Sunday, 29 March 2015

The Daily Face

Hello Sunday, my old friend. It feels like this time of the week comes around far too quickly. It's good during the week for the days to fly in when I'm working 8am-7pm, but when the weekend goes in just as quick I feel a bit sad come Sunday night! But hey ho, I'm chilling on the couch while Pete plays Fifa, dinner is in the oven and once we've rearranged the bedroom I shall have a bath before we settle down for the night. That's what lazy Sundays should be about after all. That and the 'I don't want to go to School tomorrowww' phase which normally kicks in around 9pm...


This is my standard weekend 'running errands' face. I tend to not wear too much makeup to work during the week, and normally tie my hair up so it's nice to take a bit of time to get ready come Saturday. You can see my natural hair colour is coming in thick and fast, which I'm trying to embrace! I'd love to have a lighter set of locks come summer. But going dark over winter was the only way to get rid of my blue hair (which I now miss dearly!)


I got a lovely new pair of Glasses from the new London Retro collection, 'Retrospective'. I've always been one for the square shaped 'geeky' glasses, but I'd been looking to try some more vintage style frames as a wee treat for starting my new job. I ordered my top 4 choices and did the Glasses Direct home trial, which is totally free and means you get to try before you buy. I think it's a great idea for people wanting to buy glasses online and solves the problem of not getting to try them on like you would in the shop. I'm glad I did the home trial because the frames which were my first choice actually didn't suit my face shape at all. I ended up going for the 'Presley' frame.


I love a bit of extra time in bed in the mornings, so it's a quick makeup face for me which literally just consists of mascara, a tiny bit of brown eyeshadow on my brows, the Urban Decay Ultra Definition Powder Foundation and Naked Concealer. I normally always wear liquid foundation with a powder on the top, so a pressed powder foundation is a bit different for me! But this new one from Urban Decay plus the concealer (around my eyes, cheeks and chin) has a fantastic coverage that still feels light to wear. It's quite matte too which is great as I don't have time to top up my makeup during the day, and normally start to go a bit oily across my t-zone come lunch time. In the first photo I am wearing the medium light neutral shade in both, but I think next time I will go for the fair neutral as I don't wear fake tan as much these days. The medium light is probably as dark as I would ever get away with! The foundation comes in 14 different shades and the concealer comes in 8. The only other Urban Decay products I had tried before this was their eyeshadows, but they are standing pretty strong with their Face game now too. I'm intrigued to try their prep spray, primer and setting spray next as I've heard very good things.


Apart from running errands and doing lots of life admin the last couple of weekends, I've also managed to squeeze in a couple of new tattoos! The top one is by Darryl Mullen at Irezumi in Glasgow, and the second one was done by Keely Rutherford at the Scottish Tattoo Convention through in Edinburgh yesterday. She's based in London so I was chuffed to get a space with her while she was up here. I was thinking of doing a tattoo post soon, as I 'wear' them on my body every single day, just like my glasses and a bit of makeup... but they are a slightly more permanent commitment mind you ;) Hope you are having a lovely Sunday whatever you are upto ♥

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Home Sweet Home Tour

The last few months of my life have been pretty hectic and unsettled on the home front. With all my old flatmates departing and a new home for me on the horizon, I packed my life up in December and moved out between Christmas and New year. Not one of my brightest ideas in terms of timing mind you! But thanks to my family and friends, and two very helpful removal men I got there in the end. About a year ago my Uncle bought a flat in Glasgow, a total 'do-er up-er' as they say, to rent out to me when he moved to Singapore (which just happened a couple of weeks ago) So the plan was for me to move back home for the month of January 2015, as he put the final touches to the building work that has taken that full year to complete. The flat was an absolute mess, so he ripped absolutely everything back to the bare bones and started again. I've only shared one 'before' picture in this post, but I'll need to get my hands on the rest, because the difference in what he walked into and what he finished up with is absolutely jaw dropping. I moved in at the start of February, and it's taken up until now for me to properly get unpacked and settled. All I can tell you is that it's one of the most satisfying feelings in the world. So here is a photo tour of my little humble abode...


My living room has a tiny little office just off to the side, which is proving to be the perfect wee hidey hole for all my paperwork, tools, makeup etc. Almost like a second bedroom with a desk and a carpet that I can disappear into and get some work done. If I were a man I would definitely be calling it my man cave!


