Sunday, 18 March 2018


Blazers have never really been my thing. I tried them when I was younger but I guess I always felt too young, like the style was too rigid and mature for me back then. But in the past few months, they’ve slowly worked their way back into my wardrobe. It started for work, having a blazer to throw on over a dress was a great way to smarten up the look and make it more formal, plus having that added layer kept me warm throughout the cold autumn and winter. Since then blazers have become somewhat of a hero piece for me. And not just for work, I find myself reaching for them more and more for my everyday outfits as well.

I can’t quite explain the feeling I get when I slip a blazer on, other than saying it gives me confidence. I think it’s that typical idea of the suit and the power that can often represent. I for one can in no way pull off a full suit, but a blazer is such an easy piece to have, you can add it to any outfit and it just adds that formal touch. They can look just as amazing with a pair of cigarette trousers and shirt, a colourful dress, or a simple plain tee and blue jeans.

They’ve become so popular that at the moment there is absolutely no shortage of choices when it comes to blazers. There are all different colours, shapes, fits and prints on offer so there is truly a style that can suit everyone. I personally like a longline style in a classic check print. Enter this tartan blazer of dreams from Topshop. It’s a completely different take on your typical checked blazer, in a gorgeous purple and white colourway. It screamed Clueless the minute I saw it and I knew I needed it (one of my favourite movies ever, by the way!). It was actually quite a brave choice for me considering I’m still relatively new to the blazer thing, but I’m all about taking risks when it comes to fashion. I’ve opted to wear it on the days I feel like my confidence is lacking and I need a bit of a boost, and it’s always delivered. Now we’re approaching spring, I think they’re a great choice to wear as a jacket as well, because let’s face it it’s rare you don’t need some form of outerwear here in the UK.

Are you a fan of blazers?

Katie xx

Blazer Topshop
Tshirt no longer available Topshop
Skirt Asos
Boots Topshop
Bag Primark

Sunday, 4 March 2018


Confession time; I am terrible with money. It’s probably no surprise given how much I love to shop, but I have to start being responsible. I’m going to get really personal with you all and give you a bit of background into the state of my personal finances. As many of you know, I spent quite a few years bed ridden from Fibromyalgia, and then a couple more years getting better at a tediously slow pace, but getting better nonetheless. It took a long time for me to learn to live with the pain and start working again. Obviously, I had to start by just working part time a few hours each week, and as I continued to make progress I was ultimately able to increase how many hours I worked. After so many years of struggling and basically going through hell, once I started working and had an income again the last thing I wanted to do was worry about being careful with money. In other words, I treated myself. The thing I wanted more than anything was a holiday. I had 7 years without one, and all I wanted was to go back to Disney World once I knew I could handle it physically. This is where I was very naughty money wise. Yes, I got my dream holiday which I feel was highly deserved to Disney World in December 2016, and had the absolute best time. But then 2017 started, I had a really bad flare up of my pain (which is why I had to take a long break from blogging), I worked extremely hard to get better again, got a new job, and then thought I deserved to go back to Disney World AGAIN in November 2017, because if I haven’t said it enough in every other post, it’s my favourite place in the world and I LOVE IT SO MUCH!! I worked my butt off doing overtime at work to pay for it, and I was extremely careful with my money because I had something to save for, something I desperately wanted. And that was all fine. But then when I got there this time, I went a little bit crazier than usual, bought wayyyyy too much stuff, had to take out a 0% credit card and I’m now stuck with paying it off. And to worsen things, we’ve had to buy some big homeware purchases in the last few weeks such as a new bed, which was not cheap. So to sum up, we have debt.

Since the start of 2018, Lance and I have both been focused on paying off our credit cards so that we can finally start saving to buy a house of our own. I put a lot of pressure on myself of where I should be at this point in my life and compare myself to others my age who have already got on the property ladder. But I have to remind myself I lost more than 6 years of my life where I couldn’t do anything!! That’s a long time. I’ve had to start all over again. But for 2018, we’re getting rid of our debt and making a start on saving a deposit. We’re determined.

With all that in mind, it seemed very fitting when I received an invitation to attend giffgaff’s blogger workshop event in Manchester to learn about their new personal finance service and ways to be thriftier with your money. So on a bright and sunny but very cold Saturday, I headed to The Principal hotel in Manchester, which is absolutely gorgeous by the way. I know I’m most definitely not the only one concerned about my finances, so I want to share more details about the day with you all in the hopes you might find it beneficial, as I certainly did.

