Thursday, 29 January 2015

First Month of Blogging: Overview

 Hi All!
So, it's been exactly one month and three days since I started this blog (26th December 2014 to be exact) and I can honestly say I'm overwhelmed with the support and guidance I've been given by friends, family and so many other wonderful bloggers that I've had the great pleasure of meeting. 
I initially started this blog because I needed an outlet for stress, I've always enjoyed writing and it's always helped relax me, then I got the idea to write about things I enjoy and post them online... hence the start of this blog! I initially wanted to do a specifically themed blog on News and Celebrity type things but I honestly don't care about that stuff enough and I think that can often show in a bloggers writing, if someone doesn't care about what they're writing it can be a great let down for readers and the blog will go nowhere. All I wanted to do was write about my experiences therefore I chose to do a general lifestyle blog and I must say it has been going swimmingly!
In the first few days of blogging I was pretty proud that I'd been able to post everyday and be consistent with the time roughly, and also I'd managed to come up with three pages full of a small notebook of ideas to use for posts. 
Everyday I was getting more and more page views, I know that views aren't the most important things when blogging but honestly it is lovely to see that people are reading and even commenting on your blog. In the first month I've even managed to get nearly 1,500 page views which for me I'm so pleased with. Thanks to blogging I've also managed to develop my writing skills and social media skills, I've never been technological but I so admit that it's been SO fun using twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and bloglovin, to expand my network. I've met lovely people like Tamara, Danielle and done posts alongside Aymie Louise. With blogging I honestly think that I've found something I genuinely love and I would hat to give up for whatever reason, college is a bit of a stumbling block when it comes to posting everyday but I will always make time for it, because it's such an enjoyable pastime. I'm so grateful that I've been able to develop skills I never thought I could with blogging!
Thank you al so much for reading my blog, I hope you all enjoy it and there will be many, many more posts to come in the future as I won't be stopping anytime soon!

Love Katherine. X

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

The Harry Potter Tag!

Hi All!
Again I'm pushed for time when posting this week and I usually find that tags are the quickest posts for me to do in this situation so I'm doing the Harry Potter Tag today. For those of you who've read my post "My Experience at the Warner Brothers Studio Tour" you'll know how much I love Harry Potter and how influential and supportive these books have been to me, I found this tag floating around and I can't remember where and it seemed like a fab post idea. So, let's get right down to it!

Favourite Movie?
My favourite movie is definitely Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the whole movie is a mess of emotions and I love it when Fred and George prematurely age, I find it hilarious. 

Favourite Book?
My favourite book has got to be Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. It might be cliché but I love the first book because you get to experience everything along with Harry for the first time... even if you read it 100 times over!

Parts of the movie/books that made you cry?
Two words that apply to both books and movies... Dobby's death.

If you could hook up with any HP character, who would it be?
Definitely Fred or Georgr Weasley, I love a guy who can have a laugh. I also like men with ambition so definitely one of those two. Plus I'd want a Weasley jumper.

Favourite Character?
I've never thought about this for a long time before but this question made me think and I'd probably have to say Hermione Granger and I think that's because I relate so much to her. I've ran myself into the ground because of school work and I also have a thing for redheads, also I adore how passionate and driven Hermione is about so many things. I always thought her of a love/hate her kinda character.

What would you Patronus be?
A tiny little scottie dog. My nana adores scottie dogs and so do I and i'd love to have a weeny little dog protecting me from Dementors. 

If you could have the ressuraction stone, invisibility cloak or elder wand, which would you choose?
Easy, invisibility cloak. Predominately I want the cloak so I can put it over myself when I'm driving and really freak people out. I'd use it to sneak into libraries too and just sit there all day reading. 

What house would you be in?
On Pottermore I was given the household of Slytherin however, I personally think I'd suit Hufflepuff mainly because I'm so helpful, although I can be quite sly and cunning so maybe Slytherin would suit too. I'd like to be in Ravenclaw but I'm not clever enough ha.

If you could meet any member of the cast, who would it be?
I think Emma Watson is such an amazing role model and all round fabulous person so I would absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE IT if I could meet Emma Watson!

Have you played any of the video games?
I have played the first and second Play Station one games and I think they're so good! If I had a playstation one now I would definitely be playing it today. 

If you were on the Quidditch team, what position would you play?
Keeper because I'm fab when I'm in goal or in any sport where you need to stop the other team scoring. Definitely not seeker, my attention span and eyesight work against me when it comes to that. 
Were you happy with the ending?
Yes absolutely. I was so happy when I realised all was going to end in a very happy place, I couldn't imagine Harry Potter with a different ending. 

How much does Harry Potter mean to you?
This series means the world to me as I use this series as an escape, somewhere I can go to relax, have a break and experience magic and wonder all in my bedroom. I love Harry Potter so much!

Love Katherine. X

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Weekend Summary and Next Weeks Plans!

