July? No I’m always honest

A bit later than usual (sorry, life) here are my top favourites from the joyful month of July.

TV This is Us

I am a Kate and I want a Toby. I won’t lie, I was utterly devastated when I discovered that he wears a FAT SUIT to play the role (honestly, from his insta I just thought he was a yo-yo-er) but looking past the obvious WRONGNESS… I’m just in love with him. Like me, my name-twin has serious confidence and body issues and Toby is by her side, always, with a song to dance to or a heartfelt expression of unconditional love. HE HAS A HAPPY SONG. HE IS THE DREAM! This show fills my heart and empties my eyes. I relate so damn much to Kate that sometimes it stings just a little. There’s a whole load more storyline strands which are all brilliant, but it’s Kate & Toby that keep me hooked. Series 2 is on Channel 4 now.

Live event – Party at the Park, Newport

Such a hilarious night with my sis to celebrate her birthday. We walked for MILES because it definitely wasn’t in the place it was advertised but when we did finally arrive we were greeted with the sounds of Scouting for Girls yelling “She’s So Lovely” just as we walked in. Couldn’t have timed it better, we loves an entrance.

We ate a tonne of delicious food, danced our pants off to Craig Charles, got passively relaxed (!!) to Aswad, sung our hearts out to Soul II Soul and got accosted by two security men when I tried to take a photo of the lights on top of the bar (long story….but Showsec staff are BAD MEN who don’t understand the importance of a good Instagram post)

Top night. Jazzie B is still the coolest man on planet Earth. Hands down.

Food – Onion Rings at the Glee Club

So big they look like doughnuts. Hell, you could wear these suckers like a BANGLE. Get some.

PodcastWobble

Jules Von Hep and Sarah Powell are my new podcast bffs. They talk about happiness, body positivity and how we all “wobble”. Great mix of interesting guests, really lovely interviews and their obviously close relationship makes you feel like part of the gang. Super-duper-lush.

Make-up – Max & More Travel Palette

I have three main places I squirrel make-up; at home, in my handbag and in my desk drawers at work. (Scratch that, Four – in my dash) It’s everywhere. I can’t help it. I am OBSESSED with finding my holy grail travel palette with everything I need to carry around with me, but in miniature. Truth bomb: I really want the Tilbury one. But it costs eighty million pounds, so until my ship full of money comes in, I found this little contender for LESS THAN ONE POUND. It comes with a teeny mini sponge and a lickle slanted brush, powder foundation, eyeshadows, brow powder, blush & highlight. It’s insane. Pretty sure some VERY shady sh*t will have gone down to bring this product to our stores for this price point and there’s a very real possibility it might cause a nasty rash, however……I look purdy and this is the harsh but dazzling reality of the disposable society we live in. Go on, judge.

App – Done: Simple Habit Tracker

After losing my mind last year, I’ve been trying hard to do everything I can to hold on to it this year. Looking after myself and protecting my energy has had to become more of a priority for me, as I now really do realise that I’m useless to anyone if I don’t.

I read about consistency over intensity (doing little things all the time instead of giant big stuff every so often) and it totally resonated with me. This app lets you track three goals per day (any ones you like, you get to decide)

So I had a think about what 3 little things help me take care of myself every day, small steps that will top up my happiness. I chose…

1. Butt Exercises (this junk is my fortune I tell you. It’s my duty to protect it)

2. Take my Vitamins (I did an online quiz to see which ones would be best for me)

3. Read a Chapter (books have always been my escape, they help me so much. I know when I’m struggling I find it hard to concentrate for long enough to read, so one chapter a day before I go to sleep is realistic)

Your goals may be very different to mine, in fact I almost guarantee it! However, the principle is the same – small steps add up to a big difference and this app helps me track that. Eleven days in, it’s working for me so far.

And my butt looks INCREDIBLE. (Side note: If you’re made of money, an app upgrade of £4.99 gets you UNLIMITED goals…knock yourselves out champs)

BookNot Working by Lisa Owens

Was a bit concerned that my boss left this on my desk and so I spent a whole day worried that it was a hint to bin me. I mean, you would, wouldn’t you?

However, after diving in I discovered that it was simply a brilliant book recommendation. Proof that taking a leap can be a very good thing, sweet and funny. Recommended read!

