My Christmas Wishlist 2016

17 December 2016

The festive season is here! I'm a bit of a sucker for Christmas - it's my favourite time of the year, and this year is no different. So far, I've visited Edinburgh's Christmas Market (and bumped into Zoella for a cheeky selfie...); had sparkly red and then gold glittery Shellac manicures; indulged in as many hot chocolates as humanly possible; munched away on warm mince pies; exchanged gifts during me, Lauren, Louise and Gillian's Secret Santa; cooked a Christmas dinner fit for a king with Gillian; watched Home Alone; put on my festive Primark flannel duvet set, and that's all before Christmas Day itself...! I've already given my loved ones little wishlists for gift ideas for me, but I thought I'd pop up a wishlist on my blog, as everyone likes to see pretty things, right...?

Read on to see what I'm coveting this Christmas... Hint: anything to make me feel cosy!

5 Things I've Learned in 25 Years

16 December 2016

Last month, on the 25th of November in fact, I turned the ripe old age of 25. This got me to thinking (in a Carrie Bradshaw-esque way it seems...) about what I've learned in my 25 years on this planet. It's been a bumpy ride, but everything has happened for a reason and I'm the person I am today because of the experiences I've had along the way; both good and bad. I look back on the 17 year old Laura who started this very blog, tucked up in my childhood bed with a head full of dreams and scribbled lists inside journals of things I wanted to do in life, and I kinda wanna give her a big hug. I wanna tell her that you can't always plan for life and to embrace the whirlwind journey ahead, as it'll all work out in the end. So, these are the 5 things I've learned...

Spotlight on: Kiehl's Skincare

3 November 2016

Kiehl's is a brand I've dipped into now and again, with a couple of purchases of the Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream and the Clearly Corrective Brightening Exfoliator under my belt. However, it's a brand that, as a whole, I'd been slightly overwhelmed by! The sheer variety of skincare products they do is almost endless, with shelves laden with potions and tonics to soothe seemingly any skincare ailment. Surely I should have seen this as a positive, but I just hadn't got around to investigating properly! So, when the Kiehl's Glasgow team got in touch asking if I'd like to come along to an afternoon hearing all about their brand, I was right there ready to be converted as a diehard Kiehl's fan... and converted I was! 

Find out what my favourite products from their endless shelves are, and more about their partnership with the MTV Staying Alive Foundation...

WIWT: Girls' Weekend at Crieff Hydro Hotel

16 October 2016

One of my favourite things that I've done this year is plan a getaway with a group of my best ladies. We'd had in mind that a woodland lodge would be the nicest idea, but were struggling to find somewhere perfect to go in Scotland. When I spotted Crieff Hydro Hotel's self-catering 'Cozy Cabins' with their Habitat decor and a little log fire, I was sold and got it booked for us as soon as possible. Arriving in the countryside with Gillian, Lauren and Louise on a Friday night after work, we were all set for a weekend filled with eating (always), drinking all the wine, wandering around and spending an afternoon at the hotel's Victorian Spa. But, of course, being bloggers and all that, we had to take some outfit snaps against the backdrop of the local park's striking blue band stand on one of the days...

Find out what I wore for a bit of autumnal exploring, as well as a few cheeky snaps from our stay in Crieff...

Edinburgh's Hidden Cocktail Bars

15 October 2016

One of my favourite things to do - as I've written in my 'About the Girl' page on here - is scope out the best cocktail bars in Edinburgh. So, when an invitation landed in my inbox inviting me along on an exclusive Yelp Edinburgh Photo Walk around "the hidden cocktail bars around the city", I was intrigued to say the least! The walk was curated and guided by top Instagrammer @travelswithmyphone (Rachel), and she was a fountain of knowledge for taking great Instagram shots, including the best views of the city you can take in whilst dotting around the hidden cocktail bars.

Keep reading on to discover the best of Edinburgh's hidden cocktail bars...

Jamie's Italian, Edinburgh

28 August 2016

When Jamie's Italian invited me in to their Edinburgh restaurant* to try out their new Evening Favourites menu this month, I was quick to Whatsapp my fellow blogger ladies Gillian, Louise and Lauren to ask if they were keen for a mid-week catch-up over our favourite pastime - fooooooood (and all the wine). I hadn't visited Jamie's in a couple of years as it'd slipped off my radar as a place to eat in the city centre due to Edinburgh's abundance of new restaurant openings every week, but this was a great chance to discover the menu all over again and indulge in all the italian carby goodness. Find out what I thought of our dinner below...

Craft Scotland: Edinburgh Summer Show 2016

21 August 2016

I'd been invited along to Craft Scotland's Summer Show last year and sadly couldn't make it - but this year, when the invite fell into my inbox, I made sure to say yes... With a couple of masterclasses on offer from local craftspeople on the night, I was keen to dive in and learn something new too! So, from Kirsteen Stewart to Grainne Morton, see who were my picks of the summer show, and who I think you should definitely invest in this summer!

An Ode to the Perfect Steak: No11 Brasserie, Edinburgh

4 August 2016

Vegetarians and vegans, look away now... I am a full-blown steak fan girl. There, I said it - it's official. To me, a fillet steak with bearnaise sauce - and a cheeky glass of Malbec red - is the ultimate meal. In fact, when people say "what would be your last meal?" I'd say that. So, when No11 Brasserie invited Gillian along to review them, I happily sauntered along ready to load up on yummy food. I didn't expect that I, too, would feel the need to write a review, but it really was pretty damn good.