Hi everyone!
This week has been much busier than usual as I've had college and work, which although it has been lots of fun, has been very stressful. 
So this week I got results back from my last couple of assignments and both were fine so thankfully I didn't have to re-do any, but our class was given 3 different assignments to do, two of which are pretty heavy and we need to start referencing all of out information which is a pain in the neck to be honest. Out of the 3 assignments I managed to get 2 done within a day which I was really pleased with because it's given me this weekend off before I have to start my new assignment tomorrow evening. That was Monday through to Wednesday, I also had my first day of work/placement on Thursday which I was really apprehensive about becauseI haven't done childcare is a very very long time so I was pretty worried about that. I shouldn't have been because the whole day was just wonderful, I even ended up working on the friday from 7:30am to 6:00pm, the atmosphere at work is just so relaxed and all of the children are adorable and really easy to look after, I was even offered a permanent part time job there! I'm definitely taking that once I get my NI number sorted properly which should be roundabout August. 
So the week itself had been pretty busy and unfortunately I've not had as much time to blog although I am doing my best to blog at the very least once a day. 
This weekend has been all about relaxing and unwinding. I'm a major stress head and I've been struggling with the amount of things i've had to do lately, my tutor tends to rely pretty heavily on me to direct the class when she isn't there and she's been off a bit this week, so if any of my classmates have needed help they've come to me and it can be pretty hectic sometimes. This led me to thinking that because my last proper holiday was in 2012, that I should probably think about booking myself and maybe a friend a nice short brea  sometime in February or March just to get away for a while and really get ourselves well and truly chilled out. Basically, this weekend has consisted of me listening to Celtic Woman, Carrie Underwood, reading my favourite books and looking for holiday cottages around the Cornwall or Devon area, I've found a very nice one but it's £183 for 3 nights and 4 days which isn't exactly in my budget just yet although I'm definitely going to geek somewhere if I can't book that right away. 
Next weeks is hopefully going to be a bit slower than this week as again I have college Monday through Wednesday and work on Thursday. Tomorrow I'm meeting Aymie for coffee and starting any and all assignments I get tomorrow to make sure that I stay on the ball with them all. I believe that set of the week is just college stuff, reading and hopefully I'll manage to get out to Waterstones on Friday and buy myself some lovely new books!
So, that's m week/weekend in review and my plans for next week, what's everyone else up to or been up to this week? Thanks for reading. 

Love Katherine. X

Update on New Years Resolutions!

Afternoon All!
It's been a month since Christmas Day and almost a month since I made my 2015 year years resolutions (see that post here) and I thought I'd do a quick update type overview of how I've been doing when it comes to sticking to my resolutions, I did mention that I would use my blog to hold myself accountable as to how I've been doing so that's just another reason to do this update/overview of the first month of my resolutions. 

  • Eating/Cooking Better - My first resolution was to eat and cook healthier foods. I've made this resolution several times over the years and I've never stuck to it for more than a week or so but I'm pleased to say that I've been sticking to this resolution without much difficulty, I'm learning to cook healthier foods and I'm actually enjoying them too. I've learned several new recipes and my favourite is the Garlic and Honey Chicken (pictured right) which is very yummy.  At the moment I'm borrowing my Mam's and Grandma's cookbooks but I'm hoping to buy myself some nice cookbooks of my own sometime this week so I'll be able to make even more delicious things. Overall I'm pleased with how I'm sticking to this resolution so far, hopefully I'll keep going with it. 
  • Exercise More - This one is the resolution I had the biggest apprehensions about, normally I would make resolutions like 'lose weight' or 'get down to a size...' and so on but I literally never stick to them at all. So this year I decided to change that to 'exercise more' not like go running everyday or walk 10 miles just little things like take the long way to my class in college, walk to work, park further from the college entrance and stuff. I'm extremely happy to say that I have been doing all those things and more! I've been doing simple things like that and I've also been walking for 20 minutes every other day and I even signed myself up to a Yoga class (I love Yoga) and I went last Wednesday and it was absolutely fab! I'm noticing a major difference in how I feel, I don't necessarily want to lose weight as I simply don't think size matters but I care about my health and I want to host my fitness levels a bit and it's definitely helping my health. For the past few years I've been overly stressed, not eating properly as I'd skip meals or grab unhealthy stuff before college/work for lunch and I'd go the quickest rough to get to wherever I needed to go just to save time. Thankfully between the healthier eating, Yoga and a few other changes I've made to my daily lifestyle I've been much less stressed, I feel better in my general health and I'm much happier. I'm so pleased I've managed to stick to this resolution this year and I'll definitely be keeping it up. 
  • Leave My Comfort Zone - This is something I'm not very good at but I have made a major step this year in leaving my comfort zone as I am currently in the middle of creating a Demo CD to send to a vocal agency in a local town! I've always enjoyed singing and I thought this resolution would be a great way to get things started so I shall have to see how this goes and I will keep everyone updated in that front. :)
German notes :)

Image from Google
  • Learn a New Language - I was most excited about this resolution as I've always wanted to learn a different language and for a while now I've wanted to learn German, so I bought myself the Mindsnacks Learn German app form the app store, I believe there's 50 lessons including numbers, colours, adjectives, grammar, months, days and lots more. So far I've managed to blast through 24 lessons and I'm really enjoying them, also I've recently found out about a 10 short night course that my college provides for only £85 which starts February 26th so if I can build up the money I will definitely be taking that opportunity!
So, I think my resolutions have been going pretty well so far and I hope that I can keep up with all of them, thanks for reading everyone!

Love Katherine. X

Saturday, 24 January 2015

My Concert Bucket List

Hi All!
I was at a friend's house today and we got on to talking about bucket lists, mainly travelling and doing wild and crazy things but as I've mentioned before I'm not much of a traveller and I'm certainly not wild and crazy. However, I am a great lover of all types of music so I thought I'd make a post on my ultimate concert bucket list. This is probably going to include a list of bands that aren't with us any more or unfortunately have broken up, it's also going to be a pretty long one... Here we go then. 
My Chemical Romance! 
A few years ago I got into MCR, admittedly a little late considering they're not longer a thing but still, it would be amazing to see them live and I've heard so many stories about how fantastic their concerts are, I had to include them on my list.
Michael Buble! 
Obviously Mr Bubble was going to be on here at some point, he has a voice like velvet dipped in honey and a face that's just... WOW. This man has some serious talent and I have every single album of his. Michael, if you are reading this please feel free to come and sweep me off my feet at any point. Just saying...
Taylor Swift! 
Taylor is my absolute idol and I swear if I could I'd follow her around taking style tips from her every second of the day! I'm a huge country fan and as someone who isn't exactly keen on modern music I think she's a true artist and her lyrics are simply brilliant.

