Where do you plan on doing your Christmas shopping? How does doing it by the fire, drinking mulled wine and watching Elf sound? The shops at this time of year are busy, too busy. Isn’t shopping wrapped in a blanket a better way to shop your next outfits and gifts this Christmas? Even though I love online shopping, I find my internet browser turns into ‘tab city’ browsing multiple websites and paying multiple postage fees. But stop the press guys – I’ve found THE alternative to your usual online outlets that has turned into a lifesaver this Christmas. It’s Zalando.
Zalando has more brands for us to shop than any other fashion retailer (i’m sold already).
Zalando’s website is so easy to use! No flashy attempts to look extra. Zalando has a clean, simple and user-friendly interface, taking you to the page you need without hassle.
Zalando’s filter system allows you to highly tailor your search results so that you can ensure you are browsing only relevant items clothing.
Not only does Zalando have an extensive range of clothing for you to shop but they accommodate all shapes and sizes with their ‘Big & Tall’ range – catering for sizes XXXL and up. No matter who you are, what you wear, and what you are looking for – Zalando has what you are looking for. And more. I went to Zalando to look for two jackets, one brown and one blue. Both outfits photographed in this post are the result. I needed one outfit to be smart for festive parties and the other to be casual for taking on the bitter cold during my Winter Wonderland explore. Being able to see all the smart/casual jackets I had in mind from all different brands on one screen made the decisions super easy and quick.
Even though I initially only needed the two jackets, Zalando’s style imagery helped me complete my look to include the trousers and shoes. Ideal! A website that has what I needed and more. To top off this first class online retail experience – the delivery was speedy and all items were well packaged and exactly as photographed (something we all know can be hit and miss, it’s especially important as you won’t have time to exchange in time for Christmas)!
If you still have names on the Christmas shopping list to be buying for why not take a quick look, click here and bookmark that bad boy – it’s a ‘get of jail free card’ when looking for clothing online. Or perhaps you just need a few more gift ideas for Christmas? Shop like me, shop Zalando.
*This post was created in collaboration with Zalando – while this post is commissioned all views and opinions expressed are my own. Thanks to Jamie Cullen for helping photograph these images for the campaign.*
Not that I will ever have an ounce of his class, but… Indiana Jones has a satchel, I thought it seemed appropriate that I got myself one #influenced. Or in the words of Alan from ‘The Hangover’ “It’s not a purse it’s a satchel”. Sometimes a lightweight, stylish leather is exactly what you need to compliment your outfit while being able to take the essentials with you. Featuring – David Hampton’s Messenger Bag, the winning combination of David Hampton’s inbuilt organiser and quick release magnets that secure the satchel will help keep everything separate and quickly accessible. With space for a small laptop, tablet, camera, notebook, and pens this is the perfect coffee shop hopping luggage solution. High-quality leather and a sleek design oozes style and sophistication without compromising functionality.
David Hampton’s Messenger bag should be your first choice when it comes to the daily commute. Built to last and designed with class David Hampton’s messenger bag is making a dent in the satchel market like no other. Manufactured with the highest quality Richmond leather DH’s messenger bag is soft to touch but also extremely tough and durable – no wonder Indiana Jones went for a satchel, sights set on a bag of durability combined with luxury and style.
David Hampton’s Messenger bag is lined with a gorgeous pinstriped blue cotton organiser. With a dedicated space for your essentials and space for ‘everything else’ this laptop messenger bag should be either on your Christmas list or your NewYear ‘to buy’ list. If you are still wondering what to buy for any man on your shopping list then this is the solution.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! My absolute favorite time of the year. What a year 2017 has been! Such a crazy transition from full-time employment into the world of blogging and soon to be vlogging! Time is going faster and things are getting more exciting. It’s already time to do your Christmas shopping! Here is my complete guide to help you with your shopping. Chose from my top 10 gifts and keep scrolling for some stocking-filler ideas for him, her, cooks, techies, fashionistas, social media enthusiasts, and friends. There is something for everyone within this Christmas Gift Guide 2017.
