Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Why a New Year Makeover is A Good Idea

I think it's my prerogative to have at least one "fuck it" moment every now and then. Like "fuck it I will book tickets to that expensive festival in Spain" or "fuck it, I WILL eat all the marzipan off this cake" - but my most glorious "fuck it" to date was waving goodbye to 2 years (count 'em 2) of intensive hair rehab. After years of dying my hair dark I went back to my roots (see what I did there?) with a dodgy home bleach, some perseverance and passing my new hair as "It's not that I can't be arshed, it's ombre."

Ombre was it fuck.

So it was time for a change. Purple. Purple was a good idea.

I considered a home dye job. I had a flash back to blistered hands and stained bath tubs so that idea was out. It was time to get in some professional help.

I phoned up Rainbow Rooms George Square. "Marc, I want to go purple."

And that was that.

Well actually it was more than that. "Aren't you a bit fair?" Not so much a talking out of rather than a "We really don't want you to regret this." I was asked to bring in snaps of colours that I liked. Bring in snaps for me with darker hair to show that No, this was no my first rodeo and I was totally ready for it. After pouring over about 20 different shades of purple we settled for a mix of Fudge Paintbox colours (keeping my blend a secret for now) and went to work.

Mug of tea, mags at the ready and bleach on my hair, it's safe to say the transformation wasn't a quick one. We're talking 3-4 hours in the chair. With bleaching and dying and conditioning treatment I thought I was going to be there forever. This was a far cry from the home job I had in mind (which would have involved me sitting wrapped in a towel, eating marzipan and getting hair dye everywhere.)

In truth I had no idea how it was going to turn out. Should we leave it on longer? Put on another application? When I first saw my hair, fresh from shampoo all I could think was "That is fucking pink. PANK." I suspect they saw the flicker of panic in my eyes as was told, "we'll see if we need to put on another lot to darken it up." Once it was dried however, total game changer. I WAS IN LOVE.

As far as makeovers go it was a pretty drastic change. I know colouring my hair is hardly reinventing the wheel and it's certainly no pixie cut or micro bangs or something else far more transformative. I do however like it and god damn it I think I bloody suit purple.

I don't know about you but I think there's nothing like a major makeover to give yourself a wee boost and the guys at Rainbow Rooms did a fab job (I can't thank Stephanie enough for coming up with my signature blend.)  Anyone else thinking of any big changes for the new year?

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Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Why your bra should fit and how to make sure it does

Just because it's not the new year quite yet it doesn't mean you should be rolling out those new year resolutions. 80% of women wear the wrong size bra (fo' realsies girls, sort this out!) - which cause all sorts of problems. I'm pretty much captain of the busty express, clocking a cup size that starts with an F so finding pretty lingerie that fits can be the worst. How's a girl to look fine/fresh/fierce when nearly anything above a D seems to read "Yes Matron" and if you try anything smaller you risk quad boob, nip slip and back aches.

Panache are one of the good guys, making pretty lingerie for ladies packing titty and hooking a sister up with this beautiful set above. When it comes to lingerie I don't really ask for much. I want to feel locked in. When I run for the subway I don't want to feel like I'm going to get a black eye. I also want it to be pretty damnit. Life is way too short for ugly underwear.

The Tango plunge bra from Panache has the cut that I favour (go plunge or go home) and was a gorgeous sheer tea rose in an austrian fine embroidered mesh all the way to a H cup. YES MAM. Get me some of that!

Legit you should be getting yourself measured every 6 months (trust me.) Wearing the right size is so so so important I can't begin to stress it enough. Other than preventing a whole host of nasty health problems, a well fitted bra makes your clothes look better, makes your posture look better and makes you feel better.

So how do you know you're wearing the wrong size? Back moving up? Quad boob? Bra slicing in to you? These are just a few of the tell tale signs of an ill-fitting bra. What can you do? GO GET YOURSELF MEASURED GURL. Wear a classic t-shirt for this (as a basic guide, if it looks good under a tee, odds are it will work under anything.) Try on bras, dance about in them. Make sure none of the above is happening with this bad boy and embrace your new lingerie goodness.

It's also the perfect excuse to get some new lingerie.  Measuring tapes out!

