Lifestyle: Drinking at the Worlds Best Roof Top Bars

airlie beach
There are two main things I love in life: Travel and Socialising. I’m one of those people who tends to have a diary packed with work and blog events, evenings out and celebrations packed in week by week. I love to try and have as much fun times as possible, so a packed diary is something I’m never to complain about. When you combine these fun social events with being abroad or in an amazing part of the world, it’s what I’d call perfection. This week, whilst browsing my next travelling or trip experience, I came across an inspiring article on Holiday Hypermarket’s blog Hype, which features the best roof top bars around the world, and it inspired me to put together my personal favourites from my own experience to share…

I may not have explored the entire globe, but there are three key bars that incorporate roof tops or stunning views of cities which I wanted to list for all you travelling types out there too!

doubletree manchester
1. Manchester: SkyLounge- DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Piccadilly.
The first one which I love is the SkyLounge at Manchester’s Hilton DoubleTree. I’ve attended this venue many times for brand events, and also went to a leaving party which was hosted here, and the views from up high are truly stunning. It’s a small-ish bar, yet holds the most beautiful terrace, with outdoor fires and seating areas that look incredibly luxe. One of my favourites for Summer evenings (image is above from one of the events I attended)

Second choice in Manchester is the Great John Street Hotel Roof top terrace, and my third choice is the rooftop terrace venue at Hotel Football, which I blogged about earlier this week. Both of these with a bit of nice weather deliver gorgeous views and breathtaking views of the city.

marina bay sans hotel
marina bay sans
Singapore cocktails
2. Singapore – Marina Bay Sands Hotel – Ku De Ta Bar Sky Bar
The first Ku De Ta I visited was in Seminyak, Bali, so when I visited Singapore following my Indonesian trip, I was happy to hear that another Ku De Ta bar was situated in this cosmopolitan city. And in no other hotel than the world’s most talked about Marina Bay Sands! To access the Ku De Ta you have to get a lift which takes you right to the top of the Marina Bay Sands, and the bar is situated away from the infinity pool, yet allows people to sip the array of fantastic cocktails and browse the pool, and the views of Singapore’s bustling business district. Although the skies are often muggy in Singapore and the heat can be unbearable, I loved visiting this bar and enjoying a rose petal cocktail whilst admiring the city from up high.

shangri la sydney
3. Sydney: Blu Bar on 36- Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney.
So as the majority of you know, I lived in Sydney for a year, which was absolutely awesome. One of my favourite memories was heading to the Blu Bar on 36, in Sydney’s stunning Shangri La Hotel. A classy all window bar, we sat at a low down table leaning against the windows which provided ‘wow’ views of all of Sydney’s favourite hotspots – including The Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Here, we sipped Espresso Martinis from a very high-up height, and admired Sydney’s tourist attractions and all the lights in the evening. A must have drinking experience when visiting this city.

The list I came across first which inspired this post was featured over at Hype, the travel and inspiration blog at Holiday Hypermarket, who have highlighted some amazing places I have now put on my ‘must-see list’. As I am hoping to venture to New York next year, the AVA Lounge Bar that is listed as a super cool roof top bar for views of the New York skyline is also on my list!

To get you all in holiday mood, I have teamed up with Holiday Hypermarket to giveaway a £50 voucher to spend over on the site to book a holiday. If you don’t fancy using it towards a once in a lifetime experience trip, they also do city breaks in the UK and Europe, so there is something fantastic for everyone. I have one £50 voucher up for grabs via an Instagram competition, so enter below via Rafflecopter and make sure you are following me on Instagram for a chance to win!  Competition ends Friday 11th Sept at midnight and is open to UK entrants only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lifestyle: Love Food Hate Waste

what emma did emma campbell
what emma did emma campbell

Last weekend in Manchester, locals were invited to attend the Salad Days event with Marks and Spencers, gathered in St Annes Square. As you probably all know, I am a huge fan of food – both cooking it and eating it – and regularly showcase recipes and restaurant reviews on whatemmadid.com. So for the past week, I’ve been taking note of the ingredients I have been purchasing, and the meals I have been rustling up, to make sure that I am effectively utilising the food and ingredients properly. Any food that is leftover or not wanted, I’ve been ensuring I re-use it to create some form of meal – tomorrow’s lunch or a little side dish I can freeze and use again, or dinner for the following evening.

