Raise a toast to 2013 with Toffee Apple Martinis!

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

I can't quite believe it's Hogmanay, in a matter of hours I'll be counting down to the bells with some of the fabulous ladies I've had a the pleasure of meeting this year. 2013 has been a whirlwind, of changes, new jobs, new pals, new adventures and everything in between... But I'm pretty sure that 2014 will be just as fabulous, and though 2013 hasn't always been unicorns and rainbows, I wouldn't change it!

I've been a tad quiet on the blogging front over Christmas, working in retail leaves little time for family let alone blogging, so all free moments have been spent with family and friends, eating, drinking and being merry! I'm not looking forward to stepping on the scales at SW on Saturday... eek! On Boxing Day we had friends over for a Boxing Day dinner after work, turkey, ham and all the trimmings, yum! Followed up with rounds of cocktails served up in my Great Granny's teacups; White Russians, Elderflower Tattoo's and my take on a Toffee Apple Martini. I'm thinking I'll start sharing more of my cocktail recipes on the blog in the new year so keep your eyes peeled for what's to come, but first Toffee Apple Martinis'.

I didn't make them too boozy and only popped in three shots (which made enough for 3 people), I shook up the spirits together, poured into glasses (teacups) then topped up apple juice with my mixer of choice for this wee recipe, if you wanted to make them stronger you easily could,  I'll be having a go making them stronger tonight!

1 Shot Toffee Apple Sourz*
2 Shots Vodka (I use Absolut)
Apple Juice to taste

Pretty simple really but so tasty, we all loved the subtle sweetness from the Toffee Apple Sourz, mixed with the apple juice, perfect for lovers of appley things!
Thanks Sourz, I'm enjoying experimenting with your newest flavour! 

Have you tried out the new Toffee Apple Sourz yet? I'm looking forward to trying it out in a few other cocktail recipes this evening with the girls as we get ready to head out and party the night away, hope you all have a great Hogmanay, and a Happy New Year to you all when it comes!

*PR Sample

Nespresso Boutique Edinburgh

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Being a busy person who is constantly balancing hundreds of metaphorical spinning plates, it's no surprise that I am heavily reliant on coffee/caffeine in general! I spend so much money on coffee shop coffees, my usual go-to drink is a latte but recently I've moved onto Americanos, helping myself in cutting calories on Slimming World! So you'd imagine my delight in finding the world of Nespresso, for those of you who don't know what Nespresso is I'll enlighten you a little;

Nespresso offers ultra-convenience, yet sophisticated technology,delivers a perfect coffee, time after time and is a pleasure to use and display, and with many different machines for all different budgets and tastes there truly is something for every coffee lover. 

Last week I was invited along to an event celebrating the new Nespresso boutique in Edinburgh, on Edinburgh's upmarket shopping street Multrees Walk. 

Michelin-starred Chef Tom Kitchin and Judy R Clark, award winning fashion designer, have teamed up to welcome Nespresso to Scotland as it opens its first Boutique on Edinburgh's upmarket shopping street Multrees Walk. Pictured with Tom and wearing Judy R Clark’s dress, which is made with over 1,000 recycled Nespresso coffee capsules, is model Bethany Brown. 
Celebrating the launch of Edinburgh’s new Boutique, Michelin Starred Chef Tom Kitchin, known for his philosophy ‘From Nature to Plate’, and Judy R Clark, acclaimed designer, have partnered with Nespresso to help welcome the brand to Scotland.

A menu of recipes inspired by Nespresso’s Grand Cru coffee range has been created by Kitchin for the launch, with dishes including Roe Deer Carpaccio, Halibut Ceviche and Pumpkin and Coffee Tiramisu.  Each dish has been specially matched to one of the Nespresso Grand Cru range.

Tom said of the partnership: “At The Kitchin, our ‘From Nature to Plate’ philosophy means we’re absolutely committed to using the very best fresh, seasonal, local produce. The team at Nespresso share this passion, with every skill and care taken along the journey from bean to cup.

