03/12/2014

Be Nice to Kendall Jenner

Kendall Jenner for Dazed & Confused

It's no secret that I have a big soft spot for most things Kardashian related. Kim's latest shoot may have been polarising, causing many to jump on soap boxes and high horses and ride off into the sunset spouting angry self-righteous claptrap, to which I respond: it's just a butt, get over it, but (pun intended) you can't deny her success, fame or wealth, nor do I think you can deny the fact that she, and all her relatives, have worked very hard and strategised almost faultlessly to achieve all the aforementioned. 

Kendall Jenner may have grown up in a world where wealth, fame and success were already in abundance, but that's most definitely not her fault. You also cannot blame her for her height and stature, the endless legs and beautiful, pixie like face of perfect symmetry, which seem to be making her the perfect model, adored by designers and magazine editors alike. Of course her famous family lends her a certain intrigue, and I don't doubt that her family's industry connections have made the path a whole lot easier for her. However, I also don't doubt that she's worked hard.

Besides, the fashion world is hardly a big warm, fuzzy, inclusive place. It's notoriously critical of reality stars and celebrities trying to worm their way into the fashion world. You only need to think of the snobbish controversy sparked by Kim's Vogue cover, or the scepticism Victoria Beckham and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were met with when first launching their (now hugely appreciated) lines. If Kendall Jenner had no merit as a model, she would absolutely not be landing magazine covers here, there and everywhere and walking for Chanel. No way.

Which is why when I read Arisce Wanzer's Open Letter to Kendall Jenner , in which Kendall is criticised for basically not being from a poor family or from the Third World, I was left with a horribly bitter bad taste in my mouth. Not so much because I so desperately want to defend Kendall's work ethic or what have you, but because it just made me lose a little faith in humanity.

Wanzer's intentions were most likely to make Kendall look bad, but all she succeeds in doing is sounding like a jealous, bitter, insecure, little bitch. Kendall probably has had a much easier route to where she is than most models do, but that's not her fault. And who really gives a shit. By the sounds of it, Wanzer should be proud of her career and all that she has achieved, as she has done so without the help Kendall has no doubt received, but instead she's focussing all her energy on comparing herself with and directing bitter hatred at others. Did no one ever teach her that old adage: "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all?"

Of course maybe she's trying to cash in on Kendall's current golden ticket. I'd certainly never heard of her name before that letter...

Whatever her motives for writing that piece, it's just plain nasty. No matter how privileged someone is, or how disadvantaged your background is, there's no excuse to do something so horrid, distasteful and cheap as to put your cigarette out in someone's drink. Nor is it ok to assume that because someone is rich and successful that they've led and do lead a happy life, and to resent them for it. Nobody knows what's around the corner, and you certainly don't know what goes on in people's most private spheres.

Work on yourself, carry on with your own life, stop moaning, get over yourself and be nice.

It's really not that hard.





26/07/2014

Sunsetter

Come on, press play and come and watch the sunset with me.



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Lagos, Portugal, June 2013

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On the road in Alberta, Canada, January 2013

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From Café Mambo, San Antonio, Ibiza, July 2014

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Ibiza 2014, again.

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Canmore, AB, Canada, December 2012

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Lexington, Kentucky, October 2013

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Flying into Cologne, Germany, March 2011

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From my parents' house, Ayrshire, Summer 2012

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Dubrovnik, Croatia, August 2011

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Hvar, Croatia, August 2011

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Kelvingrove, Glasgow, June 2012

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Hvar, Croatia, June 2011

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Hvar again.

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Hamburg, Germany, March 2011

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Paris, October 2010

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Ibiza, April 2011

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Milna, Croatia, August 2011

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Ibiza, April 2011


I'm a sucker for a good sunset. My friend Sarah says "I can never get tired of skyporn," and I completely agree. In fact, if I were to post to instagram every single picture I take of the sky, I would bore you all to tears. Besides, it never looks as good on camera as it does in real life.

I've watched the sun set from San Antonio's sunset strip in Ibiza twice now and I think it's my favourite sunsetting experience. Not least because they've completely ritualised something that is literally an every day occurrence, albeit a beautiful one. I mean, people clap when the sun finally dips below the waters. I was in Ibiza with fellow sunset lover Sarah this summer and as we perched on the beach, mojitos in hand, we spoke about how lovely it is that the simple act of watching the sunset in San Antonio is an event in itself. Sure, for most of those visiting the island it's all about the all night parties, the big name DJs, the euphoria of dancing to your favourite music in venues that are incomparable to anything at home, but it's quite remarkable that so many people take the time out of their eat-sleep-rave-repeat schedule to do something so simple as watch the sunset. It feels like the whole island stops to breathe and appreciate things for a moment. The atmosphere is so chilled out, the music is incredible and the view is so beyond picture-perfect your little heart will feel like it's going to burst from the beauty. Even if you've got misgivings about the White Isle's hedonistic party reputation, in my opinion it's entirely worth going for the San Antonio sunset alone.

