24/01/2014

Luxury Life List

Although I may create umpteen different wish lists for different seasons, stores, even times of day, there are a few classic, seriously lust worthy pieces that I refuse to leave this planet without owning. Some people have bucket lists, and they want to sky dive and swim with dolphins bla bla bla, well I have a seriously materialistic luxury life list. But, hey, if I manage to earn enough and save enough to buy all of these things with my own money, then that's a feat that's not to be sniffed at. (Cf. Question!)

I thought I'd share my luxury lustings with you, as a form of January escapism. Because everybody's skint in January and its fun to fantasise!

My first item has been on my list for the longest time. A pair of Christian Louboutin black Pigalles in 120mm in patent (or maybe the kid leather.. I can't decide). Regardless, drool. I remember telling my mother at 12 that I'd buy a pair of Louboutins with my first paycheque after uni. Hahaha. How wrong I was.


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Classic black Prada tote is next on the list. Seriously chic and classic, I'd wear it forever. I love the Prada logo too, it's just gorgeous but subtle enough not to be obnoxious. Plus, the structured tote is a little bit of a 'power purse' don't you think? 


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I've wanted a piece of The Row before I'd even seen any of it. In case you didn't know, I'm somewhat of a dorky Olsen twin mega fan. #confession Anyway, don't think I'd be dumb enough to spend some serious cash on leather leggings just because they're part of the MKA empire. I do genuinely love them. As a kid I always put leather trousers on my letter to Santa. I don't think it was really a fashion statement, rather my parents were bikers and I wanted to emulate them. Anyway, my mum refused to buy any for me before I grew out of Gap's kid section (my choice destination for leather, apparently). Thankfully, I was a tall ass kid and managed to get a pair before I was even out of primary school. Ha.


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Diamonds are a girl's best friend. I have become more closely acquainted with this fact since working in a jewellers. I have also become much more familiar with the hefty price tag of diamonds and just how special they really are. So, on to the list go a massive pair of 2 carat brilliant diamond studs, 1 carat for each ear. Ideally, they'd also be D in colour and Internally Flawless too, but we'll see how things go.



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If you have £10,500 kicking around for a pair of diamond earrings, you can direct yourself here.

Burberry trench coat. Classic. Timeless. Beautiful. I love how good trench coats look with everything. From jeans and t-shirts to workwear to ball gowns to your Agent Provocateur knickers à la RHW. Perfect.


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I fell in love with watchmaker Breguet when I was asked to write a piece on them for the ROX blog. So much history and watchmaking excellence, they're made timepieces for Marie Antoinette, Napoléon Bonaparte, Churchill, Tsars of Russia and many other seriously important (and rich) people. They made the first woman's wristwatch, la Reine de Naples, for (surprisingly) the Queen of Naples, back in 1810. And I want it. Specifically, the moonphase version. Although I have absolutely no need to know whether it's a full moon or a half moon, I think it's an absolutely beautiful complication. Just look at his wee face!

This retails at about €30,000 (I think) though, so yeah...

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Last but not least, and I know I don't even have to write anything about this one, because well... it's Chanel. 

Chanel 2.55 in the caviar leather so I could wear it to death.


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And I'd probably have to stop myself from doing exactly what Alexa's doing to it, every single time I took it out for a spin. Dreamy.


What do you think of my luxury life list? Should I forgo all these beautiful items and, I don't know, maybe buy a house instead?

What's in your dream wardrobe?

09/01/2014

New Year's Resolutions 2014

This time last year, I wrote a blog post all about my New Year's Resolutions for 2013. So I thought, a year on, I'd go back and have a look at that blog post and see if I kept any of my resolutions, whilst also filling you in on my resolutions for this year.

As with last year's post, I'll pop in a few picture highlights from 2013 along the way.

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January: a new hair colour and cheeky cocktails in Glasgow with one of the bestest besties

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February: the best Valentines day in Dundee with Mexican food with my favourite ladies. 

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March: Angharad came to visit and we went to Edinburgh where we drank cocktails out of volcanoes.

Fitness

Last Year: "In 2012 I really got into running and I want to continue that and build on it. Unfortunately I do most of it on a treadmill, which isn't the most beneficial as you don't get the benefits of being out and about in the fresh air. So I definitely want to stop being a little wuss and incorporate more outdoor runs into my routine. I also really want to get my speed down to 4 minute kilometres and to do one of the Race for Life runs or something similar, and I want to start getting into trail and hill running. Running aside, I want to do more yoga, get my body fat percentage down to about 15% and rock some killer abs in time for bikini season!"

