Wednesday, 31 December 2014

December Round Up

We are now at the end of 2014 and it's time for us to round up the whirlwind month that was December. It's been a bit of a blur of mince pies, wrapping paper and Christmas songs but we've enjoyed every minute of it.

Helen
December Round Up, Month round up, best bits, Tea Green Festive Market, photo booth, 2001 Space Odyssey , Naromode, The Whitepepper, sale

Doing: Snapping photos at Tea Green. Kimberley and I headed along to the Tea Green Makers Market in Dundee and set up our sparkly photobooth to snap happy shoppers with their purchases and picks from the fair. We added a few snowflakes to make it even more festive and had a great time chatting to visitors and stall holders. The next weekend I then headed along to Glasgow for the Tea Green fair at The Lighthouse. Unfortunately, Kimberley couldn't make it along and I set up the booth all alone. It wasn't long before I was visited by the fabulous Miss West End Girl, which lifted my spirits and set me up for another busy day of making friends and snapping photos.

Watching: I had two great cinema experiences this month. The first was taking my Dad along to the DCA to see 2001: A Space Odyssey on the big screen. It's one of his favourite films and I hadn't seen it before so it was really nice to go together. I was blown away by it, the music and visuals were stunning. That Mr Kubrick was one inspirational guy. My second movie trip was with my wee sis to see The Muppet Christmas Carol, also at the DCA. It's one of our favourite festive movies and watching it the weekend before Christmas really helped to boost our holiday spirits. The trip to Dundee's newest cocktail bar, Jam Jar, beforehand probably helped with that too.

Buying: I have been busy shopping small throughout December and managed to get most of my Christmas presents that way. From ordering online (and taking advantage of a few cyber Monday deals), to visiting markets and craft fairs and dropping into my favourite local stores. In the process I seem to have picked up a few gifts for myself along the way, namely this beautiful Naromode scarf. It was a case of one in the (virtual) basket for my lovely friend Ashley and one for me, as a reward for being such an awesome gift buyer. Of course I also purchased a gift for my Shop Small Secret Santa partner. After doing a bit of research it seemed she was quite the make up lover so I opted for a bright red Rock Cakes brooch. I sure hope she liked it.

Clicking: I have to admit that I have been checking out some of the boxing day sales from the comfort of my sofa. There are some great designers offering some rather fabulous discounts. I have managed to restrain myself so far but with discounts on favourites such as The Whitepepper, Obscure Couture, Katze Shop, Wear Eponymous and Tatty Devine it's been quite difficult.


Kimberley
December, Round up, Month round up, best bits, Etsy Pop Up Shop, Etsy Edinburgh, Cockneys vs Zombies, The Whitepepper rabbit jumper, Bon Bon, pom pom

Doing: I've been really quite busy this month- I've no idea how I managed to get Christmas gifts organised while I was busy with everything else. Luckily, the Edinburgh Etsy Pop Up Shop held above Made From Scotland had lots of local designers to help me #ShopSmall and get my shopping done in a one stop shop. It included talented makers including Diedododa, Hello Strumpet, Zyzanna, Urszula Jochim Designs, Vivid Please, Wooden Tree House, Kate and the Ink- you can get the lowdown on the Edinburgh Etsy blog here.

Watching: Between all the Christmas films I randomly stubbled upon Cockneys Vs. Zombies. Or rather, Tony did and I watched the first fifteen minutes over my tablet as I did some online sales swooping. Then I got majorly sucked into the story and left my virtual checkouts to time out. The humour was surprisingly quick-paced and the unlikely heroes because surprisingly likeable. Plus the OAP subset of survivors are hilarious.

Buying: This The Whitepepper rabbit jumper has been on my wishlist since it first popped up on my instagram feed and it's been taunting me ever since. As well as the pattern itself I love the colour combination- it's pretty much the only way I could get away with mustard with my skin! It's 50% off in the sales so it's really affordable- grab it quick. Can't wait to wear mine!

Clicking: Obviously, I've been checking out the sales. I have been checking and double checking all the same as Helen, above. I've also picked up a few wee sparkly bits from Alternate Normality and goodies from Hello Marine and Fearne Cotton's collection for Very. And dreaming of Charlotte Simone's incredible Bon Bon bags.

Monday, 29 December 2014

Blog Crushes 06

Welcome to our special festive blogger crushes. While we tried our best to make our blog as Christmassy as possible their are some blogs out there that take it to a whole other level. While we've tried to be helpful with our gift and style guides, invited you to shop small and had some fun with a Christmas Unlikely Style Icon, these folks have really added a bit of extra sparkle to the holidays.

