CHOOSE LOVE

Saturday, 10 June 2017


As I sit here watching Happy Feet for the umpteenth time, I have found myself drawn to my blog for the first time in almost a year. It was never my intention to stop blogging altogether yet somehow this blog feels like a distant memory. Having a full time job has become my excuse for everything over these past twelve months; my excuse for a broken exercise routine, my excuse for weekend lie-ins, and my excuse for the silence on what was once my favourite corner of the internet. But here I am, tip tapping away on my keyboard as if nothing's changed, and I am finding solace in the realisation that I still have a voice that I so desperately want to be heard; whether just by my friends and family or by the whole wide world.

Visiting my blog today, I had one topic in mind: love. Living in Manchester for these past three weeks has been extremely moving and poignant, seeing everybody unite beside one another in a display of defiance against the hate that constantly tries to destroy us. We have shown the world that Manchester is STRONG and will not be defeated. The Great Manchester Run, my first ever 10k run, was an amazing event to be a part of in the wake of such a tragedy and the #OneLoveManchester benefit gig moved me beyond words. I have always believed that love can conquer anything and, Manchester, you have only furthered my belief.

Despite the government that will form as a result of the UK election this week, the election itself has also reaffirmed my belief in hope and love. With an incredible 72% of young voters taking to the polls and expressing their voice (opposed to 43% in 2015), I could not be prouder to be in that age category. I have never felt that my views and values fully align with any political party in the UK, but the last few weeks of campaigning has made me more passionate about the Labour party than I ever thought that I could be. Aspiring for change and the ability to make a real difference, I have actually decided to become a member of the Labour party! I definitely don't know all there is to know about politics, and my brain really struggles to follow economical debates, but I am excited to grow my political knowledge whilst supporting a party that I honestly believe can make a difference. Watch this space!

And with that, I shall bid you all ado. Here's to hoping that this blog will become more and more active as I am refinding my voice! And remember; hate is empty, may we choose love.

Essie: Petal Pushers & Now and Zen

Sunday, 2 October 2016


Being wrapped up in finding the perfect work wardrobe over the past three months has seen me add no new goodies to my make up collection. Work wardrobe accomplished and in need of some autumn shades for my nails, I headed to Boots to raid the Essie stand and was more than happy with my discoveries...

Sitting amongst Essie's autumn range for 2016, I sorted through and stumbled upon the most beautiful khaki green shade, 'now and zen'. Not owning any shades like it, there was no stopping me from running to the till, polish in tow. Having applied it to my nails this afternoon, it offers a fantastic, glossy finish alike all other Essie choices, and sits atop my nails as a subtle green with small hints of blue and grey. If you're looking for a muted shade to wear all autumn long, now and zen is definitely your gal.

Unintentionally, whilst rooting through Essie's staple collection, I found the perfect partner to sit alongside now and zen – 'petal pushers'. As a gorgeous not-quite-purple yet not-quite-blue shade, it seemed to compliment my original choice with such remarkable force. Having glanced at petal pushers on more than one occasion but always opting for others, today was the day that I decided that I needed to take the pretty Essie bottle home with me. These two beauties are the two autumn shades that you shouldn't give a miss!

What nail polishes have you been loving for the autumn so far? Do you have any favourites? Let me know!

Baking: Marble Cake

Sunday, 25 September 2016


After a year of consistently baking blondies whenever I was feeling a bit of a sweet tooth, I have finally tried something new! Using BBC Good Food's delicious recipe, I have now made two perfect, mouth-watering batches of marble cake that I would love to share with all of your beautiful faces!


First thing is first – ingredients! To create the most beautiful and scrumptious cake, you will need...

– 225 g caster sugar                                                             – 2 mixing bowls
– 225 g butter                                                                       – 2 mixing spoons
– 4 eggs                                                                                – 1 baking tray
– 1 tsp vanilla essence                                                         – the end of a fork/a skewer
– 3 tbsp milk                                                                         – 1 big knife
– 225 g self raising flour
– 3 tbsp cocoa (or hot chocolate) powder


Preheat your oven to 160 °C if fan assisted, or 180 °C otherwise. Add the sugar and butter to one of the mixing bowls and fluff together until it reaches a creamy consistency. One by one, crack each egg into the mixture and stir in. Add the vanilla extract and milk, and then finally fold through the flour until a cake batter consistency has been formed! Easy peasy, right?