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Monday, 16 December 2013

Scottish Ballet: Hansel & Gretel

Every season Scottish Ballet turn it out. Their productions, a mix of classic and contemporary are perfect to make someone fall in love with the world of dance From oppulent costume design to sets that look like fairytale illustration, Scottish Ballet's attention to detail coupled with their trademark humor has be returning year after year to see their latest offerings, this Winter with a completely brand new production - Hansel & Gretel.

To celebrate me and a few other blogger babes were whisked off to Blythswood Square for a scrumptious day of afternoon tea and cocktails designed around the new production. The Woodcutter's Wife (a gin based cocktail) went down far too easily and was reminiscent of a sweeter Fentiman's Victorian Lemonade, sweet without being saccharine. The lunch time spread was all about recapturing the magic of childhood with popping candy carrot cake, raspberry macaroons and tiny gingerbread men. It looked gorgeous and it was delicious, though maybe overall a bit too many sweets for me, and the macaroons were more meringuey than I'm used to. However if you do have a sweet tooth this is the perfect afternoon treat with generous portions of cakes and some of the tastiest scones I've had in a long time.

When we pulled up to the Theatre Royal I could already feel myself getting giddy. There is something about a festive trip to the theatre that just plugs in to the little girl in my brain. It's the orchestra warming up, the hustle and bustle of  the crowd as they try and find their seats and the curtains pulled heavily over the stage. The atmosphere was positively electric.

But what of the actual ballet? The ballet was wonderful, with a new take on the traditional story. Loving parents, a wicked witch and an appearance from the sandman all helped to bring the classic Germanic fairytale to life for the stage. Hansel & Gretel were positively charming, really encapsulating this real youthful vigor and mischief. They had so much personality and you really felt you learned everything you needed to know about the characters from their opening number.  Their parents with likeable (with some impressive choreographed intoxication.) My favorite performances though would have to be the Woman In the Moon's dance with the ravens (I got chills all over me with this little number), The Sandman's solo piece which was delightfully creepy (which I would have loved more of) and the Rag Doll piece which was energetic, fun and playful.

I do have to say the second half didn't feel as strong for the first for me. The witch who we had previously seen as the beautiful graceful ethereal being became more of a comedic punchline and less of a threat. While the movement was still there, it felt much more like theatre than dance. For me, I would have liked to see the Witch more like the Sandman, moving a bit odd and strange and just scaring the hell out of me rather than a comedic figure. With the horror lost, the eventual triumph of Hansel & Gretel didn't feel as earned.

There is so much to love in this ballet. It is visually one of the most beautiful sets I've seen in a long time and the transition from scene to scene is seamless. The closing piece to the first act was beautiful and nearly had me in tears and the afternoon at the ballet (just over 2 hours) never felt like 2 hours. There was always something going on to keep you enchanted. The dancers were wonderful, The Ravens being particular favorites with their old school biker gang feel. The costumes were gorgeous, the music was astounding, and while not perfect, a very strong production that with a few tweaks could quite easily become a festive classic.

I cannot imagine a lovelier way to spend an afternoon or hell, an evening. It's a gorgeous performance that I would recommend to fans both old and new. RIP Panto. Long live the ballet!

Want to see Hansel & Gretel?

10 - 28 December 2013
Theatre Royal
Box Office 0844 871 7673

8 - 11 January 2014
Festival Theatre
Box Office 0131 529 6000

15 - 18 January 2014
His Majesty's Theatre
Box Office 01224 641122

22 - 25 January 2014
Eden Court
Box Office 01463 234 234

29 January - 1 February 2014
Theatre Royal
Box Office 08448 11 21 21
5 - 8 February 2014Grand Opera HouseBox Office 028 9024 1919

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Merry Christmas Ya Filthy Animal

I'm not sure what happens in my brain round about December time (hell if I'm being honest, early November) but there is something in there that just goes MAD or the holiday season. And not in some holier-than-thou-in't-it-ironic-to-like-Christmas kind of way. I legitimately am mad for it. Singing carols in the shower (Eartha Kitt - Santa Baby is my jam FYI), wrapping parcels, Christmas movies and hot chocolate are a near daily occurrence in the Waits household. No suprises for anyone then when Christmas jumper day rolled round, the Abandon Ship Christmas Sweater party to go to and the fact that there was air in my lungs it was time to crack out the festive regalia.

