Sunday, 28 September 2014

Hello, Holidays | Packing for a two week trip:

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You can all breathe a collective sigh of relief: this is my last post in the Hello, Holidays series.  (However, I will no doubt be writing a little about the trip while we're there and after we get back, so apologies if the subject bores you to death!)  We leave for New York City in THREE DAYS and (as I'm sure you can guess) I'm very excited!  

My last but somewhat mammoth task before we jet off is to finish packing and (while I'm certainly not an expert) I've put together my own personal survival guide for anyone packing for a fortnight.  Hopefully it will help you with your own travel organisation in the future, or at least spark some ideas!

1. Write a list: I'm the type of person who makes to do and reminder lists constantly, but they are especially helpful tools when packing.  Over the last week or so I've slowly started putting clothes and accessories into my suitcase, so - although it might sound trivial - having a list to hand with everything down to the number of pairs of socks I need for the whole trip has been useful.  There's a lot to take for two weeks away, so I've used my list to keep track of what has and hasn't been packed.  If you are likely to forget anything important, write it down and tick it off once it's in your case.  Problem solved!

2. Try before you fly: A few years ago I started attempting to plan full outfits for each day of a trip in advance, rather than just throwing in the right number of tops and jeans and hoping I would look okay when the time came.  It might be slightly more time consuming to organise your packing by outfit, but this way works better for me because it stops me from overpacking (and also from tearing my hair out when I don't like any of the clothes I brought to wear on my holiday!).  Obviously outfits are weather dependent, and sometimes plans or activities change at the last minute, but for the most part it has made my life so much easier. For this trip, I will probably try most of my outfits on before we go to avoid any style related meltdowns when we're stateside.

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3. Embrace 'bagception': Another way to make packing (and living out of a suitcase at the other end) much easier is to use smaller packing bags or pouches to organise your clothes within your larger travel bag.  I bought two sets of the UPPTÄCKA packing bags from IKEA (which come in a set of four different sizes for £7.50) and they have already proved themselves to be very useful for both short and longer trips.  Store all of your tops in one travel pouch, your trousers in another and so on or, alternatively, you could pack by full outfit.  Either way, the need to rake around in the bottom of your suitcase is eliminated.

4. Be a nervous Nellie: I already mentioned this in my hand luggage Hello, Holidays post, but I'm doing my best not to pack any valuables in my suitcase as I'm totally paranoid my luggage will go missing.  Yes, it would be a huge pain if I lost all of my clothes and shoes, but they are covered by our travel insurance and I would be much more upset if more sentimental things (like photos on my laptop, or my diary) were never to be seen again.  Anything that I want to keep an eye on will be going with me in my rucksack on the plane.  Better to be safe than sorry!

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5. Weigh it up: Again, this is probably my inner Girl Scout talking, but I like to be sure that my suitcase is the right weight before leaving for the airport.  For our USA trip the baggage allowance is a hefty 23kg, so it's highly unlikely that we'll go over the limit, but I still picked up an inexpensive Rolson luggage scale (£2.99 from TK Maxx) so we can weigh our bags prior to leaving and also before we come home again.  When travelling with just a small suitcase as hand luggage it's much easier to go over an airline's weight limit, so I would definitely recommend buying a scale for trips like that.

Do you have any top packing tips of your own?

Friday, 26 September 2014

Hello, Holidays | What's in my hand luggage?

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Last year I wrote a blog post all about what I keep in my handbag.  Strange?  Maybe.  A weirdly popular topic for YouTube videos and blog posts on the internet?  Definitely.  Today's Hello, Holidays post is in the same vein, but this time I'm giving you all a look at what I'll be packing in my hand luggage for our flight to America next week.  I've decided to take my Mi-Pac cosmos rucksack (which I reviewed here back in May) so I can easily transport everything I need and keep my hands free in the airport.

