Friday, 24 November 2017

Black Friday - The best deals and the cheapest thrills you can get

So as we all know Black 'Friday' is actually a whole weekend long (sometimes even going into Monday). It's a good opportunity to get ready for Christmas, get your last minute advent calendars or treat yourself to some pretty good skincare for over the festive period now we've been issued a snow warning and it's going to get a whole lot colder. Or even get prepared and avoid the total stress of last minute panic buying and pick the perfect outfit ready for New Year's Eve! We've gathered our favourite deals and top pics coming this weekend to get you all prepared on where to hit refresh.

Obviously I'm going to be scrolling endlessly buying a thousand things I don't need but might also need to wear approx 4 different outfits on Christmas Eve, Day an Boxing Day then there's the in-between comfy clothes you need to recover from mammoth eating and then the obviously BIGGEST NIGHT OF THE YEAR NewYears Eve outfit has been on my radar for the past few months (exciting post to come soon). So I've chosen my top picks on where to shop and what to get to ensure you're going to be looking extra fresh over Christmas and New Year. My advice is bookmark everything now and have it ready in a window to refresh so you know immediately if it's going in the sale. Discounts usually start at a minimum of 20% - 50% off so it's worth the research and planning. Just be prepared is my ultimate rule to avoid disappointment.

Topshop - Offering upto 50% off + free shipping until the 27th November.



Did someone say the best NYE dress ever made? HERE it is. Sequins, pink, half sleeve: I'll take three. It's perfect so enough said. Add some velvet block heels and a feathery bag you'll be looking like the prettiest Christmas decoration there ever was.

A little bit of velvet and lace together is a dream. This tiered dress is a good mix between a bit more fancier than your usual Topshop party dress but still fun midi dress. It's not too formal either so ideal if you're not a super fancy pants but want to make it a special one.

Fully obsessing over this shirt. I think its so effortless and ideal for New Years Day or that in the middle phase between Christmas and NYE. Wear it with a long sleeved polo neck underneath or a vest to make it a bit more subtle when you're with the fam. Then as soon as the pub calls (make sure you're got a nice bodysuit or long-line bra underneath) you can whip the polo off and you're set to go.

I couldn't help myself with these shoes. The ULTIMATE party heel that will go perfectly with all your fresh New Year threads. Easy to wear with a cute mustard sock or low denier tights or obviously bare legged. These shoes are a total bargain may I just say. Classy, a little bit of sass and I promise you they'll be so comfy. The heel is a more balanced height and shape for your foot so go for these if you're not a usual heel wearer. If the festive period isn't a time to be that little bit extra then when is? These little fluffy gems are what I would call a perfect Cinderella slipper. Fluffy, pink and the alice band strap is a dream come true. I personally would wear them fully in causal mode waking up in Christmas morning just because but if you wanted to wear them with a little slip dress and a furry coat for any party or a cullote trouser would look amazing for a touch of sass.

Hobbs - offering 20% off everything till Sunday 26th November and will offer a special 'Daily Deal'. 



This mustard velvet dress is delightful for any occasion and perfect for emphasising your silhouette keeping it tres chic with the ruffles too I'm in love with it. Sitting at a midi-length it's perfect for wearing with a cheeky fishnet and a barely there heel or even a long boot underneath for a more relaxed feel.

Karen Millen - 25% off everything.



Couldn't help myself with this T-Shirt. A little bit too much for perfect for a little Christmas Eve gift and something to chuck on whilst the champagne flows across the festive period.

These are perfect for those full lazy days you've got people coming over and you can't be bothered to make an effort but you have to because it's Christmas. Super comfortable trousers, still very current for the season and ideal paired with a plain black jumper and trainers. Obsessed with these chiffon sleeves on this jumper. Looks like you've made a lot of effort but you're actually just hiding the fact you've got a hundred Quality Street chocolates stuffed up your sleeves.

