Nourished

Nourished

There has never been a more important time to look after yourself, keeping your body and mind healthy. I don’t know about you but the first few weeks of isolation, being home alone, consisted of a copious amount of unhealthy snacks and a few extra units of alcohol. Of course this was stress-induced and I quickly realised that this was not sustainable in the long run. Pre-Corona, I had been successfully working out at the gym however wasn’t looking after my overall nutrition and I felt like my present nutritional supplements weren’t helping. I usually avoid multi-vitamins because they simply provide more than my body requires, so I would buy individual vitamins according to what I felt my body lacked. This, of course, was expensive and I would often forget to take them. 

Luckily I came across Nourished; an ingenious UK based company who launched late last year. Nourished uses revolutionary new 3D printing methods and patented vegan encapsulation formulae to combine seven ingredients into a personalised chewable vitamin stack tailored specifically to your individual nutritional needs. The idea was created and designed by serial entrepreneur Melissa Snover, who piloted the concept on the renowned TV show Dragons Den. It was then Nourished was born and the worlds first truly customisable and personalised 3D printed nutritional product was launched.

Founder Mellisa Snover

After completing a simple consultation questionnaire online, Nourished did all the hard work and created a perfect combination of vitamin and supplements tailored to my needs. This combination was then 3D printed into my very own vegan and sugar-free vitamin stack. A month’s supply was shipped directly to my door in plastic-free, home compostable packaging. These can be bought as a one-off purchase or in a subscription format. 

Additionally, if you wish to choose your own vitamins and supplements then you can request these online. You can also choose specific Nourished life stacks carefully formulated to promote key benefits, these stacks include:

  • Inner Defence (to support the immune system)
  • Inner Vitality (+ 55) (to support those over the age of 55) 
  • Inner Peace (to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and improve sleep)
  • Plant-based Power (plant-based nutrition stack)
  • High Flyer (to support those who have a hectic lifestyle)
  • Prenatal (a blend for expectant and pregnant woman)
  • Inner Beauty (for nails, hair and ageing)
  • Party Proofed (for those who like to burn the candles at both ends)
  • Packed & Stacked (to enhance performance, boost energy and aid muscle recovery)
  • Menopure (to help support those going through menopause)

Blu Blazer Guy thoughts:

For the past few months I have been trying my own personalised blend and have been really impressed with the overall experience. The online consultation was relatively quick and easy, and within only a few days I had my own personalised box of vitamins. Because of my previous experience with other chewable vitamins, I thought these vitamin stacks were going to taste terrible, but in fact they are delicious and sweet which genuinely makes taking them so much more satisfying. 

I have also been trying the Nourished Inner / Outer Defence Life Stack which is particularly apt due to the current pandemic that we are going through. This immune-boosting stack includes 7 cleverly combined ingredients to support normal immune function, support gut health and digestion, reduce inflammation and protect against free radicals and foreign toxins. Included in the pack is the ‘outer defence’ hand sanitiser which we currently is in such demand just now. These two go hand in hand to protect from the inside and out. 

These stacks, along with regular exercise are giving me extra confidence knowing that I am supporting my body to best of my ability, both physically and nutritionally. Nourished are not only innovative but also contain well researched ingredients that are of high quality and optimum absorption, which gives me the assurance that I am supplying my body with the best supplements that it needs.

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I can’t say that my recent boost in energy and mood are directly connected to these vitamin stacks but I do believe that they are definitely contributing to my overall health and wellbeing and that can only be good right?

Almond & Lemon cake

Almond & Lemon cake

It appears that for many people this lockdown has unleashed their inner Mary Berry and that includes me. This week let me transport you directly to Italy with my version of a Torta Caprese Al Limone (an almond and lemon cake).

I first experienced this cake whilst visiting the Amalfi Coast and its delicate citrusy flavour and light texture had me hooked immediately. Usual recipes include the addition of cream and butter but this version is light, airy and might I dare even say “healthier”.

Ingredients:

5 medium eggs

2 tbsp of fresh lemon zest

100g of granulated Sugar

150g Ground Almonds

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp ground cardamom

1 tsp white vinegar

Pinch of Salt

Icing sugar for dusting

Method:

1. Pre-heat oven to 175 degrees Celsius and pre-grease a 9-10” cake tin.

2. Add ground almonds, baking powder and ground cardamom to one bowl and whisk together.

3. Add egg yolks, 50g of the granulated sugar and lemon zest to another bowl and beat until smooth.

4. Add the egg yolk mixture into the dry mixture and beat with a wooden spoon into a thick paste.

5. Add some lemon juice for extra flavour.

6. In another bowl whisk the egg whites until bubbles appear. Add the salt and vinegar and continue to whisk.

7. Once the mixture continues to rise, add the rest of the sugar a small amount at a time.

8. Once the mixture is silky smooth and forms stiff peeks the eggs whites are ready.

9. Add a third of the egg white mixture to the egg yolk mixture and slowly fold in with a wooden spoon.

10. Continue adding the egg white mixture one spoonful at a time.

11. Don’t forget to enjoy some Prosecco whilst preparing the cake 🙂

12. Pour the mixture into the pre-greased tin and place in the oven for thirty minutes until golden brown.

13. Dust with icing sugar or get creative and add your very own toppings.

This is such a simple and easy recipe that even I can do it! Sit back with a strong espresso, a slice of this citrusy cake and feel like your under the wonderful Italian sunshine. Head to my IGTV to check out my full baking video and keep your eyes peeled for more Italian inspired posts throughout the week.

