Healthy Eating in Edinburgh | Pumpkin Brown Cafe Review

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Recently I think I’ve learnt more about my city from reading other people’s blogs or watching YouTube videos. But after watching Zoella’s Edinburgh vlogs I came across today’s cafe. Pumpkin Brown.

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MBiP Rating: 9/10

Value for Money: £

Address: 16 Grassmarket, EH1 2JU

Opening Times: Mon – Sun 10-6

 

Nearby Gyms:

Dancebase, 14-16 Grassmarket EH1 2JU

PureGym Quartermile, 15 Lauriston Pl EH3 9EN

Fitness Chicks, Quartermile EH3 9GH

Hot Yoga, 2 Ladyfield EH3 8EZ

I think for me if I’m buying food on the go, the main thing I look for is freshness. The only time I have ever felt truly comfortable buying food on the go is from somewhere like Pret A Manger or EAT. When I found out about Pumpkin Brown I knew I would love it. Everything is made on the premises and on the day. And if you enjoyed Urban Angel or knew it was a place for you due to them being special diet friendly, then you’ll love PB even more. Everything here is natural, whole foods. They are dairy free, gluten free and refined sugar free.

The Superfood Deli with a Homely Feel

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The shop has a very rustic feel with a lot of dark wood and low atmospheric lighting. There are a couple of areas for sitting in but it is mostly a place for grabbing food on the go. Large fridges filled with delightful treats for breakfast and lunch (or brunch). Plus a hot meal prepared for you behind the coffee bar along with acai smoothie bowls. As this cafe is mainly for food on the go there is limited seating. I would advise you not to go here with the intension of sitting in as I discovered myself. But in honesty don’t let that put you off, there are plenty of spots in the area to sit down to enjoy your food. Food with a view!

The Coffee Bar

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One thing I was intrigued about my visit to Pumpkin Brown was the vast array of choices from the drinks menu. Within the hot drinks menu there is the usual choice of coffees, like lattes and cappuccinos. There is also a good variety of herbal teas, but also speciality lattes. So if you have ever wanted to try a matcha or tumeric latte you now know where to go. I tried a tumeric latte for the first time and I surprisingly enjoyed it. I suppose if you are someone who enjoys a chai latte you will enjoy this.

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Side note, if you choose to have a tumeric latte, I recommend having it with coconut milk.

Raw Food Cakes

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This was one of the best things about Pumpkin Brown I would make continued visits just in order to pick up a slice of one of their raw cakes. They are always inventing new combinations so you will probably never see the same cake twice. They are insanely good and I didn’t think twice about not actually eating a sugary cake. I had a cake resembling a slice of millionaire shortbread, and it was tastier than eating a slice made with chocolate and caramel. It was so gooey and the right amount of sweetness coming from the date. Even if you only have time to take away then I totally recommend you do so.

Breakfast Options

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Because I was a bit unsure of how things worked at the cafe. I opted for one of their pre made and packaged options. I chose the pot of oats with apple and cinnamon. It was very tasty but there was a lot of eating which would be fine for most people, but for me personally my palette starts ‘rejecting’ the taste of nuts/seeds/oats if I have eaten them too much (if that makes sense). However this is not going to stop me from going back and trying other options. In fact I already plan to go back to try one of their Acai Bowls, which you need to follow their Instagram page for.

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I hope you enjoyed your post and gave you the urge to visit Pumpkin Brown yourself…it’s worth it!!

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London Fashion Week Highlights

Over the weekend I enjoyed a nice weekend away in London. It was also the same weekend of London Fashion Week. Unfortunately I was not fortunate enough to attend any of the shows but I did keep an eye out for news and coverage of the weekend. So I decided it was only fitting that I gave you a run down of my highlights from LFW.

Somerset House…No More

Staying on the Strand was a bit bittersweet when it came to looking out for any Fashion Week related attractions. It wasn’t so long ago that Somerset House was dropped as the main venue for the event. If only it was still been in use, I would have been right on the door step. But on a more positive note this has also allowed designers to think out of the box and find unique venues that help transport us into their world of story telling.

So here are my 4 highlights from London Fashion Week

Erdem

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Erdem’s show was held at The Old Selfridge Hotel and the collection boasted the signature Erdem florals and embroidery. The collection was themed around the designer’s Turkish heritage focusing on historical silhouettes and Turkish fabrics and threads.

