Category: lifestyle
Showing posts with label lifestyle. Show all posts

CaseApp the ultimate phone case extravaganza!

CaseApp is a worldwide supplier of high-quality custom phone cases. They make cases for a variety of devices including iPhone, Samsung, Macbooks and Google phone. This isn't the first time I've spoken about CaseApp on my blog as I am a huge fan of them and their cases and they recently offered me the case to review some of their cases. If you fancy reading my first review you can check this out here.   

The CaseApp phone cases are available to buy in standard or as a hard case. The hard cases work with two layers, the first is a silicone case, and then the second layer is a hard plastic case. A case like this will protect your device from drops and falls, as well as looking fab. What's special about CaseApp is that it is completely customizable and you can even upload your own art and images to create a one of a kind unique case. If you're loving a design on the site but want to add something a little more to it, like a name or word you are able to edit most cases too. CaseApp offers premade clipart which is free to use on your own phone case. There are a variety of cute decals and quotes too.

I made two cases, one which is a collage titled 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder' which I created in Photoshop and uploaded to CaseApp to be printed onto a phone case. I was impressed with the finished result, and the quality is amazing. I chose to have this case have a matte finish, but you can also pick to have your case with a glossy finish depending on your preference. The phone case feels very sturdy and smooth and when you hold the case you can tell it's good quality. The second case was one of the premade ones from the site, if you know me, you'll know there's a reason I chose it (hint, it's because I love pizza!) I felt like the design was completely me and had a girly feel to it. A few artists I'd recommend checking out on CaseApp if you're planning on purchasing a premade one. If you're looking for something a little more on the colourful and fun side, I'd recommend checking out the cases by Paul Fuentes as they are amazing! If you are after something motivational check out The Optimist and finally if you're looking for something more simplistic but still fun there is Elina Dahl who creates some fantastic pieces. 

If you're interested in buying a case (or ten) from CaseApp you can get 20% off your purchase with code '20DUNGAREESDONUTS' which is active for the next few weeks.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post and do let me know in the comments if you purchase a case from CaseApp.

*This post contains gifted items*

National Vegetarian Week With Haribo.

Vegetarian Haribo
*This post contains gifted items, however, this does not impact my opinion on this post or the items which were gifted to me* 

May 13th-19th is National Vegetarian Week as well as Mental Health Awareness week, two things which are close to my heart. Being a vegetarian for the majority of my life and seeing the huge shift in the opinions of those around me who are also now living or trying to live a vegetarian life. So this week is about celebrating us vegetarians and embracing the lifestyle. In recent years I've seen the number of vegetarian options in restaurants soar from 1 or 2 basic choices (it's always the veggie burger) to a massive variety, some places even offer a menu packed full of goodness. It's not just restaurants who have upped their game either. 

There are plenty of companies who are taking the step to offer meat alternatives, most supermarkets now have their own range of vegetarian/vegan food, some of the bigger chains are stepping up too and offering meat alternatives to their well-sold meat products. I'm sure most of you know about the Greggs Vegan Sausage Roll that took the nation by storm and even had Piers Morgan 'throwing up' in a bin *eye roll*. Quorn who has been the meat alternative from the start have started offering so many more products than their sausages and mince, they're offering bacon, scotch eggs, chicken nugget and many more alternatives which is amazing. 

Vegetarian Haribo 2019
Vegetarian Haribo 2019

Recently Haribo has released a huge range of vegetarian sweets! When I think of sweets my brain instantly goes to gelatine and for those vegetarian sweets on the market they just don't have the same taste as their non-vegetarian siblings. However, Haribo has managed to change this, I wouldn't have believed it either without trying them. But I'm actually shocked how good they taste and you'd never be able to tell the difference. Haribo have offered Strawbs for a long time which I didn't realise were vegetarian either, but with a ton of new exciting options in their collection what will you pick. With everything from mini strawbs, to new and exciting flavours of Jelly Beans and a twist on their classic star mix, which they have named their funny mix.

I'm excited to see what is in store next for Haribo and their vegetarian range as it keeps extending to new products and also improving previous products. I appreciate being able to enjoy more sweets now as the range was super limited prior to this. My favourites are the Jelly Beans as they have some amazing flavours such as candy floss and popcorn, yum.

Vegetarian Haribo  
Vegetarian Haribo Funny Mix

Thanks, Haribo for sending me these goodies, I am enjoying munching my way through them whilst writing this post. I am loving the miniature versions of their vegetarian sweets too, it allows you to snack easier whilst on the go. I'd love to know in the comments if you're vegetarian and what your favourite meat alternative is.

