Monday, 30 July 2012

Lola Ramona

I am a total sucker for things that are slightly ridiculous, so when I spotted these shoes I couldn't resist blogging about them!

Lola Ramona is a Danish designer who makes shoes that you "can live your life in". Each shoe has a unique name (Elsie, Angie, Lizzie etc) - so once you've found a comfortable shoe (one you can walk in!) then you can buy your chosen style in different looks. I am really rubbish at walking in heels and have a few pairs that I always rely on, so I love this idea!

Oooh! 1. Elsie Rich court shoes | 2. Angie Sea | 3. Elsie Sea red | 4. Elsie Sea black*

I'm clearly an Elsie girl!

Lola Ramona shoes are pretty pricey, starting at £73, but they are made of good quality material... no cheapy synthetic stuff in sight. Over the last few months I've tried to avoid buying cheap shoes that fall apart after just a couple of wears so this appeals to me. But can I justify spending that on statement shoes that would only be worn on special occasions?

Tricky. Still at least I know that number 3 would be PERFECT for a circus themed party!
Friday, 27 July 2012

Sponsor ever so juliet for FREE


Hiya! So, I've been blogging happily for just over a year now, and it's incredible how quickly it's become such an important part of my life. I may just be a small fish in a massive pond of bloggers (who are all much more glamorous than I am), but I'm really happy with the little space I've carved out for myself. There's cake and cats and normal life things. It's nice.

So, in an attempt to grow ever so juliet I'm going to start taking sponsors for the site (I've got to pay for nail polish somehow!). & while I get everything set up and going I would like to offer like-minded blogs (aka nice people) FREE advertising for a month. All I'd like in return is a link or a button on your site, to help me reach a few more people.

Here are my blog stats!
As of July 2012, ever so juliet is averaging 12,800 impressions per month (and growing pretty steadily!). This is made up by 2,900 unique users a month – 598 subscribers via GFC, email subscriptions, bloglovin and hello cotton. I also reach 357 people through twitter and facebook, and regularly promote this site. Phew!

Sponsor info
The adverts will be 180 x 250 pixels, and will sit in the (newly created) righthand sidebar of the blog. They can click through to anything you want (e.g. your blog, etsy shop, pictures of pandas), and will run for 30 days.

I'm interested, what do I do?
Ace! Thanks for being part of the ever so juliet community! If you'd like to take out a free sponsor advert then all you have to do is:
  • visit my brand new sponsor page and click to buy a medium ad.
  • add your details and upload an ad that measures 180 pixels wide x 250 pixels high.
  • pop in the promo code EVERSOFREE!
  • let me know if you've linked to me, or if you'd like to run a button on your site (and I'll send it straight over).

p.s. my amazing new design is by elevatormusik - more on this soon!
  
Thank you to everyone for your interest! Sponsor positions are now FULL (although you are of course welcome to purchase a small or large ad if you'd like!). I'll do more sponsor offers in the future, so please keep an eye out for these. x
Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Ombre leopard print nails

Rimmel - Professional Finish in Peppermint | Models Own - Lilac Dream

I've been meaning to do this nail art for AGES - there was a wee flurry of bloggers doing it a while ago and I have been meaning to jump on the bandwagon.

It's super simple. You just paint the base colour (I used my favourite turquoisey shade) then take a piece of sponge and lightly dab on the second colour (I used purple). The gradient on mine looks a bit rubbish if you look too closely, but I think it does the job well enough!

Dainty Dresses has a good tip on using clear polish to make a softer gradient, so I think I will try that next time!
Monday, 23 July 2012

Silhouette 'Hold the Look' competition


I really love trying out new hair do's, so I was quite excited to be picked as an entrant in Immediate PR's Silhouette competition. The challenge was to re-create a celebrity silhouette using the new Silhouette Color Brilliance collection. Each entrant was sent out a Mousse, Hairspray and Extreme Gloss Spray.


It didn't take long for me to pick Emma Stone as my celebrity to copy. I absolutely LOVE her, she's so funny and likeable and sweet! She also has amazing hair and I am massively jealous of how well she pulls off different colours of hair - would you have guessed she's not a natural redhead?


Looking through photos of her red carpet do's, I noticed that she quite often wears a loose curly chignon. It's a really pretty style - there's lots of movement which keeps it fun and fresh, but it's smart enough to wear to all those swanky premieres that she goes to. 


I started off by using the Mousse after I'd towel-dried my hair to give it a bit of (controlled!) volume and movement. After drying my hair I then sprayed it with the Extreme Gloss Spray for movie star shininess. I've been using these products for a couple of days to get a feel for them before tackling this challenge and I am SO impressed with the gloss spray - it makes my hair feel like I've just been at the hairdressers. Wonderful.


