It can be a tough old world out there. The past month has been littered with various personal stresses, ones that we as humans let get us down too easily. While it’s important to ruminate on the difficult stuff – character building and all that – you can’t afford to overlook those little things in life that make it all worth living.

So in this nu-age spirit of positivity, mindfulness and general life enthusiasm, here’s a little round-up of April, where the following 10 things reignited my recently dampened outlook.

1. A fun photoshoot with inspiring people

I kicked the month off with a really fun photoshoot with one of Scotland’s key style influencers, Scot Street Style, and the wonderful photographer Ellie Morag.

I had such a good time meeting new people, wandering through little corners of Leith and going full on trial and error on certain poses and walks. There’s something so life-affirming about shoots like that, where you can just forget yourself, have fun and surrender yourself to the moment.

It’s strictly hush hush for now, but if all goes to plan the results should be revealed soon so, as they say, watch this space.

2. The boyfriend’s birthday

‘Cos what’s nicer than seeing your partner happy? Piggybacking on their celebrations of course.

For Dave’s actual birthday we went out for dinner at Leith Chop House – a venue I’m drawn to as much for its pleasing industrial and marble aesthetics as I am to its menu.

Oh god though, that menu. Those cocktails.

Happily, Dave’s birthday also fell on a Tuesday which is Leith Chop House’s BYOB night. Which meant sirloin steak served with many glasses of Sainsbury’s finest Malbec. Result.

3. A visit to the Harry Potter pop-up bar

Being a bloggaaaaa, it was of course inevitable that I’d end up here at some point. In the company of blogging comrades and top champs KK and Daniel we descended on this place on a rainy weeknight – and I gotta say, the simplicity (or severe complication, if you’re Daniel….) of getting to mix your own cocktail perked my mood right up.

The interiors have now been replaced by Rick and Morty-inspired Wubba Lubba Dub Dub, which opens this weekend. Hurrah.

4. A weekend in Aberdeen

When your soul needs some love, is there any better cure than good pals, booze, insanely good food, hilarious chat and daytime activities?

If your answer to that was anything other than ‘no’, you gotta get living asap.

Highlights included a tour of the NuArt murals around Aberdeen, a trip to Lane 7 and the 70s-inspired cheese toastie Mecca that is Melt. Next time you’re in the vicinity you have, have, have to go – if not for the toasties then do it for the brownies – or at the very least the vintage wallpaper.

6. Interiors collection for the new flat

You know you’re firmly ensconced in your late twenties when nothing stands your hair on end like a beautiful piece of furniture. Or, indeed, a neon sign.

Yup, the first two things we’ve bought for our flat so far consist of a chest of drawers, found in the beautiful Pad Lifestyle sample sale at Custom House a few weeks ago, and a neon sign emblazoned with one of my favourite quotes. And yes, you will have to wait until I grace my grid with this beautiful specimen to find out what said quote is.

7. First Pitt of the year

One of the things I love most about Leith is the energy that surrounds it, a large generator of which is the mass of events and activities that are happening here all the time.

Pitt Street market ranks highly in my list of favourite weekend repasse – especially when it’s a babe of a day and I’m surrounded by some of my favourite people!

Until a couple of weeks ago I hadn’t been since last November so my return to this fabulous outdoor market came with a bang.

8. Double wedding Saturday

The first Saturday of April was spent attending two weddings in two different cities (first one Dundee, second one Edinburgh!)

There’s something so beautiful and life-affirming about seeing an unwavering love between two people, and how that love extends itself through the room to friends and family.

I’m not going to another wedding until October and I think I may be more excited than my friends themselves. Super dooper excited to see one of my favourite couples ever get married.

9. Getting my hurr did

You can’t get your hair done and be miserable. Well, unless it’s horrendous, or not what you asked for. Or, god help you, both.

Thankfully I get mine done by a hair goddess who walks among us, found a couple of years ago by chance at Kalon Hair.

I’ve definitely raved about this place before (any excuse) but honestly, my hair hasn’t looked or felt this good in years. Every time I leave the salon it makes me feel like I have – at least temporarily – got my life together. Yay for balayage, regular trims, a curling wand and Sarah.

10. A good old fashioned book

As an English Literature degree holder, I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to books. If I don’t get ‘feels’ I tend to throw them aside before I’ve reached the first 100 pages.

