Monday Elevenses

I'm going to get this right out there; I love links lists! I think they are a fantastic way of looking into the mind of the person creating them, you can see so much of what is going on in their life based on the stuff they have been reading over the week. And what time could you possibly need a links list more than coffee break on a Monday morning?

So... here's to the start of a new weekly tradition, my Monday Elevenses links list.
  • Last Monday Kaelah Bee talked about the dark side of blogging in her post 'Getting Real' and how fashion/lifestyle blogging is a community, not a competition.
  • I absolutely adore Elsie's Folk Art Bride & Groom photos, the setting is amazing and I love how insanely happy they look together. 
  • Franca from Oranges and Apples takes a look at the 'dating rules' and tells us how she broke every single one finding her future husband here.
  • Sarah at Yes and Yes talks about what a feminist looks like
  • This 'Where The Wild Things Are' photo shoot is incredibly inspiring,  so beautiful!
  • I adore buying second hand, but I think even I would think twice before buying any of the things on this list 'The Best Worst Stuff People Tried To Sell At The Junk Shop'.
  • Payton talks about the amazing experience she had with the 'fashion whisperer' at Betsey Johnson here
  • Christine talks about femininity and strength and how we can encapsulate both these qualities. 
  • Just in case you haven't already heard, Elizabeth from Delightfully Tacky has some amazing news for everyone here
  • As someone trying to get fit I found this article about yoga really interesting, although she basically confirmed all my greatest fears about people who do yoga, I'm am also even more inspired than ever to try it out. 
  • VisualBasic has a fantastic tutorial on how she does her blogger sketch Sunday drawings and I cannot wait to see if I can manage it myself. 
And finally, I absolutely adore this quote from Ellen Page, and yes, I wanted to be Aladdin. 






Image Courtesy of Pinterest


Oh So Crafty




The West End Fair is almost a tradition in my family, it started when I was young, each year, one relatively sunny day in August my mum would drag me and my little brother up to the corner between Princes Street and Lothian Road and march us around the hundred stalls. I absolutely hated it.




Fast forward 15 years and the craft fair is one of my favourite yearly traditions, me and my mum choose an afternoon when we are both free and spend as long as possible meandering through the graveyard looking at each of the stalls and cursing our budgets. 






We found some wonderful prints and I fell in love with Nikki McWilliams Tunnock's Teacake's cushions (you can check them out on her website here). She has many lovely biscuit related items, I just cannot resist them. I'm definitely planning on ordering one as soon as I possibly can!

I'm really looking forward to this weekend, I don't have any plans, but the Festival Fireworks are on Sunday, which is always fun, and one of my best friends has just moved down to near the beach at Portobello and I am hoping to go down and have a wander along the sand. There is nothing better than a beach, even if it is in stormy Scotland.




Thankful




Thank you all so much for your super sweet birthday wishes yesterday, when I got up (at some point this afternoon) I was over the moon to see how many of you left me messages. You guy rock! I had an amazing day out in Fife with my family and the dogs (photos to come soon) followed by drinks with friends, it was everything I could have wished for. To make it even better I am also off out tonight, hopefully checking out a couple of shows. I cannot wait! 




This was actually a test outfit for my birthday, over the weekend I had no idea what I was planning on wearing for the day so I pulled out a couple of different outfit ideas. Although I didn't end up wearing it I thought it would be nice to share it with you guys, although the lighting is not fantastic. I absolutely love this dress, but unfortunately I don't think the short sleeves on this top do anything for me. It is amazing what you see of your outfits when you photograph them, it has made me so much more aware of my body shape. 



Dress (only skirt shown): H&M (thrifted) Top: Primark (Swapped) Belt & Shoes: Primark (new)

24 Candles on a Cake





I won't be writing much today, I'm planning on spending the day with my family and friends to celebrate my 24th birthday (when did I get so old?) but I will be back tomorrow with an outfit post. I just wanted to thank all of you who read this. I never thought blogging would become  such a huge part of my life and I feel so honoured to know y'all.

