After a lovely little bit of time off, I start a new contract tomorrow which I am really excited (and nervous) about. It's not my art director job I mentioned a couple posts back, that's not until next month. I'll be spending lots of time outside though so hoping the weather will be nice. I thought I'd share what little happenings I've been getting upto in my days of leisure :)

Me and David went surfing over on the west coast of Scotland yesterday at a beach called Westport. We could see the coast of Ireland from the beach! It was 14 miles away apparently. It was a great wee day, and it was David's first time but he did really well. So we slept for 12 hours when we got home on sunday night, and were both still feeling a bit sore. It's totally knackering! But looking forward to getting back into my surfing just in time for summer. The scottish water is SO cold. Ugh, it's certainly not glamorous or bikini clad with gorgeous blue water! But I got some nice pictures so I'll save that for another post if yous are interested in seeing them? Now for some more adventures...

Exploring Beecraigs Country Park.

We took a packed lunch and had a walk through the woods and around the lake :)

My new boyfriend? ;)

Some more cupcake making (themed this time, see?!)

D'awww ♥ He's certainly a keeper girls.

Thursday night, chilling in David's parents back garden for his little brother Kyle's 18th birthday.

Kyle's cake, pimped up by mumma Sutherland!

I had some meetings in Glasgow and decided to have a bit of retail therapy afterwards. Got myself:

- 2 new pairs of skinny jeans from New Look (not something I wear often gals, my thighs hate me!) 

- an oversized checked shirt from New Look which was in the sale for £6

- That Topshop Peter pan collar dress a few pictures up (I know, I caved but it was reduced from £26 to £15!) 

- Those sweet new vans above (sooo comfy, my feet are happy) 

- and finally got my hands on the Neal Sperling cable knit cardi from Urban Outfitters, which I have been lusting after since christmas but could not justify the £65. Glad I waited, because I watched it get reduced to £45 (still not convinced) and snapped it up in store for £30 last week. Result!

Happy Ayden, with said Neal Sperling cardi.

Received my giveaway prizes in the post during the week also. Did a little dance in my pj's when I opened both of these, the Mac Lipglass was from Emma (I chose Oyster Gal, and she threw in the awesome Models Own nail art pen in black - so sweet of her, can't wait to let loose with it!) And the rest is from Rach :) Thank you girls, you are both far too kind.

Me and David got our new car last week (think I did a little twitpic of it) So I have been spending a bit of time getting used to driving again after being car-less for 6 months. Its our first proper grown up thing we have bought together, which all feels very serious! :) And for those who tweeted me, we decided to go with Oscar (anagram of corsa, nae bad) for its name. Yes, I'm one of these losers who likes to name their car. RIP Cosmo :( I also got my hair dyed for the first time in what seemed like ages, pictures to follow soon. Only a short trim to the fringe as well... I'm proud of myself for growing it this long (so far) considering that this time last year, my hair was like this.

I try not to pay attention to that little numbered box in the corner (apart from to look at thumbnails of all your pretty faces ovbz) but this week I did notice I hit a rather big milestone. Jeez... thank you so much! You crazy people, hello to all 806 of you. I'm glad you like it here and I do hope you'll stick around ♥

Ayden x

Ps. One more thing, I promise to do a little home tour soon. I have been too busy rearranging things, getting organised, packing my life up for ebay and lounging about in my pj's, which I cant say is an attractive sight!

I'm Late, for a very important date

I feel really bad, as I'm pretty late in posting about the wonderful time I had at the scottish blogger meet up last saturday. So you may have seen and heard some of this before, but bare with me :) I met Rani, Morven and Adele off the edinburgh train and we headed up to the Blythswood Square Hotel (which you heard me rant about in my last post as I was at the spa during the week) We were there for 11.30am, greeted with champagne and lots of smiling faces - ready for a great wee day ahead! Now for the photo overload...

Recognise this afternoon tea from my last post? I was SO happy to see this little bundle of joy again haha. We were shown a few short films surrounding the making of Alice by Scottish Ballet (which we were going to see later on in the day) As I work in theatre/film/tv, I am a mega behind the scenes geek so the films were a fab insight into the lengthy production process which I know and love - from design concept all the way through to production week.

We were seated at 3 large tables in the beautiful Monte Carlo suite, hiyaz to Morven, Adele, Kirsten, Amanda, Louise, Lisa, and Claire at my table.

I could eat miniature cakes and finger sandwiches every day for the rest of my life.

Gorgeous table centrepieces.