My efforts to tackle food waste was inspired from the Marks and Spencer event, where visitors were able to take part in interactive activities and watch chefs demonstrate how to make the most out of every day food purchases. With support and tips on use by dates, packaging and useful recipes to use up your leftovers- particularly salad ingredients that are often left in fridges during the summer months which can go rotten (hence chucking away).

So my weekly shop and creation of meals showcased below aims to show the impact that small awareness changes can reduce food waste. Here’s a little round up of the week and how I managed to re-use the leftovers…

nut burgers
nut burgers

Nut Burgers with Salad/Vegetables
For this lunch meal, I cooked nut burgers with a serving of vegetables – courgettes, peppers, tomatoes, spinach, onion and a bit of lettuce. I also served with Avocados (I love M&S pack of three, as they are quite small and one whole avocado can be used for one meal) and wholemeal bread. With a meal like this, it’s easy to go overboard with portion sizes of vegetables, so I saved aside the chopped up peppers, courgettes and onions and boxed them up to refrigerate for my evening meal. Come evening, I took the bowl of colourful veggies out of the fridge and worked them into my next meal idea…

spaghetti bolognese
bolognese ingredients
yellow peppers

Spaghetti Bolognese
This was my evening meal, using the leftover vegetables from my lunch. Peppers, onions and courgettes can be thrown into the pan when frying off mince/quorn to add taste and add vitamins and nutrients into meals. After all, the more colourful the meal, the more healthy it tends to be (natural colours, that is…)

With some of the leftover avocado, I like to serve it up with toasted pita breads with a bit of garlic rubbed in to recreate a version of garlic bread. This was a great way for me to use up any avocado from lunch time. With this meal, I also tried something a little different to use up some leftovers in a clever way. Every time I cook spaghetti I always make too much, so this time the extra spaghetti I saved aside I incorporated into a stir fry for the next day. It may sound a little strange, and of course I still used noodles, but I used less noodles and a little bit of the leftover spaghetti to bulk out the noodles to avoid throwing away the waste.

With meals like this, tomato and veggie ‘mixtures’ that are left over from the pan can be popped into little plastic pots/tubs and stored in the fridge and used again with a sprinkling of cheese as a pasta sauce, to make the most of leftovers. The below is my sauce mixture I popped away for the next day (excused the messy sauce image! It was very tasty though)…

tomato homemade sauce
food leftovers

Stir Fry
So along came the stir fry! As mentioned above, I used fresh noodles with the leftover spaghetti, and also a handful of beanstrouts. As I used just a little bit of spahgetti, it blended in with the fresh cooked noodles really well, so it tasted lovely. I also threw in some prawns and continued to use the vegetables from the week – so the tomatoes, onions, peppers and courgettes were again used up.

The best thing about making spaghetti and noodle meals along with fresh vegetables is that you can cook really large portions, and then box up the leftovers for lunch the next day. They are a great way to incorporate carbohydrates with fresh vegetables so that you get an ideal sorce of engery and vitamins.

prawn stir fry
stir fry
vegetables colourful
stir fry
stir fry

Sausage, Mash and Tomatoes
The following evening I wanted to make a heart warming meal of sausage, sweet potato mash and a side serving of tomatoes. Sometimes, a nice hearty ‘bangers and mash’ meal doesn’t need much on the side, therefore I just used a couple of chopped up cherry tomatoes. It’s such a simple meal, and if you grill the sausages and use sweet potatoes without added milk/cream/butter (perhaps a little bit of butter to add a touch of creaminess, and a splash of almond milk to be aware of fat content),  then it’s actually a fairly healthy meal too.

The best thing about making this as an evening meal is that the sausages that I cooked which didn’t get eaten were then turned into a sausage casserole the following evening, also using up the leftover sweet potatoes and tomatoes to bulk out the casserole! A perfect next day dinner…

sausages and mash

Sausage Casserole
For this meal, I took the left over sausages from the previous evening and fried them off with chopped onions, tomatoes and spices. Although with a casserole, the beauty is that you can add almost anything you like. Sometimes I pop in a tin of beans and a few tablespoons of BBQ sauce to give it that extra kick. Here, I used up all leftovers to make another hearty, warming meal, which can be served up to eat or put into tupperware and heated up for lunch the next day.