If New Year isn't a time to be bit daring then when is? This full lace dress is super sweet, still sexy and avoids that awkward figure hugging body con you're shuffling about in just trying to dance to ABBA in at 4am. Obviously I couldn't not choose this stunning satin maxi dress. It sums me up perfectly and everything I love is involved. Satin, max, long sleeves and buttons down the front. I would definitely get my tan fully on so i'm glowing like Queen Bey. Pair it with a super pretty bodysuit to hold yourself all in and if you're feeling a bit cheeky you can have the buttons at the top undone to show a bit off. Couldn't say no to some SUPER glittery heels and you're set to go. The best bit is you can wear it with jeans the next day and trainers and everyone's just going to think you've made a valiant effort but actually you've crawled in at 8am.




I totally understand the price points here are a bit more than I personally would spend on a festive dress but again, it's Christmas so time to spoil yourself as much as you do everyone else. 

This velvet maxi dress is pretty damn chic. The fluted sleeve with the velvet print and the super feminine shape is for me the ultimate classy party dress. Get a heavy smokey eye all over it and a Fenty red lip you'll be making waves walking into any party.

This one is pretty cute and pretty festive. Gold flaked and the prettiest dress I've ever tried on I love love love it. You feel like you should be on top of a Christmas tree. The shape and length are super flattering if you're petite but also very ideal if you have a bigger bust. It's flattering too if you prefer to avoid a figure hugging body con but with the panelling and design it will sinch you right in at the waist with a bit of eye trickery. Obviously very ideal for dancing with the tulled skirt too.

This one isn't something I would instantly chose first hand but theres something I can't say no to about it. The mix between a Gucci-esque sporty but still keeping it feminine and the effortless shape is beeeeeautiful. The silk print is so delicate it literally is the kind of dress you can chuck on last minute and you're set to go. No need for any wild accessories. 

I'm slightly obsessed with their T-Shirt collection at the moment. I love their movement to a more contemporary approach to designs and some cooler styles. This jumper is a perfect festive red but sways away from those classic OTT Christmas jumpers. If you're looking for a more fashion ready Christmas jumper- this is the one. ('Le Captain' obviously means Captain of the sausage in blankets so you're first in the queue) This shiny, glossy silk t-shirt is (as our beloved Trinny says..) ready to lift you up on those dull days: AKA hungover on the sofa but you need to look like you're totally fine. 

Obviously couldn't ignore their homeware so if you're dying for a Kate La Vie Christmas or just want to impress across the dinner table then these are my top picks for the festive season.

This whole collection is honestly breathtaking. Too dramatic....maybe? But this pink tinted glassware is so so pretty it'll be a forever collection to keep for those special moments across the festive season. Again I'm loving this whole speckled phase and Anthropologie seem to always have the newest and prettiest collections. Made by Suit One (their Instagram is a dream) this collection is the right amount of glam you need on the dinner table. Although a little pricey these gems are nice as a treat even if you have one or two they'll fit perfectly for anything from a mince pie for Santa or to fill with roast potatoes when nobodies looking. These Candlefish Candles are so so fresh they're perfect for getting any over-cooked parsnips smells or after 352618 brussel sprouts have been consumed. They're soy based and last an absolute age. I've had four of these candles and the smell lasts right down to the end. 


Z x

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Tuesday, 14 November 2017

The Ultimate Guide to Effortless Winter Street-Style

Below is your new go to guide for effortless style this season. There's a good mix of feminine florals, with Copenhagen tailoring and East London edge coming together for your key Winter pieces. Enjoy!

1. Micro-florals

Yes, I know you're instantly going to be thinking florals aren't exactly much of a surprise because they've been a big situation all year but now they're becoming tiny. Micro-florals spread over amazing boho midi dresses with long fluted sleeves and effortlessly floating in the Autumnal breeze is what we're aiming for here. Think Blake Lively with a mix of Alexa Chung edge and throw in some spice with some layered necklaces you're good to go. If you want to push it a little more or you're not much of a dress person try wearing a pair of jeans underneath and leave the dress (if it's buttoned down) unbuttoned so it's more open.




2. Dark Denim

As ever, denim will never leave our trusted sides. This season it's time to chuck your faded mom jeans and swap them in for some dark blue straight legged ones. It's less about the skinny jeans and more of a looser but tailored cropped style. Complete with a loose shirt or printed silk blouse tucked into a high-waist and some cool metallic loafers.




3. Playing with proportions

This is a key style that's going to carry us into winter. If you're anything like me and reluctant to let summer go this is perfect. Take a mini skirt or shift dress, keep it super stripped back and simple with a white t-shirt then find a strong heavy long coat in a rich colour to make it seasonal. Grab a trusted side-bag with a bit of sass and you're set to go.




