Thursday, 31 October 2013

Fashion INDURHAM...

On the 19th of October, I went with my Mister to a pretty amazing fashion event in Durham, as part of Durham's first ever fashion week.  The event was announced prior to the show but was to be held in a 'secret location' which I was incredibly excited about!  The tickets were just £7.50 a pop and included a drink, which I thought was really reasonable for a fashion event (or £25 for VIP, which to be honest didn't really give you any added bonuses!).  The day before the event you had to download the "Layar" app onto your smart phone, and scan your ticket to reveal the secret location, which turned out to be *enter drum-roll here*...the top floor of the Prince Bishop's car park...sigh.  For those of you that don't know Durham, the car-park is basically a regular, run of the mill, multi-storey, so I was a little bit underwhelmed.  Boy was I wrong though! But more of that in a moment...

As London Fashion Weekend didn't really go to plan for me and my VBF earlier this year, I really wanted to make the most of my outfit for this fashion event (whilst trying to factor in how cold the car-park would be!), as it was the first real runway show I had ever been to.  In the end I went for this...

I'd been looking for an opportunity to wear these floral trousers for ages, and this event seemed the perfect place!  My Mister opted for his Merc Harrington Jacket, Fred Perry jumper and Paul Smith jeans, doesn't he look the part? :).  My top was from the current River Island sale for £20, and my trousers are Topshop via Recycle Boutique, £3.99!  My shoes are Vivienne Westwood Melissa Mary-Janes; I've had them for years and they are so comfortable!

So once we were ready, we set off car-park bound, and what a pleasant surprise it was when we got there.  The floor had been made to look really cool and edgy, with low-coloured lighting and old skool R 'n' B and Hip-Hop coming from the DJ's decks.  There was a little pop up bar where you could have a drink, and a table full of mocktails, complimentary with your ticket.  We had about a half an hour wait before we were allowed into the runway area, but this made it all the more exciting.  I felt like Carrie Bradshaw before one of her fabulous invite-only parties!

Once in the runway area, we bagged a seat on the third row, so our view was pretty good of the show.  We even got a little goodie bag full of vouchers (and chocolate!) as part of our visit.  There was a massive blank canvas set up at the end of the runway, where a graffiti artist worked whilst everything was going on, and Ruff Diamond Crew, an amazing break crew opened and closed the show.  The show itself ran for an hour, with break-dancers also coming down the runway in between the fashions.  Most of the fashions were by up and coming local designers, but the highlights for me were Kate Gorman Design, because her jewellery was so unusual yet perfect for the runway, and Dimesso Designs, because the detailing was so intricate.  I also enjoyed the Woven Menswear section, as the tailoring was remarkable (and its also where I bought my Mister's Merc Jacket!).

Waiting for the show!

Ruff Diamond Crew

Live Graffiti Art

Kate Gorman Designs

Dimesso Designs

Paul Danan models Woven Menswear
You'll have to forgive me, as there was so much stuff coming down the runway I didn't catch the names of every designer, but I've tried to feature the ones that stood out! Also, the photos are courtesy of my Iphone, so the quality with the low lighting on some of them isn't amazing, but hopefully you get the idea :).

To finish off an amazing night, we popped to Chiquito's for a late dinner, and rounded everything off in true Carrie spirit, with a nice cocktail!

I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for other fashion events in the area, as the evening was such a change of scenery, and was so much fun, so hats off to Durham Bid for arranging such an exciting event!  It was fashiontastic!

What would you wear for a runway show?
Can you recommend any fashion events?



Thursday, 24 October 2013

All Rise...

I've had a really busy time lately, but have been fortunate to do some really lovely things.  Combining that with work however has meant that my life has been an absolute whirlwind, so sadly my blogging has suffered! Fear not my lovelies, I'm planning to do a few blogs over the next few days to bring you up to speed with all my goings on, and hopefully we'll be back on track.'ve you been? :)

My busy time started last Thursday, with a trip to Newcastle with my VBF to see one of my favourite bands of all time, Blue.  Whilst they may not be the coolest choice of gig to go to, I have loved Blue since I was about fifteen, and could never understand why they went away in the first place.  Compared to other bands of the time, Blue always seemed to maintain a really fresh sound, and were unique in that they appealed to both a male and female crowd (my Mister even has their first album!).  So when they relaunched themselves with new album "Roulette" this year then announced a tour, I jumped at the chance to go along and relive my youth!

