Hallllo there! Today's post features a few wee extra snaps I wanted to share from a recent shoot with my little Megan Smellaby. As you may already know if you've been reading my diary, we were 'internet pals' (as my Mum liked to call us - 'hows your wee internet pal doing, Amy?') for maybe two years, then cranked it up to 'real life friends' and that's where we've been sat happily ever since. The internet's a mixed bag and can be responsible for many a terrible thing - way to bring the mood down, Amy - but one of the beautiful things about it is that it can unite you with someone you can't imagine not having in your life that you wouldn't have met otherwise. It also gave us the Dominos pizza tracker but that's a whole other kettle of fish. Really though; it's a pretty magical thing to make a friend or a partner through that big ole wide web. Myself and Megs have shot a few romantic things over the years (here's one of my faves here if you'd like a read) so it was a genuine wee joy to shoot a campaign together around National Best Friend's Day and with a brand that we both lurve.
Generally speaking, I'm quite a simple dresser (says the girl wearing zebra print trousers) and tend to prefer to jazz an outfit up with a nice bag/some sunnies/some jewellery/all of the above, so I picked out some lovely gold jewellery to layer up - which I think will look lush in summer with all those sassy green tones - and two very cute wee bags to finish the looks off. I think the sequins and bright colours are very synonymous with Accessorize (I've lost count of how many times I've popped in over the years before a wedding or a summer holiday to pick up some jazzy accessories. That's right I said jazzy) but I feel the gold pieces are a bit of a step in a new direction; they've got a very luxe, cool feel to them, but still have that purse-friendly price tag we know and love... Whatever accessory you need, they've got yo back.
And there we have it! To internet friends and sassy jewels x
Hey pals! Today's post is a little multi-outfit one featuring the beautiful Monica Vinader Atlantis collection. Normally I tend to wear very plain, simple gold jewellery so the little splash of red in these pieces is something a wee bit different for me. Not a huge leap, I know, I know, but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed having that little splash of colour! So, for today's post I thought I'd style the collection in four different ways. Without further ado...
All clothing is, alas, very old. I did manage to find some similar trousers here, here and here though! LOOK 2
Today's post is a wee quickie as I've got two big ones I'm trying to finish off simultaneously and there's only so long I can stay in this coffee shop before they have me ejected. You may or may not have spotted over on Instagram that I recently worked with H&M on their b-e-a-utiful new summer collection, but I wanted to share the full set of snaps on here as it's such a wee cracker of a collection. And because I have more photos than is socially acceptable to post on Instagram. The bikinis come in at around £15 for a set and come in animal print, neutral colours, bright colours and are SO GOOD for mix and matching - I've done it a couple of times in this post here and it's great; you can take three bikinis away and have enough to make a new bikini every day for a week. Just think of the Instagram possibilities! (I jest - more 'think of how many back up options you have when you accidentally spill cornetto down yourself').
There's lots of lovely paisley print pieces in the collection too; I went for the trousers as I wanted something I could wear dressed up in the evening and then throw on over a bikini during the day to go down to the beach. They're so lovely paired with the milkmaid style tops (which come in both cream and rust) which are a great go-to for popping on with trousers, denim shorts, tucked in skirts.. you name it.
I shall finish with a 'shop the post' with all of my favourite pieces from the collection and a photo of me just after I got belted by a wave. It's only fair.
Instagram post was part of the sponsored campaign, blog post is a wee extra I decided to do because I've got a crush on the collection. Clothing gifted.
Hey there pals! Happy humpert day. Today's post doesn't have many words to accompany it because I already warbled on about the shoot in my last post (catch part one here if you missed it!), but welcome to the second part of our day in Glencoe! I did warn you there'd be an especially extra dress, didn't I? You might remember it from this lookbook post here; I don't get to wear it as much as I'd like - for some reason I just don't think the local Tesco or my sofa are quite ready for it yet - so the next logical step was to take it up to the highlands to do a big fancy editorial style shot. Concerning many, many sensible hiking boot and duffle coat wearers along the way, may I add. The other two outfits feature some very beautiful pieces from Sezane, who've become one of my recent go-tos - their clothes are amazing quality and fit like a dream (which my fellow five footers will know goes a long way) and there's always something a little different to what's available on our high street on there that'll let you add a sprinkle of French chic to your outfit.
