Monday, 1 August 2016

Unwrapping August's TreatBox

Another month has passed which means August is upon us! Luckily for TreatBox fans, Zoe is always very considerate and makes sure that we get our boxes on time. This month, the boxes were posted a few days early which meant that my box arrived on July 30. 

I could pretend that I've only opened this box today, however, I have no shame in admitting that I delved straight in as soon as it landed through the mail box!

This month has a 'dream' theme, and as soon as I opened the box, I knew it was going to be one of my favourites. I was greeted by a gorgeous 'Follow Your Dreams' inspirational card which came at a time when I really needed it. I'm turning 25 in five weeks, and my impending quarter life crisis is getting to me a bit. I don't feel as if I've achieved a lot in my almost 25 years on Earth, and whilst I know what I want to do in life, it's going to take a lot of work for me to get there. But no matter how long the journey takes, it's so important to follow your dreams in life, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. The gold embossing on the cloud background is truly beautiful and I've already put it on display in my room.

I then went on to unwrap the rest of the box, and once again, I was not left disappointed.

This month's TreatBox

The TreatBox contained:

'Follow Your Dreams' inspirational card
Rainbow Drops
Bath bombs
Rainbow iron-on patch
Fairy lights
'Follow Your Dreams' coaster
Three mini cards
Set of two notebooks

This box is seriously all kinds of lovely and just what I needed this month. The pastel coloured bath bombs look pretty and glittery. Whilst I'm a shower girl, they're enough to encourage me to take a relaxing soak in the bath!

The Rainbow Drops reminded me of my childhood (but mum pinched them so that was the end of my nostalgia). The rainbow iron-on patch is also really sweet.

I then opened the pink package - the sticker said 'something to brighten your day', and inside was some fairy lights! I went straight downstairs to insert batteries and then wrapped them around my bed! They're so bright and really add something special to my room. 

the lights around my bed!
Next up was a coaster with 'Follow Your Dreams' written on it. This was something different to what I've received from past boxes, and it was nice to see something more unusual like this!

To go with the 'Follow Your Dreams' coaster, there was the inspirational print which I mentioned earlier, as well as three mini cards. I adore these cards and their inspirational/cute messages! It's the kind of card I would love to receive, and I think that they would put a smile on anyone's face.

Finally, these two cute notebooks which are literally perfect for me. As an aspiring journalist, I am forever jotting things down and having madcap ideas at stupid o'clock, therefore these notebooks will be perfect for my ramblings. I particularly like the 'dream one size too big' one - it reminds me of the quote, 'aim for the moon, as even if you miss, you'll still be amongst the stars'. 

I've been subscribing to these boxes for a good few months now, and this is easily one of my favourite ones. I guess the goodies are just spookily appropriate for me at the moment, and it gave me a much needed smile when I opened the box.

If you fancy receiving monthly TreatBoxes, check out the subscription info here. You can also read about July's TreatBox here

                                                                   Hwyl am y tro  ✌️

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Unwrapping July's TreatBox

Hello! As if we're over half way through July already...time is going far too quickly for my liking. 

I'm a bit behind with this month's TreatBox post, but better late than never! I have to share it with you, as it was one of my favourites so far.

This month's box was a summery celebration of goodness. Not only has Not Shabby Very Chic been renamed as TreatBox, but it's also their first birthday, so the box was fairly similar to a party bag which was just wonderful! I adore this month's inspirational card - 'Be a flamingo in a flock of pigeons'.

aloha July TreatBox...
I will never get bored of unwrapping these TreatBoxes! On this occasion, you could already smell that it was going to be lovely as there was a strong coconut scent in the box.

July's TreatBox..

The TreatBox contained:

'Be a Flamingo in a Flock of Pigeons' inspirational card
'You are one in a Melon' badge
Pineapple wish bracelet
Hooray flag
'Go Your Own Way' plaque
'And So The Adventure Begins Darling' pouch
Pina Colada candle
Bubble wand
Love Hearts
'Oh The Places You'll Go' print

The Pineapple wish bracelet brought a smile to my face straight away. As funky and summery as it is, it instantly reminded me of an in-joke I have with a few friends, and when I'll wear it, I'll think of them, which makes me happy. The melon badge and Hooray flag are also super cute. 

