2010 ♥

"No explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time in the world. Whatever it meant." 
 - Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas

This year...

Lola passed away, but the legend that is Milky Joe lives on.

A drunk driver smashed into Cosmo. After tearing my Papa's car apart too.

I graduated with a BA in Technical & Production Arts.

I joined team Macbook.

I turned 21, and my family and friends threw me an awesome surprise party.

I got lil' inks to remind me of special times.

I went backpacking around Europe for a month with my soulmate.

I was blessed with a beautiful new baby brother.

 I celebrated 2 years together with David.

I moved away from home for the first time.

(And so many more laughs, tears, fun times with my best girls, growing even closer to my best boy, and growing up was had along the way)

2010 was possibly the most exciting, scary, fulfilling, emotional, and utmost epic year I've had to date. However, in hindsight it really made me realise that I have spent too long living my life for others, caring about what people think of me, and feeling regret for past decisions and mistakes I've made. But this is all going to change. I'm done with the bullshit and drama which life and crappy people bring. I am 110% sure I can be a kind daughter, a loyal friend, a loving girlfriend, and a dynamic employee, but still be thick skinned. It's nice to be nostalgic about the past, and look towards the future - but it's equally as important not to dwell too much in either of them. Making the most of every moment is my ultimate goal for the new year.

I know I have probably showed you this one before, but this is a quote I submitted to The Notebook Doodles last year. As a gift to her readers last christmas, she chose the first 100 and 'doodled' them out for us. This is mines...

This is a quote which I hold close to my heart, and I always tried to keep it in my thoughts whenever times got tough this year. Here's another one that's been on my old photobucket account for as long as I can remember...

 So, 2011, bring it on! This girl's not going down without a fight. Happy New Year everyone! ♥

Ayden x

So, this is Christmas...

I've enjoyed having a wee nosy into what lovely Christmas's you have all had - so I though it would be time to share mines with you too. I woke up on Saturday morning, had a yummy breakfast and exchanged presents with David. Above is a little peek of what he got me. I'm a lucky lady indeed :) In the Town House envelope is a voucher for my afternoon of indulgence at the Spa at Blythswood Square Hotel in Glasgow. I get an hours treatment of my choice, the Thermal Experience and Afternoon Tea - bliss! I'm telling you, a bit of pampering is going to be the perfect start to 2011. I have no idea of what sort of treatment to go for (wraps, scrubs, massages and the likes) so if any of you gals have been to a spa before and can reccommend something, please do!

In the afternoon, I went over to my dad's for more pressie exchanging and an early glass of fizz. Here's Max on the playmat me and David got him from Hamleys - he is getting so strong, holding his head up like that. This exact time last year, My dad and julie announced to me in the car, when they picked me up from Davids house on boxing day, that they were pregnant :) Talking about how time flies is an absolute bloody understatement!

We then went on to my step mum Julie's parents house for dinner. Had the most yummy meal and my elegant tipple of choice was Cherry Sourz and Coke, haha. Only had a couple though, I find that when I'm so full of food there ain't much room left for alcohol. I completely forgot to get a decent picture of my outfit, and to be honest kinda forgot to take pictures the rest of the day but you can kinda see my tuxedo-esque dress (from a few posts back) in the picture above. And my attempt at the Ardell lashes in the classy phone pic above that! For my bestie Jenn's 21st I had to get her to put them on for me, and times before that the Mac girls have applied them for me so I was nervous, but pleased with the results, when attempting it myself. You'd never think I was a girl with how rubbish I am at those kinda things!

After a wonderful dinner (and my gran brought over her home made meringues with raspberries for dessert, I really need to learn how to bake like that!) I went back and stayed at my Dad and Step mums house, as David was back over at his parents for the night anyways. Fell asleep watching Dr Who on IPlayer on my Dads Ipad, But then the most horrible thing happened :( woke myself up during the night feeling so ill, and was sick on and off for a few hours. I know for a fact that it wasn't food poisoning, because everyone else is fine and our christmas dinner was perfect - so I think its maybe been a 24 hour bug or something cause I know there's been quite a bit of that going around at the mo. I went to my mums on boxing day, my dad took me over in the morning but the rest of the day was a total write off, I was just so ill. Really haven't been that sick in a long time. My legs and back were in agony too, for some strange reason. My gran wanted me to go to hospital but I took some more paracetamol and slept it off. David picked me up and took me home and today I have felt much better. Still, not the best way to spend boxing day when you're still meant to be doing some more visiting and eating leftover food eh?

