30 Nov 2016
I'm an indecisive person when it comes to food, so I love nothing more than tucking into a tapas menu where I can try lots of dishes. Glasgow has a decent selection of tapas restaurants for every cuisine and I've slowly been making my way round them all. I'd heard so much about Iberica from bloggers and friends alike in England, so when they finally opened a Glasgow restaurant I was desperate to give it a try.
Located on St Vincent Street, Iberica is joining a host of city centre restaurants that are perfect for a post-work catch up or an evening of indulgence. Offering authentic Spanish cuisine in a sophisticated setting, you'd hope that the quality of the food reflected the beautiful decor - and it does. I was kindly invited along last week to be treated to an evening of wining and dining with a host of other bloggers in Iberica's private dining room. Unsurprisingly, after 13 courses of mouthwatering tapas and a little bit too much of their delicious wine, I was ready to roll home!
We started off our evening with a selection of their vegetarian tapas, including asparagus toast with manchego, onion and truffle oil, roasted aubergine, pumpkin salad with goats cheese and a pear and blue cheese salad. I'm not an aubergine fan, however, the rest of the selection was absolutely fantastic. Asparagus isn't something I would normally choose from a menu, but it was perfectly cooked and the combination of manchego cheese and onion cemented its high rating for me.
As we moved on to the meat dishes we started with one of my go-to tapas favourites - croquettes. Stuffed with gooey cheese and flavourful serrano ham these did not disappoint and were one of my highlights of the night. Another highlight, which came highly recommended, were the fried chorizo lollipops served with pear alioli. The crispy batter paired with the mouthwatering meat alone were beautiful enough, but that pear alioli was something else. The perfect hint of sweetness to compliment the smoky chorizo flavour!
At this point, I didn't think it could get any better, but then the beef cheek carpaccio was served. Topped with sweet potato crisps, truffle potato puree and tartare sauce this plate was a real favourite for the whole table thanks to the perfect mix of flavours and textures. This dish is often in high demand, and I can see why! The carpaccio was followed by pork sliders, which were served in brioche buns with a pickled Piparra pepper (try saying that drunk) in little bite-sized portions. I expected to love these, but I found them to be a little bit boring in comparison to the rest of the menu. They were delicious, but just not as flavourful as some of the other options.
I'm not a huge fish fan, and draw the line at tuna, calamari or fish and chips, so I skipped the fishier dishes but after being encouraged by Fionn I braved the octopus and was pleasantly surprised. Although the little suckers really freaked me out, the smoky flavour was a real treat and is something I'd eat again... if the suckers were cut off.
We topped off the evening with some more meaty dishes, including venison meatballs and a marinated smoked pork. Alongside those we were also served a beautifully rich Oxtail sandwich which was yet another peak of the selection. The meat was incredibly tender and packed full of flavour, to the point that I'm drooling just thinking about it. That's not all, however, because another treat arrived in the form of Pluma pork from the charcoal oven. Cooked medium rare and seasoned to perfection I've been dreaming about it ever since. I'd never thought to cook pork medium rare but it was absolutely mouthwatering.
Unfortunately, I had to run off before dessert was served so I missed out on the delicious sounding caramelised rice pudding and churros, but I will most definitely be back for more. I need to have that beef carpaccio again as soon as possible!
28 Nov 2016
I grew up with a computer, and for as long as I can remember I've had some sort of "internet presence". My love for my computer started off with The Sims, which I still love well over a decade later, and progressed on to classic games like Catz and Dogz before I discovered the internet. I remember the days where you couldn't use the internet and the phone at the same time, so I was often chucked off Yahoo messenger so that my mum could phone a family member or so that my gran could get through. I was part of the MSN generation, and although I was a little bit too young for Myspace I had Bebo, Piczo, Tumblr, the works. I had a fantastic MSN Space (does anyone else remember those?!) and I spent many an hour creating Bebo skins in exchange for the much coveted red "luv" hearts or putting together top notch celebrity edits for my Piczo page. I wasted more money than I care to admit on Habbo Hotel and Runescape, as well as developing a pretty bad-ass knack for sledging on Club Penguin. I mean, I even started properly talking to my now-boyfriend of nearly seven years on MSN!
