My Favourite Time Of Year HMMC

As spirits roam the neighborhoods at night,

Let loose upon the Earth till it be light...

~Nicholas Gordon

Ever since I was a young ghoul I have loved Halloween. Any excuse to get dressed up in creepy clothes and celebrate horror and spooky treats. As far as I can remember I was always fascinated with spooky stories and as I got older this thirst for tales of horror grew.  Witches, demons, zombies and gore always leave me wanting more. 

My love of horror films is no secret. I went to university to study film and learn more about how to make these amazing stories. Special FX has always amazed me. As a kid watching horror with my friends while they screamed as guts were spilled I always thought "Wow how did they do that". Horror can be true art to just plain fun but it always keeps your imagination running like a girl trying to escape the clutches of a slasher. 

My love for Halloween was so strong that for two years I ran the Halloween Monster Movie Challenge in Birmingham. Influenced by the punk rock attitude of Troma's do it yourself style of film I really wanted to give everyone a chance to make something. The true spirit of Halloween is getting creative and having fun. Although I didn't set up the Halloween Monster Movie Challenge originally I did put my own spin on it for the two years that I ran it. 

I wanted to use horror to help show case local talent and creatives as well as helping boost independent businesses. I wanted to put on a night that everyone could enjoy and celebrate. We invited film makers new and old to make a short film featuring a Monster and gave a line of dialogue that must be included sow e knew the film was made for the challenge.  The response was amazing. I wont deny it took a lot of had work and promotion but I couldn't have been happier with the films that came though my letterbox. We have a lot of growing talent in the Uk and we really need to embrace it more.  

On the actual night we had awesome bands on the first year meat hook played for us. If you haven't heard them check them out here as they are a really hard working band and also really lovely guys. So much so they also played the second year for us. 

On the second year we also had the lovely Rotunda who I went on to make a music video for. 

Not to forget the super fun 8 bit ninjas who I will tell you all about in a future post when I show you the video we made together.

In all the challenge was really successful we got sponsored by gore zone in our second year and  gave out two really great trophy. Plus got to meet some amazing new talent, fun people and not to mention dress up!

So my question is the challenge was passed on to other hands and in all honesty I am not even sure what it is doing these days plus I do kind of like having my Halloween back! So my poll is to ask do I run another challenge and post a comment to let me know if you would prefer I keep it Horror or something new

Until then have a Fangtastic Halloween!! 

Growing Older Gracefully

We live in a nation that fears age. With lotions and potions and procedures to make people look younger and younger around we seem to fight kicking and screaming because we see old as being boring and a time when people just give up being who they are. Is this really the case though? Just because we get a bit older doesn't mean we need to give up caring about ourselves or give up being confident in how we look. We are beautiful it is society that has a warped sense of what is good looking. Recently I wrote about body confidence and I genuinely think this is something that shouldn't stop with age. (check it out here)

My Mama and me share different opinions of age. My Nana (her mother) was always beautiful and I loved every wrinkle and every grey hair that woman had. I genuinely think they tell a story of a life lived. Where my Mama longs for botox and hates on herself because she feels age creeping in. I am not going to sit here and tell you lies dear reader I am a little horrified at the increasing lines creeping in on my forehead and have thought of rushing out to get creams but I like to think I wouldn't go as far as botox. There is nothing wrong with making an effort and making yourself feel better if that's new clothes or big eyelashes then do what works for you that helps you keeps you feeling like a million quid.

This is why I loved a recent documentary that was featured on channel 4. Fabulous Fashionistas features some older ladies who refuse to let age mean they feel badly about who they are. Each woman is inspiring in their own ways but they all share that they know how to make the most of life and refuse to let age get in the way of them living their lives.

If you haven't watched the documentary already check it out because it will really make you smile. Although it made me realise I don't value myself as much as these ladies and I need to take a leaf out of their books I hope that when I am 80 I can still be flipping the bird, making art, advocating for equal rights for all and wearing awesome clothes.

My Cartoon Childhood Icons

What happened to the siren icons I grew up with? No really, sometimes I think about the cartoons I grew up watching and they taught me that women could be strong, independent, crime fighting, creative role models just as good as, if not better than the men in cartoons.

While I loved Transformers and even crushed on the turtles Jem was the girl for me. A woman that not only had a heart of gold to run an orphanage but an alter ego of a rock star. One of the most traumatising days of my childhood was when my cousin flushed my Jem doll down the toilet and her ear rings stopped flashing all because she was "not as pretty as Barbie". Jem's constant battle with 'the misfits' a naughty band of women who ironically I kinda loved too filled my weekend mornings. Although Jem wasn't killing mutants or saving the planet she taught girls it was cool to be a bit different and you could even have good values.You didn't have to be obnoxious and have a diva ego to be someone awesome. She was truly outrageous but full of morals every young woman needs.

She-Ra Princess of Power almost speaks for itself for why she is in my childhood idols. Even though at first glance she looks like a dainty blonde with a huge sword one of She-Ra's powers was her incredible strength. She could take on men but only used force as a last resort. If girls grew up with She-ra I could get this unicorn obsession which seems to be sweeping the world of young women out there. Her faithful steed a rainbow winged unicorn. I love the fact that even though He man was her brother they made her just as strong and just as capable to take on the evil of the world.

