Sunday, 31 January 2016

December and January Favourites

I didn't do a December favourites blog post, as instead I did a Christmas haul on my YouTube channel to show you what I got. So now January is at it's close I thought I'd get back to it! I'm going to share a variety of things I picked up between December and January, but not anything I got for Christmas, as I've talked about them on YouTube.

I have become totally obsessed with the app Neko Atsume. It's like, my idea of heaven. You set up toys and food in your yard to lure cats in to play and try to collect them all! It's so cute, and you can take photos of the adorable visitors you get. There are certain themed rare cats that are just adorable and need special toys and food to lure them in. So obviously I've dedicated all my spare time to finding them!

I picked up this adorable faux suede skater skirt in the New Look sale for only £6! I think it's the sort of piece that I'll be able to wear throughout the year in every season. It's very comfy, super cute and a really nice length.

As ever, my Crown & Glory Glitterati subscription box was a total win, with this adorable cloud hair clip/brooch being my stand out piece from it. It's so cute! And has been rather apt for the weather this month. You can see everything I got in this box in my unboxing video on YouTube here.

OK, so I said I wasn't going to feature any Christmas presents, but this one deserves a special mention! My Mum picked me up this Barry M Nail Corrector Pen and it's brilliant. I love painting my nails, but I am terrible at it, as evidenced in the photo on the left. This pen cleaned my shocking paint job up so quickly, and it smells like melons!

These holographic ASOS sneakers are a dream. I have been lusting after a pair of iridescent/holographic shoes for the longest time, and finally found these in the men's section in a size that would actually fit me, yay!

I have fallen totally in love with Makeup Revolution Lip Lacquer. In this photo I'm wearing 'Keep lying for you'. They are super pigmented and last incredibly well. I bought 3, and ordered a few more straight away.

I bought this adorable velveteen dress in both red and black from Everything5Pounds. I love the 3/4 sleeves and the mini dress length, and what a bargain at £5. It's a different shape to what I would usually wear too which is always good to mix up.

Yours Clothing Ankle Boots with Cleated Heels

I grabbed these in the January sale and I've worn them so much. Now I know Yours Clothing do a size 10 I'm forever checking out their site!

I actually bought this in summer last year, but only just got around to hanging it. It was bought from Ebay, and I love it. However Stu hates it haha! So I decided that the room I use for my YouTube filming is the perfect spot for it, so he doesn't have to look at it and I can all the time! It's so amazingly over the top, like an ugly jumper that rocks.

What bargains did you pick up this month?

Much love,
Kitty xxxx

Friday, 29 January 2016

Birthday Tech Wishlist*

As most of you know, as well as being a blogger, I am also a photographer. I love taking photos. I take a camera with me everywhere! I probably take photos every single day. It's my birthday in February, and my family are inevitably asking me what I'd like. Compact cameras are something I look at more and more these days, with blogging and YouTube, so a cheeky tech wishlist seemed to fit the bill! Carrying my bulky SLR about isn't doing my back any favours when I'm not on a photoshoot, but Panasonic have released some amazing Premium Compact Cameras that fill that space perfectly.

The Lumix CM1 camera is the slimmest communication camera in the world. It runs on Android, and has a whopping 20 megapixels! Far more than my professional SLR actually! It can even shoot RAW files, perfect for the photographer who wants full control of their work. It has a fully manual control ring, giving you easy access to all the settings you could need, and is so thin is can slip in a pocket or handbag easily. It has a really sleek design, and a Leica lens. And Leica always make good lenses.

Now the Lumix DMC-LX100 has me seriously intrigued. I love a compact camera that looks like a more classic 35mm film camera! Fully manual, this camera also has a 4k video capacity that as a YouTuber, definitely tempts me. Best Buy called this the 'a new standard for compact cameras', which is a seriously impressive recommendation. As a photographer with RSI, a nice light compact is much more comfortable to carry for a more casual photography setting, and this would make for lush outfit photos! Plus, compact cameras like this just look cooler, don't you think? They feel almost vintage.

