Acknowledging World Mental Health Day

Mental health awareness

I hesitated about writing this post.

Mostly as it feels strange to dive so deeply into personal issues but really when it came down to it, what felt stranger was to let World Mental Health Day go by without acknowledging it here on my blog.

Mental health awareness is an issue that is very very important to me, mainly as it is an area that I struggle with on a daily basis. I’ve been dealing with depression and anxiety of varying degrees for the better part of my teens and twenties. As I approach 28 years old, I don’t really feel any closer to conquering “it” but one thing I have focused on changing over the past year is trying to be more open and vocal about the issue.

I don’t have the magic solution, I don’t have any ground-breaking tips and I certainly don’t have any qualifications to prescribe remedies.


if I’ve learned ANYTHING throughout my years of  dabbling in therapy, medication, alternative remedies etc. is that none of these will work if you do not acknowledge how you are really feeling. It sounds corny and even a little “fluffy” but for me, it has been the most important thing I’ve learned as I strongly believe that the more we talk openly about these things, the easier it can become for people to access support.

If i’m sad, I let myself feel sad. If I’m stressed, I let myself feel stressed. Then I get working on some ways to get me out of the funk. Some days this is a good book and mug of tea, others it’s a run and sometimes I just need my duvet.

However you are feeling this World Mental Health Day, remember to acknowledge that feeling. It’s perfectly ok to admit that you are not ok. 

– Helpful resources – 

Be kind to yourself.



“I’m not the sporty-type”

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Everybody: Hey, did you see the game last night?”  Me: No”

Sound familiar?…

Throughout my 27 years, I proudly labelled myself as “not interested in sports”. While my family cheered for Liverpool, I cheered for anything covered in chocolate. While peers wore their team’s jersey, I was dressed in comfy knits and converse.

Two years ago, I went on my first hike and I didn’t die. And last year, I started running and I’m still going. I own multiple gym leggings that are not just pretty but also very functional. I own two pairs of gym shoes that actually get worn. I have “sensible” jackets for long walks AND I own season tickets for our local rugby team.

… Does this qualify me as the “sporty type”?

I think it just might!

Often, we are too quick to pigeon-hole ourselves into self-defined labels. Because those many moons ago, I decided I wasn’t sporty, it meant that growing up, that was my automatic response and reaction to anything that fell under that category.

At the start of this year, I wanted to make a little more effort to learn about this very unfamiliar world and came across 3 pretty great books that not only deal with the topic of sport but more specifically; women and sports.

Running like a girl

Running like a girl: Don’t let the sexist title fool you.. This book is all about those motivational girl power vibes and will get you itching to get your running shoes on.

everybody yoga

Everybody Yoga: Looks at the stereotypical idea of the “type” of people who can or should do yoga (petite, skinny girls) and completely turns it on its head.. literally.  Just try and read this book and come up with an excuse not to yoga.. I dare you!

eat sweat play

Eat Sweat Play: One of my favorite books of the past year;  it looks at women’s place in sport and calls for a change in the many stereotypes surrounding it. Anna Kessel has become my new icon.

Having read these books, its opened my mind to the world of sports and how much opportunity there is for somebody like me to enter it.  I may not be going to “bend it like Beckham” anytime soon but I have officially labelled myself as the “kinda into sports type”…..

A tiny slice of …inspiration


Icecream for Breakfast


I am the type of person who seeks out the newest “self-help” book. I will recreate my life plan in my head after just one episode of Oprah and I have boards spilling at the seams with motivational quotes on Pinterest. Funnily enough, none of it really ever sticks.

A couple of days ago, held captive in my apartment for the fourth day in a row following a snow storm, I grabbed a book I’ve been meaning to read for the past 6 months.

Ice-cream for Breakfast” by Laura Jane Williams at first glance already had everything that would naturally draw me to a book; a jazzy cover (check), the mention of food in the title (check) and the subtle promise of changing my life (check check!)

I made an obnoxious sized mug of tea, wound myself up in 2 blankets (it was really that cold) and started what I was unaware of would become one of THOSE books.

Without risking a complete spoiler alert, the main idea behind this book is embracing your inner child and reintroducing some of those wonderful child-like practices that we often forget about when we are older; dancing for the sake of it, doing things we like..just because we like them, saying how we feel and generally believing in ourself.

As someone with a cabinet full of Disney movies and who still might have a stuffed pig toy in her bed each night, I’ve always felt that I already openly embraced my inner child but having read this book, I’ve realised that I have fallen victim to the dreaded “adulting” and forgotten some of the essential simple things that keep us happy.

This book will not change your life in an instant, it will not cure depression, it won’t knock a stone off those scales or get you your dream job but what it will do is give you food for thought, a warm fuzzy feeling in your tummy and in my case, the startings of a new way of thinking about certain things. And that is just what I needed.

