Monday, 21 December 2015

OUTFIT: FLUFFY JUMPERS & CHELSEA BOOTS

This outfit is really as simple as it gets, but this winter I've really liked slouching around in black jeans and boots.

I tend to wear dresses most days, but I really like this outfit - sometimes navigating my tights drawer just feels too hard (I don't know why I own so many terrible pairs of tights), and it's nice to dress in black from tip-to-toe - my hair looks brighter and I mean business!

Jumper - H&M
Jeans - Primark
Boots* - Tu at Sainsburys
This has pretty much been my staple outfit for my gothier days. The jumper is the fluffiest jumper of all time - you can't really see in these pictures, but is perfectly 90s-inspired, and is so cosy and snuggly! It's annoyingly starting to shrink in the wash, but I do wear it ALL THE TIME, so I might just need to admit defeat and buy a new one before spring stock starts coming in!

I bought these jeans a couple of months ago, and despite being a Primark bargain, they are wearing well! They are the first black jeans I've owned in YEARS and I can't imagine a wardrobe without black denim in it anymore - they go with absolutely everything.


My chelsea boots are from Tu at Sainsbury's, and are another staple item I can't believe I've lived without for so long. They are super comfy, and look just as good with a dress and tights (for fancier days) as they do with jeans.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

HOW TO: MAKE A WICKED BLOODY MARY

I'm a fairly recent convert to Bloody Marys (I've been wimpy about spicy things for a long time), but I've come round to the joy that is this ridiculous (yet acceptable) boozy weekend breakfast drink.

Last year on Boxing Day we made the most amazing Bloody Marys, served with a seafood, quail's egg and bacon garnish that was taller than the drink (I say 'we', it was actually handed to me by Joshua, Bloody Mary-extraordinaire). You don't need actual food when you've got one of these bad boys, it's the perfect Boxing Day or New Year's breakfast!

Here's how you do it...


Drink:
  • Ice cubes
  • Double shot of vodka
  • 6 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • Tomato juice (to fill the glass)
  • Lemon
  • Garlic salt
Rim the glass with lemon juice and garlic salt. Put a couple of ice cubes in the glass, add the vodka, then the rest of the ingredients and mix! 

Garnish:
  • King prawns
  • Quail egg
  • Lemon rind
  • Bacon
  • Celery
Hard boil the egg and pan fry the prawns and bacon. Assemble on skewers and add to your drink with a sprig of celery - it's not a Bloody Mary unless there's celery!

Enjoy (responsibly)!

Friday, 18 December 2015

CHRISTMAS DINNER RECIPES

Are you guys aware that Christmas is literally only one week away? How?! This month has absolutely flown by... I'm only just starting to get my Buble fix, and up my intake of hot festive booze. I am behind!

I'm assuming that most people will have their Christmas presents sorted by now (and if you haven't, here's a gift guide to point you in the right direction!), but even more important than present shopping is food shopping! Christmas dinner is the very best meal of the year - you've got to get your menu sorted! This year I'm roasting a pheasant on Christmas Day with Joshua, and then we're cooking a goose with our pals on Boxing Day. I realise that makes me sound massively middle class, but holy moly, if you've never roasted a goose (and roasted potatoes in the goose fat), you are missing out!

If you're in need of some festive feast inspiration this year, never fear. I've found some pinterest picks for you...


Sides

Mains

Puddings

Ah, I can't wait to eat, drink and be merry!

Thursday, 17 December 2015

HAPPY THOUGHTS

Tis the season to be jolly, tra la la la la! Here's some things that have been making me very happy lately!

1. My birthday party


My birthday isn't actual until Tuesday, but as much as I like having a birthday near Christmas (aka the perfect excuse for an entire week of celebrations), it can be tricky trying to gather all your pals to party when most people are heading out of town to see family. This year, as it's my 30th birthday (whaaaat), I decided to solve the problem with a super early party, and it was SO much fun.

