OnePlus 6 - Red

When it comes to technology, I can be a bit of a nightmare. I’m really particular about the  way I like things to perform, to look and even to feel when I’m using them. As a result of this, I waver over every purchase in case something just doesn’t feel right. So, when OnePlus got in touch to see if I’d like to give their OnePlus 6 phone a spin, complete in the racy red edition, I was thrilled.

OnePlus 6 - Red

Taking the OnePlus 6 out the box, I was stunned at how good the phone looks. A similar size to the iPhone 8 Plus, but a little thinner, this phone practically glows thanks to the six panels of glass which make up the back of the OnePlus 6 Red. With this colour, they have also added an additional anti-reflective layer to create a sense of depth by allowing more light to reach the bottom layers before being reflected off the device. The result is a phone which shimmers and shines in light, and looks as good as it feels to use.

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As an absolute android newby, I had been a little worried about how I’d find using the phone, but it couldn’t be simpler. Thanks to the glass front and back, the phone is largely spill proof , and it even charges fully within half an hour. The phone itself is all screen at the front, and the back has a handy fingerprint sensor as well as a vertically aligned dual-lens camera. Thanks to the newly available ‘Portrait Mode’ the camera can add DSLR-style depth of field – perfect for snapping away all those Instagram pictures! The camera also can record for longer periods than most phones, so if you’re a big stories user – or you’re wanting to dabble in InstagramTV, this is the phone for you!

OnePlus 6 - Red

The OnePlus 6 is also gloriously fast to use – there is no waiting around while programmes load up. Instead a quick tap and everything is raring to go. Adding apps from the Google store is absolutely painless, and I’ve loaded up everything from Spotify to Facebook, so they’re all available at a single touch. Since the phone is an android, it’s also perfect if, like me, you’re a gmail fiend. My work email is a Gmail account, so it syncs in seamlessly with the OnePlus 6 calendar system, meaning I never forget about a meeting or phone call, and don’t have to add events in multiple systems.

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What’s impressed me most about the OnePlus 6 though, is all the extra little details not found on other devices. First off there is a headphone port (cue angels singing) which means my time buying multiple other phones is well and truly over. Not only this, but the facial recognition allows you to to unlock the phone simple glance at the screen. There’s also a reading mode which gives the screen a Kindle-style appearance (perfect for taking to the beach) as well as gaming mode which brings a notification-free and faster experience. You can also remove the virtual home and back buttons at the bottom of the screen – which can then be replaced by gestures.

The phone is an absolute powerhouse of a device, and it’s perfect to use both for work, and for personal use. It’s also incredibly affordable – the phone starts at £559 and is available here.

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With only four days to go until the Royal Wedding, it feels like the whole country is gearing up for a fabulous weekend! The kind people over at Amazon very kindly sent over their Fire TV Stick, which is perfect for not only getting into the (royal) party mood, but for watching the livestream of the wedding too!

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Using the Fire TV Stick really couldn’t be easier – if your TV has an HDMI port, and you’ve got Wifi, you’re good to go. I plugged mine into the back of the TV, plugged it into the outlet and then logged in using my Amazon account details.

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What I didn’t realise about the Fire TV stick was how many apps you can download to customise which content you watch! To get prepped for all of this weekend’s festivities, I made sure to download the BBC app so I can stream it live. For a bit of fun, I also downloaded PeopleTV, for their take on festivities as well as DisneyLife for some real princess inspiration!

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In addition to the apps to watch the actual wedding, I’ve also downloaded Netflix so we can get into the spirit by watching series like ‘The Crown’ as well as documentaries like ‘Inside the House of Windsor. I also downloaded the seriously handy iPhone app, which lets me use my phone as the remote. It makes typing and selecting which show we want to watch so much easier!

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I’ve also added the Spotify app so that I can listen to music if I’m cleaning or reading, and Youtube lets me catch up on videos I never usually have time to watch – it’s great for popping on whilst I’m getting ready.

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So, on Saturday morning we’re going to be popping the prosecco, and enjoying some of the yummiest gourmet treats as we toast Harry and Meghan.

You can join in the fun too – there is plenty of time to order your own Fire Stick from Amazon (here). The stick is priced at a seriously affordable £39.99, and it’s absolutely got me in the mood for celebrating this weekend!

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I’ve mentioned before about my love of buying gifts for my nearest and dearest, and one spot which has really impressed me this year has been High Street favourite Boots. It would be too easy to write off the ‘chemist’ as somewhere to pick up something on a last minute basis, but in fact, their offering is both varied and seriously impressive. They also have some gorgeous little home wear bits and bobs, which are perfect if you’re looking to treat yourself or someone close.