Until next time,
Alice xo
Image courtesy of Pinterest

Wandering Minds

I never realised how time consuming moving a blog is, really, I feel like all I have done for days is shuffle stuff around. My big plan was to do the move over on my birthday (Tueday) but as that goal gets closer and closer it is seeming more and more impossible. It doesn't help that my initial plan for the design have kind of fallen through and I now need to come up with something new. Maybe I'm just being fussy but the visuals of a blog definitely affect whether I read it frequently or not, so I feel like I really want to get something that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also expresses me properly. 
These photos are all from the past week around Edinburgh. The first is the inside of the new Museum of Scotland, I was lucky enough to get a ticket to a preview evening back on the 2nd of August so we got to have a look at the new exhibitions and a couple of glasses of wine, unfortunately I borrowed my friends slightly better camera to take some more photos and then promptly forgot to get copies of them...
I know I am a total sucker for pictures of dogs but I couldn't resist taking this one of Tups, I've mentioned before that I think dogs with their tongues poking out is one of the cutest things in the world, so obviously I have to get proof of the adorableness every time it happens. 

If all goes well I may still be switching over, so my next post will be on the new site, but honestly I suspect I am going to need till the end of the month to get it pretty enough for you guys, and for me. 

I hope you are all having wonderful weekends.

Get A Move On



Last night I went to the Amnesty International 'Stand Up For Freedom' and I have to say, as expected, it was one of the funniest nights of the year so far. There was a fantastic line-up, including David O'Doherty, Mark Watson, Russell Kane and Michael Winslow, all of whom were absolutely hilarious. I think the night was totally stolen by the poor woman who had to do Sign Language for Michael Winslow's act though, she was so professional, but so hilarious. I've honestly never seen anything so amusing. 



I think I'm really lucky when it comes to seeing shows during the festival, I rarely go to lots, but what I do are always amazing. Last year I went to a different comedy gala that was being televised and somehow ended up in the front row. It was brilliantly funny. It also means whenever it is re-shown on BBC3 or Dave my Facebook wall suddenly fills with people wanting to check they aren't going crazy. My one moment of fame.



In typical Scottish fashion the weather has been pretty disappointing recently, I took these a couple of days ago and ended up having to run home because it started pissing it down. Luckily of the 20 photos I managed to take there were some okay ones. I don't know what I am going to do when it gets to winter, or even autumn, I am going to have to find some places with shelter, and good lighting, possibly an impossible task. 

Linchpin



I'm sure I am not the only one who has watched the recent news in the UK with trepidation and horror, what has been happening around the country is an indictment on both the current political situation and those involved. I spoke a couple of weeks ago about how blogging, particularly when it is about fashion, can seem unimportant, even petty, when there is so much else going on in the world, and I felt this once again over the past few days.

As I walked around my city, thanking the stars that the unrest in the south had not spread to us, I thought about how I could approach what had happened on my blog, should I dedicate an entire post to what has happened? Would any of you want read my opinions on why there is civil unrest? On the other hand should I completely ignore it? I write about my life and my personal style, when I work so hard trying to make my blog a positive place, do I really want write about something that has genuinely caused me sleepless nights?

I think there is still an assumption that because we write about fashion we must not be interested in the real world, or that we shouldn't let personal or public issues affect our writing. No one wants to read about me harping on about the news, if you did you wouldn't be here, but equally isn't there some level of social responsibility, or moral obligation, not to gloss over the sticky subjects?

So what is the limit? Is it okay for me to ignore issues in the news that don't affect me directly? Or is it to do with the severity of what has happened? How do I make these decisions? I don't have any answers, in fact as I write this I am getting increasingly more confused by it all, but I don't want to believe that, as one of my close friend's suggested, all we are interested in is reading about kittens and cups of tea, I believe my readers, and people interested in blogging in general, are deeper than that.

I apologise for the complete lack of structure in this post, it is far more a stream of consciousness than anything else, but after five drafts over the weekend I felt I just had to put up something. I'm sure many of you could have written something far more eloquent. I hope you have all had good weekends, and for those of you living in areas in England affected by the riots that you and your families have been safe.

