26 May 2016

A BIG CHANGE

In a matter of days I will be embarking upon my next big adventure.

I always knew, after my last global trip, that I would most definitely be doing some more travelling in the near future. Every traveller knows that once you get the bug then that's it - IT TAKES HOLD and it NEVER lets go.

Those who have followed this blog since 2014 know that I visited South East Asia late that year, conjuring up air miles to Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore respectively. New Zealand followed SE Asia, Australia followed NZ and then I was home for Christmas so my Mum wouldn't have to spend her first Christmas without her baby girl. (She would have killed me.)

Following Christmas 2014 and the New Year celebrations, I jetted off again to America for 5 weeks with my partner in crime aka my big sis Nic. It was weird, wonderful and all kinds of epic...

Then the money ran out.

MAJOR SADFACE.

We were on such a high and then we had to come home, tails between our legs, and start applying for jobs. Reality brought us back to earth with a big THUD.

I was lucky in the sense that I didn't have to wait too long before I was employed again. I have previously worked in Fashion Marketing (utilising my degree in Fashion Marketing and Branding) but I was eager to try something a bit different in my industry. I would never veer off too far away from fashion as it's one of my BIGGEST passions; however, as I was very early on in my career, I thought it would be a good time to go down a different path that I had dabbled in previously to check that I wasn't missing out on anything - if that makes sense?

In my second summer at Uni, I did a four week placement at Tesco F&F on the Menswear Buying team. As I really enjoyed myself during that time, the opportunity came up to work in Product Development after my travels in 2015 and I went for it. WHY NOT, I thought. 

That is exactly what I've been doing the past 13 months - working for a Menswear Tailoring supplier developing formalwear ranges with their customers for each season. 

It's been CRACKING experience and I've learned so much - regarding both the product category and the field area. I am the girl who didn't have a clue what an inbreast jett was before I started the job. I didn't know much about how a factory works, how a garment is sewn together or the process of bulk production.

That's right - NOW I DO. 

In my heart of hearts, I know Marketing is the area of Fashion for me. Where else would I be able to do what I love doing above anything else - write? Where else would I be able to combine my interests in PR and social media? Where else would I be able to express my creativity through Graphic Design?

But, MAN, am I glad I tried something new for a while. The knowledge that I have gained during that job is INVALUABLE. I would now say that I have a more well-rounded awareness of how a fashion company works, from both the supplier side and the retailer side, which I will be able to build upon for my next employer.

It wasn't an easy decision to leave - I was quite comfortable in the job. I rather enjoyed the routine of working from Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm and finishing at 4pm on a Friday, and having my weekends free. I enjoyed collecting my pay slip at the end of every month - a steady wage for doing reasonable hours with a decent amount of holiday.

But knowing I wasn't 100% content with the field I was working in, knowing I have so much more to give in Marketing and knowing I wanted to explore more of the world while I was still young - it all started to niggle away at me.

If I didn't make the jump now, I don't think I would for a long time - and that would be WRONG. I couldn't ignore my thoughts and feelings, I couldn't compromise my goals and I certainly couldn't go against my gut instinct which was telling me things weren't quite right.

It's scary to make such a big change and have it all be down to you - what if you make a mistake? What if it's the wrong decision? What if it all falls through? But, at the end of the day, it's all a part of life, of being an adult and you control your own destiny.

I always say that if you aren't happy, you should CHANGE it. Life's too short to be unhappy.

All this being said, I finished my job last Friday. I have a couple of weeks to finalise my travel plans and then I'm off again with my big sis on Monday 6th June.

We are starting in America as we feel we didn't cover enough of it off last time (!) - we will be there for 6 weeks in total. We then have to pop home at the end of July for our friend's wedding in Ireland before we jet off AGAIN to South East Asia. (Excited little dance!)

The plan is to start in Thailand and do more of it than I managed to do last time (when I only had 2 weeks) and then just see where the wind blows (and how long the money lasts)!

It's TERRIFYING but it's exciting - and for gods sake, I'm a 25 year old woman who needs to do these crazy things and get them out of her system while she's still young and physically able. Not to mention - do I have any commitments at the moment? No. Do I have a mortgage? No. Do I have rent to pay? No. Do I have a boyfriend? HELL NO.