Bumble Bff: Success or fail?

Bumble Bff

It's true when they say there is an app for pretty much everything these days from food to jobs, dating to holidays and one I've discovered most recently is an app for friends called Bumble BFF. I remember using Bumble briefly for dating when I was single, but I never found it as enjoyable as the other apps I was using. Although it was amazing to stop guys spamming with pics if you didn't want to talk to them first. As females have to talk first on the app. My friend Bec advised me that she had found a friend using the site, so I decided to give it a go myself. Similar time limits apply to on the BFF version, however, once a match is made either person has 24 hours to message, after this time the match expires. The time limit thing can be a bit annoying as if you are anything like me, you'll forget to check it for days and then go back to loads of missed matches. I guess this is how Bumble entices people into paying for premium.

I have been using Bumble BFF over a month now and I am still checking the app (when I remember oops) so I decided to share my findings with you guys. If you've not yet got the app, I'd totally recommend it. I live in a pretty small town and even I've been able to locate people nearby. When you're making a profile you can decide how far you want your account to reach, I did it to around 40km as I live within 30 minutes (or less on the train) of 3 different cities. So I decided to make sure my radius reached all of those areas. With that, I was on to swiping. I felt like I was on Tinder somewhat with the swiping but for me, the friendship shouldn't be based on looks so I am always looking for interesting bios/experiences and what pets they have because my priorities are in the right order. With Bumble it offers you a variety of questions to ask your match which I find is quite cool as it allows you to get to know a person quite quickly.

With apps such as Bumble BFF, I do always try to put a lot of effort in at first when talking to someone, but when I get a bunch of one-word answers or really dull conversations like "hi, how are you" over and over I tend to give up the conversation. Although on occasion it does pay off, I was able to meet a friend called Emily. We've even met up in real life and had lunch and coffee. We are super similar as people and we now talk almost every day. I didn't imagine when I joined Bumble BFF that I'd actually make a friend but I am ecstatic that I have.

As Bec was the one who told me about the app in the first place, I wanted to hear what she had to say about her experiences.

"Before Christmas, I downloaded Bumble BFF after hearing other North East Bloggers had used it and I was looking to make friends in my area anyway. I got talking to a lovely girl who was moving up to Newcastle from the other end of the country and we had a lot in common! We met up for a double date with her boyfriend and mine and we got along really well (so did our boyfriends)! I ended up planning a night out on the town with her and we had a lot of fun. We plan to go out more and I’d certainly say I’ve made a friend from Bumble. I would recommend others to give it a try if you’re wanting to meet new friends. I wasn’t expecting anything to come of it, but I’m very happy I plucked up the courage to do it!"

Hearing that Bec had such a positive experience made me happy to know that the app can result in success. I also spoke to Ellie from NinkComPoop who had met Bec through the app and I asked her for her thoughts on the app.

"Well... I used BFF because I was recommended it by a few people who knew I was moving away from home. As somebody who had instant success with Tinder a couple of years ago, I was really keen on the idea. I really needed to open myself up to new friendships as I was going to be hundreds of miles away from home. I feel like I'm quite good at understanding people's sense of character quite quickly, so I got on with a few people almost straight away. I would 100% recommend it to people who are up for building new friendships or want to explore a new area with somebody. I was lucky in that I was able to become friends with somebody who knew the area quite well so could show me the ropes of a new place and invite me to fun events also."

Ellie also offers the advice of:
Also... for so long, myself and others were always saying "why isn't there a Tinder for friendships!". I hear people saying it ALL the time! Not enough people know about BFF, so I was so excited haha! I also think it's a good idea to make it clear on your bio what exactly you are looking for; a night-out buddy, a travel friend, a fellow mummy friend, a takeaway & horror movie buddy, etc. I feel like you'll find people on your level that way :)

With this I totally agree there are so many people the app, some are after the same things you may be after and others you may not be suited to, just like friends in real life. Not everybody will get on with everyone but there is a huge variety of people on the app and that's what makes it great!

Thanks to Bec and Ellie for taking the time to be a part of this post and I'd love to know in the comments your experiences on Bumble BFF.