More Than Home Insurance got in touch to ask me what my favourite contents of my new home were, and I would definitely need to round it up and say my fireplace, and everything that sits on it! My Uncle built it using reclaimed wood and the rudder of an old fishing boat. Resting on top are a pair of antlers which he found while hillwalking up north, my collection of crystals, a gold foil print with one of my favourite quotes by Dottie Rocks, and two lovely Olique Candles. I've got lots of other bits and pieces dotted around the flat which have major sentimental as well as monetary value, which is why contents insurance is so important even if you're just renting like I am. The joys of being a grown up eh!

Remember my babe of a pal Teri from a few posts back? Well Olique is a new candle company run by her brother and his girlfriend. I'd smelled a few when I last stayed over at Teri's house and they were lovely, so I ordered myself a Lemongrass & Green Tea, and a Patchouli Musk & Oudh Woods. I'm a candle fiend as you can see from the little collection illuminating my fireplace. The Lemongrass one is so clean and fresh, and I normally light it during the day when I've been doing the housework. The Patchouli one is a lot more dark and mysterious, so it's perfect in the evening when you're settling down to watch a film with the lights dimmed. I've had these for a couple of weeks now, burning one or both every day, and they're still not even half done! Olique are offering £5 off if you pop in 'AYDEN' at the checkout. I've already got my eyes on the Champagne & Rose Lemonade, and the Pomegranate and Spiced Black Pepper. Both sound almost good enough to eat.


This is the view from my bedroom door looking into the hall, and as you can see before it was a bit of a mess! Walls stripped back to the pipes and brick work. At this point the flooring had been laid down and the bathroom was almost finished. On that note, here's ma' bathroom!


You'll notice that the cats are following me about in most of these pictures. The both of them always want to be involved in no matter what I'm doing around the house. Recently whenever I've had a guest over and been giving them a tour, Dexter and Binx will literally follow us into every room and jump onto any possible surface. Almost as if they're like 'hey, this is our place too!' My Uncle built this platform up to the bath, and to be honest did pretty much everything else in the flat in terms of construction, electrics, tiling, flooring, painting... he comes from a theatre production background so is pretty good at putting his hand to almost anything. He's a bit of a perfectionist like me too, which probably added to the fact that this project took a year to complete. He was also living in London for the whole duration, so was flying up every weekend and taking weeks off work here and there where he could.


Another little favourite is this King Grumpy Cat print I have framed, hanging just above the loo. They do call it the throne after all haha.


The kitchen in my old flat was absolutely tiny (and didn't even have any windows) so this one is absolutely huge in comparison! I've not properly utilised that space in the corner but I think at some point I'd like to get a sofa and tv in there. My living room is nice and cosy but I've found that I spend a lot of time in the kitchen when having people over. The sun comes shining through those big windows during the day and it's absolutely lovely.


Last but not least, my bedroom! Probably the room I'm the least happy with at the moment which still needs a bit of work done. I need to get a curtain rail up and ditch the shabby chic dust sheet I have hanging as a curtain. My wardrobe is on the opposite side, which you can't see in the picture, but I think I will probably give the furniture a shuffle at some point soon because something doesn't feel quite right. Let's call it a work in progress.


Here's Uncle Greig, Gary, Pete and myself at my flat warming last Saturday night. It was so nice to finally get to show all my friends the flat, have some drunken singing and dancing, and I also got some lovely cards and gifts. I honestly forgot that people do that for you when you move into a new home :) For the record, at one point there were around 20 people in my kitchen and it was still a pretty comfortable fit. What is it about people gathering in the kitchen at parties eh? I can't thank my Uncle Chris enough for the blood, sweat and tears he put into this place. I promise I will take the best care of it while he starts his new life in Singapore, and a visit out there to see him in August once I finish this job is definitely on the cards! I feel so content and settled in my new home, and almost like I'm starting a new chapter of my life. One that I could not be more excited for ♥

Monday, 16 March 2015

Take it Easy

Food glorious food. I would be lying if I said that eating wasn't one of my top three things to do in the whole entire world. I'm enjoying cooking at home more and more these days, but there's still something super enjoyable about going out for dinner and trying out all the new places that seem to be popping up all over Glasgow. The city seems to be saturated with burger joints at the moment, with a certain stretch of St Vincent street containing 4 or 5 burger related restaurants all dotted a couple of doors down from one another. I love burgers as much as the next meat eater, but what each of these places does to stand out amongst the crowd is extremely important given the current climate, and close proximity of their competitors. There was word on the street of a new kid in town, so I headed into Glasgow to check it out for myself.