Helen's crushing on ...I Love Crafty
I Love Crafty Blog, Favourite Blogger, laser cut jewellery, fun blog, colourful blog, christmas blog coverage

Not only does I Love Crafty create fabulous jewellery (you may have spotted my glitter cat ring popping up in my outfit posts) but creator, Laura, also has a rather spectacularly lovely blog. In the run up to the 25th she 's counted down her top 10 I Love Crafty jewels and also shared some tasty treats. I also love how she got some of her favourite bloggers involved by getting them to create their very own I Love Crafty Christmas lists. The blog (and shop) are always full of bright and colourful images and Laura gets the balance between business and personal spot on.

Check out the I Love Crafty shop for lots of goodies and follow on Instagram for a daily fix.

Kimberley is crushing on... Fashion Worked
Blogger Crush, favourite blog, blog suggestion, Fashion Worked, Haus of Fashion Worked

Okay, Fashion Worked has not directly been leading us up to Christmas with wishlists and countdowns BUT as a blog championing independent designers is was the perfect stop off when thinking about our #ShopSmall projects. I have a decent knowledge of the Scottish designer crowd, and for some reason the Brighton Etsy lot (?), but it is always good to branch out. I had a perusal through the Best Independent Brands & Labels list for new crushes. And if you're not quite ready for Christmas to be over, I recommend you check out his Alternative Queen's Speech.
As if that is not reason enough to check the blog out, he is also like 35% of the reason I check in on #fbloggerschat. Because he is sassy and pithy and my favourite Twitter stalk. Follow Fashion Worked on Twitter here.

We're also crushin' on

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas!



Wishing you all a super lovely Christmas!! We hope it's a fun filled day, jam packed with food, family and friends. We'll be spending today with our other halves but can't wait to get together for our own blogger Xmas in a few short days time. For now, we are very excited about opening our Shop Small Secret Santa gifts and hope everyone who got involved is happy with their treats!


Whatever you're up to this Christmas, enjoy!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

The Cambridge Satchel Company Comes to Edinburgh

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I think since the infamous Google advert came out we've all had a little corner of our heart reserved for The Cambridge Satchel Company. Although by then the name was already on the lips of the fashion crowd, the ad made us all feel a direct connection to the brand, and its founders. However, originally an independent designer, this brand is now large scale and I wondered if they were now all corporate and no heart?

Well, if you think I am here to dispel the nostalgic Google ad myth then I'm afraid you are wrong! They are bloody brilliant.

I went along to the launch party of the Cambridge Satchel Company's pop-up in Edinburgh, where I got chatting to Founder and Managing Director, Julie Deane.She clearly loves the company dearly. She embodies everything you imagine about the company's ethos- when I commented on the delicious appetisers we were offered, she explained that they were all locally produced by other independent makers- right down to the mulling of the wine! Despite being at a stage where she could have her pick, she maintains her connections with the other artisans and is actively joining in the local community. And this is right up the Wardrobe Conversations street!

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Julie has got the beautifully crafted modern take on the classic satchel just right and she has set up the pop- up to the same level of thought. She told us that the display cabinets were based on her kitchen units at home, so she feels like she fits right in. And I have to say her customers do, too. The company have even released Harris Tweed satchels especially for us Scots! It's this delightful mix of comfort and luxury that makes these products so special.

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You feel like you are buying into a piece of history with the classic satchels- and the new luxury Saddle collection- but it is also great to see the company growing and expanding its collections. I'm in love with the card holder (for all our WC business cards perhaps?) and fluoro luggage tags but I was most impressed with the handbags. I hadn't seen these before so it was great to see them all laid out in the store. It was like looking at lines of sweetie jars- so many bright happy colours to choose from!

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We were each given a personalised leather keyring in the colour of our choice. I went for red to match my Bailey and Quinn leather heart and I got mine embossed with my (still new) married intials, KG. Swoon!

The Edinburgh store is only a pop-up but with the response it's received I think it's found a permanent home in our hearts- stick around Cambridge Satchel Company!

All photographs above belong to The Cambridge Satchel Company


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Monday, 22 December 2014

Unlikely Style Icon: Christmas Tree

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Dress | Monsoon
Coat | Warehouse
Faux Fur Scarf | Nicely Eclectic
Shoes | Topship via Ebay
Bag | TK Maxx
Necklaces | Cheap Frills
Headband | Topshop
Brooch | Rock Cakes
Ring | I Love Crafty
Nail Polish | Barry M

Christmas is just a few short days away and I for one am wholeheartedly looking forward to it. I can't wait to laze about in my pjs, eat all the Christmas based food and (most importantly) hang out with friends, family and the kitty cat. To celebrate all this festivity we thought some Xmas unlikely style icons were in order, thanks to the suggestion from my wee sis. I decided to opt for the humble Christmas Tree as my outfit inspiration. I always enjoy decorating mine and love the way the twinkling lights brighten up the cold dark nights. And, as it's party season, I thought it best to put together a rather over the top, fancy and ladylike ensemble.

