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You know I’m a fan of giving it away up front - if you’re looking for a good night out – book this show.

Before is started I was humming the iconic theme tune and Scott said ‘If they don’t use that I’m going to be so mad.’ I of course replied with ‘Don’t be daft, of course they’ll use it.’ He countered that point with something else we’d seen on stage that hadn’t used a few iconic bits from a film, and placed a seed of doubt in my head. I needn’t have worried, The Addams Family the musical might be a musical, and a different form, to the strips and films, but they pay homage to their relatives and the stage show opens with those 4 notes repeating, and a bodiless hand clicking along from through a letterbox.

However, it totally is its own thing – the characters are different interpretations to those that Scott and I know and love from the Anjelica Huston and Christina Ricci films. It wasn’t like seeing a second rate version of those films on stage – and really, with a cast as stellar as this one, how could it ever have been? Carrie Hope Fletcher always gives a phenomenal performance and this was no different, I was blown away again and again by her voice, but I also was awed by Cameron Blakely as Gomez. Gomez and Fester are the heart of this show, and what heart they are. Scott Paige, understudy for Les Dennis, was performing the role of Fester the night and he was phenomenal. His version of Uncle Fester was a bit like if the Uncle Fester we’re familiar with got together with Varys from Game of Thrones and had a baby – it was fantastic. I’m going again tomorrow and Scott’s performance is one of the main things I’m looking forward to. Well, that, and Lurch – but I don’t want to say too much there (get it?!) and spoil it for you.

If you’re an Addams Family fan you won’t be disappointed by this hilarious, quirky show that so cleverly captures all of the elements of the family we know and love whilst showing them in a new light, with a new story. If you’re unfamiliar with the Addams Family (I would have written ‘If you’re not an Addams Family fan, but, like, surely there’s no one in the world who would fall into that camp?!) then this show is an amazing introduction to the family that’s kooky, spooky and altogether ooky…


It’s Friday the 13th of Halloween month – treat yourselfto some tickets!

The Addams Family Musical, King's Theatre, Glasgow.

13 October 2017



Isle of Skye Candle Company - Sleep Sensations 3 Wick Candle


After receiving an Isle of Skye Sleep Sensations Votive candle as part of an event run by People Make Glasgow for the Style Mile Fest last year I've been a fan of these candles, recommending them to everyone and anyone. Looking for a clean burning candle? I've got you covered.

It occurred to me that, despite telling everyone I know IRL, I had never actually shared a proper blog post dedicated to these candles, so when I did a stock up last month I decided to photograph them and finally share the details.

The company was started in 2006 by James, who worked alone until 2009 - which is incredible! Imagine starting and running your own company by yourself for that long - what an inspiring story... You can read more about the company here; but the history aside let's talk about the products themselves.

The candles are made with high quality soya wax, which means they burn more cleanly and the wax used burns at a lower temperature, which means that the fragrances are not burnt off and you actually get a much better scent payoff from these candles than with others. That scent payoff is certainly there with both of the three wick candles I've shown in this post, they truly fill the room and strongly enough that they (there's not really a delicate way to put this...) cover the smell that somehow seems to linger even after Sansa's litter tray has been cleaned out.

The Juniper scent is very fresh but still relaxing and I've been burning that one downstairs, but the Sleep Sensations one has been firmly in my bedroom and it definitely helps to calm me down at night. There is lavender in the Sleep Sensations formula, and I'm not usually a huge fan of lavender scents, and it's mixed with tea tree and grapefruit, again neither of which I particularly like, but somehow mixed together these three just work. It make my room smell like a spa, which is what I'm all about and definitely creates an ambiance that makes me want to unwind and go to sleep.

Since Sansa is still a young cat I can't leave candles burning unattended (yes, I know you're not meant to anyway, but let's just not pretend we don't walk out of rooms with candles burning in them!) so I can't do what I previously would, which is put the candle on then go into the bathroom and shower/wash my face/faff about before coming back to my bedroom, by then usually filled with scent, and finish off my skincare and settle into bed; but even though I don't light this candle till I go into my room the three wick sends out such a good scent so quickly that I hardly notice the slight hold up in my routine.

