Friday, 29 July 2016

July Round Up

Kimberley
round up, best bits, July, Edinburgh blogger, Scottish blogger, Edinburgh Magic Festival, Magic Fair, David Gerard, Vincent Gambini, Girl Gang Weekender, MagicFest, Jazz Festival, National Museum of Scotland Instameet, Edinburgh Fashion Festival, earrings, statement earrings, Neko Noire, ethical hour, twitter chat, Tuesday Bassen vs Zara, Shop Art Theft
Watching: Magic! At the start of the month I headed along to the MagicFair at Edinburgh Magic Festival to see what all the fuss was about. I dressed in a bit of an assistant's theme but my contortion must be lacking because I wasn't picked up by any of the magicians. I did have a fun evening though, with lots of performers in one venue. I saw a number of shows, including a cute moving Pixar-style lamp. American mentalist David Gerard provided some slick mind reading but Vincent Gambini was my favourite, combining a routine 'debunking' magic with fast sleight of hand. Nothing could beat the ribbon maze though, where Emily (Frankly Ms Shankly) jumped out at me, and filmed me getting lost for your pleasure.

Doing: Mostly hanging out in Edinburgh (apart from our Girl Gang Weekender). There's a lot going on in the summer! As well as the MagicFest, there was a Jazz Festival, the National Museum of Scotland Instameet and the Edinburgh Fashion Festival (more on that soon). I also spent a really sunny day eating icecream in North Berwick.

Buying: Huge Pat Butcher earrings. I don't know what's got into me this month but I've bought FIVE pairs! My favourite pair were these mermaid shell earrings from new Edinburgh boutique Neko Noire. I've got my eye on a few more but I think for now I need to step away from the door knockers...

Clicking: I've been thinking a lot about one of our favourite topics; supporting creatives and small business, since I've been keeping up-to-date on the growing Tuesday Bassen/ Zara rip-off scandal. I've also been reading up more on sustainable businesses, and joining in the #EthicalHour twitter chat to connect with others. The Sustainability and Ethical talks during Edinburgh Fashion Festival were also really interesting, so it's safe to say it's on my mind right now!


Helen
round up, best bits, July, Dundee blogger, Scottish blogger, Tale of Tales, DCA, Cine Sunday, Apex Dundee, Malmaison dundee, sister date, wedding, The Glue Fastory, NYX, Illamasqua, cruelty free make up, cruelty free beauty, spar room, flatmate search
Watching: I went along to my first DCA Cine Sunday to see Tale of Tales. A breakfast roll, hot beverage and a movie, all for £6! Now that's a good way to spend a Sunday morning. The film itself was rather magical. A strange mix of three folk tales, inspired by the fairytales by Giambattista Basile. With stars like Salma Hayek and Vincent Cassel I knew I was in for a treat. The costumes were a dream and I loved watching the dark and twisted stories unfold.

Doing: July has been full of more fun adventures. At the very start of the month I took Heather Mac out for a sister day as a late birthday present. We enjoyed the spa and a rather delicious afternoon tea at the Apex, drank cocktails at Malmaison and then had a pizza and movie night back at mine. Also, my lovely friend Suzy got married. It was a wonderful day, spent with a bunch of gorgeous friends from uni. AND I spent one final weekend in Glasgow with Ashley (my old uni flat mate) before she heads off to pastures new. We went along to The Glue Factory for pop up putting. Basically like a youth club but with beer and properly good burgers. So. Much. Fun!

Buying: I decided to try some new cruelty free makeup and so headed to the internet and ordered some Illamasqua concealer and some Barefaced Beauty mineral foundation. The post office is currently holding the mineral foundation hostage but I have been using my concealer. It is super pale, which works rather well for my ghostly complexion and it helps to cover up the redness that I also suffer from. Plus it smells really good. A strange thing to say about make up but it's true. And, thanks to a heads up from Mermaid Gossip, I found out that Boots is now stocking NYX - another cruelty free brand. I bought the pore filler primer and the finishing powder. The latter is a little too powdery for my liking but it does help to mattify my face. I'm still getting the hang of the primer. It's a strange consistency but it does feel nice when it's on.

Clicking: I've been on the search for a new flatmate so got myself signed up to Spare Room. It's a free service (though you can pay to get first dibs) and it made me feel much more comfortable when messaging strangers. I had quite a bit of interest. I mean, who wouldn't want to live with me?! Plus it gave me a place to put up all the info and photos, which I was then able to share else where. I ended up finding someone off the site but it was certainly a good tool to use.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

July Wishlist


1.) Peach Collar | Collar Me Pretty
I love a preppy collar but I seem to be lacking in them. Although summer maybe isn't the best season for it, the dreich weather we've been experiencing in Scotland recently is making me layer up. This is a cute summery alternative.