4. Checkin' you out

FINALLY checks are back. If you saw my previous post which featured an amazing Anthropologie blazer (which is now in the SALE) nothing's moving for this trend. Find yourself a well-tailored blazer in your preferred check and wear it with everything. It's going to finish every outfit by this time next month so get in quick. Wearing it with some masculine loafers or a Doc Martin would look ultra cool.










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Monday, 13 November 2017

BABA - The New Restaurant Around Town

There is a brand new restaurant opening in Edinburgh on Wednesday the 15th of November and you have to go. Part of the Principal Hotel on Charlotte square, BABA has been brought to Edinburgh by the people behind the incredible Ox and Finch in Glasgow and Londons Gorgeous Group. This partnership has managed to create a little bit of heaven for us here in Edinburgh and we can't wait for you all to experience it.


BABA serves Levantine inspired cuisine, bringing us flavours from places such as Lebanon, Syria and Israel. Not only is the food packed with flavour but their signature house cocktails are original, refreshing and absolutely delicious. Even the interior makes you feel like you are in another world, the breathtaking decor, and the smell of incense fusing with the smells coming from the open kitchen all comes together to create a really unique dining experience. This restaurant and the BABA concept is really bringing something unique and exciting to Edinburgh.

When we were invited along to get a preview of BABA we were lucky enough to be served the entire menu. They have so much to offer, from a huge array of dips to Mezze dishes and of course everything from the centrepiece charcoal grill. You can have a look at the full menu here but we wanted to share some of our top picks with you:

Haggis and harissa kibbeh - This little Mezze dish is perfect to share as a little appetiser, it's peppery, surprising and with the kibbeh is a totally new taste you need to try. Fusing Scottish food and the BABA twist perfectly together.



All the dips - It would take us about 3 years to describe each one in all their glory so we're just going to let you know they are all completely unique and each one is packed with different flavours and textures. We weren't madly keen on the smoked salmon but it's definitely one for you if you really love that smokiness of fresh salmon. We really recommend getting them all so that you can have a taste of all the different Lebanese flavours, it's quite an experience.



Chuck-eye steak, sumac onion salad and red pepper ketchup- I mean, who doesn't like steak? This was the first time that we have tried this cut of meat and we were not disappointed. Melt in the mouth delicious, perfectly succulent and the tang from the ketchup with the sweetness from the red onion is a match made in food heaven.


Hake, beetroot, orange and herb salad- Another one from the grill. Everything was cooked to perfection but the fish was just something else. I'm not the biggest fish fan but the Hake simply melted in the mouth. I think this is the dish that I enjoyed the most out of the whole menu, it was on another level for me.

Cauliflower, tahini, ras-el-hanout and rose- We have never seen grilled cauliflower served in this way before. This is a brilliant dish to share as a side and again it is packed with flavours and textures that go perfectly together.


Kebab/Shawarma- We were obsessed with the chicken shawarma which is served with pomegranate, garlic tahini and pickled salad. The chicken was so juicy and flavoursome, complemented perfectly by the bread which is made only for BABA at an artisan bakery here in Edinburgh. You can also try the kebab with lamb, beef or spiced squash for a veggie option.




Pomegranate and mint sorbet - The perfect end to a delicious feast. Fresh, perfectly sweet with a hint of tang. The nicest sorbet I've ever had. It's served in half a pomegranate shell which is ever so fitting to the BABA style.



 Coffee - Not something we'd be so certain to include in reviewing a restaurant but BABA coffee deserves all the attention on its own. It's a taste unlike any I've tried before. I'm no coffee expert but I drank it black and there's no need for any sugar or milk. Recommended on its own the coffee is served in your own Cafetiere with the sweetest little glasses.

We can promise that you will be leaving here completely full and with a smile on your face. The food at BABA has endless flavours and the atmosphere they have created here is amazing. When you go to BABA, we would love to hear what you think of this new addition to Edinburgh!

