The Monthly Scrapbook | July

July kicked off (well, served off) with my favourite sporting event: Wimbledon. This meant a daily excuse to buy strawberries and cream while binge watching tennis. Yippee. Aaron started his new job which meant a celebratory meal out (white wine as we watched the sun set over the harbour- dreamy!) and the UK still (*touches wood*) is producing the loveliest weather. After graduating with my friends mid-July, the rest of the month has seen me frantically and excitedly apply for as much publishing work experience as my tired purse can hack.

IMG_2941.JPGAaron’s new job provides him with Sundays off; a luxury he hasn’t had with his previous job. To celebrate his first Sunday off, we headed to West Wittering, as we love to do when the weather warms up. We sunbathed, kicked a ball around, ate yummy food and walked a while. We ticked off a lot of things on anyone’s Summery Day Bucket (but no Spade) List. Sunkissed and sleepy, we finished the evening with a BBQ on the beach with his family, chucking around a frisbee like there was no tomorrow. Tomorrow, however, did come around which meant another Monday feeling like an oh-so-unemployed-graduate which, by extension, meant a day of emails, emails and more emails.

July Monthly.jpgThe day after graduating was a day that began with sun. Eager to not waste the lovely weather, Aaron and I headed down to the beach, kites in hand. He had always insisted that we must go kite-flying one day because he considers himself quite the pro. Even though the sun hid away, the wind was our new best friend. Aaron taught me how to fly a kite, something I had never done before. After we tired ourselves out we went to the cinema and watched Spider-man: Homecoming which we both loved.

SarahFU.jpgOn Friday I headed to the beach for a little 40 minute catch-up session with Courtney and Sarah, as well as taking photographs of Sarah for the upcoming Feminism Up issue. She has written a brilliant piece about body expectations. LOOK HOW CUTE SHE LOOKS. Sarah noted that it was exactly like one of those cheesy sayings so we made up our own: Sometimes you only need forty minutes with your best friends to leave with a pretty permanent grin.

As I post this blog post I am in Mallorca for a sunny holiday with Aaron’s family; a sure highlight of August. I have three books packed, ready to get my reading game back on. I have my running kit with me for a couple of runs. I have pennies to buy a snorkelling kit after falling in love with the activity in Malta last year. I’m excited! How is your August starting?

~ Kat ~

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Five Tips: Getting the Most out of Your Gym Membership

Especially when considering my current income, my gym membership does tip over into the pricey side of thing: £43 a month. *Breathes slowly to compose self.* It includes, however, unlimited gym use, pool use and classes, as well as a free badminton court if I turn up and one is available. For a lot of our gym memberships to be as sparkly and magical as they sound, it requires our squat-ready butts to be very much in gear (as in, Nike pros on). I am really quite nervous about not – at the very least – getting my money back; mostly, though, gaining something from £43 coming out of my bank once a month with a cringe. Here’s how you can get the most out of your gym membership!

IMG_2779.JPGONE – Plan: Use the “notes” section of your phone and get planning. Not only can you have a visual idea of when you’ll have your trainers on and when you won’t, you can look back at the end of the week and decipher whether you’re, so far, making a profit this month. If you’re a student, consider your lectures and work out when you’re prepared to peel yourself out of bed early, and when you have the whole day to get a few lengths or a workout class in. If you’re working 9-5 consider the weekends a gym-friendly couple of days; schedule a couple of evenings immediately after work at a class. If you’re working different kind of hours, like me, be prepared to not have a routine, but a weekly idea of what’s going on.

TWO – Prep: If you’re spending a bit more on your membership like me then you have to, like Troy, keep your head in the game. For me, when it comes to swimming I have to have my swimming bag and costume ready the night before to encourage me to stop my alarm and get rolling. If I’m popping to the gym after work, I need a gym-friendly snack ready and waiting so I can’t have any excuses about being “too hungry” (anyone else?) to workout.

THREE – Recruit friends: As much as I’d like to, I don’t go overboard on the classes but I do make my one a week a bit more social. I’m currently going to Aquafit with my mum (which would cost me £6.10 without the membership) and playing one badminton match a week with Aaron. Making at least a couple of workouts a week a social activity takes away any “I can’t be bothered with the gym today” because you have your pal with you, keeping you on track.

