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Thursday, 31 October 2013

Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty and Lifestye Blog ; Happy Halloween; The Amityville Horror; Madness in the fast lane; Ghosts of the Underground;

Halloween is a lot more than just dressing up, partying and watching scary movies. The internet is a very vast place which means you're always bound to find something deeply disturbing or intriguing if you look hard enough. I know I'm victim to spending many an hour reading feature after feature about ghosts stories, gnarly murders and everything and anything to do with the supernatural. I'm fascinated, but I also find a lot of people love to read about things that can't quite be explained or happenings that freak you out just a little!

So I thought I'd make a little post about some of the weirdest stuff I've stumbled across on the internet over the past year. Make yourself a cup of tea, get warm and spend a few hours browsing this stuff. Trust me, you'll be left feeling very intrigued and even a little disturbed...

Madness in the fast lane is a documentary that was broadcast on BBC One in 2010, telling the unexplained story of two events involving Swedish twin sisters, Sabina and Ursula. Without wanting to give too much away, the two sisters were found wandering the M6 motorway and, when approached by police, repeatedly ran into oncoming traffic despite being injured. At one point, Sabina screamed to her sister 'They're going to steal your organs' (in regards to the police). She later went on to commit a completely random act of manslaughter, though did not explain any of her actions. This bizarre documentary features footage of the two sisters found walking along the M6, and it's without a doubt worth watching as it also includes lots of other unexplained and really weird behaviour. Generally, it is thought that the sisters were mentally unstable, but I can't help but think of aliens because of what Sabina screamed about her organs being stolen! You can watch this on YouTube here.

Last year I found an article about all the creepy and funny stuff children come out with. For the most part, some if it is unintentionally hilarious, but a lot of it is very creepy and disturbing. You know how there's a theory that, just like pets/animals, children are a lot more sensitive to the supernatural? Well some of these quotes from kids only add to that theory. Some of the children talk seeing invisible 'people' in their rooms, and others talk about talking to relatives that died long before they were born, being able to describe these people exactly despite never having seen a photo of them. Some of the creepiest and most disturbing quotes come from the kids that can somehow recall how they died in a past life, or even how they picked who they wanted their parents to be before they were born! One quote that particularly chilled me to the bone was one child talking about how he remembered being in his mothers tummy twice. He said that the first time he was sick and 'they' took him away but promised he could return later, and the second time he stayed to later be born. It was then that the person posting this quote revealed that their mother had actually had a miscarriage, almost a year to the day before this boy was born. Freaky. Or. What. The article took quotes from this thread on Reddit.

Image found via Google
Everyone knows the story of The Amityville Horror, whether it's the horrific murders that took place in the house or the countless tales of the house being haunted. But what many people don't know is that the famous paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (yep, they're real people!) actually visited the house to take part in a documentary investigating the horrors that took place there. The documentary is floating about somewhere on the internet, but the freakiest part was the so called ghost they caught on camera. Thought to be one of the most famous ghost photos of all time, to this day this photo remains a mystery. Ghost or not, you can't help but feel chills run up and down your spine when you view it.

Hands down one of my favourite documentaries of all time, Ghosts Of The Underground, is a real eye opener to what goes on beneath your feet in London. Considering how big the underground is, a lot of which is deserted, it's not surprising that some unpleasant stories have taken place in the dark, deserted tunnels. It's very interesting and you can watch it here, but don't watch if you found Creep scary!

And just in case you're a little too scared to sleep, check out this photo still from Three Men and a Baby - an actual ghost caught on film!...just kidding. This was actually debunked to be a cardboard cut out, but it's still fascinating to see how to this day it's still wildly believed to be a ghost. (Although, there are plenty of fascinating videos around the internet that have captured ghosts on film, so it's worth a look!). Just remember, not ALL ghost stories are true.  Most are, but some are just hoaxes that have gone a little too far...

...hopefully remembering this should ease your mind a little and help you sleep tonight ;)

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P.S Check out the Halloween tag for more Halloween related posts!

