Friday, 30 January 2015

Siabann Skin Candle

This candle is potentially the best thing I have ever bought. EVER. Not only does it smell amazing (Sloe Gin mmmm) but it doubles as a hand cream too, perfect for Winter.


This little beauty is a Siabann Soy Skin Candle from The Ochil Soap Company, which I picked up from the Hopetoun Christmas Market. It is handmade from a blend of natural oils - including coconut oil and almond oil - along with natural butters and soy wax, all of which are incredible for your skin and at only £6, it's a bargain too!

As you'd expect, the wax melts as you burn the wick but the wax doesn't get scalding hot so can be rubbed straight into the skin. 


This has been an absolute saviour throughout winter. I love having candles burning as they make my room feel lovely and cosy but whenever I have this one on I'm reminded to moisturise which is wonderful considering how dry my hands usually get.

I have noticed such a difference in my skin since I started using this, the oils are super nourishing without being greasy -  always good - and the sweet smell lingers on my skin for hours. I honestly can't recommend this candle enough, I think I'll try a Mandarin one next time!

Do you have a favourite winter product?

Lots of love,

Heather x

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Cupcakes at Cup

The first week back at university involved a lot of Chirstmas catch ups over copious cups of coffee. However, when I met up with my good friend Mimmi, we traded in the coffees and upgraded them for some amazing cupcakes - it had just been her birthday so cake was definitely required.


The pair of us are self confessed foodies and we had been eyeing up Cup on Byers Road for a while. Cup is a small, but incredibly cosy tearoom which offers up a variety of decadent treats but we were both there for the cupcakes.


After spending a good while pouring over the extensive menu, which included tablet, white chocolate and mint flavour cupcakes, we decided we'd get two and split them between us.

In the end we went for a Snickers cupcake, which was a chocolate sponge topped with peanut butter icing and a little Snickers and The Ambassador Chocolate which was another chocolate sponge finished with hazelnut icing and a Ferrero Rocher.

Both the cakes were delicious but the Snickers was a common favourite - I mean how can you beat peanut butter icing!! 

Snickers Cupcake :)
The Ambassador Chocolate :)
The cakes were the perfect size to fully enjoy without leaving you feeling sick. My only slight criticism was that the icing seemed to be cream based and was a lot softer than regular butter cream icing which is my personal favourite type (cupcake connoisseur right here).

Time flew by and before we knew it we'd spent a good hour and a half catching up in the comfort of Cup. What a lovely way to spend the afternoon!

Now for the all important question, when it comes to food, do you prefer sweet or savory?!

Lots of love,

Heather x

Sunday, 25 January 2015

TV Highlights

Can you believe that it's Sunday evening already? January is flying by! This week was one of those weeks that was very good despite not a lot actually being done. More time than usual seemed to be spent on trains and public transport which made me appreciate BBC iplayer and STV player even more!

TV wise, this week saw the return of Dance Moms and a huge story line on Coronation Street.


19/1/15, 21/1/15 & 23/1/15 - Coronation Street

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What a week it has been on Coronation Street! There had definitely been a bit of a lull in the Coronation Street plot lines of recent but this week certainly made up for it! The first episode of the week saw a mini bus crash which involved several very popular characters and the following episodes detailed the repercussions of the incident. It was one of the biggest stunts ever attempted on the soap with the crash alone taking over 100 hours to film. The hard work certainly paid off as the whole sequence was very effective! This plot line lead to a lot of  character development which will certainly keep the show interesting for a while to come!

19/1/15 - Dance Moms

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OH MY GOODNESS IT'S BACK!! Monday nights just got a whole lot brighter! The first episode of season five did not disappoint; here were arguments, amazing dances and even a law suit...does reality TV get any better than this? I think not. 

Wow, this appears to have been a pretty short TV Highlights post which is surprising considering how promising Monday was in TV terms. Don't get me wrong, I have watched and enjoyed other programmes this week but a show has to be really special to make it into my highlights post.

Silent Witness was on again this week but it definitely wasn't the best episode ever. Domestic dispute story lines have never been my favourite. However, next weeks looks more promising so fingers crossed! I've also had the Season Two box set of Game of Thrones sitting in my room for a while now so next week may just be the week to crack into that.

