18 May 2017

3 European Cities on my Travel Bucket List

After the most amazing ten months visiting countries from all different corners of the globe, now that I’m home indefinitely, I find myself wondering where I will venture to next.

Of course, having an American boyfriend means that it’s highly likely that I will end up in the US of A again sometime soon; however, the travel bug that now resides in me no matter how hard I try to fight it wants me to go to new places and experience new things. (It’s a stubborn little fella!)

I was with my friend Vanessa last weekend and she just turned to me and went: “So, Katie – where are you off to next?” It definitely got me thinking a little bit.

In the last three years, I have been fortunate enough to explore New Zealand, Australia, USA, Mexico, Thailand, Vietnam, UAE, Singapore and Indonesia. Then, a little closer to home, I have visited Ireland, Scotland and The Netherlands. How ironic is it though that I live so close to so many amazing European cities (that would only take one to two hours on a plane to get to) and I haven’t yet been to any of them?

I suppose you could argue that I’m only 26, and I have plenty more time before I’m old and grey, but I’m determined to do most of my exploring while I’m still young - before my body potentially gives up on me! Here are the top three European cities on my travel bucket list.

1) Paris, France.

Every blogger and their dog seem to have been to Paris recently. It’s making me super jealous as Paris just looks so dreamy in all the photos and Insta posts. One of my main wishes is to find a little cafĂ© opposite the Eiffel Tower where I can sip on milky lattes and nibble on pastries that melt in my mouth whilst writing in my travel notebook - all the live long day. (Yes, please!)

I also want to do all the touristy things like visit Notre Dame, take photos of Arc De Triomphe, wander around The Louvre art museum and spend an afternoon shopping down the Champs-Elysees.

Then there’s Disneyland Paris, which is also a must do, especially for a massive Disney geek like myself! It may take anything up to 40 minutes to get there just outside the centre of Paris, but I’ll be able to use T2 Transport for all my taxi and shuttle needs during my stay in the city. (Check them out here.) Not only can they run you to and from Disneyland, but they offer fast and convenient transportation services to and from the airport. Sorted!



2) Prague, Czech Republic.

The ‘City of a Hundred Spires’ just looks absolutely awe-inspiring on the photos. Not as touristic as some of the other European cities, Prague seems a bit like a hidden gem in the heart of the European mainland – which is precisely why I want to go!

I can’t wait to walk around Old Town Square and see the 600-year-old astronomical clock. There’s also the Charles Bridge and Castle District which are both supposed to be extremely pretty.

The whole city appears to be full of history and medieval architecture and I’m so excited to eventually feast on it with my own eyes!



3) Budapest, Hungary.

The company I last worked for full-time, that produced menswear tailoring, had a factory in Budapest. Various members of staff used to get to visit the city on a regular basis – and oh how I used to wish I could be one of them. It never happened, therefore I have to make sure I visit Hungary’s capital on my own terms in the near future!

Budapest just seems like one of the most aesthetically pleasing cities ever. I love the fact that you have the Buda district, which is mountainous, and then there’s Pest, which couldn’t be more different because it’s flat as a pancake. And both are connected by the Chain Bridge, which is the iconic stone bridge made in the 1800’s!

Like both Paris and Prague, the city is full of history and stunning architecture. I’d really love to go to Old Town and Trinity Square, where Matthias Church lives, as well as the turrets of Fishermen’s Bastion which apparently offer amazing views. There’s also the Buda Castle and Szechenyi thermal baths that I want to check out.

Budapest, hopefully I’ll be coming for ya soon!



In all honesty, I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to visit these cities any time in the near future, as I’m too busy focusing on my freelance writing business. However, you never know, as these cities would all be perfect for a weekend city mini-break in between heavy periods of work!

I’m certainly hoping to cover them off in the next couple of years. But, which one should I visit first? Decisions, decisions!

K-xo

(Please note that this post contains sponsored links by T2 Transfer.)

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11 May 2017

My Top 3 Favourite Style Details RN

If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably noticed that I keep joking recently about how I've got into a bit of a habit of having exactly the same style details this Spring. Does anyone else find that they do this? You get used to having the same 'look', because you like it, or you get complimented on it every time you wear it, or you simply become a little bit lazy with fashion. (Guilty!)

No matter what outfit I wear at the moment, I always have the same 3 style details that I can't seem to shy away from. And nor would I want to! They are the epitome of me and my style. Here are my top 3 favourite style details right now.

1) French plaited hair.

My Mum helps me to create this look. Yes, that's right. Hi, I'm Katie and I'm 26 and my Mum still french plaits my hair for me. You may laugh, but if you've got the resources - why not use them!

More often than not, my Mum plaits my hair when its just been washed and still wet, I let it dry naturally overnight, and then I let it loose. Once it's down, I find that it's all voluminous and wavy. Sometimes I like to mix it up and put in a top knot with the top half of my hair, and just let the bottom half loose.

