sunday best

Please excuse me for being a bit of a shabby blogger this week :( work has been busy busy, still getting settled into the new flat and I've had a few wee social engagements keeping me busy! As ye do :) I've not done one of these in a while, but here's a wee run down of my sunday best.

On the weakest link I'm making up graphics using vinyl lettering every single day. I love vinyl! I might get my graphics guy to make me something super cool for my macbook. The above transfer sells on ebay for about $10. Cuuuute.

On Saturday morning I went over to my grans to say howdy with David, and Aaron and Tyler were in. Man, they've grown! Both of them are so tall, and both of their hair is getting so long. Aaron refuses to get a hair cut by the way. After saying how big and grown up I thought they were looking, Tyler spent 4 hours in A&E on sat night cause of her 'growing pains' :( Poor soul. She could hardly walk... something to do with infection/inflammation in her hip bone. Apparently its quite common in young 'uns and does often get written off as growing pains. Ouch!

It was Blair's 1st birthday on Saturday :) I went to his party for a little while and did some face painting. Do you or any of your friends have little ones? Gemma had so much to organise for his party it was unreal, I really take my hat off to her! There's some epic old pictures of me on my first birthday with a polka dot dress and postman pat cake :)

During the week I met my new little cousin Jack for the first time :) It was my Grans birthday, so we all went round for tea and M&S birthday cake, drool! Jack's mum is my dad's sister, and she lives down south so we don't get to see them all that often. He is huuuge in comparison to Max, haha and is only 3 months old. Look at those chubby cheeks!! My Aunty Jill breastfeeds him, and apparently he is the hungriest baby ever. He was still a total cutie though :)

And here's my other wee cutie! Some photo time with Millie.

I've not quite mastered using my SLR on its tripod, how can I use self timer but properly focus when I'm not standing in position? If anyone has mastered using a tripod please share! Anyways, most of the shopping I've done recently (well, apart from my primark haulage a couple of weeks ago) has been online, and presents for other people. Nothing wrong with that I suppose tho eh? I did manage to use the models own 50% off code before it ran out, so I'll share what I got when my parcel arrives. The lovely Zoella had a blog sale a while ago and I bought a few items from her. I was so pleased when they arrived during the week! Here's what I got

H&M skull top.

Topshop patterened top, I didn't take a pic of the back but its all open and criss cross.

New look dress! Thanks Zoe :)

Some of my best makeup and clothes bargains have been off blog sales, beginning to like them a bit more than ebay if I'm honest. Please feel free to link me if you have your eye on any at the moment! :)

I underestimated how much I love chilling with a munchie and watching a film when nothing good is on TV. During the week we watched the Hangover - I seriously love this film. Watched it a few times now, me and David have never laughed so much! This type of film - similar to Superbad - is totally my type of humour. Loves it!

One good thing I DID watch on TV this week was the T4 Katy Perry Music Special. Katy Perry is my ultimate girl crush. Her blog was the first blog I ever followed, and looking back on her capers from when she wasn't so famous is pretty awesome, she is such a cool gal :) I love her style, her music, and in interviews she is funny and always comes across as a nice person. Haha, check me getting all gushy. I'm such a loser! I'm not much of a celeb fiend, but I always like to know what Katy P is up to. Since seeing her play live at the Barrowlands last year, I was even more in love! Tour for the new album soon I hope. Actually, just to go to a gig in general soon would be nice. I feel like I haven't been to one in so long! :( When I was like 18/19 I always had a gig ticket in my diary for something that was coming up soon. Felt like there was so many more bands getting advertised in the paper on a sunday that I was like 'aw man, I wanna go see them!' any fellow music lovers know the feeling?

Well this certainly has been an eclectic mish mash of random rubbish :) This week is my last week at the bbc until november, so between then I have a little bit of time off, I'm painting at the citz theatre for their panto, and I may be a dresser for a well known kids tv show's live tour, which is coming up this way soon :S Random, but I'm waiting to hear back from them.