I love a theme, so I had a Ginger Party, where everyone was asked to dress as their favourite redhead. My pals were ace and made so much effort - I had Amelia Earhart, Dana Scully, Tintin, Chucky, the princess from Brave, Shirley Manson, Galileo and more, it was ace! I thought I might as well doll up properly as it was my birthday so I went as Jessica Rabbit (and found the perfect dress from Boohoo too!).

2. Secret adventures


To keep my birthday fun going, this weekend Joshua is taking me on a secret adventure and I'm so excited! I've never been on a secret trip before. I have no idea where we are going or what we are doing, but I know we are taking books and wine, so it sounds pretty perfect to me.

Last year we went away to the beautiful Roulotte Retreat and it was absolutely brilliant. It's so nice to go away for a mini adventure before Christmas - this is a new tradition that I hope lasts for a long time!

3. Christmas decorations


The drama with my new flat thankfully seems to be at an end, which means I'm back to loving life here. I've decorated for Christmas and it's SO cosy and lovely, it makes me so happy! I bought a real Christmas tree from Ikea (as part of their very ace buy-a-£25-tree-get-a-£20-voucher deal), and it fits perfectly in my living room - it's nice to have a bit more space!

I've got a few paper honeycomb balls strung up (that had originally been put up for my friend's birthday, but I don't want to take them down), more fairylights, AND a brand new super fuzzy rug. I realise that doesn't actually count as a Christmas decoration, but it's made my flat feel so cosy!

I've now got some presents sitting under the tree, and I can't wait to watch Christmassy movies next to the tree. Bring it on!

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

EVERYDAY MAKE UP

It's been absolutely ages since I last wrote about my everyday make up, so here's an updated look at my make up bag and the things I use every single day. It's changed quite a lot since I last blogged about it - I also didn't realise that I was using so many Maybelline products!


Maybelline Baby Skin Primer
I love this primer. It smooths your face, sorts out your pores, and makes make up so much nicer. It's also less than £8, and a tube lasts for ages.

No7 Stay Perfect Foundation (in Cool Vanilla)
I started using No7 after working with them on a Christmas make up post last year (you can see the festive tutorial here!), and instantly loved their products. I've converted to their foundation - it's light, so it doesn't feel like it clogs your skin, but can be built up very easily if you need more coverage. They've got a massive range of shades too, so it's been easy to find one that suits my skin.

No7 Concealer (in Cool Vanilla)
The matching concealer is great, and does a very good job of hiding blemishes. I've had TERRIBLE skin lately (I blame stress and December indulgence), so I've been plagued with millions of spots, but this has done a good job of hiding them.

Maybelline Colour Tattoo 24 Hour Eyeshadow (in Pink Gold)
For everyday eyeshadow, I absolutely love this shade - it adds a little bit of shimmer, but is subtle enough for daily wear. It's similar to Benefit's Creaseless Cream, which I also love, but is cheaper. The name isn't a lie either, this eyeshadow will not budge AT ALL (so remember to take your make up off at night!).

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara
This has been my staple mascara for years, it's the best!

Maybelline Brow Satin Eyebrow Pencil
I blogged about this eyebrow pencil in detail here, and I still absolutely love it. I have been terrible with my eyebrows recently and haven't had them done professionally in months - but luckily this eyebrow pencil is saving the day until I can get myself to a brow bar!

Benefit Fine One One
This is a brightening trio for cheeks and lips, with three cream colours (pink champagne, sheer watermelon, and soft coral) to work as a blush, highlighter, and lip colour. I tend to brush this on really lightly in the morning, and then build up the colour more in the evening if I'm going out.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

THE TARTAN BLANKET CO

One of my favourite things about winter is that it is absolutely okay to spend your time hibernating, cosied up under blankets, watching movies, and eating loads of carbs. It is perfect!


As a long-term fan of cosiness, I already have a fairly extensive blanket collection, but I could not resist buying another from the Tartan Blanket Co's very lovely Christmas pop-up shop which has appeared in Leith (handily, close to my flat!). I got to coo over artfully-stacked blankets (is that weird? They were very beautifully stacked!), eat mince pies, pick a mystery envelope off their fancy Christmas tree (which gifted me a free candle, hooray!), and generally just have a lovely time in a hipster haven of cosiness.


