Borders girl living life in the capital

Life Lately #4

I've not done a post like this in ages. If you follow me on Instagram then you've probably seen most of these snaps before, and if you don't then here's a little insight into what I've been up to lately:

Re-living my love for Edinburgh
Sunset on Princes Street. / Autumn leaves and sunny skies. / The Shore in Leith. / Views from Calton Hill.

Nights out with friends
Reunited with 'the uni girls' with dinner and cocktails at Bar Soba. / Clarks night out; me and the girls who help me run my Men's department!

Home sweet home in The Borders
I've headed home to The Borders a few times lately. Waiting at the bus stop to head home last week. / Having breakfast outside in the backyard on a sunny day. / Our cosy living room with a roaring fire and fairy lights. / Looking through the cases of old photos; my sisters and I. / Mum's homemade quiche for tea. / Popcorn and a cuppa in front of the TV. 

 Home sweet home in Edinburgh
I bought new bed covers and tidied my room, I LOVE my bedroom in our flat. / Duvet day with tea and my new bed covers. / Girly night in after a long day at work. / Nachos and wine!

I've been reading:
I don't really read much at all but this book is so inspiring and motivational, I would definitely recommend it. It's the first book I've bought for Kindle on my iPad and I'm slowly working way through it.

I've been listening to:
I've mostly been listening to Adam Holmes new album 'Heirs and Graces'. My Dad plays bass for Adam and I'm so proud that the album reached number 12 on the iTunes singer-songwriter chart. Please go and check it out, I know I'm obviously very biased but I guarantee that you'll love it!

I've been cooking:
Tomato and mozzarella pastry tart. / Backberry and apple crumble. / Chilli stuffed pepper.

I've been dining out at:
Lunch with friends at Arcade Haggis and Whisky House on Cockburn Street. / Dinner for my Grandma's birthday at The Granary in Leith. / Coffee and a cinnamon pastry at Black Medicine Coffee. / Blogging from Black Medicine Coffee. / Carrot cake and cappuccino with a friend in Urban Angel.

I've been visiting:
I went down to Clarks head office in Street, Somerset. The Clarks shopping village is so pretty, lots of bunting, flowers and umbrellas in trees. / I flew down to Bristol when I was visiting Clarks HO and there are Gromits all over the city! / I also went to see The Great Tapestry of Scotland at The Scottish Parliament. My mum contributed to part of the massive project (that's her in The Herald!). It was very impressive, I'll blog about it soon I think.

I've been buying:
Lots of autumn colours (which you can see in my last post). / A beauty haul on payday; new additions to my make-up bag as well as all the essentials.

My Autumn Wardrobe

I thought that I'd show you how I've updated my wardrobe so far for autumn (with some not-great photography!). I would say that I bought a few of these items, mainly the bag and blazer, because I had an interview to dress for but that's maybe a little bit of an excuse. I've loved the Clarks bucket bag since we first had it in store in tan last year and as soon as I knew it was coming in the burgundy colour I had a feeling that I'd end up buying it! I bought the floral scarf from Zara to tie in with the purple colour in the bag for the interview but I didn't even end up wearing it on the day. Needless to say I've worn it almost everyday since then so it was definitely not a wasted purchase. So far this autumn the scarf and bag seem to have become my statement pieces that I've managed to work into most outfits.

Bag - £69.99 Clarks (although I got staff discount off of that!)
Scarf - £17.99 Zara

Cream blazer - £29.99 H&M
This is the least autumnal piece that I've bought and was probably the last of the summer season stock in the shop. I really did only buy this for the interview however I've always kind of wanted a light coloured blazer and I've worn it to work most days recently instead of my black one.

Grey jumper - £14.99 H&M
Purple t-shirt - £6.99 H&M
As soon as the weather turned a little bit chilly I was desperate to buy a jumper! I opted for this speckled grey one from H&M, I had one quite similar a few years back and I hardly ever had it off. A jumper like this is so easy to wear whether it's dressed down with jeans and scarf or dressed up a bit with a blazer and statement necklace. Whilst in H&M I also bought this purple tee; just more things to tie in with the colour of my bag and scarf. 