I can't get enough of these decorative plaques, and now I have another to add to my collection all thanks to TreatBox! 

I love this pouch! Not only is the message inspirational, but it's a handy pouch for carrying all sorts of things. I'll definitely be making use of it.

This was the sweet smell that greeted me as I opened the package! Candles are a big yay at home, so mum was thrilled to see this and instantly nabbed it from my box. We haven't used it yet but no doubt it will transport us to somewhere tropical!

Next up was the party bag! I adored this and thought it was a super cute touch to an already wonderful box. I can't wait to use the confetti, it's so colourful, but the Love Hearts didn't last long (oops). The bubbles also reminds me of a great gig I went to once, so I'll have fond memories in my heart when I use the wand.

Finally, I am an idiot. I took all the photos when I first opened the box, and it wasn't until a few days ago when I read other reviews that I realised that there was another print at the bottom of the box! Despite now being able to see it in half the pictures, I didn't think to turn it around as I thought it was a piece of card! Luckily, I've now gotten the chance to admire it for what it is - I love the message as I love travelling and hopefully I'll get to visit even more of the world soon. 

There is no doubt that these TreatBoxes continue to be great value for money. If you fancy subscribing, check out all the info here. Don't forget to read June's TreatBox review too.

Hwyl am y tro  ✌️

Monday, 20 June 2016

#MusicMonday 8

Hello again! It's been a few weeks but I've decided to rekindle the old #MusicMonday posts and share with you some of the songs that have been on my radar this week. You can read my last #MusicMonday post HERE.

1. Clean Bandit featuring Louisa - 'Tears'

Ever since I saw Clean Bandit and Louisa perform this song live at Summertime Ball, it's all I've heard on the radio. It's grown on me a lot and it's a perfect song for Louisa, who I feel was shafted a bit by her X Factor winner's single. The song is already doing well in the charts and I have no doubt it will continue to do so over the next few months.

2. Reggie 'N' Bollie - 'New Girl'

X Factor runners up Reggie 'N' Bollie released 'New Girl' a few weeks ago, but I've only now got round to hearing it properly. IT'S SO CATCHY!!! Granted, they're not the best singers in the world, but they have an infectious energy and are such uplifting individuals that you can't help but smile when you see them. 'New Girl' is a summer bop that makes you want to dance your heart out.

3. The Neales - 'I'll Be There'

The Neales were contestants on last year's Britain's Got Talent and reached the finals. The father and sons team have released this song for Father's Day in aid of British Heart Foundation and Diabetes UK and it charted at number 22. They're a charming bunch and it's endearing to see a family with a close bond, doing something they love together. (My inclusion of this song has nothing to do with the grey suits or my love for the beautiful Phil Neale...)

4. Shawn Mendes - 'Treat You Better'

Shawn's back with a new single, which he released a few weeks ago. The Canadian singer knows how to deliver a pop hit, and 'Treat You Better' is no different. I'm adding him onto my list of people that I need to see live, he's really great!

5. Tom Odell - 'Magnetised'

I have never particularly considered myself a fan of Tom Odell. Off the top of my head, I can't even think back to what songs he's most known for. My main memory of him is that his debut album was called Long Way Down, and they used to have a poster for it in Angel tube station, above a very very very long escalator which I found hilarious lol. Anyhow, recently I first heard 'Magnetised' on the radio and it hooked me instantly - ever since then, it gets played on a regular basis and I keep falling in love with it even more.

What are you listening to this week? Hit me up with some recommendations!

Hwyl am y tro ✌️

Sunday, 12 June 2016

10 of my favourite Summertime Ball performances

On Saturday, I went to the Capital Summertime Ball with mum and David. This was my fifth time going and it was just as incredible as usual! The day had its one downer (Zayn cancelled, sob) but aside from that, I sang, I jumped about, I fangirled, I laughed and generally had the best time with the best company.