The actual event was split into three different workshops. There was quite a large group of Manchester based bloggers in attendance, so breaking us off into smaller groups meant each of the workshops was much more focused.

First up was jewellery making using t-shirt material with the lovely Hannah from Tea and Crafting. Let me just say, it was much harder than I anticipated. She showed us a clever technique of basically finger knitting with the 2 different fabrics we had chosen, resulting in a chunky plait like piece that could be worn as a necklace or headband. Truth be told, I’ve actually always been interested in learning how to make jewellery, probably as a result of spending too much time on Pinterest and Etsy and thinking ‘oh that looks like something I could do too’. But the technique Hannah showed us was a great way to make something and have it cost you absolutely nothing. You can do it just by cutting up an old t-shirt or two for the material. It just shows there are ways to create something new yourself with things you already own, and it doesn’t have to cost you much, if anything at all. It was my first time crafting, it took A LOT of patience, but it is a great way to save some money. There are tons of ideas like this on Pinterest and tutorials you can watch, and it can actually be quite fun and rewarding to have actually made something yourself.

Next up there was a cooking workshop with Duncan from Herb & Spice in Manchester. I don’t know about any of you guys, but Lance and I spend far too much money on food! We set ourselves a food budget, we go in armed with a concrete shopping list, and we walk out proud that we stuck to it. But at some point in the week we realise we didn’t buy enough, we need other bits, or I’m craving chocolate, and the money goes up. Then the weekend comes round, we’ve had crappy weeks at work, and we want a takeaway. It ends up all adding up and by the end of the month we’re sat wondering where the hell our money has gone. We’ve said for a long time now that we need to start cooking more (and by that I obviously mean me, Lance can barely make toast), but the idea of having to sift through a million recipes online is exhausting just to think about, and I’ve never been a fan of cook books as I am a really fussy eater, chances are I’d only like a couple of the dishes featured. Plus I’m that addicted to the internet that I have to read reviews before I buy or make anything, and you don’t have that option on the page of a book.

Duncan made us a Moroccan spiced sweet potato, spinach, apricot and chickpea parcel with spicy tomato compote. It was a vegan dish, so not only way it healthy but all the ingredients are inexpensive to buy as it doesn’t contain meat. It was quick to make, and looked easy enough that even a cooking newbie like me could probably make it somewhat successfully. Like I said, I’m a very fussy eater, and I do mean VERY fussy, so it wasn’t a dish I personally liked, but everyone else there seemed to absolutely love it, there was only my plate that didn’t end up empty. The point was to show that you can cook a delicious meal that isn’t going to break the bank. It showed me how easy cooking can be, and I definitely need to stop putting it off and start making more meals myself rather than resorting to ready meals and takeaways. It might take more effort but it’s ultimately going to help us save, so it’s worth it in the long run.

Our final part of the workshop was a talk about personal finance and more information about giffgaff’s new service, giffgaff gameplan. The idea behind this new project is simple really; they want to help you better manage your money and make it go further, helping you to then achieve your financial goals. Essentially it’s creating a game plan on how you can be in control of your own money and get to where you want to be. It’s a service that is still being developed, and they’re making sure that they’re different from a bank or any other financial service by asking their members to get involved and help shape it, making sure it’s the type of service that you actually want and that will really help you reach your goals, whatever they may be. Banks aren’t always the most honest or transparent, and that is not what giffgaff want to emulate. In their own words, ‘giffgaff gameplan is a smart switching service, for financially independent millennials, who want to be a smarter version of themselves, through personalised suggestions and actions’.

As part of the talk, we had a bit of a pop quiz we had to take, with questions about finance to see how much we really knew. To be honest I always thought I was pretty clued up and had a good grasp on things financially speaking, but alas this 9 question quiz proved me very, very wrong. I got 1 out of 9 people! I know nothing. The only thing I got right was what APR stands for! So it’s safe to say I definitely learnt a lot.

The whole event was lovely, we were treated to a gorgeous lunch spread, unlimited coffee and wine, and it helped put into perspective the fact that there are simple changes you can make to help you save money. You just need a plan. It is becoming more of a focus for me personally, and I know a lot of you will probably be in the same boat. Hopefully this will have provided some helpful information or inspiration for you.

If you'd like more information on giffgaff gameplan, you can check out their website here. They have lots of great tools and advice on there too, including a free credit report, credit card comparison, and tips on how to budget and set goals. You can also find out how you can get involved in shaping giffgaff's new service.

