Summer Of Fun – Part 1

I’ve not long returned from a work trip and as usual, going on an aeroplane fills my head with memories of trips gone by and those to come too so I wanted to bring you some of my top tips for some of my favourite places. Following on from the Essex Girls Half Marathon effort last year in June, we jetted off for our much anticipated trip to The White Isle for part 1 of what I’ve named the ‘Summer Of Fun’.

If you are planning a visit, these are my must-sees….

Pacha 

The ‘original’ super club. On my first visit last year, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I’ve seen films and heard stories that made me think I was going to be heading into something similar to an illegal rave and being that drugs are totally not my bag, I was nervous. Yes, that exists but Pacha itself is super G-L-A-M and in 2015 the decor was themed around the Moulin Rouge which was convenient as our last trip together was to the original in Paris. There’s so many different areas to discover but my favourite bits are the roof terrace – with girls dancing in giant martini glasses and chilled beats on balmy summer nights – and the discovery this time round of the R’n’B room. If you are not into EDM and prefer something a little more commercial then this is the room is definitely the one for you!

 

Ocean Beach 

Words can’t describe how excited I was to be heading to Ocean Beach Ibiza. All my favourites in one day! My girls, champagne, vodka, old skool garage music courtesy of Kisstory all whilst enjoying the blazing sunshine!! Perfection. I’d highly recommend booking yourselves a VIP bed if there are a few of you as you will easily meet the minimum spend throughout the day. The day is spent flitting between the pool – adorned with giant glitterballs and amazing aerialists – back to the ‘Veuve Cliquot’ accessorised bed to dry off and top up the tan. My advice to you is remember to drink water and try and wear a hat to keep the sun off your head…. You don’t want to end up with sunstroke and ruin the evening plans! 

  

Blue Marlin 

Set in its own secluded spot in Cala Jondal away from the hustle and bustle of San An and Playa D’en Bossa, Blue Marlin gives you the perfect day to night venue. It’s a beach club by day, with exclusive cabana beds and a private beach before welcoming house DJs and dancing girls by night. This is flanked by an amazing al fresco dining area where you can watch the sunset before the trees are lit up with pink fairy lights. It’s not the cheapest of places but it feel exclusive, glam and is well worth every penny! You wouldn’t be surprised if a yacht pulled up and an A Lister stepped off to sit on the table next to you. I can highly recommend the Burrata with tomato, zucchini flower, Wagyu ham and fresh basil, Beef Tournedos with homemade cranberry mustard, green beans and potato purée! I was also a massive fan of the illuminated bottle of ‘Ibiza’ Belvedere vodka! Absolutely perfect venue for a more chilled night, with good music, good food, good wine, best friends and lots of laughs. 

  

 Cafe Mambo

An essential! One of the most iconic bars in Ibiza. The most important tip I can give you is to book a seafront table (as far in advance as possible) to ensure you get the best view of the amazing sunset that falls over the bay. Don’t worry about the (low) minimum spend as the food is great and the cocktails go down a treat so between a group you it’s easily achievable. As it’s such a renowned venue on the White Isle, you are likely to have some of the worlds best DJs providing the soundtrack to the view of a lifetime. And you might even spot the famous Mambo Brothers on the next table if you are very lucky.

  

The other places I would try and pay a visit to whilst on the island would be Ushuaia – for one of their club nights, nothing better than starting your night here, before a quick freshen up in the hotel and off to finish off your night at one of the super clubs, and The Ninth – the rooftop bar at the Hard Rock Hotel – clean white leather sofas, cocktails and amazing views across Playa D’en Bossa bay. I’ve also heard good things about Ibiza Rocks House, where they filmed Wham’s Club Tropicana video. I’ve not been but it sounds like my kind of place! 
  

I’ve visited Ibiza twice and I have to say that I really love it there. Besides the sunshine, Spanish food and beautiful beaches, I found an affection for this little place with a big personality because you don’t have to conform, you can be yourself and nobody passes judgement. 

Katie xx

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The sun has set beautifully on 2015

So I’ve been AWOL for quite some time. 

Basically 2015 was a whirlwind, amazing year. Well a few initial hiccups then amazing for the majority before turning a bit shitty in December but I’ll get to that. 

First I want to tell you why I’ve been quiet for so long. I’ve covered off the first half of the year during previous posts on my #100daysofhappiness so I’ll just give a whistle stop tour of the second half. 

In June, myself and 4 of the best ones completed our new year challenge. We ran a half marathon. When I say ran, I actually ran. The entire way. I never ever thought I would be able to do it and with actual blood, sweat and tears through training we managed to achieve it, together. The dream team! 

To reward ourselves, we headed off to Ibiza shortly after. God I love that island. The weekend was full of laughs and memories that will last a lifetime. I want to share the places we visited but I’ll save that for another post! Sunning myself with my best girls, partying to Kisstory at Ocean Beach and experiencing how the other half live at Blue Marlin were definitely highlights for me! 

