The Monthly Scrapbook | September | BEDIS

September has been the month where I’ve properly adjusted to no longer being a student and, instead, being someone who works a handful of jobs and can do so without complaining unnecessarily. It took me a while but I think I’m there. However, because of how much I’m working, when I socialise and get up to fun things I’m no longer selfie-obsessed and actually just enjoy a good catch up without feeling like I need to Instagram it to let everybody know. Wow, I really am a grown up now. I began these “monthly scrapbook” posts after feeling inspired by Anna’s “Five Highlights From The Month Of…” posts (for example: August). As I don’t have any photos to share that I haven’t already on the blog, I’m going to Anna up this post and talk about five highlights from September.

IMG_4245.JPGA trip to the theatre – Going to see Flashdance at the beginning of the month was a well-needed night off with my mum. Merely spending time with my mum in the way we spend time best (eating food and going to the theatre) was fantastic. As a graduate, though, it was nice to be able to do this. I’ve been so used to feeling tense about money in the last few years but I felt pretty proud that all of the hard work at uni and hard work with my handful of jobs is paying off. Being able to buy my mum tickets to one of her favourite stories was definitely a highlight of September. As was the prosecco we drunk.

A staycation-esque day off – Aaron and I had a mutual day off at the beginning of month where I decided to plan a day off full of fun. I wrote up little rhymes that sat in envelopes that told him what we were doing: from badminton to baking to cooking dinner together, I released my inner Keats and created a silly but lovely day with the help of some terrible brilliant poetry. I bought him a disposable camera and told him to document the whole day. It sounds unnecessary but, with all of the working, it was a really fun day that we can now really remember with the help of these photos.

London – Although I’ve spoken about it a fair bit already on the blog (three times to be precise: HERE, HERE and HERE!), London has to feature as a highlight of this month. From drinking gin to eating the same steak as the Queen to spending a few hours with one of my best friends who has recently moved to London, my weekend in London with Aaron last weekend was far too notable to not fangirl about again. It was fabulous.

1 Second Everyday – 1SE is an app that helps you document your whole year just like a diary would. Instead, though, you video a second of each of your days and by the end of the year you’ll have a compilation of your year. I totally recommend this app. Not only do I love taking a funky video from my time off, but it hands me a slice of humble pie. Even on days where I’m working a split shift or until midnight, 1SE will show me I’ve had time to stroke Aaron’s dog, go for a walk or see a friend in the morning (there have been a couple of foodie dates with Honor that have made my day of work more fun!).

Blog every day in September – This final highlight and paragraph of BEDIS marks the end of my silly idea to blog every day this month. Although I sometimes wanted to shut past Kat’s mouth when I expressed I would blog every day in September, I was surprised at how organised I was. *Gives self pat on the back.* While I did write up a blog post at just before midnight on the night I returned from London, I enjoyed updating Binging on Beetroot every day this month. I do love my little slice of the internet.

*Sighs happily with a hint of nostalgia as the final post of BEDIS is completed.*

~ Kat ~

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The “I Went to Italy” Gnocchi | BEDIS

Since visiting Rome in the summer, pasta has constantly been on my brain. The food was just as you’d expect it to be, and while I can’t replicate the sights that accompanied my dinners, I can definitely try and pretend how to make Italian dinners. I have been making this chilli chorizo gnocchi for a few months now but since working in an Italian restaurant, I can confirm it’s not very Italian at all. This dish, however, is delicious so here is mine and Aaron’s gnocchi recipe- that takes no longer than 10 minutes!

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Ingredients | For two with hungry bellies 

  • 90g gnocchi
  • 125g chorizo, finely chopped
  • 150ml double cream
  • 150g chilli cheese, in small chunks
  • 1 pepper, chopped finely
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • A few dashes of olive oil
  • Something to garnish creamy-ness (we use spinach!)