Tips for shopping on Ali Express

It's 2019 and I begrudge paying over the top prices for things I know I can get cheaper online. I love sites like eBay and Ali Express as they allow you to purchase things at a fraction of the price. There is one catch with these seemingly too cheap items, they're from China so can take a little time to arrive. Oh, and by a little, I mean a few months. I've had some items arrive in a matter of weeks and others take 2 months or longer. But with that said for all the things I purchase from Ali Express, I don't really mind how long they take to arrive. I tend to buy phone cases, figures and some stationery. With phone cases costing as little as £0.99, even those which are stocked in stores for £10 or more, it's madness to be able to buy them for such a cheap price. So here are my top tips from an avid Ali Express user for over 3 years now.

Price compare: 
If you want to purchase an item, it is worth giving it a quick Google just to make sure that the price is as good as it looks. It is possible the item is a dupe or a copy of the original which would explain the price difference in most cases. However, it's a great way to bag bargains. I've always bought the film for my Instax on Ali Express as you can get them massively reduced in price. The last time I purchased I got 40 sheets for the price of 10, that's how good it is!

Postage is dirt cheap:
Although you can pay for quick postage (it is really expensive) if you can wait for your item, the postage costs under £1 normally which is crazy. Dependant on the item will vary the postage, but you can get really reasonable postage for most items on site.

You can buy almost anything on Ali Express:
If you're not looking for anything in particular but fancy a browse you may end down a rabbit hole, with millions of items on the site from underwear to gift boxes, Ali Express has you covered.

Be vigilant: 
Similar to eBay you have to be wary of who you buy from, like eBay it is easy enough to be refunded if your item doesn't turn up. But reaching out to the seller in most cases will get the issue resolved quickly.

Learn what to search for: 
Once you know how to find things which are hidden on the site you are able to find some real gems, finding keywords from other listings of similar items can allow you to narrow it down to find the best sellers. 

Purchase cheap items only: 
For electronics, car parts and expensive jewellery it doesn't seem worth the risk to me, so I only tend to buy smaller items in case something does end up being wrong with the item or worse it not turning up.

Would you shop on Ali Express? 

Tips to stay motivated when working at home.

Working from home is one of those things which sounds like a dream, getting to work from your bed, not even having to get dressed for a day of work and you don't even have to leave the house at all if you don't want to. Communication doesn't even need to happen in person, which is great for those days in which small talk doesn't seem possible. If you're working as part of a job role which allows home-based work it can be easier to stay motivated as you have set tasks to do, but when you're self employed it is a whole different ball game, you pick your hours, you pick what you do and most importantly you need to keep your motivation levels high to be able to stay focused and keep producing a high standard of work. If you're like me when I'm having a bad day I find it almost impossible to remove myself from my bed unless I am booted out of bed by my other half (which doesn't ever happen) so I've been finding ways to motivate myself whilst working from home, as it is not all fun and games like it may first seem. Last year I wrote a post called "working from home, what's the deal?" which is one of my all time most popular posts so I thought I'd share some more working from home-based posts and it would be great to hear your thoughts in the comments. 

Make a plan:
One of the things I've found most helpful when working from home for myself is writing a list of the things which I need to do on a sticky note and then crossing them out throughout the day. I like to make a plan of what I need to do and at what times too, like similarly to being in a workplace there are set times to do set things for most of us. Like having breaks and going to meetings. It can be easy to find yourself not doing a lot when you're working alone. You can find amazing desk planners online which are great for this, I always find having one in front of me allows me to see what is left to do for the day. Paperchase has a "hit list" one which allows you to prioritise your goals and also tick them off when you've completed them.  This gives me that extra push to keep going, especially when I can see the list going down throughout the day. 

Limit distractions: 
This one is easier said than done, especially if you live in a household with lots of people around. I don't have this issue, however, my phone does give me a constant stream of contact with the 'outside world' and as much as I enjoy Twitter and Instagram they're one of the biggest distractions on my phone. I find not having my phone around when I'm working makes it easier to get things done. I always have my phone on silent so this doesn't distract me either. I'd recommend putting your phone out of sight, you know what they say, out of sight, out of mind. I allow myself to use my phone during breaks but for the rest of the time I try to have it as far away as possible and if I do have it near me for a particular reason, I have it face down, there is nothing more distracting than the constant flashes of notifications. 

Set yourself working hours:
I hold my hands up to this one and admit I am not good with setting work hours. I'll work at random times in the day and then go back to things a few hours later. Allowing yourself to figure out when your most productive is a good start. I know the evenings are when I work best, so for me, it does often make more sense to work through the evening instead of early mornings. But deciding how many hours you are going to work that day is a great way to split your day up and keep to the hours you've set. That will also allow you to fit breaks in around those hours. 