Nick Jonas Appreciation Society ;)

I wrote a review about the gig on CelebMix, which you can read HERE. I wanted to blog about it too so instead of boring you with a repeated ramble about the day, I thought I would share 10 of my favourite performances with you!

10. and Lydia Lucy - 'Boys and Girls'

Seeing Lydia Lucy on stage with was a super proud moment. I've been a fan of Lydia for a few years, since I supported her brother Luke in a band called Times Red. She's got an incredible voice and recently reached the finals of The Voice UK under Will's mentoring. The song is so catchy too and they make a perfect partnership. (From 9.42)

9. Nathan Sykes and Louisa Johnson - 'Over and Over Again'

'Over and Over Again' is one of my favourite songs and it sounded absolutely beautiful in Wembley. Nathan brought Louisa onto the stage for a duet this time, and they sounded so lovely together. Maybe they'll consider dueting again in the future?


8. Little Mix - 'Hair'

Little Mix opened this year's show, and in all honesty I couldn't think of anyone better to do so as they always put on a great production. 'Hair' is one of my favourite songs right now, and I chose this as one of my favourite performances thanks to all the sass, slaying and the fierce dance break down.

7. Years and Years - 'Desire'

Years and Years are incredible live and this was my first time hearing 'Desire' in person. Olly is a great front man, and I loved all the dance sequences too.

6. Craig David - 'Rewind'

It was so hard to pick a favourite song from Craig's performance, but honestly he was just all-round superb. He was so humble and blown away by the reception he received (look at the video thumbnail!) but I don't know why though as he is the king of childhood throwbacks. I can't wait to see him at Fusion too!

5. Dizzee Rascal - 'Bonkers'

Dizzee was a surprise act and I have no shame in admitting that I screamed SO. LOUD. I was buzzing, I love Dizzee and the fact that he sang 'Bonkers' made my night!

4. MNEK and Zara Larsson - 'Never Forget You'

This was one of my favourite duets of the day. 'Never Forget You' is such a gorgeous song, and both MNEK and Zara served us some glorious vocals. Zara, in particular, impressed me throughout the day (she also got to sing 'Lush Life' and 'Girls Like' with Tinie Tempah) as she's got all the ingredients to be the next pop princess.

3. Lukas Graham - '7 Years'

This performance was one of those goosebump inducing moments. '7 Years' is such a sing-along song so that in itself was quite moving, but what really stood out for me was Lukas, the lead singer. He came on stage all casual, and he was one of the most humble people ever. It genuinely meant so much for him to be stood on that stage and it seriously warmed my heart.

 2. Nick Jonas - 'Jealous'

Nick returned to the Ball this year, after performing 'Jealous' as a 'breaker' last year. This time, he got to do three songs, and the change in reaction to 'Jealous' was absolutely remarkable. There's a bit in the video below where Nick leans the microphone into the crowd for them to sing, and his face makes me want to cry happy tears. He looks SO overwhelmed, it melted my heart on the day and continues to do so every time I watch it back. He was so grateful to be there and the crowd reaction truly moved him.

1. Sigala featuring John Newman - 'Give Me Your Love'

Anyone who knows me well will not be surprised to see this at number one. I was praying that this collab would happen at STB and it did and I lost every ounce of chill I've ever owned. I saw on Twitter beforehand that John would be at the Ball, but I was still anxious until he came on stage. As soon as the intro to 'Give Me Your Love' started playing, I was on edge. Someone said 'Introducing.....' and all of a sudden he popped up from below the stage and I screamed so loud that I missed the first ten seconds of the performance LOL. I shook David's arm until it nearly fell off, and jumped out of my seat so quickly, so embarrassing. Genuinely, as much as I call myself a 'fangirl', I've never been a hysterical mess (much lol) but John makes me weak. He is hands down my favourite male performer and it made me beam with pride to see him have 80,000 people at Wembley in the palm of his hand. He's so underrated it hurts - seeing him get a chance to perform on that stage yesterday was so special. John is bae, thus John is number one.

