Thursday, 3 July 2014

London & a quarter of a century

Hello lovelies! It's been busy in the Millar household as I'm on a job with Channel 4 at the moment, painting some sets for a comedy series (which reminds me, the second series of Kirstie Allsopps Fill Your House For Free starts on tuesday at 8pm - another wee gem that I art directed earlier this year) I was able to have a couple of weeks off before I started this current job, leading right up to my birthday. Here's a run down of the places I went and the people I got to have ALL THE FUN with!

Hello Landan! I arrived at Euston about 2pm, checked into my hotel at Waterloo and headed over to Camden to meet my friend Mark for a few beers and a catch up. We went to Worlds End, The Lock Tavern and Brewdog.


Later on in the evening Sally came to meet me and we went to The Diner for dinner. IT WAS SO GOOD. Absolute filth. Under those two fried eggs lived a burger patty, cheese and dirty rice. I couldn't finish it all and got it put in a doggy bag to take back to the hotel with me.



The next morning I got up bright and early to meet Chloe for breakfast on the South Bank. We took a wander along the river where I met my future husband, Jack, as you can see above.


We took the tube to Oxford Street for some retail therapy, and walked along to Carnaby Street which is my favourite area to shop in. I got a jumper from Cheap Monday, skirt from Monki, and some Simpsons goodies from Johnny Cupcake. After a few hours we got the bus to Westfield shopping centre where we met Chloe's fella for dinner and visited a few more shops. Was pretty surprised to see these Paul Frank jammies in Primark of all places!


On the Sunday my friend Louise popped down from Glasgow for the night to take me to see The Drowned Man. She is a HUGE fan of the show, and now I can see why. It is the most intense piece of immersive theatre I have ever been to. It is like being stuck inside a video game for 3 hours, where you wander amongst the 4 floors of set wearing a mask the whole time, and can follow any of the 30 actors in the show on their journey. I highly recommend it if you're looking for something a bit different to see in London.


The next morning Uncle Greig Arrived to join me for the last few days of my trip. We went for lunch at Ping Pong, followed by a visit to the cigar shop in Mayfair, then a wander around Harrods. All finished off with macarons and tea at Laduree (my favourite)


The next day I dragged Greig to Hoxton to visit Rockalily Cuts for a vintage up-do! I am a major fan girl of the owner ReeRee Rockette, so it was a total honour to be invited along to the salon :) I'd wear my hair like this every day for the rest of my life if I could.  The night before I went to London I used Crazy Colour in Violette over the top of my blue, and this is how it turned out. I've been using the SKR Hair Argan Oil to keep my hair in top condition amongst all this dying, and it seems to be working a treat! It isn't as heavy as a lot of argan oils I've used in the past.

After the salon we went a wander around nearby Shoreditch and Spitalfields, and that evening I took Greig with me to see The Drowned Man for a second time! The next day we went to Covent Garden for lunch and a wander, and caught the matinee of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. A lovely little family friend of mine was playing the lead role of Charlie Bucket. Rhys is only 9 and did a spectacular job, I was close to tears throughout the whole performance.


And then Thursday was home time. I feel like I managed to cram quite a lot into my 6 day trip, and have probably missed out a few details here and there. It was brilliant fun and a little getaway was just what I needed. I missed out on seeing a few familiar faces when I was down there, you all know who you are! Hopefully next time I'm down I can catch a blog event or even have a night out with some of you lovely girls who have became friends through the good ol' blog. Power of the internet huh!


The week after I got home, I celebrated my 25th birthday. I had a lovely day off visiting my family, which was ended with a ride on the back of my Dad's new motorbike through the countryside. Absolute bliss! That weekend I had a night out with friends at Glasgow's Grand Ole Opry. A western themed night with live bands, bingo and a shoot out. Last year I only lasted until 9.30pm before becoming so drunk that I had to go home... but thankfully this time I paced myself and was still dancing at last orders.


