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Emily

Music

Music Monday: Selena Gomez

 

Happy Monday!

This week me and the bump have been listening to all kinds of new music and along with enjoying the new tunes from James Bay, Selena Gomez ha been singing up a storm. Her new track Back to You was released just a few weeks ago and is from the the sound track of the Netflix original series 13 Reasons Why, adapted from the book of the same name written by Jay Asher.

The track is really fun but has an emotional theme and message. You can tell that it has lots of influences, there’s country or Irish vibes, Acoustic fun and you can even hear some Kygo sound in there too with that summery vibe. The song was produced by Ian Kirkpatrick who’s worked with Justin Bieber, Britney Spears, Nick Jonas and more.

Let me know what you’ve been listening to this week and whether you’ve been loving Selena Gomez’ tunes in the comments below or hop over on Twitter too.

Happy Listening!

Lifestyle

The Tiptree Jam Jar Bar at Fenwick

On a recent journey home I took a scenic route back through some of the Essex countryside, and found myself driving through a stunning little village. Lined with extravagant homes and beautifully quaint cottages, it turned out to be Tiptree, a name I recognised from the company known for their jams, honeys and gins. Originally called Wilkin & Sons but recently rebranded to just Tiptree, their farm has been growing and selling fruit since 1865, so they know a thing or two about sweet treats!

Tiptree have been making waves in the last few years with their delicious range of fruit gins, and this Saturday they launched their new pop-up bar on the top floor of Fenwick in Colchester, which just so happened to be World Gin Day! So I grabbed my camera and went down to take a look.

Two months in the making, the wonderfully-named Jam Jar Bar opened for business with a selection of fruit gin liqueurs, cocktails, mocktails, wines, smoothies and shakes being prepared by a team of friendly mixologists. The bar area is beautifully decorated with rose gold lights hanging above a faux marble bar topped with small wooden boxes full of fresh fruit. A beautiful blossoming tree sits at the back of the room by the windows that flood the area with natural light, with the surrounding tables decorated with fresh flowers.

As well as their signature Tiptree gins, other local products from the likes of Adnams, Aspall and a range of wines selected by Peter Watts of Coggeshall were available. There was a really relaxed vibe, and an opportunity to soak in the view of Colchester from the top floor of Fenwick.

I flicked straight through to the mocktails, and picked out the Elderflower Sherbert, which contained a wonderful combination of Tiptree apple juice, lime marmalade, elderflower, lemon, cucumber and grapes. It was sweet and fizzy, and the fruit gave it a taste reminiscent of the little fizzy sweets I used to have as a kid, while the cucumber and ice kept it light and refreshing.

My husband opted for the Virgin Pina Colada, which contained Tipree Pineapple conserve, pineapple chunks and coconut cream. This was thick and fruity and like any Pina Colada tasted just like holidays! It had little pieces of dried pineapple on top and like my elderflower sherbet was served in a cute little Tiptree jam jar.

The Tiptree Jam Jar bar is open on the top floor of Fenwick in Colchester until the end of the year, so if you’re in the area be sure to check it out. And if you do then hop on Twitter and let me know what you went for.

Happy slurping!

Music

Music Monday – Beach House

Happy Music Monday! I have no idea what happened to this weekend, it seemed to disappear in a flash! I did manage to get along to see Carlos Acosta dance in Norwich, one of my favourite all time performers and the man himself did not disappoint.

Another one of my favourite all time performers are the Baltimore duo who I’ve written about many times before, the wonderful Beach House. It feels like they’ve been away for years, I had to look it up – they released their last two LPs a fortnight apart way back in 2015. It looks like they’ve been hard at work because they’re back with their seventh album, aptly titled 7.

The album sees the band move into slightly different territory, speeding things up with a bit more energy injected into the majority of their new material, however they still retain that signature sound.

I’ve picked out the lead single Lemon Glow, a trippy song full of mesmerising loops. It’s so unmistakably Beach House, mixing the best of their older and newer sounds to create something that somehow still feels fresh.

Take a listen to the track below, and hop on Twitter and let me know what music you’ve been into this past week.

Happy listening!

Fashion

Seven Products for Summer!

The shops are full of colourful products and I’m loving navigating Summer fashion now the weather is finally starting to get a little hotter. Stripes and spots are seeing their time once again and are some of the biggest trends this season.  I’m loving finding little gems to wear. I thought I would gather some of my favourite pieces that I’ve seen in the shops recently.

