FASHION + LIFESTYLE + TRAVEL

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29.12.16

Winter Checks



Happy holidays guys! I was going to say Merry Christmas...but Christmas has kind of been and gone now, hasn't it? We're in that wonderful stage between Christmas and New Year which is pretty much made for slouching, watching films and a spot of shopping, am I right? I've binge watched Harry Potter (again) and been on so many frosty walks. Hope you've all had a relaxing break! I couldn't believe our luck when we went location hunting for some outfit photos this morning and were treated to sunshine and blue skies. I picked up this cosy check skirt from Primark on Christmas Eve (honestly the best time to shop there - so quiet!) for only £8. I was so tempted to get it in black too but they'd sold out in my size! I love the thick, cosy material - perfect for these frosty winter days.




I was also treated to some lovely bits for Christmas from my family, including some Elemis skincare (which I swear by), some new boots (which are the same as my old boots! Nothing wrong with replacing them with the same pair, right?) and this gorgeous River Island bag to replace my tatty tassel bag. Of course there's still a tassel or two, can't get rid of them that easily! I've seen a lot of hate on Twitter over Christmas with people slating others for sharing what they've been given, which gives me all of the sad feels. IT'S CHRISTMAS GUYS, C'MON. I think it's nice to see people so grateful for their gifts and I don't care if someone got a Range Rover or a box of pencils, I think it's lovely to see people sharing their appreciation. I'm a big Christmas fan, mainly for spending time with my family and sharing lazy days together, but I don't think there is anything wrong with showing gratitude for the gifts you've been lucky enough to receive. Who's with me?!






Aaaaaanyway, back to the outfit. I also received some lovely earrings chosen by my brother - rose gold and sea glass studs from Skagen. He knows my style too well! I've never been a massive  fan of statement jewellery and usually opt to wear studs with a subtle twist. I was yet to own a rose gold pair so these fit nicely in to my collection! I love the sea glass too, they look slightly pearl-like and iridescent when they catch the light. 



Hope you're all having a lovely Christmas break! Fingers crossed there aren't any unintentional Harry Potter quotes in this post as we've just been re-watching the last film - I don't know why I do it to myself, it's taken me nearly two hours to write this!

Katie x

11.12.16

Winter colour pop




It's the most wonderful time of the year! I'm feeling incredibly festive at the moment - probably helped by watching Love Actually on Friday (one of the best Christmas films - who's with me?) and Fantastic Beasts yesterday which was amazing. I've also had the Christmas playlist on, much to the disgust of my boyfriend aka Scrooge! I'm kidding, he's not that bad. I was planning on creating some party outfit posts but had to shoot this skirt and boots as I've been obsessed with them ever since I came back from Dublin - they definitely deserve some air time. I have to apologise for the photos - Blogger seems to wash them out for some reason so the colours aren't quite as vivid as they should be...(anyone else having problems with this? Please let me know!) 



This skirt caught my eye as soon as I walked in to Folkster in Dublin. It was truly love at first sight - especially as this is one of my favourite colours and I love the A-line style. The colour really pops when paired with a cosy black roll neck and black boots, and I definitely think I could dress it up with a black or sparkly cami for a night out (minus the woolly tights!) I always tend to reach for black or dark colours over winter so this green/teal skirt makes a nice change and is brightening up my rather drab winter wardrobe!

Folkster skirt | H&M roll neck (old - similar) | Woolly tights (Matalan) | Folkster boots  



I've come to realise I'm a real hoarder of shoes and boots. I've just had a clear out and thrown six pairs away and sold nine pairs! So I thought it was only right that I buy some more to replace them - ha. Once a hoarder, always a hoarder...right? I've been loving ankle boots that have a subtle pattern or something a little different about them, and the heel on this pair really won me over. I love the colour and the marble effect, it kind of dresses them up a bit.



Hope you're having a lovely weekend! I've actually managed to finish all my Christmas shopping (it's all wrapped too) so I'm feeling a tad smug this year! 

