Wedding Planning Update

Since becoming engaged my evenings have been filled with endless flicking through various bridal magazines after stock piling them- because when else can you buy them?- and pinning centrepiece ideas and flower arches onto my many Pinterest boards. I have loved wedding planning so far, and everyone I speak to seems to be amazed by how much I’ve gotten done in such a short space of time.

We have booked our wedding for May next year, there is no reason to have it so soon, we just found the perfect venue with our perfect date free for next year. So we decided to grab it while we could.

We are getting married at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh. As soon as we drove up the drive to the venue I instantly knew this was the place I wanted us to say ‘I do’. The house is gorgeous, full of history, and has lovely quirky interiors which really made it stand out to me. The grounds surrounding the house make you quickly forget you’re right in the city centre. To the left of the main house are the stables, where we will be having our dinner and reception for our wedding. For me, this is the best part of the venue, as you get a stunning view of Arthurs Seat, my favourite part of Edinburgh.

If you want to have a nosey at our wedding venue you can check it out here.

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After we booked and secured out wedding date, the fun began! So far we have organised our flowers, entertainment (a ceilidh is a total must for a Scottish wedding!),  favours, photography, and cake (one of the most important parts to me!).

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The cake tasting has to be one of my favourite parts so far. It was just such a lovely day for Dino and I to spend together. We went to Mimi’s Bakehouse on the Shore in Edinburgh for our tasting and decided to order our cake from here as well.  Our coordinator , Fran, was extremely helpful and friendly and made the process so easy. They have over 10 flavours to chose from so they definitely stood out for me. I couldn’t recommend Mimi’s enough if you are looking for your wedding cake, or just looking for a nice place for lunch or afternoon tea.

I’ll definitely be keeping you all up to date with our wedding planning process as we go on. Only 7 months to go!!

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A Primark Jo Malone Dupe?

I’m going to fully admit it, I’ve never purchased a Jo Malone product. They are on the pricey side, but I know the quality of the product is well worth it. I lust after their colognes and candles, and even just last week when I was heading to Italy on holiday I had to sample nearly every product at Edinburgh Airport.

When I was browsing my local Primark I decided to head to the beauty section- as you get some decent beauty bargains there- and I kept smelling this gorgeous aroma. I eventually found a new stand which had a selection of reed diffusers, perfumes and home sprays. I was really impressed with the range of scents and how amazing they smelt.

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They have very similar scents to the Jo Malone products, such as Primark’s mandarin & basil, which smelt almost identical to Jo Malone’s lime, mandarin and basil cologne.

This was obviously a very popular product as the majority was sold out. But I managed to get my hands on the mandarin & basil room spray and the eau de parfum rollerball fragrance collection which was perfect as I was able to try out each scent.

The eau de parfum rollerball fragrance collection set came with 6 miniatures of each of their scents. This included; Vanilla Absolute, Amber Noir, Mandarin & Basil, Rose Out, Pomegranate & Black Tea, and Jasmine & Honey.

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I’m fully aware that the quality of these perfumes don’t match Jo Malone products, however I was very impressed with the actually scent of them. The only thing that I have noticed is the staying power. They are strong when put on, but the scent doesn’t stick around for long. This ended up making me apply more perfume as a top up throughout the day, but I didn’t mind seeing as I only paid £8 for the roller ball set.

Overall I’d probably buy the room sprays again and I’ll definitely be back to try out the reed diffusers. I’d say the perfume is good if you just want a light scent, but I can see myself treating myself to a Jo Malone cologne in the future.

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Winter Lip Favourites

As the seasons change and the weather becomes a bit colder and the days shorter, I feel I need to switch up my makeup routine. This also includes picking out the best products for my lips, not only to keep them looking and feeling their best despite the baltic weather making them chapped, but also to keep in with a theme of darker, wintry colours.

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My go to lip care product is anything Carmex. I always have a pot or tube of their original formula handy to keep topping up throughout the day. I have been using this beauty for years and it keeps my lips super hydrated. You can feel the product working as it tingles away at your lips. I recommend always using a lip balm and allowing it some time to sink in before applying any other lip product, as well as popping some on morning and night to keep your lips in good condition.

Another lip life saver I love is the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant. You can use this anywhere, but I love using in on my lips to give them a little extra TLC during the Winter months.

Here is a swatch of the lips colours I love using during the colder months:

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First up we have three gorgeous shades from NYX:

Soft Matte Lip Cream in ‘Cannes’

Lip Lingerie in ‘Satin Ribbon’

Full Throttle Lipstick in ‘Locked’

I love NYX, not only for how affordable it is, but for the huge selection of shades and the amazing quality of the products.

The next shade is from Benefits new product, ‘They’re Real! Big Sexy Lip Kit’ I was thoughtfully gifted this for Christmas and couldn’t wait to try it. It is basically a lip liner and lipstick all in one. I plan to do a full review on the kit soon, so stay tuned! My favourite colour from the kit is ‘Lusty Rose’, it is a nude colour but I find these types of shades very easy to wear, especially when my complexion is a little paler.

