Tuesday, 24 February 2015

SS15 - Favourite Spring Picks

It's perhaps a little too early to get excited for Spring in Edinburgh just yet (brrr!) but I am excited about some of the SS15 collections that have been recently released. It's been a long old winter so it's so cheering to see some big bursts of florals, gorgeous pastels and super cute influences like Charlie Brown and colourful dinosaurs. Here are some of my favourite things!

How awesome is this dinosaur jacket from The White Pepper? Answer: very & I want it now please. Dinosaurs are a big theme in their latest collection, with dresses, leggings and separates featuring these colourful little guys. The rest of the collection is equally as playful, with these bright platform boots and the extreme peter pan pleat collar dress making my wishlist.

We're both huge fans of Tatty Devine and the latest collection's floral and fairground themes are a delight. Tatty Devine know better than most how a statement necklace can transform an outfit and my favourite from the new collection is this flower decoupage necklace. The colourful wildflowers are spot on for spring and will brighten up any grey day. The detailing on the carousel horse and raindrop cloud brooches are adorable and I need them to remind me of all the good things in the world.
Cambridge Satchel Company have just released a new range in collaboration with Peanuts, featuring satchels with the iconic Charlie Brown stripe in all sizes. There's also a range of A4 leather zip pouches with four different illustrations to choose from. I love the clutch with all of the Peanuts gang - seeing all my favourites like Lucy, Peppermint Patty and Linus with his blanket makes me so happy! And coming soon is a very cute dog collar, which have the Charlie Brown stripe and my favourite Peanut, Snoopy, on the pendant. 

I always look forward to viewing Orla Kiely's shows and her latest LFW show didn't disappoint - beautiful colours and prints as always with a strong floral theme in prints, installations, planters and cupcakes! The latest collaboration with Clark's continues this flower theme in bright colours like these yellow and coral bursts - the flower prints and cut-out punch heels are gorgeous, along with the bolder bright flower trim of the navy heels. But my favourite of the collection are the 70's style t-bar platforms in a tan snakeskin with adorned with a trademark flower - just amazing.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Happy Galentine's Day!

Image via Smart Girls

Valentine's Day is all well and good but we are much more down with today's alternative, Galentine's Day. Devised by the wonderful Amy Poehler's character Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation, it's celebrated the day before V-Day and is basically a day for ladies to celebrate ladies, the friendships that we have and our ongoing female awesomeness. Yeah! If you're down with Galentine's Day too, give your lady friends a compliment, tell them what they really mean to you and what you appreciate about each other.

Here's some other cool Galentine's stuff you can do:
♥ Go and visit Amy Poehler's Smart Girls to read articles on inspiring women and female empowerment.
♥ Smash the patriarchy over brunch - waffles are the traditional Galentine's meal and you can get some great ones from Papii's on Hanover Street.
♥ Listen to Rookie's tip top Galentine's playlist which will have you singing along straight away - who run the world? Girls!
♥ Remind your BFF that it's always hoes before bros and ovaries before brovaries with this instant download card from Etsy.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Argento Jewellery and 20% discount code

Argento are an online boutique selling gorgeous jewellery from a variety of brands, including Pandora, Thomas Sabo and Links of London along with some smaller exclusive companies. They have a huge range of jewellery, from quirky charm bracelets and pendants, classic watches, oversized cocktail rings and glittery gemstones.

Argento very kindly sent an August Woods necklace to us ahead of Valentine’s Day, a beautiful piece with a silver and grey looped design. It’s modern in design and classic enough to be teamed with either the most simple plain top or something more bold and patterned too. Stunning! August Woods have such a great range, I've got my eye on a lovely geometric silver spike necklace too. Argento sent some other goodies too; some luxury tanning lotion and chocolates and it was so lovely to be spoilt ahead of Valentine’s Day! It’s the perfect webpage for Valentine’s Day browsing for yourself or a loved one.

