Watch. Read. Listen.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Hello you lovely lot. I hope you're well and 2015 has been treating you kindly so far. Other than the crazy weather, I've had a perfectly nice couple of weeks :)

I thought that I'd share with you a few of the things I have been losing myself in at the start of 2015. As we all know, I love my films/tv shows/books and music, and I do enjoy having a good natter about them. I posted a lot of I've Been Watchings in 2014, which I'm planning on getting back in to, but in the meantime, here is a snapshot of my current viewing, listening and reading material!

I've Been Watching


House

I have devoured almost all of season one of House in a week, and my goodness, is it brilliant, or is it brilliant? I've wanted to watch this show for the longest time and just never got around to it/had the opportunity to watch it. Netflix, my beloved, helped me out with that.

House, if you don't already know, follows the work of Dr. Gregory House (played by the amazing Hugh Laurie), and his team of young doctors, Allison Cameron (Jennifer Morrison), Eric Foreman (Omar Epps) and Robert Chase (Jesse Spencer). House himself is a brilliant doctor, but an awkward and often difficult human being, and he just fascinates me. Each episode concentrates on the team solving an unusual medical case, while gradually drip feeding us information about the lives of the main characters in the quiet moments in between. There are some really lovely character dynamics and relationships building up through season one, and already there have been some of those "is my heart sort of expanding, because it feels like it is" moments for me. In a "this is really cute" way, not literally, of course. I won't say any more to avoid spoilers, but I would love for someone to start watching it alongside me so I can rave about it with them. And discuss the likelihood of Jennifer Morrison and I becoming best pals.

The Vampire Diaries

I finally made my way through my season 5 TVD box set over Christmas and New Year (okay, within the space of a couple of days - classic binge watching) and I really, really enjoyed it. Apparently ratings are dropping and the show is losing popularity, but I honestly thought this season was strong. Particularly the Katherine storyline - it was equal parts infuriating and mesmerising, Nina Dobrev is just so fantastic when she's playing Katherine. I also knew that the series had a traumatic finale, and despite preparing myself for something upsetting, I still cried for about twenty minutes. I am a loser.

Also, Ian Somerhalder is just fantastic, isn't he? Damon Salvatore is tv gold - extremely easy on the eye, brilliant one liners, genuinely interesting character.

I've Been Reading


Yes Please by Amy Poehler

I love Amy Poehler, so getting her book for Christmas was a seriously exciting moment. I've been making my way through Yes Please, which is one of those brilliant books you can just dip in and out of (much like Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?) because it doesn't have a firmly structured story to follow. It's more just musings about herself, her life, her career and the world around her, and in typical Amy style. If you are a fan of hers, you'll appreciate this. Her sense of humour comes across really strongly, as always, and she tackles what are some interesting things in amongst the more light hearted moments. There is a section where she talks in depth about the thin line between guilt and anger, and opens up about a time she apologised for something she had done years after the fact, and it was a really interesting chapter.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Alongside Amy, I'm reading Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell, one of the big YA books of 2014! I downloaded it onto my kindle a few months ago, and I've only just got around to starting it, but so far I'm loving it. We all know I'm a huge television geek, and so fandom/fanfaction etc all really interests me. I love to see how completely caught up in a bunch of characters we can get, and what an amazing platform the internet is to form these sort of communities. Anyway, this book is about a girl who has just headed off to college and been separated from her twin sister for the first time. She is extremely shy and hiding from the world in her fanfiction, and so far it has really got me hooked.

I've Been Listening To

Love Me Like You Do by Ellie Goulding

This little number is from the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack, and while I doubt any of the content of the actual movie will be as sexy as the version of Beyonce's Crazy in Love they've used on the trailer, I am enjoying this song. It builds up really nicely, and I've always been a fan of Ellie's music. This has been on repeat for days!


Blame it on Me by George Ezra

I've loved this song for ages, but I got George Ezra's album for my mum for Christmas, and it's been living in the car since! I always mean to start listening to it from further on on the album to get to know the other tracks better, but I just love this song so much! There are a couple of lines that in all honesty, I'm not sure I even know the right words, but I belt it out nonetheless!


