The Girl with the Big Hair

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

A festive 24 hours in Glasgow

You have a free weekend in December, there are Christmas gifts to be ticked off your gift list and you want to have a little fun. What do you do? Pack your bags, invite your girlfriends and take a spontaneous trip to Glasgow to soak up all things festive, of course.

As the UK's best shopping destination outside of London, Glasgow is an AMAZING place to find gifts your friends and family will love. Shopping at Christmas shouldn't be a chore though so why not start your day off with brunch, visit department stores with the most magical twinkly lights, refuel with a few sweet treats and finish off your day recapping on your successful shopping trip over dinner and drinks before resigning to your comfy hotel bed. Sounds like the perfect day to me. 

I gave this exact trip a test run last weekend with Glasgow Loves Christmas and had the best time. Here's what we got up to. 

Start your day off with brunch
With a busy shopping day ahead you'll need a good meal to kick start your day. Kimbles in St Enoch Centre is a new discovery for me. I've passed by the sweet little cafe more times than I can remember but I never realised they have a gorgeous upstairs area that is so light and airy. The store is also the perfect place to pick up a festive treat for your sweet toothed friends, 

Shop 'til you drop
Christmas shopping pre-lunch time means for less queues, a calmer atmosphere and a better opportunity to capture pictures of the millions of festive decorations you will pass by. 

If you visit anywhere in Glasgow during December it has to be House of Fraser. The department store is completely decked out in fairy lights and is an Instagram dream. They've recently welcomed the stunning House of Dior which is everything I want my home to look like and more. Filled with couture perfumes, candles, soaps and beauty, it's the perfect destination to pick up a gift for that someone special in your life. They provide a glasses of Moet to all customers and also occasionally provide free engraving service so it's the ultimate shopping experience. Before leaving House of Fraser, don't forget to visit the new Charlotte Tilbury counter. I've never really tried out the brand but after test running their matte liquid lipstick, Hollywood Lip, I'll be back very soon. I was SO impressed with this lipstick's staying power and the colour was spot on. 

Have a wander down the Christmas markets
They're only here for about six weeks so you'd be silly to miss this one out on a Christmas shopping trip. The markets are the ultimate festive spirit switch on spot as you stroll through unique gifts, sweet smelling treats and indulgent takeaway foods. 

Refuel over afternoon tea
You've now shopped yourself dry and urgently require fuel for the second half of the day why not stop by Cup Tea Lounge in Virginia Square for a festive afternoon tea. This cafe is seriously cute and is situated in a cute lane just off the hustle and bustle of the Style Mile. Perfect to get away from it all for a moment. 

Update your Christmas decos
I'm not sure about you but adding a new Christmas decoration to your home is a self-made tradition that I enjoy a lot. John Lewis is always so creative with their Christmas themes each year. This year they have seven themes from Winter Palace to Into the Woods. 

Get a pick me up at the Nespresso pop up
If you like coffee you'll love Nespresso. There's currently a pop up in Buchanan Galleries for all of you coffee lovers out there. Picking on the right capsule will be your only concern here. 

Make your own gift at the Beauty Kitchen
I'm a total advocate for DIY-ing at Christmas. I love to make my own Christmas cards and such so the create your own classes at The Beauty Kitchen are right up my street. From choosing your base ingredient to the oils that it is mixed with you create the product that works best for you. Plus you have fun along the way.....bonus. 

Finish the day with festive dinner and drinks
Now that you're completely shopped out, it's time to reward yourself with some well earned grub while you guzzle down a few cocktails. Located inside the stunning Princes Square (queue more Christmas decorations photo opps) Restaurant Bar and Grill serves up a mean steak and sweet-tasting cocktails. The restaurant is totally unexpected and is a lot bigger than you would probably first think. There's also a private room for anyone dining out in a bigger group. 

Hit the hay at Grand Central Hotel
Now you've exhausted all energy it's time to head back to your hotel and get a well earned nights sleep. Located within Glasgow's Central Station and a quick five minute walk to the Style Mile, Grand Central Hotel ticks all the boxes. They have one of Glasgow's best, if not thee best, champagne bars in the city right inside the hotel for a night cap and check out isn't until 12 o'clock. That's right, you can lounge the morning away in your PJs while ordering breakfast to the room. 