Did you go to Summertime Ball? Let me know who your faves were!

Hwyl am y tro ✌️

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Unwrapping June's TreatBox

Pinch punch, first of the month! It's TreatBox time again - after a long day on my wrecked feet (new shoes = foot chaos), coming home to the box was a welcome treat. This month's box was a literal treat too - the sticker on the box was covered in biscuits, and after opening the box, there was a little note from Zoe encouraging us to take five and pop the kettle on! There was also an inspirational card - 'you've gotta risk it to get the biscuit', which is just fabulous life advice haha.

welcome note, inspo card and the cutest sticker ever!

Next....the box unwrapping. I never get bored of opening my TreatBox every month, I love surprises!

unwrapping the TreatBox...
June's TreatBox!

There's an evident baking/biscuit theme this month, so cute! My TreatBox contained:

'You've Gotta Risk It For A Biscuit' inspirational card 
'Sweet Thoughts' notebook
'Star Baker' pencil
Chalkboard stickers
'Enjoy The Little Things' spatula
Six decorative pegs
A biscuit shaped nail file
Teapigs popcorn teabag
An edible biscuit

Notebooks are always handy and I love the sweet design on this one. The 'star baker' pencil makes me feel like I'm going to be a contestant on the Great British Bake Off, which is quite wonderful!

The chalkboard stickers are really unusual - I've never seen anything like it before. They're perfect for labelling or leaving notes for loved ones and the best thing? You can use them over and over again!

I cannot bake to save my life, so I'm not too sure how useful this spatula is going to be, however, I might have a baking urge one day. The decorative pegs are adorable! I love little things like that and when I get my room in order, I will definitely be using them. As for the nail file, as disappointing as it was to find out it wasn't edible, it is very handy and will keep my nails in shape.

Okay, so I most definitely do not have this biscuit in my possession any longer...oops! (I did share it with mum though and it was delightful). I am so intrigued by this popcorn tea, as it's basically green tea with toasted rice. It sounds absolutely bizarre but I'll definitely have to give it a go before the night's out.

That's it for June's box! As usual, it's definitely worth the money. Out of all the boxes I've received so far, this would probably be my least favourite as it's not as well suited to me as some of the others have been but I loved it regardless. I'm already counting down to July!

You can sign up for TreatBoxUK here. You can also check out last month's box review by clicking here

Hwyl am y tro ✌️

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Charlie Puth, o2 Institute Birmingham

Finally, a slightly less boring (I hope) post about music!

I love this time of year as it usually means gigs EVERYWHERE! The last gig I went to was The Vamps at the start of April, so I've been suffering from a bit of the old gig blues. Luckily, last Sunday meant that it was gig time again as I went to see Charlie Puth at the o2 Institute in Birmingham. I was super excited as it was my first time seeing him live and we got to meet him too!

We (mum and I, as usual) bought tickets for Charlie's gig as soon as they went on sale and a few weeks later, they released VIP upgrades. I opted for the special 'dressing room' package (cheers Maximum Pop for that Ticketmaster gift card I won last year haha) which basically meant having the normal meet and greet with Charlie, spending time with him in his dressing room and a load of merch - sounds incredible, right?!

Once we arrived at the venue, we had to hang around for a bit outside before being checked in. There were six of us with the dressing room option and another 30 or so with normal meet and greet, so we got to go in first. Soon enough, we were escorted through the venue and into Charlie's dressing room!

