Category Archive: Technology

Aug 17 2014

My Style: When JD Met Tommy

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I spend a lot of my time in jeans, from skinny to boyfriend and even the odd flared cut, in dark blue, light blue, red floral print, grey, and even a stripy pair, I just love them, but this summer I have really been embracing the good weather **where the hell has it gone** and trying to wear more summery, girlie looks.

Last week, when the sun was shining, I wore this Tommy Hilfiger beauty that I found on Amazon’s dress store, yep that place where you buy books, blu-rays, and the occasional Barbie, **I call it the online shop for the three B’s**, has opened The Dress Shop, which has thousands of dresses from brands including Cacharel, French Connection, BCBG, Great Plains, Yumi and Hoss Intropia.

It was hard to just choose one out of thousands, but it was easy to find this short-sleeved blue and white checked dress using Amazon’s easy-to-navigate search for the ‘Occasion’ with dresses for work, evening, special occasion, and casual, which is so perfect for summer dresses. You can also ‘Shop by Trend’ choosing from lace, fit & flare, colour pop, pastels, or just white, basically they have a dress for everyone and for all occasions.

What I love about this dress is that it can be dressed down with gladiator flats and a matching skinny belt, or with fancy black heels and a statement necklace, it really is a versatile piece for my wardrobe that will definitely be perfect come winter time as well.

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I actually wore this for a day lounging in the park reading magazines and listening to music, which was the perfect opportunity to try out my new bright blue Monster N-Tunes headphones. I love the on-ear style, especially these ones as they are lightweight as well as being super comfortable with the padded cushions. I also loved that they come with tangle-free cables, you probably don’t believe me but trust me they really work, it is one of my pet-hates having to untangle my headphones for 10 minutes before being able to use them.

I also got to take out my new Moschino case out for my Samsung S5, this case is a limited edition style and features a peace pattern, and I love that it has a handy card pocket on the inside so you just need to take your mobile out with you on a night out. The only thing I need to get use to is the flip style, it makes it a little uncomfortable while on the phone. The best bit though is when you close the case it also turns the screen on and off, so saving battery, which is always needed with me!!!

Want to see how jealous JD got of Tommy scroll down to the bottom for a great photobombing gif!

So what do you think of my Tommy Hilfiger dress and new gadgets?

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My Style: Tommy Hilfiger dress, Amazon (c/o) // Flats, F&F // Skinny belt, New Look // Watch, Citizen (c/o) // Bracelet, Links of London // Glasses, Retro54 // Samsung S5 Moschino case, Samsung (c/o) // Monster N-Tunes Headphones, Monster (c/o) // Straw bag, Cath Kidston // Black cat accessory, just a regular moggy!!! //

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Apr 23 2014

Technology: Healthy Living With The Samsung Galaxy S5, Gear Fit & Gear 2 Neo

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I have kind of caught the Samsung bug, I loved the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom with its 10x optical zoom, then I was seduced by the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 not only is the screen perfect for updating my blog, the camera is amazing and I have become a scrapbooking whiz, but now my heart belongs to another, the new and improved Samsung Galaxy S5.

With its slightly bigger screen, fancy fingerprint security, improved camera, and incredible ultra power saving mode that will give you up to an extra 24 hours of juice – this is one great smartphone, oh and I nearly forgot this handset is water-resistant, yep you can  dunk it water for a short time, however I haven’t tried that out for myself.

For me any smartphone has to have a great camera and I thought it would be hard for any phone to compete with the Note 3, which I love, but this beauty does with its 16-megapixel camera. Key features that I love: It has a selective focus function, which means you can change the focus of your photos after you have taken them, so to either blur the foreground or background, I love anything that makes a better Instagramable piccie!!! Plus the camera also has fast auto-focus, so action shots are easier to capture, I can’t wait to try this out during fashion week. There is also a random Virtual Tour function, unless you’re an estate agent I am not sure when I would use this – but hey, never say never.

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But aside from the great handset, the S5 also launched with two wearable devices – the Gear Fit, a fitness-tracker smart band that can notify you of e-mails, phone calls as well as Twitter updates, and the Gear 2 Neo smartwatch, which you can do everything the Gear Fit does as well as make phone calls, yep it is very Michael Knight from Knight Rider.

The Gear 2 Neo is a much improved on the debut smartwatch, it is slimmer and more stylish, you can even change out the straps, so it does feel more like a conventional watch, while still having the added benefits of being able to read your e-mails and text messages, see who has hearted your Instagram pic, as well as take a phone call. But for me it is just a tad bulky for everyday use.

