The Black Dog

Hi there. SO this week I am talking about anxiety and depression. OH THE JOY you say. I affects so many people in the world today and it really will touch you or someone you love in your lifetime.

Ive had depression and anxiety since I was about 16. There were a few factors, ones I’ve told my enduring therapist, but I made it worse by not acknowledging it and pushing it down for many years. Then it flared up big time in London a few years ago. It was bad. It was a summer heatwave and there was nothing I wanted to do than huddle on my bed under the duvet, drink wine, in between going to work. I was and am a high functioning derepressionist. This means I can get up, go to work, go and do things, but then also crash for a day or two and be with the black dog for that time period. I changed my situation, thankfully, and am now much happier in Edinburgh. But it still comes up, and I took Citalopram for a year or so to make sure I healed well. Unfortunately it also made me not feel many emotions, which can be great for some, but I wanted to laugh until my stomach was sore, and cry when Jack dies at the end of Titanic (spoiler alert)!!! Ive been off them now for a few months, and working through my issues with my therapist. I am also looking forward to the future, which is a very hard thing to do when you are in the depths. I also meditate, and keep a gratitude journal. I also keep a life planner, which entails my life goals for the next 1, 3, and 5 years. I have many things to look forward to, and thank        jeebus for that.

If you need help, reach out to anyone you feel comfortable talking to about issues. You can also visit a great website that has helped me and my friends numerous times, The Blurt Foundation – they do amazing work and are really a light at the end of the tunnel.  (no sponsorship here, just endless gratitude to them!)

The Blurt Foundation

T xx

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Bright Events: Vino Winter Wine Tasting 2017

I got the opportunity to attend the two sessions of the annual Vino Winter Wine tastings at Summerhall, and it was a fantastic event.

Vino has been in business for seven years now, and have shops all over Edinburgh. Every year they have a Winter Wine Tasting event to bring together wine lovers, customers, staff, and press to really show off the wines they stock from all over the world. Having the event at Summerhall is a great choice, as the Dissection Room (the room the event was held in) is a splendid space where they were able to put in 19 tables and a bar for the event.

There was a full table of sparkling wine, as you walked in, featuring brands such as Taittinger and Rocco prosecco on hand. The Are You Game wines were there also, who are made by Fowles wine, and we were tasting their Sparkling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Shiraz. They featured some of the best labels of the night.
https://www.facebook.com/ChampagneTaittingerhttps://twitter.com/TaittingerUKhttps://en-gb.facebook.com/RoccoVenezia/https://www.fowleswine.comhttps://twitter.com/FowlesWineIMG_1114Another recent addition to the Vino family was Eschenhof Holzer Haide Roter Veltliner and Wagram Zweigelt from Austria – also with fantastic labels and great taste, with the folks from Red Squirrel on hand to talk about the wines.http://www.redsquirrelwine.agencyhttp://eschenhof-holzer.at/en/

https://www.facebook.com/eschenhofholzer/about

https://twitter.com/eschenhofholzer

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On Table 5 from Australia were the Alpha Box and Dice wines, featuring their ‘Tarot’ and ‘Fog’ wines, both red, and very popular with the customers I spoke to. These are low intervention, natural wines with no sulphur.

https://alphaboxdice.com/

https://en-gb.facebook.com/alphaboxdice

https://twitter.com/alphaboxdice

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New Zealand wines were a big feature at the event, with the Esk Valley Sauvignon Blanc and the Te Awa Left Field Albarino on Table 6 available to taste. One is the famed Sauvignon Blanc of Marlborough, the choice on many wine lists from here to Auckland but the Albarino is rarely seen outside of its heartland in Galicia, Spain. Fresh and characterful, it is a distinctively seductive wine.
www.eskvalley.co.nz/

https://twitter.com/EskValleyWines

https://teawacollection.com/

https://twitter.com/teawawinery

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Woodstock Winery from Australia showcased some of their dynamic wines, such as the Mary McTaggart Riesling, the Naughty Monte, and the Octogenarian Grenache Tempranillo.

www.woodstockwine.com.au/
https://twitter.com/woodstock_wine

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There were plenty of gins to taste, with The Old Curiosity from the Secret Herb Garden tasting three of their flavours – Chamomile & Cornflower, Lavender & Echinacea and Apothecary Rose. They also have an added element of changing colour when tonic is added – very much a fun party trick for your next event! Edinburgh Gin also had many of their flavours to try, such as their Christmas gin, and the very popular Plum & Vanilla Liqueur.

