kittyramblesalot

Our Garden Makeover

Thursday, 25 June 2020

During lockdown, like many people, my husband Stu and I started a big house project, and we've totally over hauled our whole back garden. We are very lucky to have a large back garden (thank you Grimsby house prices), but we aren't the most green fingered of people. Bar my love of succulents, we wanted something that was easier on the upkeep than what we had because it required a lot of weeding and attention that neither of us really wanted to spend our weekends doing.

We've both still been working full time (also very lucky!), but had some time off booked together and worked really hard to get it sorted. Stu in particular worked ridiculously hard, turning his hand to woodwork and he has really taken to it! He took out over 16 old conifer tree stumps we'd had taken down last summer (they were in the middle of our garden in a line for some bizarre reason!), and cut down several huge trees that were blocking light from our garden and were planted in really impractical places.







We were given a free shed that needed the floor replacing, roof repairing, roof trim replacing and more. Stu got to work, I got to painting, and this is the after! Stu also made us the amazing bench with a planter either side. This whole area was full of bushes before, and a rotten cooking apple tree, so we levelled it, and lined it, and moved the gravel you see from another part of the garden to here to make it a nicer area. The bench planters have a couple of succulents in each that should hopefully soon spread to fill them out nicely.





While the shed project was going on we were also dealing with the actual garden itself. We don't have any particularly good before photos because we didn't quite anticipate how much we were going to drastically change it, and a lot of the photos I can find are low resolution phone photos, but this photo of our sweet late Ashen playing in the garden with Stu gives you a pretty good idea of how it used to look.








   
          

This is the back of the garden, the left photo shows where the shed now sits, and the right photo gives you an idea of the conifer line before we had it cut down last year, and the hugely overgrown border full of trees.

         

Very overgrown boarders that were really wonky, a weird half white fence at the back wall, a line of conifers in the middle of the garden that meant a whole section of it was accessible for some unknown reason, as well as a bunch of large conifers in the back corner. Sadly the biggest conifer belongs to our neighbour, not us, so we can't do a whole lot about that one bar cut back what comes across into our garden. We also plan to sort out that wibbly wobbly half fallen down fence ASAP too, it's not ours so we're just going to put a new one on our side.



And the after! Conifers gone, lawn edged so it's not wonky, borders relined and regravelled, and a corner section fenced off for Stu's wood store for his wood work! The garden is so much bigger without the weird line of conifers that blocked off the back of the garden. We plant to totally cover the gravelled area in a variety of mismatching pots and planters full of succulents grown from our wedding flowers, and my G and Grandma's funeral flowers. I just need more pots! We had 2 tonnes of gravel delivered, and need another tonne really just to fill out the border properly. Stu made the edging from old decking board that I painted.


                    

My Mum and Dad propograted these aloe vera for us from ones they have in their garden, and I've been repotting some of my extensive collection of succulents that live indoors (after researching which ones can surive outdoors in the UK!). We have a lot of plans for more plants as it does look a little sparce in the large borders at the moment, but we aim to use pots and planters to make the borders more manageable. Weeding is the worst! We've left one ground conifer in, a castor oil plant, and a pieris, the latter two were somewhat hidden by the old giant conifers so we're hoping they will thrive now they have lots more room and light.

The area behind the conifers was a barren wasteland of weeds and mess. It meant we needed to figure out the best way to turn it all into actual garden and grass, so we decided to attempt to transplant some of the old wonky border we had removed into the newly dug over area. And it worked! We then kept an eye out on Facebook for anyone giving away free turf (which happened a surprising amount locally), or selling it really cheap, and we were able to source a whole bunch more turf, enough to fill the huge void that had been left and some.



We ended up with a very patchwork looking lawn at the back once we had laid all the turf, and some of it looked like it might not recover because it was so dry and hot when we did it.

Thankfully with some grass seed thrown on top with a bit of extra soil in the 'seams', and some very heavy rain, it is knitting together nicely and so much new growth has come through.




You can see how mismatched it was in these photos, like a quilt! You can barely tell now, and with the weather we've had it suddenly shot up with growth and Stu was finally able to cut the grass. It's now all a lush green thanks to the rain! It's unreal how much bigger the garden is without the weird conifer row and the extra grass. We've no idea why on earth anyone would put a row of such big trees in the middle of their garden!




It's been a huge project, and it's not quite finished yet, but getting hold of some of the bits we need to finish it off has been tricky due to the pandemic. For example, when we needed to paint the shed nowhere was doing click and collect on outdoor paint as it's a non essential item, and paint is considered hazardous so it's tricker to mail it out. We happened to mention it in the family group chat and next thing we knew my Uncle Tony had dropped off a whole tin of paint, some brand new paint brushes and some safety gloves for us to work in the garden! Thanks Uncle Tony!

I just have to give a HUGE shout out to my awesome husband Stu. He worked his butt off to get the garden ready for when the gravel was delivered, singlehandedly digging out so many tree stumps, cutting down trees, heavy lifting etc. He has been amazing and worked so hard, coming home from work after getting up at 4am and immediately going out in the garden to get on with the next job. I am so lucky to have him, he kept us on track and honestly did the vast majority of the work the garden needed while I did things like weeding and painting, he did all the hard manual labour.