Jumper - eBay
Trousers - H&M
Hat - Primark
Shoes - New Look
Glasses - Miu Miu c/o Pretavoir

Or as I like to call it "that Home Alone jumper everyone's getting on board with." I have seriously seen it everywhere. This may have to do with the fact it's skanky cheap on eBay (mine was around £8.98 with free postage -do make sure you get the right spelling of Christmas though) but also it references one of the best Christmas films of all time. Easily in my Top 10. Maybe Top 5. Maybe.

I love getting wrapped up warm though as December's going this guy's been pretty mild (I have had colder July's) but just try and stop me from getting wrapped up toasty in my scarves and hats this holiday season. I'm counting down the days (I cracked and ate my advent calender 8 days in, I'M SORRY, I'M A CRAP ADULT) and can't wait for it to be Christmas already. Till then I'm going to be amping up my festive mojo with pantos, ballets, cheese nights with friends and every god damn Christmas film you can imagine.

How are you getting in the mood for the holiday season?

Friday, 13 December 2013

Santa Baby slip some Jane Gowans Under The Tree For Me

My love for Dundonian jeweller Jane Gowans is very well documented. It's been amazing to see her journey from small local fashion shows to a cheeky wee nomination at the Drapers awards (I know guys, she's kind of a big deal) and a pop up at Harvey Nics Edinburgh. Gowans pretty much nails it as a jeweller every god damn time, so when she released her minis collection - DUH - of course I was going to be head over heels.

A pocket friendly super accessible way to own your own bit of Gowans work, the Gowans collection is a youthful and fun collection. These cute friendship style bracelets come in two designs; Flock - inspired by feathers and Shoal - inspired by fish scales. Available in silver or gold vermil and six bright colours the mini bracelets can be worn on their own or build up together for those looking for some real fun flirty arm candy. I can come across as a gal who lives by a "black on black on black" kind of girl (with a wardrobe similar to a bruise) but I can't get over these little flashes of colour and feel that they add a really vibrant bit of fun to any wardrobe. The orange shoal has got to be my favourite!

Still looking for the perfect Christmas gift? Get some Gowans down ye. Priced between £29-£39, these bad boys are perfect for both the stocking or under the tree. So Santa baby will there be some Gowans under the tree for me?

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Christmas Gift Guide: Indie Goodies to Stuff Your Stocking With


Pop Culture Pencils - La La Land - £3 - It's not Christmas without a cheeky bit of stationairy and these pop culture pencils are an utter treat. Doctor Who, Parks & Rec, Heathers and Breaking Bad pencils are all ready for the taking (and at £3 a set why not get all of them?) but for Christmas I'm all over the Elf ones. "You sit on a throne of lies" - CAN'T. STOP. LAUGHING.

Pineapple Socks - Lazy Oaf - £8 - I was torn between the pink kitty socks and these bad boys, but when it comes down to it, pineapple trumps everything. I love how mad bright they are. Perfect for keeping your toes warm on Christmas morn.

Baltic Badge - Bonnie Bling - £12.50 - Say it with bling sister. There is only one word to truly capture how friggin cold it is, so embrace a cheeky bit of Scottish slang with this cute Baltic badge from Bonnie Bling.

Mulled Wine Soap - Scottish Fine Soap Company - £4.96 - Mind how I say come December I want to mull all the things? That definitley includes my soaps. The Christmas soaps from Scottish Fine Soap Company are super delicious smelling and come in the cutest tins ever.

Cross Bones Ring - Bloody Mary Metal - £30 - I love love love Bloody Mary Metal's jewellery (hell, anything with bones really goes down a treat in the Waits household) so I couldn't help going totally cookoo for this little number. Who wouldn't want to find this in their stocking on Christmas day?

Red Bird Makes Brooches - Godiva - £14 - In love with these broaches inspired by vintage shoes. I'm a real sucker for a good badge and these guys take the proverbial biscuit. At 2 or £14 that's one for you and one for a friend.

Jade Deco Earrings - Think Boutique - £25 - Seeing little beauties like this makes not being able to wear earrings all the sourer. An updated take on the art deco design, these jade deco earrings from Think Boutique are super fun and quirky as well as being environmentally friendly. Double score!

