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This year has been an AMAZING year in music in my opinion.

I've seen some amazing tours, there's been the best newcomers in music for a long time and my old favourites have released top albums. I don't do enough music posts to say it's been such a huge part of 2014, so I might make that a blogging resolution for next year!

I've put together a few of the best moments of music for me in 2014.

Katy Perry Prismatic World Tour @ Manchester Phones 4 U arena

I have waited a very long time to see Katy Perry in action and it was the most spectacular show I've ever been to. She got a lot of bad rep for performing live on TV last year but in actuality, her voice was stunning. How a woman can sound so great whilst running up and down a treadmill between swinging cats and oversized emojicons I have no idea.

Definitely the most fun I've had at an arena concert since Steps circa 2001.

Arctic Monkeys - Finsbury Park

These are an old favourite and having seen them a couple of times before I knew I'd enjoy it. I love gigs that have support acts that you enjoy just as much as the headliner and Royal Blood and Miles Kane support was awesome.

The ONLY issue I had with this? No Mardy Bum. But as the #0114 girls representing Yorkshire, we serenaded the crowd whilst shuffling out of the park for a good twenty minutes after Alex left the stage.

source: NME

The Kooks - John Peel Stage @ Glastonbury

Whilst myself and my friends from Oxfam were working hard (sat recovering from the previous night's antics) at the entrance, it was released on Twitter that The Kooks were playing a secret gig. After our shift we downed a can of cider (thank you to the man who gave us the rest of his crate on his way out of the festival!) legged it to John Peel and had the BEST time.

They played the classics and the new stuff as we danced around our bag mountain. I can honestly say I've never had a better gig experience whilst being at the very back of a tent - plenty of boogie room.

Dolly Parton - Pyramid Stage @ Glastonbury

I cried.
Yes, I did have a box of wine previous to her performance which could have contributed to this BUT honestly, it was emotional all round. It was amazing to see such a legend of music sing all her originals and who knew she could play so many instruments?!

Highlights were 'Jolene' (thumbs up to the Theatre & Circus Glasto team who promoted the dance and the security guards who joined in) and 'Blue Smoke'. Totally bought her new album afterwards and I am not ashamed.

Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls - Unity Works, Wakefield

This was the first time I'd seen Frank Turner at his own gig rather than amidst a festival and it was bloody brilliant. I'm gonna be honest, I've not gone through his entire back catalogue and learnt every word like a lot of people around me had but I'm still a pretty big fan. Not necessarily just of his music but of his attitude to life and fame in general.

Also meeting the band afterwards was pretty cool. They're all down to earth guys and thanks to Tarrant for coming over and chatting and thanks to the random girl who thought we were dating. I was flattered.

Jamie T - Alexandra Palace, London

This was spectacular both because it was the biggest comeback of the year and the venue is just brilliant. He played all the crowd favourites and showed off the best of his new album 'Carry on The Grudge' and it was spot on. See my full gig review here.

What were your favourite gigs of 2014?

In 2015, I've already got a few gigs lined up I think are gonna be amazing including King Charles, Catfish and the Bottlemen and Hozier, as well as another wonderful week at Glastonbury! Hope you've enjoyed my round-up of this year, give me a shout if you have any gigs you think I'd love!

FITNESS IN 2014 //

This post is a little bit different for me, it's actually about exercise.
I've included the main things that have helped me
get a little bit fitter and a little bit healthier
this year, so you can try it for yourself in 2015 (just in time for a New Year's resolution...)

Do something different

I'm not an avid gym goer and I don't do much in the way of daily exercise but I used to dance up until the age of 18/19. At the time, I enjoyed the classes but they often got in the way of something and I didn't do it enough to want to choose it as a career path, so I stopped.

I really missed having a hobby that I enjoy, particularly one that keeps me healthy while I'm at it, so a couple of months back I signed up to a 6-week 'Aerial Hoop' course.

I know, it's a little bit out there!

I didn't know what to expect at all but I have had SO much fun doing it. I feel like it's a hobby that I won't get bored of quickly and it's genuinely challenging, much more than your average Zumba or step aerobics class. It's a full body workout and since starting the course, I've been trying to work on my upper body strength, something that I have never had to focus on before!

