Sunday, 17 June 2018

ADEXE

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always struggled with watches. I love to wear one and I love the look of them, but I find that lots of watches appear too big and clunky on me. I’ve got quite skinny wrists and long hands, so I sometimes find that big chunky watches look a little bit weird! I’m also a bit fan of pretty, dainty jewellery and often a big old watch gleaming away on your wrist kind of clashes with the look of a ditsy necklace and pretty stacking rings! So, you can imagine how happy I was when the lovely people at Adexe got in touch, asking me if I'd like to receive one of their watches.

I decided to go for the 'Meek' Petite Silver Watch because, as I said, big chunky watches aren't my thing, that said though, from what I can tell, Adexe don't appear to do big, thick watches. Their bands are all quite slim, which I personally think sits nicer against your wrist. Some of the faces are bigger than this one, as they do both 'petite' watches like this and 'grande' watches. The petite watches have a watch face of 33mm and the grande 41mm. They also do a range of different colours, there was a gorgeous rose gold with a berry coloured face that I was also pretty tempted by! They do both all metal watches, like this one and leather strap watches in a huge range of styles, so there's something for everyone! I was thrilled with my choice, because its very slimline, simple and classic, meaning it goes with pretty much anything I wear.

The watch came beautifully packaged in a simple, white Adexe branded box, with the watch safely packed inside, attached by secure elastic to a padded insert so that it didn't slide around in the post. It came with a guidance card on how to use the watch and a warranty card inside a little envelope. It didn't have instructions on how to adjust the watch, but it's pretty self explanatory and easy to figure out and I'm sure you'd be able to find a video online for how to do so if you got really stuck. It also comes with a little tool to help you adjust the watch, which is great because I have had watches before that didn't come with this and have broken many a nail trying to adjust without an aid!

This watch in particular is made with Stainless Steel, so it's going to be super hard-wearing and while it isn't big and heavy, it does feel very sturdy and well made so I know it's going to last me a long time. While Adexe do use very high quality materials to produce their products, because the watches are designed in London and made in house, this reduces the number of intermediaries in between the design and production process, meaning the price tag is reduced. You can pay hundreds of pounds for watches of a similar or sometimes lesser quality, but Adexe watches range from £89 to £129, making a quality timepiece much more accessible to many people.

Let me know what you think! If you're interested in Adexe watches, you can use code 'CHLOESWAY15' for 15% off!

This watch was sent to me by Adexe as part of a gift-based collaboration. As always though, all opinions are my own and I am under no obligation to share a positive review of any product gifted or otherwise.


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Wednesday, 13 June 2018

POSITIVITY AND MAKING THE MOST OF EVERY DAY

Good vibes only! What started out as a little doodle may now turn into something more! shhhhhh. More will be revealed in good time... SHAKA!


Would you say you lived for the weekend? Do you hate Mondays? Did you know that if you spend 5 days a week waiting for the weekend, you're spending around 70% of your time wishing your life away?


Yesterday, I posted a few polls on Instagram, asking my followers to rate their general positivity levels and the results, as you can see below were super interesting! On average, most people rated how they feel about Mondays and their mood on a work morning pretty low and agreed strongly with the phrase 'I live for the weekend', but rated themselves very highly when asked how positive their attitude generally. I found this really quite interesting, because while many people seem to hate Mondays and be in a fairly low mood before work (on average, 5 days a week!), they still considered themselves to be positive in general.

I'm not saying this is a bad thing at all, if anything, I think it's great that people still feel pretty happy despite these things, but it does get me thinking, surely if these otherwise positive people could maybe adjust their mindset a little, they could spread their good vibes throughout the entire week and start living for every day rather than a rather small percentage of the week! So, with this in mind, I'm going to share a few tips that help me to feel more positive and to enjoy every day!

Start each day with a positive thought
I know, I know, it's massive cliche, but something as simple as waking up and telling yourself that you're about to have a great day can massively improve your mood. Thinking negatively and focusing on the bad things can have a huge impact on your mindset right from the beginning of you day. No matter what lies ahead, try thinking 'today will be a good day' before you even get out of bed. It's amazing what a difference it can make, honest!

Make the most of every moment
Sometimes, you have to do things that you wouldn't necessarily choose to do, that's life, while there may be several things you'd rather be doing, there's no reason why you can't make the best of every moment. Maybe you're crazy busy at work, but again, a simple change of mindset can do wonders. Accept and enjoy the challenging times, breathe and relax in moments you'd typically find a bit dull and boring. Enjoy talking to your colleagues, grab the opportunity to learn new things in your job (or school!) every day.
This doesn't only apply to worky things, but to leisure time too. Do you find that you're in a rut all week? Wake up, Work, Home, Eat, Sleep, Repeat. Sound familiar? Stop! Make midweek plans, go the pub on a Wednesday night, have a cinema date on a Monday. There are so many hours that you could fill doing things you love all week long, not just on Friday night and the weekend.

