Category Archives: Ramblings

My Sunday Photo


This was my Friday evening… It was a very abnormal evening for me… I sat on the living room floor and played Lego with my 10 year old. 

Here’s the thing, I can’t remember the last time I sat and played with one of my children. It probably would have been a game of Monopoly though? 

Usually when asked my response can vary from, ‘Im too tired’ or ‘I have jobs to do’. Worst of all I can find myself panicking at my complete lack of imagination. I sometimes feel Ive actually forgotten how to play. What was different this time though? 

We had just sat and watched Channel 5’s Rich House, Poor House and It really struck a cord with me. 

In this particular episode the Rich family had a huge disposable income. They worked crazy hours to achieve that. This meant they could provide their Kids with a Big house, expensive golf lessons, money to spend on whatever material possessions they wanted. Guess what though? They rarely spent any time together. Sitting down for a meal at the same time was unheard of. 

Swapping their lives with the ‘poor’ family forced them to live in closer proximity to one another and actually spend time together. The kids described the experience as having ‘had fun’ that week. 

Our family live a fairly average but comfortable life. My Husband and I work full time. Any free time we get is precious. We do try to take them for days out as often as possible. 

The kids don’t get everything they want but money isn’t a worry. They have a warm roof over their heads, clean clothes on their backs and don’t go hungry. They don’t have to miss out on school trips because we can’t afford it. That is unless it’s the annual letter home  about the bloody £900 ski trip. Yeah…not happening! 

My point though is that kids aren’t any happier for all the material stuff. It’s the quality time spent with them that makes them happy. Watching rich house, poor house reminded me of this. 

So when Jed asked me to play Lego with him on Friday evening, I squashed the initial ‘ughhh I’m too tied’ reaction. Jed was thrilled. Two hours of Lego building fun later I realised that I had also actually had fun. I will definitely be saying ‘Yes’ to play more often. 

Bringing Back The Photo Album 

When the first digital camera was invented back in 1975 it was heavy, slow and could only record black and white images. It was never intended for commercial use. In fact It took until 1990 for the first digital camera to be commercially available.

Originally it was  slow to catch on but the digital camera was to revolutionise how we took and viewed our photographs. No longer did we have to wait for our films to be developed and printed by a professional. Our photos could be instantly viewed, the unflattering ones deleted. All that excitement and urgency to get our hands on our photos was no longer. 

Today most of us have a smartphone that can instantly capture and share moments to social media. The need to print our images seems even less. 

I don’t know about you but I have years worth of digital images stored in virtual space not being appreciated. The missed opportunities of this was only reinforced by the death of my mother this year. I had a realisation that all I had left of my Mum were memories. I wanted something tangible to help hold onto them. 

It may sound overly dramatic but this was a bit of a wake up call for me. 

I am currently working on a little project to get all my favourite pictures printed and into albums. I am very aware that this is going to end up being a costly and time consuming project. It will be worth it though.

Currently I am using the FreePrints app available for iPhone to print those images from my phone, social media and Dropbox accounts. What’s helpful is that you get 45 free prints a month, only having to pay for postage. 

The quality of the prints are great and delivery is fast. I would love to leave a link but is it is app that isn’t possible. The icon though is a white butterfly on a blue background (see screenshot below).

For photo albums I like to use ring bound scrapbooks as I can really personalise the layout of each page. I can also add newspaper cuttings and tickets from events. I feel like I am creating something special for me to look back in years from now. 

My Sunday Photo | #2

My daughter will probably hate me for sharing this photo. To me though it shows her happy and relaxed, laughing with her Dad. He was teasing her about how much rent she will have to pay now she has joined the world of work. (None yet she is going to be on a very modest apprentices wage FYI) 

This photo was taken whilst out for dinner celebrating that fact. We had all just raised our glasses in a toast to her. 

Molly started her placement for her Hairdressing apprenticeship just this week. We also collected her GCSE results meaning that those final ties with school and childhood have begun to be cut. 

My baby is all grown up and that terrifies me. Last week saw the book shutting on one chapter of her life and another one opening. This will bring with it the independence that carving out her career and earning her own money is going to bring. 

It signifies that she is no longer a little girl who is going to be reliant on her parents for everything. I say that Laughing, because guess who does all her ironing and makes sure she comes home to a hot meal? Mummy and Daddy! 