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April: I got much much much closer to these two reprobates than ever before, and we had many a wild night in Glasgow staying out until the next day at parties with views like this:

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Well. I did approximately none of that. I got hammered by a few injuries in early 2013 and that was followed by my final exams at university and writing one of my dissertations, so running and fitness did take a backseat, and then once you're out of the habit, it can be hard to get back into it properly. So, I absolutely did not get my body fat percentage down to 15%, on the contrary I think it's gone up by a couple of points. As for those killer abs, well, they're more like killer flabs

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May: St Andrews traditional May Dip. We stayed up until 4am on the beach and then ran into the freezing cold North Sea at sunrise.

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I've also not got into trail and hill running at all, but I have done more yoga. Specifically hot yoga which I absolutely love. And I tried my hand at aerial yoga too, which is just as fun as it sounds! I'm thinking of doing another course in that early this year. If you're in the Edinburgh area you can try it at Get Down Dog - see if you can spot me in the gallery ;) ! Otherwise I've been incorporating more free weights into my gym routine, specifically the barbell for squats, which for some reason beforehand I was always too intimidated to try. So that's an improvement.

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Aerial yoga!

2014: For 2014, I really want to get back into my running and maybe even achieve those speed goals I had set for myself last year. It would also be really nice to finally achieve my ultimate goal weight this year, or at least get substantially closer to it. I'd like to do more yoga too, and maybe even do a yoga retreat somewhere. I'm also going to start going to ballet classes, as I did it when I was growing up and really enjoyed it, and there's a dance school just round the corner from me. So why not?

Academic


Last Year: "As much as I do work hard at my studies, I could still do more.  It's difficult because there's a part of my course that I really dislike, but I've only got another 12 weeks to go and then it's over forever. (Yikes!) I think I can tough it out until then! I also really need to be more vigilant with checking my finished work and redrafting - I've made far too many mistakes in the past that could have been avoided had I read through my work. Rookie mistake."

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Another St Andrews tradition - after finishing your last ever exam, your friends soak you with FREEZING cold water!

 I worked my ass off. I graduated with a 2:1 MA (Hons) in French and German. I think I still could've done better in some individual elements, but it's over now. And I bloody well did it! Woohoo!

2014: Although I'm no longer in education, I would like to get back on the learning bandwagon this year. I've started teaching myself Spanish on my iPad and I had a passing fancy to take up some art classes, so maybe I'll look into that too.

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Graduation day.


Money 


Last Year: "I really, really need to get my spending in check, and to stop thinking that spending money in Primark or on cheap things is okay because you get much more bang for your buck. It's still money I don't have! I should also give up my Starbucks habit, or at least reign it in a little... (or a latte! ha!) I am a poor student, I should live like one."

I am no longer a poor student. Now I am just poor, and fond of living above my means. Fail.

2014: Save some goddamn money!

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May: Grad Ball!

  Friends

Last Year: "As we get older, my group of friends is becoming ever more scattered about the country, even the globe. I want to put in more effort to both my close to home friends and my far flung friendships, and make a more conscious effort to stay in touch. There is nothing worse than realising that you have drifted so far from someone you used to consider a close friend."

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June: To celebrate surviving St Andrews, we took a little holiday to Portugal.

After graduation, my friends are now even more scattered about the globe than they were previously. It is hard to keep in touch, and I am particularly bad at taking an awfully long time to reply to text messages, but I do get there in the end. So for 2014 I'd like to try a little harder, and hopefully get round to having a few reunions here and there! Road-trip!

Blog

Last Year: "titles are scary has been neglected these past few months, and I desperately want to fix that. I'm not always happy with my blog, and sometimes feel that I post things for the sake of posting, or because I feel like that's what I should be posting. When you're not passionate about something it's hard to generate the motivation to actually do it, so I think that's why I've barely posted recently. In 2013, I want to post about things that I really want to write about, that I feel are worth publishing and to post when I want to. Hopefully that will result in posts that I like, and that you'll like too."


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Lagos.

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I think titles are scary was neglected even more in 2013. However, I do feel I have been posting less about things I think I should be posting, and more about things I feel like posting. I've enjoyed writing about books I've read and my opinions on things that matter to me, and although I haven't written anything like that since August, I'm not going to force myself to do so. I blog about what I want, when I want. It's my blog. It's purely a hobby. As much as I would love thousands of followers and to be making money off of it, this way, there's no pressure, and I can do as I wish.

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More Portugal - on the boat trip!

2014: I'd like to post more frequently and really get back into the blogging world as much as I was in 2011/12. I'd really like to post at least once a week. At one point I posted every other day (!) but as I'm out the habit, I'm not going to aim for that straight away at least. I'm also constantly tempted by the world of YouTube, as I do spend a lot of my time watching beauty videos and vlogs, but I don't have a good enough camera and recording equipment to make decent videos, so I think I'll have to leave that for a while still. Also, it's flipping scary!

