October has flown by! My first piece of coursework is due in about 3 weeks (should probably start it eh), on Tuesday I organised Cheerleading's first bake sale of the year for my Fundraiser role, I've now finally joined the gym again and I've had job interviews and set up my very first printer. I highly doubt I'll ever experience a joy greater than that of successfully printing onto an envelope. Exciting things ahead...

I still need to decide on my costume for Halloween and plan on spending an hour or two scouring blogs, vlogs and Pinterest for inspiration - all I know is I want to experiment with face paint and lots of it. Now I have organised most of my work and am settled in to Aberdeen, I am finally feeling a little less stressed. Thus (great word, thus) October's playlist fluctuates between songs I listen to when feeling stressed and down and others I listen to when that stress has gone. I'll let you try and figure out which ones are which.

My October Top 3

  1. She Don't - Ella Mai, Ty Dolla $ign
    1. This month I also discovered Ty Dolla $ign's very own playlist of his top hits and recent tracks and it is a beautiful playlist. So yes I have been obsessing a little this month. I just need someone to share my obsession with - tweet me if it's you xxx
  2. Don't Stop Me Now - MNEK
    1. Now I'm sure you know the original, and probably the McFly cover too, but give MNEK a chance and keep an open mind. Yes it's different, but that's why I love it.
  3. Still Falling For You - Ellie Goulding
    1. Yes I did see Bridget Jones' Baby in the cinema. And no, I haven't seen the first or second Bridget Jones - but they are both next on my list. I honestly haven't laughed out loud at a film in so long so I recommend you all see it and of course listen to this amazing song which features in the film.

October Mixtape 2016

Feel free to follow me on Spotify for more fab tunes such as my And Breathe playlist for when you're feeling pretty low and my Focus playlist for studying and chilling.

October 2016 Mixtape

With every winter comes the annual search for the cosiest, softest, warmest, fluffiest, most dressing-gown or duvet-like jumper or cardigan. And this year I think I have found just that, thanks to Primark.

Photography by Sarah Johnson

The hunt was not easy, but is one I have been perfecting for several years. Below are my four top tips on how you can find your new best friend for winter too.

1. Always Oversize

The number one thing to remember when looking for your cosiest jumper is to always oversize. Some lovely brands help us by titling items online with "oversized". Also look for "ultimate", "chunky" and remember if the item doesn't specify it is oversized, simply buy the next size up like I did with my cardigan from Primark.

2. Touch and Feel

This is of course the best part about hunting down your dream jumper. Allow yourself a whole day (or two) to leisurely float from store to store, seeing, touching, feeling and stroking the fluffiest looking garments. Sadly our eyes can sometimes deceive us and that incredible grey roll-neck jumper may not be as fluffy as you assumed. But keep looking, touching, feeling and stroking and never give up.

Oh, and if you're more of an online shopper or don't have a whole day to spend searching, I recommend first scouring your favourite stores online and then hunting down specific items in-store to then feel, touch and stroke.

3. Read Reviews

If you must buy online, please please please read the reviews. You can of course send the item back, but if there is even one red flag from a customer on the softness of the jumper, then let it go. Sadly we don't have the luxury of touch over the internet yet, but your dream cardy is waiting out there for you with no red flags whatsoever.

4. Embrace the Roll Neck

My favourite soft jumper bought last year features an amazing roll neck. It's like a scarf, but even cosier. That is one thing missing from my cardigan this year, however I sacrificed this for the length and thickness of my gem from Primark. However if you haven't yet tried the roll neck, give it a bash. It's a true game changer.

So now, go forth with these tips and find your cosiest, softest, fluffiest jumper ever, and do let me know when and where you find it.

Where is your go-to for the fluffiest jumpers? Any other tips for finding the one for you?

4 Tips to Find The Cosiest, Softest, Fluffiest Jumper Ever

Velvet has returned for AW16 in many beautiful forms: crushed, dark, bright, all colours of the spectrum, boots, trousers, jackets - the list is endless.