Now is the time, my friends. I think I've been through enough in the last 8 months to deserve it.

(QUICK RECAP: a 'break', a break-UP, A&E on the verge of a severe Lower Respiratory Tract Infection, Tonsillitis three times and an Upper Respiratory Tract Infection to name a few traumas.)

I have saved my money, I have looked after my health and I have all the necessary plans in place for a safe and successful trip... So I better go off and get on with it, right?





(Keep following my blog for all my travel stories while I'm away. As always, thanks for reading and thanks for your continuous support. I love you, guys! Katie-xo)

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14 May 2016

May Matalan Haul

I realise I've done quite a few Matalan hauls since we ventured into 2016... But to be completely honest, when it comes to Matalan, I just can't help myself!

Every time I head into that store, I always leave with at least one purchase. It's like THE LAW.

In fact, I usually leave with a whole armful of purchases.

This time I managed to contain myself a little bit and only walked out with a few bits and bobs.

By chance, most of this items just happen to be black?! I swear I ain't got a funeral coming up or nothin'. I JUST LIKE BLACK, okay?! #goth.

I was shopping for like a genuine reason this time though - not just to buy pretty things - as I have some quite exciting news. Ev'rybody brace yourselves...

I'm going travelling again. With my sister.

Like, FOR REALZ.

I'm going to do a post in a couple of weeks explaining everything and highlighting where exactly I'm going and why so, for now, PATIENCE babygirl.

But, yeah, it's happening again - which also means I need to stock up on appropriate clothing.

Here's what I bought in Matalan this time around:




1) Black Kaftan - £10

I don't usually like to wear black on holiday because black absorbs heat. When you're in 30 degree heat, do you really want to be wearing something that's only going to make you hotter?! NO SIREE, not me! But I couldn't resist this little number. Black goes with everything and always looks so slimming, not to mention classy.

2) Black High Waisted Denim Shorts - £8

Yes, you read that right. I didn't type it wrong. It was EIGHT POUNDS for these little beauties! They fit like a glove and are extremely comfy - perfect for trekking around in the daytime in a new place.

3) 'Work It' Purple and Black Headbands - SALE - £1

Everybody who knows me knows that I'm massively into my Zumba and fitness at the moment (trying to get skinny for my trip, innit)! I'm always on the lookout for cheap activewear which makes me look as cool as possible while I'm working out - I'm usually a sweaty mess - and I just fell in love with these headbands as soon as my beady eyes landed on them. COME AT ME, BRO.

4) Octagon Shape Sunglasses - SALE - £1.50

All I had to dish out to get the dreamiest gigs around was a mere £1.50. You can't go wrong with that really, can you?! They have a lovely rose gold tint to the lenses and just generally look KICKASS when on.

5) Metallic Tattoo Set - £4

My sister and I have been toying with getting a genuine tattoo for a while now. We want to do it while we're away as a sort-of 'look what we got while we were away and what a great souvenir to have for life' kind of thing. But, until we decide for definite what we're having and where, we thought we'd try out some fake ones. How sensible are we?! Permanent tattoos are not something to rush into, after all.

6) Gold Droplet Necklace - SALE - £2.50

I thought this cute gold piece of chainery would look DAMN GOOD over a bikini. End of.

I rather enjoyed my Matalan trip and I'm sure I will be going back again soon to grab some more holiday bargains!

That's all for now, but keep your eyes peeled for my next post... It's going to be a good one!


(Do you shop at Matalan? What's your favourite pieces from my haul? Thanks for reading! Katie-xo)

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24 April 2016

My Standard FOTD (Face of the Day)

I always see bloggers do these kinds of posts and I don't half find it intriguing. (It doesn't help that I'm a nosy so and so.)

As I grow older, I find that I'm getting more and more interested in make-up and experimenting with different beauty brands.

Fashion will always be my primary interest; however, as fashion and beauty often go hand in hand, it's impossible to care about fashion without caring about cosmetics just a smidgen as well.

On a day to day basis, it seems what women wear on their face varies astronomically. Some women put a full face of slap on, some use minimal make-up and some don't bother at all.

When I'm at work, I find that a BB cream, spot of concealer and slick of mascara does the job quite nicely.