So that's what I've had on my laptop/tv, ipod and kindle of late - I'd love to know what you've been watching, reading and listening to so far in 2015!

Have a great week :)

Thanks for reading!

15 things for 2015...

Sunday, 4 January 2015


1. Make the effort if someone's important to you. Everyone gets busy - life is a whirlwind, and it can be so easy to go months without seeing, or sometimes even speaking to friends you used to see every other day. If they're one of the good eggs you want to keep forever, remember to check in. "They haven't been in touch either" can be true, but it's usually an excuse to make yourself feel better. So reach out, even if it's just in a wee text, or Facebook message.

2. Eat some fruit and drink some water. This is more for me than for anyone else. I went through a couple of months in 2014 of really committing to this, and do you know what? I felt better. I have no idea if I actually genuinely felt better, or if it was a sort of placebo effect, but either way it's good for you.

3. Take photos. Of everything. Excellent cup of tea? Instagram it. Pretty sky at dusk? Get that on twitter. Capturing these moments is a great way of making every day seem positive, and gives you lots of nice little things to look back on if you're having a bad day.

4. Read a book by someone you admire. I'm currently reading Yes Please, by Amy Poehler, and it's giving me a warm, fuzzy feeling. Feeling like you're having a private little chat with someone you really look up to, and hearing about their ups and downs can definitely motivate you to pull your socks up and follow your dreams.

5. Watch that TV show you've always wanted to watch, and read that book that has been on your to read list forever. They've remained there for a reason, so what you waiting for?!

6. Learn to unapologetically say no. Fear of Missing Out (FOMO, as it is being called - I think I'm getting old...) is something I think we naturally start to grow out of the older we get, but if you feel like a night in your pjs watching something on Netflix and eating a takeaway instead of going to that club you hate and spending money you'd rather save for a rainy day, DO IT. Stop panicking that you'll somehow miss out if you don't go. I passed up a boozey flat party for a night on the couch with a chocolate orange and a google hangout with my girls Roisin and Gill this New Year, and it was amazing.

7. Having said that, also try to say yes more! Sometimes, after a long day at work (especially if you don't love your job) it can be so tempting to turn down a catch up with your pals because you're tired and cranky and just want to hide under your duvet and pretend you don't have to go to work again the next day. But hanging out with your friends will always make you feel better, so say yes! You don't even have to stay for long, just do it - it gives you the chance to catch up, have a rant, and let your hair down.

8. Do something that scares you. Always wanted to make a YouTube video but been nervous about it? Do it. Want to visit a friend in another country but frightened to fly alone? Do it. Taking these chances makes us braver and stronger. The worst that can happen is you find out it isn't for you!

9. Count your blessings. Be thankful for the good things and the good people in your life, every day.

10. Write things down. Journal, blog, scrap of paper you instantly shred - whatever it is, writing down how you feel is usually a cathartic experience, and can help you understand yourself a little bit better.

11. Go for a walk with only your iPod for company. There's something really soothing about taking some time out, on your own, and just letting your feet take you somewhere with your favourite songs as the soundtrack. If I'm worked up about something, this is a surefire way to calm me down!

12. Learn something. Pick up a book on a subject you don't know much about, and find out more. Education shouldn't end when we leave school/college/university. I'm currently filling up my Kindle with free books on Socrates (I'm developing a bit of a thing for philosophy y'see)...

13. Champion a good cause! We only get one shot at this life, and if we can make a difference during it, that has to be a good thing. So tweet about them, donate to them, hold a fundraiser. Just use your voice.

14. Make sure you're doing something that makes you happy. If your job is draining you and you're constantly counting down the days till the weekend or your next holiday, do something about it! Get applying for as many new jobs as you can, get on Linkedin, network and make contacts through social media - as I said, we only get one shot at this, so waste as little time as possible in something that makes you miserable.

15. Be kind and when the opportunity arises, say nice things. Tell the girl at work that you don't know all that well that you love her lipstick, tweet the stranger who just got engaged and tell them congratulations, message your friend who is going through a rough time and ask how they're doing. It seems like the simplest thing, but you have no idea what an amazing impact a simple compliment or kind word could have on someone's day.