2.) Ice Cream Collar Smock Dress | Tallulah's Threads
Tallulah's Threads is a UK-based indie brand that design and manufacture in house, with quite an array of items in amazing prints. I love all the tropical stuff but the cute ice cream collar on this gingham dress tipped it for the win.

3.) Tutti Frutti Shoes | Rogues Shoes
Rogues keep tempting me with their amazing sale right now. Crying at the fact these beauts are sold out in my size, but there are a few others I have my eye on... what about these Toffee Penny ones?

4.) MC Mini | Strathberry
What is it about the Strathberry hardware that sets my heart a flutter? Such a simple addition- the metal cross bar adorning each of their bags- but it makes them stand out with an understated elegance. I'll take one in any colour, please.

5.) Hardcore Prawn Sequin Jacket | Eat Me Do @ Lazy Oaf
Like I said last month, Australia is just churning out fantastic designers right now. Thank you, internet! I've been coveting this jacket- and matching skirt- for months and months. It's pink, sequined, and includes seafood. It was made for me!


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1.) Asymmetric Hound Dog Bomber | Joanna Pybus
I've been after a Joanna Pybus monster bag for a long time but that doesn't stop me lusting after her clothing lines as well. Her new collection is full of clashing patterns and colours. I may be more of a cat person but I still enjoy this canine bomber. The contrasting prints are super fun and the clashing trims are the icing on the cake.

2.) Everlasting Liquid Lipstick | Kat Von D
I'm forever on the look out for new cruelty free makeup, so I was excited to hear that Kat Von D beauty products are coming to the UK. Set to be hitting Debenhams stores in October I've decided to add some to my wishlist in preparation. This shade is A-Go-Go but the liquid lipstick comes in a tonne of other gorgeous colours.

3.) The Starlet Clutch | SoS15
Glittery, small bags are my downfall. I can't resist a sparkly clutch, and even better if it has a face. The size may be totally unpractical for all the rubbish I like to carry around but that doesn't stop me lusting.

4.) Grayson Perry Necklace | Lou Taylor
Lou Taylor is always coming up with new and exciting jewellery. The latest addition to her icons range is no exception. I love Grayson Perry's art work so why wouldn't I want to have him in necklace (or brooch) form. I also love the fact that you can pick either a blue or pink bow for his hair. I'd definitely go for the blue version, Kim can take the pink.

5.) Green Thistle Lampshade | Mairi Helena
Sometimes I want to add a bit of Scottish flair to my home but find it hard to find prints that aren't all tartan and stereotypical. Mairi Helena has come to my rescue! Her prints are bright, bold and modern but also feature some Scottish touches in the form of thistles and pheasants. It certainly makes for a stunning combination.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Blog Crushes 23

Kimberley is crushin' on... I Knew I Was Next
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Zoe of I Knew I Was Next (IKIWN) describes her style as '90s high school drama teacher' so you can probably already guess that we are kindred spirits. She's a fellow #ScotGalGang girl and lives in our home turf of Dundee. When I read her outfit posts I covet her style but she's primarily aimed at plus size readers, proving that you can find affordable stylish gems at any size. I personally love style blogs that aren't 'latest trend' focused but are still contemporary and cool. Zoe has a subtle nod to vintage and a bold aesthetic but what I particularly like is the way she focuses on budget fashion- where she features vintage and charity shop finds, bargains and make the most of your existing wardrobe.

You can stalk Zoe on Twitter like I do, or catch her latest looks on Instagram.


Helen is crushin' on... The Un-Material Girl
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I've been on the look out for more tips and advice on embracing slow fashion and The Un-Material Girl is just the ticket. Brisbane based Leah used to be a fast fashion addict but turned things around to become an activist and advocate for shopping small, ethically and with sustainability in mind. All good things in my book. From short snappy posts that share independent brands to videos interviewing ethical designers. Plus she has some great personal style, showing that slow fashion doesn't have to be boring.

Like The Un-Material Girl on Facebook for the latest updates or check out You Tube for all the video episodes.


We're also lovin'...
  • Bee Waits for No One has written candidly about her new Self Care Club t shirt for Young Minds.
  • Ruth from Urbanity Blog introduces two new sustainable Scottish fashion brands.  
  • Greenpeace have shared their Detox Catwalk for 2016 highlighting the brands that area doing well with their commitments and those who aren't.  
  • The utterly adorable A Clothes Horse looks darling in a 1920s outfit that could've matched our Museum Lates ones.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Spex Pistols: William Morris

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Our personally assigned Glasses Week is continuing. This time it's my turn to share my new specs. You may have spotted them if you follow me on Instagram. I even got my nails painted to match them. Yes, I am that sad, though I prefer to call it quirky. Despite all of this they haven't featured prominently on the blog yet. Well, until now that is.....