It's been lovely meeting new people (although I'm jealous most of them can do the splits) and I'll certainly be signing up for another six weeks come January!

Google your nearest classes - you'll find everything from gymnastics to ballroom dancing to aerial hoop. It might be the best thing you'll do all year.


As well as starting a course, I've started the 10,000 step challenge. Basically, according to the NHS website (link here) we should should aim to walk 10,000 steps a day to keep fit and healthy. To do this, I needed a way of tracking how many steps I was taking.

I was kindly sent the Ozeri 4x3 Motion Pedometer to try from Amazon and it's so easy to use. I had it up and running (which I was also itching to be...) in a matter of minutes.

Clipping a pedometer to the front of your trousers so a weird bulge was visible to everyone above your crotch isn't really appealing. However, with this one,
you can carry it in your pocket, purse or bag.

It doesn't have to stay upright, it just has to be on your person and it will follow the movement wherever you go.

It's only £15.95 at the minute too, which is amazing value AND there's free delivery if you live in the UK. There's no excuse not to make that little bit more effort in exercising during your average day.

The first day I was using it I had a fair amount of Christmas shopping to do and I was going out for tea so I was really pleased to find I'd walked

9271 steps!

That's where the good news ended really, as the following days I didn't even hit half the target which made me realise just how LITTLE exercise I was really doing.

To improve my step count, I've been trying to make small changes as the NHS suggest. I try to walk further on my lunch break, even if it's an extra few minutes around the aisles in the supermarket! I walk to and from the train station and have been taking stairs instead of the lift.

The pedometer lets you keep track of the past 7 days, making it easy to reflect on how much you've exercised throughout the whole week and improving it in the future. I keep checking regularly and I can't wait to see the results.

What are your favourite ways to keep fit?


There weren't actually ANY fashion items on my initial 'Christmas Wishlist' post so I've made up for that by picking out some of my absolute favourites from Next. Now that the Black Friday madness has subsided, it's a lot easier to find the pieces I like!


This style of coat has been featured in every high street store, on every A/W catwalk and in every fashion magazine going. This is actually one of the most affordable ones I've seen and knowing Next, it's definitely gonna be amazing quality. It's perfect for this time of year and I've actually bought some burgundy boots which will look amazing with it. Please, Santa, please!


It's not a secret I'm a huge fan of patterned trousers but I don't have many smart pairs. These would be perfect to put a bit of colour and professionalism into my workwear, as usually I'm sat at my mac with a pair of jeans and a tshirt...


So I ventured, daringly, into the Lipsy range featured on the Next website. It was only this year I actually realised Lipsy is part of the Next franchise which is good news for everyone. I've never owned a Lipsy dress but I've been window shopping there for a very, very long time! I love Michelle Keegan's style, she's stunning but keeps it classy which is exactly how I'd describe this dress. It's the perfect Christmas party outfit.


This is my ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE item on the Next website! Do you love it as much as I do?!
It's so kitsch and I already know I'd be able to wear it with almost any outfit on a night out. Words can't describe how much I like this, I'm contemplating hinting about it to the fella but I can guarantee he won't understand the necessity.


It's so pretty and I'm a huge fan of a jacquard print. If it's good for a pair of trousers it's certainly good for bedding. If I remember rightly, the carpet in my new place is purple so this would add a bit of glamour and not clash.


This was too cute not to include on my list. I used to collect moose plush toys when I was I don't know why, either. Regardless, I fell in love with this all the same and it's really Christmassy! It would look perfect in my new house.

What are your favourites?
Pick them out here and let me know!


I failed at only one of my resolutions last month and that was the tattoo. This is currently on standby until I have a casual £50 to spend, so bear with me!

Here are my small, (hopefully) achievable resolutions for December...

Start afresh

So I'm moving out and I'm hoping this brings a new chapter along with it. I've been in this lovely flat for 9 months and I feel like it's the right time to commit to living by myself (well, sort of by myself, in a house with 10 strangers...)

I'm so excited to meet a few new people and I'm hoping it will give me more time to concentrate on work and saving for bigger and better things next year. I have enjoyed living with my best friend though and I'm glad we had the opportunity, even if it were short but sweet!

