Thursday, 29 March 2018

What I’m about to say (or, rather, type) isn’t out of sadness or despair. Please don't read this this the wrong way – I am genuinely happy with my life right now, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have doubts from time to time. Get ready for a classic Kassi ramble, straight from the heart. 

When I hear people talk about how they feel ‘lost’ in their twenties, I never quite believe them. It may be naive of me to admit, but I’ve always assumed that it’s one of those things people in our generation say but don’t really mean. Y'know, to ‘fit in’ with our unhealthy love of complaining and romanticising the hardships of life. 

Over the last few months, however, my heart has been aching for a place to belong. A place to call home. A place where I don’t feel totally and completely lost. And I'm not talking about a physical place, but rather a sort of 'peace' within my being... I’ve come to realise that it’s not a simple slip of the tongue  feeling lost is an all-too-real, valid emotion that I just can’t seem to shake. 

But that’s normal, right? To be confused and not know where your life is headed when you’re only 23? I’m not supposed to have it all figured out  that’s what my twenties are for. But then why do I feel so helpless?

Growing up in Nottingham, that was the place that I called home for almost 19 happy years. My university town Manchester, however, taught me who I am. Moving away from a place that had embedded itself so deeply within my heart was honestly one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do. And it’s so strange because I feel homesick for it in a way that I never have for my childhood home. In present day, I’m living neither in the Midlands nor the North. Instead, my feet are firmly placed in the South of England alongside Jack’s loving family. And, honestly? I’m extremely happy here. But do I belong here? Do I belong back in Manchester? Do I belong back in Nottingham? Do I belong in any one of those three places? Do I need to ‘belong’ anywhere at all? Does the feeling of ‘being lost’ ever really go away or do we all just stumble through life, figuring it out as we go along?

Is there anyone reading this that currently feels a similar way? Or perhaps you’ve faced these musings in the past? Let me know your experiences with feeling lost and the concept of ‘belonging’ in the comments below.


Monday, 13 November 2017

It sucks (the life out of you).

Being unemployed properly for the first time and spending my days searching for, bookmarking, and applying for jobs is not an experience that I would welcome back with open arms. Since resigning from my last position in late August and then moving down South and becoming officially unemployed in late September, my days have been filled to the brim with Indeed, Reed, Jobsite, and more. Having nothing else on my agenda than finding my dream job gave me plenty of time to search for roles that really excited me, but it also gave me plenty of time to sit around refreshing my emails and waiting for the phone to ring...

The catch 22 is that I was saddled with masses of time yet running out of money. Moving to a new area and wanting to explore, autumn walks became my go-to pastime. Travelling into London and seeing the sights was few and far between and I placed myself on a spending ban (which I obviously broke, I'm not an angel).

And don't even get me started on recruiters. After two months of unemployment and three of job hunting, my experience with recruiters has been anything but positive. Whether I met with them to discuss my options for them to then ignore my emails, been the most excited person on the planet about my CV to then never contact me again when I didn't enjoy the interview they'd set up for me, or hounded me for days on the phone to put me forward for a role and then never get back to me, I would definitely be cautious before going through a recruiter in the future. I'm sure that there are genuine recruiters out there that care about you as much as they care about their clients but I have been very unlucky on that front.

I am extremely happy and excited to announce that, starting next Monday, my employment will be reinstated! Working for a company that really values its employees and a role that I feel I can really excel in has been worth the hellish three month wait. Do you have any experiences of unemployment to share? Or any comments, positive or negative, about working with recruiters? Feel free to leave me a comment below!


Monday, 6 November 2017

More often than not, my smile is painted red. There's just something so empowering about wearing a bright yet ferocious colour – a woman can accomplish anything with a red lip and a great pair of eelsAs the vast majority of my wardrobe is black/white/grey, my favourite red lipstick is the perfect way to add a pop of colour to an outfit. Back in 2015, I shared with you all my top three red lipsticks and, as time has gone by, my list has inevitably evolved. Here are my current top three red lips and where to find them.

