Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Confessions From Under My New Duvet

Love sleep, love life right? Well I am definitely a lover of all things slumber related hence the name of my blog so when The Fine Bedding Company contacted me and asked if I would like to try out one of their luxury duvets the answer was a swift yes. The Fine Bedding Company are a family run business who take sleeping seriously. They produce products for lovers of a great nights sleep and manufacture a variety of products from duvets and pillows to mattress protectors and toppers. The brand have recently had a refresh and are sporting a brand new logo and duvets are now supplied in storage bags for easy storage.

After completing a short survey which identified my sleeping needs I was sent a 10.5 tog, Goose Feather and Down duvet. This duvet is part of the natural range and is made up of 85% goose feather and 15% down which has excellent thermal qualities so it is perfect for winter. I unbagged my duvet when I returned from a recent trip to Dubai and the timing could not have been more perfect. I can honestly say that this is by far the best duvet I have ever owned. It feels so snuggly. It is the perfect weight and keeps me really warm at night and that's coming from someone who lives in an old house with single glazed windows. The only downside is that I am loathe to drag myself out of bed in the morning! The storage bag it came in is also perfect for storing my summer duvet neatly.

The duvet can be purchased from The Fine Bedding Company website where you can ask the "sleep experts" what the right duvet is for your needs. I would definitely consider purchasing other products from The Fine Bedding Company based on the quality of the product I received.

My top tips for a good nights sleep:

  • Put down your smart phone and pick up a book! Studies show the light from the device keeps the brain active instead of getting it ready for sleep.
  • Create a calming atmosphere. I light scented candles and use a lavender sleep balm.
  • Try to stick to a bedtime routine (they're not just for children!). I struggle to go to bed at the same time but try to apply my moisturiser in bed as a way of relaxing.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Elegant Creatures

The t-shirt I'm wearing is by new British label P&Co Clothing. Their mantra is 'Life, Style and Elegance' which is a pretty cool mantra to live life by. I stumbled across the company insta-stalking men with beards (think Ricki Hall and Chris John Millington). The t-shirt is part of their Elegant Creatures collection which took its inspiration from nature with prints based on the butterfly (above), peacock and parrot. The label designs items for men but all of their ad campaigns feature women and I am wearing a size small. 

The above look is a little mod inspired. I am wearing my ASOS brougues with everything at the moment and they go perfectly with my velvet bomber which belonged to my granny. I am also carrying a black studded rucksack from Bank which I won at the Fabb Glasgow blogger event which I will write about soon!

I'm writing this blog from Dubai. I booked last minute tickets a week ago to come over and stay with my friend from uni who lives out here. So expect a post filled with sunshine and summer clothes amongst all the posts on winter warmers and parkas! 

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Brand vs Budget No 1: Body Washes

I love a good soak in the bath. It's one of my little pleasures. And I love a really luxurious silky body wash. I've tried two recently that impressed me. One by the brand Soap and Glory and the other is by the budget supermarket Aldis. The Aldis AquaV body wash is very similar to Palmolive or Dove and has a Shea/ Cocoa butter type scent to it (can't exactly put my finger on it but it's nice). It has a lovely thick texture and lathers up really well and at 75p it's a bargain.

I bought the Soap and Glory Sugar Crush body wash to match a body butter that I was given as a gift. I am in love with scent! It smells like lime cheesecake in a bottle and when followed by the body butter I'm practically edible! Again the texture is very silky but I find I need a bit more than the AquaV to get a good lather. It retails at £6.50 which is distinctly more. It is a bigger bottle 500ml to 300ml however, price wise it works out as £1.30 and £0.25 per 100ml respectively which is a massive price difference if you're counting the pennies. I will definitely be buying the AquaV again if only to prolong the use of the Soap and Glory! However, each equally have their merits. Now to find the perfect bubble bath...

