Wednesday, 30 September 2015

SEPTEMBER CATCH UP

This has been such a fun month! I've spent time hanging out with all of my favourite people, gone adventuring in the sunshine, and had time after a mad-cap August to catch up on sleep and recharge my batteries. I also can't believe how quickly it's gone by - this time next month I'll be collecting the keys to my new flat. EXCITING.

Instagram username: @eversojuliet
1. This month I looked after my favourite cat for two weeks. I love that I'm Riley's holiday home, it is so nice to see him and get proper cat cuddles! Riley seemed to have a nice time too although he's not a good flat cat anymore, I learned quickly that he cannot be trusted near open windows!

2. The weather has been surprisingly lovely this month, but it's been nice to have some rainy autumn days too. I bought this candle from Primark and I really love it - it was a total bargain, has lasted ages and smells amazing!

3. I started growing this avocado plant earlier this year, and I'm so delighted to see how much it's grown! It's taken months to get this far, but now it has proper roots and looks like an actual plant. I should be able to plant it in a pot soon and then it'll turn into a tree!

4. I couldn't resist buying this amazing antique 1930s chest from an Edinburgh vintage store. It is massive, and is still covered in stickers from its travel around the world.

5. This photo makes me laugh so much - look how bored Riley is of my affection. Poor kitten.

6. My walk to work takes me by paths of trees, which are all turning orange and red and lovely. It's such a nice time of year!

7. I went to London for work, and found myself in a seriously posh part of town for meetings.

8. So posh, that I accidentally walked into the changing of the guard ceremony! Those horses are so massive and beautiful - the ceremony isn't much more than men with swords shouting at each other, but I'm glad I got to see it up close.

9. Once work was done, I had a weekend to catch up with my best pal. I've been wanting to go on the Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio tour for AGES and we finally managed to get tickets! It was the best day, I almost wanted to cry with how amazing everything is. We got to go on the Hogwarts Express AND walk down actual Diagon Alley (so so so cool) and explore the Great Hall. It was the BEST.

10. Once the Harry Potter excitement was over, we headed to the other side of London and explored the seriously cool God's Own Junkyard - a warehouse packed full of amazing neon signs and artwork. There was a cute beer garden around the back too!

11. How adorable is this London street? I wish I lived in a turquoise house! I had a glorious last morning in London, strolling down streets like this in the beautiful sunshine, followed by HOURS sitting on a train stuck in the middle of England. It was a bit of an exhausting end to a glorious week.

12. Then on Sunday, Joshua and I went on a massive (40km!) cycle from Edinburgh out to my hometown, and sat in the shadow of my local ruined palace, drinking beers in the sunshine. It was such a delightful day!

Bring on October, the month of Halloween and home-ownership!

Monday, 28 September 2015

HALLOWEEN TUTORIALS

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you'll know that I am the world's biggest fan of Halloween. I love that it's a chance to be creative and ridiculous and a bit spooky - I love painting daft things on my nails, and baking 'scary' cakes, and most of all, I love playing with makeup and dressing up. I may be turning 30 this year (whaaaat), but I am still a massive child.

So, every Monday in October I'll be posting a new Halloween tutorial. I always try and make my tutorials as easy as possible (I'm a total amateur, so I'm not pretending to be an expert, just explaining what I do), and I try to only use items that you'll already have in your makeup bag, or things that are very, very easy to get.

I've been doing my Halloween tutorials for three years now, so I thought it would be fun to look back on some of my favourite things so far...


Bambi makeup
I love this look and it's so easy to do - you just need white eyeshadow, bronzer and eyeliner! Hipster twig antlers are optional.

Seriously scary zip face
As much as I love cute, creative looks, I am a big fan of actually scary halloween makeup. This zip face tutorial is definitely the goriest look I've ever done.

Doll makeup
This is a fun, simple look that uses white eyeliner and clever fake eyelash placement to turn your face into a wide-eyed doll.


Anatomical heart cake
This is definitely the gooiest cake you'll ever make (cherry jam and red food colouring make for a sticky mix!), but it is surprisingly easy to make and looks SO gory and realistic, it's worth the effort.

Spooky nail art
I used to be a massive fan of nail art, and I'm still really into these super cute designs - how adorable is that little frankenstein? If you didn't want your entire manicure to be halloween-themed, these designs would also work well as accent nails. Subtle, but still spooky.

