Thursday, 31 August 2017

Personalised phone cases from EGOsketch | Grace Lee London | Brands

If you value your phone then you will definitely have a case to protect it, if you don't then you are one risk taker living life on the edge! I've always wanted to personalise my own phone case but was always too boring to give it a go (I usually choose the plain stuff), so when Artur from EGOsketch got in touch with an opportunity for me to design my own case, I took it without hesitation!

EGOsketch is a small Dutch company that makes personalised phone cases and tablet cases. From my experience, my case is high quality and was easy to create! Read more about my experience with EGOsketch at the end of the post.

Since I have about 3 or 4 spare cases laying about, I decided to design one for my dad as he doesn't have a phone case for his HTC One M9. As a photographer, it was pretty evident that I would be choosing photographs to display on the case. It was a little tricky trying to arrange one photograph on the entire case without the awkward camera hole cutting anyone's face out, the only way this was possible was to have blanks spaces around or by having 2 photos.

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Throwing it back to over 15 years ago! I decided to choose these 2 photos as they are very sentimental and reminds me of a time where my whole family was fit and healthy.

My dad and I both love how the case turned out! I think it is great quality and really appreciate how the print came out as accurate as my initial design. The photos are printed all around the edges and the colour tones are very close to the originals, which believe me is hard to do when printing on regular photo paper so EGOsketch really know what they are doing. The cut outs (camera, flash, side buttons) are all in the right places and the case fits the phone perfectly. I also love how it's a matte finished, rather than a glossy plastic finish as it really brings out the details and you can see the photos no matter which angle you look at it. Before smartphones were a thing, my dad used to carry a photos of us (his kids) in his wallet, in a way this case is like an updated version of that and gave us both a bit of nostalgia to reminisce on.

If you are looking for a one of a kind unique case then definitely check out EGOsketch, this is your chance to get as creative as possible! If you are anything like me, you will have your phone with you everywhere you go, so why not design something that represents you! You can add your own text, drawings, designs or keep it simple and just upload a photo of you and your friends, or even a snap of your pet!

Check out EGOsketch on their website, Facebook page, and Instagram.

As always, I hope you enjoyed this post! Be sure to follow me on my socials (links below) so you can keep up to date with what I get up to and hopefully I will see you in the next one!

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Photographs by my brother and sister.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Sales Alterations | Grace Lee London | Fashion

I love fashion. I think fashion is so much more than just clothes. For me, it's a huge part of my identity, it's how I choose to express and represent myself visually. That's why it is so important for me to have clothes that not only fit and suit my body type, but also show a bit of me in the process. 

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I find some amazing steals in the Sale, sometimes there's something a bit off with the pieces like the fit is too big or sleeves are too long. In this case my matching co-ord set comes with trousers, and I'm a shorts kinda gal. So, I took it upon myself to fix it up to make something that's one of a kind and completely unique to me. I do love the long flowing trousers and I feel so sassy when I'm wearing it, but they were a bit too long for me and I just can't see myself wearing that outfit out without feeling too self conscious + I feel much more comfortable and cuter in shorts!

My skills are not half as technical as April (aka Coolirpa) but after years of practice, a lot of patience, a good few hours of trial and error, I do sometimes get the desired outcome and end up with a cute outfit that is only unique to me!

As always I hope you enjoyed this post, feel free to follow me on social media (links below) and I will hopefully see you in the next one.

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Wednesday, 16 August 2017

The CCC Super Cup | Grace Lee London | Photography

If you would have told me that I will be voluntarily shooting at a football event a few years ago, I would have laughed at you and say something like 'I would never do that!' But here I am, in present day, shooting a charity football event with no gun to my head. Yes! I am doing this at my own free will!

The Chinese Community Challenge (CCC) Super Cup is hosted and run by the Frank Soo Foundation to raise money for their chosen charities with the help of some of their generous sponsors. You can find out more about the CCC community here and maybe even help out next year too!

My friend, Ban is one of the organisers for this and he asked me if I could help out by doing some photography. Who am I to turned down a good friend, especially when it is for charity! This is a big deal for me as I am someone who had resented being a Chinese immigrant in the UK throughout her teens (hard not to when living in a small valley filled with quintessentially British people aka Caucasians but more about this another day). I want to do more things to help me reconnect and learn about my history and culture, what better way to do this than by giving back to the Chinese community.

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Guy with the 3 stripes is not meant to be there... he's just bantering about.

My role for the day was to capture the team photos, covering the other two more experienced sports photographers (Laraine and Miguel), as well as shoot videos of people saying thank you to the sponsors. Which meant that I got to speak to almost everyone who was there that day! Everyone was so welcoming, friendly and chatty, which is not what I expected from a bunch of lads at all. And though I did not understand most of the "lad banter", I still found their personalities endearing and joyful to be around.

You can see an unofficial short clip of what went on at the Super Cup below. Hope you enjoyed this post, follow me on social media to see what else I get up to in between blogs (links at the end) and I will see you in the next one!