I got a phone call from the news of the world newspaper during the week, who had found my cv online and noticed I have worked on the x factor. In a nut shell, they were offering me money in return for any 'information' I could give them about the x factor and the whole auto tune shizzle thats in the news in the moment. Just because I was on the production team doesn't mean I know anything about the decisions the producers make. What cheeky swines! She said if I ever change my mind, and have any stories or gossip I would like to shed with her about the TV industry, then I've just to give her a call... because they offer VERY good money for stories and information. ARE YOU SERIOUS?! Leave me alone!

Any strange/unwanted happenings swing your way this week? Is your life full of random (sorry, I hate that word and how its so very much overused) stuff at the moment? I'm cosied up on the couch with a huge glass of dr pepper and some caramel digestives, mmmm :)

tawk to me!

(Terry Tibbs, anyone?)

Ayden x

and the winner is...

You'll have to wait a few seconds longer before you find out ;) Came back from my dads to discover that our internet is okay, so I thought I'd go ahead and post the winner of my giveaway! Here is a few new pics of my little bro from earlier tonight to give you something to awww over :)

Me? Broody? Never! :) Haha c'mon girls, don't deny you know what I'm talking about!

 Anyways, onto the actual topic of this post :) Firstly, thank you so so much for all your amazing answers. I spent so long reading over them all and again and again, and they all really struck a chord with me being in my first home away from home, and that strange but satisfying feeling of trying to make a new place your own. I literally couldn't choose a winner, you gals are amazing and have made me feel so inspired it's unreal! Everyone made such an awesome effort so I wanted to give you all an equal chance. And that's where my assistant came in handy :)

Haha, Millie isn't my assistant, she just wondered what I was doing and came over for a little nosy.

David was my assistant! Names all written up, folded and placed in a teapot my best friend Jenn got me for christmas :) Please check out her blog if you have a sec, she is super lovely, and is fairly new to this whole blogging malarkey!

A little shake and mix around from my independent adjudicator! Just like the lottery haha.

The winner of my first ever give away is...

Jade from jetaime fleur!

Well done girlie, email me or leave a comment with your email address and I'll get the voucher sent off to you asap :) You'll need to share what you end up buying! Sorry to all you lovelies who didn't win, hopefully this is only the first give away of many :)

Ayden x

giveaway ends at 6pm tonight!

Hello Lovelies :) You have until 6pm tonight (GMT) to enter my little home sweet home competition a couple of posts down! I'll announce the winner around 9pm when I'm back from visiting my baby bro :)

UPDATE: David has just said our internet has stopped working, so if I can't get it back on tonight the winner will be posted tomorow morning!

(Not impressed with this rain by the way... what's happened to summer?)

(Haha, I'm defo the muncher in our house. The picture above looks somewhat familiar!)

Ayden x

travelling tales

As promised, here is some more travel tips and pictures in a little Europe 'through the looking glass' :) I've not been able to edit David's pictures as well as the ones taken on my canon slr, so please excuse the change in brightness and saturation etc.

We stayed in a range of different accomodation during our month away - and for us it was a mix of Hostel International, privately owned hostels and also apartments. We booked them all through Hostel World, and Hostel Bookers. It took a lot of time and research, and trawling through reviews and doing so many comparisons but in the end it was worth it! We were happy with all the places we stayed in, so if you are planning to go anywhere in Europe from our itinerary list then let me know - I could definately recommend a place to sleep and good places to eat/see :) Now, onto the main tips (coughLESSONScough) we learned on our month away travelling...

1. Sightseeing - arrive early!

Me and David have both went to Paris on different occasions before this trip. When I went, it was summer and busy and I was in Disneyland so didn't get a chance to really explore Paris. When David went, it was winter and it was really quiet. Well, with us going just then at the height of summer - it was totally mobbed! The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, The Catacombes, and The Louvre all had queues stretching for hundreds of metres. And we thought we had arrived at these places reasonably early!