Katie x

29.11.16

Christmas party outfit inspiration



Party season is well and truly upon us! I can't believe how quickly it's come around, can you? I have a love-hate relationship with planning Christmas party outfits in the sense that I love getting dressed up, but sometimes it's just too stressful trying to find the right thing to wear. I either find too much and can't decide, or I find nothing and have a last minute panic. This year, I actually found a dress really early on (crikey) which practically never happens. I bought this Topshop beauty which is I adore - apart from the trail of glitter I leave behind! There are several trends I'm loving at the moment and I'm a tiny bit gutted I haven't got another five parties lined up...although it's safe to say my bank balance would hate me for that.


I've been drooling over the teal sequin dress all week but just can't justify buying it with no occasion to wear it, although part of me is thinking it would be fab for NYE. I love the twist on this year's sequin trend with bright, bold colours. Another few favourites of mine are the glittery boots (hello party feet) which are perfect for adding some glitz to a simple outfit and the red velvet shoes (almost typed red velvet cake then - always got food on the brain!) I have a love-hate relationship with velvet too, it looks amazing and I love to wear it...as long as I don't have to touch it too much. Anyone else struggle with the texture of velvet?! The embroidered playsuit is another fave of mine and gives a wintery, glam nod to the embroidered floral trend, which I'm glad it still around after the summer!

What do you think of my party picks?

Katie x

22.11.16

Dublin Travel Guide



I'm baaaack! You hadn't noticed I'd disappeared, had you? I did the un-blogger-like thing of not scheduling anything while I was away and not working on any content during my trip either. SHOCK. It was pure bliss just to have a few days away from absolutely everything. I did choose to go to Dublin though, so maybe not the most peaceful break to opt for! It was most definitely worth it and lovely to spend some quality time with the family. My boyfriend disappeared off to Dubai for 5 days (it's okay, I wasn't jealous or bitter at all...) and we managed to time a nice family getaway for the same weekend which was perfect. I've put together a short guide of my top eats, where to stay and places to shop (of course).

Stay



For our short break, we stayed at the most amazing apartment in central Dublin - just a 10/15 minute walk from the main shops and restaurants. We did contemplate a hotel but honestly, having an apartment with its own lounge and kitchen was so ideal and made it the perfect place to chill and slouch in between shopping, exploring and going out for food. We stayed at Staycity Saint Augustine which is an aparthotel with a super friendly reception and modern, self-contained apartments. We managed to bag a top floor apartment with views across the city. I shared a twin room with my little brother, which reminded us of holidays from our childhood where he'd do nothing but chat until about 2am! (Not much has changed). My favourite time of day was at night when you could see the city skyline lit up from our balcony - I imagine it's lovely during the summer months, with the balcony doors open and having drinks while the sun sets! I've also realised they have aparthotels across Europe *starts planning next trip away*.

Eat & Drink



Oh, THE FOOD. I've never been somewhere and had consistently amazing meals every day until I visited Dublin.  Honestly, you'll be spoilt for choice - we passed so many pubs, bistros, brasseries, Indians, cafes, Thai restaurants, a Mongolian BBQ (which sounded amazing), Italian restaurants, wine bars and more. Almost everywhere catered for awkward little gluten free me and we didn't book a table the whole time we were there. We were turned away from a couple of places due to them being busy, but there was always another restaurant just round the corner. I love the amount of independent restaurants and cafes in Dublin, you really don't see many chains around. I've included a few of my favourites below!
  • KC Peaches - ideal for lunch with loads to choose from and gluten free options. Sandwiches, soup, hot food, salads. Just grab a plate and load it up with anything and EVERYTHING. (Tip - their loaded potato skins are a taste sensation). 
  • Copper Valley Bistro - a good amount of choice to suit everyone and amazing fresh food! My favourite meal from the whole weekend.
  • The Larder - amazing meat and fish dishes, gluten free options (including dessert!) and their own brewed beers - if you like that sort of thing.
  • M&S on Grafton Street - I know, go all the way to Dublin and end up in good old M&S. But a lot has to be said for their tea and cakes - perfect for refueling between some shopping. They also had so many gluten free options I was in cake heaven.
  • Grafton Street, Parliament Street and Exchequer Street - a few good areas if you're looking for a nice restaurant or cafe!