Clear out my wardrobe

No, seriously this time. With moving and all, I need to get rid of AT LEAST a quarter of my clothes. I find it so hard to chuck things away, my usual excuse being 'it might be good for a fancy dress party!' Me and my friends are going to have a clothes swap night to try and declutter. I've always wanted to do it and now I have a ridiculous amount of unwanted garments, now's as good a time as any!

See in the New Year with David

This will be the third New Year's we've had as a couple and this, hopefully, will be the first one we will actually spend together! We are terribly argumentative when drunk so I don't expect us to be kissing from 2014 through to 2015, but at least we'll be in the same vicinity. That's a step in the right direction, right?

All images sourced on Pinterest, except the last one. That's me.


Jamie T at Alexandra Palace - 14/11/2014

This year has been chock full of amazing gigs but we've been waiting a while for this one in particular. Jamie T at Alexandra Palace held a lot of excitement because:

1. His new album is fantastic
2. None of us had ever been to Ally Pally before
and 3. It was an excuse for a festive London trip with some of my music loving mates!

As we were travelling from Watford Junction, we took a number of tubes to end up in Wood Green. From there, we jumped on board the Ally Pally coach (just on the opposite side of the road to the station) and surprisingly, it was only a quid for the journey!

We arrived, skipped the uber-fan queue to go straight to the bar - obviously. In the Bar & Kitchen it was pretty reasonably priced to say we were in London and at a venue in the middle of nowhere. We all ordered food (halloumi kebabs for me, absolute winner) and had a few drinks before the chaos began.

Inside, the Palace had set up food stalls galore and it was such a festival feel we got into the gig spirit pretty quickly, if the copious amounts of cider hadn't already. The place is stunning and holds up to 10,400 people, and of course, Jamie T had well and truly sold out.

Opening with Limit Lies and Don't You Find, he introduced his album to the fans live, in the biggest headline gig of his career.

It was lairy, to put it simply. It's been a while since I've been in a 'crowd-crushing' and 'struggling to find air instead of other people's sweaty fumes' sort of situation, but by the end, I felt right at home. 

There were moshpits galore but not in a 'Bring Me The Horizon; Oli Sykes is a dickhead' sort of way. The crowd was mainly male and there was a clear Jamie T inspired sense of style - laddish.
Every one of the parka coat/umbro jacket squad however, provided a great atmosphere and quite frankly, it was one of the best crowds I've ever been a part of.

Jamie had not played the same setlist throughout the entire tour which made us a little bit nervous he might miss out a few old favourites (e.g. he didn't play Sheila in Bristol - soz you missed out guys!)
However he went on and played all the ones I personally love, Turn On The Light, 368 and If You Got the Money. 

He finished with what I'd say was the best encore I've ever experienced, with his most famous three singles - Sheila, Zombie and Sticks 'n' Stones.

A radio DJ earlier in the week asked 'Is Jamie T the biggest comeback of the year?'
My answer is yes, he most definitely is.


Thanks to the wonderful Lauren over at byLaurenJane who nominated me for this tag, here goes...

'50 Random Facts About Me'

