Showing posts with label halloween. Show all posts
Showing posts with label halloween. Show all posts

Newcastle Adventures

So, I have a new family and their name is Alpha...

It all started last Saturday when I got the train down south to meet Amy Valentine for a night out at the O2 Academy Newcastle. It was my first time visiting the city, and I've no idea why because it was literally only an hour and a half on the train from Edinburgh! We were heading to an alternative club night they hold there called Alpha. I love an eclectic mix of music but my heart will always belong to pop punk, screamo and rock - so I was excited to try out a new club night as there's only one in Glasgow that me and my pals really go to.

I stayed at the Thistle Hotel which was right across the road from the train station, and just around the corner from the venue (sober Ayden liked the convenience of this already) When I arrived I had a couple of hours to kill before I met Amy, so I took a wander around the shops and bought a new outfit for the evening (completely disregarding all the clothes I had already packed, typical) Once Amy arrived we met to meet the guys who run Alpha - Anth, Chris and Ash, along with John who is one of the managers of the O2 Academy Newcastle. We went for a beer and had a proper good chinwag about all things Newcastle, Music, and the sort of club scene that exists in the city. I was also banned from mentioning Gordie Shore, haha!

Maybe it's just that I've never sat down and spoken to anyone who runs their own club night, but I was absolutely inspired by what the guys do, and how successful their night has become despite only launching in April 2013. As I've gotten older I am much more fussy where I end up spending my nights out, maybe for the fact that I get hangovers so badly so I want it to be worth it. For me, good music is a priority. I like songs that I can dance to and that create a good atmosphere, which ultimately leaves everyone in high spirits and up for a good time. So when I gave the guys a list of my 5 favourite alternative bands, I was pleased when they said they played every single one! (for the record, Fall Out Boy, Paramore, Brand New, Underoath and Jimmy Eat World)

Next up on the priority list for me tends to be alcohol options and prices. I don't binge drink or consume large volumes of alcohol when I'm out, so what I do drink I like to be tasty! I know that might sound weird but the thought of a vodka and orange just bores me to tears. I love a cocktail (maybe that's why my hangovers are so bad?!) so was pleased to hear that Alpha did a few simple but effective cocktails, and most famously the Fireball in a little plastic bucket for £5!

Third on my list tends to be the actual venue its self and how the club night operates. I'm talking about theme nights and competitions, the sort of incentives that are not totally necessary but still fun and makes a club stand out from the others. Alpha have done a load of theme nights including Adventure Time, Pirates (where they built the stage into a pirate ship) and wrestling to name a few. The night we were going was day of the dead, black lights and UV paints by the face painters turning everyone into glowing sugar skulls. I'm a big fan of set dressing because of my job, so it was fun to hear that the guys like going all out on the decor and really making the most of fun themes!

Amy and I left the guys feeling pretty excited for the night ahead, so we went and got some food (I popped Amy's buritto cherry) then started getting ready to go out. We went across the road from the hotel to a bar called Science for pre drinks, Amy had a pink cosmo and I had a red cola cocktail complete with kola cubes on top. Told you I've got a sweet tooth!

And then, the Alpha madness commenced...

Alpha (which means the beginning) was in the main room of the club, and Omega was the second room (which means the end) It was really refreshing for there to be two rooms playing a mix of alternative music, so we could go a wander with our fire buckets and see what each room was playing. The O2 Academy Newcastle is such a big venue, similar to the one in Glasgow and I don't think I got quite used to the massive scale! Because the rock night we normally go to in Glasgow at the Cathouse is just a few small and rather sweaty rooms (you can hear the 25 year old pensioner coming out in me now!) The place was absolutely heaving, and we never waited for more than 5 minutes at the bar which was a bit of a shock too. 

