Monday, 29 June 2015

LIFESTYLE | FIVE OF MY FAVOURITE THINGS LATELY

Every now and then, I find myself with a small list of things I want to talk about but don't exactly warrant a whole blog post of writing. So today I'm going to talk about some of those things and stuff I'm really loving lately or really excited about.

ENTERTAINMENT
I've just had a week off work so have certainly been catching up on all my favourite TV shows and the like. Having just treated myself to an Xbox One, I'm really loving Resident Evil Revelations and Tomb raider Definitive Edition lately. Insidious Chapter Three was really good last week, but I've also recently watched and absolutely loved Rush (a story about two competing F1 drivers, starring Chris Hemsworth) and If I Stay, which is based on a book I read last year. On Netflix, I'm currently binging on Orange Is The New Black, Parks & Recreation and Between. Phew.

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THE CRYSTAL MAZE
The Crystal Maze is back baby! In case you haven't already heard, Little Lion Entertainment decided to make everyone's dreams come true and set up a fun via Indiegogo to raise money so that they could re-create the set in the centre of London for an immersive experience. They raised their target goal of £500,000 in just one week! The experience won't be shown on TV but yes, the traditional crystal dome will be there as they are trying to make it as close to the show as possible and even Richard O'Brien is going to be involved! I always wanted to go on The Crystal Maze when I was younger so even though I just know I'm going to be hopeless at it, I've already bagged myself a ticket. Early bird tickets are now sold out (who's surprised), but you can pledge to their fund and grab yourself a ticket now for just £45 here. It's all due to be up and running by late 2015 (October time) and I am SO DAMN EXCITED. See you all there...WILL YOU START THE FANS PLEASE!

TWENTY ONE PILOTS
I tried so hard not to like these guys as I really didn't think they would be my kind of thing. I was wrong. With a mixture of upbeat tunes you can sing your heart out too and darker, thoughtful rap songs, these guys have it all. You've all no doubt already heard of these dudes but in case you haven't, or you're just really stubborn like me, swallow your pride and check them out now. You won't be disappointed.

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CROSS STITCH TATS
How freakin' cool is this new tattoo trend?! For someone who is a self confessed cross stitcher (that sounds kinda dirty spoken out loud...), I'm totally on this trend already and planning one for my next bit of ink. They just all look so quirky and cool and I bet they would look so feminine using pretty pastel colours.

GIGS
I've got a few awesome gigs coming up that I'm looking forward, especially as it's been a while since I've seen a band live and even longer since I've been to a local gig. Tomorrow I'm heading down to The Horn in St Albans to see some local bands play which should be fun as The Horn always has a really great atmosphere. Thursday I'm seeing Funeral For A Friend at Kiln Farm in Milton Keynes, and early in August the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus boys are returning to London as part of their mini UK Tour. Can't. Wait. Tickets are available for all of these gigs still now, so have a google and grab some if you fancy it. Small and intimate gigs with big amazing bands are always super fun..

These are just a few things I'm currently digging lately, a mixture of music, movies and, er, The Crystal Maze! Most of this has come about because I've had a week off work and have actually had time to indulge in some of my favourite things so hopefully now that I'm back at work I can try and keep it up.

What things are you really loving lately? Let me know with a comment!


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Saturday, 27 June 2015

MOVIE REVIEW | INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 3

The other night I finally got around to seeing Insidious chapter 3 (with a snuck in can of Kopparberg to help with my nerves) and NEVER AGAIN. Let's just say I couldn't sleep that night...

I've always loved the Insidious films, from their old school horror style (the loud violins and opening title is a nod to classic horror movies) and their lack of special affects to make something that is genuinely really spooky and disturbing. It's refreshing to see a horror movie go back to basics and I absolutely loved how well the sequel tied in with the first one, I thought it was very very smart.

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I had high hopes for number 3 but being that it's a prequel, I wasn't sure how good it would be since it was moving away from the story line we know and instead focusing on mainly new characters. However, I was pleasantly surprised. It still dealt with the same kind of basis that people can travel into the darkness or 'the further' and spirits can latch onto someone to stay there, but this film was much spookier and dealt with a whole other demon (the man who cannot breathe).

This film focuses around a girl called Quinn Brenner (played by Stefanie Scott), who gets in touch with Elise Rainer (Lin Shaye) because she wants to make contact with her recently deceased mother. Cue lots of emotion on my part, kind of wish I'd known this before going to see this film considering I've recently lost my mum too. I suppose in some ways this meant the film hit me in ways that it probably wouldn't in other people and I really, really felt a connection to Quinn and could understand what she was going through, feeling so lost and just wanting some sort of sign that her mum was still around. I didn't expect Insidious 3 to be emotional in that sense but it was, and I felt they captured what this girl was going through really well as opposed to just using this part of the story line as a platform to the rest of the story line.

We soon find out that Quinn has been trying to make contact with her mother for a while but instead of course makes contact with someone else. Spooky or what. Freaky stuff soon starts happening (which required me to hide behind my hands half the time) all whilst her Dad, played by Dermot Mulroney (DILF), tries to manage looking after his family alone now and trying to protect his daughter.

