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Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Just a little post today letting you all know I'm selling some stuff on Ebay if anyone is interested! I've got stuff ranging in sizes from 8 to 16. It's mainly tops but there are some beautiful dresses and bra's I'm selling as well and everything is from 99p :)

Some examples...










And much more things as well off course! Everything is from 99p and cheap P&P, and off course if you win more than one thing I'll combine the P&P :)

You can find the listings here!

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Saturday, 19 January 2013

I ordered this book with my free £50 Amazon voucher (thank you Daxon!) and as soon as I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. It arrived yesterday morning and I'd finished yesterday night!


The blurb reads -

Candace Andrews has had enough of pleasing others. In an act of birthday rebellion, she sets out to please herself - by walking into the tattoo parlor owned by her cousin's ex-boyfriend. All she wants is a little ink, and Brian's just the guy to give it to her.

As soon as she submits to his masterful hands, though, the forbidden attraction she's always felt for him resurfaces...and she realizes the devilishly sexy artist could give her so much more.

Sweet, innocent Candace is the last person Brian expected to see again. She's everything he's not, and her family despises him. He doesn't need the hassle, but he needs her, and this time no one is taking her away. Not even those who threaten to make his life a living hell.

Backed into a corner, Candace faces the worst kind of choice. Cave in to those who think Brian is a living nightmare...or hold her ground and risk it all for the one man that rocks her world.

Warning: This book contains explicit sex, naughty language, tattoos aplenty, family drama, a hot rock concert...and a bad boy hero who's pierced in all the right places.

I loved the whole premise of the story - the idea that she was quite innocent and grew as a person, discovering new things with him. I think anyone would love this premise, but me especially because I kind of enjoy that sort of 'different side' if you will - tattoos, piercings, rock music and concerts etc. It was nice to see that in a modern and successful book! I loved that he was the one to show her - he was her first in so many different ways, and the fact that he shared her passions with her which she went on to enjoy was kind of beautiful in a way and is really a reflection of what most relationships are about. You meet people and discover their world, they recommend books, bands, TV shows - all sorts of different things to you, some of which you go on to love yourself. It's such a simple and prominent part of life but not really something I see in books quite often.

I LOVED Brian's character, and not just because of how refreshing it was to read about an 'alternative' guy in such a popular book. To this day I'm constantly surprised when a book refers to an alternative guy or has a rock star or rocker guy as a character - it's something I'm really not used to. Growing up, all the heros and or main male characters in books were always the typical tall, dark and handsome, type, and I'd never read about a male character with sexy tattoo's or awesome piercings. Whereas to me, nothing is hotter than an alternative guy, and I'd pick an alternative guy over a 'classically handsome' guy any day. So to begin with, just reading about a character who had that whole look and attitude going on was such a pleasant surprise. He was definitely portrayed as a kind of alternative hero which was really cool. His character was just so different as well - he was such a gentlemen but also so passionate as a person which made him seem like the ideal guy. He was protective but gave Candice space when she needed it and just had the right qualities that in reality guys just don't seem to have. Hmm, surely I'm not the only lady who wishes fictional men were real am I?

This book was quite hot and saucy ('saucy' is a much nicer word to use than dirty, isn't it?), but rather than cringing at these parts, I thought they were quite good, even though they were very descriptive. I think when you write smut into a story, it's so easy for it to become too dirty that it's off putting and just seems quite vulgar. This probably should have been the case here, judging by how descriptive the author was, but actually I think it worked pretty well. For example, with 50 Shades of Grey - although I enjoyed that book, I felt that some of the love scenes were put in just for the sake of it. I thought that parts of the story were just put in to be dirty just because it was considered as erotica, and that some scenes of that nature were just put in to get the reader off! However with Rock Me, I thought that the love scenes were definitely supposed to be very erotic, but more so to the point that instead of being put in just for the sake of it, the scenes were there to help portray the passion between the two characters. The nature of the writing seemed to so easily suggest just how strong the connection between the characters were, and perhaps thats why it worked so well. Admittedly, it was very, very hot.

Parents can be so bloody over protective and annoying, and I thank my lucky stars that my parents really couldn't care less who I dated. I don't know how I'd cope if my parents were judgmental and looked down upon 'alternative' guys. However. Just this once, this story made me actually think how cool it would be if my parents were like that, because it kind of worked in the books favour, making the whole 'it's wrong and they shouldn't but they're going to anyway' theme a lot more hotter and passionate. Normally I find that type of thing far too predictable, but it actually really drew me in in this story and I could see how it added to Brian and Candice's passion.