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Tuesday, 29 October 2013

For mothers day this year, me and my sister banded together and agreed to take our mum away for a little spa day for mothers day, but of course we didn't actually get around to finally going on our spa day until Monday. Because we all work and there was only three of us, it was incredibly tough finding deals for just three people that were affordable and on days we could all go. Finally we got around to booking up a day at Y Spa at Wyboston Lakes. The only deal we could find was for four people though so my aunt ended up coming along too.

I was mega exited because bar my one treatment at Ajala Spa earlier this year, I've never actually gone on a proper spa day. The Y Spa boasted two saunas, two steam rooms, mist and experience showers, a hydrotherapy pool, a frost/ice wall and even relaxation areas including two rooms designed specifically for naps which even had water beds! 

When we arrived, admittedly the buildings weren't that much to look at from the outside, but once we stepped inside we learned not to judge a book by it's cover. The whole atmosphere was tranquil and relaxed and we found everything easy and ready for us upon arrival. We were given wristbands which were linked to our cards, so that any extra drinks or snacks we wanted throughout the day were charged to our cards without us having to carry any money around, and these wristbands also doubled up as locks to our lockers. We simply just swiped them at a sensor. A robe and slippers were already waiting in our lockers and the changing rooms were really beautiful. There were little stations with huge mirrors, hair dryers, tissue and magnifying mirrors which were perfect for drying your hair and reapplying make up at the end of the day, and there were heaps of fluffy towels on every surface.

Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle Blog:  My review of Y Spa, Wyboston Lakes; yspa; wyboston lakes; spa;
The reception area
The spa had a lot to offer which meant we were able to flutter from room to room without getting bored. A lot of the rooms led onto each other quite naturally; for example there was a sauna right across from a hot shower, mildly warm mist shower and, behind that, an ice room with an ice wall inside. The outdoor pool was easily accessible without actually having to go outside; you simply opened the door and stepped down, submerging into the water with each step. The pool was lovely; it had a bubble bed and these strong jets that when you stood beneath them, felt like you were having a massage! It was a lovely little area too with a large seating area situated around the fireplace and, at the opposite end, the hottest sauna inside a log cabin. It would have been lovely all lit up once it was dark outside. Despite the cold weather, the pool was warm enough to chill out in as it was just at the right temperature.

Image taken from
Our favourite rooms were definitely the steam rooms. The 'steamy' steam room was lovely and relaxing; it was steamy and warm but not too warm and it also had colour change lighting. The salt steam room was without a doubt the best; you pressed a little button for the soft salt steam jets from the ceiling to come on and then afterwards, the hot steam came out and helped settle the salt water into your skin. It left our skin feeling super soft and the room itself smelt amazing.

I also loved the relaxation rooms. We didn't have the chance to try out the water beds or nap room as they were full up, but we did kill an hour or so in the time out area. There was a warm fire in here and lots of pod seats which look really uncomfortable but were actually really snuggly! 

I really loved the variety and swapping from the hot steam rooms to the cold showers then back into the warm pool and vice versa. One lady in the sauna was talking about how her friend came and it snowed which made it really relaxing when they were in the pool and I think this is the type of spa that would really thrive in winter months too. The outdoor area is very much themed around a relaxed and cosy evening I think, with a seating area around a huge log fire and the sauna cabin which had a big glass window overlooking the pool and garden area. The photos on the website of the pool being used at night look amazing with it all lit up.

I was in two minds about the food. We had a two course buffet and although there wasn't much to choose from, the choice that we did have was admittedly DELICIOUS. We stuffed our faces in a large room with a beautiful view overlooking the lake, although I'd say the staff in here were not that great. When we were sat down we weren't aware that it was a buffet and that we'd have to get up and collect our own food and no one took the time to explain this to us. Our dirty plates piled up and were not cleared away either, which meant between the four of us going up and getting a new plate each time, there was little room left on the table. The food was delicious though, especially the salad.

Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle Blog:  My review of Y Spa, Wyboston Lakes; yspa; wyboston lakes; spa;
A healthy lunch which was yummy too!
Overall, I really enjoyed myself and ended up feeling so relaxed that I fell asleep on the way home! The spa was just the right size and I loved how easy it was to create your own little pattern of moving from room to room - there was such a variety! I also loved how there were rooms specifically for naps which were without a doubt needed. I would definitely go back but I'd love to return in December as I'm very intrigued to see what it's like at Christmas. I'd especially love to experience the steamy hydrotherapy pool at Christmas with the hot sauna and crackling fire!

