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Sunday, 24 March 2013

On Friday myself and some friends went to see Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, and I managed to bag myself the amazing opportunity to both meet and interview the band! Red Jumpsuit Apparatus are a rock band from Florida who this year celebrated 10 years together as a band and to celebrate this they have just released their brand new EP, Et Tu, Brute. Their music is a real mixture of heavy rock, upbeat songs and some beautiful moving songs as well - you'll find a variety when listening to their music, which means you're bound to find something you like.

I've been a fan of RJA for a long, long time now - since I was 17, I think! When I discovered they were touring - and willing to do interviews - I jumped at the chance. With the gig being in Milton Keynes and the fact that I've recently been in talks with a local company to produce/create a show all about local music (awesome right?! I've kept it quiet but now that I've actually began doing interviews and such I'll put up a proper blog post about it soon!), it was obvious I couldn't pass up this opportunity. Tickets were only £8.50 and I couldn't believe how lucky I was!

...Until it came to arranging transport to and fro the venue. Turns out it's actually on the outskirts of Milton Keynes and despite being about half an hour drive away, any buses or trains to Wolverton would be a journey of between one to three hours! Madness! I was determined though and eventually managed to get a lift sorted out with two guys from Luton who we actually hung out with at the gig and became friends with which was nice.

Once we got there I found out the tour manager had put me and a plus one down for free entry! I told some dude that we'd prearranged to do the interview at 8pm so he pointed me in the direction of the merch guy and told me to speak to him. So we went and bought some drinks and on the way back the guy grabbed me and was like 'Here I'll show you who you have to speak to' so I was like 'Ah right awesome'. So me and Amy followed him and he took us through some door and down some darkly lit corridor (dodgy right!) and opened a door to the backstage/dressing room area where the band were! I was like whoa I didn't realize I was seeing them now ha. I actually only got to interview two members of the band as the others were at the hotel, but I'm actually quite pleased about this because they were hilarious and really hot, ha.

Joey, myself and John with the addition of Eve in a couple of photos

I then realized I'd forgotten my written down interview questions (I'm such a div) but this was a blessing in disguise! They were so chatty that the interview just flowed, I didn't have to stop and try and remember anything and I think that's a sign of a great interview (I hope!). My cheeks actually hurt from laughing so much, they were really friendly and kept talking to us for ages after we'd completed the interview. They seemed genuinely interested in us as well, it's hard to explain but they were asking us questions as well and I really liked that. I didn't feel like a fan but more like a friend if that makes sense. I was also really pleased with myself because I wasn't nervous at all and since interviewing I've found I actually really enjoy it! I think I've found my true calling ;)

After we finally got back into the main room to watch the other bands (John & Joey kept talking to us for ages and ages haha!) the guys we were with thought we'd got lost because we'd been that long! So we just chilled out and watched the other bands until Red Jumpsuit Apparatus came on.

When RJA came on the atmosphere just went mad, bear in mind I've been a fan of this band since 2007 so I was so happy. Everyone just kind of charged forward and started moshing. The band truly were amazing, the lead singer has such a unique voice but sounds just as amazing live as he does on record. They were really awesome and very energetic, putting everything into their performance. They clearly love what they do (well that much is obvious) but they really genuinely seemed to enjoy performing for us which was great! They played a few old favourites and some of their most popular songs such as Face Down and Your Guardian Angel. The performance of Your Guardian Angel was particularly emotional and moving and everyone just kind of stopped rocking out and instead listened intently to this song, it was a really beautiful performance and nice to see everyone else obviously thinking so as well.  They also played a few songs from their brand new EP which I absolutely love. They were just absolutely amazing. After a bit people were moshing and pushing way too much so we moved and managed to watch side stage ;). I love moshing to bands, it's just the way you listen to them really, but I can't say I'm a fan of when the crowd creates a huge circle and just mosh/push each other in it. It's okay if you're not in the circle, but I found that Friday night some people were quite rough and pushing people really hard and so we had loads of people falling into us. After about the third time we decided to move cause men are heavy and they kept falling into us girls :(

I did pop back into the 'mosh' pit (well I went to the front where I wouldn't get pushed) a few times to rock out to a few of my favourite songs, but it was fun being side stage. I think although I felt really awesome and had a great view of the band, I did prefer the atmosphere actually on the 'dance' floor with everyone else, but alternating between the two was just right.