#BluBlazerGuyBakes

Surviving social distancing and working from home.

Surviving social distancing and working from home.

I don’t know about you but working from home and social distancing has been a huge adjustment for me. Although I am thankful I am safe, spending so many hours in the house can take its toll on your mental and physical wellbeing. I thought I would share some hints, tips and products that I have been using to help keep my body and mind in tip-top condition.

Stick to your usual routine

If you are working from home, try and stick to your normal daily routine. Get up at a normal time, have a relaxing shower and change into some nice clothes. It’s very tempting to just stay in your pj’s but this is not very motivating! Trick your mind into thinking that it’s leaving the house.

Washing your hands

Washing your hands is paramount but using alcohol gel and washing all the time can dry out your skin. I’ve been using This lovely Black Tulip scented hand-wash from Shay & Blue which is both delicate and conditioning. Along with the nourishing hand lotion, it helps keep my hands silky smooth and hydrated. All their products are handcrafted in England with real flowers, fruits and spices.

Skincare

Your usual skincare regime can sometimes slip when you’re in the house all the time but it’s important to take care of your skin and also treat yourself at the same time. I highly recommend MODM Vitamin Repair face oil from The Method in Edinburgh. It’s full of high-quality cold-pressed oils that really nurture the skin. I use their MODM Gua Sha Facial Tool to massage the oil in and this depuffs, sculpts and releases tension in the face.

Self Tan

Isn’t it funny how a little bit of colour on the skin makes you feel and look healthier. For a while, I’ve been on the lookout for tanning products that look natural and are easy to apply. I recently released a blog post on my favourite James Read Self tanning products, head to blublazerguy.com to find out more here.

Skin Protection

If you are working from home and your desk is situated near a window it’s still very important to protect your skin against any UV rays which penetrate the glass. I recommend House of London Face Repair Cream which not only protects you from UV but also Infrared. Their products are organic and aim to feed, correct and protect the skin naturally.

Fragrance

Just because you aren’t going anywhere special doesn’t mean you should skimp on a fragrance. Pick a scent that ignites memories of positive times or one that lifts your spirits. My favourite just now is Italian Citrus by D.S. & DURGA as it’s uplifting, energetic and full of sunshine inspired ingredients.

Home Fragrance

Candles can add an immediate relaxing ambience to any room and coupled with a lovely scent can help calm and soothe the mind. I’ve just started burning this Buongiorno candle from Italian brand Acqua Di Parma. It’s refreshing aromas of freshly cut grass and sun-dried linen transport me to a summers day.

Another great candle is the Oceana candle from Essence of Harris. Oceana washes away worries with the cleansing aromas of samphire & sea minerals. These candles are hand-poured in the Isle of Harris in Scotland. The team are so lovely and have been helping their local community throughout this tough time.

Aromatherapy

Incense is also a great way to lace the air with relaxing aromas. I recently purchased these Azoth – Lavender and Marjoram stick from Lifestory lifestyle store in Edinburgh. The comforting essential oils immediately make me feel at ease. If you are looking for a contemporary incense stick holder, check out Concrete Goods who sell a fantastic range of styles and colours.

A Shakti Mat

This may not be for everyone but I absolutely love it and have been using it daily ever since I got it. The Shakti Mat is based on the Indian bed of nails concept. The mat has thousands of sharp spikes which apply pressure to the skin. The first contact with the mat can be overwhelming but once you get used to it you soon slip into this indescribable state of relaxation, so much so that I sometimes fall asleep on it. The Shakti mats are handmade in the holy city of Varanasi by 72 woman which not only helps the individuals but their family and their community.

Exercise

Working at home can be a challenge both mentally and physically. One of the things that have been helping me is moving my body more. Setting my Alexa alarm hourly reminds me to get up and stretch, lift weights or carry out some cardio. I also make sure I adhere to the government guidelines and get out once a day for a long run and fresh air whilst keeping my distance from other people.

Sleep

I’ve been finding it very difficult to sleep as of late but I found this amazing pillow spray from Drowsy Sleep Co. This spray contains 7 natural oils which help stimulate sensors in the brain to help aid sleep naturally. The fragrance is beautiful and it’s a fantastic additional tool to calm the mind so you can drift off into a deep sleep.

Hydration

Indoor heating and poor hydration can dehydrate your body and your skin so it’s very important to remember to hydrate both inside and out. Fill a water bottle and make sure you take sips frequently and avoid too much coffee, tea and alcohol. For your skin, I’ve found that hyaluronic acids applied before your moisturiser provides a fantastic additional boost of hydration. I recommend Hylamide SubQ skin, Niod Multi-molecular hyaluronic complex and Image total pure hyaluronic filler.

