Monthly Archives: December 2012

2012, you’ve been a blast!

Wow, just wow. Yeah there have been some ups and downs this year, but as a whole 2012 has rocked. It has taken 2011 by the scruff of the neck and gave it what for.

It’s a wee tradition of mine to write best and worst lists in the run up to Hogmanay. When I was a teenager this was done at ski camp, in my diary under cover of darkness in a bunk bed. How things have changed.

Best and worsts of 2012

Best friends, pals, cohorts
Without a doubt, Miss Em. Who has been there for me for a ridiculous 11 years of goods and bads, and who I still consider to be my best pal. Without her I wouldn’t have half the gorgeous, wonderful, amazingly fabulous group of mates I have now. Em and I have been through it all together, and she was the only person brave enough to tell me this time last year to get rid of the ex once and for all. She’s never afraid to speak her mind and she refuses to get involved in the politics in our group…and for this I love her. She’s like family.

There are a few other Iovelies that need and deserve a mention here. Miss Kat, who I’ve written about before here. I lost touch with her for years due to complications with the evil ex, but we caught up again at Christmas 2 in January. The girl is bloody amazing; last year she lost a very close friend and a sibling under tragic circumstances AND she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl against all odds. This lady is one of the strongest people I know and I certainly admire her for her ability to take whatever life throws at her own it.

Finally I have to give love to my good friend JD, who has put up with more flack for being friends with me than anyone deserves. My ex has threatened him, sent him horrendous messages and tried to make life very difficult for him…just for being my friend. This time last year I didn’t know whether I would have to spend Christmas alone after the fallout with the ex, my parents couldn’t come to Scotland to see me and I couldn’t leave my poor doggy. JD and his parents invited me to share Christmas with them, which was so kind and generous I burst into tears when he called! JD and his family have a long history with my ex and his, they live in the same town and had been friends since they were babies. JD is also the person who has made sure I’m ok all this year, and I am so grateful for his friendship and that of his family. He’s also my cycling buddy, and the person who got me out riding when I was just starting out. Much love!

Worst friend
I feel awful just writing this, but this year was the year I finally fell out with my pal R. We’ve been good friends for almost as long as I’ve been friends with Em, and she was such an amazing friend to me for so long. However this past year she’s become a nightmare, every time we went out she had to be taken care of and carried home. She had no concern for anyone when she was wasted, and when she wasn’t she refused to acknowledge anything had happened…and has even shouted at me for it. So sometimes you need to take a step back for your own sanity. If she needed me I’d make sure I was there for her, but the everyday drama was getting too much.

Best Guy
I had a loooong think about this and I have come to the conclusion my dear friend A is actually the best guy ever. If I wanted to set any of my female friends up with someone he’d be it. Tall, good looking, very sweet and proof chivalry isn’t dead. If there were any chemistry between us (there isn’t) aside from entirely jokey flirting, I’d go for him in a heartbeat. This is just one situation where you do wish you could choose who you are attracted to.


Best Party
There were so many good ones I’m loath to single out just a few! I believe it all started with Christmas 2 so it NEEDS to be mentioned, the first time in a long time me and my best friends were together – and if course the first time I met Miss Kat’s
gorgeous baby girl!

Then of course there’s Em’s bday, a special one because she’ll be sailing away from our shores to the Pacific next year…a whole year without her seems unfathomable at this moment! I managed to round up her best mates from all over the country for one last blow out sesh before she is off, an epic 24 hours of fun, food, and the best people I know!

Finally, a new entry into this category, the dinner at Missoni followed by partying til dawn and beyond…not exactly an intoxccident but close! Rach organised an amazing dinner for 11 of us at the lovely Hotel Missoni (unfortunately my phone crashed and deleted my photos from the night) but it was beautiful…I fell in love with the lighting in that place (moooi ‘Dear Ingo’ above the table and a Twiggy in the corner, be still my heart) and got to spend the evening with the nicest people – mostly new friends but such wonderful, genuine people I wish I’d met years ago and hope to be mates with for a very long time. The funniest moment? When Rach’s husband whispered to his friend that as soon as the last bite was finished of the main course, he predicted us ladies would be off for a mid-meal cigarette – as all 8 of us immediately left the table to adjourn to the balcony en masse! Love the conjoined thinking! We brought everyone back to the flat and I had such a lovely time chatting to everyone, got to know a few of the folk I’d only met a few times before and had a faaaabulous time. These guys are best friends with my former flatmate (twice over) Ed E Bear and I’m so happy to have finally met them!

Worst Party
Oh dear god, by far this had to be the birthday party for a certain wee miss way back in August. First I had to bring all the drink because she threw a strop her flat mates weren’t taking any interest. Then she cancelled plans and we spent an awkward few hours trying to make conversation with her friends. Then it transpired she was in love with her flat mate and may have had significant ulterior motives for wanting to be my friend in the first place. And then my housemates had a brawl and the police were called. I never want to relive that night again!

Best trip
This one is a strong contender, my ski trip last Hogmanany to Rusutsu in Japan. I’d had a horrible breakup with the evil ex and this was the first chance I’d had to get away. I spent a week hanging with some of the nicest ski guides ever, who invited me out for their Hogmanay celebrations at a local bar, fed me and made me feel so welcome. So well needed!