One of the things it's key to bear in mind when looking at cameras, is that it isn't all about megapixels. It can be really tempting to just go for the highest amount you can, but it isn't necessary. There is so much more to a camera than that. For me, being able to shoot fully manual and control my focus points in a compact camera is a dream! It would mean I could relegate my SLR to photoshoots only, and use the Lumix DMC-LX100 regularly instead for blog photos and my adventures. There are so many options for cameras. You need to look at what you as an individual need. 

The Lumix DMC-LX100 looks so lush, a gal can dream right? Remember, you can check out more of my photography here, I post behind the scenes photos and vlogs whenever I can.

Much love,
Kitty xxxx

*Written in partnership with Spot Digital.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

A Morris-Wood Wedding : On Taking My Husbands Surname

As a woman, who is marrying a man, it is generally expected then when we marry I will take his surname. Why? Because of tradition. Traditionally, a woman was considered a possession. She belonged to her father, and then her husband, and her surname reflected this. This isn't the same all over the world, but it certainly is in a large part of the Western world, including the UK. Married women couldn't hold property or vote, this was all the responsibility of their husband. However, it's the 20th century now and us gals can do as we please (at least when it comes to our surnames!) so here are some of the options I've considered from my hetero-normative stand point.

1) Don't do anything at all!

Who says you have to change your name? You might love your surname, or feel really attached to it as a part of your identity, so why should you change it? You might be the last person in your family with that surname, so not want to give it up. You don't have to do anything at all, and can both keep your original surnames, and still be a married couple, simple.

2) Change HIS surname.

That's right. Change his surname. If you have a totally badass surname, why not see if your husband wants to adopt it too? Maybe he has a really common surname, or it has bad memories for him, you could switch and use your surname as the married surname instead. Screw those gender norms!

3) Hyphenate.

Hyphenating has become a really popular option for couples as time has gone on. They can sound so pretty! My options would be Morris-Wood or Wood-Morris. I think Wood-Morris sounds a little clunky, but I really like how Morris-Wood sounds and am seriously considering it as an option. Our surnames are both on the shorter side, but longer names can sound really lovely combined together too.

4) Use one of the surnames as a middle name.

If you want to preserve your maiden name, you can opt to use it as a middle name, or use your partner's name as a middle name. This works particularly great if you don't have a middle name currently, or only have a smaller one. I however have 2 middle names so won't be opting for this one as my name would be so long.

5) Create a totally new surname.

I totally wish we could do this one. I even know what surname we'd use. We'd be Mr and Mrs Worley. Like Clarence and Alabama from True Romance! You could be superheroes or villains, smush your existing surnames to create a totally new one, whatever you like. In the UK at least, you can change your name to whatever might take your fancy so long as you aren't committing fraud. And I should know, I once met a man called Magnet Man. First name Magnet, second name Man. How fun is that?!

In the UK we are incredibly lucky to have so many options. Many countries, including European countries, have laws regulating what you can or cannot do with surnames when marrying. To be given so much freedom is fantastic and I am incredibly grateful for it. I am also happy that Stu doesn't really mind what I do!

For me and Stu, the things impacting upon our decision are that he has children who have his surname. He therefore wants to keep his surname that he shares with his children, which I totally understand! Therefore, it's all on me. I'm pretty sure I'm going to go with Kitty Morris-Wood. It flows so nicely, combines our names together, and doesn't feel like a decision that isn't a feminist decision for me personally. I dislike the traditional idea that surnames represent ownership and have thought about it a lot.

What do you think? What do you plan to do, or what did you do?

Much love,

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

The Liebster Award

The ever so lovely Tanya of Secret Plus Size Goddess nominated me for a Liebster award! I have been nominated before, but with totally different questions, way back in April 2015 (which you can read here) so I was more than happy to be nominated again! I love reading all about different people and finding new bloggers, and the Liebster Award is a fab way to do that.

If you could make one wish come true (either for yourself of someone else) What would it be and Why?

I'd take Stu to South Africa so he could go cage diving with Great White Sharks. It's always been his dream, and I would love to be the one to make it happen!

What is your favourite Song, and why?

Such a tough one! It changes all the time depending on my mood. My all time favourites are probably Skid Row - Sweet Little Sister, Alice in Chains - Them Bones, The Eagles - Life in the Fast Lane, Reel Big Fish - Where Have You Been? and Stone Sour - Zzyx Road. But it entirely depends on my mood, sometimes I'm all about songs that make me happy and want to sing along, other times I'm more introspective and reach for my favourite country artists.