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Sunday, 27 October 2013

As much as we wish it were, unfortunately at our age Halloween isn't like it used to be. We're far too old to go trick or treating and thanks to things like work and uni/college etc, we can't really dress up for Halloween unless work/uni/college allows it, or unless we're going to a party or something.

It really sucks, but that doesn't mean you have to forgo getting into the Halloween spirit completely. There are tons of subtle ways you can channel your inner Halloween freak in a professional environment without going too over the top.

Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle Blog: Subtle ways to channel your inner Halloween freak, accessorize, asos, new look, claires accessories, halloween, inspire magazine online

A simple scarf is the perfect way to get into the Halloween spirit without going over the top. You can find scarves with a skull print anywhere as they're very popular this year, or even a black studded scarf, like the one above from Claire's Accessorize, is the perfect nod to an edgy, gothic twist. Better yet, it's winter, so you need a scarf anyway!

Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle Blog: Subtle ways to channel your inner Halloween freak, accessorize, asos, new look, claires accessories, halloween, inspire magazine online

I don't care what anyone says - you're never too old to shop in Claires Accessories, which is great because as usual they have a fab range of affordable Halloween related jewellery. Whilst there's some things which are great for costumes, they also have lots of more subtle and really cute jewellery that can be worn all year round. As well as the necklace above, I adore their selection of gorgeous skull earrings! The same goes for the ring set from Accessorize too, if you're anything like me then you'll be wearing these gorgeous rings all year round and not just for Halloween.

Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle Blog: Subtle ways to channel your inner Halloween freak, accessorize, asos, new look, claires accessories, halloween, inspire magazine online

Finally, perhaps one of the most fun ways to show off your spooky side is to paint your nails! You can really experiment with different ideas and the examples above are just some cute ones I found via Google - there really are hundreds of possibilities. I particularly love the Jack Skellington design. You don't even have to do any nail art, you could just paint your nails black and be ready to go!

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P.S Check out the Halloween tag for more Halloween related posts!

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Thursday, 24 October 2013

Last night was a very bittersweet but amazing night for me and my sister as we headed down to London to see Bowling For Soup on their Bid Farewell tour! This is pretty much an end of an era for us so be warned, this post is a long one...

First of all, if you don't know who Bowling For Soup is, then you're probably lying. Most people have heard of at least one of their biggest hits, which include The Bitch Song, Girl All The Bad Guys Want, High School Never Ends and 1985. I guess it really depends how old you are, because Bowling For Soup have been around for THAT long. Last night they announced that they'd been a band for 19 and a half years, and have been touring the UK for ten of them. This four piece band that hail from Texas are one of the best rock bands of our generation and the fact that they've been around for so long proves that. They're such a genuine happy funny band; most of their songs are lighthearted and humorous which is great for when the deeper stuff is just too much. But they do also have a few really good 'balleds' so to speak which are so unexpected that you find yourself genuinely amazed at how moving they are and how great the lead singers voice is.

So last night was their London date of their Bid Farewell tour, which means unfortunately they won't be touring in the UK anymore. They're not splitting up thank god, but bar a few festivals, they won't be doing full on UK tours (I mean I'm pretty sure they're all over 40 now and married with kids) which is sad, because this is pretty much an end of an era for me and my sister.

Photo found via Facebook and copyright to Kate James

I have a lot to thank Bowling For Soup for, and I think they were pretty much the band that got me into alternative music among a few others - I think it was Bowling for Soup and Good Charlotte. I still remember seeing the music video for Punk Rock 101 on TV and just being like 'whoa' and going to listen to all their other singles. They were my first ever rock gig and therefore the introduction into my love of going to gigs and seeing rock bands live. The first time I saw them live was pretty much life changing! It was back in 2005 so I was 15 and that was a very long time ago! The atmosphere that evening just hit me in my core, it was what made me fall in love with live music and I've not looked back since. It was like a whole new world for me, walking into that crowded gig venue, feeling that excitement in the air, listening and seeing them perform so loud, moshing and even getting to meet them afterwards. I'll forever remember that night and it really did change my life. I still have my signed tie!

Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle Blog: gig review, bowling for soup
Top - Chris and Jaret, Warwick University, 18th October 2005
Bottom - The most embarrassing outfits ever from that night, I even added a pink tie to this ensemble (but it now hangs proudly in my room as I met them afterwards and they signed it for me!)

Since then, my sister have seen them 5 or 6 times altogether! It kind of became our tradition to see them live every time they came to the UK. Unfortunately we didn't get to see them on their last couple of tours, just because I was away at uni and life got in the way a little, but there was no way we were going to miss their last tour ever. Last night really was the end of an era for me. I know I go on about The Maine being my favourite band, and they are, but Bowling For Soup will always be one of my favourite bands of all time full stop and no band could ever replace that.

Last night was truly, truly amazing. Despite the lead singer suffering from the flu, they performed for TWO hours straight which is probably one of the longest sets I've seen! They played a real mixture, from old songs and new songs. This was actually fun to experience because me and my sister haven't caught up with their newest stuff but we've definitely been long term fans. Looking around, some fans only knew the newest stuff and were stumped with the older stuff, and some knew all of it! The venue was packed to the brim, there were young people, old people - it was really great just to see how many people had come wish the band well on their send off. It's easy to forget just how many fans they've got after they've been around for so long.

But onto the gig - they played so many hits and a great mix of upbeat songs, a couple of slower ones and even a cover of Fountains of Wayne's Stacey's Mom (because apparently they get credited for that a lot!). In tradition, they held a photo opportunity and took time out to talk to and joke around with the crowd. They played every single one of my favourite songs and even The Last Rock Show which I was pleased about, if you ever listen to it then you'll know just how fitting it was. It was so nice to just mosh out to them one last time.

One of the guys touring with them even proposed to his girlfriend on stage which was one of the sweetest things ever, it was so romantic to see the whole venue just cheer and clap for them. So jealous.

I'm ever so grateful to have been able to experience a gig with Bowling For Soup one last time and I suppose knowing it was the last time, it made it just that more special. Bowling For Soup may not have saved my life and they aren't one of the most serious bands about, but they never manage to put a smile on my face and they've definitely changed my life. If it wasn't for them, I'd be lost when it came to my music.

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P.S Check out the Music tag for more gig reviews and music related posts!

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Monday, 21 October 2013

I'm a huge horror movie fan - in fact, I'm a big film buff in general - so time after time again I find myself getting involved in the age old debate of whether original or remakes are better when it comes to movies. Many people will swear down that films shouldn't be touched at all and should be left alone - and I think this is true to a certain extent, some movies are just classics and should not ever be remade - whilst others prefer to see classic films modernized. 

Personally, I find it fascinating when old horror movies get rebooted - even if the remakes aren't very good, it's always really interesting to see the differences. A lot of old horror movies are outdated these days and even though those films were petrifying when they were first released, I think 'old' horror movies without a doubt offer their own kind of horror.

Movies such as Nightmare on Elm Street and Evil Dead are/were definitely scary, but I think they also held a certain humour to them as well, intentional or not. The gore never looked entirely real, at least not by today's standards, but if you were to look back and re-watch one of these films now, the amount of blood would still be probably shocking. It seems horror movies, no matter how old or new, will always continue to outdo each other with the gore. The only difference between more modern movies is that the blood is a bit darker and looks more realistic!

Whereas on the other hand, modern horror movies aim to be as dark and as scary as possible - all the humour is gone (unless the film is specifically in the horror/comedy genre) and it's a constant competition to be the most disturbing horror film, scarier then the last. The filming techniques are a lot different now too. There's much more CGI, and far much more blood. Slasher films are ever so popular and have even established themselves as their own genre of horror - these type of horror films are more gory and squeamish, as opposed to jumpy or scary.

On the right, Chloƫ Moretz as Carrie in the upcoming remake and on the left Sissy Spacek as Carrie in the 1976 original (those eyes!). One remake I am looking forward to seeing, and another rare old horror movie that focuses solely on disturbing the audience with little to no humour.
Image found via Google.
However, I think one film that probably incorporates both the scares of modern films and humour of it's original would have to be Fright Night. This is one of the few horror films that kept the slapstick humour of its original and still managed to be scary and funny without being forced. Alternatively, The Thing is definitely a film that forgot the humour and went straight in for the scares, both in the original and the remake, which definitely has some awesome special effects.

