Monday, 15 August 2016

Interview at The Grand Hotel by Laura Pearman

There is nothing like coming home from Brownie Holiday, and having the chance to be super glam in an amazing location! What even is my life?!




Going from being Robin, the put upon sidekick to my Mam's Batman in the kitchen for a week, to having the chance to talk all things confidence and positivity with Laura, was just the tonic I needed!

It was part of Laura's FacebookLive series, and the interview with me was the final piece in the puzzle!

She had talked about her inspiration behind the #beachbumpinup shoot day here:


And explained all the different levels of tickets available here:


I watched her penultimate FacebookLive, live, but don't worry, you can see it in all it's glory here:


Every time Laura and I get a second together, we end up on some soapbox or other - and Saturday was no different - I'm not sure if it was the typical interview dynamic, but I'm so glad that our energy and passion came across as well as it did!!


And what did I wear?

I'd picked up this Lindybop number as a birthday pick-me-up last month, and figured this was the perfect time to give it an airing, so to speak!


Honestly, this shoot day is going to be such fun, and I can't wait to meet you all! 

Come along, get glammed up, and get your strut on!!


Much love my lovelies, 

K x


Sunday, 10 July 2016

Being a Beach Bum

"When you're sad and feeling blue,
with nothing better to do,
don't just sit there getting stressed,
take a trip to the beach!"

Ok, so I've changed the last bit a little bit, but that's poetic licence for you!

I'm going through a ridiculously anxious time at the moment, and using all the techniques I can think of to keep my MH in check. 

One such technique is to dust myself down, glam myself up, and be the best version of myself. Something about projecting that confident persona tends to rub off on me - for a few days at least!

After working with the genius that is Laura Pearman for #bloggerspearjoy, we've often talked about working together again - and last Saturday was the perfect time to get myself glammed up, and to head to the beach to find out what she had in store. 

I honestly had no idea what I was walking in to, and that just goes to show the trust I have in Laura after just one shoot - she literally said 'Meet me at x, bring with you a swimming costume, a vintage dress, and have your usual winged eyeliner and red lip combo'.


Photo taken by Laura Pearman 
(screen shot from the YouTube taster video)


While I'm more than happy to spout about being a confident plus size woman, it's another to be able to pose like a mermaid. But the world didn't end, there was not an ounce of drama, and just good clean fun.

I even stripped off down to my bra while a group of 10k runners ran past.

While Laura and I can sit and natter about anything from Taylor Swift to the EU, we also know when to get to work!


The shoot was over, when the above photo was taken - never off duty us two!

Out of this day of fun and gossip, more than the actual reason I was in front of the camera, I got my mojo back! I mean:



Photos like these aren't about vanity, or about self promotion, but about the confidence, and the swagger they give you. The glow that means you've got this. 

Keep an eye out for the full video, and the full details as to what we've got in store for you all!

Much love my lovelies,

K x

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Summer Vibes on a Grey Day with BonPrix*

Even when the weather is grey and dull outside, I am a firm believer in bringing summer into the office with you - and today I needed to push that idea just that little bit further:



I'm pretty sure this is as close to sunbathing as I'm going to get this year!

But that is no reason to let your summer wardrobe remain in winter, muted tones, NO! Bring summer to the office regardless of the weather! 

The team at Bonprix have a number of options for summer style, and below are my faves!

Stripy Day Dress
Worn with a denim jacket for a day at the beach, or worn with tights and heels for the office, it's a multi tasking little number!


Lace Hem Sun Dress
I'm thinking of pairing this one with a bomber jacket and plimsoles, for an afternoon in a beer garden or with a brightly coloured cardigan, and a pair of contrasting flats!

 
Country Check Wrap Dress
But this dress speaks for itself, and doesn't need any accessories to dress it up or down. Perfect to brighten your day whether you're in the office or going shopping with pals. 

A huge thanks to Bonprix for a box of goodies, including the flower crown, beach ball and pineapple cup. It was the perfect pick me up to step into June with!

Much love my lovelies,

K x 


Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Grab your Cote

God, that May. So glad to see the back of it! 

May has been, frankly, a shitty month. 

It saw my Grandma having a stroke and spending 3 weeks in hospital, with a fall three days after she was let home. 



It saw the arrival of my parents new puppy, Rory.



It saw my job thrown in serious jeopardy. 



It saw me winning a competition for a trip for 2 to Glasgow.

Glasgow gave me something to look forward to, amongst applying for all the jobs - a brief relief from the anxiety of what the future might hold. 

It started with a simple share of a picture on Instagram:


And so, thanks to the amazing team at Cote Brasserie, my best pal Jackie and I headed north of the wall, and put our hearts in the hands of Glasgow.

