Saturday, 12 August 2017

Visiting Hermitage Rd Coffee & Bagels, Hitchin

On a summer weekend when the weather isn't amazing, I really don't think there is much better than finding an independent coffee shop / restaurant and exploring a new town or city. Although Hitchin isn't far from where I live, for some reason I hadn't been before. I had no idea it was full of such gorgeous shops and cafes! 

I came across Hermitage Rd coffee & bagel shop on instagram and straight away decided I had to visit. I showed dad and he was just as excited! It was so hard not to photograph everything in sight; the whole place was filled with gorgeous home-wear and they even had vegan options in the cafe! I had an avocado & red onion bagel with an oat milk iced mocha, delicious!

Behind the cafe was a home-wear shop filled with everything you could ever wish for in terms of decor. From succulents to kids toys to cushions, it was my idea of heaven. The style of items reminded me of Homesense, which is my favourite shop ever. So of course I loved it! 

Any body products with this kind of packaging always catch my attention...

The cutest little succulents. My lovely mum got me a fake one, I guess she doesn't trust me with a live one just yet!

These light bulb style vases would look gorgeous with a flower in on a wooden shelf..

Very quirky jewellery - I wish I could pull this off!

Gorgeous plant bag - such a nice size.

Where flowers bloom, so does hope. Love this plant pot & inspo!

If you are ever in or near Hitchin, I totally recommend checking this place out. It is worth a trip and Hitchin is a lovely place with all kinds of independent stores like Jolly Brown Vintage and Gatefold Record store.

Monday, 3 July 2017

A European Roadtrip

A couple of years ago I wrote a blog post about how I drove across to Germany to Bad Camberg for a VW show. Well, this year we did it again! Not to Bad Camberg though, this time we went to Hessisch Oldendorf.

We started our trip by driving to London on Wednesday night to stay with some family friends, before leaving at 6am to drive down to Dover to catch the Ferry. Last time we did the drive to Germany, we were in a modern car - however this time even more fun was added by the fact we were in vintage Volkswagens! It was my first time getting the Ferry so I wasn't too sure how I'd feel on it, but the outward journey was actually fine, I was so caught up in the excitement of meeting people going to the same show and exploring the duty free gift shop that I hardly even noticed we were on a boat. (The journey home was a totally different story though..) The ferry took us across to Dunkirk from which we drove up to Belgium, just outside of Antwerp. This drive wasn't so bad, we made a few stops and ended up getting there at around 7pm. A long day of driving!

In Belgium we went over to a place called BBT, where they hold an event for people going to the show with food and a museum of VW's to view. Being a vegetarian, I found it SO hard on this trip to find decent food. I think I take it for granted how easy it is in the UK. I ended up having just chips on this night! 

The next day, a convoy was arranged from BBT to Hessisch Oldendorf - what seems like hundreds of VW's driving across Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany. It was great to see nothing but old Volkswagens on the road for certain parts of the journey, but it gets hard to stick together with huge trucks everywhere. Still - we had our playlist and were in a split screen camper so that didn't matter too much. 

Hessisch Oldendorf is such a lovely little town, it was odd to see such an old fashioned German town stuffed full of people and live music. The turn out in terms of cars was fantastic, everywhere you looked was a gorgeous VW. The amount of people got a bit much though, it was hard to take a photo without 5 people walking in front of you! That was apparently the busiest it has ever been. 

Next time we go, we will definitely remember to stay longer. It is such a long drive that just seeing the show for one day is crazy. We drove all the way home in one day too! 

Half way home, in Belgium, the camper broke down on a motorway. We looked behind us to see a cloud of smoke as the camper filled with smoke inside and pulled over. The engine had totally gone, so we had to leave the bus in Belgium and I hopped in the back of a Hebmuller (If you know what a Hebmuller is, you will know why this was so uncomfortable!). Even after rushing on with no more stops, we ended up missing the Ferry by 5 minutes and having to drive down to Calais for the next one. It was a stressful trip home and I was definitely happy to see my bed! 

Kate x

Sunday, 26 February 2017

A Walk in the Forest

As much as I love winter, I feel like the transition into Spring is such a relaxed time when we start to think about Easter, take the dog for longer walks and start to see little flowers pop up around us. 

We recently went for a walk around Thetford Forest and were so lucky with the weather - as you can see from the pictures, the sky was blue and it just felt like a great day to be outdoors. Rather than going to the more touristy area, we kept driving until we found somewhere to park up and explore. It was definitely one of those 'I wish we had a campervan!' moments. 

We didn't see many flowers but the trees were starting to look full again and the breeze wasn't so cold that it took out breath away - luckily! 

I am so looking forward to more family walks as the year goes on. I really want to visit some bluebell woods, have picnics and practice some nature photography. 

What is your favourite thing about Spring?

