Saturday, 31 January 2015

25 Facts About Me!

Hey everyone :)

It's that time of the week again - Saturday Video Time! #SVT

Today's video is not a review video - I know - shock, shock, horror, horror!

It's a tag - the '25 facts about me' tag ...

shoutjohn youtube 25 facts about me tag

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I hope you enjoy - subscribe or leave a comment!

If the embedded video doesn't work - you can click HERE and it will take you directly to YouTube.



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Friday, 30 January 2015

January Winter Scarves

Hey everyone :)

So over the weekend it tried to snow. If you check out my vlog HERE - you can see I managed to get some footage of the weak attempt at snow we got.

So that added with the freezing mornings we are experiencing at the moment (I got up for work today and it was -5) I thought I'd do a little post on scarves to keep us all warm. Some people might think this is a post for November/December time - but I don't live by the rules.

Before Christmas I spent hours and probably days searching for my 'winter scarf' which I do every year - which is a scarf that I wear all winter when its cold. I found this really amazing scarf which was massive and so warm and only cost me £20. I spent ages searching different stores online and ended up looking through ASOS's large collection of scarves (I mean seriously there are thousands).

janaury winter scarves

1. ASOS Oversized Square Scarf In Blown Up Check │ £18.00
2. ASOS Oversized Square Scarf With Multi Grey Stripe │ £18.00
3. ASOS Oversized Stripe Scarf │ £20.00
4. ASOS Oversized Scarf In Big Check │ £18.00
5. Esprit Plaid Scarf │ £19.00
6. ASOS Oversized Scarf With Stripes │ £20.00
7. ASOS Oversized Grid Check Open Weave Square Scarf │ £18.00
8. Hugo Boss Knitted Scarf │ £79.00 (SALE: £40.00)

As you can see with my choices 'oversized' scarves are a popular choice at the moment. I really like them because you can use them even when your inside as a small blanket (obviously not a first choice in its use) but I really love them.

I've also added a selection of woman's and man's scarves as I don't see why a guy can't wear a woman's scarf or vice versa.

Let me know what you think in the comments. I can't wait for payday as a few of these will be purchased ... I'm going to be broke again :(


logo


Photos: ASOS
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Thursday, 29 January 2015

Life Update ...

Hey everyone :)

life update by shoutjohn john agnew


How is everyone doing? I hope your day is going well. I've finished work, tidied the house and made some roast pepper and tomato soup which is quietly bubbling away on the cooker ... so I thought I would take this opportunity (while I wait for the soup to simmer) to post a 'life update' - not that there is much to update.

Let's get the boring stuff out of the way ...

Work
Work is work ... one of my colleagues has recently been promoted to a manager so we are in the middle of transitioning and training - which is always fun. I'm currently looking for jobs (like I always am). I'm planning on moving towns by the end of May and I would prefer to have a job in/near that town instead of commuting to this job.

YouTube
A few months ago now I started a YouTube channel to go along with my blog - the main reason being because sometimes I felt like I couldn't get across a product I was using in words on my blog and so I thought I'd give a shot at video-blogging which I really enjoy doing. If I'm honest I really love editing more than the filming. My channel currently has 213 subscribers although I'm sure some of those are those bot accounts as someone added me to some weird group but anyway it's good fun. If you want to check it out - you can HERE. Feel free to watch some videos and subscribe and/or like. My videos are on anything and everything not just products I blog about so worth a watch (well I think anyway).

House
As I said above in my work section - I'm currently job searching and house searching in a place called Milton Keynes - which is a lovely town in Buckinghamshire. Dave and myself are always going there whether its for walks around Willen Lake or just for the cinema/shopping etc. It's about 40 miles away from Hemel Hempstead so a bit annoying that its far away. I really want to settle here but when Dave is back hopefully we will properly decide and talk about it - at the moment it's just me telling him where we're looking which as anyone in a relationship will know - both of us need to decide.

