Scented Saturday – Candles

As the nights draw in and I am invariably spending more time in the house, just like every year, we turn our attentions to making our living room even cosier than it already is.

I love nothing more than watching TV in either pitch dark or by candle light so it is really important to me to get really pretty AND great smelling candles. I know I have fallen in to the trap of super pretty candles smelling dreadful, if at all, once lit.

Recent burnings in the Tramp Towers have been the White Chiffon Candle from Boux Avenue (£12)  and the very lovely Myrrh Muske & Cypress candle from Molton Brown (£36) that Mr Tramp very kindly picked and bought for me. It’s a very autumnal, wintery smell that just makes you want to curl on the sofa with a good book and a toasty warm blanket.

I am very particular about my candle scents and swing wildly from clean, fresh smelling aromas like Boux Avenue to quite ‘masculine’ scents. I really don’t like anything floral or anything that resembles the insane amount of ‘hippy’ joss sticks I used to burn when I was a teenage goth. Ick!

Since hearing about the wonderfully sounding Russian Collection from Jonathan Ward , I have been eyeing the website trying to pick and choose what next. As if they could read minds, the lovely powers that be have kicked off a pre-christmas sale with some awesome deals available on their candles. If you follow them on Twitter @j_w_london new deals keep cropping up and I compel you all to go and buy something delightfully decadent for yourself!


Yesterday I treated myself to Kiss in Rio and 3 Kings, both of which sound perfect.

Kiss in Rio

This scent is one of the boldest in the collection. Its complex tangle of aromatic notes is rich, dark and moody.
The ideal gift for modern environments, this seductive aroma is one of the editors favourites.

Ingredients:

Blackcurrant, Clove, Licorice, Pepper, Smoky Woods 

 – The smoky wood and pepper really appealed to me! I can’t wait for it to arrive!


Three Kings



An exquisite fragrance carefully designed to be enjoyed seasonally or throughout the year. Pacific Amber, Myrrh and Frankincense meld exquisitely into jasmine, violet, cinnamon and Zanzibar Clove. Starfruit and bergamot add an interesting playful twist.


The Myrrh and cinnamon drew me to this one, I’m really excited to try it when it arrives. I have a sneaking suspicion I might order a few more to keep as back ups!

I’m hoping that some of the in-laws and family read this post… and if so… I’d like to add the following 3 candles on to my christmas wish list please!!
An intoxicatingly masculine scent which on smelling it reminded me of cigar smoke, museums and old leather arm chairs. It was quite an evocative smokey boozey mix. I am probably the worst person to describe scents so here is the official blurb! 

Question everything. Seek out the truth. Provoke your senses with puzzling aromas. Discover the seductive mysteries of birch, cade, leather, tar and amber with our firefly embers medio candle illuminating your way. Intriguing, fearless and enigmatic.

The way we blend it
Top notes: birch oil, cedar wood
Middle notes: cade oil, black leather accord
Base notes: tar accord, amber, warm woods



A mysterious, decadently spiced fragrance inspired by the love songs Russian soldiers would sing to their loved ones when facing wartime.  Including rich notes of Cedarwood, Elemi Cognac, Tonka Bean, Birch Leaf, Organic Black Pepper and Rosemary.

Ingredients:
Black Pepper, Cedar Wood, Tonka Bean, Birch-leaf, Cognac, Rosemary


A regal, spiced woody aroma.  Inspired by the capture of the infamous serial killer Darya by Catherine the Great this unique fragrance contains notes of Cashmere Cedarwood, Cumin, Vetiver, Amber, Cinammon and Clove.

Ingredients:
Amber, Cedar Wood, Clove, Vetiver, Cinnamon, Cumin

What are your favourite candles to burn? How do you fragrance your home?  I’d love to know

Turbo Thursday – We all can dream…

The 2nd instalment of my Turbo Thursday set finds me day dreaming.

Now when most people imagine their dream car, it’s invariably a super sports car, a car from a movie or for the girly girls amongst us, something pink and flowery but not me.


I am obsessed.. Yes people OBSESSED with 1930 Ford hot rods. I would actually sell my own grandmother (nay, both of them) to have a 1932 Ford Coupe hot rod. Black with flames or a beautiful deep House of Kolor candy red. Mm beautiful.