They have some brilliant offers on at the moment  - use the code LOVE20 to get 20% off your Argento purchase. And with a purchase over £50 you receive a free selfie stick! I must admit, it’s not something I would have purchased myself but it’s actually pretty cool. It’s nice to be able to get pictures of me and my boo without our huge faces being the main attraction and it’ll be great on holidays too. I’m not sure how high the embarrassment factor of waving one around in a crowded city would be but I’m looking forward to using it on a planned trip to Aviemore and capturing us with the beautiful Scottish countryside. And ensuring it captures everything sparkly that I'm wearing too!

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Blogging on the go in Edinburgh

One of the best things about writing a blog with one of your best pals is the fun we have with the process itself. Jane & I meet up regularly to chat about future posts, Instagram ideas and how much we love Pinterest - usually over tea, cake and/or lunch! I had become used to lugging my laptop around with me, an unwieldy 15 inch slab which is fine for using at home but a pain to heave around town. Luckily, Logitech recently sent us their Keys To Go stand-alone keyboard. to try out, which connects to all iPads via bluetooth and fits neatly into an everyday bag. It's thinner and lighter than a notebook, and has a lovely feel to it when typing. It's so nice to have more room in my bag and my shoulder appreciates the lighter load too! It's covered in a water-repellant fabric skin which helps protect this from any dirt and spills. Not only that, I can stand my iPad up on a table and settle in a comfy couch and write away with the keyboard on my lap. The perfect blogging experience!

I thought it would also be nice to give a shout out to some of our favourite places to meet up & blog. They all have free wifi, plugs to keep everything charged,  delicious coffees and cakes, and are happy to have folk hanging around for a few hours.

♥ Hemma Bar is located near the bottom of Holyrood Road and is stylish and spacious, with two floors of seating. Plentiful couches, fab brunches and lovely staff make this the unofficial Edinburgh Etiquette weekend HQ.

♥ Loudons Cafe is a very popular weekend hangout for folk working away on laptops, but it's roomy enough for all with lots of seating. The menu has healthy eats and cakes from their own bakery and the table service means you can sit for a good hours and get work done without having to move.

♥ Brew Lab is the smallest of the three hang-outs and based in the heart of studentville in the Old Town so it's always good to get there early. They take their coffee very seriously so it's the best place to go when you need a jolt of caffeine to help you get on with your work.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Edinburgh Events: Things to Do in February

February's not just for lovin', it's also about eating pancakes, watching ballet, fine foods and getting arty - check it:

CoppeliaThe Nutcracker & Swan Lake
10-14 February / Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre, 18-22 Greenside Place, EH1 3AA /
The Russian State Ballet are bringing a trio of some of the most magical and elegant ballets to Edinburgh - Coppelia, the Nutcracker and Swan Lake. We loved the Scottish Ballet's Nutcracker at Christmas and these are sure to be equally beautiful productions that will delight and inspire.

Pancake Weekend
13-15 February 2015 / Joseph Pearce's, 23 Elm Row, EH7 4AA
If there is one big day in February that is closer to my heart than Valentine's, it's Pancake Day! This year it's on the 17 February and JP's is having a Pancake Weekend to celebrate. Pop in any time for a stack of them to go along with the usual fine food, beers and Swedish inspired cocktails.

The Wave Pictures concert
10 February / Sneaky Petes, 73 Cowgate, EH1 1JW / £9
The Wave Pictures are one of our favourites and they'll have a new album out in February - yay! And they're playing in Edinburgh too - double yay! Hear some of the songs from Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon and swoon over the epic guitar solos.

The Scratch Series pop-up restaurant
Iglu, 2B Jamaica Street, EH3 6HH / £45
Scratch Series is a pop-up based at New Town eatery Iglu. Chefs David Crabtree-Logan and Ben Reade have taken over Iglu's upstairs restaurant space until the end of March, running every Thursday-Saturday at 7pm. At £45 it's a bit on the pricey side, but they promise to showcase the best local produce and plan to dazzle with seven course suppers of "refined, whimsical, thought-provoking and, above all, delicious food." With a description like that, who could resist?