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Pout Edinburgh

A few Saturdays ago I attended Pout at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange with my blogging buddy Catriona from at the Cat's Pyjamas. Pout is marketed as a ladies lifestyle show featuring, fashion, beauty and leisure time for aspirational women from Edinburgh and the surrounding areas where you can shop, test products, buy treatments and have fun with your friends. The event included:

  • Pop Up Shops,
  • The Market Place,
  • Hair Ups, Nail and Brow Bars,
  • Treatment areas,
  • Demonstrations,
  • Champagne and Cocktail Bars,
  • Win your Wish List Competition
  • A chance to be the 'Pout of the Weekend'

On arrival we were given vouchers for our goody bag and a free cocktail. We spent most of our time in the market place as the area set up for demonstrations was always busy and we couldn't get a seat despite my robo-cop boot! (Yes I am cast free now!) The market place housed a variety of different stalls from teeth whitening to cupcakes to hair extensions. There were seminars on flirting, fashion shows and a photo booth complete with wind machine. However, our photos are a lot to be desired (must practice with hair dryer for next time)! There were also pop up shops from local boutiques and larger stores like Debenhams and Semi Chem which is where the real bargain of the day was found. If you paid £5 you got over £30 worth of makeup in a goody bag (pictured above on the pink foil). There are some excellent products inside and the mascara, in particular, is my new favourite. I only wish I had bought more to keep as presents/ stock up for myself. The added bonus was that for each bag purchased a portion of the profits were being donated to testicular cancer. 

Our Pout goody bags were also excellent value and included 2x bottles of Rimmel Pro nail varnish (my fave nail varnish and my fave shades AND Cat gave me an extra bottle as she only uses Shellac - score), a Rimmel lip stain, perfume samples, a hair styling kit and some skincare samples. Among some of the other freebies we picked up on the day were 3 bottles of Saint Moritz (we may have went to that stall a few times using different voices).

In terms of purchases Catriona and I bought some fake hair. Neither of us are really extension wearers but these were only £15 and looked fab (just ask all of the middle aged women who came over and started touching our hair!) The company selling the extensions were called Lady Lux Hair. Oh, and some cupcakes may have also been purchased! 

The event should cost £15 but Catriona got us 2for1 tickets off Groupon. I think the event is worth the entry fee but being the thrifty characters that we are the goody bag and freebies were all the sweeter half price! This Saturday were heading through to the West coast to attend the Fabb blogger event in Glasgow. I am really looking forward to seeing some faces from the last event I attended and meeting some more of my fellow Scottish bloggers in the flesh!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Yu.Be Moisturising Skin Cream

I've had a bit of a skin care obsession ever since my friend introduced me to blogger skin care guru, Caroline Hirons. From ditching the baby wipes which she deems are only ever acceptable for the three Fs - festivals, flights and fan... you get the rest! To double cleansing and hunting for the perfect balm cleanser and acid toner. My skincare routine has been overhauled.

The above moisturiser is featured in a Pixiwoo favourites video and was recommended to Sam by Caroline (her interview with them is fantastic). Aside from that, I cannot find that much UK information on the product. I think the selling point is the high glycerin content. It is a cult product in Japan and has been in production since 1957. It claims to offer 'head to toe hydration all year long' and as well as containing high levels of glycerin it also contains vitamins B2, C and E. The moisturiser can be used all over the body and a little goes a long way. 

The moisturiser is bright yellow in colour, absorbs quickly and has a strong camphor scent (think Vix but nicer). However, I find it very calming and have taken to applying the cream in bed as part of my nighttime routine. Rest assures though if it is not your thing that the scent does fade quickly. I cannot say that I have experienced miracle over night results as with some reviews, however, I have had a dry patch on my right jaw line that refused to disappear no matter what moisturisers or oils I used and it has all but gone. I would also say that my skin feels plumper especially around the cheek area. I have yet to try it on other problem areas I have as I bought it as a facial moisturiser however, I do suffer discolouration on my chest from severe dry skin and am hopeful that this product could be the answer to finally eradicating my love bit like blotches!

There are a lot of mixed messages on the Internet as to the benefits of glycerin. Some scientists singing its benefits others slating it but personally, I can see this becoming a cure-all, bedside cabinet  staple in my household for years to come. 

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

S.W.A.T. Team

Jumper and Skirt - H&M // Bra(!) - Frost and Floozie // Trainers - Reebok via ASOS // Sock(!) - Primark

I am realising that this was not the most appropriate bra for this outfit. I was wearing a vest underneath but the weather was strangely hot and I ended up de-layering - whoops! The above outfit is from H&M. My skirt collection is growing as a result of my cast. I really love the length and the pleats and have already spotted a leopard print version in River Island that I'm adding to my wish list (along with a several tartan items). I paired it with my new sneaks which I love. My friends have informed me that I am starting to suit my cast. It's definitely going though... it's soo not A/W13!