Shopping



Not sure why I left shopping until almost last seeing as it was my favourite part?! Dublin is a lovely city, although I found the main activities/things to do were eating, drinking and shopping rather than a huge amount of sight-seeing. Not that I minded as those are pretty much my three favourite things. Grafton Street is fab for shopping, hop in to Brown Thomas if you want to ooh and aah at beautiful designer handbags and jewellery. It looks so festive over the winter months so go and get yourself in the Christmas spirit. Folkster is a brand I've had my eye on for a while after following them on Instagram, and I literally stumbled across them down a cute cobbled street. I did buy the boots of my dreams and a gorgeous teal skirt (outfit post soon!) but I could've gone crazy for their ball gowns and glittery dresses. If you have an occasion to go to, definitely check Folkster out. It was like walking in to Cinderella's wardrobe - minus the glass slippers.

Dublin has a huge Zara and H&M as well, which are definitely worth looking round. I don't have a Zara very close to me at home so it was a great opportunity to have a nose around. I did almost buy an amazing coat but talked myself out of it due to the lack of space in my suitcase! I did find a cute jewellery shop though and treated myself to a Celtic knot ring. I was going to replace my old Cladder ring but fell in love with this design instead. 

Explore




If you get the chance to venture out of the city, do it. We have family further south in Ireland and it was a great excuse to see them and to see more of the country. Ireland has a beautiful landscape and the sun even came out for our little road trip! Dublin is a nice city but we really enjoyed venturing out to some more scenic areas and seeing rural Ireland.

My brother has made a short travel vlog (which is basically me cringingly chatting away and pulling weird faces throughout). If that sounds like your cup of tea, have a watch. Have you been to Dublin before/have any recommendations to add to the list?

Katie x 

31.10.16

Another autumn knit



Another knitwear post, sorry! Hope you're not sick to death of knitwear yet because...I'm definitely not. Honestly, I could blog about my knitwear collection for the next year (I promise you I won't subject you to that). So the newest addition to my endless jumper collection is this H&M beauty. I saw it online a few weeks ago but I've been trying to get it in store and it always seemed to allude me. But on a trip to Lincoln, I finally found it! You know that feeling when you literally just stumble across something you've been on the hunt for? Pure bliss. I'm fully aware that I tend to hibernate as soon as it gets cold - my feet get hidden away in boots for the next 6 months and you'll be lucky to catch me without a big old cosy knit on. But you know what? I'm totally okay with that. That's what autumn is for, right?!






The slightly oversized fit really wins it for me, it literally optimises the perfect cosy, slouchy knit and I never want to take it off.  Along with that epic Jacquard-style pattern and the bold colours, I reckon this knit will be an autumn/winter staple for me. Did I mention it contains alpaca wool? SO SNUG.

Katie x

26.10.16

Autumn with V by Very





As I haven't banged on enough about autumn fashion (ha) I've put together some autumnal mood boards from the new V by Very collection. I was invited to take part in the blogger mood board competition a couple of weeks ago and jumped at the chance. I have to admit, I absolutely love putting mood boards together and playing around with outfit ideas. It's so much fun and it helps me get a better idea of what would work (and what doesn't!) The new V by Very collection is bursting with autumn colours, chunky knitwear and the most gorgeous range of boots. I have my eyes on several items this season and have styled up a mood board based on a casual autumn style above. The patchwork cape with the fur collar jumped straight out at me - I'm seeing capes everywhere at the moment and the added faux fur collar just screamed autumn and cosiness.


Knee high boots have also made a comeback this season - I still can't decide if I want a heeled pair or flat pair! (Maybe both? Hmm). The burgundy knit is a staple in my autumn/winter wardrobe. In fact, some may say I already have similar styles to the one above, however I definitely argue that you can never have too many burgundy knits! Who's with me? I also have my eye on that super fluffy, super cute little duffle bag (I might actually have to buy that for my trip to Dublin next month!)





Next, I've created an outfit which I think could work for day or night. It features THE most amazing metallic rose gold skirt with a beautiful A-line shape - it definitely gives a little nod to the nineties. I'm so tempted to buy this and wear it for my Christmas day outfit (planning ahead here but who doesn't!) I'm so pleased the cold shoulder tops are sticking around for autumn/winter in the form of a chunky roll neck knit. And don't even get me started on those slouchy ankle boots. *Insert heart-eye emoji here*.

