music

5 Ways to improve your morning routine

  1. Bye Bye Broken Sleep 

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This may be unpopular among those of you that love a good lie in, and I do admit I am rather partial, but many health experts suggest that as soon as you wake up in the morning you should actually get up rather than turning over for another snooze. You telling your body to go back to sleep after you’ve woken up in the morning, is no different to waking up in the middle of the night. That broken sleep pattern will only make you feel overtired during the day, so as soon as you wake up give yourself a little time in bed, but then get up – go watch some TV or check your emails and see how much more wide awake you’ll feel.

2. Get Your Lemon On 

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Forget grabbing sugary fruit juice or a coffee on your way out the door – water with lemon is the way to go. Hollistic websites suggest that it can improve your mood, boost your immune system, help clear your skin and can aid in weight loss. Plus – if you don’t leave the lemon in for too long – it tastes pretty nice too. Millie Mackitosh has been quoted saying that she drinks this every morning, so why not give it a go?

3. Pick Yourself a nice 8 Tracks Playlist

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I am an 8 tracks obsessive, ever since my flatmate introduced it to me last year I have probably played over 50 playlists. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s basically the Tumblr of music websites, instead of sharing photos members share playlists with hash tags. So you could search: #folk #indie #nightout #gettingready – whatever you wanted really. My favourite is #morning because it’s full of playlists with exactly the right songs to get me out of bed and in a good mood for the rest of the day. My favourite morning tunes are: On My Way – Rusted Root; Banana Pancakes – Jack Johnson; Don’t You (Forget About Me) – Simple Minds; Put Your Record On – Corrine Bailey Rae; Home – Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros and Sunday Morning – Maroon 5 – among many others!

4. Shovel down a half decent breakfast 

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As I believe I have said before in this post. I LOVE breakfast. It’s easily my favourite meal: toast, cereal, eggs, pancakes, teacakes, yoghurt, porridge – the opportunities are endless and I honestly love nothing more than a long weekend breakfast. Sorry for the cliche, but I’m a big believer that it is indeed “the most important meal of the day”. If I don’t have a good breakfast in the morning, I’m basically a zombie before I have anything to eat that day, and then I crave coffee and bad food. Start your day with egg, they’re a great source of protein and will help keep your energy levels high throughout the day.

5. Splash your face 

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Since I bought my beloved Arbonne Cleanser I have been washing my face a lot more in the mornings, I find there’s nothing like a splash of cold water in the face to really wake me up for a 9am lecture. Washing your face with cold water in the morning helps to reduce any swelling under your eyes from the night before, and it naturally brightens your face by increasing blood circulation. Pick cold water over warm if you can bare the shock in the morning, it might be just what you need to start the day on the right foot.

Thanks for reading. Do you have any tips for getting out of bed, particularly on these chilly mornings? 

Harriette

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Strong Not Skinny

The word “role model” is often banded together with the idea of fame or celebrity in modern media, as the majority of big bloggers might be only too aware. Writing a blog that becomes very popular, or appearing in a reality TV programme can mean that an individual comes to be regarded as a role model, and that of course comes with the heavy burden of responsibility. A role model’s lifestyle, dress code and eating habits can easily be picked up by an eager fan, and this is where debates about good and bad role models arise.

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Made in Chelsea star Millie Mackintosh was criticised at the beginning of last month after sharing a photo of herself on Instagram and Twitter at a photoshoot. The uncaptioned photograph, showed Millie wearing a silver bikini, highlighting her slim, muscular frame. This Instagram picture quickly sparked outrage as Mackintosh’s husband, Professor Green retweeted the photo onto his own Twitter account, adding “#thinspiration”. Experts (according to The Daily Mail) criticised the couple for encouraging young girls to starve themselves. Despite Mackintosh’s prompt reply to her husband’s joke, highlighting that her message was actually one of “fitspiration”, the media soon caught hold, with the uploading of the photo and Millie’s “role model” status even being debated on popular ITV programme Loose Women.

As a young (just about still teenage) girl, who has followed Millie’s Twitter for a good year now, I would have to respectfully disagree that she is in anyway a bad influence to young girls. There are a plethora of horrendous and harmful images available to young people on the internet with the label “thinspiration” – often used by pro-anorexia groups – but this isn’t one of them. Mackintosh’s “strongnotskinny” message, which she promotes heavily both on her Twitter and Instagram pages, encourage healthy, clean, eating and plenty of exercise. Despite her slim frame, it is her strong body which she is promoting, a body far away from the skin and bones look incorporated in most “thinspiration” images.

