28 July 2015

The Mix-Tape Post

Hey beautiful people,
Sorry for the lack of posts around here lately, I've been a bit under the weather with hayfever, flu's and a load of random stuff in between.  I have a ton of stuff that I can't wait to post for you though, so many awesome things I've been reviewing and loads of great books I've been reading too that I can't wait to tell you about.
So look out for usual posting resuming super soon but until then I wanted to make you a wee playlist of all the songs that I have been loving lately.  It's probably the most random mix of music ever but that's why I sort of love it.
Let me know what you think and if any of your favourites are on it too.  Let me know what you've all been listening to in the comments as well....

19 July 2015

Sunday Show and Tell

Because nobody says it like Martha does....

Quote taken from this awesome interview.

1 July 2015

Interview with Mark Petchey

If you follow me on Twitter you might have noticed that I am the biggest ever Tennis fan.  Tennis season is my favourite time of year and the highlight for me is always Wimbledon.  So to celebrate Wimbledon starting this week I was so lucky and got to speak with former British number 1 tennis player Mark Petchey.  Mark was also Andy Murray's coach back in the day (seriously that picture, how funny and awesome is Andy's hair) so I thought who better to talk to about all things Tennis and Andy Murray, enjoy the interview and let me know who your backing to win this year in the comments....
1.  You were Andy Murray’s coach at the beginning of his career.  Was it very clear from the start that Andy had the potential to be one of the best players in the world?
I saw Andy when he was 16 in Edinburgh and it was clear even then he had something special. He had a quality about him and time on the ball you can’t really coach. Plus the fire he had to win every point was something that came very naturally to him. That fire was going to see him overcome any obstacles that were going to present themselves.
2.  Andy has obviously has extreme media scrutiny put on him in the past few years.  Do you think this has affected him or do you think he has managed to come through the attention unscathed?
 One of Andy's strongest qualities is his desire to be true to himself. He is very authentic. He has clearly learned that there are times to be somewhat diplomatic but for the majority of his time in front of the media he is just himself. It makes things easier for him and I feel people really appreciate that.
3.  Wimbledon is often described as the best Grand Slam in the world, as a former player, coach and now commentator you must have travelled to all the tournaments, why do you think this one stands out so much?
 To be honest I love Wimbledon because it’s the first Slam I ever went too but I do love them all for all their different qualities. However, I do feel Wimbledon is special from all the others particularly because of Centre Court. It is a truly magical place to play and watch tennis.
4.  This year Britain has a new hopeful in the form of Aljaz Bedene.  There has been a lot said on the issue of him now representing Britain, what do you think of that situation and what do you think his chances are for Wimbledon?
 Aljaz is clearly a very good player and will be a asset for British tennis over the years. I personally am not a fan of players, sportspeople switching nationality no matter the sport but it happens all the time so the fact is he is British. He is a very nice person and a extremely hard working professional which are all positives for him to win the support from British crowds in time.
5.  Andy has been playing some of his best Tennis this year, what do you think his odds are for scooping the Wimbledon title?
 He starts as a co-favourite along with Novak and Roger in my opinion. There is however a lot of great players in the draw with the same ambition. It won't be easy but he is certainly playing at the level he needs too to win it again.
6.  There are so many young players having real big moments this year, are there any players you think could give us some shock results at Wimbledon, who should we look out for?
 Not sure the next few young players are quite ready to make the breakthrough this year. I feel its more physical than anything else right now for them. If you look at the time it took for Dimitrov, Raonic and Nishikori to get to a place where they can be a real threat, it took a few years. It will be the same for the next wave but they will get there.
Mark Petchey was talking at the David Lloyd Leisure All Stars tennis pop-up at South Bank, London.
If you'd like to get into tennis and for more information, go to: www.davidlloyd.co.uk and watch a video all about the event HERE

30 June 2015

Review of Ultrasun Sunscreen

If you've glanced at any of my outfit posts you will know that I am super duper pale.
I always have been, I have pink-based pale skin with a ton of freckles too. I never really burn to be honest but I think that's because my whole life I have always been covered in really high sunscreen factors the minute the sun even started to shine slightly.  If I am out in sun for a prolonged period of time without any sunscreen on then I would just basically frazzle I'm sure.