And of course there was my wee trip down to London for London Design festival, where I was privileged enough to see in person some of the most beautiful examples of modern design. Breathtaking! Oh and of course let’s not forget I bought René during that trip, my beloved road bike!





Best moment
I’ve spent many years trying to find out what it is I’m meant to be doing with my life. I wanted to help people, so I studied sports nutrition to learn how I could teach people to become and stay healthier. I loved art, so I studied History of Art because I was fascinated with the subject. I briefly studied fashion design and worked for two summers for a ready-to-wear designer and a couture house in Paris. I realised though I love design and I adore fashion, the sheer bitchiness in the industry wasn’t for me. Then by chance I saw this.

Years ago my friend Kitty Mghee and I visited NYC together…I has been having a difficult time, a guy I thought I was in very strong like with (I won’t say love) had gone back to another girl and I was miserable. To take my mind off things, Kitty took me out to every damned design museum in the city, and I discovered I had a passion for design. To be specific, applied design, objects for everyday use rather than design for the sake of design. In my case, this is furniture and lighting…I am forever inspired by mid-century to 1970s innovation, a huge fan of Charles and Ray Eames and Arne Jacobsen…and the use of bentwood/plywood in furniture is something I find to be a beautiful thing.

I was midway through an environmental degree when I realised my beliefs were in direct contradiction to those being taught. I am a positive, optimistic person. I think it is awful ecology students are taught the world is doomed without the complete cessation of consumerism in society. It just isn’t realistic. I want to be a problem solver, finding solutions to resource use issues through design and innovation not doom and gloom prophesies! That moment when I realised what I wanted to do, bit the bullet and withdrew from the course I was doing and made the decision to become a designer…one of the best moments of my life.

Other honorary mentions: the moment my application for settlement in the UK was approved, the moment I was told my beloved dog was legally mine, the moment my elderly cat (who was missing for a month) was returned to me safe and sound…it’s been a year of bloody great moments and I’m so grateful for them.

Bring it on 2013!!

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Christmas bauble Missoni inspired manicure, take 2

Some of you may remember my Missoni manicure from last month. Here’s another version – Christmas bauble Missoni! I feel all festive already!

The actual colours are more vibrant than this picture shows, I had a beast of a time trying to get an accurate representation…using about a billion editing tools!


This time we used the following colours:
OPI ‘Goldeneye’ (super sparkly true gold)
OPI ‘Koala bear-y’ (hot pink)
Jessica ‘orange you glad to see me’ (tropical orange)
OPI ‘got the blues for red’ (blood red)
Jessica ‘mint mojito green’ (jade green’
OPI ‘the spy who loved me’ (red sparkle)

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8 hours in London

So I’m in London for a whirlwind tour to pick up my passport and to see as much random crazy stuff as I can in less than 8 hours. Yes, I am playing unsupervised. Oh boy…











Oh London how I ❤ your randomness.

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Crazy Facebook update Tuesday

My Facebook updates can be a bit off the wall (damnit, that pun was NOT intended!) and are probably some precursor to mental instability…or something.



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Oh Christmas Tree…

This year I went minimalist with my tree. The flat is still a work in progress and the only room I could put it up in was my bedroom! But damn it, it’s starting to feel a bit like Christmas!

Today I did my Christmas shopping. All of it. In an hour. I suffered the indignities of battling Christmas shoppers and managed to drag home some quality loot!

My good friend Rach and her family were given a massive copper gong (unfortunately I don’t have a photo because I so couldn’t wait to give it to them I took a taxi straight to theirs from the market!).

My friend JD is getting these DMR V12 magnesium fire engine red stud pedals for his bike and the customary Bridgedale hiking socks (as per tradition).

JD’s dad is getting a bottle of single malt Glenrothes whiskey as this is where they’re from and a bottle of Annaparenna red wine (which came highly recommended); JD’s mum a pair of pearl earrings and some gorgeous chocolates from Harvey Nicks.

And my friend JL’s parents, who my beloved pooch will be spending Christmas Day with, a bottle of Brunello Di Montalcino and a bottle of Dom Perignon!

Oh and this was the clincher, I also bought a present for a good friend who I have not spoken to in a month. We fell out over something silly, I feel she resents some of my new friends and maybe we’ve grown apart. But months ago I ordered a lovely clock for Ms D and today I paid for it and asked the shop to let her know she had a present waiting for her there. I don’t expect it’ll make the problems in our friendship instantly go away, but it’s a start!

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Edinburgh Winter Wonderland, our first visit of the season

I have been missing the hell out of my friends, two of my best mates have had their noses buried in textbooks in the lead up to exams and I’ve not seen them in weeks. Last night Rach and I, her husband (also a good friend of mine) and their adorable sprog took a much needed study break to go to the Christmas fair in town. We hit the German Weinachtsmarkt for gluhwein, some zorbing (hamster-balling), carnie games, hot spiced mead, water bumper cars and of course, more gluhwein!

Now I’m usually a total Scrooge when it comes to things like the official street parties for the Festival and Hogmanay. I’m a virtual street party grinch! So many drunken tourists and vendors selling cheap tat. However, my one exception is the Christmas Markets. I adore Christmas, and the markets remind me of ski holidays in wee alpine villages as a small child and Northern European over-the-top Christmas markets in Luxembourg as a teenager.




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