When I want to relax, nothing really beats a spa day. Fluffy robes, a glass of bubbles and a luxury lounger are the key to happiness, I’m telling you!

The run up to Christmas is just so busy, if you’re not running around crowded shops trying to figure out what slippers your mum would prefer, you’re nursing a *slight* hangover from yet another festive party (just me?). And don’t even get me started on the bad weather and it’s affect on my poor skin!

 

FESTIVE SPA DAY 2018

I think it’s so important to treat yourself when things are so hectic, so I was so happy to see Macdonald Inchyra Hotel & Spa encouraging people to remember to look after their skin this winter with its special Festive Spa Day.

I’ve visited the hotel before, as it’s not far from where Brian’s family live, but had never used the spa and knew I was in for a treat!

Back to the Festive Spa Day, it’s a totally personalised experience and is perfect for those looking for some much-needed indulgence or simply a spot of festive pampering. A gift to you, from you.

It’s also totally affordable too, from just £44.50 per person.

 

ELEMIS COUTURE TOUCH

Your festive day of relaxation includes a 55-minute ELEMIS Couture Touch Treatment as well as full use of spa facilities, a complimentary glass of prosecco and festive mince pie.

Plus, you will also receive 20% off additional treatments as well as a £5 retail voucher – perfect for those last-minute Christmas gifts or a personal treat.

The ELEMIS Couture Touch treatment offers a full body experience and is designed to condition skin from head to toe while rejuvenating tired muscles – perfect for some post shopping relaxation.

The treatment starts off with an indulgent facial where skin will be cleansed, toned and exfoliated before a mask is applied, with all products specific to the your skin’s needs. For the second half of the treatment, you choose between a deep tissue massage or deep hot stone massage. I opted for the deep tissue and felt so much better after it.

 

ANNND…RELAX

I then made full use of the v. stylish and luxurious relaxation room. Sipping my prosecco whilst reading a magazine was a dreamy Sunday.

We’re already planning a return visit, especially as the festive offer runs until 31st December and I know I’ll need some spa TLC by the time I finish my Christmas shopping!

FANCY YOUR OWN FESTIVE SPA DAY AT MACDONALD INCHYRA HOTEL & SPA?

CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE DETAILS + TO BOOK!

This was a complimentary treatment, but all words and opinions my own.

Neon pink branding – check. Affordable and stylish – check. Stocked with prosecco – check!

The brand new Moxy Glasgow Merchant City (it’s located right beside High Street station) has all the components for a good base for a girls’ night out in the city and the team invited us along to try it out for the ultimate girls’ night in.

There was pizza, prosecco, pyjamas and pillow fights with a giant bear. Just your average Wednesday night really.

MOXY GLASGOW

Before I get into the pillow fighting bear, let’s chat quick about the Moxy Glasgow Merchant City, Glasgow’s new affordable yet seriously stylish hotel. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill reception. There’s plenty of fun and games (literally), neon quotes and areas to chill.

The rooms are great as a simple but stylish setting to get ready with the girls (with a full length mirror for all the outfit selfies), a nice bathroom with lots of counter space for your makeup and a v. comfy bed for a kip after a night of cocktails.

#ATTHEMOXY SLEEPOVER

As soon as we checked in for Moxy Glasgow’s blogger slumber party, we were greeted with a cocktail. A good sign always.

After a bit of what to wear worries (nothing causes outfit panic between a group of girls like not knowing whether you should be wearing your normal clothes or your pyjamas – the stress that you’ll walk into a room and be the only person wearing PJs whilst everyone else still looks normal is real), we all embraced jammies and headed to the chill out area downstairs.

First task of the night: a cocktail scavenger hunt! As someone who would never want to be involved in any sort of sport at school, I was actually surprised at how competitive I got – maybe cocktail sports should be a thing?

We won the hunt, but our poor cocktail was beaten by the other team’s, which I have to admit was actually nice, if not potentially lethal if you were to drink more than one!

MOXY PILLOW FIGHT!

It’s not everyday you walk into a room covered in feathers and a giant teddy bear, but it was quite the Insta Boomerang opportunity.

Pillow fight photo opps with the unsuspecting bear, it was movie time with pizza, popcorn, nachos and hotdogs.

IN THE MORNING AT MOXY

Checking out was easy, breakfast was chilled and you’re so close to Glasgow’s main shopping that it’s a perfect location to walk into the city centre.

The ultimate girls’ night out hotel!

Thanks to Moxy Glasgow Merchant City and SKAPA PR for a fab stay! All words + opinions my own.

If you read my post on motivation (you can see it here), you’ll have seen that a trip to London was ticked off the October to-do list.

Victoria already had her ticket to the BossBabe Retreat in the Bloomsbury Hotel, so I couldn’t resist going too. A weekend of cocktails, street style and – of course – finding my motivation again at the retreat. What could be better?!

Although we were mainly down for the retreat, I thought I’d share some of the places we stopped at during our trip, just in case anyone else is looking for a London trip which won’t totally break the bank!

 

WHERE WE BRUNCHED

Let’s get to the important stuff first: where to brunch on a Sunday morning in London? There’s just so many gorgeous Insta-worthy places, but I’m so glad Vic booked Dalloway Terrace for us.

Funnily enough, we didn’t realise it was located in the very hotel the retreat was being held in, so it was a nice surprise.

You’ve probably seen a good few bloggers post their pics from Dalloway Terrace and for good reason. The outside-in set up and beautiful seasonal decoration (hello, autumn leaves) make for a brunch backdrop of dreams.

It isn’t just one of these places that looks pretty, either. The staff were really lovely and helpful and the food was amazing (the best eggs royale ever, said Vic, which is a pretty big deal). It’s also not any more expensive than usual brunch spots so a winner all round.

Make sure you book way (way) in advance, though, as spaces fill up in advance. And wear an outfit you love because you’re going to need to get a pic in front of the leaves. It’s practically the law.

 

WHERE WE ATE

Sometimes, the best spots are the ones not plastered all over social media. Instead, we randomly came across a cute little Italian called Il Castelletto on the way back to our apartment after the all-day retreat.

We thought we’d stop for a quick bottle of prosecco before going back to get changed and heading out, but one bottle of prosecco turned into another and a little chilled night was just what we needed, so we ordered some amazing pasta and stayed put!

We loved the chilled vibe of the restaurant so much, we ended up back the next day before going for our train. Predictable as always, our fave waiter even knew our order before we sat down. We just really like a good prosecco place…

 

WHERE WE DRANK

// SKETCH

Let’s be honest: who hasn’t seen Sketch on social and ooh’d over the pink room, egg toilets, etc? We met my friend (and resident Scot-living-in-London) Aveen and made our way to the very place.

Now, I’m in no way dissing Sketch, and I’m sure it’s really cute when you book a table for the beloved pink room, but we were in the other bar area and felt a little underwhelmed. I honestly feel like I should whisper that as it seems such a popular place, it just wasn’t maybe as magical as Instagram influencers would have you believe.

Spending about £16+ on a cocktail that tasted kinda like a Woo Woo isn’t really my thing, but I’m glad we went along to see it and I’d maybe try it again if we were booking a table for food.

// THE CORAL ROOM

Disclaimer: I was not sponsored in any way to visit or talk about The Bloomsbury Hotel, but I swear we just kept gravitating towards it by accident! We stopped in the hotel’s The Coral Room for a drink when we arrived in London and liked the vibe before realising it was where the retreat was the next day!

I opted for a glass of one of their chosen English sparkling rose wines, which was actually v. good. A nice spot if you’re staying in the Bloomsbury area.

 

WHERE WE STAYED

Knowing we would hardly be in the accommodation, we actually booked an apartment through Booking.com called Studios2Let. It was in a really good location, so close to King’s Cross station and on a really pretty street.

The apartment itself was clean and totally fine for what we needed it for (mainly throwing our clothes around in a mild panic when we couldn’t decide what to wear and ordering Uber Eats when we couldn’t be bothered going out again for dinner #glam).

I really loved the nearby streets and the walk to Russel Square. Plus, there were plenty of nearby coffee stops, which we really needed at 7.45 on a Saturday morning.

We were also close to the gorgeous Kate Halfpenny boutique, which definitely brought out the wedding journo/bride-to-be in me!

Ever feel totally stuck in a rut? Like no matter what you do, nothing is ever going to change so you just kind of go from day to day on autopilot and just accept that low vibe?

