Borders girl living life in the capital

My 2012

So hasn't this year just flown by!! This time last year I was freaking out about how little of my dissertation I had done and I had no answer to the question I seemed to be asked about ten times a day: "So what are you going to do when you finish uni?"!?!? I had absolutely no idea! But somehow everything for me this year has just fallen into place and I'm so happy right now! I love living in Edinburgh and I have the best flatmates, I'm lucky that I can see my family pretty regularly, I don't see my best friends as much as I'd like to but when we are together it's always like we've never been apart and I absolutely love my job! I feel very privileged to be in the position I am right now! Who knows what this time next year will be like! 

So here is a summary of my year: 

In April I turned 22 and celebrated with cocktails with all my closest friends: flatmates, uni girls and my school best friends!! I love these photos!

In May this year I finished 4 years of uni. It's still quite surreal that I'll never be going back, 4 years went by so so quick! I loved every minute of it though...well sort of! I didn't really love the month or so before  our dissertations were due! Regardless of that I did love uni and I made some pretty amazing friends there!

In June this year I graduated from Heriot-Watt University with a 2:1 Honours Degree in Textile and Fashion Design Management and I couldn't be happier with the grade I ended up with! 

My flatmate Nicola moved away back home this year for a job. Although we were so happy for her for getting the job we were also very sad to see her go! :( Not long after Nicola moved out we advertised the room in the flat and that's where Julia came in! 

Summer this year was a good one. The summer weather seemed to come in May and that's when I spent my free days sitting up on Calton Hill reading in the sunshine or when me and Lana sat drinking cider in St Andrews Square one evening! I had a few weeks off of work in July and went on a few nights away places with my Mum and sister Lindsay and caught up with my Kelso friends! I spent time enjoying the Edinburgh festival, had plenty of coffee dates with my Dad, enjoyed getting caught up in Olympic fever and in general had a great time!

Just after my summer holiday from work I applied for the trainee management scheme within Clarks and I was successful! Since then I've been working full time in Clarks and for most of that time I've been in charge or running the men's department! I feel so lucky to have landed a job that I absolutely love and I can see myself having a career with Clarks now.

In September this year one of my best friends got married! Their wedding day was probably one of my favourite days this year. The weather was amazing, the ceremony was just perfect...and very emotional, everyone looked amazing... it was such a fun day spent with friends and meeting new people. And the day was topped off with lots and lots of dancing!

And of course I spent time with these two! We've had some great times this year. These photos are from Amy's 21st in April and our friend Rebecca's 21st in January. 

And finally I finished the year with an amazing Christmas spent seeing family and relaxing! This photo of me and my three sisters was taken on Christmas day.

Christmas Truffles Recipe

I'm dedicating this recipe post to my lovely assistant manager Sarah, as a wee Christmas gift! I've progressed to management level in my job this year and I definitely wouldn't have got there without Sarah's help and support! So thanks for everything! She has been asking me for this recipe for ages and instead of just noting it down for her I thought that since I was making them anyway I would make a recipe blog post. So here you go Sarah: 

I should state that this is by no means a proper recipe and I never measure the ingredients for's very much a 'throw it all in a bowl and hope for the best' kind of recipe!

Digestive biscuits
Ground almonds
Condensed Milk
Cocoa or chocolate powder
Baileys (or Lidl's much cheaper equivalent as pictured!!)

Firstly crush the digestive biscuits...I do it in a sandwich bag with the end of a rolling pin! I used just over half the packet of biscuits for this.

Pop the crushed digestives into a bowl with the tin of condensed milk and the ground almonds. I think I used about a packet and a half of almonds since they were quite small packets, I'd usually use about 1 bigger bag.

Mix these ingredients together...adding in melted chocolate and some chocolate powder. I used the whole big bar of Galaxy melted and about 2 tablespoons of hot chocolate powder. At some point during this mixing stage add some Baileys (if desired!) and mix it in well!

Mix the ingredients until all the chocolate is mixed in well and until the mixture is a good, thick, sticky consistency! This is usually where I end up adding more of everything! I added too much Baileys when I was making these so it ended up too sticky so I had to add more biscuits and almonds here. 

Put the mixture in the fridge for an hour or so to let it set...and grab a cuppa!!

Now it's time to roll them into balls! Spread some chocolate powder (or desiccated coconut or vermicelli) on a tray, take a small piece of the mixture in your hands, roll into a ball and coat in the chocolate powder.

And there you go! Simple really!!

