Friday, 31 October 2014

Food: The Crafty Pig Manchester.

There is nothing more that I love than exploring my favourite city - Manchester. Despite living in Greater Manchester and knowing the city pretty well, I always find somewhere new to explore and today was no exception. Me and the hubby went in search of some good food and we weren't disappointed when we stumbled across The Crafty Pig in the Northern Quarter. Just an FYI this isn't a sponsored post, I was just so excited by our new find, I needed to write something up.

The bar and kitchen is super quirky and well designed. We loved how intimate the booths were and how unique the decor was. The walls were covered with retro paper with American adverts that gave the restaurant a cosy feel. The seating booths were really well thought out and even had plugs and USB charging spaces to charge your phone - very 21st century! We initially couldn't find the menu but it was cheekily tucked away inside a DVD cover, which I thought was a super cute touch. The atmosphere was cool and calm and was perfect for getting off the busy Manchester streets and just chilling out.

There was a great selection of food but Ribs & Chips immediately caught my eye and they were INCREDIBLE. It's been so long since I've had 'proper' garlic sauce and my fries came smothered in melted cheese, garlic sauce and yummy pork ribs. Jonathan opted for the lunch time deal, with a pulled pork wrap and dirty fries. The prices were really reasonable too, all our food and drinks came to a total £13.

If you're looking for somewhere cute and quirky to eat in the NQ, I would certainly recommend The Crafty Pig. It's the perfect place for a catch up with friends over amazing American-esque food. And to quote myself 'this would be the perfect hangover meal'.

Katie xx

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Brands Worth The Hype: TheBalm.

TheBalm is a brand I've lusted over for some time. The Mary-Lou Manizer highlighter has been raved about in the blogesphere for some time and I've been desperate to try this and other products from the brand. So the question is, are the products worth the hype? In a word..YES.

First up Frat Boy* a gorgeous pinky, peachy blush. This is really quite matte compared to other blushes I've tried but the colour is perfect. The pigmentation is next to none and this gives the ultimate rosy cheek. This is really easy to wear, but I've made the mistake of apply a little too much a few times because it is such good quality. I imagine this blush would work for any skin tone and is perfect for us paler girls.

Ahhh the holy grail of highlighters - the Mary-Lou Manizer*. I've never tried a highlighter in this powdery form, but I've been completely converted. I actually apply this all over my face to add a subtle glow to my skin, without looking shiny. This is a firm staple in my make up bag right now, and I imagine it will stay there for a very long time. There is no way to describe this product but a-m-a-zing.

Next up is a cheeky eyeliner named Schwing*. I'm not a huge eyeliner lover but the nib on this one looks soooo good. I really need to work on my winged eyeliner look, so this will come in very handy for a novice like me. 
Last up is the gorgeous Meet Matt(e) Nude eye shadow palette*. These are, as the name suggests, all matte shades with once again incredible pigmentation. I've been loving the bottom three shades, which work so well with my Charlotte Tilbury palette. I'm going to experiment more with the darker shades too, these would work well with a smokey eye.

Have you tried anything from TheBalm. You can find all the products here.

Katie xx

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Event: Murder Mystery.

Last month I attended a very exciting event at the Renaissance Hotel in Manchester - a murder mystery night. I was a little apprehensive about what to expect as I'd never done a murder mystery before, but I was really pleasantly surprised.

We began the evening with a few drinks and introduced to a few actors that were helping us solve the murder. We were given a pack with some clues and allowed to discuss and investigate further within our teams. We could ask questions to the suspects and had a really fun time trying to discover the murderer.

Throughout the evening we were served a lovely meal. They even catered to my gluten free needs and I really appreciated the thought. I had an incredible mushroom pasta dish for my main, but I had finished it before I could take a photo! 

After the meal we continued our investigation and each came up with a suggestion of who we thought the murderer was. We actually won, which meant we got to dress up and act out the scene for the other teams to show them how we solved the mystery.

It was a really fun night, thank you BGO bingo and the Murder Mystery Company for a great event.

Katie xx

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Life Lately: Being Happy.

The past few weeks have been lovely! I've not felt as happy in a very long time. I've spoken about my mental health (here) in the past and right now I feel as though I'm fighting it and actually winning the battle. I've been totally embracing the little things in life and feel as though I'm becoming a better person because of that. Here's a few things I've been loving lately:

1. Eating amazing cake - there is nothing better than a spontaneous afternoon slice of cake. Well, unless it comes with marshmallows and jelly beans...

