Tuesday, 30 December 2014

14 Reasons I've Loved 2014.

Image from here

I wanted to end this year on a high, so I've looked back over the past 12 months and realised it's been a bloody good year, aside from a few hiccups. So here's to twenty-fourteen and fourteen of my best moments.

1. Taking a trip to Cyprus, without knowing anyone - earlier this year I was chosen to embark on a 5 day trip to Cyprus with uni. On the run up to the trip, I realised I knew nobody going, not only do I get incredibly home sick, my anxiety levels were at an all time high, this trip was going to make or break me. However, somehow through all the worry, I had an absolute ball and made some incredible friends. Cyprus made me see that even the scariest of things, can end up being the best.

2. Buying our first home - They say buying a house is up there with the most stressful things you will ever do. I have to say, I don't disagree. Buying our first home was incredibly stressful and filled with worry about whether our offer would be accepted or if the mortgage would go through. But all the stress was completely worth the feeling of having your own place. This is our little corner of the world, that is totally ours and I can't wait to keep creating new memories in it.

3. Speaking out about my mental health - You'll know if you've been reading my blog for some time, I have struggled with anxiety and depression. I won't dwell on the subject as I want this to be a positive post, but speaking out about my feelings, was one of the best things I have ever done. It may feel scary but once you let go of that fear, you can finally, truly be yourself.

4. Getting Luna - Luna (my rabbit) couldn't have come into my life at a better time. I was in desperate need of a little companion and she fills that hole perfectly. I may sound like a crazy animal lady, but I feel like she makes my life just that little bit easier - you'll understand if you talk to your pets too...

5. I was offered my first Staff Nurse job - I'm not sure I've mentioned this on here, but I was offered a job in November ready for when I qualify in August. It's the perfect job for me in the hospital I wanted to work in, so I couldn't be more excited to start.

6. I said YES - I've tried saying yes more and more this year and I have to say it's been great. I've said yes to blogging events or social events that I wouldn't normally say yes to, but I've met some amazing people and done some amazing things because of it. 

7. Stopped worrying so much - Something this year clicked in me. I think it was a mixture of speaking out about MH and talking to others around me. It's taken almost 23.5 years but I've finally stopped worrying so much. If that lady in the supermarket was rude to me, who cares? It's not my fault she's in a bad mood...move on..

8. I met Charlotte Tilbury - You all know about this moment in the recent weeks, that I met the one and only Queen of make up. I was completely star struck and only managed to mumble a few words to her. I couldn't recommend her make up range more and the lady herself is wonderful.

9. I saw a counsellor and had CBT -  It's surprising how much you are willing to share with a complete stranger, but seeing a counsellor is one of the best things I have ever done. CBT has helped me so much and I've finally started to learn how to turn those negative thoughts to positive ones.

10. My first ever duvet day - Yep, 2014 saw my first ever duvet day. And it was amazing.

11. Ed's Peanut Butter Milkshake - Anyone that knows me well, will know I HATE milk. So I completely surprised myself when I went for a milkshake at Ed's Diner. And it was pretty delicious.

12. Eye shadow obsession - 2014 was a year of firsts for me. First duvet day, first milkshake (since I was about 6) and buying my first ever 'proper' eye shadow palette. I've never really been into eye make up until this year and now I'm pretty obsessed. I kinda feel naked without a brush of eye shadow. I've yet to master eye liner though, I think that's a challenge for 2015.

13. I burned expensive candles - This year was the year of the candle. I adore candles and I thought it was time I branched out and tried a few more brands. I've burnt a few Diptyque candles this year, but my absolute favourite was one from Jo Malone. I'm a complete convert to the pricier candle,

14. Christmas night in my own home - This is probably one of the best things to happen this year. For the past few years, me and the hubby have driven around seeing family and not spent much quality time together at Christmas. But this year we planned to spend Christmas evening in our own home, just us. And it was perfect.

Katie xx


Sunday, 28 December 2014

What I got for Christmas.

Apologies for being a little MIA this week, but Christmas was a time to chill so I left my blog to have a rest too! I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and got lots of lovely presents. I thought I'd show off a few of my Christmas goodies from this year. I was completely and utterly spoilt and got so many gorgeous and thoughtful gifts (many rabbit related of course).

 My main gift from the hubby was the most beautiful Michael Kors bag in my absolute fave colour. I'm obsessed with it. As well as the bag I got the cutest mugs and a gluten-free related book which is hilarious and few other bits and bobs. 

From family and friends I got lots of goodies, from candles to Soap & Glory products. I got some gorgeous Sanctuary stuff, too which smells incredible. Along with a diary, note books, a purse and enough sweets and chocolate to keep me going 'til Easter, yum!

