Monday, 29 August 2016

Top 5 BUDGET FRIENDLY Edinburgh Bars

I love a good drink or two to relax a little after a long day at uni. It happens more often than not that I end up spending my evenings in a bar. A few quiet drinks are totally acceptable for busy third year students right? So today I thought I'd share just a few of my favourite Edinburgh spots to go to while on a budget. After all, we are students and need to pinch those pennies and tighten the belt every so often.

  • The Dog House - Clerk Street


The Dog House has become my local watering hole. Situated right beside my flat, its super easy to pop over to this jaunt for a few drinks. At super cheap prices it's hard to resist their mouth wateringly good cocktail and drink menu - after all £3.50 is nothing for a drumstick cocktail or a bramble. It's not just the prices that keep me coming back, its the feel and atmosphere of the Dog House. Each wall is covered in quirky bits and bobs - I constantly find myself staring at new parts and discovering new cows hanging from the ceiling, or lost in the wanders of the 'teddy bear graveyard'. Sounds odd right, but everything totally works and makes for a really fun time in there. Despite my many visits I am yet to actually meet the resident bull dog, who has photos adorning a wall. All the more reason to return!  
  • The Pear Tree - West Nicholson Street

The Pear Tree is a favourite of the students and locals alike. One of the few places in Edinburgh that has a bear garden, its the place that everyone flocks on a sunny day. Even on cold days I find myself sat out at the benches under the heat lamps. The Pear Tree offers a classier feel at a fraction of the price, with comfy arm chairs to lounge in while cosy indoors. The drinks menu offers your standard pub drinks - spirit mixes, beers & ciders etc, all coming in at a few pounds each. They even have pimms pitchers for when the weather is warmer and you want to kick back, relax in the sheltered courtyard and listen to their awesome music. 
  • The Chanter - Bread Street 

The Chanter is a good bar for cheap drinks and cheap food, especially with deals for food plus an alocholic drink. Since this bar is so close to the grass market and the city center it's got a range of ages - plus with having student discount it's a good place for students to hang out. The food here is also very yummy (the nachos are amazing), as well as drinks being cheap and affordable - £9 for a cocktail pitcher. Some nights have live music, which gives great background music to chill to and maybe find a new artist or two to listen to. It's the perfect place if you're wanting a cheap and boozy dinner, or to nurse the hangover in the morning!
  • Pilgrim - Robertson's Close

Pilgrim is my favourite find this year. Set right in the centre of town - 5 minutes from the Royal Mile (although beware of the hugely steep hill if you're wearing heels) - its a hidden gem. The place has a really cool feel to it, with quirky lighting and old cinema style chairs to lounge in. Its also got a dj that plays good music for you to listen to while drinking away. The bathrooms are covered in inspirational & funny quotes, giving this place a really cool vibe. And with spirit mixes coming in at only a couple of pounds each, or cocktails starting at £5, its easy to lose the whole night to this chilled atmosphere. 
  • The Jazz Bar - Chamber Street
If you're looking for somewhere with good music and a chilled atmosphere then The Jazz Bar is the place to go. With really reasonably priced drinks, its the perfect place for some entertainment. Their programme varies from acoustic, big band to electric, so there's really something for everyone. Some of the nights do have a small charge for entry, but its really worth it when you see the fun live music. The venue feels really intimate, you're close enough to the stage that you feel part of the performances, or have a seat further from the stage to enjoy conversations with the music in the background. Whether you're popping in for a couple drinks or if you're spending a whole evening out, The Jazz Bar is an awesome place to go.

What's your favourite Edinburgh spot?


Saturday, 23 July 2016

RECIPE | Coconut Slices

We love a good home bake in our family, and now that we're off on holiday we've started to have a baking day each week. Even with regular baking, none of the food ever lasts - and we're finished within a couple of days.. I'm taking it as a compliment that they're just that good.

So, in need of a new recipe to tingle those taste buds, we thought we'd try out a recipe for coconut slices that we tried years ago and seem to have forgotten about. But believe me, they will never be forgotten again. Within minutes of the first slice being cut, my dad had already eaten 4 squares. They're extremely moreish, light enough to eat a couple in a row, but filling enough to act as a mid morning or afternoon snack.



  • 100g of butter
  • 100g of plain flour
  • 100g of caster sugar
  • 85g desiccated coconut
  • 3 egg yolks (but save the whites for later)
  • 5 tablespoons of jam (flavour of your picking) 
  • 3 egg whites
  • 75g white caster sugar
  • 50g desiccated coconut

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a traybake tin with grease proof paper.
  2. For the base - add flour, sugar and coconut into a bowl and mix together. Then rub the butter together with the ingredients to make crumbs.
  3. Stir in the egg yolks, then mix it all together (I use my hands) into a dough.
  4. Evenly spread the mixture across the tin then spoon on and spread the jam over.
  5. For the top half  - whisk the egg whites till they are stiff, using an electric hand whisk. This takes a little while so be prepared for a sore arm!
  6. Add the sugar, and the coconut and mix. 
  7. Spread this over the jam layer and add some extra coconut flakes on top to finish. 
  8. Pop it in the oven for 30 minutes (until it is golden) then take out and leave to cool.

I hope you enjoy these little coconut treats, they really are lovely & something a bit different. Let me know if you try them!

Check out some of my other recipes:
Lentil Soup
Banana Bread (I use this one so often!)
Bacon & Veg Pasta Bake
Seafood Risotto
Spaghetti Bolognese
The Best EVER Chocolate Cake
EASY Cookies (Yes these were Christmas ones, but the recipe works for any time of the year!)
Peppermint Creams


Thursday, 23 June 2016

OOTD | Florals In The Sunshine

I recently went to a party in Edinburgh Zoo. Ever heard of partying with animals? Neither had I until the invite popped up in my emails. The party was fabulous - as you can imagine a reunion of school friends gathering to celebrate the birthdays of our friends would be - and was made all the more magical by being surrounded by animals. I even got to run out and say hello to a few,  now who would have expected being dressed up in heels and biding penguins a good night?

