Friday, 31 July 2015

Music Friday!

Hey everyone :)

shoutjohn music friday

This is a very exciting post - for 2 reasons - it's Friday and after I finish work (13:30) I'm officially on holiday for 2 weeks.

I've been listening to a range of different music this month - most of it from tv series I've recently been watching.

Firstly ...

Gloria by Laura Brannigan
I heard this on the radio when I was in a shop - it's a old song but it's so catchy!



Secondly ...

So Emotional by Whitney Houston
The radio station they have on at work always seem to play this song once or twice a day and so it was stuck in my head for ages but I didn't know who it was so I ran out the other day and asked Siri what it was.



Thirdly ...

Hungry Eyes by Eric Carmen
Love a song from the Footloose soundtrack and again similar to So Emotional - the radio station we listen to play it everyday.



Fourthly ...

Trespassing by Adam Lambert
I'm a big fan of Pretty Little Liars and Adam Lambert was in it for an episode and sang two of his songs from his Album: 'Trespassing'. I really enjoyed them and like his whole album.



Fifthly ...

H20: Just Add Water - Soundtrack
I've been watching a programme on Netflix about Mermaids in Australia and I love it. I mean I think its marketed towards little girls of the age of six but I don't care. It also stars two of my favourite characters from the television show: 'The Originals' - Claire Holt and Phoebe Tonkin.


That's everything for this month that I've been listening to ... aswell as Christmas songs and Shania Twain still ... 

Let me know in the comments what you've been listening to.



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Thursday, 30 July 2015

The Bluebeards Revenge Hair Styling Competition

Hey everyone :)

So a couple of weeks ago I was contacted by Melanie from 'The Bluebeards Revenge' and she asked me if I wanted to take part in their competition for vloggers and bloggers that they were running. The competition is simple - create three hairstyles with their new hair styling products and then submit them and show them on social media - well I couldn't say no could I!?

Now I have put together videos of each hairstyle but I know visitors to my blog prefer my written posts whereas some prefer my vlogs/videos ... so I opted for both. I'll post each video further down the page.

The Bluebeards Revenge Pomade
The pomade is marketed to target the craziest and manliest of manes and can keep its hold so I opted to try something a bit 'out there' as my hair is getting longer now and can do more. So I went with a long mohawk ... safe to say ... the results were a bit crazy - but I liked it!

The Bluebeards Revenge Pomade

The Bluebeards Revenge Pomade

The Bluebeards Revenge Pomade

The Bluebeards Revenge Pomade

VIDEO


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The Bluebeards Revenge Matt Clay
This product stood out the most because they mention that it can tame unruly locks and its light and effective and won't betray you halfway through the day and go all fluffy or lose its hold. I decided to do the day-to-day hairstyle I do for work - this is like a combover-type style with a swoop at the front. It worked well and kept its hold - which made me happy - definitely a winner here!!

The Bluebeards Revenge Matt Clay

The Bluebeards Revenge Matt Clay

The Bluebeards Revenge Matt Clay

The Bluebeards Revenge Matt Clay

VIDEO



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The Bluebeards Revenge Matt Paste
A very sticky product but gave my hair some great shine! I went with a 'I-just-got-out-of-bed' look and this product was very appropriate for the style. It kept it held where I wanted and didn't flop about when I shook my head about a bit.

The Bluebeards Revenge Matt Paste

The Bluebeards Revenge Matt Paste

The Bluebeards Revenge Matt Paste

The Bluebeards Revenge Matt Paste

VIDEO



If you want to find out anymore information you can check out 'The Bluebeards Revenge' webpage HERE. Links to each individual product are below also and are priced at £9.99.

The Bluebeards Revenge Pomade - 100ml
The Bluebeards Revenge Matt Clay - 100ml
The Bluebeards Revenge Matt Paste - 100ml

The Bluebeards Revenge

The Bluebeards Revenge

The Bluebeards Revenge

Let me know what you think in the comments and what you thought of the hair styles!



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Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, however I did receive a sample for my review. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.
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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Debt Management

Hey everyone :)

I wanted to start this by saying 'everyone will have probably seen this film' but then I remembered it is quite a chick flick and so some people may have not seen it ... (I'm looking at all you straight-manly men type guys).

It's called Confessions of a Shopoholic and I think it is one of my favourite films.

