Outfit: Moons & Stars

22.2.15

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Dress: Warehouse
Shoes: Clarks*
Necklace: Ginger Pickle
Earrings: Not On The Highstreet

You wait months for an outfit post, then three come along at once! Or something like that. When I was putting together my Simply Be Real post a few weeks ago, I realised I'd never actually featured the infamous dress in an outfit post before, so I though it was high time it appeared on the blog. This Warehouse dress is one of my absolute favourites and has accompanied me on many nights out over the last couple of years. Although originally from Warehouse, I managed to snap it up on Ebay for a bargain price, so by now cost-per-wear is probably about 1 pence.

There's something I love about green and pink together, so I thought this dress would be perfect for wearing with my brand new shoes, courtesy of Clarks. I headed into the store last week for a browse and my mind was made up as soon as I laid eyes on these beautiful Blissful Cloud coral heels. I love the classic pointed pumps from the front, but it was the shiny mirrored block heel that really sold them to me! They're also really comfy, with added cushioning on the insole, so they're ideal for wearing all day (or night) long.

I seem to have accidentally themed my outfit, with my "Cloud" shoes, moon necklace and star earrings! The crescent moon necklace is an old favourite from Ginger Pickle which is suitably witchy and magical. The earrings are a more recent purchase; I spotted them whilst browsing through my Pinterest feed a couple of months ago and when I discovered they were only £12 on Not On The Highstreet I had to have them. Love a good constellation, so I do.

Gillian x

Edinburgh: V Deep Craft Beer & Curry Bar

21.2.15

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The other night I headed down to deepest, darkest Leith (and by that I mean 60 Henderson Street, just a 2 minute walk from the Shore) for the launch night of Edinburgh's brand new craft beer & curry bar, V Deep. A collaboration between comedian & TV presenter Hardeep Singh Kohli and head chef Ruairidh Skinner of The Vintage, V Deep brings together two of Scotland's loves - beer and curry - in a brand new setting. As Hardeep himself said, V Deep is a bar with food rather than the other way round. The menu of craft beers, both draught and bottled, is extensive and the food menu is designed to compliment these unique drinks.

At the launch party, Laura and I settled in at a table opposite the bar with Lianne and her fiance Robin and ordered ourselves some drinks whilst we nibbled on the chips and dips. My favourite drink of the night was definitely the Drygate Brewing Co's Outaspace Apple Ale, one of V Deep's house draft beers. The apple gave it a sweet cidery taste but the finish was more like a lager so it perfectly complimented the spicy food. Throughout the evening we tucked into mini versions of some of the main dishes, including haggis & apple pakoras, tandoori chicken, mutton achari, dhal makhani, venison koftas, Punjabi BBQ chicken wings and curried stovies. All of the little bites were delicious and I can't wait to go back soon and sample the full menu (well, it might take more than one trip to sample the full menu...)! The dishes are kind of tapas style, designed to be perfect for sharing along with a couple of friends and a couple of pints, so you can try out more traditional dishes, reinvented classics and "East vs West" mash-ups.

The restaurant is located in the same space as the old Vintage, but it's had a bit of a makeover with neon graffiti and reclaimed furniture (the tables are old doors!) mixed in amongst the exposed brick and old cornicing. At the back of the room you can see into the kitchen as the chefs are busy preparing the food, or grab a table closer to the front and peruse the 10 craft keg beers, 3 craft cask beers and over 20 bottled craft beers behind the bar. The atmosphere was nice and relaxed, and you could easily spend a good few hours working your way through both the beer and food menus.

You can find V Deep at 60 Henderson Street, Leith, and it opens for business today, Saturday 21st February.

Gillian x

Three Ways To Wear: Black Jeans

19.2.15

new look black jeans denim outfit

Even if you're not a trousers kinda person, you've no doubt got a pair of skinny jeans in your wardrobe. Over the past couple of months I've been ditching my faithful black dresses in favour of jeans more and more often, so when New Look challenged me to style up an item from their range of jeans I opted for a versatile pair of high waisted black skinnies. So, here's a little bit of inspiration for three ways to wear your own skinny jeans.