Well, we've just arrived in Lisbon to the most horrendous weather (if you're picturing me typing that with gritted teeth and a throbbing forehead vein you wouldn't be wrong) so I'm off to google 'things to do inside' in Lisbon. Or we could just cafe hop and cake-eat for four days.
Maybe this rain isn't such a bad thing after all..
Hey pals! Hows thangs? The first thing I have to tell you is something that's entirely unrelated to this post.. I finally started watching Mad Men. Oh my god. I loved Jon Hamm before (if you haven't seen the Travel Man episode with him then get it on) but this has taken things to a whole new level. I'm only a decade later than the rest of the world, but one is well and truly hooked.
Today's post - I'm still thinking about Jon Hamm - is brought to you from the b-e-a-u-tiful Glencoe. Myself and Kirsty have been (very loosely) planning to go on a roadtrip there for a long time, so last month we finally blocked off a day and did it, vast amounts of snacks in tow. It's one of my favourite places in Scotland; it's so close to Glasgow, so peaceful and the entire drive up is as pretty as a Windows wallpaper.
We shot four looks whilst we were up there, the first of which were these two Mulberry looks you see before you. You know how I love me a two piece, so you can imagine the sheer ecstasy I was in when presented with TWO two-pieces. The newest Mulberry collection is, as you may have guessed, very nostalgic/60s inspired and wouldn't look out of place in Jackie Onassis' wardrobe, which these two looks exemplify just perfectly. On that note, I'd also like to draw your attention to this colourful coat which is a little slice of outerwear heaven. The sunglasses are also Mulberry and from their new eyewear collection (well worth a browse if you're into your sunnies, there are some really lovely colours and styles in there) and the bags, of course, are Mulberry too. I have a wee Leighton myself - which you may recognise from this post here - and love the shape, but the Hampstead is a totally new style to me and I love it! It's nice and slouchy and a great one if, like me, you like a bag you can pop cross-body and forget about.
The second Glencoe post will be up very shortly (beware, it contains an especially extra dress) and I'm also just finishing off my Cuba post. I've asked on Instagram as well but, just in case you missed it, are there any questions you have about Cuba that you'd like answered? I couldn't find a huge amount about it online before I left so it's just in case there's anything I can help with for anyone who's curious!
Today's post is a little bit of skincare and a little bit of travel combined. As you'll know if you've read my blog, or followed my Instagram (or... read my diary) for a while, La Mer's been a long-term favourite of mine. The first time I was introduced to their products was when I was 12 and my Mum was given a tub of the Creme de la Mer cream as a gift for her 40th (please no one use that to work out what age my Mum is or she'll have my death warrant issued instantly) and it became known as 'that special tub on the shelf that we could look at but not touch', and long after the cream was finished that tub remained there as a little ornament. Fast forward a good few years and I started to use La Mer myself; I've been lucky enough to try out a range of their products over the years and started to understand for myself why that ornamental tub - capitalised for dramatic effect - was so special. I've genuinely yet to meet a La Mer product I don't like. I remember chatting with one of the lovely PR's a few years ago at an event and she said the question she gets asked most is, 'is it actually worth the price tag?' to which her response is always, 'try it and you can let me know'. Because it totally is! They really do know their stuff those La Mer geniuses. The products I tend to use most are the Creme de la Mer cream, the soft cream, the treatment lotion, the eye concentrate and, more recently, the concentrate. 'But what is the concentrate?', I hear you ask. It's a magical* restorative treatment that's infused with a concentrated form of Miracle Broth and is aimed to gently calm inflammation and to sooth and stabilize dry, irritated or inflamed skin.
*Technically it's not actually magic but if you told me it was created at Hogwarts.. I wouldn't be surprised
If you're a frequent traveller then this product is a great one for you! Here's why it's a good one to have in your arsenal:
It's lovely to use mid-flight when your skin is having its scheduled help-me-I-need-hydration meltdown. Give your face a good cleanse and then apply the concentrate before you apply your moisturiser - if you're in need of an extra hydration boost, use a few wee drops of the renewal oil in between the concentrate and your moisturiser to seal it all in!
