Thursday, 29 May 2014

REFLECTIONS ON TURNING 30: WHAT I WISH MY 16 YEAR OLD SELF KNEW


Yes, tomorrow, I turn 30. I’ve never really been bothered before about getting older; but as my 30th year has been approaching, it has actually been quite daunting. I check my eyes for wrinkles, and lament the fact i’m not considered a ‘girl’ anymore. I’m certainly not going to become one of those awful middle-aged women who refer to their equally middle-aged friends as ‘the girls’ (cringe!).

I also fill with joy everytime I tell someone how old I am and they say I don’t look it. I’ve actually become one of THOSE people who say ask people to guess how old they think I am, just so I can bask in said joy.

One thing that does please me about getting older is the continued development of wisdom. I often want to slap young girls about the face just to try and drum some sense into them, and stop their useless worrying. I wish at 16 that I had known what I know now.

- See those girls that are super-cool and gorgeous in school? That’s their moment of glory. It doesn’t last long. They go on to become just another female in a sea of millions, with an average job and an average life. You- the slightly unpopular and chubby one- haven’t had your time yet. It will come after school (when it matters) and you’ll have an amazing life that ‘the populars’ would be jealous of.

-Bad at Maths? Failed at Higher Maths and didn’t even do well enough to get awarded an Intermediate 2? (Ahem, yes me). It doesn’t matter. Just buy a calculator- you never EVER use any of the sin cos tan etc etc nonsense you learn anyway. Just don’t tell your Mum I told you.

-Don’t waste thousands going to art school like some of my school peers did with dreams of being the next Monica Vinader, Alex Monroe or worse, Tracey Emin. You’ll never manage to make a career out of it- you’ll end up selling phones in Carphone Warehouse or as an art teacher. The saying ‘those who can’t do, teach’ exists for a reason.

-School report cards, punishment exercises and warnings of ‘this will be a permanent mark on your report’ don’t matter either. In 6th year, it’s your school report; next year, it’s chip paper. Counts for nothing. I was a good girl because I wanted to be; but if your report contains some mischief, just deal with the hassle from your parents as after that, nobody cares anymore.

-I’m sorry if this comes as a shock; but you aren’t going to marry him/her, and even if by some miracle (or moment of stupidity) you do, you’ll be divorced in a few years. The love of your life at school, is not the love of your life. You still have a lot of growing up and person-shaping to do which will change you and what you want completely. So what if he kissed her from class 5b behind your back? Just kick him to the kerb and eat a pizza.


Photo Credit: freakgirl via photopin cc

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

VISITING THE IDEAL HOME SHOW SCOTLAND

Last weekend I visited the Ideal Home Show Scotland at Glasgow’s SECC. It was jam-packed full of food, gifts, interiors, furniture and gardening exhibitors; but a few things in particular caught my eye.



There really are no words to describe just how amazing these are. These edible chocolate tools from Schokolat look and feel just like real tarnished metal. It must take them hours just to create each one. Minute details are all hand-painted on to make the most realistic chocolate sculptures I think it’s possible to witness. These are true works of art, and it seems almost a crime to destroy one by eating it. Prices range from around £8 to £16 depending on size and intricacy.

       

I also loved these battery operated candles from Radiance London. They are made from real wax; but never melt as the ‘flame’ is just a battery powered light. They look so realistic- all of the atmosohere with none of the worry of having to blow them out. A set of the 3 sizes costs £60.

       

Finally, The Occassional Cake Company from St.Andrews were there with a Marie Antoinette-inspired stall. Alongside their pretty cupcakes, they had the most delicious iced sugar cookies. These would be great for a baby shower or birthday party.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

MY CURRENT LIP FAVOURITES


The sun has got his hat on- hip, hip, hip hooray! Yes, that yellow ball in the sky is now shining, and that makes me want to wear brighter lipsticks and make sure my lips are well-conditioned and SPF-protected.

I have a rather large lip product collection, so I often forget all about certain products and shades until a season change and I have a good look through. These are the ones i’ve been loving over the last few weeks, and know will see me through the whole Summer…

The Lipsticks


BITE Beauty High Pigment Pencil in Pomegranate, $24, Sephora- this is perfect for a high-impact pop of colour for a Summer night out. It’s a deep purple-toned matte red, and contains antiozidents for anti-aging.


Tarte Glamazon Pure Performance 12-Hour Lipstick in Inspired, $26, Sephora- once this is on, it just won’t budge. It’s Amazonian clay-infused, so very hydrating, long-lasting and offering fine line prevention. This is a really nice natural soft pink everyday shade.


Sleek Matte True Colour Lipstick in Heartbreaker, £4.99, Superdrug- a bright fuschia from the best high-street lipstick brand on the market. Super-pigmented and long-lasting.

The Lipglosses


Urban Decay Naked Ultra Nourishing Lipgloss in Streak, £14, Debenhams- these glosses smell amazing (of caramel). They are very shiny and not too sticky. This shade is a pretty pink-coral. A shade for when the sun is shining.