Patterned sleeveless shirt - £3 H&M sale
Necklace - £3 Matalan
Earrings - £1.50 Dorothy Perkins
Again, it was the burgundy colour in this shirt that drew me towards it and when I saw that it was only £3 in the sale it wasn't really a hard decision whether to buy it or not. I've worn it to work once, buttoned up and tucked into black skinny jeans with the cream blazer. I also can't pass up bargain jewellery! I picked up these wee bargains when I was at home in The Borders lately, I love the ribbon chain necklace.

"Oh wow, you're so brave!"

I thought that I'd write a little post about my experience with online dating! I'm not an expert in the field, by no means. I've actually only used one website and dated one person, which I know in the online dating world is pretty uncommon. You're supposed to join loads of websites and go on multitudes of good (and plenty of bad!) dates, and just get to know loads of people! (And when I say 'get to know', that can mean a different thing from one single person to another!)

It was one of my friends that suggested I join the website OkCupid! I wasn't, and am still not, sure how you go about meeting someone unless you meet them in a club or through work, so this seemed like a good option. The website, which is completely free, requires you to set up a typical profile (*insert intelligent yet witty description of yourself*) and also asks you answer some specific questions, which enables them to suggest matches by what percentage you are compatible! There are always going to be weird people kicking about on these websites and I certainly wasn't replying to the guy who messaged me simply saying "hi what company do you work for"!?!? But I did reply to one person (94% compatible!) who, to cut a long story short, I ended up dating for about 4 months. I had such a great few months spent getting to know him and doing all those couple-y things that go along with dating. It was exactly what I wanted from joining the website! We split due to factors out of our control and, although we don't see each other, we are still friends.

I partly wanted to write this to try and maybe change some people's mindset on the whole online dating thing! I just needed the push that my friend gave me to join a website, and I'm so glad that she did. I've seen a few girls on my twitter feed tweet about how they've thought about joining a website but they're too scared, or they've been talking to someone but are too nervous to meet them. When I was dating and my friends asked me "Oh so where did you meet him?", my response was always matched with "Oh wow, you're so brave!" I suppose maybe you do have to be quite brave to do it, and yes it was daunting meeting someone for that initial drink when you know absolutely nothing about them, but it was also really really fun! It's becoming massively common nowadays (hence those pants they're selling in Asda!!) and some people Internet date like it's a sport but it's definitely still a bit of a taboo subject! Yes, you do judge potential dates from a few photos, their music taste and what six things they couldn't live without...but they are doing the same with you!

You only live once so if you are thinking or have ever thought about joining a dating website then I say just do it (and OkCupid is a really good one if you are considering it)! And if it doesn't work out? Then you can say you've done it...and I'm sure you will have also gained a few free drinks from the experience too! ;)

Cold and Cosy

As I went to write this post I remembered that I actually wrote a post exactly like this at this time last year! Obviously the exact same thing happened last year; we seem to have gone from the height of Summer to what basically feels like Winter in the space of a few weeks. The shops getting all their cosy winter knitwear and heavy woollen coats in stock didn't really seem very gradual at all, maybe I missed the in between phase, but to me it looked like shops just swapped their bikinis and kaftans for jumpers and scarfs. I'm not complaining about that at all, I do love a cosy jumper and scarf combo and always prefer the layers of winter fashion to anything the shops have to offer in the Summer. However I will let out a little disappointed sigh at how quickly Summer ended. I came out of work the other day at 8ish and it was practically dark!?!? X Factor has started...I mean lets all just resign ourselves to the sofa every weekend from now on and admit that it's essentially the countdown to Christmas. 

I do love that cosy, and at the same time cold, feeling that seems to have appeared in the air. I've watched a lot more TV in the past few weeks than I have done in months, I was lured into buying a huge tub of hot chocolate powder at the weekend (only to find I had loads already!), I couldn't deny myself the purchase of a jumper and a scarf (blog post in the process) and I may have already used my hot water bottle a few times!! Maybe talking about Christmas is jumping the gun a little bit but I do think we can safely say that autumn is officially here!!

"You curse yourself for things you've never done."

