Monday, 26 May 2014

Cross My Heart

I can think of few better ways to spend a Summer's day than heading to an abandoned milk factory to drink whisky with some strangers. Hell, after Create:Eat:Whisky I'd happily do it every night of the week.

Dress - H&M
Necklace - H&M
Bag - H! by Henry Holland at Debenhams
Shoes - Faith
Jacket - Debenhams
Sunglasses - the internet.....

I'm a passive whisky drinker at best. The idea of a whisky tasting sounds like a special kind of hell. In a room, with all these passionate whisky drinkers talking about how they can "really taste the ginger" - no thank you. It just fills my head with images of people swilling, spitting in to buckets and it's all a bit stuffy (speaking of, do people spit whisky the way they do wine? Answers on a postcard please.) I do however like food, so the idea of a fully imersive whisky dining experience sounded like something worth giving a shot. I may not quite be a whisky enthusiast just yet, but Jelly and Gin's Create:Eat:Whisky as part of Edinburgh's Whisky month did some job swaying me.

Jelly & Gin are pretty much known for their innovative experiential events. From abandoned train stations to foodie science experiments, these girls make eating out exciting again. I'd heard LOADS before Betty and I started working with the girls and after speaking to them I've pretty much become obsessed. I wasn't sure what to expect but I knew it was going to be good.

The set up for the event was simple. 4 drams and 4 mini meals to compliment the different tasting notes in each whisky. Each dram came with a short film letting you know what to watch out for (honey, licorice, oranges) with music and light to guide us on a journey from spicy to smokey to sweet.  The food was incredible and beautifully presented. I adored the little packed lunched that awaited us on entry with perfect portions of cheese, venison salami,  oatcakes and the best god damn chutney I've ever tasted (pineapple and ginger. I'm going to marry it. Or at the very least stock pile it and eat it with everything.) This was followed by dramatic smoke filled jars with squid ink bread sticks and smoked salmon pate. A few at the table were unsure if we could eat the breadsticks and they seemed pretty divisive due to their strong flavour but I for one loved them and their dense texture. Swiftly moving on to sweets we were treated to a pear compote with cream and nuts which was refreshing and light and was utterly beautiful with the whisky (my fave dram of the evening.) To finish everything off we were treated to some gorgeous chocolates - a sticky caramel, a heather infused little number and one wrapped in tea leaves. Again these were pretty divisive, the sticky caramel going down the treat and the heather proving popular but the tea number wasn't for everyone's cup if you catch my drift. I may have polished off Sheri's too. I loved how aromatic, rich and creamy it was.

Pop up dining is something we've been crying out for ages. Pop up dining done well is even rarer. I feel like I'll be near enough stalking the Jelly & Gin girls in future to see the different projects they are working on (and buying tickets for EVERYTHING) as well as hoping, wishing and praying they take one of their events to Glasgow. Or maybe create a whole new one? With gin? Yes?

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Spring Clean Your Wardrobe: Love Your Clothes

It's upcycling but not as you know it. Not really anyway. When I hear the term upcycle I just get flashes of patchwork fabrics, poor stitching and everything feeling a bit "crafty." Don't get me wrong, I love a bit of DIY - I just have a bit of the problem with the doing it myself part. Pinterest worth? Not on your nelly.

That said I've really being trying to be better with my clothes. Basic things like buying local, paying better attention to the fabrics and taking better care of my clothes. Also, not buying ALL of the things all of the time. So far so good right?  That said I've got a bin bag worth of clothes that need just SOMETHING done to them. A zip fixed, a fur trim, even a bit of studding - my wardrobe is in need of a much needed boost which is where Spring Clean Your Wardrobe comes in.

My Betty and I have been working with Zero Waste Scotland which so far has been amazing, and have been working on a cheeky wee event to promote the campaign and teach people to love their clothes. In short? It's a city centre drop in workshop with 4 of our favourite designers teaching easy to replicate transfarable skills to help you give your clothes a wee bit of sweet loving.

We've got a killer line up including Nikki McWilliams, Chou Chou, Jennie Loof and Danni McWilliams teaching everything from zip changing, printing, embellishment and distressing. All fabrics will be provided on the day so all you have to do is show up with clothes to revamp and willingness to learn.

I'm not quite sure what I'm thinking yet. I've got more jackets that I know what to do with, and skirts that I LOVE but have worn to death. I'm pretty sure this is going to be the perfect way to gussy everything up.

So if you fancy popping along don't forget to raid your wardrobe and like our facebook event. Can't wait to see some of you babes!

Thursday, 15 May 2014

The Events Round-up

We're hardly short of events in Scotland at the moment. It's all Commonwealth, MTV and oh, obviously Prince. While all of those things are MEGA exciting, what's really got me going are the local events. Pop up boutiques, multi-sensory dining and fire walk fashion shows. It's pretty much all going down. IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS. Here's my top picks of what's on offer.

