Borders girl living life in the capital

Edinburgh Fringe

Love it or loath it, it's Fringe time again in Edinburgh. I can completely understand how festival time can be a bit of a struggle for those of us living in Edinburgh. It can easily make commutes to work double the length as the streets are suddenly filled with tourists and of course all those millions of people promoting their shows, not to mention the price of drinks dramatically rising during the month of August. However, I feel pretty lucky that all of this is happening on my doorstep. So many people descend on Edinburgh from far and wide at this time of year, and for us Edinburgh residents we have the privilege of living here, and being able to enjoy it all without having to pay extortionate amounts for somewhere to stay.

I never manage to see as many Fringe shows as I'd like to, and to be honest that's probably a good thing as August in Edinburgh is already bankrupting me!  I have however manged to see three shows already and have a few things lined up for this weekend. So here's a little overview of what I've been up to. I'm not going to attempt to write reviews on these shows (they've all been brilliant!), just a little comment on what I've seen so far.

Last Friday night I went to see a couple of comedy shows with my boyfriend and his dad. Both shows had been picked by his dad and, considering how hit and miss The Fringe can be, he did well! The first was NewsRevue which I have been raving about to everyone! It's extremely clever comedy sketches and songs based on the news from the past year and it was hilarious, I was in stitches pretty much the whole show! I'd definitely recommend it! 

The second show that I saw last week was comedian Jamie MacDonald. He's blind, and his show was very much about growing up with the disability and the problems that he's encountered along the way. Stories of school dances, blind football and art gallery tours made this another absolutely hilarious show. It sounds like such a cliche but I actually felt like my face was hurting during the show from laughing so much.

Today my Dad and I went to see The Sorries, for about the 5th year in a row! These guys are good friends of my Dad's and have a great act (tribute to The Corries) playing traditional Scottish songs, with some great banter between songs. They have had new material every year that I've seen them and I especially look forward to their comedy version of 'Johnny Lad' with their made up verses about current news events! I'd definitely recommend them if you like any kind of Scottish songs or folk music. They'd also be a great show to go to if you are a tourist to Scotland!

I've not actually been to see this show yet, but I went last year and I'm hoping to go on Saturday night. If last year was anything to go by then this show definitely lives up to its name of being a great value comedy show. Last year we got tickets at the half price hut making it only £5 for four different comedians. Hopefully it'll be just a great this year.

Another show that I'm hopefully going to on Saturday night is the band Gecko 3 at The Jazz Bar. I've seen Gecko 3 a few times in the past, like The Sorries they're friends of my Dad's, and I'm really looking forward to seeing them again at the weekend. Their music is a bit of a mix of funk, jazz, hip hop and reggae, and is great for having a wee dance to! 

I'd love some more recommendations if anyone has seen any shows that are worth a watch. Tweet me any recommendations @Fiona_Hun !

Dream House: Bathtubs

The third post in my 'Dream House' series is dedicated to my deep desire to own a free standing bath. I've always liked a bath as a form of relaxation, and I love the look of these type of bath tubs. I recently stayed at Crieff Hydro hotel where our room had the nicest big bath, where you could lie in the bath and watch TV, and that got me thinking about (and pinning) my dream bathrooms. I know quite a few people that aren't really bath fans but I do really enjoy a nice relaxing bubble bath every now and again (with a glass of wine and Netflix on my iPad!) and so it's important that, one day, I will have a cute vintage looking bathroom...with a huge free standing bathtub! 

All images can be found on my Pinterest board.

The Scottish Tag

I saw this tag on Hayley's blog and thought it would be great to give it a go. I like to do these tag type posts occasionally as it gives me a little writing prompt. I think it started off as a YouTube tag but has made it's way onto the Scottish blogisphere. I'm not going to tag anyone in particular, but feel free to link me to your blog if you do it as I'd love to read some others, and please have a look at Hayley's answers over on her blog Water Painted Dreams

Whereabouts in Scotland are you from?

I'm from a little village in The Scottish Borders, just outside of a town called Kelso. We moved there when I was about 3 years old from Gullane on the East coast, and I lived there until I was 21, so that village will always be 'home'! For anyone who doesn't know, The Scottish Borders is an area in the South East of Scotland on the border with England, about an hour South of Edinburgh.

Where is your favourite place that you've been to in Scotland?

