Nowadays, it has become less common to see a review of a notebook on a website. While we all try to embrace digital life, there is absolutely still room for a notebook. Especially if you are a user experience designer!
That’s what I do for a living. I am a user experience designer – not a blogger. So, I need to draw quick designs, and sadly digital tools can be a nightmare to use, meaning I always need a notebook to hand. Finding the perfect notebook, however, is an experience! The issue with many notebooks is the paper quality. Some notebooks (most of them) can’t cope with marker pens, fountain pens or anything that can throw a vast amount of ink onto the paper.
Because of this, I appreciate a good notebook when I find one, and recently I found a great one – Nuuna. I actually used a Nuuna notebook 5-6 years ago and decided to try them one more time, and it is now even better than before. Using the notebook is an experience in itself; you don’t buy a notebook, you buy something that looks extremely beautiful.
The paper quality is beyond anything I could have imagined after years of disappointing notebooks. Unlike other beautiful looking notebooks, Nuuna has high quality but low thickness paper, meaning it doesn’t take up too much space in your backpack, and also isn’t heavy to carry around.
The best part is that you can use any pen to hand without any problems. Even if the first pen you come across is a permanent marker like a Sharpie, yes it is a bit brutal on the paper, but it can handle it.
For sketching user interfaces or new ideas, I couldn’t recommend Nuuna enough. I would also highly recommend the dotted versions so that you can have a screen experience on paper.
Porsche have recently announced the latest addition to the Taycan family, the Cross Turismo. Prior to the Gran Turismo, Porsche did not have an all-roader vehicle like the Audi A6 Allroad, they either created a sports car or an SUV. However, it seems that Porsche were aiming to attempt a new segment with their electric car platform, with the Taycan Cross Turismo being the result of this decision. The Taycan Cross Turismo is based on the classic Taycan but has higher suspension settings. Off-road abilities, under bonnet protection, and a potential off-road setting are implemented to mimic a differential lock effect via torque vectoring systems on each axle. In addition, the calibre of the electric motors creates an off-road environment.
The downside of electric motors in an off-road environment is that they deliver all of their torque instantly. Meaning that if you are on a loose surface and you need as little as possible torque, good luck using the electric motors, you will be digging up the surface. The gravel driving mode in the Cross Turismo enables the vehicle to accelerate smoothly on loose surfaces. Certainly, the Cross Turismo is not an SUV and is not designed to face serious off-road environments. But then which SUV faces a serious off-road environment! It is also nice to have additional ground clearance and an off-road driving mode to use some shortcuts on your path.
Would I buy it? Honestly, yes! I do not like the idea of driving an SUV in the city, they are designed for the off-road environment. Yet, I like the practicality. Especially when the roads get a bit snowy and muddy. The Cross Turismo is a perfect vehicle, that will not compromise the off-roading’s performance driving experience, and will get you around that muddy road.
If I ever buy a Porsche 911, I will get the Cross Turismo. The performance details are here; • The Taycan 4 Cross Turismo with 280 kW (380 PS), overboost power for Launch Control 350 kW (476 PS), acceleration 0-62 mph in 5.1 seconds, top speed 137 mph, range (WLTP) 242 – 283 miles.
• The Taycan 4S Cross Turismo with 360 kW (490 PS), overboost power with Launch Control 420 kW (571 PS), acceleration 0-62 mph in 4.1 seconds, top speed 149 mph, range (WLTP) 241 – 281 miles.
• The Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo with 460 kW (625 PS), overboost power with Launch Control 500 kW (680 PS), acceleration 0-62 mph in 3.3 seconds, top speed 155 mph, range (WLTP) 245 – 281 miles.
• The Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo with 460 kW (625 PS), overboost power with Launch Control 560 kW (761 PS), acceleration 0-62 mph in 2.9 seconds, top speed 155 mph, range (WLTP) 241 – 260 miles.
Maison Ernest is an iconic French shoe brand founded in 1904. Unlike Louboutin, it managed to stay under the radar for decades but focused on its unique style and on pushing the boundaries with high-quality craftsmanship, especially its ‘Favorite Rouge’ 14cm mules.
For nearly two months, the world has been under lockdown, and we live and work at home. Unfortunately, many fashion labels still haven’t managed to rebrand their collections as loungewear. They still offer holiday collections, and I really don’t know who is buying them.
Despite the lockdown, there is a new opportunity that is slowly emerging. Loungewear! We don’t want to wear the same things again and again. After some time, we find it boring and miss the good old days, when we could wear something different.
During this lockdown, then, there are some opportunities, especially for shoe brands! This could include redefining home slippers or mules. Recently, Engineering In Heels decided to get rid of her boring slippers and colour up her loungewear style, and she started to wear some outstanding mules from Maison Ernest – the 14cm, no-platform mules called ‘Favourite Rouge’.