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Birchbox February 2017

Yesterday I received my second ever Birchbox and was again really happy with the products it included; I hadn't tried any of the brands before which is what I love about getting a subscription like this. This month, because Birchbox had teamed up with Papier, we got to pick which design we wanted. It was either this purple print or a green on white print. I love this design and will definitely be keeping the box for make up storage! 

Here are some mini reviews of what was in my box...

Spectrum Collections - Marbleous C06 Tulip Eye Contour Brush | RRP £5.99

This was an item that was in everyones boxes this month - I had seen it advertised on facebook and really looked forward to getting it. I have seen Spectrum brushes on blogs / youtube before, so I had high expectations. For a £5.99 brush; this is incredible. It's SO soft and I love the rose gold detail and trying this has made me want to start collecting them. I think this is an absolute bargain, it should be at least £15!

POP Beauty - Bright Up Your Life Eyeshadow Trio in Champagne Mocha | Full Size RRP: £15.50

The next thing I recieved was this little eyeshadow pallette from POP Beauty. I hadn't heard of this brand before finding it in my box, so I'm excited to try it out. All three colours are shimmer rather than matte, which I am okay with as I seem to have so many matte shades at the moment. From swatches, I think that the darker colour is very highly pigmented however the two lighter shades don't seem to come out as clearly. I think the middle tone would make a great highlighter. I do have to say though, I hate this packaging. I feel like it looks so cheap, especially since the full sized product sells at £15.50! But the packaging doesn't effect the product.. never read a book by its cover, eh?

Vasanti - Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator | Full Size RRP: £26

For some reason my little Birchbox leaflet printed the description to a shaving cream rather than what this product really is - so I don't know much about it. I tested it out last night and it is basically like an exfoliating cleanser. It isn't as harsh as any exfoliator I'm used to however it has a more gritty feel to it than my usual cleanser. The only way I can describe it is that it feels like it has really fine grains of sand in it. It feels like a deep clean and my face felt very fresh after using it.

Beaver Professional - Hydro Nutritive Repairing Conditioner | Full Size RRP: £12

This is a hair conditioner that uses the benefits from avocado oil and aloe vera to repair damaged hair. I have a very bad habit of hardly ever getting my hair cut so the texture of my hair does get quite rough towards the ends. This stuff felt like magic on my hair, and even when I let my hair dry naturally it was easy to brush through in the morning. Love this stuff and I might look into buying the full sized product!

Keeome - Hydration Mask Therapy | RRP: £66 for 6 (Birchbox have an offer on for £29)

Lastly, I got this Korean sheet mask which has 'a hydrating blend of vital vitamins and mulberry extracts that sink straight into tired complexions'. Unfortunately, mine came damaged, but Birchbox were kind enough to send me another one and I look forward to using it! It says to leave it on for 25 minutes so I'm definitely feeling some Netflix and chocolate.

I am really enjoying getting these lovely boxes in the post every month. It is an affordable way to try out new products and so far all of them have worked miracles! Do you subscribe to any monthly boxes?

Kate x

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Out For Lunch : Jordans Mill

I have decided to do a new blog series where I write 'Out For Lunch' posts, reviewing and talking about places I have visited for lunch! Because even if you don't live nearby... who doesn't love being nosy and seeing what people have had to eat!

This week, my lovely Grandma and Grandad treated me to lunch at Jordans Mill in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire. You will probably already know about Jordans from their granola. We have visited before, but they re-opened on Monday with a new re-vamped cafe. I think that the main change they have made is that it now feels more like a restaurant than a cafe. The food, in the words of my Grandma, "Could not be better" and on a warm summer day it is magical to be able to walk around the gardens after eating.

Me and Grandma love our olives. Every time we go out to eat we have to order some to share. We couldn't believe the size of this bowl when it arrived! It had a nice variety of olives that tasted so fresh and the most gorgeous sun dried tomatoes. For £2.50 I think these are amazing value!

Now for my main.. I had this delicious roast butternut squash, feta and bulgur wheat salad. It felt like every mouthful had so many different flavours, it was perfect! The butternut squash was warm whilst the rest of the salad wasn't, and I think this works so nicely. When we visited last year before the re-vamp, I had the Halloumi salad which was just as nice. They are nailing the vegetarian option!

Over all I would rate this lunch 5/5! I loved it.

Let me know where you have been out for lunch recently. I'd love to know and maybe I can try it too!

Kate x

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

How I Get Blogging / Creative Inspiration

Blogging is such a fun and creative hobby however sometimes it can get a little bit stressful and frustrating when you want to blog but just can't think of any ideas. I have a few tips on how to stay motivated and come up with new ideas that I hope will be helpful to you!