Other Tips and Tricks

– To round-up a busy week of being conscious about food waste, I also tried to stop my bread from going mouldy and throwing away half a loaf (don’t pretend this doesn’t happen often to you…). I did this by purchasing some wholegrain crackers from Marks and Spencer and froze half my loaf of bread so that it wouldn’t all go stale. The crackers are actually healthier than the bread, and I made mini sandwiches by filling two crackers with smashed up avocado or crunch peanut butter. It’s quite hard to explain, but the photographs below kind of do the talking here. These are such a good idea for when you are trying to save your loaf of bread for a little longer or don’t want to defrost what is in the freezer just for a snack. How cute do they look too?

crackers and avocado
avocado crackers
crackers and tea

small avocados

– My final tip is never to under estimate the power of chicken to make lots of different meals. A grilled chicken salad can be made by cooking fillets of chicken breast, and tossing with salad and potatoes, or whatever you like to add to your salads. The leftover chicken, onions and tomatoes can then be added to boiled pasta the following evening for a chicken past meal, or stuffed into pita breads with humus or dressings to make yummy cold sandwiches for the next days lunch.

So there you have it – a round up of my week being more alert and cautious about the food I cook, and how to prevent waste. You’ll notice a lot of the foods I ‘turned around’ so to speak are heavily focused on salads – chicken, peppers, onions, avocados, crackers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes etc – which is great because this is incorporating fresh ingredients and usually the ones packed with the most nutrients.

Do you have any great ways to prevent food waste? Any meals you tend to make which can stretch out for the next days lunch? Feel free to leave a comment!

marks and spencers food

For more information regarding the M&S Love Food Hate Waste campaign, take a look here.

Lifestyle: How To Tackle Blogger Networking Events

what emma did
what emma did
Over the five (and a half!) years I have been blogging, there is one thing in particular that I have watched grow and develop over time, and is something I find fantastic. Welcome to the world of blogger networking – an activity that takes place more and more as the blogging community grows, aiming to strengthen blogger relationships, encourage blogger/brand communications, explore new companies and venues, and overall – to have fun!

Five years ago there were only a handful of us North West bloggers who would turn up to blogger events, and I could count on one hand how many I attended in a year. However, fast forward to 2015, I possibly attend an event once a week, sometimes even more often depending on my diary. I love them for so many reasons – networking, making new friends, talking ‘blog’ and generally having a new way of enjoying my social life by exploring new places which host the meet-ups.

I wanted to highlight a fantastic blog event I attended last weekend at Hotel Football, organised by the team at Think Money. They put on a roof-top BBQ which allowed a handful of bloggers to indulge in yummy food and chat together in a lovely iconic Manchester venue. We played blogger bingo where we could win prizes, and were also treated to a cupcake decorating lesson by The Princess and The Cupcake, which was something I have wanted to try out for a while. This type of event was ideal for networking – it’s amazing who you meet, what conversations are exchanged, and of course it was great to meet the team at Think Money too. Take a look at my photo diary from the event below, as well as over at the brands blog here too.

hotel football
hotel football
hotel football
cupcake decorating
cupcake decorating
cupcake decorating
So I was let loose with a piping bag, buttercream, sprinkles and icing, thus producing these pretty cupcakes. Think I have discovered a new skill- what do you guys think? They also tasted incredible, although I didn’t bake these (just decorated!) so I can’t take the credit for the tasty sponge…

cupcake decorating

cupcake decorating
cupcake decorating
bbq
cheese bbq

In light of the blogger event, I wanted to address that I come across bloggers on a daily basis – especially new bloggers – who can get really worried and anxious before a blog event. I can understand why it seems daunting, it’s not an everyday situation where you turn up to an occasion on your own, to a room full of people who may know each other . It can be a scary scenario, therefore I wanted to pull together some personal tips I think may help if you are a new blogger and find yourself in a similar situation…

1. Ask for the event hashtag, and search for other bloggers using this on Twitter pre-event. This way, you can tweet them and introduce yourself. Let other bloggers know you are coming solo and feeling a little worried. Every blogger started off as a newcomer once.

2. Embrace the name badges! As you can see from my below photo, most events that focus on blogger networking highly prioritise distributing name tags. It may sound silly to some people, but it helps put faces to names if you have seen bloggers discussing the event on social media channels. Or it may help you recognise your favourite bloggers you follow yourself, but want an excuse to approach them and address them by their first name.

what emma did

3. Pluck up the courage to go over to a fellow blogger and introduce yourself. It can be frightening if you aren’t a confident person, but you need to remember that bloggers are just humans too, and the fact is you are both invited to the same event, making neither of you more superior than the other. The worst case scenario is that fellow blogger isn’t as friendly back. If this happens, shrug it off and try with someone else – everyone should appreciate a friendly person.