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Outfit 1: Weekend Casual
Jumper: H&M
Jeans: New Look*
Brooch: Runaway Fox*
Shoes: Lotta From Stockholm
This outfit is the perfect casual outfit for weekend adventures. A slouchy striped jumper, like this one from H&M, is a match made in heaven for black skinny jeans. Simple and classic, you can't go wrong with black and white stripes (swap the jumper for a Breton tee in the summer), and I love adding a pop of red too. Cool people definitely match their lipstick to their accessories, right? I received this brooch from Edinburgh-based Runaway Fox at the Godiva party and I have since been back to add a couple more pieces to my collection. The look is finished off with a pair of red Lotta From Stockholm clogs which I can't wait to wear non-stop once spring and summer arrive.

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Outfit 2: Slightly Smart
Jumper: River Island
Jeans: New Look*
Necklace: New Look
Boots: Marks & Spencer
And now for a slightly smarter look. Depending on how strict your work's dress code is, this could be a great outfit for wearing to the office or coffee-shop meetings, or just for lunch with your pals. From the front this looks like a fairly plain jumper, but I love the open back detail which makes it a bit more fashiony. Business in the front, party in the back. I can't find this on the website, but I bought it in River Island about two days ago so you should definitely be able to get your paws on it in-store. The bright red chelsea boots were another new purchase, this time from Marks & Spencer. I was on my way to buy some new socks and pants (glamorous life, I know) when I spotted these beside the escalators and I couldn't resist. I'm slowly trying to build up a "capsule wardrobe" like a grown-up, and my main colours are definitely black, grey and red, so a pair of red shoes seemed like a sensible purchase.

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Outfit 3: Evening Drinks
Kimono: Forever 21
Vest Top: H&M
Jeans: New Look*
Heels: Dune
Earrings: Primark
And finally, we have an outfit perfect for a dinner date or an evening on the town. This kimono has been rather unloved since I bought it last summer, but I think I may be digging it out of the wardrobe more often now that these high waisted skinny jeans are in my life. I've kept it simple with a black vest top tucked into the jeans (which made me feel weirdly like Sandy from Grease) and a pair of nude heels. These beaut heels from Dune were bought for my graduation ball and I've only worn them once or twice since - I'm a bit scared to wear them in case I ruin them because pale colours and me do not mix well! The vaguely 70s vibe of the kimono inspired me to throw on a pair of big hoop earrings to finish this look off.

What's your favourite way to wear skinny jeans?

Gillian x

Sunday Summary #156

15.2.15

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1.Constellations at National Museum of Scotland 2.Sunset 3.Snowy Arthur's Seat 4.Scallops at Ondine 5.Paradise Palms 6.Better Call Saul 7.Cake at Lovecrumbs

Hello! So, it seems my weekly Sunday Summary posts have turned into bi-monthly posts because life at the moment is super boring. I did, however, just book a little holiday to Copenhagen at the end of April, so that's something to look forward to. Have any of you been before? Send me over any blog posts, city guides, useful links and recommendations! We're going to be staying at the Avenue Hotel which looks beeaaut, and Laura and I have already started a Copenhagen Pinterest board because we are huge losers.

Over the past couple of weeks I've done my fair share of wining and dining, as usual. A couple of weekends ago Laura and I had a day out in the Grassmarket, starting with cake for lunch at Lovecrumbs, followed by a mooch around Godiva, the Red Door Gallery and Armstrong's. After a quick pit stop back at the flat, we then treated ourselves to dinner at Ondine and some drinks at Paradise Palms. If only every day could be like that! Sadly, most days involve lying on the sofa watching Netflix - although, Better Call Saul has just started so I can't complain too much!

Also in the last couple of weeks there have been trips to Clerk's Bar, The Southern, Red Squirrel and Montpeliers. Last week I also spent an afternoon at the National Museum of Scotland exploring all the galleries. I hadn't been in since the main bit of the museum was refurbished a couple of years ago, so it was nice to have a wander round again. I was, of course, rather taken with the space exhibit - those sparkly constellations, yes please!

What have you been up to lately?

