I Found The Hidden Lane – and You Can, Too!

the hidden lane

When people ask me what my favourite thing about Glasgow is (and it happens frequently!), I always say this: Glasgow is never boring. There’s always something exciting and unique, just waiting to be discovered – and, last weekend, I found that The Hidden Lane is the perfect example of that.

the hidden lane

If you’ve never heard of The Hidden Lane, let me bring you up to speed! Tucked behind the main streets of Finnieston, this hub of creativity is home to over 100 (!) independent businesses. Artists, shops, cafes, workshops and more occupy the brightly coloured buildings and quirky studio spaces.

But when there’s so much happening in the one place, where do you even begin? You call in the experts! For us, that was Mhairi, the fabulous ladyboss behind Bonnie Bling, who very kindly invited us along for a tour of the lane.

the hidden lane

We started with hot drinks and festive themed treats at The Hidden Lane Tearoom (the chocolate ganache was to die for!) before hitting the cobbles and checking out the curiosities and treasures at Tart’s antique store. They had a VINTAGE DISNEY POSTER in Spanish, you guys. We left and headed over to the super adorable Uptown Squirrel designs just in time – and my bank balance remained intact.

the hidden lane

As well as visiting some awesome stores (such as Decadent Riot, Cloud Nine Candles and Studio Number One), we also got a peek into some of the studios where the design magic happens. No room was off-limits! It was almost like an episode of Cribs – in fact, the only thing missing was Mariah Carey working out in a pair of ridiculous heels…

ANYWAY.

the hidden lane

Seeing the Bonnie Bling HQ with pieces of iconic Scottish jewellery coming hot off the laser cutter was a huge highlight (you know my love for the Bling goes way back!), as was getting a decorative bauble demo from Libby Walker in her bright studio.

the hidden lane

Visiting Vanilla Ink’s metal workshop space was a lot of fun, and I even had a go at making my own keyring! Gary took a sharp breath and stepped back when I was handed the hammer – and I think he was as surprised as me to see that I managed to come away with one keyring and zero injuries. Maybe I’m good with a hammer? Am I Thor now?

the hidden lane

After a few more visits, we finished up the tour at New Hellfire Club record store, before hitting Lean Factory for some lunch and fruit smoothies. Lean Factory is a fairly new addition to The Hidden Lane, and their pastel coloured cafe is the perfect place for a pit stop!

the hidden lane

Fancy exploring The Hidden Lane yourself? Get your diary ready…

On Saturday 25th November, The Hidden Lane are throwing a festive daytime event to launch their Hidden Christmas shopping extravaganza. There’ll be over 20 open shops and studios to explore, competitions, sweet treats, pop-ups, live music and you can even have a go at making your own keyring at Vanilla Ink.

the hidden lane

The fun starts at 12pm – though if you want to go along a little early to get a cuppa at the Hidden Lane Tearoom I fully support that plan!

Over the course of December, The Hidden Lane’s retailers will also be revealing special offers on their social media advent calendar – so keep your eyes peeled to @hiddenlanefinnieston on Instagram for more details…

Whether you fancy getting a start on your Christmas shopping, or want to discover some amazing local businesses and creatives, The Hidden Lane is the perfect place to start!

2016 Lifestyle Gifts for Foodies, Homebodies & Magpies

2016 lifestyle gifts

Can you guys believe that there’s 2 weeks to go until Christmas? If you haven’t finished your shopping yet, don’t sweat it – I’m here with the third edition of my gift guide to give you a helping hand! And if you haven’t caught up with my previous two instalments, you can read up on the best makeup sets here, and catch my bath, body and beyond extravaganza here.

Today, I’m sharing some of the finest 2016 lifestyle gifts for the foodies, homebodies and magpies in our lives. If you know someone who loves to get creative in the kitchen, fill their home with stylish pieces or just can’t say no to a statement accessory (ahem! Guilty as charged), then read on…

2016 lifestyle gifts

Smoked Diamonds Candle from Shearer Candles

Shearer Candles have so many scents to choose from that it can be difficult to pick just one out! What I love about this Smoked Diamonds candle is that not only does it smell AMAZING, but the mirrored packaging is also stunning – making it a great stocking filler for anyone that has moved home lately, or simply likes to have something pretty to keep on their desk.

Smoked Diamonds’ scent is described as a ‘blend of playful florals, sensual musks and sweet cocoa’ and is part of the latest collection from Shearer Candles, who make all of their products here in Glasgow. You can pick up the small (£10) or larger version (£15) of Smoked Diamonds online or in store.

2016 lifestyle gifts

Tatty Devine Home 

When Tatty Devine release something new, you better believe that I sit up and pay attention – but when one of my favourite jewellery brands announced that they were launching a line of accessories and homeware? Well, let’s just say that I was very excited!

Expect bold and playful designs in bright colours and even a sprinkling of glitter. What’s also awesome about the collection is how affordable it is, with prices ranging between £9.99 and £29.99, making the pieces ideal for treating your girl gang. This Soda Pop coin purse (£14.99) is guaranteed to make looking for loose change much more fun! Find out more online.

2016 lifestyle gifts

Frosty Garland & Yum Yum Club at Ulster Weavers 

Know someone who is the ultimate domestic goddess? Show your hostess with the mostess some love with the festive Frosty Garland range from Ulster Weavers. The bold robin and wreath designs on items such as tea towels, aprons and oven gloves are in vivid shades of blue and fuchsia – guaranteed to bring a touch of festive cheer to any kitchen.