Smashbox Lip Enhancing Gloss in Pout, £15, Boots- this is a sheer pastel pink gloss, which on me, gives a ‘your lips but better’ look. It’s the perfect everyday gloss that just adds a nice sheen- it was even too light to swatch.


Nars Lipgloss in Turkish Delight, £18.50, Nars Cosmetics- so shiny and creamy, and in a perfect Summery pink sherbet shade. It’s got added vitamin C for hydration too.

The Lip Protection


Fresh SUGAR Rose SPF 15 Tinted Lip Treatment, $22.50, Sephora- this is so nourishing and has a delicious citrus scent, with a subtle red tint. It’s packed full of vitamins and antioxidents, and keeps lips moisturised for up to six hours with each application.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

CITRUS THEMED HOME & LIFESTYLE GIVEAWAY


I have some goodies from the Ideal Home Show Scotland to give away- an Arran Aromatics Citrus & Cedarwood candle, a Yankee Candle Orange Punch votive, some Arran Aromatics matches, a Rhubarb & Ginger orange slice print tea towel and a Ideal Home Show Scotland tote bag. You must be a UK resident to enter, and one winner will win everything. Entry is via Rafflecopter below…



The Ideal Home Show Scotland is currently on at Glasgow’s SECC until 26th May, and tickets can be purchased from the box office on the day. There are hundreds of exhibitors- from food to gifts, sofas and showers.

Friday, 23 May 2014

FASHION NEWS FRIDAY #14

                                                 
Grace Coddington Shows Instagram Who The Boss Is (Huffington Post) - Vogue icon Grace Coddington’s relatively innocent sketch got on the wrong side of Instagram when she posted it on her new account. Her response was perfect…


Image Credit: Grace Coddington (Instagram)

Thursday, 22 May 2014

MY BATHROOM RE-DESIGN MOODBOARDS

     

This may or may not be of any interest to you; but I couldn’t make these and not show them to you. I feel it’s time for a bathroom overhaul, so I put together these mood boards of the look, colours and textures that I want. There’s vintage, luxury, some colour and lots of metallics. What do you think? Tweet me if you’ve recently re-designed your bathroom.

                       

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

WHAT I'M EATING: HOMEMADE RASPBERRY PIE


This weekend, I baked my first ever raspberry pie. It was rustic, delicious, and I served it with a big dollop of mascarpone.


For ease, I used ready-made shortcrust pastry from Jus’ Roll. It comes in a block and you just roll it out on a floured surface. I used one and a half packs to make this 9-inch pie with base and lid.


For the filling, I used 3 trays of fresh raspberries. You put them in a mixing bowl and add one and a half cups of brown sugar and 5 tablespoons of cornflower. Mix it all together to create a gloopy liquid.



Make sure you have pre-heated your oven (to gas mark 5). Next, grease your ceramic pie dish with butter and fill with the rolled out pastry base (trimming to fit). Pour in the raspberry mixture, add the lid (with a small hole in the centre), brush with milk and brown sugar, then bake until cooked and golden.



I used pretty pieces from the Katie Alice baking range for Creative Tops to make this. The stoneware floral rolling pin costs £19.99, ceramic spoon rest £7.99 and wooden spoon with silicone handle is £5.00 from Creative Tops , and you can get the pie dish from the same range for £12.99 from English Heritage

BEST SS14 YELLOW DRESSES

I love this bright and cheerful SS14 trend, and am currently coveting these pretty dresses… 


Topshop, £45 | Warehouse, £56 | Yumi at Debenhams, £49.99 | Ted Baker, £159 | Dorothy Perkins, £30

Monday, 19 May 2014

BEAUTY REVIEW: LUSH COSMETICS SUMMER 2014 RELEASES

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Last week I attended the opening launch party night at the re-vamped Lush store on Buchanan Street in Glasgow. It looks amazing, and I love the strong use of wood inside.

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The night began with drinks, canapes, cake and a chat with my blogger friends, before we were shown one of the spa treatments- ‘The Comforter’- that they offer in their Edinburgh Lush Spa (and in their other UK spas). I’m going for their ‘Hard Days Night’ treatment in just under two weeks, and I can’t wait.

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I also got to make my own The Comforter bubble bar (blackberry scented). Mine didn’t look as good as the ones on sale- it’s a lot harder than it looks to get the swirl just right.



I love so many Lush products, and it’s so hard to be in a store with all the gorgeous smells, and not want to take everything with you. We got to find out all about the new releases for Summer, and bring them home to test. I’ve been using them all weekend and I love them; especially the D-Fluff Strawberry Shaving Soap (£5.75). It’s a shaving foam that smells of yummy strawberry and marshmallows, and has made the monotony of shaving my legs this weekend much more enjoyable.


Another of the new releases is the Zest Hair Gelly (£11.25)- a citrus-scented hair gel that’s great for creating messy beach hair. It doesn’t weigh your hair down, or make it all sticky like some gels do. It comes solid like the shower jellies, and melts slightly between your palms. You then just pop the rest back in the pot.

