Monday, 16 November 2015


A few weeks ago, my lovely friend Lucy had a gin-themed birthday party. Joshua & I turned the flat into a gin lounge with personalised cocktail menus, a very well-stocked bar, and candles everywhere, and I made a very boozy, very lovely gin and tonic birthday cake.

I've wanted to make a gin and tonic cake for AGES, after spotting this cupcake recipe on Katie Cakes, so I tweaked the recipe a little (and added considerably more gin!). It turned into a light, fluffy and zesty cake that was perfect for the party.

You will need...

  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons of tonic water
  • 2 tablespoons of gin (I used a 50ml miniature of Edinburgh Gin)

Start by preheating your oven to 170 degrees C, and line your cake tins - I used two 9 inch tins with parchment paper, greased with butter (there is nothing more annoying than trying to get a cake out of a pan, so I always over-grease!).

Beat the sugar and butter in a bowl until it's light and creamy. Then add the eggs, mixing them in one at a time. Add in the flour and baking powder, stir it into the mixture, and then mix in the tonic water and vanilla essence. Add the mixture to your cake tins, put them in the oven and then LEAVE THE OVEN ALONE for at least 30 minutes. My cakes took about 45 minutes to bake, but I was using a slightly old oven, so yours might be quicker - just remember that if you open the oven door too early, you'll risk flattening your poor rising cake. It's better to leave it for slightly too long, than have it collapse on you!

Once the cake is golden, and a skewer comes out clean, remove from the tins and place on a cooling rack. While tit's still hot, pierce all over the sponge with a skewer, and brush gin all over the cake.

Icing & filling:
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 250g butter 
  • 100g lemon curd
  • The rest of your little bottle of gin
  • Zest of 1 lime

For the icing, mix icing sugar and butter until it's smooth and fluffy. Add in four tablespoons of gin and a squeeze of lime and whisk again. For the filling, mix lemon curd with the whatever gin you have left.

Then put your two sponges together with a layer of icing and lemon curd between them, add icing on top, and decorate with lime zest, lemon peel, and a few copper sprinkles. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 11 November 2015


Well, it has been a whirlwind of emotions since I got my keys to my brand new flat! I thought I was being the most organised person ever by booking an entire week off week, so I could paint, prep, DIY my heart out, and turn my new empty shell into the dreamiest of flats.

Did the plan work? Er, kinda?

Here's ten things that happened during the world's most exhausting week.

1. I collected my keys from my solicitor at 4.55pm on Friday (nothing like cutting it fine!), and then INSTANTLY was hit with a weird anxious dread that something was going to be wrong (you can see my pathetic tweets about it here). I told myself I was just being stupid, until I arrived at the flat, discovered I ACTUALLY hadn't been given the correct keys, and the solicitor was closed until Monday morning. I cried in the stairwell (because buying a house is a Stressful Thing to do), and then had to get an emergency locksmith to break down the door and let me in. Good times!

2. I then had a weekend of SO MUCH PAINTING ahead. I had totally underestimated the number of rooms that needed redone (I think that's always the case), but luckily I had a gang of amazing helpers who made the whole thing much easier. We painted the massive living/dining room, both bedrooms, and had the arduous task of painting candy stripes on a bright pink wall - such a FAFF to do, but I'm delighted with them!

3. It was during this time that I discovered that the flat has the most amazing views over the city, and on clear days you can see the most incredible sunsets! I've never lived in a top floor flat before, and I feel giddy about the views - I can see beautiful old rooftops, church spires, an old volcano, and Edinburgh Castle itself!

4. The downside of living in a top floor flat? Stairs. Lots and lots of stairs. And spending your life apologising to delivery men who have to lug massive boxes (and sofas and fridges) up those stairs.

5. I've had to kit out the entire flat from scratch, so the bulk of my furniture came from Ikea (aka the most terrifyingly massive online shop I've ever done!). I was so proud of getting so many things for bargainous prices that I didn't think about the fact I had to unpack and build it all... and it took FOREVER. I still have two bits left to build, but I don't think I can face picking up an allen key again!

6. After a fairly painful few days I had finally built most of my furniture, had lugged the last of my boxes upstairs, and was looking forward to a day of pottering about my new flat, slowly unpacking things. What did I do instead? Only accidentally poke myself in the eye with my lovely new houseplant, which was so bad my eye was swollen for TWO DAYS and I couldn't do anything but lie in the dark and feel very sorry for myself. What an idiot.

7. But I made it through my eye trauma (without any lasting damage, phew!), and I unpacked my books! Since moving from my old house with a library, I've had no space for bookshelves, and my poor books have just been stacked on top of each other, making them impossible to access so they've all got a bit dusty! Now they are pride of place in my living room, and looking lovely.

