FASHION + LIFESTYLE + TRAVEL

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15.5.17

Casual florals



Is it even spring if you don't wear florals? I do love a floral top and this strappy cami is a new addition to my already overflowing wardrobe. Thanks to my parents who spotted it in Mango in Barcelona! But serious style kudos to my goes to my Papa who chose it - he knows me well. I'm loving that we can finally crack out some spring clothes now that the weather has decided to play ball...although the sun went in as soon as we started with the outfit pictures so yeah, cheers for that!

I've spent the weekend back up in Lincolnshire at my parents and you know what, it was rather lovely. We bimbled around shops, I bought some Pandora rings because oh my, they are beautiful creations. How have I only just discovered them?! We then went out in to the country for a walk around some cute farm shops and a cuppa with some gluten free cake (because I genuinely can't have a cup of tea without cake accompanying it. It's terrible, I know).






I'm so flipping in love with the back detailing of this cami. I mean, I know it has 'dodgy tan lines' written all over it, but I think it's worth it. I've started packing for my Valencia trip later this week and I'm at the point where my suitcase won't close. I'm going for FOUR DAYS, people. Four days. I just have so much summer stuff I want to wear because, hello UK weather. It's probably the only time I'll have to wear it all *cue ten outfit changes every day*.





This bag is hella coming with me though, even if it has to get squished in to a corner of my case. I'm quite a fan of the blush pink trend (along with the whole of Instagram, apparently) which is pretty unusual for me as I'm not really a pink kind of gal! I am, however, a sucker for pastels so I think that's why I love this colour so much. I actually have the bigger, black version of this bag but y'know, if you love it, why not get one in every colour? I'm also debuting an absolute STEAL on the blog today. My new trainers, reduced to £30 in the Nike outlet at Freeport Braintree. I was pretty impressed with that find, and my feet are pretty chipper about it too.

Hope you're having a good week guys and girls. Also, any recommendations for Valencia would be hugely appreciated!

Katie x

8.5.17

Jewellery heaven - meet the designer

ChloBo jewellery


Warning: photo heavy post AND gorgeous jewellery - prepare to drool. I was kindly invited to Fenwick's Meet the Designer event on Saturday where I had the chance to peruse some fab jewellery and accessories companies, as well as meet their designers/team. I have to start with ChloBo first, having heard amazing things about this brand before (pictured above). I was excited to see the collection in person and to also meet with the brains behind ChloBo, Chloe Moss. Chloe was great fun to chat with (and put up with my millions of questions and also let me take a picture of her arm candy - because LOOK AT IT). She really is the epitome of a 'girl boss' and I loved her story about how ChloBo started and where she finds inspiration. The idea formed while Chloe was travelling in Bali, and she is still an advocate of going to places far and wide and complete disconnecting from modern life - something that's pretty rare for us these days with all the technology about! She also tries to source as much as possible from Bali, which is such a nice touch.

ChloBo jewellery
ChloBo


Chloe's bohemian spirit is definitely reflected in her designs, which feature healing and calming stones such as moonstone and blue lace agate stone (which are the prettiest pastel colours) and spiritual symbols such as Hamsa hands, evil eyes and lotus flowers in one of my favourite collections, Maya's Light. The Pearl collection is another favourite of mine - so soft and pretty! Chloe was telling me you can mix and match the different metals, colours and styles from different collections to create your own personalised look, which is fab (especially if you're indecisive like me).

Edblad

SCMYK



I also had the pleasure of looking over some gorgeous Edblad jewellery, which really focused on simple, high quality designs but for decent prices (no seriously, I had my eye on the rose gold hoops and expected them to be at least £60 and they were only £31). Again, I oohed and aahed over everything rose gold - the blogger's favourite, right?! I'm quite a minimalist kinda gal so I really liked the simple circle designs. SCMYK was another Swedish jewellery brand at the event and I love the fun, bright, summery feel of their jewellery, from bold patterned bracelets to sassy tassel earrings. It immediately reminded me of being on holiday, sipping on a pina colada!

Emily Mortimer



As if I wasn't already in jewellery heaven, I also had a chat with Emily from Emily Mortimer, a high end jewellery shop featuring lots of statement pieces with gorgeous gemstones. I especially loved the bangles and the gemstone stacked rings pictured above, perfect for a subtle statement piece. We spoke about how jewellery shopping is becoming more and more popular online and Emily was explaining how she's taken more of a digital presence with her jewellery, featuring it on sites like notonthehighstreet.com.

Lisa Taylor


I loved the variety shown at the Meet the Designer event. Lisa from Lisa Taylor was an inspiring lady to talk to, creating her own line from recycled vintage saris after having previously worked for companies like Warehouse and Oasis. No two items are the same and Lisa puts a modern twist on the recycled saris, like the AMAZING bomber jacket pictured above. I also dropped by to speak to the girls at Astley Clarke who had some pretty bracelets on show and some cute gemstone jewellery, including little stud earrings which, being a minimalist, I loved.

