Thursday, 29 November 2018

November Wishlist

1.) Be kind embroidered t shirt | Alphabet Bags
I think the simple act of being kind is the best there is. Combine it with rainbow colours and I'd happily wear this reminder every day of the week.

2.) Peeled Glam Banana Candle Holder | Luxeology
I'm adding the finishing touches to my new(ish) livingroom and I want to keep it very grown up and chic but I also love a silly accessory. This is the ideal crossover of style and personality. Fab!

3.) Happiness Grows Here planter | Imperfect Store
My plant family has expanded to about 15 plants now and I'm really enjoying all of them but they are outgrowing their pots! I really like the 'I will survive' pot but I think it'd be unfair to my green fingers, so instead I'm gong for this cute happy message.

4.) That's hilarious tote bag | Fuchsia Macaree
My Resting Bitch Face is well documented on the blog but this fun take on the topic is one I want to carry around with me. I'm also in love with Fuchsia's 'crisps for dinner' print.

5.) Choose Your Own Adventure Hat | K Moods
I missed out on the fantastic Boobzapalooza, a fantastic event in aid of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it made me even more keen to own some K Moods knitwear (because she is fab!). I'd love to 'choose my own adventure' hat in a Mr Blobby-esque pink with yellow spots.

1.) Meal Planner Pad | Nikki McWilliams
I just recently moved flat and one of the things I promised myself was that I'd cook more in my new place. That hasn't happened (despite Kim buying me a cookbook as a house warming gift) but maybe this super cute meal planner could help. There's even a choice between a desk-pad and a magnetic fridge pad.-both could be very handy!

2.) Face Necklace | Lima Lima
Jewellery-wise, I've been buying a lot of earrings recently (there are so many nice ones out there, including these ones also by Lima Lima) so maybe it's time to up my necklace game. I've found myself really attracted to this little brass face. It's small, simple and delicate - not my usually jewellery style but I love it.

3.) Over-thinking it Sweat | Nicola Rowlands
Nicola Rowlands was one of our Top 5 Greetings Card Designers but she also creates a whole bunch of other great stuff and this jumper is one of them. I'm consistently over-thinking everything so this is pretty perfect for me, plus it would keep me nice and cosy through the cold winter months.

4.) Big Park Risograph Print | Ruth Mae
I already have one of Ruth's prints up in my kitchen but I think I need more and I particularly love the shapes and colours in this one. Finding it via Ruth's Instagram has also introduced me to DEPTSTO.RE, which is jam-packed with more awesome stuff for future wishlists.

5.) Monki Slippers | Monki
The start of winter has got me wanting to spend the next few months hibernating at home. A good cosy pair of slippers is key for that and these Monki ones are perfect. I've been after a good backless pair for a while and these ones have eyes one!

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Top 5: Independent Designers for Greetings Cards

It's Just a Card - Indie Week and our Instagram feed has been filled with amazing designers and makers shouting about the awesome stuff they create. The Just a Card campaign is all about encouraging people to buy from artists, designers and indie businesses, even if it's 'just a card'. Indie Week is a campaign that puts the focus on shopping from independents this Christmas. All stuff we can get fully on board with!

To get you started we thought we'd jump in and pick out some of our favourite designers who make particularly good greetings cards...

Just A Card Top 5 Greetings Card Designers

1.) Mean Mail
Wonderfully honest cards in an array of pastel prettiness. Each one makes us laugh even more than the last.

2.) Fernandes Makes
Illustrated movie references, TV references, pop music references, meme references and Goldblum goodness - count us in!

3.) Claire Barclay Draws
Colourful, fun and cheeky Scottish humour.

4.) Faye Moorhouse
Weird, weirder and weirdest: we love these super quirky, super strange designs.

5.) Nicola Rowlands
Positive messages for any occasion, be they super specific or some general words of encouragement.

Keeping in touch via social media can be great but there's just something extra special about receiving a card through the post, don't you think? We often spend a lot of time trying to pick out the perfect design for each occasion so hopefully having these folk on your radar will help next time you need to send a special greeting.

We fully recommend checking out #justacard on social media. It's full of amazing makers and will pretty much sort out your Christmas shopping. Oh- and make you add a whole lot of pretty stuff to your own wishlist!

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Italian Grill

Review of Italian Grill restaurant in Dundee for gluten free options Review of Italian Grill restaurant in Dundee for parties Review of Italian Grill restaurant in Dundee for coeliac sufferers and dietary requirements
Last week we were invited along to Italian Grill in Dundee to try out their food and it was perfect timing. Last month Helen moved across to my side of the city but we've really struggled to match up our schedules for one-to-one BFF time. Weekends away and Helen's Halloween calendar have taken up all our time so I was really looking forward to good food and gossip. And gossip we did!

