Monday, 12 September 2016

AUTUMN WISHLIST

I know Autumn doesn't officially start until next week, but I am ready for it! I am a bit hopeless at this in-between time, where nights are getting darker, but it's still weirdly warm and humid. How do you dress for 23 degrees, when it's also cloudy AND raining AND 85% humid? Aargh. Bring on crispy leaves, cold days and cosy scarfs, and rainy Sunday afternoons.

This Autumn I'm planning to properly embrace the art of hygge, and I've put together a bit of a wishlist to help me do just that.

I want to curl up in my cosy flat with millions of candles burning (I bought the pine tree version of this candle last year and it was amaaazing), and if I have to leave the flat then I want suitably autumnal clothes - a silk woodland creature scarf to tie round my hair, a galaxy-themed dress to pair with thick tights and silver boots, and a fluffy bobble hat!


Top row

Middle row

Bottom row

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

HELLO AGAIN (LIFE UPDATE!)

Hello there! It feels really strange to be sitting, writing in this blog again. Fun, stressful, exciting things happened, and first I was too busy to keep up with blogging, and then a horrible, awful, heartbreaking thing happened, and I was just too broken to even think about blogging.

But here I am. I've made it through the worst of it (well, I bloody hope I have), and I'm starting to pick my life back up again. I miss the routine and fun of blogging, so I'm going to ease myself back with an follow up to one of my last posts... a list of insecurities that I was SURE wouldn't actually turn into anything. Ahem. Who knew I was so good at predicting the future?

1. Insecurity: starting a new job!


I started my new job at the Edinburgh International Film Festival one week before the programme launched, and just a month before the Festival started. Starting a new job is scary, regardless of how prepared you are, and it was just a whirlwind of exhaustion, fun, stress, excitement and films. Some things went really well, some things were INSANELY stressful, and most times I just crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

Luckily, the core team were absolutely lovely and welcoming (and answered all of my daft questions), and I got through in one piece, and now have a year to shape my department into how I want it before the next Festival hits. I have so much to do (so much, my god), but the team is lovely, and the Festival is really cool, they sent me on the world's most motivating training course, AND my office is in a cinema (which is a nice place to be).


2. Insecurity: my relationship!

Well. This has been the most horrendous thing that has happened to me in a very, very long time. Out of the blue my relationship ended, and it was just AWFUL. We had been together for years and had lovely future plans that just suddenly stopped, and it rocked me to the core.

I naively thought I had already gone through my big adult break up, so coming to terms with being single again (so alone!) and 30 years old (so old!) has been a bit of an adjustment. But my head and heart are sorting themselves out, and I am once again very, very appreciative of my wonderful friends who have rallied around me all summer. I drank loads of wine (too much wine), I cried watching Bridget Jones, I cut my hair to fulfill all break up cliches, and then I went on an impromptu trip to Venice with two of my pals because moping is for losers.


3. Insecurity: being a rubbish blogger


I am a rubbish blogger, I'm sorry. It's been over three months since I last updated,  and I have no idea if I have just driven all of my usual readers away (er, if so, come baaaack), but I hope not.

I am determined to get back in the swing of things though, and I have loads to talk about. I went to Copenhagen! And Croatia! And Venice! The August Edinburgh Festivals are in full swing, and there's ace shows to recommend (hot men performing zombie circus, anyone?)! Aaaand I'll probably have a bit of a reflection on life and love (because rambling cheers me up & everyone's lovely when I whinge on about life being tricky). Plus I bought ace new shoes!

So thanks for sticking with me, if you have done. Here's to the rest of 2016 not quite being such a bastard, aye?

Sunday, 1 May 2016

SUNDAY LINKS

Hello! I'm cheating a bit and writing this post in advance, as I'm currently in Copenhagen (presumably having a lovely time eating danish pastries and drinking coffee in beautiful cafes). It's been a fun week, I've cheered up considerably since writing this blog post (over-sharing on the internet DOES work!), and I've had a busy week of pals, fun, and pubs.

Here's the best bits I spotted online this week. Hope you're all having a lovely Sunday!

The Future is Naps - Enamel pin
So, Beyonce released Lemonade, and it's all everyone is talking about. Here's why it is so important. Also, wondering who 'Becky with the good hair' is? This is why you should not care.

Game of Thones is BACK, and I am so delighted that my favourite brutal show is here again. I thought the first episode was a pretty solid start to the season, but it's weird to see new stories - I'm so used to knowing what's next in the tv show! I'm also a bit alarmed at how much I still love Jaime Lannister. Gah. 

A totally fascinating and mammoth look at Uber, and how it conquered London.

I absolutely loved Carrie's DIY embroidered bomber jackets! I want to go on a girl gang trip to Paris now, it looks amazing!

Did you know that Denmark is the world's happiest country, and they have the best work-life balance in the world? I need to move there, stat!