Now, you’ve probably heard this already but quite honestly, Gail Honeyman’s debut novel Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is one of the best books I’ve read in a long, long time.

I came home from work most days, sprawled on the sofa and read this solidly. It’s one of those ones that stays with you long after the last page is turned. Best £5 Amazon spend.

Here’s to May!

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Got a love for fashion? What about interiors? Health and beauty?

What if I were to tell you all of these topics and more will be covered at this year’s Life & Style event? Add some cocktails to the mix and I think that ticks all of the majors on my ‘favourite ways to spend a weekend’ list.

Here are some of the star attractions coming up at Life & Style 2018…

 

LIFESTYLE STAGE

This event is all about celebrating the luxurious things in life. So naturally, that covers hair, skin, make-up, fashion – to name but a few.

Award-winning celebrity hairdresser Jason Collier, whose scissors have graced the barnets of icons like Victoria Beckham, Eva Longoria, Laura Whitmore (a personal fave) and Sienna Miller will be taking to the stage to share his expert hair advice.

Joining him will be facialist Charlotte Connoley, whose client list boasts babes such as Meghan Markle, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Cheryl (Cole? Tweedy? Anyway you know the one) with skincare tips to help us rival our celeb counterparts.

Also appearing will be fashion director and designer Wendy Rigg, Scottish make-up artist Sara Hill aaaaaand the ever talented blogger and author Vicky Psarias (aka Honest Mum) and lifestyle blogger and STV queen Susie Bruce.

 

WORKSHOPS + POP UPS

Great as these guys are, it ain’t all about them, huns. Life & Style 2018 is also giving guests the chance to attend one of many themed workshops and expert talks – including floristry with Snapdragon, calligraphy with Laila Lettering, tea tastings with The East India Company, and lots more.

Plus, there’ll be cocktail classes from Badger & Co and Element, to help guests learn to serve the perfect tipple. Hurrahhhh.

Pop-ups from everyone’s fave Instagrammble brands such as Oliver Bonas, John Lewis, Jenners, Anthropologie and more will also be appearing throughout the weekend. Get ready to lust.

TICKET HOLDER PERKS

Included in each ticket is access to the much-loved fashion show and trend talk, which returns this year and will be hosted by Scottish fashion designer and author Lynne McCrossan.

You’ll also receive an express beauty treatment in the pop-up beauty hall, including a choice of mini makeovers, manicures or massages, along with an Edinburgh Gin cocktail on arrival, an exclusive offers booklet and goody bag.

…WHAT NOT TO LOVE??

MORE DEETS

Choose from either a Saturday or Sunday full-day ticket, priced at £10 – exclusively available from www.edinlifestyle.co.uk.  (FYI – the first 500 customers receive an exclusive goody bag so get yer skates on.)

After buying your ticket, you can select your preferred time slot for a seat at one of (many!) fashion shows, and book yourself into a workshop and Lifestyle Stage talk. These will be available on a strictly first-come-first-served basis – so keep afore-mentioned skates on.

Edinburgh Life & Style will be from 10am-6pm on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 May 2018, with doors opening from 9.30am.

 

♥ SEE YOU THERE! ♥

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Let’s be honest: achieving that carefree spring/summer look can be a bit of a challenge in Scotland (for any confused readers out there, I write this in early April, while watching the sleet from my window.) Slowly but surely though, with lighter nights, the odd sunny day and help from a few beaut accessories, I’m starting to feel excited about my SS18 wardrobe.

I’m not a hugely high maintenance fash girl, and tend to err on the side of comfort when it comes to everyday fashion. Sometimes though unplanned casual outfits can make me feel a bit ‘meh’ – which is why I LOVE any opportunity to vamp my outfits up with an accessory. Sunglasses are one of my major go-tos for this.

These ones from Powder are just the right mixture of casual and glam. Tortoiseshell detailing and cat-eye frames are also my absolute fave combination so I’ve been packing these into my handbag most days since I got them, in the hope for a glimpse of sun (or being mistaken for a celeb.)

 

 

Now. I love a good hat, but they’re usually of the cosy variety. During the winter I’m rarely seen without one of my large collection of bobble hats (perhaps a lasting ski season legacy) but for some reason I’ve always shied away from wearing ‘summery’ hats – including straw trilbies. But I decided it was time to experiment with my head coverings a bit, and ordered this cute little number.

Considering my previous hat hesitations, this one was actually surprisingly easy to wear. It’s a flattering fit and really comfy, and has a structure that would suit most face shapes.

