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 ✌️

Monday, 16 May 2016

#MusicMonday 6

Hey, hello, hiiii. Another Monday means another music post! Half of the songs this week are brand new, and the other half are ones you might be fairly familiar with! As usual, you can recap on last week's post here. Just thought I'd also let you know that there will be a few more posts coming soon, something a bit different. Also, it's gig time again on the weekend! Read on to find out who I'm going to see...

1. Joe and Jake - You're Not Alone

Joe and Jake represented the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest over the weekend. Yes, we were near the bottom of the leaderboard as usual but we actually received far more points than what we have done in recent years (including 12 points from Malta - we love you!) and the song was a great one. I think they should be proud of themselves as they certainly did the country proud - they deserved far more than what they got. Fun fact for you, this song was actually co-written by Siva Kaneswaran from The Wanted but the band never used it on any of their albums! (They would have sounded great on this track too.)

2. Birdy - Wild Horses

This song is EVERYWHERE at the moment. I've heard it numerous times on my local radio station, on the telly etc and it's really grown on me. I've never been a Birdy fan but I adore this song.

3. MKTO - Superstitious

My favourite American duo are back with a new single, and it's most definitely one of their best! 'Superstitious' was released on Friday 13 and is full of clever lyrics as well as Tony's incredible vocals and Malcolm's crazy raps. I really hope this song cuts them the break they deserve, as they're the epitome of underrated. Also, I want them to come back to the UK as it's been nearly two years since I first/last saw them (and I've yet to witness them performing live which is a travesty).

4. OneRepublic - Wherever I Go

OneRepublic are back with a new single called 'Wherever I Go'. True to their style, it's an epic sounding track and is sure to be a hit over the next few months. If you need someone to add to your 'I need to see them live' bucketlist, these are your guys. I saw them at Jingle Bell Ball in 2014 and they completely blew me away - Ryan Tedder is unreal.

5. Nick Jonas - Chainsaw

In the lead up to his new album release, Nick Jonas has been dropping tracks for those who've pre-ordered Last Year Was Complicated. His latest offering is 'Chainsaw', which he describes as his 'most personal song yet'. The maturity in Nick's music is evident and he's poured his heart and soul into this single. It just makes me even more excited for the release of his album - every song so far is incredible.

6. Charlie Puth - My Gospel 

I've included an extra song this week, in honour of Charlie Puth who I'm going to see on Sunday. I HAVEN'T BEEN TO A GIG IN AGES, I'M SO EXCITED! It's also my first time seeing Charlie live AND I'm going to be meeting him - too much to deal with! I love his music and his album Nine Track Mind is really underrated. One of my favourite tracks from the album is 'My Gospel' which I've shared with you. I hope he sings it on Sunday, and I'll be writing a post about the gig once I'm home.

Have a great week!
Hwyl am y tro ✌️

Monday, 9 May 2016

#MusicMonday 5

Hello again! So it's that time of week again, where I share what I've been listening to over the past few days. (I swear Mondays come around quicker for me since I started doing #MusicMondays, which is both a good and bad thing aha). If you missed last week's collaboration filled #MusicMonday, check it out here.

1. Justin Timberlake - Can't Stop The Feeling

J-Timberlake is baaaaaack! (cue excited screams). It feels like SO LONG since he last released anything, but he's back with a top tune called 'Can't Stop The Feeling', which appears on the soundtrack to the new Dreamworks animation, Trolls. Justin voices the character of Branch in the movie, and he is joined by fellow voice contributors in the video, including James Corden, Anna Kendrick and Gwen Stefani. It's such an infectious song - it's got 'big hit' written aaaall over it.

2. James Morrison - I Need You Tonight

Like the granny that I am, (my approaching quarter life crisis is real), one night last week I fell asleep on the sofa and woke up randomly to see a repeat of Michael McIntyre's new comedy show. James Morrison was the guest performer and he sang 'I Need You Tonight', which I've never heard before, however, I instantly loved it! I'd forgotten how good his music is, and subsequently this song has been a big hit on my playlist this week.

