Wednesday Wishlist - Monochrome Must-Haves

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

It's time for another Wednesday Wishlist. Spring is approaching, which means the shops are being filled with bright and beautiful colours, which I always enjoy browsing through. The majority of my wardrobe, however, consists of little black dresses - no matter how many times I tell myself I'll buy something colourful, I always end up coming back to black. It's classic, flattering and goes with anything (is what I tell myself when I'm putting back that bright orange top in favour of a black one)! So today, I thought I'd do a little pre-spring fashion wishlist, with some of my favourite monochrome bits and pieces from some of my favourite places to shop.

ASOS PETITE Mono Aztec Print Peg - ASOS - £22.00

Aztec Jacquard Shift Dress - Topshop - £70.00

White Winged Mini Tote Bag - New Look - £15.99

ASOS Knitted Vest With Lace Hem - ASOS - £28.00

Wool Wide Brim Hat - H&M - $19.99

White Iridescent Stone Ring Pack - New Look - £7.99

That hat? I've been considering it for months now. Every time I go into H&M I try it on, and every time I chicken out. I'm not someone who has ever worn hats, so it's well out of my comfort zone, but it just looks so cool... should I bite the bullet and go for it?!!

Where are your favourite places to shop at the moment?

Thanks for reading!

That Time I Chatted to the Outlander Cast

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post letting you guys know how excited I was that Outlander was finally making its way over here to the UK, courtesy of Amazon Instant Video. Well - last night I finally sat down and watched the first episode, and it did not disappoint!!

I know I might be a tiny bit biased, but this has to be one of the most visually stunning shows I've seen in a very long time. I have a lot for the part of the world where this is filmed (which I've mentioned in many previous posts, and which will become important later in this post), but my emotional attachment aside, the Scottish landscape just looks so beautiful. It isn't just the gorgeous backdrop that makes this so lovely to look at though. Everything about the way this show is filmed is just beautiful - the lighting, the costumes, the camera movements - I actually had to pause it at one point to screen shot a couple of moments that just took my breath away... observe...

I don't want to give too much away, but in the first episode we meet Claire (Caitriona Balfe), our leading lady who finds herself transported back in time from 1945 to 1743. There is an amazing magical feel to this first episode, which is right up my street, and we are introduced to a number of main characters over the course of the episode, including Jamie Fraser, played by Sam Heughan. It grips your attention instantly, and I'm very much looking forward to watching episode two!

This post, however, is not just a rave review of the first episode, but a little anecdote to fill you all in on something that happened last week! Picture the scene - I'm sitting at my desk, editing a video, when an email pings into my inbox inviting me to participate in a blogger conference call with two of the Outlander cast members! Cue much excitement/preparation of my question.

The chance to chat to Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe was an amazing opportunity, and honestly, they were just lovely. A number of bloggers took part, and so there was only time for one question each. As a Scottish blogger/vlogger, talking to the cast of a show located in Scotland, I had one very obvious question in my mind - I wanted to know how they had enjoyed the experience of filming up North in the beautiful Highlands.

Before we continue, there are two things you should know about me - one, I have phone fear. This is something I think I'll write a whole post on at some point, as I know it is something which is more common than you would imagine! Sit me in front of a camera and I'll chat as if I'm talking to my oldest friend. Send me into a face to face meeting or interview with a stranger, and I keep my cool. Put me on the phone, and for whatever reason, the nerves just take hold. Secondly, I believe in being enthusiastic about things in life. So if I like something, I really like it, and there's no holding back.

Anyway, let's get back to it. I sat listening to the other participants on the call asking their questions, and Sam and Caitriona giving some really great answers. They discussed whether the love scenes or fight scenes take longer to choreograph (love scenes, being the answer to that one), how they would explain Outlander to someone who hasn't watched it before - "a really great adventure, filled with historical drama, romance and fantasy" (Caitriona Balfe) and how it feels to be bringing the show home to the UK now that it's available on Amazon Instant Video.

And then it was my turn. The person before me had asked a question relating to Scotland, and so I had a nice straightforward transition into mine. I asked how they enjoyed the experience of filming up in the Highlands, and the following exchange took place:

Caitriona Balfe: Oh, it was amazing. I mean we moved the whole company up there, near Aviemore-

Lynsey: Oh, that's literally - I'm not joking, that's literally like my home from home, it's my favourite place in the world!!

That's right folks. I fangirled all over her answer. And not in "hi, I'm a huge fan of your show" style fangirling - I fangirled over a town in the Highlands. The transcript of the call does not do justice to the squeal of excitement I gave at the mention of Aviemore.