I think it’s safe to say I can now proclaim myself a ‘summer hat’ convert. I realised it’s also a pretty versatile piece, which means I’ll be packing this guy on all future hols, for street wandering and poolside chillin’. Oh and also – bonus point – to avoid a burnt face which, as I have realised, ruins any outfit.

 

 

Anyone who knows me/works with me/has hung out with me for 2 minutes/has glimpsed me on the street (and honestly most other settings) will be aware of my love affair with scarves.

I mean, there’s maybe some unhealthiness to the love affair since there’s a definite element of reliance woven in there due to my perpetually cold state. But also I just like the way they add to an outfit, ya feel?

So you can imagine it didn’t take me long to pick this SUMMER scarf to aid my wardrobe’s seasonal transition. I love wearing grey and layering it with colour so I was loving that this scarf had it all in one. It jazzes up a plain outfit and just feels really nice and light too.

I of course have been wearing this in Scotland in April, but have been allowing myself to imagine I’m in a much warmer climate and have slung this around my shoulders while wandering quaint seaside towns. I’m sure one day this scarf will see such a setting, but in the mean time Edinburgh summer will have to suffice.

I’ve been super impressed with the quality and design of Powder’s clothing and accessories. It’s extremely good value for money and the sort of stuff you’ll wear on repeat during the summer months. 10/10. Would recommend. Check out the rest of their collection over on their wesbite.

 

 

All photos by KK Land-Boyd 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Post sponsored by Powder. All views expressed are my own.

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I’ve always loved fashion and style. I get huge satisfaction from playing around with clothes and creating different looks. Anyone who shares my appreciation for styling will appreciate that the way you dress is probably one of the most powerful ways of expressing yourself.

In my case, sometimes the weirder the better.  I used to parade around in a leather boiler suit and yellow hard hat as a toddler, lived in poppers and a matching tracksuit top in pre-adolescence, went through a phase of digging out my mum’s old ’60s kaftans in my early teenage years, and yup, I was the gal who wore a spiked dog collar during my goth phase (let’s all take a little minute to appreciate this image.)

This was all before I graduated, by the way, to bleach blonde streaks, cropped parka jackets, studded hip belts and blindingly white Stan Smiths. Eventually – I’m sure to my family’s intense relief – I achieved a style that, though subject to the odd deviation, is slightly less erratic. Though I do still like to throw in the odd surprise here and there.

To reiterate: I’m a bit of a fash experimenter.

While I jump at an opportunity to dress up, in my day to day life I tend to champion the casual look – with as much of a side of chic as I can muster. Even if I wear heels I’ll often pair them with a baggy jumper or my boyfriend’s shirt. I suppose it’s an overhang from my childhood, when trying to get me into a dress resulted in fits of ugly crying.

I think in our world of digital noise, though, there can be a pressure on fashion bloggers to be constantly adorned in new clothes. Putting up an outfit repeat post can be seen as a big no-no, and keeping variety on our feeds risks an insatiable desire to fill our ASOS baskets to the brim with stuff we didn’t know we needed.

So, as a new co-homeowner, now jointly responsible for an actual mortgage to pay off (argh) not to mention furniture and overall decorating (double argh), there’s not much spare cash for me to throw into my wardrobe and shoe rack anymore. Which means it’s time to pull out that old adage, and put it into extreme action when walking down Princes Street from now on.

Money. Can’t. Buy. Style.

Money can’t buy style. Money can’t buy style.

SO, in the spirit of recycling (not replacing), let me share with you 5 simple yet effective tricks I like to use when my wardrobe’s feeling tired.

1. LAYERING.

I use this a lotttt. My go-to is a roll-neck bodysuit. I have a black one that I wear under a skirt, under high waisted tailored trousers, under a shift dress. It can be worn totally casually or on a night out under a dress (I wore mine recently under a strappy black dress with a full skirt).

It always looks really sleek and chic and is the perfect piece to wear under sleeveless dresses or other garments that the UK weather doesn’t currently cater for.

Another thing I layer is shirts – a white shirt is always going to look good under a jumper or – if you’re brave enough – a tank top. Also works worn open over a t-shirt. If worn alone, you can achieve loads of different looks by tying it at the front, wearing it loose over skinny trousers/jeans or tucked into the front of your waistband. ENDLESS possibilities.

