Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Cragg & Tail



As with any profession no matter your field, it always pays to have a "side hustle" to balance out the normalcy of the nine to five. For Edinburgh's own budding entrepreneur Craig McKellar, this takes the form of side-stepping his office environment to launch a unique and distinctly Scottish menswear brand, Cragg & Tail - poles apart from the day-to-day world of finance...

To learn more about Cragg & Tail check out their website www.craggandtail.com or click here to enjoy the full article.

How do I connect with Cragg & Tail?

www.craggandtail.com
Facebook:  Cragg & Tail
Twitter:  @craggandtail
Instagram:  @craggandtail

Image: www.craggandtail.com

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Monday, 17 October 2016

Fixated on fear or excited for change?



Our lives often tend to find themselves in a constant state of flux.

In stark comparison with our parents' generation, we have learned to embrace, or at times curiously pursue, the transitory in favour of the static. We flutter between friend groups. We switch cities. We rotate our profession, all in an effort to increase our chances of a fresh environment and to safeguard from the threat of plateau.

Whether it hits as a bolt from the blue or after extended periods of careful thought, life can rapidly deliver us to crossroads and cliff edge moments.

Interested in reading more? Head over to www.thereisomethingmore.com or click here to enjoy the full article.

How can I connect with Something More?

www.thereissomethingmore.com
Facebook: Something More
Instagram: @somethingmoreuk
Twitter: @SomethingMoreUK
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Sunday, 16 October 2016

Dram & Smoke


This cockney catering outfit set the Fringe ablaze with a fun festival takeover. Hailing originally from Scotland, you were previously more likely to find Dram & Smoke carving a name for themselves in the Big Smoke, but they decided to return to their roots this summer to seduce Scottish foodies by serving up a selection of the best local produce on home soil.


To learn more about Dram & Smoke check out their website www.dramandsmoke.com or click here to enjoy the full article.

How do I connect with Dram & Smoke?

Dram & Smoke

www.dramandsmoke.com
Facebook: Dram & Smoke
Twitter: @Dram_and_Smoke
Instagram: @dramandsmoke
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Thursday, 11 August 2016

Rosie for Autograph


Rose gold packaging.

Those three little words that every self-respecting beauty blogger is dying to hear and sets her heart on fire. An affordable line with a vintage appeal targeted towards the girl about town that will have you inching ever closer to feeling like a goddess-on-the-go.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley encapsulates that glowy, golden bronze look that we love, especially for summer. Think neutral eye. A sweep of bronzer. My-lips-but-better. A hint of blush and lashings of mascara. It strikes the precarious balance of looking healthy and put together without running the risk of others discovering that you didn't simply wake up like this.

For me, her look radiates simple touches, with beautiful results. She always looks flawless, but never try hard and feel free to show me someone who doesn't crave a little bit of this in their routine. This is why I was delighted to learn that Rosie had recently teamed up with department store veterans Marks and Spencer to launch her own beauty collection for Autograph*. As rave reviews ricocheted their way around the internet, I could hardly wait to get my mitts on a handful of items from the range to see what all the fuss was about.


In this beauty bundle I received two of the cream eyeshadow sticks (Almond Eyes and Movie Star Crush), one lipstick (I love you so much), a fragrance and a bronzer (bronzed beauty).


I instantly fell in love with the eyeshadow sticks as they are such a great staple for an everyday face and completely fool proof. The formula is creamy without feeling wet to touch, blends like a dream, sets down and will hang out on your lids all day long.

If you need a bit of a breather from standard shadows, these are the perfect choice for tossing in your bag for work or to help you transition from day to night. You can do a simple, light wash or build the product up to intensity. They are also ideal to line the eye with a bronze tone or use the lighter champagne shade to dab on the tear duct if you are a fan of all-round multi-task items.

I honestly can't fault them and have used either shade or both most days since. With only four shades the choice may prove a little too restrictive for some, but for everyday shades Rosie has got your covered. I feel like this limited collection ties into the thought process behind her product line and by not overcomplicating matters, translating hints of glamour into daily life becomes a breeze.


Rosie's signature fragrance is floral, feminine and fresh. I found that it was a joy to wear and felt like it really stood the test of time. It was pleasant catching whiffs of it as it adapted throughout the day and seemed to infuse my hair and clothes, and believe me that could only be a good thing. The scent was developed by a top New York perfumer with oil produced from hand-picked roses from southern France.

