The Events Round-up: Glasgow Festivals 2016

Glasgow Festivals

With this year’s West End Festival officially launching over the weekend, fiesta fever has finally hit Glasgow – a true sign that summer has arrived in the city! There are so many fun celebrations taking place over the next couple of months that it’s easy to lose track! From food and drink to fashion and beauty, music, culture and beyond, there’s really something for everyone this year.

Today I’m sharing a few of my top picks to see us all through Glasgow’s festival season – so grab your bunting and let’s dive in…

The Bygone Wonderland: Vintage at Merchant City Festival

Wayne Hemingway’s Vintage festivals and events are a vibrant celebration of British fashion, music, film, art and culture of the 20th century. Vintage Glasgow is held as part of the Merchant City Festival and is often one of my favourite events of the year! This year, Vintage Glasgow rolls back into town on 6th and 7th of August armed with dancing and shopping events guaranteed to be dripping with retro style.

The Classic Car Boot Sale will host over 100 authentic vehicles to drool over, with makers, up-cyclers and vintage curators selling fashion, accessories and homeware. You’ll find me combing the car park in my cutest tea dress looking for some mid-century goodies – see you down there…

The Classic One: West End Festival 

Running from NOW until 26th June, the West End Festival is now in its 21st year, and is known for being Glasgow’s biggest festival of culture and community. How big exactly? Well, how does over 400 events across 80 venues sound?

80 venues is pretty impressive, but the spirit of this festival really comes alive when the sun comes out and the outdoor events take place. Even though the iconic Mardi Gras parade won’t be taking place this year,  there are plenty of street parties and open air music events to make up for it! If you can, try to make it along to the Gibson Street Gala on 19th June and get your groove on at Kelvingrove Bandstand with De La Soul as part of the West End Festival Fiesta on 25th June. You can catch a full list of free and ticketed events over at the WEF2016 website.

The One to Watch: North Hop Festival 

Taking over the space at SWG3 over the 18th June, North Hop is the newest festival to hit Glasgow, and it’s certainly worth getting to know! This event started off as a small Highland-based festival for beer lovers in 2014, and has gained SERIOUS momentum since then – and it’s easy to see why. You’ll now find North Hop touring all over Scotland with more than just craft beer (though there’s still plenty of that!), they now include mouth-watering foodie treats, live music, market stalls and more.

I’m looking forward to treating my tastebuds to some yummy street food at this one – time to prepare something stretchy to wear!

These are just a few of the Glasgow festivals that I’m looking forward to, but what about you? Will you be hitting any of these events this year? Tell me about the summer events that you’re excited about!

Here’s to sunshine and celebrations,

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Jean Genie with Gap Denim Addicts

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As someone that spent their entire teenage years in denim, I know only too well how much a good pair of jeans can feel like a high-five from the universe. Except…finding a good pair of jeans seemed a lot easier back then. Maybe there was less choice, or maybe I’m just fussier now? I don’t wear jeans very often any more, I’m more the kind of gal that you’ll find in a dress on even the most relaxed days, but I do like to have at least one really great pair of jeans in my wardrobe – just in case!

I hadn’t even ventured into the denim department of most stores for what felt like years. It was probably around the time most people became obsessed with low-rise denim that I tapped out. I’m not saying I need my jeans to skim my underwire but at the same time I don’t want to flash my butt all day to unwilling strangers (you’re welcome!). When it comes to jeans, one style doesn’t really suit everyone and I want something that suits my style, flatters my shape and above all, feels comfortable.

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Gap have always made finding your holy grail pair of jeans the forefront of their mission, and when they recently got in touch to tell me all about their newest service, Denim Addicts, I was intrigued. This one-on-one appointment can either be booked in advance, or done on a drop-in basis (which is how I did it) and involves meeting with one of the in-store Gap Denim Addicts – specially trained denim advisors that know everything from fabrications and fit, to alterations and distressing.