FOUR – Endorphins. Just remembering the endorphins post-workout that tell you you can never regret a work out gets me pumped to get to the gym. Or at the very least, in the mindset that I am definitely going to be working out the next morning or later on that day. Even if you’re just starting out at the gym and still feeling as if it’s all alien, I think endorphins are our biggest cheerleader. You go into a workout feeling deflated and rubbish; you end the workout with a smile, feeling pumped.

FIVE – Variation. I wouldn’t make the most out of my gym membership if I didn’t have a really varied week- a week that could easily change if my mum or friend fancied trying a different kind of class! I never risk tiring out any kind of activity because every day at the gym is a different kind of day! Going from strength training to cardio to feeling the polite struggle swimming brings means means I don’t get bored.

My Timetable for this week (prices without membership):

Sunday: Arm workout in the gym £6.65

Monday: – 

Tuesday: Aquafit (with mum) £6.10

Wednesday: Arm workout in the gym £6.65

Thursday: Evening badminton with Aaron £3 (Couldn’t get a court)

Friday: Morning swim £3.50 

Saturday: Early morning arm workout in the gym £6.65

What this week would have cost without membership: £29.55 (x4 = £118.20)

As well as ensuring you’re not tiring your body out and instead having enough rest days (or you’ll hate the gym), definitely make sure you exercise outside of the gym. Run, walk or play tennis and you won’t feel restricted by your gym card, believing it’s the only place you can exercise. What are your tips? What’s your week looked like so far?

~ Kat ~

One Crazy Night: Full Disclosure

On Saturday evening, my mum and I hopped on a train, choo-chooing its way to our favourite pastime (alongside eating an afternoon tea, of course): the theatre. For my 21st I was gifted with an envelope that told me I’d be going to see The Addams Family with my mum in July at the Mayflower in Southampton. After listening to Carrie Hope Fletcher’s cover of Pulled on repeat for a whole summer three years ago, it’s safe to say I spent the last few months of university, waiting, excitedly to click my fingers as the intro plays before the actors step onto stage.

IMG_3491.JPGThe musical? New to the UK, The Addams Family: The Musical Comedy brings the classic family we know and love to our local theatres, all singing and bunny-hopping. We see Wednesday Addams grown up and in love, while her family don’t want their little girl to grow up at all. And not with a normal boy. Our favourite wealthy and happily doom and gloom family present us with unbelievably catchy songs (I was singing ALL the way home on the train) and brilliant one-liners. The musical includes hilarious poppy songs as well as heartfelt ballads and, of course, many references to their love of black and darkness. In a world where our phones notify us of bad news every time we look at it, this musical is well and truly needed right now.

The cast is star-studded with Carrie Hope Fletcher (Wednesday), Samantha Womack (Morticia), Cameron Blakely (Gomez) and Les Dennis (Uncle Fester) taking some of the lead roles. But the rest of the cast are outstanding too. In terms of the Addams Family themselves, it was as if the actors were made for the role: Womack and Blakely, in particular, mirrored the image you have of the passionate couple in your head. The Beineke family (Wednesday’s boyfriend, Lucas’s family) brought a welcomed new layer to the Addams Family’s story and the ancestors were hilarious; all with incredible voices. My mum and I ate in CXO Bar and Bistro beforehand where I lamely fangirled that some of the cast were eating their dinner too. I must mention that Gavin Eden (who plays Jester Ancestor) stopped to chat to a young aspiring theatre star for about 20 minutes, answering all of his questions- it was lovely to see!

Being a gigantic fan of Carrie Hope Fletcher’s, this review wouldn’t be right without a little bit of a  fangirl. I couldn’t stop grinning throughout her performance of Pulled and as she finished with a high, I had tears in my eyes. Much like I did when I watched her as Eponine in Les Mis a few years ago. Like all of the actors, I laughed at and rooted for Wednesday all the way through the show. Her voice blew me away; it was wonderful to hear her sing songs so different to those in the awesome Les Mis.

I’m a sucker for soundtracks and despite knowing and loving a few songs in the Addams Family musical beforehand (thanks to clicking on related to videos after listening to Carrie’s cover of Pulled 10 x a day), I decided not to listen to every song like I normally do. However, if you’re wondering (you probably weren’t), here are my five favourite songs from the kooky musical:

  1. Pulled
  2. Crazier than You
  3. When You’re an Addams
  4. One Normal Night
  5. Happy Sad

My mum and I laughed and felt for the characters all the way through. The orchestra, props and overall choreography were spot on. My mum thoroughly enjoyed a show she admits she wouldn’t have gone to see had I not repeatedly mentioned it. I completely recommend you popping to your local theatre if you can and it’s arriving, dressed in black, there.