3. Nicky Byrne - Sunlight

On Friday, my local radio station was interviewing former Westlife star Nicky Byrne, who will be representing Ireland at this year's Eurovision Song Contest. After working on his solo material since the band split, he has finally unveiled his debut single (and Ireland's song choice for this year). Nicky's chosen a potentially enormous platform providing that people take to the song! I didn't really know what to expect from him, as he wasn't a prominent singer in the band but I was pleasantly surprised! It's an upbeat offering, with no key change in sight, and with a loyal following behind him, I'm sure he will be very successful at this year's contest.

4. Busted - Coming Home

If a reunion tour featuring ALL THREE MEMBERS (yes, even Charlie!!) wasn't enough to excite, Busted have just released their first single in over 12 years. Nostalgia is a wonderful thing, and I'm so excited about them reforming - but new material is just the cherry on the cake! 'Coming Home' is so different to their old material, which is a great thing tbh. Whilst I adore their classic tracks, it would be odd if their new material was a carbon copy of their songs from over a decade ago! There is a maturity in this track as well as an anthemic feel - this song is going to sound incredible live. Welcome back Busted. I'm so excited to see them at Fusion Festival later this year!

5. Fifth Harmony - Write On Me

I'm notorious for being a boyband girl. I always have been and I always will be, however, where girlbands are concerned, I very much like Fifth Harmony. Their singles are always SO. CATCHY. but I've yet to tackle their album material until now. The girls recently released 'Write On Me' as a pre-order from their second album 7/27 and I really like it! It's so different to 'Worth It' and 'Work From Home', but it's nice (as a sideline fan) to see another side to them. It's definitely made me want to download their album once it's released.

See you next week!
Hwyl am y tro ✌️ 

Monday, 2 May 2016

#MusicMonday 4

Welcome to the fourth #MusicMonday! As it happens, collaborations seems to be a common theme on my playlist this week, so here's five awesome partnerships that I've been playing on repeat. Don't forget that you can check out last week's #MusicMonday here.

1. Beyoncé featuring Jack White - Don't Hurt Yourself

One of the biggest news stories in music recently was the return of Queen Bey, and the surprise release of her latest album Lemonade. The twelve track album, which was released following an hour-long visual extravaganza showcasing the tracks on HBO, is easily Beyoncé's most talked about work to date. There's been plenty of speculation as to the messages garnered from the song, including husband Jay-Z's alleged cheating.

Whatever the truth may Bey (sorry, couldn't resist that pun!), she has managed to create an iconic album with many different styles. 'Hold Up' and 'Sorry' are faves of mine, but I have to say that Beyoncé's collab with Jack White slays everything else. 'Don't Hurt Yourself' is so far removed from what I expect from Bey, but it's just so right. It's angry, hardcore and savage on every level, I can only imagine how insane it would sound live. Check out the visual for it below - the full version is available to stream/download on Tidal/iTunes etc.

2. Calvin Harris and Rihanna - This Is What You Came For

Calvin Harris and Rihanna have teamed up once again for 'This Is What You Came For', which has all the credentials to be a summer smash! Lots of people have been raving about this track since its release on Friday, and I don't blame them at all. I can imagine that it's going to be a popular track at all the festivals and party places this summer.

3. Nathan Sykes featuring G-Eazy - Give It Up

Nathan Sykes is back with a new single, due for release on May 13. He has been performing an acoustic version of this song on Little Mix's tour for the past two months, and on Friday he released the video for the official version, which also features rapper G-Eazy.

I really love this song, it's sultry and shows another side to Nathan. (Let's be honest, he could sing the phone book and I'd pay a lot to play it on repeat haha). The accompanying music video leaves very little to the imagination but I guess it very much plays on the 'different side' to Nathan! Apparently it got banned on the music channels due to the end scenes, which I find hilarious as I've followed Nathan's career since he was an innocent child in The Wanted. You can probably see why it's a bit steamy from the thumbnail below, but regardless of the video, it's a great song.

4. Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello - I Know What You Did Last Summer

Shawn Mendes and Fifth Harmony's Camila Cabello teamed up for this track late last year but it's only now starting to get UK airplay. It's such a great song which acts as a conversation between two people in a dying relationship. The chorus is catchy and the song also samples Bill Withers' 'Ain't No Sunshine' which holds a special memory for me, and adds to my enjoyment of the track. It's great to see Shawn and Camila (as well as Fifth Harmony as a whole) start to get the recognition they deserve in the UK.

5. Zedd and Kesha - True Colours

'True Colours' is a song from Zedd's second album of the same name, which was released in 2015. A few weeks ago, following an on-going legal battle with Dr Luke and Sony, Kesha made a triumphant return to the music industry by performing 'True Colours' with Zedd at Coachella. On Friday, an official recording was released, marking Kesha's first music release in over three years. Zedd has allowed Kesha to share her beautiful vocals again, with the lyrics proving to be extremely poignant following her ordeal. It's good to have you back Kesha ♥ 

That's all for this week! Don't forget to share what's on your most played lists this week :)

Hwyl am y tro ✌️

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Unwrapping May's TreatBox

It's the 1st of May, meaning that it's time to unwrap another Not Shabby Very Chic TreatBox. (How quickly is this year going please?!) It only feels like yesterday when I was unwrapping April's goodies!

I have a slight confession - being the fab person that she is, Zoe sent this month's boxes out early to make sure that we received them before the bank holiday. I received my box a few days ago, and being an impatient so-and-so, I had to open it immediately!  

However, I decided to wait until the first of the month to share its contents, and what a lovely little box it was! The theme of this month's box is 'Pretty Chic', something of which I absolutely adore. I'm obsessed with anything decorative, from things with sayings on to cute little trinkets, so I was super excited about opening the package. As usual, there was an inspirational card included in the box, with the message "She believed she could so she did", which I will definitely turn to when I'm in need of a motivational boost.

welcome note and inspirational card ♥

On to the main event, the actual box unwrapping! This bit never fails to make me smile - just wondering what lovely treats awaits in the box makes me super excited.

unwrapping the TreatBox...

this month's Pretty Chic TreatBox ♥

My TreatBox contained:

'She Believed She Could So She Did' inspirational postcard
'Follow Your Heart' cushion cover
Dangly hearts decoration
Spotted decorative tape
'Life Is Too Short To Be Anything But Happy' wooden decoration
'Queen Bee' bookmark
'You Look Lovely Today' compact mirror

I love the cushion cover and as you can see below, I've already put it to good use! Looks great, doesn't it?

The hearts decoration is so pretty and the spotty decorative tape will sure come in handy. I adore the wooden plaque - I think the message is cute, you've got to try and make the most of life and be as happy as you possibly can. My favourite item in the box this month is the Queen Bee bookmark, which as a book reader, suits me to a tee. It'll definitely find a happy home among many of my books!

Finally, I opened this adorable little pouch to find the loveliest compact mirror, with 'You look lovely today' written on the back of it. What a perfect gift to give you a confidence boost!

Not only is this month's TreatBox full of the prettiest little things, there's also a running theme of motivational messages. Everyone is guilty of forgetting their worth at times, and it's nice to be reminded that we are strong and can do anything we want to if we put our minds to it.

May's TreatBox has definitely been my favourite so far, although I am super excited to see what will arrive through my letter box next month! If you want to subscribe to TreatBoxUK, you can do so here. (Again, this is not a sponsored post, I'm just a sucker for pretty chic goodies!)

Hwyl am y tro ✌️

Monday, 25 April 2016

#MusicMonday 3

Hey. Hello. Hiiii. Yes, it's that time of week again where I share what's currently blessing my ears. There's been a lack of new music in my life this week so this post is a bit of a mixed bag. Check out last week's post here.