There are number of features I loved, other than notifications on my wrist, from the music player that connects with Bluetooth earphones – it really does make working out easier, as well as the personalised fitness S Health platform connectivity – from the pedometer counting your steps to tracking exercise activity from running to cycling, and if you want to you can even measure your heart rate. I do like that you can set yourself personal goals that can be measured on the wearable devices and then viewed within the app on the S5. I really love reaching my steps goal.

For me though it is all about the Gear Fit, I love how comfortable and light this device is to wear, I wear it day and night, and it is easy to personalise with any look as you can change-up the clock face, the wallpaper and colour – so from coordinating with my manicure to matching my bright pink trainers I love switching it up.

Much like other fitness-trackers, the Gear Fit is acts like my personal coach, it tracks my exercises like the Gear 2 Neo, counts my steps, checks my heart rate, as well as having a handy sleep function that measures whether I have had a good night sleep or not, lately I have been doing well as I have been around the 90% motionless for my nightly rests. I had been using the S Health app on my Note 3 to calculate my steps but using the Gear Fit has been more accurate and easier to make my goals. I also think it has been pushing me to achieve those goals as well – when I see that I am only half way through my goal I walk to the shop rather than drive.

If I had to buy one I think it would be the Gear Fit, it is slimmer and looks more like jewellery, so I can wear it with a watch, plus it does nearly everything that the Gear 2 Neo does except make and receive calls, which to be honest I am not sure how often I would do. I think it comes down to which one you think is more stylish, if you like big watch faces you will probably like the watch, if you are looking for something to work with the rest of your arm party the Gear Fit would probably work better.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 is available nationwide and comes in four colours – charcoal black, electric blue, shimmery white and copper gold.

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**I was gifted the Samsung Galaxy S5, Gear Fit and Gear 2 Neo, but all opinions are my own**

Feb 17 2014

My Style: LFW Day 4 – Matching My Samsung Note 3 To My Bag

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This fashion week I have had a new toy, the Samsung Note 3, a smartphone and a tablet all rolled into one, or as the geeks call it a phablet. On paper you think it is going to be too big, as the screen has a 5.7” display – but it is this screen that really makes it perfect for taking pictures, answering emails, as well as doing a bit of blogging on the go. Plus it did feel good to have all my apps back after using a Windows 8.1 mobile for the past few months.

When Carphone Warehouse gifted me the gorgeous red version I was chuffed, not because I didn’t really like the white and rose gold, black or plain white versions, but because this red beauty really makes a statement, especially with its leather-effect back, which really helps with grip. Plus it really does look perfect alongside the gorgeous Russell & Bromley Gilt Edge handbag that I am finding hard to let go of.

I always love having a bright coloured mobile or case, as well as accessories as my wardrobe is generally black, navy blue or dark denim, and these red accessories really work well against this black leather skirt and silky black and grey top that I wore on day four of London Fashion Week.

Am I the only crazy one that accessories my phone to my outfit and my handbag??? Probably – but this Samsung Note 3 really did look at home with the Russell & Bromley beauty.

Also big shout out to Alex for these snaps in Hyde Park in between shows and chilling out at The Apartment, it was fun being photobombed by pigeons and squirrels!!!

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My Style: Black leather skirt, Next (c/o) // Black and grey top, New Look // Black ankle boots, Topshop // Gilt Edge bag, Russell & Bromley (borrowed from The Apartment) // Glasses,Karen Millen (c/o) // Coat, Dorothy Perkins // Orange bracelets, Fossil (borrowed from The Apartment) // Heart ring, River Island // Necklace, Primark // Samsung Note 3 (c/o Carphone Warehouse) // LFW Day 4 Outfit 10 My Style: LFW Day 4   Matching My Samsung Note 3 To My Bag %tag

**Carphone Warehouse gifted me the Samsung Note 3, but as always my opinion are my own**

Feb 12 2014

Visual Diary: Pattern Hunting With Toshiba Encore

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A couple of weeks ago, when the weather was actually pleasant, no I am not lying I actually remember sunshine and everything, I went pattern hunting around East London with the guys over at Toshiba to test out their fab new Windows 8.1 tablet, Toshiba Encore.