So best bet is, if there is a certain sight that you are absolutely dying to see (and by see I guess I mean go in, not just wander around outside it like we did :p ) then you really need to get there SUPER early - for it opening, if possible! Either that, or bring a packed lunch and a fold out camping chair... because you are going to be waiting a while.

I'm not sad that we didn't end up going up The Eiffel Tower, or for a wander inside the Louvre. There was so much of Paris that we wanted to take in, neither of us wanted to spend 3 hours of our day queueing. I know it's a place that I will certainly be going back to, so no worries or regrets there :)

2. Home comforts are expensive

The stress of travelling sometimes makes it easy to give into home comforts, like British cereal, McDonalds, and of course the beloved starbucks! Fair enough the euro rate is pretty crap at the moment, but indulging in the old favourites from back home is much more pricey in Europe than what it is in the UK! I'm not tight when it comes to money, and yes we did give in a few times but seriously, I could have died at the Starbucks at Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, when I saw how much my usual drink cost. Meh! :( So, lesson learned was don't give in to the easy option (un big mac s'il vous plait!?) You'll save much more money - and feel more culturally satisfied in the long run - by going off the beaten track and venturing where the locals go. This latte and cake from a tiny little cafe called Cacao, in Slovenia, was well priced and so yummy, and well worth not actually being able to read anything on the menu :)

3. You don't need to spend tonnes of money to have fun!

In Interlaken, Switzerland, I literally could have blown my life savings on outdoor sports. Paragliding, canyoning, bungee jumps... you name it. The amount of stuff you're able to do there was just mind blowing. I would defo love to go back to Switzerland in the winter with my snowboard, and maybe dedicate an actual trip to 'extreme sports-ism' :p So, we just opted for hiring bikes for the day and it was so much fun!

5 hours and a very sore arse later, we stumbled upon this field of horses.

They ovb don't speak english, I was trying my hardest to make them come over!


Yasss! Haha. We got to see so much more of Interlaken by bike than what we would of by foot. It didn't cost us much, and we had such a good laugh. My bike had a little basket which held our lunch and munchies for the day :) sorted!

 4. Don't get burnt!

Yeah, just don't. Or your purse will be 15 euros lighter from buying aftersun and aloe vera, and you will look like this:

Look at my chest :( Not cool! This was in Croatia, when we were at the beach. I did try to be really careful and we wore suntan lotion every day, even in the cities, but by the time we got to the coast my peely wally skin just couldn't cope with the heat.

It died down after a few days, but all it did (apart from severely damage my skin, of course) was make it bloody sore rubbing against my clothes, I had to stay out of the sun and we missed another day at the beach! Which is a bit of a bummer when you're only in a certain place for a little amount of time and you have a set out plan for what you want to do each day. So, don't get burnt, or ill/severely hungover, and you will be dandy :) easier said than done.

5. Don't hesitate to engage with the locals and their culture/language

Yes, its daunting, and yes, as Scottish born and bred I feel completely ashamed when I venture off to foreign lands that I can't indulge in the language properly. So many people in European countries speak such strong English, its easy to get caught up in the luxury and comfort of speaking our native tongue. However, if you really really try to make an effort wherever you can - be it a hello, thank you, or goodbye - the locals really do appreciate it and I feel like you get so much more out of the place and whatever situation you are in. I was rocking the francais in Paris, and with a few polite words an old french local at Notre Dame gave me a piece of special sponge like bread, and showed me how to get the birds there feeding out of your hand :) A little effort goes a long way!

6. Explore the shops :)

Ha, enough said! Poor David was dragged around for hours, but I was determined in each city to find some good shops and I'm glad I was so persistant! I'm very fond of skate/surfer brands such as DC, Roxy, Volcom, Burton etc, but they're really hard to track down in the UK (Well, Scotland! Cornwall has always been my go to for such brands) In Vienna we stumbled upon an awesome shop called Rag, and I got a couple of cool tshirts and a giant paul frank purse - which has done me awesome for my petty cash and invoiced etc at work! :) I noticed that Gem from Gem Fatale's Style Blog did some seriously cool shopping when she was in Paris. She was mentioning areas and places to shop that I had no idea about :( So sometimes wandering works, but sometimes its worth researching before you go if there are vintage shops, malls, flea markets and stuff that you really want to visit. Because chances are, they're probably gonna be a little bit off the tourist track.