One Direction! 
Okay I've spent years denying that I like these 5 little guys but I can't hold it in anymore... I LOVE THEM! One Direction are my guilty pleasure and I have so many good memories listening to their songs with friends and singing along convinced we'd all be singers one day either dating or married to a member each. I'm Harry's girl obvs (duh). Plus who wouldn't want to go to a concert with 40,000 screaming 12 year old girls throwing tampons at the boys... sarcasm in case you didn't get that; I do imagine their concerts are definitely an experience though. 
McBusted (Again)!
I went to see the world's biggest supergroup in April 2014 and holy sweet baby Jesus they  were bloody fantastic! McFly have always been my favourites but I did have a soft spot for Busted and when they got together and a friend got us tickets I nearly passed out, I was so excited and had good reason to be. Triple breasted inflatable boobies! Matt Willis in a wedding dress, massive circular spaceship (star girl obvs) and huge inflatable balls, no not the dirty kind you minx's, that were passed around the audience. I'd love to go again but unfortunately because of travel plans next year I couldn't get tickets *sad face*.

The Beatles! 
Come on, The Beatles HAD to be on the list, if you don't like them you must be crazy, they've done so much for the music industry and have influenced artists from pretty much every single genre going! They are my ultimate favourite band and I adore them.

Celtic Woman!
Celtic Woman are very recent discovery of mine however the first song I heard any member of Celtic Woman sing was, I think, We Wish You a Marry Christmas and I totally fell in love with them, like instantly. Lisa Lambe's hair is the most beautiful thing I think I've ever seen. I think each and every one of these women are exceptionally talented, their voices are captivating, their performances enthralling and even watching a live concert at home on a saturday night with a pizza and Ben and Jerry's ice cream is magical. It would make my life complete to se these lovely ladies live! My favourite song they've done is without question Téir Abhaile Riú. 

Foster and Allen!
I've listened to Foster and Allen since i was a tiny baby, my Grandad always has their album on in the car and they're just great. I love their tones and the passion the put into their music, when you listen to them you can really hear how much they enjoy their jobs. 

The Dubliners!
You can all probably see a pattern forming here, I love Irish music and I'm really into the Dubliners' music, Seven Drunken Nights is one of my favourites, mainly because I find the whole song highly amusing. Also I love Monto, at the beginning of sixth form in my first year me and Aymie would walk down to a really cozy and quaint restaurant type thing near our sixth form centre and we would have lunch there (they did THE best milkshakes ever!) and every time we went down Monto would play and it was just lovely. I think it would be fab to see them live. 
Jack Johnson!
He is such a laid back musician you can't help but relax whenever you hear his music, I remember once I had slept over an old friend's house and they whole night had been stressful, fighting and arguing, shouting and screaming, insults flying everywhere and late nights as well as an essay due in less than 24 hours later. So, early in the morning I put my headphones in, listened to Inbetween Dreams the album and knocked out an A grade essay in 40 minutes thanks to his calming tones. 

Queen!Because Queen. End of.

Others on my bucket list that I didn't have time to mention include:
  • Maroon5
  • Cliff Richard
  • Elvis
  • Michael Jackson
  • Demi Lovato
  • Blink182
  • Dolly Parton
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Ed Sheeran
And LOADS more. :)

Love Katherine. X

Friday, 23 January 2015

A Few of My Favourite Things! Tag

Hi All!I've decided to do do the Few of my Favourite Things Tag, I only stumbled across this today because I've had that song stuck in my head all day, you know the one "these are a few of my favourite things" I can't remember what movie that song is from but anyway, I started googling whether there was a tag like this and I found one! So, I took my chances and decided to do it, it's been pretty fun writing it so i hope you all like reading it!
Products/Things: Snape's wand I got from the Warner Brothers Studio Tour, Prada Candy perfume, my 62 year old teddy bear that's been passed to me from my grandma's generation, my books and my special mugs.Foods: Pizza, Sunday/Christmas dinners, Sensations Thai Sweet Chilli crisps, Ben and Jerry's Cookie Dough ice cream! All at the same time of course ;)Places: Whitby, York, Edinburgh, London and Ireland, I've posted about these places previously and Ireland was included in my Travel Bucket List.
Things you'd miss if you didn't have them: My family, my friends, my iPod as I can't live without my music, my books obviously, my notebooks and finally my onesies, I adore my onesies and especially on cold days I'd miss them too much.
Things you do when you're bored: Read, play piano, sing, blog, watch my favourite box sets.
Things you do when it's sunny: Go to the beach, spend time with friends, go swimming or ice skating and do a bit of yoga.
Films: Rudolph the movie, Oliver and Company, The Book Thief, the Santa Clause movies, Brave, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland (with Johnny Depp), Pirates of the Caribbean.
Songs: Téir Abhail Riú by Celtic Woman, Galway Girl - Foster and Allen Ft. Shayne Ward, Boys are Back in Town - Thin Lizzy, Stand By Me - Ben E. King.
Brands: Prada, Kandee (love their shoes), Converse, Cath Kidston.
Outdoor things you like: Starry nights, dark nights, bright summer colours, dark rain cloud colours, snow, being caught in a storm, swimming in the sea.
Events: Christmas Eve/Day, Boxing day, my birthday, Halloween, Winter Solstice, Summer equinox, National Book Awards.
Cartoons: Family Guy, South Park, Simpsons, Rugrats, Recess.
Buildings: Edinburgh castle, Durham Cathedral, york cathedral, Whitby Abbey. Anything in everyday life: Children laughing, seeing my family happy, cups of tea, being warm, talking to friends and reading. 