Nutritional Supplements

If you are eating healthy then you should be getting all the nutrition you need from your diet. However, If you require additional supplementation, I’ve recently been trying a new product from getting Nourished which I have been very impressed by. All you have to do is complete a simple questionnaire on their website and they will determine what supplements you need. The vitamins are then 3D printed into one convenient gummy stack which is vegan, sugar-free and tastes absolutely delicious. It’s a really unique and convenient way of taking your daily vitamins and nutrients.

Talk

Last but not least is to make sure you talk and communicate with friends and family on a regular basis. In a world that had become so disconnected, it’s amazing how technology is now helping us to stay as connected as possible with the likes of face time and social media. So when you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious, reach out as we are all in this together.

I hope you enjoyed this little guide of things that are truly helping me get through each day at home. Let’s keep adhering to government guidelines and protecting each other by staying home. For information always look at official government websites for the most up to date and accurate advice. We will get through this testing time together and I send all my followers and readers lots of positive vibes. #stayhome #savelives #protectthenhs

Will Power Personal Training – The Balmoral

Will Power Personal Training – The Balmoral

After a very indulgent festive season I feel like I need to recalibrate my fitness and get back in the gym. For this, I have listed the help of Will Power Personal Training who are based within the 5-star spa at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh.

Will Sturgeon

Will Sturgeon, the owner (and my personal trainer) has a wealth of information and expertise and it comes as no surprised that he has many VIP clients under his belt. After playing a number of sports, attending college and university and working in previous health clubs, Will decided to start his own business in 2000, thus leading to the birth of Will Power Personal Training. It is at the Balmoral Spa where Will Power has emerged as an acclaimed industry success. After gaining VIP clients such as international rugby players, politicians, bankers, CEOs and several celebrities, Will Power was awarded ‘Fourth most recommended personal trainers in Scotland’ in a National newspaper poll. 

After a long absence from the gym or any fitness-related activities in that matter, I was a tad nervous about my first day but Will has that magic ability to instantly make you feel at ease. The Balmoral gym itself is located next to the swimming pool and is split into four different zones: two cardio areas, one free weight area and one machine weight area.

We first started off with an initial consultation which explored my concerns, my goals and also my dreaded measurements (which are only taken in order to measure progress). 

I decided to ease myself into the process and carry out two sessions per week. I am not usually good at being told what to do but Will’s positive enthusiasm is like a breath of fresh air. He also has extreme patience, which is good when you are training someone like me. I have only been attending for a few months now but have found each session to be invaluable. After a slow start due to my lack of fitness and a few “I’m going to vomit” moments, Will has continued to push me in the right direction and after each session, I am feeling fitter and stronger. I still have a long way to go but Will has instilled the importance of carrying out the right techniques at a pace that is right for me to reach my desired goals. Will has got the three P’s; Positivity, Patience and Perseverance which in my eyes is all you need in a great personal trainer.

Here are some of the typical exercises you will experience at Will Power Training (of course this will differ due to each individual and goals discussed with your personal trainer).

Chest

 Shoulders

Arms

Back 

 I caught up with Will Power to find out more about him and his personal training company so keep your eyes peeled for my next “Blu Blazer Guy Chats with Will Sturgeon” blog post. 

 Also check out my previous blog post on the fantastic spa facilities at The Balmoral which really help you recover after a good workout.

The Scotsman Picturehouse

The Scotsman Picturehouse

Tucked away within Edinburgh’s iconic Scotsman Hotel is a luxurious addition to Edinburgh’s entertainment scene, The Scotsman Picturehouse. This new cinema aims to rekindle the magic of the big screen and bring back that cinematic opulence of a bygone era. The film schedule contains a selection of recent releases as well as classic masterpieces, so there is plenty of choice for everyone. I was recently invited to watch a movie and experience their midweek treat package; just one of the many packages on offer.

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Entrance to The Scotsman Hotel

Stepping out from the hotel’s lift gives you an initial glimpse of the what to expect; through the door a small seating area filled with small tables, wooden panelling and luxurious red velvet seating.

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Foyer

The accompanying Picturehouse foyer sells a range of snacks, drinks, specially crafted cocktails as well as my favourite; retro sweets! I was delighted too be able to not only enjoy a glass of wine at the bar but also in my seat during the movie.

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Bar area

As you walk in to screen you immediately feel the decadence beneath your feet due to the claret deep pile carpet. The space is sumptuously cosy and intimate with only 48 lavish leather armchairs, each having their own individual tables and classic empire lamps. The interior exudes opulence and you could be fooled by thinking you have been transported back in time if it wasn’t for the modern touches such as the seats having their own power and USB points. 

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The fantastic dolby surround system provides the perfect sound quality which really took me by surprise. As the velvet curtains are pulled back and the lights dim you feel like you are in your own little world. The seats are extremely comfortable, allowing you to lay back, sip on your choice of drink whilst enjoy the fresh popcorn as you escape into your chosen movie.

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To make the cinematic experience even more enjoyable the Scotsman Picturehouse offers several packages to to enhance your visit. These include:

Classic Dinner & A Movie 

This is the perfect package for a special date or an intimate celebration. Enjoy a specially created two-course menu in a private booth in the gallery of The Grand Café; which I previously reviewed. In addition you can enjoy a glass of Prosecco, a bottle of Innis & Gunn Gunpowder IPA or a soft drink on arrival. 