 

Mary Katrantzou

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I’ve always loved Mary Katrantzou’s use of bold patterns and colours. I especially loved this collection as it was inspired by Walt Disney’s Fantasia. Silhouettes and fabric choices seemed to be inspired by the 40’s which was the era of the films release.

 

Temperley London

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I think that jumper basically sold the whole collection for me. I liked the mixture of chunky cable knits and quilted skirts/dresses with silk jacquards. I think I know how my wardrobe is going to look next Autumn/Winter!!

 

Julien MacDonald

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I love looking out for super glitzy collections. I always find myself wondering if and where I would be able to wear something like that to. MacDonald’s collection saw heavily sequinned fabrics, draped necklines and lots of mesh.

Of course there were lots of great shows that were presented at LFW. This isn’t even a handful. The best place to keep up to date on all the latest on fashion month is Vogue Runway. In the Frow is also a great blog to follow during fashion month.

What was your favourite fashion show from London Fashion Week?

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Why I am Choosing to Print More Photos This Year | LALALAB. Review 

lalalab02I think there is probably plenty of us who scroll through the endless amount of photos on our phones and relive some pretty epic memories. Most of us will share them on Instagram or make an album on Facebook. Recently I’ve reminded myself how special it is to actually have a physical copy of a photo in your hand. You literally are holding a memory.

 

To Print or not to Print

I remember when I was growing up the only way you could have your photos was by taking the film spool to get developed. I mean, in mainstream general photography it’s very hard to come across a camera that still uses a spool. One of the main things I do love about photography is looking back at old photos that are usually crammed into a photo album. But these days everything is so digital and…convenient! You can so simply upload your photos onto your computer and decide what to do with them at a later date. So much so that I have many folders on my computer of past holidays and events and they haven’t been in touched since they were created (not even my Florida photos). If they had all been done on a disposable camera they would have been developed straight away.

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So at the beginning of the year I decided I was going to print off more of my photos to create memory scrapbooks. And I was going to start off with photos I had taken from my phone. The best way to do this is by downloading an app that allows you to select, edit and order your photos straight from your phone. Although there is so many to choose from my favourite is LALALAB. and one of their key products is printing off photos on a 10x10cm square format. So it’s basically like having printed versions of your Instagram photos. Plus the app is really straightforward to use which is a huge thumbs up. The quality of the end product is also pretty amazing and considering these photos were taken on my phone camera really does make it worth putting a bit of money into printing out your photos.

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The app is pretty straightforward to use so I didn’t see much point in giving you a step by step guide. But I’ve included a few answers to some questions that may come to mind when using the app.

 

What You Need to Know:

1. The app, is it free?

Yes the app is free to download from the App Store (Apple) and Google. And you will need to create an account in order to use the app.

2. What products does this company offer?

A wide variety of printable products including photo books, calendars, magnets, posters, canvas, alu-dibond, and phone cases. On this occasion I bought standard prints.

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3. If I choose to get prints done. What sizes of photos are available?

You can get vintage prints which are 10x12cm and they also have a Polaroid look to them. The classic is 10x10cm, regular which is 10x13cm, mini vintage 5.9×8.9cm, XL classic 20x20cm and the XL regular which is 20x27cm. I went for the classic in this case.

4. Is there a minimum number of photos you can have printed?

Yes the minimum is 5

5. Is it just photos from your camera roll that you can select?

No, although you can choose solely from your camera roll. You do have the option of connecting LALALAB with your social media accounts so you can grab photos from the likes of Instagram and Facebook.

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6. What features are available within the photo editor?

Surprisingly you can do quick a lot of editing to your photos within the app. It has basic features like brightness, contrast, saturation, vibrance, etc. There is also premade filters, you can add frames, text and stickers to photos also.

7. Would you recommend editing your photos externally before ordering through LALALAB.

This is more of a personal choice. I have a certain aesthetic that I aim for that I can achieve through other photo editing apps so I chose to edit externally first. But you can achieve a good quality edit through LALALAB.

8. What are the delivery times?

They usually try and get your order to you 3-7 working days after you have purchased your order. My order came with a 3-4 working day time frame so they do try to be as quick as possible.

