Good morning! Tuesday was an incredibly special day, where my parents and I dressed up fancily to celebrate my big sister Helen, also dressed fancily, graduating from Edinburgh University after four years of hard work. Congradulations Helen!

As this was my first graduation, I wasn't quite sure what to expect so thought I'd give you a little insight into the day's events, as well as telling you about my next-day delivery panic and how I used Lyst to find the perfect graduation dress. So, below, you can see what I would have worn on the day.

And again below you can see what I did wear on the day, as the pretty dress above unfortunately arrived while I was inside the Usher Hall for the ceremony - just a tad late.

Helen and I had went on a cute shoe shopping trip to New Look the day before, and aimed to buy comfy but stylish heels that would last us through the whole day as it was looking to be a long one. I picked a khaki brown pair with a chunky heel for comfort, while Helen went for black to go with her classic John Lewis dress.

The actual ceremony itself mainly consisted of countless names being listed with a lot of applause. Graduates were then tapped on the head with a hat, because, why not. To break up the names, we were also treated to a choir and an uplifting speech about the future from the President of Ireland, who had received an Honorary Degree in Law from Edinburgh University. Seeing everyone dressed in robes did remind me of Hogwarts, with all the students cloaked on the floor, whilst the lecturers, professors and university figures sat on stage in fancy chairs and colourful robes.

After the ceremony, lots of family photographs were taken on the rainy steps at the beautiful Usher Hall, followed by a drinks reception where the prosecco was flowing. There were also some fabulous white walls for Instagram-worthy photos like below.

Finally, my parents treated Helen and I to the most amazing dinner at Number One at the Balmoral Hotel. The service was impeccable and the food also did not disappoint in the slightest - specifically the seemingly free dishes inbetween what you select yourself (although I imagine this is included in the price you pay per head). I won't go into too much detail here, but if you'd like to hear more about my experience let me know and I can definitely get a review up. P.S. look at my third dessert below - it was incredible.

And now I get to tell you about my next-day delivery panic. So, I had a vague idea of what I was going to wear in advance, however the day before I decided I didn't like what I had and that it wasn't formal enough. The only answer thus was to risk next-day delivery. As I made this rash decision around 11am, I knew I didn't have long to find the perfect dress. And that's when Lyst came to my rescue.

Lyst is a personal shopper, but online, aiming to bring you "the world of fashion in one place". By liking and favouriting products and brands, it learns what you like and creates a pretty cool personalised online shopping experience all in the one site. I am terrible for having multiple tabs open at once (my record is 50 - yes, 50) so Lyst seems like a good idea for someone like me!

Also, since I was in a rush to find a dress I liked amongst their vast selection, had I been using the site for a while already, I'm sure it would have taken me even less time to find the perfect dress. Luckily when I clicked on one I quite liked, I spotted the dress of my dreams in the Related Products section below. Lyst, you are a life saver.

This cut and style of dress was a new adventure for me, even the sleeves were a little strange to get used to but I really like it. The satin did crease a little as you can see, but it felt so soft and I love the dusky pink colour. I felt incredibly light and pretty in this dress and am glad I tried something out of my comfort zone. Next time I think I might pair it with a super high ponytail to show off the open back detailing a little more.

Sadly Missguided's next day delivery arrived just an hour too late for me, but I am sure I will get a lot of usage from this dress. For formal occasions like graduations such as weddings and family gatherings, but also for drinks with friends and even shopping trips. After this shoot, I went to dinner at Ting Thai Caravan wearing my oversized cosy grey jumper on top of the dress and for a walk at a nearby beach and didn't feel overdressed at all.

I will admit though, my feet were hurting at the end of the graduation, mainly the back of my heels - hence the plasters in the photo. Hopefully this was just from breaking the heels in but we shall see!