I will admit though that by the end, I thought the theme was becoming a bit tiring, just because of how often Candice changed her mind. I couldn't count exactly how many times she changed her mind - it may only actually have been twice - but to me it seemed like she was doing it constantly. I just felt the 'will they/wont they' theme was used a tad too many times throughout the story.

I really loved everything about this book really. Apart from the on again/off again card being used just that little bit too much, and the cover of the book which I thought was a bit corny, I couldn't fault a thing. I really loved it because I love alternative guys full stop, but I don't believe that anyone can read this without thinking what it would be like to date an alternative bad guy or finding a new found attraction to them. I definitely wouldn't mind my next boyfriend being a tattoo artist! I know I've always said my future husband is without a doubt going to be a rock star, but perhaps if that fails, a tattoo artist will be the next best thing...

The ending was great too, and actually not at all what I expected, which is saying something. Throughout the book, I really didn't know how it would end. It was nice that the ending wasn't so predictable. I would also love to see a sequel to this book!

I'd recommend this book to anyone, it's such an eye opener to someone who isn't really used to the idea of rock music/tattoos/piercings. It might be a bit much for someone who finds erotica disgusting because as stated before, even though I felt it was necessary and thought it was written quite tastefully, the erotica was very descriptive. Overall though I do think it was an amazing read - it's gripping and I read the whole thing within 24 hours. It is now a favourite of mine and even the type of book I can see me reading again within the future.


P.S Check out the Book Reviews tag for more book reviews! Also, please do visit Hanging On Every Word - another blog I'm part of. It's a collaborative book review blog between myself and some other bloggers and there are some great reviews on there! Please do check it out!

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Monday, 14 January 2013

At the weekend, myself and some friends headed into St Albans to see some local bands play. One of my best friends cousin was playing, so as well as popping down to show our support, we also got to check out some new music. I hadn't been to the venue before but was surprised to discover that it always has gigs on so I have a feeling we'll be popping down there more often! So here's what I wore...


It's no surprise that I went for an edgy/rock chick look, pairing my favourite 'rocker' dress with my leather jacket. It was quite a simple outfit, but because it was really cold out, I felt the jacket was necessary. The dress has really low/large 'arm holes' as shown in the left picture - I absolutely adore this effect as I think it shows just the right amount of skin without being too over the top. It's really cheeky but pulled off well if you're going for an edgy look as opposed to classy for example. I think the accessories really made this outfit - lots of skulls! Would you believe that I only had fifteen minutes to get ready?! I hadn't slept the night before so tried to get a cheeky nap in before heading out. Cue a massive rush to get ready when my friend wakes me up by a text stating that we're supposed to be leaving in 15 minutes...oops!


I kept my eye makeup simple - with my fringe being so long (it really needs a trim!) it's a bit pointless being experimental with my makeup at the moment, as no one will see it! Still, I stuck to a generous amount of eyeliner and relied on my trusty favourite Rimmel lipstick to complete the look. I love how the deep lipstick contrasts against my pale skin - perfect for a night spent listening to live rock music.

It was a fun night and I was glad I wore what I did - within an hour of the show starting I was boiling hot! It was definitely one of my favourite looks so far. I can't really fault anything - the dress itself wouldn't be something I'd choose based on the design alone, but overall I love the tatty oversized material and the wife beater style of it.  

Because you have to 'name' your look when uploading it onto LookBook, you may have noticed that I've been naming the posts too. Generally I just use the title of whatever song I'm listening to at the time (the last look I uploaded whilst listening to The Maine's cover of 'Girls Just Want To Have Fun'). Today it's The Maine - Take Me Dancing. I love this song and feel it's so appropriate for the look. The lyrics 'take me dancing, get me fucked up, play that old guitar and we will sing' forever remind me of the feeling of just spending a night with close friends, listening to music and having fun - which is exactly what I did on Saturday. It reminded me that for some of the best nights all you need is awesome music and some great company!  

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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Saturday, 12 January 2013

I know this isn't necessarily a 'recent' film - or one currently out at the cinema that you might genuinely want a review on before you waste your money - but I couldn't help but do a review on this film anyway. Ever since I first saw it, it has been a personal favourite of mine and because it's quite different - even indie perhaps - there's every chance that some of you might not have seen it or even heard of it which is a huge shame because it's a great movie.


