'Joanne' Lady Gaga

Oh my Lady Gaga is this album good?!

Those who know me know just how much I loved Gaga.  I always found her music inspiring, emotional and it has always had a special place in my heart.

My Gaga days ended round about her 'Artpop' era.  I enjoyed it, but in all honesty, it just didn't speak to me the same way as 'The Fame' or 'The Fame Monster' or even 'Born this Way'.  I'm definitely more of an original 'Fame' generation monster.  

Review: 'Fangirl' by Rainbow Rowell

It felt as though I was on an emotional rollercoaster.  Heart-warming, genuine, and just straight-up hilarious.

'Fangirl' is a story about a teenage girl beginning her new adventure at college, however, unlike her twin, this transition is not as easy for Cath.  For the first time in their lives, these twins aren't experiencing something together- much to Cath's dismay.  This is the story of a young girl finding herself.

The power of the simple: part 5

Last night I sat in my bed reading until late, but I didn't even notice the time. It was more when I finished the book, read the whole thing cover to cover, that I realised just how long I'd been reading.  

Student Life: being a 'mature' student.

Image result for mature student

When my friends told me I'd be a mature student I laughed in their faces, even felt slightly insulted.  I am not old; I'm in my twenties, the prime of my life. In my head I was going to be a first year again and I wasn't that much older than all the other freshers.  I was wrong.

Apparently, four or five years is a big difference.  It's like all the freshers are from a totally new and alien generation to me.  Maybe 22 really is the age of a mature student nowadays.

When I was a student at Aberdeen University there were people from all age groups and that didn't matter.  Even on the phone the other night I explained to my Dad there were people older than him studying there to which I got:
"As old as me? What that old?!" and a laugh. Yes Dad, even that old.

Even on the induction day, one of the girls asked me if I'd come straight from school and when I said I had already been to university before she asked me how old I am.  When I told her she replied: "Oh my god, maybe don't tell people that hahahaha."  Like, excuse me missy but respect your elders! 

Now, I'm not saying everyone is like this.  Most of the people I have spoken to on my course are really cool and fun.  It's just strange to feel the age gap that I never even thought I would recognise - I never even realised it was four whole years difference.  It's as though I believe I'm still 18, but deep down I know I'm not. 

In one of the labs we were playing around with Photoshop and I just couldn't get it at first and kept having to ask the tutor for help.  I couldn't help but think to myself bloody hell, maybe I am too old.  I felt like a fish out of water when everyone around me seemed to naturally just click with the task.  But once I got it, man that was a good feeling.  

I've decided to use my 'mature student' status to my advantage - been there, done that and all. I mean I already know what is expected of me and I know how to organise myself and my studies.  I know exactly what I want out of the course, I'm passionate and I'm determined.   

Maybe feeling so old compared to all my fellow students isn't the best feeling, but, in reality it doesn't make a difference.  We're all there with the same goal. Sure some of my friends are either graduating this year or have already graduated.  I'll just get to the finishing line a little later - but it'll all be worth it. As I said I'm determined, and I think that being a mature student makes my determination even stronger.

As always,

Love, Lauren x

P.s. I just googled and apparently mature students are considered to be 21 years and over, isn't that depressing?

F**k It: the ultimate spiritual way: Review.

'F**k it: the ultimate spiritual way' John C. Parkin.
Yep, that's right I even busted out the sticky tabs.
Simple, powerful, hilarious.

One of my best friends gave me this book for my birthday last year and as he passed me the present he explained he bought it for me because I "probably needed it".  And probably he was right.

I've never been one for self-help books, I suppose I'm mostly a fiction reader so it was quite exciting to be given a book that I would never have chosen to read myself.

To be honest, the book basically describes the effects of saying f**k it and implores you to adopt this new mantra:

"When you say F**k it, you let go of your hold on something - usually something that is causing you pain." P.1

Parkin claims in the 'foreplay' (that would be the preface to you and I) that it really is that simple.  You're probably asking yourselves how can saying F**k it have anything to do with spirituality or have such an effect?  Believe me I was skeptical at first too.  But, throughout the book Parkin explains that most of us in the western world have value systems made up from things that we choose to matter, meaning that we give these things power to hurt us and by saying F**k it we take that power away - by saying F**k it you move from attachment to freedom.  