As this will be my first long haul flight in nearly ten years - and also the first time I'll have to check in luggage in ages - I'm slightly paranoid that our suitcases might go missing somewhere along the way.  For that reason, I've decided to pop a few items that I'm determined not to lose in my hand luggage, just in case!

Tons of technology:
Okay, so the first thing you'll probably notice is the abundance of cables, plugs and gadgets among my hand luggage.  Sadly, I'm a product of my generation and am pretty addicted to technology at the best of times.  However, I'm really only bringing my laptop and my camera along because - wifi willing - Craig and I are planning to vlog most of the trip so you can all come along for the ride!  (You can find and subscribe to our YouTube channel here, if that sounds like your cup of tea.)  Hopefully I'll also be able to put up a few blog posts while I'm away too.

I wouldn't usually take these enormous headphones on holiday, but sadly my in earphones decided to stop working properly this week so I've had to send them back to the manufacturer.  On the plus side, these ones will probably be good for blocking out noise on the flight.  I'm also packing my trusty iPod (which I think now probably appears in some museums) to contribute to our much needed road trip soundtrack.  Of course I'll then need to throw in the chargers for my laptop, camera, phone and iPod and at least one power adapter so I can actually plug them into sockets in the US!

A plethora of pages:
I've been writing in my One Line a Day diary every night since the 1st of January, so I definitely want to make sure I can keep that up in the event of my luggage staying in Edinburgh, or disappearing somewhere in Charles de Gaulle airport.  I'm taking my copy of Orange is the New Black (not a novelisation of the TV show, as one of my friends thought, but the original novel the programme was based on!) to read both on the plane and throughout the trip.  Also, my friend Nicola gave me three beautiful notebooks from Anthropologie as a birthday present, and I'm taking one along so I can be ready if and when creative inspiration strikes while we're on the move, or in case I want to keep a longer travel journal.

Excellent essentials:
Last, but absolutely not least, are my hand luggage essentials.  These things are basically either irreplaceable, very useful or super cosy.  (Spoiler: the super cosy item is the pair of fuzzy socks.  It's a long flight, so I'll probably want to take my shoes off at some point, and I don't want my feet to get chilly!)  Probably the most important object here is my passport - obviously I'm not going anywhere without that!  Then I've got some dollars in the new small travel purse I bought from Primark especially for this holiday.  It has room for a few cards as well as cash, and has a wrist strap which will be really handy if we're just nipping out to the supermarket at any point.  I'm taking both my normal glasses and my prescription sunglasses in my backpack because I would be pretty much lost without them (when it comes to going to the cinema or reading road signs, at least).  Finally (but perhaps most importantly) I'll be packing a spare top and underwear just in case I get stuck without a change of clothes.  I'm determined to be prepared!

And here it is, all packed up in my Mi-Pac bag.  I'm really looking forward to taking a small rucksack on this flight instead of my usual jam packed mini suitcase!

What are your hand luggage staples?  Is there anything that I've missed?

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Hello, Holidays | A remarkable road trip:

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I briefly mentioned in my last (and first) Hello, Holidays post that Craig and I will be road tripping between New York City and Boston (through Pennsylvania) while we're on holiday.  Our plan was to share the driving, but sadly it would be very expensive to insure me on a hire car over there because I'm under 25.  Boo!  Poor old Craig will be stuck behind the wheel for a total of about ten hours, but - lucky for him - we're breaking it up with a few sightseeing stops and one overnight stay.

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Our first leg of the trip will come after a seven day stay in New York City, and our first task (or, I should say, Craig's first task) will be driving through Manhattan not long after morning rush hour...  So that should be fun!  After we've made it out of the city (hopefully alive) we'll head west towards the state of Pennsylvania and our first destination: Centralia.