Name one place, real or imaginary that you have always wanted to go.

There are so many places I want to see, I love travelling and history. The ultimate is probably a road trip tour of the US, with photoshoots with my favourite models as I go.

What item of clothing can you not live without?

Boots! I love boots. I don't care if I'm dressed casually, or all glammed up, stompy boots are my fave.

What is your favourite meal and why?

I'm a huge fan of tikka massala with loads of spinach, with either home made chips or rice, or the all time fave, a good margarita pizza or garlic bread surpreme, with tons of garlic sauce. It's gotta be a good, thick garlic sauce! They just make me happy.

If you could be someone else for the day, Who is it, and Why?

I'd have to be a guy I think, for all the obvious reasons a girl might want to be a guy for the day haha! Someone like Idris Elba. I'd just look at myself in the mirror all day being beautiful.

What has been your worst Fashion Faux Pas AND pictures if possible please!

Oh man, there have been so many! My teenage greebo years were interesting to say the least. I used to wear my jeans really low with boxer shorts visible, and thought fishnets were a viable option to wear as a t shirt. I looked like I was wearing a string vest, but in pink and black! I thought I was so punk and cool. I was not! I also wore a lot of bandeau tops because I loved the song 'Ban the tube top' by Reel Big Fish. Which was probably not their intention, to encourage anyone to wear them, which meant a lot of time spent pulling them up.

I wore a lot of band t shirts and was ridiculously moody.

I was also incredibly matchy matchy and drew stars on my face. Oh the shame.

Who do you admire and Why?

So many people! Anyone who has the courage to stand up for what they believe in, and live authentically.

Where do you want to see the PS Blogging community in 5 years?

I would love to see us more widely accepted, still fighting for equality and diversity. Hopefully we can be in a really positive place, with diverse and wonderful role models, spreading the love!

Who/What is your secret crush or Guilty Pleasure?

I'm not very secretive about my more unusual crushes haha! I have a thing for Freddy Flintoff, League of Their Own has totally made me crush on him, Idris Elba is a true thing of beauty, probably the weirdest one is Robert Knepper. I love him with a southern accent in Prison Break, even though he's the bad guy!

I'm all about that accent with that face. I love a London accent. It's why I'm marrying one!

I can't resist cheeky.

I don't know what it is, but damn!

IF you had to move to a desert island with no social media access, what FIVE items would you take?

Oh man! No social media would suck. I hate not being online. OK. So first thing would be my camera, because I can't not take photos. Second would be moisturiser, I can't cope without it. Third would have to be a really soft blanket. Fourth would be an endless supply of notepads and blue biros so I can write. And finally, something absolutely filled with music with a forever battery life as I can't survive without music.

My questions for my nominees!

1) What is your favourite food?
2) Where would you love to visit?
3) Who is your ultimate crush?
4) What is your favourite clothing piece you've ever owned?
5) What is your worst fashion faux pas?
6) Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
7) Who are your favourite bloggers?
8) If you could be any animal for the day, what would you be?
9) Do you have any pets? Share photos! If you don't, what would you have?
10) What was your dream job as a kid?
11) What is your favourite thing about blogging?

I nominate Dom, Melly, Chloe, Lottie, Steph, Nikee, Charlotte, Mookie, Sam and Amanda!

Much love,
Kitty xxxxx

Sunday, 24 January 2016

My Selfie Story

It is often quite surreal to see how you have changed over the years in photos. My hair has been every colour under the sun, I've gained weight, lost weight, gotten better at makeup, moved across the country, and most notably for me, improved my mental health drastically. It might seem like an odd thing to say, but selfies have really helped me see how much I have improved, and how much I have grown in that respect.

I suffer with social and general anxiety, and depression. I have seen therapists and taken medication, and thanks to cognitive behavioural therapy, I am unrecognisable from the person I was. I was incredibly lucky to find something that worked so well for me, and that I was able to improve my mental health.

Between 2006-2012 I was in an on and off relationship that was unhealthy and extremely emotionally manipulative. Thanks to selfies, I can physically see the toll it took on me. These photos were all taken in that time.

I was 'happily' showing off my new nose piercing here.