In 2006 I had the great pleasure of seeing the awesome SEMA show in Las Vegas. It was here that I first spotted those infamous clear alloy wheels! I will never forget seeing a huge pack of amazing hot rods braying down Las Vegas boulevard in convoy. Have you ever had one of those moments where you can’t actually believe what you are seeing and you just stop and stare with a bit of drool coming out of your mouth? Yeah that was me. Nice huh?

My every day obsession with 1950s Americana has spilled over in to my motoring choices and I just can’t help but be drawn to these bad boys! Look at them.. So pretty!






So… if anyone offered me a million pound limited edition Aston Martin One-77, I’d pass…. I’d take the money of course, book a flight to America, buy a beat down old Ford and commission Rick Dale, owner of the amazing Ricks Restorations to get it back to pristine condition. In fact I think I’d probably spaff my entire million on his restorations. Hmm.. I wonder if he’d want to adopt me or marry me.. Either way it would be win!



To be fair, it’s not just 30s hot rods, it’s vintage cars in general. Not your average 20yr old VW on a ‘classic car’ policy but true vintage.

On our recent trip to Havana, we were in old car heaven!!


Check out their taxi’s!!



This is one girl that isn’t impressed by men in flashy sports cars so low you need to adopt a gym class crab to get in and out of, give me the bench seat of an american vintage classic any day.

Katie 
xxx


Turbo Thursday – A break from my normal posts!!

In a departure from my usual type of blog post, I thought I’d share with you what I did on Sunday in a little piece I am going to call Turbo Thursday!

As some of you may know, I am currently working with a local car performance shop / rally team managing their marketing & PR etc via the business I run. It’s been going swimmingly well and we were even filmed as part of a Channel 4 documentary back in August.

As I drive an Impreza myself and am head over heels passionate about the motoring world, it seemed a good fit to work with Eclipse Performance as they needed someone with the enthusiasm and drive that most agencies probably lacked.


Anyway, on Sunday the shop attended the British Drift Championship in Sunderland. We had an amazing stand with both of our rally cars on display with 3 other show cars as well as the big rally wagon. It was by far the best stand there and we certainly drew in the crowds with the Dirt3 rally car and a Subaru powered Peugeot 206!

As the drifting began, we went and watched some smokey goodness, saw some great spin outs and brilliant driving by some of the UK’s best drifters. On a wander round the pits, I got to meet Shane Lynch, ex Boyzone and now professional drifter. I have to say he was the biggest *insert expletive of choice* I have ever met but after meeting the lovely Theo Paphitis, you can’t win ’em all can you! 

It was great to meet some of the lovely folks behind the Total Car magazine series, both Lesley and their photographer Will (who had an awesome t shirt on, I must say!) and it was a bigger highlight when they did a photoshoot of the Dirt3 rally car to feature in the Total Impreza Magazine! How ace is that!!

Very kindly, my husband got on board as our in-house photographer for the day and knocked out some AMAZING photos, some of which I have added below.

All in all, it was a great day and I met a lot of wonderful people all whilst working – How bad can that be eh! With my passion for motorsport and the car world, I hope I have the chance to work with many more clients in this field!










Should you wish to see any others they are over HERE

Hope you enjoyed a little insight in to my world away from beauty blogging, and what my company does for my clients!



A weighty issue?



Well, I’ve always been what we could call, a ‘big girl’ or plus size. I was  skinnier once, but at a size 14 I looked ill, being 5ft 9 and broad  shouldered, I just truly looked ill. My dad is 6ft 4, my mam is 5ft 8 and  both are broad shouldered so I don’t stand a chance of being tiny!
 
I lost a whopping 6 stone for my wedding in 2006 and the majority has crept  back on. But enough’s enough.
 
I’m actually happy with how I look, most of the time and have found it  hasn’t inhibited me at all in my life. I don’t follow current fashion so I’m  not fussed the tat in Primark doesn’t fit, or that I can’t wear a string bikini. I go to the gym so I’m reasonably healthy.
 