It was just one of those really great raw gigs that you simply cannot help but just let go with the music - the venue wasn't big, but I loved that fact. You could get right up close and personal with the band whilst they performed and with everyone pushing and moving together so closely, it was just really intimate in a really great way. Sometimes with bigger venues you miss out on that feeling.

I was sad when it was over, I felt like their set finished far too quickly - not because it wasn't a long set but just because I enjoyed it so much! Afterwards we got to meet them again and get some more photos. They had asked if we were sticking around but after literally twenty minutes the venue was closing so that paired with the fact that I had work this morning meant that my plans of partying with the rockstars didn't go ahead :(

But overall if I'm really honest it was probably one of the best gigs I've ever been to (and I've been to a lot!) - not just because I met them but because they are such a genuinely talented band and the atmosphere was just amazing. And with everything combined - the performance, the atmosphere, meeting & interviewing them, making new friends, being in good company and just having such a fun night - I would probably say it was one of the best nights of my life too. It's a night that stands out as just being genuinely really awesome and I'll always remember it.

Please note, all photos and the video in this post are completely copyright to me (excluding the screen shot of their Tweet!) so please do not take them or use them without my permission or without crediting me - thank you!

I will be uploading the actual interview at some point soon, as well as an outfit post so keep your eyes peeled :) Do you like Red Jumpsuit Apparatus? What was the last gig you went to? Let me know in the comments below!

Red Jumpsuit Apparatus have just released their brand new EP, Et Tu, Brute which can be downloaded/previewed here. The band are also currently touring the UK.

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

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Thursday, 21 March 2013

I was out and about doing some interviews today for a local company (soon to be blogged about!) so I wanted a look that was casual but still a little nice too as I'd be on camera :) 

Anyway, a simple blue top which I'm sure has featured in a look of the week before, but this time I've spruced it up with a nice skinny belt. I really love the subtle gem detail on this top, and with the belt and bangles, it looks just that bit more classy. I paired it with my new Topshop jeans and biker boots.

And my make up is just my day-to-day makeup. I've taken to wearing my favourite Kate Moss Rimmel lipstick in Shade 107 on a more casual basis now - I love it that much! - but only a little over the top of one of my more nude Benefit lipsticks, as it's still a bit much to wear just by itself.

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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Sunday, 17 March 2013

I'm still debating this idea! Like I said before, ideally I'd like to do a monthly round up post but I think I'd end up with far too many photos. Likewise, some weeks I end up with none at all! We'll see...

Cakes & Flowers for the wedding - Mamaw outdone herself I think! / Listening to The Maine / Pretty manicure / My lovely & amazing hair for the wedding! / A hilarious photo of a young Mamaw I found in my sister's study / Caught out dancing at the wedding / Myself and a friend / Me at the wedding / Another band following me on Twitter!

This week I've been -

Watching...Supernatural & In The Flesh
Reading...The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
Listening to...The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Playing...Restaurant Story
Smelling of...Valentino - Rock & Rose
Perving on...Landon Pigg
Happy about...the great opportunities I have coming up!

Most of this week has been spent working and getting ready for my uncle's wedding which was Saturday! He only really told us in February he was getting married so it's been a bit of a rush getting things ready, especially for my mum who made the cake/cupcakes and did the flowers. I think she managed pretty well though! It was a lovely day - it was nice seeing all the family together and just having a generally really nice celebration. My sister did my hair amazing which I loved, I didn't want to take it out when I got home. I actually didn't because I decided to head out with a couple of friends afterwards anyway which was fun.

