Brunch at All Bar One

Friday, 29 April 2016
Breakfast has always been my favourite meal of the day. But brunch makes a pretty strong argument. Perfect if you want a lazy snooze in bed before getting out for a bite to eat. I was invited along to try out the brunch menu at All Bar One and I took along Leda from Small Girl, Bigger World with me. Bloggers who brunch has quite a nice ring to it doesn't it? All Bar One has many branches but we were eating at the 29-31 George Street bar in Edinburgh. Perched right in the city centre it's only a few minutes away from the shops. The George Street area is a little more high class and the bar definitely reflected this. The bar was light, open and airy. With the spring sunshine coming through the large windows and high ceilings it was definitely the perfect place to catch up over brunch. The menu is quite extensive and has several vegetarian options so after a quick peruse I settled on the pancakes and Leda opted for huevos rancheros.


#sassybooks - Harry Potter Reread

Tuesday, 26 April 2016
Another month goes by and now it's time for our #sassybooks post of the month. I run this book club with Charlotte from Colours and Carousels. Every month we pick a book and invite people to read it alongside us. This month we decided it would be fun if everyone  reread the first Harry Potter book: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (or Sorcerer's Stone for all you Americans). And there may even be some people who may be reading it for the first time. How I wish that I could go back and read Harry Potter again as a new book!

I had meant to include a proper photo of a copy of The Philospher's Stone but I went home and left my camera by accident. This one is from an old blog post.


Where To Eat In Edinburgh

Monday, 25 April 2016

Love it or hate it, I am a total 'photos of your food type'. Some people complain about it but personally I love seeing snaps of other people's meals on Instagram. Especially when it's places in Edinburgh/Glasgow and when I know that if it looks delicious I can go and check it out for myself. But over the last few weeks I've gathered a collection of photos on my phone of restaurants I meant to review and never got around to. I hate lugging my chunky DSLR out with me and then noisily snapping away when I'm supposed to be with friends so I normally just end up with quick phone photos. After writing my Where To Eat In Amsterdam guide I thought it would be a good idea to start a little series on my blog where I do a similar thing for Edinburgh. Writing quick mini reviews of several places in the one post. Obviously I will still do some full restaurant reviews in the future if it's somewhere I'm totally blown away with but thought this would be a nice way to still feature some great places to grab a bite to eat in Edinburgh. 


Loch Ness & The Highlands Tour

Friday, 22 April 2016
When I was in first year one of my flatmates was an American semester abroad student and she and her friend went on a bus tour of the highlands. When she came back, all her photos looked amazing and they had had a really great time. So when I was offered the chance to go on a tour* of Loch Ness and the Highlands with Gray Line Scotland I was really looking forward to it. My family don't travel very much so as much as I would love to, I haven't really seen a lot of Scotland. Gray Line offer pick up from most of the Edinburgh hotels/guest houses. It didn't take us long to get everyone and we left Edinburgh at approximately 8am. The bus was really spacious, air conditioned/heated and had a toilet. Our driver, Brendan, was a really great guy. He had that sarcastic Scottish sense of humour that just reminds me of being at home. The whole way he was telling us lots of interesting things about the history of the places we were passing. I know quite a bit about Scottish history already but he had some really interesting facts that I didn't know. 

We headed out of Edinburgh and drove past The Kelpies and Stirling before stopping in Kilmahog. This is a small village near Callander and we were here to see some highlands cows. They had two: Honey and Hamish Dubh. Dubh is the Scottish gaelic word for black so he's the black cow that you can see in the photos. Unfortunately, Honey the ginger cow was not in the mood to come out and play. Which thwarted my plan of getting a photo taken with a highland cow so that I can caption it: spot the difference between these two red heads. Nevermind! There was also a gift shop, cafe and toilets so that we had some time to relax before getting back on the road. 


Where I Promote My Blog

Saturday, 16 April 2016
 If you can't tell, I've recently gotten back into blogging after straying from it due to university. I've been trying really hard to keep writing and have been managing to stick with my schedule of a post every 3rd day. It's far from the daily blogging I used to do but it's much more manageable. So to keep up the page views I've been working harder to promote my blog so that people are still reading even on the days when I'm not posting new content. This is something that I'm constantly working on improving. I'm obviously not a blogging expert -no one is- but after nearly 4 1/2 years of blogging I think it's fair to say that I'm pretty experienced. The blogging world is constantly changing and you really need to stay on top of this to effectively market your blog. But here is what is working for me at the moment:

1. Twitter.
Twitter is every blogger's best friend. With millions of users it's really easy to find yourself with a really wide audience. I'm not the best person to advise on using Twitter as my 2.2k followers doesn't really compare to many other bloggers who have twice that. But Twitter is still one of my biggest traffic sources. I use a mixture of Buffer and Hootsuite to schedule my tweets. I do tweets every 2 hours between 10am and 8pm and then a few every night. I've only recently started scheduling tweets at night but found it helpful and increases page views by about 50 per day(every little helps). I also sometimes schedule regular tweets if I know I'm having a busy day and might not have time to. But the really goal with Twitter is to interact with other people and create good friendships. You can find other bloggers via various Twitter chats but my favourites are #thegirlgang Monday 6-7pm and #lbloggers Wednesdays and Sundays 7-8pm. Generally the main tips for Twitter are to be friendly, yourself and to try and chat to as many people as possible!