This is just a little inspiration post. I recently joined Pinterest and have since spent hours (no, make that days!) pinning pretty pictures of dream kitchens and craft things that I'll never in a million years get around to making! But the thing I seem to be pinning the most are little inspirational quotes. There's always one that seems to relate to exactly what I'm thinking about at that particular moment. So here's a few inspirational quotes about living life to the full and taking chances and opportunities! I'm sure everyone can relate to these in different ways but for me right now, it's a career and job situation. When opportunities come up you just have to take them and run with them! I don't want go all YOLO, but I'm going to because it's true, you do only live once!

"So your answer, don't be scared of failure. The only failure is never to try."   - Passenger 

All of these images can be found on my 'Quotes' Pinterest board.

No. 81 Princes Street

A few weeks ago my work relocated from number 79 Princes Street to number 81! Not a very far move, which I'm sure we were all hugely thankful for, since the teamwork of moving 7000 shoe boxes (not even half!) just two doors along the street was hard enough work for one day! The work of relocating was a hugely strenuous and physically tiring few days but the end result was so fulfilling. The new shop is refitted with the new Clarks interior design style, very aesthetically different to our old store with such a fresh new feel. It's designed with the consumer in mind, making the Clarks shopping experience easier and more pleasurable. As soon as we were shown around the newly refitted shop, we all loved it and as the men's department team leader it feels so great to have a brand new department to make my own! It was a great experience to be involved in one of Clarks' biggest refits and having a brand new shiny shop to work in is great! The response from our customers has been lovely too! The CEO of Clarks even came in during her holiday to Edinburgh to have a look at our new shop, I was starstruck!! 

So if you too are in Edinburgh, pop in and say hi! And if you're not then here's some snaps from our opening day! (Opened by Jack Nano and Daisy, the Clarks mascots...obviously!)

My dream Summer festival line-up

I'm desperate to get to another music festival in the next few years but for just now I'll just have to dream about who would make my perfect Summer 2013 line-up. As this is extremely hypothetical it's a very mixed line-up of music including some of my all time favourites like Fleetwood Mac and Alanis Morissette as well as lots of my favourites from this Summer; Passenger, Bastille and Kodaline amongst others.

Spain and my favourite photo editing apps

I've just recently returned from my first holiday in five years and my first time on a plane ever, after my sister Melissa and I booked a last minute getaway to Fuengirola in Spain. We were only in Spain for 4 nights, which absolutely flew by as I knew it would, but we managed to fit in plenty of sunbathing, swimming in the sea, shopping and a few cocktails...of course!!

I've decided to blog my holiday photos at the same time as showing you some of the photo editing apps that I've been using lately. I own an android phone and so I was always so gutted that I couldn't get any of the photo editing apps that I saw used on my Instagram feed, as they all seemed to be made for iPhone only. I loved the bokeh light effect that I saw used quite often and more and more Instagram photos I was seeing seemed to be cut into shapes. There are probably plenty of apps for android that can do these things however now that I have my iPad I have the luxury of access to iPhone apps...and I've been using these three quite a lot.

A Beautiful Mess. This app came on the market just after I bought my ipad and I think it's the only one from these three that has a specifically designed app for this platform. The app basically provides a cute style of text, borders, doodles (like hearts and arrows), filters and pre-written words (such as 'yum' and 'adventure'). There's an option with this app to pay for add on packages with more fonts and borders etc which I haven't purchased yet but it's very tempting. Search the #abeautifulmess hashtag on Twitter or Instagram to all the ways the app can be used, some people are so creative with it.

Afterlight. I've only really used the app for the frames it provides. You can also use it to generally edit the colours and tones of photos and it does have some filters you can apply to the photo too. However I just like the shaped frames options and the fact that you can adapt the background transparency of the frame.

PicFX. I'd been looking for this one for a while, basically just to put the bokeh light effect on photos however the app also has a lot more to offer. There are loads of different filter options and the option to create layers of different effects on your photos. I still do go straight to the folder of light effects though, I just really love how they look. 

I paid for all of these apps but none of them were over £2, a pretty good buy if you ask me!