Kitch-mas Decals - DIY NAILS - £6 - For the person who has everything, these cute and kitch nail decals from DIY NAILS are the perfect stocking filled. Candy canes, Christmas lights and Christmas puds, if these don't get you in to the festive spirit, nothing will!

Not pictured - Christmas Satsuma - It's hardly a stocking without a cheeky wee satsuma in the bottom. It's one of my favourite parts of the day - satsuma and advent calender chocolate for breakfast. Like a king.

How's the Christmas shopping going for you lovelies?

Monday, 9 December 2013

Christmas Gift Guide: British Goodies For Under Your Tree

Without a doubt Christmas is my favourite time of year. The second the 1st of December hits I'm singing carols, wrapping gifts and mulling all the things. I'm also pretty partial to pouring over gift guides (SO.MANY.GIFT.GUIDES.) While fancy soap sets and fancy chocs ARE lovely (and you'll be hard pushed to find me pushing them away on Christmas morn) this year I wanted to look at some of my favourite British indies and think of what wouldn't go amiss under the tree this year.


ChouChou Alex Hollyhood - £110 - I love the long Hollyhood's from Chouchou. Luxe tartan with a faux fur trim, this bad boy goes with errrrrrrrrrrrything.

Miista Zaira Boot - £210 - FULLY lammenting not getting these bad boys on Cyber Monday. Miista you make a sista's heart pit a patter till her chest hurts. A good chunky sole never goes a miss in the Waits household. Also black with buckles. It's like someone's been reading my personal gothy shoe wishlist.

Karen Mabon X Coco Fennell Pill Popper Dress - £79 - I couldn't not have a wee bit of Karen Mabon in here. I am legit obsessed with everything this girl puts out and her collaboration with London designer Coco Fennell is no exception. The pill popper tea dress would be perfect for Christmas morn. The cute wee embroidered pills are to die for. Mon Santa, help a sister out!

Nikki McWilliams Custard Cream MAHOOSIVE Floor Cushion - £44.50 - Hands up all the biscuit fiends out there? I love proper old school tea time biccies, rich teas, party rings, bourbons - but the king of the tea time biscuits for me has to be the mighty Custard Cream. I'm in love with all of Nikki's biccy cushion designs but this guy is something else. And by something else I mean HUGE. Mine please!

Baia - Mini in Black Leather and Caramel - £85 - Can't get enough of Baia. Baia till I die. This wee mini is a total dreamboat and I've had my eyes on it for quite a while. QUITE A WHILE. I love the tartan interior (what can I say?) and the fact for a few extra punds you can get a cheeky bit of personalisation on the inside. It's the wee touches innit?

If you're looking for something special and a bit different this Christmas, any of these beauties would go down an utter treat. What have you got your eye on this festive season?

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

House of Frasers Presents: Scottish Designer Pop Up

For the most part when you want to buy from independent shops you're usually going to be buying online or at a pop up shop and maybe, maybe a boutique. On the high street - in one of Scotland's leading department stores? Pretty much unheard of. And yet here we are. House of Frasers have invited 3 of their favourite up and coming Scottish independent designers to take over a spot in their store and sell their designs. Before Christmas. WHAT WHAT?

Seriously major snaps for House of Fraser. Right next to Moschino, Prada and Kooples - we're seeing Rebecca Torres, Saunt & Sinner and Joanne McGillivray selling their designs in store this festive season. Torres left last week (tell me you hotties picked up a wee number yes?) and now it's Saunt & Sinner's turn to step up to the plate.

Of course I'm flying my flag for people to buy British this holiday season so this cheeky pop up is perfect not only for those looking for something a little somethin' somethin' to put under the tree but ideal party wear.  From bright colour pop body con dresses, silk chiffon victoriana inspired mini dresses and elaborate baroque prints House of Fraser have nailed it with their selection. I LOVE online shopping but pop up shops get me mega excited about the high street again. If something is chopping and changing I want to visit and see what's going down. Keeps me on my toes. And with more and more designers embracing this format I'm already seeing the drastic hit my bank balance is taking.

I'd be hard pushed to pick a favourite among these beauties. If you're Glasgow bound over the next few weeks I'd be making a mental note to slip in to HOF and deek this bad boy out.
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