Who Are You These Days?

I had a chat with my oldest friend last night and she said “I sometimes wonder who you are these days, I see what you do online, you do so much, and then when I speak to you and I say, oh it is still just Karlie”

My friend was saying it must be difficult for new people to ‘get’ what I do and who I really am, “I know you hun, but they don’t so they must wonder what kind of person you are”. Truth is people are always surprised at the volume of what I do, most are super positive and some not so much but there’s no big secret, I just like doing stuff and am more than happy to help a few people do stuff too.

But ultimately I don’t really care what people think of me, I really don’t and that’s not meant to offend you but it’s that simple. I’m pretty thick skinned and i’m very black and white, there’s no grey.  Say what you want, think what you want, there’s no place for it here. I’m honest, I work hard and I always have, if you have a problem with me, you’re either having a bad day or a bad life, go have a cigarette, make some changes and grow up a little will you. You’re not going to be on my radar for very long with a bad attitude.  Yep, I juggle a lot but i’m the first friend there if you truly need me, my priorities are sharp. So that’s who I am, someone doing their own thing not concerned about what you’re doing.

I have decided to wind down a little on doing things this winter to concentrate on writing, as that’s where it all began right? That’s the silver tuna. It’s the one thing I keep coming back to on my life goals list. If I have instilled anything in you dear blog reader, it’s that change is possible at any given point, change is GOOD! Expect some changes coming this way.

Currently I’m writing every single day and finally taking that scriptwriting class I previously mentioned, my friend has said to use this blog as a diary of that, so here we are. Kinda. I don’t really want to promise but I am going to try.

Today in Uni, we watched short films where all kinds of mistakes had been made so we could learn from them. It got me thinking about mistakes and well damn this is a strange blog to write because it’s much more heartfelt than anything i’ve been writing in ages.

In short though, I guess we all make mistakes and we have to accept them and move on, otherwise you can get so caught up in worrying. What we look like, what we said, what we wore, what we so did NOT do. I have a great friend who laughs at any antics and it’s always given me permission to laugh at them too. I’m proud of me, mistakes and all. So that’s who I am these days, just a girl, standing in front of you all. Still just kinda proud of who I am and proud of the people who don’t question it.

Rocket Fuel for the Soul

elton john

This must be the weirdest post you’ll have read from me in a while because it’s actually a real life diary entry post and not a post about beauty, make up or fashion over on the Swag Guide, it’s from actual me.

A few people have asked why I don’t have this blog public anymore and tbh I found it a little personal when I didn’t want to be scrutinised so I took it off. We live our lives under a microscope sometimes and I’ve always thought it’s nice for people to just meet me and not be swayed by the online stuff. In a bizarre twist this is also the reason I  have put this blog back public as my posts are pretty much transparent, i’m the same now as i’ve always been. People who judge, judge away, it’s all good. I’m happy with the happy, deep and klutzy little person that I am. This blog might be changing into a diary of how I write a screenplay, I’ve been chatting about this with my friend and he thinks it’s what I should be doing with it. All will be revealed in time as it always is.

So this is a back to grass roots post from me as a regular blogger about the last year and Ermagherd! What a year it has been. What have I been up to? Okay, here goes…

My year started road tripping between LA, New York and Las Vegas. The Best.

In March I launched a personal project that i’d been working on for years and started a journey that has been a great learning curve in hard work, determination, sleep deprivation, loyalties, laziness, grammar, spending money, road miles, thinking on my feet, responsibility and self belief. I’m really proud of it and have watched it evolve into something real and relevant over the last few months. There’s a big change coming with it soon, so watch that space.

Alongside this I completed my HND in Television and am now a 3rd year student at Edinburgh’s Napier University. I was tempted not to go to Uni but felt the creative environment might be nourishing and it really is. I am still learning so much every day. I am also finally on a scriptwriting course too, so happy happy days. University is really something that keeps me busy and nurtures my love of creative writing.

We lost a special person this year and I cannot lie that it has been really fucking tough and brings a lump to my throat every time I think of the gap she has left behind for everyone. I’m so proud of the brave women around me who are rebuilding their lives without the brightest of stars. It’s been a huge shock and it’s definitely had repercussions in my day to day and my future plans. As you know I lost my Dad a few years ago but nothing prepared me for this and the effect it’s had on my life, my thoughts and my priorities.