Whilst I still can though I will. I can remember what a shock to the system working full time was.

Molly wasn’t the most academic of kids. She is very creative and ambitious though. After taking part in her Schools work experience scheme she found something she  knew she would enjoy, becoming a hairdresser. I’m proud that she has gone out and found herself the opportunity to fulfill this ambition. 

She had a few knock backs finding the right training route. The local College turned her down originally because her predictive grades weren’t strong enough. Unfazed Molly decided that an apprenticeship within a salon would be better for her. I’m 100% supportive of her decision. In the long run I think it will work out for the better. 

Ironically she did actually achieve the grades to get onto the College course she had applied for. She is no A* student but I’m proud of her achievements so far. 

Molly is at a very exciting and scary point in her life. Once she has finished her training there will be so many opportunities available to her. I hope she seizes everyone of them. 

My Sunday Photo 

I’ve seen quite a few other bloggers share a Sunday photo each week. This is usually accompanied by a little explanation of what is happening in that photo and what it means to them. I loved this idea so have decided to introduce this as a regular feature on Schoolrunbeauty.com.

Now my first photo is not a deep and meaningful family shot. Nope it basically demonstrates what a Plank I am. 


Yes Katy managed to set fire to the dinner this week! The downstairs of the house stank of smoke for about three days! 

In my defence I was knackered after a very busy day at work. I didn’t want to cook! I wanted a takeaway! Listening to the Husbands reasoning on why we really should be well behaved and cook, I got on with it. This is where it went very wrong!

Cooking pasta is piss easy. My ten year old can do it! Apparently my tired brain can’t though. I had put water on to boil, managed to switch on the wrong hob, of which I’d left a packet of pasta on. Queue the flames! Bang went my quiet five minutes to indulge in a cuppa. 

Did I get that much wanted takeaway? Nope. We now had a mess to clean up alongside trying to get something edible on the table. I’ve spent several days since trying to scrape melted plastic of the ceramic hob. Alas I think it’s probably ruined. Bugger! 

So moral of the story….I should shave got the Takeaway!!! 

2017 Bucket List Update

At the start of 2017 I created a list of the  17 things I wanted to do this year. I have actually managed to do a few things on that list. 

It’s is crazy to me that it is the end of July and we are officially over halfway through the 2017. Where has the year gone? 

So much has happened in such a relatively short space of time. My life now  is very different to what it was like at the start of the year. 

Some of those things have been amazing opportunities such as going full time and being promoted at work. Other things have been very sad such as loosing my mum back in January. It has been bittersweet.

I decided it was about time that I revisited the Bucket List and gave you a little up date on my progress. 
London Zoo 

Way back in April we visited London Zoo. I enjoyed seeing all the animals but also loved all the old architecture, many of which are listed buildings. The Giraffe house with its huge split doors was built in 1836. 

Catch a Wave 

I said I was going to embrace the sea this summer and catch a wave. Well yay for it being so warm in the run up to summer as it actually wasn’t that cold when we finally headed down to North Devon for our summer holiday. 
I tried out both bodyboarding and Surfing. The later is much harder and I still haven’t got up off my stomach. I have the bruised and scratched knees to prove though that I did  indeed catch and ride a wave. 


Not quite sure if I’m pulling of the surfer girl look? 


Try Avocado on Toast 

I’m counting this Smashed Avocado and Bacon on Sour dough toast, from Jamaica Blue in Chelmsford, as ticking something off my list. It’s not quite the super healthy blogger cliche version but this appealed to me much more. In fact I enjoyed it so much I’ve been back a couple of times. 


Read the Harry Potter Series 

My son and I are making good progress reading through the Harry Potter series. We  have got as far as Goblet of Fire. 

I love this one to one time I have with my youngest. We don’t get to do it every day due to work constraints, which is why it has taken us so long. I’m sure we will have finished the series by the end of the year.

Visit Ireland 

Lastly I have booked my flights to visit family in Ireland this coming September. It will be a whirlwind weekend trip but I can’t wait. We are have a big girly weekend at my Aunts in a part of Ireland I have never visited before. 

We are a little over halfway through the year. So far I have ticked off or planned for 5 items on my list. With 12 still left I’m going have to pull my finger out if I want to tick them off before the end of 2017. 