Stay present
This point relates nicely to the last point of making the most of every moment. Sometimes, it's really easy to wish the time away and keep thinking of Friday or of 5pm, but staying in the moment and accepting for what it is helps you to stay focused and of course, you'll feel less negative if you're not wishing you were somewhere else! Perhaps you're at work doing a task that's driving you a bit mad. In these sort of situations, I stop for a second and think about how accomplished I'll feel when I'm done. I focus there and then on the task and work as hard as I can and sometimes, I even come to enjoy the challenge! Even more mundane tasks like doing the washing up have a sense of accomplishment at the end, whatever you're doing, have your end goal in mind and take pride in working hard at the things you don't necessarily love doing while you're doing them.

Be grateful
Another cliche, sorry! It's important though to remember how much you have to be thankful for. It's easy to forget the little things when you're caught up in wishing your situation was different, but when things get tough, try to stop for a moment and think. You may be at school wishing the bell would ring, but right now, you're sitting, learning new things, broadening your knowledge and mind.You might be a work on Tuesday, counting down the hours until Friday, but think about the reasons you like your job and why you applied in the first place. And if you don't like your job, think about why you're there and be grateful for the experience you're gaining and how that'll help you in future when you look for a new role.

Accept the bad
Despite having a generally optimistic outlook on life and being a huge advocate of a positive mental attitude, I'm not completely on another planet and I do know that some days are just basically crap. While I'll always push to look for the good in every situation, it's sometimes good to just accept the bad times, roll with it, have a cry if you need to. You don't always need to be super strong and sunny about everything. It's healthy to feel sad and to let your emotions run free. Talk to people you love, vent on twitter, do what you've gotta do. Letting yourself feel negative emotions without feeling bad or embarrassed about it is as important to a positive mindset as any of these other points. Just when you're feeling better again, pick yourself up and do things to help yourself stay better, see your friends, watch a movie, have a bubble bath - just don't wait for the weekend to do so!

That's all for now! I hope you enjoyed this post, this is a topic I could go on and on about for days, so if you'd like to see more posts like this, please do let me know.

As always, my DMs are always open on instagram (@chloesway) if you fancy a chat or if you've got anything to add on this topic, I'd love to hear your opinions!



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Thursday, 7 June 2018

REASONS WHY YOUR CAR HATES YOU



Hi everyone! So, a slightly different post today, but something I feel very strongly about. Today, we’re going to be talking about reasons that your car hates you, aka, ways you may be be putting yourself and others in danger while driving! 

While, thank goodness, I’ve never been directly affected by the consequences of dangerous driving, or poor car maintenance, I do know people that have and have heard countless stories about accidents and issues that could easily have been avoided had the driver taken better care of their vehicle. 

Something that you’d think would be an obvious point, but is all too easily forgotten is getting your MOT done. Forgetting or worse, ignoring your MOT is not only dangerous but also illegal. Apparently, many people wrongly believe that you can get away with driving without an MOT for weeks or even months after it is due, but this is not the case. While it is true that you can drive without an MOT if you are on your way to an MOT test centre, if you are stopped by the police, you must be able to prove that you are on your way to have your car tested, or else you can face a fine of up to £1000. If you have an accident, you insurance is highly likely to be invalid if you don't have an up to date MOT, leaving you to pay the costs of the damage. Essential safety features like your brakes, tyres, lights, windscreen, exhuast sytem and steering and suspension are all checked in an MOT among many other things. Lots of these are features that aren't easy to test ourselves, so getting it done is essential to your safety.

While not compulsary, there are also risks to failing to have your vehicle serviced regularly. A service generally checks levels of the fluids, including brake fluid, screen wash and coolant. It will also check the condition of the engine, such as the plugs and filter, as well as testing the batteries, lights and tyres. There are several things included in a service that are not checked with an MOT, so it's important that you get this done regularly to avoid any nasty surprises!

Doing self checks is also very important and the easiest way to ensure that your car is safe to drive. A quick look over your tyres to make sure they’re all pumped up and not flat before you drive anywhere, checking your oil and coolant levels and tracking regularly, particularly before a long journey and making sure all your lights work when driving in the dark. These are all so easy to do, but equally easy to forget. Getting into the habit of checking these things though could be the difference between a smooth and safe journey and a potentially fatal one.

The reason I shared this post today is because while subjects like this can seem a little boring or out of line with fashion and beauty content on blogs right now, it’s something that is so important. I’m sure many of my followers drive and almost all of you regularly travel in a car and I know I’ve been guilty of forgetting these things - I even drove home from work with an entirely flat tyre once because I hadn’t checked - never again! For that reason, I hope that this post serves as a reminder to at least some of you to check when your MOT is due, do little self checks on your car and stay safe on the road!

This post was written in collaboration with KAP Motor group, if you're in the area, you can book a hassle free reservation of your MOT test in Kent with KAP, so you'll be safe in the knowledge that your car is good to go!

Thanks for reading and happy driving! 

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Saturday, 2 June 2018

HOW TO NAIL MARRIED LIFE


Full disclosure before your eyes roll into the back of your skull at the title, I don't think I'm a relationship expert (it's not a thing, don't @ me) and I'm not claiming that I can fix your relationship problems, but that said, I bloody love being married and I like to think that myself and my Husband Darren are pretty good at it. NOT SORRY! So, to sum up, not an expert, but very happy and today I'm going to share exactly why I think that is. These aren't necessarily marriage tips, but more lessons I've learned along the way that I think help to make a happy couple (stay with me, I'm not going to get soppy).