Another unsung versatile hero of our wardrobes – or at least mine – is jumpsuits/playsuits/dungarees/any kind of all-in-one. That sleeveless, strapless jumpsuit you keep for nights out but never wear? Throw a cropped t-shirt/denim shirt/jumper over it and hurrah – new outfit.

2. ACCESSORISING.

Never underestimate the power of a statement accessory. Be it belt, headband, hat, sunglasses, bag, or jewellery, accessories can transform an outfit completely.

Recently I was wearing a boring jumper and jeans combo, but when paired with a big pair of chunky gold hoops from Zara, a slash of red lipstick, my hair tied up and a blazer thrown over my shoulders I was a different wumman.

The same transformative effect has been achieved in the past with sunglasses, a bright bag or a hair accessory. Got an old baggy cardigan? Belt it up at the waist shove a pair of heeled boots on (which are, of course, the answer to most wardrobe woes.)

3. COLOURING. 

I think sometimes make-up and hair is really overlooked in the world of fash. The power of a bold lip or eye, or even a bit of fake tan can totally change the way clothes look on you – and you have the double privilege of feeling pretty hawt yourself.

If I think my outfit looks a bit ‘meh’, I’ll shove some red lipstick on, layer up the mascara and chuck a red across-body bag on.

4. STEALING.

No, please don’t pull a Winona. Fine so maybe this technique is marginally less moral than the others but these are desp times, am I right? I’m forever stealing – nay borrowing – stuff from my nearest and dearest to add a bit of outfit variation. I’m not talking an entire outfit, but a key piece can change a whole look.

My boyfriend’s checked/denim/corduroy shirts are a particular fave of mine to fling over a dress or leather trousers, and every time I’m home I take my mum’s big fluffy mohair jumpers, roll necks or oversized cardigans to pair with my trusty skinny jeans or trousers. If to be honest I’m around KK I normally steal something of hers too.

I mean… you can always return them.

5. TEXTURE DAHLING

Sometimes all it takes to change an outfit from boring to bitching is a little shake-up of textures. Planning on pulling an all-black ensemble? Pair some leather look jeans with a fluffy knit, or black trousers with a sheer top. The variety keeps it from looking too flat on the eye and makes it a bold statement – rather than an accidental one.

I find that as long as you have a few ‘oooh’ things in your wardrobe – jumpers with massive bell sleeves, jeans with frayed hems, pom-poms, sequins, whatever – they go a long way. Dig them out and as long as you’re wearing one of them, everything else can pretty much be as pared-down (or boring, whatever) as you like.

All v.v.v. simple things to do, yet they work wonders when you’re bored of your clothes but too skint to replace them (ah, story of my life).

Happy styling!

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Sideways rain, a slight hangover and Mothers Day weekend. The stars were aligned. It was the perfect Saturday to check in for a facial at the Edinburgh Sheraton’s NOW by One Spa.

My ma and I arrived and were shown to the spa’s beauty room, which offers treatments ranging from luxurious pedicures to head massages, HD brows, eyelash extensions, tanning, waxing and much, much more. Check out the full range for yourself here.

Since I’d never actually been for a facial, I chose an express facial with Clarisonic Brush cleanse. I have to say – the experience has quite genuinely given me a whole new appreciation for them. My lovely facialist Holly asked me what kind of skin I have and matched the products she used to give the best results.

25 minutes of bliss later, it’s been a long time since I looked and felt so relaxed. My skin that was quite literally glowing and I just felt so, so pampered. I wondered if it was a sort of temporary illusion since I was covered in all sorts of luxurious creams etc, but a few days later my skin still felt really soft and looked nice and bright (which was pretty impressive for someone who had just emerged from forced beast of the east house arrest).

My mum went for the (deep breath) CACI crystal free microdermabrasion/booster facial – a process that combines crystal free microdermabrasion with LED light therapy, designed to rehydrate skin and target lines and wrinkles. I always think my mum looks fantastic for her age anyway but she came out from her treatment 40 minutes later looking pretty dang ace by anyone’s standards.

Getting a treatment at NOW by One Spa was such an enjoyable way to spend a day off, and I’d definitely go again. It also has a nice little cafe you can relax in after, before facing the real world again. Or, if you’re more me and my maw inclined, the spa is located just around the corner from loads of nice West End lunch spots, where we prolonged the luxury with a big glass each of Pinot. Hurrah!

 

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