Sunday Summary #105

29.12.13

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1.Christmas jumper 2.Tree 3.Roast sirloin festive dinner 4.Twinkle twinkle 5.Dusk 6.Lush Sex Bomb bath bomb

Merry belated Christmas! I hope you've all enjoyed stuffing your little faces and snoozing in front of the TV this week, I know I have. I've barely even switched my laptop on this week and it has been great to just have a bit of a break and not feel guilty for doing nothing all day. I'm going to remain in "holiday mode" until the first week in January, so I'm taking the opportunity to catch up on sleep, read lots of books, watch as many films as possible and spend some time with the family. I'm heading back down to Edinburgh tomorrow for Hogmanay, but we've got another big family lunch on today so I'm going to fill up on festive food while I still can!

I always seem to go through phases of binge-reading; I won't read anything for months then during the holidays I'll read five or six books all in one go. I'm currently half way through book number three, no doubt I'll make a start on number four during tomorrow's train journey south! You can keep up to date with what I'm reading over on Goodreads. Any recommendations for me? Even though I'm definitely still an advocate of "proper" books, I must admit that being able to download them instantly to my Kindle is pretty handy - and cheap! I've just downloaded Donna Tartt's newest book, The Goldfinch, for only £1.99. Bargain.

I've also been taking advantage of the bath here to use up all my Lush goodies that I've been hoarding for the past few months. I'm not really a bath kinda person so I don't really miss not having one in my flat, but whilst I was at home I thought I might as well - and, you know, baths ain't half bad sometimes. I had a bath with the Star Light, Star Bright bath melt last night and not only did it smell amazing and leave my skin super soft, I'm still covered in glitter this morning!

Hope you all had a great Christmas, and I'll see you in 2014!

How was your week?

Gillian x

Recipe: Toffee Apple Mulled Cider

24.12.13

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It's Christmas Eveeeeee! I hope you're all well and truly in the Christmas spirit, but if you need a little extra festivity in your life this afternoon, why not make yourself a nice wee cup of mulled cider? Whilst I won't say no to a glass of mulled wine, I'm not a huge fan of red wine so it's not my favourite drink ever - mulled cider, on the other hand, is pretty much perfect.

You Will Need (Serves 4)
1 litre cider
2x 25ml Sourz Toffee Apple*
1 cinnamon stick
6-7 cloves
1 apple
2 clementines
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
Apple juice (optional)

Method
1. Add the cider and Sourz Toffee Apple to a pan along with the cinnamon stick, cloves and brown sugar. Heat the mixture over a medium heat.
2. Slice the apple and clementines and add to the pan. Make sure to add in any juice that escapes, and don't worry about peeling or de-seeding the fruit. Just chuck it all in!
3. Continue to heat the mixture over a medium heat for at least 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let it simmer very gently but don't let it boil.
4. After 15-20 minutes the mixture should be warmed through and infused with the fruit and spices. You can serve it now, or keep it warm over a very low heat to let the mulling continue.
5. If you want the mixture to go a bit further, or if you find it too strong, you can add in a little bit of apple juice too.
6. Once ready to serve, decant into a jug and pour into glasses. You can strain the mixture if you want, but I think it's better left as it is - just be careful not to swallow any of the cloves whole!

And there you have it, an easy, festive drink to keep your tummy cosy during the holidays. If you haven't got any Sourz Toffee Apple to hand, you can substitute it for your favourite sweet liqueur or a wee splash of dark rum. If you find it's not sweet enough, just add in a little extra sugar and feel free to chuck in whichever spices you have in your cupboard - ginger, nutmeg and star anise would also work well. Serve it along with some homemade shortbread and you can't go wrong!

Gillian x

Sunday Summary #104

22.12.13

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1.New onesie from BHS 2.Friday night dancing

I thought I'd had a pretty busy week, but when I sat down to write this post I discovered that I've actually hardly done anything at all. Only two Instagram photos this week, whaaaat! I'm going home for Christmas tomorrow so I've been attempting to tidy the flat to leave it in a decent state for when I come back. So far, though, all I've really managed to clean is the bathroom so it looks like I'll have a fun afternoon of tidying and scrubbing ahead of me. I'll also need to pack for going home - that shouldn't take long though as 90% of what I'm taking will be pyjamas!