I brushed my hair to the side and twisted it into a simple chignon. Emma wears hers quite curly and messy (which is right up my street), but I tried to be a little more neat than I normally would be!


I then used my curling wand to add a wee bit more definition to the bits of hair I had pulled down at the front, and sprayed with the Hairspray to keep it all neat and in place.

I'm pretty pleased with it!
Sunday, 22 July 2012

Couch to 5k - week five

I am out of love with running. It has been a difficult week.

On Monday I was feeling good. Prepared. Definitely keen. The  pep talk I had with myself was working & I was determined not to skive. I thought this might be the week that I started to really like running (cause that has to happen sometime, yeah?).

I survived the run uphill! 
Ohhh boy. 

It's hard to explain, but I just felt so sore this week. Not the aches and pains that I had at the start of C25k, but an ongoing, weak, exhausted feeling from start to finish. Normally I find my pace picks up after the first run/walk interval, as I'm properly warmed up and I have a nice stretch of running before I start to feel tired. Not this week. I felt like I was counting down the seconds for the app to prompt me to walk again, and at the final stretch I had to repeat to myself "just keep running... just keep running". It's so depressing!

I know this must all be because I'm a bad skiver - the programme is set up so you are running three times a week, not once a week - so I hopefully just have to battle through it before things pick up again. But ugh, a couple of bad days do nothing to help a beginner runner battling with motivation issues! 

I'm off to the Olympics next weekend so FINGERS CROSSED that I come home all enthused and sporty.

Summary of week five:
+ I am glad I did it.
+ I ran five minutes, eight minutes, five minutes, which is the most I've ever done.

- all of the above.
- weighed myself after four weeks. Have lost nada. 
- worst week yet. 
Wednesday, 18 July 2012

How to: do the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

It's almost here. In just over two weeks the Edinburgh Festival Fringe will launch and summer will properly begin. I am a huge fringe fan. I've lived in or very, very close to Edinburgh my whole life & grew up going to shows. Now I am lucky enough to work for an events magazine, which means that life in August pretty much revolves around the festivals.

So I thought it would be fun to make up a list of twenty dos and don'ts - which will hopefully be helpful!

Pleasance: home of hotdogs (and comedy)

DO make the most of previews. In the first week loads of shows (including pretty big names) will offer 2 for 1 tickets. This is brilliant as August is a VERY expensive month - save money where you can!  

DON'T expect to sleep (much). Late nights and fuzzy heads are all part of the true fringe experience.

DO try the other festivals. Also on in August is the Art Festival, Book Festival, International Festival, Festival of Politics, the Tattoo and many more. I absolutely adore the Book Festival and try to go to as many events as possible each year - it's a lovely peaceful moment in a manic month.

DON'T bother with an umbrella. It will rain. It will be ridiculously windy. Your umbrella will soon be destroyed. Just head to your nearest venue or pub and hope it passes quickly.

DO wander down the Royal Mile and watch the street performers. Always have some cash with you though - they take donations at the end and it's bad form to enjoy a show and not give them something!


Explore the city: The National Gallery of Modern Art by Ed O'Keeffe Photography

DON'T forget to eat vegetables. There are LOADS of lovely places to eat in Edinburgh, so don't get lured in by the burger vans (too many days in a row, at least). Ace places to pick up a quick meal include the veggie Baked Potato Shop, the Edinburgh Larder (lovely soup!), Spoon, Kampong Ah Lee (the roti cenai is AMAZING), the Mosque Kitchen (wonderful curry) & Oink. If you are going to eat food from vans go for the infamous Pleasance hotdogs or posh burgers from the Gilded Garden. 

DO read reviews. The List's festival site is really good and every show listing includes star ratings from other publications (so you can see reviews from the Scotsman, Fest, and the like all at once!).

DON'T make your decisions based solely on them. Reviews are subjective - one man's treasure is another man's trash (etc etc). Also there's no set rule on star rating - some press will be quite strict and mark down, others will mark up. Take them all with a pinch of salt! 

DO explore the non-festival parts of the city. The areas around the main venues (George Street, Royal Mile, Bristo Square & Pleasance) will be mobbed all day every day, so give yourself a breather and escape to a quieter part of town.

DON'T forget to pace yourself! Opening hours are extended in August and you'll easily find a place that's open til 5am. 

Pals: helping you stay awake until 5am (this was taken at sunrise!)

DO buy a roller derby ticket! Auld Reekie Roller Girls are running two bouts this year - the first on August 4th vs Tiger Bay Brawlers, and the second on August 18th vs Dublin Roller Girls. Roller derby is the best sport you'll see at the fringe (guaranteed!) and you get to watch fast-skating, hard-hitting roller girls in action. How could you say no?