2. Getting completely and utterly drenched at uni and finding it hilarious. I despise wet jeans, but for once I didn't care.

3. Taking silly selfies with the bestie. Yes, we are both as crazy as each other.

4. Having a girly afternoon and planning our London trip next month. As well as eating all the snacks...after I'd Instagrammed them, obviously. 

Sometimes it's the little things in life we have to focus on. Sometimes we don't need to think about what will happen tomorrow, next week or next year. I think it's time I started living more in the here and now and become a little it more selfish. Because at the end of the day, I can't make everyone happy and ultimately I come first.

Katie xx

Friday, 24 October 2014

The Prettiest Jewellery + Discount Code.

I've always been quite the fan of delicate jewellery. I don't feel like I suit chunky pieces as much as smaller ones, they look a bit too over powering on my petite frame. So when Fervour & Allura asked if I'd like to try a few of their gorgeous pieces, I just couldn't say no. 

The cute parcel arrived, wrapped in pretty tissue paper and the cutest bow and tag tying the pieces together. My eyes were immediately drawn to the Blue Druzy Stone necklace, which is incredible. This is made from the natural stone and is completely stunning. It sparkles in all the right places and just adds something special to a simplistic outfit. I've been wearing this non-stop since it arrived and spend much of my time oogling over the prettiness.

My other two lovely items came in the form of a Gold Twist ring and Silver Band bobble. The ring is super pretty and is a true statement piece. I love the twist style which is unlike any others I've seen. The only slight down side is the size. This is a pretty big ring, so bear that in mind if you have skinny fingers like me. Thankfully, with a little tweaking it should fit on my thumb nicely. 

Finally I picked out a cute Silver Band bobble. I used to wear this kind of thing back in the 90s at school and there was just something lovely and nostalgic about this piece. The shape and size is perfect for my little pony tail and I can't wait to style this up in the future.

If you're looking for some gorgeous delicate pieces or even want that perfect statement necklace, I would certainly suggest having a look at Fervour & Allura. Their prices are pretty amazing too, especially for the quality of pieces I received.

You can find Fervour & Allura on Twitter here and check out their gorgeous pics on Instagram here.

Katie xx 

P.S. I was kindly provided with a 15% off code for my readers. Just use KATIEA at the checkout!


Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Julianne's Red.

This is without a doubt my favourite ever red. I've never been brave enough to wear a full-on pillar box red so when I spotted the new L'Oreal Colour Riche red range, I knew there had to be one for me. After checking out the colours and watching too many Vivianna Does Make Up videos, I settled on Julianne's red from the range.

This colour is the perfect mix of pinky, red. It's not too intense but looks incredibly sophisticated and leaves me feeling very dressed up. I love the formula of these, they aren't drying at all and glide on the lips nice and evenly. And the staying power is next to none. I wore this lipstick through an entire meal (of pizza may I add), and it didn't budge. It also didn't budge when I tried to remove it with my make up cleanser - I was still trying to get the colour off the next day. 

If you're looking for a gorgeous red with the ultimate staying power, look no further. I am so impressed with this lip colour, it's certainly got a firm place in my make up stash. Oh and by the way, the packaging is adorable too.

Have you tried any of the others in this range?

Katie xx

Monday, 20 October 2014

The Best Therapy Ever: Reflexology.

I've always wanted to try reflexology. I've heard so many great things about the benefits that I felt it really was the right relaxation therapy for me. So on Saturday I took the plunge and tried out reflexology.

It took me a little while to decide where to go, but as I was in Manchester I thought I'd book somewhere in the city centre. I used Wahanda's website to help me pick my salon, which was a really great way to find the best place for me. Wahanda kindly gifted me a voucher to choose a therapy of my own choice, which luckily lead me to a little salon named Paloma's Beauty, in the Northern Quarter. Wahanda allows you to see past reviews of salons, without having to Google it and as Paloma's Beauty had 5 stars, I knew I had to try it out for myself.

 I arrived at the cute little salon ready for my treatment and was greeted by two lovely ladies. Grace was my therapist who took me through and asked me to complete a health questionnaire to ensure it was safe to go ahead with the therapy. I was then taken through to the therapy room, which was a gorgeous smelling, quiet and calming room with some peaceful music, perfect for relaxing. Grace gave me a few minutes to get myself ready and onto the bed, then popped back to begin my therapy. 