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Also in June, I took a trip to Füssen and Munich in Bavaria with my parents. So beautiful!

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Food

Last Year: "I am a terrible cook. Well, I'm not terrible, I can do it, it's just that I'm lazy. Far too often I reach for the ready meals at the supermarket, or I end up snacking on rubbish throughout the day and not sitting down to a proper healthy meal, and I notice the effects this has on almost everything. My energy levels suffer, my skin suffers, stress levels go up, sleeping patterns go out the window and my bank balance just dwindles. It's terrible. I don't know why I do it. Especially when I'm putting so much effort into fitness and running and stuff; how am I supposed to achieve all my running goals when I'm not fuelling my body properly? So this year I'm determined to cook more from scratch, and make nice healthy, nutritious and satisfying meals. "

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Emily (centre) was producing a play at the Edinburgh fringe, so we went up to watch it and enjoy the fringey festivities!

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Erm... nothing has changed. I still do not cook. Now, I'm worse, if anything. I get takeaway an awful lot. In fact, I'm sure if I kept a food diary, I would be absolutely horrified with myself. I've lived in my current flat for about 4 months now, and have cooked about three times. On each occasion, it was only because I had friends round for dinner. I basically live off coffee, soup and baked potatoes. 

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September: My mumma and I took a little trip to Malaga for the weekend.

2014: I suppose this has to change. Just like last year's resolution, I'll aim to cook more from scratch, and to make nice, healthy, nutritious and satisfying meals. And get less takeout. Maybe...

Self

Last Year: "On a superficial level, I want to finally settle on a hair colour that I like and that suits me and stick to it, I want to sort my eyebrows out (!) and refine my make-up application skills, so I look less like a cake, and more like a human being. But on a deeper level, I just want to relax. I have always been a fairly anxious person, but over the past couple of years that's kind of got a little out of hand. Near the close of 2012 I finally took some positive steps to get rid of my stresses and I want to continue this all through 2013 and forever more. I need to stop over-thinking, and just do. 2013 will be my year of doing, of risk-taking, of laughing, of loving, of just plain old living."

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September: I jumped on a plane to Dublin to visit a man I'd known for two minutes. I haven't seen him since, but we had a lovely weekend and Dublin is bloody beautiful!


Well 2013. A lot happened to me in 2013. First of all, let's get the superficial stuff out the way. I did sort out my eyebrows quite a bit - mostly thanks to the Anastasia brow kit (genius!) but also a trip to get threaded, and I finally, actually bought a pair of tweezers. Yes, you read that right. I did not own tweezers prior to 2013. As for my hair, well it's alright. I'm quite happy with it. Sometimes I think I'd like to go blonder, but I think I'll keep it this colour for a while.

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October: I finally went to Kentucky to visit my friend Katie! It was amazing, can't wait to go back!

On that deeper level, I think I've done pretty well. Graduating from university in June did wonders for my stress levels. Pretty much as soon as I got my results a wave of relief swept over me and I felt a 20 tonne weight lift from my shoulders. As much as I did enjoy university, I'm much happier now that I've left. I do miss it a little, but the immense pressure I felt as a student just took its toll on me. It's kind of difficult to say this, but for the most part I'm glad it's over. Phew. 

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September: I moved to Edinburgh!
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Got a new job! We have SOME fun. Just a little bit....

Otherwise, I think I'm doing pretty well at "plain old living." After university, I moved home and was kind of like "now what?" I thought I'd go travelling. I got myself a job for during the grape harvest in France, then I was going to go volunteer at a yoga retreat and organic farm for a few weeks, and then I thought I'd go to Thailand and work at an elephant orphanage. None of that happened. But instead, I thought I'd move to Edinburgh. Within about three weeks of initially deciding I'd move to Edinburgh, I'd got myself two jobs, a beautiful flat and found myself having a free three course meal and glasses upon glasses of wine at a posh restaurant with my new work friends after we'd hosted an event for the company. Mental. Since then, I've quit one of the jobs because I wasn't enjoying it and life is just too damn short to do things you don't enjoy. But I've taken on freelance work as a translator and editor and I'm really enjoying that. It's stressful at times as there's neat deadlines, but I am enjoying using my languages. And it's nice working from home too. 

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My parents got a puppy! Meet Bunty :)

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I realised I was living with some great people :)

And for 2014? I'd like to make more impulse decisions, dance more, laugh more, travel much much much more, learn to like olives and drink more gin. I'm 23. I'll be serious when I'm old. Or, you know, maybe never.