My biggest issue is portion size. I don’t eat loads of chocolate, fried  foods and other stereotypical fatty food. I do however eat too much of the  good stuff. Do you get me? I’ll have a nice healthy pasta, but I’ll have far  too much.
 
This does come from force of habit from being a chef in my early career. It’s hard to swap from restaurant service to 2 person!
 
For the majority of 2010, I lived away from home in a hotel, alone, for  work. Being a woman on my own in a different city over the darker winter  months I found myself living solely on hotel room service, which let me tell  you is not the most healthy thing going. But needs and musts and by the time I returned home in February I found myself porkier than usual, up a couple of dress sizes and just generally feeling grotty. I am a classic apple  shape. Tall and leggy but carry all my weight around my middle!
 
Now I do have personal reasons this time for losing weight, which to be  honest I’m not in the mood for sharing, but as part of my ‘lady from a  tramp’ ethos I want to be a streamlined Katie by my 30th birthday. I’m being  realistic here and for my frame I’m aiming for a 16/18 dress size… rather  than an ideal weight – Which reminds me, does anyone else find those  pictures of Vanessa Feltz when she was still big claiming to be a slimmed  down size 10? If that’s the case I must only be a 12 😉 tee hee!
 
Until my work load and most recent illness has settled I can’t really attack  the gym and weight watchers with the ferver that I would like to, so for the  last 2 month I have been making healthy packed lunches, introducing more  fruit and veg in to my meals at home and trying to monitor portion size to the recommendations on the back of the packet. I have already noticed a  change in my clothes and I’ve dropped 1/2 sizes in just a short time so I  hope that maintains over the summer months!
 
My husband, Mr Tramp, is along for the ride. When we met almost 10yr ago he  was a mere slip of a boy with a 28-30″ waist and I must say, I do prefer him  more now with his ‘manly’ physique befitting a 28yr old adult and not a  young boy, he is quite keen to support and join in. Not so much to lose  weight but to increase health and vitality.
 
I’m giving myself ’til my birthday to follow this make shift diet (Middle of  May FYI) and then I am going to crack on and really knuckle down. I have  introduced some general vitamin & mineral supplements. I also retain water  like nobodies business which doesn’t help the bloat so I’d really like to look at a more natural cure / aid to this without taking something like  Adios. I’m also keen to give the C25K concept a proper go once I’m back  gymming it. I’ve been following Charlotte of Lipglossiping.com‘s progress and  she’s been doing really well so it’s convincing me to give it a whirl!
 
I’m calling my challenge ‘Fit not Fat’ and I would like to welcome aboard my  new support buddy, the gorgeous Kat from Kats Beauty review. We’re both turning 30 at nigh on the same time and after catching her tweet about her  own journey, it’s going to be good to have some moral support outside my  family & friend circle. Seeing as I’ve mentioned Kat, why not mooch over and  check out her blog. It reminds me of my kitty Lola!
 
From now on, I’m going to stamp all my ‘Fit not Fat’ posts with this little  icon and tag them so everyone can follow my progress and more so, so I can follow my own progress!

 



 
Sorry for the waffle… I feel better for venting so early on a Monday morning!

Ding Dong….. but are the bells going to chime?

It’s rapidly approaching my 4th wedding anniversary (and our 9th year together) and it’s got me thinking, which makes a pleasant change from my usual vacuous state eh?!
Is marriage just a big jolly day out? Your wedding day is always referred to as the biggest day of your life. But is marriage an outdated institution in the 21st century or is it still relevant in today’s society? 
 