We can't wait to be able to safely have our loved ones round for BBQs to enjoy it properly! If you have a favourite place for cheap but good quality plant pots from (ceramic and concrete is the preference) let me know where you got them from.

Much love,
Kitty
xxxxxx

Our Garden Makeover

Thursday, 25 June 2020

During lockdown, like many people, my husband Stu and I started a big house project, and we've totally over hauled our whole back garden. We are very lucky to have a large back garden (thank you Grimsby house prices), but we aren't the most green fingered of people. Bar my love of succulents, we wanted something that was easier on the upkeep than what we had because it required a lot of weeding and attention that neither of us really wanted to spend our weekends doing.

We've both still been working full time (also very lucky!), but had some time off booked together and worked really hard to get it sorted. Stu in particular worked ridiculously hard, turning his hand to woodwork and he has really taken to it! He took out over 16 old conifer tree stumps we'd had taken down last summer (they were in the middle of our garden in a line for some bizarre reason!), and cut down several huge trees that were blocking light from our garden and were planted in really impractical places.







We were given a free shed that needed the floor replacing, roof repairing, roof trim replacing and more. Stu got to work, I got to painting, and this is the after! Stu also made us the amazing bench with a planter either side. This whole area was full of bushes before, and a rotten cooking apple tree, so we levelled it, and lined it, and moved the gravel you see from another part of the garden to here to make it a nicer area. The bench planters have a couple of succulents in each that should hopefully soon spread to fill them out nicely.





While the shed project was going on we were also dealing with the actual garden itself. We don't have any particularly good before photos because we didn't quite anticipate how much we were going to drastically change it, and a lot of the photos I can find are low resolution phone photos, but this photo of our sweet late Ashen playing in the garden with Stu gives you a pretty good idea of how it used to look.








   
          

This is the back of the garden, the left photo shows where the shed now sits, and the right photo gives you an idea of the conifer line before we had it cut down last year, and the hugely overgrown border full of trees.

         

Very overgrown boarders that were really wonky, a weird half white fence at the back wall, a line of conifers in the middle of the garden that meant a whole section of it was accessible for some unknown reason, as well as a bunch of large conifers in the back corner. Sadly the biggest conifer belongs to our neighbour, not us, so we can't do a whole lot about that one bar cut back what comes across into our garden. We also plan to sort out that wibbly wobbly half fallen down fence ASAP too, it's not ours so we're just going to put a new one on our side.



And the after! Conifers gone, lawn edged so it's not wonky, borders relined and regravelled, and a corner section fenced off for Stu's wood store for his wood work! The garden is so much bigger without the weird line of conifers that blocked off the back of the garden. We plant to totally cover the gravelled area in a variety of mismatching pots and planters full of succulents grown from our wedding flowers, and my G and Grandma's funeral flowers. I just need more pots! We had 2 tonnes of gravel delivered, and need another tonne really just to fill out the border properly. Stu made the edging from old decking board that I painted.


                    

My Mum and Dad propograted these aloe vera for us from ones they have in their garden, and I've been repotting some of my extensive collection of succulents that live indoors (after researching which ones can surive outdoors in the UK!). We have a lot of plans for more plants as it does look a little sparce in the large borders at the moment, but we aim to use pots and planters to make the borders more manageable. Weeding is the worst! We've left one ground conifer in, a castor oil plant, and a pieris, the latter two were somewhat hidden by the old giant conifers so we're hoping they will thrive now they have lots more room and light.

The area behind the conifers was a barren wasteland of weeds and mess. It meant we needed to figure out the best way to turn it all into actual garden and grass, so we decided to attempt to transplant some of the old wonky border we had removed into the newly dug over area. And it worked! We then kept an eye out on Facebook for anyone giving away free turf (which happened a surprising amount locally), or selling it really cheap, and we were able to source a whole bunch more turf, enough to fill the huge void that had been left and some.



We ended up with a very patchwork looking lawn at the back once we had laid all the turf, and some of it looked like it might not recover because it was so dry and hot when we did it.

Thankfully with some grass seed thrown on top with a bit of extra soil in the 'seams', and some very heavy rain, it is knitting together nicely and so much new growth has come through.




You can see how mismatched it was in these photos, like a quilt! You can barely tell now, and with the weather we've had it suddenly shot up with growth and Stu was finally able to cut the grass. It's now all a lush green thanks to the rain! It's unreal how much bigger the garden is without the weird conifer row and the extra grass. We've no idea why on earth anyone would put a row of such big trees in the middle of their garden!




It's been a huge project, and it's not quite finished yet, but getting hold of some of the bits we need to finish it off has been tricky due to the pandemic. For example, when we needed to paint the shed nowhere was doing click and collect on outdoor paint as it's a non essential item, and paint is considered hazardous so it's tricker to mail it out. We happened to mention it in the family group chat and next thing we knew my Uncle Tony had dropped off a whole tin of paint, some brand new paint brushes and some safety gloves for us to work in the garden! Thanks Uncle Tony!

