Saffron Watson

Thursday, 29 August 2019

Throwback to Isle of Wight Festival 2014

I wasn’t sure whether to talk about this or not, but I’m actually quite proud of how far I have come. I was going to post this on my social media channels but once I had finished writing this I realised I had accidentally written a blog post, so here you go!

Over five years ago I went to my first festival; Isle of Wight Festival 2014 with my boyfriend and one of our friends. We were all really excited as the line up was incredible! Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Biffy Clyro and Kings of Leon were the headliners and then the likes of The Pretty Reckless (who I was mad about at the time!) Nina Nesbit, John Newman and Rudimental to name a few. And of course the Ska legends; The Specials. I grew up hearing them on the radio on various car journeys with my dad and hearing Ghost Town on a Halloween radio station. We just so happened to have stayed at the front of the main stage ALL DAY. Pure accident and unplanned, we weren’t hungry or thirsty and didn’t need the loo, so we thought “why not try and stay here until Red Hot Chili’s?”. That would be an amazing memory. All was going well, that year there was a big football game on (can’t remember off the top of my head, not really a huge football fanatic so don’t shoot me) and I remember a lot of people getting more drunk and rowdy because of it and acting a bit “hooligany". As the day went on it got really hot and humid and more and more crowded, but we soldiered on. Right, The Specials started their set. The atmosphere was incredible! Everyone getting a bit of a dance on, getting whacked on the head by guys behind me (short person problem) but it’s fine carry on! And then pushing and shoving and more invasion of my personal space occurred. I remember being irate that a woman next to me was wearing this fluffy woollen jumper (a texture that makes me cringe and repulse) and because of the lack of space the texture was constantly touching my skin in some way. After a few more pushes and shoves I decided I couldn't hack it anymore, my friend felt the same, being that she was smaller than me it must’ve been worse for her. We left my boyfriend and I started to confidently make my way through the crowd heading backwards. Getting past the first few rows was fine as people were eager to get us out so they could get closer, and then it was like hitting a brick wall made of people. No one was letting us through any further and all these people were looking at us and I couldn’t see a way out, we were just smack in the middle of a crowd. A lady saw me and said "you can't go any further".

That’s when I lost it. I didn’t see it coming. I fell apart as a human being. A full blown panic attack. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t see and my eyes were streaming with tears. All I remember was my friend walloping people out of the way to get back to the front to seek medical assistance whilst she also was having a panic attack. I don’t even recall how I got carried over the gates I literally lost my sight for at least five minutes and then once I was out of that environment and the welfare team sat us down with water I started to reappear. 

It was such a strange experience. That had never happened to me before or at least not on that scale. This was years before being diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder and Depression and mental health wasn’t in the media at all so I didn’t know what had hit me. For the rest of the festival I didn’t get back in the crowds for fear the same thing would happen again. I didn’t really get to fully experience The Specials and only saw the Red Hot Chilli Peppers from way back by the Ferris wheel and it didn’t sound great and couldn’t even see the stage. 

So, the point of this post. Last weekend The Specials played at Victorious and I was so excited to try and see them again. This time though, I’ve experienced far more mental health problems (than one person probably should) and kind of know how to handle it most days and I’ve been to gigs and festivals since where I’ve been at the front and not had a panic attack. I finally got the see The Specials at a fairly decent distance and relax with fellow Ska lovers. Not a panic attack or anxious feeling in sight. I even lost my friends several times over the weekend and there was no signal or internet, I guess due to the amount of people there the companies couldn’t keep up with the demand. I just found myself on my own in big crowds of people with no way to find my own people until my signal came back. And you know what? I coped. I made my own plan of action and even enjoyed just roaming around on my own, getting a drink, having a peek at other stages. Of course I know that last weekend could’ve gone the other way if I had let it. But I am mentally stronger (sometimes) and I try to keep that pesky anxious voice out of my head. 

All in all it was a lovely weekend, except losing everyone constantly and the heat was just a bit much at times especially in the crowds, we were quite lucky that most of the other festival-goers were quite friendly and lighthearted. My Victorious round up will be up soon!


Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Grosvenor Casino | AD

A while ago I was invited to go down to Grosvenor Casino in Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth to review their new menu. They also said I'd get to have a training session of a casino game of my choice.

I have never actually been to a casino before, I went to one once but only for a drink for an after party. I had never really thought about Casinos being my *vibe* and none of my friends seem to have an interest - except when one of us will be getting married and we're going to go to Vegas, duh.

