, but it begs the questions; how do I get regrammed? How do I know what certain brands are looking for? And will I have a chance when X account is tagged in thousands of pictures every day? It does seem impossible until it's done.

With 2,700 followers on Instagram, HEY I'm no influencer from the stars, but I've been regrammed from a variety of brands I idolise with a massive following including ASOS, Primark, Boohoo and Once you know what to do and what makes each brand tick, anyone can get a regram, and you don't need 20k + followers or a sponsored ad to get it, KA-CHING.

- The Regram Criteria -

Research The Brands Insta

We all have aspirations of getting a regram from one of our favourite brands, mine were always ASOS & Primark. I always loved their content, knew it quite well and of course, always had one outgoing bank payment to them, which does help.

You need to really learn what makes the brand tick on Instagram, do they already share bloggers images or customer photos on their feed? Do they mostly do model shots or product shots too? It's also worth bearing in mind that some brands NEVER share bloggers photos even if they're amazing quality and fit their theme, from what I've seen H&M and Zara never do, so it's not even worth bothering with brands like this.

Another thing worth thinking about is, has the brand already shared an image of the product you want them to regram? If it's a yes there is a 95% chance they won't share one like it again, Primark and ASOS for example have thousands of products and they never seem to share the same product more than once.

Product Focus - Brand Specific

Flatlays are great, there's so much to look at, so many brands to tag, an Instagram dream, but unless it's a much smaller brand on Instagram, the brand may like your photo but it has little chance of getting a regram. 

From my experience, brands like it when it is just their product as the main focus of the image, dress it with flowers etc but leave out other branded products that could steal the limelight. I would say this is one of the key criteria you need to meet if a brand considers regramming your image

Old Products Are A No No

This is very much brand dependent, but with fast fashion, items of clothing from major fashion retailers are never here for long until the next season of clothing comes around. Using old items of clothing or products that are no longer available on the site stand little to no chance of getting regrammed, soz. 

It makes sense really - brands aren't going to be pushing products to millions of customer's that the said customer's can no longer buy. Stick to current items that you know are still sold and are current, and again, that the brand hasn't featured before. 

Tag The Brand & Hashtags

When uploading the image to Instagram, tag the brand in the photo and in the caption, brands are tagged in hundreds of photos every day so you need every chance to make yourself as visible as possible. It's worth noting if there are any specific hashtags that the brand uses too to discover the image, such as for Oliver Bonas - #OBStyle and Missguided #BabesOfMissguided. Make sure all angles are covered so you have more chance of being noticed.

It's also worth posting the same image on Twitter and tagging the brand account as on one occasion Primark picked up my image on Twitter instead and used on it on Instagram from there.

Good Photography

Duh. So yeh, this goes without saying, but even if you meet the above criteria a brand will not regram your photo if it is poor quality, dark and (potentially) if it doesn't fit with the colour scheme of their brand, lame I know. 

Some pre-research on the brand's insta will help with whether you need to stick to a colour palette or not. Generally spoeaking when I take any picture I always ask myself 'Would I like it?' If the answer is no, retake it and try again. 

If you bring natural lighting, a clear background and a crisp image together, there's no reason that your photo won't get a regram - you made it! And even if you don't, you know you're that bit closer to cracking the insta 'brand' code and getting seen by their millions of followers...

Do you have any tips on how to get regrammed on Instagram?

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