4. Be polite and smile. Relax and enjoy the event – even if an event doesn’t end up being the most sociable occasion, you are there for your blog. Take what you can from the event and focus on the fact it’s a privilege to be invited.

5. Go easy on the fizz. A lot of events include a couple of complimentary drinks. If it’s your first event, try to go easy. You don’t want to be remembered as the blogger who got too drunk and fell over, god forbid!

Thanks again to everyone involved at the TM Summer BBQ event last weekend – all the bloggers and Hotel Football staff too. It was a shining example of how a professional blogger meet-up event should be…

Beauty: Do It Yourself Gel Nails

GEL NAILS
Although a self-confessed beauty addict, one thing I don’t spend much time obsessing over is the prettiness of my nails. I’m lucky enough to naturally have strong, clear and nicely shaped nails that need minimal upkeep, however, I’m fully aware that nothing looks nicer than a fully manicured set of nails. I just find that when it comes to manicures, gel nails, acrylics and all the other nail treatments which transform your talons, I never have the time to book in and treat myself.

Luckily, I’ve been choosing my nail polishes carefully this Summer, and I’ve learnt to love D-I-Y gel nails. By this, I mean gel nail polishes you can use yourself at home with no need for lamps, yet create the same salon effect. It takes a little bit of patience, a steady hand, a favourite colour and a quality polish- but I think I have found it with the range from cosmetic brand Essence

GEL NAILPOLISH
GEL NAILPOLISH
GEL NAILPOLISH
GEL NAILPOLISH
It’s a simple three step process: the first is obviously the base coat, which I apply as a clear gel polish and wait 10 minutes to fully dry. Then I apply the Essence gel polish in this refreshing pastel peach shade, which is so feminine and pretty for the current season. I usually just apply one coat if I ensure the polish goes on thick enough and evenly enough. To finish, I go over each nail with a slick of the gel top coat, to seal in the colour, protect and add shine. With the gel polish colour costing just £1.60, and the base and top coat at £2.50 each, it’s a total steal!

GEL NAILPOLISH

This is a personal favourite range of mine, as I am happy with the smooth and professional results each time. I’m not nail painting expert, but I do get some nice complimentary comments when my nails are decorated in this gel polish collection.

Essence cosmetics range can be found across Wilkinsons stores, so be sure to have a little look if you need some afford beauty and nail products to update your look.

Beauty: SEQuaderma Skincare Brand Focus

sequaderma
sequaderma
One of the nicest things about being a beauty blogger is that I get to discover brands I didn’t know were available if I wasn’t contacted about them, or was to come across them at beauty events or through the industry. The latest brand I have been uncovering over the past few weeks is a skincare range called SEQuaderma – which is a brand new product range focusing on active dermatology to help to relieve a number of common skin conditions.

Skin conditions can really effect a personals self esteem, and it is basically that type of worry that SEQuaderma have focused on to create their brand. I know I regularly discuss acne and redness on the blog, but there are so many other types of skin concerns which really get people down and make them feel ‘ugly’ or suffer with confidence issues. Along with acne and redness, anti aging is a huge one, followed by thinning, skin, eczema, scaly skin, dermatitis and temporary flushing. The aim of SEQuaderma is to tackle each individual skin concern and control it, offering a product to suit all the conditions listed about.

I find this brand very different to the regular skincare brands I use daily; they are a scientific brand, consist of gel formulas that contain nano-technology so tiny vesicles carry the product right in through the skin’s layers to address the heart of any skin problems, and they have such a varied help offering including Rosacea, Eczema, Acne, Dermatitis and ageing and thinning skin.

I suffer mainly from outbreaks and red marks from past bursts of spots, therefore my favourite product from this brand is the Acne Prone Skin gel. I have been using it in a totally different way from my other skincare products, in which I apply it all over the problem are twice a day, leave for 10 minutes, before wiping the skin with wet tissue to remove. It is then that I use my regular toner and moisturiser.

sequaderma
I started using this product eight weeks ago, and wanted to wait until two months in before reviewing honestly. The first brilliant thing about this gel is that after eight weeks of using everyday, I still have half the bottle left. I think that’s down to being careful with how much I apply and only spreading onto areas effected by breakouts. For me, this is always my jawline and lower cheeks.

It’s a dream to use – no irritation, no stickiness, no awkward application. I just pat this on, leave for 10 minutes and wipe away. The amount of spots I have been receiving have lowered around the areas I’m usually prone, which has been a relief as I constantly battle jaw breakouts. In the time I have been using this, I noticed a couple of new spots appeared but that has been down to over indulging in bad food (I’m severely prone to breakouts from food and diet) and they were also above my cheeks or odd forehead ones, which isn’t my usual problem.