I had a fab afternoon (if you couldn't already tell) and it was lovely to meet the people behind the brands. It's interesting to hear about their inspirations and how they have got to where they are today - probably helped by the fact I'm super nosey and love finding out about people! I then popped over to the Glow bar to get my eyebrows threaded - I've been going there for about three years now and love it. Marina is such an eyebrow wizard, how she tames my caterpillars is beyond me. I also got given a gorgeous goodie bag at the event and I'm currently delving in to the Jo Malone goodies as we speak. Thanks for having me Fenwick! 

Katie x

P.S. This post is in collaboration with Fenwick Colchester but views, opinions, photos and general ramblings are all my own.

1.5.17

Step out



This week I did not one, but two things outside of my comfort zone. I don't mind leaving my comfort zone every now and then, I get a bit restless and curious and kind of enjoy the danger of stepping out in to the unknown. It can be exhilarating and I'm a firm believer that it's good to step outside of your comfort bubble every now and then. But then there's the other part of me, the part that does a little wee of fear at the thought of venturing out there and doing something out of the ordinary. Truth be told, it's really no big deal leaving your comfort zone...once you've done it. Hindsight is a beautiful thing, right? 

Earlier this week I had lunch on my own, in a cafe. To tell you the truth, I've never been good with my own company. I get bored so easily, especially when there's no one to have a natter with. I put it down to the fact that I love being around people - I'm a slightly unconventional introvert in that sense. I might not be the loudest or the most talkative (well...my family and friends will beg to differ!) but I love being around people, hearing their stories and having a chat. So for me, being on my own usually sucks. Plus, I hate the quiet and I can only sing for so long (without the neighbours complaining...I guess they're not Spice Girls fans).




So I stepped out of my comfort zone and took myself to lunch. I know it's not unusual to see people on their own and this probably isn't a big thing, but there's something about being on my own in a restaurant full of people that makes me feel slightly uncomfortable. Naturally, I turned to my phone for comfort and I soon realised that actually...this is alright. No one is staring at me, everyone is getting on with their own lunches and I actually felt like a proper independent woman (where's that sassy emoji?) I put my phone down and enjoyed my bloody glorious ploughman's salad (hello plate of meat and cheese), spending my time people watching and planning my weekend ahead. It was empowering, refreshing and one hell of a confidence boost. I guess I've been so used to having people around me all the time that I forgot what it was like to spend time with just little old me. And you know what? It's not so bad. If you ignore the fact that my brain chatters away to itself at 100mph.


Um, excuse the creases! I did iron it...I promise...






I'm the kind of girl who likes to have plans - I'm not too good at sitting still. I have this constant twitch like I need to be doing something or seeing someone, so I like my weekends to be full, but kind of chilled at the same time (it's a fine one to balance, I know). So when I saw Hannah's tweet about meeting up with fellow bloggers and local ladies, I jumped right in there. I love living in Suffolk/Essex but I don't really know many people round these parts, and I can't tell you how lovely it was to meet with ten other ladies to chat about, well, anything and everything. Obviously it helped that cocktails were flowing and snacks were involved! It was lovely to meet everyone and fab to have so many creative ladies all in one place. We talked about our work, our blogs, our loves and life - and not forgetting, our recent Netflix binges. It was a gathering of complete strangers and it was blummin' marvellous, even if I had to dash off after a few hours. More times like this please! 

I guess the moral of this unexpectedly lengthy post today is a) when step outside your comfort zone, wonderful things can really happen b) it's nowhere near as scary as you think it'll be and c) we need more of these positive vibes in life - let's be supportive ladies and gents. Twitter/the blogosphere has been a bit of a sad, negative place over the last few weeks so it was lovely to spend time with people who just wanted a good time! So there you go, some positive, motivational vibes from me to you. Just in time for going back to work after a long weekend! 

Katie x 

23.4.17

Spring stripes



I've probably mentioned this over and over, but I love spring. We shot these photos at about 7.45pm whilst the sun was starting to set, painting the sky beautiful blues and pinks. Flowers are starting to come to life and I'm not actually freezing my butt off taking outfit pics for once. (Well, not until I took my jacket off...) I always find my mood improves at this time of year, anyone else? I'm pretty content most of the time but as soon as lighter evenings roll in, it makes me such a happy bunny! We took these pics on an evening stroll - I swear Essex/Suffolk never ceases to surprise me with pretty walks, fields and woods that I didn't even know existed. 







I think that's my favourite thing about this time of year - getting back outside again! I turn in to such a hermit over winter. I'm slowly starting to delayer and the chunky knitwear has gone to the back of the wardrobe. To be honest, I always find the transition from winter to spring a tricky one as British weather is so flipping unpredictable - so I always go back to a bomber jacket and cami as my 'safe' option. I stumbled across this cute stripe cami during a food shop in Tesco (I'm very easily distracted) and I'm tempted to go back for the navy version! It has crossover detailing on the back and a slightly oversized fit - perfect for wearing with jeans or tucking in to high waisted denim shorts.





I also picked up this knitted bomber jacket in black and grey (because if it fits, buy it in every colour) and it's the perfect style/texture for this time of year. I always seem to go back to black but it just goes with everything!

Katie x

P.S. Sorry for the picture quality - Blogger seems to lower the quality when I upload them. Any tips, guys and girls?

