Saturday, 21 November 2015

A Magical Day...

Last Friday was a great day. I went with C to the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London. I had been before but C hadn't and so I decided for his birthday present that I would take him. Nearly 4 months later we finally managed to find the time to go and we both had a great day. Adding to the magic was the fact that it was the first day they had opened since setting up for Christmas, meaning Christmas trees were up, along with food and various types of snow were around the tour- just like they had used in the films!

Still the most magical part for me is the Great Hall. Only making it better this time was the addition of the Christmas trees, Christmas banquet and massive wreath above the fireplace. It truly is magical. 

The sets are all amazing and really bring the film to life. You can pretty much see the films in front of you especially with the special effects the tour team have gone to the effort of adding. 

Since I last did the tour the train and Platform 9 and 3/4 has been added. This was amazing. Getting to see the actual carriage they had filmed in reconstructed by the tour team made it even more realistic. 

The addition of snow to the final part of the tour is truly magical. 

The whole tour is amazing and I would highly recommend it to anyone, especially those Harry Potter lovers among you. Part of the fun for me on Friday was seeing how much C enjoyed the day and all aspects of the tour. 
Katie .xx

Saturday, 31 October 2015

A beautiful weekend in St Ives

I am not even going to apologize for not writing for a while, it seems to be coming a habit... not matter how hard I try. 

I have just returned from the most beautiful weekend in St Ives, Cornwall. A weekend full of my favourite things, food, surfing, family and the beach in general. I thought I would just share some of my favourite photos from the weekend. As they say, actions speak louder than words, especially when they are of somewhere as beautiful as this. 

Katie .xx

Friday, 9 October 2015

Back to uni

So I am finally back at uni and it feels pretty good to be back, the buzz of new and returning students is refreshing compared to the slower pace of life at home. Fresher's week is such a weird week, it can be super crazy or super quiet and is actually when I tend to sit and think. Or overthink.

This is when I realised the social pressure that was actually on students to go out often, get drunk and actually enjoy such nights on a regular basis. Don't get me wrong, I love a good night out with my friends and boyfriend. But, I equally enjoy a night in with a movie and some snacks. Yet, during freshers week my housemates and I almost felt pressured to go out drinking, when in reality all we fancied doing was settling down for the night. 

This is what I love and hate about uni. There are so many different opportunities that it  means there is literally something for everyone. For example, last night I went to a Welcome Talk for Enactus and have just returned from taking my housemate to a horseriding lesson.

I guess the point of this post was to say, don't just do what you think everyone expects you to do. Do what makes you happy. On the other hand, it is good to push outside of your comfort zone every once in a while too.
Are you back at uni, school or work? Have you tried anything new?
Katie .xx

Sunday, 20 September 2015

I did it.

Before and After
Perhaps this is an over exaggeration. I didn't completely do it and I should probably tell you I am referring to my hair cut that I was considering in an earlier post. There was talk of dying it, which I have not done. But, I did have quite a lot cut off and it feels 100% better for it. Though I would still like to ombre it some day, I need to get richer first and I am pretty impressed with the amount I had cut off. I now just have to wait for my fringe to grow a little to achieve the look I was aiming for, thanks to my previous full fringe! 
Might sound extreme but it felt like a risk and with it paying off I am certainly going to consider taking more in the future!
Perhaps you should consider what risks you can take in life? Because most of the time they pay off, especially when in the grand scheme of things they really aren't that massive!
Katie .xx

Friday, 18 September 2015

Choosing the right foundation

I honestly feel as though this is an area in which I fail as a girl. Is it just my incompetence or is finding a foundation that is the right colour, consistency and coverage actually as hard as I make it seem?
Just when I think I have found the perfect colour for me I discover that in actual fact I hate the coverage, it is too thick or just doesn't have the lasting power I expect from a foundation. Perhaps I simply expect too much from a high street foundation, but on my student budget it is hard to justify spending upwards of £25 on my foundation.
I feel as though I have tried all the brands available on the high street market, even trying the colour match scheme in Boots, didn't work to my expectations as it appeared I was actually between two different shades they had on offer.
I am going onto the high street today to try to find a new foundation with the perfect colour and consistency.
Does anyone have any tips? Should I just splash the money on a high end foundation?
Katie .xx

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Book Review: Gone Girl

Source: (
Ok, so I'm guessing I'm a little late to the 'Gone Girl' party but truth be known I have seriously struggled to get back into reading since I finished my English A Level last year. Who knew being told exactly what to read and when would actually make me fall out of love with reading (something that I actually really enjoyed when I was younger). Having just been away on a beautifully relaxing, two week holiday, I had the perfect opportunity to get back on the reading bandwagon and this book did not disappoint.