Why are so many celebrities dying in 2016? Mainly, there's just more celebrities than ever.

Aaaand despite my very whingey post earlier this week, I am genuinely fine, but I really loved this article- 8 ways to tackle the life crisis you think you're having. Thanks to all the real life and internet pals who reached out, or emailed, or commented though - I really appreciated the love!

Friday, 29 April 2016

COASTAL CARRIAGE

Earlier this month, Josh and I went on a trip up North. We had both just worked the Edinburgh Science Festival (which was 18 days of non-stop festival work, and months and months of prep beforehand), so we were in need of sleep and peace and quiet.

We had been swithering over where to go - originally the plan was to go camping (open fires! Gorgeous views! Nature!), then I went on a bit of an enthusiastic tangent and starting planning a walk of the West Highland Way (lol), before we realised that we were both too knackered and the weather was too unreliable to do anything but find somewhere snug and cosy in a quiet location.


After a fairly stressful bit of last-minute searching, we came across Coastal Carriage - a reclaimed railway carriage on the Banffshire Coast. Owned by the same people who run High Seas Hobbit, it ticked all of our boxes: relatively cheap (£70 per night, plus a discount as we were staying for 4 nights); a quiet, scenic location; a wood-burning stove; we didn't need a car to get there; and it looked pretty quirky (we've stayed in a gypsy caravan and a treehouse, so a railway carriage was the obvious next step!).

We'd been keen to avoid hiring a car (to save £££s), so travelled up from Edinburgh using public transport. This meant getting a train from Edinburgh to Aberdeen (2.5 hours), a bus from Aberdeen to Rosehearty (2 hours), then a lift from Rosehearty to the Carriage (the owner very kindly picked us up on the way there, and we ordered a taxi back to town for our way home).


The Carriage is situated on a quiet, family-run farm in Aberdeenshire - in farming country near Fraserburgh and Banff. It looks out over the Moray Firth (you can see dolphins if you are lucky!), and  there's loads of beaches, cliff walks, castles, and other interesting historic things nearby.

We were pretty lazy for most of the trip, but went on a big walk to New Aberdour beach - a beautiful big pebble beach, with loads of rock pools and caves to explore. There was also a cute doocot near by, and an interesting old graveyard, with a memorial to a chieftain who fell at Culloden.


The Carriage itself was pretty simple, but cosy enough to just curl up and chill in. At one end there's a really comfy bed (I spent about 80% of my time here), and at the other there's a wood-burning stove, a small table, and some chairs. The Carriage has french doors that look out over the sea, so it's a pretty beautiful place to nestle down in - although it would benefit from an armchair and a rug to make the space a bit nicer to nestle in!

The wood-burning stove took a while to get going, but was very toasty in the end - even when the weather went bonkers, and alternated between sun, sleet and snow in one day. I'm lucky that Josh is such a good cook, so we ate amazing food all week - slow roasted lamb stew, spatchcock poussin, steak and chips, and baked avocado, eggs and bacon. YUM.

There's no electricity (so you really are forced to switch off), but there's solar powered lights and lanterns, so you aren't sitting in the pitch black every night. There's also a bush shower in the Carriage, and a toilet in a hut nearby.


We spent the week reading, playing yahtzee and cribbage, and listening to a totally ancient Jurassic Park audiobook (which I loved!). It was bliss!

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

INSECURITIES

I generally try and keep my blog a happy, positive place. I like writing about the things I like, and on the whole, I'm an optimistic, happy-go-lucky kind of person. I'm good at finding the silver lining, and even when I am a bit grumpy, it generally doesn't last for long.

Butttt, that's obviously not always the case. And currently, I'm feeling a bit out of sorts and unsure of myself. I think it's a combination of leaving a long-term job, starting something new and exciting, and  the last six months being pretty manic and intense overall - I bought a house! I moved! I spent months panicking about cancer! I delivered a massive festival! I got a new job! I've had about two weeks to do reporting that normally takes six weeks! Aaaaargh.

Courage, dear heart - Etsy print
So, in no particular order, here are the things I am currently feeling insecure about. Because I figure writing them down will stop me squirrelling them away, and then I can just get on with things. Right?

I am starting a new job
In two weeks I'll be about to start my new job. The good thing is that I'm really confident about the work I'll be doing - I'm moving into a very similar position to the one I do now, and I know I'm good at it, and I understand festival life. But I'm nervous about all the little things. I have to make new friends, and I'm starting during a really busy period, when no-one will have time to hang out with me. And I've got a track record of things going really wrong in my first week of a new job (e.g. spilling coffee down a white dress, accidentally kicking my shoe off and it FLYING across an entire office) so I am nervous about the small, stupid things I can't control.

I will not be working with Josh anymore
I currently work in the same office as my boyfriend, and while I fully appreciate that it is going to be a Good Thing working in different places, I still feel insecure about it. I currently get to see him every day, and now I won't. I'll miss him. I'll miss getting to go for lunches with my boyfriend whenever the whim takes us, and making coffees together, and all the nice little moments that make office life so much sweeter. Aargh.

