10 Top 10's

Wednesday, 30 December 2015
Ten 'Top 10' lists to round up my 2015 - which was a pretty peachy year all round!

These lists are in no particular order by the way, as that would have involved more effort than I was willing to put in on my holiday.

10 Photographed Moments of 2015

1) Celebrating turning 30 on a girly family trip to Disneyland Paris
2) Exploring Stirling Castle with my B
3) Lianne's FRIENDS themed leaving do
4) A night of 80's nostalgia for my friend Jaclyn's 30th birthday
5) Hen do fun with my favourite ladies
6) Getting married!
7) Honeymooning in Greece
8) An autumnal stroll through beautiful Paris
9) A night of dancing with my no1 bae
10) Our first Christmas as a Mr and Mrs

Mr and Mrs Christmas

Monday, 28 December 2015

As this was our first Christmas since getting married earlier this year, we decided to have Christmas Day just the two of us.  It was a lovely relaxing day filled with good food, good TV, and comfy clothes.  We got up at 9ish and exchanged presents - my faves including a popcorn maker, Ryan Gosling calendar, scrabble tile lights, Shaun The Sheep DVD boxset (shut up), this amazing clutch bag, and lots of beauty bits and chocolates.  I'd written out a plan the day before so approached the Christmas cooking pretty calmly - to be fair apart from peeling and chopping potatoes it was pretty much a case of putting things in the oven / microwave at various times, so not too taxing!

Recipe: Ginger & Chocolate Orange Tiffin

Friday, 18 December 2015
ginger and chocolate orange tiffin recipe ingredients

ginger and chocolate orange tiffin recipe

We had a Christmas bake off at work this week and I thought I'd share the recipe I put together as it was pretty damn tasty if I do say so myself.  I've never been one for baking cakes or muffins or anything that involves going in the oven, but I do make a mean traybake.  For our wedding I made a couple of different no-bake tiffins for our dessert table and they went down really well, so I decided to go with something similar for our bake off.

I took a malteaser traybake recipe that I used years ago and tweaked it slightly to make a festive sounding Ginger & Chocolate Orange Tiffin.  Oh my it was delicious!  If you like chocolate orange, then you have to try it!

Christmas Party Wishlist: Boohoo

Tuesday, 15 December 2015
The Christmas party season is well and truly upon us (it's my work do this Saturday - look out for an outfit post coming next week!), so it's time for my 4th and final Christmas party outfit wishlist of 2015.  So far I've picked outfits from ASOS, New Look and Very, and this time it's the turn of Boohoo.com.

Btw none of these posts have been sponsored in any way, there's no real reason why I chose those brands over anyone else - I just had a look at the sites I generally shop from and went for the 4 where I found the most outfit inspiration.

top, trousers, boots, necklace, clutch

You Go Glen Coco: Youtube Edition

Saturday, 12 December 2015
You Go Glen Coco is a series where I share blog posts that I've loved reading recently.  The title comes from Mean Girls, one of my favourite films.  It's a place to "share the love" and hopefully highlight some new blogs for you to check out.  This time I'm doing a Youtube edition, so instead of blogs I've got some videos and channels for you to take a look at....enjoy!

I bloody love a mashup, and this Pop Party medley from Dodie and her sister Hedy is ace.  Their voices are so lovely together (Hedy is so good, especially considering how young she is) and it's a really fun run through of some of the years biggest hits.

Workwear Lookbook #2

Wednesday, 9 December 2015
Brace yourself for some top quality outfit pictures coming your way..... Ha yes, I still haven't quite managed to find the time to take proper outfit photos in the morning with the tripod and that - so I'm going to continue with shoddy mirror shots until that day comes.  At least you know these are genuine outfits and not ones taken purely for the blog (shady blogger side eye).

I did a similar post earlier in the year which you can read here.

Christmas Party Wishlist: Very

Sunday, 6 December 2015

The third of my annual Christmas Party Outfit Wishlists.  So far this year I've put together wishlists for ASOS and New Look.  This week it's the turn of Very....

top - skirt - heels - bag

My Gallery Wall

Thursday, 3 December 2015

If you've been watching my weekly vlogs you'll know that we've been making a few small decor changes recently, including switching up our gallery wall.  I've shown you our gallery wall before - when we had a living room makeover last year  - but as a few new art prints have made their way into our collection recently we needed to do some shifting in order to fit them in.  I've used washi tape to hold them up which looks nice and all, but annoyingly as there's a radiator underneath at least one poster a day starts to unstick!

Christmas Party Wishlist: New Look

Monday, 30 November 2015

The second of my annual Christmas Party Outfit Wishlists - you can read my first one here where I put together 4 outfits from ASOS.  This week it's the turn of New Look....

dress - clutch - heels - lipgloss - nail polish

George at Asda Secret Santa

Saturday, 28 November 2015
This year I took part in the George at Asda bloggers Secret Santa, organised by those lovely folks at Talented Talkers.  So after being assigned a fellow blogger to buy for I was tasked with choosing presents for him/her from the George Christmas Gift section (up to the value of £50), while someone else was doing the same for me.  My gifts arrived last week (you can watch my unboxing video here) and my Secret Santa did really well as you can see!

