29 Sep 2014

Make A Home with Voucher Codes + Student Unite

After some last minute planning - and a whole bag of nerves - I'm pleased to say I've finally made my video debut! And I don't think the results are half bad either. Along with bloggers Lucy, Kathryn, Gem + Lisa, I was invited to take part in the new student campaign for Voucher Codes and Student Unite. The idea behind VC Made A Home was for each blogger to decorate a student flat with a budget of £100. It could easily be done but if you actually want it look look nice and feel relaxing this it's no mean feat.

We were up for the challenge and I think we all did brilliantly. Our are rooms really shows each blogger's personality and hopefully the advice has been helpful to any new students or folks sticking to a tight budget. I decided to stick to a relaxed colour scheme of yellows and greys, searched discount stores like Tiger Tiger good old Wilcos, and brought loads of little things from home, which helped to keep the budget down. 

Like I said, I was pretty nervous but hopefully this has given me the confidence to give video blogging a go!

What do you think guys, how did we all do?!

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27 Sep 2014

365 Postcards by Lorraine Loots + Weekend Links

I shared these tiny nuggets of gold on Twitter yesterday but I thought they were too good not to share on here. Just look at these super detailed, tiny paintings by artist Lorraine Loots. She recently challenged herself to create a new "tiny painting" every single day for a year - the results are just wonderful. First seen here.

Well, this weekend we're heading off to a performance art show at the local park, which is being advertised as "a disaster movie in the sky". It will be a first for all of us! I'm also looking forward to catching up on blogs, in fact, that's what I'll be doing most of Saturday. Enjoy your weekend too!

Weekend Bucket List

Cheap coffee ain't always that bad, Nik's review of Pret's 99p filter
Interesting article about how our own signature words are adapted by our peers
Converse with the Happy/Sad face, collab with Polar Skate Co.
Milk carton design with an old sign painter's style look
Discovered this blog via #lbloggers chat
All over the red outerwear
Denim brand Hiut creates interactive window display in London
In case you missed it - We spent three days in France with Courvoisier, here's Part One

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26 Sep 2014

#DontWait | The Coors Light List

As I approach the age of 30 I've come to the conclusion that there's nothing really holding me back from experiencing the things dreamt of as a child, and travelling to the places I've researched for years. My Bucket List (now there's an idea!) is mounting by the year and I've been fortunate enough to have been giving the of opportunity to travel for work, but none of the destinations have been one of those "unique" experiences that Buzzfeed like to bang on about.

You know, things like seeing the Northern Lights from Iceland, exploring the underground General Carrera Lake in Patagonia or the Zhangye Danxia Landform in China. I think we could all take a leaf out of Yasumi + Hiro's books when it comes to travel.

I've seen talk around the Coors Light List on social media for a while now - their latest campaign is all about getting the public to seize the day and live life a little less ordinary. Coors Light have created an action-packed list of activities which all embody the notion of seizing the moment, and to win an experience all you need to do is apply! Currently on the #DontWait list - spending a Night in an Igloo + Husky Sledging in Finland, Ice Sculpting in London and becoming a Zoo Keeper for the day

You can apply for a Coors List experience here. If you had the opportunity to travel anywhere, where would you go?

This isn't a sponsored post but I have been given the opportunity to take part in an activity in November. Something Damme Cold I'd guess!

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24 Sep 2014

Three Days in France with Courvoisier | Part 1

Along with 30+ total strangers, Buckets & Spades headed to France, in which turned out to be one of the most surreal weekends of my life. The only information we given by Courvoisier (myself + that chap Nik) was to meet at London Victoria Train Station at 9am, with a suitcase packed with enough clothes for three days. And don't forget your suit. So I set my alarm for an insane 3am the night before, and travelled down to London, to meet our new friends for the next few days.

The theme of the trip was #HeresToNow; celebrating the moment, thinking spontaneously and ceasing the day. Courvoiser's aim was to keep us in the dark about the whole trip but a sneaky Google search on the train down told me that it was likely we'd be headed to the swanky Le Chateau in Jarnac, south of France.