I am seriously unfit
This time last year I was well into training for a 10k race, and feeling pretty good as a result. I tried to restart running earlier this year, but gave up pretty quickly (because it was dark and rainy and I am definitely a fair-weather runner). Now I'm starting to get back into it, but I'm slow and sluggish, and I've started feeling sluggish and uncomfortable in life too. I know that I need to embrace the fact that I'm making healthy changes in my life, and keep exercising/eating healthily, but aaaah, I feel podgy and I just want to feel fitter INSTANTLY.

I am scared of my mortgage
I love my flat, but the responsibility of having to pay for it, and ANYTHING that needs fixed, stresses me out. I didn't realise how much I liked the safety net of renting (and passing any scary bills to your landlord), until I didn't have it anymore. I hate feeling nervy about money.

I don't know what to do with my hair/clothes/anything
This is probably all linked to just feeling a bit BLAH in my appearance, but I'm just feeling pretty over my current style. I have a haircut booked the week before I start my new job, which was meant to be a nice treat so I'd feel all ace when starting, but now I am SO UNSURE what to get done, and I don't know why it bothers me so much. I'm over-thinking my whole wardrobe, and panic-buying clothes I do not need, which is not a good thing.

I am a rubbish blogger
I cannot make time for blogging when I have any sort of work or life stress, which is why I drop off the blogging radar several times each year. But then when I do have time, I love it! I love writing, and  I love the achievement of having posts scheduled for the week, and I love hearing from people who like reading what I write. But I worry that I'm just too inconsistent, and I'm driving readers away. I get jealous when I see bloggers like me that are nailing it (I want to be cool and have a signature style and work with brilliant brands!), and I question whether my chat is even relevant anymore, and if it's worth the effort trying to post three times per week, if all I'm putting out is mindless nonsense. AHH.

I don't make time for creative projects
I don't consider blogging 'being creative' (although I do logically realise it is), so I get mad at myself when I don't make time for painting or drawing or writing fiction. I love those things! They make me happy and seriously help me destress and feel better. So why don't I do them? Why do I spend my time watching terrible movies like Divergent, that I hate so much I end up just mindlessly scrolling twitter on my phone? Whyyyy?

I can't dance
God, I'm an awful dancer. I really don't know what to do about that.

And WAH. Pity party over. I know it's going to be okay really, but it helps to acknowledge all the little things that add up to anxiety. I'm really excited about what's ahead of me, and I'm sure it'll work out fine - I just need to avoid light clothes/hot drinks in week one of my new job!

Monday, 25 April 2016

LIFE CATCH UP

Goodness, it's been ages since I last posted a catch up post! Whoops! Here's a round-up of what I've been up to, when I've not been blogging (I also went on holiday, and got a new job, but you're up to date on those things, riiiight?).

Instagram: @eversojuliet
1. I am so happy to see that Spring is here! It's been so nice to see the sun out - it's even been warm enough to go out WITHOUT a jacket several times (no mean feat in Scotland!). I'm hoping that we get a sunny summer again, I am keen to ditch my winter coat asap, and go on more beach adventures.

2. It's been really lovely seeing what my flat is like on sunny days too. I'm on the top floor so it gets LOADS of light, and gets absolutely roasting if it's been a sunny day and the windows are all closed - I reckon it's going to turn into a bit of a greenhouse in the summer. I'm worried I'm going to kill all of my plants as I'm quite lazy at watering them, eep. Must get better.

3. I stopped eating chocolate/anything with added sugar for a couple months this year, then broke my sweet-treat fast by having the most indulgent mocha coffee (with an ENTIRE creme egg melted in it), which made me feel a bit sick!

4. The Science Festival rolled round, and it was lovely to see all of our hard work pay off! The Festival started with a big opening party at the City Art Centre, where I celebrated slightly too enthusiastically, and then had to embarrassingly shuffle into work the next morning, bleary-eyed, with 18 straight days of work ahead of me. Ahem.

5. It was quite surreal to be working my last Sci Fest, and it was actually really sad to say goodbye to my lovely clients, who I've been working with for the last few years. I made an effort to go to as many events as possible (got to take advantage of my last festival pass!), and saw amazing speakers, got to use a real-life Enigma machine (TOO COOL), danced at a space party, played with robots, and realised I definitely would quite like to be an astronaut.

6. I definitely don't need any more homeware, but I CANNOT resist the charms of Tiger. I bought loads of candles (of course), plus some beaut monochrome mugs, and an ace face planter to replant my avocado plant in. I can't be trusted in that shop, I want it all.

7. Edinburgh's summer festivals are now on the horizon, and Edinburgh International Festival were the first to launch their programme - showing off their super cool new look at the same time. EIF have nailed it this year, I'm so impressed with their programme and I cannot wait to see it all in action in August!