20.4.17

Body image, Instagram and saying thank you



It's a Thursday evening (hurrah!) and I walk in the door and make a beeline for my laptop. I start typing away because, for once, I have a clear idea about something I want to talk about. I get these lightbulb moments every now and then (not regularly though so don't get used to it!) You see, last night I posted some photos on Instagram of me wearing bikinis from my ASOS swimwear haul. I dithered so much over whether I should post them or not. I guess I'm a bit of a prude (insert granny emoji here) and I didn't know if I wanted to put my body on Instagram for the world to see. Is it too much? Too revealing? I have to say, I'm that girl who's always pulling at the hem of her dress trying to make it longer - but that's probably because being tall means everything looks like a bloomin' mini skirt on me. 

I got them ready to post, saved to draft, deleted and repeated this over and over until my boyfriend said, "Just post them! Who cares what people think." I dithered again, staring at the images. I'm fairly body confident these days because, honestly, I really can't be bothered to sit and worry about it, there are bigger, more important things that need that space in my brain (like what to have for dinner). If I'm honest, I hated my body as a gangly teenager and jumped for joy when I started to fill out (at the slightly more mature age of like 19/20). Another reason I try not to dwell on looks is because spending every day hating what you see in the mirror is such a negative downward spiral, guys and girls. Nothing good ever came out of it. But that said, there's something about baring my body to the whole of Instagram (I'm kidding, not the whole of Instagram thanks to that algorithm!) that I'm still not sure about. Honestly, I don't know how some girls post pics like that every day - kudos to you ladies. 

Whilst I'm fairly happy in my own skin, I felt nervous posting those photos. Because what if people are horrible? What if they're cruel and point out my imperfections? This is social media we're talking about and we all know trolls aren't those creatures that live under bridges (or maybe they are). I pride myself on being a fairly tough cookie and can usually handle whatever is thrown at me, but this is my body we're talking about. Criticise my bed hair, my poor taste in music, my Spongebob pjs or my terrible sense of humour that thrives on sarcasm, that's fine. Maybe because they're out there for everyone to see. Well, apart from the Spongebob pjs. THE SECRET IS OUT! (Truth be told, I bought them not realising they had Spongebob written down the side. I thought they were just a cute polkadot design). 

Luckily, I seem to have the loveliest, most supportive ladies over on Insta and to my surprise received some nice comments. I think that made me squirm even more - half because I was expecting some sort of criticism and half because er, how do you react to that? When someone compliments your dress it's easy to be like, "Good old New Look!" or, "It was such a bargain!" or my favourite, "oh it's SO old I'm surprised it's still in one piece." But that doesn't really work when someone says you have a nice figure ("oh cheers! It was in the sale...") And maybe that's sad, that we don't know how to receive or react to such compliments. I say 'we' in the hope I'm not the only cringingly awkward human being here. Do you say thank you? I personally find that hard to do. Or do you launch in to a spiel about how you're actually so bloated from a bout of IBS that if you stood side on, you'd probably look pregnant. Or how you wish you weren't so out of proportion. Or how it's a good job you cut your legs out because you've had the mother of all allergic reactions to a fake tan (see last post for my tan woes) - although red snakeskin legs could be the new fashion statement I hear!

I read something a while ago that said our generation is the worst for receiving compliments. We either shrug them off or turn them back in to a negative. Which I think is pretty true. Basically, we're not very good at smiling, nodding and saying thank you - and keeping the insecure 'BUT LOOK AT MY STOMACH AND I HAVE NO BOOBS' comments to ourselves. Maybe it's because if we just say thank you, does that mean people will think we're arrogant? Will people think we have zero insecurities? I guess this is a message to say, ladies (and gents!) let's have some confidence in ourselves. We get one shot at this life, don't let the majority of it be spent picking out your faults and wallowing in self-pity because someone has a six pack and you don't. Ain't nobody got time for that! Be proud of who you are (I really need to take some of my own advice here...) we all have flaws and imperfections, but most of the time we are the only people who can see them in ourselves.

Oh, and if like me you have no boobs and some IBS bloating, natural lighting and stretchy waistbands are your friends. And squish your elbows together - that'll help with the boobs - or lack of. (Kidding). 

Katie x

P.S. Just finished writing this to realise it's 7pm, I'm still sat in my coat and I'm yet to make dinner. Sigh.

P.P.S. I've attempted to make dinner and threw half my cooked salmon on the floor...and half in the cutlery drawer. I think I used up all my brain power on writing this post! 

17.4.17

Top tips for fake tan allergic reactions



So last week I found myself in a bit of a pickle. I had the mother of all allergic reactions to a gradual tanning moisturiser and spent most of the week feeling incredibly itchy and looking like I had run through a field of stinging nettles, being stung by a thousand wasps and sunburnt all at the same time. I was so itchy I couldn't sit still - I'm sure my colleagues thought there was something wrong with me! (I would add some photos for you but it really wasn't a pretty sight). I don't have the most sensitive skin on the planet - I usually get heat rash in hot climates (oh the joys) but in terms of products, I usually get along with most skincare products okay. As someone who doesn't really dabble with fake tan/gradual tanners I probably should've tested the product first, but hindsight is a wonderful thing! 

