Saturday, 28 November 2015

Not feeling blue on Black Friday...

I was not someone who went hyper this Black Friday; and for those of you brave enough to face the shops in real life - bravo! I am not and never will be one of you. Sale shopping makes me feel quite stressed and I am not a fan of the mob mentality that people can get into in order to nab the best deal.

To be honest for the past few years this day hasn't meant anything to me bar seeing the scenes on TV that drew parallels to political riots; all for £400 off a flat screen and for the IT handbag at 20% off.

Today however, I bought into the hype. Literally. 

On my lunch break I went online and purchased; rather ironically; Penguin's Little Black Classics collection in the display box. 50% off the RRP. 

I had previously tried and failed to win a set and today I simply couldn't resist. I am however not going to buy another book for a while (unless it's part of my rare penguin collection that have the traditional coloured covers; they are my true weakness). But seriously my book buying needs to stop.

I will post a picture of my purchase on Instagram when the box arrives and I really can't wait to get to see my books. 

This set is something I have wanted for awhile so I don't regret buying into the hype of the day. I hope you all are equally as pleased with your purchases if you have or do make any in the next few days.

And if you haven't yet purchased anything; then remember that these sales will go on until at least Cyber Monday if not after so you have plenty of time to get involved. 

And if sale shopping in real life makes you stressed, I hope you are ok and can find some relaxing oasises to hide outin until the Christmas sales start. 

Have a lovely weekend,

Amber xx

Sunday, 22 November 2015

How to present shop this season!

Hi all,

Today is the 22nd November and I am over halfway done with my Christmas shopping! 

I have just had my glitter smash nails painted by my mum; have been listening to Glee Christmas and Christmas Hits albums on Spotify for the last week and am fully embracing this time of year! 

But I didn't start shopping until 2 weeks ago when; on a very rainy day may I add; I went to Liberty of London to get my eyebrows done and got swept up in the moment and bought my first three Christmas gifts!

For those of you who want to see them the only one I can show you is my ornament for the tree. This is my gift to my family and is of one of the kittens we have recently started looking after and is soo cute! (Comparison pics below)
He was about £10 (decoration not the real thing) and if you want to buy a pretty decoration for someone special or of something specific then I recommend Liberty (and I think it has the best Christmas department this year although I can only compare to Selfridges which wasn't as good). 

But this post isn't about what to buy - it's about how to tackle the shops at this time of year! 

My first tip is shop where you want to shop if you are shopping in real life! So I was in Liberty to get my eyebrows done, not to shop, but it was through my own curiosity that I actually found some great gifts for my nearest and dearest. And it meant I was relaxed, happy and I also treated myself too so I could feel like I was joining in!

As soon as it stopped being fun I went home. And that's the next tip - take breaks for drinks or food and stop when you can't stand it anymore. If you try to do it all on one day - I'm talking to you 24th December shoppers - then every year you'll dread and hate it - but a little bit of early prep and a happy bunny you'll be. 

Along the lines of early prep is knowing the person you are buying for really well and then keep your eyes and ears out for stuff they mention they want. I pride myself on trying to get really good gifts for people that I know really well and it means I'm usually planning their presents from mid November or before. It means you have a rough idea of what to get them where and then you don't waste time and energy hunting as time ticks closer to the big day.

If you can get what you want online then do that and take the stress and often cost off of your shoulders (just give plenty of time for delivery and do click and collect if you are worried). If you can't then target shop and don't just trawl round the shops - make the day fun for yourself, bringing a best friend usually helps for moral support! 

And my last tip is really an extension of the others - take your time and buy within your budget. People tend to find this time of year stressful in just about every way; from cost to strain on families around the Christmas dinner table. But a long run up will allow that to be smoothed somewhat and leave the stress to what you'll watch on the TV and who wins Monopoly. 

I hope you all have a fabulous and safe Christmas/Holiday time and I will post my latest haul next so you can have some ideas of stuff I love that may inspire you. 


Amber xx

Sunday, 15 November 2015

A world that is reeling...

I want to start by stating I am not an expert and this is not the time to try to be a superhero and fix the world. I am very simply a 19 year old member of humanity. But I want to write about how I feel.

Over the past 36 hours, the world has been changed.

I wasn't very old when 9/11 happened, 7/7 sticks in my 10 years will 11/13 be just as iconic?

On Friday, I was feeling rubbish, I went to bed around the time all the news was breaking around the world that Paris was suffering. It took me till Saturday before I heard the full extent of the tragedy. And like most, I was on Facebook looking for news links and seeing that my friends were ok.

