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Saturday, 2 January 2016

I Made It To New York!

The photo above pretty much sums up my 2015! I finally made it to New York... three times in fact, but the third time I got to stay - and work!!

My dream came true... And here are my highlights so far!

I left the Highlands of Scotland...

...and landed in New York! 

I am so lucky to have found the company I work for, Decoded Fashion. The fashion industry (especially in New York) has a reputation of being a sometimes bitchy and intimidating place to work, but I am so fortunate that I get to work with people I would now class as friends and have learnt so much from already!

And of course, on my first day I had to grab a Starbucks before I started...

I joined Decoded just in time for the Summer party - the photo above is with my two NY besties, Chelsea and Allegra, who have been such a huge part of my move to New York. It can definitely be lonely moving to a new city in a new country, but having people around who you know are looking out for you makes a HUGE difference. 

My offices have the standard office set up of beer on tap and every Friday we have Hatty Hour where we drink beer and wear some of the coolest hats around!! I am bringing back a Hey Jimmy hat from Scotland to add to the collection! 

As well as Chelsea and Allegra, I also got to make another good friend in Katherine, who I've had lots of fun with, as you will see more of below...

At Decoded Fashion we host meet-ups as well as Summits, for the fashion and tech world - this was my first meet-up!! 

We partnered with W magazine for the Fashion Futures Awards, which was featured in their November 2015 issue! 

During the Summit in New York I had one of my most exciting moments to date and a huge career high - I was given the responsibility of interviewing our speakers... which included the Creative Directors of DKNY, Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne. I never thought I would get the chance to do something like this, so much so it almost felt like an outer body experience! 

Celebrating a successful New York Summit!! 

And a successful Fashion Futures Awards!!

For our Christmas party we were treated to a 1920's style Murder Mystery... ...Who killed Francis Bacon???

Over the past 4 months, I have been lucky enough to have some of my friends visit me and I've also been able to catch up with people who I haven't seen in years!! 

In 2011 I volunteered in Brazil and met a lovely Australian called Lauren who happened to live in New York up until November. I caught up with her a few times and really hope she comes back... or maybe I'll have to go to Australia! 

My cousin, Jenna, spent her Summer doing Camp America and stopped over in New York on the way back home - the perfect chance to catch up!! 

I shared my first apartment with Celine, a girl from Belgium who was so much fun to be around!! One night after work we ended up at the launch of a menswear label's new collection... don't ask me who!! 

An old friend who I hadn't seen for many many years happened to be in New York for the US Open so of course we had to meet up! She also just got engaged so CONGRATULATIONS!! 

My marketing (and favourite) lecturer retired this year and was visiting Canada and the east coast of America in the summer - she has always supported me in my dream of getting to New York and working in fashion so it was very surreal to meet up with her when I had actually made it!! 

My two best friends, Rachael and Jemma both came to visit at different times - this was so special and I loved spending time with them both, but was so sad when they left!! 

I have had quite an experience with trying to find somewhere to live in New York (I will save the details for another post), but have settled for an apartment in the Flatiron district. The apartment itself isn't great, BUT it is in an amazing location, bang in the middle of Manhattan - the photo above was the first photo I took when I arrived.

Central Park is one of my favourite places, both in Summer and Winter! The beautiful cream and mint green building looking onto the park is the Plaza Hotel... Home Alone 2 anyone?! 

My favourite food store in the world - TRADER JOE's!!

The struggle is real when it comes to resisting junk food in New York. This is evident in the 21 pounds I have put on... yep that's right. It's safe to say that losing all 21 of those pounds is my main New Year's resolution for 2016! Bye bye Shake Shack.

Chelsea Market - LOVE!

Fifth Avenue is my favourite street in NY and features the stunning Rockefeller building. 

When I saw this I couldn't not take a photo! Taken in a little corner of Brooklyn I always laugh when I look back on it - Jameson and Tropicana anyone? 

The skyline view from the Brooklyn Bridge - perfection in black and white. 

Just a photo of me and Alan Cumming - didn't like him before this photo was taken and still don't like him now... But couldn't resist the photo opp!

I managed to get some tickets for a sit down interview with Donald Robertson at the retail concept store called Story (if you ever come to NYC I'd highly recommend it). The Business of Fashion Editor, Imran Amed was the interviewer and quizzed the fashion artist on his career and life passions.  

I was very lucky to have the opportunity of attending the Trump Christmas party and all I can say is the word lavish doesn't quite cover it... but no surprises there when it is anything to do with the billionaire Trump family! I even managed to grab a photo with Ivanka Trump! 

Getting to New York really has been a dream come true for me, but as they say, it's only the beginning and there is so much more that I want to do and achieve in this very special and sparkly city...

Sunday, 2 August 2015

"Extreme" Healthy Living Tips

How extreme is extreme... well that is for you to decide. I called this "extreme" as I feel it is more suited to people who are trying to lose those last few pounds, but they are refusing to budge!! 

I have recently really got into healthy eating and understanding what is in food and what different food groups do to the body. So I have put together my top 10 tips on losing that last but of stubborn weight. This is only my opinion obviously and am sharing what works for me, so please leave your comments below letting me (and everyone else) what you do to lose weight and stay healthy. As I say in the video below, I think surrounding yourself with like-minded people who share your same passion and understanding of what you are trying to achieve really helps to motivate and support you. 

A healthy lifestyle is a CHOICE which only you decide to make. Will power is everything... stay string and don't give into the donuts. 

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Got My Hair Did

Like so many people, I quickly get bored of my hair and constantly want to change it up. I've dyed it most colours (apart from blue and pink) and had about two thirds of my head shaved at one point. Since having it shaved, which was of course inspired by Rihanna, I started to grow my hair and reached the length shown above in the "before" photo. However, with my hair getting longer it was feeling more and more limp and thinner; I was so over long hair and needed a change.

Thanks to Pinterest and the many celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Jessica Alba and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, I was feeling inspired by the LOB (long bob). I had done the long look and the shaved look so why not try something in-between... and I really love it. In fact, as soon as my ponytail was initially chopped off, I instantly knew I was going to like the style. 

I have never been overly attached to my hair and don't panic about what it's going to look like, which is all thanks to the trust I have in my hairdresser. I have gone to the same salon for the past 5 years and every time I go with the many images I save on my phone, I know that my hairdresser is going to understand exactly what I want and more importantly, knows how to make it work for me. 

The salon I go to religiously is called Glamorous and is based in Alness (Highlands of Scotland) - check out their Facebook page here for examples of their amazing work. They are all very talented hairdressers but I am bias towards one in particular - Jacqui, who is the owner and manages to transform my hair every time... I'm pretty sure she must be telepathic and as she often knows exactly the cut and colour I want before I know myself!

If you have a look in mind and want it styled in a way which suits your face shape and colouring perfectly then get in touch with the Glamorous team!

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

What I Ate Today #4

At the moment I am trying really hard to reduce my carb and sugar consumption and increase my protein and fibre intake... although it's a lot harder than you would think! I have definitely reduced the amount of carbs I used to eat, but everyday I am discovering new meal ideas and ways of getting more protein into my day.

Let me know in the comments below if you have any low carb/high protein meal ideas!

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

What I Ate Today #3

In this What I Ate Today I combined breakfast and lunch and went for one of my childhood favourites... soldiers and egg! For dinner I cooked asparagus for the first time, but did it turn out okay? Find out in my video below and if you enjoy these foodie videos, then please give it a thumbs and subscribe for more! Enjoy!