Brunch and a Blockbuster 

A fantastic chose for mid morning entertainment which includes seasonal brunch at The Grand Cafe, complete with a glass of orange juice and a freshly brewed coffee. This is then followed by a visit to the Picturehouse for a late morning screening.

Afternoon Tea and Matinee 

I love a good afternoon tea treat and this package includes afternoon tea at The Grand Cafe, complete with a glass of bubbles. Afterwards, you can indulge in one of their afternoon screen showings. 

Midweek treat 

For a midweek escape this package includes a movie, alcoholic/non-alcoholic drink and fresh popcorn.

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I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to The Scotsman Picturehouse as it brought an air of luxury back to the cinematic experience. It may cost be a tad more than your normal cinema outing, but the ambience, surroundings and comfort all add to the overall experience. The added package deals make it a perfect night out with a difference. 

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Edinburgh Festivals – 5 Festivals in 1 Day

Edinburgh Festivals – 5 Festivals in 1 Day

You may have noticed the slight buzz  and electric energy around Edinburgh this month. Guess what? It’s time for Edinburgh festivals!!! I was invited to spend a day with Festivals Edinburgh who do a fantastic job in ensuring that Edinburgh remains the world’s leading festival city. Eleven festivals take place throughout the year, five in August alone, so I set out to explore these five fantastic festivals all in one day.

Edinburgh Art Festival – 25th July to 25th August

If you looking to ignite your creative mind and or have a fond appreciation of art, then look no further than Edinburgh’s Art Festival. This festival is the largest visual art celebration in the UK and attracts an astounding 250,000 people each year. It encompasses work from established to emerging artists, providing a creative outlet to showcase their extraordinary work. The festival includes over 40 exhibitions, most of which are free to attend and include an assortment of contemporary, fine and abstract art. 

Firstly I visited the historic Parliament Hall for the exhibition called ‘The Future is Inside Us, It’s not Somewhere Else’ by Nathan Coley. This was a series of large-scale custom made lightboxes which merge original wallpaper from Zuber & Ice and phrases chosen by the artist. The stunning Parliament Hall provided the perfect backdrop to these thought provoking pieces.

My favourite had to be ‘Looking For Luck’ which was inspired by a story about a South American man travelling with his family across the Mexican/American Border. He was stopped by a journalist who asked him why we was travelling to America and the man replied “I am looking for luck”. 

Next I visited Dovecot Studios to explore a selection of tapestries created by the artist, Grayson Perry. The series is called ‘Julie Cope’s Grand Tour’. I absolutely loved this exhibition, the tapestries were vivid, intricate and full of life.

I concluded the Edinburgh Art Festival by visiting the much talked about ‘I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On’ by Alfredo Jaar. The piece is located on a bridge above West College Street and is said to articulate a perfect metaphor for the era we live in. 

Edinburgh Fringe – 2nd to 26th August

The Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world where performers take to the numerous stages and venues (317 in 2018) scattered all over the city.

 

 

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Unlike the Edinburgh International Festival, the Fringe has no selection process and is therefore open to anyone. Performers can present any type of work and then pay a fee to the Fringe. This makes the Fringe an exciting and unpredictable festival, as you never know what to expect. Due to its thrilling manner, The Fringe has given rise to several stars throughout the years.

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The central area for this festival is located on the Royal Mile. On this charming and historic street you will find an abundance of street performers trying to grab your attention, pop-up stages showcasing some acts and copious amount of promoters handing out leaflets enticing you to the many shows available.

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The Royal Mile

Edinburgh International Festival – 2nd to 26th August

Founded in 1947 to bring people together through culture in the wake of conflict, Edinburgh International Festival invites people from all over the world to perform shows in theatre, dance, music and opera. Over the years this spectacular melting pot of creativity has continued to grow, showcasing some of the finest talent around the globe. These hand-picked shows are spread throughout a number of venues in Edinburgh. 

I visited Church Hill Theatre to watch the charismatic show ‘Roots’. The show blends animation and storytelling with a live musical score all whilst telling the fascinating folk tales. This show was very intriguing and cleverly put together. The timing of each of the characters was impeccable and I couldn’t keep my eyes off of the musicians who at some points were playing three instruments at the same time. What made it even more impressive is that there were only four people in the whole show, multi-tasking was definitely one there best skills. 

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo – 2nd to 25th August

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is Scotland’s biggest outdoor spectacle, attracting a staggering 220,000 people each year. Located on the esplanade of the iconic Edinburgh castle, over a 1000 military and civilian performers from around the world congregate to perform a show of a lifetime.

With a prime position on the forecourt, I was able to experience this up close and personal. With its multiculturalism effortlessly mixed with traditional Scottish dancing, I must admit it was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever witnessed. I especially loved the performance from the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force Steel Orchestra who brought a touch of sunshine and vibrancy to the show and the New Zealand Army Band performed their impressive Haka display.

This year’s theme is called Kaleidoscope and is a series of performances with colour and light, comparable to the optical invention which was created by Scottish physicist Sir David Brewster in 1816.