As we walked in, Charlie was already there just chilling. He looked different in real life, in a way that I can't explain. He was just so casual, to the point that mum didn't recognise him for ages haha. We spent a good 10-15 minutes with him in the dressing room as he cracked jokes and chatted to us briefly. One of the perks of the dressing room package was an exclusive performance from Charlie. He sang his new song 'We Don't Talk Anymore' and it gave me goosebumps - his voice was just as incredible in person as it is on record! Before we left his dressing room, we had time for a hug and some selfies. His selfie skills were a little questionable but he evidently had a great time snapping away on my phone!

selfie central lol

We were then escorted to the front of the meet and greet queue and had a professional photo with Charlie. The picture was emailed to us a few days later - how cute does Charlie look please?

cute as a button :)

After the meet and greet, we had to go back outside until the doors officially opened. An hour or so later, people with VIP were allowed in and those of use who had the dressing room option got to go in first, meaning we could grab that perfect spot at the barrier. As time went on, the venue filled to capacity and quite frankly I've never been happier to have a barrier to lean on (standing gigs get less fun when you're approaching your quarter life crisis hahaha). The atmosphere is always better down the front too!

Before Charlie came on stage, we were treated to a support act called Kloe, a 19 year old Glaswegian singer. She performed original material combined with some interesting dance moves! I've never seen a singer dressed so casually - black sweats and trainers - and whilst she didn't look like your stereotypical popstar, she definitely made a statement and let her unique vocals do the talking.

After the crowd started a chant, it was finally time for Charlie! He didn't make a grand entrance onto the stage, instead he casually strolled on and took the time to look out into the audience at the appreciative crowd he would be entertaining for the evening. The screams were already deafening, which boded well for the reception he would continue to receive as the night went on!

He opened with one of his hit songs 'Marvin Gaye' and it was evident from the moment he played the opening piano chords that we were in for a treat. Charlie proved to be an extremely passionate performer, wowing the crowd with his vocals and piano skills.

Charlie then went on to perform songs from his album Nine Track Mind. 'Dangerously', 'Some Type Of Love' and 'Losing My Mind' prompted the audience to do their best Charlie impressions. It was heart-warming to hear the audience sing along to every song, including those perhaps lesser known album songs.

snapchat of 'Dangerously'

In between songs, Charlie spoke to the audience and was charmingly awkward. He doesn't come across as cocky like a lot of performers do - he was in fact very humble and down to earth about everything. The fact that he napped before the show and came on stage with a bed head and wearing the same clothes as he did in the meet and greet says it all. There's no airs and graces, he is as he is and I love that about him.

Next up was 'Left Right Left', with his band prompting us to sway our arms from left-right-left as per the chorus lyrics. I turned round at one point and it was incredible to see the entire venue getting involved, even the people up in the balcony! 'My Gospel', aka my favourite song, was next and Charlie did not disappoint. It sounded incredible live and was made complete by an epic piano jam out at the end. Charlie is beyond talented and at this point it made me realise just how bloody underrated he is.

snapchat of 'My Gospel', the jam session

For the next section, Charlie took a seat next to his guitarist as he switched to an acoustic set. He sang 'Up All Night' and 'Then There's You', both of which were pretty perfect. There were times when Charlie himself didn't even need to sing because the audience were doing the singing for him - it was an incredible thing to experience and gave me goosebumps, it must have been mesmerising for him!

Whilst I would have been happy just hearing his own material all night, Charlie also performed a John Mayer cover. I'm not familiar with John's music but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Following that, Charlie performed his latest single 'We Don't Talk Anymore' which reminded me of our dressing room experience. Of course, this was a different version again, complete with his band and Charlie beatboxing! Seriously, his talent knows no bounds. Mum filmed the performance and you can see how overwhelmed Charlie is at the 3 minute mark when everyone sings back to him!

He also went on to perform 'Suffer', one of the most intense ballads on his album, which once again received a great reception. His supposed last song of the evening was 'One Call Away', which is one of my favourites. Charlie was full of emotion and performed his heart out. As the song came to and end, he took a bow before making his way off of the stage.

Of course, there was still one big song left to perform and the crowd knew it. They made sure Charlie had no option but to return by chanting his name at the top of their lungs - I've been to far too many gigs to remember, but the crowd reaction at this one is something that will stay with me for life. I haven't heard a reaction quite like it in such a long time.