Appreciate everyone you know because life is a cruel bastard sometimes and you never know how much time you have. Those people you never expect to not be there suddenly can just not be. Life doesn’t play fair.

This summer I produced, wrote and directed my first show in the Edinburgh festival, The Hungover Sofa. So many great people came on the show and it birthed some new presenting stars too. It’s on You Tube, go see. Also filmed some little comedy skits, with more to come so watch that space.

I’m also vlogging now and you can find me and other bloggers on The Swag Guide You tube channel. I’m finding vlogging so much fun and I’m so chuffed with the people who are interested in my little life here on the blue planet. We’re all pretty much just idiots figuring things out with other idiots who believe in us. We up sell, change our minds, re write our histories and stumble into our futures.

I spent time with an amazing little complicated person who helped me take a step back in time and forward again and made me laugh over the silliest of things, even shallots. Loved that.

I’m also Beauty and Fashion writer at LetsJoin which you’ll find on Edinburgh’s transport network. It is hard work and also so much fun, I absolutely love my Editors and co workers. I love writing posts, I love helping other bloggers share their voices too. I’m still on Twitter and Instagram, where I take way more selfies in lifts than anyone ever should. @IamstillKarlie over there too, or a variation of myself at that moment.

So, I’ve done a fair amount, there’s things I can’t even put in here because they sound ridic and I sound like a big head, they’re probably online somewhere if you care to go searching. It’s been fun and I have pinched myself many times this year, maybe most buying a sausage and bean pasty from Greggs more than anywhere. Ha!

Then there’s my two teenagers, who are just the best thing ever. I’ve still managed to maintain a good degree of privacy for them online which I’m super proud of. I think they teach me more about life than I do them and despite them being so close to the end of this post, they are first, they are just everything.

So as always, my eyes are wide open, my ear is to the ground to learn, my thirst for knowledge is still exploding, my belief in love is strong, I’m looking forward and around me and I have passion in my veins I’m never going to apologise for. Someone asked me recently why I always say life is short, ‘It’s like you have an obsession with time or something’ he laughed. I thought about it, he was right, I do, I don’t want to ever miss the best moments, I want to do everything I can and help others do all they can and I want to squeeze the most out of life. Then someone else asked me why I work so hard, and I genuinely don’t know, I’m not too concerned with money, stuff or success, it’s always the experiences that hold the value for me. I like being busy and again that obsession with not wasting time.

But please do not ask me how I do all these things, I have no idea. I sleep, get up and work until I fall back into bed and repeat it all over again. I strive to find happiness in every day and consider myself one hell of a lucky son of a bitch, I’m overwhelmed looking back at this year don’t get me wrong but I don’t really think about it at the time, I just do it. Some people have said they cannot keep up with me and they don’t know how I do it, but I have never ever asked anyone to, just bring me coffee, love me madly and make me laugh, it’s my rocket fuel.

I’m Bloody Ibiza!


On more than one occasion, by more than one person, i’ve been called Tenacious. It came back into my life this weekend, and as I twirled it around in my mouth, I thought of the pros and cons that come with this as your tagline.

We’re all a little bit narcissistic in that we like our characters being discussed, and hey, it could have been worse. the B word, the C word, so isn’t it lovely to be called the T word? Tenacious. Google it, basically it means determined, a fact I, and most people who know me, will agree on. Oh aren’t I just so fucking fabulous?! *eye rooooooooooooll*

But what about those days when I don’t feel so fabulous and the mountain of work looms over me like the shadows of Kilimanjaro or Everest? (still on the list, still on the list)

Tenacity can be a flaw, being about to let go and just chill out can actually be quite hard. Especially when the work load has to be done as there’s no-one else who can or will do it for you.

Determination is a great business skill to have without a doubt, but what about those days when you don’t want to think business and instead you want to crawl under the covers, eat pizza, watch movies and stay there. Down time and switching off is very important and good for the soul. It’s no coincidence that I am drawn to people who make me laugh, it’s pure medicine for me with this work addiction I have.