The pop-up shop is on Great Junction Street (near the Shore) and will be open until December 23rd.

If you can't make it down to Leith, they have millions of things online (and they ship worldwide too). I am quite obsessed with this fishbone scarf, but they've got blankets (obviously), cushions, and a surprisingly ace range of home accessories - how cute is this raccoon postcard, or these copper lanterns, and this cloud necklace?  I want it all! 

Monday, 14 December 2015

OUTFIT: I LIKE BIG BOWS
& I CANNOT LIE

I love December. It's the only time of year that you can get away with accessorizing in a full-on way ALL of the time, without anyone blinking an eyelid. I wore this outfit a few weeks ago to attend a fancy awards dinner, but I reckoned it would work just as well as a festive number.

Dress* - Tu at Sainsburys
Shoes - Ebay
Bow - Crown & Glory
The polka dot dress is from Tu at Sainsbury's, which means it's a total bargain (at the time of writing this post it's on sale for £13,50, down from £18). It's a longer length than I would normally wear - sitting just on my knee, but I think that makes it look a lot fancier and grown up. I love a polka dot pattern, and the neckline is super cute too - it dips down in a v-shape at the front and back of the dress. 


To dress it up even further, I added this over-sized velvet bow hairband by Crown and Glory. This comes in blue and emerald too, but I think the red is totally perfect for the Christmas season.

It can feel a bit scary to try a hair accessory that's this big, but hopefully I'm showing that it's a really wearable piece - I got lovely compliments on it all night, and I wasn't self-conscious at all (which feels like a big step, considering this time last year I was talking myself into wearing much smaller hair bows!).

My shoes are cheap velvet flats from ebay - I think they were less than £10, but they've lasted really well! Buying a house means my clothing budget is absolutely minuscule, I'm getting good at finding quality bargains!

Sunday, 13 December 2015

SUNDAY LINKS

Happy less-than-two-weeks-til-Christmas everyone! I'm starting to feel pretty festive. My tree is up (and looks so beautiful!), my Christmas shopping is almost done, and I only have ONE WEEK left at work before I'm on holiday for ages. Hooray!

I've also been blogging every day this month, and I'm pretty pleased with how it's going (even though it's proving fairly impossible to find time when it's light enough to take photos!). If you haven't been keeping up, just click here and get reading - I've got gift guides, make up, hedgehogs, home tours and so much more for you to look at.

21 ways to decorate a small space for the holidays
The world's a pretty scared, angry place at the moment, but after one idiot attacked people in London #youaintnomuslimbruv started trending and it was wonderful.

I absolutely love this DIY paint palette hair clip tutorial! Perfect for the arty person in your life.

Wonder why everyone on youtube sounds the same? This look at the linguistics of youtube is really fascinating.

Who run the world? Girls! Here's a list of badass women you probably didn't hear about in 2015.

This feels all too familiar - emo kids have been sharing what they look like now. When I was a teenager I lived in baggy jeans with grungey make-up, horrendous hair, ALL the eyeliner, and wristwarmers. It was cool!

I don't know if I'd be brave enough to move away to a very big city one day, although I do wonder what life would be like! I really enjoyed this very honest take on it - when the dream unravels for an Englishwomen in New York.

I've not baked yet in my new oven, so I'm really looking forward to the Christmas holidays, when I can make nice things (and eat them while watching Christmas movies!). This lemon bar recipe looks yum!

And finally, I love Table manners? Impeccable - a weekly roast of The Guardian's Blind Date column.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

URBAN DECAY VICE4 PALETTE

I am a huge fan of Urban Decay, and pretty much since I was a teenager I've been obsessed with their eyeshadow palettes. For the holiday season they've just released a limited edition Vice palette, and I was lucky enough to get my hands on one early (but not lucky enough to stick to a blog schedule last month, due to house trauma - oops!).

Vice4 palette* - £43
The Vice4 palette comes with 20 never-before-seen eyeshadow shades, along with a massive mirror, a double-ended shadow and crease brush, and a cute coordinating bag.