Now comes the marble part! Split the batter between the two mixing bowls as evenly as you can and mix in the cocoa/hot chocolate powder to one of the mixtures. I've used Whittard's Luxury Hot Chocolate to do this in both of my bakes but any cocoa powder will do! I really want to try Whittard's Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate to see how big of a difference it makes... I'll let you know how that works out! Once you have one yellow mixture and one brown, dollop each colour in a checkerboard fashion into a tray lined with baking paper. I definitely had more vanilla mixture than chocolate by mistake, hence the overload of yellow in the picture above. I managed to make two layers with the mixture that I had, dolloping vanilla on top of chocolate and vice versa. Once your double decker checkerboard is complete, use either a skewer or the end of a fork to create a 'marble' effect on top of the cake. Pop in the oven for 45 minutes and wait for heaven to appear...


And voila! You'll be left with a beautifully marbled cake that tastes just as incredible as it looks. Definitely my new favourite bake, without a shadow of a doubt! Have you ever made marble cake? Can you recommend any different flavours I should experiment with? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Long Time, No Blog

Saturday, 10 September 2016

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It's been a while! After a wonderfully busy and productive summer, I finally have a spare afternoon with nothing to do—what better a time to fill all of your beautiful faces in on the last two or three months!

Firstly, a massive apology to long-time readers of this blog. I have been a dedicated blogger for almost three years now, posting 2–3 times every single week... and yet my last post was back in July. Taking the leap from student life to working 9–5 has been a lot more hectic than I had originally assumed. All of my free time is spent with Jack, doing chores, seeing family and friends, and catching up on precious sleep. Even my exercise routine has seen a massive drop in the last few months! Despite not having the time to blog, I am really not complaining. I have had a wonderful summer—busy Kassi is happy Kassi! Here is the update...

Working 9—5: After seventeen long but rewarding years of education, the last three of which spent studying for a degree, it was finally time to take my first steps out into the big wide world of work. I entered it rather excited to tackle a new challenge and that feeling has stuck! Working as a copywriter/proofreader suits me down to a tee—getting to have daily debates about commas and phrasing puts a little smile on my face. One person's hell is another's heaven, right? I definitely appreciate my evenings and weekends so much more now than I ever did as a student but I genuinely prefer the hours. As a student, I was constantly worrying about deadlines and essays; I never really had a spare moment to breathe. Working 9–5, on the other hand, means that I can leave work at work and have a completely separate home life. So far so good!

Owning my own car: A recent development in the life of Kassi... I HAVE MY OWN CAR! Since passing my test three Septembers ago, I've never had the opportunity to drive. Nevertheless, with three years of non-driving behind me, I am finally driving in my own car. Commuting to work every day on the tram hasn't been a problem over the summer but, as the winter and dark nights are approaching us, I set myself an aim to have a car by the end of the summer. Luckily, my plan worked and I drove to work for the very first time yesterday! My confidence could definitely be improved but having a car outside my flat for the last week has definitely been a boost. After three years of public transport, how wonderful to see Manchester from a car!

Mine and Jack's flat: After a month or two of playing around with where we wanted the furniture to be and what artwork and accessories we wanted as our decor, our little flat is definitely our home. It's so lovely to be able to come home to my best friend and all of my belongings under the same roof! No more carting our things back and forth... it's a dream, I have to say. We've taken some lovely trips over the summer to IKEA, to both his family home and mine, and even across to visit a family friend in Wales. We couldn't be happier.

And there you have it—a rounded summary of the last few blog-less months. As I foresee a few quiet weekends on the horizon, I will definitely aim to be in touch a lot more than this summer has seen. How have you spent your summer? What activities have you guys been up to? Leave all of your updates below!

Sunday Thoughts

Sunday, 24 July 2016

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Evening, all! This blog has been a space of silence over the last few weeks and for that I can only apologise. I'm still adjusting to graduate, 9-5 life but I promise that some fabulous posts will be coming your way soon!

I can honestly say that I am thoroughly enjoying my first ever full-time job and I have met so many lovely people over the last four weeks. After getting up at 6am and arriving home after 6pm, however, 'tired' isn't a strong enough word. Jack has been an absolute dime since I began working, having my dinner ready for me whenever I get home. I'm incredibly grateful to have such a loving and caring boyfriend to come home to at the end of the day. Not spending all day together anymore like we did at university, we cherish the time that we get together in the evenings and at the weekends (hence a lack of blogging and also a lack of exercise, oops). We took a trip to IKEA last weekend and visited the Trafford Centre this afternoon. It's so wonderful to live in Manchester with a car opposed to travelling everywhere by public transport. It makes such a massive difference! With the help of my dad and my brother, I'm hoping to have my hands on my very own first car in the near future! Commuting to work doesn't bother me so much in the morning as it wakes me up on my way to work, but coming home is the journey I dread every day. Despite not having driven since I passed my test back in September 2013, I'm actually really excited to get back behind the wheel! Although I'm sure I'll be incredibly nervous at first, it'll be such a fantastic feeling to have the freedom to go wherever I want to go whenever I want to go there! I had originally planned to dedicate a post to my graduation for all of your beautiful faces to see but it seemed to slip my mind... another oops from me. It was a wonderful day spent with both mine and Jack's families and was the most perfect way to celebrate the end of our university lives. I felt so majestic and 'VIP' in my gown—I never wanted to take it off!