I just have to give a HUGE shout out to my awesome husband Stu. He worked his butt off to get the garden ready for when the gravel was delivered, singlehandedly digging out so many tree stumps, cutting down trees, heavy lifting etc. He has been amazing and worked so hard, coming home from work after getting up at 4am and immediately going out in the garden to get on with the next job. I am so lucky to have him, he kept us on track and honestly did the vast majority of the work the garden needed while I did things like weeding and painting, he did all the hard manual labour.

We can't wait to be able to safely have our loved ones round for BBQs to enjoy it properly! If you have a favourite place for cheap but good quality plant pots from (ceramic and concrete is the preference) let me know where you got them from.

Much love,
Kitty
xxxxxx

Where Have I Been?

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

You might have noticed that over the last year I essentially vanished from my blog, bar the odd post. It's not the first time I've done it, but it has been for the longest period of time. 

2019 was rough. Really rough. Stu and I lost far too many family members, and we had to attend more funerals than any family should have to attend in such a short time. Within 4 days last year we attended 2 funerals for my side of the family, as well as what seemed like countless others. We lost people we dearly loved, some young, beautiful souls and it impacted us both deeply. It seemed frivilous to write about pretty dresses and make up and shiny things when our families were in so much pain. 2020 hasn't been much better, losing dear friends and this awful pandemic to boot, as well as the many first anniversarys of those we lost last year. Grandma, Jayne, Uncle Richard, Alys, Uncle Danny, Andie, you are all so missed.



One person in particular I want to share is Stu's cousin Alys, because she also blogged and her talent for writing was amazing. Al was the sort of person who made everyone feel welcome, she was instantly your friend. Sadly not long after the birth of her son Teddy she was diagnosed with cancer. She passed away in May last year. Alys wrote a blog of a lot of her journey, and her words will make you laugh, and destroy you all within the same blog post. Please read it, she was such a talented writer and the most wonderful human.


After losing so many family members, to really finish the year off, we had to say goodbye to our beloved dog Ashen. He had been diagnosed with arthritis many years ago, and despite supplements and medication, it sadly got too much for him and we had to make the decision to put him to sleep. He was in so much pain and it was the right thing to do, but it's also so hard to make that decision. I miss him endlessly. I miss seeing his wagging tail as soon as I wake up in the morning, I miss opening the front door to him being stood so close to it I can barely get in the house because he was so excited to see me. I miss the cuddles and his daftness. He was the goodest of boys and I don't think the house will ever not seem eerily quiet. He was my best friend.


A few weeks ago we also had to say goodbye to Ashen's little best mate, our cat Lemmy Katmister. I still remember writing an introduction to him on this blog. He was the baby of our little zoo, aptly named because he was the noisiest cat you could ever have met. He developed a tooth abcess and during the operation to remove his tooth they realised that he had further lesions down his throat and riddling his insides, cancer. We didn't get to say goodbye because of the pandemic which was so hard, but I hope he knew how loved he was.


So the last year or so hasn't been the best. In fact it's been the worst. So I felt no need to write. I didn't have any words that seemed to fit here, or that seemed necessary to share. The only place I have been writing is for PokémonGOHub, because one of the few things that has made me smile during all this, as daft as it sounds, has been PokémonGO. If you want to read any of my posts for them, they're all here. I focus on AR photography mostly, because what could be more cute than bringing Pokémon into the real world. 


So yeah. That's where I've been. Is this a comeback? I'm not sure. But I felt the need to revamp my blog, it has a whole new look (I was never happy with the old layout, this is SO much better), and I might just appear from time to time.

I don't know about anyone else, but I can't wait to be able to give my family a hug when it's safer.

Much love,
Kitty
xxxxx

Where Have I Been?

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

You might have noticed that over the last year I essentially vanished from my blog, bar the odd post. It's not the first time I've done it, but it has been for the longest period of time. 

2019 was rough. Really rough. Stu and I lost far too many family members, and we had to attend more funerals than any family should have to attend in such a short time. Within 4 days last year we attended 2 funerals for my side of the family, as well as what seemed like countless others. We lost people we dearly loved, some young, beautiful souls and it impacted us both deeply. It seemed frivilous to write about pretty dresses and make up and shiny things when our families were in so much pain. 2020 hasn't been much better, losing dear friends and this awful pandemic to boot, as well as the many first anniversarys of those we lost last year. Grandma, Jayne, Uncle Richard, Alys, Uncle Danny, Andie, you are all so missed.



One person in particular I want to share is Stu's cousin Alys, because she also blogged and her talent for writing was amazing. Al was the sort of person who made everyone feel welcome, she was instantly your friend. Sadly not long after the birth of her son Teddy she was diagnosed with cancer. She passed away in May last year. Alys wrote a blog of a lot of her journey, and her words will make you laugh, and destroy you all within the same blog post. Please read it, she was such a talented writer and the most wonderful human.