As for the air freshener, which I went for in the Ginger & Nutmeg scent, it's been giving out plenty of scent to fill the car. The website says these last up to three weeks and it's now been in our car for around 4, and still seems to be going strong! For £2.50 I'm very impressed and will be purchasing another one! We don't eat in the car generally so there's not any smell to mask, so not sure how they'd hold up against a McDonalds drive through, but if the Juniper vs Sansa's Litter Tray throwdown is anything to go by, I'm fairly sure these would outdo any cheeseburgers.

Next on my list is the Winter Warmer scent, and if you'd like to have a sniff at these then you can check out the store list here - or if you don't have a physical store near you then the stockists are here.



Isle of Skye Candle Company

10 October 2017

Pinch punch first of the month! It's October and it's officially well into Autumn, and I couldn't be happier because I love Autumn/Winter dressing, the rich colours, the heavier fabrics - it all gets me so excited, but with a New York trip and a DLP trip early next year I can't really afford to go crazy on what I'm buying without a plan - so I've picked out some bits and pieces that either work together or with my existing wardrobe (or both!) to make sure that when I'm buying things for my favourite seasons I'm not wasting money!

DAYWEAR


I'm pretty guilty of buying up lots of dresses and going out things, but not a lot of day to day clothing - but this year I am definitely going to try and be better! The first jumper, with the swans on it, is from Oasis and was merchandised in store with the tartan skirt I've placed underneath it in this collage. it's very cutsey and I think it'll go nicely with my Ted & Muffy boots from last year, and ultimately I'm aiming to buy things that will slot in and work with my existing wardrobe.

Speaking of my existing wardrobe, the green Kate Spade handbag that I showed in this haul is one of my favourite bags - it's the perfect size to be roomy enough to hold things without being so big it ends up weighing a tonne, and green is my favourite colour so I'm on a mission to add a little more of it into my wardrobe. This green skirt is cord, which is a good material for going into the colder months as it is slightly warmer. The dress next to it would also be good for a layering piece in winter and it comes in both green and burgundy - which are basically my two favourite colours. They're logng enough to be able to wear to work with tights and a shirt underneath, but i'd wear them on the weekend too - so I think I'd get loads of wear from them both.

Given the amount of navy I wear the striped navy and red jumper would fit easily into my wardrobe to wear with jeans and boots through the colder months, an easy, no thought required combination. There's also the grey jumper with the embellishment on it, I'm not sure if the material could potential be an irritant to my eczema, but I think it's beautiful and well worth going in to store to check out. I didn't include this green jumper in the collage, because I'm not sure if it might be too high necked for my large chested figure, but it's that same gorgeous green shade that I love, so again I'll be heading into store to try it on! 

The last skirt is this gorgeous one from Warehouse, which again I think would go with a lot of my existing wardrobe. It's styled in store with a red jumper that has a slight puff sleeve, which I don't think would hugely flatter me, so I'll be on the lookout for other red jumpers with normal sleeves, but I think in the meantime it would match my own navy jumper, and again the swan print one.

Lastly these culottes from Zara are gorgeous, the cropped length probably isn't ideal for winter but I think they'd be lovely for work with a plain top. I recently bought these ones from River Island but in a navy colour, rather than the cream, and I love them, so another pair would be a welcome addition to my wardrobe, and I love the colour of these Zara ones!

OUTERWEAR AND ACCESSORIES

 This navy and red military coat from Monsoon would fit perfectly into my existing wardrobe, and looks like it'll be warm without being too cumbersome. This green blazer, which I admit I'd be a bit stretched to class as outerwear is beautiful and again is another green piece to bring in to my wardrobe. I think it'd be perfect to throw on over jeans and jumpers to jazz it all up a bit, or even over plain dresses. I could always go the whole hog and buy the matching green trousers,

Jewellery wise I initially saw this pearl necklace when we were in London, it's shown on the website as a choker, but when I saw it in the store it wasn't styled as a choker. What initially put me off was that you just tie it around your neck, it doesn't have a clasp and it's pretty overpriced for what is just a basic piece of costume jewellery , but to be honest I haven't stopped thinking about it. It's mainly the necklace I want, but the matching earrings are super pretty too, and pearls are always timeless.

