Living life on a budget

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OOTD | Embracing Summer












Dress- Zara
Sunglasses- H&M
Sandels- Gap
Bag- H&M

The sun is out, the sky is blue and it is finally starting to feel like summer! I have spent today biking along Regents canal and having a picnic in and wandering around Victoria park. I feel so much happier when the sun is shining and I can spend my days relaxing and soaking up the sun. (As you can tell from these pictures I may have soaked up a bit too much sun today looking at the redness of my arm!) 

The best part of today was being able to finally get my (very pale) legs out for the first time this year and wear this super cute Zara dress. Like I said in my previous post, I am loving everything in Zara at the moment, and this dress is no acceptation. The shape is fairly unusual, but that is why I love it so much. It also has a playsuit kind of thing attached underneath, which allows you to wear it without shorts/trousers and still maintain dignity whilst bending over/moving in general. 

I have recently decided that not only am I going to avoid buying black clothes, I am also going to try and stop buying the same kind of clothes and start buying more unique and different items. So instead of buying another striped top in a different shape or the same style skirt in a different colour, I am going to (try) and be more adventurous. The cut out back and overall shape of this dress makes it really unique and definitely something I have never worn before, which is why I love it so much. It definitely adds something different to my wardrobe, plus it isn't black which is always a positive! Paired with these simple GAP sandals, it makes the perfect summer outfit. 

Make Your Own | Coffee Body Scrub




Recently coffee body scrubs have become extremely popular and have become an instagram favourite. Being curious as ever, I automatically wanted to try this amazing exfoliator that tones, tightens and brightens your skin. So off I popped to my local boots and was shocked when I realised the price was £15. Surely what is basically a bag of ground coffee can't cost £15?! Anyway I walked straight back out the door and decided to make my own. 

It is so so SO easy to make this coffee scrub and after using it a couple of times I can already see results, my skin feels so much smoother and more hydrated. All you need is a bag of ground coffee which costs £2/£3 and some coconut oil, which I found in Sainsburys for just £4. These will make a load of coffee scrub "cubes" which you just pop out the freezer whenever you would like. So who really needs to spend a load of money on a glorified bag of coffee?

What you need:
  • Ground coffee
  • Coconut oil
  • Ice cube tray
What you do:
  • Melt the coconut oil on a low heat (this won't take long at all, so keep watching!)
  • Pour in the ground coffee, the amount depends on personal preference but I added quite a bit 
  • Pour into ice cube tray
  • Put in freezer 
  • Get out and use as and when you would 

OOTD | Back to Black














Dress- Zara
Trainers- Adidas 
Denim Jacket- Brick Lane Market
Bag- H&M
Sunglasses- TK-Maxx

Firstly I would like to start by apologising for the blackness of this outfit. I realise I have posted numerous times about brightening up my wardrobe and staying away from buying more black items. I just could not resist, but I promise I have bought a lot more colourful pieces of clothing which you will see on KP very soon!

Secondly I would just like to prepare you for a whole load of Zara coming your way over the next few weeks. I may have gone slightly Zara crazy recently and seem to fall in love with most (if not all) items of clothing I come across. Not only are the clothes in Zara b-e-a-utiful, they are also extremely well priced and such good quality! So yeah.. if you don't like Zara you are either going to find my OOTD's very boring over the next few weeks or I may change your mind completely and you may find yourself sharing my love for Zara, who knows!

Let's talk about this super comfy, yet stylish outfit that looks great, feels great and is perfect for the current weather situation. I don't know whether it is the same where you are, but in London one day I think summer is here and the next it's raining and the sky is black. This dress is perfect for this undecided weather as (like I have demonstrated) it can be worn with a denim jacket for those slightly colder days and then worn alone for those hot, summery days. I love the long splits along the sides, moving the dress away from a simple and slightly boring black maxi dress to something a bit more interesting and different. Today I paired it with my trusty Adidas Allstar trainers, going with a more relaxed feel. However it is so versatile and will practically go with anything. It is definitely a current favourite!

Make Your Own | Vegan Butternut Squash Curry



Ever since I can remember my mum has cooked me, and I have grown up eating homemade and healthy food. I have been cooking for as long as I can remember, whether it was mixing random ingredients together and making a disgusting mush at my grandmas, locking the kitchen door and making a feast for my parents with my sister or cooking a delicious green thai curry with my dad until I could do it alone. I have always loved cooking, there is nothing more satisfying than spotting a recipe you fancy trying and producing something delicious.

