Alternative Christmas gifts

I am becoming more and more swayed towards alternative gift ideas – basically every year it’s the same old story of purchase something for the sake of it and end up getting the same items year after year.

This year I stumbled upon a blog article by Rachelle Strauss ( and it awoken that sustainble fairy inside me. Rachelle shared a 12 days of waste-less giving and it is actually really good although not new to most. The idea of an act of service has always been around in the valentines market place – the “lovers cheque book”.

I do like the idea of giving a gift of a plant though. This would encourage greener and healthier homes. After all the air quality within an average home is actually worse than standing next to the motorway. Even just one or two plants can help remove some of the nasties in the air and replace with oxygen. Plants also give you a slight boost to your wellbeing making you feel a little happier.

What alternative gifts will you be giving this year?


Iceland’s 2018 Christmas Advert banned for been political

This year Iceland (the food superstore) shares with the world a really touching message regarding palm oil. The advert has been launched for its 2018 Christmas message however, the regulator has deemed under 2003 legislation that this is classified as political and therefore cannot be shown on our televisions. Regardless the message and advert has gone viral on YouTube.

The advert features a little girl with a baby orangutan in her bedroom voiced by the incredible Emma Thompson. The message is clear for all to see and is clever to hit the heartstrings for all generations. The little girl doesn’t know why this baby orangutan is in her room jumping around and ‘wailing’ at items like her shampoo. Today’s the end she realises it is because humans have invaded the forests to cut down trees for palm oil. Destroying the habitats of many species including the orangutan.

Palm oil is used in so many products on the high street from cosmetics like lipstick to bread and chocolate – yes bread.

Society keeps going on about how we can encourage large companies to do something – well Iceland did (and still is). They removed palm oil from its own brand items and then created this touching message with a true Christmas meaning.

Christmas is not about bloody presents! It never has been. Yes, it is centred on religion and trust me Christmas wasn’t originally Christian it was an adaptation from Yuletide which is a pagan holiday. The decorating of trees isn’t because of queen Victoria (and way before that in 1400s). The Vikings also used candles indoors. The Hindus have their light festivities too all though that starts around 7th November.

Christmas or whatever you celebrate is about family. It’s treasuring what you have. What we have today is a greedy society that wants and takes from the planet without much thought about the future. I fear my little boy’s grandchildren won’t have much left of this planet other than ruins. We need to be much more sustainable – only taking what we can put back. Recycle, reuse and reduce waste.

That is why from 2019 I will be starting my own challenge to eat what I grow and supplement with purchase in store. I have never been good at keeping plants alive, so this is going to be a challenge. I am going to adapt my garden to incorporate food without segregating sections. That way I can also help another endangered species – the bee.

Katherine xo

Update from Katherine

It’s been a while since I wrote anything. I have to admit I have missed writing and interacting with you all.

It has been a very difficult few months for me since the birth of my miracle son last year. In that short space of time I have suffered ill-health, the deaths of both grandmothers and a battled with my depression. It would also appear that I have post-natal depression too.

I forgot to mention I went back to work full time when my son was only 3 months old. Was this too soon? Hell yes, but financially we couldn’t cope if I stayed off longer and took statutory maternity pay.

Having all these events happen in such a short space of time has definitely had an impact on me. I still having come to terms with my grandmas passing in February. I was completely and utterly knocked for 6 and it has left a hole that cannot be filled. Then my second grandma passed in May. I have all these wonderful memories to keep them alive forever but it’s not the same.

My work life balance doesn’t exist. I was great at keeping everything separate but they seem to have mingled into one. When I’m at work all I can think about is the little one and when I’m with him it’s the opposite and I’m thinking about work.

Most days I wake only to wish I could climb back into bed and sleep a little while longer. I must admit I have slept a lot more than I normally do but I’m always tired. Typical side effect of depression – people just think you’re lazy but there’s just so much to it.

I’ve also decided to take this blog into a new direction. I will still focus on elements of mental health awareness but it won’t be the primary element. I am going to reclassify as a lifestyle blogger which means I can cover a lot of the items that I’m passionate about. This includes products reviews, family day out ideas and ill-health (physical and mental).

I look forward to hearing from you all soon.

Katherine xo

Valentine’s Day sexy underwear

With Valentine’s Day around the corner some of you ladies might be looking for some inspiration to please you significant other? Well look no further, I have had a look through some websites and drawn a cheeky list to guarantee some fun between the sheets this Valentine’s Day.


img_3222-e1517569096242.jpgThis cheeky set is wirefree with the Bralette put on over your head. This is currently available in US sizes but you can convert to UK.


