Tag Archives: lifestyle

Terrible Advice.

Coca-Cola Work It Out‘Great music can put the fun into vacuuming,’ claim Coca-Cola on their Work It Out microsite, ‘Crank up a fast-paced tune and burn some calories while you clean!’ they enthuse.

I really love Coca-Cola, but this site is ridiculously patronising and this is the stupidest fucking workout advice I’ve ever heard. I don’t think I’ve ever listened to a decent ‘fast-paced tune’ and thought to myself, “You know what would make this track even better? The sound of a roaring hoover!”

John Lewis: Two Worlds Collided

The new John Lewis TV advert is really beautifully shot and skillfully edited. It shows how the basic elements of romance and relationships transcend time – progress makes our methods of entertainment and communication more sophisticated, but the fundamentals haven’t changed that much. I especially love the girl’s 1920s wardrobe. I doubt I’m alone, and I think that if John Lewis brought out a twenties style heritage collection, it would probably fly off the shelves! The song used is originally by INXS, but the version in the advert is by Paloma Faith.

The Invisible Bicycle Helmet

Bike helmets. Pretty ugly, right? No one looks good while wearing one, and it’s a clunky piece of safety equipment that makes the ease of your bike journey less, well…easy. Watch this amazing video about how two Swedish entrepreneurs have spent the past seven years developing an excellent alternative to wearing a helmet. I will say this first, though – it’s not actually an invisible helmet. I realise you probably suspected that this wasn’t the case, but I just wanted to make sure that you’re not expecting some kind of Harry Potter hocus pocus. This isn’t magic, it’s just science and clever design, which makes it even better in my opinion.

Yep, that’s right, it’s a motion-activated airbag collar! But that doesn’t sound as exciting as ‘The Invisible Bicycle Helmet’, which is actually called a Hövding. You can find out more about how a Hövding works by heading to the official website here, and they currently retail for just under £400.

3M Lint Rollers

Wow. These print advertisements for 3M’s lint rollers are excellent. They were masterminded by Grey and are so cute and funny. I think the rabbit one is probably my favourite! I’d never even owned a lint roller before I got a cat – any bits of fluff could usually be removed with a small bit of sticky tape wrapped around my hand. Now that I have a cat, I tend to stockpile the things. 3M have definitely pinned down their core target market with these ads!

McDonald’s Advertising: I’m Lovin’ It

Like most children, I loved a trip to McDonald’s. Nowadays, food from McDonald’s barely even makes it onto my “things I’d consider eating if I was really really hungry” list, but I have to give credit where it’s due – McDonald’s often have some great advertising campaigns. Take these two campaigns, which play on the fact that children do generally love McDonald’s, while darkly hinting at a little negligent or reluctant parenting.

These adverts for McDonald’s South Africa by DDB Johannesburg really hit the nail on the head. Who the hell wants to have to deal with those nightmare children who are only invited to the birthday party because the whole class is invited? Jean-Paul Sartre once wisely said, “Hell is other people.” Even if you’re not a total misanthropist, I think you can probably agree with this bastardisation: “Hell is other people’s children.” If you have your own children, you probably (hopefully?) love them dearly. But I’m sure one of your little darlings has at least one friend who you believe really is the spawn of the devil.

I’ve always been an awful snob. When I was at nursery it used to upset me that the other children didn’t make the effort to wipe their snotty noses or put their hands over their mouth when they coughed, so naturally this means that as an adult I don’t really want the little brats to come near me, or my outfit. Maybe one day I will be holding the grubby little hand of some half-formed reflection of myself. Perhaps I’ll even have its younger sibling balanced on my hip, too. But I still think that I’ll hate other peoples’ children, and the reason I’ll hate them will be because I don’t think they’re nearly as great as my own.

The ‘Forgiveness is never far away’ series, by DDB New York, play on the fact that if you do screw up majorly with your child, you can probably bring them round with a trip to good old Maccy D’s! If you regularly piss your kid off and take them to McDonald’s then they’ll probably grow into a fucked up obese teenager, but if you’re usually the kind of oh-so-perfect parent who only feeds their children organic raisins, chances are that one day you will mess up, and you will have to relent and give them their junk food fix to say sorry.

Sorry you had to find out this way.

