Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Outfit: boy's clothes

I'm so happy jumper weather is here! I am such a natural scruff - I try to hide it most days (mainly by wearing dresses and hoping I look presentable), but I'm generally in my happiest place when I'm a wee bit slouchy. So, I'm a bit chuffed with my new cosiest clothes.

Jumper - Topman*
Scarf - Topman*
I would never think to shop in Topman normally, so was a wee bit intrigued when they got in touch & asked if I fancied trying some of the unisex products they sell. Turns out, men have amazing jumpers!

I swithered for ages about what size to order (then ordered a small, changed my mind, and had to swiftly cancel & reorder - thanks patient Topman staff!), but finally settled on a men's medium. It's slouchy but not too baggy, and the neckline is perfect.

Nail polish - Rimmel, 'Mind the Gap, Victoria'

I also ordered this tartan scarf (plus a hat and mittens, I am a sucker for winter wear). It feels a wee bit cliched to be Scottish & wear tartan everyday, but I love it. It's actually a bit thinner than I expected, but it's kept me pretty cosy over the last few icy mornings.

Jeans - Primark
Because I'm pretty unadventurous, I've only been wearing the jumper over jeans (so far!), but I reckon it would be pretty cute with a skirt. Either way, I'm going to wear it loads before I head off to sunny climes (have I mentioned I'm going on holiday soon? Only a week and a bit to go! Ahhhh!).

Monday, 2 December 2013

November instagram

November was busy, busy, busy, but so much fun. Here's what it looked like...

Instagram username: @eversojuliet
1. At the start of the month I went on a wee trip down to London for work and play. It's a weird thing to enjoy, but I really love the train down from Edinburgh - it's such a scenic route (loads of coastlines and rolling fields), and it's long enough that you can get lost in a book, but not SO long that you get bored. Beats the plane anyday!

2. I stayed at my friend's flat, and had the company of his very lovely (and extremely sooky) cat Meta, who followed me round purring & enjoyed sitting on all of my things.

3. One of my work meetings was with the very lovely Zoe, which meant I got the excuse to visit Google HQ! I sort-of forced her to take me on a tour of the office, which has the most incredible view over London. I'd quite like to move in.

4. When in London I went on a mission to find a nice, independent book shop & came across Slightly Foxed. I'll admit, I was won over by the name alone (I love foxes), and was so pleased to find that it was just as nice as it sounded - a wee treasure trove full of old and new books. They also gave me this lovely bag, which is amazing!

5. I feel like I've barely been in my house this month, but when I have been, I've tried to be a bit creative. I've been challenging myself to paint just using one colour (to force myself to stop being so reliant on heavy shadowing), and I'm really pleased with this guy.
 
6. I went for a wander around Stockbridge Market one Sunday morning, and very almost bought a squirrel pie... but couldn't quite commit. I miss seeing red squirrels about - the last time I spotted one was when I went camping in the summer, but I can't remember when I last saw one in Edinburgh!

7. Our winning streak is continuing at work, as we won the Creative Edinburgh Unite award - which was this super cool knuckleduster by Bonnie Bling. Go science!

8. It dawned on me that the day I become a "proper" adult will be the day I pick wine based on anything other than how pretty the label is. That day is not this day. This label was very pretty indeed.

9. I reckon one of the nicest things to do on a cold night is to sit in your favourite pub, with some of your very favourite people. My very, very favourite place in Edinburgh is Bo's (which is really called Blackfriars, but it'll always be Bo's to me!). It's such a lovely, cosy space and the food is amazing.
 
10. I went to a night about the science of time and music, which had a bit of a Doctor Who twist. I've never actually watched Doctor Who (apart from one episode written by Neil Gaiman), so was a bit weirded out when I was handed a plate of fishfingers and custard. Apparently that's a thing...?

11. Photobooth selfies at the Edinburgh Experiment. I love a photobooth!

12. I've got a huge stack of books awaiting me, which I'm really excited about - I cannot wait to be on a beach with nothing to do but read! This is next on my list, and it looks pretty intense...

