Tuesday, 30 July 2013

A letter from Emma about: The Bucket List

Dear Reader,

Ever since I saw The Bucket List with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, I have been meaning to get round to writing one for myself. At the moment the people at moneysupermarket have a Bucket List competition, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to finally get around to writing one.

1). Hot Air Balloon
Always wanted to do this, always. However, due to being a student it's something that I cannot afford at the moment. Although Wicker World Balloon flights (who are based near my home town) offer flights for £135, so hopefully this is something that I can do in the not to distant future!

2) Northern Lights (extravagant item)
This is the extravagant idem on my bucket list, and money has definitely prevented me from doing this. This is something I really want to do before I kick the bucket, it would just be so beautiful to see. Discover the World offer a 3-night package in winter, where you see the Northern lights but also the other picturesque sights in Iceland. I would love to see a bit of Iceland as well as the Northern Lights. Prices start from £540, extravagant (for a student) but definitely worth it.


3) Sky Dive 
I may regret putting this one here, but it's something that I have always fancied doing. I am not the most 'active' person so I think this would shock a lot of my friends and family, which is why if I do this I would like to raise as much money as possible for charity. I think I could raise a lot of money because people would be surprised but also the donations would mean that I would have to jump! I would like to raise awareness and money for mental health, due to my university course mental health is an issue which I am passionate about and would love to raise awareness of mental health. The Mental Health Foundation offer a minimum fund raise of £395 to complete one of their organised sky dives, definitely something I would like to do and a cause which I would love to help.


4) India
I have always been drawn to India's vibrant culture and as a lover of art I think it would be an amazing place to get inspiration from. Ideally, I would arrange to go around the Holi Festival in India which if often referred to as the festival of India. Traditionally people spend the day spreading and throwing coloured powder over each other. Could you imagine the photography and art work you could create from an festival like that? The festival symbolises the end of winter and celebrates the beginning of the harvest season. India would also be another extravagant item on the list.

5) A Published Illustration 
One of my earliest ambitions was to be an illustrator, from a young age I admired illustrators such as Patrick Benson and Quintin Blake and would love to one day follow in their foot steps. Although at the moment I am a long way off achieving something like this, it is still something that I would like to achieve one day.Maybe it's more of a dream than a bucket list item, but I guess that's kind of what writing a bucket list is all about; making your dreams achievable.

6) Learn to Ski
I really really want to learn to Ski, what a great skill to have! I possibly have the worst balance and co-ordination in the world, but hey I like snow and wearing warm coats. I may be an awful skier but I would love to give it a go!

7) Teach abroad
This has more to do with charity work than teaching, but I think that education is a great provider of opportunities. I feel so lucky to live in a country where education is free and so extensive, I think it would be great to share this with children who have not been as privileged as myself . It doesn't seem fair that some children get an education and others do not.

8. Rainbow cake (budget item)
Y'know those multiple layered cakes made up of different colourful sponges? Well, I have always wanted to attempt making one. This is the budget item on my list, and should cost me around £5 to make. Yes, it may seem silly, but it's something that I have always wanted to do - and I guess that's what the bucket list is all about.

9. Go to Glastonbury
Most years I see this on the television, and just want to some how be transported into the crowd. I love festivals and they don't get much better than Glastonbury, with tickets at £205 it's something that I would have to save to do. Oh I hope I one day make it there and when I do I hope it doesn't rain too much!

10. La Tomatina
At school we had had a La Tomatina poster in my french classroom, I remember spending most lessons thinking I wish I was part of the tomato throwing crowd rather than the french class! It's still something I would love to do, tickets only cost  10, but it would be great to kill two birds and also see a bit of Spain as it's something I have never done before. Oh I would love to go to Barcelona and see the works of Gaudi! With flights, accommodation and a little time in Spain it would work out at around £400+ , but it would be so worth it.

Oh, I really wanted to stop at 10 but I just can't resit this final entry.

11. Royal Academy Summer Exhibition
I would love to one day be selected for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, which is the largest open-submission art exhibition in the world. Although it is the largest, only a sample of work get selected, and how amazing would it be if yours did? Artist's are highly critical of their own work, and I think to make it into that exhibition would be the ultimate sign that your art work is 'alright'.

That's it. I've said enough. There is something quite therapeutic about writing a bucket list, it's nice to have a bit of direction. I recommend you give it a go! Particularly; 
KimVanessa and Girl loves vintage, I have loved reading your blogs and would love to hear about your bucket lists! You enter the competition on Money Supermarket's website. 
Happy Bucket listing.


