A Quick Life Update

Hi everyone!

Sorry for the absolute lack of posts. I’ve picked up a few more shifts than usual at work this week – so whenever I get home later than 7pm, all I wanna do is curl up and sleep so I do exactly that – and I’ve been kept busy with internship applications.

Anyway, I’ve got some great news for you. There won’t be any posts for the next week either! I know, I know, I’m an excellent blogger. I’ve got a legitimate reason, though. I’m going to Tenerife! An incredibly last-minute decision by me and my friend Abbie, who decided literally last week that we fancied a break away somewhere hot.

So we booked it! We’re off tomorrow afternoon. Can’t wait.

I’ll be back this time next week with updates, photos and ramblings galore, so please don’t miss me too much.

Until next week,

Emma x

Dream a little dream of…Eminem?

This is my childhood bedroom, currently where all my questionable dreams take place.

Dreams. Weird little buggers, aren’t they?

When I was a lot younger, I used to believe the tall tale that if somebody makes an appearance in your dream, that person is thinking about you in real life. Well, I’m sorry, but when I was 16 I had a very vivid dream that Eminem groped me in a cinema. I’m not buying it. Adulthood is realising all your convuluted fantasies aren’t going to materialise, funnily enough. Harsh.

(Before you jump to any conclusions, I have never once fantasised about Eminem groping me in a cinema. That was just my probably stress-addled brain taking me for a cruel, cruel ride.)

I will admit, though, that once someone appears in your dream there’s an inevitable feeling of uneasiness the next time you see them when you’re out and about. It’s like, we definitely interacted and I remember you saying words to me. I said some words back. I may have killed you, we could’ve even had sex, but either way *something* happened and the fact that it actually didn’t is irrelevant.

The other week, I had a dream about…someone in my past, and I woke up with this really unsettling ‘why were YOU there? I’m not the person I was when I knew you!’ feeling. My dad cropped up in another dream recently, and I vividly remember dream-me telling him he shouldn’t be there.

About a year after my uncle died, I had a dream that I walked past him in a travel agents and all we did was briefly nod and say hi. No more chat than that. To me, it felt an awful lot like making peace with his passing.

The fact that in that dream I was on the way to the travel agents with Louis Tomlinson of One Direction (shortly after he’d impregnated me) to book us a friendship holiday to Mexico to prove that he was cool with us still being friends for the baby is, again, irrelevant.

Anyway. Night guys! Wishing you pleasant, fruitful, non-confrontational dreams.

Emma x

A Reason to Love the Kardashians

Yes, really.

I doubt any brand exceeds the Kardashian/Jenner family in terms of positively impacting from their social media presence – because, let’s face it, they are a brand.

The Kardashian/Jenners are as successful as they are largely due to their social media presence. When Kim Kardashian posted a naked selfie to her Twitter earlier this year, she faced accusations of being an unfit mother (and worse!). She responded to criticism and turned the incident into an empowering body-positive statement, standing by the selfie unashamed – not before attracting the attention of millions in the process!

Here’s an exerpt from the statement she posted on her website, following the backlash:

“It’s 2016. The body-shaming and slut-shaming—it’s like, enough is enough. I will not live my life dictated by the issues you have with my sexuality. You be you and let me be me.

I am a mother. I am a wife, a sister, a daughter, an entrepreneur and I am allowed to be sexy.

#happyinternationalwomensday”

Kim definitely won this one.

Similarly, Kylie Jenner very openly flaunted her cosmetic surgeries on social media from the age of 17. By embracing her new look, regardless of judgemental critics, she has been able to launch an incredibly popular makeup line – Kylie Cosmetics – which sells out almost instantly everytime it’s restocked.

Many of those opposed to the Kardashian/Jenners despair at the fact that they’re ‘famous for doing nothing’, but the rise of social media – and their tactical use of it, embracing the very things they’re knocked down for – has transformed the Kardashian/Jenner family into an empire and a household name. From them, we can see how important social media is these days for promoting a brand (or even just an attitude). Shouting your work from the rooftops, not being ashamed of what you represent and just being a bit more fearless with what you post definitely pays off.

(All in moderation and context, of course. Posting naked selfies probably wouldn’t work for Crunchy Nut cornflakes – although you never know.)

Until next time,

Emma x

They grow old so fast!

Happy 15th Birthday, Animal Crossing!

Today, Animal Crossing turns 15. I wasn’t a part of the fun when the initial games console versions were released, but I *did* get in on the franchise in 2006 with the UK release of Wild World for the Nintendo DS. As Polly says in her post, Animal Crossing is very well suited to the cosy, curl-up-on-the-sofa mode of playing a handheld. I was instantly hooked.

So what is Animal Crossing? It’s not a traditional game, so to speak. The premise is simple: you’re a human, newly arrived to begin your life in a town full of animals. AC plays in real-time, and it really is like a home away from home. You can fish, catch bugs and dig up hidden treasure, all of which can be traded for Bells. As you’re wandering around your idyllic virtual home you can chat to your neighbours and take part in local-time festivals – the game runs true to time 24/7, 365 days a year, which is so cool. It moves with the seasons, so at the moment I’m enjoying some lovely pink blossom trees.