Apparently Italian Grill has been around for a while but I've never really noticed it in City Square. With an understated exterior, it's tucked alongside Caird Hall right in the centre of town. Inside, I was quite surprised by how modern it was, with clean lines and simple decor. (Apologies for our photographs of this- we haven't quite adjusted to organising photos around the winter nights yet.)

Before booking we checked that they could accommodate my gluten free dietary requirements and I was pleasantly surprised that they could, for mains at least. There wasn't a separate menu but I was advised on which dishes I could swap out for gluten free versions on the main menu and ordered from that. The only starters I could have was a garden or caprese salad, but I always go with caprese anyway so it suited me. The buffalo mozzarella was tasty but I wanted more basil than the decorative leaf! I was envious watching Helen tuck into her porcini mushroom arancini with tarragon butter. It looks so good and she hoovered it up so I guess it was!
Review of Italian Grill restaurant in Dundee for gluten free optionsReview of Italian Grill restaurant in Dundee starters Review of Italian Grill restaurant in Dundee for special dietary requirements
In between courses, we got to talking about how we never go out for dinner. Together, at least. I often do. I've spent a lot of time around foodies and eating out is one of my favourite things to do, when I'm not cooking at home. Helen prefers to just meet up casually over a coffee or quick bite but I really enjoy a sociable dinner occasion. I enjoy a brunch or a lunch or a tapas or street food markets. Anything with good food! This pastime has become a bit (okay, A LOT) trickier since I was diagnosed as coeliac but I find Italian restaurants are often a safe bet so I'm becoming a bit of a pasta connoisseur.

Which brings us on to the mains - both of us are pasta fans so we stuck to those. We had a worrying moment where we mistook Helen's spinach cannelloni for a meaty lasagne but it was actually just a generous portion. The restaurant has a good grill selection too (the clue is in the name) and I was very tempted by the stone bass. My barometer for an Italian restaurant is the spaghetti bolognese though (or a ragu, if they do it) so I opted for that. The gluten free pasta option was penne so really I had penne bolognese but the sauce was good and it had pancetta through it for more flavour. The portion was the perfect size without feeling too gluttonous. Gotta save space for dessert, after all.

After much deliberation we both got a simple affogato. The coffee was STRONG and I would go on to regret having caffeine after 5pm but at the time it was a good finish to the evening. I was giddy and hyper as we shared some wine and raced through topics of gossip before walking home together. We're neighbours now, after all.
Review of Italian Grill restaurant in Dundee for parties and social occasions Review of Italian Grill restaurant in Dundee for gluten free options
Thanks to Italian Grill for having us in. It's a great space to hang out with friends the mains were mostly £8-12 so it's an easy weeknight option. We're also very intrigued by the cocktail masterclasses. Anyone want to join us?

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Styled by Kimberley: Colourful Autumn / Winter Style with Lauren Smith

This week's outfit theme is unbelievably on brand! Red and pink, with a big splash of my favourite blue, is peak Wardrobe Conversations. As Helen explained on Tuesday, we are wearing custom hand embroidered pins made for us by textiles artist Lauren Smith. And the balance of colours on mine is just perfect!

I feel as though I'm always in a pink combo at the moment, although I suppose you haven't seen it here. We've not been blogging much lately so I've got 'new' outfits to share but I've really got into instagram stories lately so I'm feeling under pressure to wear something different. This is the problem with regularly being on social media... got to keep up with the Jones' and all that jazz. Pink trousers and breton stripes were my summer go to- a la my London capsule wardrobe- but now I've swapped them out for a herringbone pink coat and accessories. I've even got a hot pink duck umbrella (you know the ones) to double up.

Leopard print is EVERYWHERE at the moment and I am absolutely living for it, Pat Butcher fan as I am. I'm taking this opportunity to stock up on my favourite neutral, i.e. all animal prints, but I'm a bit worried that such a strong trend will look dated really soon. This new blue and gold jumper from Nine by Savannah Miller is a playful take on it and the quality is pretty good. I think it'll be carrying on in my wardrobe for years to come.  Oh! And I guess the tortoise shell handbag handles. I love a pony skin shoe or a fake cowhide. I've also picked  up a snakeskin dress, tiger striped top and I've got a leopard print scarf and coat (for separate wears) on my list. There's just so much choice! Dalmation remains my favourite print though.

