Restaurant Wish List

Steampunk Coffee in North Berwick - one of my favourite coffee spots!

Steampunk Coffee in North Berwick – one of my favourite coffee spots!

In 2017, I want to get back in touch with some of the hobbies and interests I used to enjoy, as part of my project to improve my overall wellbeing. Top of the list – food. I used to love cooking and eating out, and having recently unpacked all my cookbooks after moving house I’m starting to find a little more passion for food again.

I’ve put together an updated wish list of restaurants for both Glasgow and Edinburgh to try and knock off this year – any other suggestions are very welcome!

Crossing the Rubicon
Table 11
Chakoo Bombay Kitchen
Don Constanzo
The Hug & Pint
Kimchi Cult
Cail Bruich
Crossbasket Castle 
Elena’s Spanish Bar & Restaurant
The Gannet
La Lanterna

Contini Canonball
The Kitchin (not a cheap one, but we were very generously given vouchers from family for here)
The Scran and Scallie

Project 2017


The blog has seen a bit of a hiatus over recent months; given I work in communications and marketing, coming home and writing copy, taking photos and updating social media was really lacking any appeal, feeling more like a bus man’s holiday.

2016 also proved to be a very challenging year for me, with family illness and bereavement, work stresses, moving house and a host of other stresses big and small meaning survival became the focus, rather than developing hobbies and interests (sadly, perhaps a little counter-intuitive on reflection).

We’re now on day four of a new year and I’ve spent time over the last few days reading many goal/ resolution posts and reflections on the last year. For me, after much consideration, I’ve realised there is only one goal I can set for myself in 2017 – improve my self-care and mental health.

I’ve worked myself into a difficult place and need to explore ways to help bring myself back to a more positive situation, both mentally and physically. As part of this ‘project’ (so to speak), I hope to re-start blogging, as a way to diarise and share my journey and what I’ve learned. Some of the areas I want to explore include minimalism, better nutrition and exercise, exploring the outdoors more, as well as finding practical tools to help manage my emotional state more effectively, and create a more organised environment.

Things feel a little bleak at the moment, but having found the light in the dark before I need to focus my energies on the positive and taking pro-active steps toward a brighter future. I hope, if you’re reading this, then it resonates with you and you stick around for a little while to share the journey.

Top Ten(ish) Under Ten(ish…)

Recently, I’ve been feeling the pressure to save up and stop spending as frivolously; however, I did still need a wee pick me up and decided bargain beauty was the way to go (after all, isn’t that why lipstick sales are up…?) It did make me reflect on some of the brilliant products available on the high street; there are some real gems that deliver just as well as their high-end counterparts, so I thought I’d round up some of my favourites here.

Bourjois Foundations – priced between £8.99 and £10.99
I believe that Bourjois foundations are manufactured by the same company as Chanel, and I have to say I think they are on a par in terms of quality. Of course, as these are a high street product and not high end, the packaging isn’t quite as luxurious, but to be honest as most of my makeup resides in my makeup bag rather than on a dressing table, I can’t say packaging alone would tempt me into buying something three times as expensive!

The colour range is fairly good, although some formulations come up pretty yellow-toned (I am exceptionally fair-skinned with pink undertones) and as with most high-street brands however, they are lacking a bit of the really dark shades. However, the quality is beautiful; well pigmented and offering beautiful finishes from sheer and dewy up the more full, matte finishes. I would definitely recommend checking these out if you’re in the market for a new foundation.

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer – £4.19
I’m not going to say too much about this concealer as it has been discussed to death on You Tube, in blogs and on forums – suffice to say, it covers practically anything, lasts really well and only costs £4.19. Job done.

Soap and Glory One Heck of a Blot Powder – £12
Ok, ok, I’ve bent the rules here…hence the ‘ish’ in the title, as this comes in a hair over £10. However, I think the product is so good, I shoe-horned it in anyway (and, in my defence, SaG products are so often on 3 for 2 in Boots so really they do come in under £10…) Up till now, I really hated the feeling of powder on my skin, although having a rather oily t-zone it is a bit of a necessity – however, this powder is so finely milled it sits really comfortably on the skin, and does a fantastic job of keeping shine at bay right through the day.

Max Factor Creme Puff Blushes – £8.99
These are beautiful little blushes with a lovely, if slightly limited, selection of colours. These remind me of the Hourglass blushes with their swirled finish, but at a much more purse friendly price point. They have a lovely, blendable texture and nice colour payoff. Their nude mauve shade is also the perfect blush when you’re not sure what to pair with a stronger lip colour, giving a little something something, but nothing to statement.