Along with a bunch of bloggers, press and competition winners we boarded the Gatwick Express, and each given a seal envelope that confused us all the more. Man, it was so early, but my intrigue was 100% piqued.

23 Sep 2014

Cornerstone | Online Shaving Subscription

Even with a beard, you have to shave - well, unless you’re growing one to epic lumberjack proportions. Granted, I get through shaving supplies far slower than anyone clean shaver, but in some ways this makes life more difficult. I so rarely buy a new razor or shaving foam, that it comes as a surprise when I run out. I just don’t have that stuff committed to memory as a regular purchase.

With a service like Cornerstone, the days of worrying about sufficient shaving supplies are over. Based - I presume - on the Dollar Shave Club in the US, Cornerstone will deliver the goods you need at a frequency to suit you. There’s no commitment, so if you’re letting your beard grow wild for a few weeks (or have disappeared on holiday), you just tell them and they stop sending supplies for a time.

That’s all very well - a convenient service is great, but what about the quality of the stuff? Fortunately for me, Cornerstone sent me a trial set of their products, complete with a personalised monogrammed razor blade handle - a nice touch! The first thing you notice with Cornerstone, is the box. Well, that’s what it arrives in, of course. It’s a sleek cardboard rectangle, with a nicely labelled ‘push’ button sliding the inner sleeve out and the cosmetics within. It’s a great start from the guys, as it gives you a sense of high quality from minute one. And if you think getting excited about boxes is a bit unusual, it’s not - just ask Mat about shoe boxes!
Inside, they included a tube of balm, face scrub, shaving gel, and a razor (with spare blades). This is everything you need, and probably more. Again, the packaging really stands out as good quality, reminding me (in a way) of Bulldog - the first high-end shaving products I ever tried. 

I can’t really talk with any qualifications on cosmetics. Each of the products carries a really nice light fragrance, so as to not interfere with any aftershave or other you want to wear. Using all three, you get a sense that you’ve actually treated your skin with something that does what it says on the ‘tin’ - scrubs, shaves, and moisturises.

Due to the beard, which isn’t going anywhere soon, it will take me a while to finish using the samples they sent. When I do, I’m sure I’ll be visiting Cornerstone again to replenish my stocks. If you're looking for the lazy way out, we'd recommend checking out our review of Ruffians barbershop.

As anyone tried the service from Cornerstone, or a similar home-service perhaps? - Nik

You can find Nik at - Conrad's Beer | Twitter | Instagram

21 Sep 2014

Outfit | Done With Summer?

Hollie wears - ASOS Denim Mac Dress | Maxstudio T-Shirt| J.Crew Jeans | Bass Saddle Shoes | Foverever 21 Glasses | Longchamp Bag
Wearing - Universal Works Trousers | Nike SB Janoski c/o SS20 | Uniqlo Socks

The weather is really starting the screw with my outfit mojo. One minute it's all good and sunny, the next we have a monsoon situation. The idea was to take a few photos in the lovely northern sunshine, but sadly we had to cut it short and take cover. All is not lost, we did manage to get a few before the downpour.

It's no secret that I'm pretty obsessive when it comes to denim, I think my enthusiasm has finally rubbed off on Hollie. She decided to get in on the act, keeping things simple with this lightweight "chuck-on"by ASOS, J. Crew worn-in denims and saddle shoes by Bass. A kept it basic too, sticking to a denim shirt and navy trousers. These two-tone Nike SB Janoski were a pick-up from last month; they're a little different from my usual style but I'm really feeling the tonal upper. I'm in skate shoes though I've probably missed my chance to actually learn to skateboard this summer.

20 Sep 2014

AJ's Toy Boarders + Weekend Links

Those little green Toy Soliders feeling a bit old hat? Well, do what every other sane adult would do and trade them in for these rad Toy Boarders at Goodhood. They come in skate, surf + snow versions. Dude!

So it's been another hectic week but I'm determind to catch some down time this w/e. I still haven't managed to celebrate my birthday yet, so we can settle down with a beer at some point. Do you lot have any nice plans?

