January Highlights

Friday, 31 January 2014
ringing in the new year with The Thick of IT, M&S party food & passoa cocktails

pub lunch and a spot of shopping with Kirsty

reliving my teens with a night of bowling and pool with B and our friends

a wintry Sunday afternoon walk around the slightly spooky Cammo Estate

celebrating Burns Night with massive haggis & venison burgers at Tempus

joining the #AccessAllASOS campaign

a night of tapas and karaoke with some of the best blogger babes around

a work trip to Paris including an overnight stay in one of the fanciest hotels in the city

also this month:

new years day steak pie lunch with B, my parents, my sister & her boyfriend

having the girls round my flat one Friday night to film some youtube videos 

getting a promotion at work to senior account manager

booking a holiday to Copenhagen for my birthday in March

OOTD | Black & Blue

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

dress - axparis
cardigan - primark
bag - primark
bracelet - primark
necklace - primark
shoes - new look

Last Friday I had an awesome night out with some of the best girls around - all of whom I've met through blogging.  It's crazy to think that starting this blog has given me a whole new group of friends, thank god for the internet!

It was an evening of tapas, sangria, good chat, karaoke & questionable cocktail pitchers, ending in the sweatiest nightclub of all time.  One of my favourite moments was 9 of us doing the "Saturday Night" dance in our karaoke booth whilst Laura provided the vocals - I hope someone was watching on CCTV (Kirsty filmed a bit which you can see on Instagram here).

I attempted to film a get ready with my video whilst doing my makeup and hair etc but had major camera issues so resorted to just taking outfit of the day photos instead.  Unfortunately though most of them came out blurred (arghhh, really need to work out the settings on my camera) so this isn't my finest OOTD…

Bard's Burger at Tempus Edinburgh

Saturday, 25 January 2014
Tempus cocktail menu
Elderflower Tattoo cocktail at Tempus
Schnapp Happy cocktail at Tempus
Bread board at Tempus
Bards Burger at Tempus
Laura and Gillian at Tempus
Kirsty & Lynne at Tempus

On Thursday night myself, Gillian, Laura, and Kirsty were invited to dinner at Tempus at the George Hotel in Edinburgh.  The last time we all went to Tempus for a blogger event was in the summer and it was ace (we still talk about it now!) so we were all pretty excited at the prospect of MORE FOOD wooo! This time we were there to sample their new Bard's Burger which has been created by chef Stewart Jarvie as part of this years' Burns Night celebrations.  Now I bloody love a burger so there's no way I was turning that invitation down.

The Bard's Burger is a half pound beauty made with haggis and venison mince topped with Isle of Mull cheddar, served with redcurrant chutney, jenga neeps and jenga chips. To be honest, on paper I thought a mix of venison and haggis sounded a bit odd - I think of them as both being pretty strong flavours so wasn't sure how they would taste together but I was pleasantly surprised.  Also this was actually the first time I'd ever tried venison so wasn't sure if I'd like it or not but it was absolutely delicious and really complemented the peppery haggis.  

Having eaten at Tempus before I knew how amazing their chips were (big, chunky slabs of crispy potato - oh my) but was curious as to what "jenga chips" were and after thinking for about a day that jenga was some sort of funky spice it suddenly hit me that it's because they stack the chips like Jenga tiles on the plate....what an idiot.  

We washed our massive burgers down with yummy cocktails like Elderflower Tattoo and Schnapp Happy and had a nice wee evening catching up and chatting excitedly about our Friday night plans, as a big group of us were going out for tapas and karaoke (I'm currently writing this on Friday afternoon and am about to go film a get ready with me video and take some OOTD pictures - yaaaay I love a girly night out!).  

All in all it was a no bad way to spend a Thursday evening - this was my 3rd visit to Tempus for a meal and it's rapidly becoming one of my favourite places to eat in Edinburgh.  The venue, particularly the restaurant section through the back, has a really grand feel but the prices are still pretty reasonable for George Street and the menu has a lot of choice without being too overwhelming (including vegetarian and gluten free options).  I've started including it in my list of recommended restaurants when asked by friends and family (along with Cafe Andaluz, Le Monde and Amarone if you're interested), so would definitely encourage you to give it a try.

The Bard's Burger is available at Tempus until the 26th of January for £15 per person - so get in there quick! One thing I would say though is that the burger is HUGE and really filling, so don't bother with starters unless you don't mind rolling home.

All at Sea | Throwback Thursday

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Today's Throwback Thursday doesn't feel like all that long ago but the photo is actually 7 years old.  It was taken on a family cruise of the med in the year I graduated uni (it was also my parents 50th birthdays, their 25th wedding anniversary, and my sisters 18th birthday).  