To celebrate, it’s a dull damp Monday evening and I am having breakfast for dinner… 6 year old Kate would be so proud!


The reading list: August

Last month’s reading list went down a treat so I decided to share Augusts’ picks with you all. 

To Read:

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“Wherever you go, there you are”-  by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Between one thing and another I’ve been feeling a little bit stressed of late. Most of the books I read are about either somebody who has been murdered or somebody investigating a murder. I’ve decided to give my mind a much needed rest this month and have added this to my bedside locker for a calming read before bed.

To scan:

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“Get the Glow” –  by Madeline Shaw 

With my summer vacation to Italy coming up in September its about time that I took this whole healthy eating routine seriously. This book contains lots of feel-good recipes that help you keep healthy, improve your skin and boost your energy levels. What’s not to love? Now that “glow” should be on its’ way aaanytime now….

To buy:

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“Too fat, too slutty, too loud”- by Anne Helen Peterson 

Another recommendation from one of my favourite podcasts “Book Riot” this book screams everything that I love in a summer read. It explores the very real scrutiny that females today face whether it’s being called or falsely portrayed as “too fat, too old, too strong” etc.

What’s on your reading list this month? Do you have any summer read favourites?


4 Health-boosting herbal teas to try

There are few things in this world I consider myself an expert on.. but tea is hands down one of them.  Not only is it comforting but it also has some pretty great health benefits. When I’m not nursing a giant mug of Lyons, I’m usually reaching for one of these bad boys…



This tea is most widely known for its anti-inflammatory properties and for boosting the immune system. Add a pinch of black pepper for easier absorption into the body and a squeeze of lemon for taste.



This one is a bit of an “all-rounder” and comes in many forms and flavours. Drinking this daily can help contribute to weight loss and glowing skin. Add in some lemon for an extra detox boost.



Feeling stressed? Can’t sleep? Chamomile is your guy! Its the perfect wind-down tea and can make you feel that bit more calm in minutes. For the best effect- splurge on high quality loose leaf and leave to steep for 3-4 mins.



This tea will be your absolute saviour if like me you suffer with a sensitive tummy. It will easy bloating, queasiness and great accompaniment after a big meal. Pack yourself a teabag of this for a long flight and you’ll leave the plane feeling completely refreshed.

Eye creams for your mid-twenties


1.kiehls creamy eye cream   2.the body shop drops of youth eye concentrate 3.Clinique all about eyes


Ugh… I have officially crossed that line of really having to care and look after my skin. Gone are the face wipes and adhoc double cleansing. Wrinkles are just on the horizon and my resting bitch face isn’t helping the matter at all. After years of constantly ignoring eye cream’s existence I finally gave in and tried some out. Here are a few of my favs:

  1. Khiels Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado €24 here 

Despite its very rich sounding name, this cream is very light and sinks in easily. The pot is tiny but you literally need the teensiest amount of product. Its’ fragrance free so great for anybody with sensitivity and is great for puffiness and dark circles.

    2. The Body Shop “Drops of Youth” Eye Concentrate €30.50 here

If tackling wrinkles is what your are after, this is the one for you. The roller ball style packaging is great at cooling the eyes, calming puffiness and its formula tackles those little pesky lines that start infesting that area. Keep this stored in the fridge for an extra cooling effect. I use this mostly in the mornings especially after a particularly late night of Netflix binging.

    3. Clinique “All about Eyes” €34.50 here

Ever wake up with dry or tight skin around your eyes? This eye cream is a saviour for this! I feel like this cream is slightly heavier than the previous two so I like to use this at night in conjunction with a face mask as a special treat. This product soothes and hydrates the area while tackling dark circles. It does have a slight scent so make sure to test this out if you have sensitivities to fragrances before committing.

Are eye creams a part of your daily routine? If so, what are your favs?



Hiking for Beginners… yes even you!

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Up until last October, I could never been an described as an”outdoorsy” person, I didn’t own anything waterproof and my idea of a sports shoe was my white pair of Converse. This all changed when my boyfriend and I tackled the 2nd highest peak in the UK; Snowdon Mountain. It my first hike and it shocked absolutely everyone I knew.

Being a complete novice, I thought it would be useful to share some of the tips and tricks that I picked up in the hope to inspire another novice to take the leap (not literally..don’t worry)

How to prep for your hike:

  • Stretch!-  your body will hate you otherwise!
  • Have a good breakfast & hydrate- Empty tummy + Hillwalking = “Hangry” mess
  • Bathroom check before you leave (there are no toilets on the mountain..who would have thought eh?!)
  • Sunscreen – even if you think you don’t need to.
  • Map out your route- mark it on a map or download on your phone.

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What the hell do I wear?