Of course for an occasion like this, a fancy outfit was needed and I went out to find the pick of the day. Dressing to impress is a must, and I was determined to find the killer outfit. Never did I expect to lay my hands on the outfit that I chose. As a rather short girl, I don't even bother looking at long skirts or dresses normally - they would dwarf me, and make me look like a little kid dressing up in her mum's wardrobe. But when I caught sight of this skirt - mid calf length  and made of a light floaty material - I couldn't stop imagining how grown up I'd feel in something a little bit longer. And right on the rack next to this gorgeous blue skirt was this floral crop top. They screamed try me on. So I did. And what can I say, I loved it!

For the party I paired the ensemble together with a pair of light pink heels - a sensible height for a night of ceilidh dancing, and with a thick heel for extra comfort. Is it lame that these things now matter to me? I've found myself lost in a world of asking whether I could wear flats to a club and when the answer is no, finding the most comfortable pair of heels to accompany me. I claim that its because I love to dance in clubs and heels just are not practical, but really its the thought of sore feet after wearing them for hours that puts me off. Please tell me I'm not the only one.

The total outfit came to  £38 ~ £24.99 for the skirt and £12.99 ~ a bargain if you ask me. It was a little more than I had planned to spend, but when I thought about the fact its two items, both of which can be worn with so many different things. Right now I'm imagining the skirt with a pair of brown sandals and a black top - very Louise Pentland-esk - to wear around on a summer evening here in Scotland. The top can be paired high waisted jeans to give off a 90s vibe. The options are endless.

What do you think? Have you found yourself a new piece that's a little out of your usual comfort zone but still makes you feel good? If not, I can't recommend it enough!


Monday, 13 June 2016

Finishing Third Year of University | University and CV ADVICE

This time last year I wrote a blog post reflecting on my finishing second year of university (if you want you can have a read of that here) and I've decided to write another one about this year. I like to add a more personal post here and there on the blog - after all it is a lifestyle blog.

The other day I submitted my subject choices for next year, my final year of studying. I don't think you'd realise how scary that is unless you're sat in my position too. Saying that, I am incredibly excited for my fourth year, and the subjects that I've chosen really interest me. Third year, however, has been my year. Or at least I've tried to make it my year. So I thought I'd go through what has made this year so great and offer a little advice here and there too.

In third year we're allowed to chose our own subjects, something which I was really looking forward to. I chose Constantinople and The Cities of Asia Minor, Archaeological Illustration, Death Decay & Reconstruction and Island Worlds, alongside the two mandatory courses Archaeology in Practice and Theoretical Archaeology. Being able to chose my subjects made a real difference - I chose topics that genuinely interest me and that I would feel excited to learn about. Coming out the other side of the year, I'm so happy with my subject choices and I can't urge you enough to properly research each of the subjects you're taking. Finding courses that you enjoy can really help motivate you, and I never once felt the need to skip classes nor fell asleep in any, so important when these classes and grades now count. My favourite class was Island Worlds - I found myself really interested in the Mediterranean prehistoric societies, and potentially would like to continue down that line in the future. I also found the Illustration course really useful - I mainly chose this course as it offered a more practical element and will be definitely useful in my future work as an archaeologist.

My favourite thing about this year was that I've started to get to know the lecturers. First and second year lectures were so detached, and I never felt comfortable approaching my lecturers. This year I tried to get my name out there and let the lecturers know who I am. I wasn't as afraid to answer in class (although being a shy person by nature still means I'm not totally comfortable just speaking out) and I went to discuss things with them. Now many of the lecturers and professors know me by name and even stop to talk to me in the corridors or in an elevator ride. I think this has been a real benefit as its made me more comfortable in my classes and has even got me a couple of opportunities now that the lecturers know my interests.

One of the best things I can recommend for university is getting work experience. I know, its something that lecturers, career advisers and the like try to drill into you, but I can't recommend it enough either. Looking at my CV at the start of the year, I had little experience to boast about come graduation. So I decided for this year to try and bump up my CV and make me a bit more desirable to employ. I've been volunteering as a library helper in my school's library - not quite as relevant to my degree, but still useful. Okay - it's not the most interesting thing to do but I get some free print credit for the year and a spot in the very busy library for a couple of hours a week. It's opportunities like this that I want to find more of, where there's not a huge amount of responsibility but a good reward. I've also volunteered in our school's teaching collection / mini museum if you will, called the Childe Collection. In the archaeology world, Gordon Childe is a big deal - especially to us in Edinburgh as he taught here. And we're lucky enough to have his antiquary collection which has grown and grown over the years. I've helped out to catalogue and accession many of the artefacts we have, meaning I get some invaluable experience that is directly related to my future career. I've also grabbed some opportunities volunteering with Aberdeen City Council's archaeology collection, as well as acting as an 'Archaeology ambassador' for the school on open days. It's all these little things that can really add bulk to your CV and set you aside from other candidates. Going above the minimum of getting the grades shows that your passionate about your subject. And even if its not directly related to your degree, its all about how you sell it and yourself - something I've really learnt this year. And making those invaluable contacts can really help in the future, someone who knows your name or face can help to get you that job you're after. It can be the in to a company or organisation - even if its just I worked with this person who knows you.

I've felt the best ever finishing this year - the most settled I've ever been. University is tough when you're just getting started - there's so many factors that you're trying to deal with, new lectures, new lecturers, new friends and often new cities. There's no right or wrong way to do university but it is important to be happy. And over the years I've become more and more happier. Finding a friendship group that makes you feel supported and loved, feeling at home with where you are living and getting dug into other activities - whether academic or sports clubs etc  - all lie in the balance when weighing up whether your time is going to be good or bad. Don't worry if you don't figure it out straight away, it'll come and before you know it there won't be tears each time you leave for the train from home.