Maybelline EyeStudio Colour Tattoo 24 Hour Cream Gel Eyeshadow – £4.99
These are another heavily lauded product – and rightly so! My favourite shade is On and On Bronze, a beautiful golden bronze, which last unbelievably well on the lids even without a primer. These can also be used as a type of primer and layered underneath other powder shadows to give them more longevity and make the colour more vibrant. As a side note, Metallic Pomegranate is a fantastic dupe for Illamasqua’s Liquid Metal is Resolute.

The one negative thing I will say about these is the shade range – there is a bronze, taupe and black, but the rest are all fairly bright and I think a couple of more neutral shades (perhaps a lilac/grey or khaki) would make fantastic additions to the range.

Max Factor Mascaras – priced between £6.99 and £18.99
It is a bit of a cheat to include these here as some of their mascaras come in a little over the £10 mark (and one a lot over the £10 mark – the, in my opinion, overpriced Max Factor Lashfinity 3 Day Mascara – who need their mascara to last three days!?) , including my personal favourite, False Lash Effect, but they are so often on offer I thought I’d bend the rules a little.

Mascara is one of those items where I’ve never ventured high-end, as there are such quality options available on the high street, and this does a fantastic job of lengthening and volumising without lashes going spidery.

Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Liner – £3.99
I have a fair collection of the Urban Decay 24/7 khol eyeliners and I can honestly say these are right up there in terms of colour payoff, texture and longevity.

Again, as with the other eye items in this post, the shade range could be improved but as there are enough of the standards – black, brown, nude – to be going on with I really can’t complaining. The texture is lovely and soft and they last a good time on the eyes without ending up with a fetching panda eyed look.

L’oreal Infallible Eyeshadow – £6.99 Discontinued – boo!
What can I say – I love these! They are technically a loose pigment, but are very compacted compared to other loose pigments such as Illamasqua. Personally, I prefer these as I find it makes them easier to work with and less messy (traditional loose pigments tend to end up half way down my face, on the carpet and in my hair…not a good). As with the Colour Tattoo cream shadows I do think the range would benefit from a few more colours, but there are some really beautiful shades (including a good dupe for Chanel Ilusion D’Ombre in Illusoire). Shown here is also the elusive Amber Rush shade, only available in the US for some unfathomable reason.

ETA: since drafting this post, I have discovered these have been discontinued (in the UK anyway, not sure about the USA). Not impressed, L’Oreal, not impressed.

These are all products I love and would very happily repurchase – what are yours? If you have anything you’d recommend, let me know in the comments section below!

Ps – apologies for the lack of lovely image with this post; we’re between houses and staying with family, so most of my beauty stash is currently in a box in the garage!


IMAG0746We stopped by Something…, a new addition to the Clarkston cafe scene, one recent Sunday for a bite of brunch and we were delighted to see our hopes for a new decent local were more than met.

It’s so refreshing to see something a bit different in Glasgow (not a burger in sight…) never mind out in the wilds of the southside. I can hold my hands up to say I did a genuine squal of delight when I saw the menu – sumac! Black beans! N’duja! Roasted cauliflower!

We ordered the Tolteca (chipotle salsa, black beans, avocado puree, and coriander on a fried tortilla with fried eggs) and the Stornoway (black pudding, caramelised onions, sourdough and the ubiquitous eggs). Both dishes were really well cooked, flavoursome and very decent potion sizes. Doggy bags would have been useful; as it was, we stuffed ourselves silly and pretty much rolled out of the door.

IMAG0748 IMAG0747
Staff were welcoming, friendly and service swift. If I was being really picky, a more comprehensive selection of some really good quality tea would be the cherry on the parfait, so to speak, but that is a minor quibble.

This will definitely become a frequent local haunt for us.

Budget buy: Seventeen Eye Eye Shadow

IMAG0778I had to panic buy (party later than day, in another city, had forgotten to bring any) make-up the other day, and picked up a couple of cheap bits from Seventeen.

I already have quite an ample make-up collection so I didn’t want to spend too much, so headed to this budget brand’s stand in Boots. I picked up the concealer, and one of their Eye Eye Shadows. Now, I recently heard Fleur rave about these in Lana’s UK/ USA make-up swap video, so I thought I’d give them a go. I picked up the shade Rose Quartz, which was a purse friendly £3.99. My oh my, these pack quite the punch for such an affordable item – super soft, buttery and very very pigmented.

