Sunday Best

Technically a bit of a belated Sunday Best - but still pictures of what I did with my last sunday off before I started my new contract at the bbc. These pictures look pretty dull, but I still think there's still something kinda cool/dark/eerie about them! Me and my boyfriend took a drive up north for the day, the weather was a bit 'dreich' as we say in Scotland, but that was even more of an excuse to get cosy and have a nice lunch somewhere :)

The most AMAZING teapots at The Coach House Coffee Shop in Luss. They had so many, including a crazy one which was a whole bath set up (rubber duckies and everything, it didn't even look like a teapot)

A wee pit-stop at Luss was for tea and cake, then we drove further onto Ardlui.

View from the car park. Again, I know this would look so much better on a sunny day but there was something appealingly spooky watching the mist and low clouds drift over the hills.

Lunch by a roaring fire at the Drovers Inn ♥ Just perfect for a sunday afternoon.

Established in 1705, the Drovers has some pretty awesome decor and a whole faded grandeur feel to it. Certainly along the lines of the Leaky Cauldren or someplace similar, with taxidermy on the walls, old paintings, and log fires on the go. A friend of mines once stayed in one of the rooms there and said it was beautiful. But there's too many ghost stories surrounding the building that would honestly make me too scared to spend the night there!

I've had some good time off over christmas and new year, but now I'm back at work on a kids show for cbbc. It's been brilliant so far, and everyone is really lovely, I just know I'm not going to want to leave by the end. I was out prop buying yesterday when I decided to pop into Pets at Home to buy a few pieces for Oscar and Alfie... only to fall in love with a guinea pig up for adoption in there :( After about half an hour talking to the staff, I took the piggie out for a cuddle and that was me! I am now the proud owner to another lovely little guinea pig called Dougal :)

(Crappy phone pictures at the moment until I get a chance of some proper wee photos with him - I think his hair makes him look like a rabbit!)

His previous owners had to give him up due to work commitments and the children not being able to keep his unruly hair under control (I really do think he resembles Dougal from The Magic Roundabout) and when he came into pets at home his fur was all matted. But a trip to the groomers and a check at the vets and he's ready to start his new life with me, Oscar and Alfie. Keeping him in a separate cage at the moment, and going to introduce him to the boys gradually. Anyone had any experience of this before?

Kisses through the cage. I hope this means 'Hello! Be my friend?'

Ayden x

Hello, I'm In Delaware

Well, I'm not really. It's just the name of one of my favourite City and Colour songs :) It's saturday afternoon, I'm still in my jammies but I've been tackling a massive to do list all day and thought it was time for a wee break. My boyfriend is coming over to stay tonight so I've got chicken defrosting in the kitchen for whatever culinary delights we decide to make later. Got some pictures which are the last bits and bobs from 2011 that I've still been meaning to share.

The only pictures I managed to take from the Scottish Christmas Blogger Meet. Rani and Charlene kindly organised us ladies (and a fella!) for an afternoon of shopping, eating and drinking. We went for afternoon tea at Rox, which was lovely, especially while oogling in the wonderfully luxurious setting at all the sparkly jewels and gems they have to offer. Fancy!

I'm not a massive jewellery wearer but I got these cute little additions from a stall run by my friend Louise's pal Rachel. Can't remember what it was called (I suck, I know) But she honestly had the most sweet little pieces of jewellery! It was so hard to choose just a couple :(

Getting organised for 2012 :) I have my new book of lists (from Louise again, she knows me too well!) my Kays Art Diary for work stuff, a plain black paperchase notebook for doodles about rent and other formalities, and then my trusty moleskin diary which is my saving grace on a day to day basis. I wish I didn't rely on all my lists and diary so much, but it keeps me sane and everything down on paper rather than fuzzy in my head. Y'know what I mean?

An exchange parcel from Danielle all the way from America :) I'd been running out of american sweeties etc so it was pretty awesome to get stocked up again. She got me some really wonderful stuff. Thanks Danielle! ♥

A rather Christmassy themed exchange with Marta from Croatia. She sent me beautiful handmade decorations for my tree, yummy chocolates and a gorgeous notepad. Oh, and a L'Occitane soap! I've never had anything from there before, it smells devine. I really loved Croatia when I was there on my travels a couple of years ago, so it was great to get a little taste of their country again :) Thanks Marta!

It was my little brother Aarons birthday right between christmas and new year. Everyone is always pretty gubbed around then, but my mum still gives 110% in making his birthday really special. We had a wee party in the house for him and my mum put on a lovely spread of food as usual. Can't believe he is 5. And also can't believe it's only 5 months until my Dad and Step Mum have their baby too! Can't wait to be a big sister again.

John bought a Kinect for his xbox, so we had a great night in his between christmas and new year with his bestie Andy and his girlfriend Olivia. Played this bad boy until about 3am (then us girls fell asleep on the couch and they put COD on... typical!) But it was so much fun, he brought it to mines for new years too. Anyone got a Kinect and can suggest some awesome games to buy?

Also got my calves finished, here they are! Not the most enjoyable 6 hours in total of my life, but I bloody love them none the less :)

Myself and Olivia also had the pleasure of going to see Scottish Ballet's production of Sleeping Beauty. This is the third ballet of theirs that I've seen, and I think it was my most favourite one yet. I was also quite surprised to hear the music 'once upon a dream' from the disney version to be played by the orchestra. It was magical! The set and costumes were absolutely insane - I would give my right arm to work on a Scottish Ballet production, their attention to detail is just beautiful and the production as a whole is just like being sucked into a little magical world of your own for a few hours.

It was also really exciting to see an article written by Kirsty in the programme :) On yersel' hen!