And then we also have our fair share of remakes that shouldn't have been made. My Bloody Valentine for example, although I enjoyed it and loved perving on Jensen Ackles, I just felt it wasn't necessarily very scary and instead was just made to create as much gore as possible as it was in 3D. I haven't seen the original, but apparently the remake does not do it justice. Likewise, having seen the remake and not the original, I've heard The Fog offers little scares and no originality. Even the casting of hottie Tom Welling couldn't keep me amused long enough to get past 15 minutes of this film before switching it off. 

I wonder if adding cute guys to remakes is what ruins them...wait, I take that back, since the Evil Dead remake had the gorgeous Shiloh Fernandez as a lead and he's a model, and Evil Dead was one of the best horror movies of this year in my opinion!

So, for the most part, remakes aren't always that bad. Yes, we do kind of get a little offended and angry to hear some of our favourite classics are being remade, but often when we go into the cinema without trying to hate the film already, we find ourselves pleasantly surprised. Modern films may not offer as much humour and may instead have their own take on 'horror', but it's not all bad. Sometimes, it's just interesting to watch and compare the original and remake and enjoy them separately, rather then choosing between the two.

Still, as much as I love a horror remake as much as the next person, I'm still waiting for some brand new scares. Hollywood, you need to start bringing out some more original ideas soon please!

What do you think? What are your favourite - and worst - horror movie remakes? What films would you love to see remade? As much as I love the original, The Exorcist is very outdated now and I'd love to see just how scary and disturbing a remake of this classic could be! Let me know your thoughts with a comment below!

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P.S Check out the Halloween tag for more Halloween related posts!

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Saturday, 19 October 2013

On Friday I was lucky enough to attend an exclusive VIP preview evening for Salon Du Chocolat at the National Hall, Olympia. 

Image taken from Google
If you've never heard of Salon du Chocolat (loosely translated as Salon of Chocolate or Paris Chocolate Show), it's a yearly trade fair for the international chocolate industry that, since originating in Paris, has since taken place in cities such as Paris, Brussels, Japan, New York and even Cairo. This year was it's first ever visit to London and to kick things off with a bang, the exclusive VIP preview evening not only opened it's doors early for press, but also hosted a one of a kind chocolate fashion show!

The fashion show featured pieces inspired by chocolate and some were even made from chocolate! The stunning outfits were collaborations between the countries top chocolatiers and some of the UK's biggest fashion designers too. The designs were truly impressive - there was even a dress filled with cupcakes. The hair and make up was beautiful too and I think the fashion show was my favourite part of the whole event - I mean who else can say they've attended a chocolate fashion show before?!

I did take some photos but as usual, my phone produced really bad quality pictures which did not do the outfits justice so I'd suggest going down to the event yourself as the outfits will be on display throughout the week.

The trade fair also featured some of the top chocolate companies from around the world such as Hotel Chocolat (who I discovered are opening their own restaurant!), Artisan du Chocolat, Paul Wayne Gregory, Prestat and more. Each had their own stand and were handing out delicious testers (I'm so glad I never ate before I went!), as well as explaining more about their company and products and having some great special feature products on sale too.

Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle Blog: My review of Salon Du Chocolat in London, Salon Du Chocolate, LondonInspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle Blog: My review of Salon Du Chocolat in London, Salon Du Chocolate, LondonInspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle Blog: My review of Salon Du Chocolat in London, Salon Du Chocolate, London

I'd love to show you what I purchased but unfortunately some things are being kept back for Christmas gifts so I can't! I did buy some delicious hot chocolate from Jaz&Juls, who were not only very friendly (and one of them had awesome pink hair), but were also selling genuinely really yummy hot chocolate. Their funky packaging design caught my eye and they were handing out free chocolate shots. I think they were one of my favourite stands there!

