Monday, June 26

Madrid Visual Diary | Video

At long, long last I have edited, uploaded and am now sharing my Madrid Visual Diary with you lovely people. This was filmed nearly a month ago (oh how time flies!). I hope that you enjoy it just as much as I did when I was filming it. 

I am set to be doing more YouTube videos as my passion for photography has grown massively and I will be publishing a June video on July 1st. Watch this space (no pun intended).

Instead of posting a 'Weekend in IV' post today, I thought I would share this with you :) I would love to hear your thoughts.

Kate xo

Friday, June 23

Interior Edit | Bathroom Redesign



Since moving into our home back in November 2015, we have been slowly making changes, as well as applying (& successfully being granted) planning permission for a kitchen-diner extension, as well as a double-story extension on the side. All along our time in our Victorian semi-detached property, we have been working on completely redesigning what we currently have. From turning the living room into a homely, relaxing space to completely knocking down walls upstairs and revamping the bedrooms; we had been dreaming of a modern, yet stylish bathroom. 

Although we are consistently trying to revamp the Victorian style of our home, a style which it sadly lost with its previous owners; we nevertheless want our bathrooms to be modern and elegant looking. 

Working on a budget, as well as a somewhat tight space, we spent hours discussing, sketching and measuring the bathroom whilst always having Pinterest in the forefront of our minds. Working on a budget meant that we found some gems on eBay, such as our free-standing bath, sink, power shower, shower tray, light-up mirror cabinet, glass screen and velux roof window. We went through reputable eBay sellers which were established bathroom companies, yet we saved a fortune. In the early days of our bathroom design, we were quoted by the Bath Store £800 for the shower tray and glass screen which was worlds away from what we actually spent on eBay. 

For the tiles, toilet and taps we went through Victorian Plumbing which I would highly recommend to anyone, especially the sales that they have as you will get some real bargains(!). 

Our theme in our bathroom was square, literally, even the tile ridge is square to be in-keeping with the modern, clean lined look. The local tiler and plumber we hired were absolutely amazing at what they did. My dad declared them both as artists, as the work they did was perfect, with them both making sure that everything was symmetrical and neat. 

The bathroom feels so so different to what it used to be, along with the sash window which is reminiscent of the Victorian vibe throughout the house. 

The only downside to renovating the bathroom, as I am sure that anyone with only one bathroom will be aware of, is that we were without a functioning bathroom for around 5 weeks. This meant that we moved into B's older brother's house and then my dad's house. However, it was all completely worth it and I couldn't be happier. 

There is really nothing better than sitting in the free-standing bath after a long day of work whilst looking up through the velux.

Kate xo

Tuesday, June 20

The Weekend in IV

{June 16th - June 18th}

Friday 16th June

It was a quick turn-around on Friday evening as me, Ben, Mike & Dad went to a local restaurant to meet up with family members who we hadn’t seen in a while. It was a night full of laughter, fun and yummy food. We spent most of the time asking each other to repeat what we had said because the restaurant echoed everything we said; letting our voices escape into the myriad of other conversations. The evening went by all too fast and before we knew it, it was time to head home and get some rest for a busy following day ahead.


Saturday 17th June

The liberating feeling you get on a Saturday morning, when you realise you don’t have work, you have slept over your usual get-up time by 2 hours and the realisation that you don’t even have work the next day. Knowing gleefully that you have all this joy to come around again. As both Ben and I were particularly tired after a busy week, we had a very lazy morning spent watching home renovation shows.

The sunshine was beaming through the windows, reminding us of the birthday BBQ we were attending in the afternoon for Ben’s uncle. So we grabbed a present for him from our local crafts shop and headed on over for an afternoon in the sun. We stayed sat outside until the sunset and the moon rose, the fire pit was roaring and our G&Ts were cold.


Sunday 18th June

As the sun rose from the depths of the peak district, the coffee machine sprung into action to wake our weary eyes.

We decided to make the most of the glorious weather, so Ben continued to dig out the foundations for our kitchen-diner extension; whilst I did some gardening. There is something so therapeutic about gardening, I feel so relaxed and calm amongst the beauty of nature. I had been growing lavender plants in separate pots so that they became more established before planting them in the corner border of the garden.

I have an upcoming blog post on how to get started with gardening, which I do hope you enjoy. I used to find the thought of gardening daunting, and the bugs that lurked amongst the greenery more daunting. I never fail to let out an almighty shriek whenever any type of mini-beast lands on me!

I do hope that your week has started off well J

Kate xo

Friday, June 16

Book Club | The Course of Love

On a lazy Sunday afternoon wandering through Manchester, I browsed through my all-time favourite shop; Waterstones. I just love the feeling of this place (especially the Deansgate store) as people from all different walks of life pick up a book in the hope of escaping to an alternate reality. 