The palette is filled with rich, deep jewel tones and has a nice mix of matte and glittery shades - perfect for cold, wintery days. Urban Decay boast that every shade features their 'pigment infusion system' giving a rich, velvety, blendable colour that lasts. I know from experience that their glittery shades last FOREVER, but you'll get the best results with their shadows if you use an eyelid primer too.


My favourite colour in this palette is Bitter - a red brown matte eyeshadow that is really striking on. I used that for the base of a smoky eye look, with Delete (a deep chestnut brown) in the corner of my eye, and a light brush of Flame (a bright orange with gold micro glitter) in the crease of my eye.

I love this makeup, and it's perfect with a red lip. The palette sits at the very top end of my make up price point - it's £43, which I think IS expensive (although I realise some people spend a fortune on make up), but I have loved Urban Decay for a very long time - I think the colours are beautiful, you'll get so much wear out of it, and it would make a brilliant gift for a make up lover (every palette I've ever been given has been loved to death!).

Friday, 11 December 2015

HOME TOUR: MY BEDROOM

When I was planning my bedroom I had pretty clear ideas of what I wanted. My flat is a really bright space - the living is yellow, the bathroom has the world's dreamiest blue tiles, and I've got a candy striped wall in my study, so I knew I wanted a calm, neutral bedroom to balance it out.

This room originally had lime green walls, so the very first step was to paint it all! I used Dulux Warm Pewter for the wall behind the bedhead and Dulux White Mist for the rest of the walls.


Most of the furniture in my flat is from Ikea because I needed to buy a lot of it, and I was on a pretty strict budget. The bed is a kingsize MALM bedframe with four drawers underneath (so handy!). I was really pleased to discover that Ikea have started doing normal sized bedframes now, so I was able to buy a mattress from a proper mattress shop - I've heard nightmares about Ikea mattresses!

I had a fairly narrow space between the bed and the window, so this NORDLI chest of drawers was perfect, even though it was a total pain to build. So hellish. Be warned! 

My flat's on the top floor, which means I have beautiful views of Edinburgh rooftops, it's so lovely! I can even see Edinburgh Castle from my window, which is something I only really thought happened in movies (or to rich people!). 


I wanted some colour in the room, so I got these super cute yellow bedside tables. On top there's my black and brass lamps from made.com - I still cannot quite fathom how they took 10 weeks to get here, but they eventually arrived and they are lovely! I expected the filament bulb to come with them, but it didn't (apparently that's standard practice? I am a homeware novice), so I bought a couple from Amazon, and they are so pretty,  


I've not got much in the way of decoration in the room apart from my skulls - I've got a roe deer and a red fox skull that I really love (I'm aware this might seem a bit weird, but each to their own). I just like the natural textures in the room - there's a tree, bones, and a little stone fox, it all just feels super calming. 


I needed a bit more storage (I've got a mirrored wardrobe in this room, but it's already full to the brim), so I bought a KALLAX shelving unit to store my stuff. I realised I was an adult when I bought a fancy little copper tray to put my bottles on, rather than just scattering them over the shelf. I'm getting there anyway! 

There's not that much more to do to this room, which makes me happy! I'm thinking of getting a couple of prints to go above the bed - I absolutely adore the La Lune and La Terre prints by Double Merrick, but it'll be £100 for the pair which I can't quite afford! I'll need to add them to my Christmas list...

Thursday, 10 December 2015

#PETSINWINDOWS

As you may know (especially if you follow me on instagram) I've got a pet hedgehog called Soba, who is a lovely, grumpy, adorable and ridiculous creature who is so cute it hurts! Hedgehogs are pretty low maintenance, but the number one rule is that you have to keep them warm - if they get cold, they go into hibernation, which is very bad news.

My old flat was nice, but it was freezing unless the heating was blasting (which I couldn't afford to do ALL of the time), so when I was flat-hunting I was on a mission to find somewhere that was super cosy (sadly meaning beautiful old Edinburgh tenements with high ceilings and thin windowpanes were out!).