Although I do love how velvet has been interpreted and presented on the catwalk this year, there's always that 8 year old Christmas dress flashback I get from some items. Please say that's not just me? In an attempt to avoid reliving those childhood memories, I have taken to the crushed velvet pieces now on offer on the highstreet. Since we seem to be going crazy for top-to-toe velvet, I thought I'd give double velvet a go. If double denim is a thing, why not double velvet? What do you think?

Photography by Sarah Johnson

Personally, I am loving the velvet trend. One of my favourite parts of shopping in-store over online is feeling the pieces. I touch and stroke any and everything that looks like it could be soft, fluffy or velvet-y. It's a yes from me.

So, are you embracing the return of velvet this winter? And are you brave enough to delve into the scary world of double velvet? Leave a comment and let me know what's your favourite velvet piece for AW16!

Photography by Sarah Johnson

Double Velvet

Hello Aberdeen,

It is good to be back. No more sunny Spain for me, back to the 'deen for university and grey skies. Luckily, I'm a big fan of grey.

University seems like a lot of hard work this year, but it's work I am super excited to do. Part of that includes starting a fashion based blog - oh look, here we are already. Please do expect one outfit shoot per week at least until the New Year (and hopefully I'll be able to continue this after my uni project is over!). Three are already shot, are currently being edited and I am feeling so so inspired and motivated to keep it up. Blogging come at me.

Another part of my course involves creating beautiful content for my year's very own glossy physical 3D magazine. Right now I am overwhelmed with the infinite possibilities for my photoshoot for the magazine. If anyone knows any amazing locations or models in Aberdeen, let me know!

Here's how my first two weeks have been so far back in Aberdeen, thanks to Instagram <3.

A photo posted by Lifestyle Blogger πŸ’– Mairi (@copperpink) on

Of course, decorating my room was one of, or quite possibly the most exciting part of moving into a new flat. And the bed is the key component. My grey floral sheets from last year have returned, as has my favourite stripy pink duvet, silk pillowcase, fluffy white cushion and cat cushion. However this year we have the greatly appreciated new addition of a copper pink cushion gifted by my lovely friends Danni and Beth. Thanks guys - the room feels complete with this metallic touch. If you fancy a room tour, give me a wee comment.

It's one thing to be good friends with someone, but to live with them challenges and takes your friendship to a whole other level. Luckily my flatmates, Sarah and Biba, seem to be pretty fab so far. My evidence? These delicious cupcakes bought by Sarah for the flat. However Biba now needs to get her act together doesn't she. The pressure is on.

A photo posted by Lifestyle Blogger πŸ’– Mairi (@copperpink) on

Annnnd even though I do love my flatmates, it was fantastic to see all my friends from Edinburgh when they came up to visit me for my flat warming. Everyone had a great night out and I truly appreciate the 60 chicken nuggets bought for the flat the next day. You're welcome back any time guys xxx

A photo posted by Lifestyle Blogger πŸ’– Mairi (@copperpink) on

And honestly, what would two weeks in Aberdeen be after a whole four months away without a trip to Rev (for a bev?). Usually a loyal to the Panang Chicken Curry, I branched out and sated my newfound obsession for halloumi with the halloumi and chips dish. Crispy, deep fried, oozing chunks of halloumi that taste like perfection. Try it. Now.

Cheer is already a huge part of my uni year as I have the Fundraiser position in the Committee. Meeting and teaching all the Freshers so far has been a really rewarding experience and I am so excited for the training and competitions to come.

So, Aberdeen, I must say I am really looking forward to this year. I know it'll be intense and hard going at times, but that's all part of the fun.

See you in my next post for pretty outfit photos (finally)!

Hello Aberdeen

So at the time this post is published, I have just arrived at the airport (I'm terrible at directions so this is a great achievement - go me) and am checking in, going through security etc. from Barcelona to Edinburgh.