7. Dress for the weather

Ha, a very obvious one. But seriously, living out of a backpack was hard going and you really do need to cover all weather eventualities!

Cool air in Munich - rocking the tee that I bought whilst in Vienna

Warm evenings in Berlin - a very last minute borrow from David's sister Amy! When I say last minute, I literally mean as we were walking out the door lol. So glad I had it in the end :)

A denim shirt - my life saver. Hardly ever needed ironed, went with everything, and was much more suited and hardwearing than a cotton shirt or cardigan. Best and most worn item I took!

Plain shorts and more detailed tee's from Topshop became my usual outfits. Good shape for a suntan without exposing your shoulders or chest too much, kept me cool, and could easily add leggings to for a quick change for dinner in the evenings.

Investigating the sales over there - I bought this sleeveless denim shirt and polka dot dress (which you can't really see) for 10 Euros from a shop called Pimkie! There were stores in many of the places we went too, and it kinda reminded me of New Look. With awesome sales :) Score!

8. Do your research before you go

Like I mentioned a couple of tips above, if there is anywhere that you are CERTAIN you want to go to, google them before you go. So you know the metro stop or general area that it's in. I made the mistake of not doing this with the two main places I wanted to go to in Paris, Sephora and Laduree. Luckily, there were Sephoras everywhere! And my lovely boyfriend took a blogworthy picture while I was having a wander :) Please excuse my chub arm and horrible hair angle - not too flattering haha thanks David ;)

Finding Laduree on Champ Elysees actually took longer than I expected! There are little mini stalls in a few of the malls, but this was the branch I was determined to go to.

We queued for a good 25 mins inside - hence the slightly sweaty and starstruck look haha. Was so worth it though :)

David didn't 'get' why it cost 11 Euros for this tiny little box. And believe me, I could have bought a much bigger box! But once he tasted one of the mini macaroons I think he knew why :) Major yum!

The rest of our shopping in Paris wasn't so successful - I didn't stumble upon any cutesy vintage boutiques or places that I was dying to blow the rest of my money. Lots of it was designer and overpriced and I'm just not that much of a fashion snob to properly appreciate it ;)

From Sephora I got a little neutral shadow set with browns, metallics and a nice cream base. As you know I've been working on my smoky day eyes for a while now, I'm getting the hang of it a wee bit more (thanks to the gorgeous Emma at MAC!) So here's what I've been wearing daily made out of my Sephora pallete.

9. Kiss and make up

1 week on holiday is considerably different to 1 month. We had differing opinions, got on each others nerves, and wound each other up something awful but at the end of the day we also kept each other safe and sane and laughed lots every single day :) I feel like a long trip can be make or break for friendships or relationships - just like living together can be. Make sure whoever your travel partner(s) are, you know you can be honest with them. You both know that you are going to see each other every hour of every day through the highs and lows, and that any anger you take out on them isn't personal - they are your travel buddy and the closest thing to you for the trip!

(David knows that I am right 99% of the time, and I KNEW he would love the mini macaroons!)

After a month of seeing me at my best and worst, and facing some long journeys and stressful situations, I think a boy who can leave a note like this for me on our second last day, and take a picture while I'm sleeping is certainly a keeper ♥

Ayden x

distractions ♥

It was a week ago today that I started my new job. That means today is my 7th day on, and tomorrow is my long awaited day off! Me and David move into the flat tonight, officially :) I've left some stuff in my room back home, clothes and furniture etc. But when I was packing last night, it felt so strange and empty :( I figure if I don't miss the clothes that I leave behind, I'll maybe start selling them in a couple weeks time. I'm such a hoarder! But sometimes it feels good to start a fresh doesn't it? Clutter makes my brain hurt! :( Anyways, I still don't have the holiday pics from Davids camera, I plan on getting them and editing them this weekend so that final epic Europe post will come soon :p But in the meantime, here are a few things that are bobbling around my brain this Saturday.

