This App Unexpectedly Improved My Music Taste

This App Unexpectedly Improved My Music Taste

Great things can come from unexpected places and where else for hidden inspiration than the viral app ‘Tik Tok’? This video social media app invites you to use sounds and visual filters to create short videos and share them online. Tik Tok has grown substantially in 2020, fortified by new users during COVID lock downs. It now has over 800 million users worldwide.

I had been aware of Tik Tok since last year but did not choose to download it until this Summer, for two reasons:

  1. I work with social media and should be aware of the trends and functions appearing across social media platforms.
  2. My friends who already were present on the app spoke fanatically about it.

I joined Tik Tok expecting to find gen z humour and fashion inspiration. Instead, I was presented with many musicians that can only be described accurately with this Lady Gaga meme:

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As proof, here’s some of the amazing artists I’ve been introduced (and reintroduced to) by Tik Tok.

The Garden

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California based duo ‘The Garden’ popped up to me in a Tik Tok with their track ‘California Here We Go’ used and immediately wanted to hear the full song. I’ve since become enamored with them, listening to their rock in the mornings for daily hype. If you were the main character in a movie, ‘The Garden’ would feature in your soundtrack.

Listen to: California Here We Go, Egg, Call This # Now.

Haley Heyderickx

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Singer-songwriter Haley Heyderickx’s musical statement is melodic, hypnotic and soothing. I’m so glad her song ‘The Bug Collector’ was recommended to me in a Tik Tok as I’ve yet to hear a track of hers that I dislike, or want to skip. You’ll soon become addicted to her vibrant acoustics and haunting lyrics.

Listen to: Drinking Song, The Bug collector and Slow Talkin’. Her album ‘I Need to Start a Garden’ is a must listen.

Abba

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Yes I am cultured and yes I have listened to ABBA on countless occassions. Both in it’s originally and ‘Mamma Mia’ iterations, ABBA music stands the test of time; being enjoyed across generations. I thought that I had already heard all of the Swedish group’s music, but again through Tik Tok, I was introduced to ‘If it wasn’t for the nights’. The repetitive disco beat and catchy lyrics are joyful to hear, as well as ear worm causing. There’s an ABBA song for every occasion.

Listen to: If it wasn’t for the nights. Then listen to anything else from their discography for an instant serotonin boost.

Girl in Red

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I became acquainted with artist Girl in Red in an unorthodox way, which I will explain. On Tik Tok, there are two ways of browsing videos. Either you can watch videos from who you are ‘Following’ on the app; or a recommended ‘For You Page’ (FYP) of selected content. It was on my FYP that I was reccommended bedroom tours, by students like me. In many of these videos, a poster appeared asking ‘Do you listen to Girl in Red?’ It was from there I searched and discovered that amazing musical artist.

Girl in Red, (also known as Marie Ulven) is an indie pop artist best known for her song ‘We fell in love in October’. Her unique songwriting and funky guitar create songs made for dancing to.

Listen to: Girls, we fell in love in October and Bad idea!. (Girls is my favourite ‘look out the window and think existentially think’ song).

REX ORANGE COUNTY

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Indie artist Rex Orange County has produced some of my most loved songs for years. Due to this fact I assumed that I had listened to all of his discography. However, through the magic of Tik Tok’s algorithm I found ‘Pluto Projector’ from his newest album ‘Pony’. Rex Orange County’s is such a gifted musician that you can listen to his songs multiple times, and hear something new each time. Personally, I cannot access the words to describe how much I adore the instrumental ending to ‘Pluto Projector’. You simply have to hear it for yourself.

Listen to: Pluto Projector, Corduroy Dreams, Grass Stains, Best friend.

Whilst I only joined recently, I can’t understate the positive effect of Tik Tok on my playlists. If you haven’t joined yet, do it today. The sooner you do, the sooner you’ll meet endless musical entertainment.

Thanks again for reading.