Now that I come to think about it, I'm actually quite poorly travelled within Scotland. I've visited most of the cities for gigs, uni open days and to stay with friends, and we did holiday a few times in Scotland when I was younger but I think there's still so much of my own country that I haven't seen. Can I say Edinburgh? I live here now, but I think wherever I live or travel it will definitely remain my favourite place in Scotland. 

Where would you like to visit in Scotland?

I'm not even sure of exact place names and locations, I just know that there are some beautiful places up North that I'd love to see. I've not really been too far North at all so that's definitely somewhere that I'd like to spend more time. Some of the islands off the North West coast would be nice to visit, I've heard great things about Tiree and it looks so beautiful. 

What is your favourite Scottish film?

I think it might have to be 'Sunshine on Leith'. I'm a sucker for a cheesy romantic musical (probably my favourite kind of films all rolled into one!), especially one that's full of Proclaimer's songs and set in my hometown! And I have to admit I actually haven't seen A LOT of popular films including Scottish classics like 'Braveheart' or 'Trainspotting'. I definitely need to change that very soon. But I do recommend 'Sunshine on Leith' if you haven't seen it.

What is your favourite Scottish food?

The obvious answer is haggis I suppose! I do love it though, proper haggis from a restaurant...or battered haggis from the chippy! I am yet, in my 25 years in Scotland, to try a battered Mars bar but I do love haggis or black pudding and chips! Why are none of the traditional Scottish foods very healthy?!

Do you follow any Scottish traditions?

The same as Hayley, I've just had to Google 'Scottish Traditions'! I suppose something that's traditionally Scottish, and something that I absolutely love, are ceilidhs. Growing up in Scotland, we were taught the popular Scottish dances from primary school onwards, and always had a school dance with a ceilidh band at Christmas. For me, growing up in a small village also meant that there were regular ceilidh dances in the local village hall as celebrations or fundraisers. Let's just say I was never short of a chance to 'strip the willow'!!  

What is your favourite Scottish word?

I think it would probably have to be 'wee' (meaning small!). I definitely use that as part of my day to day vocabulary without even realising I'm doing it. I remember having a discussion with someone about whether you should use slang words like that in a formal situation like a job interview, and to be completely honest I'm not sure I'd be able to switch it off.

What is your favourite Scottish song?

That's a tricky one to narrow down, so I might need to pick a few. I do actually spend a lot of time listening to traditional Scottish songs from the likes of Capercaillie, Julie Fowlis, Karine Polwart, Emily Smith and Breabach. Folk music is definitely one of my favourite genres and, as I may not even understand the lyrics, I love a lot of Gaelic songs. 

I like the familiarity of songs that mention places that I know of, so a few of my favourites are 'Salter's Road' by Karine Polwart and 'Both Sides the Tweed' by Dick Gaughin (as I feel I kind of grew up on both sides of the river Tweed!). I will also always have a soft spot for 'Coisich a Ruin' by Capercaillie. I've liked this song since I was wee, when I remember my mum and dad listening to it in the house. 

Can you recommend any Scottish bloggers?

Brighton Photo Diary

Last Thursday my mum and I drove down to Brighton to spend a long weekend with my sister, who is studying at the uni there for a month. I wasn't very sure what to expect of Brighton at all, I knew it was a seaside town, and I'd heard of Brighton Pier, but I didn't really know much more. Due to that, I was majorly impressed! Yes, it's a typical seaside town but it's also so so much more, and definitely my kind of place. I used to think Edinburgh was great for little independent shops, cafes and bars, and I feel a bit like I'm cheating on Edinburgh by saying this, but Brighton is amazing for that. Maybe the weather contributed to the atmosphere a bit. The first few days were so sunny and hot; the streets were completely filled with outdoor seating from bars and cafes and lined with market stalls. There was a very music festival atmosphere going on...and I loved it! Brighton is probably one of the quirkiest places I've visited in Britain.

We spent most of the weekend just walking around and discovering the city. We ate out a lot in some lovely places, deliberately avoiding any chain restaurants as to try lots of the independent ones around. My sister had read a Buzzfeed article about the best places to eat in Brighton so we ticked a few of the recommended places off the list. We walked along the seafront and drank Pimms at a bar on the beach, we played the 2p machines at the arcades on the pier, we walked around the Brighton Pavilion, we shopped around all the little boutique shops and when the weather turned a bit rainy, we took shelter in plenty of coffee shops and then went to see the Amy Winehouse film at the cinema. All in all, it was such a great weekend away.