Top 10 Gifts 2017
1. Apple Watch
Top of the list is the Apple Watch. Choose from a wide selection of options on the wheel below. The beauty of the Apple Watch is it was not designed for one specific user. No matter who you are, no matter what your profession or hobbies you can tailor Apple Watch to your needs. From sports progression monitoring, reading messages, scrolling social media and browsing emails to answering calls and, oh yeah… telling the time! Available in two different screen sizes, thousands of strap combinations and now with inbuilt GPS + cellular capabilities an Apple Watch is the ultimate gift to place under your tree – a smile guaranteed (ps mum it’s the one on the far right).
2. The Best Vlogging Camera
A question I get asked a lot is what camera gear do I use? The Sony RX100 is a camera I absolutely swear by! It isn’t just for vlogging but if vlogging is something you are into or want to try the Sony RX100 is the kiddy. It’s super easy to use in full manual mode to ensure you get the highest quality video and audio. When creating movies the last thing you want to be stressing about is the technical mubo-jumbo. The Sony RX100 is in the middle price bracket of a decent point and shoot camera’s but has top of the range image quality. I predominantly use mine for video but the image quality is just as sexy. So if it’s travel, food, lifestyle or fashion you are in to – get the Sony RX100 in your shopping basket and watch those Instagram likes rise. The camera comes with a re-chargeable battery, you’ll just need to grab an SD card below. I’ll link it all below here for you. Or Buy on Amazon Here.
3. Knomad – ‘KNOMO London’
The Knomad from ‘Knomo London‘ encompasses the true meaning of Knomo’s iconic hashtag #ThisIsMyOffice. Enjoy the freedom of having your office in your hands. This isn’t just for the self-employed, the Knomad is beautifully designed and manufactured to Knomo’s premium standards. From the robust zip to the bespoke inbuilt organizer – the Knomad oozes functionality and style. Available in two different styles, two different sizes and two different colours. With the option to include a power pack – you won’t run out of juice on the move. Even if your cafe-stop off doesn’t have a plug by the only free table (we’ve all been there). Like the concept of KNOMO? Wish it was a backpack? Laptop Bag? Want both? Shop the Knomad here. Browse Knomo’s other luxury luggage solutions below.
4. Foreo Issa Hybrid Toothbrush
Yeah… it’s a toothbrush. And it’s cool. And it’s the most powerful clean you’ll ever have. In a league of its own and uncomparable to competitors, the Foreo Issa carves a mark within the dental industry of its own. Recharge via USB (cable included). The Polymer bristles will last so much longer than a regular toothbrush. I’m not usually a fan of an electric toothbrush but the Foreo Issa bridges the gap between manual and electronic toothbrushes. The Freo Issa massages the gums and inhibits overbrushing, preventing damage to tooth enamel. Plus… it looks good. That bathroom shelf will be looking fly with a Foreo Issa on it ;). If nothing else friends will be asking what even is that? And it comes with a soft leather pouch for traveling. Not your typical gift but remember the importance of dental hygiene, coupled with the long life and high quality of the Foreo Issa and it’s suddenly a really thoughtful gift idea! Check out and shop the choice of colours below.
5. James Read’s – Hydra Mist Tan
In at number 5 is James Read’s Hydra Tan Mist. Newly launched for men (did you read my post all about how I use the Hydra Tan Mist?) but also available for women. This bottle is a £20 ticket to sun this winter. If you haven’t tanned or regularly tan this is for you… So wait? That’s everyone! The Hydra Tan mist slowly builds up dependant on how often you use it. Treat someone (or yourself) to a cheeky winter bronze glow and get yourself a bottle or two. This is genuinely my favorite new-found grooming product of 2017. Trust me on this one guys. Shop the Hydra Mist for men here, and shop the women’s below.