As I've never has reflexology before, I was a little unsure of what to expect. Grace began by giving me heated aromatherapy pouches, which she placed either side of my neck, one on my stomach and one over my eyes. These smelt incredible and had already taken me off to some relaxation paradise. The therapy began with a foot wash, then continued with the reflexology. Grace concentrated on one foot at a time and massaged and used pressure in the correct areas and up my calf. Grace uses a Balinese technique for massage, which is slightly more pressure than a Thai massage but feels incredible afterward. After working on each foot and lower leg, Grace put pressure on my upper arms, shoulders and around my neck to loosen any tightness. I then had smelling oils placed over my nose and encouraged to deep breath in the scent, which was a gorgeous calming, clearing aromatherapy, which was then massaged in to my temple and scalp. Finally the session finished with warm towels placed at my feet and legs to help remove any excess product and warm my muscles up a little.

After the half an hour session, I felt like a new woman. Grace was so calming and friendly and completely put me at ease. I don't know a great deal about complementary therapies but I do reflexology is targeted to help those that suffer with anxiety, stress, digestive problems, headaches/migraines and problems with sleep. I certainly left Paloma's beauty feeling relaxed and content. I also slept like a log the night after. 

If you even a little bit curious about reflexology, I would 100% recommend you give it a go. Paloma's Beauty charges £25 for 30 minutes, which is an absolute bargain in my eyes.

Katie xx

*Wahanda paid for this treatmetn, all opinions are my own

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Ysl Black Opium.

YSL have done it again. They seriously never fail to impress me and the new Black Opium* perfume is no exception. Lets just take a few moments to appreciate the beautiful packaging. YSL have packaging design down to a tee, from lipsticks to perfumes I'm always impressed by the thought and sleekness of their products. This bottle in particular comes in a black GLITTERY(!) bottle with rose gold font on the lid. It's seriously any girly girl's dream. I adore the translucent centre too, where they give you a sneak peak of the perfume.

Moving onto the main show - the scent. YSL describe this as 'Black Coffee, White Florals and Vanilla' and if I'd ever smelt that combination of things together before, I'd probably agree. I'm really not a vanilla lover, so don't let that put you off. It's the tiniest subtle hint of sweetness, which goes so well with the other tones. I'd describe this as an ultra sexy but sophisticated fragrance and certainly one to use on date night. It feels really grown up without being too 'old' for me and it's much more luxurious than some of my other scents.

 For me this a night-time fragrance and I kind of feel it's been marketed that way. The black bottle and seductive scent suggest this is a fragrance to be spritzed for a romantic dinner or a cheeky night on the town. I'm off for date night tonight and I will be certainly adding a little sophistication with this fragrance.

You can pick up YSL Black Opium from Fragrance Direct here.

Katie xx

Thursday, 16 October 2014


Today I was having one of those days, where I found everything possible to do to avoid doing work. I actually can't remember the last time I felt like being creative and doing some drawing. I am by no means the world's best drawer but I've find putting pen to paper really therapeutic. Unfortunately I didn't have any thing other than a bit of old card and a pen and pencil, so I thought I would take a photo and do a little editing on my phone. I used the app Color Effects and A Beautiful Mess to edit these pics and really enjoyed playing around with the colour and filters.   

A bit of a random post today, but I thought it was something fun to share.

Katie xx


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

The Hair Wardrobe.

For the first time in a long while, I feel completely happy with my hair. As you all know I've made the transition from ombre to fully blonde and I couldn't be happier. I (weirdly) like it when my roots start coming through and I have that effortless look to my locks. I felt the need to dedicate an entire post to where my hair is now.

So this is the colour I currently use on my hair. My sister highlighted it for but as I don't see her 4 weekly, I need some input in between. After taking her advice I went for a .2 colour which was the right shade and tone for my hair. I've used this colour twice now and have been really happy with the results. It also comes with a hair mask, which is perfect for after your hair has been coloured. My hair never feels dry or chewing-gum like after using this one.

Above is a photo of my hair, just after it's been dyed. Sorry about the lack of face shot but I have two gigantic spots, I thought I would save you all from the horror.

As I mentioned last week I've been using my purple shampoo for toning my colour. However I can get a little over-toned at times and turn a shade of grey. For those in between moments I like to switch to a regular shampoo and conditioner and I've trying out the Faith in Nature Lavender & Geranium range*. Not only do these smell incredible but they do a really good job on my hair too. All of the products are organic and made right here in little Blighty which is fab to know! I'm eyeing up the chocolate scented range for my next purchase. 