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Sunday, 13 August 2017

Pink Overdose! | Grace Lee London | Photography

Ellie and I connected through Instagram and we decided to meet up for an outdoor shoot, however the forecast predicted heavy rain for that day so we arranged for a back up indoor location. Ellie suggested that we head over to Frank's Cafe in Peckham as they have pink corridors all the way up to the rooftop cafe/bar. As a Lover of pink, it was hard to resist this intriguing candy floss pink heaven goodness!

Let's talk about Frank's Cafe. It is a trendy rooftop cafe located on top of a multi-story car park, with views of Southbank, to City, and even stretches over to Canary Wharf so you can enjoy the views of all the major sky-scrapers of London while sipping on some coffee or something a lot stronger. They do have a lot of Art amongst the cafe, so they have quite a few rules when it came to photography. We were stopped several times by members of staff as we were not allowed to capture the art in our photographs (Although, I think it is completely fine if you are using your phone.)

This pink lobby/stairwell/corridor is also a piece of art titled 'Hi Boo, I Love You' by Simon Whybray. It's listed as London most pink place over at TimeOut, so if you love pink, you must go the Peckham! We were stopped from taking photos as I think we just looked too professional but the kind lady was okay with it once we explained it was for the gram.

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My favourite thing about social media is that it has lead me to meet so many cool people and made me get out of the house to explore places that I've never even heard of! One of these cool people is my model for the day, Ellie. Ellie is a fantastic model and so much more, not only did she chose this unique location, she brought several outfits and props (mega impressed!) to match each location. She's also an actress, DJ, writer, singer, puppeteer, etc.. And has stories to keep you entertained for the whole day! I found Ellie very inspiring as she is living the dream in Barbie's dream house (sorta) and doing what she loves all day every day! It was my pleasure meeting and shooting you.

See more of Ellie by clicking here!

My buddy Alex also came out with us and he shot a behind the scenes video for the day so stay tuned for that! As always, I hope you enjoyed this post, follow me on social media to keep up to date with everything I get up to (links below) and I will see you in the next one!

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Friday, 4 August 2017

I won £100 on Looker! | Grace Lee London | Fashion

I was having a gloomy Wednesday wondering what I was doing with my life and all the sudden, I got an email saying that I am the winner of Looker's July competition! I won £100 to spend at any online retailer of my choice! Of course, I had to choose ASOS and I was so spoilt for choice that I did go over budget a little bit.. oops!

My theme was very much inspired by my upcoming trip to Thailand/Vietnam so everything is very summery. First up, is this super cute pink gingham co-ord. I love a good co-ord because you simply look so put together without any effort at all!

Top £22
Shorts £20

Next up is a cheeky little beach cover up. I visited a lavender farm the day after I received my order and I felt the need to bring my winnings for some great outfit pics, and though this outfit is not very family friendly, the photos were definitely worth it!

 The last item of clothing is one that I bought to wear at a wedding, and I'm also planning on wearing this on holiday too. I don't know what it is about this print, it's definitely not for everyone but when I saw it, I was feeling things and I just had to have it. I bought the tall version by accident but by the time I realised, I had already altered it and it cannot be exchanged.

I also bought a new curler because for some reason, I am just really craving some real tight noodle curls in my hair. I think this comes form my mild obsession with wanting an afro as a child. Don't ask. I don't have a photo for you but I am planning on doing a YouTube tutorial so stay tuned for that.

Thank you so much to Looker for choosing me as July's winner, if you want a chance to win £100 to spend at an online retailer of your own choosing, then all you have to do is sign up to Looker, post an outfit and share it on Instagram, be sure to tag @Lookerhq and #bealooker

Don't forget to add me to your team on Looker!

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Thursday, 3 August 2017

Food I LOVE in London! | Grace Lee London | Food

I absolutely love food, literally cannot get enough of that stuff! There are a few specific places where I've eaten a meal and thought to myself damn that was so good OMG! So I thought why not go through my iPhone photos and fish out a few of my favourites. Be warned, there are quite a few and you will definitely be hungry by the end of the post!

First up, Busaba Eathai. This is one of the first places I've been out to eat in London, and I've been back time and time again. Busaba serves Thai food and is a chain restaurant. Their flavours are authentically amazing and they are always updating their menu so each time you visit, there is something new and exiting to try out! Apart from having great food, their decor reflects a sort of resort restaurant in Thailand, and each and every Busaba I've been to have the same vibe so you feel a sense of familiarity no matter which branch you head in to.

Angie and I were craving some soft serve matcha ice cream, so we decided to head over to Shoryu as I remembered having the matcha and black sesame after some ramen one day. The (incredibly friendly) staff there told us that they don't serve ice cream anymore but the good news is, the softserve ice cream had move to their sister restaurant, Machiya which is just a couple shops down the road. Since me and Angie are both hungry bunnies, we decided to get a few bits to bite and I was pleasantly surprised at how each bite was absolutely bursting out natural flavours!