IMAG0780This particular shade has a similar tone to MAC Satin Taupe, and By Terry Misty Rock (both products I own and love), with a taupey grey/lilac swatch. It does lean a little more pink on me, and it does have a fair amount of sparkle but I think this is still neutral enough you could wear it both day and evening.

The packaging also feels more sturdy and secure than you might expect from such a budget range, which is a pleasant surprise.

I have to be honest here – Seventeen is not a range I have taken much notice of, post initial teenage make-up buying years, but this really impressed me. They had a fairly reasonable range of other colours, which I’ll definitely be checking out soon.IMAG0779

In other news, I’ve just discovered that L’Oreal have discovered their Infallible Eyeshadows (in the UK at least), which I was really disappointed to hear – they were one of my all time top budget buys. The newer L’Oreal Mono Shadows are really nice as well, but the Infallibles just packed some a pigmentation punch, they just aren’t quite as good for me sadly.

Any other top budget picks? Share in the comments below!

Glasgow Restaurants – a Wish List

In spite of being a fairly regular eater-outer (as it were), there are still quite a few restaurants in Glasgow I’m keen to try. As an aide-memoir, I’ve written myself a list:

Bibi’s Cantina
Black Dove
Black Sparrow
Chop Chop (we have a voucher for here, so will be visiting soon)
Hutchesons (also have a voucher for here, I’ll be taking my Mum to afternoon tea)
Opium (a Chinese restaurant that doesn’t use MSG – huzzah!)
Porter and Rye
The Crafty Pig
The Finnieston
The Gannet
The Sisters (I was lucky enough to meet Jacqueline O’Donnell at a Miele dinner, and she was utterly lovely!)
Two Fat Ladies

Anywhere else unmissable, that I should add to the list?

Body Shop: Honeymania

The Honeymania range was originally launched a year and a half ago in January 2014 and at first, I steered clear as I assumed this would have a really sweet scent, but in actual fact it’s quite floral.

There are seven products in the line, and I’ve tried the Bath Melt, the Body Butter and the Shower Gel. There is also a hand cream, lip butter, soap and Eau de Toilette in the range. I have to admit, I do quite fancy the eau de toilette, it’s such a delicious scent (I have been known to pop in to the local branch and spray myself liberally with the tester.)

Each pot of the Body Butter has community fair trade honey from wildflowers, from the remote Sheka rainforest in the Ethiopian Highlands, a biodiversity hotspot that’s protected by UNESCO (those guys at The Body Shop can sure craft a press release that makes you feel like an ethical consumer!)

The best way I can describe it is ‘delicious’ (though I doubt the taste is in actual fact anything other than soapy.) The shower gel lathers really nicely (I am a fan of a good lather) and, being soap-free, it doesn’t strip the skin leaving it feeling dry.

The bath melt is also lovely – it really does scent your whole bathroom and you can ‘feel’ the product in your bathwater, as it makes it lovely and soft feeling (if that makes sense!)

I have been a bit lax in using the Body Butter (I’m not the world’s most dedicated body moisturiser even though I have no dry. Bad me.) but is as lovely as their other Body Butter which have to be on of their all time star products. Very thick and super moisturising I do feel this is one for the evenings as it does take some time to sink in.

Have you tried anything from the line – let me in the comments section below…


Oh oh – & Other Stuff have a sale on…

…and that always spells disaster for my bank account.

I love &OS – for those that don’t know, they are the middle child in the H&M family, with Cos at the top in terms of both out there aesthetic and price point. For me, the quality of &OS outstrips H&M, but their styles are on the more wearable end of the spectrum from Cos (especially for those of us sadly not built like beanpoles).

From bitter experience, I’ve discovered it’s far better to order everything you like from their sale straight away (it can always be returned…) rather than doddle, as things sell out really quickly (especially their leather handbags, which are always well discounted).

I ordered quite a few bits this time round – some work items, some accessories. As you can see, I’m still favouring the more muted colour palette, but I loved the splash of yellow in the bag. I’m really excited to receive my order through, as I’ve always been really impressed with the quality of things from &OS.

One thing they didn’t have, that I am on the look out for, is a dove grey trench – I think that would tie together so many things in my wardrobe (and wouldn’t it look beautiful against the splash of yellow?) Leave a comment below if you’ve seen anything like that out at the moment.