A few days before I started back at work, me and the chums took a road trip to Alton Towers. Doing the whole thing in a day is quite tiring considering the 4.5 hour drive from Glasgow, but the rides kept our adrenaline going all day. The first picture is Kyle going a bit yoga-tastic after our first ride, which was on the smiler. It's a fairly new rollercoaster there and was absolutely insane. After a few hours we sat just down from the Towers to have lunch, and initially Kyle was a bit worried about finding a Quorn option since he is veggie (in reality we should have brought packed lunches, but getting up at 3am to hit the road was hard enough) and after a wee wander he managed to get a bean burger while me, Dom and Leah stuffed our faces with quarter pounders and chips. I didn't feel too guilty as Dom's UP band told us we walked 6 miles that day! The last picture is us waiting in line to go on our final ride of the day, Oblivion. Not for the faint hearted at all! I can't thank them enough for a great day, I haven't smiled that much in a long time.

Well, congratulations if you made it to the end of this post. That's about my life in a nutshell recently :) Now it's head down and back to work, with a few more adventures on the horizon to keep me on my toes...

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

When do you think it will all become clear?

In the words of Lily Allen, I'm being taken over by the fear. Fear of getting back into work after a couple of weeks off, fear of returning to the gym properly for the first time in months, fear of meeting new people, and fear of blogging after my haitus. Some days the fear really grips me more than others, and then other days I think what the HELL am I worried about? These days are becoming more present than the negative ones, so I thought the best approach is just to throw myself back into everything. I think we should all be a lot kinder to ourselves, and accept that we are on our own personal journeys which won't be smooth sailing 100% of the time. Hey, it's all character building right? I'm starting to practice mindfulness and be more aware of the simple pleasures that I enjoy in day to day life. My morning coffee, cuddles with Dexter and that smell of 'summer' in the air. 

Despite the sombre start to this post, life is actually pretty good. Another simple pleasure which I want to share my appreciation for is Adventure Time! For those of you who haven't watched it before, AT is a cartoon following the adventures of Finn the human and Jake the dog. I have been indulging in a lot of it recently and I must say, some of the quotes the characters come out with are the most uplifting, simple and straight up forms of wisdom I've heard in a long time :)

As far as cartoons go, Adventure Time is definitely my favourite. I turned 25 a couple of weeks ago and got some lovely AT related goodies for my birthday.


I got my nails decorated full of Adventure Time characters by the amazing Nancy, who takes nail art to an insane new level. Her hand painted creations are absolutely flawless, and so bloody cute! Was so chuffed to catch her for an appointment while she was up visiting from London. I felt like taking a deep breath every time Nancy took her miniscule brush to my fingers. My favourite nail has to be BMO on the very left hand side. LOOK AT HOW TINY HIS BUTTONS ARE! ♥


I made this Jake the dog phone case on Mr Nutcase, and apart from a little bit of damage (white dot on the red rainbow stripe) I'm really pleased with how it turned out. Birthday money well spent I think, since my last phone cover was just a sticker and giving my iphone no protection whatsoever. This one is a hard case that wraps around the sides too. If you're looking for a new personalised phone case you can get 10% off with my code "Thanku10"


A very special person got me this Adventure Time comic for my birthday too. It is issue no.1, with a limited edition cover drawn by the creator of Adventure Time - Pendleton Ward. I've been told it is 1 of 500 made and was only available at San Diego Comic Con 2012... so no pressure! Haha I've had a delicate flick through but definitely think I'd be safer getting this little piece of magic framed.

How do you allow your mind and body to have a complete reboot when you've been feeling a bit lost or unmotivated? If you're having a tough day I genuinely recommend giving Adventure Time a watch.


Tuesday, 27 May 2014

10 good things

10 of the best things which have been making me smile a lot lately...



My favourite tea house in Glasgow, situated in a leafy part of the West End just off Kelvingrove Park. On a sunny day it is perfect for sitting outside, with a cosy and concealed decking area -  and their selection of teas and vegan food/cakes is the best I've ever tasted. We also dabbled in a cherry flavoured shisha pipe last week which was yummy too. Above is a Mary Poppins tea with chocolate fudge brownie.