The film opens with a girl - Rebecca Bloomwood - telling us that she has 10 credit cards (all maxed out - she doesn't tell us this) and she loves to shop - if she had to choose between a man and shopping - she'd choose shopping - that's how crazy she is. She has all the designer clothes and looks amazing! She works at a garden magazine but wants to one day work at the successful Alette (a fashion magazine) - she eventually gets a job at Successful Saving - a money magazine that is owned by the same company that own Alette so the plan is to work for them and then move up to Alette after some time.

I think its quite comedic because it's ironic that a girl in lots of debt with debt collectors chasing her starts working for a saving magazine and giving advice to the readers about saving when she can't save as she's in thousands of dollars worth of debt.

The film also involves her pretending to speak Finish (because no one checks up on Finland), her friends wedding, thinking up crazy excuses for the debt collector, the girl-enemy that's trying to steal the hot guy, and obviously a romance ... plus there is lots more too but I didn't want to ruin it.

Once of my favourite quotes in the film is when Luke (the hot guy) asks her why she does it - her answer is simple:


Funnily enough I do think the quote is true - the world does feel better when you shop and you buy clothes and possessions and they make you happy. Then a month or so later you are bored again and buy something else and you feel happy again because that purchase has made you happy.

Anyway enough about this film ... I just thought it related well to what the subject of my post is about: 'Debt Management'. I have never been good with money - I am terrible! My mum always says she doesn't know where I got it from because her and my dad have always been good with money. They've never borrowed (apart from their mortgage) and have always paid for things outright and never had credit cards. I currently have 4 credit cards, a £1000 overdraft, i'm into the 2nd year of paying my car finance off ... the list goes on.

I think the first time I got myself into debt was when I was at university - I was a student - young, stupid and naive and thought I had everything under control - I didn't obviously and that's why I left university at the start of year 2 and never went back and I still owe my parents a £1000 of unpaid rent bills to the university student accommodation - which they paid so I owe them it.

Obviously time moved on ... and I got better with managing my money and then I got worse again ... if I'm honest some of the purchases were justifiable such as driving lessons or car insurance - neither are cheap. Then I decided to get professional teeth whitening because I wan't happy with my teeth ... £450 ... then I wanted an Xbox One ... £350 ... then I decided I wanted a PS4 - £350 ... before this (I forgot) I bought 2 new camera (nearly £1000) ... before I knew it ... 3 credit cards were maxed out and I was in debt ... it's so easy and credit card companies make it easier for you because they up your limit and give you 'good' interest rates so you'll spend more! It's very odd and confusing - this credit card world!


Anyway I came up (and Dave helped too) of ways to help me save:

Credit Cards
My mum and Dave's answer was the same: CUT THEM UP! - but I didn't want to do that ... so I settled with Dave taking them away from me (all four yes!) and locking them up in his room and regardless of my situation and my threats of breaking up - he is not allowed to give them to me.

Budget Buying
Stores (like Tesco, Sainsburys etc) have 3 types of products - you get the value range (like Tesco Value) , then you get the better value type, then the branded (like Heinz) and then similar the finest range (like Tesco Finest). Lots of saving websites recommend the second choice - not branded but not the value range. It will help you save and let's face it ... it doesn't need to be branded all the time! Tesco tomato sauce and Heinz tomato sauce doesn't taste any different!

Meal Planning
I'm still working on this - so I won't say much. But there are websites (like the netmums forums) that have meal planners and they plan a whole month worth of meals and they tell you what to buy and give you shopping lists - it really is a good place to check. The meals are very nutritional and cheap and easy and quick to make.

Drinking Water
Yes a very odd thing to say ... but hear me out ... water is free ... it comes from a tap - most employers by law have to provide drinking water. Water is apparently a natural appetite suppressant so drinking it throughout the day and between meals stops you from snacking or buying junk food. Think of the £1 to £2 you would use in the vending machine on coke and crisps that could be saved for a rainy day.

Large Spending
Probably a given - but no large spending - meaning no new games for the PS4, no new clothes, no nothing ... unless it's absolutely necessary ... your parent's Silver Wedding Anniversary present ... then yes that's okay ...

Work & OverTime
If your work offers overtime then step up and offer to do some ... it helps out in the long run and will help you pay of the debt a little bit faster.

Let me know if you have any other ideas I could do or whether these ideas helped you out!