This week I managed to bag myself the opportunity to interview one of my favourite bands! The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus have been a favourite band of mine for years and years now and they'll be playing a local gig next week - and I get to interview them! I will do a proper post about this, but basically I've been getting involved with a really great new project which allows me to get local music more well known and hopefully will lead onto some more awesome opportunities. The band also followed me on Twitter too which is great! If you haven't heard of them (where have you been?!) then check them out ASAP!

I'm really sad that the weather has been horrible this week but I'm hoping it will improve next week. I'm off work until Wednesday so I'll be using that time to brainstorm some ideas for this great project I'm being a part of.

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Wednesday, 13 March 2013

With my uncle getting married this Saturday (and only telling us back in January!) both myself and my sister have expressed our annoyance about how flipping hard it is to dress for a winter wedding. We've trawled the internet, searched high and low in the shops and even took a long awaited trip out to Bicester Village (because if we're going to find anything to wear to a wedding, we're going to find it there, right?!) alas to no avail however.

Whilst shopping around, we've noticed some of the most popular trends this year include lots of vintage and gothic lace with black and cream lace dresses EVERYWHERE at the moment. Vintage isn't just popular on the rails though, my sister also discovered when visiting The National Wedding Show that do-it-yourself vintage decor is also big in weddings this year.

Black Lace Cowl Neck Dress, £49 & Black Lace Peplum Dress, £45

I spotted these two lace dresses in British Home Stores (yes, BHS of all places!) which both looked beautiful on. However the first one I felt the neckline was just too low, and I wasn't willing to pay £49 for something I was only going to wear just the once. The second one looked better on me - according to all the strangers in the changing rooms! - but I just felt it was too old and the colours were a bit bland. Besides, according to my sister, Peplum has been done to death now - and I can't help but agree.

Vintage is a great way to dress for a wedding - big hair, deep red lips and just a touch of blusher - it's especially perfect for the fact that the bride-to-be for this upcoming wedding adores everything old school. However, the fact that it's winter poses a huge problem, even more so with the forecast of rain. It's so sad to see a beautiful dress covered up by a big winter coat and you can forget about finding a coat or jacket to match as well as being warm. It's impossible. I also noticed that lots of bold in-your-face floral prints are very popular at the moment - unfortunately none of these are quite suitable for a wedding which we're sure is going to be on a rainy day! 

Although I adored the many gothic lace dresses and even tried on a few myself, I didn't feel they were quite right for a wedding. Some were far too long and dressy, others just had no shape. And Bicester was the worst - despite being a designer outlet centre, often you'll find a good bargain or two but this just wasn't the case when we visited recently.

I thought I almost had it when I spotted a beautiful flowing cream dress in Zara late one evening - it wasn't my usual style, but paired with a skinny belt it looked really cute being oversized but still showing off my shape. I didn't mind that it was cream (I was fed up by this point) but when I got home and saw my mum's and nan's faces I knew it was a no-no. Paired with the fact that when I tried it on again when I was home to actually discover it was actually very see through, and reminded that we'd be eating curry at the wedding, I had to give it up and start my search again. It just wasn't worth paying out extra for another slip to go beneath the dress, and as I'm such a messy eater as it is, it doesn't take a genious to work out that me in a cream dress + curry does not work out well.

Eventually I found a beautiful dress on Ebay this weekend just gone (cutting it fine, I know) and although my sister and mum weren't too keen by the images, it arrived today and looks much better on. At only £5, I wish I'd saved all the hassle and just looked on Ebay in the first place!

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Sunday, 10 March 2013

So I've been debating about this for ages and ages now if I'm honest! I loved updating you all about my personal life, not just to add a personal touch to the blog but also because it was nice to me to look back on and have a reminder of what I've done. I strongly believe that most of my favourite blogs are my favourite because they are very professional but add just enough personal things to make the blogs that little bit more relaxed and friendly. However, I've also seen blogs that post TOO much personal stuff, and in the past I've definitely had to stop and think about how much I was posting on here. Although it's nice letting you all know what I've been doing with my life, there were points where I thought I was being just a little bit too open - I know people from my past subscribe to my blog and when people are no longer in my life I'd rather they weren't updated about my life. Likewise, if you post up too much information about yourself online - not just on a blog but on Facebook, Twitter etc, what's left for people to get to know in real life? 