Daily Makeup

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

I'm very much a creature of habit when it comes to my makeup.  Even though I've got drawers of blushes and lipsticks and eyeshadow palettes and foundations, I basically wear the same things every day for MONTHS and then I'll introduce something new and that will be used every day for months until something else new comes in and so the cycle continues.

Christmas Party Wishlist: ASOS

Sunday, 22 November 2015
Every year I do a series of Christmas Party Outfit Wishlists, and if I'm honest, it's one of my favourite  type of posts to write.  I love putting together fantasy outfits, and party outfits are the BEST ones.  I've still not decided what I'll wear to my own Christmas party yet, I've ordered the dress in outfit 1 but I'm not sure if it will suit me.  If not then maybe I'll find some inspiration in the next few posts.

dress - boots - necklace - clutch

Camera Roll #4

Friday, 20 November 2015
Time for another sneak peek at my iPhone photos, and a look at what I've been up to over the last few weeks.

Our Wedding

Wednesday, 18 November 2015
Pull up a chair, grab yourself a drink, and let me tell you all about our wedding.

There are a LOT of photos, so apologies if it takes a while to load!


A is for St Andrews

Sunday, 15 November 2015

It was Blair's 30th birthday last month, and as he'd taken me away for a surprise weekend when it was mine earlier in the year, I decided to return the favour with a trip to St Andrews.  We've stayed in St Andrews together once before - for my birthday 4 years ago - and it's a place we've always wanted to return to (especially as we had terrible weather on our last trip).  It's such a lovely little town - in fact if I had to live somewhere other than Edinburgh it would probably be top of my list.

Our weekend also coincided with the first of a series of "alphabet dates" that we are going to be doing every month for the first 2 years of our marriage (or at least that's the plan!).  So as well as staying in A for St Andrews, I also had a couple of A related activities planned along the way....

Recipe: Korean Fried Chicken

Wednesday, 11 November 2015
If you were to ask me the very serious question of whether I’m a ketchup or a brown sauce person, I’d have to pick the latter. It’s not that I don’t like tomato sauce, it’s just if I’m reaching for something to have with my chips then I’m much more likely to pick brown sauce (or actually, my condiment of choice would be BBQ sauce if it’s there). Oh and vinegar. Always vinegar.

I’m sure you’re finding this insight into my sauce preferences RIVETING, but it’s going somewhere, I promise.

Now given that I rarely reach for the ketchup as a condiment, it shouldn’t surprise you that I’m even more unlikely to add it as an ingredient to a meal (eurgh no). So when Haydn from Joe Blogs got in touch to ask if I wanted to take part in a campaign that involved cooking with ketchup – to celebrate the launch of Homeserve’s new online magazine called, funnily enough, Ketchup - I was certainly intrigued. The list of recipe options sounded pretty yummy so I decided to accept the challenge and take on Korean Fried Chicken.

Honeymoon Reads

Sunday, 8 November 2015
This post was in high demand.  And by that I mean, I asked here if anyone would like me to do a post about the books I read on honeymoon and one of my friends said yes.

It's what bloggers say though isn't it?  I don't know how many Youtube videos I've watched that start with "so lots of you have been asking me to do this video...".  Did they though?  DID THEY??  Show me the evidence.

Anyway, like I said - you were all crying out for a book review post so here it is.  Now I've never reviewed books before (actually, that's a lie - my primary 5 portfolio would say otherwise), so don't go expecting any in-depth analyses.  

*Note: these reviews are all spoiler free - in terms of plot I'll only discuss as much as you'd garner from reading the back of the book*

Honeymoon Outfits

Friday, 30 October 2015
You probably aren't aware, but I was on my honeymoon recently.  I didn't really mentioned it though. Kept it on the down low.

I won't bore you with the details, but I had a fab time in Rhodes soaking up the sunshine and playing in the pool.  What I do want to share with you today is my holiday outfits.  Now they were all then in a mirror in pretty shoddy lighting so you know, not GREAT, but you get the gist.  Also, I bought all of the stuff ages ago so there's no point in me trying to link to the items so you can buy them.

Day Outfits

kaftan - very

A bit of culture in Edinburgh & Glasgow

Sunday, 18 October 2015
I mentioned in my last post that once Blair and I got back from our honeymoon we tried to plan a few treats for ourselves to avoid the post-holiday blues.  Luckily for us, there were a couple of exhibitions happening in Edinburgh that we fancied going to see in the week we got back.

Edinburgh is a fab city for culture - it feels like there's always something going on, so if you're a fan of art or museums then you can pretty much find something to do every week.  Unfortunately we just missed the M.C Escher exhibition at the Modern Art Gallery as it ended the day before we flew back from Greece - such a shame as I'm sure that would have been really cool.  Never mind, we did make it to two pretty cool things though:

Camera Roll #3

Friday, 16 October 2015
This is becoming one of my favourite blog series to write - it's a nice way of giving you a little update of what's been going on in my life, without having to ramble on too much.  It's a bit like my online diary - going through my camera roll on my phone to find pictures for the post actually jogs my memory of what I've been up to!  