Where has the time gone! It's honestly crazy how fast my internship with Chouchou has felt. Buuuut I have had the most amazing time, experience and feel so grateful for this opportunity. I am so glad I just went for it and pushed myself out of my comfort zone - personally I have benefited in so many different ways. I will definitely write another more detailed post about what I got up to in the last few weeks (as my blog posts were noticeably lacking) and about how I found the whole experience but if you have any questions in the meantime just leave me a comment! And if you're swithering between taking on an abroad internship like this or not, I say go for it. Trust me.

This month's playlist has a few songs that I now associate with Barcelona, and some have strangely but definitely connected with how I've been feeling. I'll let you interpret that how you like!

My September Top 3

  1. Pony (& Pony) - Ginuwine (& Pretty Sister)
    1. This is the song I associate most strongly with Barcelona. Why? Perhaps not for the reason you're thinking. The studio where I worked looked oddly similar to the workshop in Magic Mike, and then some engineers turned up to work there, with no shirts on. So that's why. Just a little workplace banter. But also an excellent song (and remix by Pretty Sister).
  2. Ketto - Bonobo
    1. An old favourite of mine for when I used to have relaxing baths. Perhaps surprisingly, this song is instrumental. But it's just amazing. It's perfect for when I am feeling stressed out or just want some time to focus, breathe and reflect. I reckon you should give it a chance too.
  3. Cancer - Twenty One Pilots
    1. Have you heard Cancer by My Chemical Romance? Well then, prepare for something pretty mind blowing. You're welcome.

There are too many other amazing songs (in my personal opinion) so a special shoutout to Step Down - CRNKN remix by Elliphant for when I'm feeling down and need a motivational "shit happens" and everything-will-be-okay pep talk; Hurts so Good - Broiler remix by Astrid S for when I need to belt out my emotions and to Suburbia by Kilian & Jo feat. Erik Rapp for just being amazing and so intense.

September 2016 Mixtape

What have you been listening to in September?

September 2016 Mixtape and Goodbye Barcelona!

Imagine if you could click on a post on Instagram, then pinch, zoom and rotate to your heart's content and see the scene outwith the square frame. Admittedly you now can zoom in on Instagram photos, but what if you could zoom out? That would make a great YouTube video - let me note that down.

Perhaps this is the idea of the new Instagram stories - to provide behind the scenes footage of what you have posted on Instagram that day. However, for now, I'd like to explore this idea through a blog post with a few of my favourite recent Instagram images from Barcelona and why they are special to me.

A photo posted by Lifestyle Blogger πŸ’– Mairi (@copperpink) on

This building is the Palau de la MΓΊsica Catalana, a beautiful grand concert hall in Barcelona. This was a weekend where I really wanted to relax. I met up with some guys and girls from the Expats group I have found here for coffee, shopping and then we headed to L'antic Teatre - a secluded beer garden just down the street from Palau de la MΓΊsica Catalana. Feeling dehydrated I had a peach juice (my non-alcoholic summer drink) but I have since returned for an Aperol Spritz which was perfection. Now one of my new favourite alcoholic summer drinks - one of. I also rate a long island ice tea (preferably peach flavoured) and I have been converted into a mojito lover, much to my cinammon-flavoured toothpaste's disgust.

I took this photo during a photoshoot for my work. So behind the camera here is a model lying on the ground posing while a photographer stands above capturing a birds eye view of the beautiful Chouchou designs. This is a lovely square in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, and my heart honestly melted when I heard the cello. Such a pretty sound in such a pretty place. I began to learn the cello when I was in Primary 4 at school, so about 8 years old, and played until I left high school last year - till I was 17. That's a long time. Unfortunately the cello belonged to the school and not to me. And I do miss it. I miss experimenting and the freedom of the cello. I miss the sweet but strong sound of the strings and the notes. That's why I bought a slightly less expensive ukelele. But it's just not the same.

