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.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

When Cats get good mail days

CATS. The internet loves them, I love them. Some people hate them and if you're of those people then you maybe won't want to read on. But I think you should, as my fluffy companions have won over the hearts of a few non cat people in my life over the past couple of years. I'll introduce my boys just in case you're not familiar with my blog or instagram (I hold my hands up to being a spammy picture posting pet owner at times, sorry!)


This is Dexter, he's a Ragdoll cat and turns 3 at the end of the month. Ragdolls are a very laid back breed, and I genuinely mean it when I say he is one of the most gentle and good natured cats I have ever met. Dexter has striking blue eyes and long soft white fur which means wearing black in my house is a very bad idea.


This is Binx, my 6 month old wild kitten. He was abandoned by his Mum at 4 weeks old so I got him much younger than you would bring any normal kitten into your home. He only weighed 900g when I got him, so after a lot of hand feeding and round the clock care I nursed him into a healthy strong boy. Binx got the snip yesterday and ended up getting a full on operation due to the hunt for a missing testicle haha. They found it eventually! The vet said he's still got typical characteristics of a feral cat (a gentle way of then telling me he was growling when they tried to take him out of his cage) but he's a big softie at heart and she thinks he is going to be huge. He weighs 4.5kg at the moment and still has years of growing ahead.


Dexter has been very patient with his little brother, who is an absolute ball of energy and constantly wants to play and get up to mischief. Binx is getting slowly but surely better at sharing toys, and sharing the cat game on the ipad (if you're a cat owner, it's one of the best inventions ever!)

Another recent thing to appear on the internet is subscription boxes for Cats and Dogs. I've not been this excited for a monthly parcel since Glossybox many years ago. Dexter and Binx are now lucky recipients of a Purrfect box every month. It is pretty much the exact same as how most beauty box subscriptions work, with the contents being an assorted mix for your kitty.


What's dis?


Sniffing and some closer inspection.


You want that catnip? I'll wrestle you for it!


Each box contains a mixture of treats, toys and hygiene accessories, and the price ranges from £15.90 to £19.90 depending on whether you pay monthly, half yearly or yearly. You create a profile for your Cat and the contents are based on the details you input. Dexter is a fan of the dry treats and the catnip based stuff, whereas Binx likes the wet food. Then I can share the toys and cleaning stuff between the two of them. I normally take a couple of trips a month to Pets at Home picking up little bits for them both, but with this box arriving monthly all I've had to get for them recently is daily cat food and litter. Dog owners need not feel left out, they also do a version for pooches called Pawsome box.


D'aw, the heart beat at my feet ♥ Dexter is trained to sit and fetch (pretty sure he was a Dog in a previous life) and I'm working on teaching Binx to do the same. My friend Andrew came round to the new flat for a mini photoshoot and Dexter seemed to enjoy being a wee poser for the afternoon. I look absolutely knackered on the other hand! (Adventure time tshirt is from Primark, and blue Vans are from Spartoo)

Never thought I'd see the day where my pets would get regular mail, addressed to them personally haha.  If you like the idea of monthly subscription boxes for your Cat or Dog, then enter my competition below and 10 lucky winners can get their hands on a box of their choice! Good luck :)





Friday, 30 January 2015

So let me restart

"Wake up early. Drink coffee. Work hard. Be ambitious. Keep your priorities straight, your mind right and your head up. Do well, live well and dress really well. Do what you love, love what you do. It is time to start living."

My 2015 has so far consisted mostly of denying all adult responsibilities, smiling and laughing more than I ever remember doing in the past, and finally watching Breaking Bad. I know I'm a bit late to that bandwagon, but watching an episode every time I'm meant to be doing something else productive in the new flat has been GREAT. For that reason, I'm on season three already.

