Bowery Mural

I'd like

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

I'm a sucker for a nice shoe. I don't have any real high end designer shoes like Louboutin's or Jimmy Choo's or YSL pumps or anything like that, however I do like a good quality shoe. My first pair of expensive shoes were a pair from Topshop about 5 years ago now. They were a very high heeled type shoe with a thick heel and platform sole. Great to walk in and the neutral colour means they go with most things - jeans, trousers and skirts. They were £75 at that time. Proper expensive.

Then I bought a pair of Karen Millen wedges for summer about 3 years ago. They're a bit more tricky to walk in since the back is strapless but still a 'go with most things' summer shoe. Nice.

In between all this I usually have a pair of Converse or Toms as a comfy back up. My trusty red ones at the moment but I've had white, pink plaid and purple ones too.

Other than that I have about 5 pairs of All Saints shoes and the famous Damisi biker boot that is great in the winter with a pair of skinny trousers.

Last year when I started to get to know other high end fashion brands, I discovered Acne. Acne are a Swedish brand so you can imagine how clean and simple and stylish their clothes are. The standout for me are the really smart looking boots. Their Pistol boots being the most famous ones, probably because most other brands did a copy - Topshop did a good one. Anyway, whilst browsing Harvey Nichols shoe department (because frankly browsing is all I can afford to do there) I finally saw a pair of Acne Pistol boots, in the flesh so to speak. I tried them on. It's usually not wise to try things on because it makes you want them more. That's why they're displayed right there in front of you awaiting your delicate touch.
Source: via Angela on Pinterest

At £350 a pair these boots aren't cheap by any means. But I tried them on nonetheless - with absolutely no intention of buying, but trying them on is fine. I was a little disappointed. I think they're meant to be ankle boots. But when I tried them on the 'apron' (front part) seemed too high and the sturdy, great quality leather was digging into my lower shin. Maybe my shins were a bit chunky for the comfortable wearing of these boots. Hhhmmm. I took them off and quickly put them to the back of my mind. They are gorgeous boots though.

Then I saw these babies on Pinterest!
Source: via Angela on Pinterest

Another pair of Acne boots...The Acne Star boot in a light pink blush leather. These would be great for spring summer 2013 I thought to myself. If only I were a millionaire. Again I didn't think much of them but then I saw them for real again Fraser's in Glasgow last weekend. They were really nice but they are extremely expensive for me.

I browsed further through the shoe department and came across this pair from Carvela at Kurt Geiger. I give you the 'Standard' boot.

They look almost the same as the Acne Star boot, right?! Except not in that lovely soft pink blush leather of the Acne pair. Sigh. They're on sale from £150 to £70 right now I think. I'm seriously considering them as a summer boot. I think they could look cute with my black shorts I got from Zara last year.

Anyway, I forgot about them since I don't have a spare £70 til I get paid. I decided to see if they're available on the Kurt Geiger website and they are! and for £70. Wow, tempting. But whilst browsing the Kurt Geiger website I clicked Brands and what do you know, Acne appear to be housed in the Kurt Geiger family too. Can this be true? These boots must be the 'cheaper' version of those pink blush boots. I really am now tempted by this pair.

Let's see...

Angela x


Driving for Doughnuts - Krispy Kreme

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Unless you've been hiding under a rock for the past few weeks you'll know that Krispy Kreme has now opened it's first Scottish hotlight store at Hermiston Gate in Edinburgh. I first tried Krispy Kreme doughnuts exactly 2 years ago when I went for a little weekend away down south and was heading home at Luton airport. I spotted the stand and bought a half dozen to take with me on the plane. They were tasty. Very tasty. I never had one again... until last weekend.

First of all my sister, two nephews and I headed off on a wee road trip last Wednesday night. It was gone 7.30pm by the time we left the village and we thought it would be quiet. Wrong. When we approached Hermiston Gate roundabout we saw the queues of cars. These queues weren't your ordinary queues. No, these queues were the kinda queues that once you enter them there is no getting out. Not for at least an hour. On the approach Connor had fallen asleep in the back of the car. When we saw the queues Ryan proclaimed "What are they queueing for? it's only a doughnut shop!". Probably what a lot of people were thinking, right?

