Made From Scotland Pop Up Shop

Tuesday, 16 September 2014
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It feels quite apt that in a week that Scotland has a referendum to decide whether or not to become an independent country, I'm writing a post about a shop that solely sells Scottish products (FREEDOOOOOM!!).  A local shop for local people and all that.

Jokes aside, Made From Scotland is a delightful little website that sells great products from local Scottish designers, from fashion and accessories to homeware and food & drink.  Up until now they have only traded online, however rather excitingly they are currently taking up residence on Rose Street in Edinburgh in a pop up shop that's open until October.

A few weeks ago myself and a couple of other bloggers went along to their press launch to take a look around the shop before it opened.  I fell in love with soooo many things - one of the main ones being the range of Gillian Kyle bibs with tunnocks tea cakes, haggis, and Scottish Pride bread on them.  I hope someone I know has a baby soon so I have a legitimate excuse for buying them!  

I also love all the items that feature sketches of Edinburgh like these prints from A Pair of Blue Eyes, and this mug from Pink Pig (which I actually already own).  They both capture the beauty and quirkyness of Edinburgh perfectly.

Another fave were the cards and prints from The Grey Earl featuring the cutey young batman and robin and various Scottish sayings like "taps aff" and "yaldae".  Awwww.

If you're shopping in town over the next few weeks I've definitely recommend popping in for a look, especially if you're on the look out for gift ideas as you're bound to find something unique - and it supports local designers which is a feelgood bonus.

The Made From Scotland Pop Up Shop can be found at 115-117 Rose Street, Edinburgh - open 10.30am - 6pm (5pm on Sundays).


August Highlights

Saturday, 13 September 2014
As you may have been able to tell, August was a pretty busy month for me so I decided to take a bit of a break from blogging as it was getting to the point where the idea of sitting down to write a post seemed like a chore.  I don't ever want to reach the stage where I'm forcing myself to keep the blog updated as it's supposed to be a fun hobby, so I think the break was good for me.

Anyway, I'm feeling much more inspired now and have got more time to sit and write - so heres a summary of what I've been up to in the last month.

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August started with a trip up North with my mum, dad and sister for my cousin's 40th birthday in Aberdeen.  We went out for afternoon tea at a hotel in town followed by drinks and then karaoke.  It was a good laugh and really nice to see that side of my family, some of whom I haven't seen in a couple of years.

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It was the Edinburgh Festival so I went out a LOT to various comedy and theatre shows as well as meeting up with different groups of friends for drinks and dinner.  A pretty expensive month!  I wrote a full post about my Fringe experience this year which you can read here if you're interested.

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Also festival related, I went to the foodies festival for the first time after winning tickets through Laura's blog competition.  It was a beautifully sunny day too so it was a fun afternoon walking around in the sun tasting food and drinking pink lemonade and mojitos, yum yum.

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August was also the month that I FINALLY moved into a new office at work - I feel like we've been planning it for about a year (oh yeah, we have!).  My view is pretty sweet as we're located just opposite Edinburgh Castle on Princes Street, and even though we've only actually moved a couple of streets along from where we used to be it feels like a completely different world.

I love coming into work in the morning now walking along Princes St and seeing the castle, it sets me in a really good mood.  Oh and not to mention the fact that the shops are like right there for a spot of lunchtime/after work browsing (not sure if that's a good or bad thing though).

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I went to my first blogger event in a while at Godiva in Edinburgh, a really cute boutique shop selling clothes and accessories from local Scottish designers.  Unfortunately I couldn't stay long as Gillian and I were heading off to see a Breaking Bad themed show at the festival (YEAH BITCH) but we did manage to get a good look around the shop whilst sipping on Pimms and eating brownies from Lovecrumbs.  I also got to take a slice of salted caramel cake home which I then ate for "dinner" at about 9pm.  Ace.

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One of my definite highlights was getting to see the first episode of the new series of Doctor Who at the Filmhouse, 2 days before it aired on the BBC.  Kirsty and I are unashamed Who geeks so needless to say we were incredibly excited to watch Malcolm Tucker's debut on the big screen surrounded by fellow Whovians, ahhh amazing. 

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I've not seen as much of my lovely blogger pals as I'd have liked recently so it was nice to catch up with Laura and Iona at the end of the month for Iona's birthday.  We went out for dinner in Stirling which meant Laura and I got to engage in one of our favourite activities…..drinking cocktails in a can on the train, woooo.  More meet ups in September please folks!

Oh yeah, and as you can see in the photo above - my hair is a bit different! I got it cut earlier that day and also had a caramel toner put on it so it looks a lot darker (it's faded a lot since this photo was taken).  I was also dressed in an outfit completely out of my comfort zone in a playsuit and a floral crown (I kinda loved it though).  What I didn't anticipate was how awkward a playsuit is when going to the toilet.  Jesus Christ it's like a 5 minute job to get in and out of it.  

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And finally, the month ended pretty spectacularly with a party in that new office I mentioned for the end of festival fireworks.  We had an amazing view for the show whilst also being in the comfort of a warm office with a glass of prosecco and a handful of popcorn.  Just a shame it was a Sunday night…..there were a few sore heads in the office Monday morning that's for sure.

Summer Cocktails with Waitrose Cellar

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Recently Hannah from Waitrose Cellar got in touch to ask me if I wanted to take part in their summer cocktail campaign. What can I say, they must have heard about my blossoming bar skillz (pahaha).


I was asked to pick one of Waitrose's own brand spirits which they sent me, along with a cocktail kit and vouchers to buy mixers. I settled in a bottle of Polish Rye vodka as I thought it sounded a wee bit different.

After perusing the aisles of Waitrose after work the other night (feeling ever so posh) I decided that I was going to make a light fruity cocktail, picking up pink lemonade, Chambord raspberry liquer, and fresh strawberries.  

At home I added 4 shots of the vodka, 2 shots of Peach Schnappes (which I already had in my cupboards), and 1.5 shots of Chambord to a cocktail shaker with some ice.  I filled the bottom of a glass jug with ice and chopped up strawberries, then poured in the (now shaken) alcohol mix, topping up with a bottle of Belvoir Raspberry Lemonade.  The pink lemonade is a nice twist on the usual soda or regular lemonade and adds a bit of extra fruitiness to the cocktail.





Following my tradition of lame cocktail naming, I'm calling this one Peach Blossom as I think it sums up the flavour pretty well - fresh and fruity.  I really enjoying making up random cocktails like this at home, there's always that worry that you're going to make something that doesn't taste nice, but that's kind of part of the fun!  

Also, for those of you interested in wedding chat, we've decided that we're going to serve cocktails instead of champagne and wine, so I've been on the lookout for easy cocktail recipes that we could serve in jugs. Waitrose actually have a list of summer cocktail recipes on their website which has come in handy - I like the sound of the Chase Elderflower Twinkle.

My Peach Blossom might have a few too many ingredients to serve en masse but I reckon a vodka and pink lemonade combo is a good shout.  Or maybe even gin and pink lemonade as I saw a rose lemonade when I was in Waitrose which looked pretty yummy (could call that one "Rosie and Gin", hehe).

What's your favourite cocktail to make at home?  Any simple cocktail recipes I could steal for my wedding??