I would definitely recommend Brighton as a place to visit if you're looking for somewhere to go, and I'm sure I'll end up back there one day. But for just now, here's some of the photos I took last weekend to give you a little taste of the place!

Thanks to the lovely Lauren at Belle Du Brighton for the recommendations of things to do in Brighton! :)


Sometimes life just gets in the way! That's the only thing I can really say right now about my accidental break from blogging. I knew that I had neglected my little space on the web for a while but I never realised that it has been since April!! I know that I will probably always be a bit of an occasional blogger and I'll never be able to keep up with regular posts. I understand that it's a bit annoying for anyone who is following, and I'd like to thank all you readers who do come back again and again, after all my little breaks between posts.

So what have I been up to? The main thing that's happened since I last posted is that I've moved flats. It was all decided and arranged pretty quickly and so the process of packing up my room (I own so so much stuff!) and cleaning our old flat, in amongst some pretty busy times at work, was a bit stressful. After an exhausting day of taking all my stuff down three flights of stairs in Leith and then up another two flights here, with the help of my mum and dad, I was finally moved in to my new flat in Stockbridge. I had always dreamt of living in this area of town and so I was very lucky to find a room in a lovely flatshare, and even luckier to be picked to take the room over quite a few others! My Timehop from 1 year ago the other day showed a tweet where I'd said I wished I lived here...and now I do! I've not had too much time to explore the area since I've lived here, there are still so many cafés and bars that I'm planning to try and I need to take a walk down to the Stockbridge market the next time I have a Sunday off work.

Image from

Since moving my life seems to have stayed pretty hectic, not that I'm complaining at all. I went to my boyfriends graduation ball (you know what an effort finding the right outfit is right?), I've been on holiday to Malaga with my best girlfriends, work has been keeping me very very busy and then a few weeks ago I had a little spa break at Crieff Hydro which was much needed to say the least.

My boyfriend is now away on the holiday of a lifetime, travelling across America for a month...jealous much?! He asked me what I thought he should do in New York and all I could think of was to go and see Carrie Bradshaw's apartment!! Well...I know what I'd want to see! His trip is actually one of the reasons that I'm back to blogging. I've got in quite a routine of spending a lot of my spare time with him, which is amazing especially as I tend to have quite long work days, but subconsciously I've not really made much time for myself to do things like blogging or baking or crafting! So my plan whilst he is away to immerse myself in all the stuff that I love doing. 

Hopefully my blog posts will become a bit more regular. I have quite a few ideas in the pipeline, including another post in my 'Pinterest house' feature, a post looking at some of my favourite cafés and bars in Edinburgh and maybe a look back at my holiday in Malaga. Watch this space! I promise I won't keep you waiting as long as last time!

Netflix Tag

I found this tag on perksofbeingami 's blog a few weeks ago and since Netflix takes up so much of my life I thought it would be a great tag to take part in.

What is your favourite series to watch on Netflix?
I've watched quite a few whole series' since I've been subscribed to Netflix. I absolutely loved Gossip Girl, The Good Wife and Orange Is The New Black but my favourite series is definitely Grey's Anatomy.

What are you currently watching on Netflix?
I'm currently watching Pretty Little Liars after hearing so many people rave about it, I'm only on season one and it's getting quite addictive already! I also love going back to series like Friends, Frasier, That 70's Show and The IT Crowd (to name only a few!) when I just need something on in the background or something to fall asleep to.

If you could have any series, old or new put on Netflix, what would it be?
Oooh there are a few! I'd definitely love to have Sex and The City on Netflix, I own the DVD box set but it would be convenient on Netflix to be able to pick random episodes to watch in bed. It's such a feel-good girl power series. I'd also love if Brothers and Sisters was on Netflix, simply so that I could get more people to watch it. It's possibly my favourite TV series ever and it's so underrated that a lot of people I talk to have never even heard of it.

What is your one peeve about Netflix?
I definitely agree with the peeve that Ami wrote in her post, the fact that Netflix doesn't have complete series of certain things. It used to annoy me that they only had the first two seasons of Modern Family. I loved it and I ended up just watching the same two seasons over and over.

