Wednesday, August 28

Chopped


After many years of having very long hair, it began to look withered and dead on the ends. Needless to say I did love those long golden locks, but I also needed a change. So, being brave, I got my hair cut, 5 inches chopped off to be exact(!). And to be honest, even though it's been five days since, I haven't looked back and absolutely love my new hairstyle. It is now so much easier to maintain, and it also look phenomenally healthy. I love you, short hair.

Tuesday, August 27

This Weekend


This weekend has been wonderful as not only has it been a bank holiday weekend, but Ben and I have been spending time with our families. Friday was pretty low-key, we stayed in and recuperated in anticipation of our fun-filled weekend. However, I did enjoy watching the ever so hilarious Peter Kay, my stomach was hurting from all the laughing!
On Saturday we headed out to lovely Liverpool to do a spot of shopping and also to indulge in delicious Cafe Nero pots of tea and cinnamon swirls. It has been a very, very long time since our last trip into Liverpool and I forgot how fantastic it was! We discovered lots of new restaurants hidden away at the top of Liverpool One, they even had a Wagamama’s (aka my favourite restaurant ever). After exhausting ourselves shopping, we went to a local pub with Ben’s family to catch up before heading back to his parents’ house for a scrumptious meal.
For a while my family had been meaning to go to the cinema, but hadn’t quite decided on the film to see. However once we saw the Elysium trailer, we were off to the cinema in no time. And to be honest, I was captivated by the movie, the story line, the actors – everything and I was a little unsure I’d like a Sci-Fi movie.
With it being a bank holiday, on Monday we kept it quiet, just cooking, gardening and having a picnic whilst the sun set over the fields. Weekends are really a fantastic time to spend time with your family and enjoy all the little things in life; like the smell of freshly baked cookies.

Tuesday, August 20

Yours Is The Earth


When my cousin came to stay, we headed out for a exploration of the beautiful countryside around us, finishing the walk off with a delightfully refreshing Cool Ginger Beer and Dandelion & Burdock. The cafe was quaint and remarkably cute ... the perfect place to relax after a long walk.

Saturday, August 17

Panoramic

 {South of France}
{SUP Boarding in Lancashire}

There's something truly special about editing* your photos for them to become panoramic.
Panoramic photos make you question how you ever coped without. 
They give you the full experience of that view you saw in the moment.
Panoramic photographs are also great in frames, a personal piece of art to complement any room.

*Adobe Photoshop Elements 11

Thursday, August 15

Vibrancy

"Land really is the best art." Andy Warhol.

Appreciating the vibrancy that nature displays throughout all seasons is almost verging on magical. Nonetheless through the summer season you can really admire the romantic colours. All of these photographs were a product of my garden, on a surprisingly gloomy day.

Tuesday, August 13

The Repurchases

Benefit Fake Up // Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum // Soap & Glory Clean, Girl Body Wash // Herbal Essences Hello Hydration

When it comes to cosmetics, skin care and the like, I tend to have a rotation of products that I continuously purchase over and over again as they never disappoint. Before my first purchase of Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum I was a No7 foundation lover, however I started to have a wondering eye when my friend recommended it me. And as for the quality of this product - well, it's such a perfect texture and lasts all day, covering up any imperfections and leaving your skin looking impeccably flawless. 

As for Benefit Fake Up, well there's a story behind this beauty. If you've already seen the post waaay back in March of the ELLE Magazine & Benefit Cosmetics event I attended - jump to the Soap & Glory part. If not, then I'll give you the 411. In March I was invited to attend the ELLE Magazine & Benefit Cosmetics event to celebrate the launch of their then new beauty product, Fake Up. And literally ever since then I have remained loyal to this concealer as it is literally ah-mazing.

Whenever I have a shower or a bath I nearly always use Soap & Glory's Body Wash as it smells delicious and the product is so creamy that your skin is getting a dose of moisture whilst you shower. Mmmm, this really is perfection in a bottle.

And last, but by no means least is Herbal Essences' Hello Hydration is a wonderful deep nourishing, intensive mask that I use once a week to keep my hair silky soft and healthy. You will be able to purchase this, or any of the Herbal Essences masks in any drugstore.

Monday, August 12

The Weekend

{Getting blown away in front of Tower Bridge}

This weekend was action packed to say the least. On Friday, Ben and I popped down to London for the day as I had an University-related job interview. So Ben relished in the opportunity to go sight-seeing during my afternoon long interview. If you follow me on Twitter (@andkateblog) and Instagram (@katemulroy) then you'll have been keeping up with my busy weekend. 

So after all of the travelling on Friday (11 hours to be exact) - we headed to the beach with our Jobe Surf'SUP board. The waves were really rough as the tide was coming in so it was a tad more difficult than using the SUP on a lake (previous posts here and here). Nonetheless, after our morning spent at the beach, we were still hungry for exploring so we went for a lovely walk around the beautiful Lancashire countryside. Here we came across the friendliest cows and admired the spectacular views.

Sunday was a wonderfully, relaxing day which we definitely deserved after the chaotic start to the weekend. So we spent the first half of the day chilling and indulging in a Dexter Series 7 marathon. This series is literally the best one ever(!).However, after a lot of relaxing, we felt as though we needed to stretch our legs, so we piled the bikes in the back of the car and drove up to Dalton to embark on a strenuous, but very fun bike ride.

Although it is now Monday and I'm back to work with sifting through my preliminary reading list in anticipation for University, I can't help but already be thinking of the upcoming weekend.

