4 June 2016

Last Minute Preparations Featuring Ivy Park

It's starting to dawn on me that I'm actually leaving home for six weeks to travel around America in two day's time... (Cue Monica Geller's voice...) Two days, baby - TWO DAYS.

Packing for a trip such as this one is an absolute nightmare. If anyone says otherwise, they're straight-up LYING.

Luckily, we have allowed ourselves a suitcase which makes life a whole lot easier. Thailand will definitely be a backpacking job - but we don't have to think about that yet :)

It's still hard to know what to take for 6 weeks of exploring, partying and frolicking in the sun. Although when we went last time, for 5 weeks in January 2015, it was even more difficult to pack as we knew we were going to go from one extreme (sunshine in LA) to another (snow in Boston).

This time around, it's all going to be little tops and shorts and sundresses so I can be like, HEY HELLO SUNSHINE - won't you please tan my pasty white English rose skin?!

The temperatures in some of the places will be 30 degrees plus, so I definitely don't need to worry about woolly jumpers, hats and scarves and packing my thermals. (WAHOO!)

I'm conscious not to take more than I need to and only pack my case half full - as I know I will be shopping and buying a lot of stuff out there like I did last time.

I seem to have gone for a few of everything: a few pairs of shorts, a few tops, a few dresses, a few pairs of shoes, a few bikinis - and then I can just mix and match as well as do laundry as we go along. SO EXCITING!

I've managed to utilise a lot of holiday clothes that were already in my wardrobe, so I've only had to purchase a couple of new bits to finish off an outfit here and there or to do some accessorising.

The one thing I have struggled with immensely is WHAT THE HECK to wear on the plane. It's two flights from Manchester to LA with the second being 11 hours long - so it goes without saying that my outfit needs to be comfortable, slouchy and preferably something I can get cuddled up in. The weather in Manchester on Monday will, undoubtedly, be RUBBISH - so I also need layers just in case it's chilly (it will most probably be chilly, let's face it - it's England).

Step forward, Ivy Park.

As soon as this little baby launched back in April, I knew I had to get my hands on some of the range. Ivy Park is Beyonce's activewear range which she partnered with Topshop to distribute in the UK. The mission is 'to empower women to work out' with pieces that are functional as well as fashionable.

I decided to buy the below for the plane, but I know I will also wear the pieces when I'm next doing exercise back home.

1) Ivy Park Coral Workout Crop Top - £22

This little coral number is perfect for summer exercise sessions worn over a sports bra - it's just so cute and SO COLOURFUL.

2) Ivy Park Sleeveless White Tank Top - £15

This sleeveless tank is super loose and super slouchy to allow for maximum movement when working out. It's a great layer to just throw on over the crop top - minimum effort required.

3) Ivy Park Mid Rise Black Leggings - £25

These black leggings are tight but very stretchy and fit like a glove. I chose these badboys because I loved the Ivy Park logo down the leg - it makes an impact.

4) Ivy Park Pink Sweatshirt - £28

I'm sorry but how adorable is this baby pink sweatshirt?! It's so soft - the softest item of clothing I have probably ever owned - and will be ideal for snuggling up in on the plane as well as providing an extra layer of warmth in the cabin's (often freezing) air conditioning.

That's my plane outfit sorted. The other day I had my hair coloured and cut (WHAT'S UP, blondie) and today I have my beauty appointments. (Girl gotta get groomed before she's exposed in a tiny two piece on the beach!)

Then all that's left to do is finish packing and check in for the flight online. (Everything's coming up Milhouse!)

Better get to it - wish me luck!

(Do you like my Ivy Park gear? What's your favourite piece? You might not hear from me for a while now as I'm travelling around America - but will definitely be posting all about my adventures when I return! Take care and many thanks for all the support :) Katie-xo)

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31 May 2016

Kylie Cosmetics 'Heir': A 'Metals' Review

The original Kylie Lip Kits are still very much popular in the beauty world; however, since their introduction, Kylie Cosmetics have also brought out two new ranges: the 'Metals' and the 'Glosses'.

These are exactly what they say on the tin. The 'Metals' are metallic liquid lipsticks and the 'Glosses' are lipglosses - and both ranges are available in 3 shades.

After trying and loving the 'Posie K' Kylie Lip Kit (read my review here), I decided to see what one of the 'Metals' had to offer.


I must admit, I went for this pinky nude shade over the red 'Reign' and the gold 'King K' for one reason and one reason only. I saw Khloe Kardashian wearing it just before it was released by Kylie Cosmetics. (And I have the BIGGEST girl crush on Khloe - as you all know from the 'Strong Looks Better Naked' review).

Now I bought 'Heir' from eBay, like I did previously with 'Posie K', but didn't pay as much for it as I did for 'Posie K' - RESULT! This was probably due to the fact that it's a standalone product without the lip liner.

I personally thought that the 'Metals' should have included a lip liner. This first struck me when I tried to use my new liquid lipstick as, even though it's a nice consistency, it smells good and provides good coverage, the lipstick does go all over the shop.

The consistency is a bit different to the 'Posie K' lip kit liquid lipstick - 'Heir' is slightly more watery but this also means that you only need a little bit and it goes a longer way.

The best thing about this product is the shade. It's absolutely gorgeous and will perfectly compliment my (future) summer tan when I'm travelling around America.

It's not as long lasting on the lips as the 'Posie K' lip kit (I could have a 3 course meal, several drinks and a takeaway at the end of the night and it wouldn't budge - NOTHING can move that bad boy) but it's a great lipstick to start your day in and I find that it only starts deteriorating after a couple of hours.

All in all, I would say that the quality is not quite as high as the lip kit (but at a cheaper price point, it's not meant to be) but it's a fabulous day wear alternative to the lip kit. And it's MEGA PRETTY, so you know... There's that.

Maybe I should try one of the 'Glosses' next - what do you think?

(Have you tried one of the Kylie Cosmetics 'Metals'? What are your thoughts? Thanks for reading! Katie-xo)


26 May 2016


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.


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)


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.


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!


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

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