The clocks went back that night so the club shut at half two (which was really half three) and for the first time in ages I was dancing when the lights went up and the last song was played. Wild West by Will Smith FYI! You'll normally catch me hovering about the dance floor at 1.30am thinking is it socially acceptable for me to bail now, as chips and cheese are calling, haha. Amy will back me up here, I think it was the best night out we have both had in a long time. It was a combination of everything I have explained above, plus getting to actually spend time with the guys who run it and realising how much heart and soul they pour into what they do at the weekends, between working 'normal' jobs during the week. I absolutely admire that sort of commitment, and I can't thank Anth, Chris and Ash enough for throwing us into the deep end and showing us what Alpha in Newcastle was all about. Sunday morning me and Amy went for breakfast before our train/flight home, and I spent the whole journey curled up in a ball listening to Jimmy Eat World on repeat on the O2 Academy TV youtube channel. I told you, this girl doesn't do hangovers, but this one was 100% worth it.

Now for a slight twist in the story, as it turns out Alpha have just started in the ABC2 in Glasgow every Friday night! They only opened up about 4 weeks ago which explains why I haven't heard about it yet, but I left Newcastle in such high spirits last weekend knowing that this little taste of Alpha was going to be in my home city every friday night too. So I was reunited with Chris and Anth on friday night when I went to their Alphaween event, dressed as Finn from Adventure time.

Again, friday was SUCH a good night! I feel like my moany 25 year old OAP bitterness has been wiped and I've got a new lease of life for being excited about going out. I hope I make sense and that some of you can relate to me on this one? I will definitely be visiting Alpha again now that it's in Glasgow every friday, and to be honest would be happy taking a girls weekend down to Newcastle again because it's actually a lot closer than I thought. For that reason I'm also going to keep an eye out for gigs there too if Glasgow ever sells out. O2 customers can get access to gig tickets up to 48 hours before general release by texting 'Priority' to 2020. Unfortunately this doesn't apply to the club night, but if you're in Newcastle and love a bit of pop punk and rock then I would definitely reccommend trying out Alpha. Glasgow readers, if you'd lost faith in our city then fear not. Alpha is in town and I have a funny feeling this is only the start of something awesome with the potential to be HUGE. I see a great excuse here for a bloggers Christmas night out! Drop me a wee line on twitter if you are interested (@hellorogue)

My history of fancy dress

I'm just going to pre-warn you, 95% of the photographs in this post are absolutely cringe worthy. So even if you don't like the content, I hope you have a giggle at the photos! I am a MASSIVE fan of fancy dress, and actually worked full time in a party shop during the year out I took before starting uni (thanks for all your nice comments on the last post about my job by the way, much appreciated) We did costume making and hire, balloon decor and party/event planning. It was great fun and although I don't have many pictures of me in fancy dress when I was a child, there seems to be loads from the age of 17+. I have been using Pinterest (finally joined tonight, woo hoo!) and the Fancy Dress Ball party planning app to round up some ideas for my 25th Birthday. You can use it to choose a theme, invite friends, and then choose the appropriate costume and accessories for your event. Thought this would be a fun excuse to show you my dressing up outfits from over the years. Please, be gentle with me... Have tried to make these as chronological as possible.

Jinty McGinty. Think I was 17 here, and this is the sort of clown outfit I used to wear when going out to do face painting and balloon modelling for events. Ohhhh dear.

Santas helper. Also 17 and very orange! We used to run christmas grottos through the costume shop too so most of December I would be helping the big bearded man hand out presents, dressed like this.

I have no idea what this is. Tartan and frilly shirts were the dress code for Scottish banquets we used to organise. Och aye the noo!

Another 17 year old Ayden, trying on a pirate outfit over my work clothes. We used to do this quite a lot on quiet days to save our sanity. That has to be the worst hook I have ever seen!

Goldilocks and Bo-Peep. This was me and Corinne when we went down to Leeds for my cousin Emma's 18th birthday.

Tinkerbell. 18 years old, and my first year of uni hence the freshers weight I was carrying in this picture. That's what months of takeaway food and drinking does :( How strange do I look here with no tattoos?

Moulin Rouge. Still 18, at an Oscars charity night. I actually can't bring myself to say much about all these photos, they're cracking me up :')

Hoola girl. 18 years old, still partying away my first year of uni...

Dora the Explorer! I did this one halloween for a friends house party. Absolutely no one knew who I was apart from my little sister Tyler. Look how tiny she is in the photo :) Also, I was proud of this outfit because you have no idea how hard it is to find a pair of orange shorts in October.

