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Driving Home For Christmas



First things first - Merry Christmas you beautiful bunch!

Christmas already... how'd that happen? Not a clue, but I for one could not be happier. I'm currently sat in the passenger seat 'driving home for Christmas' with my best friend Holly. Well she's driving, I'm just sat typing away whilst simultaneously belting my tata's off to Mariah Carey's 'All I want for Christmas.' We're both heading back home to Grimsby to spend the festive period eating, drinking and dancing with our nearest and dearest and I cannot wait!


Coat c/o - Boden, Jumper c/o - Boden, Skirt - Vintage, Tights - M&S,
Shoes c/o - JustFab, Glasses c/o - Rayban via Pretavoir, Necklace c/o - Boden 
Photography by - Zoe Griffin


Anyhu, today I thought I'd share with you my full on (call me Mrs Claus) festive outfit. Sometimes all you need is a fabulous coat to spice up an outfit and this Boden beauty does just that. Not only does the gorgeous deep red colour give me all the Christmas feels but the coat is velvet and feels SOOOOO damn good, winning! Combining it with an all black ensemble, a roll neck jumper, leather skirt and black tights, finishing the look off with a pair of gold capped boots and gold pendant necklace. This get up has become a festive fail safe for sure!


So there we have it, a cute little number completely and utterly inspired by the big man (Santa) himself. I hope you all have the most wonderful Christmas and over indulge to your hearts content. I for one will be picking up a champagne glass as soon as my feet hit the ground on Grimsby soil and there it will stay for the entire week! Fingers crossed you get all you've dreamt of underneath the Christmas tree but most importantly get to make memories with your loved ones because that's really what Christmas is all about. So go forth and be merry. 
Happy Christmas everybody, have a great one!

Kate x

Staycation : The Wilderness Reserve


A few months back, I was lucky enough to be whisked away to the beautiful Wilderness Reserve in Sibton park, Suffolk. I was invited by the wonderful team at Tenderstem for two days of fun, relaxation and (of course) delicious food. On arrival myself and the other guests, a mixture of journalists and bloggers (shout out to my fellow blogging babes Kristabel, Lucia and Melissa) were greeted with afternoon tea. Now for those of you that know me or have followed me and the blog for a while, you'll know that afternoon tea is a favourite of mine and this one did not disappoint. An array of yummy bites, from scones, brownies, strawberries and of of course a very special Tenderstem quiche...epic!
Once we had all eaten enough to put ourselves into a food coma, we were each taken to our rooms to freshen up. Whilst at the the wilderness reserve we stayed in the newest part of the estate, the walled garden. A stunning eight bedroomed cottage, with a private garden and plenty of room to relax, dine and unwind.
I adored my room, honestly the moment I stepped in I never wanted to leave! It's given me some serious #HouseGoals and is something I'd love to recreate when I own my own home one day *crosses fingers.* After we'd all unpacked and settled in, we re-ensembled for a glass of bubbly and to set off on a treasure hunt around the estate.
The estate itself is a collection of luxury cottages and manor houses, with the main grade-II listed Georgian country house dating back to 1827. It is very Downtown Abbey-esque and perfect for walking, hiking, biking and wildlife viewing. Home to 100 different bird species along with hundreds of friendly sheep, the estate is buzzing with life.
Having walked every inch and explored every corner of the estate finding clues and solving riddles, we headed back to the walled garden to compare answers and find out which team won... we did, woop! We were congratulated with even more champagne and posh choccies - my kind of celebration!
Onto the main event, dinner! The Tenderstem team well and truly spoiled us. Having all gone off and enjoyed some down time, I took full advantage of the stunning outdoor pool. We all changed and gathered again for a gin and tonic and to take the Tenderstem 'food personality' quiz (you can take it here) after another gin cocktail, I was starving. Luckily as soon as my stomach started to grumble the chef invited us to take our seats as dinner was ready to be served.
We talked, ate, laughed and drank to our hearts content. Sat around the table with just candle light, it really was the perfect autumnal evening. After an amazing three course meal, we all had a glass of red wine, said our good nights and went off to our rooms to enjoy an early night. For me of course this was the perfect opportunity to test out the bath! So there I was, glass of wine in one hand, book in the other, lazing away in a bubble bath of dreams. It was pure bliss, so much so I had another one in the morning before we left...sorry bout it.
After a good nights sleep we all met on the outdoor patio from some freshly cooked breakfast. For me - eggs benedict (with a sausage on the side because... why not eh?) It was the loveliest getaway, short but definitely sweet. I left feeling totally relaxed and recharged. The Wilderness Reserve is the most beautiful setting, I couldn't recommend it enough for a staycation here in the UK. It's the perfect destination to switch off and enjoy the beauty of nature.
Thank you to team Tenderstem for inviting me along and for feeding me some seriously gorgeous food!

