Eating Edinburgh: All Bar One*



Did someone say brunch? Because brunch is the best time of the day and All Bar One has an absolute divine brunch menu that I was kindly invited to try out. With bellies rumbling and caffeine levels dipping, we grabbed a table after being greeted by the All Bar One, George Street, staff, and wasted no time in choosing our food and drink.




In no time a waiter took our drink order and within minutes re-appeared with my much needed creamy vanilla latte and a surprising side of smarties. Makes a change from the generic coffee biscuits you get and it gave me and Anastasia something to snack on while we had to make the tough decision of food. They had a traditional cooked breakfast which sounded so tasty but there was one meal I have been dying to try. Eggs Benedict. All Bar One, as quick as a flash, ordered me my very first taster of it. I'm a strong egg fan but I was always a bit weary of the sauce, never had tried it, I usually just go for classic scrambled. Until now. It arrived beautiful presented and the eggs were cooked to perfection with the most delicate, runny yolk and crispy bacon. I have been wanting it everyday since. The nut mix that came on the side complimented the hollandaise sauce so well and brought every flavour out.

Now, can we just take a moment to appreciate the interior?
Keeping in touch with the classic Edinburgh/Georgian architecture,  All Bar One gives the room a modern twist with cool lighting. With the big windows, the room, and there are multiple rooms too, there's a spacious feel to it. I really like that as I hate the feeling of having to squeeze past people or feeling surrounded by tables. The bright space, cool features and perfectly presented food, makes it the ultimate instagrammable place.







Despite just having two eggs on two muffins,  Anastasia and I agreed that it was in fact very filling and the Eggs Benedict had left us feeling very satisfied as we washed it down with a refreshing Mimosa (that's prosecco and orange juice to you and me) because that's the best part of brunch. It's not too early for an alcoholic beverage. I would say All Bar One has a relaxed, up-market pub vibe to it. It is somewhere to have a catch up with a friend, a good gathering with a group and a delicious meal, whatever you fancy. You can see the whole menu here.






Caught In Coachella


It's Coachella season! Which means the 'Festive Season' means something a little less snowy and a little less clothing. Yes, the festival season has kicked off in America. Although lets be honest, what music is actually playing at Coachella? No one knows! What we do know is that there appears to be a 'best dressed' competition as the florals, tassels and peace signs have over flowed our instagram feeds.  I couldn't help but be inspired as festival fashion is totally just "my style". The florals, the tassels and the peace signs. It's Little Katie all over! 


DETAILS
As you can see from the surroundings (or lack of), I obviously did not make it over the seas to Coachella. Or to any form of sun, of that matter, which answers the lack of colour on my legs. But no matter! The joy of the "festive season" continues because I picked up the cutest playsuit for just £10 in the H&M sale and then found the perfectly matching necklace from Forever 21. Could it be anymore perfect? 

Pink is the in colour for spring and I think for summer too, which is great because what's one of my favourite colours? So I opt'd for a subtle smoky pink eye (not the disease pink eye), look with of course a wing. A girl has to have her wings! The lipstick I used was Elizabeth Arden in Ultra Violet. I thought it would just be for winter but it matches my head scarf so why the hell not! 






I love the idea of going to a festival. I have grown up with music as such a big part of my life. I listened to it as a form of escapism and you cannot beat hearing live music. It moves me so much that I really do cry if someone sings live. I can imagine the atmosphere, warmth and light radiating off each body as everyone embraces the music, the event and the fact that everyone is there together. Each sharing an experience as one.
Despite the mud and the downpour of rain (T in the Park, I'm looking at you), everyone still comes out of their beer filled tents, alive, praising the weekend. There's something magical about it.

And yet, I have never been to any festival (Unless you count Edinburgh Fringe Festival). I can only imagine and dream. Think I'll start saving the pounds now. for next year. I already have started my festival wardrobe after all.






 The mix of textures and patterns capture the essence of music festivals as they become home to such a range of music and people that your outfit can reflect just that. The leather boots toughen up a pretty floral number; who wants to be tottering about in a field in strappy stilettos anyway?
This playsuit is so versatile, which is why I could tear myself away from my treasures pennies. I already can match it with other shoes to glam it up, flats or wedges for day time and with tights and ankle boots and a gillet; it's ready for winter. A true all season staple. But in this case, it would have been perfect for Coachella.

If only I was there.. 





Stop Slut Shaming!