I recently got my sister to give me a chop too. My hair desperately needed a good trim and I ended up having around two inches off. I adore my hair short and I love how cool it looks when I have it waving, but every now and again I want my locks a little longer. I've been using these hair extensions from abhair* in medium blonde and they fit my colour pretty much perfectly. They come pre-clipped which is great for me as I have butter fingers and they fit snuggly to my roots. Abhair have also kindly offered my readers 15% off anything in the store using GoldJ15 at the checkout.

Last but not least my current go-to styling products. I have been using my Tangle Teezer for a good few years now and I could never go back to a regular brush. If I ever borrow a friends hair brush I feel as though it's ripping my hair out strand by strand. The TT is perfect for my type of hair cos it gets the loose hairs out without yanking at the rest of it. Plus these things are like miracle workers, there is seriously no knot that these can not get through.

 I am completely and utterly obsessed with the L'Oreal TXT spray. I've raved about it a few times on here, so I won't bore you with the details. But seriously, if you have fine, limp hair that needs a bit of volume - go buy this.

To finish of my complete look I spritz in a little of Neal & Wolf Glow Super Shine Spray*. As all of N&W products, this smells incredible. It's a super fine mist that adds a subtle shine to my hair without feeling heavy or greasy. Although I don't use this every day I love adding a little before leaving the house and even when my hair is up to add a little something to my pony tail.

What hair products do you use?

Katie xx

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

A Few Sale Picks.

Untitled #71

It seems as though all of the autumn sales have started this week. Unfortunately I'm just window shopping as I have zero pennies to spend on clothes. So I've had a little browse of River Island and Topshop sales and here a few items I love.

I'm all about planning for the party season at the moment. The Christmas decorations have started creeping into shops and it's not long until the Christmas markets will start. I'm completely in love with this pink, floral cropped top, which would look incredible with a cute skater skirt and lovely woolly tights. It would be perfect teamed with the snake skin heels and some chunky jewellery too.

I currently have a tiny obsession with hats and I've completely fallen in love with this pink fedora. I love the colour, although I may look a little Barbie-esque if I put this on. It would pretty cool with some skinny jeans and the baroque style tee.

What items have you spotted in the sales?

Katie xx

Sunday, 12 October 2014

The Blanket Wrap.

Blanket Wrap - New Look*

This last week or so the weather seems to have taken a cold turn. I'm still struggling with deciding what to wear, as although it's freezing on a morning it is still getting into the teens mid afternoon. I'm a huge lover of comfy clothes and I can't wait to finally get a new winter coat (when I've found the perfect one). However at the moment I feel like we are somewhere between light jackets and woolly cardigans. 

This blanket wrap is the perfect mix between Autumn and Winter wear. I've found it's incredible for layering on cold, misty mornings but then it's light enough to pop on over a tee. I adore the design and I feel tartan is completely on trend for this A/W so this cape will certainly carry me through the colder months. I love the fact it can be worn in different ways and I recon I could probably make a chunky scarf of it too. 

If you are looking for something a little lighter than a coat but super cosy, you definitely need to invest in a blanket wrap. 

You can check out the whole range of blanket wraps from New Look, here

Katie xx


Saturday, 11 October 2014

Selfridges' A/W 14 Fashion Showcase.

On Thursday evening I attended a very exciting A/W14 Fashion Showcase at Selfridges in Manchester. The event began after the store had closed so felt super exclusive and exciting. We were greeted with drinks and canapes and left to mingle and in our case celeb spot. 
Left to right: Anna, Anouska, Brook Vincent AKA Sophie Webster, Jessica, Me and Irena
Oh, hello Ryan from Corrie!
Dress: Topshop via Vinted
Boots: Zara

A quick OOTN, I adore this dress. It's the perfect mix between casual and formal and the lace detail is so pretty. I actually managed to bag this as a huge bargain for £3.80 on Vinted! Jessica from Forevermissvanity looked gorgeous as ever!

A quick intro from the store manager, began the lovely fashion show.

The models were stunning, as were the clothes. We all completely fell in love with the gold maxi/prom style dress, that was just perfect. It was such a lovely event and a great change to catch up with some of my blogging buddies. It also helped me develop a  huge wishlist for when I win the lottery!

Katie xx
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