When I told my lovely best friend Lily about the opportunity we decided to seize the chance at a glam makeover for the occasion. I love makeup but I'm not totally savvy about it, and Lily is a glam goddess!

The finished look, I've never had such glamorous eyeshadow before, thank you so much Lily!
When myself and my boyfriend arrived at the Casino they had quite high tech security, as you need a guest pass or a membership card to enter the premises. I also suggested to my boyfriend if anyone's been banned it'll flag up on their system, and a health and safety standpoint as well.

We were greeted by Jayne who was the Manager of this Casino, she was very friendly and helpful. We were shown around the different areas; roulette tables, slot machines, and the poker room.

You can attend Casino's just for their bar and restaurant area, they screen various sports on their televisions so you can socialise with your friends - and you don't have to use the Casino if you don't want to. Jayne also said it's a very safe environment, they advocate safe use of gambling and they are part of Keep It Fun with lots of advice on how to stay responsible with gambling. Also, she said that sometimes women who have been on night's out or perhaps dates in Gunwharf go to the Casino as a safe waiting place before getting transport home.

I had such a misconception of casinos, I thought they were going to be a seedy greedy place wanting to take all of your money. But, it's actually a place of leisure, a place to hang out with your friends or celebrate an occasion. There were such a variety of people from different backgrounds and ages, and at the tables, complete strangers were chatting with each other and having fun.

Before we got stuck into playing on some of the tables, we were shown over to the restaurant area for dinner.

One of my favourite meals is steak, and Connor and I love going out for a good steak! I loved how it came out with a selection of sides, and a decent amount too. Admittedly, my cut of steak wasn't exactly how I like it, but the waiter was very friendly and understanding and I very quickly was brought another piece and it was perfect!

For pudding, we both got waffles with ice cream and a selection of sauces (chocolate, salted caramel and maple syrup) and it was delicious, I loved having all of the sauces!

Grosvenor Casino had quite the selection of alcoholic beverages, but I decided to go all out with a piña colada as I wanted to feel fancy. It did not disappoint as you can see from the smile on my face.

We were both given a lucky number to use on a game of roulette as it was our first time at that casino, unfortunately, my number didn't come up, but it's a lovely idea that you could win £10 from a free spin.

After we enjoyed our dinner we were taken over to a private table where we were shown how to play roulette. I haven't really ever played any casino games so it was all new to me. We were given some chips just to play with whilst we learned all of the tips and how much you can gain by placing chips in particular areas.

The basics are the roulette gets spun and you place your chips on what numbers and colours you think the ball in the roulette might land on, but as you can see in the photo above you can also just choose colours and specific number sections if you don't want to do a straight up bet. The more you bet on a number, or numbers the more you can win back if you bet on the correct number.

Once we felt confident enough to take on the other punters in the casino, we went to a live table. I've got to say because I'm an awkward person there wasn't much room around the table and I ended up being on an edge and unable to put some chips down and was too nervous to keep asking the dealer where I wanted them. But it was all for fun, we set ourselves a budget of how much we wanted to buy into the game for chips (smart move).

Connor was a natural at conserving his chips and trying to get the most winnings by placing his chips on singular numbers. I was trying a different approach by trying to cover several numbers to try and get a big payout. This didn't work very well, but Connor helped me win some back so we both left in profit. It's amazing how quick everything is in roulette, the dealers have crazy maths skills and I wasn't expecting the tables to be so high tech. You can see on screens surrounding the tables what numbers and colours had come up recently to try and "guess" what might come up next.

I was honestly a bit apprehensive and excited for my first official time in a casino, but we both had so much fun. It was a different kind of night out and you can have a nice bit of banter, and hopefully, you'll go home with some extra pennies in your pocket or at least a full belly from a lovely meal.

We decided to become members of Grosvenor Casino, this is at no cost all at it just sets up a card so you can get easy access in and out of the casino. You set yourself up an online account as well, as you can play live online games - I have since done this and it's very strange having a real person talk to you when you're playing behind a screen. 

I would definitely recommend going to a casino for the experience, even if you just want to go grab some food and drink and socialise with your friends. If you feel responsible enough, do try playing some games, and the casino has steps in place if you do have trouble gambling, or if you think you might be susceptible to a gambling addiction. All you have to do is talk to a staff member and they will help you out. The message I interpreted from this casino is that you should have fun, but definitely don't gamble or play if you're going to put yourself in a sticky situation with rent, debt etc. I hate to be that person who says this but it's true when the fun stops - stop.

