My non-fiction faves

Sunday, 10 December 2017


I find nowadays I am drawn to non-fiction more so than fiction. I think it's more freeing and laidback than a traditional fiction book, and some non-fictions are similar to magazines in that you can dip in and out of them as many times as you like.

I've been struggling with reading for a while now; my attention span is non-existent (it's gotten worse over the years) so non-fiction allows me to pick and choose what I read and when without any pressure or guilt. I also find that in many non-fiction books the writing is cut up into nice easy-to-digest sections so it's easier for my wee brain to deal with.

So here are my five non-fiction favourites, all with links to purchase them online if one tickles you fancy. Enjoy!


1. Simple Matters by Erin Boyle

Erin (Reading My Tea Leaves) covers all you need to know about slow and sustainable living. A beautiful and insightful guide with personal essays, resources, advice, and photographs.



2. The Wes Anderson Collection by Matt Zoller Seitz

A playful look into the world of Wes Anderson. Includes lots of behind-the-scenes shots, artwork, doodles, set designs, and a book-long interview with Anderson himself.

More Christmas decorations & a festive visit to York

Friday, 8 December 2017


Hi!

Hope you've had a good week. We finished putting the rest of the Christmas trimmings up a few days ago. The garland is up and adorned with lights and decorations, the wreaths are jingling nicely on the doors, and the Christmas tea towels are out in full force.

The house smells like oranges and cinnamon and there's always a bad Christmas movie on telly. It's bliss. Makes me even more excited to come home at the end of the day, which I didn't think was possible.




On Tuesday my family and I went to York to do some Christmas shopping. My mum managed to tick a few names off her Christmas shopping list, while I was pretty much there to spend money on whatever caught my eye, and my step-dad was there to take some snaps of the city with his fancy camera.

I got a few bits from Primark (nothing overly exciting), lots of very delicious chocolate from Hotel Chocolat (their caramel chocolate is life-changing, please try it if you haven't already) and a gift I spotted on Christmas market that would be perfect for my manager's little boy. This will be his first Christmas so I wanted to get him something special and fun.

We saw a fantastic band performing in St Helen's Square called Hyde Family Jam. Check them out on YouTube if you like punchy folk and blues music. They were so passionate and put their absolute heart and soul into the music. Give them a like on Facebook and/or buy their CDs. Really regretting not picking a CD up while I was in York but I'm adding both of them to my post-Christmas shopping list.

It was a lovely day - bitterly cold, but very lovely and festive. We were getting tired by 3:30pm so we left the centre and decided to wander around the Designer Outlet for an hour to see what bargains we could find (turns out not that many). We were truly pooped after that. My legs were gone and all I wanted in life was to stuff my face with caramel chocolate and snooze.

Hope you have a fantastic weekend.


Kate

Decking the halls & rummaging for vinyl

Sunday, 3 December 2017


The tree is up and decorated! It's been up and decorated for a while now but no-one really cares 'til December, do they? Usually our tree never goes up before my brother's birthday on the 29th of November but this year I sort of had to because I needed to take photos for a very special Christmas blog post.

So here it is! We haven't put much else up in the house so far - we've got a few festive plaques hung in the kitchen and a pretty reindeer light-up scene in the living room but that's about it. The mantel piece garland is still lying on the kitchen floor and we haven't broke out the Santa bath mat yet. Soon, very soon.

Other than putting up the tree, I've also been finishing up my Christmas shopping. I did most of mine in November but I still have a few more bits to pick up. I ordered my friend's present online at the beginning of November off Etsy but there's been no developments and no communication so it's not looking good. I'm a bit gutted, but hopefully it'll be resolved soon. If not, it's back to the drawing board.



Yesterday I nipped into town with my mum and step-dad and had a meander around the Saturday market. There are a few folks there who sell really nice quality vinyl, CDs and DVDs and we always have a good comb through, especially the vinyl. There's nothing I love more than cheap second-hand records. I got myself a few singles and an EP...


I got Mike Oldfield's Ommadawn, which includes one of the greatest festive tunes ever In Dulci Jublio; Start Me Up by The Rolling Stones; Sledgehammer by Peter Gabriel (one of my favourite songs of all time); and Bow Wow Wow's I Want Candy with Elimination Dancing on the B-side.