Really though, it was a visually and musically stunning show, and the ballet dancers themselves never cease to amaze. I'd be like a baby elephant in a china shop if I attempted to jump around my living room and copy their elegant moves and poses (a girl can dream eh?) Scottish Ballet are still on tour with this production if you fancy seeing it (dates and places here) and they're doing a live webcast on thursday 12th at 1.30pm before their matinee performance - live backstage at Edinburgh Festival Theatre!

Anyways lovelies, that's all I've got to share for now but you can always catch up with me on twitter ot tumblr (or anywhere else on the 'find me here' page up there!) So don't be shy, come and say hello :)

Have a great weekend, Ayden x

Festive fun

Feeling a little belated posting this, but I really don't know where the times gone in between Christmas and New Year and the first couple of days of 2012. Lots of sleeping and eating and seeing friends :) Here's a little rundown of my festive period:

Toasting at the Spinnaker on Christmas Eve.

Sean, Teri, John, Ryan and Sean.

Totem pole much? Me and John :)

Christmas day breakfast - not a great picture but it tasted awesome.

Christmas dinner at Mums, rib roast (she likes to be awkward and different... they had pheasant last year)

Wee brother and gran's new look... swoot swoo!

Poached pears for dessert. My mum was so excited about the indoor sparklers.

Lush sales haul. Jenn bought me the pink box in the middle, and the rest I got in the sale half price. Well worth the visit every year.

Also took advantage of Boots 50% off sale and picked up a Soap and Glory tin and some Hello Kitty Liberty goodies.

Enjoyed decanting all my lush boxes into the s&g tin, its the simple pleasures in life eh?

I also managed to pick up 3 pairs of shoes in the sales (all Henry Holland) which I'm pleased about as I've really been needing some pairs.

Wanted to share in a non show-offy way some of the pressies I got for christmas too. So just a few, I love nosying at other peoples haul posts but for me christmas aint all about the presents and I would have felt a bit wierd taking a picture of every single thing. Aaaanyways, the above is some baking related things from my mum and Dom :) Can't wait to try out the Whoopie pie maker, and also the blender! My mum has the exact same one and swears by it.

Cute bunting from Katrina and a book on how to hold your own vintage tea party from my mum.

It's full of lots of lovely ideas including invitations, and even how to do your hair and makeup! I'd love to try some pretty burlesque-ish hair, kinda like Lyzi and how she uses her rollers :)

John's mum got me this beautiful Laduree baking book. Most of y'all will know how much I love Macaroons (have tried the recipe a few times but not 100% success) so I'm hoping with the Laduree recipe and my new hand blender I might be able to crack it! It also has lots of other yummy pastries and cakes. The actual edge of the book is all gold leaf, it's absolutely beautiful.

Some beauty pressies including the Topshop nail art pen and some polishes from Leah (which I can't wait to try, my WAH nails have worn off now) some Soap and Glory makeup from Jenn (has anyone else tried it? The glow powder is GORGEOUS!) a Hello Kitty Liberty Box from Louise, and a 100ml Vera Wang Princess from John :)

Teapot from Leah :) How perfect is the quote? Matches my tattoo so of course I'm a wee bit biased.

Step mum and dad got me some lovely jubbly things which I got when I went to see them on boxing day. Including these toasty new mitts and ear muffs from accessorize :) My jumper is from Topshop, I managed to bag a few things there in the sale too with my christmas money.

Another new addition, my lovely Totoro teddy all the way from Japan :) This was from John, he's so snuggly and soft and sits cosy next to my Lotso Huggin' Bear, Hello Kittie's and Spongebob Pineapple house on my bed! I'm a big kid but I love my critters. I was very grateful to receive some lovely things for christmas this year (wasn't expecting it as I'm getting a bit older now) and although I've not mentioned them all on here I really do appreciate every single one of them, if any family or friends are reading this, and also every single card people took the time to send ♥ absolute sucker for cards. Feel like my nearest and dearest know my taste so well, love it!

So I guess the last thing I'd like to say, is hello 2012 and hello to all of you who have read the Little Blog Of Horrors for another year. 2011 was a rollercoaster of a year for me to say the least. I'd love to link back to some of my favourite posts but it would take too long, so here's a run down of the high's (and lows) that stick out in my memory the most. My dad and Julie got married, got my upper arm and both calves tattooed, survived my first self employed tax return, completed my 3rd big art director job, became mumma to Oscar and Alfie, turned 22, had my heart broken and pieced it back together again, moved house 4 times, exchanged lots of fun parcels with people from all over the world, lost a hamster but gained a cat, saw katy perry 3 times in concert (and met her in person too) became a bridesmaid for the wonderful Luisa and Ian, attended a handful of scottish blogger meets and a bristol one too, got rushed to hospital in an ambulance twice after successfully avoiding hospitals for most of my life, got to meet friends from on blogger and twitter in real life, surfed in fuerteventura and scotland, went snowboarding, experienced alton towers for the first time, had the most awesome time in Brighton, sat under the stars for 3 days in a hot tub in Kilfinan, saw two of my favourite bands Take That and City and Colour in concert, and had my first taste of the art dept in london.

Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read this daft wee blog of mines, and for all the supportive and kind words you have given me. I feel like I have made some real friends on here, people who I would like to be in touch with for a very, very long time. Absolute diamonds. Thank you for extending your help and love to me when I needed it most. I feel like I have all the right people around me, both friends on here, and in real life and my family too. I genuinely don't feel like I would have came through this year in one piece without them. So after some of the toughest months of my life, all I want to say is 2012, bring it!

Ayden xx