8. I've owned Soba for over a year now (happy birthday Soba!), and if I'm honest, he's not much tamer (I think he will always be a grumpy hedgehog), but he seems pretty happy. Josh and I tidied up his hedgehog house and made cute backgrounds using black vinyl, so he's probably the most stylish hog around.

9. Post-Festival, Josh and I escaped up North for a week of chilling out, drinking wine, and doing very little indeed. We stayed in a reclaimed railway carriage, Coastal Carriage, and it was really sweet (I'll blog about this in more detail soon).

10. Most of the week away was dedicated to pure lazing, but we went on a couple of walks, including a big scramble to a beach dotted with rockpools and beautiful big caves to explore. It was so nice to discover a new bit of Scotland, and we were lucky enough to get some sun (in between the snow, hail and rain!).

11. Finally, after weeks and weeks of always having something on the go, I had a day of NOTHING, and it was glorious. I've been hoarding some Lush bath bombs for ages, so it was ace to get the chance to finally use one - this is the intergalactic bath bomb, which is gorgeous but SO glittery (be warned!).

12. Apologies for being quite the poser here, but after a few weeks of feeling thoroughly frazzled, it was nice to have a moment where I liked my look! My sunglasses were total bargains from Mallorca, and my scarf is an epic tartan/houndstooth number from Primark, that has been a staple in my spring wardrobe - it's like wearing a giant blanket (aka the best kind of clothing).

Sunday, 24 April 2016

SUNDAY LINKS

Hello! It's been a while (again) - I've been a busy bee with the Science Festival taking over my life for the last month, but things are finally calm again and I've found the time to turn on my laptop again.

This weekend has been the first weekend in AGES where I've had no plans, and it has been properly glorious. I've been for a run, I've soaked in the bath, I've watched loads of movies and read my book, and I've still got most of Sunday ahead of me. Happy days.

I hope you're all having a nice weekend too, here's my round up of interesting things I've found online this week.

Being Little - Copenhagen
I'm off on an adventure to Copenhagen with my mum and sisters next weekend, and I can't wait! I actually can't think of the last time just the four of us hung out (without kids or our partners), so I'm super excited to get a bit of bonding time with them! I've been loving Lyzi's guide to Copenhagen, her photos are beautiful!

Yay Scotland! Here's how Holyrood became the most LGBT Parliament in the world.

This is fascinating! How one man accidentally discovered he had Aphantasia.

Oooh, I grew up thinking American MTV was the COOLEST THING ever, so it's quite nice to see that MTV is getting quite good again.

It's worth taking time to read this powerful interview with Monica Lewinsky about shame, public humiliation, and how she's rebuilt her life.

The dream is over, and the Government have ruled that it absolutely wouldn't be appropriate to name their new giant expensive research vessel Boaty McBoatface. Whatever, it'll always be Boaty to me.

I feel like I'm meant to be their target market, but rainbow bagels just look SO awful to me, I don't get it! Here's an interesting take on the most controversial bagel in Brooklyn.

I love Ask Polly SO much, and this week's column is almost as good as it gets. I've been feeling pretty introspective lately (down to changing jobs and the life evaluation that goes hand in hand with that), and it's good to be reminded that life is not a series of goals. It's savouring the little moments of each day, and realising that you are the centre of your life and that is good:

'If you can learn to be where you are, without fear, then sooner than you know it, your life will quite naturally be filled with more love and more wonder than you can possibly handle. When that happens, you'll look back and see that this was the most romantic time of your whole life. These are those terrible days, those gorgeous days, when you first learned to breathe and stand alone without fear, to believe not in finish lines but in the race itself. Your legs are aching and your heart is pounding and the world is electric.'

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

HOME TOUR: MY LIVING ROOM

It's been a while since I last did a home tour post, so I thought today I'd show off my colourful, lovely living room!


When I bought the flat, this room was all yellow, with light mustardy-yellow walls, dark yellow curtains, and black and yellow glass lampshades. I loved how bright the room was, and I had been eyeing up very colourful living rooms, so I wasn't put off by the colour, but I knew it needed a bit of a boost. 

With a gang of helpers (thanks pals), we painted the whole thing, which took aaaages. We painted three walls white (using Dulux White Mist) and repainted the main wall a much brighter yellow (Dulux Lemon Tropics), which instantly made the room feel much bigger and brighter. 

I took down the curtains at both ends of the room (I live on the top floor, so I figured there was no need really), and I replaced the lampshades with these cute white and copper cut-out shades


The room doubles up as a living and dining room, so I wanted to make sure it worked together as one big room with similar colours (white furniture, copper tones, lots of green leaves), but also could be used as two distinct spaces. I think the balance works out quite well - the sofa end feels cosy and nice to hang out in, and there's a bit more breathing space around the dining table so it doesn't feel too cluttered.