Plan ideas in a notebook

This one might be painfully obvious to some bloggers, but I find that I have some days where I have what seems like thousands of ideas and others where I can't think of anything. To spread them out a bit, I have a blogging notebook. This is different to a blogging planner (although I do have one that I use - however that is for planning the ideas that I already have). In this notebook, I literally list as many ideas as I can think of for posts. Some of them are useless and will never actually become a blog post, but may get me thinking and help me to plan a better one. I flick through this notebook all of the time and am constantly adding to it. I also use this to remember seasonal posts, for example christmas ideas that I didn't get round to in 2016 but would like to do in 2017.

Having a note book completely dedicated to this instead of writing ideas in your everyday journal means that you always know where to find them. It is a place you go to specifically to find blogging inspiration and your ideas don't get lost within all of your everyday scribbles!

Go out for the day

A lot of blogging happens inside, sitting at a computer. Of course you are going to run out of ideas when you are constantly in the same place! Take your camera on an outing, whether it is to a cafe or a national park, being in a new environment will fill your head with ideas that you can note on your phone and capture in pictures. I love seeing posts that include images of what people have been doing. It's a bit like a daily vlog but in blog form.

Schedule posts

Again, this may seem obvious but in the first few months of blogging I would write a post and publish it straight away because I was so excited to share it. I have realised now that in order to have a regular blogging schedule it is so important to be patient and save some of your posts for days when you don't have time to write one from scratch.


Pinterest is a home for all of your creative inspirations. Although you pin other peoples images, you can definitely use these as inspiration rather than copying them completely. For example, if you find and pin images of illustrations you love, you could turn this into a post of your favourite illustrators. You can also find so many pins to do with blogging; lists of post ideas, how to improve your blog etc. Creating a blogging Pinterest board will definitely inspire you.

Just start writing

Although planning is good and organised, don't get too caught up in it. Sometimes it is easier to just start writing and see what happens than to spend ages thinking about it. You can take the photos after! Or, you could try the opposite and just go out and take photos - then turn them into a blog post after.

Use a product you love

Think of the product you have been using all of the time and write a review on it! It will be genuine and not forced. Whether its make up, a bath product, a clothing item or art supplies. Someone might be interested in buying it, see your review and be convinced!

Share knowledge

Lots if not all bloggers have other topics that they are interested in. Some make jewellery, some have business qualifications, some have travelled a lot.. the list goes on forever. Try to include some of your career or hobbies into your blog to make it even more personal to you. I studied art at college so sometimes I will write posts about this.

I hope that you have found these posts helpful. Sometimes the most obvious points are the most helpful! Let me know how you find inspiration in the comments.

Kate x

Friday, 13 January 2017

Finding Spring Inspiration with StyleWe

I find it takes me a while to adjust from wearing big jumpers and as many layers as I can find to keep warm in the winter to spring clothing. Spring isn't warm but it also isn't freezing, so I find it quite hard to shop for. StyleWe have some gorgeous clothing for this time of year and they feature independent fashion designers which is really nice as well!

I have been loving embroidered pieces lately and they have some amazing items. I think that anything with embroidered flowers in light colours will be ideal for Spring.

This year I would like to get more confident in wearing different outfits. I am guilty of changing into jeans and a t shirt whenever I want to leave the house purely down to body confidence, but this year I am going to change that. I want to find new clothes that are unique but comfortable. One item of clothing that I have always wanted to own is a one piece jumpsuit, which StyleWe have so many of! I think that they are great for Spring and Summer, and would be perfect for a festival outfit. StyleWe also have a whole selection of petite jumpsuit's too. Here are a few of my favourite pieces from their website.

I genuinely love these jumpsuits and just looking at them is making me feel so exciting about rearranging my wardrobe all ready for Spring / Summer weather.

One Piece Jumpsuit
Petite Jumpsuit

What is your favourite item of clothing for the transition from Winter to Spring? Let me know in the comments!

Kate x

This is a sponsored post.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Change Is Good

With the new year's arrival and January already steaming ahead, I feel overwhelmed. I made a promise to myself in December that I will do whatever it takes to make 2017 the best year it can possibly be, but I am yet to really do anything about it. I feel like it's so easy to say to yourself that things are going to change and that you are going to make yourself happy - but what is not easy is knowing what to change. Weird, since surely these are the things that are making me unhappy, right?

I have to keep reminding myself that change is good and change is so, so necessary. I can't just sit back and wait for my life to become perfect. I have to work for it.

From today, I am going to...

> Focus on organising a way to sell my photography prints.
> Travel as much as possible.
> Say 'yes' to more opportunities surrounding photography & blogging.
> Get back into a regular blogging schedule.
> Go out more, find time to just get out the house.
> Eat healthier & exercise. I'm tired of getting sick too often & I need to boost my immune system.
> Learn to freaking DRIVE. It's long overdue, I should have started lessons as soon as I turned 17, yet I'm turning 21 this year and still haven't even started.
> Find more time to read.

Writing down aims and goals helps me to focus on HOW I can get to the next step, instead of just saying I want to be happier. 2017, BRING IT.