My good pal Ruth getting fake lashes put on for the first time EVER! Thanks to Jane from Smujj. She looked stunning. The girls from The Rainbow Rooms were also on hand, and did a ballet inspired hair demo, along with a few hair ups, back combing and curls for us gals before we headed off to the ballet.

Sitting in the dark waiting for Alice to begin...

The bloody gorgeous front gauze. Gauze is much harder to paint onto than normal cloths (imagine it's like a GIANT pair of fishnet tights, and the lighting state allows it to transform from solid to see through! You can see the fun I had as a head scenic artist leading a team to paint a gauze here)

Some lovely refreshments for us at half time. I was on the cranberry juice and lime by then, champagne for breakfast had gone to my head a bit. The show itsself was amazing, really beautiful and the set, costumes, lighting and overall staging of the performance was totally flawless. I really did feel as if I had fallen down the rabbit hole myself - the dancing and music which illustrated Alice's story was completely mesmerising.

Oh my... the goody bag ♥ Which also included some vouchers for the Thermal Experience at the spa, so hope this may call for meet up number 2 if any of you gals fancy us using our vouchers together?

Now onto some stolen pictures (thank you Ann, Lisa and Toni!)

Me and Claire :)

Ruth, me and Claire getting our hair done by the awesome Rainbow Room gals. I took this opportunity to get a beehive a la Carrie at Wish Wish Wish. I felt like a sixties housewife for the rest of the day, AWESOME! Haha.

Morven, Me, Sarah and Kirsty.

School photo much?!

There were 22 of us there in total, but the day seemed to fly in so quickly and I'm sad I didn't get a chance to speak to everyone :( It was a lovely day though, I met some wonderful people (a few fan girl moments indeed) I felt very lucky to have been invited and hope I get to meet some more of you lovely gals in the near future. Here is a little trailer of the show, watching it makes me want to see it all over again:

Scottish Ballet: Alice 11 - Trailer from Scottish Ballet on Vimeo.

I couldn't end this post without thanking the kind folks at Blythswood Square, Scottish Ballet, and most importantly the most awesome person who made it all happen, Ann :) Thanks still doesn't really feel like enough! Not many events like this happen north of the border, so hopefully it is the first of many. This kind of event is completely new to me, so I'd like to hear what your experience of blogger events are, and blogging folks who you've went on to meet in real life? Morven told me I was exactly as she thought I'd be, which I'm glad about! Because I like to think my online persona is the exact same person as I am in 'real life'! :)

Ayden x

Afternoon Of Indulgence

As cheesy as the post title sounds, that's exactly what I got at my first (of two) visits to the Blythswood hotel last week. David bought me a voucher for my Christmas which consisted of afternoon tea in the Salon, and then use of the Thermal Experience (which I have been in before, and you can read about it here) I also got an hours treatment of my choice with this voucher - and opted to go for the Turus body scrub and wrap. It was awesome! My skin felt amazing afterwards, and the whole experience was just so chilled out. I know that's the point of a spa, but I was very happy just to disappear into a little world of my own for the day :)

The view from my table, overlooking Blythswood Square.

The Salon, on the first floor of the hotel and where I got my afternoon tea. It was pretty quiet when I was there which was nice - I was able to take some pictures without feeling like an absolute wierdo! (classic bloggy syndrome, don't ya agree?)

My Dutchess of Bedford afternoon tea. Apparently afternoon tea became popular around 1841, when the dutchess requested a selection of teas, finger sandwiches and cakes to tide her over until her evening meal. She turned this into a bit of a social event, inviting her friends to come and join her. Thus, 'afternoon tea' was born. What a bloody good idea eh?! They also had a beautiful cocktail book (yes, book, you read right) bound and printed with interesting cocktail related anecdotes, recipes and illustrations. It was one in the afternoon on a week day, but I was seriously very tempted. Next time though, for definite!

The sweetest little cakes I've ever seen ♥ Those sandwiches were delicious too. There's something about no crusts that makes sandwiches that little bit more elite haha. Really, I'm just a bad girl with awful eating habits - who hates crusts.

At this stage, little did I know I would also be recieving this afternoon tea at my blogger event at the Blythswood on saturday too! I didn't want to tell David at first, incase he thought it would have ruined the 'specialness' (is that even a word?) of what he got me. BUT OF COURSE IT DIDN'T :) I would hope that even you dears on here who don't know me too well, still know how much I love my tea and cake. Good times all round.

Couldn't really take any pictures in the spa of course, but you can feast your eyes on the spa website here. The above is me ready to go home, looking a little bit doe eyed and fresh faced after my treatment and a couple of hours in the thermal experience. Along with your locker you get a lovely big fluffy robe, towels, slippers and some water (I'm telling ya, those sauna/steam rooms are dehydrating business!)