Spiderweb chocolate cake
Spiderweb icing is another easy cake decorating trick, and looks really effective. This is such a gooey, rich cake too - yum!

You can see all of my tutorials on my how to page - bring on October!

Sunday, 27 September 2015

SUNDAY LINKS

Another week, another round-up of fun things! This week has absolutely blitzed by for me - the sale of my new flat was concluded (meaning I can actually start ordering furniture), I caught up with old pals, submitted massive funding applications at work (fingers crossed!), and got well and truly back into blogging (this will be my SIXTH post of the week! Madness).

Here's some interesting internet things that caught my eye!

Bee socks - Etsy
Do you remember where you were when you first heard about pig-gate? (or, it's better title, #Hameron). This article, the PM, the pig and musings on power, is a really interesting article about authority and the nature of power in Britain.

I jumped on the Autumn band-wagon before it was even officially Autumn (er, here, here, and here) so this mega-sweary it's decorative gourd season declaration was right up my street.

For LFW Pinterest and Topshop teamed up to make a pinterest palette tool, which measures your colour DNA.

Still on LFW, British Beauty Blogger wrote a critical piece on bloggers and fashion week.

I've seen a lot of people rave about Dismaland, Banksy's theme park, but I just find the whole thing a bit stale. Is it because I am a big kid who actually still loves Disneyland? Am I not intelligent enough about contemporary art? Is it all a bit of a self-righteous egotrip about how clever he is and how terrible the country is? I don't know. Neither did the author of this article, Banksy and the problem with sarcastic art.

I would never, never normally post links to things like this, but this is something else. How to lose weight in 4 easy steps.

Morrissey's new book is out, and the Guardian absolutely HATED it. The List critiqued it to see if the poor reviews were justified and - "Verbosity does not make you James Joyce. It makes you a boor" - they absolutely were.

And finally! All I want in life is a pet fox. Just look at it! Gah.

Friday, 25 September 2015

FRIDAY FLAT CHAT:
WONDERFUL WALLPAPER

I didn't ever think I would be a wallpaper person. It makes me think of old rented flats, wth ancient woodchip paper peeling off the wall, or dull dull dull patterns for old ladies who live in bungalows. ButI keep coming across quirky, interesting, bright patterns, and I think I'm starting to be converted.

I wouldn't want to cover my ENTIRE house with it (nor could I, in any way, afford it), but maybe a feature walls? Feature walls are still cool, right?

All wallpapers linked on Pinterest
I've started an entire pinterest board dedicated to wallpaper, because I have become that house-obsessed person. But look at it! I'm still undecided on what colour scheme to go for in my bedroom or study, and possibly this could be the way to go.

I am a big fan of bees, so I couldn't quite contain my joy when I found the bumble bee Farrow & Ball wallpaper. It's pretty pricey at £85 per roll (although, to be honest, I have no idea what 'normal' wallpaper should cost), but I also found a cheaper decal equivalent on etsy, which looks like it would be considerably less effort too (and easier to change up, if you were fed up of living in a hive).

The cactus print is also from etsy, and isn't traditional wallpaper either. Instead, it comes in four big panels, which can be ordered in whatever size you need. I love the polka dots too - I think that image is of actual wallpaper, but you can easily buy (or make!) little decal dots to stick on your walls. Caroline from burkatron did a cute triangle wall decal tutorial recently, which I like a lot, although, would it be too busy in a small-ish space? Would it hurt your head?

And, how amazing is that jelly and cake print by Thornback & Peel? They currently have no wallpaper left on their site, as they are about to launch a new range, so I am waiting impatiently to see what it is. Wouldn't that print be AMAZING in a kitchen? Or would it be too kitsch?

Aah, there are just too many options - how on earth do you choose?

Thursday, 24 September 2015

WIN BECKSONDERGAARD CAPES FOR YOU & YOUR BESTIE!

To celebrate the release of Miss You Already, a brand new film about besties opening on Friday 25th September, I've got another competition for you! Danish designer Becksondergaard have adapted their signature cape, a lovely swooshy blankety number, hand-printed with a print that was created exclusively for the film.

I absolutely love capes, they are so perfect and cosy for wearing on their own in Autumn and layering up in Winter, so I was delighted to be sent one to try out, and get another two capes (worth £99 each!) to give away.