Totally dreamy-nothing but the best for Rosie.


For me, adding the perfect bronzer to the range was a complete no-brainer. A key element of her look, you can use this matte shade to warm up the skin in a flash.

A light dusting on the spots the sun would naturally hit and you are all set, but please feel free to be as heavy handed with this as you wish. When channeling a RHW vibe, there is no such thing as too much bronzer.


These lipsticks. What a thing of beauty!

Each comes encased in rose gold with a delicate rose engraved on the bullet. I've said it before and I don't mind stating it again for the record: I really am a huge fan when brands pay real attention to detail and overall product aesthetic. Personally I feel that this really gives them a noticeable edge when compared with many similar trending items on the market. The down side to this of course is that it can make certain items almost too beautiful to use, but I always manage to talk myself into it.

"I love you so much" is such a vibrant, pick-me-up lip colour, which applies smoothly thanks to the argan oil and feels comfortable to wear, so no worries there. As a universal rule with almost any lip shade, you can layer up the pigment pay off or subtly dab on the lips for a more understated finish.

With 12 shades to choose from you can happily work your way up the spectrum from neutrals to brights, or even a mauve/brown if you are fully feelin' the retro 90s vibe. That being said, while it clearly works for some, some things are better left in the past...


A word to the wise- life truly has enough worries of its own, so when it comes to beauty remember to keep it simple and allow yourself to go with the flow. I would recommend that you take a trip in store to fully spritz and swatch this collection so that you can find your own favourites. The perfect choice for taxi titavation or to keep you feeling radiant in a rush.

Call off the search! I won't be letting these lil' war paint weapons out of my sight anytime soon. Whether it is in the morning or on the move, this new collection will guarantee that no matter the circumstances, everything is comin' up rosie...

*I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for review purposes only. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.*

How can I connect with Rosie/Marks and Spencer?

www.marksandspencer.com
Twitter: @RosieHW
Twitter: @marksandspencer
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Monday, 4 July 2016

Buff Concept Store


I didn't think it was possible, but Edinburgh just got a whole lot cooler.

Shopaholics delight as the New Waverley development springs into action investing in a stream of freshly restored arches into individual, independent stores for lifestyle, food and events. Each store has a unique theme and client following and contributes to a vibrant transformation of East Market Street in the Old Town.


I was invited by the ladies at Buff, Hollie and Carly, to come down and chat; perk up my nails with a Shellac treatment and have a peek around their new Scandinavian inspired nail workshop and concept store.


Influenced by a recent trip to Copenhagen, the girls fell in love with all aspects of Danish design and wanted to channel a flavour of this vibe into their own small slice of Scandi right in the heart of Edinburgh's shopping district.



Creative nail technicians at heart, these girls didn't want to have merely one string to their bow and opted to include a concept store to allow them to branch into other areas and product lines when they felt something grabbed their attention, such as sea-side Swedish skincare-savvy favourites L:A Bruket.


The nature of a concept store also encourages them to collaborate with other vendors in order to keep the vibe funky fresh, both for their shop environment and customers. What clever cookies!

The store feels personal and customer focussed. Hollie and I happily chatted away as she perfected my pretty paws and we got to indulge for a while trading stories of our own experiences in Copenheaven.


After a careful selection process, I opted for a red on the nails for that classic, polished feel. I have experienced Shellac a few times in the past- mainly for long holidays or special occasions-but I felt that Hollie took extra care and attention to ensure that everything looked just right.


My nails were prepped, filed and shaped before proceeding with the application which, as I type this 3 weeks on, still look pretty as a picture.

In my opinion, colour looks flattering on shorter nails and I love that when the nail is cured, you are literally "good to go". Shellac really is the perfect pick to allow your nails to look flawless whilst allowing them to grow.



With relatively limited square inches to play with within each archway, you really have to box clever with individuality and I feel that their Danish inspo lends itself very well to the space.

Cool toned walls, trendy lighting, fur throws, quirky shelving and of course a cutie cactus thrown in here and there will have bloggers swarming like moths to a fashionable flame.


Even though the newly curated development is a stone's throw from Waverley station it is somewhat set back from the main shopping thoroughfare so I was a little concerned that The Arches may initially miss some pedestrian foot fall, but I need not fear.