8. As I'm a boring grown up now, I decided to 'treat myself' to replacing the boring square tiles in the kitchen with lovely subway tiles lined with grey grout. My poor tiler rolled his eyes when I asked for subway tiles (I think they are literally all he does), but I'm excited for my pinterest kitchen dreams to come true.

9. One of the reasons I was so excited to move is that I've been living in a flat without a bath, and I miss them so! As a reward for getting all of my flat missions done (and handing back my old keys, bye flat!), I went to Lush to buy about a million bathbombs. I tried the Intergalactic bathbomb, and it turned my bath into a beautiful galaxy sea, it's so lovely!

10. But my smugness of getting almost everything done in one week has come crashing down. I just happened to ask my kitchen tiler to fit a shower screen in the bathroom... he noticed some tiles were loose, which led to finding a leak in the shower, which led to a leaky bath, a floor destroyed by damp, and the realisation that I need to rip out the ENTIRE bathroom and replace it with new floors, walls, tiles, units, EVERYTHING. Everything's in such a bad state I can't even use it (there's a hole in the floor!) so I'm getting kicked out of my flat while the work is being done. And I don't know if I can claim the cost back? Oh god oh god oh god.

So it's been quite the week! But I'm coming to terms with it, the flat IS lovely (if you ignore the rotten bathroom floor!), and surely that's my bad luck over? (touch wood!). Send good vibes my way please!

Monday, 9 November 2015


Geezo, October was stressful! I was so frazzled I spent the month battling bad skin (I've always been lucky with avoiding spots, so I don't know how to handle it when they do hit!), and prepping to move into my new flat... which I'm now in! The flat move hasn't been without MAJOR drama though (that will teach me to coo excitedly about it for weeks on end), but I'll update you on that later this week, when I have the mental strength to deal with it all...

Anyway, here's what October looked like for me.

Instagram username: @eversojuliet
1. The weather continued (miraculously!) to be absolutely beautiful in October, with sunny days, blue skies and crisp Autumn leaves. It almost made up for how absolutely dreich the start of the summer had been. 

2. I got my hair cut and decided to do something a little different with the colour. I'm thinking of changing it up quite a bit next year (think dark, choppy, and short-ish!), so this time round I stayed bright and colourful. My hairdresser added pink tips to the end which I LOVED, but they faded super quickly and I'm not sure I'm brave enough to top up the colour at home!

3. I considered giving up sugar for a couple of months before Christmas (I did it earlier this year and it made me feel ace), but as this month was SO full-on, I realised I needed all I could to get me through! These massive doughnuts appeared at the Stockbridge Market one Sunday and I could not resist. 

4. Earlier this year Joshua found a Star Trek game in a charity shop, and as we're both suckers for dress up (and Star Trek), we held a mega themed games day! My costume was so easy to put together - black jeans, a black long sleeve top, a red boob tube, and an iron on patch. 

5. Josh also designed an amazing, massive and personalised command module for our gang to use (because he's an ace, mega thoughtful designer!), and we drank Star Trek themed cocktails all afternoon - this was a Beam Me Up Scotchie, and it was lethal!

6. Soba is continuing to be the world's grumpiest hedgehog, but I think he likes his life? Every month I worry that I'm feeding him too much and he's getting fat, and then I realise I have no idea what a fat hedgehog looks like...

7. But he still fits through all of his hedgehog tunnels and in his tiny house! 

8. I spent loads of time this month playing with Halloween makeup for my weekly tutorials. This was my favourite look - a super gory staple face, that looks quite realistic if you squint a bit! Despite all my pre-Halloween planning, my costume on the actual date was pretty rubbish - I had been painting my new flat all day so I was exhausted and couldn't face doing anything other than the most basic zombie make up. 

9. I was out in South Queensferry for work on the most freezing day (it gets pretty windy across the Forth!), but it's always cool to see the bridges - they are building a new one and it's just sort of magically rising from the water! 

10. I also dotted about the country again this month - going to Glasgow to visit the Turner Prize (more on that here), and down to London again for work. This was just a flying visit, but I got to stay in a super nice part of town, which helped make up for the train journey I had just had, where people totally disrespected the Quiet Coach (grrrr!). 

11. I have wanted a proper coffee machine for years, and moving house seemed like a good occasion to treat myself (I don't know why, seeing as I now have no money). Still, it's amazing and I'm so so glad I got it and can have lovely frothy coffee every day. 

12. Aaaaand finally, after weeks and weeks of waiting I finally got my house keys! It was traumatic from the moment I attempted to open the door, but I finally got in, and despite some (major) hiccups, it's getting there! I've been sharing loads of photos on instagram, and I will share some dreamy/drama stories from the new flat on Wednesday. Phew!