What are your essentials for a perfect night in with Netflix?
My bed, pyjamas, a cup of tea and chocolate would literally be my perfect evening! My bf there too would be a bonus!

Recommend one series or film for someone else.
It would have to be Grey's Anatomy if anyone hasn't watched it already. It's on the US version of Netflix...and is completely addictive!

*I should mention that I switch between the US and UK version of Netflix on my iPad, as I realise that some of the shows that I've mentioned here aren't available on the UK one.*

I'm not going to tag any specific bloggers, but if you have done, or do, this tag on your blog then please leave me the link, I'd love to have some new recommendations of things to watch.


For anyone who knows me, they'll know how much I appreciate a good bit of stationary. My colleagues at work used to make jokes about me having shares in Paperchase because of my love for pretty notebooks and folders. Honestly, if I had the money, I could easily spend thousands in that shop...maybe I should have shares?

I'd really been wanting a Filofax for ages so at Christmas when my mum asked if I had any idea what I would like, it was at the top of my list. On Christmas morning I actually unwrapped a slightly different one, as my mum hadn't realised the size when she ordered it and it was a bit big. It was important, for me, that it was portable and would fit in my handbag. I swapped it for this one which is the purple leather 'Malden' in the 'Personal' size. It's such a nice, soft leather and I hope that, being able to buy yearly inserts, it will last me a lifetime. I know that most people nowadays use diary's or apps on their phones but I've never really managed to get on board with that. I did try using to-do list apps and the calendar on my phone, but I always ended up going back to a paper diary, I don't think you can really beat it.

I'd been looking at pictures on Pinterest and Instagram of all the amazingly pretty planners, decorated with washi tape, fancy clips and all the other inventive things people have done, and I couldn't wait to put my own touch on mine. I ordered a hole punch from Amazon which is designed for various planners and can be adjusted to fit the 'Personal' size of my Filofax, as I wanted to personalise mine with some postcards and photos. I bought these postcards from Paperchase which I've inserted into my Filofax as dividers between my different sections.

I've split my Filofax into different sections; the diary, my to-do lists (probably the most used section...I love a list!), my budget and finance kind of stuff and I did have a section with meal plans at one point (but that section's not regularly used at all)! I use little coloured dot stickers to signal things like payday, and I've decorated the pages of my holiday from work and birthday's with washi tape. I bought the notepaper with the bunting design (below) from Paperchase, they have a great range of inserts that are designed to fit their planners as well as Filofaxes. 

I know that my Filofax isn't decorated as much as some of the other planners you might see on Pinterest and Instagram (go and look!), however I've only really started to add my own touch and I think there's still lots more that I could use my Filofax for. I feel that it definitely needs some more washi tape soon!!!

Chocolate Bark

I thought I'd do a quick post about an easy homemade gift idea that I've made a few times for different occasions, because who doesn't love chocolate? I first made this last Christmas as a little extra for few of my friend's presents and, as you made have read in one of my latest posts, I made some for my boyfriend for Valentines Day.

It's so easy to make and I think it looks like a great gift, made all the more special because it's homemade. To make mine I used chocolate from Lidl, it's only about 35p per bar and I think it tastes pretty good for the money. You could use any type of chocolate but I opted for cheap-ish stuff since I was buying about ten bars to melt. I melted the milk and white chocolate in separate pans and then spread one as base onto grease proof paper on a baking tray, and then used a spoon to drizzle the other one on top making a marbled kind of effect. Then it's just all about what sweets you want to add on top...the fun part! One of the ones I made for my friends had smarties, marshmallows and Millions and the other one had broken up Crunchie and white chocolate chips! The Valentines one had Love Heart sweets, cherry lips and freeze dried raspberry pieces. There are endless possibilities; I've seen some in the shops with popcorn on them and saw some on Pinterest topped with dried fruit an nuts...a remotely healthy version I suppose!!

I believe the name for this is 'bark' and if you search 'chocolate bark' on Pinterest then you'll find a lot more inventive inspiration that the few photos I have here. I'll definitely be making this again, and I think my sister has already taken the idea to make this for a few of her friend's birthdays this year!