  

In August my parents celebrated 40 years of marriage. What an achievement! They are a shining example of true love, married at 18 and still having fun together 40 years later. My aim is to share the same kind of true love with someone myself one day. If I can have even 10 years experiencing the same depth of love they have for each other then I’ll be happy. I don’t want to settle for anything less. 

A reoccurring event in my annual calendar is V Festival. Those who have read my blog know about my love of music and I am so lucky to welcome some of the worlds best bands and artists to a festival on my doorstep every August. 

The following week I headed off to one of the most anticipated events of the year… My friend’s wedding in Rome. There were many things going through my mind prior to the trip as it was my first time in Italy, I’d never experienced a wedding abroad before and the thing that was making me most apprehensive was that these friends (and all the other people going) were people I had met through Mr Long Term, so he himself was going to be there too. I was nervous but I needn’t have been.  

Rome turned out to be everything I wanted and more. The city and food were amazing, the wedding itself was INCREDIBLE and I laughed until my face hurt every moment of every day there. Most coined phrase ‘when in Rome’ made almost any behaviour acceptable. I also met someone, who I’ve named Mr Nice Guy, you’ll hear more later. I’m so honoured to have been given the opportunity to celebrate with the happy couple and experience the love surrounding them, something that I will never forget. 

  

After four days at home, I jetted off to my happy place in Majorca where I spent two blissful weeks with my family. Sunbathing, eating, drinking, repeating. 
  

On my return to the UK I wasn’t met with the usual horrendous blues I have when I leave there. Many reasons for this included dates with Mr Nice Guy, one of my girls getting engaged, another two giving birth to their beautiful babies and one of my closest friends asking me to be her Maid of Honour next year. 

The final few months of the year sped by with lots of nights out, weekends with Mr Nice Guy and work being so busy heading into the festive season. 

So, Mr Nice Guy. Who is he? He is exactly that. He’s fun, good-looking, so kind, adores his family and is loyal beyond words. I made some great memories with him which made it all the more difficult when things didn’t work out for us just a few days before my birthday and Christmas. It was a bit of a shock as things seemed to be great during my visit to see him the weekend before.

I’m not really sure what happened. I questioned myself (and still do occasionally) wondering if it was something I did wrong. Did I say or do something wrong? What’s wrong with me? Why doesn’t he want it to work? Why is this happening to me again? Feeling so sad at a time when you are meant to be full of Christmas spirit is really hard. So I got drunk a lot with my friends. 

But now, I’ve focused on the fact that everyone crosses your path for a reason. His reason? To show me the sort of person I’d like to be with and that there are actually some decent single guys left out there. I’m really happy we met and that I had the opportunity to get to know him. 

What now for 2016? 

Well even though we are only 10 days in, it’s shaping up to be quite some year already. 5 weddings plus 3 hen weekends, a new baby in the summer (not mine, obvs), 2 wedding cakes to make and 10 days in Majorca in the Autumn. But I have also felt the need to make some big changes to my own life so have been focusing on self development. 

I’m going back to uni to complete my marketing diploma, I’ve never been more focused on saving money to achieve my goal of buying my own home, I’m going to learn Spanish and I am determined to shift the last 10lbs that has been lingering during 2015. Basically, I’ve chosen some things to achieve that I am solely responsible for so basically my happiness has no reliance on other people. If I don’t achieve these things, I can only blame myself. On the flip side, when I do achieve them, I’ll be able to feel immensely proud. 

I hope 2016 is the happiest yet for you all and that your hopes and dreams come true x

The Effect Of #100HappyDays

The final stint #100happydays has been and gone….

Day 94 – Picked up the parents from the airport and although running in the terrible wind made me feel I was standing still at times, I managed my fastest 5km.

Day 95 – Purchased a new dress for Ibiza AND Chase and Status announced and Ibiza residency!!

Day 96 – Got a lovely new pair of suede boots in the River Island sale for £20!  Bargain!  Oh and Camilla made my day by sending me a link to the best mugs ever!!

Day 97 – Fab away day with work today, brushing upon Harrods history!  #Geek

Day 98 – 4 day weekend started with drinks in Adventure Bar….Fave!!

Day 99 – Nice evening seeing the best one and her little monkeys!

Day 100 – Well it’s been emotional, but here we are again!  Today’s happiness is bought to you by some random at Westfield telling me I was beautiful.  Always nice to hear!  Thanks everyone for putting up with my 100 days, good luck to those I’ve inspired and sorry to those I’ve annoyed along the way!!  Thanks for your support.  Love you all long time xxx

So we all know why I began this blog and embarked on my second round of #100happydays and it appears that I am not alone.  I thought I was a *little* crazy, the only one that thought doing this would make a difference but it appears I’m not the only one…I’ve been in touch with some other people who have also undertaken their own #100days and there are such similarities.  Knowing that everyone else has experienced the same feelings during and after completing their #100days is comforting – feel more normal now!