The best thing this gel does is it stops oily skin and shine. Acne prone skin is usually oily, and after midday skin it can become really shiny around the T-Zone. I try to limit the amount of heavy foundation I wear throughout the day and use a CC cream instead, therefore I am prone to a little more shine. However, this gel has put a stop to this- my skin is much more matte, fresh and oil-free. I keep expecting to top up my face powder after lunch, but I find I don’t need to do this as much anymore.

Overall, I have seen positive results from this gel which means I am looking forward to continuing to use it. My second favourite is the gel for Aging and Thinning skin – which is quite ironic as I don’t really suffer this concern yet. But the gel is packed with Vitamin E, Vitamin C and plant phospholipids, which are super properties for skincare, so I use this to boost clarity, promote firmness and slowly slough away at hyper-pigmentation.

Up to now, I really do recommend trying out this range, particularly if you suffer from Acne, Redness, Rosacea, Eczema, Aging and Dermatitis. The gel products cost £19.99 from Lloyds Pharmacy and have some pretty good reviews already!

Lifestyle: Mojitos and Burritos at Revolucion de Cuba

revolucion de cuba
revolucion de cuba

Happy weekend everyone! Today’s post is focused sharing with you some lovely places I have visited recently, and the experiences I have had in and around Manchester (as usual – it generally is the city I spend most of my time in). So I wanted to blog about a food and drink experience which was pretty fantastic that I was recently invited to. It was based on a fun yet intense lesson all about Mojitos and Burritos, which sounds like an amazing evening, right? Who wouldn’t want to learn how to make the absolute perfect Mojitos and Burritos by the experts? And when I say experts, I mean those lovely people at Revolucion de Cuba in Manchester of course. The Cuban themed rum bar and cantina specialise in Cuban food infused with Spanish, Mexican and South American flavours, making it all all rounder for those who like sharing platters, Latino inspired tapas dishes, and of course the legendary burritos.

So during a mid-week evening, a group of us headed to Revolucion de Cuba to watch one of the expert chefs show us step by step how to create the perfect Burrito, and of course, have a go at making one ourselves. I’m no star cook, but I do have a passion for food and I am always interested in learning (and eating it) therefore it was quite an exciting challenge. We nibbled on the lovely tortillas and guacamole (the best guacamole I have ever tasted by the way) spicy nuts and a few other yummy starters before watching the tutorial and getting stuck in ourselves…

revolucion de cuba
revolucion de cuba
revolucion de cuba
revolucion de cuba
revolucion de cuba
revolucion de cuba
revolucion de cuba
revolucion de cuba
revolucion de cuba
After watching the expert demonstration, we got up in pairs and competed against each other in a bid to see who could make the best Burrito. Now I am usually the shambles with my cooking presentation, but it’s fair to say I won this round fair and square! Check out my lovely neat Burrito below – stuffed with cheese, salsa, chicken, peppers, onions and sour cream…

emma campbell what emma did
burritos

the perfect burrito
Yes, mine is that neatly shaped toasted Burrito- ridiculously very proud of my presentation skills I have to say. After this session, we all sat down and enjoyed our hand made burritos before a lesson in creating the perfect Mojito, comparing the Cuban way to the European way. I am a lover of Mojitos I have to say, and getting behind the bar to start pouring the rum and crushing in the mint was a rather satisfying experience…

revolucion de cuba
revolucion de cuba
Aside from the fun and games, I wanted to round-up what an experience at Revolucion de Cuba is like for those of you considering the place for drinking and dining. I am slightly biased as I have always loved visiting this venue; I spent New Years Eve 2013 here where we reserved a table and paid for a number of spirits and mixers to be on our table for the evening, and overall had a lovely time in a really fun atmosphere. But here is an honest round-up regardless:

Ambiance: Rev de Cuba (as it’s known) is usually always busy and bustling. I have attended during weeknights, weekends, lunchtimes, and it never fails to attract the crowds. The ambiance is fantastic because 9 out of 10 times there is a latin inspired band playing, and on Saturday evenings there is usually ciban themed entertainment going on downstaires. I have never experienced any trouble in here- it’s just so friendly, busy, warm and welcoming. My favourite time to go is after work on a week night, thats when I find the atmosphere at it’s best. The door staff can be fairly strict on a weekend evening so bear that in mind (especially for groups of guys).

