With the Dundee Waterfront and V&A Museum in the city now open, Dundee is a perfect place for a Scottish summer staycation.

STAYBRIDGE SUITES DUNDEE

You might have seen on my Instagram last month that we attended a friend’s wedding near Dundee, so it was the perfect time to experience an overnight stay at the Staybridge Suites Dundee*.

Ideally located and with on-site parking (the train station is only a few minutes’ walk away too), the Staybridge Suites Dundee is a hidden gem, situated within a quiet courtyard with Daisy Tasker restaurant and Hotel Indigo Dundee.

Check in was a friendly and helpful experience and we were soon in our suite for the night.

Spacious, contemporary and with all the amenities you would need for a comfortable stay – including a full kitchen – it was a great space to relax and get ready in before the wedding reception.

With 85 one-bedroom and studio suites, the Staybridge Suites have all the facilities to really feel at home from home, from the fitness centre to the hotel’s Pantry, where you can buy snacks, food and drink (including a prosecco, of course)!

 

DAISY TASKER DUNDEE

After checking in, we opted to dine in the Daisy Tasker restaurant, which embraces the industrial chic style.

We loved the dining set up here and decided to go for the Larder Lunch menu. Available weekdays from 12.30 to 2.30pm  and weekends 1pm to 4.30pm for just £15 per person.

The price includes access to The Counter, with fresh baked goods, salad, cakes and lots more plus your choice of three small plates or one big plate from the set menu.

We each opted for three small plates so we could try a little of everything. My favourite dish had to be the Arbroath Smokie Fish Cakes – seriously, you need to try them!

Following a night of dancing at the wedding, we were so happy to be so close to the centre of Dundee and ready for some shut eye.

 

BREAKFAST TIME

After a peaceful nights’ sleep, I was excited to try the complimentary breakfast back down in the dining area of the hotel itself.

The fridge full of Tropicana orange juice and selection of yummy cooked breakfast choices was certainly needed after perhaps one too many drinks to celebrate the happy couple, but it was the latte at breakfast that really saved me!

Seamless from start to finish, the staff really make the hotel and are so helpful and chatty with guests. It really is the staycation you’ll want to stay on if you’re planning on visiting Dundee this summer.

*This stay was gifted, but all opinions, words and images are my own.

 

I’m so guilty of always being on my phone or laptop so it’s sometimes nice to find a happy book to brighten up your day, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

Spring brings the brighter nights and gives us the (hopeful) nearing warmth of summer, but sometimes we all need a little pick me up, I certainly do anyway. I thought I would share the five books that I’ve been using to try maintain a happy and positive mindset and get me through the winter to spring transition.

1 THE LITTLE BOOK OF HYGGE BY MEIK WIKING

You’ve probably seen this a lot on Instagram, but I had to find out what the hype is about. Meik Wiking is CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and has spent years studying the magic of Danish life and helps you be more ‘hygge’. More happiness sounded good to me and I love this cute little book.

2 THE MAGIC BY RHONDA BYRNE

Yes, okay another cliche/hype book which follows up Byrne’s famous The Secret books, but I don’t think it does anyone any harm believing in the power of positive thinking. It has 28 days of simple practices to lead you to the life you’ve always wanted.

3 THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF NOT GIVING A F**K BY SARAH KNIGHT

Okay, more Instagram love, but I find this book so hilariously refreshing. As someone who cares/obsesses over what literally every person I’ve ever met thinks of me, I’ve found this so helpful to think ‘who actually cares?!’ Honestly, if you feel yourself saying yes to too many things you don’t want to do – you need this book.

4 CAPTURE YOUR STYLE BY AIMEE SONG

My mum knows me too well and she got me this book for Christmas after I told her I really wanted to change up my Instagram and blog this year. Aimee Song (of a-mazing blog Song of Style) gives all the tips and tricks in creating the most beautiful street style content and achieving the perfect flat lays.