The display of music and dance against Edinburgh Castle is a sight to be seen and should be on everyones bucket list. At the end of the evening I had exclusive access to the roof to witness the spectacular firework finale.

Edinburgh International Book Festival – 10th to 26th August

Edinburgh International Book Festival is a celebration of the written word in all its forms and brings together writers from over 60 Countries.

I attended ‘Unbound’, a free event in the Spiegletent which explores poetry in all its glory. All the readings were passionate and witty, taking you on a journey of different emotions.

As I sat in the mist filled ambience of the tent, I looked back on this fantastic day and couldn’t help but feel truly blessed to stay in the heart of the best festival city in the world. 

 

Edinburgh Festivals – The Survival Guide

Edinburgh Festivals – The Survival Guide

Just because Edinburgh is a small city doesn’t mean it cant handle itself when it comes to an influx of people. Great planning goes into the organisation of such well known worldwide festivals and everything seems to work like clockwork. Although to some Edinburgh residents, it may feel like a strain some days, we embrace the injection of energy and enjoy the perks that it brings. Not only do I love the world-wide talent, exciting shows and food and drink pop ups, I especially love the late night shopping hours and being able to get in a coffee shop after 5pm! Although the city is prepared, YOU should also be prepared! So as an insider, I thought I would give you my survival tips on getting the best out of the festivals and the city.

The bustling Royal Mile

1. I am stating the obvious here but its a very important one. Fail to plan, plan to fail. I always make an itinerary no matter where I go in the world, sometimes I don’t stick to it completely but its great to have a structure in your head so you know where to be to get the most out of your trip. It’s especially important in Edinburgh during the festivals. My first tip if you are coming from another country would be to book your hotels and flights well in advance. The prices of these often go up dramatically near the festival time. Therefore, you could save yourself a lot of money. The recently opened budget hotel, Point A is an affordable choice that has a great location close to the city centre. It’s also good to book any particular restaurants to avoid disappointment and not get ‘hangry’. Most importantly if you are planning to see a lot of shows then grab some tickets, as soon as they are released, and utilise the websites.

Rooms at Point A Hotel

2. It is no secret that Scotland’s weather is rather unpredictable, so you have to be well prepared and wear sensible clothing and footwear. With blue skies in the morning and driving rain in the afternoon, people are often surprised with the constant changes in weather. The best advice is to wear layers as you are able to remove or add throughout the day. If you can, waterproof layers are also advisable. Having an umbrella is okay, however unless you want to do your Mary Poppins impression due to the common surprise gusts of wind, a jacket with a hood should be sufficient.

It is sunny sometimes, I promise!

3. If you ever wanted to work out while walking around, then Edinburgh is the perfect city to get those steps in. Wear comfortable shoes as Edinburgh is built on numerous hills, thus walking from A to B can be like a mini hike. Adding to that is the cobbled streets and uneven pavements (which all add to Edinburghs charm), wearing your Sunday bests, are probably not advisable.

The winding steep streets of Old Town

4. If you are visiting from another country, or even from a different part of the U.K. Be prepared for the Scottish accent and unusual/slang words and phrases. We try our best but often forget to slow down for tourists. Being the capital there are many Scots from around the country and dialects change from town to town. Check out some words and phrases here. It shouldnae be that hard fir ye!

5. As Edinburgh is a small city, getting from one part of the city to the other can be easy, however at busy times (like during the festival) it can take much longer. Luckily we have an amazing bus service called Lothian Buses. The bus journey may feel a tad slower due to the increase in people and the introduction of the 20mph limit within the city but the network is great. Download their app where you can buy tickets, view timetables and get updates on any delays. The buses now accept contactless, so it is now much easier to pay for your journey without searching for change. The Edinburgh Tram system is also a fantastic way of getting to and from the airport or back and forth Princes Street without getting stuck in traffic.

6. This is maybe easier said than done but try and avoid Princes Street, unless of course you are out for a fantastic days shopping. This street is usually packed full of people coming from all directions and at this time of the year, it doesn’t make walking through the city a pleasurable experience. Instead, head to the other side of the road and walk through Princes Street Gardens. It is more open and pleasant, enabling you to see the ever changing architecture of Princes St on one side and the old town and imposing castle on the other… much better for photo opportunities!

Princes Street Gardens

7. Queues! I’m sorry tourists but we like our queues, we are still British after all. Whether it’s buses, banks or ticket lines etc we like to be in straight lines and heaven forbid you should cross it. Don’t be offended if you get a sly look if you skip the queues, it’s just in our blood. 

8. If you cannot come for the entire month, why not try to come at the beginning of the festival or the end. Come at the beginning and you will get the chance to snap up some free or 2 for 1 tickets. Come at the end and you will experience the great closing ceremony with its fireworks against the beautiful castle.

9. On a serious note, it’s now time to talk about pedestrian lights. Red means Stop, so don’t be tempted to cross the roads on a red man. We’ve seen it many times during the festival where tourists walk out in front of buses and cars, causing serious accidents.

10. Although being in the festival is incredibly entertaining, there is still an entire city and country out there to explore or relax in. If you are a little tired, there are plenty areas to go to breathe a sigh of relief. There are pockets of relaxation around Edinburgh and you just need to know where to look, head to my previous blog post for some ideas. 

