Borders girl living life in the capital

The Body Shop Blogger Event

A couple of weeks ago The Body Shop on Princes Street hosted a blogger evening which I was invited along to. It was a great little event, where I was warmly welcomed into the shop after hours to view the new products and catch-up with some of the other Edinburgh bloggers. I was offered a drink of Prosecco on arrival and the staff were very quick to talk me through all the new Christmas products, as well as anything else that I was interested in. The staff were all so lovely and chatty, and extremely knowledgeable about all their products which was great. I fell in love with a few of the new scents for Christmas, both Glazed Apple and Vanilla Brulee smell amazing! I especially loved the scented glitter sparklers which one of the girls showed me can be used to add a bit of sparkle to your face, body, hair and even clothes. She demonstrated on the black shirt I was wearing and it created a great look for a party or night out, and this is definitely one of the products I tempted to go back and buy for the festive party season! I was also very impressed by the Christmas gifts, especially the wind up musical tin with the mini body butters!

I did purchase some make-up whilst at the event. I'd been thinking that I was in need of some new eyeshadow and so when I spotted this set for £20 it seemed too good to resist. For £20 you get to create your own set by choosing three different eye shadow colours and a kohl eyeliner, and it also comes with a eye shadow brush. I chose neutral brown tones but in three different shades and a brown eyeliner, I thought this would be a change as I've always stuck to black for my eyes. Having never really been very into make-up, I'd never actually used a highlighting colour under my eyebrows before and so the light shade that I picked has definitely been the most used so far and I love the result. 

I had looked on the website prior to my visit to the shop and straight away the Vanilla Brulee range stood out as the type of scent I would always go for, so it wasn't a hard choice when we got to choose a goody bag from the range of Christmas scents. The goody bag we all received was amazing and the value of the products inside is over £20 which I think is an amazingly kind gift from them. It was a great event to attend and I'm definitely planning a return visit to the shop soon, maybe for some Christmas presents but more likely for a few treats for myself!

15 of my favourite things to do in Edinburgh

This post was massively inspired by the recent BuzzFeed article to spread around the Internet titled: '53 reasons living in Edinburgh ruins you for life'. The article lists all of all the amazing things the city has to offer and how your life is ruined because nowhere else will ever compare if you've lived here! I was going to pick a few of my favourite points from the article but there are far too many! 

So here are 15 of my favourite things to see and do in the city:

1. Drink sherbet martinis, complete with the dip-dab lolly that they're served with, at Treacle on Broughton Street. Definitely my favourite cocktail.

2. Enjoy the perfect views of the city from all sides of Calton Hill, especially the views over Leith to the sea and Fife. Bonus if you're up there when the sun is setting.

3. Eat the huge slices of gorgeous cakes at Mimi's Bakehouse on The Shore in Leith. Not to mention their speciality drinks like raspberry ripple hot chocolate and coconut iced latte.

4. Dance (and sing!) the night away to the live band at The Ghillie Dhu on a Saturday night...way better than any club! "Left a good job in the city..."!

5. Although...The Shack might be up there as strong competition. 70's, 80's and 90's music, Abba song's playing in a club? Yes please!

6. Wander around the boutiques, charity shops and scenic streets of Stockbridge. Maybe stopping for a coffee break at Peter's Yard.

7. Enjoy a few after-work glasses of wine (at our usual table!) in Milnes on Rose Street.

8. Listen to live music at the monthly acoustic gigs that Adam Holmes and The Embers (the band my dad plays in) host.

9. Walk along the promenade in Portobello. There's lots of nostalgia there for me, however I always manage to forget that Edinburgh has a beach so close to the city centre.

10. Drink mulled wine and eat freshly baked pretzels whilst walking around the Christmas market stalls and Winter Wonderland.

11. Visit the National Museum of Scotland. There's so so much to see in the museum, and the architecture inside the building is something to see in itself, but the animals are one of the the best parts I think! 

12. Drink in the cosy, homely atmosphere of Joseph Pearce at Elm Row. 

13. Shop! This would apply in any city but there are some little unique gems around Edinburgh. Paper Tiger, The Cat's Meow, Bonkers and all of the little boutiques in Bruntsfield and Morningside.

14. Eat takeaway Tex Mex (with a Scottish twist!) from Los Cardos. Haggis quesadilla...Mmmm!! 

 15. Walk up the Royal Mile, watch street performers, and take in the amazing atmosphere during the Fringe Festival.

Do you agree? Any to add to the list?

Project: Painted Ornate Frame

Whilst I was at home in The Borders a few weeks ago I visited The Borders Scrapstore with my mum. Now, for anyone who is at all interested in anything arty or crafty this place is like heaven (there's one in Musselburgh in Edinburgh too)! You pay a yearly membership of £7 to be able to shop from their huge collection...stuff! My mum was going there anyway so naturally I ended up buying a bunch of random craft bits and bobs. The prices are extremely cheap and for £11 I got a whole bundle of things including some bits of fabric, mount boards, ribbon, sequins and this amazing frame. I had been planning to do some craft projects whist I had a week off of work and so when I was told that this frame was only £5 I had to have it! My mum always inspires me to get crafty as she always has a project on the go and so staying with her for a few days inspired me to paint this frame as well as plan some more craft projects that I'll be doing in the near future.