But on my days off, when I'm going out to see friends or popping out for lunch with the family, I often find a need a little somethin' somethin' extra.

I usually wear a thin layer of foundation - my favourite is MAC Studio Sculpt - with a touch of Collection 2000's bronzer to define my cheekbones.

Then, on my eyes, I have to do the whole winged eyeliner look (a la Adele). You better believe us, boys, when we say winging our eyeliner is an art!

Following what feels like a thousand minutes perfecting the wings using Rimmel's liquid liner, I usually pile on a bit more Maybelline mascara than usual and finish off my brows with a bit of Benefit Brow Gel.

The final touch is to line my lips and whack on a MAC lipstick. My current everyday lipstick is Velvet Teddy because it's true that there ain't no girl that can resist that bronzey badboy.

Then, after this, my face is ready to... er, FACE the world!

(Sorry.)



(What do you wear for your standard FOTD? Thanks for reading! Katie-xo)

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16 April 2016

What To Do With a Weekend in LDN

Last weekend I went to visit a very good friend of mine in good ol' London Town.

I always enjoy heading to London because it really does feel like another world down there with its chaotic city atmosphere compared to the calm serenity of the Yorkshire countryside.

It's a great contrast to what I'm used to but sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed with the amount of footfall (and general franticity) which makes me wonder whether I'd ever be able to live there. It's so much hustle and bustle and people are always in a hurry to get places. I'm quite laid-back and leisurely so sometimes it feels like I don't belong - like the city wants to swallow me up and spit me back out.

Anyway it's still a pretty cool place to visit from time to time and I find that, now that I'm older and have previously visited a handful of times, I've done the main touristy things which leaves room to do the 'not quite as' touristy things.

On Friday night, my buddy took me to Limehouse - an area I'd never been to before.

It's kinda low key and chilled compared to other areas of London. The places we went to were busy, but not overly busy, and the streets were practically deserted more often than not.

We went for dinner at this cute little Italian called 'La Figa' before heading to the 'The Narrow' - the Thameside gastropub that Gordon Ramsay owns.

It has beautiful views of the river, especially at night while the skyscrapers are alight. (I'm a poet but, yes, I do know it.)

We had a cheeky tipple in there before proceeding to Ian McKellen's part-owned pub - The Grapes.

This is a small, old-fashioned watering hole that resonates Britishness down to its very core. However, the most exciting thing about it is the fact that Gandalf's staff takes precedence on the wall behind the bar. *Fangirl squee!* It was just perched there looking at me while I was casually sipping my Kopparberg Strawberry and Lime which was pretty cool.

My friend also said he was once having a drink in there and Ian McKellen was sat right behind him #notjealousatall.

After the excitement and tipsiness of Limehouse, we headed back to my friend's place in Canary Wharf where we could crash and sleep off the alcohol.

Then, the next day, my friend took me to The Breakfast Club in Canary Wharf which is about a 15 minute walk from his flat.

It's basically decorated all 70's-American-diner style with wood panelling, cheap chandeliers and leather booths with a jukebox on the wall. Oh and did I mention that the breakfast is AWESOME?! My friend had pancakes with bacon and maple syrup which was yummy (I sampled some, obviously) then I had Eggs Royale with smoked salmon on a toasted muffin. 100% NOM-tastic.

After breakfast, I had an urge to visit Camden again. I had been once before with Uni peeps but I'd forgotten about its many charms and wanted my memory refreshing.

The markets were just as cute and quaint as I remember.

We went to the psychedelic monstrosity that is 'CyberDog' (basically the gadget, clothing and sex shop that's on drugs) just because you've got to - then decided to find somewhere to perch besides the canal with a drink in hand where we could watch the world go by.

Camden was buzzing with crowds, as always, so I really enjoyed people watching. You find the best characters in Camden.

We then walked along the canal, past many boats decorated in weird and wonderful ways, towards the delight that is Primrose Hill.

I'd heard of Primrose Hill (doesn't it sound the prettiest?!) but never been before. It's basically a massive park with a hill at the end of it (as the name suggests). At the top of that hill awaits an incredible view. Hello, London skyline! You little beauty, you.