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Disclaimer: Please be aware that I'm not a financial expert, nor claim to be - these are just things that have helped me save and I wanted to share them with you all.
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Thursday, 23 July 2015

Destiny Tips

Hey everyone :)

destiny bungie shoutjohn

So I wanted to do another gamer post - for one reason mainly - I like doing them and if it helps someone new (or old) along the way then my job is done :D

So having played Destiny for nearly a year now (come the 15th Sep) and I have picked up little tricks and tips to make sure I give myself the best gameplay experience possible.

destiny looking for group shoutjohn

Looking for Group?
Now, if like me you don't have lots of friends who play Destiny or your work friends that do play it are on the opposite shift then there are websites that help you find other players who are looking to do certain missions/raids/arenas etc where automatic matchmaking is not available. If you play the game then you'll know that the 'weekly nightfall' and the 'raids' and the 'PoE' (32 upwards) do not match you with other players.

My favourite website for finding other players is: http://www.destinylfg.net/ - the website allows you to do 2 things - view other players looking for other players - simply by selecting the drop down box and choosing which event you want to do. It also lets you post on the page telling players you are looking to do an event - then they can find you.

The website also has a basic chat function so people can message you once you've posted to check you are still looking or to tell you what weapons they have or more about their class etc. Some people use this and others just add you on PSN as you can specify your PSN name in the post before posting to the page.

 There are other groups and apps for this too - but the above is my favourite and easiest to use.

PSN Friends and Party Chat
Leading on from above (looking for group) - now before I knew about this - the way I added someone to my fireteam was to go around what I call the 'long way' which involved sending a friend request and waiting for them to accept and then inviting them to my fireteam ... LONG! Now even if you don't have a mic or don't plan to talk - then you can still create a party and then invite them to the party (without friending them) and then once in the party - the other player(s) have the option to 'join session' which allows them to instantly join your fireteam. It basically at the end of the day means you won't have 1000 random friends you added just to play one event with. Lots of people prefer method so don't be offended when someone refuses your request. It's probably so there friends list isn't clogged up.

destiny public event shoutjohn

Public Events
A fast way to get 'Vanguard Marks' other than doing playlists - is to do the random public events on all the planets. You get 4 points per event (if you complete it) and they take about 5 - 10 minutes whereas the playlists can take up to 30 mins and you get 6 ...  There are websites and apps available which predict when and where the next event will be and they are pretty spot on. For my iPhone there is an app called: Destiny Timers and for my MacBook I use: http://destinypublicevents.com/ - similar to the looking for group websites/apps there are lots more these are just two of my favourites that I use frequently.

destiny status johnaagnew2010 shoutjohn

Destiny Status
I recently found this website: http://destinystatus.com/ and I absolutely love it - as the name suggests - it gives you the status of all your characters - information such as items, reputation, weekly event completion, statistics (how many kills in pve and pvp etc). You can see all your characters at the same time and compare and its simple - all you do is search your username and it automatically brings it up. You can search anyone you want.

destiny inventory manager

Destiny Inventory Manager (or DiM) 
Have you ever been in a raid/story mission or arena and thought damn! I could really use that void sniper rifle now as its void burn for this round but you can't because it's in your vault - well this extention of Google Chrome allows you to move things from characters to the vault or from the vault to your characters or even from character to character - it's really good and made my game play experience must better. I would recommend it to anyone who plays Destiny. If you don't have a laptop your PS4 is not anywhere near your computer - then there are plenty of apps on the iPhone too - I use Loadout which I actually used before I discovered DiM - which does the same thing. I think it's a bit better than DiM but that's just my opinion.

destiny ghost hunter shoutjohn

Destiny Ghost Hunter
As you are probably aware - there are 'dead ghosts' scattered across all the world and when you collect then you get some information about Destiny and it's added to your grimoire so you can read up on the history and lore. It also ups your grimoire score too. There is also a trophy you get for collecting 50 of them. There are currently as of Desinty, and the two expansions - 77 dead ghosts. There are numerous videos on YouTube which I used to find them but I also discovered this website: http://destinyghosthunter.net/ - where you add your PSN and it'll tell you which ones you have, which are missing and where to find them.

I hope these tips and tricks helped you out and if you're on PS4 and reading this and want to add me then feel free - johnaagnew2010. No 'gally' required < that's a Destiny term you will get if you play it.

Let me know in the comments below if you use any other websites or prefer some to others.



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Wednesday, 22 July 2015

32 Random Questions Tag

Hey everyone :)


So you all know how I love a good tag post - today I found the 32 Random Question tag on the internet which looks interesting so here we go!

1) Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed?
1) CLOSED! I don't want the monsters coming out and getting me while I sleep!

2) Do you take shampoo and conditioner bottles from hotels?
2) I didn't used to because I thought I'd get in trouble but the last hotel I stayed at we took a few bottles.

3) Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in our out?
It depends on the time of year - for the Summer - I sleep with them half off and tucked out and if its the Winter then tucked in to keep me snug!

4) Have you ever stolen a street sign?
4) No, but I was with someone who did a few years ago. I think she took it back the next day.

5) Do you cut out coupons and then never use them?
5) I go through 'i need to save' phases and yes I cut out coupons I think I'll use or I try and use the ones Tesco send me through the post but then I always forget and never use them.

6) Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of bees?
6) A bear as I hate bees!

7) Do you always smile for pictures?
7) I try to ... don't always end up smiling - looks more like I'm in pain.

8) Do you ever count your steps when you walk?
8) Sometimes if I'm trying to keep my mind of something - like the dentist or an interview.

9) Have you ever peed in the woods?
9) Yes, several times through my years as a teenager mainly because our village was surrounded by woods.

10) Do you still watch cartoons?
10) If I can't find anything on Netflix to watch then yes, sometimes I watch Pokemon or Digimon or something like that.

11) Where would you bury hidden treasure if you had some?
11) On a secret island in Hawaii somewhere :)

12) What do you drink with dinner?
12) Depends what I've having - if its something hot and spicy - I normally try and drink milk and if its anything normal then just a coke or squash.

13) What do you dip a chicken nugget in?
13) If I buy them from McDonalds then normally Barbecue sauce - it's AMAZING!

14) What movies could you watch over and over and still love?
14) White Chicks or any Disney movie!

15) Were you ever a boy scout?
Yes I was in Beavers, then Cubs, then Scouts but then I left before moving to Adventure Scouts.

16) Would you ever strip or pose nude in a magazine?
16) Not really ... unless it was for charity or something.

17) Can you change the oil in your car?
17) I know how to, but I have never done it as it gets done when I get my service every year.

18) Have you ever gotten a speeding ticket?
No, but I was in my car when Dave was driving when he got one - but he got off with the speed awareness course and no points.

19) Afraid of heights?
19) Not a fan, but they don't bother me that much that I'm scared.

20) Do you sing in the car?
20) Yes, but only when I'm on my own.

21) Is Christmas stressful?
21) Only if you've left everything to the last minute. Last year Dave was away so I had no presents or anything to worry about. This year will be a bit more crazier!

22) Occupations you wanted to be when you were a kid?
22) This was a question I struggled with for years - I had no idea! I remember wanting to be a chef but that's about it. Then when I left school I decided I wanted to go into IT, then I changed my mind and went into Nursing and now I'm in Administration ... CRAZY!

23) Do you believe in ghosts?
23) I don't know - I've never seen one.

24) The first concert you ever went to?
24) I went to Britney Spear's 'Circus Tour' with my friend Ruth back when I was in University in 2008. She cried when Britney Spears came out - but to this day still denies it! :P

25) Asda, Tesco or Sainsburys?
25) Why must I choose? I shop in all 3 but probably Tesco the most as its convenient and closer to me.

26) Nike or Adidas?
26) Neither - I don't wear any clothing by either company but if I had to choose one - I'd choose Nike.

27) Can you curl your tongue?
27) No - we used to have contests in school to try and do it and I could never do it. I can't do that Spock sign with my fingers/hands either. :(

28) Have you ever cried because you were so happy?
28) Probably, I can't remember - I got really excited once I peed a little ... it was awkward!

29) The last concert you saw?
29) I've only been to the one concert which I mentioned above - Britney Spears. I wanted to go to Taylor Swift's '1989' tour but I couldn't find anyone else to go with.

30) Can you swim well?
30) I can swim reasonably well I think.

31) Can you knit or crochet?
31) My gran taught me how to knit - I can knit scarves and stuff - nothing complicated.

32) Are you a dog person or a cat person?
32) I love both and when I get my own place - I plan to get both!

Well that was 32 random questions - as always - I'm not going to tag any individual but if you read this and fancy doing it - then feel free to and leave a link in the comments so I can read your questions :)



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Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Joey Graceffa 'In Real Life' Book Review

Hey everyone :)

joey graceffa in real life shoutjohn

I've followed Joey Graceffa for a few years now - I found him via Shane Dawson and instantly fell in love with his lovable personality and well he's cute :) He's also the main reason I found Zoella (Zoe Sugg) a British blogger/YouTuber - he was visiting the UK and she was in one of his videos - for several months after watching that video - I thought they were brother and sister - yes I'm an idiot lol.