I've mentioned recently that my life seems to completely flip between selling my soul to the television industry and then being off work for weeks on end, where I make up for all that lost time in my social calendar. I've started working on this and look forward to making my blogging less sporadic, so I've got a few more 'themed' posts lined up for the coming weeks before I embark on a scary 5 month job. Before that here's a brief run down of the ways I have been very selfishly and indulgently spending my days in January.


Popped my Swoon cherry and got my nails done by the down right amazing Lia.


There's always time for tattoos. Bee's on my shins done by my wee fave Billy Hay at Bath Street Tattoo Collective.


Country lunches at the Three Sisters Bake in Quarriers Village.


Doing some cooking of my own. Beef fillet wrapped in porcini mushrooms and parma ham, with mash, asparagus and a red wine jus.


Indulging in all the treats from Lush, as I have a bath in my new abode.


I do love having a relaxing soak. I can never expect much privacy though.


Not strictly all play, I did Art Direct a kids tv show for CBBC for a couple of weeks. This is our beautiful wee set.


I now live across from a super awesome cheesy nightclub called the Shed. This calls for local nights out with my fellow south side ladies.


More drinks and dancing with my lovely gals. I've also discovered at 25 that I don't get a hangover by not mixing my drinks. Rocket science...


Disappearing in the car for the day on outdoorsy adventures. Can't wait to do more of these.


And finally, taking a stupid amount of pictures of my face because it's acceptable for our generation. How else am I supposed to remember what I looked like in my mid twenties eh? I just downloaded time hop and I'm not quite sure how to feel about it yet. A strange mixture of funny throwbacks, hair/life envy and emotional nostalgia!

Being a bit selfish and beginning to strike an even balance of work and play is proving more helpful than I'd ever thought it would be. I'm positive and productive at work because I've had time to blow off some steam, and I then enjoy the down time and don't feel 'guilty' because I know I have worked my ass off. It's a golden circle and I'm still finding my way, but the journey is actually an enjoyable one.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

This must be it, welcome to the new year.


I really did have the best intentions of writing one more post before 2014 was out. But quickly came the succession of Christmas, Boxing Day, moving house, and Hogmanay... followed by the week long food coma and epic sleeping sessions. I feel like I only properly woke up when it got to the 5th of January and thought shit, time to get my life back into action!

I don't have any new year resolutions as such, because I constantly feel like I am giving myself a hard time in terms of self improvement. I always strive to be the best version of myself, which can't be all bad, but actually IS bad when it gets to the point of worrying myself to death over how good a daughter/friend/collegue I am. Writing ridiculous, unachievable lists and punishing myself when I don't get everything on them done to a perfectionists standard. Worrying when I have nothing to worry about because when things are going smoothly I am paranoid that I must have missed something?! What's the deal with that eh? I think my sensitive but determined personality, mixed with a history of Generalised Anxiety Disorder can often be a recipe for disaster. But in the past while I have learned that it's about accepting and embracing this, rather than fighting and trying to control it. The most favourite piece of advice someone gave me in 2014 was 'be kind to yourself'. Such simple words, but extremely important ones that should never be over complicated. Which our generation seems to be very good at doing.

 I had a really interesting chat with my friend Ashley recently (who took the picture above) about how we are the first proper digital generation, with our lives often revolving around facebook, instagram, twitter etc. And hey, even blogs! But I don't mind that so much. I enjoy documenting my life in a diary form and being able to look back on where I've been and the journey I have came on. I guess I like instagram etc for all the same reasons, but I also really dislike the negatives that come hand in hand with social media. People tend to share only the good stuff online, so it's easy to look at others and get yourself down about how perfect their life seems. I rarely share anything negative on my social media, with my reason being drawing attention to something which has made me angry, makes the anxiety and anger linger on for even longer! That's just my coping mechanism to help days I am feeling down pass quickly. It doesn't mean I have the perfect life and I need to remember the same goes for others. Staying genuinely positive is really important to me. Today I had a little black cloud following me about because Binx smashed my ipad screen, my old landlord was annoyed at me for something, my new flat isn't still quite ready yet so I am living out of a suitcase at my grandparents house for a week, and trying to get my taxes done with no internet and no printer for all the documents I need. The more I pay attention to the silly things that annoy me, the bigger an issue they become in my head. So now I tend to acknowledge these annoyances, and if I can do something to change them - Great! If I can't... forget that shit and tomorrow is a brand new day.