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Run, Hop, Skip, Jump: Reebok Freestyle Hi Tops

The title of the post indicates exactly what I plan to do when this god forsaken cast is off and these are (potentially) the supportive little numbers that will assist me. I've got a definite two weeks left off work and then who knows. At my next appointment there is the possibility I'll be fitted with a boot for my cast which will allow me to finally put my foot down which could mean a phased return to work. So in need of some suitable footwear and thinking ahead to a cast free yet physio heavy future I bought these trainers. They are so comfy and in my mind the perfect trainer for the 90s mom/ Kirstie Alley look that I seem to be favouring (I never in a million years considered that a scrunchie would again become my best friend). That said, what drama games I'll be able to participate in wearing a "moon" boot and a cast remains to be seen. Least I'll be down with the kids though... Right?! Right?!

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Walking Back To Happiness

The title of my post is somewhat ironic as it is currently the one thing I can't do! I am not being self pitying again, I mean I literally can't walk.  2013 was a summer that promised sun, sea, sand and well you know how the rest goes. Instead it's been a summer of casts, crutches and confinement. Let me explain...

Six weeks ago I was at my local music festival T in the Park, a three day event which this year happened to fall on one of the country's hottest weekends. I was extremely happy. The sun was shining, the drink was flowing and I was jetting off to Ibiza the Monday after. However, lets just say an unfortunate incident involving a high speed rugby tackle and the subsequent cry of "pile up" which I was on the bottom of meant that when I was meant to be flying to the hedonistic white isle I was in surgery having my left foot operated on.
What everyone thought was a sprained ankle turned out to be something much more complicated called a Lisfranc Fracture. It is named after the French doctor who discovered the injury during the Napoleonic War after several soldiers fell off their horses with their foot/feet still in the stirrup (although many cases back then resulted in amputation!). Sadly my doctor wasn't French. Although a tall, handsome doctor name Jean would have been welcomed! I digress... To keep it simple all of your metatarsals (toe bones) connect to the middle of your foot; the point in your foot that bears all of your weight. My second and third metatarsals fractured and moved slightly to the left meaning I had to have surgery to insert plates and screws connecting them to my big toe and therefore realigning them. It is apparently quite a rare injury and far more serious than it actually sounds. Long-term it means a possible twelve to sixteen weeks in a cast, eight of which will be non-weight bearing i.e. I can't put my foot down at all, a second operation to remove the plates and screws and a lengthy course of physiotherapy with possible pain, discomfort and swelling for up to eighteen months and a high risk of developing arthritis. Is it wrong all I can think about is how long before I can wear high heels? This is not something I have asked my consultant, well at least not yet but it factors high on my list of shallow concerns.

So my epic summer has turned out to be not so epic. I've put off blogging despite having an abundance of free time to write and a sleep pattern (or lack of) that lends itself to the craft. What a waste of six weeks eh? To be fair for the first two weeks I was literally wasted on prescription drugs and found the task of putting on clothes taxing enough. However, four long weeks have passed since and I think the real reason I haven't blogged is that I have found myself scared to write stuff down because once I see it in black and white I have to acknowledge how I actually feel about the aforementioned "stuff" and sometimes it is easier to avoid how we feel than confront it.

I was pretty optimistic about it at first (the drugs!?) but once the realisation set in I cried a lot. No holiday, no freedom, no adventures. "You'll just have to do something later this year or next year to make up for it" cry the gaggle of advice givers. However, what they fail to realise is I'll be 28 next year. My summer of 27 is forever gone. Don't get me wrong my summer has not been a total washout. My family and friends, while being extremely supportive, have also tried their best to keep me entertained. I have even managed a trip to the Edinburgh festival in a wheelchair and a visit to the pub complete with crutches and if I'm being honest I think the vodka diet irn bru helped me rather than hindered me! Furthermore, being the fiercely independent chappess that I am, I moved back into my own flat and complete with tea-trolley, bath chair and a lesson learned about not climbing onto stools to get stuff out of the top of the wardrobe, I am doing pretty well.

At the Fringe. How sexy is my wheelchair?!
God I'm bored though! We all crave endless amounts of time off work but in reality how would you fill it especially if you were down to one leg?! I decided pretty early on that daytime TV would not become my companion, anyway after a few days Gino D'Acampo really started to grind my gears, so I made a long list of to-dos! However reading that book, painting those frames and writing that blog post have all taken a backseat to Candy Crush (hangs head in shame), pointless internet hours and Breaking Bad. Boredom is definitely life's greatest battle.