Jelly & Gin: Create Eat Whisky

I definitely spend more money on food than I do clothes. My favourite thing is to go out for dinner and try new things so Jelly & Gin's experimental whisky dining experiencing is totally my bag. It's all a bit Heston with sounds, sights and experiences being just as important as the food itself. Set in the old Nestle Condensed Milk Factory in Leith, this pop up dining experiencing is essential for foodies and whisky buffs alike. Buy tickets here!

Obscure Couture: Fashion In Flames

Local favourites, Obscure Couture launch their new collection with a fire walk runway this Saturday. Other than raising money for chairty (HEARTS O PURE GOLD) there will be fire performances, drinks and eats.  Hit this up if you like fashion,folk and fire.
Saturday 17th May - tickets available via itison

MB Hair: Blo Bar Launch

I have been DYING for a Blo Bar to come to Glasgow so as MB Hair launches their new salon, they also rock up with their new Blo Bar. It's perfect for someone who has more bad hair days than good ones and can't wait to get a wee joosch. They have a public opening this Saturday from 10-5 so if you fancy popping by for something sparkly and a Blo Dry drop by to 166 Buchanan Street across from the Hard Rock Cafe.

Designer Pop Up Boutique

MUST GO TO EDINBURGH. My favourite, Karen Mabon has teamed up with some other mega babes for a sample sale in Edinburgh next week. Although pennies are tight I think I can just about make it through for this. It's the only truly right thing to do right? Hit up 125 George Street on the 22nd of May and make sure your pockets are DEEP ladies!

I don't know about you but I'm trying my darndest to get along to every single one of these beauties. Will you be popping along to any?

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

The Ghost of a Hapless Fashion Victim

Does anyone ever really know how to dress for Summer?

Jacket - Topshop
Top - Asos
Glasses - Miu Miu at Pretavoir
Necklace - Georgia Wiseman
Skirt - Lavish Alice*
Shoes - Primark
Bag - H! by Henry Holland at Debenhams*

I never really know how to dress for sunny weather when it comes, instead opting for the ethos of "continue as normal but sans tights." It's been a pretty solid rule for a girl who's wardrobe comprises of 80% winter wear.  I do however love cracking out sandals. I felt recently I've been a bit fashion brain-washed with the whole Birkenstocks. When they first starting coming around I was convinced it was a firm no which slowly became, "I'm in to it, they look both cool AND comfortable" (it was a weird place for fashion inner logic.) I finally went to give a pair for a spin aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand it confirmed everything I knew in my heart of hearts. Not for me. I looked like I'd borrowed my Dad's shoes. Sorry fashion but you're not getting me this season. Instead I opted for these beauties from Primark coming in an utter steal at £8 and without giving me weird waffle feet. High fiving a million angels right here.

I'm finding myself more and more drawn to white (it's been on the up for some time now) and it's nice to feel like my wardrobe is moving from bruise like to having a bit more of variation. I'm completely in love with my Lavish Alice skirt which has got to be one of those piece that looks better on that it does off (as all clothes should IMHO.) I was worried that it may have been a bit short but on it hung beautifully. Safe to say I'm a fan.

Have you ever found yourself becoming a fashion victim?

Friday, 9 May 2014

Links of London #linkshiddengems

Every city has them. Not somewhere you'll find in any tourist guy and not necessarily "the next big thing." It's the venues in cities that locals love. The ones that whenever someone brings any of the venues up is coupled with excited fervent agreement. Every city has them. When Links of London invited me and some other bloggers to The Finnieston for dinner and drinks I knew it was time for me to discover one of my own cities hidden gems.

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Jacket - Topshop
Shirt - Vintage
Skirt - River Island
Tights - Primark
Bag - H! by Henry Holland for Debenhams
Shoes - Faith

For locals, the Finnieston is  pretty much a staple of West End dining. It's literally round the corner from the Hidden Lane Tea Room (one of my personal favourites) so I really had no excuse. I tried oysters for the first time (not terrible but I maybe need to go a little lighter on the Tabasco next time) and drank a fair bit of Gin and Absinthe cocktails (it was called the Corpse Reviver, how could I not?) and generally fell in love with the place. I love finding out new places in my city and sharing my haunts with friends, family and out of towners, which is why the Links Hidden Gem campaign is so brilliant.

stylist hidden gems

Links of London have teamed up Stylist magazine to find your Hidden Gems with the chance to win £1000 to spend at Links of London as well as a trip to 2 to a hidden gem. All you have to do it take a picture of your favourite place to go in your city and load up to instagram or twitter tagging @linksoflondon (insta) or @links_of_london (twitter) with #linkshiddengems. Simple right? It's also a great way to find out about other peoples top hot spots. Thanks to the campaign I'm itching to get to Manchester to hit up From Dusk till Pawn - a prohibition style bar styled like a pawn shop.  It's a great way to discover new places, share your favourites as well as explore a brand that is most definitely not all sweetie bracelets (I've completely fallen for their line of friendship bracelets, already dying to get mine engraved.)