Cape* - Becksondergaard
Dress - H&M
Shoes - Ebay
Sunglasses - Forever 21

The timing of this competition feels very appropriate, as I've just spent the best weekend in London hanging out with my best pal, who I definitely do not get to see as much as I'd like! We met when we were teenagers and have grown up together (with adventures, arguments and everything in between!), and now, even though we're at opposite ends of a country, she's still one of my very favourite people.

Miss You Already stars BFFs Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette who have also been friends forever. It's a film about what happens when life goes wrong, and how friends get you through it. That might sound totally sappy, but I love film and tv that celebrates strong friendships (like Lesley and Anne in Parks & Recreation!), and Miss You Already is getting pretty brilliant reviews already.


So, for your chance to win two capes (one for you and one for your best pal), all you have to do is follow the instructions below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Miss You Already opens on Friday 25th (tomorrow!) and you can watch the trailer here.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

AUTUMN BERRY MAKE UP

I've already written a couple of Autumney posts (here and here), and I promise not to bang on about it for the whole of September, but I wanted to share a make up look that I've been loving recently.

Autumn make up plum lipstick copper eyeshadow floral crown

I absolutely love copper eyeshadow, and it's become my go-to shade for evening make up. I've got a Sleek palette (you can see it here) that I love, and re-purchase every time my favourite colours run out, I reckon it's the best budget eyeshadow out there! I put the copper shade on my eyelid and a little along my lower lash line, and add some liquid eyeliner.

I think the colours go nicely with my hair, and feel suitably autumnal and lovely. Talking of my hair, please don't judge me! It's in such a terrible state at the moment - I had to cancel my last hair appointment and I've not got round to booking another one yet, so the colour is weird and it feels all straggly and not good! Poor hair. To try and disguise it for this post I tousled it a bit, and put on my brand new Crown & Glory floral crown, which came in my September Glitterati box - I love it! I'm trying to channel woodland princess, rather than girl-in-need-of-a-hairbrush.

Autumn make up plum lipstick copper eyeshadow floral crown
Kate Lasting Finish Lipstick - Shade 30 - £5.49
To go with my coppery eyes, I used my brand new Kate Moss Rimmel lipstick in shade 30. I am building up quite a collection of Kate Moss lipsticks, but they are ace! They last really well, are kind to dry lips, and are easy to put on if you are a lipstick-novice like me!

This is actually my first move into darker lipsticks, and I was really nervous that it would look ridiculous on me, but I think it works. The colour is lighter than it looks, and it's a really nice plum-purpley-pink. The lipsticks are less than £6 too, such a bargain!

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

WIN A STITCH & STORY KIT

There's nothing quite like the satisfaction of wearing something YOU have made. It's easy to see how knitting has gone through a resurgence lately - it's a super relaxing hobby that is perfect for cold, dark evenings, giving you the perfect excuse to hibernate under a blanket and watch movies, while also feeling pretty productive.

I came across Stitch & Story recently and I was instantly taken (and featured them immediately in my recent Autumn wishlist post). Stitch & Story make super-cute knitting kits that are designed to reflect current fashion trends and lifestyle products AND be super easy to use. Their site is also packed with knitting tutorials, so even total beginners can have a go, and they also run knitting workshops in London.

They're determined to break knitting's reputation as a difficult granny hobby, and it's totally working - all of their kits are cute and wearable (look at this bobble hat!) and they provide everything you need to get started.

Easy Slumber Socks - Dust pink kit

Stitch & Story are just about to launch a brand new knitting kit, Easy Slumber Socks, and I'm delighted that I've got two kits to give away! This kit comes in dust pink and fossil grey, and comes with:
  • 2 x 100g Stitch & Story The Chunky Wool (100% merino wool)
  • Short pair (25cm) size 8mm bamboo knitting needles
  • Easy Slumber Socks pattern
  • Sewing needle
  • Basic knitting instructions
  • Re-useable Kraft bag to store all your knitting gear

Easy Slumber Socks - Fossil grey kit
For your chance to win, just follow the instructions below...

a Rafflecopter giveaway Winners will be picked on Wednesday 30th September and I'll email you to let you know you've won. By entering you also agree for your email address to be passed on to Stitch & Story (which I think means they'll send you cosy photos of wool and the occasional offer). UK entries only please. Thank you!

Monday, 21 September 2015

EUREKA EDINBURGH

Working at the Science Festival is really great. There's loads of lovely, smart people that work there, we have robots and 3D printers and all sorts of bonkers things in our office, and I've learned loads about how the world works, and how science is really cool (and that engineering ain't just bridges and roads). 