Celebrating my parent's 25th wedding anniversary in an amazing custom dress.

I look pretty miserable right? While I was looking for photos of myself from this period of time, it was actually really hard to find any, because I took so few.

And supposedly smiling. But I'm not. I can see that I'm not. Look at my eyes, those aren't eyes that are smiling or happy. This was Christmas Day. I still look so unhappy.

I was the right kind of age to love Myspace, the first generation that really took to selfies and documenting yourself, so over the years I have taken thousands of photos of myself. I've taken them because I felt cute, because I needed validation, or wanted attention, to show off a new outfit, or for so many other reasons. And they tell me such a story.

Look at the difference in smile between the photo above and this one. I look positively ecstatic in this one! (And I was, I met Patrick Stewart, dream fulfilled!). It is so obvious how happy I am, there is no comparison.

A random selfie with Stu. My eyes are smiling, and I feel happy just even looking at this photo.

And a recent random selfie to document new makeup I got. The difference in my smile is huge for me.

Taking selfies, and being able to look back on my old selfies, helps me realise how much I've changed. Mental health is a journey, and I can see how far I've come thanks to these photos. So often selfies are lauded as vanity, as egotistical, but I love them. Because if I was feeling good enough to take a photo of myself, that's an awesome day! I wish every day was a selfie day. I never used to take photos of myself, because I didn't think I was pretty, or cute. I do now, and that is major.

My selfies help tell me a story. That show me the sad quiet girl I was, and now the beautiful, bright and happy girl I have become. I consider selfies a big part of my journey towards self love. They tell me that I've learnt to stop being so afraid of myself, that I was worthy of feeling pretty and loved, and that I can love myself. I am proud to be someone who takes selfies and shares them regularly. Because the old Kitty would never have dreamed of doing it. She would never have dared to do it.

I love selfies, and I hope you do too.

Much love,
Kitty xxxx

Thursday, 21 January 2016

A Morris-Wood Wedding : An Alternative to the Bouquet

Traditionally, a bride carries a flower bouquet. But times have changed, and you can carry whatever you want now! I ummed and aahed a lot about the different options, before deciding that I was actually going to have a flower bouquet, but not a traditional one. I'm still debating what my bridesmaid will carry, we discussed it and agreed that they want something to hold so they have something to do with their hands, rather than them just hanging limply by their sides. I don't blame them, I would want something too!

Rather than a bunch of flowers, how about a giant paper flower instead? A paper flower is something you can keep forever, and how much fun is one giant flower instead? There are plenty of Etsy sellers who can custom make whatever flower and colour combination you like, but you could also give it a go at making your own with crepe paper.

As a teenager, I loved a good parasol. I didn't want to get tanned, so I carried a lace parasol with me in the summer. As ours is a summer wedding, a parasol could be perfect to shield you and your bridal party from the sun's rays. You could opt for a waterproof style just in case the lovely British weather rears it's ugly head.

Did you and your partner meet over a mutual love of books? A book bouquet made out of your favourite tales is a quirky and cool option. You could even get table confetti and button holes made to match! This is something you could try and make yourself too. You could even make this out of comic books!

If like me, you love a butterfly or moth, this is definitely a DIY bouquet you could make yourself! The internet is full of different butterflies you could buy, pop on wire and tie together with some ribbon.

Source - Bespoke Bride

Button and brooch bouquets have become a staple of the alternative bride blogs. Easy to make at home with a little at dedication and determination. A brooch bouquet can add instant glamour, and a button bouquet is a way to add a lot of colour and cuteness!

Do you have ideas for something totally different for your wedding? Tell me about it!

Much love,
Kitty xxxx

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Dreaming of Spring

Is it Spring yet? I seem to have been wrapped up in jumpers and layers for so long now, I want less bulk and more cute! Here are some of my new season picks.

This is totally adorable! That it has pockets makes me seriously happy, more dresses should have pockets. You could pop a t-shirt underneath this for an extra layer and wear it without to keep it versatile right through into summer.

One of my absolute favourite pieces I got in 2015 was a duster jacket from Pink Clove, and this is a lighter version with lace sleeves that I have serious lust for. It's a bargain at £20!

A shirt dress is perfect for Spring, it provides a bit of extra coverage because of the sleeves, you could pop a vest underneath easily, and it would look just as good with leggings and boots as it does with heels.