My intention when I picked up the frame was to attach ribbon and hang some postcards and photos on it, a bit like some that I'd seen on Pinterest, as well as this project here on Alley Hope's blog. However I wasn't sure whether to touch up the scratches with some gold paint or paint the whole frame. My mum suggested that I paint it with Annie Sloan chalk paint, which she has used a few times before, and I decided that this was definitely my preferred option. The Annie Sloan paint is stocked in a lovely little gift shop called Cloud Nine in Kelso so I popped in there and picked up one of the 100ml pots in this gorgeous blue shade called 'Provence'. 

"Recalling the shutters and doors of the South of France,
this colour works equally as well for a modern look."

I had to give the frame a couple of coats of the paint to completely cover the gold, making sure it was covering all the small grooves of the design. The chalk paint dries very quickly so it meant that I didn't have to wait too long to be able to give it a few layers of paint. I loved the colour once it had dried, and the frame looked very quirky and modern. However, I had seen a technique on Pinterest to take away some of the paint to reveal the gold again, giving it the shabby chic, kind of vintage look. After looking up a few tutorials and YouTube videos on the 'wet distressing technique' I decided to give it a go. I simply used a old damp tea towel to roughly wipe down the frame, making sure that I removed the blue paint from the edges and from the the raised areas of the ornate design. You do have to make sure you use a clean part of the tea towel every time you wipe a section to avoid spreading the blue paint across the gold again. I was surprised how such an easy technique provided a lovely finish to the frame.

The last stage in my frame project was to attach the ribbon and hang up some postcards and photos. I used a red ribbon to stand out against the cream walls in my bedroom and attached it to the back of the frame with drawing pins. I then picked a few postcards that I'd been meaning to put up for a while, and a couple of little hanging decorations and pegged them on. 

I'm very happy with the frame as I'd seen so many similar ones on Pinterest and it's a project that I'd had the intention to do for a while. It was my first time using the Annie Sloan paint and I think I'll definitely try to pick up a few more of the small pots for future use. Doing this has also given me the push to get stuck into a few other crafty projects that I have lined up, so watch this space for my next one!

Listening to Lately

You & Me is a new collaboration between Pink and Dallas Green (of City and Colour). As a huge fan of Pink and also a lover of quite a few City and Colour songs, this collabortaion excited me a lot. If you're a fan of either of these artists then I suggest that you have a listen to this. Their voices seem to work so perfectly together, it kind of reminds me of some Angus and Julia Stone tracks. Their album is released on the 14th but there are a few tracks on YouTube already. This is the one that I've had on repeat lately, the lyrics are so beautiful.

"They say everything happens for a reason. You can be flawed enough, but perfect for a person."

If you've not heard of Leddra Chapman then go and look her up now! She's been one of my favourite singer-songwriters since I first heard her debut single 'Story' on Radio 2 about five years ago. All of her songs have very catchy sounds as well as such meaningful lyrics, which I can often relate to! I always look forward to her new releases and they never fail to impress. 

"My heart is not a playground, I'm not your missing puzzle piece."

Maroon 5 will forever be favourites of mine. I don't think they have ever released a song that I haven't liked and I was lucky enough to see them live earlier in the year which was amazing! Their first album 'Songs About Jane' is one of my all time favourite albums, however all of their others come pretty close too, including this new release. I've been listening the new album 'V' quite a bit lately. I think that it has a great mix of 'old style Maroon 5' as well as their newer electro kind of sound. My favourite tracks are 'It was always you' and their new single 'Animals'.

"No more guessing who, looking back now I know it was always you."

Country Roads Take Me Home

Having been on holiday from work all this week, I took the opportunity to spend a few days back home with my mum in The Borders. I always love spending time back home but more often than not it feels like it's cut short when I have to come back to Edinburgh for work. However, this week I had a lovely amount of time at home to; relax, do some shopping and have lunch with my mum, catch-up with my family and enjoy the countryside in the autumn sunshine. 

The story behind my blog name is pretty self explanatory, I grew up in quite a small village and I now live in the city. When I was at home this week, someone asked me how city life was treating me and my answer; "Great, I love it, but I still love spending time here." I can't imagine that I'll ever not enjoy spending time in the tranquility of the countryside, especially when the weather is as lovely as it was at the beginning of the week. I think part of the reason that I love it is that there are so many great memories there and the simplest things bring a strong feeling of nostalgia. 

I have a post in the making about my favourite home comforts, however for just now, here are some photos that I took whilst out for a walk in my home village. I feel very lucky to be able to call two of the prettiest places in the country (obviously my biased opinion!) my home. I may be living a city life just now, but I will forever be a country girl.

© Country Girl - City Life

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