flowers, shoes and handbag

Three Things Friday: Positives from Negatives

What can I tell you about this week, I wonder?

Well, it’s been another busy one, I can tell you that, at least. Terry and I both feel like we’re working round the clock right now, and while I hesitate to complain about that (going to do it anyway, though), because I know we’re fortunate that our business is bringing in work at all, as I’m a bit of a stress-head, I don’t really handle The Busy all that well. I really hate the feeling of having deadlines hanging over me, and I’m so used to being able to manage my own time now that whenever I have work to do for other people, I get quite anxious about it, and basically just want to sit down and do it all rightthisverysecond, just so I don’t have to think about it any more, and can get right back to thinking about clothes, and shoes, and other, more fun stuff, instead.

So, that’s been my week, basically: I feel like I’ve barely moved from my desk (my Fitbit stats would appear to confirm this – whoops!), and, just to add to the fun, I’ve had this annoying sore throat/tickly cough combo for ages now, which is stopping me sleeping well, and majorly triggering my health anxiety. (Which has been about 100x times worse since the events of last December served to re-inforce my fear of doctors, hospitals, and, well, death, really.) So, fun times ahoy!

This, however, is supposed to be a post about happy things, so, in a bid to turn a vaguely negative week into a slightly more positive one, here are some things that have been making me happy…

fresh flowers and spotty shoes01. Fresh flowers

At the start of the week, Terry went out to meet a client, and came home with three bunches of fresh flowers, which I’m sure you’ll be seeing all over my Instagram and blog for a long time to come. Well, have flowers, will photograph, right? The daffodils in particular have been really cheering me up this week: I always think they’re such happy, sunshiney little flowers, and they serve as a welcome reminder that winter won’t last forever, and that spring is on its way – and the sooner, the better, as far as I’m concerned! On that note, though, I’ve noticed that the days are starting to get a little longer again, which is a huge boost for me – I get SO claustrophobic from living in the dark all the time!

The Corinthian Club, Glasgow02. A night at The Corinthian Club

My friend Erik was in town on a flying visit from California last week, so Terry and I managed to separate ourselves from our desks for long enough to meet up with him for dinner at The Corinthian Club, in Glasgow. We’ve eaten at The Corinthian before, in the brasserie, but this time we were in the main restaurant, which is such a stunning building that it’s worth a visit for that reason alone. (Oh, and the food is pretty good, too!) Needless to say, it was wonderful to catch up with Erik, and fascinating to be able to talk American politics with someone who’s actually having to live with them right now.

On that subject, I know I’ve talked before about that awkward intersection between blogging and politics, but I just don’t think I can let the events of the last week go un-commented on. Like many people, I’ve been watching in horror as events have unfolded in Washington, but I guess if there’s one positive to take from all of this, it’s the sheer number of people who’ve taken to the streets and airports to make their views known. I’d have liked to have attended one of the marches in Scotland this week, and was disappointed not to be able to: I know even just saying that is going to offend some of you, and I’m sorry about that, but I’ve become increasingly convinced lately that now is a time when it’s important to speak out against what we perceive to be injustices in the world, and if that loses me a few followers, well, so be it.

(And I hope this goes without saying, but, for the record, I know some of my readers are Trump supporters, and I’m genuinely not trying to upset them, or start an argument: I would like to think that we’re all grown-ups here, and are able to have different opinions, but still get along perfectly well together. Because that’s how a civilised society works, isn’t it?)

Let’s have an awkward segway from  potentially life-changing political decisions to a nice little makeup palette, now,  shall we? Because everyone loves THOSE! (And hey, at least it serves to make the point that it’s possible to care about world events, but also appreciate a nice bit of contouring, hey?)

Pixi Natural contour Kit03. New makeup

Yeah, so, to be totally honest, I DO feel a bit of an ass for going directly from the erosion of human rights to a free makeup palette, but this actually also fits the theme of ‘turning negatives into positives’, so let’s just go with it…

So! A few weeks ago, I ordered some new skincare products from Pixi, (Which I may or may not blog about at some point:  it all depends on whether or not I notice any difference from using them. The fact is, I quite often don’t really notice a dramatic difference between one cleanser and another, say, and there’s not much point in writing a blog post that just says, “I tried this cleanser, and it made my face clean,” is there?) and they kind of messed up my order, in a, “Not actually bothering to send it to me,” kind of way. They also resolutely ignored my emails and tweets enquiring about the whereabouts of my stuff, which meant I was finally forced to pick up the phone and try to remind myself that the thing I use for Instagram, and to browse the internet on the go, can also be used to speak to people. Which is, like, just so quaint and old-fashioned, and also completely awful, because I HATE using the phone, and will basically only do it once I’ve exhausted every other method of communication. Seriously, people, DO NOT keep emailing me asking if we can “set up a phonecall” – that’s what email is for. Sheesh!

Anyway, I phoned Pixi, with the intention of telling  them how very annoyed I was, but because I’m the least-assertive person who ever picked up an iPhone, I ended up just politely begging them to send me my order, and thanking them profusely when they agreed to do it. The positive point in all of this, however, was that, although I didn’t actually ask for anything other than what I’d paid for, they spontaneously offered to send me one of their Natural Contour Kits for free, and it turned out to be pretty awesome. No photos of me actually wearing any of the products here, because contouring isn’t really part of my skill-set, so I’m going to need a bit more practice in order to not just look like I have a dirty face, but I’ve been enjoying playing around with it so far. And I always think that, while anyone can make a mistake, it’s how you deal with it afterwards that counts: I was honestly quite annoyed by the initially bad customer service I received, but once I spoke to them on the phone, they managed to turn things around, and make me a happy customer again, so kudos to them for that. And let’s hope that’s the last phone call I have to make this year.

