28 April 2015

Mini Primark and Matalan Haul

Good news: I've got a new job! Not so good news: I'm having to resist splurging until I get my first pay cheque.

However, I couldn't resist a cheeky little visit to my local Primark and Matalan as I knew I'd find some bargains at these stores that would cure my spending withdrawal symptoms without breaking the bank.

First up: Primark.

Pineapple Print King Bedding - £13 (similar HERE)
Pineapple White Candle and Holder - £1.50

I saw this adorable, funky pineapple-print bedding in the Leeds store a couple of weeks ago and immediately fell in love. I have a purple-themed bedroom at the moment and thought this multi-coloured bedding would be a nice way of adding a bit of colour and brightening up my surroundings, as well as complimenting the present colour scheme (some of the pineapples are purple). I also thought the use of the pastels on a white background looked super fresh for spring/summer and would be a fun addition to my existing bedroom decor. But, unfortunately, the Leeds store didn't have right size bedding that I needed for my king size bed so my dreams were temporarily ruined.

Although, imagine my sheer delight when I was shopping in Harrogate a few days later and managed to find the exact same bedding but in king size! Hurrah! I also managed to pick up this cute little matching pineapple-shaped candle at an unbelievable £1.50 #winning.

Next up: Matalan.

Black and Berry Embroidered Dress - £9
Gold a Double Stacked Rings - £1.50
White Butterfly Candle Holder - £6

I'd been looking for a new dress to go out in on the bank holiday weekend for a while and have wasted a lot of time and effort in doing so. Well, I should have just gone to Matalan in the first instance. As soon as I stepped into the store, I spotted this black beauty with berry red coloured embroidery in the sale for a mere £9. I immediately thought it was pretty but didn't know if it would suit my figure - it's a dress but it looks like a two piece co-ord and they never usually flatter my body shape. However, when I tried it on, it looked really nice and I could just picture myself wearing it on my night out - boho style - with layered necklaces and midi rings aplenty.

Additionally, I saw these gold double stacked rings in the sale for £1.50 which would compliment my usual array of midi rings. 

I then trotted over to the homeware section and found that I adored several of the pieces. Due to my budget limitations, I thought I'd just pick out one cheap thing to buy. It ended up being this white butterfly candle holder for £6. I love it's vintage look and have many bits and bobs the same style currently in my bedroom, so I thought it would fit right in! 

Overall I'm really happy with my mini haul - I'm just concerned I won't be able to stop myself from spending again before pay day! Life's hard being a blogger sometimes. Wish me luck!

(Do you like my purchases? What's your favourite piece? Thanks so much for reading! Katie-xo)

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23 April 2015

Bad Luck in Boston

The America Series

After my sister and I had spent 14 nights in Los Angeles, 3 nights in Vegas, 5 nights in Nashville and 7 nights in North Carolina, it was time to head to Boston. (If you need to catch up on my posts in the America series, you can do so here, here, here and here.)

There was a severe weather warning for Boston, NYC and several other East Coast cities whilst we were still in North Carolina. However, we managed to make it to Boston in one piece without any delays. The taxi ride from the airport to our hostel in the centre of Boston, however, was ridiculously long (and expensive) compared to what it should have been. This was because of the wintry weather and traffic build-up as it had been snowing in Boston for several days on end.

I was amazed by the snow and how it was just casually piled up on the sidewalks – some piles taller than I was! I’d never seen anything like it before so it did make our experience in Boston a very interesting one.

It also severely affected it. Due to the snow and public transport delays, it was very difficult to get around and do all of the things that we wanted to do. It was really cold as well – around -12 to -15 degrees Celsius on average – I don’t actually think I’ve ever been so cold in my life!

There was one particular chilly morning where we got to see the Victory Parade for the New England Patriots as they had just triumphed over the Seattle Seahawks in the Superbowl a few days previously (which we watched on TV in Charlotte). We were stood outside for two hours waiting for the parade to pass us and our limbs had actually gone numb in that time. There was an extremely bizarre and surreal moment where we couldn’t feel our poor toes! In all honesty, we couldn’t wait for the parade to be over so could run into the nearest Dunkin’ Donut, sit down, rub our toes and be able to feel all of our body parts again.

Then, on a separate day, we wanted to check out the Charles River where you’re supposed to get a pretty good view of the city. It snowed during the entire journey (which was on foot, by the way, and involved sidestepping big piles of snow and trying not to break our necks on the ice) and when we finally arrived the river was completely covered in snow and the city skyline was barely visible! It was a bit of a waste of time.

Put it this way – I now understand why people say don’t bother visiting Boston in February. The incredible architecture and history is what draws people to Boston and there’s so much to see but you need decent weather to be able to see it! Additionally, the city is quite spread out so you need much better walking conditions and public transport links that are not going to be delayed every two minutes.

We did get to go see the famous Harvard University though, on a day when the snow stopped. That was fun as Harvard is based in Cambridge which is a cute student-filled town with a good shopping, restaurant and night life scene.

Speaking of the night life scene, for the first time in my life in Boston, I queued for almost an hour in a snow storm - wearing hardly any clothes, might I add - just to get into an Irish pub. It was such a laugh in the end, but I’m not sure that I’ll ever do that again! Just thinking about it now gives me the chills.