Method

  1.  Prep all ingredients before heating a big pan with oil on a medium-high heat
  2. Cook the chorizo for three-four minutes (stir occasionally) or until it looks browner
  3. Add all of the veg to the pan, stirring often
  4. While the kettle boils the water for the gnocchi, add the cream to the pan, turning the heat down so the cream doesn’t burn
  5. Add the gnocchi and the water in a small pan and cook for two-four minutes or until it has floated to the top
  6. Chuck the cheese into the cream and stir often
  7. Do a taste test of the sauce, adding more cheese if needed and a pinch of salt if you fancy
  8. As soon as the gnocchi is cooked, drain and serve the pasta, add the sauce, topping and garnish with, for example, spinach

Naturally this dish should be eaten in moderation, but it’s easy to up the health with lots of veg like broccoli and asparagus. I think it’s the yummiest and quickest form of comfort food. Gnocchi is up there with my favourite Italian food- what’s yours?

~ Kat ~

P.S. I’ve been blogging every single day in September and you can read yesterday’s post HERE! ❤

Feminism Up: How to Stay Organised | BEDIS

As I may have mentioned a million times on the blog before, I compile a monthly online newsletter called Feminism Up. It includes two pieces by me and four pieces by four guest writers (more in this later!) and is all about sexism, inequality and therefore the need for feminism. Issue #5 will pop up in readers’ inboxes on October 1st and after five issues which have previously included writing my article on the day of release or taking photos for it the day before, I’ve learnt a little about the organisation that is involved with releasing a newsletter.

IMG_4290Release date: A newsletter revolves around release dates. Staying organised, therefore, must focus on these dates. My release date, as I wrote before, is the first of every month. Before the release of the previous newsletter I would have tried to rally together almost every guestwriter (if not all!) for the next newsletter. This way, as soon as the current issue is released, I can let them begin thinking about their articles before I start compiling the next issue. I then try to get the photos for the newsletter as early as possible in the month, write my own two articles as a priority and chat to guest writers a little before they send me their article.

Components: Like I said, my newsletter includes two pieces by me and four pieces by four different guest writers. However, for reasons I totally understand (they’re doing me a favour after all!), two guest writers this month were unable to write their piece for me. Luckily I had one back-up ready but not another! This month, for this reason, will have only three guest writers! Now I need to focus on having a few back-up articles so this doesn’t happen again. However your newsletter is compiled, ensure you have articles and ideas to fall back on.

Visibility: If you’re writing a newsletter, you want people to read it. A crucial part of staying organised is speaking about your newsletter. If you’ve spent the lead up to releasing your newsletter only focusing on just that, then you might be left without an audience. Ensure you’re updating relevant social media every day or so to remind followers of your newsletter and related topics.

As I’ve messed up with Feminism Up organisation many times before, I feel like I have loads more to say. I don’t like becoming upset with Feminism Up and organisation must then be my best pal. With only a few days until the release of issue #5, I’ll be editing guestwriters’ pieces one final time today and updating my social media to hopefully get some more readers!

~ Kat ~

P.S. I’ve been blogging every day this month and you can read yesterday’s post HERE! ❤

London in Pictures | BEDIS

Over the last couple of days on the blog I’ve been writing about my weekend in London; the gin making experience we went to and the hotel we stayed in. After eating breakfast at 41 Hotel we wanted to make sure we headed out into London as soon as possible. We checked out of our room with sad faces but felt excited for whole day wondering around London like locals. We’ve both been to London plenty of times before so we had no specific plans other than to visit a gin bar our tutor from the gin making experience recommended. Instead of boring you a detailed description of everything we did, I thought I’d simply share with you the pictures I took with a little itinerary below them.

IMG_4399IMG_4386IMG_439211:00: We took a leisurely stroll fuelled by no plans through London, navigating our way through happy crowds. We walked through St James’s Park which was bright green and pale blue below the late summer’s sky.

IMG_4396IMG_440112:00: We headed to the shops. I wanted to visit my all-time favourite shop Brandy Melville and I discovered I have gained some kind of self-restraint I didn’t have before. While I wanted every other item of clothing I saw in the shop, I later settled with popping back in only to buy a pair of earrings. My debit card exclaimed joyously from my purse.

IMG_4403IMG_440813:00: One of my best pals has recently moved to London and it happened to be his birthday on Sunday. We met him at lunch time in Covent Garden where we then walked to the Thames. We went to the Underbelly Festival where we had a couple of pints as he opened his gifts from us in the surprisingly warm September sun (we had our coats off and everything!).

16:00: We then headed to 214 Bermondsey, the tiny gin bar we couldn’t wait to test out. Callum stayed with us and got to experience Aaron become very excited at the sight of all of the gins. We bought our first round of £5 gin and tonics and the rest was history.