Before I set off on my hols, me and the lovely Erin went for afternoon tea in one of my favourite little places - Fifi and Ally :) Yummy, non? I figure rather than having a flat warming I might persuade David to let me have the girls round for a similar afternoon tea like this one Sunday, or maybe late afternoon to make it not too early for a couple of home made cocktails. David loves cake and tea, maybe I could persuade him to join in? Or dress up as my butler? Haha oh that boy is in for a treat living with me! ;) Erin graduated this year too, and is off to Liverpool for her new job. I will miss her a tonne, but I am so proud of her! Have any of your besties moved away for work? Its her birthday next week so I'll need to make sure I get her something special.

Also before I went my hols, I went out for lunch with Gemma and this wee cutie :) I don't think Blair liked the flash on my camera, but it looks like he enjoyed his lunch! It is Blair's first birthday next Saturday - I cannot believe how a year has completely flew in. So I've got a little hip and happening party to attend :) And I'm going back to my old trade and doing some facepainting for the kids, I'll need to make sure I get some fun pictures.

I bought two more charms for my Pandora bracelet, aaah Im addicted! I've seen a few more that I would really like, so I'm hinting to the mister for our anniversaire next month. We've never been about big, flashy presents, I think its silly spending hundreds of pounds on each other at christmas and stuff. When I'm buying and recieving I appreciate a well thought out present much more :) my three charms so far each remind me of a certain time (first one for my 21st, second morano one for graduating, third sunshine one for europe) so a little one to mark our two years together would be lovely. Haha he's probably reading this and thinking I'm he biggest hinter ever! I'm not, I promise! ;) Just when I get an idea in my head I tend to roll with it, y'know?

7 days straight working = a tiny bit of retail therapy. Thursday night I went a wander into town and here's what I came home with...

Moto Baxter (I think?) skinnies from topshop, and their 3 for £9 pants because I love topshop knickers so much!

First try out at the Topshop makeup range - any of you ladies tried it? If you bought three items you got a free makeup bag, so I got the skin tint, mascara, and a white khol eyeliner for brightening up my wee tired eyes! Emma at mac did this for me when I got my makeover and it made me look like bambi, haha good times :)

First impression of skin tint - it is VERY light, which is a nice change from my heavier foundations and I think would be perfect for summer. Even more lighter than healthy mix foundation. So I'm not sure how long I'll be wearing it into the winter months, but I'll defo be giving it a try each day anyways.

Mascara - Meh, mediocre? :( The brush isnt very big, and I've went from using loreal falsies mascara (which was pretty epic) to this. But again, maybe over time it will be better and wont get as clogged up because the brush is small and there isnt much on it. I'm defo going to keep with it tho and give it another chance!

Kohl liner in white - Fab! I will defo be trying this out in the other colours. Great staying power on the waterline, I find that the white just helps to open my eyes a bit when I've got thick liner on my top lid.

Let me know if you think there is anything else from this range that is worth having a go of :)

I then went to Primark and spent about £50. I managed to get a nice few wee bits and bobs that I'd seen more expensive versions of in the likes of Topshop and H&M. They will probs fall apart after a few washes but thats the Primani curse isn't it? I think I just got over excited because I hadn't been in and seen anything half decent in so long. So, here's what I got!

I was quite pleased with my late night shopping bonanza. I've got a few birthday pressies to buy over the weekend, and I'm strangely looking forward to getting the house all sorted out tonight and tomorrow and going for a food shop :) Ha, look at me pretending to be all grown up... when sometimes I feel far from it! Loved all your answers for my giveaway so far ♥ Still got a few days left so keep the entries rolling it! Have a great weekend lovelies,

Ayden x