Photo of place setting at a table, with cutlery on top of a napkin and a green and white Christmas cracker

Christmas crackers in November?!

A few years ago I would not have been getting excited for Xmas so early.

But a few weeks ago I was invited along to the Salon Success Jingle Mingle at Tigerlily in Edinburgh, and the Christmas theme was right up my street! It was a fantastic night with amazing food, nice wine and lovely chat from some other Edinburgh bloggers and the girls from Salon Success.

We were in a private dining area in Tigerlily and were greeted with a glass of prosecco. Perfect! The table was set up with Christmas crackers and we each had a place with a name card and a fantastic selection of haircare tailored to each of us.

Photo of two croquettes on top of red berries with cress on top of them

The food was brought out and I’m not gonna lie, it was the best food I’ve had in a long time! We started with ham hock and cheese croquettes, however these were nothing like the croquettes of my childhood (which I was not a fan of as a kid, they had too much potato in them)! I ate this so quickly, it was delicious. The main course was equally tasty. It was some sort of meat, beef maybe, I’m not 100% sure. But it literally feel apart when you put your fork through it! This was served on a bed of mashed potato.

Photo of a plate with two small bits of meat on top of mashed potato with cress on top and gravy

Then onto the dessert…I really don’t know exactly what this was (I promise I wasn’t drunk) but I could’ve easily eaten more than one. All I can really say was that it was some sort of frozen berries and honeycomb with cream and pistachios. I was a lot better than I’m making it sound…I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!

Photo of a pink frozen berry desert with honeycomb and cream and a small pink flower on top

After we finished our food we were talked through the products at our places. It really was such a nice touch that we all had products that were tailored just for us. The ladies had obviously done their research on us to make sure we got the right products for our hair colour. We all had a bottle of gem lites shampoo, this was the one that was specifically for each of our hair colours. So, obviously I got one for redheads. The shampoo actually has hair colour in it, meaning if you don’t have red hair and use it you will after it! I’ve already warned Mark not to use it. The shampoo itself is bright red and has a really nice shimmer to it.

We all got the same Kenra products. The packaging of these are just so nice and give the feel of luxury. The shampoo and conditioner smells amazing! We also got a hairspray and hot spray, which was gratefully received by me. As a natural curly haired person I use my ghds daily, not so great for my hair! As well as these there was a MarulaOil detangling brush. I don’t think I’ve ever been so enthusiastic about a hair brush before, but this is an amazing brush! It beats a tangle teezer hands down.

Last up we got a Paul Mitchell product, and again we got different ones. Mine was a box with shampoo, conditioner and a hair mask for coloured hair. I don’t normally specifically go for products meant for coloured hair so it’s nice to have some to use that will keep my red vibrant. These sets would make a perfect Christmas gift.

Photo of haircare products and a hairbrush

So far I have tried all the products except the Paul Mitchell ones. I was really excited (and a little bit nervous) to try the gem lites shampoo. The fact that it has red hair colour in it is amazing. We were advised to use gloves for some of the colours of gem lites and I definitely wasn’t going to risk red hands! It did make my hair more vibrant and I think I’ll use it for every second wash, which means I’ll use it probably once a week.

The Kenra shampoo and conditioner are also fantastic. I normally go for a clear shampoo, and despite this one not being clear it gets my hair squeaky clean. They both smell amazing. There is nothing better than good smelling, squeaky clean hair, right?!

Thanks to the lovely ladies from Salon Success. It was a really fantastic night and the Christmas crackers (and of course the hats you get inside them) got me feeling suitably excited for the festive season!

 

The name Kayleigh written in pink cursive font.

Photographs taken by me

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If you have seen any of my posts on social media you may already know that I’m part of the team organising the first Edinburgh Blogger Conference.