How terrible is that outfit though....a too tight t-shirt with a weird childish floral pattern, paired with black leggings and a black cardigan (which just looks odd against the white and pink).  I remember really liking this outfit at the time too, how things change!

This was also not long after I got my hair cut into a short blond bob which I thought was really cool at the time but now when I look back it made me look so OLD.

So all in all, looking goooood.

My Haircare Routine | Reviews-Day Tuesday

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

In the shower

I am currently reliving my teen years thanks to the return of the old school Herbal Essences shampoos.  I much prefer these classic formulas to the modern line, and the smell holds so much nostalgia for me. As my hair is currently dyed brown (courtesy of a Casting Colour box dye) I prefer a shampoo tailored for coloured hair, so I've been using the Shimmering Colour shampoo.  I feel like this leaves my hair really soft and shiny, and my colour has lasted much longer than I expected.

For conditioner I'm currently using the Organix Hydrating Macadamia Oil Conditioner. I'm not fully decided on this yet, I do like the smell and it does leave my hair feeling smooth, but it needs a LOT of rinsing or otherwise you can be left with a residue.

Twice a week I switch up and use the Herbal Essences Bee Strong Strengthening Intensive Mask to give my hair a bit of a treat. This is a really quick acting mask so you only really need to leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing off and you're left with silky shiny locks.

Pre-blow dry

These days I rarely blow dry my hair straight out the shower, opting instead to leave it to dry naturally for about an hour before a final blast with the hairdryer. I just felt like I was using far too much heat on my hair so now only do a proper blow-dry if I'm in a rush. 

Whilst wet though I apply any treatments, firstly brushing out the tugs with my trusty tangle teezer, then starting with the Wella SP Weightless Finish.  This is a light volumising treatment which gives your hair a bit of extra body. To be honest I don't notice any big boost in volume, but my hair does feel a bit thicker so it does do something.

Finally, I've been using the Hask Argan Oil Healing Shine Treatment on my split ends. This was in my goodie bag at the Scottish Bloggers Christmas Party. It isn't as good as the proper Moroccanoil but it is still a pretty decent treatment which leaves my tips feeling pretty silky smooth and less dry looking.


I wrote a full review last week on the Umberto Giannini Backcomb in a Bottle where I explained that it's pretty rubbish and doesn't really do any more than hairspray when it comes to boosting my roots.  I've kept persevering with it though, mainly because I paid like £6 for it so I'm not letting it go to waste.

If I'm having a wavy/curly hair day then I tend to set the style with L'Oreal Elnett Supreme Hold Hairspray. I've used Elnett hairspray for years and always go back to it. I just love how light it is, even the strongest hold spray, so it will lock your style in place pretty much all day and then easily brush out at night.  It's so affordable too, definitely a fave.

Finally, as I only wash my hair every second day I reach for my trusty Batiste Dry Shampoo every other morning to freshen up my roots.  At the moment I'm using the Cherry one but to be honest I'm pretty sure they all smell exactly the same. 

So that's my current hair routine along with a few mini reviews of the products I've been using on an almost daily basis for the last month or so.  Let me know if you use any of these and what your thoughts are.

Video | Best of 2013: TV, Film & General

Monday, 20 January 2014
The second part of me and the girls' Best of 2013 video is now up on Youtube and can be viewed below.  In this video we're chit chatting about our favourite film and TV shows from last year as well as our best 2013 memory and what we're looking forward to in 2014.  Can't wait to do more videos with these lovelies - it felt a bit like a Scottish Bloggers chat show and was so fun to film!

Wintry Walk at Cammo Estate

Saturday, 18 January 2014
Gardens at Cammo Estate
Ruins at Cammo Estate
Ruins at Cammo Estate
Monkey tree at Cammo Estate
Gardens at Cammo Estate
Monkey tree at Cammo Estate
Monkey tree at Cammo Estate
attempted to get Blair to take OOTD photos....every single one blurred....siiigh
Tree roots at Cammo Estate
Frozen canal at Cammo Estate
Ruins at Cammo Estate
Ruins at Cammo Estate
Ruins at Cammo Estate
Ruins at Cammo Estate
Water tower at Cammo Estate
Water tower at Cammo Estate
River at Cammo Estate
obligatory selfie

Last Sunday was one of those beautiful winters days where it's all frosty but the sun is shining, so Blair and I decided to go out for a walk.  Earlier in the week I'd read about a place called Cammo Estate (also called Cammo Park) which isn't far from our flat so we popped on our hats and scarves and jumped in the car.  The estate is out near Barnton in Edinburgh, just past the Barnton junction and is pretty hidden unless you know about it. There's a wee car park but the street next to the main entrance has free parking so we just stopped there - it is residential though so obviously you need to be careful not to upset any residents by parking over their driveway or anything!