Making the truffles into Christmas Puddings!

Mix up some basic icing with icing sugar and the tiniest bit of water. The icing needs to be very very thick to save it running all down the sides of the truffles.

And then pop a little bit of icing on the top of each truffle, these ones don't look as good as ones that I've made in the past! Cutting a little circle from roll out icing (and sticking it on with heated apricot jam) works too...and might have looked a bit better than this!

At this point I put the truffles back in the fridge to allow the icing to set a bit! I just gave them about 15 minutes in the fridge and then it's time to make the holly on the top with icing pens!

And they're finished!!! A few of my work friends got their wee box of truffles today and Sarah will be getting hers tomorrow!

Merry Christmas!

My life lately via Instagram #2

 Me and Hannah at our work Christmas party. / My outfit shot for the Christmas party, Zara dress and Clarks shoes and bag...obviously! / Me with Jake and Scott, the other trainee managers. / Painting robins and trees for homemade Christmas cards, / Treated myself to coffee and cake whilst Christmas shopping. / Adam Holmes and The Embers gig, my Dad on the right playing bass. 

Our Christmas tree in the flat. / Spent a lot of my 2 week holiday from work in bed watching One Tree Hill. /  The big wheel at the Edinburgh Winter Wonderland. / Me and my wee sister Zoe. / Sunset shot I took from outside my Dad's house. / Zoe and I messing around taking photos!

Bacon roll when I was at home for the weekend (I never buy bacon myself so it was so good to get it at home!) / A card my Grandma sent my mum, she wrote in the top right corner 'Same address as the last 40 odd years'!! / Hazelnut latte and french apple sponge at the cafe I used to work/where my mum works. / Our cat, Pudding. / Spiced orange and cinnamon brownie I bought from a stall at the Christmas Foodies Festival. / The previously mentioned cafe.

The ingredients for Moroccan chickpea and spinach soup. / My list of things to do on my 2 weeks off work. / The finished turned out well! / Chocolate and banana cupcakes before they went in the oven. / Tea and Christmas films in bed, / The finished cupcakes.

Pretty skies in Smailholm. / Photos from Lynsey's wedding: us girls having fun at the photo booth. / More pretty skies...Edinburgh this time! / Chicken with barbecue sauce and sweet potato mash. / Lynsey, Lana and I at Halloween: tree nymph, ice queen and Kermit the frog. / My new favourite breakfast: porridge with Nutella.

Drawing, of what I think is meant to be me, on a postcard from my little sister Zoe. /  The cake thingy that my flatmate made after seeing it made on The Great British looked and tasted amazing! / The lovely scenery at Stirling uni when I was visiting my sister Melissa, I'm very jealous she gets this view walking to uni everyday. / Nice pub lunch with Melissa when I went to visit for the day. / Spotty tights for work one day. / Mojito's at Chiquitos!

New-ish Winter Wardrobe Purchases

This is just a wee post about some of the clothes I have bought recently.

I had been on the look out for a snood that could be wrapped around tight for a while. I have a lovely red furry one from Topshop which I love but it's stitched in place and hangs quite low. I saw this one in River Island when I was Christmas shopping and had to get it since it fitted the bill perfectly. It's so cosy, a nice neutral colour, can be wrapped around tightly and wasn't too expensive...£15 I think. I've worn it almost everyday since I bought it, definitely a good purchase.

I finally decided on a winter coat! I bought this navy wool overcoat from Zara. (I did try to take my own photo but had to steal the website one since it looked a bit better here!) I am the worst person at decision making but somehow my friends managed to put up with my half an hour debate over whether to buy it or not and convince me to go for it. I'm really glad I did, I'd tried on lots of coats over the past few months and you might have seen my blog post about a month or so ago about which coat to buy. As the worst decision maker in the world I still wasn't 100% sure about it even once I had it at home. It did hang on a hanger on the front of my wardrobe for a week or so before I wore it! However now that I have worn it I'm very happy with this purchase!

I bought this wee H&M number for a date! ;) And I've worn it a few times since then for 'casual drinks' kind of nights out. It was only £14.99 which I think is pretty good going. I often get drawn towards anything with cream and navy/black stripes, it's a look that I really like. I'll hopefully get lots more wears out of this one...possibly tomorrow night to a gig I'm going to.