The story line is real interesting and genuinely seemed really realistic and believable. I loved that Lin Shaye's character returned for this film too (even though returned probably isn't the right word to use since it's actually a prequel) and thought she was pretty badass. New characters, Quinn and her dad, Sean, were quite cool too and their parts were played excellently. I liked how Quinn portrayed being a teenager, taking some typical traits like being a blogger and taking photos of her breakfast, but not constantly throwing tantrums like teenagers are often portrayed as in films. Dermot Mulroney played his part super well which is surprising because starring in a horror movie is a much different role to what he usually plays.

The only thing I felt the film fell short on was 'the further' which seemed a tad less scary this time around. I'm not sure why, it's just when characters were travelling through that, it didn't seem or even look as scary as it had in the previous films so most of the scares took place elsewhere.

This film offered a lot of scares and jumps and I think that's why I love the Insidious series. James Wan and Leigh Whannel (who actually stars in the film too), always manage to build up the suspense really well but also manage to get the audience jumping in places when they least expect it. I'm so glad they both returned to write and direct this film, although Leigh wrote and directed this one as opposed to James Wan directing, who instead just produced this one. They both work well together.

The film sets up the whole Insidious genre really well and we also see the beginning of how Elise finds and begins her paranormal project (for lack of a better word) with sidekicks Specks and Tucker, introduced in this first film.

But, if you're not a geek like me and don't care much about any of that, this film is still at it's very basis a genuinely really scary film with a few touching moments and even some funny parts too. I wouldn't recommend seeing it if you're prone to getting scared easily (unless you like that, like me) but other then that I'd say it's definitely worth going to see.

I know I said I'd NEVER SEE IT AGAIN because it was so damn scary (I ran from my best friends car to my front door and switched every light on when I got in) but it's just that good that I'd probably psyche myself up to watch it again, just never, ever alone..


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Thursday, 25 June 2015

ENTERTAINMENT | TV SHOWS THAT NEED TO COME BACK ASAP

I'm currently six episodes into my Netflix binge of Orange Is The New Black and it's got me thinking about some of my favourite TV shows that ended way too early, deserved more episodes or that I just really bloody miss. It's the worst thing in the world when a TV show gets cancelled because you end up feeling so lost and simply don't know what to do with your life. Who cares if there was nowhere else to go with the show?!

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The Fifth Kingdom was a firm favourite in my household when growing up. A grown up and more modern take on different fairy tales, this quirky show incorporated some of the classics such as Sleeping Beauty and Jack and the Giant Beanstalk to make one completely original story line that took place over ten episodes. I genuinely thought there was so much more that could be explored with this story and really, really miss this show. It's probably a bit dated now, but it's always been a childhood favourite of mine! I also totally had a bit of a crush on Wolf. #Sorrynotsorry.

Okay so Scrubs may have run for nine seasons but it was because it was SO BLOODY GOOD and I miss it SO BLOODY MUCH. This show took humour, romance and pretty much a bit of everything and added it to a kind of dark and slightly morbid theme which was doctors working in a hospital. Obviously this black comedy featured a lot of sad story lines, but they managed to tug at my heart strings really damn well. Every single episode had a message behind it and this show had some awesome soundtracks. Also, JD and Elliot are my ultimate OTP and always will be.

The Returned is a French horror/thriller series about people that come back from the dead. It's extremely intriguing and will keep you on your seat the whole time - each episode has turn after turn without actually answering any mysteries - which is why we need a new series ASAP. I NEED TO KNOW THE ANSWERS. I think a second season has been confirmed but c'mon guys, it's been like three years since the first season was broadcast, plz hurry up.

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I caught Threesome broadcast one late night on Comedy Central and fell in love with this show immediately. It's a comedy that followed three friends trying to raise a baby conceived one night when they had a threesome. The show was about Alice and Mitch who were a couple living with their gay best friend, Richie, who ended up getting Alice pregnant during their threesome. The three friends were the least likely people to become parents ever, and the show was absolutely hilarious. The proposal scene is comedy gold. I've been ever so gutted that they never continued this show because it was a real gem that unfortunately was never as popular as it should have been. I also had a total girl crush on Amy Huberman who played Alice - she's hilarious and could definitely give Lena Durham a run for her money...

Lost In Space is actually my Dad's contribution to this list, I've never even heard of it and have only seen the film with Joey from Friends and that awesome theme song but hey, apparently a lot of people want this show to come back he says and it has a cult following. Having a mooch on Wikipedia, it's quite an old show so I suppose half you readers probably weren't even born yet when it was broadcast but hey, this entry is for Dad.

These are just some shows I'd KILL to come back soon, even though The Returned may or may not actually be coming back but still. What I'd give for just one more fix of each of these shows, if even to know how all the characters ended up. It makes me sad to see other shows having such a long run that they don't deserve, whereas these gems will never grace our TV screens again *sob*

If there was one show you'd kill to see return, what would it be?! Let me know with a comment!

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Sunday, 21 June 2015

REGRESSION SESSIONS | PUTTING THE FUN BACK INTO CLUBBING

When I was a teenager - suffering through those emotional angst filled years and swearing off any music that wasn't rock music - I swore that when I was old enough, I'd never, ever go clubbing. Back in the day, I never really saw the point in getting drunk and dancing around to too loud music that I'd never enjoy.

