Simple things & a Christmas list

Friday, 30 September 2016


Hi!

Picked up the October issue of The Simple Things today. Just finished reading it and it's a fab issue, as always. I loved the piece on hygge, I'm hoping to get a book on it for Christmas because yes, I've started a Christmas list. Don't judge. So far I have four items on it and they are all books - more specifically books about simple/slow/minimal living because that's my jam at the moment.


Those are all the books I've had my eye on recently. If you have any book recs for me that are similar to the ones above let me know in the comments, I'm always open to suggestions.

Hope you all have a nice weekend. I'm working tomorrow so I'm enjoying this evening cosied up in bed with a candle flickering away beside me and some YouTube videos up on my iPad. Channeling that hygge, yo. Sort of.


Kate

New Zoella releases

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Hi!

My Zoella order arrived yesterday! I got the Deck the Baubles bubble bath from her Christmas range and the Lazy Days candle from her new lifestyle range.


The bubble bath has a lovely festive spicy gingerbread scent with a hint of vanilla, and the candle smells like fresh linen which is one of my favourite scents (it's similar to YC's Clean Cotton but I think you get more product for your money with Zoella, nudge nudge). I would go into more detail but I've still got a cold and my nose is blocked, so my sense of smell is not all there which is kinda unfortunate.


The bubble bath is so pretty - it's golden and shimmery and festive as hell. Anyone else listening to Christmas music already? I can't help myself. When I see stores stocking their shelves with stocking fillers and gift sets I automatically get Christmas songs stuck in my head. There's no avoiding it.

I'm honestly ridiculously excited for Christmas. Last year I was at uni so I came home like two weeks before Christmas and it felt so temporary, like I didn't feel comfortable or relaxed because I knew I wasn't staying long (plus I had essays to work on which was an absolute joke), whereas this year I am back at home and I'm ready to fully embrace Christmas and enjoy every second of it. I know it's silly to talk about Christmas in September but I know I'm not alone in loving it. Christmas is life. Christmas products are what I live for, so the fact that my fave vlogger already has her Christmas range out in stores makes me the happiest bean alive.

P.S. If you want to have some fun, take a shot every time I mention Christmas. Actually don't, because you'll probably die.


Kate

I'm still here

Sunday, 25 September 2016


Hi!

I know it might seem like I've disappeared into a black hole, but I'm just having a mini hiatus. The hiatus was brought on early this week because I was feeling really uninspired and unmotivated to blog and felt like I needed some time away to chill without the pressure. I managed to get one post out this week but then I got ill. Blah. I have felt like 💩 all weekend and haven't had the slightest bit of energy to blog, as you would expect. I've only got a cold but it's been so draining. I'm feeling a bit better now but still not great, so posts may have to wait a few more days.

I knew I'd hit a creative wall at some point. For the last few months I've been trying to get at least two posts out a week, but even that's proved to be difficult. I can't believe when I started this blog I was publishing a post a day. Sometimes I'd publish two posts a day, which seems mental to me now.


My mum and I have recently rediscovered the wonderful world of jigsaw puzzles. We thought we'd completed one yesterday but there was a piece missing - now, that's either WHSmith's fault, or the cat has swiped a piece off the table while we've not been looking. I'm more inclined to believe it's the cat's fault (she'd do something like that, she's got an evil streak), but we'll never know. We've started another puzzle today so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all the pieces are there because I can't deal with that kind of heartbreak again.

My friend who lives in London is back up north for the weekend so we went out for breakfast this morning. She has the best stories to tell. I haven't seen her for months (in fact I can't remember the last time I did, it might have been around Christmas 2015 which is insane) so it was nice to catch up. I'm hoping to go down to London soon, although it may have to be after Christmas now as money is a bit tight (it's time to start thinking about Christmas shopping - I know, it makes me feel a bit sick too). Can't wait to visit again though.

So aside from sneezing uncontrollably for four days and being generally mardy, I'm doing well. I have a little Superdrug parcel due to arrive either tomorrow or Tuesday that includes some cute new Zoella goodies, so I'll make sure to show you guys. 🎅


Kate

Homeware must-haves for autumn/winter 2016

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Gold edged bowl and plate set from Tutti & Co | 'Morning Tweet' cups stack from Pylones | Large wire storage basket from Oliver Bonas | Medium ombre white vase from Chickidee | Handmade copper macrame plant hanger from Moonko | Framed butterfly from Liberty London | Large cut glass drawer pull from Marks & Spencer | Eyelash fringe pillowcase set in ivory from Urban Outfitters | Glass votive from Monsoon

It's so typical to love warm colours and gold tones in the autumn, but I do. So much. I've began adding gold to my bedroom - started with this IKEA lamp and now I have this H&M tray for my perfumes. I was never a big fan of gold until this year - for some reason I find it adds more to a space than silver does. I think it's because gold is slightly more obvious (in a good way) and it packs more of a punch? I don't know. I just frickin' love gold.