So I really appreciated this message.  I'm a worrier, I think far too much and I put way too much meaning into the meaningless.  I knew all these things before I read the book but, for me, it really put things into perspective.  Parkin also describes all the things we should say F**k it to and why we should.  There's literally a section for everything so I believe there's something in this book for everyone - whether it's work, kids, money, relationships... whatever it is you need to say F**k it to you'll find reasons why you should.

The books themes are very simple.  I mean it's a self-help book dealing with attachment, meaning, freedom and religion - using Taoism, Buddhism, Christianity and spirituality to highlight the benefits of living a lifestyle free from attachment.  

Okay, maybe it's a simple book with a simple message to just say F**k it and free yourself from meaningless attachments.  But maybe sometimes we need the reminder, something clear and simple to really hit the message home.  We all have such busy and hectic lifestyles that maybe something with deeper meaning would get lost in all the confusion and stress we face daily anyway.  Not only does it do what it says on the tin but parts of the book delve a little deeper and explains the science and psychology behind this way of thinking.  It even describes the effect of conscious breathing and our posture, which I genuinely found really helpful and still try to practice.

I loved the author's writing style; simple, powerful, hilarious.  And it feels like he's speaking directly to you.  I mean it's light-hearted and funny making it much more relatable.  So it won’t be the deepest book you’ll ever read and what Parkin says can be pretty obvious but if you read it and don’t get anything out of it at least you will appreciate the humor in the book; but I am sure you will find something in there relatable to your own life… who knows maybe you’ll even start saying ‘F**k it’ more often, I know I have.

As always,

Love, Lauren x

Buy it from Amazon here.

The countdown begins.

In just over one month I will be a student again.  Omg. And I'm not gonna lie buuuut I started this count down when I learned I'd been accepted.

I'm sure I've already mentioned it before but in case I haven't... I'm going to Robert Gordon's University to study Journalism!!!  I'm so freakin' excited! Finally I am on the right path (I hope) and I'll be doing something I love.  I've always dreamed of a career in writing or publication but just never had the confidence to believe I would ever be good enough.

Even though I am so excited I can't help but feel... well... a little nervous.  I mean I'm starting from the very beginning, again.  I'll be a first year, again.  I'll need to make new friends, again.  It probably sounds silly and all of these changes are so exciting, but to me they're still so scary.  I can't help but think like what happens if I hate the course, or I am a terrible journalist?!  Or maybe no one will like me and I won't make any friends.  Or maybe studying after being out of education for over a year will be super hard and I will struggle so much to fit back in... who knows?  It's like the start of a new adventure; I'm sure I will love every minute of it I'm just not sure what to expect.

It's like rewinding the past three years of my life back to when I was first preparing to begin uni, but a fresh start is exactly what I need.

I have one month to prepare myself both mentally and literally for this.  And just 3 weeks to prepare my liver for freshers week (if any of my family are reading this I'm sorry but lets be real I get to re-do freshers week and I am going to enjoy every minute of it).  I suppose I don't have too much to stress over in the next month considering I already live in Aberdeen and the biggest part for new students is moving away from home... so that's something at least.  

But this time round I plan on being a good student.  I mean my first course I did work hard but I never gave 100%, I had other priorities to think about like work and other things.  I plan on making every minute of this course count though.  I am dedicated and committed to achieving my degree.  And I will get there - four years from now I will be a journalist!

We'll see how uni and student life goes for me; I suppose if it's interesting enough I probably will write more blog posts about it; but for now I can't wait for my life to completely change, to start on a course directed at me fulfilling my dreams and I am totally and utterly ready for the challenge. I think.

Until next time,

As always,

Love, Lauren x

KLH Brow Artist: I tried microblading... and I loved it.

It was just over a week ago since I visited KLH Brow Artist at Aqua Hair and Beauty in Elgin and I got my eyebrows microbladed.  It's the new trend that I'm sure most of you have heard of, but if not that's okay... I'm here to explain.

Microblading is a form of semi-permanent tattoo, but it's not quite as brutal as it sounds.  I mean the person uses tiny blades to draw individual hair-like strokes on your eyebrow using vegetable dye either to give them volume or better shape or what ever it is you require.  When you first hear tattooed eyebrows I am sure you assume they will look fake, painted on, one dimensional... But this is really not the case.  Microblading is genuinely like eyebrow embroidery and when I done a little research (by that I mean a lil bit of googling) I was surprised to see just how natural they look, genuinely.  Imagine how beneficial this kind of treatment would be for someone with alopecia or someone who has undergone chemotherapy and their eyebrows haven't grown back in properly.  Now I think that is seriously cool.

