A lifestyle blog all about Birmingham, UK.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

EU Referendum: Are you an innie or an outie?



This is probably the first time I've decided to write about politics on my blog. I'm actually incredibly interested in politics and current affairs, but a lot of opinions I choose to keep to myself or let rip in debates with friends and family members (my nan and grandad...). But what concerns me about the EU Referendum is that although there's a lot of arguing and Hitler references being thrown around between the two camps, a lot of us are still really confused as to what will change if we actually leave the EU and what we're doing in it in the first place. 

As a young person, I don't know what the UK was like before the EU because being in it is all that I've ever known, that's why I'm not surprised that a considerable amount of young people are considering voting to stay in because the prospect of leaving and what it could do to the UK is so uncertain. Before the EU Referendum came along, the only time I'd been asked if I was an 'innie' or an 'outie' was in reference to my belly button...I'm an innie by the way on that front, but our decision next month to if we want to stay in or leave the EU is probably the biggest political decision we will face in our lives because it really could change our lives for the better, or for the worse. 

I've attempted to do some research into reasons to leave and reasons to stay and I hope it helps you in making your decision. But please, don't forget to register to vote! This is too important not to have your say...

LEAVE: By leaving the EU, the UK could be much more strict with border control, making it more difficult for people from other EU countries to travel and live here. As there would be less people coming to work here, getting work would be less competitive.

REMAIN: On the flip side of that, a lot of us go and work and live in EU countries with no problem. If we we're to leave, it would become more difficult for us to be able to do that. Right now, it's actually easier than ever to come and go as we wish as UK driving licenses are valid across EU countries.

LEAVE: We would no longer have people who don't live in the UK make our decisions for us. The UK would have the opportunity to become a more independent nation and could create our own laws instead of following EU ones.

REMAIN: There's no doubt that by leaving the EU, we would have economic uncertainty. Half of our oversees trade is with the EU and by leaving, we could face paying tariffs that could put prices up on things like European car's and even bottles of wine from France.

LEAVE: The UK could save up to £8 billion a year in contributions to the EU and we would no longer be funding the salaries of Eurocrats in Brussels. This money could be spent on poorer areas of the UK, education and the NHS.

REMAIN: Over three million jobs in the UK are actually dependent on their trade with the EU. These are professions from farmers to business men, if they were to lose any work because of the UK leaving, more people could be unemployed.

LEAVE: We would no longer be part of a union, so we would automatically have more freedom in deciding how we want our country to be. Many see the EU as undemocratic, as although members of the European Parliament are directly elected, the Commission, which proposes legislation, isn't.

REMAIN: Being in the EU allows us to share information on terrorists and criminals across every single country. By not being part of the EU, we may not be able to receive this information, meaning our security and police would be less likely to know about potential terror threats.

LEAVE: Other countries just a few hours away like Norway aren't in the EU, and they're doing very well for themselves. Norway still manages to trade with the EU, but has options on their agriculture and they choose to keep their fish rather than keeping up with EU quotas,

REMAIN: A huge amount of laws which have been decided whilst we've been in the EU have worked out in a lot of our favours. For example, we are entitled to compensation if a flight is delayed and it is compulsory to wear a seat belt etc - and those are tiny laws in comparison to others. If we were to leave the EU, many of our laws could be changed or scrapped, which could work for some things, but not for others.

Whatever your political stance or how you see the future of the UK - make sure you have done your research before heading into the polling station. Register to vote here.

So, will you be an innie or an outie?
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Sunday, 15 May 2016

Bethan Loves: 5 things I love right now



So I enjoyed putting together my previous '5 things I love right now' so much, and had such good feedback, I figured I would make it a monthly feature! I love finding new things that inspire me. Many people think that when you're online, you're not being inspired because we all get inspired by long walks in the forest etc. Don't get me wrong, I love a long walk in the forest as much as the next girl, but I enjoy being online and discovering new things that make me think! After all, the biggest part of my career is coming up with new and exciting article ideas, so anything that gives me an idea, I'm all for. Here's five things I really love right now, and you never know, you might like them too!