https://www.theoldcuriosity.co.uk/home/

https://twitter.com/secretherbgarde

https://en-gb.facebook.com/secretherbgarden/

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A selection of rum was available, with Atlantico Rum there, and the very tasty Seawolf White Rum produced in Scotland at Table 16.

www.atlanticorum.com/

https://en-gb.facebook.com/AtlanticoRum/

https://twitter.com/AtlanticoRum

https://twitter.com/seawolfrum

https://en-gb.facebook.com/SeaWolfRum/

They had a great range of whiskeys at the event, from the The Epicurean Malt, to the Scallywag Blended Malt Whiskey, and the Rock Oyster Blended Malt Whiskey.

https://www.douglaslaing.com/brand-stories/brands
https://www.facebook.com/DLTheEpicurean/

https://twitter.com/dlaingwhisky

https://en-gb.facebook.com/douglaslaingwhisky

Barney’s brought their beer truck for the event, which looks amazing, and they also had many cans to taste, such as the Glory Days, Red Rye, and Cosmic Ripper.

www.barneysbeer.co.uk/

https://twitter.com/barneysbeer

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Lucky Liquor were there showing their brand new Lucky Liqueurs on Table 16, with flavours such as Kummel, Violet, and Huckleberry – perfect if you frequent Lucky Liquor and want to have a piece of it to take home and enjoy.

http://www.luckyliquorco.com

https://www.facebook.com/LuckyLiquorCo

https://twitter.com/luckyliquorco

Vino curated a pick of wines at Table 18, called the Dunedin Wine Selection. This one is new for Winter 2017, launched on the night. You can order a box of 6 different wines, carefully selected by the team at Vino, and get to drink some of the best wines Vino has to offer. They come in different themed boxes such as: Classic, White, Red, Discovery, or Tasting, which has all of the 12 wines that Vino have selected for their Winter Selection.  There are wines included such as Two Dogs A Peacock & A Horse from South Africa, Alpha Box and Dice ‘Fog’ Adelaide Hills Nebbiolo from Australia, and Artolas Red Vidigal from Portugal. Perfect for gifting or having for your festive season and beyond.

If you would like to have a look at the cases in more detail, please visit the address below:
http://www.vinowines.co.uk/shop/case-deal

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There were other brands showing at the event, such as locals Bon Accord, doing tastings of their non alcoholic yet tasty mixers. Cloudy Lemonade and Rhubarb, as well as a great Ginger Beer.

www.bonaccordsoftdrinks.com/

https://en-gb.facebook.com/bonaccordsoftdrinks/

https://twitter.com/bonaccorddrinks

There was even food to keep everyone fed and happy, chocolate tastings on hand with Edward & Irwyn showcasing their delicious chocolates such as Dandelion Honeycomb, Snowy Mountain, and Scandinavian Spices, all made in Scotland. The Pantry Man van were also outside doing seriously tasty burgers all night, and keeping everyone on an even keel.

https://edwardandirwyn.co.uk

https://en-gb.facebook.com/EdwardandIrwyn/

https://twitter.com/EdwardandIrwyn

Drinkly were there to talk about their alcohol delivery service, with a comprehensive alcohol list and gifts to choose from, with delivery right up until midnight! Great idea for your festive parties to avoid the crowds, just order before 10pm.

https://drinkly.co.uk/

https://twitter.com/wearedrinkly

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All in all, a fantastic night, and one not to be missed next year! Follow the Vino pages on Facebook and Twitter, and of course the website to keep track of their latest events.

www.vinowines.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/people/Vino-Wines/100001063662700

https://twitter.com/vinowineshops

T xx

Read more of my blogs!

Boston and Hawthorne

My trip home to New Zealand

Where to go in Edinburgh off the beaten track!

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How To Decorate Your Home For Christmas Better Than Your Neighbour Barbara

Hi guys!

So shock horror. I haven’t gotten my Christmas tree up yet. I KNOW RIGHT. However that is happening this weekend and when I do I will be spamming ya feeds ABOUT IT.

So I thought I’d share some cool inspirational images that I found on Pinterest (shout out to Pinterest) and hopefully make your home merry and bright this Christmas. And confuse your neighbours, family, friends, and the firemen that come to your house because you went too extra with the lights.

First. this Christmas tree. How awesome is this!!!

I have a wire mannequin that I have decorated like this a few years and it looks so awesome and cool! You can do whatever you like with it as well, it really does provide a cool point of difference and really adds a fashionable flair to the holiday.