So of course I was SO keen to try it that when Kerry asked me to be a case study I jumped at the chance got my patch test done and counted down the days until brow day.

One of the treatment rooms.
The morning of brow day felt like Christmas, you know when you don't quite know what to expect but you just know it's gonna be good!  I made my way to Aqua where Kerry rents a room, I lay down on the bed and although I was so excited and keen to get started I felt so calm.  Kerry made me feel comfortable, we had a little chat and laugh and a joke and it immediately made me feel relaxed; she talked me through everything and applied some numbing cream on my eyebrows (which probably helped ease any nerves about pain) and handed me a stress banana with a cheeky giggle.

Once the numbing cream kicked in she proceeded to measure out my eyebrows and draw some outlines on them of her plans and once we were both happy with her design she picked up her blades and got to work.

All of the tools needed for
the semi-perm tattoo.
As you can see; no needle gun.
It honestly sounds more brutal than it is; if you've ever had your eyebrows threaded or waxed it's sort of like that but with the aid of the numbing cream not quite as nippy.  Take it from a whimp like me who gets the sweats at injections or getting bloods taken and can't even see the needle pierce the skin without getting all shakey inside.  I'm not gonna lie there were a couple of moments where she was blading a sensitive part I had to give my banana a wee squeeze but they were over in seconds. 

Why would a whimp like me go for such a treatment you may ask?  Probably mostly because I'm vain and want nice eyebrows and not pencilling them in every day sounds ideal, but also because listening to Kerry describe the treatment and seeing how much of an amazing job she done on her other clients I really felt at ease letting her loose with her blade on my brows and I trusted her completely.

And the proof is in the picture:

Top: Before.
Bottom: After.
(Ignore the hideous/hilarious hair net.)
Don't they look amazing?!  And let me tell you I will never get tired of hearing how great my eyebrows look, Cara Delevigne and her brows can step aside (what did I tell you, I can be quite a vain person).

This work of art took almost two hours to do, that's including waiting for the numbing cream to kick in and the time Kerry took measuring my brows to perfection.  And she was a perfectionist and her work is so meticulous.  I could never have imagined my eyebrows looking so good.

Afterwards, Kerry advised me on the aftercare which was simply washing my brows and moisturizing them with the products she gave me every two hours for the rest of the day and then sleeping with clingfilm on my eyebrows just for the first night (which everyone found hilarious of course).  After that I just had to keep applying the cream a couple of times a day to make sure they heal properly and to prevent them from scabbing over.  Really you just have to treat it like a tattoo.

I need to go for a follow up appointment to get them topped up but after that they will last for around three years!  Once they're first done they look so dramatic but after they heal they calm down look more natural but they do fade a little the first time which is why you need the follow up, and I can't wait to see how they look after the top up because let's be real here can they get any better?!

So a massive thank you to Kerry is in order for doing such a great job on my brows, I absolutely love them and I am so so happy to have tried microblading.  I would really recommend the treatment and if anyone is considering getting it done then get in touch with Kerry as she will make them perfect.

I'm sure there will be many more photos once my touch-up is done, and I can't wait to show you all the results... so until next time,

As always,

Love, Lauren x

KLH Brow Artist Facebook Page - Here you can talk to Kerry, see her gallery of other amazing brows and... maybe even book your own consultation?!

Love is Love.

Today London celebrates Gay Pride and it will mark this day with its annual Pride Parade, whilst also honoring those members of the LGBT community who were shot dead at the Orlando nightclub earlier this month.  After the results of the EU Referendum and the obvious divide in the UK I hope we all stand together in this celebration and can overcome our differences to unite and support our own people who are brave enough to be themselves whilst showing our respect for those who have died because of who they are.  

I remember hearing the news of the shooting last week and I was shocked, horrified, even sickened.  Simply, I just cannot understand why someone would commit such a horrible act?

Was it homophobia?  An act of terrorism?  Or, as some suggest, the manic act of someone who couldn't come to terms with his own sexuality?  We can ponder the reasons as much as we want but the fact still remains; 49 innocent people died that night.  