Add in the comments any other advice you've got for other students, and let me know how your uni year is going!


Monday, 6 June 2016

May Lifestyle Favourites

As its become a thing here on Under The Scottish Rain, I've been sharing some of the things that have brought me a little bit of happiness or has made my life easier over the last month. And as we are well into the way of June, its time to look back at May! I have to admit, I initially found it a little difficult to find things to mention - maybe I've been playing it too safe this month, sticking to the products and things I know (or maybe its because I'm saving every last penny at the moment in anticipation of an expensive summer ahead) BUT I had a good long think about May and have come up with a few things worth mentioning.

The first up is a book!

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs
I was recently giving some vouchers in return for doing a spot of work in the archaeology department, and I decided to buy myself lots and lots of books so that I could spend my summer reading things that aren't all academic books and this was in one of the piles. I really enjoyed the book as a whole, although the ending has left me scouring book shops for the sequel. It is a somewhat slow book - no real action happening till the very end, and I'd be inclined to say this book is here more to set the scene for book two. However, the story is fascinating.. These children live in another world - a frozen time zone - and each have their own peculiarity: a unique talent that is somewhat a special power. What really made this book so interesting is the incorporation of real photographs throughout, which the author has collected from other collectors and based his story around. This makes the story all that more real - giving you the idea that these children (and beasts) may really have lived. It's well worth the read, if purely to feel like a child again reading a picture book, but you will find yourself becoming more and more caught up in the story of these peculiar children.

My favourite piece of clothing was this floral crop top  from New Look. You may have seen recently on my instagram, that I paired this top with a beautiful long pale blue skirt for a party I went to (and I have an OOTD waiting to be posted featuring that very outfit). This top is the perfect summer number - I'm a real sucker for floral patterns, so this top is right up my street. It's super comfortable and can be worn with so many different outfits - shorts, skirts, high waisted jeans. The material is pretty thick, and has padding around the bust which means you don't even need to wear a bra with it - ultimate comfort!

My favourite film this month was The Jungle Book which I saw right at the start of May, but has stayed with me throughout the month. I'm a huge lover of the Disney cartoon version, and knew all the songs off by heart - so was a little sceptical when it was becoming live animation. I was blown away by it all - not only the amazing CGI that is used, but also the acting of the kid who played Mowgli too. It brought the story to life, and made it so real that I even felt sorry for Shere Khan. If you are a lover of Disney then this film is one for you.

Makeup wise I've actually being trying to cut down on the amount of makeup I wear, and have been letting the sunshine clear up my skin. However, I've had a few occasions that have called for some heavier make up and that's where this Make Up Revolution palette comes in. I'm a massive fan of Make Up Revolution - their low prices makes make up affordable again, and the quality is awesome. This palette - Iconic 2 - is one of my favourites because of all the glitter - glittery eyes are the way to go this summer, and this palette gives enough options for any type of look, day time or night time.

After years of having the same purse and it finally giving out on me I had to find a new one that would fit all my cards. The price of purses made my heart sink - I could not believe how high in price they were so a trip to trusty old Primark was in order. I managed to find this cute purse, which has a good amount of card holders as well as plenty of room for change & notes (that's for the rare occasion when I actually have them). The colour is bright and playful - perfect for summer, and how could I resist a pineapple on the front!

Although there are only a few things that I'm classing as a favourite this month, I still wanted to share those things - quality over quantity right? Let me know if you've been loving any of these things too & leave me suggestions and recommendations in the comments below.

Did you see my latest post? - May In Pictures
Check out some of my other favourites:
April Lifestyle Favourites
March Lifestyle Favourites


Wednesday, 1 June 2016

May In Pictures

We're officially in summer, and my heart can not contain itself. Despite being a Christmas lover and enthusiast; Summer makes me happy. The sunshine brings out a happier side of everyone, troubles seem to be easier to brush away with an evening in the evening sun and a glass of lets say 'a drink of choice'  in hand, and the flowers bursting into blossom brighten up every garden that I pass. I say this while well aware of the fact that I can count on one hand how many fine days we've had here, but I remain optimistic. I'm also counting down the days till I hop on a flight to the more reliable and warmer climate of Italy.

May has been a somewhat tough month for me - you may have noticed a lack of blog posts on Under The Scottish Rain, which I do apologise for. But you know what? I needed a bit of time off! The first two weeks of May were engulfed in a flurry of stress and panic as I studied for my first set of honours exams. I then ran straight back home to volunteer in Aberdeen Council's Archaeology Department for a few days, and I've found on my few days off that I just want time to relax. Nevertheless I've still been updating on my Instagram - which brings me back to my end of the month round up looking at all the photos that I've shared. More blog posts are currently being written and scheduled, so we'll be back to a more regular posting schedule here in the next few weeks - including a look back at my third year, some favourites and OOTDs.

If that's not enough for you, then be sure to have a look over on my instagram which I try to keep updated every few days, as well as my facebook page - which is still a baby, so please be nice!