It's specifically designed for fragile skin and to soothe irritation so is a lovely one if your skin's in need of a little bit of TLC after a day in the sun, of frolicking in the sea or even after a day in the snow. Any extreme weather conditions, really. If you're a little bit sunburnt (it happens, don't worry, we're all friends here) then this is lovely and soothing to use; both the redness and the tightness that you usually wake up with the next day are minimised massively.
Aircon. Good god, it's hard to sleep without it but it really ravages your skin doesn't it. This again will provide a nice barrier for your skin and restore it to its normal healthy self.
Again on the the travelling front, a tiny little bit works wonders on an insect bite! I used it on a mosquito bite in Cuba and it really calmed it overnight (let's also not ignore the small miracle that I managed to escape with only one mosquito bite, a proud first for Amy)
When it comes to how to use it, it should slip very seamlessly into your skincare routine. I just pop it onto a clean face before applying a gentle moisturiser (again, the soft moisturiser is lovely to use after it) and Bob's your Uncle! It has a lovely, almost medicinal smell to it - you know the lovely aromatherapy smells that usually accompany a facial that let you know a product's going to do all the good stuff to you before it's even on your face? That - and leaves your skin feeling soft and silky, yet stronger and more resilient at the same time. It is, of course, a wee bit pricier than your usual skincare product so it's entirely up to you how you use it, but the glorious thing about it is that a little bit really does go a long way. You can incorporate it into your usual day to day routine as a serum if you feel you need it, or you can save it for when your skin is in need of a little bit extra TLC.
Whilst I can't vouch for them myself, I just wanted to add in a few testimonials I've seen online when I've been reading up about it. I've read that it helps with discolouration, acne scarring, rashes and dry, flaky skin. I also remember reading that Caroline Hiron's Mum uses it if she's in the midst of a lupus flareup (Caroline's my walking, talking, breathing skincare bible so I'm forever reading up about products on her blog before I take the plunge). Everyone's skin is different and, like I say, I can't vouch for any of these myself but I just wanted to share them in case anyone themself is suffering from these and wanted to keep it in mind.
I hope that helped for those of you who are curious about it! If you'd like to try a little bit and see what all the fuss is about, pop past your nearest La Mer counter - which you can also find in most airports - and you can try a little bit on the back of your hand to get a good feel for it!
Oh hello there! Remember how all of 24 hours ago I said I'd put together a post on wedding guest dressing that would be live on Sunday? Well, here it is today for you instead. It was sitting there ready to rumble and I figured the sooner the better with these types of things.
So, this time last week I was sitting in a pile of 9 dresses (thank god for Klarna, that's all I'm saying) considering going foetal because none of them were right. The fact that I might be being dramatic didn't come into my head, no. There are so many rules to wedding guest dressing that I'm always terrified of getting wrong; 'might this pale blue dress look white in photos?', 'might this one be showing a little TOO much knee?', 'is my boob going to pop out during some over-enthusiastic dancing to Proud Mary in that one?' (that last one genuinely happened) and so I got myself in a real tizz. It did mean, however, that I did a very extensive online browse and so have a multitude of outfits ready to share with you today.
I tried to cover all types of weddings - countryside, church, romantic Italian manors, beach weddings - and I also threw a couple of other nice dresses and suits in there for those of you that might have galas/engagement dinners/cats birthday parties coming up that you're struggling to find something for. There is a LOT in there (don't try to guess the amount of screen time I put in trying to find a dress please) and all at different prices too. I did put in a handful of very expensive ones that you'd have to remortgage a house to buy, but sometimes it's just nice to look at them (as the tears roll silently down your face). Oh, and if you're wondering what dress I ended up with in the end, it was this Self Portrait one here!
Happy browsing! I suggest having some chocolate, a gin and at least five happy thoughts set aside for the trying on process.
Hey frens! Hows things? I apologise for slacking a bit on the blog front, I'm not really sure what's happened there. We were out in Cuba last month (no 3g and almost no wifi - glorious for the noggin, not so glorious for work) and then had a beautiful family wedding this weekend so I feel a bit like I've been chasing my tail trying to catch up on everything. Today's post is two outfits in one for you, shot in and around the Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel. It's not somewhere I've stayed yet but we were lucky enough to shoot inside one of the rooms and we've had lunch a couple of times there and it really is beautiful. And so well located too! It's right at the top of George Street so you're near both the old and new town as well as Stockbridge too.