I’ve been like this for a while. It’s hard to get yourself motivated when you’re in a cycle of negativity, so I knew when Victoria mentioned the BossBabe London retreat, it was like a sign from the universe to get my shit together.

Brian and I have just bought a house, have a wedding to plan, I don’t have a million pounds in the bank, so a trip to London didn’t seem the best financial move, but – weirdly – 10 minutes after I booked my ticket, I was reimbursed for a bill I didn’t realise had been incorrectly paid and it was nearly the exact amount of my trip! Thanks again, universe for confirming I’d made the right choice!

I’ll chat more about the BossBabe London retreat later, but I wanted to share a few of the things that it’s helped me see and focus on.

 

1 // SELF CARE IS KEY

I’ve been so busy recently that I’ve made a lot of excuses for eating badly, not exercising and only meditating when I actually remember about it once every few weeks.

I know now I’m really setting myself up for a bad work week if I’m not taking care of myself, so I’ve spent this week (I was already off on annual leave this week, so good timing) trying to put things in place so that self care is top of my priorities, whether that means saying ‘no’ more to after work events or meal prepping at night.

No more excuses.

 

2 // TICK OFF THE TO-DO LIST

I love a good list, but I’ve got a bad habit of writing a daily to-do list, but not actually getting through it and feeling so disappointed in myself.

This week, I’ve been writing lists and sticking to them and it feels so good. I’ve still enjoyed some time just chilling, but I’ve loved working through what I really want to do business-wise.

I’ve also bought the one journal notebook so all my lists are in one place.

 

3 // BELIEVE IN YOURSELF

Probably the biggest takeaway I had from the BossBabe retreat was that you can do anything you put your mind to.

I’ve been trying to be so much more positive and kind to myself and it’s already made a difference, both in my personal and business life, right down to some really exciting opportunities coming up that I’d never even considered before this week.

 

4 // SPEND MONEY

Okay, so I’m still getting my head around this one, but I’m trying to worry about money less and invest in things that will make my life easier and better, from paying more for parking to be closer to an appointment rather than battling the elements to taking myself out for a coffee.

I’m really working on this, especially after spending quite a lot of my life feeling guilty about spending and worrying how long it is until pay day, when realistically I’ve never had real money worries.

Invest in yourself – it will pay off for us all.

5 // GET CREATIVE

Something I’ve been meaning to do for ages is make a beautiful vision board for my office/dressing room and I finally created it!

It felt so nice to get creative and have a visual representation of all the things I want for the weeks, months and years ahead. I’ve got so much still to do, but this feels a step in the right direction of a fulfilled life.

Last weekend might have been my first wedding show as a bride-to-be, but this certainly wasn’t my first Scottish Wedding Show.

Here’s the tips and tricks I’ve picked up from many a wedding show to make it the best day out possible. Spoiler: it may (100% does) contain prosecco.

1 // WEAR SOMETHING COMFORTABLE (AND STYLISH)

I’ve seen many brides/bridesmaids/mums strut into a wedding fair in 5 inch heels looking so glamorous, but do remember that there’s a lot of walking around involved in a wedding show. That’s not to say you need to go casual, but wear something comfortable and stylish.

I wore my trusty flat studded boots, but glammed up my look by wearing a faux leather mini, studded bag and one of my fave hats. If possible, I’d also try and leave your jacket at home: for big shows like The Scottish Wedding Show, there is usually a cloakroom, but I just find it easier to only go with the things I need to save time (and money).

WHAT I WORE //

H&M knitwear [similar here] // Topshop leather mini skirt [£25] //

Kurt Geiger Kensington bag [new season version here] // Deichmann studded boots [£34.99] //

Black fedora hat [similar here]

2 // PLAN AHEAD

Most shows will have a list of exhibitors prior to the show on their social media channels or website so plan accordingly. If there’s a dress boutique you’ve been loving on Instagram who are going to be attending the show, make a note of where they are and make sure to visit.

If finding your wedding rings is on your to-do list, check out which jewellers will be at the show and do a little research prior to the event so you can go chat to the company at the show. Use this as an opportunity to get meeting the suppliers you love, all in the one place.

One of the suppliers I knew I wanted to see on the catwalk was Opus Atelier, so I kept an eye out on the fashion show programme so I didn’t miss a thing.