6. Black Croc iPhone Case – Aspinal Of London
The Blac Croc iPhone case from Aspinal Of London is available for most iPhone sizes. It also comes in a deep purple which is just as gorgeous. This is genuinely the best quality phone case I have ever had to date. Easily. This sexy black croc number is super sleek, beautifully made and protects your phone without compromising the thinness (you know that annoying chunky case effect slapping something on the back of your phone can have? Not here!). Modelled on my iPhone 7+ above, with the ability to emboss the initials of the person you are buying for, the black croc iPhone case from Aspinal is the perfect gift this Christmas. Added bonus: it come’s gift wrapped – that’s one less thing to worry about guys! Shop the case here.
7. Henry Watches
Like the idea of giving a beautiful time keeping piece for your partner to wear and remember you by each day? Don’t have thousands of pounds to spare? Me neither! Henry watches are the solution. Having been lucky enough to own a few Henry watches (as photographed), the minimalistic design and perfect colouring make each timepiece from Henry London stand out. My Henry watch is one of the lower costing watches I own, yet it always receives the most questions and compliments. If the unique square finish isn’t quite doing it for you, then shop a round face which is finished off with a luxury glass dome. The round glass dome gives Henry watches an almost 3d effect – something I haven’t seen from other brands. Henry watches are perfectly priced, perfectly designed, perfectly manufactured and perfect for under your tree this Christmas.
Remember I did a fitness class balancing on a board on water?.. If you have no idea what I’m talking about: I recently was invited to Bose’s aqua fit class at the Haymarket Hotel to experience a fitness class, on a balance board (I fell in, it was in my IG story, it was fun). It was all part of raising awareness for Bose’s brand new product: The SoundLink Micro. Having experienced an in-depth product demonstration, throwing one into the pool and then taking one home – it’s safe to say Bose have done it again! I own the mini link II, but the micro is now my go-to speaker. It’s Water resistant!! What a bonus. With similar sound quality as the mini link II but to be smaller, brighter coloured and a lower price makes this the ultimate wireless bluetooth speaker to gift this Christmas. If you buy two you can use them in party mode – play the same track through both speakers at the same time or put them in stereo mode and one will play the Right while the other plays the Left parts of the studio track. Cool right? Shop the Soundlink Micro below!
9. The Ultimate Party Jacket – NEXT
It’s the item of clothing that’s given me my first 2000+ likes on Instagram, one that is always a talking point. It’s my go-to part jacket it’s my purple blazer from NEXT. I’ll be writing a guide to upping your blazer game for party season too. But for now grab your’s to gift this Christmas (while stocks last on this one!!).
10. Floris London – Honey Oud
The incredible scent that is Honey Oud. The fragrance I use every day – couldn’t be without it. I mean… If this was under my tree I would be loving life. We all need a fragrance for Christmas. Why not make it extra special for him this Christmas and shop Floris London’s Honey Oud.
Stocking Filler Picks ByOllieB
For The Techie
For The Cook
Fragrance For Him
Fragrance For Her
His Fashion Essentials
Her Fashion Essentials
I hope I have helped relived some festive shopping stress. Whoever you are shopping for, wherever you are I wish you a very Merry Christmas. I am super excited for 2018! Such incredible opportunities are in the pipeline for ByOllieB. Look forward to sharing the journey with you guys!
A ginger getting a fake tan… sounding like a recipe for disaster? Sure as hell didn’t think I would be trying out any fake-tan product in my pale lifetime. Plus… the thought of smelling like a biscuit going to bed and waking up looking as orange as my hair was usually enough to put me off. After-all, fake tan is just for girls right? NOPE. I have actually found a tanning product for men that you can build up as much or as little as you like. The few comments I have had since using the Tan Mist have included: “have you been away recently?”, “Ollie you’re looking brown mate”, “how come you’re looking all bronzed?”. The answer is James Read’s Hydra Tan Mist for Men.