Overall, despite not getting to wear the dress I would have liked to, the graduation was an amazing day out spent with my family and I really am so proud of my sister and hope to do as well as her at university! And lessons have been learnt with next day delivery. Hopefully next time I'm looking for that perfect dress, I can use Lyst a little earlier in advance and find what I'm looking for super quickly, as I have now downloaded the app and started liking brands and stores to get the best recommendations for me.

I would also like to give a big shoutout to my great friend and amazing photographer Cera Kamonji for the outfit photos. She is currently looking for freelance photography work, so do get in touch or let me know if you'd like to work with her! You can also find her on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Have you ever been to a graduation? And what do you think of Lyst, is it something you would use?

This post is sponsored by Lyst, however all text and opinions are my own. See my Disclosure for more info.

My Sister's Graduation and What I Would Have Worn

"Why don't you just work at McDonald's?"

This question has been asked to me by quite a few of my peers, and I find it difficult to explain shortly. So here is the longer story, one explaining why I value opportunities I enjoy, even if they are unpaid and that I do appreciate and respect that some people have no choice but to work part time jobs such as in McDonald's to earn income, but even so, these enjoyable opportunities are available to workers too.

**update - I would like to state that I did not mean to bad mouth anyone who does work part time jobs in this post. I appreciate that I am in a privileged position to be able to afford an unpaid internship abroad and that many people cannot do this. Also, the question was posed to me when I mentioned I couldn't go out with friends because I didn't want to spend my money - but that was my choice to save that money and sacrifice some expenses. I really respect those who do work hard for their income, I respect any form of hard work whether paid or not and honestly do not think any less of those who do work part time jobs. I know lots of people who use this income to fund their hobbies and passions whilst working. I have been lucky enough to not need this extra income to fund mine and I am grateful for this but do respect others' situations. If you have any comments, please leave a comment or email me if you'd like to discuss further. I hope you can take the positive message from this post that I was aiming to get across which is to inspire others to strive for what you want, whether that means you do have to work a part time job or not. You can do it!**

From a young age I seem to have possessed an entrepreneurial mind, often creating weekly family newsletters costing 30p. These updated my parents about my mum's favourite cup of tea of the week or provided a fun quiz on what the scientific name of a possum is (p.s. it's Phalangeriformes - in case you were wondering). Sometimes I would even type up short rhyming poems and add pictures! Those 30ps went straight into my piggy bank and probably straight back out again for sweets and magazines.

My parents made me realise, perhaps subconsciously, that it is possible to live your life doing what you love and to be happy and successful. Something which I feel many people sadly view as delusional.

Then came the age where sweets and magazines were no longer what I desired. The age where you are not quite old enough for a part time job (even the ice cream stand wanted 15+) but old enough to want to buy that pretty dress and those sparkly tights. And unfortunately too old to scam my parents out of 30p anymore. But now they'll never know the scientific name of a platypus so the joke's on them really.

Luckily for me however, at this stage in life I was quite the tomboy who didn't really like clothes. Funny how times change eh (although to be fair I am currently typing this in my pyjamas and dressing gown at 3 in the afternoon). I was also lucky to receive pocket money from my parents - about £2 a week which for a 13 year old who didn't really like to spend money was more than enough. Shoutout to my dad for passing down his frugality.

I spent most of this period at school (obviously), sharing a paper round with my older sister (which was paid at about £3 per week for me), playing Sims and writing for an online Sims 3 fashion magazine so I had one paid and one unpaid job then. But what I didn't gain in monetary value, I gained in skills. These articles formed a big part of my portfolio which earned me a place on my HNC Media & Communications course at college whilst still in 5th year at high school. You can read all my work under the pen name of Nuttychick(123) over here - you're in for a real treat.

And then... I got older. Old enough for... a real job. What I consider my first real job, although again unpaid, was working as a runner for Metropolitan Fashion Show and gaining such valuable experience relating to what I dream of as a career. Working with so many like-minded people in a creative industry boosted my confidence so much, I loved the responsibility and, in particular, Farah's belief in me allowed me to challenge myself and do better than I had ever imagined I could.

