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Emily

Music

Music Monday: James Bay!

 

 

 

Happy Bank Holiday Monday and happy Music Monday! This weeks track is James Bay. After hitting it big with his debut album Chaos and the Calm, he’s recently taken a year off to get creative, have a break and to write more music. While he was away he decided the hair didn’t go with his new 80’s music vibe so he cut it short and also got getting rid of the hat. I’m loving this new style which some have said early Johnny Depp look!

His new album Electric Light was released on the 18th May. He’s slowly been releasing tracks from this new collection of song and one of my favourites is this gorgeous song Us which is today’s Music Monday. The song still has that undeniable delicate James Bay sound with gospel choir, soulful lyrics and that stomping beat. It definitely has a particular 80’s vibe with the erupting sound of the steel guitar and the strings. His voice more amazing in real life and is just as soulful as his debut but you can clearly tell he’s pulling from  influencers such as 80’s hero’s Bowie, Prince, Frank Ocean and film sound tracks from the times too.

This double denim wearing chap starts his European tour tomorrow, 29th May at RoundHouse, London. What a cool venue to start at, and to a sold out audience too. If you have a ticket, you’re going to have a blast!

Take a listen to the tracks below and let me know your thoughts in the comments below or over on Twitter. Happy Listening!

Fashion

Joanie Clothing Wish List!


I love to find unique little shops that don’t just churn out the same old trends so when I was contacted by Joanie Clothing I jumped at the chance at doing something with them. I love their gorgeous vintage dresses as they’re so different and pretty.  With this in mind I thought it would be the perfect time to pop together some of my favourites on their site at the moment.
1.First up is this gorgeous dress – Hysteria Floral Wisteria print is particularly beautiful. It is nicely structured, with a pretty subtle purple wisteria pattern and the dress has pockets. bonus! Team this with a pair of killer heels, maybe a sparkly thin belt.
2. I love this adorable Lip print dress. The sixties style is so flattering, the long sleeves a little hot for Summer month but it’s great for those cooler days. Dress up this gorgeous number with heels and clutch or dress down with a red cross body bag and cute trainers. Perfect!
3. I’m a huge fan of denim skirts and dresses so I’m in love with this cute Tara Boton Denim Pinafore dress.    The buttons add a cool twist to the outfit. Wear it with a pair of heels and long sleeved top or some killer heels and a pretty blouse. Such a cool vibe!
4. This bright red Petula Strappy Sun Dress is super cute with a cross back and midi skirt length that allows for a day to night transformation. Wear some white trainers and a cardi for a day time look. Change this up for a fab pair of big earrings, killer heels and awesome hair and make up. Red is a definitely statement!
5. I love a cute dress for Spring/Summer. This Sunday Floral Sun Stripe Dress is one of my favourites. The design is super cute especially with white trainers and a denim jacket and pockets. whoop! It also comes in a bright yellow too, so fresh for a Summers day!
Let me know which dresses you’ve been loving on the Joanie website. Head on over to Twitter to tell me if any of my choices will be making their way to your wardrobes this season.
Happy shopping!

*in collaboration with the lovely people at Joanie Clothing!

Music

Music Monday: Anne-Marie


Happy Monday!
Hope you had a lovely weekend and if you watched the Royal Wedding then celebrated fittingly. In light of the beautiful wedding and Meghan and Harry being so in love, I thought I would choose a love song with a bit of a difference for this weeks Music Monday. It features Anne- Marie as she takes a look back down memory lane with her latest release 2002. It was co- written with Ed Sheeran, Benny Blanco, Julia Michaels, and Steve Mac. Originally not a song she planned to release but with Sheerans persistence, she agreed.
It’s a love song about getting with and looking back on a childhood friendship that turned to a relationship. She reminisceces on 2002 using some of the music that was around then by including lyrics from songs from Britney Spears, N’Sync, Dr Dre, Nelly and Jay-Z. The video includes her remaking her own versions of small sections from their videos too.
The song and the video includes some comedy, a great voice, fab lyrics and a catchy chorus. It’s so catchy in fact, I’ve had it in my head ever since I heard it on the radio. Take a listen for yourself and let me know your thoughts in the comments below or over on Twitter.
Happy Listening!

Fashion

The Quiz Wedding Guest Outfit Wishlist!


 
With the Royal Wedding just days away, I’m looking forward to seeing Meghan Markle’s weddings dress. What kind of style will she choose and what will she look like? I already have a feeling she might go for a simple Kate Middleton half up,half down hair style but we won’t know for sure till the day. I’m also looking forward to seeing the fashion that the many famous guests will choose, will there be any fashion faux pas’ like the Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice a few years ago?
Quiz got in touch recently and after the success of the Spanish site, they’ve gone onto launch their USA website too. I love browsing this shop and I’ve chosen my favourite dresses that would be perfect for a wedding guest.