It's so lovely having space for a dining table again, I forgot how nice it is to have friends round for dinner and not have to eat off your knee! My dining table and chairs are from Ikea (like most of the furniture in my flat!) - I've got this table, which I absolutely love, and these chairs, which took forever to build. 


As I had to order a sofa weeks before I actually moved into the flat, I got my dimensions a bit wrong, and chose a sofa that is definitely too little for the space. It's left me with a bit of a gap between the sofa and my door, which was perfectly filled by my Christmas tree in December, but needs a bit of work now. I bought a massive bonsai tree (from Ikea, obvs), but it's not big enough - I have my heart now set on buying a massive fiddle leaf fig tree, but I am struggling to find one in the UK! 

My sofa (and it's matching footrest) are both from John Lewis (courtesy of my very kind parents!) - I went for the Portia sofa in Senna Charcoal, and it's comfy and the colour seems to be wearing well. 


Soba lives in the living room, in a bookcase that Joshua & I converted into a hedgehog house. I'm still so proud of our cage DIY, I think it looks ace - and it looks even better after Josh added some vinyl landscapes to some of Soba's rooms (he lives on the top level of the unit). 

I've got loads of plants in this corner, more copper touches, and my favourite armchair, which is another Ikea number (but I don't think it looks too Ikea, if that makes sense!).  


And finally, in the very middle of the room, I have my bookcases. I've got more in my study, but this is most of my fiction collection, and I love having them all on display again after a few years living without shelves. I love organising books by colour (and I can always find what I'm looking for!), and it's such a nice bright way to pull the room together.

I'm so pleased with how it's come together!

If you liked this post, you might want to check out:

Monday, 28 March 2016

OUTFIT: ORLA KIELY SHOES

As it's Science Festival season, I thought I'd share what I wore to our programme launch back in February. This year's Festival is themed around Building Better Worlds, so as press props/venue decorations we made these adorable happy planets, which are too cute to resist posing with!

Dress* - Tu at Sainsburys
Shoes - Orla Kiely at Clarks
Necklace - JOY
I've blogged about this dress before, but it's become a bit of a staple in my wardrobe when I need to be a little more dressed up! It's a really simple polka dot dress from Tu at Sainsburys, and I love the dipped neck and back which makes it feel a little more fancy. I had been a bit wary of the length when I first got it (because I am short, and longer dresses can drown me), but I've been wearing it with heels which works really well.

Talking of heels, look at my very favourite new pair of shoes...


Aren't they beautiful? They are from the Orla Kiely x Clarks collection, which I had been eyeing up as soon as they were released, but as they were a bit pricey, I couldn't justify buying them. Then in January I just so happened to be passing a Clarks, popped in, and found one pair in my size left in the sale! It was meant to be.

I'm pretty rubbish in heels, but these are so comfy and nice to walk in, thanks to the super chunky heel. They're so cute, and I love pairing them with an all-black outfit to add a pop of colour. 

Sunday, 27 March 2016

SUNDAY LINKS

Happy Easter everyone! I'm super excited for Easter this year, as I haven't had any chocolate since February (aaah!), and I am so ready for my easter eggs! It's a super busy weekend for me as the Edinburgh International Science Festival has now started (hooray!), so the last few days have been spent running around getting everything ready, and lots and lots of science, dinosaurs, tiny homes, and lego. It's not a bad way to spend your weekend!

Even though work is super busy, I've been determined to get back into the blogging rhythm, so I've got a few posts up this week (life update, cactus wishlist, a trip to Valldemossa) for you to catch up on if you'd like, and here's my weekly round-up of interesting things I've found online. Have a nice Sunday!


Fancy some easter baking? How amazing do these creme egg brownies look? Yum!

I really connected with this: sometimes #girlsquads make me feel like shit.  'Telling yourself that there’s room for all women to succeed is hard, because the evidence of history isn’t there — we have always had to fight for token spots and quotas, setting ourselves apart from ‘other girls’ by being unapologetically confident and tough. And though things are changing gradually, it’s not so easy to forget.' 

This is fascinating - a look at the stand-up comedians who run big brand social media.

I am currently quite  obsessed with enamel pin badges (I can't resist an instagram trend). Finest Imaginary has just brought some new ones out and they are adorable (that bear!). 

Now the weather is getting better, I really have no excuse to not start running again, but I'm finding it really difficult to get motivated! I need something like the Hogwarts Running Club - it looks amazing!

Remember that cringey Financial Times article that scoffed because millennials weren't willing to pay £800 per month into their pension? Here's a lovely comeback from a CBA millennial: 'If only someone had suggested to me that saving up for old age was wise then I wouldn’t have bothered building that scale model of the Taj Mahal out of £50 notes in my living room'.

Aaand here's a really interesting look at the changing world of pop (and why we are now all Beliebers).