When I initially moved away from home I stuck to the family "classics" I had been bought up both eating and cooking. However, I gradually started finding new, more exciting recipes I wanted to try. Some I have loved, some took far too long, some costed too much and others I just didn't like the taste, but I have enjoyed trying them all. Don't get me wrong, I don't spend every night trying out a new recipes, I still love a good spag bol or tuna bake that I don't even have to think twice about what I am chucking in.

As I enjoy cooking new recipes more and more, I hunt for and buy more recipe books (charity shops are perfect for this and are SO CHEAP). I heard lots of good things about Get The Glow by Madeleine Shaw, spotted it for a good price on Amazon and could not resist buying it. 

When it comes to what I usually choose to eat on a day-to-day basis, it usually involves at least one type of meat. So when I spotted the recipe for this butternut squash curry in Get The Glow, I wasn't completely sold. However it has now become one of my favourites and top "go-to" recipes. It is so simple, requiring only a few ingredients and is so easy to make. Taking a bit longer than my usual favourites, it is still totally worth it and so amazingly healthy!

Anyway, I enjoy this meal so much I thought I would share it with all you lovelies. So here it is!

What you need:
  • A spoonful of coconut oil
  • 50g of coriander
  • 400g Butternut Squash 
  • 500ml can of coconut milk
  • An onion, finely chopped
  • Punch of salt
  • 2 Tablespoons of red curry paste
  • 1 Tablespoon of tomato puree 
  • 1/2 a Teaspoon of turmeric 
  • A handful of spinach
  • A handful of green beans, ends cut off
  • Some sprouting broccoli (optional) 
  • Juice of one lime
  • Wholegrain rice
What you do:
  • Take the leaves off the coriander stalks and cut the stalks up finely 
  • Put the coconut milk, red curry paste, tomato puree, turmeric and coriander stalks in a food blender and blitz 
  • Fry the onions in coconut oil with a pinch of salt for 5 minutes 
  • Add the butternut squash and fry for 1 minute 
  • Pour in the coconut milk etc from the blender and bring to a simmer 
  • Allow to cook for 10 minutes 
  • Add the green beans, spinach and sprouting broccoli and cook for another 20 mins 
  • Start cooking the rice 
  • Serve with a squeeze of lime, a sprinkle of coriander leaves and the rice
Hope you enjoy!

Let's Talk | Conquering my fear of heights








For me, doing something slightly crazy, that is out of my comfort zone whilst raising a load of money for charity has become a bit of an obsession. Not only do I get to do some amazing things, I also get to choose a charity to support and donate a load of money to. There is nothing better than knowing that you have done something and helped an amazing charity carry on doing what they do. 

Two years ago I faced my fear of heights by jumping out of a plane 1300 ft above the ground and doing a skydive. I decided to raise money for Beat, an amazing charity that supports those with eating disorders. It was my first ever major fundraising event and to say I enjoyed it would be a huge understatement. For anyone questioning whether they would like to do a skydive, take the plunge (literally) and book it! It was the most amazing experience and I will never, ever forget it. 

Yesterday I faced my fear of heights again and jumped/was pushed off a 160ft crane, this time attached to a piece of elastic and my boyfriend, James. As a student child nurse I see too many terminally ill children and often hear about the amazing work of Make A Wish Foundation, which is why James and I decided to raise money for them. We ended up reaching and exceeding our target of £300, raising an amazing £500! For some reason I was even more nervous about doing the bungee jump compared to the skydive, however it was an equally amazing experience, just a lot quicker! 

So yeah, I kind of love doing crazy things and raising loads money for charity. I feel I have started a tradition of doing something every other year now, so my plan is to start training and run a marathon in 2 years. It will be a HUGE challenge and something that will take a lot of time and effort, but I am determined and trust me once I have my mind set on something, I will do it. 

Have you ever done something crazy to raise money for charity?

P.S If you would like, please head over to our JustGiving page and donate a couple of pounds to the amazing Make A Wish foundation- every penny counts!  