I talk to a lot of entrenpreneurs about switching off, in these early days of tying everything down to within an inch of its life, it’s a hard thing to do. And I know I have it super tough right now, as I’m not only launching one business, but two, and this clever idea to get a degree FOR MYSELF doesn’t feel so clever right now, and the very fact I am having a creative spurt and am finding myself in the early hours of the morning back to writing ‘that book’ again, alongside working on a format for blogging masterclasses I’ve been asked to do, the short Noir film I’m directing, the Christmas Feature film i’ve been asked to help out on, and the 3-4 videos I’m producing, I could punch myself in the face for being ‘tenacious’.

Excuse me, but I’m having one of those weeks, the toll of my workload is making me moan a little. But I stand firm, tenacious even, as I know I will get through it. Maybe i’ll cancel a few events. Maybe i’ll go get drunk with my friends and dance inappropriately. Maybe i’ll stay under the covers, eat pizza, watch movies and stay there. Maybe I won’t write a damn thing, (this is a lie). Maybe i’ll eat clean, ramp up on the yoga and meditation. It’s this I’ll most likely do, as healthy body, healthy mind and all that.

Whatever I do, I know the way out from underneath this shadow, heck by the time this post is published I might even be laughing my tits off somewhere. Because that’s the thing about being tenacious, you don’t ever quit. It’s not an option.

Get Your SWAG on Bloggers

So Glam

So, how pants am I? You could be fooled into thinking pretty much so if you take these blog updates as anything to go by.

However, I juggle a lot of things singlehandedly, so actually, sometimes, I think i’m pretty badass.

But you don’t get to be badass without a good support network, and I am blessed to know and work with a big bunch of creative geniuses. I adore working in a team, (maybe because I come from a big family?) and so, I was always keen to make a one stop shop for bloggers in Scotland. One of the reasons I’ve not been updating this here blog recently as that my efforts have been going to The SWAG Guide.

The concept for The SWAG Guide was born many years ago, and after a few tweaks, tears and rebuilds, we are on track to provide an online Fashion, Beauty, Lifestyle, Events, Travel and Sports resource for Scottish Wives And Girlfriends. (Did you see what we did there?)

Bloggers from EVERYWHERE in Scotland, please contact us at hello@theswagguide.com or if you want to get personal, karlie@theswagguide.com. And if you don’t blog but know someone who wants to, then put them in touch!

All ideas are welcomed, the fun starts soon, will you be involved?





January To Do List

to do list

1) Keep up to date on this blog. (Failing so far!)

2) Build New Website for ANOTHER Blog site. ( Grrrrrr web designers, grrrrrr…)

3) Create content for New Media Production Co. ( In Hand. Insert smiley face here)

4) Do, extremely, well in HND assessments. (Crosses fingers)

5) Be awesome, inspiring, dynamic Mother figure to own children. (Crosses fingers)

6) Plan year ahead, month by month, so do not only get behind on excessive work load but finish year ahead of self ( Downloads Timeful app and crosses fingers)

7) Meditate (Ommmmmmmm)

8) Go to gym. (Um?)

9) Make vow to not spend as long on Social Media Platforms. (Downloads Tunepics and spends more time on Instagram engagement)

10) Make a monthly list of things to do so actually accomplish them and not just look back and think fuck. (Check. Insert smiley face here)

2014 – Goodbyes and Good Hello’s

It's my party and i'll cry if I want to!
It’s my party and i’ll cry if I want to!

As 2014 takes its last breaths I’ll be sitting in an airport lounge ready to kick start my 2015, catching up with old friends in new and old spaces. So excited, but before I fast forward in time, let’s go back…

2014 has been a year of Hello’s and Goodbyes. So many more Hello’s than Goodbyes for which I am so grateful, thankful and happy for! As always, I have learned soooo much this year, lessons I take forward in my new days.

My big Goodbye this year was to my house. I can’t say it wasn’t a tough goodbye because I did fight hard (wax on, wax off) to keep it, but it was just not meant to be. All in all it’s turned out to be a positive experience, but then that could be all about my perspective. (As you know, I’m good at perspective!)

Anyways, I’m not going to drown you in a sea of emotions. Line drawn.

My Hello’s have been to some amazingly special people and spaces, people I’ve been meaning to catch up with forevs!