On Friday evening I had a brief stop at the Christmas Market for some mulled cider (let me tell you, bucketing rain plus gale force winds does not make for a fun market experience) before retreating back to the flat with Laura and Iona. After drying off and having a cheeky little takeaway, we got ourselves ready to head round to Lianne's for her engagement party. We had a great night sipping mulled wine and sneakily trying to eat as much of the party food as possible. Although Iona sadly had to go home early to be up for work the next day, the rest of us headed out to dance the night away, cheesy tunes, light up dancefloor and all. Thanks to Lianne for a great night, and huuuuge congratulations to you and Robin!

After Friday night's antics, I spent most of Saturday snuggled up in bed with my best pal Netflix. I had planned on having a productive weekend but, let's be honest, crisp sandwiches in bed and endless episodes of How I Met Your Mother are much preferable to doing chores!

What have you been up to this week?

Gillian x

Top 5: Christmas Films

21.12.13

Top 5 Christmas Films
Top 5 Christmas Films
One thing I really love about Christmas is the fact that there are so many films on TV. I could quite happily spend the entire holidays curled up on the sofa, watching back to back films, only taking breaks for roast potatoes and mulled wine. I can't wait to go home next week and scour the Radio Times to work out my festive viewing schedule, but for now here are my top five favourite Christmas films.

1. Elf (2003)
Ah, Elf. A modern classic. Although, it was released 10 years ago, whaaaat! Buddy (Will Ferrell) has lived as an elf at the North Pole his whole life, but decides to journey to New York City in search of his father and his true identity. Buddy's gleeful, child-like outlook on life helps to spread Christmas cheer amongst his new pals and ladyfriend (Zooey Deschanel) but cynical Walter (James Caan), Buddy's real father, takes a bit more convincing. Elf is full of great quotable one-liners and is funny and sweet without being a typical Christmas movie cheesefest.

2. Serendipity (2001)
Although not perhaps a film you'd automatically class as a "Christmas film", Serendipity is set at Christmas time and always makes me feel festive. Johnathan (John Cusack) and Sara (Kate Beckinsale) have a chance meeting whilst doing some last minute shopping on Christmas Eve. They fall for each other, but both are already in relationships, so they decide to leave it up to fate and part ways. Years letter, they're both engaged but Johnathan isn't quite ready to give up on fate yet and tries to track down Sara again with the help of best man (Jeremy Piven). You can probably guess what happens, but it's still pretty lovely anyway. That scene on the ice rink at the end is perrrrrf.

3. Home Alone 2 (1992)
I've got a confession to make. I never watched Home Alone when I was little. I only saw it (and Home Alone 2) for the first time about 4 or 5 years ago. But it seems I was missing out all these years, as Home Alone is just as good as everyone says it is. Of the first two films, I think I might slightly prefer the second one which is set in New York. Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) finds himself abandoned at Christmas once again (nice going, parents) but this time he's living it up in a fancy New York hotel. Tim Curry as the concierge is pretty brilliant, and of course the baddies from the original film make a return. A classic early 90s Christmas comedy, if you haven't seen this already do it now!

4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
I used to love Dr Seuss when I was wee, and The Grinch was one of my favourite stories, so I was pretty excited to discover they were making a film version of it back in 2000. The Grinch still remains one of my favourites and I watch it pretty much every year thanks to ITV2. The Grinch (Jim Carrey) is a miserly creature who hates Christmas and plans to steal it away from the Whos, residents of the nearby Whoville which the Grinch hates almost as much as Christmas. Jim Carrey is typically Jim Carrey-like in the best possible way and the film is funny and, by the end, there's plenty of Christmas spirit around. I also think the Grinch might be my spirit animal.

5. Die Hard (1988)
Not the cheeriest of festive films, but Die Hard is certainly one of my favourites. I think Die Hard: With a Vengeance is my favourite of the franchise, but at Christmas you can't beat the original one! John McClane (Bruce Willis) has just arrived in Los Angeles to spend Christmas with his estranged wife, but the plans quickly change when she is taken hostage by terrorist Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) during her office Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza. The film is worth watching for Alan Rickman's hilarious German accent alone, but it's also got plenty of action, comedy, and of course that famous one-liner. I'm not usually a huge action film fan, but I PURE LOVE Die Hard, it's the best. Watch it now!

