Five Things I Tell Myself That Are Not True as a Spoonie

5 Things I Tell Myself as a Spoonie…That Aren’t True! // Chronic Illness

Hey guys

I think most people have thoughts that repeat themselves over and over in their brains, but they would never say out loud.  If they did, they would probably realise they’re not really true… but we are all so critical of ourselves.  We would never dream of pointing out a friend’s ‘imperfections’ or telling them they weren’t good enough, but for some reason we see no problem in doing it to ourselves!

Five Things I Tell Myself That Are Not True as a Spoonie

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Katie Cupcake Life With ME - One Year Blog Anniversary

Happy Easter And My One Year Blog-iversary!

Hey guys

Just popping in to wish you all a very happy Easter!  I’m not actually religious, but my family from elsewhere in the country come to stay in Leeds, so I always go home to my Mum’s and spend some time with them.  Whether you celebrate Easter or not, I hope you have a nice, relaxing few days (hopefully not at work?) and manage to eat at least one chocolate egg!

For my fellow spoonie readers, I really hope your body allows you a few pain-free days to enjoy yourself (we can wish, right?)

I also realised, it’s one year today since I started my blog!  You can find my first ever blog post here.  This is a really proud moment for me, as I started my blog not long after a big M.E crash which left me struggling to do even the basics of washing, dressing and feeding myself.  I was on long-term sick leave, but struggling to adjust mentally to such a big change in my health.

Katie Cupcake Life With ME - One Year Blog Anniversary

Happy Blog-iversary to me!

I started the blog as a way to keep my mind focused and healthy and to try and use my chronic illness experiences to help others if possible.  My obsession with makeup couldn’t be held back either, so it morphed into what it is today – a beauty and chronic illness blog!  A strange mixture, but I am really happy with my blog now, and feel it really represents my personality.

Thank you SO much to those of you who have kept reading along the way, and I really hope you stick with me for the rest of my journey.  Everyone that reads, likes or shares my posts, and leaves comments – it truly means the world to me!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Katie xx

Lush Leeds Spa Tales of Bath Launch

The Magical World of Lush Leeds Spa // ‘Tales of Bath’ Launch!

Hi guys

I will warn you, this is going to be a pretty photo-heavy blog post… everything at Lush just looked so pretty and colourful, I ended up taking a ton of pictures!  I was lucky enough to be invited to Lush Leeds for the launch of their new spa treatment, ‘Tales of Bath’.  Now I knew about the Lush spa, but I’ve never had a treatment so I was really excited to take a peek and see what it’s like down there (if you don’t already know, it’s below the Commercial Street Lush shop floor).

We were greeted by all the lovely Lush staff (seriously, it must be a requirement of employment at Lush to be a super-lovely, sweet person!)  Two of the girls told us all about how the spa is decorated and the atmosphere they were aiming for, and also about the new treatment, ‘Tales of Bath’.  Whilst telling us about it, they used dry ice in a metal kettle to scent the air – I think this is the same scent used in one of the treatments.  There was also a live singer, which was cool as it really added to the atmosphere.

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Glamour, Great Gatsby and Poker with Ladbrokes!

Hey guys

Sorry it’s been a little quiet on here recently, I’m struggling with my chronic illness at the moment and haven’t had much spare energy to keep blog posts as regular as I’d like!

On Saturday night, I was lucky enough to be invited to a really fun Leeds bloggers event at the Hilton Doubletree Hotel – Hold Em 4 Charity, hosted by Ladbrokes Poker.  The idea of the night was that a load of local bloggers got together to learn and play Texas Hold’em poker, with the winner getting to choose a charity to donate £500 to!  The theme was Great Gatsby and these guys knew how to bring the glamour!  All the bloggers looked beautiful in their long gowns, sequins and suits.

Photo Credit (right): Search Labs

We were in a room backing onto the lovely Sky Bar on floor 13 of the Doubletree, in Leeds city centre.  It was all set up with poker tables, Great Gatsby signs and lots of atmospheric red lighting!  We were greeted with champagne and got chance to have a bit of a chat, before being led to our tables.  There were around 8 of us per table, with our own croupier.  He gave us a brief overview of how the game works and then it was straight in with our chips (we weren’t playing for real money, thank god!)

Photo Credit: Search Labs

Hold Em 4 Charity Leeds

Photo Credit: Search Labs

I have to say, I wasn’t a natural…!! Haha.  I felt like I should have maybe read up on how it works before the event, as I had quite a few questions and wasn’t totally sure what I was doing.  Luckily the girl next to me knew how to play, so she answered all my questions.  Although I lost my chips pretty quickly, I really enjoyed the experience and the chance to get to know other local bloggers.  There were so many people there whose blogs I read and Twitter accounts I follow – it was really fun putting faces to all the names!