Traits in a person: Humour, tolerance, kindness, maturity, family orientated, nurturing and generally upbeat/optimistic. 
Influences: My Mam and Grandma, Sarah Millican, J.K. Rowling, Acker Bilk, Derek Landy, all women in Celtic Woman. 
Drinks: Tea, honey and lemon tea, hot chocolate, Dr Pepper with ice on a hot day, Lemon water, did I mention tea? Shlœr and tea. 
Experiences: College, Warner Brothers Studio Tour, Haven Holiday 2012 with Aymie, passing my theory and practical driving tests. 
Things to watch: Documentaries, News, Debates, Music videos, tennis, swimming cooking shows etc. 
Youtubers: Rose and Rosie, Kaelyn and Lucy, Zoelle, Sprinkle of Glitter, Beauty Crush, Tess Christine, Ugly Face of Beauty, Bethany Mota. 
Bloggers: A Bloke's Eye View, Maddy Kake, Aymie Louise, Underland to Wonderland, Me Just Talking To You.
Books: Lord of the Rings series, Harry Potter series, Skulduggery Pleasant series, Sherlock Holmes series, literally any book by Danielle Steel or Pamela Evans. 
*NOTE: Ihave absolutely no idea what's happened the the writing on this post and I don't seem to be able to sort it out, I've rewritten it several times too, so sorry for the weird writing everyone!

Love Katherine. X

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Work Placement Hints and Tips: Making a Good Impression

Hi All!
Recently I've not had much time to post anything on this blog so for that I have apologies, as many of you will know from a previous post I'm currently studying Health and Care at college (and loving it!); well after three months of settling in, getting used to assignment formats, making friends and quickly grabbing myself the student representative position for my class, I can finally say the part I've been most excited about has finally arrived. Placement! From day 1 all of us on this course knew we would have to do at least 100 hours of practical work experience, excluding simulation ward time, so all the girls in my class have not stopped talking about where they would like to work and how excited they are. It's a really exciting time for everyone, particularly the younger girls in the class who have just finished year 11 and are being thrown into the world of health care work.
Well today I visited my place of work placement  for a taster and it was fantastic! Some of my peers have gone to residential care homes, GP surgeries, Primary schools and day care centres for severely disables and vulnerable people. Where did I go? Well I get to work in a local Butterflies Day Care Centre for babies and children between 4 months and 3 years old, and admittedly it was a difficult day dealing with 23 young children with no official training and 2 other staff members on hand but WOW it was such fun! Before the fabulousness of today got going I and the rest of my class was extremely nervous to start work placement, one girl was convinced an old person was going to beat her with their walking stick! So I thought it might be helpful to make a short post on how to deal with first work placement nerves and the best way to make a good first impression on your employers.
1. Introductions - It's always a good idea to introduce yourself a few days or even a week or so before you first start work, this gives the impression that you're enthusiastic and eager to start work positively. Get yourself acquainted with whoever it is you'll be working with so it doesn't seem as scary on the day.
2. Induction - Usually your place of work will give you an induction the day you begin work but its always a good idea to ask a few days before you first go. This will help you get to know your way around, and you should find out about fire procedures, fire exits, bathrooms, staff rooms, lunch rooms and so on.
3. Questions - On your initial visit to your place of work it would be helpful to ask any questions you need to know, what do you wear? Who do you report to? What happens in an emergency? What time do you start and finish? What is the lunch and break situations? Make sure you cover everything you can think of so you are completely prepared for the first day.
4. Look Smart - Obviously placement isn't a fashion show and you really don't need to look like a model but looking smart and professional with help give the right impression to your employers and clients you'll be meeting. Often employers will ask for black trousers, leggings or knee-length skirts/dresses if they're modest, along with pumps or appropriate heels. Depending on the work you may be given instructions about how to wear your hair, for example, because I am working with very young children and babies I was told to tie it up so it cannot be pulled.
5. Get There Early - Getting there early shows that you are alert, prepared, willing and eager to get started and you'll definitely make a good first impression if you're punctual!
6. HAVE FUN! - It's really important to stay professional but remember while you're getting your experience just enjoy the time you have, it is an experience after all and you are bound to meet some lovely people and learn valuable skills from your time. 
I hope this has helped someone out there. 

Love Katherine. X

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Apologies and Schedules

Hey Everybody!
This is going to be a really, REALLY brief post because I seriously pushed for time at the moment. I'd like to apologise for not posting yesterday as I did have a rather good post planned, however I'll save that for another day, so keep an eye out for lots more posts to come. I've not had much time for blogging this week and I doubt I will until about Thursday night because this week has been crazily busy and it's only Tuesday! 
Anyway, I've not been posting because I have a massive amount of coursework that I received today, three assignments and SO many forms to ill in for work on Thursday, although I'm very excited about that. 
I'm also very excited because I've finally managed to get some scheduling done so I have a full month's worth of posts prepared for all of my lovely readers out there!
I hope everybody is doing wonderfully and I shall be posting more come tomorrow night if I have time!