But I've also learned that the best kind of science event is one that involves drinking and lots of lols - and some of my clever pals have set up Eureka Edinburgh... just the thing to get your boozy science fix all year round!

Eureka Edinburgh

Eureka Edinburgh's science cabaret evenings are a wunderkammer of curiosities from across the spectrum of culture - the sciences, history, medicine, anthropology, literature and art. They run monthly at Paradise Palms (one of Edinburgh's loveliest - and coolest - bars), and aim to give you an experience that's something a bit different - clever people talking about interesting stuff in a fun way in a very social context.

Eureka Edinburgh

Each evening has its own theme - so far they've looked at the sun, insects (with tastings!), blood (with leeches - gaaaah), and next up is water!

On October 1st, Eureka Edinburgh's fourth science cabaret splashdown explores the weird and wonderful world of the wet stuff. They'll be submerging you in the unusual physics of dihydrogenmonoxide, investigate its role in human cultures, follow a water molecule on its journey, and diving into the science and superstitions surrounding the substance before raising a glass of aqua vitae to the future of our blue planet - will it be Waterworld or water wars?

Tickets cost £8, which includes a cocktail, and can be bought from eventbrite here!

Sunday, 20 September 2015

SUNDAY LINKS

Happy Sunday everyone! I've had a lovely, but very, very busy week. I went down to London for a few days of work, followed by a weekend of fun with my bestie (we went to the Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour, and it was possibly the BEST DAY EVER. More on this soon!).

Now I'm sitting at a train station somewhere in Northern England, as my train home has been delayed by an incident in the Borders, and it doesn't look like we'll move any time soon. All I want is to get home and get in my pyjamas... cross your fingers for me please!

Donut bow shoe clips - Etsy

While I wait for my train to move (I've been sitting in this seat for over five hours now, so I am a bit broken!), here's a few of my favourite links from this week.

London Fashion Week started on Friday. I get a bit intimidated by fashion, but I love this Vice article from last year: I dressed like an idiot at London Fashion Week.

I love cheese, but I've never thought about roasting it before. Take a look at this roasted feta recipe, and prepare for your mouth to water.

Did you know you can get Han Solo pop tarts?! Guttingly, you can't actually eat them, but they do look amazing.

However, you CAN eat and play with these chocolate LEGO bricks and they are possibly the most adorable thing I've seen!

Have you ever wondered what the deal with rose gold is? This article, about the semiotics of rose-gold is super fascinating.

I've got a lot of love for Lorde, and I really liked how she rocked her sore eye at New York Fashion Week (aka did not care, partied through it, continued to look amazing).

And finally, everyone loves pom poms, right? Checkout these 10 amazeballs pom pom projects to get your crafty fix!

Friday, 18 September 2015

FRIDAY FLAT CHAT:
DREAMY LIVING ROOMS

I hope you're ready for about a million interiors posts! There's now six weeks to go until I collect the keys of my brand new flat, and to help me (impatiently!) count down I've started a new series of home inspo posts - Friday Flat Chat! In the run up to being a homeowner I'll be looking at homes that inspire me, and pulling together millions of wishlists, and chat about what I've learned about house-buying.

If this sounds interesting to you (I can't imagine why it wouldn't! Ha), then check back every Friday for a new update. If this sounds hellish, I promise to post about non-home things on Monday and Wednesday like usual. Phew!

All images from Pinterest
Beautiful blues, colourful walls, grey and copper combos, adorable pets!
One of the first things I've had to think about is my future living room. Sofas can take up to 10 weeks to order, so I have to pretty quickly break out of the how-do-I-adult stage of house buying, and pick a sofa so I have something to sit on when I move in!

My new flat is painted in really bright colours (the previous owners seem to be pretty into Indian-inspired decor), and while I'm planning to paint most of it, I actually really like the yellow living room. All of my recent flats have had completely white walls, so I think it would be fun to have some colour - the room is big enough to pull it off, and at one end it has a Juliet balcony, so it is a lovely, sunny space.

I first started looking at bright blue sofas, to complement the yellow walls, but a few people warned me on how they can fade and show up marks easily. As much as I love them - how ace is the top left one?! - I want an easy life, so I've been eyeing up dark grey sofas instead. They're much more practical, and I can add pops of colour with cushions and throws!