Needless to say, I'm impressed with V by Very's latest collection - I love brands that offer an extensive range of seasonal fashion and cater for several different tastes as sometimes I love dressing up and other times I love slouching in a cosy knit and jeans. I don't know about you, but I've definitely got my mental wishlist at the ready!

*This post is my competition entry for the Very blogger competition. It is not a sponsored post. All comments, opinions, outfit choices, mood board designs and the non-stop rambling are all my own. 

Katie x

23.10.16

Tan suede and fur collars




Cracking out a new addition to my autumn/winter wardrobe! I am, quite literally, head over heels for this tan suede jacket and I haven't taken it off all weekend. I was tempted to buy another winter coat to add to the collection (anyone else have too many coats they can't throw away?) but I stumbled across this bomber jacket style and couldn't resist. I tend to have summer jackets or winter coats and nothing in between, so a winter jacket with a faux fur lining was just what my wardrobe needed (or at least that's what I told my bank balance).






I love the tan suede trend at the moment, especially the aviator style jackets and bomber jackets with faux fur collars and lining for that extra cosy feel. I've paired my new jacket with some New Look knitwear and of course it had to be burgundy for autumn! I feel like it's become cold so quickly this year? Which I'm not complaining about as I love to layer up and cosy up in some chunky knits. I'm planning on packing this jacket for my trip to Dublin in a few weeks time as well as my new jeans and my trusty black ankle boots - which I'm praying will last me another winter! 



What do you think of the latest addition to my autumn wardrobe? Are you a fan of the tan suede jacket trend? Also, if you have any recommendations for Dublin please let me know - looking for lots of lovely places to see/visit and, of course, some good restaurants and bars!

Katie x

10.10.16

Autumn knitwear and Woodland walks


Autumn is here! *Skips through the leaves*. Cue pictures of cosy knitwear, open fires and cups of tea (although the reality is dark evenings, even darker mornings and hello rain). I have a love-hate relationship with most of the seasons - not that I'm hard to please or anything! I hate being cold, but I love snuggly jumpers and lots of layers. I hate being too hot, but I love sunshine and holidays. I'm a walking contradiction, really. That said, I am quite enjoying autumn at the moment if you ignore the fact that it's dark at 7pm (cry face).


Next jumper (similar here and here) | New Look tartan scarf (similar here and here and here) | Hollister jeans | New Balance trainers



I've been rummaging in the depths of my wardrobe to find last year's knitwear and was quite impressed with the amount I've found - all in good condition too. I'm a great believer in hanging on to basics like knitwear as they rarely go 'out of fashion' so to speak. Of course, monochrome seems to be my greatest obsession, like this grey chunky knit jumper. Although I do like adding some contrast and a pop of colour with a cosy scarf like this tartan beauty (tartan just never gets old, does it?)



My New Balances will hopefully last me another autumn, although I will probably be wearing them until they physically fall apart. It's true shoe love. I've really started loving distressed jeans lately - bit late on the bandwagon with that one. I love how they add a casual edge but are so easy to dress up with cute camis and floaty tops should you want to. They're also rather wonderful for Slouchy Sunday's (my favourite day) and the good old cliched woodland walks. 

What are you loving most about autumn?

Katie x

25.9.16

Burgundy and Breton



It's here! Autumn seems to have crept up out of nowhere this year, how on earth is it nearly October? This season is one of my favourites and probably for the most cliched reasons - trees bursting with colour, being able to layer up again (I do bloomin' love a snuggly, cosy knit...who's with me?) and saying hello to some of my favourite colour trends again. Over the next few months, burgundy and berry tones are going to explode across my wardrobe and I am so okay with that. This skirt is a new addition to my many burgundy coloured items and to be honest, it's the first A-line skirt I've ever found that actually manages to fit my waist and bum! Bravo H&M (insert hand-clap emoji here).




H&M top (old - similar here and here) | H&M skirt (can't find it online but it is in store!) | Miss KG boots (via ASOS)



I loved gallivanting around in the leaves for this post, felt like a big kid! I've pulled out my trusty Breton stripes - another favourite of mine for the transitional period into autumn - and my new boots which I literally haven't taken off. I've even worn them on a few rather warm days (hello there sweaty feet) but you know when you get new things and you just want to wear them every day?! Or is that just me...