Whilst, I will admit it did take me a good 4/5 chapters to get into it, once I did, I could not put it down. The story is based on married couple, Nick and Amy, who are just about to celebrate their 5th wedding Anniversary, when Amy goes missing. All eyes point at Nick as the husband and the story goes on to discover if it was really him.

The novel is written in such a clever way that it really did take me a while to realise what was going on and who was responsible, which is what kept me hooked for so long. I would say that the ending was a little disappointing in that it almost just fizzled out, which seemed a shame for such a dramatic storyline.

I would however, still give the book 4 out of 5 stars and would be really interested in reading other books written by Gillian Flynn, her style of writing really captured my interest and was pretty unique from anything else I have previously read. I also, cannot wait to now watch the film to discover their understanding of it.

I would definitely recommend this book if you love a good mystery/crime novels, I kept relating it to CSI type programs when telling others about it, which I love!

Have you read Gone Girl? Or can you recommend anything similar?
Katie .xx

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

The End of Summer

I guess with the return of everyone to school, university and work, it is safe to say that is the end of Summer in the UK (though can we argue we didn't actually have one?!). At the start of Summer, I wrote a list of plans, which I claimed to update you on. Clearly, I failed as I was so busy enjoying myself, that this blog did quite frankly get slightly abandoned... Sorry! As a result I thought it best to look back across my entire Summer to see quite how well I had done.

1. I planned to learn Portuguese for my holiday. Yes, I went away to Portugal with my family for 2 weeks on a much deserved, relaxing holiday away. Like I said in my previous post I had a little Spanish under my belt and from a quick look I saw that they were in fact pretty similar. This was no excuse however, for the fact that I actually started learning Portuguese on the plane journey out there. Luckily, it turned out that the area we were in was full of English speakers and often they were happy enough to help us out and get us around.

2. Learn how to use my SLR camera... Ok, so I ended up selling my SLR for a smaller compact camera due to the size of my SLR I found I rarely used it as I could not often be bothered to carry it around with me... However, my new camera does still have the option of going manual and so I perhaps will have to have this as a plan for next Summer (yet again!) hehe.

3. Travel in the UK more. I tried at this one I really did. With all my plans I visited my boyfriend near his camp in Camberley, went to Portsmouth to visit family. I even planned and started the journey to Oxford to see my flatmate... but then my poor little bug of a car broke down halfway through the journey and I have not had time to make it up there since :( I do have plans to visit York in October, which is supposed to be beautiful and perhaps will have more plans during the Winter, eventually I will visit some truly beautiful places!

4. Get back into reading. Finally, one think I can say I actually achieved as you will see with my book review of Gone Girl. Now to just keep it up when semester restarts.

5. Watch more of the classic films. So, yet again I have not seen many more of the classics, but I have watched a lot more films this year. My boyfriend is a big film nerd and loves them a lot so I guess this comes with girlfriend role for him haha.

6. Make macarons. Ok, I still haven't managed that one, mainly because I forgot about it. But I did make this awesome Minion cake instead! (not quite the same Katie...)

Looking back on my list it doesn't seem as though I have achieved much (oops!), but I have really enjoyed this Summer! It will soon be back to uni for year 2, which I am excited for but it will mean the hard work has to start again, so it was nice to have a couple months relaxation, despite the number of hours I have done at work too.  

Did you have good summers?
Katie .xx 

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Making a change

The title sounds pretty dramatic when I am in fact referring to my hair. For a number of years now I have had the same hair cut. My standard, hair below my shoulders, full fringe kept the same colour, my natural brunette. 

It has gotten to the point where I simply want a change. Though I am struggling to decide what. I know I need to keep my fringe, previous early teen hair cuts with my fringe grown out have taught me for a lifetime that I do not need to get rid of that! I've considered changing it to a lesser statement, more of a side fringe for example.

I've considered cutting a lot off, a bob for example. Or even going as far as to colour it. I simply cannot decide.

Hopefully by the end of the summer a change will have been made that I have not regretted.