Dave
Where do I begin with this idiot! So I stupidly agreed to him going to Canada for 6 months (which for me is shit, for him probably the best experience of his life). Although I want to add - that I agreed, I know for a fact that even if I had disagreed he still would have went lol. We always have this joke about if he had to choose between 'snowboarding' and 'me' - who would he choose. I know what the answer is ... but each time he tells me 'snowboarding wouldn't ask me that question' lol. Six months is a very long time and I miss him but we text and Skype when we can so not all that bad. I can't wait for him to come home in May so we can actually start out lives properly as I feel like our lives are on hold at the moment (well mine anyway) waiting for him to come back (not that I'm moaning). I'm perfectly happy to wait. I just am very excited - if I could afford it - I'd have bought a house and dogs and cats by now haha!

Car
My car is a year old now and it passed its 1 year service with flying colours - although the service wasn't cheap #sadface #johnisbroke I do hate that it gets dirty so quick (what with it being a white car) anyway enough moaning ...

Personal
Life is well at the moment (personally speaking). As I said above I'm working, when I'm not working I'm either blogging or YouTubing (or editing). I feel healthy - I'm trying not to eat sweets and sugary drinks. I've managed to cut myself down to 1 coke and 1 tea a day (which may still seem lots but before it was 6/7 cups of tea, and maybe 4/5 cans of coke) - the 2 reasons for this: 1. because obviously its unhealthy and sugary and my skin hated it) and because my teeth were suffering with the sugar and the staining of the tea. I'm also drinking lots more water which is always good. I feel more 'alive' if that makes sense and not as 'groggy'. I also registered with a private dentist in St. Albans and probably won't be going back to my NHS dentist as I feel like they don't listen to me when I complain about things and they ignore my requests about problems I have. So this dentist seems great and I'm currently in the process of teeth whitening and possibly getting some of my silver fillings replaced with white fillings so my teeth look better (fingers crossed).

That's all in my little update :)

Hope you guys are all well!




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Wednesday, 28 January 2015

January Spotify Playlists

Hey everyone :)

spotify playlist january


I always hate the question ... 'what's your taste of music like' or 'what kind of music are you into' - I cringe and 'ummmm' and 'ahhhhh' when people ask me this ... as obviously I'm gay so people automatically assume it's pop music like Aqua, Spice Girls and S Club 7 - basically any girl band that there ever was - and to be honest it's not. My music taste is all over the place and I'll be honest - sometimes if I'm in a hyper-happy mood then yeah I'll pop on some Steps and dance around my room, or maybe some Diana Ross and belt out some classics or if I'm down in the dumps or moody then Evanescence gets chosen. So my taste is 'all over the place' so here are a few playlists that I've been playing at work, playing in the car or just generally playing around the house when I'm doing this and that ...

Firstly we have ...



Evanescence - Fallen - one of their earlier albums - I think I found them, well heard them through a music channel on Sky years ago when I still lived with my parents. I just like how the music is soothing and you can relate to the lyrics. Quite a few people think its emo or 'slit-your-wrist' type music but I think thats bollocks (excuse my language). I also really like their music videos - there very thought-out and you can tell alot of effort has been put into them.

Secondly ... 


Fifth Harmony - Sledgehammer (well the album is called BOSS, however I'm not fussed for that song). So I found this band on the 'you should check this video out' section on YouTube when I was watching an Ariana Grande video. It's really catchy and I really like the video for the song aswell. 

Thirdly ... 


I found this playlist/album when I was looking for 'love songs' on Spotify to annoy the people I work with as they hate 'lovey-dovey' songs - as they refer to them. This album was right at the top and I straight away saved it to my playlists. A few of the songs I have heard and listen to randomly but a few were really old and it was great hearing them as I hadn't heard them for years.

Fourthly ... 