Also at Ulster Weavers this season are Santa’s Cookie Jars by the Yum Yum Club. These are packed with almost everything needed (minus an egg and some butter) to make some baked delights, including a handy recipe. All of the ingredients have already been measured, making this an ideal gift if you know anyone who bakes with little ones. Explore Ulster Weavers’ winter wonderland here.

2016 lifestyle gifts

Bold, Fun Timepieces by Swatch 

If you were a child of the eighties or nineties, it’s likely that you will have grown up with the Swiss-designed Swatch Watches. Now, more than 30 years after the brand was born, they are still drawing inspiration from art and fashion to create their colourful collections.

From 1980s electro pop nostalgia, to more luxurious metal bracelet designs, there are seemingly endless pieces to choose from – making this a one-stop shop for gift inspiration when it comes to your most fashion-forward friends. Prices start at £32 and you can shop all current Swatch watches online, as well as visiting your local store.

2016 lifestyle gifts

I hope you’ve been enjoying my 2016 gift guides so far – I sure have loved sharing them. Would you be tempted to keep any of these picks for yourself? And be sure to let me know what else you’ve been popping in your shopping basket this season!

Love,

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2016 Bath, Body and Beyond Gifts for Pampering

gifts for pampering

It’s a new week, which means it’s time for the second instalment of my ho-ho-holiday gift guide! Every Monday until Christmas I’ll be sharing my pick of the treats that we (or someone we know!) would love to wake up to under the tree.

Today, I’m talking bath, body and beyond – ideal for anyone who loves to indulge themselves and enjoys nothing more than soaking in the tub, slathering themselves in rich lotions and giving their locks some TLC! They’re also the perfect gifts for pampering someone special who deserves to be looked after.

With four fabulous brands to choose from, there’s everything you need to give someone a night of me-time…

gifts for pampering

Foam & For-Tune by Soap & Glory

Singing in the shower (or the bath!) is actively encouraged with this magical musical tin from Soap and Glory’s Glitzmas collection. I don’t know many ladies that DON’T wish for Soap & Glory at Christmas time and, from this years extensive range, Foam & For-Tune is a super fun gift for anyone who loves their pamper time with a big ol’ slice of kitsch!

In typical Soap & Glory style, this is a very PINK and nicely packaged present, containing a host of miniature best-sellers including Clean on Me shower gel, The Scrub of Your Life body buffer, Sugar Crush body wash, body scrub & buttercream (best smell ever!), The Righteous Butter body butter and a pink shower puff. As if this little lot wasn’t enough to get into a lather over, the keepsake tin also sings! You can pick Foam & For-Tune up at Boots stores and online for £16.

gifts for pampering

Christmas at Kiehl’s

Starbucks may have their red cups, but it’s when the red boxes and bows start to arrive at Kiehl’s that beauty lovers get REALLY excited. Specialising in all things skincare, Kiehl’s stay true to their prescriptive roots by offering a truly bespoke holiday gifting service to meet different needs and budgets.

Pre-made gifts are available in-store, some featuring this year’s exclusive Jeremyville Christmas packaging or, if you’re after something specific, you can create your own with the help of the Kiehl’s team. From hand creams to hair care (and so much more), there’s something really special about putting together a personalised package. All gifts are then wrapped in the store’s luxurious gift wrap (for free!) – giving you one less job to do later (just call them Santa’s Little Helpers, eh?!). Pop into Kiehl’s today to find out more!

gifts for pampering

Lush Christmas 

Does it get more fun than Lush at Christmas? Every year I wonder if they can possibly come up with something new (and secretly hope that a few old favourites will return!), and each time I’m completely dazzled with seasonal soaps, glittering gifts and – oh yes – special edition smellies!

I love their brightly-packaged gift sets, which come in a whole range of shapes and sizes. The Ice Ice Baby gift (left) has your secret Santa all wrapped up, coming in at just under a tenner and containing a super fresh combo of Igloo soap and Snowman shower jelly. Best Wishes on the other hand (IN the other hand??) is pretty much a mini ‘best of’ Lush Christmas, with the Golden Wonder bath bomb, Ruby Red Slippers bubble bar and Snowcastle soap. Put it this way: if this set were to sing, it’d sound like Bing Crosby…

Lush’s Christmas range starts at just £2 and you can browse it here!

gifts for pampering

Peace, Love, Pop by Paul Mitchell 

Paul Mitchell is bringing some comic-inspired style to Christmas stockings everywhere this year with their Peace, Love, Pop gift collection. Vibrant, playful and full of fun, there are 10 sets available to help cover every hair type and give your tresses a pop of style during party season!

From boosting colour, to hydrating and fighting frizz, Paul Mitchell are making it their mission to keep everyone feeling their very best at Christmas with these cruelty-free products. I love this SHINE set – designed to keep hair looking smooth and sleek with some of the brand’s popular Super Skinny hair treats. Each gift set sold from Peace, Love, Pop also supports BABY2BABY, which helps to provide children from low-income households with clothes, nappies and other necessities. The collection ranges from £20-40 and you can find out more online.

gifts for pampering

I don’t know about you, but all of this talk of relaxing and pampering is making me want to hop into a frothy, bubbly bath! I hope that these picks help inspire you to spoil someone this Christmas – and be sure to let me know what your top gifts are for bath, body and beyond this year.

With love, bath bombs and red bows…

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