Whip It is based on the novel Derby Girl by Shauna Cross and tells the story of small town girl Bliss Cavendar who finds her escape in the form of the bad-ass sport doller derby. Played by Ellen Page in the film, misfit Bliss feels completely out of place among her family and in her town - her mother is pushing her to enter beauty pageants and all she wants to do is leave and find something more. However, when she discovers and tries out for the local roller derby team, Bliss immediately finds a different side to herself as well as discovering this new found passion. Along the way she makes new friends, dates a boy in a band (it's not even cliche!) and discovers what it's like to be torn between two worlds that seem to constantly collide. 

I absolutely love this film - it's so different and inspiring. With an all star cast and the fact that roller derby is practically one of the most bad ass women's only sport to exist, the film definitely screams girl power. It's directed and co-produced by Drew Barrymore (in her directional debut) who also stars in the film alongside Kristen Wiig, Zoë Bell, Eve, Ari Graynor, Andrew Wilson and Juliette Lewis.

I think what I love most about the film is how much I can sympathise with the character of Bliss though - I definitely know what it feels like to wonder if there's anything more than just your small little town and feeling like you don't belong. It's even inspired me to finally give roller derby a go myself!

The film has the ultimate perfect mix as well with there being humour, drama, romance and the film offering it's fair share of inspiring moments. American actor and singer/songwriter Landon Pigg plays the role of Oliver, Bliss's love interest, and I have to admit that naturally I love their relationship. The fact that he's in a band who ends up dating a roller derby girl - it's far too cool. However it isn't at all cliche like I thought it would be and is the cause of one of the most beautiful swimming pool scenes I've ever seen.

Whip It also has the most awesome soundtrack ever with music from Ramones, Kings of Leon, Dolly Parton, Jens Lekman, Young MC, The Raveonettes and more. There's a real mix of classic punk rock music as well as more recent and modern indie tunes, and it spurred me to go ahead and download the official soundtrack to the film.


I've got to admit, I was never a fan of Ellen Page as I used to think she was very typecast, always playing the 'quirky' role. But even though this role is no different, I actually really liked her in this film and found her character really likable. I felt the misfit side of her character was very genuine rather than put on or forced (I thought the typecast of her character in Juno was just trying that little bit too hard to be different for example).

I loved the relationship between Bliss and her mother too. Without wanting to reveal too much away, they really don't see eye to eye, but I certainly teared up a bit when they finally had a heart to heart. Over all it made me really appreciate the fact that my parents are proud and supportive of whatever I do - I don't know how I'd cope if I felt forced into an interest or a career choice by them like Bliss was in the film.

I also really liked all the ladies that made up the Hurl Scouts team - they were so funny and bad-ass punk rock in their own way - I'd love to be friends with them! 

Even if you aren't into indie films about misfit girls finding their way, this film would satisfy anyone who just fancies a feel good film which offers something a bit different than most films at the moment. You can watch it for what it is or really indulge yourself in the inspiring undertones of the film. I'd definitely recommend this to anyone - I think even men would like this film because it's definitely not a typical girly film. Andrew Wilson's character - the teams coach - and Jimmy Fallon as 'Hot Tun' Johnny Rocket are particularly funny for example. The actual roller derby scenes are really awesome and you'll be surprised to see just how violent the sport can be (is it wrong that I actually can't wait to try it myself despite how violent it is?!). Plus, the team's outfits are so cool...

I'll also be reviewing the book sometime soon and talking about my own experience at a roller derby try out, so keep your eyes peeled!

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Wednesday, 9 January 2013

I've just been offered the Liebster Blog Award for the third time by the lovely Lauren from Simply Free - thank you so much Lauren! As I've received quite a few awards already (lucky me!), I ran out of people to nominate long long ago. All of my favourite blogs have already either received this award, been nominated by me or simply have over 200 followers, and unfortunately to nominate a blog for this award you need to have no more than 200 followers. I guess I JUST made it then, because this weekend I was chuffed to discover I finally hit the 200 followers mark :) Still, just to show my appreciation I will still do the rest of the tasks for this blog and again, thank you so much Lauren, it really does mean a lot to know that you enjoy my blog!