T,  Z & L x



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Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Edinburgh's Hidden Gems - An Overnight Stay at Edinburgh's Old Town Chambers


Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful cities in the world in my opinion, and because I was born here sometimes I don't appreciate that enough. It isn't until I visit other big cities and make comparisons that I see just how wonderfully charming and full of history and character it is. Edinburgh is full of amazing hidden gems and you really don't have to leave the city to enjoy a night away relaxing and treating yourself. The hotels, restaurants and bars are fantastic across our small but perfectly formed city centre and even if you live in Edinburgh there is always something new and exciting to embrace.

I was lucky enough to be invited for an overnight at the beautiful Old Town Chambers right in the heart of Edinburgh with the lovely Jess from Almost Chic & Chantelle from The Girl in the Tartan Scarf. I was so excited to stay in the midst of it all, growing up on the outskirts of Edinburgh I always craved waking up in the centre of it all. 


From the minute I arrived, I was overwhelmed at how amazing the Old Town Chambers looked. They have taken this gorgeous historic building and transformed it into really elegant and modern apartments, that are perfect for a luxurious stay in Edinburgh. 

The girls and I had planned a cosy girls night in where we could relax and catch up, which was made all the more glorious by our beautiful old town setting. The apartment was made for nights in - with two insanely comfortable couches to spread out on, four balconies that we enjoyed glasses of prosecco on while watching the sun go down and the most luxurious bathrooms kitted out with the best cowshed products. It really wasn't hard to make ourselves at home and chill out for the evening.


While we were relaxing and enjoying our night in we of course needed some food and drink to accompany. We were lucky enough to be gifted the incredible Quiet Night in Box from one of my favourite deli's in Edinburgh, Valvona and Crolla. Inside there was a selection of their finest meats, cheeses and a lovely bottle of sparkling wine - which the three of us thoroughly enjoyed.

To add to how ridiculously spoiled we were by the Old Town Chambers we also enjoyed a beautiful gin hamper from Cranachan & Crowdie that included a selection of the best Scottish goodies around. There was also a lovely gin included that Jess prepared beautifully for us that we enjoyed while having a gossip later in the evening.


One of the things that make the Old Town Chambers so special is how beautifully guests are catered for. This accommodation is a step up from a luxury hotel in that every last detail is thought of. The kitchen is completely decked out to the point you could cook a full Sunday roast if you wished. There is a huge circular table that would be perfect for an intimidate dinner party, complete with a wine fridge for all your after dinner drink needs.

The entire apartment is filled with gorgeous final touches like the delicious smelling diffusers from Cowshed that are carefully placed around to make the space smell amazing. Every inch of the apartment is decked out with the most modern appliances that add to the luxury feel of staying here.


I can't recommend the Old Town Chambers anymore it is in the perfect location right in the heart of Edinburgh and is the ultimate base for exploring the city or having a relaxing night in. I can't wait to find another excuse to stay as it really was a fantastic experience. Thanks so much to Lateral City Apartments for having us, and if you would like any more information everything will be linked below.

L x


Bookings for the Old Town Chambers
Cranachan & Crowdie
Valvona and Crolla
Jess - Almost Chic
Chantelle - The Girl in the Tartan Scarf


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Sunday, 5 November 2017

Sunday Chatroom - Zaccardelli Leather Co


This week we have been lucky enough to talk to the amazing team behind Zaccardelli Leather Co, and Edinburgh based luxury leather goods brand. This gorgeous handmade leather goods company combines beautiful design with the highest quality materials to create a stunning collection of chic leather products. The team is made up of father/son team Sergio and Jordan along with creative director Daria. Between the three of them, they have created the most amazing minimalist brand that we couldn't recommend for a beautiful gift that will last a lifetime. The three of us are always struggling to buy for the men in our lives and now we can't wait to get our orders and treat the guys to a one-off beautiful leather piece - and maybe grab something for ourselves too!

What is the story behind Zaccardelli Leather Co?

Zaccardelli Leather Co was founded with the inspiration to become the finest producers of authentically crafted handmade leather goods in Scotland. When Zaccardelli Leather was founded, there weren't any producers or manufacturers that could produce our designs that satisfied my father and I expectations. All the leather handmade accessories that were available at the time were mass produced, low quality and had no originality that we expected from a high-priced high-end leather product. We set ourselves a goal to design and produce products that we would use ourselves at an optimal price whilst also maintaining quality to our standards. We source our materials from predominately local suppliers and do not purchase anything outside of the United Kingdom with the exception of Italy, as we are both of Italian heritage. 