Jupiter Artland 3


This is the final (at last) set of photos from Jupiter Artland. I was hoping to have some festival style photos to show you all but unfortunately we had a severe weather warning in Edinburgh over the weekend and it rained for pretty much the entire two days. It was such a shame seeing as Sunday was the official start to the festival. 


Luckily the bad weather meant I could stay in and not feel guilty because I was missing anything. I ended up using my extra time to try and teach myself some basic CSS (which confused me horribly), spending time with my family and worrying desperately about Tuppence, who seems to be getting more and more ill. 


I can't write much today, I'm already running late with my things to do due to Tuppence having an appointment at the vets this morning, he's doing much better but it doesn't stop me making a complete fuss over him. I think when you get a pet you reserve the right to make a complete tit of yourself worrying about them. 


I'm off to get some coffee before I have to run out to the bookshop. I'm going to see 'Liberace: Live From Heaven' tonight which should be interesting, followed by dinner out (although on my budget it will probably be more burger and a pint than anything expensive). 

Jupiter Artland 2



Some more photos from my trip to Jupiter Artland last month...



I love sculpture,  I find form really interesting, but to be perfectly honest, these statues of girls give me the heebie jeebies really badly. I wasn't expecting them so to suddenly spot them in the middle of all the trees was definitely a fright. Of course that only means that the artist, Laura Ford, picked the perfect spot. Even on a sunny day it was so atmospheric and, well, creepy, there is no other word for it.



This piece of work was so incredibly difficult to photograph well, due to the direction of the sunlight when we were there it took me forever to catch it properly. I'm so glad I went to the effort though, only a week after we went vandals broke into the grounds and destroyed it (here's a link to the newspaper report on it). I don't have any idea why anyone would want to destroy it, but I'm so glad I got to see it before it was. I love the way this piece, made with a traditionally 'craft' skill managed transcended to become 'art' instead. The effect seeing it in person was amazing.



The festival in Edinburgh officially kicks off this weekend, although you wouldn't know it based on how busy the centre of town is. It is amazingly busy at the moment, and I already have a healthy collection of flyers from various people. I'm going to walk up the Royal Mile on my way into town today, yesterday John Malkovich was handing out flyers for his play 'A Celebration of Howard Pinter' and I would absolutely adore to see him.



Sunlight In My Footsteps


I once read one of those wonderful fashion rules, you know the kind, 'never wear black with brown or navy', or 'don't wear white after labour day', that said you should never wear yellow shoes. Naturally the reasons behind this was never explained, but I immediately felt I needed to get some yellow shoes. Luckily I spotted one of my close friends had a pair and after some negotiations she allowed me to borrow them. 



I'm still totally in love with this dress. I was lent it nearly 2 months ago now but I just can't bring myself to send it back. It is a little short on me (I'm practically a giant) but with decent tights its perfect for transitioning from day time to evening wear. Unfortunately I was absolutely boiling wearing it! It's made of denim so it is a little bit heavy for when the weather is good. Hopefully that means it will keep me warm in winter (if I manage to keep a hold of it that long!)


Dress: Primark (Swapped) Shoes: Primark (Swapped)


I spent the whole of last night working on my new design for when I swap the blog over to it's snazzy new .com address and I am so excited about it! It really feels like it is all coming together and I cannot wait to reveal it to you guys!

Jupiter Artland 1



I went to visit Jupiter Artland a couple of weeks ago and keep forgetting to put the photos up, really there are so many I thought about not doing it at all, but seeing as so few people in Edinburgh are aware of this amazing place I had to publish something



Jupiter Artland is based out at Bonnington House, a Jacobean manor house just west of Edinburgh. Since 1999 the current owners of the house, the Wilson family, have been slowly developing their own sculpture garden in the land surrounding the house.



The land is a work in progress, individual artists are employed year round to add new pieces, although it has been open to the public now for three years. These include Ian Hamilton Finlay, Anthony Gormley and Charles Jencks, who is best known for his land forms outside the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art in the west end of Edinburgh.