I have always worn at least a 25 SPF but in recent years I have never been going below a 30SPF and last year I even wore a 50 SPF the whole summer.  I don't really care about tanning as I never go anything other than a slight golden colour and I just panic too much if I don't have a high SPF on and over the years learning more and more about how much damage the sun can do to your skin I have been upping the factors that I wear to be on the safe side.

I have been using the clear Nivea sprays the last few years and I adore them.  They are the easiest things to apply and don't leave you too sticky.  There is a slight greasy-ness to them as they are more oil based but they are great and they come in super high factors too which I love.

This year though I wanted to try something a little bit different.  I had always been intrigued by those once-a day-suncreams but was always too scared to try them because of being so pale and if I don't apply suncream every few hours I can actually feel my skin heating up until I put more on so I just really didn't think they would be for me.
But then I kept seeing a brand called Ultrasun on QVC and I really loved the sound of them.  They also have high UVB and UVA protectors  in their products which is what I always look for in sunscreen as they are both just as important as each other.

I must admit its strange going back to using creams after using the sprays for the past few years, I definitely don't like the creams as much but I was impressed by Ultrasun. 
When I used it I did only need to apply it once and my skin never felt hot or burny and my super sensitive skin was fine with all the ingredients in it which was a surprise too.

I only bought this mini pack to try it out before I went for a bigger bottle as I wanted to see if I liked it first so all of the products in this pack don't have a high enough factor for me to use which is a shame but if you have darker skin and don't need a higher factor they would work for you.

The only thing I didn't like was that the cream felt really thick and really made me paler looking when I put it on and that wasn't great but I did like that there was no over powering smell and it felt less chemically than a lot of other sunscreens that I've used before.

Am I convinced but the once-a-day-suncreams yet? Absolutely not. I think they are fine for being in the UK as the summers we get aren't crazy hot and sunny but knowing my skin there is no way that I would be able to only apply this SPF once if I was abroad and in a foreign country where the sun and heat are so strong.  I think if you have olive to darker skin then this would be perfect for you.

I would really recommend this trial kit though to give Ultra Sun a go as I think the brand is great and the suncream really does work but some skin tones may need to apply it more than the recommended amount.

Also have a read of the British Association of Dermatologists view on the once-a-day-suncreams, pretty interesting read HERE

You can buy all the Ultrasun products HERE for pretty good prices.

26 June 2015

Interview with Michelle Miller author of The Underwriting

"Todd Kent is young, hot, and on his way to the top of Wall Street when the eccentric founder of Hook, the popular new dating app, handpicks him to lead its IPO. Given just two months to pull it off, Todd and his investment banking team brainy Neha, party-boy Beau, and old college flame Tara Taylor race to close the $14 billion deal of the decade. It's the chance of a lifetime for Tara, too, who sees her opportunity to break through the glass ceiling and justify six years of sacrifices for her career. But nothing is what it seems in Silicon Valley, and when tragedy strikes Stanford University's campus, there's no telling where the sparks will fly."

I don't know about you but I am obsessed by all the scandal and stories from the silicon valley/wall street world.  Ever since I read a book about the founders of Google years ago I have been so intrigued by these two worlds.  They seem so similar yet so distant from each other in the way they are run.  They both have the power to literally change the world yet we know so little about what really goes on behind the scenes in these business hubs.  That is why I was so excited to finally get my hands on a copy of 'The Underwriting' as the author Michelle has actually been a part of both of these worlds and I couldn't wait to read all about what really goes on.  I was super lucky and got to interview Michelle all about the book and her past work.  It's actually one of my favourite interviews I have done in a long time as I just think Michelle is so interesting and open in her honesty about her opinions on such topical subjects, I think it's so refreshing to see her take on a world that the media is so desperate to tell us 'hate' women and that it's impossible for them to succeed in and I just love her view on it all.
I'm not going to do a long review of the book as I think Michelle's answers in the interview cover just about everything but I did want to say that I really, really loved the book.  If you have even the slightest interest in those worlds then you will love all the intrigue and nods to real life that the book has.  I read it over a couple of days as it had me that gripped and I just couldn't be more excited about the TV show that is being made of it now!
Enjoy and let me know what you think of the interview and book....
P.S Isn't her advice in the last question just awesome!!

1. The Underwriting is all about life in the business and finance world.  Can you tell us a little about your background in that industry?
Most recently I worked at JP Morgan’s Private Bank, in the Palo Alto office (e.g. the centre of Silicon Valley) during the Facebook IPO. Before that I was in business school at Stanford, where I dabbled in start-ups and got to know classmates who came from across the finance, business and non-profit universe. And prior to that I was a management consultant in New York and across Europe….so I dabbled a great deal and was fortunate to get to meet a lot of real-life characters in different industries around the world.