It was a fun day, not only did I get to wander the streets snapping my patterns with my tablet, enjoy the company of my friends and discover the fab Maison Trois Garcons, I also got to learn all about pattern design from the gorgeous girlies of Patternity, Anna Murray and Grace Winteringham, who have just done an amazing collaboration with Clark’s. If you love patterns, prints, and design you should check out their website and Instagram – filled with lots of inspiration.

East London is home to so much inspiration, but it was a little daunting finding my very own pattern that could be made into a T-shirt produced by YrStore, but what surprised me the most was how the simplest of things could make the greatest pattern when it was transformed into black and white, flipped, rotated and generally manipulated.

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It was hard choosing which photo to go for, I was torn between the dotty railings, as polka dots are always chic, and the crumbling paintwork that I spotted on a window frame. In the end, the Patternity girlies convinced me that the paint chips would look amazing, so my one-off tee went from this photo above, snapped on my Toshiba Encore,  to this striking T-shirt that I can’t wait to wear. Now it has been flipped and rotated it kind of reminds me of a tree bark rather than a painted window frame.Toshiba encore 1 Visual Diary: Pattern Hunting With Toshiba Encore %tagToshibaencore patternity 10 Visual Diary: Pattern Hunting With Toshiba Encore %tag

The Toshiba Encore did impress me for such a little thing, it is a similar size to the iPad mini, and it did shine taking pictures up close on the Patternity tour with its 8-megapixel camera. It is also a perfect handbag size, which I found handy using while shopping, it is great for doing to-do lists and keeping my recipes on for baking.

However, its size also makes it a little hard to use, for instance it comes installed with Windows Office, which is great, but I found the device a little too small to type Word documents or work on spreadsheets. I think this device is more about the social elements – it is great for Twitter, Facebook, browsing the Internet and playing games – I am addicted to the Microsoft Solitaire collection.

Overall, I found this tablet easy to use, the Windows platform is better bigger than when you use on a mobile, but I think to get the most out of this device you need to use alongside something like the Windows Surface 2 or a desktop computer and use the SkyDrive to store documents and pictures so you can easily switch between the two.

The Toshiba Encore costs £249.

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**All pics taking with the Toshiba Encore, which I have been testing for the past month, except the pics featuring the tablet of course!!!**

Dec 29 2013

Fashionista Barbie Bakes: Festive Cupcakes

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The festive period is one of my favourite times to bake, mainly because I have a little more time, but mostly because you can have a little bit more fun when it comes to decorating. I bake cupcakes and muffins all the time, sometimes chocolate, occasionally carrot cake, and lots of blueberry ones, but no matter what I love to have a recipe to follow, it is kind of like a safety net that reassures me along the way.

I have tried the cookbook stand, it never really stays put, I have tried using the iPad on a stand, but getting cake mix on the screen is annoying, so when I heard that the Microsoft Surface had a Bing Food & Drink app that you could literally use with a swipe of a hand I had to give it ago.

Armed with my cupcake recipe ingredients, I turned on the hands-free mode on the app, so I could literally swipe my hand in front of the web-camera to get the page to turn, so it was easy to see what was next on my recipe. Plus you can search through lots of different recipes, so I decided to try out a new cupcake mix, which turned out really well.

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Ingredients:

Cupcakes

200g unsalted butter, at room temperature – I like to leave out for at least an hour before

200g caster sugar

4 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

200g self-raising flour

2 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

Buttercream

300g unsalted butter, at room temperature

750g icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

Green food colouring

Decorations

Festive toppers, sprinkles, stars, glitter – anything goes

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 160°C/315°F/Gas mark 2-3, and line the muffin tine with 12 paper cases.

Cream the butter and caster sugar together until the mixture is pale and light. I use a free-standing mixer – the Kenwood K-Mix on a medium speed for about 3-4 minutes.

Add the vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition, don’t forget to scrap down the sides of the bowl from time to time to make sure everything is mixed. Then add the flour, salt and baking powder, and mix together until combined. I use the fold setting on my free-standing mixer but you can easily use a large metal spoon or rubber spatula to do by hand.

Then using an ice-cream scoop or a table-spoon add the mixture into the paper cases and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the cakes spring back slightly when pressed, and when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

While the cakes are cooling, make the buttercream. Add the butter, icing sugar and vanilla extra to a large bowl and beat until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. When mixed well, add a couple of drops of food colouring, remember if you are planning to use two colours divide the mixture first, then remix until all the buttercream is the chosen colour.