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Happy thoughts

Hello! I've not really been paying much attention to my blog lately (sorry blog). I don't really have a reason for it either, other than utter laziness. I have been reading a lot, spending a lot of time hiding under a duvet (it's sooo cold), and playing a surprising amount of board games.

I have also been liking the following things...

1. I'm going on holiday in two weeks! 

Photo: Chris Sorensen
THIS IS SO EXCITING. After waiting what feels like an absolute age, my Sri Lanka trip is almost here and I just can't wait! We've planned out our (rough) route around the island and will get the chance to do a little bit of everything - including a visit to an elephant orphanage (amazing). 

The weather in Sri Lanka is about 25 degrees higher than that of Edinburgh, so it's going to be super weird going from duffel coats/scarves/hats/gloves/multiple layers of tights to shorts and t-shirts! I reckon I can handle it though.


2. Winter

Photo: Colin Bell Photography

As I'm going to be in tropical climes over Christmas & New Year, I am trying to pack as much WINTER FUN into my time left in town before I go.

On the cards are... a wander around Edinburgh's Christmas markets (plus a go on the Star Flyer - which looks terrifying, but brilliant), a super early fake Christmas dinner with my family, a trip to see the Lion King at the Playhouse (not really Christmassy to be fair, but I love musicals), ice-skating, a Christmas meal out with pals AND at least one occasion of wearing a Santa hat. Achievable.


3. The Edinburgh Experiment

Science!
Last week I went along to the Edinburgh Experiment - a night held at Summerhall for Edinburgh Google City Experts. The night was science-themed (my entire life is science-themed, these days) and had gramophone DJs, scientific cocktails, amazing experimental food by Jelly + Gin, and hands-on science demonstrated by my lovely pals from work.

Summerhall is such a brilliant venue - it used to be an old vet school, and it is just SO quirky and cool. This event was held in the Small Animal Hospital, a super atmospheric space which has rows of empty cages, old steel gurneys and cracked tiles. I wouldn't want to be in there alone at night, but it was a cool place to be, gin-in-hand!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

National Novel Writing Month

In general, I am pretty good at making time for the things and people that are important to me. But this has been a weird wee year (perhaps read this if you don't know what I'm talking about) and sometimes it feels a bit exhausting trying to keep up (or even start!) things I had planned.

And so I find myself, half-way through November, realising that I totally forgot to start Nanowrimo this year.

Nanowri-oh. (Sorry. I had to).


I've blogged about it LOADS before, but here's a wee recap in case this is new to you. Nanowrimo is National Novel Writing Month - a writing campaign that challenges people across the world to write 50,000 words in one month (which works out roughly to be a short first draft). It looks like a terrifying amount of words, but they break it down into day-by-day wordcounts, provide graphs and widgets to track your progress, and have forums full of other writers, all sharing stories of success or laughing at the very terrible things they've written.

It isn't about writing a perfect first draft (or even a good first draft). It's just about writing - learning that you can make time for something, even if you honestly think you fill every hour of your day. It's hard work, a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, and leaves you dreaming of your characters, but it's SO satisfying. It's one of my favourite points in the year.

And I forgot.

So what do I do? I know I could (and should!) write all year round, but it's the competitive-we're-all-in-this-together part that I really love, and I find it hard to motivate myself if I don't have a target. If I wanted to join in and catch up, I'd have to write 20,000 words just to be on track with today. I have no plot, no characters, and not much time this week - but I know it'll be worth it if I do.

Hmm. Watch this space.

Friday, 1 November 2013

October instagram

Hi November! I love this time of year - it's getting close to winter, and that means cosy winter coats, scarves & gloves. Aaaand I only have six weeks to wait until  fly off to Sri Lanka. So exciting!

October went by in a flash, and I think I embraced halloween more than a 27 year old really should. Still, I had fun!

Instagram username: @eversojuliet
1. I've been trying to work through all the books I haven't yet read in my library, and am doing quite well! Each month I write book reviews of what I've been reading (they are scrappy and not well-written, but I do try!), so you can have a look if you are seeking a new read.

2. Beautiful cabbagey flowers! We've had to keep the house stocked up with fresh flowers as it's on sale, and so I've been working my way through all the types tesco have to offer.

