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3 September 2018

I'm going to sound like a seriously broken record, but where has a month gone? Another year is flashing before our eyes and it'll be 2019 before you know it. As per with the end of every month, it's a chance to peruse what I've been listening to throughout August.
In August I've listened to a lot of 90s and 00s tracks, I think because the summer always makes me think of what music I enjoyed in summer's past. These include New Radicals, Melanie C, Wheatus Ida Corr and Destiny's Child. There's also new stuff from Gabrielle, The Brummies and Nina Nesbitt mixed in among some usual favourites.

Take a look at the playlist below and maybe you’ll find a new favourite!

JCB - Nizlopi
Sing About Me - Angel Haze
Every Teardrop is a Waterfall - Coldplay
You Get What You Give - New Radicals
Teenage Dirtbag - Wheatus
Jumpin’, Jumpin’ - Destiny’s Child
Shine - Gabrielle
Drive Away - The Brummies
Mother - Ira Wroldsen
Jenny from the Block - Jennifer Lopez
Loyal to Me - Nina Nesbitt
Slow Dance In A Parking Lot - Jordan Davis
Die Young - Kesha
Sing ‘Em Good My Friend - Kenny Chesney
Never Be The Same Again - Mel C
Let Me Think About It - Ida Corr
The Saltwater Room - Owl City
Sing For Another Time - Old Dominion
She Wants To Be Me - Busted
Babe - Sugarland, Taylor Swift
Unwritten - Natalie Bedingfield

Happy Listening!

A K Jones

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6 August 2018

A couple of weeks ago I was given the opportunity to attend the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2018 with work, as part of the Communications team at Siemens. I just thought I would share my experience and what my role there entailed.

If you don't know the Festival, it's a car show that ran this year from Thursday 12th - Sunday 15th July, with enthusiasts ascending to a field in Chichester and indulging in their love of cars.
Aren't we a beautiful bunch?  Credit: Bill Page / Zest Communications
I'd been working on Goodwood for a while before the Festival, and wrote the press release revealing our autonomous Mustang that we took up the fearsome and famous hillclimb track. It was a stressful few weeks, but was great to finally see our efforts paying off whilst on-site.

Thursday was the Press Day, where interviews and lots of other media activity was happening, so in my role in PR I was much needed. If you know me, you know that mornings really are not my thing - but crew briefing was 6:45am, so a 5am start was needed. Arriving on-site at 6:15, as you may have seen from my Instagram stories, I was taking so many pictures and videos to try and show what it was like being so quiet and early.

That changed quite quickly - the show opened at 7am and it was all hands on-deck, as everyone was assigned to their stations and the day's schedule for us PR people was in full swing. Can I just say, the Goodwood Estate site is huge and very difficult to navigate if you don't know where you're going - my sense of direction is shit at the best of times, let alone amongst 12,000 acres and not many signs. It's no surprise I kept getting lost, and would eventually bump into one of my colleagues who would point me in the right direction. If you're all reading this, thanks for helping me out.

My job on the Thursday entailed helping out on the Press tour with both British and foreign journalists, who interviewed different spokespeople and saw the different exhibits we had at the Festival, which included a Renault 2027 Vision car and an Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Car, alongside its digital twin, displayed in the FoS Future Lab.
It was great meeting people from different publications such as The Guardian, Sunday Times and The Manufacturer. The day was so busy and there was a whirlwind of people to talk to and find around the site, trying to get them to their interviews on time. As well as the press tour, the autonomous Mustang was having its first hillclimb run ever, featuring the BBC, the FT and our CEO Juergen Maier. It went smoothly and thankfully everyone came back down the hill in one piece.

Aston Martin Red Bull's team principal Christian Horner (who's married to a Spice Girl!) came by and signed some autographs for people crowded around our stand. Sadly I missed it as I was running around looking for someone, but others said it was great and there were lots of people there which is awesome to hear.
Christian Horner with our UK CEO Juergen Maier. Credit: Bill Page / Zest Communications
Throughout our time at Goodwood we got use of the Media Centre, where Mel & Jane from our Digital team were uploading all the videos and pictures to our social channels. They looked great and reached a lot of people - if you didn't see them, feast your eyes below to see some of their great content.

Once the show was over, it was time for the evening press event in the Future Lab. I wasn't actually intending to go, but travel circumstances meant I had to stay. Actually it turned out to be quite a nice end to the day, as we all went to the other exhibitors' stands and saw what they had to offer.