IMG_4410IMG_4412IMG_441119:00: As sunset fell upon London, we headed past Buckingham Palace to pick up our bags from our hotel, fill up a paper bag each with sweets from the reception and headed to The Stoke House for dinner. We both had roast chicken (it was so delicious) before hopping on the train back home.

As I finish writing this third and final entry to the most magical weekend, I feel happily nostalgic. It was so much fun and I now can’t wait for my next trip to my capital city.

~ Kat ~

Our Stay at 41 Hotel | BEDIS

At the weekend Aaron and I visited London for a 5* weekend away, using up two gifts he received for his 21st birthday. Not only did we get to go the amazing City of London Distillery, but we stayed at the 5* 41 Hotel; the beautiful hotel that sits just around the corned from Buckingham Palace. It’s safe to say that I felt like a Disney princess as we entered the grand lobby before heading to the executive lounge to check in and receive a complimentary glass of champagne. *Dreamily sighs.* We had such a magical stay and I thought I’d share with you a few snaps and stories about the unbelievably stunning hotel that we would like to go back to as soon as possible… If only!

IMG_4203IMG_4238IMG_4252We were like children on Christmas Eve as we sat with our bubbles at 11am on Saturday morning. As I admired the decor─it’s so fairytale-like─I almost had to pinch myself. I was in hotel heaven. Beforehand each member of staff that dealt with us chatted to us; asking how we were, what we were up to that day and if there was anything else they could do for us. Over the weekend they definitely learnt about our love for gin and we felt extremely looked after from the word “go.” Even though we were too early to check in (which we did know!) they happily kept our bag for us as we informed them we would be heading back out for our gin making experience.

IMG_4289IMG_4330When we returned from a few too many double G&Ts with three new bottles of gin in our hands, we were shown to our room where our bag was waiting for us in the, if you like, lobby (!) of our bedroom. If it wasn’t obvious already that we didn’t belong in such a stunning hotel, it certainly was at this point. Wide-eyed and goofy smiles, we explored the fanciest room I have ever stepped foot in. With an almost Paris meets London vibe─I could be totally wrong about this description─I fell in love. On what-I-like-to-call the “Putting on your shoes area” (so very fancy) we were gifted with little lovely treats and a slice of Happy 21st Birthday cake for Aaron! We I fangirled about the natural lighting while we looked at the charming pictures hanging on the walls and, if it wasn’t yet clear that we weren’t used to this kind of hotel, excitedly admired the freebies- free bottled water?! we exclaimed.

IMG_4360.JPGIMG_4364.JPGThat evening we headed to the executive lounge in our fanciest clothes for the three course meal that was included in our stay. We ordered a bottle of Bouchard Finlays Walker Bay Sauvignon Blanc and I ordered the prawn and crayfish cocktail to start. We both ordered sirloin steak (medium rare) or what-I-like-to-call Royal Steak (the Queen eats the very same steak- eeek!). We both also opted for a creme brulee and each and every part of the meal was de-licious. I watched Aaron take his first bite of his steak (less creepy than it sounds) and I watched him not believe his tastebuds. We adored our meal and finished off the evening with a nighttime walk around Buckingham Palace as we felt our bellies order us to move off some of the scrumptious food. Without a doubt it was the best meal my tastebuds have ever encountered.

best hotel everrrrAfter the best night’s sleep I’ve had in months, I was excited for breakfast. As a foodie, I knew I was about to experience something pretty special and that I did. With the most incredible continental buffet I have ever seen in my whole life, I chose a few cold meats, some salmon, a pastry and some fresh fruit. Waking up the next morning was wholly disappointing without this display of yummy food. Both Aaron and I ordered the full English and it was just the best full English in the world. We were even asked how we would like our eggs. Now that is a 10/10 breakfast experience.

Aaron and I had the best time ever at 41 Hotel. I must note that the whole place smelt like something that was taken straight out of a Keira Knightley perfume advert. While the hotel was amazing in terms of decor, funky cushions (they deserve their own category) and stunning food (compliments to the chef!) it wouldn’t have been as once-in-a-lifetime without the staff. Even though it’s nearly Aaron’s 22nd birthday now, the staff treated us so wonderfully that I felt like it was both of our 21st birthdays at once. Thank you to everyone at 41 Hotel for such a perfect weekend!