After losing so many family members, to really finish the year off, we had to say goodbye to our beloved dog Ashen. He had been diagnosed with arthritis many years ago, and despite supplements and medication, it sadly got too much for him and we had to make the decision to put him to sleep. He was in so much pain and it was the right thing to do, but it's also so hard to make that decision. I miss him endlessly. I miss seeing his wagging tail as soon as I wake up in the morning, I miss opening the front door to him being stood so close to it I can barely get in the house because he was so excited to see me. I miss the cuddles and his daftness. He was the goodest of boys and I don't think the house will ever not seem eerily quiet. He was my best friend.


A few weeks ago we also had to say goodbye to Ashen's little best mate, our cat Lemmy Katmister. I still remember writing an introduction to him on this blog. He was the baby of our little zoo, aptly named because he was the noisiest cat you could ever have met. He developed a tooth abcess and during the operation to remove his tooth they realised that he had further lesions down his throat and riddling his insides, cancer. We didn't get to say goodbye because of the pandemic which was so hard, but I hope he knew how loved he was.


So the last year or so hasn't been the best. In fact it's been the worst. So I felt no need to write. I didn't have any words that seemed to fit here, or that seemed necessary to share. The only place I have been writing is for PokémonGOHub, because one of the few things that has made me smile during all this, as daft as it sounds, has been PokémonGO. If you want to read any of my posts for them, they're all here. I focus on AR photography mostly, because what could be more cute than bringing Pokémon into the real world. 


So yeah. That's where I've been. Is this a comeback? I'm not sure. But I felt the need to revamp my blog, it has a whole new look (I was never happy with the old layout, this is SO much better), and I might just appear from time to time.

I don't know about anyone else, but I can't wait to be able to give my family a hug when it's safer.

Much love,
Kitty
xxxxx

Stu is Shaving his Head for Charity!

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

It's been a while hasn't it? I'm not sure quite where my blog is or isn't going at the moment, but I wanted to share something that is happening on Saturday. My husband Stu is shaving his head for the charity Mummy's Star in memory of his late cousin Alys. Stu has had long hair for the last 13 years, I've never seen anything but photos of him with short hair, and this Saturday, the whole lot is coming off! I've chucked some photos in this post to show off his mane so you can see why it's a big deal for him.


Mummy's Star are an incredible charity. To quote their website, 'Mummy's Star is the only charity in the UK and Ireland dedicated to supporting pregnancy through cancer and beyond. Your donation means that women diagnosed with any cancer during pregnancy or within a year of a birth are able to reach Mummy's Star and the specialised support they offer. They help families to meet others in a similar position, offer small grants to relieve some financial burden, give support to partners and the wider family, promote awareness and support research. 

We aim to be in a position where any woman presenting with cancer during pregnancy/post birth at any hospital nationally is referred to Mummy’s Star and accesses the support we offer.'

Why Mummy's Star? I've taken Stu's words from his fundraising page to explain why - 

'Alys was born at ROUGHLY the same time that I was adopted.  Her, and her 2 brothers Dan and Craig were my 1st, and my longest standing friends as well as part of a very close family. We spent most school holidays together, as well as frequent weekends at our grandparents house.  As we grew older real life intervened, however the annual family reunions always gave us a chance to reconnect, and Alys was always completely instrumental in the organising of these.  Her 20+ person xmas dinners (prepared with the help of my sister Ella) will go down as the stuff of legends.

To say Alys was inspiration would be a gross understatement. Through every step of this vile illness she blogged in a way which gave not only fellow patients, but as as family and friends so much insight, laughs, tears, and comfort with all she was going through. She kept the bravest of faces on for so much of the time, not just for herself, but for those around her, and fought with everything she had.

She left behind not just us, but a husband and her son Teddo, who is SO like her it is unreal. Every time you look at that little man she just shines out of him, both in appearance, and the cheekiest grin you probably ever saw... he definitely got that from her.

The support they all received from this amazing charity has made a horrible time just a little bit better for them, and at the end of the day, it's things like that that make a difference. We all miss that girl every single day, and if through this, I can give a little back, I like to think she'd approve. I broke £1400 when I shaved my beard a few years ago so have set a minimum target of £1500 for this. I'm not in any particular rush to get it done so ultimately it's down to all you lovely people how quickly it happens. We Love you Al xx'

If you'd like to donate, this is Stu's fundraiser https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/stuart-morris36

If you'd like to read Aly's incredible (and I warn you, absolutely heartbreaking) blog, I highly recommend having your tissues at the ready https://bestalys.com/. Alys's last post was May 6th 2019, and sadly, she left this world on 1st June 2019, at the age of 41.

Much love,
Kitty xxx

Stu is Shaving his Head for Charity!

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

It's been a while hasn't it? I'm not sure quite where my blog is or isn't going at the moment, but I wanted to share something that is happening on Saturday. My husband Stu is shaving his head for the charity Mummy's Star in memory of his late cousin Alys. Stu has had long hair for the last 13 years, I've never seen anything but photos of him with short hair, and this Saturday, the whole lot is coming off! I've chucked some photos in this post to show off his mane so you can see why it's a big deal for him.