What are your favourite Christmas films?

Gillian x

Mixtape: December

19.12.13


December Mixtape · via Spotify

With less than a week to go until Christmas, I thought it was about high time I got round to posting December's mixtape which features rather a lot of festive tunes. It's a bit of a mix this year, with some cheesy favourites (laaaast Christmas, I gave you my heeaaaart), some pretty amazing novelty songs (Cheap Trick swapping the lyrics to I Want You to Want Me so it's about Christmas, YES PLEASE), some little indie numbers (She & Him and Sufjan Stevens have got you covered in this category) and a couple of covers (I think I love you, Stevie Nicks).

I've also included Auld Lang Syne this month - Hogmanay still counts as December right? My favourite version of this song by Mairi Campbell and Dave Francis isn't available on Spotify, booo (but you can listen to it on Youtube here), although I do really like this one by The Sorries as well. They're both sung to the original folk song tune which Robert Burns had written the lyrics for, not the more popular arrangement which is much more well-known today. I could tell you aaaaalllll about this but I shall restrain myself, Scottish Ethnology I knew you'd be useful for something one day!

Cheap Trick · I Want You For Christmas
Wham! · Last Christmas
The Smashing Pumpkins · Christmastime
Pretenders · 2000 Miles
She & Him · Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree
Eurythmics · Winter Wonderland
Elton John · Step Into Christmas
Stevie Nicks · Silent Night
Sufjan Stevens · Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
The Sorrie · Auld Lang Syne
Listen to "December" here.

What are your favourite Christmas songs?

Gillian x

Scottish Ballet's Hansel & Gretel

17.12.13

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Photos 1, 2 and 9 courtesy of Scottish Ballet

I've been meaning to go and see one of Scottish Ballet's Christmas productions for years, but never seem to have quite got round to it. This year, however, the lovely Ballet ladies invited me along to a special bloggers event so I gladly took them up on their offer of afternoon tea at Blythswood Square followed by a matinee performance of this year's ballet, Hansel & Gretel. I used to go to the ballet with my granny when I was wee, so I was really looking forward to it - and Hansel & Gretel managed to successfully deliver a healthy dose of childlike wonderment.

The ballet tells the familiar story of Hansel and Gretel, a brother and sister duo who are lured into a gingerbread house by a wicked witch who just happens to have a soft spot for cooking and eating children. As the story is such a well known one, it's really easy to follow what's happening during the performance, even if you get distracted by the sparkly costumes, beautiful sets and flawless dancing. I think the costumes were my favourite part, I loved the '50s style to everything - the ravens in a T Birds-esque gang, the mum's glittering Grace Kelly inspired ballgown, the witch's hornrimmed spectacles and tulle skirts. I loved the scenes set in the woods with the twinkling stars in the background and the witch making her entrance perched on top of a crescent moon - all very spooky and dreamy and just my kinda thing. The performance lasted just under two hours but it seemed to be over in a flash, the dancers managed to hold my attention throughout and the whole performance was beautifully enchanting.

Before heading along the the ballet at the Theatre Royal Glasgow, we were treated to some cocktails and afternoon tea at Blythswood Square, as well as a little Q&A with a couple of cast members and a behind-the-scenes look at some of the costumes. Blythswood Square have created a special Hansel & Gretel themed afternoon tea in honour of Scottish Ballet's production, and it's available until the 31st January. We tucked into an array of sandwiches, followed by lots of sweet treats including popping candy carrot cake, gingerbread men, raspberry macaroons, mini caramel eclairs, marshmallow lollipops and, of course, some scones. I also loved the Woodcutter's Wife cocktail which was inspired by the fairytale, it combined gin, lemon juice, lemon curd, ginger syrup and candied peach puree to create a lovely sweet, but not sickly, festive drink.