Accept them for who they are.
This is first because it really is the most important. People can change and they do change, but you cannot make someone change. I don't mean that if someone's a messy f*cker, you should accept that and do all their washing for them, but you need to love and respect your partner for the person that they are. I do believe it's important to adapt your behaviours and habits to suit your life together and being stubborn gets you nowhere, but I wholeheartedly believe that you should be able to be 100% yourself with your partner, especially at the point of marrying them. Marriage is (hopefully!) a lifelong commitment and having to act like someone you're not for your whole life will lead to resentment. It may irritate Darren sometimes when he's mid-way through a story about his day and I turn his sentence into a song reference and I might moan about the amount of bread he wastes when he tries and fails to spread butter several times, but those little quirks are also things we love about each other. You're going to piss each other off, but those little things aren't deal breakers and sometimes you will grow to kinda like them.

Let them do them.
Something that BAFFLES me is hearing people say 'I'd never let my boyfriend..', 'no wife of mine could ever...' etc, you get the point. PSA: your partner is not a Sim with free will turned off, unless you regularly catch them staring into space with a green diamond above their heads (and maybe not even then), you cannot make them do anything. Compromise is key, not everyone gets their own way all the time and sometimes, you'll have to just watch the damn action movie, but having your partner constantly telling you can't go here/ wear that/ see them is a major red flag. If you have friends and hobbies that make you happy, the person who loves you should not want to change that. Also, if you really love someone, you'll want to do nice things for them, like cooking their favourite meal, or doing the washing up even though it's probably their turn. Thinking you can boss your partner around and tell them what to do is a recipe for disaster though, if you fully trust someone, you can trust them to make their own decisions.

Do things for them.
This follows on from my last point, sometimes the smallest gestures can make a huge difference. Darren knows that I regularly forget to make my own lunch for work, so often he'll make it for me the night before so that I don't have to think about it in the morning. He'll put my favourite vinyl on for me and light a candle while I'm cooking because he knows I love cooking with music on and hate the house smelling of food. It's tiny things like this that just show that you really know one another. Gestures don't have to be big or expensive, but knowing that your partner has your happiness in mind means a lot.

Listen to them.
Laaaaame. But seriously, if you're in a relationship with someone, surely this means you're interested in them and what they have to say. Sure, sometimes your partner will have a moan about work/ friends/ family/ washing up and you might've heard it all before, but just listen, take the few minutes out of your day to take in what they're saying and talk things through. When you're married or in a relationship, your partner should be your best friend, you should be able to talk about anything and everything that's on your mind, whether it's a bad day in the office or the hidden secrets of the universe. Feeling like someone really values your opinion and cares about what you have to say really is a great feeling. Side note, I'm always super impressed when Darren gets me a present or does something that shows he's been really listening to me, it can be anything from buying a record I mentioned a few weeks back to putting on a TV series I briefly talked about wanting to watch.

Make time for one another.
As much as I will preach alone time and doing your own thing, I find that spending time together is the best way to feel closer and reconnect. Even if it's just going for a few drinks after a long week at work or watching a movie with a ban on all other technology one evening, it's nice to just do things as a couple. When you live with someone and you're together all the time, it's easy to blur the lines between being around one another and actually being together. Quality time is, in my opinion, essential to feel close and connected to your partner and with so many people having such full and busy lives these days, it's important to make that time for just the two of you.

Trust them.
All of my points in this post so far are my opinion and can be taken with a pinch of salt - EXCEPT. THIS. ONE. As a couple, you have a life together, but you also have separate lives. You need to be able to do thing separately and be okay with that. No one's a mind reader and no one can predict what anyone is going to do, but forever assuming the person you're with is going to f*ck up isn't healthy. This doesn't apply to everything, like I absolutely don't trust Darren when he constantly promises not to use half a bottle of Fairy every time he washes up, but for the most part, you need to feel as though your partner trusts and respects you and you them. If who you're with gets mad whenever you speak to or are friends with another girl/ guy that is a big old red flag and it shouldn't be ignored. Something I've heard a lot is 'it's not me he doesn't trust, it's other guys' - this is bullshit. If you know your partner well enough to know they're not going to do the dirty every time they go to a club without you, then you'll know you don't have to worry about 'other guys'.


Like I say, please do take this post in the light hearted way that it is intended, I by no means consider myself a marriage or relationship expert, I just wanted to share a fun post with some of the lessons I've learnt in my almost year of marriage and seven year relationship! If you'd like to see more personal posts like this on my blog, please do let me know!

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Thursday, 3 May 2018

LONDON ROCK TOUR


Well hello again! Another music related post for you all today, this time though, it’s a review with a bit of a difference. I’m not going to be reviewing a band, an album or a gig, but instead the ‘London Rock Tour’, which was a tour my Husband and I went on last summer. It’s essentially a tour of all the rock and roll ‘landmarks’ in London, from Pink Floyd’s studio to Abbey Road. If this sounds like your kinda day out, then read on!