Adore Delano - Till Death Do Us Party - If any of you have watched 'RuPaul's Drag Race' then you will know who Adore Delano is. This music is catchy, crazy and really funny and makes me think of the stuff that you want to say to people but wouldn't ... well she now has ... so yeah check this out - especially 'Party', 'Hello, I Love You' and 'I Look Fuckin Cool'.

Lastly ... 



Gabrielle Taryn - Runnin' (feat Joshua David Evans) - It's crazy how I found this song - so Josh is engaged to Colleen Ballinger - who is Miranda Sings and I watch both their videos so after a few videos I subscribed to Josh's channel and checked out some of his videos and saw some vlogs where he was recording this song and so I searched on Spotify and found it, and a few of his others. It's really - real song and I think his voice is the perfect tone and whatever for this Gabrielle girl :)

So those are my favourite playlists of January! Let me know in the comments if you've been listening to anything similar or if I should check out anything?




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Tuesday, 27 January 2015

January Watch Wishlist

Hey everyone :)

How's it going? We all doing good? I am having a ball sitting listening to one of Taylor Swift's old albums (Speak Now) and listening to my flatmate drill and bang the walls downstairs - god knows what he is doing ... I really want a cup of tea but I can't be bothered with the small talk and awkwardness ...

So my last 'fashion' related post (the wishlist) was quite popular with you guys - so I thought I'd do a watch wishlist - because I've been wanting a new watch for ages and I thought it would be fun.

(side note: It wasn't fun and I want a watch more than ever now and payday is ages away)

shoutjohn january watch wishlist

1. Men's Diesel Franchise 2.0 Chronograph Watch | £111.00
I'm in love with all Diesel watches - when I was choosing the watches for this post - if I could have - they would have all been Diesel - the brand and their designs are amazing. Check out all their brands HERE. I love this watch because of the orange - I like the way it's only on half of the watch. It's something different.
2. Men's Fossil Nate Chronograph Watch | £79.00
I've never heard of the Fossil brand until today. I don't know if its a big brand - but I really like this watch - the big white numbers really stand out and this is what drew my attention to this watch.
3. Men's Michael Kors Alansing Chronograph Watch | £148.00
It's Michael Kors - I mean who doesn't want a watch by this brand. They are mostly known for designer handbags and clothing for woman but they have certain products for men and this watch is definitely worth buying.
4. Men's Fossil Nate Chronograph Watch | £94.00
Similar to watch number two - I like the blackened-charcoal design of the watch. It would go well with a suit for say a wedding. I also feel its very grown up and makes the 'i'm an adult' statement.
5. Men's Tissot V8 Chronograph Watch | £310.00
Tissot is another brand I hadn't heard off (I really need to read up on my brands more) but hey this is what I started this blog for - so I could discover new things. So I like this watch because its bright, basic and simple - so it could go with anything.

I have used WatchShop for my links - you can check out their website HERE. They are really good and their prices are very competitive - especially when comparing with in-store prices. Only downside is that if the watch is too big/small you need to take it in to a shop to get some links added/taken out which might cost or you might be able to do it yourself.

Let me know in the comments if you like my choices or if you think I should check any others out.



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Monday, 26 January 2015

LUSH Valentine Range (Haul)

Hey everyone :)

So last week I raved about the Valentine range from Lush in one of my videos. However I was annoyed at myself slightly because I didn't do a 'proper' post about it - you know where I get to turn up my music, get my lighting kit up, and my DSLR out and snap hundreds of photos of the same thing and then choose the best ones << yeah that!

So for those of you who don't know - I became obsessed with Lush a year or so ago ... mainly because they don't use any harsh, horrid chemicals which is great and also because I have sensitive skin and to this date (touch wood) I haven't had any flare ups or issues with any of their items.

So I wasn't able to get to a Lush store when the Valentine range came out so I ordered it from the online store (I know, lazy!) there was only one item I couldn't get which was 'Cupid's Love' - which after going to get the link for it have just noticed it's back in stock - arghhhhh! Why do you do this to me Lush?!


shoutjohn lush valentine

shoutjohn lush valentine

So as always they come packaged safely and neatly - I just pulled them all out so you could see them on top of the box. As per you get the list of what you got (my brain is dead and can't think of the name), the Lush magazine (if you requested it, as you have to now) and another sheet about the bombs/bars etc (these aren't shown).