I am writing this after using the Tan Mist for 3 weeks on and off. I wanted this to be as accurate as possible, and to check I didn’t turn into a giant orange. So after nearly a month of using the Tan Mist, I am genuinely amazed at how good it is. You can be as heavy/light handed with it as you like, but the beauty of the Tan Mist is it’s designed to be used over time, so it’s easy to tailor a tan that suits your skin tone. I use roughly 4-6 pumps per use, 3 days per week and that has been enough to take the ghostly pale colour away this winter. The Tan Mist currently costs £20 for a 100ml bottle, which means it’s airline carry-on friendly, and the cost amounts to the same as a few coffees – not bad for some winter sun!
Spray the mist away from you once to clear the nozzle.
Hold the bottle a little closer than arms distance, and slightly above from your face – ensuring the nozzle is pointed at your face (duh! I may have experienced side-spray during my first use, whoops). Eyes closed and…
Spray once from above down the centre of the face.
Spray once straight on towards the centre of the face.
Spray once from above left (to cover the left side).
Spray once from above right (to cover the right side).
Spray the front and rear of your neck – once each.
Leave to dry for a few minutes.
As you were chaps.
James Read recommends: “Hold the nozzle at arm’s length from the face. Spray evenly in downward motions, working from left to right. Lift chin and spritz onto the neck and under the chin. Remember to spray the back of your neck. Allow a minute or two to dry. Apply post-shave for a cooling effect or pre-shave for a spray and go tan” (www.jamesreadtan.com).
And that’s it – you’re on your way a cheeky bronzed tint. It takes a few hours to work so be patient and don’t spray extra amounts on-top thinking it hasn’t worked. Go easy on your first attempt following the steps above, if it’s too light or you want to see a bigger change then repeat the steps above twice a day until you are happy. As the Hydra Mist is a water-based product the more you wash your face, the quicker the bronzed look will be removed so keep that balance in mind.
Think of James Read’s Hydra Tan Mist as a little life hack to a cheeky tan. If you haven’t tanned before (like me) or tan regularly it’s worth giving it a try. One of my newfound grooming secrets – that’s not such a secret anymore! 3-4 weeks of use and I have only used 20% of the bottle too while maintaining a light bronze tint. That works out at less than £1.00 per week. Great results for a low price – that’s my kind of grooming product.
Something that I wanted to touch upon is the importance of mental wellbeing. Something that is equally important to your physical wellbeing but easily overlooked and manipulated within our modern, social media dominant world.
Mental welfare has a stronger link to physical welfare than you may realise. The power of endorphins is underestimated. If you are able to maintain regular exercise throughout your week your mind will be healthier and happier – therefore achieving a balanced lifestyle. It’s a simple equation but one that people tend to have their own personal battle with. I’m not suggesting you exhaust yourself trying out an unachievable and unrealistic fitness plan, but try making a do-able plan. Since doing this myself my energy levels have gone up and I feel more present/positive as a person. Take 10 minutes this weekend, write yourself up an achievable plan to get yourself mobile for one hour a day. Getting your heart rate up and keeping active will protect both your mental and physical health – one action = two positive outcomes and a balanced lifestyle.
Social media has the ability to influence our mental wellbeing too. You are reading this because you enjoy the idea and medium of online content sharing (thank you). But it’s important that you follow and read things that spark those positive vibes. The internet has turned into a place of ‘who can shout the loudest’ which as a blogger/creator/whatever you want to call me, can be heavy on the mental welfare. Personally, I have had a tough few months transitioning out of the honeymoon phase of starting up in the social media world. If you feel like you are being out-done on your social media presence, you doubt yourself, you’re doubting your creative ability or yourself as a person. Stop. Focus on you.
Something I have learned the hard way is to look after yourself as well as those around you. Do you, be you and trust you. It’s a fast-paced, manic world out there. Stop worrying about other people and stop comparing yourself to those heavily face-tuned accounts. Find something that makes you happy and share it, the right people will engage with it. Those that don’t but still follow you are still interested otherwise they would have unfollowed you. Let’s look after each other across these platforms, there’s enough international negativity going on, let’s keep social media positive and protected. Positivity costs nothing but protects your balanced mental welfare.