A video posted by Kathryn (@misskathryn84) on

Friday night saw us sat in the window of a beautiful restaurant, with the weekend spread before us. And I was delighted to have a vast selection of Gluten Free items to chose from!


After a delicious starter of Crab Mayonnaise with avocado, cucumber, capers, and tarragon with toasted gluten-free bread, I gave in to what my stomach wanted, which was chargrilled thinly beaten out minute steak with frites and garlic butter, and it was just as good as my stomach had hoped it would be!!

Dessert was a no brainer - Crème Brûlée. Oh it was heaven. 


It was a sign of the weekend to come, and with a full stomach, Jackie and I headed to our home for the weekend, the Radisson Park Inn hotel - a recently renovated hotel in an old Victorian building. 



Breakfast was included in the package from Cote, so we trotted back to them for a chilled breakfast. 

Feeding a gluten free and vegetarian table isn't easy - finding a combination restaurant that can please both parties is a bit of a challenge. 

Cote stepped up to the challenge, and while I enjoyed a simple breakfast of fruit, yogurt and toast, Jackie had what she claimed was the best vegetarian breakfast ever! High praise indeed!


Next stop on our whistle stop tour, was Gordon Street Coffee, which offered the perfect respite after a morning shopping. We were meeting a few pals there, and so settled down with coffee and cake - and I can attest that their gluten free cake was both delicious and gluten free!

After the chilled catch up, we headed up the hill to the Glasgow Theatre Royal, to see Emily Atack in Breakfast at Tiffany's. 

I knew nothing of the story, having not seen the film, or read the book, and was looking forward to an escapist couple of hours. It was not the chirpy story I'd misunderstood it to be. It spoke of the quest to rewrite your own past, take charge of your own story, and not to let others determine your path. 

A quick stop back at the hotel to freshen up:


Another warm greeting from the team at Cote, we were sat in 'our' seat by the window, and we were again faced with the epic task of WHAT TO HAVE!!

My starter was my standard pate option. It was served in a mini Kilner style jar, assuring me it wasn't contaminated, serve with apple chutney on gluten free toast. 


This Poulet Grillé, or chargrilled butterflied chicken breast with wild mushroom, crème fraîche and thyme sauce, served with gratin potato, was far better than I'd expected - I'd assumed it was going to be an up market Sunday dinner and it was so much more than that!! 

Dessert was on a theme with Friday's - this time just plain Crème Caramel - oh but there was nothing plain about it!!



We rounded the night off, after a good old stomp around the streets of Glasgow to relive student days gone by (Jackie's, not mine), we ended up in Nice'n'Sleazy's for a famous £3 White Russian:


The following morning called for stronger stuff, so a full Gluten Free selection:



We waved goodbye to Glasgow, and vowed not to leave it so long the next time!


What really made this weekend the tonic I needed though, as well as the awesome Jackie, was the welcoming, attentive, and knowledgeable staff at Glasgow Cote. Being fans of people watching, we noticed the staff weren't just attentive of us, but all their customers received the same level of service. And if that's the case, then Cote is a great jewel in Glasgow's crown. 

Much love my lovelies, 

K xx

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Filtering Out the Mistakes

When I created this blog of mine, 370 posts ago, I didn't really have a plan - I wanted to track the outfits I was wearing and what I liked / didn't like about them, and from that small seed, this oak tree grew. 

I'm super proud of what it has helped me achieve - and it's grown and changed, just as I've grown and changed. 

I would have never thought that I would have written pieces on fat politics when I first started out. I would have never pegged that I would have been involved with a brand campaign like Simply Be Denim. 

I had expected mistakes - be it in any aspect of my life. 

And just as how social media comes with filters, so does this blog - I didn't intend to be as censored, or as selective about what I wrote about here, but I have been - and that makes me feel less genuine. 

So, I bring to you, my mistake column! 

Yup - I plan to share my mistakes with you all - to show an unfiltered view on my life. To get back to why I started this blog of mine - and hopefully some of these mistakes will turn into successes too!

I subscribe to the Birchbox beauty box, mainly because I like getting surprise presents each month! I'm no beauty blogger, and I won't ever be, but getting tester products to try out, when a lot of them are high end products I would never dream of buying otherwise, is a great sales point for me (no, this isn't a sponsored post! Stick with it!).

I've been trying a number of cleanser / toners (since this post) combinations, and the samples I've had in beauty boxes in general, have really helped me get to grips with what works. 

Before Birchbox, I  had subscibed to Glossybox - I can't remember why I cancelled or changed my subscription now, but while under their wing, I got sent a number of full sized products, including this:




Which had me at Purifying Cleanser.

And, over the past few weeks, I've been ritualistically using this to remove makeup from my face.

My routine has been working very well, and my face has been super smooth and mostly spot free (stress spots don't count!).