Katie xx

Other links
Tea and Crafting
Herb & Spice Catering


Wednesday, 28 February 2018


I have always been partial to a check print, whether it’s a cosy tartan check for autumn/winter or a delicious gingham for spring/summer, I’m going to have some form of checks within my wardrobe. The SS18 collections had a variety of checks on show, and the high street seems to be following suit and spoiling us with an array of styles in a rainbow of colours.

I don’t know about you guys, but I am definitely starting to think about the warmer months ahead, especially with how insanely cold it is at the moment. I‘m putting far more thought into any purchases, asking myself if it’s going to be a piece that will take me through to summer and if I’m actually going to get my wear out of it. Enter this oh so pretty grey and white checked dress from Fashion Union. It’s very much a spring dress with the soft shades and feminine peplum shape, it has lovely ruffles on the shoulders as well. I knew it was a style I’d love as soon as I saw it but was reluctant to order it yet. Unfortunately I’ve had to learn the hard way of what happens when you wait to buy something and it ends up being sold out and completely impossible to find, so I figured I’d buy it now and save it. But of course that didn’t end up happening because I’m completely impatient and wanted to wear it straight away (anyone else the same, or is it just me?).

I personally really like the checks on checks look and clashing different prints, so for this particular look I’ve added a borg and faux fur bomber shaped jacket from New Look to keep me from freezing, because seriously it is so freaking cold! I love the textured patchwork pattern and how it clashes with the print on the dress. It probably shouldn’t work in any way, but I actually ended up really liking the two pieces together and it was a great way to be able to start wearing a pretty spring dress now. To finish my outfit off I went for my knee high snake boots from Asos which I’ve had for a couple of years now. I thought they’d add an interesting element to the rest of the look and the colours tied in well. Plus I just look for any opportunity to wear them, so there’s that too.

I do think this dress is going to be perfect once the temperature starts to warm up in the UK and I won’t need to wear 2 pairs of tights every day. I’m planning on wearing it with some white trainers and a round basket bag at the earliest instance.

Katie xx

Jacket New Look
Boots no longer available

Sunday, 25 February 2018


It’s been quite some time since my last beauty post, but since I started blogging again I really want to start incorporating more beauty as it is such a big part of my life and something I love. With that said, I wanted to share a new (ish) palette that has become a go to for me.

Anastasia Beverly Hills is one of my absolute favourite make up brands. I use quite a few products from them, with their eyeshadows and highlighters in particular being completely amazing (I use them 99% of the time!). It’s a brand that never used to be that readily available in the UK, so I would stock up on favourites and new products to try when I or my family travelled to the US. The prices end up being cheaper over there too, so on my most recent holiday to Orlando, Florida, I took full advantage and added quite a few more bits to my ABH collection.

One of the new pieces I picked up was the Sugar Glow Kit, so I thought I would do a quick review for you today. I’ve had it for a couple of months now so I’ve been able to form a true opinion. This palette was part of the limited edition holiday collection but it is still available to buy at the moment.

The Sugar Glow Kit is a highlight palette which contains 4 dreamy shades. Described as a collection of metallic powder highlighters for intense luminosity to give a radiant glow, all 4 can be layered and applied wet or dry.

The kit contains 3 shades which have been previously released within other ABH palettes, and 1 new one. I actually haven’t had a highlight kit before so all of these shades are new for me. Before I purchased this palette, I’ve been using Anastasia’s Illuminators as my highlighters, which by the way I can’t rave enough about. I still have a little bit left of Starlight which was my favourite (the tiny bit that’s clinging on is saved for special occasions now), and I then got So Hollywood which I’ve used pretty much every single day since I got it around a year ago. The Illuminators are heartbreakingly (for me) no longer available, so I've been paying more attention to possible replacements. I’ve been interested in the Glow Kits that Anastasia often release for a while, but none of them have ever caught my attention where I’ve thought I’d actually use all of the shades included. The Sugar Kit looked amazing though, and when I went to look at it in person and swatch it I fell in love with the colours.