To create this look, I firstly do my hair in a one-at-the-top. I scrape the top half of my hair into a ponytail and secure with a bobble. I then twist the ponytail and manipulate it so that it falls into a bun, then secure it with another bobble. I throw some hair clips on there to get rid of any flyaways and then, with a spritz of hair spray, I'm good to go. (Big thanks to my sister who originally taught me this hairstyle!)


2) The choker.

Good golly miss Molly, I just can't stop wearing chokers. I'm literally addicted to them. I thought I loved them last season, but I seem to love them even more this season!

I particular adore that they have been given a bit of an update this SS17. Now it's not just all about wearing a choker as a piece of jewellery, it's about wearing a choker as part of the piece of clothing on your top half - whether that's a top or a dress.

Either way, the fabric chokers are so much more comfortable to wear. And they look killer paired with a long rock t-shirt containing some form of grungy print! They're loud, they make a statement, and I'm not going to get over them any time soon. (Sorry, not sorry!)

 Long Rock Tee - MissPap.co.uk

3) Matte liquid lipstick.

If you read my blog regularly, you'll know that I have a bit of a thing for matte liquid lipsticks... Okay, a lot of a thing. Kylie Cosmetics, Sports Girl, Colour Pop - I love them all!

Now, I may have already reviewed Kylie Cosmetics and Sports Girl - but I think it's time I reviewed Colour Pop. I have a couple of shades that I bought from this LA-based brand a couple of months ago - and I can't stop using them.

I just believe that a matte lip really finishes off my outfit these days. Even if I'm not wearing a lot of make-up, or just in activewear on my way to the shop, if I put on a matte liquid lipstick I instantly feel better - about myself and about life!


Maybe sometime soon, my style details will evolve into something new and fresh. But RN, I'm happy with my french-plaited hair, choker and matte liquid lipstick combo. If it ain't broke then don't fix it, right?

K-xo

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4 May 2017

Coachella-Inspired Festival Fashion


I might be a little late to the party, but I heard Lady Gaga wowed the crowds with a spectacular firework display as Coachella 2017 came to a close a couple of weekends ago.

America’s most famous music and arts festival situated in the middle of the desert may be over for another year, but it’s only the start of the festival season. (Happy dance!)

Even though I’ve never been to Coachella, I have always wanted to go. Whilst the festival is on every year, I’m constantly on the look out for YouTuber vlogs, Pins and articles showcasing celebrity style. I love to see what everyone is wearing!

And that’s because I am, quite simply, in love with festival-inspired fashion.

Whether it’s a classic off-shoulder Bardot white top with high-waisted denim shorts combo, or a floaty floral maxi dress, it’s all about channelling your inner hippie with pride. And it’s awesome!

Some of our most-loved celebrities for their unique sense of style showed us a fresh take on bohemia this year at Coachella. It was all about the sexy, with Vanessa Hudgens going for little lace bralets and Hailee Steinfeld braving a fishnet long sleeved top.

Although, in true Coachella style, 70’s style maxi dresses and mini dresses still reigned supreme throughout. (I’m looking at you Paris Hilton and Selena Gomez!)

Unfortunately, I don’t think I can make it to a festival this year - and I’m rather gutted about it! Last year was such a laugh at Leeds Fest with my best friend and partner in crime aka my sister.

Nevertheless, nothing beats a good bit of festival fashion. Whether you’ve already been to Coachella, got a festival coming up, or (like me) simply admire the style, then I’ve got some dreamy pieces to show you.

Taking inspiration from this year’s Coachella celebrity-style, here’s my festival fashion wishlist (available in stores right now):




Boho Headband – £2.65 – newchic.com
White Crop Top - £18 – Pretty Little Thing
High Waisted Denim Floral Skirt - £53 – Topshop
Bohemian Maxi Dress - £56 – chicwish.com
Long Sleeved Fishnet Top - £15 – Boohoo
Paint Splatter Denim Shorts - £46 – River Island
Chelsea Wellington Boots - £90 – Harrods



Long live festival fashion!

K xo

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27 April 2017

Taking the Plunge into Freelance Writing

You may remember a recent blog post, from back in March, where I discussed how reading 'The 4 Hour Work Week' by Timothy Ferriss made me realise my true passion for writing and how I want to pursue it for a career. (Read the post HERE and buy the game-changing book HERE.)

Well, since then, I've been at home in Wetherby for four weeks after visiting my lovely boyfriend in Wisconsin... And I've had a lot of time to think.

I've always loved the idea of starting my own business, ever since we were taught it was an option when my coursemates and I were studying Fashion Marketing and Branding at university. I always thought it would be amazing to be my own boss, able to do things the way I wanted, on my time schedule and not have to fill in a holiday form and get it approved by a Manager in order to have a tiny bit of time off.