Aside from exercise and online opinions, your diet will hugely impact your mental balance & wellbeing. If you are overloading your system with caffeine/alcohol and eating a nutrient deficient diet you are depriving your mental wellbeing of endorphins. You are then naturally more susceptible to be stressed, get angry and feel negative. Sugar can give your mind ‘spikes’ of quick energy and then heavy crashes which contributes to poor mental wellbeing. Try swapping out sugary snacks for a healthier alternative like ‘Yushoi’ packed full of goodness, which is high in fiber, helping you maintain healthy blood sugar levels. A downward mental spiral has to start somewhere. So take the right steps upwards and away from that to maintain a healthy balance. Surround yourself with people that inspire you, do one thing a day that scares you, try something new each day, go the extra mile when at the checkout and wish someone a lovely day as you walk away and most importantly, remember what you already have; family, friends, qualifications, phones, cameras and even internet access. To be able to have read this you are already in the top 51% of the world’s population. 49% of our world’s population is currently offline.
Stay happy, stay positive and keep working towards your goals, with a bowl full of Yushoi on the side (try their new BBQ flavour!!). Stop when you have achieved your goals, not when you get tired. Keeping pushing for #PerfectBalance.
This post was written as part of an on-going partnership with Yushoi.
Commuting around London is overcrowded, expensive, and time-consuming. It is not the pleasant experience you need when getting from A to B in London. I have recently discovered a new way of travel around North East London, that way is ‘DriveNow’. It’s time to brush the dust off your driving license and start using DriveNow instead of your oyster card. How does driving a stylish BMW or Mini instead of taking the tube sound? DriveNow have the all-electric BMW i3 as well as the BMW 1 Series, Mini 3 & 5 door, and Mini Convertibles. Fancy trying them all? They are all available for DriveNow members.
So what is DriveNow? DriveNow is North East London’s Flexible car club, giving its members access to 300+ hi-spec BMW’s and Mini’s which can be parked for free in residents or pay and display bays within the business area (Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest). Members can find a car through the DriveNow app and choose to drive by the minute, hour or day. Parking, fuel, insurance, car tax and a generous mileage allowance are all included in the price.
DriveNow takes away the stress of fuel prices and repair costs. All you need to do is pay for the time you use the car. As soon as you are parked up you can walk away (after locking the car via the app – how cool)! Worried about traffic? While I can’t predict what traffic you could potentially encounter, studies have shown that for every DriveNow car, 11 privately owned cars are taken off the road, easing the traffic situation in London. You are able to park and leave DriveNow cars almost anywhere within the business area which even makes parking flexible and stress-free!
To add greater value, DriveNow members have access to a fleet of over 6,000 vehicles in Munich, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Hamburg, Vienna, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Brussels, Milan, Helsinki and Lisbon. You can pick-up and drop-off your DriveNow cars at the airport. Hop in your BMW i3 in Hackney, drive to city airport, catch your flight and hop back into a DriveNow car at most of the destinations listed above.
DriveNow looks as cool as it sounds. When in the areas of; Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest, open up your DriveNow app, this will show you all the cars available in your area. Tap on them and see what/where they are – they even have their own names! The app will then direct you to the car of your choice. Once at the car just tap ‘Unlock’ and you are in. Bags in the boot and hop into your BMW i3.
The interior of the DriveNowBMW i3 echoes the sleek, cool design of it’s exterior. BMWi is a step into the future, putting you one step ahead on the way you choose to travel. Minimal motor controls inside the BMW i3 keeps operation simple and new user-friendly. If you get confused, the built-in monitor is there to guide you. As I said… Cool right? The BMW i3 is automatic and no key is required to start the car. When reversing the BMW i3’s built-in camera is automatically activated for you to view on the central display, helping you to see obstacles when maneuvering. As you switch to ‘Drive’ the monitor will automatically revert back to the main menu. Relax back and enjoy the BMW i3 drive experience. Driver displays are condensed down to a single monitor on the dashboard, including a digital display of your MPH and millage remaining – so you can see the essentials at a glance.
