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Archive for the ‘Life’ category

My favourite blog

May 5th, 2014

I was recently contacted by the lovely people at Curry’s to take part in their blogger competition. All they were asking me to do was write a blog about my favourite blog and why. Relatively simple, no?

Apparently not! My first decision was that I was going to write this about the things I love and enjoy reading for amusement and relaxation. That’s not to say that reading about the world of social, technology and digital isn’t a passion or pleasure of mine, but there are so many differing topics, sectors, specifications and entertainment levels that it made it difficult to pick just one. I found myself swaying from Mashable to The Next Web to State of Digital. As they’re (and many more not listed!) all news sources for me, I found it difficult to pick an outright winner as they’ve all served me well at one time or another.

So, that’s when I went for fun. And again I struggled, I have a dear love for Refinery 29 for fashion, health & beauty, life tips and I also enjoy perusing indie bloggers such as my friend over at Sweaters and Sequins, but picking a *favourite* was like trying to pick a favourite song.

That’s when it struck me, Hello Giggles.

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Ok, ok, it’s a bit of a cheat. It’s sizeable and it’s more of an online magazine covering a vast range of topics, but that’s sort of why I love it.  Not to mention the fact it was started by three talent women, including the gorgeous and very much girl-crushable Zooey Deschanel. It feels like it’s been written by a team of bloggers who have extracted thoughts from my head and combines serious issues with joviality.

For example, upon my brief daily jaunt across its pages today, I’ve learnt five very important things:

 

1. Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender & James McAvoy danced to Blurred Lines on The Graham Norton Show



2. An EINTKILF article about Topanga Lawrence-Matthews of Boy Meets Girl

That means Everything I Need To Know I Learnt From (yes, I had to Google it first time too). Aside from the fact it’s given me real nostalgia from a show I used to love growing up, it also has little gems in it such as:


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3.  Nailspiration: Accent Nails

Because…reasons.


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4. The creation of a Plus-Size documentary 

As well as entertainment it tackles difficult societal issues and because there are a number of bloggers you’re able to get different points of view and analysis of topics. The site covers a range of topics including body issues, feminism, politics and many others.

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It provides me with food for thought as well as cute animals,which brings me too….

 

5. 15 Animals We All Want To Squeeze

 

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This is crucial journalism.

 

DISCLOSURE: This blog was written for the Curry’s #WonderBlog competition for a chance to win a HP Envy Recline 23-m120ea Beats Edition (worth £999.99) or an HP Envy Rove 20-k014us (worth £799.99). Follow the hashtag to see other bloggers favourite blogs.

 

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Inspiration: Debbie Millman

June 23rd, 2013

I stumbled across this quote the other day. It’s awesome; eloquently put and just the right side of moving without being hammy. It’s part of Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays on the Intersection of Life and Design by artist, strategist, and interviewer Debbie Millman. I’ve paid homage in the below image, as this section for me was key, but I would recommend visiting the article on Brain Pickings to hear a speech by Debbie Millman and to see the quote in it’s original context, as part of the main body of the essay.

If you found it as inspiring as me, you may be buying the book too : )

If you imagine less,  less will be what you undoubtedly deserve.

If you imagine less, less will be what you undoubtedly deserve. Do what you love, and don?t stop until you get what you love. Work as hard as you can, imagine immensities, don?t compromise, and don?t waste time. Start now. Not 20 years from now, not two weeks from now. Now.

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I recently voyaged to Malaga, rather than just post up my holiday snaps (that’s for another post!), I thought I’d share some of the more humorous life lessons I learnt while out there.

 

1. There’s no point having a cool/expensive/awesome thing, if you don’t use it/promote it/turn it on.

I saw this free Facebook photo booth at one of the bars in Malaga. It looks pretty awesome and is a nice way for the bar to promote themselves through pictures of their clients enjoying themselves on Facebook. I thought I’d have a go. It wasn’t turned on. I presume that they turn it on at night or the staff are unsure of it and don’t know how to do it. Or, of course, it could all be a ploy, so that digital and social fan girls, such as myself, take a picture and upload it to their blog, giving the bar promotion anyway. Yeah, that’s almost definitely it.

Facebook photobooth

 

2. Reality doesn’t always live up to the promise.

Just like a woman in a Wonderbra, these two foodstuffs only provided disappointment once unwrapped. You’re hardly going to go and complain at this stage, but you can’t help but feel a little cheated.