On my previous big shopping trip a week or two ago I picked up Stop The Cavalry by Jona Lewie and Spent The Day in Bed by Morrissey (on clear vinyl!) from Tallbird Records in Chesterfield.

Tallbird Records is my favourite record shop and has a huge selection of vinyl and CDs on offer. Just crates upon crates of pure musical goodness. If you're ever passing through, give it a visit. It's a dinky shop but is packed to the absolute brim. I've never left empty-handed.

So that's that, hope you guys have a lovely Sunday.


Kate

Lovely quotes / 11

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Lovely quotes 11 is here. Enjoy!


“People mistakenly expect to hit the bulls-eye on the first pass. Abandon the idea that your first draft should be anything but exploration.”
— Gregory Ciotti

“Night air, good conversation, and a sky full of stars can heal almost any wound.”
— Beau Taplin

“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”
— Leo Tolstoy

“I am lonely. I walk on the open airy fields of my own mind. I draw back inside myself.”
— Anne Truitt, Turn: The Journal of an Artist


“Magic, indeed, is all around us, in stones, flowers, stars, the dawn wind and the sunset cloud; all we need is the ability to see and understand.”
— Doreen Valiente

“Child, to say the very thing you really mean, the whole of it, nothing more or less or other than what you really mean; that’s the whole art and joy of words.”
— C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces

“Outside the trees sighed in the wind. For a moment I believed I felt and saw the night outside deep within me. Wind and wetness, autumn, bitter smell of foliage, scattered leaves of the elm tree. Autumn! Autumn!”
— Hermann Hesse, The Complete Fairy Tales; A Dream Sequence

“In November, the earth is growing quiet. It is making its bed, a winter bed for flowers and small creatures. The bed is white and silent, and much life can hide beneath its blankets.”
— Cynthia Rylant, In November



Kate

Decorating the Christmas tree with Amara

Monday, 27 November 2017

Hi! I have a whopping good Christmas post for you today, so get comfy, sit back and enjoy!


This Christmas season, Amara are making it insanely easy and simple to shop for gifts, decorate  your tree, and host the big day by introducing a Christmas hub where you can find everything you could ever need and want in one handy place.

In this post I'll be showing you guys some of their wonderful tree decorations - but first, here are Amara's four key festive trends this year...

Scandi and Nordic influences with added botanical elements. Lots of natural fabrics and muted colours. Perfectly rustic and cosy.

Bright and bold with lots of candy hues and glitter. Quirky patterns and shapes galore, perfect for the unconventional.

Opulence, glamour, and moody tones. Very luxe, with lashings of gold, peacock feathers, and sequins.

Gorgeous dainty pinks and rose golds. Quite feminine and pretty, with hints of pearlescent shimmer and lace.

The decorations I chose are all from the Hideaway trend because the Nordic theme fits in so well with the decorations I already have. Browse Amara's entire selection of tree decorations here.

So let's get started...

Lovely Nordic inspired decorations, perfect for those who don't like garish Christmas colours and want to go for a more minimal, Scandi look. They're not heavy at all so they hang lovely on the tree, but they'd also be great as wall hangings because they're quite large and lay flat. Thinking about hanging these on the fireplace once our garland goes up.

Just a tad chilly...

Friday, 24 November 2017


I took these on my way to an important appointment yesterday afternoon. I was a little nervous (I'd never been to this specific place before) so I wandered through somewhere familiar beforehand. This is Worksop Priory - a very beautiful and underrated spot in town that looks its best in autumn, so I made sure to capture it.

The wind has been crazy recently. Combined with bitter cold temperatures, it certainly hasn't been ideal weather to be outside in. At all. I would've preferred to have stayed home today (considering I have a cold and I am incredibly snotty and tired) but alas, I had to go be an adult. Boo.

Today we're decorating the Christmas tree. I know, many of you may be glancing over at your calendar right now thinking 'it's still November, right?' yes, you are correct, but I have an actual legit reason for the tree to go up today that I cannot reveal for maybe another week. Sorry. Very fun and festive photos to come soon!

Have a fabulous weekend.


Kate

My mini Christmas tree

Wednesday, 22 November 2017


Hi!

