Birthday weekend in Belfast

I've been spending some much needed quality time with my lovely fella recently. John's birthday celebrations stretched across a whole long weekend, starting with a spa trip to edinburgh and then a few nights in Belfast. Here's how we got on!

Some coffee for the train journey - standard.

Sunny in the capital.

We went to the Bannatyne Spa for the day, courtesy of the Maxitone Thank You Protein campaign which I blogged about a few weeks back. I was SO grateful for this day of relaxation with John. I am extremely thankful that I get to share special experiences through my blog with him. He doesn't find it strange at all anymore - 'Ayden have you taken a picture yet so I can open/eat/use this'. We both got an Elemis Facial and a Swedish back, neck and shoulder massage and then were absolutely spot on. The most perfect way to wind down together.

We got home and packed for our flight to Belfast the next day. However a certain someone was pretty determined to come with us! We stayed at the Park Inn in Belfast city centre, which I could not recommend highly enough. We got a great deal on the hotel which included breakfast and it was a brilliant big spread (I hate the really rubbish continental hotel breakfasts you get at some places) The staff were so helpful, and we actually got upgraded to a business suite for free as it was John's birthday. This was a much bigger room with a table and sofa area and a BATH! My knee has been really sore since my accident and a long hot bath is exactly what I'd been needing (we only have a walk in shower in my flat)

Oh... totally random but turns out the crew from the Girls Aloud tour were staying in our hotel too and we got given some complimentary tickets. So that night I ended up at the gig with John's best friends girlfriend :)

After the gig, the four of us went to the Empire to watch a blues band and I found my new favourite drink.

We ate at lots of awesome places but I especially fell in love with Bubbacue. Their pulled pork and home made ice tea was absolutely fantastic!

We ate lunch a couple of times in the Harlem Cafe which was just across the road from our hotel. It was decorated so nicely inside, and the milk for your tea came out of a little cow which I especially liked. Moooo.

We stumbled across a big Forbidden Planet store (like ten times bigger than the one in Glasgow) when wandering around the shops, and I got myself an Adventure Time graphic novel. I love watching Spongebob with John and we've just started watching Adventure Time too, it makes me smile.

There was an Andy Warhol exhibition on at the MAC, which was kinda small but I'm glad we went. Really didn't do much else touristy stuff like the Titanic Museum etc because we ran out of time.

John browsing through some records at St Georges Market.

As well as food stalls, there was music playing and lots of crafts and stalls selling old trinkets. I happened to stumble across the best stall of them all...

The Lily Pink Bakery! :) Run by the super lovely Claire from French For Cupcake, I have followed her blog for so long now and regularly drool over her wonderful baked creations on instagram. It was amazing to meet Claire properly, and finally get my hands on some of her fantastic cakes.

Thank you so much Claire! ♥ They were delicious, and I can't stop looking at a recent cake of hers with a My Neighbour Totoro theme. Quite possibly the best cake I have seen in my entire life!

We went out to a place called Filthy McNasty's on the saturday, which was really jumping and with a fun vibe (not that I can remember much of it) and similar to a lot of the bars and clubs in london
and Glasgow which I've been to. John also took me to the cinema to see OZ cause I'd been pestering him so much about it :) We had a hangover dinner with Connie and Martin at an indian restaurant called Mumbai 27 on the sunday night which was great too. Before I knew it our wee trip was over :( Lots of food, drink, dancing and shopping later I felt well rested and ready to come home.

Stumbled across a book in Urban Outfitters on the last day and had a good chuckle at this page. Very true - Siri just doesn't get Scottish accents!

I was looking for a wee something to read while we killed time at the airport so had picked up this book from UO. Have you read it?