Create the ultimate working space:
Out of the list, this is one of the tips I think are most important to follow as it can really affect your mental health if you don't have the correct working environment. As much as it can be OK to work in your bed for a treat. Working in bed for me makes me tired, makes me ache and I can confirm I am a lot less productive. If you've got a spare room turn it into your own office space. There is nothing worse than spending all day and all night in your bedroom without really anytime out. Plus if you're creating yourself a work space it means you need new homewares and stationery. Who doesn't need an adorable Watermelon Planter or Pastel Cat Highlighters, amirite? 

With that folks, that is it, those are some of my best tips, I have so many more I could share with you but I didn't want to make this post too long, but I am happy to write a 2nd part if this is something any of you would find useful.

*This post does contain affiliate links, however, this does not impact your sale in any way, if you choose to purchase the item via the link I will gain a small percentage of money* 

Weird and wonderful Mother's Day gift guide.

If you're a regular reader of Dungarees & Donuts, you will know weird and wonderful is my speciality, gift guides are especially where I get to show off this side and I love to bring you the best gifts from far and wide (the internet) to inspire you to adventure out of the 'norm' for presents and dare to be different. I can confirm this guide does feature some gifted items, however, if I didn't love them I wouldn't include them as I'm not that kinda person. I hope you enjoy my weird and wonderful Mother's Day guide and for my other alternative gift guides, you can click the link to enjoy.

Lush Gift Set 'You ok, Mum?':
Lush is an amazing go-to brand for gifts, you know what you're going to get is going to be good quality and Lush have the best packaging. The 'You ok, Mum' gift set is a gift set which doesn't require a bath, as like most of you know. Lush is primarily somewhere that sells bath products. The great thing about this set is, it even has 'shower bombs' which sound super exciting don't they? In the set, there is also a shower scrub, shower gel, body lotion and a lovely soap bar. They are all wrapped up within a lovely box and tied with a ribbon. The set comes in at £32.95 which on the surface is a lot, but for a lush fan and the number of products you get within the set, it is great value for money. Plus, all of the products in the box are vegan and cruelty-free.

NOT Terry's Chocolate Orange Gin:
I don't know about you, but my mum is a huge fan of gin and when I saw this gorgeous looking bottle of chocolate orange gin I knew it would be a hit. Not only is the bottle amazing and looks like it has chocolate dripping down it, the liquid is also coloured like it is chocolate orange. Firebox claims the gin tastes exactly like chocolate orange which is exciting as who doesn't like alcohol that tastes that bit sweeter. The bottle is 50cl and costs £29.99 from Firebox. P.s. No chocolate oranges were harmed in the making of this gin.

Belgian Waffle Yankee Candle:
Of course, Yankee Candle had to make it onto the list, is it really a gift guide without a Yankee Candle? Following on from the food theme above, we have a gorgeous Belgian waffle scented candle. The candle costs £23.99 like all large Yankee Candles do, however, this can be purchased in a smaller size. The scent literally mimics a syrup covered waffle, it smells sweet and sugary with notes of cinnamon running through. Yankee Candle also have three other candles in their new Sunday Brunch collection which are also great alternatives for a Mother's Day present (or yourself, because, treat yo self right?)  

Stephen Hawking 50p Coin:
The final item of the guide deserved an honourable mention as it's one of a kind and can only be bought for a short period of time on The Royal Mint. The Stephen Hawking 50p costs £10 but it is the ultimate gift for any coin collector. With mine, I decided to frame it within a box frame with a background to keep it in perfect condition. The coin comes with information about the coin itself as well as about Stephen and all of the amazing things he did during his lifetime, it is currently being sold as it is one year since he passed. 

Which item in the guide catches your eye the most? 

*This post contains gifted items and some affiliate links* 

Technology: The past, the present and the future?

*This post is in collaboration with ebuyer* 

Being born in smack bang in the middle of 90s, I've grown up around technology. I've seen some huge changes over my lifetime with technology, from having some next level brick phone that doesn't even have a coloured screen to being around some truly amazing new and upcoming technology, including 3D printing and virtual reality. Some brands have just gotten bigger throughout the years and others have sadly pretty much disappeared. From toys to games consoles, we've seen some huge changes over the last 20 years. This post was inspired by ebuyer who are celebrating their 20th Birthday currently and it's super exciting to see how tech has advanced over the last two decades.