Do any of you have a similar problem? What did you do?
Katie .xxx

Thursday, 16 July 2015

The Criterion

Oh dear.. how is that we have made it to the middle of July already?! I knew Summer was going to fly by but it seems crazy that I have been home nearly a month already. Being back at home also means being back to work, and I have been working quite a few hours recently. I want to make sure that it doesn't mean I miss out on doing some great things with my summer and I guess this is why time is flying by. Its good to be busy really.

Having said that I thought I would blog about a special trip to London that I had at the end of June to celebrate my Nan's 70th birthday. The day was mainly focused around a beautiful 3 course lunch at the Criterion. 
This was a beautiful restaurant and offered us all the opportunity to dress up. The restaurant is located in the heart of Piccadilly Circus. Walking in there felt as though we had been transported back in time- this restaurant is used in some scenes of Downton Abbey- and seemed completely calm and tranquil compared to the busting London streets (especially as it was PRIDE weekend). 

We were welcomed with a champagne cocktail by some wonderful staff who seemed intent on providing the best service possible. I chose the ham hock and black pudding terrine, celeriac remoulade watercress and croutons to start and it was beautiful. The ham hock was so soft and the celeriac creamy to contrast the saltiness of the ham hock.

For my main, I chose pan fried ‘Loch Duart’ salmon, beetroot & horseradish purée and sautéed vegetables. Whilst eating it I described it as a 'posh stir fry' but it too was stunning. The salmon was cooked perfectly and the vegetables too. By this time I was already stuffed full but decided it would be rude not to eat some dessert.  

For dessert I chose their eton mess, which looked as beautiful as it tasted. 

All in all, it was a beautiful meal with amazing service throughout. Not forgetting the special treatment the birthday girl got to celebrate her special day.

Katie .xx

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Being grateful

This post was by no means planned and so we will see how it goes. Basically I am at a point in my life where I feel like I am doing everything I can to improve my quality of life; either in the short or long-term. I am at university, to improve my chance of a better career, or at least one that I enjoy. In the holidays I go to work so that I can increase the number of things I can do or buy with my money. All to improve my life.

But, just recently, for no apparent reason, I have begun to feel grateful for what I do have in life. After all, lots of people would dream of having what I have. This is particularly in relation to the people I have in my life, my family, my friends, my boyfriend. I know that I am fully supported by all of them and sometimes I think I forget to show them my gratitude. Perhaps, this week I will show them all the gratitude they deserve and not forget what I have, even in times when I get stressed or concentrated on the future. Yes, its good to be focused and have dreams, but remember what you have in the present too.

What will you be grateful for this week?
Katie .xxx

Friday, 5 June 2015

Making Summer Plans

Oh dear, it seems to be happening. Exam season is  upon us, which means only one thing. Revision. A lot of it. There is nothing I hate more than revision and is the major downside of continuing studying. Don't get me wrong the rewards from revision are big enough to make it worthwhile but it does not make it any easier. I say all of this as it leads on to my latest list (I really do love a list) all about my summer plans. The only thing that ever gets me through revision and exam season is my plans or hopes for after my exams so what better way to get through than to make a sort of a Summer Bucket List...

I am lucky enough to be going to Portugal for 2 weeks with the family so I plan to learn some Portuguese to get us by... I did a GCSE in Spanish so that shouldn't be too hard right?! 
Portugal Flag
This is quite ambitious given my brain for languages and how truly awful it is... But, I do like to keep my brain working during the Summer haha, on a similar note I plan to actually learn how to use my SLR camera. By this I mean use it to a better level without the auto modes. I have been planning this every Summer for the last 3 years or so, hopefully I will actually do it this time. 

I always want to travel more but this year as going abroad on my own seems to expensive I am considering travelling around the UK more. There are so many lovely places I have never even considered and they could make a lovely few days away from normality. 

I want to get back into reading. Since finishing my English Lit A Level, my love for reading seems to have reduced... I am determined to get it back this Summer by reading at least 5 books, look out for some reviews!

Similarly, I have never been that much of a film fan, yes I enjoy sitting down to watch them but it's never the first thing on my agenda and I am never really desperate to see the next big movie. This Summer I plan to watch a few more classic films that I have somehow missed, maybe my friends will actually accept me if I do this haha. 

