31 Oct 2014

OUTFIT: Magic, madness, heaven, sin



Jumper - George
Skirt - River Island
Shoes - eBay
Necklace - Primark
I'm going to take the fact that I live in Scotland as the perfect justification to talk about the weather a lot. So, how cold is it?! I know that it's pretty much winter now but I feel like the temperature has just plummeted over the past few days. It's showing me just how unprepared I am when it comes to cold weather... Which is a bit silly considering the typical Scottish weather. Luckily I have this gorgeous jumper that I just couldn't resist, it's so cosy and I love the colour. I borrowed the skirt & shoes from my flatmate Eilidh, I love this style of skirt but the faux leather gets sooooo warm which isn't always a bad thing.

Oh - Happy Halloween! I keep forgetting about Halloween because I'm not really doing anything special for it. I'm not even sure if I'm dressing up for work any more, but at least I'll have a costume sorted well in advance for Halloween next year anyway!

At the moment I'm just trying to get some university work out of the way, but it's proving a bit difficult when I don't really have a clue what it's all about. Logistics is possibly my least favourite subject at the moment which is also the subject that's causing me the most stress too! I'm finding my other two modules okay, fashion communication is quite interesting as it's a field I'd possibly consider but it's a lot to learn.

Tomorrow night I'm off to see The Courteeners in Glasgow, I've had to miss their last few gigs so I'm really glad I can finally make one! I did get to see them again during the summer when they supported The Killers but a support set just isn't the same as a full gig. After that I don't really have any gigs planned in the near future which is a shame, I am going to see Kevin Bridges and Michael McIntyre towards the end of 2015, but at the moment I'm saving all of my money for that mythical S Club 7 reunion that I'm still praying will happen. Ain't no party like an S Club party!

x
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30 Oct 2014

MONTHLY ROUND UP: October

Best time of year - date night - loving Cosmo's new student edition
Insta-outfit - can't not have Ginger - cupcakes from the Blogger Bake Off
current favourite palette - my new baking gadget - making friends
I probably say this every single month but it's so weird that yet another month is finishing - how on earth is it November already?! I've even started my Christmas shopping and the Christmas displays are slowly starting to appear in shop windows. I for one am kind of dreading having to hear Christmas songs on repeat but I do love the festive period (even if I am going to be working non stop).

The highlight of my month was finally getting internet after the whole process being dragged out for six weeks when it should have taken ten days - it was infuriating but it's dealt with now. Dealing with grown up things sucks sometimes but has to be done! Aside from that I've mostly been at university or working but I've had a few nice meals out (and one not so nice one too, rude staff are always such a let down) and have also been to see my favourite band Twin Atlantic not once but twice. I love me some Twin.

On an exciting note, I have been bumped up from the Fashion Editor at my university magazine to Co-editor which I'm really chuffed about. As much as I love fashion I did feel a bit limited and if I'm being honest I prefer covering a wider variety of topics. Plus, it'll be awesome experience and it'll look fab on my CV! Can't wait to get started on the next issue.

Next month I have a few university deadlines, but I also have a consolidation week and I'm going to a charity ball too which should be fun! I'm not going out for Halloween but I am dressing up in work and if all goes to plan I will have a little outfit post to share... I'm not promising anything though.

Hope you're having a lovely week

x
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28 Oct 2014

TUESDAY TEN: Primark Coats

All £25
£35, £25, £30, £25, £30
When it comes to bargain jackets Primark is usually a one stop shop for me, especially in the more recent years. Whilst they may not always be the most durable or practical they certainly are affordable if you want a statement, on trend jacket that's a fraction of the price of other high street brands (here's look at you Topshop..). This year I think they've got some serious coat game with the majority costing just £25! What a bargain. I love love love the first jacket but I haven't seen it in store yet so I'm not sure if it would totally drown me. Otherwise I think that number six is gorgeous and I love the pastel colours it comes in too.

Which is your favourite?

Images via prshots.com
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24 Oct 2014

PINSPIRATION: Halloween Foodie Fun






sources for all images can be found here
 I've never been a very big Halloween person but I am a big Pinterest person. I struggle to come up with good ideas for costumes and food for every occasion but nowadays I've got a wealth of pins to refer back to in order to make some pretty awesome treats. The best thing about Halloween is probably the sweets, so I thought that I would share some amazing looking sweet treats that I've found recently. I've been in quite a baking mood since I got my amazing new mixer and I definitely want to give one of these a go in time for Halloween, I think I'll either go for the Whoopie Pies (which I've never properly made before) or the ghostly brownies which are totally adorable.

x
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23 Oct 2014

WATCHING: Before I Go To Sleep

(image sourced from here)
Lately there have been a lot of new releases in the cinema that are based on books I've really enjoyed. Sadly, I've not had time to see a lot of these so am patiently waiting for the DVD releases (please hurry up!) however I have managed to catch one of these much awaited movies - Before I Go To Sleep.