Love Katherine. X

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Weekend Summary and Next Week Plans!

Happy Sunday everybody!
This week has been pretty busy but thankfully I'm healthy again, yey! Si I've been able to get myself out and about, I managed to get to college for two days this week where my class started the unit I've been most looking forward to since I started the course, Caring for Children and Young People. Unfortunately earlier in the week I got a puncture in my rear left wheel so I had no way of getting to college and I hate missing college as well so that wasn't too fun. 
Anyway, I found out on Thursday that my college placement has been approved so I'm able to start that this Thursday, when it hit Friday I had planned to spend a quiet night at home just relaxing with the family as I had taken my Grandad to a bus station where he was going to be picked up by a cache to take him and his friends down to Blackpool for a weekend. However, I ended up having an impromptu sleepover with Aymie which was definitely unexpected but lots of fun, at this sleepover we did some blogging together, talked about anything and everything and we actually found an old SD card with pictures of us both from about 6 years ago so we nada good laugh at those.
On Saturday we spent the day together and did some baking, see my previous post to see what we made, that was cry interesting as we didn't exactly follow recipes but the teacakes that were made tasted very yummy. 
Saturday night I was with my Grandma watching a concert of Celtic Woman: Emerald and I've completely fallen in love with their music and their voices, Lisa Lambe is an absolute Angel and her voice is stunning, as is her hair and her accent and I just love that woman. I think it's safe to say Irish Folk is porbablymy favourite music genre now and Celtic Woman is just wonderful, I personally don't hear that many female Irish Folk vocalists, I mainly listen to Foster and Allen, The Dubliners and so on. It's truly refreshing to have stumbled upon such fantastic vocalists (and violinist), I've actually spent quite a lot of this weekend listening to music, artists such as Fletwood Mac, Celtic Woman (obviously), McBusted, Olly Murs, The Beatles, Queen and Demi Lovato have been my favourites this week. I think I'm obsessed with the Celtic Woman song Téir Abhail Riú at the minute, find that video below.

I actually have quite a lot planned for next week, hopefully I should be able to get everything done! Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will conist of the usual routine, 6am start, college, assignments and I'll be reading a couple of new books in-between whenever I get time. However, Wednesday will be quite busy for me as I have college from 9am-12:30pm, a dentist appointment later in the day (ugh, I hate dentists), because i have a very painful wisdom tooth that I could do without to be honest, then later in the evening I will be attending a Yoga class from 6-8:30pm which I'm actually rely looking forward to, as I've said previously I really enjoy Yoga, it should be quite fun. 
Thursday is my first day at work, I get to work with babies (YEY!) which I am genuinely so, so excited about as I adore children. Also I'll be scheduling a post for later in the week on how to prepare for your first placement or day at work, so be on the look out for that. Friday I believe I'll be meeting a friend for a coffee if both of our schedules allow and Saturday will be taken up with going for a catchup with another good friend from Secondary School with Aymie I think. Also I may be going ice skating later in the week if that can be organised. Hopefully Sunday will be my day off and I'll get to relax at some point haha. 
Thanks for reading guys and let me know some of your plans for next week, I'd love to hear off of you guys!

Love Katherine. X

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Chocolate and Honey Cake: American Style Teacake Recipe

Hi again,
This last couple of days have been pretty hectic for me and it's been lovely to have a nice break and spend the whole day  having a baking day. A week or two ago I posted a recipe for Honey and Garlic chicken and I thoroughly enjoyed both making tha and blogging about it. So, I thought I would rope Aymie in to helping me make something sweet, this weeks recipe is Chocolate and Honey upsidedown tea cakes American style! Below you can find a list of things you'll need and directions to make these yummy teacakes!
•120g unsalted butter
•120g self raising flour
•100g caster sugar 
•40g chocolate powder
•2 medium beaten eggs
•1 hearty dollop of honey

Let's get down to the fun bit!
Firstly, measure out 120g of self raising flour and place into a mixing bowl, measure out 120g of unsalted butter and place that into the mixing bowl also. Measure 100g of caster sugar and 40g of chocolate powder, add both to the mixing bowl; next you'll need to add your healthy dollop of honey to the mixture, if you want to be specific in the measurements 4 tablespoons of honey. Next you'll want to give all of that a good mix just to make the whole thing a little easier to mix once the eggs are in there. 
Once all that's been mixed to a fluffy texture beat those two medium eggs in a separate bowl and once beaten chuck into the main bowl and mix everything together until you have a smooth but thick consistency without lumps. 
For the next step I used my my American Originals Teacake Maker to bake them, this only took 6 minutes, this was £40 from Boyes. However, for those of you who don't have this Teacake maker just use your over on 250F form15-20 mins, checking at regular intervals. 
Once they're fully baked give them 5 minutes to cool and decorate how you like! You'll have delicious cakes in no time! 
I hope you all enjoyed reading this and I hope you enjoy making these yummy cakes even more!