We headed round the roundabout into the retail park. People had abandoned their cars on the main roundabout and had queued on foot at the shop. It was around the side. We sat for a few minutes until Ryan decided we should head back to McDonalds at the Newbridge roundabout. The doughnuts would be eaten on another day.

They had a cheeseburger meal, i had some chips. It's all I could manage with my brace in. We sat there and watched a few planes take off and land. Well we could see the lights at least. Then we headed home.

On Saturday I decided it might be a bit quieter and headed through myself in the car. Bummer. There were queues again. But since I had time to kill the queues didn't bother me so i parked at the retail park and walked across to the store itself. The queue was around the building again but I waited in it. Surprisingly enough it took 40 minutes from when i arrived until i was out the door with my double dozen freshly baked Krispy Kreme's. Yum.

Once the queue reached the building door you could see the doughnuts being produced, glazed and boxed. Pretty cool.

Most people were buying dozen boxes. Some were buying double dozens and there were a few even buying four boxes. Gold mine! I bought 12 of my own selection and 12 glazed for £15.95. Good deal. In my own selection i chose strawberry gloss, chocolate iced, chocolate kreme, chocolate sprinkles and millionaire's shortbread flavours.
strawberry gloss; choc kreme, sprinkles, iced - yum
They weren't all for me! This 2 dozen was to be split between my sis and the boys too. I headed home and distributed the doughnuts. The boys lapped them up as did the parents. My sister was left with the glazed ones as they'd eaten the chocolate sprinkles and kreme ones. They're really quite tasty and not very stodgy like supermarket doughnuts I've tried before. The glaze is just the right sweetness and they were so soft I could even manage to bite them with my brace on. Result.
Connor certainly enjoyed his chocolate sprinkles!
I've saw people bemoaning the queues and wondering why people would queue for a doughnut. Well all I can say was my time was worth the queue and my belly thanked me for it.

Angela x


What's the time?

Friday, 15 February 2013

It occurred to me last week that I still haven't gotten a battery for my watch. It ran out in summer last year and I've never replaced it. One reason being that when I dropped by the watch repairs concession in Debenhams in Glasgow as i was browsing the beauty counters, the guy there quoted me £25.99 for a battery. Yes, £25.99. I was gobsmacked and immediately said no thanks.

I then dropped into my local Debenhams (where I'd been previously to have batteries replaced) and the guy there said £16.99. Now who is kidding who? eh. I'd been here for a watch better for my Dad's watch and it was £9.95 if i remember correctly. A much more reasonable price.

So ever since then I haven't bothered to take the watch to have the battery replaced. I didn't go to the jewellers shops because they usually say 'oh we'll need to send it away' and frankly I just want it replaced and returned within a few hours. Somewhere surely does that now at a reasonable price? Anyone?

I toyed with the idea of getting a simple Swatch watch for Christmas but it was never more than a passing thought. But I kind of miss a watch on my wrist. I wear mine on the left wrist, by the way. (Which wrist are you?). I do have a working watch my mum bought me nearly 10 years ago now. It's a Maine watch from the men's department in Debenhams. It's a huge chunky steel affair with a rectangular face and a tight clasp. The reason i don't wear that much now is that my wrists appear to have shrunk and it slips off my wrist far to easily. It also makes typing at work a pain (another reason i tend not to wear bangles or chunky bracelets to work - the noise! the slipping off! the banging off the desk!).

Anyway, since I had some free time after having my brace fitted on Monday, I decided to pop into town to a small jewelry makers and enquire about a battery. To my utter delight (and surprise) he said that'll be £4 and you can get i back within the hour. Sold. So now I have a watch back on my wrist and if you ask me I can tell you it's twenty past three.
Don't touch my Breil
Angela x

Braces make beautiful faces

Sunday, 10 February 2013

I was feeling a little forlorn today. Tomorrow is the day I finally have my brace fitted. Teeth brace, not a back, leg or neck brace! Glad to report that my mouth seems to have healed up nicely after having the two teeth removed so that my teeth have room to move in my mouth.