  1. First up is this Navy and Cream Floral Ruffle Dress. The floral pattern is so pretty, it’s timeless and will stand the test of time. I love the waist belt with the ruffle and it would look amazing with a little white jacket, killer heels and some big earrings.
  2. Next up is this Navy Strappy Dip Hem Midi dress. The body-con style will show off those curves and the dip hem is big again this season. The texture of the fabric gives the dress that added extra. This can again be teamed with a fitted white jacket and heels. Keep it simple so the dress does all the talking.
  3. Bright blue and tropical prints are huge this season so when I saw this Royal Blue Floral Print Bardot Midi Dress I knew it would be great for a wedding. Team it with barely there heels, some fab jewellery and maybe a gorgeous bag. You’ll be the star guest.
  4. If you want to go for some thing a little different this Blue Floral Print Chiffon High Neck Sleeveless Maxi dress is the one to go for. The long length hides a multitude of sins but is perfect with a pair of heels. The ditsy print is gorgeous. Team it with a bright coloured bag to bring out the colour in the flowers and add some fab earrings to finish off the look. It’s a perfect wedding guest dress.
  5. My last choice is a little risky as a wedding guest. You normally stay away from white and light colours but this Cream and Pink Floral Mesh Midi Dress is perfect. Be little different with the styling of it and you can get away with it. Add a pop of colour with the accessorise, a hat, jacket or bag. Nude round or pointed shoes would complete the outfit.

Will you’ll be watching the Royal Wedding and how you’ll be celebrating? Let me know what dresses you love the most from Quiz and if any of these special dresses I’ve picked take your fancy. I’d love to know what you’ve been styling for this years wedding season so drop me a comment over on Twitter or in the comments below.
Happy shopping!
 
* in collaboration with the lovely people at Quiz Clothing.

Music

Music Monday:Ariana Grande


Happy Music Monday, I hope you’ve had a great weekend watching Eurovision and listening too your favourite music.
This weeks Music Monday is a new and recent release from Ariana Grande. It’s the first from her new album, Sweetener her forth studio compilation and her first since last years devastating events in Manchester. What a song to come back with. It’s inspiring really. No Tears Left To Cry is a typical pop song showing off Grandes vocal ability and is about the moment that you decide to keep going. It’s an incredibly uplifting song especially the chorus even though it has a somewhat melancholy feel to it. The song stays in your head long after you heard it and her voice is amazing.  I also love the video, it’s so unusual in every scene. It reminds me of a movie with cameras flying around creating optical illusions.
The song has already hit the top 5 in most of the countries that it’s been released in including America and UK. So Sit back have a listen and let me know what you think in the comments below or over on Twitter.
Happy Monday!

Beauty

My 2018 April Favourites!

This month I’ve had quite a few products that I’ve been loving. I’ve gone back to a few of my most reliable staple products and I’ve tried out a few new ones too so I’ve gathered them together to go through them.

First up is a new product from Benefit. Benefit is a brand that I don’t use that often but I do come back to a few main products that I’ve enjoyed in the past and this one is a slight update to a staple of mine. It’s the POREfessional: Pearl primer. It’s gorgeous especially if you like a dewy look to your skin. It allows your make up to go on really well especially if you pop it on just the difficult points and it really makes your make up last. You can get the mini travel version so go and give it a try!

Next up are two products fro Liz Earle – I have always enjoyed using the Cleanse and Polish and it’s something I went back to when I found out that I’m expecting. I went through a phase of checking all of my products were safe to use in pregnancy especially as my skin went a little crazy on my forehead mainly and Liz Earle were a brand that were knowledgable in pregnancy items to use. I went back to the original Cleanse and Polish which I use twice a day if I remember and started to use the Skin Repair Light Moisturiser. I use a small amount on my face every morning. I love how my skin feels after using these products.

L’Occitane recently sent over this gorgeous fragrance Terre de Lumiere  . I feel like this is their new fragrance, it smells super pretty and floral. Not something I normally go for but this has top notes of Bergamot, pink pepper and blackcurrant, mid notes of pink peony and base notes of bitter almond essence, tonker bean and white musk. Not a combination that I would have thought about putting together but I love almond and tonker be a so it’s a winner for me. Super light and perfect for Spring/Summer!

My last favourite for products from the Laura Mercier Bohemian Limited Edition collection for Spring. It’s gorgeous and the whole collection went so quickly if you see any of it you must try and buy it. This Bohemian Flush Cheek crayon acts as both a highlighter and blusher. It’s super easy to pop onto the skin and blend using fingers. It highlights and creates the most amazing blush. This is one product that I can’t live without. There is also an eye palette that is super cute and I must buy if I see again.