As sweet as she is courageous Cheetara the first female Thundercat. I remember having the toy as a child and making my mom paint my face like her while my brother told me I could only be April from the turtles or Cheetara when we were playing games and personally I think April didn't bring much to the table compared to Cheetara. I only wish her speed has inspired me to be into running. Her six sense to see into the past and future is something she felt was a curse but then don't we all dwell on things we shouldn't. Another strong well rounded female icon that blazed across my screen and into my heart.

This one may seem like a surprise but there is more to Rainbow Brite than meets the eye. All the other women in this post you can tell just by looking at them that they are strong and in control. This is great as a child to aspire to grow up into but what about the kid right now? Rainbow Brite taught me that I could still be determined and outspoken even as a small girl in the big bad world. Her duty was essentially to bring colour to the world save her friends and keep the shadows from taking away the colour. What I liked is even though she had a cheery sunshiny attitude you still saw her get sad and angry displaying these emotions in cartoons is important to help children understand that it is OK to not always be happy but we should always try and look after each other and really find the best in what we have.

Cartoons for me growing up were full of morals and excitement. Teaching both boys and girls that women can be powerful important role models. What cartoons did you watch growing up?

Big Beautiful Birmingham.......Library

Being a total book worm I am no stranger to Birmingham Library.The now old building was a steady visit for me over the years and I almost feel I could have read every book there cover to cover I think the old 1970s crude design of the building is kind of endearing in its own way especially since they painted some lovely birds on the sides. Now I have heard a rumour they are planning on knocking down the building but I thought it was listed? It may not be the prettiest but it is still a slice of 70s history. There is such great space it can be used for public services or even rented out as offices. So many exciting and innovative things can be done with such a prime space.

So I have to say with the whopping £189 million price tag the library comes with it is no wonder it induced the public with both tears of outrage and joy. Many are upset that in a financial crisis so much money has been spent on the new library. I will throw my hands up and say at first I was one of those people. After the bullring designs I lost a little faith in Birmingham's judgements but even I can't moan at the amount of people it attracts from tourists to price tag popping shoppers. I think the designs have even grown on me a little seeing a skyline of mixed old and futuristic buildings. I just beg you Birmingham please keep some old buildings just as they are.

 I really liked the design of the library from the start. The big circles and almost stacked layers really
appealed to me as I marched passed the builders on my daily commute. The library created many building jobs and apprenticeships and it is great that some young people have the chance to look at it and tell their mates "I helped make that".

I have been twice now once with my Mama who is still raving about it and another with a German exchange student who went 6 times on her 3 week visit. Both times I went the library was packed full of people. Just how a library should be. I love the starlight effect on the roof of the entrance and really need to take a proper look at it in the night time which will soon happen with winter upon us.The inside of the building is grand and spacious. There are lots of little nooks and crannies to hide away and read a book. The study area gets so much light I wish it had been around when I was cramming for my exams.
The best bits for me though (other than the books of course) are the little garden areas. There is one half way up and one even higher which you can magically get to via a glass elevator. Be warned you will be crammed in though with the amount of people longing to get to the top but there are regular lifts or even stairs if you feel like a bit of exercise. The rewards are amazing though.Being able to look at a skyline of Birmingham with lovely Garden areas which will be lush in the summer time. Lots of older gentlemen and ladies looked out onto the skyline and I could hear them all telling each other tales about how long they have lived in Birmingham which I think is a treasure in itself.

In conclusion I think with how full it has been maybe the money was just worth it. Now tourists will want to look at this great place, bring money to Birmingham, young people will have somewhere to hang out that isn't the streets, more art will get appreciate and most of all hopefully people will READ MORE.

Birmingham Street Art Part 2

Here I am again to praise the wonderful graffiti and street artists of Birmingham. Passing through Digbeth everyday I get to take in these awesome sights and see new ones spring up over night. If you missed the first one check it out here. If anyone knows the artists let me know would love to learn more about them. Until then I will let the pictures do the talking.

I know this isn't graffiti but love it.

#BodyConfidenceWeek My response

I was shocked and appalled to hear that last weeks latest trend on twitter was #fatshamingweek. What closed minded fool thought of this? It makes me sad to know that it trended because of silly Trolls and undoubtedly would have hurt a lot of innocent people. I myself am pretty thick skinned (hey maybe that is the extra padding) but even I didn't want to look at the horrible things people could say not just about 'fat people' but about another human being!
For as many horrible nasty people on the internet though there are many inspiring positive people. That is why I decided to write this post in honour of  body confidence week I had been meaning to post my views on body image in the media for a while but now seems like the right time.

To learn more about how body confidence week came about go and read this amazing article. I wanted to wait until the close of the week to share my thoughts as I have been reading some amazing blogs such as this one from the fabulous Leah. If you have not checked out the trend yet I urge you to jump on twitter or your blog to see the amazing positive words and pictures coming from people who all share the common journey to love the skin they are in. This week is for everyone no matter your size, gender, race, or age the beauty is we all have a body and we need to learn that we only have one and we really should love it and appreciate it instead of hating on it all the time.