We met bright and early at The Original Tour Reservation centre just off Piccadilly Circus and met our tour guide, Lee and all the other people who’d be joining us on the tour. Lee was just fab and made sure to get to know a bit about everyone as he ticked our names off the list. There were people from all over the world on our tour and Lee made sure to find out everyone’s names and where they were from and managed to remember these details all day! So, introductions done, we headed off at 9am to begin the tour. 

We all jumped into the minivan (with band logos and branding printed all over the sides, love) and before we set off, Lee asked each couple or group what their favourite British bands were so he could personalise the tour slightly. Though there are places they go on every tour, he said he’d try to find at least something of some relevance to everyone’s favourite band or artist, which I thought was a great touch.

Unfortunately, I can’t remember every single thing we saw and in what order we saw them, but I’ll do my best to cover what I can without giving away too many details for those who’d like to take the tour. What I do remember though, was thinking that I should’ve been taking notes! Lee had such a depth of knowledge about the London music scene and he was fascinating to listen to. The way he told stories of great British bands and their history was so natural, you could tell this was stuff he really cared about, not just words learnt from a script. You could call out the name of any British rock musician and Lee would have a story to tell. Something I particularly loved was that he’d play music from each of the artists we were discussing at the time, which re-ignited my love for many bands I’d not really listened to since my Dad used to play me all his favourites when I was a tiny kid! 


Another particularly great aspect of the tour was that it wasn’t just a ‘look at this recording studio from the window of the bus’, we actually got off the bus several times to look around and even went inside a few places to explore. One in particular was ‘Regent Sounds’, a guitar shop that used to be Regents Sounds Recording Studio where bands including Black Sabbath, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Who, The Rolling Stones and The Kinks had all once recorded singles or demos in their early careers. This studio is on Denmark Street, or ‘Tin Pan Alley’. While we were there, we also saw a site that used to be a coffee shop where David Bowie was among their regular customers. Those into music will know that Denmark Street has some of the most musical history that London has to offer, that’s why it was a particularly interesting and somewhat sad part of the tour, as Denmark Street isn’t what it used to be and lots of renovations around the area are slowly changing one of London’s most historic musical streets. The history of the area was just fascinating to learn about though and it was definitely a highlight of the tour.


Among other things, we saw Paul McCartney’s London office, the school that the kids singing in ‘Another Brick in the Wall’ by Pink Floyd came from, David Bowie’s blue plaque at Trident Studios and Amy Winehouse’s house in Camden. Again, with all of these, we spent a little time there, in some cases being shown around the area and in others just being told about all the history and things that went on there. Again, I won’t go into the details too much so as not to ruin the surprises of the tour for anyone planning on going, but each and every place had such amazing stories attached to them and Lee knew every detail! Even driving around the city, he’d point to a doorway and tell you a quick anecdote about Paul McCartney, or to a shop to tell you what it used to be. It’s amazing how much history is hidden within our city just about everywhere you look!


The final stop on the tour was the famous Abbey Road studios and Abbey Road crossing from the Beatles album of the same name. Lee made sure everyone got the iconic crossing photo and that we all got plenty of time to browse around the studio gift shop to pick up souvenirs. 

The tour lasted three hours with a break at a coffee shop in the middle and I can honestly say there wasn’t a dull moment. If you’re into Rock Music and want to learn more about and fully appreciate the history of it in the Capital, I couldn’t recommend this experience enough. It’d also be great for those new to the city as you’ll visit some parts of London that aren’t necessarily typical tourist spots, but are worth seeing none the less!


If you are interested, you can book the tour here through viator, tickets are £35 each and worth every penny (though I am biased!). 

Thanks so much for reading if you've made it this far! If you have any questions or would like to know more about what went on on the tour, please do head to my Twitter or Instagram, I’d love to chat!
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Tuesday, 24 April 2018

WHY VINYL?



Anyone who knows me even a minuscule amount will know that music is pretty much the love of my life, I truly couldn’t live without it. My favourite bands announcing a new album or tour dates is like a mini Christmas for me each and every time. No matter what way you look at it, the industry has grown over the years, but arguably fewer bands that spring up nowadays have the longevity that bands and artists had way back when (this is a topic I could save for a whole other post, but I’ll save that for a another day). Part of the reason for this in my opinion is the dying trade that is ‘physical’ music. 
 
This brings me onto today’s topic, Vinyl records and why you should buy them! I’m going to try really hard not to sound like an unbearable hipster in this post because of course, all opinions are just that and you’re entitled to your own. That said, if I can convince even one person to check out their local record store, I’d be over the moon! So, if you can bear to hear me out and find out why I’ll always preach plastic, keep reading!