With more time and being back in my beautiful kitchen at home, I also want to get back into baking. Try some new recipes, in particularly I want to make Macarons. They just look so cute and scrummy but may be a little bit of a challenge too! 
Ahhhh macaroons... How come they don't look like that when I make them yummmmm... Only thing better than a macaroon is chocolate covered macaroons!

So, that completes a small list of things that I want to do this Summer. Some are more of a challenge than others but let's see how many I can actually do!
Katie .xx

Sunday, 17 May 2015

My Week in Photos... again.

Ok, so I realise I only did a post similar to this 2 posts ago. But it would seem that it is a new thing for me to get all nostalgic around this time on a Sunday and feel the need to look back on my previous week. So, as I sit here eating Tesco Cherry Ice Cream (a new find, but amazing!) and my Primark, 'Sweet Vanilla & Coconut' candle burning that I have decided to do another post looking back on this week. Perhaps this will be a new regular thing on the blog? 

I realise looking at this collage, that most of my week has been consumed with food and drink... but all my favourite days usually are! 

It's lovely to see the weather finally cheering up in England and so I have tried to make the most of my beautiful surroundings on campus by taking detours to the lake every now and again. Or even to the point of having a picnic by it today. 

Earlier in the week, I had the pleasure of 'helping' one of my flatmates with her assessment for her hospitality degree by going to the restaurant on campus and having a beautiful 2 course meal consisting of fajitas and an ice cream sundae to the theme of 'Summer Fling'. It was a beautiful meal and I felt quite proud of her as she served us very professionally. I have to say I could get used to the idea of going to restaurants and eating to help people out, possible career idea in the making perhaps?!

This weekend has been truly lovely, with the weather brightening up as I already mentioned, as well as the fact C now gets weekends off as he works his way through Phase 2. This meant we had the perfect opportunity to enjoy the sun and have a general wander. We took a trip down to Southampton to wander around the amazing West Quays Shopping Centre for a couple of hours before heading to Portsmouth and Gunwharf Quays to see some family of mine. It was safe to say that we really enjoyed our stroll near the Sea... despite how busy it was. We both particularly enjoyed the cold drink we had outside the pub there before going to Cafe Rouge for a beautiful meal and a catch up with some of my family. 

All in all the sun is putting everyone in a fantastic mood. Now to have a week of hard revision in time for exams. I cannot wait for summer so expect a post on that soon...
Katie .xx

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Holi 2015

Holi is traditionally a Hindu Festival that has more recently been adapted by non-Hindu's. It is a Spring festival, celebrating all things colour and love. My uni held their own Holi Festival 2015 yesterday and I decided to go along. It was so much fun. You basically just get powdered paint and throw it everyone, friends or strangers! Everyone was laughing and it was generally a great hour of fun! It was a shame the weather did not reflect something similar to India or a country where the festival is more traditionally held. But unsurprisingly in a very British style, the weather failed to hold anyone back and we all had a great time anyway. If you get the chance definitely go to a Holi Festival, but prepare to get messy. 

Katie .xx

Sunday, 3 May 2015

My Week in Photos

As mentioned in a previous post my boyfriend (C) passed out of Phase 1 of his Army Training last Friday and has since had the week off. As a result, we have been pretty damn busy- apparently when you've been away for 14 weeks everyone wants to see you- and I haven't updated this blog at all. I thought as this evening's post I would put a 'My Week in Photo's' post. After all I started this blog for me, to keep a track of my life at uni and this has been one hectic week with a lot to remember! 

The week started on Friday with a fantastic passing out ceremony. It was amazing to watch the parade and see the Military Band performing.The whole day made me feel so proud of what C has achieved so far. If you have any family, or close friends in the army I would really recommend that you go to their parade's. It was a great day celebrating all that he had achieved and as I said made me realise quite how proud I am of him. 

This was followed by a hectic weekend, trying to catch up with as many friends and family as we could. Turns out we needed a few more hours to do everything we wanted, which was not helped by the breakdown of my car, but actually it was a really lovely weekend. 

Sunday, was back to uni for me, followed by two pretty normal, lecture filled days. I must admit, motivation after Easter was not at its highest and they were not my finest, most productive days. But, that will all change this week. 

Wednesday started with the arrival of C to uni. We had a very chilled out day, especially contrasting our previously hectic weekend. A few of us took a walk in a beautiful woodland and even got to meet the Gruffalo! 

