Top 5 tips for Black Friday Shopping

Black Friday began as a flash sale day in the US the day after thanksgiving, but is a tradition that has now made its way over to the UK.


The event has been around in the UK prominently in recent years, with some retailers drastically cutting their prices on certain items, allowing you to get a great bargain before the Christmas shopping season officially begins.


So if you are taking on Black Friday this year, here are 5 top tips to get the most out of your shopping.

Source: Google

  1. Make a list of what you want beforehand

Do this to avoid spending excessively and getting sidetracked with other tempting deals that you may think you want at the time, but will later regret. By doing this you will be focused in what you need and can make the most of the deals on those products.


  1. Shop early on in the day

It may not be the most exciting way to spend the early morning, but arriving early and being as close to the front of the que as possible will guarantee you first pick of the deals available.

Source: Google

  1. Do not forget the small shops

It will not only be the larger retailers that bring out the bargains, smaller retailers will also be doing the same thing, and can sometimes give you a better deal than a big brand.


  1. Plan your budget

Allow for a little extra spending on things that catch your eyes when Black Friday comes around, but make sure you allow for it in advance and limit yourself in how much you are willing to spend.

Source: Google

  1. Prepare the night before

If you are not hitting the shops and instead are doing your Black Friday shopping online, try preparing your basket the night before with products you want that you think might be reduced the next day, to save time and reduce the risk of the product selling out before you can get your hands on them.

Reputation: A Review

Once again: Taylor Swift is back.


The highly anticipated 6th studio album, Reputation, was released on Friday (Nov. 10th) and it is expected to smash records all around. The album has sold over 700,000 copies in the United States alone on it’s first day, making it the biggest selling album of 2017 – with an expectation of 1.5 million copies to be sold worldwide in the first week.


Critics are calling it her best album yet. They say it is cohesive, strong and controlled. And to that, I agree.


The songs found on Reputation are proud and fierce. This album takes on the 21st century music scene as she delves into electronic pop.


The use of vocal effects add to the sultry ‘Delicate’ and the ode to modern fairy tales ‘King of My Heart,’ give the album extra layers and concepts that are usually unheard of from Swift.


But what really makes this album unique to her previous five, is that she truly has found her sound.

Reputation is Swift’s most successful album. Source: Kendal Dick


Lead single, ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ informed us that the “old Taylor is dead.” Though met with a mix of admiration and secondhand embarrassment – it is very true.


This album is introducing a Taylor we have never met. Though she is still singing about love, betrayal and break-ups, she is exposing more than ever before.


Reputation is intimate and passionate, and it is clear she has matured since the release of 1989. ‘Dress’ is her most explicit song yet – full of innuendos and a chorus that reads “I only bought this dress so you could take it off.”


And though I admire that Taylor has grown up and is taking control of her own narrative,  I can’t help but despise just how petty she can be. ‘This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things’ almost sounds like she and her friends are chanting at a boy who was mean to her. She also regularly mentions “shade” and “receipts” at points throughout the album, and honestly, it’s time to get over it.


The album as a whole starts off strong with fast paced lyrics, strong beats and a collaboration with Future and Ed Sheeran thrown in at the start on ‘End Game.’ The second half of the album is calmer as it draws to an end with ‘New Year’s Day’ – the simplest song on the record.


On a first listen, I felt this song did not belong on this particular album. It is stripped back to vocals, piano and strings – there is no sign of computers. It initially sounds like it should belong on her 4th album Red, but the more I listen, the more I understand how it fits on Reputation.


The song is a reflection on a magical NYE party. There is a huge sense of nostalgia as Swift tells us to hold on to the memories. And though the old Taylor may be gone, she is still remembered and she played a very big role in the creation of this electric record.

Brainstorm: EN4’s Favourite Songs Turning 20

It’s hard to believe the songs that we grew up listening to are now considered classics. You may not remember all of 1997, but it was a good year for music, so let us take you down memory lane to rediscover your love for our top five favourite songs turning 20 in 2017.

  1. Spice Girls – “Spice Up Your Life”

Released in October, the single topped the charts for one week which made the Spice Girls the first band to have their first five singles reach number one in the UK.