These are my beauty favourites but I thought that I must mention a program that I’ve been loving on Amazon. I was late coming to the Grey’s Anatomy party but I’ve finally started watching the series and I have to say I’m completely addicted. What a fab easy to watch program. It’s all about a journey of surgeons and how the go from being interns to high standard surgeons and their individual tales of woe, love and heart ache. Think ER but slightly less speedy but still as high powered. It has everything you love in a series.You must watch if you haven’t already.
Let me know if you’ve been loving any of these products or if you’re off to try any out in the comments below or over on Twitter. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Happy shopping!

Lifestyle

Thoughts on my First Trimester!

If you haven’t already seen my little announcement, I’m delighted to say that I’m pregnant. I’m currently 19 weeks so I’m almost half way and loving pregnancy so far. Pregnancy is a beautiful thing and I’m in awe of what the female body can do.  It’s very strange but cool to think of what’s going on inside me without even having to think about it.

The first trimester was interesting so I thought I would look back on it and few of share my thoughts.  We didn’t find out that I was expecting till I was well into my seventh week. I’d started to feel faint and a little sick in the daytime at work around the same time every day which hasn’t happened before so I decided to take a test. It was positive. Whoop! We literally couldn’t stop smiling and I was sure that we were going to quickly give our secret away.
I got into the flow of early pregnancy quickly but then the morning sickness hit just a few days later.  Ginger, honey and having a few small snacks through out the day to try to shake the feeling of nausea soon became my friend. Little and often has become also my motto!  I had one particularly tough evening but apart from that nothing too extreme.
I started taking Pregnicare, it’s actually one of the first things I did when I first found out that I was pregnant – Pregnicare is a multi-vitamin that midwives recommend to take in pregnancy. I’ve found that they’re expensive but well worth taking. Make sure you research and talk to the midwives before you go taking any tablets though.
I started to put on a little weight, I feel like it was more bloating in my first trimester that would fluctuate greatly throughout the day. To help with this I used the hair tie trick which allows you to still wear your pre maternity wear. Just popping a hair band through the button on your jeans and then through the button hole with the zip lowered slightly really works wonders giving you an extra bit of breathing space.  If you wear a little strapy top that’s quite long or a belly band, a little piece of material that goes around your waist.  It sits over your jeans to hide the zip and no one can even tell that you have the zip down. It really helps when you’re in that awkward stage of bigger than you normally are but not big enough for maternity wear, a stage that I’m still currently in.
Another thing I did and really enjoyed while in my first trimester and beyond actually has been down downloaded a few apps to my phone. The ones I went for are ‘What to expect’ and ‘Pregnancy plus’, both really similar but I found they had different information, tips and hints.  I’ve also recently downloaded the BabyCentre app. These all relate to where you are in your pregnancy and literally what to expect, what you could experience, what is normal, what to look out for and best of all information on what’s happening with your baby. It’s size, what’s forming etc. It’s all really useful and I found that they have become my friend especially when I couldn’t tell anyone. We’d read these little tip bits of information in the car on the way to work and they really helped us connect as a couple but also with the baby. ‘What to expect’ is completely free but ‘Pregnancy Plus’ becomes £3.99 when you get to your second trimester. It’s a good price and I’ve carried on using the app well into my pregnancy so far. The BabyCentre App is also free and I’d highly recommend all three.
As we’d found out in our seventh week, the first trimester seemed to come and go quite fast. We were so excited to start telling people and once we had our 12 week scan we did just that. It was so exciting but a little over whelming telling everyone especially as it was so unexpected. Both our families had had birthdays recently so we hid the scan picture in an envelope and gave the others birthday and belated mothers day presents over as well as our little surprise.  It was so unexpected that it took a while for the mothers/parents to get what our little picture was but once the secret was out, there was lots of tears hugs and smiles.
I feel like the pressures really on now and I hope I do everything right. It’s an exciting time, I’m growing a little baby Dravnieks and we can’t wait to meet them!

Music

Music Monday – Purr


Happy Music Monday! I hope you’ve been enjoying the scorching bank holiday weather! I certainly have, giving the garden some much needed TLC as well as attending a beautiful wedding.
It’s been a weekend for reflection, and this week’s track comes from an old favourite in a new form. I’ve been a big fan of Jack and Eliza, and really enjoyed their 2015 album Gentle Warning. The New York duo were stripped back and raw, featuring just two guitars and their barbershop style harmonic vocals. It was different worked really well, and I’ve been waiting for what seems like forever for new music from them.
Finally the wait is over, they’re back but as part of a band called Purr, which features a fuller sound with addition of bass, keyboard and drums.
Purr released a two track EP this past February with the promise of plenty more songs to come. I’ve picked out the track Painted Memory, which features that classic Jack and Eliza songwriting and vocal sound, but bigger and bolder.
Check it out below, and be sure to hop on Twitter and let me know what music has been in your playlist this week.
Happy listening!

