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Sleep well with Leesa

20/11/2016


Photography by Sophie Lobban

When you are a self-confessed workaholic, like myself, a good night’s sleep is positively crucial. If I’m running short on rest you will definitely know about it, and not in a good way. When you are out the house twelve hours a day, there is nothing I enjoy more than getting home and welcoming my bed with open arms. My bedroom is my safe place. It is where I feel most relaxed and I can begin to unwind. However recently I found myself waking up several times in the middle of the night, and despite getting my full eight hours of sleep I would still feel tired for the rest of the day.

So when Leesa offered me the opportunity to try out one of their mattresses, I could not accept quick enough. If you haven’t heard of them before, Leesa is a mattress brand that was created with one simple task; to help people sleep better. You place your order online as quick and easy as ordering from your favourite clothes store and the mattress is delivered right to your house. I don’t want to spend hours (that I don't have to begin with) searching for a mattress, testing out different thickness, hardness, softness and everything else in a store. I want to be able to go online and with a click of a button place an order, with the peace of mind I won't be waiting weeks on end for my delivery. And with Leesa I was able to do all of this with ease. Within five minutes of heading to the website, I had selected my mattress, added it to my basket, filled in my shipping details and checked out. With a scheduled arrival date of within the week. It felt as though Christmas would be coming early this year!

What first struck me was how small the box was when the postman arrived with the KING sized mattress I was waiting to be delivered. I had ordered a king size mattress, yet what was delivered was a small box that stood to be around the height of my shoulders. How does that work?! The mattress was completely compressed inside; making it easier to carry and unpack simply and efficiently. For the post, I had every intention of photographing stills showing how easy it was to do, but I have recently pulled a muscle in my shoulder so I had to leave it to Liam's parents to take over and do the unpacking process for me and feedback. Luckily for them it was incredibly easy and took them only a matter of minutes to do. You just unroll it, unwrap it and watch it expand to a real mattress size within hours. What a treat!

After working a twelve hour shift, throwing my body onto the bed and sinking into my Leesa mattress was an incredible experience. I was snugger than a bug in a rug. The mattress is so, so comfortable – super soft, but still firm and supportive. And it’s a shame it has to get covered up with bedding – the mattress itself is gorgeous. Not only is it the most aesthetically pleasing mattress I have ever seen, but also the softest too! I had to call for Liam to come and try it too, which he couldn't believe how comfortable it was either. I guess we both didn't know what to expect as for years now we had just become accustomed to springs digging in to our backs. I think Leesa’s aim has been achieved 100%. The main goal is the customer's comfort and this is exactly what you receive, from start to finish. It's scary how I didn't even recognise that my previous mattress was clearly doing so much damage to my back.

Overall, my experience with the Leesa mattress is 100% positive. Not only was the order process efficient and easy to work through. But the speed, convenient, and compact nature of its packaging and delivery methods had completely won me over. Every purchaser can try and test the mattress with a 100-night risk free trial, safe in the knowledge that they can return it and receive a refund if they aren’t happy with it. Any returned mattress will then be donated to charity. Pretty amazing, right?! If you are interested you can read more about Leesa's story here and about the ethos of the brand. Leesa have been kind enough to offer my readers a £50 discount through this link, so if you're on the hunt for a new mattress; or after reading this post are questioning whether your current choice is the best for you, I'd wholly recommend at least checking out Leesa's site and the mattresses they have on offer.

Happy sleeping!


ITEMS FEATURED:




This post is in collaboration with Leesa, all words are my own.

Suit Up And Look Sharp With SuitsMen

09/11/2016

Wedding season may be drawing to a close, but there will always be an occasion a gentleman will need a suit. Looking great in a suit is no mean menswear feat. With ill-fitting attire, colour combinations and an endless array of ties to contend with, it’s a wonder anyone pulls it off at all. And while a great suit will make you feel (and look) sharp, world-wise, and sophisticated, a bad one will make you look like a hack, a ninny, or a man-child who still gets dressed by his mother. So it helps to know a thing or two about buying, wearing, and caring for the one you choose.

Here are some great tips to go by when you are shopping for your next suit which may help guide you through the process:

- The width of the tie should match the width of the lapel.
- In general, thin lapels are more modern. Wide lapels are more old-school, Mad Men style.
- A pocket square is a great way of adding a level of polish, but make sure it doesn’t match your tie in pattern/fabric choice.
- A collar gap between your jacket’s lapels and your shirt’s collar can signify an ill-fitting jacket.
- Your belt should be fairly thin and the same colour as your shoes.
- Make sure you smartly match your shoes to your suit.
- Double vents in the back are more modern and fashionable.
- For a more casual, trendy look, opt for a single-button peak-lapel jacket.
- You should be able to place your hand between your chest and buttoned jacket such that it feels snug, but with room to move.
- Always unbutton your suit before sitting down, or you risk ruining it.
- Sleeve cuffs should be exposed about half an inch.
- If you sweat a lot, wear an undershirt.