Happy 2015 everyone - let's make it a good one!

Thanks for reading :)

Happy New Year!! (It's 2015!!!)

Thursday, 1 January 2015


sources - pinterest


Happy 2015 everyone - let's make it a good one :)

My first proper post of the year will go up tomorrow!!

Thanks so much for supporting my little corner of the internet throughout 2014.

xxx

Post-Christmas Beauty Gift Guide!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Hello all! Hope you're all having a lovely time in the lead up to Christmas - I cannot believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve!! This year I didn't do any sort of gift guide in time for Christmas itself, but what I thought might be fun would be to do a guide for things to look out for after Christmas! Let's face it - most of us end up doing a little bit of shopping in the sales when Christmas is over, and if you're as beauty daft as I am, you usually end up with a much wanted gift card for one of your favourite beauty outlets. So I thought I'd put together a little wishlist of sorts, of beauty bits and pieces I have added to my ''future purchases'' list, and I'd love to know what's on yours!

I also wanted to let y'all know - I have an exciting piece of beauty related news! House of Fraser got in touch to let me know that they're running a "12 Days of Christmas" offers event, starting tomorrow! It'll be running from Christmas Eve to 4th January, with some big beauty names being reduced each day. Keep your eyes peeled on their Twitter and Facebook accounts (and the House of Fraser website of course!) for more details :) A few of the bits and pieces on my current wishlist are available at HoF so I, for one, will be keeping a close eye on the 12 Days of Christmas deals!




1. Soap and Glory "The Perfect 10" Palette - Boots - £16.00

You know me - I'm a self-confessed eye makeup addict, and there's nothing I like more than a good eye-shadow palette. This one grabbed my attention in Boots yesterday, and I can't help but think it would make a smashing addition to my collection. Had to resist temptation when out shopping for my family and friends, but that won't be an issue after Thursday!

2. Lancôme Mascara Gift Set* - House of Fraser - £22.50

Isn't this a gorgeous gift set?! I'm a recent Lancôme mascara convert. You know how I only ever buy drug store mascaras? That has now changed thanks to trying the Hypnose mascara for the first time a few months ago! House of Fraser have these great gift sets which include one of the Hypnose range mascaras, a mini black kohl liner and a 30ml bottle of their Bi-Facil, all for just £22.50!

3. YSL Rouge Volupte Shine Lipstick in Shade 13 - House of Fraser - £25.00

I just can't deal with how gorgeous this colour is. I still don't own any of the Rouge Volupte lipsticks, but I just think they are stunning, and I hear consistently good things about them. So this little gem has most certainly caught my eye.

4. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector - Space NK - £33.00

This is something I've wanted for ages and ages - I've seen many a YouTuber use this gorgeous skin perfector in tutorials and I've always mentally added it to my basket, I'm just yet to actually take it to the checkout. I think I've always just a little bit worried that it's a overrated? If you've tried it and have thoughts on this, let me know in the comments below!

5. Barry M Aquarium Nail Paint in Treasure Chest - Superdrug - £3.99

Isn't this stunning!! I mean, seriously, I love the Barry M nail paints as it is, but this gold glitter is just beautiful. I've already got one of the polishes from the Aquarium collection and it is gorgeous, I always get compliments on it, to this is definitely one I'll be hard pushed to walk away from (when it's just £3.99!).

6. MAC Teknakohl Liner in Risqué - House of Fraser - £14.00

Would you just look at that colour? I love experimenting with different eyeliner looks and honestly, I think this just looks so pretty.

7. Estée Lauder Pure Colour High Shine Gloss Collection - House of Fraser - £34.00

Gorgeous, glittery, shiny lipglosses - have you ever seen such a lovely gift set when it comes to lip products?! These are just stunning. Bravo Estee Lauder. Bravo.

So that's it for my little "treat yourself after Christmas" beauty guide! I'd love to know what's on yours!

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have an absolutely fantastic Christmas.


*This is a collaborative feature but all comments and opinions are my own.