1. DNCE - Hands To Myself (Cover)

Since finding out that DNCE were coming to London (at short notice) to do a Live Lounge last week, I've been super bitter about it because I NEED TO FINALLY MEET THE TEENAGE LOVE OF MY LIFE AND HIS BAND PALS OKAY. Unfortunately, despite Radio 1 being a really good place to meet celebs (and being the babes that they are, DNCE stopped for ages with fans), I couldn't get Thursday off from work and even if I could have, National Rail thought it was acceptable to charge £250+ for a return train ticket, ugh.

Anyway, putting my annoyance to one side, the result of their promo trip included this incredible cover of Selena Gomez's 'Hands To Myself'. I love the song anyway, but it's kind of a basic song (it's hard to explain what I mean but in no way am I slating it) so I was a bit concerned as to how DNCE were going to tackle it. Clearly, I needn't have worried at all - they smashed it! The breakdown at 1:34 is insaaaaaane. Who ever thought a Selena song could turn into a rock song?!

2. DNCE - Pay My Rent (Vevo LIFT)

Can't get enough of these babes this week. As the Vevo LIFT artists for this year, there's so much incredible footage and performances on their Vevo page! 'Pay My Rent' is one of my favourite songs of theirs, so obviously I fell in love with this. It's such a funky song and a total bop. I would pay Joe Jonas' rent any day of the week tbh.


3. In Hindsight - Over and Out

Little throwback to a band I first saw live a few years ago. I'm not sure what their situation is anymore, but this song is and always will be a jam of mine. I'd forgotten about it until I was scrolling through my YouTube history the other day! Now, it's firmly back on my 'play at full volume' playlist.

4. Jo O'Meara  - What Hurts The Most

Bit of a story as to why this song has been included. I don't know why but a few days ago, Mum was listening to some Rascal Flatts songs, one of them being 'What Hurts The Most'. I started to sing along and she was confused as to how I knew it and she didn't. For some reason, Cascada's version came into my mind so I played it for her, then I remembered that it was actually the Jo O'Meara version that I properly knew (and adored). This is a damn good song, and Jo's version is my favourite. So here's a throwback for those of you who know this song in one capacity or another.

5. Prince - Raspberry Beret

With the tragic passing of legendary musician Prince last week, I thought I would include one of his songs. I wouldn't call myself a fan in particular but I enjoyed a lot of his music. When thinking of Prince, it's 'Raspberry Beret' that always comes to my mind straight away. I have a vivid memory of myself as a child attending summer club in school. They had one of those toy kitchens with pretend food, so we used to play in there. I remember there being a pretend food item which looked like a raspberry desert of some sort and I just kept singing 'Raspberry Beret' every time I saw it. Not the whole song, just the words 'Raspberry Beret' over and over again. Clearly a strange child lol, I have no idea how I knew the song or associated it with this plastic toy, but that is my memory of the song.

Hwyl am y tro ✌️

Saturday, 23 April 2016

World Book Night - 10 of My Favourite Books

Today is April 23, which means that it's World Book Night! I'm familiar with the concept of World Book DAY, having grown up celebrating it every year, however World Book NIGHT is something I only heard about yesterday, thanks to Laura's book group on Facebook. 

The purpose of World Book Night is to inspire more people to read. Run by The Reading Agency, it brings together many national partners including publishers, libraries, booksellers, trusts and foundations, who then work together to host events up and down the country to celebrate the difference that reading makes to people's lives. Thousands of volunteers also sign up to the initiative to share their love of reading by distributing books to people in the community. According to DCMS (2015), 36% of people in the UK do not read regularly, but World Book Night aims to change that,

I think it's a fantastic initiative. As someone who loves reading, it's so important to try and encourage others to read as not only does it open your mind to new ideas and vocabulary, but reading also provides escapism and enjoyment. 

To celebrate World Book Night, I thought I would share with you ten of my favourite books, most of which I've read over the past year and a half.