Last, but definitely not least, I’ve picked out three products from MAC:

Viva Glam 1 A25 Matte

I always like to pair Viva Glam 1 with:

‘He Said, She Said’ Pro Longwear Lip Pencil. 

Velvet Teddy A16 Matte

 

What are your favourite lip colours for Winter? I would love any suggestions!

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Classic Brownies

This is my go to recipe for gloriously gooey chocolate brownies. It has been passed down in my family and is a classic recipe that never fails to deliver the perfect treat for chocoholics like me!

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Ingredients

1 Cup Margarine – Melted

1/2 Cup Caster Sugar

2 Eggs

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

1/2 Cup All Purpose Plain Flour

1/2 Tsp Baking Powder

1/4 Tsp Salt

4 Tbsp Cocoa Powder

Optional- Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips (as many as you like!)

Method 

Pre heat the oven to 180·c. Melt the margarine and add in the caster sugar, cocoa powder and eggs. Mix in all of the remaining ingredients. Place in a greased pan, and bake for around 20-30 minutes. Once done, allow the brownies to cool in the pan before dividing them.

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Top 3 Tips for Keeping Organised

I feel like I’ve always been a pretty organised person. Yeah sure there have been times that I’ve been a little bit all over the place, but give me a little while, and I’ll be back on track. Having gotten through tough Uni exams and nearly a year into graduate working life, I think I’ve gotten into the swing of day to day life. So I thought I’d share with you my 3 top tips for keeping organised day to day!

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Keep a diary/ calendar to keep track of events and give yourself reminders…

I’ve always kept a diary, and I recently bought this gorgeous new one while I was in Florida. It’s by the brand Sugar Paper, and was about $10 from Target. I’ll also use it to keep a note of my work hours, deadlines and little reminders.

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I love this wall calendar from Primark which helps to keep myself right on what I’m doing each day. I’ve got it hanging in my bedroom just now as I still live at home.

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Pack your bag the night before and plan your outfit…

I admit I don’t do this every day as I wear pyjamas (aka scrubs) to work everyday, but on my days off and if I have a day out planned the next day I love laying out my outfit for the next day the night before. That way I’m not running around like crazy the next morning deciding what to wear, and have more time to spend on the importance things like breakfast and catching up on Instagram! I usually have everything I need in my handbag, but sometimes I’ll go through it and pop in anything that I’ll specifically need for the next day.

And Finally, Lists…

Yes, I’m one of those sad people who just love lists. Wether it’s for shopping, or things to do, I have to make one to ensure I’m not going to forget anything! I love using the ‘notes’ app on my iPhone for this as I always have it on hand. I feel like if I have 101 things to do, it sets it out clearer for me and keeps me right.

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Tea & Cake at Eteaket

What’s better than a cuppa and a piece of cake on a Saturday afternoon? I can’t think of many things to be honest!

Last weekend my Sister, Fiona, and I were browsing the shops in Edinburgh, and decided to stop for a little break, but we didn’t want to go to your usual chain coffee shop (as much as I like them) so we decided to head just off of George Street to Frederick Street to Eteaket, the ‘leaf tea experts’! I had never been there before, but Fiona had heard really good things about them.

They offer more than just hand crafted leaf teas, you could have a spot of lunch, tea infused cocktails, which I am definitely going to try next time I’m not driving! As well as a selection of home made cakes (they also have gluten free and vegan cake options).

We decided to go for a classic option of English Breakfast tea, and since we were so indecisive we ordered a scone with fresh clotted cream & raspberry jam, and a slice of lemon sponge to share. For the tea they gave you an egg timer that timed how long to brew your tea for. They recommended that after the 2 minutes were up, you’d have the perfect brew! (and it really was!)

 

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The staff were so friendly and welcoming, despite them being ran off their feet because it was so busy. I will definitely be going back to try the rest of their menu, and I can see it becoming a favourite!

For more info visit  Eteaket‘s website. 

 

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Beach Day

On Monday I had to take my Sister through to Edinburgh. It was a gorgeous day, the sun was shining (for once!) and I didn’t have to wrap up in a scarf and winter coat!

img_0468We drove through to Portobello Beach, and we went to the Beach House Cafe for a quick cup of tea before my Sister had to go for her interview. I would love to go back there for lunch. They had a huge table full of freshly homemade cakes. It felt like you were in a little beach hut. The walls were wooden panelled and decorated in bright colours. I could sit there for hours looking out at the Forth, with the waves crashing, and seagulls cawing.

I went for a little walk along the Promenade.. It was a little bit windy, but felt so nice to be able to walk along the sandy beach, watching people walking their dogs as they paddled in and out of the tide. Made me wish I had a little corgi on a day like that!

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At around half 12 we hopped back into the car and heading along the road to the Shore. We managed to squeeze into a parking space and went to Mimi’s Bake House for a bit to eat. I had only been here once before, but it is one of the best places for a lazy lunch in Edinburgh. Their moto is “It’s all about the cake”, and they mean it! As soon as you walk in, your eyes are drawn to the glass cabinets filled with stacks of freshly made tray bakes, brownies, cheesecakes, and sponges. It’s almost impossible to make up your mind as to what to have!