How was your week?

before you go



  • Chiarina


    I know the feeling of being annoyed at bad customer service, which then evaporates to be replaced by satisfaction when all is set right thanks to helpful people on the other side. Taking phone calls from angry customers must be SO stressful that I always try to be really nice when I have to call, but I also kind of want what I paid for, so…

    February 3, 2017
  • Your daffodils are so cheery! I love having flowers at home too. We don’t buy fresh ones often because no one bothers to look after them, even for a few days. We just had Chinese New Years last week and it’s a tradition to have narcissus flowers during this period. They’ve bloomed and they smell SO good and they cheer me up every time I walk past the kitchen!

    Charmaine Ng
    Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    February 3, 2017
  • Wendy


    I found it refreshing that a lifestyle/ fashion blogger has at least touched on the current political situation – this is affecting everyone and not acknowledging it is ostrich- like in the extreme.
    And now, without even an attempt at segueing, I think we’d all like to see the master make up artist, Terry, demonstrate his contouring skills. Hee hee!

    February 3, 2017
  • I remember seeing your IG story about the Corinthian and thought how magnificant it looked. And yes yes to it getting lighter. It’s light in the mornings here now and it’s still light just after 5 so I don’t drive home in complete oppressive darkness, hoorah!

    February 3, 2017
  • Natasha


    You don’t need to apologise for going from talking about human rights to talking about make-up; it’s the small pleasures that are keeping me sane right now!

    February 3, 2017
  • Lol at the dirty face comment – I thought it was just me. Seriously contouring is SO HARD, how does everyone else just get it?!

    February 3, 2017
  • Natalie


    I’m with you about talking on the phone.

    February 3, 2017
  • This was a crazy busy week for me too so this was a nice happy post to read. Its great you talked about the political situation but this is a crazy time in the world. In my very sheltered life I do not know of any Trump supporters and cant really understand their point of view so I have stopped talking about it atleast on my blog. I can’t help but mention it sometimes on my social media but I have realised this isn’t something I can really be objective about so let it go. The flowers are beautiful and so is the makeup. I have noticed you don’t do a lot o makeup related posts – or did I miss those completely? I mean I have seen some but not as much as the fashion ones. I usually leave it to my co-bloggers to write about makeup since I am so bad at it!

    February 3, 2017
  • D. Johnson


    I love the colors combined in the rose bouquet. I want to rush right out and copy it but it’s the season to have my money “hibernate.” I’m glad you brought up politics, just a bit, because I thought of you, Scotland and emigration/immigration. How difficult is it for an American to move to/work in Scotland? Also, a personal health crisis this week which left me helplessly flat on my back (talk about not being able to move, ha ha!) made the political noise too frighteningly personal. So I am distracting myself with small, pretty and/or delicious things also – chocolate and movies.

    February 3, 2017
  • Barbara West


    Thank you, Amber. I used to NEVER talk about politics, but it’s everywhere I turn now. I live in a “blue” city in a bright “red” state, and I’m as blue as they come in every sense of the word. It’s comforting to hear of empathy and support from others countries.

    I still don’t talk about religion and sex with strangers, although they seem to have become so politicized that those taboos are crumbling, too!

    I love daffodils and just about any other yellow flower, esp. since I can’t wear the color near my face. And as another pallid person (though never a redhead except by choice) I always enjoy your makeup reviews.


    February 3, 2017
  • Myra Boyle


    Daffodils always remind me of the wonderful spring scene in Dr Shivago. As a teenager I worked in a printers and one of the paper suppliers sent a little box of primulas every spring that was lovely.
    Fresh flowers are one of the miracles of life.

    February 3, 2017
  • Miss Kitty


    I totally agree about phone calls. I MUCH prefer a quick email or text than a phone call or face-to-face conversation. My boss at work is the sort of person who loves chatting, so if I send him an email asking him something, he will always come and discuss it in person. SO ANNOYING. Why on earth can’t he just reply to the email? It takes five times as long to discuss it face-to-face.

    I’m glad you feel free enough to discuss politics on your blog. I don’t like super pushy political viewpoints, but there’s nothing wrong with saying what you believe. And I absolutely agree with you about the US. I think most of the world is watching events there in horror, wondering how on earth it can really be happening, and what it means for the stability of the rest of the world.

    I always keep fresh flowers in my house over winter. It’s like a promise to myself that spring really will come again one day!

    February 4, 2017
  • Michaela


    I have always enjoyed your blog, and although I drifted away for a bit, I have come back in part because I must, for my sanity, take a break from the news. Thank you for giving my brain a rest (no, I mean that in a good way!) And I have been a bit flummoxed that many other fashion bloggers have not even hinted about the unrest roiling within the USA and beyond – so thank you for recognizing that fashion commentary does not have to be devoid of personal/political/social commentary.

    February 4, 2017


    Loving the fact you went from politics to make-up palettes lol. Very much the way my random mind works too lol x

    February 5, 2017