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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13 April 2017

April Homeware Haul Featuring Debenhams and Primark

I’ve been home a few weeks now since my recent trip to Wisconsin and, after spending a bit of time while I was over there picking up bargains in the US of A (see the haul post here), it wasn’t long before I had a sudden urge to head to some of my favourite UK chains and see what’s on offer in my own country.

Spring/Summer lines are predominantly filtering their way into the UK high street stores, with some chains still trying to dispose of A/W 16 pieces. However, there are also plenty of opportunities at select stores to pick up discounted lines in the mid-season Spring sales.

I am currently in the process of building an office in my bedroom. This is going to be a little area that’s cute and homely, yet professional, where I can go to when I’m in serious blogging and freelance writing mode (watch out for an upcoming post where I go into detail on my newfound chosen career path). Therefore I’ve been looking for homeware pieces of late to fill said office space.

I was in Debenhams the other day as I love their homeware; it’s such good quality but also purse-friendly! It’s even more purse-friendly at the moment, as there is currently sale across the entire store, and you can get a further 20% off when you order online if you visit this website. There are also other deals and promotions for Debenhams on this site so make sure you check it out so you don’t miss out!

I bought this lovely ‘Sheer Vanilla’ fragranced candle at a discounted price, which I thought would sit pretty on my new desk. It will bring a little bit of sunshine to my office space with its yellow lid; oh and did I mention that it smells absolutely divine?

Candle – Debenhams – Was £6.50, Now £4.55

Furthermore, Primark is currently offering some bargain dreamy homeware pieces. Observe: 


I fell in love with this inspiration board when I first saw it. I thought it would look perfect hanging above my desk and I can fill it with photos, pictures and quotes that will make me smile as I work!

Inspiration Board – Primark - £6

Along with the inspiration board, I just had to buy this amazing Unicorn cushion to prop me up while sitting on my desk chair. Not only do I love Unicorns, but my boyfriend always tells me off for being ‘too sassy’. (Meant to be or what?) 

Cushion – Primark - £5

This came hand in hand with a notebook that reads ‘Part Mermaid Part Unicorn… Therefore Completely Awesome’. (I love mermaids too!) This super adorable notebook will make a great addition to my desktop as somewhere I can scribble down my endless jobs and to-do lists. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

Notebook – Primark – £2.50

All four of these items that feature in this homeware haul just seemed to have my name on them; it’s almost like they were made with my office in mind! I can’t wait to put them in my new space and, at less than £20 for the whole lot, you can’t blame me for not being able to resist.

Enjoy your nice, long Easter weekend!

K-xo

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

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6 April 2017

Top 3 Must Do's When Visiting Milwaukee

My recent trip to Wisconsin, where I was lucky enough to spend four whole weeks with my lovely American boyfriend, got off to a fantastic start in the state's largest city.

On my previous visit to my boyfriend's hometown of Green Bay, I had to fly to Chicago, take a coach to Milwaukee and then be picked up by my boyfriend and driven two hours back to Green Bay. I couldn't just fly to Green Bay (even though they have their own airport) as the flight connections were ridiculously expensive. (I'm talking hundreds of pounds extra! No thank you!) This time around, I had the exact same issues with the flights. Skyscanner just didn't want me to be able get to Green Bay cheaply. (How dare they!) However, I was able to fly to Milwaukee from Manchester via Atlanta for a reasonable price.

When initially discussing these flights, my boyfriend and I looked at each other (over Skype, of course, we are in a long distance relationship with an entire ocean between us) and we were both like, hey, why don't we spend the weekend in Milwaukee first before heading back to Green Bay?!

And it was decided, there and then.

I didn't see much of Milwaukee the last time around. It was dark when I arrived at the Intermodal coach station (it was nighttime, after all)  and I was dead as a dodo. (That would be the jetlag!) Needless to say, this meant I was really looking forward to seeing what Milwaukee had to offer (in the daylight).

It turns out: a lot.

Here are my top three must do's when visiting Milwaukee:

1) Take a walk along the riverfront downtown and swing by the Public Market.

Milwaukee is seriously pretty. Mainly because it's on the edge of Lake Michigan. This serious prettiness was emphasised further during our weekend there by the fact that it had just snowed the day before. All the buildings, roads and parks were sprinkled with white - like a winter wonderland.

However pretty, the snow meant that we couldn't walk too far or for too long without shivering ourselves silly as the temperature continued to drop significantly below freezing. (Brr!) However, as we were already staying downtown, we managed to make the trip along the river front to the Public Market. (And it was worth the journey, trust me!)