There were 300 people in that club; 49 people killed, 53 people injured and absolutely everyone fearing for their lives.  Not only that but people outside of the club lost their loved ones, their family members, their friends that night. It's too easy to think about these people as victims and forget that the attack has a ripple-effect, like a pebble being dropped in water the ripples extend beyond the incident or the main people involved.  And as for the victims I am sure this will haunt them for the rest of their lives.

And for what?  They were living their lives.  Having a fun night in a club with their friends, doing what any straight person their age would be doing.  But they were targeted because of their sexuality?  It's a horrible thought.  It's sick.  These people who play God are the sick ones for thinking they can chose who lives and who dies and base it on something like sexuality, not the man who loves another man nor the woman who loves another woman.  Love is Love.  It's pure, you can't chose who you love and it doesn't effect anyone else; but what that gunman exhibited at the club that night was hatred, and it is the most disgusting emotion a human can feel.  

In the 21st century with homosexuality becoming more and more accepted it's clear that there is still room for improvement.  Why is there still such prejudice and hatred towards people who cannot help who they are?  Not only that but it's scary that even in this day and age people live in fear, which is only made worse due to the American's right to arms.  This has been branded the worst mass shooting in America, what does that tell you?  Not only that the shooter had been previously questioned by the FBI yet he still managed to get a hold of an automatic gun?!  But Trump continues to argue and claims that guns are the way forward and the best way to combat terrorism...  It's just utter craziness!  It should never have came down to this but the shooting has brought to light the fact that there needs to be a change in attitude - both towards the LGBT community and towards gun control.  And most definitely more education for our future generations in equality and love and open-mindedness.  

Despite the uproar in the UK I am glad to live here and not somewhere in America where guns are so common and thought of as a right.   I know Brits aren't perfect and certainly there are some of us who are homophobic but we are moving forward all the time and at least guns aren't so accessible to any Tom, Dick and Harry.  I can only hope that we learn from this tragedy and we all unite together to promote love, peace, equality and respect for one another simply as human beings.  To be quite honest these four things should come to us all naturally anyway.

As always,

Love, Lauren x

My name's Lauren and I am addicted to my mobile phone and the internet.

Hello everyone, my name's Lauren and I am addicted to my mobile phone and the internet.

How did I discover this?  Clever me went and lost my phone on Tuesday night. And I had no WiFi in the flat until last night.  I felt completely cut off from the world, and yes, I did go slightly stir-crazy.

I guess I'm lucky I managed to claim my phone on my insurance but going a couple of days without it has made me realise a few things.

Genuinely, I had already been planning a blog post about the use of mobile phones.  Lately I've noticed just how much we rely on them.  Working in a restaurant I see a lot of people; it's funny because pretty much everyone on every single table is normally glued to their phone.  It's just sad when you see couples or people on dates and they're both looking at their phones rather than speaking to eachother... especially on Valentines Day.  Not only that but everywhere I look there's kids glued to their iPhones.  I swear they're getting younger and younger but parents just shove their kids on phones or tablets to keep them quiet which isn't right either; there's nothing worse than trying to talk to a wee kiddy but barely getting an answer because they're too engrossed in Angry Birds or checking their insta likes or what ever an eight year old even does on a phone.  But anyway, my point is we are all guilty of being addicted to our mobiles.  

Now, I thought being without internet was bad enough.  I've been in the new flat for about two weeks with no WiFi but at least I had my phone and my extensive collection of DVDs - re-watching Ugly Betty has gotten me through this tough time.  But then when I lost my phone that was it.

I went home on Tuesday night and I was lost without my connection to the outside world, like genuinely.  I watched some Ugly Betty but that wasn't enough.  My flatmate still hasn't moved in and having absolutely no contact with people was the worst, seriously.  I honestly struggled being alone with no one to talk to for a whole night.  I dyed my hair and just as I was ready to take a selfie and show the world I realised I couldn't... isn't that pathetic? Straight away I needed to share it with everyone, I guess that just proves how addicted to the internet we've become when as soon as you do anything there's such a strong desire to put it online.  Like anyone even cares I've dyed my hair AGAIN.  It was probably the earliest I've gone to sleep in a long time but it felt like there was simply nothing else to do!

