A weekend in Melrose

After nearly four years of living in Edinburgh, it came to my attention that I still had never been to the Scottish Borders. This is excused partially by the pandemic, and partially by the fact I don’t have a car. Awhile ago, Angus brought up the idea of going on the Borders railway when things opened back up. It’s only around 1 hour from Edinburgh to Tweedbank – the end of the railway line. A very achievable trip we thought.

Initially we planned to go to Galashiels (the stop before Tweedbank), or Melrose (a short walk from Tweedbank) for a day. When I posted on my Instagram asking for recommendations, a friend got in touch and offered to have us stay in her newly renovated flat in Melrose before it went up on Airbnb. So, off we went for a weekend in Melrose!

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The Kalm Koala Bedding Set Review | AD

This blog post contains paid content for the Kalm Koala Bedding Set, all opinions and reviews remain my own.

A pillow lays on a bed with white, silky sheets, it props up a white toy bunny, sitting next to the bunny is a cup of green tea.

I bought my very first mattress this past year, and due to a measuring error, I accidentally bought a king size. For the past 8 months I’ve been frantically washing the same set of sheets first thing in the morning on sunny days so that they’ll be dry by the time we go to bed. Enter: the Kalm Koala bedding set!

I couldn’t commit to buying another cheap cotton set of king size sheets. But, I also couldn’t commit to a nice set without knowing whether it was worth the extra money. Then, Kalm Koala got in touch and sent me their bamboo sheets – thank the heavens.

The Kalm Koala bamboo sheet set are made with a blend of cotton and bamboo. The mix make up 100% of the materials – so there’s no other material sneaking it’s way in! As someone with a lot of allergies, it’s really important for me to know exactly what’s in my clothes. Otherwise, I’m hive central! Luckily, Kalm Koala are transparent and their bedding is super soft!

Also – I know bamboo is a big material being used for new sustainable products like this. However, I didn’t know that bamboo as a material is also great for changes in temperature. It really helps me sleep better, so if you’ve got a similar sleep issue you should seriously look at these sheets!

Kalm Koala Bedding Set – They’re Made With Bamboo!

They’re such a game changer for sleep because, quite like wool, it keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter, so it’s perfect for sleeping on. Especially because it’s wayyyyyy softer than wool! I’m someone who goes from pipping hot to freezing cold throughout the night, so any temperature controlling materials are welcome in my bed. I usually sleep with my lambswool blanket in the summer because I have such extreme temperature changes when I sleep. But, I would always still wake up with a sticky back from my cotton sheets. The bamboo blend is a game changer!

Two white pillows lay on white sheets, with a wool tartan blanket next to them.

The sheets are also advertised as feeling ‘just like silk’ which I found hard to believe – until they came in the mail! They really are silky smooth, and look like silk too. I had a much beloved silk (satin) pillow case for years as a teenager. It was immaculate. I left it back in Canada when I moved but I always wanted to replace it because they’re really good for protecting your hair! I’m so excited to now have the silky Kalm Koala pillowcases. They, of course, come with the bedding set!

I don’t mind a wrinkle or two!

Because of the silky nature of the sheets, they are quite wrinkly. This could easily be sorted out with a quick steam, but I’m just not that kind of gal! I don’t mind wrinkly sheets as long as they’re super comfy, and these are. And they’ve got Betty’s seal of approval too!

A calico cat sits on white silky sheets.

If you’re trying to replace your homewares with more sustainable options, or if you’re someone who needs a temperature regulating sheet option, you’ve got to check out these sheets! Plus, Kalm Koala offer 15% off your first offer, so go check out their website and products now!

Have you ever used bamboo-blend pillows or sheets before? I had no idea they were such a good option! Leave your thoughts below.

The kudd.ly™ kloud slides Review | AD

This blog post contains paid content, all opinions and reviews remain my own.

A pair of pink slide shoes sticking out of the top of a beige tote bag, laying on top of a sheepskin rug.

My poor, poor feet have been suffering in the hot summer. I broke my only good pair of sandals two years ago, and have been basically rotating through sneakers on a hot day to make sure I don’t get too many blisters in one spot. Enter: the kudd.ly kloud slides.

The slides are for indoor or outdoor use, so loads of people use them as slippers. Even better, as those shoes you can wear inside and outside for quick trips like when you need to take the bins out – what else are slides for? Well, for me, they’re for blister days and travelling. When I know my feet are going to be hot or hurting, I wear the kudd.ly kloud slides.