Scottish Ballet - Peter Darrell's "The Nutcracker"

Friday, 19 December 2014

If you're anything like me, nothing quite gets you in the Christmas spirit like going to see a nice festive show. Whether that's a Pantomime with the family, a screening of a Christmas film with your friends, or, in the case of this particular post, the ballet, there's just something lovely about heading out on a cold December evening and escaping into the theatre to watch a Christmassy story unfold.


I was lucky enough to be invited along to the dress rehearsal of the Scottish Ballet's production of The Nutcracker, and I can honestly say it was one of the most beautiful things I've seen in a long time! In a little behind the scenes chat, we found out all about the history of the Peter Darrell production (which you can find out more about here), and discussed the lovely, nostalgic, childhood centric feel to this version. Rather than attempt to create a dark or unexpected take on the story, this particular production has a really magical feel to it, and encourages you to see it through a child's eyes - what could be more Christmassy than that?!

One of my favourite photos I took at the dress rehearsal ♥

I can't even tell you how stunning the set and costumes are - you really do have to see them for yourself. They are absolutely captivating. From the amazing glittering capes and beautiful dresses, to the flurries of snow and amazing Christmas tree, the whole look of this production is incredible.

I quite enjoyed it - can you tell?!

I left the Festival Theatre finally feeling festive, and I would totally recommend heading along if you can over the next couple of weeks! Tickets are available here and the show runs till the 3rd January 2015 in Edinburgh, and continues on to Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness and ends in Newcastle on 14th February :)



Hope you're all having a lovely week and looking forward to Christmas!

Thanks for reading!



Christmas Gift Idea - The Book of Everyone*

Sunday, 7 December 2014

With Christmas just over a couple of weeks away now, I'm sure most of you are in the process of getting your shopping done and picking out gifts for your nearest and dearest. I, for one, am a huge fan of personalised gifts - taking something ordinary and adding some individual little touches to make it extra special for your friend/partner/parent/child/insert appropriate terminology here...


So, when I was contacted by the lovely people at The Book of Everyone to tell me a little bit about what they do, I was instantly intrigued! The concept is really, really cool - you pop in a couple of basic details about the person you want to make it for (name, date of birth) and in minutes it creates an amazing, personalised book, full of fun facts about the year they were born. I decided to make a book* for my BFF, Emma, who you have all seen on here/in my videos on many occasions before! Hence the reason the photos don't show the full pages - keeping some of the personal information off the interwebz!

Apologies for the phone photos - having some technical problems with my Canon 600D this weekend!! #bloggerproblems

From details on world leaders and nobel prize winners, to technological advancements, popular films/tv shows/books and facts about their star sign, this book is a seriously interesting read. There is also the opportunity to personalise it further, by filling in the blanks on pages like "You're made of sterling stuff, but above all you're ---", and " You're not always an angel, in fact, you're partial to a bit of ---", and adding in your own photographs and quotes on some of the pages.


What I really love about this is the way it's written - this book could easily have read like a list of facts, but the tone is really lively and funny, some of my favourite comments in Emma's book being "riotous celebrations break out across the globe in honour of the birth of the legend that is Emma" and "1989 wasn't all about you, Emma". It takes what is already an interesting concept and injects it with a healthy dose of humour, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

The other absolutely amazing thing about purchasing one of these snazzy customised books is that the lovely people at The Book of Everyone have teamed up with Age UK this Christmas, so "every book you buy, goes towards the "gifting" of a book for an elderly person who might not receive a gift". I just think this is a lovely idea - it's easy to forget, sometimes, when you're lucky enough to be spending the festive season with friends and family, that there are a lot of people out there who don't have anyone to share it with.

For more details on the book - which comes in four styles (digital, paperback, hardback and deluxe - an option for every budget!), visit their website at http://thebookofeveryone.com/. It is then dispatched to you in the space of a week, and the quality of the finished book is amazing!

What's on your Christmas gift wishlist?!

Thanks for reading!