Some things have done a full 360, from being popular to pretty much going out of fashion altogether, then them being replaced with more modern alternatives to eventually making a come back. With phones they started out huge, then everyone wanted them to be small, I remember those flip phones and ones that twisted into place to make a long phone, phones with keypads, full qwerty keyboards like on our Blackberry. Finally returning back to being a large phone which is 100% screen and no keypad and a variety of large sized phones. For phone brands, most people are either team Apple or team Samsung, it's hard to get a look in for other phone manufacturers. Getting my first phone with the fully functioning internet on was in the last 6 years or so, before that, I did have phones which could go online but the apps were ridiculous, does anybody else remember Facebook on a Blackberry?

Photos are a weird one too, they go from being printed out, from being taken on a phone and uploading to the internet, to using a Polaroid camera for those internet snaps. Being able to upload photos online is a huge thing for a lot of people and most of us couldn't imagine having to take a film to the store and wait for it to be developed and then going to collect it. As someone who was young around this time, it isn't something I really remember other than using those disposable cameras when I visited London as a child. Then my parents getting them printed and the photos were a complete mess and half of them were in the dark or pointing at the floor. Weirdly, I still have a few of them, despite them being of someone's shoes and the tube in the dark. I still love taking Polaroid photos as they're great for scrapbooks and framing. I even used them to announce that I had gotten engaged. I think I will always have a soft spot in my heart for polaroids and photo booths.

The way in which we listen to music is something that I think is amazing, I remember growing up I had a portable CD player and I thought it was amazing. It was bulky, heavy and could only play the songs which were upon the disk inside (roughly 11 songs), swiftly moving on from that I had my first MP3 player, they were amazing for car journeys and being outside. I used to have a playlist compiled by my dad throughout my very early teens. It was mostly Avril Lavigne with a mix of Pink and Nickelback added in too. Next, I got an iPod shuffle, which although it was smaller than my MP3 player was kind of a step back as you weren't able to control what songs were going to be next, they would in be random to the order they were on your iTunes account. I mostly filled mine with Escape The Fate and Papa Roach, I am pretty sure they only held like 40 songs or something too. 

After this, the real fun started, with the iPod touch, my first experience of an Apple device with a screen which included using Facetime. It allowed you to pile up your Itunes with songs and even buy albums on the device and it was pretty cool. I've always seemed to have a phone you could listen to music on. I do remember at school using Bluetooth to send songs to your friends via phone and needing to stand close together to be able to send them (not even sure if this is even true?) and then you'd get a brand new song on your phone which you've wanted for ages and you felt like a boss. It does make me sad that the kids of today (oh my god, I am officially old) won't get to experience such terrible technology like we did. 

This post has been a huge wedge of nostalgia for me, and I hope you've enjoyed reading it too, despite it being super long. I'd love to know in the comments what your all-time favourite piece of technology is. 

4 documentaries you NEED to watch this year!

With Netflix constantly upping their content game, there is always something floating around to watch on there. Netflix creates original content and each documentary I see on the platform, it leaves me shaken. Usually with a ton of questions too, which involves me doing countless hours of research after I've seen the programme to find out what is the latest, what has happened now and will there be a second part? Netflix alongside Channel 4 who I believe produce some of the best documentaries and they also aren't afraid to break the rules. I was going to write this post on Netflix documentaries until I saw a documentary the other night called Three Identical Strangers which I knew had to share with you guys too. All four of these documentaries are pretty different from each other, as much as I am going to share why these documentaries are good, without giving too much away for those of you who haven't seen it. If you're like me and like to know a bit of background before watching something, feel free to stick around. 

Three Identical Strangers: 
This documentary at the start had all of the potential to be a happy ever after story, but if you're like me and notice how long something is whilst watching, with this documentary I was awaiting a twist to happen, as it is over an hour and a half long, I knew something big was going to happen. The documentary is based around 3 'strangers' who are actually triplets separated at birth and by a strange coincidence they end up finding each other, at first the two brothers find each other and it is in the papers and then a third comes forward. Honestly, you couldn't write this stuff it's just so shocking. As it goes on you follow a rollercoaster of emotions, until towards the end when some dark secrets come out, which to this day aren't completely open. The reasons these 3 are split up at birth isn't only disturbing but a complete mess and I understand the term not 'playing god' so much more now. It's currently on 4 on demand if you are looking to catch up on this documentary. 

