Alice Megan

Monday, 16 July 2018

Festival Survival Guide - Packing Checklist

Are you heading to a festival this summer? 
With the UK enjoying glorious sunshine (no... seriously...this is happening...) I've got you covered for your festival packing with this festival survival guide. Whether you're looking for the best festival tents or ways to keep fresh and clean while you're away check out my essential guide below:

Girl at festival watching a band

Tents
Did you know that tents are the most abandoned items at festivals? Let's face it most people buy cheap and then don't want to mess with the fiddly thing trying to pack it away again. What you need is a festival friendly tent like a Eurohike tent*
Blue Eurohike Festival tent

I've been testing this Eurohike Cairns DLX 2 man tent, it's compact and rolls back into a neat little bag but it's also really spacious inside with quite a large porch and sleeping area making it a fab addition to any festival goers supplies as you can all gather round. Its super simple to put up too with only a 3 pole construction. This one's currently on offer at only £36 too, an absolute steal

If even that's too much fuss there's a huge range of tents* from pop up to inflatable ones to bigger berth if you're heading away with a big group available at both Blacks and Millets

Deal with this one now... you will not get the best nights sleep you've ever had in your life. Unless you're glamping you're sleeping in a tent in the middle of a field, sugar coat that however you want. BUT a good quality sleeping bag can seriously alter your festival experience, it can change a really unsettled sleep to quite a cosy one
This Berghaus* transition sleeping bag is honestly super comfortable it's a mummy style and has a double layer hollow fibre fill to keep you toasty warm (we're in England... the sun will go away eventually!) on offer at £24 you can essentially get a really good quality tent and sleeping bag for only £60!

Not your thing? There's a whole range of airbeds, camping beds and Berghaus sleeping bags* available on both Blacks and Millets

Clothing
  • Wellies - a good waterproof and mud proof pair
  • Rain Mac / Poncho - just in case
  • Durable back pack - something big enough for your sleeping bag and tent
  • Quick drying legwear - leggings are your friend, avoid denim and jeans
  • Spare socks and underwear - nobody likes soggy socks

Gadgets
  • Portable Charger - in this switched on world you're bound to need this
  • Camera / Go Pro - Don't waste your phone battery
  • Torch - A stronger more powerful one than your phone's torch
  • Bluetooth speaker - for when you're chilling at your tent

Essentials
  • Toilet Roll
  • Wet Wipes
  • Sun cream
  • Hand sanitiser 
  • Berocca (trust me)
  • Dry Shampoo
  • ID
  • Your ticket (yes I know obvious right?
What are your festival essentials?
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Saturday, 14 July 2018

How to Use Lighting to Make a House a Home

After managing to save for a house deposit you'll finally be at a stage to start living in your new pad. When you move into a new house, you might struggle to make it feel homely. It can seem like a foreign land but with a few bits of decor and personalisation, your new house will feel like a home in no time at all. One of the best ways to do this is with lighting. It doesn’t have to cost a lot and it can really open up a room to make it feel more bright and spacious. Here’s everything you need to know about lighting by room.

How to use lighting to make a house a home


In the Living Room
The living room is the perfect place to relax after a long day at work. It’s where we watch TV, play board games and read books. With so many different activities, we need lighting that is flexible. The best option is LED lights with dimmer switches – you can turn them up to full when you are reading, and lower them when you are watching a film at night. A floor lamp is also a great addition to the living room as it provides a source of light in one area rather than in the whole room.

In the Kitchen
Kitchen lighting

In the kitchen, we need bright lights so we can prep food and read recipes. However, most of us also use our kitchen to entertain, as it’s nearly always where the party ends up. It’s ideal to create lighting zones in your kitchen. For instance, over the worktops, you would use undercabinet lights for a bright, focused light which doesn’t cast any shadows – this will help you when you’re cooking. Over your dining table, you might want to use a pendant light* with a dimmer switch. Not only does this make a style statement but it means that you can customise the lighting level depending on the occasion. If you have a contemporary kitchen and you want it to stand out, you can use plinth lights on the bottom of your units to give the illusion that they are floating.

In the Bedroom
Bedroom Lighting

Want to make dark mornings in winter easier? After all, there’s nothing worse than waking up and needing to switch the main light on to see. LED lights offer plenty of options for bedroom lighting and one of the best is wardrobe lighting. It can be activated via a sensor to come on when you open your wardrobe, so you don’t need to switch the main light on to get dressed. For your centre light, opt for a stylish pendant which hangs in the middle of your bed; just make sure that you position it so that you don’t hit your head when you sit up!

In the Bathroom
The bathroom is another area where strong, bright lighting is required. We’ve all been there when we’ve done our makeup only to discover that it isn’t blended properly or we’ve shaved and missed a spot. One way to stop this is to put strip lighting above your bathroom mirror. This form of lighting is totally unobtrusive and you’ll hardly notice it, but it will make a major difference to your makeup application or shave.