Little Miss Sunshine. I was 19 here, and this was my attempt at a DIY which included chopping up a childs costume from asda and pairing it with whatever yellow and red clothes I could find.

Princess Peach. 20 years old, and my first outfit from Legs Avenue, which do an amazing range of costumes which scale from super cute to super risky.

Not a proper fancy dress outfit, but me and Katrina enjoyed taking some California Girls inspiration for Katy Perrys California Dreams tour. 21 in this photo I think. Lots of candy jewellery and I made us those headbands :)

Princess Peach made a comeback for halloween at the ABC when I was 22. We all went dressed as video game characters so I was glad to get use of this outfit again.

Sugar Skull lady. 23 years old, I had a night out again at the ABC for halloween, and at the Titan Props Halloween party wearing this outfit. Doing the makeup was definitely my favourite part.

Bride of Frankenstein. Last halloween, and 24 years old :) The makeup for this one was fun too even if my eyebrows are a bit mad. We went to the Titan Props Halloween party again, but it was so coat that I kept my fur coat on for the first part of the night and everyone kept asking if I was Amy Winehouse!

That's my history of fancy dress outfits, there might have been a couple more but it took quite a while to go through my entire iphoto library looking for these. It was good fun stumbling across lots of old photos from when I was younger though, I definitely need to look back on them more often :)

In my opinion, fancy dress isn't just for Halloween! I love an excuse to dress up, and all the full posts featuring any sort of fancy dress can be read here. What has been your own favourite fancy dress outfit? And do you like to DIY or buy it off the shelf?

Hair, Holidays & Hauls

I never thought I'd say that 1am would see me at my most productive (you know you've stayed up too late when you start getting the Groupon emails through) I was working today but got home around 4ish, but proceeded to have what turned out to be a 4 hour nap. Cannot remember the last time I did that! I watched Fantastic Four and Gamer lying on the couch with Katrina and Dexter, and had actually planned on turning Gamer off and heading to bed until I saw it had Michael C Hall in it - the real Dexter. I have developed a strange crush on him and await patiently for season 7 to start. It's the first show I have watched in it's entirety since Lost, and I don't quite know what I'll move onto next once Dexter is done. I've cleaned my room, changed the cat litter tray, fed the piggies, and made my lunch for tomorrow so hoping this will be the last thing to tire me out Since I am nowhere near tired yet, I thought I'd get this post in before bed. I also wanted to say thank you for your supportive comments in the last post about some family stuff I've had going on lately. I feel better and braver for sharing it. You lot make me do this:

Smile! Also smiling because I have been treated to some pampering courtesy of Wahanda. They got in touch asking me to have a look on their site for deals at Hairdressers in Glasgow. If you're not familiar with the site, they post daily deals under the categories of health, beauty and wellness. I'll admit at first I found Wahanda very confusing to navigate. It was easy enough to narrow down your search options and preferences, but not all 'deals' from the salons I was looking at had details available online, and you had to phone to request prices. However this ended up not being a problem for me, and in general I don't think it would be if you aren't in any massive hurry to book and can spend a few days or weeks browsing until something suitable came up that you wanted to buy. I've really been needing my hair done lately so I was in a bit of a rush to use mines, and ended up buying Wahanda Gift Vouchers which you are able to use in certain salons against the price of your treatment, whatever it is. So rather than buying a deal, I did this, and was able to book into a local salon around the corner from me called Fabulous who I have had my eye on for a while now. I got an all over colour, trim and a file and polish for £55 - and my hairdresser was great so I will be certainly going back! I really thank Wahanda for pushing me outside my comfort zone and getting me to explore what Glasgow has to offer in terms of hair and beauty. I know it's one of these things that once you find someone/somewhere you like, you will continually go there for fear of being let down by taking the chance on someone new. Especially when your own mum is a hairdresser and has kept you in a bubble of comfort for most of your life! But I'll be keeping an eye on Wahanda from now on, I'd like to find somewhere in the South Side of Glasgow that I could try out for my tan, nails, and other things girly. Not easy being a female is it?

