House of Mask & Glasgow nightlife

Hello lovelies, my goodness, it'd been a while! I think I need to stop apologising for not posting regularly. I was so excited so sit down with a pot of coffee this morning and open up my laptop to start blogging. Life has been absolutely hectic recently and I want to get back to the basics of blogging feeling enjoyable, rather than a chore or stress. I'm sure a lot of you can relate to that, and I'm going to touch on the nature of blogging these days in a future post.

I won't go into why I've been off the radar recently but you can follow my life on a more daily basis (without that sounding creepy?!) via instagram and twitter - both are @hellorogue. For now, I wanted to share a bit of Glasgow nightlife with you. Our city is so buzzing at the moment, what with the Commonwealth Games being held here. There is such an electric atmosphere! That goes for nightlife too, the clubs and pubs are busier and there's loads of exciting events happening.

A couple of weeks ago I went to a launch party for Cubanisto (a new rum flavoured beer) called House of Mask. This is their hidden party network that will host a series of weird and wonderful secret events across the UK throughout this year. Myself and Ashley were given the address to the location just a few hours before the event, jumped in a taxi and had no idea what the night would hold.

The venue ended up being SWG3, which is a huge and very adaptable warehouse space in Glasgow's West End, which is used for gigs and all sorts of club nights. We entered the venue through a smoke filled tunnel, and had to sign off a confession in exchange for entrance into the club. Then we were given white masks by clinical men in white suits and loaded up into an elevator. This brought us out into a small office room, where two rather creepy looking ladies asked us to sign over our confessions in a robot like voice. In exchange for the confession, we were given a puzzle piece, and entered the club through a hidden door inside what looked like a stationary cupboard. Thoroughly creeped out and excited by this point, we headed straight to the bar!

The idea of the jigsaw was to find two more people in the club who had matching pieces. I thought this was a great idea as an ice breaker in having to go up and chat to complete strangers! I finally found my two missing pieces, and we went up to a booth to hand them in exchange for a key. The key opened up certain boxes placed around the room where prizes could be won. Inside my box I won a voucher to exchange for a sandwich - RESULT! I was so hungry and definitely needed a munch to soak up all the Cubanisto's we had been drinking (which is very nice, by the way - light and not too fizzy with the smooth taste of rum throughout) There was a photobooth that synced up with your key and uploaded the photo straight to your facebook etc, not to mention you had to exit the photobooth via a secret door at the back. There was also live graffiti taking place, with UV paint which was quite trippy, and peoples anonymous confessions being projected onto a screen at the back of the room.

The clock on the dj booth counted down to midnight, and then an amazing beat boxer took to the stage. I didn't catch his name (sort of blaming the alcohol by this point) but he was singing in between beat boxing, it was absolutely insane! After his performance, Roska dj'd until 2am, and then we went for food and grabbed a taxi home. Me and Ashley both agreed that we would love to attend more House Of Mask parties, they sure do know how to throw a good night, with so many different layers and aspects to the evening that you wouldn't get at any normal club night. You can see some of my pictures from the evening on instagram, and all of the above were taken by the Cubanisto/House Of Mask photographer.

Back to reality last weekend with a fairly normal (in comparison!) club night at the ABC for my beautiful friend Heather's birthday. I don't go out in Glasgow as much as I used to in my early 20's, but I sort of prefer it this way because it means I really have more money and energy for when I do go out. Sounds like I'm getting awfully old, I'm only 25! My favourite clubs in Glasgow are the ABC, Cathouse and The Garage, and favourite bars include Tiki Bar, Slouch, and Nice & Sleazys. There are so many options for places to drink and dance in Glasgow depending on what night of the week it is, what sort of music you like, and how much money you have to spend. I feel lucky to have such a vibrant and bustling nightlife scene on my doorstep, even if I don't frequent them all as much as I used to.

It will be a quiet few weekends for me over the next month, as I just spent the bulk of my 'play' pennies on a trip down to Leeds to get tattooed by a rather talented man called Neil Dransfield.

This Wizard of Oz inspired piece is on my thigh, and took around 5 hours. I did it all in the one sitting which is the longest I've ever sat for before. Absolutely over the moon with how it turned out, and it's totally worth being skint for the next month for. Plus, with the size my thigh has swollen to, drinking and dancing is probably the last thing I could manage to do right now! :)

What is the club/pub scene like where you live? And do you go out more or less than you did when you were a bit younger?

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...

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.