1. Three Amazing Things About You - Jill Mansell

Hallie has a secret. She's in love. He's perfect for her in every way, but he's seriously out of bounds. And her friends aren't going to help her because what they do know is that Hallie doesn't have long to live. Time is running out...
Flo has a dilemma. She really likes Zander. But his scary sister won't be even faintly amused if she thinks Zander and Flo are becoming friends - let alone anything more.
Tasha has a problem. Her new boyfriend is the adventurous type. And she's afraid one of his adventures will go badly wrong.
THREE AMAZING THINGS ABOUT YOU begins as Hallie goes on a journey. A donor has been found and she's about to be given new lungs. But whose?

Jill Mansell is my favourite author and in my eyes, the queen of chick-lit. Whenever I'm in a reading slump, I can trust one of Jill's books to get me out of it. I've read 12 out of Jill's 27 books and it's hard to pick a favourite, but I would say that 'Three Amazing Things About You' definitely stands out as one of her best. 

2. Where Rainbows End - Cecelia Ahern

Best friends since forever, Rosie and Alex have shared their hopes, dreams, awkward moments – and firsts. But their bond is threatened when Alex’s family move to America. They stay in touch, but misunderstandings, circumstances and sheer bad luck seem to be conspiring to keep them apart. Can they gamble everything – even their friendship – on true love?

I haven't read many Cecelia Ahern books however this is one of my favourites. Not only does it have a good plot, I also enjoyed the structure of the book as it was entirely written in the form of letters, emails, instant messages and newspaper articles. It's the first book I've seen written entirely in this format but for me, it enhanced my enjoyment of the story as it gave it a modern twist. Some of you will already be familiar with the book plot as it was made into a film called Love, Rosie in 2014.

3. Big Little Lies - Liane Moriarty

It was always going to end in tears, but how did it end in murder?
Single mum Jane has just moved to town. She's got her little boy in tow - plus the secret she's been carrying for five years.
On the first day of the school run she meets Madeline - a force to be reckoned with, who remembers everything and forgives no one - and Celeste, the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare, but is inexplicably ill at ease. They both take Jane under their wing - while careful to keep their own secrets under wraps.
But a minor incident involving the children of all three women rapidly escalates: playground whispers become spiteful rumours until no one can tell the truth from the lies.
Which is when the secrets come out - and now someone is going to pay with their life . . . 

I've always been a chick-lit kind of girl but after reading this book last year, it made me appreciate books outside of my usual genre. I wouldn't call this book a thriller but there was a lot of mystery and it kept you guessing until the very end. The book also touched on a lot of difficult topics which were handled in a sensitive manner. HBO are adapting the book into a mini TV series too, starring Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley, which should be interesting!

4. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 - Sue Townsend

Friday January 2nd
I felt rotten today. It's my mother's fault for singing 'My Way' at two o'clock in the morning at the top of the stairs. Just my luck to have a mother like her. There is a chance my parents could be alcoholics. Next year I could be in a children's home.

Meet Adrian Mole, a hapless teenager providing an unabashed, pimples-and-all glimpse into adolescent life. Writing candidly about his parents' marital troubles, the dog, his life as a tortured poet and 'misunderstood intellectual'.

I read the entire Adrian Mole series as a child / in my teens and I've always found the books to be hilarious. Last year, I re-read 'The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 3/4' for the millionth time, when it was brought in as a donation in my charity shop. It was still as hilarious as the first time I read it many moons ago - the series is completely timeless. 

5. Billy and Me - Giovanna Fletcher

Sophie May has a secret.
One that she's successfully kept for years. It's meant that she's had to give up her dreams of going to university and travelling the world to stay in her little village, living with her mum and working in the local teashop.
But then she meets the gorgeous Billy - an actor with ambitions to make it to the top. And when they fall in love, Sophie is whisked away from the comfort of her life into Billy's glamorous - but ruthless - world.
Their relationship throws Sophie right into the spotlight after years of shying away from attention. Can she handle the constant scrutiny that comes with being with Billy? And most of all, is she ready for her secret heartbreak to be discovered and shared with the nation?
Giovanna Fletcher is another of my favourite authors. One of the best things about her books for me is the use of modern references, making it feel more believable and relatable. I've read all of her published work and 'Billy and Me' is just one of the gems she's given us. It's such a lovely book, and better still, there's a sequel called 'Always With Love' coming on the 2nd of June!