Ba dah dah dum *click click!*

~ Kat ~

A Sexist walks into a Bar…

A sexist walks into a bar and, once again, is the biggest punch line of the joke. Not so long ago I was watching the final day of Wimbledon in a pub in Bath. The 3/4 British doubles final was on but my excitement deflated after I heard the utterance, “I’m not a sexist but…” My ears woke up; my expression read nervous. Women’s tennis, like it has been the focus of a lot of debate in the last month or so, was the topic. I heard him out; I gave him a chance. I’ll walk you through his comments.

IMG_2749.JPGI’m not a sexist but…

… The women shouldn’t be paid the same as the men

I’m-not-a-sexist-but insisted he is informed enough to dictate the pay packet of the female tennis players who brought us viewers some of the most nail-biting matches of Wimbledon 2017. His reasoning? Well, they don’t play as many sets (A sentiment, on the surface, I understand. However, I am informed tennis-wise and this man was not.) The crucial facts the guy was missing:

  • The women have consistently campaigned to play five set matches like the men do in particular grand slams.
  • There is a call for the men to play the best of three like the women.
  • The men’s singles tour (although I will assume this man will disagree) at Wimbledon this year, due to a plethora of injuries, was disappointing (although *spoilers* apparently more entertaining than the rest of the tours). To keep a seed or climb higher, tennis players have to consistently play. The men are playing the best of five throughout the year, leading to injuries that have made some matches almost unbearable to watch. The men are suffering so terribly from such a tough routine and we shouldn’t ignore this and encourage it further by considering the women’s best of three matches as “less work,” weaker and devoid of entertainment.

IMG_2757… The women just aren’t as entertaining to watch as the men are [to be continued]

Yes, the guy followed up “I’m not a sexist but” with the entirely sexist (and ignorant- he simply cannot have been watching the women’s singles tour at Wimbledon this year) comment that reflects the age-old, “boys are better than girls” belief. The men have been dropping like flies, a handful of matches resulting in a player retiring. The athletes were pushed too far and the result was a slightly less gruelling tournament, as well as defeated players. While I still adored my daily dosage of a men’s singles match or two, the women’s was far too entertaining to miss. Their game was on fleek.

… Because the men are physically better

Much like McEnroe’s unneeded comments about Serena Williams, we see someone belittle these fantastically strong athletes with the most incredible stamina; summoned to nothing but a tired comment that sees men always winning the fight. The women’s and men’s tennis tours are so unbelievably different; Williams has noted this herself. So why does I’m-not-a-sexist-but feel the need to reduce these athletes I admire so very much to nothing but weak girls that just don’t compare to the big men over his pie and pint?

All I wanted was to politely turn around and inform him of the facts he was surely missing, or worse, ignoring. My heart broke to see two women and another man nod along, no one challenging a single thing he said. What broke my heart more, though, was that I said nothing. My hands crunched from irritation and I didn’t blink for the entirety of his one-sided debate. His comments played on my mind for the rest of the day, but I felt so silenced by something so anciently misogynistic.

~ Kat ~

A side note (that I don’t think needs to be said): This person’s gender is so unbelievably irrelevant; I’ve heard similar views from females too. The thoughts that drive such comments are to be questioned without any focus on the speaker’s sex.

P.S. Feminism Up

The Kat’s Kitchen Menu | Baked Camembert (ft. lissatissatwoshoes)

Last week Alissa and I realised we were long overdue a blogging day with yummy food. Recently I decided I wanted to begin a series where I post recipes of my favourite food/meals, thereby creating an online menu of all of what will be sold at my future restaurant (if only!). With a bag full of lots of goodies and importantly, camembert, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to kick off the first recipe- also featuring the wonderful lissatissatwoshoes with our recipe for the perfect baked camembert sharing board.