Of course I will keep you updated when that happens.

Enjoying Living in the Moment 

So I’ve been a bit MIA. The last time I managed to publish anything blog related was actually the 4th June. WTF!! 

I could come out with a whole list of half baked excuses but to be honest with you I have just been focused on living more in the moment and ultimately having fun. 

I work damn hard at work, since my promotion it has become borderline all consuming. In a good way though, I’m not complaining, I love everything about my job. I finally feel like I know who I am, and what I want to be doing with my life. Time off though is more precious than ever. Hence my blog has taken a bit of a back seat. 

In an effort to try and pick up on the blog again I thought I would share a bit of what I’ve been up to over the past month. It really has been busy, but fortunately really fun. 

Hen Party no 1 

My sister in law is getting married in August. We had the first of the Hen parties at Bar Salsa in Charring Cross. 

Getting in the salsa spirit we all dressed up in red outfits, apart from the bide who was in white of course! We had a salsa class, ate some really tasty South American food and drank too many cocktails. 

Bar Salsa does some great party packages, I highly recommend it as a venue for when you want a great all inclusive experience. 


Prom Time! 

My baby girl is no longer such a baby. I still can’t get my head around the fact she has left school and had her Prom. 

I know I’m biased because I’m her mother but my daughter truly looked beautiful. 

The dress was from Lipsy VIP. It fit her beautifully other than the fact we did have to have the length taken up. (She is so tiny!)



I did her hair and makeup for her. I’m actually really proud of this creation. A hairdresser I am not! 

Hen Party No 2

It was time for round two of my Sister in Laws Hen Party. This time we headed to Cambridge for a spa stay and a go on the punts. 

We stayed at the Hallmark Hotel. As hotels go it was comfortable and clean. I can’t say I was that sold on the food. Well that’s a lie, it was my pudding that had let it down. Who puts red cress on an Icecream sundae? 

The Thalgo facial I had though was without a doubt the best facial I have experienced. I would visit again just for that! Maybe choose a different dessert? 

Punting on the river Cam was great fun. I wish we had more time to explore Cambridge as the College Buildings are amazing. Everywhere you turn there is another little passage that needs discovering. 



Pop Choirs ‘Magnificent’ at Electric Brixton 

My big sister is part of Pop Choir. I’m not really sure where to begin explaining what this is. If you enjoy singing, just for the sheer joy of it then Pop Choir could be for you. I’ve left a link to the website so you can check it out of your interested. 

Last week we went to watch Pop Choirs ‘Magnificent’ evening. It was such a fun evening and truly inspiring to see such a large group of people come together and ‘sing their hearts out’ to raise funds for some really great charities. 


I’d love to join myself, sadly there isn’t a group in my local area yet. 

Beer Festivals, Hawaiian themed birthday bashes and more!

So all this has been dotted amongst cinema trips, the Cammra Beer Festival, Christenings and not forgetting my Cousin 30th birthday. That one got a bit messy…

I don’t actually have any pictures to share of these as true to living in the moment I forgot to take any. Whoops! 

A Thought for Today

I’d be lying if I said this spate of terrorist attacks didn’t scare me. Then I get angry! Why should we be cowed by these nutters? I’m scared of spiders and that doesn’t stop me getting something out of my shed! 

Carry on enjoy the amazing city that is London. After all life is too short! 

We must honour the victims by not letting fear win. 

We must be thankful to those that risk their lives to protect us. 

I will still go on my planned evening out London in a couple of weeks time. If something happens then it’s my time, I will have no regrets. 

Meanwhile I’m sharing some of my favourite photos from enjoyable visits to London. 

Covent Garden

London Zoo
Tower of London

Keep safe people and show kindness to your neighbour. Manchester proved to us recently that there was is still much kindness in this world. 

Coping with grief | Its not getting any easier!

I have to tell you something. Those people that tell you grief gets easier with time…their liars! 

Yes that sounds like a very negative statement, but it’s the truth. It’s approximately three and half months since my mum passed away and if anything the sharp sense of pain that often creeps up on me is more intense than ever. I miss my mum like crazy. I have this profound sense that there is a great big gaping hole in my life that can’t be filled. 