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Anyone who has played the thriller video game series Silent Hill (or seen the films based on that series) may be interested to know that the town of Silent Hill was reportedly based on Centralia, PA.  A fire started in a coal mine below Centralia in the early 1960s, and that fire is still burning today.  As a result, the majority of the town's inhabitants had to move elsewhere and from what I can tell the area is now pretty much a ghost town, with very few buildings left standing.  Smoke rises up to street level and dangerous sinkholes have appeared as a result of the fire, which presumably inspired a lot of the landscape of the fictional Silent Hill.  However, what I've read online has assured me that it's fairly safe (and legal) to explore on foot - away from any warning signs.  Craig and I both enjoyed the games and want to pay Centralia an ideally non fatal visit, but I have already stipulated that it must be in broad daylight.  Otherwise it would be way too scary for me!

Source: here

Source: here

We'll probably only spend an hour or so in Centralia before getting back on the road and heading north east towards Scranton, PA.  Any fans of The US Office will know of Scranton, but unfortunately a lot of the show's locations (including the titular office building) are actually in LA, not Scranton.  Still, a few places are really there, including the Steamtown Mall - which is apparently now home to the original 'Scranton Welcomes You' sign seen in The Office's opening credits - and Poor Richard's bar (although only the name is the same, they didn't film in the real Scranton bar).  We're also spending one night in the Lackawanna Station Hotel which was the setting (but, again, not the filming location) for an Office episode.  As you might have already guessed, the hotel is a former railway station and looks absolutely stunning inside.

A lot of people who I've told about this leg of the trip seemed a bit bemused as to why I would want to go to such a small, relatively unknown part of America.  Then again, all the Office fans that I know got really excited about the idea.  Really, I just wanted an excuse to see beautiful, autumnal scenery and Scranton happened to be on the way, but I'm looking forward to visiting the Electric City!

Source: here

Source: here

Last but not least, we'll spend the majority of a day driving from Scranton to Boston, although we're actually staying just outside of the centre of Boston, in Cambridge, MA.  It's a long journey, but I'm sure there will be at least one stop off along the way to stretch our legs.  We'll be spending a few days in Boston once we get there (so Craig can relax after all that driving!) and I'm looking forward to exploring Cambridge - where Harvard University is located - as well as Boston itself.

Although we've done a lot of planning already, I'm always open to suggestions and recommendations (especially for Boston) so please let me know if you have any!

Monday, 22 September 2014

Inferior Inspiration #14: Hello, Holidays edition!

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Hello, Holidays is the name of a (fairly brief) blog post series I've decided to start in the run up to an imminent and very exciting trip to the USA.  Craig and I leave for New York City one week on Wednesday (eek!) and will stay there for a week before driving to Boston, via Centralia and Scranton in Pennsylvania because we are massive nerds.  

In honour of this trip, my first Hello, Holidays post is a travel clothes and accessory wishlist with a few dream must haves for my upcoming adventure.

1. Of course, sensible shoes should be high on any traveller's shopping list.  I've actually already treated myself to a pair of these patent Dr Martens 1461 shoes (a purchase made even sweeter by a cheeky 25% off voucher during their £3 sale a few weeks ago) in anticipation of both our USA trip and the impending winter months.  They remind me of shiny new school shoes, but with a punky edge.  Hopefully the investment will pay off and these will be brilliant for traipsing the length and breadth of Manhattan and beyond over the next few years! (£80)

2. Whilst buying my Doc Martens, I also spied their tiny but gorgeous 7 inch leather satchels on a shelf and it was love at first sight.  I'm a big fan of satchels, and - although there is a special place in my heart for huge, cavernous handbags - a smaller bag is easier to carry around and keep a watchful eye over whilst sightseeing.  Sadly my bank balance wouldn't stretch to one of these beauties, but maybe one day!  I've seen a few dupes for this style in Primark, so I might settle for one of those in the mean time. (£45)