I understand that a New Year is symbolic to a lot of people for a fresh start, and a chance for new beginnings. I feel like my internal clock restarts every night, so if I've had a bad day and feel a bit teary I can often sleep it off and wake up with a clean slate the next morning. I always set myself daily goals, but seeing as it's January I have been setting my sights on some more long term goals too.

Establish a better work/play balance - This could be quite challenging due to the nature of my job, but my social life seems to go from one extreme to the other (ie when I'm working, I don't bloody have one!) I'd like to try and strike a better balance, rather than disappearing off the face of the earth and feeling like I've sold my soul to the TV industry.

Sit my bike test - After riding Motocross for most of my teenage years I think it's time I bit the bullet and got myself a road bike. Seeing my Dad and his new Triumph has reinforced that the bug has never went away for me. Fingers crossed this is the year where I'll be financially stable enough to go for it!

Take more photographs - It is so easy to rely on the quick convenience of an iphone to take photos. This year I want to fall in love with my SLR all over again and start taking proper photographs, especially for on my blog.

See more of the outdoors - Scotland is downright beautiful, and has so much to offer right on our doorstep. I would really love to go on more adventures like the trip I look to Loch Tay in December. Get out into the fresh air more regularly and help blow away any cobwebs that start to build up. I'll always want to see more of the world, so some travels abroad this year wouldn't go a miss too if money permits.

Reach my final goal weight - I worked pretty hard towards the tail end of the year to loose some excess weight I had been carrying, and I actually felt so much better for it (physically and mentally!) Keeping healthy is a long term goal for me rather than giving in to fad diets. I'm a bit nervous about stepping on the scales after Christmas, but I just plan on taking it a day at a time and hopefully wean myself off 'I'll just have one more handful of chocolates' autopilot!

Learn to say yes and no confidently - I absolutely love this article written by Mark Manson called 'Fuck Yes Or No'. It's all about dating but I think it makes total sense to apply it to the rest of your life too. I am going to say yes more and make time for the things I do want to do, and not give myself a hard time for saying no where I would normally give in for the sake of pleasing others. If you're looking for a bit of wisdom and motivation to kick start the new year I would recommend having a look through Mark's website, there's some fantastic pieces on there which definitely strike a chord or two, and you probably don't realise how much you agree with the advice and observations which he verbalises so well, until you've read an article and think THAT MAKES SO MUCH SENSE!

These are just some thoughts I've been sitting on for a while, and in 2015 I would really like to manifest them into a reality. I'd love to hear what your hopes and dreams are for the coming year. I'm always around on twitter or instagram for a blether (@hellorogue) 


Sunday, 21 December 2014

Glasgow at Christmas

I love my city, I really do. Glasgow always has so much to offer, and even more so at this time of year. It has been absolutely brilliant finishing up work and getting to spend time with my nearest and dearest, catching up and getting ready for the festive celebrations. Oh, and not to mention the small detail of packing up my entire flat and moving out right between Christmas and Hogmanay (good one Ayden, I know) But hey, New Year equals a new start, right? Here's a run down of my favourite places I've been exploring on the run up to Christmas:

Glasgow On Ice


My old flatmate Claire and I had a little day in town at Glasgow On Ice thanks to simplyhealth, then for a semi healthy lunch at Wagamama afterwards. The Ice Skating is at George Square along with some fairground rides and stalls selling mulled wine and other delicious smelling Christmassy food and drink. Claire is a personal trainer who runs her own spin studio, and has always been very sporty so OF COURSE she took to the ice skating perfectly straight away. It took me on the other hand a few circles of the monument before I wasn't skidding about like Bambi. Ice Skating is a great way to stay active over the indulgent festive period, along with the likes of skiing and my favourite - snowboarding! Can't wait to get back on my board in the New Year, the mountains of Scotland are starting to look pretty snowy already.