Milwaukee's Public Market is a rather quirky, indoor set of stalls and vans offering food and drink from independent local merchants. The market's official website describes it as 'bursting with unique, high quality selections of artisan and ethnic products' which I can definitely vouch for - everything looked and smelled amazing!

Unfortunately, as I was suffering from an extreme bout of jetlag at the time (which seemed to strike as soon as I'd stepped foot into the market), it meant that I couldn't sample any of the delicious food and drinks on offer. (I was definitely upset by this at the time! And I still am to be honest.) But it's not going to stop me from recommending visitors of the area - they should get themselves to the Public Market pronto and enjoy stuffing their faces! (I'm not jealous at all.)


2) Visit the Art Museum.

Milwaukee's Art Museum is every art lover's dream. It is one of the largest galleries in the USA with over 25,000 works of art.

As someone who loves and appreciates art, I was a little bit in heaven. Furthermore, it's not just the art itself that is very impressive. You cannot help but look on in awe at the architecture of the building. It's such an uniquely shaped building with a beautifully modern, light and airy interior.

I loved it. Plus, it has its own cafe offering food and bar offering drinks which means the total Milwaukee Art Museum experience makes for an exceptionally pleasant weekend afternoon.



3) Have brunch at Bartolotta's Lake Park Bistro.

OMG, I still can't get believe how incredible the brunch was that I had at this adorable French bistro. (It's almost a month and a half later and I'm not over it!) Seriously, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Bartolotta's offer what's called a 'classic brunch' which is four courses of yumminess. It starts with fresh croissants, then you can choose an appetiser, entree and dessert and wash it all down with a casual Mimosa, or two, at 10am on a Sunday. (Mimosas are the American version of Bucks Fizz for all you English folk reading!)

Both the presentation and taste of the food were stunning, along with the restaurant views. You see, this place is not only known for the food, but the fact that it's perched right on the end of Lake Michigan.

On the particular day that we went, there was ice covering some of the lake which meant that the water was glistening and gleaming in the morning sun. It was also gorgeous two-tone blue in colour.

The whole experience took my breath away! An absolute must do.



And there you have my top three must do's when visiting Milwaukee.

I really enjoyed our weekend there and I look forward to visiting the city again soon! I'm growing fonder and fonder of it by the minute.


(I hope this post was useful for anybody about to visit Milwaukee or planning to in the future! Please check out my previous post based on Wisconsin here. Also, look out for my upcoming post on Door County coming soon! Thanks for reading. K-xo)

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30 March 2017

My Current Favourite Lipstick by Sports Girl Australia

I confess, I'm a complete matte liquid lipstick addict.

It's getting to the point where I can't even leave the house unless I'm wearing one, or I don't quite feel right. I don't feel myself. I feel naked.

Kylie Jenner, this is all your fault. If it wasn't for those pesky lip kits, I think I wouldn't be in this position right now. You brought matte liquid lipsticks to the masses, made us get too attached to them and now we can't live without them.

This is a serious problem.

My matte liquid lipstick collection is getting out of control. I now own way to many, more than I ever thought I would, and I don't even get chance to wear them all!

However recently, on my trip to Wisconsin, I got to wear the one or two (or five) I packed in my suitcase as I had one whole month of opportunities!

My current favourite is actually a brand I came across in Australia which I immediately fell in love with. Anybody heard of Sports Girl? Well if you haven't, allow me to enlighten you.

Sports Girl is basically the Australian version of Topshop, offering trend-driven clothing, shoes, accessories, lingerie and make-up to all the cool Sheilas out there. Oh and did I mention that the make-up is amazing?!

They've got a whole range of matte liquid lipsticks in super dreamy colours, such as my current favourite. Step forward, Desert Rose.


I wear this bad boy nine days out of ten at the moment - I seriously can't get enough! Not only does it go with everything, but the slightly curved wand makes it easy to apply and it has the smoothest of textures.

It's actually described as 'Lip Chalk' which gives you an idea of the strength of the lipstick in terms of colour. Put it this way - it's one of the most pigmented matte liquid lipsticks that I own. However, unlike chalk, this little baby lasts a helluva long time. I can sip away at my drink, I can munch on my food, but it ain't shifting - no matter how hard I try. (Not that I am trying because, you know, I do want it to stay on - that's the purpose of a lipSTICK.)



Desert Rose also smells like strawberries, I kid you not. Sometimes I get it out just so I can have a sneaky whiff. Yes, I risk sounding weird with that comment but it's worth it just to tell you how incredible the scent is. (You're welcome!)

I managed to buy two of these matte liquid lipsticks while I was in Australia. The fact that they are so great kinda makes me wish that I lived out there so I could buy more whenever I like. Or I should have just bought the entire collection there and then when I visited back in October. (Read about my adventures here and here). Why did I not think of this before?!