The last six weeks have afforded me a lot of thinking time and a lot of the time that thinking has been hard to handle. Usually we can escape our thoughts. Some people throw themselves at their work, other people throw themselves at drink. Most of the time we find some distraction to stop our brains going into self-analytical melt down but it seems I can't run from my thoughts. A slight feeling of cabin fever has ensued coupled with a dangerous lack of routine which has often left me lying awake all night and lying in bed all day only to be shaken into action by the prospect of a visitor. It is hard to motivate oneself for just oneself. So yup, what I am saying is that I am more than a bit lonely. It's more than that though, I feel caged. I can't just get up and leave and that feeling of dependence is one that jars with my psyche. However, like the song says: "everybody needs somebody" and maybe this last six weeks has finally proved that to me. No man is an island and despite having a big group of friends and an even smaller group I can call my best friends maybe it is time I took those words on board.

I met up with an old friend when I broke up with my ex two years ago. We hadn't seen each other in six years. He said I had changed, that there was something harder about me and I hate to say it is not a phrase that has been used solely by him. Hard, tough, cold maybe I'm just scared. I'd like to think the experience as a whole is having a positive effect. I have jokingly said that I plan on going off the rails when the cast comes off and have more than once thrown the phrase YOLO about. But it's true, you only live once. Every moment, every minute is important... even the ones spent angling a hairdryer down your cast to alleviate the itching!

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Ibiza Holiday Haul





1// Primark  2// ASOS  3// New Look  4// H&M  5 - 8// River Island  
9// H&M & Topshop  10// H&M & ASOS  11// Primark  12// eBay

Hello Lovelies. It has been a while since I blogged but I am on holiday now for six wonderful weeks so I'll hopefully be able to churn out a few more posts than usual - I may even attempt one a week! Sadly, there are no three week jaunts to Thailand this summer, not on my budget, but I am off to Ibiza for a week - whoop, whoop! I had a little spree at the weekend but there are still a few things I need to purchase such as wedges, sandals and a new bikini so feel free to share your holiday post links below. I was quite excited with my new purchases for two reasons; one because I have not bought clothes on this scale for a long time (I have been operating on a serious cash conservation level) and two because in an attempt to be beach ready for Ibiza I have been following the Fast Diet and am now officially a size 10. This is monumental as I have not been a size 10 since high school and without sounding too boastful I am extremely pleased with myself! It felt so nice to be buying bright colours and prints and even nicer knowing that in less than two weeks I'll be rocking them with the sun upon my skin and can finally leave the tights in my sock drawer.

P.s. excited to try out the hair chalk for both Ibiza and T in the Park!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Sunday Blues

I've got the "Sunday Blues". My fragile little mind and body are definitely not friends today. I keep wondering to myself when I first experienced this feeling. Did I ever feel like this as a child when my Sundays were spent with my sister creating fictitious worlds where bedroom carpets became seas and cupboards under the stairs became entire worlds? Or as a teenager when my Sundays were spent lying in, doing homework and staying up to watch the late night Channel 4 film? In all honesty, I know when I'm going to experience "Sunday Blues" and I know why because I've experienced it more in the past two years than ever before.

Alcohol and singledom are a lethal combination. Everyone feels rubbish when they are hungover but when there is no one to wrap their arm around you feelings of patheticness and self-loathing ensue. I am pretty disappointed in myself for allowing my thoughts to wallow in such murky puddles of self-pity. However, beyond being disappointed, I am angry that the lack of a cuddle can darken my evening. I am usually the optimistic member of my gang. Proffering words of wisdom and a kick up the bum to melancholy friends far and wide but it's hard to be happy all of the time.

I have a feeling that this current case of "Sunday Blues" may be augmented by the fact that everyone around me is moving on or changing. Marriage, babies, future plans and fears. None of which I grudge but all of which seem very far away from me; glinting in the distance, something I am inexplicably drawn to but can't reach for now. At one point in my life I was certain that all of this would be in the bag by the time I turned thirty and now I'm not sure if it will or whether I want it to...

A man once said:

Sometimes life’s so much cooler when you just don’t know any better and all the painful lessons have not hammered your head open yet.

I think everybody reaches a point in their life where this is true. I think it's called adulthood. Damn you "Sunday Blues".

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Easter Holidays: Week One

My Easter Holidays Week One:

Made lunch for my Mum then went shopping. Bought new boots from Topshop and had a mini Primark splurge (including the above black and white sandals).