How To Pack Light

Wednesday, 13 April 2016
For the last few holidays that I've been on I've only taken hand luggage. Which has a lot of perks. You don't need to arrive as early at the airport or wait around at the other end. And nothing is going to get lost. But it does mean that you have to be really careful about what you pack as you're limited on space for packing and weight. But now that I've gotten used to travelling with only hand luggage I don't miss the extra stuff that hold luggage allows you to bring. I can bring everything that I need in hand luggage and everything else just begins to look unnecessary. I'm not saying I wouldn't like hold luggage for a much longer stay(I'm definitely taking hold luggage for my trip to North America) but if you're only going away for a few days you can definitely fit everything in hand luggage and here are my tops tips for packing light:

1. Be realistic about how much clothing you need and what sort of clothing you need. I am definitely really bad for over packing. So I have to be really strict with myself. I'll plan out outfits before I go and see if I can wear the same thing in two different outfits so try and get as much wear out of them as possible. Also don't stop checking the weather forecasts until the very last minute. When we went to Geneva the weather forecasts were saying that the weather would be much like Edinburgh but when we arrived we were quite shocked by how warm it was and had to buy a t-shirt for the last day as we had brought really warm clothing. 


March Blogging Statistics

Sunday, 10 April 2016
It's been over 4 years since I first started blogging. And ever since I've been taking it a bit more seriously I've been tracking my stats and numbers. Blogging definitely shouldn't be a numers game but if you're trying to grow your blog then tracking your stats can really help figure out what works and what doesn't. I normally just write this down in a notebook but lately I've seen a few bloggers I follow ( Forever Amber and Skinned Cartree) write out full posts where they explore their stats. I really enjoy reading this sort of post because I find it really helpful to see what sort of stats other blogs are getting and because I'm just generally really nosy. So I thought it was about time that I tried writing one myself. If you enjoy this type of post then leave me a comment and I might try and make it a regular thing. 

March Pageviews: 16'128 // February Pageviews: 12'228

So as you can see I've had a massive increase in blogging this month (almost 4k, wow). This is down to a few different things:
1) I've gotten back into a regular blogging pattern this month. One post every third day. It's not exactly daily blogging but it's still regular, new content. I've not had any amazingly popular posts but have focused on promoting older posts.
2) Scheduling Tweets. Before I would always schedule tweets for days that new posts went live on but would often forget for those in between days. Now I've been scheduling tweets linking older posts on these days. I've also started scheduling tweets overnight which is really helpful and adds an extra 50 or so pageviews to my blog every day.
Generally I'm happy with this amount of views and would just like to keep it up or even slightly increase. I've started adding read more sections to my blog homepage so this may increase my views without me using any new promotional techniques.

Goal for next month: 17k views?

Cocktails at Juniper Edinburgh

Thursday, 7 April 2016
Juniper is a hotel bar on Princes Street, Edinburgh. With a fantastic view of Edinburgh and a high end feel it's a great place to celebrate a special occasion or even just treat yourself. I was invited along to their cocktail launch evening two weeks ago as they were launching their spring cocktail menu. I definitely cannot say no to some cocktails! I headed down with a friend from university as my plus one and we met Fiona there. We got to try out some of the new cocktails and have a good chat. The bar was lovely and had very sleek, modern feel. The atmosphere was great and it was very busy and got busier as the night went on, although eventually we found the music got just a little too loud. We tried three cocktails over the course of the night and here's what we thought.  


HD Brows Treatment Review

Monday, 4 April 2016
I've always had a bit of a love-hate relationship with my brows. They've always been big, bushy and generally untameable. I've been getting them waxed regularly for the last few years but have never really taken much care in shaping them or filling them in on a daily basis. Because honestly? I'm actually pretty lazy and low maintenance. Most days I don't even wear make up. So when I was invited along to the press day at the HD Brows Training Academy in Glasgow to try out the treatment* I instantly knew that I wanted to go so that I could know what it felt like to have 'eyebrows on fleek' for once. 


March Reading Wrap Up

Friday, 1 April 2016
March seemed like a very quick month. With a lot of uni work to do, I've not had that much time for reading but I have managed to read a few books! Generally I enjoyed the books that I read but struggled to get through a few of them. Towards the end of the month I started two ebooks which I haven't finished yet as I found them to be a bit boring. On April 2nd I'm going on holiday with my family for a week so hopefully will get a lot of reading done whilst I'm away. I'm going to start rereading the Harry Potter books so that will be great! But here are my mini reviews of the books I read this month: