Welcome To The Vault

Vault

Do you remember the excitement of your first ever concert? Weaving your way through the sweaty crowds, singing (actually, make that shrieking!) along until your throat gets hoarse and generally feeling on top of the world?

For so many of us, going to see our favourite rock stars, bands and pop icons is about more than entertainment – it is a way of life! Music plays such an important part in our world that it’s hard to imagine not getting excited about it. Still, that special feeling of the FIRST time is difficult to beat, right? It’s sheer magic.

When the SSE Hydro opened in Glasgow in 2013, local gig-goers knew that a game-changer had just landed. A venue so huge that it could attract major events in music, sports and much more! I’d already seen two of my favourites (Prince – OBVIOUSLY – and Katy Perry) play the Hydro last year (and have seen a ridiculous amount of live shows in general…like I said, it’s kind of a way of life!) so when I was invited along by Clydesdale Bank to see Taylor Swift recently I was pretty sure I knew what I was in for.

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That is, until I heard about The Vault.

As well as holding over 12,000 superfans at each event, it turns out that there is also room for a couple more at The Hydro. Four, to be precise – if you and your buddies manage to get access to The Vault!

So, what is this Vault, it sounds like some kind of secret society?!

Well, yes and no! The Vault is an exclusive VIP concert experience that allows you to be part of the most secret society in town for one awesome night. But the beauty of it is, ANYONE is able to win access to it if they hold a ticket to a concert at the SSE Hydro. All you have to do is enter the dedicated prize draw and leave the rest up to lady luck.

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I started my evening at The Scullery, a Finnieston favourite and a perfect spot to grab a bite to eat before a concert at The Hydro seeing as it’s only a hop, skip and a jump away! I met up with Ryan, Sarah and Amanda for dinner and we were all giddy with excitement before our drinks order was even taken. Most of us had never seen The Vault before, and couldn’t wait to experience it.

I enjoyed a yummy cashew, strawberry and spinach salad for dinner and then – by the literal definition of ‘happy accident’ – ended up with two desserts! The night was clearly off to a fantastic start and before you could say “it’s all coming up Milhouse”, we were skipping down the road towards the Hydro…

Accessing The Vault is where the real secret society part kicks in. We made our way in to the venue through a separate entrance, managing to avoid any part of the queue – hooray! After slipping on our wristbands we were then led up a private staircase (yes, really!) and past the exclusive Hydro Club Bar. I was half-expecting a secret handshake at this point, but instead, a thick curtain was pulled back and we were seated in The Vault.

With a plush, roomy sofa and enough space to get up and dance, The Vault was the ideal size for a group of four. As well as the comfortable surroundings, we had one heck of a view of the stage!

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Before Taylor Swift was due on stage, we made full use of the special butler service and ordered our drinks. Waiting in line at the venue bar and missing the first song or two is always a bummer – but in The Vault we didn’t even need to get up as our order was taken at the touch of a button. I could quickly get used to this kind of thing…

Suddenly, the lights went down and the arena went wild as Taylor Swift came onstage and transported us to the streets of New York with her army of dancers. The show was a lot of fun, filled with lights, dazzling costumes and uplifting messages. And as well as being visually entertaining, Taylor (I’m 99% sure we’ll be on first name terms now, right? Maybe?) sure can belt out a tune!

For me, the real highlight of the setlist was Shake It Off, which was kept as a sparkling finale that had EVERYONE on their feet, shaking off their worries and feeling mighty fine. It’s a song that you just have to dance to, I can’t even keep still if it comes on in a shop.

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Being able to experience the show from The Vault really took things to a new level! The VIP access, space and wow factor (I still can’t get over that view) made things feel super special, and I hope that I win the chance to do it all again one day. It can’t transport you back in time to that very first gig, but it CAN recreate that feeling of excitement in a really extraordinary way and make sure you shake it off in style while catching your favourite bands.

Sound good? Find out more about The Vault and enter for a chance to win access here!

With confetti kisses,

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Photography credit: photo 2 – copyright Stuart Wallace

Friday Hi-Fives: Finding Jupiter Artland

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Hey guys! I hope that you’ve had an awesome week in the sunshine. The photo above is actually a small section of a chamber made entirely out of amethyst, yes really! We spent last weekend exploring the grounds of Jupiter Artland, and taking in all of its beauty (both natural and man-made!). The place is a living dedication to creativity, and is filled with interesting and unique installations.

The chamber is part of a piece called The Light Pours Out Of Me, and the name is so fitting because of how much the walls seem to sparkle and glow from the sunlight bouncing off of them! This was only a small part of an amazing collection, and it’s well worth visiting Jupiter Artland to enjoy it in its entirety (not to mention, they have a resident alpaca called Trojan! What a cutie!).

It’s been a rather exciting week around here because the photoshoot from a few months back has finally been published – hooray! HomeStyle magazine has featured our colourful home (along with a few hints and tips!) over 12 pages in their latest issue and it’s available now if you fancy checking it out…

I’m looking forward to the weekend, how about you? Before we run off for ice cream, let me share a few of my favourites from this week!

Link Love

Phil Ferguson is a textile artist, fast-food lover, bad-ass crochet hat-maker and owner of my new favourite Instagram account (try not to smile when you check out his creations. It’s IMPOSSIBLE!)

Take this pink ribbon off my eyes – here’s some super sweet 90s songs that’ll make you love being a girl

When Elaine made this shiny bomber jacket for her birthday ensemble, I cuddled up to her a little more than usual because she basically reminds me of a babely female Ryan Gosling-from-Drive in it!

Robin Eisenberg’s designs make me ridiculously happy. What’s not to love about retina-burning colours, heart-shaped sunglasses and avocados?

These dresses are, um, nailing it!

Also Making Me Smile

Reading that Clueless: The Musical is in the works!

This neon sign

Iced coffee, planning and pep-talks

Watermelon patterns on everything

Cauliflower fried rice – seriously delicious!

 

Here’s to making this weekend count! See you on the other side…

With grand amour,

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On Celebrating Friendship and Treasuring Your Tribe

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I’ve been thinking about friendship a lot lately – what it means, what it feels like and why it is so important to me. A few episodes back, we chatted about the unbreakable bond of besties over on the podcast and a lot of lovely listeners shared their thoughts with us, which was AMAZING.

What I really felt from reading about the all the deep moments and bonkers rituals was that I wasn’t alone – so many of us truly treasure our friendships and connections with like-minded souls. I couldn’t help but feel the need to celebrate that a little bit!

Some bonds are formed early in life, and as you go through adolescence together, growing into awesome human beings, there is a relationship that grows too. Can you remember where you were when you met your closest friend for the first time?

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There are other friends that you meet a little later, but they are no less special. That extraordinary feeling of meeting someone new that just GETS IT, or likes the same bizarre stuff as you (or both!) is pretty exciting and can often feel like a hi-five from the universe! Soon, it feels like they were always there – in the best possible way, that is…

Friendship, as well as being a world of silly nicknames (seriously, mine is SHAFY in some circles – but that’s another story for another day…), endless movie marathons and sharing clothes can also mean feeling supported and inspired. Being each other’s cheerleaders, voice of reason and pep-talkers and helping each other move forward with love, kindness and absolutely no jealousy.

I feel lucky to have a gang of talented, positive and beautiful babes in my life – ones that make me feel like I can chase my dreams, be myself and never feel small. The ones that will text me on important days and tell me YOU GOT THIS, or send me surprises in the mail just because. There are ones that live ridiculously close, and others that are a little further away – but either way, seeing each other feels like you’ve never been apart and you can pick up on all those in-jokes immediately every time.

Being friends with someone should never feel difficult. After all, we’re choosing to spend time together and that time should be a pleasure – whether you’re laughing until you cry, having deep conversations or making the most mundane activities feel like a fun adventure! It could even be something as simple as sitting together in silence, but above all it should be comfortable, am I right?

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It could be part of getting older, but more than ever I think it’s important to take stock of who you hang with and what they mean to you. For me, it’s about more than having company – my friends fill my soul with joy and I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Let me know what you think – what does friendship mean to you? What makes your special bond weird and wonderful? Do you inspire and admire each other?

LOVE,

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Photos 1 & 3 taken from my Instagram page

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