Connor and I will definitely come back here again for a night out, it was such a nice change of pace and environment, and it's completely abolished my misconceptions - I feel so embarrassed!

For more information about managing gambling addiction click here.

Let me know if you've been to casinos and what your experience was like below.

Love Saffron x

*This was a complimentary experience through the lovely ladies at Publicasity with the wonderful staff at Grosvenor Casino, all opinions are my own and I was not paid for this review.


Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Last Minute Gift Guide Under £10

Christmas can be a very hard time, whether it's financially, family/friends related, or mental health issues. The last thing you want to be worried about is what to buy your secret Santa or a family member you've forgotten to buy for - oops.

Well, I've got some great last minute gifts for you to get just in time for the big day. You can either use this guide for stocking fillers with things you have already bought, or you can mix and match some of the items or ideas in this post. I personally would love to receive any and all of these gifts so they have my approval!

1. The Bath Lover

The Body Shop is always a go-to place for beauty products, but they also stock these small but powerful bath bombs and bubble bars for just £1.50 each. You could pop a couple of scents in their gift and still have budget leftover for another gift! They currently have Pink Grapefruit Bath Bubble*, Moringa Bath Bubble*, Coconut Bath Bubble* and Green Tea Bath Bomb* available.

2. The Classic Gift

I've always loved receiving socks for Christmas, and as an adult, I still love getting them in amongst my presents. Primark is the best place for getting all of your essential items, plain tees, underwear and PJ's. It's affordable and there are so many cute products you can buy for yourself or even as gifts!

Fluffy socks always take over my sock drawer, so I literally have to have a separate drawer just to have an easy life. I love it when Primark have packs so you can get multiple items without breaking the bank.

Black and Mixed Two Pack Fluffy Socks 

Mixed and Pink Two Pack Fluffy Socks

When looking at their gift section I love love love that they packaged these socks into boxes and adorable little sacks. It looks so sweet and would make a nice addition to any Christmas gift.

Cat Socks Gift Box

Black Candycane Gift Bag Socks 

Grey Santa Gift Bag Socks

Navy Reindeer Gift Bag Socks

3. Self Care

This past year I've dived into self-care, and I honestly believe it's helped me mentally. It feels so good when you dedicate time to you, and on top of that you might be working out, painting your nails or applying a face mask - so you get an external and internal benefit.

I found these cute items at Boux Avenue and thought it's such a good range of gifts. I treated myself to a sleep mask this year, especially for in the Summer if I want a lie in and don't want to be awoken at stupid o'clock by the sun streaming in. Honestly, the best decision I have ever made. It also helps if you have an OH like me who stays up late but you want to go to sleep without the bedroom lights keeping you up.

Koala Sleep Mask

It's an absolute essential for me to have a water bottle at the gym, and I have to have one with a straw that reaches all the way to the bottom. I find it so much easier to drink from and it's just super cute.

Eat Sleep Gym Bottle

I don't think I have to explain why I've popped in a tangle teaser, this is a godsend for any long haired goddess out there - because we're all goddesses.

Tangle Teaser 

4. The Stationary Addict

Self-confessed stationary addict and hoarder over here, these are two of WHSmith stationary items I've got my eye on. Week by week view diary's are really good to scrawl your plans and important dates in, I only ever use day by day if I actually want to write everything down from that day. Everyone should have a diary in their bag or somewhere accessible at home.

Pink 2019 Week by Week View

Little Book of Big Ideas

5. Home Comforts

I love absolutely love homeware and little things to make your home cosy. I have been generously gifted a set of Glass Flower Tealight Holder on behalf of Home Flair Decor*. It comes with two tealight candles, if like me you prefer LED candles you can find some realistic LED candles here.

They come in a lovely presentation box, and it's the perfect size to wrap up!

6. A Sprinkle of Lindt

I often forget that you can either go into a Lindt store or even online, you can put together your own selection of Lindt chocolates. Whether you know what that person likes, or you can select a variety of new flavours for them to indulge in. There's no minimum which is perfect for additional gifts or if you're shopping on a strict budget for a chocolate lover.

I hope you've found my last minute gift guide helpful, I know that I would love to receive any of these gifts. I've only recently been trying to abide by a budget for Christmas and as hard as it feels, I've noticed that I've been getting more creative with present ideas and actually getting so much more for less.