Did you all get lovely gifts this year?

Katie xx 

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Greggs Christmas Cruise.

A few weeks back me and the hubby were invited to a Christmas Cruise with Greggs the bakers. Obviously, I couldn't eat much but the hubby had a ball and really enjoyed the selection of Greggs Christmas foods. 

We headed down the Bridgewater Canal in Manchester from Castlefield towards Old Trafford and Media City, where everyone dined on Greggs food and listened to some Christmas tunes. There were quite a few Christmas foods on offer, Jonathan enjoyed the Christmas sandwich selection and the amazing selection of deserts on offer. I even managed to eat the icing of the chocolate mint cupcake, which was super sweet but I thought it would go perfectly with the chocolate cake underneath. Jonathan particularly enjoyed the Christmas tree biscuits, which went down very well. 

I was informed by the Greggs team that there are plan in the future to finally introduce some gluten free products, which was really exciting news for me and my fellow GFers. I can't wait to hear about their GF products in the future.

Thank you Greggs for a lovely relaxing afternoon on a gorgeous barge. This was the perfect way to start the Christmas period.

Katie xx

Monday, 22 December 2014

The Best Blogs of 2014.

This lady's blog is absolute perfection. I'm literally obsessed with scrolling through it and reading Natalie's posts. Not only does she live in the perfect apartment in NYC, but she has the most adorable family and the sweetest little boy Huck. There is something moreish about Hey Natalie Jean which means I'm completely addicted to it. There is something so 'real' about this lady that I can completely relate to and her blog never fails to cheer me up.

Milk Bubble Tea is written by the lovely Becky. This lady knows exactly how to take the perfect photo and create the most gorgeous posts. I love the crisp, clean feeling to Becky's blog, which makes it so easy to read. Plus her miniature Dachshund Oscar is the cutest little sausage.

I've been reading Jennie's blog since I first entered the blogging world. I love that Jennie is so true to herself and writes the perfect mixture of posts. Again, Jennie is a whiz with a camera which makes her blog even more pleasing on the eye. Sail Boat covers pretty much every topic from beauty to personal, which makes it the perfect anytime read.

Lisette Loves has been one of my faves for quite some time. I adore Lisette's 'Thankful Thursday' posts and she always reminds me to be thankful for the week that has past. Lisette also does some amazing cooking and baking on her blog, which is making me hungry just thinking about it!

Who have been your favourite bloggers over 2014?

Katie xx


Sunday, 21 December 2014

The Perfect Christmas Drink.

This time of year I become a little obsessed with hot drinks. I don't like regular tea or coffee so it's always a challenge to find something I actually enjoy. I spotted Yogi Teas on Naffy's Instagram and I knew I needed to get some Choco Tea in my life. 

I picked a box of Yogi Tea up from Holland & Barrett for £2.29 and I've never looked back. Okay. so I'm a complete chocaholic and the idea of chocolate and herbally tea is amazing. This stuff is incredible. This is the ultimate Christmas drink. The tea is quite spicy, in a warming way and smells like Christmas in a cup, Then you're hit with a super subtle chocolately goodness, that makes me down the drink super quickly. This is perfect if I'm after a quick chocolately fix. 

If you're looking for a chocolately drink alternative to hot chocolate, I would certainly recommend picking up a box of Yogi Tea, you will not regret it.

Katie xx

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

What a Year: My 2014.

Wow, so we've nearly made it through another year. For me 2014 has been a roller coaster and I'd be lying if  I said I wasn't a little bit relieved to see the end of the year. However, as well as the lows of twenty fourteen there have been lots of highs too, so I thought I would dedicate a whole post about my 2014.

For me 2014 was all about new discoveries from new products to discovering new places. Let's start at the beginning of the year when I became obsessed with Pukka Tea Peppermint & Licorice which is the ultimate comforting winter drink, I currently have a box in my kitchen, ready to take to work. Last last year I also found out I was heading to Cyprus with uni, so I was full steam ahead in picking up some beauty goodies. My love for The Body Shop has grown even more this year and for me the Olive range has become my number one love.

Fast forwarding a few months and I re-discovered my all time favourite bubble bath from Clarins. This is the ultimate relaxing scent and the perfect amount of bubbles, I adore this stuff and need to get it back in my life. As well as finding new (and old) beauty products I found the cutest gluten free cafe in Manchester. Tea 4/2 do the BEST GF cake ever invented and have become a regular eatery for me this year. 