Random Joy – Finding a steamroller with my name on!

Doesn’t happen every day, does it?

Enough said, really.

As always I’d love to hear what you’ve been enjoying this month? Let me know.

Big cwtches

Kate xx

Jiggy June

TV – Queer Eye, Season 2

The Fab Five are BACK! Deciding which one you love best is even harder than ever as they flood the world with positivity and kindness and tasteful interiors. I’ve learned my lesson from last time and I’m pacing myself. I absolutely loved the first series so much that I whizzed through it far too fast, it was over before I knew it and I felt so deflated when I ran out of episodes. This time around I’m older and wiser and I’m saving each one for when I need a little lift. Each story is so sweet and gorgeous and always cheers me up, you simply have to savour that stuff.

There was a moment on Twitter where people were sharing what advice the Queer Eye guys would give them. I missed the boat on that one so here’s mine…

If I was on Queer Eye

Bobby: Not everything can hold a candle

JVN: Your curls are THIRSTY GIRL

Tan: How many black tights?

Antoni: Cheese balls are not a food group

Karamo: Who hurt you baby?

Events – Jane’s Calamity

If you love karaoke, musicals or just bonkers nights out you should definitely check out Jane’s Calamity. A monthly event (1st Thursday of the month) held at Porters where you can fulfill your Broadway dreams and sing your little heart out to songs from the shows round a piano covered in fairy lights! If you happened to stumble across the evening without knowing, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d accidentally fallen into a musical. For some (like me and my pals) it’s a dream come true! Song sheets are provided, but bring your own choreography. Big thanks to the gorgeous George & Dave for recommending this one – they know me so well! (Wasn’t it good – oh so good)

Food – Sunday Roast, Morpeth Arms

This was my Father’s Day treat in London with my wonderful sis. We found this cracking little traditional pub serving mega roasts and it was AMAZING. Just a little stroll from the Tate (we’re so absolutely cultured, obvs) we were really lucky to grab a table. Don’t know what they did to the cauliflower but I’d WALK back there (from Welsh Wales) just to have it again. Big up to the lovely friendly staff who looked after us.

Podcast – The Happiness Injection

Shonette is one of those people everyone wants in their life. She dazzles & sparkles and makes me laugh so much. I absolutely love her (and her Mam too) If you need a little more happiness in your life, this podcast is definitely for you. I like to save the episodes up for my grumpy days when I need some Shonette-Medicine. It’s magic…but prepare to get funny looks in traffic when you’re sat by yourself laughing your head off to her awesome stories.

Book – Relight My Fire – Joanna Bolouri

Sometimes the relationship fizzle just fades doesn’t it? We’ve all been there. So what happens when you enlist the help of a therapist to help spice up your romantic life again? YOU MAKE A SEX JAR DAMMIT! This naughty little number is HILARIOUS, a perfect sunshine read for holidays that will surely have you blushing on your sunlounger.

The much anticipated follow-up to The List (you should definitely go back & read that one too if you haven’t already) you will love this if you’re not afraid of some saucy sprinkles of fun with your fiction.

Skincare – Jojoba Oil & Vitamin E Face Mask

This costs less than a pound (LESS THAN A POUND) and is a DREAM for thirsty skin like my desert-dry moonface. It’s perfectly pink and smells LUSH. Stockpile!

Thought – Do you worry he’s not sure about you?

Answer: YES. Everyone is fully aware that I’m obsessed with MH and this new video in particular really touched me this month. It’s like he’s talking just to me. I was gutted I couldn’t make it to his live show in London (I was making a movie darling! Honest, true story. Will tell you all about it when I’m allowed to) I’m really hoping I will catch him one day, maybe next time he’s in the country OR I could get someone to fund my spot on his five day retreat in paradise….any takers?

I’ve watched this video about 80 million times and I relate harder than concrete blocks.

Video – No No Nose

This is what happens when I’m home alone and find a Snapchat filter that removes your nose. Obviously I start singing. Watch here. I can entertain myself for hours, me.

As always I’d love to hear what you’ve been enjoying this month? Let me know.

