Favourites Mid-September 2018



Since I've not actually really been blogging since like April? Or something? It feels like a lot has happened. And it has.

In April I went to Valencia in Spain with two of my best school friends, via Barcelona where I met up with a uni friend. In May I went to Tromsø in Norway (which is in the Arctic Circle) for the first session of EsoDoc, and then started my new job as Social Media, Marketing & Website Lead at Valvona & Crolla in Edinburgh in June. I went to Italy in July - to Milan and then to the North where they speak German, to a city called Bolzano or Bolzen. This was for the EsoDoc session two. Then the Edinburgh Festival started and work got very crazy busy. I went to quite a few shows (or as many as I could in-between mad work shifts). I turned 26, and the festival finished towards the end of August. Then in September I started my (distance learning) Masters degree in Sweden, and visited Sweden (Malmö & Gothenburg) just last week. This probably won't be representative of all my favourite things from April until now, but this is where I'm at.
(This all sounds very glamorous, I know, but I have also been having a really tough time too)


Swedish sweets
(...even though I am trying to cut out sugar)
I was in Sweden for a few days (Malmö & near Gothenburg) to visit the uni and some friends this month.
My favourites are: Polly (especially the milk chocolate ones), Bilar (especially the sour ones) & Plopp chocolate.



Malmo Uni 
Which brings me to the fact that this uni is wonderful. Such beautiful buildings and facilities, and all the staff I encountered were so nice.







Cheese
Working at Valvona & Crolla for 3 months got me into cheese in a big way.
Favourites were:
Ubriaco (which means 'drunk', because they soak the cheese in wine), Pecorino (I liked this one) & a very strong goats cheese which I forgot the name of. Pretty sure it was this.
(Obviously I got staff discount so didn't actually pay the prices listed here. Although I would say that at least the Pecorino is worth that price.)





Chinotto 
Again. Got really into this while working at V&C.
It's by San Pellegrino (which I love anyway because they have really good fresh flavours and I love the design of the cans), but when you see San Pellegrino sold in the UK, often they only sell the lemon one and a few of the sweeter fruity ones. It seems to work better for the British taste buds or something.
(The full selection is here)
Occasionally you will find the very very sour and specific tasting 'Chinotto', which is more common in it's native Italy. I am obsessed with Chinotto (and they sold it at V&C so I got very addicted).
I also really love Sanbitter (which only seems to be sold in the UK very rarely, unless you get it on Amazon). It's another really very bitter (non alcoholic) drink, which I remember having once when I was on holiday in Italy. I think it's a little bit why I like Aperol and Campari so much.



My new pasta roller thingy 
Was a leaving present from some of my colleagues.
I'm using it today and tomorrow to make ravioli and farfalle pasta.


This grey scarf 
from ASOS (I used my birthday ASOS voucher from my big [half] sister and got this among other things). I've almost not taken it off since I got it.
It's sold out now but there are a bunch of similar ones.
(Sorry for the tired bus selfie / bad angle / bad face day)




This book 
'Grandad Mandela'
by Zindzi Mandela, Zazi Mandela & illustrations by Sean Qualls
(I got mine signed!)






Depop
I've been selling stuff on here and buying stuff on here. I swear most of my wardrobe now is off of Depop.
It suits me really well because I tend to get obsessed with very particular items, and sometimes they are things which are no longer in stock. As well as that, I am very pro second hand, it just seems so wasteful to keep buying new things all the time, and if there is something I like that someone else doesn't anymore - then it's win-win! Plus I like finding a deal / bargain and tend to haggle for each thing I do buy.
In terms of selling I find it pretty straightforward/ easy and it's nicer because it's a smaller (mostly millennial female) community. I might do a post on all the items I got on Depop (fails/successes etc), if that is something people would be interested in?


Tiger stationery
There are folders with llamas on them at the moment. Do I need to say anything more?
(also I got a really good flannel sleeping eye mask thingy)


Events / Shows -
Fringe / Festival show highlights from this summer:
- Teenage Voldemort the Musical Parody (if you ever get the chance to see this another year or in another place, DO IT. Here's a review.)
- Book Festival event with New York Times Photojournalist (Hard Truths)
- Shit Faced Shakespeare
(Reviews on my Instagram Stories)






Events I have tickets for in October:
- Enchanted Forest
- Simon Reeve 
- Nigella Lawson
Hopefully going to be doing photography for a few of Valvona & Crolla's upcoming events which would be nice (eg. their mushroom foraging event & a book evening with Anna Del Conte)



IKEA plants
They have been surviving (so far)



Pukka Night Time Tea 
(Also loved the chamomile, vanilla & manuka honey one. The box was so pretty that I've made it into a desk tidy)



Instagram accounts I've been obsessed with:
@KatherineBibiana
@MollyRustas
@SandraWiller
@AbigailBergstrom
@LouiseFollain 
@PresentAndCorrect
@KatieLark1



Glossier cloud paint in Puff
I love this stuff. You only need a tiny bit, so it's been lasting me ages. (It's basically a liquid/cream blush)

I'm keen to get the Glossier You fragrance soon.



Grom Ice Cream
Basically this was recommended to me by an Italian years and years ago, and I always promised myself that I would go to a 'Grom' when I went back to Italy again. Turns out I wouldn't return for another 5 years or so.
Anyway when I was in Milan in July, I was really excited to go to Grom - and it was fantastic. Especially the strawberry.
However, since I went, I've been told that you can get Grom ice cream in the UK at Waitrose (although I couldn't find it on their website), and that actually there are better ice cream places in Milan (according to a friend from Milan).
I am hoping to return to Italy soon.