 Hopefully that inspired some of you to start printing some of your photos. I think I will get some memory scrapbooks on the go and use the photos from LALALAB. 

Do you keep hold of things that remind you of fond memories?

Beauty Wishlist – 10 Things I Hope to Try in 2017

As with every year that comes along we tend to start the new year with a clean slate. Because why wouldn’t you do that? It’s another year where new challenges are set and new discoveries made. But I think all of us by now have thought about what we hope for this year, so I am not going to dwell on the serious stuff. It’s time to have some fun.

I don’t know about you lot but as I’ve got older I have found that I almost plan out what I hope to buy over the year, well in terms of saving up for things. Half of which I never actually get round to buying. Wish lists have also seemed to have creeped into my life recently, which I have to say is quite dangerous. But today I thought I would share with you my current beauty wishlist. The 10 products I hope to try in 2017.

Skincare

No.1. Alpha H Liquid Gold

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Buy it Here – Cult Beauty

No.2 Sarah Chapman Ultimate Cleanse

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Buy it Here – Space NK

This is quite a new brand to me, over the past couple of months I have seen a few bloggers and a few magazines suggest this brand. Since using my Goldfadden’s daily scrub last year I got a bit of taste for high end cleansers, but ones that also act as a daily exfoliator. So since I spotted this I knew I wanted to give this a go. Maybe once my Liz Earle cleanser has finished I will move on to this.

No. 3 Glamglow Face Masks

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Buy it Here – LookFantastic

By Terry

From a distance I have always liked the idea of trying this brand. But it was so new to me that I didn’t really know where to begin when it came to choosing a product. During the later part of 2016 I came across Lydia Elise Millen’s blog and Youtube channel, and she raved about the brand. And she was the first blogger I came across that had really explored the brand and shared her experiences. So in 2017 I am going to try a few products that I feel will work best for me thanks to Lydia’s recommendations.

No.4 By Terry Baume de Rose Face Cream

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Buy it Here – Space NK

No.5 By Terry Cellularose Brightening CC Lumi-Serum

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Buy it Here – Space NK

No.6 By Terry Ombre Blackstar

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Buy it Here – Space NK

Make Up

No.7 Hourglass Seamless Finish Foundation

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Buy it Here – Space NK

I’ve still not found my perfect foundation yet, I have come close with Clinque’s Anti Blemish BB Cream and Tarte’s Rainforest of the Sea foundation. But I’ve yet to find something that makes me go wow! This year I want to find something that makes my skin look smooth and makes my pores look almost non existent.

No.8 Zoeva Brushes

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Buy it Here – Cult Beauty

No.9 Charlotte Tilbury Make Up Set in ‘Sophisticate’ and ‘Bombshell’

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Buy it Here – Charlotte Tibury

Hair

 

No.10 Olaplex

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Go to your nearest Olaplex Hair Salon for more info

I hoping at some point this year of going to a proper colourist hair salon to probably get some balayage done to my hair. I’ve got my fingers crossed I can get an appointment at the award winning hair salon BLOW in Glasgow. I will be making sure that wherever I go I can get my hair treated with Olaplex because my hair is frizzy enough without it getting worse after getting it coloured.

What beauty products are you hoping to try in 2017?

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Healthy Eating in Edinburgh: Urban Angel Review

 

 It’s the beginning of a new year and for most of us it’s a good excuse to start a fresh. For a lot of people a new year resolution is to get fit and to get healthy. But for me and I’m sure for a few of you out there I never make this a resolution as you always end up putting too much pressure on yourself to succeed and probably end up falling at the first hurdle. But I do like to go on a bit of a detox and eat sensibly for as long as I possibly can. This year though I want to make a proper go of it and be more strict with what I eat. Mainly as an experiment to see how much it effects the condition of my skin and helps my digestion.

UrbanAngel Edinburgh | UrbanAngel Review

A couple of areas that people struggle with when it comes to healthy eating is when it comes to eating out and what to eat after a gym session. So I thought I would start a new series on the blog. Where I renew some of healthy/vegetarian/vegan restaurants based in Edinburgh paying close attention to how healthy they actually end up being, the value for money, the options available on the menu and how close the restaurants are to nearby gyms and fitness centres.

Where is Urban Angel?