Charlotte Tilbury 'Love Bite' / Kiko Milano '312 Cherry' / L'Oreal Paris '348 Brick Vintage'
Let's start with the newest red in my collection – Charlotte Tilbury's 'Love Bite'. Coming in at £24, it's the most expensive lippy of the three, but it was kindly gifted to me as a leaving present from my last job (shoutout to Jen and Rach for bringing this beauty into my life). As the only non-matte red on this list, I was pleasantly surprised by its incredible lasting power, only having to top it up slightly after meal times. Its glossy finish looks fierce and really makes a statement – it tells the world that I'm ready for whatever it wants to throw at me. An absolute dream to remove at the end of the day in comparison to matte lipsticks (much like waterproof mascaras), I would definitely recommend popping this badger on your Christmas list.

Second on my list, Kiko Milano's '312 Cherry', can definitely be crowned my favourite red lipstick of all time (*ahem* so far). Having built a home in my coat pocket and my absolute go-to when wanting to flaunt a red lip, I've already bought its replacement. With a matte finish, it's an obvious Kassi choice – it glides onto my lips with the upmost simplicity, it boasts brilliant lasting power with no reapplication needed, and the colour is a smidgen on the dark side. What's not to love? For a measly £6.90, this gem could be at your beck and call.

Last, but certainly not least, is a slightly different shade. L'Oreal Paris' '348 Brick Vintage' is exactly what it says on the tin – it's a beautiful red lipstick with a vintage tone. It's as if somebody has uploaded it to PicMonkey (please tell me you remember this legendary website???) and turned the Cross Process filter up to 100%. Leaning on the more orange side of red, it's not a shade that I would usually opt for, but I am over the moon that I chose it to be in my collection. As a slightly more sophisticated colour, it's the perfect lippy to whip out for job interviews or a meal on the town. With a £6.99 price tag, I could hardly say no.

Do you have any other reds to recommend? I am always in the market for a new red lipstick so whack 'em in the comments below and I'll add them to my 'to-buy-when-I-have-money' list...


Monday, 30 October 2017

Hey Kassi, how's it hanging?

This is 23-year-old Kassi here, at your service. My 20-year-old self sure does seem like a lifetime ago, before the most amazing person in my current life became my partner and best friend. I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that my whole university/Manchester experience vastly improved as soon as Jack became a large part of it. When I think of Manchester now, I think of it as mine and Jack's first home; the place that we met, fell in love, and happily lived for four incredible years (two and a half of which we spent side by side).

If you haven't already guessed, your time in Manchester came to a bittersweet end. With most of your friends having moved elsewhere in the country and with no family within a 100 mile radius, it felt like the right time for you and Jack to pack up your bags and throw yourself into London life. You are still currently unemployed but you're on the hunt for your dream job doing what you know best – writing! Who knew that you could turn your life's love into a career? Thank god we wrote poems and mini novels from such a young age (let's agree to never ever publish these when we get world famous though, yeah? They're for our eyes, and laughs, only).

Having just started your second year of university, you're probably still feeling a little bit lost and uncertain about your degree. I remember first year Kassi oh so well, doing everything that she could to try and change course or even drop out of university all together. A massive thank you goes out to first year Kassi for sticking it out, because guess what? Countless days reading complicated philosophical texts and writing confusing essays on top of the hours spent revising (and sobbing) for exams finally paid off – we graduated with a FIRST! Just like all of our most recent academic results, our degree is definitely my proudest achievement!

If I remember correctly, you've just started to write for the Mancunion, our student newspaper. You went along to your first ever meeting, not knowing where to go and having to leap out of your comfort zone to ask around for the right group of people, and left that evening not knowing whether or not it was something that you wanted to pursue. Muster up all of your courage and stick at it! In your third and final year, you'll take the step up to become one of the editors of the newspaper! As well as a wonderful year filled with fun and new friendships, it'll be a fantastic addition to your CV and be the deciding factor for the beginning of your career.