  1. First up is this gorgeous bright yellow wrap dress from Topshop. The short sleeves are slightly longer than normal but if you love to hide your upper arms in Summer this is a dress to try out. The length of skirt is key this season as it’s a really flattering to wear and the bright colour suits so many people. It will even brighten your mood too. Team it with a pair of trainers and a denim jacket or heels and a belt for the ultimate cool look.
  2. My second pick is this really gorgeous Y.A.S Dot and Stripe Ruffle Dress I love a shorter style dress or skirt in the summer and this Y.A.S choice looks so cute. It has both spot and stripes which work together well and the ruffle detail makes this dress especially playful. Team it with some converse or vans and a cross body bag for a funky vibe.
  3. Rompers or Playsuits are great for the warmer weather, and this Tropical Map Print Romper from And Other Stories is a winner. Such a pretty colour and I love a fun print in the summer too. Team this with some sandals or mules for the day time or a heel for the evening with a jacket to keep the cold at bay.
  4. Culottes are huge this season and if your searching for the perfect pair, these Lost Ink Wide Leg polka dot trousers might just be the ones for you. Team them with a lightweight jumper and a pair of wrap around wedges  and you’ll be right on trend.
  5. The summer season isn’t complete without the perfect red dress and I love a long wrap around one. It’s perfect for an evening out or for a special occasion. Curved Hem Maxi Dress from And Other stories is super cute with the ditsy print. Team it with black accessories, handbag and heels and maybe a leather jacket to pop around your shoulders for when the night get chillier.
  6. Straw bags are gorgeous and the accessory to have with you this summer. I spotted this super cute large embroidered circle bag in Accessorize. The bright embroidery will brighten any outfit! Team it with a denim skirt, floaty top and sandals for the perfect Summertime look.
  7. A great pair of dressy heels for summer should include a block heel. They don’t sink into grass garden parties and they’re a lot my comfy than your avarage court shoe. My final summer pick are these gorgeous Kurt Geiger Burlington Shoes   , they’re stylish and will go with anything. They also come in a red which is great for a pop of colour in an outfit.

Let me know what your favourite pieces are from the choices above and what you are loving wearing this season in the comments below or over on Twitter.

Happy Shopping!

Dance

Review: Phoenix Dance Theatre

Phoenix Dance Theatre – A Mixed Bill Review.

Phoenix Dance Theatre have recently been on tour with a mixed bill of work from a range of emerging and well known choreographers such as Sandrine Monin, Christopher Bruce and Sharon Watson. The mixed bill included 3 pieces – 2 shorter, and a longer one after an interval.

Calyx choreographed by Sandrine Monin was the first. It was choreographed by talented french dancer who also dances with the company and was on stage herself in this triple bill later in the evening. Monin interested in Calyx, the name given to the waxy casing that protects but later supports a flower throughout it’s life span uses this as basis for the piece and the book of poems Flowers if Evil by Charles Baudelaire. There is a subtlety of the meaning of Calyx that comes through in the contortion of creature like movement that’s threaded throughout this performance.

The use of props and material cubes gave the movement somewhere to originate as well as filling the giant space of the stage but at points their presence occasionally disrupted the flow of movement. Poison Ivy inspired costumes by Emma Louise James with vine like artwork on the upper body and the deep red of the velvet was that of roses that you would give to a loved one. They really added to the atmosphere and are beautiful made. The eeary piano music of composer Roberto Roscoe ran through much of the piece and gave just enough uncertainty to make the audience to make them feel on edge but still get lost in the movement. There was a particularly stunning trio towards the end of the choreography that could be played in repeat.

The second performance on the bill was called Shadows, a short piece by well known and loved choreographer Christopher Bruce, an oiginal put together specifically for Phoenix Dance Theatre and draws on the companies storytelling forté. With the likes of Ghost Dances, Rooster and Swansong in the choreographers back catalogue Bruce is well known for his politically aware choreography that can ruffle feathers. It’s an interesting factor and you can tell that every piece that Bruce choreographs has a little bit of his heart and his passion for his chosen subjects shine through.

Shadows draws from experiences reminiscent of family in war torn situations. The piece is subtle and set in a minimalist yet intimate family living room with two benches, a table and a coat hook in the space. There is a distinct sense of loss and sadness to the choreography with the melancholic yet melodic music of . The dancing was beautifully performed by the dancers although there is a lot of movement crammed into the piece, something Bruce is well known for doing but it works none the less. His pieces are often chosen to be part of the GCSE curriculum and Shadows is no exception. You can draw your own conclusion to the meaning, whether literal or otherwise and it’s something Bruce has been quoted as saying. Originally choreographed in 2014, it was so well received it’s toured a few times since so this is a much called for revival. The piece was enjoyed and well received though the pace did feel a little slower in contrast to the other dancing in this bill.

Staying with the political theme, the bill concluded with the main and most lengthy choreography Windrush: Movement of the People. Based on the story of the boat Empire Windrush that brought many Caribbean Immigrants to Britain 70 year ago. In the 10 years following 170,000 followed. The piece is choreographed by the companies award winning Artistic Director Sharon Watson, and Watson’s parents were two that settled in Leeds so it’s a story somewhat close to her heart.

The piece she’s created is truly beautiful and tells an over view of some of the many stories that could have been experienced. From the docks where excited people gathered to board Windrush and the cool reggae beats were enjoyed as the boat left to the horrific racism that was encountered once they had arrived into Britain. The sounds of poem ‘You Called, We came’ were loud and clear showing the unsettling seriousness that was experienced interlinked with happiness and interesting Caribbean culture that was brought into the country with live gospel singers and energetic dancing. It’s ultimately an uplifting piece that highlights the history of Windrush beautifully and it’s truly a piece to be proud of.

Overall, I’d say Phoenix Dance Theatres Mixed Bill is one to watch. It’ll have you tapping your foot and dancing in your seat. It goes on to be performed at York Theatre Royal and Barnsley Civic in November and it’s thoroughly recommended.

Happy dancing!

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!