3. Sunday
Sunday is a lovely (and popular) brunch and breakfast spot in Barnsbury. I was first introduced to this place by Yip when we met up for the first time ever to shoot together! We had to queue up in the rain for half an hour or so but my god the wait was so worth it! We got a dish each and a dish to share, and since that day, I knew we would be great friends because he loves food just as much as I do and he is not afraid to share! If you get a seat by the window, be sure to get some snapped of yourself through the window, you can look super cool like me.

4. The Ace Hotel (cafe)
I'd love to tell you that I have stayed in The Ace Hotel before but I've just took a peek at the prices and I rather use that amount to pay for a holiday abroad instead! I do want to rave about how amazing their doughnuts are, they have a different flavour each week so make sure you enjoy every bite because unless you go back there in the same week, it's unlikely that you will ever taste that flavour again. I remember biting into a passion fruit one and I felt like I died and went to food heaven whilst TJ, Yip, and Haikal were shooting me. I went back a few weeks later and they did not have the passion fruit doughnut but myself and Fahdi were having a lucky day, and we both received a free doughnut curtesy of some vouchers from the previous customer! Such a WIN! 

5. I think this place is now permanently closed...?
I was debating whether or not to post this but this Lemon Meringue Cocktail was too good not to include. It was literally like a lemon meringue in drink form, the whipped cream on top was a perfect compliment to the drink and oh how I wish I could go back to the place. I honestly can't seem to google this place but if you go to Monkey Nuts in Crouch End, imagine you are coming out from that restaurant, turn left and cross zebra crossing and it should be the first bar, seems to be St. James on google maps but apparently permanently closed now. Sad times.

I love wagamama a lot. It is usually my go to hangover food or the place I go to when I want an affordable (but still so good) meal out! I do have my regular order of steak ramen, calamari, and mochi balls with a juice to wash it all down! Sometimes, very rarely, when I'm feeling riskaaay, I would also have some sake. My favourite branch is the Canary Wharf one, unfortunately this branch did not have the mochi balls so I opted for coffee ice cream. It's affordable and you always leave feeling full and happy, what's not to love!

I've walked past The Real Greek many times before but I never thought that this will be somewhere I'd enjoy. I must say that this is somewhere that you should go with a group of friends as it is a sort of greek food served tapas style. There were 5 of us that went there, so we chose 2 plates each and added a couple more plates of bread to accompany the dishes. As someone who gets bored of the same flavours, this was ideal as there was around 10 different dishes to try in one sitting. We went to the Bankside branch, so we had a nice walk along the thames after our meal.

This was a great meal for a couple of reasons. 1-It served up great chicken and the staff were very charming. but 2-This was the first meal I had after moving all my stuff over to my boyfriend's, meaning the day we started living together as a couple! It may not look like a lot is on the plate but I felt very satisfied with both the flavours and portion size, it was just enough for me. I took inspiration from my Jamaican friends and had a can of ginger beer to go with my chicken, it was too good!

Hackney Wick is one of those super trendy places where almost every cafe/bar/restaurant you go to is just super cool! I've been to The Hackney Pearl a looong time ago, way back when I was in second year of university. I remember my boyfriend at the time raving about the brownies at this cafe, and a good few years later, I find myself having the fluffiest pancakes for brunch! This place gave me the inspiration to start making my own pancakes, crunchy bacon on top, with maple syrup drizzled all over. It's extremely unhealthy and you may or may not break out (get some spots on your face) the next day but it's just so worth it!

Another brunchy type place, there's definitely some kind of theme in this post. Myself and Joanna were meeting for dinner one Thrusday evening, we originally wanted to go to Blue's Kitchen but they were fully booked, so we headed to The Diner, a couple restaurants next to them. It was a good shout because we both enjoyed our meals very much! I even had left overs to take home for another meal. They have a range of fries to choose from and the ones we order were so delicious, I mean look at them, thinking about them now is making me so hungry. The Diner also have a list of cocktails and hardshakes (milkshakes with alcohol) which means merry times to go with your dinner! When you're done, simply head out to the streets of Shoreditch and browse the art galleries and trendy stores or pop in to one of the bars for more drinks, whatever tickles your fancy.

I really enjoyed writing this post up and reliving the memories of each meal, there aren't any indian meals in here but that is simply because I usually order indian takeaways and don't see much point writing about takeaways. I always photograph and keep photos of good food on my phone so I think when I've found another 10 places I love, I will do another blogpost! If you are still here by the end of this blogpost than well done and thank you so much for your time! I hope you enjoyed it and maybe found it helpful too! Follow me to keep up to date with what I get up to and I will see you in the next one!

Places mentioned:
  1. Busaba Eathai
  2. Machiya
  3. Sunday
  4. The Ace Hotel
  5. Unknown
  6. Wagamama
  7. The Real Greek
  8. The Chicken Shop and Dirty Burger
  9. The Hackney Pearl
  10. The Diner
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