If you’d like to find out more about 41 Hotel, check out their website HERE! You won’t regret it.

~ Kat ~

The Palace Gin | BEDIS

After a ridiculously good weekend in London, today has felt a little dull in comparison. Flicking through the many photos I took, however, has proved useful in tackling the weekend blues and I thought I’d share with you pictures from our trip to the City of London Distillery. For Aaron’s 21st birthday last year, his parents bought him a gin making experience at the City of London Distillery and I was super excited to get to go along with him. After arriving in London late morning, we headed to Blackfriars and found the bar that also happens to have a lab for making gin.

gin.jpgIMG_4210Upon arrival, we met Alfie, our awesome gin experience tutor who poured us our first double G&T. We explained that we’d already been greeted at our hotel with a complimentary glass of champagne and, after he asked us if we’d had lunch and we told him no, he said, “Good luck.” We admired the gins and funky interior as other gin lovers filed into the bar, ready to try City of London dry gin. This was paired with tonic and a slice of grapefruit and was definitely up my street. I adore grapefruit and maybe sipped this too quickly as we waited for the session to start.

IMG_4220.JPGIMG_4222After a brief but detailed introduction to gin (what it is, how it’s made and why it’s such a competitive industry), we began measuring out the core ingredients. Depending on the kind of taste you are going for depends on the amount of each ingredient you pop in. After noting down each measurement, we began developing our own flavours. I knew I wanted a summery, fruity kind of gin so alongside green tea and liquorice (doesn’t smell how you’d expect it to!), I added grapefruit, lemon and orange. As we did so we enjoyed their sloe gin which was, again, delicious.

IMG_4227IMG_4334We headed into the lab, the third and final complimentary drinks in hands. This time we enjoyed the Square Mile London dry gin. We chose our stations which were named after the seven dwarfs; I lovingly chose Dopey. We attached the components and waited for our gin to work, firstly filling up a tub with the rubbish stuff before switching to a jug to catch all of the good stuff. We were filled in on some history, being told how gin came about. We learnt that gin evolved from the famous Dutch drink, jenever. Us English watched Dutch courage come alive and decided we need our own. We, however, couldn’t spell jenever so instead created gin. We told our tutor the names of our gins and they were made into labels as we watched our gin pour from the copper device. I named mine The Palace Gin since our hotel (41 Hotel) was round the corner from Buckingham Palace. Aaron named his 2141 as it was a gift for his 21st birthday and 41 Hotel was where we stayed.

IMG_4305IMG_4307IMG_4320We sealed our gin (which I royally messed up) and got to make our own G&T from our remaining gin. Both Aaron and I really liked the tastes of our gin and we enjoyed them from the comfort of the cosy bar. I highly recommend this experience. There was a lovely atmosphere in the session and our tutor, Alfie, was fantastic. As we said goodbye I (maybe with the help of the plethora of double gins) exclaimed it was one of the best experiences of my life. It was a truly brilliant experience and Aaron and I have excitedly chatted about it since! If you would like to check out this experience on their website, you can do so HERE. I also bought Aaron a bottle of the City of London dry gin so we now have three bottles to get through. Gin-gin!

~ Kat ~

P.S. I am blogging every day this month and you can read yesterday’s post HERE! ❤

Three Blogs | BEDIS

Although I do try to avoid my phone as I’m waiting to drift off into the Land of Zzz, it can be the time where I get some bedtime reading in. Sometimes that’ll be in the shape of a physical book. Sometimes that’ll be in the shape of one of my favourite blogs on my rectangular device. Reading other people’s adventures, recommendations and stories makes me fangirl a little. I’m just a bit nosey and like finding out about other people’s lives and thoughts! Today I want to share with you three blogs that make for excellent bedtime (and, well, anytime) reading.

IMG_4263.JPGMackenzie – I’ve followed Mackenzie’s blog almost since the start of having Binging on Beetroot and I despise missing a post. Catching up on Mack’s life is just part of my life now. From reading about her journey as a nurse, to catching up about her running or reading about her adventures with her husband, her blog has it all. Mack gives us a wonderful lifestyle blog full of recipes and cheesy jokes that make me know our real-life selves would get along. Mackenzie’s blog is a ray of sunshine and makes me feel warm and fuzzy while I’m winding down from a late shift at work.