What I'm saying is, the internet has always been a pretty pivotal part of my life, so it's maybe only natural that I've ended up here with this blog which is now just as big a part of my life as my Sims addiction. The downside of that, though, and one of the only ones, is that I struggle to switch off. Particularly so because I blog about my life. I live, breathe and sleep internet. I dream about flatlays and memes and viral Vines. The internet has incited a burning passion for digital marketing and social media, which I'm hoping to build a career in at some point, but it's also given me this strange inability to do nothing.
I love lazing in my bed, but no matter how hard I try I can never last more than an hour without grabbing my phone to scroll through Instagram. I'm nearly always on Twitter and people have always commented on how much I post across my various social networks. I'm relatively well versed in internet lingo, I can tell you the latest social media trends and crazes (can the mannequin challenge just end now or what?) but it's not without its detrimental impact. Living in this new connected world brings about so many strange situations that just wouldn't have happened before the advent of the internet. Social media can make you feel empowered, but it can also make you feel insecure. I value the ability to be connected with those I love in a few quick taps, but I can't help wonder what I'd be like if it wasn't for the internet.
Would I have read more books? Would I have actually learned all those skills I intended to? What would my friendship circle be like? How would I entertain myself without Netflix? What would I fill my evenings and weekends with if not blogging? Would my life be empty without cat videos?
To be honest, I hope I never find out. I know I'm hopelessly addicted to the internet, but that isn't always a bad thing! I've been making a more conscious effort to take a step back from social media recently, and whilst it has worked to an extent, I end up missing it. What's wrong with enjoying spending time on the internet, or wanting to be connected with what's going on in the world? Sometimes I consider going cold turkey and having a full on digital detox, but I know it would never happen. I'm part of the internet generation, and I'm glad I am. I bet those people who used to tell me I tweet too much never imagined I could create a career out of my internet obsession, but here we are!
How would you define your relationship with the internet?
25 Nov 2016
I've always been proud of my hair and think that my curls are one of my defining features. Of course, there will be days where I wish I had hair that required no effort to tame, but now that I've taken the time to learn what my hair loves and loathes it's become a whole lot easier to control. Being so proud of my hair made it even more difficult to come to terms with my alopecia diagnosis, and for months I was convinced that my hair just looked awful no matter what I did. Now that I've realised that wasn't always the case, I've finally been able to regain some confidence surrounding my hair. Obviously, it helps that it's now growing back in again, but part of it is down to figuring out the best routine for my hair too.
I've loved John Frieda haircare since my early teens and it's been my go-to brand for frizz fighting products ever since I first discovered their Frizz Ease range. It's been featured on my blog many times, such as my tips for fighting frizz, my haircare heroes and my bulk beauty buys (old post alert!), so when I was invited to be part of their Curl Collective and try out some more from the newly revamped range with super sleek packaging I was very keen to get involved.
24 Nov 2016
Oh look, another post about skincare, what a surprise... Well, I did say in my last skincare review that I go a bit over the top with new skincare at this time of year, so you were warned. Before know, I'd only really known Roger & Gallet for their fragrance range, but since being introduced to their new Le Soin Aura Mirabilis collection I've realised there's so much more to their offerings.
The Aura Mirabilis range consists of four products and was inspired by a powerful natural remedy brewed by monks nearly 300 years ago which was loved by royals of years gone by. There are eighteen distilled plants incorporated in to the range in order to detoxify, refine, restore and renew the skin. There's a creamy cleansing mask to prep the skin and remove all traces of the day, an intriguing sounding Beauty Vinegar to tone (hint: this is my favourite), a reviving double extract for an extra shot of botanical goodness and finally a quenching moisturiser to finish it all off.
I've been testing out a couple of products from the range and I have to say that I'm pretty impressed so far. It's been a few days short of a month since I introduced them into my routine and I've already seen noticeable results despite the harsh winter weather taking its toll.