Outside
You can really make the most of your garden with lighting. If you’re looking for an intimate, boho feel, try hanging string lights from the trees. If you’d like to get more use out of your decking area when it’s dark, use recessed decking lights – they don’t cause a trip hazard and they can help you

continue the party after a long day in the sun. Worried about security? Sensor activated outdoor wall lights can deter burglars from your property.

What are your favourite types of lighting?
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Monday, 9 July 2018

Top 5 Activities for a Fun Packed Day in Sheffield

If you’re spending a weekend in Sheffield, lucky you, you’re in for a treat. With so much to do throughout the day and night – including that deservedly massive nightlife reputation - you won’t have a minute to stop for a breather in Sheffield… not that you’d want to. Stag and hen party planners, Last Night of Freedom*, know the city like the backs of their hands, we have teamed up together to round up our top five recommended activities for a fun-packed day in the Yorkshire city.


Nightlife 
It’s first for a reason; Sheffield nightlife will live up to the hype you’ve heard about and exceed all of your expectations. The centre of the city is largely pedestrianised and boasts well-populated bars, including the student-laden boozers on Ecclesall Road, the characterful, watering-hole lined streets of West Street, Carver Street and Division Street and plenty of minimalist bars on Glossop Road and Devonshire Street. If you’re after a good way to kick off any night, we can’t recommend a cocktail class enough; they break the ice and get everyone talking (and a bit tipsy) and will ensure that everyone leaves with a new skill under their belt. Bonus. There are plenty of venues which offer cocktail classes in Sheffield, but Las Iguanas and Revolution top the charts for us. As far as live music venues, you needn’t look any further than Leadmill, who has seen the likes of The Pogues, Coldplay, Muse, Snow Patrol, Arctic Monkeys, The Stone Roses, Kings of Leon, Kasabian and The Killers to name but a few, grace its famous stage.

Shopping 
A little bit of retail therapy is the perfect way to while away a few hours during the day on any fun-packed weekend – and when in Sheffield, you’ve got plenty of choice when it comes to places to splash the cash. Fargate and The Moor shopping precincts in the city centre are where you’ll find the biggest names in high street stores, as well as boutique and independent shops, and you’ve even got the whopping Meadowhall, with over 270 retail outlets, 37 restaurants and an 11 screen cinema – attracting over 30 million visitors annually. 

not get your sweet fix with a side of eye candy at the same time, on your Sheffield weekend? With this fabulous activity, you’ll have two sexy semi-naked chocolatiers at your beck and call, serving the drinks you’ve brought and helping you to pipe, dip and decorate your very own chocolate truffles. Drool…

Glow Sports 
You’ve got it glowin’ on… so why not try something totally unique on your weekend in Sheffield, like a glow sports session. We all love a bit of friendly competition but playing in the dark under UV lights really hikes the stakes up a notch. With this cool activity, you and your friends will have a choice of playing volleyball, dodgeball, netball, football or touch rugby, and will have all the neon clothing you could possibly need, all provided – making sure you shine out in the darkness. Plus, it’s a great way to work those hangovers off… 

Totally Wiped Out 
Whether you’re a massive fan of the classic BBC gameshow or you’re just up for a laugh with your mates – Totally Wiped Out is fast-paced and seriously competitive. This massive, outdoor, inflatable obstacle course has games that you’ve seen on TV, like weeper Arm, Tricky Trunks and Punch Wall – with the aim of the day quickly escalating into seeing how ridiculous you all look, slipping and sliding across the obstacle course. If you like the sound of this glorious city, or you just want to find out a little more about what it has to offer, check out LNOF Sheffield Weekends page for more information.

What's your favourite thing to do in Sheffield?
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Monday, 2 July 2018

The perfect interview outfit — a graduate guide

Are you graduating this year? Super stressful right? I remember it well, juggling late nights at the library for revision, spending hours meeting that 10,000-word target for your dissertation, and trying to find a job to walk into after graduation can get a bit too much. Not to mention that part-time job and trying to have some sort of a social life. 

When you eventually get invited to an interview, they are often with short notice and come around quickly — leaving you with little time to decide what to wear never mind prep beyond that! CT shirts, retailers of menswear and suits*, gives us some advice on how to nail that interview look




Casual
Dress for the job you want is very important, if you're interviewing for charity work or bar work etc. then dressing super formally won't be the best representation. For these interviews, it is likely that they won’t expect you to be dressed very formally, and will be more concerned with your personality, including your punctuality. Of course, that doesn't mean turning up in a onesie but dressing for the occasion. The age old smart jeans and a 'nice top' will take you a long way

Business casual
Some interviews may specify business-casual attire on the invitation. This is fun because NO ONE KNOWS WHAT THAT MEANS
This may be because they have this dress code in the office or it may be for an assessment day where you are expected to be there all day and recruiters want you to feel comfortable. 
If you are unsure what to wear, it’s best to dress too formally rather than too casually to avoid giving off the wrong impression. Chinos, a nice shirt and brogues is smart and professional without overdoing it