1) Awww this feels like aaaages ago now!  My lovely pal Lianne moved to New York about a month ago with her hubby Robin, and before they left they held a FRIENDS themed leaving do.  It was fancy dress so I decided to go as Phoebe from The One Where No One is Ready - i.e. the time she got hummus on her dress and had to cover it up with a Christmas decoration (here's a get ready with me video from the night).  

I had a great time catching up with Lianne and my other bloggy pals at Hemma Bar and making my way through all their different flavours of vodka.  I actually ended up filming a drunken Scottish Tag video when I got home which was an interesting decision....

My Big Fat Greek Honeymoon

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

I realise I'm doing these posts in a bit of a weird order - hen do, honeymoon, then wedding - but I'm leaving the best till last (i.e. WEDDING PHOTOOOOS).  Before we get to that, I want to tell you all about our amazing honeymoon in Greece.

We were staying at a hotel called Boutique 5 in Kiotari, on the east coast of Rhodes, not far from Lindos.  The hotel was beautiful - an adults only paradise with great views, great food, and fantastic staff.  We were in a suite with a private pool (oh YEAH!) which was pretty much the best thing ever.  

We spent near enough every morning in our pool - well apart from the first day due to the rain/thunder/lightning (Greece, what you playin' at?).  Our routine was that we'd go for breakfast, come back and let our food digest a bit lying on the terrace reading our books, then we'd jump in the pool and spend a good few hours there.  We bought ourselves a lilo on the second day and had a great time taking it in turns to lounge on it in the pool before being tipped off.  I uploaded a holiday video to my Youtube channel which contains quite a lot of sped up pool footage which, if I do say so myself, is hilarious.

Mini A/W Primark Haul

Sunday, 11 October 2015

There's probably not much point me even writing an introduction to this post, as I know all people want from a Primark haul is to look at the pictures.  Most of you won't even read this bit.  You'll just scroll right past it.

I could write anything I want here and it wouldn't matter - Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nullam interdum a arcu vel egestas. Vivamus congue blandit arcu, non vulputate nisi consectetur eu. Morbi in enim ac enim pulvinar varius. Willies, boobies, bums.

In fact if I'm going to do that I might as well get some keywords in there for SEO - primark haul, autumn/winter 2015, what I've been buying, fashion blogger, blogger in Edinburgh, Scottish blogger.


Anyway, onto the bit you are actually interested in....

My Hen Do

Friday, 2 October 2015

I'm a bit late with this post as not only was my hen do almost a month ago, but I've also already had the wedding and honeymoon! Never mind, better late than never!

My hen do was kept a complete surprise by my sister/bridesmaid/organiser extraordinaire Nik, so all I knew was that I had to arrive in Edinburgh at 9.30am in casual clothes and no makeup, with swimwear and a night outfit in tow.  I found out these clues via the medium of poetry….

Recent Makeup Buys

Wednesday, 30 September 2015
Hello!  First things first….I am a married lady now!  How exciting is that?!  I'm not long back from my honeymoon in Greece (more on that later) and now have almost a week at home before I go back to work/reality.  There will be posts coming soon all about my hen do, wedding and honeymoon - although I'd ideally like to wait until I've got some of the official photographs back before I do a wedding post so that one might be a wee while.  The wedding was even more amazing than I hoped it would be, it's true what they say - it really is the best day of your life!

In the meantime though, I started writing this post several weeks before the wedding as I'd been buying a few new makeup bits to use on the day.  Time kind of ran away from me though in the weeks leading up to the big day as there was soooo many things to organise, so I'm only just getting round to finishing it now.  On the plus side though, I've now had a chance to use all of the products so I can actually give you a review.

Wedding Countdown

Tuesday, 1 September 2015
Technically 3!

As I write this, there are just 3 weeks left until I get married, so I thought it was about time I gave you an update on what's happening.  I can't quite believe that it's so close, it doesn't feel like that long ago that we got engaged in Copenhagen, but a busy year and a half of planning has passed since then.

If I'm honest, I've really enjoyed the whole wedding planning process. I know people say it's one of the most stressful things you'll do in your life, but I haven't felt like that at all.  Sure, there have been a couple of wobbles - like Blair's trousers being out of stock, or me only realising a week ago that I'd agreed to organise our own dessert table - but they sorted themselves out pretty quickly, so <touch wood> it's been pretty plain sailing.  

With just a couple of weeks to go, all the big stuff is organised so we're onto the little details like finalising the menu, writing our vows, buying clothes for the honeymoon etc.  I feel like my every waking moment is consumed with planning, so come the end of September it will be nice to be able to think about something other than weddings!  As I said though, I have really enjoyed the whole process so I'll probably not know what to do with myself once it's over.  I'll need a new hobby!

