Friday 29 January 2016

The Horn | Scotlands Favourite Greasy Spoon

Best Bacon Roll in Scotland

There are very few people in Scotland who can honestly say they have never enjoyed a fry up or a legendary bacon sarnie from the Horn. Located just 20 minutes outside of Perth, the family run cafe has been famed throughout Scotland and beyond for their friendly atmosphere, hearty portions and let's not forget the gigantic cow on the roof you simply cannot miss! I for one treasure childhood memories of car trips with my family on days out to Edinburgh, Glasgow or even just to Dundee, where we never forgot to make that effort to travel the extra 20 minutes to visit our favourite fry up joint. So you can imagine my excitement when my family asked me on yet another road trip recently to Livingston, where upon I was informed we would indeed be visiting The Horn.

Obviously, this is a sentence I never thought I would type when I sat down and created Granite City Girl, but I have never been more excited to see that big cow than I was on our road trip to Livingston, in fact I was so excited, I only had half a bowl of coco pops that morning, I mean wow right? My body was ready for bacon!

The Horn was every bit the shabby chic eatery I remember, in my head at least, the original greasy spoon of Scotland  from the big coo outside to the fake horses heid on the waa' and finally to the best bacon roll I have ever had. Personally I reckon the picture speaks for itself but just in case I need to clarify it a little further, that up there is a big mofo of a bacon roll that I literally had to pick bits of bacon out of or risk dislocating my jaw to get my mouth around, and let me tell you I'd probably say it was worth it if I had!

Now I know, I can already feel the health nuts and vegetarians of the world judging me, but not to worry I didn't forget about you guys. The Horn is unique as a wee pit stop on your way North / South because you can even fit in a little shopping spree while you're there. They have everything from souvenirs for the kids and family such as tea towels and aprons, to name plaques, jams, chutneys, spreads, all manner of foodie gifts and let us not forget their plethora of flavours in their ice cream parlour, perfect for your sweet toothed travel companion.

It's funny, you know when you hear of people visiting a special place from childhood and just not getting that same magical feeling you did back then? You know like everyone and Storybook Glen aka, Aberdeen's nightmare fueled 'wonderland', well I just didn't get that with The Horn, nope, it was still the same deliciously greasy, bacon filled eatery I have always remembered, but if your first visit is in adulthood and you're expecting the ritz, then give this a miss!

As usual I love getting to know you guys so leave me your favourite travel moments or greasy spoon eateries in the comments below, come share your favourite foodie places on Twitter or of course if you'd like to see more of me, my family and you know bacon then be sure to keep up to date with Granite City Girl on Bloglovin.

Until next time folks, gettin my grease on!

H.Elizabeth x

Big shout to my mum, dad and grandma for thinking of bringing me along for the journey even if I was a bit of a Shrek donkey through the duration of the drive!

Wednesday 27 January 2016

Flawless Faces | Urban Decay All Nighter Make Up Setting Spray

Make up spray review

Don't you just hate it when your face melts off? Don't panic I'm not talking Indiana Jones face melting; I'm not THAT ginger and Aberdeen is not that hot! But isn't it a real pain when you've got your glam face on, maybe you've went a little crazy and slapped on some highlight, maybe a little contour, and you head off to start your day only to find your eyes are down by your cheeks and your cheeks have unfortunately slipped down far enough to give you that highly sought after double chin, your face has failed you! Which is pretty much how every day went for me until I discovered make up setting spray!

Now I must say I was a little cheeky a couple of times before buying this, giving myself a quick spritz in my local Boots and Debenhams while the staff were occupied with filing their nails and preening to check if this stuff really did work, and I wasn't disappointed! The spray claims to help your make up last up to 16 hours and prevent any slippage (yes that is the technical word...ahem) which means you won't get any of those unsightly under eye lines, so after my few cheeky sprays with some great results I decided to take the plunge and commit to a non slippy face.

The first full day I gave this a proper go was for my friends first bridal fitting, and given the facial expressions I was due to pull that day this spray had it's work cut out! The instructions suggest a couple of light sprays in a cross shape across your face after you have finished applying your make up. I was a bit worried that given I like a dewy complexion that I would get little 'water marks' down my face but this literally went on and felt dry immediately so I thankfully didn't have that tacky, uncomfortable feeling. And so it was the true test had begun and I went on with my day and 'best maid of honour ever' duties.

Now that day I pulled a lot of facial expressions; something I of course try not to do in my normal day to day life because, wrinkles dah-ling. But in all seriousness I smiled, laughed, cried, pulled faces of disgust on cue as well as the usual gushy faces you'd expect from a bridal / wedding themed day out so I really thought I was in store for more of a mosaic rather than a face on returning to the apartment that evening. On looking rather cautiously in the mirror I was pleasantly surprised, there was no slippage, no bunching, creasing or indeed melting of any kind whatsoever. My under eyes looked as smooth as when first applied and in fact the only area that needed a going over were my lips. So after a good slathering of lippy I was good to go again.