As well as feeling refreshed on the outside, I have been trying to feel better on the inside too. It is 2 weeks before I go to Marmaris, so I have stocked my fridge with healthy food and have a meal plan for every day. Once I finish up on this job I'll have time to rejoin the gym and really get cracking - I'm just over a stone away from my goal weight and I'd absolutely love to be well on track to it by the new year. I'm looking forward to having more time to prepare meals and experiment a bit, and have been eyeing up the Tree's Can't Dance website for inspiration. I love food bursting with flavour, and John likes his meals to have a good kick to them, so I think their Chilli Recipe will be the first I try (and hopefully be able to decently make until my Mum parts with her special secret recipes!) It took me a while to finally realise that dieting and eating healthily does not mean starving yourself or rabbit food. So I have been eating what I think is well, and resisting temptation, but on the other hand sometimes it is not easy when I get all sorts of random parcels delivered to my door...

To be fair, this is actually a daily treat I don't feel so bad about indulging in! I definitely rate the new Nature Valley sweet and nutty bars as moreish. I am not normally a huge nut fan but these sort of cereal bars are so nice and chewy with a cup of tea mid morning for a wee pick me up. 150 calories on something sweet but not naughty like a chocolate bar or biscuit. I'm sure I'm not the only one that has an energy dip before lunch and starts to crave all things sugary.

Okay, maybe this picture is a wee bit more naughty! But we're having a Halloween party in the flat this year so I have started to scope out decorations and fun nibbles to have there, and since I have been a little girl M&S do always come up trumps. I am a Cadburys girl through and through but there is something about Marks and Spencers chocolate that I am keen to make an exception for. I've started thinking about Halloween already because I don't get back from holiday until a few days before the party, and have ordered my outfit from America so keep your fingers crossed for me it arrives on time! Otherwise I'll be raiding Asda the night before for a kiddies pumpkin outfit :) You thought about what you're going as this year or am I just overly keen?

I am actually the biggest bloody hypocrite after writing all of the above, because after John bought me these books as a pressie the first one to get opened was the Hummingbird Bakery! I love how their recipes are split into occasions, and I'm looking forward to whipping up a batch of something soon. I'll need some kind volunteers to eat the results for me, since I AM being on my best behavior and can't remember the last time I had a cupcake. But maybe I could have one, just for research/reviewing purposes of course. Any Hummingbird Bakery recipe you suggest I start with? I'm a pure novice remember! Good at eating them but not so good at baking them. The street art book will be a great reference book for work, and the Studio Ghibli film artwork never fails to amaze. Absolutely beautiful.

I've not even started looking out things for my suitcase yet (all I know is that I have flip flops and bikinis so I'm sure I will be FINE) so apart from clothes I've bought a few beauty bits and bobs recently because I know I'll run out of my currents just before it's time to go. Got the Ralph Lauren Blue perfume as a wee filler before I stock up at Duty Free - it is one of these perfumes that totally takes me back to my teen years. The Lee Stafford detangling spray can be used on dry hair as well as wet, so I'll be keeping it in my beach/pool bag. The scent isn't my favourite but I know it will be perfect for holidays because I can really spray it quite heavily and it doesn't leave any greasy residue. Kinda like the loreal kids detangle stuff you used to get years ago? Nostalgia ahoy! The rockaholic hairspray is my all time fave, glad to have it back in my life again. The Mac prep and prime is a product I haven't used in a while, and sometimes forget whether I actually like it or not but I'm still going to give it a go. And finally, I bought the Have A Nice Day moisturiser from Origins and I got a couple of samples free (cleanser and serum) Haven't used this one before so I'm hoping I won't be disappointed. Pretty annoying when all your beauty bits start to run out at the same time, but it does feel pretty epic coming home with a bag of swag like this.