Then, the next day I woke up and got ready, grabbed my laptop and headed to work to use their phone and WiFi in order to sort my lost phone situation. After a lot of running around Aberdeen I finally sorted all the important things for my phone and organised a replacement and when I finally came back to work to get ready to start my shift my landlord came to find me to tell me he's been calling me.  Not even 24 hours without a phone and I miss important calls.  I swear that's just bad luck.  Thankfully, some of the guys from work were going out for drinks, so instead of going home to an empty flat, phone-less and internet-less I chose the alternative, to get absolutely hammered and have a great time out.  

Thursday I dragged my hungover self out of bed, quickly got ready and came to work to wait for my replacement phone to be delivered and yes, use the WiFi.  I think if I stayed in my flat I would have been bouncing off the walls at this point.  It's quite pathetic that I literally went to just wait for the delivery, and as soon as it came I grabbed the package and ran away to set up my phone.  But at last I had a phone again and it instantly cheered me up.
The first thing I done?  Download all my social apps again.  And then when I got home last night my WiFi was ready and for the first time in a couple of weeks I managed to go on Netflix and scroll through Facebook while tweeting to my hearts content...   I went to sleep a happy girl.

But when I woke up this and checked my Facebook still so happy to be back to normality only to find that Britain voted to leave the EU I suddenly found myself wishing I didn't have my phone or any internet connection.  Funnily enough it's true what they say 'be careful what you wish for'.

So anyway, like I said my few days without a phone and the couple of weeks without any internet taught me a few things.  I am completely addicted to my phone, and that's just sad.  We all rely far too much on technology, we're all being sucked into it too much and would rather communicate over a device than by actually speaking to one another.  Maybe it's time to put the phones away, close the laptops and actually start living in the moment instead of living through a screen.  

I have decided to make more of an effort to put my phone away instead of being completely absorbed in my online life.  I want to enjoy life and not be sat engrossed by a screen, but I guess if you really think about it we'll never give up technology. Saying that though I think even just this small change will benefit me a lot. We'll see how long it lasts.

But for now my break is almost over and I need to go back to work.  I hope you all enjoy your weekend, and really enjoy it - not just sitting and staring at your screen and not moving for the whole weekend.

As always,

Love, Lauren x

I'll be back in 5.

Hello again,

Firstly, I'd like to start off with a wee apology for the lack of blogging.  But as we all know life gets in the way sometimes and I've just move into a brand new flat which I absolutely love!  So between moving, working and just living life I had to take a pause on blogging... it doesn't help that I still do not have any broadband in my flat so I am currently mooching the work's WiFi a couple of hours before my shift starts.  

But something really exciting has happened in the past couple of weeks.  I have been accepted to study Journalism at Robert Gordon's University in September!  This probably is the best thing that could have happened to me, finally I can get back on track and I know what I am doing with my life. I'm so excited and thankful for the opportunity - I can't wait to start my new adventure.
I know I've used this quote in my blog before, but I feel it's really apt here. Now I know it's time to start something new and I trust it will be the best decision I have ever made.

So, other than moving flat, settling in and applying to uni again I've just been enjoying life back in Aberdeen.  It feels like I'm home and back with my people, I'm starting to feel like the old Lauren again but better... and man that's a good feeling.  I feel so fresh, positive and ready to take on whatever challenges face me. 

Hopefully things will continue to settle, I'll keep making progress and love my new studies.  It's my time; I will live my life to the full and love every minute of it because life is too short not to.   

But until I've finished settling in and got WiFi again (I miss my connection with the world so much I am not at all counting the days till I get internet back in my life.) I probably won't be blogging too much, hopefully I'll be back with a vengeance and some more interesting posts.  

So take care for now, and I will speak to you all soon!

As always,

Love, Lauren x

'Happily' by Sophie Tanner: Review.

Heart-warming, inspirational and absolutely hilarious.

The story of Chloe Usher is not like any ‘chick-lit’ I have ever read.  Through Chloe’s journey to find her ‘happily ever after’ with her unconventional self-marriage we, as the reader, discover that you do not need a man to be content with life.  Chloe is a normal woman struggling to deal with the pressures placed on women by society to find the ‘one’ and settle down.  She makes it clear that you don’t need the one if you can be the one for yourself. 

Chloe lives in Brighton and is involved in a number of different circles, like her ‘grown-up and settled down friends’ and then her normal group which includes members of the LGBT community… but Chloe herself is a heterosexual, just tired of the dated idea that you need a man to complete you.  I think this story really resonates with society today as many young girls are realising that they don’t need marriage, or a man to complete them – they can enjoy their lives whichever way they choose.  In a world where we have marriage, gay marriage, why not have ‘self-marriage’. 