Photo Credit: Search Labs (L & R)

In the break between the two halves, the most amazing magician came round and performed tricks to small groups of us.  He was so good!  I wrote my name on a card, and it somehow managed to be in a sealed envelope, inside his zipped wallet… within about 10 seconds!  He also turned a drawing of a lolly into an actual lollipop for Bryony and turned a stack of cards into a clear, perspex block on another girl’s palm.  We were all watching really closely and still have no idea how he did it!  If you’re looking for a talented magician for anything, you can find him here.

I spent a lot of the evening talking to the lovely Tina from Tea is for Tina, whose blog you can find here.  Definitely pop along and have a read, as she’s an absolute sweetheart!  Also a huge well done to the winner of the tournament, Bryony from Breakfast at Bryonys – she had never played before and managed to smash it (that’s her below, with all her chips)!

Hold Em 4 Charity Leeds Tea is for Tina Katie Cupcake Life With ME Hold Em 4 Charity Leeds

Finally, a massive thank you to Ladbrokes Poker for such a fun evening, and the fab Jennie at Life Styled by Jennie for all her efforts in organising the event.  And for the awesome surprise goodie bag below, I felt very spoiled!  You can see a video for the event here!

Hold Em 4 Charity Leeds

Mother's Day - Why my mum is my inspiration

Why my Mum is my Inspiration // Mother’s Day!

Happy mother’s day everyone!

I’m not a mum, but I wanted to celebrate mother’s day with a post about the most important, inspirational person in my life – my mum.  I had a lovely childhood, and I have considered my mum a friend from my early teens (around the time I had the crazy realisation that… parents are people too!)  Our relationship has grown stronger and stronger as the years have passed.

Mother's Day - Why my mum is my inspiration

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Common Objectives Post // Top 5 Winter Skincare Saviours!

Hey guys

I just wanted to share with you a little post I wrote for the fab lifestyle, fashion and beauty site, Common Objectives!

Best Winter Skincare Products

Best Winter Skincare Products

My post shares with you my top products for keeping your skin in tip-top condition through the winter months.

Let me know what you think of it, and whether you’ve tried any of the products!

Katie x

 

 

Make Wedding Planning Easier and Less Stressful With Bark.com // Lifestyle // AD

Hey guys!

I’m coming to you with something a bit different today – a post about wedding planning!  I was approached by Bark.com to write about my experiences, and enjoyed every minute of reminiscing!

You often hear the phrase ‘best day of your life’ floating around when people are talking weddings.  It may seem a bit of a cliché until you’ve been there, but I can truly say that my wedding day was the best day of my life!  If I could go back in time to August 2013, I would do it in a second!  Your wedding day is such a busy, hectic day that it almost feels like it’s over before you know it.  With that being said, can you just indulge me for a few minutes here whilst I take a trip down memory lane?  Don’t worry, you’re invited along!

My husband Dave and I got engaged after 4.5 years together, and had a generous 16 months to plan our big day.  Whilst there was no rush to plan, we were both busy people.  Dave worked full time with a 1.5 hour round commute each day; whilst I worked full time (and then some!) alongside training with my roller derby team three times a week.  As you can imagine, that didn’t leave a lot of time for getting my Bridezilla on!  I’ve found a website called Bark.com which didn’t exist when I got married, but if it had, things would have been a whole lot easier…not to mention less stressful!  I had to do lots of searching online for each person/service I needed, followed by phoning them for quotes and comparing all the prices until I found the best deal.

“That didn’t leave a lot of time to get my Bridezilla on!”

To save any future married couples some unnecessary hard work, here is how you can save time and effort by using Bark.com to plan your wedding.


 

Contacting the Registrar

The bit people often aren’t aware of before they say ‘I Do’ is that you have to have a meeting with a Registrar before you have permission to get hitched.  They see you both together, and then… they see you separately with the partner banished to the waiting room!  Forgetful people beware, they will be asking your partner’s job title, date of birth etc.  This caused us some amusement as Dave used to have a bad habit of getting my birth date wrong!  Do a little bit of reading beforehand so that you know what to expect and have the right documents with you.


 

One Ring to Rule Them All

Rings 2  Rings

The ring – the iconic symbol of all weddings!  For some people (especially men), a wedding band can be the first and only piece of jewellery they wear.  This means they have a lot of browsing to do, to try and find out what style they like.  You have to wear this ring for the rest of your life (hopefully!) so it is important to take your time and choose the right one.  I would suggest going to a few shops and having a look – ask to try them on, see what suits you and what feels comfortable.  If you have a bit of creative flair and you’re looking for something custom-made or bespoke, check out custom jewellery on Bark!


 

Finding the Perfect Venue

Phew, this is the tricky one.  Before you can choose your venue, you need to know how many guests you will be inviting, what sort of ceremony room you’d like, whether you want to have the entire day in one venue and whether you need rooms for people to stay in.  Once you’ve made those decisions, you can use Bark.com to quickly request quotes from venues which will suit your needs.  Make sure to choose a venue where you feel comfortable, and ensure they have somewhere that will make a nice backdrop for your wedding photos!


