Cuckoo's Bakery

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Image Source: Niche Works PR 

Image Source: Niche Works PR

Hello everyone! I recently got to attend the opening of the Cuckoo's Bakery in Bruntsfield, Edinburgh. I'd heard a lot about this bakery before but their Dundas Street Bakery was always on the other side of town for me and I just had never had the opportunity to go before. The new bakery, opened on the 18th of April, is a lot closer to me and I can see it becoming a regular spot for me! The original bakery was opened in 2011 by Vidya Sarjoo and Graham Savage who both moved to Edinburgh to follow their dreams and start a bakery. The bakery is called Cuckoo's Bakery because they were told by their friends that they were cuckoo for doing it. Well those friends can eat their words(or cake). Because they are now certainly very successful. 

When I arrived at the bakery the event was already bustling with a great atmosphere ! The owners of the bakery, Vidya and Graham, were also there, chatting to people and answering all their questions. The staff were so bubbly and friendly, I think that's really shown in the last photo. There were lots of goodies around to sampled. And I definitely sampled. They had mini white chocolate and raspberry cupcakes, scones, salted caramel and hazelnut brownies, mini sticky toffee pudding cupcakes, scones and a caramel shortbread crunch bar. I tried everything but the scones! My favourites were the sticky toffee pudding cupcakes. We were also offered a full size cupcake to take home with us. I decided to go for a strawberries and cream one and it did not disappoint.

You can take your cupcakes to go or sit in and I think I'll definitely be returning. Seems like such a nice place to go to for a catch up with a friend. They also sell coffees, teas, soft drinks and milkshakes. The milkshakes sound amazing as they are made with Mackies ice cream! 

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Revolution Edinburgh - New Menu

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Hello everyone. I was recently invited along to Revolution Edinburgh to try out a meal from their new menu. Revolution Edinburgh is somewhere I've frequented since starting at Edinburgh University, in fact its even where I had my first legal drinks. Its just known locally as 'Vodka Rev'. Their cocktails are delicious and who can avoid a birthday cake flavoured shot on their 18th. I've never had food there before but I know that one of my flatmates is a big fan and regularly has lunch there with some friends.

Revolution Edinburgh has recently launched a new food menu and there are a few new cocktails to go alongside it. I ordered the Smoke Shed Pork Sandwich: Chipotle pulled pork, house slaw and bbq crackling puffs on a brioche bun with fries. Stuart had the Pepper Jack burger: cheddar, peppercorn sauce, onion rings and mayo on a brioche bun with fries. He also added some pulled pork to it. We were both really impressed with the food. My pulled pork was so delicious and the portion size was just right. I finished my food so quickly because I practically wolfed it down! The fries look a bit small in the photo but they were a lot more than they look, some of the best fries I've had in Edinburgh. I washed mine down with a Midsummer Mule, my date opting for a coke because he was driving! I'm a big fan of the classic Moscow Mule, the Midsummer Mule has a bit of a fruity twist. Strawberry infused vodka with lime juice and ginger beer. It was lovely!

We were both pretty full after our main course but after seeing the dessert menu we couldn't say no. We decided to share the salted caramel chocolate fondue which comes with strawberries, bananas, marshmallows and sweet dough sticks. There was a big thick layer of salted caramel on the top which you broke through to gooey chocolate. This was absolutely AMAZING. The only thing was that the pot with the chocolate in it was very big! We only used about 1/4 of the chocolate so it seemed a bit wasteful! Other than that it was perfect and the rest of the desssert menu also looks good! The banoffee fluffwich sounds insane!

Revolution Edinburgh is located at 30a Chambers Street, across from the National Museum. The food is amazing and so are the drinks, I would definitely recommend it. 

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This meal was complimentary in exchange for a review. This does not influence my opinion in any way.

Auto-Buy Authors

Tuesday, 28 April 2015
Hello everyone! Today I'm writing a blog post about my auto-buy authors. If any of these authors releases a book then I will want to read it, no matter what the plot is. They're my auto-buy authors because I would automatically buy any of their new books. They're not all my favourite authors but ones I just think are really great and consistent. For example, JK Rowling is one of my favourite authors but I don't really like her adult books. I've read The Casual Vacancy and The Cuckoo's Calling but I won't buy any more of her adult books because I didn't really enjoy the first two. 

Khaled Hosseini - Oh my god, I love this man's books! They're all set in Afghanistan, a country that has gone through a lot of troubles, so the stories are normally really interesting and emotional. Khaled Hosseini was born in Afghanistan so I always wonder how much of his novels are based on his own experiences or experiences of his friends/family. I think my favourite was his second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, which is about two women who connect in Afghanistan. I wasn't the biggest fan of his latest novel, And The Mountains Echoed, but I would still read anything else he releases.

Markus Zusak - Markus Zusak doesn't have that many books but his most famous novel, The Book Thief, made him really famous. I've read it twice now and the second time that I read it it made me cry. But I think my favourite has to be I Am The Messenger because it was just really deep. I think he has a new book coming out soon and I cannot wait!

