New year, Better me

First of all I’d like to wish everyone a belated merry Christmas and a happy new year for 2016.

It’s been the craziest week of my life so far, and I wish I could say it was for positive reasons. Maybe one day I’ll talk about it, but for now this isn’t the time or place. All I can say is that 2016 is going to be a year of change.

I’m making a few resolutions this year, and I’ll share them here so I can look back and see how I’m doing.

– Get organised
I want to get my home in order, get myself into a routine with my work/study/health/blog balance. I’ll be doing some research on organisation and I’ll share it here in the coming weeks!

– stop neglecting what I love
I haven’t been blogging, I’ve lost my inspiration and I need to get it back. I want to go more walks, see more shows, visit more galleries and museums. I loved getting healthy and training for events. I shut myself off and I need to find my way back to that person I was before.

– Be happy
This is the most important resolution that I make every year, and I try my best to remember it every morning. Loving myself, surrounding myself with positive people and doing things that make me feel good will be the way for me to achieve this.

 

Overall, 2016 is all about becoming the best possible version of myself. Looking, acting and feeling in a positive way that will have me looking back this time next year and feeling content and proud of myself.

I wish you all the very best for 2016, and if you have made resolutions for this year, good luck in achieving them! I’d love to hear what resolutions you’ve made if you want to share them!

 

Emma

xo

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Thumbs Down.

Today I thought I’d talk about this recent development that Facebook is working on a “dislike” button.

We’ve talked about it for ages and used to say that it should happen, but the more I think about it, the more I believe it is the wrong move.

We’re living in a time where people are basing self worth on how many likes they can get. I recently saw a post that said “My wife said if I get 50,000 likes she’ll give me a baby”. Why should the thumbs up of 50,000 random people dictate if this man gets to be a father? Why should social media be making this decision? I was completely shocked, and quite frankly, the rise of posts like this is making me want to delete my Facebook account.

What is going to happen when a vulnerable person uploads of photo of themselves, and it gets disliked. How is that going to affect their confidence? What is going to happen to the people on the internet that take how many likes they get to heart, because let’s face it, it’s going to happen. Social media is such a huge part of life these days that I see no good coming from this new dislike feature.

The folks at Facebook say it is a way to express empathy on a post where clicking like is not appropriate. Why not just right a comment to the person to let them know you’re actually taking the time to think about them rather than instinctively clicking a button?! I’ve yet to think of one good thing that will come from it, even things like images of animal cruelty, disliking it is still going to give it publicity. I see no problem with the current system, where if you don’t like it, keep scrolling!

We talk about being body positive and self confidence, loving who we are, building each other up. How does creating a button where we can spread negativity help? If you feel good one day and decide to upload a picture to Facebook to show the world, “Look at me doing my thing and being happy!” go for it! It is going to be a new avenue for cyber bullying, a problem which is bad enough without this new feature.

So Facebook, I’m giving the Dislike button the thumbs down!

What do you think?

Emma

xo

Win with eLikes and Foodies Festival!

Hello there you scrumptious bunch!!

2015 is absolutely flying in, can you believe it’s almost August already?! And what is August for a lot of us? (No, not summer, that was a Tuesday in June) It’s FESTIVAL SEASON!

The Festival I’m talking about today is Foodies Festival taking place 7th-9th August which is celebrating it’s 10th year in Edinburgh, and is set to be the biggest and best yet! Organizers are expanding the festival taking place at Inverleith Park by 50%, making room for some new exciting food and drink theatres!

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With a lineup of professional chefs such as Michelin Star Marcello Tully, Masterchef winner Jamie Scott and Scotland’s Chef of the Year Adam Handling demonstrating their culinary know-how, visitors will be inspired to cook up a storm back at home! Check out a masterclass in bee keeping, sushi rolling or sausage making at the new tasting theatre, quench your thirst at the wine and champagne theatre, feel the sugar rush at the cake and bake theatre or let the kids have a go at the children’s cookery theatre! If you’d rather shop til you drop, the Street Food, Artisan Producers and Chilli markets markets will set your taste buds tingling. If you’re feeling really adventurous you could even show off your skills at the spaghetti eating contest and try for the “Lady and Her Champ” title!