Without sounding corny, they really do feel like walking on clouds! They’re so soft and cushy, it’s such a nice feeling taking off sweaty sneakers and switching into these. Literally like giving your feet a breath of fresh air!

I’m off to London to celebrate my birthday at the end of July and I’ll definitely be packing my kudd.ly kloud slides. They’re so light and airy so they’re easy to pack away. I know it’s going to be super hot when I’m there too, and I *need* to pack a pair of shoes that my feet can wear for hours without getting blisters (or to wear *after* the blisters of the birthday heels have set in!).

What are your comfiest pair of shoes for the summer?!

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Rainy Day Activities To Do At Home

The last year has made me a bit of a pro at entertaining myself at home when the weather outside is not going to plan. After awhile sitting down to a puzzle or cosying up with a rom-com just didn’t cut it anymore. So, here are some of my favourite rainy day activities to do at home. Warning: many arts and crafts incoming.

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My March Goals

a close up of small, multicoloured flowers in square pots

Three months into 2021 and I’ve already started doing some of the things off my ‘Manifestations for 2021‘ post. (Like knitting an Icelandic jumper!) I am so impressed at how writing down those goals and manifestations actually motivated me to get up and do it. So, here I am again with some shorter term, every day lifestyle changes I want to make this month. Calling it my “March Goals” but it could easily be called “improvements” because that’s really all I’m hoping for.

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Things To Love This February

Every week, I share a newsletter called “The Watched Pot”. It’s a weekly email to share a little bit of light and love, and shed some optimism on life and the week ahead. I write a short personal essay in email style about the things I’ve been doing, the things I’ve been loving, or the ways I’ve tried to make my life and the people in it a bit happier. This month, the month of love, I wanted to bring that self-love onto the blog. So, here are some things to love this February.

Disclaimer: not material things. Consider this the anti-gift guide.

Small pets that do things that they shouldn’t do but they don’t know they shouldn’t do it.

I love that they’re so innocent even when they’re bad! Example: This morning my kitten Betty got spooked when I walked into the kitchen 2 hours earlier than I normally do. And, I mean spooked. She did that cat thing where they run with their back arched high and their tail goes all bushy, terrifying predator. She, in her scramble to scare me off, knocked over two of my plants and spread wet dirt all over the kitchen.

I’d gotten up early to do yoga, and instead I spent my early hour sweeping up dirt. I didn’t love that but my god I love the teeny tiny kitten who was so afraid. It was my penance for making her so scared! She wasn’t trying to punish me. Sometimes I forget she’s just a little scaredy cat and needs me to be the gentlest version of myself.

Waking up early

It was still dark when I woke up this morning and I did not. Want. To. Get. Up. But I did. Only because I had a meeting, but still! Once I was up, and after Betty had calmed down, I was able to enjoy that blue-morning light that only exists in the hour before the sun comes up. It’s nice. Being up early is like having a harmless little secret that only you know. Everything is quiet. Everything is still. Your consciousness is something that you share only with you.

A really good hot chocolate

I had a really good hot chocolate a few days ago from Konj Cafe in Edinburgh. The owner was just the nicest person, the hot chocolate was decadent and delicious like all hot chocolate should be and I got a nice cookie. There are few small moments better than these.

Staying hydrated with a pretty jug

Water bottles are out – jugs are in. You heard it here first.

Ok. Story time: I don’t have a water bottle that doesn’t leak. I also received a gift certificate for a fancy Nordic Design shop for my wedding, and I bought a pretty Hay jug. So, when I set up my desk, I thought “instead of my grimy Primark water bottle, I’ll just use the jug today as a treat to myself” and oh what a treat it was! The water stays SO cold! And I don’t judge myself based on how much is left in the jug, I just pour and drink a glass and enjoy it and then pour some more when I want it! Zero shame! Just cold water and a very lovely jug! Do you need a jug? Yes is the only right answer.

Putting new things on the wall

Maybe it’s because I’m home all the time, but I really love to look at something new on the wall. It gives me more satisfaction than it should. I’m constantly moving things around on my walls, changing prints in picture frames and adding new pictures because I love the little surprise I get when I walk into a room and see something that makes me happy. And, I love that I’ve learned that I like pictures, picture frames, and prints that have a lot of bright colours like pink, yellow, blue and purple. And anything that looks vintage – even better if it’s not in a frame! I have an old plate from my Nonna’s house – it has a clown on it and I love seeing it on my wall. Now, I’m considering hanging some of my favourite hats.