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Since I was dressed as a Christmas tree, photographer extraordinaire Ross Bull came up with the idea shooting photos that show the journey of said festive essential. All the way from standing in the forest, being transported, decorating a cozy living room and then finally being chopped up for fire wood. I got to use my best standard grade drama skills to enact each scene and I sure make for an emotional bit of foliage. I've never actually had a real tree at Christmas and do feel it's a bit of a shame to cut down so many just for aesthetic purposes. Artificial trees have come a long way looks wise and are much easier to maintain (no daily hoovering for me, thanks very much). I know the smell isn't the same but there are plenty of candles that give a nice festive scent.

Anyway, enough tree hugging, lets get down to outfit details.  This dress may be more teal than forest green but I still like the effect. Also it stops this outfit looking too much like one of my earlier Unlikely Style Icons. This dress is actually my bridesmaid dress from Kimberley's wedding. I'm sure she'll notice straight away that I have it on backwards. I loved the shallow V shape at the back and, after flipping the dress round, I think it creates the perfect space to show off these sparkly Cheap Frills necklaces. There was a great deal on when I was purchasing some presents that meant I got these wee festive beauties for free. Gotta love it when shopping small for gifts means I get some for myself too.

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I accessorised further with this awesome faux fur scarf, which I picked up at a festive market. It was another case of 'one for them, one for me' gift buying. It's so soft and warm though, and the price (only £5!!!) meant I simply could not resist. I also thought I'd honour the annual tradition of cats destroying Christmas trees with this sparkly I Love Crafty ring. Lots of shouts of "Panda! Stop eating the Christmas tree" ringing out in my house at the moment.  I finished off the look with plenty of red touches (surely the most festive of colours) and a flower crown in the place of a star. The leopard print coat that pops up is what I'd like to call my way of representing the netting used to make tree transportation a little easier, but was mostly included because it was so ruddy chilly!

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Thanks to Ross for the photographic concept and for actually taking the pictures. Since her worked so hard I even let him be in one. Here he is doing his best Jack Torrance impression. It's lucky I trust this guy! 


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Saturday, 20 December 2014

White Stuff: Mad Hatter's Tea Party

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Last week White Stuff hosted an event for us Edinburgh Bloggers, themed around a Mad Hatter's Tea Party. Helen couldn't join me (boo, day job!) but I went along to catch up with all the girls. It's only been about four months since the first Edinburgh Bloggers meet up and it has been fantastic to watch the group grow. Many of the bloggers in the group are quite new so it's nice to see the progress they have made and meet them out and about at events. We're really enjoying the community spirit that's evolving.

The event itself really lended itself to this- a fun party atmosphere that White Stuff set up brilliantly. It started off (take note: started) as a serene press event, with a beautifully laid out table of cakes and sandwiches based around the Alice in Wonderland theme. The table was topped of with a fantastic two tier Cheshire Cat cake created by Sarah from Thizishowibake- it was too good to eat! We enjoyed a selection of Just Be Botanical herbal teas and a bit of bubbly alongside it. Then we went off to explore! I had no idea that each year White Stuff have a Santa's Grotto upstairs in store. It's a really cute little wonderland... And this is the point at which we all regressed to being primary school children, playing with the oversized sweets and hiding in the gingerbread house.

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And this was before we'd seen the incredible fitting rooms! White Stuff Edinburgh's visual merchandising team are genius- setting up Narnia-esque wardrobe entrances into each  retro styled room. The rooms were fantastical- and I'm not exaggerating. There was a playroom filled with stuffed toys, a 90's striped Barbie pink girl's room with working tricycle (we know- we tested it) and Wet Wet Wet poster, a tartan Scottish room, a potting shed and a tiled bathroom- toilet included! My favourite was a tropical under sea room with coral, floating jellyfish and real fish in a tank. (Admittedly the lighting in them wasn't blogger friendly but the photos are too good to waste)

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Thanks so much to White Stuff for showing us girls a good time. And for the super cosy scarf in our goodie bags- I've been wearing my bee version ever since. I got so carried away with the party that I need to come in again to properly check out the latest collection. And it wouldn't hurt to try out the fitting rooms again....

Which is your favourite?