I'm not usually a fan of Primark but I do have to admit that I love their basic clothes. I live in their plain black tee's when I'm at work and this jumper was only £5. I have a lack of jumpers so this filled a space in my wardrobe. They have so many different colours but I chose this one in deep red! My favourite colour...and so Christmassy! I do keep venturing back into Primark for basic clothes. I bought a plain teal coloured t-shirt a few days ago and a pack of coloured socks for wearing with my ankle boots, needed some nice socks for when you can see the socks at the top of the boots.

I haven't really bought much more than this recently, I'm wearing the same dress I got for a wedding in September to my work's Christmas night out on Saturday but I'm thinking depending on my bank balance in a few weeks I'll have a little look out for a nice outfit to wear on Christmas day. I saw a few velvety playsuits on a website somewhere so might look into that! But for just now my money is primarily for Christmas presents and socialising! :)

Winter Inspiration

In the last few days I seem to have really developed a Christmas spirit. I think it may have something to do with having two weeks off work so I've got plans to go Christmas shopping, see the lights get switched on in town, make Christmas cards, buy a tree and decorate our flat and me and a few friends are going to a Christmas food festival at the weekend! I am officially very excited for Christmas!! Even had 'Fairytale of New York' blasting last night and I've already watched 'Miracle on 34th Street' about 2 weeks ago!

I ended up spending ages last night looking through Tumblr blogs that are dedicated to Winter and Christmas and that's where I found all of these lovely images. (Most images are from this one and this one!) Hot chocolate, snow, cosy socks and knitted's what this time of year is all about. 

The sky's not the limit, it's just the view.

I seem to have an obsession with talking photos of the sky. Some of these photos are from a few years ago when I lived at home, I just found them on my usb stick recently. However I'm lucky to have a great view from the flat I live in now in Edinburgh and so the majority of these sunset shots were taken from the flat! Every time the sky is anything but dull and grey I'll take a photo, I love having such a great view of the skyline from my window. I know these photos are not great quality (I'm not really into photography and most of them were probably taken on my phone), they're pretty though!

Recently Played

Hi guys, been pretty absent from here lately. I've been very busy working and enjoying life! I will most likely have another instagram style post very soon so I'm sure you will all see what I've been up to including me and my friends amazingly homemade Halloween costumes! I'll hopefully be able to put aside some time soon to construct posts and I have loads of ideas for blog posts including some Christmas themed posts! But for just now here's a little insight into what I've been listening to lately:

I first heard of The Lake Poets when they were the support act when I went to see Leddra Chapman live in Newcastle a few years ago. I came home from that gig and downloaded some of their material, which I played to the point of exhaustion at the time, and this is their most recent number. Almost played this to that point too!

I've always been a fan of Taylor Swift's stuff and this song just came up on my YouTube app the other day as one of the featured videos and since then I've had it on repeat. Such a nice song! This song might tempt me into buying her new album.

I've been a fan of Rebecca Ferguson since she was on the X Factor, I was in the minority of people voting for her when most people were Matt Cardle fans! I got her album for Christmas last year and it really has been my most played album this year. When she appeared on X Factor this year singing this one, I was unaware that she even had a new song out so basically since then this is another one that I've had on repeat.

I'm not even quite sure how I came across this one! I've never really listened to Frightened Rabbit before, despite them being from pretty near my home town...I think! Even now I haven't listened to anything more the than this one. I just love this song for some reason, you've got to love the singing with a Scottish accent!

Now my liking for Nicki Minaj songs is one that I feel particularly ashamed about but it really is one of my guilty music pleasures. I've never not liked any of her songs, they're just so darn catchy!..."If you want it, I'm gonna be Va Va Voom Voom!"

Winter Coat Fund

I've started saving up money in a jar for a winter coat! It's my winter coat fund and I'm slowly adding to it until I have enough money to treat myself to a lovely new coat. I have a parka style coat which I've had for the past three years and I still love it but I'd really like a new one in a different style. As the parka style is fairly casual, I have set my sights on finding a perfect smart coat that will look quite dressy. Here are a few of the ones I have found on my search so far...

1. Zara £59.99

2. H&M £59.99

3. All Saints £275 (Not in a million years could I pay this for a coat but hypothetically if I had the money then I do love it! Pretty near the price of my rent though!)

4. Next £80

5. Zara £69.99

There was also a strong contender my Winter wardrobe wish-list post a few weeks ago, another Zara one!

I've done that really stupid thing though, where I've built up an image in my head of the perfect coat and now I can't find it...because either it doesn't exist or it does exist and costs a bomb!! Oh well...the search goes on! I will be sure to blog about the coat when I finally buy one!
© Country Girl - City Life

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