These are a list of my favourite (second hand) things

These are a list of my favourite (second hand) things

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Grab your tote bag and head to the nearest charity shop – this post is all about second hand shopping. Currently expressed through #secondhandseptember we have been experiencing a growing love affair with the resale market. In celebration I thought it would be fun to show some of my most treasured second hand purchases. Environmentally conscious and unique, why not get shopping?

These artsy books

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I promise they weren’t bought solely for the covers. I found these two books at an Oxfam book shop in Belfast and was immediately drawn to them. Both books discuss art, however they each focus on different art mediums (photography/painting and film). I’ve become encapsulated by the variety of books available at this charity shop, making it a regular visit for me.

A classic check skirt

This ‘Bratz’ style skirt was purchased from the resell app Depop. For buying second hand clothes online, Depop has to be one of the best and easiest platforms to use. On the app it’s effortless to search for items and contact sellers. I found this skirt when looking for a tennis skirt and was able to get a great discount on it. Unfortunately this skirt is quite short in length, but otherwise I’m excited to incorporate it into my Autumn wardrobe.

This *stunning* red dress

I thoroughly believe that Cher Horowitz a la ‘Clueless’ would definitely approve of this dress. Also from Depop, this vintage Dorothy Perkins dress is a big highlight of my collection. For a vintage piece, the quality of the chiffon fabric is amazing, and the colour is a romantic red. Although I haven’t worn it to an occasion yet, this dress will soon become my go-to look.

An oversized graphic shirt

FYI: I don’t have a photo of my sweatshirt, so this is from Lyst.

Classic graphic tees and sweatshirts are in high abundance in the resale market. From childhood TV show characters to 90’s bands, there’s a guaranteed graphic t-shirt featuring it. What first attracted me to this sweatshirt on Depop was its pastel cosmic print. Since then, I’ve worn it for many cosy nights in. Originally from the luxury brand ‘Alexa Chung’, I got it for a bargain too.

This 2000’s iconic bag

FYI: I don’t have any photos of my Boxca bag, so this image is of the same style bag from Shpock.

A leather chocolate baguette bag, for ¬£7? Dream come true. I discovered this brown ‘Boxca’ bag at a Maire Curie charity shop this Summer and it hasn’t left my arm since. The quality and condition of the bag compared to it’s low price astonished me. It also fits a surprisingly large amount of items for a small bag. Whilst I really adore it, this bag is my second favourite buy after…

The best ever vintage suit

At the time of 3 AM I came across this two piece suit on Depop – and immediately purchased it. I do not condone impulse buying generally, but I just couldn’t allow myself to turn away this spectacular set. The paired periwinkle blazer and mini skirt not only fit perfectly, but are miraculous in hue, texture and pearly buttons. By miles this is my best fashion purchase of 2020.

Are you a resale fashion fanatic? Have a favoured second hand buy? Share it in the comments below.

Thanks for reading ūüôā

You deserve a good movie – why not watch this?

You deserve a good movie – why not watch this?

Well – we’re still in quarantine and it not going any time soon. If you read my last blog post, one of the things that I do to brighten up my day, whilst also deluding myself into feeling ‘productive’ is to watch movies. Comedy or horror, romance or thrillers, nearly everything is on my watch next list. If you’re thinking of watching something new, here’s what I recommend:

Fantastic Mr Fox

‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ based of the novel by Roald Dahl, follows a cunning tale of families of wildlife versus three rampaging farmers, set in rural England. Directed by Wes Anderson, this stop-motion film is cozy coloured with fuzzy textures. His identifiable visual style of intricate details and symmetry adds style to the film, rather than distraction. Like Fantastic Mr Fox himself, the humour is clever, smart and is punched out by a stellar cast. For small animals, they certainly pack lots of personality.

Watch it for: Rosy art style, quick wit and the fast-paced action.