I’ve admittedly not been a Vinyl collector for a long time at all, though before I got my first turntable last year, I still loved to buy CDs, for me there’s just something about actually owning your favourite albums that’s a bit more special that listening on Spotify or iTunes. I’m not here to slam subscriptions services, I’m a huge Apple Music user myself and I love nothing more than being able to easily create a playlist of my fave songs to blast in my car, but for me it’s just not the same. While I love a good shuffle at times, listening to an album on a record means you listen to one artist and one album all in one go. Often songs on a record will merge into one another or link to other songs on the album in some way and without really listening to the whole album in order, you don't always catch that.
There’s something that feels quite special about going to a record store, flipping through rows and rows of LPs to find what you’re looking for. It’s much more of an experience than just downloading the tracks and playing them through a Bluetooth speaker. For me, that’s what music is all about, it’s an experience. Choosing the album I want, taking it home, sliding it out of its sleeve and putting it on my turntable. then turning it over once the side is finished is just one of my favourite things ever and makes listening to the record all the more enjoyable. I’m thoroughly aware of how cheesy that sounds, but if I’m going to get gushy about anything, it’s this!

Other than the joy that is holding and owning your favourite records, there’s the sound. There’s much debate about sound quality between Vinyl, CD and digital and while I’m certainly no expert, I don’t believe it’s as black and white as one being better than another. That being said, many people, myself included just prefer the sound quality of Vinyl. The little scratch before and after the end of the record is probably my favourite sound in the world. While it's true that Vinyl can get warped or damaged, something you don't get with digital, I do think this can add to the character of the track and create a sense of nostalgia when the same part skips over each time you listen to a song.
Of course, a huge reason to buy Vinyl is supporting your favourite bands and Artists in a financial sense also. There's no denying that people just don't pay for music any more. With it being so easy to just listen online or download a song for free, it's understandable that it's more difficult for Artists to make big money from physical record sales these days. I don't think buying into Vinyl will 'fix' this issue, but I do believe it will make a difference and it's certainly a step in the right direction. You also get that whole ‘Vinyl experience’ that I mentioned above, so that’s got to be a bonus!
I think I’ll leave this post here for now as I’m sure I’ve been banging on enough about the topic, but I’d really love to know what your thoughts are! Leave a comment below or chat to me on twitter or instragram about this as I’d love to discuss!
 If you’d like to see more Music themed posts on Chloe’s Way, please do let me know!


Sunday, 25 February 2018

THE SNUG


Hey everyone! So, as someone who lives within a very easy train ride to London, I’m pretty guilty of just heading into the capital when I want to find a great cocktail bar, quirky lunch spot or somewhere instagrammable for brunch, but lately, I decided it was about time I started searching a little closer to home.


Not only does heading out a few minutes up the road save a lot of money in travel, but sometimes you can find yourself pleasantly surprised with places right on your doorstep. Having explored most places in our own town, we decided to branch out just a little further to surrounding towns and cities. Living in Hertfordshire, just outside of Essex, myself and my Husband are within easy reach of lots of surrounding areas such as Epping, Loughton, Stansted, Cambridge and Hertford, which is where we headed for lunch today. 


After a little searching around on google, we decided to head to The Snug, which is located behind the Hertford Corn Exchange on the high street. The Snug has a few locations including Hertford, St Albans and Cambridge, (so there may well be one near you!) but it doesn’t feel like a typical chain restaurant/ bar at all because of the unique, cosy atmosphere and quirky decor. Darren and I initially intended on heading there for brunch, but after looking at the cocktail menu online, we couldn’t resist trying them and lunch felt a more socially acceptable time to do so! Don’t be fooled by the picture of the clock, we actually went at around 12:30 in the afternoon!


We sat down at a cute little table with a faux cow skin bench one side and two cute mismatched armchairs on the other. We were surrounded by exposed brick walls, daffodils in glass bottles, board games and quirky mismatched decor. I particularly loved the Wayne’s World prints on the walls! The atmosphere in there was super relaxed and cosy and even though it was midday on a Sunday and pretty quiet, there was still a really great vibe. The staff were super friendly and they can certainly make a mean cocktail! 


On Sundays, cocktails are two for one all day and on Monday to Saturday, they have a happy hour where the same offer applies from 3pm-7pm. Darren had two Singapore Slings and I had two French Martinis - both were absolutely amazing, it was quite possibly the best French Martini I’ve ever had! Something that I really loved was that all the cocktails on the menu were included in the happy hour deal, sometimes you find bars will only do certain cocktails in a happy hour deal and often it’s a pretty limited selection so to have the whole (huge!) menu to choose from was fab. 


We had lunch in there also, both of us had a sandwich from the lunch menu, they do have a main menu for the whole day too, but the lunch menu has a few bits and pieces on it for a slightly lower price. There are quite a few options including veggie and some that can be altered to be vegan. You can grab a sandwich and some tortilla chips for £5.95 which is a fab deal. We had a sandwich each and shared some chips and this with four top quality cocktails came to just over £30, which I thought was a pretty fab deal! 


If you like the sound of The Snug (and I can’t see why you wouldn’t!), definitely check out their website and their locations to see if there’s one near you as I’d thoroughly recommend checking it out!


Have you found any hidden gems where you live? Do you have a favourite spot local to you? I'd love to know!