 

UrbanAngel Edinburgh | UrbanAngel Review

MBiP Rating:9/10

Value for Money: ££

Address: 121 Hanover St, EH2 1D3

Opening Times: Mon – Fri 8-5, Sat – Sun 9-5

 

Nearby Gyms:

The Pilates Place, Jamaica St (EH3, 6HH)

Nuffield Health, Omni Centre, Leith St

The Gym Edinburgh, Waterloo Pl, (EH1 3EG)

I have walked past this cafe so many times and been intrigued and inspired by their crazily healthy menus. Their bright and open artisan interiors welcomes a cosy and energetic atmosphere. If you are someone who struggles to find somewhere that caters for your special diets and needs then from the moment you walk into Urbanangel you are left reassured that there will be plenty to choose from. Big blackboards fill the walls with smoothie menus filled with fresh fruit and veg and ladened with almond milk and soya milk. And sandwich boards filled with fresh ingredients that make your Christmas indulgences seem like a thing of the past.

Drinks Menu at UrbanAngel | UrbanAngel ReviewCake Stand at UrbanAngel | UrbanAngel ReviewBrunch Menu at UrbanAngel | UrbanAngel

Once finally seated (it was a rather busy Sunday) I got to read the brunch menu in detail including some daily specials. It’s a fantastic menu with a great variety and good options between sweet and savoury dishes to dishes that are plain and simple or exploding with flavours. One thing to note like I said above, they cater for a wide variety of requirements so if need be, if there is something in dish you can’t eat then they can swap it for something more suitable. I decided to choose something quite plain and simple as I had been in Christmas treat mode for so long I didn’t want to scare my body by having something ridiculously healthy.

The dishes sampled are:

Poached Eggs on Toast with a side of Avocado

Chorizo and Mushrooms on Toast

Nutty Butter on Toast with Pears and Plums

Poached Eggs and Avocado | UrbanAngel Review

Poached Eggs and Avocado | UrbanAngel Review

Poached Eggs on Toast with a side of Avocado – Yes this may be quite a simple but yet classic dish to try. But it does display the variety to their menu. You don’t need to be someone with exotic tastebuds to get the most out of a trip to Urban Angel. The eggs to this dish were cooked to perfection, fluffy whites and an amazingly gooey yolk. It was also nice to eat a fresh avocado that had been beautifully peeled and cored unlike the mess I produce at home. And what I loved about this dish was the big doorstop slice of granary bread. Yummy!!

 

Chorizo and Mushrooms on Toast | UrbanAngel Review

Chorizo and Mushrooms on Toast – I think this was my favourite dish out of all that I tried. Mainly because it was the best Chorizo I have ever tasted. I wouldn’t be surprised if it has been sourced from Spain itself. It had such a great smoked paprika flavour that  it flavoured most of the rest of the dish along with it. The chilli never made it overly spicy either which was great for me as I’m not much of a spicy food person. Again with a lovely doorstop piece of granary bread and another well poached egg just rounded of the dish nicely.

 

Nutty Seed Butter with Pears and Plums | UrbanAngel Review

Nutty Seed Butter on Toast with Pears and Plums – I was a bit unsure at first trying this dish as I don’t particularly like peanut butter. But this is definitely not your average peanut butter. This one contains, peanuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. The plums and pears are done like a compote, so they have a sweet glaze over them. Combined with the nutty butter its a great flavoured dish and it certainly didn’t make feel as though I was eating peanut butter. This is a great choice if you are looking for something a bit different to try.

I had an amazing visit to Urban Angel and highly recommend it. It will be a great place to stop by after a gym session especially with their great choice of juices and smoothies. And I will definitely be making a trip back myself to sample their lunch menu. I hope you enjoyed this post and I hope you enjoy this series, I will be completing it throughout the next couple of months and visiting as many healthy eateries in the Edinburgh area as possible. I planning the next review to be Pumpkin Brown which can be found in the Grassmarket. I hope to see you next time.

Have you visited or want to visit Urban Angel?

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Best of 2016

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Over the past year I have pushed myself to try even more beauty products. Mainly for my own benefit obviously but also so I could share my experiences with each product on here. So its no surprise that most of my best of 2016 includes beauty products. But of course my life over the past year hasn’t completely circled around beauty products so I have a few other things to share with you on this list.