Hungry for the real thing? I’ve teamed up with Foodies Festival to give away a pair of tickets to one of my lovely readers! Check out the below widget to find out how you can win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Not feeling lucky? Not to worry! We’ve also got an offer if you want to buy tickets:

foodies save

For more information, check our www.foodiesfestival.com

It really is Scotland’s year of food and drink, so get stuck in!

Emma

xo

Prize is for one pair of tickets valid for one day of Foodies Festival Edinburgh 2015 which will be posted to the winner prior to the event. The prize is for 2 tickets for entry on one day only – winners must provide their own transport to and from the event. Winner can choose a pair of tickets for Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Entrants consent to be contacted by myself, Lanyard Media, Foodies Festival or any other party 

Foodies Festival Edinburgh is sponsored by Wines of Rioja, Baxters, Mackie’s of Scotland and Magnum Scotch Liqueur.

Thanks to Lanyard Media for supplying the prize!

Bon Anniversaire to Mademoiselle Macaron!

Friday the 15th of May marked a special occasion for a lovely little hidden gem in Edinburgh – A little piece of Paris right on our doorstep – The fabulous Mademoiselle Macaron.

Serving up macarons in a variety of flavours, from sweet to savoury to boozy, as well as crepes and other treats – you’ll be coming back for more.

Myself and a bunch of other Edinburgh bloggers and foodies were invited along to sample some of the fab treats for their first birthday bash. There was burger flavour, blue cheese and pear, gin and elderflower and orange – that was just some of the flavours!

Mademoiselle Macaron herself is a lovely lady called Rachel, who at the age of 25 is an inspiration to those looking to start a business. She told us how she did stand up comedy while working in Paris, and her passion for what she does really shines through. Her charm comes across in the decor of the shop and in the quirkiness of the flavours she creates.

Not only can you stop in for a quick treat, Mademoiselle Macaron can also cater for bigger events such as weddings (taking note for my own!) There is a great selection of flavours, so you can mix and match as you please with as many as you want!

Fancy learning how to make these tasty treats yourself? You can do that to! Rachel runs classes in a spacious kitchen area in the back of the shop, perfect for hen parties, birthdays or just a day out learning something new! Book up quick though, these classes sell out fast!

No matter your taste, Mademoiselle Macaron are bound to have something to tickle your fancy. Pop along and try for yourself!

Mademoiselle Macaron is located at 22 Grindlay Street, Edinburgh.

Au Revoir!

Emma

xo

Jamie Where’s Yer Troosers?

I was born and raised in Scotland, and I’m very proud of my homeland. It’s beautiful scenery, the history, the people, the food – there’s no place quite like Scotland!

I was recently contacted by the lovely folks at Joes Bloggers to head along to Jamie’s Traditional Scottish Evening at the Thistle Hotel in Edinburgh – an event which has been running for the past 43 years.

I’m always up for a bit of patriotism, so I chucked on my tartan skirt and headed for our lovely Capital city.

We were given a tour of the hotel, conveniently located beside the St James Center right in the heart of the city. If you’re ever looking to stay in the city centre, The Thistle St James have you covered for acommodation without the usual Edinburgh price tag! After our tour we had a seat in the guests bar, which was spacious and welcoming with a good selection. We were taken to our tale shortly after – right in the middle with a perfect view of the stage. There were over 140 people booked in for the show that night – which surprised us for a Tuesday! The other guests all began taking their seats, and the variety of people in attendance was quite impressive. There were people from Australia, Canada, Vietnam, Italy and many other places, all of varying ages.