Love Katherine. X

Younique Moodstruck 3D Fibre Lashes: Product Review

Hi All! 
I've been wanting to get a few different types of reviews up for a while now and so far I've reviewed the last book I read, Maya Angelou's 'Letter To My Daughter' earlier in the week,  check that out here. However, I seem to be lacking beauty posts, so earlier in the week my Mam treat me to Younique Moodstruck 3D Fibre Lashes mascara, so I have no idea where it was from but I know it was around £25. This mascara is described as a simple three step process that results in dramatically lengthened and thickened eye lashes.
I'm not a great fan of false lashes, although I like the look, so I've been looking for a product like this for a while now and despite some issues I've found with using this mascara I do genuinely like this product.
The picture to the left, very bad quality and lighting as it is, shows how much longer the Moodstruck mascara can really make your eyes, I don't really have long eye lashes in general but it's pretty clear to see that this product stays true to its word when it says it gives a glamorous false lash look. 
To apply properly first put on a thin layer of your own favourite mascara and let it dry, personally I used my Natural Collection Clear mascara because if mascara is too bold I tend to look like my eyes are the size of dinner plates, not a good look for me. 
After the first coat of mascara has dried apply a layer of the Moodstruck Transplanting gel, personally I found this to be a bit thick and I had a few problems stopping my lashes from sticking together. 
Right after and while the transplanting gel is still wet apply the natural fibres to the lashes. This is where I encountered the major issues with clumping together, I found that the fibres would stick to one another and it would be pretty hard to separate them meaning I was spending more time keeping the lashes apart than I was applying the mascara  itself, a hassle nobody needs especially on those rushed days. 

After applying the fibres, wait for it to dry and apply a final coat of the transplanting gel to secure the fibres to the lashes and tah da! You have a pretty good false lash effect. 
Honestly for the price I wouldn't suggest it as the first mascara if you're looking for longer lashes, purely because of the issues with clumping and being slightly too thick, however my distaste for clumping is overridden by how much I really like the finished look all in all. I'd definitely recommend it if you have the money to spend on it and if you're looking for significantly visible lashes with length and volume, I love this product and I think it will be making a permanent home for itself in my make up bag. 

Love Katherine. X

Friday, 16 January 2015

Travel Bucket List

Hi All!
I've said before that I'm not much of a traveller, however, recently I've been hit by the travel bug and I'm desperate to get myself out in the big wide world and see some of the amazing views, experience the cultures and basically have a whole load of fun! I'm not a great fan of the idea of flying although I've never done it but I love the idea of taking a ferry or going on a cruise so I should be good on the water front. Anywho, I thought I'd do a quick post of some of the places I'd love to go if I get the chance.

Regardless of who you are, whether you hate or love hot places, travelling or whatever you absolutely can't deny that the Caribbean has some of the most beautiful views in the world, everything seems so bright there and clear, just the idea of lazing about on a beach or swimming in the sea is heavenly. I'm usually not one for hot countries but I have to go to the Caribbean at some point in my life... it's simply unavoidable. I do love exotic places and I don't think you get more exotic than there, in fact I'm hopefully going to go on holiday there before I start university in 2016 *fingers crossed*.

This may be a cliche but I am obsessed with the idea of doing a road trip through America and one place I would absolutely need to go is Hawaii, partly because I love Lilo & Stitch so much and partly because I really want a grass skirt... and flower necklace. In all seriousness Hawaii is a stunning place and I couldn't die happy if I didn't go there. Route 66 is something I've always wanted to do, as is Christmas shopping in NYC, pride marches in San Fransisco and Disney World Florida of course! I'm not even American and I love America!

France is probably the culture Capital of the world also quite possibly the most romantic country in the world. There is a certain... atmosphere about France that basically oozes with passion and delicacy. I think it would be brilliant to go there and experience the whole country in all it's elegant glory, I love the French Décor style and the accent, I can't speak French to save my life but I'd be willing to lean if it meant getting to go here even for just a nice weekend away. 

I mainly want to go to Germany because I feel a sort of connection with the place, from being really young I've really enjoyed learning of German culture, history and I'm currently in the process of beginning my first course in Entry Level German so I can speak, read and write it fluently before I hope to go when I'm 21. Pretty big goal but still. I also love Chocolate and Beer and Germany is pretty well known for those... OKTOBERFEST! 

I mentioned in a previous post that I would love to go to Ireland and I stand by that statement, Ireland feels like my home from home and if I had my way I would live in a country house in Ireland when I eventually settle down for good. I love typically bad weather like rain, snow, storms and the such and Ireland seems like the perfect place for that weather, also some of the views in the hills and countryside are gorgeous and I'd love to just go walking in the Irish hills. 
Just a note that all my images from this post are from Google and I take no credit for them at all. 
I truly hopes you all enjoyed reading this also, I mentioned earlier in the post that I love rain and snow... Well it's snowing here and I screamed with joy and almost terrified Aymie Louise to death!

Love Katherine. X

Thursday, 15 January 2015

The British Tag!

Hey Everyone! 
This post is the British Tag which I recently saw on Aymie Louise's blog and once I'd had a read through I knew I had to do it! I love everything that's quintessentially British and couldn't pass on the opportunity to do this tag. Read on and enjoy my follow England lovers! 

How many cups of tea a day do you have and how many sugars?
Well I always have a cup of tea on a morning, if it's a cold morning I'll have it with two sugars and a cup of tea before bed with no sugars, throughout the day though I can't really give a number because sometime I have so many cups of tea I genuinely lose count. Usually no sugars with those and definitely over 3 cups a day.

Favourite dunking biscuit? 
A plain Mcvities Rich Tea biscuit is the perfect dunking biscuit in my opinion. Although you've got to have some skill when dunking them because too long and they break off and that means a new cup of tea is needed, not long enough and it's overly crunchy.

Favourite part of your roast?
My veggies with gravy is definitely the best part of a roast, I particularly like Brussels sprouts and mashed potato. i like every part of a roast though and a roast isn't complete without Yorkshire Puds. 