Amazing cloud storage, indoor trees, loads of light, colourful dining
My living room is a big rectangle shape, so I'll be splitting it into a sofa/chill out space at one end, and a dining space at the other. I love Zoe's upcycled chairs, they are super cute! I am also SO excited about having a dining table again (and it is moments like these that make me realise I am old). I love having my friends round for dinner, but it always takes the shine off when you have to eat on your lap - but no more!

I also love having loads of plants in my house, and now I have more space I can get even bigger ones. Ikea have a surprisingly nice plant section, and have some massive leafy ones that would look lovely in the corner of the room. I'll also be able to grow things on my tiny balcony and as I'm on the top floor of the building, there's extra space at my front door to grow even more. I've not had this much (indoor) garden space in years, I can't wait to over-water everything!

Can you tell I'm excited?

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

AFTERNOON TEA
AT THE SIGNET LIBRARY

Earlier this summer I was invited along to one of Edinburgh's fanciest venues, The Signet Library, to try out afternoon tea at their brand new tea salon, the Colonnades.

The Signet Library is a beautiful old building - tucked just off the Royal Mile, it's a secret treat, with beautiful Corithian columns and floor-to-ceiling rainbow bookshelves lining the room. The library has recently been restored, and they've spared no expense. It's afternoon tea at it's fanciest.

afternoon tea signet library colannades edinburgh

Colonnades takes afternoon tea very, very seriously - the venue has its own Tea Sommelier (imagine if that was your job!), Champagne experts and mixologists, and an on-site pastry chef to ensure everything is cooked completely from scratch and served in style.

afternoon tea signet library colannades edinburgh

afternoon tea signet library colannades edinburgh

We started with a savoury selection of the nicest miniature dishes - mini Aberdeen Angus burgers on brioche toast, smoked applewood cheese and celery tartlets (so good!), Scottish Shetland salmon infused with Edinburgh Gin, goat's cheese mousse in tiny cucumber cups, and fancy sandwiches topped with quails eggs and Avruga caviar. I felt like I was in Downton Abbey.

afternoon tea signet library colannades edinburgh

afternoon tea signet library colannades edinburgh

The puddings came next, and oh my god. Rhubard fools, blood orange jelly cubes, chocolate and sea salted caramel tarts (I could exist only on this), teeny lemon meringue tarts, passion fruit and mango eclairs topped with tiny flowers, scones with clotted cream and strawberry and champagne jam, and mille feuille - the softest pastry filled with cream and berries and sugar.

This was all served with champagne and lashings of tea (from the Wee Tea Company), and it was possibly the most delightful combination of things I have ever eaten. We ate EVERYTHING in sight (they do let you take food away, but we were committed to finishing our plates!), and it was just wonderful. Can you tell I loved it? I loved it.

I'm also particularly impressed that the afternoon tea menu changes seasonly too, to let them use the best Scottish produce available. AND they do a gluten-free version too!

Afternoon tea usually costs £30 per person, but they are doing an offer right now, where you can get tea for 2 for just £50 if you book online or over the phone (all details here). I know it seems like a lot for tiny cakes, but it's so worth it - treat yo' self!

Monday, 14 September 2015

AUTUMN WISHLIST

Ah, feel that? The nights are getting darker, the days are getting crisper, and there's the scent of pumpkin spice lattes on every breeze. I'm not sure if it's a super British thing to love Autumn, but I really do. I love wearing massive scarfs and thick tights, and boots you can stomp around in. I love wearing autumnal colours (they go well with my hair!), and going for big Sunday walks, all wrapped up in layers and knitwear. I love it!

I wish I was rich enough to buy a whole new wardrobe of lovely Autumn-inspired clothes, but as I just bought a bloody house (!!!), I will have to window shop instead. Here's what I'm wishing for...


Top row

Middle row

Bottom row

Each year I obsessively hunt for the perfect cape, and I cannot get over how beautiful that JOY one is. There's the small matter of it being £100 (gulp), but the lining? Amazing. I have also lusted after a Karen Mabon scarf forever, and I love this one with foxes rummaging through bins. So British! Aaand, on a cold evening, there's not much more satisfying than knitting your own scarf - I recently came across Stitch & Story and their DIY kits are so cute!