Big cwtches

Kate xx

Marvellous May

Make-up – George Brow Tamer Cream (Medium)

With two breakdowns (my dodgy car, not my mental health…this time) it’s been a tight budget month which coincided perfectly with me running out of my favourite Wunderbrow. I cannot leave the house without my brows on, so a cheap interim remedy was needed. I grabbed this for £3 in Asda when picking up bread & milk and I absolutely love it. The medium shade is perfect for me, dramatic but not too sharpie, the consistency is creamy and blends easily. Love the idea of having a teeny brush in the lid, even though the bristles are a bit too soft for my liking I guess it’s ok for an on-the-go touch-up. It’s not long-lasting like my fave, but it’s still so good I’m stockpiling it like a squirrel.

TV – Evil Genius, Netflix

A departure from my usual go-to genre, I’m not entirely sure how I ended up hooked on this true crime documentary series but I’m really glad I came across it. It’s a fascinating look at a complex and unique bank robbery and I’m always amazed at how some of these high profile cases never seem to make it across the pond into UK news (or I’m just completely oblivious and miss them) I really enjoyed seeing how all the threads of investigation come together. There are a couple of truly *gasp* moments but I won’t spoil them for you. Worth a binge, just probably don’t order a pizza to go with it… #justsayin

Food – Ham & Mustard crisps

I am so obsessed with these crisps, I went to FOUR supermarket chains in one night just to find them and came away EMPTY HANDED. Britain is broken my friends. SOMEONE knows where they are and they are hiding them from me. If you know a shop that stocks them near you, hook a girl up? (Please, I mean it. These are rarer than a mooing steak and I NEED THEM.)

Podcast – Oh No Ross and Carrie

Everyone knows I love a good podcast recommendation and this month my luscious Ash said I should have a listen to this. Boy oh boy was it a good shout! A skeptical podcast, Ross and Carrie go undercover to investigate pseudoscience, the paranormal and generally anything on the weird fringes of society. They are thorough, detailed and hugely entertaining. The extra joy of discovering something brilliant that’s actually been around for ages is that there’s a huge back catalogue of amazing content to catch up on. Perfect for a greedy binger like me! I recommend starting with the Scientology episodes, awesome stuff.

Home – Metal wall art, B & M

I zipped in for Zoflora and came out with this sweet metal wall art which now graces my bathroom. Forgot the Zoflora but meh….this looks so NICE and cost less than £2.

Book – This is Going to Hurt, Adam Kay

Adam Kay is absolutely hilarious and this painfully honest diary of life as a junior doctor in today’s struggling NHS is simultaneously a hoot and a heartbreaker. The book is a real eye-opener to the pressures and stress we put our youngest and most inexperienced doctors under, the immense responsibility they carry and the impact this has on their personal and professional lives. (Side note: Adam has a very expressive left eyebrow and we all know how I feel about that.) We were lucky enough to catch him at Hay Festival this week and he’s every bit as passionate and impressive as you’d expect. It left me feeling incredibly proud to work for the NHS; in some ways we have it so very right but also saddened because in other ways we have it very very wrong indeed. We need to hear more voices like Adam’s. Out now in paperback.

Thoughts – Mad passionate extraordinary love

Mediocre is so over. I’m all about mad passion. All in or all out. This says it much nicer than I can in a pinterest font that looks like I wrote it when I didn’t.

Accessories – K bag, Next

This was a thoughtful gift I received this month and I absolutely love it. I don’t even care that the label says 7 years+ because I definitely am 7 years+ (even if mentally I usually feel much closer to the lower end of that bracket) Perfect for taking my lunch to work with just enough room for a cheeky paperback too. It’s bedazzled therefore it wins.

As always I’d love to hear what you’ve been enjoying this month? Let me know.

Big cwtches

Kate xx

Awesome April

Live events – My Dad Wrote a Porno Live

I got front row tickets for me & my Lisa on the very day they went on sale. I mean, if you’re going to be in a large room full of erotica-loving perverts you want to be at the front, right? If you haven’t already joined the #PornoMonday masses (who even ARE you?) The basic premise is that Jamie’s Dad has taken to writing appalling erotic fiction. His mates Alice & James join him to gag (both comically and literally) chapter by excruciating chapter.