Weekend Bucket List

Try watching this edited traffic video without cringing, amazing!
Some of the finest street furniture from around the world
Apartment envy
Spending the summer in Hong Kong
Imagine if we had walking lanes just for mobile phone users
How about this double chocolate + bacon shake? Best of luck of Katie on her NY move
In case you missed it - I took part in The Polo Series shoot with Lyle & Scott

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18 Sep 2014

A Visit To Johnstons of Elgin Wool Mill

Being from Lancashire, I'm no stranger to wearing wool. It gets darn chilly from late October, from then on I can usually be found wearing several layers at once to combat frosbite, as well as keeping the old circulation condition at bay. You often that hear we love the Winter because "we get to cosy up in our favourite jumper, soft blanket and a mug of hot chocolate" - personally I never really find the time for that but I can't really imagine a freezing cold night without one of our most loved materials. 

There's no doubt we take wool for grantedit's always been been in our livesbut when was the last time you actually thought about the lead-up process to what finally becomes "our favourite" jumper? Well, as your friendly roaming reporter I headed up to the top of Scotland to visit one of the oldest woollen manufactuers in the UK, Johnstons of Elgin

16 Sep 2014

Lyle & Scott | The Polo Series

Wearing - Lyle & Scott Polo Shirt c/o | GAP Jacket | Dockers Chinos | Vans Trainers | Ralph Lauren Socks | 
Ray-Ban Glasses | Shore Projects Watch

The Polo Shirt isn't a piece that's featured in my wardrobe since I was a scraggly teenager. In fact, I've probably not worn one for eight or nine years. Lyle & Scott invited me and a group of Men's Style Bloggers to get involved with their Polo Series, which coincides with the company's 140th anniversary - I was definitely up for the challenge.

The gripe I've had with polo shirts is that I just don't think they suit me. They make me look and feel a bit "dad-ish". I knew I was never going to look like Daniel Craig in Casino Royale, or even original golf-steez legend Arnold Palmer, but my plan was to work it into an everyday outfit, just as if I was wearing a shirt or t-shirt. You can read more about the design of their Polo Shirt here.

I chose to style their Classic Plain Navy Polo, which has been a Lyle & Scott staple since its introduction in the 1960s–its design relatively untouched ever since. Yep, navy is pretty predictable for me but stick to what you know right? So I chucked on an unstructured blazer by GAP, slim khakis by Dockers and Vans Authentics. It's nothing too crazy but I'm actually really pleased with how it all looks together. Hollie also gave it the deux thumbs up too, bonus!

I'd like to thank Lyle & Scott for inviting me to take part in the series. It's been cool to try out a style that I really wouldn't have considered to be typically "me". Turns out I didn't know what I was talking about. Are there items of clothing you dismiss because they're not your typical style or tend to avoid because of their association?

You can read my full interview with Lyle & Scott for The Polo Series here.

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Beer + Design | Vedett Belgian Beer with Attitude

vedett beer, craft beer, london craft ale, packaging web design, lifestyle blog
vedett beer, craft beer, london craft ale, packaging web design, lifestyle blog
vedett beer, craft beer, london craft ale, packaging web design, lifestyle blog

Blogging isn't just about sitting behind a computer screen all day. We're often out-and-about, meeting new people and making new friends. A few weeks ago, the guys at Albam invited us to il Cicchetto on Old Street to meet their friends from Vedett. Clothing and beer - what's not to like?

Vedett is a Belgian beer in a pretty distinctive bottle. As well as serving up their Extra Blonde and Extra White, they also put out some De Koninck Anno 1833 - a nutty, slightly burnt lager - and a Liefmans Fruitesse On The Rocks. Come on, no prizes for guessing what’s in the last one. It’s a fruit beer full of tart berry flavours that I’ve not seen in London before. Very punchy!  

Vedett's website is pretty cool too. Full of small quirks and animations. Check it out here! - Nik

You can find Nik at - Conrad's Beer | Twitter | Instagram
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