This outdoor piece of advertising is nothing to do with children, but it’s a smart way of advertising the early morning breakfasts available at McDonald’s. Personally, I can’t think of a worse way to start the day than with a breakfast from McDonald’s, but this is still a very clever use of a sundial (a word that is now so outdated and rare that the first phrase that popped into my head when I saw it was, “shadow clock?”). It’s definitely not enough to make me want a breakfast from McDonald’s, though. In 1996, I ate an Egg McMuffin from their dreaded breakfast menu and it made me vomit. I feel I should point out that I was still at that tender age when I loved McDonald’s – it really was that bad.

Miles & Tabitha

This is a collaborative Twitter project that my friend Tom Giddins and I are working on.

Everyone knows a couple like Miles & Tabitha, whether you want to or not. No seriously, you know the type – you’ve probably overheard them loudly discussing their Tuscan barn conversion in a cafe, or perhaps you gave them a blank stare when they asked you a vague, moronic question such as, “Is this pub organic?”

Essentially, they’re the kind of clueless privileged idiots who go on several Balinese holidays a year, but claim that their glowing complexions are down to bikram yoga and beetroot smoothies. Or something.

They come into the local pub late on a Sunday afternoon, and think it’s terrible that the drunks are giving their noisy brats filthy looks and even have the cheek to swear in the presence of their free range darlings! They’re about forty, live in Stoke Newington or Brighton, and still think that they’re devastatingly cool.

Trust me, you know them. Maybe you even identify with them a little bit? That’s okay, there’s no need to worry. On paper, they seem alright. They like going to galleries, they eat at great restaurants and maybe even enjoy some decent music too. That’s irrelevant though…it doesn’t eclipse the fact that they’re still wankers.

“Beautiful People Travel Free”

It sounds like something Samantha Brick would come out with, but it’s actually a tag line for a travel site that matches beautiful would-be globetrotters to generous hosts. Miss Travel combines a matchmaking site with a travel service and calls itself “travel dating for generous and attractive people.” Basically, the website allows good looking women to create a profile with their travel itinerary, and source wealthy men who are able to fund the trip. The ‘generous’ members can browse through the profiles and select if they’re looking to travel with someone, or wanting a travel companion.

Maybe it’s because I tend to be a little cynical, but this sounds like some kind of drugs mule/kidnap disaster just waiting to happen. However, if you are beautiful and willing to take a huge risk for a free holiday – good for you! Should it pay off, please don’t go on about it, but don’t expect anyone to feel sorry for you if things go horribly wrong either…

The Birkin Effect

Since finishing university I’ve been utilising social media platforms to define and promote the personal brand of Annabel and Anneka Treon, the sisters behind The Birkin Effect. I have been contributing articles to their site, writing inspiring truisms from their Twitter account, getting involved in discussions, and posting interesting and relevant images, videos and web links on their Facebook page.



Homemaking For The Busy Woman

Even Elizabeth Hurley recently admitted that she needed to have a clearout. Get rid of all those things you don’t need or never use, and free up some storage space so that you can streamline your life. When everything has it’s own place it makes tidying up easier, and obviously that means that you are also able to find things easier too!


Storage boxes are your friend. Avoid indiscriminately stuffing clothes into drawers and use boxes in closets and under beds to help make use of ‘invisible’ space which can sometimes end up being a void filled with miscellaneous junk. Buying sets of neat storage boxes means you can make more of a feature of having storage. I utilised the space under my bed effectively by choosing leather effect boxes in the same shade of cream as my bed frame and making custom labels using a stylish font.

Invest in time saving appliances. A blender makes meal times quicker and chopping vegetables becomes a thing of the past. A Fridja garment steamer allows you to quickly press clothes without burning them. It’s also a great way to freshen up an outfit you’ve only worn once.

Fill up your freezer. It’s not just for unhealthy convenience foods like fish fingers and chips. If you make bigger portions of your favourite meals, you can freeze them, meaning that you have a well-stocked freezer full of microwaveable, healthy meals. Just remember to label them with the date on though – that delicious chicken risotto you made might not look so appealing 2 weeks later when it’s an unidentifiable frozen block of anonymous food.

Make housework part of your routine. When you come home from work, the last thing you feel like doing it housework. But even if it’s just loading up the washing machine, it’s little things like this that will help you run your life effectively and love your home.

Use scented candles in your house for a constantly clean and fresh smell. Smell makes an important first impression, so if you have someone round and your place is a mess, they are less likely to notice if they are greeted by a comforting fragrance.

Organise your paperwork and shred anything that you don’t need to keep. It’s handy to make digital copies of really important things, but put them in a password-protected file.