Here are my top tips for dealing with an allergic reaction or skin rash from fake tan products:

Disclaimer: Please seek medical assistance if you think it is needed, if your symptoms are worsening or if your reaction is severe. I'm not a doctor so I can't diagnose your skin reaction or guarantee that what I've recommended will work for you. Allergic reactions can be serious peeps, so please go seek medical help if you need it. More info on allergic reactions and symptoms can be found on the NHS website.

1. Clean that product off! I woke up in the morning with a bright red itchy and sore rash across my legs, so I jumped in the shower and gently cleaned my skin. Use lukewarm water and a gentle soap - something fragrance-free that won't add to the irritation. I used a soap and a shower gel by Simple which are designed for sensitive skin. Gently pat dry. 

2. Get on the antihistamines. I take them daily for hay fever anyway, but there are plenty available from supermarkets and drugstores. Make sure you can take them (and that you're not allergic to any of the ingredients) and stick to the recommended dose! These should help keep your allergic reaction under control, but as stated above, go and seek medical advice if you're concerned. Google is no substitute for a real doctor, guys and girls.

3. Invest in some calamine lotion. I'll be honest, it smells bloody awful, it's very drying and it will leave you with a white/pink tinge to your skin (pastels are on trend, right?) but it is so soothing. I bought a bottle from Boots and used after showering or bathing and just rubbed it over the affected area. It dries slightly white and streaky (it's a strong look!) but I noticed an immediate difference. If you're conscious of looking a strange colour, put it on at night and wash off in the morning. I used this for a week and while it did a great job of soothing, I did notice my skin got awfully dry so just a word of warning!

4. Pure aloe vera gel. Not your usual cream aftersun lotions. This stuff was an absolute Godsend! I got in to a routine of showering in the evening, applying calamine lotion, showering in the morning and applying aloe vera. It's very soothing and it really helps with the itching, plus it won't leave you a strange colour like the calamine lotion!

5. Let your skin breathe! At every chance I got, I changed in to shorts to let my legs breathe. Jeans, trousers and tight-fitting clothes all made the itching and irritation worse, so get those limbs out in the open air.

6. Change your sheets! If you slept in your tan overnight, make sure you change and wash anything that it came in to contact with e.g. sheets, pyjamas, sweatpants etc. You don't want to risk there being any residue of the product on there that could cause even more irritation for your skin. 

7. Wait until your allergic reaction has gone down completely before playing around with other skincare products - even if it's just your usual moisturiser or a scented shower gel. Your skin is going to be very sensitive while all of this is going on, so give it some time to heal.

I'll be honest, it's taken nearly a week for my allergic reaction to go down, but I just monitored it and made sure I was okay with the products I was using. I've recently bought another gradual tanner (I know, you'd have thought all of this would have put me off!) and I've patch-tested it on my skin for 24 hours. Lesson learnt, ladies and gents. Luckily, I've had no reaction at all but I now know to do this for all future skincare products! Finally, just to reiterate I am not a medical professional - if you get an allergic reaction and you're worried, please talk to someone in the know about what to do and what you can use - whether that's your local pharmacist, GP or a walk-in centre. 

I'm off to slather myself in some more aloe vera!

Katie x

9.4.17

Spring Florals



What a glorious sunny day! Are we sure this is April? I don't know how long this weather is going to stick around for but I'm more than happy if it wants to stay put for a while. I've spent the afternoon in the garden, painting my nails in the sunshine with my music on. Is there a better way to spend a Sunday?! (Okay, maybe in a pool with a mojito in hand). I've been updating my wardrobe with plenty of spring florals and floaty tops - perfect for this transitional weather. I'm a sucker for a cold shoulder top so I'm glad they're sticking around again for spring (mainly because my wardrobe is full of them!) I often to find a trend that I love and then overdo it to the point where it's all I have in my wardrobe - eek. In my defence, this is the first floral cold shoulder top in my wardrobe!




I absolutely loved shooting these photos in a local woods, it was such a pretty location and so tranquil, BUT hello hay fever hell. As much as I love the warmer weather, I hate that my hay fever has to make a comeback. I sneeze every five seconds and look like Rudolf the red-nosed reindeer for pretty much the whole of spring and summer, and have done since I was a kid. I need to start having some local honey again - I tried it out last year and it actually helped. (Take a look at my top remedies for hay fever!) Do you have any tried and tested hay fever remedies? If so PLEASE send them my way.

Hope you've had a lovely weekend in the sun! What's your favourite trend for spring?

Katie x

3.4.17

Bumble and bumble surf set review

Image of Bumble and bumble surf set



The weather this weekend was absolutely incredible for the start of April; we spent Sunday afternoon sat in our garden soaking up the spring sunshine which was bliss. This spring weather has really got me in the mood for beaches, holidays and messy beach hair, so I was over the moon when I was bought the Bumble and bumble surf set for my birthday! I've had my eye on this brand for ages, having heard good things about their salt spray. To put things in to perspective for you - my hair is a natural mess. A bedhead of waves and fluffiness. Which I fully embrace on holiday, because who has the time/can withstand the heat of straighteners or a curling wand?! But most of time time, I spend my mornings trying to tame it so I don't look like I've just rolled out of bed. 