The Course of Love caught my eye with its unique front-cover and the blurb giving a brief insight into the book. I am usually (as you will come to realise) a lover of crime-fiction books and therefore I surprised myself by venturing into a different fictional world: romanticism. 

The story follows the love life of Rabih, an architect who lives in Scotland. The various chapters in the book divulge in the differing stages of love, from mere crushes to the depths of marriage and having children. The book is wrote beautifully, almost poetically by Alain de Botton, who has wrote a series of novels on a variety of topics. Throughout the book there are snippets of italic writing which is wrote from an outside perspective, a rational perspective, almost like a dove's bird-eye view of what is happening below. These sections are an integral thread to the novel, as the reader is almost forced to rationalise the differing stages of love's course. 

In addition to this, Alain expertly writes, flitting from one topic to another, making the leaps between spaces in time seem to effortless. At no point in this book did I feel as though it was loosing its pace, I constantly felt hooked. At some points I empathised with Rabih, and even shared sections of the text with my friends. This book really has enlightened conversations and my own personal thoughts on love, and I am ever so grateful that I happened to come across it on my lazy Sunday in Manchester. 

Kate xo

Monday, June 12

The Weekend in IV

{June 9th - June 11th}

It's been a pretty eventful weekend...

Friday 9th June.

Ben and I kicked off the weekend in true style, as I have been off work this week, yet still managing to spend most of my time sleeping doing assignment writing for my Masters; we spontaneously decided to venture to the beach to take in the sunset on Friday evening. We packed all of the camera gear in the back of the car, took some loose change for a coffee and seat belted Harry in for a short drive to the coast. It was so refreshing to take in the fresh air with the windows down and listen to our favourite music while we caught up on what we'd been up to that day. 

Once we arrived at the beach we climbed up the tallest sand dune, Harry was even lagging behind! He can be such a lazy dog sometimes. But once we got to the top he took great delight in running down, letting the forces of gravity glide him down the sand. There is something so relaxing about the beach, just sitting and taking in the force of the wind, watching the waves effortlessly sweep onto the wet sand while people frolic in the delight of the cool water. 


Saturday 10th June.

Saturday rolled round after a wonderful night by the sea and I helped my brother set up his very own blog. My dad had also just come back from his two week holiday in Menorca and so we had loads to catch up on. 1 espresso just wouldn't cut it. Later in the day Ben and I had a big tidy up of the house before going to his uncle's for a delicious 3 course dinner and plentiful amounts of red wine. 


Sunday 11th June.

As our extension is well and truly underway, we spent most of Sunday doing work on the house; with Ben digging out the footings for the foundations. I made a homemade moussaka for him to indulge in after a rather eventful and physically demanding day. 

I am back at work this week after a two week break (which has been divine). I'm looking forward to the weekend as it's a birthday BBQ party, let's hope the weather is good!

Kate xo

Friday, June 9

Madrid Photo Diary

Madrid es una ciudad de pura belleza.

Over the Bank Holiday Weekend, myself, Fozia, Karen & Lucy went to Madrid for an amazing city break. We had the weekend away planned since January and I literally was counting down the days until I had warm, Spanish sunshine on my skin. 

Embarking to Manchester Airport on Saturday 27th May, we were all ready for the imminent sunshine, wearing light clothing and sandals to get into the summer spirit. It’s always typical that when you go on holiday, British weather suddenly seems to improve and you almost feel begrudged to leave such amazing weather behind. (Thankfully when we returned from Madrid the sunshine continued to flood the British countryside which helped me overcome my post-holiday blues). 

After what can only be labelled as a palaver in Manchester Airport, we finally checked in at the correct terminal (after spending up to almost an hour trying at Terminal 1, only to be told that we should be in Terminal 3. In addition to this, our QR online check-in codes were way to big and thus we had to frantically find a computer and printer. Something which I did not realise you could do once at the airport. 

This stress, along with train cancellations at Piccadilly station left us feeling thirsty for prosecco water once we had passed security. Karen thankfully had an airport lounge card which meant that we were able to fill ourselves with food and hydrate our bodies before the short flight. 


Day 1:

We rolled out of bed, moisturised and sun-creamed before exploring the breathtaking city. We wondering down minuscule Spanish streets, coming across some gems, both me and Fozia bought matching chokers from a jewellers. We also had a wander through the famous market, El Rastro, where we came across some gorgeous linen clothes and quirky sunglasses. 

Around 3:30pm we headed back to our hotel, which was located in the idyllic area of Sol, as Lucy was arriving from London Heathrow Airport. We had a relax, or shall I say: a siesta, before getting ready for going out for a sangria and watch the world go by. 