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It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Spex Pistols. If you don't know about them, they're an independent glasses emporium based in Dundee with possibly the finest collection of designer and vintage frames around. I love that they're right on my doorstep. The shop is super stylish - full of vintage paraphernalia and quirky photo set ups. Even the street they're on is covered in spectacle themed street art. You can catch a glimpse of it in this post, though the interior has had a fabulous makeover since then. But if you're not in Dundee, there is no need to despair. They've now opened up shop online as well. Their new website is rather snazzy and there is an excellent choice of new and old frames.

To celebrate they very kindly offered these fabulous face ornaments. Most of my glasses collection has come from Spex Pistols. Even when I've picked up frames at vintage fairs, they are the first place I head to get my lenses fitted. The service is always excellent and the selection is always massive. Every time I head in I add at least two new pairs of specs to my wishlist. These William Morris Black Label 028 C2's were one such pair. I visited Spex Pistols at the start of the year and fell for them...hard. So I was rather ecstatic to have them decorating my face, as you can tell from these photos.

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They're probably the biggest pair of frames I own but I love how oversized they are. The cateye shape is totally up my street, as is the colour. The burgundy top half goes so well with my wardrobe (and my hair), while the tortoise shell bottom adds the pattern that I crave. I can't decide whether I want to wear them everyday or keep them for special. They're pretty perfect for either. I do feel like they deserve to be seen, so probably the more wear the better. And then I'll just have to find a new pair for special occasions. I may or may not already have my eye on these sparkly ones. They are the perfect Dorothy frames! Cateye's, glitter and red, Oh My!

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Thanks to Spex Pistols for the fabulous frames and Heather Mac for the photos.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Glasses Wishlist

It's no secret that we both share a love of fabulous glasses. There was a time where we made bad spectacle choices but those days are long behind us. There is so much more choice out there now! And there's no need to be blind like us to enjoy some specs, awesome sunglasses are also in abundance. We've decided this week we're celebrating four eyes and have picked out a few of our favourites. Let us know which tops your list.

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1.) WL6972 | William Morris London
Got to love a bit of leopard print. William Morris do a mighty fine range of glasses and this spotty pair are right up our street. Roar!

2.) Cracked Marble Sunglasses | Poppy Lissiman x Lazy Oaf
These have featured in a previous wishlist but now they're on sale. A pretty good excuse for us to highlight them again, don't you agree? As if this awesome collaboration wasn't reason enough.

3.) Biarritz | Kirk Originals
When it comes to sunglasses, bigger is better! And these beauts are huge. Perfect for protecting your eyes from the sun. They also come in a rather lovely stone grey, if you fancy something a little cooler.

4.) Stella McCartney SC0008O 002 | Pret a Voir
Patterned and cat eye. These Stella McCartney's were always going to be winner in our eyes. Just look at that shape.

5.) Cambridge | Spex Pistols
Spex Pistols do an excellent line in vintage frames. This bright pair are circa 1984 and have never been worn. They certainly knew how to make a statement pair of specs back in the 80s.

6.) Edith Black | House of Holland
There are so many House of Holland sunglasses that could have made it onto this list. The Lensfighter Gold and the Pink Promise pairs came pretty close. In the end we fell for these. Chic black with some cheeky legs, a rather fabulous mix.

7.) Club Round | Ray-Ban
Classic Ray-Bans that can be customised, yes please! From the lense colour, to the size, to the case - there are choices a plenty. We do love a bit of customisation. These copper flash lenses make a nice change from black and go perfectly with the wrinkled white frame. 

8.)  Rowling | Iolla
We are loving Iolla's newest drop of frames. These Harry Potter-esque ones are super cute. Plus they come in an oh so stylish matte rose gold finish. We're doing love heart eyes as we type!

Monday, 18 July 2016

Vision Express: Heritage Collection

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As someone who can't see five feet ahead without a pair of specs, it's becoming increasingly important to me to have a good range of pairs to wear. I'm a pretty discerning customer though.
When Vision Express contacted us to introduce their new Exclusive Brands, I had a very good look before deciding to take up their offer to collaborate. In fact, I popped into my local branch twice for a wee peek. It seems even without my pink hair I'm recognisable, and the lovely staff remembered me on my second visit and let me spend ages swapping between frames. I was won over.