1. Half my front tooth is fake, I chipped it when I was 11
2. I hate mushrooms
3. I don't have a favourite colour
4. I have ombre hair
5. Lucy Watson is my personality icon
6. I would kill for Lily Collins eyebrows
7. I've lived with my best friend for the last year but I'm moving out soon
8. I once had scarlet fever
9. I have a degree in Design for Digital Media
10. People who mumble are a pet hate of mine
11. I have a short temper
12. I loved my first year at uni
13. I hated my third year at uni
14. I have a dog called Oscar
15. Nokia phones are my favourite
16. My fave TV programmes atm are Made in Chelsea, The Apprentice and ANTM
17. I worked at a shoe shop for SIX years
18. I'd love to dye my hair lilac but I'm too lazy to keep it up
19. I drink about 8 cups of tea a day
20. Most of the time, I'm thinking about food
21. I wanted to be a ballerina when I was younger
22. I'm a bit of a grammar nazi
23. My Starbucks drink of choice is either a caramel latte or chocolate cream frappuccino
24. Twitter is my fave social media site
25. My boyfriend lives exactly 100 miles away
26. The plan is to travel Australia for a month next year
27. I work in graphic design
28. I am a godmother
29. My favourite month of the year is May (not only because it's my birthday...)
30. One of my best friends currently lives in Malta and I'm so jealous
31. My favourite shop is Ark
32. I love my leather jacket more than some of my friends
33. I'm not specifically religious but I believe in the idea of faith as part of a positive life
34. I am much happier now than I was one year ago
35. I have two tattoos
36. In Year Six I won a 'Spelling Champion' award at school (to this day, it's one of my greatest achievements!)
37. I'm currently doing an aerial hoop course to get fit
38. My wardrobe is full of crop tops and patterned trousers
39. In my opinion, Steps > S Club 7
40. My favourite makeup brand is Boots No7
41. Glastonbury festival has stolen my heart
42. I love reading
43. I cry at horror films, I'm such a wuss
44. My family is so huge, I've lost count of how many cousins I have
45. I want twins in the future
46. My dream holiday is Bali
47. I built my first piece of flat pack furniture this year
48. Someone once told me I had 'rain-coloured' eyes, which is rather nice (they're weirdly grey)
49. I still make a wish at 11.11 and 22.22
50. 2014 has been my favourite year so far

It's actually more difficult than I thought to think of that many facts about yourself!

Look out for my nominations on Twitter...


by James Frey & Nils Johnson-Shelton

'Twelve ancient cultures were chosen millennia ago to represent humanity in Endgame, a global game that will decide the fate of humankind. Endgame has always been a possibility, but never a reality…until now. Twelve meteorites have just struck Earth, each meteorite containing a message for a Player who has been trained for this moment. At stake for the Players: saving their bloodline, as well as the fate of the world. And only one can win.

Endgame is real. Endgame is now.'

After reading the blurb I knew I wanted to read 'Endgame' and was kindly sent a copy before release. The whole dystopian genre has come under a huge spotlight since 'The Hunger Games' and this sounded very similar to others I've read such as 'The Maze Runner' (review here).

I wasn't sold on the story at first - it seemed like another book in which kids kill each other to survive blah blah. It did get me hooked when I was half way through the book however. Unlike 'The Hunger Games', there's more focus on all of the 12 players rather than a sole protagonist. I wanted to know what happened to my favourite characters by the end because you find out an equal amount of each (dependant on how long they're alive for, obviously).

The characters and detail into their lives before and during playing Endgame was the best point for me, it means you really get to grips with them as people and I find it's more enjoyable when you care about what happens to each one.

One of the most irritating things about the book is An Liu, a player with a stammer. Each of his chapters have an extraordinary amount of *blinkblinkblink-ing* in them which after introducing him as a character with this issue and a first *blink* they should have just given the audience the credit to remember that he would be disadvantaged because of this.

It was pretty action packed but not my cup of tea, I didn't find it exciting enough.

However, the interesting thing about this book is how it is also an interactive REAL LIFE game involving puzzles, YouTube videos, e-books and more. Basically, there's a $500,000 prize if a reader can figure out the clues, reflecting a similar plot to that of the actual story (without murder and death I hope) and unlock the gold in Las Vegas. It's all pretty exciting BUT this isn't portrayed enough at all. I received the book, read the book, saw the puzzles and yet still had to Google for about half an hour to find out if this was actually a real thing. Apparently it is, see the live stream here.

What did you think of Endgame, or would you want to read it?

If so, it's available here - Endgame on Amazon


Large red bauble decorations at Covent Garden

'Tis the Season to be jolly... London, apparently!

I visited London last weekend for a gig (review to come later...) followed by Christmas window shopping, sightseeing and a wild night out in Watford! It was such a lovely experience, not only because I had a great time with a good bunch of people but because visiting London at this time of year is guaranteed to make even Scrooge himself feel a bit of festive spirit.

It was absolutely beautiful, which of course my amateur Nokia phone photo skills won't portray, but I went a bit snap happy regardless and I hope you enjoy reading about my time in the capital.

We started our 'Day of Fun and Christmas' at Harrods. Obviously. Where else?!
After flitting quickly through the jewellery department and trying to find an escalator, we eventually followed the jolly Christmas music and ended up in the Christmas at Home section - and it didn't disappoint. 