Emma Dilemma

P.S. Quote of the day - "Every man dies. Not every man really lives."
- Braveheart 

Saturday, 27 July 2013

A letter from Emma about: A Dolls House

Dear Reader, 

Whilst charity shopping the other day I came across a great find and this time is wasn't for me! I found a dolls house in disrepair, which I thought would be a  perfect gift for my lovely niece Libby.

Libby is only one at the moment, so the dolls house will be a perfect gift for her next birthday, which also gives me plenty of time to spruce it up a bit! I also think it's great to give gifts that are crafted and thoughtful, for me they are the best presents to receive. 

£3! From Shaw Trust.

I brought it from the Shaw Trust store in Malvern. Shaw Trust is a lovely charity that donates his profits to help disabled and disadvantaged individuals in the community. The charity helps a wide range of people and is a great Charity to support. I am so happy with my buy for their store, and hopefully Libby will be happy with her future present. 

To be continued...


Emma Dilemma

P.s. Quote of the day- "One man's trash is another man's treasure."
- Unknown

Friday, 26 July 2013

A letter from Emma about: Retail Royalty Challenge

This month Money Supermarket kindly donated £30 to spend on my chosen charity. So, I thought it would be fitting do spend the money for a place where I do voluntary art therapy. The Garage Art Group based in Evesham, the charity uses the medium of art to encourage health and well-being with individuals who are suffering from mental illness or learning difficulties.

 First I went to the charity shops to see what I could find for the group. Sue Ryder have a great range of brand new art materials in all of their stores. The group was specifically in need of some acrylic paint and paintbrushes, I found this set which I thought was perfect.

Originally £14.99 reduced to £7.50

 Half price, and the money for the art supplies goes to another charity. YAY.

N.b. If you are in ever need of art materials check their range out, unfortunately I did not need any canvases today but the ones in store were of great quality and half price.

After exploring the art stores in town, I decided to make a trip to The Range.  Which is the best valued store EVER especially for art supplies, it is a great place to buy affordable, high quality (this is the important part) art materials. Using cheap paints really does not do your painting any justice.

Winsor & Newton paints £19.99

 Which worked out at £2 a tube. I had been in an art store earlier that day where they were charging £4+ for each tube.

And finally with £2.50 left I brought a few paintbrushes. 

 I will deliver the materials to the group next week. My appreciation goes out to Sue Ryder and The Range for their great variety of art materials, and a big thanks to Money Supermarket for helping a great cause in my community.


Emma Dilemma

P.S. Quote of the day- "Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life."

- Pablo Picasso

Saturday, 13 July 2013

A letter from Emma about: 3D TV's

Dear Reader, 

As someone who spends most of their weekends in charity shops buying things that people no longer need, I got thinking about other items (other than clothes) that are easily discarded.

I am currently on the lookout for a new snazzy TV, in an ideal world I would love a HD/3D 42’’ shinny thing. However, I have been surprised to find out even 3D TV has passed its sell by date... apparently. 

The BBC are axing their 3D television trials due to lack of interest from the viewer's, which is linked to the "hassly glasses" which 3D TV requires. What?! Let’s all have a moment to take this in, 3D TV is going out of fashion because people cannot be bothered to put on their 3D glasses. Wow. As a species we really are becoming more primitive by the day. 

The glasses are just too far away...

However, I do not blame laziness completely. I think another contributing faction is the marketing of 3D TV. The BBC has expressed disappointment in the lack of viewers who tuned in to watch The Queen’s Speech and Wimbledon Finals in 3D. Is it really surprising? Why would you want to want to watch the Wimbledon final in 3D, it is an event which is significant enough without 3D effects. You don’t need special effects for rare historical televised events, you need special effects for Sci-Fi movies, explosions and action!

An example of a film made 100X better in 3D is Avatar.  Those beautiful blue creatures are under appreciated in 2D (also the film seems about 7 hours long in 2D). There is a time and a place for 3D TV, and it just need a little nourishment to it keep going. It is essentially the same with all products, there may not be a time and a place for a vintage satchel in your life, but for someone else there is! I just don’t like the idea of things going out of fashion before it's past it's sell by date. Products are created for a purpose and instead of dismissing something too quickly lets give it a little more time. That's what charity shops do for products. 

Tom the cat loves wathcing 3D TV. 