1. Unicorn Horn

unicorn horn lush

unicorn horn lush

This product is called the 'Unicorn Horn' and is very colourful as a Unicorn would be if they were real. It is a bubble bar - which means you crumble it into the running water unlike the bomb which you just throw in and let float around until it dissolves. This being said it is possible to make this last 2 or 3 baths but it obviously does mean that the bath won't be as 'full' if you get what I mean. I think it's meant for 1 bath only. But I'm trying to prolong it's amazingness for you. So this bubble bar is full of lavender and ylang ylang oil however the lavender is the most prominent smell I thought anyway. Lavender is very soothing and relaxing which is really good if you've had a long day at work.

2. Floating Flower 

floating flower lush


Now time for a bath bomb known as the floating flower which reminds me of those flowers that float around ponds and Japan (I think). You run your bath and then gently lower the flower into the bath and let it float and fizz until its dissolved. The main smell for this product is jasmine which is a very strong smell in my opinion and even before I used the bath bomb it was very strong and I could smell it with this shut inside the lush box it came in. Jasmine is also great with sensitive skin which obviously is a big plus for me as I have very sensitive skin.

3. Prince Charming 

lush shower gel prince charming shoutjohn

lush shower gel prince charming shoutjohn

I really love Lush's shower gels as they smell so good and you can always smell the scent hours after you've taken a shower. I love going into my bathroom a few hours later as you can always smell it :)
This product smells mainly of pomegranate but there is also marshmallow root and vanilla which you can just smell. It's a really sweet smell but not overpowering. 

4. 'The Kiss' Lip Gloss

lush valentine range gloss

lush valentine range gloss

I normally wouldn't buy this as it's very bright when you see it, but I wanted to get everything in the Valentine range so I bought it and actually when it's on it isn't that bright. The only thing I would say it to find something to apply it with (like a brush or cotton bud (as above)) as it's like butter and melts quickly on your finger if you use your finger obviously. The gloss is not sticky like traditional lip glosses and as I said melts very easily onto your lips. The main ingredient is Fair Trade Shea Butter which is great with sensitive skin and absorbs quickly onto your lips.

5. Heart Throb

heart throb lush valentine bar

heart throb lush valentine bar

This bubble bar makes your bath such a lovely red colour and is very relaxing. Similar to the unicorn horn (in terms of making it last) you could perhaps twist and break down the middle and keep 1/2 for another bath but I ended up using both as wanted the full she-bang! This bar is full of smells and similar to the lip gloss above has shea butter which is great with softening skin. Smells include vanilla, ylang ylang oil, lemon, frangipani and more. It makes for a very soothing and relaxing bath - the kind you would have just before bed or when you want to read a book in the bath :)

6. 'The Kiss' Lip Scrub

lip scrub valentine lush shoutjohn

lip scrub valentine lush shoutjohn

Going back to one of my last posts (age ago) I bought the Bubblegum Lip Scrub as one of my work colleagues was using it and I loved the smell, taste, flavour and how it really helps your lips. So Lush have a Valentine edition lip scrub which is great and I've used it on my lips and it leaves them feeling really smooth however the taste I'm having difficulty getting used to. Now I want to keep my blog honest as possible and so not everything I put on here I'm going to like, nor will I skip it because that's just stupid. So the smell is amazing however I feel that the smell is something that you would wear not put on your lips or lick or eat (that's just my opinion) and there is a taste that I'm not keen about - however I'm struggling to put my finger on what it is. I'm still using it though lol.

7. Lonely Heart 

lush valentine shoutjohn lonely heart

lush valentine shoutjohn lonely heart

Firstly I have to say ... GLITTER! As you can see from the pictures - this one is coated in more glitter than ever! After picking it up - it was everywhere - my hands, my clothes, my bedsheets - argh!