Another idea for those who will get snow (fingers crossed we in Edinburgh do) – do an upside down snowman! It’s fun and silly and will make you and others smile.

Alternative Christmas decorations such as these robots. Who says you have to have a normal tree? I could have a My Little Pony themed Christmas tree if I want….hmm….

Using Christmas tree foliage is a great way to not get the whole tree and then add some awesome hanging decorations to create a cool background for family photos and the dinner table.

Sometimes you get some awesome cards that you want to put pride of place in your home – look no further than this next idea! I love this idea as it really makes a cool feature of your cards and make your friends and family feel that their awesome card is appreciated!

I hope you liked these suggestions, I love decorating my home for Christmas in new and fun ways, please send me any suggestions you have also! And follow me on Pinterest to see what else I have going on.

T xx

PS Read my other blawgs

Tools to have great Mental Health over Christmas!

Hobbies: Making a Happy Jar

Hobbies: Origami!

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Short Hair, Don’t Care

So recently, I have had a bit of a fight with my hair. It is so much of my identity so when I want to act out, I simply dye or cut it and it perfectly reflects my mood. Permit me, to take you through my hair history (and please submit me yours!)

  • Dying my hair red to look like Lita, the WWF wrestler
  • Blonde, in attempt to regain my youth (I was only 15)
  • Remember Christina Aguilera’s hair from the ‘Dirty’ video? Yup had that.
  • Dreads (at uni, where else)
  • Purple
  • Fringes
  • No fringes
  • Demanding a single lock of blond in my brunette hair after my hairdresser said no to doing the Cruella de Ville hair (good choice)
  • Ombre (loved this one)
  • Pink (made me feel like a Sailor Soldier)
  • Buzzed side shave and full chop

So you can see I love the extreme. And lets face it, after having dreads you really don’t care what happens to your hair, you are just happy it’s growing back!

Recently I went to my friend Blair at Cheynes (www.cheyneshairdressing.com) who has been cutting my hair for years and always complies with my batshit crazy ideas. He and I decided on a great asymmetrical cut, with my left side of my head shaved to a 1. It turned out terrific and now I’m wondering why I didn’t do it before! If you can have the chance to cut your hair short, do it. Its really liberating!

Here is the pic I took in, we didn’t do the underside, but we did the side shave, and it looks amazing!

short-hair

Let me know what your next crazy hair idea is, or what you would love to get buy aren’t brave enough!

Shameless plugging, but I’ve been going to Cheynes for years and they really are great. Cheynes Bruntsfield is the best, but I’m biased as I’ve been there a lot and the staff are all so nice! If you are lucky enough to get an appointment with Blair, get it

www.cheyneshairdressing.com

Note: I don’t get paid by Cheynes, I’m just sharing the love!

T  xx

Review: Soap and Glory – The Fab Pore 3 in 1 Oil Control Serum

Hello fellow greasy girls. As this blog is published after lunch UK time, swipe your T-Zone and tell me how much you get on it. Enough to fry an egg? Read on…

So I am a growing fan of Soap and Glory. As I get older and the bags under my eyes get bigger I am now getting to the point where I am trying to freeze my face and skin without getting all the Botox. So when I saw this range at my local Boots I had to pick up some. I need a primer that is going to works hard, and since this one claims to Mattify, Prime, and Refine, I invested.

So on the back, it tells you that you can use it alone before moisturiser, or under makeup as a primer. I will probably only use it under makeup, and I am currently working with Kat Von D’s Lock it Foundation (Review here) which is great, but does still give me a slight sheen. So I squeezed out a pea amount onto my hand (its pink!) and then smoothed it into my T Zone, let it dry, then applied my makeup as usual. My day consisted of working in a store under hot lights and air conditioning, so I need my foundation and primer to work together as a team to make sure I am not a greasy face lady halfway through the day.

It performed pretty well! I was quite impressed! I had a day of running around and lifting things and generally sweating it out, and it seemed to cope pretty well. I didn’t feel that my skin was overproducing oil to combat the product, as my skin tends to do with some brands, it seem to be doing alright with it.

So I would give this a 8/10 – I hate any kind of sheen and it did give me a slight sheen but I think to a normal person it’s a lovely glow (I hate glow, I love a matte face).

Have you tried it? Tell me what you think!!

T xx

Read my other reviews!