3. Earlier this month I baked a really gory anatomical heart cake, which was SO much fun to do.

4. I've been neglecting painting a bit lately, so it was nice to get some time to pick it up again. Even if I'm knackered after a manic day, it's always worth making time to sit down and paint, it really relaxes me!

5. I'm trying to work on my layering and shadowing with watercolours, and hands are really interesting to paint.

6. The Pleasance Sessions were on this month, and were really brilliant! I went to see Jonnie Common, Miaoux Miaoux and Cairn String Quartet one night, and Three Blind Wolves on another, and it was all SO good. It's a bit strange going to a sit-down gig, but the atmosphere was brilliant, and the theatre looked beautiful.

7. More sketching... this time trying to do something completely different, and not like my usual style. I will draw every week, I will!

8. A couple of my friends held a villains-themed birthday party, which meant I had an actual, real-life excuse to get dressed up! I went as a green-eyed, snakey-haired Medusa, and my friend Muzz went as the terrifying girl from The Ring. It was ace!

9. These are probably my favourite shoes right now, they complete all of my sparkly, leopard print needs! I wore them to a black tie event, which I reckon they are actually totally inappropriate for, but I don't care. I love them so.

10. I was up in Aberdeen for the Arts and Business Awards with work, and we were commended (aka runner up) in both of the categories we were nominated for, which is ace!

11. The Science Festival also had a pop up "Little Workshop of Horrors" at Edinburgh Uni's big Halloween party, which was so much fun! We were demonstrating how to make scabs and blood clots, and all sorts of cool experiments. Science is fun guys!

12. AND I got to dress up like a zombie, so I was in my happy place. Hooray.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Book love

Each month I chat about what books I've been reading in my monthly Book Love feature.


The Catcher in the Rye - J. D. Salinger
I don't think I would have ever gotten round to reading this book if I hadn't been given it as a you've-had-a-stressful-day-here's-a-book present (one of the best kinds of presents), as I always thought that you had to read it as a teenager, or it just wouldn't make sense. So I was a wee bit apprehensive about starting it, and then was very pleasantly surprised at how quickly it hooked me in.

I can totally understand why some people hate it. Holden Caulfield is frustrating and cynical and thinks everything is phony ("goddamn phonies!"), but I really took to him. He's very blunt and desperately trying to prove to himself that he's in control, but he's actually a bit scared, a bit sad, and very lost. It's funny and rebellious and sad and full of old-school American slang. I really loved it.

Starship Troopers - Robert A. Heinlein
I also loved Starship Troopers! I've watched the film before, so I was expecting a bit of hilarious sci-fi action, but there's so much more to this book (they are actually very, very different things). I get very easily lost in a character when I like them, and I had a lot of time for Rico - so when he was musing on the philosophy of war and describing why, of course, it's important to take part in military service and live in a limited democracy, I was thinking yes! Totally! That all makes perfect sense! Hmm.

If you like sci-fi (why wouldn't you like sci-fi?) then this is a good one. And unlike the other Heinlein book I've read (Stranger in a Strange Land), Starship Troopers isn't full of weird 60s sexism. Hooray!

Monday, 28 October 2013

Halloween how to: Medusa makeup

I've been blogging Halloween DIYs for the last month (because I'm a cool guy, and not a child), but when it came to putting together a Halloween outfit for an ACTUAL party I was going to, I was so unprepared! The theme was villains, so I decided to dress up as Ursula - I had grand plans to make a dress with tentacles, craft a seashell necklace and paint myself purple.

But then, it suddenly was two days before the party and I had done nothing. A mad scramble for ideas and a manic rush round the shops later, and I became Medusa!


This is probably the laziest costume I've ever put together, but I thought I'd blog about it in case you too also need to scramble for a last-minute Halloween outfit!


I used the following:


I didn't really have a plan for my eye makeup, instead I just used it as an excuse to go a bit mad with colours! I used Maybelline Colour Tattoo in 25k Gold on my eyelids, which I absolutely love - it's such a lovely colour and it does actually last for hours.