It’s the classic happy ending of every story, regardless of the medium, on paper, on the big screen, heavily lit on a west end stage or in an idle day dream while sitting on the 25a bus home.
The presiding message is that love is completed by marriage… and then followed by babies and the rest of your life together until the day you both check out.
Does anyone stop to think what happens at the end of the happy ending? What happens in the after part of happily ever after? No, I suspect not. It’s just an excuse for a big (and heinously expensive) family party. Would it not be cheaper to just have a big house party of hire out the local working men’s club?!!
But what happens after the happy ever after? Is marriage actually any more than just a nice day out for family and friends these days? 
When you turn on the telly or open a glossy magazine, the people pioneering this happily ending jolly wedded bliss only seem to last as long as it takes for the ink to dry on their Hello Magazine exclusive or the scabs to heal on their latest tattoo declaring their love. (Do you Remember Johnny Depps Wino Forever debacle or Angelina Jolie’s Billy Bob tattoo removal?)
Take for example, off the top of my head, Avril & Deryck, Chantelle & Preston or Cheryl and Ashley.
Standing there in your silly frock, in the eyes of the Lord / Law (depends what your flavour is), does ‘til death do us part’ really only mean “until I get bored, you get baby fat, take up golf, get a beer belly, I’ve spent all our money or we’ve had a small fight over the dishes”? If so, what’s the point in bothering in the first place eh?!
In a 2001 survey, marriage hit an all time low on a sweeping decline that started waaaaaaay back in the late 1890s!!  Over 1/3 of people surveyed believed marriage was an outdated institution.
It was also found the average age of men for getting married is 35 and for women it is 33
Marriage was originally set up as a business transaction moving the bride from one family to another, usually at great profit or value (think of dowries).
In days of yore, it bound the woman to the man with financial obligations, attaching her to her husband’s side, her only value and use was running a house hold, having his babies and making their new family unit. Back then, I suspect divorce did not exist as a man owned his wife, and if she wanted to leave she’d have no support, money or even a hope of doing so. Imagine how scary that would be if it was still the case. It’s not the case though thankfully and women are just as free as men, so in theory if women (both partners in fact) have the choice to leave, does this not render the concept of marriage as out dated?
In a quote from an article on Social Science from a Midlands University : 
 
‘Historically, the decline of religion is an important factor for the majority of the population. The idea of a union blessed by God with a spiritual element to it has decreased dramatically.’ 
In the current day and age it seems buying a house, getting a dog, booking a holiday in advance, getting shared car finance and ultimately having a baby are ‘the new black’…. the new terms of commitment over taking the concept or marriage.
My personal view on marriage  is that if you were truly committed to someone, love them and want to share the rest of your life with them, then you don’t need a ring and a ceremony and a piece of paper. 
Yes marriage gives financial security to couples should a split occur or children come along, but just because you’re married, it doesn’t seem to mean you’re together forever.
Hell, I never had those day dreams that most girls have in their childhood of the big fairy princess wedding, the big white poofy dress and my prince charming proposing on one knee. For reference… I always wanted a bad boy like Johnny Castle to stand up to my dad and say no one puts Katie in a corner and then we all have a jolly big dance party.. but you can see I wasn’t the normal stereotypical little girl and I don’t think the Wife could lift me over his head in a sweeping lift LOL
I got married at 23 but prior to that I didn’t see the point. It’s just a piece of paper and a metal ring isn’t it? I never thought I’d find someone I could tolerate for long enough, or love enough to consider marrying.
That all changed when he proposed. That was it, I enjoyed the traditional sense of commitment and pride that he did want to join with me in that “life long” unity. Although it took us 5yr to actually marry, I have no regrets for nodding to such an ‘archaic tradition’ as it really does feel forever and that’s how I intend to keep it. I will say I don’t need a small puce screaming bag of vomit to cement that bond. My shiny diamond ring and 3 cats will more than suffice!!!
My parents have a strong (and long) marriage so I have a good experience of the married world, but the wife comes from a divorced family. I don’t know if that has had an effect on his sense of commitment and made him want to get married to have the solid loving relationship his parents never had or give him the impression that marriage is something you can walk away from when you’re sick of putting the effort in to make your partner happy, I don’t know… but if he hadn’t proposed, I’d really like to believe we’d still be together which is nicely reassuring.
This said, many folk are together long term without needing to get married (like Ma & Pa Larkin from darling buds of may!!), if that works for you and you have your own forms of commitment then hats off to you. It’s a modern day concept of ‘marriage’ isn’t it, the words and attitudes change but at the end of the day, it’s still long term commitment… which is what marriage is.
Most people do believe in having a soul mate, one person that is so perfect for them that no one else could compare, and while at least one person out there still believes in marriage, I don’t think its something that will die out.
Trampy
    xx