2. I am a bit obsessed with books and films about Wall Street and Silicon Valley at the moment.  I always find it so interesting though that Wall Street is always depicted as a nasty, pretty brutal place where as Silicon Valley is all playing ping pong and chilling out on the faux lawn in the coffee room as you come up with the next new idea.  Having experienced both places, do you think the way they are depicted in the media is accurate?
Ah I love this!! It’s so true that the media really exaggerates the nastiness of Wall Street and the fun-loving, change-the-world-ness of Silicon Valley. Like you, I love the content that comes out about both places, but with THE UNDERWRITING I really wanted to explore the under-the-surface, human realities of both places. I think they are in many ways similar – both driven by ambition and power and very masculine dominated, by which I mean they both prioritise outcomes and results over relationships, experience. And they both are full of  morally ambiguous situations that often lead characters (and real people) to do things that, from the outside, are very clearly wrong but that, from their seats, feeling the pressures they feel, understanding the world the way they do, don’t always seem bad until it’s too late. THE UNDERWRITING was really about exploring those gray areas, and those gray characters, and hopefully creating some compassion for their experience, while still totally exploiting their quirks for entertainment value.

3.  There is so much emphasis put on being a woman in those industries.  What was your experience of being a female in a male dominated place?
Being a woman in business is a really nuanced thing right now: I think twenty years ago gender politics was a hockey match: all about being tough and fighting hard; now I think it’s more like figure skating: still a slippery rink, but it’s more of a dance, and the measurement of outcomes is more subjective. I really tried to explore that nuance with Tara and Todd, giving equal weight the male perspective. For me, personally, I think I spent a lot of my twenties trying to learn to be more masculine – to focus on results and outcomes and suppress feelings; it’s really great to have those skills in my toolkit, but my late twenties was really about re-discovering my femininity (relationships, experience, creativity) and learning to apply both to my work. I feel lucky, as a woman, to have been “liberated” to explore the masculine side of myself; I hope in the next decade, we’re able to liberate more men to explore the feminine sides of themselves in the same way. I think that’s when we’ll really have a balanced, gender-equal world.

4. You went down a really unconventional route when you first released The Underwriting, can you tell us about that?
I Initially released THE UNDEWRITING as a 12-part weekly serial on my website, theunderwriting.com. Each week’s episode was free to read on the browser for 24 hours, then available for purchase as a text or audio file. The web version was accompanied by DJ playlists, character business cards, art work, photography, video and brand sponsors. I was really interested in reviving the serial novel  - it’s how Dickens, James, even Tom Wolfe originally published their works – and loved the idea of making a more “transmedia” experience by using the web. As a first-time writer, it was also a great way to get my work out and see if it had an audience before I approached agents and publishers to turn it into a novel and, now, a television series.

5.  Have you used a lot of real life experiences in your novel from your time in the business world?
Definitely! The specific things that happen in the book haven’t all happened to me, but the feelings behind them have – I’ve felt the blind drive Todd feels and the anxiety Nick feels and the pressure Tara feels.  And I’m a helpless observer, so I can’t escape my tendency to pick up on and think about the dynamics between people, so the awkwardness between Josh and Todd, the insecurities between Nick and Juan, the sexual tension between Tara and Callum, are all very true to the work world I experienced. 

6.  Your book is getting made into a TV show; do you have any news about that yet?  I’ve heard rumours that it’s going to fill the Gossip Girl shaped hole in our lives?
Ha! I would love that! I’m so, so excited to be working with Endemol Shine to begin development on the series this summer. I’ll be participating as a writer and producer, so from here it’s finding the experienced talent to bring it to life – I couldn’t be more thrilled to learn how that world works and play in a new medium.

7.  And finally, if you could pass on one piece of advice to my readers what would it be?
I think fear and anger are really worthless emotions. In my book, and in my life, making decisions from the place of fear or anger always leads to bad things. I’ve worked really hard to recognise when I’m slipping into one of those modes and to figure out ways to get back into a more positive, anything-is-possible mind set: It’s been invaluable to my work, but also to my overall well-being, so I highly recommend it!

Buy The Underwriting on Amazon
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