Maison Ernest designed these extreme heels by drawing on their long design heritage and created something unique that can be worn by someone who’s willing to take the risk. And there’s no better time than the lockdown to give a try to your most extreme heels at home. Not only will you cheer yourself up, but you may also find yourself a new style combination.
Life in the middle of a pandemic is extraordinary. We have experienced things that would normally only happen in cheap science-fiction movies. I don’t want to write about the pandemic yet again. Nevertheless, I would like to highlight some of the ‘fun aspects’ of the pandemic, achieved thanks to YSL.
2020 and 2021 were and are the years of working and exercising at home. We saw many companies try to revise their products to match the new expectations of consumers. Some of them did well, some of them failed, and some of them achieved something truly transformational. That’s YSL!
YSL recently introduced a set of dumbbells to exercise with at home, at a cost of £850! You don’t need to convert this into your own currency. It’s clearly expensive.
These are just two gold-painted dumbbells. They are not anything special. For instance, they do not contain microchips to connect with your smartphone. They are simply metal weights. You can probably find similar ones at your nearest junkyard.
In case you are not yet surprised enough, let’s take another example. YSL have also introduced a pair of fluffy stiletto mules with 10cm heels. As people don’t go out often these days, I assume these mules are designed to be worn at home. And I have great news: these fluffy stiletto mules are only £850!
So, you can exercise at home with gold-painted dumbbells, while wearing your fluffy stilettos, for just £1700! Cheaper than a MacBook Pro 16-inch laptop. From a human psychological perspective, I have no doubt that these YSL dumbbells and mules will generate a few smiles during these pandemic times.
In 1996, Porsche made a radical decision to introduce Boxster, an affordable two-seater car with a relatively small engine. During this time, bigger was considered better, and no one ever anticipated that the Boxster would become a game-changer. Also, during the same time, Mercedes-Benz introduced the SLK, a hardtop, whereas the Boxster was a soft top.
The compact structure and rear-mid engine placement made the Boxster a proper car for driving enthusiasts. The interior quality was also high for its time. As time went by, Porsche continued to develop the Boxster and added the Cayman to the range. However, Boxster became an iconic car of the 911.
After all these years, and a significant profit generated, Porsche is celebrating the 25th birthday of the Boxster with a special edition. The Boxster 25th Edition is based on a GT4, 4-lt engine (this six-cylinder mid-engine has 400 PS). It has the same colour scheme that Boxster’s concept model had in 1993. It will be (1200 cars only)limited in quantity available and definitely a future classic.
Recently Christian Louboutin introduced a bold collection called Epic. This collection features only eight heels with 100mm galvanised nickel stiletto heels. This means, no matter what condition the Epic collection is worn in, rain, snow, or sun, the metal heels will not corrode, which is an imperative feature.
A few years ago, Louboutin created a similar collection called Big Lips, which featured lightly higher but the same category of metal heels. From time to time fashion repeats itself!
The Epic collection has a wide range of sexy and eye-catching heels! Starting with classical sandals and ending up with thigh-high stiletto patent boots. I assume there will be a mule version of the Epic collection imminently. As the name implies, these heels are epic and when you wear a pair with the right dress, you will also be epic on any occasion.
Keep in mind Epic Et French thigh-high boots may take a very long time to tie up, so if you are in a hurry, they may not be the best pair of boots for you.
The Epic collection ends up with a hilarious AirPod Pro case that can be attached to the back of the Epic Et Pointe pumps, which will dangle as you walk. Yes, you are going to carry your Apple AirPod Pros at the back of your heels. If the AirPods are damaged, it may be tough to explain to Apple why you carried them on the back of your heels.
A few weeks ago, Rolls-Royce revealed the second generation Ghost. The original unveiling was expected for February 2020; however, the COVID-19 pandemic meant it was postponed. This new generation Ghost is a state-of-art Rolls-Royce that will be heating up the competition with the latest Bentley Flying Spur.
After Bentley stopped manufacturing the Mulsanne, the Flying Spur became the flagship sedan that was expected to compete with the Rolls-Royce Ghost and the Mercedes-Benz Maybach S-Class. But how does the Flying Spur compare to the Ghost? They both have British DNA and bespoke tailoring inside the cabins, but which comes out on top?
Bentley’s Flying Spur is based on the Porsche Panamera modular platform – it is a reskinned Panamera. That is not particularly negative, because future technologies from Porsche can be implemented rapidly to the Flying Spur; however, it does reduce the exclusivity of the car. Not ideal if you are keen to own something bespoke.