"A woman wakes up every day, remembering nothing as a result of a traumatic accident in her past. One day, new terrifying truths emerge that force her to question everyone around her."

Before I Go To Sleep first appeared as a novel by S.J. Watson a few years ago and I always remember it as being one of the first books I ever read on a Kindle. The book was definitely a great read, with plenty of twists and turns to keep the reading engrossed the whole way through. I'd say the film was pretty much the same.

The film stars some pretty big names such as Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth which was a casting choice I hadn't really expected. I mostly know Colin Firth from the Bridget Jone's franchise so it was a bit odd to see him in something darker however he certainly played the part well. Despite knowing the outcome having read the book first the film still left me wondering if I really did know what path the story would take. It's definitely a thriller that will leave you on the edge of your seat, it was a bit scarier than I had anticipated but really enjoyable.

With film adaptations there is always the niggling worry if it will live up to the standard set by the book but for a change this definitely did. Despite my original reservations I kind of loved this film. I'm not sure if I was just stupidly excited by the prospect of being in the cinema again but my heart was racing while watching this - every little noise was making me jump. My nerves probably weren't helped by the fact that the trailer for Annabel was shown beforehand which looks like the most ridiculously frightening film ever.

If you're struggling to choose a film to watch, or even a book to read, I'd recommend Before I Go To Sleep in a heartbeat.

x
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22 Oct 2014

HAUL: Festive Treats from Lush Aberdeen


Snow Fairy - £3.95
Candy Mountain - £2.75
Luxury Lush Pud - £3.50
Lord of Misrule - £3.50
GOOD NEWS EVERYBODY! I have internet! Finally! Can you tell how excited I am?! It was installed an hour or so ago and there's been a few teething issues so far but some internet is better than none. My Gossip Girl marathon can begin.

Anyway, back when the Christmas range for this year had just been released in Lush I headed over to my local Aberdeen shop (you can follow them on Twitter here!) to pick up a few bits and bobs. I had been invited to the blogger event at the store the week before but unfortunately I was working so couldn't make it. One day I will actually be able to make one of the Lush events!

I had intended on going a bit crazy, but the shop was quite busy and just about to close so I limited myself and only bought four things for a change. I decided to pick up Lord of Misrule from the Halloween collection which I had seen lots of hype about last year but never got round to trying. I think I might actually use this tonight and I'm hoping it lives up to expectations. Despite it only being October I also grabbed the Luxury Lush Pud and Snow Angel bath melt - both of which I've never tried before! Snow Angel smells gorgeous but I'm kind of dreading cleaning up the glitter after I use it... Of course I couldn't leave without my favourite Candy Mountain which has been my go-to bubble bar for over two years now and I think might actually be a bit cheaper this year too.

I'm definitely going to head back soon to pick up a few other things, I've seen loads that I fancy trying out. Any recommendations? I feel like I've tried so many things from Lush but I bet that there are a few hidden gems out there that I haven't yet discovered.

x
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21 Oct 2014

TUESDAY TEN: Capes

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10
I love the current cape trend, but if I'm being totally honest I do not think I'm anywhere near the required height to get away with wearing one. On taller people they just look effortlessly cool and swishy (technical term) but I think that when it comes to me I would just look totally swamped and passers by would probably think I was incapable of buying clothes that fit me.

That said, I would still really like one even if it is just for an indoor cover up or an option for one of those common lazy days where I do not care what I look like. Most of the capes about at the moment seem to be some sort of checked pattern which I do like, however I love the paisley print from Oasis (10) and the plain khaki colour from ASOS (5).

How do you feel about capes - are they just glorified ponchos or do you think they're super duper fashionable? I'm kind of on the fence.

x
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20 Oct 2014

OUTFIT: I'm over the rush, I'm divided and lost



Top - H&M, Skirt - River Island, Boots - New Look 
It's another dreary Monday here, to the point where cosy tights are becoming a necessity instead of a comfort choice. I hate how raggedy they get after a couple of washes so I think I'll have to go and stock up on a few pairs from Primark sometime soon. I surprisingly haven't been in Primark all that much lately and when I have been in I've not really seen anything that I like, which is good for my bank account but I think I'm having withdrawal symptoms.