 

5 THE WHIMSICAL FASHION COLOURING BOOK BY NATASHA ITZCOVITZ*

All the mindfulness adult colouring books were a nice idea and all, but I hold my hands up and admit colouring leaves in just bored me. Add fashion to the mix however and you’ve got my attention. I feel like I’ve resorted back to 8 year old me who would spend hours drawing new outfits – and it feels great!

 

When the invite to Cyclebox Glasgow‘s blogger event arrived in my inbox, I was excited – but also a little nervous. I’ll hold my hands up, cardio has always scared me.

This is due to a few things. Firstly, I have asthma and – as much as this isn’t an excuse – it is a horrible, panicky feeling when you can’t breathe. I’m also so out of practice with anything fitness related, I avoided PE at all costs and my gym membership is gathering digital dust so I’ve never properly pushed myself.

CYCLEBOX #GETYOURASSTOCLASS

This aside, I still couldn’t wait to head to Cyclebox – I even bought new gym leggings for the occasion (sorry, the fashion blogger in me is always just dying to get out). The studio is located just off Byres Road in Glasgow’s west end and it has a really unique feel to it as soon as you walk in the door.

RIDING

Cyclebox’s Mandy’s enthusiasm is contagious and she soon had us working hard in a 20 minute taster session on the bikes. The lights go down, the (amazing) music goes on and Mandy certainly puts you through your paces to say the least! It feels more fun than a spin class and the small studio creates a great atmosphere.

BOXING

After our taster session of some serious cycling, it was time for boxing with The Wolf. I’ve never tried boxing before, but I seriously loved it! I’m not even going to lie, I was struggling with how worn out I felt by the end of the class, but in a good way. It’s given me a real push into realising how good a work out can make you feel and I’m going to work on getting my fitness level up this year.

ANNND RELAX

After doing more exercise in under an hour than I have in an entire year, I was certainly ready for the yummy juices from Juice Garden and power balls created by Cyclebox chef (and Three Sisters Bake’s) Chefarella aka Linsey Reith.

JOIN THE SQUAD

I adore Mandy and her a-mazing squad’s passion for making fitness fun and honestly cannot recommend it enough – everyone was talking about how unique a take on working out Cyclebox is, right here in Glasgow. Normal sessions last 45 minutes and start from £10 per session or you can opt for a monthly unlimited membership for £70.

For all the info #getyourasstoclass and visit www.cycle-box.co.uk. See more on their Facebook and Instagram too. 

My hair is one of those things in life that I just never seem content with. Yes, okay I understand this is not a life-changing problem, but when my hair feels good, I feel more confident.


Since cutting my hair shorter last year, you might have seen in this post that I am trying to keep my locks as healthy as I can. Even with regular cuts and reducing the use of heat on my hair, nothing could stop it going limp, greasy and seriously lack volume. I had been using the same shampoo and conditioner for a few years and had not really considered that I may be using the wrong one. It was when one of my favourite bloggers/absolute inspirations, Arielle from Something Navy, fronted a new campaign for TRESemmé Beauty-Full Volume products that I decided to try it out. If you follow Arielle (if not, you should), her hair is always amazing and – okay, I may be a marketer’s dream – but I really wanted to try it. This was mainly due to the fact that I know she is selective in brands she works with so I knew it had to be worth trying it out.

These products are something different; from their Expert range, they work by conditioning first then shampooing. TRESemmé  say using shampoo then conditioner can weigh down the hair so by mixing it up your hair will be more full of volume. I was slightly hesitant on this; a while ago, a brand sent me a co-washing product, using only a conditioner with no shampoo and I hated it, my hair just felt like it needed a good blow dry! I decided to give myself a few weeks trying out the TRESemmé products to see if it made a difference.

Firstly, wet your hair as normal and then apply 2-3 pumps of the TRESemmé Beauty-Full Volume Pre-Wash Conditioner and focus on the lengths of your hair. I really liked the pump application as I think sometimes the problem with conditioner is using too much product so this gives a good guide. I let this soak into my hair for around 3-4 minutes and rinse it out then wash with the TRESemmé Beauty-Full Volume Shampoo. It felt a bit weird the first few times I did this, I am just so used to the normal shampoo then condition! Before drying my hair, I use a small amount of the TRESemmé Beauty-Full Volume Hair Maximizer, running it through the lengths of my hair.