Sadly, it’s not about fashion and functionality is key when shopping for your gear.

  1. Invest in a good pair of hiking boots/shoes. You will need to wear these a few times before you hike to break them in so they don’t rub your feet and create blisters. Make sure to get measured properly at a suitable store and combine them with proper hiking socks.
  2. Layers are your friend no matter what season or location. For winter, a tight fitted under-layer, fleece and light waterproof jacket is perfect. In the summer, drop one of these or add in lighter short sleeves.
  3. Breathable fabrics work best so that you don’t end up a sweaty mess and try your best not to mix fabric types. Wool & wool or synthetics & synthetics.

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What to pack in your kit:

  • Light snacks; cereal bars, dried fruit/nuts & bananas are all great.
  • Water bottle or Camelbak reservoir
  • Packet of Tissues
  • Camera
  • Mini first aid kit with plasters
  • Insect bite cream
  • Face mist
  • Sun screen
  • Hand sanitiser & Hand Cream
  • Lip Balm

After your hike: 

  • Stretch- your body will thank you for it!
  • Have a bath & apply some muscle cream
  • Eat a healthy protein packed meal- feed those hard working muscles.
  • Pour yourself a large glass of wine and bask in your new found hiker smugness

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3 sets of PJs cool enough for Beyonce

Even with a wardrobe jammed packed with clothes and Zara’s website on constant auto-refresh, I have to admit that absolutely nothing makes me happier than a good pair of PJS. My usual pair consist of an old baggy band T-shirt and bottoms that are at least 3 sizes too big but every now and again it’s lovely to treat yourself to a “fancy” pair.

Pick #1: “Partition”

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Topshop, €44 here 

Pick #2: “If I were a boy”

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Calvin Klein @  €65 here 

Pick #3 “Sweet Dreams” 

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River Island, €33 here

5 Summer Dresses for Irish weather

Whether you are planning a staycation or trying to relive your summer holiday back home, here are some of my picks of the best dresses to see you through the changeable Irish summer.

The oversized shirt dress

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 & Other Stores €89 

My absolute favourite style of dress.. purely due to the comfort factor. It looks great with heels, flats or even a pair of converse- and will keep you cool (but not too cool) all summer long in Ireland. Add in a pair of tights and biker boots and it will even see you into Autumn and Winter!

Get it here 

The “dress with sleeves”

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River Island @ Asos €60.81

There’s something about having bare arms that can make even the sunniest day in Ireland seem a lot colder. This dress gives the appearance of summer with just the right amount of cover up. Great for work, weekends or a family get together.

Get it here 

The Irish “heatwave” dress 

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Boohoo @ Asos €29.73

On those super rare days when the weather dares to go higher than 20 degrees in Ireland- it is an absolute must that you take full advantage with the most “beach-like” outfit in your wardrobe. This “barely there” dress is perfect and will make you feel like sipping a mojito over your morning Americano.

Get it here

The summer BBQ dress

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Zara €29.99 (Sale)

This dress is summery and fun but with enough cover up to shield you from any BBQ spatters and airy enough to cover up the inevitable food baby.

Get it here 

The summer “Night-out” dress

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Misguided €41

This dress would be great during the day with sandals and leather jacket and would look amazing at night with heels and a summer tan (even if it’s fake)

Get it here 

Key accessory for all these dresses? An Umbrella…

The reading list: July

I read a lot of books and thought it would be fun to share what’s waiting on my bookshelf for me in July.

To read:



“How to be both” by Ali Smith

I bought this second hand from a local charity bookstore about 6-7 months ago. Since then, it has rested on top of the ever growing mount of “I have so many books already but I really needed this one too” pile.  This month is the month I decide to read it. Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2014 and winner of the 2014 Costa Novel of the Year Award- I’m expecting great things! The story is told from two perspectives; George, a 16 year old  living in modern day Cambridge and Francesco, an Italian renaissance artist. Where it goes from there I have yet to explore…

To scan:



“Everybody Yoga” by Jessamyn Stanley

I gifted this to myself a few weeks back in a bid to reinvent myself  into a Gym/ Yoga-loving bunny. So far, this book has gathered nearly as much dust as my gym gear but I remain hopeful that this is all about to change. Jessamyn’s book focuses on the belief that absolutely everybody no matter what size or shape you are, can yoga. Given my very intermittent and brief dabble in Yoga- this is the perfect re-introduction into the bendy world.

To buy: 


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“Sweetbitter” – Stephanie Danler

Is it weird to say that my love for Gordon Ramsey’s show “Kitchen Nightmares” led me to this book? Well… it did. After binge watching many many episodes, I started to deliriously Google search for “books about restaurants” late, very late one night. This book caught my eye from a strange long list and the rest is history. I wonder would Gordon approve?..




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