So here's my favourite holiday snaps:

Triangle frame: Afterlight. Text: A Beautiful Mess.

Bokeh light effect: PicFX. Text: A Beautiful Mess.

Circle frame: Afterlight. Text and rays border: A Beautiful Mess.

Black and White filter: Instagram. Rounded edges: Afterlight. Text: A Beautiful Mess.

Scratched filter: PicFX. Frame: Afterlight. Text: A Beautiful Mess.

Filter: PicFX. Bokeh light effect: PicFX. Text: A Beautiful Mess.

Circle frame: Afterlight. Text: A Beautiful Mess.

Filter and circle frame: Afterlight. Text: A Beautiful Mess.

Text: A Beautiful Mess.

Bokeh light effect: PicFX.

Bokeh light effect: PicFX. Heart frame: Afterlight.

Bokeh light effect: Afterlight.

Filter: Instagram. Bokeh hearts: PicFX. Text: A Beautiful Mess.

Filter and Bokeh hearts: PicFX.

My year so far

Since we're practically half way through the year already (where does time go!?!),  I thought that I would look back at my resolutions and plans that I posted on here back in January and see how many of them I have actioned or achieved. 

You've got to love an inspirational One Tree Hill quote!!

Eat healthier - I really just eat what I want to, and because I don't tend to eat overly unhealthily, that seems to work okay for me! I've been good at taking a packed lunch to work which I think makes a huge difference to how healthily I eat as well as how much money I spend on packed lunches in comparison to buying lunch everyday. I did try a few weeks of only eating chocolate on Saturdays, when I felt I was eating it just a little bit too much (those tiny little Kinder chocolate bars became my downfall...they're so small, of course I can eat 6 at once!!). I also tried to be super healthy before my holiday to get a 'bikini body' however that didn't last too long before I resigned myself to thinking that eating differently for a week before my holiday wasn't going to make any different so there wasn't much point!! My philosophy of just eating what I want to is going okay and as I said back in January...I'm not going to stop eating cakes!! 

Read more - This one was a long shot! As much as I want to I just can't seem to get into reading. Magazines yes, books no! However, having just been on holiday I did start a novel and get half way through it before coming home, and I have all the intention in the world to finish it...I promise! 

Go to bed earlier - Who was I kidding, that one was never going to happen!!

Spend my spare time being more creative - The extend of my creativeness lately has probably been playing around with different photo editing apps! I did make a birthday card for my sister but unfortunately that's really as far as it goes. I'm off work this week for what is technically my summer holidays so I might try and draw or paint a little bit whilst I'm off. I always love it once I get started and wonder why I don't do it more often. I also bought a frame in a charity shop a while back and have intentions to make a kind of photo collage in it, so I'll have to get that on the go!

Manage my time better - I suppose this kind of links to a lot of these other resolutions, if I managed my time better I might have more time to be creative or read! I do waste quite a lot of time of an evening browsing on all the various social networks or looking for new music on Spotify. However I try to make my days off work quite productive. My two days off a week aren't always together so I try to use at at least one of them to do the housework, go food shopping, go swimming and cook so that I have the other one free to do my own thing or see friends and family. I sometimes try when I'm cooking to make a few meals in one go, that I can freeze in portions and either have for tea or take to work for lunch, so in that aspect I think I manage my time alright.

Join an exercise class - I still haven't done this! I still really really want to start going to Pilates again but so far I've just been going swimming as my main method of exercise and I'm happy doing this just now as long as I keep it up!!

Save money - I actually think this resolution has been quite successful. I saved enough to buy my iPad and go on holiday and I'm really quite proud of myself for that! 

Get a team leader position at work - I interviewed and got the position of the men's department team leader at work at the end of January! Woooo!

Go on dates - After persuasion from a friend I joined a few dating websites!! And after one very successful first date, lots of great dates followed (including a day at the zoo!!) I'm very glad I plucked up the courage to join the website, it's so much fun getting to know someone! :)

Visit Rachel in Manchester - I'm travelling down with Amy to stay with Rachel this week!!! It's the first time in 2013 since we stood and watched the New Years fireworks that all three of us will be together! I can't wait, I miss the three of us so much. 