You can either then decorate with a palette knife or by using a piping bag, I prefer a piping bag as it is more fun. Try using different nozzles to create different effects on your cupcakes.

Once you have added the buttercream decorate as you wish – I added Christmas tree, snowmen, penguins and polar bear toppers, as well as pink glitter dust, candy stars and silver balls – I basically was going for mini Christmas trees.

As well as these cupcakes I also made a cherry and raisin loaf, mince pies and honeycomb brownies – what are you favourite festive recipes?

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**Microsoft Surface was gifted to me as part of my participation in the Microsoft Loop**

Dec 17 2013

Technology: Acer Iconia A1

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I have always been a lover of technology and gadgets and it seems over the years I have been collecting tablets and laptops in all different sizes. I have the iPad that seems to be a great size for watching movies, I then have the Microsoft Surface which is perfect for working wherever you are with the handy keyboard, and now it seems I have found a tablet that is perfect to place in any handbag including my new Rebecca Minkoff beauty that has been my weekend bag.

I find that I blog in all sorts of places, whether in my office, on the sofa while watching a film, or out-and-about at a cafe, but my larger tablets sometimes don’t fit into my go-to handbag and that is where this Acer Iconia A1 has been perfect.

It is easy to use as it runs on the Android system, the same as my HTC One, which means that all the apps I use on my smartphone are easier to use on the 7.9″ screen – especially the WordPress and photo-editing apps such as Snapseed and VSCO Cam that I use. Plus it is great to use with Skype as it is hand-sized so easy to hold and it is lightweight. It also comes with 16GB memory, which is generally plenty, but it also has a microSD slot if you want to add more or in my case want access to large photos to add to the blog.

Like with my Android smartphone the Acer tablet is easy to organise all my apps, I am kind of a little OCD on keeping everything clean, so it is great you can create groups of apps – so I have all my social media favourites together and my photograph app, as well as information apps and my reading material. Going through all my favourite blogs on Feebly is so much nicer than on my mobile.

I have only been using the device for less than a week but this budget tablet really is great value for money. Granted it doesn’t feel as good as the iPad, the plastic casing feels a little breakable but I always think a cover is the best way to go, and it might not be as fast, but this little beauty did really well putting this blog post together!!!

Have you try out the Acer Iconia A1? Would love to hear your thoughts on this budget tablet.

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Also as it is Christmas, I thought it would be fun to dress up my Acer tablet with a live wallpaper that I picked up for free in the Google Play store – come on who doesn’t want a Christmas countdown as their background? Plus that 3D Christmas tree is so pretty!!!

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Want to find out more about this tablet? Then check out Acer Tablet Reviews to find out the pros and cons of this handy sized budget tablet.

**I was gifted this Acer tablet – but all opinions are my own**

Nov 28 2013

Technology: Staying Connected With EE MiFi

EE MIFI 2 Technology: Staying Connected With EE MiFi %tagBeing connected is super important for bloggers, it’s more than just having great contacts, of course that is needed, but keeping connected on-the-go is probably more important. I wrote a blog before London Fashion Week on my top tips for a blogger on the move and EE got in touch for me to try out their Huawei MIFi device, which can connect up to 10 devices from smartphones to iPads, laptops and even your WiFi enabled cameras all at 4GEE speeds. I have a 4GEE smartphone and I couldn’t go back to a normal phone contract, and now it seems I can’t live without my MiFi.

I used this little device throughout fashion week – I connected my iPad, my camera and even my mobile to Instagram pictures and videos, pin images to pinterest, write blogs, edit images, and catch-up with my e-mails, the news, and my social media feed while I was out of the office. To say it was a godsend is an understatement.

In the past I have tried mobile dongles but the connectivity has always been sketchy at best – this little beauty even worked in the middle of the Norfolk Broads – I was super impressed and it meant that I could be confident about doing my work without having to rush back to the office.

To utilise my new found internet freedom I decided to pimp my iPad out with a cute little keyboard, I know everyone is about embracing the touch screen but I just find everything easier and quicker when I can type it. I picked this Logitech keyboard up from John Lewis for £69.95, it was actually cheaper than buying it in the Apple store. As well as providing me with keys to type it also has a handy stand to make my iPad into a makeshift laptop.

Another great thing about connecting on the go – lots of teas, hot chocolates, and iced buns!!!

Have you tried out EE MIFi?

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**Thanks to EE for the loan**
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