Outfit: Old School


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Dress: Apricot
Necklace: Fiorelli at House of Fraser*
Earrings: Kate Rowland
Boots: Ted & Muffy*

So we're going a little old school with today's outfit post. Dingy indoor pre-going out photos, check! Terrible eyes-half-closed poses, check! Forgetting to move all the furniture out of the way, check! Let's face it, most of us don't have the time (or inclination) to get dressed up to the nines on a Monday afternoon just to go outside to a particularly pretty street and take photos of the outfit we wore on Saturday night. Whilst I do love properly shot outfit photos in a nice location, I'm only going to bother doing that if I'm outside and wearing that outfit anyway. There ain't no shame in sharing photos of what you actually wore and taking outfit photos like it's 2010, ladies. Remember the heyday of blogging when we all balanced our point-and-shoot cameras on big piles of books in our bedrooms to take photos of the clothes we'd just bought in the Topshop sale? Ahhhh, lovely.

Anyway, the main point of this post is to talk about some new accessories I've acquired lately. First up is the necklace which House of Fraser kindly sent me to get ready for the party season. I love statement jewellery which is also quite simple, so this circle necklace by Fiorelli was perfect for me - plus you can't go wrong with some gold for Christmassy outfits! House of Fraser have loads of lovely necklaces in at the moment so it's definitely worth checking them out for party bling for yourself or Christmas gifts for someone else. I also recently got these beaaaautiful leopard print Tigerlily boots from Ted & Muffy after attending an event at their Edinburgh store a few weeks ago. The used to be Duo Boots, but have recently rebranded and I am so in love with the new look. The branding and design of the store is absolutely beautiful, plus the boots are amazing for quality and comfort. Big thumbs up from me!

I wore this outfit for a night out on Saturday, so obviously I had to dig out one of my many black dresses for the occasion. This little Apricot number, which I bought from the concession in New Look about 5 years ago, is still one of my all time favourites. It's looking a bit worse for wear now (the little velvet polka dots are starting to rub off, the sleeves and hem have shrunk quite a bit, and there's definitely more than one hole in it) but I just can't bear to part with it. I think it still looks not too bad considering its age and how many nights it has accompanied me on!

What is your staple going out outfit?

Gillian x

Found It: Gifts for Your Best Pal


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Of all the people you need to buy presents for at this time of year, I think best friends are the easiest. Chances are you know them very well (I hope you do, anyway) and they probably have fairly similar tastes to yourself. So, if you see a gift you'd like for yourself there's a high chance your best gal pal would like it too. This year Debenhams are encouraging everyone to share their Christmas present gems with #foundit, so here are a few of my festive picks.

First up, if your best pal is a girl who likes makeup, you can't go wrong with a Benefit gift set. Not only is the little box adorbs, but the products inside are great too. The Feelin' Dandy Gift Set* includes mini versions of a few of Benefit's cult products including High Beam highlighter and the perfectly pink Posietint. Top it all off with a Dandelion blush and matching lip gloss and hey presto. Wrap the set up along with a comedy mug (this motivational Britney mug is from Urban Outfitters) so your pal can enjoy a big cup of tea whilst they're getting dolled up each morning.

If your best friend is into relaxing (ummmm stupid question, who isn't?), they're sure to love a new pair of cosy winter pyjamas. These Lounge & Sleep Navy Fairisle Pyjamas* from Debenhams are the perfect snuggly option. They're made from fleece and are so soft and cosy, and the festive pattern is an added bonus. Put them together with a mini pamper package including a scented candle, like this Winter Scent Candle from the Tartan Blanket Co, and a good book. Novels can be quite a tricky thing to buy for other people, but I think memoirs, biographies or comedy/non-fiction books always make great presents. Personally, I'd go for Why Not Me? by my favourite funny lady, Mindy Kaling.

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? Check out Debenham's Christmas gift ideas and #foundit for your friends.

Gillian x

Edinburgh: Tartan Blanket Co Pop Up Shop


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If there's one thing you should know about me, it's that I love blankets. Seriously, they are everywhere in my flat. You might remember the Tartan Blanket Co from my Home Comforts post back in August so I was very excited to hear they were opening a pop up shop for the festive season. Last week I headed along to the new shop, which is located on Great Junction Street, for the launch night to see what's on offer.

As the name might suggest, the Tartan Blanket Co's pop up shop is full of cosy blankets. As well as classic tartans there are block colours, traditional herringbones and modern patterns in various sizes and types of wool and cashmere. There were far too many beautiful blankets to choose a favourite, but a couple that caught my eye the most were the Aqua Herringbone Blanket and the Coral Stripe Blanket. Ahhhh, please Santa, bring me more blankets!