I vlogged our entired festive day out with Glasgow Loves Christmas which is now live on my YouTube - get all the festive feels by clicking play below :) 

Thanks so much to Glasgow Loves Christmas  for hosting me on this trip!

Until next time. 


Saturday, 25 November 2017

What it's really like to get lip fillers

Lip fillers - it's the cosmetic treatment on everyone's lips (pun intended :P) but deciding if it's the right treatment for you is a scary process. If like me, you're not keen on the over plumped, fish lips that are swimming (double pun :P) around the internet, you don't have to give up all dreams of all a more voluminous pout.

Lip fillers can range from 0.5ml to 1ml per treatment. Hesitant for my lips to completely change from my natural shape and size I decided to go for something in between the measures available to ensure my results were as natural as possible. Now that my fillers have settled I have to admit, I could have probably went for a little more but easing myself in is the best way I could have done this. 

Now, with the actual process I think a huge factor in the service is professionalism and results depends largely on where you go to get it done. There are so many rookies offering lip fillers these days when they're really not qualified to do so so please do your research before booking! After my botox experience at Therapie Clinic I knew choosing to go back there that I would be in good hands. 

I was beyond nervous for this treatment but the moment I stepped into the clinic my nerves lifted. The staff were also hugely helpful in making me feel at ease which was nice since I was on my tod.

For any scardy cats like me you'll be glad to know it honestly isn't something to be scared of and I say that will complete truth. You can just about feel the injections going in and one or two areas stinged ever so slightly but it was really fine. 

All in all, I think the injections lasted around 2-3 minutes. After sitting for ten minutes with numbing cream on my lips I was probably in and out of the clinic in 20 minutes. Although quick, this isn't a lunch time treatment as you will experience some swelling and bruising for the next 24-48 hours but nothing a little make-up can't hide. I was out at an event the next day and no one was any wiser to my treatment.

Your lips don't properly settle for about a week. It's now been just under two weeks since I had my treatment. I have one small lump in the right hand side of my top lip but this is a natural side effect. If it doesn't go away itself, they simply advise you to visit your therapist who will gently massage this out. Try not to do this yourself as you may move the filler into the wrong position.

Overall, I'm really happy with the results. They're still incredibly natural but have a bit more oomph to them. I think I'll probably feel a little braver next time and might go for the full 1ml. 

Lip fillers aren't for everyone but if they make you feel the slightest bit more confident then they're worth every penny in my eyes. Plus, you have a new found appreciation for all of your bold lip colours. I certainly know what's on my Christmas list this year....

I vlogged the entire lip fillers experience from start to end so you can really understand what it was like for me so check that out below.

Lip fillers at Therapie Clinic currently start from £150 for 0.5ml.

Please don't feel shy to ask me any questions you may have. 



Monday, 13 November 2017

My Guide to Getting in the Festive Spirit

Temperatures have dropped, I'm layering my clothes like Joey when he wears all of Chandlers clothes at once and I'm reaching for teas and coffees more than I ever have done. I think we can officially say farewell to Autumn and hello to Winter!

Although come January I'll be cursing the Scottish weather and a life of living in constant darkness, I'm always pretty happy with the change of season at this side of the year. I mean, who doesn't want to have a day slobbing on the couch, eating chocolate and cheese without feeling guilty. And those twinkly lights that are starting to appear around the city just wouldn't be as magical if weren't for the dark nights. So, in a long winded way I'm basically trying to say that I'm happy to see winter roll in (for the time being!).

The lead up to Christmas is absolutely one of my most favourite times of the year but each year I regret the things I never got to do. It's a busy few weeks and before you know it you're packing away the Christmas decos for another year. This year I pledge to make my plans happen. And one way of putting the pressure on myself is by writing it out here in a blog post for all to see. So, I present to you, my personal guide to getting into the festive spirit. May it bring some inspiration to you at this festive time of the year or at the very least give me the drive to get my own list checked off.