This was my organised mess in the living room yesterday when I finally got up and about (but not out of my jammies all day, just because I can!) and attempted to do the whole 'sorting away' of pressies. It is actually beginning to scare me at how well my family and friends know me. Lots of cupcake/baking related things, Hello Kitty in various shapes and forms, tattoo inspired prints, teapot shaped jewellery, dresses, my fave perfume and the dermalogica clean start moisturiser I have been lusting over for a very long time. I am so overwhelmed with the gifts I've recieved so far, and I still have a few friends to exchange pressies with... and I am a very greatful lass ♥

I'm thinking I have probs missed the best of the sales by now, but maybe that's a good thing?! Today I'm heading into town to meet my friend Erin and keep her company for part 2 of her tattoo sitting, unlike the first post I will remember to get a picture this time :) And then later on today I'm heading over to my mums for my wee bro Aarons 4th birthday. So, has 2010 been everything you'd hoped it be so far? Will be doing a little new years post at the end of the week... seriously can't believe that time is almost upon us.

Love, Ayden x

it's the most wonderful time of the year

♥ ♥ ♥

Afternoon tea from Peckhams. Couldn't resist some cake when I was in buying my christmas alcohol :)

Trying out my new French Press. It made the most lovely cup of cwoffee!

My cosy oversized jumper from Ella at Belle Vintage arrived in the post this morning ♥

My booty from the Topshop sale.

Also picked up some reduced Topshop makeup to make my eyes all pretty tomorrow, and some falsies for £5 from boots. Thought I'd try Ardell lashes for a change, hope I don't regret it!

Today has really been such a perfect day. I got up bright and early and went into town for the Topshop sale and a wee wander around the shops. Picked up quite a few bits and pieces as you can see, and also got black bows for my hair and new tights to go along with my outfit for tomorrow. Just to clear something up from the last post, my dress is from Urban Outfitters, not Primarni I'm afraid! I realise now I confusingly worded the sentence above the picture talking about my shopping trip and what I'd got from where.

I was home by midday and watched Jingle All The Way on the couch with David and Millie, enjoyed a huge cup of coffee with my very first french press (thanks to my beautiful friend Leah) and we had thick crusty bread with lots of pate for lunch. Yum yum. We picked up some lovely food yesterday from M&S for our christmas breakfast, including that massive crusty loaf from the bakery but I can see it being finished by this evening! I'll be spending the rest of the night watching some awesome stuff on tv, bagging up and organising all the pressies under my tree for what will feel like a flittin' tomorrow, and getting my outfits ready for the next couple of days.

This year I'm doing things a bit differently, and spending christmas day with my dad's side of the family and boxing day with my mum's side of the family. I normally do it the other way about, but it is my baby brothers first christmas and I really wanted to be with him for it tomorrow. The thing that is going to be making me most happy over the next couple of days is getting to spend some quality time with my loved ones. It has been an absolutely hectic year, for all of us. And I look forward to eating lots of food, laughing, some great chat, exchanging gifts and generally being merry on this day where time almost seems to stop. Wherever you are or whoever you spend it with, I hope you have the most wonderful day tomorrow and I'll be sure to raise a glass in thought of you lovelies tomorrow - you girls that have became my friends as well as fellow bloggers and never fail to make me smile.

Be back at the end of the week with more pictures I'm sure :) Merry Christmas to all of you xx


So after my epic 12 day Next gift guide, a little bloggity break over the weekend was definately in order :) Here's a run down of what I've been upto in my absence...

The Christmas Fair at George Square, Glasgow.
Been wandering through this every night on my walk back to Queen Street Station. Looks so pretty lit up at night, kinda wish it could be like that all year round.

My living room on Saturday morning, after an epic friday night wrapping session.
Now this picture above is visual evidence of why I am skint. The pressies go all the way under the tree! This is everything for my family, besties and David. 5 rolls of wrapping paper later might I add. Haha oh yeah, and incase you're wondering why there's towels at the base of the window - David was trying to work out where the draft was coming from! He's such a determined little house husband

On saturday we went shopping and to see Tron Legacy at night (bit gutted, paying £10 for a 3D ticket when they admit only half of the film is in 3D, cheeky!) I had my first successful shopping trip in ages. Got myself a few pairs of shoes and tights from primark, and 2 dresses, one playsuit and a top from urban outfitters. I was going to do a wee keep or return post, but I have came to the conclusion that I am just going to keep them all. This is what I've bought to wear on christmas day, any ideas how I should accessorise or what to wear with it?