I really enjoyed the performance of Hansel & Gretel and would definitely recommend going to see it. It was nice to do something a little bit different, I really need to make the effort to go to the theatre more often! Scottish Ballet will be touring over the festive period, so you can catch Hansel & Gretel in the following places:

Theatre Royal, Glasgow · Tue 10th - Sat 28th December 2013
Festival Theatre, Edinburgh · Wed 8th - Sat 11th January 2014
His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen · Wed 15th - Sat January 2014
Eden Court, Inverness · Wed 22nd - Sat 25th January 2014
Theatre Royal, Newcastle · Wed 29th January - Sat 1st February 2014
Grand Opera House, Belfast · Wed 5th February - Sat 8th February

If you fancy getting an exclusive preview of the ballet, Scottish Ballet are doing a live behind the scenes webcast at 4.30pm tomorrow (Wednesday 18th). You can watch the dancers warming up, see the props up close and hear creator Christopher Hampson answer some questions about Hansel & Gretel - tune in here!

Have you been to see any Scottish Ballet productions?

Gillian x

Sunday Summary #103

15.12.13

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1.Festive Edinburgh lights 2.Making my bedroom all Christmassy 3.Makeup for the Bloggers Christmas Party 4.At the Christmas market 5.Woodcutter's Wife cocktail 6.Afternoon tea at the Blythswood 7.Hansel and Gretel with Scottish Ballet

This week has been considerably busier than last week, and it has mostly been filled with Christmassy things which is always good. I'm quite glad to be relaxing in my cosy festivified (?) bed today, especially as the weather outside is so rubbish. I ordered the duvet set from Ebay recently, and yesterday on my way home I stopped off in Primark pick up a reindeer cushion and some red heart-shaped fairy lights to go with it. I am completely ready for hibernation now!

On Tuesday I went through to Glasgow for the Bloggers Christmas Party. I failed to take any photos whilst I was there, but have a look at Paula's post for all the info and some photos of everyone. There was a raffle held in aid of The Rucksack Project, and I managed to win two prizes which was very unlike me! I got my hands on a big wonderful sparkly Lush gift set which is full of festive shower gels, soaps, bath bombs and other goodies. I haven't got a bath in my flat, so I'll definitely be taking some of the bath things with me when I go home to my parents' house for Christmas! I also won some Structure hair products, and partook in a little bit of Secret Santa-ing on the night too. Oh, and if you want to see how I did my makeup for the night, I filmed a little Get Ready With Me video!

More festive fun was had on Thursday evening when I headed along to the Edinburgh Christmas Market with Laura, Terri and Jenn. This was my first trip there this year so I was pretty excited, and we spent the evening scoffing food, sipping mulled cider and wandering round the stalls. The market is SO big this year, I think I could quite easily spend all day there! If you fancy seeing what we got up to, there's a Christmas Market Vlog over on my Youtube channel. I'm so keen for Youtubing at the moment so hopefully I'll keep it up this time - but videos take sooo much longer to film, edit and upload than blog posts do and I am super lazy, so we'll see!

And finally for my week of Christmas cheer, I went to see Scottish Ballet's Christmas production of Hansel and Gretel on Saturday at the Theatre Royal through in Glasgow. I'll be doing a full post soon so won't give too much away, but the ballet was fantastic - and I also enjoyed the pre-ballet cocktails and Hansel and Gretel themed afternoon tea courtesy of the Blythswood Square Hotel. A nice wee candy cane cocktail at 11am is a pretty great start to the day, I must say!

What have you been up to this week?

Gillian x

Friday Favourites #4: Christmas Edition

13.12.13



I am well and truly in the Christmas spirit now, mostly thanks to all the festive blog posts I've been reading recently. Here are a couple of my favourites from the last week or so...

1. Sarah has put together the gift guide to end all gift guides, aptly named The Mother of All Gift Guides. There are around 130 gifts ranging from little stocking fillers to designer purses and everything in between - you certainly won't be stuck for ideas! I particularly love the Alphabet Bags Wash Bag and Accessorize Check Scarf. Plus there are lots of discount codes at the bottom of the post to help your pennies stretch a little bit further!