Actually, I’m Media & Marketing Director, to give my official title! ūüėČ

The Edinburgh Blogger Conference is the brainchild of Jadine (aka The Punk Rock Princess). Last November Jadine posted on a Facebook group I’m in looking for people to help her plan an event. Having recently found out I was getting made redundant, I jumped at the chance of being part of organising something. I also thought it would be a really good way to keep me occupied if I didn’t find a job soon. We are a team made up of mostly bloggers (Taryn blogs at She Hangs Brightly) and felt that Edinburgh was missing the type of event that brought together bloggers and brands.

Fast forward seven months, a team of six which has whittled down to four (Jadine, Taryn, Laura and myself) and here we are, now less than a week away from the inaugural Edinburgh Blogger Conference! This weekend was spent putting together the goodie bags for next Saturday. The day is going to be a lot of fun with workshops and activities to get involved in during the day. A ticket for the day will get you:

– Access to the full day event
– Entry to workshops
– Two panels with fantastic speakers
– Goodie bag
– Lunch catered by Nando’s (veggie & vegan options included)
– Alcoholic and soft drinks
– Unlimited tea and coffee
– Networking opportunities with brands and fellow bloggers
РCanapé masterclass
– Entry into prize draw for two PT sessions with Relentless Fitness

We’ll also have some of the Edinburgh Pub Crawl team there on the day providing us with some treats. And a recharge and refresh corner to get some much needed juice for your phone as well as yourself!

There are still tickets available, and even if you don’t have anyone to come with don’t let that put you off! We’re a friendly bunch and there will be lots to get involved in during the day.

Grab your ticket here.

xxx
 
Image – official Edinburgh Blogger Conference logo
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Last Friday I headed out to a pop up tea party in Dunfermline.

It was really nice to go to something on home turf, and drinking tea and eating¬†cake is a pretty good way to spend a Friday evening as far as I’m concerned.

The Dunfermline Tea Party Society is run by Chrissie, who loves tea and¬†vintage crockery. A girl after my own heart! It’s so nice to have a company like this based in Fife and I was keen to find out a bit more about Chrissie and her exciting new venture so I caught up with her to ask a few questions.

Q. Tell us a bit about yourself and how you came up with the idea for The Dunfermline Teaparty Society.
A.¬†So…. The Dunfermline Tea Party Society was one of those light bulb moments when you’re least expecting it. My friend had passed on a set that needed a home, and it sat out in the kitchen for about a week. I loved it but my husband, Ross, then started to ask where it was actually going to go. I couldn’t really give him an answer, so just shrugged my shoulders and walked away hoping that would be the end of the conversation ūüėČ He did have a point as my collection is pretty big now… It wasn’t until a few days later when I was folding some washing that the idea landed on me, “You could rent your sets out!”…. Hrmm… I thought, that’s a good idea and to be honest one I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of before. For a few weeks I didn’t really do anything with the idea but I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and I thought that maybe this was a sign to see where this idea takes me. This was only back in February and in the short time till now its pushed me so far out my comfort zone, (putting the idea out there, staring a Facebook & Instagram page, vlogging for the first time and holding my first ever pop up party), but again I hope all of this is a good sign that I’ve found what I should be doing. Helping to bring people together through tea, throwing amazing tea parties.

Q. Where did your love of tea and teacups come from?
A.¬†I’ve always loved all things vintage and in my art school days was described as kitsch. But my collection truly started when I was getting married. We thought it would be fun to have a cake buffet, so that’s when I started buying cake stands for our big day. This soon lead on to tea cups and all things tea related, including a dresser to show off my favourite and sentimental pieces. My tea drinking comes from my mum, who drinks even more of it than me! I think tea drinking is ingrained into us from watching our families drink tea, when anyone pops around the kettle goes. I really believe in the powers of tea, and how in almost all situations it’s there for you. In good times and bad, often the first thing we do is pop the kettle on and share a cuppa. It brings people together and at the same time gives you that 10 mins peace you need to conquer the day.¬†

Q. What are your future plans for The Dunfermline Tea Party Society?
A.¬†My plans for The Dunfermline Tea Party are still very much at the early stages but I’m open to let it change and develop naturally. At the moment I hope to be able to help people throw parties and events in their homes using my collection and props. I also hope to use my creative skills to help style and dress the party to the themes and needs of the customer. I love the finishing touches and details and feel that these small, personal touches are where I can be different from all the other great tea party businesses out there. As I and The Dunfermline Tea Party Society grow, I hope to be able to throw more pop up events and perhaps a pop up cafe down the line, that bring all different people together, giving something back to the local community. I would love to help others through tea who are maybe lonely or in need of a good cuppa with friendly people. I’m also trying to figure out how to incorporate my first creative business Turtle Mummy Crafts, so I still have a lot of thinking to do.