Emily Coxhead

This is probably going to sound fairly stalker like, but I followed Emily on Instagram probably a few years ago and have enjoyed seeing her work get better and better whilst gaining an impressive following for herself. Emily is certainly not a one-trick pony, she focuses on design, illustration and photography and does an incredible job. On her Etsy shop, she sells everything from cards, badges and prints. However, the best thing about her designs are that they're so happy! I love this as I can be a really negative person, but a few minutes spent on Emily's site or Instagram, you feel all warm inside and super happy! She creates happy jars and feel good packs as well as an amazing project called The Happy Newspaper, which aims to share all the good news around the world. I love her positivity and her entrepreneur skills. Here's what her fab website looks like and the Prince quote print I recently purchased from her.

Glamour UK - June 2016

Admittedly, I tend to be more of a Cosmopolitan reader. I don't know why, but for years I've always enjoyed the articles in Cosmo more than Glamour. This is until now! When I headed down the magazine aisle in Tesco, having already read the June 2016 Cosmo issue, I saw Kylie Jenner. My first reaction was, wow she looks so natural compared to how I'd usually see her on social media. I then realised that they had titled it 'The Social Issue' and it suddenly made sense why Kylie would be centre stage, she is digital royalty. But this issue is one of the best I've ever read, looking into all different types of social media, some of the biggest influencers in our digital/millenial generation and how it is changing every day. You can't deny that social media is such a massive part of our lives and being on it for personal and work use every day has made me intrigued and excited into how fast it is changing. If you're interested in digital like me, you should pick up a copy. I also absolutely loved the Editor's note at the beginning, so honest and refreshing.


I'm all for a bit of female empowerment and I have admired Girl Gang Manchester across their social media platforms for a while. They run events in Manchester which promotes creativity, confidence and positivity in women across the city. They aim to inspire and support women to succeed in life and work. I love this! Of course, it's difficult to attend their events as I don't live in Manchester (But God I wish I did some times because it's so cool there!) and I wish there was something similar in Birmingham - unless there is, in that case please inform me! Over the past few weeks they have been running a '#SeeMySelfie' campaign and it's been so cool to see a whole range of selfies every day. It's fab to see so many women getting involved and putting themselves out there. I love seeing women having confidence and do well because it inspires me to do so too. Follow them on social media and get ready to feel inspired with all their cool content and hopefully I'll be able to make it to one of their events one day!


I absolutely love Career Girl Daily so much, they have nailed a perfect website and impressive social media. The website is full to the brim of articles and advice for young women. If it's career advice you're after, beauty tips or just fancy reading a lifestyle article, head on over to this site. Again, I love seeing women helping women. I don't know why women often see each other as a competition when we should all be one team and work with each other towards success. So when I come across sites like this that aim to inspire women, I have to tell others about it. Also the articles aren't too long which makes them quick and easy reads, which are ideal on commutes to and from work.


I have LOVED Tiger for years, but realised that I have never written about it on my blog! This shocked me seeing as the majority of my bedroom has been purchased from Tiger. But if you have never stepped into a Tiger store, you really ought to. I have always admired Scandinavian design and I would go as far to say I'm slightly obsessed with it, to the point that I'm fairly certain of how I want my own place to look, when I eventually have one! The store is full of fun and quirky items and it's so, so cheap. It's like IKEA and Clas Ohlson, but 10 times cooler. If you're stumped and not inspired for a birthday gift for a friend, you'll find it in here. I headed into the Tiger store in Grand Central in Birmingham last week on my lunch break and purchased these adorable flag/bunting style fairy lights which look great in my room and just add's a bit more colour!



If you would like to recommend something to me, get in touch as I'm always on the look out for new and exciting things!

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Sunday, 8 May 2016

Music: I'm Listening To...


Haven't put one of these together for a few weeks, so here we go! What music can you recommend to me? I'd love to know as I'm always on the look out for new stuff.

Honne & Izzy Bizu
Someone That Loves You




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Saturday, 7 May 2016

Style & Beauty: Wedding



Admittedly, I've never been much of a girly girl. I'm not the type who gets excited about make-up and have always been a bit too afraid to take huge risks with my hair (even though even I have had my moments...). But when it comes to opportunities where you have to look nice, I do tend to throw myself into it all and have fun getting all dressed up! Obviously, my mom's wedding was the perfect opportunity. Thankfully, the weather was beautiful and was lovely and warm, but not too sticky and hot. Seeing as I was on the look out for wedding style tips in the lead up to the big day, I wanted to share mine! So let's begin...