After a look through the menu, we were pleased to find out that there was a choice of 3 main courses on offer.

The first course was Leek and potato soup, which was served with a crusty bread roll.

The main course was up next, beef in a peppercorn sauce with veg.

Last up was a traditional Scottish Cranachan for desert. I’ve never had Cranachan, but I was intrigued. A mixture of raspberry, whisky, cream and oats – all the ingredients to put a smile on my face!

After dinner, we were treated to a show featuring traditional Scottish music and dancing. Of course, in true Scottish style, the first song we were treated to was Donald Where’s Yer Troosers. Did I sing along? Of course I did. The musicians were all fantastic, playing some songs that we knew from social dancing in school (shudder) and some that we weren’t familiar with. The dancers were great, despite bringing back memories from my own short lived Scottish country dancing stint. I certainly wasn’t as good as these ladies anyway!

Before the end of  the show, the host came out with the piper for the traditional adress to the haggis. I’ve never been a fan of haggis, but watching them serve it up properly always does impress me. This time was no exception, as the haggis was brought out displayed with antlers and stabbed by the host.

The show closed with their rendition of Auld Lang Syne, a song which always gives me a lump in my throat. They had everyone in the room holding hands and singing along, which went down well with the tourists who were filming and snapping away!

Overall we all had a great night. I must say that I feel the night is definitely aimed more towards tourists, but it’s always nice to get a taste of your own culture!

If you want to find out more about Jamie’s Traditional Scottish Evening, you can click here for the website. 

The show runs from 10th March – October 31st with full availability and ticket details on the website.

Emma

xo

PS – Big thanks to Joes Bloggers and The Thistle Hotel for having us along!

It’s Vintage, Darling!

I love a bit of vintage, but I admit it can sometimes be a bit daunting. Trawling through Ebay and the likes for that special vintage something is fine if you have the time and are prepared to take the risk of not quite getting what you expected. The wonderful folks at Judy’s Vintage Fair bring the best of vintage to your city at an affordable price, and it’s like an Aladdin’s cave of goodies!

I was recently Invited to come along* to Judy’s Vintage fair at The Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh along with my lovely blogger pal Emily AKA Frankly Ms Shankly. On entering the venue, we were met with a sea of colour. One thing I love about vintage fashion is how bold and bright it is, and how rare it is to find more than one of the same thing. We were instantly drawn to a rail of dresses, and so the searching commenced. I’ve had a terrible habit of sticking with trusty black clothing lately, so decided I needed some colour.

(I’m still haunted by that fish print shirt on the end)

Judy’s Vintage Fair features stalls from a variety of sellers, and it’s not all clothes! There are accessories, home wares, men’s clothing and accessories, music, and hair styling by Miss Dixiebell. Being me, I couldn’t resist looking at all of the sparkles on the jewelry displays!

The negative side of buying vintage is that if you fall in love with something, chances are there will only be one of them. It may not be your size, or you may hesitate and decide to go back later for it and it’ll be gone. Vintage shopping can feel quite competitive, with people reaching over to get whatever you’re about to put your hands on! They have something to suit most budgets, so chances are you’ll find something you like that won’t cost a fortune.

Emily and I found some fantastic pieces while having a rummage through the rails, and whilst this fantastic hat (It had cats AND elephants on it!) didn’t make the final cut, we went home with some lovely vintage bits’n’bobs.

I’ll have a post with my purchases up in the coming weeks, but to tide you over, here’s a little sneak preview! How could I go wrong with a Starwars tie and a seriously bright block print!

You can find out more about Judy’s Vintage Fair here.

How do you feel about wearing vintage?

Emma

xo

(Not so) Mellow Yellow OOTD

When I was in Sydney, I found a beautiful pair of shoes. Neon yellow and a total bargain at 5 dollars down from 90! How could I resist?!

I snapped them up, and now that I’m back, I’ve been wearing them every chance I get! With this lovely summer weather, I decided to style them up for the sunshine with this perfect New Look cami.