7 Glasgow Bars You Have To Try!

Saturday, 29 November 2014

As someone who has lived just outside Glasgow for my whole life, and who has studied and worked in Glasgow since I was eighteen, I'd say I have a pretty good knowledge of the city centre - so I thought I'd share that with you! If you're visiting Glasgow and you're looking for somewhere close to the train station to stop off for a drink, I've got you covered! Here are seven bars, each within walking distance of Glasgow Central Station (and Argyle Street and Queen Street stations too!), and the drinks I'd recommend ordering there!:

October (Princes Square):


This is one of my favourite Glasgow haunts. Whether you are looking for food or just for a cocktail, October has a really nice, chilled out vibe, while still feeling pretty sophisticated. I think this is partly due to the location in the gorgeous Princes Square shopping centre - it just oozes luxury, so even just popping in for a soft drink feels like a bit of a treat. That said, the prices are not extravagant!

I'd recommend: The Vanilla Apple Sour cocktail.

Hortons (92 West George Street):


If my friends and I can't decide where to go for a catch up, we inevitably end up in Hortons - it's a firm favourite! By day it is a chilled out bar-come-restaurant, and by night it is a lively hub for after work drinks, weekend nights out, and it even has a bit of a club vibe on Friday and Saturday when it stays open till 3am and some of the tables are pushed aside to make way for a dance floor. The music is usually good, the staff are friendly, and it is home to my favourite cocktail in the whole of Glasgow...

I'd recommend: The Bellini Martini.

The Old Hairdressers (Renfield Lane):

If you're into more of a hipster vibe, might I suggest popping along to The Old Hairdressers in Renfield Lane? This bar is literally a two minute walk from Central Station, and is definitely one of the hidden gems in the city centre if you know where to look! It's a nice choice for a date night, or a quiet catch up with a friend, since the music tends not to be blaring too loudly and the drinks are fairly reasonably priced considering how close it is to the train station. It has a very unfinished look - bare walls with artsy posters and a sort of mishmash of chairs. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but I like it!

I'd recommend: If you're a beer fan (which I'm actually not, but I'm aiming for variety in this post!) there is an interesting selection in here, which my friends have praised!

Palm Sugar (175 Buchanan Street):


For a more "grown up and classy" choice, check out the Palm Sugar Lounge on Buchanan Street! Admittedly, I haven't been there later in the evening - my friend and I used to pop in here for a cheeky after-uni glass of wine sometimes, so usually we were here between 5 and 7 - but at that point it was fairly quiet, so a good place to relax after a busy day at work, uni, or maybe even a day of Christmas shopping!

I'd recommend: A glass of rose (this list wouldn't be complete without a rose recommendation!)

Strata (45 Queen Street)


Strata is a recent discovery for me, I've only been a couple of times but I've really enjoyed it both times! Nikki, Roisin and I went a few weeks ago (see this vlog for footage!) and I ordered what was one of the best cocktails I've had in a long time (see recommendation below!). It's a slightly longer walk from central station, but is less than a five minute walk from both Queen Street and Argyle Street stations.

I'd recommend: A Passionfruit and Apricot Daiquiri

Sir John Moore (260-292 Argyle Street):

In the interests of keeping this post one hundred percent purse friendly, I thought I'd include the Sir John Moore, which is a branch of Wetherspoons across the road from the downstairs entrance to Central Station on the corner of Argyle Street and Hope Street! If you're keeping an eye on your bank balance, or you have very little time before your train but want to squeeze in a quick drink before you go, this is one of the handiest pubs for the station! It's cheap and cheerful, with a typical Wetherspoons menu, but it's definitely somewhere we head to for a quick bite to eat every so often!

I'd recommend: A bottle of Rekorderlig, in whatever fruity flavour they have that day!

Bunker (193-199 Bath Street):


This is a last minute add on, but I have to recommend Bunker on Bath Street! This is somewhere my uni friends and I used to pop into for a drink before we'd go out with our dancing shoes on back in the day, but more recently I've discovered what a brilliant place this is in terms of deals on meals! There are some really excellent deals on (any main meal for £5 on a Monday, for example), and the food is amazing! I'll throw in a quick food recommendation here - if you're a pulled pork fan, the pulled pork pizza is incredible!

I'd recommend: An Appletini.


So there we have it - seven different pubs and bars to check out on your next few trips into Glasgow!

Let me know if you've been to any of these bars, or if you have any Glasgow night out recommendations! :)

Thanks for reading!