So much of the chocolate just looked way too delicious to eat and some of the designs were really impressive. I can't imagine how anyone would have that much time to design things so intricately! I also loved a lot of the designs that had been made for Halloween, I even spotted a little Jack Skeleton skull ;) I was also very, very tempted to purchase a giant chocolate skull.

There was also a lady there taking a bath full of chocolate which was a bit random but admittedly I was a bit envious of here - who wouldn't want to take a bath full of chocolate?!

Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle Blog: My review of Salon Du Chocolat in London, Salon Du Chocolate, London

It was such a great and interesting event - whether you're a fan of chocolate or not I'd say it's well worth a visit. The outfit designs and a lot of the chocolate designs were absolutely fascinating, and it was also really interesting to see how much work goes into making chocolate. There's so many different companies and brands all offering innovative products that it must be hard to compete and constantly try and come up with something new. I even saw one brand using edible chocolate spray paint!  You'd be happy to know that I asked them some extremely complex and intriguing journalist questions such as 'So are you going to just walk up and lick that wall that you've spray painted then' and 'After this are you just going to break it and eat it all to yourself?'. Yep. Ever the professional as always.

I'm very grateful to have been given the opportunity to attend and would definitely recommend a visit if you're in London at all this weekend. Even if you're not a chocolate lover, it's well worth popping along just to see the outfits from the fashion show or some of the stunning and intricate chocolate sculptures.

Salon Du Chocolat is running until Sunday 20th of October and takes place at the National Hall, Olympia, London. Tickets cost £15.

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Friday, 18 October 2013

Anyone who knows me won't be surprised to read that my dream holiday destination is America. I blog about it, I read books based around road trips, I lust after American rock stars, I dream about the place..hell, if I wasn't so obsessed with tea, I'd be 99.9% sure that I was actually American and not English!

I love everything about America. I love how on one side of the USA you could spend your days chilling in California, soaking up the sunshine, or on the other side you could spend your nights partying in NYC, indulging in the culture. America has so much variety to offer, from things to do to great music, awesome sights and some scrumptious food. I love that, as a whole, America is filled up with all these different states that offer their own little things to the USA; whether that be the culture or food they're known for, or even just their traditions.

My ultimate dream holiday destination would be to visit America and go on a road trip across all the different states - cross country. Just me, four wheels and some close friends so that we can create amazing memories together and just get stuck in.

It has been my dream for many years now, and I'm not even entirely sure why. I'm just obsessed with the place. When I close my eyes and imagine my all American road trip, I think about driving through a desert, windows down, music loud and laughing my head off with my best friends. I imagine crowding into a run down dive bar with nothing but good company, classic drinks and an old jukebox. I think about taking loads of pictures and movies of me and my friends just messing around. I imagine stopping at all the really quirky and weird road stops that places are known for. I want to talk to the locals, hearing stories about their home and where they think we should go that would accurately represent where they live. 

Finally, where would I actually go? Well that's a tough one, because I want to visit so many different places, but I'm also open to suggestions. Generally I want to do a coast to coast trip, so the places that I'd definitely visit include..

Arizona, San Francisco, Vegas, New Orleans & New York - images taken from Google!

So what's stopping me? I'd hoped to already be on this trip by now, really putting a lot of thought into it last year and making plans. But lack of money (and a full time job!) has unfortunately put this idea on the back burner for now. Still, I suppose there's still hope for 2014...and it would mean a lot for me to go on this trip because I feel like my life isn't really going anywhere right now, probably because I'm not very fussed about doing much with my life. I don't have the drive to find a proper job or move out or anything like that and I think that's because I've never really had a break! Lots of people travelled before they went to university and I didn't. I'm not sure what I want to do with my life right now but as cliche as it sounds, I think the opportunity to take a good few months off from 'my life' to just travel, make new memories, 'find myself' (corny I know!) and just not worry about my future would actually make a lot of difference. I think I'd come home determined to finally get on with things.

