Mixtape: August


August Mixtape · via Spotify

For most of the month, my August mixtape only had two or three lonely little songs sitting on it, and then when I realised there were only two days left in the month I thought I better get a move on and actually finish off the playlist. As a result, I've spent quite a bit of time in the last few days browsing the Browse section of Spotify and have discovered some new favourites, but as usual there's a big handful of old tunes too. Oh and also that Kylie song because it's on that advert for something, and every time it's on I HAVE to sing along.

Arctic Monkeys · R U Mine?
Queens of the Stone Age · Skin On Skin
Hot Chip · One Life Stand
Eagle-Eye Cherry · Save Tonight
Sia · Elastic Heart
Jonnie Common · Summer is for Going Places
The Be Good Tanyas · The Littlest Bird
Kylie Minogue · I Believe in You
The Silver Seas · Catch Yer Own Train
Rumbleseat · Restless
Listen to "August" here.

What have you been listening to this month?

Gillian x

Sunday Summary #139


1.Fringe 2.Dinner at Tuk Tuk

Oh heeyyyy, Sunday evening already? How is this possible? As you can probably tell from the lack of Instagram photos, there isn't a huge amount to report back on this week yet it still feels like I've been super busy. I've got lots of wee clips from over the last couple of weeks which I need to edit into a vlog, so keep your eyes peeled over on Youtube if you fancy catching up with all that.

On Wednesday Laura and I made use of my Orange Wednesdays code and went to see The Inbetweeners 2 at the cinema. It's was pretty good and had us laughing rather a lot at several points. I haven't been to the cinema in ages but I've definitely got the urge at the moment; really fancy seeing What If and the new Sin City film. Have you been to see anything good lately?

On Saturday, Laura and I had planned an afternoon of shopping, wandering round in the sunshine, taking photos for outfit posts and treating ourselves to some froyo... but what actually happened was we spent half an hour in Superdrug, bought a bottle of wine and then headed to Tuk Tuk for dinner. Oops! I've been to Tuk Tuk a few times now and it's always great, I love having tapas-style dishes to share so you can get a wee taste of everything. The butter chicken is amaaaze, yum! After that, we considered heading along to the Fringe to make the most of the final weekend, but in the end we just went home to watch several episodes of Breaking Bad and go to sleep before midnight. Rock and roll, I tell ya.

There's also been some very exciting work-related news this week which I can't reveal quite yet, but keep an eye out on madefromscotland.com to find out soon. Oooh, mysterious!

What have you been up to this week?

Gillian x

Edinburgh: Godiva Boutique


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Tucked away at the edge of the Grassmarket, Godiva Boutique is a dreamy little shop packed full of handpicked vintage pieces, quirky jewellery and clothes and accessories from independent designers. Even the decor is lovely, with fairy lights draped around the ceiling, slouchy leather couches piled up with cushions and a big Godiva mural on the wall. Godiva was opened in 2003 by owner Fleur MacIntosh, and in the 11 years since then it has well and truly established itself as one of Edinburgh's favourite independent boutiques.

Recently Godiva held their first blogger evening, so I headed along for an after-hours browse round the shop. The Grassmarket & West Port is one of my favourite areas in the city, and I love how it's full of independent businesses; at Godiva we were treated to brownies and cake from Lovecrumbs, chocolates from Mary's Milk Bar and fruit smoothies from Hula - plus there was some Pimms of course!

We began the evening by wandering round the shop to admire everything. Personal favourites include the Karen Mabon scarves, the Queenie Brown lavender foxes and the Runaway Fox taxidermy jewellery. Unfortunately I had to leave a bit early, but there were lots of fun things planned for throughout the evening, including some jewellery making with Runaway Fox and a DIY craft station to create camera straps out of vintage scarves.

Godiva is such a lovely place for a browse on a Saturday afternoon, and you'll be sure to find something to take home with you too. I received a brooch from Runaway Fox in my goody bag, and I'm sure I'll be back to Godiva soon to add a necklace to my collection!