Throwing myself into work helps, it means I don’t have time to think about my mum. It’s days like today though, my day off, that I struggle with. My husband is at work and the kids are at school. If I have nothing scheduled I feel lonely. If mum was here I would be popping in for a cup of tea and a catch up. We might have been popping out to Aldi’s and get sidetracked. We may have end up at Outfit buying shoes. Yes mum was responsible for many of my impulse shoe purchases. 

Maybe the sense of loss feels so great because Mum played such a huge role in my life. She literally was the foundation of our family. We are now in a period of muddling through trying to create a new normal. Whatever that is?

When both my grandfathers passed I felt sadness but I never felt that a huge void had just shafted its way through my life. At the moment it feels like a crack that keeps widening. 

One of the hardest things I’m coming to terms with is the fact that Mum was cremated. As far as I’m concerned Some stranger has literally burnt away the physical evidence that my Mum ever existed. It’s a weird feeling. Maybe when we have buried her Ashes and have somewhere to visit I might feel less like this? Perhaps that will be a place where I can go and feel close to her again? 

Grief is unpredictable. Tomorrow is another day and I might feel completely different. I’m not in a consistent state of doom and gloom. I have days when I feel genuinely happy and content with my lot, I can laugh freely without feeling guilty that I shouldn’t be. I can see a picture of mum and smile at the memories it brings up. 

It’s those dark periods of grief that are hardest they  creep up on you and catch you by surprise when you least expect it. I not convinced that it does get easier with time. Maybe less frequent but certainly no less painful. 

My Current thoughts on Minimalism | I watched ‘that’ Netflix Documentary 

Regular readers of this blog will know that I have been trying to downsize and de clutter my life. One of my first areas to tackle was my bulging wardrobe using the Project333 method. You can read more about that in this post here

Things have certainly improved in that department, though I did fall off the wagon a bit recently. I am a self confessed shopaholic so you can imagine how much of a challenge changing this behavioural pattern has been. 

After deciding that I needed some inspiration I decided to watch the Netflix documentary Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things. You can find more information on it here. Whilst I wouldn’t say that this has been life changing or I’ve had an epiphany, I do feel I took some important lessons from it. 

The documentary touched on America’s consumer led throw away culture and why this has been the norm. The ability to participate in conspicuous consumption is seen as part of fulfilling that American dream. In laymans terms this means that we have been conditioned to believe that what we consume in terms of material possessions portrays how successful and happy in life we are. Obviously I’m not an American or living in America but this rings true of most progressive countries. 

This is a notion that I completely agree with. As a society we have indeed become accustomed to that misguided need to seek  fulfilment from material things. The problem is that sense of fulfilment is often short lived before we are dissatisfied and looking for the next ‘must have’ item. That buzz you get from buying something new and sharing it on Instagram is what feeds the habit. 

Retailers convince us that if we are having a bad day or simply feeling a bit down that some retail therapy is the answer to our problems. It’s not though! A new pair of shoes won’t change the fact that your job sucks or your boyfriend cheated on you. 

I feel I have made a conscious decision to change my ways. This isn’t going to happen overnight though. I’m going to use a huge cliche now. I’m on a bit of a journey of discovery and gradually working out what things are important to me. 

Since downsizing my wardrobe, back in November I have been a lot happier. Even though I have less clothes I never say to myself I have nothing to wear. Why? Well for a start every damn item in that wardrobe I love. If something doesn’t fit or make me feel special I’m not going to hold onto it. 

Now I know that plays into the whole throw away fashion problem but hear me out. I am learning to be mindful about what I consume. I ask myself questions such as ‘Do I actually need this?’. 

I would be lying if I said I had completely stuck to the project 333 method of managing my wardrobe. Just working in fashion retail presents temptation on a daily basis. As part of my job I am required to act as a brand ambassador and dress in the latest collections that are on sale at work. For this reason my work wardrobe is constantly changing to keep up to date. 

It is much easier for me to control the basics. Recently I bought two pairs of jeans, one black and one blue. That could seem excessive but I had lost weight and the two pairs of jeans I already owned kept falling down. Instead of holding on to those jeans that didn’t fit I took them along to my local charity shop. In the past I probably would have held on to them ‘just in case’. For me being able to let go of material possessions that no longer serve a purpose to me is a big step forward. 

I certainly wouldn’t describe myself as a minimalist. I enjoy shopping and collecting pretty things. One thing I picked up from the documentary is that It’s okay to have a collection if you feel it genuinely adds value to your life. That is the key thought process I have in mind now when deciding whether to give space in my life to a particular material item. 