Sunday, 13 September 2015

SUNDAY LINKS

Currently, it's a very gloomy afternoon in Edinburgh. I've got candles burning, and I've cosied up under a blanket to blog, with netflix on in the background (I'm about to start watching Monsters University, and I am excited!). I've got a bit of a manic week ahead - I'm off to London for work and play, so I'm enjoying the chance to laze while I can.

I was reading through some of my favourite blogs, and I realised that I absolutely love reading posts like these - where people pick out their favourite things from the internet each week. I'm feeling truly back on blogging form after a very lazy summer, so I thought this could be a nice new feature...  so say hello to Sunday Links!
The Instant Comfort Pocket Box - Etsy

I've been amazed watching Patrick Ness' incredible fundraiser for Syrian refugees. He aimed for £10,000, and has now raised just under £600,000, with the help of loads of authors and publishers match-funding donations as they come in. It's been incredible to see the YA community come together, and the money is going to such a good cause. If you haven't donated yet, please consider doing so.

On that note, this reddit AMA is really fascinating. It's a Syrian refugee in Germany, talking about his journey, why he left, and what he's doing now.

I'm getting pretty obsessed with interiors and home decor blogs, as I'm starting to plan my new house, and I've really been enjoying Lily Melrose's moving vlogs. I don't watch many vlogs as they all seem pitched at kids, so it's nice to find someone in their 20's, chatting about the things I like!

I've been rewatching Parks & Recreation (which is pretty much the best show ever made), and I have been loving this collection of 100 Parks & Rec gifs, which means you'll never be stuck for a way to express yourself.

I'm a fan of crisp days and cosy nights in, so I like Miss West End Girl's 10 things to do in Autumn post. Lynsay is also one of my inspirations for starting a links post - you can check out her weekly round up here!

I love Kate's X-Files brooch (SO cute), and I also adore how she's styled a perfect pastel outfit around it.

Apparently, George R.R. Martin's new book is coming in 2016! I'm not sure if I actually believe that, but I'll cross my fingers.

And finally, this made me actually laugh out loud - men wearing a military helmet and nothing else in western art historySHOES, Ajax? and deny the other Greeks the sight of these shapely ankles?

Friday, 11 September 2015

A TRIP TO CROATIA

Earlier this year, Joshua & I were planning our summer holiday. We wanted somewhere in Europe that was definitely going to be sunny, but not too touristry, wasn't too pricey, but had nice places to eat and stay, and that had places to explore and adventure, but also offered the chance to laze and relax.

I thought it might be a bit of an impossible ask... and felt a bit stuck before I even started looking. But good old twitter came to the rescue, and after a cry for help, loads of people recommended Croatia.

Split, Croatia
It's the sunniest place in Europe, it's easy to fly to from Edinburgh, it has old Roman cities and tiny beaches, and the food was apparently incredible. We were sold! So, at the end of June, just before the tourist season began, we packed our (hand-luggage only) bags and jumped on a plane...

WHERE WE STAYED


We wanted a mix of sunshine-lazing and city-exploring, so we split our holiday over two locations: Hvar, one of Croatia's many islands; and Split, an amazing city on the coast that is built around an amazing 4th century Roman fortress (which is also one of the main filming locations for Game of Thrones!).

We stayed in airbnb apartments in both places, which were ace. I can't imagine booking a normal hotel anymore, I think airbnb is always so much better (and cheaper!).

Our Hvar apartment was lovely! It was nestled in a private bay, in a small block of about eight flats. The apartment itself was a bit basic inside, but very clean, and we had the most amazing view from our little balcony. The bay was absolutely beautiful, with clear water, boats bobbing about, and a few loungers dotted about for days when you just wanted to read your book and soak up some sun.

The owners were lovely too - even if we couldn't quite understand them! Every night they'd have fresh fish, and if you met them in the morning, you could put a request in for your dinner that night. They also would drive you into town if you didn't have transport - the apartment was a 10 minute drive from Hvar town, or a one hour walk (which was quite pleasant, once you got up the massive hill!).

The studio apartment in Split wasn't quite as picturesque, but we were only there for two nights (and it was only £15 per night!). I was under the impression that it had a balcony, so was a bit put out when we discovered it was on the ground floor - my fault for not looking at the listing properly! It was really central though, which made it a good budget option, but if I was to go back I would definitely find a balcony flat!