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

MOTHER’S DAY WITH PERSONALLY PRESENTED


Hi lovelies! So, Mother’s Day is fast approaching and it’s time to start thinking of the perfect gift for your Mums, Nans, Girlfriends, Wives or any other mummies in your life! I think Mother’s Day can be a tough one, because for me at least, it’s not like getting a present for their Birthday or Christmas, it’s a day to celebrate just how much they mean to you, so I like my gift to reflect that. Whether that be a spa together, tickets for the two of you to see a show, a bottle of her favourite wine or a basket of pampering goodies for her to enjoy, I think it’s nice for a Mother’s Day gift to be a bit more personal.


With this in mind, let me introduce you to Personally Presented, an online store specialising in personalised gifts. I thought this was the perfect brand to share for Mother’s Day gift inspo. The pictures I’m showing are slightly irrelevant as you can tell, as this is for my Mother in Law’s birthday, but I thought it’d make a fab idea for Mother’s Day too! Personally presented do lots of bottles of wine and spirits that you can personalise with whatever you want to say - I also went for the wooden wine box just so the presentation was that bit more special. The quality is fab, the printing on the wine label is clear and professional looking, which I love as I'd hate for it to look like we'd just printed it and stuck it on ourselves! The carving in the box is flawless also and it all just feels very high quality.

The site has far more than just alcohol gifts though (admittedly though, it is what I gravitated towards!!) from super inexpensive key rings, mugs, compact mirrors, socks and sweets to more luxury items like fine silver jewellery, watched and clutch bags - though most items on the site are £80 or less so nothing is going to break the bank and absolutely everything can be personalised with their name, initials or a message from you. 


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I’ve shared and linked a few of my personal faves below just to give a taste of what Personally Presented has to offer. I particularly love the Prosecco gummies, they're like the most grown up cola bottles to ever have existed! There are so many more options on Personally Presented though, so if you love the idea of something a little more personal for Mother's Day, definitely check them out!

What are you going to be doing on Mother’s Day? I’d love to know!

Sunday, 4 February 2018

DON BROCO


So, following my rather different post last week, I thought I'd switch it up again today with a post about probably my favourite thing in the world, Music. If you follow me on instagram or twitter, you'll know that one of my favourite things ever is live music. I go to gigs and concerts pretty much every month. So today I thought I'd write a post about one of my favourite bands, Don Broco! Their new album 'Technology' came out on Friday and I am obsessed. I'd pre-ordered the album a while back and my signed vinyl arrived on the day of release, which was super exciting. What was more exciting though was  actually going to see the band play at ULU Live in London for an Album release show. I'd already been to see them at Alexandra Palace back in November which is incredible, so when I saw that they'd announced another London date at a venue less than one tenth of the size of the last, I was practically bouncing off the walls.

So, the 2nd of Feb finally rolled around and after binge listening to the album all day, I was so excited to see them again! I was just a teeeeeny bit nervous that they wouldn't quite match up to the time we saw them at Ally Pally, because that was possibly the best gig I've ever been to. I've also been to see bands before that once in a smaller venue, don't seem to put as much effort into their set. Fortunately, the same cannot be said for Don Broco! From the moment they stepped onto the stage, opening with 'Pretty', a track from their new album, they put everything into the performance and it was musically and vocally on point the whole way through. The energy of the whole band was just incredible and they really interacted with the crowd in a way you can't always achieve in much bigger venues.

If you've never listened to them before, I'd definitely recommend checking them out. Their sound is so unique that a crowd at a Don Broco gig is really quite diverse, which creates a really great atmosphere. Due to their high energy, heavy sound, there was a lot of moshing and chaotic jumping around, but instructed by lead singer Rob Damiani to 'look after each other in the pit', there was still a really friendly and inclusive vibe in the crowd, which was really lovely to see.

Overall, it was just an incredible night, their set included plenty of new tracks, but only those that had been released as singles, which made sense as the album had only just come out that day - meaning everyone already knew all the words (not that I wouldn't have loved to have heard some of the brand new tracks!). They also played a lot of old favourites such as 'Priorities' and 'You Wanna Know'. I lost count of the amount of times I grabbed my Husbands arm screaming 'OMG I love this song!!'.


Now onto the Album itself, in all honesty, I think you'd have trouble giving Don Broco an actual genre, they're definitely a rock band, but they use a lot of electronics and random instruments (a couple of tracks even use a cowbell!) in their music which combined with Rob Damiani's insanely diverse vocals, give them a really complex and unique sound. Each album on the track is really quite different and they all have varying subject matter, but the underlying theme seems to be the modern age and how it's basically kind of fucked up.

You've got tracks that explore topics such as Social Media takeover, Fake News, Politics and Brexit, Fake News and Corruption in Hollywood. On first listen, the message in a lot of the songs can easily be missed due to the upbeat sound and heavy guitar and drums, but that's what I've been loving about this album. There are no entirely slow tracks, but they've managed to pack a lot of powerful messages into 16 (yes, 16!) heavy, high energy tracks.

I won't do a track by track review, as I'm certainly no expert, but I'd say my top three tracks on the album right now have got to be Come Out to LA, Something to Drink and T-Shirt Song.