NYX Lip Cream Loving




Over the past few months/year, matte lipsticks have become so popular and now it is the time for the liquid matte lipsticks. I have tried several matte lipsticks, loved almost all of them and find myself reaching for those over a normal lipstick any day. But liquid matte lipsticks? Never tried them until now!After seeing practically every blogger and youtuber ordering and reviewing the Kylie Lip Kits and also being tempted to spend a ridiculous amount on one myself, I made it my mission to find a cheap alternative. And I think I did.

I realise I can't really give an honest comparison between the NYX lip creams and the Kylie Jenner lip kits, however from all the reviews I have read and watched, I feel I have a good understanding of what they are roughly like. And, for me why would you spend a whole load of money on something, when you could buy much cheaper alternative? Although the lip kits only work out to be about £20 each, you also have to pay a lot for postage and then even more for customs, which makes them pretty damn pricey.

The NYX lip creams create a very pigmented, matte lip just like the Kylie lip kits. They come in a variety of shades, including a load of nude shades. After a lot of humming and ahhing I decided on two very different colours, Morocco (22) which is a VERY bright red and Stockholm (02) which is a nude pink/brown. And I LOVE them both. They are really pigmented after the first application, however I usually go over the first layer again when it is still a bit wet, just to cover any patches and neaten it up.

I found that these lip creams lasted fairly well, however I did need to reapply a couple of times throughout the day, meaning they don't last anywhere near as well as the Kylie Lip Kits seem to. After reapplying the lip cream a couple of times, I found it didn't apply so well and didn't look smooth. I also found that they were quite drying to the lips. However, all the matte lip products I have tried in the past have been made my lips dry and I know this is a common problem.

Although there are a couple of negatives, I would definitely recommend spending £5.50 to try one of NYX's lip creams. I chose two "safe" colours that I often wear and knew I would like, however I will be going back a purchasing some new shades very soon! 

P.s You can find the NYX lip creams on Asos and Feel Unique where students can get 10%, making them even cheaper!

OOTD | Trying Something New








 






Culottes- Zara
Top- H&M
Faux Leather Jacket- Topshop
Sunglasses- Topshop
Trainers- Adidas/Footasylum 

So as you can all probably tell from previous posts, my style is quite "safe". It is basically made up of  different shades of black, grey and white and usually consists of a pair of jeans and a slightly different top/shirt. That is it. Do I like it? Yeah. Do I love it? Not at all.

Recently I have been getting really bored of my plain, monochrome wardrobe and have found my self in a "style rut" where I always find myself buying the same kind of clothes, just in slightly different colours or shapes. This usually consists of plain, monochrome or stripes. It is hard to believe that I never used to wear anything black, even when a friend pointed out an item of clothing with even the tiniest bit of black in I would automatically hate it. Between then and now something must have radically changed because when I look at my wardrobe now, all I see is black. 

Recently people have also been making comments about my black, on black, on black, on black outfits, not nasty ones just joking around, but that has been enough to make me rethink and doubt my style choices. Do I really want to be known as the friend who always wears black? I feel like it is definitely time for a change. I am not going to completely stop buying/wearing black, however I am going to try my hardest to wear different, brighter items along with the "blackness". It is Spring (although it doesn't often feel like it here in England) and therefore the perfect opportunity to brighten up my wardrobe with all the amazing spring shades that are taking over the shops. 

Not only have I brightened up my wardrobe with this outfit, I have also completely stepped out of my comfort zone with these b-e-a-utiful culottes. With long, rather skinny legs I often find myself sticking to the classic skinny jean, or I sometimes change it up with different style/shaped jeans. To be fair, give me a pair of jeans any day and I will be happy. I have seen numerous bloggers rocking culottes but I could never see myself joining them. However, when I spotted these beautiful striped culottes in Zara, I couldn't resist trying them on to see if they looked half decent (I wasn't even expecting that). And they did, they looked amazing! They are the most perfect addition to my spring wardrobe and I will be wearing them nonstop throughout spring/summer.

I would definitely recommend anyone trying on and wearing something different. It is so easy to stick to the same kind of clothes and styles, but after a while you will most likely get bored. Whether it an item of clothing you have seen and loved other people wearing, or whether it is something that looks amazing on the hanger, it is worth a go. It might look awful, but you never know it might look amazing and be your new favourite item in your wardrobe!

Have you recently stepped out of your style comfort zone?

© KATIE PRIMROSE.

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