Christmas Tree ornaments

Christmas Tree ornaments
Look at all the beautiful tree ornaments!

As a designer (sometimes environmental) I was captured by the clever advent calendar style wall displays Harrods used in each area. They all had specific themes and accompanying themed trees!
Delicate, elegant, floral and pretty pretty pretty theme.
Much more up my street - quirky, wood and bright colours!

It would be a crime not to visit the food hall in here, so after deciding a £9 hot chocolate was a bit out of our price range at the chocolate cafe (it looked heavenly, though!) we headed straight for the cakes. The Christmas theme didn't just stop at homeware...

See what I chose on Instagram...

After this, we headed through London with digital and polaroid cameras to hand for the full tourist experience. Our friend Kim kindly gave us the ultimate, unique guide to London as she walked us through various scenes from different TV shows she watches...

From Millenium Bridge, where the Cybermen walked across in the last episode of Dr Who, apparently.

From there we went to the Tower Bridge to see the amazing poppy displays that were placed for Remembrance Sunday a few weeks ago. The volunteers were steadily taking them all down but the majority of the display was still there and it was spectacular. All 888,246 poppies (one for every fatality in WW1) have been sold to raise money for six charities relating to the Armed Forces and Servicemen.


This is a blog series in which I look at books that have recently been produced as films. I love adaptations of plots but sometimes, it can go terribly wrong in the process (look at The Fault in our Stars, for example. Controversial? We can discuss this another time friends...)

The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Screenplay by various, Film directed by Wes Ball

from book...

I picked up The Maze Runner series because it specifically sold itself as 'for fans of The Hunger Games'. I love the dystopian future theme that has been taking over the cinemas lately and The Maze Runner is a great contender. I loved the first book and the overall idea, albeit VERY similar to THG but hey, they did tell me that in the first place...

All male characters (initially) and a random, deserted place they've all landed in; I actually found the start of the book pretty slow. However, I appreciated the time spent describing individual characters although there are a lot of nicknames to remember.

The whole storyline is pretty action packed after the introductions and it was a page turner from there onwards. The Glade seems genuinely horrific and the 'grievers' (awful, slimy, machine creatures...) can be imagined as pretty terrifying.

You get pretty attached to certain characters which isn't surprising as they're pretty detailed and their individual relationships with Thomas shows a lot about the personality each one. I think this works really well but didn't expect the same to come across in the film, due to having to compress it, basically. film

So I still like the character of Thomas as I did in the book, played by Dylan O'Brien (who at first glance, I actually thought was the same guy who played Percy Jackson. It isn't. Just thought I'd let you know.) Not a lot of detail about certain characters. Gally is less likeable from the get go in the book and Alby isn't as 'fatherly'.

The Glade isn't half as scary as the book makes out. They're actually all having a pretty great time with no families, normality and in the middle of a field. It's all a bit Glastonbury.

The grievers are fantastic, couldn't have imagined them better.

The only female character makes a very quick entry into the film and is useless, and in the book she doesn't really play much of a part until the end but is still pretty useless. I actually think Teresa is a seriously poor character. Kaya is stunning but that's all I can say about that.

As far as 'book to film' standards go, it's pretty damn poor.
HOWEVER, I thought it was a good film. The effects were great and the highlight is pretty unsurprisingly, the action and adventure inside the maze, particularly Minho and Thomas' second time in the maze together.

I'm going to be honest, I think the book series goes downhill from here so I can only imagine that will be the same for the films and next up in 2015 - Maze Runner: Scorch Trials...


Remember, remember the 5th of November...
because it's also my half birthday!

Yes I know I sound like a spoiled child but I don't actually celebrate it, however, my mum is to blame for me always having to have someone at least acknowledge it. Almost every year when I was little and bonfire night came around, she reminded me it was halfway between my birthdays and that just stuck with me.

So imagine my surprise when this year, my boyfriend drove up to see me for the night, so we could go out and see the fireworks! He even brought everything we could possibly need for a night in the cold!