I really like the M&S drawer pulls in that brassy gold with the opulent glass ball, they would add glamour to the dullest of furniture, and I also love the metal bowl and plate from Tutti & Co as the grungy metal and delicate gold contrast really well and would look striking at the dinner table. Let me know if there's any item you like in particular!


Kate

Latest journal pages

Thursday, 15 September 2016


Hi!

Anyone else bored of this insufferable heatwave? Yeah. I'm over it. It's cooler today than it has been all week, but it's still too warm and I'm still fed up. I remember last September when I was moving into halls there was misty rain and it was so grey and cloudy but it was ridiculously humid, like being in a sauna kind of humid. I was really happy to see September arrive, but the weather's always so awkward, like it doesn't know whether it still wants to be summer or not.

I've been doing a couple more pages of my journal recently. Anyone else used to do squiggles like the one above in MS Paint then fill each space in with the default colours? The page above reminds me of that. I've enjoyed doing a bit of painting for a change, I feel like I don't break out the watercolours enough.


New journal pages include old Zara postcards, snippets from a Lidl magazine, and a big cutting of Nadiya Hussain gazing at a cupcake. The autumnal page is one of my faves so far. I love the sock stickers - I've been saving them for something special for years and thought they fit nicely in here. I have a plastic wallet stocked with stickers and I get most, if not all, of them from Artbox. Suatelier and Sonia J are my fave brands. They're the prettiest stickers and are amazing quality.

Hope you've all had a pleasant week. I'm off to York again tomorrow but just for the day this time. I'm showing a friend around since he's never been before and obviously I HAD to offer to go with him and be his tour guide. Although, I'm going to have to try and be as thrifty as possible since I've just forked out nearly £150 on glasses(!!!!!!?) and I want to have a little cry about it.


Kate

Fizzbanger bath bomb from Lush

Sunday, 11 September 2016


Here's the Fizzbanger bath bomb from Lush - a yellowy-green ball of goodness that smells like autumn and crackles like a bowl of Rice Krispies as it dissolves. I kind of love it.
A Catherine wheel of a bath bomb. It changes colour as it fizzes, crackling with popping candy as it goes and releasing first a citrussy apple and then a cinnamon, apple pie like scent with a hint of ylang ylang. Petitgrain is used in aromatherapy to calm the breathing, slow the heartbeat and reduce feelings of anxiety. Ylang ylang produces a feeling of joy, and cinnamon leaf oil helps you let go.
Firstly, when the bath bomb hits the water, you get a rush of canary yellow and when it's shrunk a bit a stream of blue is released. It's overall a pretty bath bomb and smells real good, so if you want something autumnal I'd recommend this. That cinnamon scent is gorgeous and lingers for ages (and totally reminds me of Christmas).



Kate

Embroidered rackets by Danielle Clough

Saturday, 10 September 2016

I came across Danielle Clough's work through Tumblr not long ago, and I knew as soon as I saw it that I needed to share some of her work here. Her embroidery is beyond beautiful, I love it more than words can describe.

Her embroidered rackets are probably my favourite of all her art (I'm a sucker for brightly coloured thread and florals), so I've featured some of those below. She is one talented lady, and her innovative embroideries really inspire me to keep going with my own embroidery (although my designs aren't half as cool). Who knew you could create such beauty on old badminton and tennis rackets.

Click here to see more of Danielle's work, it's definitely worth checking out.

From the series What a Racket. All artwork is copyright © Danielle Clough.


Kate

Harry Potter posters & calico cats in York

Thursday, 8 September 2016


Hi!

My ma and I are back from our little trip to York. We spent two nights at the lovely Elmbank Hotel and did nothing but shop and sleep for three days. Here's how it all went:


Tuesday:

We did a bit of shopping at the YDO (picked up something from the Gap and French Connection outlets) before checking into our hotel and wandering into town. I spotted an excellent Harry Potter poster in the window of York Glass. Fits in very well down the Shambles.


'Harry Potter posters 1 galleon, or £5 for muggles' is the greatest thing I've ever seen. 

While wandering down Stonegate I was tempted into Jo Malone and accidentally on purpose bought myself the Blackberry & Bay scent...


... As well as lots of other wonderful bits and pieces. We grabbed a taxi back to the hotel at around 5, had a mini M&S picnic in our rooms, then lounged around in our pyjamas until it was time for bed.


