17 December 2014

Coffee Table Book - Letters of Note





I know I'm not doing a traditional 'Christmas Gift Guide' on my blog this year but I really wanted to post about this book as I honestly think it makes the most perfect gift for someone and you've still got a good few days left to order it for it to come on time for Christmas day.

I got this last Christmas from my mama and it was one of my favourite presents.  It is one of the most beautiful looking books and it really is the most perfect coffee table book as no one can walk by it without having a peek inside and it looks stunning on display too.

This is the book version of the super popular blog 'letters of Note'.  The book and blog are both created by Shaun Usher who has found some of the most wonderful, beautiful, sad, happy and down right inspirational letters that you will have ever read.

All the letters are sent from people of note, some you will recognise and some you might not have heard of but it doesn't even really matter because by the end of the letter, its like you feel  you know them just that little bit more. There is something just so beyond personal about reading peoples correspondence to each other.  It's like you get a glimpse into their world for just a moment.

I have poured over this book for hours and I always find something new every time I look at it.  Some of the letters have really, really made a massive impact on me and I think you can't ask for anything more in a book than that.  There are also some really sweet letters that will make you laugh and smile like one of my favourites above from Roald Dahl.

I can't recommend this book enough, even if you've done all your Christmas shopping, treat yourself as it really is such a worthwhile read.  It is absolutely massive too so if you do buy it as a gift, it does look like you've spent a mass amount of money buying someone a super luxe book, it looks super impressive.

You can buy it from Amazon  for £20.40
And if your in America you can also get it from Amazon too for £25.30

10 December 2014

Review - Nokia Lumia 930










So the awesome people over at Microsoft got in touch with me again to see if I'd like to review one of their phones for my blog as I loved the last one they sent me to try (You can read my review of it HERE)

As always with these types of reviews, this is my complete honest opinion.  I am not swayed by the company or the fact that they gave me the phone to try out and review.  I feel like there is so much talk at the moment about reviews and how honest some of them are and I just want you to know that I will never ever put something up on my blog and not tell you my true, honest thoughts on it!

So on with the good stuff.
I got sent the Nokia Lumia 930.  This is a new offering from the brand and is an updated version of the older Lumia models.  I had so much fun trying out this phone, here is what I thought...

 Appearance - It's super similar looking to the other Lumia models, the same large screen and coloured back. I would say the 930 looks a lot more sleeker and less bulky though, the silver trim round the edge gives a really nice chic touch to the design and it's definitely my favourite looking model yet. I got sent the green version of the phone to try.  This is definitely not my cup of tea, its super duper bright and well, green which just isn't one of my colours but that really didn't take anything away from the phone as it comes in 5 different colourways and I am in love with the black one, it so pretty and stylish looking and I know I would love that one.  Its all just personal choice with the colour shells and there would definitely be one that you are more drawn too as there is a large choice on offer.  The phone is really nice to hold as the back has a soft textured feel to it so it makes it easy to grip and makes you feel a little more confident that you won't drop it (which I seem to do all the time with phones)

Screen - It has a mahoosive screen. 5 whole inches to be exact.  This is what really appealed to me when I tried the last Lumia phone as well.  The phone has a full HD super sensitive touch screen that is so responsive to use.  The colours and pictures displayed beautifully on the phone, so sharp and bright and really clear to see.  Again it was so simple and quick to scroll though and use all the apps on the phone as the windows 8.1 system works so well on this type of screen.  The display really is amazing and it makes the phone a joy to use.  Oh and it also has sunlight readability, just like the Kindle, so you don't have to do all that squinting and hand over the phone business when its sunny outside as the screen is totally readable in sunlight too.

Size/weight - The phone is big, there is no getting round that fact.  I took a picture of it next to my little Blackberry to try and give you a good idea of its true size.  I don't have an iphone and never have but I'm pretty sure that it's around the same size if only slightly larger so I know most people are used to phones of this size and weight its just a big change for me as the Blackberry is just the complete opposite as its teeny and super light.  I definitely wouldn't say the 930 was heavy but it is substantial in weight although nothing about the size and weight would put me off it as I think the benefit of having that size of screen out weighs the fact that its a little heavier.

