FASHION, FOOD, EVENTS & TRAVEL

The Kings Arms on Fulham Road

Bow Down: Queen Bey

Sunsets and Night Skies

Coco's Tea Party x Next: Behind the Scenes

Monday, 27 January 2014

The Lust List "Summer Edit"
Continuing on a theme of Instagram accounts I love, from yesterday's post, today I'd like to feature an account that I recently stumbled across and fell head-over-heels in love with. One of my favourite things about Instagram is that it can make it connect with people who I wouldn't have gone out searching for. Take exhibit one; The Lust List.

The Lust List "Monday Morning Office Essentials"
Sally Spratt is a graphic designer and illustrator, who's passion lies greatly in "fashion, graphics, typography and illustration". She works commercially and her portfolio is bursting at the seams with her many accolades. However, I became intrigued and introduced into her world by her latest personal project, that began as a "just for fun" venture. Simply titled The Lust List, it's tagline is "If I can't have them, I'll draw them". I love this twist on the standard lust list you see on many blogs and sites such as pinterest, as its so much more creative.

The Lust List "R&R"
Sally draws 'essential sets' for all different types of scenarios, such as morning meetings, R&R and breakfast by the beach. I didn't even know I wanted these things for such scenarios, but after seeing Sally's interpretations of them I know I need them!

The Lust List "Breakfast by the Beach"




Luckily for us, Sally sells some of her beautiful artwork online at http://thelustlist.bigcartel.com. If you like what you see, I urge you to follow her Instagram account @_thelustlist_ for lovely updates that will make you green with envy and make your heart melt all in a big double tap of the screen.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

With social media on the forefront of many people's lives these days, it's a great tool for any business to connect with their customer. I love to use Instagram, as I find looking at a picture is more stimulating and interesting most of the time then certain text-only tweets (especially generic ones from some brands and companies). It appears I'm not alone in this, as a study recently revealed that tweets with images have 5 times more engagement rate than tweets with just text*, which is not surprising in the slightest to me.

I also think Instagram is more personal. You know the old saying "a picture is worth a thousand words"? It has never been more accurate in this day and age of digital marketing. If you want people to sit up and take notice of you or your brand, you have to make them want to see you all the time. If I follow a brand on Instagram that only posts still images of their own products, I'd probably pretty quickly unfollow them. Yes I'll follow a brand if I like them, but I come on Instagram to be inspired by images about fashion, styling, interiors, food, travel and life (and maybe the occasional puppy), not to be the focus of pushy product campaigns.

@triangl_swimwear on Instagram

In my opinion, one of the strongest ways a brand can utilise image based social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest is by having a good mix of brand imagery and images based on their consumers lifestyle and what the consumers would be interested in. For example, if you're a company that sells kitchenware and crockery, please don't just post pictures of your pieces! I'd want to see a mix of beautiful food photography, inspirational table lay outs and even amazing kitchen interiors, as well as your pots and pans! It goes without saying, as a brand you wouldn't want to actively promote a competitor, but posting unbranded lifestyle images that your product could easily sit alongside in your consumers lifestyle will make your page look more whole and cohesive. You are selling the life alongside your product too.

@triangl_swimwear on Instagram

A great example of this lifestyle/product mix is by Australian swimwear company Triangl Swimwear. Being a 21 year old girl from the south coast beaches of England, swimwear is something I'm interested in. However, I would never have known about Triangl without Instagram. Their constant fusion of their own swimwear and gorgeous beach shots, sunsets and palm trees are what made me click the follow button originally (mainly because I need pictures of the beach to keep me going whenever I'm at university and over 100 miles away from the nearest stretch of ocean).

Triangl Swimwear's refreshing mix of brand and lifestyle images

I got in touch with Triangl regarding their open minded take on social media and managed to get a lovely reply from one of the co-owners Erin Deering...
"I do firmly believe that social media branding and marketing, at least for our company's core beliefs, should be a mixture of all of the things we represent. Triangl isn't just swimwear- it's fun, it's fashion, it's an entire lifestyle. We strive to utilize social media outlets to express our love of fashion and to make a definitive statement about our brand and who we are. This means keeping it fresh and current, not just with our products, but with other ideas and imagery that we feel coincides and represents our Triangl."
Boasting an impressive following of over 46,000, I soon realised that they've hit the nail on the head. I'm sure many people began following Triangl's IG account without realising they were a brand (just like I did), because they wanted to see the beautiful pictures they were posting that epitomised their brand. However, now I know who they are, I have still actively chosen to follow and be connected with this brand, because of the refreshing way they use their account. When I started talking about Triangl to some girl friends, they all knew the brand and also loved their swimwear as well as their account. I think that is pretty good going for a company on the other side of the planet.

* Twitter engagement study via Shift Newsroom.