Dress



I have to admit, when I tried this dress on just five days before the wedding, I was stressed and worried about the hassle and all the last minute shopping I would have to endure in the days leading up to it. So when I put it on and it fit perfectly, I had a sort of Cinderella moment. I fell in love with the dress, the detail is stunning and it was surprisingly comfortable, even with the multiple underskirts. I purchased the 'Nia' Curve dress on the Chi Chi London site for £66.99, which I thought was very reasonable for the quality of the dress and for the fact that I will be wearing it to the races again next month.

Accessories 




I didn't want to go too overboard with accessories and jewellery as the dress was already a statement piece and I didn't want there to be a bit too much going on. However, I also didn't just want to settle for a pieces I would usually pick up in Primark, because it was a special occasion, I thought I'd treat myself a little. So I headed to Accessorize and picked up a pashmina, silver clutch bag and a silver headband and all three came to around £30. I felt like a little kid buying a headband, but it's because I didn't fancy wearing a fascinator and again, didn't want to put anything on my head that would distract from the dress! Shoes wise, I chose not to buy new ones. I struggled to find any heels that I would last in all day and night and ones that would go with my outfit. I picked up these adorable midi heels from New Look last May and they were perfect for my outfit, so I saved at least £20 there!

Hair and Make-up



So make-up wise, I stuck to my trusty foundation, which is Maybelline's Dream Satin Liquid in 'Nude' and Rimmel London 'Sand' Concealer Stick. I didn't go mad with the contouring, but I did use my NYX Wonder Stick ever so gently, just to give my skin a more blended look. For my eyebrows, I stuck to my favourite kit, Collection Eye Brow Kit in 'Blode'. I love that eyebrow kit so much it would take something impressive for me to use another one! For my eyes, I used my Revolution pallet. I used the light brown as a base, then added a touch of the silver glitter one and finished with just a smudge of the deep purple. I finished my eyes off with Rimmel London's Wake Me Up mascara on my top lashes and Max Factor's Masterpiece Max for my bottom lashes. For my lips, in the day I stuck to NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in deep purple and then changed over to my beloved Rimmel London purple lipstick on the night as I've found that it lasts longer, especially when you're drinking! I finished my face with my trusty Revolution Pro Fix Spray which I will take to the grave with me. Nails wise, I wanted to mix it up a bit. So I went for NYC light purple on my toes and Barry M deep purple on my fingers!

I knew I wanted to curl my hair for the wedding, but as my hair is very fair, curls very rarely stay in place. That's why when I want to do a particular style with my hair, I use volume mousse, which I'll scrub into my hair around 15 minutes after washing it. I've tried so many over the years, but the Loreal Studio Pro mousse is by far the best one. Similarly with the hairspray, I've found that the Loreal Studio Pro works best, especially on my big thick fringe which just looks awful when it loses it's curve!

If you have any questions or want any links to items, drop me a message! 

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Monday, 2 May 2016

Bethan loves: BELLMAN



I think it's really easy to get into a rut when it comes to music. You know what you like and you only tend to listen to those artists and ones similar, I'm more than guilty of it. But since I've started my 'I'm Listening To' posts on here, which you can view on the Music section of this blog, I've found myself on the look out for new artists and in particular, ones which are a bit different to my usual taste. Scandinavian artist Bellman recently sent me his new single 'Colored By You', which I love! The song itself is about how we are affected by people around us, which I think is a really interesting concept and does make you think about those you associate yourself with. Obviously my music taste tends to be mostly UK and US based, but I'm growing quite a love for Scandinavian artists as they tend to be a bit more experimental than other sounds I tend to hear every day. 

Blending acoustic and electric sounds, melancholic atmospheres and energetic notes, Colored By You is a really interesting listen and one that I've been playing a lot over the past few weeks. With Bellman currently working on his fourth album, there are more cool songs like Colored By You on the way! I was recently fortunate enough to speak to Bellman and do a little interview with him, check it out...

BETH: So where are you from and based?
BELLMAN: I’m born and raised in Larvik, a small, beautiful city just south of Oslo, Norway.