We finally got the Christmas decs out of the loft and I rediscovered my own stash of Christmassy stuff which included this 1ft tree from Paperchase, a box of miniature baubles (also from Paperchase), two Share the Magic Minnie Mouse plushes (you can get 2017's here), a tiny wooden light up house, and a gingerbread man garland.

Paperchase have some lovely little Christmas trees, including this snowy iridescent white one and this trendy matte gold one. I think mine is this one, but I'm not 100% sure. It looks slightly more fluorescent on the website than it does in real life, so I'd recommend going in store to have a look. You can find all their miniature baubles here - they have some really cute sequin ones that I kinda really need in my life.

Sorry for the short post, I just wanted to test out my new phone camera and show you guys my shiny lil desk tree. ❤️ More Christmas posts coming soon.

Enjoy the rest of your week.


Kate

Bye-bye Apple, hello Samsung

Monday, 20 November 2017

Hi!

Recently I've seen a lot of people online contemplating whether or not to make the switch from an iPhone to either a Samsung, Sony, or other non-Apple brand.

Apple phones are getting more and more pricey, and there's no way on earth most people have £70-£80 lying around to pay for a phone bill each month, never mind fork out £1,000 for an iPhone X. And even if you have the money, do you want to pay that much? I could think of hundreds of things I'd rather spend that money on.

So yesterday, I upgraded my iPhone 6S and got myself a swanky Samsung Galaxy S8. Let me tell you guys - the camera on this thing is sublime. I wish I could've taken the photo below with the Samsung because it puts all cameras to shame (I took this one with my Leica in the worst lighting of all time, soz).


I used to be so anti-Android - I could never get over how ugly the Android OS used to be (I had an Android tablet years ago and it was painful to use), and so I just assumed after all that time it was still ugly and slow, but I was very wrong. It looks a damn sight better than it used to, and it's so sleek and fast and easy to use... I think I've been converted.

I still love Apple a lot - I have a Macbook, iPad, and iPod which I love, but their phones have always been a bit 'meh', and it's weird to think that brands like Samsung and Sony have been absolutely nailing it for years putting state-of-the-art tech into their phones and including some of the most advanced features available, yet Apple has always been #1 despite their phones generally lagging behind the rest.

I also hate the fact that when Apple release new phones, their older models just cease to function. It happens slowly but surely, and I hate that. What an appalling way to pressure people into buying or upgrading to the latest models even when they're £££ and out of a lot of people's price ranges.

I've not found it as weird as I thought I would to go from Apple to Android. It's practically the same - the operating systems obviously look different but they're not world's apart.

If you're thinking about taking the plunge, go into a phone shop and play around with an Android phone - test the camera, check out Google Play, explore the settings etc. and see how it compares to your iPhone. I never in my life thought I'd go to Android but it might be one of the best things I've ever done, and although my monthly bill has gone up by around £5 (taking it up to a feasible £39), I'm getting more for my money so I'm not mad about it.

Hope this was useful, if you want any more info I'd suggest giving the Samsung Galaxy S8 a Google and search for any articles or sites comparing it with the newest iPhone models. You'll notice that 9 times out of 10 the Samsung comes out on top.


Kate

Inspiring things / 16

Saturday, 18 November 2017

It's been over a year since my last 'Inspiring things' post. Not sure it'll be making a full comeback, but I just wanted to show you some of the most beautiful dresses I've ever seen by Australian brand Zimmermann.

You can find all the dresses at matchesfashion.com.

Christmas jumpers

Thursday, 16 November 2017

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

A boatload of Christmas knitwear!

I've featured as many kinds of jumpers as I could find, from the colourful novelty ones, to the classy and slightly more understated ones. I've also tried to cover all price ranges so you can find the perfect jumper for you.

Personally I'm eyeing up the Fat Face one and the red Bonmarché one. Let me know which are your favourites. Happy shopping!



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November bedroom details

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Hi!

Not that anyone will have noticed, but I've been a bit absent on here lately, mainly down to being at work most of last week and hibernating over the weekend. However, I did go to IKEA on Sunday and walked away with a new desk(?!) which I didn't expect but I'm so happy with it.