 The Rules



1. List 11 facts about yourself.
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you.
3. Create 11 new questions for the bloggers you nominate for the award.
4. Choose 11 bloggers with 200 or less followers to nominate.
5. Go to each bloggers page and let them know about the award.
6. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog :)


11 {new!} Random Things About Me

  • I love oil...as in the oil you can dip bread in. I adore Italian food.
  • I'm planning to go on an American road trip later this year!
  • I want a new piercing 
  • ...and I already know what my first tattoo is going to be
  • Over the past year I think I've really 'grown' into myself if that makes sense. Whereas in the past I have been self conscious at points or less than proud of my life decisions, I'm actually extremely happy about who I am as a person right now. Life isn't perfect - it never is - and I'm not exactly where I want to be, but generally I'm very happy and really like myself as a person! 
  • I'm obsessed with zombies
  • ...and rock stars
  • On my road trip I want to visit LA, New York, Arizona, Texas, New Orleans, Vegas and other places I can't remember right now. I just really hope I can save the money for it all in time
  • Last year I discovered I like Prawns
  • I've never gone to McDonalds and ordered anything other than a Happy Meal
  • I love my hair

11 Questions from Lauren

1.     If you could learn one new language, what would it be?
French (which I'm trying to learn currently anyway) and I'd also love to learn Italian.
2.     If you could travel to any country, where would it be?
Anywhere in America.
3.     If you had to pick one cause/movement to support, what would it be?
Umm I don't know really, ha!
4.     What is the next book on your reading list?
Looking For Alaska by John Green.
5.     What movie do you want to see in the theater currently?
Nothing actually - for once there's not actually much out!
6.     What’s your favorite outdoor activity?
Um wow I don't know, sports wise? I like running and swimming
7.     What is your favorite “big” blog? {200+ followers}
I have so many favourite blogs that have over 200 followers but a real big one would have to be Jennifer Rosellen, I love all her outfit posts, she's so stylish
8.     What song do you have on repeat these days?
Oh my god, so, so many. Anything by The Maine.
9.     What’s your favorite meal/recipe?
Anything italian. 
10.  What’s your favorite dessert?
Profiteroles.
11.  What is your favorite TV show currently? 
The Walking Dead or Supernatural


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Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Yes, I'm afraid I've turned into one of those ladies. Before I got my iPhone 4S, I was constantly jealous of all the amazing apps I was missing out on and, worse of all, I felt so unsophisticated calling myself an Apple addict and not having an iPhone. Since purchasing it, I've loved all the different apps you can download and it is admittedly one of my favourite possessions, as sad as that is! 


I love how quirky some of the apps are, I used to think all you could download were games apps but over the past few months I've downloaded some really different helpful apps that are perfect for a variety of different situations. Some are great for money saving, others for helping with fitness or productivity. Here are some of the most helpful apps that I'd recommend downloading and my personal favourites from 2012.

Utilities

This folder just keeps the 'boring' apps so to speak but ones that are necessary none the less. I have a Flashlight app, NatWest for my banking, and Orange Weds which I use to get my Orange Wednesday's code and see what's out, as well as local cinema times. I also have an app called WC Finder which I think is beyond funky - it's pretty much just a map with all the nearest public toilets on! Weird? Yes. But also very necessary if you're out and about bursting for the loo and don't know where the nearest toilet is...

Games

I have far too many games and my favourites change regularly. Some of the ones I currently have downloaded include Temple Run, SongPop, Zombie HQ, ZombieLife and Jurassic Park. Some of my continues favourites however, include...

ZombieFarm 2
A take on Farmville, it's generally the same concept but with zombies. You grow different types and then can defeat bosses. Can you tell I'm obsessed with zombies yet? I just love the idea of growing my own zombie army...

Hatchi
Personally one of my most favourites, although it can get a bit repetitive after a while so my pet often dies. Yep, this is pretty much a tamagothci for your iPhone. My tamagotchi still dies all the time, just like when I used to go to school and leave my mum to look after my tamagotchi when I was a teenager, but it's still a pretty cool blast from the past. I'm just a really, really bad mother who forgets to feed Roger..

Words Free
Pretty much Scrabble, and I'm really, really bad at it. Still, it's useful for funny stories. I was playing two different games with the same person once, and the only words I could make on each game were 'sex' and 'horny'. He sent me a message asking me if I was frustrated or trying to tell him something..ha!

Tapped Out
The Simpsons game! I love, love LOVE this app and have been playing it for a good few months now, probably because my best friend has it too and we constantly try to outdo each other. You basically undertake different tasks to build your own Springfield up and collect different Simspons characters. I've just gotten Snake, my favourite, and I'm constantly repeating his accent and his phrases. 'Dude, that's harsh...!'