  1. I started my May with a throwback post to last summer with a photo of a bramble cocktail I had whilst visiting my brother in Leominster. I wrote all about it here - it was a great week and in the midst of exams I couldn't stop thinking back to the relaxing days in the English sunshine with some tasty drinks, food and great company. 
  2. I then took my first of many - and I mean many - trips back up North to Aberdeen. Being early for my train, a usual occurrence for me, I noticed the beautiful dome in Edinburgh station and couldn't help sharing a snap of it. 
  3. It was then my lil sister's birthday - she's just turned 19 so we celebrated by ordering in a Chinese, having some vino and playing some games. All very chilled, but perfect for a break from exam revision and a lovely day with the family.
  4. We were then treated to a little break from the rain and had some sunshine. I took the opportunity - because these are rare in Scotland - to study out in the meadows. There's something about being surrounded by nature and bathing in the sunshine that really makes revision all that more bearable. 
  5. My mum and dad celebrated their 32nd wedding anniversary this month, so I shared their wedding photo where they are fresh faced and looking beautiful. My parents inspire me so much, and encourage me in every step of my life so sending them a little extra love on their anniversary was called for. After all they're the ones who have made me such a hopeless romantic!
  6. Another sunny day in Edinburgh where our beautiful architecture was offset against the blue background.
  7. I then celebrated the 21st birthdays of two of my gorgeous friends, at none other than Edinburgh Zoo! Of course sneaking off to visit some of the animals was on the cards and we got to see the penguins at penguin rock. Now penguins are some of my favourite animals so seeing them without the usual crowds was incredible - and the venue itself was awesome being set in beautiful grounds and surrounded by all the animals. 
  8. And here's a group shot of me with the happy bunch - what's more to say other than they all look beautiful? Oh, maybe that I should always wear my heels or else I'll end up looking like the wee dumpling in the middle. 
  9. This snap of a dandelion was a spur of the moment when I noticed that a lot of the river bank was covered in them. The child in me screamed out for me to make a wish and how can I resist? 
  10. I was invited along to a VIP evening at All Bar One last week, for a night of cocktails and canopes. I think the less I say about the event the better as it was definitely not as advertised - if you're curious have a read of Louise's post about it here. Saying that I did get to make an awesome Aperol Spritz cocktail with peroni  - bring on Italy where I can fully get my aperol fix over summer!
  11. Despite what I've said above, I did really like the decor inside All Bar One and have made it my goal in life to have a house that's big enough to have a wall of alcohol that needs a ladder to reach it all.
  12. And finally, another shot of some beautiful flowers that I saw on one of my many dog walks around the river. I do love the flowers that come out in summer - it just brightens my mood!
And that's my May in pictures - although its not quite as full as usual considering the first two weeks were stuck in a room with a pile of books in front of me, I think I've done not too bad. More posts will be a coming soon so be on the look out.


Saturday, 14 May 2016

Food Review | Revolution Bar

A couple of weeks ago - before the onslaught of revision and stress really hit me hard and I was still able to go out for treats - I was invited along to taste Revolution's new menu. Being a massive food enthusiast, and by that I mean I love having it prepared and set down in front of me for my enjoyment, this was an offer I could not say no to. I was invited along, with a guest, to try out a main course of my choosing.

Revolution forever will be remembered by me as Vodka Revs, the place of the flavoured shot sticks, which make a night out all that more fun, I'd never actually been along to try their food before, I'd always just associated it with a boozy afternoon / night out. From now though, Revolution will be the first in my mind for a tastey lunch or dinner. Revolution feels like such up market place, they ooze class through their decoration and smartly dressed staff, but manage to produce great quality food for relatively low prices - making it all that more appealing.

I went for one of the biggest things on the menu - a full rack of ribs, covered in bbq sauce with a side of chips. I'm a massive rib lover, its certainly not the most graceful thing to eat, and I could see a few people looking as I picked up the ribs to eat every last bit of meat, but it was too good to waste. The chips were also delicious, and were great to dip into the 'house ketchup' which was their own recipe with a hidden special fruit. We were left guessing what this added extra ingredient was, but it made the ketchup so moreish! The dish also came along with a side of cauliflower coleslaw, which I've never had before, but found it really good to compliment the ribs.

Eleanor (who was unsurprisingly my plus one) had the duck frites. We halved our dishes so that we could each try two dishes. The duck was incredible. Its not often I have duck - its a sworn enemy of my mum's, and not something that is on menus that often - so it was a real treat. The duck was perfectly crispy, and came with an orange glaze that complimented it perfectly, as well as some fries.

Living up to my reputation as 'the eating machine' (yes my dad genuinely did name me that) I of course added on a desert. Again Eleanor and I ordered one each then halved them to get double the options. I order the Nutella Fluffwich - what even is that I hear you ask. Well its marshmallow fluff and nutella spread on sourdough with a blueberry sauce. Crazy I know, but impossible to resist. It was the best thing I've ever tasted, and made me feel like a kid making the most unhealthiest snack ever when allowed to have reign over the cupboards. It was perfect for a gal like me who has a sweet tooth, and gave me a sufficient buzz to carry on with revision after. Eleanor ordered the chocolate brownie. It had to be one of the most chocolatey deserts I've ever tasted, making me thankful we halved it. Nonetheless, I was able to devour it in a few bites and loved the combination of it with the vanilla ice-cream.

My mouth is literally drooling right now. Good job I have some snacks in my flat to satisfy me and save me from running out to order it all again. I was insanely full after I finished, and didn't need to eat for hours afterwards - a sign of a very good meal with good sized portions.

Revolution also have some great offers on too - with a 15 minute lunch guarantee if you're in a rush and stuck to a tight lunch break, as well as two courses for £10.95. And if you're wanting to extend your time there longer, they also have some great drink deals and some awesome flavours of cocktails and shots. Check out all they're menus and deals on their website here!

Let me know if you've tried out any of the dishes, or which dishes you will try once you've looked at the menu!


Revolution offered me a main meal and drink in return for my feedback. It was my choice to compose this blog post, and all opinions are my own. 

Friday, 6 May 2016

April Lifestyle Favourites

As we're now a few days into May, its only right to tell you all about my April favourites, of which I have a few! Even though this is only my second favourites post, I'm already finding myself looking towards new things in the month, and trying to deviate from my normal daily picks in order to find something new to share. As these are 'lifestyle' favourites, there is a mix of everything that I've loved this month and have made April that little bit better for me.


