Two Weeks in Thailand: Koh Tao and Koh Samui

21 July 2017

Koh Tao and Koh Samui Travel Guide
Oh hello! Me again. I thought it was about time I sat down and wrote about my trip to Thailand in May-June of this year. I spent quite a while whittling down the 470+ photos taken on the trip (at least on my Olympus Pen, but there's far more lingering on my iPhone...) but I've finally got it down to a reasonable amount so I don't overwhelm anyone reading this! I'm going to split this into two posts, so this first one will be about my time on the islands of Koh Tao and Koh Samui in the south of Thailand. It was a whirlwind of delicious pad thai, boat trips, cheap beer and stunning sunsets, and definitely an area I'd like to visit again one day.

So, without further ado, here's what I got up to during the first week of our trip!

The Art of Afternoon Tea at Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh

12 July 2017

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh Summer Afternoon Tea

One thing I am slightly obsessed with is a good old fashioned afternoon tea; all china tea sets, white linen, cake stands filled with tray upon tray of mini savoury and sweet treats, and endless cups of tea. Basically, take me out for afternoon tea and I'll be your best pal for life. But whilst there's always time for trying out new cocktail bars around Edinburgh, I haven't had enough occasions lined up to try out new afternoon tea spots. So, when Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh got in touch with me and my pals to invite us in for an evening of sampling their new summer afternoon tea menu* (for dinner!!), I was v. v. v. up for it. Beware: you're going to need to cosy up with a cuppa tea and a biscuit for this one... jeez, it's like watching an episode of Great British Bake Off.

There's More To Wagamama Than Just Chicken Katsu Curry

4 May 2017

Wagamama Edinburgh St Andrew Square
When I heard that Wagamama was opening a new branch in St Andrew Square in Edinburgh, the first thing that popped into my head was "excellent - a new place to go for lunch" sort of half-heartedly. As much as it felt like a nice addition to that side of the city, by the new Dishoom, The Refinery and Wahaca restaurants, it wasn't anything new. At least, that's what I first thought, until I was invited to come along to try out their new spring menu, hosted by Wagamama Executive Head Chef Steve Mangleshot. Steve's goal of the evening was to get us tasting something new that we hadn't tried before, and boy did we do a lot of that...

My Current Go-To Spring Outfit

28 April 2017

My Current Go-To Spring Outfit: The Floral Miss Selfridge Tea Dress

I have to admit something: I'm a serial outfit re-wearer. When I fall in love with a piece, I will wear it over and over (albeit after washing it, I'm not that bad...) until I lose interest. This long-sleeved Miss Selfridge floral tea dress is no exception. I bought it on ASOS a month or two ago and, ever since, it's been a pretty passionate love affair. Graeme even makes cutting remarks about how he's "never seen that dress before..." Men, eh. From wandering around Madrid all day to having tea and cakes with my best pals, it's perfect for pretty much any occasion. On the day my camera whizz friend Louise took these photos, we were spending a little afternoon around Stockbridge, drinking the best chai lattes and eating avocado on toast (I bloody love it and I feel no shame, guys) with fellow babes Gillian and Lauren.

Read on to see the outfit details up close, along with a few outtakes of me impersonating Louise's outfit poses... she loves it really.

Easter Chocolate Cupcakes: The Recipe

14 April 2017

An Easter Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe, featuring Mini Eggs and Galaxy Golden Eggs

Happy Easter, you guys! It's officially the weekend of overindulging to mark the end of Lent (where my no-takeaway pact lasted about two weeks... incredible efforts there, Laura). I'm not a religious person at all but Easter really is a lovely time of the year to come together with your friends and family over sweet treats and gigantic Sunday roasts - and an even better time to get your bake on. So, to mark the occasion, I baked some quick and easy Easter chocolate cupcakes to share with my friends, and Graeme, if he's lucky.

Read on to find out how I created these light and fluffy cakes...

Madrid City Guide: Tapas, Rioja and Palacio de Cristal

10 April 2017

Madrid City Guide

A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to spend a weekend wandering the streets of Madrid and soaking in the Spanish atmosphere (and all the food and drinks, natch) whilst staying with Graeme's auntie who lives in the city. With endless tapas to try, Rioja to sip on and miles of park to meander, it was the perfect way to escape for a few days with my favourite person. On the plane back, whilst listening to Emma Gannon's 'Ctrl Alt Delete' podcast, I was still buzzing with inspiration so I rattled out the below blog post with my picks of what I encountered around the city, as well as a couple of places we didn't manage to try, but come highly recommended!