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I’m sure you’ve all heard about the Zoella drama which kicked off about her much anticipated advent calendar, but one of the line up which I feel has been overlooked is the Catching ZZZ’s Cosy Night In Set. Containing a cute little cable knit covered hot water bottle as well as a sleep mask, its a lovely little addition to any winter nights in you might be planning! The hot water bottle, complete with pine green faux fur pom poms is adorable – I love popping it into bed on cold nights so I don’t need to deal with cold sheets! It’s surprisingly grown-up considering it comes from the Queen of Tweens, so I’m sure anyone on your list would love to wake up to one of these on Christmas morning!

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The second part of the set is the super soft eye mask, which comes complete with rose gold lash appliqué. It’s a cute little addition to the set, and the fabric it’s made from is incredibly soft, so it won’t tug on delicate skin. The strap is elasticised, so it should fit most people, and I have to say, I’ve slept with it on for the past few nights, and I’ve woken up refreshed, with no danger of a headache! The Catching ZZZ’s set is also a fab choice if you’re looking to bulk buy presents – it’s part of Boot’s 3-for-2 offer, which lets you pick up a third of your presents for free (and don’t forget those Advantage Card points!)!

Zoella Catching ZZZ’s Cosy Night In Collection is priced at £20 and is available here.

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When I heard that Edinburgh’s Harvey Nichols was the first store in the UK to launch brand new British-made brand, Shackleton, I couldn’t wait to pop in to have a look. The newest addition to the store’s menswear department is a special 6 week pop-up, and it’s the only spot in the country to get up close with the brand.

If you’ve got a man to buy for this Christmas, I’d heartily recommend checking out what Shackleton has to offer. Inspired by the exploits of the iconic explorer, you can find everything from cozy merino scarves, to stunning parkas.

All of the pieces have been designed to perform under the harshest of circumstances – the arctic? A volcano? No match for the Shackleton items. The pieces are absolutely stunning too – the beautifully knit sweaters are a favourite, as are the fur-trimmed parkas!

As a specialevent to celebrate the launch, Scottish adventurist Aldo Kane was in-store to chat both about the brand and his incredible experiences. Previously a sniper with the Royal Marines, Kane has gone on to be called ‘the next big thing in adventure.’

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Getting to hear about his experiences was so interesting, and he also gave some insight into how he deals with the stresses and strains his adventures wreak. (Pro-tip: think strategically and compartmentalise)

On the 26th November, you can watch Kane on BBC 2 in Operation Volcano – where he will be sporting a Shackleton ‘Kane’ jacket during the programme. It survived weeks in action – so I’m sure an Edinburgh winter would be no issue at all!

You can find the whole Shackleton range (and the Kane jacket) here

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When it comes to entertaining, I’m not going to lie, I get really into it. I think it started back at uni, when there so few places to go in town, that we had to create our own entertainment. Through the years I’ve had a lot of practice – from formulating menus, cooking the food and inviting the right mix of people, I just think it’s so much fun!

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No matter whether it’s a casual lunch with a few close friends, or if it’s something which is a little larger scale, I like to keep my eye on the details. Pretty china, beautiful glasses and some flowers make the whole event feel special. I tend to keep it as simple as possible – a couple of colours, and a delicious menu. I also like to figure out numbers as soon as possible.

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When I’m planning a bit of a do, I like to think out my guest list first – a good mix of friends old and new, and give them as much warning as possible. To do this, I’ve been absolutely loving using Paperless Post. It’s all the fun of stationery shopping, but with none of the bother of the Post Office.

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On the site, there are literally hundred of invitation options. Whether you want to send an old-school invitation, or you’d rather just opt for a correspondence card, Paperless Post have your back. They have pieces from some of my favourite brands including Crane & Co and Kate Spade. Everything is completely customisable too – so you can send invites which match with the whole theme of your evening.

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Sending your invites couldn’t be easier – after customising your cards, you simply add in your friends’ emails and click send. Then you can trace when people open your invite, and see when they confirm that they’re coming. It’s one less thing to worry about when you’re planning a gathering (and the cards are so much fun to receive!) and they can even let your guests know who else will be there!

Paperless Post isn’t just for events though – I’ve been sending a variety of their cards rather than just regular emails – and everyone has been loving them! They look so much nicer than a regular email, and they are so much fun to create too!

You can see the whole range of invites, cards and announcements at Paperless Post.

*This post was published in cooperation with Paperless Post, but all thoughts are my own*