You may feel old at 20 years of age, but you definitely won't feel as old as I do with two of our closest friends getting married and having little baby girls! Lyndsey got married to the love of her life in the summer of 2016 and it was the most glorious day of joy and laughter. Their first child is due in February next year and I cannot wait to meet, cuddle, and spoil her! Sophie gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl in February this year and actually got married last weekend! Jack and I flew out to Turkey for the special day (and to celebrate my birthday in a much warmer climate, obvs). She looked stunning (as always) and I cried buckets...

This letter has ended up being a hell of a lot longer than I intended and I bow down to you if you've lasted this long. I know what you're like for skimming blog posts so hats off to ya. The last three years have been the happiest of my life, so you have an amazing future to look forward to (as do I, I'm sure). That's not to say that it was without struggle – the last year of uni definitely saw some low points and our first year as graduates wasn't always a smooth ride for me or Jack, but we gave each other upmost support and got through it as a team. You're stronger together – never forget that! As cliché as it sounds, your love can climb mountains.

Alright, I'll round up and sign off. I guess we'll always be too chatty! The best advice that I can give to you is to believe in yourself and work your absolute socks off – the end will definitely justify the means. Love, laugh, and give yourself a break every now and again. Oh, and don't stop running! I wish I'd never stopped.

Love always,

P.S. You're blonde and you're rocking it. Don't let the judgment of others ever dictate how you live your life.


Tuesday, 24 October 2017

After 16 months of silence, my taking stock series continues! Take a goosey gander at my older posts here.

Making: an avocado chocolate cake that should be pictured next to the word 'failure' in the dictionary
Cooking: from cookbooks more often! Jack's mum owns more Jamie Oliver cookbooks than I can count
Drinking: endless cups of tea whilst I'm on a daily job hunt!
Reading: again!!! I hadn't read a book in far too long and have finished two since the start of September
Wanting: to start my Christmas shopping now that my birthday is over but I may need a job first...
Looking: forward to finding my dream job and exploring London in the coming months
Playing: Liam Gallagher's new album on repeat (once a Manunian, always a Mancunian)
Deciding: how to decorate mine and Jack's newly acquired room now that his brother has moved out
Watching: The second series of Riverdale religiously (why are the episodes only released weekly????)
Enjoying: the beautiful countryside to explore around my new home. Hertfordshire is stunning!
Waiting: for this weekend to celebrate my birthday with my family and see my brother's new house
Liking: how at home I feel in Jack's mum and dad's house already after only four weeks.
Wondering: about life this time next year. How things can rapidly change in such a short amount of time!
Loving: the gorgeous perfume that Jack bought me for my birthday after a few subtle hints
Hoping: that everything will fall into place soon enough (for both myself and Jack)
Marvelling: at how easily I've managed to navigate the tube each time that I've been into London!
Needing: to jump back on the health bandwagon (this is the same answer as last June... oops)
Smelling: the incredible aromas of autumn and the sensational candles that come along with it
Wearing: a beautiful pair of brown ankle boots that I treated myself to last month (funempoyment, eh?)
Following: a handful of my old YouTube favourites. It's so wonderful to see how much they've all grown!
Noticing: that the nights are getting so much darker. Next week will be hard when it's pitch black at 5pm
Thinking: about how I can relaunch my blog, but all of the best ideas include spending money...
Admiring: the breathtaking colours of the falling leaves that bed every riverside and pathway
Buying: only the essentials from now on. October saw a few treats but now it's time to resist the temptations!
Getting: overwhelmed by the love I felt by friends and family on my birthday two days ago
Bookmarking: jobs to apply for, jobs applied for, ongoing applications... and the occasional asos fave
Disliking: leaving Turkey at a glorious 26 °C and arriving back in England at a cloudy 18 °C...
Snacking: much less since leaving Manchester because I'm not in charge of the food shop! At last!

How have the last few months treated you? Any stories to share? Feel free to let me know in the comments!