2. If you're in need of some festive background music whilst you're wrapping presents or writing cards, Laura's Christmas Mixtape is just the ticket. It's got a few of my very favourite festive tunes on it, including The Christmas Song by The Raveonettes, Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses and 2000 Miles by the Pretenders. I'll be putting up my own December Mixtape in the next week or so, but in the meantime you can have a listen to last year's one too!

3. Cathryn's DIY Gingerbread Wreath looks good enough to eat...oh wait, it is! I love the idea of making something like this for a Christmas party or gathering, it would act as both a decoration and something to snack on. The recipe seems really simple too, will definitely be trying this out the next time I'm having a Christmassy get-together!

4. I'm always a fan of making gifts, but if you haven't got time to get crafty yourself this year, Erin has put together a list of Handmade Christmas Gifts. I loooove the Book Scarves from Storiarts on Etsy, hint hint!

5. Alex's post on Christmas Decoration Inspiration is making me want to decorate my Christmas tree all over again. I've bought quite a few new decorations for the tree this year - hopefully it looks charmingly mismatched rather than a total mess! Alfie the Monkey from Paperchase is calling out to me... plus he's part of the Paperchase 3 for 2 offer, would be rude not to!

Have you got any great festive blog posts to share?

Gillian x

Today's Makeup #4: Christmas Party

11.12.13

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Yesterday I headed through to Glasgow for a wee bloggers Christmas party, so I decided to go a little more festive than usual with my makeup. The words "Christmas party" just scream gold glitter and red lips to me, so that's exactly what I went for. I've fiiiiinally got round to starting up my Youtube channel again so I thought I'd film a get ready with me video to go along with this look. You can subscribe here if you haven't already, and do let me know if there's anything you'd like me to do a video about!

Anyway, back to the makeup, I started off with a little bit of Vita Liberata Capture the Light* in the shade Buttermilk; it's a multi-purpose highlighter that can be used all over the face and body, but I like to use it to give my skin a nice all-over glow before I apply foundation. I used my all time favourite Estee Lauder Double Wear Light in Shade 1 which provides the perfect amount of coverage and lasts all night. As both the lips and eyes are quite bold, I wanted my skin to be looking perfect so I used two different concealers - one for brightening and one for covering up. I only bought the Collection Illuminating Touch Concealer recently but I really like it, it does a great job of brightening up my whole under-eye area. Then when it comes to covering up blemishes, I've opted for the NARS Creamy Concealer in the shade Vanilla. This is another recent purchase but I'm not quite sure if I like it or not, some days it seems to do its job really well and other days it just looks heavy and obvious. I'll keep using it to see how it goes, but at £21 a pop I was really hoping it would be a lot more amazing.

I wanted my brows to look defined but still natural, so I used my new favourite product, the Anastasia Brow Wiz in Brunette. This will be a definite repurchase, I love this product! It makes doing your brows so quick and easy, and you can get them looking really sharp and defined without overloading on product. My only complaint is that Brunette (the second darkest shade) is a smiiiiidge too light for me, but I'm not sure whether Ebony might be too black - not being able to test it out in a shop is a little bit annoying! To finish off my base makeup, I went for some subtle rosy cheeks with the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Frisky. My pal Jenn brought me this back from America earlier this year and I've used it almost non-stop ever since, it's beauuutiful. Frisky is the perfect natural blush shade, rosy pink with a tiny hint of shimmer, and it's really long-lasting too. If you have the chance to get your hands on one of these cult blushes, I'd definitely recommend it!

And finally, on to the eyes and lips. I've gone for my favourite classic cat-eye, but Christmasified it a little bit with a slick of gold glittery eyeliner in the shape of Urban Decay's Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner in the shade Baked. I love love love this product as the glitter is densely packed so you don't have to spend ages trying to get it too show up in a solid line, and even though it's super glittery it's not actually too much trouble to remove at the end of the night. As for lips, there could only be one choice: MAC Russian Red. Usually I like my lip products a bit more low-key and hassle free, but you can't have a Christmas party without bold red lips, can you? Russian Red is the perfect deep red shade, and I've used a little bit of Barry M lipliner to help it stay in place too.

What's your favourite kind of festive makeup?