Social

Sync.ME
I use this app to sync all my contact details with peoples Facebook's - it's useful because it reminds me of people's birthdays and means everyone has a photo when they ring me or whatever. I'm quite OCD like that!

I have all the standard social apps like Facebook and Twitter, just to keep me more updated whilst I'm not at home or on the move. I also have Foursquare and GetGlue, just because I like to update where I am and what I'm reading/watching/listening to. I'm not quite sure why, I just do! This drives my nan and my dad mad as they hate it when I start texting/talking to people while I'm out with them! My dad has taken to banning my phone from me when we have dinner...

Photography

Instagram
This one is pretty straight forward - you all know what this app is so there's not really much to say. I have become an addict to it though as photography has always been something I've enjoyed and upon seeing some of my photos, Mamaw thinks I should pursue it as filters and editing aside, apparently I've got a 'knack' for taking photos from good angles. I also follow all my favourite rockstars on here and it's quite a good app for photo challenges and a bit of blog networking too.

PicFrame
This is just a standard app which I use to put my photos together in a collage. There are loads of these about but I use this one - it has lots of different options and you can add different effects and stuff. I use this a lot for putting photos together on this blog as I find it so stressful trying to line up all different photos so this makes it all much easier for me.

Picfx
This is another photo editing app, I use this as an add on to instagram as it just has a few more effects. I like the photo effects that come with it, you can add little hearts or light bursts which makes photos that little bit more arty.

Fitness
I'll be doing posts on each of these apps specifically as part of my Fitness Friday posts but some apps I use include Teemo & MyFitnessPal. MyFitnessPal is useful for keeping on top of what you're eating and checking you're eating the right amount of calories for your weight (i.e that you're eating healthily enough) and Teemo is great for little fitness tasks you can do throughout the day without having a full on workout. At the moment I only use this to warm up before I do a proper workout, but as I progress through the app I'll be using it more. I think my most favourite fitness app would be Zombies, Run! which I've done a full review on in the past here. I've got to say that honestly, hand on heart, this app really does inspire me to run more simply because the whole idea behind the app fascinates me and the fact that the more you run the more the story progresses. It really does push me to want to go for regular runs which is something I look forward to starting again. It's far too cold out to go for runs at the moment, but I think with having eaten so much at Christmas I need to get back on the horse!

Productivity

Writing Prompts
I don't use this loads but it's quite useful for if you're a writer and don't have any motivation. Sometimes I use it when I've got a great idea but don't know how to start it i.e if I need an opening sentence or whatever. It's useful as well for when you don't have any ideas at all, it suggests different situations and storylines which you can use as an exercise just to get you writing, even if you don't plan to follow through with it.

Relax M
I'm not quite sure why I've listed this beneath productivity, but this app sometimes helps me to sleep or relax. It has loads of different sounds like rain, or rain in a cave, birds, the piano and waterfall. There are too many to list but all of them are really nice and relaxing, I sometimes like listening to some of the rain ones when I'm writing as it calms me. Does this mean I'm weird?!

Travel
I don't have much travel apps to be fair but most of them I use for when I'm in London as opposed to elsewhere. I have apps like AroundMe for finding good restaurants to eat at nearby and things to do and Time Out, which I use for what's going on in London and other quirky things to do. I also have the TripAdvisor app (which was really useful when we were in Bruges actually as I used it to find cheap places to eat!) and Evernote. Evernote isn't a travel based app, it's an app to store different notes and photos/maps/to do lists etc. I've put it under my 'Travel' folder because I use this app solely for the planning of my big American road trip next year.

Entertainment

TVShow Time
This is one of my most useful apps - I use it to log what episodes I've seen from my favourite shows. It's great for shows like Supernatural which is currently on season 8 and I'm still halfway through season 2...when I'm taking a while to catch up, sometimes I actually do have a life (haha) and it can be weeks between each episode I watch and I always forget what episode I'm up to and end up rewatching old ones or skipping ahead. This is a great app to show me where I'm at, how many episodes I still have to watch etc. It also updates me on when the show is next on TV (and what episode it's showing!). You can also make lists for shows that need to be watched or be recommended on similar shows to check out.

TVGuide
Just because I'm extremely lazy and can't be bothered to flick through all the TV channels...

Shazam
I use this all the time, I'm constantly hearing songs when I'm out and about or in a movie that I'd like to download. I use Shazam to find out what they are (and it's always accurate) and it all goes into a little 'Tagged' list which I can one day finally go through and download all the songs. One day. When I can be bothered. Well, I made a start just before Christmas to be fair, I think I got five done..you can also look up more information about the song or artist like lyrics, local gigs they might be doing etc.