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I got the French Toast with cherry tomatoes, sausages, and of course, maple syrup. Followed by a cup of tea and the most Easter goodie you could think of, Cream Egg Rocky Road!

If you’re in and around Leith, I’d definitely recommend that you pop in to Mimi’s (unless you haven’t already!)

 

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My Week in Photos

Hello everyone! 

I’ve been a bit unwell this week with the flu, so apologies for my lack of posts recently! I thought I’d do a quick update of what’s been happening in my life this week…

FITNESS: The past 2 weeks I’ve been getting on it fitness wise. I’ve got about 5 months until I go on holiday so I thought it was about time to start slimming down and feeling better about myself.

I’ve been at the gym quite a lot on my days off and for a session after work. I’ve got my own wee routine which I’ve been loving as well! I think that’s what you really need in order to keep yourself motivated.

I’ve usually been doing about 45 mins on the Cross Trainer, followed by some weight training, then either a walk/jog on the treadmill or bike to cool down.

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FOOD: I’ve really been trying my best this week to be as healthy as possible, and this means trying to cut down on chocolate and sweets (all the best things!).

I tried mashed avocado on toast with scrambled egg for the first time ever! I hate to say it but it didn’t really live up to the hype 😦 maybe I did something wrong! Does anyone have any good recipes for avocado I could try?

I’ve also been using the Nutribullet a lot more this week. I’ve either been whizzing up a smoothie in the mornings before work or taking my time and having a smoothie bowl! To make this one I put some almond milk, frozen raspberries and mango into the blender and then pop it into a bowl and top it with some banana. You need to make sure it’s quite a thick consistency though. It tastes amazing! 🙂

 

MUSIC: I love using Spotify. I think it’s great value for money and I love having access to all my favourite and the latest music! The three songs I’ve been loving this month are:

Lush Life- Zara Larsson| Wild Things- Alessia Cara| Cake By The Ocean- DNCE 

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WORK: As I mentioned previously, I’ve been working lots this week. Which means, lots and lots of driving… Don’t get me wrong, I love my wee car! But hours on the road can get a little bit boring!

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FRIENDS: Since graduating and joining the real world this year, I’ve been finding it difficult to keep up with friends. A lot of them are still at Uni and are busy with their dissertations. Although Whats App and that are brilliant for chatting, when it comes to actually seeing them it’s a bit more difficult to organise. So I absolutely love it when I get a day or night with them!

It was one of my old flat mates birthday’s this week so we all met up to celebrate in Edinburgh with dinner and (one too many) drinks! ❤

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Deadpool & Nando’s!

= The BEST combination! 😉 

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, I’ve been super busy with work this week! I thought I’d give you a wee update on what I’ve been up to the past few days. 🙂

Yesterday me and Dino went for a day out for lunch then to the cinema. We took his little sister too. We decided to go to Nando’s as it’s relatively cheap and close to the cinema. I used to always have a chicken burger with piri piri chips but recently I’ve been loving their salads! I got the mixed leaf salad with mango and lime spice chicken breast with a side of garlic bread (can’t say no to carbs!!)- trust me, even if you’re not that into salads, you’ll really enjoy it!

 

We then went to go see Deadpool at the Odeon Cinema in Edinburgh.  I thought it would be like a usual super hero movie, but I was wrong! It was hilarious! I won’t go into details and give away any spoilers, but I’d definitely recommend anyone to go and see it.

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Weekend Away Up North

For an early Valentines day present my boyfriend treated me to a night away at a hotel up north! He booked the Mansion House in Elgin, Scotland. This year has been pretty stressful with his final year of Uni (aka dissertation time!!) and with me working almost full time, so we don’t get the opportunity to see each other as much as we both used to back when I was at Uni. So it was really nice to be able to spend some time together ❤

We drove from Edinburgh up to Elgin on Saturday morning, which took roughly 3 and a half hours.. A long trip but it was definitely worth it!

When we got to the hotel, we checked in and settled in to our room. We then decided to look round the hotel and check out the spa facilities (they had a lovely pool, with a sauna and steam room). We booked dinner for around half 7, and went down to the lounge where we ordered drinks, I got my absolute fave- Gin & Cranberry- and they brought us Canapés (we felt v. posh!) which were Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Roulade with Fruit and Nuts. It was different, as I’m not a fan of smoked salmon, but we still enjoyed it.

We then ordered our food and after about 15 minutes we were shown to our table.

I ordered the Carrot Veloute with toasted hazelnut oil and croutons to start, the Fillet of Aberdeenshire Scottish Beef for a main, and then the Selection of Chocolate & Strawberries (With a difference!) for desert! We both really enjoyed the meal.

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I would definitely recommend the hotel to anyone who is planning a weekend away in Scotland. It is rustic yet modern, and the decor is gorgeous! The rooms are spacious and clean, and my favourite part was the bathroom (the bath was huge!). The staff were brilliant and could not have been more helpful.

The next morning we went down for breakfast around half past 8, we both decided to have a full cooked breakfast as it’s something we rarely eat at home. We then checked out and headed down the road! 🙂

 

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