Mummy's Star are an incredible charity. To quote their website, 'Mummy's Star is the only charity in the UK and Ireland dedicated to supporting pregnancy through cancer and beyond. Your donation means that women diagnosed with any cancer during pregnancy or within a year of a birth are able to reach Mummy's Star and the specialised support they offer. They help families to meet others in a similar position, offer small grants to relieve some financial burden, give support to partners and the wider family, promote awareness and support research. 

We aim to be in a position where any woman presenting with cancer during pregnancy/post birth at any hospital nationally is referred to Mummy’s Star and accesses the support we offer.'

Why Mummy's Star? I've taken Stu's words from his fundraising page to explain why - 

'Alys was born at ROUGHLY the same time that I was adopted.  Her, and her 2 brothers Dan and Craig were my 1st, and my longest standing friends as well as part of a very close family. We spent most school holidays together, as well as frequent weekends at our grandparents house.  As we grew older real life intervened, however the annual family reunions always gave us a chance to reconnect, and Alys was always completely instrumental in the organising of these.  Her 20+ person xmas dinners (prepared with the help of my sister Ella) will go down as the stuff of legends.

To say Alys was inspiration would be a gross understatement. Through every step of this vile illness she blogged in a way which gave not only fellow patients, but as as family and friends so much insight, laughs, tears, and comfort with all she was going through. She kept the bravest of faces on for so much of the time, not just for herself, but for those around her, and fought with everything she had.

She left behind not just us, but a husband and her son Teddo, who is SO like her it is unreal. Every time you look at that little man she just shines out of him, both in appearance, and the cheekiest grin you probably ever saw... he definitely got that from her.

The support they all received from this amazing charity has made a horrible time just a little bit better for them, and at the end of the day, it's things like that that make a difference. We all miss that girl every single day, and if through this, I can give a little back, I like to think she'd approve. I broke £1400 when I shaved my beard a few years ago so have set a minimum target of £1500 for this. I'm not in any particular rush to get it done so ultimately it's down to all you lovely people how quickly it happens. We Love you Al xx'

If you'd like to donate, this is Stu's fundraiser https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/stuart-morris36

If you'd like to read Aly's incredible (and I warn you, absolutely heartbreaking) blog, I highly recommend having your tissues at the ready https://bestalys.com/. Alys's last post was May 6th 2019, and sadly, she left this world on 1st June 2019, at the age of 41.

Much love,
Kitty xxx

Review : Snag Tights

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

You know when you see people raving over something and you think it can't possibly be that good, so you avoid it for fear of being disappointed? This has been me with Snag Tights. Every blogger adores them. I've seen my Facebook friends gushing about them. But they can't be that good because they just can't be. When they released a pair of Halloween tights I decided now was finally the time to order a few pairs and give them a go for myself.


I ordered the 'Candy Skulls' design, as well as pair in plain black and 'Colonel Mustard', all in 80 denier. The 'Candy Skulls' design was £9.99, and the non-limited edition pairs were £6.99. The more pairs you order the more discount you get, starting at 3 pairs, so I got 10% off my order.

Snag Tights sizing doesn't work just by dress size. It has two different sections, Athletic and Curvilicious. I fall into the Curvilicious range obviously and I'm 5ft 11. According to their size guide anyone over 5ft 9 and a size 20 should order their largest size, a size G. So I ordered a G in every pair. 


The first thing I have to mention is their packaging. No plastic at all! Each pair of tights came in their own paper packaging, and they were all sent in a recycled brown paper parcel. Love that!

I was really excited to try them and immediately planned an outfit around them so I could wear them the next day. The tights aren't what I consider to be a 'normal' tight material. They are so much softer which is a huge bonus because I find regular tights really scratchy and they usually irritate my eczema. These felt so nice and not at all like any other pair of tights I've ever worn.

They have a huge amount of stretch without going sheer, and would very easily fit someone taller and fatter than me. And I am a person of the long legged tall variety! The crotch sat where it should and the waistband happily sat on my waist, perfect. And they remained there, exactly where they were supposed to, all day. After food shopping, after playing PokemonGO, after the pub, I did not have to adjust these tights once. I was baffled! I didn't think that was possible.


So the next day I wore the mustard pair to work. And once again, I didn't have to adjust them even once. Truly some sort of sorcery is afoot. For a pair of tights to be comfy all day long, and not need adjusting at all is something I didn't think it was possible. I usually end up living in leggings all winter and they are never long enough, but instead I am going to invest in a bunch of Snag Tights! They have a range of fishnets and my inner goth is screaming with delight at the prospect of trying them out.

I fully believed there was no way these tights could live up to their hype, and I was completely wrong. I understand now why people who have bought these wax lyrical about them, because I find myself doing the same.

If you haven't been sure about trying Snag Tights, I highly recommend giving them a go!

Much love,
Kitty xxx

Review : Snag Tights

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

You know when you see people raving over something and you think it can't possibly be that good, so you avoid it for fear of being disappointed? This has been me with Snag Tights. Every blogger adores them. I've seen my Facebook friends gushing about them. But they can't be that good because they just can't be. When they released a pair of Halloween tights I decided now was finally the time to order a few pairs and give them a go for myself.


