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. 


1.2.3
4.5.6

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!

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