I went on a Meerkat Experience!

Hi team!

So this week I am talking about my Meerkat Experience!

My lovely Mum gave me a Meerkat Experience for Edinburgh Zoo last year, and I thought I would book it for this year, during my birthday month! Unfortunately we had to reschedule due to Beast from the East (thanks) but we got it sorted and I headed to the zoo on a rainy morning (nothing was going to stop me!)

I got there early and decided to check out the Otters talk, which was very informative, and the otters thought I was there to feed them, but turns out their keeper was behind me (sad face). It was very cute as they are super pathetic with their squeaks of pretending to be starting. They ate defrosted mice for lunch.

I then went through the pelican walkthrough, which as it was raining they were all chilling on a rock but was very cool to see them up close.

I  then went to see the painted hunter dogs and they were inside right up against the glass, as I think they were waiting to see what their keeper was doing outside. They are super cute and so fluffy, with awesome markings.

After 12 I went to meet up with the keeper who was taking me. They are only restricted to two people and it was just me, so it was really fun getting a one on one and I asked loads of questions. We went to one of the meerkats enclosures (the boys one) and I was told that I would be feeding them and also giving them toys to play with (weeeee!)

We went and got all the food and then started to head into the enclosure. The meerkats have tunnels all over their enclosure so they could already see us coming in and were looking very curious. We went through the two sets of doors and popped in.

They weren’t overly sure at first, but they started to come in and look around and get used to me. We had to step very carefully as they are quick and we might accidentally stand on toes or tails. We then set up a little empty paddling pool with coloured balls for them to play in and then started to get their food sorted.

For that day’s menu we were feeding them live locusts and mealworms. It was quite something to open up the bag and see a lot of live locusts in the bag, but I grabbed a big handful and threw them into the pool for them to eat. Suddenly they all came flying in, and when I was too slow putting the food in (i.e. 1 second) they were all standing up and looking at me. I finished the bag and then started putting the meal worms in also.

Once they were finished they started moving around the enclosure more, with some climbing up my leg and tapping my leg with their paw, rather like a cat does, looking for more food. They went all around me and often when I looked behind me there was one sitting there. I couldn’t pat them or put my hands near them as they bite quite hard and their claws are quite sharp but I took a lot of photos and the keeper was kind enough to take a few for me.

I asked the keeper about if they had tried to train the meerkats to do certain tasks at all, and she said yes, but there was an issue. They had tried to get the meerkats to hit a target, however all of them wanted to hit the target, all at once. They also all wanted the treat that came with it. So they are smart, but just very very enthusiastic. They get right into it once they are comfortable, hence why this experience is such a great thing for them and for zoo visitors.

We packed up and then headed out of the enclosure with the equipment, when she informed me that she had a surprise animal for me to see. It was a an armadillo, which I love! I was meeting the baby Inti. We woke her up and I got to hold her. The shell is pretty amazing, and she was very relaxed. I fed her some mealworms, and then we put her back into her enclosure so she could sleep! I was so pleased to see one so up close, and felt lucky to have had that added onto my experience.

I’d like to thank Edinburgh Zoo for putting on such a great experience for me, and the keeper who took me in particular (I totally forgot your name, I’m sorry!). Thank you to my Mum and Gordon for coordinating this also, was the best birthday present ever!

T xx

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Brand Profile: Heather More Illustration

Goals For Spring

My Haul from the Cats Protection Charity Shop!

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Brand Profile: Heather More Illustration

Hi guys!

This weeks Brand Profile is on one of my favourite artists, Heather More. I met Heather at a networking event and she was so lovely! We ended up having her at two of our Braw Blogger Events (plug plug) and her stand stood out due to her amazing art and products!

Here are some images below of my favourite work from her, including the artist herself!

 

What I like about Heather is that she has got a really fun take on things, and she also posts a lot of art to her Facebook, including when she sketches places she travels to. I get a lot of her products and get a lot people asking where I get it from, which truly proves that shopping local really works if you want to be a bit more individual. Heather has also done many art exhibitions and has also done work for the NHS and the Skinny.

Like what you see? Here are all the need to know links below:

Heather More Website

Heather More Shop

Heather More Facebook

Heather More Twitter

Heather More Instagram

T xx

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My Haul from the Cats Protection Charity Shop!

Hi guys!

So I love a good charity shop. I used to volunteer for Barnardo’s (blog linked below) and I loved it. I went through a major wardrobe revamp once I realised my style that I used to love wearing didn’t fit me as a person now, so I donated it to Barnardos. I love the idea of a second or third life for clothing, especially in this era of fast fashion. I also love to pick up new items for my wardrobe as well, to fit my current style.

I was at a loose end near my place and popped into the Cats Protection charity shop for a nosy. It’s the newer kid on the blog when it comes to Stockbridge’s well established charity shops, but they always have great fashion in their windows and a nice aesthetic to their shop.

I had a wander and immediately picked up this fab green Zara top. Such a beautiful sheen and I knew it would fit into my wardrobe immediately. It was so affordable also and in really great condition. The next thing I picked up was this great roll neck crop top from Sparkle and Bright. Really different and a nice addition to my winter jumper collection. There was also some great Asos faux snakeskin shoes but they did not fit and I was sad.

The Cats Protection charity celebrated 90 years last year. They championed neutering, saving cats after the war, and today they also help owners with grief after the loss of their cat, speak up for cats, and are the leading charity for cats in the United Kingdom.

I look forward to shopping there much more in the future and helping to support our little furry cats of all ages.

What charity bargains have you gotten lately?

T xx

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Brand Profile: The Auld Connection

Hi team!