Friday, 25 March 2016

A TRIP TO VALLDEMOSSA, MALLORCA

A few weeks ago Joshua & I escaped the grey Scottish skies for somewhere a little brighter. We headed off to Mallorca for his (super belated) birthday trip and it was AMAZING.

I always kind of thought of Mallorca as being super-Brits-abroad territory but last summer Josh & I really got into Frederic Chopin (by playing a surreal Japanese video game about him all summer - is that weird? It sounds really weird when I try to describe it. ANYWAY, we like Chopin, now, okay?). The game tells the story of Chopin's life, and one of the places that kept coming up was Valldemossa - a small Spanish village where Chopin lived and wrote some of his most famous works.

We had joked about going on a video game/Chopin pilgrimage, but then when I was looking for holiday inspiration, Valldemossa kept ticking all of the boxes. Beautiful location, cheap and quick flights, ace Airbnbs, lovely weather - check check check!


WHERE WE STAYED

I was so impressed at how easy it was to get to Valldemossa from Edinburgh. We flew to Palma from Edinburgh with Jet2, which only took about two hours and was a total bargain. Then we got the airport bus to Palma bus station, and it took another 30 minutes to drive from Palma to Valldemossa.

I booked this beautiful apartment on Airbnb, mainly because I was quite obsessed with the bathroom - check out that bath! It was really perfect for what we needed, with a gorgeous balcony that looked out over old rooftops and mountains, loads of space, and a great location in the middle of town, just round the corner from a bakery. The hosts were really good too - picking us up from the bus stop and driving us to get firewood and wine (the essentials) before they gave us keys and left us alone.

I can't imagine travelling and not using Airbnb these days - you get so much more for your money, and you get your own wee house! If you're thinking about using it, do it (and use this link if you'd like money off!).


WHAT WE DID

Valldemossa is a beautiful old quiet town, and had the perfect amount of places for us to explore over a long weekend. We OF COURSE went straight to the Monastery where Chopin lived with his lover, and it was really moving - they had his actual piano, books and sheet music, and you could explore his rooms and stand in his very peaceful garden, looking out over the hills to Palma.

The whole monastery is really fascinating, and you can explore old rooms, including the monks' library which is filled with ancient books and maps, and the old pharmacy which has shelves stacked high with old bottles, vials, and mysterious looking potions.

We spent a fair bit of time reading our books and drinking wine in the sunshine, but also went on a proper adventure - exploring the Archduke's Way, which was a 4 hour hike up a mountain... a bit exhausting, but totally worth it for the amazing views we got over the island.


WHAT WE ATE

Spain is the home of cheese, meat and wine, so we consumed all three with gusto. The best place we went was a tiny restaurant called QuitaPenas, which was just around the corner from our apartment and served the most amazing tapas, made entirely from local ingredients.

Valldemossa's speciality is the coca de patata, a sweet cake made from boiled potatoes, which sounds odd but was delicious. We had these for breakfast every day for the local bakery, which was also packed full of tasty-looking pies, cakes, and meringues (I broke my sugar ban to eat the world's biggest meringue, because of course I did!).

As we were in Valldemossa in the off-season, it was surprisingly difficult to find a restaurant that was open in the evening, but every night we managed to find somewhere to go (even if we did have to explore every tiny street before we chanced upon a lit up door).

Oh, I want to go back already. SO lovely.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

CACTUS WISHLIST

I have always been a sucker for cacti. They're one of my favourite plants (so cute! so easy to keep alive!), they're surprisingly tasty (prickly pear margaritas are ah-mazing), and thanks to being the hipster's current plant of choice, there are now loads of ways to show your love for all things small and spiky.

As with all my wishlist posts, this comes at a time when I'm a bit skint, should be saving, but instead I'm daydreaming about what wonderful things there are in the world to buy. My very, very favourite cactus item is the adorable cactus garden chair from Oliver Bonas. I don't have a garden, nor do I need another chair, but look at it! SURELY I deserve that in my life, right? They are due to be released this month, so I'm keeping my eyes on their website and counting down to payday...


Top row

Middle row
Bottom row

Monday, 21 March 2016

HAPPY THOUGHTS

Hello! It's been a while, hasn't it? I didn't mean to disappear from my blog for an ENTIRE MONTH, but life got in the way. Generally when things get a bit busy and tough/stressful/tiring, the first thing I do is ignore my laptop, and it always feels a bit hard trying to restart and wondering where I got the time or energy to blog from.

But it's been good busy! Here's what I've been up to...

1. Edinburgh International Science Festival is go (almost!)


The Science Festival starts THIS WEEK (aaaah!), and it has been an extremely busy few months getting everything ready. I've had a never-ending to do list (which has been pretty stressful), but I'm getting there, and I'm so excited to see it all in action. We launch on Thursday with our opening party, Science Festival Lates, then it's straight into two weeks of robots, food, space parties, experiments, theatre, super clever people, and living pretty much exclusively on noodles and wine.