Went to Glasgow with my fellow Claire's on Saturday. Managed a quick look in the new Forever 21 but it's so big it will require a whole day visit!

It was a bank holiday Monday so we went to see a local tribute band. I wore a new dress from River Island and taupe spiked Litas (finally treated myself to the real deal).

Had Easter lunch with my parents and grandparents. My evening was spent on the couch having an American TV marathon eating chocolate. Plus the sun finally came out (so of course I took a picture of my door - as you do!).

Went to a restaurant in Culross called the Red Lion with my sister Lauren. The steak was to die for and you had to wear an apron as it was brought out on a sizzling plate. Lauren stayed over and we had a Girls marathon.

DIY!! I began the mammoth task of painting the hall.

Attended the Zen Lifestyle blogger event with Cat. See previous post.

Finally finished painting the hall and bathroom. My parents came round for tea and mum stayed as we had an early start in the morning because...

We went to the infamous Scout Sale in Morningside, Edinburgh. I spent a grand total of £3.50 and got a set of coasters, two cushion covers, a shirt from West Germany(?), some new books and a letter holder (not pictured). It was absolute granny shoving chaos! We then went to Ikea for lunch and I bought the obligatory scented candles, some lovely new teal towels and the main reason for the trip a massive rug for my living room. We drove past my granny's childhood home and got lost in the countryside. I had a banging Saturday night and finished painting my kitchen roof.

Today I finished painting the kitchen and bought colours for the kitchen and bedroom feature walls. At night I had a meal with the girls at our favourite restaurant to hear about my friend Leigh's trip to Thailand.

Being a teacher I get 12 weeks off a year (don't hate me!) Sometimes it feels like I have done nothing with my holidays so it helps to write it all down. I hope you've enjoyed a wee sneak peak at my life.

Monday, 8 April 2013

The Zen Lifestyle Beauty Event

Recently I received an invite to attend the Zen Lifestyle re-vamp event which took place at their Teviot Place salon in Edinburgh. It was an exclusive event for Bloggers, Press and other Business Owners with the opportunity to try out some of their signature treatments such as HD Brows, Blink & Go lashes and express Shellac.

I jumped at the chance to go. So armed with my trusty sidekick and bosom buddy Cat from the "Cat's Pyjamas" we rocked up to see what all the fuss was about. We were greeted at the door by a lovely hostess with a fabulous necklace and given a glass of Prosecco (good Prosecco at that which was frequently topped up!). The salon is gorgeous. Sleek, shiny with accents of signature purple. The salon appears deceptively small at first but there are two separate treatment rooms as well as a nail bar upstairs and treatment rooms and a brow bar downstairs.

This was the first Scottish Blogger Network event both Cat and I had attended. I've been blogging for a year and Cat's new to the blogging world (well the writing side anyway). It was nice to be able to meet some people face to face and of course to meet lots of new bloggers and share the love. We were too late to experience any of the treatments which had to be pre booked but the politeness of the staff and the atmosphere of the salon made up for this. We witnessed several treatments and their results such as India from India Alexandra's very neat HD brows and Ashleigh from All Out Gorgeous' pretty in pink Shellac manicure. We also saw a Fraxel Laser treatment take place; a medical procedure which uses a laser to improve texture and smoothness by treating minute sections of the skin but if you're interested in this it'll cost you £895 per session and 3-6 are recommended!

It's easy to see why the salon won UK salon of the year at the Professional Beauty awards last year. They offer a vast array of treatments from beauty to spa to advanced skin treatments and their staff are extremely welcoming. You can visit their website at www.zen-lifestyle.com or follow them on Facebook at ZenLifestyle or Twitter @Zen_Lifestyle. And they blog too at zen-lifestyle.com/blog.

Oh! We also got a fab goody bag with a full size Murad cleanser and a mini version of their candles which are on sale in the salon. You can see me swinging mine in front of the famous Greyfriar's Bobby monument which is minutes from the salon. After the event Cat and I enjoyed some Tex-Mex at Illegal Jack's which was a first for me and was damn tasty!

Pictured above are:
Claire of J'adore. and Demi of Demi Beverley/ Cat of The Cat's Pyjamas and myself!

India of India Alexandra World/ Hayley of Water Painted Dreams and Charlotte of Colours and Carousels.

I will add captions and links to this post at a later date. I'm am currently sans wifi and sans laptop as I am off to the caravan for a few days and am blogging from my phone... Where there's a will there's a way!