But it's not just blankets you'll find in the beautifully decorated pop up shop. There are also lots of lambswool scarves, quirky prints, little home accessories and decorations, scented candles, notebooks, jewellery and more. I love the wide selection of products in the shop, they all compliment each other perfectly and you could get a big chunk of your Christmas shopping done all at once. At the launch event, we each got to pick a little gift card from the Christmas tree and mine contained a £10 voucher - so I promptly treated myself to one of the scented candles! The Winter Scent candle I chose is beauuutifully sweet and fresh, and I loved the equally festive Mulled Pear & Spices scent too.

So, whether you're a huge blanket fan like me or just fancy checking out a new shop full of lovely lifestyle pieces, you should definitely head down to Leith to have a browse through the Tartan Blanket Co's pop up. You can find them at 170B Great Junction Street and they're open from now until the 23rd December. Find out more on the Tartan Blanket Co blog.

Will you be popping in?

Gillian x

Christmas Gift Guide: Cocktail Connoisseur


It's Christmaaaaaas! Well, not quite but this year I'm am totally in the festive mood already and I have been keeping my eyes peeled for gift ideas over the past couple of weeks. I've got a few gift guides coming up, and first on the agenda is one for cocktail connoisseurs.

How pretty is this Copper Cocktail Set from Urban Outfitters? A nice little set like this makes a great present, and it would be perfect packaged up with a couple of copper Moscow Mule Mugs to sip your creations from. Don't forget a book full of cocktail recipes; I love the look of this 1920s inspired Speakeasy cocktail book. If money was no object, I would definitely be adding the beautiful Oliver Bonas Luxe Bar Table to my Christmas list this year... a girl can dream!

A bottle of booze always goes down well as a Christmas present, but for something a little different why not try one of Edinburgh Gin's flavoured liqueurs? The Rhubarb & Ginger one is my favourite, and their Raspberry version is lovely too. I love making cocktails at home, but I'm always short of the little extras that bars have to make their cocktails special. Put together a little kit with some useful essentials or fun accessories for a DIY cocktail fan; everything from lemon squeezers to fancy bitters or even edible glitter would all go down well.

If you're looking for a few stocking fillers for a cocktail connoisseur, opt for something like a cocktail scented candle or lip balm. I love the art deco style of these Cocktail Collection Lip Balms from Bath House and these vintage inspired Mixology Cocktail Candles. For something a little bit different, try this cute wee Cocktail Garden Kit to grow your own herbs and plants to use in your cocktail creations.

Have you got any cocktail themed gifts on your Christmas wishlist this year?

Gillian x

DIY Instagram Photo Garland


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DIYs which require zero skill to put together are the best kind of DIYs, am I right? A photo garland is a super simple concept and only takes about 5 minutes to put together, but it looks rather lovely and you can take pride in telling everyone you made it yourself. After getting a bit ranty about how nice it is to look back on old Instagram photos (in my It's Not Social Media, It's You post) I thought it was high time I got some printed so I could hang them up on my wall. The lovely folks at Cheerz sent me 20 prints and I chose the retro polaroid style* ones. I'm really impressed with the quality of these prints and they're nice and cheap too at only 29 pence per print. The process of choosing your prints is really easy; select photos from your Instagram, Facebook or Flickr accounts or upload straight from Dropbox or your computer.

If you fancy getting your own prints, Cheerz have set up a little discount code for you to use - just add the code GILMC3 to get £4 off your order!

So, once you've got your prints it's time to assemble the rest of your supplies. You'll need some mini wooden pegs (I got mine from Ryman), some string and some washi tape (both of which I picked up in a recent Tiger* haul). Start by laying out your prints in the order you want to hang them up - I went for two rows of 7 and one row of 6. Then cut your string to the right length, making sure to leave a little bit of space between each print and some spare string at each end for hanging it up. Next, get your wooden pegs ready. I added some washi tape to a few of the pegs and left the rest of them plain. This washi tape from Tiger is perfect for this as it's nice and narrow so it doesn't require too much trimming to fit the pegs. Once that's done, simply attach the pegs to the photos, making sure the string is firmly held in place between each one.

Once it's ready to hang up, get some more pieces of washi tape and stick up the photo garlands wherever you like, securing each end with the tape. The beauty of using washi tape is that it's really easy to peel off if you want to move the garlands around or take them down at any point (perfect if you're living in a rented flat or student halls etc), but you could also secure them with a drawing pin if you wanted to.