Honestly wasn’t sure how the podcast would translate into a live show and it was a bit awks knowing that their “live” reactions to the lost chapter definitely weren’t for the first time. However, the local references, audience participation and anatomy powerpoint were so hilarious, I ached with laughter. All three are even more gorgeous irl and I definitely want to be in their gang. Well worth catching if you’re a fan of the show. (Spoiler: There wasn’t a Non-Stick Tin Wok under my seat….disappointing)

Song – Lost in Japan Shawn Mendes

The strongest contender for my song of the summer (is it too early for that yet?) cutie Shawn has delivered a sunshine sprinkled jazzy that I’ve been OBSESSED with. It’s permanently on repeat in my life. Do you got plans tonight?

Podcast – Why Won’t You Date Me?

Nicole Byer is absolutely filthy, completely hilarious and I’m totally in love with her. I binge-listened to most of this series on the train and more than once I had to check my headphones were connected (it’s not really the kind of thing you want to play out loud in polite company) If you’re single too, you’ll cry with laughter and feel better about all those awful dating horrors. You are not alone! (And for the record Nicole, I would 100% date you)

Make-up – Novo Play Color Eyes

Cheap make-up is still a guilty pleasure, despite an allergic reaction once that made me look like a Bo Selecta character (take a Piriton and move on hon, this eye look I’m serving is FIERCE) This month I picked up this warm palette with change from a fiver and I love it! Great pigmentation, totally within my shade range of choice and absolutely no swelling. I’ll be picking up some more of these when I’m convinced that I mustn’t wear autumn shades all year round. The ice cream shades look STUNNING.

Clothes – Boohoo Rainbow Jumper

Why dress like a grown woman when you can be a human Care Bear with Boohoo? Anything with a rainbow on it gives me joy and this pastel blue colour isn’t something I’d usually go for, but I love it. I’ll be getting loads of wear from this, slinging over spring dresses when it’s a little cooler and on the days when I need to bring my own sunshine. And of course when I get called upon to fill in for a kids TV presenter.

(Can’t find the link to the actual jumper, but this tee is pretty close and lovely)

Book – Those Other Women

I was on the blog tour for this brilliant book this month. A really clever look at motherhood and frenemies gets an easy five cwtches from me, my full review is here.

YouTube Channel – Rhea Rants

I can’t tell you how much I have SCREAMED with laughter at this channel this month. Rhea is stunning, sassy and so funny! I just can’t. Sometimes YouTube recommendations take you down some scary avenues, but this click was the best I ever made. I was compelled to go back and watch all of her previous vids and I fell completely in love with her. (This one is my absolute favourite) Relatable and enviably beautiful, Rhea is well worth a sub.

Food – Cosy Club Cardiff

I’m a pain in the arse with a menu. I want it all and can’t make a decision. Tapas is often my go-to because it’s a socially acceptable way of being greedy without appearing so. The Cosy Club usually has a great tapas selection & this time I went for scotch egg (the tomato chutney was so good) squid with smoky chorizo (really lovely flavour combination) and a superfood salad (because balance) In the interests of total honesty, everything came with a hella amount of rocket which wasn’t always the best buddy to the dish but overall it was delicious.

As always I’d love to hear what you’ve been enjoying this month? Let me know.

Big cwtches

Kate xx

March Magic

I’m really enjoying putting these favourites posts together each month. It helps me focus on all the loveliness and it makes me so happy when people tell me that they’ve tried new things after reading about them here!

So here’s what I’ve been loving this month…

TV – Velindre Hospital of Hope

I am totally biased on this one as it’s a four part documentary series about my lovely place of real-world work. The film crew came in last year, captured the heart and soul of our amazing hospital; its staff, volunteers, patients, supporters and this series is the result. You cannot fail to be moved by the incredible stories and dedication to patient care shown by our staff. I’m incredibly proud to work there and for everyone who asks how I can possibly cope emotionally with working in a place like Velindre, watch this and you’ll see. ITV Wales Friday night 8pm. (There are still three more brilliant episodes to come and you can join us on Facebook Live for a Q & A with our panel straight after the show)

Movie – Love, Simon

Thanks to ShowFilmFirst I went to a preview screening of this heartwarming movie with my favourite Simon. It is sweet, funny and so powerful to finally see a same sex teen romance movie. I now very much want to go and have first kisses on a Ferris Wheel (even though they make me a little bit queasy)

Food – Lobster & Crab Tortelli, Prezzo

I went to a gorgeous colleague’s leaving dinner and we pretty much took over the entire first floor of the restaurant. This was my delicious main, perfectly cooked and so tasty. I’m a big fan of a fishy pasta dish and this one was fishy enough without leaving me branded anti-social breath girl. I’d have liked a few more greens – it was a tad stingy on the spinach – but only to offset the Nutella & banana mini calzone I followed this up with. Bloody lush evening.