Stay with Melissa in Stirling - I went to stay with Melissa in her uni halls in March and she took me out for a night out in Stirling with her and her friends. Hopefully I can go up and stay again when she's back at uni in September. 

Try and visit my family more often - I have been home to visit quite a few times but probably not as much as I, or my mum, might like! I need to make more effort to go home even just for the day when I have days off work. I just wish I had a car, the bus journey home takes so much more time than it would take to drive! 

Holiday abroad with my friends....maybe even go on a plane for the first time ever!! - Okay so it wasn't with friends...It was with my sister Melissa but I did just go to Spain and went on a plane for the first time ever!! I can finally score that off of my bucket list! I absolutely loved flying, I only got back two days ago and can't wait to jet off somewhere else already!

Buy more statement clothing instead of cheap items that I'll only wear a few times - Hmm I'm not too sure how this one is going. Because I've just been on holiday I spent quite a lot of money on holiday clothes from the likes of Primark and H&M, definitely not statement pieces (I've actually already managed to dye two cream tops from Primark blue by putting them in the wash with new jeans!!). I did spent birthday money on a nice pair of skinny jeans from Zara and just bought a tan handbag in Spain, both of which I know I'll get loads of use from. 

Buy a new laptop and finally sort out my iTunes and music collection properly - I've sort of half achieved this. I finally (this decision had taken a long long time!) bought an iPad a few months ago, and I now pay monthly for Spotify so don't actually really use iTunes or my iPod anymore at all. I do still want to sort out all of my music soon though, I have about 15,000 songs on my external hard drive which really need sorted out! I'm guessing about 5,000 of those songs are favourites of mine and the rest could probably go (who needs 5, never before listened to, Rush albums from their ex boyfriend!?!).

Invest time and money in testing more make up products - This is one plan that I probably won't stick to now. I'm not overly fussy about make up and spending money on make up products. I thought I'd try a different foundation; used it once, had a patchy and slightly orange face, went straight out and bought my original one and gave the once used one away! Just a waste of money in my opinion. When it comes to make up, I know what I like and I'll just stick to that, not a very girly attitude I know!

See as much live music as I can - My Dad plays in a band which hosts a monthly music night in Edinburgh and I try my best to make it along every month. I love this way of discovering new music as well as seeing bands that I'm familiar with play live. I saw folk trio Lau live at last months gig which was absolutely amazing! With bands like that you can't compare listening to their recorded material with seeing them live, they just had so much energy and enthusiasm for what they were playing. I'm also off to see KT Tunstall next week for the fifth time, and my first gig this year aside from my Dad's gigs.

Gain over 100 blog followers and attend a blogger event -  I think my blog has 93 followers at the moment and I'm so so happy with that! I love each and every person that takes the time to look at my blog. I always link my blog posts on Facebook and aside from my GFC followers, I get friends at work saying that they've read it and that means so much to me! I did also attend my first blogger event in February! It was a Valentines themed, blogger speed dating event in Edinburgh and it was so much fun. I was pretty nervous to go along to my first event but everyone was so welcoming and I met some lovely other Scottish bloggers. Hopefully I'll go to more events in the future.

When picking a film to watch, pick one that I've never seen before instead of watching the same films over and over again - I can't actually think that I've watched that many DVDs at all and if I have I think they have been films I've never seen before. I tend to watch box sets if I was putting a DVD on. However it does kind of work the same, I suppose I could be watching something different instead of the same episode of Sex & The City again or re- watching One Tree Hill from the beginning yet again!!

Reply to my texts a bit quicker! (I know this will please all my annoyed family and friends!) - Hmm I'll let others decide if I'm any better at this...I'm pretty sure I know what the answer would be if you ask my Dad!! 

Work Hard.
Don't stress.
And.......Have fun.
.....and I'm happily doing all of these things along the way! 

I'm pretty proud of myself that I've already done almost everything on my list! I just hope the second half of 2013 is just as productive and fun filled as the first half has been!

© Country Girl - City Life

This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services - Click here for information.

Professional Blog Designs by pipdig