If you need a little more guidance take a visit to SuitsMen and they will be able to to easily navigate the many choices of suits and formal attire from masonic suits and men’s waistcoats to men’s jackets and much more in between. Their suits are handpicked to represent what they feel are the best choices for the modern man, however this still leaves room for a lot of choice and have a dedicated number that you can call and speak to one of our friendly team should you have any questions or need some help choosing. What are you waiting for, get suited up and looking sharp today!


This post is in collaboration with SuitsMen, all words are my own.

The Beauty Of Change

02/10/2016


Photography by Sophie Lobban



Did you know in a typical day, a woman will be on her feet for over four hours? Whether you're a stay-at-home mum or a travel extraordinaire, a comfy pair of boots to carry you through the day is an absolute must-have. My life is anything but slow-paced. I work forty hours a week; travelling to meetings, getting up and down from desk or doing a mad dash to the corner shop because I've been so busy I have forgotten to eat. When I do have "spare time" I distribute it between working on my blog as much as I can, catching up with family and friends with the occasional (okay, maybe frequent) accolade of retail therapy and trip to the florist. Therefore, comfort is a necessity.  Finding a pair of shoes that are versatile enough to every aspect of life; and comfy enough to not hinder your plans, can be difficult. Thankfully, Marks and Spencer incorporate Insolia® technology into their footwear, helping reduce pressure on your feet to ensure you stay stylishly on your feet all day long.

When it comes to tackling the colder seasons in style, a heeled boot is my weapon of choice. They provide you with enough height to elongate the legs yet they aren't narrow enough to cause any strain on the ankles. Plus, they look great! So imagine my excitement to discover a pair with tortoiseshell detail on the heel. What makes them so great is that this detailing gives them just enough touch of uniqueness to transform an ensemble from day to night with ease. I decided to give these boots a genuine comfort test, one week of wearing them to both work and on the weekends. The result? I can honestly say at no point did I feel any discomfort wearing them. Providing me with the reassurance that you really do get what you pay for, which can sometimes be hard to come buy in footwear, unless you're buying trainers. See more about Marks and Spencer's boot fit guide here.

On a personal note, it is of a great relief to me that everything seems to come together when you truly least expect it to. You may have seen via my other social networks that I have a new job, which is the result of why I had became a little quiet on the blog so suddenly after getting myself back into it. I'm now working in social media - a career I've always wanted to be in and have been trying on and off for the last four years to get into. This little blog of mine has provided me with so many wonderful opportunities over the years, but this has to be the greatest of them all. I made the decision to not complete my university course and get a degree in something I wasn't passionate about because I knew I was capable of more, and chose to dedicate my time into working and blogging in the hope of it eventually paying off for something much more rewarding. Within the countless hours I have been swatting up on SEO, dedicating to understanding analytics and KPI's there have been times where I wasn't ever sure I would ever catch a break. It is so great to know that it really has in the end and at twenty three years old I am actually welcoming change with open arms.




This post is in collaboration with Marks and Spencer - all words, styling and outfit choices are my own.

Let's bake: Coconut and Raspberry Cake

13/09/2016

Yes, it's a bit naughty. Yes, it is a little bit messy. And yes, it is most likely to be at least half of your daily sugar intake but sometimes we need something decadant to reward ourselves for life's little triumphs. Right? In my opinion managing to get ready on time in the morning is enough justification. But you know, less about me... Great British Bake Off has finally returned, gracing our TV screens once more (thank goodness!) and I find myself ensuring that as the clock hits 8 o'clock Wednesday night, I'm comfortably placed on the sofa, paired with a slice of cake and a cup of tea to wash it down with. Please tell me I'm not the only one?

In preparation for tomorrows episode I decided enough was enough, farewell to the supermarket versions, I wanted to make my own. Now, I'll be the first to admit I am sadly no Mary Berry. However after easing my way in with chocolate cookies and sourdough bread at the weekend; and succeeding in not giving anyone food poisoning, I decided to tackle one of my all-time sweet treat favourites - Coconut and Raspberry Loaf. I know fruit in desserts won't be everyones cup of tea, but for me it is the pièce de résistance. However you could always switch it up and make it with chocolate instead, or flavour it with lemon. Both are perfect pairings with coconut. This one has a triple hit of the good stuff both outside and in; coconut oil, coconut milk and desiccated coconut, creating a rich, textured and flavourful cake, that’s spiked with tart raspberries and a layer of raspberry jam brushed on top. Raspberry and coconut are a match made in heaven and given I was able to pull it off without any errors, I’d say this is a good one for bakers anywhere from novice level upwards.