Cami – New Look

Skirt – F&F (similar at Boohoo)

Shoes – Similar (New Look at ASOS)

Clutch – Bessie’s (Similar from New Look)

Not normally one for bright colours, it’s like I have a whole new palette to play with! Hello summer fun colours!

What’s your colour of the summer?

Emma

xo

eLikes

Wedding Fair Survival Guide

I’ve been to quite a few weddings. Some big, some small. Churches, bowling clubs, stately homes, hotels, castles – all sorts. I knew it was pricey and there were quite a few things to do, but I certainly didn’t anticipate the reality. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d lose so much sleep over stationary and table settings.

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Wedding magazines are great for ideas, but if you want to really get a feel for the suppliers, wedding fairs are the way to go. Having recently attended Scotland’s Exclusive Wedding Event at Hampden a few weeks ago, I thought I’d share my tips for anyone heading along to similar events!

Wear comfortable shoes!

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I doubt that my friend was the only one suffering from blisters at the end of the day! Comfortable shoes are a must when you’re walking around for as long as we were! I stuck with a pair of reliable flats that had already been broken in! A pair of Birkenstock Madrid sandals would be perfect, and on trend!

 Take an extra bag!

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They may give you a carrier bag there, but those plastic handles will start to get pretty sore after a while. Take a canvas tote to take the pressure off, and keep it stylish! Canvas shopper bags like this one from New Look would do perfectly!

Do your homework!

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Do a bit of homework in advance to know what questions to ask and what your budget is. Hiring a 10 piece band? Remember you may have to pay for their food, travel and potentially accommodation. Do the cars charge per mile outside of their area? By doing a bit of research I advance you’ll be in a better position to know if you’re getting a good deal for your needs. Remember, most deposits are non refundable! Magazines like The Scottish Wedding Directory will come in handy with their checklists!

Prepare to write a lot!

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There are a lot of competitions, prize draws, mailing lists and quotes given out on the day. You’re going to find yourself writing your name/email/wedding info quite a few times! I’d recommend only giving your details to people you are genuinely interested in working with. Entered a competition to win an ice sculpture and dove release just for the hell of it? You’re going to be getting emails about that for a while… Why not write it in style with these LaLaLand UK pencils?

Stick to your guns!

People can be pushy, especially when they want your business. If they’re pushing for a deposit or a booking but you’re not sure, don’t let them (or anyone else you’re with) pressure you into things. A lot of suppliers will have special deals on just for the fair, but some may honour it for a while after if you gave them your details. It can be quite intimidating but take your time to weight up your options and make the right decision for you.

 I hope my tips prove useful!

Emma

xo

eLikes

Treat Yo’ Self! – You Look FIT!

I’ve posted previously about my fitness attempts, and yes, my post-Australia body is a bit larger than the bikini body I went with. 3 weeks of good food, cocktails and the subsequent holiday blues/Easter have left me with about one pair of jeans left that fit. But here we go again, the gym is calling my name and it’s time to dig out my gym kit.

Now I’m not going to lie, I ‘m more about functionality than fashion when I go to the gym. I want sportswear that’s going to hold everything in place and not have me melting with the heat. My workout wardrobe is full of black crop leggings and black racer back vests, along with one pair of cheapo orangey pink trainers that I’ve grown rather attached to (see below, rest in pieces those leggings, the barbed wire crawl got them)

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I look at my fitness inspirations (Hello Millie Mackintosh and Jessie J!) and they are always so well dressed in their gym gear! I look more like a purple faced lycra clad ninja in mine. With a wedding on the way, I don’t have a lot of pennies to spend on my workout wardrobe, but the new affordable fitness ranges emerging may be the solution I’ve been looking for!

The Missguided Active collection is relatively new to the market, and looks pretty dreamy! With gorgeous colours and cosmic prints, it can be mixed and matched, and doesn’t break the bank!