Use the brushed aluminum dial between the driver and passenger seats to navigate the display. Enter your unique 4 digit passcode (created during the sign-up process) to ‘log-in’ to the car. That’s it you are set. Foot on the break and press the start/stop button (in BMW i3 this is located next to the gear section toggle behind the steering wheel). You are off, on your first next-level DriveNow journey, enjoying the smooth ride inside a BMW i3. No loud engine, no clutch control hassle, it’s one easy stylish drive. Your drive-time is then recorded, and a trip breakdown is sent you to you with your receipt via email once your journey is complete. Easy.
DriveNow is the perfect solution for short trips within North East London. Not just for the opportunity to drive some of the coolest cars on the road but for the ease and convenience of DriveNow. Jumping between business meetings? Meeting friends? Going to Broadway Market? Off to an event at Alexandra Place? Watching a match at Emirates Stadium? Sign up to DriveNow and arrive in style the convenient way next time, without the hefty price tag!
St Martin’s Lane Hotel‘s design is in keeping with a ‘hidden gem’ theme. Clever and comical artistic twists decorate the perfectly kept lobby. With an art gallery esc atmosphere St Martin’s Lane hotel is a luxury experience before you have even checked-in. It’s youthful style, friendly and attentive service couples to produce the five-star experience that is so unique to St. Martin’s Lane.
I visited St Martin’s Lane Hotel with some of my favourite blogger friends: Skirmy, Victoria, Ed and Jamie. Our rooms were home to top-quality facilities and furnishings presented with a trendy modern twist, including bold colour changing lights above our white beds, transforming the rooms vibe from a single touch of the bedside control – the deep blue light will even turn your room key florescent.
Welcomed at St Martin’s Lane Hotel with cookies and a lovely handwritten card we were quickly settled into our new home for the night. Once unpacked and I finally stopped playing with the cool lights we headed back down to the lobby to experience the St Martin’s innovative, hidden cocktail bar. Secretly stashed behind a beautiful display of posh tea’s is ‘Blindspot’. The design and aroma of Blindspot reflects it’s ‘tea’ themed exterior. Choose a cocktail from Blindspot’s bespoke menu and indulge in the warm comforts of your hidden gem. I went for a classic Mojito – crisp and perfectly blended.
After a little cocktail menu hopping it was time to head back up to our rooms and jump face first onto our marshmallow beds. Oh and to have a another play with the coolest in-built lighting feature ever. Great lighting choices St Martin’s Lane Hotel!
After a beautiful nights sleep, Asia De Cuba – St Martin’s Lane’s restaurant eased us into the day. Perfectly served flat whites all-round and another round of those naughty pancakes for me! Did you read my blog post about Asia De Cuba? Click here to read all about the restaurant – featuring a BOTTOMLESS CHAMPAGNE BRUNCH!
Knomo London is one of my favorite luxury luggage brands on the market today. While Knomo take-away the baggage from stressful packing. Each bag has been carefully designed and produced with precision engineering. Owning a good bag is extremely underrated, from the damaging repetitive strain injuries that cheaper alternatives can give you, to the subconscious negative psychological effects having a cluttered bag can bring.
As a self-employed individual I rely on products like my Knomo London bags, and Knomo’s admirable attention to product functionality. I now own two of their beautiful leather bags; ‘Knomo Dale’ and ‘Knomo Laptop Bag’ – both featured in this post.
Transferring my items between Knomo bags is simple as each product has its own place in both bags. Two very different styles incorporating the same technology and design qualities. It is genuinely challenging to discover any Knomo faults. Any easy way to see if a bag is worth the money… The zip. So many bags, both designer, and high street fashion often use the same low-quality zip. You could have the most beautiful bag in the world, but if that zip goes the bag is useless. Knomo London shares the same outlook on the importance of the zip quality and this is instantly recognisable as soon as you open the bag to remove of the retail packaging. A solid, I’m going nowhere zip. Thank you Knomo!!