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It is a sad and indisputable fact that the majority of women and increasingly, younger and younger girls, will at some point, or maybe several points in their lives think about losing weight. However, adding tone to you body, can give the illusion of lost weight without getting to an unhealthy stage. By acting as a role model for young girls, celebrities like Millie Mackintosh – who children should be made aware, are generally slim as part of their job description – are at least sending out a message that strong is the way to be, not skinny, whilst at the same time promoting the empowering idea of improving your body for yourself.

I have never been a girl who’s been desperate to lose weight. Of course I’ve had my moments of “Oh my God, my jeans don’t fit!”, but generally I’m quite lucky that I’m mostly happy with myself. Recently however, I have felt inspired to exercise at least 3/4 times a week, trying to add a bit of tone to my tummy, but also, in the hope it might have other health benefits, such as giving me more energy. Since going to Uni and being able to pick my own food, I’ve always tried to eat well. I’d rather make all of my meals at home from scratch and go for the occasional meal out than eat a ready meal [mostly because they taste vile]. If I can swap a potato for a sweet potato, I will and if I can have slightly more veg and meat on my plate than carbs I will.

Personally I don’t believe in dieting, as I really don’t think it’s sustainable. But making little lifestyle choices, like cutting out bad food and trying to eat more eggs and apples and low-fat yoghurts makes me feel like I’m doing my body a favour. And ofcourse, I’m not good all of the time. I absolutely LOVE bad food. Yesterday I had lunch out, came home and ate 6 profiteroles…. I’m not denying my body food in the slightest, I’m just trying to think more and more about what I’m putting into it.

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In the way of exercise, I am working on strengthening my body through cardio and strength exercises. I’ve been enjoying using Davina McCall’s Body Buff Workout Video, which provides a range of warm ups, workouts and strength exercises allowing you to focus on key parts of the body, as I’m going on holiday soon I’ve been focusing on my “abs”.

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We also at the moment have in our house a spinning bike, which my Dad borrowed from my Uncle in order to train for a cycling race. I was slightly reluctant to give it a go, as  I had previously read a tweet from a female comedian (I’ve forgotten who) that spinning is very much like being punched in the v***** – nice. I have to say the seat is not incredibly comfortable on our old model, but I’ve found once I’ve got all my gear on and found a great workout/pop/r&b playlist on 8tracks I’m pretty good to go AND it helps me mix up my workout if I need a change from Davina.

Personally, I think I’ve been really inspired by Millie’s #strongnotskinny mantra. To me it’s a really important and empowering message to send out to young girls, that if for what ever reason you want to slim down [although I do not believe in doing so if it’s unnecessary] then at least go about it in the right way, with a healthy diet and exercise, to strengthen your body rather than weaken it. Celebrities like this, should be encouraged to spread such a positive message about looking after your body. Hopefully when girls who watch Millie strutting her stuff in her Louis Vitton, look up to her as a role model, and admire her body they will be inspired by the her happy, healthy, balanced lifestyle.

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I hope you liked this post, to read Millie’s reaction to the media attention surrounding her Instagram photo click here.

Harriette

Festival Beauty Essentials

festival 5   Going to a music festival is one of the most exciting things to do over the summer, and its very easy to get excited as the weekend – booked way in advance- draws closer and closer, until it’s the day before. This, from personal experience I have found, is when the panic packing begins. You’ve been so caught up in all of the bands you can’t wait to see and how fun it will be to camp with all your best friends, that you haven’t really thought much about what you need to take. In this instance, it can be difficult to actually think of the things that you might need for the weekend. In particular it might escape your attention that you can’t just sling your usual makeup collection into a bag and hope for the best. Festivals and camping mean adaptation. So lest you forget, here are some key essential makeup items that you should be packing: wet wipes

  1. Wet Wipes

Not so much for cosmetic reasons, as for personal hygiene. Although these babies are good for taking all of your makeup off, they are also great for a weekend where it is highly unlikely that you will see a shower. When you stumble back to your tent covered in mud or urine or beer and see these little clean, white wipes lying in your tent, you will be very thankful.