The Ted Bundy Tapes:
A documentary series created by Netflix which had us taking a look into the devastating trail of victims left behind by the infamous Ted Bundy. There is so much still left uncovered in this startling documentary about a serial killer from the '70s. Who was eventually given the death penalty in 1989. The documentary shares a look into the mind of Ted Bundy with tape recordings of interviews done with him whilst he was alive, as well as current day interviews with women who escaped his attack and also the families of those who weren't so lucky. The thing that shocked most about Ted Bundy is that he didn't 'fit the part' of a typical murderer. He was charming, had the looks and was able to talk his way into anything. He claimed 30 or more victims during his life. Some of which happened when he escaped from Prison, which he managed on two occasions! The documentary series looks into how he was able to get away with it for so long and the truth about Ted Bundy.


Abducted In Plain Sight:
Parts of this documentary since I watched this have become a meme, one scene in particular and when you watch this, you will understand a bit more as to why. But when I watched this documentary the entire time I was watching it I said wtf at least once every few minutes when you think it can't get any weirder it somehow manages to. This is centred around Robert Birchall (also known throughout the film as B) a neighbour who had a whole family in his trap and 12 year Jan who he became fascinated with. The story is about how the family allowed this a sociopath to 'kidnap' their daughter twice, with him brainwashing the entire family and allowing him to do as he pleased with the 12-year-old, even marrying her in Mexico. Jan who is now 56 along with her family tell the story of how B was able to gain control of the entire situation by dragging her whole family into it. Honestly, this documentary had me yelling at the TV the entire way through, and to this day, I can't believe this is a real thing that actually happened to Jan. 

Fyre Festival:
A documentary created around a festival called 'Fyre' which happened (or didn't in this case) in 2017, around a CEO Billy Mcfarland and rapper Ja Rule who planned an entire luxury festival based on a private island which once belonged to Pablo Escobar. Selling tickets which amounted to millions and making a lot of false promises which ended up in the whole festival is a huge washout, with the locals left in masses of debt and the attendees out of pocket and left stranded on the island due to a storm. Billy wasn't anywhere to be seen during this time and let his employees deal with it. Literally. The man behind the festival has ended up in jail for 6 years and he and Ja Rule are subject to a 100 million dollar lawsuit for the fraud which took place during the festival. 

The truth about driving distractions.

*Collaborative post*

When driving there are numerous things you need to remember to stay safe on the road and it can be so easy to get distracted. Not giving the road your complete attention is not only dangerous to you and any passengers in your car but it’s also dangerous to other people on the road. A recent study from Lease Car UK showed the top distractions for drivers in the UK. As I was super interested to read this and kind of shocked too, I thought you guys may enjoy the findings too. 

Not surprisingly the study found that noise was the biggest distraction for many drivers, with music affecting people’s concentration. Many people said they think heavy metal and rock are the most distracting genres of music, while pop and classical are thought to be the least distracting genres.

Another distraction for UK drivers is eating on the go. 30% of people who were surveyed said they would grab lunch or a snack, with chocolate and sweets being the popular choice of food in the car. With drive-thrus being available for coffee and fast food, it makes the temptation even higher when on the road, especially if it is a long drive. When driving on the road, it’s important that everyone in the car tries not to distract the driver, so keep the snacks to one side until the car has come to a stop.

Pets and children can also be a distraction, with almost 6 out of 10 people saying they drive with children in the car. 30% of people said they use the rear-view mirror to talk to their children and 3% said they turn around when talking to them. 25% of people drive around with a pet in the car and only 5% of those pets are put in the footwell, which is considered to be the more dangerous choice, as pets should be strapped in. 

A big distraction for a lot of drivers is mobile phones, which is one of the leading causes of car accidents. You’re only allowed to use a phone if it is fully hands-free and your device should be set up before you start your journey. A lot of cars these days allow you to connect your mobile device automatically. Whether it’s your own car or if you’re looking into Hyundai leasing deals from Lease Car UK, check that the car has features that can allow you to operate your phone through voice commands. This allows you to listen to music on the go or call people if needs be. This allows you to be focused on the road, rather than down on your phone. I don't know about you, but I find it hard to keep concentration when I am looking at my phone, let alone on the road. 

Let me know in the comments which of these stats shocked you the most? I think for me, it was that people put their pets in the footwell! 

5 reasons why you should visit Manchester.

*This is a collaborative post* 

Manchester is one of my favourite places to visit in the UK, I think it is an underdog when it comes to cities in the UK and people often overlook it when looking for places to visit. For the last two years, I've stayed in Manchester for my Birthday and I've always enjoyed it and would love to go back just to explore what else Manchester has to offer. I thought today I'd talk to you about some of the reasons I love Manchester and why I think it's worth a visit if you get the chance to do so. 