By Saturday lunchtime #PrayforParis was everywhere - you couldn't find a social platform that wasn't supporting them - but then it became clear it wasn't just Paris suffering. Our world is huge - I once had to calculate how much it weighed in Physics (it's a lot but I digress) - there was tragedy happening everywhere, Lebanon, Baghdad, even an earthquake in Japan.

It was clear that 11/13 had been a terrible day all over the globe.

In the evening, Facebook did what it does best... social campaigns. The blue, white and red was translucently placed over every profile picture on my news feed. Then the posts reminding everyone that it wasn't just Paris started to ramp up.

And I had been silent until then - so I started thinking about what I wanted to say.

At four minutes to eleven pm this is what I wrote:
"Tonight I am not putting the French flag over my profile picture - I am changing it to a picture of our beautiful planet Earth because I'm not just praying for Paris, I'm praying for everyone who suffers at the hands of the evil that unfortunately lies out there.
This is not a moment to launch a campaign of hatred against one group, or remember one group over another in our prayers or thoughts. This is a time when we must join together and help heal wounds, not deepen them.
Bad things happen daily, and not one is worse than another, but as humanity we are strong and we will triumph over the bad like we always do.
To everyone hurting out there, I'm thinking of you and send my deepest condolences. And to those who want to do something in reaction - spread love, not hate."

And I wrote this to remind everyone that terrible things happen every day on Earth. It doesn't matter if it is a Western city or a small town in the East. 

The world has been in my thoughts for the past 48 hours. Not just Paris. 

Also I am not going to play the blame game. That is not going to help. We do not need another "Night of Broken Glass". We need to bring the world together and heal. 

To those who want revenge - there is law for that. I am sure that the governments of the world are working on it. Whatever opinion you have on the strength of the laws, mob mentality won't help those who have perished. 

One of my favourite plays is A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller. In it Eddie doesn't believe in the justice of the law and his choice of vengeance over legal justice leaves him the worst state of all. Alfieri, the lawyer describes that trusting in justice to prevail instead of killing to avenge as "settling for half" and that he "like(s) it better" - and I do to. 

The people we have lost will not gain anything by us turning on each other now. In fact, us fracturing makes the divides big enough so that the people who want to break us can do so easier. 

And humanity is amazingly strong. We have tackled ice ages and predators to reach the top of the food chain Unfortunately, there is bad amongst us that we cannot control. But we will get through this like we always have. 

I reeled off a few dates at the start as examples of this. Nobody stopped getting on planes after 9/11, Londoners went back on the tube after 7/7, and I am sure people will eat at restaurants, carry on living their lives and watch football in stadiums long after the events of this Friday have passed. 

And if you, like me, want to act then there are a few things we can do to make a difference: 
  • Spread love and calm in the face of panic and pain. Be the force of good in your community and within you social sphere
  • Remember everyone's pain and don't isolate one group over another. If you are praying or thinking for anyone; do it for everyone
  • Muslims don't feel like you have to apologise for anything, you are not to blame here. If a woman kills her husband, I don't have to apologise for being a woman. And people looking to blame someone - blame the individuals who can take someone's life in cold blood, don't tar everyone with the same brush just because you can
I wanted to be succinct so I will stop here. 

So this is me signing off, knowing that humanity is beautiful and we are strong, and sending my deepest condolences to anyone who has lost anyone. And I hope with these words someone will find comfort and strength to do good in the face of this world which seems very bad and scary right now. 

Lots of love, 


Sunday, 1 November 2015

A Week in my Wonderful London...

Hi all,

I love taking photo's and so over the past week I have been snapping my way around the city I love.

It is as simple as that really, so here is my week in the City! If you want to see another of these please let me know and I will do more in the future.

It all started on Monday when I walked along the river to Somerset House at dusk,

Then after an interview on Tuesday I admired this beautiful architecture on Wigmore Street, near Harley Street, 

And on Wednesday whilst en route to meet a friend, I was struck by this amazing office block on Southampton Row, Bloomsbury,

To the towering Queen Elizabeth Tower and of course Big Ben on Wednesday,

To the calm and sereene Australia House on Thursday morning...

and opposite St Clement Danes Church of course!

Then as the week ended the glitz of the Savoy...

and the bridge of the Charing Cross Hotel, carried me to my home and my weekend.

Here is to the beauty of my beloved city!

Hope you all had a lovely weekend!

Amber xx