Shoes wise, these flat red ones are perfect for every day wear, the straps make them a little bit more interesting than a basic shoe but they're still casual enough for wearing with jeans and the striped jumper in the first collage.

The orange heels are such a classic shape but with that more interesting colour that I think they could jazz up a lot of outfits - they would match with my navy items to bring a pop of colour and orange tones in well with the burgundy and bottle green elements I'm trying to up in my wardrobe. They're satin so completely inappropriate but when have I ever let that affect my decisions (rolls eyes!)

Lats but not least these burgundy shoes with their straps and chunky, block heel are ideal for every day - they'll be super comfortable for walking around in and I think I'll get a tonne of wear from them.

CHRISTMAS PARTY

It wouldn't be an Autumn/Winter fashion wishlist without some party outfits for festive season. Dolce & Gabbana are pretty much my favourite designers - my instagram favourites collection is basically just their images and Elie Saab's - and these black and gold embellished shoes are just such a classic example of their maximalist approach to dressing. They're kind of hideous, in a wonderful way, and I love them. I thin this year I'd wear them with this classic black 50s skirt, and this black and gold velvet embroidered jacket from Zara, teamed with the black and gold headband I showed in this haul last winter.

This jacquard skirt is gorgeous, and I think it would do really well for those Christmas drinks and dinners that aren't full parties but that I want to be a little bit more dressed up for - I could wear it with a plain jumper and flat shoes or even trainers to dress it down, or dress it up a little bit more, so it's something that would fit right into my wardrobe.

The brocade boots are similar - they could be dressed up or dressed down. Paired with a midi dress they'd be perfect for the after work festivities, not OTT but with that little bit of effort, but throw on with jeans and a blazer and it's just a standard smart casual outfit, regardless of the season.

Lastly these bow heels are one of the most perfectly festive items ever, and I'm hoping they might go with my red Kate Spade bow backed dress I showed here. Even if they're not quite the right shade of red for that dress I wear a lot of red anyway, and I know these would get used.


So that's it, the things I'm considering adding to my Autumn/Winter 2017 wardrobe. The only wardrobe update I haven't included is a new handbag - and that's mainly because I don't really need one, but if I was investing it would be in the Dolce & Gabbana Sicily bag in red - not sure if I'd go medium or large though...

Autumn Winter 2017 Wishlist

1 October 2017


Mind that time I was blogging every day in September? Yeah... To be fair this will be my 19th post in the 24 days of September that we've had, which is more blogging than I've ever done in a month - so I think we can claim this month as a victory.

Although my Scot Food Fort content is now done, the Scottish theme continues on with this beautiful gift set that I was given by The Scottish Fine Soaps Co. It really couldn't be more welcome as, although I've ended up taking a few days off without posting, posting as much as I have done this month alongside working full time and filming and editing for my YouTube channel I feel absolutely exhausted, and very much ready to book in for a spa weekend somewhere. As it so happens, with my New York trip in December and my Paris trip for February needing to be paid off before I go to NY, a spa weekend is not financially on the cards for me until after Christmas - so I needed to improvise.

I say improvise, because using these products did not feel at all like a compromise. 

The Sea Kelp scent is beautiful and luxurious, and incredibly spa like. I have been loving the Ren Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium range but given the cheapest product I've used from that range is the £20.00 body wash and the entire contents of this set come in at £12.50 - including being presented in the beautiful box - the Sea Kelp range from The Scottish Fine Soaps Co. is a much more affordable way to get that kelp experience.

But let's talk about the contents of the set; for your £12.50 you get a solid bar of Soap (40g), a Body Wash (75ml), Body Butter (75ml) and a Hand and Nail Cream (75ml) all with the same Sea Kelp fragrance, obviously.

