Friday 30 September 2011

Jane Eyre

Yesterday I went to the cinema with my pals to see the new version of Jane Eyre. I don't mean to be a moan, but it's the same old film-from-book rant, isn't it?

I really loved Jane Eyre at uni. At the time I was starting to read more gothic fiction (which in the end, became half of my dissertation) and really liked that side to it. If you haven't read it, give it a go! There is mystery and intrigue and genuinely scary goings on. & then under all that you've got a massively confusing relationship with a man who is horrible and not bonnie (but somehow still quite appealing and gruff and interesting). Your protagonist is a girl who doesn't care that she's plain or people think she's plain, she's still going to tell it as she sees it, thank you very much. It's good!

So when I saw this trailer.. well, I was quite intrigued.

It's creepy! It's Jane Eyre, but given more of a gothic horror edge! It's not just a sappy take on the relationship! It's going to be great!

Oh. Well. Sorry. It clearly wasn't meant to be. It is getting pretty good reviews, so if you like period dramas and aren't a MASSIVE GOTHIC FICTION FAN with (clearly ridiculous) DREAMS OF A HORROR REMAKE then you'll probably like it. Even just for the scene where she nestles her face across his jodhpur-clad thigh (this happens). Or the part where he wears the most ridiculous hat (this happens).

I tried to find a photo of one of his Jane Eyre hats, but failed. This is pretty much on the same level though. Good god. 
On the plus side, both my friends and the older ladies behind us all laughed inappropriately at some of the ridiculous scenes (particularly the hat-wearing ones). & Michael Fassbender pranced around for two hours on a massive screen. There are worst ways to spend a Thursday!

& onto something completely different... I did my first guest blog post today! It's over on French for Cupcake and is me professing my love for roller derby. Claire's a fellow derby girl who has a lovely blog, so go and check it out! Ta!

Have a lovely weekend. I have only THREE sleeps to go until we go on holiday, so excitement is building!

Thursday 29 September 2011

Live roller derby!


On October 29th  ARRG's two travel teams, the Twisted Thistles and Cannon Belles, are playing EACH OTHER in a special late night bout at Meadowbank. 

I'm really excited about this. Really really excited. There will be about a million of my friends on roller skates! & I'll be happy whoever wins! Although I guess that creates the dilemma... who to cheer for? Everyone? (I'll lose my voice!). Eeeep. Tickets are only £5 and it's our last home bout before the home season starts in January. If you are in Edinburgh please come along and see why derby is wonderful!

On that note, I've been trying to find a bout to go to when we are in Florida (next week...!) and thought I had found a winner with the Tampa Bay Derby Darlins, only to discover that it's the same night that we are going to see New Found Glory. Damn you pop punk! The only other bout I can find in the two weeks we are there is over three hours away, which is just a bit too far. If you know of anything that I might have missed, please tell me!

Monday 26 September 2011

How to: make sponge cake exciting

You know what's EVEN better than cake? Cake that doesn't only look nice on the outside, but also looks good on the inside. And it's really easy.

First, make your batter. This cake was  for my sister's birthday (happy birthday Tepi!) & my mum was making a chocolate pudding so I went for a simple vanilla cake to keep everyone happy. I used my go-to sponge cake recipe because it is lovely and always delivers a moist, tasty cake.

Next, add in a few drops of food colouring. I wanted to make a pink sponge, but didn't have any pink colouring so used a couple of drops of red instead. You can use anything, but remember that you still want people to actually eat the cake, so greens and blacks should probably be avoided. Unless it's Hallowe'en. Or you like to eat things that are mould coloured. (Er. Don't eat mould).

Once you are happy with the colour, just stick it into your tin and bake as normal! I noticed just before putting it in the tin that the mixture looked a tiny bit runnier than I like, so I added it a wee spoon of flour to bulk it out (but not too much to mess with the recipe).

This is what it looks like just out of the oven.

& cut in half, for speedy cooling! It's so bright!

Decorate as normal (you can spot my mum's lovely chocolate mousse in the background) and wait (patiently) for the surprise when it is finally cut into.

A lot of us were going for a sponge cake/chocolate mousse combo. We like our puddings.

Tada! Be pleased with yourself at this point that you didn't tell anyone about this cake surprise (and enjoy the happy gasps).

This would be cute with a coloured filling too, but I liked the simplicity of the red/white combo. & the birthday girl liked it, which is all that mattered!

Friday 23 September 2011

Going to the seaside

Yesterday I bought a pair of lovely black fleecy-lined ankle boots. They are incredibly cosy. I think that means that winter is definitely on its way (although judging by the weather this week I think it's actually already here). & that then means that this post is horrendously out of date. Sorry about that. Life is speeding by this month, and I thought the good weather would last a tiny bit longer than it has.

Anyway. Mere weeks ago, Craig and I took advantage of the warm weather (warm enough to go outside without a jacket!) and headed over to the beach. Portobello was pretty popular way-back-when as Edinburgh's beach resort, and seems to be a little stuck in the past (it even still has a Wimpy!), but it is definitely worth a gander. Ignore the depressing "arcade" and focus on the sea, and the lovely pubs.