Samsung had a cool stand, where you could partake in a bit of car racing, using VR and a simulator thing (the video below will make more sense). Also on their stand was a Scalextric-type track and little cars, but instead of controllers to guide them, it used AI to get a map of the track, with you controlling it from one of their S9 phones. There were rumours that Chris Hoy, Olympic cycling champion was in attendance but I never got to see him.
As Thursday ended, Friday started. I didn't have much on the agenda that day, so got a little bit of time to explore. Every car maker you've ever thought of was exhibiting - Lamborghini, Aston Martin, BMW and Mercedes being just a few. There's so many cars and different exhibits it's hard to see them all, but I did see Mini's stand and that was a really unique one for me as it involved music - basically there was a turntable with some records next to it, and whichever song you chose to play on the turntable corresponded to a car that you could find out information about.
I got to see the Mustang go up the track and in the First Glance paddock, where it was situated between runs. Some really cool concept cars were placed there too - the one that stills blows my mind to this day is a V8 Aston Martin Cygnet, which is basically a suped-up Toyota iQ. I have a Toyota iQ and anyone else who does knows that they're TINY, so how they got a V8 in there I will never know.
The trip wasn't without its drama though - I ended up having a panic attack on Friday night, which you may have seen if you are following me on Twitter. I was OK, but it was pretty terrifying, and I went into Saturday still very physically shaken up. Luckily everyone was really understanding and making sure I'm OK, which was lovely of them (if you're reading this, thanks a million!), with priority access to the golf buggy we had for the event so it wasn't all bad!

Saturday was my last day at the Festival, but a great one as my Dad came down to spend the day with me for two reasons: 1) to enjoy his birthday as I'd got him a ticket and 2) I needed a lift home. It was so nice exploring the site with him and introducing him to all the team members, whilst showing him our exhibits. He also got to see the Mustang live in action from the big screens placed inside the Future Lab.

Once we were finished exploring, it was time to head home. I loved every single minute of the Festival (apart from the medical dilemmas) and will never forget it - it's definitely been a highlight of my PR internship with Siemens. I've got a little highlights video that's embedded below, enjoy watching!

A K Jones

Disclaimer: All photos are my own unless credited.

3 August 2018

I know we're already a couple of days into August, but I want to give you a little round-up of what tunes I've been jamming to throughout July.

In the playlist this month we've got a lot of new stuff (well new to my ears anyway) including a couple of acoustic covers, one in particular I love by Landon Austin. Throwback songs by Lily Allen and Phixx, a bit of Country (what else?) and some chart hits also make up my list. See the tracklist and playlist embedded below and take a listen. Also give me a follow on Spotify to keep up with the latest playlist before anyone else!

1. LDN - Lily Allen
2. Take Me To Church (Acoustic Cover) - Megan Davies
3. Hide Away - Acoustic Version - Landon Austin
4. For Awhile - Ryan Robinette
5. First Time - M-22
6. Hold On Me - Phixx
7. Wild - Catherine McGrath
8. Migraine - Twenty One Pilots
9. Give Me Novocaine - Green Day
10. Solo - Clean Bandit, Demi Lovato
11. Old Ways - Demi Lovato
12. You Don't Even Know - Walker McGuire
13. Shot - George Ezra
14. You Don't Know Love - Olly Murs
15. Slow Dance In A Parking Lot - Jordan Davis
16. Eyes Open - Kris James

Hope you all have a lovely August and enjoy the sun if you have it!

Happy Listening!

A K Jones

Lily Allen cover art courtesy of London Records / Universal Music Group [Source], Megan Davies cover art courtesy of MADLove Records [Source], Landon Austin cover art [Source], Ryan Robinette cover art [Source].

29 July 2018

What's more precious and expensive to replace these days than a phone screen? I'm sure I'm not the only one who's had a mini-heart attack when I've dropped my phone and sweated buckets when turning it over to survey the damage, to find the screen's completely smashed - even though there's a case on it.
I have an iPhone X where the entire front and back is made of glass, so I'm even more careful. But I received a phone case that might just solve my problems - Urban Armor Gear's new Camo collection iPhone X Case*, with military drop protection.

A lot of cases claim to have 'military drop protection' only for it to fall apart after a 1cm drop - this case is the business, with a proper raised lip from the screen and back camera so the ground will never even touch it let alone smash it. Reinforced corners mean the case is also shock absorbing, so the hardest surface won't beat it, which is just great for peace of mind and value for money.

Speaking of money, the case is fully Apple Pay compatible, meaning it won't get in the way of you making an important transaction. I've tested this thoroughly, and it's worked perfectly every single time. It's also charging pad compatible, and not a lot of cases are yet so that's another bonus - I can't vouch for that as I don't have a charging pad, but anyone who does I'm sure will not be disappointed.
I road-tested the case at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, dropping it on plenty of different surfaces (metal, grass, concrete) and both my iPhone and the case came out completely unscathed, not even a scratch. It's also very pocket-friendly, as I put it in my shorts, jeans and shirt pockets with ease. It's not the thinnest case in the World, but with a thinner one you're more likely to damage the case or phone.

Also, the design looks pretty damn cool, right? The camo is definitely a good look with any outfit and will fit well in any bag, making it the perfect road trip or club companion. The screws are only for cosmetic reasons, but definitely adds to the rugged image of the brand and their products.

This iPhone case is an extremely versatile one, and a great option for someone who wants all-round, reinforced protection. It's a case that I'll not be taking off my phone any time soon. If you would like more info or to get one yourself, head to their website or Amazon**.

Happy Listening!