Watch the Christmas lights switch on
If you're not feeling in the Christmas spirit you better believe that attending one of the light switch on events will get you ready for December 25th. I LOVE the Glasgow Christmas light switch on at George Square but the tickets are in high demand and unfortunately this year I've missed out. BUT I'm not going to let that stop me. If like me you never got your hands on tickets you can still enjoy the switch on / fireworks and general atmosphere from the side lines. I admit, it's not quite as thrilling standing at the edge of the square but it's worth it to experience the switch on. You could also head to one of the surrounding restaurant / bars and enjoy the switch on from indoors with a drink in hand. The switch on is from 5pm on Sunday 19th November.

Princes Square also put on a pretty spectacular switch on and this year they have enchanting live music accompanying various performances including magic and glass orb juggling (ooh!). The switch on is from 5:30pm on Thursday 16th November. 

Host a girls night with mulled wine and cheese 
There's nothing better than inviting your girl friends round for a few festive drinks. I have so many ideas when it comes to hosting party's (thank you Pinterest!) and love the planning and preparation for something like this. From making your own festive snacks and drinks to planning festive games and creating the perfect Christmas playlist. You can create a theme or dress code - Strictly Sparkles if you're wanting to go fancy or Christmas jumpers / PJs if you're planning a chilled night. You can also introduce a Secret Santa gifting into the night or why not create your own party favors for your guests - something simple like one of the ideas here.

Christmas shopping roadtrip
The shops are full of Christmas buzz at this time of the year and are an assured way of getting you chanting 'Santa Claus is coming to town....'. Why not make a real experience of your Christmas shopping trip this year. Grab your girlfriends, jump in the car and head to somewhere completely new to find gifts for your loved ones. That's exactly what I'll be doing this weekend with Victoria and Rachel as we head to Gretna Gateway!

Christmas movie marathon 
Needs no explanation. Get a fresh pair of PJs on, line up your favourite Christmas movies, light a festive candle and pour yourself a spiced tea. Don't forget to buy in your supply of snacks to ensure you don't need to leave the couch all day! Well, apart from making yourself a batch of fresh cookies! Days like these are also the perfect time to write out your Christmas cards. Or if you're brave .... make your own!

Get in the mood at the markets
At the heart of every great city is a Christmas market come December. Glaswegians are spoiled for choice with two Christmas markets to choose from. Wrap up warm and have a wander around the stalls sampling the delicious food and drink.

Christmas wreath making
I attended one of Lorraine Wood's wreath making workshops last year and had the best time! It's certainly no easy task but Lorraine is a brilliant teacher who can show even the clumsiest of hands how to create a masterpiece for their font door. This is the perfect activity to spend some quality time with your mum or gran!

I hope the above gives you some inspiration and ideas of ways to get into the festive spirit. I'm always on the look out for unique ideas and things to do so if you know of anything I must try, please let me know!


Monday, 30 October 2017

Top tips for finding your destination wedding venue

Selecting an abroad destination to host your wedding is an exciting and daunting task all in one. Before deciding that I wanted to get married in a warmer climate I didn't really realise just how difficult it would be to find the right venue.

Weeks of trawling through the internet to find locations that were 1. the style I'm after and 2. within my budget felt like mission impossible after discovering venues that were just not right or hugely over-priced.

Having just returned from a short venue scouting trip with my mum and our wedding venue selected (EEEK) I think I've cracked the destination venue scouting code. If like myself you're hoping to not have to pay for a wedding planner I think these tips will help save you a lot of time (and stress!). Honestly though, who knew wedding planning could be so difficult even at the first stage.

Step 1: Select your location
This might seem like a really obvious statement but what I really mean is select an area within your location that you like. For me, I knew I wanted to get married in Italy but where exactly was the question. Once I whittled it down to Tuscany I thought surely this would narrow things down quite a bit but it turns out not really. Tuscany is such a vast region in Italy that spans miles across the country - it just wouldn't be realistic to visit venues across the entirety of it which is why I think selecting particular towns within your destination is important. Once you decide on the area you like best the whole process feels a lot less daunting.

Step 2: Choose your preferred style of venue
Again, it's all part of a process of elimination so knowing what style of venue you want can help narrow the search. In Tuscany for example, beautiful vineyards, stunning villas and elaborate castles are just some of the styles of venues on offer. Select one that suits your taste best and use this when searching.