I've been to the Espy a few times and I think the reason I love it so much is that it covers so many bases. There's a restaurant for lovely burgers and local specials. There's a bar (that is dog-friendly) for cosy pints. There's sofas and scrabble for lazy afternoon chilling. It's on the beach too!

Craig's veggie burger!
Badly-taken photo. I was excited to eat.
When we went there was a problem with the kitchen, so we were restricted to veggie & chicken burgers or the specials (which suited us perfectly). The chicken burger was GORGEOUS. Massive and tender and only £8.95. Mmm. If you are on the look out for hearty pub food that hasn't just been microwaved then it is definitely worth a trip!

After our food we forced ourselves to move (pretending that we weren't actually full) so we could swing by  the Beach House for some amazing ice cream. I had mint choc chip & chocolate. Craig had hazelnut and something that tasted just like viennetta (mmm). 

This is a Brave Face. At this point the wind had picked up and it was starting to get really cold. Still, we are Scottish and are used to making the best of a cold situation. So we sat on the beach and watched loads of dogs play on the sand, even braver people going into the sea, and a (very worried) child limping past with a gushing bleeding foot (they were escorted by a parent, don't worry). Ahh, the sea. So scary.

But pretty. In under two weeks time I'll be near another beach (which will hopefully look like these)! Until then it is cosy boots and duffle coat time... Brr.

Wednesday 21 September 2011


I was working at a student lock in last night, and it was funny to think how much things have changed since I was in their shoes - seventeen, living in the city for the first time, being a bit scared of everything! I've now been in my job longer than I was at university, which is a bit mad. Craig & I have been a couple for almost as long as I was in high school!

Anyway, part of my job at the lock in (other than muse about my old student days and marvel at how STYLISH and young they all seem to be?) was to hand out this guide (aka the reason life was very, very busy at the end of August).

If you are a student then you should pick one up because they are really good (I'm not biased) and have loads of amazing offers and competitions (I'm not biased) and look really pretty (I'm not biased).

Plus, my face is in it (I am biased about this bit). Hiya!

The tea stains are printed on the page. I'm not just mucky.

The recipe is a condensed version of this one for the easiest cupcakes in the world (which is also the most viewed post on my blog so far!). Phew.

For good measure, this is what I looked like as a student (and is one of the least embarrassing photos I found, ha).

Check out the amazing pink eyeshadow combo, with matching necklace. Hahaha. Oh, dear. I did enjoy having dark hair though!

Wednesday 14 September 2011

Things to look forward to

September is a funny month. It's always a bit too quiet - people tend to stay in and save a bit of money after the festival, work is quieter (our publication schedule goes back to normal and everyone takes their holidays!), the city is quieter (I secretly love this) and it's currently too cold and windy to spend much time outside. Hmm.

But hoorah hoorah, there are exciting things on the horizon! Not that life always has to be exciting, but it is good, ain't it.

So. In order of date (not preference).


Planes, disney and surfing are all on the agenda for our upcoming trip to Florida! Just booked tickets to see New Found Glory and Set Your Goals at the House of Blues too! Only twenty sleeps to go...


I actually debated writing an entire post on Hallowe'en today, I love it so much. Is that too early? It is almost (sort of) October.. Hmm. Anyway. It's great. You get to dress up! And I make a "scary" gingerbread house every year. And play stupid games like wink murder. Excellent.


Only 102 days until Christmas! Okay, I'm sorry. I know it's too early. Even for me. But December is without doubt my very favourite month. And I just wanted to an excuse to post my very favourite gingerbread creation.

I will do a how-to on gingerbread houses soon, and you too can get addicted and make one for every occasion!

Monday 12 September 2011

September instagram

I thought a wee instagram update would be nicely timed today, as I just received an invite to order from stickygram! This website prints your instagram photos as fridge magnets, and they look really cute. I quite like magnets. & I've never had my face on one before. Living the dream, clearly.

Anyway, photos!

1. Cat donuts. GOOD GOD. My new mission in life is to learn how to make donuts, so I can make them into cat donuts. I almost can't handle how cute they are.

2. An actual cat. You all remember Riley, don't you?  

3. Edinburgh, looking over to the Scott monument.  

4. My skates! I returned to derby. It was hard, I was knackered, but very happy. We did a lot of hoppy/jumping drills and I thought I was going to pass out.  

5. Cake pops at a very lovely afternoon tea with the Book Festival. I think the Book Festival is my very favourite one (shh, don't tell the others).  

6. An intriguing invite to an intriguing event taking place this Thursday. I'm not sure what to expect.. better look out a nice dress!

7. A statue in Charlotte Square Gardens. I'm feeling a lot of love for Edinburgh at the moment. The festival tourists have cleared out, and it feels like I've got my city back.

8. Hello. This is my face. I got my fringe cut (after about two weeks of struggling to see) and am SO HAPPY that I have vision again. It's the little things in life...

Saturday 10 September 2011

Pastel leopard nails

I promise I'm not going to be a one-trick pony, but here's another take on leopard print nails (which I blogged about recently!).