DON'T get confused between Assembly Rooms and Assembly Festival. The former is an Edinburgh venue that is programmed by the same company that run The Stand comedy club all year round. The latter is a promoter that used to be based there (hence the name), but moved across town when the council closed the Assembly Rooms for renovating two years ago. Make sense? Both have a lovely mix of comedy, theatre, music & cabaret and are equally worth visiting.

DO keep your eyes out for famous people - they are everywhere. Last year I saw Paul Daniels buy malteasers. I know, I know. Amazing.

DON'T ignore the smaller shows. You should try and see at least one show you've never heard of. If it's brilliant that's great! If it's rubbish then it will make a great anecdote. If it's mediocre... well, the ticket was probably cheap.

DO attend Late n Live at least once. It's a festival institution and is absolutely worth how shattered you will feel the following day! It runs in Gilded Balloon from 1am - 5am, the line up changes daily and people will heckle. It's brilliant.

Assembly: bringing (much needed!) sunshine to Edinburgh

DON'T forget about the free shows! You can see every free show here - it's a great way of trying something new without spending loads of money on tickets.

DO download the official Fringe app. It's free & you can buy tickets on your phone (which is super handy!).

DON'T annoy the locals! This involves: STOPPING SUDDENLY in the middle of a busy street; weaving side to side across the pavement as you walk; enthusiastically flyering/hassling people on route to work.

DO cross your fingers, make ritual sacrifices and pray that the weather will improve. It has consistently been raining for what feels like a hundred years. Every day is grey and wet. With a little luck the sun will come out in August.

DON'T ignore the festival if you live here. It is the biggest arts festival IN THE WORLD and it is here on our doorstep! How amazing is that?
Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Rileycat update


Look at his ridiculous wee face!

Since I last blogged about Riley there have been some pretty big changes in his life! He took the move completely in his stride, and only took a week or so in the new house before he was strutting around like he owned the place (and misbehaving accordingly).

But the biggest thing to happen to R-Cattz is this...


He can go outside! The cat imprisonment is over!

We wanted to let him out as soon as possible, but I also wanted to be VERY CAREFUL and not throw him into the deep end too quickly. It was recommended that we kept him inside for several months - this meant that he could properly settle after the move, he'd get used to the sounds and smells of the neighbourhood & he'd recognise our house as home. It also meant we had time to fix up our garden a bit & replace the fence with a sturdy 6ft number.

So after three months of longingly gazing at us in the garden Riley was allowed out! Cue LOTS AND LOTS of sniffing.


He has been absolutely LOVING it! He's still quite cautious about things, and I can't see him leaving the garden any time soon (he's not very good at jumping because of his bad eye), but he seems pretty happy. It's a shame that the weather has been so rubbish since his garden adventures began - the first time he encountered rain was HILARIOUS (and his dedication to continue to play in the garden was commendable!).

What a good cat! I'm going to try and set up some scratching posts and cat-friendly things in the garden too. Fun!
Friday, 13 July 2012

Couch to 5k - week four (finally!)

It's been a while. I know.

Runspiration from weheartit

Week four of couch to 5k has embarrassingly taken three weeks instead of three days to complete. It is all my fault too. Life has been pretty busy, so I had missed a couple of my usual running days because I had to stay late at work (real excuse), or go to the film festival (real excuse), or laze about and read my book (fake excuse, bad bad bad).

My biggest problem was that as soon as I'd skipped a couple of days (regardless of how valid the reason was) I just lost ALL motivation to pick it up again. But when I did manage to force myself to put my trainers on I felt great! I am repeating this so it sinks into my very stubborn brain.

JULIET, YOU FEEL GOOD WHEN YOU RUN. YOU FEEL GOOD POST-RUN. STOP MAKING EXCUSES! (phew).

Asides from timing problems, each run was pretty good! I think my fitness has dipped from skiving a bit (that might all be in my head though), but I managed to run for five minutes straight (and feel like I could have kept going when the walking interval kicked in).

Summary of week four:
+ I'm definitely getting better at running, which is really encouraging.
+ my new route goes along a path that is FULL OF BUNNIES.
+ I don't feel achey any more, which is wonderful.

- massive regret for making excuses and being lazy!
Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Paper wishlist

Bit by bit our new home is coming together. Most of the DIY has been done - there are no more shelves (or hanging baskets!) to be put up & nearly all of the lights have lampshades. Phew.

So it's almost time to start thinking about what to do with our very blank, very magnolia new build walls. As the house is still drying out (!) we've been advised not to paint or wallpaper for at least a year. So I have been pinning things like mad on my Paper pinterest board, trying to get a feel for what would work on my new walls.