  1. A Mirror

This is something that I usually forget. Used to the indoor world, we tend to be presented with mirrors everywhere, for putting our makeup on and sorting out our hair. However, unless you take your own, mirrors do not tend to be available in a big field in the middle of nowhere, and although you might not actually want to look at yourself by the last day. Makeup can cover up a lot of the lost sleep and bad skin. N/B If you take a mirror and others forget, you can guarantee that you’ll have lots of bare-faced friends asking to borrow yours each morning. festival collage

  1. UV Face Paint/ Glitter

Very much festival essentials, although one is probably enough, both might make you look a bit like a drag queen. Personally I tend to go for the UV paints, as you can have a number of different styles if you’ve got a few colours. If you can get your hands on UV paints before a festival it’s probably a lot cheaper as they tend to sell them in packs of 3 for about £10 and the tubes aren’t that big. They do however, last for a pretty long time. My UV paints have lasted me three festivals and a few Uni Paint Parties. Above are a few different looks modelled by yours truly, as you can see my posing for photographs has not improved….

  1. Cotton Buds

Not so much an essential as a festival hack. If you’re investing in UV paint it’s definitely worth packing some cotton buds. Whether you’re going for the traditional dots in a swirl across your nose or painting little flowers or whatever, cotton buds make the job a lot neater than doing it with your fingers – and you don’t get covered. batiste

  1. Dry Shampoo

Another absolute godsend when you don’t have a shower. Dry Shampoo will ensure that your hair isn’t looking too greasy after a few days without washing. Hairbands are also very important, as a dirty hair carefully styled into a fishtail plait looks more like a choice, than a must.

  1. SPF Foundation/ Moisturiser

Taking sun cream to any festival is a must, even if it’s forecast to rain. However, if you’re not a fan of putting sun cream on your face, grab yourself some foundation or moisturiser with that all important SPF to stop any unwanted redness ruining your camping photos. On another note, moisturiser in general is a good idea, just to keep your skin hydrated – especially after using all those wet wipes! hand sanitizer

  1. Hand Sanitizer

Another product you’ll be thankful you brought after a few days of using portaloos. Getting a small bottle that you can carry around in your pocket is ideal for giving your hands a quick wash after you’ve been to the loo, or before you snack into some jerk chicken. Picking one with a nice smell will help you feel clean and fresh and you might find yourself using it to clean other parts of your body too.    

  1. Tissues

As everyone knows, the best thing about going to a festival is that you get to use a portaloo (not). For your entire weekend, these little plastic boxes will –especially if you’re a girl – become the bane of your life. Unfortunately there’s not really much to be done about that, however you could make the experience a little bit nicer for yourself by packing a few packs of tissues into your festival luggage. You may think I’m exaggerating, but people have been know to be so elated at the sight of toilet roll in a portaloo, that they have stolen the entire roll for themselves for future use. Be aware of these people and the fact they might take all the loo roll.

Photo Credit: barelyorganizedchaos.com

Photo Credit: barelyorganizedchaos.com

  1. Perfume Samples/ Body Spray

Lack of showers and the hot weather at festivals make a sweaty and smelly combination. To make sure you’re friends don’t start avoiding you after a few days, pack a little bottle of body spray to give yourself the once over every morning. N/B Febreeze is also acceptable for spraying yourself, and likewise body spray can be used to make your tent smell a bit better. On the other hand, if you have any lying around take some little perfume samples with you, it’s amazing how a good smell can make you feel so much nicer and cleaner, even if you’re actually disgusting. concealors 10. Concealer Chances are when you look at your face after a night out watching Beyonce or The Killers or whoever, and no sleep because you were kept up by two boys thinking every tent in your area was actually their’s before realising they were in the wrong camp, you’re going to want to conceal everything. First of all, you need a good corrector. A corrector is just a pinkie concealer, this will cancel out the very dark circles under your eyes. Among the best correctors are the Bobbi Brown one, which is pricey but affective, or if you’re looking for a highstreet dupe Soap and Glory’s Kick Ass Concealer and Sleek’s Corrector and Concealer Palette are also both great. Once you’ve applied your corrector put a concealer over the top, arguably the best high-end concealers are Benefit’s Boing or Erase Paste, best high-street included Collection 2000’s Lasting Perfection Concealer or Rimmel’s Wake Me Up Concealer. With these products handy, you should be looking a lot more awake, ready for the rest of the day.

  Are you going to any festivals this summer? What are your festival beauty essentials?

Harriette


As some of you may know, this year I am lucky enough to be going to Reading Festival as a Festival Reporter on behalf of Studentcom, which is all very exciting. Part of my role as a reporter is to write some articles leading up to the festival itself, so above is my article originally produced for Studentcom on Festival Beauty Essentials, I wanted to post it here so you could have a read.