Promise vs Reality

Maxibon

 

3. Good artists copy; great artists steal.

If it’s good enough for Steve Jobs, surely it’s good enough for you and I? And Nutella. It appears they’ve seen the success of Coke and jumped on the band wagon. Only they have stickers, so you don’t just have to buy a tub to share with a friend, you can whack a sticker with the branding all over it onto their face. Plus they’re also pushing the the Facebook page more. It seems like they’re really embracing social, odd, given that they ordered superfan Sara Russo to cease and desist with her World Nutella Day; the unofficial international holiday created by fans to celebrate their love of the hazelnut-chocolate spread.

Nutella find your name

 

4. Wear sunscreen.

Finally, to quote Baz Luhrman, wear sunscreen. Seriously, I’m still hurting from a burning.

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jo + tom at To Kill A Mockingbird

Yesterday we went to see Christopher Sergel’s adaption of Harper Lee’s novel at The Royal Exchange. Special thanks go to the lovely Phil and Pam who were able to get us some tickets!

Max Webster directs the play and the Manchester Evening News describes him as imbuing the screenplay with, “pace and inventiveness”.

The Public Reviews gives the production 4.6 out of five, with Jim Gillespie’s review saying, “This is a great story and a very good adaptation, there are some excellent performances, and it is well directed.”

 

I concur, it’s brilliant and here’s ten reasons why:

 

1. The Royal Exchange as a venue is great, as well as aesthetically different from traditional theatres. One of my friends described it as being, ‘like a Lunar Lander” which I think is pretty apt, especially if that Lunar Lander has come to rest in a Grade II listed, former cotton exchange.

 

2. The entire cast gave stellar performances, I was so impressed by the emotion they conveyed, especially given how close they were to the audience. Special hat tips, bows and curtseys to Rupert Simonian (Jem), Shannon Tarbet (Scout), James McConville (Dill), Joy Richardson (Calpurnia), Scarlett Brooks (Mayella), Okezie Morro (Tom Robinson) and Nigel Cooke (Atticus).

Screen Shot 2013-03-24 at 16.14.16Photo by: Jonathan Keenan / Credit: Royal Exchange Theatre

 

3. If you’ve never been to the Royal Exchange before, it’s a circular theatre with a number of entrances around a central stage, as you can see in this panoramic shot. Really clever use was made of the space with actors entering and exiting through the various doors to generate a bustling atmosphere, as well as use of the main stage, additional floors and a balcony.

 

4. The production was very engaging; we were in the banquette seats at floor level with the actors, I could have reached out and touched them, which made you feel involved in the performance. I even had to move my legs a couple of times for fear of tripping them up! Actors walking off the set would even mumble or curse in character as they walked past you.

 

5. The production values were so high and the performance so intimate, you felt like you were inside a movie. This is in no way a slight on plays as a format, simply a testament to the actors and production overall that it had a finished feel that seemed over and above what you may ordinarily expect of a live performance.

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6. The musical arrangement, costume and set design was brilliantly thought through; simple props and techniques were used cleverly and innovatively to make you feel like you were sat in Maycomb, Alabama.

 

7. They made it rain inside. Seriously.

 

8. It kept pace. The entire performance was a little over two hours including the interval, in the wrong hands the novel had the potential to be a long-winded and stagnate, but there was never a dull moment with passing time or seasonal changes depicted in dynamic and movement-filled readings supported by the rest of the cast.

 

9. Harper Lee’s moving tale of injustice, set in an era of racial inequality and told through the eyes of the loveable and innocent Scout, is known for being engrossing, thought-provoking and emotive. As a fan of the novel and 1962 film I was once again mesmirised by the story in this performance and genuinely moved by the court scene.

 

10. It made me think. It’s been a long time since I’d read To Kill A Mockingbird or seen the film and perhaps I’ve matured a little more as a person, but the injustice of Tom Robinson’s fate, the vicious, madness of the mob and the story’s poignant message stayed with me. When I got home I read through the programme, which featured a timeline of Harper Lee from her childhood to the present contextualised by the history of African-Americans struggle for equality and it filled me with sadness. It seems unbelievable now that some of the horrors that occurred back then ever did; and also quite incredible is the relatively short time that all this has happened in, less than a lifetime ago.

I went on to watch Martin Luther King’s famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, which seemed more powerful and stirring then ever before. I think it’s really important we don’t forget what has happened in the past; and – whether it’s Harper Lee’s novel, Wilfred Owen’s poetry or this brilliant performance – works like this ensure that we don’t, while striking a emotional chord and generating a level of understanding for an era that no textbooks or history lessons ever could.

 

To Kill a Mockingbird @ The Royal Exchange programme

 

In short, if you have the opportunity I would highly recommend you go and see it! To Kill a Mockingbird runs till 30th March 2013. For tickets: Box office: 0161 8339833. Website: www.royalexchange.co.uk

 

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