When I popped in, the first thing I did was pick out a pair of jeans from Gap’s endless styles and washes of denim. The advisors were really helpful, making sure I had everything I needed and were closeby if I wanted to try any other sizes. It didn’t take me too long to find a pair that I loved: the Best Girlfriend fit in an easy-to-style indigo wash. What I like about these babies are the mid-rise (YES!) and vintage-influenced cut (DOUBLE YES!) – plus the denim has just a little bit of stretch, making them super comfy. No stiff, starchy fabric here!

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Now that I’d found my new Best Girlfriend, it was time to style her up! This is where the service becomes even more personal, and where the Gap Denim Addicts really show you what they can do. As I stood in the fitting room wearing the jeans, we planned out exactly how to customise them. We agreed on some distressing on the knee and top of the leg, as well as a little on the back pocket too. I was happy with the length, so didn’t feel that I needed any hemming alterations, though it was offered.

I had the final decision over how much distressing I wanted, and where on the denim it would sit. I could either wait in-store for the customisation (which took just under half an hour) or come back and pick them up later. The end result? A completely bespoke pair of jeans that flatter and fit!

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There’s something really special about having an item of clothing that no-one else has. Yeah, you can buy these jeans off the rack at Gap, but they have been customised for my own personal style and my body shape so the end result is unique. I couldn’t wait to take them out for a spin, so a couple of Saturdays ago, Gary and I spent a sunny afternoon in our old stomping ground.

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We started at Finneston, grabbing lunch at Seb and Milie. Is it just me or does sunny weather call for all things watermelon-themed? Either way, the watermelon, feta and mint salad was a real winner. The smell of fresh bread was intoxicating (SERIOUSLY!), so I couldn’t resist a brioche muffin and a crueller while we were there too!  #sorrynotsorry

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Afterwards, we took a stroll along Dumbarton Road, and headed up to Byres Road to go for a snoop around the second-hand record shops. Oxfam Music is still one of my favourites, even 16 years later…

The cut of my jeans meant that only a vintage headscarf would do, so I added a splash of colour with a bold scarf from Style By Portobello – whose vintage accessories are carefully sourced from London’s iconic Portobello Road market. They’ve also just launched their very own style box, which means fashion magpies can be surprised with hand-picked pieces on a one-off or subscription basis.

After a walk through Ashton Lane and Creswell Lane, we stopped by Juice Garden for some juice before heading home. Turns out all of that wandering is thirsty work!

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I never thought I’d see the day when a pair of jeans would make it back into my regular rotation, but the cute style, custom features and comfy fit of these ones have earned them a place in my weekend wardrobe. The Gap Denim Addicts service is totally free (I’ve already been back and had a pair of new denim shorts distressed as well!) and you can make an appointment, or drop in to find out more at Gap Buchanan Street.

Have you found your holy grail pair of jeans?

Like a jean genie…

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With thanks to the Gap Denim Addicts 

 

Self Care Sessions: Nutritional Therapy with Napiers

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In my Self Care Sessions, you’ll find me sharing the ways that I’ve been investing time and care in myself, in case any of you guys have been feeling the pressure and are looking for ways to balance things a bit better too! You can check out my last post here.

As many of you will know, last year I decided to stop eating meat. This started off as a sort of experiment (mainly to see if I could do it, and to encourage myself to introduce more variety into my diet), but has steadily grown into the norm when it comes to how I choose to eat. Will I ever go back to eating meat? That’s a big question that I don’t really know the answer to right now. What I DO know is that my new-found meat-free diet works for me, and I am genuinely enjoying it.

Another question that I found myself thinking about towards the end of last year was, how can I make sure that my body is still getting everything it needs to stay healthy and strong? Cutting meat out has been a challenge (though an enjoyable one!), and it’s important to me that I don’t get lazy when it comes to what goes into my body (and try to get out of my long-term relationship with toast!). I’ve been enjoying discovering recipes (and pinning them too!) and trying out new ingredients, but I thought it would be good to get some face-to-face guidance to make sure I was on the right track.

