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

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

A is for Audition

“You are the pride of your country. You are Great Britain. When you open your eyes…4 billion people all around the world will be looking at your face. Open your eyes…”

The rush of excitement I felt at that moment is still with me as I write that.

It was October 2011 and I was at my first audition to perform in the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony.

Suddenly, after initially applying on a bit of a lighthearted whim, I wanted it bad. Really bad.

I sang my heart out, danced my feet off, acted my socks off and sashayed my butt so hard it ached.

There were thousands of us. I had to stand out. Make my mark. Be big and amazing and impressive.

Was I terrified? Of course. But did I want to make it mine? Yes!

For once I let go, forgot all about every fear and insecurity I had ever carried with me and gave it everything I had.

It felt great.

For that reason, I then decided to make every single day an audition day.

To not be afraid, to not be ashamed, to not be anyone else but me, filled with joy.

Audition-Me is fearless. I like her.