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Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Attitude Gratitude: A positive reminder | Bit of a Freak

Good evening, lovelies!

Stalking Pinterest today I came across this beautiful little image. It really struck a chord with me and caused me to be reflective about my recent past.

Recently, there has been a fair bit of drama in my life in the form of negativity and bad feeling towards others, insecurities and a little bit of sadness and loss. People around me seem to be having a tough old time of it at the moment and it's easy to get caught up in it all and I think that's what may have happened, I have been caught in all of this badness and sadness and absorbed negative feelings. Instead of being kind to people who need it, I have had feelings of annoyance and a lack of understanding. Instead of forgiving, I retaliated. Instead of loving, I have been pushing away.

I truly believe it is of the utmost importance to have a positive mindset, and that your mindset influences everything. I believe that your thoughts become things and being a happy, positive person attracts a happy and positive life. I also believe in the importance of kind words and understanding and what a huge impact this can have on the receivers. The key is to all of this is gratitude. It is important to be thankful and give thanks for all that you have. Attitude gratitude! And that is exactly what I plan to reuptake from now on. I really do have so much to be thankful for.

So, my mission upon my positive reawakening (har har) is as above; to be so busy loving my life and others that I have no time for negativity. It isn't always easy, but my mission starts here!

Monday, 20 January 2014

Gdansk, Poland | Review | Bit of a Freak

Once upon a time, me and my friend Clare left on a jet plane, knowing exactly when we would be back again; but NOT knowing how much we would be opposed to coming back after falling deeply in love.

A few weeks previous to our departure, Clare Whatsapp'd me to ask if I fancied going away for a few nights, and we booked it that night. Neither of us had ever heard of Gdansk, but chose it as it was one of the cheaper flights with the ever formidable Ryanair. The flights were around £35 return, and the hostel around £60 between 2 of us, for 4 nights. Brilliantly cheap. 

Without sounding too dramatic, Gdansk is the first place I have been to, outside of England, that instantly felt like home. As soon as I stepped on the tarmac I told Clare I already loved it. However, I was a little put off by the crazy scary looking airport people. I think it is the uniform.

We were told that our hostel was near the train station and so we braved the local bus from the airport to central Gdansk, trying to match up the sequence of letters meaning "train station" that we read on the map to any signs we could see through the window. This was a challenge in itself, but we made it. 

The thing is, everyone in Poland is so helpful. So willing to go out of their way that it almost comes across as a bit weird, because us English folks just aren't like that. We are a smiley bunch for sure, but the Polish go a step further, and it really does make all the difference.

Gdansk is the most beautiful little city. Very charming, packed full of history, delicious bakeries and industrialism. I had never been somewhere like it before, this was my first time visiting eastern Europe, and it was nothing like I expected. 10X better. Gdansk is also the birthplace of the Solidarity movement, which sparked the fall of communism across central Europe. 

As our stay was so short we tried to cram in as much activity as possible. We went on nights out, drank a lot of vodka, ate out for every meal, got the train to Sopot and explored there, visited museums, wandered around the old town, drank lots of Polish tea, and generally had the most amazing time.

My favourite restaurant was Kubicki. The food was delicious and the service was fantastic. The Roads to Freedom Exibition was also one of my favourite things about this trip. it was hugely informative, fairly interactive, and the perfect size. We then took a trip down to the ship yard, which was also amazing after learning all about it at the exhibition.

I think accommodation is important wherever you go, regardless of how much time you spend there, it is nice to feel at home, and able to ask for help. We stayed at a hostel called Happy Seven in a private room. All the rooms are themed; we were assigned to the sports room (ironically), and it was VERY cool. Happy Seven, I can honestly say, is the best hostel I have ever stayed at, and the most reasonable. You get complementary breakfast with your stay, and the staff are super friendly and always go that extra mile. The staff often come back to the hostel, even on their days off, because they just love being there so much. I had the most fantastic stay there. You can find them on Facebook.

Delicious chocolate cake from a cute little coffee shop
Found a deserted cathedral
Even the trains are beautiful
Rubbish picture, couldn't wait to get stuck in! Salmon at Kubicki.
Polish pancakes

My guestbook entry in a coffee shop
With some guys we met at the hostel

Gdansk, I LOVE YOU. And I will definitely be back.

What's On My Face? (Weekend edition) | Bit of a Freak

Now, I don't know about you lot, but a lot more make-up gets applied to my face at the weekend than it does during the week, regardless of what my plans entail. This is probably because I am in less of a rush at the weekend and I am able to enjoy applying every beauty product I own, with every single applicator under the sun. So, with inspiration from Beauty in Beta, I thought I would share what I wear on my face!

(My weekend face)


- No7 Beautiful Skin Day Cream (Normal to Oily)
My favourite go-to moisturiser (although I am inexperienced in this department and have aims to shop around!)

- Laura Mercier Foundation Primer (Radiance)
This is still in it's trial stages with me, although I am currently loving it!

- Estee Lauder Double wear (1N1 Ivory Nude)
100% the best foundation to have ever graced my face, the staying power of this product is second to none.

- Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer (Light)
The favourite concealer of the entire blogosphere, or so it may seem, and for a good reason! Budget priced excellence! 

- Max Factor Creme Puff Powder (Truly Fair)
This has been my go-to powder since I began wearing make-up. I still absolutely love this product. Great coverage, great lasting power, and great price. 