Beauty

I have always had problematic skin and its meant that I have struggled to understand my skin and what to do with it. Over the past couple of year’s I have started to embrace my skin and be braver when it came to trying new products and new brands. So again this year I tried a fair few, and that included new make up products also.

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1.Sunday Riley Good Genes Serum

I have probably mentioned this product a couple of times on here already but this product has surprised me the most since I started using it back in the summer. Mainly because I had no expectations, as everyone I had seen using it had beautiful skin anyway (well compared to me they did). But ever since I have started using it I’ve seen a dramatic difference in my hyperpigmentation and pore size.

2. Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish

This year I ran out of my favourite Goldfadden’s Daily Scrub. I was left thinking ‘what am I going to use now?’ While I was debating what to get, I found a miniature of Liz Earle’s Cleanse and Polish. I instantly fell in love with it. I had previously used it before but that was when I was teenager and it never really worked for me then. So I went out and bought a full sized product, as you do.

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3. Tarte ‘Rainforest of the Sea’ Foundation

This is one of the products I purchased when I was in America last year. I made it my mission to pick up as many American brands as possible while I was there. I have always wanted to try a tarte product so when I spotted the foundation I knew that this was the product for me. I love this foundation so much its lightweight with a medium coverage, but it is also still buildable. It has a dropper applicator so you can be in better control of how much product you use.

4. Pixi by Petra Glow Tonic

I got this product last December and I had heard a lot about it so I was excited to give it a try. Although this is a great product and has improved my skin, I can’t really use it when I have a major breakout. But its definitely a product I will continue to re buy and have to hand in skincare pantry.

 

Lifestyle

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I love reading about how people live the lives. We all have our own addictions and traditions we love to centre our non working time around. We could spend most of time going to the gym, you could be someone who likes to spend most of the free time in new places and exploring the world. Or you could be someone who has spends their days at home with family. But no matter what your lifestyle we all have our comforts and we all like to try new products that jazzes up our everyday life. Here are my 2016 favourites.

1. Isle of Skye Candles

As I have got older my obsession for candles, sorry scented candles, has dramatically grown. In all honesty I have too many for my small bedroom, so much so I can only light one at a time. Par Jo Malone, one of my favourite brands that I always go back to is Isle of Skye candles. They are made from Soy, produced in Scotland, and they smell divine.  The scents aren’t too harsh so they leave more of a fresher scent around your room. My favourite scents in 2016 were Juniper and Frankincense and Myrrh.

2. iPhone 6s Plus

I know for a lot of people Apple products are the bane of their lives and will never choose to own one. But for me as a creative Apple is perfect for me and it works well with all the professional softwares I use almost on a daily basis. So I was due a new phone, a.k.a an upgrade on my iPhone. I instantly preferred the iPhone 6s Plus so I could do more blogging on the go. Having the bigger screen meant it was easier to use the WordPress app and it made it easier to edit my photos.

3. ‘Bloom’ by Estee Lalonde

Much to my own frustration I never done as much reading as I would have liked last year. But one book that I could not put down was Bloom. I bought it on a whim as I had never personally read Estee’s blog or watched any of her videos. I suppose that may be one of the reasons why I connected so much to it as I never had any pre conceived expectations of what this book would tell me. Its such a lovely book to read and a great one to read with a cup of tea after a long day.

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4. Jo Malone

I won’t speak too much about this one as I think Jo Malone appears in every ‘favourite’ and ‘best of’ post I do. However I find myself buying their products more and more every year. I think it may be safe to say I should just get myself a Jo Malone concession counter in my house and then I would never need to worry about running out of my favourite products. But here is to another year of Jo Malone filling my room with amazing scents.

Fashion

Last but not least is a few fashion pieces I have been loving this year. I have to admit I never bought much in the way of clothes this year, mainly because I spent most of my clothing allowance on Florida gear. But the clothes that I did buy have started to shape a new style for me. I’m not entirely sure what that is yet, but I’m looking forward to seeing how it evolves over 2017. Here are my favourites of 2016.

1. Kate Spade Bag and Purse

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I purchased this bag while in America and I love and haven’t stopped using it since. I love its classic shape, I was after a classic bag the colour however was a bit bolder than what I had originally planned to get. Kate Spade has great quality bags, its a strong leather with a great finish on it for durability. I also went for an saffino style leather as it means it doesn’t great easily marked or scratched. I would definitely recommend Kate Spade.