Christians for Feminism – Ran by some really cool women, Christians for Feminism is a super interesting and informative blog that explores why being both a Christian and a feminist definitely works. I think it’s a blog for everybody as you definitely don’t need to be a Christian to learn from the writers’ thoughts or have an opinion on the topics they’re discussing. Every post opens my eyes to thoughts I’ve never thought before and I enjoy reading blogging material that’s pretty unique!

The Flying Android – My brother Jordan runs The Flying Android; his platform that allows him to share all of his flying adventures as he is on his way to becoming a fully-fledged pilot. I like to believe I am the writer in the family but was a little offended to see my brother has quite the way with words. I like catching up on the blogs I miss as my eyes get sleepy because it’s always nice to read content created by someone who really loves something. And since I remember my brother’s childhood room that saw model planes hanging from the ceiling, I can confirm that the dude likes planes.

What blogs would you recommend? I’m always looking for more blogs to read!

~ Kat ~

P.S. I am blogging every day in September (BEDIS) so if you’d like to check out yesterday’s blog post you can do so HERE! ❤

How to Plan for a New York Getaway | BEDIS

This November I am heading to New York for five days with my best pal, Tarryn. Her favourite band Tegan and Sara are touring their ten year old album, The Con, where they will play every track on the album in chronological order. Their tour won’t be coming to the UK and Tarryn pitched to me why we need to go. Of course, being the impulsive fangirl she is, she had already ordered the tickets. After finally agreeing to what promises to be an epic adventure, we spent an afternoon planning. While this blog post covers far from everything─we haven’t finished planning just yet─here are a few ideas to get your planning juices flowing.

IMG_4249.JPGTime to go old school: Draw a map

We soon realised understanding where everything is via Google maps was a bit stressful. Our fun let’s plan the best trip away ever afternoon turned into a oh my goodness, this is stressful afternoon. I laughed as Tarryn decided to draw a picture of New York, telling me we will pinpoint where each destination we want to go is. You may laugh too. But soon enough, Tarryn had a map full of numbers that worked with a key, showing us how each day should be planned out, considering where exactly each destination, attraction and place is. From here we made a Word Document, telling us how each day would work out. Considering we have two gigs to go to (Tegan and Sara and also Macklmore), we factored in these into our plan. This sounds a bit chaotic but we felt at ease as we stared at our drawn-out map and key.

The wonderful Lonely Planet step

So with all of the main attractions covered─you know, the Statue of Liberty, Times Square and Cheesecake Factory─I did what I do best. I got out my Lonely Planet book and started nerding out at how fabulous it is. A 2017 edition, the New York Lonely Planet guide covers everything you need to know about New York. Well, I haven’t been yet but I am very trusting of the Lonely Planet’s work. Needing tips and tricks and hidden gems, The Lonely Planet has given me more than a few ideas.

To Instagram

As I advise in every travel post, head to Instagram. If only to drool over glorious skyscrapers and artsy photos of Times Square, follow your favourite accounts. This way you can find the lesser known but brilliant food stops and inspiration for all the photos you’ll take in New York. I highly recommend Top New York Photo, Sam Horine and New Fork City! It might feel unproductive but it will at the very least get you super excited to head over to The Big Apple.

Planning for a New York is quite the task but make sure it’s a fun one. I didn’t realise how much I wanted to get to New York ASAP until Tarryn and I sat down to plan so grab your pencil, Lonely Planet book and phone and get going. New York, here we come!

~ Kat ~

P.S. I’ve been blogging every single day this month. You can check out yesterday’s post HERE! ❤

Feminism Up: Three Books for a Feminist’s Reading List | BEDIS

Being a bookworm with a to be read pile bigger than two of me─which may not seem all that threatening if you saw me in person but I assure you it is─I can be a bit reckless. Well, as reckless as a bookworm can muster being. I will continue to buy books about inequality, feminism and empowering people while my pile of books begins to crumble under the weight of shiny new pages. Or maybe it’s under the weight of the patriarchy. *Eyes narrow and thinks deeply for a few minutes.* For this reason, I thought I would impart some of my bookish wisdom in this issue of Feminism Up; tell you a bit about three books that should be on every feminist’s reading list.