I also really like the new Granny Takes A Dip bath ballistic (£3.25). Its bright colours are so Summery, and made my bath yesterday such fun. It has an unusual scent of ginger, lemon and black pepper. On reading the description, I didn’t think i’d like it and that it would be too overpowering; but the scent is subtle and quite comforting.

Also new is the African Paradise body conditioner (£19.25)- basically an in-shower body moisturiser. I can never be bothered with body lotions most of the time- rubbing them in etc; so this is a great quick way to condition your skin. It smells very relaxing (with moringa oil, ylang ylang and aloe vera), and feels lovely and buttery.

Friday, 16 May 2014

FASHION NEWS FRIDAY #13

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John Rocha To Retire From London Fashion Week (Vogue) - The John Rocha brand is on a high, so it’s the perfect time for the man himself to exit and retire. He doesn’t want to pass the crown of his empire on-to another designer however, so this is the end of the main John Rocha fashion label.

La Perla Removes Mannequin With Protruding Ribs (Fashionista) - I was disgusted when I saw the La Perla mannequin images earlier this week. It is an unhealthy way for women to look, and looks ugly too. What possessed such a huge brand like La Perla to make such a stupid decision. That goodness they’ve removed it!


Photo Credit: johnrocha.ie

Thursday, 15 May 2014

BEAUTY REVIEW: AVEDA STRESS FIX MASSAGE


It was with great anticipation that I entered The Scotsman hotel to review their spa facilities. I was booked in for an Aveda Stress Fix Massage (60 mins, £80) and was looking forward to trying out the stainless steel pool, sauna and arctic shower etc afterwards. 



I wasn’t immediately impressed with the decor of the reception area and waiting lounge (nor the relaxation room). It was basic and almost clinical- not what I have come to expect from a luxury spa. The swimming pool, however, looked stunning; but it, and the sauna, tepidarium, arctic shower and tropical shower i.e. everything except the gym and the treatment rooms were closed ‘for maintenance’. 



The massage was one of Aveda’s signature treatments, and whilst it and my therapist were great, there are plenty of other Aveda spas with more relaxing surroundings (and friendlier reception staff) that I would choose to go to instead. A relaxing treatment at a spa is an all-encompassing experience- the surroundings and the warmth of staff are just as important as the mechanics of the treatment itself, and The Scotsman just didn’t cut it.



So, read this review of the Aveda Stress Fix Massage on its own merit. I’ll be getting it again…but somewhere else.

Once I was settled in the treatment room, with my excellent therapist, and lay face down on the warm and comfortable massage table, I really enjoyed the next hour.

The Stress Fix Massage is a mixture of Swedish massage techniques and deep-tissue massage, using an Aveda essential oil blend of Lavender, Lavandin and Clary Sage (for relaxation, calm and clarity of mind). My therapist targeted my particular tension areas (head, neck and shoulders) plus working my back and performing reflexology on my feet. It was very stress-relieving and was comprised of all my favourite scents. I was encouraged to breath in the oils and this, along with the Hawaiian beach spa music, nearly sent me off to sleep.

                                               

Tweet me if you’ve enjoyed this Aveda massage too!

IN LOVE WITH: AROMAWORKS SOULFUL CANDLE BARGAIN

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As you know, I am a major scented candle fan. I particularly love relaxing and sleep-enducing scents. I had a small 15cl votive (£15.00) of this AromaWorks scent previously and loved it, so I wanted to get the bigger 30cl size (£32.00). When I saw it on the Look Peachy site for just £23.27 (BARGAIN!), I just had to have it.

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AromaWorks’ Soulful candle has top notes of Frankincense and Juniper Berry to induce a calming sensation, and then a Patchouli base note to ease fatigue. It smells of a relaxing and luxurious spa treatment room, and is one of my favourite pre-bedtime candles.

I love the simple but elegant design too. If you haven’t tried this candle yet, what are you waiting for?

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

LINKS I LOVE WEDNESDAY #14


Fall Asleep Quicker Tonight - forget counting sheep, and count this instead…

The 14 Types of Twitter User You’ll Mute First - coming this Summer, and I can’t wait for it!

Social Media Tricks You’ll Wish You’d Known Sooner - LOVE some of these. You need to take a look now.

Best Raspberry Pie Recipe Ever - I am making this at the weekend. It looks delicious.


Photo Credit: colinaut via photopin cc

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

TOP 5 HIGH STREET DENIM DRESSES

This is my pick of the top five SS14 high street denim dresses. I love the denim trend at the moment, if it’s done in a girly way.


WHAT MADE ME SMILE LAST WEEK #14


I picked up a cute Mickey t-shirt from Asda. I love the sporty US college look with the numbers on the back, and the cute turned up sleeves. It was only £7- bargain!


I also went on a press trip to Dundee, and had the most amazing Raspberry Creme Brulee at the Malmaison Dundee brasserie.


I’ve stayed home and missed a few events recently as they’ve all been food ones, and I’ve finally reached that point in my diet journey where I feel good and don’t want to over-eat. Calorie counting isn’t a chore anymore. I look forward now to seeing my body continue to mould back into a healthy shape. I’ve been making some great mozzarella, tomato, rocket and pesto salads- a really filling dinner.

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