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Dean Village

Edinburgh is a fantastic city to visit at any time of the year but at festival time you can see an exciting and unique side to the city. Follow these steps and your guaranteed your time will go smoothly and you will get the best out of the city making you long to come back again and again. Most importantly, just have fun!! Haste Ye Back!

Blu Blazer Guy chats with Jason Carter – TV Personality

Blu Blazer Guy chats with Jason Carter – TV Personality

Being from the UK I only became aware of Jason Carter whilst watching popular American TV show RuPaul’s drag race. Jason graced our screens in all his glory as a member of the infamous pit crew. It wasn’t until I started following his social media channels that I became more aware of his lustrous career and the path he took to get to where he is today.

Originally from New Mexico’s largest city Albuquerque, Jason landed his first job at 15, hosting seven seasons of teen dance show “Dance, Dance, Dance, It’s A Teen thing!” for FOX. He then allowed his personality to shine through a different avenue in the world of radio, where he became an instant success. In 2006 he relocated to Los Angeles where he made his mark as a world class TV personality, working with numerous networks such as VH1, NBC and LOGOTV. It wasn’t until 2010 where he was cast as a member of the pit crew and immersed in the ‘sickening’ world and backstage drama of RuPauls Drag Race.

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His engaging personality and his positive and witty attitude captures the attention of thousands of followers all over the world. I was lucky enough  to find out more about the guy behind that infectious smile. Here is my BluBlazerGuy Interview with Jason Carter:

Firstly thank you for taking the time to answer these questions Jason. You lead a very busy life, not only are you as a host, producer, journalist, television personality, you also appear on the iconic programme RuPaul’s Drag Race. Do you ever get time to just relax? If so, what truly relaxes you?

Relaxation is something that is a little rare for me! But when I do get the opportunity to relax I love to just stay home and either binge watch Netflix or hit the gym. I’m a simple guy and it doesn’t take much for me to unwind. I do love a good shower though lol

Your regular appearances as a member of the Pit Crew on RuPaul’s Drag Race means you are in front of the camera in all your glory. How do you keep yourself in such good shape, especially when having such a busy schedule?

It really comes down to diet and consistency. I try to watch what I eat and stay active. Sometimes it is easier said than done but it all comes down to consistency and awareness. But I work out three days a week. Sometimes four .

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RuPaul’s Drag Race, Season 10 Finale.

Being Pride month, LGBTQ equality is a talking point for everyone.  Albeit we have come so far, I feel there is more than can be done. What advice would you give to a young person who wishes to ‘come-out’?

I get this question all the time. I would say to a young person that is wanting to be open with their sexuality to first , find people who will support and be a healthy and positive influence. You are not alone and are loved and there are people who are in you corner and will be a safe place. Secondly, I would say to take your time and do what feels right for you. Not one person’s experience or story is the same. Do what feels right and is comfortable for you. Period.

Like myself, you are a keen traveller and you have visited some stunning destinations. Do you have a particular favourite place to visit and why?

You know, I have visited some beautiful places and I have to say the most breath-taking place I have been to is Greece. Mykonos is so peaceful . Overlooking the Mediterranean, it is Nirvana. I can’t agree with you more, Greece is one of my favourites. 

Being such a prominent public figure you always keep yourself perfectly groomed and styled. What are your top tips for that camera ready look?

Ahh thank you ! I love fashion and most definitely a fan of men’s lifestyle and grooming. I just know what works for me. I am a huge advocate for skincare and believe in always using sunscreen. I get a fresh cut on a weekly basis because my hair grows like weeds haha. And always moisturise!!!!! Keeps the wrinkles away.

Serving Polka Dots.

As far as my style, being a Libran I like to experiment with different looks. Depending on my mood is normally how I’ll dress, and I never ever leave the house without a scent. I’m obsessed with fragrance and simply cannot live without it. Instant mood lifter.

On that note, I’m such a fragrance fanatic! I can’t resist but ask you what your favourite fragrance is and why?

Ahh you got me Scottie! I own over thirty five bottles of fragrance and I have never been able to say that I have a favourite. But one that I simply cannot live without is Guerlain L’ Homme Ideal Cologne. It is simply divine. Almonds; Vetiver; Citrus and Pink Pepper. Intoxicating!

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You once said “work is work, don’t get caught up in the perks, get caught up in your craft and keep doing great work”. How do you manage to stay so grounded in such an industry?

I come from humble beginnings. I have only known hard work, so I work like it can all go away instantly. Whether or not that is a healthy way to exist is a whole other conversation but just staying present and being grateful always centres me.

I have found that you have such a positive and charismatic personality. This is evident both online and on camera, what is your secret?

Thank you for the kind words. I just be who I am . Of course training and being on television since the age of sixteen helps but mainly just being authentically myself is the key. We always trying to be what others want us to be and found that when I let go of that negative behaviour I was able to just be authentically Jason. And that’s who comes across on camera.

On set with ET Live.

I’ve heard through the grapevine that one of your biggest icons is Mariah Carey (preach), are there any other people that inspire you? 