And there you have it, your own DIY Instagram photo garland! Don't forget to use my Cheerz discount code by entering GILMC3 at the checkout. As well as little prints like these, Cheerz also do lots of other great products like photo magnets, photo strips, posters, boxes of prints and framed prints.

Have you ever printed any of your Instagram photos? Let me know what you would do with yours!

Gillian x

Outfit: Houndstooth


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Jumper: Primark
Leather Jacket: French Connection*
Jeans: New Look
Hat: Tu at Sainsbury's*
Scarf: Primark
Shoes: Tu at Sainsbury's*
Necklace: Ginger Pickle

You guys, it's finally scarf weather. This might seem like a strange thing to say as it's nearly half way through November already, but the last few weeks have been unseasonably mild. But never fear, winter has well and truly arrived and there's currently a howling gale and lashing rain outside. FUN. Anyway, I wore this outfit at the weekend to go to Tribeca for some birthday pancakes (I'm 25 now sobbbbb) and stopped off at the Bruntsfield Links opposite to frolic amongst the falling leaves and take some photos.

Tu Clothing (who you might recognise if you ever venture into the clothing department of your local Sainsbury's) recently launched their online shop, and I was really excited when they asked if I would like to become part of their Tu fashion blogger community - and even more excited when they let me go on a little shopping spree on their brand new website! As well as some winter basics like cosy jumpers and and pyjama bottoms (seriously, these Striped Jersey Bottoms are my favourite thing right now) I picked up a couple of accessories which are a wee bit out of my comfort zone. I really like fedora hats on other people, but I'm just not sure if I'm quite cool enough to pull them off... but I kind of love it anyway. I have discovered, however, that hats and windy Edinburgh do not mix well so perhaps this wasn't the most practical of winter purchases! The shoes are much more practical though, and pretty stylish if I do say so myself. They're really comfy and great to chuck on with a pair of jeans.

The rest of the outfit is very simple with a slouchy black jumper, black skinny jeans, black leather jacket and, shock horror, a black and white scarf! I'm all about the all-black outfits with a pop of colour or pattern, and this houndstooth scarf from Primark fits the bill nicely. It's so big and cosy and I kind of want to wear it as a blanket. I finished things off with one of my old favourite necklaces, a crescent moon from the lovely Ginger Pickle and hey presto - Saturday afternoon outfit sorted.

Are you a hat person? How would you style a fedora?

Gillian x

It's Not Social Media, It's You


You know what I'm sick of? People complaining that social media is ruining everything. "People never talk to each other any more and just stare at their phones instead". "Everything on social media is filtered and fake". "Everyone is unrealistically happy and perfect online". Well, I've got news for you: it's not social media that's the problem, it's you.

Yes, it's true that we all tend to present a slightly idealistic view of ourselves on our social media, but just because we pick the best selfie out of a bunch of 10 or 20 different angles doesn't mean it's not real life. Just because we want to share nice photos of sunsets and cakes and lipsticks doesn't mean we don't get ill or have bad days or go through hardships. Sometimes, if life is feeling a bit rubbish, it's rather lovely to have a scroll through your own Instagram page and remind yourself of lots of happy things. I want to be able to remember that meal with my best friends or that afternoon in the park with my boyfriend or that weekend on holiday with my family - and if that means I whip out my phone and take a couple of minutes to rearrange the plates and the cutlery on the table for a pretty aerial shot, then so be it.

You must be pretty naive if you think someone's Twitter profile or Facebook page is a full and accurate representation of that person's life. Complaining that "real people" can't live up to these perfectly filtered high standards is a ridiculous notion because we all know that these accounts are like a highlights reel rather than a 24/7 running commentary. Surely you're guilty of it yourself, no? Detagging a Facebook photo because your face looks a bit weird, or uploading an Instagram photo of your bedroom only after you've picked all your dirty washing up off the floor? And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Just because you select which photos to use doesn't make them any less real; they all still happened and they all still hold memories which otherwise might be lost and forgotten.

Social media accounts are personal (even ones which feature adverts or paid content) and so you can share exactly what you want to; nobody expects you to share every single thing in order for you to be "authentic". On the other hand, if you do want to share the not-so-perfect things then just do it, you go Glen Coco. The same rules apply for social media as for general life: don't be a dick, don't lie, be yourself and do what makes you happy. So, really, if you think social media is the problem then you just need to get a grip, lighten up and maybe switch off your notifications for an hour or two.

Gillian x