Anyway, let's just say not buying more Sports Girl lipsticks is a regret I'm always going to have in life. (Unless I'm lucky enough to return to Australia in the future - never say never!)

Until next time, folks!

K-xo


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23 March 2017

Wisconsin Shopping Haul

Soon enough, I will be off on a plane again heading back to England after spending four glorious weeks in Green Bay, Wisconsin visiting my lovely boyfriend.

We've had such a great month and managed to fit in a lot of activities, including weekends away in both Milwaukee and Door County. I will be blogging about these weekends at a later date so, for now, let's just marvel at some pretty things I've bought during my time here!

This post is going to focus on designer bargains alone; however, I have one upcoming that will feature high street items!

Everybody knows that the shopping is great in America; however, with the dollar to pound conversion rate being pretty poor at the moment, I wasn't sure if I would strike lucky with obtaining any bargains here this time around. (FYI I needn't have worried!)

Here are the details of my Wisconsin shopping haul and three new designer babies!


1) The Ralph Lauren Polo classic white t-shirt.

I'd never owned anything Ralph Lauren Polo before, even though my parents practically live in this brand, so I was super excited to see this classic white v-neck t-shirt with the cute little RLP logo on sale at the Outlet Mall in Oshkosh. I had a classic white t-shirt in my possession from ZARA until recently (I made the mistake of taking it backpacking and had to throw it away) so I was very excited to be able to have this iconic staple back in my wardrobe again. (Who doesn't love a classic white tee?) Also, at $20, it was a steal!

Ralph Lauren Polo T-Shirt - RRP $29.99 - approx $20 on SALE

2) The Levi slim-fitting jeans.

Believe it or not, this is the first pair of Levi jeans I have ever owned - even though I have been to America a handful of times in the last nine months (and on several occasions in my lifetime)! I have always yearned for a pair of Levis but never been able to actually afford them - hello, clearance section of Kohls at Bay Square Park mall in Green Bay! (My new friend!) I decided to get this lighter blue pair with ripped knees - a perfect addition to any gal's summer wardrobe as we head into SS17. Winning!
 
Levi Jeans - RRP $54.50 - approx $27 on SALE (similar here)

3) The Coach designer handbag and purse.

I am absolutely in love with this final purchase. I have been wanting a designer handbag for a long time as I didn't previously own a designer handbag. The closest thing I had to designer is my Fossil handbag which I bought in the staff shop when I used to work in the UK head office. As my Fossil bag is black, I thought I would go with tan for my Coach bag (another classic colour). At one third of the recommended retail price, there was no way I could pass on the opportunity to buy this little number from the Oshkosh Outlet Mall. And I just HAD to get the matching purse. (When in Rome, right?) This set is so pretty, it really does hurt my eyes.

Coach New York Handbag - RRP $295 - approx $95 on SALE
Coach New York Purse - RRP $150 - approx $40 on SALE

I don't understand how tourists can come to America and not leave with a suitcase full of shopping. It's like, impossible! We're lucky that we can access a lot of American brands in the UK, but the prices are never as friendly as we have to import the goods. Furthermore, as I don't plan to be back in America for a little while, I thought I'd stock up while I could.

America, I love you! I will be back.


(Hope you like my haul! There's plenty more where that came from! Stay tuned! K-xo)

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19 March 2017

How I Decided on My Career Path Thanks to 'The 4-Hour Work Week' By Timothy Ferriss

As most of you already know, my month-long trip backpacking around Thailand ended in February and I have been visiting my boyfriend in Green Bay for the last three weeks.

Whilst I was in Thailand, often laid on beautiful beaches, I had a lot of time to think. I read a book while I was out there that I had recommended to me by a friend and it totally changed my view on things. That book was called 'The 4-Hour Work Week' by entrepreneur Timothy Ferriss. (For those who haven't read it, I implore you to go out and buy it! The premise of the book is how you should work to live, not live to work. It's a real game changer.)

For a long time now, since my full-time working life began after university, I've never felt like I was really in the right job for me. Whether it was the role, the company or the environment, something in each job just didn't quite click. I worked in Marketing, where I could apply my Fashion Marketing degree, for a children's products retailer; I worked in Fashion Marketing for a corporate jewellery and leather accessories company; I even worked in a different area of Fashion and tried my hand in Technical Design. I gained indescribable experience and knowledge in each job but every time I was left feeling empty and unfulfilled. My most recent role in Design was fun but it made me realise that ultimately my skills and interests lie in Marketing. (Or so I thought!)