As part of the experience, I also got an eye test. In twenty years of being a spectacle wearer, I have never enjoyed an eye test (although the fact my usual optician is really attractive helps a little *ahem*). Anyway, whenever I'm being tested I get really edgy thinking about the horrible, horrible air pressure test. You know the one. You sit with your eye against a screen waiting for it to puff air directly into your open eye. Yuck. I mentioned my dislike to the Vision Express optician, who informed me that as I'm 'getting a bit older' he really couldn't skip it. So, two reasons to cry now. However, Vision Express is pretty fancy with their testing and they've got a lot of technology that makes things faster, easier and more comfortable. The air pressure machine is one of these, automatically doing it as soon as you're in place to lessen the horrid anticipation. It helps that they talked to me in a soothing way to calm me down throughout (I'm not a baby, honestly, they were just really accommodating). It's the first time I've got a decent result on the first attempt. They also took high-tech photos of the inside of my eye, which I haven't seen before. It was quite fascinating.

Then the fun bit- picking out glasses! The exclusive brands include a wide range of styles at quite reasonable prices, and I saw a lot of nods to designer frames. I was pretty immediately drawn to many frames from the Heritage range. Some of them were tortoiseshell, which I loved, but I was really trying to not get a third pair of this colour! The pair I (eventually) chose were these black frames with metal legs and a little bow detail. Very similar to those Chanel ones and only £169. I'm enjoying the thinner legs against the thick rims, which is a little bit different for me, and I liked the additional interest on the end of the legs. I do like attention to detail!

I know a lot of people are buying online nowadays but it's so much better to buy in store. Not only can you get a proper idea of the quality of what you're buying, but also how they will fit your face. I personally have a big face (dem cheekbones etc), so a lot of frames appear to be tiny on me. I've bought 'oversized' sunglasses online previously that have been anything but on my potato head. It's also so important to have them adjusted to fit around your ears correctly, for comfort if nothing else (and by 'nothing else', I'm referring to the way my ears are not at equal heights so glasses look squint on my face without adjustment... It's a very common problem, I'll have you know!)

While I've been living in my IOLLA Muirs since I got them last year, these have quickly become my every day go-to because they're so light and comfortable. What do you think of them?
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Thanks again to Vision Express for my new glasses, and the Edinburgh Frederick Street team for taking care of this scaredy cat.

Photography by Ian Finlayson
 photo kimberleySignature_zpsf529626b.jpg

Friday, 15 July 2016

Styled by Kimberley: 1920s

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Putting together an outfit is such a personal thing. As Helen said on Wednesday, we were so busy during the weekend of the McManus Late that we had to dress at double speed to make our always-on-time entrance. Dressing in a rush isn't actually unusual for me, but we both have quite different approaches to styling. Helen is normally thoughtful, trying on all the items a number of times, considering various options within her considered colour palette. Although she'd already picked out her outfit in advance, the rush to get ready really put her off her game. Not that you can tell from her pics.

But I totally get it, because that's how I function. I need the panic to push me to make a gut decision. Simple basics do nothing for me. When something jumps out at me, I want it. Whether it goes with anything else I own or not- I can figure that part out later! Often I'll just wear something I fancy in that moment, whether it's appropriate or not. And sure, for this occasion I had to pack in advance, but I'm not wearing what I brought. A girl can change her mind, and a Kimberley will change her mind.

I wasn't originally going to dress to the theme, but Helen is really into it and twinning is winning. It seemed stupid to pass up the chance when I clearly have a bit of a thing for the Gatsby style. So I had a quick raid of her wardrobe and pulled out this dress. It's a nod to the era without being costume, with a heavy sequin embellishment that I'm all about, but an off-era bottom. As always happens in these situations, I was left going "I have the perfect shoes for this back home, and I have a great bag that would've worked. None of the jewellery I brought matches. If I had more time I'd probably.."
So perhaps the styling isn't perfect, and if I actually took the time to try out all the combinations of items I own in advance I would have a super coordinated, polished look. But that seems a bit soulless and that just wouldn't be very me. I dress to my mood, not by numbers.

Luckily I'd brought some nude heels with me. They weren't ideal but they weren't distracting. The giant feather fascinator was bought years and years ago for a wedding. A few times I've gone to throw it out but you never know when something ridiculous will come in handy, so when I found it in a pocket of my holdall from two visits ago, I tucked my hair under, pinned it to create a faux bob length, and shoved it in. Not bad for having about 8 minutes to spare for doing my hair. Done! I felt cute, and ready to get my jazz hands on.