WHAT WE DID


Our main mission on Hvar was to eat good food, drink lovely wine, and read as many books as possible, so it wasn't the most action-packed holiday. Hvar island is quite small, but very hilly, so after swithering over electric bicycles (which sound magic!), we hired a moped for a few days, which was so much fun! Joshua had driven one once, but we managed to enthusiastically convince the rental place that he was a pro at driving them, and we didn't get into any moped drama!

There's loads of little towns dotted around the island that are worth visiting, with little cobbled streets, beautiful marinas, and old architecture. The island is covered in olive groves, lavender fields, old vineyards and interesting historic features like the Spanish fortress in Hvar Town - it's all pretty picture perfect.

There are millions of little beaches and bays around the coastline, and you can get a water taxi to even tinier islands nearby too, so we never ran out of places to swim and laze by the sea.


Split is such a beautiful and interesting old city, and you can easily spend hours exploring its old streets and underground passages. The city is built around Diocletian's Palace and it's absolutely fascinating, I've never seen anything quite like it! It's full of twisty little streets and old clocktowers and hidden underground wells and old cobbled courtyards.

We did a lot of walking in Split, climbing a massive hill that overlooks the city to visit the world's weirdest tiny zoo (featuring one wolf and an army of guinea pigs), and going on a mission to find a beach, and coming across the brilliant Archaeological Museum - we were the only people there, and they just had corridor after corridor filled with mosiacs and statues and ancient stonework.

WHAT WE ATE


Croatian food was brilliant, and so cheap! There were amazing cheeses and salamis, fresh pasta, and incredible seafood. My favourite morning was when we got up at 6am, walked into Hvar Town and bought fresh fish that had just been caught - we had fresh sashimi for lunch and barbecued fish for dinner. So perfect!

Split is packed full of restaurants, cafes and bars, so it was always easy to find something interesting and great to eat. Hvar is a wonderful place to eat, if you avoid the more pricey, touristy places in Hvar Town. We managed to get a table at Dalmatino and it completely lived up to the hype, and stumbled across Konoba Kokot - an amazing traditional restaurant, tucked down a tiny path in a little village. I want to go back just for that meal!

USEFUL TIPS


Croatia is beautiful, but it is rocky! If you are planning to go in the water, you'll need something for your feet - I just bought cheap surf shoes from Amazon that did an ace job. This will also protect you from the little stinging sea anemones that line the coast - you do not want to step on those with bare feet (or, ahem, sit on one by accident).

Also, if you're European, remember your EU medical card! I didn't. Then I was bitten by a spider, had a massive reaction, had to go to a Croatian doctor and get loads of drugs and a massive bandage. It wasn't too expensive or traumatic (apart from when Josh told me the spider probably laid eggs in my arm, aaaaah), but it would have been less stressful if I'd been more organised before travelling!

There's so much more to see in Croatia, and I'd love to explore the other islands - take me back!

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

I BOUGHT A FLAT!

I have been waiting impatiently to post this for weeks - I bought a flat! My mortgage is approved, and I'm just waiting on the last bits of paperwork to be filed (so, er, here's hoping I don't jinx it!), and I'll get the keys next month. EXCITING.


It hasn't really felt real. After I sold my house in the suburbs and moved back to the city, I had no intentions of buying again. Selling the house had been such a hassle and I didn't want to be tied down again into something that might become a burden. I loved (and still love!) the flat I'm renting... but it's a pretty small flat, and, if I'm honest, I missed having space. I also realised that mortgage payments were likely to be lower than what I'm paying in rent (madness), and home ownership started to feel like a slightly better idea.

So, I started looking at flats a couple of months ago, and quickly realised how hellish house-hunting actually is. The housing market seems to have totally picked up again, so everything is going SO QUICKLY and, in most cases, for well over the valuation price. I put an offer in on one flat and was knocked back spectacularly, viewed the most depressing properties you can imagine, viewed the most glorious one I could never afford, was stressed out of my head, had various cries about it, and actually had nightmares about house-viewings. It was not fun. I almost gave up, but I was addicted to a painful cycle of refreshing property apps over and over and over again.

But then I found my one! And it is bright and lovely, and has the most glorious rooftop views  that stretch over to Edinburgh Castle! It's got space for a study (so I can recreate bits of my old library) and also has a massive floored attic (!) which I'm planning to turn into a cinema/video game space. It also has a BATH, so I can return to the land of lovely Lush bathbombs (friends and family - note, they are all I want for christmas). Somehow I got in early enough, and they accepted my offer, and the bank was nice enough to lend me a massive amount of money that I'm tied into until I retire! Yay, adulting!