Other

Mindsnacks' French
This adorable little app is the perfect way to learn beginners French. It's really cute and easy to use, the different mind games actually do help you remember words and phrases. It's not extremely comprehensive but I think it's just the right amount for beginners without being too overwhelmed. It also keeps your progress listed to check at any time which is nice to see how far you get along.

Goodreads
Just the app to go to the website, but quite useful. It's a lot easier to update your reading progress without having to log onto your laptop, and there's also the useful scanner device so you can use your camera to scan a book directly into the app rather then searching it by title or author.

Stasheify
And finally, this awesome app, just because. On Bruge myself, Mamaw and my sister almost wet ourselves with laughter playing with this app for a good hour.

Don't I look dashing?!

So that's a list of my favourite apps from last year, a list that I've wanted to do for a while! I know not all of you have iPhone's but I hope if you do then this list has been a bit helpful with a variety of both useful and funny apps. Do let me know what you think or if you have any you'd like to suggest!

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Sunday, 6 January 2013

Despite being skint, yesterday me and some friends headed down to Lakeside shopping centre in Essex to do a spot of shopping. I had a £20 gift voucher from my sister for my birthday/Christmas which was redeemable in a few shops such as Miss Selfridge, Topshop etc. I'd never been to Lakeside before - it only took about an hour to get there - but it was massive! It reminded me so much of The Metro Centre in Gateshead. We also got lost when they were closing, we couldn't find the exit and they were switching off the lights whilst we were still inside - we were convinced we'd get locked in, oops. I also finally got to pop into Boux Avenue, a store I am absolutely in love with. It's so classy! Anyway, I had work in the morning so came home and just changed pretty quickly so I chose quite a causal look. I really wanted an excuse to wear my new denim shirt and my new converse trainers. Here's what I wore...


Double denim today - eat your heart out John O'Callaghan ;) Inspired by my favourite rockstar and his obsession with denim, I couldn't help but pair two shades of denim together and be pleasantly surprised with the outcome. Despite looking very 80s, I think it works, don't you?! 


Accessories wise, I edged it up a bit by wearing the above clustered 'rock' necklace, as well as my studded Stella & Dot bracelet and the adorable pink skull bracelet my nan got me for Christmas. Over all, the whole outfit is a bit of a mess with random things just paired together, but I think it looks kind of funky!


What do you all think? I am in love with this denim shirt and think I'll definitely be wearing it a lot in this summer, perhaps more as a jacket than as a shirt once the weather warms up. And aren't my new converse sneakers sexy?!


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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Thursday, 3 January 2013

I recently popped into London for a special birthday surprise arranged by my sister and part of the surprise involved a spooky ride on the The London Ghost Bus Tour! The other half of the surprise involved a visit to the delicious champagne and hot dog bar Bubbledogs, which I reviewed in this post here. My sister knows me better than I know myself so by choosing to book us a trip on The London Ghost Bus Tour she knew I'd love it - and I did!

Image from www.londoniscool.com
I'd first heard about it in the summer when helping relaunch a website based around things to do in London and fell in love with the idea immediately. Much like The London Dungeons and other spooky attractions based within London, it's very much based around teaching you the gory/spooky side of London's history in a fun quirky way with live actors and spooky stories to set the atmosphere. The bus takes you all around London, passing and sometimes stopping at various sites that may have a ghostly history or perhaps someone was murdered there, etc. I've heard of loads of bus tours in London and loads of scary attractions, but never one that mixed the two. Needless to say when we waited at the stop and the bus pulled up, I was beyond excited.

The bus is completely decked out to suit the scary atmosphere - for starters, it's a typical London double decker bus, but it's painted completely black. Inside it's made to look like a real classic old time funeral hurst (in fact they told us it actually used to be one in the old days, but I'm not sure if that was true or not haha) with red seats and even little lamps on the interior walls all to give it that unsettling effect. It was really interesting to see how much effort they put into every little detail with even the tour conductor taking on a slight oddball character in costume and makeup and all.