LA LA Land

‘La La Land’ is a classic romance story starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling as they pursue their far-fetched dreams in LA. The movie achieves a clear balance between modern struggles and the bygone golden age of Hollywood. Likewise, it’s mix of musical theatre and jazz scores each scene so well I would consider them to be stand-alone pieces of art. The connection between Stone and Gosling is undeniable but this is very much a love story for the dreamers; who work non-stop to achieve their dreams, no matter how futile it may be.

Watch it for: The wonderful soundtrack, the warm color palette, and a perfect homage to old Hollywood.

Lady Bird

There’s a reason why ‘Ladybird’ is rated 99% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes. Ladybird is triumphant in it portrayal of relationships. ‘Ladybird’ (Saoirse Ronan) is a moody teenager growing up in Sacramento California, with dreams of becoming a writer on the East-Coast. The movie follows moments in her life of self-discovery, including her first boyfriend and prom. Ladybird’s relationship with her mother (Laurie Metcalf) is the key focus of the film, and is beautifully conveyed on screen. As Greta Gerwig’s solo directorial debut it’s intimate, sad, hopeful and real (If you aren’t a Greta Gerwig devotee yet, this movie will convert you).

Watch it for: The top-notch acting, the inevitable tears and 2000’s vibes.

My neighbor Totoro

From the Japanese animation titan Studio Ghibli, ‘My neighbor Totoro’ follows the story of a family who move to the Japanese countryside to be close to their sick mother, and the spirits that they encounter. The movie perfectly portrays family but attention must be given to the whimsical and wonderful forest spirits. Ghibli has always portrayed nature well in films and after viewing ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ you’ll most likely become inspired by the magical mysteries of nature. Honestly I could recommend any studio Ghibli film, but this was a recent watch for me, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Watch it for: Gorgeous animation, scenic countryside, soothing music and the icon that is Totoro.

Thanks for reading ūüôā Hope you are all safe. If you have any movie recommendations yourself, post them in the comments.

The art of staying positive during a pandemic

The art of staying positive during a pandemic

It’s possible that I have never felt more worried about the future until now, all because of the coronavirus pandemic. Within a few short months, life as we know it has been flipped, spiraled and hurdled into complete a lock down.

I am, like many other university students, now studying at home. Whilst it would be untruthful of me to say that I am not enjoying the morning lie-ins and reading books in the garden – it’s not a paradise. We are now confined at home, with daily news detailing the rising coronavirus death tolls, and how our healthcare systems is near overloaded. Gone are the days of meeting friends for coffee or visiting the cinema.

I don’t know about you, but I am also feeling increasingly guilty for not achieving more at home, with this free time granted. Why aren’t I learning Italian, or writing a novel, or starting a You tube channel like others?

In my attempt to remain positive during the pandemic, my best advice is to take things a day at a time, however cliche it sounds. We are living in times previously unheard of, so give yourself some credit for getting by. Staying at home is important to reduce the spread of coronavirus and it will bring us closer to overcoming it, together.

If you are working or studying at home and feel that you aren’t doing enough activities, do not feel guilty. Attempting to avoid being ill is stressful, so even if it’s the only thing you can do right now, it’s enough. Please do not put anymore pressure on yourself than what we are already facing.

Recently for me, I find myself doing things which can take my mind of coronavirus, and relieve stress. Although I am awful at it, I enjoy strumming chords my ukulele and pretending I can play entire songs. Other days, I’ve taken to the comforting arms of Netflix, indulging in TV series and nostalgic films to pass the time. If you find an activity which relaxes you, partake in it plentifully and have fun.

Living during global pandemic is a universally relate-able experience. You can receive a boost in positivity simply from connecting with others. If you are in lock down with your family, this may be the longest time you’ve spent with them recently, so now is the opportunity to reconnect. For your friends, use Face-Time, Duo and House party to chat. It’s not exactly meeting in person, but it’s safer, which is more important.

Generally it’s worth knowing that it’s near impossible to staying maintain a consistent positive mindset, especially during a crisis. If you can find small joys in life right now, it’s all you need.