 2. Katy Perry - Prismatic Tour


I'm not over exaggerating when I say this was genuinely one of the best nights of my life. Myself and a few pals had tickets for Katy's latest tour at the Hydro, inside the 'Reflection Section' - which was basically a pit inside the stage.We had a front row view and Ms Perry was close enough to touch! I got to meet Katy at a Meet & Greet a couple of years ago but it was still really overwhelming watching her performance from so close. You can see a video I took from the gig over on instagram (@hellorogue) and I did actually cry at a couple of slower songs :( Ive been in quite a vulnerable place lately and they really tugged at my heart strings.

3. Catching up with Mum


I really miss not living at home with my Mum, and truly cherish when we get to have a proper catch up amongst both our busy schedules. I went to meet her on friday for a haircut (got quite a bit chopped off as you can see!) and then we went to a lovely new restaurant called Ox and Finch. My Mum is a massive foodie so you know when she recommends somewhere to eat, it's gonna be good. Scallops, Steak, Poached Eggs and Asparagus are amongst a few of the things we ate. Absolute heaven!

4. Quality time with the animals


During that last job I had been like passing ships in the night with all the animals of my household. Feeding, watering and cleaning out their tray/cages were about the only interaction we were having. So it's been nice having a bit of time off to rectify that! Dexter and Tinkerbell received a lovely parcel from PetShopBowl last week. Dexter only eats dry food, and has ever since he was a baby. So he had a sniff at the Lily's Kitchen food but left Tink to get stuck into it. They both had a good old munch at the Symply Salmon biscuits, and are currently very kindly sharing their favourites - the Dreamies! I don't know why but they go absolutely crazy for them. Dexter also has a major soft spot for catnip, and wasn't up for sharing his Kong Wubba toy (which is catnip infused) as you can see above. Boys will be boys ;)

5. Friday night munchies
 

Emma and I had a lazy friday night in as we knew we'd be out at Radio One's big weekend on Saturday and Sunday. So on Friday night we watched the live feed from George Square, and had a light snack rather than our usual weekly takeaway. I got us both a light sponge/mousse cake from Patisserie Valerie (which were demolished before I got a chance to take any pictures) Then I made us up a batch of Peach Pear and Honey Ice Tea from Fruitbroo's new ice tea range, which was nice and refreshing on these warm summer nights. I've been a bit obsessed with cheese and ham croissants lately (I do tend to go through phases of eating a certain food until I get sick of it) and since Emma is a veggie I made us an alternative with Quorn bacon rashers, which I have been wanting to try for a while now. It didn't taste much like real bacon at all unfortunately, and missed that salty and smoked taste. Definitely just more like a normal ham! So I teamed it up with a nice applewood smoked cheddar which kicked the flavour a bit. I have no idea how long this croissant obsession is going to last for, but hopefully not too long as my hips won't thank me for it.

6. Spotify playlists


I have had Spotify for a while now, but haven't properly explored it until very recently. I was used to just searching for songs and making my own playlists, but I have discovered a whole load of pre made lists on there, to suit a million different genres and moods - and I am addicted! Most evenings for me now will consist of sitting on the couch or in my bed a bit before bedtime and winding down with music and a book. I pop my ipad mini in this little lapdesk contraption which has a hard surface but sort of bean bag underneath. My evening playlists of choice at the moment are Evening Acoustic, Songs For Sunset, and Sleep Tight (all which you should be able to find under the browse section on Spotify's home page) I'm also a bit of a rubbish reader so have been trying to break myself in easily, and I'm currently reading "Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek" by Maya Van Wagenen, where she decided to follow advice from Betty Cornell's 1952 Teenage Popularity Guide and document the results, what would Betty do?!

7. The Bathory


I am pretty rubbish at being self indulgent when it comes to relaxing and winding down. Reading and listening to music has definitely helped though, along with lighting candles, burning incense (nag champa is my favourite) and enjoying these personalised bath salts from The Bathory. I customised mine with Bergamont, Lavendar and Ylang Ylang essential oils, but only have a shower in my flat so before I'm able to have a full on soak I made myself a mini foot bath which was lovely! :)

8. Dog walks and Beer Gardens


The sunny weather in Glasgow has allowed for nice long walks around the park with Heather and her pups. On the way back from a walk last week we got ice cream from Queens Park Cafe, then stopped by our local Church On The Hill for a cider in the sunshine. This cute little lady above is Cherry, who I believe is a mix between Boston Terrier and Chihuahua. Dat face!