Grab yourself a cup of tea (or a glass of sangria, if you're feeling the Spanish vibes) and sit back, notepad and pen in hand, and get ready to start refreshing Skyscanner every day for cheap flights...

Wining and Dining at Divino Enoteca, Edinburgh

14 March 2017

Last week, I was lucky enough to be invited along to an evening with Divino Enoteca's team. Tucked away on Merchant Street, below the George IV bridge and underneath their sister restaurant Vittoria's, it's a hidden gem down an unassuming side street. On heading down the stairs, you're struck by the cosy atmosphere and intimate feel, with seemingly endless wine bottles lining the shelves and a rustic table in the middle of the restaurant laden with cheese, bread and olives. It really blew us away on first glance, and set the scene for the rest of the evening...

My Top Stationery Shop Picks

7 March 2017

Where to buy stationery

If you're anything like me, you love the feeling of picking up some shiny new stationery, particularly at the beginning of a new year or during that nostalgic 'back to school' time. There's just nothing like perfecting your neatest handwriting on a fresh new page, or cracking the spine of a fresh new notebook. So, since the end of last year, I've been picking up a few new bits and bobs I thought I'd share with you guys. I've mostly been inspired by the overwhelming feeling of a mass of paperwork I needed to sort out, pronto!

Psst, keep reading on to find out how you could become the next design superstar with Not On The High Street...

A Few of My Favourite Things

26 February 2017

Photo by Louise / The Little Things

I'm sitting here on a quiet Sunday, cup of tea in hand, The Minimalists' podcast playing and half-flicking through a copy of Glamour magazine I'd been meaning to read for a while. I don't normally get the urge to blog these days, but I'm feeling a little blah and the best thing I could think to do is to write a list of things that have been making me happy lately. And why not on my little old blog? So here we go...
  1. The Minimalists. I may as well start with the aforementioned podcast... I watched their documentary on Netflix recently and it really made me feel fantastic and clear-headed afterwards. Go watch it if you're needing to declutter and simplify your life. Their podcasts are a great follow-up if you need more of a fix.
  2. Endless cups of tea. Ever since I met Lauren, I swear I have drank about 1862 more cups of tea every week. As much of a coffee fiend I am, there's nothing like the feeling of sipping on a cup of tea to calm you down on a stressful day.
  3. Pinterest. I was a huge Pinterest fan for years but got out of the habit at the latter part of 2016. However, I'm back on it and I feel fantastic. It feels so good to curate vision boards and put you in the right frame of mind to get shit done. Come follow me if you haven't already, too!
  4. Cooking new meals. One of my worst habits is eating out and spending most of my pennies on food. Now, me and Gillian have been meal planning again a lot more and I actually feel excited to come up with creative ideas and have fun dinners to look forward to at the end of the working day. Top picks of late: Thai stir fries, chilli and lime chicken with coconut rice and Ikea-style meatballs.
  5. Graeme. Last year, I met this guy who brightens my life quite a bit. He motivates me to pursue my dreams every day - and brings me flowers cause he's a bit cute. I certainly had to give him a cheeky mention on this list...
  6. Weekends with the girls. Louise, Lauren and Gillian are the best group of pals I could ask for. It's amazing when people can go from being "fellow bloggers" to just, simply, real life friends. I love them muchly! From Galentine's afternoons in to Eurovision nights, there's always something fun lined up.
  7. Thailand. Fingers crossed, this year I'm meant to be travelling to Thailand with Graeme. Cue Pinterest scrolling and constantly looking up Trip Advisor. Bonus: Graeme appears to be my personal travel agent with endless advice and ideas. Can't wait to tick off one of my bucket list items!
  8. Valentine's. This was the first year for a loooong time I've actually been a happy camper on Valentine's Day. Any excuse for heart-print everything and dressing up with my boyfriend to go out for dinner gets my vote.
  9. Working hard and keeping an eye on the end goal. As I said at the start of this post, I'm struggling at the moment. But, as tough as things are right now, I know that it's all for the best and that this time will be a mere blip in my life overall.
  10. Say Yes to the Dress. Jesus, I'm not even getting married in the next 1275 years but Lauren's wedding planning has had the unexpected effect of getting all of us pals addicted to this wedding dress show. Guilty pleasure! Mostly for the bitchy aunties and bridezillas.

The Perfect Pamper Routine: Treat Yo'self

12 January 2017

If there's something I love doing most, it's treating myself to a pamper night. But, what does the perfect pamper night consist of? It's different for everyone but below are some of the things I love best when I'm in need of a bit of relaxation and alone time...