You may have heard of Ed's Easy Diner before, but the name was totally new to me! They have a whole load of restaurants in England, with the first one originating in Soho, London. This American style diner has just opened in the St Enoch shopping centre in Glasgow, with another in Aberdeen and one to open in Inverness soon too.


The menu had a great selection of burgers, hot dogs, chicken, veggie options, salads and sides. Just the right amount where you feel like you have enough to choose from, but also aren't completely overwhelmed with too much choice. I tend to end up doing the 'scanning' thing where I am so hungry, I go over the menu again and again not actually READING anything or taking it in. I enjoyed an ice cold cherry coke and Pete had a fanta while we decided what to have.


Once we had ordered, we made a few old school music selections on the juke box while enjoying the proper kitsch americana decor and atmosphere. I sometimes worry about themed restaurants like this feeling too forced or a bit overdone, but Ed's strikes just the right balance without it becoming a bit of a novelty. I did get a bit over excited when Buddy Holly came on though, and wished I was sitting there with a tea dress and victory rolls in my hair!


Pete went for the Chilli Cheese Burger, which is topped with Chilli Con Carne and American Cheese. He opted for the 'plate' which at £11.35 came with onion rings, sweet potato fries and coleslaw. I got the Slick Dog, which had BBQ Sauce, Bacon and Cheese Sauce. That cheese sauce will be the death of me! I also got the plate meal, and upgraded my fries to wet fries with cheese, because cheese and gravy has to be one of the most stellar combinations I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing. It's the simple things in life, eh? I wasn't a big fan of the coleslaw, but everything else was great right down to the onion rings which were in a deliciously seasoned batter. Nothing felt greasy, and both Pete and myself commented (after the waitress collected two empty plates) that it didn't feel stodgy or heavy at all, like some of these types of restaurants can make you feel afterwards. I was hungry, yes, but surprised at myself for finishing the full portion as it was actually pretty big. You know where you are so full you sorta want to cry and have a big nap after your meal? We didn't feel this way at all!


Not wanting to tempt fate and push ourselves into a food coma, for dessert we decided to share a Nutella Milshake. At £4.75 it was big enough for two, and more than enough to satisfy that sweet tooth that haunts me immediately after a savoury meal. They did have some very tempting sundaes on the menu, so perhaps I'll try one next time! I also just found out that they do breakfast too, which I'll need to check out as I like to keep my french toast and pancakes of Glasgow list updated on a regular basis ;)

It did feel a bit strange going to a proper sit in restaurant in the middle of a shopping centre, but to be honest it was nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of the main streets and up to this little 2nd floor haven in the St Enoch Centre. We signed up for free to Ed's Club while we were there, so both have a voucher to get a free Burger or Hot Dog when we buy a drink next time we visit. I'm becoming quite thrifty in my old age and tend to take advantage of vouchers like this, and normally check sites like Voucher Bin before I am heading out for a meal just in case I can find a wee discount code or 2-4-1 offer. Have you tried any nice new places for eating out lately? Glasgow is becoming a proper busy and bustling hub of great new joints to eat and drink!


Thursday, 5 March 2015

From AM to PM

Hello you lovely lot. Are you glad it's almost the weekend? Working monday to friday for the next 5 months means that I have turned into one of these 'living for the weekend' types, with hump day and friday meaning so much more to me than they normally would. Apart from some painting and picture hanging, I'm pretty much completely settled in the new flat, and hope to do a home tour post soon if you would be interested in having a wee nosy into my new abode? I'm having a flat warming party next weekend, and have been trawling spotify for lots of nostalgic and happy party tunes. So if you have any playlists you recommend that I follow, please send them this way. Stumbled across a few old classics that remind me of high school, one of them being From AM to PM by Christina Milian. SO BLOODY GOOD. It sorta made sense as the title of this post too, as I'd like to share my weekend and outfit pictures with you.


