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The X Factor Live Shows - with Just Eat

I WENT TO THE X FACTOR LIVE SHOWS AND IT WAS SO EXCITING... and breath.
Oh hi guys so yeah, no biggie (lies - it was totally a biggie) I went to see the live filming of The X Factor on Sunday with my gorgeous friend and photographer extraordinaire Zoe. We were invited by this year sponsors Just Eat and treated to the swanky VIP lounge to enjoy some bubbles and of course some tasty treats before the filming began. Now if you follow my Twitter and Instagram accounts I'm sure some of you have realised that I bloomin' love myself some X Factor. It's just great, I love seeing the journey each contestant makes and it always inspires me to take more chances and always follow my dreams. Anyway, before I go into the show and what actually happens behind the scenes, let's talk food - one of my fave subjects.
So before we headed to the studio it just felt necessary to get ready and build up the excitement with a takeaway. It was the weekend after all and what's a weekend without a click onto the Just Eat website to order some grub - am I right?!
I wanted picky foods so went for a massive order from Napoli Pizzeria in North London. It was soooo good, I mean, the amount of food was ridiculous and yet some how I managed to eat it all. From the Pizza itself - a total cheese fest to the loaded potato skins and chicken bites. Once again Just Eat sorted me right out before a night of dancing and cheering at The X Factor.
So now that my foodie fantasy has been shared (oh how I wish I was eating that again RN) it's time to get into the nitty gritty of what going to The X Factor is actually like. So first off we were greeted and taken up to the VIP lounge for some drinks and nibbles. The room was great, it had a huge X which everyone was taking pictures in front of. There was also pictures of all the judges dotted around which made me almost feel like a nervous auditionee. My favourite bit however was the photograph wall where you could strike a pose and even grab a microphone and give your best Leona Lewis impression... I was LIVING and convinced I was about to win the public vote.
The filming of the show itself is so interesting, seeing it all happening, all the set changes and set ups. The studio is amazing, so so cool and full of lights, cameras, lasers and crew running up and down making sure everything is perfect. It's just so interesting to watch what actually goes into making the live shows work. The judges were all really nice, taking selfies and chatting to the audience in some of the breaks. I have a soft spot for Simon and he was a s fabulous as ever, when one women shouted out "We love you Simon" he cooly responded with "I know" in typical Simon fashion. 
As for the contestants, we saw the Girls and the Boys perform on the Sunday as the Saturday show had the Groups and the Overs, they were all so good. Like, I was actually amazed how amazing each of them were. Seeing them live is a completely different experience to seeing them on TV. My highlight of the night had to be Rai-Elle, her version of 'They Won't Go When I Go' was stunning, it gave me goosebumps!
We also got to hear Kevin reprise his version of 'Fast Love' in the hope of winning the Prize Fight which in the end went to Lloyd singing 'A Different Corner' beautifully. In between the filming when the adverts were on the audience were singing, playing X Factor quizzes and having 1 Direction dance parties, it really was all go go go. When the show was wrapped and Dermot said his goodbyes and charmed each and every one of us with his cheeky smile we headed back to the VIP lounge for another glass of fizz and a meet and greet with some of the contestants.
I have to admit, I was slightly star-struck when I saw Rak-Su in the lounge, I was ready, happily stood in front of Myles... those eyes though?! I got a picture and a selfie and was well and truly chuffed.
Both myself and Zoe had the best time and I have to say a huge thank you to the Just Eat team for inviting us and for the X Factor team for putting on such a fantastic show. I'm so excited for the next few shows, the final is always a night I spend with my friends and family with a takeaway (I'm thinking Chinese) and our phones at the ready to vote. Eeekkkkk, not long to go! Who's you favourite?