Q. How will it work?
A.¬†At the moment, I hope that through getting to know my customer over a cuppa, we’ll discuss their party needs and take it from there. Everyone is different, so each celebration should be different. ¬†I’ll be there to set up and make sure everything looks great for the party. I hope to give a really personal service and get to know my customer and their needs. Planning even a small party takes up so much time and can be very stressful in our busy, 24/7 lives and that’s where I can help by taking care of “setting the stage” for a fantastic party, making good memories over tea.

Keep up to date with Chrissie and her plans for The Dunfermline Tea Party Society through her Instagram, Facebook and Youtube.

xxx
 
Photograph taken by me
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Last week I was invited along to a workshop at the Makers & Friends pop-up shop on Dundas Street in Edinburgh.

Before the workshop kicked off we got a chance to have a look round the shop and Zen our host for the evening spoke to us about her motivation to set it up. As a maker herself Zen was fed up going to¬†craft¬†fairs where there were very little people¬†buying and a lot of products that¬†didn’t look at all handmade. Zen came up with the idea to have a curated craft fair in a shop, an¬†opportunity for people to see the products up close before buying them.

We were asked to pick two different colours of wire to work with. I went for a bronze colour and then with pink as an option it was a no brainer that would be my other colour. First off we were asked to write out the first letter of our names and to practice making it with the first¬†colour of wire. Then we were let loose with the¬†other piece of wire to spell out our whole names. Once I got past the “y” in my name I was flying! I had so much fun, every time I do something crafty it reminds me just how much fun I find it!

As well holding workshops, there are some great ideas for Christmas gifts. Not only will you get to give something totally unique but you’ll be supporting a small business. The pop-up is here until 19th December, get yourself down to 17 Dundas Street to check it out!

xxx
 
Photographs taken by me
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A few weeks ago I headed through to Glasgow to get my craft on with some other bloggers and Laura Ashley.  I absolutely love crafty activities so this was right up my street!

The setting for our fun afternoon was The Butterfly & The Pig on Bath Street.  We were greeted by the lovely people from Laura Ashley and The Crafty Hen and directed towards the tea and coffee (of course served in vintage crockery).

Once everyone arrived we were given our decoupage kits. ¬†The kit contained everything you needed – letters making up the word ‘home’, a love heart, paintbrushes,¬†adhesive and a selection of paper. ¬†There are also instructions if you are unsure how to decoupage.

The room fell silent as everyone became completely engrossed in decorating their letters.  I managed to get through one letter and my love heart before we broke for a cake break.

After cake we moved onto craft number 2 Рneedle felting.  I did needle felting at college and it was so much fun, I was in my element.  Needle felting is done using a barbed needle and wool.  The process results in the wool fibres being tangled which bonds it together.  You can make felted beads, brooches, anything you want really.  You can also felt onto another fabric, whether it be felt or a knitted item.  It is also really therapeutic, had a bad day at work?  This will help make you feel better!

I was a little bit rusty but still had fun making my felt pieces.

Laura Ashley has been around for over 60 years starting off designing tea towels, napkins, placemats and headscarves before moving into fashion.  The craft kits are a new addition to Laura Ashley range for this year.  These would make a great gift for anyone creative in your life.

I had a fab day, thank you to Laura Ashely for inviting me to come along, to The Crafty Hen for helping us with our crafting on the day and The Butterfly & The Pig for the cups of tea and for the delicious cake!

Laura Ashley also blogged about the day, you can read it here.

xxx
 
Photographs taken by me
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