Food: I am completely biased as I love Cuban, Latin and South American infused flavours. If you love Quesadillas, Burritos, Enchiladas, Tapas, Paella… you are going to love it. If you have ever eaten at Las Iguanas and La Tasca but wish both places could infuse together with a little more magic, then thats how I find eating at Revolucion de Cuba. They also do a fantastic range of burgers too with cuban cheese, jerk chicken and spicy bean to name a few toppings. Delicious.

Drinks: I already mentioned the amazing mojitos I had the chance to make, but I didn’t mention that they have so many variations! Passionfruit, Raspeberry, Pineapple, Apple… there’s a pretty long list. A lot of people love Rev de Cuba for their frozen daiquiris in Mango and Strawberry. The portions are so large – incredible value for money, and incredibly cold too! They have cocktails that are served in teapots, classics such as Pina Coladas, zombie inspired cocktails and even tequila infused cockails. My very favourite is the Banana Daiquiri. So yummy…

If you are from the area and want to indulge in some Cuban food, flavoured Mojitos, perhaps a spot of latin dancing and some live music, then it’s a fantastic place to catch up with friends in the evening. They also have Happy Hour on cocktails (2 for 1) – I would check that out before hand if I was you as from the top of my head I can’t quite remember the times. If you are not from the area, and visiting Manchester for an occasion, I would say it’s a lovely place to check out for a birthday celebration or a hen do. What group of girls don’t like copious cocktails, delicious food and a themed ambiance?

I’ll be heading back for the legendary Burritos sharp-ish…

Fashion: Behind the Scenes with Manchester Arndale

fashion photoshoot

manchester bloggers
Last week, I went back to my roots on set behind the scenes at a new, upcoming A/W 2015 photoshoot. Those who have followed my blog for a while may know my career history actually lies within fashion and beauty PR, in which I used to work across fashion photoshoots as part of the day job for many years. As my blog has expanded so much over time, the photoshoots I mainly attend now are those from the What Emma Did boutique, which mean I am usually infront of the camera instead of behind (cringe!).

So how lovely it was to be invited along by Manchester Arndale to have a sneak peak behind the scenes at their latest Autumn/Winter 2015 photoshoot. A/W is my favourite season for fashion due to all the layering up and deep autumnal colours you can have fun playing around with, so a Winter themed fashion shoot is my type of day indeed. Dressed in a comfy lace vday dress and oversized NEXT scarf, myself and Olive from fashion blog Any Xcuse headed along with the creative team and marketing agency to the studio for a fun filled day of Autumn Winter fashion…

model on shoot
fashion shoot studio
One of the best things about the shoot being with Manchester Arndale is that the photography campaign features clothing and accessories from a wide range of retailers who sit inside the shopping centre. Those familiar with Manchester Arndale will know they home some amazingly stylish retailers – often known as our High Street favourites- such as Topshop, NEXT, Lipsy, River Island, New Look and Aldo. With those big names on board, you can just imagine how fantastic the wardrobe sections looked! The rails were filled with beautiful new season picks, including sheer blouses to be layered up with knitwear and waistcoats, wool coats, winter boots, and then my ultimate favourite theme… party wear! It is never too early to get excited about party wear, and the collection of striking dresses, flowing skirts, sequin tops and stacking heels lined up to be shot on the model for the Manchester Arndale AW15 campaign were absolutely stunning. Take a look below at my photo diary showcasing some of the fantastic outfit suggestions in action…

manchester studio
manchester arndale fashion
photoshoot
fashion photoshoot
what emma did
Myself and Olive – always an opportunity for a sneaky behind-the-scenes selfie of course. As you can see, the glasses are on and Olive is rocking a gorgeous new lilac/white hair colour. Us fashion bloggers have to keep up with the trends!

party shoes
wardrobe fashion shoot
fashion shoot
fashion shoot
fashion shoot aw15
white heels
fashion shoot aw15
bags fashion shoot aw15
fashion shoot aw15
perspex bag
make up artist fashion shoot
make up artist kit
make up artist kit
fashion shoot aw15
fashion shoot aw15
fashion shoot aw15
fashion shoot aw15
fashion shoot aw15
ma 1
fashion shoot aw15

The day was fantastic, and it was so nice to be back on set behind the scenes with such an amazing company, gaining first hand previews at the collections and items that Manchester Arndale retailers will be showcasing from September.