I ordered the 'Candy Skulls' design, as well as pair in plain black and 'Colonel Mustard', all in 80 denier. The 'Candy Skulls' design was £9.99, and the non-limited edition pairs were £6.99. The more pairs you order the more discount you get, starting at 3 pairs, so I got 10% off my order.

Snag Tights sizing doesn't work just by dress size. It has two different sections, Athletic and Curvilicious. I fall into the Curvilicious range obviously and I'm 5ft 11. According to their size guide anyone over 5ft 9 and a size 20 should order their largest size, a size G. So I ordered a G in every pair. 


The first thing I have to mention is their packaging. No plastic at all! Each pair of tights came in their own paper packaging, and they were all sent in a recycled brown paper parcel. Love that!

I was really excited to try them and immediately planned an outfit around them so I could wear them the next day. The tights aren't what I consider to be a 'normal' tight material. They are so much softer which is a huge bonus because I find regular tights really scratchy and they usually irritate my eczema. These felt so nice and not at all like any other pair of tights I've ever worn.

They have a huge amount of stretch without going sheer, and would very easily fit someone taller and fatter than me. And I am a person of the long legged tall variety! The crotch sat where it should and the waistband happily sat on my waist, perfect. And they remained there, exactly where they were supposed to, all day. After food shopping, after playing PokemonGO, after the pub, I did not have to adjust these tights once. I was baffled! I didn't think that was possible.


So the next day I wore the mustard pair to work. And once again, I didn't have to adjust them even once. Truly some sort of sorcery is afoot. For a pair of tights to be comfy all day long, and not need adjusting at all is something I didn't think it was possible. I usually end up living in leggings all winter and they are never long enough, but instead I am going to invest in a bunch of Snag Tights! They have a range of fishnets and my inner goth is screaming with delight at the prospect of trying them out.

I fully believed there was no way these tights could live up to their hype, and I was completely wrong. I understand now why people who have bought these wax lyrical about them, because I find myself doing the same.

If you haven't been sure about trying Snag Tights, I highly recommend giving them a go!

Much love,
Kitty xxx

AD* Navabi : Woke up to the sound of pouring rain

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

 

Every gal's wardrobe needs a few good black dresses. A truly good black dress is high quality, the darkest of blacks, soft, comfy, doesn't need ironing, and is super versatile. The kind folks at Navabi sent me this gorgeous Navabi dress which certainly fits the bill! This is the Annalisa jersey knot front dress, it retails for £81 and is available in up to a size 30. It's super stretchy though, so could possibly fit a little bigger too.


I apologise in advance for the cardigan I wear in all these photos, it was absolutely pouring with rain when I dragged my poor Pops out to take these photos, we both got soaked! The cardigan is actually another beloved Navabi piece in my wardrobe, that they kindly sent me over 3 years ago. And it's just as immaculate as it was despite my throwing it in the dryer when I shouldn't. It's never bobbled or marked, and it's as soft and beautiful as ever.


This jersey knot dress has 3/4 length sleeves which is ideal. I'm 5ft 11 and long sleeves are never long enough, with 3/4 sleeves they hit just right. On me the length is just below the knee, so if you are shorter it may be more of a true midi dress. It nips in at the waist with the knot under the bust, then flares out and skims over the body. Combined with the jersey fabric, it makes this dress so comfortable! I prize comfort above most things when it comes to my fashion, and this is a winner for sure.


You could easily wear this to work (I plan to), throw on some sparkly heels, expensive jewellery and glam it up for a meal in a fancy restaurant, or, it would work for those sadder occasions when black is requested. This has made it into my wardrobe just in time for autumn and I can see myself getting so very much wear out of it. Navabi might be higher end in terms of their pricing, but as an investment, their pieces keep so incredibly well that it makes them worth it. All of my pieces from them look the same as they did the day I unpacked them.

Much love,
Kitty xxx

*this dress was gifted to me for blogging purposes. In no way does this impact upon my opinions which are entirely my own.

AD* Navabi : Woke up to the sound of pouring rain

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

 

Every gal's wardrobe needs a few good black dresses. A truly good black dress is high quality, the darkest of blacks, soft, comfy, doesn't need ironing, and is super versatile. The kind folks at Navabi sent me this gorgeous Navabi dress which certainly fits the bill! This is the Annalisa jersey knot front dress, it retails for £81 and is available in up to a size 30. It's super stretchy though, so could possibly fit a little bigger too.


I apologise in advance for the cardigan I wear in all these photos, it was absolutely pouring with rain when I dragged my poor Pops out to take these photos, we both got soaked! The cardigan is actually another beloved Navabi piece in my wardrobe, that they kindly sent me over 3 years ago. And it's just as immaculate as it was despite my throwing it in the dryer when I shouldn't. It's never bobbled or marked, and it's as soft and beautiful as ever.


This jersey knot dress has 3/4 length sleeves which is ideal. I'm 5ft 11 and long sleeves are never long enough, with 3/4 sleeves they hit just right. On me the length is just below the knee, so if you are shorter it may be more of a true midi dress. It nips in at the waist with the knot under the bust, then flares out and skims over the body. Combined with the jersey fabric, it makes this dress so comfortable! I prize comfort above most things when it comes to my fashion, and this is a winner for sure.