As an example I have what most people would consider a large amount of makeup and beauty products. I see trying out new products and reviewing them on my blog as a rewarding hobby. 

I am making small changes in this area though. If I don’t like a product or it doesn’t work for me then realistically I’m not going to reach for it. What is the point of hoarding something if I don’t use it. It is just going to sit there untouched and getting closer and closer to its expiration date, losing any value it had. Somebody else though might love what doesn’t work for me so these are now going to be passed on.

I used to have 3 separate beauty subscription services delivered each month. Why? Well I had justified it by saying that this was a more cost effective way of trying out new products. I only have one body though so this was excessive. I couldn’t possibly use everything in one month. 

At present I have just one subscription service. I tried going cold turkey but found I really did actually miss receiving my monthly beauty package. That is okay though I haven’t failed and one is a vast improvement on three. 

If you have access to Netflix it is definitely worth checking the documentary on minimalist living out. I’m very aware that this type of lifestyle isn’t for everyone but it certainly helps you to see through the clutter and work out what is important in your life. 

Let me know your thoughts on this.

Life lately – it’s been a while!

It’s been a little while since I’ve sat down to write a blog post. There have been a couple of big reasons for this. 

Let’s get the negative one out of the way first…I’ve been lacking in inspiration. Yup I’ve been having a few head scratching moments and come up blank. 

My other excuses are far more positive and mainly due to a lack of time. Back in February I gained a promotion at work. This has meant switching from a part time role to full time. I’m still learning how to juggle without dropping too many balls. Let’s just say family, work then sleep have taken priority in that order. Blogging has taken a very firm back seat. 

I’m not complaining though I promise. I love my job and feel I’ve finally found a company to work for that fits who I am. I hope to grow with them and work towards gaining another promotion when the next opportunity arises. At the moment I’m like a sponge trying to soak up all the new skills and knowledge I can get. That’s probably why my brain has switched off from blog post inspiration. 

I’ve also found having this to focus on hugely beneficial when it has come to dealing with my feelings surrounding my mums death. It seems strange to me that she has been gone for over two months now, that it’s been a whole month since her funeral. The hardest thing to come to term with is that Death is so final and life will carry on regardless. All these great things are happening in my life and Yet I can’t tell my Mum. Mmmm….

Mother’s Day was an interesting experience. I was very anti the whole occasion and kept yelling at every promotional email, TV advert or instore display to F-Off! How inconsiderate of them? Did they not know I had just lost my mum and that it was like a slap in the face? 

Well off course not…don’t be a prat Katy! Grief  does that to you sometimes though. 

Wow that got a bit deeper than I intended! 

Back to the positives…

The kids have just broken up from school for the spring holidays. I have a weeks annual leave coming up so that means time to do some fun stuff. We have a trip planned to London Zoo and I hope to finally see Beauty and the Beast. (Still pissed off at Primark that I didn’t get my chip mug #chipgate).

I did buy some pretty bedding from Primark though, mainly because I haven’t had time to wash my old sheets. Lazy I know! I told you I’m still getting used to working full time. 


After not seeing the Hubby for about three days post Westminster attack (the pitfalls of being married to a police officer) we managed to cram in a lunch date. Byron burger is fast becoming one of my guilty pleasures. Their new menu is so so good. 

I had the limited edition Korean inspired Kimicheese burger  which involves Korean BBQ glaze, bacon, Freddar cheese, crispy onions, kimchi cucumbers, Gochuchang sauce and Ssamjang mayonnaise. 


I didn’t stop there either I also had the Gangnam fries which come with Freddar cheese sauce, jalapeños and Gochuchang sauce. 

Book wise I’ve just finished reading Bridget Jones Baby. If ever I feel I haven’t got my shit together I reach for a bit of Bridget she makes a mess of things far more than I do!

I’m currently reading Reap the Harvest by Margaret Dickinson. This falls into the saga genre and is that last in a trilogy that spans three generations of women who lives centre around a coastal farm in Lincolnshire. This book is set in the 50’s, previous books weee set in the 20’s and 30/40’s. 

So that’s a little bit of what I’ve been up to recently. I hope to be a little bit more productive throughout April.