Podcast – Getting Curious

I like to think I’m pretty well read and have a genuine interest in what’s going on in the world. Often my problem is that the way news and current affairs are delivered is usually so negative and dull that I get bored and disengage, which leaves me lacking deeper understanding. Here’s the answer! Jonathan Van Ness (the grooming expert from the Fab Five – Netflix Queer Eye) hosts a podcast where he chats with experts on various topics. He is SO PURE and sweet, he makes even the typically dull stuff hugely entertaining. I now know heaps more about the US situation with China thanks to his totally relatable Instagram analogy. THIS IS HOW I LEARN. I’m in love with his ability to ask the questions you’ve always wanted to ask and his warmth, humour and positive energy. Can’t recommend enough honey.

Book – The Self Care Project

I received this as part of my Blurt Buddy Box and have only just now got to reading it this month. I’m a huge fan of self-development and there’s loads around on self care right now (I should know, I’ve pretty much read all of them…) If you’re looking to buy the best, this is it. Down to earth, sensible recommendations delivered in a warm but firm cuddle from someone who’s been there and really gets it. Make time to read this, you are important.

Fashion – SNOW BOOTS!

A bit odd for the spring, but let’s just go with it….when we had our red alert snow back at the start of the month I discovered that my snow boots had disintegrated in the hell cave of my garage, along with my pink ukelele and my Learn Japanese cassette tapes (I LIKE HOBBY HOPPING, ALRIGHT?!) By the time I got around to shopping for some new ones, all the white stuff had melted so I popped them away thinking I wouldn’t get the chance to wear them this year. I was both wrong and delighted I got my chance to take them for a spin when we had a second snow flurry. They cost under £8 (EIGHT POUNDS) kept my toes cosy, dry and warm and most importantly they match the bobble on my hat. (That became very important to me, and not the weird crouching in the photo)

Thought – Step up or step out

I’ve (again) been watching a lot of Matthew Hussey’s content and it’s having a very positive effect on my self-esteem and dating confidence. I feel like I’ve got my sass back and I’m getting to appreciate my worth again. When dealing with guys who aren’t used to reaching standards, it’s ok to move on and see if the next guy’s values match yours. We all have a choice to step up or step out. If they really value you, they’ll want to level up or at least meet you halfway. But it’s ok if they prefer to continue to operate at their level – especially if it works for them – I just know it’s not for me. *hair flick* Check out how GREAT my bum looks as I sashay away….

Accessories – Lipsy earrings

I have weird ears that curl up like Quavers. The cheesy crisps, not the musical note. I rarely wear earrings because it’s difficult to find ones heavy enough to hold down my curled-up lobes. Earrings just end up looking odd on me but I’m super-in-love with all the tassly ones that are everywhere at the moment. I found these nude pink sparklers by Lipsy and they are perfect! Just heavy enough to hold down my rogue lobes without being so heavy that I need a chiropractor. Super-glam.

As always I’d love to hear what you’ve been enjoying this month? Let me know.

Big cwtches

Kate xx

Feb Faves

I know, I know…we’re halfway through March. But then I thought it’s never too late to chat about the stuff I’ve been loving.

TV – The Sinner

My gorgeous friend Ash recommended this one to me and as with every TV series, I have to check “Will I be scared?” She confirmed I would and I watched it all anyway (fearless badass over here) It has quite possibly the most graphic first episode I can recall, but there’s no doubt you are absolutely hooked from the outset. For me figuring out the why is always way more fascinating than figuring out the who and I’m really glad Netflix is pioneering the modern Whydunnit. Also, Jessica Biel is STUNNING and will make you want a fringe. PUT THE SCISSORS DOWN KATE THIS HAS NEVER ENDED WELL.