Favourite quintessentially British pastime?
Oh for this I'd have to say that my favourite quintessentially British pass time has to be sitting down with a god book and a cup of tea and tea cake. There's nothing like it and the rainy British weather sets the perfect atmosphere for it I think. 

Favourite word?
Spiffing is one of my favourite British words, you never hear it used often enough. 

Cockney rhyming slang?
I have absolutely no idea and I won't put anything here because my knowledge of cockney rhyming slang is little to none and I may end up offending some cockney people. 

Favourite sweet?
Sherbert Lemons are my favourite sweets, I absolutely love them and every time I go to Beamish (a famous museum that tells the sorry of people in the North East of England during the Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian periods) I will always get myself some Sherbert Lemons without fail. I'm also inclined to remind everyone that Dumbledore was partial to our muggle sherbet lemons. 

What would your pub be called?
Not a clue, probably something like Queen Liz or a name along those lines, most pubs tend to to have royal themed names or animal themed names and if I named it after an animal it would end up being something daft like The Hamster and Horse... Best stick to a royal name. 

Favourite British person?
I have two, I love Benedict Cumberbatch so obviously he is my No 1. male Brit, he's fab in Sherlock and to be honest he's probably the most British British person there is on TV nowadays anyway. However, my favourite British female is definitely Emma Watson, I think that woman is fab and she's definitely a good role model for anyone to look to. 

Favourite shop/restaurant?
Any Cath Kidstone shop is my favourite, her designs are beautiful and so elegant, if I could live in one of her shops I would without hesitation. Plus she's an English designer so it fits in quite well with the British Tag. 

What British song pops into you head?
In the spirit of all things British the first song that popped into my head was Queen - Don't Stop Me Now. Also one of my favourite bands of all time!

I absolutely detest Marmite, you couldn't pay me to even get near a jar of the stuff. 
I hope everyone enjoyed reading this post. 

Love Katherine. X

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

My Top 10 Disney Movies!

Just a few DVDs in my Disney film collection
I'm a Disney addict and there's just no denying that fact anymore. I, Katherine H. J. S.  Simpson, am a complete and total Disney freak! I'm 19 years old and I am proud to say it, in all seriousness I do absolutely love Disney movies and there's nothing like a good Disney film to make you feel better, which is exactly why I'm planning on doing nothing tomorrow once I've been to the dentist, other than watching Disney films. I'm pretty sure that even people who claim not to like those movies do like at least one Walt Disney film and if you don't you're probably just denying your love for them. This is a list of my top 10 all time favourite Disney films from childhood to... well, now. This list is in no particular order other than my favourite movie right at the motto of this list. :)

Beauty and The Beast
Beauty and The Beast is one of the most brilliant Disney film I think I've ever seen, it's cliché in typical Disney style, nothing is ever straightforward with love stories but a beautiful lady falling head over heels for a beast? It actually does make a great love story and I really think this film shows the importance of looking beneath a person's appearance in order to find the wonderful person underneath the hard, guarded exterior of some people. For me I always thought this film was about showing young children everywhere that no matter who they are, everyone is loveable. 

Oliver and Company
Whoever doesn't like Oliver and Company must be crazy I'm sorry to say. I mean who doesn't love a story about a cute little kitten being abandoned on the streets of New York City, finding a loving home and attempting to fit in with a crowd of dogs? This is a lovely hear warming tale of friendship, belonging and finding your own way, if you've not seen it, give it a watch! The songs are lovely and Dodger the main Mutt is just fab, he has better street cred than me!

Brave is one of my absolute favourite Disney films and I could watch it over and over again and not get bored of it. I actually think this film is pretty relatable because almost all of us have, at one time or another, experienced firsthand or seen it happen to a friend, where you feel pressurised to be something you're not because of a parent's expectations. The fact that throughout this film you get to see the development of the relationship between Merida and her rather highly strung mother is hear warming to watch as the two meet in the middle and Merida is finally allowed to be herself. I adore the triplet brothers in this film and Billy Connolly was as epic as usual in this.

The Emperors New Groove
The Emperors New Groove is probably one of the funniest Disney films I've watched so far, Kuzco and Kronk are probably two of the funniest characters Disney has come up with yet purely because Kuzco is so self involved he's oblivious to everything that goes on around him and Kronk is so kind and gentle he's really naive because of it. The movie is just totally weird also because I mean... a selfish, arrogant, spoiled emperor plans to tear down a village to build a huge pool on top of someones home but in an attempt to kill this emperor a woman who wishes to become empress accidentally turns him into a llama and he must go about with a peasant until all is well again... where else but Disney?!

Cinderella is a total classic, I always smile when I watch this and I remember when my grandma used to sing Bippity Boppity Boo to me when I was tiny before I went to sleep. It's a lovely film and I think sometimes everyone feels like Cinderella or wants to be the girl/guy to go the ball and find their love. I know I've spent hours dreaming about what it would be like to be someone like Cinderella or having a fairy godmother. 

Lilo and Stitch
"Ohana means family, and family means no-one gets left behind  *sobs uncontrollably* I love this film so much I still actually know all of the hawaiian dance moves Lilo knocks out right at the beginning of the movie! Stitch is so cute and to watch a character progress from practically evil to loving best friend is adorable to watch, the soundtrack packed full of Elvis songs is definitely a bonus in my book too! I love that this film shows how even the strangest of little creatures can become part of the family if everyone is willing to accept them. 