Monday, 16 October 2017

Image Source
Is it crazy to believe that, no matter where in the world a person is arbitrarily born, all people are equal and deserve the same level of opportunity, respect, and love? If that's crazy then I must be bloomin' bonkers. 

We are one human race. Nobody is more worthy of any benefit in life than anyone else based purely on the place that they were born – it is pure luck that I was born and raised in a country where opportunities lay around every corner, waiting to jump out at you. I could just have easily been born in a war-torn country where education is a myth, fighting for my life every single day. Why should being born in the second scenario mean that I am not entitled to help from a nation with far more resources than my own?

Holding this cosmopolitan philosophical belief does not mean that I am blind to the alternative point of view. 
I completely appreciate the 'our people first' argument that is always raised in these kinds of debates. 

"Why should we help non-UK citizens when there are so many homeless on our streets?" 
"Why should we help non-UK citizens when so many of us are unemployed and struggling to find work?" 
"Why should we help non-UK citizens first?"

I do believe that we should help people from our own country. Despite the advantage of being born in a wealthy, prosperous country, there are still far too many of us that live below the breadline. Anybody in dire need is, of course, worthy of aid, but I believe that the same principle applies no matter your nationality. 

I acknowledge my privilege; I am incredibly lucky to have been born into a flourishing society as well as into a happy family and I will endeavour to use that privilege to help out those who weren't quite so lucky. If person A is living in the same state of poverty as person B, what does it matter where each person was born? They are both citizens of the world. We are all citizens of the world. As Jack Harries once so eloquently said, "When the temperatures increase, the sea levels rise and the oceans flood, walls, border and nationalities will bare no importance. We will just be one race, living on one piece of rock and struggling for survival".

This may be a very 'unpopular' opinion but I wanted to write something to express a point of view that I hold close to my heart. What's your take on this whole debate? Is it similar to mine or do you sit on the other side of the fence? I'm genuinely interested to know – it's all love here so all views are welcome!

Fashion: Casual Wish List

Monday, 9 October 2017

Jeans / Black Jumper / Red Jumper / Hello Jumper / Striped Jumper / Dress
With work clothes taking over my wardrobe, I seem to have forgotten how to shop for something more casual... and now that I'm on a daily job hunt, I've found myself staring blankly into the abyss, not knowing what to wear. What did I use to wear when I was a student and could be as comfortable as I pleased?? Despite wanting to regain some balance in my wardrobe and get back in touch with my cozy side, being unemployed means limited funds and so I've settled for a lazy autumn wish list instead...

Ripped jeans have been a love of mine for a few years now, but the rips have to be in exactly the right place; too far over the knee and the rip ends up stretching into a big whole in the front of my jeans, and nobody wants that! These Oasis skinny jeans are the perfect level of distressed and they look super comfy too! The other non-jumper item that my eyes were drawn to is this Dorothy Perkins skater dress. The ideal autumnal shade of faded red and with beautiful flute sleeves, this dress would fit into my life with ease.

Jumpers are always the main component of my autumn and winter wardrobe. Great for lazying around the house in or layering up with a big, fluffy scarf on a windy day, a jumper will never do you wrong. First up is this Topshop bar sleeve jumper. I love that you'd be able to dress it up or down and look flawless either way. Moving onto a staple slogan jumper, I'm lusting after this Oasis 'Hello' sweat. With such a simple design, I would love to pull this jumper on over a pair of jeans and be on my way. This Dorothy Perkins soft stitch jumper is much thicker than the others on this list, acting as the ideal radiator on a cold winter's day. And who can resist that beautiful raspberry shade when autumn rolls around? Last but definitely not least is this Topshop stripe jumper. I absolutely adore the red detailing on the sleeves, really making this item stand out from all of the other stripes out there. And the bonus is, red always has been my favourite colour...

What casual clothes can be found in your wardrobe? Are there any pieces that you are enhanced by at the moment? Let me know what casual fashion that you've been loving recently in the comments below.