What else do I have to update you on.. oh, wedding, yes. A few people have asked for some wedding guest outfit recommendations (is there anything more stressful than trying to find a dress for a wedding? Well, probably. But it's certainly up there) so I'm pulling together a post to go live on Sunday with as many outfit ideas as I can possibly gather so keep your eyes peeled for that.
I probably have so much more to catch you up on but right now my brain has been replaced by a potato. As I was writing this a thought genuinely popped into my head, 'maybe you should talk about Brexit?'... why would I talk about Brexit? I know nothing about Brexit. I think it's probably best for everyone if I regroup my thoughts and come back to you on Sunday. As always, you can catch up with what I'm up toon Instagram. Sometimes I'm even coherent there.
P.S. I do have something! We're looking for a wee hotel in Lisbon next month - does anyone have any recommendations they could possibly share? Obviously the usual food/things to do recs are more than welcome but I feel I should probably sort out accommodation first as a nice seafood dinner is notably less enjoyable when you know you don't have a bed to return to.
REFORMATION white blouse (similar here & here) | URBAN OUTFITTERS jeans (old) | TED BAKER velvet boots (old) | MANGO leather aviator jacket (sold out) | FREE PEOPLE velvet bag (c/o)
Hey pals! Today's post is, as you may have guessed by the very cryptic title, three looks for Spring! It's been so lovely to see daylight lasting past 3pm and a bit of sun as of late (FYI, I'm talking the sunny-but-crisp-weather, not the 18 degrees global-warming-is-coming for-us we had last month) and shooting is always that little bit more enjoyable when you can feel your toes. So, in celebration, I thought I'd whip together three different looks for when the 'oh my god I don't remember how to dress without a coat and five extra layers' panic strikes.
Look, feet that aren't entrapped by socks! What joy. I picked these shoes up on ASOS a couple of weeks ago and they've been so lovely and versatile to wear; you may actually have spotted them with this dress here as well. I went for a little hint of colour - when in Spring, and all that - in the form of this yellow checked jacket (size down on this one if you go for it, I ended up in a 4 and, no matter how much I suck it in, I am absolutely not a 4), some old cropped jeans and a big white billowing blouse that allows me to pretend to be Shakespeare at any given moment. Obviously you don't need the individual pieces for this look (or any look, really) but some wee cropped jeans, a blouse, a light tailored jacket and some wee strappy shoes always make for a good go-to Spring look.
This one's a wee bit more unsure what season it wants to fall under but if that doesn't summarise the weather in Scotland then I don't know what does. A wee midi and a cropped blouse is possibly my most-worn summer look, as I'm sure you very all well know - when it's not quite warm enough to pair it with espadrilles then some knee high boots and a denim or leather jacket will do the job!
All hail the humble midi dress. My Spring-Summer saviour. I really dislike my knees and their insistence on looking like Mount Rushmore so I always find myself gravitating towards this length. The real joy of a midi, however? It requires very little styling! Most of the hard work is done for you. They look great paired with trainers - a look I'm never quite sure I'm cool enough to pull off - or midi boots alike, pop some jewellery on, perhaps a fedora if you're feeling wild, and you're good to go!
Shop the post
Photos by Kirsty McLachlan | Our stay with Gleneagles was very kindly complimentary but they did pay me £1b to say nice thin...I jest, all glowing opinions on Gleneagles are, of course, my own
Hey pals! Today's post is all about a stay at one of my favourite Scottish escapes... no, not the Irn Bru factory, The Gleneagles Hotel! I visited early last year (you can have a read of the post here if you missed it) and it really is one of the loveliest hotels I've ever been to, so it's always a pleasure to go back. This time we were there for a Galentine's overnight stay so, without further ado, here's what we got up to.