As humans we have opinions. As humans we can decide what we do with them. 'Slut shaming' has become a buzzword within society and with the ever increasing users on social media, people are using it more and more that it can be used so loosely online and in public, yet, it can still have an affect on women. 

A woman can be labeled a 'slut' for the way she dresses. The items of clothing she pulls from her wardrobe can be based on how she is feeling or who is will be meeting and she can love her outfit and how it makes her feel. But, is there now an added pressure of looking 'too sexy'? Does the fear of being called a slut make women choose otherwise? 
The label of 'slut' is degrading and no one should ever be made to feel less worthy by the way they are dressed. 

I have a number of dresses and playsuits with a deep V neckline. As I was purchasing one I read a comment from a girl which went; 'Do you have one like this without the slutty v neck? '
I had to reply that the neck line is actually very flattering. A V shape makes the figure looks slimmer, being the V shape and it is also a fashion statement. Just like the mini skirt or maxi dress. 

If you think an outfit represents the amount of sexual partners someone might have, you are very much wrong. 

A girl\woman can be called a slut for; looking a certain way, being sexually active, being open about her sexuality and sex life or for simply just speaking to someone (but she laughed so she must have been flirting with him!). There is a stigma attached to women who speak openly about their sex life. A man can do this and be called confident or " a lad", y'know the man's man, the ladies man, THE man. Meanwhile, women are ridiculed and degraded as we walk down the street. Whether or not she has a strong sense of self respect or not, comments are very easily be made. 
A woman who is in control of their own body and their own actions makes the decision to wear what she wants and it's her choice.  

The word 'slut' is one that is easy to throw about. It can be a mentally tormenting experience for someone to be involved in. Women who call other women such things is horrible. We are meant to stand together and support each other. We need to support each other as some men call us "sluts" on nights out as they try and "cop a feel". We need to support each other while we fight our own battles in the world. Fearing a judgement is wrong. It is one of the inequalities we face as women and why should other women support it by calling it out.

 A woman can wear what she wants, do what she wants and acts how she wants. As long as there is respect for herself and others, there is no problem. It is her body. Her mind. Her choice. It is my view, that as long as no one is getting hurt, then there is no problem. 

There is so much hate and tragedies happening in the world already that we cannot and should not turn on the people at home and around you. We need to share positivity and love only. We need to stand together. 





Little Vlog in Ireland


To follow up on my Ireland blog post, I made a vlog! Only being my 4th one, it's still rough round the edges and I'm still an awkward potato. But you will get to see the cutest dogs and my grandparents! How can you say no to that?
I'm always looking to improve so leave some comments on what you'd like to see next.





Guest Post: SS16 Fashion Wants*



On account of the warmer weather, my ongoing experimentation with some new styles has been a little less restrictive than usual. So far, layering has largely been ditched in favour of lighter materials, with much brighter colours and a variety of new accessories to boot. If there’s ever a good time refresh your wardrobe, it’s spring.
I consider myself more interested in how these styles will persist in 2016. Every time the sun comes out after a prolonged period, the outfits born out of sheer relief alone are usually interesting to observe.
Here’s a taste of what I’ve seen so far, and a sign of things to come over the course of springtime.

Vintage Inspired


1950s inspired from rockmyvintage.co.uk

Vintage clothing carries much emotional weight with it. Whether you’re primarily 50s, 60s, or 70s inspired, each time gave birth to a unique style that empowered women from that era, and gives hope to us stuck in bleaker millennial days. I take vintage influence from many eras, combining it into something unique each time.
My main vintage love at the moment is flapper dresses, usually adorned with glittering tassels and frilly lace to really capture people’s attention. 


rockmyvintage.co.uk
Alexander McQueen SS16.
Image from vogue.com

Vintage prom dresses and maxi dresses also offer a similar look, but with less accessories. To me, this style somehow captures the naive glitz and optimism of the pre-war period, at a time when Hollywood was on the cultural rise and the American dream was in its infancy.
Boho Influence
Last Summer, the boho look was massively popular. Both for the practicality and the stylish appeal, the boho influence persisted well past winter and is back once again in our sphere of influence in early spring. The style is seen as a natural response to well established female fashion trends, offering an alternative and influence which can assimilated into many a personal style.