So this is just a sneak peak – I actually have tons more photos which actually reveal what the final shots could potentially look like, but this will all go live on whatemmadid.com once the campaign has began. So do come back at a later date to see the finished product, and check out the Manchester Arndale blog in the meantime for their fashion updates and events. A huge thank you to the talented team and all associated for inviting me along. A stylish day was had all round…

Beauty: Is There a Decline in Breast Surgery in the UK?

cosmetic surgery

Today’s post is exploring a more serious issue amongst girls and women, which I thought would be a nice change. The question in general is about Breast Surgery, and is it still as popular in the UK as it once was? Or has ladies opinions changed? When people talk about cosmetic surgery, one of the first things they’ll usually think about is breast surgery. This is understandable, as it’s one type of surgery that is discussed quite heavily in the media, meaning people are more aware of this than certain other procedures.

Thousands of women undergo breast surgery each year, with breast augmentation holding the top spot for the most popular form of cosmetic surgery in the UK, according to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS). Despite still being the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure, we actually saw a decrease in the number of people undergoing breast surgery in 2014 – the number of breast augmentation procedures fell by 23%, down to 8,619.

Breast surgery wasn’t alone in this trend though, with BAAPS recording a fall in the number of the majority of cosmetic surgery procedures throughout 2014. However, breast augmentation saw the second largest decline, topped only by rhinoplasty, which saw a 24% decrease.

But why exactly has there been such a sharp decline in the number of people undergoing breast surgery in the UK in recent years?

One explanation, given by BAAPS, is that there has been a change in people’s attitudes towards surgery. People are now seeking subtle, understated procedures, rather than more obvious ones – a trend experts are referring to as “tweaked, not tucked”.

Another thing that it is important to keep in mind is that while there was a decrease in the number of cosmetic surgery procedures undergone in 2014, the fall should not be looked at out of context. 2013 saw a sharp increase in the number of people seeking cosmetic surgery, due in part to the end of the recession, which left the general public with more disposable income, as well as the Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) crisis, which led to a large number of women having to have substandard breast implants removed and replaced. This sharp increase makes the following fall seem more severe than it was.

All in all, the British public are taking a more cautious, rational approach towards cosmetic surgery, taking the time to weigh up their different options, rather than rushing their decisions. Prospective patients are wanting to know much more, asking more questions before they settle on a decision regarding a potential procedure. For cosmetic surgeons, like Cosmetic Surgery Partners, this is a welcome shift in attitude. While many patients will seek out breast surgery from Cosmetic Surgery Partners, the highly skilled team there pride themselves on providing patients with the best advice possible, and will never push someone towards a procedure that may not be suitable for them.

For many people, cosmetic surgery may not be the best route to take when it comes to achieving their dream appearance, and a good cosmetic surgeon will know this. A cosmetic surgeon should always discuss your current situation and your requirements and wishes and then provide you with a range of different options, giving you as much information as possible so that you can make the decision that’s right for you.

Lifestyle: Reasons Why I Love The Blogging Community

what emma did emma campbell
Chatting excitedly over copious piles of pizzas and unique cocktails with a crowd of independent bloggers the other week made me realise all of a sudden that hey – the blogging industry is utterly fantastic.

Not only have I made so many new friends from this busy world of bloggers, all from different niches, but I also learn so much from them all in different ways. Bloggers all have a different story to tell: some are new to this world, some are very established, some have amazing creative jobs aside from their blog and some are the most inspiring ladies I have ever met. The best thing is, that whenever there is a blogger event, a networking session or just a general blogger catch up, we all have one thing in common: our blogs. Our passion, our love and our dedication. I am yet to meet a blogger who doesn’t give two hoots about their website they have built themselves. So here is a little post to celebrate the reasons why I love the blogging community, and to show the people out there considering joining this world why it’s a pretty cool thing to do!

bloggers
blogcrush
1. They offer influential media platforms that didn’t always exist. Ten years ago, girls browsed Elle and Vogue for fashion, style and beauty inspiration. Nowadays, they tend to have a favourite blogger bookmarked.

2. Due to the amount of passion and dedication each blogger has towards their website means that the content produced daily is of a phenomenal standard. Thus excellent resources and news at our fingertips.

3. Bloggers become a support group. Due to so many people running blogs nowadays, if I have a problem with my blog (technically or visually) I can count on blogger support groups and social media channels to reach out to a world of bloggers ready to help and assist me.