Professional

For formal interviews, you should adopt a professional look. These interviews could be in front of directors of the company for a graduate job or an internship. You want to look your best here; your appearance certainly counts, and with the high level of competition at this stage, you don’t want to fall at any hurdles. Suited and booted is the way forward here 

Women
While I completely believe that you should be allowed to dress however you like, unfortunately during interviews there's certain expectations. What's most important is you dress for your shape and what makes you feel comfortable, if it's a professional interview don't worry about dressing smart - suits don't have to be boring, shop around and try a few on to find the right cut and what suits your body shape.

If the interview is business casual then a trouser suit or even a skirt would be absolutely fine. I'd recommend tights with a smart dress and a smart ankle boot. 

When it comes to footwear, I can't stress how important it is to wear with confidence. If you're a heels girl then rock them but make sure you can walk in them, personally I have never and will never be a heels girl so I tend to opt for brogues or ballet flats, if you're comfortable your confidence will shine through


Men
Professional interviews for men are fairly simple a smart tailored suit that best represents your style and shape, a slim leg is always flattering too. A dark sock will blend into your outfit, however a little personality isn't a bad thing! One thing I do think always looks really smart is a stylish watch to really complete the formal look

For your feet any kind of smart shoes or brogues should be fine, I recommend you make sure they're really clean before your interview

Once an interview is business casual its trickier for men, it's hard to hit this one without looking too underdressed. A smart shirt and chinos would work, or even dark jeans and a blazer, something a little more casual a suit but still reads that you're hear to impress

What to avoid
As we can see, the main thing to do is to make sure you feel comfortable in your outfit — it will show in the interview! However, there are a few things that you should avoid:
* Too much perfume or aftershave.
* Too much jewellery or makeup.
* Polo shirts, t-shirts, leggings, ripped jeans - if you'd be comfortable lounging around your home in the clothes then they're probably too casual for an interview

How do you prepare your style for an interview?
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Friday, 29 June 2018

Best first cars for new & young drivers

Did you know I passed my driving test? Yes FINALLY. 
I'm now zipping around the roads in my little VW Up happily driving along - but it's so tricky to decide what kind of car to get when you're a new driver so here's a few ideas

Best first cars for new drivers

Buying your first car is no doubt a rite of passage for all drivers. You’ve waited so long to buy the perfect car and you’ve been dreaming of this moment since the first time you sat in a driver’s seat. But now the time has come to buy the first car you are undoubtedly overwhelmed with the options out there. Which is why I have rounded up a few of the best first cars for new & young drivers.

Skoda Citigo

Yes, I know, it’s not very flashy. It’s not completely bland, but it’s certainly not a dream sports car – but that doesn’t mean the Citigo is bad when you get behind the wheel. It’s cheap to run and easy to get the hang of, especially considering you can go for a three-door version if you’re not too confident with a bigger model. The electric version may be even better with many car lease deals* available on vehicles like the Citigo.

Hyundai i10

The i10 is like the Citigo – easy to use and large enough to do what it’s designed to do. It’s by no means the perfect car, but that’s kind of the point: it’s meant to be a stepping stone, a way to make sure you can ignore your bad habits and keep your car (and yourself) safe on the road.

There are a few different models, like any car, so it might be worth doing a bit of research. Having a car is important, but air conditioning and a GPS dashboard might be the extras that make your car the perfect option for you.

Volkswagen Polo

If you don’t mind paying a little more than you might have to, the Polo is extremely safe – if you struggle to get the hang of your brakes, or worry about thefts each time you’re away from your car, it may be the ideal choice for you!

It’s also really, really roomy! The boot’s huge, the seats are huge, the doors are huge: there’s no one situation where this is important, it’s just generally good, and most price-focused cars don’t have that sort of practical space.

The price doesn’t have to be that much of a problem, though – if you’re only going to keep it for a year or so, consider personal car leasing* instead of straight-up buying a vehicle. Trust me, it makes a difference.

Seat Ibiza

The Ibiza is cheap to buy and to finance. Like most of the cars on this list, it’s definitely not the world’s most perfect vehicle, but it’s got quite a lot of space and enough power to keep you going! You’ll barely feel bumps in the road, since it’s been designed mostly for comfort, and you shouldn’t have much trouble controlling it at any speed.

Kia Picanto

The Picanto is cheap, roomy and reliable, definitely worth getting if you’re able to! It’s a city car all over: it handles well, carries plenty of shopping or bags, and can work as either a family, personal or work car!

The only downside is that, obviously, it’s a city car. It’s not meant to tackle dirt roads or really steep hills, so it might not be as perfect as it first appears, depending on where you live.

What was your first car?
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