The flare of the sleeves, the cut out shoulders, I love the hint of goth in this!

A denim jacket is just about my favourite thing in Spring, and this is amazing! I love the embroidery, it's so different and fun, and such great colours.

A waistcoat is the ideal way to add an extra layer without adding too much bulkiness, and I can never resist a waterfall style.

Cowboy perfection! I love the frayed edges of this. Throw on a suede jacket and I'm in Dolly Parton heaven.

What trends are you looking forward to this Spring?

Much love,
Kitty xxxx

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Makeup Revolution Haul & Swatches

One of my favourite new companies of 2015 was Makeup Revolution. They are a UK based company who are cruelty free! This was my second order after I loved the first so much and I couldn't resist their January sale.

One of the things that I love the most that they do, is their palettes. I have so many now and I can't stop lusting after more!

I Heart Sin Palette

First off, how lush is this packaging? I love the purple heart on this. It contains 16 palettes, a mirror and a double ended smudger foam brush.

This palette has a real mix of colours, with some incredibly bright mattes, some shimmers, and some more normal matte shades too. Having such a mixture might seem a bit of an odd choice, but actually, there are groups of colours that would work so well together, making this an ideal palette for travelling light.

I decided to swatch 3 of the bright mattes, and 3 of the shimmers. The bronze shimmer hasn't shown up so well on camera, but it looked amazing! I'm not much of one for bronze or gold tones, but Makeup Revolution have really converted me. The bright matte pink in particular was seriously impressive in how pigmented it was, these could be built up so easily.

5 Baked Eyeshadows - Electric Dreams

Baked eyeshadow was a new discovery for me last year, and in my first Makeup Revolution order I snagged myself one of these baked sets and loved it so much I had to get some more. The colours work so well together and again are ideal for travel with their small size.

How beautiful are these colours? I tend to use eyeshadow as eyeliner as I am terrible at applying eyeliner, and sets like this are ideal for that.

5 Baked Eyeshadows - Bang Bang

I also opted for this more blue toned baked set as I thought it would look gorgeous for a good smokey eye.

And look at these swatches! I can't wait to create a look with this.

I am Sexy Palette

The I Am range is a 6 eyeshadow palette and a lipstick in a certain theme. This aims to create a smokey eye with a vampy red lip. These would make really cute presents, and are easy to pop in your handbag.

Awesome Metals Eye Foils Pure Platinum
Awesome Metals Eye Foils Black Diamond

I couldn't resist ordering these to try out! These foils are super intense metallics and I cannot wait to give these a go. I didn't swatch them as they involve mixing the foil with primer, however I have done a very quick look with them.

This took me minutes and still came out really nicely, with a bit more care and attention you could easily do a very pigmented and sparkly look.

Ultra Velour Lip Cream in Don't bring me down
Ultra Velour Lip Cream in Not one for playing games
Salvation Velvet Lip Lacquer in Vamp
Salvation Velvet Lip Lacquer in Rebel
Salvation Velvet Lip Lacquer in Keep lying for you

Matte lips were huge in 2015, and that trend isn't going anywhere this year. These are only £3 each (I got them on sale at £1.50!) and tend to sell out really quickly, so I snagged 5 because well... it would be rude not to! I love all the sassy names!

How lush are these? I prefer the finish of the lip lacquers to the lip creams, and they are SO pigmented. The very first day I wore one of the lip lacquers I ended up helping my Auntie order some and my Mum is desperate for them.

Wearing 'Vamp'

Wearing 'Rebel'

This is 'Keep lying for you' and I look damn cute in it! My eyes in this are the Pure Platinum foil I mentioned above.

This lip lacquer has serious staying power. These photos were taken at 8:30, then 10:30, 14:30, and 17:30. I ate wearing it, drank hot and cold drinks and had a hideous cold so blew my nose a lot. I was so impressed. You can't ask for more for £3. The top 2 photos are lit with natural light, the bottom two are artificial which is why my skin tone changes slightly, no editing here.

I am sure it won't be too long before I make another order from Makeup Revolution, they are so well priced and such good quality, and being cruelty free they are a total dream! What are your favourite items that they make?

Much love,
Kitty xxxx