The Hannah Zakari giveaway. 
I couldn't believe how generous they'd been with the goody bag, thank you so much HZ! Plus I have a £25 voucher to spend, but not sure if I can do it online so was maybe hoping to pop into the store in Edinburgh on friday. But our christmas eve trip will probs be weather dependant :( This snow is pretty but my my it is disruptive.

Finishing work for Christmas.

Yep, so this picture is pretty much proof that I FAIL at life! Haha. Tuesday was our last day at work and everyone was pestering me for a name board so they could take a cheesy picture - so being the loser that I am, I made up an Ayden and got them to take one of me too. The work's christmas party was lovely and after it I went to stay with my family back home and that was lovely too. My gran's and my mum's house are both always so nice at christmas, makes me feel like a wee girl again. I really can't wait to go back and spend some time with them at christmas ♥ I'm sure there are so many of you out there who feel the same, living away for uni, or work, or if youve just moved out in general. Hope you all have a lovely time with your families this weekend.

So I guess the rest of this week is just that final rush to get organised for saturday! To all of you working in retail right now... I SALUTE YOU! This week I'm catching up with friends and exchanging pressies, buying some foody goodness from M&S for christmas morning in the flat, and tonight I'm going to see my 3rd christmas show this month, Beauty and The Beast at The Citizens Theatre.

What's your plans this week? Are you organised? Still at work? Hope you're starting to get full of the festive cheer whatever you're upto :)

Love Ayden x

Next Christmas blogger challenge - Pets

On the 12th day of christmas, Next.co.uk gave to me...

Presents for the family member we often forget about :)

Cat Cracker - £6
Set contains 2 balls, 50g of crunchy turkey flavour treats and a plush toy.

Doggy Cracker - £6
Set contains play bone, tug rope and 75g of chocolate flavour dog treats.

Ceramic Treat Jar £8 and Porcelain Bowl £5
(Matching Dog set available too)

Cat House - £30
(Dog beds are also around £35)

So maybe an unexpected final gift guide, but I thought it would be nice to include a little something for the furry friends in our life! I got Millie a leopard print mat and pink food bowl as an early christmas present a few weeks ago (when we were in oogling at the guinea pigs in pet world, d'aww) But I'm defo thinking about getting her a little cat cracker for christmas day. Even though, she will be in her element playing amongst the wrapping paper (anyone elses cat go crazy for paper?)

I think the cat bed from next is lovely, so I had to include it but at £30 it is a bit pricey! Millie has a lovely cat bed, but most of the time she sneaks onto the bottom of our bed during the night. And her firm favourite place to snooze during the winter is here...

So my dears, that marks the end of my Next gift guide. The 12 days of Christmas have seemed much longer than 12 days, but it's been good fun and a great wee challenge. Thank you for sticking with me, and I hope that some of it was of help to anyone out there needing a bit of last minute inspiration. If you've been clicking away for me up until now, thank you for that also! I think they will be monitoring my blog via analytics until christmas eve, so if you are popping off to the Next site for anything then please still click through my blog if you don't mind. I'll be sure to keep you all posted if all your clicks have got me in the running for a prize :)

Right gals, tis friday and I am super glad of that. Meeting a couple of old uni friends after work for some Raspberry Beers and Pizza at Bier Halle. Saturday I've got a lunch date with a friend, a shopping/cinema date with my boy in the evening and sunday I'm working. Monday is my last day of work and that's me all done for christmas! So I'll probs take a wee breather from the blog this weekend but I'll be sure to follow what you're all upto via ye olde tweet tweets

Much love! ♥ Ayden x

Next Christmas blogger challenge - Standby...

 On the 11th day of christmas, Next.co.uk gave to me...

The Standby gift - a safety net!

You know how awkward it can be when you receive a gift from someone unexpected and don't have anything to give in return... Sometimes it's hard to know when you and new friends start exchanging presents, or if you're going to see your great-uncle's-mothers-goldfish's-step-gran-in-law over christmas and she's going to have a little something for you! So to save unnecessary embarassment, over the years I have kept a little standby present ready in case this happens. You might be reading this and think it's a bit odd, or a bit cheeky. But my gran has always done it, and even though you can be prepared and organised with your christmas shopping, there is no harm in being prepared for the unexpected.

Family Photo Holder - £14

H18 x W47.5 x D1.5cm
Holds up to 10 pictures.

Breakfast Set - £16
Contains toast rack, butter dish and three Bonne Maman jams.