Step 3: Search with different terms
One thing I found frustrating when looking for venues was how many websites I would find that showed beautiful pictures of venues without actually disclosing the name - useless to anyone like myself who's trying to plan on their own. The best way I managed to find venues via Google was by using more descriptive terms alongside my generic 'wedding venues in Tuscany' search. Words that suit the style of wedding your going for like 'whimsical', 'greenery', or 'sunset' helped produce different searches which were far more useful than the generic search term.

Utilising photographer blogs is also a huge help for finding venues. Simply search through local photographer websites - heading to their blog section - and you will find they share a lot more details on locations than anywhere else!

Step 4: Use social media
Social media was probably one of my biggest helps when finding venues and I used it in two ways.

The first, to see more pictures of venues I had already found. Looking through a venues social channels gives you a better visual of what it's really like than you can find on their websites.

The second is as a search tool. Head to Instagram and search through various hashtags and you'll soon find yourself stumbling across plenty of potential venues. I used hashtags such as #TuscanyWedding #MyTuscanyWedding #WeddinginTuscany, you get the gist. Once you find pictures of places you like I would then recommend looking through their checked-in pictures to see a whole bunch more. Once you have the name of the venue you like you can also use this in a hashtag search to see many more pictures!

I hope these tips help with finding the perfect destination venue for you! 

I'm planning on sharing all the deets on the venues we visited in Italy earlier this week very soon!

Until then.



Sunday, 22 October 2017

My Botox Experience: What it's really like

If you follow me on Instagram you may be aware that I recently underwent my first non-surgical cosmetic treatment at Therapie Clinic. That's right, I took the plunge and voluntarily signed myself up to get numerous needles pricked into my face in the name of all things beauty.

I knew I couldn't get botox and not share my complete and honest experience of what it's really like, especially for anyone out there that's considering the treatment. I also vlogged the experience (eeeek) so don't leave before checking that out below :)

Let's just start out by saying that I'm an absolute convert. Pre-botox I actually wasn't really sure I was ready or 'at that stage' as i didn't have deep ingrained wrinkles on my forehead however I can't believe the difference the treatment has given to my face in the most subtle way. Read on to find out why I won't be turning my back on this treatment anytime soon.

So WHY. Why botox at the tender age of 28?
Well, for me, I had considered it as something I would get for my wedding to make sure I looked and felt as flawless as I possibly could. I knew however that I would need to try it in advance to decide if I liked it or not, so now felt like the perfect time. Finally, and most importantly, fine lines and wrinkles had started to develop on my face, particularly around my eyes, and this treatment was one proven way of stopping them in their tracks.

Where did you get it done?
I headed to Therapie Clinic in Glasgow's city centre - based on St Vincent Street - and I couldn't recommend their service enough. Considering that this was my first experience of anything like this and I'm a textbook scardey cat, the therapist I worked with done wonders to put my mind at ease. Their experience and responsible approach to cosmetic treatments is exactly what you want when signing up for a treatment like this.

What was it really like?
As mentioned, I'm pretty much scared of any kind of pain. Don't even try to pinch me and expect me to not over-react about how painful it was. Seriously though, getting an ear piercing even scares me silly so the thought of getting multiple needles pricked into my head, BY CHOICE, was something I couldn't really process.

I was nervous about the treatment the entire morning leading up to my appointment. When I arrived I was sweating quite a bit and my nerves only heightened as I jumped onto the treatment bed. Thankfully the pain was not even a fraction of what I imagined it would be.

Firstly, my therapist asked me to wiggle my face around so she could establish which areas needed to be focused on before she rubbed some alcohol wipes across my head to give it a good clean. Next, she drew little white dots on the areas she was going to target and talked me over her approach to check I was happy with everything.

Now it was time for the dreaded injections.

The injection had the tiniest needle I have ever seen and the pain accurately reflected this. It basically feels like a tiny prick on your skin that stings for no more than one, maybe two seconds max. The sorest area for me was definitely around my eyes - apparently this is because the skin in this area is finer and therefore more sensitive to pain. I'd say on a level of 1-10 for pain, the forehead was around a 2 and the eyes were verging on a 4. It may even be less than that but I'll go with that to be safe.