I then blended some turquoise and purple MUA shadows in the crease, and added a line of purple shadow under my lower lash line. I used a really glittery MUA purple shadow to go over this (why be subtle? I wish I could have glittery eyes everyday!). Then I added winged liquid eyeliner, false lashes and tonnes of mascara!


Lenstore kindly offered me some contacts from their Halloween contact lenses range to try out, so I picked FreshLook Colorblends in Gemstone Green. I've never tried coloured lenses before so I was a bit unsure about how much of a difference they would make - but look how good they are!

It took me about 10 minutes to get them in - it's quite an odd experience to stick things in your eye! Luckily I had Craig (a regular contact-wearer) on hand to offer some tips, which were to stare straight ahead and hold your eyelid firmly open. It feels weird to have lenses on, but not uncomfortable at all... I'd definitely wear them again.


For my hair, I put it up in a really messy updo (made mainly by backcombing a massive part of it, and pinning in a really loose beehive), and left sections down that I could plait and use to secure the snakes. I took sections of snake (which I'd chopped up, to make it easier to put in my hair) and started to weave them through, using hair to wrap round them.

I figured Medusa would have really messy hair (all those snakes would keep you mega scruffy), so I didn't stress about making it look particularly nice or planned, I just focused on getting the snakes secure and even across my hair.


I had plans to paint a snakeskin pattern on my face, but ran out of time (oops) so just sponged on some turquoise shadow instead. It's rushed, and it's definitely less gory than I usually go for Halloween, but I really liked it!

Ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss!

p.s. the nice folks at Lenstore have also set up a discount code, so you can try out coloured contact lenses for a wee bit cheaper. New customers receive 10% off their first order up until the end of November, with the code EverSoJuliet_Reader - enjoy!

Friday, 25 October 2013

Happy thoughts

Every now and again I forget about blogging about set topics, & instead, just have a ramble about things that are nice in my life. The last few weeks at work have been MANIC with one deadline after another, the nights are cold, and I've just paid for my hotel in the Maldives (hooray), so am counting down to payday with dull ferocity.

So thank goodness for the little things in life...

1. Tiny plants


Oh tiny plants, you are the BEST.

I am a big fan of any type of plant to be fair, but currently I am particularly obsessed with the tiniest of cacti and succulents. A few weeks ago I made up a terrarium using cacti from Dobbie's, a jar from Ikea (which was a surprisingly good find, I reckon - it was really cheap & has a super nice shape!), and a mix of cacti soil & fishtank sand to make a deserty scene. It was fairly painful to put together (the tall cacti is SO PRICKLY) but I think it's worth it... and I actually made a pal do the painful bits for me.

On my desk at work I've got a wee collection of greenery (topped off with a passive-aggressive flag), but distressingly my plants have started dying. The green succulent in the top right photo suddenly went all black & rotten from the roots up, and hasn't responded well to my efforts of succulent emergency rescue. Poor wee plants! If anyone has any tips for dealing with cacti rot, please let me know!


2. Neil Gaiman being a bit wonderful
 
Image: lifehack

I adore Neil Gaiman. Adore him. I've been a big fan of his books since first discovering Stardust as a youth, and I always try and go to his talks at the Edinburgh Book Festival. He's the sort of author that is EXACTLY how you hope he will be in person... he's funny, and he's smart, and he was lovely when he met my book-loving niece (who had never been to a book event before) this summer.

Quite often he says things that are very clever and make a lot of sense, other times he says things that are ridiculously inspiring, and every now and again he says things that make you pause and realise the importance of daydreaming.

If you haven't ever read anything by him (what! who are you?) get thee to a bookshop, stat.


3. Movies

Image: Neon Circus
I have a Cineworld Unlimited card which is amazing - I pay about £15 a month for unlimited movies (plus money off food & drink & whatnot), which means I go to the cinema a lot. I'd really recommend getting one if there's a Cineworld near you & watch more than one film a month... and if you use the code RAF-69AA-41VU-28SN-16XK then both you & I get a month's membership free! (Promise this isn't a sponsored post - the card is totally worth the money).

I really love the cinema though - I worked in one when I was at uni (and I honestly think it's the perfect student job!) and got hooked on free films and watching almost anything that was on.