Manchester is the ultimate place to go shopping, with two shopping centres (one being the Trafford Centre!) and a bunch of department stores throughout the city you are spoilt for choice. If you want to stay central you can visit the Arndale, however, if you're willing to go further a-field I'd totally recommend the Trafford Centre. Plus Manchester has a huge Primark for any fans of the good old Primarni. 

If you're on the lookout for a place for the perfect pub crawl Manchester has you covered, whether you're on a day sesh or drinking throughout the evening, there are so many choices. Have some luggage with you which you don't fancy dragging around (I know them feels too well) Excess Baggage has you covered with an easy drop-off and pick up point to allow you to collect your luggage when convenient. I don't know if you're like me but I do not trust myself with anything valuable when I am out drinking so this is the perfect solution. In Manchester, you have to check out The Washhouse as well as Gorilla, Fab Cafe and the Apocothary. But there is pretty much a bar/pub to suit everyone, that's why it's known as having some of the best nightlife in the entire country. 

Of course, food had to make it on the list, as you probably know, I love my food. With hundreds of bars, restaurants and cafes to explore you're in for a treat! One of my favourite places to go for some grub in the northern quarter where you will find some amazing places, which are unique to the city or chain restaurants such as Chiqutos, Bella Italia and Wetherspoons, of course! I love that Manchester also has a Hard Rock Cafe, as it has its own amazing vibe. 110% would recommend. 

Alternative shopping: 
Manchester is full to the brim with vintage stores, and often you can get yourself some great goodies from kilo sales, or if you're feeling adventurous, I'd recommend checking out Afflecks which is known as a totem of Indie commerce. With floors and floors of quirky little shops, my favourite shops were Bad Mother Sugar, Thunder Egg and Sour Cherry. Dependant on what you're looking for they have some really great stuff. Also, the walls in the place are insane and great for taking fashion posts in the stairwells. 

Other cool places worth visiting: 
For this section, I thought I'd just share with a few of my personal recommendations in Manchester. Firstly is the Cat Cafe, which in case you didn't guess is a cafe where you can hang out with cats! On their website, it allows you to 'meet' the cats to see who you will be seeing on your visit. Next is the Junkyard Golf Club which is my latest recommendation, all I am going say is mini golf meets alcohol and a ton of amazing props. My final recommendation which isn't unique to Manchester but they have a Lego Store which allows you to do a Lego Pick n Mix, as well as making 'yourself' out of Lego which is a super fun experience if you haven't done it before. 

Tips for getting organised & a stationery wishlist.

*This is a collaborative post* 

I am a huge stationery fanatic, always have been, probably always will be. Was there anything more exciting at the start of the school year your parents allowing you to buy some new fresh stuff, I mean who had pens left after 2 weeks into the school year anyway. There was always someone who had forgotten their pen, you never got it back and once word got out that you had a spare pen the whole year knew about it. I do like to buy stationery often, it's one of my favourite things and I can say buying new coloured pens, new writing pens and a lot of notebooks can help me be more productive with my work. 

Before I started my latest job I bought a ton of stationery which in theory I actually haven't used that much of, but it's great to have a notebook and pen(s) when you need them. With blogging it is a totally different ball game, I love to write down my ideas, pages and pages of them in a variety of colours. I always write down my earnings as well as a back up to my computer, couldn't be dealing with the stress of that. I find that presentation folders help with keeping all of my paperwork together and I know Showcase Creative have a variety of creatively designed folders perfect for this. I like to have a diary to write down when my deadlines for work is due, which usually involves prioritising. I do enjoy being able to keep track of these in a notebook alongside those ideas which come to me at a random point in the day when I'm out (I usually transfer them across from my phone). However, as January marked another new year, I decided new stationery was most definitely in order. 

I decided to share my stationery needs (most definitely more wanting than needing them) to give you inspiration for your next stationery haul. I mostly like to shop for stationery at Paperchase, Ohh Deer and often what I see in the supermarkets. Anything colourful, you've caught my attention, anything cute and colourful you've got yourself a guaranteed purchase. Let me know in the comments what your favourite item from my wishlist is. 

Where is your favourite place to buy stationery from? 

The truth about Tribe and tips to win.

*This is a warning, this post is quite lengthy. Soz. 