The first thing I tried was the Bumble and bumble surf spray and I could hardly contain my excitement. I absolutely love it, it enhances natural waves and slightly tames the fluffy state of my hair. It's also not too crispy either, which I've experienced with previous salt sprays. The scent isn't overly perfumed, which is fine by me! I tried it on towel dried hair and left it to air dry (which can usually go either way for me - I either end up with half decent natural waves or resembling a poodle. Luckily the surf spray did a good job of taming my wild mane). If you don't have natural waves, try twisting sections of your hair and spray over them again, or section your hair in to several buns and pin to your head, spraying over them again and allowing to dry. 

Next up, I tried the Bumble and bumble foam wash shampoo and the creme rinse conditioner which did not disappoint! They have a really gentle, fresh scent - nothing overpowering. The shampoo lathers up nicely, which is pretty amazing considering my house has hard water and it's tough work to get anything to lather up! The conditioner is true to its description as it left my hair feeling so soft but it definitely had some texture to it. These products are definitely going to be part of my spring/summer haircare routine - washing my hair twice with the shampoo, using the conditioner on the mid lengths and ends, and then spritzing all over with the surf spray after giving my hair a quick towel dry. 

I also want to have a little rave about how cute these diddy bottles are - they're the perfect size for hand luggage and will definitely be coming with me to Valencia in a few weeks! I now have my eye on some more Bumble and bumble products including the surf infusion spray, texture creme and their Bb.Curl goodies! Has anyone tried them?

Katie x


P.S. Totally should've done a before and after! Der. I'll upload some snaps on here and on Instagram when I next do my hair - or let me know if you'd prefer a tutorial :)

23.3.17

Comparison in the digital world

Image of laptop depicting digital world


This is a topic that has been floating around the blogosphere and social media a lot recently. In a way, I didn't want to give it the air time but you know what they say, it's good to talk. So let's grab a cuppa and have a chat. I think there is, and always will be, an element of comparison in life such as comparing our lives to those of our parents, our friends, our siblings and other people we look up to. A little bit of comparison can be healthy, like looking at how times have changed since our parents were our age, seeing how well our friends are doing and congratulating them for their achievements. So when does it become unhealthy? I suppose when we start applying everything to our lives and seeing the negatives. I've always been pretty happy and grateful - from doing well at school and University, to going on holiday, my career opportunities and blogging. However recently, I started to compare everything. And I started to feel like I was being compared to others by others, like I was being held up against others. And that is not a nice feeling.

I'm fairly competitive and always have been. Being held up against someone else, being compared to someone else, would only spur me on to either distance myself and be as different as possible (how will you compare me then?) or work my arse off to better, to be the best. I guess I am still very much in that mindset, especially with work, which makes me work harder, focus more and learn quicker. However, comparison is not healthy guys and girls. Especially when it comes to your personal life. And social media/blogging seems to be fueling the idea of a perfect life. A perfect home, face, clothes, body. A life full of perfect holidays in perfect destinations with perfect people. Perfect, unreal, unattainable lives. 

There's a huge part of me that feels for the teens of today (blimey, I sound like a right old lady at the grand age of 26!) But seriously, being a teenager was hard enough with just MySpace and MSN (please tell me you know what those are otherwise I will genuinely feel ancient) but throw in Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube and you have constant, 24/7 stream of perfectly curated lives. Perfectly curated people. A lot of bloggers have spoken out about this unrealistic view and how expectations are unreasonably high on social media. Don't get me wrong, I love scrolling through travel accounts/bloggers on Instagram, drooling over their sunset photos, hearing about places I never even knew existed. I love following fellow fashion and lifestyle bloggers who showcase an outfit that you would never think of putting together and they absolutely own it. But all of this perfection, all of these filters, can give an unrealistic expectation of life and what it should be like. There's no 'behind-the-scenes'. And I can definitely be guilty of this, after all, who wants to hear you've had a snotty cold for two weeks or you've woken up with the biggest pillow crease on your face (and it's still there two hours later...)

I fell out of love with my blog for a little while. My blog has always been my calm place. My happy place. But lately I feel like I'm being compared to others and I feel like I'm coming up short every time. I've always loved creating content, honing my photography and spending time writing. I was always a bookworm growing up, always reading and writing. I loved my English Lit classes at school and have a notepad bursting with ideas. Writing was my thing. And photography became a love of mine at University. I know these aren't exclusive to me, hell I'm probably one of millions who write, blog and take photos - and that's a wonderful feeling. To know there are people just like you out there....the blogosphere really can be a fabulous little community sometimes.

But having something that felt like mine, that was mine, being compared against others with the measure of success being how many freebies you receive and being judged by your follower count regardless of the volume and quality of actual content/readers/views/engagement you have. That's hard. As someone who works in digital marketing, there are so many more ways to measure success these days rather than purely follower counts, and every person and every blog is different. Isn't that the beauty of it? This used to be my happy place, but it turned into something that I couldn't even look at or bring myself to post on because what was the point? That sort of negativity is not healthy and you know what, the saying is completely true. Negativity breeds negativity.

