Borders girl living life in the capital

New Design from Pipdig

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You will probably all have noticed that 'Country Girl - City Life' has had a bit of a makeover. Since I have been blogging, this blog has never really looked exactly how I've wanted it to look. I am pretty pleased that over the years I have (through Google and YouTube) learnt quite a few HTML codes and tricks that allowed me to develop the design of the blog a bit, however I've never been 100% happy with it. So lately I resigned myself to the fact that I'll never really have the skills to properly design my blog layout and decided I'd purchase a template.

I had starting looking at the bottom of the page on blog's who's designs I liked to see who they were by, and the name Pipdig was coming up a lot when there were designs I was drawn to. I checked out the website and was instantly drawn to quite a few of the different Blogger templates and so decided that I'd definitely purchase one of them. My usual indecisiveness meant that I took a few weeks to decide however as I was deciding, a new template appeared on the website called 'Infinite' which had all the features I was looking for so that made my decision pretty easy. As you can see, it's pretty simple and monochrome and it's exactly what I had had in mind.

The template prices range from £29 (there are a couple reduced to £19 just now!) to £39 which I felt was a really great and reasonable price for such lovely designs with features such as a mobile version and scrolling top menu. Once a template is purchased you have the option to either download and install it yourself or have them install it for you. This is where I feel the service that was given after I purchased made it all the more value for money. After a brief exchange of emails with the relevant information, my template was installed within half a day after purchasing. They were amazing at answering any of my questions and the whole process was made really smooth. There's also the option to customise any part of the pre-made templates to suit your blog including changing fonts and colours etc, for an extra fee ranging from £10 to £70. Pipdig also offer complete custom designs for £395.

So if you are a blogger looking for a new design then I'd definitely recommend giving Pipdig a look! There's a selection of different template designs for both Blogger and Wordpress and, as someone who's not very HTML literate, the installation process was completely stress less. 

I hope you all like the new look!

Midi Skirts

I'm having a bit of a love affair with midi skirts at the moment. I've always loved the style and have pinned all of these pictures on my Pinterest over the past few years. I, however, always thought that the midi length just looked a bit silly on me. Maybe that's because I have fairly short legs or maybe just because the few styles I'd actually tried on recently weren't really the right style for me. However, after seeing a few people styling them really well, including Roisin from Rose Keats at a blogger event a few weeks ago, I'd decided that I'd really like one. I didn't really look around much but I got the perfect full bodied, black one from H&M last week for only £24.99 and I'm so happy with it! I'm glad I found a nice one because I do think the style is quite 'me'! I remember I had a knee-length A-line skirt from H&M in about fourth year at high school, when I'm sure everyone else was wearing something considerably shorter! Back then I was in a phase of making a conscious effort to be extremely 'me' and I do think the style has stuck.

I wore my new skirt to my Grandma and Grandpa's anniversary dinner last week with a cropped burgundy t-shirt and ox-blood patent court shoes (I have no photos unfortunately), and I can see myself easily being able to style it in quite a lot of different ways throughout the autumn and winter months. I think the different midi lengths out there all suit different people and the trick is finding the perfect one for you. The one I bought isn't too long (just below the knee) as I still think the longer ones just swamp my frame a bit. Looking at these pictures, every single one is styled with heels. I do agree that this style of skirt does look a lot better with heels which is unfortunate for me, as I don't really wear heels on a day-to-day basis. I am hoping that I can wear my midi skirt during the day, even to work, with flats but it may end up being more of a special occasion piece.

I also have a very full, long skirt that I picked up at a vintage fair earlier in the year. I actually bought it to use the very bright, checked fabric for some kind of craft project, but have since tried it on and realised that all I need to do is take up the length a bit to make myself a midi skirt. That's one of my projects for my week off work next week so I'll be sure to share a picture once I've done it!

All images can be found here on my Fashion Pinterest board.

The year's last, loveliest smile.

I saw this post on Abby's blog a few weeks ago (originally from Maisy Meow) and I thought it would be a good post for me to do to express my love for all things autumn. Check out Abby's reasons to look forward to autumn and winter here! As usual, the seasons have merged from summer into autumn very rapidly and I'm definitely looking forward to all of these things in the near future:

1. My favourite kind of weather, crisply cold but really bright and sunny.
2. Jumpers, scarves and the general layering of clothes.

3. New season clothes shopping. The search for the perfect winter coat has begun.
4. Cosy weekend nights spent in front of the telly watching X Factor.
5. Autumn leaves. They make the city look so pretty.
6. Soup, lots of soup. I've already made Moroccan chickpea and spinach soup last night and I'm planning to make sweet potato later this week.
7. Wearing boots, with thick fluffy socks purchased in mass from Primark.
8. Drinking lots of cups of tea, coffee, hot chocolate, hot juice...just any hot beverage really.
9. Candles. I might be tempted to buy one of the nice winter-y smelling Yankee candles that Abby mentioned in her post after payday.
10. It's that time of year when, if I'm at home in The Borders, my mum will have the coal fire in the living room roaring every night.
11. Puddings, especially homemade apple crumble with custard.
12. The autumn sunsets. The colours always seem so much nicer at this time of year, especially that orange hue that lingers after a sunny day. I'm a sucker for a pretty sunset.
13. Being able to put your pyjamas on as soon as you get in, regardless of if it's only's almost dark outside!
14. Curling up in bed with Netflix and a hot water bottle. 
15. The shops starting to get all their things in for...CHRISTMAS!