 We started the night with some hearty, British ready meals then set off armed with
hot chocolate and brandy in our flasks, reminiscent of our Scarborough beach bonfire tradition.
He even brought me the cutest owl glove/mittens (Primark) because he knew I didn't have any!

We went to a park a short bus ride away from where I live, which was new to both of us.
David's face was pure brilliance when he saw the size of the bonfire in comparison to what he's used to, being a country bumpkin from the midlands.

In his words, 'Northerner's know how to do a bonfire'. Damn reet, we do.
We watched the fireworks which were amazing and it was a lovely, lovely night and a great surprise and thanks David, for helping me complete a November Resolution :)

Hope you all had a wonderful night!


Fantastic books that are produced as films are my ultimate marmite.
The films are either equally as brilliant as the literary version or terrible due to the fact a film cannot encompass the amount of detail described in a book, in my opinion.

I thought it would make a nice first series for The Dress Diaries because I've always got a book in my hand and I'd love to share my thoughts on recent cinema too. This month has inspired me to begin the series because the quality of films has been immense and ALL the films I've seen have originally been a favourite book of mine at some point.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (screenplay/book)
Film directed by David Fincher

from book...

This is the last book I've read that I could not put down. It's absolutely gripping and will keep you guessing from the second you start reading until the very last page. I read this whilst on holiday earlier this year because I wanted to read it before the film was released in October. I'd also heard SO many great things about it that it seemed impossible to ignore.

I'm not usually one for a thriller but there is so much more to this plot than just a sinister twist or two. If I'm honest, sometimes the book made me feel really uncomfortable because it was so real but with that I find it means the author has done a perfect job. The characters are relatable at times then seem completely different people on the next page, which I guess highlights human feelings and more importantly, the ups and downs of a relationship between two people.

I think it's tremendously well written and any plot that has so many well thought out twists in it is a winner in my book (ha, see what I did there). I have since insisted that every other book lover in my life get it so we can discuss! film

My mum was the first person I forced into buying this on her Kindle and her reaction was exactly the same. She found it difficult to put down and then insisted we see the film as soon as it was released.

I was wary after seeing the trailer (here) that it might not live up to my expectations, as I've found with so many book-to-film productions. The cast looked great though and who can say no to a bit of serious Ben Affleck?

It was rated an 18 which I wasn't overly surprised at. The language is pretty heavy I guess but what I didn't expect was the most gory, twisted sex scene I've ever seen in a film that isn't classified as a 'horror'. It was shot really well, very uncomfortable to watch (clearly a theme that transferred between mediums!) and was the sort that people gasped audibly at. I rarely like to admit this because I am a lover of books but this scene was much better in the film!

Overall, the story pretty much matched the original which is the way I love it. Even though I don't particularly like the ending of the novel, I'm not one to encourage changing originality into a something completely different just so film fans enjoy it more. There were a few characters lacking that I felt were fairly important viewpoints in the book so it was a shame they were cut BUT I understand it isn't possible to include everything.

I really enjoyed it, frankly and to be honest, reading the book after the film is probably recommended!


Mad Hatter and Alice make a cute, albeit weird couple.

Me and my flatmate had a party at our (not-so-new-anymore) apartment and the theme was

Think Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland with extra gore and creepiness.

Naturally because this event was at my home, I got to be Alice ;)

I went to a vintage fair in Leeds last month and my friend spotted the PERFECT Alice dress.
It cost about £7 which is brilliant, I wanted something I can rip up and cover in blood so I didn't want to spend a lot.

 I used white face makeup and fake blood, £1 each from Wilkos. For my eye makeup, I used red face makeup (£1 ASDA) and Smiffy's black face paint (£3 ASDA). I'm also wearing my fave Revlon lipstick in 477 Black Cherry (featured here).


We decorated the apartment with my flatmate's graphic designs he'd printed including door signs, playing cards and hanging suit symbols. Safe to say, it looked ace.

There were also stolen (or unwittingly donated) tiny bottles we used for shots that were ideal for the theme and I baked some pumpkin buns - eat your heart out, Mary Berry.

Everyone had a really good time and it was definitely a good theme, the makeup and costumes looked fab and a lot of drinking games were thoroughly enjoyed.


Hope you all had an amazing halloween, did you have a party to celebrate?