Despite the shared modular platform, the Flying Spur is designed with both comfort and dynamic driving in mind. When you take to the driver’s seat of the Flying Spur, you won’t look odd. The Panamera’s suspension and drive train geometry offer a sportive driving character wrapped in luxury and comfort. It offers two engine options – W12 and V8 – mated with a twin-clutch 8-speed automatic. It is impossible to ignore the rear-biased all-wheel-drive system; Flying Spur is a proper driver’s car. The W12 engine is slowly being phased out, and this feels like the right choice. It was inherited from the VW Phaeton and was probably designed in the late 1990s. The V8 is lighter and more responsive, coming from the Porsche Panamera.
In terms of luxury, Bentley are renowned for offering some of the best interiors and attention to detail! Every part of the interior is a piece of artwork; you will be surrounded by more luxury than you can imagine. Sadly, the driving assistance systems are not as sophisticated as those boasted by the Ghost. I was expecting to see the same level of driving assistances as those in the Audi A8; however, the Flying Spur is a few years behind that. Overall, the Flying Spur is a great luxury sedan, and you will feel the Bentley DNA and experience exquisite luxury.
Moving to the new Ghost, let me start from the bottom end. The modular platform of the Rolls-Royce is unique solely to Rolls-Royce models. Whilst the Ghost does not share a platform with the BMW 7-Series; however, there is still some technology sharing with the BMW Group. With the volume of the Rolls-Royce, they can’t survive without benefitting from BMW’s know-how. Sadly, the Ghost did not receive a brand new engine, which is not too surprising given that it is not easy to redesign a V12, especially when it will be only used by three low-volume Rolls-Royce. The V12 engine is therefore based on the BMW V12.
The good news is that the Ghost is an ultimate luxury car that does not blind. The sound insulation is state-of-art engineering. It was reportedly too good and resulted in passengers experiencing motion sickness. To avoid this, Rolls-Royce has increased the amount of interior sound.
Unlike the Flying Spur, driving the Ghost by yourself still looks a bit awkward; you look like a professional driver in need of a client. In future, a possible Black series could make it more of a driver’s car. The best part of the new Ghost is the driving assistance system. BMW equipped the new Ghost with state-of-art technologies. Now, the Ghost can scan the road surface and adjust its suspension via 48-volt electric actuators, and offers perfectly refined comfort. Long journeys will certainly not be an issue with the new Ghost.
The interior quality is more sophisticated than the previous generation and is on par with the Phantom; however, I still think the Bentley is better by a slight margin (albeit a hard to notice margin!).
Finally, the new Ghost has an all-wheel-drive system adapted from BMW, which is amazing! The BMW xDrive is one of the best all-wheel-drive systems available. Rolls-Royce didn’t stop here and implemented rear-wheel drive steering to improve the driving experience. Overall, the new Ghost is more driver-focused than before, and I am sure it offers a competitive driving experience to Bentley Flying Spur.
The final verdict is yours—the differences between the Bentley and the Rolls-Royce are such a close margin that, ultimately, it comes down to personal taste.
2020 was the year of COVID-19, during which it became compulsory to wear a face mask. Not every face mask, however, is the same. Face mask usage has become a means to reflect a user’s identity and is one of the most visible parts of your style. It is unsurprising, therefore that designers started to offer high-end face masks, and no one does high-end luxury face masks better than Tom Ford.
The Tom Ford face mask is actually the most affordable product you can buy from the Tom Ford brand, costing only £75. Whilst it is the most expensive face mask, it is affordable when you review Tom Ford’s prices.
Now, is it worth it? Probably, yes! If you want to use your mask to make a fashion statement, it is the certainly best way to do it!
Keep in mind that Apple has also designed a face mask; however, it is not for sale. Here is the review of the Apple face mask.
A few days ago, Rolls-Royce unveiled their latest product; a garden seat, valued at £6581. Never expect anything cheap from Rolls-Royce. If you think Apple is too expensive, or Christian Louboutin charges too much for a pair of shoes, you will reconsider your thoughts after seeing the Rolls-Royce price list. Whilst the Rolls-Royce brand is well-known for its skyrocketing prices, for this price, you could easily purchase a second-hand BMW!
Despite its shocking price, the Pursuit Seat is a state of the art chair. It is made from leather, carbon fibre and aluminium (it is probably aluminium alloy). Honestly, it has a minimalist design and is both portable and versatile; you can carry it and use it almost anywhere. The engineering and finishing details that have gone into this chair really are insane; it is, arguably, worth the price tag.
Before I finish, when the Apple Pro Display XDR stand came out, costing £949, people complained; they said it was just a stand. However, it is a state of art stand and offers state of the art comfort. After the launch of the Rolls-Royce garden chair, I think the Pro Stand will no longer be perceived as too expensive!