Kate x

CHANEL : JOUES CONTRASTE POWDER BLUSH


Oh Chanel, how I adore you! Whenever I think luxury, I think Chanel. It's a brand that I've grown up with, seeing my mum dab Chanel No.5 onto her wrists as a little girl, I couldn't wait to be big enough to have my own (although I was once caught splashing it on my neck age seven...sorry mum!) My first ever taste of Chanel was a red lipstick my best friend Holly bought me for my 21st birthday and now in my mid twenties I've acquired quite the collection!
Today I'm talking all about the gorgeous 'Joues Contraste Powder Blush' and in particular the shade - 'Fleur de Lotus.' It's a peachy/pinky coral colour that gives my cheeks a lovely pop whenever applied and leaves a luminescent sheen to my skin. When applying you'll need a light hand so to not go overboard and end up with clown cheeks! The brush however is super soft and helps to evenly distribute the powder providing perfect blend-ability.
Now as with all Chanel beauty products, the packaging is classic and chic. A simple black compact with the signature double C gracing the front. It's petite and fits perfectly into all of my handbags, with bonus points for having a mirror inside...always handy for any quick-dash fix ups! 
So if you're in the market for a little luxury this christmas and want to add some rosy to those lovely cheeks of yours, I say save, splash out and grab yourself a Joues Contraste Powder Blush. You don't use a lot per application so it lasts a good while and is a lovely treat, be it for yourself or fora loved one.

Kate x

Origins

For quite some time now I've been writing more personal/lifestyle posts, positioning them alongside outfit shots of me in my latest (I hope) fashionable outfits. And while that is all well and good and my god do I feel a whole lot better when I have a good ol' rant and get everything off my chest, sometimes it's just nice to go back to basics.
So with that said I thought I'd share my latest OOTD post (that's outfit of the day FYI) simply going through each piece step by step and why I paired them together.
Lets kick off then shall we, with this gorgeous camel coat. Now funnily enough I've never owned a camel coloured coat before and I own a lot of coats (and I really do mean A LOT.) It's something that had been on my wish list for quite some time but I'd never really found one that flattered me. As soon as I caught sight of this one from Boden however, I was sold! I just loved the cut and the low set buttons and knew that for me it was 'the one' - the knight in shining (camel coloured) armour I'd been waiting for.
To give a nod to the autumnal tones we're currently surrounded by, I paired it with a red cashmere jumper from Boden and a pair of frayed ankle grazer jeans from ASOS. The cashmere is SO soft, I could quite literally live in it forever (to be honest, I practically have been for the past two weeks...my bad) Cashmere is just one of those materials that instantly screams luxury as soon as you put it on and this one added that much needed pop colour to liven up the earthy tone of the coat. The jeans are my everyday staples - high wasted + skinny fit = perfection.
Tying the whole look together, I went for these gorgeous backless leather loafers again from Boden... bit of a theme here eh? I love the matchy matchy vibes of the two reds set apart by the denim jeans and *bonus* the shoes are super comfy which makes for one happy Kate!
For me this outfit is spot on for autumnal style. Yes it may be a tad cliche, camel and red is hardly a ground breaking colour palette for the autumn months but I love it nonetheless! It's the perfect, cosy, everyday outfit and from me that gets a big thumbs up!