We arrived around midday and headed straight over to The Dormy, a restaurant I'd yet to eat at. As I've mentioned a few times before - cough, seven hundred - I've got a good few food allergies and the staff couldn't have been more lovely about it; they gave my outrageously large list to the chef, who in turn made me up my own ristotto from scratch (something I can't normally have because of my allergies) and also emailed the list ahead to all of the other restaurants in the hotel so that a) they could prepare some dishes in advance and b) so that I didn't have to feel like a wally whapping out the list at every meal. If you're someone who suffers from allergies yourself you'll know how rare/welcoming this is! After filling up on delicious risotto and pizza alike, we headed back to the room and good golly was it beautiful. It was different to the one we stayed in last time and this time had two separate bedrooms within the one 'room' - each with their own free standing bath, I should add - which would be very handy if you were there as a group of friends or with parents etc and wanted both your own space and a communal area to hang out in... Or if you were there as a couple and have a tendency to starfish (/would like to schedule in a post-dinner fall out). After admiring the room we headed over for a golf lesson which, initially, I was a bit unsure of. Every time I've seen golf on tv it's made me want to fall into a deep, eternal slumber - sorry, Dad - but I genuinely absolutely loved the lesson! We were taught by the lovely Steve which I think made all the difference as he was so attentive and didn't do even the slightest of giggles when I missed the first three shots (you know when you're trying to sing along to a song and the singer rudely changes the words last minute to the ones you know in your heart of heart are correct? Same thing with a golf ball; you line it up perfectly, swing the club and suddenly it's not in the same spot at all and all you connect with is air. It's one big conspiracy...). As I'm sure you know, Gleneagles and golf are synonymous so it's nice to say I've finally done some there, in snakeskin cowboy boots no less, which could be a first for the grounds. Just as a sidenote, you don't actually have to be staying at the hotel to use the putting green so, if you live nearby and the notion hits you on a Sunday morning then you're more than welcome to head along.
After that we headed over for an equally strenuous activity... the pedicure. We visited Bob & Cloche on our last stay at the hotel and it was just and welcoming and homely this time! We had a wee tea and a coffee (respectively, we're not mad) and settled in to get some disco toes awwwn.
The rest of our afternoon was spent having a wee massage in the spa - Gleneagles has one of my favourite spas I've ever been to, and that's not only because they offer complimentary flapjacks and yoghurt raisins - unwinding a little after a hard day of putting and pedicuring. That was, until I choose to have a deep tissue massage. It was so, SO good but good GOD does it hurt; it felt like there was about two decades worth of tissue being broken down. Kirsty, on the other hand, opted for a firm, but still very relaxing, massage... I'd absolutely recommend both depending on what you're after but just be sure to note that one will leave you writhing around like you're under the cruciatus curse. Make sure you leave enough time to check out the saunas, vitality pool and relaxation time either before or after your treatment! Again, not just for the yogurt raisins but... they don't hurt.
The rest of the evening was spent having some cocktails (not strictly advisable after a spa afternoon but Galentine's Law says you must have cocktails so we had a real predicament on our hands) and some food at Birnham Brasserie. By the time we got there they'd made me up and printed off my own special allergen-free menu which was so considerate it almost made me well up. That could also have been due to the alcohol or the fact I'd been recently pulverised, it's hard to say. Very, very satisfied we toddled off to bed.
The next morning, however, Grandma Amy woke up and had to roll out of bed because it was too sore to actually lift my own head up*. That deep tissue massage had well and truly done it's job. We were supposed to go off road driving - which I'm honestly so, so sad to have missed - but we had to cancel this time round because I had a vision of Kirsty driving, me stiff as a board beside her, and the other hotel guests getting the impression there was a Weekend at Bernie's situation going on. So instead we ordered breakfast to the room, got our robes on and watched a really bad (but incredibly good) romcom in bed. Which actually turned out to be incredibly lovely because we hadn't had the chance to enjoy the room much up until that point!
*This is perfectly normal post deep tissue massage, especially for someone who's on a laptop all day and has gargoyle posture, so nobody panic. And how else to wrap up another beautiful stay than with afternoon tea. One of life's greatest extravagant pleasures. I think the joy of Gleneagles is that what they offer is so varied that there's no specific group of people its geared towards. You see families, groups of friends, people on honeymoon, couples... it's one of those special places that moulds around you and what you want from your trip. It really does have a special place in my little Scottish heart; from the people who work there to the decor to the activities they offer to the beautiful food... if it's one than's on your to-visit list then definitely keep it firmly on there!