I'm a bit nervous about having the brace fitted. I mean, I'm a 35 year old woman. You might wonder why? Why? Because I want to be able to smile more all day. Simple.

For as long as I can remember, probably since my awkward teenage years, I've been self conscious about my teeth. Ordinarily most people won't even notice them, but for me it's always there in the back of my mind. That, together with my already crippling shyness means that I'm not very talkative to people that I don't really know. Hence one of the reasons why I blog. I can talk to y'all here on this blog and various social networks without thinking that I need to try to somehow hide my teeth or show how shy I really am.

With that being said, this is something that I need to do. It'll be a long journey, two years the orthodontist estimated (I have a severe overbite, crossbites, small jaw, jaw too far back...the list goes on), but I hope that by the end I will have gained a new smile and perhaps a little more confidence.

Whilst browsing for images of braces the other day I came across a couple of really nice blogs from girls and their brace-wearing journeys. I've decided I'm going to log my journey here too. Maybe monthly updates and photos to see if we can see the process of teeth straightening taking shape.

Let's start with this. This is me on Friday after a monster laughing session at work.

As you can see one front tooth overlaps the other and the incisor is turned. That's really the only thing that bothers me. That squinty front tooth. So, if you see me from the right hand side, there's a gap. A gap that over the years has gotten wider and more squint.

I'm using this beautiful photo (below) as my inspiration and hope that people can see past the brace, the curly hair and the glasses.

I'd like to know if there are any of you out there that have been adult wearers of braces? I remember a few years ago, king of the sprint himself Mr Mark Cavendish had a mouthful as did Gwen Stefani (Google it) and look at them now! Heart.

On that note, I'll leave you with this from Snoopy. Wise lil Snoopy :D

Angela x

What's on my iPad?

Saturday, 9 February 2013

I stole the idea for this post... Actually no, it's in reply to a post James did over at called What's on your iPad?
iPad first page, not really into folders on here
So, if you're interested, here are my top 5 iPad apps. In no particular order.

1) - Pinterest
I absolutely LOVE Pinterest and have done since it's early release. The iPad app is so slick and is perfect for settling down with a cup of tea and being inspired. I could pin all day long if I were allowed to.

2) - YouTube
I've really gotten into YouTube, and it's really ever since I got the iPad just over a year ago. The app came as standard in the original iOS but was then removed but the new app is really great. I can open it up and watch the latest videos from the channels I subscribe to. This is also Ryan and Connor's favourite app. Ryan pretends he doesn't know what it is but he knows that white square with the black and red writing leads him to endless videos of Fireman Sam, Bob the Builder and old Tom and Jerry cartoons.

3) - Sky Go
We don't have Sky tv at home but my sister does. So as soon as I realised that Sky subscribers could use the Sky Go on two devices for free I just had to beg her for her sign in details. She only has an iPhone (my old one) so I use Sky Go on my iPad. It's been really great for me as I love sports so I've watched most of the Australian open on it, I'll be able to watch live F1 races when the new season begins and I'm currently loving the fact that I can watch new US dramas on Sky Atlantic at the same time as everyone else. Hello Kevin Bacon in The Following!

4) - iBooks
I like books, i do, but i'm not a great reader. A book has to completely suck me in for me to stick with it. But having iBooks has made me grow to love reading again. I just tap it open and settle in with a good book. I mostly do this when i have total distraction free time, which is mostly on train journeys. I pack up the iPad and then read on the train. My current book is The Passage by Justin Cronin, a recommendation from Ross (@electroross). So far so good.