Admittedly, for the first week I was a little disappointed. If anything, I felt my hair was getting almost less volumized and more greasy looking! Perseverance was key though; by week two my hair felt smooth, almost silky and has a bit of a bounce in it. I wash my hair every second day normally and by the second day I usually feel myself reaching for the dry shampoo but since I’ve been using this new combo, I honestly still feel confident in wearing my hair down on the second day with no Batiste!

Would I recommend the Beauty-Full Volume range? Well, I’m currently heading to Boots to pick it up on their current half price offer so yes, I should would! Now, just to grow my hair to Arielle’s amazing length…

TRESemmé Beauty-Full Volume Conditioner, Shampoo and Hair Maximizer are all £4.99 each, but are £2.49 each in Boots right now.
This post has NOT been sponsored, all views and purchases are my own.

It’s been quite a journey my hair and I have been on over the years. There was the sweep over fringe which started way too far down my head circa 2007, the block fringe which went wrong (cut in after I saw a picture of Daisy Lowe with a full fringe, the difference being she was a stylish famous model and I was in 4th year doing my Standard Grades).

There was the time I accidentally went blonde, my phase of not being able to leave the house without fake hair clip in extensions and my short lived weave which literally made me want to pull my hair out. I always wanted the longest hair, even if that hair was frazzled and desperately in need of a good cut. It may have taken years until the realization, but I made the rather grown up decision last summer to go for a serious hair chop. My hair instantly felt smoother, thicker, like I could be in a shampoo advert and swish my hair around. I made the vow to myself, and to my hair, that I would never let my hair get into bad condition again. I went back 6 weeks later, feeling smug at how nice I was being to my healthy hair.
Fast forward a few months and I was back to my hair raising ways. It wasn’t intentional, it just suddenly seemed to be April and my hair was not looking it’s best. This was when Pixie Hair and Beauty stepped in to work their magic on me. I had seen little snippets of the new hair and beauty salon on social media since their launch in October last year, but had yet to visit. I’m so happy that they invited me in as the salon is fabulous! First off, you cannot miss it on Dumbarton Road with a pop of bright pink making the salon seriously stand out. Inside, it is all geometric prints with vibrant 80s colours, neon signs and – my favourite – old school R&B music which makes you want to go out for a cocktail and a dance straight after your appointment. The interior and Pixie’s statement graphics were created by Glasgow based KabeDesign so it’s even nicer that it’s all local talent supporting local talent.
Back to the appointment, salon owner (and hair miracle worked) Emma MacNeil was on hand to sort my tresses back to their former glory. I had let my previous colour grow out, with only a tiny amount still visible at the ends of my naturally dark brown hair. I wasn’t sure what look I wanted, I just knew I wanted an update for summer with a subtle lighter colour blended in. Emma spoke me through different colours and ways we could do this before we settled on a lovely warm caramel. Colour in, I relaxed with a magazine, a cup of tea and a Tunnock’s wafer, enjoying the fun and friendly atmosphere of the salon which was a pretty perfect Thursday afternoon.

I was delighted to find out Pixie use Innoluxe, which is known as the wonder treatment from the Hair Gods themselves, fixing the most damaged of hair. Emma took so much time to get my colour and cut just right. I love the anticipation when your stylist starts drying your hair and getting to see the colour for the first time. I was so delighted with the glossy colour, I could have cried actual happy tears! It’s amazing how your hair looking and feeling better can make you feel so much better inside too, it’s an instant confidence boost. My newly cut and coloured hair made its debut at the Emporio Armani party that evening and the bouncy blow dry was still so perfect the next day I went to my friend’s wedding the next day without even having to touch the style! 10/10, Pixie!

Pixie Hair and Beauty is located at 680 Dumbarton Road, Glasgow. To book an appointment, call 0141 230 1496 or follow the lovely team on Facebook here

With thanks to Pixie Hair and Beauty, all opinions my own.