So if anyone wants to buy me (or my cat) of these swanky TVs from here you are more than welcome to:  http://www.electricaldiscountuk.co.uk/store/r/tvblu-ray-homecinema/televisions/


Emma Dilemma

P.s. Quote of the day – "Are these things really better than the things I already have? Or am I just trained to be dissatisfied with what I have now?"

- Chich Palahniuk 

Friday, 12 July 2013

A letter from Emma about: London

Let's do London!

Dear Reader,

This is a post about what to do in London, including where to do your Charity shopping. I moved to London a few years ago as a student and had no idea how to use the tube let alone where the nearest shops were. So this is a tried and tested guide to hitting London, perfect for anyone going for a weekend away. 

What to do

Firstly, do all the things that are free! London is home to some of the best galleries and museums in the world and most of them have free entry. A few personal favourites are; The National History Museum, The National portrait Gallery, The V&A, The Maritime museum (which I initially read as the marmite museum, I was surprised by the lack of marmite but nonetheless had a great time). 

My all time favourite is the Tate Modern. They do have some exhibitions which you have to pay for, however they are well worth the money and are not too pricey.

This picture was taken outside the Yayoi Kusama exhibition which was probably the best £10 I have ever spent. 

If you have a bit of money to spend on things to do, I would recommend all the tourist things including Madame Tussauds. If you get the opportunity to go it is great, sometimes you can get 2 for 1 vouchers, I collected some from the back of Tesco Orange juice cartoons. 

Madame Tussauds is a great opportunity to update your facebook profile picture!

Where to stay

Unless you are lucky enough to have friends or family living in London, it is wise to book a hotel. This is a great hotel with luxurious reasonably priced rooms http://www.saintgeorgeshotel.com/ 

If you are not able to have a holiday abroad this year, a city break weekend can be a perfect substitute and there are so many great things to do in London without having to leave the country!

Where to eat

Greenwich market. It is open most of the week and is particularly busy at weekends. The market is stocked with fresh, high quality food. From Sushi to Churro's there really is something for everyone here. 

-          Also the market has lovely handcrafted items so you can do some shopping too. Greenwich market is great at Christmas time and you can pick up some lovely handcrafted presents.

Where to shop

My favourite place for charity shopping is Camden High Street. If you walk in the opposite direction from the market, you are greeted by a street of charity shops. When you have exhausted the charity shops you can head into the market for some arty unique buys and the lovely food stalls. 

Also, one of my favourite charity shops in London is the Sue Ryder in Lee Green. It is not in central London but well worth a visit if you are in South east London area. 

- I got this lovely dress last time I payed a visit...

Dress £4.99 (Originally Topshop)

What to do at night

A great thing to do in the evening is visit a cocktail bar, and Detroit's is a very special cocktail bar which serves the nicest cocktails in the world! 


I had the Orchard Sour (right hand corner) and to date I have not yet had a better cocktail, they are all different and it is also great fun to watch them being made. You can find Detroit's on Earlham Street in Covent Garden and there are plenty of bars nearby if you want to make a night of it! 

So there's what to do, where to stay, eat shop and unwind in London. Have fun and I hope you have a dilemma free weekend!


Emma Dilemma

P.s. Quote of the day- There's nowhere else like London. Nothing at all, anywhere. 
- Vivienne Westwood. 

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

A letter from Emma about: A dress

Dear Reader, 

Long time no speak! I have just got back from a lovely relaxing week in Madeira, and I come home to this wonderful sunny England = result. 

I have a quick blog post about a last minute buy I picked up before I went away. I brought a summery tea dress from St Richard's Hospice charity shop in Malvern, Worcestershire. 


I love it! On the hanger the dress looked a little too long, but with the tie around the waist you can adjust it to suite your needs (you cant judge a book dress by its cover). 

St Richard's Hospice charity shop donates its profits to their hospice which is located in Worcester, the hospice looks after patients and families who are living with a life threatening illness. 

“Each year we give free care and support to around 2,300 patients and their families – helping them towards the best quality of life possible”.

Shopping in these charity shops helps raise funds to provide this support. and they are stocked with some lovely items. Inside this particular store they had a vintage rack, which is filled with vintage gems and saves you looking through the whole shop to find your vintage inspired look. 

Summers here, so head to the charity shops and get some pretty dresses whilst you can!

Emma Dilemma
P.S. Quote of the day- 
"Oh, my, my. Oh, hell, yes.
Honey, put on that party dress."

- Tom Petty