Spring brought all kinds of newness, from visiting a new country to buying our first house. I headed to Cyprus earlier this year and had an absolute ball and completely fell in love with Cypriot people. The trip was the perfect way to begin spring time and I would go back in a second if I could. Around March time we set our sights on buying our first home, which was a long and stressful process but i'm happy to say we will be bringing in the New Year in our very own home. 

Moving from spring to summer I headed out to Barcelona for a few days of relaxation in the sunshine as well as taking a cheeky trip to North Wales in August. Although I've been to Barca several times before, the city always surprises me and I remember how much I love it. Anglesey was probably one of the nicest holidays we've had in a while. I've never seen such beautiful places in the UK and I am definitely retiring in Menai Bridge. 

Twenty fourteen was all about pastel nails and nude eyeshadows. I've found a new love for Rimmel 60 second polishes, which are to die for (plus an absolute steal). I also picked up the Naked Basics 2 this year, which was the perfect addition to my make up collection and has had a lot of use since picking it up in August. 

Probably the most exciting thing for me this year was bringing Luna home. She is the perfect addition to our little family and although she can be very cheeky, I wouldn't change that little face for anything. Autumn saw me returning to uni for my final year, but that wasn't before I headed to a super relaxing spa day with South Beach, which was incredible. But, not as incredible as meeting Charlotte Tilbury just a few weeks ago (whose make up has become my obsession), rounding my crazy year off perfectly. 

Hope you've enjoyed this quick whistle-stop tour of my year, how has 2014 been for you?

Katie xx

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Lip Liner Convert.

I'm ashamed to say I've only just got on board with the whole lip-liner thing. However after watching Amelia Liana applying lip liner as an all over lip product, I know I needed to try. I've never understood the importance of lining lips, but I'm beginning to see what the hype is all about. 

I began my lip liner journey with purchasing some of the Essence lip liners, which are an absolute steal at £1 each. I initially picked up the middle pinky shade which is number 12 Wish Me a Rose, this is a gorgeous pink your lips but better shade and goes amazingly well with my all time favourite lipstick - MAC Patisserie. 

After being super impressed with my first shade, I then went and picked up 08 Red Blush and 11 In The Nude, which are gorgeous colours and will certainly match well with some of the lipsticks in my stash. 

For the price these are incredible. The staying power is great and although these are quite drying as a full lip colour, they help your lipstick stay in place and give you a much more defined shape. I have fallen in love with these and I feel like I certainly need to pick up a few more shades and maybe try another brand. Of course, I have my eye on the Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk but now I will stick to this budget friendly alternative.

Katie xx

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Clothes Show Live 2014.

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past week, you'll know the Clothes Show Live has just finished it's yearly visit to Birmingham. I was lucky to receive a bloggers press pass for the event, so I headed down with Lindsey (go check out her blog here!) for some retail therapy. I've been to the Clothes Show a few times in the past, so knew what to expect, but this year was slightly different as the bloggers were given their very own private space. We were also lent cameras from Olympus which was amazing. We both completely fell in love with the Olympus Pen camera and desperately wanted to take them home. All of the images on this post were taken with the camera and sent via Wifi to my phone before we left.

We spent the morning browsing the stands and headed to the main stage for the catwalk. As always the models and set was incredible and we even got a sneaky peek of Peter Andre with Henry Holland before the show. I've never really watched many of the other catwalks at the Clothes Show but we popped along to the graduate show and completely fell in love with some of the pieces. I was  in awe of the fashion students work, I can certainly imagine we will be hearing more from them in the future.

I managed to pick up a few bargains in the show. Ciate had great deals on nail varnish and their advent calender. I managed to get a good few Christmas presents which is fab. I picked a goodie bag up from A Touch of Silver too which is jam packed full of hair products (expect a haul). Plus if you bought any goodies from them you could have a free hair makeover. The image above is the pretty style I was given at the show, I totally wish I could recreate this look myself.

Did you head to the show this year?

Katie xx

P.S This isn't a sponsored post, I'm just in love with the camera!

Monday, 8 December 2014

Charlotte Tilbury: Golden Goddess Palette.

There are two things in life I can't resist - one being Charlotte Tilbury make up and the other being finding a bargain. I was browsing Depop last week and came across a seller selling the CT Golden Goddess palette.I adore my Vintage Vamp palette and have been desperately wanting some more gorgeous products but the price tag is just a little high for me, unless it's a special occasion. However I managed to bag myself this Golden Goddess palette for £23 inc P&P (RRP £38), which a complete and utter steal. I am so in love with this palette and it arrived barely touched and in immaculate condition - it was certainly meant to be.

Just like my Vintage Vamp quad I used all four shades to create some depth to my eyes. I love the 'pop' glitter in both palettes and it really does add something a little extra special. The thing I love the most about CT make up in general is the quality, the shadows are second to none. Plus the quads are ideal for transitioning from that day to night look depending on how heavy handed you are. 