One day in Thailand, whilst I was travelling from Donsak to Krabi on a rather long bus journey, I got to thinking. I'd just read a chapter in 'The 4-Hour Work Week' which I couldn't help but dwell on. It basically encourages you to ask yourself what you would do if you won the lottery. If you had all of the money in the world and you didn't have to work to make a living, how would you spend your time? I thought about that good and hard for a long time. I thought about what I love to do, what interests me the most. Yes, I'm passionate about Fashion and Travel so naturally, if I won the lottery, I would shop and go see more of the world. (Wouldn't we all?) But, how else would I pass the time? The answer hit me square in the face. I would do what I'm doing right now. I would blog. I would write.

I allowed myself to continue with this thought process throughout the duration of the bus journey, and throughout the rest of my Thailand trip, and it made me question why I'd never thought of writing as a career path before. I love to write; I've always loved to write. I write my blog for free right now. There's nothing or no-one making me spend my spare time working on this blog, and posting as regularly as I do, but I do it because I want to, because I love it. So, why not write for a living? Why not monetise what I love to do?

The more I thought about it, the more I realised how much it made sense to me. I studied Fashion Journalism as an aspect of my degree and applied this knowledge when I wrote for an online magazine back in 2013 (read my initial blog post on it here and find the links to my articles in my 'Features' section). I've also had experience Copywriting in all of my Marketing jobs thus far. Every time I write professionally I enjoy it. Seriously, Katie - why have you not had this epiphany sooner? Your year 2 teacher told your Mum and Dad one Parents Evening that you were going to be a Writer and your writing was too good not to pursue it for a living. Your year 2 teacher knew it. Your parents knew it. But it's only now that it's well and truly clicked for you!

I could freelance, I could do office work; at this stage, I am willing to write for almost anyone or anything in order to develop myself.

With this in mind, I decided to enroll in a Freelance Journalism course at the College of Media and Publishing. It's been a little while since I wrote articles so I feel the need to hone my craft. I started said course when I first arrived in Green Bay and, needless to say, I'm really enjoying it! I haven't studied properly since graduating uni in 2012 and I've actually missed the process of learning and evolving during a course.

Once I confirmed to my nearest and dearest that writing is what I want to do for a living now, they didn't think it was a big deal at all. 'Yes totally makes sense', 'cool, always thought you'd write' and 'that's great, go for it and I'm sure you'll succeed ' were some of the responses. Sometimes something is so completely obvious to everyone else except you. And it takes you a long time to figure it out for yourself. But once you do... Oh boy, it's worth it.

(Buy this life changing book HERE.)

Until next time...

K-xo

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15 March 2017

Top 3 Thailand Sunsets

Thailand Travelling Series

Please forgive me.

My previous post on the best bits of Pai was supposed to be the last in the Thailand Travelling Series; however, I just couldn't resist throwing this one on the end! I promise, just let me have this one more and I will shut up about everything Thailand related (for now).

Besides, who can say no to a good old sunset? (Especially if you appreciate anything and everything visual like moi.)

My sister and I agreed at the time that Thailand has some of the prettiest sunsets we've ever seen. Granted, I haven't exactly seen ALL of the sunsets in ALL of the world (challenge accepted) but, out of the ones I have seen, the Thailand ones sure are up there as some of the best! (I think it helps when the sunset is a backdrop for a beautiful beach, am I right?)

Here are my top three Thailand sunsets - cue the countdown!

3) Ao Nang.

This was the most surprising sunset in terms of beauty as, an hour before the sun actually set, there were some big, badass, dark grey clouds blocking the sun. There were also boats dropping tourists off from day trips obstructing the view. (Yes, I know - HOW DARE THEY!) Then miraculously, just before the sunset, both the clouds and boats disappeared... And what was left was a soft gradient of blue to pink to purple to yellow over the peaceful tranquility that was the ocean.



2) Koh Phangan.

What I loved the most about this sunset was the pastelly colours and how they seemed to effortlessly flow into each other. Again there were a few clouds, but in no way did they damage the view. The sunset was STUNNING (and the beach wasn't bad either).

 


1) Koh Samui.

This sunset was my favourite simply because of the vividity of the colours. As there had been a storm an hour prior, there were still some rainclouds in the sky. The greyness of the rainclouds only emphasised the vibrant colours of the sunset. And I think the fact that we were looking out over a gorgeous view of the harbour definitely worked in this sunset's favour! It truly took my breath away.


All three sunsets were definitely a feast for the eyes and did nothing but add to Thailand's overall beauty and charm. What a country! What a trip! What incredible, lifelong memories!


(If you missed the posts in my Thailand Travelling Series, you can catch up on them here, here, here, here and here. That's all for now, folks! K-xo)

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