We love that your brand is a father/son operation. What's it like working so closely together?

Rewarding!

We have a good working relationship as we both have the same goals and ideas on design and development. You can't break the bond between family. Business comes second nature to us, all generations before us have had their hands in large businesses and have been extremely successful so business runs in the blood. Our photographer Daria has been a good addition to the team as she has brought her own ideas into the mix through her photography work from the fashion scene. 



Where do you draw your inspiration from?

As Sergio (my father) is responsible for the production and design, his inspirations come from a background of design and craft notably from woodwork and luxury paint effects. In essence, we are from a creative and hands-on family that have a history of entrepreneurship and family-run businesses. We are creative people that are inspired by everything around us. 


Are you driven by trends within fashion when producing products?

We are driven by practicality and minimal design. We aim for our products to be timeless despite the change in trends however still remain inspired from the latest campaigns from the likes of Luis Vuitton, Bottega Veneta and Armani.  



Who would you say your target customer is?

We have tried to develop products we feel will be apt to a wide audience, for instance, if you look at our Apple range this been specifically marketed to students and young professionals who are carrying around their mac and also an iPhone that they have invested a lot of money into. Our cases are mid-range priced and high-end finished to allow students to have a little style with protection whilst also having the knowledge that these products are not generic and have been handmade. 

Secondly, we have developed products for men and women. Our drawstring bag and journal are typically our most popular selling items with a wide age range purchasing these. We have tried to break down the market to target as many segments as possible who are attracted to our ethos. Our products are timeless so this opens up possibilities for everyone to find something they like. 


We love your stark, simple and chic photography. Where did the inspiration for that aesthetic come from? 

Our inspirations come from our ability to continuously look through lifestyle magazines, stalking Instagram, Pinterest and big-name campaigns online. We all have a particular love for minimalism and that forms the basis of our photography work and our own campaigns. We also have a love for locations shooting, Edinburgh and Scotland are perfect for what we need.    


 What are your favourite products from the collection?

(Jordan)
My favourite product is our Revolution Key Holder. Personally, I think its the perfect well designed accessory as I can not stand having a messy load of keys rattling around my pocket damaging my phone. Everything is in one place and organised. 

(Daria)
The Minimalist Card Holder is my favourite product for its smart, slim design and its usability. I can carry it in any of my pockets and also place it in a clutch bag without out the need for a bulky purse. I can also put my cash on the reverse side without worrying. 

(Sergio)
The drawstring was the first product I designed which was inspired from a bag I bought in Greece. I didn't like the way the bag was designed so I re-designed and developed our Drawstring Bag as I didn't like carrying loose change anywhere. My wife uses our drawstring bag for storing her jewellery and to travel with. I love it as it has so many practical purposes. 


Who are some of your favourite designers?

(Jordan) 
I have a particular attraction to minimalism, and there is no-one better than Giorgio Armani for me. He encompasses elegance, timeless design and produces the essentials to a luxury lifestyle. 

Burberry is another of my favourite designers as I love how they have developed a trademark pattern that they have managed to roll out on all of their products.

(Daria) 
Christian Lacroix Couture, for his artistic and over the top flavorous style. My favourite designer would be Valentino for his embodiment of the classic, elegant beauty. 

(Sergio)
Prada would be my favourite designer. I love their stark design and that they consistently produce sought-after products whilst always maintaining high standards and quality with unique designs. 



What are your plans for the future of Zaccardelli Leather?

Currently, our efforts are going into the frenzy of Christmas. After Christmas, we are going to focus on collaborations with other brands to open up our designs and aesthetics with brands we feel compliment our products. We are also going to focus on getting ready for our first push on entering the retail world with exclusive stockists and also high-street stores. We have been relatively successful with independent retailers and will also roll out to other parts of the country through independent retailers in London and wider England with the end goal being our own store and adjacent workshop along with a large E-Commerce web presence. 


How would you describe your brand is one word?

I can describe it in three words which are the essence of the brand. 


Timeless - Refined - Slick 

For more info on Zaccardelli Leathers check them out at;

zleatherco.com
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L x
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