The ritualisation of watching the sunset is something I want to bring into 'real life' a little more. It's not just whilst on holiday in Ibiza that you can take pause, grab a cocktail and relax as you watch the day turn into night. Sure, the sunset in Edinburgh is probably not going to be quite as beautiful as the one in the Balearics, but it's more about taking those moments to chill out a bit and appreciate the simple beauty of it all, right? Besides, all you really need is a nice west-facing view, a glass of something cold and a decent playlist.

I may be far too pale to ever be a fully-fledged sun-seeker (hello sunburn), but sunset-seeker is a moniker that sounds right up my street.

19/07/2014

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen Design First Wedding Dress

Despite having worked in a few weddingy establishments - wedding waitressing and selling engagement rings - I'm not particularly wedding-obsessed, and tend not to be one to ooh and aah over all things bridal. If I am ever to get married myself, I'm certain of a few things: there will be steak on the menu, my dress will be comfortable, there will be a significant lack of flowers because the damn things make me sneeze and all pomp and circumstance will be at an absolute bare minimum.

Wedding unwillingness aside, when I saw that Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen had designed their very first wedding dress for their close friend, stylist Molly Fishkin, I had to see it. And it's a beautiful dress. It's not me - I think I'd want something a little more simple -  but it is beautiful. I love the fluted sleeves and I'm absolutely crazy for the drama of the veil, but mostly I'm in love with these pictures.  It looks like an incredibly beautiful setting for a wedding, and as a total "Olsen Obsessive", I love seeing MKA at work in this kind of personal setting, not to mention ogling what their wearing. Ashley's jewellery situation has got me drooling, and I'm really into these low little buns they're both sporting.

Plus, it's got me excited to see if The Row will now branch into a bridal collection, or just do bespoke pieces for their nearest and dearest, and I imagine, those willing to pay. Perhaps in a few years time they'll have knocked Vera Wang off her bridal gown top spot, who knows. They've already proven time and time again in their collections that they can get simple, chic elegance to a flawless standard, and this dress seems to push that elegance in a more dramatic, intricate and romantic direction. So perhaps a bridal collection from The Row would appeal to an even wider consumer group than their core collections do. Maybe you wouldn't consider yourself a The Row kind of girl, but maybe you could be a The Row kind of bride?

Anyway, enjoy the pictures, from Vogue.com, and let me know what you think of the dress. Do you have a dream wedding dress in mind? Or is this a topic that you give absolutely no thought to whatsoever?

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Seriously, look at that ring!

Read all about the wedding on Vogue.com - it sounds even more beautiful than it looks - and see all the other pictures that I decided not to pinch.

14/07/2014

Kim Kardashian Style Inspiration. Yes really.

I have a Konfession to make.

I am a Kim Kardashian fan. 

Now I'm not saying that I consider her to be an excellent role model or that I find her so inspiring that she has forever altered the way I approach life. I certainly don't admire her for her humanitarianism or her intellect. 

However, I do think she deserves some merit for managing to wrangle the not-so-favourable notoriety of a leaked sex tape into a hugely successful, multi-million dollar business empire. That at least shows some savvy. 

She's also extremely adept at practicing the kind of self-admiration and adoration that I think more girls and women should partake in. It might be vanity, but I think it's a helluva lot better than constantly picking at your flaws and wishing you were thinner. When it comes to bodies, Kim's is a million miles away from the nigh on emaciated frames teetering around the entertainment industry and yet she hasn't bowed to the pressure to live on kale smoothies and morph into a stick insect, which I think is commendable. She may not be a perfect role model, but as someone with a different look from the "norm," as dictated by celebrity culture, and who chooses not only to not apologise for it but to celebrate it in the form of scantily clad selfies, she provides another option. Kim Kardashian's dramatic curves say that it's okay not to be Rosie Huntington-Whitely or Cara Delevingne or any other thin and leggy starlet, and as a fat-arsed girl myself, I'm grateful for that. 

But enough about Kim Kardashian's ass.

Never in a million years did I think I would be drawing style inspiration from Kimmy K, but here I am. She's just been getting it so right lately and looking totes gorgina that I can't help myself. She just looks incredible. And I'm loving it. Pencil skirts are go.


 






















K dolls. That's enough Kardashian for one blog I think. Bible. 


P.S. Those of you that are sticklers for formatting - sorry, this is a mobile post! I'm getting the hang of it... sort of.

P.P.S Pictures taken from the bazillions on tumblr.

28/06/2014

Summer Soundtracking

Sunshine makes things sound better.

It's a fact.

This is what I've been listening to lately, imagining I'm off somewhere else instead of traipsing past tourists on the Royal Mile on my walk to work.