I thought I'd do a quick little bedroom tour and show you some of the wintry details I've added recently. These pictures have all been taken at different times throughout the month so apologies for the changing in lighting. Enjoy!


New IKEA desk and drawers above! Love it so much, it has loads more storage than my old one. Plus it's deeper so I have tons more surface space. Also I can't help but laugh at this photo because of the close-up of the battered fish on the iPad. Bad advert timing! Mouse mat is by OpheliaDesignsGifts and the 2018 diary is from Calendar Club.


I revamped my wire board for winter and found this gorgeous page in an issue of Oh Comely (I think?). This cover of Emma is embroidered, and although it's quite Spring-like with the flowers, the colours suit my room so it's staying for winter.


I've wrapped my Hobbycraft copper 'K' (here in gold) in some cute fairy lights from Matalan.


Opposite side of the shelf is my faux IKEA plant and even more fairy lights.


I actually hung this up in October, shh. No-one needs to know. This porcelain Christmas hanging dec with two fabulous jingly bells is from Matalan for a cheerful £4.


And lastly, my bed! Nothing too festive here, but I like that my cushion collection is fairly wintry with its pale shades - lots of grey, lilac, and blush pinks. My cushions are mostly from Sainsburys, B&M, TKMaxx, and IKEA.


Kate

First frost & Christmas vinyl

Monday, 6 November 2017


Hi!

I woke up to frost this morning. First sign of it this month. I know the Peaks and the Lakes and such have already had some but it's finally reached the dips and slumps of Nottinghamshire. I got a bit excited and toddled off outside in my pyjamas to take some photos - it was refreshingly cold, and I kind of loved it. Looking forward to more chilly mornings.

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The postie had a fun delivery for me this morning...

Now That's What I Call Music! The Christmas Album. Find more Xmas gems on eBay.

I've been eyeing up this album for weeks, and after failing to find it cheap and second-hand I bit the bullet and bought it brand new. I didn't fork out too much, which my purse is really thankful for. Turns out there aren't many decent Christmas compilations on vinyl out there, especially ones under £15, which I can understand. It's a bit of a niche item, but I'm so glad I finally got my hands on this. I've given it a listen and I'm 100% in the festive spirit now. There's no going back.

I've also been listening to the absolute classic Now That's What I Call Christmas 2012, which my mum and I have on repeat every year, and A Very She & Him Christmas. I have yet to bust out A Jolly Christmas From Frank Sinatra and my all-time favourite, I Believe in Father Christmas by Greg Lake which I have on 7" vinyl (nerd).

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And lastly, I gave my iPad and iPhone an early festive/wintry makeover because I am that person.


The starry wallpaper is from Pinterest and the 'Peace on Earth' one is from Perennial Joy.

Hope you guys have a great week ahead of you.


Kate

Christmas gift wrap ideas

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Hi!

I'm back with more Christmas content! It may only be November, but most people will have already bought at least one or two prezzies already (I certainly have). November is my preferred month to go Christmas shopping - it's after the Halloween buzz has died down, and it's before the true Christmas madness begins.

If you have some presents already ticked off your list, then you may now be thinking about gift wrap. So here I am with five gift wrap sets for you guys to shop - obviously you can pick out individual products or shop the whole set I've put together, whichever you fancy. Go wild! I focused mainly on wrapping paper in this post but I have included a small selection of gift bags and boxes at the end.

Enjoy!


 1. Traditional red 'n green: 


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 2. Metallic starry night: 


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 3. Festive veggies: 


The remnants of autumn & foraging for chestnuts

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Hi!

My ma and I went out on Tuesday to Retford to do a bit of shopping - nothing hardcore, just the essentials - and to have a nice little wander around Kings Park because I wanted to find some conkers and bring them home to decorate. I know that sounds like something a six year old might do, but imagine how cute they'd look hanging on the Christmas tree?!

I'm guessing that conkers are long gone by now because I couldn't find a single one wherever we went. Instead we found a ton of chestnuts which I will get onto in a moment.

So first we roamed around Kings Park and basked in the last of the autumn colours...


Kings Park is very beautiful so I didn't really mind wandering around aimlessly. Shame we didn't find any conkers but I still enjoyed a good leaf-kicking.
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