Overall I have been quite impressed with this product, of course I have no other frame of reference to base this on so I'm not going to go ahead and claim this is the biggest and bestest holy grail product of setting sprays, because at £21.00 from Debenhams it isn't a cheap purchase. But of course if you are looking to have a bit of a splurge, or like me you had a voucher to spend then why not? Give it a bash and be sure to tell me your thoughts, share your favourite setting sprays and just have a general natter with me in the comments below or keep up to date with me on Bloglovin.

Until next time folks, mosaic face is a thing of my past!

H.Elizabeth x

Friday 22 January 2016

Searching for my Signature Scent | Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf

The search for that signature scent is something I think every woman goes through in life. Some find it in their teens and carry it through their lives with the scent acting as a reminder of their younger days and cherished memories throughout the years, others find it as they mature and settle on a classic scent like Chanel and some, like me, chop and change as the search continues on with every last squirt of your coveted perfume bottle of the time, but this time I was prepared.

For some time now I have admired the Viktor & Rolf perfumes from a far in my local Debehnams, and let me tell you with the release of their recent 'Bonbon' perfume choosing one of their scents was no easy feat, but after a unanimous vote from friends and family I settled for their more classic and subtle scent, Flower Bomb. Now I feel like I want to let you guys in on a little secret, I have loved this perfume for years, even back in the days where I was a hardcore advocate of Paco Rabanne's Black XS I have to admit Flower Bomb held a special place in my heart for a good long while, so why didn't I buy it you ask? Well silly, sad and petty as this may be, I once saw one of the girls who let's say I didn't get on with at school (I hope your life is miserable!) pull it from her gym bag and spritz a good dousing on, has that ever put you off?

But alas, today is the day I finally get over my high school perfume spritzing dramas and finally purchase Flower Bomb without prejudice (it probably smells better on me anyway!)

Anyway now that the extensive background of my inner psychological workings linked with my traumatising experiences of school are out the way, can we just take a moment to appreciate how beautifully designed this bottle is? Seriously I'm sure if real grenades were this pretty there would be less wars and lots more lovely smelling troops but don't worry this isn't just a pretty package. As you may have guessed from the name this scent is meant to be an explosion of floral aromas, but if I'm honest I don't feel that at all, in fact I am a hardcore hater of all things 'floral' smelling and I detest being given flowers like lilies though they're very pretty. This to me is a lovely subtle sweet smell, but not sickly sweet,  it's far fresher than that and it is so refreshing to give yourself a spritz after a shower in the morning. Personally I wouldn't wear this perfume on a night out, for things like this I prefer something a bit stronger I'm going to be sticking to my deeper YSL Black Opium, I think Flowerbomb is best suited to day time wear and I may even give myself a spray for work as it has a very fresh, sophisticated scent which I love.

Have you ever tried a perfume by Viktor & Rolf, I'd love to hear what you think, please leave your thoughts, comments and your favourite perfumes ever in the comments below, come share them with me on Twitter or if you'd like to keep up with the latest reviews, scents and smellies be sure to follow Granite City Girl on Bloglovin' you never know, one day we could be swapping smells on blogs through smellivision!

Until next time folks, awaiting the scientific leaps in smellivision.

H.Elizabeth x

Wednesday 20 January 2016

Eylure Addict | No 080 Lengthening False Lashes

how to apply false lashes

If you have been reading my blog for some time now you'll know I love my false lashes. It's a rarity to see my natural stubby lashes in their full glory as I'm usually donning my favourite falsies of the time. As with every fashion trends I have had my phases, from the long caterpillar lashes I proudly donned in the beginning, seriously guys I don't know how I used to see properly! To going as au natural as you can with falsies and going crazy with limited edition Katy Perry lashes, to finally settling down with my perfect match, the Eylure 080 lengthening lashes (RRP Boots £5.39).

Described on the box as full but filmy lashes with a wispy, even finish, in lash speak these are a perfect lash for relatively seasoned falsie females, but they might not be your thing if you're new to the wonderful world of wispies as their length and volume could be a little too much. 

For me they're everything I want from a lash, which you'd think surely can't be much but you'd be surprised! They're a great length, they're evenly spaced which means they don't make my eyes look any wider, simply bigger, easy to apply and they last a long time if you clean them regularly. Once these are on you can barely feel and you can create so many different looks with these meaning they can easily take you from your morning coffee meeting to cocktails with the girls... or you know something a little more realistic like sitting in front of the TV!

Obviously I have my full post on how to perfectly apply false lashes where I go through step by step in more depth but if you're just looking for a couple of quick tips here are my top tips for flawless falsies:

  • Make sure you let the glue go tacky before putting the lash near your eye! It'll stick on more easily.
  • You can make them look more natural by running a liquid liner or pen across the top of the false lash line, they will also last longer as opposed to using mascara.
  • Apply from the middle outward and adjust according to your own shape.

For more instruction and an in depth tutorial be sure to visit my post on how to correctly apply false lashes and I would of course be more than happy to answer any questions you have in the comments below, over on Twitter or if you'd just like to see more reviews, rants and beauty how to posts you can follow Granite City Girl on Bloglovin.

Until next time folks, fluttering my flawless falsies.