3. As a Scottish native, I'm always prepared for unexpected rain showers and I will be packing my trusty parka.  On a recent flight to France, I spotted a fellow passenger wearing this yellow lace, plastic raincoat which, frankly, looked amazing in person.  I very excitedly tried to source one for myself, only to find out that it was a Topshop piece that (devastatingly) is now sold out and unavailable, apart from the odd size 8 on eBay.  At a push, I might settle for something like this more traditional yellow rain mac from Asos (£90), but I'm determined to stay on the hunt for something more unique. (was £48)

4. Again, I actually already own this exact insulated travel cup in a blue floral pattern by Paperchase.  It was a birthday present from my sweet friend Nicola, and I think it's amazing.  Our NYC hotel room reportedly comes with its own Nespresso coffee maker and (yes, just to repeat, because I am a massive nerd) my plan is to fill my travel mug there in the morning to save some dollars on takeaway coffees.  The downside to this plan is that I will then have to carry the mug around with me for the rest of the day, but it's small enough that I don't think I'll have too much of a problem! (£6)

5. I've always been an advocate for keeping a travel journal, and I've done this on and off since I was a kid.  My accounts of family trips as a 7 year old are hilarious to read now, but they are also a good way to bring back fond holiday memories, filling in the gaps between and stories behind photos.  There are plenty of lovely journals and notebooks out there to choose from, of course, but I think this cartography journal and pen from John Lewis is particularly nice.  It would definitely make a good gift for someone about to head off travelling. (£14.95)

Do you have any holidays coming up, or any recommendations for NYC and Boston?  Let me know!

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Edinburgh Film Festival 2014:

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After my fantastic experience at Glasgow's Film Festival back in February, I was very excited to get the chance to attend this summer's Edinburgh International Film Festival, reviewing for WOW247 once again.  It's the first time I've been to EIFF and - although I had an amazing time at GFF - it was so nice to have my pick of new movies waiting virtually on my doorstep.

Unfortunately I could only make it along for three days of the two week long festival (thanks for that, dissertation) but I managed to squeeze seven film screenings into that short space of time.  I have to admit, I was very excited about getting a proper press pass with my photo on it, even if the photo was (quite embarrassingly) an old Instagram selfie...

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I kicked things off with Australian offering, The Infinite Man (click the link to read my review).  It turned out to be a pretty dark and puzzling comedy, but funny nonetheless.  Time travel causes most of the confusion (as it tends to do) in this starcrossed romance that I've dubbed a 'rustic sci fi'.  Catchy, right?  I'm hoping the term catches on.

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My second screening was the one I got most excited about, despite my well publicised fear of anything scary (particularly zombies).  Life After Beth stars the amazingly deadpan Aubrey Plaza (April Ludgate in Parks and Recreation) as well as a supporting cast full of familiar faces, including John C. Reilly and Anna Kendrick.  Following in the footsteps of films like Shaun of the Dead, Life After Beth is a RomZomCom which I found both funny and clever.  And I only had to hide behind my hands a couple of times (in a screening full of serious members of the press...).

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Next on my list was a 9am screening of a Romanian film called The Japanese Dog - the first Romanian film I've ever seen!  The story follows a recently widowed and grumpy (but loveable) old man as he reconnects with his friends and family.  It was simple, yet emotional and looked absolutely beautiful, especially the rural landscape shots.  Not a bad way to start off a day!

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Later that day, I saw Castles in the Sky starring comedian Eddie Izzard in a (mostly) serious role as Scotsman Robert Watson-Watt, the developer of radar.  I went into this screening not really sure what to expect, and came out knowing a lot more about the truly fascinating (and, in my opinion, quite surprising) true story of how radar came about during the Second World War.  Tim McInnerny does a truly awful Winston Churchill impersonation at one point, but it's fairly amusing, so don't let that put you off an otherwise very interesting and gripping movie!

After Castles in the Sky, I stuck around in the Cineworld lobby for an open press photo call with actress Aubrey Plaza and director Jeff Baena for Life After Beth, complete with a troupe of zombies.  I absolutely love Aubrey in Parks and Rec, and I'd really enjoyed Life After Beth, so I was looking forward to seeing her in the flesh in my hometown.  