 

Arriving in Style – Vehicle Hire

I had to be at the wedding venue quite early and my husband had stayed there the night before the wedding, so we didn’t hire fancy cars, but a lot of people do actually arrive at their venues after the guests and like to make an impact!  For some people, this is the chance to finally have a ride in that car of their dreams.  For others, they just want something classic that will look great in their wedding photos!  Before hiring your car, do a bit of research and make sure the company/driver is reputable and reliable – if the car is late on the big day then so are you!  You can find local vehicle hire and get quick and easy quotes on Bark.

“This is the chance to finally have a ride in that car of their dreams!”


 

Trust, What Can go Wrong and Arranging a Band/DJ

It is really important that you can trust the people and companies you hire, to ensure everything runs smoothly on the big day.  We had a great relationship with the Wedding Coordinator at our venue, but sadly had a big issue at the evening reception…. Our DJ didn’t show up!  His phone was going straight to voicemail and nobody could track him down.  We found out weeks later than he had ceased to trade, but had not let anybody know.  This left us without music for the first *2 hours* of the evening reception, meaning we didn’t have our first dance until 10pm! Although it didn’t spoil the day as we were both so happy, it did add a bit of extra stress.

Dancing

We were very lucky that a friend with his own DJ’ing equipment stepped in to help, but it was only by sheer luck that we knew someone who could DJ.  Bark.com makes this so much easier, as you can read professionals’ profiles and reviews before hiring them.  If you see a bad review, at least you know to be cautious!  After my experience, I would definitely recommend reading reviews of anyone you plan to hire – it will give you some peace of mind that you can trust them on the day.  Find your band or DJ quickly and easily here.


 

Choosing Your Dream Dress / Snazzy Suit

There’s only so far Google can get you in your search for the perfect wedding dress!  You can find beautiful dresses online, but you really need to try them on in person to see what suits you.  Find out where your local wedding dress shops are and make appointments to go and see them (you almost always need an appointment in order to be allowed to try anything on.  Wedding dress shops get very busy and generally don’t let you try dresses on if you don’t pre-book).  I chose the Tom Flowers Heaven wedding dress, which I absolutely loved!  I didn’t find anything else that even came close for me.

Dress

Men commonly choose to hire rather than buy their suits.  From my experience, there is a huge variation in suit condition and quality depending where you hire them from.  My brother has experienced some pretty shoddy suits as a Best Man; even one where an emergency sewing job had to be done on the wedding day!  I would suggest asking around your married friends or reading reviews online, to see how happy other customers have been and make sure you swerve any potentially shoddy suits!


 

Getting a Great Photographer

Out of everyone you hire to be involved in your wedding day, I personally feel the one you need to have the most rapport with is your photographer.  Your photos will last you a lifetime, so you need to be happy with them.  Good photographers put you at ease and know how to get the best shots and the most flattering angles.

“Your photos will last you a lifetime, so you need to be happy with them!”

Our photographer was amazing – she took a lot of time to make sure she knew what we wanted from our photos, even bringing sourced props with her.  We both felt really comfortable with her and our wedding photos show that – we got the perfect balance of family portrait shots, wedding party shots and then some great natural, un-posed ones.

Photographer

Sadly our photographer is now on a different career path, so if we ever choose to renew our vows (can we do it after 2.5 years? Please?), I will check out Bark.com’s photography section to get quotes from all my local photographers.  They can be extremely expensive, so getting a good price is very important!


 

Let Them Eat Cake

Cake – the tastiest and often prettiest part of your wedding!  The cake is a part of your big day where you can let your creativity shine.  People often include colours or styles they love, and even have themed cakes to show something that is important to the bride and groom.  I recently went to a winter wedding, where the 3-tier cake had snowflake decorations which were lit up from within – it was beautiful!

Cake

Our cake combined all my favourite colours and featured beautiful roses and birds; it was stunning!  You can use Bark.com to easily find all your local cake-makers and get quotes to see who can meet your budget needs.  My advice would be to think beforehand about what flavours you would like (we had three tiers – Victoria sponge, lemon cake and Baileys), what colours and themes you want, how many tiers and what you’re willing to spend.  This will save time once you’re at the appointment.


 

Finding Your Florist

A beautiful wedding is about all the little finishing touches, such as bouquets and buttonholes.  You can find local florists online and decide who best suits your floral needs!  Before your meeting, have a think about colour schemes, how many bouquets and buttonholes you will need (for yourself, bridesmaids, groomsmen and family) and again what budget you have for your flowers.

Flowers

You don’t need to be an expert in flower names – just have a look around once you’re there and point out which flowers you like the look of.  Make sure they fit in with any colour scheme you have chosen, and will work with the groomsmen’s ties.

Even considering all the planning that went into our big day, I would happily go back in time and do it all over again.  The amazing day at the end of it made it all worthwhile.

Happy planning!

*As indicated in the title, this post has been sponsored by Bark.com, but all words and photos are my own*