Katie x

15.9.16

Travel: A Cornish Retreat



Sigh. I'm back to work after a lovely long weekend in Cornwall. All of the holiday blues (I am literally moping around - better start planning another holiday!) I've written a little travel diary for you and of course, it's packed with plenty of holiday snaps. Enjoy!

Saturday | It's 6am and I'm already up AND dressed. What is the world coming to? Who knew there was a 6am at the weekend? I've thrown on some mascara and foundation, so I don't scare anyone to death. We hop in the car and drive for around 7 hours - achey bums all around. But we arrive in the most idyllic location with views across beautiful countryside and glorious sunshine welcoming us. We're shown to our cottage, which we instantly fall in love with. I mean, look at it. It's small, cosy and compact but ultimately perfect, with a shared garden, swimming pool and hello there king size bed (literally my idea of heaven, I'm such an anti-social sleeper). With the sun shining down, we brave it and go for a dip in the pool. It's not a cold day, but we're thankful the pool is heated! We swim and stretch off our aching limbs, soaking up the sunshine. We make a mad dash back to the cottage, get showered and enjoy some Pimms in the garden, because when on holiday!



Exploring is my literally my favourite thing to do on holiday; we found some secret gardens and the office on site has a little farm shop too! Honestly, it was the most beautiful location and we're already planning on returning (and have our eye on a cottage with a hot tub this time!) If you want to know more about where we stayed, check out the Kilminorth cottage website. I've also left a review on Tripadvisor which will be up soon.

Sunday | We start the day off with a 40 minute walk through the woods to get to Looe. I say walk, I mean hike. So glad I wore my trainers that day! The path takes you deep in to the woods where it's literally silent - it was bloody lovely and so refreshing to be away from everything. Looe is such a pretty, quaint town with beautiful blue water. We sat on the beach and ate fish and chips in the sun (gluten free, may I add! I highly recommend Catch). After walking back up to the cottage and resting our legs for a bit (by this point I'm a rather ugly, sweaty mess) we took a quick trip to Polperro; a cute little fishing village. Not a huge amount going on but lovely all the same!





Monday | Panic, last full day of our break! Time for the Eden Project. Have you been? I hadn't since I was a little kid so I wasn't sure what to expect. The rainforest biome was my absolute favourite, with canopy walks, wild birds, beautiful flowers and a waterfall. We visited Looe again and picked up some amazing paintings from an art gallery for our new home next year! I'll get some snaps and put them on Instagram. We stocked up on Cornish goodies and, of course, stopped off for a cream tea, because when in Cornwall. I would totally recommend The Lookout if you fancy a beach-chic cafe with views and a plethora of gluten free options. We had a beautiful dinner at The Old Sail Loft, an amazing cosy yet chic restaurant in a loft - the name kind of gives that away doesn't it! As a newbie to the gluten intolerance crew (I need to make this a thing - who wants to come for GF brunch with me?) I was so impressed with how much GF food was available in Looe. Top notch.





Also, you HAVE to go down to Looe in the evening. The whole bay/harbour is lit up with beautiful little fairy lights, it's the cutest. We only had 4 days for our mini holiday, needless to say we could have easily stayed for longer. I'm already missing our lovely little cottage and the super chilled way of life, but hey, back to reality (and back to planning the next adventure...Dublin is up next!)

Have you been to Cornwall? Do you have any recommendations for my trip to Dublin?

Katie x

4.9.16

The last of the cold shoulders



Bonjour beauts. It feels like ages since I've done an outfit post, but it really hasn't been that long (I'm just getting shopping withdrawl). I seem to own pretty much every 'cold shoulder top' out there so why not add another to my growing collection?! I think I'm a bit of an obsessive shopper, in the sense that I find a trend I like and go crazy for it. It's like when I find a good pair of jeans and I buy one in every colour (but that totally make sense, right?) So anyway, I saw this white contrast version online and it accidentally ended up in my basket. And happened to fit and have the cutest ruffle sleeves. Now, I'm not really a frill kinda girl but I felt somewhat girly and whimsical with these floaty sleeves so you know, never say never. 