Have you visited Godiva Boutique yet?

Gillian x

Sunday Summary #138


1.Inverleith Park 2.Pink lemonade cocktails 3.Brownies and Pimms at Godiva 4.Wine time 5.Hiyaaa 6.Not all those who wander are lost

I seem to have been well and truly distracted by fun festival summery things over the last couple of weeks, as you may have noticed from the recent lack of blog posts. I'm making the most of all the Fringe action during August, but I'm sure come September things will return to business as usual.

On Wednesday evening I headed along to a blogger event at Godiva, a lovely little boutique in the Grassmarket. In between sipping Pimms and tucking into cakes and brownies from Lovecrumbs, we had a wander round the shop and chatted to the Godiva ladies. Keep your eyes peeled for a full post about this soon! I was a little bit gutted I had to leave early as there were lots of fun crafty activities planned for the rest of the evening, but Lynne and I had tickets to see One Man Breaking Bad so we had to nip off just as the party was getting into full swing. The show was definitely worth it though, so good! I never thought it would be possible to laugh so much at Breaking Bad. I've just started watching Breaking Bad from the beginning again, and I think it might be even better the second time around.

On Thursday, Laura and I had a very Fringey evening. Our first stop was Clerk's Bar to fuel up on food and wine, then we made our way down to The Caves to see our first show of the evening, Frankenstein Unbolted. The show was very funny and a bit silly, and I'd definitely recommend going along to see it if you get the chance. Our second show of the evening was also a hit, with both of us being suitably impressed with Abandoman's improv hip hop comedy.

Saturday was a very civilised affair, starting the day off with brunch at Loudons and then having a wander round the Edinburgh Farmers' Market. I stocked up on fresh fruit, fancy bread and local cider - yum! After that Laura and I went back to the flat to lounge around and watch several episodes of Breaking Bad before I headed out in the evening to meet up with some pals. After some drinks, we went along to the Spiegeltent to see La Clique. This probably wouldn't have been the sort of thing that would have jumped out at me if I was looking for shows to go to, but my friend had been last year and said it was really good - and she was right! It was basically a couple of hours of very bendy scantily clad people doing dancing and acrobatics. Lots of burlesque and that sort of thing, even some shadow puppetry and rollerskating!

Aaaand now it's Sunday and I'm in dire need of a day of doing nothing. Going to be spending the entire day on the sofa I think!

What have you been up to this week?

Gillian x

Sunday Summary #137


1.Festival fairy lights 2.Lights Out 3.Saturday's outfit 4.Lovsushi Bento box 5.Popcorn from this month's Degustabox 6.Fringe tickets 7.Sweetshop cocktails

This has been a pretty busy week full of festival shenanigans so I'm glad to be lounging in my bed just now, snoozing the morning away. It all started last Sunday when Laura and I headed along to our first show of the Fringe, Dan Clark: Me, My Selfie and I. After several ciders and a jug of wine, we decided to have a look for another show to go to before heading home, and came across Rob Deering's Beat This which was sort of like a live version of Never Mind the Buzzcocks. Thoroughly enjoyed both shows and would recommend! You can catch up with last week's adventures in my latest vlog.

The rest of the week mostly just involved work and Netflix, but come Friday it was time for more Fringe fun. Lianne was involved in producing Sanitise so a wee group of us blogger pals headed along to watch the show. It was very different to the sort thing I'd normally go to see, but it was great - well done to Lianne and the team for all their hard work! Before heading to the show, we sheltered from the rain in Revolution and had some dinner and cocktails. Those Sweetshop ones, though! Yes please.