You could easily wear this to work (I plan to), throw on some sparkly heels, expensive jewellery and glam it up for a meal in a fancy restaurant, or, it would work for those sadder occasions when black is requested. This has made it into my wardrobe just in time for autumn and I can see myself getting so very much wear out of it. Navabi might be higher end in terms of their pricing, but as an investment, their pieces keep so incredibly well that it makes them worth it. All of my pieces from them look the same as they did the day I unpacked them.

Much love,
Kitty xxx

*this dress was gifted to me for blogging purposes. In no way does this impact upon my opinions which are entirely my own.

Prophecy Girl Pins

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

It's always sad when you discover an indy company just as they are closing down. I found Prophecy Girl weeks before they closed down unfortunately. They sold a variety of nerdy clothing, patches and pins, no clothing in plus sizes, but patches and pins are something I am always after! With a name like Prophecy Girl, I went on the hunt for Buffy the Vampire Slayer inspired pins and I was not disappointed.


I grabbed 3 pins, first up was this Team Buffy pin. I love the detailing, the Scythe crossing behind the main design, a reference to the final season and Caleb and the Turok-Han, Mr Pointy the stake, and the Claddagh, a nod to Buffy's ring from Angel.


I then couldn't resist the counterpart Team Faith pin! (I wish they'd have a Kendra one too, would have loved that). This time the detailing includes Faith's tribal tattoo, and the knife the Major gets her that Buffy ultimately stabs her with. I put one on each side of my denim jacket. Teenage greebo me always thought Faith was 10x cooler than Buffy.


And lastly the Slay Every Day pin. This one features both Mr Pointy and Faith's knife, with the Scythe, Olaf the Troll God's hammer, and the famous Vampyr book Giles shows Buffy when he first arrives in Sunnydale to show her he knows who she is.

Most of my pins are feminist pins, or Pokemon themed pins, so I think these make a great addition to my jacket. I know Joss Whedon has turned out to be truly hideous, and that the show itself is problematic for so many reasons, but Buffy was the first time I had ever seen a girly girl kicking ass and being so strong and independent on tv, and I adored it. I loved Willow and how her nerdiness could save the day. I loved Faith's take no nonsense attitude. I loved Cordelia's story arc from stereotypical preppy prom queen to an essential part of the team (forgetting what Joss Whedon did to her in Angel because she did not deserve that!). I loved Tara's quiet soul and how she overcame her abusive family. I loved Kendra's desire to keep fighting even when she had lost her watcher. I even loved to hate the bad guys, Drusilla inspired teenage me to have a blindfolded porcelain doll on my bookshelf. 

If you see any Buffy pins, I'd love some more!

Much love,
Kitty xxxx

Prophecy Girl Pins

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

It's always sad when you discover an indy company just as they are closing down. I found Prophecy Girl weeks before they closed down unfortunately. They sold a variety of nerdy clothing, patches and pins, no clothing in plus sizes, but patches and pins are something I am always after! With a name like Prophecy Girl, I went on the hunt for Buffy the Vampire Slayer inspired pins and I was not disappointed.


I grabbed 3 pins, first up was this Team Buffy pin. I love the detailing, the Scythe crossing behind the main design, a reference to the final season and Caleb and the Turok-Han, Mr Pointy the stake, and the Claddagh, a nod to Buffy's ring from Angel.


I then couldn't resist the counterpart Team Faith pin! (I wish they'd have a Kendra one too, would have loved that). This time the detailing includes Faith's tribal tattoo, and the knife the Major gets her that Buffy ultimately stabs her with. I put one on each side of my denim jacket. Teenage greebo me always thought Faith was 10x cooler than Buffy.


And lastly the Slay Every Day pin. This one features both Mr Pointy and Faith's knife, with the Scythe, Olaf the Troll God's hammer, and the famous Vampyr book Giles shows Buffy when he first arrives in Sunnydale to show her he knows who she is.

Most of my pins are feminist pins, or Pokemon themed pins, so I think these make a great addition to my jacket. I know Joss Whedon has turned out to be truly hideous, and that the show itself is problematic for so many reasons, but Buffy was the first time I had ever seen a girly girl kicking ass and being so strong and independent on tv, and I adored it. I loved Willow and how her nerdiness could save the day. I loved Faith's take no nonsense attitude. I loved Cordelia's story arc from stereotypical preppy prom queen to an essential part of the team (forgetting what Joss Whedon did to her in Angel because she did not deserve that!). I loved Tara's quiet soul and how she overcame her abusive family. I loved Kendra's desire to keep fighting even when she had lost her watcher. I even loved to hate the bad guys, Drusilla inspired teenage me to have a blindfolded porcelain doll on my bookshelf. 

If you see any Buffy pins, I'd love some more!

Much love,
Kitty xxxx

How I Edit My Blog Photos

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

One of the common questions I see on blogger groups is people asking how they can edit their blog photos to look more professional. I don't have access to anything fancy, no Photoshop or expensive programme (some of my old blog photos were edited with Photoshop but when I got a new laptop I lost my copy of Photoshop). What I use is available as an app on a computer, and is available through the google play and apple stores. I use a programme called Afterlight, it cost 79p on my laptop, and similar on my android phone. I edit my phone photos through the app, as well as my blog photos taken on an actual camera. For the iPhone there is currently Afterlight 2 which is a more complex updated version, available for £2.99.


