Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura is Edinburgh's oldest visitor attraction, that sits on the Royal Mile, just down from the Castle. It's a five floor building of illusions & all sorts of trickery, that I've always thought looked super cool, but it seemed like too much of a touristy activity to do myself. Is that weird? I think that's weird. Anyway, it's one of the places that has long been on my list of "oh, I should probably try to do that one day", but I didn't really ever think I'd get round to it....

Until, my moment to play finally arrived with an I Spy Edinburgh invite - a Google City Experts takeover, described as the ultimate schooltrip for grown-ups.

And it was FUN!

Photo by Chris Scott
 The whole place is packed with all sorts of puzzley, bewildering fun. There's a mirror maze! A vortex tunnel! (which is AMAZING, but surprisingly difficult to walk through). An Ames Room, which magically shrinks you (I can't quite get my head around how this works), all sorts of optical illusions and fancy lights and weirdo mirrors, and just millions of things to play with.

If you are a big kid who likes talking millions of photos, you will LOVE it.

We played until we were dizzy (and needed to lie down). I don't know if I could handle it with millions of tiny kids around, but this is the nice thing about Lates-style events getting so popular - adults get to play too!

If you want to come along to events like this, it's really easy - just sign up to Google City Experts. Basically, if you upload reviews & photos of places in your city, then you can join the program and get all sorts of special stuff (including event invites).

There's just been another City Experts event in Edinburgh, held in partnership with the Science Festival (good choice, guys!) which was a massive space party, and it was BRILLIANT. I do like it when work and fun combine! I'll blog about this post-festival, when I'm a little less knackered - I've only got six days to go... 
Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Ever So Juliet is three!

Oh goodness me, where does the time go? This week marked a whole three years since I first blogged, which seems all sorts of crazy.

I know I say this pretty much every time I write about blogging, but it honestly amazes me how many people read this. There's loads of you. Thousands (actually tens of thousands). Each bloody month! That is insane, you guys. And I've been rubbish at posting regularly, but you keep coming back, and that's really nice (but bonkers, obviously).

This has been a rollercoaster year for me. Lots of intense things have happened, and while I've tried to keep a cheery face on the surface, I opened up a bit and wrote a very honest blog post. I knew people would read it, but I absolutely hadn't expected the flurry of comments and emails and tweets and facebook messages I got after that. People I had never spoken to before sent me encouraging messages, or just told me about their own stories & how they got through it, and that was so ridiculously touching.

So yeah, I guess this is the year that I properly realised how brilliant blogging is, and how it really connects you to people from all sorts of places, with all sorts of things going on in their lives. It's like having a really cool gang.

Thank you to you if you've read from the very beginning (hi mum), or just started reading today. Thanks if you've sent me a message or tweet, or said hi if you've spotted me in person (that happens! & is often so unexpected that I forget how to speak like a real person!). Thanks for reading my rambles through the good times and the bad. I hope I've taught you something useful (or pointless), and I hope you continue to keep reading!

Bring on year four (where I promise to get back into the swing of things...)!

p.s. if you are thinking 'ooh, I'd quite like to write a blog' then you should DO IT! Here are some blogging tips... you won't regret it.
Monday, 31 March 2014

March instagram

Er, how is it almost April already? Here's what March looked like for me...

Instagram username: @eversojuliet
1. After a year or so of badger-stripe hair, I got a wee bit bored and decided to mix it up. It took me a while to work out that I really wanted to embrace my ginger locks, and make them even brighter.

2. So I got fox hair! And I love it! I've started going to Boosh, and I'd really recommend them if you are in Edinburgh & looking for a new place to cut your locks.

3. I'm obsessed with my windowsill garden, but it's doing so well! I bought myself a water spray as I was going a bit mad over-watering everything (just because I love it so!) and I've bought even more succulents since taking this photo. I do miss having a proper-sized garden, but this is proving to be surprisingly satisfying & fulfills my greenfingered needs!

4. I'm loving rainbow coloured nails at the moment (probably because I'm hugely indecisive about what nail polish to use!) so it was a fun day when I got to try out the new Urban Decay makeup palette, and realised I matched the set.

5. Weekends now seem to revolve mainly around food, which is perfectly alright by me. This was a particularly good brunch. Mmm, brunch.

6. Spring has sprung, and the weather remains as dreich as ever! It's a good thing Scotland is pretty enough to make up for all the rain...

7. An accidental lunchtime purchase, but it was only £4 and look at it! I'm not convinced I actually suit denim jackets, but this one has the most amazing knitted pattern lining, so I just couldn't say no. What do you wear a demin jacket with though? Just a dress?

8. Rileycat came to visit again (hooray!) and was just as fluffy and cute as ever. He's living with Craig but I'm his official holiday home/occasional catnapper, and now that he knows my flat, he settles in really quickly.

9. I'm still obsessed with the anatomical love hearts that were made for the Science Festival's press launch. We had a party for some Scottish bloggers recently, where we showed off the food, drink and fashion parts of the programme, sampled some sci fest beer, and posed with hearts.