I've always thought of Tarzan as one of those movies that tends to be forgotten about with many people yet I have no idea why so many people ignore this movie. It's a great little story with some pretty good twists and turn, particularly as the main characters adoptive parents are gorillas! The soundtrack consists mainly of Phil Collins which is just another plus in my book to be quite honest. I love the initial relationship between Jane and Tarzan but the researcher and study thing build a relationship of their own, it's really lovely to watch. 

Alice in Wonderland
I love Alice in Wonderland because it is so... Quirky. That's probably the only word to describe it really. Disney's adaptation of the book written by a drug addled Lewis Caroll, it's wonderfully wicked, good fun and totally loopy, the characters are so diverse and amusing that the whole film is like some weird hallucinogenic subliminal message. it's crazy and I adore it! The 2010 adaptation with Johnny Depp is absolutely wonderful too but then again, anything with Johnny Depp in usually is. 

Now, I'm sure pretty much everyone has seen or at the very least heard of the 2013 Disney 'breakthrough' Frozen, yes? Well if not you must be living under a rock, in a cave, in the alps, where there is no wifi. I refused to watch this film when it first came out purely because I'm the type of person that really doesn't like to hum on fad bandwagons, I prefer to wait until all the hoo-ha dies down. Awywho, I watched this movie in early 2014 and WOW I was genuinely surprised at how much I enjoyed it, I was over the moon that somebody has finally said it's not right for a woman to marry a man she's just met, the cuteness of Olaf and Sven and the fact that true loves kiss was two estranged sisters rather than a romantic coupling type affair. This was one of the biggest Disney films of the past 10 years and I can see why, the dynamics of the typical Disney style had been completely changed for the better, if I do day so myself!

Mulan is my ultimate favourite Disney film! Based on a true story of heroism, strength and bravery Fa Mulan goes to war disguised as a male soldier in order to stop her failing father from going to war and getting himself fatally hurt, this is a movie of female power and basically she's one of the original feminists. What a film! With the help of her dragon friend Mushu and a lovely cricket Mulan saves China from the wrath of the huns, singing some very catchy tunes as she goes along. I'll always love this film and it will always be my favourite. 
Of course I've missed quite a few movies off this list including: 

  • Snow White
  • The Little Mermaid
  • Lion King
  • A Goofy Movie
  • Lady and The Tramp
And SO many more.

In the past few years Disney has changed so much that all I can do is hope that when I have my children, they're fortunate enough to know the joys that some of these movies were able to bring me and millions of other young girls and boys. 

Love Katherine. X

Waiting to go to University and Gap Years

Hi All!
Recently I've been doing a lot of research into universities, courses and personal statement information because I'm off to uni next year hopefully and I just got thinking about why I chose to not to go to uni right away and why some other people might choose not to. This post is just a few reasons why people may want to take a gap year or why it might be a good thing to take a gap year, and a few reasons it isn't a good thing. So lets get right down to business, I hope you find this useful.
There are a number of reasons that people might want to take a gap year and a number of reasons why people don't want to but it can't be denied that, if spent productively, that time can be really helpful for University later on or just life experience in general. Gap years or choosing not to go to university right away gives you the opportunity to:

  • Travel and experience new places
  • Teach or study abroad
  • Work or live abroad
  • Save some money for university
  • Prepare yourself physically and emotionally for university
  • Get work experience
Personally, I took time out before Uni to try and get my health improved, in sixth form I was constantly ill and I was in and out of hospital a lot so I thought that it would be a good idea to take some time out to get my body and mind into a better place before I went to university as it can be a stressful time. I also took the opportunity to undertake another course and gain some more qualifications in the subject I'd like to continue at university, health and social care. If you're thinking of taking some time out before university there's a few things I would recommend you consider.
  • How easy would it be for you to settle back into your studies? Some people find it much harder to get back into the routine of revision, coursework and exams whereas others have said that gap years and time out made them feel refreshed and revitalised before getting back to the hard stuff. You don't need to make life any more difficult for yourself so really consider how that period of getting into a routine would affect you.
  • What would you do? It's a good idea to have some thoughts on what you'd like to do in your time out, learn new skills? Travel? Earn more money? At least that way you will have less chance of just wasting the time that could've been spent productively. 
  • Why are you taking time out? Are you doing it simply because everyone else is or because it's what you truly feel will be best for you? You may find that if you do it to follow the crowd and you end up easting that year/s you'll regret it.
  • Are you prepared? If you're thinking of travelling or going abroad to study/work are you prepared to leave home and be completely independent? Lots of students tend to go on gap years and while they eventually end up enjoying it they find that leaving home for such a long period of time is unnerving or worrying. Think, would you be okay with long times spent from home? Are you financially prepared to travel or work unpaid in order to get experience? Is that a realistic goal for you?
Overall gap years aren't always a good idea definitely not if you're only doing it because A) Everyone else is B) You think tattoos or piercings will be cool from some exotic land C) You simply can't be bothered with uni just yet D) You want more time to party. 
However, gap years or time out can provide you with so many new opportunities you can gain life experience, work experience, earn your own money, explore the world or your home country and one of the most important factors for me personally, that time can give you an awful lot of scope to truly consider what you want to do with your life. Since I started college I've been shown hundreds of jobs I never even considered for myself, I went into that course determined I would become a midwife, I've swapped to wanting to be a dentist, health visitor, social worker and now I believe I have finally settled on a career I wish to pursue. I want to eventually become a university lecturer of health and social care. I hope you all enjoyed reading this and have taken something useful away from this post. 

Love Katherine. X