Sending (and receiving) mail

Of all the things to love this February, this is number one. I have been alllllll about the mail-surprises lately. Gift-giving via surprise mail is my very specific love language. The sheer joy I get from putting together a little box of things I know the person will love and writing a little note full of my love for them personally, my goodness. Not to mention the slow-burn of the postal system in a pandemic. When will they get it?! Who knows! Hopefully on a day they really need it.

What do you think of my things to love this February? Have any things you’re loving you’d like. toshare? Please, leave a comment! Comments should also be in my list of things to love because I really, truly do! They remind me of a simpler time of internet blogging. Alas.

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Sign up for The Watched Pot here, and get weekly emails full of light little reminders like ‘Things to Love this February”!

What I’m Manifesting 2021

I don’t have many resolutions or goals, instead I’m manifesting 2021. To be honest, I don’t even really know what this year will look like! I’m not sure when I’ll graduate from my MA as I’m working remotely. From what I can tell, there won’t be any big trips but there might be a few big things happening. Here are the things I *hope* will happen in 2021, trusting that if they don’t it’s because it wasn’t meant to be.

A girl stands in a heavy, fur-trimmed parka in front of a snowy winter city skyline.

2021 Manifestation 1: Buying Things

We will (definitely) buy a car

A major thing I want to get done this year is transferring my Ontario license over to a U.K. license. It’s such a hassle to do because you have to mail everything in. I couldn’t do it in 2020 because I needed all my IDs to wait for my Visa to come in… all the life admin! I swear life admin runs my world. Anyways, this year everything is a bit more settled paperwork-wise.

I don’t want a fancy car, just something used and safe. There are a lot of things I never do in Scotland (like camping!) because living here always felt temporary. Getting a car felt sooooo out of reach, now that we’re planning to be here long term I can justify the cost a bit more. It means we’ll be able to drive to see family which makes visiting them a lot easier. Cannot wait to have the freedom that comes with a car!

We will (probably) buy a flat

Buying a flat is more on Angus’s “manifesting for 2021” list than mine. As both a student and an immigrant, there is no mortgage available to me so that’s on him! He wants to buy a flat and I’d quite like to be paying back a mortgage rather than paying rent. I’m looking at it as an opportunity to have a big change, which I reaaaaaaaally I’m hoping for. 2020 has felt very stagnant, I’m so ready for a change of scenery and new challenges.

We might move!

Along with buying a flat, we’ve been looking at places outside of Edinburgh. With only one income to factor into a mortgage, it’s not easy to find somewhere liveable in Edinburgh. If I’m honest, I’m also really ready to move on and find somewhere that feels a bit different. We’ll still look in Edinburgh, but we’re also looking in Glasgow and East Lothian, only time will tell what comes of it!

2021 Manifestation 1: Doing New/Old Things

Doing more of what I enjoy

Like I said before, there’s a lot of stuff I used to do that I stopped doing when I moved to Scotland. Moving was supposed to be a big (temporary) adventure, a time to try new things! And then… it never ended. Looking around my teenage bedroom at Christmas reminded me of just how much I used to do, and stuff that was easy and enjoyable! I used to paint! I used to write letters! Print off all my photos and create themed photo albums! Collect art books! Sketch! Read! Up-cycle! Hike! So. Many. Things. And I stopped doing all of them. I used to still write, and I kind of started reading again but I completely lost the mentality of just doing the stuff that I like.

More of that this year. Maybe I’ll start sharing poetry on my instagram again.

Knitting jumpers and Fair Isle and Icelandic patterns!

I’ve gotten mega into knitting again this winter. In need of cheap, homemade Christmas gifts I turned back to knitting and I (finally) broke away from standard stocking stitch patterns. I’ve made a lot of makeup wipes, a fair few pair of mittens, a cushion and a cover, a blanket and a pair of slippers. In 2021 I bought the easy Sable jumper pattern and I want to knit that this early this year and then hopefully practice some more complicated patterns mixing colours! In a perfect world, Angus lets me move to a croft where I can raise and spin my own wool, have a big knitting machine and make a ton of pretty 100% wool products. Unlikely, but a girl can dream.

There is something really, extraordinarily satisfying of coming away from binging a TV program with a new knitted product. It’s saved my mental health during the pandemic because I feel like at least I’m doing something.

What are you manifesting in 2021?

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