10. It's basically always a good month if there's a party with a photobooth involved. Here's Joshua & I at a Google City Expert event in Camera Obscura... which was SO cool. I'm also particularly proud of teaching Joshi how to pose properly in a photobooth. You've got to have a theme!

11. These were the most beautiful macarons on sale in my local cafe. Expensive, given how easy they are to make, but super tasty and so very pretty.

12. Posin' again in Camera Obscura. So much fun!

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Everyday makeup

I've been meaning to write a post like this for ages - here's a wee look into what make up I use pretty much every day. I used to be a total liquid eyeliner addict, but changed things up at the start of the year, which means my everyday look is now much more simple & fresh-faced than it used to be!

This is my 'serious make up' face. (It was the best of a bad bunch!).
Benefit Brow Zings in Medium. I usually get my brows done at their Brow Bar, but I like quite a dark, defined brow so I just this to add a bit of extra definition. I put off buying this for ages as it's quite expensive (£23.50 for a wee palette), but it seems to be lasting FOREVER.

Topshop Blush in Flush. This is a really lovely creamy blush. It looks quite bright, but blends in very easily.

Max Factor Pan Stik in Fair. This is a really handy foundation stick. I try not to use too much foundation as I find my skin gets dry quite easily, so this is good for using a wee bit in the morning, throwing in my bag & touching up during the day if needed. I also tend to use this instead of a concealer - it builds up so easily, and is pretty perfect for hiding any blemishes!

Benefit Porefessional. It's a bit pricey, but I think it's so worth it. Makes your skin feel all soft, minimises pores and gives you a super smooth base.

Benefit Creaseless Cream eyeshadow in RSVP. I love this colour, it's a really soft pink that is wearable for pretty much any occasion. This cream eyeshadow is really good too, it lasts a full day without creasing or looking knackered (although you'd want to top it up if you were going out after work).

Benefit Hello Flawless foundation in Ivory. I didn't quite realise how much of a Benefit fangirl I am before putting this list together, but I'm a sucker for nice packaging! I usually use the pan stik first, and then if I think I need a wee bit more coverage I'll add a bit of this foundation. I'm a big fan of it, it's super light, but still provides a nice colour, and is forgiving to lazy makeup application (brushes? what now?).

Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil in Dark Brown. If I'm in need of some eyebrow shaping but haven't got time to go and get them properly done, I use this pencil to try and look less like a scruff. The colour range is pretty limited, but this one works quite well for me.

Vaseline Lip Therapy in Rosy Lips. This is lovely, and I try to always keep a wee tin in my bag too. It smells lovely and the colour is super pretty.

Maybelline Great Lash in Blackest Black. The best mascara!

I feel like I've listed loads of things, but I still think I have quite a simple routine. It takes me about 10-15 minutes if I'm making an effort, or 5 if I've suddenly realised that I'm running late!

Monday, 24 March 2014

How to: make chicken noodle soup

Spring has officially sprung (although it hasn't really shown itself yet), but the nights are still dark enough to enjoy some comfort food.

This is such an easy recipe that, at first, I actually felt a bit guilty about blogging it. Then I remembered how rubbish I used to be at cooking (and the shamefully basic recipes I would google), so I no longer feel bad. Ha! This is for you, rubbish cooks. You can do this. Learn how to make tasty chicken soup from scratch, and enjoy wholesome food that is super cheap, super easy, and uses up all of your leftovers!

To make this you'll need:
  • leftover chicken carcass
  • vegetables (I used leeks, carrots, swede, onion, celery, spring onions & parsnip)
  • garlic
  • chilli
  • udon noodles
  • nice herbs (rosemary, thyme, parsley)

This is a perfect just-had-roast-dinner-and-have loads-of-leftovers soup. To make the stock, take your half-eaten chicken and pick off the meat into a bowl (and stick this in the fridge). Put the bones and skin and leftover bits that look a bit weird into a saucepan, chop up some vegetables, add enough water to cover it and simmer. Add salt and pepper and herbs, stir occasionally, but leave alone for as long as you can.

If I'm making soup on a week on a weeknight I'll have it all going by 6pm, and leave until I'm going to bed. That gives it enough time for a really rich flavour. Mmmm.

Once you're happy it's simmered for long enough, drain the stock and set aside for later. Bin the vegetable/bone leftovers... they have fulfilled their flavour mission.

Now you're ready to make your actual soup! Stick a big chunk of butter in a saucepan, add some onion, garlic, celery and carrot, and sauté for a few minutes. Then add the stock, chop up whatever vegetables you want to add (plus chilli if you want it to be a wee bit spicy), and simmer.

Once the vegetables have cooked for a bit (10 minutes maybe) add in your chicken, then add noodles. Taste your soup to see how it's getting on, and add salt, pepper and herbs to taste.

Once the noodles are cooked, it's ready! Enjoy with bread and butter, and enjoy your super wholesome tea.