“When it comes to cooking with coffee, often people assume it only works well in sweet dishes, but in fact the bold flavour goes well in both sweet and savoury recipes. As an ingredient it can work well in sauces, marinades, stocks and soups. I’ve relished creating a menu focusing on this fantastic ingredient, and the Nespresso Boutique is a great addition to Edinburgh’s city centre”.

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Halibut ceviche, coffee and lime glaze with dried cranberrry
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Roe Deer Carpaccio 

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Pumpkin and coffee tiramisu

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Coffee and milk jelly

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Chocolate and coffee financier
The event was the perfect opportunity to find out more about Nespresso, try some Nespresso cocktails created by Amicus Apple and taste a few dishes created specially for the event by Tom Kitchin. I really enjoyed the Halibut Ceviche with a coffee and lime glaze and dried cranberrry and also the Roe Deer carpaccio. I've even got the recipes for the taster menu, so I might even have a wee go at recreating a few of the recipes. 

I went to the Nespresso Coffee Conisseur Club last month where I learnt lots more about the art of coffee, tasting coffee and Nespresso itself, since then I've spent many a night googling Nespresso machines and adding them to various wishlists, and my Christmas list (fingers crossed!) If I don't get one for Christmas I think I might treat myself to one after Christmas, I can't wait for the convienence of it and the huge number of options of coffees' I'll be able to buy and try from the Nespresso boutique!

Extending its unique multi-sensory retail experience to Scotland, the Boutique showcases the Nespresso range of beautifully designed machines and Grand Cru coffees as Brema Drohan, managing director for Nespresso explains: “With recent research revealing over 60% of Scots drink more than one coffee a day, the unique Nespresso retail experience will ensure that coffee drinkers in Scotland have access to some of the world’s highest quality coffee from the finest suppliers across the globe”.

As well as the full selection of machines, the Boutique offers customers the opportunity to explore and enjoy the full range of 21 Nespresso Grand Cru coffees at the Tasting Bar, while Nespresso PickUp allows customer a chance to place an order and collect it from the Boutique just two hours later. 

For more information on Nespresso, go to www.Nespresso.com/UK

A rosy guide to keeping sane througout Christmas craziness!

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

So with only a few days until Christmas only 8 sleeps, I can't quite believe it! Today's post is a little pre-Christmas pamper post, working in retail at Christmas can be crazy to say the least, at the store where I work we had a queue out of the door on Saturday and sometimes you need to breathe and have some time to yourself, whether it's sitting down with a cup of tea and a magazine, blasting your favourite song and dancing like crazy or having a well earned pamper sesh' at this time of year it's important to take time out for you!

My favourite soothing and nourishing products in winter are as would be expected from Lush, first up is  BB Seaweed facemask, I love this gentle, nourishing face mask which leaves my skin feeling super soft! It's perfect for tired winter skin and with softening ingredients such as seaweed, honey and aloe Vera, rose to balance and millet flakes, ground almonds and kaolin to gently exfoliate and smooth. I've previously raved about my love of Mask of Magnaminty Lush's miracle worker for problem skin but when I'm looking for something a little gentler I reach for BB Seaweed a super caring fresh face mask!

Here I am makeup less (eek) sporting BB Seaweed Fresh Facemask £5.95
Next up is Rose Jam shower gel, Rose Jam has a sweet floral scent and is packed with argan oil which helps keep your skin silky smooth and in tip top condition! The perfect shower gel for fans of all things indulgent, Rose Jam packs a punch using only the finest damask roses and a splash of lemon for clarity. To layer the scent and add a little more luxury to your night in why not give Ro's Argan a try a body conditioner which is designed to be slathered on wet skin and rinsed off, it leaves your skin smelling sweet and silky smooth, perfect huh?! (£15.95 for 225g)

I borrowed this picture from my Lush Store's facebook, why not give us a wee like?
 You might be noticing a bit of a theme throughout this post, smelling of roses perhaps? To finish off this pamper sesh I'd add in a Rose Jam Bubbleroon (£3.50 each, though one usually lasts me a few baths, the smaller you crumble the bigger the bubbles!) one of the most luxurious bubble bars offered up by Lush. Rose Jam creates silky soft, sweet smelling bubbles, the ideal bath after a long tiring week! Personally I'd finish off with one of my favourite body butters King of Skin (£5.50 per bar) to ensure my skin is super soft, a fab naked product which gently buffs and smoothes the skin whilst moisturising and conditioning. King of Skin is also packed with Shea butter which is a natural humectant and draws in moisture to the skin.