Last but not least, as the colder months close in I know we are starting to pile layers on rather than strip them off. I have been reading over reviews of Spanx lately and wondering if it is something people keep hush hush about, or if I should just man up and buy a pair! Especially for my worst nightmare - nights out that include a big slap up meal beforehand, which is absolutely no good when you are shimmying about in a rather fitted/slinky dress for the evening. I am quite a fan of the pulling my tights up too high technique, especially in the winter, to keep warm but simultaneously hold my wee belly in. So attractive eh, I know you want to keep reading! I jest. But being the queen of tights and having a look over the Tights Please website, their caffeine shapewear did intrigue me. They boast smoother, slimmer and firmer skin due to caffeine micro capsules activated by the warmth of your skin, but I've not worn them for long enough to say I noticed these sort of results. What I did notice instantly though, was how comfy they were and that you can actually be given a nice smooth body shape without feeling constricted. But I am going to stop now as I am giving away all my secrets! I will always have my curves and never ever be a size 8 with a banging hot bod' - so unless the heavens decide to bless me with an absolute miracle in the near future, these secret goodies will be getting worn and that's that! Don't tell anyone though eh? Unless you plan on telling Santa that I've been a very good girl this year and Spanx will only set him back about £70 :)

Feeling completely tired now as you can see, and I have started to gibberish slightly through parts of this post. But have a giggle at my expense and try to smile because by the time you'll be reading this it will be monday! Have a good week ♥

Ayden x

You were born in a terrible storm

I seem to have acquired an internet signal from somewhere near my new flat... with no password so I'm just gonna type this and feel slightly guilty (but not ask too many questions at the same time haha, don't want it to disappear) So not really a planned post, but I'm sitting on my bed with lunch and a cup of tea waiting for my grandparents to come round and see the house for the first time. My mum gave us a couch (which matches our other one really well, luckily) and a lovely old wooden table with 4 gorgeously upholstered chairs. My papa is going to put our mirror up in the hall and do some other wee bits and pieces for us while he's here. My flat mate Katrina is one of my best friends, and another friend of ours Gary who we went to uni with is coming to take the third bedroom in december. I'm so happy to have these lovely people around me, and so relieved to be living in a place that pretty much feels like home already.

I've been waiting in for the gas board to come round all day, and amongst tidying and entertaining my new house guest Milo the cat, I sat reading through my old blog posts for almost an hour. Really strange, but I kinda forgot they all existed and reading through them right back to when I was at uni felt like a real blast from the past. So many memories caught up in this little corner of the internet. When I started this blog, I was the only one that read it, and its a weird feeling know that as I record my thoughts and snippets of my life on here that other people read it too. I could clearly see what posts were 'popular', and which ones didn't get as much of a positive reaction as others. It made it really clear that everything on here is a little piece of me. Not the serious ins and outs of my life mind you, I don't have a facebook and I don't want social networking to dangle the vulnerable parts of me and my life for all of the world to see. Blogging does make me feel very exposed at times (I'm actually a total hypocrite, because its even more exposed than a facebook!) But the nice feelings I got when reading back on my older entries is too good to not keep writing. Kind of like a secret diary, the ones you used to keep when you were 12/13, still reading Sugar magazine, collecting Beanie Babies, shopping in Tammy and HATING boys :) Totally aware that I've just went off on a completely self indulgent tangent - this is what happens when I'm alone in a house with candle lit, nice music playing, animals sleeping at my feet and too much time to think.

One other thing that never changes with me is how much I love getting things in the mail. Anyone want to exchange goodies with me of any shape or form then email me and we can swap addresses yo!

Rosie, my brother from another mother! She is just the best. I want to go live in Devon with her to have cream tea's every day, go surfing 8 days a week and play with her new puppy Bodhi. I love the My Neighbor Totoro necklace especially, and I've hung the guinea pig shaped lavender pillow next to the piggies cage. Totally thought the Rosie Lee brooch was a real teabag at first, doh! She also made me a pretty awesome cd, and makes me feel like I'm not the only person in my twenties who is a big massive emo at heart ;)

Another lovely little parcel from Imogen. The hankies are far too cute, I'm gonna feel bad using them! The bow earrings are real fabric too, and the tea themed cards make me happy :) Thanks Imogen ♥ I'm excited about collecting little bits and pieces to send people in return, and I love a good mix cd too so email me if you fancy a swap buddy. Best of fun, and beats getting plain old bills and bank statements in the post (Although I don't know what to do with all these pink glossybox boxes every month, now that the products are in my makeup drawers...)