To summarise this extremely long blog post, I think in comparing my resolutions last year and my resolutions for this year, you can tell that I'm in a much better place. I care less, not in a bad way, I just mean that I'm less uptight and less high-strung. I'm happy to see what comes my way and deal with it then. I don't feel the need to plan out every inch of the coming year and set myself a whole host of unachievable goals. My life isn't perfect, and I'm certainly not perfect. But you know, I'm doing alright. 

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December: My birthday featured some ridiculously cool cocktails at my new favourite bar.

To steal Miss Rosie Londoner's quote of the year, "You have exactly one life in which to do everything you’ll ever do. Act accordingly."

I think that's a bloody awesome way to think of life. 

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Hogmanay: Celebrated 2014's arrival at the Edinburgh street party.

What have you got planned for 2014?

P.S. I'd also like to take more pictures. 

That's me done now, I promise.


P.P.S. As for that juice cleanse... well I failed. But I'm going to give it another go soon and then I'll give you a proper update! I managed until about 10pm on day 1 (by which point i'd apparently lost 3lbs, hmm) and then I caved and got KFC. Haha. Oops.

05/01/2014

Juicing January: DIY Juice Cleanse for the cheap and lazy.

I've always wanted to do a juice cleanse.

I once bought one of Jason Vale's juicing books only to be put off by the amount of money to be spent on a juicer, a smoothie maker and all the fresh fruit and vegetables, not to mention the amount of effort and time it would take to actually juice all the fruit.

What can I say? I'm far too busy to spend my time doing that lazy.

So I looked at companies that provide you with juices, all nicely packaged and labeled and delivered to your door. But they're ridiculously expensive!

And I have too shallow a bank account and far too much sense to spend about £200 on five days' worth of "food."

No, thank you.

So I've decided to DIY it. And what better time to start juicing than in January?

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Let's cut the crap. I'll be honest with you. I am not doing a juice cleanse for the 'detoxifying,' 'rebooting,' 'cleansing' effects. I am, like most people, I suspect, doing it for the weight loss. You might wonder why I don't just refuse to eat for a few days, and I could I suppose - it would most likely have the same effect overall, but having some semblance of 'regime' to follow makes it seem a) less drastic and crazy and b) more achievable.

Having looked at various companies and what each day entails, I've come up with the following.


DAY 1 - Green Juice

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Most juice cleanses start off with a 'green' drink so I'm going to do the same. For this I just bought four of those delicious Naked Green Machines. I like them anyway so it's not going to be difficult for me to drink them, plus, I'm sold by all the stuff they promise they have inside (wheat grass, spirulina, blue green algae etc). As you can see, Day 1 has already started. I'm trying my best to sip slowly but this one's so delicious it's hard not to gulp it down!

DAY 2 - Spicy Lemonade

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Lots of juice cleanses feature some sort of lemonade drink. Based presumably on the Master Cleanse, these are predominantly lemon juice with a kick of cayenne pepper. For this, I've bought two litre bottles of old fashioned lemonade, which I will mix with two teaspoons of cayenne pepper for each 500ml drink. This does contain sugar, so it's not ideal, but it's not-from-concentrate and at least it doesn't contain sweeteners. I should probably just buy some lemons and juice them, but this is a juice cleanse for the lazy. And I can't be bothered.

DAY 3 - Beetroot Juice

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Urgh. I am not looking forward to this. I really dislike beetroot. This one at least is tempered a little by some added apple juice. Again, I just bought some not-from-concentrate beetroot juice from my local store, which probably isn't ideal because of the added sugar, but it's still beetroot juice! Come on! I'm hoping I'll be able to get through Day 3 with the knowledge that it's the last day of the cleanse. Let's see if I do have willpower.

On top of the juice I'm going to allow myself chocolate as much herbal tea as I want, and the odd black coffee if I'm feeling particularly sluggish. I'm also going to be drinking a 'slimatee' cleansing tea before bed every night.

Juices and cayenne pepper combined, I spent a total of £18. That's less than a tenth of some of the pre-prepared juice cleanses. I imagine I could've probably spent even less too, had I not bought the Naked juices at Starbucks (oops), but I was in there anyway getting myself a vanilla spice latte so I just picked them up whilst queuing.

I'm just going to do a 3 day cleanse this time, but if it goes well, I may do one next month for 5 days. We'll see how it goes. Of course I'll let you know how I get on with this one. So just on the off chance that you're actually thinking of following in my footsteps, I'd hold off for a few days until I come back with the review :)

Would you ever do a juice cleanse?

What do you think of my DIY version?

Have I gone completely insane?