BETH: How long have you been doing this?
BELLMAN: I wrote my very first songs back in 2003, but it wasn’t until 2009 my first album was released. It’s been a long, but sweet ride, and it feels like it’s just began.

BETH: What have been your most successful songs so far in your career so far?
BELLMAN: I have to say “Spaceship, move slow!” from my debut album Mainly Mute. The song has been a door-opener for many exiting adventures and experiences, all over the globe. Another one is “Accident by art” from the album Melopoiïa. It was among other things included in the trailer for the recent Paul “Gazza” Gascoigne documentary.

BETH: Do you write all your own songs or do you have any help?
BELLMAN: I write all my songs myself, but I often have inputs from my band in the process.

BETH: What feedback have you had on Colored by you?
BELLMAN: It’s been very well received, both here in Norway and in the rest of the world, spanning from japan to USA.

BETH: Can we expect a new album soon?
BELLMAN: I’m doing the finishing touches on the album as we speak. It will be released sometime late August, early September this year. I’m very exited about this release, as I believe it will be my best work yet. I have been experimenting with some new sounds that will take my music in a slightly new direction. It’s all about evolving, and I find it very refreshing to explore the different sides of songwriting.

BETH: Are you doing a tour/festivals this year?
BELLMAN: I’m doing some festivals here in Norway this summer, and are working on a release tour this fall. Hopefully I will get to visit the UK, as well as mainland Europe. I also hoping to re-visiting Asia this autumn.

BETH: What influences your music the most?
BELLMAN: I get inspired by many things like, movies, books, and of course music. My taste is shamelessly broad, and I try to be open for all sorts of influences.

BETH: Who is your musical icon?
BELLMAN: In my youth I found my god in Jim Morrison and the Doors. He was a very big part of my life from about age 14-18, and had a large impact on my future songwriting, especially the lyrics. Today I don’t really think I have an icon, but there are artists that I really look up to, such as Thom York.

BETH: What other artists are you enjoying at the moment?
BELLMAN: At the moment I listen to James Bay. Not that he is my favourite artist, but right now I find my self enjoying his songs.

BETH: What can we expect from you in the future?
BELLMAN: More music, concerts and touring. I really enjoy meeting my audience, so for me, touring is the best part of this crazy way of living.

You can find Bellman on social media...

And you can listen to Colored By You here...

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Week in Review


Cookies at work | Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds | Prossecco O'Clock at my mom's hen do | Me and the coolest woman I know, Gill! | Me and my sister looking cute | In love with my new dress for the wedding | Getting ready with Holly and Gemma | Posing with Ellie | Leaving drinks for Viv

The last week has been a super busy one, and this week is set to be even busier! I was put on social media duties at work which mixed my week up a bit and found myself really enjoying it once I got in the swing of it. On Thursday, I headed to Selfridges and treated myself to some new make-up and have loved testing my new products out over the last few days. After work on Friday, I met up with Viv for some food in Grand Central before heading off to see Noel Gallagher at the Genting Arena! It was actually amazing and I was surprised at the amount of Oasis songs he sang. It was also such a good range of ages at the gig which made it a laugh, but not too crazy and sweaty!

It was my mom's hen do on Saturday night. It was so nice to see all my mom's friends, some of who have seen me grow up. Among plenty of wine, we also had lots of funny chats and talked about the wedding day plans. After a chilled Sunday daytime, me and the gang got ready and went to Bewdley for Viv's leaving drinks as she's moving to Liverpool next week for her new job. It was an hilarious night, despite the fact we ended up paying over £40 for a 10 minute taxi journey because we made the driver go through McDonalds drive thru - no regrets. Today, apart from feeling sorry for myself and my roughness, I watched one of my favourites, Quadrophenia, with my dad and then we watched another family favourite, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

I have this week off work so tomorrow I'm treating myself to a pamper day and heading to the hairdressers. On Wednesday, me and Andrew will finally be reunited as he comes down from Liverpool for a few days so he can be my date to my mom's wedding on Thursday. So there's lots to look forward to over the next few days, including wearing my stunning Chi Chi London dress for the big day!

You can now see all the articles I'm writing at work as the Business Bytes section went live on the site last week! Check them out here:
The Business Desk - Business Bytes
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