New Look top | American Eagle jeans (similar) | H&M sandals (old similar here and here) | Primark floral crown (old)

I also cracked out these jeans from the depths of my wardrobe. I bought them last year and forgot how much I love them. Honestly, they're so soft and super stretchy and oh my, I can even lunge in them. Should I ever need to. They're a lovely deep blue shade and have that skinny-but-not-going-to-cut-off-your-circulation type of fit. You know the ones. I also felt this top deserved glamming up so threw on my trusty heels and off I tottered on a Sunday afternoon around some ancient ruins for some blog pictures. Sadly, I think this might be my last slightly summery outfit in a little while! Mainly because I've just bought like 15,000 jumpers for autumn...



As much as I adore summer, I am a little excited for autumn! The cosy in front of the fire and leafy walks type of autumn, rather than the rainy England reality haha. What do you think to the cold shoulder trend? And what are your autumn must-haves this year? 

Katie x 

22.8.16

Menorca Travel Guide & Photo Diary



I went on holiday to Menorca last month...if you hadn't noticed...sorry for the holiday spam! I think it's safe to say it's a place I know well after holidaying there many times (I've literally lost count) and an island that I've loved exploring over the years. Menorca is a Spanish island, floating around in the lovely, warm Mediterranean and only around a two hour flight from the UK. It's becoming quite a popular holiday spot these days but I still love finding the hidden coves and areas untouched by tourism. I've put together a little photo diary below along with some of my favourite places and hot spots on the island.


Favourite hot spots

Ciutadella - oh my, what a beautiful, old city. If shopping, cobbled streets and street cafes are your kind of thing then Ciutadella is a must visit. Boutiques line the winding streets, tapas is on every corner and did I mention froyo? So much froyo. Evening is my favourite time to visit Ciutadella, when the day is cooling off and the city lights up. Recommendations: Restaurant Cas Consol will BLOW YOUR MIND. The food is great but the views really make it - sit outside and watch the sunset over the marina. You're welcome.

Ciutadella - photo credit imsamsquire.co.uk

Restaurant Cas Consol - photo credit imsamsquire.co.uk


Mahon - the capital of Menorca is a lovely, old city perched on a huge harbour/port. It's rather on the hilly side so prepare yourself for lots of walking! If you like modern shops like Mango, perfume shops and street cafes then definitely give Mahon a visit. There are some lovely places to eat along the harbour too and the city really comes alive in the evening. Recommendations: Il Porto is a lovely, vintage-meets-chic restaurant and perfect if you love seafood. They also had a deal on certain meals where you get a free sangria - er, bonus?!

Son Xoriguer - probably my favourite beach in Menorca (hello bold statement). It was a little trek from the car park but so worth it to be greeted with the clearest turquoise sea and white sand. There are loads of little private coves as well as the larger beach with a cafe and water sports. This was definitely my favourite place for a dip in the sea, so pretty and warm!

Son Xoriguer


Arenal d'en Castell - yet another one of my favourite beaches which stretches out for miles - well, not quite, but it is one of the bigger beaches in Menorca. I love how spacious it is so you don't end up practically perched on top on another family with Topless Barbara right in your face, getting hit by the football her plethora of kids are kicking (sorry, I'm not an anti-social sunbather AT ALL. But seriously, don't sunbathe anywhere near me and don't disturb me unless it's for a mojito). The beach cafe bar is so ideal and serves great lunches - hello calamari and cocktails. It's also a pretty good spot for snorkelling!

Cala'n Bosch - one of my favourite places to stay on the island, the marina is a hub of chic restaurants, bars and ice cream shops. It's fairly bustling at night but not overly loud or rowdy and a lovely place for some dinner and cocktails! Recommendations: a little out of the marina but Restaurant Es Far at the lighthouse is perfect. Have a late dinner, enjoy their seafood and watch the sunset over the sea (and take some Insta-worthy snaps!) I also 100% recommend Bigfoot Menorca - we hired a private yacht and spent the morning visiting some amazing coves and jumping in the sea! 




Have you been to Menorca before or have anywhere to add to the list? We're hopefully heading to Portugal next year which I'm excited about! As much as I adore Menorca I'm looking forward to exploring somewhere different. 

Katie x