Absolute favourites are:

1. La Terre by Double Merrick

2. To Hell with Luck! by Matt Taylor

3. This is Where the Magic Happens by James Brown

4. The Lions Laugh by Lizzy Stewart

5. Joey the Boy Who Fought the Sky and Lost by the Mincing Mockingbird

6. Antler Girl by Kelli Murray

7. Good People Drink Good Beer by a Two Pipe Problem

8. Cuckoo Clock  by Kate Sutton

9.  Do Not Be Scared - Coyote from The Shop of Navarone
Friday, 6 July 2012

Writing


I have the best intentions when it comes to writing, but find it hard to act on them sometimes. It's just too easy to make excuses. Life is too busy (it is!),  you are too tired (I am!), or you'd rather just read ohnotheydidn't (sometimes I would!). I think that's why I love things like NaNoWriMo - having a deadline and target to work to just makes things much easier.

Yesterday I saw someone retweet a link to the Write Now competition and it caught my eye. It's a brand new writing prize judged by indie booksellers to win a publishing contract with Macmillan. Ooh. That's Macmillan Children's Books. Oh.

Now I've never written for children before. But I love writing. And I like children. And now I have a goal to work to! So I'm going to give it a bash. I have zero expectations, but anything that inspires me is a good thing in my book.

Budding authors take note - you've got til December 1st!
Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Lighthouse birthday cake


It's been a while since I posted something that I baked, so I thought it was a good opportunity to show off one of my all time favourite cakes - a lighthouse cake! I made this a while ago for the accounts manager at my work - her husband used to work on lighthouses so she wanted a nautical themed cake for his birthday with matching gluten-free cupcakes.



I used fondant to make all the little details (including the life boat rings, aw), and just sloshed on blue buttercream on top to make the waves. I used an edible pen to write on happy birthday but I wished that I had cut these letters out of fondant, or iced them on instead! Argh. Next time I'll know!


The matching cupcakes were all gluten-free. I just followed my favourite cupcake recipe and replaced the flour with gluten-free stuff. I made the shells by pressing fondant into a mould, and brushed them with some lustre powder (so they were nice and sparkly, but you can't really see that here!).

They all went down a treat! I love themed cakes, they are so fun to do.

p.s. I feel a little bit like I'm cheating by showing you all a cake from days gone by, but I've never posted it on here before, so it's hopefully okay!
Monday, 2 July 2012

June instagram

It was a bit of a dreich month, but I still had a lovely time!

Instagram name: eversojuliet

1. It's been quite a swanky month! It was lovely getting to pretend to be a movie star and go to premieres. I took my mum to the Brave premiere (which is the PERFECT film to go to with your mum, by the way!), and as we were about to walk in she said "what? We're not allowed to walk on the red carpet!". So much fun saying "yes we are, just smile at everyone!".

2. The Edinburgh Book Festival launched and the programme is looking lovely! This year I've got tickets to Neil Gaiman, China Mieville, Neal Stephenson and Jeanette Winterson.

3. Myself, Niki and Jude all scrubbed up in black tie!

4. Lovely tiny canapes at the Hotel du Vin new menu launch. The puddings were incredible - tiny, tiny meringues and amazing chocolate brownies. Yum.

5. Rain. It is always raining. The weather looks almost identical for this week too. Wah! WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO SUMMER?

6. My pal Jude (aka the Great Judini!) is now booking jobs as a proper magician, which is very exciting. This means he's having to practice tricks constantly, so rarely a day goes by without being asked to pick a card.

7. We went up to Edinburgh Castle for the Olympic torch relay concert. It was quite good fun (who knew a flame could be so exciting?), and I'm starting to feel excited for the Olympics! Craig & I have tickets to the Dressage. I will love it... Craig is very patient. Feeling a bit nervous about how busy London will be though - I have a lot of sympathy for everyone who lives there!

8. I tried to get big big BIG hair as I was going ceilidh dancing. I think I succeeded!

9. A really indulgent lunch at the Mosque Kitchen which is the BEST lunchtime curry in Edinburgh. It's only about a fiver for a massive portion too.. mmmm.

10. Craig & I after watching Brave. Doesn't he look handsome? I wish I had more excuses to get really dressed up! I absolutely LOVED the film. I am a total sucker for Pixar movies, and came out feeling so inspired to go on a trip up north!

11. We went to see Grabbers which was excellent - a comedy sci fi set in Ireland that was just the right amount of fun and fear. I'd definitely recommend this when it comes out!

12.  Rae & I, glammed up and trying to pose without getting our heels stuck in the grating (which was a bit hard!).

Fun fun fun fun fun. Bring it on July!