The estate has been empty since the 1950's when the last owner moved out and it started to fall into disrepair.  Now much of the place is in ruins, with just a few walls left from the original house and the old stables (be careful in here, it's pretty dilapitated!).  There's a lot of woodland and wide grassy open space for kids or dogs to run around, so it's ideal for a Sunday walk with the family.  As we didn't have a map or anything when we were walking round it's only now I've looked up about the place online again that I've realised we missed out a few bits like the walled garden and seeing the old ash tree - oh well, an excuse to go back!

Automatic | Throwback Thursday

Thursday, 16 January 2014
As I said at the start of the year my 2014 blog schedule is going to include a Throwback Thursday themed post every week which could be a photo, a diary entry, an outfit, or a song.  Well today is a Throwback Thursday TUNE which means it's a song that reminds me of a particular time in my life or a specific memory.  In this case it's Automatic High by S Club Juniors which reminds me of a high school house party when I was 17.  In particular it reminds me of kissing a boy in my friends' conservatory…

(you'll have to click the watch on youtube link)

It was a typical Saturday night party round at one of my friends, about 20 odd people from our year at school were there (plus a couple of random older guys, as always seems to happen at these sort of parties), we were all drinking far too much, there were groups forming in various rooms of the house (always starts with the kitchen), a few people dancing round the living room, a few bedrooms occupied by newly formed couples, one or two people vomiting in the garden….you know, the usual.  

I was in the conservatory with some of my friends and a boy I'd fancied for ages, and after trying the old "ignore them so they'll want you more" technique all night it actually worked and I FINALLY ended up kissing him whilst this song played in the background (because no house party was complete without some S Club Juniors apparently…).  We'll ignore the fact that he later was so drunk that he threw up in several rooms of the house….I still take that as a win.

Umberto Giannini Backcomb in a Bottle Review | Reviews-Day Tuesday

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

I went searching for this volumising spray in Boots after seeing Hannah from Away With The Fairies use it in a Get Ready With Me video (you can see my mini Boots haul in Day 2 of my Vlogmanay series).

This is a root boost type spray that claims to give you the texture and volume of backcombing from a spray (hence the name "backcomb in a bottle").

I've been desperate to find something that actually gives my hair lasting volume for what feels like forever - my hair is terrible for holding any type of volume and I generally have to spend the day "jujing" my hair to stop it looking totally flat.

I had quite high hopes for this as when I watched Hannah's video it did appear to give her hair lots of backcomb-like volume but on me it pretty much does nothing.  To be honest it doesn't feel much different to hairspray, and when I spray it on the roots and give it a "juj" (as it says on the bottle) all that happens is I have slightly crispier roots than I did previously.  

So for me it's a bit of a fail and I definitely wouldn't repurchase - I could get the same effect with hairspray. Looks like I'll be sticking with actual backcombing if I want any decent volume for the foreseeable future, meh.

Video | Best of 2013 : Beauty & Blogging

Sunday, 12 January 2014
You've heard me talk quite a lot about my Scottish blogger pals on here before, and one thing we've been meaning to do for a while is start filming some videos for Youtube.  I vlogged our wee holiday that we went on at the end of last year (which you can view here) but we fancied doing some proper sit down chatty videos so on Friday night I had a few of the girls over and we filmed not one but TWO videos, the first of which is live now.  

The videos are a "Best of 2013" type tag with us answering questions about our favourite things from 2013 and our hopes for 2014.  In Part 1, which you can view below, we discuss all things beauty and blogging with questions ranging from our favourite makeup & skincare products of 2013 to our blogging resolutions for 2014.

We had a lot of fun filming the videos so are planning on getting together through the year to do more - we fancy doing some fun tags like the blindfolded makeup challenge so I look forward to those!

OOTD | Winter is Coming

Saturday, 11 January 2014

dress - ASOS (no longer online)
cardigan - new look (no longer online)
boots - primark
belt - primark
brooch - ginger pickle
necklace - new look (no longer online)

Wooo it's my first OOTD of 2014 and NO I still can't take outfit photos without looking awkward as hell.  In a couple of the pictures I've got some major bitch face going on - I swear I was not in any way moody, in fact I was about to go out for lunch with my pal Kirsty so I was pretty chipper!  

This was also the first time I'd used my new camera and as you can probably tell I'm not quite used to the settings yet (also it's Scotland in winter so the lighting was shiiiiite).  I'll be doing more OOTD's through the year so hopefully come December I'll be posing like a pro and have lovely sparkly photies.