Live events – KSI vs Joe Weller Boxing

This feels like FOREVER ago now but it was a bit of a moment for YouTube so it’s still worth a mention. The hype and build-up was phenomenal. I’m a grown-ass anti-violence woman and even I couldn’t wait to see the outcome of two young hot internet guys rough each other up in the Copper Box. (Not.A.Euphemism.)

Loyalties split the House of Hamm, with F very much on Team KSI and me cheering louder for cheeky Joe Weller. I was absolutely gutted with the result but delighted F got to meet a few of his favourites and we ended the night with commiseration / celebratory chicken wings. Still don’t think boxing is for me, but I had fun.

Food – The Reuben, Deli a GoGo

The best sandwich in Cardiff and it’s just a hop, skip and a jump from my office. A bloody classic done beautifully. Pop along on a sunny day and enjoy the delicious deli treats and friendly atmosphere. If you can leave without buying a jar of something you never knew you needed, you’re stronger than me.

Podcast – She’s All Fat

A podcast for body positivity, radical self-love and chill vibes only. I just love April and Sophie! They are intelligent, hilarious and kind and best of all they completely understand the world for fat women. Not a single episode has gone by without either making me laugh or cry and I’m proud to be a Patreon supporter for this super-important work. (Please be my friends)

Make-up – Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Lip Colour

Not personally a fan of Rita Ora but man can she select a lip colour. The formula is the least-drying matte liquid lipstick I’ve ever tried (and I’ve tried a few) it’s super-long lasting and comes in a great shade range. I went for a classic siren red, the deepest burgundy and a cool toned taupey-nude (which I absolutely love but worry it makes me look unwell and then I wear it anyway) And when it’s 3 for 2 it’d be rude not to, right?

Clothes – Next Yellow Jumper

Sunshiney joyful knitwear rocks my world. I’ve already worn this to death. It’s cosy, bright and at £22 it’s a tidy bargain.

Book – Present Over Perfect

Another literary find via Oprah (thanks hon) this book is honestly changing me. I’m a bit of a sucker for a self-help tome but something in this particular one speaks to my soul. I listened to the Oprah episode at about 3am one night when I couldn’t sleep and sobbed with recognition. I bought it in paperback because I just knew this would be something I’d need to carry with me, make notes and mark pages. If religious faith talk isn’t for you, you might want to swerve this one, but if you’re obsessed with being seen as capable, are forever hectic and a pro at fake relaxing YOU NEED THIS. A simpler life awaits.

YouTube Channel – Matthew Hussey

This guy needs a knighthood or something. Changing women’s lives all over the world, dating-dream Matthew gives the best advice from a devilishly handsome man’s perspective. HE KNOWS WHAT THEY THINK AND HE TELLS US. He’s genuinely sweet and kind and has a hot transatlantic accent thing going on (remember when Paul McKenna went to America? THAT. Only he’s not hypnotising you to think of a spittoon every time you want chocolate.) His channel is like a secret portal into men’s minds and he’s not too awful to look at. It’s well worth checking out his Love Life podcast too. I had to pull over the other day when he was advising a caller named Crystal on sexual tension. It all got too much for me.

Watch this space for a crowdfunding page to send me on one of Matthew’s retreats coming VERY SOON…c’mon, you’d love to see that, yes?! I WANT TO SPEND FIVE DAYS IN PARADISE TRANSFORMING MY LIFE DAMMIT.

As always I’d love to hear what you’ve been enjoying this month? Let me know.

Big cwtches

Kate xx

Snow Day Thoughts

I need to dig my way to the garage.

My snow boots and shovel are in the garage.

How far can I jump?

I don’t have a bucket to collect grit from the container at the end of the street.

I can collect grit from the container at the end of the street in my Cath Kidston mixing bowl.

I must ensure all grit is safely removed before doing any baking.

Can I put beans on Naan bread?

I can definitely put beans on garlic bread.

Why do I have all of the bread products, apart from actual sliced bread?

Bread-making is a good skill to acquire.

I already have a mixing bowl.

I’m so proud of all the heroes making stuff happen.

I’m definitely not a hero.

I want to be a hero.

I wonder if I could successfully park a 4 x 4?

This snow-selfie lighting is incredible.

The whole world is my ringlight.

I should go out and experience the wonder of this extraordinary weather.

I will probably fall over.