2. Camel Coat

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This year I wanted to get myself a nice new winter coat and I had been loving the Camel coats that had been vastly growing on trend. I managed to find a lovely coat with the ideal length from Marks and Spencer within their Limited Edition Collection. And it has served me well and is a such a diverse coat that that looks great with casual and more formal outfits.

3. Knee Hight Boots

This year there were more knee high and over the knee about than you could possibly comprehend. Which made it very difficult to decide which ones I actually really wanted to own. But I decided to go for a casual pair so that wear them more often and feel comfortable wearing them all day. Obviously now I have a casual pair I now want a high heel version. The pair I went for were from Clarks and they are black suede with a cubed heel.They are so comfy and a great quality.

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I hope you enjoyed this post. Sorry for the quality of the photographs, I am trying to find some better backgrounds for my pictures and also better area for natural lighting. If you have any tips on how to get the better flat lays let me know below.

What was your favourite items you bought in 2016?

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A Day in Glasgow

I didn’t know wither to share this post just because we are now in the new year and this post was meant to go up before Christmas. But I thought you would like to see it and I liked some of the photos I had taken while I was there.

Christmas in Glasgow!

Morning

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On the morning of the 19th of December we headed to Waverley Station in Edinburgh to grab a train to Glasgow Queen Street. I have always preferred travelling by train it is relaxing, once you are on the train that is. But in saying that it usually is a lot less chaotic than airport or driving at the end of the day especially if you have your timings right. A train from Edinburgh to Glasgow takes approximately about an hour, so I grabbed a quick Gingerbread Latte for the journey.

Arrival in Glasgow

We arrived in Glasgow early afternoon, since we hadn’t had any lunch we headed to Merchant Square. In Merchant Square there is a really nice bar that serves amazing food throughout the day called The Social. Totally recommend here even if you are just looking for a place to have some drinks.

 

Christmas Shopping

 If you have never been to Glasgow, it is a great city for shopping as all the main shops are within the one street, Buchanan Street. So as there was still a bit of time before Christmas, I finished off my Christmas shopping. House of Fraser is a good department store to visit as it has a good variety of both designer and high street brands and it is also the only shop in Scotland to have a Charlotte Tilbury concession.

The 1975

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One of the main reasons for the trip to Glasgow was to go and see The 1975 at the SSE Hydro. It was my first time seeing them live and also my first time being in the Hydro. I base a lot of my love on a band/artist around their live performances, as it is usually their live performances that grow my interest in them. But I really enjoyed the gig, and it wasn’t as high energy as some gigs I have been to. But if you are a fan yourself, I definitely don’t think you would feel as though you have wasted money.

Sleep Tight in a Hotel Bed

After the gig we had a room booked at a nearby hotel so we didn’t have to battle with the stand still traffic or run for a train. We stayed at the Glasgow Marriott Hotel which is one of the hotels in the SECC/SSE Hydro area. I do recommend the Marriott as it is in good walking distance from the Hydro and Buchanan St where Queen St and Central train stations are.

I hope you liked this post. It was a great trip and and great gig, and hope I get to have a few experiences like it again in 2017.

What was your favourite gig of 2016?

Welcome 2017!

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Well it is that time again where we must welcome another year into our lives. It is a time some of us fear and yet it’s something we can’t control so we must learn to embrace it. Looking back on 2016 I can only muster one word for it…shit! (Excuse my French). But seriously it’s a year I would rather forget. So I am making it my mission to make 2017 a year to remember.

Time For A Fresh Start!

In some ways my year will begin rather positively as I have already managed to achieve some of my goals from my 2017 wish list from one of my previous posts. I don’t want that to be an excuse for not continuing to try achieve some of the rest on my list. So for this post I want to set myself some small resolutions for the that I think will help me progress with goals and make me feel that I’ve worked towards them rather than wait for them to happen.

Be More Positive

This has been something I have struggled with quite a bit, I have the tendency to see the negatives to things before the positives. But in 2017 I want to start working on improving this mind set by taking time to observe situations that come my way. In turn I hope improving this outcome on my life will encourage me to be more happy and bring more motivation to my everyday living.

Give More Self Praise

This kind of follows on from my point above. I want to be able to recognise that positivity and praise myself for achieving something no matter how small. I don’t want to doubt myself or constantly see room improvement and with that, not to compare myself to others or to other people’s success. Because at the end of the day everyone is different and people progress at their own pace.