From the very early beginning of the book Chloe decides to marry herself and it’s inspiring to follow her along on this journey of self-discovery.  She has the support of her family, besides her father who thinks she’s being crazy.  She also receives waves of support from the world when the news of her self-marriage goes viral, but she also has to deal with the other side of fame - internet ‘trolls’ who act so negatively towards her news.  Throughout the book it feels like you are on this journey with Chloe every moment of the way.  You get to experience this brand new idea through her life.  This is the brilliant thing about literature.

Sophie Tanner, just like Chloe, married herself which you can read all about on her website.  This makes her portrayal of Chloe’s journey even more powerful as you realise that a lot of this story came from the heart of the writer.  Now this is an idea I’ve never thought of, and I absolutely love reading something completely new; I love how unique an idea this is and really would recommend this book just for it’s originality. 

Like I said, I would recommend reading this book.  You can get it on Amazon right now for just 99p, an absolute bargain for such a great story.  It’s funny, easy to read but has a very powerful message that it is important to love yourself.  This book isn’t telling the readers you can’t have both a relationship and love yourself, it conveys the idea that it is possible to have it all.  And why shouldn’t you?  How far will you go for your Happily Ever After?  Read the book and maybe, just maybe you will figure it out for yourself.

The Power of the Simple: part 4.

My driving instructor once told me “You’re too focused on the small details that you forget how to drive sometimes.”  I was trying to find the second turn on the right and forgot to slow down and change gear in order to go around the corner, but look who’s still here?!  Anyway, I think he put it rather well and I’ve been thinking a lot about what he said.  Am I too focused on the little things that I forget about the bigger picture?

Even just now, I’m sat on the train trying to write a personal statement and I stop for a moment and look out the window; straight away I see a pheasant then followed by a little bunny and then some old ruins on top of a hill that I’ve never noticed before even though I’ve taken this very same train so many times I can’t even remember anymore.

This can be related to my blog as I am in the middle of reading a book for a review but I'm so focused on that one post until now I have been unable to really write much else. 

But on a broader scale what does it mean?  What am I missing out on in life because I am too busy obsessing over the small and minor things?

Probably I am far too obsessive, a bit of a perfectionist, if anything is worth doing it’s worth doing it right.  I write to-do lists and try and plan my whole life out, although I have learned that it is impossible to plan everything… I still try.  My friend calls me a micro-manager.  But maybe this is my problem, maybe this is society’s problem.  Maybe we are all too focused, too goal orientated, maybe we do forget the simple but important things in life.  Maybe we’re all too busy going from A to B (even to C) to stop and appreciate the world around us.  For example, when you go away somewhere, whether it’s for a night, a couple of nights a week or whatever, you see things in a new light, you have time to stop and enjoy the little things, you have time to switch off even for a little while.   Maybe we need more of this in life and less of our hectic schedules, I know it’s not always possible but maybe we need to stop hurtling through life as if we have all the time in the world before we eventually realise we are running out of time.

Or maybe I am just full of maybes.  Or maybe I am just busy procrastinating from writing my bloody personal statement.  I guess what I’m getting at is sometimes just stop; take a deep breath, have a look around you, relax and do more of what you love.  Look after yourself, because life is too short to whittle it away.

As always,
Love, Lauren x 

Diggin' in and gettin' dirty at the Boozy Cow.

"We don't use plates here, or forks and knives... you share your food on a tray, use your fingers, get dirty and dig in."  The waiter advised us, he then went on to say "The person you're sat across from is who you'll be sharing a tray with." leading the four of us to each eye up our respective tray sharing buddy.  This was our first time eating at the Boozy Cow, one of my friends had tried the Edinburgh one and I had been in for some drinks at the one down by the Illicit Still but none of us had been to the new restaurant on Langstane Place.

The place is so freakin cool!  It's so relaxed, modern, and quirky... and not only that it donates all of it's profits to charities.  So once I heard this I done a little bit of research (all of the information can be found on their website - so I guess I didn't have to look too far) and they donate to local charities such as CHAS and the Archie Foundation, the VSA and the STV Children's Appeal.  How cool is that?  The mission statement on their site even explains:

"Garreth Wood’s latest venture aims to pour up to £1million into charitable causes by 2018."

