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

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

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

It’s OK

I said I wouldn’t blog for the entire month of May following April’s blog-a-rama, however I came across this amazing TEDx talk today and I simply couldn’t let it go by without drawing your basketball belly attention to it.

Golda Poretsky is AWESOME. Like properly, brilliantly AWESOME.

Her website Body Love Wellness rocks my world. Her podcasts ring with resonance in my ears.

I’m gushing again…but she really is great.

Here’s her brilliant TED talk.

Watch. Enjoy. Love your body. Right now. As it is.

Y is for You shouldn’t be eating that….

As we near the end of the April A-Z blog challenge I realise that I have wandered off the usual blog topics quite a bit. Sorry about that. Alphabetical restrictions have meant I needed to think differently about what I write about (and I have loved it) but I have made a conscious decision to make my last two A-Z postings as ‘basketball’ as I can.

Today – an unpleasant story

Tomorrow – a joyful one (I always like to end on a high)

So, here we go…

I was 19 and dashing across London to meet a friend to see a show (see M is for Musicals) As someone who rushes from place to place at breakneck speed trying to squeeze every bit of loveliness out of every single moment, I hadn’t taken the time to eat that day (a habit I have since broken) and was hungry.

Rushing + late + hungry = grabbing some street food whilst running across town. I’m sure you’ve all done it.

The incriminating meal was a slice of pizza. I paid and continued to dash, dodging tourists and London suits. I took a bite. Delicious. I chewed hard. Man that was good pizza. From just in front of me came,

“You shouldn’t be eating that” I looked up mid-chew to see an angry-faced man was addressing me “Look at you! You shouldn’t be eating that”

Lost – my appetite. No reward if found.

His work was done. He had bawled out a stranger in the street and continued with his day.

I bet he felt great. I didn’t.

The pizza was binned and I’m ashamed to say it was ages before I would allow myself to eat in public again (everyone I’ve ever had dinner with is now wondering if I was freaking out when I was eating with them….yes, probably) That one tiny moment really affected me and I thought that if I ate in front of people they would all be thinking the same thing. (Don’t get me wrong, there are still Food Police alive and well in my world, I just handle them differently now – not better, just differently – I’m still working on this one)

I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a person who says nasty things to strangers, but I bet it must be really horrible to be so filled with hate and rage that it just leaks out of you. Awful.

I also can’t imagine policing anyone else’s body but my own.

Your body, your business.

My body, my business.

D is for dinner party

I had never been invited to a dinner party before. It all seemed very grown up and exciting.

Of course I faffed about for ages over my outfit and decided on a simple BBD (big black dress) I did something unfathomable and therefore unrepeatable with my hair and I felt good.

I obviously knew the host couple but I hadn’t yet met anyone else who would be attending. As a permanent singleton, this is always an exciting and terrifying prospect. You never know if well-intentioned friends are going to spring an unsuspecting blind date from nowhere (not always unwelcome, but in my experience highly cringeville)

That would have been preferable to the actual outcome of the evening.

Oh yeah, brace yourself. It’s about to get fifty shades of awful….

So I arrived promptly like a good dinner party guest with a big smile and a bottle in my hand (I’d seen Come Dine With Me, I knew what to do)

Immediately I was introduced to a young chap called Asshat (names have been changed) who was posh and a tiny bit (hella load) pompous. But as a polite young professional I could smile and play nicely as our hosts tended to things in the kitchen.

(It is worth mentioning here that there was no romantic intention from our hosts, this wasn’t a blind date in disguise – it might have been the very worst if it was! There were other solo guests too)

Small talk is my forte. I can literally talk to anyone about anything for any length of time. We all have gifts. Incessant nattering is mine.

We covered such exciting topics as the weather, work and the aromas emanating from the oven.

I must have revealed something about myself that sparked a flicker of recognition as he suddenly clicked his fingers and exclaimed with a massive grin

“Ahh! I know who you are now! You’re Fat Kate!”

Our hosts re-entered the room at the exact moment I wanted to die.

Since this time my internal scriptwriter has come up with some incredibly witty, pithy put-downs in response to Asshat. Each one of them would have floored him and questioned his manhood as well as intelligence. But at the time? Nothing.

My gift for always finding something to say failed me and I crumbled. I can’t remember what I actually said. Something along the lines of “Yeah, that’s me”

Suddenly I felt stupid. And ashamed. Is this how my friends referred to me?

Did I have a cruel nickname I knew nothing about? Had I been invited as a twisted joke?

If I could have cried and ran out of the building I would have done.

Instead I smiled and cried within.

I didn’t eat a single thing at that dinner party.

Epilogue : I have seen Asshat a handful of times since that evening (small world) He is still an Asshat. I have since developed excellent mechanisms for dealing with such types and was able to tell him exactly where to put his married penis when he very kindly offered to share it with me. You wouldn’t believe it….

Things I know…

I know that he was a nasty man. I know that I did nothing wrong (other than failing to stick up for myself) I know that if this same thing happened today I would handle it differently. I know I probably shouldn’t give this evening any more thought.

D is for Done.

B is for Bubbly

I get described as “bubbly” quite a lot.

I’ll be honest, I hate it.

I have lots of energy, talk animatedly, and generally have limitless enthusiasm for what I’m doing (or why else would I be doing it?)

Bubbly
1. containing bubbles
2. (of a person) full of cheerful high spirits

The Urban Dictionary has the following definition

a really happy,perky,kind of annoying person at times.Its one of those people who wake you up in the morning really perky and you just wanna smack them in the face

Yeah. That’s me. I make no apologies.

Bubbles are empty and temporary. They are fun but fragile. They are also round.

Are you starting to see why I might not like to be described in this way?

My own negative association turns a fairly accurate description (I can’t deny, it fits me like a plus size glove) into something unpleasant and unintended.

The next time this happens I am going to imagine a tall, chilled bottle of champagne. Exclusive, expensive and decadent.

No-one wants to be empty and round.

Call me fizzy, effervescent, energetic, enthusiastic, passionate.

Call me baby! Just not bubbly.

Here’s Colbie Collait. Enjoy this lovely bubbly tune on this lovely sunny evening.

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