Another bubble bar (and the last) you crumble under running water and watch as the water turns a lovely shade of red. This bubble bar is very citrus-infused in my opinion - full of bergamot oil and lemongrass oil and then to top it off - rose oil (apparently Lush are one of the biggest users of rose oil) which gives the bath a mixture of citrusy-rosey fragrance. Very soothing - just make sure you don't fall asleep in the bath like I tend to do.

8. Love Locket

lush valentine shoutjohn love locket

lush valentine shoutjohn love locket

I kept the best to last - this is my favourite bath bomb and the biggest of the lot. I think if you were to compare the range to any other Lush range - this is their equivalent of the Golden Wonder from their Christmas range. Now in their video on their website they crack it against the side of the bath (so it breaks into two pieces) however I just threw it into the bath and let it fizz away. Firstly the smells hit you straight away - you get the jasmine and vanilla smell which linger for ages. After the bomb has fizzled out - you get a nice shade of pink and you get little hearts floating around the water which was quite odd as I didn't realise it did that. So I would definitely get this one again.

Products Used:

Unicorn Horn | £3.25 each
Prince Charming | £4.75 each
Heart Throb | £3.65
Lonely Heart | £3.50
Lip Gloss | £5.95
Lip Scrub | £5.50
Floating Flower | £3.50
Love Locket | £6.95

I don't want to create lots of links but to find all their products and more of their Valentine range you can click HERE. If you're reading this after Valentine's then the link may be dead as they will have stopped this range - then click HERE to go to their main website.

Let me know in the comments if you have tried any of the above or if you think there is anything I have missed. 

PS I know the Cupid's Love (soap bar) is not featured above as when I ordered everything it was out of stock #sadface .. if you wanna check it out click HERE.



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Sunday, 25 January 2015

GlamGlow Super-Mud Clearing Treatment

Hey everyone :)

shoutjohn youtube glamglow


Got another video for you today - this is a review on the GlamGlow Super-Mud Clearing Treatment.

I bought this a few months ago and have been trying it once a week for the past couple of months and I have noticed a significant change to my skin however as I mention in the video - it's not all about what you put on your face, I also have increased my drinking water daily and have cut down on the snacks and sweets which I think has helped also.

You can buy the product from 'lookfantastic' for £34.99 - click HERE to go straight to the page for the product. I don't think this is where I bought it from (as I can't remember) but the price is the same.

Anyway hope you enjoy the video - like and subscribe if you do :)





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Friday, 23 January 2015

Top Sad Moments in Television

Hey everyone :)

So I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing ... but television programmes are a big part of my life and fill up the time when I'm not at work and so I find that I get attached to them - probably in a way that is unhealthy.

I find it hard to express how I feel about the 'attachment' - maybe you know what I mean? You could say 'you grow up' with the programme - it airs once a week and time passes quickly in 'television land'. You get into a routine of coming home, having dinner and sitting down to watch it. You connect with the main characters, live their lives as you live yours, feel their emotions when they're upset or happy and develop some sort of relationship with them - even though they're on a screen and your in your bedroom.

Over the years I will admit I became attached to many different programmes and cried and laughed with them - people who read this might think 'jeez this guy needs to get out more' but I'm hoping some of you will understand what I'm getting at ... that 'attachment' or empathy you feel towards the programme.

So I decided to put together a few moments - sad moments mostly of the television programmes I've watched these past few years ...

Grey's Anatomy - Izzy & Denny

shoutjohn izzy denny

Denny was a heart transplant patient and Izzy fell in love with him, she eventually lost her job getting him a new heart and then lost him to a blood clot - the rest of the staff found her crying and clinging to his dead body - a sad moment in Grey's Anatomy.