Off course, I DO know that I want to go into journalism, so although I feel travelling and taking some time out would give me the drive to put myself out there more on my return, it would be beneficial to win this competition and have the opportunity to do some travel journalism. What's even better, I love to take on my own experiences when it comes to writing, whether that's typing up a blog post about a dress that reminds me of an awesome night out with my friends, or even just suggesting a favourite restaurant and remembering the night I discovered it.  My favourite thing in the world is talking about my own experiences when it comes to writing, or at least drawing on my own experiences, and we all know that there's only so much you can recommend about a place without being there yourself. There's just something more personal about writing about somewhere when you've been there and discovered and explored the place. Even if you don't end up writing about your own experiences, your passion and love for the place and the memories you created will still shine through. I'd love to have the opportunity to not only travel and write about my travels, but to also create all the great memories that come along with it too.

Also, here's the thing, if I don't win a competiton to travel and blog about my experiences soon or I don't end up saving the money, I'm totally just gonna elope and become some rock bands merch girl instead...

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P.S Feel free to check out the travel tag for some more travel related posts!

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Wednesday, 16 October 2013

It's just over two weeks until Halloween now and I bet if you're big on Halloween like me but you don't have plans yet - you're probably panicking. The thing is, with Halloween, we've all fallen victim to getting well into the spirit then not actually doing anything about it. As soon as the 1st of October rolls around, we start making spooky plans, inviting friends along to various Facebook events and brainstorming awesome costume ideas. But come the week of the 28th we've got no outfit sorted and no plans whatsoever. More often then not, we end up going out at the last minute on the 31st with some feeble put together outfit (normally involving grabbing your old school uniform, adding some fake blood or possibly a different coloured wig) then spending more money then necessary to get into a club that's charging more than it normally does.

But, no more. America may do Halloween better then we ever do, but that's still no reason not to give up just because we're not young anymore. So we can't go trick or treating, but there's so many other things we can do that doesn't involve partying in overpriced clubs with just looking a little spookier or sluttier than we normally do on a night out.

And with two weeks to go, you've still got time to finalize plans and get them all booked up. Here are some ideas of what you can do to secure a somewhat decent Halloween for once, and none of these don't even involve dressing up (unless you want to of course).

Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle Blog: Halloween - What are your plans?! Fright nights, Thorpe Park, Chessington, Alton Towers, The Ghost Bus Tour, The London Dungeons, The London Bridge Experience,
Or alternatively, you could, you know, epically fail like we did last year in our attempt to bake 'spider' cupcakes for Halloween...
 Fright Nights 
Thorpe Park, Alton Towers and even Chessington offer a great variation of Fright Nights this Halloween. Chessington is more family friendly and is holding these seasonal events during normal opening hours, so if you're looking to do something as a family then this is ideal. But if you're a bit of a thrill seeker and want to go on some scary rides in the dark AND visit different scary attractions, then Thorpe Park or Alton Towers is what you want. Thorpe Park is offering attractions based around some of the scariest movies of our time such as The Cabin in the Woods and The Blair Witch Project, whereas Alton Towers are holding scare mazes. Both theme parks are also offering after dark entries into the park, and if you're choosing to visit any of these Fright Nights then the key is to go in a big group and make a day of it.

 Fight Zombies 
I know zombies aren't just for Halloween, but the idea of fighting off the undead seems just that bit scarier when it's taking place on All Hallows' Eve. Luckily, zombies seem to be appearing in hordes all over the country, so no matter where you are you can find someway to take part. Have a look on Google for any events near you, but some of my favourite I've already mentioned here. The events look extremely realistic so what's better then getting into the Halloween spirit by literally fighting off zombies?!

 The London Dungeons/London Bridge Experience 
Both the London Dungeons AND the London Bridge Experience are having Halloween themed tours this year. Luckily, the London Dungeons have moved location and are no longer situated directly across the road from the London Bridge Experience, so I don't feel so awkward praising them both on my blog. I swear they're tour enemies. The London Dungeons have decked themselves out with some awesome Halloween decorations for October and have even introduced some new thrills, characters and twists to their usual tours just for Halloween. Whereas the London Dungeons is probably more family orientated, it seems the London Bridge Experience is determined to be so scary that they'll make you pee your pants. They've got two special Halloween events on this year, PHOBOPHOBIA which has already won the UK's scariest year round attraction, and the Halloween show, which is again more family friendly but still a little more spookier than their usual tour. If you're planning to attend PHOBOPHOBIA, I'd suggest going as a big group and having a couple of drinks first to calm your nerves.