IMG_3473What you’ll need for the perfect Instagram:

  • Rectangular board
  • A couple of mugs (bonus points for heart-shaped bowls)
  • A plate

Ingredients:

  • Camembert
  • 3 tablespoons of honey
  • A loaf of flavourful bread (we bought apple and beetroot bread- TOO yummy)
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 Braeburn apples
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 pepper
  • A pack of babycorn

Method:

  1. Bake the camembert following the instructions on the pack- we baked ours in Lissa’s fancy pants camembert baker for about 30 minutes in the end with the honey glazed over the top (Alissa’s brilliant idea)
  2. In the meantime, prep all of the dippers (Mid blog post question: Do you double dip?). Slice the fluffy and crusty bread; wash and peel the carrots before slicing them into sticks; cut the apples into apple fingers; do the same to the cucumber and pepper after washing; wash the babycorn
  3. Importantly, dress your serving platter. Raid the cupboards and produce something spectacular, with a camembert-shaped hole ready and waiting
  4. As soon as the camembert is gooey, serve and enjoy!

IMG_3471Other compatible extras for the perfect camembert sharer:

  • Breadsticks
  • Celery
  • Homemade lemonade
  • A glass of wine
  • A spoon (nothing better than an old-fashioned spoon of melted cheese)

Late last year, Alissa invited a couple of us around for camembert and rose wine- exactly what an October evening required as well as my excited tummy. She served the sharing platter with caramelised onion bread which was just beyond this world and since it had been over half a year since our last cheese feast, another sharing platter was long overdue. Being a massive cheese lover as well as a massive veggie lover, this dish is a crucial staple to any foodie’s personal menu. Winter, spring, summer or autumn, it delivers in abundance- yummy food and spectacular Instagrams.

~ Kat ~

The Yellow Dress and White Platforms

I’m officially a Cardiff University English Language BA graduate. Welcome to the real world, honey. The day was fantastic; the weather, lovely. I left my outfit until the very last minute (five days before). As much as I love clothes, shopping for a dressy-up outfit isn’t my thing and I also got beyond bored of scrolling through websites. *Gasp.* My friend Courtney saved the day and we went on a no-stress-allowed-here shopping trip, leaving with a dress, shoes and bag. Success. So just like dress shopping isn’t my thing, I thought I’d compile a whole post talking about my “graduation look,” as it were. Zoella, eat your heart out.

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THE OUTFIT:

Tenki yellow v-neck floral tie back dress – Debenhams (£20 – I paid £25 in store!)

White platform strap heels – New Look (£29.99)

This dress is completely not me. Although I love bright colours (and yellow is my favourite of them all), it’s particularly flowery. Yet, when I popped into Debenhams  and came across the Tenki section, it caught mine and Courtney’s attention. Although it didn’t match the colour of my robes at the back, I don’t think it really mattered. It lies just above the knee which seems like the perfect length. All the same, before I found the shoes and bag it felt a little “wedding guest-y.” I’m not into heels too much but these platforms were way more comfortable and I felt made the dress that bit “cooler.” The shoes did rub a little bit (I had to change to flip flops for half an hour!) and have left me with some graduation scars, but, in comparison to other heels of mine, they were fine. Added bonus: I did get my own shoe-adjuster with them, too (my mum).

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THE ACCESSORIES: 

White laser cut shoulder bag – New Look (£12.99)

Sparkling love knot earrings – Pandora (£50)

Sparkling heart stacking ring – (£80)

Heart stacking ring – (£40)

Michael Kors bracelet

Despite loving jazzing up outfits with accessories (Does my vocab give away that outift posts are not my forte?!), I can be a little lazy. But Monday was my chance at living High School Musical 3 for real. So I silver-d up to feel that little bit more sparkly for when I was to head up on stage, begging myself (like everyone else) to not be the one who trips over. The day before Aaron gave me the most beautiful Michael Kors bracelet but so I didn’t accidentally see the price I’ve simply linked the bracelet section of the site for you!

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THE MAKE UP:

Smoky eyeshadow palette – Naked (£39)

Supercat Soap and Glory Eyeliner – Boots (£6.50)

Benefit They’re Real Mascara – Boots (£20.50) [a product I’m boycotting after its usage]

Rimmel Wake me Up concealer – Boots (£5.49) (I used the shade True Ivory)

Barry M Molten Metals: Copper Mine (hands) – Barry M (£3.99)

Barry M Frosted Cupcakes: Marshmallow (feet) – Barry M (£3.99)

After receiving the Naked Urban Decay smoky eye palette for my birthday from Aaron’s sister, Hannah, I have been a little more experimental than my usual “eyeliner + mascara = done” routine. I get incredible stage fright when it comes to going outside of my comfort zone with make-up, terrified I’ll have to keep starting again and again. I genuinely got up 40 minutes earlier than probably needed so I could take it slowly! I was often caught muttering under my breath, “You can do this, Kat. You can do this,” providing my own moral support.