I'm not going to go into details on the plans for our big day just yet - but I will fill you in on a couple of things:

Throwback Thursday: Fancy Dress

Thursday, 13 August 2015
Last weekend I went to an 80's themed 30th birthday party dressed as Madonna.  I was planning on doing a full outfit post but the pictures didn't come out great so that idea went out of the window.  Here's a pre-party selfie though!

It was a pretty simple outfit - black jeggins and a vest top with a black kimono/cardi over the top, then shitloads of jewellery (and lace gloves, obvs).  Hair was backcombed to fuck with a quiff and headband.  Makeup wise I went for a a brown smoky eye, red lip, lots of bronzer, and of course that famous Madonna mole.

The party was at an old school pals house, so I went back to my parents place to get ready to avoid getting the bus in my Madonna makeup.  It felt like the old days, getting ready in my old bedroom and then getting a lift from my mum to the party.  Before heading out I had a look through a few boxes of old photos as I need a couple of childhood pictures for the wedding.

Pretty Little Liars S6 E10 Predictions

Monday, 10 August 2015

This Wednesday the Pretty Little Liars mid season finale will air on Netflix, and after 6 seasons we will finally find out EVERYTHING.  EVERYTHIIIIING.  Maybe.  Apparently.  So we're told.

I actually only started watching the show a few months ago.  I binged the first 5 seasons in quick succession after becoming immediately obsessed.  By the time season 6 started airing I was still halfway through season 5 which meant I didn't have that agonising wait after the S5 finale to find out what the F was going on with that dollhouse.  Lucky me!  I caught up around episode 4 of S6 though so had to join the rest of you and actually WAIT a week for each new episode.  

The wait this last week has been so annoying after that (predictable) cliffhanger.  We're sooooo close to finding out who A is and I'm way more excited than a 30 year old woman should be about what is essentially a young adult drama.

Ahead of the much anticipated episode 10 I thought I'd share some of my thoughts on what I think is going to happen.

It goes without saying that here be spoilers past the jump!

Picnic Cocktail Package at Monboddo

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Ahh summer in Scotland.  The myth, the legend.  That joyous moment in August (sometimes July, sometimes May) where we get to experience a solid week of "taps aff" sunshine.  A week where we'll complain about melting on stifling hot buses or sweating in stuffy festival venues, being chased by wasps and midges, and the fact that our pasty skin will burn a beautiful shade of pink after spending 5 minutes outside.  But what a week!

In case you can't tell by that sarcastic tone, we generally don't get the best luck with summer weather in Scotland.  I had a call with a client in Hampshire the other day and she was complaining about it being "only" 19 degrees.  When I told her it was set to rain for the next 5 days in Edinburgh she exclaimed "awwww Lynne, that's terrible", as if I'd just given her some grave news. 

Camera Roll #2

Saturday, 1 August 2015
Hello!  I've been a bit sporadic with blogging recently, if I'm honest I'm struggling to find the motivation to sit down and write - I do have a couple of ideas floating around in my head but I haven't really been in the mood to actually type them up.  I think every blogger goes through these periods where they don't feel that interested in blogging, and I'm sure it will pass soon so just bear with me!

I thought an easy post for me to ease myself back into things was a "what I've been doing lately" update, so here's a little peek at the photos I've taken over the last few weeks and the stories behind them.

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen a couple of these photos before - they are from my Auntie's 70th birthday party up in Aberdeen last month.  What a fun day this was - we started off with champers at my cousins house before getting in a surprise limo into town where we had afternoon tea at a hotel.  Then it was back to the house for a bbq which lasted into the night.  I love taking trips up to Aberdeen to visit this side of my family - when I was a kid we used to go up once a year, so it feels a bit like a second home.  My sister and I snuck off at one point for a play in the park, a proper trip down memory lane!  I vlogged some of the weekend actually so if you want to see more check out this video on my Youtube channel.

1) How AMAZING does this dessert look??  It's a sundae with salted caramel ice cream, peanuts and popcorn - although unfortunately you'd have to go all the way to Paris to recreate it, as I got it from Market by Jean-Georges whilst over there for a meeting a few weeks ago.  Sooooo good!

2) A cute wee lunchtime picnic with my pal Lianne, which you can read all about in my post here.  I still haven't had a chance to take my picnic blanket out since though as the weather has been so bad.  Rain rain rain every day.  Boooooo to wet summers!  Oh actually, that reminds me - if you haven't started watching Wet Hot American Summer on Netflix then you must.   Start with the original film, then move onto the new TV show prequel.  Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper and more in a brilliantly weird summer camp parody.  Do it!!

3) and 4) More fun with friends - this was a delightful little dinner party with some of my blogger pals at Gillian and Laura's flat.  They went all out with an amazing 3 course meal in a Pinterest worthy setting (flowers in glass bottles, washi taped napkins, cocktails with paper straws).  The star of the show was undoubtably the 2 desserts (yep that's right - 2!) - creme brûlée and pavlova - both were absolutely delicious.  Good job gals!