Have you watched anything good this week?

Lots of love,

Heather x

Friday, 23 January 2015

January Truffles

As a bit of a January pick me up, I thought I would make The Best Truffles You Will Ever Taste, yes, they really do deserve that title! This isn't my recipe, it belongs to my old Girl's Brigade Captain but she would be more than happy to know that I was sharing it! These truffles are so quick and easy to make and tasted incredibly indulgent!

Ingredients:

250g digestive biscuits
1 can condensed milk
125g Cadbury's hot chocolate powder (plus extra to roll truffles in)
125g butter
125g desiccated coconut (plus extra to roll truffles in)

1. Crush the digestive biscuits into fine crumbs. I find it best to put all the biscuits into a large bowl and use a glass tumbler to break the biscuits up

2. Cream the butter and the condensed milk together in a separate bowl 


3. Add the biscuit crumbs, coconut and chocolate powder to the creamed mixture and mix until everything is well combined


4. Using your hands, roll small parts of truffle mix into balls and coat in chocolate powder or coconut - I got about thirty out of the mixture 


And there you have it, The Best Truffles You Will Ever Taste! Let me know if you give them a go!

Do you have a favourite January pick me up?

Lots of love,

Heather x

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Britain's Got Talent Auditions!!

For as long as I can remember, I've been super interested in film and television and how it all works and so when I saw an advert for tickets to sit in the audience while the Britain's Got Talent auditions were filmed, I was keen to apply!


I was lucky enough to get three tickets and so was able to take my mum and one of my best friends along too :)

Jenny and I had to go in early to swap our reservations for the actual tickets but we made the most of the day and went for a lovely meal at Bar Soba too (mmm noodles!)

We had to be back at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh for 7.30 in order to join the queue and my was it a queue! By the time we'd met my mum, the queue had already snaked right back down the street! It was absolutely freezing but thankfully we weren't waiting long.


The theatre looked amazing with the huge 'Xs' above the stage and the Britain's Got Talent slogans projected on the backdrop. It all felt a bit surreal as it looked exactly how it does on TV!


Our seats were really great, giving us an excellent view of the stage. The first half hour was spent watching the buzzers and projections being tested before a comedian came on to warm the audience up. We were also all filmed clapping, cheering, oohing and ahhing to provide footage that can be slotted in wherever necessary in the final cut.

Ant and Dec were introduced which was really cool but we didn't see them much as they spent a lot of time presenting backstage. We did however see a lot of the judges, they even walked right by us!

Simon and David (+ security!)
Judge conga!
I sort of presumed that there would be a huge queue of acts that filtered on and off again after about two minutes but this was't the case. There were only about 14 acts and each act spent a good while on stage and received plenty of feedback - the actual judges probably don't see an awful lot more auditions than we see on the TV.

ANT AND DEC!!
 There were quite long intervals between acts as Ant and Dec so Ant and Dec had time to chat to them but this was quite alright as we were kept entertained by a hilarious comedian and all the banter between the judges (when they weren't being touched up by an army of make-up artists!)


We were asked not to share anything about any of the acts so as to keep the surprise but I had an amazing evening and am looking forward to seeing it all on TV in March!

Have you ever been to see a show being filmed?

Lots of love,

Heather x

Sunday, 18 January 2015

TV Highlights

This is my fourth TV Highlights post and I've got to say, I'm loving this little part of my blog :) I love reading everyone's take on The Sunday Post and I like to think of my TV highlights as my own variation of that!

This week was my first week back at university after Christmas and it actually wasn't quite as bad as I was expecting! Saying that, a large part of my week was spent catching up with Glasgow friends over copious amounts of coffee and cake seen as seminars and tutorials don't start until week two...

Personally, I thought this week was a little slow in terms of new TV shows that I was desperate to watch and highlights that I was desperate to share. Nevertheless, here's a few highlights from the week that was:

12/1/15 - Backchat with Jack Whitehall and His Dad

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I had never seen this before but the advert was hilarious and I'm happy to report that the show did not disappoint. I love the concept of a father/son comedy duo especially one where the father and son are polar opposites, Jack is very laid back while his dad takes on the persona of someone much more serious and opinionated. The show is a chat show where Jack interviews guests whilst his dad chips in with his hilarious thoughts and opinions. This weeks guests were comedian Noel Fielding and politician John Prescott who were particularly funny as they provided excellent opportunity for Jack's dad to intervene. Definitely worth a watch!