Now, it's ace. My new flat is a fairly modern build, which means it's as snug as anything, and has mystical storage heaters (that I can't quite work out how to use) that store energy at night to heat it up in the morning, and keep it toasty all the time. I don't need to stress about Soba freezing, and I don't need to microwave heat pads for him three times a day any more. Hooray!


Not at all pets are as cosy as Soba though, so it's important in winter, when it is absolutely baltic, to think about the animals that are abandoned and in need, through no fault of their own.

Everest Home Improvements are doing just this with their #PetsInWindows campaign, which raises money for the very wonderful SSPCA, an animal welfare charity who rescue and rehome thousands of neglected pets in Scotland each year.

Everest want to see photos of your pets hanging out at a window, and for each entry they receive they'll donate £5 to the SSPCA (meaning entering is the easiest thrifty way of giving to charity ever!). You can enter on their website (everest.co.uk/pets-in-windows) or via Twitter with #petsinwindows. AND on top of that, the best photo each month, as voted by users, will win a £50 voucher.

Take a cute photo of your pet, help charity, maybe win £50. Win win win!
#Petsinwindows is brought to you by Everest Home Improvements. Follow Everest on Twitter and Facebook to find out more, keep up to date on their latest deals and offers, and check out Everest Scotland to see coverage in your area

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

OUTFIT: BIRTHDAYS & BALLOONS

Last week I threw a mini surprise party for my lovely friend Sian, which meant my flat was filled with bunting & balloons (and, er, loads of cut-out masks of Sian's face, which I now don't know what to do with).

I had such a nice time, so I wanted to show off what I wore that night (mainly because it gives me an excuse to play around with the balloons that are lasting FOREVER).

Dress (worn as top) - New Look
Skirt - H&M
Shoes* - George at Asda
My stripey top is actually a dress from New Look - I bought it earlier in the summer, and was gutted when it shrunk in the wash and was too short to wear... until I realised it sat really nicely under skater-style skirts!

The skirt is from H&M and has been a staple in my wardrobe for ages, I've worn it on holiday, to work, to music festivals, you name it, it works for (almost!) every occasion. I love this style, and I love that H&M have a new version of this skirt every time they update their collections - I think it's super flattering, so it makes my clothes shopping simple!

Necklace - H&M
I've already blogged about these shoes in my candy cane outfit post, but as predicted, they are all I want to wear at the moment. They're from George at Asda and they are as lovely as they are shiny.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE

I know the blogosphere is full of Christmas gift guides at the moment, but if you've still got Christmas shopping to do, hopefully a last minute bit of inspiration will help!

I've rounded up a range of lovely things to suit all budgets - whether you're looking for stocking fillers, or splashing your budget. Happy shopping!

£5 and under...



£15 and under...




£30 and under...



£50 and under...




£100 and over!


Monday, 7 December 2015

RED & ORANGE DIP DYE HAIR

I've been playing about with the colour of my hair all year, but I reckon this is my favourite haircut yet! My hair is naturally ginger (this post is pretty close to my natural colour), but for a year or so I've been dyeing it - mainly to brighten up the roots and lighten up the ends, although I did go pastelly orange and pink too!

This time round, I wanted to really, really embrace my red locks. My hair has lightened up loads since my last haircut (you can see how light it looks in this outfit post), so it was the perfect base for a red and orange dip-dye/ombre look! I got a really bright red dye on my roots, which blended into a bright copper, then blended into my natural ginger hair. I love it!


I've been going to Dean Jones Hairdressing ever since they invited me along for a review last summer (I'm so glad they did!). It's a really lovely salon on Elm Row in Edinburgh, and I hugely recommend it - it's so peaceful and chilled, and the staff are absolutely lovely.

My stylist Linden is a total star, and it's been so fun trying out different hair colours this year with her! She's basically exactly what I want in a hairdresser - she listens to my (rambly, not well-thought-out) ideas, and then suggests how to make it wearable on my hair, so I've always been delighted with how each colour change has turned out.


I'm still a massive fan of my undercut and can't see myself growing it out any time soon! I've actually shaved another one in the back of my head in a V-shape, which looks really cool when I've got my hair up in a high bun (but is also easy to hide if you want to pretend you have normal hair). I think that's probably the most shaven I can get away with though - my friends are starting to make jokes about how I'm going to get carried away and end up completely bald!