I hope this has been a nice little round-up of the last few weeks! I do miss tip tapping away two/three posts per week and will definitely up my game as my working life continues. Thank you for bearing with me! What have you guys been up to just recently? Leave me all of your stories in a comment below!

The Frenzy of Working Life

Thursday, 14 July 2016

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It's been two and a half weeks since I began my first ever full-time, 9-5 job and I'm already struggling to find the time to keep this blog up to date. Between getting up at 6am, working from 8.15-5, and arriving home at 6.30pm, as well as attempting (but also failing) to keep up at least a little bit of an exercise routine... I'm ashamed to admit that this blog has not been at the forefront of my mind. With regular posts usually going live every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday, it's now been a week since my last post. Oops, my bad!

As much as I would love my blog schedule to get back to normal as I settle into the frenzy of working life, I somehow can't see that happening. I am unbelievably proud of myself for the upkeep that I put into this little corner of the internet throughout my university career and I would absolutely love to continue at the same pace and volume. Wanting the best of both worlds, I come to you with a proposal: rather than maintain a strict weekly routine, I am going to cut myself some slack. Working life is extremely hectic and tiring, but I am honestly loving every minute of it. This blog is my second home and to pour my heart and soul into posts for you all to read is my favourite way to spend my free time. Opposed to posting half thought out monologues, scraped together at 10.30pm the night before just to preserve a schedule, I am going to offer only the very best. I am going to offer quality over quantity; the gift that myself, my blog, and my readers deserve.

And so, for the moment, perhaps this will be my last post for the next week or two. On the other hand, perhaps there'll be two or three posts that go live in the next seven days. Either way, I'm not going to beat myself up for not finding the time to dedicate to this blog. Quality is definitely the right way forward; I hope you agree! If you're a blogger yourself, do you keep up with a strict schedule? Or do you limit your posts slightly more? Please feel free to leave me a comment full to the brim with blogging advice, I would love to know!

Manchester Corn Exchange: Pho, Mowgli, and Wahaca

Tuesday, 5 July 2016


Jack and I became so fed up with constantly eating at chain restaurants in our second year of university that we made a vow to try out all of the unique food places that Manchester has to offer. Over the last year, we've explored a great deal of the Northern Quarter, we've visited many places on Deansgate, and we have both fallen head over heels for the Manchester Corn Exchange. Full to the brim of very small chains/independent restaurants, there is literally something for everyone all under one roof. What more could you ask for??

The three restaurants that we've tried so far are Pho, Mowgli, and Wahaca. Pho serves incredible and authentic Vietnamese food that I guarantee will make your mouth water. There are a few Phos around the country, most of which reside in London, but you can also find them Leeds, Cambridge, Bristol, Birmingham, and, of course, good ol' Manchester. My brother visited Vietnam a few summers ago and could not stop raving about the food. When I told him that Jack and I were going to pay a visit to Pho, he almost screamed with delight! That's how you know a restaurant is worthwhile: its quality is just as good as its country of origin.

Mowgli is definitely my favourite restaurant in the Corn Exchange of the three that we've tried. It serves Indian street food, meaning 4 or 5 dishes of different tastes oppose to merely one! We tried something from every section of the menu and were absolutely blown away by the incredible quality. The service was also outstanding—we were in and out of the restaurant within 45 minutes, having been shown to our table, studied the menu, ordered, eaten, and paid! The best part of the meal was, without a doubt, the dessert. There are only two Mowglis in the country with one residing in Manchester and the other residing in Liverpool. If you get the chance and are in either of those two wonderful cities, I insist that you must dine at Mowgli!

The latest restaurant that we have tried is Wahaca. It serves Mexican food, my absolute favourite cuisine, and I can honestly say that the food is breathtaking. We shared tortilla chips and the most delicious salsa I've ever tried to begin with and I ordered a mouth watering steak for my main. Jack had one of the biggest burritos that I've ever seen! Alike Pho, it appears that most Wahaca restaurants reside in and around London, with a few dotted around the country in Bristol, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Cardiff, and Manchester. If you're paying a visit to anywhere nearby and are a Mexican lover like myself, I would fully recommend a meal at Wahaca.

Have you tried any of these restaurants before, either in Manchester or elsewhere ? If you've been to/live in Manchester, which restaurants would you recommend in the Corn Exchange? Leave me your comments!