Which animal do you love to wear? (Faux of course!)

Coat | Zara
Jumper | Nine by Savannah Miller
Jeans | New Look
Boots | Primark
Bag | Topshop
Glasses | c/o Specsavers
Earrings | Liz Harry
Pin | c/o Lauren Smith

And if you'd like to grab yourself a pin, or some of Lauren Smith's other goodies, you can find her popping up at some upcoming fairs:

November 3rd - Tea Green at Kibble Palace
December 2nd - Urban Market at Drygate
December 8th and 15th - SuperMarket at the Argyle Street Arches

Monday, 5 November 2018

Styled by Helen: Colourful Autumn / Winter Style with Lauren Smith

Colourful outfit with heart sunglasses, pink berret, red dress and pink bootsScottish bloger, Helen from Wardrobe Conversations wears a red coat, red heart sunglasses and a pink beret

After a lovely summer of dressing in bright colours (mainly red) I have to admit that autumn has hit me pretty hard. The cold dark mornings have me reaching for the rather dull combination of black jeans and any jumper I can find. It might also be a bit to do with my over indulgence in Halloween which has placed black firmly on my wardrobe menu. Don't get me wrong, that's not necessarily a bad thing - I love a black and white combo and darker shades certainly have their place but I was starting to feel in a bit of a seasonal rut.

Luckily the lovely Lauren Smith came to the rescue. Lauren is a textile artist based in Scotland who creates fabulous embroidered pins and decorative hoops. I'd spotted her work at the Craft Scotland Summer Show and loved the different patterns and colour combinations she comes up with. So of course I was over the moon when she got in touch to ask if we'd like to feature her work. She even made us some custom pins using our blog colours! The result is this lovely little circle of joy and it was just what I needed to inspire a bolder approach to A/W dressing.

Red, pink, gold and mint embroidered pin worn on a pink beret

Admittedly this mostly red look is well within my comfort zone but I felt that I hadn't worn a get-up this bright in quite some time. Putting it on certainly cheered up my mood and the weather seemed to follow suit - it turned out to be a lovely sunny day which was great for taking these pics! Kimberley said I looked like a cartoon character and I'm very happy with that, anything that puts a smile on my face while dressing in the dark is a good thing.

More colour was injected into this look when I realised I'd lost my black beret. A quick lunch time trip to Oh Hello Vintage meant I had myself a much more colourful replacement and the perfect backdrop for my new pin. I'm usually one to add pins and brooches to my jacket (as evidenced by the many small holes in this red coat) so I thought I'd mix it up and place it up top. I like the result - it kinda makes me feel like a Girl Guide (even though in reality I never made it past the second week of Brownies).

Scottish blogger Helen of Wardrobe Conversations keeps warm in a red coat

Dress | H&M
Coat | Charity shop
Belt | M&S
Boots | Topshop
Beret | Oh Hello Vintage
Pin | c/o Lauren Smith
Glasses | c/o Spex Pistols
Sunglasses | Claire's Accessories
Earrings | Blue Rinse Vintage

I'm going to try and keep the colourful outfit momentum up to get me though the winter months, even if it's just a little splash here and there. Looking to do the same? Here's my little list of ways to inject some summer into your winter wardrobe:
  • A colourful coat
    Investing in some bright outerwear that might not go with everything in your wardrobe can be hard so take a trip round some charity shops for some colourful items with smaller price tags. I tried out a yellow coat this way and ended up wearing it so much that it feel apart!
  • Bright knitwear
    Colourful hats, gloves and scarves are easy to come by and can add a pop to any outfit. There are some awesome Scottish knitwear brands out there if you're looking for something that will last (hello Collingwood Norris, Hilary Grant and Green Thomas). If a cheaper alternative is required then vintage shops and fairs are a good shout or you could have a go at knitting your own (or get your knitting best friend to gift you something - thanks Kim!).
  • Sunglasses
    Every year when summer fades I pack my sunglasses away at the back of my glasses drawer (yes, my collection fills a drawer now). This is a MISTAKE! It may not be out often but when it is the sun is low and harsh. Sunglasses are definitely  required in these situations, especially when driving, so why not make them as colourful and fun as possible.
  • Accessories
    Pins and brooches are easy to position so they're visible even when you're all bundled up, so pick something colourful to brighten up even the most grey of days and outfits. I would definitely recommend checking out Lauren's website (even looking at the homepage will cheer up your eyes!)

What's your approach to keeping it colourful during the colder months?