Charlie made his way back to the stage for 'See You Again', one of the biggest songs of last year and one that has touched the hearts of many. He gave it his all during this song and it was a really special moment. I was so emotional during it and felt tears in my eyes, it's such a powerful song! Every word was sung back to Charlie which added to the experience. Unfortunately, the song came to an end all too soon and it really was time for Charlie and his band to take their final bow and leave the stage.

Charlie's gig was one of the best I've been to in a long, long time, Everything about it was perfect - Charlie's vocals are stunning, and combined with his incredible piano skills, he really captured my heart. The crowd reaction was also unreal. He commented a few times about how it was the loudest crowd he'd performed to, and whilst every artist tends to say that, I genuinely felt as if it could be true. Every word was sung back to him and the screaming, chanting and cheering was on another level.

It was also incredible to see such a humble performer take to the stage. Charlie was genuinely so thankful for his life right now. He spoke about how he's been in the business behind the scenes for a while, writing for other people, but to get to perform in his own right was a dream come true. His talent is superb and he most definitely deserves far more credit as a performer. I hope this is the first of many occasions that I'll get to see him live, as he is definitely on my 'can't get enough of' list!

Hwyl am y tro ✌️

Monday, 23 May 2016

#MusicMonday 7

It's Monday once again (don't they come around incredibly quickly?!) and therefore time for me to share the songs I've been listening to this week. Click here for last week's #MusicMonday.

1. DNCE - Toothbrush

From their SWAAY  EP, 'Toothbrush' is the next single from your new favourite band. The best part for me is when Joe sings 'I just, I just can't let you go' - there;s something about his voice at that point that makes me go all weak and I'm not even sorry about it.

This week, they released the music video for 'Toothbrush' and I must applaud them for their choice of female lead. Joe's love interest is played by plus size model Ashley Graham. Well, she's only a size 16 but that's deemed as "plus size" apparently. She is BEAUTIFUL, as is every woman whether they've been in a music video or not, but it's so refreshing to see a band say 'eff you' to the norm by choosing a slightly curvier female lead for their music video. Being plus size myself, it's nice to see ourselves being represented positively (albeit my figure is potato-shaped compared to Ashley). I'm so excited to see DNCE live again in August and who knows, maybe I'll finally get to meet the teenage LOML.

2. Everyll - Blah Blah Blah

I was introduced to Everyll last week, who's just released her debut single 'Blah Blah Blah'. She has been making a name for herself on YouTube with her feisty pop/rap infused covers and now she's showcased her talents on her own single. 'Blah Blah Blah' is a catchy, sassy pop song and the video is hilarious. It replicates the TV talent show set up that everyone is familiar with.

3. Sigma X Take That - Cry

Sigma have teamed up with my ultimate man band Take That for the powerful track 'Cry'. I wasn't sure how a collaboration between the two would work but I think it's perfect. The chorus is anthemic and I can't wait to hear it in Hyde Park in July. Both acts are renowned for their successful songs so I have no doubt that they've got another hit on their hands. 'Cry' is indeed a contender for song of the summer.

4. Lawson - Where My Love Goes

To mark the pre-order of their new album Perspective, Lawson have released a new song called 'Where My Love Goes'. Once again, the four-piece band have delivered another bit of catchy pop however the video is the real talking point on this occasion. Lead singer Andy Brown actually proposes to his real life girlfriend Joey in the video! When I heard about a proposal, I thought it was just a video storyline, I didn't realise it was a genuine thing! It's really cute though, congratulations Andy!

5. Adele - Send My Love (To Your New Lover)

Finally, my last song for this week is Adele's latest offering 'Send My Love (To Your New Lover). This song is SO unusual for Adele, and looking back at the singles from 25 so far, you can hear a pleasant difference in her material. Still iconic, but generally appeals more to my taste. This song reminds me of M.I.A's 'Paper Planes' (it took me forever to find what song it sounded like haha). The video is due soon with Adele supposedly dancing in it - can't wait!

What have you been listening to recently?
Hwyl am y tro ✌️