Sunday, 6 December 2015

SUNDAY LINKS

Happy Sunday everyone! I've been blogging every day this week as part of Blogmas, and it's been so nice to get back into blogging habits after an unexpected break. I'm back in my house, I've finished all of the painting/DIY I wanted to get done before the holidays, and it's been so nice to chill out in my flat (even if I've been feeling knackered/ill all week, boo).

Here's the return of Sunday Links - a round up of the interesting things I've seen on the internet this week.

DIY pinecone wreath
This has been the most surreal week. I went on a flying trip to London to attend a fancy reception at Westminster - it was the evening before the Syria vote, and it was very, very strange to see how life (and schmoozing) went on as normal, even on the eve of war. I think the Daily Mash sums it up well - hooray for war.

On a much (much much) lighter note, this made me laugh so much. Katniss REALLY loves pita.

This is really cute... to raise money for Great Ormond Street, creative agency Purple are running a Purple Knitivity. You can choose what gets knitted next using #PurpleKnitivity on twitter or facebook - I've asked for a christmas fox, fingers crossed!

Who knew emojis looked different on different phones?! This is a really interesting look at emojis on apple, google and samsung phones - the google ones are the cutest!

I absolutely do not need to buy any more dresses, but I am eyeing up Lynne's Christmas party wishlist - how lovely is that feather dress?

This is a bit boring, but really useful! The computer shortcuts you need to know about.

Thinking about making some DIY beauty products as Christmas presents? Here's what dermatologists said about pinterest face masks.

And finally, in a sea of blogger gift guides, it's nice to see one championing independent shopping!

Saturday, 5 December 2015

GIFT WRAP INSPIRATION

Have you bought all your Christmas presents yet? I'm seriously lagging this year, I've got Joshua's sorted, but I need to go on a big mission to get my family gifts.

One of my favourite things about gift giving is wrapping presents. I think it's so nice when you can surprise someone you care about with your present from the very start - it just shows you've taken that little bit longer to make it special on the outside and the inside. I mean, yeah, obviously when you're in a rush wrapping is stressful and boring, and making it pinterest-pretty is your lowest priority, but if you have that bit of extra time? It's so worth it.

Pretty wrapping is a total pinterest cliche, so OBVIOUSLY I have an entire board dedicated to it. Here's a few of my favourite crafty wraps and adorable packages to inspire you this present-giving season.

All images from Pinterest
Happy wrapping!

Friday, 4 December 2015

OUTFIT: BOOHOO WINTER WARMER CHALLENGE

Oh the weather outside is frightful! It's been absolutely freezing the last few weeks, so I was pretty pleased when Boohoo got in touch to challenge me to put together a winter outfit for under £40. I love a bargain, so I starting scouring their site to find a few pieces to keep me cosy from head to toe.

Navy dress - Boohoo*
Tan shoes - Boohoo*
Cream hat - Boohoo*
Necklace - H&M
When I'm online shopping I tend to stick to shapes I know will suit me - I'm quite curvy, and I hate being frustrated if I see something lovely online, only to realise it turns me into a box when I try it on.

A skater dress is pretty much my go-to style, so I was delighted to find this floral knitted (!) skater dress for only £12. I love this pattern - it feels grown up enough to wear to work, but also nice enough to wear out to dinner or the pub with pals. It's also more of a knitted effect than an actual knit, but I really like that - it's cosy, but doesn't weigh you down like a massive sweater dress would.



For added cosiness, I threw on a beanie hat, which was only £3! I love hats, they help hide my wild hair and you cannot go wrong with a slouchy cream hat.

I also scowled massively at the camera, because I am still rubbish at taking blog outfit photos. I am trying! 


Finally, I got these beautiful double buckle Chelsea boots in tan for only £16. I love the buckle details on these shoes, and they've also got a zip up the back so you don't have to faff around when you're putting them on and off. I've pretty much been living in these since they arrived, and they're super comfy and are handling Scottish rainy days pretty well!