Check out Technology here - I'd thoroughly recommend checking it out on vinyl if you can - the quality of these records is just fab!

Have you been to any great gigs lately? I'd love for you to let me know in a comment below!

Thursday, 1 February 2018

5 SIMPLE CAR SAFETY TIPS



So, following all the terrible weather we’ve been having, today’s post is going to be a little different! Today we’re going to be talking about car safety - not exactly a glamorous topic, but as you’ll know, I love to travel and sometimes, travel includes long car journeys! Just as pilots, train drivers and ship captains (is that what they’re called?!) check their plains, trains and boats are safe before they set off, it’s super important to keep on top of car safety too.

I’m certainly no mechanic, but being safe behind the wheel and as a passenger is something that’s very important to me and something that we should all keep on top of, so, I’m going to share a few simple tips on how to keep yourself and your passengers safe in your car.

1.    Checking for tyre tread
This was something I was told about when I bought my car, but it’s surprising how many people don’t do this, or even know they should check this! Tyres that are worn down are not only in dangerous (especially in wet and icy conditions!), but they are also illegal and can put you at risk of a fine up to £2500! This is something that’s really easy to check yourself though, the easiest way to check your tyre tread is with the ‘20p test’ simply place a 20p coin into the main tread grooves on your tyre, if the outer band of the 20p coin is obscured, you’re good to go! If you can see the outer band, your tyres may be below the legal limit and you’ll need to get them checked by a professional.

2.    Checking tyre pressure and condition
Similarly, regularly checking tyre pressure is important and will maintain the life of your tyres. You can find out your specific tyres correct pressure online or in your cars manual. You can check pressure and top up your tyres at most garages too, so this is also very quick and easy! It is also important, especially before a long journey to just check the condition of your tyres - I once drove (luckily only for about 2 miles!) on a tyre that was almost totally flat - I noticed that my car was pulling to one side and assumed it was the tracking, but I got home and realised my tyre was almost totally deflated! Following this incident, I’ve since been very careful about giving my tyres a quick once over before any journey. Should you need new tyres, but your car is unsafe to drive to a garage, you can actually order tyres online from Jet Wheel Tyre Website. Sites like this saved me a lot of time, hassle and money when I had my flat tyre!

3.    Correct Wheel Alignment
If your car pulls to one side at all while driving (and you’ve not got a flat tyre like I did!) - your wheel alignment or ‘tracking’ may be off. This is something that’s not only annoying while driving, but also means you have less control over your vehicle. The most obvious clue that your tracking is off, is if you’re driving down a straight road and when you loosen your grip on the wheel, your car pulls to the left or right. If you ever notice his happening, see a professional right away!

4.    Check your lights
Another seemingly obvious one, but also something that’s easily overlooked. Particularly in the winter, we drive in the dark a lot. Making sure all the lights on your car are working is very important as it’s not always immediately obvious when one goes. Again, it not only is dangerous to you and other drivers if your lights don’t work properly, but it is also illegal. Most of us remember to check that our side lights, dipped beam, full beam and rear lights are properly functioning, but you must also remember your indicators, break lights, reverse lights, side repeaters and number plate lights are working too. All this is much easier with someone to assist you!

5.    Windows, windscreen and mirrors
Another easily overlooked safety check is all mirrors and windows in your car. It is important to check for any cracks or chips in the glass, as uneven road surface can cause a tiny chip to turn into a big crack! It is also important that your mirrors are properly adjusted and that both the mirrors and windows are clean for full visibility. It is worth checking that your washer fluid is topped up too, as you don’t want to get caught out! Bonus tip, while you’re there, you might as well check your oil and coolant levels are adequate - these are both clearly marked on each individual car.

So that's it! Of course, like I said, I'm no expert, so please remember to use your own judgement and common sense when checking your car over and of course, regular servicing and MOTs are also essential to the safety and maintenace of your car.



Do you have any car maintenance tips? If so please share in the comments below!

Saturday, 27 January 2018

RHODES


Well, long time no speak! As a way of very quick explanation as to where the hell I've been over the last couple of months, basically, I've been thinking a lot about the direction I want to take my blog in, whether I want to stick to fashion and beauty, whether I want to keep going at all (gasp!) and for some reason, today, it came to me. IT DOESN'T MATTER! I've been so hung up about what I should and shouldn't be posting that every time I've gone to actually write a post, I've started, stopped and given up altogether. I've come to realise that I don't need a theme - the reason I love blogging and the blogging community is because it's so varied, I've met and spoken with a whole heap of different kinds of people from all walks of life through blogging and that's why it's so great.


I'm a girl with many interests, many likes and dislikes and my life certainly has no running theme, so I don't think my little piece of the internet should either! So, that brings me onto today and today's post, one of my many loves - travel! I'm not going to promise to write a detailed post on every town, city and country I visit, but it is something that I love and if I go somewhere that I think others will love to, then I'll share. I won't outline my future plans for my blog, but in short, I'll be writing about things that interest me as and when I feel like it. That may be places I've visited, bands I've seen or the usual old fashion and beauty posts, so watch this space!