I was really surprised by how much I love the Legendary Cream, as it seemed like it would be far too heavy for my fussy skin. It's got a really rich texture, but thanks to the formula's gel-cream combination it doesn't overload my skin or cause me to break out. It sinks in beautifully and leaves my skin feeling hydrated, refreshed and happy. As you'd expect from a company renowned for their fragrances, it smells beautiful, but it is quite strong. It won't last, though, as the scent fades quickly and there's no oily residue left either. I feel like I've finally found a cream hydrating enough to get my dry skin through winter without breaking out!
I'd heard a lot about the Beauty Vinegar before trying it out, as it's been featured in numerous beauty columns and blogs alike, so I was really excited to see if it lived up to the hype. It's essentially a toner, being used after cleansing to remove any stubborn makeup or impurities from the skin before moving on to moisturising. It does have quite a strong scent, which is so unusual and I really love it, but it wouldn't be to everyone's tastes as it is a little sharp. It's worth it, though, because the Beauty Vinegar blows all other toners out of the water. It's so refreshing on the skin and you can actually feel it working.
After just a few weeks of using these two, my skin is looking so much better. It's brighter, softer and smoother. I honestly wasn't expecting such great results from them, but now I can't stop raving about them! My makeup is applying so much better, and I find myself wearing less as my skin just looks generally clearer. I definitely want to try out the Double Extract and the Cleansing Mask after seeing how well the other products from the range work for me. If you have dry skin that doesn't like anything overly rich or heavy, then you need this range in your life.
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Post contains a press sample - read my full disclaimer
23 Nov 2016
Some people still seem to think it's a bit too early to be talking about Christmas, but I'm in full on festive mode and I'm not even sorry. In amongst all of my online shopping for prezzies I've been doing a little bit of browsing on behalf of my wardrobe, and I've come across some real gems for the festive season. Christmas usually means parties, and for me, parties make the ideal place to strut my stuff and show off my best outfits! I'm trying to be kind of good this year and not buy too much in the way of new clothes, but it's pretty hard to resist.
I thought I'd split up my collection of Christmas clothes into a few categories (because there's a lot of them) and to start off I'm going for the bargain buys under £30. It had originally started life as an under £50 post, but the high street is absolutely smashing it this year and I was so surprised when everything I'd picked came in at under £30 instead. I even had to whittle down my choices even further so it wasn't a complete overload!
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Looking at my selection, it's clear to see that I'm leaning towards two key trends this season - embroidered and metallic. Is it any surprise, though, considering my love of rose gold and florals? My wardrobe is already fit to burst yet here I am planning a whole new repertoire of outfits for Christmas and beyond...
I have pretty much finished my Christmas shopping so I think I deserve a treat to celebrate my very unexpected organisation skills. Between payday tomorrow and all of the Black Friday deals over the week I'm certain there will be more than a couple of orders placed! Who can blame me, when it's all this pretty?
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What clothes are on your Christmas list this year?
20 Nov 2016
In the spirit of "putting less pressure on myself", I've been wanting to bring back a semi-regular post that I just write when I feel like it. I wanted it to be a combination of my old Saturday Share series and a little catch-up Dear Diary type of thing, and so here we are.
I've been slacking a little bit on the blog front recently, not for lack of motivation or post ideas, but more because I've been drowning in deadlines for college. I'm nearly finished, though, I just have a couple of assessments coming up this week then that should hopefully be me! My first block ends at the end of the month, so I'll be starting new classes come December 5th. I'm really excited to get stuck into some new topics, but just need to get through this mountain of coursework first! I have so many posts sitting waiting to be written but I've just not had the time, so fingers crossed I manage to get back to blogging properly this week.
Aside from spending the last week glued to my laptop or in the library, I also managed to fit in a little trip up to Aberdeen to visit some of my friends from university. It was so strange to be back in an environment that had previously made me so miserable, but being back there just helped me realise how much happier I am now. I always knew I made the right decision to drop out of university, but it felt like some kind of closure. I miss my friends, but I do not miss Aberdeen one bit.