If you're a little hesitant to get into baking as you think it could be a hefty price-tag, don't be disheartened! For all my ingredients I got almost everything - with the exception of Coconut Milk, Coconut Oil and Frozen Raspberries, from Lidl for the grand price of £6! This recipe will create a cake that will serve at least six to eight people, which you could stretch to even ten to twelve, if you you want to ration the portion size. Averaging less than £1 a portion. What a bargain for a fresh, delicious tasting treat that the supermarket simply cannot produce. Plus! You will have over half of the ingredients left over to use towards more recipes too. If you like the look of this and want to make it yourself, go grab your apron and get yourself to the kitchen!

What you will need:

- 175g Desiccated coconut
- 330ml Full fat coconut milk
- 225g Caster sugar
- 2 Eggs, beaten
- 250g Self-raising flour
- 130g Frozen raspberries
- 2 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp Coconut oil or the Frylight alternative will work too
- 3 tbsp Raspberry Jam
- 1 tbsp Water
- 1 tbsp Desiccated coconut for finishing
- A handful of fresh raspberries for finishing (optional)
- Icing sugar for dusting (optional)

What you need to do:

1. In a mixing bowl combine the desiccated coconut and coconut milk, then leave for an hour covered.

2. Once this hour has passed pre-heat your oven to 190 °C or 170°C if you're using a fan bake.

3. Whilst the oven is warming up, line a 2lb loaf tin and grease with coconut oil. If you want added help to lift the cake out with later, then lay some baking paper big enough to cover all sides in the tin also.

4. To the coconut mixture, add the sugar, egg and vanilla and stir in with a metal spoon. Then sift over the flour in stages, and stir in. Finally fold in the frozen raspberries. The mixture will be thick, almost porridge-like.

5. Spoon the mixture in to the loaf tin ensuring the mixture is distributed evenly, and place in to the centre of the pre-heated oven for 1 hour 15 minutes, or you can always check to see if it's baked by inserting a knife to the centre and seeing if it comes out clean.

6. Leave the cake in it’s tin for 5-10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge to loosen it and carefully lift it out using the baking paper. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack. This will take approximately 2 hours.

7. Once it’s completely cold, heat the raspberry jam and water in a small pan and cook for around 10 minutes. Then brush the jam over the top of the loaf and scatter with more desiccated coconut. Apply some more of the hot jam glaze to the centre of the loaf (if you want) and add the fresh raspberries.

7. Finally, dust with a little icing sugar, grab a knife and serve.

Mens Fashion Through The Ages

08/09/2016


Image Source: Pinterest

Mens fashion has seen some wild fluctuations, with mainstay trends coupled with fleeting crazes that define the generation they were worn in. From the old-fashioned Edwardian gentleman to the coffee-sipping hipster chic, men's fashion has had its ups and downs.

1910 - 1920

Let's start way back at the beginning; when men looked cleaner cut and dressed sharply for every occasion. In the 1910s, those who could afford it wore tunic shirts and frock coats, as well as dashing high waist striped trousers and pointed shoes. You couldn't toss a rock without knocking off someones top hat before it hit the ground. The roaring '20s saw fewer top hats, but kept the same detachable collar shirts and high waist trousers. Men would often wear lounge coats and Oxford shoes too to complete the look.

1930 - 1950

The clean suave look continued into the '30s and '40s, with men typically donning a hat like a boater or a fedora - a hat which has seen an unexpected re-emergence in recent years. The '30s had men typically wearing waistcoats with linen jackets and a soft collar shirt, and during the post-war '40s, trench coats became a mainstay on every man's coat rack. The '50s saw rebellion from young men with the emergence of rock and roll. From this, the greaser look became popular very briefly. You know the look: classic leather jacket, jeans, boots and maybe even a pocket comb sticking out for emergency pompadour grooming.

1960 - 1970

The carefree '60s gave birth to one of the UKs fiercest sub-culture rivalries: the Mods and the Rockers. Your typical mod would be seen in a dashing tailored suit, complemented with a skinny tie all covered with a military parka. The moped was part of the look too. Rockers rode choppers and wore a typical biker get-up similar to that of the greasers, including a leather jacket and jeans. But this short-lived feud was soon overshadowed by disco. A unique and brief period in men's fashion, it was common place to find men in dance halls wearing a ruffled shirt, flares and platform shoes. Afros became unusually popular too.

1980 - 2000

The eighties brought Yuppies, who rolled up the sleeves of their blazers and combined it with a pastel t-shirt and a pair of loafers. The more expensive, the better. Rave culture set in around the nineties, which meant bucket hats all around! Men dressed quite scruffy around this time - with obnoxiously baggy jeans and shell suit jackets. Then the noughties gave Converse a newfound popularity - combined with a set of combat trousers, an Arab scarf and a hoodie to complete the look, undoubtedly all tied together with a t-shirt sporting a forgettable band's logo.