So here's hoping, if you've stuck with me this far, that I haven't depressed the hell out of you! I've started to think of comparison as like a friend with a bad cold; keep them at arms length and you'll be just fine. Be inspired by others, celebrate their achievements (because remember what it feels like for you to reach a milestone whether it's in your career, blog or personal life), surround yourself with supportive positive people, support others (because isn't it amazing to see the people you love excel?) and most importantly keep a realistic outlook on life. Repeat after me: I AM NOT BEYONCE. I'm kidding, and I'm sure even BeyoncĂ© has bad days...(?!) At the end of the day, you have no idea what is really going on behind the lens and sometimes we need to take a bit of time out to be grateful for what we have, not spending time comparing ourselves to others. And to finish off with a blooming great quote, “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is you-er than you." Cheers Dr. Seuss, you wise owl. 

Katie x

P.S. Here are some great reads along the lines of this topic if you fancy delving deeper. I love Josie's post about the rise of the micro-influencer and how being a smaller blogger/having a smaller follower count doesn't mean you're less important or not good enough for the blogging world. I also stumbled across Abigail's inspiring post about comparing yourself to others and how to stop - definitely a must read!

19.3.17

Casual peplum



Spring, sunshine and Sunday! Three of my favourite things. I'm slowly getting back in to fashion blogging after the house move and we went location scouting today which resulted in stumbling across a cute woods not far from our new house. Moving really threw my blogging schedule out so I have lots to catch up on, including chatting about the return of the peplum trend. This was a trend I fell head over heels for a few years ago when it was doing the rounds and I'm glad to see it's made a return. This season has me obsessing over anything with frills or ruffles, so the peplum trend fits right in! 




The crew neck, soft grey shade and slightly baggy style of this t-shirt gives the peplum trend a casual twist - plus it's perfect for throwing on with jeans for an effortless Sunday look. This purchase was a bit impulsive for me, especially as I usually steer clear of oversized tees in fear of looking like a child wearing a way-too-big top (like the ones you used to have to wear from lost property if you forgot your PE kit!) I think because this tee has a round neck and fairly fitted sleeves it doesn't seem to swamp me like other oversized styles. And the peplum throws a bit of tailored sass in there too. 



This week has been so warm that I've actually managed to leave the house without my winter coat which is amazing! My feet haven't braved the outside world yet though, they'll probably stay in boots for just a little longer. Don't need to inflict my pale tootsies on anyone just yet. I've probably said it before but as a spring baby, I really do love this season. I'd pick jeans and t-shirt weather over sweltering hot weather any day! 

Hope you've had a fab weekend whatever you've been up to. How do you feel about the return of the peplum trend?

Katie x

12.3.17

Lazy Sunday




Life update time! I'm not exactly one for chatting about life on my blog, I like to just tootle along and get on with things. However my radio silence across social media and the blog means we are probably long overdue a catch up! My boyfriend and I moved from our little rented flat in town and are now the proud owners of a little two bed house out in a rural village. I'm a country girl at heart, so it's absolute bliss. Our weekends and evenings are filled with adult stuff like putting up blinds (it took us four and a half hours to put up ONE BLIND. We are really not made for DIY), putting tables together and we've practically been living in Homebase and B&Q for the past few weeks. They even know us by name!

The actual moving house was quite fun and not as stressful as I thought it would be. Although spending days without internet meant my EE bill was through the roof and I had a nightmare trying to find some socks as I'd packed them all away. (Top tip: LABEL YOUR BOXES). We have also  spent our evenings creating a filing system for everything house related and updating my trusty spreadsheet. WELCOME TO ADULTHOOD! That said, we are very happy and settled, even if we can't remember what it was like to chill. I have so many episodes of Riverdale to catch up on so I'm avoiding Twitter as much as I can - no spoilers please!

We're loving geometric patterns and texture to add some warmth to our teal and grey colour scheme


I've included a couple of sneak peeks above but I'm hoping to write/film a house tour if anyone is as nosey as I am about interiors! We were pretty lucky as we chose a new build so had the chance to pick out our kitchen, bathroom and flooring which was not only fun as we got to channel our inner Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen, but it was great as we got to personalise our house and have it decorated before we moved in. Definitely a stress we wanted to avoid! I'm still getting used to the new house - whilst it feels so homely, it is so much quieter than living in town, plus I'm getting such a workout now that we have stairs after three years of living in a flat!

I have a few outfit shoots coming up in the next few weeks so I promise to get back to the fashion side of blogging. Just as soon as I've finished being a proper adult boarding out the loft, sorting out the garden and building some more flatpack furniture! Hope you're having a lovely weekend and enjoying this sunshine - can we just appreciate that spring is definitely on its way!

Katie x

19.2.17

Lace up jumper



Another knitwear post, sorry, roll on spring! I turn in to such a jumper and jeans girl over winter. This lattice jumper from New Look is the latest addition to my already-bursting-at-the-seams winter wardrobe. I have to say, New Look is absolutely owning it with their winter collection! I was a fan of the lace up trend last summer and luckily it's a trend with longevity, living on in the form of snuggly winter knitwear. 