My beautiful cake made by my beautiful friend friend Juliet
My beautiful cake made by my beautiful friend friend Juliet

First Hello’s were on my birthday!! Cockneys gathered in Edinburgh, and we all went out out. So chuffed at the people who dressed up, travelled up and helped me party. Was so very, very wonderfully drunk. So touched by the thoughtful gifts I received too. 1798079_10203404213009941_1399978342_n

Next up was Brighton, took my babies daan sahhf for a long weekend frollick on the beach, a chippy on the pier and hugged my oldest best friend and her beautiful babies.

Brighton Pier, what a beautiful view, naturally including my babies.
Brighton Pier, what a beautiful view, naturally including my babies.
Walking near Barry Island.

Next up was Wales to visit family, and two cousins I hadn’t met yet! Totally awesome weekend with the Fam, exploring the Gavin and Stacey locations on ‘Barry’s Island’, eating homemade Welsh cakes, getting to know some of my fave new people, and climbing a mountain. Adore Wales, will go back 2015.

I love going to new places, life is an adventure after all right?

We always laugh so much. Friends you have over the years are so important to keep your feet on the ground. Love this woman!

Next up was a trip to see my bestie, Sin, as we both had our big birthdays this year and it was too much to not be there, so with the help of her lovely hubby, I surprised her and we did our usual crying at the sight of each other. Life moments like this are truly beautiful.

Next trip was London to see friends and a few messy nights out East, Central and South, took The Man to see Arsenal, drank cocktails at the Shard and spent far too much on airport Mac and Bare Minerals!

Became an Instagram pouter, I mean fan.
Became an Instagram pouter, I mean fan.

Sooo happy to have renewed my hellos with old friends this year, and made one super special brand new Hello too. (Insert love heart eye emoji here) More to follow…

Lessons this year?

1) If something feels bad, it is bad, give it a wide berth. In fact put your fastest shoes on and sprint like a MF outta there. If you were slow to tie your laces, learn.

2) Enjoy the moment, especially those with good people.

3) People are either radiators or drains. This ain’t a new lesson, live it and stop learning it.

Another Instagram pout photo.
Another Instagram pout photo.
First TV Credit for camera operator. Dream big Mofos
First TV Credit for camera operator. Dream big Mofos

4) Choose your dreams and go for them. Everything is possible.

5) Play is fun.

6) Maybe Calvin Harris and Rihanna were onto something. Stay tuned.

7) Yoga and meditation are were it’s at.

People will drain you or warm your soul, choose wisely.
People will drain you or warm your soul, choose wisely.

8) You can never love too much and ignore anyone who tells you otherwise.

9) Remember to look up. Head away from phone, iPad, laptop. It’s beautiful up there.

Who's that girl?
Who’s that girl?

10) Go on holidays!

Life is very much about Good people, and spending time with the right energy around you. We’re not meant to be down, or depressed or feeling low, we are made to be good, feel good and do good. Spend time doing what you love, with people you love. Simple.

These guys, and more who didn't fit in this selfie, are awesome! we filmed all weekend in the rain.
These guys, and more who didn’t fit in this selfie, are awesome! we filmed all weekend in the rain.
This girl, we are catching up lots before she goes to Dubai.
This girl, we are catching up lots before she goes to Dubai.
Just love this one, I think i said that already?
Just love this one, I think i said that already?
Emma came back from New York and we drank shots in The Hive.
Emma came back from New York and we drank shots in The Hive.
Sarah came back from Canada and we drank beer in Glasgow
Sarah came back from Canada and we drank beer in Glasgow
My girls, we caught up in London, they are just swell. There’s no BS here.

So there we go Blog lovers, bring on 2015, I raise my glass of fizz to you, let’s do this and let’s do it in STYLE! Xx

Jonathan Sothcott talks British Film Producing, Star Wars and 2015

Jonathon with Emily Agnes on the red carpet
Jonathon with Emily Agnes on the red carpet

I’m immensely proud to call Jonathan an Industry friend and just adore catching up with him, there’s always something awesome in the pipeline. I figured it was about time for a follow up to our previous 2013 catch up.