So dress, shoes, hat all for £40! Yeah, you'll need a jacket, but I think that's a pretty good winter haul.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

SPACE NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM

I am a massive space geek. I wanted to be an astronaut when I was younger - I used to dream of going to space camp, I had a telescope and would stay up late to look at stars, and I was over the moon when my family went to Johnson Space Centre and I got to look at ACTUAL moon rock and speak to ACTUAL astronauts (so cool).

Now I'm 29 years old, and I still want to be an astronaut. Over the years it's slowly dawned on me that it probably won't happen - I am rubbish at maths and physics, and I'm unlikely to pass a fit for orbit test any time soon, but the joy of working at the Science Festival means that occasionally I get to take part in spacey things in a professional capacity. That's basically the same thing, right?!


As you may or may not know, this month is a pretty big deal for the UK and European Space Agencies. Tim Peake, a British Astronaut, is off to the International Space Station as part of the Principia mission on December 15th, where he'll be in space for over six months, doing cool experiments and other very exciting (and presumably, insanely dangerous) stuff.

To celebrate the mission launch, the UK Space Agency are throwing a bunch of space celebrations across the country, and we're throwing the one in Edinburgh!


In partnership with the UK Space Agency and the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the Edinburgh International Science Festival is hosting a Big Screen Space Night in the Grand Gallery of the National Museum of Scotland on Tuesday December 15th.

The night starts at 6.30pm with a live link up to the Space Station, as the hatch opens and Tim starts his six month tour. Then Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti (aka the super-cool astronaut who dressed up in a Star Trek uniform on the actual Space Station) will take part in an audience Q&A, and THEN there's a special screening of The Martian which is this year's best space movie (featuring a very charming, bit sweary Matt Damon, and Troye from Community being the cutest astrophysics student there is). AND there's a space bar, and the Grand Gallery of the Museum is possibly the fanciest place you could ever watch a movie.

Tickets are only £5, and can be purchased via the Filmhouse website or from the Filmhouse box office (on Lothian Road). So exciting!

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

HOME TOUR: MY BATHROOM

When I moved into my new flat I knew I needed to do quite a bit of DIY. Most of the rooms needed painting at the very least, but the only room I didn't have to touch was the bathroom. I idly thought if I had enough money left after furnishing the place, I would look into re-tiling it, but that was the extent of my bathroom ambitions.

Until the DAY OF TERROR. I had a tiler in to do the kitchen, and as he was here I asked him to fit a shower screen in the bathroom (which I'd planned to do myself, but wimped out about drilling into tiles). He pointed out some loose tiles that needed fixed before they caused a problem, I agreed, and then left him to it.

My mum had been in the flat as I was at work. First she called me to say they'd got started and all was fine, then she called me to say she'd authorised the shower being replaced (and I grumbled because it was going to cost an extra £100), and then she called, and in a very serious voice asked when I could come home.

Turned out that the bathroom had been leaking from various points for a very long time. The floor was totally ruined with damp, the bath was cracked, the plasterboard was damaged, and I was very lucky to find it when I did (and not a month or so later by falling through the floor!). The solution - replace the floors and the walls and install an entirely new bathroom. I cried and I cried and I felt more stress than I had in a very long time. But now that can all feel like a distant nightmare... because look at it!


When I found out that it all needed done (and that I was getting kicked out of my brand new flat in the process), I just wanted it done as quickly as possible. That meant I skipped going to any bathroom shops or showrooms, I just found what I wanted online that was in stock and could be delivered quickly, and hoped that my gut instinct would turn out okay!

The first thing I chose was these amazing blue metro tiles (from Topps Tiles). I'd already daydreamed about blue tiles in my bathroom planning post, and a reader had commented with a link to these beauties (thank you thank you!), which made the first step so much easier. They were a bit over my budget, but I loved them so much I couldn't resist.


The bathroom units are from Bathstore - I bought the MyPlan WC unit and the Mino sink unit in walnut. In a stroke of much-needed luck they had a half-price sale on the weekend I needed to buy all my things, so I managed to get both for under £300 (which still seems horrific, but they had next-day delivery too).