After what is indeed a super short flight, we were home. Lots of hugs for Dexter who was patiently awaiting our arrival (he's possibly one of the neediest cats you will ever meet)

Jumping home and straight back into work (hence this blog post being a bit delayed) was a blow softened by a rather generous delivery from Haagen Dazs. I'm lucky I live with two boys who love eating Ice Cream otherwise my instructor at boot camp would be having an absolute fit at this photo! The small tubs are cookies and cream, and the big pint sized ones are chocolate fondant sensations. I have been very well behaved with my eating during the week so that I can indulge in a bit of this at the weekends. Absolute bliss, honestly. Now if I could get my hands on a long soak in a bubble bath, while devouring some ice cream at the same time I'd be in absolute heaven...

Fake up & Inked up

Hello! Yes that is one almighty big picture of my face which I've chosen to welcome you with. It'll be relevant in a minute but I just wanted to say first I had a serious bit of blogging block when I sat down to write this post. I'd organised and edited my pictures for this and my next post about our weekend in Belfast, and then found I was giving myself 101 other things to do before I was going to start writing this. You know the feeling where you need to tidy your room but all of a sudden alphabetising your dvd collection, re-arranging your storage space or browsing tumblr seems to me a MUCH better idea? That (although I have actually just realised I really need to clean the flat tonight - and seems it has brought my blogging mojo back as if by magic)

The photo above is a pretty good representation of my day to day makeup. I'm just about to switch to a Laura Mercier tinted illuminating moisturiser for the spring/summer months coming in - and it couldn't have been better timing to be introduced to Benefit's new hydrating concealer Fake Up at their Glasgow event a couple of weeks ago.

It comes in three shades as you can see above, and retails at £18.50. The hydrating balm around the middle of the main concealer part is unlike anything I have ever seen or used before. It is creamy and hydrating just as they claim and I have been using it on any little blemishes as well as around the eye area. I tend to go between the light and medium shades but I used the dark one last week when I had my fake tan on, which was great as I didn't have any reverse panda eyes in flash photographs!

I was lucky enough to win one of the Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow foundations at the event, which I am also wearing in these pictures. It is a light to medium coverage and I think serves as a perfect halfway point before summer really kicks in and I just want to wear my tinted moisturiser. It is the year anniversary of this product being released and I was very excited to finally try it.

I had a lovely time at the event and ate my body weight in canapes while catching up with my fave blogger girls. It's great to be off my crutches and finally be getting out and about on my own!

I have put on 4lbs while not being able to exercise with my injury and I feel super gutted about it Looking at the picture above I don't notice much of a difference but under my clothes I feel like I do. Need to stop complaining and just get on with it. Oh - and go easy on the canapes! I'm such a hypocrite at times.

Thanks for all your advice and suggestions a couple of posts back regarding mobile phones. I'm now a member of team Iphone and have a new contract on EE thanks to Charlene's super organisation skills! Cheers gal. Here's what else life has been bringing me lately ♥

1. Dexter taking selfies 2. Zombie kitty 3. Happy 1st Birthday precious boy! 4. A wee present from John from the new Archie's Girls range at Mac 5. Sitting in the tattoo waiting room 6. Getting inked 7. Babysitting on a saturday night with wine and films 8. Home made Nando's, so good! 9. Loveheart boobs 10. My girl Sally came to stay for a few days from London :) I heart her 11. Cocktails at the Tiki Bar 12. John loves his cocktail too 13. The new Krispy Kreme in Edinburgh 14. Doughnuts GETTING MADE! 15. My dirty dozen 16. Cosy for a cold afternoon walk.

I got my tattoo finished yesterday too. It's an old school diving helmet on my inner arm (just around from my Mermaid) but is so swollen at the moment that in photographs you'd think it was my leg! I was still on the tattoo bed at this point but I'll get a better picture once it's healed. And oh, the inner arm sucks SO much. Anyone else with me on that or am I just a total wimp?!


Follow on Bloglovin

Hello! I'm currently in Belfast for Johns birthday, but back on Monday so will be back with a proper catch up soon :) In the mean time, with all the news of google reader closing I've 'claimed' my blog on Bloglovin, so here's the link if you're looking for a new method of keeping up to date with my nonsense. Have a great weekend whatever you're upto!