Thursday, was a crazy day, mainly spent driving to the West Midlands to collect a car and then back down to Kent to stay for the night and deliver my car back to uni. I actually quite enjoyed the day even though it turned out to be longer than planned and it was nice to go back home for the evening and Friday morning. This was spent surprisingly running a couple of errands, that for some reason I had not got done in the month I had off for Easter... these things always seem to build up! 

After another busy morning it was quickly back to uni for my afternoon of lectures. Saturday was all about the ball. Starting with a morning of swimming (mainly consisting of sauna time), myself and the girls pretty much spent the day pampering ourselves in prepartion for the evening. (Any excuse for a pamper session!) Pampered or not it was a fab night and everyone looked stunning. 

Today, I reluctantly sent C off to a new camp to start Phase Two of his training. The trouble with having so much fun is that it makes leaving the week behind even harder and so I seem to have spent much of this afternoon reminiscing the week.  But, that is not always a bad thing! 

Back to the hard work tomorrow, I hope everyone has had a good week.
Katie .xx

Monday, 27 April 2015

Passing Out Gift

My boyfriend passed out from Phase 1 of training in the Army on Friday and I searched for ages looking for a present to just say 'Well Done'. I wanted something he could keep because its not something that happens every day and I thought it would be nice to have something to remind him of the day. Not to mention how proud we all are of him! Having searched the internet for a while I came across UK Military Gifts

This was the perfect website for what I wanted. It enabled be to choose a gift that had the badge of his regiment making it personal to him but also relevant for the occasion. I decided to choose the engraved cufflinks as I thought he would get the most use out of them. However, there were many different gifts on offer, meaning there is bound to be something you'd love. They arrived promptly and look stunning. The box is engraved with a personal message, meaning I could engrave the box with the date of his passing out as well as a congratulatory message, which looks beautiful. 

They are the perfect gift for what I wanted and I think he loved them!
Katie .xx 

Friday, 10 April 2015

Primark Haul

You may have noticed a brief absence of myself from this blog and it is simply because I have been enjoying my time at home. Also, I lacked inspiration for the blog and didn't know what to write about. Until yesterday, when I took a trip to Primark. I had wanted to go for a few weeks now and its safe to say I went a little crazy, so I thought I would share what I bought with you. 

One of my main aims with this shop was to brighten my wardrobe as I feel like I have been wearing only black and white for the last few months. My main way of doing this was with the huge array of tops Primark had in a variety of colours. 

(excuse the creases this is straight out the carrier bag!)

One thing I love about Primark is their offering of Disney T-Shirts and this one completely sums me up. How I wish I could actually be a Disney Princess and so maybe this puts me closer? 

Of course, though I was trying to brighten my wardrobe I could not avoid the black and white completely. For years I have loved this type of patterened trouser but also admired people that could actually pull them off. I decided that this year I would just go for it, buy a pair and make them work. For £8, it was barely worth the thought and so worth giving it a try. 

The shorts caught my eye and were just too cute and comfy to leave behind. 

I have wanted a kimono since last year and the selection in Primark this year was fab! This one is so light and I thought I could wear it on so many different occasions, also tassles are going to be big this year and I couldn't possibly leave it in the shop! 

I bought the blazer below with a specific occassion in mind, but I think it will be suitable for so many different occassions. I could wear it with jeans, or something more dressy and it would be suitable. I'm sure it will get a great deal of wear! 

No trip to Primark is complete without some pjs and I thought these Coca Cola ones were just so cute, the top is slightly cropped and the bottoms are shorts, super comfy but not too much, perfect for lounging in the summer. 

Something else I buy A LOT in Primark is sunglasses, I love sunglasses and at a £1 a pair you can hardly complain. I think I have about 6 pairs in varying colours. I love them. 

And apparently I am loving this mint green/blue at the moment as I also fell in love with these simple pumps and know I will pretty much live in them during Spring/Summer. 

 This cover up will be perfect for my summer holiday. I just need to find that perfect bikini now!

I also love Primark's array of Sportwear, having recently been to the Nike shop to buy some new gear I was shocked at the prices. (Especially due to my Student budget!) I decided it just wasn't worth the money and Primark would serve me fine! Back I went  and found this peach crop as well as another blue one. They will do me just fine for my trips to the gym and were only £4 each. Nothing better. 

As I said, I went a little crazy, but Primark was on point yesterday and filled with so many great clothes for Spring/Summer, I would recommend a trip! 
What is your favourite piece from above?

Katie .xx