Vampire Diaries - Bonnie's Funeral

bonnies funeral shoutjohn

Bonnie was the centre of the group and everyone loved her - she was funny and happy all the time and would do anything to protect her friends so when she 'died' it was a shock to everyone - they had a funeral for her however she was there in ghost form and Jeremy translated what she was saying to everyone - so a very special funeral - very upsetting.

Glee - Finn's Funeral/Tribute

glee finn tribute funeral

Sadly Cory Monteith passed away in real life and Glee paid an amazing tribute episode to him. They reminisced and showed how the characters dealt with his death.

Downton Abbey - Sybil's Death

shoutjohn sybil death

Sybil was the youngest and carefree sister of the family and fell in love with Tom (the chauffeur) - she fell pregnant and had a beautiful baby girl which Tom called 'Sybil' after her mum, sadly Sybil (the mum) passed away shortly after giving birth due to pre-eclampsia. Apparently the entire nation was in mourning.

Once Upon A Time - Snow White & Prince Charming After First Curse

shoutjohn once upon a time

This moment in 'Once Upon a Time' had me in tears for hours (and I'm not scared to admit it) I fricking love this show - through the first season we got to see how all the characters met, fell in love, and came together before the first curse was created. Once the curse was broken (spoilers) Prince Charming & Snow (above) find each other and both say the quote they always say to each other 'I will always find you' - this gives me shivers every time. 

Revenge - Amanda's Death

amanda death revenge shoutjohn

Revenge isn't really upsetting much as opposed to killing or framing but Amanda's death was upsetting especially when Emily told her she loved her (as a friend obviously, not in a gay way lol). Amanda was introduced early on and fell in love with Jack Porter (Emily's childhood friend) and they had a baby together, she was then kidnapped and died in Emily's arms when the boat blew up.

Charmed - Prue's Death

shoutjohn prue death

Prue's death was rather unexpected - it was left as a Season 3 cliffhanger and as Season 4 started - she was gone, there was also speculation that she left due to tension between her and Alyssa Milano (Phoebe) as they didn't get on. Producers sided with Alyssa and Shannon was gone. The death wasn't too bad - she was thrown threw a wall, but her funeral was upsetting.

The OC - Marissa's Death

marissa death shoutjohn

The OC was one of the first shows I watched when I started working and was able to buy my own DVD box sets - Marissa had a bit of a crazy life but by the end she was heading off to work on a boat with her dad and was happy, however destiny had other plans - Ryan and her were ran of the road and the car tumbled down a hill and she sadly died in Ryan's arms as the car exploded. Especially upsetting as 'Hallelujah' was playing in the background.

What are your sad moments of television? Do you watch any of the above shows?


shoutjohn logo


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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Gaming: Minecraft

Hey everyone :)

So I wanted to introduce you to a game that I play. Now this may not be everyone's cup of tea so if your not into gaming then this post probably isn't for you - but as this blog is about the things I love - I wanted to do a small post about it.

Shoutjohn Minecraft


The game is called Minecraft and is a sandbox construction game. It is available on a number of different platforms such as PC, Mac, PlayStation and Xbox.

Basically you (the player) can interact in a 3D environment - when I say interact I mean you break and place different types of blocks. It's mainly the reason its called 'Mine'craft - because you 'mine' or 'break' the blocks with different tools such as a pickaxe or an axe.

Minecraft is available to anyone to purchase and costs (in the UK) £17.95 (this is for the PC version) - once purchased you are then able to download the launcher and launch the game. It uses Java to work so you need to make sure the Java is up-to-date on your computer and that your computer can handle playing it. You need good RAM to get a decent experience from it. (So probably best to check the recommended settings for the game against your PC specifications before purchasing).

HELPFUL HINT: Sometimes the RAM allocated in your settings is lower than the total RAM you have installed and you can actually change this and allow more RAM to be used for Minecraft which makes for a smoother game play experience. Just YouTube or Google it and they give step-by-step instructions.