What are your cities hidden gems?

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Selfridges launch #thebeautyproject exploring new ideas and the future of beauty

"What do you see when you look in the mirror? Let's state the obvious. I see myself"  Selfridge's latest campaign #thebeautyproject launched recently with a short film, a campaign and a host of in-store and online events discussing the future of beauty and we define it. From everything to aging to the history of beauty and ugliness - Selfridges have a host of in-store discussions as well as live streamed events through Google+ exploring the nature of beauty and how we perceive it. I'm completely in love with the campaign which is focused less on a standardised societal definition of beauty and more towards the individual. Beauty not to fit in, but as a way of expressing your individuality.

I'm particularly interested in some of the talks on body modifications and tattoos and what can be considered as too far in creating a look. The thing is about beauty is that I feel it allows me to construct the way I want to present myself to the world. Because I have tattoos and blue hair I  know people will make assumptions about me as a person, on my abilities to work and feel free to make comments - usually along the lines of "Oh you must be so brave, I always wanted to do this but..." But what? There's nothing brave about colouring your hair bright or piercings. We change the way we look all the time and for me, beauty products and motifications have always been part of me being able to take ownership of my self image. It's not quite like lipstick which you can rub off but modifications have helped me build confidence in the way I look and take charge of something  that for so long I felt was out of my control. And that's the heart of it. From nose jobs to eyelash extensions to flesh tunnels and piercings, beauty has become about shaping yourself and making yourself feel good. It's not perfect by any means but looking at why we consume beauty and how it's advancing.  I honestly can't wait to watch some of these talks and even make it along to a few of the events if I can. I'm totally ready to hear an open and varied dialogue on shifting societal beauty standards and how they shape the individual.

I can't recommend the short film "Change is Good" enough - cute, funny and inspiring. This has got to be one of my favourite campaigns I've seen in a while.

What's your take on it?


Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Monochrome Ballerina

I truly think there is no purer fear than realising you've put something you love in the tumble dryer. I prayed pretty hard to the fashion gods after catching on my beloved UNIF dress was an hour in to a hot cycle in the dryer. I've lost too many good clothes thanks to clothes care apathy (I'm a firm believer a dry clean item only item can go on a hand wash and pretty much anything can get tumble dried. ANYTHING.)

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Glasses - Miu Miu at Pretavoir
Jacket - Topshop
Top - Primark
Dress - UNIF
Tutu - eBay
Tights - Marks & Spencer
Shoes - Doc Martens
Bag - Lulu Guinness

While it wasn't completely destroyed however it was pretty obvious that it's days of cover my bum were well and truly over. Rather than ditching my the wayside it was time to improvise. Luckily my black tutu (an utter steal on eBay) kept my modesty in tact and I was not completely opposed to a cheeky bit of layering. I've basically been trying to get out of the rut of jeans + t-shirt for the office as I end up getting in some horrible pit of hating all my clothes and all the things. In other words I'm just looking at approaching a more fun dress up attitude to my wardrobe. What's the point of buying things that you love if you never wear them right?

Have you ever had any washing disasters?

Thursday, 1 May 2014

On Wednesdays We Wear Pink

On Wednesdays we wear pink. At least that was the theory as me, Betty and Honey Pop set off for the 10th Anniversary screening of Mean Girls at the Flying Duck. While my fellow ladyshapes are known for their colourful wardrobes, I was worried that I may be in a bit of a sticky whicket. When it comes to my wardrobe, pink is one of the colours its seriously lacking.

Glasses - Miu Miu at Pretavoir
Jacket - Vintage Karl Lagerfeld
Dress - Topshop
Cardigan - Nicked from the mumshape
Shoes - Faith at Debenhams
Bag - Lulu Guinness
Necklace - Me & Zena

Luckily my stigma against pink clothes didn't stretch to my shoe collection (I counted no less than 5 pairs of shoes in varying degrees of pink) though since it was also a long work day I went for these little non-offensive beauties from Faith of yore. Debenhams are really killing it with their shoes at the moment and Faith are one of those suprising brands I get a lot of wear out. I also made sure to throw on a hot pink wool cardi I have acquired from the Mammabear. SORTED. While I felt a bit more Heathers than Mean Girls (an 80s coat will do that to a girl) it was the perfect outfit for dinner and movies with two of my faves.  The Flying Duck was perfect for the Mean Girls screening (and utterly packed) - was great to watch the film with so many people quoting the entire thing along side you. I don't know about you but I can't imagine a better way to celebrate 10 years of one of my favourite films!
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