12/1/15 & 13/1/15 - Silent Witness

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Once again Silent Witness was excellent and a two-parter!!! It was fast paced and exciting from start to finish with clever twists and cliffhangers. This week's episodes tracked a murderer who followed his victims on the London underground before he attacked. It was pretty gory but very well written and very different from the previous week's episode.

Shutter Island

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Okay, so this isn't really a TV Highlight but I watched Shutter Island this weekend and it was so so good. To begin with, it was pretty slow and a bit confusing and to be honest, I wasn't all that keen. I stuck with it though and thankfully, it really improved!
The plot sees police marshal, Teddy Daniels, visit Shutter Island to investigate the case of a patient who has gone missing from the mental asylum which the island is home to. As the film progresses, it becomes apparent that the asylum is a government experimentation lab and Teddy soon discovers that once on Shutter Island, you don't tend to leave Shutter Island...
A fair few scenes were dimly lit or involved stormy weather which made the film pretty creepy, I jumper a fair few times! Shutter Island was really thought provoking and sparked a bit of a debate between us all at the end! I'm still trying to get my head around it now!

In other TV news, the new series of Dance Moms starts here in the UK tomorrow...it's a bit sad how excited I am!

Have you watched anything good this week? Have you seen Shutter Island?

Lots of love,

Heather x

Friday, 16 January 2015

Winter Walks

Getting all wrapped up to go for a walk on a cold, crisp day is one of the best things about winter. It may be very tempting to stay inside when it's bitterly cold, but for me, nothing beats the feeling of arriving at a cosy coffee shop or getting back into the warm car after wandering until your cheeks are red and your fingers are numb.

Last weekend, I headed over to the Helix park in Falkirk to see the Kelpies - a stunning pair of steel horses which proudly stand 30 metres tall at the edge of the Forth and Clyde canal. A walk here was the perfect opportunity to blow away the winter cobwebs before returning to uni and definitely meant that I earned a hot chocolate!



The Kelpies and the canal are both very photogenic and I was very keen to test out my new camera so obviously it came on the walk too!




It was absolutely freezing but the bright, wintery skies and low clouds made for beautiful photos.



Do you have a favourite spot for a wander?

Lots of love,

Heather x

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Lunch at The Shard

Oooh this is my 50th post, how exciting! To mark the occasion, I thought I'd share another special occasion with you all!

Last month, whilst in London, I took my friend for a surprise lunch at the shard as my present to her for her 18th birthday.

I was super excited and found it very difficult to keep the location of our lunch a secret but I'm pleased to say that when the time came to reveal our lunch spot, Catriona was just as eager to get dressed up and sample the delights of the Ting Lounge - which is part of the Shangri-La Hotel in the Shard - as I was.


Ting - which is Chinese for 'living room' - was on the 35th floor (128 metres up!) The lift that took us up went so high and was so fast that our ears popped but the view from our table was well worth it!



The restaurant was very posh but homly all the same with luxurious chaise longues and marble tables. The menu followed the Chinese theme of the restaurant - we all know how I like my themed eateries! - with both noodle and rice dishes but there were still sandwiches, soups and salads available.


Narurally, seeing humus on the menu, I had to get it to start. We were served a huge bowl with warm pita and pickled veg. The humus was delicious, very light and smooth, I'd go as far as saying it was the best humus I've ever eaten!

I played it safe and went for the tomato soup as a main, it wasn't bad but a bit of a let down considering how good the humus was. Catriona, on the other hand, was a bit more daring and chose Szechuan Ma Po Tofu which was a sort of soup made with Soy bean curd, minced pork, chilli bean and spring onion and served with rice which she said was delicious.


The service wasn't slow but we had plenty of time between courses to take in the view and really enjoy ourselves.