I did see her in the flesh and snap a few photos but then - totally by accident, if I'm honest - I actually managed to (sort of) stalk her to the cinema's bar, introduce myself and get a photo.  She did her signature April glower especially for me, Jeff Baena took the photo, I babbled to them both about how much I loved their film and then I ran away.  It was all very exciting and totally surreal!

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The following morning I was present and correct (clutching a coffee) for another 9am screening.  Greyhawk is a really heartbreaking and at times nervewracking British drama about a blind man's unrelenting search for his guide dog and best friend, set in a run down council estate.  It reminded me a lot of the Michael Caine film Harry Brown, bleak, full of despair and painfully realistic.  Greyhawk was a gripping watch, with some brilliant acting.

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After Greyhawk, I rushed across to Edinburgh's Odeon for a bit of a curveball screening: The Nut Job.  I chose this animated kids' film because I'm a big kid who loves animated movies, and also because it stars great voice actors like Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl and Brendan Fraser.  Although I enjoyed this cute comedy adventure about a group of wild animals plotting to gather enough nuts to survive winter, I do think that The Nut Job is aimed primarily at children, with very few jokes for the adults watching.  Sadly, in my opinion it doesn't quite capture the magic that a lot of my favourite Pixar films and other animated movies do.

After The Nut Job I sought refuge from the rain in the nearest Starbucks (as I had done a few times already that week) to start writing up my reviews.  Once I'd regained some strength, I headed to the Filmhouse for my last film of EIFF 2014, which also turned out to be my absolute favourite of the whole festival!

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To be honest, I really wanted to see We'll Never Have Paris purely because I love Paris, and also because it was written and co-directed by Simon Helberg (AKA Howard Wolowitz from The Big Bang Theory).  Quinn (Helberg) and his longterm girlfriend Devon (Melanie Lynskey) go through a rocky patch that results in Melanie suddenly moving to Paris - cue Quinn's fight to win her back.  I had a feeling this film would be good, but I didn't expect it to be quite as hilarious or quite as realistic as it turned out to be.  It perfectly encapsulates pretty much every human insecurity there is, and is simultaneously pant wettingly funny and very moving.  I can't wait to see this film again as soon as I can!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Organiser review 2014:

It's that beautiful, joyful time of year again, folks: new academic planner time.  Most universities have just begun their new terms, and crazy people like me have been drooling in front of 'back to school' stationery displays all across the country.

Last year I posted a back to uni stationery haul, and also a guide to my favourite academic planners.  After finishing university this summer (hopefully for the last time...) I decided to become a real grown up lady and purchase my very first Filofax style organiser which should last me for the foreseeable future.  Although I wasn't completely against buying a proper Filofax, the organiser I eventually fell in love with was from Paperchase.  I've never seen anything like it anywhere else!

My new baby is a wood effect, teal coloured A5 size organiser, with plenty of room for all of the business cards, inserts and customisations anyone could ever want or need.  It also cost £22 which (as long as I use it for at least a few years) is pretty good value, and cheaper than the Filofax brand.

Devastatingly, I can't find this exact organiser on the Paperchase website any more, but I bought mine in store here in Edinburgh, so there might still be a few lurking in shops if this particular planner tickles your fancy.  The website still has different designs in the same size, like this purple, floral pattern (£22), or alternatively a pocket organiser in the wood effect teal (£12).

Along with the organiser, I also bought a pack of A5 'To Do List' refills (£2.25) - because I'm a to do list obsessive! - and two A5 plastic zip wallets (£2.25) which I've been using in the front of my planner to store pens and post it notes.  The organiser came with an all important 18 month week per page diary insert (usually £5) included in the £22 price, making it even better value.