Day 2: 

After a late night due to discovering a salsa, Cuban bar: Negra Tomassi, we set off to Gran Via, where myself and Fozia spent far-too-long-but-completely-necessary time in Zara whilst Lucy and Karen grabbed some breakfast and had a catch-up. If you ever go to Madrid, you must go into Zara as it is literally on every block (slight exaggeration). Fozia and myself treated it as though it was a museum as it did originate in Spain (*fun fact*). 

After buying an outfit each, we then had a quick change back at the hotel before pottering down Carrera de san Jeronimo in pursuit of Museo del Prado. Wow. Just wow. What a fantastic experience we had in their, soaking up all of the history and religious symbolism of the gothic paintings of Christ and the apostles. This is a definite must-see if you are in Madrid, and an extra plus is if you are a student between 18 - 25 you get in for free. For a standard adult ticket it is 15 euros. 

We continued to wander around Madrid, replenishing ourselves with an ice cream and cooling ourselves in the local churches before again having a siesta back at the hotel before a delicious paella at Las Brasas de Vulcano. We also had a class of Rioja on a roof-top bar which was pure bliss as we overlooked Madrid’s bustling streets and catching up as a four on what we had done that day. 

Then we danced way into the night back at the Cuban salsa bar, Negro Tomassi. 


Day 3:

On our final day we woke up bright and early to pack our bags and enjoy a breakfast in Plaza Mayor before visiting Palace Real. The artistry in this palace is phenomenal, it truly is spectacular. Countless hours and effort went into perfecting each and every crevice of each room. What was particularly inspiring was the work of Carlos III and how highly he continues to be regarded by the Spanish people today. 

Once our tummies started rumbling, we went to a Vegan cafe, Viva Burger, and we had an amazing lunch which actually filled me until 3pm the following day!


I cannot wait to take Ben to Madrid very soon and further explore the beautiful capital. 


Kate xo

Tuesday, June 6

The Weekend in Thoughts

Waking up on Sunday morning to discover the news that there has been yet another attack on British soil. Innocent people enjoying a night out with friends, family and loved ones; mingling in the warm air of the city. Only to then find themselves being targeted and their lives put in danger by 3 assailants. My thoughts and prayers go out to these people, along with those who were killed and injured in the Manchester attack only 2 weeks ago. The courage and strength of the police, paramedics and others who helped those at the scene are truly remarkable. 

It truly is in times like these when you reassess what is important to you, and as clearly visible from the solidarity shown in both Manchester and London, love has an ever growing presence in those affected. Even when it is pouring down with rain, even when the winds are blowing gails forcing your umbrella to turn inside-out; we must reassess not only ourselves, but the way we view the world in its totality. The rain is beautiful. The wind is almighty. Even in times of darkness there is light. This is why I wanted to share a poem with you about the rain by Sara Teasdale from WWI, a time where darkness was all-encompassing, where even the rain was a pleasure for the human imagination and eye. Rain is something we take for granted, instead of rushing through the rain to prevent our hair from getting wet, we should we running out into it's glory and embracing the cool spots of water on our skin.

I hope you enjoy the poem...

There will come soft rain and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound; 

And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white; 

Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire; 

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly; 

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone. 

Kate xo

Friday, June 2

Blogging With A Purpose

{A photo which brings back many happy memories of wandering through Sorrento's hidden streets with B after our visit to Capri}

As you may (or may not) be aware, I have been blogging for 5 years and I have to say, over the years I have learned a great deal. I remember back to the days when I would simply blog for the sake of it and post up to absolutely anything. When I think back to those early days, I can sympathise with my amateur-self, understanding that I was simply experimenting and finding my feet in an ever-growing blogosphere. 

However, when I decided to make a return to blogging, I was put off by the thought of blogging about the typical things I used to write about. Don't get me wrong, I am absolutely all for people who blog about beauty or fashion with a passion (no pun intended). But I feel as though I have evolved immensely since 2012 and I intend for my blog to also evolve meaningfully with me. 

I still have a love for dressing in nice clothes, experimenting with my hair and make-up; however I just don't think it would be a true reflection of me to write endlessly about those things. I don't want to blog simply for the sake of it, trying to unauthentically appeal to people. I think that over the years, from reading numerous blog posts and browsing Bloglovin' for up-and-coming blogs, I feel that it is obvious when somebody is blogging with a purpose or if they're just blogging to keep up appearances. 


Thus, after babbling (something which I have grown to enjoy doing I may add with that), is that I want my blog to cover five main loves of mine:

Photography (In all it's shapes and sizes)
Cooking (I mean, who doesn't love food?)
Gardening (Yes, I am now a green thumb and proud of it)
Reading (A monthly Book Club will start where I review a current read)
Interior design (As I & Ben renovate our Victorian home)

In addition to the large variety of content I intend to meaningfully and passionately write about, I also want to turn my hand to vlogging - this is something that I am extremely excited for and have already got two ancient videos in my YouTube archive

If you managed to stay with me through my chatty post, thank you for your support :)

Kate xo