Monday, 30 March 2015

Outfit - Statement Pieces

     I wasn't a checked shirt person for a very long time, but I've now been fully converted after realising how comfortable they are! This is my only one at the moment, but I like mixing it into to different outfits; casual doesn't have to look lazy! I tend to wear it hanging open most of the time, so a simple black vest is ideal for underneath. I chose this skirt because I love the contrast of the purple with the green. It also has pockets, which is a massive win for a skirt or dress! I also like the contrast of the plain skirt with the patterns of the shirt and tights. Finally, I've gone for some chunky statement jewellery, which stands out against the dark colours, and jazzes up an otherwise fairly casual outfit. The necklace was actually reduced because there's a stone missing on it, which I may try to replace somehow, but for now I've painted over the metal background with nail polish that matches the other stones. How do you think I did?

Statement pieces outfit | Green checked shirt, black vest, purple skirt, patterned tights & black biker boots

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Farewell to The Blackout - This Is It Is It Tour

     If there’s ever a time to give it your all at a gig, it’s on a band’s farewell tour. And that’s just what happened on the Glasgow stop of The Blackout’s ‘This Is It Is It’ tour this week.

     I’ve been a fan of The Blackout for many years now, having seen them three times in the past. Although they’ve fallen out of my list of most listened songs in recent years, when they announced they were splitting up, I was pretty gutted about it. Of course, going to the farewell tour wasn’t even a consideration, I knew I had to. The Blackout have a sense of nostalgia for me now, as they remind me of high school and the people I knew then who also went to their shows, so it was nice to revisit some of those memories again.

The Blackout This Is It Is It farewell tour at The Garage in Glasgow

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Why You Should Do Things Solo

     Are you an independent person? Do you like to stick with the crowd, or do your own thing? For most of my life, I was a very shy person, and therefore didn’t feel comfortable doing things on my own. If I wanted to make plans, or go off on an adventure, I’d always try to find others to join me. Doing things with other people can be great - having someone to share the experience with, and then reminisce about it afterwards can make things even more enjoyable. But what about when you can’t find anyone?

     I still love my friends, and love doing things with them when I can; but as we grow up and priorities change, people aren’t always able to join in every time. For a while, this stopped me from doing things; I didn’t have the courage to go out to events by myself, largely for fear of others judging me.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Outfit - Black Velvet

     This is probably one of the most formal dresses I own, but that doesn't mean it broke the bank. Black nearly always looks sophisticated, and I think the velvet flower designs and slightly shimmery material make this dress look particularly elegant. I don't often get a chance to wear it though, as I don't go to many fancy events! Heels are a must, of course, when getting dressed up like this, and these are also my nicest pair. Also, as I've said many times before, Scotland is cold, so nude tights are always a good idea! I do have a toeless pair, for peep toe shoes like these, I just don't know where I've put them... I went with chunky, deep purple jewellery to stand up against the darkness of the dress. Since the earrings are pretty big, I chose a more delicate necklace, so it's not too overwhelming around my face.

Black Velvet outfit | formal black dress and high heels

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Musings on a Rainy Afternoon

Rainy scene looking out the window on an afternoon in Edinburgh

     Rain. More rain. Always rain. Streaming down the windows, trickling in the gutters, running in rivers along the street. It’s as if the sky has had it heart broken for the first time, and the tears can’t stop pouring forth. Will it ever end? Will the pain ever stop? The people tramp on - it’s just another day for them - heads bowed and collars up as protection against the howling wind, feet soaked from the puddles engulfing the pavement. The cars rush on too, tyres splashing long the road, wipers furiously brushing away the rivulets of water running over them, ploughing forward determinedly. Their drivers, the pedestrians, the whole world grumbles to themselves about the miserable, dreary day.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Currently Listening - March 15

     Most of my music posts on here tend to be album reviews, or posts about concerts I've been to, so I thought I'd try something a little different today. This will also be a much less wordier post than usual for me!

     I've put together a little playlist of some of the songs I'm particularly enjoying at the moment, over on YouTube. These aren't the only songs I'm listening to, as the playlists on my iPod tend to be hefty lists, which I just stick on shuffle. It was interesting for me though, to think about which tracks by certain artists stuck out, and narrow my choices down to ten. The order you play these in doesn't matter too much, but I did try to construct it into a somewhat cohesive order. Some tracks are more recent than others, as the newer songs tend to stick out for a while at first, but there's a couple of old favourites that have resurfaced for recently thrown in there too. I also did a post back in January about music I was excited for this year, so keep an eye out for some of those appearing in here. I may do more of these in the future too, as there's always new songs coming out, or old ones to rediscover.