While I tried to block out the past ten seconds of my life, Caitriona and Sam gave this lovely answer to my question:

Caitriona Balfe: Yeah, it’s so beautiful. And we shot up there for almost two weeks and it was, honestly, such a special time. And for the most part the weather was very kind to us when we were up there; cold, but sunny and clear. But yeah, that’s been one of the greatest things about this job for me is really getting to explore Scotland and see how beautiful it is first hand. But I feel really great that we’re able to, sort of, bring that to a wider audience as well and show Scotland off in its best light.

Sam Heughan: Yeah. I really enjoyed going up to Kinloch Rannoch, which we shot a few times – that’s where the standing stones are – and it’s just terrific every time we go up, isn’t it? And it feels like a little family outing; everyone gets to go out and all the crew stay in the same hotels. Yeah, it’s really good fun.

Putting aside my moment of fangirling, it was amazing to hear these actors talk about the show firsthand. It's clear that they are incredibly passionate about their characters. One of my favourite moments in the call was when Caitriona and Sam gave these answers to a question from Ginger Wiseman, from Outlander Podcast. She asked what the most rewarding part of playing these characters was, and they said:

Caitriona Balfe: Wow, the most rewarding part of playing her? I think it’s honestly seeing how much this character has touched so many people’s lives. As an actor you hope that you get chance to play great characters and this definitely is one, and it has been such a dream playing her. But the unexpected side effects of that are seeing all of these women across the world who have been really touched by having the book in their lives or, they’ve met each other through the friendships that they’ve sparked over the books, and seeing them get together and really support each other, that’s been really amazing.

Sam Heughan: I think Jamie Fraser is – it’s certainly the bit about Scotland that’s been a joy to be able to, sort of, bring the culture of Scotland –an authentic one too, sort of, probably for the first time – to film and TV, and share it with the rest of the world, I think is one of my proudest moments.

So thank you so much to Sam and Caitriona for taking the time to answer our questions and giving us a bit of real insight into what it has been like working on the show, and thanks so much to Amazon Instant Video for inviting me to take part!

Outlander is available on Amazon Instant Video now! Have you been watching? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

How to Make a YouTube End Card!

Monday, 30 March 2015

Hello all, and happy Monday!

Today I thought I'd do a post on something I loved finding out how to do, and that is make a YouTube end card. You know the clip at the end of a YouTube video with the clickable links to subscribe or watch another video? In my early days of YouTube I hadn't the faintest idea how to go about this, so when I got more serious about my channel, I decided it was something I needed to teach myself! This particular post talks you through the process on iMovie, because that's what I use to edit my videos - I'm not sure how much the process differs on other editing suites, but I'm sure somewhere out there someone will have made a post on that!

So, you've reached the end of your video, said your goodbyes, and you're ready to make your end card...

STEP 1: Insert either a "Title" clip, or a Picture.

If you want to keep things basic, just insert a title clip, the way you would if you were popping a title at the start of your video. This way, you can either leave it blank, or insert a bit of text to say "subscribe" or "my last video" - whatever it is you want to link your viewers to!

If you want to make it a little fancier, pop into photoshop or paint, or even a website like Picmonkey, and create a little endcard image for yourself - this is a bit more fun! You can then include whatever you like in it - I have a subscribe button, icons showing all the social platforms I use (twitter, instagram, bloglovin, etc!) and a bit of text to indicate that they might like my last video too! Leave enough blank space on the image that you can insert your video clip.

To insert it as an image, make sure you import your end card into iPhoto - that's where iMovie sources images from! Just click the little camera icon, select your image and drag it onto your project!

STEP 2: Insert Clip

Once you have inserted that into your project, select the bit of footage you want to add on to the end card! That might be a clip of a related video (if it's a haul, you might want to link back to your last haul), or maybe just your last upload! I usually aim for a clip that lasts ten to fifteen seconds.

Drag the clip on top of the end card image - iMovie will then ask what you want to insert it as. At this point, choose "Picture in Picture".

The clip will then appear on your end card - drag it into place, and resize it to fit.

STEP 3: Export your video and Upload to YouTube

Now you're ready to export and upload your video as usual!

STEP 4: Edit Annotations

Once your video has uploaded, select the "Annotations" button from the editing bar under your video. Skip to your end card, and click on the "Spotlight" option from the "Add Annotation" dropdown menu.

A transparent box will then appear on your video. Drag this box over the clip you have inserted, or the "subscribe" button you have included.

Click the little box beside the word link, and YouTube will bring up a box to let you choose what you're going to be linking to. This has options which include video, channel, subscribe, Google+ Profile, and playlist.

Click on the relevant word and insert the relevant link - if you're linking to the subscribe button on your channel, link to your channel, or insert the address of whatever video you're sending them to!