 

3 // BE FIRM

And polite! I’m not going to lie: these shows, especially the bigger wedding fairs and exhibitions, can be overwhelming for a bride or groom-to-be. The exhibitors want to get their brand out there and help make your dream day come true, but it can be a lot when every company is trying to speak to you and hand you a leaflet.

Honesty is the best policy. A lot of wedding exhibitors are small, independent businesses who count on word of mouth recommendations and meeting potential customers face-to-face for their company to survive and thrive, so don’t just go over to a stand for a free prosecco/goodie bag/other when you have no interest in ever booking them for your wedding.

That’s not to say not to use these type of events to get talking to loads of different suppliers, but it saves a lot of time for you and them if you’re upfront and a simple ‘no thank you’ is totally fine.

 

4 // PACK LIGHT

You’re going to want to take a closer look at some of the lovely companies and their work. Plus, the less you’re carrying in your hands = the more prosecco glasses you can carry (jokes…kind of). A smaller bag with a long strap is your best friend when it comes to wedding shows.

Also, my top tip would be to take some sort of tote bag, just so you’re not having to try and cram leaflets, product samples and business cards into that one carrier bag one of the exhibitors were giving away.

 

5 // SET UP A WEDDING EMAIL ADDRESS

Refer to point 3 in the whole ‘don’t waste businesses’ time, etc, but for the suppliers you are really interested in, it’s a good idea to set up a wedding-specific email address to use for contact. This can be setting up a free gmail or outlook email to keep all wedding-related emails in the one account.

 

6 // MAKE A DAY OF IT

Loads of the bigger shows are more than just some wedding suppliers showcasing their products and services. For The Scottish Wedding Show, we made sure to make a full day of it. This included booking in for one of the catwalk shows, going for brunch at their all-day brunch set up and having some (well-deserved after walking around, of course) proseccos in the VIP bar.

Post-show, we also couldn’t help a little prosecco stop at Glasgow’s Radisson Red Sky Bar (all this wedding show stuff is thirsty work) – just look at those views!

7 // TAKE A NOTE

Keep your phone handy to take quick notes of suppliers or ideas you love, follow businesses on social media there and then if you like what they’re doing and you don’t want to forget and take pics make sure to ask suppliers’ permission first, of course).

You’ll leave with a whole lot of info, so make sure and keep track of suppliers and ideas you definitely want to revisit post-show.

 

8 // KEEP YOUR BRIDE TRIBE SMALL

Take a few friends, but try not take twenty three of your closest acquaintances unless you really, really (really) have to. Too many people will just create a logistical nightmare of trying to traipse round all the suppliers you want to see.

Keep it small and it’ll be so much less stressful (and you’ll also be able to get a closer look at things like these a-ma-zing alpacas from Caledonia Alpacas!)

Are you heading to any Scottish wedding shows? I’d love to hear your recommendations!

THE EDINBURGH GRAND // A LUXURY LOCATION

Oh, I do enjoy a little bit of luxury so I was seriously excited to for a stay at 5 star luxury apartments, The Edinburgh Grand. Located on St Andrew’s Square, I’ve been following the venue on Facebook since the renovation of the grand building was announced, so I could not wait!

A really short walk from Edinburgh Waverley train station, I arrived at the gorgeous classical sandstone setting, greeted by the very friendly and helpful team in the impressive reception area (think marble chequered floors, plush velvet and plenty of lush greenery).

Forget the standard hotel room key card, even the room entry system here is exclusive, with each suite accessed by your own unique code. Meeting my roomie – Victoria, of course – in the bar, we agreed we could definitely get used to this life. I mean, surely The Edinburgh Grand wouldn’t notice if we hid in one of the 50 individually designed apartments…?

THE EDINBURGH GRAND // THE APARTMENT

Anyway, planning to secretly move in to one of the apartments aside,  we were staying in one of the Capital Apartments and I couldn’t get over how spacious the two-storey setting was. With high ceilings, a mezzanine level (complete with an amazing roll-top bath) and Insta-worthy interiors, it has a serious NYC vibe.

Upon arrival, we were even treated to some goodies from the Lateral City Apartments team (alongside The Edinburgh Grand, Lateral City also have two other Edinburgh luxury apartment buildings, FYI). Among some sweet treats were Malin + Goetz miniatures, including one of their popular detox face masks that I cannot wait to use.