I'd love to know what you got up to this weekend?

Sunday, August 11

Wetsuit Pursuit


The whole subject of wetsuits can be a tad daunting, especially, if like me, you're only just starting out with a new hobby/sport which requires a wetsuit. But honestly, they're not that confusing once you know the basics. 

#1: Determine Your Weather
The first thing you need to do when it comes to wetsuit shopping, is to determine what the weather is like, whether it is warm or cold. If, like me, you live in an environment (Great Britain) which goes through both warm and very, very cold weather; then you'll have to dig deep in your pocket and buy two wetsuits. However if you don't plan on pursuing your hobby when the temperatures are cold, then you'll only need a summer wetsuit. A summer wetsuit will be 3/2, meaning that the neoprene around your body will be 3mm thick, whilst on the limbs it'll be 2mm thick to enable more movement. There are also short wetsuits which means that the legs and arms are chopped off so give you even more mobility. In addition to this there are spring suits which are long on the legs but sleeveless on the arms. Nevertheless if you are considering to pursue your hobby throughout the winter, then you'll need a 5/4/3 suit which again means that it will be 5mm on the body and 3 to 4mm on the limbs.

#2: Price Range
Basic entry suits: These kinds of wesuits are the lower price range, usually used by surf schools and ideal for those starting out as they normally have bright colours so the lifeguards can see you. These start for around £60 and have 'flat lock stitching' on the seams of the suit which means that the neoprene material is overlapped and sewn together. This type of stitch ensures comfort and durability.
Mid Range Suits: These suits are ideal for those who don't want to just splash around in the water, but are aiming to become a skilled surfer. These suits include a whole range of technology features, such as the stretch panels which means that some sections are made of stretchier neoprene material, usually found under the legs and arms. This ensures that you will not become fatigued when paddling and whatnot. Not only this, but the stitching on the wetsuit is called 'blind stitch' which means that glue is put in-between the seams so that water is prevented from entering the wetsuit meaning you're warmer for longer.
Top End Suits: Now these are the creme de la creme of wetsuits, as they offer it all and are ideal for those who have a real passion about surfing. A large majority of the wetsuit, or all of it are made of stretchy neoprene which results in it feeling like a second skin. These suits have the  blind stitching as in the mid range suits, but with an added bonus; a water resistant tape is added to one side of the stitching or even on both sides! This fluid seam ensures that water doesn't flow into the suit and thus keeps you warm for a very long while. Some suits even include an inner back panel/batwing which prevents water entry around the zip or neck. However every suit has different added bonuses so it is good to check the suit description! 

#3: The Fit
This is the most important factor when it comes to buying a wetsuit, as the idea is to trap water between your body and the neoprene material to keep you warm. The places where your wetsuit needs to be tight is around your neck, wrists and ankles, otherwise the water will run freely throughout your wetsuit and you'll never be able to warm up. If you're uncertain about your size, grab a tape measure and write down your measurements and then check the individual brand size guides. What is also important if you have a little buzzing surfer, is to make sure that you buy a tight fitting wetsuit and not one a little too big so that he/she can grow into it. This is very dangerous as it means that the child will lose a lot of body heat and the water may also weigh them down. Remember, these wetsuits are not made to be worn in the house, so they do need to feel snug. If you purchase the wetsuit with the right fit, you'll really notice it as they heat you up very quickly!

Friday, August 9

Let's Go SUP Boarding


So since my last post on Ben and I getting Back On Our Bikes, our SUP Board has arrived. And not only that, but we have also found lots of places to go SUP-ing (if that is even a word). So, on Sunday, Ben and myself unwrapped our beautiful Jobe Surf 'SUP Board and took it out for a good go on a lake near where we live. 

The SUP Board we have is an inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board as we thought that our first board should be an inflatable so it is easier to take on holiday and also for just general use as it is compact and also comes with a bag which has straps so it is easy to carry. When it comes to SUP boards, you can either opt for a hardboard or an inflatable - and to be honest with you, the inflatable SUP boards are just as good as the hard-boards; and they're nicer on the pennies. When I first discovered that you could get a soft SUP board, I was a tad worried as I thought that it wouldn't be as solid as a hardboard. However there is no need to worry as the inflatable SUP boards are just as durable and strong as a hardboard (they're not like your regular inflatable beach toy ... you'd be surprised at their strength!).

We thought that we would practice our balance and whatnot on a lake before we go back out to stand up paddle boarding on the sea. Also, with it being a new board, we wanted to go somewhere with still-ish water so we could get to know the board better. And to be honest with you, I was quite surprised at how much my balance had improved since our first go in Gran Canaria (part I & II). I didn't fall off once - and neither did Ben! We were very happy bunnies.

I wore a Tiki Wetsuit, which is actually a kids size, but you need to make sure that your wetsuit is tight-fitting so that the minimal amount of heat escapes when/if you fall into the water. There is going to be an upcoming post on the ideal wetsuits. Also, with my wetsuit I wore a bouyant jacket (this is very similar to a life jacket). However one thing that I am going to invest in is a pair of wetsuit boots for when I am going in lakes, rivers and canals. 

This weekend we're planning on going over to Formby beach to test out the board on the waves. However I would advise if you're interested in doing any type of water sport on the open ocean, then make sure that you make sure it is safe with the lifeguards and then do your activities in the view of the lifeguards. As let's be honest, you don't know whether you'll need them if the currents become too strong.

Keep up with my SUP adventures over on my Instagram account