For our work summer event this year we split into teams and took part in a treasure hunt around Edinburgh.  It was a lot of fun - the highlights being taking a spin on the big wheel, accosting random tourists for photos, drinking shots of Sambuca at 3pm, and being photobombed by another team whilst taking photos with the door staff at The Balmoral.  My team ended up winning which was a nice bonus (we did have the MD in our team, so we probably had a slight advantage!).  Our prizes were cinema vouchers, so I used mine today going on my first ever solo cinema trip (to see Jurassic World).  I felt like such a grown up.

1) and 2) I took a trip down to Cliveden House last week for a work visit.  The house and the grounds are absolutely stunning, so I love getting to have a wander round, especially on a beautiful sunny day.

3) Before flying home from London I did a little bit of duty free shopping as it will probably be the last time I'm at an airport before the wedding and there's a few things I wanted to get.  I was mainly looking for perfume and Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair, as I'd heard duty free was the cheapest place to get it.  I was successful on the perfume front (after smelling literally EVERY perfume Jo Malone have, I settled on Pomegranate Noir), but left without the Advanced Night Repair as it was actually really expensive.  The cheapest they had was a 50ml bottle for £57.50, but I had a quick Google on my phone and discovered that several sites had it for £50 so I ended up buying it from Debenhams the next day (it was down to £45 for the 30ml in the sale, bonus!).  

4) We had a bit of an office disaster this week, coming in on Thursday morning to find it raining from the ceiling due to a dislodged pipe on the floor above.  Thanks to the leak the electrics in our kitchen and bathroom area were off on Thurs/Fri which meant I had to go out and buy torches so we could still use the toilets.  Peeing by torch light was an experience.  It felt like we were camping.

So that's what I've been up to for the last 6 weeks or so - July seems to have completely flown by, how is it August already?!  I know I keep mentioning it all the bloody time, but I get married in 7 weeks now….7 weeks!  Jesus Christ.

A Little (Lunch Break) Holiday

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Summer in Scotland can be unpredictable, so I was being quite optimistic when I planned a picnic lunch with Lianne last week.  True to form, I woke up that morning to the sound of rain pelting off my window.  Great! I was determined that we'd still go ahead with our plans though, even if it meant sheltering under umbrellas.  

Luckily for us though the weather cleared up by lunch time so off we went to Princes Street Gardens, blanket and lunch boxes in hand.  The reason for our meet up was that I'd been contacted by Travel Supermarket and asked to take part in their #LunchBreakHoliday campaign where they are encouraging people to make the most of their lunch hour.   They are also running a competition by the way, so if you tweet or Instagram pictures of your #LunchBreakHoliday (tagging @TravelSupermkt on Twitter) then you could be in with the chance of winning a summer party for you and your colleagues worth £4,000.

My Lush Spa Experience

Friday, 17 July 2015
terrible photo, I know

I’ve never been a spa girl. In fact I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been for a spa treatment, and most of those have been tasters at blog events. My only non-blog event related spa experience was a facial at The Scotsman as part of a work summer do about 7 years ago. The common theme there being that I’ve never actually paid for a spa treatment. It’s not that I don’t like it – I’ve really enjoyed all of the treatments I’ve had so far, but for some reason it’s never really on my radar when it comes to treating myself – especially now as I’m 9 weeks away from getting married so my non-essential spending is at a minimum.

Recently though Santander got in touch to tell me about their new 123 credit card and with it came the opportunity to give myself a one-off special treat. I’m already a big fan of cashback sites - I never buy anything online without checking if it’s on Topcashback. If you shop online a lot and aren’t signed up to a cashback service then you definitely should – it’s basically money for nothing, as you were going to buy those things anyway. Anyway, the Santander 123 Credit Card works just like a cashback site, although you don’t have to visit a site and click a link in order for the purchase to be registered, you just shop away and you’ll make a small amount of money for transactions at all major supermarkets, department stores and petrol stations. Pretty cool eh?

In order to give you an idea of how much cashback you could be in for they have created a nifty little tool where you put in your average monthly spend and it gives you an estimated total cashback amount for the year. When I had a play around with it my total came to £72 – and Santander rather kindly offered to put that £72 towards a treat of my choice.

How I actually spend my weekends

Sunday, 5 July 2015

The other weekend I was lying in bed scrolling through Instagram, flicking past image after image of typical Saturday morning "blogger rituals".  Cue fruit smoothies with homemade pancakes and berries (#cleaneating), soft white duvets and cute pets ("not moving from here all weekend"), fully made up selfies ("hello weekend!"), coffee shop lattes ("fuel for a day of shopping"), and so. many. peonies.  

I looked at myself in my mismatched PJs with my messy hair and wonky glasses (I'm pretty sure one of my ears is higher than the other), with my grand plans of "watching all of series 4 of Pretty Little Liars" stretching out in front of me and I thought - "am I a complete bore?".  

The answer of course is NO.  

Yes, I may spend 75% of my weekends in the house doing nothing, but I'm pretty happy with that.  I work hard all week so I like the fact that I can then spend 2 days with no makeup on, in comfy clothes, watching TV, online shopping, and catching up on my Bloglovin feed.  