Fabletics are running a promotion right now, where you can get a mix and match set for £22, normally £45. The brand is also endorsed by Kate Hudson.

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H&M are nailing it with their mix of plain and print sportswear. Sometimes I just want to disappear into the background, and other times bold prints and colours boost my mood and give me that edge. It helps that it doesn’t blow the budget either!

If you’re looking for a bargain, I’d recommend hitting the rails of TK Maxx for some of our favourite sportswear brands at a much nicer price! I got my trusty shock absorber sports bra there, and it’s the best bit of kit I own!

I’ll be investing in some new pieces soon, and I’m looking forward to testing them out to see how well they keep up with me! If all else fails, yoga pants are super comfy for sitting on the couch eating cake.

Do you have any sportswear recommendations?

Emma

xo

eLikes

Treat Yo’Self! – Lush Cosmetics

Since my return from Australia, I’ve been doing a whole lot of comfort eating and wallowing in my post holiday blues. My tan is starting to fade (cue sunbeds and the subsequent burnt backside) and I’m starting to lose that glow I had going on. My skin was tired, dry and dull. Something had to change, and that was my skincare. I have terrible dry, blotchy skin. If I go to work without makeup I get asked if I’m ill.

I was asked to attend an evening at Lush Stirling recently, my perfect opportunity to find out exactly what products I should be using, as well as finding out more about the Lush Spa in Edinburgh.

We were told all about the beginnings of Lush and how it all started, then we got on to trying some skincare. I sampled a few products, and further down you’ll see what I took home! Last we were told about the Lush Spa in Edinburgh, and got to sample a chocolate arm massage! I’ve booked myself in for The Good Hour in a few weeks, I’ll be sure to let you all know how it goes! These were some of the goodies I was both given and bought from Lush Stirling!

I decided to have a Friday night pamper session last week, just as a little treat.

So what did I slap on my face? Was it any good? Did I look ridiculous? I know these are the burning questions you all want answered, so here goes.

First up, I used Dark Angels; an exfoliator containing black sugar and charcoal. I wasn’t sure how my sensitive skin would cope with it, so I just got a little sample pot. I gave my face a good scrub, and I think you’ll agree that I look rather fetching mid-scrub. On rinsing, my skin felt really smooth, and not as angry as I had anticipated! I’ll be picking up the full size pot for future use since it can be used for both face and body. This one should last me a little while though since once a week is enough for me.

To get rid of all the Dark Angels, I used Ultrabland; a super gentle cleanser which feels dreamy. A go-to product for many people, Lush challenge you to use only Ultrabland for your skincare for a few weeks and see if you notice a difference. I’ve been using it for a week or so now, and I’m noticing a difference. It leaves my skin so soft, and really helps to calm my usually angry and dry skin. It’s been an absolute dream so far, and I’ll certainly be continuing to use it.

Next up I used the BB Seaweed face mask. I’m usually hopelessely devoted to Oatifix but decided to be adventurous and try this one instead. It contains Seaweed, honey, rose and aloe vera for a restoring, moisturising mask. It felt great on my skin, and did all of the sings it was supposed to. My skin felt refreshed, moisturised and calm. I know, I also looked great wearing it whilst drinking squash from a hurricane glass. Wild Fridays indeed!

After using all of these products in my pamper session, my skin was feeling fantastic. I’ve kept up with using them, and my skin continues to improve. I believe I’m an Ultrabland convert, and weekly exfoliation and face masks are definitely going to be a part of my skincare routine.

It was recommended that the best way to use Dark Angels was in the shower to save it from going everywhere (thank goodness for black bathrooms) so now I’ve added it to my go-to shower products!

Rose Jam shower gel, for that lovely sweet smell, Curly Wurly for coconut tresses that are easy to style, and American Cream, to give your hair a healthy feel and vanilla scent!

What are your go-to pamper products?

Emma

xo