The 4 shades are-
Marshmallow: White pearl
Gumdrop: Duo chrome pink lilac
Starburst: Icy Pink
Butterscotch: Honey gold

Outdoor Swatches; from L to R Starburst, Butterscotch, Gumdrop, Marshmallow

Indoor Swatches; from L to R Starburst, Butterscotch, Gumdrop, Marshmallow

Marshmallow has been my favourite so far, I love the more white based highlights as they tend to suit me more with me being pale, plus it does remind me of my beloved Starlight. I’m always worried some shades in palettes like this will end up being too dark or pigmented on my skin tone, but all of these work well for me. The formula is very buildable and silky smooth so applies really well, making it very easy to control how much you’re applying and build for a higher coverage. They are very ‘glowy’, with Butterscotch having a bit more sparkle to it with some larger flecks of glitter. For those who prefer a very subtle highlight, I don’t think these are going to be for you. I however absolutely love them and have really enjoyed having more variety of highlighters all in the same, convenient palette. I definitely would recommend if you’re like me and love a good glow. I apply mine along the top of my cheekbones and take around a little above my brow bone, under my brows in the arch, the inner corner of my eyes, down the bridge of my nose and a little on the cupids bow of my lip. I only apply them dry with a brush and haven’t tried them wet yet, but I’d imagine it would be a great way to get a more intense glow. They tend to last a full day as well, which is always an important factor for me.

In terms of how the formula compares to the Illuminators, I have to admit I still personally prefer the Illuminators. They’re a little more pigmented and denser, so you need less product when applying as they are so smooth and just apply like a dream. The shades in the Glow Kit are still amazing; I’m just biased towards the Illuminators. I will say though that the Glow Kit shades aren’t quite as intense which would probably be a plus for many, but they are still very buildable for those that do want a stronger finish.

I can’t say enough good things about the Sugar Glow Kit and I’m so pleased I picked it up. I think I’ll be more interested to try more of the Glow Kits when they’re released as well as it works out quite good value for money when you’re getting 4 shades. My highlighters tend to really last me a while as well so I know this is a palette I’m going to be able to enjoy using for a long time to come. Definitely recommend!

Have you tried the Sugar Glow Kit or any of the other Glow Kits from Anastasia Beverly Hills?

Katie xx

Sugar Glow Kit is £41 and is available at Anastasia Beverly Hills, Feel Unique, Cult Beauty and Beauty Bay.


Saturday, 17 February 2018


Do you ever see someone wearing something and love it on them but know full well you just couldn’t pull it off? Well, that’s my relationship with hats. There are so many styles I think look amazing on other people and then when I try them look like a total idiot that will attract an array of questionable looks from people if I were to step out in public.

This past season it’s been baker boy hats that have stolen the attention, and after a long time of wanting to try them I finally caved and ordered one from Topshop. And boy am I glad I did. I still feel very much outside of my comfort zone, but out of the oh so many hats I’ve tried this little baby is actually flattering on my small head. I decided to go for just a classic black option that I know will work with any outfit, in the classic baker boy style. They’ve been such a huge trend that you can find so many different colours, materials and variations on it, and I have to say I am quite tempted to order another one that’s more of a statement piece now that I’ve dipped my toe in this sartorial pool, so to speak.

I kept the rest of this look quite casual, with my navy cord pinafore from Monki, and the dreamiest of pastel pink striped tops, also from Topshop. Stripes are another big trend at the moment, and this top literally grabbed my attention whilst I was just passing through Topshop recently. It’s a lovely, soft cotton material featuring yellow, navy and white stripes. I did go a size up as I wanted it quite oversized, but I actually wish I’d stayed true to size as it is quite a loose fit anyway, so bare that in mind if you’re thinking of ordering.

To compliment the baby pink of my top, I went for my fuchsia block heeled ankle boots from Dune (bonus: they’re currently in the sale). These boots are honestly the comfiest boots I own, so much so I have them in red as well which I’ve worn to death and I’m considering getting the black too. To finish off I have my beloved Danielle Nicole Ariel cross body bag, as I was in a full on Disney mood. They’ve just released some Tangled inspired bags as well, which is one of my all-time favourite Disney films, and the Rapunzel one is currently very high on my wish list. The more I use my Ariel one the more I can try and justify it to myself, or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.

So there we have it, baker boy hats for the win in my book. Adding a hat is a great way to finish off your outfit and bring something extra to it. Plus they come in very handy on bad hair days/days you need to wash your hair but just can’t be bothered/saving your hair from the constant rain and miserable weather (in Manchester, at least).

Is the baker boy a style you’re a fan of?

Katie xx

Pinafore Monki (no longer available, similar here)
Top Topshop
Boots Dune
Hat Topshop
© The Style Blossom

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