Then the day after the night in Cambridge, I caught the bug that my sister had badly suffered with the week before in Charlotte. It involved being violently sick for 24 hours, not being able to eat, feeling weak and then having to deal with severe diarrhoea a couple of days later. Needless to say, after suffering with wisdom tooth pain in Wilmington and not being able to get around Boston easily and do the things that we wanted to do, the trip went even more downhill at this point! It was such a shame as we only had three days left before we were due to travel home to England.

To top it all off, our flight the following day which would take us to our last stop on the trip (NYC) had been cancelled. After a few stressful hours (which involved panicked phone calls to our parents, American Airlines and the travel agency that we booked our trip through), we had arranged to be put on a flight 24 hours later. But this meant that we lost one night’s accommodation money in NYC, as we had booked the hotel there in advance, and we had to shell out for an extra night’s accommodation in Boston. Then when we looked at the flight status via the American Airlines website the night before for our rescheduled flight, we discovered that this had also been cancelled. CUE MORE STRESS AND PANICKED PHONE CALLS (which contributed to a horrendous phone bill for the month to follow).

Luckily for us, there was a flight scheduled to leave later on the next day that was on time - so we did eventually manage to get the hell out of Boston.

PHEWF - it bit of a difficult few days, to say the least. I was still very ill at the time of leaving Boston as well, which did not bode well for the next part of the journey.

Even though our time in Boston was tough, I'm still glad that we went. It was an experience that I will never forget! It's also a great city - it'd just be even greater in warmer weather!

This brings me nicely onto NYC. Look out for my final instalment in the America series - coming soon!

(Have you been to Boston before or had any bad luck when travelling? Thanks so much for reading! Katie-xo)


17 April 2015

Cinderella Magic

My sister and I went to see the real-life version of Cinderella yesterday after hearing such positive reviews from critics and friends alike.

I really liked the movie; it's completely different to the 'Snow White and the Huntsman' version of Snow White as it stays truer to the Disney animated feature (maybe because this version of Cinderella was produced by Disney?) Regardless, director Kenneth Branagh done good.

The visuals are seriously stunning with production design by Dante Ferretti and costume design by Sandy Powell. Cinderella's dress that she wears to the ball is particularly breath-taking.

Lily James plays the part so well and it's amazing how many times while watching the film that I admired her natural beauty and charisma.

Richard Madden (Robb Stark, for all you Game of Thrones fans) ain't bad either as Prince Kit. The fact that he's easy on the eye helps (I'm a red blooded woman, don't judge me).

Cate Blanchett also stars as the Wicked Stepmother which is another genius casting. 

Cinderella (2015) is a heart-warming, magical adaptation that sends out a positive message to the kids. Ella's Mother teachers her to 'have courage and be kind' as 'where there is kindness, there is goodness - and where there is goodness, there is magic!' It's a nice sentiment which is the centre of an uplifting movie if you fancy something feel-good for a couple of hours. (Or you can just go for the visual treat alone.)

(Please note that these images are not my own - thank you to my photo sources for allowing me to use them.

Have you seen Cinderella yet? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below! Thanks! Katie-xo)


12 April 2015

Back to the Coat OOTD

Just when you’re thinking that summertime is finally here – BAM the weather changes again.

I really enjoyed sitting out in the garden over the Easter weekend, in the shorts and vest top I wore in a very humid South East Asia only a few months ago, soaking up the rays and putting shrimps on the barbie.

But then England did the thing it usually does and decided to deprive its civilians of nice weather for a prolonged amount of time and instead made it cold and wet again.

This meant that I, like many others I’m sure, had to dig out the coat that I absent-mindedly pushed to the back of my wardrobe only one week ago and make the decision to forget about that shiny new pair of sandals.

To be fair, I actually didn’t mind having another excuse to wear the coat I’ve only been the owner of for a couple of months now. I love my fluffy, baby pink number from Missguided (a Christmas present from my Mother) which I wore to death on my recent trip around North America. (You can read my four posts in the America series here, here, here and here.)

For this particularly blustery day, I put the coat over my new floral tunic from ZARA – which I bought using a gift card that my boyfriend’s parents generously gave me for Christmas. This tunic has a summery feel to it with its vivid yellow, orange, pink and blue floral hues. I picked it out because the print is quite unique with the combination of florals and stripes and I like diversity!

This tunic is also a perfect piece in the sense that it can be layered for cooler weather, or just worn by itself with sandals for when temperatures improve. I adore it!

On this day, I had to team it with thick leggings and a chunky knitted scarf, as well as the coat, to gain some extra warmth as it was rather chilly. I also added my Doc-Marten style, lace-up boots with a heel as I like to stomp around in them and pretend that I have an attitude.

Additionally, my Mum kindly let me borrow her fabulous Louis Vuitton satchel bag, which conveniently complimented my beige scarf, to dress up my smart-casual outfit and deliver a cool, laid-back look.

Pink Coat - Missguided (buy similar HERE)
Floral Tunic (Seen Previously) - ZARA
Beige Scarf - Topshop
Black Leggings - Topshop
Doc-Marten Style Boots - New Look
Satchel Bag - Louis Vuitton
Rose Gold Watch (Seen Previously) - Fossil
Gold Midi Rings - Miscellaneous

(How are you feeling about the weather being colder again? Do you like my OOTD? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading! Katie-xo)

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