Finally, to anyone who is working during the pandemic including: the NHS, pharmacies, deliveries, supermarkets and essential businesses – thank you, you are heroes.

Transform Your Clothes Into Party Ready Outfits

Transform Your Clothes Into Party Ready Outfits

Frost outside, dark evenings and the struggle to get out of your cozy bed in the morning. It’s the middle of December 2019, so you know what this means: New Years parties, family gatherings – and not knowing what to wear for either of them.

Year on year, I tend to not purchase too many new pieces in Winter, so when Christmas arrives and I’m meant to dress up, I struggle to put together cohesive looks. The festive season is also very expensive, between buying gifts, going to Christmas markets, and nights out. To avoid looking fashionably confused but not becoming bankrupt, here’s a few fashion suggestions to brighten up those basic pieces most of us own.

Dress up your jeans with a bustier top

Everyone has at least one pair of jeans – and although denim may not be known for the festive season, that doesn’t mean that you can’t dress it up with a chic bustier top.

Bustier tops are bang on trend this season and add a romantic touch to a simple of jeans. To avoid freezing, layer over a blazer and party the night away. This bustier top is from Boohoo, and is also available in hot pink, neon yellow and white (£12).

Finish the look with square high heels and some statement earrings for effortless class.

Vamp up a midi dress with knee high boots.

This can apply to any dresses or skirts that are long in length. Adding knee high/thigh high boots to a midi dress brings drama, as well as warmth, to an outfit. Does your dress have splits? Wearing thigh high boots underneath will be sure to grab attention and is more edgy than a pair of heels.

These stunning croc leather effect knee high boots are from Missguided, and come in multiple colours (£55).

Complete the outfit with simple jewelry for a paired back, stylish ensemble.

Match a basic top with an eye-catching skirt

If you own a basic t-shirt, wearing it with a patterned skirt can transform it into comfy yet dressy look. An edgy band t-shirt matches well with a feminine skirt and creates visual contrast, for a more interesting outfit.

This skirt I am recommending is one that I own and love. This black floral mini skirt is from Urban Outfitters, and is also available in red. (£36)

To finish the look, add sheer black tights, heed boots and a leather jacket.

Make a little black dress pop, with standout accessories.

It’s time to pull out the black dress that’s been sitting in the back of your wardrobe! To fully embody a 90’s party girl, glam up a little black dress (or any mini dress) with rhinestone tights and thin heels. These tights are from Ebay but are available across the internet. (¬£4.19)

Simply add dangling rhinestone earrings to complete your debut as a human disco ball. Alternatively, for an extra expensive look, pair the tights with a satin dress, and skinny heels and hair accessories.

Hair and makeup

Almost any outfit can be become your party attire, with the right hair and makeup. A quick search on Youtube or a glance at Instagram will unveil a buffet of inspiration for party looks.

Recently, I have been found some especially dazzling eye looks from Regina @coolgirlswearmugler as well as makeup inspiration from Alexa Demie. A simple rule is to add lots of glitter and just enjoy yourself.

Stop Work Related Stress From Taking Over

Stop Work Related Stress From Taking Over

Expectations. Pressure. Comparison. Whether you are a student or in full time employment, you may sometimes feel as if your workload has taken over your entire life; and not just when you have deadlines. Working too hard for long periods of time is a known causer of stress and burnout, but it can be hard to justify taking breaks when you need to get the job done. Especially if you are always trying to do things perfectly.

As a second-year student balancing studies with extra curricular activities and finding a placement, there are previous moments in my life when I have thrown myself into my work, despite feeling overworked and stressed out. Usually it is because I want to do everything to the best of my ability. However, it is physically and mentally unhealthy to be overwhelmingly stressed constantly.

Fortunately, there are some ways to stop stress from taking over.

Plan Your Calendar

Effective time-management is key in reducing stress. If your schedule is disorganised, it can lead to trying to do too many things in not enough time, and undoubtedly causing stress.