This is the original image I took using my DSLR, a Canon 50D. Full disclosure, I was a sort of photographer back before my carpal tunnel, so I know how to use a manual SLR which obviously helps my blog photos to an extent. However, as I stated before, I also edit my phone photos using Afterlight and I'm not using any fancy modes on my phone.

You can adjust a whole bunch of different things in Afterlight, I usually add some contrast to make the detail pop a bit more, and maybe increase the exposure slightly if it's a little dark. All of these options shown above are edited using a sliding scale, with previews, so you can see the effect before applying it to the image itself. With this image I'm going to increase the contrast slightly.
The thing that I love the most about Afterlight, is the filters. It comes with a whole bunch of built in filters that can really push a photo from OK to something much more finished looking.
Here I've opted to use one of the 'wander' pack, a filter called 'wicker'. I've used the built in slider to turn down the filter effects slightly, so it's at about 75% of it's full application.

Now this filter is a little cool toned, but I really like the depth and the green tones. So in this case, I'm going to increase the 'temperature' of the image and make it slightly warmer toned. I added about 15% warmth to make it seem like a lovely warm autumn day.
This took me a handful of minutes, but I think it took an OK photo and made it a lot more interesting and professional looking for my blog.

From this... 
To this!
Not a huge difference, but enough that I feel like they really add to my blog and look more finished.

The app is very similar on my phone, easy to use, and easy to undo any effects. Here's a before and after phone photo I've edited on my phone using Afterlight recently.

Edited vs unedited.
This isn't any major kind of edit, but I think the tones and the textures look a lot more interesting in the edited version on the left.
Little differences can make a lot of difference to the overall look of your photos. 
Here are a few more photos I've edited on my laptop and their originals.
Edited
vs
Unedited 

Edited
vs
Unedited 

Edited
vs
Unedited

I think it really helps my blog photography get that step ahead! And it's a really cheap and easy to use programme. I really pride myself on having blog photos that look professional and Afterlight really helps.

You don't have to have the fanciest and most expensive programmes to edit photos, so long as the exposure is roughly OK before you start editing.

Much love,
Kitty xxxx

How I Edit My Blog Photos

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

One of the common questions I see on blogger groups is people asking how they can edit their blog photos to look more professional. I don't have access to anything fancy, no Photoshop or expensive programme (some of my old blog photos were edited with Photoshop but when I got a new laptop I lost my copy of Photoshop). What I use is available as an app on a computer, and is available through the google play and apple stores. I use a programme called Afterlight, it cost 79p on my laptop, and similar on my android phone. I edit my phone photos through the app, as well as my blog photos taken on an actual camera. For the iPhone there is currently Afterlight 2 which is a more complex updated version, available for £2.99.


This is the original image I took using my DSLR, a Canon 50D. Full disclosure, I was a sort of photographer back before my carpal tunnel, so I know how to use a manual SLR which obviously helps my blog photos to an extent. However, as I stated before, I also edit my phone photos using Afterlight and I'm not using any fancy modes on my phone.

You can adjust a whole bunch of different things in Afterlight, I usually add some contrast to make the detail pop a bit more, and maybe increase the exposure slightly if it's a little dark. All of these options shown above are edited using a sliding scale, with previews, so you can see the effect before applying it to the image itself. With this image I'm going to increase the contrast slightly.
The thing that I love the most about Afterlight, is the filters. It comes with a whole bunch of built in filters that can really push a photo from OK to something much more finished looking.
Here I've opted to use one of the 'wander' pack, a filter called 'wicker'. I've used the built in slider to turn down the filter effects slightly, so it's at about 75% of it's full application.

Now this filter is a little cool toned, but I really like the depth and the green tones. So in this case, I'm going to increase the 'temperature' of the image and make it slightly warmer toned. I added about 15% warmth to make it seem like a lovely warm autumn day.
This took me a handful of minutes, but I think it took an OK photo and made it a lot more interesting and professional looking for my blog.

From this... 
To this!
Not a huge difference, but enough that I feel like they really add to my blog and look more finished.

The app is very similar on my phone, easy to use, and easy to undo any effects. Here's a before and after phone photo I've edited on my phone using Afterlight recently.

Edited vs unedited.
This isn't any major kind of edit, but I think the tones and the textures look a lot more interesting in the edited version on the left.
Little differences can make a lot of difference to the overall look of your photos. 
Here are a few more photos I've edited on my laptop and their originals.
Edited
vs
Unedited 

Edited
vs
Unedited 

Edited
vs
Unedited

I think it really helps my blog photography get that step ahead! And it's a really cheap and easy to use programme. I really pride myself on having blog photos that look professional and Afterlight really helps.

You don't have to have the fanciest and most expensive programmes to edit photos, so long as the exposure is roughly OK before you start editing.

Much love,
Kitty xxxx