The Blythswood is quickly becoming one of my favourite places in Glasgow. The whole look and feel of the hotel is really welcoming, comfortable, with lovely scottish twists throughout. Although I have only experienced the spa, their screening room and a couple of the dining areas so far (more to follow with that on my blogger day post, which I know I'm going to be a little bit late on the bandwagon with) each has been absolutely spotless and stunning. I would love to come and stay here for a cheeky wee night away for my birthday in June ♥ Let's hope David reads this and wins the lottery next week eh girls...

Any spa days you have experienced, or treatments you would reccommend? Just incase I become a full time lady of leisure and frequent places like this on a regular basis y'know (I wish) I'm thinking I need one of those fish pedicures next, the poor souls would have a rare day out with my tootsies!

Ayden x

Cupcake Class

Just a quick one today, its 9am and I need to start getting ready for my blogger day at the Blythswood Hotel and then Scottish Ballet :) This will be the second time I've been to the Blythswood this week (I went on thursday for afternoon tea and a spa day which my lovely boyfriend got me for christmas) and this is also only the second time I've been to the ballet. We are going to see Alice, and I'm really looking forward to it (and hopefully a bite to eat with the girls afterwards!)

Anyways, I finally got to go to my long awaited cupcake class during the week, at Cupcake Glasgow. We were greeted with a glass of champagne... which then led to two or three - which is TOTALLY my justification for going a bit mental with the decorations haha :) Enjoy!

The class was for 2 hours, and we learned how to decorate cupcakes with buttercream, icing and the little icing shapes. Since taking the class, I know I need to change my buttercream recipe, and I would love to get my hands on some of the little templates we used for cutting the cute shapes out. There was also a box of edible glitter for us to play with, and it was SO hard not to go overboard! I know my cupcakes look a bit crazy, but it was good practise. I bought a tub of iridescent edible glitter, and I look forward to making some slightly more 'themed' (and calm) cupcakes in the future haha.

What do you think about 'experience' presents like this? I am starting to enjoy/want for them much more nowadays, than vouchers for clothes or makeup etc when it comes to my birthday or christmas. The spa day from David was another good example, and next weekend I'm taking him surfing for the day complete with lessons and kit :) Which was his Valentines gift from me.

I better head off and get ready now (there is no milk in the fridge for this morning for a cup of tea, sad start to the day folks) but just to let you know, thank you for your good luck messages on the last post. I found out towards the end of the week that I got the job :) and will be embarking on my second ever 'proper' Art Director role, on a prime time BBC tv show, come May! ♥ So pretty safe to say I greeted the weekend with a spring in my step. Have a great one whatever you're upto :)

Ayden x

Peach, Plum, Pear.

The title of this post is my favourite Joanna Newsom song. They used another one of her songs in a rather scary scene in that film The Strangers. Now I can't listen to it without feeling remotely terrified :( Anyways, I have had fun uncovering the depths of my I-tunes this week, updating playlists for my Ipod now that my train journey into town has doubled in length since we moved house. I have also been making a mix cd for the lovely Zoe. Here's what else has been making me smile this week:

Frozen strawberry daquiris with Jenn at lunch time on Saturday. It was so lovely eating and drinking outside in the nice weather.

Our starter at Luisa's Come Dine With Me night on Saturday. Ok, I lie, its not so much a come dine with me in the sense that none of us will be cooking for her in return any time soon, haha. But maybe we should :)

Some flowers I got for our wonderful hostess. She did a great job cooking for me, Joanne, and Gary. Gary was in my year at uni, and Joanne and Luisa are in the year below (and doing very well might I add... we better watch our backs when they graduate!)

Me, having a food coma on her couch after dinner. Skinny belt undone and everything - I'm a classy burd.

Luisa's beautiful flat in the centre of Glasgow. The weather was stunning at the weekend and the blanket at her window was the perfect people watching spot. Luisa is italian and her cooking was seriously epic. She made us bruschetta, lasagne, and home made oreo brownies and rocky road for desert. Teamed up with some Ben and Jerrys cookie dough ice cream, I was struggling afterwards as you can see! So worth it though.

Been enjoying my Lucky Charms every morning this week. Probably not the healthiest breakfast around... but it has been making me smile. Or maybe that's just the sugar overload?

Some successful (finally) and very yummy chocolate macaroons I made with Leah. My first attempt failed miserably, so joining forces with my partner in crime when it comes to baking was definately a good idea. She has so much patience... and I do not :) really need to work on that.