Rather than bogging you down with a huge number of photos in one post I've decided to spread my Jupiter Artland ones out a bit, I'll be putting up a new selection of them everything few days (there are three in total). If you want to see some more photos from there now, Franca of Oranges and Apples visited over the weekend and you can see her post here. She's got some wonderful photos of Jenck's work.



I have my first shift at the British Heart Foundation today, for the rest of the summer I will be volunteering a couple of afternoons a week in their book department, followed by a night out for my best friend's birthday so if I don't post tomorrow I apologise, I'll be recovering.

What I've Done: July 2011



I am a huge fan of using the internet to chronicle my life, why risk loosing something when I can keep it online forever and ever and ever? The idea of having a monthly recap seemed like the next logical step. I love the method Kaylah at The Dainty Squid uses, so here is my own attempt.Warning: my new blogs list is considerably longer than hers, really, I tried to cut it down to only my favourites but I've found so many wonderful blogs over the past few weeks I couldn't resist  putting the large majority of them down.

Highlights

Spending the day with my parents at the beach with the puppies.
Spending far too much of my time hanging around in my friend's back-garden.
My parents 31st anniversary.
The last Harry Potter Film.
Lots of birthdays.
Buying my own domain!
Tuppence getting ill and then making a miraculous recovery.
One friend of my close friends coming back after a month in Sudan, and another successfully climbing Mount Kilimanjaro
Learning how to play Viking chess
Watching Bertie have an awesome chasing dream next to me as I write this.
Visiting Jupiter Artland.

Downtime

This month I got hugely in to Lie To Me and watched all three seasons over the months rainy days.

I've also discovered Terry Pratchett and devoured three of his books already (Small Gods, Wyrd Sisters and Soul Music) in addition to that I've read Apocolypso by Robert Rankin (so funny!), Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby and The 8th Confession by James Patterson.

At the start of the month I bought two new dresses from Asda, on sale for £5 each, although they haven't been introduced on the blog yet, hopefully soon though!

New (To Me) Blogs

A Thrifty Mrs: A frugal lifestyle blogger with some beautiful photos and one sharp wit
Art Equals Happy: I fell in love with Kim's blog when I saw her series of Harry Potter posts earlier this month
Bargainista on a Hunt: Meg describes her style as 'playful' and I can't help but agree, she also has one of the cutest and most unique layouts I have seen.
Dainty Dresses: Charlene's blog is the perfect mix of pretty pictures and style inspiration, and she's Scottish to boot :)
Elegantly Academic: Kelly's style is practical but absolutely beautiful, I love her use of colour. Plus it's great to see another elegant archaeology fanatic. 
Haus of Sarah Rachel: I love the effort Sarah puts into her accessories, she always manages to look really well put together. 
Here Comes The Sun: Amanda is just too cute! I wish I could steal her entire wardrobe, and her post on photoshopping isn't bad either. 
J. Bird*: You can't help but adore Julie, her sense of style, cute demeanour and adorable poses. I love her summer style, great inspiration during our Scottish heatwave. 
Lucy and the Runaways: Natalie has amazing style and one of the most fantastic fringe's I have seen in a long time. Jealous much.
Meek~n~MildNot only is Shirley awe-inspiringly beautiful, but she takes the most fantastic photos around London too.
Oh So Lovely Vintage: As the title suggests, this blog makes me want to eat, sleep and drink vintage, if only I could afford to.
One Sheepish Girl: Meredith makes the most adorable knitted things, and she has the sweetest writing style as well.
The Headless Mannequin: Beautiful photos, beautiful idea, lovely girl. This blog definitely has it all.

Next month I can look forward to:
The Festival, the Fringe and the book festival (so many festivals!)
Nikki's birthday today.
My birthday!
Nikki having 2 weeks off
Starting to volunteer at the British Heart Foundation in the books section.

What have your highlights been this month? Any particularly fun moments? Or any favourite outfits I should see? I've got a couple of parties coming up so I could do with the inspiration!