On feeling alone in a world full of people

8 July 2016

I am someone who, from the age of 13, has struggled with loneliness. When I was around 13-17, I went through a very big event which shaped the course of the rest of my life and made me the person I am today. As proud as I am to have come so far and been incredibly strong to get to where I am today, life has still had its ups and downs in a hark back to that time. The main thing being, loneliness.

The Beauty Treatments I Love

5 July 2016

One way I really love treating myself every now and again is whiling away an afternoon in the salon or spa. Previously, as a student, this was a luxury I couldn't really get away with except for the odd spa day with my mum. Now I'm a working lady, I like to book in treatments semi-regularly - though I'm definitely not high-maintenance by any means! The best part about doing this is the time I'm setting aside purely for myself and no-one else; time that I can lie back and forget any stresses for an hour or two or have a natter with my favourite nail lady. Um, some people like escaping by playing video games, some like reading books and then there's me... So what do I like having done? Nerd up below.

Girls Night at Revolution Bar, Edinburgh

4 May 2016

Last week, me, Louise, Lauren and Gillian were kindly invited* to try out the new menu over at Revolution Edinburgh. With bars up and down the country, Revolution (or "vodka revs" as I still mistakenly call it... oops!) has definitely undergone a huge transformation since the days of cheap vodka shots and students like me falling about the place. With much slicker interiors and tasty failsafe American grub on the menu, it's now one of my go-tos for a casual night out with my girl friends - which is exactly what I did this time!

What's in my Bag: The Kate Spade Hayden

22 April 2016

The excuse to write a blog post about my new baby (hello Kate Spade Small Hayden) was overwhelming, so I thought I'd take it back old school and do a 'What's in my Bag' post with a few babein' photos of the wee beauty. I picked the smaller version of the Hayden as I don't tend to use a big bag most days, saving my large black H&M tote for in-flight hand luggage when I need to and my & Other Stories throw-over black shoulder bag for nights out. It was pretty hard debating on a colour to choose, as Kate Spade produce their bags in all bright colours of the rainbow... but I thought, being sensible, I'd make my first designer bag purchase a failsafe classic black. Who knows? Maybe I'll end up buying the blush version next... (don't let me do this, please!!!)

Read on to find out what I stash away in my bag most days.

The Art of Coffee Making with Nespresso

21 April 2016

When I think of coffee these days, I think of hipster coffee purists - the likes of whom I highlighted over on my other website Every Edinburgh recently. I wouldn't count myself at that level of purism, personally, but I do need my tall skinny latte to get going in the morning! So, when Nespresso kindly invited me to explore their new Prodigio machine, I thought it would be a good chance to find out more about what goes into making good coffee at home, as opposed to spending all my pennies on work canteen Starbucks coffee (guilty as charged!). And, y'know, when they said it would involve a "five course sensory dining experience at G&V Hotel in Edinburgh", I asked "where do I sign up...?!" So here's what I discovered about the art of coffee making...

How to Make a: Gin Sunrise Cocktail

11 April 2016

I'm a self-confessed cocktail lover. Perusing cocktail menus (no matter where I may be) really is up there with being one of my favourite evening pastimes. So, when All Bar One invited me to try out one of their Cocktail Masterclasses*, I was instantly excited. No matter how many masterclasses (whether of the gin, wine, coffee or cocktail variety) I've completed in the past, I always look forward to experiencing all the different combinations I seem to learn every time I go. And this time was no different, with All Bar One's cocktail expert at Exchange Crescent, Michael, on hand to teach us his ways with this really tasty cocktail. It's got a tiny bit of a kick with the gin alongside the fruity mango puree. One to bookmark for all those summer BBQs coming up...

5 Ways to Survive a Rough Patch

3 April 2016

After a difficult couple of weeks in my personal life, I've decided to hop right back into it with a blog post about the things that have kept me going during the tough moments. They're all pretty self-explanatory but sometimes you need a little nudge in the right direction...! Particularly when you're not taking good enough care of yourself.

February Wishlist: Red Bows, Leopard Heels and Sparkly Jewels

3 February 2016

Two posts from me this week? Give this girl a gold star!

Guys, I can't stop tap-tap-tapping away on my keyboard in the evenings, browsing away on ASOS. I just saved up a little more than I usually would and it's becoming incredibly tough to stop myself clicking 'add to basket' on everything in sight. I'll keep on resisting (for now), but I thought I'd make it a liiiittle more productive by crafting up a wishlist for you guys to check out. From a sparkly statement necklace of dreams; to a work-ready jumpsuit; to the perfect bar-hopping heels, I'm coveting the lot...

January: Cheesecake, Cloud-like Beds and Pamper Days

2 February 2016

Can we just take a minute for how fast January went, please? I feel like I was only just popping open a bottle of prosecco for the bells at midnight on 31st of December. Now it's currently the 2nd of February and I'm cosied up under a blanket typing away alongside Gillian. It's a serious blogging night in our flat, that's for sure.

In January, I worked my ass off all month so this little section of the web got abandoned (boo!). Now that work is looking a little lighter - and I'm doing mini fist pumps because I'm finally a permanent employee for the first time since graduating Uni (!!!) - I thought I'd let you know what I've been loving since I last caught up with you...