Tuesday, 22 April 2014

MUSIC // REVIEW OF MUSIC FESTIVAL HIT THE DECK

It's weird to think that this time last year I was a festival virgin, yet now I've been to two and have two more to look forward to this summer. I finally managed to attend Hit The Deck festival in Nottingham this weekend just gone and as I'd wanted to go for a few years now, I was happy to finally get my chance to attend.

The festival takes place over a weekend - Saturday in Bristol and Sunday in Nottingham, which was the date that myself and my friends attended. After a bit of a faff on with travel arrangements which changed last minute, and the fact that we couldn't get into the festival at first because The Maine hadn't yet arrived and dropped off their guest list, I finally bagged myself a brand new festival wristband and was ushered through the barriers.

One thing I absolutely loved about Hit The Deck was that even though the weather wasn't great, the whole event took place at six popular venues within Nottingham city centre, all only a couple of minutes walk away from each other. We could also come and go as we pleased, meaning we could go 'offsite' to grab some food elsewhere or head into town for a bit of a break if we wanted. This meant that everything was so much more relaxed and I liked that if we wanted a break from the music or if we wanted to sit down for a bit (the festival was a good 11 hours long!) we could do without worry.
 
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[Source]
The whole atmosphere was really vibrant and exciting because there was just so much on. Of course, with so many different venues and so many bands playing, there were a few overlapping sets, but I was quite lucky in that pretty much each band I wanted to see didn't clash with anyone else.

As well as various sets, there were also signing tents, acoustic and basement stages, tents selling clothes and some delicious burger vans (I had an amazing hot dog drunk at 12pm which was absolutely lush). I was extremely pleased with the variety of bands. The line up varied from upbeat pop punk from The Summer Set, to immensely popular Brand New and even some heavier music like Hawthorne Heights.
 
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John O'Callaghan of The Maine
Photo copyright to me

The Maine performing Sad Songs from their album Forever Halloween
The bands we saw were The Maine, Hawthorne Heights, The Summer Set, People on Vacation, Patent Pending, Kids In Glass Houses, The Blackout, Ghouls and a little of Brand New's set. We stumbled across Ghouls set randomly and I'm glad we did - they were very upbeat and 'funky' and I've already checked them out since.

Even though Brand New were headlining, we actually chose to watch The Blackout instead and I was SO impressed. I'd never seen them live before or heard much of their stuff but I think they were without a doubt my favourite performance of the day. They completely stole the show, getting the crowd to dance, crouch down to the floor before jumping up again and mosh out etc. I was actually lost for words when it came to their set and I just couldn't believe how energetic and indulging it was. Despite the fact that I'd never listened to most of the songs they performed, I happily just let myself go and jumped around like my life depended on it. I was blown away. Without a doubt, The Blackout played one of the best sets over the whole day and I think they were even better then headliners Brand New.
 
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Selfies with John O'Callaghan and meeting Jaret from Bowling For Soup
What really made my day was meeting Jaret from Bowling For Soup! Bowling For Soup were the band that got me into rock music and they are the sole reason why I love going to live music considering they were my first ever rock gig. It was so great meeting Jaret to thank him, and I loved the fact that he is in one of The Maine's shirts and insists he is now a fan!

It was a great day, though tiring. It was just really nice to discover new bands in such a relaxed atmosphere and then likewise go and rock out to my favourite bands. I met lots of new people and it was also the perfect type of festival for someone who hasn't been to one before considering it's only a day long (per city) and you didn't have to stay on site.

Hit The Deck was amazing and had so much to offer. I've no doubt that I'll be attending again next year. Have you got any 'day' music festivals coming up this year? I'd love to hear what ones you'll all be attending or which ones you'd like to attend - let me know with a quick comment!


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Saturday, 19 April 2014

LIFESTYLE // GIGS, SEASIDE TRIPS & THE MAINE INDUCED HANGOVERS...

So there's been a lack of posting over the last week or so since I've been super busy getting up to all sorts of mischief, travelling around, attending interviews and putting in a lot of hours at work. Therefore I thought it would be nice to pop up a little lifestyle post just to show you all what I've been up to lately.

And yes, I know I still have to blog my outfits from BLFW but I just simply haven't had the time to transfer the photos, edit them and then type up a post. I suck, I know.

My favourite band, The Maine, are back in the UK again and I wasn't really planning to put up any specific posts this time round. You all know I'm a huge fan and I've said time and time again how amazing they are live so there's little point. They've actually been back here supporting Deaf Havana on tour so since they're only doing short sets and the tour has actually been spread out over a good three weeks, we decided not to do the whole tour again this time.
 
They are back to headline in September I've been told, so I'll be saving for that and possibly doing all the dates again simply because I had so much fun doing that in November.
 
The adventures this time around took us to Manchester, which involved meeting them in a bar afterwards and then having to nap in the train station until our train at 8am, a pretty stunning venue in London and again an early morning arrival home once we realized the tube had stopped running so we had to somehow find a bus instead and finally a couple of days spent in sunny old Brighton.
 