When we asked for the bill, it was brought with a little black box of treats. There was a chocolate truffle (my favourite), a cinnamon jelly (my least favourite) and a pistachio sponge which was such a nice little touch :)

We both really enjoyed our lunch and it was definitely very special. Ting was pricey without being exorbitant and I would a hundred per cent recommend it for a special occasion or treat!


Have you ever been for a special meal? Let me know in the comments!

Lots of love,

Heather x

Sunday, 11 January 2015

TV Highlights

My final week of the Christmas break has been spent working 9-5 in a newspaper office and I have to say, I absolutely loved it. It was hard work at times but really really rewarding and I'm genuinely sad that I'm not going back on Monday. Each evening when I got home this week, I found that there was nothing I wanted to do more than curl up in my pyjamas in front of the TV and luckily there has been plenty to keep me entertained :)

4/1/15 - Diversity Live

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Dancing has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember and I love watching it. Although I am by no means a street dancer (my attempt at street dancing is actually laughable)  street dance is my favourite style to watch, it's so clever and slick. Diversity are a British street dance group who shot to fame after winning Britain's got talent and now have their own show! Diversity live is a showcase of amazing routines interspersed with interviews with members of the group. It was so interesting hearing the stories and ideas behind the routines through the interviews and the focus on dance made the show really easy watching.

Unfortunately, none of the Diversity Live performances are online yet, but here is their performance on Got to Dance last year - pretty spectacular!


6/01/15 & 7/01/15 - Silent Witness

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Silent Witness is the best programme everrrrr! I know I say this a lot but I mean it this time (okay I'll probably brand something else 'the best programme ever' next week but Silent Witness is really, really good.) It is a crime thriller which is always really well written with crazily clever plot lines; I love when all these little things just fall into place right at the very end and everything just seems so obvious! The first in the new series, this week's episode was a two parter - the best kind - called The Sniper's Nest it was so tense the whole way through and there was an excellent cliffhanger between the episodes. I'm so glad this is back!

9/01/15 Coronation Street - Beth and Kirk's Wedding

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For me, Coronation Street has been going through a bit of a lull at the minute, I've not been all that invested in any of the plot lines and everything has just seemed a bit gloomy. This week however, was the week of Beth and Kirk's wedding and the actual wedding and reception made for a really lovely episode. Soap weddings are often full of drama but Beth and Kirk's went off without disruption. It was a fancy dress wedding and I felt that all the bright costumes and decorations made for a really uplifting and heartwarming episode, perfect for a gloomy January night.

Have you watched anything good this week?

Lots of love,

Heather x

Friday, 9 January 2015

Unbroken

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For me, the Christmas holidays are definitely a time for cinema trips. There always seems to be an avalanche of great new films released as one year ends and the next starts. 

Unbroken was very high on my 'must see' list this holiday especially as it saw Angelina Jolie make her directing debut - which did not disappoint! The film was incredible; gripping, moving and totally inspiring.

Based on a true story, the plot followed Louis Zamperini - an American Olympic protege - as he enlisted to fight for his country in the second world war.

A large section of this film documented the 47 days which Louis and two comrades spent on a life raft, lost at sea after crash landing their plane whilst on a search mission. While the slow pace of this section wouldn't appeal to everyone, I really liked it as it allowed a lot of character development (who doesn't love a good bit of character development?!) Flashbacks were also used while the trio were at sea to give a bit of background to Louis's Olympic running career. Flashbacks can often be overdone but in this film they were perfectly placed giving extra depth to the plot without becoming frivolous!

I don't want to give too much away in case you get the chance to see this film, but I will say that Louis's life was by no means easy after he was 'rescued' from sea.

Being a bit of a history geek, I love war films and whilst this wasn't your usual action packed war film, my dad and brother who love a bit of action, both saw it and loved it too.

Jack O'Connell was incredible as Louis and I would now definitely go and see a film just because Angelina Jolie directed it! Unbroken is definitely a must see!

Have you seen Unbroken or anything else over the holidays?

Lots of love,

Heather x









Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Lush - Northern Lights

Having read a lot of reviews of Lush's Northern Lights Bath Bomb, I was very keen to get my hands on it however, every time I visited my local Lush, this Christmas special was sold out - testament to its popularity. Given this, I was super happy to discover Northern Lights in one of my presents on Christmas morning.