So, enough from me, here’s the man himself.
K – Last time we spoke you were in the middle of producing Vendetta starring Danny Dyer, I actually bought a few copies of this film as a secret santa present, how did the films release go? 
J – It was great — we were very lucky in that Steve Reynolds the director made a brilliant film and the public gave us a chance. We never dared hope it would do as well as it did. When it was (positively!) reviewed on film 2013 my phone literally exploded. I remember speaking to Danny Dyer on Christmas Eve, the day it started filtering into stores and we were both a little bit “here goes nothing” — making a good film just isn’t enough anymore, you have to convince people to buy it. Fortunately Danny really got behind the movie and his fanbase realised that if he was supporting it then chances are it was probably decent. There were a lot of reviews along the lines of “this film is surprisingly good.” I’d made so much crap, Danny had made so much crap (hell, we’d made so much crap together!) that people had low expectations. But it just goes to show that even if you have a tiny budget, with a great script, director, cast and crew you can achieve something that works commercially and (dare I say it) critically. We were very lucky – we owned Christmas in the Brit indie sector last year… but now I have the huge pressure of another revenge movie in the same release window… again its a good movie (possibly my best) but we just have to hope that the public see that and give it a chance!
K – You’re in the middle of another film now, can you tell me a little about how that is going? 
jsc2J – I’ve actually just wrapped a ticking clock action film called AGE OF KILL starring Martin Kemp and directed by Neil Jones. Great supporting cast including Patrick Bergin, Nick Moran, Dexter Fletcher and Phil Davis. I can’t wait to see how that comes together. I’ve been lucky to work with two talented and easy directors this year in the form of Sacha Bennett and Neil Jones, as well as some absolutely amazing actors. There are two great sides to casting these films – working with actors you’ve always admired (this year alone Ian Ogilvy, Ali Doody, Chris Ellison, Patrick Bergin, Lysette Anthony etc etc) and then finding young faces and bringing through a new generation. This year it has been such a pleasure to work with Dani Dyer, Danny-Boy Hatchard, Red Madrell, April Pearson and more. The future of the British film industry is looking very healthy with talent like that on the rise.
K – Now we’re twitter friends, I can see you’ve been very busy of late, including a recent trip to LA, can you tell me if it was for business or pleasure? Should we expect a more hollywood approach to films from you now? 
J – It was business. I coincided my trip with the American Film Market but met with an American company I’ve long admired to talk about co-production opportunities. So next year we’ll definitely be making at least two – I expect they’ll be set in London, the first couple anyway, but you’ll notice an increasing amount of American talent involved in my films. I am a huge advocate of British films, but the genre films I make just don’t travel internationally, so I am constantly trying to strike the right balance of what works here and what will sell internationally.
K – What should we look out from you in 2015?
J – Hopefully that balance I just mentioned — UK genre films can only take you so far. The rest of the world isn’t interested in parochial UK crime (or horror, for that matter). I’m doing a vampire movie that starts shooting in March which I’m very excited about. Then these two American co-productions. We’re also still trying to nail Vendetta 2 – Steve, Danny and I have always said that we’ll only do a sequel if its bigger and more importantly better than the first. We are all incredibly proud of it and it would be awful to let that film’s very loyal following down. We have a plan – its just a case of when. Obviously Danny’s busy being the best thing on TV, Reynolds is directing big action movies abroad. Its just me sat in the park eating cray fish sandwiches for my lunch not doing anything! Seriously though, Jimmy Vickers will be back on screen soon…. just be patient!


K – And finally, you listed Star wars as one of your top 3 films. That trailer eh? Your thoughts on JJ Abrams taking on that director role? 
Vincent Regan on the set of Top Dog
J – Well its tough isn’t it because those are some enormous boots to fill but I think JJ Abrams is a serious talent and if anyone can pull it off he can. I did a picture with Mark Hamill years ago and he was a lovely guy so it’ll be great to see him, Ford and Fisher back on the big screen together. Of course, growing up i the 80s I saw the original trilogy as a kid, so I don’t know if these new ones will have quite the same magic for me… but never say never! I still think a New Hope is an incredibly underrated film – Empire gets all the love and I get that, but in A New Hope you have two world class older actors (Cushing and Guiness) who just give it so much gravity. And the shot of Luke looking at the two suns setting is one of my favourites in any movie ever.
Watch out for Jonathan this coming year and follow him on the Twitter @Sothcott

Vintage Fashion Blog – Part One, How To Organise


Vintage Make Up
Vintage Make Up

How to put together a Blog Post.

Well, the vintage shoot is now over and it was a hella lot of fun. Pictures will follow soon I promise. In the mean time, I wanted to share just how we got to the point of the photos and explain, how, if you’re interested you can do similar. (Can we EVER have enough How to Blogs?)