This week should hopefully be the week where my internet finally gets installed but based on the experience of the past six weeks I'm trying not to get my hopes up. Fingers crossed though! Once that's installed I think I'll finally feel completely settled and I can get back to my usual routine of binge watching series on Netflix. I've been planning an entire re-watch of Gossip Girl (I blame Blake Lively and her adorable baby bump) so I can't wait to get that started.

On Thursday (and Saturday) I'm off to see Twin Atlantic for the fifth and sixth time which I'm pretty damn excited about. They're one of my favourite bands and they always put on a great show, plus Thursday will be my first actual gig in Aberdeen too. It'll be strange to see how it compares to the Glasgow gig circuit - we do have a bit of a reputation for loving a bit of live music.

Finally, I've been trying to figure out how to incorporate the blog posts that are required for my course work in to this blog. I can't decide if I should just start a little side blog purely for those posts or if I should just take a ten day slot in a month or so and get them all done and dusted. They might be a tad different to my usual style of post which is what is making me unsure, but do you think you'd like to see that? I'm struggling to make the choice alone so would love to hear what you think!

Have a lovely week

x
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19 Oct 2014

BLOGGING TIPS: Photo Editing for Blogging


This week I'm going to go over what I think are the fundamental elements of editing photos for your blog (I have another post specifically for Instagram planned later in the series!). Much like last weeks post on the basics of blog photography there's a fair amount of content to cover under this topic so I'm just going to focus on a few key things such as how I edit my photos, useful free resources and a few tips & tricks for Photoshop users.

HOW I EDIT
On the whole I tend to use Photoshop to edit my photos as this is what I feel most comfortable with. I've been using Photoshop since my early teens and at first it was pretty daunting but there are plenty of resources available online as well as books and magazines that can help you get to grips with things. I don't tend to overly edit my photos beyond recognition, I just like to tweak the exposure and brightness a tad and sometimes add a bit of text so if I didn't already have Photoshop I would definitely just use a free editor such as Picmonkey - which I use for my collages anyway as it's much easier.

My default editing process usually consists of upping the brightness slightly then raising the exposure by the tiniest smidgeon and changing to offset value to something between +0.10 to +0.90 which helps create a bit of a matte effect which I quite like for product shots or close ups. After this I will then play about with curves to make sure my image isn't too "flat" then add any extras such as text or watermarks. If I feel like my photo could do with a bit of sharpening I use the "unsharpen edges" filter option in order to bring a bit more focus to the centre of the image.

USEFUL FREE RESOURCES
I've already mentioned Picmonkey which is a great free web-based photo editor however there are plenty of other choices available if you do a bit of searching. Gimp is a free downloadable software that is supposedly quite similar to Photoshop, but I never really managed to get to grips with it properly.

As well as free photo editors, the internet provides hundreds of other free resources such as tutorials on YouTube and Pinterest which I would highly recommend checking out if you want to learn a bit more about how to use your specific editing platform.

If you use Photoshop (or Gimp too I think!) then websites such as Deviant Art have loads of free actions, filters and brushes for you to download and use on your own images. Just be sure to check the terms of download before using them on anything and everything!

PHOTOSHOP TIPS & TRICKS
My favourite thing about Photoshop is the Curves feature which allows you to easily manipulate the brightness, contrasts and tones in your images. If you use Photoshop you can find Curves under the adjustments menu then have a mess about with the graph until you figure out what works best for you. It can be a bit of trial and error because the same thing wont work the same way for every photograph but it's worth using and knowing about.

Actions are another great feature in Photoshop (think Instagram filters) so be sure to check out places like Deviant Art to make photo editing that bit easier. There are some actions that are created specifically to mimic everyone's favourite Instagram filters, so if you love Walden, Valencea and friends then you're sorted.

I found Zoe's post on using Photoshop really useful as well as Sarah's post which is a little bit more specific to fashion photography but the methods can be used for pretty much any photos - definitely have a read if you want to learn a bit more.

NEXT TIME: We're talking layouts - HTML tips, things to avoid, handy widgets and where to find the best templates & designers.
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17 Oct 2014

BEAUTY: Supercat Liquid Eyeliner by Soap and Glory



Supercat Liquid Eyeliner by Soap & Glory - £6.00 at Boots
(bought via Cohorted)
Back in June I thought I had found liner love with Eyeko's Skinny Liner pen, however it was a short lived affair and I was soon looking for the next love of my life. When having a look on Cohorted one night I noticed that one of the offers was for Supercat - a Soap & Glory liner with decent reviews. I jumped on the bandwagon straight away and I am so very glad I did.