As word gets out and popularity increases, I feel like this exclusive set of arches attracts a dedicated customer who is seeking something that deviates from the norm. Kind of ideal for foodie fans or suckers for any store that offers something more attractive than the run-of-the-mill retail experience.


If anything, The Arches can be applauded for its community feel between the residents. As no two stores are the same it creates an environment for the owners to flourish and encourages the success of whoever "lives" next door-an aspect which I personally find extremely appealing.


If you are looking to inject some more fun into your retail therapy and support independent Scottish business, step right up. Think London's famous boxpark, with bagpipes (just kidding.)

Summer '16 is here, despite what you may read on the forecast.

There has never been a better time to get buff...


How can I connect with Buff?

Facebook: Buff
Twitter: @buffnwa
Instagram: @buffcs
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Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Choose Joy


Joy.

For such a small word these three letters hold potential for monumental impact on our journey in faith.

Joy easily spills out in moments of blessing, when life is well. When God feels close. The light of His favour burns bright and we feel this resource rests happily at our fingertips.

But could we have been so foolish to presume that in the context of Christian living, joy is inevitable?

What if there could be a different kind of joy other than what the world offers, Something More?

To read more of this article, please click here or use the link below:

www.thereissomethingmore.com/articles/2016/6/28/joy

How can I connect with Something More?

www.thereissomethingmore.com
Facebook: Something More
Instagram: @somethingmoreuk
Twitter: @SomethingMoreUK
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Friday, 24 June 2016

Isle of Skye Candle Company


Scottish brands proud of who they are, where they've come from and completely owning their story. That is a joy to behold.

It is pleasure to watch the regeneration and awakening of Scottish business. Seeing new quarters of the city developed and restored. Looking on as new businesses create and launch, and small companies with humble beginnings flourish into something both striking and beautiful. Each has their own personal story to tell and one such example is the Isle of Skye of Candle Company.



Having used their products over the last few years I was very keen to take a step behind the scenes to speak with them on a more intimate level. I adore hearing the excitement of how and where it all began.

What does their individual story demonstrate about brand identity?

What do they long to achieve?

What dreams do they have for the future?


You know what they say, location is everything. The Edinburgh branch of Isle of Skye is perched on one of the most picturesque streets in the entire city, so they couldn't wish for a more idyllic setting. The shop sits pretty as a picture as the cobbled sweep of Victoria Street stretches up to the Royal Mile. Perfect for locals and tourists alike to steal a little piece of Scotland for their own home.

You can't always be in Scotland, but if it was just for a season you can still treasure the memory. What could be better than something that translates the very fragrance of this incredible land into your living room?


Isle of Skye Candles use only the finest quality soy waxand linen wicks in their candles for a long/clean burn. They burn at a lower temperature than your average candle so this results in a greater scent throw. With 21 scents listed in their range, and 4 in the Scottish Premium Collection, Isle of Skye offers something to suit every taste.

Amongst my favourites are Mango and Pimento and Cranberries, saving Winter Warmer for the chilly season as we countdown to the holidays. Each scent is available in votives, small/large jars, travel tins and reed diffusers so you can enjoy it however you please.


It is quite clear that they are very attentive at every level of the business process from paper/glass recycling, to upcycled units within their shops. Through every step of their journey they emphatically communicate some core values of being handmade, green and Scottish.

The Isle of Skye is central to their brand, from the company's first inception on the island by founder James and family, until the present day. Inspiration from the island is continuously channelled back into the brand from scent creation and staff selection to aesthetic and ethos, which for me, allows them to stay completely unique.


From modest bothy beginnings, the company expanded from workshop to web. As popularity has grown so has their reach, with multiple stores popping up in some of Scotland's best loved locations including Edinburgh, Inverness, St Andrews and Glasgow. They have invested in collaborations, collected awards and have thoroughly cracked the mainland.


They are constantly developing and keep dreaming big to match the scale of their vision. Taking pride in everything they touch, this company take time to perfect the things that truly matter to them. Luxury ethical packaging. Building a loyal customer base. Creative scent creations and ensuring that quality products and happy customers remain at the heart of what they do, all the while remaining true to origin.