In the last week or so I've been to see Captain Phillips (which, bloody hell, was super tense) and Sunshine on Leith (which I heart SO MUCH). I'm a sucker for musicals, so I knew I'd love Sunshine on Leith, but ahhh, it was so good. It's set in Edinburgh (obviously) and it was lovely to see my hometown look so beautiful!

Monday, 21 October 2013

Halloween how to: spooky nail art

This week's halloween tutorial is useful if you want to make a wee nod towards Halloween, without actually dressing up or putting too much effort in!

I've put together five nail art designs that are fairly quick and easy to do, and don't need much more than some nail polish, a kirby grip and/or a thin paintbrush (I use an old liquid eyeliner brush, which is perfect for nail art!).

Here's how you do it...

Eyeball

1. Paint on a large dot of blue.
2. On top of this, add a dot of black polish.
3. Using either a kirby or a small brush, paint on lines of red to make a bloodshot eye.
4. Use the kirby again, and dot on a tiny bit of white on the pupil.

Haunted House

1. Paint a base coat. I used Rimmel 'Too Cool to Tango' which has fast become one of my favourite polishes!
2. Dot on a large circle of white polish to make the moon.
3. Paint the basic shape of a house. You can use a small brush to make the edges neater if you like, but I just used the normal polish brush.
4. Use a kirby grip and some yellow polish to paint on light shining through a door and window.

Spider

1. Paint a bright coloured base coat. I used Rimmel 'Ultra Violet' which is a lovely colour (and much nicer than it's photographed here!).
2. Dot on a large black blob to make the body.
3. Use a kirby to paint on eight legs.

Ghost

1.
Paint a white base coat. This is O.P.I. 'My Boyfriend Scales Walls' which has a slightly greyish tint (sorry again for the terrible light).
2. Dot on two black eyes.
3. Splodge on one large dot and use your brush to drag it down into a tear-shape to make the mouth.

Bats

1. Paint a base coat. This is Model's Own 'Beth's Blue'.
2. Dot on a large white dot, to make the moon.
3. Start making the shape of the bats, by splodging on bat-shapes. I used a kirby to paint a large dot in the middle, and two smaller dots on either side to make the wings.
4. Use a small brush to shape the bats (aim to make them look more like actual bats, and less like terrible splodges). I neated up the wings and bodies, and painted little bat ears. This was quite faffy - maybe only try this one if you have a steady hand!

I hope that was useful... if you are looking for any more nail art ideas, I have another ten halloween designs here, so you should be spoiled for choice!

Saturday, 19 October 2013

OUTFIT: The perfect yellow raincoat

I have been on the hunt for my ideal yellow raincoat for an absolute age - and I used to think it just didn't exist! I wanted one that would withstand horrible Scottish weather and make me look a wee bit like a lighthouse keeper, but didn't feel like I was just wearing a tent. I kept passing tiny children wearing dream raincoats & was so jealous that they didn't seem to come in adult sizes (er, I'm a normal person, right?), but then... I found it!

Hooray. Say hello to my very perfect yellow raincoat.

Raincoat - ASOS (via Ebay)
Dress - Primark
Dr Martens - Spartoo*
It's an ASOS rain mac that's sold out on their site, but this Ebay seller seems to have MILLIONS of them. I don't actually know how that works, but I don't actually care, as it's perfect. It came really quickly, and fits pretty well (I think it's actually a wee bit too big, but that's my fault for being cautious and ordering on the larger side!).

Since it arrived it's pretty much rained non-stop in Edinburgh, so I've had loads of chances to test it out and splash about in puddles. It's just so good!


Another benefit of having a super waterproof coat is that you can cuddle soggy kittens!

Riley is the MOST ANNOYING cat sometimes... particularly on rainy days when he can't decide if he wants to stay in or out. If he's in, he ends up mewling at the back door pathetically, and if he's out he can only last five minutes before he decides he's too soggy and needs to come in. And repeat. Aren't cats fun.


And did I mention it's only twenty three pounds? What a BARGAIN.

Aw, yellow raincoat, I heart you!