I think Brighton has been my favourite because our friend lives there and allowed us to crash round hers and she's such a big fan too, so she came to the gig with us and then took us out to some cheap and quirky bars in Brighton which was nice. Everyone is just so friendly and chilled there, and as a bonus, it brightened up and was a little warm too! This time we watched The Maine's set and rather then sticking around to see Deaf Havana, disappeared back to the bar for a few drinks. Not really used to everything being so cheap, it's no surprise that we were feeling pretty drunk within an hour and a half. We headed back down to the venue after that to see the guys and, bless them, the poor lads had to endure us drunk which I'm sure was...fun! Rather then heading back to the bar, we actually ended up on the beach with the boys from The Maine and some members of the support bands, drinking and chilling out around a campfire. Best. Night. Ever. I mean, who can say they spent their evening drunk and having a bonfire with one of America's biggest rockbands?

Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog - Gigs, Seaside trips & The Maine induced hangovers; Inspire Magazine Online; The Maine; The Maine band; John O'Callaghan; Kennedy Brock; Louise Joy;
Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog - Gigs, Seaside trips & The Maine induced hangovers; Inspire Magazine Online; The Maine; The Maine band; John O'Callaghan; Brighton; Brighton Beach; Louise Joy;
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It almost topped spending the VIP after party with them at Warped Tour. It was a lot more laid back and casual which I liked, though unfortunately come 2am they had bus call. So we stumbled back up to another bar, before retiring drunkenly for the night a good few hours later in Liz's flat that overlooked the sea (it was literally on the sea front!).

The following morning we made use of the hot weather and walked down to the pier, grabbed some chips and ate them on the sea front. I'm also off to Hit The Deck festival on Sunday and I'm heading down to Nottingham Saturday night so yet more travelling and trains!

I've been in and out of London tons lately too for gigs and interviews and events, so I'm really looking forward to having a few days off work next week to just relax.

So that's what I've been up to lately, most of which is related to music and going to gigs but to be honest, when isn't it? I've still got a few more music festivals coming up but they're quite drawn apart so I think after this weekend hopefully everything will just slow down a bit (which really means I'll be spending my days watching back to back episodes of my favourite TV shows on Netflix!).

I hope you've all had a lovely bank holiday weekend and have spent it soaking up any rare sunshine you might have had wherever you are. I definitely did not like going from sunny Brighton to stepping off a train back in miserable and rainy Luton, but it was a lovely way to escape for a couple of days and just have another little adventure. Make sure you let me know your bank holiday weekend plans with a quick comment below as I'd love to hear all about it!

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Monday, 14 April 2014

NEW SHOES // £5 SUEDETTE BOW & SPIKE FLATS

As soon as I laid eyes on these shoes from BangoMango, I knew I HAD to have them.


Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog // £5 Sudette bow & spike flats; Inspire Magazine Online; Shoes; Bargain; Spikes; Quirky; BangoMango
Embellished and spike shoes have been very popular for a while now, though spikes have usually been confined to the heel on shoes so it was nice to see these shoes looking a bit different. They're certainly very quirky and out there!

Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog // £5 Sudette bow & spike flats; Inspire Magazine Online; Shoes; Bargain; Spikes; Quirky; BangoMango
Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog // £5 Sudette bow & spike flats; Inspire Magazine Online; Shoes; Bargain; Spikes; Quirky; BangoMango

I had hoped to buy a pair in black but my size had sold out so I went for the Khaki colour instead. I'm glad I did, because they're very versatile and go with almost everything. They're super comfortable and I've been wearing them constantly for about a month now. Not one spike has fallen off, which I'm very surprised about. I'm so clumsy and have hit my foot on the car door tons of times, yet all the spikes have stayed securely on!

I'm pleasantly surprised about this because considering how cheap they are, they're actually really good quality. My only issue is I wish I'd bought another pair now so that I can wear them to gigs. I have a feeling that when jumping about, eventually someone will step on them and probably end up breaking a spike or too, so I've been too scared to wear them to any gigs haha.

What do you think? Do you think they're quirky or dangerous?


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Tuesday, 8 April 2014

BLFW // DAY THREE

So I was pretty gutted to see Bloggers Fashion Week coming to an end, but boy did they save the best till last. Day three of Bloggers Fashion Week just kind of bought everything together for a final very VIP night which was tons of fun. The evening event was so exclusive that there were even some reality TV stars there which I suppose isn't so 'exclusive' but you know an event has got people talking if Celebrity Big Brother contestants turn up!

On the last day, the entire upstairs had been laid out to create a bloggers beauty bar and they practically covered almost everything. We could get our hair and nails done, get our eyebrows shaped or have eyebrow extensions added (!), we could have our makeup done and, later on in the evening, there was even a fake tan booth set up downstairs! It was really great to not only talk to all the different brands offering these services for things like advice or to get any questions answered, but it was just also really lovely to be 'made up' ready for the evenings events.

Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog: BLFW // Day Three; Inspire Magazine Online; BLFW; Bloggers Fashion Week; Bloggers Love; Bloggers Event; The Penthouse London;
Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog: BLFW // Day Three; Inspire Magazine Online; BLFW; Bloggers Fashion Week; Bloggers Love; Bloggers Event; The Penthouse London;

Make up by Parlour99 and hair by Headmasters

There was a certain buzz in the air when it came to the final fashion show as if everything had been turned up a notch - everything felt just that bit more VIP and classy for the final night, so I was really glad that I managed to get my hair and makeup done for this.

During the day, the downstairs bar had also been created for another Bloggers Boutique, which featured some of the brands from throughout the last few days and also some fab new ones. I absolutely loved chatting with Boomf, a company that are in partnership with James Middleton and who create personalized marsh mellows using photos from your instagram! Is that a cute idea or what?! I ordered some on the day and they arrived promptly through my letter box a few days later and I was ever so pleased with them. Not only were they really yummy, it was also such a different concept that I'd never heard of before.

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Boomf have also offered me a discount code if anyone would like to purchase some marsh mellows which was lovely of them! If you'd like to grab some personalized 'mallows' then simply click here and be sure to use the discount code BOOMF_ME_BLFW at check out for 10% off!

I also enjoyed mooching around and having a gander at clothes from the soon to be launched brand Darccy, who specialise in romantic and vintage dresses and coats. Their products are absolutely beautiful; they're all soft and feminine and very much a nod to the fashion in the Victorian days, but with a modern twist. I picked up the most stunning dress which I'm so pleased with and will be wearing to my cousins wedding later this year.

There were so many lovely brands, not only on the last day but throughout the whole of BLFW and I simply do not have the space to write about them all here. Luckily, I collected SO many business cards and will be checking out some of these brands further, as well as popping up a few posts about them later on.

So after we'd mooched around the bloggers boutique and got ourselves looking lovely at the beauty bar, it was almost time for the final few fashion shows. After having a lot of fun in the photobooth set up specifically for the event, we took our seats to watch the shows featuring the brands Gerda Truubon, Rufflee, Hidden Fashion and Girl Meets Dress.

Unfortunately, all my photos from the fashion shows turned out RUBBISH, but there are plenty of blog posts flying around with some stunning photos from each of the shows.

By the time it all finished, I was exhausted but definitely felt like a complete VIB. As I stated before, hosting a bloggers fashion week seems like such a natural thing, considering bloggers are so necessary to fashion these days, it's any wonder why one hasn't been hosted before! Bloggers Love did an absolutely fab job of hosting the whole event, and I'm ever so grateful for the opportunity to be a VIB. Not only has it provided me with tons of content for my blog, I also managed to network loads and, finally, I just really enjoyed it all so much. So thanks a bunch Bloggers Love, and here's to next year!

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Friday, 4 April 2014

BLFW // DAY TWO

Last Tuesday saw day two of Bloggers Fashion week and you can read my account of day one here. Day two was a little different from day one in that we had Debenhams hosting the tea party, and instead of having a bloggers boutique we instead had some professional ladies come in for talks which was interesting.

The theme was Mad Hatter's Tea Party which was really fun! I wore a beautiful purple print dress with a statement necklace, and colourful makeup, a bright pink lipstick and lovely thick fake eyelashes. I'll show you the photos in another post!

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Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog // Bloggers Fashion Week - Day Two; Bloggers Fashion Week; Mad Hatters Tea Party; Bloggers Love; Fashion; Inspire Magazine Online; Debenhams
Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog // Bloggers Fashion Week - Day Two; Bloggers Fashion Week; Mad Hatters Tea Party; Bloggers Love; Fashion; Inspire Magazine Online;
Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog // Bloggers Fashion Week - Day Two; Bloggers Fashion Week; Mad Hatters Tea Party; Bloggers Love; Fashion; Inspire Magazine Online; Debenhams


We had a talk from Debenhams' social media assistant Stephanie, who explained more about behind the scenes of Debenhams and how she worked her way up to the role she has now at Debenhams, which was very interesting. It was nice to hear from someone who was part of an established and successful brand like Debenhams. We also had a talk from Poppy who launched What I Wore Today, as well as a more relaxed Q&A session all about blogging successfully. She also told us about this awesome company called Grabble, which is basically a way to feature all the lovely clothes you've been lusting after on Pinterest, Topshop etc, and keeps all these saved clothes in one place which is pretty helpful.

Unfortunately, I had to shoot off before the fashion show this night - hence why this post is a little short compared to the other days - but I had a great time mingling with the other VIB's and checking out some of Debenhams collections. The bloggers masterclass was especially fun because it was a really relaxed way to talk to professionals and get any questions we wanted answered.

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