The floor tiles are rough stone ones from B&Q - I literally just picked the nicest looking grey ones that were in stock in my local store, but luckily they're really nice in person! The guy who worked on my bathroom (Top Quality Tiling in Edinburgh) was ace - I would email him the items I liked, and in most cases he could get them cheaper with a trade discount and just bring me the receipt (I have no idea if this is just standard practice when you get work done, but it made my life so much easier!).


I am delighted with my shower - I've always wanted one with a rainforest showerhead, but thought they would be mega expensive... turns out it's not actually that much more! I bought this Mira shower and it is the VERY BEST THING. You can switch between the showerheads depending on if you want to get your hair wet or not, and it brings me such joy! (I'm aware how dull this post is making me sound).

The little bathroom trolley is actually an Ikea kitchen trolley! I bought it when I first moved into the flat and it's so handy - I've got other storage in the bathroom for medicine and boring things, but this is ace for having soaps and bath bombs and lotions and potions all in easy reach!

The walls are painted in Dulux Bathroom Frosted Steel, which I picked up thinking it was white (I obviously did not read the label), and only discovered it was actually definitely grey when the walls were painted. Luckily there's enough silver and grey in the room that it works, and I can pretend it was a deliberate choice!


The hardest thing to pick for this room was (weirdly) the taps. They caused me SO MUCH STRESS. Everyone told me that while I could buy a cheap bath/sink/toilet, I needed to get nice taps... and I realised I had no idea what nice taps looked like. Taps also somehow cost a fortune?! Anyway, I eventually settled on this style... which was sold out, so my plumber picked something very similar, saving me from the hassle of trying to choose again (thank god). 

And finally, I knew I wanted my bathroom to be full of leafy plants (and I had a couple of pipes to hide), so I bought this amazing Devil's Ivy from B&Q. It slots in perfectly in the dead space between the sink and the wall, and is leafy and lovely.

I'm so pleased with it, but my god. It's been a bit of a journey to get here! 

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

OUTFIT: CANDY CANE CHRISTMAS

It's December 1st which means it's officially time to start counting down to Christmas! Hooray! I love December so much - I love the decorating, the food, the hot booze, the fact it's okay to wear glitter all the time, that you have big get-togethers with your friends and family, AND it's also my birthday month. Best time of the year!

George at Asda are also fans of Christmas cheer, and asked me to share my essential Christmas Day outfit. I also got to pick a couple of things from their party dress collection (thanks guys) and pose in front of my new candy striped study wall - I knew there was a good reason to paint my house ridiculous colours!

Dress* - George at Asda
Shoes* - George at Asda
Necklace - JOY
Christmas Day for me is generally a very relaxed affair - my family always played board games rather than dressing up fancy, and I've kept that tradition as I've carved out my own Christmases away from home. 

Generally, after lounging about the morning, most of the day will be spent cooking Christmas dinner - last year we cooked a goose and it was incredible! - then eating as much as physically possible, and collapsing on the sofa to watch the Doctor Who Christmas special and old festive films. So for my Christmas outfit I try and find something that feels like I've made a little bit of an effort, but allows for maximum comfiness when I'm too full to care! 


I picked out this lace insert dress and it's perfect! (It's also only TWELVE POUNDS. Christmas bargain!). It's a skater-style dress in a jersey fabric, so it's soft and super cosy. The lace sleeves and back help dress it up that wee bit, so it happily sits in the land between I-made-an-effort and I'm-going-to-snooze-on-the-sofa. 

To give it a little bit of colour, I added my very favourite JOY rainbow necklace (I'm going to have to buy another soon as I am wearing this one to death!), and a glittery holly clip from Crown and Glory.


To add another touch of festive sparkle, I wore these amazing gold lace-up brogues from George. They're a really beautiful rose gold colour, and I'm pretty sure I'll be wearing these all of December (and hoping the weather isn't too terrible so I don't ruin them!). They're also a bargainous £14 (and come in silver too). 


I hope that's inspired you to start planning your outfit... there's only 24 sleeps to Christmas!
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