I think it's so admirable that the owner has invested so much time and money into this and that even in this economy where everyone seems to be struggling he has devoted the successful Boozy Cow chain to helping local charities.  Not only that I think it makes dining there so much more fun, it's for a good cause and in all honesty I'd much rather my money went to good use. 

Check out all that burgery-
Impressed to find that this had
real pieces of popcorn!

When our trays full of food arrived we really did just dig in and literally get dirty - it's a good thing they leave a kitchen roll on your table for you, cos we definitely needed a lot! Bacon cheeseburgers, fries, onion rings, popcorn chicken all the typical burger bar food... but these burgers tasted so fresh and they were so juicy, absolutely the best burgers I've had in a long time.  All of the food was great, I just wish we'd had room for one of their desserts or a boozy milkshake or something  but we were honestly just stuffed.  Seriously, if nothing else tempts you to go the food definitely will and it's not all just beef burgers!  They have chicken or veggie options, salads, hot dogs... there definitely is something for everyone here.  

AND one of my favourite things about this restaurant?  Yep, that's right the ladies toilets!  I mean I don't know if they decorate the men's in this way but the stalls are covered in inspiration quotes... I know it's sad but who doesn't love an inspirational quote when they visit the little girl's room?  I definitely do.

Well to be honest the whole place is decorated like this, and I just love it!  But the feminist quotes and everything in their loos are a real hit with me. It's so fresh and on trend but at the same time so laid back and it's really nothing too sophisticated - really it's perfect.  

Next time you're planning on going out for some food you just have to try this place out!  So chilled out, the no plates and cutlery rule just adds to the fun and with all of the profits going to our own local charities how can you say no? It's an amazing idea, with amazing food, and an amazing atmosphere, what more could you want?  I know we'll definitely be back again soon.

So as always,

Love, Lauren x


A weekend in the Hideaway.


In my previous post I mentioned that we were going away for the weekend. Two of our friends are moving back the Czech so we threw a good leaving party that lasted all weekend.   One of the group members found an amazing place near Banchory that would fit all 13 of us called the Hideaway.  When I was told about this place it was described as a cottage... but there is no way this place is a cottage!  It is so big, and beautiful, the surrounding scenery was breathtaking, definitely a country house - but not what my idea of a cottage is... anyways we were off to the 'cottage'!  

The Cottage.

Our view.
It was about a 45 minute drive from Aberdeen and we all brought heaps of food for the BBQ they had at the cottage and, of course, lots of alcohol.  It was honestly amazing.  On the ground floor there were 3 big bedrooms and up the stairs the attic was converted to a fourth and fifth bedroom but we managed to squeeze more people up there. 

We arrived there Friday evening and left on Sunday evening.  And what can I say about what we all got up to?  Well the plan had been to go for some hikes and enjoy the beautiful countryside that we were surrounded by.  But we were all far too hungover to go anywhere on Saturday (shame on us!).  On the Saturday we made some food and we all ended up needing to go for a recovery nap after some hearty goulash before the evening drinking commenced.  So after our naps we started up the grill, got some card games on the go and had another great night in the cottage.  Then on the Sunday we all lazed about enjoying our last day in the cottage, and played some more cards out in the sun as it was a beautiful day! 

However, we did manage to visit Craigiever Castle and go for a walk around the grounds... so we weren't totally bad right?!

The gang.
The group at the cottage were absolutely crazy and we all had such a good laugh.  Really it was the best send off and we spent the whole weekend drinking, eating and relaxing which I think we all needed.  In fact I'm sure when I surfaced at 11ish on Saturday I was greeted with a shot of Morgans Spiced... eugh.  I don't think I'll be drinking Morgans for a long time.

That's 18 bottles... to be exact.
Honestly, going back to normal life on Monday was so difficult, I think we all miss the crazy times we had together in the cottage.  I loved it there, and although it's so sad to say goodbye to our friends it's exciting to see them start their new adventure.  Like I said it was the best send off and a good excuse for everyone to get together and just have an amazing weekend, hopefully we will have many more trips together.

So finally I would like to wish this crazy woman good luck in her new adventure with her lovely boyfriend, we will all miss them both.

Anyways, as always,

Love, Lauren x  


Profile Hair: May is for... Makeovers?

Hello lovelies!

I'm in the middle of giving my blog a wee makeover as you may have seen, finally!  Apparently May is for Makeovers because the blog is not the only thing that I have freshened up, I myself have made some changes.