I used my new pastel polishes from Models Own and I love love love them! They go on smoothly, the colours are beautiful, and they have barely chipped all week! I used lilac dream, feeling blue and the wah nail art pen.

I think I love leopard nails as they honestly look so much trickier than they are (people think I'm lying when I say they take about 15 minutes max to do). & they are very summery (perfect for my upcoming holiday - hooray!).

Have a lovely weekend all. I'm off to watch X Factor.. really love the new panel this year!

Friday 9 September 2011


Pets are just the BEST, aren't they? I thought it was time to dedicate a post to the wonder that is Riley, because, well. Look at him.

We first got Riley way back in the summer of 2008. It was quite a weird situation - I got a message on gumtree from a woman who said she was having to give up her twelve week old kitten for "personal reasons", and when I asked more about him she tried to get us to collect him the next morning (without asking anything about us!). Hmm. But by this time all common sense had flown out of the window, so we drove over to Fife to collect a fluffy tiny little kitten and take him home.

We were his FOURTH home in the twelve weeks of his wee life.

First day in his new house. So much fluff.

We took him to the vet almost immediately for a kitten check up, and it turned out we'd bought a sick kitten, who was suffering really bad from cat flu and had to go straight onto antibiotics (& our vet was horrified that he'd not had any drugs before!). He was absolutely covered in fleas (which can be really dangerous for a tiny  animal!). He also had no sense of smell because he was so blocked up with the cold, and to this day he still has problems with his eye (which seems to be permanently damaged).

Tiny cat & boyfriend bonding

He's been on and off eye drops and tested for FIV and cat herpes (bless him), but is now as fit and healthy as he's going to be. He's very careful when he jumps or pounces (we think his depth perception is slightly off because of his eye problem), but has adapted to this brilliantly, and still tears round the house and pounces on our feet.

Grown up cat

We ignored all the advice we'd been given by buying a sick animal, but I have no regrets. He's happy and healthy and safe with us. I love him.

Wednesday 7 September 2011

Legally Blonde


I went on a bit of a spur of the moment trip last night to see the opening night of Legally Blonde the Musical at the Edinburgh Playhouse. I wasn't totally sure what to expect... even though I've seen the film, I wouldn't know any of the songs. & it was a Tuesday. But ahh, who needs to worry about that! 

We got our (pink prosecco) cocktails, settled into our amazing seats (thanks, Playhouse!) and watched the most over-the-top camp musical I've ever seen. Singing! Dancing! Pink (EVERYWHERE). Scantily clad buff posties (with accompanying screams). A song called "gay or European". "OMG you guys" every five minutes. 

& ACTUAL dogs. Look at the wee face.

Photo from the Legally Blonde facebook. Hiya pup!

Ohhh, it was brilliant. I really love musicals, so I am quite easily pleased, but it has already started getting really good reviews from people who are paid to enjoy these things.

If you fancy it it's on at the Playhouse until September 14th. They run competitions on their facebook page quite regularly so it's worth keeping an eye on that!

Monday 5 September 2011

Moleskine drawings

Years ago I used to draw. All the time. It was one of my very favourite things to do. I had a moleskine that I carried with me everywhere, and would draw outside almost every week. Z8864JKECP65

And then I stopped. I'm not sure why. I think I was just about to graduate, so life was super busy... then I got a "real" job, so life was even busier... and then it just wasn't something I did everyday.

But at the weekend I found my old moleskine and realised just how much I missed it! I wasn't particularly good, but I liked it, and that's important. So I am going to make time and try again, and make an effort to not be put off when it doesn't come easily (I think I've forgotten how).

I will start by buying this! Wish me luck.

Friday 2 September 2011

Happy thoughts

This week has been so lovely! Bank holiday days off, lots of chilling, a wee spot of shopping and catching up on much needed sleep. Ahh. Here's some of the things that have made it nice.

1. Auld Reekie Roller Girls

SO many exciting things are happening for ARRG! If you head over to WFTDA (Women's Flat Track Derby Association) you'll see that ARRG are now an official member league! So exciting. This is something that ARRG have worked really hard for (as a newer member I haven't contributed at all, but at least I can join the celebrations and be proud!). We're the second European league, after the mighty London Roller Girls, to join so this is a big deal.

Not only that, but we have home teams for the first time, with the home season kicking off next January!

AND I'll be returning to skating on Sunday! I'm very happy about this, with a healthy dose of being a bit terrified as I haven't skated in eight weeks. I'm hoping it all comes flooding back.

2. Charity shop finds

So happy to get this book! The Crimson Petal and the White is one of my favourite books, and I've wanted to pick this up for ages (but have always been a bit too skint when I spotted it in book shops!). I saw Michel Faber talk at the book festival and I loved it, so this is very well timed. Ta, charity shop.

My friend Niki also picked up a spur of the moment well thought out smoking jacket. It's velvet and very sharp.

3. Being healthy!

My holiday is fast approaching  (32 days!) so I am really looking forward to eating loads of tasty, healthy food and getting back to derby training after the excess of August! Today's lunch is a salad from the Edinburgh Larder and it is really lovely.

Have a lovely weekend all. If you are in London then go to this!