     Let me know in the comments what you think of my selection, what you're listening to at the moment, and whether you'd like to see more playlists in the future!

Monday, 16 March 2015

Outfit of the Day - Rocker Chick

     Leather jacket, Converse, and band merchandise - all the ingredients any rocker chick needs. I don't often refer to myself as such, but I love music and sometimes I like to show this when I dress. This You Me At Six t-shirt was one I bought the first time I ever saw them - sometimes I skip out on band merch if I'm not a fan of their designs, but I love the lyrics on this top ('I've got real big plans and such bad thoughts'). I also tend to view band tops as lazy and comfortable, but teamed with this skirt and a badass (fake) leather jacket, it feels a lot cooler. I think the black and red combination looks very rock as well, and my Converse and skirt just happened to match very well. The wristbands came from the most recent time I saw You Me At Six, on their arena tour alongside All Time Low.

Rocker chick outfit | leather jacket, you me at six tshirt, red skirt and converse

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Travel Inspiration - Austria

     Today's post is to inspire you to travel to Austria. It's probably not the most famous country in Europe, but it's certainly got plenty of things going for it, as you'll hopefully see! I went for the first time during my university year abroad, to visit a friend of mine who was on her year abroad there. I stayed with her in Linz, and we also went on a day trip to Salzburg during my weekend there. The second time was during my Contiki trip through Europe, which stopped off in the capital, Vienna, and a little town in the Alps, Hopfgarten. Austria has a lot of historical sights, though I'm not much of a history buff, so I mostly took in the beautiful architecture and stunning views.

Palace building exterior in Vienna, Austria

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

On Turning Twenty One

     So, today is my 21st birthday. In most places, this is considered a pretty significant birthday. Obviously in America, it’s the legal drinking age, but on this side of the pond, we’ve been doing that for three years already (though of course, I will be celebrating today with a few drinks!). No, in the UK, twenty one is typically the age when one is considered a full-blown adult. We get a lot more rights at eighteen, and I’ve been doing plenty of adult-type things since I moved away from home for university, when I was just seventeen. But twenty one somehow sounds a lot more grown-up. It’s a bit like the last three years have been a practice period, and now it’s time to face the real thing. I don’t feel dramatically changed from yesterday, but saying “I’m twenty one” out loud, certainly sounds older than twenty did.

Prosecco and daffodil bouquet birthday gifts

     I think twenty one being the age of adulthood is only true up to a point though; in the past, people had to grow up much faster, girls in particular, being married off while still in their teens. However nowadays, thanks in part to our lengthier life expectancies, there’s less of a rush to get on with life. To use a clich├ęd term, our twenties are a time for ‘finding ourselves’, with ‘settling down’ usually put off until most people’s thirties. It’s reassuring for me in many ways, to know that so many people in their twenties are still unsure about what they’re doing with the rest of their lives. I’ve written before about my hopes and fears for my future, and turning twenty one makes them seem even more real. But it’s comforting to know that I don’t have to figure everything out straight away, just because I’m now officially considered an adult. I also know that I have a great support system; my parents aren’t going to kick me out, or abandon me if I’m struggling at any point, even though I’m now an adult. Of course, I want to be independent and survive on my own, and they’re fully supportive of me going off into the world and doing whatever it is that I decide to do; but it’s nice to know that they’re still my parents, and I can still turn to them if I’m really stuck.

Olympus Pen Lite E-PL7 compact camera

      Getting older is also really funny, because when I was a teenager I liked the feeling of being one, of being a youth. Yet now that I’m a little older, I’d never want to go back to being that age. I still get nostalgic for my early childhood, but my life is far better now than it was during my teen years. I’ve learned a lot over the years; I’ve grown in confidence and independence; I’ve stopped caring about what others think, and only focus on the people in my life who matter; I’ve slowly started to figure out what I enjoy and what I’m good at, in hope of finding a future in it; I’ve had so many great experiences, from attending university, travelling across Europe, and even starting this blog, something I’ve found great enjoyment and comfort in. I quite like the person that I am right now, which is certainly not something I would have said when I was younger. And of course, I still have plenty more growing up and learning to do. Twenty one years is probably only the first quarter of my life, and I’m hoping that the best is yet to come.