6. Follow Me - Angela Clarke

The ‘Hashtag Murderer’ posts chilling cryptic clues online, pointing to their next target. Taunting the police. Enthralling the press. Capturing the public’s imagination.
But this is no virtual threat.
As the number of his followers rises, so does the body count.
Eight years ago two young girls did something unforgivable. Now ambitious police officer Nasreen and investigative journalist Freddie are thrown together again in a desperate struggle to catch this cunning, fame-crazed killer. But can they stay one step ahead of him? And can they escape their own past?
Time's running out. Everyone is following the #Murderer. But what if he is following you?
This is one of the most recent books that I've read and wow, it definitely makes you think twice about the way in which you use social media. This is a crime thriller at its best, again with a modern twist which evidently is something I really enjoy. It was mysterious and gritty and definitely kept me gripped until the end.

7. The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. 

Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar.

Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…

I've only recently got round to reading 'The Girl On The Train' after seeing many adverts for it pretty much everywhere, The hype behind the book made me want to give it a read and it didn't disappoint! I must admit that half way through, I did guess what had happened, although I was caught by a further plot twist at the end. Unsurprisingly, it's being made into a film and the first trailer for it was released last week, 

8. Me Before You - Jojo Moyes

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.
What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.
Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.
What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.
If you haven't already read 'Me Before You' then quite frankly, you're missing out. It's an utter sob-fest but my goodness, it's an incredible book. I was pretty late on the hype with this one, but once I started reading it, I was gripped. It's so compelling and even though you can kind of guess what's going to happen later on, nothing prepares you for how heartbreaking it is. I'm so excited for the film adaptation later this year, although I pray that they'll do this phenomenal book justice.

9. Here We Lie - Sophie McKenzie

On holiday with family and her adoring fiancé, Jed, Emily couldn't be happier. But overnight, the idyllic trip turns into a waking nightmare when one of the group is found dead in what appears to be a terrible accident. 

The devastated party returns to London to cope with their loss while trying to resume their normal lives. But new revelations shed a shocking light on the holiday tragedy and set Emily on a perilous journey to discover the truth about what happened. Soon a terrifying series of threats and lies bring her face to face with the dark truths at the heart of her family - and into life-threatening danger...

Without doubt, 'Here We Lie' is my favourite crime/thriller book. I have never been so gripped by a book and its plot! There were so many twists and turns, that it was pretty much impossible to correctly guess the outcome. I wrote a review for Laura's blog after I finished it and months later, I still rave about the book to people! If you love thrillers then this is the book for you.

10. Just a Girl Standing In Front Of A Boy - Lucy-Anne Holmes

'My love story may not be the sort you read about in books or see in films . . . Love stories have glorious highs and ghastly lows. But when it comes to my own life, I'd have to say, you can keep your fabulous highs and I'll happily steer clear of the terrible lows.'
After a rocky start in life, Jenny Taylor, 27, star receptionist at the local doctors surgery, has things all worked out thanks to a list of ten daily things she must do to keep the blues at bay. But her life is turned upside down when she meets aspiring musician Joe King. And reliable boyfriend Matt proposes. And then her mum leaves her dad and moves into Jenny's flat determined to 'bond'.
If I had to pick an all-time favourite book, it would be this one. I can't put my finger on a specific reason as to why this book is so great, but when something's perfect, you don't need a reason, you just know. With humour and romance in abundance, this book made me laugh and cry in equal measure. I got so sucked in by this chick-lit and its plot twists! I also fell in love with a literary character for the first time - Joe King is absolutely bloody perfect, where on earth can I get my own one from?! 

What is your favourite book? Are you reading anything to celebrate World Book Night tonight? 

Hwyl am y tro ✌️