I can't explain how much I adore this make up brand - seriously if you have yet to try, you're truly missing out.

Katie xx

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Event: ProBlo Launch.

Last week I popped along to the launch of the next big thing in blow drys - ProBlo. I was asked to be a hair model for the event so was kindly invited to the Hilton on Deansgate before the event to be pampered and prepped. Anyone that knows Manchester will know the Hilton, which towers above pretty much every other building, and the views are seriously stunning. Manchester looks pretty amazing from floor 21. The team from Cassie Lomas' Make Up Academy were hands on with make up and I adored the smokey-eyed look I was given. The ProBlo set was popped in my hair damp and I was ready to head to the launch.

The ProBlo tool comes as 6 hot-brush style heads (minus the brush handle) and clips to keep them in place. The towel-dried or damp hair is rolled in the brush head and clipped up. The brush heads are ceramic so the heat from your scalp and hair dryer can speed up the process, which is great if you're in a hurry. I was told these can be left in for a few hours, if you have the time or just popped in for 10 minutes or so to add a little extra volume.

The set was left in my hair for several hours, before they were removed at the launch. I was left with super bouncy locks, which is fab when I'm used to my hair being so flat. The ProBlo kit is surprisingly light on your head, so they're pretty comfortable for a short time. 

The event was a great experience and I loved being pampered before hand. I can't wait to try my own ProBlo set out at home and see how easy it is to do myself!

Katie xx

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Licorice Perfume.

I'd known for a long while that The Library of Fragrance was finally making it's way to the UK, so I was super excited to try out some of their unique scents. The selection of perfumes include everything you could ever imagine, from Marshmallow to Gin & Tonic. Each scent is really simple and can be worn alone and even mixed with other flavours to create your own unique scent. 

I chose the Licorice* scent to try first as it's possibly one of my favourite smells. As I can't eat Licorice (it has gluten in!) I tend to crave it, so the sweet smell of this perfume satisfies my need. This smells exactly like Black Jacks and certainly smells good enough to eat. The hubby even commented on how lovely the scent is, which is pretty impressive. 

This isn't the most overpowering scent, which is great for me, especially for work. I love that I can pop it in my bag and top up at any time. I'm really impressed with this perfume and I certainly want to pick up a few more.

You can find The Library of Fragrance at Boots or the full collection is here.

Katie xx


Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Husky Sledging.

A few months back an email popped into my mailbox asking me if I wanted to go Husky Sledging - knowing how much of an animal lover I am, I knew there was no question about whether I would attend or not. So the 30th November finally arrived and me and Emma headed up to Ambleside along with a few other bloggers to learn how to husky sled. 

Obviously as there is no snow around, the 'sledges' are much different to what you find in Lapland, but they do make the experience so much more fun. We began by practicing on our 'rig' which is a three wheeled scooter-type apparatus that the dogs can be attached to. We scooted around going through pot-holes etc, to get used to the rig before the dogs were introduced. We did small practice with the dogs, making sure we new the commands and what the experience would feel like before we went around the track. I was a little apprehensive as to whether the dogs would like pulling a rig around, but they all seemed to love it and had an extra long harness to make sure they weren't straining. My dog Luna (same as my bunny!) was a little rocket and couldn't get enough of running around the track.

I ended up pretty muddy but the experience was so much fun. Plus it was set in the beautiful Lake District and we couldn't have asked for nicer weather. I absolutely loved meeting all the huskies and had so much fun watching them enjoy themselves. It was a really great activity and I would love to do it again (maybe in Lapland next time!).

Thank you #ExperienceTransun for this great day out!

Katie xx

Monday, 1 December 2014

Avenue 32.

Untitled #73

Avenue 32 is one of those completely indulgent websites that I could sit and browse forever. I'm totally in love with pretty much all the products so I've created a cheeky wishlist from the website. I'm loving autumnal colours still and the mustard yellow jacket from Shrimp is absolutely perfect. I could imagine getting a huge amount of wear out of it, plus it's a little quirky too.

For me it's all about fur moving into winter, and this pink multi-toned clutch and pompom hat fit the bill perfectly. I can picture these teamed together with a super dressy outfit and some sparkly heels, ready for the party season.

I think the gorgeous silver handbag would be perfect for taking everything to work or uni. It's the ideal size to fit in my entire life, as well as being super pretty. Just look at that zip detail and silver clasp - too gorgeous.

These are just some of my many picks from Avenue 32, has anything caught your eye?

Katie xx

*In association with Avenue 32
Blog Design Created by pipdig