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A Taste of the Most Romantic Cities in the World

*AD- gifted  I’m a big believer of self-love and if I could afford to take myself away to Venice, Rome or Paris for Valentine’s Day, I would. Alas, I am poor and am stuck in rainy Manchester for the foreseeable future. eshores have curated the Ultimate Romantic Holiday, an incredible…

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Cameo Gives You Personalised Shout Outs From Your Idols

Two years ago, Steven Galanis and Martin Blencowe came up with the idea of creating a marketplace for peronalised video shoutouts. Fast forward 24 months and Cameo has been named one of ‘Time’s 50 Most Genius Companies of 2018’. Plus, just last week, Business Insider announced Cameo as one of ‘57 Tech Starts That Will Boom in 2019’.

I had the chance to have a chat with Abbie Sheppard, Head of Cameo UK/Europe, all about the thriving company that connects fans with their idols, be it a NFL player or a reality TV star.

“It all began when Steven Galanis and his co-founder Martin Blencowe who is a former NFL agent asked Cassius Marsh, formally a Seattle Seahawks player, to record a video for their friend to congratulate him on the birth of his son.” explained Abbie.

Their friend was so pleased with the video, he took to social media and shared the personalised clip. This prompted the same question to be asked over and over- “How did you get that?”.

This gave Galanis and Blencowe, along with help from Devon Spinnler (who you may know from Vine) the idea to create their own video marketplace, connecting fans with their idols.

It all started with of course, Cassius Marsh, who was the first person to sign up and get booked on the platform. Cameo began with a line up of exclusively athletes, but have since branched out and there are thousands of actors, reality stars and social media influencers on board. Today, there are over seven thousand talent on the site.

To book a Cameo, you click on the talent you want, fill in a few details, have 250-characters for a request (is it for a Birthday? A name that’s hard to pronounce?), pay by card and talent have up to seven days to complete. Prices range from $10 up to $1000- Caitlyn Jenner is the highest charging talent- and payment isn’t taken until the Cameo is completed.

Fans can also send in their own reaction videos from their Cameos which are really heartwarming to see.

Abbie explained that the talent set their own prices, which can be changed at any time, and that it is a 75/25% split between talent and Cameo. Talent have the choice whether to accept or decline a request and over 90% get accepted, with only 4% being declined.

“There’s never anything too inappropriate. We do get requests for talent to roast people’s friends, but it’s all in good fun. Trolls are definitely deterred because you have to pay, which is a good thing.”

Cameo’s HQ is in Chicago, has just over 30 employees and is office goals. The LA office has 15 employees and a London office opened in August 2018.

Abbie explained that she moved back to London from Chicago to become the Head of UK/Europe. Working at Cameo, it isn’t your typical 9-5 office job. It’s a social job and you have to be excited about working long days and keeping in touch with the US team.

“The Talent Management team are the point of contact for the talent on the site. If they need assistance with requests, ideas or any worries, Talent Management are there to help.”

New talent is recruited frequently and is usually done through DM’s or through talent referral.

I asked Abbie who she would like to see enrol as talent.

“David Walliams would be a really good one, he’d be funny and do some really cool videos. I’d love to see Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield on there too!”

As for my own experience with Cameo, I received a video from Taylor Louderman as a surprise from my friend. If you’re a regular reader of Earth To Emma, or have even just taken a look at my social media, you’ll know how much I enjoyed seeing Mean Girls on Broadway. So receiving a personalised ‘get well soon’ video from Regina George herself perked me right up!

Although it’s not just birthday wishes and get well soon messages. Talent often give out life lessons; little bits of advice that will spur you on, keep you going. The average length of Cameo video is 30 seconds, but some are more in depth, minutes of motivation and love sent through the screen of your phone or laptop.

Those thirty seconds or two and a half minutes will be the best gift to many fans. Cameo is changing the way we give. It may not a physical present that you can rip open on your birthday or Christmas, but the feeling you get when your number-one-idol is speaking directly to you is a feeling fans will want to feel everyday…and with the downloadable video, they can.

Cameo is extremely well deserving of its sought-after place on the genius lists and the company is only going to continue to grow and inspire many individuals through its talent.





Exploring Brooklyn and Heading Home

It has been a little while since my New York diaries! The last couple of weeks have been hectic and then I had surgery which left me with no choice but to sleep and binge watch Ugly Betty.

However, I’m back today with the fourth part of my NYC posts. On our last day, 23 December 2018, our flight home wasn’t until late at night so we had pretty much the full day to explore.

It made sense that as we were staying in Downtown Manhattan to head across to Brooklyn for a good few hours, rather than heading back Uptown where we had spent all week.

After checking out of our room and leaving our luggage in the complimentary storage at the hotel, we headed to the subway station where we got the train to the High Street station in Brooklyn.

We had already decided the night before that we wanted iHOP pancakes for breakfast, so we made the short walk to the Livingston Street branch for exactly that. 

Now, let me tell you, I’ve eaten my fair share of pancakes in my lifetime, but I don’t think anything will ever beat the ones I ate that morning. 

Megan went for the Birthday Cake Stack while I obviously had to try out the New York Cheesecake Stack and oh. my. God. 

The pancakes were the best pancakes I’ve ever had and definitely live up to the hype! 

