Category Archives: My Life

Check here for posts about me, my life and what I’m upto.

Life Update & Autumn Travel Snaps

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Um, GUYS! It’s been a while since I checked in, because life has been changing so quickly I’ve barely had time to consider my little place online – but I’ve been checking in and I can see that there’s a whole bunch of you still checking back for new content – so here it is!

Let’s ease back into it with a little life update & some snaps from our recent trip to Valencia where we visited both mine & Mr K’s parents.

For those of you following on Insta, you’ll know that Brian is doing great – I crafted him a little tee-pee from some wooden dowels and an old curtain and he loves it.

That mini project marked the beginning of my Autumn artistic streak – does anyone else out there feel a surge of inspiration as a new season launches? Autumn is always that time for me, and since then I’ve worked on some wall art, metallic upcycled vases and some festive projects – and I’ll share a little bit of all of them soon. For a few easy starter projects though, I’ve really loved this kit and this kit.

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Food-wise, I’ve developed an amazing Toffee Apple Cheesecake recipe and a couple of savoury delights like Gruyere Mushrooms, Vegan Cauliflower Soup & Smoky Seafood Stew. Flipping yummy & all very seasonally relevant. Recipes on their way!

Work-wise, I’m approaching a transition – my business area is under consultation so I’m (probably) facing redundancy in the next few months, so I’m doing a lot of personal reflection on who I am and who I want to be, professionally. It’s equal parts petrifying and invigorating to be faced with a fresh start.

I’ve been such a rubbish athlete lately – I’ve managed like 1 short run per week if I’m lucky, but I have done a fair share of walking and have been eating OK the past couple of weeks. I must be doing enough, because no winter ailments have befallen me yet, *touch wood*.

And now, because I feel like I’ve missed out on sharing a ton of exciting things I’d normally have blogged about, here’s a little list of stuff I’ve loved since June:

Spending time at farmers markets (I’ve loved Hebden Bridge & Ramsbottom in particular)

Reading The Golem and the Djinni – an excellent and rather dark love story

Watching Grey’s Anatomy for the first time. Late to the party I know, but binging it is making me wonder if I’m team Preston or team Owen. And being a little mad at what they did to George.

I’ve been drinking Vimto like it’s a life support system. Why would anyone drink anything else?

Spending some fully chilled time chuckling at r/thathappened and some truly petrified time reading r/nosleep.

Christmas shopping. Oh my word. My brother is in New Zealand for Christmas so we’re posting his gifts out to him. On the bright side, it has made me get my act together much earlier.

Phew! Ok I think we’re all caught up. What have you guys been up to?

Kitty

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Thessaloniki | 3 Chilled Days in Greece’s Food & Coffee Capital

 

Aristotle Square, Thessaloniki

There is plenty of history in Thessaloniki – it’s one of the oldest cities in Europe, being founded in 315 BC by King Cassander of Macedon (I wonder if Jesus had heard of it?)

Visiting feels like wandering around inside a relic – but in a freer, more bohemian way than Rome, and a less pretentious way than Paris. Students are everywhere, and they’re all artistic, musical or dramatic. They look vibrant and full of life. They eat big sandwiches in groups on street corners, and laugh with all their teeth showing. I love that about it – there’s a clash of historic and modern, all swirling together under the watchful eye of Mt Olympus, which you can see from across the water.

I arrive and know I love this city, before I’ve even had my first coffee there. But of course, our first stop is Coffee. We arrived on a Saturday morning, fresh from 3 days sun seeking in Vourvouro on Halkidiki. Lucky for us, Thessaloniki is the home of the café frappé – and so it took us less than a minute to secure a chilled caffeine fix and spend 30 mins people watching before seeking out our Air BnB. They ask “would you like your coffee sweet?” and don’t flinch when I practice my extremely broken Greek to tell them yes, please, and I know I’m home.

The city is small, so everything is in walking distance except for the fortress (and even that is if you don’t mind a hill). The smallness of the city meant our Air BnB (Constaninos Place) was perfectly located for great restaurants, bars and nightlife but also quite tranquil. As it was a penthouse apartment, it was also extremely peaceful on our private terrace – which turned out to be the perfect place to enjoy a few hours’s afternoon sun and a few glasses of Mavrodaphne (which, by the way, you absolutely should drink).

The hotels are clandestine – you don’t really notice them as you wander around the main areas – except for the Electra Palace, a flourish of a hotel off Aristotle Square. It’s impressive, and so are the views from their sun terrace – but don’t be fooled into staying there. It’s a little stuffy (we stayed on our last night) and there are much more comfortable places at much better prices. Their breakfast, however, is wonderful, and they do have free Turkish delight in the lobby, so…

Port, Halkidiki

The Food in the city was incredible, which is literally what we came for, and which is also a little suspicious because everywhere was good. Personal recommendations include a cafe frappe and bougatsa for breakfast (treat yourself, get it with honey and cinnamon), a byzantine beetroot salad for lunch and mussels with rice for dinner. Thessaloniki is a port city, so get the fish. Every time. The fish market is fantastic and has an amazing variety, and most restaurants have beautiful signature seafood dishes. Like Vanilla Risotto. Weird but delicious.