You can insert multiple spotlight links, so repeat this process as many times as you need to.

Be sure to click save and apply changes.

And you're done! You've made a perfect end card to keep your viewers watching your content!

I really hope that was useful for some of you - I know I was certainly thrilled when I learnt how to do it!

Thanks so much for reading guys, and hope you have a great Monday! Be sure to send this link to any vloggers/YouTubers you know who might find it useful :)

Insta-Life Update #3

Friday, 27 March 2015

After yesterday's My Favourite Instagram Accounts post, I realised it's been a ridiculously long time since I did one of my insta-life update posts! So I decided that's what I'd do today.

Instagram is just the nicest (and quickest!) way of capturing a moment. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I definitely think it makes you appreciate the little things more. I wish I'd done one of these posts back at Christmas time - I went on an instagram binge in December, because everything just looked so lovely all decked out in Christmas lights and festive decorations. Alas, I did not, so we'll have to make do with a few snaps from February/March!

Top row L-R - Rory, Radley, Ice Cream
Middle row L-R - Shopping, Dylan Moran, Quotes
Bottom row L-R - Harvey Nics, Catch Ups, Movie Night

Back in February we got a new hamster - his name is Rory and he is a mad little ball of fur who is constantly entertaining us. He started off seriously timid, and he still occasionally jumps at his own shadow for no apparent reason, but he has also mastered climbing the wallpaper and curtains, like an intrepid explorer. This means you really can't take your eye off him for a minute, but he's so cute he can get away with anything.

Roisin and I went along to an event at the Radley store in Edinburgh, which was lovely - my post on that has been totally delayed, but look out for a full post on that soon! The handbags were absolutely beautiful. We then met a few of our lovely Edinburgh blogger pals for dinner and a catch up, which is always fun.

This is a random one, but this photo proved to be far more popular than I had expected! I took a snap of this Cadburys Marvellous Creations Fairground Candy Crunch Ice Cream, and people seemed to be very excited about it. It is absolutely delicious, by the way.

I went for a browse in New Look a couple of weeks ago and they had so many lovely things I wanted to buy!! Sadly I had to think about my bank balance and went home empty handed, but I did instagram this snap of me in one of the dresses I really liked, and people were very, very nice about it. I'm not one for posting any sort of fashion related photos, I don't do OOTDs or anything, but I can't lie - I definitely got a wee ego boost on this occasion, so thank you to the lovely people who left lovely comments!

Emma and I went to see Dylan Moran last week in the Clyde Auditorium and he was just as funny as he always is. He is my favourite comedian. Black Books is one my favourite TV shows of all time, and I have a boxset of his stand up shows which I dig out any time I need a good laugh. I'd only seen him live once before, so it was a total joy to get to experience his amazing humour in person again. We laughed till we cried: my personal favourite bits included the line "there are only four ages of human - child, failure, old and dead", and his reading of his own version of Fifty Shades of Grey. It was genius.

I've still been keeping up with my Sunday night quotes as a little bit of inspiration for the start of the week :) I'm so pleased I've kept this up.

Roisin and I went along to Harvey Nichols in Edinburgh for a beauty event a couple of weeks ago, which was all very lovely and sophisticated! We sipped lots of bubbly, lusted after too many bronze/neutral eyeshadows and I went home with a gorgeous MAC eyeliner, which I showed in this beauty haul over on my channel!

Nikki and I FINALLY caught up for dinner on Saturday! Having not seen each other since December, this was well overdue, so we spent a good few hours eating, drinking and catching up on all the gossip which had accumulated in the space of three months! I do love a catch up with that girl!

And finally, Emma and I had a wee movie night last night - I was desperate to watch Hitchcock's Rope, which I hadn't seen in ages! I love this film, I really do! If you like creepy, suspenseful films, and haven't seen this, check it out as soon as possible! It is based on a true story, which always blows my mind, about two college students who try to execute the perfect murder. They believe themselves to be intellectually superior to others, and think this means they can get away with whatever they want. It is SO GOOD.

So those were just a few highlights from the past few weeks! What have you been getting up to lately? :)

Thanks for reading!

My Favourite Instagram Accounts | March 2015

Thursday, 26 March 2015

If you're subscribed to my YouTube channel, you might have seen that last weekend, I uploaded a Top 5 Current YouTubers video! I had so much fun filming that video, and it always feels good to give a shout out to some of the people who produce content you really enjoy. It's what I love most about Twitter - I feel like it has brought together such a nice blogging community, and gives us a place to let people know when we're loving what they're doing!