4. An excuse to get together and network. The event I recently attended which I discussed in my opening paragraph was put together by a blogger friend I have called Jessica, in which the event was named BlogCrush. It included a handful of Manchester based bloggers getting together at Crazy Pedros Part Time Pizza Parlour, discussing what we love about blogging over pizza and cocktails. The event gave us all the chance to write each other ‘love notes’ about each other and positive comments about our lives from what we picked up from each other from the discussions. It is these types of events that expand our blogger friendship circles, let us pick up tips from each other, and of course allow us to try out new foods and eateries!

crazy pedros
crazy pedro
5. The photography skills of bloggers is rising everyday, and with blogs becoming such an important form of media these days, everyday people will follow blogs to lust over the beautiful imagery. It has helped build a world of image sharing and photographic inspiration.

6. Blogging has created opportunities for girls and guys who would have struggled without the exposure of their blogs. Fashion and beauty brands now recruit popular bloggers to become the faces of their brands, allowing someone with knowledge and a real love for their brand to become an ambassador.

7. Bloggers are travelling all corners of the globe to explore more places to see, more scenery to shoot and more experiences to take, simply to share with their readers. Bloggers who get to do this weekly are so grateful for the opportunities given to them, and inspire their readers by sharing their tales.

8. It’s a platform to express personal thoughts and feelings, similar to an online diary. Sometimes sharing your thoughts with complete strangers can be therapeutic to some people, and bloggers stories can reach out to others.

9. Bloggers of a certain niche category can become an online expertise in a particular area. Before blogs became big, these passionate people couldn’t make themselves known to people at a simple Google search.

10. The best bit is the community as a whole, the building of friendships, the fun experiences bloggers can have together and the new relationships that can grow from the blogging world. I can’t even begin to list all the girls I love to pieces who I have met through blogging, but some of them know more about me than my old friends. The above reasons are why I will never stop blogging or call it a day with whatemmadid.com – it’s just too much of a good lifestyle to give up. With blogging comes a lot of hard work (that not everyone is aware of), but the positives are extremely rewarding. I mean – just look at these yummy pizzas from Crazy Pedro’s if you need any more persuading?

crazy pedros
crazy pedros

Three cheers to the blogging industry!

Beauty: Cloud Nine The White Touch

what emma did emma campbell
I find that as a girl, we all spend far too much time discussing all the things we don’t like about ourselves. We get too wrapped up with moaning about the things we dislike about our hair, face, skin, shape, etc,  therefore in today’s post, I am going to share with you one thing I love about myself – because we should all become a little more aware of what we have been blessed with. Go on… take a long hard think. What physical feature are you lucky to have? For me, I have naturally straight hair, and I spend far too much time wishing it had more body, more of a wave, more volume, pretty much more of everything. But not today – I’m encouraging us all to stop focusing on the negative and cheer about our natural greatness! Naturally poker straight hair is hard to come by, so I’m feeling grateful today for the fact that I own it…

The fact I have naturally poker straight hair is great for all sorts of reasons; I can go swimming on holiday and don’t have to worry about sporting an afro afterwards, and I rarely need to use straighteners to push out any waves or curls. But what I do find is that even though it’s straight, I need to invest in a good pair of hair straighteners to smooth the hair, lock in some shine, and give it a sleeker finishing look. For this, it needs to be a quick job, and this Summer, I think I found the ideal pair!

cloud nine white touch

I’ve been using The White Touch from Cloud Nine – the world’s first automatic Iron in brilliant white. What makes this model unique is that the plates start working from the first stroke, with no on/off switch. I just simply plug in The White Touch and begin to smooth over my hair – no time spent waiting for the straighteners to heat up. This is particularly great for me as with naturally straight hair, I don’t need to spend any more time using tools which heat up in order to deliver a styling result –I just quickly go over large sections of my hair for that extra bit of smoothing help to create for that finishing touch straight hair needs.

cloud nine white touch
cloud nine white touch
For those with frizz prone/wavy hair who do really need a professional straightening iron to work effectively on trickier hair types, The White Touch has a dual temperature control system so you can find the perfect temperature for your hair. The White Touch automatically heats to 195°, which is ideal for medium to thick hair. For finer hair, you simply switch to 165° by touching the plates together three times. To move the heat back up to 195°, you just touch the plates twice and carry on styling. Pretty clever, right?
The on/off technology in The White Touch means once you put the iron down onto a surface, it automatically switches off after 30 seconds. I’m feeling these are the perfect hair tool for us busy girls on the go!

They are a limited Summer styling tool, available for £99 over at Cloud Nine and they are definitely a hero hair product of mine this year…