Along with Glasgow girls Sheri and Amanda we played at being flappers for the night, dancing in the exhibition rooms for a bit of fun. I got too distracted by the amazing egyptology talks about Howard Carter, so I missed the Mongolian throat singer (who a lot of ladies were swooning over), but we did enjoy the cabaret and catch up. There's also something nice about seeing the Museum at night. Even if the lighting was a blogger's nightmare. It was a lot of fun.
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Although the Festival of Museums has come to a close for this year, there are still lots of great exhibitions and events on at McManus. It's worth a visit if  you're in Dundee.
 photo kimberleySignature_zpsf529626b.jpg

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Styled by Helen: 1920s

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Dressing to a theme is something I very much enjoy. You may have noticed. It's definitely not something I hide. But that doesn't always mean I'm very good at it. For example, back in May we headed along to a 1920's themed Museum late at The McManus in Dundee. I'd known about the event pretty far in advance but it wasn't until the day that I actually thought about my outfit. Rookie mistake! There was a small window of time to get ready and a Kimberley also trying to get ready in the same space. This lead to a bit of a panicked hour trying to come up with something suitable. Safe to say I ended up a bit of a hot mess by the end and not completely happy with the outcome. Oh the joys of leaving things to the last minute!

I don't think my outfit is a complete disaster. It's simple and definitely has a 1920s feel. The dress I bought ages ago, again as a last minute thing. That time it was for New Year's Eve. I do like it, especially the fringing at the bottom. Got to love a bit of a fringe. The head scarf was added more as an attempt to hide my hair. It was before it was cut and I was just sick and tired of the length. It wasn't feeling like the 1920s bob I would have wanted for the occasion. So I took to Pinterest to find an easy way to hide my locks. My final look was inspired by Cloche hats and some other gorgeous images of 1920s ladies. Maybe if I'd spent less time trawling through Pinterest and more time actually getting ready I would have been less stressed out. It was worth it though. So many pretty pictures!

Dress | George
Shoes | ASOS
Scarf | Vintage
Glasses | Spex Pistols

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The event itself was great fun. Kim and I had an awesome time learning about 1920s archeology, listening to cabaret, catching up with lovely Sheri and Amanda and generally exploring the museum. With the help of wonderful photographer Kristy Ashton we found some lovely pockets of light to take some photos. We also fell in love with the display of 1920s fashion. The colours, the beading, the detail! Oh my! I just wish they were on display more often.

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The event was part of the Festival of Museums, but the McManus is open 7 days a week. It's well worth a visit for Dundee history, changing art exhibitions and a shop stocked with Scottish design. I can often be found wandering around the gallery and exhibition, but not always in 1920s style get up.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Top Five: Tips for an Awesome Girl Gang Sleepover

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Back when we began this blog we wrote a post giving 5 Ingredients for a Grown Up Sleepover. Having just enjoyed a fun, girly weekend with our blogging buddies - Miss Vicky Viola and Miss West End Girl, we thought it was time for an update. When the four of us get together there's always plenty of laughs, hugs and hilarity. Sleepovers don't always have to be childish, but sometimes it's nice to throw a little bit of nostalgia into the mix.

1.) Pick a Theme
We are definitely fans of a good theme. If we had our way every party, get together and meeting would have one. The theme of last weekends sleepover was royalty. Picked because our girl gang won some fabulous Dolly Midi rings in a recent Bloody Mary Metal giveaway. Crowns for our fingers, yes please! We added to the theme with some DIY pipe cleaner crowns for our heads and curly straws to act as scepters. It's fun to act like a Queen every now and then.

2.) Girl Gang Gifts
Whenever we have a get together there's usually some kind of gift giving going on. What can we say, we know some lovely and generous ladies. Be it something hand crafted, belated birthday treats, edible delights or just a great big hug, it's always nice to have a little souvenir from our time together.

3.) Old School Movies
Every good sleepover should have a fun movie programme. Girl gang sleepovers provide a particularly good opportunity to relive some classics and share your favourites with your friends. This weekend Kimberley was introduced to The Breakfast Club and we all enjoyed some super cheese in the form of Burlesque, because #WWCD (What would Cher do).

4.) Fun and Games
It may be a bit geeky but we love a good board game. They're the perfect indoor activity for a rainy weekend and it's always more fun with more people involved. Cludeo, Dreamphone and Monopoly are some of our gangs favourites but this weekend we got down with technology and used Lynsay's Iphone to play Heads Up. There really is an app for everything these days!

5.) Brunch is Best
Every sleepover has a morning after. And every morning (or afternoon) after should include some tasty brunch. We are such big brunch fans that we had to have it twice. Once on Saturday, when we investigated the newly opened The Bach, and then again on Sunday when we enjoyed pastries in our PJs.

And a girl gang weekend wouldn't be complete without a super cool collage of memories.....

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