Recently my friend in New York, Emma, WHO SHOULD HAVE BEEN BLOGGING FROM TIME, took the leap. Follow her adventures here. It’s cute, you learn, because boy does she know her stuff!! I’m excited for this blog!!

Just Do It.

Firstly with blogging, any blogging, don’t be shy and don’t think you can’t. There’s always going to be someone who will want to read your stuff so quit feeling like there won’t. Stop that now. I’ve blogged for people all over the world, under many guises. One thing about the internet is people like to read and, depending on your chosen demographic, they’d probably read more than they’d watch.

Plan it out.

photo 4

Secondly, you have to plan it out. Make a week by week plan of what you are going to talk about. As a lifestyle blogger, my subject range is kinda broad, I can talk about pretty much anything, although that comes with its downsides. I always say Beauty or Fashion bloggers have it sussed, there’s ALWAYS something to write about. New styles, new colours, you can follow the seasons, it’s all pretty much laid out for you. If you choose this path, consider yourself lucky.

Make it look pretty.

photo 2
We got fizz and stolen. Happy days x


Thirdly, PHOTOGRAPH THE SHIT OUT OF EVERYTHING. Because People like to look at pretty pictures. It’s the best way to describe something and crosses all language barriers. You can’t leave out pictures, they don’t have to be of a professional quality, but they A) do need to look professional or B) at least get your point across. Chuck in a cute cat or dog for good measure.



The Idea, the People, the End Result.

So, to begin with, for this shoot, first came the idea. I have two friends who do vintage well. Emma is one of them. I love her style but have always had a strong suspicion Vintage is not for me. I mean I definitely have the figure, I just don’t have the ‘know how’ to carry it off. I don’t think you can dress vintage one day then in jeans the next. I like to mix my styles up, so,as long as there’s heels, I’m usually dancing. I was curious to see what, with the right tuition and instruction, would I look like. Now, I can be very charming, and I have found that people are always keen to help, but I think this applies to anyone, not just charming cockneys.

photo 5

Miss Dixibelle in Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh, are kinda prominent on Social Media and as that’s where I am to be found, it was a natural turn of my head to look in their direction for guidance.

From the off they were happy to be involved, and the staff looked after us AMAZINGLY on shoot day, nothing was too much trouble. “Can we move this?”, “Can we shoot there?”, “Can we try this on?”. All met with enthusiasm.

Next up was finding a good photographer, someone who knew fashion and how to stage and direct a shoot. Through Farah’s fashion shoot, I met Rab who then suggested Kaz Strathmore. Kaz was immediately up for it. Sorted.

So that was it all pretty much sorted out. It’s that easy. With a stash of sass in your pocket and an idea on your hip, it’s easy to organise. Be bold, don’t be shy. Have an idea and go all the way. Make 2015 your year x


You’re Still a Super Hot Female

It’s no secret I like Motivation quotes, I like them in the morning, in the afternoon, at night, wherever really, I ain’t fussy.

A quote showed up in my twitter time line the other day, “Woman have 50 quotes sitting in their albums for when shit goes down” I immediately sent it to my friend and we spent an hour sending each other motivational quotes back and forth. Yeah, we that cool.

And then came this…. courtesy of Gwen Stefani. Well courtesy of my Blag It Media collaborator, Mark McGrotty.

Karlie_Quotes2 Karlie_Quotes5 Karlie_Quotes Karlie_Quotes3

Mark’s one of those graphic designers that I can just say, “erm, I think it should look like this” and explain the jumble in my head and HE JUST KNOWS! Expect good work from the two of us in ’15.

Meanwhile, feel free to enjoy the quotes, share, pin, etc (with credit) and let me know if there’s any others you think would work. With the right background, everything is motivational.










Karlie v Vintage?

vintage hairI directed this stop motion video for my friends salon earlier in the year and have always been fascinated by the way vintage looks on other people.

The little video contains my lovely friend Juliet, with hair done by Anne Wilson at Broughton Place Hair and Beauty.

Two of my good friends pull it off brilliantly, but i”m not sure it’s for me. But, in a moment of UBER curiosity I have decided to put my money where my mouth is and am taking part in a photo shoot at Edinburgh’s Miss Dixibelle salon next week.

So, hold on to your seats, because Imma going vintage on your ass!

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