Over the last couple of weeks I've been trying to wear less and less make up on a daily basis. Its really been helping my skin and has saved me a few extra minutes in the morning to lie in bed. Instead of the usual smattering of foundation, blusher, bronzer, etc. I've been letting my skin breathe. That's not to say I don't still have some spots and pores that would be better off not being shown. Benefit's Pore-fessional has been a saviour to cover my pores. It's a balm that covers them and makes them less visible. It doesn't feel greasy or heavy and is perfect for a little extra confidence.

Skin Care

I don't know about you, but here in Scotland the weather has been so temperamental. One minute its glorious sunshine, the next its a snow storm - I'm not even joking. Because of these drastic changes, I've found my hands have been getting quite dry. Aveeno has been helping me massively. Each night I've been moisturising my hands with it, and found such an improvement so quickly.

This month I've been to see a few films at the cinema, but my favourite by far was Eddie The Eagle. It's the most up lifting, feel good film I've seen in ages. I found myself literally willing Eddie on as he went for jump after jump, and couldn't keep the smile off of my face as he went to the olympics. If you get the chance, I can't recommend this film enough. It's also just kick started my next celeb obsession, as Taron Egerton is beautiful (once you see past his ginger bum fluff moustache).


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time is a great easy read. I couldn't resist picking it up after seeing the theatre show on a trip to London in February. Amazingly, the show follows the book almost by the letter, and I'm so incredibly impressed. Although probably targeted at a younger reader than me, I'm so glad I read it. It's really interesting to read a book narrated by a young boy with autism, and I found it an intriguing and entertaining read.

This month I've been totally obsessing over 5 Seconds of Summer's album Sounds Good Feels Good. I went to their Glasgow show of Sounds Live Feels Live and was blown away by how amazing they were. I haven't stopped listening and re-listening to the album since, and trying to relive each song that they performed. My favourite songs are Money, Safety Pin and Waste The Night.


I posted on instagram showing off the new addition to my wall of my Cheerz - La boite a photos. Stuck inside revising for weeks on end is slowly driving me insane, so to remind me of all the good things to come after these exams, I've displayed all my travel polariods over a wall. Looking at the photos has certainly made me wanderlust, but gives me that motivation to finish these exams. Check out my original review here. 

Check out my March Favourites here! 

What's your favourites for the month been?

Lots of love,

Monday, 2 May 2016

April In Pictures

Well this month has been a busy one, with not much to show for it. Exam stress is high at the moment, anyone else feel like no matter how much they work they do it's never enough?  The library has become my home, and I've laid my claim on a specific seat. With only two more weeks of exams, the end is in sight. Should be doable right? If the blog front is a little quiet in the meantime, you can only expect that I've been suffocated in a pile a books and succumbed to my fate.

Despite this, I did have some good moments in the month of April. I officially finished all the teaching and essay deadlines of third year. This in itself scares me, as I am so not ready to enter my last year of my undergrad, but the thought of a summer abroad (hello 9 weeks of sun) and a bit of a break from deadlines has me beyond excited. I also spent a few days childminding, which was a lovely break away from the mundane routine of university, and let me have some fun, letting out my inner child.

So onto the main title of this post, here is my April in pictures from my instagram!

1. I celebrate the last day of the term with a trip to my all time favourite Peters Yard. I've posted many mouth watering photos and even a blog post (Check out here) before, but this crayfish sandwich was the ultimate treat. And too picture perfect.
2. I acted as "archaeology ambassador" for a couple of school open days, and as a reward for my work - guiding tours up and down our 6 floors- I was given Blackwells vouchers. Do I go for academic books, or treat myself? What a hard choice. Book reviews will be following, as I work my way through my wee pile, but I've really enjoyed reading something that isn't an academic jour al for a change.
3. I was working my way through essay deadlines when Easter Sunday came and went, so my family were super cute and saved the Easter eggs for when I came home the following week. We're a little to old for the usual hunt, but we were still spoilt with lots of treats.
4. I wrote up my first ever favourites post last month - which you can check out here - and loved reviewing my month. Expect to see another one in the next few days, recapping all my April favourites too!
5. When I'm at home I spend a lot of time with my doggy Alfie, and this little candid shot with him was too adorable not to share. He's super affectionate, and although the slobbery kisses are gross, I do love him for it.
6. As I said, I was childminding at the start of the month. We had a lot of fun, doing different activities - and if you're interested at all Lewis vlogged the whole holidays, and I feature here and there in a couple! Check them out here. A big highlight was a trip to Aberdeen's theme park Codona's. The day was heaps of fun, and I was dizzy and light headed from the amount of times we went on the waltzers and the drop ride, but loved every minute.
7. This month I've changed my hair around a lot. And it all began with dying it peroxide blonde. It was a big change, but I found that I really liked it, despite thinking I looked like a barbie doll when I caught myself in the mirror.

8. I was home over the easter holiday, which was a lot colder than I thought it would be for this time of year (anyone else confused by the snow?). Despite the dull days, I still loved taking walks along the river.
9. Another selfie to show off my blonde hair!
10. I did a throwback to this amazing chocolate milkshake that I had at Bills, you can see the blog post here.

 11. I had another concert this month, this time I was at the Hydro to see 5 Seconds of Summer. I have loved these boys for years now, and loved every minute of shouting the lyrics, chanting at the boys and singing along to 500 miles.
12. As I said, I did a lot with my hair this month. And the final change - which I'm sitting here with - was dying it back to purple. I loved it when I dyed it in October, so wanted to give it another shot, and have been rocking it since.
13. I finally got round to (read as procrastination method) hanging up all my travel snaps that came in the Cheerz 'boite'. Here's my review from months back showing all the boxes that Cheerz were kind enough to send me, if you fancy a nosey!
14.  I was treated to a lunch at Revolution Bar this week, where I stuffed my face in their new menu. This brownie was a delightful end to the meal. Keep an eye out for my review later this week.