My new sandals
I had been thinking about Birkenstocks for a while, specifically brown two strap ones, and was just about able to justify the price to myself.
However, when I went to Italy in July I managed to lose my suitcase on the train (Long story short: I got it back), and had to buy a bunch of basic clothes to last me a week of film conferences in warm weather. Pretty annoying as I had thought out my outfits beforehand fairly thoroughly.
Anyway, I got a pair that look a lot like Birkenstocks but aren't. But they are very good quality and comfy. They are from a brand called Bio Alpes, which I can't find online. I wore them to work all the way through Summer after that.
Here's a very unflattering photo of the sandals while I was at the conference/workshop (featuring last-minute-bought-dress):

Note lack of tan due to all workshops/lectures being INSIDE. :(



Re-watching 'Friends'
It's comforting and nice. Also I want to go to New York. Even though I know it would be nothing like in 'Friends'.
(but Ross is like, SO DEEPLY AWFUL)

If you want reasons as to why Ross is awful:
1 http://www.digitalspy.com/tv/friends/feature/a842459/ross-friends-worst/
2 https://www.indy100.com/article/joey-rachel-friends-romance-fan-theory-best-couple-conspiracy-twitter-thread-7885766
https://www.buzzfeed.com/beatrizserranomolina/not-all-rosses
4 (ESPECIALLY THIS ONE) https://www.buzzfeed.com/caseyrackham/moments-that-prove-ross-geller-is-literally-the-worst
https://evoke.ie/2018/04/04/showbiz/tv/ross-geller-worst-character-ever
http://www.collegehumor.com/post/7054273/8-reasons-ross-from-friends-was-a-massive-asshole
https://www.cosmopolitan.com.au/lifestyle/reasons-why-ross-geller-friends-is-the-worst-20025



Jack's flight club 
This is fantastic.
I think it was my cousin and his wife who put me on to this.
It's basically an email subscription service for flight deals.
It's great even if you're not going away. At least I think it is. It's a nice source of day-dreaming.
I was very tempted by the recent cheap flights to the Azores, but didn't go for it because I thought that accommodation there would be pricey. Might still look into this though...
Also saw cheap flights to US and Costa Rica so....


Rosie for Autograph at M&S underwear
I got fitted in June or July or something, and I am just obsessed with the quality and range.
I recently got this one, this and this (and matching pants) + a nice purple set that doesn't seem to be available anymore. Also found some on Depop.


My floral jumpsuit from Zara
I first tried this on at a Zara in Valencia in Spain and really loved it but it was so different to my usual style and quite pricey. So I left it and instantly regretted it. I was scared that I wouldn't be able to find it anywhere (I already had a look in Edinburgh on my return), and in the end just bought it online even though it was kinda expensive.
I don't regret it one bit. I've worn it ALOT. It's one of my favourite things and feels exactly right for where my style is at right now.
It seems to have sold out online but this one is similar
I'm tempted by this turquoise one and this black one too.




Kweilin 
This is a Chinese restaurant in Edinburgh which my mum used to go to when she was younger and lived in that end of town. I think we might have gone as a family once before.
Anyway, when I was growing up there was a restaurant which we used to go to ALOT, called The Pine Garden. They knew us quite well (haha oh dear), and we used to have birthday parties there and everything. They even knew that my sister was picky about not having beansprouts or onions in her noodles and would know to do them that way without even asking. Kinda funny looking back on it.
Anyway, we were really sad when that place shut down a few years ago (I think it turned into a Dominoes). We never really found somewhere that did the noodles the same.
UNTIL KWEILIN.
I had just been meeting a friend who I had not seen in a really long time, and we went for a walk down that end of town. She got her bus and I was hungry. I had some time before meeting another pal so I thought 'why not?'. It's always a bit strange eating alone in a restaurant but I honestly don't mind it / sometimes quite like it. Although sometimes I get the feeling that the staff or others are judging me or pitying me or something (?). Oh well who cares. Anyway, so I went to Kweilin (which, by the way, was an ongoing joke with my sister because we really hate the sound of the word).
AND THEY DID THE NOODLES THE SAME AS PINE GARDEN.
And I loved it's slightly retro vibe and the way that they put your dishes on that metal thing with the candles in it to keep your food warm. It was all a bit of a throwback.
So so good.
So basically I've been craving it since I went there and want to go back again asap.


Instagram Stories 
Kind-of annoying that I only got into Instagram Stories around March this year.
I've made a little 'Travel 2018' highlight and it would have been nice to have had some of my Cuba stuff from January on there. Oh well!
I'm still obsessed with it. I like that it's more casual and that you can categorise them.


Buff Nails
My friend Zoe recommended this place to me, and I really like the look of it. All minimal and stuff. I never really get my nails done but I've been considering trying out shellac just to treat myself for a few weeks. I've been stalking designs on Instagram and like ones like this:







Astral 
I was sent this cream because I won an Instagram competition, but it's actually really good.
Clean smelling / almost unscented, it reminds me a bit of Sudocrem - but it's not all weird and sticky and stuff. It's just a normal moisturiser but very creamy and I get the feeling this would be perfect if you have sensitive skin. I like the simple and almost retro packaging too.


Twitter Accounts I'm into right now
@BorderIrish
@Aidnography
@PresentCorrect

(I Tweet here by the way)




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