Gillian x

How To: DIY Paper Snowflake Garland

9.12.13

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I love paper crafts. LOVE LOVE LOVE. Every year I make some paper snowflakes as part of my Christmas decorations, and it amazes me how many of my friends and people I know don't have a clue how to make them. What did you do with your childhoods?! Usually I just blu-tack my snowflakes to the windows, but this year I did something a little bit different so I thought I'd share a little DIY of how to make paper snowflake garlands. These ones are actually hung up over the windows in the living room (see this Instagram snap) but it was impossible to photograph them there, so they've temporarily relocated to the bedroom wall - I quite like them here too though, might have to make some more!

You Will Need:
White paper (or any colour)
Scissors
Pencil
White thread
Sellotape

How To:
If you're a beginner, it's probably slightly easier to start off with a circular shape (however this creates 4-pointed snowflakes and I prefer 6-pointed ones). Draw around something round like a bowl or mug, cut out the shape and then fold it in half. Fold it in half again, then in half once more, so it'll be divided into eighths. For 6-pointed snowflakes, the folding technique is slightly more complicated, but once you get the hang of it it's pretty easy...

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1. For this you'll need a square of paper. Either draw round something square, or fold an A4 piece of paper in half, fold one of the corners in to meet the middle, and then trim off the excess at the top. Unfold the paper, cut down the line in the middle, and you'll be left with two large squares (save the bit you trimmed off as you can use it to make smaller squares).

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2. Take the square and fold it in half diagonally to make a triangle.
3. Fold it in half again to make a smaller triangle.
4. Now comes the slightly more complicated part, you kind of just have to do this by eye but once you've done it a couple of times you'll easily get the hang of it. Take the right side of the triangle and fold it in towards the middle, just past the centre point of the triangle.
5. Take the left side of the triangle and fold it in towards the centre, on top of the right side, so both the edges line up. Try to do this as neatly as possible so the snowflakes end up being symmetrical. It doesn't matter if it's a liiiittle bit off (like in this example, oops!) but try to get the lines as sharp as possible.

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6. Take your scissors and snip off the top of the triangle, at an angle, making sure you cut past the lowest point of both the sides of the triangle.
7. Now you can create your pattern. I usually just do it freehand and cut out random triangles, lines and circles. Just make sure you don't cut across completely from one side to the other, otherwise your snowflake will fall apart. Or if you fancy drawing on a pattern first, just use a pencil to mark out where to cut (have a search on Google or Pinterest for pattern ideas or just make up your own).

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8. Once you've cut out all the bits you want, unfold the paper and you should be left with a snowflake shape. Yay!

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9. Repeat the process with a couple of different sizes of squares to create a bunch of unique snowflakes.
10. Now take your thread and measure out the length you'll need for whichever windowframe/mirror/wall you want to decorate. Lay out the thread on a table and place your snowflakes on top, making sure to spread them out equally.
11. Take a piece of sellotape and stick the thread to the back of the snowflake. Repeat until you've attached all the snowflakes, and made enough garlands to fill your area to be decorated.
12. Depending on what kind of surface you're attaching the garland to, either use sellotape to stick the ends down, or tie a little loop at the end of the thread and use a drawing pin to attach it to the wall.

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And we're done! Super simple, and once you've got the basic technique of making snowflakes mastered, the possibilities are endless. I like hanging the garlands vertically, and leaving the bottom unattached to anything so they twirl around slightly in the breeze. You could also hang the garlands horizontally; they'd look great draped across the top of a mirror.

Is making paper snowflakes a Christmas tradition for you?

Gillian x

Sunday Summary #102

8.12.13

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1.Christmas decorations 2.Woodland creatures 3.Bunny jumper 4.More decorations 5.Cosy leggings 6.Paper snowflakes (DIY post coming soon!)

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas over here! I put my Christmas tree up this week, and have been busy making some DIY festive decorations too. Usually my decorations are purple and silver, but this year I fancied something a bit more traditional and have gone for red and gold. I managed to find most of these on the Asda home delivery website, and got them delivered along with my groceries - not bad! I particularly like the gold glittery hearts, I think they were only £2 for a box of 6. I also love my little wooden decorations which I got at the Christmas market in Aberfeldy whilst I was there last weekend. There are a few different woodland creatures hidden away in there, including rabbits, owls, fawns and sparrows. Cuuuute!