Mega thanks to my #GirlGang babe Miss Vicky Viola for all the photographs. We've never looked quite as bad ass as we did riding a pink tricycle.
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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Gift Ideas For Guys

It's nearly Christmas guys and dolls!! A week from now it'll be the eve of and we'll be sitting watching festive movies and eating ALL the mince pies. Gift buying time is slowly running out and we are still struggling with a few of ours, mainly for the people we know who are of the male persuasion. They can be damn tricky to buy for and we find it rather tough to keep to our shop small ethos where the gents are involved. Luckily more and more gentlemen emporiums are popping up to help us in this quest. We thought we'd search a few of our favourites and hopefully help you in your last minute shopping too. 

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1.) Hogans Beard Oil | Hard Grind
One such emporium which has sprung up recently is Hard Grind. A barbers, clothing store and  coffee house this place caters for many of the modern mans needs. As well as stocking some killer brands they've also got a few products of their very own, including this beard oil in a strawberry scent. Vegan, cruelty free and leaves your man with soft, sweet smelling facial hair - that's a sure fire winner for us! This delight can be ordered online or pop into their Dundee store for lots more man friendly treats.

2.) Melton Wool Bomber Jacket | Kerrie ALDO
We came across Kerrie Aldo at the Tea Green Makers Market and loved her top quality clothing. This bomber was looking particularly spectacular. Being a little more than what we'd normally spend ( but so worth it for the super high quality), these jackets are only for guys who've been extra good this year. You can find up to the minute Christmas stock info on the website and can order said stock right up until Sunday to get Xmas delivery. Plus there are some rather tasty ladies options on there to. Hey Burgandy Wool Zip Overcoat, we're looking at you.

3.) Tweet Tie | JACK (et) by Jill Skulina
For the smarter gent in your life why not check out the selection of embellished ties by Jill Skulina. We enjoyed this wee chatty bird, but the grizzly bear is also rather fine. And they're even finer now with 20% off . She also offers some sweet embellished jackets for both men and ladies, as well as a range of cute collars for any dog shaped fellas you may know.

4.) Moustache Unisex Badge | Runaway Fox
The perfect stocking filler for guys (and gals) being that it's compact in size and a ruddy good price to boot. Runaway Foxes brooches are all rather man friendly but this one is especially so. The tortoiseshell acrylic and wood combo is just so dapper! It's also available in necklace form too. That'll be one for him and one for you then ;-). 

5.) The Grinders Bobble | Abandon Ship
Abandon Ship certainly know how to cater for stylish gents. The McQueen shirt is proof enough of that. Sadly sold out (for now), there's still plenty of good stuff available from them. Including this mighty fine bobble hat. Spot on for keeping your menfolk warm this Christmas and also a bargain at only £10! Super! Order online or nip into the Glasgow store to grab your gifts right up til the last minute.

6.) ManHamper | The Brotique
And for the ULTIMATE man gift, The Brotique present the ManHamper. Pick a size and fill it with a selection of their amazing products. From books to moustache wax, gadgets to glasses, there will definitely be something in there to suit any male you know (and plenty that we'd love too). Priding themselves on supporting small designers they feature a great selection of brands and cater to a plethora of budgets. Order online, call them up or make your way to their Edinburgh store to grab the perfect gift for your guy, dad, brother....we could go on but you get the idea.

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Monday, 15 December 2014

Bombshell Betty

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While we were in Glasgow photographing everyone for Wear Eponymous we couldn't pass up the opportunity to get our hair done. We headed up to the Tiki Bar to see the girls from Bombshell Betty's Beauty Parlour do their thing at their Pop Up and get our curl on for a bargain £15 each. They also offered make up for a special price of £15 or a cheeky wee lip and flick for £5 so keep your eye for their next pop-up event! They are perfectionists- ensuring each person has the time and finish they want.
While the Tiki Bar venue didn't have the best lighting for us bloggers, it did provide fun props to play with- and their variety of fun tiki cocktails is delicious- so it's all okay.

We were joined by our friend, Ashley- stationer extraordinaire at Rock Paper Pen . (Btw her wedding stationery is stunning!) She opted for this Rita Hayworth wave. It was so silky and pretty. Dreamy! Perfect for the night out later too.

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Kimberley was tempted by a Marilyn bouffant but in the end opted for an updo- the ever incredible victory rolls. This style is hard wearing and guaranteed to turn heads and it drew lots of compliments. It even lasted until the following day- as you can see by the Wear Eponymous post.

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Helen's hair is so short now that her signature style is the only one it will stick! But the girls worked their magic and tamed it- or maybe untamed it?- into this big bouffant. Love it!

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If you have any hair enquiries you should totally get in contact with Bombshell Betty's Beauty Parlour by emailing bombshellbettysbp@hotmail.com
We are sure you'll be seeing their work here on the blog sometime soon. Watch this space!

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