Saturday was Dexter's 3rd Birthday, and oh my that boy is getting grumpy in his old age when it comes to me wanting a picture with him. Cannot believe I have had Dexter for 3 years now, it has absolutely flown in and I literally couldn't imagine life without this furry boy hanging around my feet and coming up for a cuddle. Me and Teri were off to our friend Jen's baby shower on Saturday afternoon and I wore my bird print Volcom dress from Spartoo, and an old faithful little brown belt from Topshop. Makeup wise I fancied adding a touch of glam to my normal daytime makeup look since it was a special occassion, so wore the Smashbox Be Legendary long wear lip lacquer in firecracker. Best way to describe it is that it has the pigmentation and covering of a lipstick, but shine and finish like a lipgloss! It stays on the lips really well too, coming off gradually all over rather than that awful fade in the middle of your lips. The only negative was that wearing this lippie on a windy day meant that my hair kept on blowing about and sticking to my lips, and it was driving me crazy! Which is why I tend to avoid lipgloss in general. But this Smashbox number is too pretty to pass up on.


Probably the most favourite part of my outfit from Saturday were these cuties - Kimberly Floral shoes from Babycham. I remember having Babycham trainers back in high school, which were white and red with cherries all over them! I love the combination of floral and nautical with these shoes, plus this is the shape of heels with a t-bar strap that I find the comfiest to wear. 'Heels' and 'comfy' are never normally two words which I would put in the same sentence!


Just to reiterate if you haven't realised already, I am not the best at outfit posts, knowing how to pose, and getting the right pictures of what I'm wearing! I take my hat off to all you fashion bloggers out there. My dress sense is generally pretty boring but on the odd occasion it's nice to feel good in what you are wearing and snap a few photos. It was really helpful having Teri around as my photographer too! How do you ladies do it when there isn't someone around to take them for you? My tripod and self timer skills need worked on haha.

After we got home from the baby shower it was time to order dinner and watch my friends pal Stevie on The Voice. If you've been watching it recently then you'll already know how awesome he is! Me and Teri got ready, with the aid of Prosecco and some Sailor Jerry, then Leah and Heather came over and we headed to our all time favourite club in Glasgow, the Cathouse! I recently attended the Abandon Ship Apparel Kewpie event where it was pretty much love at first sight getting to preview their Kewpie capsule collection. I ordered this crop and skirt on the tuesday and they arrived at work on the thursday, super quick and perfect timing to wear at the weekend. I was so torn between the above and the fitted vest and high waisted pants! Both so cute but I know I would get more wear out of the skirt and crop. Almost went for the pencil skirt but I've not been feeling as toned after Christmas indulgence... hoping to rectify that and get back on the wagon in the coming weeks. Ordering from Abandon Ship was so quick and easy online (I normally hate online shopping and parcels taking their sweet ass time to get to you) but in Glasgow we are also very lucky to have their flagship store right in the city centre! I plan on popping over to Soar at Intu Braehead at the weekend to look at some new snowboards at TSA, and check out a shop called Librance. They are a Scottish born and bred Skate/BMX etc store, and I've got my eye on a few skate decks to hang on the walls in my flat. I've always been a snowboarder at heart and like my feet strapped in thank you very much... but really want to pluck up the courage to buy a wee penny skateboard. LOOK AT HOW CUTE THEY ARE. Seriously. I want it to be summer, and be a skater girl, and pretend that I'm 18 again, and channel my inner Avril Lavigne.


I guess the rest of Saturday night I did channel my inner 18 year old with much dancing and singing along to Yellowcard and Bowling For Soup at the Cathouse. Sunday consisted of sleeping, lots of cuddles and probably the best hungover scran I have ever experienced. Turns out all of the above is a much better hangover cure than bacon rolls and irn bru. Give me a baked camembert with pancetta and crusty bread every sunday for the rest of my life please. That weekend went in far too fast, but I am excited that it's almost time for the next one :)

Monday, 16 February 2015

I'm my Mother's Daughter

It has taken until my mid 20's for me to fully appreciate the phrase 'I'm turning into my Mother', and to be honest it's not a bad thing at all. My Mum is everything I could ever hope for and more. She's my best friend, my rock, and a constant source of inspiration. She was only 23 when I was born, pretty much brought me up as a single parent for the first few years, and I am constantly amazed at how well she handles life and the hardships it can bring. My Mum is the ultimate Girl Boss! Fashion wise, I used to steal Mums clothes when I was younger and now it's the other way around! I am not allowed to have any clear outs or charity shop/ebay runs without her running through the contents of all the bags first and claiming a few items.