Kate x

Photography by - The GY Photographer
Coat c/o - Boden, Jumper c/o - Boden, Jeans c/p - ASOS, Shoes c/o - Boden, Glasses c/o - Ray Ban via Pretavoir

crossroads


We all have those moments, crossroads, fight or flight, whatever you want to call it - when you can stay and have your security knowing that things will never change, or you can push yourself and make a difference.
There will be a time in your life when you want something (or someone) so badly that the thought of not having it kills you. Sometines it works out and sometimes it doesn't and when it doesn't it hurts like a bitch! Of course in the made for TV movie version you'd get the job, get the guy and you'd be driving off into the sunset as the credits come rolling in, but that my sweets is not real life.
Yes, sadly not all choices we make at the all important cross roads in life turn out quite the way we want but, and it's a big but (think J-Lo) you've got to take risks because thats how greatness happens!
Messy, heart thumping, soul destroying, tear inducing failure is part and parcel of the amaizng thing that is life and if you've never experienced it, then you're either very lucky or playing it safe and safe - leads to medorocricy and who on earth wants that?
In my lifestime (26 years FYI) I've had my heart bruised once and my heart broken once. Did it hurt? Yes, do I regret it? Not one bit. I've also had several jobs, some I've loved and others I've hated and again, do I regret any of them? Nope. I believe that every person that enters my life enters it for a reason and every experience I go through, the good, the bad and the ugly teaches me a lesson. All the stumbles, all the bumps are what (in the end) makes us stronger. Of course at the time all you want to do is scream and punch a pillow and thats fine, go for it. Imagine your boss/boyfriends face on that pillow and go hell for leather! Then once you are done, pick yourself up and get yourself back out there. Yes it can be humiliating, especially in those instences where you've put your heart on the line and bared your soul only to be rejected.
The most important thing though is to not hold onto those negative emotions for a single second longer than nessecery, because all that negative energy will become toxic to both your mind and your body. You deserve to feel good and you don't have to rely on anyone else to make that happen, love yourself and never ever give up on yourself! Always fight, take the risks, take the chances and take action, there's no other way.
'Yesterday does not exist and tomorrow may never come' so it's up to you to figure out how to make your life better today, starting with right now.
So, the next time you're at a crossroads in your life DON'T PLAY IT SAFE! Never quit and never give up, even if you fall flat on your face once, twice, three times - learn from it, dust yourself off and I guarantee eventually your risks will pay of.

Kate x

Photography by - Zoe Griffin
Bomber jacket - Stradivarius, Dress - Think Bubbles, Shoes c/o - ASOS, Glasses c/o - Superdrug

Restaurant review - Don Giovanni

You simply can’t beat a mid afternoon dinner date. Especially when it's with your best friend in a city you absolutely adore! Earlier this week I was invited to the wonderful Don Giovanni restaurant in Manchester, just on Oxford Road to feast on some seriously wonderful Italian food along with a glass (or two) of vino... happy days!
Having been to Manchester a whole heap of times before for work and to visit my best friends who both live here, I'd often heard of Don Giovanni's but never ventured in so I was really excited to browse the menu and finally try it out for myself.
On arrival myself and Lee where seated on a gorgeous corner booth table and welcomed by the lovely Enzo - maître d of the restaurant who went out of his way to make our visit extra special. First up we ordered some wine, a zesty sauvignon blanc as we set to task in attempt to choose what to eat. The menu is quite extensive, with everything sounding mouth wateringly good. In the end we opted for a starter of Caprese salad, Pâté and a side dish of olives....mmmmmmmm
Both starters where soooooo good! My Caprese salad was dreamy! The buffalo mozzarella went down a treat along side the sweet cherry tomato's. Lee polished off his pâté, whilst we both tucked into the olives.
For the mains we were really spoilt for choice - pizza, pasta, fish.... I wanted to try everything! After another glass of wine we made our choices. For me, Sogliola Grigliata - grilled wild Devon Dover sole served with butter and lemon sauce (which Enzo de-boned in front of my eyes) with a side of fries. For Lee, Pappardelle Polpette - pappardelle pasta with hand made meatballs.
Absolutely stuffed, Lee and I had a break (aka more wine) whilst we looked at the dessert menu. We decided on sorbet for me and ice Cream with an espresso shot poured over the top for Lee. 
It was perfect end to a truly stunning meal. 
Don Giovanni is the perfect place for lunch with a friend or a dinner date with that special someone. The prices are reasonable and the restaurant is bright and super welcoming, with the staff being incredibly friendly and helpful!
So next time you're in Manchester why not pay them a visit.

Kate x