Gillian x

The Lazy Girl's Guide to Being Healthy

9.2.15

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I think it's fairly obvious that I'm not an avid gym-goer or a strict dieter. Life is short, you might as well do whatever makes you happy. And let me tell you, running on a treadmill and eating salad does not make me happy. However, we all know that being healthy is important so when Legal & General challenged me to come up with some health & fitness resolutions for 2015 I thought it would be a good opportunity to set myself some small goals to improve my health without denying myself the stuff I love (i.e. burgers and 12 hour Netflix sessions).

1. Walk Everywhere
I'm not a sporty person at all and I find the gym incredibly boring, which means I basically get no exercise at all. Walking is a really easy way to start being a bit more active without having to drastically alter your lifestyle. I'm definitely guilty of always getting the bus, even if it would take the same amount of time to walk there, but from now on I'm going to make a conscious effort to only get the bus when absolutely necessary. Now that it's getting towards spring, I'm also going to make more effort to go for a walk just for fun when the weather's nice.

2. Have Breakfast
As much as I love breakfast food, actually getting up early enough and forcing myself to eat something is another matter. I hate mornings and trying to get myself to eat something when I don't feel like it is a bit of a struggle. But, as they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day so I'm going to trick myself into having something by making fresh smoothies with my new Nutribullet* which is winging its way to me thanks to the folks at Legal & General. All I need to do is shove some fruit, vegetables, seeds and nuts into the Nutribullet, give it a whizz, and breakfast is ready in just a couple of minutes.

3. Stay Hydrated
Another thing I'm guilty of is not drinking enough water. As well as lots of other healthy benefits, drinking lots of water improves your skin and helps to curb hunger. At the moment, I only really drink water when I'm thirsty or along with a meal, so I need to remind myself to drink throughout the day even if I might not feel like I need it. I don't really like the taste of tap water, so I think it's a good plan to keep a jug of water in the fridge filled with cucumber slices, mint leaves and fresh fruit to make it a bit nicer.

4. Meal Planning
The temptation to order a takeaway is often overwhelming if you look in the fridge and all you've got left is odds and ends. To make sure I'm always organised, I'm going to start doing meal plans for the week ahead. On a Sunday afternoon, sit down and plan what you want to cook then go and do your shopping to make sure you're fully stocked up for the week. This way you can plan more exciting meals for days when you have time to prepare them, and on days when you know you're going to be home late make sure it's something quick and easy (or even better, leftovers from the freezer!). Pinterest is my number one inspiration for healthy meals at the moment.

5. Don't Worry
There's no point beating yourself up and making yourself unhappy if you don't manage to achieve your goals, whether they be health related, weightloss related, or something else. A healthy body is only helpful if you're cultivating a healthy mind too (or something inspirational like that). As long as I'm making healthy choices most of the time, I'm not going to worry about the occasional Two For Tuesday or a weekend of lying on the sofa here and there.

What are your health & fitness goals for 2015?

Gillian x

Outfit: Springtime

5.2.15

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Dress: New Look
Blazer: H&M
Necklace: House of Fraser*
Boots: Duo Boots*

Is it too early to be thinking about spring? Almost certainly yes, but when this pretty pastel necklace arrived through my letterbox recently, thanks to the people at House of Fraser, it got me in the mood for bright colours and sunshine-ready outfits. One thing I have learned, however, is if a denim dress has been stuffed at the back of your wardrobe since last summer, you should definitely iron it before wearing. Oops! The dress was a new purchase last year in my attempt to not wear black 365 days a year, and the bright pink blazer is an old one from H&M which doesn't get as much wear as it should.

I used to be more of a long pendant necklace kinda gal, but recently I've been loving shorter statement necklaces. Instantly makes you look like you've put a bit of effort into getting dressed, even if you've just thrown on a dress and a necklace - which is what I do 90% of the time when getting dressed. As well as higher end and well know brands, House of Fraser have lots of hidden gems in their Jewellery department too. You can pick up lovely statement necklaces for under £30; unfortunately this particular necklace is now sold out, but it's from the brand Mikey at House of Fraser and they have plenty of other options to choose from!

These Sanna boots have quickly become my favourite pair over the last few months since the ladies at Duo Boots gave me a pair to take home after an event at their Edinburgh store. They feel a wee bit dressy but they're actually super comfy and relatively practical. Plus, they're in the sale at the moment so you can snap them up for a very reasonable £30!

Have you started digging out your spring wardrobe yet?

Gillian x