So this weeks Brand Profile is Auld Connection. I first encountered this brand at the Biscuit Factory event in Leith, and was face deep in all of their goodies before finally looking up and realising I knew one of them from work! This was her side hustle along with her job, and looking at the product I was amazed at how much work had gone into the ideas and design. One of them is French, and one of them is Scottish, and they do many fairs so you may have seen them around already!

On their website they say their work is ‘inspired by travels in Scotland and beyond, wandering like tourists in our home city and a love of colour, nature and animals (cats in particular!)’. They do prints, cards, magnets, and badges, and even their business cards get in on the design!

The range of products they do is pretty amazing and I love the Edinburgh feel to it all. They are very proud of the heritage of Scotland and their take on it so unique! They do everything from pins to wall hangings, and a pretty great selection of greeting cards! They even do a print centred around the pandas from Edinburgh Zoo!

Here are my favs below:

 

Want to know more? Here are all their details below!

Auld Connection Website

Auld Connection Facebook

Auld Connection Instagram

T xx

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Brand Profile: Ladykerry Designs!

Iolla Opening Party in Stockbridge!

Bright Edinburgh: The Trumpet Shop

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Brand Profile: Ladykerry Designs!

Hi team!

So this week I am talking about one of my favourite brands – Ladykerry Designs!

Kerry is a fantastic artist who is based in  Edinburgh who creates pieces of magic. She says on her website that her loves are ‘I LOVE unicorns, mermaids, fairies, dinosaurs and sugarskulls. And, of course, puns.’. She creates many products from these including enamel pins, stickers, giclee art prints and greetings cards.

I first saw her at the Edinburgh Biscuit Factory and wanted everything. I think had a nosy on her Etsy store (linked below) and she has so much fun stuff! I have included some products that I have on my wish list and really show her fun unique style.

Here are examples of her work below:

 

 

Want to get your hands on her stuff? There are many ways.

Her Etsy Shop.

Her Not on the High Street page.

Her other stockists.

Want to keep on top of what she is up to and all the great new products she is putting out?

LadyKerry Facebook

LadyKerry Instagram

LadyKerry Twitter

LadyKerry Website

T xx

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Iolla Opening Party in Stockbridge!

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Iolla Opening Party in Stockbridge!

Hi team!

So last week I had an invitation to attend the opening of Iolla, an eyewear shop who also have a branch in Glasgow. They were opening in Stockbridge, and I had been walking past the shop when it was being put together, wondering what it was going to be!

Walking in, it is a great space. You had glasses to the left, on beautiful wooden shelves, with green plants. It felt very relaxed. The range of glasses frames were excellent, with an extensive range to suit everyone. I headed out to the back room and there was a whole room dedicated to sunglasses, with some great options.

Some background on the company. Iolla in Gaelic means ‘sight’, and originally started in Glasgow. They wanted to bring a more affordable price point for glasses, whilst not compromising on style. The designs are all done in house, and are very unique and fashionable.

Here are some pictures from the event below:

As you can see, I’m a complete clown, but I seriously did love the pink ones with leopard in the first picture (called Muir, and have several colours). They had cake, cupcakes, prosecco and a DJ, and it seemed like a lot of staunch supporters of the brand were there to support the owners for the opening. The staff were all really nice and introduced themselves to me when I came in the door. There were a lot of bloggers there I recognised, and it was a really fun atmosphere with everyone really impressed with the selection and trying on their favourites.

I definitely recommend heading to them, just get your prescription up to date and then go in and ask them to style you with the  best glasses for you! I also recommend their blog on the website as they explored Stockbridge when they came to town and named their favourite places they found.

www.iolla.com

T xx

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Bright Edinburgh: The Trumpet Shop

Bright Events: Vino Winter Wine Tasting 2017

Boston and Hawthorne

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Bright Edinburgh: The Trumpet Shop

Hi team!

So this week I am talking about a little shop called the Trumpet Shop. And before you ask, they get asked so many times if they sell trumpets that they’ve devised their own hashtag = wedontselltrumpets – tag them with your purchases and to remind everyone!

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I’ve been going past this shop five days a week for the last year and it always looks like the most cosiest unique shop on George Street. It is at 46A George Street, down a few short stairs, and when I went to it to visit, it was decorated for Christmas with a nutcracker, stockings, and a gift wrapped door. Stepping in, it smelt like Christmas! It was very festive, warm, and inviting. There was some great jazz playing, which is the owner Ross’s passion, and a great touch to a shop like this. Looking around, it is decorated with a vintage flair, complementing it’s Art Deco prints with dark wood and fringed lamps. There is an old fashioned record player at the till point and brown paper ready to wrap your purchases in.

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I had been attracted to the elephant prints, eventually buying a pack of 4 greeting cards, and Ross informed me that they were from cocktail napkins in San Francisco. I love the design and feel of these, and think I will come back for the full print soon.

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The prints are beautiful and a lovely addition to your home, with a cocktail glass with red lips really appealing to me, perhaps to be hung over your drinks trolley? This shop feels exclusively curated, with every piece chosen by Ross.

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They have a great range of railway prints, including advertisements for Oban, Dunbar, and Inverness. I have always admired the art of these and often get a postcard version to send to friends and family back home. You would be hard pressed to not find someone to give these to, as many people have fond memories of these places advertised and would love this in their home.

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They have a range of alcohol on offer, including for Christmas, the Pickerings Gin Baubles, which are the greatest way to give someone the gift of Gin this Christmas!

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There are books and other goodies in the store, with a budget for everyone, and the service was very friendly and helpful. With all the identical gifts out there for Christmas it’s nice to come into a shop that provides a point of difference and really strives to provide quality for it’s customers. I recommend a look in when you next head to George Street, you won’t leave without buying something I promise!

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T xx

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Where to go in Edinburgh off the beaten track!

Bright Events: Vino Winter Wine Tasting 2017

Boston and Hawthorne

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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

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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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