Also I'm fairly sure that this is how most people spend their weekends too, and that this is all perfectly normal.  Instagram gets the cherry picked version of our lives, so I'm here to give you an unfiltered version of how I *actually* spent a recent weekend.

Travel Archives

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

I've recently been searching through old albums on Facebook to find photos from all the holidays Blair and I have been on together (for a wedding related project).  So I thought it would be fun to share some on here along with a few holiday memories.

My Handbag Collection

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Following on from my My Statement Necklace Collection post a few months back, this time I'm giving you a sneak peek at my handbag collection.  As you can see, I do love me a mini satchel.

I've also filmed a video to go alongside this if you prefer to see a moving version!

Friday Thumbs Up: New Tunes

Friday, 26 June 2015
If you follow me on Twitter you'll know that I've been getting back into the gym recently, and I'm actually starting to enjoy it! We've been going every few days, although I was on a break last week as I gave myself so many blisters on my recent trip to London that I couldn't walk without limping, never mind use a treadmill. 

I find that I need a decent playlist to really keep me going on a gym session though, if I forgot my iPhone and headphones one day I doubt I'd last 15 minutes. For ages I was just looping 1989 by Taylor Swift but I started to get a bit bored of it (sacrilege!) so decided to put together a playlist of new tunes to freshen things up a bit. 

I basically just went through a couple of the "top 100" lists on Spotify, listened to a few seconds of each song to see if it was crap or not and then stuck them in a "new stuff" playlist. Now that I've had a few weeks to properly take it in I've found that there's a couple of songs on there which I am absolutely loving, so I thought I'd share them with you.

Hair Newbies

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

I'm trying to be really nice to my hair at the moment as I want it to be in tip top condition come the wedding in September.  At my last hair appointment I went for a full head of highlights, and since then I've been trying to use products that will maintain my colour, improve the condition and prevent damage.

Here's some new products that I've been trying out recently:

Camera Roll

Friday, 19 June 2015
I used to be really good at using this blog to update you on what has been going on in my life.  Back in 2012 I had a 'Week in Instagram' feature (like this one) where I shared photos from the week and summarised what I'd been up to.  

That became a bit too hard to maintain though so in 2013 I moved to a monthly 'Life Update' (like this one) where as well as sharing photos from the month I also gave a run down of what I'd been watching, reading and listening to, as well as some fun blog stats.

In 2014 I got lazy and cut my monthly update post down to a series of photo highlights (like this one), and then this year I haven't even bothered to do that!

I've seen a couple of other bloggers do 'camera roll' style updates though and, being ever the original, I thought I'd do one too.  So here's some photos from my iPhone that paint a story of what I've been up to over the last few weeks.

Spring Cleaning

Friday, 12 June 2015

There's something about Spring that just makes me want to start emptying cupboards, chucking things in bin bags and have a good old clear out.  So that's precisely what we've been doing for the last few weeks, primarily tackling our spare room which has become a bit of a dumping ground.  The wardrobe was at the point where it physically wouldn't take any more STUFF, so it was well overdue a serious tidy.

We're big recyclers in our house and try to avoid sticking things into landfill if we can help it, so I've been doing a lot of research into where we can offload our unloved and unwanted items in the best possible way.  I feel like I've learnt A LOT about what you can pass on to be reused/recycled in the last few weeks so thought I'd share some of this knowledge with you all.  Hopefully you can find a new home for some of your clutter too - all the more space to buy new things ;)

Clothes, shoes & handbags

My first port of call for clothing items that are in decent condition is always eBay.  In the last few months I've sold about 25 items - from dresses, to handbags, to cardigans - some that were worn, and some that even still had tags on (naughty).  I've made close to £200 from my auctions which I'm pretty pleased with - and I'm even more impressed that I managed to put it straight into my savings account for the wedding rather than spending it on more stuff (which is what I normally do…).

For clothes that are still wearable but not necessarily good enough to sell you could take them to a Cash For Clothes shop where they'll give you around 50p per kg.  It's not a lot, but every penny counts and all that.

So that's two ways you can make money from your old clothes, but if you just want to pass them on without profit then you could take to a charity shop or put in a textile recycling point.  If you're putting shoes in here make sure they are tied in pairs.

Household textiles (curtains, towels, bedding etc)

Things like towels, bedlinen and curtains can also be put in textile recycling bins at your nearest recycling centre, alongside clothes.  However if you've got things like blankets that are still usable then I'd suggest taking them to somewhere like a homeless shelter or a dog & cat home.

Duvets and pillows can't be recycled, so don't try to squish them in recycling bins as it just clogs them up and they will end up chucked in landfill anyway.  As with blankets, it's best to try pass these on to a shelter / home - or if you're from Edinburgh then places like the Edinburgh Clothing Store and Fresh Start will accept these too.