Last Minute Valentines Gifts…

I’ve actually been pretty speedy this year, and planned and bought my boyfriend’s Valentines Day present and card [ yes, that’s right we do presents after setting the bar pretty high last year (our first Valentines Day) long before we were both living on student budgets], but incase you haven’t thought about it yet and whilst you still have time to order online. Here’s my top lists of presents to get your boyfriend/ girlfriend…

For Her 

Left to Right:

1) Polaroid Love Notes – £10.99 : These cute little love notes from Urban Outfitters come with their own individual envelopes – this would be a great present for a girlfriend away at Uni as you could send her one for every month.

2) Emma Bridgewater Pink Hearts Mug – £17.95: I really have a thing about cute mugs at the moment and this one is really nice. Again, another present perhaps for a girlfriend who you don’t see very often, or just one that appreciates a good cup of tea. A nice present to go with this might be some fancy hot chocolate. Available at John Lewis.

3) MAC “Please Me” Lipstick – £15.00: Personally, I think that MOST girls would be impressed with a MAC lipstick as a present, which one depends on you, but I thought this “Please Me” shade is pretty and not too bold, perfect for a Valentines pukka-up. You can buy this online at the MAC website.

4) Olivia Burton Black Applied Butterfly Watch – £82.00: Now I know that I have shown you this watch before in my Top Highstreet Wrist Watches post, however I do think this watch is simply exquisite. It is so pretty and sophisticated and if I wasn’t so in love with my own Marc Jacobs watch I would be out the door to buy it, because I think it is beautiful. Any girl would be lucky to receive this gift for Valentines. This watch is currently available on ASOS.

5) Soap & Glory “Soaper Heros” Gift Set – £13.50: I am always preaching to my males friends that if they don’t know what to get a girl, they can’t go wrong with some nice bath and shower products and with Soap & Glory there’s certainly no going wrong. This giftset in particular, available at Boots, contains some of my favourite Soap & Glory products – so let your girlfriend pamper herself with a very special giftset.

6) And finally, last but not least, for the big spender on Valentines day you can’t go wrong with these beautiful Alex Monroe Classic Daisy Stud Earrings, Silver which retail for £114.00 at John Lewis. These would make a really lovely gift for that someone special.

For Him

1) GPO Stylo Retro Turntable Record Player in Piano Black – £39.99. Alot of my friends are really getting into vinyls at the moment and they do sound and look pretty cool. For mine and Lewis’ first Christmas I bought him the Foo Fighters Greatest Hits Vinyl, which he frequently plays and he has framed the sleeves in special vinyl frames in  his bedroom. This one from Argos is a pretty good price, however you can buy vintage ones from Urban Outfitters from about £115.00.

2) Bull Dog Original After Shave Balm – £2.74. At the very cheap end of the scale, alot of men are really getting into skincare products at the moment, with companies like BullDog proving to be some of the most popular. This is just the After Shave Balm they make, but you can buy a variety of different moisturisers and other male products by BullDog online or in store at Boots.

3) Hollister First Point Shirt – £44.00. For the fashionable man, this Hollister Shirt is very smart but can also be worn casually. The navy colour is really nice and may make your man look a bit like one of those Abercrombie and Fitch models – I don’t see a down side girls!

4) Following the theme of clothing, these Jack Wills Gosworth Slim Sweatpants retailing at £49.50 are an ideal gift for the Uni Boyfriend/ General Couch Potato who can lounge around in comfortable style in a pair of these from Jack Wills.

5) Phone Links/ RC Remote Control Ferrari F50 Red Motion Car iPhone – £22.99. Well they say that boys love toys, and they especially love gadgets, so if your boyfriend is into cars and his iPhone this might be a great gift. The remote control car is controlled by an App on your iPhone/ Andriod so it’s easy to use and fun to play with. Find this product at Play.com.

6) Diesel Fuel For Life He Eau de Toilette – £25.00. Finally, you can’t go wrong with a really nice-smelling cologne to keep your man smelling fresh. This Eau de Toilette from Diesel is available in John Lewis and is made from a magic potion of mysterious star anise, vintage raspberry and authentic heliotropine.

Well that’s all I’ve got for last minute Valentine’s ideas. I hope you enjoyed the post. Would love to hear what presents people are giving on Valentine’s Day – particularly to boys [I always find them tricky to shop for!]

Harriette

I am going to be a Festival Reporter!