Knomo London’s tough stitching through the high-quality leather echoes the attention to detail invested by the Knomo designers. Both bags are bags for life. And that’s just the exterior, it get’s better. The interior of both bags has character. High-quality neoprene pockets for your gadgets and cables keep you organised on the move. Better organisation reduces stress and increases productive workflow.
Knomo London’s ‘Dale’ (backpack) is my go-to bag. Wear it as a backpack, tuck the straps away and carry it as a tote, or securely slide it onto your suitcase handle for easy travel compatibility.
The backpack strap buckles are a metal composite. When fastened it feels secure so you don’t need to worry about the possibility of them coming loose and damaging the contents. When switched into business mode the ‘Dale’ can be carried as a tote. The thick handles allow you to carry a full bag without it digging into your skin. They are also securely sewn into the leather – two months of use and there is no sign of wear and tear. Open up the front compartment to reveal Knomo London’s iconic bright-blue organiser. I fill mine with 1x card reader, spare SD cards, battery pack, wallet, business cards, lens cloth, sunglasses, laptop charger, pens and an on-the-move aftershave ;). It’s all quickly accessible and neatly organised – perfect for those long days in the city or short haul trips. Click HERE to learn more about Knomo Dale.
One of my favorite functions is the ‘Detachable Key Chain’. I have a brown leather attachment on my keys and both Knomo bags have a little hook inside that this fastens onto. No more rummaging for keys!
Don’t need all the bells and whistles and just need something to organise your essentials? The Knomo Laptop bag is a dream. Those high-quality zips, beautiful leather, and inner organisation compartments will protect your laptop and accessories from scratches and have them easy to access at each stop-off you have throughout the day.
The Knomo Laptop Bag compliments the Knomo Dale perfectly. Incorporating the same design details and product functionality into a smaller, lighter-weight alternative for when that extra space is not required. I use my Knomo Laptop Bag to carry a 13” laptop, magic mouse, laptop charger, external hard drive, battery pack, A4 notebook and iPhone charging cable. It’s like being able to detach the Knomo Dale’s front compartment and take it into the city with you. Learn more about Knomo Laptop bags HERE.
Of course, Knomo London has an outstanding variety of choice for both Men & Women, tailoring their designs and functionality to suit a broad range of users. KnomoLondon has the bag you have been missing waiting for you. Take a step forwards, get organised and discover Knomo today.
Already have your Knomo? Want to know more? Leave a comment.
Retreating out of the hustle and bustle of our beautiful city to shoot Autumn content took our adventure to the heart of ‘The Forest Of Dean’ as we set-up camp at the beautiful ‘Speech House Hotel’.
The Speech House Hotel is a former 17th-century hunting lodge set in the heart of the idyllic Royal Forest of Dean. From Autumn vibe fashion shooting to a country wedding, The Speech House Hotel is ready to accommodate your rural retreat.
Overlooking the romantic wilderness of the surrounding Forest of Dean, The Speech House Hotel offers comfortably appointed bedrooms, several like my room with four-poster beds. Speech House Hotel is home to 35 luxury bedrooms which offer modern facilities, whilst retaining their original 17th-century charm. Unwind in the naturally lit Orangery with a cup of tea, enjoy the breathtaking scenery that awaits you when you step outside.
I stayed one of the hotels two ‘Master Four Poster Rooms’. A room full of character, charm and British heritage. From beautifully restored antiques to luxury details – each square foot of the room had an essence of personality. A very contrasting experience to any hotel experience you would find in central London. Something to be embraced and enjoyed in a very traditionally British way.
The room had three main quarters: The Bedroom, with its statement piece of furniture being a seven foot antique, unique bed. Yes, seven foot! That’s enough to sleep 5 Ollie’s side by side. Although I somehow managed to make my way from one side to the other throughout the night pushing most of the pillows on the floor in my sleep. How Ollie? How?