image from glamour.com
Alexander McQueen SS16. 
Image from vogue.com

By all means, bring back the boho, but remember that we’ve seen it before and, as fashionistas, we crave something new and exciting. Long flowing dresses, patterned materials and experimental accessories are just some of the ways your style can incorporate boho tradition. Take influence from other aspects of this style period too, as the 60s and 70s was a glorious time for realising the strong and stylish female identity.
Athletic Aspiration
If keeping cool is the name of the game, whilst also maintaining your stylish self, the rising trend of Athleisure is almost guaranteed to be popular this spring. For the uninitiated, Athleisure comprises the growing bloc of high-end athletic wear, including designer gym wear that is intended to be worn on an everyday basis as a representation of an active lifestyle, as well as a rejection of overbearing feminine style expectations.
Cloe SS16
image from vogue.com

It answers an important question for many women: why can’t I look good and feel comfortable? This mindset I can completely identify with, and I’m interested in how established designers will cater to this strong market. Manufacturers will also need to highlight the functional aspects of athletic clothing, including its quick drying, odour-resistant, and moisture wicking capabilities.
Party like it’s 1990
Remember heroin chic? 1990 gave me almost too much fashion influence to bear, serving largely as my biggest inspiration for the constant exploration of fashion and style boundaries. In my own words, the 90s was a time for fashion when form followed function, and experimentation was the name of the game, from oversized coats and jackets to the incorporation of casual sportswear, disparate jewellery and iridescent make-up.



There’s plenty of sources to take inspiration from during 1990 and beyond, but mainly what I believe will seep into our springtime state-of-mind is the general chaos of 90’s fashion. Unlike many other periods, 90s fashion-makers seemed more concerned with the process itself, resulting in a wide range of amazing styles that could never have persisted with the madness of assimilation. The influence of various cultural styles is clear, and part of what makes 90s fashion so irreverent and fun.

***

*Thank you to Thoughtshift for sharing their little thoughts and wardrobe wants!



My Cervical Screening Test


You know what I'm talking about. It's that thing that you've been putting off. I've been putting it off getting a cervical smear test for over a year, I'd never had one and in my mind, cervical cancer is never happen to me, so what's the point? Turns out, cervical screening isn't just for cancer. It checks for abnormal cells on the cervix and that's pretty handy to know stuff, right?

To be honest, I've been noticing some things that aren't quite normal and I've been putting it off getting a test because who wants to actually face their problems?! Well that changed today.
I bit the bullet, booked the appointment, she drew the curtain as I took off my pants and it really isn't that scary. I feel like I've accomplished something and it's a proper adult thing to do. I have taken a big step into adulthood! It should really be called the "ultimate adult test" (Can we make this a thing?)
So, for anyone hesitant or wondering what it's like, I'm going to tell you. Cus, let be honest ladies, the unknown and vaginas are things we can worry about. I worry a lot so if I can put any sort of worrying to rest, it's usually a big help and it will be for you too.


image from animalplanet.com
You are told to put your ankles together and legs apart. The nurse is not someone to be nervous about. Keeping in mind she does this for a living! My nurse was really nice and didn't make me feel awkward or anything. It's important to remember that your vagina isn't going to be any different from anyone else's and she's seen them all. The most important thing is to relax. This way it wont be too uncomfortable. Keep breathing and try and focus on something else. I was looking at the different shapes on the ceiling and taking deep breaths as she put the speculum in. That's the thing that opens up the cervix. This is the worst part, I heard a click, then another click and then another as she just kept stretching it. Makes you think how stretchy us women can be! Like, we can pretty much squeeze a watermelon sized human out of our bodies!

Anyway, back to the test, so this bit can be sore, especially if you're not relaxed. Then she puts the swab in to collect the smear. That bit is like two seconds. I could feel that, but it wasn't sore. She also gave me an STI swab too, which is now another thing I can tick off my list (look at me being a responsible-ish adult) And then it was done! It is probably, all together, a minute (that's what it felt like) seconds worth of discomfort.
The tray where she placed all the stuff was right next to me, so I could see it. I noticed there was blood all over everything. "What the fuck?!" Was my initial reaction. It was like something from a horror film. That proper freaked me out. I felt sick. But the nurse assured me that it was normal. When they do the smear, they are actually scraping cells. Sounds horrible, but it doesn't feel like scraping. So the test has the same sort of effect as if you've scraped your knee or something. I googled it as soon as I got a chance too and all results were saying that blood was really common.
So if that happens to you, don't panic!!!
The nurse tidied up, drew the curtain for me to put my knickers and jeans back on and then I was free to go.
I have to wait 4 weeks for any results but just the fact that I FINALLY went is a huge tick of the list and a weight off my shoulders!

We are so lucky to have the service for our cervix (Thank you NHS) and we need to make sure we are healthy down there. Let's be honest, the test could potentially save your life.