For any lovers of Malin + Goetz, it’s worth mentioning that all of the bathrooms are stocked with their products! The luxury doesn’t end there beauty-wise, either, as we were delighted to discover a ghd hairdryer in our room, plus there’s ghd straighteners available on request if you forget yours. No bad hair days over here, thanks.

THE EDINBURGH GRAND // THE EVENT

If there’s one thing this apartment is made for, it’s getting ready for a glam night out! We took full advantage of the Bose sound system to live our best life with Ariana Grande providing the soundtrack to our getting ready prep.

Suitably dressed up, it was time for the main event: the Instameet Dinner. To start the evening, we headed to the Directors’ Suite, a seriously lavish one-bedroom apartment, which served as the perfect space for our champagne reception.

Raising a glass of bubbly with some lovely influencers, we even had a quick photoshoot with the evening’s photographer, James Gourlay, which resulted in probably the best group shot ever (see below). Made In The Edinburgh Grand/The Real Housewives of Edinburgh, coming to a TV screen near you soon…

THE EDINBURGH GRAND // THE REGISTER CLUB

Of course, a visit to The Edinburgh Grand would not be complete without cocktails at The Register Club. Located on the fourth floor, the club is open daily serving up exquisite food and drink in a gorgeous setting.

Plus, if you fancy something a little different, there’s even the Games Room, which I hear has become quite the luxe location for table tennis tournaments in the city!

THE EDINBURGH GRAND // THE PENTHOUSE

As if things couldn’t get more opulent, we then made our way up to the Penthouse. Utterly unique, the beautifully-designed space combines elegant interiors with epic 360-degree views over Edinburgh and beyond – it is amazing and was our setting for the intimate dinner party.

Serving up the most dreamy meal (we’re still talking about how perfectly cooked that venison was) all prepared right there in the Penthouse’s marble kitchen, I could just imagine how good a location this would be to hire for your and your friends or family to celebrate a big occasion.

Following our Made In Edinburgh family portrait earlier, we each were able to use the talents of James to capture a shot of us individually. I, of course, just had to get my pic in the penthouse kitchen of dreams. I do love a good kitchen!

Following some time enjoying the Penthouse and it’s magnificent terrace (seriously, look at those views!), we had an espresso martini masterclass with one of the venue’s mixologists. The perfect end to the perfect evening.

THE EDINBURGH GRAND // MORNING RITUALS

Would it even be a luxury hotel stay without lounging around in a fluffy white robe? Unfortunately I didn’t quite get time to take a dip in the bath because, for once, I actually slept in. A comfy bed is always on my overnight stay wish list and I’m happy to say The Edinburgh Grand ticked every box.

For those who need a good coffee ASAP in the mornings, there’s a Nespresso machine in the kitchen, so have no fear in getting your caffeine fix.

THE EDINBURGH GRAND // DRESSING ROOM

Being a serial over-packer, I was so glad to see my many clothes had space to, y’know, breathe. In fact, we might have turned the entire apartment into one big walk-in wardrobe! The wardrobes in the bedroom area even light up when you open them, which I now want for my house.

If you didn’t bring quite enough outfit options, The Edinburgh Grand could not be more central to Edinburgh’s shopping, either. There’s luxury with Harvey Nichols and Multrees Walk, then high street faves, like Topshop and H&M.

THE EDINBURGH GRAND // THE PERFECT WORK SPACE

With our temporary dressing room packed up (sob), we both had some emails to catch up on and the apartment is work space goals.

Plenty of natural light and a fabulous marble table are what I need to be motivated to do any sort of work from now on.

THE EDINBURGH GRAND // BREAKFAST MEETINGS

Although The Edinburgh Grand doesn’t yet serve breakfast, you are at prime position of some of Edinburgh’s finest brunching spots. The venue also has an exclusive discount with The Refinery for all residents, with 15% off your bill.

Practically on the doorstep of The Edinburgh Grand, we decided to use the discount and tucked into some well-needed eggs and plenty of coffee. The staff were so lovely and the setting is perfect for a relaxed and stylish morning, especially after indulging in perhaps one cocktail more than recommended…

Until next time, Edinburgh.

For more information on The Edinburgh Grand and to book your stay, visit their website here.

With thanks to The Edinburgh Grand, SKAPA PR and Indigo PR for an amazing stay. All opinions my own.