21st birthday flower bouquet gift

     On a simpler level, my birthday started with my lovely flatmate bringing me my presents the second it struck midnight - we popped the prosecco straight away and drank the whole bottle! I also bought my present to myself (also funded by the monetary gifts from relatives) slightly early, which is this beautiful new camera - an Olympus PEN E-PL7. My old one was pretty basic, which would have been fine if it weren’t now pretty old and acting up a lot, so I thought I’d go in for an upgrade. Hopefully you’ll see an improvement in the photo quality on here! I slept in this morning, but was woken up by the delivery of this huge bouquet of flowers from my family, which is beautiful! The rest of the day won’t be very exciting, as I’m a final year university student with a mountain of coursework, but the flatmate & I are made pancakes for a very late brunch (with more prosecco!), and then tonight we’re going round to another friend’s to order in pizza and watch films. We already had the party last weekend, and I’m going home later this week to see family - so three celebrations really! Anyway, my essay is calling, sadly, so that’s it for today - here’s hoping my next twenty one years are even better than the first!

Monday, 9 March 2015

Outfit of the Day - 21

     This past weekend my flatmate and I had a party for our 21st birthdays (we're 10 days apart), and this was my outfit for the evening. We'd chosen a dress up theme, but we knew a lot of people weren't going to bother with it, so I chose an in-between sort of outfit. I found the dress first, and loved it straight away - I think the dark green is gorgeous (these photos don't do it justice, I didn't have a lot of time to take them!) - so built the costume around it. I thought the green would work for a wood elf/nymph costume, so I added the flower crown and chose leaf patterned jewellery to create a woodsy effect. I'm wearing nude tights here, because Scotland is cold, but I thought natural would be best, instead of black, and the brown ankle boots also added to the elfin style I was aiming for (though I changed to black flats for going out). Finally, I didn't have green eyeshadow, but I added some details to my eyeliner, to make it a little more unusual.

Birthday party nymph elf outfit of green dress with brown boots and flower crown

Birthday party nymph elf outfit details of blue flower crown and eye makeup

Birthday party nymph elf outfit of green dress with brown boots and flower crown

Birthday party nymph elf outfit jewellery details of leaf pattern necklace and earrings

Birthday party nymph elf outfit jewellery details of leaf pattern ring and silver nail polish

Birthday party nymph elf outfit of green dress with brown boots and flower crown

Dress & Flower crown - New Look, Boots - Ziga
Necklace & Leaf ring - Forever 21, Earrings - Unknown
Nail Polish - 'Moonstruck' by Seventeen

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Halestorm at the Barrowlands

     The Barrowlands  is one of Glasgow’s most legendary venues. So many amazing bands have played there over the years, and it’s the location of many fantastic stories. And it has this reputation for a reason. It’s a great venue, which has never yet disappointed me. I prefer smaller venues to large ones, but the Barrowlands is a great mid-size sort of place (in Glasgow, King Tut’s is the most famous small venue, while the Hydro is newer, but a suitably epic arena). Also, while I call Edinburgh home, Glasgow is a phenomenal city for concerts. It’s the UK's only UNESCO City of Music, and a place where so bands have made their names, and where there’s a gig venue around every corner. Crowds there are just as epic as the bands they’re watching, rocking out as hard as they can, and creating this community out of a shared love of music.

Halestorm performing live at the Glasgow Barrowlands

Halestorm performing live at the Glasgow Barrowlands

Halestorm performing live at the Glasgow Barrowlands

Halestorm performing live at the Glasgow Barrowlands

Halestorm performing live at the Glasgow Barrowlands

     So naturally, I get pretty excited when I get to go to a Barrowlands gig, which is exactly where I was last night, to see Halestorm. And boy, did they live up to the venue’s reputation. I’d never seen them before, but heard any good things about them live. I love their music already though, and fortunately, they didn’t disappoint. They somehow exuded both a cool swagger, and an incredibly passion for the music, all the while expressing gratitude for the fans. They created an atmosphere of camaraderie, not distancing themselves from the crowd in any way. The set had plenty of old favourites - songs like ‘Mz Hyde’, ‘Freak Like Me’ and ‘I Get Off’ guarantee to get the room moving - and new ones from the upcoming record - including ‘Apocalyptic’, ‘Mayhem’ and ‘Amen’ - which sounds very promising. The show also finished with ‘Here’s To Us’, a brilliant choice, as it really feels like a closing song, and brings everyone together one last time. 

Halestorm performing live at the Glasgow Barrowlands

Halestorm performing live at the Glasgow Barrowlands

Halestorm performing live at the Glasgow Barrowlands

Halestorm performing live at the Glasgow Barrowlands

Halestorm performing live at the Glasgow Barrowlands

     They have talent in abundance too, as every track sounded utterly phenomenal live. Arejay Hale performed the most incredible of drum solos, with plenty of stick twirling, something that can bore me at times, but his included well known covers, giant drumsticks and him bouncing off the stool. It was very entertaining, and amazing to watch. The instrumental section at the end of ‘I Miss the Misery’ (a fantastic song itself) was also phenomenal, with the whole band rocking out and flexing their musical muscles. It was one of those moments that’s difficult to describe, as the room is filled with music and passion and energy. Lzzy Hale, meanwhile, is the most badass front woman you will ever come across. Her voice is absolutely stunning live, hitting and holding every single note, with rawness in her voice. She’s also a great guitarist and pianist, and there was an incredibly beauty and stillness in the room during her performance of ‘Break In’ alone. Rock music is sometimes criticised for being male-dominant, and it’s true that there is a lack of females in the industry; but Lzzy Hale blasts so many other front men and women out of the water. Effortlessly cool, stunningly beautiful, and bursting with talent, she owns every inch of the stage, and the whole venue. A rock ’n’ roll queen.

Halestorm performing live at the Glasgow Barrowlands

Halestorm performing live at the Glasgow Barrowlands

Halestorm performing live at the Glasgow Barrowlands

Halestorm performing live at the Glasgow Barrowlands

Halestorm performing live at the Glasgow Barrowlands

     The show was superb from start to finish. The support acts were Wilson, who I enjoyed a bit, and Nothing More, who I were less keen on. Both decent, but I won’t be rushing out to buy their music any time very soon. Halestorm were a league apart though. It felt like a classic rock show, screaming guitars and a raucous crowd, something that other rock bands should absolutely aspire to. All in all, a cracking night.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

A Weekend in Copenhagen

     This past weekend I was lucky enough to jet off for 3 nights in Copenhagen, capital of Denmark. I went with my friend/flatmate as a birthday trip for ourselves, and her birthday landed on the Sunday we were there (while mine is next week!). We got cheap flights out of Edinburgh, and found a room to rent on Airbnb, in Frederiksberg, and our host was nice and offered us some great tips for places to go. This might be quite a long post, as we crammed a lot into a few days, so grab a cuppa and get ready to here about our adventures!

Nyhavn coloured houses on the harbour in Copenhagen

Monday, 2 March 2015

Outfit of the Day - Stormy Skies

     I don't wear this dress as often as I'd like! It's sort of an in-between number, as the thick knit material feels fairly casual, but the flirty hemline dresses it up a little bit. I stuck with the neutral colour palette, with a black cardigan and boots, which go with just about everything. I don't think grey has to be a boring colour at all, it can be moody, mysterious, subtle and sophisticated. I like the tall boots with the short hemline too, leaving just enough leg on display, to add a little riskiness. I've used this jewellery plenty of times before too, but the black and silver is elegant, but not over-dominating, and I think it just all ties together nicely. Casual, with just a touch of classy thrown in.

Outfit of black and grey striped dress, with black tights and leather boots

Outfit of grey striped dress with black cardigan and leather boots

Outfit of grey striped dress with black tights and boots

Outfit jewellery details, of black and silver chain & hoop earrings, and knitted flower on grey dress

Outfit jewellery details of silver metal cuff bangle and knot ring

Outfit details of tall black leather riding boots, with black tights and lacy grey dress hem

Outfit of grey striped dress with black tights and leather boots

Dress - LaRedoute, Cardigan - New Look, Boots - LaRedoute
Tights - George at Asda, Earrings & Bracelet - Forever 21, Ring - Gift
Nail Polish - 'Black Out' by Rimmel and 'Vant to Bite My Neck?' by Opi
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