If you're near Edinburgh you should definitely come along, it is so much fun! I've picked out a few of my favourite events here, and you can also use our new SciSpy app if you're on your phone (it's loads of fun). 


2. Holidays


To get a bit of head space between the Festival programme launching and the Festival actually happening, Joshua & I went off on a mini adventure to Mallorca. We stayed in the most beautiful town called Valldemossa, which is so so different from the brits-abroad vibe I've always associated with the island. It was the perfect island holiday, with amazing food, mountains to climb, sunny balconies, and beautiful scenery. I'll write up a trip to Valldemossa post very soon!


3. I got a new job! 


And finally, my big news is that I got a new job! Come May, I'll be leaving the world of science and turning my attention to film, in my new role of Development Manager at the Centre for the Moving Image. The CMI run the Edinburgh Filmhouse, the Belmont Filmhouse AND the Edinburgh International Film Festival so I am super excited and can't wait to get going.

It feels really surreal that this will be my last Science Festival though, I love it there and I work with so many wonderful people, I'll be sad to leave them. Still, it means I've got a really exciting summer ahead (if a bit exhausting). Bring it on!

Sunday, 21 February 2016

SUNDAY LINKS

Happy Sunday! Hope you've all had a nice weekend. This month feels like it's absolutely flying by, I can't believe it's what, the 21st, already?! Madness.

I've been enjoying a slightly quieter life, before the Festival kicks off next month. I've got a secret trip planned for Joshua's belated birthday present (we love secret trips), so I am counting down the days until that... less than two weeks to go!


I already have a few space prints up in my flat, so I should probably try to resist these, but they are so beautiful! NASA have released a series of beautiful space travel posters that are all free to download.

I have been absolutely rubbish at running this year (it's too cold! And dark! Weep!), so I am taking some motivation from the amazing Natalie Dormer, chatting about why she loves running.

Everyone went a bit mad over the Financial Times article this week, that smugly stated that today's 25 year-olds should be saving £800 a month. I cannot imagine ever having that much disposable income, and live in fear of my meagre pension. What are you supposed to do? 

Feel like you're just faking your way through life? You are not alone - imposter syndrome is totally a thing (and you've got to start giving yourself some credit).

Gaaaaah, getting offered 'exposure' for work (instead of payment or any reasonable compensation) is the worst. Here's an excellent rant about how the editor of the Huffington Post has really grim opinions on this.

Every now and then I think about start yoga - everyone seems to rave about it, so it must be good (right?), but it also looks SUPER intimidating and complicated. My lovely pal Lianne has just started classes, and I loved her experience of starting yoga (and the motivation of lovely jumpers!).

Have you seen the amazing video OK Go made for their new song - Upside Down and Inside Out? Go go go and watch it! They filmed it all in zero gravity in one of those fancy planes, with no special effects or fancy editing - the making of video is well worth a watch too!

Monday, 15 February 2016

THE PAPERGANG BY OHH DEER

I feel like I write about subscription boxes CONSTANTLY on this blog (current count: hereherehere, and here), but I love getting nice mail and surprises through the post. They're like buying yourself an ace present every month!

I've been a fan of stationery wonders Ohh Deer for a while (they sell everything!), so it's fair to say I was quite excited to see that they are launching a brand new stationery subscription club, the Papergang.


Each month you'll get a themed box of papery treats, which could include greeting cards, notebooks, desk accessories and art prints. Each box will be designed by a different artist, so your new collection sits nicely together - which also makes it a particularly nice gift idea!


It's also pretty reasonably priced too - a month's subscription costs £9.95 plus shipping (they ship worldwide too), which is just the cost of a couple of fancy coffees. I mean, yeah, I obviously DO NOT NEED MORE NOTEBOOKS, but when they're that cute? How could I say no?

The first box launches in March, so you've got two weeks to sign up if you're interested, which you can do here

Sunday, 14 February 2016

SUNDAY LINKS

Happy Valentine's Day! Hope you've had a nice weekend with your valentine's and your galentine's. The sun is out (hooray, spring!), and I am off out for breakfast with my beloved soon. Dream Sunday!


If you've got a valentine, but haven't got yourself organised yet, never fear! Here are some cute last-minute watercolour cards you can make.

Remember Lord Lucan? I read a really fascinating book based on him a few years ago (this one!), so I was really interested to see that they have now issued his death certificate. Another interesting thing - the story of the lucky journalists that got to pursue him around the world.

Big science news this week... they have just discovered gravitational waves! Now, to be honest, I don't really understand the impact of that, but I'm hoping someone at the Science Festival will explain it in simpler terms!

This can't be a good idea, right? An exact replica of the Titanic will set sail in 2018.

I've spent most of this week thinking about Beyonce. There are a million articles out there right now about Queen B, her new video, and how she's growing as an artist, but I love this one - total praise of Bey celebrating her blackness and her IDGAF attitude.