After spending several moments staring in wonder at the view, we walked from Primrose Hill to Regent's Park next door - so much greenery and so much gorgeousness!

The sun kept peeking out of the clouds throughout the afternoon and, when it did, all felt right with the world. You can't beat vitamin D's on your face as you're strolling through picturesque nature.

After Regent's Park, we walked past Sherlock Holmes' house on Baker Street before hopping back on the tube to Canary Wharf.

My friend took me for an early dinner at Gourmet Burger Kitchen because I'd never been (yes, I live a sheltered life) and then we mooched through the financial district of Canary Wharf to soak up some more skyscrapers and canals.

There's a really cute park which runs through the buildings before you reach the tube station with trickling fountains and trees that are almost in blossom.

We sat there for a moment and pondered about life before heading back to my friend's place for a chilled out evening of copious amounts of cups of tea, M&M's and Peter Kay.

My friend worked out that we'd walked 12,000 steps that day which was a surprise - that's more than I'd usually do in a week! (COME AT ME, skinny summer body.) It's so easy to get carried away with walking in London because everything is so spread out and there's so much to explore. The tube network definitely helps to get places and fast.

After a good nights sleep of being knocked out from exhaustion, I headed back up North late morning on the Sunday. 

Then, before I knew it, I was back in the homeland.

London, you were a fun one. Hope to see you again soon! And thank you to my friend for having me.














(Have you been to London much? What's your favourite parts of London? Thanks very much for reading! Katie-xo)

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6 April 2016

The Kylie Lip Kit Review: Posie K

I decided not long ago that it had to be done. I had to conform to the masses, sell out, ignore any nagging doubts telling me I was stupid to do it just because I wanted Kylie Jenner lips, bite the bullet and purchase one of the famous Kylie Lip Kits.

I'd seen these 'Lip Kits' doing the rounds on social media. YEAH - the colours looked pretty nice, the product was reasonably priced, the fact that it comes with both a liquid lipstick and lipliner made it good value for money... But I never thought I'd feel the urge to tap into the trend like so many bloggers before me.

However, that all changed when I started reading the reviews online; 'beautiful, deep colour that lasts for hours', read one... 'the liquid lipstick is moisturising to the lips', read another... 'a must have in the world of make-up' said somebody else, etc ETC.

I knew it was time to swallow my pride.

But, unfortunately, these little babies are very tough to get hold of.

You can only buy them from the official Kylie Cosmetics website, however the Kylie Lip Kit team only restock every month or so with a limited amount of product which means that everything tends to sell out in a matter of hours.

The Lip Kits are all over eBay though, which is where I got mine from, but you should expect to pay more than the original price of $29 (about £21) plus shipping. (I won't tell you what I paid...)

All of the colours are available, including the new dark purpley shade of 'Kourtney K', but I decided to go for the gorgeous dusty pink little number by the name of 'Posie K'.

I was like a little kid at Christmas waiting for my Lip Kit to arrive - and then, when it did, my first thoughts were how impressive the box and packaging looks. Everything about this product oozes 'cool' - from the dripping lips logo to the silky smooth finish of the liquid lipstick.

The lipliner looks like a MAC product and outlines the lips like a dream. The colour just glides on really strong without being too cakey,  and then you simply have to use the liquid lipstick to fill in the rest.

The liquid lipstick smells INCREDIBLE. It really does. It's potentially the best-smelling lip product I own - all fruity and NOMMY.

It tickles the lips it's that light, but not light as in watery - it's easy to apply and provides great coverage in rich block colour.

It's very wet when first applied, but soon dries to a matte finish. The only thing I'd say is that, if your lips are not moisturised well enough beforehand, the product will dry them out slightly.

I found this out once first-hand but then just popped some vaseline on top - the colour wasn't spoilt, my lips were back to their smooth selves and ALL WAS RIGHT WITH THE WORLD.

I have fallen head over heels in love with the Posie K colour - so much so, that I am considering investing in another Lip Kit in a different colour variety.

(OH, WHAT HAVE I BECOME?!)

But yeah - great product, Kylie. Girl done good.





(Did you manage to get hold of one of the Kylie Lip Kits? What colour do you have and what do you think to the product? Thanks for reading! Katie-xo)

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