Camera- Ahh I feel like there should be harps playing in the background when I talk about the camera on this phone as its that good.  I was really impressed by the camera on the last Lumia phone I tried and I know that's a massive selling point for these phones but to say that the 930 has upped its game is an understatement.  It has both a front and back facing camera.  The camera is 20 Mega pixels and has a dual-LED flash too.  It also has surround sound for when you are taking videos, so the sound quality is crazy good, it really does feel so impressive watching the videos with such sharp sound.  I took some pictures of me using the camera to try and give you an idea of how sharp and on point it was.  There are so many things you can do with the photos on the phone too, they have this amazing editing suite on the phone that is just so much fun to use and there are tons of different options and shooting modes too.
I really do think that if you use your phone primarily for taking pictures then you should definitely check this out as it really is pretty awesome. 

Cortana - This is basically your virtual personal assistant.  Its a voice activated service in the same vein as siri.  Cortana will tell you when you have things scheduled or if the traffic is busy on the road your going to be driving or if the train you booked tickets for is delayed.  She'll help you remember all your meetings and everyones birthdays too.  I think this is a fun feature and adds a little something extra to the phone although I probably wouldn't use it too much as I'm not really into things like that but I think it would be such a help to people who use their phone at work and to schedule things on too. 

Verdict - I have fallen head over heels for this phone.  I don't know if its because of the sleeker design or the amazing camera I just felt like this seemed to me to be more of a tablet in a phones body, if you know what I mean, which for me is just the best thing ever.  It seems to do just about everything to such a high level and I am just really impressed by the phone overall.  I can't rave about the quality of the screen and sound enough and I really would urge you to take a peek of it if your interested in getting a new phone with an awesome camera.

You can buy the phone on its own or get it for free with most monthly contracts from O2, Vodafone, Tesco and EE

Are you a fan of the Nokia Lumia 930? Let me know if you have it and what your thoughts on it are?

3 December 2014

Stories About Famous People










These made me laugh.
They are all New Yorkers real life stories about run-ins with celebrities.
I could listen to people talk about meeting/seeing/observing famous people all day.  I think there is something just so fascinating about hearing someones real encounter with people who we hear so much about and then getting to actually hear what they are like in real life situations. 


'Meeting Famous People' stories make me laugh the most though because most people just end up saying/doing the craziest things in front of celebs, it's like everyone loses their social skills for a minute when you come face to face with someone off the telly as it's such a weird thing and no matter how hard you try and not say something absurd it normally just always ends up happening.  Unless your my mum, she is one of those people who is just always ready in life for her next celebrity encounter, its like she was born for it.  If we are somewhere and  I'm like 'omg is that -insert famous persons name- and she's like, right I'm off to casually strike up a conversation about the weather,  She has no issue with talking to these people, unlike me who runs in the opposite direction due to my sheer awkwardness.  On a side note I should also point out that I think I see celebrities everywhere, I'm one of those people who even in the most unlikely of places for a famous person to be,  I'm always 100% sure its them, until they turn around and I'm like oh, so Brad Pitt isn't in the local Post Office after all then.  But I am always on alert for a good celeb spot.

Other that my big moment with Liza (you can read the story HERE) I've not had many celeb run-ins , obviously due to the aforementioned inability to not run away from them but I want to hear about your stories. How do you deal with celeb encounters and have you got any funny celeb run-ins you can share, I would love to hear....


PICTURE CREDIT

27 November 2014

Black Friday Guide

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Today I thought I would do a little bit of a different post as it's Black Friday tomorrow and I thought it would be fun to do a round up of all the best deals that I could find for you, so that you wouldn't have to search for them and you could have your very own handy guide right here!

For anyone who doesn't know, Black Friday is an American tradition that has in the past few years came over to the UK.  It is always held on the Friday after Thanksgiving and marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.  Basically its loads of stores all having a ginormous sale on the one day, which is pretty awesome. 

I would say that this year Black Friday has well and truly landed in the UK as I have never seen so many stores and brands take part and offer so many great discounts before.  Visa has forecast that £360,000 will be spent per minute on Friday so I think it's fair to say that things will be getting snapped up quick.  Most offers will not be getting replenished and stores are working on a 'when it's gone, it's gone' basis so I would recommend getting up early and trying to hit the sites and stores early to try and get the best deal.