 The Ghost Bus Tour 
Another London favourite, The Ghost Bus Tours, which is extremely freaky but hilarious in it's own right. They're not doing anything special for Halloween because it's scary enough as it is, and it's a great way to learn about London's spooky history and get a few scares in all whilst staying warm out of the rain. I'd recommend this event anyway, but I have a feeling it'll be especially fun on Halloween. Check out my review of my own experience on the bus last year by clicking here.

Finally, all of my suggestions above cost no more than £40 (although in terms of the themeparks that depends on what you want to do and what extra you're willing to pay for the attractions), but you don't have to spend tons of money to get into the Halloween spirit. If you do want to go out and do something, try ringing the attraction in advance and seeing if they offer discount if you turn up as a group (they usually do!)

Alternatively, you could just invite a bunch of friends over for a scary movie night and pig out with a huge pizza in front of the TV and a few drinks, or even go on a ghost hunt of your own by visiting some supposedly haunted places in your town (and every town has them, trust me, just google it). Just don't, whatever you do, leave it to the last minute!

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P.S Check out the Halloween tag for more Halloween related posts!

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Sunday, 13 October 2013

I know, I know.

It's far too early to start talking about this, but if the shops can start getting ready for Christmas, then why can't I?!

I'm most definitely not one of those people who celebrate Christmas for just a week then go back to normal life. Come January 1st, I'm already looking forward to the next Christmas. Christmas is a week filled with so much celebration. There's yummy food, awesome seasonal movies on TV, lots of hot chocolate/Baileys/mulled wine/Snow balls and the house is always filled to the brim with decorations.

Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle Blog: Christmas, decorations, John Lewis
Almost time to bring out the creepy decorations again...
What's not to love?

And even just being out and about when it's dark out, the feeling is still magical. I remember last year going to see Slava's Snowshow at Milton Keynes theatre. Afterwards, we walked around the craft Christmas fair they had on, then popped into John Lewis. A trip out to Milton Keynes to walk around John Lewis is a tradition every year for us because we always love to oogle at their beautiful decorations, and the store always goes all out for Christmas. Is it wrong that I love just going to different shops to see all their decorations without actually buying any? I think though that John Lewis wins in terms of being the most Christmassy shop every year.

I'm not quite sure what I want for Christmas this year, I haven't actually put together a wishlist. I actually got pretty much everything I wanted from last years list, bar the polaroid camera you attach to your phone, which was still being made. And John O'Callaghan. But I'm meeting him again next month and partying with him in the band, so I guess the wait was worth it :)

There. That's it. I promise I won't even mention the word Christmas again on this blog until December.

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Saturday, 5 October 2013

Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion,  Beauty and Lifestyle Blog: Look Of The Week, LOTW, I Met God, She's Black, Rooftops NYC

I recently treated myself to this ultra popular top from Rooftops NYC. This top is EVERYWHERE in NYC right now. Various rockstars have been spotted repping the brand, from John O'Callaghan of The Maine to Jack Fowler of Sleeping With Sirens, which has perhaps inspired so many fans to go out and purchase the shirt themselves. You only have to search the tag on Tumblr to see just how hyped this brand is in America right now and it seems you're officially not a cool kid unless you own one.

Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion,  Beauty and Lifestyle Blog: Look Of The Week, LOTW, I Met God, She's Black, Rooftops NYC
Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion,  Beauty and Lifestyle Blog: Look Of The Week, LOTW, I Met God, She's Black, Rooftops NYC

What do you think?! I love it. I wore this out shopping the other day and then to work. Because it's so popular in America, I do feel like a standard 'cool/scene kid' but in a good way haha. I hope it ends up being just as popular over here in the UK!

I'll also note that their customer service is fab. Not only was it quick delivery considering it was from America, but they were also more than happy to refund me an unexpected customs charge which was nice of them. You can check them out on Facebook here to see all the hype and who else has been sporting this top, or just go ahead and buy the top direct from their website here.

P.S Check out the Look Of The Week tag for a mooch at some of my other 'Look Of The Week' posts or please feel free to check out/give me a few votes on my LookBook - just click the image above!

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