What I did (bare with- I do not know the lingo):

  1. I covered my whole lid and brow bone with the shade Thirteen
  2. I coloured my lids with shade Dirtysweet as well as just above
  3. I brushed Radar onto the outer corner of my lids
  4. In the crease of my eyes I applied the shade Whiskey until it looked super dark
  5. Add on fleek eyeliner and a couple of layers of mascara

Following the ceremony and photographs we went and had the best afternoon tea of my life; my outfit seemed pretty perfect for this fancy hotel and celebration too. Despite wanting to choose a white outfit to match the robes perfectly (and my friends in white looked FAB), I am glad I went with this yellow, flowery and not-Kat-at-all dress for my final Cardiff University celebration. I went to see the Addams Family musical last night and when Wednesday wore a yellow dress, her family were shocked: You’re wearing yellow?! I laughed extra hard at this point because it’s exactly what I said to myself when I saw myself in the mirror on Monday morning!

Cardiff, you’ve been delightful ❤

~ Kat ~

Cathedral 73: The Afternoon Tea of Dreams

On Monday, I graduated in the sun and with my friends. To celebrate afterwards, my mum, brother, Aaron and I headed to Cathedral 73 for, without a doubt, the best afternoon tea I’ve ever had. And I don’t mean to brag, but I am an Afternoon Tea Expert. Instead of now popping the letters “BA” after my name, I will be adding “ATE.” I know a good afternoon tea when I taste one, and Cathedral 73 does too. A fifteen minute walk from the hustle and bustle of the capital, the hotel sits on attractively on a road dotted with lovely Welsh buildings- just as beautifully as the three tiered glory that sat beautifully in front of our rumbling bellies.

IMG_3401IMG_3393IMG_3403Modern and welcoming, the bright lighting meant I, of course, was going to take a few snaps. When the tea arrived looking so gloriously Instagrammable, I knew Cathedral 73 was not going to disappoint. All of my friends were heading straight to dinner once we’d returned our robes, ravenous tummies, because we had all missed lunch (boo!) due to our awkwardly timed ceremony. My mum, however, had come up with the idea of celebrating with our favourite summer (and, let’s face it: autumn, winter and spring) tradition: afternoon tea. I adored the idea, being the pretentious Brit that I am. It’s definitely a bit of a different idea for an after graduation celebration and as the food tasted as good at it looked, we can all confirm it was the best idea.

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Although I loved every – every – piece that made up the best afternoon tea I have ever eaten, here are my top five favourites of the early evening meal:

  1. The scones I smothered with clotted cream* and jam
  2. Carrot cake
  3. Salmon and cream cheese sandwich
  4. Frangipane
  5. Cucumber and mint sandwich

As should be obvious from my WAIT-DON’T-START-EATING-YET-I-NEED-PICS photos, the presentation was handsome. Bite after bite, the food delivered, too. Once again, I must convince you of my expertise. I have had a cookery course by a top chef in London who taught us how to make a traditional afternoon tea. This ticked all of the boxes and probably more. It covered the traditional pieces perfectly and added a few sprinkles of unique with the Welsh cakes!

IMG_3417IMG_3423From start to finish, we felt welcome at Cathedral 73. The service was brilliant. Tea was brought out and we had a nice slice of time before the grand three tier tower of dreams appeared. We slowly made our way through the bites of yum; bottom to top, naturally. We were asked if everything was okay (“So yummy, thank you”) and ten minutes later the staff came over for a more than welcomed natter about their day full of graduates. We polished off every last crumb before ordering another teapot of tea each as well as another jug of their fruit-infused water. We had time to recover, nervously chuckling about whether we had room for the main event: the scones.

Spoilers: We did. The scones were perfectly warm and we, as usual, debated about the proper way to apply the cream and jam. Right answer? Cream first. Jam last. Duh. I then explained that the one thing I took away from my three years at university is that there are no rules to confirm who says scone with an “o” and who says scone… wrong. No money or class comes into the equation. It’s a free for all, I tell you. As my full tummy said goodbye to its last bite of the best food in the world, we all agreed that we just didn’t have the space for the lovely-looking Welsh cakes. The staff packaged them up and I ate mine a couple of days ago. As you may have guessed, it was delicious.

