Wednesday 16 July 2014

Look What The Cat Dragged In.

So I've been out of the game for a while...

Time to give y'all the lowdown.

In April I started back at The Electric Circus here in Edinburgh as Karaoke Manager. I was a waitress here waaaay back when I moved to Edinburgh and loved working the late nights, the partying, the people, and most importantly, the work itself. Now fast forward three years and I have an amazing team and kept VERY busy. It's a huge jump upwards in responsibility compared to any job I've ever done before but I'm thriving on it, working in a venue so unique to the point that no two days are the same is EXCITING.

I also made the decision to drop out of university. I've been unhappy for a very long time due to not enjoying the course (not to say that other's haven't) and decided that it was time to break myself away from it. I still hope to go on to study Journalism at a later date, whenever that may be, but for now it, and that particular course, is not right for me. And the second I decided that was that, it was like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. Now I finally feel that I can start looking forwards.

I suppose that's the main reason this slipped, it's hard to keep yourself motivated to do even what you love doing most when you're unhappy and in a rut. But now I'm settled, I'm happy, and it's time to get this back on track.

I was lucky enough, even with my keeping quiet and taking a bit of time out, to still be offered to take part in Scotcampus's Today I'm Wearing segment for a week recently. (Thank you Aileen for giving me a much needed kick up the arse and reigniting everything that I'd let burn out.)

What next? Well, you'll just have to wait and see.

You've been warned.

D x

Thursday 20 March 2014

Loving Shopping Local.

It's been a hectic couple of weeks. HERE COMES THE UNI HAND INS. 

In amongst drowning in books and crying over assessments, my partner in crime Nicole Reekie (who is one helluva photographer may I add) and I hit the Grassmarket area to nosy up some of our favourite wee shops in amongst it.

Proceed with caution, or face ending up with a wish list as long as mine.

Hannah Zakari 

Tucked away on Candlemaker Row, Hannah Zakari is my favourite present shopping spot, for others and myself alike. The wee boutique is bursting with jewellery, art and accessories handcrafted by independent designers with such an impressive range that there is guaranteed to be something you'll fall head over heels for.

This Harris Tweed backpack is my new obsession. Now I'm known to be partial to a wee backpack, ideal for when I'm scooting about on Ryan Gosling (my bike, named after my dream ride obvs), but this is something else. It. Is. Perfect.

Another decided favourite of ours were these necklaces by Margaux Lange, it's like Barbie jewellery for adults! Whether you find them strange or amazing, there is no denying that they're unforgettable statement bits of jewellery.

Pug lovers favourite artist Gemma Correll's Edinburgh postcard ft Greyfriars Bobby! Hannah Zakari has wee sticker versions for just 20p at the till, have a rummage! 

Different meaning entirely in Scottish slang but HOW CUTE.

Find Hannah Zakari online here or go and visit the loooovely Rachel in store.

The Red Door Gallery

Half my bedroom is littered with paintings, drawings and bits and pieces from this unique little gallery on Victoria St. Boasting over 100 artists in their collection, The Red Door Gallery is packed with artists prints, jewellery, diy projects to make yourself, books, zines and everything in between. 

Squeeeeeeeeee. I need this little walrus pal for my jacket.

Hello handsome.

I can think of hunners of you who would LOVE these A5 prints by Rich Fairhead. What a good lookin' pair. Keep an eye out for some amazing 90's/00's hip-hop A5 prints that are in the print display, I have two now and I'm aiming to collect the lot.

Find The Red Door Gallery online here but there is nothing better than losing yourself in amongst it all in store.

Black Box

This was my first ever visit to Black Box, why I have never been before is BEYOND ME, as I fell in love with it the second we walked in. Ran by independent jewellery designers Hannah and Sarah, the shop is what I would love my house to look like, with that much art and jewellery included! 

My new home.

 Loving the amount of Nikki McWilliams stocked in Black Box; brooches, cushions, tape, mirrors etc, and all looking good enough to eat.

I'll keep that in mind.

Vast improvement.

Find Black Box online here or on the West Bow of the Grassmarket. 

I'm going to be hitting all three of these equally unique and amazing shops come payday, watch this space! (HARRIS TWEED BACKPACK YOU WILL BE MINE!)

Ciao for now,

Dayna x

Saturday 8 March 2014

Mary's Milk Bar - The Ice Cream Alchemist.