The situations that have bought on the need to seek some positivity in life have varied from depression and anxiety to splitting up with a husband, loss of a loved one and one the same as me… going from being a glass half full girl to feeling negative and unhappy.  Each person had been inspired to do #100days because they had seen a friend do it on social media and felt that it was worth a try.

It absolutely is worth a try. They have all. said how some days it can be a struggle to find a happy moment but as every day goes by it becomes easier…. perhaps because finding happiness each day actually starts to alter the way that you think eventually.  One person who was dealing with multiple heartbreaking and life changing situations said,  ‘I truly believe that life wasn’t getting better on its own, it just wasn’t seeming so bad anymore as I was having a shift in attitude.’  And I completely agree.

Everyone has challenges, problems and situations to deal with and whilst you may think that what’s happening to them is small, insignificant and unimportant it can be all-consuming and affect them in ways that they never felt possible.  It could also be one of many things that have happened to them – the final nail as it were – but talking to the other ladies that have undertaken this project has showed me that no matter what the challenge, happiness and positivity is always the answer AND you are not alone.

Coming soon – Marriage, What Happiness Is To Me and More Dating….

Love Katie xx

 

A Recipe For Happiness!

It’s been a while since I updated you all on my #100daysofhappiness (the point of this blog!) so here we go….

Day 14 – Saw some old faces at work today from my secretarial days at Head Office.  Reminded me that when I want something enough, I can achieve it!!  Never give up!!

Day 15 – 3 bottles of prosecco with the lovely Anna!

Day 16 – So….. this happened.  Eeeeek!

GBBO

Day 17 – Sunday’s are for pampering!  Had a lovely lie in, did a hair mask, face mask and soaked myself in body cream!  Bliss!

Day 18 – A few things today.  Ibiza flights are BOOKED!!!  Someone said I looked like a Barbie (LOVE him!) AND I did a one handed spin at pole!

Day 19 – Good discovery today!  Tapas Tuesdays at All Bar One!  4 Tapas dishes and a bottle of wine for £20 xx

Day 20 – Got my annual charity quiz night invitation today! Love a quiz night! xx

Day 21 – Ran 5k at the gym tonight!  Love our little motivational Whatsapp group ‘Team Beefa!’ xx

Day 22 – Lovely, lovely evening with beaut friends xxx

Day 23 – Had such a fun night with fab friends xxx

Something potentially massive happened on Day 16.  I sent off my application for a place in the BBC’s Great British Bake Off this year.  Eeek!

I am under NO illusions that out of the thousands and thousands of applicants, I will get picked.  I know it’s highly unlikely and I have no expectations whatsoever.  I am not nearly good enough, and I don’t think that I have the experience they will be looking for.  But do you know what, I decided that I have absolutely nothing to lose so I just went for it!  Every year, people always tell me that I should go on it and I always say ‘oooh I don’t think I’m good enough’ or ‘I don’t think I could take the stress’.  All the excuses.  Well not anymore, at least I can now say I applied, regardless of what happens.

Ever since I can remember, I have loved baking. The stand out toy from my childhood was my A La Carte Kitchen, I baked cakes for family members birthdays, at the age of 12 I cooked a 3 course dinner for my parents anniversary – there are many memories.  My ‘speciality’ is baking and decorating cakes.  I’m not claiming to be amazing (I’m definitely not amazing), but I feel proud of the creations I’ve made to date.  I’ve had one 2 and a half hour cupcake decorating lesson and a 3 hour Macaron making lesson, the rest is completely self taught and just came from practice, practice and more practice!

I find baking very therapeutic – iTunes on shuffle, zoning out into my own little world and you can’t beat the smell of cakes or bread baking in the oven, it’s so homely.  Then finally, I love seeing people tucking into the tasty treats that I’ve created!  It’s a real sense of achievement and also a great honour when someone asks to you make them a cake for an occasion that is very special to them.

Here are a few examples of some of my bakes…

Baking

Everywhere I look lately, there is something or someone talking about happiness.  I’m not sure if it’s always been that way or whether I am just noticing it more now because of the blog and my #100daysofhappiness.  One of the things I saw was a little plaque entitled ‘Recipe for Happiness’ – I have most of the ingredients in my store cupboard, just one I need to nurture and perhaps once I have all the ingredients, every day will become 100% happy again!

Recipe For Happiness

Ingredients

1 Bag of Smiles
2 Cups of Sharing
2lbs of Positivity
1/2 Cup of Good Humour
1 Cup of Self Esteem
2 Spoonfuls of Simplicity
1 Dash of Goodwill
4 Drops of Easy Going
and
1 Packet of Life Loving!

So there you have it, a recipe for happiness, which hopefully will be the best thing I ever create!

Love Katie xx

PS – Coincidence that my mum and dad have just returned from a weekend in my other ‘happy place’ – Swanage, Dorset – with this little gift…

BakePlaque