All images can be found here on my Autumn/Winter Inspiration Pinterest board.

Goodbye Summer

Well, before I start posting all of the autumnal themed posts that I have lined up, I thought I'd look back at summer through some of my Instagram pics from the last few months. Back in July my mum, sisters and I went on a family holiday to Italy, which seems like ages ago now. It was probably one of the best holidays I've ever been on, mainly due to the gorgeous weather, amazing surroundings and the complete escape from everything back home. It's not that I really had anything that I needed to escape from, it was just so nice to have a lack of available WiFi and instead a huge pile of books! TAKE ME BACK NOW PLEASE!

The campsite, with amazing views of the countryside in Tuscany. // My sisters and I before dinner one night. // One of the two swimming pools where we spent the majority of our time either reading by the poolside or enjoying the water slide. // Watermelon ice lollies that are everywhere in Italy...and nowhere to be seen in Britain! And they really do taste of melon. // The gorgeous views of Tuscany on a sunny day. // Cocktails and magazines by the pool.

Less than two weeks of my summer months were spent in Italy, but it's definitely my highlight. However the rest of my summer was spent here, in the equally wonderful, Edinburgh! Edinburgh really does come to life in the summer and the atmosphere in the city is so vibrant with so much going on everywhere you turn. As usual for me there was plenty of eating out, coffees, cocktails and just lots of time generally hanging out with friends and family whilst enjoying what the weather had to offer.

The nicest berry crumble and coffee at Hula near the Grassmarket. // There's not much more I need to say really, it's true. Especially in August, Edinburgh is the best place to be. // A sherbet martini, my favourite cocktail from Treacle. // Sunny skies whilst sunbathing in the capital city. // Relaxing with coffee at the Udderbelly before seeing a show during the Fringe. // More lovely views whilst taking a stroll around town one evening. I feel so lucky to live in this pretty city.

Scottish Shopping and Drinking Gin

I had the pleasure of attending two events in one evening last Thursday with lots of the lovely Edinburgh and Glasgow blogging ladies. I've only attended a few blogging events in the past few years but I'm starting to feel like I'm making some good blogging friends and hopefully there will be more events and chances to socialise in the near future. I'd like to thank Farah, Emily and Sultana for setting up the Edinburgh bloggers Facebook page, it's a great way to network with other bloggers and to find out about events and chances to meet. I know there are similar Facebook pages and Twitter accounts but I definitely feel like I've been more involved in the blogging scene since I was added to the page by Farah.

This time last week we headed along to the Made From Scotland pop-up shop on Rose Street thanks to an invite to their opening event from Gillian. Made From Scotland are a company who are promoting independent Scottish designers, artists and producers and bringing together lots of lovely products to buy on their website. Their current pop-up shop is open for the next two months with a boutique style shop on the ground floor where we browsed all the lovely unique homeware products, jewellery, cards and loads more little bits and bobs all 'made from Scotland'. Upstairs, we were offered complimentary drinks and nibbles around the pop-up galleries, which will be open every Saturday as a chance for different artists and designers to showcase their work to the shoppers of Edinburgh. It's definitely worth a visit if you, like me, love little unique gift shops. The shop is located on Rose Street, between Frederick and Castle Street and will be open for the next two months so there's plenty of time to make a visit, and I'm sure I'll be back in soon.

After browsing the pop-up shop with a wee glass of wine we headed down Leith Walk for more alcohol to the Cask & Still launch party. The Cask & Still is a bar about three quarters of the way down Leith Walk, specialising in whiskey and gin. This newly revamped bar is definitely my type of place; very upmarket and trendy with lovely cocktails. We were given a complimentary whiskey and ginger cocktail which was lovely and refreshing especially since it was such a warm evening. Having never before been a gin drinker I then thought that I'd try a gin based cocktail. I've heard so many great things about Edinburgh Gin, especially the raspberry one, but I've always stayed away from it thinking that I didn't really like gin. However, I absolutely loved my 'Raspberry Gin Cooler', there was a subtle taste of raspberry jam which was so lovely! I'm quite happy that I can now say I like gin, Edinburgh Gin's raspberry gin might be my new favourite drink! 

There was a great atmosphere in the bar with live music and a gin tasting session going on at the back too! It was a great venue to catch up with some of the blogging ladies with whom I'd chat away to on twitter but have barely spoken to face to face before. I suppose naturally due to the location of the pub the 'Leithers' were the last bloggers to leave, and I know as a local I'll definitely head there again soon! It's great to have places like that down in Leith, proving that there's no need to go up into town for a nice venue for a drink and a catch-up with friends.

© Country Girl - City Life

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