5) - Tweetbot
It's no secret that i love Twitter. But the Twitter app on the iPad could be so much better than it is. That's the reason I use Tweetbot on there. Strange, because I flick between Twitter and Tweetbot on the iPhone. On the iPad is everything you need. A clear timeline. Easy to use search. Clear favourites. Heck, there's even mute filters on there if you're one of those folk who pretend to be social and follow you so you'll follow back (to get their numbers up) and they never actually interact with you and they slip up and have a conversation (in your timeline) and let that cat out of the bag and you suss out that like probably most of their timeline they've got you on some sort of Mute filter or List which means they are preaching (and getting paid for it) that they're all social and shit but actually they're probably more anti-social than you. Phew. Apologies, that's a bug bear. But, Tweetbot's pretty decent.

Anyways... what's on your iPad?
EDIT: I just hit publish then checked this post on the web. Oh wow, look how out of focus and non-retina those iPad 2 screenshots are! Jeez...

Angela x


Just a few of my Instagram Favourites

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Before Christmas there was a big furore over Instagram and people's interpretation of the new privacy policy (which has now been changed, by the way, and so I'm not sure where we're at with that!).
Instagram web profile page
Anyway, a few people up and left Instagram defecting to other less easy or nice to use apps (IMO). Apparently Flickr gained a lot of newbies too. In the updated Flickr app I accidentally clicked DONE which I thought would take me back a step but what it did was add all of my Twitter contacts who have a Flickr account. Embarrassing. As quick as I could I deleted all the contacts as I didn't want all the cat pictures appearing in my Flickr feed too. No offence but cat or dog pics aren't really my thing. However, there were a few contacts i did keep. Simply because they take and share great pictures and I'd like to see more of them. I've had my Flickr account for years, a Pro account at that too. I always keep that paid up because Flickr is the place i share all my digital camera pictures, my unedited proper full scale pictures. Heck if you've got a spare hour you can find nearly every single picture I took in Nepal on there. It's in a named set so easy to find. Some of them aren't great but some of them are fantastic. I've tried over the years to keep it neatly organised into Sets. Some pictures have fallen through that system though. If you find me on there chances are I'll likely have a nosey around your pictures to see if they interest me. If so, you're a keeper.

So, now, this very week, Instagram has launched a new way of looking at your home feed on the web. Quite  good because sometimes I'd like to see the pictures a little larger than my iPhone screen and of course that doesn't let you zoom in on the snaps. If you've got an account just log in.

my Instagram home feed
Anyway, the point of this post was to say that Instagram may be keeping strange friends these days but I'll not delete my account, ever. And here are a few reasons why... my favourites, just a few... Enjoy!

Creative photos. Fun. Normal snapshots. Views. People. Everything. Brilliant.

Michael. So jealous of his amazing jumpstagrams. Amazing Californian beach sunsets. Landscapes. His dog.

One of my favourite ever bloggers, except he doesn't blog much now. Florida based. Wonderful family life pictures. Simply beautiful.

A bonafide surfer, who actually takes pictures whils IN THE WATER!! You are transported with him as he catches the waves. Breathtaking.

Creative and fun. Amazing Mo for Movember. He's shaved his beard off now though. Local lad. Scribbler, landscapes, Edinburgh, music, filming, FUN!

LA based fashion blogger. Great style. Outfits. Creative. Follow her fashion travels.

Glasgow based. City scenes. Sunsets. People. Great mix of scenes and pictures.

Student. Amazing jumpstagrams, landscapes and sunsets. Android user. Black n white pictures, colour too. Really brilliant.

Jason and Jeffstagram's round the world adventure. They've only just started. Get involved. iPhone 5 only photos, edited with Snapseed and Afterglow. Great pictures.

Great car pictures. I love Audi's anyway but the pictures are arty, old cars, new cars, LED's, cars, cars, cars.

Moody coastline shots. Photographer - so of course they're gonna be great!

I hope you've managed to click the links and search out a few new people to follow on Instagram, I', Ange77H over there by the way. Now who do you reckon I should follow too?