Image from www.sometravelnotes.com
The tour itself was not only interesting but really scary too. I learned loads of new things about London's past, which is saying a lot because I'm actually quite interested in the disturbing side of London's history and have already read up about it lots so to still learn new things on the tour was great.  It is a typical scary attraction so on one hand you learn about all the history of the city, and on the other hand you also get scared a lot with the tour guide making you jump and other things to keep you on the edge of your seat. But it's all done in a very humorous way, so it's nothing too scary. I mean, there were loads of young kids on the tour, but I was very thankful that the conductor made them sit upstairs so they wouldn't annoy us haha! It was all really awesome - the whole idea was so quirky and different and there's so much I'd like to say but can't without ruining it! There are a lot of twists on the tour as well and I loved that it was a bit more individual in that there was also a side story about the bus which meant you felt more involved in the tour and not just sat there hearing about things that happened hundreds of years ago.

Finally the actors were great too and really lived up to keeping in character even down to the language they used (i.e addressing people as Sir or Madame as you would in 'those days', having a slight 'off' feature to them). We went just before Christmas and I'm not sure exactly what was going on but there were hundreds of drunken Santa's around London - as in yes, loads of adults dressed as Santa getting drunk. One of them rang alongside the bus and jumped on much to our amusement, but rather then breaking character or acting rude, the tour conductor just kind of played along with it and made a joke out of it. If that were me, I'd feel so under pressure and would feel compelled to break character to tell the 'Santa' to get off, but I was really impressed with the way it was handled. Plus it was hilarious.

The London Ghost Bus Tour was something I'd wanted to go on for ages but even so it still exceeded my expectations and was so much more fun/scary/funny than I thought it would be. I left the bus with my cheeks hurting from laughter, and me and my sister both got a few jumps/scares over the course of the tour as well. Plus, over all, I did learn loads of interesting facts about gory and spooky things to happen in London's past, as well as seeing all the sights where they took place.

If you're into London's history, anything to do with ghosts or the paranormal or even just like things that are a bit different (especially if you like The London Dungeons and attractions like that) then I would definitely recommend this to you!

The bus is also available for private hire which has already got me thinking about next years birthday plans!

The London Ghost Bus Tour runs every evening at 6:00, 7:30, 9:00 and 10:30 (though check the website as some of these times are seasonal!) and the tour is roughly one hour and fifteen minutes long. The tour leaves from Northumberland Avenue, just by Trafalgar Square. A standard adult ticket is £20.




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Tuesday, 1 January 2013

There's so much I could say about 2012 but over all it was a pretty great year. Rather then rambling on about what made it so awesome, I'm just going to keep this post quite simple.

I've put together a random collection of some of my favourite photos - and some just randomly picked - from this year - unfortunately, I'd be here forever if I used EVERY photo that represented a good memory from 2012! And also I only had my iPhone from summer time so obviously not many pictures from Egypt and Paris are included!



I've seen quite a few of my friends doing an end of year quiz and as a self confessed quiz addict, I thought what better way to round up the year than by answering a few questions?

1. What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before?
Quite a few things actually! I rode a camel, I tried paintballing and snowboarding, I met one of my idols..I can't remember what else but looking back it was definitely a year of firsts!

2. Did you keep your New Year's Resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't tend to make 'specific' resolutions but the ones I do make I usually repeat every year. Generally it's just to enjoy my life a bit more - say yes more than I say no, take new chances, be more healthy, write in my diary every day etc. I did all of these - I tried lots of new stuff, I started saying yes to a lot of things again even when I wanted to say no, I started running and swimming. I didn't write in my diary every day though. Generally my resolutions are the same this year, I'd like to travel more too, most specifically to America. I'd also like to finish and publish my book this year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Nope

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My uncle Peter passed a few months ago and whilst I wasn't particularly close to him, obviously that was sad.

5. What places did you visit?
Paris, Bruges, Egypt.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
A rockstar boyfriend please! Other than that, not much. Perhaps a job more related to my degree and my own car.

7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched in your memory, and why?
Well obviously all the times I've travelled, the night in Egypt that we went star-gazing is something I'll definitely always remember, just because it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Meeting The Maine and John Ohh will remain etched in my memory because I'm a huge fan, he's my idol and also because he's very sexy and I got a kiss from him. I'll remember the great nights out I've had too probably! Also the day I went to The Only Way Is Blogging - my first ever blogging event - and met the lovely Becky, Lisa and Kirstie. Becky and Lisa, who live local, have gone on to become great friends of mine :) And I'll definitely remember the night me and Amy first went out drinking together as we weren't very close before that but that night was probably the beginning of our much closer friendship and after that we went out all the time!