Rail pop-up gallery & shop
Until 24 February / 9 South College Street, EH8 9AA
Run by University of Edinburgh students, this pop-up shop aims to combine art installation and shop, where even the clothes rails are specially designed sculptures. You can get a peek of what to expect from their Instagram account; they want to give visitors an experience where art is collaborative and the creative process is tangible. The pop-up will be visiting London in a few months so visit whilst you can.

Edinburgh Student Arts Festival
5-13 February / Venues throughout Edinburgh
This is the inaugural event, a collaboration between higher and further education institutions throughout Edinburgh. There should be a myriad of visual art, music, dance, exhibitions, talks, workshops, stalls and theatre shows, showcasing the work of 250 students. Expect wonderful things from Edinburgh's up & coming artists.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Edinburgh is Delicious: The Basement Bar, Broughton Street

Just a hop, skip and a jump away from Princes Street is Broughton Street, which has a small strip of cool bars and shops to visit at a more leisurely pace than Edinburgh's city centre. At the top of the street is the Basement Bar, an under-the-stairs hideaway which is a bit of an Edinburgh institution for cocktails and Mexican food. After a makeover in the past year it's a pretty sweet place to visit so I snapped up their invitation to try their menu

The dining space at the back of the bar is surprisingly light for a basement bar, with exposed brick, brightly coloured chairs and greenery decorating the walls. We were seated by our lovely waitress and perused the drinks menu with interest. As a Mexican bar, there was no surprise in the extensive tequila presence on the drinks menu or the sangrita, a palate cleanser intended for the moments between sips of tequila. There's also a fun cocktail menu too and, as a dedicated lover of everything passion fruit, I had to try their passion fruit and blueberry mojito. It was fresh and lovely, not too sweet due to the passion fruit kick to it and the traditional hint of mint. 

Their small bites menu has a lot of great choices on there, with some of our top picks being the seabass, scallop and prawn ceviche and the corn fritters with feta crema. After some deliberation, we settled for some crispy empanadias, filled with chorizo and spiced potato and some freshly made guacamole with tortilla chips. At the Basement Bar, you can be assured that freshly made guacamole really means freshly made, as they make this up right at the table. Scooping out a whole avocado and adding in red onion, garlic, lime and chili to your liking, it's mashed up in front of you ready to eat, a great touch. We were also presented with three bottle of hot sauce with varying degrees of heat - chipotle, jalapeno and for the bravest of souls who can take it, the intimidating x hot sauce. It's a good way to portion out spices when sharing dishes and the mountain of chips with the guacomole and delicate puffs of empanadias disappeared quickly.

The large plates have some favourite Mexican classics listed, like burritos, fajitas and baked enchilada, the latter of which was my dining companion's choice. It arrived as a huge flour tortilla covered in salsa and melted cheese, filled with chicken tinga, peppers and jalapenos. Served with rice, it was perfect with the hottest of hot sauces and deliciously filling. I thought the chilli negra sounded like an interesting choice of beef cooked with beer and dark chocolate, as did the Mexican blackened hake which was served with a seafood bisque and green rice. However I opted for the fish tacos, something I'd never tried before and thankfully, after stuffing myself with tortilla chips, the lightest dish on the menu. This was a tortilla crusted deep fried coley served on soft tortillas, with salad and mango salsa accompaniment and a good dollop of hot sauce. 

By the end of the meal we were pretty full, however something on the dessert menu had caught my eye, warm pineapple poached with chili and served with coconut ice cream. As a lover of tropical fruits, this ticked the right boxes for me and it was a lovely fresh way to end the meal. It was beautifully presented and accompanied with a sauce that I wasn't quite expecting, like a thin custard. While pleasant enough, I would have preferred the pineapple without the sauce, with the natural sweetness of the pineapple contrasting with the chili, but that was probably the only thing I'd change from our overall experience. We're looking forward to visiting again when we're next on Broughton Street as it's the perfect place in town to forget the cold and think warm sunny thoughts whilst tucking into freshly made guacamole!