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

H is for Happiness

Vegas!

Last year’s holiday in Las Vegas brought me more happiness than you will ever know. We were there to celebrate my beautiful sister’s birthday (and oh we celebrated!) and I don't think I've ever had quite so much fun in my entire life.

I am very lucky that my sister is also my best friend. We will always have a ridiculous amount of fun wherever in the World we are, but for two girls who love glitz, glam, razzamataz and showbiz, going to Las Vegas was like returning to the Mothership.

Obviously, what happens in Vegas….stays in Vegas! But on the (fuzzy headed) trip home I popped into the Airport bookshop and stumbled across a little gem.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (New York Times Bestseller)

I’ll be honest, sleep was my priority on the flight home. It was something we failed to do whilst in Sin City! But as soon as I started to read, I was inspired.

Gretchen Rubin decided to dedicate a year to happiness and wrote about it – The Happiness Project (Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun)

The book is so well written and researched but as someone who identifies as a generally happy person I wondered what, if anything, The Happiness Project could bring to my life.

A WHOLE LOT!

I won’t spoil the pleasure of reading the book for yourselves, but two small simple steps that I have tried to implement into my day-to-day since reading the book are

1. Be Gretchen (Or in my case, Be Kate. Or in your case, Be You!)

I’m always me. But sometimes I do things I don’t really want to or have to do in order to please people or to appear to be something that I’m not. I think we’ve all done this. Sometimes you need to be a chameleon, but knowing yourself and what makes you really happy to your core is the key to ‘Being Kate’.

Which will make me happier? Reading a book on political history and appearing incredibly intelligent OR reading a slushy romantic novel that is fluff and frivilous. Be Kate – read the fluff!

Which will make me happier? Listening to a band whom I’ve never heard of and I’m not really fond of (…but they are REALLY COOL) OR putting my cheesiest mix of musicals on my ipod and cranking it up? Be Kate – belt out that cheddar!

I guess the point is, finding out what makes you happiest and doing it without being afraid of being who you really are. Chances are – if you’re happier – people will like you more anyway!

Be Gretchen. Be Kate. Be You.

2. The Evening Tidy Up

In our house, if I don’t do it – it doesn’t get done (and yes I am fully aware that I sound like my mother when I say that, but its true) I’m a working single mum and I have endless lists of things to do, places to be, tasks to complete – like most people, life is BUSY.

Mornings are pretty chaotic. There are packed lunches to be made, PE kits to be found, sheet music, rugby boots, football shinpads, a trumpet, presentations to prepare for…..sometimes I could SCREAM with exasperation over everything I have to remember. Sometimes I have SCREAMED with exasperation over forgetting something I was supposed to remember.

The Evening tidy-up is simple. This is not earth-shattering stuff. But boy does it make a difference.

You take 10 minutes before bedtime to tidy-up, organise and prepare for the next day.

Easy. Do-able. Effective.

Those 10 minutes will become your best friend.

You may still (sometimes) scream in the mornings, but your house will be tidy and organised as you do so *grin*

These two tiny simple things have undoubtedly brought more happiness into my world (and I thought there wasn’t room for any more happiness. Secret of Adulthood : There is ALWAYS room for more happiness)

There are loads more golden gems, but I’ll let you discover them for yourself.

Read this book. Start your own happiness project.

What makes you happy?

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