The journey doesn't end here, they have big plans for the road ahead. They even plan to launch a personal blog so that avid candle fans can get to know their team and gain a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes at Isle of Skye.

Isle of Skye Candles want to engage with a larger market to share their colourful collection with the world. I believe that even as they continue to grow they won't lose the personal nature and inherent Scottish roots that make them special.


For those who heart the personal touch or are in the market for a new pen pal, why not send a postcard to their island home and they might just gift you a little treat so that you can sample their heavenly scents for yourself.

No matter how you choose to connect with Isle of Skye, they will not disappoint and are only at risk of leaving you wanting more. I look forward to new products as they emerge and championing them as they take on the world with a young, vibrant team firmly behind them.

Where to from here? Hopefully the sweet aroma of success.

The Skye is the limit...


*I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for review purposes only. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.*

How can I connect with Isle of Skye Candle Company?

www.skyecandles.co.uk
Facebook: Isle of Skye Candle Company
Twitter: @skyecandles
Instagram: @skyecandles
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Friday, 20 May 2016

Transformed


Isn’t it funny how in life we try so hard to fit in. We are conditioned to do so from an early age. School, University, Employment.

We are taught to blend in. To not stand out.

But what if there was Something More?

To read more of this article, please click here or use the link below:

www.thereissomethingmore.com/articles/2016/4/26/transformed

How can I connect with Something More?

www.thereissomethingmore.com
Facebook: Something More
Instagram: @somethingmoreuk
Twitter: @SomethingMoreUK


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Thursday, 19 May 2016

Beauty- A Curious Obsession


In a world where Facebook is king, we strive to secure the perfect freeze frame to translate the most flattering version of ourselves and “highlight reel” life to our Instagram community, or via numerous other social scenes.

Beauty has become both top priority and curious obsession.

But what if there was Something More?

To catch more of this article, please click here or use the link below:

www.thereissomethingmore.com/articles/2016/4/14/beauty-a-curious-obsession

How can I connect with Something More?

www.thereissomethingmore.com
Facebook: Something More
Instagram: @somethingmoreuk
Twitter: @SomethingMoreUK
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Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Something More


I wanted to share a little personal collaboration I have embarked on in recent months, as it has become dear to my heart.

Sometimes it is incredibly liberating to fly solo, but I have found that it can be all the more inspiring, challenging and rewarding in many different ways if you choose to work in the context of a creative collective.

Let me make a special introduction. These guys are Something More.


They are a creative agency, clothing and lifestyle brand with a Christian focus and hey...that's just for starters. They have such an amazing vision to engage with the 20s/30s generation through a wide variety of platforms to challenge preconceptions and positively impact culture.

The folks at Something More are passionate in their presentation of Jesus and their faith to the world around them, so that together we can encourage conversations about faith to flourish and unlock truth. Their heart is to grow a community that represents Christ, truth and freedom in message, image and identity to a culture filled with questions.


I have had the privilege of working alongside them creating articles for their lifestyle magazine and it is evident that they translate a spirit of excellence into everything they touch. I will also be joining them in the launch of their new year long Training Academy. The Academy unites gifted Christian writers, film-makers, designers, photographers and artists who are thought leaders and examples in their field to develop skill and equip them to act as a creative voice for their peers and to communicate to a wondering world that there is something more.

In a nutshell:

Bringing change. Challenging perception. Pursuing excellence. Presenting Jesus.

They have just celebrated their second birthday and have achieved so much in this time. Chatting with them it is clear that they are really just getting started. It is encouraging to witness how the support they have received has allowed them to confidently dream big in this journey so far. I am excited to meet them at this juncture in the road and look forward to the path we are on together to see what unfolds.


My affiliation with Something More will take me to California later this year as we seek to bond together as a team and further connect with existing creative circles in LA and build new relationships for what the company can be involved in stateside.

So, you can fully expect to see articles and content about Something More on the blog as our partnership deepens. If this sounds super interesting, I would totally encourage you to check them out in more detail using the links below if you are intrigued to learn about the vision and work that they do. You can also keep your eyes peeled for more of what goes down when we head out to the West Coast.

Exciting, right? Why don't you join us?

How can I connect with Something More?

www.thereissomethingmore.com
Facebook: Something More
Instagram: @somethingmoreuk
Twitter: @SomethingMoreUK

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Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Magnum Double #ReleaseTheBeast


Hands up who has been having some fun in the sunshine lately?