After months at work researching body image and how people strive for thigh gaps, to lose baby bumps, cant decide if they want a big arse like JLO or if they hated it , and even more recently the torrid of media that is condemning all health issues down to people needing to lose weight, I could go positively crazy. It is scary how we have all been programmed to focus on the bad things about our bodies instead of being positive loving our scars, lump and bumps because our bodies map the journey of our life and we need to enjoy right now instead of eternally thinking we will be happy when we just fix our nose or lose that extra pound or have bigger boobs or more muscles. While we are worrying about how we don't look we are not focusing on the amazing things about ourselves.

Working for a not for profit record company we work hard to strive to encourage positive body image as we realise the mass effect the music industry and media has on people and the way they look at their own bodies. We currently have some amazing projects lined up that all being well I will be able to tell you all about. I would love to know your opinions on how you feel the music industry has an impact on you or those around you. So we can really try and help make that change.

Now I cant post this without talking about my own body image. I am going to be very open and say I have always been fairly confident in myself. I did have a major confidence knock and it took me a while to get back to loving myself. I wont deny it wasn't easy and was a very hard and almost lonely road as people around me still thought I had all this amazing confidence when inside they didn't know I was hating on myself. I am making healthier steps but that doesn't mean I am not happy being me I love who I am and am very happy in my skin. My point is don't look at others and think they don't understand, everyone you know is on a non stop journey. Nobody wakes up every day feeling amazing about how they look and feel about their body but it is important to change your way of thinking about yourself to help you get out of this funk quicker. The most important thing to remember is you have anything to prove to anyone but yourself.

On the odd day that I do wake up feeling blue I now have somewhere to reach to pick me up If you are on instagram check out the #effyourbeautystandards by the amazing Tess Munster or #honoryourcurves by another inspiring lady. Both very different body shaped women but both with very powerful messages. Now men body confidence isn't just for the girls we are just as aware that you face the same problems so hopefully we can find a movement of guys out there who are making this stand too.

Tess Munster

Now all I ask of you is to look at yourself in the mirror and just appreciate all the awesome things about yourself jump on to twitter and share one thing you love about your body under the tag #bodyconfidenceweek.

When I Got The Music I Got A Place To Go

Sometimes I think I have slipped into that cliche that when you get older you get stuck in a decade. I tend to listen to a lot of the same bands over and over and some of them have been gone from existence for many years.

I do however have an open mind and listen to as much new music as possible. I am becoming more engaged in music from other parts of the world but I thought it would be cool if I did a regular post about the top 3 bands I have been listening to for the month to see how this varies. I am not going to bombard you with lots of information about the bands/artists just short and snappy. Enjoy!

So this month so far I have been listening to a lot of Pj Harvey which is an old favourite for me.

Social distortion Mike Ness's voice is as dreamy as him.

Rancid a firm regular to blast through my headphones since I was about 14.

My First Haul Post

Shopping frenzy!

So I know this post is a bit off from my usual posts but I needed to feed the consumer within me! I always see these haul posts in the blogs I follow and I find them more fun to finding new clothes and make up than reading magazines. I like to hear from real people and not what the magazines tell me I should or should not be wearing. So only fair I give back to the shopping world and not just take. I rarely get to have a super haul but went on a monster of a spend recently and this is what the outcome was.

I am a bit of an eyelash fiend and so when I saw these lashes in poundland I had to jump on them even if they are TOWIE the only thing I will give those girls is they know their lashes and for £1 that is a bargain! I also managed to pick up the hair clip which I thought was totally cute to go in a vintage styled hair and the heart print nail varnish Poundland often has these little gems I bought the little bits of jewellery from Primark just as little gifts for my snail mailers

I thought this little bag was so cute Just big enough for a phone and maybe a little money which is plenty for me when I am out and it has a cute stud and tassled design from Primark and reduced to a pound. I filled up on ear rings with these rose style ones. Personally I lose ear rings way too much to spend a lot of money on them so when I lose these as cute as they are at least I have not just lost a fortune. The big heart rings were also from Primark and only £1 each to make my hands look pretty.
 I have recently been on a mission to buy more skirts I must have tried on a million but settled for this blue lacey skater design from Primark for £5. I also picked up a black long cardigan for £10 which is sooo warm and even has little pockets.

I then stumbled upon this leather look skater skirt from Yours Clothing who to my delight have a shop in Merry Hill near Dudley which was a nice surprise. Although it was £16 it is a beautiful cut and really good quality. I also picked up a black ruffle belt with zip detail which looks great teamed with this skirt.

The dress below kinda grew on me since I bought it and looks great with a black belt for £5 fully lined and with the cute lace detail it keeps me warm and is nice for work :)

 I already have a pair of creepers and they are so comfy. These were only £5 from a random show shop in Merry Hill.

You may think I have gone crazy showing socks too but I really liked these from Primark £2 for a set and the hair bow was only £1.50

Have you picked up any bargains lately? Let me know :)