- MUA Mosaic Bronzer (Sunkissed Glow)
I fear I am falling out of love with this bronzer. I use it soley for contouring at the minute and it just isn't the right product. If anyone can suggest a better bronzer which is suitable for contouring please let me know!

- Rimmel Lasting Finish Soft Colour Blush (050 Live Pink)
I am usually a MAC blusher kind of girl but I picked this up in a supermarket on a whim and absolutely fell in LOVE.


- Sleek Eyebrow Palette (light)
This product took a whole lot of getting used to for me, but now I love it and use it daily.


- MUA Eyeshadow Palette (Undressed), shades Lavish, Obsessed and Reveal. 
Just utterly brilliant. 

- Primark Liquid Eyeliner (black)
I love this product. Great applicator too.

- Benefit They're Real Mascara.

Just. Love.


- Carmex
I always use this to prep my lips before I start applying anything else. I get quite dry lips and this product is a saviour. 

- Mac Viva Glam VI

(I am under no illusions that this is a nice picture! Haha)

...And then it is onto the hair. No wonder my boyfriend gets so annoyed at how long I take to get ready!


I'd love to know what changes, if any, you guys make to your weekend make-up! Do you make an extra special effort like me?

Friday, 17 January 2014

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle dupe | Bit of a Freak

Now, I may be a little late to the party on this occasion so excuse me, but I am incredibly excited about this little find and just had to share despite the lateness. A good dupe makes me a very happy bunny.

Let's set the scene; it was but a normal day at work when one of my colleagues walked past me, and from her wafted the most glorious scent. My favourite smell in the whole world. I complimented her in the way of "Oh, you smell delicious, you are wearing Chanel aren't you?". I was sure of it, Coco Mademoiselle is my perfume of choice. Her reply was not what I was expecting and she said no. She explained that the perfume had often been mistaken for Chanel and she was regularly complimented on the scent, but it was actually a cheap perfume from a budget supermarket. £3.99 from Lidl no less. And this brings us now.

Introducing, Lidl's Suddenly Madame Glamour (don't let the rubbish name phase you).

Obviously, after hearing about this Chanel dupe I had to get there and get myself in on the action, which is exactly what I did. Clearly the packaging is nothing to rave about, and the bottle won't be one I display, but you can't really expect much more for the price. On first spritze, the two perfumes are close to identical. The only differences I could identify between the two are that Coco Mademoiselle smelt slightly more orientalish and Suddenly was a little more citrus-y (describing scents is clearly my forte). I was sold. As the perfume develops, the subtle differences are even less obvious and it really is difficult to tell the two apart. I have heard varying reviews regarding the staying power and it probably differs person to person, but on me it was definitely better than I expected. Four hours post squirt I could still smell the perfume, and although it was muted, at £3.99 for 50ml I'd say you can afford to be a little more squirt-happy! 

I will definitely be re-purchasing this perfume as it is great for day-to-day wear and means the very expensive real-deal lasts a lot longer! Happy purse strings! 

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

A Tribute to my Beautiful Grandma, Norah.

When I lost my grandma I lost my best friend and the person who I loved the most in the world. My grandma was the person who I always called first with good or bad news, if I needed help, or just someone to have a natter with. She was the person who always knew the right thing to say in any given situation, the person who has pushed me to achieve more than was expected, the person who offered me the most support, the person who told me how proud of me she was at any given opportunity, the person who I worked so hard for, and the person who has been the most consistent figure throughout my whole life.

My grandma was a huge advocate for living, really living, pushing yourself to be the best, and constantly bettering yourself. She was great fun, and was also the hardest worker I knew. Losing her was the hardest thing I have experienced and has made me so much stronger in a number of ways. I no longer fear death and I am aware of my strength. I owe so much to my grandma. She has left such a legacy which means that I don't really NEED to ring her or talk to her in person as she was always so consistent in her morals and beliefs that I know exactly what she would say in any situation. I think that is such a massive achievement, and it makes me so proud to be able to say that. It lessens the impact of loss if it feels like the person is still right there with you and it demonstrates what a colossal impact she had on my life to be able to think that way now. She will forever be my motivation. 

It's so strange, almost 3 months have passed and I am still in the habit of wanting to call her in certain situations; like when I was on the coach on my way home from London and I found out I had been accepted onto my postgraduate course. It's almost instinctual. My first thought was to call and let mammar know. Again, I know what she would have said. There would have been a lot of "Oooooh!!! Oooooh Kathryn!!"s and probably tears and a lot of her making sure I knew how proud she was of me, and how proud grandad would have been, and that is very comforting.

The loss is especially potent right now as it is my graduation in a week and mammar always spoke about how proud it was going to make her to see me in my cap and gown. Whenever she helped me out she always said the payment for doing so was to see me in my cap and gown. And when she found out she was dying, my graduation was her strongest motivation to live. She was very strong. If her stomach hadn't ruptured I have no doubt in my mind that she would still be alive. It will be a bitter sweet day, but she would want no less than for me to enjoy it, which is exactly what I am going to do. For her.

I am so privileged to have had her in my life for 24 years, I could not have asked for anymore from my grandma. I hope she still exists somewhere, I hope somehow she watched me speak at her funeral and liked what I had to say, I hope she still feels my love and still knows that I am so proud of her and miss her so much. I hope she is back with my grandad. I will continue to try my very best for her, and for my mum, and I will continue to love and miss her and speak of her for the rest of my life.

My grandma. 3/10/32 - 11/10/2013.