9. Wedding photos

 
I finally got a copy of some of Luisa's wedding photos (by Vanishing Moments Photography) and they teared me up something awful. Such wonderful memories of a beautiful day. Luisa was only a few months pregnant at the wedding, and now her baby boy Robin is a few months old. Getting to babysit him for a couple of hours on thursday while Luisa goes to the Doctors, so I'm looking forward to lots of cuddles.

10. Radio One's Big Weekend


Theme of the weekend seems to be "I'm getting too old for this sh*t!". What a brilliant weekend though with a fantastic line up, and all on our doorstep. Highlights were definitely Pharrell, Lily Allen, Ed Sheeran and Lorde on the saturday, then Katy Perry, Rita Ora, Sam Smith and Paolo Nutini on the Sunday. I feel like a burst couch after drinking and dancing around Glasgow Green the whole time.

This week I am mostly recovering and getting ready for my trip to London on Friday. If any of you blogging lovelies are around and fancy meeting up for a coffee or a wander then let me know :)

Monday, 19 May 2014

Tattoo adventures


Hello lovelies! A bit of a rewind on this post as the pictures are all from a couple of months ago (with my pink hair) when I got some new tattoos all in the space of a few weeks of each other.


You'll have seen the scissors I got tattooed for my Mum a few posts back (both them and the above are by Stephen Kelly) and next up I planned to get an old school cafe racer motorbike for my Dad. He got me into bikes at a very young age and we had motocrossers for years. My dad has always ridden road bikes but once we got rid of the crossers he went without one for quite a long time. Not long after I got the cafe racer tattoo, I turned up at my Dads one sunday to see this...


He finally took the plunge and bought himself a Triumph Bonneville. So happy for him, and that wee cheesy smile can't express how chuffed he is with his new ride. I'm hoping to sit my bike test this summer, but until then I'll be buying a second helmet and getting a backie on this one :)


With my next tattoo planned, me and the ladies took a trip to the Edinburgh Tattoo Convention which is held every year at the Corn Exchange.


Can you see I'm loving my Adventure Time swim suits?! I got papped at the convention by Dr Martens for wearing my skull brogues. This was on the Saturday, and I went back on the Sunday to get tattooed.


After a wander around the different stalls, looking at portfolios and artwork, I lay down on the bed for 3 hours for my appointment with the lovely Rachel Baldwin. She is super talented and a lady in demand! Which is why I ended up having to pop back over on the Sunday. Here is my little lucky cat she did for me (He sort of resembles Pikachu!)



Getting tattooed at a convention can be quite intimidating, and I wouldn't recommend it for your first tattoo. It's warm, often uncomfortable, and there are lots of people wandering around having a right good nosy at what's going on. We got papped while Rachel was tattooing me and it ended up in a few papers which was a nice surprise! I'm just glad that I look like I'm keeping my cool here. The inner arm is a nippy one and I wasn't looking forward to it. So to be honest, having lots of noise and people wandering about me was actually a blessing as it kept me distracted and helped the sitting fly in.

One of the things I like most about a tattoo convention is getting the opportunity to see tattooists from all around the world, whose work you may not have discovered otherwise. I had been following Rachel's super cute work for a while, but if I wanted tattooed by her I would have had to travel down to Liverpool. Which is fine (I'm actually going to Leeds for a tattoo in July) but more convenient for it to be closer to home. So I jumped at the chance to get tattooed by her when I heard she was coming to Edinburgh.


After the convention I went over to my Mum's house for a good old Sunday dinner. Getting tattooed can be quite a shock to the system, which is why it's important to make sure that you have eaten and drank plenty of water beforehand, and also make sure you refuel afterwards. You are putting your body through a mini ordeal and can end up feeling quite drained once the adrenaline has worn off.

I do get quite a lot of emails and questions about tattoos, so if you have any then drop me a comment at the end of this post and I will answer them for you as best as I can. If there's enough I could even do a wee Q&A post? I'm hardly an expert, but I have picked up a few do's and don't and learned some lessons in my timeline of getting tattooed.