That all changed when I was old enough of course and although now I prefer to just have general nights out with my friends rather then going 'clubbing', I can definitely understand the whole idea behind Regression Sessions - a new club night aiming to make clubbing more fun and less, well, just dancing. Although I love letting my hair down and dancing the night away (so cliche, sorry), most of my favourite memories of nights out with friends have been hilarious conversations outside in smoking areas or simply just having a laugh with the best company and getting up to the most random things.

So when I heard about a night that mixed both of these things - good music and bonkers things to do (couldn't really think of a better way to explain that!), I didn't waste anytime in booking tickets. With a promise of a night offering a bouncy castle, a ball pit room (yes, you read that right. AN ACTUAL BALL PIT ROOM. FOR ADULTS ON A CLUB NIGHT. I used to bloody love these as a child), photobooths, a space hopper room and more, myself and some friends headed down to London Friday night in search of an entirely random and fun night.

We were not disappointed. 

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Photobooth fun 
First of all, the music actually was really, really good. There were a mixture of rooms on offer from drum and bass to dance anthems and I had a lot of fun singing along to some of my favourite tunes, dancing on the tables and bouncing on space hoppers in one particular room. This room was so, so busy and sweaty...but in a good way.

The ball pit room was beyond fun and we also managed one quick squeeze into the photobooth. My only concern about the whole night was that me and my friends turned up tipsy and, considering none of us have the best sense of direction anyway, found it near impossible to find half the rooms. There was so much on offer that we actually couldn't even find the inflatable petting zoo or giant spin the bottle. SOB.

I would totally suggest Regression Sessions provide a map for their next event.

Being unable to pull hotties during giant spin the bottle games aside, we had a lot of fun. The atmosphere was upbeat and silly and amazing - we could let our hair down and dance, we could chill in the ball pit room (often just lying among them all, having a giggle) and make new friends outside. It was so fun and my type of night by far. I'll always have a childish streak in me so to be able to actually have some genuine silly fun on a night out was a welcome change for me.

The event itself sold out in due time and although it was really, really busy, there was no trouble and everyone seemed to all be in the same frame of mind - just wanting to have a laugh and a bit of fun. I would have liked it to be a little more exclusive as because it was so busy, we didn't have a chance to get on the bouncy castle or partake in some activities such as the glitter bar. I think it would be fun if they hosted this event on a smaller scale but it's success was well earned. I suppose with an event so quirky, we should have really expected it to be busy and next time will make sure to visit some of the more of the popular activities earlier on in the night before they get too busy.

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The ball pit was pretty fun too...!
I'm already really excited to attend the next club night and I'm glad I dragged myself and my willing friends into London for this. I wouldn't head into London for any other normal club night so this was well worth the journey. Only next time, we think we'll book ourselves into a Travelodge for the night so that we can stay until it's closing time of 6am!

If you want a night that includes dancing but also lots of silly fun, then this is for you. Even if clubbing isn't really your thing (even if it never was), perhaps this will change your mind.

Regression Session's next event will be in Birmingham on the 3rd of July, but they also have upcoming events in London including a Notting Hill Carnival Special and simply another club night like the one I attended on Friday. Tickets are on sale from just £5 depending on how early you get them.


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Wednesday, 17 June 2015

BEAUTY REVIEW | TONI&GUY SEA SALT TEXTURISING SPRAY

I am cursed blessed with having thick hair. Something my sister always tells me she's jealous of, I have thick healthy locks which apparently many girls would die for. Unfortunately for me, the thickness of my hair means it's almost impossible to style. Curls fall out within hours, any bed-head look attempt just makes me look like I've been dragged through a bush backwards and don't even get me started on fishtail plaits...

I'm also not the best at styling because I always fail majorly. Whilst my sister doesn't have thick hair, she does however have the ability to just push her hair to one side, shove in some pins and make a messy side-do look pretty bloody amazing. So. Jealous.

There is one product I'm really digging lately though that seems to have been made for ladies like me and that's Toni&Guy Sea Salt Texturing Spray. I picked up a mini bottle before heading on holiday to Tunisia earlier this year - it was one of those impulse buys in boots where I deemed a mini hair travel pack with the spray, shampoo and conditioner far too cute to not buy even though I didn't actually need it. But hey, I figured it would be nice to style my hair after being on the beach.

This product was really beneficial for me not only on holiday but many times since. It's so easy to use; you don't need to curl or do anything to your hair before hand, you simply spray your hair, scrunch it up or twist it or just run your fingers through it roughly and immediately it gives your hair volume or gives you a loose wavy look.

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Loose/wavy curls
It's perfect for me when I'm running late in the mornings and I'm bored with my hair just being straight. Occasionally I'll use my hair straighteners on a few random bits of hair to curl it, then loosen the curl just so some parts of the hair are a tad more wavy then the others but it's really not necessary.

Although this product certainly isn't a life changer, it's a perfect lightweight styling spray for lazy days, loose waves and thick hair.

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