15. And finally it wouldn't be my instagram without at least one photo of my cute little pup Alfie. And here he is this month, playing peak a boo in the daffodils, and looking as gorgeous as always.

So that's my round up of the month. lots of photos despite the many many library days. Let me know how your April was, filled with exam prep or did you get to enjoy an easter break?

Catch up on all my April posts:
March Lifestyle Favourites
A Day in Glasgow | Little Mix Get Weird Concert
Review | Randomise

Be sure to say hi over on instagram too!

Lots of love,

Monday, 25 April 2016

Review | Randomise

Now my family are huge lovers of board games. Come summer it's time to crack out the card games, and come winter we're stuck into Pictionary and our new favourite Articulate. There's always time for a few rounds of a game, leaving the whole family laughing - and only the occasional argument over the real winner. 

When I heard about Randomise, I knew this was a game for me. Think of a combination between charades, pictionary and articulate, and throw in some weird combinations of animals and activities and you have yourself Randomise. Sounds intriguing right?

The aim of the game is simple - pick out a card from each pile and you'll be given numbers that will choose your combination. These cards will give you adjectives, a character and an activity. Now its your turn to act, describe or draw your way to victory. Sounds like a piece of cake? Because there are no usual 'catch phrases' given, it's extremely hard to actually guess each part of the card. Ever heard of a wooden platypus having a sword fight? or how about a messy ghost doing origami? The combinations are endless, leaving you with hours of fun ahead of you. 

Once you see the creations in front of you if you've opted for drawing, you will want them framed. There's literally no way of knowing what will happen when you're under the time limit pressure. 

This game is a great addition to any party - I can only imagine (and hope to see) the effects that some alcohol will do when trying to communicate these strange sentences. It also comes in a little cardboard box, making it extremely light weight and perfect to pop into a handbag. It actually reminded me of the many games my mum would pack for us on a long car journey or trip. It seems like the perfect game to add to any situation - just wait to see me take this out at the beach on holiday (beware Eleanor) or when we're relaxing on a summer evening. 

This game is great for any age group, as long as everyone goes in ready for a good time. The worse you are at drawing and acting the better, in my books!

It's a bargain for only £9.99 - click here to get Randomise on Amazon and I can't recommend it enough for those looking for something different to bring to a party, 'quiet drinks' or a relaxing day at the house.


Sunday, 10 April 2016

A Day in Glasgow | Little Mix Get Weird Concert

After years of singing Little Mix songs at the top of my lungs, and trying (and failing) to copy their dance moves to each song, it was finally my time to see these beauties perform in the flesh. Eleanor hit the nail on the head by getting me tickets to the Get Weird tour in Glasgow for my birthday and because it was such an awesome day, it deserves a place on my blog.

We started off our day in Glasgow with a trip to Bill's for a brunch. If you didn't see my London food post, then you may have missed the amazing brunch that I had there in the Putney branch. Since this was a day of treating ourselves, we went for the most unhealthy but utterly delicious blueberry pancakes, and for an added bonus we opted for the extra bacon on top. The pancakes were mouthwateringly amazing - totally moreish - but very filling. And it was with regret that I had to leave half of a pancake at the end. We felt like kids let lose at a party, and ended up ordering a large chocolate milkshake add even more sugar to the mix. Each sip was chocolate heaven, and the chunks of oreo throughout made it all the more delicious. Bill's is fast becoming one of my favourite spots for brunch, and I'll be searching out each branch for the next time I visit a new city. The decor is super cute, with chillies hanging from the ceiling, and the cutlery stored in big tins on each table. It's got such an artesian feel to it, even though its part of a branch.

Our next stop was the matinee performance at the SSE Hydro. Our fears came true when we saw that we were surrounded by not a single person our age, but nonetheless we held our heads up high. Our seats were in tier 3, which we worried would be rubbish & we wouldn't see anything. I'm so impressed with the way the hydro is built, as the seats looked right down onto the stage and certainly didn't feel as high or as far away as they looked. The concert was incredible. So good in fact we had to see it twice. The matinee show was incredible, and as soon as the girls fell from the roof onto the stage (don't worry, it was choreographed that way) we were screaming. Unfortunately the area we were sat in didn't want to dance along, so we weren't able to dance until half way through the show. When Little Mix shouted for everyone to get on their feets, boy did we jump up fast. Luckily when we went to get last minute tickets from the Box Office for the evening show, we were able to get floor seats. However, the section we were in still didn't dance. Who goes to a concert and doesn't dance?! But as fate would have it, we were moved to the front - yes second row to the left side of the stage! How did we get so lucky? Here, we were able to dance, jump, scream and shout along to every single song. 

Both shows blew my mind. Their voices sounded exactly as they do on their albums, and every high note sent shivers down my spine - each of them have an immense vocal range that was pitch perfect. To top it off, each song had incredible dance routines and the girls were so in sync with their professional dancers. Coming out of the show, you either want to be best friends with them or you want to be them. The came across as the loveliest bunch of girls, and were the perfect entertainers. 
Even if Little Mix aren't the type of music you normally listen to (but how can they not be when you've heard all the songs on their album, really?) you've got to get yourself to a show to purely see the amount of effort they put into their performances, and the amount of work that has gone into the show. 
While A.D.I.D.A.S has got to be one of my favourite songs off the album, I found myself totally in love with the performance of Lightning, where their dance routine was on point. The End, was absolutely incredible and you could hear the whole arena quieten to listen to the incredible acapella vocals. It was aca-awesome (sorry I had to).

In between shows we were in need for a quick dinner, and didn't want to go to far back into town. We walked a bit in the opposite direction, and found ourselves outside the Kelvingrove Gallery, where we spotted a cute little restaurant - Pelican. It was quiet when we entered, but seemed to get busier as it got closer to 7. We both ordered separate burgers and halved them so we got a taste of two flavours. I ordered the lamb and chorizo burger, while Eleanor went for the chicken one. Both were accompanied by salads and a pot of amazing potato wedges. They were both delicious burgers - although I loved my lamb and chorizo one a little more, purely because it was a combo I hadn't had before, but worked perfectly together. And we washed down the meals with a good ol' gin and tonic.