Blitzedmas


Blitzed is a 1940's themed club night which happens every few months or so in Glasgow. The Christmas edition was at SWG3 so I took my friend Sally along who was up from London to visit. We went for the 'dolled up' ticket which included getting our hair done by the amazing Miss Dixiebelle's (who did my hair for Luisa's hen party last year) along with some mulled wine in a lovely VIP dressing room. Once we were ready, we headed downstairs to dance along to the swing band performing and get our photos taken in the Bygone Photobooth. Such a different and refreshing type of night out to go on, and it was great seeing everyone making a real effort with their outfits, makeup and hair.

Eden Beauty Garden


With so many parties and nights out to attend over Christmas and New Year, I decided to try out eyelash extensions for the very first time because I suck so much at putting fake eyelashes on! The picture above is with absolutely no mascara, just my own lashes plus the extensions. They are completely flawless and I want to keep them forever. Alas they only last around a month, depending on how well you take care of them. I've not been wearing any eyeliner or mascara, or rubbing my eyes like I usually do, and I have only noticed a few starting to fall out in the last couple of weeks. Being finished at work means I was able to get some super girly nails done too, and went for these red sparkly gel's. Extensions of course, my own nails are nowhere near as long or nicely shaped at this, but maybe one day! Both my lashes and nails were done at Eden Beauty Garden which has just opened inside Central Chambers. Slightly more pricey than most places in town, but I think the extra £10 or so is completely worth it. I've had so many beauty treatments done which are a slap dash job with no care taken at all. The girls at Eden take such pride in their work and it shows, because my nails and lashes are the nicest I've had and have lasted longer than I ever expected them to.

Heenatastic


You've probably seen traces of Heenatastic starting to appear across quite a few Scottish Blogs at the moment, and for very good reason! Sadia's work is amazing and when my friend Heather text a few weeks ago to say she was booking us in as a pre-christmas treat I was so excited! The first pictures are mine and Heather's henna the night it was done, and the third picture was taken by my gal Ashley today (patiently awaiting good news at the Apple Store as my iphone battery is dying a death) It took around 3 hours for both our hands to be finished, and I'm hoping it will last for the next few weeks. Definitely a wee something different that I would like to treat myself to every couple of months. I'm already looking up inspiration pictures for my next visit.

Bath St Tattoo Collective


It wouldn't be Christmas if I didn't treat myself to a new tattoo! But I guess I don't even need that excuse haha. Rizza Boo from Jolie Rouge in London was up at the newly opened Bath Street Tattoo Collective doing a few days as a guest tattooist, so I booked in with her as I have been following her work from ages. So so happy with how this one on my side turned out. I'm booked back in with Billy Hay in January to get my shins done which should be... fun? The shop is looking amazing and they have so many great artists working there! Would definitely recommend them all if you're in Glasgow and looking to get tattooed.

Loch Tay Highland Lodges


Getting away from the city for these final few pictures, me and the girls headed up to Killin for a couple of nights in one of the glamping domes at Loch Tay Highland Lodges. Our dome had a lovely wood burning stove, oil lamps, bean bags and a massive bed to keep us cosy while sleeping under a clear sky full of stars. This is Scotland in Winter though, so it was still pretty nippy! We spent our time eating, drinking, playing Disney monopoly, exploring, plus a day trip to Callendar for a look around the quaint little shops and an awesome pub lunch. I took some footage of the trip so hope to get a video up soon. It was the perfect chance to blow away the cobwebs and get my head together before the busy weeks ahead.

I'll be fitting in one more post before the year is out, and in the meantime I hope December is treating you all well ♥