Monday, 14 October 2013

HALLOWEEN HOW TO:
ANATOMICAL HEART CAKE

This week's halloween tutorial is totally inspired by (aka my very best attempt at recreating) this amazing bleeding heart cake by London bakers, Lily Vanilli. They posted a guide on how to make these cakes on their blog (which you can see here!), but I thought it would be helpful to make my own version with step-by-step photos.


To make your own gory hearts, you need the following:
  • cupcakes (I used this recipe, which is super easy & always works well!)
  • red food colouring
  • red fondant 
  • buttercream (use 200g butter, 200 icing sugar)
  • cherry jam
  • a paintbrush


Once you've made your cupcake batter (you can see step by step cupcake instructions here), add a couple of drops of food colouring (I used red.. which came out really weirdly orange, but it works for halloween!), and stir into the mixture. 

Spoon into cupcake cases, and then use either a bit of tinfoil or baking paper to stick between the case and the tin. This means your cake will bake in more of a wedge shape, which is helpful for these hearts! Bake for 15-20 minutes, then when they are ready, put them on a cooling rack and leave them alone for half an hour.


Roll out a lump of red fondant (remember and dust the surface/rolling pin with icing sugar beforehand so it doesn't stick!) until it looks big enough to cover a cupcake. Take the cake out of its wrapper, splodge a little buttercream on the bottom and place in the middle of the fondant. 


Now, this does look tricky (and a bit rubbish) but remember, there is light at the end of the cake tunnel! Start wrapping the fondant up and over the cake, squeezing the edges together when they reach the top. You want to create three funnels (meant to be the arteries) so don't join it all perfectly, instead let it fold in on itself (like in the left and middle photos). 

Don't worry about any folds or creases in the sides of the icing, they'll make the heart look much more realistic. Just use your fingers to shape the top of the heart, give more definition to the arteries, and make sure the fondant feels nice and secure around the cake.


 If it looks a bit rubbish, do not worry! Food colouring will fix everything. I mixed red food colouring with a spot of cherry jam to make a gloopy paste, which I painted onto the cake. Make sure you get it into all of the cracks and creases - and look how much it transforms the cake!

Smear a bit of the cake blood around the bottom of the heart. Mmmm, gore!


Serve with an evil laugh. Enjoy! 

Monday, 7 October 2013

HALLOWEEN HOW TO:
SKELETON MAKE UP

Every Monday in the run up to October 31st I'll be posting a Halloween tutorial (mainly because I am a child, and dressing up is fun!). Last week I showed you how to give yourself a terrifying zip face, and this week we're going to be skeletons!


This tutorial only uses items that you are likely to already have in your make up bag (or can very easily get). You will need:

  • a foundation that's a few shades paler than your skin tone
  • white eyeshadow
  • black cream eyeshadow
  • black kohl eyeliner pencil
  • black liquid eyeliner
  • eyeshadow applicator/brush (or paint brush)


Start by making your face as pale as possible, by covering it in foundation. I prefer to use tonnes of foundation rather than white face cream, as it means you don't need to really worry about your neck/arms/hands, etc (because realism is something everyone aims for in skeleton make up, right?).

Using a kohl eyeliner pencil lightly sketch out the outline of your skull - the eye sockets, nose and cheeks. These are the areas that you'll colour in with black. Don't worry about being particularly neat, but try and keep things sort of even! If you don't have the steadiest hand just use short strokes, rather than trying to draw long lines.


This bit is so satisfying to do! Colour in, making sure you build up the black shadow so it's really dark. I used a MAC paint pot which was perfect for the job - and loads of highstreet brands make cream eyeshadow, if you don't have a pot to hand. You can use black facepaint too (obviously!) but I like eyeshadow, it's been made not to crease on your lids, and might actually be a bit easier to take off at the end of the night. 


Now, you're going to need a steady-ish hand. Outline the black areas with liquid eyeliner - this gives them a bit more depth. Don't worry if you smudge a little, just keep a make up wipe to hand and try to go slowly.

Next, take your kohl pencil and start to lightly sketch in details across your face - I made short strokes around my eyes and cheeks. Smudge these lightly with your finger, then use liquid liner to highlight a few details (you should hopefully see a difference between photo 2 and 3 here, to show you what I mean!). 