N.B. This article is based on my opinion of what I like to see in a social media account, as a consumer. I am not condemning any other use of brand's social media accounts, from what I have stated above.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Over the past few weeks I've been seeing more and more posts on Instagram and Facebook using the hashtag #100happydays. To settle my curiosity, I followed the hashtag and managed to get to the website 100happydays.com. If you haven't heard of it, the concept is very simple. For 100 days you have to take a picture a day of something that made you happy. This can be anything from a day out, to a visit from a loved one, to something as simple as a cup of tea after a long day at work.
The point that the 100 Happy Days team is trying to make, is that so many people in this modern world are too busy. So busy in fact that they forget to be happy along the way. It may seem like a bit of a self-indulgent idea, but the objective is not at all to show off. If you do this to show off, you've totally got the wrong idea!

When you know that for 100 days you need to document something that's made you happy, it makes you very aware of what really is making your life great. It sounds silly, but if you stop and think about how happy something is making you as you do it, it can really make such a difference!

Food makes me happy
You can choose the platform you want to display your pictures on (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr) or if you don't want to show them publicly, you can choose to email your pictures to 100 Happy Days. Apparently after the 100 days are up we get a cute little book with all your happy pictures in it to keep! I'm all about feeling grateful for everything that makes you happy so this project is going to see me through these dark winter months and I'm going to feel even more happy and radiant on the other side!

The sea makes me happy
If you don't fancy doing this for 100 days, just take five minutes today to think about what really makes you happy and why it does. Trust me, one little thought like that goes a long way.



Friday, 10 January 2014

In October, I was lucky enough to stay in Florence, Italy for a few short days. Florence is such a beautiful city and probably my favourite European city that I've visited so far. It's small enough to see the majority on foot, but it's also big enough that I think you could spend weeks there and still be uncovering new nooks and crannies.

One of my favourite parts of the trip (which is no surprise to those who know me), was the food market. As soon as you walk through the doors, your senses explode with the sights and smells. The Italian's have a reputation for their love of food, so the market was bustling with locals and tourists alike. If they had markets like this in England I'd definitely shop there. There's nothing better than buying fresh, in season food to put a burst of creativity into your cooking. There's no proof, but I'm convinced that somewhere along the way in my ancestry, I have some Italian blood in me. However, it could just be a pasta addiction!










We might have taken a cheeky hand towel from the Gucci Museum...!
Gorgeous, fresh produce and a hall buzzing with locals and tourists from all over the world. What could be more inspiring than that?

Thursday, 9 January 2014

At a first glance, this may seem a rather geeky title. I mean, who can really lust over layouts? But I can tell you that right now, I have been! Whether that be magazine layouts, blogs or websites, I really love the way a page can be made completely different and unique just by moving the text around and changing the size and font. Although I don't work for a magazine, I love using the layouts as inspiration for the things I do, such as in my CV, university work and the blog. Even if the piece of work you're doing doesn't need to be creatively presented, I think it's important to take inspiration from more creative pieces, then filter it down so it fits your needs. 

I have been particularly impressed with the layout of Elle Magazine recently. I feel like they're clean and classy. As well as this, they have a way of making every page different, however the whole magazine is succinct and flows beautifully. I've added a few layouts that have caught my eye recently below.




Harper's Bazaar España

Harper's Bazaar España

Harper's Bazaar España
I found all these images through Pinterest, another huge source of inspiration for me! If you fancy following me on their, you can find my profile here. Do you have any magazines or websites that give you layout inspiration? If so, let me know, I'd love to have a look too!

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Part two of my 2013 flashback concludes today with July to December. Warning: this post may contain lots of summer pictures!

My boy in Ibiza

Ibiza, July

Avicii at Ushuaia, Ibiza

:)

Last supper in San Antonio

I love a cold glass of wine, me

<3

Last sunset in Ibiza 2013 at Café del Mar

Joe's Gym in Ibiza

My beautiful hometown

Carnival fireworks with the bests!

A day at the races, Stratford

That day we dressed as grandma's and raced around town in wheelbarrows...

Portugal, August 2013

My lovely Mum & Dad

Summertime happiness

Favourite new restaurant!

My best Shrimpyton

Back to uni for third year!

Il Duomo, Florence. October 2013

Ponte Vecchio, Florence

The FRM girls in Florence

Margaritas & sweet potato fries at our new favourite Mexican!

Thai tapas for my 21st birthday lunch

Biblical sunset over the harbour on my birthday

21!

Southbank Christmas Market

The Mousetrap ride at Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, London.

Father Christmas and his Yule Log

Feeling pretty chuffed with my Christmas wrapping this year!

Christmas morning, the best part of Christmas!

A final Christmas day selfie! (A chrelfie if you will...)
I hope you've enjoyed my look back, now.. on to 2014!
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