As well as selling on via eBay or donating to a charity shop, you can also send off old or unwanted jewellery in the post to raise money for the Alzheimers Society.  They accept all types of jewellery, so it doesn't have to be gold/silver, - that means yes,  they will take those plastic bangles you thought were a good idea 2 years ago.   If you visit their website or email fundraising@alzheimers.org.uk you can request the freepost envelopes (I've sent off about 6 now!). 


As a blogger / obsessive product buyer I've accumulated a lot of beauty products that have gone unused and are taking up precious space in my drawers.  Things like shampoo / shower gels / body lotions / soap etc are ideal for passing on to a local shelter, or an organisation like the Rock Trust (unopened obviously - no one wants your half empty bottles of moisturiser folks).  

Again eBay is also worth trying if you've got almost full bottles of products that just didn't work for you (like that Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish which is languishing in my bathroom cabinet) - or similarly running a blog sale or posting on Instagram / Twitter.

DVDs, CDs, & Books

Your local charity shop or library would gladly accept good condition books - or you can use sites like Book Crossing or Read It Swap It to exchange books online.  DVDs and CDs can also be donated to charity shops, or if you can be bothered then you could try eBay or Music Magpie to make a few pounds.

If you've got old discs from laptops / cameras etc, or free DVDs/CDs from magazines - basically any kind of disc that can't really be reused - then you can send them off to Polymer Recycling.


Small electrical items like kettles, toasters, laptops etc as well as cables and chargers can be taken to your local recycling centre.  If you have items that could be refurbished and sold on then try selling / giving away for free on Gumtree, or donate to a company like Computers 4 Africa,  Donate APC, or Pass IT On.

If you want more information of what can be recycled and where, then I'd recommend checking out the Changeworks website as they've got loads of great info (I'm not being sponsored by them - I've just found them a really great resource).

So now that our spare room has plenty of….emm…spare room, again - I've been using the empty wardrobe space to store our increasing collection of wedding DIY bits (30 painted jars and tins and counting…).  I swear it's taking all of my willpower to not start decorating my house with it all - everything looks so pretty it's a shame to keep it in a box!  

I did give in recently though and used one of the jars as a vase as I needed somewhere to put this beaut of a bouquet.  Nothing says Spring more than fresh flowers eh? The perfect accompaniment to a newly tidy and clutter free house!

I was kindly sent this beautiful peony bouquet from Blossoming Gifts who offer flower delivery online.    They do a wide range of flower gifts for all occasions, as well as hampers and wine too (my flowers came with a unexpected box of praline chocolates too!).   I find it amazing that you can get flowers delivered in a box, that come out looking as perfect as this - like, how do they not die in there?? 

If you'd like to treat yo self (or someone else) to a bouquet from Blossoming Gifts then you can get 33% off your order with the discount code BGIFTS33 (although this excludes the flowers by post range).


Honeymoon Wishlist

Tuesday, 9 June 2015
With just 3 months to go to our wedding (say what?!), and therefore also just 3 months until our honeymoon, I thought it was about time I started holiday clothes shopping.  Part of me is tempted to hold off until the end of summer when all the stuff I want will hopefully be on sale - but I think I might buy a couple of things just now in case they completely sell out before September.

I don't know if I've mentioned on here what we're doing for our honeymoon yet?  We've booked a week in Rhodes at a hotel in a really quiet part of the island.  Our room has a private pool and sea view, and the hotel has a spa, tennis courts, private beach and a couple of restaurants/bars - oh and its adults only which means no fighting kids for space in the pool.  I can't bloody wait.  

We're planning on spending most of the week just completely chilling out - reading books by the pool, taking walks along the beach, drinking cocktails, getting couples' spa treatments etc.   Typical honeymoon activities really.  So for those days all I really need is swimwear, and some light clothes to stick on top of said swimwear. There are a couple of sights we really want to see on the island too though, like the Acropolis at Lindos, so we might have 1 or 2 days of exploring where I'll need a more substantial day outfit (I'm thinking maybe playsuits?).  Oh and I'll also need night-time outfits for dinner, drinks and sunset beach walks.

I've been bookmarking like crazy the last few days, checking out the holiday clothes sections of all my go-to online retailers, so I thought I'd share some of my favourite bits so far.

blue tile playsuit - new look
navy aztec strappy dress - new look
chevron print bandeau swimsuit - new look
yellow daisy print dress - new look
tropical print playsuit - river island
black bandeau swimsuit - river island
palm print vest - george at asda
leaf print vest - george at asda

What I've Been Watching #1

Sunday, 7 June 2015

I know, I know….I do have a terrible habit of uploading posts that are "#1" of a series that never then actually gets off the ground, but I promise that won't happen this time.  I've been meaning to start a regular feature where I tell you about TV shows and films that I've been watching recently and after watching my friend Lynsey's May TV favourites video this afternoon it reminded me that this has been on my to-do list for a while.  I'm not sure if this will be a monthly thing (which is why I've not called it What I've Been Watching May / June), but whenever I've got a couple of new shows/films to update you on then I'll do another one.  And given how much TV I watch these days that might be quite soon.