You're on a beach, sweating out last night's sins. Toes in the warm sand, hot sun on your face and the gentlest of salty breezes taking the edge off the blistering heat as the beautiful Banks' soft-yet-sultry vocals trickle through your headphones. It's the perfect track for relaxing under the sun as your hangover slowly recedes. Could even be time for a nice cold beer now...





One of those nights when you've ended up somewhere you've never been before, wearing a weird outfit because you've been out in beer gardens all day, and you really didn't think you'd end up going out tonight. Then something like this comes on and it feels like everything's just clicked into place.

Plus, I love elephants.




I couldn't wrap my head around this first time around. But I'm now obsessed. I want to play this on a balcony after coming home from a big night. Someone's handed you a warm beer or some hideous concoction of whatever was left from earlier, and you really don't want it but you really don't want to go to bed yet. The piano bit towards the end is just perfect!



I know that this song is old, and to be fair even this remix isn't completely fresh, but I'm still every bit obsessed with this song as I was when I first heard it. I've been loving this little tropical revamp for a while, but now that summer has finally kicked off it's feeling even more apt. If I had somewhere to barbecue, this would be my soundtrack.



After a day at the beach, you head into one of those sundowner beach bars, just for a quick drink before you go back to get ready for dinner. But then you realise it's happy hour on mojitos, people have started dancing and the sun is dipping down over the sea in the most beautiful way that you couldn't possibly leave. They start playing music like this and all of a sudden dinner has turned into a dodgy looking soggy burger at midnight before the next party, you're still wearing your bikini and toting around suncream and a beach read, but you're on holiday. So what does it matter.



I first started listening to The Weeknd, walking home alone from bars through the streets of Cologne on moody, muggy May nights.  It's nowhere near The Morning but I still love it, and it still takes me back to the end of my time in Germany, in the streets between Zülipicherstraße and Rudolfplatz. This is also brilliant, but he's no B.



Sarah, she of the always on point music taste, alerted me to this piece of brilliance when she shared this mix (which is awesome, by the way). Eventually, we found the original. Just in time to be played relentlessly when we jet off to Ibiza next week... ! :)

What are you listening to right now?

30/05/2014

What I Know About Running

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You will think all those poncey runners spending hundreds of pounds on trainers are ridiculous. You will spend as little as possible. You will regret this when a mere month later you've done in your ankles and can't run at all.

5k will initially seem like an insurmountable distance. You will surpass this quickly, and amaze yourself.

Running is more addictive than chocolate and cigarettes and any other vice you might be harbouring.

Every run will not be faster than the last, even though you want it to be. Sometimes your body's tired, sometimes your mind's tired. Sometimes you just suck. It doesn't matter, you're still running. Tune out the Nike lady telling you how slowly you're going every mile and just enjoy it.



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I cannot run with other people.

You may start to eschew Zara and Topshop in favour of Nike and brightly coloured sports bras.

When you get injured, and you can't run, you'll sink into a kind of running related funk. Non-runners will think you ridiculous. Other runners will get it completely.

Forrest Gump moments do happen. Embrace them, but not too much. Beware the overtraining injury.

You will get injured. Often.

When you overtake a fellow runner in the park you'll feel a wicked sense of joy. However, when you're not running, you'll feel a weird sense of solidarity with whoever runs past you, and silently cheer them on in your head.



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When your old shoes are knackered and it's time for a new pair, it's bizarrely unsettling. You have to say goodbye to your trusty companions that kept you company for all those miles, and even if sometimes they gave you blisters, and you suspect they were partially responsible for that injury, you'll keep them around for as long as possible. What if the new pair aren't as comfy? What if they rub and give you a whole new set of blisters? What if they bring back the shin splints? I kept my old shoes hanging around unused in my room for about a fortnight. Just in case.

That said, taking your shiny new trainers on their virgin voyage makes you almost giddy with excitement.

People might start to worry that you're addicted. You are.

You'll have a perfect run in your head. That distance, that time. You'll get there one day.



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Sometimes, going for a run will be the only time in the day that you have the headspace to think. Sometimes, it'll be the only time in the day where you can properly switch off and not think.

It is therapeutic. But sometimes it's a battle. When you're a mile from home and you feel like your body is broken and your mind is incoherent and fragmented in its exhaustion, it will take all your mettle to get you to your door. You might cry. But when you get home and you get into the shower you will feel like you're floating. And not just because you can't feel your legs anymore.

Running in the rain. Bliss.

On the odd occasions when you have a really good run, and you smash that PB, you'll be elated for the entire day, and you'll feel like you can do anything.



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And that's why I run.

19/05/2014

Nosh Detox 3 Day Juice Cleanse

The other week I did a three day juice cleanse.