To help organise your time, create a diary; be it on your phone, or in a notebook. In the diary, write down of all the tasks you need to complete. Tasks can be numbered or colour-coded, to distinguish which tasks are of most priority. By completing tasks in an sensible order, you will manage your workload better and feel accomplished. Moreover, a calendar can be used to plan additional activities outside of work, such as meeting with friends, or relaxing with Netflix and popcorn.

Brighten Up Your Work Environment

Have you ever thought about bringing some of your amazing personality to your work space? If you work at a desk, photos of you and your pals can remind you that your loved in times of stress. Other personal touches include: Figurines, artwork, a cute pen pot, and the uber trendy potted plant. Incorporating these personal touches into your work space will bring joy to the space and express your unique style.

Focus on Yourself

Once you’ve found a balance between work and free time that you are happy with, use your free time for whatever makes you smile. It may be a fitness class, shopping or trying a new activity (For me, I’m learning French on Wednesdays). Even a quiet evening in will keep you refreshed, and stress levels down.

Celebrate Achievements

You’ve worked really hard, you exceeded those targets and impressed your management – what do you do? CELEBRATE! In a fast-paced work environment, achievements can sometimes be looked past, in moving onto the next project. However, it is essential to celebrate achievements at work, to reward yourself for your efforts and to acknowledge what all that hard work is for. Celebrating achievements not only relieves personal stress, it acts as a breathing space before the next big project. It may even boost morale at work, so gather your employees and shower the confetti.

Talk About it

Not matter what steps you take, stress can still happen and become overwhelming. If you feel that you are consistently in a state of stress, you need to find the root of the issue. Speak to a member at work or university/school that you feel comfortable talking to, and express to them how you are feeling. Even just telling someone how you are feeling will help relieve you. From then, steps can be taken to reduce stress in the future.

Thanks for reading. Do you have any other tips for reducing stress, or finding balance between work and activities? Say them here in the comments.

(BTW, I also have a new fashion related post coming out next week)!

Look at Lottie! Introduction

Look at Lottie! Introduction

So, am I only posting the introduction to my blog now – yes. Am I still going to tell you all about myself and why I started blogging – also yes.

If this is your first time seeing Look at Lottie, hello, my name is (big surprise) Lottie and currently I am nineteen years old, although in a few weeks, I’ll soon be turning twenty (Hooray for Virgo season!).

Anyway, I happen to live in a city called Belfast, which is in Northern Ireland. Although it’s a tiny country with a small population we’re home to friendly people, scenery so picturesque that you can’t avoid putting it on Instagram and for having rubbish weather.

Belfast is also where I study. I go to Ulster University, where I am working towards a degree in Communication, Advertising and Marketing (A mouthful, I know) and this month, I’m starting my second year of the course. In all honesty, I’m very much looking forward to going back to uni, I miss seeing all of my friends at lectures and I enjoy what I study quite a lot, even if it sounds nerdy to admit.

So why start a blog? I can’t exactly give a straightforward answer on this. One reason is that I get a lot of satisfaction out of being a creator and I like the idea of expressing myself online, regardless of whether I receive tons of followers, or not. From what I’ve seen online, blogging is a stellar way to interact and connect with people who share similar interests. Also, it’s pleasing to research and write about whatever topics I may choose to and put it out into the world for people to read.

Hopefully, if you have read my last few posts and was confused about the character who was behind them, this post will clear things up for you. If you’re new to the Look at Lottie blog, welcome! I will be posting more soon (I promise, I’m getting better at it) so until then, thanks for reading.

