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

Are you ready for this jelly?

Five days ago I began my 100 days of dancing every morning when I wake up.

This is my painless and most importantly FUN commitment to my body in an attempt to make friends with it again.

Early indications show that this is the best thing in the entire world.

(Do let me know if you try this too…I’d love to know if you’re dancing with me)

My favourite day so far has got to be my Bootilicious morning (Monday) in homage to the Superbowl. There’s nothing quite like a bit of booty-shaking to get your day off to the best possible start.

If you disagree then quite frankly I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly.

I will be counting down (or up?) to Day 100 but at this stage I’m pretty sure that my morning jiggle will eventually become permanently embedded into my routine. As regular as brushing my teeth and enjoying my jumbo coffee.

I am loving choosing my theme song for the day but I’m also aware that there may come a day where (to quote the Scissor Sisters) I don’t feel like dancing. We’ll cross that bridge if and when the unthinkable happens.

There may be trouble ahead….but while there’s Beyonce and jelly and love and romance….

Let’s face the music and DANCE.

100 days

Hanne Blank is an amazing woman.

We’ve never met but she feels a tiny bit like a best friend.

Hanne’s book “Big Big Love” which looks at fat sex and relationships, had such a massive impact on me, so much so that I feel reading it should be compulsory. (It is on the Essential Reading List for my boyfriends anyway…”Come back when you’ve read this, you’ll understand me better”)

Her latest book “The Unapologetic Fat Girl’s Guide to Exercise and other Incendiary Acts” is now on my wish-list prior to its release on Monday and I just know it will speak to me in the same way that BBL did. (Am I sounding like a complete fan-girl? Sorry)

Anyway, gushing aside…a few days ago I read about her 100 day challenge

In a nutshell, you decide on one or more new actions you will commit to doing with your body for 100 days.

I like challenges! I also like that Hanne herself has chosen belly dancing and singing (See? I told you we could be BFFs)

100 days is a fairly long time and I wanted to choose something both achievable and FUN (I know if I choose sit-ups I will be miserable) so after careful consideration I made my decision.

Starting TODAY for the next 100 days……when I get up in the morning, I will pick one song and DANCE.

I might be pogo-ing to a punk number or doing the Okey-Cokey, it doesn’t matter! What matters is that I am making an easy, fun and enjoyable commitment to my body that isn’t painful, punishing or problematical. And that’s what it’s all about! (*clap clap clap*)

I am a busy working Mum. Time is precious. But dancing to ONE song everyday…who can’t fit that in?

Music plays a massive part in my little family. It fills our home with joy and our ‘kitchen discos’ are LEGENDARY (there are just two of us…sometimes we pretend we’re in a nightclub…) Those of you following me will know that I have previously shared my love of dancing in Basketballs. What a great way to make friends with my body again!

I really like the idea of setting an energetic, positive tone for my day and because I also really like lists, I’m going to publish my music selections (in case you want to dance along with me – My Spotify ‘dance’ playlist will be coming soon)

Combining things which make me happy, being kind to my body, reaching a 100 day goal……it all seems pretty brilliant from where I’m dancing.

Basketballs….

I have never *actually* swallowed a basketball.

Trust me, if I had that level of talent I would be off exploiting it all over the world. You’d see me slam-dunking on every TV show and possibly tapping into a golden market of adult entertainment (She swallows whole balls…sorry)

The name of this blog comes from a little story about a little girl who loved to dance.

It was 1985. Legwarmers were considered to be a sensible fashion choice. I was 5 years old and a show-off. (That is possibly an understatement, as my family will be able to testify. Our bay window was my London Palladium and I would often refuse to come out from behind the curtains until they reached a level of applause I deemed appropriate.)

The sensible option was to enrol me into a local dance class and hopefully channel all of this energy into something wonderful.

I already had a leotard.

I can remember entering the dance studio via a shop that sold sparkly tights and just knowing that I was in the right place. I would do whatever it took to have glitzy legs.

As far as I was concerned I had landed in Fame.

Lots of the other little girls had clearly been going to the classes for quite a while and I watched them as they twizzled and swizzled until the teacher arrived.

We lined up, shoulder-to-shoulder. An army of black-leotarded five year old giggly girls all waiting to get their groove on.

The teacher walked up and down the lines, saying hello to a few girls and fiddling with a hairbun here and there. And then she came to me, a new grinning face. She laughed, poked my middle and said,

“Look at you! You look like you’ve swallowed a basketball!”

It was 27 years before I stepped into another dance class.

But the lesson (it sadly took 27 years to learn) is that I love to move my body and I shouldn’t let anyone stop me. Did it really matter that my leotard was a bit tighter? Did it really matter that my belly stuck out a bit more than the others’?

Of course not.

Grab your basketball and get your groove on. Be different. Stand out. Take up space. Find joy. Buy sparkly tights. Smile and do what you love.

Now, who fancies a dance?

I’ll bring the balls.