Wednesday:

I spent most of the late morning/early afternoon in my hotel room feeling sick, but once I started feeling better by the mid-afternoon I suggested we drive to Monks Cross and check out the new Primark. York's been lacking a Primark for far too long and now they have one and it's awesome (and huge). It's tidy, modern, spacious, air conditioned (highly appreciated in a heatwave!!!), and surprisingly pleasant to be in. We walked out of there with a biiiiiiig bag. 👍


Thursday:

We woke up early, had breakfast, then set off back into town to do the rest of the shopping we wanted to do on Wednesday. I picked up some goodies from Zara, Superdrug (Zoella stuff), Boots (NYX stuff), Stonegate Teddy Bears (you bet I bought myself a teddy bear, how could I not?!), Shared Earth, and Pylones. We finished up at 11 then headed home (not before having a Lunchable each in a petrol station car park).


In summary: York is amazing (as always), please book yourself in at Elmbank and have a couple of days around the city. My mum and I only went to shop, but if you want to go sight seeing too I recommend checking out my York guide! Also, I really want a calico cat.


Kate

And she's off (again)

Monday, 5 September 2016


Never travelled so much in my life as I have this summer.

I'm going to York on Tuesday the 6th with my mum for another little staycation - my mum really enjoys York and I obviously do too (having kinda lived there and all), so we're spending a few days in the city to do some shopping and have a nice chill time in the sunshine (hopefully).


The last time we were in York was June, a week or two after my mum's birthday. It feels like it's been decades, I can't even remember our last trip very well (I do remember the amazing mango ice cream I had, however), so another trip is well overdue. I'm excited to spend some well-earned pennies and eat as many GBK burgers as possible. I'll be back blogging on the 8th or 9th of September.

Have you guys got any staycations planned this summer/autumn?


Kate

Autumn wardrobe 2016

Sunday, 4 September 2016


September is my favourite month and autumn is my favourite season. I love seeing the back end of August because for some reason it always seems to drag and I get so bored of it, so I was beyond happy when the 1st of September rolled around and suddenly every shop has their autumn ranges out in full force (and Christmas songs become that little bit more acceptable to listen to). I've been dreaming of knitted jumpers and boots for over a month now, and although we have a week or two more of sun and heat, we're so, so close to being able to dig out our autumn/winter clothes and I cannot hold in my excitement.

This is a small selection of brand-spanking new autumn/winter clothing, shoes and accessories from some of my favourite stores. Thought it'd be nice to put a collection together for you guys to shop. I've added at least three of these items onto my 'to buy' list for when I'm in York this week (more on my upcoming York trip tomorrow). Hope you like what I've picked! Let me know if you end up buying any of the items above or you already own something, I'd love to know what you're buying for the new season.


Kate

The writer tag

Thursday, 1 September 2016


Pinched this tag from the lovely Bee at vivatramp.co.uk!


1. What do you write? What genre? Any reoccurring themes?

I tend to write mostly fantasy and science fiction, with Tolkien and GRRM being big influences. I've attempted numerous novels in the past but I lose interest or motivation half way through, so I've turned to writing short stories which I really enjoy since they're, y'know, shorter. I feel like most of my stories or ideas involve monarchs or alternate realities.

2. What or who inspires you to write?
Just mentioned two of my biggest inspirations above. Lots of things inspire me - travelling, being by the coast, roaming around forests and gardens, basically being outside and around nature. History also inspires me; I love reading about historical wars, deaths, reigns etc.

3. Where do you write, when and with what?
Mostly in my room on my laptop. Sometimes if I get an idea on the go I'll note it down in my phone or in a notebook if I have one on me, but that's about it.

4. Sound or silence when writing?
I like writing in both, I don't have a preference. I like silence because it allows me to focus better, but music is nice too because it's atmospheric and puts me in the right mindset for writing.

5. Have you studied writing? If so, what was that like? If not, where do you feel you learnt your craft?
I studied Creative Writing at uni for about five months. I dropped out for multiple reasons, reasons which I can't be bothered to repeat. When it comes down to it, studying my hobby just made me hate my hobby, so I've spent six months trying to fall back in love with writing which has been really, really hard. It's been difficult getting my writing mojo back and at the moment it comes in small and infrequent waves, which is better than not at all I suppose.

6. What do your family/friends think?
They think it's cool. It's a hobby for me and has been for years, since I was a kid pretty much, so they don't think much of it.

7. What do you find challenging?
Everything?! I find dialogue really challenging to write (how do you make it sound natural?!?!????), I find writing and planning plots tough because I'm naff at them... basically.

8. What's your favourite thing about writing?
I think worldbuilding is my favourite thing. I love creating maps and deciding where my characters will live, where each town and village will be situated, how the currency works, what the climate will be, and planning where the trade routes will be (yeah, I get weirdly detailed with it).

9. Any tips for writers block?
Here!!! When I have writer's block I just stay the heck away from writing and relax. Sounds counterproductive, but if I keep writing through a block it drives me bonkers and I just get more and more mad at myself, then I just feel even more uninspired.

10. What are your life-long writing goals? What are your writing goals for the rest of the year?
Life-long goals? Probably like to have a book published at some point. Rest of the year goals? I'd like to write one whole page of something that isn't garbage.


Kate
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