Today, I wanted to write about the pretty little place in the pictures you'll see dotted about in this post. In early October last year, Darren and I headed off to Rhodes on part two of our Honeymoon. We'd booked a mini break in Luxembourg the day after the Wedding, but wanted to do a 'proper' holiday as well as we'd not been on a beach holiday since 2013! When deciding where to go, we had a checklist of a few must haves for our Honeymoon destination;

  • Must still be warm enough to sunbathe in early October
  • Must be on or very near the sea
  • Must have 'other stuff' to see (aka places to visit!)

First things first, the weather. We'd read that Rhodes in October was still pleasantly warm, but could be a little windy and you did have the chance of some rain. I think because we were there in very early October we were pretty lucky with the weather. The temperature reached 27 degrees Celsius several days and never went below about 18 during daylight hours. It was lashing it down with rain when we got off the plane and we got drenched on the walk between the airport and our transfer coach, but other that one other time during the middle of the night, we had no other rain the entire time. They were not kidding about the wind though! Almost all of the time we were there there was a gentle sea breeze, which we were quite appreciative of on the particularly hot days, though other times the wind was very strong. Not quite enough to make it cold unless you'd just come out of the sea or pool and were soaking wet! It was still definitely bikini weather though and we both got a lovely tan. I'd definitely recommend going in early October though, because while it was lovely and warm to sunbathe in, it was also nice and comfortable to walk around in and I don't think I got that horrible sticky, humid feeling even once! 

Because of the time of year, the sun went down around 7pm most nights, which made for very pretty evenings with all the lights of various hotels, restaurants and bars glittering along the vast beach. This meant peak sunbathing hours were between around 11am to 5pm, which allowed plenty of time for lazing around in the sunshine! The evenings were warm, though if it was a breezy evening, it did help having a light cardigan or something to put round your shoulders after the sun had gone down.


Next up, location. Our hotel, Avra Beach Hotel was, located in Ixia, which is full of hotels along the beach and has loads to see and do in itself, but is also a very short bus ride away (for only 2 euros might I add!) from Rhodes Old Town, which very quickly became one of my favourite places I've ever visited. Our hotel was right on a pebbled beach, which I personally quite liked, aside from the fact it was pretty uncomfortable to walk on bare foot, it also meant I didn't go upstairs with sand in my shoes and... other places every evening! Because the hotel was right on the beach, it was very easy to find a good sunbathing spot in the mornings. The hotel did get very busy around the pool, but we tended to grab a sun lounger on the beach instead and never had any issues hunting one down! 

Ixia is full of bars, restaurants and shops with a fab mix of traditional Greek and international food. This meant we could choose to eat in at the hotel when we fancied being lazy, but we also had plenty of very inexpensive options if we wanted to go out. It was busy, but not overwhelmingly so due to the time of year, which also made it a great time to be there. 


As for things to do and see, Rhodes really does have it all. The hotel itself had the usual nightly entertainment that you get with any all inclusive hotel, though we didn't really hang around for that most of the time. We found one bar in particular just a 5 minute walk from our hotel called 'Double Deuces', which had a live band called 'The Izzy Dizzy Band' every single night. They did a variety of classic rock songs, if you're ever in the area and like that kind of music, I'd thoroughly recommend checking it out as it was a definite highlight of our trip. 

As I mentioned before, there was a bus right outside the hotel than went from Ixia to Rhodes Old town in around 15 minutes or so and for only about 2 euros each way. The bus ride itself was actually another highlight of the trip. The views of the beaches on the way to the Old Town were just stunning, I think I spent the full journey staring out of the window in absolute awe. Reaching the Old Town was no different either. There's so much history in Rhodes and so many beautiful buildings and monuments to see. We loved exploring the old Medieval Castle and it's grounds and all the cute little markets and shops. Rhodes Old Town is probably one of the most beautiful places to get lost in and when I say lost, I do mean very, very lost. There are so many twists and turns and side streets to wander around and it is quite possibly one of the most confusing places I've ever been to! Don't let that put you off though, we didn't check any maps or anything and managed to find our way back to the bus stop eventually at the end of the day - albeit after a lot of 'I think I recognise that!' and 'we've walked past here already!'.


In general, we didn't find Rhodes particularly expensive, depending on where you went. The closer to the Old Town you were, things were naturally more expensive, but we found that traditional Greek food  - read, lots of hummus and falafel (me) and kebabs (Darren!) - was very easy to find and very inexpensive pretty much wherever we went/ If you're buying souvenirs to take home though, I'd suggest heading out of the Old Town to do so, as the shops all sell the same things, but we found that the ones around Ixia were much cheaper.

In general, we found the people so friendly, in fact, it was possibly one of the happiest, friendliest places I've ever been to. Of course, you get plenty of different types of people wherever you go and you can't generalise a whole island based on the handful of people we encountered, but on the whole, we found that the vibe was very laid back, which was exactly what we were after. 


I could honestly go on for days about why I loved Rhodes so much, but I think that about covers the basics! Please do let me know if you enjoyed this post, because I've just loved writing it and sharing one of my favourite places with you all!

Until next time beauts! x