How to Look Good During a Heat Wave

How to Look Good During a Heat Wave

Summer in the UK is many things: unpredictable, cloudy, cold and unfortunately, damp. When it’s meant to be the sunniest time of the year, it’s usually miserable.¬†However¬†this year things are heating up, with record hottest temperatures of 34 degrees Celsius blazing us. But how do you stay cute when you feel as if you’re about to melt? Luckily, I have some advice.¬†

Avoid Non-Breathable Fabrics

It’s easy to forget that your skin needs to breath, and when it’s hot – sweat. By wearing clothes made up of natural fabrics like cotton, it helps to regulate air flow that will help dry up perspiration and keep you cool. If you can, avoid synthetic fabrics,¬†in particular polyester, as these fabrics wick sweat. Although repelling sweat sounds better in theory, synthetic fabrics aren’t breathable, so wearing them will reduce airflow, creating damp pools of sweat.¬†

Swap the Trainers for Sandals

I know, your white Adidas trainers pair really well with your floral midi dress but is it worth it for hot, uncomfortable feet? Your feet are essential for regulating body temperature as they contain specialised blood vessels which when open, can pass lots of blood through quickly and release heat. By swapping out your Summer trainers for open sandals, you expose your feet to the air, and by cooling them, can keep the rest of your body cool too. 

Don’t Forget a SPF

If you live in a country which rarely gets hot, as soon as the Sun peaks its head out, you can become solely motivated to get a tan which leaves you a bronzed and glowing goddess. But with the sun comes sun burns, which are downright dangerous and especially painful. To avoid spending the afternoon peeling away burnt skin, regularly put on a face and body SPF which will ensure that you stay protected. If you want to tan, use a sunscreen with a lighter SPF so that you can keep you skin safe. 

(Bonus) Pack an Umbrella

This really depends on where you live. For me, no matter what time of year, you can never depend on the weather staying consistent for more than five minutes. Whether you’re going to a concert, an amusement park or even the beach, there’s no harm in packing a rain-coat or an umbrella, just in case the weather turns. To enjoy Summer to the fullest, it helps to be prepared for whatever it throws at you. 

5 Skills you need for a successful career in Public Relations

5 Skills you need for a successful career in Public Relations

If you choose to work in Public Relations, similar to advertising and other agency based careers, PR often involves a varied and fast paced work environment. However, by equipping yourself with these skills, you can ensure that you become the PR practitioner that everyone is talking about.

Creativity

If you’re going to think of unique ways to appeal to people and capture the attention of the media, then you need to have creative ideas. We know that this is often easier said than done, clients often request ‘new’ and innovative ideas, without specifically knowing what they want. If you find that you are creatively stuck and cannot seem to find a solution, do not worry. Instead, take a break and do things that inspire you. Even small differences such as taking a new route home can spark creativity. Research and brain storming is also very useful in coming up with unique and effective ideas.

Time Management

In an PR agency, it is rare case that you will be assigned to just one client. In many agencies, it is far more common to be responsible for multiple organisations. Effective time management is necessary in order to know how much time to dedicate to each client. This can vary, dependent on what sort of PR the client requires and how much the account is worth. It simply isn’t cost effective to spend an entire work day on just one client, so improve time management, track your time spent on activities or planning for clients in a diary.

Communication

Whether liaising with clients or writing press releases; from tweets, to speeches, to events, communication is vital for success in PR. In written communication, enticing, persuasive language captures the attention of your audience and can cut through the noise of other messages. Spoken communication is also a necessary skill that is used in speeches and with interacting with clients, to convince them that you are a confident communicator.

Adaptability

In PR no two days of work are alike. On Monday you may be hosting an event, on Tuesday you could be writing press releases and on Wednesday, hosting a photo shoot. To succeed in PR you need to be ready to get stuck into whatever is required to deliver a successful campaign. It is also important to be up to date with local, national and international news, so that you understand what is happening in the world today and whether it effects a publics opinion, or an organisations reputation.

Coping Under Pressure

With working in an agency environment and with clients, it comes with real time deadlines. In order to run events, press releases product launches, time restricted deadlines must be met. You simply cannot say that you are holding a public event on June 30th, only to say on that day that it isn’t ready (You’ll get negative press if you do so). If you want to work in PR, it is crucial that you stay organised and remind yourself of upcoming deadlines, to avoid stress. However, in an agency, you are part of a team, so never feel afraid to reach out for help.