*All the photos in the post were declined by brands on Tribe*

For those of you who don't know of Tribe, it's the new(ish) and innovative way to find influencers for social media campaigns. You chose the price you want the brand to pay for you to post the image you've created and then they either accept or decline your image, they can ask you to make changes, but other than that, there isn't really much else to it. The idea of the app is it should be products you love and would already buy without the money incentive. There are tons of well-known brands on site and they're all looking for a variety of content which I find amazing. The app is primarily aimed at Instagram posts, however, Twitter and Facebook can sometimes be included as an option. 

To use Tribe you have to have at least 3000 followers on the app of your choice. I joined primarily using Twitter, despite there not being many campaigns, until I built my Instagram following enough to be able to take part in the Instagram campaigns. I feel like honestly with my 3500 followers on Instagram I do often get overlooked when bigger influencers enter their work, but I can totally understand why from a brand point of view. I struggle to include myself in the photos a lot, as I am a *bit* camera shy and I know that can work against me. My photos are similar to my Instagram feed, I always go for colourful and out there shots and sometimes that works for me and other times it doesn't. 

The honest truth about Tribe is it can get disheartening, some of my best work gets declined and that makes me sad, but then from time to time, I get a series of wins, which draws me back in. For each post I want to take part in, it does involve me buying the item which is why unless I want the item, I wouldn't do the campaign as some products are quite expensive. On a rare occasion, the brand will choose you to be sent samples and then create an image from the sample, to get chosen for this usually they ask you to create a sample image of what you'd do if you were sent the item, which I think is a great incentive.

Tribe has a pricing strategy which is based on your followers, however, you can choose the amount you want. Brands can try to knock you down on price, a lot of the time I do set my prices a little bit higher so I'd be happier to drop down a little bit for the right brand. I think dependant on whether you already had the product/ how much it cost to buy would be the deciding factor for me on the rate in which I set also. Sometimes I submit video content which is usually in the format of stop motion so that takes some time to create and then edit, so I do always put my prices up when it comes to creating that type of content. Even Tribe recommends doing so. 

Each Tribe campaign will come with a set of hashtags and often tells you how many posts the brand is looking for. Recently Tribe has introduced a feature which shows you which campaigns are 'hungry' for submissions so those can be good ones to target if they're something you'd want to get and if your feed fits the brand as this often can be where brands don't think I fit what they're looking for, as my feed can be described as chaotic, bright and out there for sure. But some brands love that individuality and that makes me love the brand even more. So far on Tribe, since I was able to start to participate on Instagram I've almost earned £1000. Not bad right? Some people would disagree for the amount of work that can go into posts with no guarantee of payment, but I am made up with being able to make that much. I thought I'd share some tips on getting wins, I'd love to know in the comments if you've used Tribe and what your thoughts are on the app. 

So what are my top tips for securing wins on Tribe? 

Go for brands which fit your theme:
As simple as this sounds, you are likely to get approved if you have previously featured similar posts. If it is a whole feed on home, putting a random beauty picture up is likely to stand out more, so the brand is likely to decline. 

Take photos from many angles:
When taking a photo for Tribe I like to be able to create at least 3 different shots to allow the brand to have more choice, I usually go for a close-up, a flatlay and then a wide shot if possible. For Tribe, I always take an extra set of photos either with the product in it but not as obvious or taking it out so it can still be used on your feed.

Look at what the mood boards are saying: 
Brands put up photos on their campaign page of pictures they like and these usually have a theme. You are more likely to get approved if your photo fits what they're looking for as a brand. On the campaign, it also says what they do and do not want. It's important to follow these, as even if they like your photo if it has one of the don'ts which is on the list it is likely to be declined. 

Keep checking the app regularly:
It's always worth checking the app daily as new campaigns are added all of the time. You don't want to miss out on one you may have been perfect for because you didn't see it. Often the brands have a time limit on how long they will keep up their post for e.g. 10 days but if the budget is used up quickly or they receive a lot of submissions the campaign is usually taken down. I recently saw an amazing one with one of my favourite brands but once I'd taken the photos and edited them, they had already taken down the campaign which was a bit disappointing, but I am happy to still use the picture.  

Don't be too disappointed if you don't secure a win:
Like we all want to secure the wins and some of us are able to do so easier than others. But the more you submit, you get to learn what works on tribe for you and your style and what doesn't. You also learn what you can do differently if you decide to take part in a future campaign with that brand as brands do often leave you feedback. Plus sometimes they have to decline your photo due to using all of their budget, but that doesn't say anything bad about you, it just says to try again next time.

I hope these tips have helped you with your Tribe journey and I'd love to know in the comments if you've secured any Tribe wins?