2. Celine Dion- “My Heart Will Go On”

Released in December, My Heart Will Go On is famous for being the main theme song to blockbuster film ‘Titanic’. The song was composed by James Horner and recorded by Celine Dion. It went to number 1 all over the world and was one of the best-selling singles of all time.


  1. Usher- “You Make Me Wanna…”

Released in August, Usher won a Billboard Music Award, a Soul Train Music Award and a WQHT Hip Hop Award. The single also went Platinum in the United States.


4. Will Smith- “Men In Black”

Released in June, this was Will Smith’s first solo single which featured in the hit movie Men in Black. The song won the multi-talented American entertainer a Grammy Award the following year, for Best Rap Solo Performance.


  1. Aqua- “Barbie Girl”

Released in May, Barbie Girl was the group’s first UK single release where it stayed number 1 for three weeks. It was their only song to reach the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100. It then became a topic of conversation again when the song became the subject of a controversial lawsuit: Mattel v. MCA Records.



Top 7 reads for 2017

In an age of technology, social media and endless time-devouring apps, what better gift to give this festive period than a quality book to unplug from the world with? As this week is Book Week Scotland here is our top 7 best reads published in 2016 that will keep you and your beloved ones enthralled during the winter months through to the New Year.

Small Great Things (Jodi Picoult)

imgres#1 New York Times bestselling author for Leaving Time Jodi Picoult, now presents an empathic novel which tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice and compassion through the story of Ruth Jefferson, an Afro American labour and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital. After being reassigned to a different patient at the request of white supremacist parents, the baby goes into cardiac distress. Ruth hesitates to perform CPR, and as a result is charged with a serious crime.

Before the Fall (Noah Hawley)

imgres-1This book has made it to the Goodreads final round for Best Mystery & Thriller novel. Going from the tragedy of the disappearance of ten people in the ocean after a crash near New York, and their back stories, Before the Fall raises questions of fate, human nature, and the ties that bind people together.

The Summer Before the War (Helen Simonson)

imgres-2Touching, profound and inspiring, The Summer Before the War is set at the end of the last calm summer at East Sussex before the First World War starts. The arrival of a free thinking and attractive Latin teacher at the coastal town of Rye, stirs up the small village. Meanwhile the unimaginable is coming and soon the limits of progress, as well as the old ways, will be tested as the people from Rye go to war.  

A gentleman in Moscow (Amor Towles)

imgres-3Modern Russian history will get you hooked quickly with this historical fiction written by Amor Towles. Count Alexander Rostov is the main protagonist, who is sentenced to home arrest for writing a poem. Rostov is confined to the corridors of Moscow’s Metropol Hotel, just across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov adjusts to the life inside the hotel, while the most tumultuous decades in Russia are happening outside. He explores the hotel, creates bonds with the staff and ends up having a meaningful relationship with the attractive and spirted young girl Nina. Reviewers agree that “this book more than fulfils the promise of Towle’s stylish debut, Rules of Civility (2011)”.

Homegoing (Yaa Gyasi)

imgresThis is the story of two half-sisters with very different fate: one is sold into slavery and the other married to a British slaver. Homegoing is a portrait of the memory of captivity, along three centuries of history and two continents. Gyasi was born in Ghana and immigrated to the United States and now has given voice to those suppressed people in a very captivating novel.

All the Birds in the Sky (Charlie Jane Anders)


All the Birds in the Sky is a fantasy novel about the end of the world, and the beginning of the future. Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead are childhood friends living in the hipster mecca San Francisco, and the planet is falling apart around them. The first is a genius engineer working to avert catastrophic breakdown through technological intervention into the changing of global climate, and the latter has been educated in the hidden academy for the world’s magically gifted. Let your imagination fly with this story of love, life and a dark future.

The Nest (Cynthia d’Aprix Sweeney)

imgres-5Family and money are the mainstays of this warm and funny novel by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney. Four siblings reach a breaking point when an accident endangers the family’s joint trust, “The Nest”. They need the money to pay daily american expenses such as a mortgage, university tuition fees or give back money they had borrowed. This is a story of how money affects relationships, what happens to human ambitions over the time and ties we share with the ones we love.

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