Personally, I wouldn't have chosen this bath bomb going on the smell and look alone. Now don't get me wrong, in usual Lush style, it did smell lovely, light and floral but I tend to prefer something a bit stronger and sweeter and let's be honest, it's not the most beautiful Lush product going. For me, it was the amazing colours and patterns it would create in the water due to it's unique bubble bar core that made me so eager to try Northern Lights.


I'm actually sad to say that I was a bit disappointed with this bath bomb, in my eyes, it just didn't live up to the hype. Whilst I'd seen pictures of water that had turned bright pinks and blues my bath bomb created much more muted hues however, I did love the confetti stars that were revealed as the bomb fizzled away.  


Despite having the bubble bar core, Northern Lights didn't create piles of bubbles like a basic bubble bar would. Although the bath was really relaxing, my skin just didn't feel quite as soft as it usually does with a bubble bar and the light scent meant I wasn't left with the smell of Lush lingering on my skin.
I did get quite a nice orange patch at one point!
In future I think I'll stick with bubble bars!

Did you try Northern Lights or any other Lush Christmas specials? What did you think?

Lots of love,

Heather x













Sunday, 4 January 2015

TV Highlights

There has been a LOT of great TV on over the festive period, you can never beat a good Christmas special. Although, saying this, I was a little disappointed by Coronation Street's Christmas Special this year. Despite this, there were many shows that did not let me down at all:

Top Gear Patagonia Special 27/12/14 & 28/12/14
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 Top Gear's Christmas specials are always hilarious and 2014's was no exception. The trio embarked on a 1600 mile journey through Patagonia en route to Argentina in various sports cars overcoming various obsticals such as boarders and poor quality roads. Although part 1 of this special was pretty funny, it wasn't overly exciting however part 2 made up for this and is definitely worth a watch. One of the car's licence plates caused offence to some Argentinian's and the group were forced to abandon their challenge as they were chased out the country by a very angry mob.

Eastenders
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 Eastenders has just gotten better and better over the festive period after delivering a bit of a story line lull prior to Christmas. The Christmas day episode - which is usually delivers a major bombshell - wasn't my favourite episode as if followed the Carter's story line which I don't find all that exciting as it involves a lot of lies and family feuds. However the last episode of 2014 and the New Year's episode were excellent. These episodes involved developments in the Lucy Beale murder case which is due to explode on the soap's anniversary in February (my money is on Abi...or maybe Peter.) The murderer was discovered by one character but was hidden from the audience by clever camera angles and scene arrangement. Just when you thought you were about to find out who the murderer is, a car crash which was the result of a sub plot killed the one person who knew the truth...only in Eastenders!

Miranda 25/12/14 & 01/01/15  
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 Can you believe Miranda is over???? For those of you who don't know, Miranda is a hilarious comedy written by and starring Miranda Hart. The show follows the dramas of Miranda's love life and the trials that come with having an overbearing mother who is constantly disappointed. The final episode of series three ended with Miranda receiving two marriage proposals and these final two festive episodes resolved that story line. For me, the final episodes were more emotional than hilarious but excellent nevertheless.

The Queen's Christmas Message 25/12/14 
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 Now this isn't everyone's cup of tea but I do really like watching the Queen's Christmas Message on Christmas Day. I find it a nice occasion to reflect on the year that is coming to a close. This year, the Queen spoke about the 'selflessness' of those helping fight the Ebola crisis and also about the poppies at the Tower of London a to mark the centenary of WWI which was a good way to turn the nation's attention to others on a day where everyone can become consumed in the festivities

Esio Trot 01/01/15 
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This was such a brilliant adaptation of one of my favourite Roald Dahl novels. I loved the use of James Corden as a narrator, it made the film feel very comforting and familiar and the bright sets and scenery made the film all the more appealing on a cold, dark night. Judi Dench was excellent and it really was just a lovely, heart warming film to start the new year with! If you have a spare hour and a half I'd definitely recommend it, it can still be found on iplayer here :)

Do you have any Christmas TV highlights?

Lots of love,

Heather x