I have tried to find you as many deals as I can and hopefully I will have something covered for everyone.  I am so excited about Black Friday, I just love a bargain. 
I will be updating the post and my twitter with any new deals and updates I find so follow my Twitter HERE to keep track and give me a tweet on Friday to tell me what bargains you got...


FASHION

River Island - Starts at 11am.  You can get 20% off everything online until 3pm using the code TREAT28

French Connection - Get 30% off using the code 30FCBF

Sunglasses Shop - Get 25% off selected frames plus free delivery and returns using the code BFD25

Superga - Get 20% off online with the code BLACKFRI14

Bicester Village - This shopping outlet is giving an extra 20% off everything they sell on top of their usual discounted prices.  They are also staying open till midnight and will be handing out special surprise luxury gifts to certain lucky shoppers.

ASOS - ASOS is keeping what they are doing a big secret so keep an eye on the site as it will be announced in the morning.  I've also heard that the code CYBERWKND20 will give you 20% off everything on site until Tuesday.

Whistles - You can get 30% off and you don't even need a code.

Topshop - They are also being super mysterious and keeping their deal under wraps but the rumour is that a lot of lines will be discounted by 50% so definitely keep an eye on the website.

AllSaints - You can get 20% off until Monday.

Urban Outfitters - They are definitely taking part in Black Friday and it looks like you will be getting up to 50% off some lines but the exact details haven't been confirmed.  Follow #UOBLACKOUT on twitter to keep up to date on any news.

Shopbop - There will be 70% off all brands until Monday.

Millie Mackintosh - Get 40% off her whole collection on her website.

Lavish Alice - The site will be giving 25% off all weekend use the code BLACKFRIDAY25 

Dorothy Perkins - 30% off everything online and in store using the GETME

Cloggs - Get 20% this online shoe store using the code BF20

Spoiled Brat - Get 25% off selected items for 24 hours using the code BLACK25

Love, Hearts and Crosses - This jewellery site will be giving  you 15% off all orders including sale items until Tuesday use the code BLACK15.

BEAUTY

Lookfantastic - They will be taking part in Black Friday but haven't given any details yet of the offers but you should keep an eye on their site and twitter.

QVC - The TV shopping channel is promising big discounts that you can buy both on the TV and online at the same time.

Boots - They are giving you 50% off all their luxury beauty, make-up and perfume products.

TRAVEL

Hotel Tonight - This app is giving you hotel rooms across the UK for only £7.  It's starting at 7am and is expected to sell out fast so make sure you have the app downloaded and ready to use.

Expedia - They are doing a flash sale and offering 40% off of hundreds of hotels.

Lastminute.com - Starting at 10am the site is giving you Lot's of great deals including 4*/5* hotels in London for £5 per night.  Two night city breaks in Europe for £69PP and up to 63% off London Spa treatments.

TECHNOLOGY/DEPARTMENT STORES

Sainsburys- Their offers will only be available in store.  The deals start at 1am and things on offer include TVs, tablets, kitchenware and electrical items.  A standout offer I saw was the Kindle touch for £39.

Carphone Warehouse - Their sale starts at 8am online and in store.  You can save up to £200 on a range of smartphones.

Curry's/PC World - This combo of a store will start their deals at 8am online and in store.  They haven't released what will be on offer yet but if their deals the past few days have been anything to go by it will be big discounts.

Argos- They are keeping super quiet about what they are going to do but the deals will be online and in store.  They have also been taking at least 50% off TVs, headphones and Xbox's the past few days leading up to Black Friday so I suspect that we can expect more of the same tomorrow.

Tesco - Starts at 12.01am  so it's one of the first places to start their sales so it's worth staying up late tonight to see what they have on offer.  It will be in store and online.

John Lewis- Last year Black Friday was their biggest day of the year, they took in more profit online on that day than any other day of the year, so I expect they will be going big this year with their offers.  All that they have said is that they will price match all the other stores and will not be undersold.  They have said that a large selection of technology and electronics will be included amongst other things in the sale.  Online and in store also.

Asda - 8am is when everything kicks off in store and expect queues as last year people started lining up at 5am.  Take a peek at their website to see the exact products on offer.  Things include TVs, Xbox's and Tablets.