I then went back to school, studied hard, got my good grades and applied to my current university course of Fashion Management at Robert Gordon University. I really don't think I would have applied to this without experiencing Metropolitan Fashion Show and how confident and valuable the team of creatives made me feel.

Considering I had still never had a 'proper' or 'paid' job as some may say, I decided I would like to earn some income and since I wasn't raking it in with blogging, I bagged myself a Christmas temp job at Next. Not the best job ever, listening to the same 20 Christmas songs on repeat at 6am and constantly jabbing your finger with the de-tagging machine, but at least some of the people were nice. I guess I felt like I was doing a proper job, one respected and understood by my peers or something. I felt like an adult. A lot of people didn't understand Metropolitan or my blog, but a part time job at Next and earning a set amount of pay was safe and comforting.

And also boring. Temps aren't trusted with much. The most creative or exciting part of the job was when I was told I could arrange a Christmas shelf display so products wouldn't fall off the shelf. The monotonous part-time job just isn't for me when wanting to earn money - and that's okay. And if it is how you decide to earn your income, even if temporarily or permanently, then that's okay too. I did enjoy spending the cash I made on clothes, food and blogging materials, and I am glad I tried this sort of job out. But I definitely prefer less structured or restrictive types of work where I can be creative and feel more valued as an individual with unique skills to bring to the team.

Fast forward through the end of my sixth year at high school and an Unconditional for my chosen university course (get in there) and summer came again. I looked into internships but unfortunately most are Graduates only. Fortunately however, Metropolitan Fashion Show were hosting another show in Edinburgh. This time, I was promoted to Co-Head of Marketing which was amazing. I think I needed that boost of others who understood my creative thinking to believe in me in order for me to believe in myself and what I am capable of.

And now? After passing and enjoying my first year of university, I happened upon a social media and marketing internship in Barcelona, with a Glasgow-based fashion brand - Chouchou. And you may be surprised to hear this internship is unpaid. Then again, if you've had experience of internships and the industry yourself, you may not.

But what I don't gain in monetary value, I will gain in skills, experience, life lessons, culture, friendships, contacts, confidence, determination, enthusiasm and encouragement to never give up on my dreams, whatever they turn out to be. And eventually, for doing what I love, monetary value will come my way too.

And that's why I personally won't just work at McDonald's.

Surround yourself with those who are supportive no matter what, like my parents, and those who understand your passions, like the creatives at Metropolitan, and your encouraged confidence in your own skills will allow you that dream career and life, with success and happiness thrown in too, whether you choose to work at McDonald's for part of that or not.

What does your dream life and career look like?

Why Don't You Just Work at McDonald's?

So June 1st marked my blog's 2 year anniversary (huzzah!), which I actually forgot about until Facebook reminded me yesterday (thanks Facebook memories). I do have a good excuse for why I forgot though, and that is because of this crazy amazing thing I've been focusing on for summer called an internship.

Since applying at the end of April, I have held my fingers and toes crossed so tightly in the hope of becoming Chouchou's summer studio intern, working on social media and marketing (as well as a bit of blogging thrown in there!) And I am super excited to announce I have been hired!

I'm so excited to have been given this opportunity by Silvia, the amazing woman behind Chouchou, and can't wait to learn from her and to immerse myself in the culture of Barcelona. Oh, did I not mention it means I'm living abroad? Travelling has been my dream since forever and I can't believe I'm finally living somewhere foreign by myself - expect lots of photos and updates!

To learn a little bit more about the internship and to find out what my other goals for this summer are (as well as seeing me fail miserably attempting gymnastics - in slow motion for your entertainment), check out my latest vlog below. And remember to subscribe - you know the drill.

What are you looking forward to this summer?

Summer Goals and Living in Barcelona

Latest Instagrams

© Copperpink | Edinburgh based lifestyle blog by Mairi Lowe. Design by Fearne.