Sunday, 1 November 2015


I'm cheating and writing this a bit ahead of time, because when this goes up I'll be in my new flat! Yay! If everything's gone to plan, I'll have internet set up, all of the painting will be done, and I'll have started shuffling things over. Here's hoping it's a smooth move!

I've had a fairly exhausting week, sorting through all my stuff (how do I have so much?) and packing. I HATE PACKING. It's so boring and everything's so heavy, and as I write this my stuff is half-packed and I can't find anything. Aaaargh!

Anyway, here's my round-up of interesting links from the internet this week. I've scheduled a few posts so I'll be blogging as normal next week (come say hi on Monday, Wednesday and Friday!), but I'm going to be skipping next Sunday's link roundup to have an internet-free weekend... so this feature will be back in two weeks time. Got all that? Phew!

Succulent squash - The Jungalow
How beautiful is this original Star Wars concept art? The countdown is on to the new film, and I am EXCITED.

The Guardian goes backstage at MTV's Europe music awards, and it is hilarious.

I have been quite surprised (and ANNOYED) by how many people, after hearing I was moving into a new flat, asked if my boyfriend was moving in with me... and then looked quite weird/confused when I said he wasn't. Turns out it's not just me who gets asked this, or is driven a bit mad by it... in defence of not living with your boyfriend.

There's been a bit of chat in the press this week about JK Rowling's support of the Guardian's 'Culture for Coexistence' letter. One fan got so upset she wrote a massive open letter and (surprisingly?) JK Rowling responded

Bit of a controversial question, but should cyclists be allowed to run red lights?

I know Halloween has been and gone, but I couldn't resist linking to these properly scary Halloween costumes.

I get quite wound up by people whinging about people looking at their phone, but this is quite a sweet idea - a vending machine that prints short stories for you to read, instead of looking at your phone.

And finally, does "the absence of anything annoying or emotionally overwhelming; taking pleasure from the presence of gentle, soothing things" sound good to you? Then you absolutely need to embrace the Danish art of hygge.

Saturday, 31 October 2015


Happy Halloween everyone! It's been such a fun month playing about with Halloween make up tutorials again this year - I've been sparkly and glittery in galaxy-inspired make up, looked a bit startled in Queen of Hearts make up, grunged up as Furiosa from Mad Max, and embraced my gory side with bloody stapled face make up. It's been a bit rough round the edges at times, but it's been fun to do, and that's sort of the whole point of these tutorials - if I can do them, you can too!

River Island got in touch to challenge me to put together a #RITrick or a #RITreat make up look, so I couldn't resist doing one more post. I was sent a selection of accessories and make up to inspire me, including this adorable comb-in hair chalk - which I knew I wanted to use! It reminded me of the type of thing I would have loved as a teenager, so that's what inspired this look - it's grungey, but still a bit pretty, and requires nothing other than a steady hand putting on eyeliner (the mantra of my teenage years!).

So, if you want to look a little spooky, and don't mind channelling 16 year old Juliet, here's what you need to use:
  • Black liquid eyeliner
  • Black kohl pencil eyeliner
  • Eyeshadows in a variety of pastel colours (I used yellow, pinks and purples)
  • Black eyeshadow (I used a NARS Shadow Stick)
  • Mascara
  • False eyelashes (I used Eylure volume lashes)
  • Purple lipstick (I used Barry M)
  • Fake spiders
  • Hair chalk

Start by building up the colours of your pastel smokey eye. I used a glittery light yellow in the corner of my eye, then layered a pinky-peach colour on top of that.

I then took a fluffy little brush and a slightly darker pink, and swept this quite dramatically all around my eye, pulling the colour down onto the tops of my cheeks (I wanted to look a bit grungey - almost like the area was bruised) and sweeping out towards my ears.

I then added purple eyeshadow to the outer corners of my eyes, and used a brush to blend these all together. So far, so colourful!

Now to get a bit darker! Blend in black shadow along your lower lash, and use your finger to make it a bit smudgey (the NARS shadow stick is great for this). Take your kohl eyeliner and carefully go along your waterline, and then use liquid eyeliner to create a cat's eye with a dramatic flick.

Use your liquid eyeliner to draw on small spiders around your eyes (or the best spider-like blobs you can do!). This bit is completely inspired by Valfre - an illustrator who draws super sassy girls with star freckles (she also makes the best accessories, check out her phone cases!).

Then to finish up, put on purple lipstick (I used a light purple, and dabbed a darker purple eyeshadow onto it), and pin some spiders in your hair! Use the hair chalk to brush through the ends of your hair, for a pinky/purpley vibe. Dress top to toe in black, and scowl at anyone you see. Have fun!
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