One month on our love is still going strong and it's no surprise considering how great the quality of this liner really is. Recently I decided to try out some more of the cosmetics on offer from Soap & Glory and as of yet I have not been disappointed.

Supercat is beautifully easy to use, with a tapered nib that allows for precise or thick application. It doesn't feather or smudge, it's blacker than black and it stays put on my eyes all day long. For a while I was a bit put off this pen style of liner but it's definitely going to be staying in my arsenal for a long time to come. I'd maybe go as far as to say that Supercat is my all time favourite liner. Maybe.

If you - like me - have fallen out of love with your current liner then I would wholeheartedly recommend that you give Supercat a go. My wings have never been so even.

Do you have any other favourites from Soap & Glory's cosmetics? I really want to try some of their highlighting powders!

x
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16 Oct 2014

EVENT: Glasgow Blogger Bake Off with Joe Blogs & Currys

 








Another food related post today... hmmm. I swear I do things that aren't eating sometimes! I couldn't not talk about the amazing day I had last Sunday with Joe Blogs and Currys so you'll just have to deal with my gluttonous tendencies for another post.

Last weekend I was lucky enough to be invited to spend the day at the Glasgow Cook School with lots of other lovely bloggers (including Lis from Last Year's Girl who showed me pictures of cute kittens so is now officially on my list of favourite people) baking some delicious treats and enjoying lots of tea and chat. I was working with the fab Mairi from The Weegie Kitchen and together we were supposed to make four things - scones, cupcakes, a Victoria sponge and chocolate chip muffins - however our muffins left a lot to be desired. The others were fab though, especially the scones! I'll definitely be making them again soon.

I can't even explain just how much I enjoyed the day, there was great food, great people and great chat which are pretty much all of my favourite things. As well as that, I actually ended up winning one of the beautiful mixers (pictured above) thanks to smearing cake batter over my face and in my hair which you can see here. Totally worth it. I can't wait to get my bake on with it (I've always wanted a stand mixer so I can pretend I'm actually on GBBO) as well as the other treats that we were absolutely spoilt with on the day.

Be sure to check out Currys write up of the day and join the Joe Blogs blogger network if you haven't already!

Group shot! Thanks to Joe Blogs for the photo.

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15 Oct 2014

FOOD: September Degustabox


September Degustabox* - £12.99 per month including delivery
(available here)
As someone who likes food a lot and also likes getting parcels a lot Degustabox had sparked a lot of interest for me. As much as I love a good beauty product I was never overly enthralled by the selection of monthly subscription boxes available as I felt like they all lacked a little something to make them worth that direct debit. When Degustabox appeared I knew that I had to give it a go but I kept putting it off for various reasons (starting a new job, moving to a new flat etc etc) however when I was kindly offered a box to review I just could not resist.

I'm probably a bit late to the bat in sharing my review of this but better late than never! On the whole I was pretty impressed with my first box and will definitely be trying more in the future - I can never resist food. Here's what I've been nibbling on:

Burts' Lentil Waves
The first to be devoured were the Lentil Waves from Burts. On first glance I was a bit worried about these as I'm not a big fan of lentils however these were actually pretty damn delicious and tasted just like (if not better than) normal crisps. The sour cream & chive were definite favourites and I enjoyed the salted flavour too. I wasn't as keen on the Thai Sweet Chilli as I found them a tad too hot for me but my flatmate Eilidh liked them!

Crabbie's Fruits - Raspberry & Lemon
Despite students being typically renowned for their drinking I haven't actually tried these yet, but I am really excited to. I've tried Crabbie's Ginger Beer before which I enjoyed and think that both the Lemon & Raspberry flavours will be right up my street as they are two of my top flavour choices anyway. I'm particularly excited to give the raspberry one a go as it has a hint of  ginger which I can't quite imagine in my head... hm!

Carnation "Cook With It" low fat cooking cream
As someone who's main food groups are fat and carbs this nifty little alternative to cream has come in really handy so far. This has 68% less fat than single cream and can be used in lots of dishes such as carbonara, curries and soups. So far I've only used one of the two cartons and I managed to get two uses out of it - one for carbonara and the second for a creamy Bolognese bake. Both worked out really well so I'm going to keep an eye out for these in the future.