Image of a lace up jumper from New Look



At the moment, I'm all about comfy knitwear like this lattice lace up jumper. I've spent the weekend boxing up our flat as we're moving in to our first house next week - the excitement is real guys and girls! We've been waiting for our house for almost a year so we are literally like kids at Christmas right now. It's been a full on few days of boxing everything up, throwing out loads of stuff and bagging up clothes for charity (11 bags to be precise! Me? A hoarder? Never). Needless to say, cosy knitwear and stretchy skinny jeans have been an absolute necessity this weekend.

Image of a New Look lace up jumper


I really should have left blog photos for a day when I didn't look physically and mentally drained...but instead you have my tired little face to look at, you lucky lot! I'll be honest, this weekend has been absolutely exhausting but hey, I'm still smiling! Heads up though - the blog might be a little quiet over the next week during the move but I'll get some new posts and maybe a cheeky house tour up as soon as I can. 

Hope you're having a good week/weekend lovelies! What do you think of this lace up jumper?

Katie x

15.2.17

Warner Bros. Studio Tour review



I've probably mentioned it here and there, but for those of you who haven't caught on, I'm quite the Harry Potter fan. Not in a creepy way (I haven't turned my bedroom in to the Gryffindor common room...yet) but I have always been in complete awe of the world J.K. Rowling created. Call me a fan girl, but it amazes me how one woman's imagination can create something so huge. 

Aged 11, sat on velvet purple armchair (at a holiday cottage! The velvet armchair wasn't ours, although that would probably be deemed pretty cool and quirky these days), my mum handed me the book Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. I've always been a bookworm and spent every holiday with my head in a book, but nothing had ever gripped me to the point where I couldn't put it down...until Harry Potter came along. I stayed up late and woke up early to snuggle back in that armchair with my book (well, snuggle as well as you could on something velvet). The day I finished the first Harry Potter book, I put it down and begged my mum to find the sequel.



Being a bookworm, the books will always win over the film for me but I do adore the films and I think they've really done the books and characters justice. Visiting the Warner Bros. Studio Tour was definitely on my last of things to do. I had visited about three years ago and loved every minute, but last weekend I got to go again with my family for my dad's Christmas present (he also happens to love Harry Potter!) And oh my, it's even better second time round.

They have a few new areas such as the Hogwarts Express and platform 9 3/4 (which is absolutely epic by the way. I literally felt like I'd just stepped in to the station). And they have the Forbidden Forest opening in March! Is it acceptable to go for a third time? Asking for a friend...This time round I spent more time reading the facts and paying way more attention, rather than running round like an overexcited child (although there was a little bit of that involved). The detail is absolutely insane - from 500 handwritten labels on the potion bottles to writing the names of the crew on all 4000 wand boxes as a tribute to them. Every little detail had been planned to perfection and looked so realistic. From the troll masks to the animatronics, screaming mandrakes and of course my absolute fave, little Dobby!





I'm trying not to give too much away but the full scale Hogwarts model is something to behold. Probably helped by some dramatic lighting and glorious triumphant music! My brother isn't the biggest fan of Harry Potter (I know, shame on him) but he loved the tour so don't worry if you're not obsessed. If you love films and behind the scenes stuff, you'll probably still enjoy it! Have a read about my brother's a muggle's take on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour over on his blog, Sam Squire.







Top tips for visiting the Warner Bros. Studio Tour:
  • Take a camera! And make sure it's charged (that's a dig at my dad, who ran out of battery halfway round!) (EDIT: he didn't run out of battery, his camera did...)
  • Dress accordingly - it's a fairly decent temperature in there but there is an outside area so if it's cold (or snowing like it was for us!) take some layers.
  • Allow yourself plenty of time! We took about 2 and a half hours. Although apparently one person took 13 hours. It's amazing but c'mon, 13 HOURS?!
  • Plan your meals ahead - there's a cafe in reception and a small cafe about halfway round which are great for a cuppa and cake (gluten free cake too!) but I'd probably take my own lunch next time.
  • Be comfy - you're going to be walking around for a few hours. I wore my heeled boots which probably wasn't my brightest idea.
  • Get there early! They recommend getting their about 20 minutes early. We arrived 45 mins early and had a cuppa and some cake. To be honest, any day that starts with cake at 10am is going to be good.
  • DO. NOT. TAKE. A. HEAVY. BAG. My arm had nearly dropped off by the time we had finished. 

Enjoy! Have you ever been? And if so, what did you think?

Katie x

5.2.17

Ruffles and knitwear

An image showing ruffle detailing on a grey jumper
I know, I know, more knitwear! I swear I have so many jumpers I could wear a different one every day for about a month. Whilst I'm definitely a spring baby at heart and love longer days and warmer weather, I do really enjoy wrapping up in layers and filling my wardrobe with chunky knitwear. I'm a massive fan of the different styles gracing the shops this year - from embroidery and winter florals to pastel colours and ruffles like this little Topshop number. It's a nice warm knitted style with ruffles on the shoulders for some super sassy vibes! I obviously opted for my usual favourite colour - grey. They do have a pinky colour and baby blue version that I'm very tempted to buy, especially as they're now in the sale. A girl can never have too many jumpers or ruffles, right?!