Happy holidays,

Love Saffron x

*As mentioned above I was gifted the tealight holder on behalf of Home Flair Decor, any other links in this post with an asterisk are affiliate links which means if someone buys that item through my link I can make some commission.

Monday, 3 December 2018

Why I Love This Season

When I start to feel a slight chill in the air, a small smile creeps across my face. Why is that you ask? because; layers. It means I can start the process of changing my summer wardrobe into autumn/winter. I live for jumpers.

I find even though I love nothing more than a cosy night in, in my fluffiest pyjamas, dressing gown and socks, I also find myself hunting down fun wintry activities. Oh, did I also forget to mention I love any occasion to get a knitted bobble hat out?

I've only recently been pumpkin picking and it's adorable. I went to Pickwell's Farm in Southampton and you could pick ANY size pumpkin for £2. Absolute bargain. They also have a cute shop where you can buy groceries, Pickwell products and other little independents items.

It's also motivated me to go picking for fruit when the season comes back around, plus I'd love to get back into baking and make some yummy goodies with hand-picked berries.

I really love it when Halloween comes around, I live for experimenting with makeup and trying to transform myself. I used to do drama at school, and I used to dance for several years and have this innate need sometimes to dress up, perform and feel like someone else.

Autumn is such a nice little transition into Winter, albeit in England we can still get overly warm days when we've just put on three layers expecting the worst! As soon as the 5th of November comes around I start feeling so festive. Bring out the gloves, hats and scarves and let's go see some fireworks!

Now, don't get me wrong. I do love fireworks displays and you can have some really fun ones. But, some people have been taking the cake in terms of their own fireworks at home. I've heard fireworks going off for weeks leading up to Guy Fawkes night and weeks afterwards. It's distressing for animals and children, and I even find it a distraction and hazard sometimes as a driver. I think some people need to be more considerate and use them more nearer the date.

I'm looking forward to more wintry and festive activities. I'm planning a post to share my ideas of what you can get up to, I'm looking at ones that are fairly cheap too! Christmas can be a hard time financially, but not everything has to cost loads of money.

I love it when people come together over Christmas time, it's my favourite part. Yes, it's an excuse to eat as much as you want and drink as much as you want. But, you get to see your friends and family and there are lots of fun things to do, and amazing festive menus in restaurants and cafes.

I'd love to know your favourite festive things to do, let me know in the comments.

Love Saffron x

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Lust List | November

I've been planning a Lust List series for quite some time now. I'm one of those people who screenshots, saves and bookmarks things I like. Then I'll set some time one day to go through everything and pick what I want to buy.

I love looking at things other people love as well, I think it's great to draw inspiration from. I love a good freshen up of my wardrobe or trying new things!

New Look Suede Jacket in Mustard* and Grey* £39.99

This suede jacket is just gorgeous! I'm prepared to add this to my wardrobe for my staple going out jacket...

The following few items are from ASOS, but I've come across Sass & Belle in Brighton and I always make a stop whenever I'm visiting. It's full of cute home bit and accessories, and as you can see I have an obsession with sloth items...

Sasse & Belle Large Sloth Bowl £15.00

Sass & Belle Gingerbread Mug £8

For this time of year (or all round I'm not fussy) just imagine having a cosy hot chocolate with whipped cream on top...I'm not drooling, you are.

Boohoo Disney Mickey Initial Tee £8.00

I love Disney, and I love the mustard colour. I don't really like overboard Disney clothing so this would work nicely with a leather/suede jacket.

I don't really have many party dresses, but then I don't get to go out out too much these days. But it doesn't hurt to have a good stash of pretty dresses! These two from New Look are so gorgeous and would suit any festive occasion.

New Look Burgundy Velvet Strappy Skater Dress* £24.99

ASOS Design Cotton Slubby Frill Sleeve Smock Dress £18.00

One of my fashion goals is to have countless cute and easy outfits, and this dress ticks both boxes. I'm finding in my older age I just want to be comfortable, what's the point of squeezing into clothes that aren't right for me?

When I've been to The Body Shop® events, I've had the Huwaiian Kukui Cream tested on my hands and arms and I absolutely love it. The scent is right up my street, and it makes my skin feel so soft and smooth, so I must get this soon!

These are just a few of the things I'm lusting for at the moment! Let me know if you'd be interested in me making this a regular feature on my blog, and I'll try and get all fancy with how I display the items.

Send me any links of some of your saved items/things you want to buy!

Love Saffron x

*items marked with an astrix are affiliate links, which means I can make a small bit of commission on items bought through this link.

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