Blogger Tips

An Evening with Anna Hart

I was recently invited to a brand building event for bloggers in Kings Cross, London. Hosted by the lovely Anna Hart at the Greenlight Digital offices, us lucky attendees were treated to snacks, a little fizz and a talk from Anna where she shared a selection of her top tips for bloggers and influencers.
Anna Hart is someone I’ve followed for a while across various social channels, and you may know her from her blog South Molton st Style. She also runs One Roof Social, an influencer media management company that connects brands with bloggers. The busy lady was on hand to chat all things blogging, brand and business with a selection of us for the evening, so I headed down to London with a notebook and camera.
The event was sponsored by Currys PC World and Microsoft, who gave out goodie bags and talked tech towards the end of the night, but the main event was Anna Hart. I wanted to share with you my biggest takeaways from the night, and also pull in some of my own personal experience and advice. Let’s dive in any take a look!

Know Your Audience

Every website, blog, and brand has an audience, and there are key characteristics that define them – their demographics. These include their age, gender, interests, where they live and more. Understanding your audience demographics is key for a number of reasons, not least as it will help you tailor your content you create to hit the mark every time you publish.
Knowing your audience will also help you know which campaigns are right to accept and which you should pass on. Quite often PR agencies will find you through tools that match your demographics with those of their campaign, but that’s not always the case – so make sure that you don’t assume that you’ve been approached because you fit the bill. Know who your readers are and protect your own brand from campaigns that don’t match their age and interests.
One of the easiest way to learn about your audience is by switching on Demographic tracking in Google Analytics. This will mean you get anonymous tracking data on the kinds of websites your audience visit, so you get to know the interests of those people who land on your pages. Match this up with which posts get the most traction each month by checking your page popularity in Analytics and the levels of engagement on your social channels to get a clearer view of which types of content is resonating with your audience the most.

Writing Smarter Content

You may understand your audience and taking on the right campaigns, but that doesn’t mean your blog has to stay the same forever. You’re always growing and changing, and your blog should come on the journey with you. So if you start getting into fitness or go vegan start writing about it, but transition your content gradually – don’t stop writing about the things that served you will in the past or you’ll suddenly alienate your audience.
Consistency will help too. One of the most common tips with content is to publish it at the same time each day or week – it helps your users to get into a reading routine and Google likes to know what to expect too.
Speaking of Google, including relevant keywords in your posts is always a good idea, but identifying trends is just as important. I regularly check Google Trends to see what’s hot and often employ what’s known as Trend Jacking – where you write about what’s how right now and push it across your social channels. A standout example was a couple of years ago when Madonna was in the news for a wardrobe malfunction that lead to her taking a tumble at a live awards show – everyone was reposting that video. I write about music every Monday, so that particular week I got involved and published my 5 favourite Madonna tracks. It fitted perfectly with what was hot at that moment but angle I chose fitted in perfectly with my existing content strategy.

Using the Right Tech

Most of us are publishing our content online, either on the web or through apps, so technology is crucial. Microsoft were on hand to chat through the capabilities of their new Surface Pro tablets and Word Research, which is a wikipedia-like plug-in that gives you access to information on just about anything while you’re writing.
Personally I use a MacBook Pro, and some of the most important software I use for blogging is Photoshop and Sketch. Photoshop can be tricky to learn, but is essential if you’re editing photos. I bought the official Adobe Classroom book on how to use it quite a few years back and have been comfortable ever since, but there are plenty of Youtube tutorials available for free. Sketch is a handy graphics package for the Mac which I use for designing wishlists and other graphics.
In the end the best software is the one that you’re most comfortable with using, but don’t be afraid to get stuck in and start learning!

Wrap-up

In all I had a great evening with Anna Hart, networking with other bloggers and hearing her talks and advice. One of the sponsors Curry’s PC World did their own writeup of the night, be sure to have a quick read. I’ve included a few snaps below, take a look and see if there’s any other bloggers that you recognise.
Happy blogging!
  

Music

Music Monday: Niall Horan

Happy Monday! Since One Direction officially went on their hiatus in early 2016, the members have all released their own music. Niall Horan is the most recent to do so and is currently on tour with his album Flicker and after the success of  This Town and Slow hands, She’s on the Loose is set to be just as successful. It’s the forth single from the current album and if you love pop music it’s one to look out for.
It has a standard pop beat with definite Sting, Maroon 5 and Nick Jonas vibes. Nothing wrong with enjoying a little easy listening music and this is really that. It has a summer feel to it and I can hear this being played a lot when the weather starts heating up.
Let me know what’s been on your playlist this week over on Twitter.
Happy Listening!