At this stage I also patted on a little bit of white eyeshadow on my cheeks and forehead. 


Take the kohl pencil again and start to draw the shape you want for your mouth - I coloured in my lower lip and triangles between my mouth and cheeks. Go over this with liquid eyeliner (maybe not your lip though, you don't want to be tasting eyeliner!) and draw strokes to make your skeleton teeth. 


Tada! Yeah, it's a bit rough & ready, but it should help if you find yourself needing a costume in a hurry! Next Monday I'll blog another Halloween DIY, and I reckon it'll be something a little cakey... so stay tuned if you have a (gory) sweet tooth... 

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Win tickets to the Pleasance Sessions!

Alright, Scottish people, listen up!

You probably already know The Pleasance from Festival time. It's one of the big Edinburgh Fringe venues, and is normally packed with comedians (from properly famous ones in Pleasance Grand, to first timers in tiny hot rooms), a courtyard full of beer, picnic tables and MILLIONS of flyerers.

But, unless you have been a student at Edinburgh Uni, you probably don't know that it hosts live music, comedy, theatre and film events all year round. AND you don't have to be a student to go along (although I'm pretty sure that you still get to buy drinks at student prices... hello).

In October they are launching a brand new festival, The Pleasance Sessions, which brings together some of Scotland's favourite promoters, festivals and publications to curate three weeks of handpicked live acts, and it looks brilliant!

The whole festival celebrates stripped back sets and fresh collaborations, and features all sorts of super-cool Scots, including Miaoux Miaoux, Sparrow and The Workshop, Rick Redbeard, The Pictish Trail, Abandoman, Three Blind Wolves (I love them!), Conquering Animal Sound and an LP launch from Lau’s Aidan O’Rourke.

Photo from EUSA Live
AND because they are such cool guys, the very nice folk at EUSA have given me some tickets to give away! You can win a pair of tickets to the Opening Night on October 10th (that's this Thursday!) AND a pair to any of the Pleasance Sessions events...
Take your pick!

To enter, all you have to do is follow the instructions below... Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

September instagram

My plan for September was to chill out and do as little as possible. And, well, that didn't quite work out. Somehow I found myself out most days & nights.... and I'm a bit knackered now!

It was packed with pals, crafty projects, surprisingly sunny days, and loads of dining out. YUM. Here's what it looked like.

Instagram username: @eversojuliet

1. Earlier in the year I went to see the Surprise Movie at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, which turned out to be About Time - the newest film by Love Actually & Notting Hill chap, Richard Curtis. I absolutely loved it, and not long after the film company got in touch to ask if they could use my quote on  some advertising material. I thought it might be used on web ads, or something wee, and then got a bit of a surprise when the tv advert popped up during X Factor & my tweet was on screen and MASSIVE. I realise this is a really lame thing to be excited about, but I thought it was cool!

2. French Connection held a party in stores across the UK to celebrate the end of London Fashion Week and mark the launch of their new collection, so I went along with some pals to run riot in store, and attempt to take part in styling challenges. I am rubbish at being stylish, but it was fun to play dress up!

3. I baked for the first time in aaaages, and made so-easy-you-can't-go-wrong cookies. 

4. Every year I like to write a series of halloween tutorials, which are really fun to put together, but it is quite odd to be making yourself all gory in September! This is a mug of super sticky fake blood (honey is perhaps not the best thing to be covering yourself with), which was used for...

5. ... this super scary zip face! If you missed yesterday's post, take a look here. It's a really horrifying look, and ain't that hard to put together. Perfect if you've got a party coming up (or want to terrorise people with minimal effort).

6. Here's a slightly less-scary DIY from this month... I made a hula hoop and I love it so!

7. I realised this month that I've basically ignored my kindle all year, and am pretty much only reading 'real' books these days.

8. Sci Fest were nominated for Best Large Festival at the Scottish Event Awards, and we WON! I reckon Amanda & I also won the photobooth... I really am quite obsessed with them.

9. My work pal Matt had a space-themed birthday party this month... and as it was being held outside I picked the warmest thing I owned (a big leopard coat) and tried to make it spacey! A space leopard is a real thing, right?