I've always been a bit of a free spirit, and since my travels I have been struck with a long-term case of the travel bug, so I find the traditional 9-5 jobs difficult because of the fact that it locks you down to one place indefinitely. I like to be able to spread my wings and fly off after a little while (perhaps that's why I chose to get into a relationship with an American).

It's because of these various different reasons, that I came to monumental, life-changing decision not too long ago. A big, scary decision that simultaneously gave me the butterflies with excitement, as well as days of anguish and anxiety.

I decided to go for it, and not let fear get in the way, so I could live without regrets... I decided to start my own freelance writing business.

I've done a lot of reading and researching recently and I honestly think I can make it work. In fact, I am making it work!

This is my second week of pitching and I have had my work published on two different blogs. (You can find the links at the end of this post.) My two niches are fashion and travel, but I have also previously written beauty and health articles.

This 'starting my own freelance writing business' business was supposed to be a long term goal, something that I would do 'later in life' when I'd 'built more experience'. However, after doing some extensive research - the kind of research where you try to go to bed at night but you can't sleep, as your head is buzzing with information - I discovered that a lot of people out there, who have successful freelance writing businesses, have less experience than I do!

Therefore I decided to just do it. Life's too short. My personal opinion is that life is not a dress rehearsal, it's the real thing.

I recently read a book called 'Who Moved My Cheese?' by Doctor Spencer Johnson (find it HERE). It's all about the fear of change and how to handle it, through a metaphorical story of mice who lose their cheese. My sister found it and introduced it to me. (Cheers, sis!)

This book came to me at the right time, because it's basic message is to not let the fear of change stop you from doing things and living the life you want. What would you do if you weren't afraid? It's time to stop being afraid and start living.

And that's exactly what I am doing.

My business is still in its very early stages; for instance, the website is still being built. It's true that this could all go horribly wrong, but I'll never know until I try.

I'm proud of myself for having the courage to try it though, and I hope I have inspired some people from writing this post. Don't wait until 'later in life', do it today. You might not have tomorrow.


(My first published articles since I last wrote for IDEAL Magazine back in 2015 are as follows:

What To Wear on a First Date - GoDates.co.uk - Dating Blog
Growing up In Wakefield, England - Erika with a K - Travel Blog
Visiting Sydney - Erika with a K - Travel Blog

Thank you for your continuous support! K-xo)

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20 April 2017

Edinburgh Truly is a Babe

Once you've got the travel bug, it's kind of difficult to get rid of. (Not that you'd want to!)

It had only been a couple of weeks since I'd returned from Wisconsin, USA, when I felt the sudden urge to do some more exploring! That and leaving my American boyfriend is always tough, so I was up for a weekend getaway with the sis to turn my frown upside down.

I'd been to Edinburgh once before late last Summer (read about it here) and came home absolutely buzzing. Not only does Edinburgh look pretty, with an abundance of old stone buildings, park greenery and (of course) the castle perched on its mound overlooking the city, but it feels... well, alive.

What I mean by that is there are people everywhere, much like London, from all corners of the globe. It's such a touristic place but it differs from London City Centre in the sense that it doesn't feel too overcrowded. There's just a really good vibe about it!

There's so much to do and see, which is a challenge when you're only there for a couple of nights. However, it's definitely worth the trip, and the drive up to Scotland from Yorkshire on the A1 along the coast line makes for a pleasant afternoon.

We had a full day of sightseeing on the Saturday, which gave me a great excuse to wear some new items from Topshop that I'd bought the week before!


It was a beautiful, bright, sunshine-y day - I hadn't seen clear, blue sky like that in a while! We ventured to the top of the castle and couldn't help but be awestruck at the breathtaking views.




What I love most about Edinburgh is the layout. The Old Town, including the Castle, sits at the top of the hill and overlooks the New Town, where all the high street shops are, with Princes Street Gardens in between. It's very unique. However, make sure you wear comfy shoes when you visit the city as those hills really take it out of you! I felt like I'd lost a stone in a matter of a weekend, walking up and down hills, steps and on cobbled streets.




In addition to this, the night life is a treat! There's The Dome, a fancy bar and restaurant with an interior that looks like the inside of Gringotts Bank (Harry Potter reference). Old Town also has some live music bars that are so much fun, featuring some extremely talented bands.

All in all, I can't help but feel that Edinburgh is truly a babe and one of my favourite places I've visited so far in the whole wide world! I'm sure I'll be back again!

Leather Jacket - Topshop
Paisley Print Top - Topshop LOVE
Levi Jeans - KOHL's 
Nike Trainers - Sports Direct
Coach Handbag - Coach Outlet @ Oshkosh, WI
Sunglasses - Rayban

K-xo

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(Please note that some photos in this post were taken by Nicola Davies.)
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