It's a debatable subject - do let me know what you think and if you personally do or do not enjoy my personal posts - but certainly something I've missed doing. I've considered perhaps doing this monthly or fortnightly instead of weekly (which had such a corny name too!) but we'll see. This might be a one off or I might just post updates when I feel like it. Anyway, we'll see.

Feeding the ducks at the canal / Missing Bruges this week / Accompanying my friend to get her first tattoo / One of my favourite pieces from 'Exhalation' / Stealing someone's glasses last night / Stealing a trolley last night / Little Rudy! / Reading on a Sunday afternoon / Playing on my Dad's old Vectrex which he found in the attic - very retro!

This week I've been -

Reading...The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
Listening to...Imagine Dragons - Radioactive 
Playing...the retro Vectrex!
Smelling of...Harajuki Lovers Fragrance - Lil' Angel
Happy about...the many great books I've been reading lately
Perving on...Landon Pigg

The weather was actually a little nice this week, so when I wasn't working I tried to make the most of it by taking Jasper out for a walk or by going for a jog/run. Maybe once or twice this week I got a little excited about summer and the idea of sunshine, BBQ's and drives up the downs again...until the weather went back to it's cold and dreary normal self :( I really miss wearing skirts and dresses as well! Although I did finally treat myself to an expensive but genuinely good quality and long lasting pair of jeans (which actually means it's a pair of jeans that makes my ass look good!), since all of mine are old/baggy. I also finished reading Stephenie Meyer's The Host this week at last, and have to say, I really, really loved it. I think it's a shame she gets so much negativity surrounding the Twilight films because the books were actually quite good. I loved The Host, some parts droned on a bit but overall it was a great storyline and I can't wait to see the film. I actually only picked up the book a couple of weeks ago after seeing the trailer which I also loved because a) it stars the very gorgeous Max Irons and b) it had a great soundtrack/background song which I now cannot stop listening too. This weekend was fairly fun too, myself and my friend Amy decided kind of last minute to head out last night (I'd just finished stuffing a takeaway curry!) but I find the unplanned nights always tend to be the best. It was a fun night, we met some great people which resulted in us all in McDonald's at 3am chatting away and laughing before finally getting home at about 7am. I do love middle of the night conversations like that! It's Mothers Day today of course and I bought Mamaw some flowers and a box of Krispy Kremes, but me and my sister are going halfs to take her away on a overnight spa stay as her actual main present. I'm looking forward to it!

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Friday, 8 March 2013

I'm sure you've all heard about yoga and I'm sure some of you probably already practice yoga, but this is just a brief post aimed at any of you who may be interested in it and not quite sure where to start. I've been interested in yoga most of my life, especially since my sister practices it regularly. However it took me a long time to actually get interested in beginning to take part because I never knew where to begin and always thought I wouldn't be very good at it. It was only last year that I finally decided to start practicing it and although I'm not very advanced and don't do it as often as I should have, I enjoy the times that I do practice it and often see the benefits even from a brief one hour practice.

I still don't know loads about yoga and am trying to teach myself more, which is why I think so many people shy away from it. It's such a popular 'exercise' that goes back thousands of years, it's so easy to feel a bit overwhelmed. I certainly didn't feel too confident beginning to practice it when I didn't even know anything about it - I used to think to practice it properly I had to be more educated about the subject. However I don't really feel that's the case - you can go as little or as far as you like with yoga. It can be a simple beginners practice you do once a week just to help you feel relaxed, or you can begin to study it more and attend classes to reap more benefits. I'm in no position to blog and educate you about the history behind yoga, but I can tell you about what helped me get into yoga and the benefits I know that come along with it.