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Yesterday I had some very exciting news 🙂 as an aspiring journalist I have been trying to take every opportunity I can to write for the Exepose (the student newspaper at Exeter) and also for this website StudentCom – where I have written articles about the damaging affects of Tumblr’s proana blogs and about mothers in the workplace.

I am a BIG music festival fan – I honestly think that there is nothing better than standing in a field, outside, half drunk, with all the people you love, listening to your favourite band play live! Here’s a cheeky snap of me and my friends at V Fest last year….

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And so when StudentCom emailed its contributors about the possibility of being a festival reporter I was very excited to apply. I submitted 500 words on my favourite band Mumford and Sons and waited to hear back.

Well I am utterly chuffed to announce that I have been given the opportunity to be a festival reporter at Reading 2014, with a pair of V.I.P tickets so I can take the boyfriend too and the opportunity to go to launch events on the lead up to the festival itself. I am so excited I can barely explain it. But, this does mean that my blog will have lots of festival related posts up until the summer, so if you’re planning on going to Reading or any other festival this year, watch out for my festival related posts.

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Thank you for reading, I’d be excited to hear about what festivals you might be going/ planning to go to.                                                                                         Also if you’re thinking of heading to Reading this year or you’ve already get your tickets – what bands are you looking to see on the lineup?

Love

signed

We are the reckless, we are the wild youth – chasing visions of our futures…

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I’m just going to go right out and say it, I love songs with amazing lyrics and I love the people that write those songs and more than anything I love those days were you find a song that you’ve heard in an advert, or a friend has sent you, or just randomly on YouTube and you think “Wow, that was truly amazing”.

I admit it the first time my friend Lewis sent me Lana Del Ray’s “Video games” telling me to “check it out” I was pretty skeptical but it was truly unlike anything I have ever heard before in my life and I have grown to love it.

However, I also love those quiet, little-known acts who’s EP you can download for free because they haven’t made the big time. People who have written songs since their teens and just want to show them to the world.

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Tom Rosenthal for example, was an artist I discovered when his beautiful song “Take Care” featured in the last series of Channel 4’s “Skins” creating this wonderful moment of television and I tried very hard to remember bits of the chorus whilst I was listening to it, so that I might find it and play it over and over until I was in love. I have consequently brought his album and found several other songs that I love, including the instrumental  piano song “Painting Song For Nicola” which I have found an excellent companion whilst writing many essays, particularly in the noise of the college library!

Listen to some of his songs here: http://www.tomrosenthal.co.uk/#/music

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Another amazing artist I was introduced to via a friend was Rae Morris from Blackpool, who is not only an excellent singer/songwriter, but she is also BEAUTIFUL and you can download an EP full of songs such as her amazing “Walls” for absolutely FREE people, if you sign up to the mailing list ( and personally I would have paid for it!) Here’s the link: http://www.raemorris.co.uk/

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Finally – perhaps my very most favorite band that I have had the pleasure of coming across in recent years is Daughter an indie-folk band with lead singer Elena Tonra who I also found on “Skins” – hey it’s a good programme for music –  with her simply amazing  song “Youth” which includes thought provoking lyrics. If you check out one song from reading this blog, please make it this one. This song could easily be mistaken for some beautiful poem about the difficulties facing young people. I saw this wonderful artist live at Latitude and instantly felt this the quality of her writing and her songs are TOO GOOD to be ignored. Other good songs include: “Run”, “Candles” and “Medicine”.

 But overall I love this kind of music. Songs where the lyrics really seem to resonate with you, making you feel uplifted or thoughtful about some aspect of life. These are the songs that I get banned from listening to with my standard Spotify account, the songs that I seek out on my iPod to play on beautiful sunny days or to fit particular moods, the artists that I look for in the small print of a festival line-up. These are the artists that matter. And this is music that is important, and as much as we are told to support small businesses we must also support these rising stars of the music industry, treasuring the fact that there are still these people that can write beautiful, touching lyrics as well as sing them well. And remember that huge stars like Mumford and Sons and Ed Sheeran where were they are write now, humbly writing songs and singing anywhere and everywhere just to be heard. AND WHO SAID THE MUSIC INDUSTRY WAS DEAD?

P.S. –> If your more into the indie-rock genre I have recently found this brilliant  alternative band from Essex “Catrinas”. Here is a link to their website: http://www.catrinas.co.uk/#!music/c10twincase you fancy a listen. The lead singer Michael Hemmings writes a lot of the songs and they are excellent – I particularly recommend “TCVCR”

Harriette x