Little Miracles Organic Tea
These were the only thing in this box that I had tried before however I hadn't actually tried these specific flavours. Little Miracles are organic tea based drinks that have lots of healthy things packed in there alongside the tea. I wasn't too keen on the orange coloured one as the flavour didn't quite work for me, but the green bottle was much nicer and I've had a couple of bottles since. I don't feel particularly "energised" after these but I definitely enjoy drinking them.

La Vieja Fabrica Marmalade
I'm really not a big fan of marmalade, so this has been donated to my mum. On the whole I don't tend to like the texture of most preserves so I usually avoid them! From what I can gather my mum enjoyed this but I can't speak from personal experience on this one...

Righteous Salad Dressings
I've been trying to figure out a way to eat these without making a salad but so far all I've come up with is dipping my finger in them. I guess I will have to save these for the day that I do actually make a salad but I've heard lots of good things about the dressings and can confirm from a finger dip that the raspberry & sweet basil dressing is delicious. Maybe I could dip my curly fries in them? Oh so healthy.

Bahlsen Pick Up biscuits
Biscuits never last long around me and these were no exception. I vaguely remember eating something similar to the milk chocolate version when I was younger so obviously I had to eat all five just to try and help jog my memory. The new black & white version is ever so slightly reminiscent of an Oreo and just as delicious as the original milk chocolate biscuits. Both have been demolished and I'm going to be picking these up in a heartbeat if I see them in Asda!

Elizabeth Shaw Dark Chocolate Mint Thins
Like biscuits, chocolate is another thing that doesn't last long around me. I love dark chocolate but can only really stomach it in quite small amounts or else I get a nasty headache so these little thins are perfect to satisfy that cocoa craving. I'm not usually keen on the combination of mint & chocolate but I didn't find the mint too overpowering with these. I'm sad that they're finished now.

Jordans' Simply Granola
I really like Jordans' chocolate granola but I'd never really tried anything else other than chocolate. This big bag is perfect as it allows me to come up with my own creations (or just eat it plain which is also delicious) and I've been having some pretty yummy breakfasts. A particular favourite combination is frozen raspberries, blueberries and a tiny bit of golden syrup with some milk. Mmmm. So good! I haven't spotted this particular bag in Asda but as soon as it appears I'll be grabbing it and I think Eilidh will be too.

What do you think of this month's Degustabox? I for one loved it and will definitely be trying out more in the future! You can order a box on their website and you can also find Degustabox on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest releases and news.

x
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14 Oct 2014

TUESDAY TEN: Ankle Boots

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10
I mentioned yesterday that I fancied a new pair of boots, so I've rounded up a few of my favourite ankle boots from the wonderful treasure trove that is ASOS. I have a couple of pairs of tan boots that I pretty much wear to death so I would quite like a darker pair, but I really love the monochrome pair of desert boots (2). I think it's kind of obvious that I prefer a chunkier boot and I think the forerunners at the moment are probably 1 & 6, I'd love 10 but they're suede and I'd be a bit worried about ruining them!

Which pair do you prefer?

x
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13 Oct 2014

OUTFIT: Heartbreakers gonna break



Dress - George
Belt - old (probably borrowed from my mum)
Boots - New Look
Hello again, long time no see.

I still have no internet and I am very unhappy about this, however I have decided that I will just spend my life in the library at university so I can in fact get stuff done. It has a pretty decent view so it's not the end of the world. I suppose it's probably best that I actually do my university work instead of moping about on the couch all day...

I feel like I still haven't had a chance to properly relax yet as I had a pretty stressful week last week but I'm finally starting to get a bit of routine in to my life once again. I do love being busy but sometimes I just need a day of nothing-ness just to break it all up. I have so much that I want to write about at the moment so I'm going to try my best to maintain some semi-regular posts through use of the library and then hopefully I should have internet by the end of the month and full on procrastination can ensue.

Despite it being absolutely freezing and very rainy I do really love this time of year. Autumn trees have the most beautiful colours and I can wear tights without having to worry about being a sweaty mess. I do need to invest in a decent jacket and possibly some black boots, although I could really do with new trainers for the walk to university every day! I picked up this top on a total whim from my work, it was an online return so we didn't have it in our store but when it ended up being reduced in the sale I knew I had to have it. I guess I'm just lucky that it was in my size then!

As per usual, I hope you're all well and I'm feeling excited about getting back in to the swing of things and showing my blog the attention it very well deserves. I have a few exciting things up my sleeve including a bit of a redesign (okay total redesign) but that can wait for now.

x
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