Although I might like to personalise my organiser a little more in the future (possibly with customised dividers or inserts for added functionality) at the moment I'm quite happy with the system I've developed over the last month or so.  I had a day to day style planner last year, but found that I never really used up the space on each page.  Going back to a week to week set up has been absolutely fine, and I love the flexibility of using inserts.

As you can see from the snapshot below I have a vague colour coding system on the go (blue for work, red for important dates, black for everything else).  I've also started using small post it notes to plan out my blog posts.  This means I can plan well in advance, but also easily move the order around if I want to change things, or if I simply don't have time to publish a post on that day.  Once I've written the post in question, I write it in my organiser, tick it off (because who doesn't love the satisfaction of ticking off a task once it's completed?) and throw away the post it note.  

I keep my every day to do lists on a larger post it note, stuck on the opposite page, and then another to do list over the page on one of the Paperchase refills, with more longterm tasks.

Do you have a stationery and planner obsession like me?  Thanks to Instagram, I know I'm not the only one!  Please feel free to share your own planner and organisational set up with me, I'm always on the lookout for inspiration!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Inferior Inspiration #13: Wedding edition!

A couple of weeks ago I found myself caught up in a whirlwind wedding week (not my own, I hasten to add) in lovely Brittany, France.  The beautiful bride and dashing groom were my very good family friends Anna and James, who went on to enjoy a well deserved mini-moon in Paris after the festivities were over.  I was honoured when Anna asked me to be a bridesmaid for the first time, and I'll never forget the amazing experience I had alongside such a lovely bunch of ladies.

Let's be honest though - mushy romance stuff aside - the best part about getting married has to be receiving lots of presents, right?  Like most couples, Anna and James registered for gifts so their family and friends could purchase something online, but they were also happy for guests to bring along their own choice of wedding present.  It was a brave move - they risked ending up with seventy or so romantic birdhouse mailboxes (any Office fans out there?) - but they also opened themselves up to a little bit of surprise and mystery (alongside the towels and Playmobil pandas - a must have for all newlyweds).

As this seems to be a wedding heavy time of year for a lot of people, I've put together a list of gift ideas below (at varying costs) to inspire those guests bold enough to go 'off list'.  By now you all probably know that I usually lean towards practical things, but that doesn't mean they can't be beautiful too!

Making a scrapbook or album of photographs is a fairly low cost gift option, but it is undoubtedly one of the most thoughtful presents anyone could give.  I think the laser cut heart scrapbook from Paperchase (£12.50) is very wedding appropriate, and you can either fill the whole album with special memories, or leave some pages blank for the happy couple to add to in the future.

If you're in the market for a bigger gift in the same vein, Polaroid style, instant cameras are very 'in' at the moment.  Sadly, Polaroid film is pretty ridiculously expensive these days, but the Fujifilm Instax brand is a comparable alternative.  I think their Mini 8 Camera (which comes in a few different colours) is adorable!  The John Lewis set of a Mini 8, batteries and twenty shots (£69.95) seems to be the most cost effective, seeing as Amazon are charging £59 just for the camera.  Make sure you hand this present to the bride and groom on the special day so they can start taking snaps straight away!

Crockery might seem like a boring cop out, but there are plenty of cute and quirky marriage appropriate pieces out there that I'm sure any couple would appreciate as a reminder of their wedding day.  You can find 'Mr & Mrs' mugs in different styles and at various prices all over the internet, but I'm a big fan of the Emma Bridgewater set (£39.95) because they also do a matching tea pot with four mugs (£54.95) and a 'Just Married' cake plate (£39.95) all in the same pattern and style.

Le Creuset is a fairly traditional gift, but (even though your Mum undoubtedly has some in her kitchen cupboards) the brand is still very popular, and they have some lovely and unusual items in their range that will last forever!  I like the idea of giving little 'Sweet Hearts' lidded dishes (£30 for a set of two) as a wedding present, maybe even filled with the bride and groom's favourite sweets or chocolates?  A good trick for guests on a budget is to keep an eye out for these dishes in TK Maxx, as they usually have them for sale individually at much cheaper prices.