Here's a wee sneaky peek of where I'm chilling right now, my new bedroom:

I'm still off work at the moment, so getting my bedroom and the house all sorted and having a major clear out (blog sale to follow soon) has been quite therapeutic. The guinea pigs are still a little unsure of their new surroundings, but they're starting to recognise the sound of the fridge opening in the next room, so I'm sure it will only be a matter of weeks before they settle and their loud mweeping continues (I love it really!)

I'm hanging out with Stephanie tonight, going for dinner and drinks with Leah and Dom tomorrow, and saturday will see my first roller derby match with Louise which I'm pretty excited about. Saturday night we're all going out for Katrina's birthday and having some drinks in the flat beforehand. Starting to think about Halloween and outfits... and my Princess Peach costume has only seen a house party so I've got a feeling I might give it a go again if we go out. Got Katy Perry at the start of november so I'll need to get the blue wig and candy accessories back out again for that too :) Eating too many sweets (and monkey nuts... who even eats monkey nuts when it's not october?) and dressing up like an idiot should be allowed all year round.

Ayden x

I'm erica bain

"And as you know, I walk the city. I bitch and moan about it. I walk and watch and listen, a witness to all the beauty and ugliness that is disappearing from our beloved city"

Last weekend me and the mister watched a film called The Brave One, starring Jodie Foster. The above quote was the opening of the film, which really drew me in because I can totally relate to those words... but a shame the rest of the film wasn't as gripping as the start! I love getting caught up in a good film just as much as the next person. Here's what I did with my weekend (belated, nonetheless)

 Saturday morning, went to the post office with a bundle of ebay sales and my parcel going all the way to Tennille in Oz.

Saturday afternoon, went for a wander into town and on the way up to meet my mum saw this sitting outside the ABC :) The theme tune was blasting out the speakers, and all the PR staff for the club were dressed up as ghostbusters. AWESOME! Made me smile. Booked David in for a haircut for next sat in my mammys salon, and I'm contemplating seeing if they can squeeze me in too. They've just started selling OPI polishes, so I'm looking forward to having a latte, sitting with some trashy magazines and perhaps trying out some of the shades :)

Saturday evening, some sparkling rose and surprise birthday cupcakes in my mum's besties house, followed by a few cocktails down the west end of town.

On sunday David's family came over to the flat for a cuppa which was lovely, and in the afternoon I met my friend Leah for a Starbucks, and in the evening met my friend Erin for a Wagamamas. I haven't been for a waggies in a very long time - I'm afraid for cheapness and convenience Yo Sushi has been my go to date place for the past few months or so. But it was still great - defo an old time fave of mines!

We went for a couple of Kopparbergs after dinner and had a sad little hug goodbye, Erin is working and living in Chester now and was only up for a few days :( Any of you gals been to Liverpool/Chester before? Or are from there? I hope to go down and visit her soon, some shopping and a few cocktails will defo be on the cards so any recommendations are welcome!

So here is one of the better mugshots from the RSAMD's Drama at 60 Campaign I mentioned in my previous post. My old friend from the cafe bar in uni sent me a rather hilarious picture message posing (more like taking the mick!) next to my photo, which is up in the academy at the moment so I'll need to pop in and have a nosy, but from what I can see im pretty sure it's this one they've used. I hope it is, it's the one I look most natural and least embarassed in. 

I know you lot might think I'm quite the poser (a la photobooth, especially) but I can promise you this was such a nerve wracking experience. All the photos for the campaign are to look quite over exposed - so they've all been manipulated quite a bit and I told him to make sure to chop my bingo wings off and defuzz my hair via good old photoshop as much as he needed to! Haha. The finished poster will have Academy branding and my little blurb at the bottom. I was also interviewed and filmed wishing the RSAMD a happy 60th birthday - total cringe, but it was a pleasure to be asked back as a graduate and comment on my course and my time there. I'm still feeling very nostalgic about my uni years, so it's nice to get involved from a completely different point of view.

I know I missed out on dressing up for halloween this year, but heres a picture of what the last couple of years entailed...

Halloween may come early next year however... Katrina has suggested we make costumes for the Katy Perry California Dreams tour in April and wear something candy land-esque for the gig. She is a million times more mental than me, and I can honestly see it happening... so watch this space :)

Ayden x