The body wash is absolutely beautiful - you do get a little bit of a lather off of it for those of you who really cannot be without a lather, but it's not a huge foamer which, for me, means it's not drying my skin out. The soap lathers as much as you make it, but as you'd expect from a company built on their soaps, again it's not drying. Although I'm saying these things don't strip the skin, don't interpret that as they're heavy and super nourishing - these are lightweight, refreshing products to use, you feel uplifted after using them, not ready for bed.

The leave on products are again lightweight, but they are nourishing. The body butter when sold on it's own can come in the tube (the full size is 200ml) or a gorgeous glass jar, but I think the tube presentation is making sure I don't slather on too much, the way I might do with the jar, and my skin is absorbing it pretty much straight away. For me the phrase 'body butter' usually automatically equates to 'standing naked in the bathroom for 15 minutes trying to wait for it to sink in' (which, when it's winter in Scotland, no one is up for, let's be honest!) but this one is a non traditional body body that absorbs quickly, feels lightweight yet nourishing and that I feel like I can use in the morning or before I need to be somewhere without it being a risk, time factor wise. 

The hand and nail cream is pretty fast absorbing as well, and I think I'm going to take it in and keep it on my desk in work as the scent is so nice and uplifting that it'll probably help with that 3pm slump we all hit in the afternoon (I say we all because I'm hoping it's not just me who can only stare at a computer for so long before her eyes start to glaze over!) but it's not going to leave me with greasy hands for when I do go back to my mouse or keyboard.

We're in the run up to Christmas and I think this gift set is an ideal present for pretty much anyone who likes to relax and enjoys a touch of luxury - I think I'll be treating myself to the Sea Kelp Bath Essence next, and because it is a very clean, fresh scent I think it's quite a unisex set. Being fairly attracted to manly sets, I'm also pretty interested in the Thistle and Black Pepper range (there's a muscle soak that I really want) and the Manhattan Soap In A Tin - just in case anyone's reading this that's starting to think about what they'd like to get me! 

The Scottish Fine Soaps Company

24 September 2017

 For my last Scot Food Fort recipe the theme is Brunch and, let's be honest, brunch only happens on days off and it's not something I want to spend a whole lot of time making - so here's my recipe that I got from someone in my Slimming World class for a super easy eggs and bacon brunch, that has a lot of flavour for minimal effort.
You Will Need:
Muffin Tray
Cooking Spray
Scotty Brand Unsmoked Back Bacon
Scottish Eggs
Scottish Cheddar Cheese
2 x Salad Tomatoes
Spinach
Asparagus

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 170 degrees celsius for a fan, 190 Celsius for a non fan.

Step 2: Spray each of your muffin cases with the cooking spray - not enough to get wet just enough to make sure your bacon doesn't stick.

Step 3: Line each of your muffin cases with bacon - the bottom and sides, the bacon should almost be like the pastry on a pie, it keeps everything else together. If you're following this as a Slimming World, or even just a healthy, low carb recipe, you might want to remove your fat before doing this.

Step 4: Slice up your tomatoes and place a tomato in the bottom of each muffin case.

Step 5: Slice up some cheese and place on top of your sliced tomato. This can be as much or as little cheese as you like (or no cheese at all!) but if you're a Slimming World-er you'll need to measure it out and make sure it fits as your HexA choice. 
 Step 6: Place a few spinach leaves into your cases.

Step 7: Crack an egg into each case. Now, my muffin tray isn't all that big - so I used 4 eggs between 6, so that 2 of my egg and bacon cases were actually egg whites and bacon - they still tasted amazing, so don't worry about it if you can't get a yolk into each case! However, I do intend to get a bigger muffin tray as, as you can see below, I was having difficulty fitting all the ingredients in!
Step 8: Pop your muffin tray into the oven for 15-20 minutes. 

Step 9: Prepare your sides - i.e. grill your asparagus. Of course, you could always serve up with grilled tomatoes on the side instead, or have no sides at all... It's completely optional! 