Dream House: Brick Walls

The second post in my 'Dream House' series is dedicated to my extreme love for exposed brickwork. I think this has recently become a bit of an interiors trend, and I imagine that more and more people are recreating this look in their house. I also think that quite a few newly built houses and flats are being designed with this feature nowadays. There are a few people I follow on Instagram who have flats with walls like this, and it's safe to say, I'm very jealous! I would love a feature brick wall in my *hypothetical* house, probably in a bedroom or the kitchen.

All images can be found on my Pinterest board.

James Dean Daydream

It's March already! I mean how did that happen, I genuinely remember partying on New Year's Eve like it was last weekend! It really is scary how much time flies, and I'm sure it's going so much quicker the older I get. And on that topic, it's exactly a month today until I turn 25...eeeek! However before that, I have one last month of being 24 which includes my first week off this year. I can't wait to have a week off work to relax back at home in The Borders, as well as cash in the Groupon voucher I've bought for a full body massage. I am determined that it'll be a stress free week!

So what did I get up to in February? It's easy to feel like my routine is work, eat, watch something on Netflix, sleep...and repeat! However I definitely do manage to fit in some other little adventures!

I spent one Sunday having lunch and a wander at The National Museum of Scotland with some of the family. We ate at the Bistro section downstairs, which I'd never been to before, I had such a lovely haggis and potato dish. // I'm not sure a month could go by without me buying new shoes! You can't really blame me in the job I'm in though, can you!? I couldn't resist buying these spotty trainers in the sale from work. Our store had never stocked them so when someone returned a pair in my size...FATE! The picture of my new shoes was taken on a day when my sister and I took the train to visit our other sister in Stirling for the day, where we had a wee liquid lunch and a catch-up at a lovely restaurant in Bridge of Allan called 'Jam Jar'. // I had the luxury of a full weekend off of work a few weeks ago, so I spent most of it with my boyfriend. I went to my first ever rugby match which was...cold, but good fun! We also took a little day trip to North Berwick where we walked along the beach then sat and ate chips by the sea!

This was the first time in...a wee while...that I had someone to celebrate Valentines Day with, which was really nice. I was working the full weekend but I had a lovely dinner cooked for me, and some gorgeous flowers bought for me. The flowers have lasted for ages, it's been so nice having fresh flowers in my room. I think I might make an effort to buy flowers more often, especially with Spring coming. // I handmade my gift, chocolate bark with some Valentines related sweets on top. I was pretty happy with how it turned out, and I possibly may have ate most of the bits that were left over!

My February soundtrack has definitely been none other than Taylor Swift, I've had her '1989' album on repeat and I absolutely love this song!

Dream House: Exterior

This is going to be a new feature on here, where I walk you all through my dream house! I am a bit of a Pinterest addict and one of my most pinned to boards is definitely my 'Dream house and interiors inspiration' one. When I was younger I used to love making interiors moodboards with pictures from catalogues and Pinterest is definitely the grown-up version of me sitting cutting up the Laura Ashley catalogue! I know that I'm a while away from this stage in my life, but I can't wait to own my own flat or house for the simple reason that I will be able to decorate it.

The first post in this series is dedicated to my dream house exterior, before we start looking at my favourite interiors. I will forever be a country girl and I do imagine that one day in my life I'll end up back in the countryside in a dreamy little cottage like these ones, or like the one I grew up in. This will likely, if at all, be a lot later in my life but I can't help but fall in love with houses like these. And Pinterest is just heaven for all the daydreamers like me!

All images can be found on my Pinterest board.

The Festive Season

Hi there! I'm finally back to giving my blog some attention after a completely hectic December which involved; lots of craft projects, constant shopping, seeing plenty of friends and family, a work promotion and a new relationship! Unfortunately blogging had to take a back seat temporarily! 

So it's 2015 now! For the past few years I've written a resolutions post, but I don't really have any resolutions that are not things that I tell myself all year round anyway. After my extremely hectic December, it was great to start the new year with a lazy day in bed (the first time in four years I have had New Year's Day off work!) and to have the luxury of a full weekend off this week. I'm currently using the time to recharge my batteries from the festive season and spend some more time with my family before everyone goes back to the usual school/uni/work routines.

What does this year have in store for me then? Well apart from the big quarter century birthday and a possible winter time trip to New York with my best friends, who  knows really! If 2014 taught me anything then it's that you never really know exactly what's round the corner and I'm quite happy with that. 

© Country Girl - City Life

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