K x
*This post was kindly sponsored by Just Eat*
Photography by - Zoe Griffin 

Unapologetic B*tch - Why we need to stop saying sorry and own our success

So I reckon the time has come to address something I for one am very guilty of and it wasn't until recently that I realised I was doing it so much. I was on the phone to Bethany, one of the lovely PR girls I work with on a regular basis, chatting about upcoming collaborations and different brands I could potentially work with and every time she paid me a complement or praised my work I would bat it off, responding with things like "Oh I'm just lucky" or "Ah well it was the product that really made it look good." At one point she stopped me and said "Kate! Accept the compliment. You work hard and you deserve the praise." If I'm honest it stunned me slightly, I didn't know how to respond and so I said... sorry. 
Sorry?! For what exactly I don't know but that's what I said. We laughed and she left me with one simple piece of advice - "ditch the apologies and own your success."
I decided to write this post because I'm sure I'm not the only one that does this, even though I know how hard I work, I know what it's taken to get this blog to where it is now and I know how many countless night I spend editing pictures and typing up content. I know all this and yet still when my achievements are acknowledged I shut down... what's up with that?
 Top - H&M, Skirt - H&M, Glasses - C/O Ray-Ban via Glasses Direct
Necklace - Daniella Draper, Shoes C/O - ASOS
Photography - Zoe Griffin
Putting my feminist hat on for a sec, I think one of the reasons I, along with so many other ladies out there do this is because of the self-deprecating female culture we live in. 
Yes - so many times I've seen and heard the words 'arrogant' and 'bossy' being thrown around when a woman even dares to stand up and own it. We're conditioned to believe that boasting is unbecoming but to be proud of what you do and to say 'yep, I did a good job' isn't something that should be frowned upon. 
We need to start admitting to our own hard work and success. I'm not saying to walk around thinking you're the sh*t because girl, you never are - there's always bigger and better and the moment you think you're the best is the moment you lose. But to walk with your head held high and say a simple 'thank you' when a compliment is thrown your way is just you reminding yourself of your own capability, power and strength.
So yeah, say goodbye to the "Oh it was nothing" and "I could've done better." Never underestimate yourself!
Sometimes we all need reminding of our own power so that our hard work and the rewards that come from it don't get lost. For the record, the day after my chat with Bethany I received a compliment from another client I'd worked for via email, my reply - "Thank you, I worked really hard and I'm so happy the client is pleased with it" and you know what...
 it felt great!

K x

The City Of Belfast - Best Bits

Hi guys, today's post is about my trip to beautiful city of Belfast!
Last week I took my mum for a little birthday trip, we were there for three days in total and honestly had the most amazing time. There is just SO much to do!! The city is jam packed with culture and history which is exactly what both mum and I love, so as soon as we touched down off we went to explore.
First up and an historical landmark in it's own right, we stayed at the Europa Hotel. It was the perfect destination as it's so central and made everything we wanted to visit within walking distance. 
The overall decor from the lobby to the rooms and suites is elegant and timeless and you really are spoilt for choice when it comes to drinking and dining. From the bistro to the piano bar (my personal favourite) the hotel really does cater for all. They also made my mum feel like a Queen with lot's of birthday treats along the way which was so lovely. Every member of staff we met was helpful and full of great suggestions as to what to check out whilst visiting the city.
Our room was great, the bed was HUGE! For me as always, I love a good tub and this one came with a rubber ducky so obviously got top marks from me. Food wise, we were well and truly spoilt and dined on a three course meal at the Causerie restaurant which was honestly so delicious, both my mum and I struggled to finish (but totally did haha) before ending the meal with a glass of bubbles... check out the vlog over on Youtube to get a closer look.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hsxv-0FzPo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hsxv-0FzPo
So first thing's first, when I asked people for recommendations everyone and I really do mean every single person I asked said to do the black cab tour. I am so glad we did and it's my #1 recommendation for anyone planning a visit. We booked with the hotel concierge and got picked up bright and early in the morning. A black cab with our local cabby Lawrence for a private tour of Belfast. 
There are two options with the tour, either the standard touristy landmarks OR (the one we picked) the more 'real' Belfast, taking us to the peace wall - which we signed- and to the sites on both sides of the historic 'troubles.'  My mum remembers it all very well however even though I know of the IRA and the friction between the two sides it was so interesting to be taken around the neighbourhoods, each of which are covered with murals and protest paintings. We'd drive around whilst Lawrence talked us through what happened in each area and then get out to take some pictures and to have a walk around.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hsxv-0FzPo
Next up we have the first thing I actually booked when we decided to visit Belfast, it is of course the Titanic museum. It was so great and really interactive, full of facts and amazing videos and footage of the ship itself. The ticket also came with a tour of sister ship S.S Nomadic where mum and I both recreated THAT Jack/Rose moment.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hsxv-0FzPo
To complete our trio of cultural trips we head to the old Crumlin Jail.
Closing it's doors in 1996 it is now a museum and tourist attraction. We booked onto the walking tour and lived out our Bad Girls fantasy, discovering what life was really like at 'The Crum' executions, escapes and all. Again it was another Belfast experience I would very much recommend.




With the museums, tours and attractions covered the other thing you must do in Belfast is simply WALK! We literally just walked around and saw so many amazing hidden streets, next to the Duke of York's pub was Commerical Court which is full of street art. Other than that head to the famous Crown bar for a pint (or half) of Guinness. Which, turns out - I loved! Whilst in the Crown we met two lovely chaps, Sam and John. We all said cheers and chatted the afternoon away... Everyone in Belfast is so lovely and always up for a chat.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hsxv-0FzPo
So there we are, a fabulous trip and city break to Belfast. Both myself and my momma had the best time, a huge thank you to the team at the Europa for making our stay so wonderful... where to next?
Be sure to watch the vlog and see even more of what we got up to on our trip.

K x