I will no doubt be back on, in case they add any new items. Addicted – moi?…

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Ingrid Nilsen (a.k.a . Miss Glamorazzi) Comes Out

So last week the You Tube world got a bit of a jolt, in the form of beauty guru Ingrid Nilsen coming out as gay.

Ingrid, one of You Tube’s top content providers, has (at the time of writing) 3,471,374 subscribers and 259,850,520 views, is a ‘Glambassador’ for Cover Girl and has been creating content on You Tube for nearly six years.

I think it’s so positive to see her smash the stereotype of what a lesbian is/ should/ must be – Ingrid is feminine with a passion for make-up, fashion and all things beauty. Plus, not only did she come out, she shared her personal journey leading her to this point with the audience – and I have no doubt this will impact in a hugely positive way on a lot of her viewers. Whether that is to give people a better understanding, or to give them hope and show they they are not alone, Ingrid’s video will surely have a positive impact on a great number of people.

It is interesting to note, however, that Ingrid’s video seems to be getting a far greater number of negative comments than similar content from her male counterparts (e.g. Joey Graceffa). Why is this? Is it because it’s a bolt out of the blue (as opposed to say Joey Graceffa, who had endured years of rumours before coming out)? Is it because a great chunk of the You Tube demographic are young girls, who find it easier to accept a gay boy than a lesbian girl? Or perhaps because viewers have seen Ingrid’s previous boyfriends feature on her channel, they struggle to adjust to the idea those relationships weren’t, in retrospect, all they had appeared?

When at university, I wrote my dissertation on the the representation of female sexuality on television (and that is a part of the reason I’m following this so closely) – although that was only six years ago, I think there is now enough here to develop a whole new thesis on the topic, and covering these relatively new forms of self-expression and content creation.

We can’t underestimate the fame and reach of the top You Tubers – brands harness the power of the top You Tubers to promote their brands, as these ‘ambassadors’ can pack far more of a punch that more traditional advertising channels. In a nutshell, viewers feel these content creators are their friends, entirely relatable in the way a conventional advert simply isn’t. When considering this context around Ingrid’s announcement, and the reach she has, it’s clear Ingrid is somewhat of a trailblazer.

I can only imagine how many people Ingrid will positively influence by coming out – all the girls following the same path, suppressing their true nature, seeking out love and acceptance from those not really able to provide true acceptance. Whether you are straight, gay, bi or something else entirely, I think everyone can take something positive about accepting your true self and, as Ingrid says, giving yourself your best chance, from her video.

You can watch Ingrid’s full video below – but the disclaimer is, you might want to grab a tissue before you watch…


Review: Aveeno Moisturising Creamy Oil with Coilloidal Oatmeal

It’s very appealing to stick to blogging the fun side of beauty – the glossy lipsticks, beautiful nail polishes, pretty blushes etc., but sometimes you need to turn to the less glamourous side of things, the things you need to do to give yourself a decent canvas to stick the fun stuff on top off.

I’ve always really struggled with dry skin on my legs, leaving them really itchy. I’ve been looking for something that was soothe them while adding moisture. So many body lotions are heavily scented and leave dry, scratched skin stinging and red.

I saw this Aveeno Creamy Oil on offer in Boots, and I was intrigued – anything with the words ‘oil’ or ‘gel’ in the title intrigue me, as I’m not a fan of anything overly creamy or heavy, in spite of having dry body skin.

Plus, Jennifer Aniston is the brand spokesperson, and I can’t deny – that did catch my attention. She’s always so put together and her skin always looks perfect.

The cream has a nice, light scent – sweet and with a hint of almond. It’s not overly scented, just enough of a little something to make it feel more indulgent. It sinks in quickly, and didn’t sting – so a winner from me in that respect, as so many products further irritate the dry, delegate skin on my legs.

The packaging is nice enough, but nothing special – although as mentioned at the top of the page, this is a more a necessary product that one you’d use to feel indulgent. I do however really like the pump – it makes application far less messy and more hygienic than sticking your fingers into a pot of cream.

My lovely other half suffers from patches of psoriasis and we’re currently testing this out to see what effect it has – oatmeal is commonly used in skin products to sooth eczema and psoriasis prone skin, so hopefully we’ll see some positive effects.

You can buy Aveeno Creamy Oil from Boots, and it’s currently included in their 3 for 2 Skincare offer, and is priced at £7.65.