IMG_3427I plan on returning to Cardiff in October for their wonderful half marathon (*fingers crossed*) and I most certainly will be spending the evening celebrating at Cathedral 73. I would love to get the chance to test out their cocktail and wine menu, enjoying the piano and what I’m sure is the perfect evening atmosphere. After a busy day on our feet, I felt relaxed and content in my seat by the window, looking out onto the lovely Cardiff street or looking inside to admire all of the decor that will inspire my future home. The staff interacted with us, making us feel very welcome (even if a waiter mocked us for our “boring” tea choices- I still persist that you must go for a traditional tea with your scones) and, as I have repeated just a few times throughout this post, the food was to die for. If you would like to find out more about the hotel that appears to be a triple threat (fab decor, staff and food), you can find them on Twitter, Instagram or over on their website!

~ Kat ~

*The clotted cream is always what has drawn me to an afternoon tea. What has repeatedly offended me is the blasphemous-amount of clotted cream everywhere seems to deem an appropriate amount. Cathedral 73 were far from stingy and I confirmed, once again, to my mum that she had chosen the right place for the job as soon as I saw the BIG pot of cream.

Red Hood; White Silk; Black Cap

On Monday I graduated from Cardiff University with a 2:1 in English Language (BA). After a year of thinking I’d made the wrong choice with regards to university, Cardiff became a second home in the two years following. Monday began with blue skies and sleepily excited eyes. Aaron and I waved goodbye to Cardiff the evening before with a trip to The Stable: a pie, pizza and cider restaurant we have always wanted to try. And it was delicious. We had a final trip to Peppermint (one of our favourite bars) afterwards and, twelve hours later, we were picking up my robes and cap; taking pictures before my mum and brother arrived.

Grad 57:00: Up and at ’em

10:30: Snazzy costume pick up

11:00: All of the “Throwback Thursday” Instagrams taken for the next five years

13:00: Rehearsal and then The Real Thing (I didn’t trip up, yay!)

 

 

Grad 6Grad 215:00: Change to flip flops due to severe injuries from my shoes

15:30: Shoes back on for a plethora of photos and hat throwing fun

17:00: The best afternoon tea I’ve ever eaten

19:30: Home time

Grad 8The day was full of smiles from 7am until 7pm. Not only did I feel proud of myself but I felt proud of my b-e-a-utiful friends. I’ve had the most wonderful time with them at university and it’s odd that I won’t be seeing them for tired 9ams during the week. The ceremony was short (considering I thought it would be four hours long) and sweet. I very much enjoyed walking across the stage, pretending to be Beyonce (although definitely far less skilled in heels… and… as a singer). I loved watching my coursemates enjoy the final part of their degree and I felt particularly proud when our degree was confirmed in Welsh and we tipped our hats before clapping ourselves. After all of the hard work, it was pretty special and, for us, I think, quite monumental.

Grad 0Grad 4IMG_3365.JPGI’ve already heard a couple of 17/18 year olds voice their worry with the help of that popular question: To uni or to not uni. As much as it might suck for those who are confused, there just isn’t a right answer to help everyone. I could never speak for anyone but myself. However, I can note a few defining moments that more than confirmed university (and sometimes confirmed that Cardiff was always going to be my uni) was the right answer for me. Receiving my first 70+% in an assignment was one. Running the Cardiff Half Marathon. Wearing red, white and black as I walked across the stage at my graduation ceremony was the final confirmation. I definitely understood university was the right choice for me way before Monday, but at the very last point I could possibly appreciate my choice, I did.

I’ve earned myself a degree from Cardiff University and I’m really quite chuffed about it.

~ Kat ~

P.S. What’s in my Bag? | Graduation Essentials

Make Challenging the Norm, Not a Celebration

Andy Murray recently challenged something that definitely needed to be challenged- and it wasn’t with regards to whether a ball was in or out. In an interview, a journalist said Queerey was the first US player to get to a Grand Slam semi-final since 2009. Rightly so, Murray corrected him: Male player. Murray has always voiced his support of women’s tennis and that is totally cool. But it should be the norm, right? Not something we celebrate so much that a man’s – or a person’s – decent comment is presented as strange; alien; outstanding.