When Minecraft first came out - there was only one version - what we now call 'Vanilla' Minecraft - which basically means no extra features or changes - just plain old Minecraft. Over time programmers, gamers, basically anyone with the experience created 'mods' (modifications) and different 'plugins' which add better features to Minecraft.

For example someone (can't remember who) created Pixelmon - which is the Pokemon and the Pokemon world in Minecraft - I haven't checked it all out but you can catch Pokemon, fight wild Pokemon, fight other trainers etc. We call Pixelmon a 'mod' because its a modification of Minecraft.

We then have what you call a 'plugin' which is mostly for people who own public (or like me) a private server - which lets you add additional features to make it easier to manage or do things. Plugins can be used to stop bullying - meaning you can install plugins to monitor the chat and censor swearing. There are plugins to stop players damaging other peoples property such as protection plugins. There are plugins to help the server host (me) build faster such as WorldEdit (the most amazing plugin) it lets you create millions of blocks in seconds. There are then fun plugins - I came across one of the other day that lets you have the powers of Elsa (from the Frozen movie) you can walk on water and turn it to ice, you can shoot ice at blocks - it's great fun.

Minecraft is popular among younger children and adults - I found it through watching gaming channels on YouTube and thought it looked like fun. I have to admit that I haven't seem a gaming channel on YouTube that didn't feature Minecraft at least once. It's a very creative game and so I think anyone with a creative or artistic nature would love it as it lets you create anything you want. There are also hundreds of tutorial videos on YouTube you can watch. I recently learnt how to build a lighthouse with flashing lights at the top.

There are lots of features I haven't covered in this post but I didn't want to bore you all as it does get quite complicated and explaining one thing normally means explaining two other things so you understand, and then you need to explain something else to explain those things ... can you see where I'm going with this ...

I highly recommend trying it - I think you can actually get a demo version on some platforms so you should check it out!

Let me know in the comments if you do play and we can catch up online sometime!




Images: Deadline
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Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Tips for Bloggers

Hey everyone :)

tips for bloggers shoutjohn


So I've not been blogging for long (since June) so I wouldn't call myself a 'seasoned' or 'experienced' blogger but I have most definitely picked up some helpful tips from other bloggers and from ... well blogging.

1. Social media - use it, utilize it - it can do wonders for your blog, from tweeting your posts with a few hashtags, to using Google Analytics to creating a Facebook page - it can be crazy to manage them all but your blog will benefit.

2. Put thought into your posts - research, write, edit, edit again, edit more, publish it - I cannot stress enough about the editing - many times have I re-read posts and discovered incorrect grammar or really bad spelling mistakes or sentences that don't make sense.

3. Be honest - pretty much speaks for itself - don't lie or exaggerate the truth. This touches again on research - you can't go and buy some face cream and then instantly do a blog post about how its done wonders for your skin - did you try it for a few weeks to see if you got results or did you decide you wanted to brag about it even though you haven't used it? Do the research!

4. Consistency - I did touch on this on another post. Consistency can be about different parts of your blog - to keeping the same text throughout the blog, to the same colour themes, to keeping your pictures the same size or posting on certain days. I feel that it makes your blog look more professional and well-thought out.

5. Pictures say a thousand words - I live by this statement. This goes back to when I was young - I loved books with pictures (I still do - especially cookbooks) and it's no different with blogs - they help to explain what the blogger is trying to say. It also helps to divide/split up the text. Plus it looks good - plain and simple - a blog with some nice pictures is more appealing that a whole load of text.

6. Networking - use things like Bloglovin to follow other blogs - you'll get nowhere just keeping yourself to yourself. Bloglovin is great - it categorizes blogs by category so you can look through lots of blogs such as Fashion, Food, Lifestyle and Beauty to name a few. If you find some blogs you like - leave a comment or two to show the blogger your interested and have found their blog. Then if you want - follow them on Twitter to keep updated when they post again (and you ever know they may check out your blog and follow you).