When I was first told about Nutritional Therapy, I must admit I was curious. I also wasn’t very sure where to even begin looking for it. Turns out that Napiers the Herbalists, based just off of Byres Road, offer sessions with a qualified nutritional therapist as well as stocking their well-known remedies, skincare and natural health aids. When I was offered a bespoke appointment with Patricia, their in-house therapist, I thought that it might just be the second opinion I was looking for.

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Don’t be fooled – although Napiers champion herbal and plant-based remedies, and the term ‘nutritional therapy’ might conjure up a few outdated images in your head, this company isn’t a bunch of hocus pocus! What they offer is over 150 years of experience, tried, tested and trusted formulas and over 20,000 patients a year relying on their health services. I did a little background reading prior to my appointment and I felt like I was in good hands!

Before my meeting, I was asked to fill in a few questionnaires about my body, diet and routine. This would help make sure that the service I got was totally tailored to my needs. The shop itself has a lovely calming environment, and I was offered a cup of Napiers’ tea while I waited for my appointment to start. I felt a little nervous, probably because I was unsure what to expect.

When I met Patricia, my nerves instantly dissolved! Far from a formal doctor / patient scenario, this nutritional therapy session was all about getting to know how my body worked, why it did certain things and what I did (and didn’t do!) that influenced it in ways I didn’t even imagine. We talked about everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) from general health to sleep patterns, to diet and lifestyle – and all the while, Patricia was scribbling lots of notes. Even though the questions were personal, I didn’t find the process invasive at all. We chatted away, laughed at a few moments and even revealed our current Netflix obsessions! It felt like I was talking with a friend, which made me feel like I could be honest about the things I wanted to get better at.

From the outset, Patricia said that she would give me lots of advice, but it was up to me how much or how little I wanted to take on board. This wasn’t a telling off, it felt more like “you’re doing OK, but here’s a few steps you can do to make things EVEN BETTER”. I learned about how most things (like complexion, anxiety and energy for example) are connected to what we put into our bodies. It was endlessly fascinating to hear what small changes I could incorporate into my daily routine that would pack a huge punch!

My session was bespoke in every way, and all of the suggestions I received were based on the answers I gave. Some of the advice I was given was so simple, I could start doing things right away. At the end of my appointment, Patricia explained that I would get a personal report by email soon afterwards, and I made a second appointment 4 weeks later so we could track my progress.IMG_9818

What I ended up getting along with a a detailed report was pages of useful information, recipes, suggestions and visual aids. It was all carefully mapped out just for me, based on my discussions at Napiers. So what did I learn? Well, I learned that I could certainly get all of the nutrients that my body needs from a long list of meat-free sources quite easily. I also learned a lot about portions and variety, and how to make sure that I show my body how much I love it by treating it well.

As well as updating my day-to-day routine, I also started adding a few supplements into my diet. There was no pressure or hard sell from Napiers, but seeing as they had everything I wanted under one roof, it made sense to pick up a few things from them. Their Supergreens Plus formula is a welcome addition to my shakes and smoothies and their herbal teas are made from loose ingredients so that the benefits are stronger (their Rosy Calm blend is especially calming after a busy day!).

My follow-up appointment was really helpful, confirming that I had seen a difference after 4 weeks and giving me the little boost I needed to keep putting my nutritional health first.

I would recommend nutritional therapy to anyone who has undergone a recent change in diet or lifestyle, or feels the need to get their mojo back. I went into Napiers not knowing what to expect and came out with sound advice tailored to my body and habits. It’s been a great support as I journey further into vegetarianism and practice regular self care! You can find out more about Napiers here.

Have you ever tried nutritional therapy? What are your thoughts on self care (and toast!)?

L O V E,

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With thanks to Patricia and all at Napiers Glasgow