An image showing a jumper with ruffle detailing



An image showing knitwear with ruffles


So much love for the sweatshirt style, it's perfect for throwing on with some jeans for some casual weekend vibes and the ruffles add a bit of glam so it looks like you've kind of made an effort - my kind of jumper! Although I do think this would look perfect dressed up with an A-line leather skirt, which is next on my wish list. I've spent this weekend being so slouchy, ordering yet another knitwear haul and watching Riverdale (which I totally recommend, especially if you love the whole PLL teen drama type of show!) I'm just gutted that they're only uploading one episode a week on Netflix - a girl needs a good binge watch y'know!

An image showing a jumper with ruffles

I'm currently keeping my eye out for some ruffled shirts/blouses too. They look so pretty (although I bet they're a nightmare to iron haha). Hope you're having a lovely weekend whatever you're doing! Let me know what you think of this outfit - are you loving the ruffle trend?

Katie x

31.1.17

The Homeware Edit



I'm not sure I've mentioned this on the blog yet, but Nathan and I bought a little house last year and finally get to move in next month! I've kept it fairly quiet just in case the date gets pushed back (always the pessimist) but we now have a definite move in date and the excitement and planning can begin! (Let's just pretend I haven't been spending every evening on Pinterest). We're really excited to finally move in after years of renting and a year of waiting for our house, so I've taken this opportunity to obsess over homeware. I think my boyfriend is slowly getting fed up of curtain samples turning up in the post every week! I've always loved homeware and home accessories, so now is the perfect time to indulge in some of the home trends I've had my eye on. We decided to go for dove grey walls, so of course rose gold, copper and white accessories are all on my wish list. I did try to talk the boyfriend in to dusty pink curtains but I think that was pushing it too far! *Sigh*

I think the hardest thing is to get a balance of Pinterest-worthy interiors, budget and comfort! I love some of the minimal monochrome rooms but I also know we're both a sucker for a cosy interior too, so I think our house is going to be a mixture...so we'll see how that turns out! I might post a house tour once we're settled in. For now, I've just been piling together mood boards and screenshotting dreamy interiors (honestly, my phone is full of pictures of other people's homes...that's not weird, is it?)

The Metallics Edit

Oh my. Is there anyone out there who doesn't like rose gold and copper?! If so, shame on you, we're no longer friends. I'm kidding. I do love this home trend though and I think it will go really well with dove grey walls - if Pinterest and Instagram are anything to go by! I like the way rose gold and copper add some warmth to rooms too as well as throwing in some glam vibes. Here are a few of my top picks (I'm thinking that tray would be perfect for make up storage!)

Image of rose gold and copper home accessories




The Light Edit

Lamps, glorious lamps! I never thought I would enjoy shopping for lights as much as I have. I think this is a real bonus to being an adult - screw the bills and working 9-5, I get to go lamp shopping! I can't work out if that sounds really sad or not? Probably. I'm really loving some of the tripod styles and the industrial trends at the moment. I'm quite a fan of mixing and matching different styles and various metals - probably because I'm the most indecisive person on the planet. Take a look at my favourites below. 


The White Edit

White just seems to look so good with grey, don't you think? I quite like the simplicity and cleanliness of it, it feels almost Nordic/Scandinavian (IKEA I'm looking at you). As I've mentioned, we're suckers for a cosy home and I was worried white accessories might make it look a bit too minimalistic for our taste, however throwing in some texture and patterns definitely adds some cosy, homely vibes! Now, just to convince my boyfriend that we definitely some white faux fur cushions and some cute, whimsical tea cups...

Image of white home accessories




Let me know what you think of my picks - I almost created a marble inspiration board too as I'm currently on the hunt for a marble tray and some coasters so if you see any, link me please!

Katie x 

22.1.17

Winter florals

An image of winter emroidered floral jumper


Oh my goodness, is it me or are the weekends are flying by at the moment? I think I got way too used to a long break thanks to Christmas, so weekends feel super short now! I've had such a chilled one, which was much needed. I spent Saturday at the spa with my mama, having a back massage, a scalp massage and afternoon tea. We don't often pamper ourselves so it was such a treat! We then had a meal at Grain in Colchester - a new restaurant with a unique 'small plates' theme (which means you can order as many dishes as you want! Perfect if you're massively indecisive like me). I did possibly order too many and spent the rest of the evening in my sweatpants on the sofa nursing my food baby haha. Best way to spend a Saturday night though, right?!

An image of New Look embroidered floral jumper


I'm loving the embroidered floral trend at the moment and New Look has so much choice. I spotted this jumper a while ago and it just came back into stock - love it when that happens. I'm a big fan of how the colour and ribbed style is pretty low-key so that the embroidery does all the talking. I've thrown it on with my new super stretchy skinny jeans, but I've also worn it with my burgundy A-line skirt for an evening out, which worked nicely! This is definitely going to be one of my spring staples, when spring eventually turns up. Don't get me wrong, I love how pretty winter is but I am not built for cold weather!

An image of a floral jumper and skinny jeans



I'm also still getting used to my shorter mane, so any tips for quick and easy styling would be greatly appreciated! I had decided to grow it long (again) but then got bored and cut it off (again). I'm not indecisive or anything...

Hope you've all had a lovely weekend!

Katie x