10. As part of house-selling fun, we've been living a ridiculously picture perfect life. There are always fresh flowers in the house, it's always spotless, and we now have a vegetable box that's always packed with the most amazing & colourful things we can find. This was one night's tea - so much bright goodness!

11. My pal Simon came over to Edinburgh on his round-the-world tour (he's been filming in London and is now off to perform in L.A. - the glamorous life of a science celebrity!), so I had an ace weekend of pal hangouts, touristy things, good food, wine, and an epic twelve hour mission to create a pizza. Joshua, Simon & I went to Edinburgh Castle for some wholesome fun, and this is us... pretending to be a lion. I think (I'm not quite sure why else we'd be pulling these expressions).

12. And to round off the month, I finally snoozed  for hours in the sunshine with this lovely chap. Phew!

Monday, 30 September 2013

HALLOWEEN HOW TO:
ZIP FACE MAKE UP

I love Halloween, I am such a child. It's such a good excuse to play with make up, embrace being a bit scary, and bake things worthy of Hogwarts/Sabrina the Teenage Witch (was anyone else obsessed with trying candycorns after that Halloween episode?).

Last year I ran a series of Halloween DIYs in the run up to October 31st, which were really fun to do, so I'm bringing that back for 2013! As before, I'll do a mix of make up, crafty things and baking, and I'll try to use stuff that you should have in your house already (or at least, stuff that isn't a nightmare to find!). 


To start, I'm going pretty gruesome, with a step by step tutorial to a terrifying zip face.... Enjoy!


For this look you will need:

  • A 30cm zip that sort-of matches your skintone (make sure it has metal teeth!). I got mine in John Lewis (they have an ace haberdashery section)
  • Pale foundation
  • Concealer
  • Red and black eyeshadow
  • Black eyeliner
  • Mascara
  • Liquid latex (you can get this from a joke or costume shop)
  • Fake blood 


Start by covering your face with foundation - you want to look a bit ghostly and ill so really slap it on!

Now get red eyeshadow (mine is from an Urban Decay palette, and is a metallic red) and put loads on - all over your top lids, underneath your eyes and down your cheeks a little bit. I just used my fingers for this as it's okay to be messy! You want to look a bit bruised and creepy.


Start building on black eyeshadow on your top lids and along the lower lashline, and make it smudgy. Add eyeliner! A kohl pencil is good for this (rather than liquid eyeliner) - I used a smudgy Urban Decay pencil.


Keep building up the red and black shadows, until you get super sunken, bruised looking, smoky eyes (what a look!). Use your finger to work the shadow down the sides of your nose and cheek, but try not to cover all the red colour with black - it'll look better if you can see the different layers of the shadow.


Now, get your liquid latex and paint the back of the zip. Make sure you cover the whole thing and the edges - you want this to be secure on your face all night!

Place the zip in the position you want it to sit (this is SUCH a good look for me), press down firmly and hold it in place until it starts to feel secure. Then go over the edges with latex, and don't be scared to slather it on! I used a paintbrush (and enlisted a pal to help), but you should be able to do this solo - the zip should be sticky enough from one coat of latex to stay put while you layer your glue! 

Be patient and wait about ten minutes - you might want to hold the pieces of zip under your chin in place while they dry.


The latex will dry in white splodges so you'll need to cover the edges of the zip in foundation to try and blend it into your face. I layered on concealer, then covered this in more foundation. Use your eyeshadows over the zip on your cheeks and at the side of your nose - this helps it all look like it's actually coming out of your face.

If you are careful with the latex and paint it on in smooth light layers, you'll get a smoother finish than I have here. I actually quite like the lumps of glue on my cheeks though, I think it makes my face look a bit scarred and horrible... which is what you want with this look!


Now, the gooey bit! Get your fake blood - I couldn't find any in shops (what do you mean it's only September?) so I made my own with honey, flour, red food colouring and red and black paint. If you can buy some, I'd recommend that instead, as this was SO STICKY.

Paint the blood on your nose, chin and throat, and let it drip down for a really horrible look.


It's so horrible, but SO good! Have fun freaking out your pals... 

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