Some new bubble bars I got from Lush during the week. It is so nice having a bath again after only having a shower for 6 months. David is quite the madam and enjoys his Lush bubble bath too :) I have only used half of karma so far (far left) and if you follow me on twitter, you might have seen my twitpic last night of the loveheart shaped pile of bubbles this bubble bar produced! Could not have made it better if I'd tried.

♥ ♥ ♥

I should really lay out these catch up posts a bit better, but I hope you catch my drift and didn't loose too much interest on the long scroll down. Today I am heading back into glasgow for a meeting at my old uni - I am a part of the curriculum reform (as a graduate representative) so I think an afternoon of coffee and debates awaits me. Last night I FINALLY went to the Cupcake class my wonderful friend Erin bought me for christmas. If you have been reading my blog for a wee while, you'll know how much of a cupcake fiend I am. So I will share some pics from that soon. I also managed to buy a new outfit from Topshop for the Scottish Ballet blogger meet up on saturday. I majorly suck at dressing up/shopping for clothes, don't know what the hell is wrong with me! In return (and to rid me of awful shopping guilt that always follows) I am in the process of selling my life on ebay, and will have a few lovely dresses up for sale on my blog shop at some point later this week, so keep your eyes peeled m'dears.

Ayden x

Air Mail & Good Karma

Hello lovelies! Happy sunday :) I am currently sitting typing this in my new kitchen, at the breakfast bar with the radio on waiting for David's mum and dad to arrive to see us for the day. The sun is beaming through the window - it's absolutely gorgeous. I think today is going to be a lovely little day.

Hope the weather is nice where you are too. Yesterday I went for lunch and cocktails with Jenn (strawberry daiquiri's FTW!) and then onto Luisa's house at night for an awesome 3 course dinner. Man, Italians can cook! I went into a bit of a food coma straight afterwards, but it was worth it. Her home made oreo chocolate brownies and rocky road will be getting demolished today :) Walking home to the train station later it felt like a proper summer night. I could def get used to this - bring on summer!

Some pretty awesome parcels arrived at our house during the week. Both the morning after the night of Katy Perry, so my candy land filled night turned into a candy land filled morning too! You'll see why in a second. My first parcel is from a wonderful canadian blogger called Christine.

I sent Christine some British goodies (you can see exactly what I sent her here) In return, I asked her if she could get her paws on some Hello Kitty nail varnish and the Kat Von D Tattoo Chronicles makeup collection for me (both from Sephora) That's what the big book looking thing is there! Would you like to have a closer nosy at this in an upcoming post? The inside is beautiful, and it contains a mix of eyeshadows, primers, some fake eyelashes and a rollerball perfume. As a tattooed gal myself, I really wanted to try out something from Kat's range (plus Sj's amazing reviews on the lipstick and eyeshadow palletes had me hooked!) She also sent me a Covergirl lashblast fusion mascara, and a Tarina Tarantino pearl glow primer.

Thank you so much Christine, your email chats have made me smile, and your card has brightened up my kitchen window - and of course I can't wait to try out all my new goodies ♥

My second parcel is from a lovely american lass called Kasey. I wasn't sure at this stage what other american makeup I would like to try, so I asked her if I could be a total pig and just get her to send me all sweets instead. I sent her a package similar to Christines, with sweets, chocolate, and some makeup brands that you can only get here in the UK. This is what Kasey sent me in return:

Absolute madness! Hahaha, I love it. I really don't know what else to say, apart from that I have had lucky charms for breakfast every morning and twinkies with my cup of tea before bed every night. Uh oh, buh bye bikini body for summer. Kasey also sent me a cute Vera Bradley coin purse and made me an awesome pop punk mix cd. I think I will be locking myself in the house for the next month, eating my goodies with a full face of dramatic makeup and Forever The Sickest Kids on repeat. Soooo, see ya later! ;)

On a slightly less sugar infused note, I had a really shit start to the year (mostly to do with a job I was on, but I won't go into it) but my friends and family are a brilliant bunch and helped me to 'just keep trucking' through it. I am a firm believer in good karma, and I tend not to complain about things unless I plan on getting out there are doing something about it. I'm impulsive and determined, and just as I have been feeling a bit more relaxed recently, a few good things have started to trickle my way. Let me share them with you, because it's proof that there is always some sort of calm after the storm:

1. Possibly landing my 2nd big Art Director role on a job later this year (mustn't jinx it though, please just keep your fingers and toes crossed for me)

2. Winning Zoe's Sleek giveaway, by tweeting this picture and telling her how amazing Croatia and Slovenia were. Thank you Zoe, I never bloody win anything, ever!