Otherwise, this week has been pretty boring. I've spent most of the week in cosy jumpers and fluffy socks, attempting to be productive but mostly just watching Netflix and reading blogs. Next week looks like it'll be a bit more exciting though, I've got the Scottish bloggers Christmas party on Tuesday evening through in Glasgowand then on Thursday I'm off to the Edinburgh Christmas market with some chums. I can't wait, look how preeeeettttty it is. I also can't wait for all the hot dogs, waffles, sweeties and hot chocolates I can possibly manage to eat whilst there. Mulled cider here I come!

What have you been up to this week?

Gillian x

Eating Lately: Glasgow

6.12.13

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Over the last few weeks I've been to a few different restaurants in Glasgow so I thought I'd finally get round to writing up a post about them. Despite living less than an hour away from Glasgow, it's not somewhere I visit very often so any time I get the chance to try out somewhere new for dinner I'm more than happy to give it a go.

1. Bier Halle
Located on Gordon Street in the centre of Glasgow, handily right in between Central and Queen Street Stations, Bier Halle is somewhere I've been wanting to visit for ages. When I was through for Morag's birthday near the start of November we went there, along with some of Morag's friends, for a birthday dinner. We'd all been out the night before and were feeling a bit worse for wear so didn't sample the "bier" part of the menu, but we all happily indulged in some pizzas instead. There were lots of classics on the menu as well as some more unusual options, like Black Pudding & Egg or Hoi Sin Duck, and I opted for the Ramsay's Haggis Pizza. The base was thin and crispy which I really like, I'm not a big fan of stodgy deep-dish pizzas. I'm a haggis lover anyway, but I reeeally loved it on the pizza - it was the perfect hangover cure! Bier Halle also do a special 2-for-1 offer on pizzas so each one worked out at around £6-7 each, total bargain. There are also lots of other sandwiches, snacks and salads on the menu, but I'd definitely recommend ordering yourself one of the pizzas.

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2. The Hope
Back in October (man, I am so behind on blog posts!) I was invited along to the launch of The Hope, the latest Maclay Inns venture to open in Glasgow. We were treated to lots of different tasters of things from the main menu, starting off with a couple of antipasti platters full of roasted vegetables, cured meats, olives, crusty bread, sweet red peppers, rocket, feta cheese and lots more. I love this sort of food that you can pick away at and share with a couple of friends whilst you're having drinks, so it was the perfect start to the evening to enjoy along with our prosecco. We then moved on to mini versions of some of the main courses including pulled pork and apple (YUM), teriyaki chicken skewers, crispy potato skins (seriously amazing, so crispy, could've eaten a whole bucket!), and mini burgers with onions rings. All the food was really tasty and I would definitely go back to The Hope and order the full sized versions. We finished off by sharing a few of the desserts, including a super fudgey chocolate cake, white chocolate ice cream and deeeeelicious profiteroles.

glasgow restaurants urban bar and brasserie 1
glasgow restaurants urban bar and brasserie 3
glasgow restaurants urban bar and brasserie 2
3. Urban Bar & Brasserie
Another night, another menu launch - being a blogger is a hard life, right? This time it was at Urban Bar & Brasserie which was just a couple of minutes away from Queen Street Station. The venue was stunning, we were welcomed by some sparkly fairly lights and a glass of something fizzy at the door, and inside there were high ceilings, mirrors and dark wood ahoy. There was a grand piano in the corner and a jazz band playing tunes all night which gave the place a really nice atmosphere. Unfortunately the food didn't quite live up to my expectations, some of the taster dishes were nicer than others, but none were really anything to write home about. The event was really busy though (I think there were about 200 people there!) and churning out hundreds of portions all night couldn't have been an easy task, so I'd definitely like to go back to Urban on a normal night for a proper sit down dinner as I'm sure I would enjoy the food much more. I did really like the fish goujons with chunky chips, and there was a really nice banoffee dessert which I scoffed down too!

Have you been to any good restaurants in Glasgow recently?

Gillian x