I love Animal Crossing: New Leaf. It’s an amalgamation of all the formats before it, and then some. Not only are you a resident of your town, you’re the mayor! You can customise your town however you wish, from the opening hours of shops to the building of just about anything (I’m currently having the plans approved for a wishing well in my apple orchard. Fancy that). There’s a tropical island to explore, and the wireless connection feature of the 3DS has made visiting friends – and just about anyone else! – easier than ever.

Here’s my little ‘mini me’, Peaches, being a mayor and doing mayor things.

Animal Crossing is a no-pressure, relaxing escape from reality. Thanks for giving me a miniature paradise to get stuck into whenever I please!

Until next time,

Emma x

Modern Romance – Aziz Ansari & Eric Klinenberg

 

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What is it?: Modern Romance is an in-depth investigation into the effects of the modern, technological world on dating, sex, love and marraige, led by comedian Aziz Ansari and social scientist Eric Klinenberg.

Why did I pick it up?: I love Aziz. Last summer I got really into Parks & Rec, and I was hoping this book would be a hilarious take on a topic relevant to my own life. (I may or may not have read the majority of the book in Tom Haverford’s voice.)

What was good about it?: Modern Romance is a pretty fascinating read, full of quips and anecdotes of Aziz’s own dating experiences which keeps things entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny in parts. I’ve learned a lot from this book: everything from the bizarre Japanese ‘herbivore man’ phenomenon, the correct way to manage your OKCupid inbox and the shocking correlation between online dating and marraige (did you know that between 2005 and 2012, ONE THIRD of American couples who got married met online?!) to the extent of Aziz’s intimate relationship with ramen and the tale of doughnut-loving Alfredo – all topped off with some surprisingly profound philosophy from rapper Pitbull (yes. Really.)

What wasn’t so good about it?: I can’t really pinpoint many serious negatives. I suppose, going into a book about the differences between modern romance and romance in older generations, there are a lot of ‘revelations’ Aziz comes to that seem a bit obvious – having more options due to apps such as Tinder and our grandparents’ generation being more likely to marry those who lived nearby, for instance.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5! This is a great, fresh, non-fiction read. Even if you’re not a Parks & Rec fan (and if you’re not, why not?), you’ll enjoy this.

Emma x

Social Media Done Right

In 2016, it’s really important to have a good social media presence. When I flew to New York last year, I was able to send a tweet to the Delta Airlines customer services Twitter account (@DeltaAssist, by the way) with a query about my flight details. Minutes later, the issue was resolved and I was happy. Had I been flying just a few years ago, I’d have spent a panicky few days awaiting an email response, or paying over the odds to sit on hold over the phone. Social media is such a helpful tool. It’s instant and fairly simple to grasp, making brands more accesible than they’ve ever been.

With this in mind, I’ve been having a little think about the best brands on social media. This is what I’ve come up with.

1. Denny’s Diner (@dennysdiner on Twitter, dennys on Tumblr)

Okay. Had it not been for the Internet, I probably wouldn’t know what Denny’s is. Why would I? I’m a Brit living in Britain. Even if I visited every state in America it wouldn’t be a dead cert that I’d run into a Denny’s (don’t fact check me on this). However, their Twitter account sets Denny’s apart from all other American diners.

Why, you might ask? Because it’s a goldmine of shitposting and it’s hilarious.

It’s a little weird. I’m not going to pretend it’s normal. But by becoming such a meme in their own right, Denny’s are tapping into the younger generation and getting exposure in circles they might not have done normally (Brits living in Britain, for example.) You do you, Denny’s.

2. Kellogg’s (particularly their Krave Challenge series)

If you’re a follower of popular British YouTubers, as I am, and you were active on social media in 2013, you’ll remember the Krave Challenge. Kellogg’s teamed up with lots of content creators to basically plug their cereal and their Mates Go Free offer that was running at the time in association with Merlin Entertainment.

Obviously I’ve got no idea how #spon deals work behind-the-scenes, but it was a very savvy move of Kellogg’s to promote themselves this way: each challenge was tailored to the specific YouTuber, meaning at the end of the project there were all these different, unique, engaging adverts for Krave that weren’t just trotted out in between the soaps on TV. The knock-on effects were great, too: as a viewer of these videos, I discovered more YouTubers (a main feature of each challenge was to ‘tag’ another creator to do their own) and YouTube gained more views as the videos were shared around.

Here are some of my favourites:

3. Tesco (specifically Tesco Mobile – @tescomobile on Twitter)

Finally, I had to include Tesco Mobile on this list. Not often do you see an official social media account being slightly below the bar – but whoever runs the Tesco Mobile Twitter must be a real opportunist, and luckily it’s paid off every time. Who could forget these incredible clapbacks that went viral in an instant?

A bit of a risky move, but I’ll speak for myself and say it definitely got me and my friends talking about Tesco Mobile. I even set my heart on a phone contract from them before Carphone Warehouse lured me back, which I wouldn’t have even considered beforehand! The stunts have only positively impacted Tesco Mobile as a brand, making them the more ‘likeable’ option. Feels weird saying that about a phone network, but it’s definitely true, isn’t it?

Are there any particularly special ones I’ve missed out? Let me know (because this sort of thing really does interest me, honest.) Social media is a hub of greatness and I’m so glad we have it.

 

Emma x