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When it comes to entertaining, I’m not going to lie, I get really into it. I think it started back at uni, when there so few places to go in town, that we had to create our own entertainment. Through the years I’ve had a lot of practice – from formulating menus, cooking the food and inviting the right mix of people, I just think it’s so much fun!

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No matter whether it’s a casual lunch with a few close friends, or if it’s something which is a little larger scale, I like to keep my eye on the details. Pretty china, beautiful glasses and some flowers make the whole event feel special. I tend to keep it as simple as possible – a couple of colours, and a delicious menu. I also like to figure out numbers as soon as possible.

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When I’m planning a bit of a do, I like to think out my guest list first – a good mix of friends old and new, and give them as much warning as possible. To do this, I’ve been absolutely loving using Paperless Post. It’s all the fun of stationery shopping, but with none of the bother of the Post Office.

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On the site, there are literally hundred of invitation options. Whether you want to send an old-school invitation, or you’d rather just opt for a correspondence card, Paperless Post have your back. They have pieces from some of my favourite brands including Crane & Co and Kate Spade. Everything is completely customisable too – so you can send invites which match with the whole theme of your evening.

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Sending your invites couldn’t be easier – after customising your cards, you simply add in your friends’ emails and click send. Then you can trace when people open your invite, and see when they confirm that they’re coming. It’s one less thing to worry about when you’re planning a gathering (and the cards are so much fun to receive!) and they can even let your guests know who else will be there!

Paperless Post isn’t just for events though – I’ve been sending a variety of their cards rather than just regular emails – and everyone has been loving them! They look so much nicer than a regular email, and they are so much fun to create too!

You can see the whole range of invites, cards and announcements at Paperless Post.

*This post was published in cooperation with Paperless Post, but all thoughts are my own*

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A few weeks back I was invited to a secret event at Edinburgh’s Dominion Theatre. All I knew is that we’d be watching Baby Driver and that it was being held by RBS. That was it. No hints, no tip offs – just an invite and a whole lot of mystery. So, when we sat down to watch the movie, still intrigued by the night’s premise and the video below popped up, it’s fair to say that the whole cinema of people were shocked to say the least.

It’s easy to share so much of our life online – Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are easy to update, and who knew that hackers could use the information we willingly put up for such dark purposes? The insight was a shocking one (although I was rather happy about how little information they found on me!) and it’s a good reminder to be careful about what we post online. Not every subscriber is here for the reviews!

(And the movie? It’s a great one – go and see it while it’s in theatres!)

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When it comes to getting my hair done, I am probably the most boring person in existence. I just want my hair to look as shiny and thick as possible, so it’s always ‘straight, glossy with a bit of volume please.’ I can positively feel the creative juices of hairdressers dying when I stroll in.

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So, when I popped into the West End branch of Edinburgh hairdressing icon Cheynes, I was blown away with how lovely the whole staff were. I was taken through to the back of the salon to have my hair washed, and enjoy a head massage. Then, once my ends had been suitably pampered, it was through to the front, where I got one of the best bouncy, glossy blow outs in the city! All the staff were exceptionally polite, chatty and upbeat, and it was exactly the thing I needed to enjoy my evening out!

Blow Outs at Cheynes start at £29 and you can find out more about Edinburgh West End

www.edinburgh-westend.co.uk/

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When I first heard about the Restoration Yard late last year, I fell in love. Hard. It’s a place which feels unique in Scotland. A haven to escape to just outside Edinburgh, it’s one of those places I end up in whenever I need a little pick-me-up, or if I’m looking for a little treat.

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Nestled in the heart of Dalkeith Country Park, The Restoration Yard has been developed over the past few years to be an absolute haven. A children’s paradise in the form of Fort Douglas (perhaps the world’s most incredible tree house and fort) sits beside the most fabulously curated store in the country.

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Not only this, but there is also the most fabulous restaurant which serves an ever-changing seasonal menu. I popped in just before Christmas (you can read my review here) and I still dream about the venison ragu I enjoyed!

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Whether you’re looking for a gift, or just a treat though, I guarantee you won’t be leaving empty-handed. There is a mind boggling selection of goodies in there, and they have all been specifically chosen for Restoration Yard. There is a real spirit of positivity behind each and every piece of stock.

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I’ve found pieces by covetable like Ban.do, Rifle Paper Co and Bruket, and honestly, every time I pop in, my wish list just grows and grows!

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It’s not just beauty and accessories which are stocked. There is a fabulous selection of both men and women’s clothing, and the children’s pieces are absolutely dreamy!

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There is a whole food hall in there too – complete with another cafe perfect for a casual snack. There is also a whole range of classes to choose from if you’re into yoga and pilates – you can even book in for massage treatments soon!

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The Restoration Yard is located in Dalkeith Country Park, which is only a 15 minute drive from Edinburgh. You can find out more here.

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When it comes to getting ready for the Christmas party season, I don’t think anything can make as big an impact as having your nails all done. Over the past six months or so, I’ve taken a major shine to shellac manicures. For someone who chips polishes as easily as I do, having a manicure which lasts two to three weeks is a bit of a dream!

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So, when Zen Lifestyle got in touch to see if I wanted to try their new ombre shellac, I couldn’t resist! So, I popped in to their stunning Hanover Street spa to give the treatment a whirl.

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Since we’re only a week or so out from Christmas, the whole salon is decked out in the most glorious of decorations. It’s an absolute haven from the hustle and bustle of outside, and you would never know that there are throngs of shoppers charging up and down George Street. Instead, the spa is peaceful and quiet – the perfect spot to recover a little!

Even though it was late-sh on a Wednesday evening, there was still a steady flow of ladies wanting to get primped and preened, and the nail bar is the perfect spot for a little people watching. After sitting down with a glass of cucumber-mint water, it was time for the hard part – deciding on what colours to choose. Thanfully, Zen have a whole ring of examples to choose from, with every colour and glitter you can imagine. There are so many I ideas, I think I’ve planned my manicures well into 2017!

Then it was time to sit at the nail bar and be filed and buffed into sparkly perfection. My therapist was so lovely, and so through, making sure that every nail and cuticle was perfect, while I got to sit back and relax. There is enough room for four or five people to get their nails done at the same time, so it would be the perfect spot to catch up with a couple of friends for some pampering.

As you can see, I opted for the navy and blue shimmer, which I am just obsessed with. It looks amazing with jeans, and I love that it’s pretty subtle until the light shines on it. Then it turns all shimmery and sparkly which feels absolutely perfect for this time of year! I’m already plotting my New Year nails!

Zen Lifestyle’s shellac manicure plus is priced at £48 and you can buy vouchers here