7.  Statistics - many bloggers say not to worry about this for ages, but its good to get it setup in the background and leave so it tracks whose visiting your blog over time and what pages are most visited. I setup Google Analytics when I first started - all you do is register, then add your tracking ID into your Blogger setting page and then it will automatically start tracking everything for you (Obviously not straight away - takes a few weeks to a few months).

8. Blog Design - Remember the saying first impressions count? Well its the same for your blog - when a person first visits the first thing they'll see is your main page and your blog theme/design. So put thought into it when you choose your first design. When I first started I got a free design, however after 4 months I bought a design from a designer on Etsy and its the one I'm using now. Obviously I've changed things like the font and colours but I love it and think it looks good.

9. Have a point - this might fall under 'put thought into your posts' but basically make sure your post has a point - readers don't like word-vomit. I always try to focus on one or two things and I'll admit sometimes I go off and talk about random things but I normally manage to bring it back.

10. Scheduling -  this point can depend on what your general life is like - if your at school then you probably don't need to schedule your life yet (lol) but I work full-time and so scheduling helped me greatly. I have a MacBook and so I use the calendar app - which syncs via my MacBook, my iPhone 6, my iPad and iCloud so I can access it anywhere. I then schedule when I'm going to post what, what time I have to shoot videos, when I'll post my videos etc ... it's a really great way to make sure your organised (I actually could spend an entire post talking about this - but I won't).

So these are my 10 tips that I've picked up so far ... let me know in the comments if you think the same or if you have any similar or different.



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Monday, 19 January 2015

January Birchbox

Hey everyone :)

So if you didn't already - you should check out my December Birchbox post here - which explains my reasoning behind getting a couple of the boxes (even though their more targeted towards girls/ladies/woman).

After receiving my December Birchbox a few days ago - I received another little package which happened to be my January Birchbox a few days after. Last month the December box was sponsored/was in collaboration with Sophia Webster, this month's January box was in collaboration with 'Woman's Health'.

shoutjohn january birchbox

shoutjohn january birchbox

shoutjohn january birchbox

shoutjohn january birchbox

So as per normal included in the box was:

- 7 items (6 items and the 1 item from the collaboration with Woman's Health)
- card from editor and individual item information
- exclusive offer for Woman's Heath Magazine discount
- a 12 bite-sized challenge booklet (mini-challenges to complete for healthier lifestyle)

Item 1: Stila - Lip Glaze | £15 (sample product shown)

shoutjohn january birchbox

Item 2: Philip Kingsley - Flaky/Itchy Shampoo | £21 (sample product shown)

shoutjohn january birchbox

Item 3: Agave - Healing Oil Treatment | From £16 (sample product shown)

shoutjohn january birchbox

Item 4: HealGel - Face | £48 (sample product shown)

shoutjohn january birchbox

Item 5: Activbod - Cooling Finish Lotion | £12 (sample product shown)

shoutjohn january birchbox

Item 6: Embrace Matcha - Green Tea | £24.99 (sample product shown)

shoutjohn january birchbox

Item 7: Birchbox - Pilates Band | £7.99 (birchbox exclusive, collaboration product)

shoutjohn january birchbox


So I'm quite excited for the items in the box this month as I can use more of them (actually I think all of them) here is the list and if I'd use them or not ...

Item 1: Stila - Lip Glaze - might wear it in the house, but has a sparky, shine to it, so not outside
Item 2: Philip Kingsley - Flaky/Itchy Shampoo - if my head gets itchy, then yeah I'd give it a go
Item 3: Agave - Healing Oil Treatment - if my hair gets frizzy ... I'll know what to use ;)
Item 4: HealGel - Face - would use :)
Item 5: Activbod - Cooling Finish Lotion - would use :)
Item 6: Embrace Matcha - Green Tea - been wanting to try matcha for ages - so expensive though :(
Item 7: Birchbox - Pilates Band - it's bright pink so probably won't wear it to the gym lol 

So that's all for this month ... let me know if you got a birchbox this month and if you got the same/similar items!


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