Everyone loves a good novelty gift, but - come on, guys - let's make sure yours are cute and useful so they don't end up at the back of a cupboard somewhere, 'til death do us part.  They always say communication is key in any relationship, and the speech bubble chalkboard from Urban Outfitters (£12) will give the new Mr and Mrs an easy way to leave love notes (or abuse) for each other every day.

I think a heart shaped vinyl record would be an adorable wedding present, whether it's to be played or hung up on the wall for decoration.  The one above happens to be a remastered version of 'Love Me Do' by The Beatles which I found on Amazon (from £5.99) but any heart shaped record would do!  I know that Scottish band Kid Canaveral also have one for £4.99.

Finally (if you don't fancy any of my suggestions) there are approximately one billion lovely wedding gifts for sale at  My personal favourite has to be these 'big spoon' and 'little spoon' pillow cases (£25).

Friday, 12 September 2014

Lifers, a documentary:

This summer I predominantly spent my time either filming behind a camera, or editing in front of a computer screen.  The reason for this was my MA Journalism postgraduate dissertation, and the final outcome was a twenty minute long documentary about the modern music industry, which I've decided to call Lifers.

I still cringe at the parts I feel are badly filmed or edited, but overall I'm fairly proud of how my first stab at documentary making turned out.  I was only brave enough to post it online yesterday, but I've already had lots of lovely comments and feedback from family, friends, colleagues and those who appeared in the film.  Matthew from Song, By Toad even wrote about Lifers on his blog today (you can read the post here) which makes me feel a teeny bit famous!

The documentary features Three Blind Wolves, Dan Willson of Withered Hand fame, Neil Pennycook (Supermoon/Meursault) and Tony Taylor (formerly X-Lion Tamer), as well as my industry experts (Nick Mitchell, Nicola Meighan and Matthew Young).  If you're a fan of the Scottish indie music scene, or just music in general, you will hopefully find the topic interesting - maybe even enough to watch the whole thing!

There is a fairly amusing (at least to me) 'making of' documentary still to come, which I'm in the process of editing right now, but in the mean time I hope you enjoy Lifers, if you can spare the time to give it a watch.  Rather than get all mushy about it again, I'll leave you with a heartfelt message from my past self, posted last night on my Facebook:

Monday, 8 September 2014

Instagram #26:

1. My wee Dad getting into the wedding spirit with a pint of red wine!
2. The band formerly known as Meursault on stage for the last time with some extra special guests.
3. 'So long, it's been good to know you.'

4. Coffee and cake at my beloved Lovecrumbs.
5. My beautiful new organiser from Paperchase - more on this in a future post!
6. One of my most talented friends, Tom, at his Masters degree show.

7. Enjoying some Festival time and saying farewell to my American pal Jordan before she disappeared home.
8. HILARIOUS poses on the Friends couch during the Fringe.
9. An unprofessional (but fun) selfie after interviewing Dan Clark.

10. I randomly met up with fellow blogger Jodie after a bizarre but awesome Fringe show.
11. Hanging out with my new poodle pal Charlie in France.
12. Craig the poodle whisperer.

13. Beaucoup des baguettes en France!
14. Just chilling in my pyjamas and bare feet on the streets of Brittany.
15. A comparison of my oldest friends and me, fifteen years apart.

16. Craig and I in our groomsman and bridesmaid finery.  Aren't we cute?
17. Up bright and early on a Saturday to watch 16 year olds play rugby.  As you do!
18. Celebrating my 24th birthday with prosecco and a viaduct.

19. My stunning and delicious birthday burger cake, made by my best friend Emily.
20. My birthday card from Craig featured a lot of our silly faces...
21. Lovely birthday flowers from my big sister.