Recommendations welcome!
Angela x


Shock Fit to get fit

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Shock fit suspension. Sounds like a service Kwik-Fit would offer or some kind of weird torture. It could be the latter but it's neither. Shock Fit is a new set of fitness classes that have started at my gym, The Peak in Stirling. I suppose every gym has a set of classes that they name and each one may be different but Shock-Fit is just the name they've given them at The Peak. In this set there are Core, Bells and Suspension classes. I've started the Bells and Suspension classes and so far I've been well impressed.

First bells class was last Thursday. I was a bit apprehensive about what it would be but all of that went out the window when we got there and there were only 8 of us. Actually an ideal amount for a class. You feel like you're getting one to one sessions with the trainer but there's others there for a bit of banter too.

It turns out the class was really tough but really good. There were 4 stations with various kettle bell and dumb bell weights set up and the trainer (Colin) went through each one showing us what to do. We then had a warm up and a practice at each station so we knew what weight of weights to use and how to do it. Cool. One - squatting pull ups with as high a weight as you can handle. Two - dumbbell lunges, again with as high a weight as you can handle. Lunges are not that easy once you're passed ten. Three - shoulder presses, heavy dumbbells again. Four - wall squat lean with a medicine ball weight.

The class started and we had 4 rounds of doing the whole circuit. As we went on it got tougher since you're getting more tired. But I was glad to say I was keeping up with the supposedly 'stronger' folk. High five me! By the end we were sweating and proud we'd lasted the distance. I think I knew I would be fine. I'm pretty tough and determined when i want to be.

The second bells class was Thursday just past. I'm thrilled to say i was even better this week and the instructor made me do the harder versions of each exercise station.

The first suspension class was last Tuesday. In my head I pictured us being hung from ropes and doing all sorts. What it actually is is straps on the weight machines. Again the format is four stations set up and then out to another area to do two minute step ups and a one minute rest. One station has a set of rings, two had normal grip handles and the last station has larger rings (all on straps) which are for your feet. This is a killer. Again we had a try out of each one before being set off on our four rounds.

I'd say suspension was more of an upper body workout and bells has more lower body exercise (lunges!). I really did start to enjoy the suspension class by the second round.

On the first station (rings on the end of straps). This is a standing press up. Feet as far back as you can. You leaning on the rings, then do a press up action, standing up. Not as easy as it sounds. Station two is standing rows. Stand facing the machine/wall. Grab the straps by the handles, lean as far back as you can, feet as close to the wall as you can handle then pull yourself up like a row. Again, a killer. Station three is a squat jump. Get into a low squat position, holding the strap handles keeping the strap tight. Jump up as high as you can then squat down again. Last station. Face away from the wall, put your feet into the loops on the straps. Place your hands at shoulder width on the floor, keeping your back straight. Hands still, pull your feet in and out from the wall to your chest. This is kind of like a plank where your feet are suspended and you move them in and out. It's an ab killer. A great way.

All of these are done for a minute. You then get to rest for a minute and onto a two minute step up session. And rest for a minute afterwards. That is one circuit. You do it all again for another three rounds. Four in total. My abs and legs were really sore the day after but the spin class was a good way to loosen them off.
Need to get into these Zara shorts again for summer!
All of this means I'm now exercising five times a week, and you know what? I've had a great week. I've felt more positive and I'm sure I can almost see a difference already. My problem areas are my bum and tops of legs and I've always had a smaller trunk. My abs are forming nicely and I'm excited to hopefully have a nice set of sculpted arms (not like Madonna!). That's the plan anyway.

After Thursday's bells class Colin gave us a wee chat about not weight watching and always eating breakfast. Something I've been skipping recently. Now I'll be sure to get my Weetabix or Corn Flakes on to kick start that metabolism. I've never been into diets. In fact i downright disagree with them. Everyone I've ever known to diet has lost weight, then put it straight back on when they've returned to eating 'normally'.
Basically, don't diet, eat less of these and EXERCISE
What I'd say is eat healthy. Cut out the rubbish. (Chocolate is my weakness). But that's all lost if you don't exercise. You have to work at it, and put those stupid diet books/weight watchers rubbishy meals away. There's no easy quick fix.

Angela x