Anyway for those of you who don't know - Joey Graceffa is an american actor, singer and YouTuber and he recently brought out a book (pictured above). I was lucky enough to pre-order it and so it arrived on the day of release (yay - thanks Amazon).

I've done lots of reviews on YouTuber's books now and like I say every time - it's not because they're a YouTuber and I just wanted the book - it's because I like reading about their past and what happened while they grew up (in other words I'm nosey).

It was quite shocking (that's a strong word) to see what Joey's childhood/growing up was really like. His dad wasn't really around and his mum was an alcoholic/recovering alcoholic. Obviously I won't go into detail - I want to keep this post short and sweet. The best chapter (in my opinion) is Chapter 14. It only has two words: 'I'm gay'.

I'm only saying this because even before you buy the book you'll have probably heard about Joey coming out as its been all over YouTube and Twitter etc for the past couple of months now (well since the book came out basically) and he also released a music video with him kissing his male co-star.

For some people who (like me) have followed him for several years - this won't be much of a shock. For me he has always been flamboyant and well camp (not that I'm saying that in a horrible or derogative way) I have a few straight friends with wives and kids - that if you met them for the first time you'd think they were gay.

In the book Joey talks about starting Youtube with his friend Britany and their channel WinterSpringPro, he talks about school and his first year of college, about experimenting with boys and going on dates and then starting his own channel JoeyGraceffa on YouTube and then his family life - dad, mum, sister and brother.

I really did love the book - some parts were upsetting but others were happy and exciting so I definitely would recommend it to anyone who watches his videos and hasn't bought it yet - he opens up a side of himself we haven't seen on YouTube.

joey graceffa in real life shoutjohn


Let me know what you thought if you read the book or if you plan to buy it in the comments below :)



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Thursday, 16 July 2015

Graze 'Flapjack' Box

Hey everyone :)

graze flapjack shoutjohn 1

graze flapjack shoutjohn 1

graze flapjack shoutjohn 1

graze flapjack shoutjohn 1

You've probably already guessed by the name of the post what this is about ...

If you've read by blog before you will know I'm a big Graze fan! I think the idea is genius and the snacks are amazing! I've done a few posts on their other boxes like their Jerky Box and their Breakfast Box ... you can check them out on my blog.

So I recently ordered the 'Flapjack' box from their website. I actually got a £1 off discount for purchasing a one-off box so that was a great start!

graze flapjack shoutjohn 1

graze flapjack shoutjohn 1

First flapjack was 'lemon curd' and tasted amazing! You can definitely taste the lemon and it was not over-powering. One of my favourites! 

graze flapjack shoutjohn 1

graze flapjack shoutjohn 1

The next flapjack was 'summer berry' this had pieces of cranberry and I love cranberries - especially the juice and sauce. 

graze flapjack shoutjohn 1

graze flapjack shoutjohn 1

The third flapjack was 'apple and cinnamon' and reminded me of warm apple pie. There were bits of apple in the flapjack and you could taste the cinnamon.

graze flapjack shoutjohn 1

graze flapjack shoutjohn 1

The fourth flapjack was 'honeycomb' and reminded me of the crunchie bar ... which actually I've not had in ages! I need to get one :) It was very sweet though.

If you want to find out any more information about the 'flapjack' box Graze offers then you can find them on their website.

Have you ever tried the 'flapjack' box from Graze? Let me know in the comments.



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Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Summer Berry Smoothie

Hey everyone :)

mixed berry smoothie shoutjohn 1

One thing I love about smoothies is that you can make them out of just about anything. Lots of the ingredients for simple and easy smoothies are already in our fridges or freezers. 

For example I already have 'summer fruits', 'vanilla ice cream' and milk in my fridge/freezer. Mix the 3 together and you have a great tasting smoothie! 

I love that you can take anything and mix it together. If you don't like the flavour of something then the next time - you just have to take out the thing you didn't like and replace it with something else.

For my 'summer berry' smoothie there isn't really a guide. I just did the following.

1. Took a handful of summer fruits and threw into the blender jug.
2. Took 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream and added to the blender jug. 
3. Poured in some milk until I thought it was enough.
4. Blend
5. I then noticed that the smoothie was quite thick so I added some more milk and blended again.
6. Pour into glass and get a couple of straws
7. Voila! Done!


mixed berry smoothie shoutjohn 1

Stupidly I forgot to take a picture of the finished product in a glass with some straws but you get the idea! I have a vlog of it somewhere but I can't remember which day I vlogged it lol.

Let me know if you make random smoothies or juices with the ingredients lying around your house.



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