I am inspired everyday by people. Famous or not. My mother’s strength inspires me. My husband’s work ethic inspires me. My twin brother’s kindness inspires me. I am inspired by so much. Everyday.

Being a fellow Libran (we share the same birthday btw) we are always striving to find ways to achieve balance and harmony in my life. How do you find ways in order to strike a healthy balance in your life?

Who says I do?? No, in all seriousness I am always trying to find balance in all aspects of my life. Does it happen? Never. But it’s the little things that help along the way. Like self-care and being mindful of my own wellbeing. Balance is being able to be prepared for what life throws at you.

Thank you so much Jason for taking the time to answer my questions and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you.

Watch Jason as a Host on Entertainment Tonight / ET Live
Or on his social media channels;
Twitter: @jjcforever
IG: JASONCARTEROFFICIAL
jasonunleased.net

Photos by Jason Carter.

 

 

 

Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Father’s Day Gift Ideas
I don’t know about you but when it comes to Father’s Day I find it very difficult to get my dad the perfect gift. Over the past year I have come across some amazing products and experiences and I thought I would share them with you to make choosing your Father’s Day gift that little bit easier. Whether it be for your father or a special father figure, I am sure you will find the perfect item.
SKINCARE
House 99 by David Beckham

David Beckham was determined to create a new grooming brand that supports men in their quest to feel and look their best. The House 99 range provides a selection of products covering skincare, hair-care and shaving. With its slick black and white masculine packaging and logo it’s the perfect understated choice for those fathers who want to experiment with grooming products.

I recently attended their event to try a few of their products and I was very impressed with the range. Here are my Blublazerguy top three choices:

Face Moisturiser Greater Look – This multi-effect formula helps hydrate the skin and reduce shine whilst protecting it from pollution. I especially love how even though it has lightweight texture it still manages to keep the skin moisturised throughout the day.
75ml – £22.00 at house99.co.uk

Toning Lotion Spruce Up – This is a fantastic product for re-energising the skin and adding a boost of hydration to replenish lost moisture, especially after shaving.
200ml – £18 at house99.co.uk

Bronzer All Bright – Most men are a tad dubious when it comes to using a bronzer or fake tan,  but this product manages to solve the problem.  Once applied to skin, this refreshing gel gives a natural and healthy looking glow. It also provides the skin with an intense dose of moisture and evens out the skin complexion; a great all in one product that is quick and easy to use.
75ml – £18.00 at house99.co.uk

FRAGRANCE

Like our fashion sense and style choices, we are always on the lookout for unique ways to show off our personality.  In my personal opinion, a fragrance is just the way to do this, therefore it makes a fantastic Father’s Day present.

Here are my Blublazerguy top three choices:

 

Carthusia

For a unique fragrance choice why not choose a scent by the house of Carthusia which comes from the beautiful Italian island of Capri. Most of the ingredients contained in the fragrance are indigenous to the area of which they are made. I recently had the opportunity to visit their perfume factory in Capri and I was amazed by the passion and dedication that goes into each bottle. With high quality ingredients, its distinctive history and its beautiful geographical location make a fragrance from this house a special and unique gift.

Numero Uno is one of my favourites from this house and is perfect for both young and mature men. This Citrus/Woody fragrance contains the beautiful top notes of Orange and Bergamot with a heart of Ylang-Ylang and base of Vetiver and Musk. This truly gives an opulent scent and leaves you with an uplifting feel.

RRP £80 for 100ml at libertylondon.com. See my video here for more information.

The Perfume Studio London 

Design Your Own Fragrance for Men – If your father is a true fragrance lover then why not treat him to a gift where he can create his very own bespoke fragrance. The Perfume Studio London have created a specific collection of kits allowing you to do just that.

Each kit comes with easy to follow instructions, equipment and a 30ml glass bottle which can be personally inscribed. In addition, it also contains six perfume blends that have been meticulously selected by their in- house master perfumer; Francois Robert.

The process is very easy to follow and it’s a fun way of getting involved in creating a fragrance that is unique for your Dad.

£49 (£54 including personally inscribed bottle) at theperfumestudio.com 

See my previous blog post here and video here for more information. Also look out for my giveaway on Instagram. 

Jusbox Perfumes

Jusbox is a luxury fragrance brand inspired by the world of music so if your Dad is little more daring or is a fan of the music industry then this brand is a great choice.

No Rules – This aromatic and woody scent is perhaps for the more daring fathers out there and is inspired by the leather clad era of punk. With top notes of Aldehydic, Ethereal and Saffron, middle notes of Lavender, Vinyl and cinnamon and base notes of Leathery accord, Birch Bark and Musk its a fragrance that plays between the cold notes of metal and the warmness of leather.
75ml – £140 Exclusive to selfridges.com

 

SHAVING

Acqua di Parma – Barbiere Collection

Acqua Di Parma are known for their iconic range of quintessential Italian colognes but did you know they also have shaving products? Their Barbiere range is a modern interpretation of a long tradition of shaving, Italian style.