We have had a run of glorious days here in the UK over the last week and it has been utterly wonderful. With sporadic sunshine (especially in Scotland), we have to be ready to leap at the chance whenever those rays hit to make the most of every single spectacular second.


Fine weather usually brings the typical suspects- shorts, flip flops, freakishly pale limbs, the moreish scent of BBQ infusing the air, impromptu picnics in the park, lazy lemonades in the garden and of course... ice cream.

As luck would have it, Magnum have added a few new flavours into the mix to help us along with feeling those summer vibes, and I aint' complaining. For me, they are moments of pure chocolate coated luxury with a slight nostalgic edge.

Magnums are what my dad used to buy for the weekends when he finally twigged that I was entirely "over" choc ices and desperately needed an upgrade. The good old days: Friday nights, no school, Friends on the telly and an ice cream in my hand...

Happy times.


The new flavours in the Double range include chocolate, caramel and my top choice, peanut butter. Whoever is responsible behind-the-scenes for dreaming up the idea of putting a layer of peanut butter sauce in an icecream, I seriously cannot thank you enough. Believe me, it is a game change.


Grab a box and some friends and go bask in those hazy summer evenings. You can pick up these delicious new additions and all the other classics from your local Tesco.

Make sure to catch up with Kendall Jenner and indulge in more of the #ReleaseTheBeast campaign here...

Will you dare to go double?



How can I connect with Magnum?

www.magnumicecream.com

Facebook: Magnum
Twitter: @MagnumUK
Instagram: @magnum

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Friday, 13 May 2016

Revolution


Revolution.

The mere mention of the place harks back to our university era, however this time I was here on an entirely different mission. Thankfully most things are a lot better now than they were "way back when" and truth be told, we can't always afford to live in the past, can we?

Revolution have had themselves something of a facelift during which they have totally overhauled their menu for a fresh, new season and invited me along to grab a table for two and get up close and personal with their new "Massive Tastes" menu.


I have to hold my hands up and sheepishly admit that I was pleasantly surprised by my experience. With our fair share of restaurants on the Edinburgh scene, it wouldn't automatically spring to mind if dialling up a dining spot in a hurry, but the new look drew me in and it now feels like the winning vote to grab a bite with a friend or a classic round of 5 o'clocktails.


The menu is decidedly uncomplicated but very tasty, promising to offer a dish designed for all tastes (even for our veggie friends). I chose the Glazed Half Roast Chicken and my dining date for the evening opted for the age-old British classic, Fish and Chips.

The team at Revolution have got you covered whether you want a traditional main dish, pizza, burger, sandwich or perhaps a share plate. They also make all ingredients clear if you are on allergy alert or a "free-from" foodie.


The portions are generous for a main dish with potential to squeeze in a dessert if you are battling those sweet cravings. With it being a school night we stuck to soft drinks, however they offer an exciting selection of juices, cocktails, mocktails and pitchers to share if all you want is a pretty drink with an umbrella.


With the recent update, the venue is scattered with a few pops of colour, cool design fixtures and low lighting to add warmth. Extra points for copper shades- clearly the word has got out and they know what I like.

There is a gentle sense of ambience which enables a comfortable volume for table chat. Nothing is worse than when you are left screaming at your friend across a menu and she still has no clue what you are actually talking about.


The level of service we received was also very attentive, ensuring that we were well fed and watered at every stage of our visit. We wanted for nothing as they brought every sauce and condiment to our fingertips, including a new tangy speciality ketchup with a magic ingredient which I found oddly addictive.


Thumbs up team Revolution, hearty recommendations all round. Perhaps they are finally starting to ditch that cringy association of the "Vodka Rev/student timewarp" days and it really just goes to show that it is never too late to take the opportunity to step up your game and try a little something new.

The "new-look" Rev has spruced itself up and is catching our attention once again, for different reasons. It is almost like the older, trendier brother of the geeky kid that you liked in High School, but were too embarrassed to tell anyone about.

When it comes to food, I always have space in my heart for a new crush...


How can I connect with Revolution?

www.revolution-bars.co.uk/bar/edinburgh

Facebook: Revolution Edinburgh
Twitter: @RevolutionBars
Instagram: @revolutionbars
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