Pretty much all of my deadlines seem to be this week, but after Wednesday I should be pretty much finished which will be good. I have a couple of events on this week and next which I'm really looking forward to as well. I'm starting to feel so festive and the countdown to Christmas is definitely on! I've pretty much finished my shopping, which is very unlike me, but it's one less stress off my shoulders.
Speaking of Christmas, let's chat about Vlogmas. My YouTube channel has been pushed right to the bottom of my priorities lately as I've just not had the time, or the confidence, to post videos, but I'm planning on bringing it back from the start of December. I've already started filming some "sit down" style videos, but I'll also be weekly vlogging throughout December for Vlogmas. I love making weekly vlogs so it'll be so nice to get back in to it, especially as last year's Vlogmas was a bit of a failure! I wish I could make daily vlogs, but I just won't have the time for that and I think it'll be a little bit too much to take on when I'm trying to put less pressure on myself...
I've been collecting a few links I've loved to share too, which was one of the main purposes of this post. I think as the weeks go on I'll have less to catch up on life-wise so future posts hopefully won't be as long!
Links I've Loved:
- The Deal With Instagram Bots
- Are We Rating Each Other On Social Media, Yet?
- How To Survive Working From Home
- This amazing Spice Girls Christmas jumper which I've already bought
- On Living In A Bubble
- When You Love Autumn, But Your Mental Health Doesn't
- That Time I Tried Being An Instagram Spammer (and it worked!)
- Creating An Awesome Work Day That Works For You
- Inspirational, Aspirational, Attainable, or Relatable?
Labels: sunday share
16 Nov 2016
I'm not afraid to admit that I am feeling hella festive this year and I am very excited for Christmas to come along. I didn't have the best run up to Christmas last year as I was really ill thanks to numerous complications after surgery, and so to make up for it I'm determined to celebrate the festivities as much as humanly possible this year. Although I have to say I'm a little disappointed in the Christmas advert offerings so far! Studying advertising has ruined me, but then again nothing will really beat Mog's Christmas Calamity or John Lewis circa 2011-2014.
14 Nov 2016
It's around this time of year that you'll usually find me panic buying all sorts of skincare in preparation for the harsh winter weather. Whilst I do have my year in, year out favourites I'm always keeping an eye out for new products and brands to try, so when I was offered the chance to try out some skincare from Edinburgh-based Lucky Cloud I jumped at it.
Lucky Cloud sell a range of handmade, vegan & cruelty-free skincare with all of their products being made in small batches, using only the best hand picked ingredients to ensure the best outcome. The founder, Lucy Cardwell, started her journey by making lip balms in her kitchen, but her experiences with dry skin led her on to test out body products too. This definitely caught my attention, as I've had similar experiences with my own skin and figured that Lucy must really know what she's doing!
11 Nov 2016
Well, the Glasgow Burgerthon has taken just a tad longer than we expected, because as always life just gets in the way. As a result of this, we've had to make a couple of last-minute changes, as restaurants have changed or moved or closed down altogether. Last week we had to make a quickfire decision to substitute our eighth burger restaurant and after visiting Steak, Cattle & Roll back in June with some of my favourite bloggers it was one of the first places that jumped to mind as a suitable alternative.
One of the things that really stands out to me about Steak, Cattle & Roll is their offerings for various dietary requirements including vegan, dairy free, gluten free and vegetarian. Not many people know this because I choose to blatantly ignore it, but I don't get on very well with dairy despite cheese being my favourite food. At Steak, Cattle & Roll their ability to adapt their menu to suit a number of dietary requirements means I can indulge in a burger smothered in cheese and a chocolate milkshake on the side without feeling run down and generally rather ill afterwards. Little things, really, because I definitely would have gone for the same thing even if they hadn't been able to substitute, but I think this will definitely be a great thing for many other people.
8 Nov 2016
Okay, meteorologically speaking it's still Autumn, but it certainly feels like winter so it's time I started dressing for winter. I'm notoriously terrible at dressing for the weather, which is a bit of a hindrance when you live in a country as cold and wet as Scotland, but this year I'm making a conscious effort to be relatively more sensible in terms of my fashion choices. This is mostly due to the fact that I feel like I spend half my life waiting at bus stops in the windy wet weather but also partly due to the fact that I'll take any excuse for some new wardrobe additions...