Each one of their products comes in their striking yellow packaging and contains the fresh light notes of their renowned cologne. Here are my Blublazerguy top three choices:

Soft Shaving Cream – This is the perfect choice if your father prefers the traditional method of shaving using a brush. This rich cream is formulated with pomegranate seed oil, lemon oil, extract of basil and hyaluronic acid which helps prevent irritation and reddening.
125ml – £47.00 at acquadiparma.com

Shaving Gel – This shaving gel is for those men who favour a quicker shave without the irritation. This luxurious gel immediately transforms into a refreshing and creamy lather for an ultra- comfortable shave.
150ml – £31.00 at acquadiparma.com

Refreshing After shave Emulsion – To finish off the shaving routine, this Refreshing After Shave Emulsion is the perfect solution. The smooth and rapidly absorbing emulsion hydrates the skin and soothes any irritation.
100ml – £52.00 at acquadiparma.com. For more information on the fragrances, head to my blog post here

DRINK/FOOD EXPERIENCES

I always get asked what to get a Man that has everything? You cannot go wrong with treating them to an experience. For Father’s day I have selected my top three Blublazerguy choices:

Darnleys Gin. – Gin School Distil Your Own Experience

If your father is a gin lover then why not treat him to the Darnley’s Gin ‘distil your own” experience. Housed in a small cottage at their distillery in Fife is the Darnley’s school of Gin.

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Here you can learn about the history of Gin and how different botanicals can be used to enhance its flavour. You can then pick your own botanicals from their vast collection and craft your very own blend of Gin in their mini stills.

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After naming and labelling you Gin, you get to take your unique bottle home. I recently visited the distillery and found this experience unique, fun and highly informative.£100pp weekly on Friday at 3pm and Saturday and Sunday at 11am at darnleysgin.com

The Balmoral – Father’s Day Whisky & Beer Experience

 

Located in the prestigious Balmoral Hotel is the fantastic SCOTCH, a bar that sells over 500 malts, blends and vintages from all over Scotland. I experienced one of their whisky journey’s a few months ago and really enjoyed it.

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Whisky Journey Experience

Now they are offering a special Father’s Day Whisky & Beer Experience. They have partnered with The Edinburgh Beer Factory to pair beers with their Whisky Ambassadors’ chosen drams.
Sunday 16th June from £25.00, advance booking my emailing scotch.balmoral@roccofortehotels.com

Prestonfield House – Rhubarb Restaurant

Situated only five minutes from Edinburgh City centre is the impressive and renowned Prestonfield House hotel, owned by hotelier-restaurateur James Thomson OBE. Why not treat your father to a wonderful meal at their renowned restaurant, Rhubarb.

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The restaurant spans over two large adjoining rooms. Each room is adorned with high ceilings, sash windows and walls of beautifully restored historical paintings. Again, the decor echoes the rest of the estate with antiques, historic architectural features and lavish materials.
Three Course Set Menu Dinner – £38.00 at Prestonfield.com Head to my previous blog post for more details.

Guild Magazine Event – Edinburgh

Guild Magazine Event – Edinburgh

On Thursday 4th April, Guild Magazine held an exclusive event at Rox Jewellers on the prestigious George Street in Edinburgh. This event marked the official introduction of Guild Magazine in Europe and was attended by fifty creative and inspiring individuals in Scotland representing the world of fashion, art, travel, and food.

 

The event, hosted by Myself as UK Travel & Culture Director and editor Feraz Ahmed, welcomed the guests to the world of Guild Magazine.

Scott McGlashan (UK Travel & Culture Director) & Feraz Ahmed (editor)

Over delectable canapés, glasses of Moët & Chandon and cocktails served by the expert team at Rox, guests were able to meet some of the International Guild Magazine Team, who travelled from New York City for the special event. Founder & Editor-in-Chief Jose Morales, Fashion Director Luis De Jesus, Creative Arts Director Isabel Merchand, and Digital Design Consultant Robert Nunez, mingled with the guests throughout the night.

(Left to right) Fashion Director Luis De Jesus, Creative Arts Director Isabel Merchand, Digital Design Consultant Robert Nunez, Editor-in-Chief Jose Morales, UK Travel & Culture Director Scott McGlashan and Editor Feraz Ahmed at the Guild Magazine event in Edinburgh, Scotland.

After a speech by Feraz Ahmed introducing Guild Magazine and discussing its unprecedented success since its launch on August 2018, Jose Morales explained his mission for Guild Magazine: “to serve as a trusted voice for experts and professionals in the fields of fashion, art, travel, and food, by showcasing the work of people who have studied and dedicated their lives to their craft and areas of expertise, while inspiring a new generation of up-and-coming experts.” His speech was closed with a sneak peek of the next issue – The Travel Issue – highlighting an exclusive behind-the-scenes video of one of the fashion editorials featuring international supermodel, Pritika Swarup, and the covers commemorating this 3rd printed issue.

This event enabled the International Guild magazine team to truly convey the essence of what the magazine is about and highlight their passion towards it. We at Guild were overwhelmed by the positive response and forthcomingness from all those who attended.

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At the end of the night, those in attendance received a deluxe gift bag with items provided by Walker Slater, Kiehl’s cosmetics, Darnley’s Gin, and Guild Magazine.

For more photos of the evening head to the events article at Guild Magazine.

Photography by Matt Maitland.