Yoga isn't just about bending yourself into funny positions to help teach yourself to relax. It is essentially a way to relax and find more balance in life - spiritually it can help you become more calm, put you in a better frame of mind and help you become a more positive person. But it is also exercise as well - yoga can help you tone up, improve your strength and flexibility and more. Quite frankly, it's a mix of both. It boosts both physical and mental well being.

Image taken from Google
Although I'd loved to have joined a class - and would still like to - to start from the very basics of yoga, I ordered the Basic Yoga Workout for Dummies DVD. It features a basic one hours work out which includes and teaches you 12 of the most basic and standard yoga postures, so that when you feel comfortable to, you can later use these postures in your own workout. It's very simple and straight to the point, yet even after the first use I felt like I'd improved just a little. Presented by Sara Ivanhoe, it's one of the most basic yet helpful DVD for beginners and something that I would recommend. It's the perfect mix between being educational and teaching you about the benefits of each posture and more about yoga as a whole and a simple but relaxing workout. What's great about it is that it's not too overbearing and even offers an intermediate work out for when you feel more confident. I really love this DVD and often use it on a Sunday night before the beginning of a new week. I find I feel much more relaxed and able to sleep (without worrying about the following week like I usually do!) and then throughout the week I feel more positive and balanced - it definitely helps. I also found that Sara was a great presenter, she encourages you to take it easy and not push too much, and constantly reassures you that if you cannot do something than it's okay to sit out.

For anyone who is interested in yoga or by toning up by an alternative form of exercise but do not know where to start - start here! It's so easy yet still so beneficial. 

Yoga is a subject I'd like to blog more about so please let me know if you'd like to see more posts on this subject! Do you practice yoga? What are the benefits to you? Please comment below and let me know.

P.S  Have a look at the Fitness tag for more posts about being more fit and healthy!

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Thursday, 7 March 2013

It's funny how music is one of my biggest passions in life, yet I rarely blog about it. Would music be something you would be interested reading about? The review of gigs & suggestions of great artists? Let me know!

Image taken from Google
Anyway, in the mean time, I had to let you know about the latest artist that I simply cannot stop listening to. Landon Pigg is an American singer/songwriter who I discovered after spotting his role in Whip It!. He has the most beautiful voice and his music is kind of a mix between indie and pop, with a little bit of country thrown in. His music is the type of music you can put on low in the background and just listen to no matter what you're doing. You know how some music, as much as you love it, seems too 'heavy' or 'loud' when all you want to do is relax? His music is the complete opposite - it's the perfect lullaby to listen to when I struggle to fall asleep, or as the ideal background noise when I'm busy doing other things. It's light easy listening, yet when I stop and actually listen to the lyrics and pay attention, his music is quite moving too with the most beautiful and catch worthy lyrics. It's a bit like James Blunt, only less corny and much more cool.

Image taken from Google
Landon Pigg has released three albums, the first of which is almost impossible to find and is very raw. His first album, Demonstration - released in 2002- (so long ago now!), is very relaxed, acoustic and different from his other music, but is just as great. I'd say this album has the most country feel to it, especially with the completely instrumental track Almost West. The song, Little Darlin', is one of the most catchy songs I've ever heard and since I first listened to it I've repeatedly been singing it around the house constantly! I think Little Darlin' is my favourite track on the album. It's the perfect melody with the smallest hint of country thrown in.

Image taken from Google
His second album, LP was released in 2006 sounds a lot more 'put together' than Demonstration. Not that Demonstration wasn't good - I absolutely loved how basic and raw Demonstration was - but LP sounds just that little bit more advanced, as if you can tell he's gotten a bit more well known and uses more instruments on this album if that makes sense! LP is just as catchy with a few more heavier 'rocky' tracks thrown in. It's very upbeat and even includes a couple of really sweet love songs, such as Just Like I Am, Perfectionist and the very moving Great Companion. I absolutely adore these songs and although I love the whole album, my other favourite songs are Can't Let Go and On The Other Side.