John Green - Hasn't everyone heard of this man by now? I've read all of his books and I had the pleasure of meeting him when he came to Glasgow in February 2012, what a great guy! His books may not be amazing works of literary creation but I still really enjoy them. I remember when The Fault In Our Stars came out John Green signed every book pre-ordered on Amazon. And that was before he got really famous. I don't think he'd be able to do that now if he released a new book.

Patrick Ness - I have so much love for this man! I've read almost all of his books, I just need to get myself a copy of The Crane Wife and I loved them all so much. More Than This was probably my favourite but A Monster Calls made me cry, in public, on the train. Patrick Ness is releasing a new book called The Rest of Us Just Live Here in August and I'm buzzing to read it!

I hope you enjoyed this blog post! Please leave me a comment and let me know what authors you love! Over the summer I really want to branch out with my reading. 

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Isle Of Arran Day 6

Monday, 27 April 2015

Hello everyone! I am so sad to be writing this post as it's the last post in my series about Arran. I hope you have enjoyed the series as much as I have enjoyed writing it. Arran is such a beautiful place and I've really enjoyed sharing my photos with you! My mum, stepdad and gran decided to go on a road trip around the south side of the island. I stayed in the hotel with my sister and the dog. I was feeling pretty tired as we had done a lot during the week and I'd had a pretty poor nights sleep because for some reason I just couldn't settle. So I spent the day relaxing, reading and walking Sam on the beach. Not the most exciting day but I still had a lovely time and sometimes a day of relaxation is all you need on holiday.

At night my mum and stepdad went out for a meal on the other side of the island. So me, my gran and sister went to the restaurant in the hotel for ours. Me and my gran both had the fish and chips and it was absolutely amazing. The best thing about getting fish/seafood on Arran is that its always so fresh and tasty. For dessert I had sticky toffee pudding which is a classic favourite. So good and the scoop of Arran Dairies ice cream was a welcomed addition. 

So that is the end of my Arran trip! We had to be out of the hotel by 10am the next morning so we didn't really get up to anything very exciting before that! Although I did buy a really awesome Isle of Arran sweatshirt in a store by the harbour whilst waiting on the boat back to the mainland. I might include it in an OOTD, it isn't the most fashionable thing but its very cosy!

Day 1 / Day 2 / Day 3 / Day 4 / Day 5

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Crocheted Mr Methane

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Hello everyone. Today I've got a quick blog post about something awesome that I crocheted recently. And no, it wasn't an elephant! My friend asked me if I could make her a 'Mr Methane' from this pattern here if she bought the pattern for me. Now I'm a massive chemistry geek so that's a request I really can't say no to! I used a 3mm hook for this because its what I use for all my amigurumis. Also I just don't have a 3.75mm hook that the pattern recommends. And my safety eyes were 9mm instead of 6mm. I think it came out wonderfully if I do say so myself. I know it probably seems like such a weird thing if you aren't into science, when I showed my mum and gran they were just like 'what?'. But I think the response I got on Instagram shows that some other people enjoyed it too!

From start to finish the whole thing probably took me about two hours. I'm pretty pleased with that seeing as the elephants take me about six hours! The pattern was very clear and easy to follow which is always nice. I think the Etsy seller has some finished products for sale as well but is currently in the process of moving so isn't selling them at the moment. Unfortunately the pattern explicitly states that you aren't allowed to sell the finished product made from that pattern. That's what puts me off buying crochet patterns as obviously I sell what I make. I was more than happy to make one for my friend because she had bought the pattern and I'll probably end up making one for myself as well. But I personally wouldn't buy a pattern if I couldn't sell the finish product!

What do you think of Mr Methane, do you think he's cool or just overly geeky?

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Isle Of Arran Day 5

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Hello everyone! This definitely has to be my favourite day from the trip. Me, my mum and my gran went on a road trip all around the north of the island. We drove from Blackwaterfoot to Brodick over the string road and then when north past Corrie, Sannox, Lochranza, Pirnmill and Machrie! So much to see! I hadn't seen a lot of the north of the island before so it was really nice to do some exploring. One of my favourite parts of the day was seeing the tame deer that live in Lochranza. As Arran is an island the wildlife is pretty isolated, grey squirrels still haven't made their way over for example. So there are a lot of deer around the island. We normally see them when driving to Blackwaterfoot but they normally stay around the top of the peaks so I've never seen them up close. The deer in Lochranza just wander around eating the grass. I didn't even zoom in to take that photo, I was actually that close! Amazing.

There was just something so amazing about driving through the hills with a sea view. It was just so nice to chill and chat with my family in such a beautiful setting. The road around the island is only 57 miles long so its really easy to just go around the whole island in a day. I hope you like the photos!