As I'm sure you can imagine, this day was perfect. I'm a wee fangirl at heart, so getting to see a band that I love to sing along to in the shower was a dream come true. The Hydro is fast becoming my favourite venue, where even the highest seats still let you feel intimate with the performers. Seeing Little Mix twice in one day was a little intense, but let us really appreciate how much effort they put into each and every performance. And the pictures didn't come out too bad either!


Wednesday, 6 April 2016

March Lifestyle Favourites

This month is the first month that I thought I'd share some of my favourites from the month of March. As I'm not a beauty / fashion blogger, these favourites are going to cover different aspects of my life; anything and everything that has helped to make last month that little bit better.

Favourite Skincare
Burt's Bees Lip Balm

With the transition from Winter to Spring, I've found my lips were getting a bit dry and cracked. Burt's Bees lip balms have been my saviour. I just pop one of them in my pocket or my handbag so that throughout the day I can apply and keep my lips hydrated. I have them in the mint flavour and the honey flavour. The mint one has such a strong smell to it, and I can feel my lips tingling when its on, and making it my go to one out of the pair.

Favourite Beauty Product
Stila - purple eye dust

Although this has been in my collection for quite some time, it has only been this month that I've actually started using it. After reading that purple compliments green eyes, I've made it my mission to use purple in lots of my eye make up looks. My staple look right now is doing a brown smokey eye, then patting the purple dust into the inner corner and brushing outwards over the lid. The dust adds a little bit of glitter, making a regular smokey eye a little bit brighter and sparkly.

Favourite Movie
The Other Side of the Door

I made a couple of cinema trips this month, but my favourite has got to have been The Other Side of the Door. If you're into scary films, then it is well worth a trip to see it. It's by far the best scary film I've seen recently, I jumped and was so close to covering my eyes on more than one occasion. Ghosts, possession, and an exorcism are all here, as well as some creepy characters that pop up out of nowhere. It's definitely one to watch if you like being on the edge of your seat.

(and what better goes with a movie than popcorn? Which has been my favourite treat this month and as you can see, it is always on hand)

Favourite Book
Beneath the Surface - Heidi Perks

If you haven't already seen my post about this book then you can check it out here. I absolutely loved this book, and strongly recommend it to anyone who likes a good thriller. You'll find yourself guessing throughout, and reading to find out more and more. It's such a great book for anyone who likes crime & thrillers!

Favourite Dress
Forever 21 - Elephant Dress

I picked this little number up with the intention of wearing it all the time while I'm abroad this summer. How could I resist, it was a steal at £10 and the pattern is too adorable. Elephants are repeated across the whole material, which is light and perfect for hotter climates. However, I couldn't resist wearing it when I see it hanging in my wardrobe, so I've begun putting a black top underneath and wearing it with tights. It's a super cute outfit, and one that will be featured in a OOTD in the coming week. I can't wait to style this in different ways and show off this super cute pattern.

Favourite Other
Canon Bridge Camera

I bought this bridge camera back in September - SX410 - and found it has massively upped my photography (especially since my phone camera is less than ideal). This month, I truly realised my love for this camera, after I look it to the Little Mix concert I attended. The quality of the photos are incredible, and I can't believe how well the photos and videos came out. The camera itself is super easy to use, with a digital screen to see exactly what you're taking photos of, and a great lens that focuses really well. After seeing how well this camera worked at the concert, I know it is now my go to for every situation that needs a photo taken.

And that's my favourites from March! Let me know what your favourites are too, and if you'd like to see more of these in the upcoming months.

If you haven't seen my March in pictures, then you can have a look here, to see everything I got up to last month. And be sure to check out all my posts from the last month!

Lots of love,

Thursday, 31 March 2016

March In Pictures

And so another month has ended and a new one is beginning. We're into April, how mad is that!? I don't know about you, but I'm quite looking forward to April. I have a couple of weeks off of uni, where I'll be child minding then I'll have begin the dreaded revision for the oh too soon exams. However, I do love how April is officially Spring. I know March should be the start of Spring, and granted we have had some nice days, but April should hopefully allow me to shed my winter jumpers and maybe stop wearing boots every other day.

To round up this month, I've got a wee favourites post coming your way, but as its becoming a monthly routine of sharing all my instagram pictures, here is my March post!