A photo posted by Lifestyle Blogger πŸ’– Mairi (@copperpink) on

This photo is special to me because I didn't know it was being taken. This occurred thanks to my aunt whilst visiting my holidaying family in Tamariu, Costa Brava. Read all about the weekend here. It was lovely to see more of Spain with a weekend getaway in the nicest accommodation I have ever stayed in, with a private pool. Very nice. One of my favourite things about pools and the sea, is the feeling of drying off in the sun afterwards. It's an incredibly serene sensation. I can't remember exactly what I was thinking at this time, but I know it wasn't worrying about how I looked in front of the camera. And that's why I like it.

A photo posted by Lifestyle Blogger πŸ’– Mairi (@copperpink) on

Finally, an uplifting story to finish off. I am a huge believer in always staying positive and believing that good things will happen. So this quotation really spoke to me. When I first moved to Barcelona, I was nervous about going for food by myself because I couldn't speak the language and everything was scary and mysterious and I would be alone. It honestly was so hard for me which may be hard to believe if you know me and my apparent carefree happy personality. But on this day I forced myself to brave lunch alone, and with a little confusion of languages between the waiter and I (who really was so helpful even in Spanish) I successfully ate my lunch, by myself, in front of this quotation. And that's why I decided to Instagram it, as a reminder to stay positive, as I do always try.

What did you think of this style of post? I might try and post some more in future so do let me know what you think! Do you have any interesting stories behind your Instagrams?

Be sure to follow me on Instagram @copperpink for pretty photos once a day 😁

P.S. just changed my blog header - what do you think? New signature coming soon!

Behind the Instagram: Barcelona

Hello there September, where did you come from??

So I guess that's summer officially over then isn't it? Hope you had a blast! However I am still in Barcelona till the 20th, and even though the locals are now wearing jeans during the day and cardis at night, I am always roasting. Fearing my return to Edinburgh to be hit by the inevitable blast of cold once off the plane. My winter wardrobe is currently non-existent.

But I guess I should enjoy the sun while I still can, and that's what I definitely will do.

Photos by Helena Willemijn - follow her on Instagram @yogielena

So: what happened to my goals for August? Well, that's a very good question.
  • Join a gym
    • Lol. I did not join a gym. I started to join the gym - I did get my free 7 day pass and I tried to phone to organise my first trip but no one picked up. And then I just didn't phone again. But I have been doing my daily stretches for preparation for cheerleading at university, so I am looking forward to getting back into the zone once I'm in Aberdeen. Barcelona is just too hot and has too many nice bars, beaches and restaurants for the gym. Que sera sera.
  • Improve my Spanish
    • Well I think that little phrase up there proves my Spanish has improved - by about three words. I definitely can understand people better now, but I have not put in as much time as I could. I guess it's hard since at my work I speak in English, and the group of girls I have made friends with all speak English, oh and my flatmates speak English, so I haven't been forced to speak much Spanish. Me gusta los frijoles however is a good sentence. Google Translate that. You're welcome.
  • Be brave
    • I feel I have been more sociable and just done more stuff in general since setting this goal. Of course there are still lots on my bucketlist but I know it will never be complete - however it does give me an excuse to return in future!
  • Stay organised
    • My Leuchtturm1917 is serving me well. A few days have been missed here and there where I was so busy with work I didn't have time for much else. But, if I ever am feeling stressed or overwhelmed, I just whip out my notebook and jot everything down in the Dump, the Vault or the Live List section. Click here if you have no idea what I'm talking about.
  • Go to the beach by myself
    • Since I am here to work, I haven't been to the beach as much as you would on holiday for example. However I did accidentally go to the beach by myself so I am counting this goal as completed. By accidentally, I mean I went to meet Helena at the beach to do yoga (follow her fab yoga Instagram here!), but I was very early so just lay on the sand reading for about an hour. It was lovely.

So although I technically didn't complete 2 or 3 of my goals, it's important not to beat yourself up about it. Of course I am a little annoyed I haven't been to the gym and I can feel the difference already. And it would have been great to have learnt some more Spanish. However all I can do now is look forward and be excited for the future, knowing I will join the gym again in Aberdeen and that if I choose to return to Barcelona in future to work or live then I can learn Spanish then. No ragrets. What's the point of being negative? Exactly, there is no point. Positivity only please. Hop on my bike of positivity and join me for the ride.

