Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Maria's Festival Guide Part II

Seeing as it's festival season, I have made a guide for all you festival first timers and those who are unsure what to take.  My first list is here, and now here below are my checklists for the toiletries and clothes you need to take.


1. Talcum powder - Never know when you might need a bit of talc.
2. Cotton wool - Depending on what products you use.
3. Deodorant
4. Mouthwash
5. Toothbrush 
6. Toothpaste

7. Baby wipes - Very essential if you want to remain slightly clean.  Also very handy to clean all that mud off.
8. Soap - I usually avoid having a shower at festivals but I do like to wash my hands now and then.
9. Dry shampoo - I usually try to avoid using this but I take it just in case.
10. Make-up remover
11. Cleanser - The Clean & Clear cleanser I take is quite strong, usually too strong for every day use.  However being unable to wash your face at a festival I find this cleanser perfect to use both morning and night to clean all that dirt and grime off.

12. Make-up.
This isn't essential at a festival but I do like to take a few bits.
Moisturiser, primer, foundation, concealer, lip balm, mascara and eyeliner.  I try and take samples or small bottles to keep my luggage as light as possible.  I also take tweezers and small nail scissors - You never know when you might need a tweeze or to cut a ripped nail!
Even though I take all that make up, most days I only use the moisturiser, concealer, Porefessional primer from Benefit and my trusty Lily Lolo foundation and keep my eyes bare.  I just can't be bothered witht he effort of slapping too much on.

Other toiletries you may consider taking are shampoo and conditioner depending on if you want to brave the showers and wash your hair; hairbrush or comb; hairbands can be very useful, cotton buds, possibly a razor or some hair removal cream although I don't bother with that and of course a towel.


1. Underwear - Of course knickers and bras unless you want to wear the same one all weekend.
2. Socks - I take normal socks and thick socks for wellies. Football socks can also be quite useful.
3. Waterproof trousers - These aren't the sexiest or the most fashionable piece of clothing.  I only took these because I was working and may have had a night time shift.  I wore them once when it hammered it down with rain, then when the sun came out I took them off and was wearing my normal clothes underneath.
4. Waterproof jacket - Essential!!
5. Hat - It can become very cold at night time at festivals.
6. Gloves.
7. Trousers - I usually take one pair of jeans and never wear them.
8. Shorts - I take a few pairs because I live in shorts at festivals.
9. Leggings - I find it easier to wear leggings and shorts instead of trousers. Leggings are also useful if it's very cold at night and can be worn under pajamas.
10. T-shirts/tops - I usually take the number of t-shirts for the number of days I'm going.  Some people only take one or two but I don't want to put on a dirty t-shirt.  I usually take one long sleeved shirt then the rest with short sleeves.
11. Hoodies - I take about 3 or 4.  Just because if it rained and your hoody gets soaked, it feels awful putting on a cold soaking wet hoody. I sometimes also wear a hoody while sleeping.
12. Plastic ponchos - I love these as they can fit in your pocket and also keep you slightly warm.
13. Pajamas/Onesie - I never take proper pajamas.  This year I have a onesie, other years I have worn trackies and a tshirt to sleep in.
14. Bikini - Just in case I want a shower... or if the unexpected happens and it becomes sunny enough.
15. Wellies!! - A must!!
16. Normal shoes - I usually leave these in the car so I have comfy shoes to drive home in.
17. Flipflops - Just in case you use the shower and don't want to walk barefoot in everyone else's grime.

Do you take anything I have missed off the list?
Are you going to any festivals this year?

Monday, 17 June 2013

Sleep, Domino's and Tinnitus

I got back from Download Festival today.  A week of camping, no showering, lack of sleep and drinking really takes it's toll and I was glad to get home, even if it was an awesome weekend.

This year instead of buying a ticket for the festival I decided to do volunteer work with Oxfam.  This means I had to do a few shifts doing various jobs but got to see bands for free.  It was well worth it.

My favourite acts of the weekend were Slipknot, Enter Shikari, Stone Sour and Bullet For My Valentine.  All four were excellent.  Other favourite acts include Architects, Five Finger Death Punch, Modestep and Rammstein as well as getting to see Asking Alexandria, Papa Roach, Korn, Dragonforce, Jimmy Eat World, Motorhead, Iron Maiden, Graveyard, Cancer Bats, Coal Chamber, Parkway Drive, Gaslight Anthem, Thirty Seconds To Mars and a few others.

I had such a good weekend.  Download is definitely my favourite festival and I can't wait to go again!

I didn't take many photos as I didn't want to lose my camera when dancing around in a crowd so left it hidden in my tent most of the time, but I did take a few.

Main Stage.


Enter Shikari.

Enter Shikari.

Security and festival wristbands.

I am now showered, am full up from my Domino's pizza, feel slightly deaf from a weekend of music and all I want is my bed.

Such a brilliant weekend!

Friday, 7 June 2013

Maria's Festival Guide Part 1

I may see myself as a bit of a festival pro seeing as I have been to my fair share of festivals over the years.  So I am going to share my festival list with you, so you can be fully prepared without experiencing an overloaded car and many long arm-breaking trips back and forward from car to campsite.