 Respect Myself More

Basically what I mean by this is, just to look after myself a bit more this year. To begin with  I want to start with adding more exercise into my life. I am lucky that I work in retail and most of my day involves being on my feet and running around a shop floor and up and down stairs. But I need to introduce some more intense workouts to my life and possibly even yoga or pilates to help my back. Once I’m happy with this I want to refine my diet a little more, nothing major just cutting back on few things, like sugar!

Be More Social

For this I just want to live my life a bit more to the fullest, I am the sort of person that when I’m not working I will just sit in the house and do nothing. Which don’t get me wrong, its fine if you work long weeks and want a day to relax. But I have too many relaxing days. I need to take as many opportunities to see my friends as I possibly can and even still just getting out the of the house in general.

Well I think these are pretty manageable, I hope! And hopefully it will bring me closer to the type of life I want to live and achieve some of my 2017 goals.

 So here is to 2017! I hope it will be a better year for all. I will certainly be making sure I’m pushing myself to make the most of it. Despite it being a pretty miserable year, I did have a few good memories and they were documented on Instagram. So the images featured in this post are my favourite Instagram posts of 2016.

Happy New Year Everybody!!

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Christmas 2016: Christmas Tree Tour

As much as I would love to give you a ridiculous amount of festive posts over the month, some idiot over here thought it would be a good idea to work 2 jobs this Christmas!! But in saying that, Christmas is my favourite time of the year so I want to bring you as much festive cheer as I possibly can. So what better way to start than with a little glimpse into the decorating process.

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For the past couple of years I have missed out on the Christmas tree decorating as I work weekends and that’s usually when the tree gets put up. But this year it was different and it was a great opportunity to feel a bit festive and create a bit of content for the blog (any excuse to bring the camera out).

While we were in the process of putting the tree up I tried to think of how the best way to do this post was. So I decided to do something a bit new and make a little artistic style video. I tried to capture as much of the Christmas atmosphere as possible but really I just want it to be a fun, experimental video. And who knows maybe in the new year I will start making a better go at the YouTube videos.

I hope you enjoy it and any feedback will be much appreciated.

I hope you enjoyed this post and I look forward to seeing you next time

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This post is in memory of my gran

Top Picks For a Florida Holiday

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I thought I would do this post just before I start doing my Christmas posts and 2016 disappears completely. But if you have been reading my blog over the past year you will know I went on a family holiday to Florida. When I got back I started doing a daily blog of what I got up to, but I never managed to complete that series. So I thought today I would share some of my recommendations in case you have trip planned next year.

Preparation is Key

I will start of by saying this Florida is a destination you need to plan for. Long gone were the days that you could spontaneously decide what you were going to do each day. What I mean by this is you need to plan everything before you leave, and I mean everything. So is worth reading posts like this and even hitting YouTube and watching so holiday vlogs. I would also recommend watching TimTracker on YouTube he does regular updates of the new things in Orlando.

So for this post I’ll share with you a couple things I recommend for each of the parks I visited and a few things out with the parks also. I apologise in advance, this may be a long post.

Disney

Magic Kingdom

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Big Thunder Mountain – One of the classics at Magic Kingdom, this rollercoaster is definitely a must on the attraction to do list. And it’s suitable for most of the family. I would recommend you use one of your fastpasses for this as you don’t want to be stuck in a 90 minute queue.

Main Street Ice Cream Parlour – There is loads of amazing places to eat in the Magic Kingdom. But sometimes the random snacks you have throughout the day can be the most memorable. And that was the case for this 2 scoop, hot chocolate fudge sauce, whipped galore, served in a waffle bowl sundae!! Also stopping for regular snacks will work out cheaper than sitting have a meal.

 

Fantasyland – Now you can’t really skip fantasyland as it’s park 6 areas to the park. But as a keen photographer and avid Disney fan, this was the part of the park where I felt like I was in Disney. This part of the park includes recreations of princess castles including Ariel’s and Belle’s. Plus this is where you will find the Be Our Guest restaurant which set out to look like the inside of the Beast’s Castle.