In saying that, though, it's coming up for party season and the shops are definitely starting to reflect that. I can't say I have many parties on the horizon, but when did that ever stop me? I'm trying to resist the lure of pretty party dresses for now, but we'll just see how long that lasts...
7 Nov 2016
As sung to the tune of this Salt-N-Pepa classic.
A post of this nature has been on the tip of my tongue (well, keyboard, but I like alliteration) for weeks now, but having left it sat half-finished in my drafts for a month or so I think it's time I finally sit down and pour my little heart out once more. As much as this is a personal blog, there are some personal things I don't really chat about on the internet and I like to keep it that way, but there are also some things that I think can be helped by getting off my chest. I've deliberated about publishing this, even now I'm not so sure, but I feel like I just need to let my worries go and hit publish. Or schedule, anyway.
So, I'm stressed. I'm stressed out my box and have been for a while now. It's mostly my own fault and the majority of my stress can be related to my unending habit of putting ridiculous amounts of pressure on myself to keep up with everything. I've been like this for a while now, and although I'm conscious of it I still haven't stopped. To be fair to myself, there are some overwhelming external factors contributing to this, but that's just life, isn't it?
I think I cope okay with being a ball of stress - if you ignore the fact that my hair is quite literally falling out thanks to alopecia triggered by stress leaving me with bald patches, that my skin is suffering from delightful dry patches that just won't budge, and that I feel like I never chill out. Losing my hair has been a difficult thing for me and although it's been going on for months now I'm still struggling to come to terms with it. My hair has always been a comfort blanket of sorts which made it really tough for me. Not many people know about that and I still feel a little reluctant to share this with so many people in such an open manner, but I think I just need to vent a little in my true oversharing-on-the-internet style. My health going to shit was a big kick up the backside that helped me realise I was being a little bit too hard on myself, so I feel like I have eased off a little since then.
To an extent, though, I do thrive off of being busy. I like to fill my days off with tasks and catch ups and although it does sometimes drive me to the brink of burnout I work endlessly on improving or learning or developing or just doing something. I need to figure out how to take more days off that are actually days off, but I think due to my days off being few and far between thanks to spending my life flitting between work and college, I always have too much to do. I'm learning to prioritise myself better, and I've been making plenty of time for bubble baths with my latest series too. It'll be hit and miss for a while, but I think I can make this work and figure out some sort of disjointed routine.
I don't really know where I'm going with this, it's just one of those word-vomit posts that everyone needs to write every once in a while. I think my whole point is that you never really know what's going on in someone's life. I tend to mostly share the good things, and that's not because I think it's what I have to do, it's just what I want to do. I want to look back at the happy times, not the times where I felt like bursting in to tears at any given moment.
Even if someone is sharing how happy they are with how something is going it in no way means they have no other worries in life. Just because I have a happy little Instagram where I share my highlights and the things I want to remember doesn't mean that everything else is the same. I like to focus on the happy things because it helps me to stay positive when I need it most. It's okay to not be okay, but it's not okay to assume that someone has a perfect life just because they share the good things.
Okay, I think I'm done rambling now. It can be cathartic to talk, even if it is just sitting in my onesie staring at yet another screen. Basically, don't be a dick and don't assume people have it perfect based on what they let you see. I feel like this has been a very woe-is-me kinda post, which is fair enough, but I'm muddling on through. I'm proud of my hard work and I'm trying to look after myself more, that's all that matters right now.
4 Nov 2016
Technically, most of these were purchased in October, but it's November now so I need to get with the times. I've been surprisingly reserved with my beauty purchases as of late because I've been trying to save, but there have been a few things I just couldn't resist. It's getting to that time of year where the Christmas ranges and exclusives start to show their faces and I for one cannot wait to see what my favourite brands have to offer this year. I've got my eye on a few pieces already, as per usual, so I'm sure it'll only be a matter of time before they pop into my basket...
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