I've Seen It All.

February saw me take part in a pretty awesome little project called Tokens Of Affection. The romantic folks over at Ask Her Friends got me to document the little in things in life which make me feel loved, for a whole month. It is actually a really nice thing to look back on, especially on days when I'm feeling a little bit down. I guess that's the main thing I love about having a 'lifestyle' blog, it is essentially just like keeping a diary and I love looking back on older entries. I feel like The Little Blog Of Horrors has been a real slow grower... blossoming at a very steady speed. Which gets me down some days, but when I really think about it I wouldn't change a thing because everything on here is 100% me. I can't make myself be someone that I'm not! Here is a montage of my month and if you're not following me on instagram already then come say hey! >

Things have quietened up for me now on the work front. I've done a short film, an advert and a music video since 2013 started. So it's been all systems go since January but now I've got a couple of weeks to myself before some other advert work at the end of the month. This means I am selling half of my wardrobe on ebay (help me I'm poor!) catching up with friends and family, going to belfast, getting tattooed and showing my lovely friend Sally around Glasgow when she comes to visit later this week. I already have a wee itinerary planned for us, I can't wait! ♥ Have any fellow weegies been to the Riverside Museum? I've not been yet and was thinking of taking Sally to either there or Kelvingrove Museum. Will be strange being a tourist in my own city for a few days.

Don't know if any of you are a fan of Jake Bugg, but it was his video for 'I've seen it all' which I was Art Department on a couple of weeks ago. If you watch carefully you might even catch a cheeky glimpse of my bun hairdoo and geek glasses in the cafe.

Making a cameo appearance wasn't intentional, but us Art Department folks often get drafted in to weird and wonderful situations when it comes to filming. If I'm honest we were in the middle of a 16 hour day so I was pretty glad just to get a seat and sort out my paperwork :) Great day and amazing wee team though. Mr Bugg is definitely one to watch. Before this little self promotion rant ends, I worked on a two part drama last year which is being screened at 9pm tonight on BBC3. It was quite a powerful script so I'm looking forward to seeing the finished programme.

So after FINALLY getting my macbook all fixed, I also found my 50mm lens for my camera this week that seemed to go walkabout since a trip to Aviemore a few weeks ago. I was really beginning to sweat at the thought of having to replace it :( It hasn't been my year so far when it comes to electronic items. So thinking I have finally got all my technology under wraps it is now time for my mobile phone upgrade, which is something I may need your opinion on. Here are the main three contenders...

Blackberry z10

  Iphone 5

 HTC One

My current contract is with O2 so I have been surfing their website along with others (because I am really wanting to get a totally unbiased opinion on what phone etc I should go for) I have been a loyal O2 customer for years but my current contract is pretty rubbish and every single month I go over. I use my phone mostly for work so I'm wondering if I would be able to take advantage of a business contract anywhere seeing as I am self employed.

I had actually got John's old Iphone 4 refurbished at Apple last year, and had been planning on using it until it was time for my new contract but would you believe that the phone has STILL not been unlocked. We processed it around the time of the EE merger, and John is with T-mobile so they were having to unlock it for me to use my O2 sim. Alas, I think phone unlocks were the lowest priority on the list after such a big company change so I've got a shiny new refurbished Iphone sitting here that I can't even use. Now that my contract is up in April I'm just thinking what's the point. Do I go for a new phone and a new contract and sell the Iphone 4? Or use the Iphone 4, get a better contract than the one I have currently and sell the phone which comes with it. I struggle deciding what cereal to have in the morning so I can see this one bamboozling my brain for the next month too.

I'm waiting for my real life to begin.

Last month I went through to Edinburgh for a wee visit to Kiehls in an attempt to suss out my skincare routine. I'm lucky to have always had quite decent skin and tend to avoid any massive breakouts, unless I've fallen asleep with all my makeup on or just had a spray tan (bad one for clogging up the pores) I'm determined to ditch my lazy ways and start looking after my skin properly.