Within the bedroom at ‘The Speech House Hotel’ was an open window-side lounge area. Two comfy chairs and an antique tea table, set by the ‘floor to ceiling’ windows. Sitting there with the curtains open, laptop out and a cup of tea in hand – I had a little “this is pretty cool, can we pause life please” moment. Time in the Forest Of Dean feels to tick along slower, giving you the opportunity to relax and enjoy every second of your country retreat.
The Speech House Hotel’s Master Four Poster Bedroom’s both come with a study/ wardrobe room, complete with two large wardrobe spaces and a beautiful antique desk. Writing emails on a MacBook, on-top of a desk that once upon a time would have been used to write using ink and quill echoed the historical foundations that Speech House is built upon.
Leading on from my own private study is the bathroom. A quaint, white tiled delight that was kept perfectly clean. For such an old building I was slightly skeptical at what the shower experience would be like. I was pleasantly surprised! Hot power showers galore.
After sleeping like a king in my giant marshmallow (through all 20 alarms), I made my way down to breakfast. This was an experience in itself – situated inside a courtroom where trials are still held today. Full continental and cooked breakfast buffet options are on offer as you sit by an open log fire, enjoying your food as you ease yourself into the day.
The past few weeks have been some of the most exciting weeks for ‘ByOllieB’, from walking the red carpets at ‘London Fashion Week’, to launching new collaborative adventures for the upcoming months. With everything being so fast paced it’s been important to not neglect those close to me as they are my constant and my support. At times it can seem easy to get excited about a new collaboration and dive into it head first – taking everything in its wake for granted. Finding balance within the long hours I work is essential for my own sanity, as well as looking after those special relationships.
This evolving journey that ‘ByOllieB’ is on is a super exciting one, and it’s getting more exciting every week. Keeping family and friends on this journey is key to maintaining drive and inspiration for my content producing. I am my worst critic and always strive to produce better content every day. The feedback those closest give to me is the feedback that matters most, they will tell you how it is – keep you focused and your feet on the ground.
London is such a fast paced environment to be engulfed in, days turn into weeks, weeks into months and before we know it it’s time choose our Christmas tree (sorry for saying the C word in October…). That barrier of city life can be overcome by some simple time management, something I have struggled with in the past but am improving as I learn more about the industry I have found myself working around the clock in. Everything from those morning emails, afternoon meetings, blog writing then evening events – it’s all in a day’s work. I have one of the best jobs in the world for sure but it is demanding. Maintaining excellent time management is essential for me to separate myself from my work at times and focus on my family and friends.
As the business grows so does my activity and list of things-to-do. But taking a step back and putting myself more on a 9-5 working schedule has been essential. Of course, that isn’t always possible when working freelance, sometimes sacrifices need to be made to ensure the landlord gets paid. But making time to nurture those personal relationships protects my mental welfare and keeps me focused on my professional goals & achievements.
While maintaining the perfect balance between working and personal hours is on-going, I am pushing the same mentality into my work ethos. As I develop ‘ByOllieB’ to the reach the next level I need to maintain balance between clients, sector progression and what snacks I have in my bag! Ensuring I represent fashion, travel, and lifestyle equally. Keeping a variety of uploaded content keeps the face of ByOllieB’s brand balanced. I want to deliver to you a balanced set of high-quality content to inspire your fashion choices, eating habits, holiday plans, and lifestyle choices. The first step is to swap out that chocolate bar for a delicious bag of Yushoi – fuel your body the right way. A healthy body fuels a healthy mind. Yushoi went down well in the studio with the band when producing a music video earlier this month! Feeling those autumn vibes? Give Yushoi’s newest flavour ‘Barbecue’ a try – mouth-wateringly delicious, and… it’s actually healthy. A real life. Healthy. Tasty. Snack.
This post was written in collaboration with ‘Yushoi’ as part of an ongoing partnership.