Review: Simple Vital Vitamin Night Cream

Review: Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Body Cream

Review: Quick Fix Facials Exfoliating Scrub Mask Blackheads and Blocked Pores

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Boston and Hawthorne

I recently attended the press dinner for Boston and Hawthorne, which had it’s official opening! It is at 50 Dean Street in Stockbridge, Edinburgh, and I had seen previously that the pub that was there before was being renovated, and naturally was very curious about it!

When I walked in, I was amazed at the space. They had a bar on the left hand side, then big booths and bar leans. It isn’t the biggest, but it doesn’t need to be. I knew this place would be packed out all the time after it opened. I took a look around the bar and knew it was so my style. They had tribal masks, animal skeletons, and various other oddities in glass cases around the bar. They also had a prime photo point with the name of the bar on the wall over a cool leather couch. Sack curtaining was a great touch, and they had exposed beams and brick giving it a very cool medieval look.

I ordered from their very affordable cocktail list a Sweet Sweet Sorrento which was super delicious and creamy with a definite kick! I also witnessed a few more drinks being made that definitely made me want to try more.

We had a sit down dinner that was different in that we had a huge sharing board with 12 hour applewood smoked venison haunch, duck, potatoes, aubergines, and squid ink rice balls, and it was all eaten with our hands! Plus we had mead, which I have never tried before, and I found it really good and fitted well with the meal.

Afterwards, we got a cocktail, and I tried a Seaweed Martini. It arrived with a piece of dried seaweed attached to the glass! It looked and tasted amazing, and definitely got oohs and ahhs from the table.

The staff were very friendly and helpful, and the bar was playing really cool upbeat music giving the whole bar a warm welcoming vibe. This will be a great bar to be in in wintertime, sharing a board with friends and family with a selection from their extensive drink selection.

All in all, would definitely recommend this to everyone who wants somewhere cool and different to go in Stockbridge that has great food, great service, and plenty of aesthetically pleasing trinkets to make your Instagram friends jealous.

Boston and Hawthorne Twitter

Boston and Hawthorne Facebook

Boston and Hawthorne Website

T xx

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Where to go in Edinburgh off the beaten track!

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Tools to have great Mental Health over Christmas!

Hi team!

So Christmas is a time of joy, family, and presents (don’t forget them presents!) Hoooowever it is a time that depression and anxiety can make it’s full entrance at the wrong time. Speaking from experience, Christmas Day can be a minefield for a person that is suffering from D&A.

The first stress factor is getting presents for everyone. Do you really need to get that present for your neighbours cousin’s boyfriend? No you do not. Send out cards, and get gifts for the people that really matter in your life.

The second stress factor is work. A lot of people work right up to the day (unless you are very lucky and for that I am envious) and often on the day itself are too wiped out to enjoy the day. Take time through the month to give yourself self care, and don’t push yourself trying to attend every Christmas event out there.

The third is where you are spending the day. Often family comes into this, with pressures perhaps real or imagined taking place. You have to ask yourself what you want out of the day. Do you want to have a chilled out day or a full day of family and food? It is your day too, and you need to look after yourself. I like to do both, where I have the loudness for awhile, then a bit of quiet time to recharge, often taking a walk after dinner if I can to get out the house and get a bit of fresh air. Make it work for you as it’s your health that matters.

The fourth is FOMO. There are lot of a great events on around Christmas, such as Christmas markets, dinners, parties, celebrities turning on lights, carolling, the list goes on. The problem is when you want to go to everything, and start to overwhelm yourself. Pick and choose your events over the holiday season, as you will be more tired over the month of December.

So here are a few tips for the December/Christmas extravaganza:

  1. Sleep well, Hydrate, Eat right (I know, lame, but try to eat some veggies and fruits).
  2. Say yes to events you really want to go to, and no to events that you don’t. There are sometimes obligatory things that happen around this time of year but really, it’s your health that matters and you need to pace yourself.
  3. Take time out over December to meditate, do yoga, run, what ever you do to relax. Make sure you get that alone time to really take in the moment and get your breath back.
  4. Remember it is only one day. Go into it expecting the best, and you shouldn’t be disappointed.
  5. Take in the moments over the day, and you will be surprised at how many make you feel good and that you feel you may have missed previous years!

Happy Christmas everyone and hope you all get unicorns in your stockings!

T xx

Like this? Read up on my previous blogs here:

I took 3 weeks off for Mental Health

The Fuck Off Fund.

Hobbies: Making a Happy Jar

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