Thursday, 9 January 2014

The Birthday Post 2014

Happy new year everyone!! I thought I'd get that in there right from the start as this is my first post of 2014. As my birthday is at the very start of the year I thought I'd do a goals/resolutions/review type post coupled with a birthday update.

I have seen lots of these types of posts on the bloggersphere over the last week and they have made me feel quite positive and motivated to 'write down' my goals to have a record of them. Here goes...

Eat clean

The first one, and one that I say every year is to eat better. Not go on a diet or try any crazy fads that I can't stick to but just to eat better. As a vegetarian who isn't a big fan of veg...or fruit I'm often left eating lots of carbs and dairy This has meant a fairly big weight gain and pretty bad skin over the last year. My goal is to eat clean at least 70% of the time, including getting better at bringing lunches in to work (saves pennies too!). If I succeed at this I will share some recipes too.

Meet new people

I have a very small but perfectly formed group of friends. In fact, group might be over egging it somewhat. I have been guilty in the last 10 or so years of isolating myself and only spending time with my husband at the expense of other friendships and opportunities. Hopefully this year will be different and I am going to try to put myself out there to meet new people. I just think that it gets harder as you get older to meet people outside of work but I'm open to it now more than ever so wish me luck!

Take a risk

This year I have decided to start a new business. It has been an idea I have had for a while and just haven't done anything with. Now I have not only designed and built a website for my new business, which you can see here, but I have also bought all of the stock and packaging to launch it with a small limited collection. I'm really excited about this and hopefully will help me to fulfil goal number two as well. If there are any like minded business start-ups out there who want to get in touch to share advice or just have someone in the same position to talk to then you can email me here.

That's it for goals. We don't want to go overboard do we?! As for my birthday this year, my husband wrote and hosted a quiz at our house for me and some friends. We had lots of drinks and pizza and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. 31 doesn't feel so bad so far...

What are your goals for 2014?

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Fashion: Pick of the sales 2013 - Leather

If you're going to treat yourself to one thing in the sales, why not pick up a leather bargain? There are some real gems around this year from this gorgeous dress to a staple leather jacket. What better way to spend that Christmas money?

Have you picked up any leather in the sales?

Katie xx

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Fashion: Pick of the sales - New Year's Eve

It really isn't too late to get your New Year's Eve outfit sorted. Here is my edit from the sales. There are some really great bargains to be had this year. I love this jumpsuit and the embellished organza shift from Topshop is gorgeous and could be worn with black tights for New Year but would also work well for a Spring or Summer wedding with some coral shoes and matching clutch. Price per wear and all that...

What are you wearing for New Year's Eve?

Katie xx

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Fashion: Pick of the sales 2013 - Tartan Coats

If you didn't treat yourself to a new Winter coat this year, why not pick one up in the sales? The tartan revival from AW13 is still going strong into 2014 and here is my pick of the tartan Winter warmers that you can pick up in the sales. I particularly love the ASOS and Oasis draped styles. Really flattering, hide  a multitude of Christmas sins and you can fit a chunky knit underneath. What's not to love!

What have you picked up in the sales this year?

Katie xx

Friday, 13 December 2013

Life: Update December 2013

1. Misty morning.
Winter is now officially here and this is the view of my street on a misty morning a few weeks ago. I kind of like Winter when you can wrap up warm and head out into the cold or just stay indoors in your onesie with a massive cup of tea.

2. DIY bauble wreath.
I might do a separate post about this but I finally made my DIY bauble wreath! I really wanted to do it last year but didn't get round to it. All it takes is a wire hanger, some Primark baubles and about 30 minutes and you're done. I just need to trim the excess wire and hang it on our front door.

3. Christmas markets in Manchester.
Last week I had my second visits to the Christmas markets in Manchester. For a few years now it seems that the markets take up every available space in the city centre, with most of the stalls centering around food of some kind. I'm not complaining!

4. Our 'fireplace'.
This is our fireplace in our lounge, which is just a cast iron grate and a whole bunch of candles. They aren't all lit here but the effect still comes across. It's nice to have something in our fireplace and the candles do actually give out some heat when they're lit. The glow they give is really pretty and festive. I'm sure they will be lit many more times over the festive period. The grate is from Amazon and the candles are from IKEA.

What have you been up to lately?

Katie xx

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Life: Taste of Christmas November 2013

On Saturday 23rd November I met my fave, Helen, for a day of fun and food at Taste of Christmas at London's Tobacco Dock. It's an annual event where some of London and the South East's restaurants, bars and food producers come together to sell their wares all in one place.

Tobacco Dock is easily accessible just a 5 minute walk from Shadwell station, which is on the DLR. Once you enter the venue are were two floors of stalls and rooms, which took us around two and a half hours to get around.
There are plenty of places to grab some hot food I particularly enjoyed the truffle mac and cheese at Opera Tavern and the roasted gnocchi at The Truscott Arms. We couldn't resist a Christmas cupcake and a glass of prosecco either!

There were also demonstrations from some of the UK's top chefs. We managed to catch Michel Roux Junior and Valentine Warner but we could have spent all day watching the yummy food.

I'd highly recommend catching this event next year if you're in the area or can travel to London. There are several options for ticket prices and you can also purchase 'Crowns', which is the currency you need to use for the restaurants in there, along with your ticket. These can also be purchased on the day and equate to £1 to 1 Crown but you must use them up before you leave. My advice would be to get them whilst you're there and buy them bit by bit so you know you will use them up.

Have you been to Taste of Christmas?

Katie xx

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Christmas: Festive Clothing Guide 2013

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As much as I tried to resist, last year I bought a Christmas jumper. I went down the tasteful M&S route but now I wish I had gone with something red and slightly more in your face. I'm hoping to make up for it this year with some of these great jumper and accessory options. That Christmas onesie might even make it's way to my wishlist...

Have you bought your Christmas jumper this year yet?

Katie xx

Monday, 2 December 2013

Christmas: Secret Santa Under £10 Gift Guide 2013

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Ah secret Santa. Loved by some, loathed by others. Hopefully this handy guide will take some of the pain out of it for you. These offerings are all under £10 and fit into categories that aren't offensive (when SS is often run in the office environment...we don't want any post-Christmas sexual harassment cases) and may come in useful at your desk.

In my almost 10 years in the workplace I have found that it is the desk-based secret Santa gift that tends to stick around and be the most popular. I particularly love a good mug, even in offices where there are no drink-making facilities. You can always decant your machine tea/coffee into your mug or heat up your soup at lunch in it. Equally, a photo cube is a great way to personalise your desk with some snaps without going overboard.

Do any of these take your fancy?

Katie xx

Friday, 29 November 2013

Christmas: Beauty Gift Guide 2013

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I thought, as I have almost finished my shopping (smug!), that I would help out everyone else by running a series of gift guide posts here on the blog.

Today's theme is beauty. There is much more choice these days for cute little beauty gifts. When I was a teenager the choice was a Lancome or Estee Lauder gift set, which wasn't the most exciting. Now there are all sorts of beauty-related goodies to choose from. The majority of the above are from ASOS, Feel Unique and Beauty Bay so if none of them take your fancy, have a browse of the gift sections and you're sure to find the perfect option for your beauty-obsessed loved one!

Katie xx
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