When we arrived at the Newcastle 02 Academy on Thursday evening, the queue was the longest I have ever seen, and wrapped all the way around the building, so my VBF and I made an executive decision to visit The Forth on Pink Lane for a drink before we went to the gig, confident we could still secure a place near the front using my gig going expertise (I don't want to give away my secrets...but I know where there's always a gap!).  If you've never visited The Forth, I'd really recommend it.  It's a really cosy quirky little pub, full of loads of interesting people, and I hear the food is absolutely delicious.  If, like me, you like somewhere relaxing for a drink where you won't be pushed around, a home from home type place, then the Forth is just that.  And it serves the most amazing strawberry beer in the world!

So after a strawberry beer and a chinwag, we decide to venture into the venue and take our place near the front and await the arrival of the boys! Loick Essien provided the support, a go to for all fans of Ne-Yo I would say, and he managed to get the crowd jumping ready for Blue!

And then it happened...the time was here...9:30pm the boys took to the stage, opening with stuff from the new album, and working their way through it, with all of the old hits thrown in for good measure.  Their vocals were amazing, their dancing was better than the first time around, and they looked trim and raring to go.  The crowd were spoiled with track after track, as the boys worked their way through an almost two hour set.  They spoke and interacted with the crowd loads, and were charming and funny, just how I remembered them all of those years ago! Highlights for me were "Broken", the saucy dancing to "Break it Down", the fun and bouncy "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" and Lee's beautiful vocals on "Breathe Easy".  For £18.50 a ticket, I couldn't have asked for a better evening! The boys seemed to be loving every minute of being on stage, and I hope this time that they are here to stay!

My VBF and I danced and sang along all night, and have had withdrawal symptoms ever since!!!  If Blue are visiting a town near you, I'd really recommend going to see them, they really do put on an amazing show! 

Who do you enjoy going to see live?
I'd love to hear all about it!

K xxxx 


Thursday, 10 October 2013

Our Edinburgh Life...

I'm a little bit behind with my blog posts once again, but September the 30th was a special day as it was my Mister's 30th birthday.  Way back in July, I decided to plan a little weekend break away for us to celebrate, as he isn't the type that would appreciate a big party.  I actually think he may have been dreading turning 30, so my plan was to make it as bearable for him as possible, poor thing! (I'm yet to hit the big 3-0...but I'm darn sure I'll be more excited about the presents and less worried about the actual number when my time comes, but never mind, age affects us all differently, bless him!!!).  I've always wanted to go to Edinburgh but have never had the opportunity, so I decided that this would be the perfect location, particularly as he had been before on business but never had the chance to explore. The hardest part for me about the whole trip was keeping it a secret, as I tell my Mr I was dying to let him know! But luckily I managed to keep my big mouth shut until the eve of the trip!

What's on our itinerary?

We travelled up on the Friday before his birthday on the train, and stayed over for two nights at a lovely little guest house called "My Edinburgh Life", sat just opposite Haymarket station, a perfect location for everything we wanted to do.  I booked a trip to Edinburgh Zoo for us on the Friday, followed by a lovely meal at "Steak" on the evening.  I was really impressed with the Zoo, even though our Panda viewing was cancelled.  I absolutely loved the penguins, and was really pleased I got to see them march! I love penguins, so I was as excited as a kid at Christmas when I got to see them!  Other highlights at the zoo for me were the meerkats and the koala bears; I love the really cute looking animals, and was pleased to see that they were really well cared for.  My Mr loved the lions and the leopards, but I think the marching penguins will always have a special place in his heart too, even though there were only five marching on our visit.  If you're planning a visit to the zoo, I'd recommend super comfortable footwear as it's very hilly!! Surprisingly hilly in fact! I'd also strongly advise taking a camera, because the views of Edinburgh from the top of the zoo are amazing (plus you need some pics of the animals too)!!  Here are some of my photos (I won't bore you with them all, because I took loooooaaaaddsss!)