Amazon - I think this is one of the most hotly anticipated sales as Amazon always do awesome things on Black Friday.  They have already started selling Kindle Fire's with £100 off so expect big things on Friday.

Apple - No exact details on this but there isn't thought to be any massive discounts happening, last year there was only about £30 off their ipads but whatever they pull out of the bag it will be both in store and online.

House of Fraser - Starting today rather than tomorrow many things will have 40% off but the real deal seems to be happening on Monday when for 5 hours between 8am and 11pm it will have further discounts on many products including 15% make-up.

Very - The online store will be having a big event on Friday, no details have been released but it's thought to be big offers on their clothes and electronic.

Habitat - They will be giving you 25% off Christmas decorations and Christmas Lighting.

B&M - The B&M stores around the country will be opening late on Friday and between 5pm and 10pm they will be giving 10% off everything in store.

Vodafone - They will be doing something exciting for tomorrow and are keeping it a secret so far. They only thing we know yet is that you will be able to save up to 50% on some phones.

Nectar Points - Nectar are doing a special offer where they are giving you double, triple and even more in some cases, points if you use your card online or in store to get any Black Friday deals.  Check their website to see what stores are taking part in this deal.

So there is the list, I hope you see some deals your excited about.  As always some of these offers and deals will be subject to change so keep checking all the official websites for updates and new details.
Let me know how it goes and if you bag a bargain! 

21 November 2014

Book Review - Oh Yeah, Audrey!

                                                      

'It's 5:30am on Fifth Avenue and sixteen-year-old Gemma Beesley is standing in front of Tiffany & Co. wearing the perfect black dress with her pastry and coffee held tightly in a brown paper bag, just like Holly Golightly. As the co-founder of a successful Tumblr blog--Oh Yeah Audrey!--devoted to all things Audrey Hepburn, Gemma has traveled from Pennsylvania to New York in order to meet up with her fellow bloggers and friends, Bryan and Trina, for the first time. She has meticulously planned out a 24-hour adventure for the trio in homage to Breakfast at Tiffany's; however, her plans become quickly sidetracked when a glamorous boy sweeps in and offers her the type of New York experience she's always dreamed of. Gemma soon learns who her true friends are and that, sometimes, "no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself."'*

I know it's like rule number one in life 'don't judge a book by its cover' but seriously how pretty is this cover? It was hard not to get my hopes up for this book to be amazing when it had such a fabulous cover image and I'm happy to report it didn't disappoint.

I really liked this book.  It was a really sweet story and it was a really enjoyable, quick read. 
There was something so interesting reading a book that talked about tumblr and blogs so much in it, it just felt really current but without trying to be too hip.  It felt like the use of social media in the book was appropriate and right for the story, it didn't feel forced or like it was added to the story to try and make it feel more 'young', like some of the other books that I have read, that have tried to do the same thing.

The story is based on a the main character Gemma's love for Audrey Hepburn but more specifically the character that Audrey played in Breakfast at Tiffany's, Holly Golightly.  The whole book is like one big fact file on Audrey and Holly.  I found that was my most enjoyable part of the story, I loved hearing little snippets about how the film was made, why the casting was chosen, just lot's of interesting little facts about the whole Audrey era.
What I would say is that to really enjoy the book I think you have to have seen Breakfast at Tiffany's. Even if you don't know anything about the life and times of Audrey herself I think you do at least have had to see the film or so much of this book just wouldn't make sense at all.

The reason why I wanted to read this book initially was because I had read one of Tucker Shaw's books from years ago called 'Confessions of a backup dancer' which I just loved and thought it was amazing, so I couldn't wait to read something else by the same author but i would say that this book is maybe aimed at a slightly more teenage/young adult audience than I realised but i still think it's such an enjoyable read for any age as it's a great story.

Overall I would really recommend this book to anyone who loves Audrey Hepburn and Breakfast at Tiffany's.  Its such a lovely story and is a great example of how your favourite film can really inspire you to do great things.  A super fun and quirky read!

Let me know if you've read this book and what you thought of it?
You can buy it HERE on Amazon for £9.41
And on Kindle for £6.79
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