After filling up on brunch, we went to Nordstrom Rack to see if there were any Good American  bargains and TJ Maxx for a quick browse. I also needed to go to Macy’s for some brow gel and miraculously managed to resist buying any more makeup. 

Shopping sesh completed we popped in Starbucks for a pit stop. I FINALLY got to witness the iconic pink drink (and try a sip, thank you Megan!!) which was really exciting…it’s the little things. 

By this point it was just after lunchtime and decided it was a good time to make our way to Brooklyn Bridge for the 1.1 mile walk back across to Manhattan. We unfortunately didn’t have time to explore as much of Brooklyn as I’d have like to, but DUMBO and the other cute, picturesque neighbourhoods are firmly on my list of priorities. 

Once you’re walking across Brooklyn Bridge, it’s easy to forget just how far of a walk it actually is. At a leisurely pace, you should factor in at least 60 minutes. It was a crisp but clear day, meaning the bridge was rammed, but it made stopping for photo opps and to admire the incredible art was even more appealing. 

I wasn’t brave enough for the typical insta shot of sitting on the bridge and risking your life, because let’s face it, I’m that clumsy I’d fall backwards into traffic, but next time. 

Back in Manhattan, we walked back to the hotel, collected our bags and made the journey to JFK. When we had arrived, we had been advised to catch the subway back to the airport no later than 4pm, giving us a good five hours to check in and get through security. Admittedly, this was a long time and we probably could’ve left it a little later, but it’s much better to be there sooner rather than later. 

The process of getting through to duty free and the gates was much quicker than expected which gave us plenty of time to have a look around and have a cheeky free vodka shot (and also buy a MEGA CHEAP bottle of Grey Goose each)!! There was even a DJ banging out the tunes! 

I still can’t get over how amazing our trip was. I have been dreaming of New York at Christmas for many, many years and will always be so grateful that I had the chance to visit. 

My trip to NYC was the most incredible time of my life and has left me feeling so inspired and determined, which is the best possible outcome from a trip.

I cannot wait to head back and make more memories, seeing more of the beautiful City and exploring the lesser known areas, seeking out hidden gems and feeling as good as I felt. 

I will be going into more of the finer details of my trip in more posts coming soon, so do keep an eye out for those! 




How To Choose The Right Broadband For You

There’s nothing worse than being three hours deep into a social media scroll to realise you’ve been using your 4G most the time because your Wi-Fi has given up. Or how about when you’re halfway through a good cry at a rom-com or a binge watching sesh  of the newest thriller series when your streaming service starts to buffer every 0.2 seconds. 

As someone who works from home most of the time and also happens to enjoy a night in front of the telly, the best broadband is really important.

With so many different types of packages and broadband deals available, it can be hard to figure out the best one for you. There are SOOOOO many choices which can be overwhelming, even more so if you don’t exactly know what you’re searching for.

Today I’m sharing a few handy hints I’ve learnt along the way to help you find the right packages if you’re thinking of changing, or just want to learn a little more!

Check Comparison Sites 

 By using comparison sites you can save time, effort and potentially a load of money. You can search by your area and compare price, speed, download space and much more. 

Be wary of the freebies 

Some companies try and draw in new customers with the offer of freebies such as high street vouchers or smart speakers. As incredibly tempting as it sounds, do be wary as there may be cheaper options out there that don’t have the freebies, but will save you money in the long run.

Set-Up Costs 

Remember to factor in set-up costs. These can cost around £10, but some packages  offer free set up. set-up.

the speed depends on the amount of users 

If there are more people using the broadband, or if you’re a solo user needing frequent access, you’re going to want a faster speed. 

Superfast fibre optic for the Netflix lovers 

If you’re a regular watcher of streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, a package with superfast fibre optic is going to be the best. It’s the most reliable and will stop any buffering while you’re watching the best tv and movies in HD quality.

Do you use a home phone?

Not many people do these days! Most broadband packages include call plans into their bundles. If you don’t use a landline, the best option would be a pay as you go package, meaning if you don’t use it, you won’t get charged. If you use your landline before and after work, a weekend and evening package would be best. For those at home most of the time and use the phone a lot, an unlimited package will be ideal. 

Read the small print 

Finally, as with anything, ALWAYS read the T&Cs to be absolutely sure about what you’re signing up for. 


2084: Inspired By Orwell’s Dystopia

Living in a world of Alexas and Siris, we have just sort of accepted the fact that near enough every move we make is tracked and recorded. We are influenced by social media, by the creatives, with those 180 little characters and viral videos having a big impact; you wouldn’t be reading this blog right now if you didn’t care what I had to say.

Inspired by Orwell’s dystopian novel comes an immersive performance from Pure Expression, where audiences are taken inside a totalitarian state where every act, move and thought is monitored.

Starring Aamira Challenger (Romeo & Juliet, Ostalgie), Robin Hellier (The Lehman Trilogy) and Simon Gleave (Bleak House, Metamorphosis), 2084 is set in a future where the state claims to be the only guarantor of order, which comes at a price of absolute obedience.

Telling the tale of two people who defy the regime, they soon find that actions have consequences and their deepest secrets are turned against them.

Taking place at Manchester Central Library from 5-14 February, 2084 explores the freedoms we take for granted and places audiences right in the heart of the action.