Time to have your steak and eat it...

As I said earlier, once we'd recovered from the zoo, I'd booked swanky restaurant "Steak" for the evening. "Steak" was recommended to me by my VBF after her visit to Edinburgh with Mama R earlier in the year. As she has impeccable taste, I knew I wouldn't be disappointed! Yes, "Steak" is pricey, but its definitely the perfect location for a special occasion...and the food was sensational! As it goes, I'm not really a big steak eater, so I ordered a fish kedgeree to start, and cod with mint mash for my main...but it was cooked to perfection.  My Mr however ordered the whole hog (or cow in this case!), beef shin to start (which was unbelievable; I sampled it!), followed by an impressive Aberdeen Angus steak topped with a crispy duck egg, and chips on the side.  The food was delicious, the atmosphere relaxing and the waiter was faultless...a perfect restaurant experience for a birthday to remember.  If you want to take a look for yourself, you can find "Steak" online here.

Cocktails, Carrie Bradshaw style!
The bar at "Steak"
The birthday boy tucking in...
...and bottoms up!

 Saturday...a day to explore...

When I booked the trip, I decided to just make concrete plans for the Friday evening, just to give my Mr the opportunity to explore on our second day.  And explore we did!! After visiting a little cafe for breakfast, we headed up towards Prince's Street, then veered off towards Edinburgh Castle in search of the "World of Illusions" museum.   This was really good fun, and I'd definitely recommend the Camera Obscura show, if only to see the sights of Edinburgh all from one room.  The view from the top of the museum was amazing, you could literally see everything!  There were some great photo opportunities within the museum too; everything is so hands on so photography is encouraged.  Don't take my word for it though, it was £12 per adult entry for the illusion experience, but if you don't enjoy it, the staff will give you a full refund on your way out! We didn't ask for a refund, it was great fun...but it's great peace of mind knowing the option is there! I'd recommend the maze of mirrors and the vortex tunnel...and you can even get married (sort of!) in the gift shop!!

A panoramic view at the top of the "World of Illusions" Museum
My Mr...the disturbing looking baby!
Big or small?

Married by Auto Wed!!!

Dinner anyone?
After the museum experience, we grabbed some lunch and sat in Prince's Street Gardens, which was blissful as the weather was gorgeous (apart from the millions of wasps trying to get in on my mocha frappe action!!!), then spent the rest of the day shopping til we were dropping! We managed to get lost in Jenners (a House of Fraser that's like a maze!) but I managed to get some gorgeous new Urban Decay make-up once I'd found the counter!! I also bought a couple of Primarky bits and bobs, and a few gifts to take home-a scarf for my VBF, scottie dog coasters for Mama L and some fudge for Papa L for dog sitting my boy Jay-Jay.

Edinburgh adventure; from the castle to the gardens!

World's most amazing cake!
Rose Street...

Ever the fashionista...I LVed LV!!
The Ammo Palette...Urban Decay...

...and a beautiful scarf for my VBF!

After a tiring day and a chill in the guest house, we strolled up to Strada to grab some pizza for tea (I'd planned to wear heels, but all the walking reduced me to wearing my new Primark boots to give my toes a break!), then we had a few drinks in and around Rose Street before heading back for a well deserved sleep! I'd really recommend "Element" on Rose Street, which had a lovely atmosphere, gorgeous cocktails and good music. We liked it so much we started and ended there!

Edinburgh Castle by night
My Edinburgh nightlife look...

...and my Mr's xx

Sunday...the wanderers return...

Sunday consisted pretty much of packing and preparing to come home, but we had such a great time!  It honestly felt as relaxing as being abroad, Edinburgh is such a lovely city break with something to do for everyone.  I ended our trip with a visit to Lush on Prince's Street to buy myself a nice Comforter bubble bar, then spent my first evening at home with my tired feet in a hot, soapy bath!! We walked our legs off, but really made the most of our Edinburgh experience, I'd definitely go back!

Silly Selfie...ready for home!

So it's a big happy 3-0 to my man, and the only thing left to ponder is...what shall I do for mine? :)

K xx

Where's your favourite place for a city break?

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