1. Tent - 
Unless you are going for the day of course.  Choose wisely, you don't want a flimsy tent that collapses under the tiniest gust of wind, then again you don't want to spend £100s on a fancy tent that may get muddy/trampled on etc.  In fact, WILL, get muddy.

2. Sleeping bag -
For obvious reasons, unless you want to be shivering all night.

3. Pillow -
Not necessary, just depends how comfy you want to be.  I always take a pillow as any sleep at a festival is precious sleep.

4. Blow up mattress - 
Again, not necessary, it depends on comfort vs how much you want to carry. Additionally you could get a self-inflating mat, or just choose to sleep on the floor.

5. Pump - 
Unless you want to blow up that mattress with your mouth.  If that is even possible.

6. Torch - 
Very handy, especially for those night time trips to the loo.

7. Loo roll - 
Essential! Keep some in your tent, some in your bag, some in your pocket. Never know when you might need some toilet roll.

8. Wellies - 
Essential.  I always laugh at those fools who turn up in their trainers then end up having to buy expensive wellies at the festival.

9. Money - 

10. ID - 
Again, an obvious one if you are planning to buy or even take in alcohol.

11. Tickets! - 
Well, duuuhh!

12. Antibacterial hand gel - 
A must! If you are a clean freak like me you will take a bottle for each day. Ok maybe that is over exaggerating, but make sure you take at least one bottle.  I take antibacterial wipes as well.

13. Plasters & headache pills - 
Not absolutely essential. But I always seem to be a walking first aid box, you never know when a plaster may come in handy, and you don't want to be walking around with a throbbing headache all day.

14. Camera -
Just incase you want to take a few pictures for those awesome memories.  You may want to take a disposable camera depending on if you think you may drop it in the mud or lose it. I just take my digital camera and make sure I look after it.

15. Tape - 
Just in case you get a hole in your tent... or to tape your tent poles together if they break.  This happened on the first day at my first festival. Luckily I was prepared.

16. Phone - 
Just in case you want to find your mates/call your Mum/check the time.  You may not want to take your new, expensive phone.

17. Bin bags - 
Useful for putting muddy clothes in, rubbish etc as well as lining your car when you're ready to go home.

18. Toiletries - 
I will make a separate post on this.

19. Clothes - 
Another post on this to come as well.

Do you have any festival must haves that I have missed off the list?

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

New Buys For Download Festival

It's festival season coming up and I am off to my first festival of the year next week so I have been spending a bit too much money on things I probably don't need.  My first package out of five arrived today from boohoo.com.  I had ordered two pairs of shorts (one which came looking rather creased!) and a onesie.  I have always wanted a onesie but have never quite managed to get one.  This week I started to think of what to wear at night at a festival when it is cold and I am trying to sleep.  Perfect excuse for a onesie right?  I thought so!

Have you started shopping in preparation for any festivals yet?

Tuesday, 4 June 2013


Yesterday I discovered my exam results... and it turns out I passed!!  With some firsts in there I was quite proud of my results, shame they weren't all firsts.  But nevertheless, I passed university! I am now officially a qualified radiographer.

As soon as I found out my results I phoned my Mum who was super happy and bought me some gifts.  Then I went to the pub and celebrated.

I have never felt so relieved in my life!!


Now I just need to ace my upcoming interviews and get a job.

Good luck to everyone else awaiting results!

Monday, 3 June 2013

Spa Day

For Christmas me and my brother bought my Mum a day at a spa with a manicure.  She asked if I would go with her, and I of course said yes.  I was quite excited as I had never been on a spa day before.

It was at one of the Bannatyne Spas.  So yesterday we arrived and was shown around.  Having never been to a spa before I did not know what to expect, but I was quite impressed with the large gym, exercise classes, manicure area, treatment rooms, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room.

We got dressed into our bikinis, robes and slippers. It felt a bit strange walking through the place in what felt like night wear.  I felt like a patient in a hospital.  However we weren't the only ones wearing this.  I soon got used to it and it became quite relaxing.

Firstly we got our manicures.  I chose a Gelish French Manicure.  This sort is meant to last up to 21 days and supposedly makes the nails strong without chipping or peeling.  I am on the second day yet so will have to see how long they last, especially as I am going to a festival soon!  I had never had a manicure before, only done by myself so this professionally done manicure looks so much nicer!

We then went on to have back, neck and shoulder massages.  I was a little apprehensive about this, I wasn't sure I wanted someone touching me for half an hour.  I was led into the room, which had a bed in the middle.  The room smelt lovely, there were candles burning and relaxing music was playing.  Everything looked so clean which relaxed me as I can be a bit of a clean freak.  The actual massage was fabulous.  My shoulders are always tense and it completely relaxed me.

After the massage we sat about drinking tea for a bit, and then headed on to the pool.  I am ashamed to say that me and my Mother don't really know how to swim, so we skipped out the pool and headed straight for the jacuzzi. Followed by the sauna, steam room, some relaxing by the pool and more jacuzzi.

We then got ready to go back home.  There were showers, hairdryers and places to sit and do your make-up, everything was very clean.  Feeling very refreshed we then headed room.

I very much enjoyed my day, it was so nice to spend a whole day relaxing and being pampered.  It was great after the stress of my recent exams.  I will certainly be back for more!