Day 1 / Day 2 / Day 3 / Day 4

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Isle Of Arran Day 4

Friday, 24 April 2015

Hello everyone! Unfortunately on day 4 we were not graced with very good weather! It was a bit drizzly and misty. As we were driving over some of the roads we actually found ourselves driving through mist, it almost felt like we were driving through the clouds! Me, my mum and my gran visited the east side of the island on a trip to Lamlash and Whiting Bay. I wanted to visit Lamlash as I'd just finished reading The Legacy Of Elizabeth Pringle by Kirsty Wark which is actually set in Lamlash. It is such a lovely little part of the island but I wish I could have seen it on a nice day. You can look out across the bay to Holy Isle. This is a really small island that is very close to Arran. There is even a Buddhist monastery there! Its also Scotland's only 'no take zone'. This means that its illegal to remove any sea life from this area meaning the marine life here is left alone to grow and develop in a natural way, very important!

From here we travelled to Whiting Bay for a spot of lunch. We went to a restaurant called Coast, my mum went for dinner there the last time we visited Arran and she really enjoyed it. I had a brie and cranberry panini, my mum had a bowl of chilli beef nachos and my gran had the tart of the day. Me and my mum ended up sharing the nachos and the panini as they were so tasty. I didn't take any photos of the food on my camera but I did instagram the nachos if you want to take a look on my Instagram. The weather wasn't very good so from here we just went home. It was really nice to get out for a bit and explore a part of the island I was unfamiliar with.

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CLOSED World Book Night 2015 Giveaway

Thursday, 23 April 2015
Hello everyone! Exciting blog post today! Tonight is World Book Night. An annual celebration of reading. The idea is that volunteers will give out books around the community to people who do not regularly read. I have signed up as a volunteer this year and I was given 18 copies of Escape From Camp 14 by Blaine Harden to give out. I'm going to give away 3 copies here on my blog! The rest I'm going to give out around campus. I love reading and books, I'm sure you can tell that from my blog! So it feels great to be able to help and share that love! I read this book last year and it was a really interesting read. Its the story of the only man to have escaped North Korea after being in one of their political camps. Its quite difficult to read but I think its a very important book and I really recommend it.

To enter the giveaway I ask that you be a follower of my blog via BlogLovin' and live in the UK. As much as I'd like to make giveaways international, I just can't afford the postage! I hope you can understand! Even though World Book Night is tonight I'm going to leave this giveaway open until Sunday night to give more people the chance to enter it.


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Isle Of Arran Day 3

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

This is probably going to be the most interesting post about my trip to Arran if you love beauty posts. You've probably heard of the brand 'Arran Aromatics', well obviously the Arran part comes from the Isle of Arran where their HQ is! We went along for a little shopping trip. Everything in the photos that I bought was on sale so I got everything for £19.50. Bargain! You can also see all the bottles getting filled and labelled and stuff. Its really interesting to see the process behind everything. The Arran Aromatics store is located in Brodick at the Home Farm which also contains some lovely shops. We also went to the cheese shop which I also think is pretty famous. There was also a shop called Friday's Child which was amazing. It sold all sorts of cool quirky things, I could have spent so much money in there!

We then headed onto the main street in Brodick to have a wander around some more shops. And in particular, the Arran Chocolate Shop! So good. I bought a passionfruit creme, a strawberry creme, a coconut delight, a caramel, an orange velvet and a chocolate frog. They were all so tasty. Another shop where you can see things getting made. After that we did some food shopping for dinner. We had a self catering suite in the hotel which is so handy because you don't have to eat out every night. 

Hope you've been enjoying my posts about Arran!

Day 1 / Day 2 

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Isle Of Arran Day 2

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

On our second day on the island we went round a few visitor centres in search of a spot of shopping and some lunch(and by lunch I mean cake). The first place we headed to was the Old Byre Visitor Centre which is located in Machrie, on the west coast of the island above Blackwaterfoot. We had never been here before but wanted to visit after learning that Simon Thorburn had opened a new pottery shop there. We loved the one that used to be at Balmichael so were more than happy to go off in search of this one! The pottery shop was there, along with a shop that sold clothes, purses and sheep skin rugs etc. A proper outdoorsy place! They sold loads of hand knitted hats and jumpers. It made me realise that I've been seriously underpricing my crocheting. I need to work on that! We stopped for a bite to eat in the cafe. I had a hot chocolate and a slice of the date and walnut cake. The cake was so lovely and moist. The cafe was lovely, the decor was really nice and minimalistic. High ceilings, big windows, white walls and a sea view. Perfect! 

After that we headed onto the Balmichael Visitor Centre. I think it actually has a different name as its now under new management but I can't find anything about the new name on online. Its located off the string road near Shiskine, its pretty hard to miss! It has really gone down hill. I loved going here as a kid but when we went there was only one shop and the cafe. They used to have an amazing play park and a go kart track. Only a little bit of the park was left and instead they'd added a pretty poor looking plastic ice skating rink and some sort of bungee jump thing that wasn't really tall enough to be a bungee jump. But they did have a zorse(half horse half zebra) so that was pretty cool.

After that we just went back to the hotel and chilled out there for the rest of the night! And took Sam to the beach. He got six walks a day whilst we were in Arran and he was totally loving it!

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