  1. As I'm sure you've become accustomed to if you've been following my instagram account for long, my doggy Alfie features a lot. So it only seems right that Alf is the first one on this round up. It was Alfie's 3rd birthday at the start of the month. Other dog owners will know what a big deal this is, and its only right to give him cards, presents and lots of cuddles - just like any other member of the family. 
  2. I bought myself a big bunch of flowers to help brighten up my room. I never usually have flowers but having the bunch made my room smell awesome and made me smile whenever I saw them. 
  3. It was mother's day at the start of the month, so I did a little shout out to my beautiful mum. She's such a wonderful woman and always knows how to calm me down when I'm stressed or cure my hundreds of aliments. And on top of that she gives the best cuddles.
  4. As flowers are such a novelty for me, I wanted to show them off. I felt like a right ol' grown up having flowers in my room, anyone else get like that?
  5. As I've said countless times, Alfie is a massive feature of my instagram, and having a trip home with him of course requires lots of cute photos to be taken and shared. 
  6. On my now monthly trip home, I complained how my dad's shops seemed to be lacking in sugary, unhealthy treats. My mum seemed to pick up on that and bought one of Costco's massive tubs of tangfastics, which helped us all through our study afternoons. 
  7. I took a trip to the Edinburgh vaults alongside Eleanor, and managed to get this 'terrified' snap. If you didn't see my post on that, then make sure you catch up on my antics here
  8. Eleanor was a super lil sis and got me tickets to see Little Mix for my birthday. And because she's super cute, we kept them in this wallet until it was time to see the girls.
  9. Before said Little Mix concert, it was only right to taste what Glasgow's Bill's restaurant had to offer and oh my goodness. This brunch was heaven on a plate. [Review to come]
  10. The Little Mix concert was incredible, and I was able to get some really awesome pics that I'm super proud of. This one was during The End, where their voices were perfection. 
  11. Another snap from the awesome seats that we had is this one from Secret Love Song, where the whole audience sang along beautifully. A full concert post is written and ready to be published in the next couple of days!
  12. I'm always one for finding new pubs & bars in Edinburgh, and I only wish I'd been told about Hoot The Redeemer sooner! The bar is so quirky, with mix your own cocktails, popcorn that gets replenished as soon as you hit the bottom and a live dj who has his own entertainment booth. My favourite thing about it was that it served 'adult icecream' where the little pots had an alcoholic twist. 
  13. As it was 'national puppy day' at the end of the month, how could I resist an opportunity to post this adorable throwback of Alfie. He was such a little weirdo when he was a pup, but looks like a little angel as he slept like this. 
  14. I took a stroll on Easter Sunday after a weekend of being in bed ill with the flu so that I could experience a little of the blue skies that were over Edinburgh. As I walked down to Princes Street Gardens I was able to get this shot of the castle, which is such a beautiful spot. 
  15. March did bring with it a little bit of spring, and these cherry blossoms reminded me of the sunshine to come. I can't wait to see the meadow paths decked out in the beautiful pink blossoms.   
  16. If you haven't already seen, I decided to make a facebook page for this little ol' blog. I'd love you head on over and give it a like, and stay up to date with Under The Scottish Rain! [Find it here!]
March Posts:

This month has been tough going, what with all the deadlines and stress that comes with it, so I'm pretty glad its now out of the way. We'll just have to wait and see what April has in store!
Be sure to follow me over on bloglovin too [here], where you'll see my posts as they go up, and you'll be ready for the lifestyle favourites post that is on its way. 

And of course, you can follow my instagram, where you will see all the photos as soon as I post them! - emilyrebeccajohnston

As always, I'd love to hear what you got up to this month & any of your March favourites!

Saturday, 26 March 2016

The Edinburgh Dungeon | Deadly Diseases

Last week I attended the launch night of Edinburgh Dungeon's Deadly Diseases show, along with other press, industry experts and some fellow Edinburgh bloggers. Overall, the night was a massive hit with everyone -  there was lots of nervous laughter and even some screams as we made our way through the tour.

I am a huge lover of the dungeons, and made a few visits during my time at Edinburgh. I posted last week about my trip to the Edinburgh vaults (click here) which I love too, but the Dungeons give you a different experience into Edinburgh's dark and creepy past.

At the start of the night, we were treated to some lovely canopes and a gin, to help settle some of those nerves. Then we were split into two groups so that we could experience the tour for ourselves. The tour has a mixture of funny, creepy and down right terrifying shows and enhanced by dark rooms and spooky sound effects. After being sentenced to 'your doom' by the judge, you're taken deeper and deeper into the dungeons, where goodness knows what is waiting for you. Each show reveals more and more about the horrible scenes that were present on the streets of Edinburgh, or the frightening characters you don't want to bump into.

While the first half of the tour has a more light hearted feel to it, with some funnier characters telling their tales, the second half of the tour can only be described as scary. After taking a boat ride into Sawney Bean's cave, where he and his canibal family are waiting for you and the kingsmen, I was on edge. I'd visited the dungeons just in December, so knew what was coming, but if anything this made the whole experience worse. As some of Sawney Bean's children run around and creep up behind everyone, you'll feel lucky if you manage to escape without being picked on. One of the newer shows 'The Green Lady' is full of supernatural scares, with the pitch darkness allowing anything to appear in front of you as shelves fall down and books are thrown.

The main reason we were invited along was to experience the new Easter show (that's right, its only here for a short amount of time, so if you want to try it out then you'd better book fast) 'Deadly Diseases'. Certainly, this was one of the more light hearted shows, where an unlucky gentleman is invited into the barber's chair, where after examination, it is revealed that he has caught a number of deadly diseases. Prepare for juices to be squirted over your head, and nasty bugs and leaches wriggle under your bottom.

Once out of the dungeons, the first thing you'll do is let out a huuuuuge sigh of relief. After all, you did survive a hanging at the Grass Market (a 30m free fall drop)! The tour is very interactive, so be prepared to be picked on, and have your wits tested. After finishing, you'll find yourself in the new giftshop which has been redesigned as a market. The stalls are filled with merchandise, but be careful as there are rats that jump at you, and bags that growl and move!

The team at the Dungeon's were the perfect hosts, giving us each a bottle of vodka cranberry mix, followed by more wine and food once closer to the surface level. They also treated us all to a wee goodie bag, filled with Burke and Hare toffees (perfectly sweet, but tough going on your teeth) and cute pens, pencils and keyrings to remind us that we survived.

If was great fun experiencing the new show, as well as the rest of the tour, and I can't recommend the dungeons enough. Its perfect for a cold or wet day in Edinburgh (which are frequent here in Edinburgh) and will fill your afternoon or evening perfectly. Just prepare yourself - and your heart - for what the dungeons have in store for you!


SIDENOTE: Hey guys, just to let you lovely lot know, I made the decision to make a facebook page for Under The Scottish Rain. It was actually at the dungeons after talking to the girls above that I decided its the right time. After seeing how much my blog has grown over the last two years, I wanted to share it with more people on the world of Facebook. If you'd like to keep up to date over there, then I'd love for you to like the page and help my page grow! CLICK HERE

Disqus Shortname

Comments system