Epcot 

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Soarin Around the World – This one of my favourite rides from the Disney parks, so much so it was one of the only ones I went on twice. Again this is a hugely popular attraction so I would advise you to book a fastpass. This is also one of the tamer simulator rides but I think it is the most impactful!

Frozen Forever After – If you love Frozen and you aren’t bored of it yet then you’ll love this! That being said I have heard that those who hate the film have loved this ride. This one of the newest rides (opened June 2016) so it features a lot of cool new animatronics, including a walking Olaf! Possible Fastpass may be needed here, I rode it on it first week so not what waiting times are like now.

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World Showcase – I would definitely say this is one of the best things about Epcot! I loved my trips to Epcot purely to see the WS. Each pavilion is set out to look like a typical town from the country it’s representing. You can learn about each country’s culture, shop authentic products and sample local delicacies. There are points in your day that you forget you are in Orlando. Each pavilion is also very photogenic.

Hollywood Studios

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Toy Story Mania – This was such a fun ‘Shoot Em Up’ and definitely a lot more enjoyable than the Buzz Lightyear one at the Magic Kingdom. It’s 3D and you play in teams of two and you fire your guns at the assortment of targets on the screens. Another ride you should use a fastpass for. It is that popular they are building more tracks to keep up with the demand!

Fantasmic – In my opinion one of the best night entertainment shows at Disney. Such a great show featuring good and evil, you follow Mickey as he rids the show of Disney Villians. A great use of props and projections and of course fireworks. This is a very popular show so my advise would be to either start queuing early or use a fastpass (people with fastpasses get seats first).


Star Tours – A classic Hollywood Studios ride, this one is worth a try wither you are a Star Wars fan or not. This a simulation ride and they have recently updated it to tie in with the most recent movies. I do prefer the older one as that was a simulation of you flying through the Death Star but the new one was still entertaining. You probably would get away with not doing a fastpass for this ride.

 

Animal Kingdom

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Kilimanjaro Safari – This is the highlight of the park. Such a brilliant attraction and Disney teach you so much about their conservation efforts. You will definitely need a fastpass for this, plus it is over an hour long so think of it more as a booking so you can plan your day around it. We done at about 8pm so we got the sunset and it was a lot cooler too.

Evening Opening Hours – We got experience the new late hour at AK. And to be honest I think this is when the park really comes to life! So much live music, brilliant lighting and street performers it really does make you feel like you are walking through an African or Asian village. The new Hours have also brought so new entertainment shows too.

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Tree of Life Projection Show – This is one of the new late hour entertainment shows. This has got to be one of the most magical experiences ever. The way the Projection works is, it makes the tree look as though it’s coming alive and it takes you through the story of each of the animal based films. I don’t know if it has set times to see it as we kind of just stumbled upon, but it’s definitely a must see.

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Festival of the Lion King – This is a classic show at the AK. If you love The Lion King and you love the broadway show then you will love this! It’s heavily influenced by the Broadway show it just involves a little bit of audience participation and obviously it’s not as long. You could also get away with not using a fastpass for this as there are regular shows throughout the day, but the option is there.

Universal Studios 

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Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey – The best attraction from my trip hands down, I loved this so much that I went on it twice even though it was about a 50 minute wait each time. Again this is a simulation that involves going up side down and twisting so it may not be for everyone but its definitely worth finding out, even if it’s just to say you have been on it!

CityWalk – Just like Disney, Universal has area for dining, shopping and nightlife. CityWalk is on the door step of each park and offers a wide variety of restaurants, shops and entertainment. Some restaurants include; Bubba Gump Shrimp, Cowfish, and Hard Rock Cafe. It is a great alternative from eating in the parks themselves.

 

Not Going to the Parks…?

 

Shopping

  • Florida Mall
  • Millenia Mall
  • Orlando Premium Outlets
  • Disney Springs

Restaurants

  • Cracker Barrel
  • Perkins
  • Bubba Gump Shrimp
  • The Cheesecake Factory
  • IHOP
  • Olive Garden
  • T-Rex Restaurant (Disney Springs)

Entertainment and Attractions

  • Kennedy Space Center
  • Adventure Golf

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I hope you enjoyed this post, sorry that it is a bit long but I wanted this to be a bit of resource style post at the same time. If you have your own recommendations for an Orlando holiday please let me know in the comments.

I shall hopefully see you next time with some Christmas themed posts.

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