  • Sexy lace wire-free cami bra and boyshort set
  • High-neck strappy design adds to this sexy look
  • Mirror your natural shape with seamed, unlined cups
  • Customize the fit with adjustable stretch straps
  • No back closure, bra goes on over head
  • 3.5” ultra-low rise boyshort; measurement taken from size M
  • Strappy mesh boyshort with lace detail has cotton gusset
  • Sheer stretch mesh and lace
  • Body: 90% Nylon, 10% Elastane.
  • Colours: black or pink
  • Sizes: S / M / L

Available from Bare Necessities for £6.70 (£8.19 for pink)



I’m liking this set because of the unique fastening on the back and the sexy pattern to make your derriere look fabulous


  • ◦ Next to nothing never looked better in this sexy set
  • ◦ Cage-inspired underwire bra with risqué zip-up back
  • ◦ Get the perfect with thanks to fully adjustable stretch straps
  • ◦ Change up your look with convertible criss-cross back straps
  • ◦ Adjustable stretch choker included for enhanced role playing
  • ◦ Matching strappy back bikini with stretch lace hip tabs
  • ◦ 4″ ultra-low rise panty; measured from size S/M
  • ◦ Sleek stretch microfiber with sheer stretch lace accents
  • Body: 95% Polyester, 5% Spandex.
  • Mesh: 90% Nylon, 10% Spandex.
  • Sizes: S/M  M/L

Available from Bare Necessities for £8.94


RENE ROFE LACE TIE-UP BRA SETTie up your girls with this pretty black and pink bra set by Rene Rofe


  • Sexy embroidered lace bra and ribbon tie sides thong
  • Self-tie halter neckline and back
  • Ultra-sheer stretch lace
  • One size fits: 2-14
  • Style #301187
  • Body: 90% Nylon, 10% Spandex.
  • Sizes: one size

Available from Bare Necessities for £9.69



iSEVEN 'TIL MIDNIGHT SATIN BOW CROTCHLESS BRA & PANTY SETGet really down and dirty with this satin bow crotchless panty set available in black or sexy red.


  • All wrapped up in ribbon and bows bra and panty set
  • Triangle wire-free cups have artfully placed center bows
  • Customize the fit with fully adjustable stretch straps
  • Elastic handcuffs included for enhanced role playing
  • Soft, 3 column, 1 row hook and eye back closure
  • Crotchless G-string has 3″ ultra-low rise and elastic tie-sides
  • Quality stretch microfiber and satin trim
  • One size fits: 2-14
  • Body: 90% Nylon, 10% Elastane.

Available from Bare Necessities for £16.40


RENE ROFE PLUS SIZE MICRO MANAGE BABYDOLL SETFinally sexy underwear for plus size women modelled by plus sized women that actually looks ‘sexy’ and what’s more there is so much more available on the website.


  • Flirt the night away in this babydoll set with matching G-string
  • Sexy, plunging strappy wire-free darted cups offer subtle support
  • Get the perfect fit with adjustable stretch straps
  • 30” long from shoulders; measured from size 1X/2X
  • Microfiber G-string has 5.5″ low rise with cotton gusset
  • Sheer stretch mesh with lace trim
  • Content
  • Lace: 90% Polyester, 10% Spandex.
  • Colours: black
  • Sizes 1X/2X  3X/4X

Available from Bare Necessities for £20.87


RENE ROFE PLUS SIZE MICRO MANAGE BABYDOLL SETThis lovely bodysuit is crotchless so you can give your significant other a little peek before the full show.

Sexy nude lingerie body featuring a V-neckline, pretty lace trim, olive green satin ribbon bow interest, open crotch and adjustable straps.

Includes: Teddy only.

This item comes in sizes: S/M (UK 6-10), L/XL (UK 12-14).

Available from Sparkling Strawberry for £20.99



RENE ROFE PLUS SIZE MICRO MANAGE BABYDOLL SETStunning black one shoulder teddy featuring cutouts to the bust and side and scalloped floral lace interest.

Ideal for: Women who perhaps don’t feel as confident to show their stomach fully but still want to look sexy. Then teddies and playwear playsuits will be your best friend.

Includes: Teddy only.

This item comes in sizes: S/M, M/L.

Colour black

Available from Sparkling Strawberry for £26.99



Have fun shopping ladies and let me know your thoughts.

Katherine xo

Best foundation and primers for oily to combination skin

Now this is a topic I could go on and on about but I’m only going to focus on foundation and primers. I suffer with hormonal acne and as such tend to have combination skin. I’m also fair skinned so finding a foundation that is right for me is really hard. In the last 3-6 months I have splurged out a several products just to find out what is the best. I’m no makeup artist or skin expert all the below products have been tested by myself.