Towards the port authority building is a crooked nest of restaurants, plazas woven together by cobbled streets – this is the good stuff, and where you should eat all your meals. Friendly stray dogs snooze in the sunshine while Greek couples smoke lazy cigarettes and pick at leftover red snapper. The balloon lady circles past one too many times. You can smell the sea even though you can’t see it – and it feels so Greek you almost mistake yourself for a local as you sip your carafe of house red. As you leave these places, you hope you get hungry again soon, just for an excuse to go back.

Best dining in Thessaloniki

If shopping is your thing, Thessaloniki has it – but nothing majorly artisan. If, for some reason, you want to fly 4 hours then shop the same stuff you can get at home in Zara, H&M or Foot Locker, then this city has what you want. It also has what you want if you’re after willy shaped pens or fridge magnets – but that’s a byproduct of tourism.

We spent 4 sweet, sweet days there in April and I can’t wait to go back – until then I remember it like I was temporarily authored into an exquisite poem where a young couple enjoy luxuries far beyond their means, and the twist is that those luxuries are simple stuff like time together, good wine and excellent food. And sunshine, because everything is nicer in the sunshine.

Kitty

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5 (Really Easy) Ways I’m Reducing the Plastic in my Life

Plastic Free Grocery Shop

For a long time, reducing plastic has been on my radar – a vague mission I’d never had the energy to put into practice. I’m rarely one to get involved with a bandwagon but, with the ever increasing visibility, and ever increasing volume of the plastic-free movement’s voice, I figured this was one trend I’m totally into following.

It’s hard. The modern world just isn’t geared up to help us be plastic-free, but the good news is that increased coverage of the importance of reducing plastic waste is paying off – its becoming easier to take baby steps towards being plastic free/reducing plastic. And for me at least, baby steps is best – you can’t always make a huge change at once.

Here are 5 things I’ve been doing recently to reduce the amount of plastic in my life (note: I don’t want to say “plastic free” as, right now, that’s an unrealistic goal, for me).

Buying vegetables locally

It’s really handy to pick up veg like cucumber and bagged salads when I’m cruising in Sainsburys, but the amount of unnecessary plastic is sinful. Recently I found a greengrocer nearby that sells naked cucumbers, fresh salad unbagged and jarred snacks like salted fava beans. I still pick up any loose veg I can get in supermarkets (onions, carrots, mushrooms, toms etc) but go to my local greengrocer for everything else. It’s a little more expensive, but its also all organic, locally grown and you can taste the difference. And they save their salad greens for Brian

Cutting down on Online Shopping

I like to shop online now and again, but recently I’ve noticed an obscene amount of plastic involved (and I don’t even buy that much). So I decided to head back to the high street – and I’m loving it. For starters, I’m saving money on shipping, but also getting to try things on, check material labels (ecommerce, why aren’t you showing us material contents?), try my luck in charity shops and use my own canvas bags. I’m finding so many bargains too, today I picked up some black Converse All Star Dainty pumps for just £10.50 brand new from The Outlet PLUS they disposed of the box for me so they’d fit in my bag. Another unexpected plus side is that I buy less, because I can’t actually be bothered going into town to shop unless I really need something…

Bringing a Bottle, Cup and Cutlery

Yep, I’m now the kinda girl who has a travel mug, water bottle and full set of cutlery rattling round her handbag (and subsequently, a massive handbag). It’s so handy though and I know how clean they are and I’m never in a position where I have to use those rubbish picnic cutlery sets, or buy an emergency bottle of water. Most cafes will fill up your water bottle for free (or if you buy a piece of fruit or something – and we could all eat more fruit) and every single coffee shop I’ve visited in the past 6 months has been happy to fill my coffee cup. Easy.

Using Up, Recycling, Re-purposing & Replacing

It was so tempting, when I started thinking about plastic, to throw away all the plastic stuff I have and replace it with non-plastic versions. How stupid is that? I’d be creating a problem in the name of solving the problem. Instead, I’ve decided to carry on as normal, and only when something needs replacing will I switch it up for a plastic free version. This will apply to as many items as possible – and so far its proving interesting, as it’s encouraging me to research products before I buy them.
Wherever possible, when a plastic thing I’ve got stops being functional for its main intent, I’m trying to give it a new job – like using a lunchbox with a lost lid, or some staining, as a plant pot. If I can’t find a new job for it, I’ll drop it at my local recycling center.

Homegrown tumbling tomatoes

DIY and Growing my Own

Guys, I love little tomatoes and strawberries and fresh herbs for cooking – and I used to buy all those pre-packaged spices in shrink wrap, and strawbs/toms in those weird plastic coffins almost daily. Now I have a couple of hanging baskets producing amazingly luscious fruits & a modest but prolific herb garden out in our back yard – I’m saving a bit of money and everything tastes 10x better knowing its home grown.

I’m also thinking about getting back into knitting and learning to sew – that way I can pick up old woolen/cashmere jumpers in second hand stores, unravel them and re-knit into something more my style (because somehow I never find things I just love) and make minor repairs on fashion instead of throwing it out.

Wow, this turned out to be a really long post. But those are 5 of the things I’ve been focusing on turning into a habit, in the hopes I can reduce plastic from my life. I have to be honest, the thing I’m struggling with the most is dish soap – any plastic free people out there with more experience than me got any suggestions?

What steps (if any) are you taking to reduce your plastic use?

Kitty

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