The before... AND the after!

Yep!  That's right, I'm a blondie again and I am absolutely loving it!  Okay, so I actually got my hair done at the end of April, just in time for May so that still counts right?  For my transformation I decided to try out a new place in Aberdeen and booked with Profile Hair on Huntly Street.  From the outside it looks deceptively small, but once you go inside it's like you've stepped into a funky, quirky and completely unique little haven.  I mean seriously I love the decor and the atmosphere of this salon; wooden walls and flooring, corrugated steel walls around the hair wash area and dotted around are pastel coloured skull candles (I want... no I need one!) and pieces of rock-chic jewelry from the MINE collection.  It's such an interesting mixture of relaxing and trendy and edgy.  I love it.

As I just mentioned the MINE jewelry collection is featured in the salon and the owner Amy Donaldson told me it is another passion of hers - she even creates some of her own jewelry which isn't featured in her collection... yet?!  I can't wait to see what else MINE has to offer as there was only a small collection of items in the salon at the time.  It turns out one Saturday a month Profile transforms from a salon to a boutique where MINE is properly displayed and the collection includes pieces from totally unique and original designers.  Next time the boutique is on I will definitely be checking it out (at the bottom of this post there's a link that will tell you all about MINE and when the boutique is open).

Anyways, back to my hair.  So Paul cut and coloured my hair and he was simply just lovely.  I mean he seemed so experienced, genuine and was great to sit and chat away to as he transformed my hair.  I really enjoyed my experience in the salon with him and he gave me exactly what I wanted.  Not only that he then told me that they use a really gentle bleach, so I was gladly surprised to find my hair was still in such great condition after the treatment as I had expected it to be dry or at least a bit damaged.  

It's so refreshing to leave a salon and feel, well, a million bucks haha!  I mean I've spent a lot more money in other salons to come out and like my hair but not LOVE it you know what I mean?  I will definitely be back to visit again soon, but until then I'm just gonna keep enjoying being blonde (again!) I feel so refreshed, and bubbly and like the old Lauren again finally!

So, until next time,

Love, Lauren x

Kildrummy Park Castle

Hello May!

And happy Sunday folks!  I hope everyone is enjoying their weekends as much as I am.  So last Sunday it was my sister's birthday and we took her to Kildrummy Park Castle for the day.  It was so Downton Abbey-esque... and we loved every minute of it!  

Kildrummy Castle is about an hours drive outside of Aberdeen near Alford.  The castle itself is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, completely surrounded by the countryside and wildlife which is honestly amazing.  It's so serene and relaxing that if you were going to stay overnight in their hotel I'm sure you wouldn't want to leave - heck I didn't want to leave!  

We had an amazing 3 course meal; mushroom fricasse, fresh fish and chips and sticky toffee pudding.  It was all so good, we were too late to order off the lunch menu so we were given the bar menu which was still full of good choices... but I would love to see what their other menus are like!  From what we saw it looked like everything was fresh and local such a refreshing change nowadays to be honest.  I wish I'd taken photos of it all but I was far too excited to eat I completely forgot, oops. 
The old castle ruins close to Kildrummy Park.
Now my favourite part was looking around the castle, one of our friends works there so once he finished he took us around the grounds and we saw so much wildlife!  There were baby bunnies, pheasants and so many different birds all over the place and I
loved it!  We were going to go down to the old castle ruins but it was so cold and it was going to get dark soon so we decided to leave it until next time, at least that's a reason to go back sometime soon.  After exploring the grounds a bit we had a look around all the rooms downstairs in the castle that are open to guests to visit and they were just beautiful.  Our friend told us that all of the rooms have been left as original as possible which really adds to the castles authentic and historic look.  Here's just a few pictures I managed to get:

A fireplace in the hallway of the reception.
The Drawing Room.
The Library - my favourite room.
I have so many more photos but I won't completely ruin it for everyone, I'll leave it for you guys to go and see for yourselves!

So all in all I absolutely loved the visit and so did my sister.  The food was so good, the location perfect and the castle was just beautiful - it truly deserves it's 4 stars!  I honestly would recommend going here, even just for a meal or if you have any special occassions I am sure staying in the castle would be a perfect way to celebrate... I wish I had a good excuse to stay there.  I'm sure we'll be back sometime soon anyways.

As always,

Love, Lauren x