2010 - Present Day

Now we come to present day, where we have high quality, durable men's combat and cargo shorts for summer wear and the flannel shirt for pretty much any night out - rowdy or civilised. 2010 onwards also saw the emergence of the 'hipster look' - sporting skinny jeans, deep neck shirts and military boots. This look is often accented with a low-hanging scarf and a pair of superfluous glasses which, more often than not, don't have any actual lenses in them. It's fascinating how radically fashion can change in just a few years, and yet still retain some of the more eccentric and charming items of yesteryear. There's no telling what the next trend will be, but here's hoping those cheesy '80s films' depictions of a stereotypically 'futuristic' style is wrong.

One night with CitizenM | Bankside, London

04/09/2016



As we anticipate a trip away and the search begins for accommodation, I'm sure I speak for most of us that there can be a touch of anxiety to be felt before you even start. Even more so when visiting London. Finding a nice but reasonably priced hotel in London can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. Fortunately, I think I've found a hotel that finally ticks all of those boxes and alas our search can end. Let me introduce you to CitizenM.

Their Bankside hotel is located in a quiet street on the southern bank of the Thames, about a 7 minute walk from Southwark tube station - a great base for exploring London from. I love Bankside and Southbank; with the Tate Modern, Globe Theatre, Borough Market and lots of great restaurants, bars and pubs on your doorstep. You could spend a weekend exploring without having to stray too far from the hotel. The London Bankside property may be quirky and individual, but it is conceptually identical to its sister hotels.

As I ascend the spiral staircase that lead to the 192 self-defined 'luxury for less' rooms the hotel offer, it's hard to not be impressed by the contemporary décor - all retro seating and lighting, quirky ornaments and books and brightly coloured murals. As we reach our level, I place the keycard into the door blazoned with my room number, and as it opens I am welcomed to a XL king size bed dressed in soft white linen, stretching from wall to wall. Whilst the rooms aren't made for spending lots of time in, CitizenM certainly make the best use of space. With a reduction in space this does of course mean that everything is that bit closer together, including your bathroom facilities, so I would definitely recommend that the overnight companion you bring is someone you are very comfortable with. Each room is paired with a Samsung tablet, designed to control almost every aspect of the room. You have the ability to tailor the lighting to your mood, adjust the temperature and also select an array of on-demand movies with the touch of a finger.

It is so interesting to see how CitizenM are pushing boundaries with modern, innovate touches to further appeal to their target customer, the business travellerSuited to local young professionals alike, CitizenM's 24/7 Living Room made the perfect accompaniment to the incredibly well-designed hotel. They have cunningly created a living room for every occasion. Whether you want to work, relax, meet friends or browse through the library of design-led books. iMacs are dotted around for work, play and googling, and there's free WiFi throughout the hotel.

You could call the experience as 'affordable chic', combining as it does competitive prices (depending on when you book) with extraordinarily high standards of interior design, super-service, amenities such as in-room media and lighting atmospherics, no-hassle group-wide wifi, casual but business-friendly style and exceptionally personable and well-trained staff. Not only that, but are you interested in booking but saving yourself some extra pennies? Who's not! You can sign up to become a citizen here, and have the opportunity to choose from a flexible rate with free cancellation for the best yet non-refundable rate. This way you’ll save some money for important things like shopping and cocktails! It's great to find a hotel that can appreciate how travelling can be thirsty work, offering all of their esteemed citizens a well-deserved welcome drink. That's what friends are for. Am I right?!

As I was only in London for couple of days and to know it was only around the corner, quite literally, visiting Borough Market was top of the list of places to visit. If you're a foodie (like myself), as one of London's biggest and oldest markets Borough Market is a haven. They have everything you could possibly wish for. From grocery and deli stalls piled high with fresh produce, to freshly baked goods from around the world, you will quickly understand why locals and tourists alike crowd its stalls. It doesn't matter how much breakfast you've stuffed yourself with before you made the journey. As soon as you smell the aroma of all the sweet and savoury delights on offer I'm sure you will be able to make some room. What sold it for me was knowing that Borough is home to artisan chocolatiers, luxury confectionery and cute patisseries. Offering a wide range of goodies to bring you that little bit closer to type two diabetes. In essence it’s the ideal spot for anyone who loves their food, likes a good adventure and enjoys taking a few snaps. They’re open for lunch on Monday and Tuesday, and all day Wednesday through to Saturday. If you haven't been before I highly recommend it.



Thank you to CitizenM for sponsoring this post.

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