Tucked away in the bottom corner of the Grassmarket sits every sweet tooth's dream - Mary's Milk Bar.
It hasn't even been open a year yet has become many Edinburgh locals, tourists and my own resident go to for an afternoon (or morning... or evening...) sugar fix. With everything completely hand made by ice cream alchemist Mary in the wee shop herself, quality is guaranteed with flavours of sorbets and ice cream changing daily. And if it's too cold for a scoop why not have one of Mary's own hot chocolates? (I will never EVER tire of milk chocolate and orange hot chocolate.)

The 1950s styled parlour gives a homely welcoming feel that is both retro and contemporary and Mary is on hand to direct you towards the flavour that'll tantalise your taste buds best (for me it's salted caramel, holy mutha of all that is gelato.) Fancy more than a cone? Get your fave scoop whizzed up in a milkshake or enjoy it floating in a hot chocolate. Sit and enjoy and have a chat with Mary, all while taking in the amazing view of Edinburgh castle.

NOW - being a Mary's Milk Bar more-than-regular I decided that on Friday night I'd head along to one of Mary's after hours Gelato Tasting Evenings to get to grips with what makes Mary's ice cream just that much more above and beyond the rest.

What was in store was a relaxed evening described as "the story-telling of ice cream" all whilst getting eat and sample your way through the history of ice cream. EH YES PLEASE.

The evening was broken down into: ingredients, types and good vs the bad, and a wee peeksie into Mary's mini ice cream laboratory. Now I don't want to give away too much as what you learn from Mary's power ice cream hour is amazing and I'll let you find out for yourselves, but here's a few wee facts for ya that you probably will not know:

- Milk flavoured ice creams were originally served with vinegar (a nice cheap way to preserve fruit). You'll get to give this a bash at the gelato evening and it was surprisingly delicious with strawberry vinegar drizzled on it! Mary also offers ice cream ripples with various fruit vinegars mixed through so keep an eye out when you visit!

- A Mr Whippy Ice Cream is 60% air.

- Sorbets have been around since 3000 BC. Massive blocks of ice were carried down from the mountains and stored underground to eat in the summer mixed with rose, creating a "slushy."

Leaving full of ice cream (2 free scoops at the end hiiiiiyaaaaa) and having learnt so much at Mary's Gelato Evening, I would seriously recommend it to anyone looking for something different to do on a Friday night! It's perfect to book for a wee group but get your places fast, there is one every month and with the popularity of the milk bar ever growing you need to be quick!

See you there.

Dayna x

Mary's Gelato Tasting Evenings are held on the first Friday of every month 7-8pm.
9 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2HS
Keep up to date with all the treats Mary has on offer on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Monday 3 March 2014

Ones To Watch - Runaway Fox

"We lived in Suffolk where nothing ever happens. It's fine if you're 65 and watch Countdown. But we wanted to do something for ourselves.
 So I thought let's quit our jobs, pack up, and let's go."

Runaway Fox is the creative partnership of Luis and Poppy, who make bold statement and handmade jewellery designs guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Recently having celebrated their first "Edinburghsary", marking exactly a year since the pair ran away to Scotland, the Runaway Fox has grown from strength to strength with one collection released and their second "Animal Friendly Taxidermy" eagerly anticipated. I was lucky enough to pop over to their flat for a glass of wine, many a blether and some very interesting cupcake making...

After the success of their first collection "The Originals", Poppy and Luis are set to release their second collection "Animal Friendly Taxidermy" this Friday. And to all you animal lovers, you have nothing to fear, ain't no damage been to done to Bambi or Fantastic Mr Fox. Poppy and Luis ethically make all their pieces using local materials and they are bringing their game face with this collection.
"We've upped it a level. The complexity of it this time is more than painting wood, it's experimenting, it's layering acrylic, using better chains, better woodland themed mounts."

And get your wish lists at the ready, because here's a little sneak preview of what to expect.

You're all going to have to race me for the ducks necklace. And the stag. And the badger. And if we're just putting it all out there I wouldn't say no to the pheasants either. I'm already working my way through the first collection (working at Godiva Boutique and being faced with temptation is not helping) as the jewellery made by Runaway Fox is so original and bold that you cannot wear it without someone asking "oh my god where did you get that?"

"Our year here has just totally accelerated since starting Runaway Fox. We've met some amazing people and it just makes us all the more excited for our next one!" 

And what can we expect in the future from the pair?

L - "World Domination."
P - " We're going to explore making a wider range and move into more than just jewellery. We're going to keep on being adventurous and simply do anything that excites us." 

Like what you see? You can grab Poppy and Luis's first collection "The Originals" here and while you're there, get 20% off by entering THEORIGINAL20 at the check out.

Roll on Friday.

Dayna x

Follow their adventures on instagram, twitter and facebook.
(Photo credit goes to the lovely Miss Poppy herself.)