Books.jpg
Little Black Book by Otegha Uwagba – This little delight is just over a hundred pages long and is sure to be a HQ for many of my questions and worries in the future. The pink pocketbook is described as a toolkit for working women and I think it’s essential for many working women; especially those navigating the creative industry or those who wish to ASAP. *Waves nervously, remembers Otegha’s empowering words and then waves unapologetically.* Otegha informatively walks readers through subjects such as productivity, invoicing clients and approaching a pay rise (and much more!). I highly recommend this read; if only to be encouraged to label yourself as a complete powerhouse.

Animal by Sara Pascoe – In this funny but poignantly serious “autobiography of a female body,” Sara Pascoe seeks to understand what makes us ladies tick. In exploring a lot of science─a subject I kind of loathe and yet I was hooked from the word “go”─Sara discusses topics such as sexuality and periods and consent, inviting us to think alongside her. Sometimes we need the tension that can be felt when discussing feminism to be broken by a bit of humour. Animal delivers just this. I’d encourage all humans to pick up this wonderful exploration into the female body.

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai – I could fangirl about this book all day long. Knowing she wanted to change the world, Malala set out to do just that. She stuck up for her and every girl’s right for education and was horrifically shot point-blank after school one day. Fearlessly, Malala teaches us about her life─the wonderfully ordinary young woman she is and her awesome family─while challenging some really scary beliefs. I Am Malala is a read full of honesty and charm.

These three books are a few of my go-to suggestions when I’m asked for recommendations. It’s important to empathise with other people’s viewpoints and experiences even if “We can’t understand the world from anyone’s perspective but our own” (as Sara Pascoe puts it in Animal). If you have any recommendations, head over to Feminism Up’s Twitter or Instagram to let me know or even write a book review for an issue of Feminism Up! I for one am needing to top up my to be read pile.


This blog post is an article written by me which will be featured in issue #5 of Feminism Up, out October 1st. You can subscribe HERE if you like! I am, once again, embarrassed by the repetition of the brick wall background for yet another blog post. I am, however, blogging every day in September (BEDIS) and you can read yesterday’s blog post (and view the brick wall once again) HERE!

~ Kat ~

 

Stolen by Lucy Christopher | BEDIS

A year ago I read Stolen by Lucy Christopher; a book I am always recommending. Since I’m blogging every day this month (you can read yesterday’s post HERE!) and am running out of things to write about─and original backdrops for photographs─, I thought I’d write a book review of this very intense but thrilling read. One of my favourite books, Stolen by Lucy Christopher is written as a letter from our protagonist Gemma, to her captor, Ty. Immediately, I was sucked into the book that took me a day or so to devour.

IMG_4196Sixteen year old Gemma is at Bangkok airport, grabbing a drink. A little charmed by the stranger she meets, Gemma is soon terrified for her life when she finds herself in the Australian Outback. Ty has spent a disturbing number of years building a life for he and Gemma; a life he can’t wait to share with her… for ever.

Although always faintly aware I was reading a letter written by Gemma, I became lost in her fear, confusion and thoughts. It felt too real to be a work of hindsight. The story is poignantly vivid; probably because Gemma’s experience will always be ingrained in her mind. We continue to read because we are surrounded by the tension of feeling hopeful for Gemma before feeling terrified all over again. It feels horribly real as Gemma repeatedly attempts to break free before she is greeted by Ty’s explanation of his love for her. We feel repulsed but, as readers, we do listen. Like Gemma, we don’t have a choice.

I’ve heard differing opinions on Ty─for reasons I won’t explain─but I never felt anything but disgusted by him. While I sympathised with Ty for reasons I won’t go into, right Vs. wrong always wins as a reader. We adore Gemma and admire her honesty. As a reader it’s hard not to begin to understand Stockholm Syndrome a little more than we did previously. We empathise with Gemma but, in our minds, Ty remains a villain. Despite feeling on edge all the way through the novel, I believe the disturbing feel urged me to turn the pages.

Stolen isn’t like a book I’ve read before. Not only does it tell us a story about kidnapping; a story that helps us see inside of both the captor’s and the captured’s mind. It’s undeniably gripping and, I think, a book for most.

~ Kat ~