That's it - serve up and tuck in, low effort but delicious weekend brunch all round! 
It's hard to believe but that's all my Scot Food Fort posts done! I've had such a good time exploring the options for Scottish food and drink and there were so many things I wanted to include that didn't really fit with the theme of the day - so expect more Scottish Food posts from me in the near future! I hope this has been enjoyable for you guys - and that maybe it's opened you up to a few new Scottish things you could be using on a daily basis! For now... back to lipstick!

Easy Brunch

23 September 2017

As soon as I saw Fine Dining as a theme for Scot Food Fort I knew I was going to do some kind of Surf & Turf - I'm a massive fan of a steak and lobster meal, especially when we go to Florida, and originally that was exactly what I was going to do - but when these Highland Game Venison Steaks caught my eye in Waitrose I decided to try something a little bit different from the standard steak.

Paired with the garlic and parmesan hassle back style potatoes, I knew lobster would have been a little bit too much else to fit on the plate, so I instead opted for prawns to give that feeling of having a good surf and turf but without too many big players competing for space on the plate. This was definitely one of my favourite things I've made in a while and although I'd never cooked venison before I basically followed the instructions and it came out perfectly.

I'm actually not a huge sauce person, so I served my steak up just with it's own juices which was more than moist enough for me, but do feel free to add in a sauce if that's how you like yours!

To recreate mine, you will need:
Highland Game Venison Steaks - 250g 
Ready To Eat Prawns
New Potatoes
Mackintosh of Glendaveny Garlic Infused Rapseed Oil
Parmesan Cheese
Asparagus Tips
For the potatoes I decided to do mini hasselback potatoes made with some baby potatoes. I actually wanted to use the Scotty Brand baby potatoes but had finished up my supply and I'm nearer an M&S than Waitrose, so the M&S babies got pulled in for duty, but when I'm making this again I will use the Scotty Brand ones. 

I washed the potatoes and, while they were drying, preheated my oven to 180 degrees (I have a fan to go for 200 if you don't.) I used the 'wooden spoon trick' for slicing up the potatoes - it ensures your knife doesn't go all the way down and slice through, though after doing two this way I got cocky and did the rest myself as I preferred a slightly deeper cut to let the potatoes fan out a little more.

I then placed the potatoes (I did 3 for each of us, which doesn't seem very generous but once you consider everything else on your plate 3 is totally fine!) on a tin foiled lined baking tray and rather over enthusiastically drizzled 2 tbsps of the Mackintosh of Glendaveny Garlic Infused Rapeseed oil over them. In retrospect it was a little too much oil as when the potatoes were done they still has a little oil spilling out, so I'd only use 1 tbsp next time. Once the oven was ready I popped the potatoes in for 20 minutes.

At the 20 minute mark I took my potatoes out and covered them in my grated parmesan cheese before putting them back in the oven for another 15 minutes. 

During that second 15 minute stint it was time to do the venison, I first of all placed my pan on a high heat to let it get hot prior to the meat going in, then took the venison steaks out of the packet and seasoned them with salt and pepper and sprayed them with a little oil. As soon as they hit the pan there was a hugely satisfying sizzle, and off we went. I simply did 2.5 minutes on one side, turned the heat down to medium, flipped over and did 2.5 on the other, then turned and did each side for another minute and a half. That gave me a gorgeously tender venison steak that was on the rare side, but you can do an extra 3 minutes if you prefer your meat more medium. In the last minute that they were in the pan I also chucked in my prawns to give them a heat. I had ready to eat prawns so it was literally just a case of warming them.
I then transferred the steaks to a separate plate and chucked my aspragus into the pan beside the prawns, to let them cook in the juices from the steak. At this point I also turned the oven off and went to get my plates prepared. I placed the steaks and prawns on the plate, keeping the asparagus in the pan and pulled the potatoes out and dished them out between the two of us. 

Fine dining is all about presentation so I used a piece of kitchen roll to wipe around the food on the plates, mopping up the juices and then turned the pan off and placed the asparagus on the side. 

I even served up my meal on our Rennie Mackintosh plates - since it was for Scot Food Fort after all! 

Venison Surf & Turf with Garlic and Parmesan Mini Hasselback Potatoes

18 September 2017

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