Foundations come in many varieties and range from budget to luxury. The choice you need depends on your skin and the coverage you want. Most acne sufferers want a full coverage and a matt foundation which can lead to become cakey if too much is applied. You need to strike a happy balance when applying foundation to make sure you don’t apply too much make up to look like you’re wearing a mask. You should still be able to look like you when wearing foundation. Most professional makeup artists random the less is more approach. Apply a thin layer of foundation (after a good primer) then touch up the areas needed with either foundation and/or concealer. Always make sure to set your foundation afterwards. I will do another article on powders Vs sprays.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation £29.50

The videos on the CT website showed fantastic results. I was immediately sucked in and purchased myself a CT foundation. The packaging it arrived in was really cute and I got some free lipstick samples. The foundation is quite heavy and despite all my best efforts it just looked cakey every time I applied it. I tried applying it with a brush, fingers and even a sponge. The matt finish effect only lasted a couple of hours at best then started to melt off my face.

Lancome Skin Perfecting Duo £38.00


Oh lordy what a terrible mistake. I purchased this on a whim travelling back from Belfast. I saw it on offer in duty free and thought oh why not I’ve been meaning to try a new foundation for ages. It comes with the coverage corrector and foundation. You apply the corrector first then the foundation. The corrector was far too creamy and looked awful under the foundation. Not an ideal option for oily or combination skin.

BareMinerals Original £26.50

Avoid avoid avoid if you have oily skin. Just avoid all mineral powders full stop unless you want a cakey complexion. Honestly it is not a good look. It’s a false sense of security, mineral products are good for the skin but not for those with oily skin. It might look nice as soon as you’ve applied but and then added the mineral veil for sealing but within an hour or even walking out the house it will start to fall apart.

CLOSE SECOND: Vichy Dermablend 3D Correction £21.50

Now this is an expensive little tube of colour. It is made by skin care manufacturer and is suppose to help your skin whilst covering up your imperfections. It does provide a seamless finish but not that great around big pores.  I would say this was more like an expensive CC cream than a foundation.  It’s definitely a good choice for work if you just want quick fix coverage. It’s best applied with the fingers. Alternatively you could double up your foundations and use this on areas needing more coverage. If applied with a decent concealer brush to the blemishes it does give ok results.

TOP PICK: Boots No7 Protect and Perfect £16.50

I was sceptical about retrying this product. In the past when the first colour match was brought out it kept identifying colours that made me look yellow so I avoided it for a few years. I got another colour match and this time I was happy with my choice. Applied with the primer I am getting a near all day wear out of the foundation with only the odd powder touch up.  I get a very oily forehead about half way through the day but a little dab with a towel and light coating of powder solves that. However, nothing will stop makeup melt in 30 something degrees.  I found the best brush to apply this with was the EcoTools Foundation Brush.

LOWEST RATING L’Oreal Paris 24H Infallible £9.99

You’ll probably need to purchase two shades to get the right blend. It’s an ok brand but it has down sides such as colour matching. It’s ok as a round the house foundation but not so much for all day wear or evening wear. The light shade is a little too ghost white even on my pale complexion. Eventually goes cakey when you start to go oily.


The type of primer you need will depend on A) your skin and B) the foundation you wish to apply. Try to have the same base finish for both to avoid your foundation slipping off.

TOP PICK Boots Airbrush range £16.50

Works well with the No7 protect and perfect range. There are four choices available depending on the foundation and your skin. I opted for Airbrush Away Pore Minimising Primer. I tried the free sample pot from my purchase during the boots advantage card points event. It helped my foundation stay put all day. Unlike some primers I didn’t breakout after a couple of hours. I do find that I can only apply primer to my checks and t-zone. If I apply on my chin its irritates my skin a little too much.

Illamasqua Hydra Veil £32.00

This primer is enriched with lots of skin loving loveliness vitamins C and B3. It’s also vegan friendly.

Although it is an extremely great quality primer it doesn’t work well with combination skin. It would be lovely on my sister’s skin as she has the odd breakout.

LOWEST RATING BareMinerals Prime Time £22.00

Works well with BareMineral products but not so much others. It states that it’s good for combating excess oil and fine lines but it just made my skin oilier and sat in my 11’s frown lines.

GREAT FOR EYES: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion £18.00

This one is great on the eyes, it’s on the expensive side for its size but it does what it says on the tin.  If you have oily skin you really must have a primer on your eyelids. It will help stop your eye shadow from melting away leaving a crease line.

Katherine  xo