Until I read the 'Directions'.

I love reading these normally, I mean, as if people don't know how to shampoo their hair, or rub cleanser all over their face...

Oh.

Hang on.

It's an intimate cleanser.

Which, quite frankly, is not something I believe in. We really don't need to cleanse our 'intimate' area - it's designed to clean itself!

But, this £7 of intimate cleanser has been doing quite a good job on my face. And since I've found this out, I've not stopped using it!

It serves me right for not reading the packaging, but equally I'm quite glad I don't subscribe to Glossy Box any more if they're promoting the idea that we need to cleanse our intimate area

So, mistakes happen.

Sometimes they turn into great things, sometimes they make no difference.

Much love, my mistake making lovelies,


K x

Monday, 18 April 2016

The Diary of a Coeliacs Sufferer - Entry 1

TW: diets, disordered eating

Disclaimer - this post is written to get my own head round this topic so it may not be the best piece of writing.



Back in February, I was diagnosed with Coeliac's Disease, which is an autoimmune disease that attacks the lining of the small intestine, and the only treatment is a complete gluten free diet. 


Diet.


A word I've not spoken for years, and actively avoid for my own good.. 


Diet, and the idea of dieting, is a huge trigger for me, having suffered from disordered eating from my teens. 


Discovering the world of body positivity, and the idea that your body is the only one you have, and you have to love it, was a revelation. It saved me.


From that point forward, I've lived my life with the protective bubble of "Fuck Diet Culture" and been gloriously happy with living my life, where inspiring others was / is a wonderful byproduct.


I feel as though I'm a fraud to the BoPo movement, a failure to the community every time I use the word 'diet'. 


In my attempt to protect myself, I've turned the word 'diet' into a weapon. Every time I use it, to describe my food choices, or want to raise awareness about Coelics, I feel as though I'm firing a weapon into the world I've created around me - a word I know has so much meaning to so many, and a word I don't want to use if I can help it. 


I'm conflicted - I want to explore my new lifestyle, I want to share my food discoveries, and want to join new communities to expand my knowledge. But gluten free is so often associated with clean eating, or some such fad, that I'm stuck between protecting my MH, and accepting my limitations.


I hope I can read back on this in a few months time, and laugh- but I suspect, my body positivity - and fat activism - will continue to take a beating every time I'm asked how the diet is going. 


It's not a diet, it's a treatment. I've had to remove gluten from every aspect of my life, replacing my microwave, toaster and fridge freezer. I can't just pop out for a meal, but I have to contact them in advance to see if they can accommodate me. I have to pay 3 times as much for food, and I'm ridiculously limited by my options there too. 


I feel like my "Fuck Diets" bubble deflating around me, and I don't know how to stop it.


Much love, 

K x

Monday, 28 March 2016

Friendship February

Back in February, a group of gal pals and I took part in a Galentines Secret Santa type affair. A chance to share the love with each other, and for a single lass like me, it was a great feeling to actually join in with the commercialisation of Valentines. 

I got my 'gal', the super lovely Sarah, a friendship necklace with a twist:


See that donut, just visible? That's one half of the necklace, and the super awesome Sarah has the other half. And I would share my donut with her, any day.



My presents were cute and small, and no less meaningful. A collection of chocolate, jewelry, face masks, and a full heart. But this 'love', takes pride of place:


It sits perfectly with the 'home' sign I already had, and I'm tempted to paint it lilac, to make it stand out a little more. 

I'm well aware it's nearly April, and I'm writing about something I took part in back in February, but I've been ruminating on the idea of internet friendships, and if distant makes them any less valid, or whether the 'virtual' nature of it, lessens the pain of arguments, disagreements and fallings out. 

Having been grieving for a friendship circle lost recently, I would counter that the fact that a lot of our friendships these days are online, through mediums like Whatsapp, Facebook group chats, or snapchats, we're used to reaching out and getting someone - whereas when it's individual chats, there is the weight of waiting for a reply. 

I don't respond to that pressure very well, I read messages and forget to reply - then people just stop messaging me all together - why bother, if I never seem to reply in a timely manner? 

Whereas a group chat, I'm a great voice of reason, a builder-upper - someone who can be relied on for a positive word.

But as I said, I've spent the last month or so group-chat-less. And wondering if it was them, or was it me? Was I too..., well, me?

It's felt very much like a break up. 

Which is why it's taken til now to write about my amazing and thoughtful Galentines. 

That Love sign? Reminds me whenever I walk past it, that I'm loved, I matter, and that while I might not have 300 Whatsapp messages to catch up on, I'm still a friend. 

An oddly personal post from me, but I've always had a thing where my blog is where I write to get my thoughts outta my head :D

Much love my lovelies, 


K x