A K Jones

*A PR sample was sent. All opinions are my own.
**I'm using an Amazon affiliate link, meaning I pick up a few pennies if you buy a product through the link provided.

9 July 2018

There's loads of skincare products on the market right now, with different benefits and uses. I only buy skincare products on a recommendation or after reading the reviews because I know they work for other people, and high-end products are really expensive. Below are my skincare essentials I'm using and loving right now.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Serum-In-Oil

I first used this serum at uni as my mum gave me it, because she didn't really use it. It did and continues to do wonders for my skin and clears any spots I've got. The formula is quite oily, so only recommended to use last thing before you go to bed and not before touching your phone or anything like, as it'll make marks. Waking up I have such amazingly soft skin, thanks to this product - definitely one I would recommend.

It's not what you'd call cheap at £16 a bottle, but you can get it at The Body Shop.

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish

This is a big products amongst beauty bloggers/vloggers and skincare geeks alike, and I can see exactly why. It's a great exfoliator for getting all those impurities from the skin, leaving radiant and soft skin, before moving on to the next step in your skincare routine. I use this morning and night along with the cloth given with the set I bought, and it helps my skin so much - though I would say the cloth needs more washing that I currently give it or it gets awfully dirty.

Fabulips Lip Scrub

This was part of an M&S beauty box my sister came home with one day, so picked it out as part of what I wanted from it. I didn't use it at all for a few years until I came across it in my drawer a couple of months ago. It doesn't have an expiry date (not that I can see anyway!) and I used it before I went to bed one night.

I usually have really chapped lips in the Winter, and I awoke the next morning with the softest lips I've ever had. Now I have this on my person wherever I go, using it when I need to, and it's a lip saver. Get it on Amazon* if you're interested.

This is an usually short post, but I hope you enjoyed it nonetheless! What are your skincare go-to's? I might find a new product to try - let me know in the comments.

A K Jones

*Affiliate links have been used, meaning I receive a percentage from sales of the product through this link.

2 July 2018

We're midway through the year which has just flown by. But it's lovely outside and I rather hope it stays that way. In June I haven't listened to as much music as I normally would, mostly the same songs on repeat, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Having said that, in my repetition I did include a couple of new tunes from the wonderful NF, Bebe Rexha and Mabel, listened to whilst basking in the glorious sunshine that the UK is experiencing at the moment. My apparent liking for The 1975 has continued and I'm not ashamed to say that. Also on the list is some Daughtry (whom I got tickets to see - so buzzing for October!), a bit of Cale Dodds and lots of others.

Check out the playlist embedded below and follow me on Spotify to keep up with the latest of my music playlist and what's being blasted through my headphones.

1. ReggaetΓ³n Lento (Remix) - CNCO, Little Mix
2. Little Red Wine - Tyler Braden
3. The City - The 1975
4. Gorgeous - Taylor Swift
5. Life on Earth (Alternate Version) - Snow Patrol
6. From the Fire to the Frying Pan - Sonic Boom Six
7. Finders Keepers - Mabel, Kojo Funds
8. All These Lives - Daughtry
9. Drop the Bass (And Pick It Up) - Sonic Boom Six
10. I Wanna Know - NOTD, Bea Miller
11. Do What You Wanna Do - Sonic Boom Six
12. Lie - NF
13. Sovereign Light CafΓ© - Keane
14. No Surprise - Daughtry
15. I'm a Mess - Bebe Rexha
16. A Bad Dream - Keane
17. Take You Back - Cale Dodds
18. High Horse - Kacey Musgraves
19. Solo - Clean Bandit, Demi Lovato

Hope you're having a lovely June and an even better July, as that's when I'll next be updating you on all my latest listens.

Happy Listening!

A K Jones

CNCO cover courtesy of Sony Music Latin [Source], Tyler Braden cover [Source], The 1975 cover courtesy of Dirty Hit / Polydor Records [Source], reputation cover courtesy of Big Machine Records [Source].

29 June 2018

June has been an interesting month for achieving my goals, as I've spent more time outside than anything else, catching the rays that seem to be emitting at quite a rate these days. It's also been so busy work-wise, and I found out today that I got an interview for a new job, so will keep you updated on Twitter. See below for how I got on with my June goals.

Read the rest of my book.
I read a lot more of it, but didn't finish it sadly so it's definitely an action for me next month - I will get there! I like reading The Child but really want to have an early bedtime too.

Save more money. 
I have saved a good amount of money this month, even though I've now got a car to pay for and more driving lessons, so lots has gone out of my account. But I saved some, and that's better than nothing!

Work towards passing my driving test.My test is in August so I hope to be ready in time and have a good chance of passing. I'm doing OK in my progress, getting 4&5's / 5 in my little book that shows how I'm getting on. Wish me luck!

Have more time off social media.
I'm pretty sure I've achieved this, and turning off all of my notifications has helped my mental health so much (a post is coming about that soon). I spent more time with my family and not looking at screens whilst already watching TV.

I hope you've had a great June and you're looking forward to July. See you at the beginning of July for my July Goals.

A K Jones