Image taken from Google
Finally, his last album was released in 2009 and called The Boy Who Never. This album has another big mixture of songs, it seems to be the perfect blend of the first two albums with a couple of country tracks, some indie ones, some more upbeat rocker ones and even some pop ones. It really has a bit of everything and is probably his most well known album, especially with his most known song, Falling In Love At A Coffee Shop. My favourite songs from the album would have to be that one (which has an amazing video to match!), as well as Take A Chance and Blue Skies, which has this really relaxing and inspiring feel to it, like it should be listened to laying in the grass on a bright summers day.

Landon Pigg has fast become a favourite artist of mine and I think his music is something really everyone would listen to. Whilst I enjoy all of his music but most especially his slower songs and the more romantic ones, I know for example my mum would enjoy some of his country songs or the slower ones too, whereas my sister would enjoy the upbeat 'rocker' ones. I think he offers the kind of music that has a song for everything, no matter what type of mood you're in. I'd recommend checking him out!

Actually, I've just realized why I rarely ever blog about music. As much as I love it, I'm clearly bad at describing it, haha!

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Saturday, 2 March 2013

It was our neighbour's/family friend's 50th birthday this week and so she had a surprise party last night. This is what I wore (and I'm cheating a bit too because I also wore this outfit last Saturday on a night out, even though I can only remember half of the night - oops!). Quite basic as I had work this morning so didn't plan to stay too long. Nan treated me to this dress last week as it was only £10. I really love it because it's quite simple but has a really nice lace back. I've come to notice when it comes to 'going out' I always stick to the same style of dress really, don't I?

And I have a love hate relationship with these heels too. They're gorgeous and go with almost everything but they keep causing me to fall over (yeah, blame the high shoes...) and really I could do with purchasing a few different pairs of shoes. Also, see that bruise on my knee? Yeah it's a lot bigger and worse in real life and that was a result of a drunken mishap last Saturday..

Anyway, I wasn't really feeling in the party mood last night as I've had such a busy week. Yesterday was tiring in particular as my sister came and picked me up at 9am and we headed straight over to Bicester to try and get an outfit each for my uncle's wedding which is in three weeks time. Although the delicious Jamie Oliver hot dog made the hour and a half trip worth it, there was nothing decent and/or affordable there clothes wise. So we came back to Milton Keynes where we were only slightly more successful - we both purchased cream dresses before remembering once we got home that a) you're not really supposed to wear the same colour as the bride and b) the food in the evening is literally indian food which means with us both being extremely clumsy, no doubt we'll spill it all down ourselves. AND once I tried the dress on again when I was home, my sister and mum pointed out to me that it was extremely see through. I give up. Next time someone gets married, I'll be going naked or in my pajamas. Why is it so stressful finding an outfit for a wedding? A simple dress just won't do for some reason. Oh no, you have to go all out and get a dress that's extra nice, then you need a jacket/shawl/cardigan/coat, as well as matching shoes and a bag/clutch. THEN there's jewelry if your dress happens to need jazzing up a bit. So much stress for just one day!

I kind of managed to get one photo of my eye make up last night - though you still can't see it too well but you can see the gorgeous Urban Decay shade I used - Smog. It's an old favourite of mine that I tend to go back to time and time again.

Lipstick - of course I wore my Kate Moss Lasting Finish Lipstick - when do I ever not?!

How gorgeous is this little bracelet that my sister bought me? I love it, it's so simple but so beautiful.

This is the back of the dress with the stunning lace detail - I couldn't get a clear enough picture of me wearing it (do you know how hard it is trying to take a photo of your back?!). Also I love that it's almost exactly the same shade as my blanket haha.

Anyway, in hindsight I was probably a tad too dressed up considering it turns out the party was only in a pub (though not too dressed up when I wore this dress last weekend!) but still, as I always say, I'd much rather be over dressed than under dressed. It was a good night anyway, even down to the cheesy music such as The Macerina and The Cha Cha Slide. I can safely say I did NOT join in with these, but Mamaw did manage to drag me up for a boogie during that 'Only love will set you free song'. I do love that song and it reminded me of Freshers.

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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