And now, for September. It looks to be a pretty crazy month.

September Goals 2016

  • Make the most of my last three weeks in Barcelona
    • Yes, just three more weeks until I return home. It is honestly so crazy how fast my time here is going. It's been intense and exciting and such a unique experience that I am so grateful for. For the rest of my time here, I want to go all out in regards to work, new places, new people, sightseeing and trying new eateries (and the beach once more would be nice too). Similarly to my August goal of being brave, I really just want to make the most of this amazing experience I have been given.
  • Settle into Aberdeen and university
    • If you didn't know, I am returning home to Edinburgh for about two days before driving up to Aberdeen to start university the week after. I am feeling a little unprepared in regards to decorating my new flat (bedsheets, cutlery, fairy lights etc. - the essentials) however luckily I am living in the city centre so have Oliver Bonas and pretty stores right next door. Although not Barcelona, I am honestly looking forward to starting my course again and seeing all my friends as well as living with Sarah and Biba who I'm sure will make my year unforgettable and absolutely hilarious.
  • Instagram every day
    • I have started to fall in love with Instagram again, and my aim is to post one image every day, usually around 8 or 9am. Be sure to follow me for updates and pretty pictures!
  • Start up the gym again - in Aberdeen
    • lol

How was your August? And what are your goals for September?

September Goals 2016

If you work from home, or if you blog or play hours of Club Penguin from home, you may sometimes wish you could work, blog or play Club Penguin out of the house. In Barcelona, I often work the morning in my flat. That is, my flat with no air con. It's hot. Like, thirty degrees hot.

Since I am wanting to explore Barcelona while I am here, I thought it would be a good idea to try out some cafes and coffee shops while working. I know how stagnant your days can become when you feel you are stuck in the house, even if it is doing work you enjoy. When the sun is shining it definitely affects me more, however even if you're not abroad, I know the feeling. I can feel a lot more productive in a public space. Not always, because then I can't belt out Dej Loaf sadly, but if you ever feel in a similar rut, then keep reading.

Available on Apple and coming soon to Android, the Work Hard Anywhere app has been a lifesaver for non-Spanish speaking me living and working abroad for the first time. The app, also known as WHA, is a platform which suggests the best public workspaces based on users' feedback and comments. The app takes into consideration factors such as Wifi speed, price (of coffee & snacks), parking space, seating options and noise levels. All important aspects for getting solid productive work done.

Think of it as a simplified TripAdvisor solely for work-friendly cafes, libraries and other public spaces. Its incredibly user friendly and aesthetically pleasing, just what I like.

My first visit using WHA was very encouraging. Discovering a cafe (or plant concept coffee shop) opposite my street about a 10 second walk away was a fab start. Espai Joliu is one of the most Instagram and Pinterest-worthy places I have visited. Hidden amongst the outskirts of Barcelona, its rustic and super creative interior charmed me - it was love at first sight.

Espai Joliu lived up to the expectations I had after reading tips and ratings from users of the WHA app. The coffee (and the cookie) was delicious and affordable, it was a quiet and welcoming space to work, there were plenty of seats and the WiFi was free and fast. The owner was also lovely and asked about why I was in Barcelona and what work I was doing that day, as well as saying he hoped to see me again soon. I should probably add this to my review on the app. I'll do that after this post.

And now I'm off to find another laptop and work friendly cafe using Work Hard Anywhere! Ensuring it has amazing coffee, of course.

Click here for more information about the app, and over here if you'd like to download it straight away - or search for "work hard anywhere" in the Apple Store.

Let me know if you find any great spots with the app, I'm hoping to add some myself to the map back in Aberdeen! Have you used Work Hard Anywhere before?

Remember to follow me on Instagram for Barcelona updates!

How to Find Laptop Friendly Cafes and Workspaces

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