The plan for Saturday was a trip to Foodies Festival, and it was a gloriously sunny day for it (I am now sunburnt, WHY ME). After getting a bit lost on the way (100% blaming Google Maps for this, not our own ineptitude), Laura and I finally made it to Inverleith Park to meet up with Lynne, Kirsty and Adam, and Jade and Joy. Some food was much needed by this point so we all headed off to find our first purchase of the day - I went for a sausage roll from Puddledub to revive me. Then it was time for pink lemonade cocktails from The Fresh Lemonade Co, bento boxes from Lovsushi, brownies from The Brownie Bar, mojitos from Riot Bar, and as many tasters and free samples as we could get our hands on. We had planned on doing some Fringe stuff in the evening but we were tired out from all the sunshine and eating, so by the time we got home we decided several episodes of American Horror Story and a nap was a much better option.

What have you been up to today?

Gillian x

Cocktail Hour: Watermelon Slushies


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Ahhh, the Great British Summer - perfect excuse for a homemade cocktail. Yes, it is torrentially raining right now but we shall just ignore that fact. A couple of weekends ago my flatmate Laura and I were well and truly in the summer mood and bought ourselves a watermelon at the market so we could concoct our own watermelon cocktails. After scouring through Pinterest and doing a bit of experimenting, we've settled on the perfect watermelon slushies for a hot summer day (or, you know, to drink at night surrounded by blankets at Netflix).

You Will Need (Serves 4):
Half a watermelon
150ml vodka
Crushed ice
8-10 mint leaves
Caster sugar (optional)

1. Chop your watermelon in half and scoop out the flesh from one half (keep the other half in the fridge for later). Add the watermelon to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth but still thick.
2. Add the blended watermelon to a large pitcher and throw in a few handfuls of crushed ice.
3. Measure out the vodka and add that to the pitcher too. Depending on how strong you want to make it, use approximately 1-2 shots of vodka per person.
4. Tear up the fresh mint leaves and add them to the watermelon mix. Give everything a good stir.
5. Depending on how sweet your watermelon is, you might want to add in a couple of teaspoons of caster sugar or sugar syrup, but this is optional.
6. Fill your glasses with some more crushed ice and serve.

And there you have it! Refreshing and boozy - ideal summer cocktail combination. If you want to make it last longer (or be a bit less boozy for daytime drinking), you could top up the pitcher with lemonade or soda water to give it a wee bit of fizz.

Are you a fan of watermelon?

Gillian x

Sunday Summary #136


1.Huge cocktails at TGI Friday's 2.Home sweet home

Can you believe it's August already, where has this year disappeared to? This week has actually been a fairly quiet one for once, but amidst American Horror Story marathons (I bought a Chromecast and it is AMAZING) I have managed to do one or two more interesting things this week.

On Thursday I headed to TGI Friday's Edinburgh, branch which has recently re-opened, for a "burger blind date". You might remember this concept from my Glasgow Would Like To Meat post, and this time the idea was the same. I opted for Contestant #5 this time (aka the French Dip Burger) which was pretty tasty, and the giant strawberry daiquiri was an excellent choice too! Despite the food and drinks being good, the service on the evening really let the whole thing down. As we walked in, there weren't enough seats for everyone invited so we had to hover around the bar for nearly half an hour before we even got seated. Understandable if we'd just walked in off the street, but not if we're there for a pre-planned event. Service continued to get slower throughout the evening, and we had an hour and a half to wait for our burgers and another half an hour on top of that for our next round of drinks. Not very impressed! I wouldn't purposefully avoid TGI's because I did enjoy the food, but I won't be rushing back and going out of my way to visit again soon.

Yesterday, Laura and I had planned on having a Fringe day full of festival fun, but the rain put a dampener on those plans so we decided to go for some tea and cake at Lovecrumbs instead. However, those plans were scuppered too as there was a queue out the door, so we had a little wander over to Illegal Jack's instead. After finishing off our burritos (well, nearly finishing - they're huge!), we waddled home to nurse our food babies and spent the rest of the evening building flatpack chairs and watching TV. Super exciting. It's looking a lot less rainy today - touch wood - so I think we'll finally be heading out to see some Fringe shows. If you've been to anything good so far, let me know!

What have you been up to this week?

Gillian x