And now I wait. I've got weeks and weeks before I move, as I let the seller pick the date, so I've just been getting carried away on Pinterest (I have TEN home-themed boards now, so I think I officially have a problem).

But it's so exciting! And over-whelming! The only bit of furniture I own is Soba's cage, so I have to completely furnish the flat from scratch. I've also never lived anywhere that was a completely blank canvas before - how do you decide what colours to use, when you could go for absolutely anything?! Too much choice.

So that's my news. It's been really stressful and I've hated most of house-hunting, but hopefully there's mainly good times ahead. I'm been obsessed with homeware blogs recently, so I'm going to start posting some decor inspiration blogs, while I try and get my new flat life in order. Fun!

Monday, 7 September 2015

AUGUST CATCH UP

As always, my August revolves completely around Edinburgh's summer festivals. It's a seriously FULL ON four weeks of comedy and culture and super late nights with the nicest of people. I also managed to do some seriously grown up things in August (more on this soon!), so I'm pretty knackered now, and I'm glad to have some early nights where I don't have to do anything (I'm getting old).

Here's what last month looked like.

Instagram username: @eversojuliet
1. I spent most of my Fringe at the Gilded Balloon - a turreted Hogwarts-style building, that turns into a student union the rest of the year. It's got a lovely little secret bar on the top floor that is my favourite place to hang out in the festival - you're surrounded by old rooftops and fairy lights and millions of comedians, it is ace!

2. I'm also a fan of the massive cow that arrives in Edinburgh each year. One of the best shows I saw this year was Sam Simmons - he's a really silly but wonderful comedian. If he's performing anywhere near you, I highly recommend him!

3. In Edinburgh in August, almost every space is turned into a festival venue, and one of my favourites was the Hendrick's pop up bar. It was like walking into an eccentric Victorian's drawing room, filled with taxidermies and curiosities, and amazing cocktails. This one, the Hendricks Black Rose, was incredible - gin, cocchi rosa, cointreau, egg white, charcoal and rose dust.

4. It wasn't all partying! I read the new Jon Ronson book and I really enjoyed it! It looks at people who've been publicly shamed, the effect it's had on their life, and how it can take surprisingly little to rile up an internet storm. Definitely worth a read.

5. My favourite thing at the Festivals was, by far, the Harmonium Project by the Edinburgh International Festival (you can watch a short video at that link). It was an absolutely beautiful event,  animations where projected onto one of Edinburgh's most iconic buildings to the sounds of the Edinburgh Festival Chorus. About 20,000 people came to watch it, and the atmosphere was amazing. Go EIF!

6. After a seriously miserable July, summer finally seemed to roll around, and August was filled with beautiful sunny evenings. It's easy to miss familiar sights, but I couldn't believe how beautiful the castle looked one night. It was golden and lovely, and absolutely everyone was stopping to look at it.

7. I went to see the amazing Michel Faber at the Book Festival. He was talking about his newest book, The Book of Strange New Thingsand it was heart-breaking and beautiful. His wife was diagnosed with cancer as he was writing the novel, and he just spoke so beautifully about love and loss and life. I wish I had made it to more Book Festival events, but it was a treat to attend this one.

8. It's been a year since I got my undercut, and I still absolutely love it (and seem to be on my way to shaving my whole head!). I know it's going to be a nightmare to grow out, but I don't care - that still feels like a long, long way away.

9. It's Soba! He's still super cute, he's still super grumpy. Riley (the cat) is here to visit again, and Soba remains completely unconcerned by a cat that is fascinated by him, but is terrified by the sound of an unexpected sneeze. Hedgehogs are complicated creatures.

10. Autumn is on the way! I went for brunch at Canonmills (to a lovely little breakfast spot called the Water of Leith Bistro), and spotted these lovely little pumpkins and squashes outside Earthy. I've already had my first pumpkin spice latte of the year and I was SO excited about it. I'm such a loser.

11. My last night out at the Fringe was lovely, even if I was an idiot who didn't take a jacket and was FROZEN all night...

12. ...I went to this super cool pop-up coffee, doughnuts and absinthe bar (I want it to stay year-round!), saw the AMAZING Puddles Pity Party (seriously, look up his youtube videos! So good), watched Pappy's Fun Club for the first time, and stayed out til 4am with my brilliant pals.

Now for sleep!
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