Yes, after spending an entire blog post bemoaning their expense, declaring it would be so, so easy to DIY and then ending my first day of my DIY Juice Cleanse with a KFC, I finally bit the bullet and did a real juice cleanse. Although, only because there was a deal going on. I still think they're ridiculously over-priced.

So, for less than half price, I took the plunge and ordered a Nosh Detox three day juice cleanse.


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A few days later, a huge box full of cute little bottles, scary sounding sachets and my instructions for the cleanse arrived. And it took up almost an entire shelf of my fridge.

I'll admit I was a little terrified about starting the cleanse. All this talk about 'colon cleanses,' allowing my body to 'eliminate what it needs to,' and the emotions I was to expect had me mentally preparing for something of the magnitude of a Saharan trek, an ultra-marathon or an evening spent with that girl from the Selfie song and her cohorts. 

But my fears were unfounded. It was so much easier than I expected.

Day 1.
Although by the evening I had turned into one hangry bitch, I spent the majority of the day feeling ridiculously full. I felt like I was constantly drinking something, mostly because I took my time with each juice, sipping them slowly because I expected I'd feel starving. This meant that each juice lasted what felt like forever, and although they're all nice tasting, they're not so nice that you want to be savouring them. I think this was the hardest day for me. My stomach felt a bit weird and I was so grumpy I took myself away to bed for about 9pm. One thing I did struggle with was not being able to have coffee. I hadn't realised I loved coffee so much until I couldn't have it. Countdown to the day after the cleanse and a return to Starbucks begins.

Day 2.
Decide to drink each juice as quickly as possible to avoid full-sluggish-weird feeling from day one. This works much better for me. I even start to feel a little self righteous in the office, watching everyone eat their lunches. The chap sitting next to me whips out a haggis roll and whilst I'd normally love a haggis roll, the smell and thought of it make me nauseous today. Kind of dreading my superfood sachet and getting sick of the lumpy colon cleanses (especially as they don't seem to work at all... ) as they're by far the worse part of the cleanse. They're pretty minor though - one cleanse sachet in the morning and one in the evening, and a superfood sachet at lunchtime, the rest is pretty tasty juices! Feel full and satisfied in the evening, and much less of a hangry bitch. It feels quite liberating not having to interrupt the flow of your evening with the chore of cooking and eating, so I have a salt bath, read some of my book and generally feel quite productive. Energy levels also freakishly high considering the amount of calories consumed.


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Gross spinachy tasting superfood sachet on the left, gross lumpy colon cleanse on the right.

Day 3.
Nosh have been emailing me throughout my cleanse, which has been lovely. In fact when I tweeted that I was scared to start my cleanse they replied to me saying not to worry, as they were always there for me and that I was to give them a call any time. 1 million customer service points to Nosh - I felt super supported the entire time, even if I didn't actually take up any of their offers of help. Anyway, on their day three email they tell me "Whatever you are going through, do not worry - it will pass." So I step off into day three feeling a little bit anxious about what's to come. I needn't have worried. Day three may have even been my easiest day, perhaps because I was so excited about the prospect of returning to solid foods the next day. Like the other days, I don't feel particularly hungry or like I'm lacking in something. However, looking into my fridge and seeing my last ever juice is a very nice feeling. I go to bed feeling full and satisfied, although I do dream about coffee and practically bound out of bed the next day and run for my Grande Skinny Caramel Macchiato with an Extra Shot please.


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So what did I think of the juice cleanse? Well, it was good. I quite enjoyed it. Most of all, I enjoyed a return to faith in my own willpower and my abilities to follow through with something that can be quite challenging. I enjoyed the freedom I found in not having to eat and the huge amount of time that leaves for you to use for other productive purposes. And of course I enjoyed the 6lbs I lost. In three days! That's 2lbs a day! Bikini body I can feel you coming closer!

There was however one major thing that I didn't enjoy. And I'm sorry in advance, because this is going to be way, way, way TMI for the usual standards of this blog.

Friends I'd spoken to before doing the juice cleanse had all pretty much said the same thing: "You are going to spend the entire three days on the toilet." I had expected as much too, especially with taking two 'colon cleanses' a day. But nope. Nada. Nothing. Zilch. So much so that by the third day I was feeling particularly uncomfortable and pretty damn peeved. Not feelings I had wanted especially having paid quite a bit of money to feel this way. (Because even half off I paid a pretty penny). But then Day 4 or Day 1 of normality rolled around, and, well... oh dear. I almost had to cancel my Friday night because of the amount of time I was spending in the loo. Awkward. I think even now, almost a fortnight later, my digestive system has yet to return to normal, which is pretty annoying.

But that's my only issue with this cleanse. Otherwise, it was surprisingly easy to do, satisfying, tasty and effective, and I felt incredibly supported by the lovely Nosh team the whole way through. If you don't have a sensitive or unpredictable stomach, I would definitely recommend it! I don't think I'll be doing another one though.

Well, maybe not for a while.