I've only listed two presents here rather than my usual three, and neither are too pricey but both really sweet and generic enough for either sex (or for someone in their 30's, 50's, 80's, whatever! don't think it would matter) I hope the idea of a standby pressie hasn't offended any of you super organised gift givers out there. Plus if you end up not needing to give the present to anyone, then you get to keep it for yourself ;)

Tomorrow is the last day of my Next gift guide (phewww I hear you cry) You're probably thinking who is there left to buy for?! Well its not uncles, or aunties, or cousins, or neighbours... I think they could all be covered with most of the guides I've done so far. Tomorrow is a final instalment for someone very special who we shouldn't forget to share our festive celebrations with ;) You may have guessed it already but come back tomorrow and see if you're right!

This was me this morning before I headed out to work. I used my barry M dazzle dusts on my eyes for the first time in ages (always scared to because I seem to get them everywhere) And the rest is pretty much just my usual daily face routine, which you can have a nosy at here. Actually, I think thats the first time I've used my dazzle dusts since I made that video! I can't blow dry my fringe now and have it sitting above my eyes without looking like Vicky Pollard, so it's back to the sweeping side emo kid fringe until I see my mammy for a trim.

A slow but sure trickle of christmas cards has started to form on my breakfast bar. I have more from bloggy friends so far than what I do from family! Some you see here are from Victoria, Gem, Claire, and Ellie ♥ And I think there are a few more on the way :) David's mum has given us a few extra decorations, and we bought stockings from tesco last night so the flat is definately looking more festive (not long to go now...)

Ayden x

Next Christmas blogger challenge - Secret Santa

On the 10th day of Christmas, Next.co.uk gave to me...

The Secret Santa, for the ladies and on 3 different budgets.

£5 and under

Cupcake Cook Book - £5
120 pages of delicious recipes for sweet treats.

Baking seems to be a popular past time in the bloggy world. This book might not quite be the Hummingbird Bakery... But I think for £5 it's a steal! If you aren't a cupcake fan, I'm sorry... I need to ask you whats wrong with ya?

£10 and under

Large Jar of Popcorn - £8
450g of toffee and chocolate covered goodness, nomnomnom.

Again, more sweeties but its Christmas so the calories are automatically halved (didn't you know that?) This huge jar of popcorn would happily keep your secret santa munching right into the new year through all those good, bad and cheesy films that are put on the box at this time of year. I love it so much!

£15 and under

Hottie Set - £14
Set includes ceramic mug, hot water bottle with knitted cover and hot chocolate drink mix.

Next have really got it spot on with their quirky, girlie homeware and matching gift sets like the one above (with no apologies whatsoever if your flatmate is your boyfriend!) And I think this set is quite adorable. D'awwww.

Did you have a Secret Santa to buy for this year? Or are you part of a big group of friends who do it each year? To save bankruptcy between you all!

As I mentioned in yesterdays post, last night I went to see Cinderella by the Scottish Ballet. I am a reasonably regular theatre go-er, but this was my first time at the ballet. And, wow! From a technical point of view, the production was flawless, the music and lighting were very atmospheric (it looked like a completely different kettle of fish, from lighting a normal play to lighting dancers and dance flooring) and the set and costume design was gorgeous. The dancing was alright I guess ;) Haha just joking! The dancers were so elegant, and looked weightless as they sprung about the stage and were lifted into the air. If I tried to dance like that, I would definately resemble a baby elephant in the kitchen section of ikea.

To top the whole evening off, I got to meet some fellow scottish bloggers for the first time. Ann who invited us, Rani from Cupcake Couture, Kirsten from Saskia The Style Fairy, and Kirsty from Forty Four Sunsets. The lovely Morven from Cats And Rocking Chairs was also meant to be coming along but she couldn't make it :( So I was thinking that us scottish gals should group together and arrange a meet up in the new year? You see lots of events happening down south but not as many up here. So why don't we arrange something of our own! If you're interested, leave me your email in the comments box and hopefully we can get some ideas together for 2011 :)

Invited guests also got a little goody bag and some wine and glittery cupcakes at the interval ( glitter and wine... best combo ever) and in our bags were some very special little bits and pieces. Including a Cinderella File & Polish, Thermal Experience and Champagne at the Spa at Blythswood Square (who are currently offering a range of Cinderella Spa packages which run alongside the performance dates) and a spray tan done by the kind folks at Vita Liberata in House of Frasers. To get this done in time for Christmas/Hogmanay, after finishing a few crazy months at work is going to be absolute bliss ♥

The blogging world has completely baffled me, made me teary, inspired me, made me angry at times, and given me wonderful new friends. This community as a whole and individually has extended such kindness to me from the very start, and I just want to say a whole hearted thank you.

 Ayden x