And finally, all I want in life is a pet fox. I am TOO jealous of Kaylah from the Dainty Squid, who actually has one!

Friday, 12 February 2016

HOW TO: 60'S INSPIRED MAKE UP & WIN TICKETS TO HAIRSPRAY!

I love playing with makeup, so I was absolutely up for the challenge when Hairspray the Musical UK Tour asked me to take on a 1960's inspired make up look!


I wanted to try something that was different from my everyday look, but didn't look too costumey, so I went for dark eyes, big lashes, and a bouncy ponytail. If you fancy adding a bit of 60's inspo to your life, here's how I did it...


To start, use a neutral eyeshadow lightly on your eyelids (I used a cream pink shadow). Get a dark brown or black eyeliner, and line the crease of your eye. Get a small fluffy brush, and smudge the line so it isn't quite as harsh. 


Line your upper lash line with black eyeliner. I used a kohl pencil at first on my eyelid, smudged it slightly with my finger, then went over the line closer to my lashes with black liquid eyeliner. Wing your eyeliner into a 60's cat eye flick! (I've got an eyeliner tutorial here if you need it).

Nextine your bottom lash line with black eyeliner, and smudge slightly with your finger or a small fluffy brush. Use a white eye pencil to line your water line - this feels a bit weird if you've not done it before, but just do small strokes to avoid stabbing yourself in the eye.

Then, for a proper nod to Twiggy, get some liquid eyeliner and paint little eyelash dashes underneath your eye. Add false eyelashes and mascara, and you are done!


Hairspray is on tour around the UK until the end of May, and they've very kindly given me a a pair of tickets to their Edinburgh performance in the Edinburgh Playhouse on Monday 22nd February.

For a chance to win, just follow the instructions below! The winner will be picked on Monday 15th February. Please only enter if you can come to Edinburgh that evening (obv). Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE FESTIVAL LAUNCHES

Exciting news! The 28th Edinburgh International Science Festival programme has just launched, and it is packed full of brilliant, clever, creative and wonderful things (er, if I do say so myself!). This will be my fourth year working at the Science Festival and I'm so proud of how it grows and changes each year. It's knackering, and fairly stressful, but it's all worth it when the programme hits (and everyone sees how ace we are).


This year's Science Festival will run from Saturday 26th March - Sunday 10th April. Themed around the idea of Building Better Worlds, we'll be looking at how science, technology, engineering and design can help improve our lives and our world through a totally packed programme of events, exhibitions and happenings.

There's loads on for families at City Art Centre and Summerhall, but if you don't care about kids, our adult programme is ace. There's a space party, millions of food and drink events, pandas, an astronaut, robots, wearable tech fashion workshops, dinosaurs, comedy, dancing, theatre, and so so much more.


I probably shouldn't pick favourites, being professionally-linked to the company and all, but whatever. Here's my top ten events in the programme this year! Buy tickets and come along. Yay science.

The Edinburgh Mini Maker Faire - a huge, hands-on celebration of human creativity, showcasing makers from across the UK. There's always fun things to play with, stuff to make, and robots to ooh at, and this year the ACTUAL maker of R2D2 will be there!

Big Bang Bash - a massive space party in the National Museum of Scotland. You can try on a spacesuit, send an encrypted message on a genuine Enigma machine (so cool), dance in the science ceilidh, see the solar system in a planetarium, and drink space-themed cocktails from the Bar at the End of the Universe.

Adventures in Viticulture - fancy going on a wine safari? Feel super smart learning about the world of wine, while drinking loads of wine. All in the name of science!

The Mathematics of Why I Don't Have a Boyfriend - I perhaps wouldn't normally rush along to a talk on mathematical modelling, but throw in some comedy and I'm there.

Cheeseology - do you like eating loads of cheese? And learning about why cheese is so brilliant? I will say no more.

Tiny Homes Village - tiny homes are super cute, and for the Festival, we're building a village of them on the Mound! You can go inside and poke about loads of different tiny houses, from self-sustaining eco pods to emergency housing solutions for refugee camps.

Designing Fictional Worlds - people love fictional worlds, but why are they so drawn to them? This event pairs psychologists with author Charles Stross and my pal from school, Andy Robinson (who designed EVE: Valkyrie), to find out why.

Chocolate: Food of the Gods - find out the past, present and future of chocolate at this scientific feast!

Unbottling the AI Demon - all of the very smart people in the world have decided that the biggest risk to mankind is artificial intelligence.  It's a really terrifying topic and this event looks fascinating - Prof Raymond Tallis and Prof Kevin Warwick investigate the risks of AI... (we're probably all doomed).

The Visit - a special screening of The Visit, a sci-fi documentary-style film, that shows how government agencies try to cope with human mankind's first contact with alien life. You can see the trailer here - it looks super creepy!

You can browse the full programme at sciencefestival.co.uk/festival.
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