8. What was your biggest achievement this year?
Hmmm. Trying snowboarding, as it's something I've always wanted to try. Helping relaunch London.com. Finally going back up north as it was something me and the girls had always said we'd do but never got around to. Passing my provisional test.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Hmmm that's a tough one. I tend not to have many regrets.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
If you can count falling down the stairs drunk and spraining my ankle then yes.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Hmmm. Gig tickets?!

12. Who's behaviour merited celebration?
Amy, I think. She became a fantastic friend this year - someone I can always rely on - despite going through personal stuff herself.

13. Who's behavour made you appaled and depressed?
Generally not many people because I tend to ignore things and let people get on with it. I think the only thing I can apply to this question was when I had some trouble via Twitter earlier this year when some of an ex boyfriend's friends tended to go a bit far with accusations and such. Although it's something I've become accoustomed to, I guess that was one thing that really appaled me because it was so public and I use Twitter a lot to network and stuff. However, I learned my lesson and again chose to just ignore it, it taught me to just let people get on with things and understand that it rubs off worse on them then it does on me. Other than that no one's behaviour has really appaled me!

14. Where did most of your money go?
Driving lessons/music/clothes/nights out/traveling

15. What did you get really excited about?
So, so much. I think if I were to ask anyone though Amy would probably say the gig as I texted her constantly on a daily basis telling her my step by step plan to get a date with John Ohh, and my Facebook was flooded with topless images of him, ha!

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?
I can't pick just one so...

The Maine - Into Your Arms
The Maine - While Listening To Rock & Roll
This Century - Sound Of Fire
Wiley - Heatwave
Knife Party - Internet Friends
Chris Brown - Don't Wake Me Up

17. Compared to this time last year, are you :
a. happier or sadder? Definitely happier, last year I went through a lot of changes and it was tough on me - although in the end I was really happy with how things turned out - this year has been great
b. thinner or fatter? Thinner. Not by a massive amount, but I've toned up a little which I'm pleased about.
c. richer or poorer? Richer. So much richer compared to how skint I was as a teenager ha! In fact I'm probably still skint to most people, but compared to before...

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
I wish I went to more gigs, but kind of discovering my love for them again this year was just right.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
I don't wish I had less nights out, but I do wish we'd varied them a bit or left some time between each. At some points I've gone out every single weekend and although each night has been fine, some of them have just been average and left me thinking that I've wasted too much money just to dance to the same old songs with the same old people. I.e where most nights have left me with great memories, I've just thought some of them that didn't weren't necessary.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With my family, but mainly working. Oh the woe's of growing up...

21. Did you fall in love in 2012?
If you can count with music then yes ha.

22. What was your favourite TV program?
The Office US or The Walking Dead.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate at this time last year?
I don't really hate people. I severely dislike people - within reason - but that's it ha.

24. What was the best book you read?
Johnny Be Good or Warm Bodies.

25. What music did you get excited about?
The Maine, duh. I felt like a teenager again to be honest, back when you first hear a band and it just consumes you and you can't listen to anything else.

26. What did you want and get?
I don't know? I didn't actively want anything ha.

27. What did you want and not get?
See above.

28. What was your favourite film of this year?
Oh god, I don't even know. Don't get me started, I could never pick just one.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 23 (I'm getting so old!). I spent some of it in London with my sister the week prior, and on the night before/aka me turning 23 after 12, I had a night out with some friends. On the actual day I had family and friends round for food and then went to the pub.

30. What one thing would have made your year more satisfying?
Passing my driving test maybe.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
Oh definitely going back to old roots! Getting back into rock music again led me to seek out my old favourite skinny fit jeans and alternative clothes, but with a more sophisticated edge. Also I've become obsessed with denim thanks to my favourite rockstar.

32. What kept you sane?
Music. Even when feeling completely lost, music helped me through it.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
....John O'Callaghan in case you didn't already know by now. I also got pretty big crushes on Cameron Leahy of The Downtown Fiction and Dougie Poynter again ha.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
I don't really have an interest in politics.

35. Whom did you miss?
I haven't seen much of my brother this year, I miss him.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Oh wow, that's tough. I'd say Bex, Lisa, Luke or Alex all for various different reasons. I've met a great few people through work as well.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
'If it's meant to be, it will be'.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Can I quote two?!

'Don't stop listening to rock & roll'
and
'If we're lost, at least it's together'

I hope you all have a lovely time celebrating NYE whatever you're doing and that 2013 is a good year for you! Just remember though, every year has it's ups and downs and if you survived 2012 (including the supposed end of the world) then you sure as hell can survive 2013!

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