So I decided that in addition to the Top 5 YouTubers, I'd do a couple of other current favourites posts, and this one is dedicated to Instagram! This is by no means an exclusive list, but these are some of the people who, lately, have been making me want to raise my insta-game, and who I'm forever pressing that little heart "like" button for

The Lunar Lights

First up is my gorgeous pal Nikki. Nikki's instagram is the place of dreams. A beautiful stream of pastel perfection, with photos of the cute things she decorates her home with, the lovely things she wears, her favourite beauty products and everything in between. What Nikki continues to create is a really seamless, easy on the eye page with some really lovely images. I could scroll through her instagram feed all day - it's just so soothing!!

Miss West End Girl

Another Scottish blogger who has a beautiful instagram is the lovely Lynsay from Miss West End Girl. Her instagram is like a little burst of sunshine on my feed - so many gorgeous pops of colour that instantly catch your eye! Lynsay posts such a fun, varied lot of photos that it really feels like you're being invited along on her adventures. With fashion, beauty, food and fun lifestyle posts, I just love scrolling through her colourful little world!

A Lady in London

I've mentioned before that I'm absolutely in love with A Lady in London's beautiful travel blog, and her instagram provides me with a daily hit of wanderlust! As she travels the world she uploads beautiful photos, from amazing city architecture to beautiful lakes and mountains - if travel instagrams are your thing, and you haven't checked hers out yet, you are missing out!

Being Erica

Erica's instagram is a favourite for reasons quite similar to my love for Miss West End Girl's - it's a lovely mixture of travel adventures, outfit of the days, bold lipstick choices, and snaps of London. There's something really nice and consistent about Erica's instagram - rarely a day goes by that we don't get to see what she's picked out of her amazing wardrobe to wear and she documents so many fun trips and weekends away that there's a steady stream of lovely new photos appearing every week!


And finally, we have the lovely Kate from gh0stparties. Much like Nikki's, opening Kate's instagram is like stepping into a lovely, soothing world, where everything is soft and pretty and pastel, and you just want to jump into it. Her posts are a mix of beauty products, outfit and face of the day shots, home d├ęcor, and of course, her lovely cat, Mouse.

You can follow my own instagram over at @lynseymac1, and leave me a link to yours - I'd love to check it out!

Who are some of your favourite instagrammers?

Thanks for reading!

Pretty Little Liars - "The Big A Reveal" Reaction/Discussion!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Evening all! This post is spoiler free but the video, obviously, is not!

If you caught yesterday's post, you'll know I was more excited about the Pretty Little Liars Season 5 finale than would be deemed healthy.

ANYWAY, I stayed up until quarter past two this morning waiting in vain for it to appear on Netflix. Eventually, I gave up and went to sleep, and got up bright and early today to watch it with my breakfast. I also live-vlogged my reaction, something I'd been planning to do for weeks!

To my dismay, my camera didn't co-operate and the live reaction footage is out of focus *cries*. So, far less of the actual reaction is included in the video than I had planned, but I have a good old perfectly focused (in terms of the camera, not my thought process) chat about it once the episode is over. I don't know about you, but I'm already horrified at the thought of having to wait until the end of summer to find out what happens next!!

I LOVE filming these - Emma and I did an X-Factor live vlog in October and it was so much fun. I'm definitely going to do more "reacting to" videos in the future, and with a properly focused camera too!! Honestly - the gasping, the talking to the TV, the hands covering my face - none of that is for the camera. This is how I respond to television. My dad recently asked if I was talking to myself when he walked past the living room - which, if you don't consider Spencer and Emily to be real people, I was. Anyway, more videos like this coming soon, and let me know in the comments what you thought of the episode!

Thanks for reading and watching!! :)

Pretty Little Liars - What I've Learnt from Binge-Watching 5 Seasons (SPOILERS)

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Tonight, my friends, is a very important night. Finally, after 120 episodes of intrigue, it seems that we are going to discover the identity of A - the man/woman/thing/team responsible for torturing our favourite Rosewood girls for five whole seasons. Spencer, Aria, Emily and Hanna have been well and truly through the mill, and we've been along for the ride. So, in honour of the big "A" reveal, I decided to put together a little post talking through my experience of watching the show, and the thoughts that popped into my head along the way.

My PLL viewing experience has been my most extreme example of binge-watching. I have consumed all five seasons in less than two months, which, quite frankly, should be shocking. The thing is, though, it actually isn't shocking at all. I've seen on twitter that lots of other people have been doing exactly the same thing since the show hit UK Netflix back in January. It is absolutely addictive viewing, and no matter how many times you tell yourself "I should go to sleep", there always seems to be time for one more episode. The need to find out who A is is just too overpowering!

This post is full to the brim of spoilers by the way. Spoilers spanning every season!! So, if you haven't watched the show and you click that little read more button, don't say I didn't warn you!