My Mum is a hairdresser by trade, but now mostly does teaching and session styling for photoshoots. Coming from a creative industry she's always had quite a unique and savvy dress sense, and the pictures above made me giggle because each outfit she is wearing looks like something you could get in Topshop nowadays! Floral trousers, black lace and glittery crop tops. I have a very similar version of each in my own wardrobe at the moment, and these pictures are 15-25 years old (That's a little Ayden in the top photo with the yellow skirt and black velvet jacket)


 Mum is wearing a coat from the David Emanuel range at Bonmarche, dress from Primark and boots from Next.

Last week was my final stint of freedom before starting back work today, so we took the opportunity to have a jaunt up the West End for some lunch and a catch up. This animal print number from Bonmarche has become her staple coat for this time of year, as even though it's woolen it's actually deceivingly light and perfect for throwing on over a couple of layers.


I'm wearing a maxi dress from Primark, denim jacket and Vans from Spartoo, bag from New Look and watch from Daniel Wellington. 

I'm not a massive jewellery wearer but my Bloody Mary Metal crossbones ring and DW watch have become a daily staple. I like to keep things simple and silver! (Daniel Wellington are offering all my readers 15% off with the code 1501aydenmillar, and it's valid until 28th February)


We went to the newly opened Porter and Rye in Finnieston for lunch, which specialises in Steak however we opted for a few small plates to share. My Mum is quite a foodie so I always get excited when she suggests a new place for lunch, but unfortunately we were a bit let down despite how amazing everything looked. The white plate, for example, was beetroot macarons filled with chicken liver parfait, and it just didn't work at all! Which was such a shame. I ended up spreading the parfait over the cheese bon bons and the wild mushrooms, then eating the macarons separate. The bone marrow mac and cheese, and the crispy duck egg were probably the tastiest of the lot. Ox and Finch is still our favourite place for little nibbles like this. I'd still give Porter and Rye another go but definitely try their Steaks next time. It was still a lovely afternoon and catch up, and we went along to Coffee Chocolate and Tea afterwards for flat whites and home made daim bar. My Mammy sure knows how to treat a girl :)

Monday, 9 February 2015

The Brow Game

Eyebrows have been a pretty hot topic for the last couple of years and the general hype doesn't seem to be dying down any time soon. No matter how you take yours - threaded, waxed, plucked, tattooed or au natural, I'm pretty sure for most people it's an aspect of your face you can't help but pay attention to now when you probably never used to years ago. I never realised how important your eyebrows are in terms of framing your face and giving yourself a mini eyelift. Brow chat, tutorials, and even funny memes are absolutely EVERYWHERE.

I look back on pictures from uni and nights out (post brow makeup) when I was in my early twenties and my face looks sort of, bald, if that makes sense? I was very guilty of over plucking when I was younger, because that little eyebrow squiggle was such a good look in high school y'know... and I am still paying the price for this trying to grow them back in years later. On that note, I'd like to introduce you to my Brow Doctor, Angela McCallum.


Angela is the owner of Brow Art Studio in East Kilbride where I visit on a monthly basis. We started my brow journey back in October, where she re-educated me on how important it is that your brows are mapped and shaped to your own face. So a brow shape that suits you may not suit your best friend, neighbour or Mum! Angela uses Billion Dollar Brows makeup and took me through a consultation process to document the journey and make a plan for my brows. Now I know where I need to grow them and where we need to tweak the shape, I'm never tempted to take the tweezers to them myself because I know I have a final goal in mind and I need to be patient. During each visit Angela gives my brows a custom mixed brown tint, maps them out against my facial features, then waxes and plucks to shape. The process to good brows doesn't need to be complicated, but it does need to be accurate - and my goodness Angela knows her stuff!


After tint and wax, no makeup


After 1st visit with makeup


My eyebrows now, after 3 visits and with makeup

Good brows don't come over night (well, unless you got them tattooed on, but ouch...) and I feel like I have came full circle with my own. Absolutely no makeup on them, to too much, the wrong colour, the wrong shape. I feel like I'm no longer rocking that drag queen vibe, and as Angela works on my brows and defines the shape I feel like I need to use less and less makeup on them after each visit. I can still have bad makeup days with them where I go a bit overboard or completely uneven, but I get days like that with my eyeliner flick too (gurl problemz) The goal in due time is to wear absolutely no makeup on them at all and just go for a monthly tint and tidy up.

How are your brows looking at the moment? Are you in need of a bit of brow rehab like I was last year? East Kilbride is only a 15 min drive from my house in Shawlands, so if you're based in or around Glasgow and need some eyebrow TLC I'd definitely reccomend giving The Brow Art Studio a visit.