H.Elizabeth x

Friday 15 January 2016

Lush Skincare | Imperialis Facial Moisturiser Review

It was the rainiest day in the history of the world when I ran soaked through to my bones into my local Lush store, and at 5.25pm no less (5 minutes before closing; sorry again guys!) desperate for some skincare goodies and a bit of skin TLC. Recently my face has been a nightmare of immense proportions, after suffering a cough an cold for a good two weeks my nose has been rubbed raw and my face seems to have broken out in that hellish rash again, leaving me resembling the unsexy side of the Phantom of the Opera. Lush were the answer.

I came away with a good couple of products, one of my favourite fresh face masks (which I hope I don't forget about again!) another bubble bar and finally my current skincare favourite Imperialis which the lovely lady helped me pick out, and if you hadn't guessed happens to be the subject of todays post.

The Imperialis moisturiser is known as one of Lush's great all around products that is a treat for your face whether you have dry, oily, combination or even scaley skin and if I'm going to be totally honest the tipping point of my purchase was the scent, it is divine, though I have been struggling to put my finger on just what the smell I'm drawn to is, I have a hunch it's the lavender or the cocoa butter but stay tuned!

And if the scent wasn't enough to draw me in I just had to take a peak at the ingredients, with balancing properties such as lavender and lily petals, soothing elderflower and throw that in with the olive oil, shea butter and orange flower absolute, I was sold, and couldn't wait to see what the shea butter would do to my skin. The pretty pale pink formula is a bit heaver than the Enzymion which I used throughout the summer last year, but my skin drinks this stuff I'm never left sitting with an oily face for very long and afterwards my skin feels so silky smooth and hydrated though because it is still quite a thin consistency and my skin is very dry I do sometimes need a bit more than one coat which is a bit of a downer give the price tag of around £12.50 per pot.

Throughout the interwebs I have found a lot of people have broken out using this moisturiser, this isn't something I have found personally thus far but it's something to consider if you're thinking of giving this a go, and I'd steer clear if you have a lot of allergies or have particularly sensitive skin, but as I'm sure you can tell I've found this months match at least and hopefully this will save me through the remaining winter months!

What are your favourite lush products? Or do you even have a recommendation for other similar moisturising products that might save my scaley, dry, phantom esque face? Be sure to leave everything in the comments below, come be a pal and share them with me on Twitter or if you'd like to keep up with my own reviews, recommendations and rambles be sure to follow Granite City Girl on Bloglovin.

Until next time folks, off to tune my organ.

H.Elizabeth x

Wednesday 13 January 2016

Down in the dumps | How To Beat the January Blues

How to beat the blues

New year, new you right? Wrong. Never have I ever hated a seemingly harmless little phrase with every fibre of my being as much as I hate those that come around with the beginning of a New Year, because let's be totally honest, what difference does that transition from 11.59pm on December 31st to 12.00am on January 1st really mean in the grand scheme of things? One minute if we're going to be cynical and honest (just like me, same year round)

But if I'm going to level with you today what I dislike the most about a New Year are the dreaded January blues, and this year they have hit me with a vengeance, harder than ever before and as I have been reading in the blogosphere, hearing in work and just noticing generally it's hitting everyone like a tonne of bricks this year. 

So instead of wallowing in self pity I thought I'd be a little proactive and do something about it and see what can help pull me from my New Year slump and today I am going to share my wisdom, as ever with my tips on how to beat the January blues.

Keep yourself busy with your hobbies and interests;
There can be so much pressure to go out and try something brand new and shiny just because it's a New Year, but you know what if that hula hooping class isn't for you, or if you quite simply don't fancy taking up knitting then don't! Do what you enjoy most whether it's vegging out with a movie or going for a 10K run every day (whatever floats your boat!) dont feel pressured into something all brand new because of the calendar date.

Don't feel fitness pressure
Whoever decided that January was the best time to attack your body with fitness classes and all manner of dieting was quite frankly a madman. It's dark, dull, rainy, cold and the last thing on our minds is rushing out for the latest spin and pump class. If you're feeling the fitness fever by all means indulge your odd cravings but don't be a sheep you'll just come home tired, sweaty and miserable!

Pamper session in your pad
Sky high spa pampering sessions are a thing of the past now we have our best friends Lush, the Body Shop and not forgetting our budget friendly Boots stores. Settle down with a DVD, slap on a facemask, indulge in a foot treatment and get your lotions, potions and body butters ready and get set for relaxation!

Switch off and detox your digital life
 Last year I detoxed my digital life and it worked wonders for my stress levels and general sanity. There is so much negativity online these days it doesn't do to dwell online for more than an hour or so, even less so when you're suffering from a case of the blues.

Hopefully you guys aren't suffering quite as badly as I feel I am this year, but to be honest the dreich weather and Aberdeen floods haven't been helping any! How do you beat the blues? January or otherwise I'd love to hear your top tips to destress and detox negativity, be sure to leave your tips in the comments below, come share your own words of wisdom with me on Twitter, or if you'd like to keep up with me, my blues and my relaxation days be sure to follow Granite City Girl on Bloglovin.

Until next time folks, keeping calm and carrying on.

H.Elizabeth x

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