I'd love to hear what your go to products are for a distressing pamper session, I love relaxing rose scents to unwind and chill out. I'd also love to hear your tips on relaxing and keeping sane over the festive period! I'll be working lots (earning pennies!) so will be making every minute count!

Please Santa?... House of Fraser Presents, Saunt & Sinner.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Ah Christmas, that time when purse strings are seriously stretched (well at least mine are anyway...) thankfully I'm almost finished my Christmas shopping! I'll be making a trip through to Glasgow this evening to purchase presents for my brother at the Abandon Ship Christmas Party and then I'm pretty much done! Thankfully.

I don't know about you but I always find when I'm trying not to spend money on myself I see hundreds of things I love and really want to spend my pennies on typical huh?! Wouldn't want to steer from the norm would we? And it seems House of Fraser are doing their best to lead me to the dark side... eep!

House of Fraser, Glasgow’s premium department store, is embracing three of Scotland’s most talented designers, via a series of ‘House of Fraser Presents’ pop up shops situated on the 2nd floor of the iconic store. Currently gracing the shop floor is Saunt and Sinner, offering up a selection of dark and a little moody pieces perfect for a gothic look this party season, it's fair to say I've got a bulging wishlist!! 

Glasgow based duo Saunt & Sinner, are taking the fashion scene by storm with a fashion pedigree that includes an internship with Christopher Kane and celebrity fans such as singing sensation Emeli Sande. Saunt & Sinner recently previewed their critically acclaimed SS14 Doormen collection in the Lighthouse earlier this year.

If you fancy getting your hands on a Saunt & Sinner piece or two (I'm a little bit in love with the kimono  style jacket which is fifth along!) at House of Fraser, Glasgow you best be quick as in a matter of days they'll be packing up and making way for the lovely Joanne McGillivray to set up shop, I've featured some of Joanne's pieces on my blog before and they are stunning, I have no doubt I'll be lusting after pieces from her newest collection too!


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Saunt & Sinner, Broken Doll


Baby it's cold outside... OOTD

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Where does the time go? I literally have no idea, I can't believe it's mid December and how quickly 2013 has flown by, but boy it's sure been a blinder! Today I have a wee OOTD post for you all, now that's a rare one, I don't often do OOTD's as I don't have a tripod (I really need to get one!) and usually don't have anyone to take pictures for me, sigh, no photographer boyfriend. *cough* accepting applications from today for this position ;)

A couple of weeks ago I headed off to Aberfeldy for a highland getaway with some of my favourite blogger pals, it's crazy that this time last year I'd only actually met a handful of Scottish bloggers and wouldn't have in my wildest dreams have ever imagined I'd be such good friends with such an amazing group of lovely ladies, soppy moment!! We had a fabulous time drinking cocktails (it turns I'm a bit of a pro at cocktail making...), playing board games, wandering around Aberfeldy and just generally having a whale of a time, take me back! And undoubedtly hunners' of photos were taken, no surprise really, on the Saturday we took a few wee OOTD pictures before heading to the Aberfeldy Christmas light switch on which was so adorable, and luckily I was able to enlist Lynsey as my personal photographer, cheers love!

Excuse the super fashionable runners' I'm sporting here, I actually had a blister on my heel and they are super comfy...

Jumper*- Hobbs £99
Scarf- Primark £5
Jeans- Marks and Spencers old.
Trainers- Nike (Sports Direct) £65

Thought I'd include a silly picture for you all too, one of the main reasons I avoid OOTD posts is that I feel super awkward posing... Not the most fashionable, but I love my super cosy cow print jumper from Hobbs that I actually won on Twitter, it's 100% wool, really warm and perfect for cold Scottish winters. But anyways, I'm choked with the cold and best be headed to bed as I'm up bright and early for college; only 3 days left before the holidays, not that I'm counting ;) Keep your eyes peeled for my full post on our Aberfeldy trip as well as a few exciting events I've recently attended!