I absolutely love the look and feel of the Kiehls stores. They are staying very true to their roots and the old school apothecary/laboratory vibe with a modern twist is just awesome! Cheree started off by doing a little swatch test on my skin to determine my levels of oiliness and hydration. Turns out they are two totally different things, which I did not know. Doh. She then went on to give me a consultation and product advice based on this. I'm quite happy with the state of my skin at the moment so as I mentioned before I tend to be quite lazy with my routine. I complained about having no time and just 'forgetting' in the evenings to give my face some TLC before bed - so she advised me with some super straightforward products that I could use on rotation throughout the week. While Cheree picked me out some recommendations I had a wee wander about the store.

The motorbike, retro New York style shave bar and use of neon lighting throughout the store were my favourite elements. Pretty cool eh?

Fast forward to a few weeks later and I am slowly but surely working my way through the routine Cheree advised me. It was the first time that someone had told me WHAT to use and WHY. How many times you should, and shouldn't, etc - totally tailored to my skin type and my needs.With boxes full of glossybox samples of various brands of skincare which have gathered dust over the past year I can honestly say that I just get overwhelmed with most products. Mainly because I don't fully understand how to use them or in which sort of rotation/order. My favourites so far are the Overnight Biological Peel, the Ultra Facial Oil Free Lotion, and famous Creme De Corps Rich body butter. I have bookmarked them in a little wishlist below of full sizes I would love to purchase, along with their Orangeflower & Lychee Fragrance Blend (which I didn't smell in store but I have found online afterwards and I'm desperate to try out this summer scent!) It sounds good enough to eat :)

Kiehls have some lovely stuff for guys too which I'd love John to try out, and I've saved a gorgeous Mothers Day set that I found but I'll share that in a post this week along with some other inspiration pressies.

I've not been able to do any exercise at all while my knee has been bad, but it is starting to loosen up now and I'm off my crutches and heading back to bootcamp tomorrow. I've put on a few pounds since I had the accident which is really disheartening as I was doing so well, but there's nothing I can do about it :( So tomorrow I'm back on it and the yummy chocolate bath bombs above are the closest thing I'll be getting to real chocolate any time soon! They were included in a wee box of goodies kindly provided by Best British Bloggers to help me get back on track...

The rest of the parcel included Maxitone chocolate flavour protein shake, protein bars and a shaker. Maxitone are currently running a competition called Thank You Protein - where by sharing your 'thank you' moment to whoever or whatever has helped inspire you with your fitness/body shape goal, you can win a bunch of prizes including a years supply of Maxitone products and a years membership at a local LA Fitness gym. Not bad if you ask me :) So if you have a little anecdote you should definitely enter the competition. I'd also love for you to share your stories with me to give me a wee confidence boost for tomorrow ♥ Quite nervous about getting back into things again as I'm sure my stamina levels have fallen and I don't want to do anything too extreme while my knee is still quite stiff.

The products I have are from the sculptress range, and the chocolate shake is quite pleasant to drink. Pretty much just like a chocolate milkshake! I was taking it after breakfast before my mid morning class, then again in the evening before dinner. I will continue to do this when I restart my routine again tomorrow as it seemed to work best for me and I found it gave me a good wee energy boost too. I wasn't as much of a fan of the caramel crunch protein bars, they have a nougat texture but actually tasted a bit better after I kept them in the fridge. But my trainer said they are really effective which I had started to notice so I am definitely going to continue with them.

I'm feeling quite inspired and excited for a new week considering I've had a lazy sunday and I've not really moved all day. I don't want to leave this post on a sad note, but as I was sorting through some instagram photos for my next post I came across this one below of Dougal, Alfie and Oscar and I started welling up. Wee Alfie passed away a few mornings ago and I didn't realise how upset I would be. He's been in my life for over 2 years now and saw me through the moves from my old flat, to back home, to where I live now. This is the last picture of them together which I got last week, so rest in peace my fuzzy little pal and I hope you're rolling about in heaps of parsley in piggie heaven :)