IMG_2998There is this ugly stigma attached to men’s words when he voices opinions that support women’s rights. Naturally, this contributes to many feeling alienated by the term “feminism”; we need to consciously tackle this. Yet, when a man outwardly supports equality (like a female tennis player being seen as just as important as a male tennis player), we stand back, eyes widened and begin to clap. Sensible challenges need not be seen as a case for celebration; a milestone. Wait, a man wants us women to succeed? It’s insulting to everyone. Murray made a good move; I think he’s a brilliant guy. What he said, however, should be the norm. We need to constantly be challenging comments like this particular journalist’s; our colleagues’; our friends’. I think if we abolish this idea that feminism is a Men Not Allowed topic, then we will stop acting so unfairly shocked when a man says the right thing.

I was thinking these thoughts a couple of days ago when a perhaps similar circumstance popped into my mind. Actress, Priyanka Chopra was interviewed on an American chat show, The Wendy Williams Show. Not only was she asked why she didn’t have a date at the red carpet for Baywatch (*rolls eyes until develops a headache*), but the interview focused on what was apparently “the big deal” of the interview… Her friendship with Meghan Markle. In an interview that should have focused on promoting the actress’s new film, Priyanka was grilled about “Prince Harry’s girlfriend.” A marker Priyanka challenged: “Also Meghan Markle: actress; Suits; her achievements.” Priyanka then joked that Wendy moved away when the interviewer went back to talking about her movie. I celebrated all of her comments.*

Like women’s sport is pushed aside to chat excitedly about men’s tennis, a woman’s worth (especially high-profile figures) is placed in terms of who they are dating. I did immediately praise Murray, much like I did Priyanka. These instances make me fangirl for feminism because we don’t see these immediate reactions as often as we should. So when we do, they stand out. This probably shows how equality isn’t yet engrained in our society. However, a couple of days ago I questioned why we were throwing so many metaphorical parties with thanks to Murray’s comment. Consequently, I realised I can’t decide Murray’s comment should simply be celebrated by us making these corrections the norm, but consider Priyanka’s comments standing-ovation-worthy. It needs to be one rule for all.

I think I am concluding that, of course, both Murray’s and Priyanka’s comments were brilliantly necessary but they weren’t necessarily brilliant. These are two people who clearly carry similar beliefs to me in terms of equality and they used their position to present these beliefs. Clearly, though, if we react so excitedly to these corrections, we need to be making them the norm. (Have I said this enough throughout the post?) We need to encourage everyone to correct others because, by default, accidental and ignorant old school sexism really could linger in our society for years and years yet.

Like any subject, the more we challenge, the sooner we’ll make change happen.

~ Kat ~

*It should be noted that neither Murray nor Priyanka asked for praise.

P.S. I must also address the fact Murray’s comment wasn’t all-inclusive. He did not correct the journalist in terms of the wheelchair or doubles tour which inspires another debate about how we need to see these two tours in the same was as we see the men’s! I wonder whether it is because they were discussing the singles men’s tour but it’s definitely necessary to explore.

The Wimbledon Smoothie

After an epic women’s singles final yesterday, an awesome Brit win for the men’s wheelchair tennis and a brilliant final day for many of the players, I am so ready for the men’s final and the very Brit-packed doubles final today! I am heading to Cardiff this morning because of my graduation tomorrow and soon will be in a bar cuddling some Pimm’s while watching the Federer Vs. Cilic match. I’m beyond excited. And yet I’m gutted Wimbledon is to be over for another year. So, in order to wave off two of my favourite weeks, I thought I’d create a Wimbledon worthy smoothie recipe- most of its ingredients being essential for the perfect Pimm’s!

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Ingredients | For one already grieving Wimbledon

  • 1 banana, roughly chopped
  • 8 strawberries, de-stemmed and halved
  • 1/4 cucumber, diced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 150ml coconut water
  • A few splashes of water

Method

  1. Prep all the ingredients and pop them in your blender
  2. Whizz around until it’s as smooth as Federer’s tennis
  3. Serve!
  4. Enjoy as the match hits off!

The tournament has been something else this year. There have been a lot of upsets and injuries; a lot of amazing tennis to celebrate. I’ve been sad to see Konta (although she SMASHED it getting that far) and Murray (although it sucked to see him in so much pain) get knocked out but it’s still been an ace couple of weeks. Every single tour has been outstanding. I’ve stopped being a complete idiot and have dipped in and out of all tours, not just the men’s after realising I was accidentally being lazily sexist by being a bit less interested in the women’s tour. Those women are incredible. So I’m going to enjoy my smoothie and get myself to Cardiff to soak up the last few hours of my favourite tennis tournament.

~ Kat ~