All in all, my treatment lasted about 40 minutes with around 10 minutes of that being the actual injections. It really is a super quick and easy treatment and like myself, you can head straight back to work and get on with your day as you would normally. I had little red bumps across my head immediately after but these faded pretty quickly.

Over the next 24-48 hours it felt very obvious that I had done something to my skin. It's hard to explain but the best way I can describe it is that my forehead felt present. I was very aware that the Botox was sitting under my skin - definitely a strange feeling but thankfully this passes in a day or two.

How long does it take to kick in? 

My botox started to kick in after 3-4 days which is a little quicker than average. Generally I think this can take up to 2 weeks to fully take effect.

What are the results like? 

As expected, my head and eye area have 'frozen' to a certain degree. I say certain degree as I can still move my face as I would have before, the only difference is that my skin doesn't crinkle together and therefore doesn't wrinkle. I also look a little glowy-er which I LOVE. I mean, who doesn't want their skin glowing?! And lastly, I think my eyebrows have raised ever so slightly which makes my eyes look more awake.

All in all I'm obsessed with the results this quick and mostly painless treatment gives you. I couldn't recommend it enough and I've already convinced a few of my friends that it's something they will love.

And finally, how much does it cost? 

For three areas (forehead, frown line and around the eyes) the treatment costs £199. Definitely not a cheap treatment to get but it's absolutely worth every penny.

So there we have it - my complete botox experience. I hope you enjoyed this type of post (and my first video!), please don't hesitate to ask me any questions you have about what it's like to get botox.

Until next time....



Saturday, 7 October 2017

Hello Autumn: What's new

Hey, hi, hello! It's been a hot minute, eh? I feel like I've lost all concept of time recently. Somehow months are feeling like weeks and weeks are merging into long blurry days. Anyone else think September was the fastest month in all of history!?

I'm feeling ready to get back into all things blogging (finally!) and thought before I dived straight in I would give all you lovely readers a bit of a life update. Plus, I'm not gonna lie, myself and Victoria spent an hour last Saturday capturing some new blog pictures and I didn't really have a post in mind so here we are (hehe).

So, what's been happening since we last spoke. Lemme think.....

For starters, I've actually been spending quite a bit of time looking into wedding venues. It's been a long time coming but the wedding bug has settled in and I find myself following more and more wedding Instagram pages as the days pass. Venue hunting in a location you've never actually visited before is HARD but we're getting there. My goal is to plan a venue scouting trip in the next few months and (hopefully) book somewhere we love before March next year. That's it. The goal has been set. Better get to work...

I've attended a few fashion events over the last month and they've been the perfect way to get into the A/W mode. First up was the launch of the new Gretna Gateway Gold Membership card. If  like me you've never heard of/visited them before they're a designer outlet based in Gretna Green. Apparently the outlet is amazing for some real bargains. Victoria, Rachel and I are planning a Christmas shopping road trip here in the very near future so watch out for that post!

I also headed along to the intu Braehead A/W event. The centre set up a beautiful fashion hub (my best attempt at describing it) with the cutest blossom tree smack bang in the middle. We checked out some amazing bargains that I can't wait to update my wardrobe with. Check out my Instagram post from the event here in case you missed it.

I'm featured in this months Scottish Wedding Directory magazine and I couldn't be more excited about it. I contributed to a feature on feeling camera confident with my top tips for all brides-to-be. If you spied me in the magazine I'd love to hear about it :)

Last but not least, I tried something completely out of my comfort zone this month - botox! This was probably the most daring/edgy thing I've ever done so to say I was nervous is an absolute understatement. I don't want to go into too much detail on this yet as I'm planning on sharing a full blog post very soon but what I will say is that I'm in love with the results! I headed to Therapie Clinic for my treatment and the process from start to finish was brilliant. BUT as I said, more on that soon.

Oh, before I go, I just want to take a moment to appreciate my absolute new favourite jumper. I picked this up in H&M last week while they had 20% and have no regrets. I paired the jumper with my trusty Zara ripped jeans, Ego Gucci-inspired slip-ons and a borrowed baker hat from my sister. A really simple, easy but chic look and I love it.

Until next time.

© The Girl with the Big Hair

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