Slimming World Food Diary #2

Tuesday, 2 June 2015
Following on from my first Slimming World food diary post a few weeks ago, here is how I got on in my second week.  I should stress it's not my second ever week on Slimming World, just the second week of writing a blog food diary series.  Anyway, on with the diary - scroll to the bottom to see how I got on at weigh in.  Also, if you'd rather watch this in video format then my weekly food diary vlog is here.

FYI for you non-Slimming World members:

FREE = foods that are "free" on the plan (i.e. you can have as much as you like)
SPEED = free foods that will help speed up your weight loss (i.e most fruit and veg)
PROTEIN = protein rich foods (duh)
SYNS = foods that aren't free, speed or protein. Between 5-15 syns a day is recommended on the plan.
HEX A = healthy extra "A" choice, i.e. measured calcium allowance of the day
HEX B = healthy extra "B" choice, i.e. measured fibre allowance of the day


peppermint tea (free)
hifi bar (1/2 hex b)

bacon and pea quiche (3.5 syns per portion):

  • bacon (protein)
  • peas (free)
  • quark (free)
  • egg (free)
  • cheddar cheese (hex a)
  • 3 x filo pastry sheets (18 syns)

vanilla & cherry mullerlight (free)
grapes (free)
hifi bar (1/2 hex b)

slimming world frozen meatballs (free)
chopped tomatoes (speed)
pasta (free)
salad (speed)
diet coke (free)
parmesan (remaining hex a)

galaxy (11.5 syns)

TOTAL =  16 syns


hifi bar (1/2 hex b)

bacon & pea quiche (3.5 syns)
salad (speed)
toffee mullerlight (free)
apple (speed)
hifi bar (1/2 hex b)
caffe nero small soy latte (hex a)


  • lean beef mince (protein)
  • onion (speed)
  • peppers (speed)
  • kidney beans (protein)
  • chopped tomatoes (speed)

1/3 pack lidl mexican rice (1.5 syns)
salad (speed)

sugar free strawberry jelly (0.5 syns)
grapes (free)
mini kitkat (3)
lidl choco & candy mini bar (3.5 syns)

TOTAL = 12 syns


2 x hifi bars (hex b)

chicken caesar salad at Indigo Yard with no dressing (5 syns)
diet coke (free)

chilli (protein & speed)
potato wedges (free)
cheddar cheese (hex a)
salad (speed)
diet pepsi (free)
3 x laughing cow cheese tasters (1.5 syns)

sugar free strawberry jelly (0.5 syns)
grapes (free)
mullerlight greek mango yoghurt (0.5 syns)
lidl cocos & choc mini bar (6 syns)
3 x mikado sticks (1.5 syns)

TOTAL = 15 syns


hifi bar (1/2 hex b)

morrisons bbq chicken (protein)
salad (speed)
banana mullerlight (free)
hifi bar (1/2 hex b)

texan bbq burger
onion rings
oreo milkshake

reeses pieces 3 cups 

Treat night so I didn't count syns in the evening (not recommended!)


wholemeal roll (hex b)
4 x laughing cow taster cheeses (2 syns)
wafer thin chicken (protein)
salad (speed)
mango greek mullerlight (0.5 syns)
2 x mikado sticks (1 syn)
apple (speed) with cinnamon & sweetener (free)

chunky bean burgers
  • cannellini beans (protein)
  • kidney beans (protein)
  • onion (speed)
  • garlic (speed)
  • smoked paprika (free)
  • peppers (speed)
  • egg (free)

potato wedges (free)
salad (speed)
bbq sauce (1 syn)

40g galaxy counters (10 syns)

TOTAL = 14.5 syns
(I also went to the gym in the morning, to try make up for the previous nights' takeaway!)

The bean burgers were a total fail by the way - completely tasteless, I left about half of them on the plate.  Definitely won't be making that again!


cheese & ham toastie

  • wholemeal roll (hex b)
  • cheddar cheese (hex a)
  • ham (protein)

salad (speed)
apple (speed) with cinnamon & sweetener (free)
mullerlight toffee goodies (2.5 syns)

chicken wrapped in bacon (protein)
roast potatoes (free)
carrots (speed)
puff pastry (4.5 syns)
gravy (1 syn)

mini kitkat (3)
5 x mint thins (5)

TOTAL = 15 syn


peppermint tea (free)
hifi bar (3 syns)

wholemeal roll (hex b)
ham (protein)
2 x dairylea cheese triangles (hex a)
mango greek mullerlight (0.5 syns)

lamb steak (protein)
spring onion mash (free & speed)
salad (speed)

diet pepsi (free)
mullerlight toffee goodies (2.5 syns)
9 x mint thins (9 syns)

TOTAL = 15 syns


Results time….drum roll, not really required.  I lost half a pound this week which is better than nothing, but I wasn't particularly buoyed up by it.  I think my treat night was a bit *too* much of a treat though (I daren't even think how many syns that was - the oreo milkshake alone was probably 30).  

Onwards and upwards though!  Good luck to you fellow Slimming Worlders, I hope you had a better week than me :)