3. Haha uh oh, that was until I won Emma's mac giveaway. Thank you Emma - they say good luck comes in 3's so I guess thats me had my share now ;)

Also, here's a little update on my complaints in the last post. I have sent my tights back to Pretty Polly, along with another letter so fingers crossed they will be able to replace them. I also went into mac about my blusher, and it turns out this isn't the first time they've seen it happen! So they took it back with my reciept no bother, but unfortunately didn'y have any blushes left to replace it with :( Sad times, so instead I took the £21 back and treated myself to some bubble bars from Lush and a massive lunch at Yo Sushi.

I'll end this wordy post with some things I've got to look forward to over the next week:

1. Having brunch with a friend in Edinburgh tomorrow, then David coming to meet me for a wee wander and some shopping.

2. My cupcake making class at Cupcake on tuesday night.

3. My day at the Blythswood Square Spa on thursday, thanks to my wonderful boyfriend. Afternoon tea and cake, the thermal experience and a turus body wrap (it better take some inches off my waist after all those cakes!)

4. The Blythswood Square Hotel again on saturday, at the Scottish Ballet Blogger meet up. We will be attending a Mad Hatters-ish tea party, and then going to see Alice by the Scottish Ballet, and perhaps some sort of eating, drinking and dancing afterwards. Can't wait to meet some fellow bloggers ♥

Ayden x

Teenage Dream

On tuesday night, myself and my lovely friend Katrina went to see Katy Perry at the SECC in Glasgow. She was bloody wonderful! Last time we saw her at the Barrowlands, and we also have tickets to see her later this year (losers much) I def don't go to gigs as much as I used to when I was younger. I guess its maybe just because the bands I was into when I was younger, are the bands I'm still into now and they just don't tour as much anymore? I dunno. Makes me sad though.

I first heard Katy's internet release of 'Ur So Gay' (gotta love the Myspace days and how awesome it was for music and finding new bands) about a year before she officially released her first mainstream single 'I kissed a girl'. We thought we would have a laugh and dress a little for the occassion. I decorated my bag with some sweet treats and made silly headbands for us. I bought the wig for a tenner out of a local joke shop, and the loveheart ring/earrings for £1 from Primark. The lollipop necklace and hello kitty dolly beads were a present from my best friend Jenn :)

I did have plans for cupcake boobs or a full on applique candy land dress - which seemed totally feasible 5 months ago when we got the tickets! But NAW! Time has absolutely flown, and although I make props and paint very random things for a living, I've had no time whatsoever to do anything like this for myself. It's literally been non stop since I graduated. So maybe for her next gig later in the year I'll be posting about something even more candy land-esque and handmade, than the silly wee pieces I stuck together with a glue gun on my living room floor on monday afternoon.

Katy put on a great show - her voice is flawless. From a production point of view, I couldn't fault the sound, lighting, set design, costumes (or quick changes and all the technical jumbo that goes on inbetween) one bit. The hall was full of the smell of candy floss which was on sale, bursts of glitter bombs at the end, pyrotechnics (during firework, of course) bubbles that had strawberry scented smoke inside. It was a fab wee night and I can't wait to see what she has in store for us on her next tour :) I also managed to nab a setlist at the end, half of which I gave to Katrina. SCORE!

Just a few more things before I go:

1. Complaining. Remember the Henry Holland tights I mentioned in this post? Well, from the two Pretty Polly generously returned to me, I gave one away and put the other pair on for the first time on tuesday night. To my bloody dismay, they have a MASSIVE flaw above the knee of one of the legs. An inch wide, discoloured ring as if lines of stitching have been missed out all the way around the leg. Looks like I'll be on the phone to customer service again. Awesome :( Also, my Mac WW blush has decided to depot itsself. Should I attempt to glue it back in, or can I get my Mary Portas on and complain about this, since it is pretty much brand new?

2. Giving. I recently donated to Claire's May 22nd appeal. You should take a look at this post, if you are having a spring clear out and feel like donating a wee item or two to charity. I felt really good after doing it, and also took some stuff to my local charity shop. A final few things went up on my ebay a couple of days ago. I'm having a mega de-clutter at the moment and it feels GOOD!

3. Smiling. I am feeling pretty settled in our new home. In the next few posts, I'll be sharing some house pictures with you, my american and canadian candy/makeup parcels that arrived during the week, some things which I am looking forward to this month, and mine and Leah's successful attempt at chocolate macaroons. (My first attempt a couple of months ago didn't go so well)

I hope you have lots of reasons to smile this week. I dare you to watch this video of my little sister singing and not giggle! (or feel remotely embarassed for her haha)  

 Ayden x