Let’s talk…Mental Health: PTSD

This one is going to be a bit deeper than the usual posts. It’s long and gets a bit personal. But it’s also so important to talk about. So let’s get to it.

PTSD. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The charity Mind define it as “a type Continue reading “Let’s talk…Mental Health: PTSD”

Budget Buys Pt.2

This is a follow on from my previous post where I shared some of my favourite bargain buys from budget stores. Those were mainly for decorative purposes and I’ve decided to share some more recent buys which are more for practical purposes. I think they prove that practical can sometimes mean pretty too!

1. Large storage baskets – The Range (£6.99 each)

The story behind these is that my airing cupboard was driving me UP THE WALL. I’m a bedding fiend and it was just shoved in, no order, creased and hard to find anything. I bought four of these to start with and they’ve brought some much needed order! For size reference, I can fit two sets of king size bedding into each.


2. Photo Albums – B&M (I think they were about £3 each)

I invested in a Polaroid camera for our wedding and have used it several times since for special occasions. I wanted somewhere to organise and display our photographs so I couldn’t resist these beautiful photo albums. They sit pretty on a shelf in our conservatory and I find I do look through them from time to time if I want a smile.


3. Copper Mason Jar – B&M (4.99)

My husband drinks vitamin shakes most days and the enormous sack of powder sat on the kitchen side didn’t cut it. I bought this large mason jar to decanter it into and doesn’t it just look so much better?!


4. Black & Decker dustbuster – B&M – (£29.99)

As we’ve come into summer and Lola is growing up, she’s started to shed a crazy amount. I was finding myself having to unravel the hoover cord and hoover multiple times a day if I had any chance of keeping the house a fur-free zone. I saw this and it’s literally one of my favourite buys this year (how exciting life gets as you hit mid 20s). Its light, powerful and easy to empty. It means I quickly pick it up and whip around the floor and tricky bits with it with minimal effort. Win!



Thank you again for reading! Are there any budget stores you love that you would recommend? Please share in the comments.

Love KH xxxx

Budget Buys.

If you’re anything like me, you spend hours and hours trawling through Pinterest, looking at amazing home interior ideas and letting your inner Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen run free (remember him, avec Changing Rooms? I’m such a 90s child). The trouble is, once I’ve used up all the time I should have been spending on housework or something else menial but necessary, I realise these interior dreams are just that: dreams. Because, I do not have an unlimited supply of money. And unfortunately, almost all of my dream designs cost a lot of dollar.

However, there are ways around this. So I won’t have the whole look, but I can try to add in select pieces that will add a vibe or a theme I’ve seen and love. Some of my favourite stores to shop in for this happen to be budget stores (which is rather handy). My faves would have to be B&M, Wilkos and The Range. Sometimes you do have to sift through to find something you like but, generally, I think the products they offer are incredible value and very rarely truly reflect the price.

I’ve decided to share five of my favourite buys from recent shopping trips. These were all within the past month so it’s highly likely they’re still available!

  1. Hello sign – B&M (think it was about £2.99)

I loved this as it brings a bit of quirk into the living room. The colour scheme for this room is very neutral so adding the pop of pink was a winner as well.


2. Lampshade – B&M (£6.99)

It’s taken me 6 months of living in our new house for me to actually buy a lampshade because, so long as we had light, it stayed bottom of the list! I was in B&M with my brother and he bought one, which jogged my memory and I picked up two of these for both bedrooms. I love the colour scheme and the mustard yellow adds some colour into our mainly grey bedroom.


3. Decorative Wall Art – The Range (£10.99)

I loved this as soon as I saw it on the website. It’s about A1 size and comes in a chunky frame., so good value for money.


4. Faux Succulents – B&M (£1.00 each)

These are adorable and bring colour to any room. I currently have some in the conservatory, on the kitchen windowsill, one in the bedroom and two in the spare room! At a ridiculous price, I couldn’t resist!


5. Photo Frames – B&M (various prices)

I decided to do a photo gallery going up our stairs after receiving beautiful iron lettering of our names as a wedding present. I thought photos would look lovely around it. I love the B&M black and white frames as they come in different sizes (both photo and frame) so it adds a different aesthetic. They do packs of 3 starting from £3.99.


Thank you so much for reading! My next post is going to be another bargain buys, but more for practical items rather than decorative.

Love KH xxxx

Day Tripper: Liverpool.

It’s almost like the title I use for all of these “trip” style posts was MADE for this very road trip! 

As you may (or may not) have seen on my Twitter (@KateHepples), last week I took a road trip to Liverpool with my husband and brother. I’d only been once before when I was about 5 and, quite honestly, don’t remember a thing about it. I’d heard some great things about the city and, being a huge Beatles fan, I really wanted to do the touristy, Beatles related stuff. My husband doesn’t know a lot about them but wanted to find out more so he was up for it. And although my brother has been many times (he’s even played The Cavern Club twice!) he’s always up for a road trip, especially to Liverpool!

When looking for hotels, they were all really expensive so I turned to trusty Air B’n’B. I quite liked the idea of us all being in somewhere together as well, so we didn’t have to keep splitting up. I found a fab flat which turned out to be in the most amazing location, about 7 minutes walk from the main shopping centre of Liverpool One. It was a residential building and, despite REALLY noisy neighbours on our last night and only getting about 3 hours sleep, it was perfect for what we wanted it for. You can find the link to here if you’re interested. [https://bit.ly/2Jfes3T] Between the 3 of us, it worked out at great value for money.

We arrived late afternoon on the Thursday and, after a very quick freshen up, headed straight out. It was during the REALLY hot weather, so no jackets or cardigans needed – it felt a bit like we were abroad! We ate dinner at TGI Fridays (am I the only one who thinks the music in there is far too loud or am I just aging prematurely?) and then headed straight to Mathew Street, home of the Cavern Club and other related bars.


It was AMAZING walking into The Cavern Club for the first time. Although it isn’t THE original cavern (it had to be knocked down and rebuilt across the road) it is an exact replica and to be honest the atmosphere and vibe felt what I imagined it would have been like back in the 60s. It was dusky, hot and dim but the minute you started descending the many flights down, you could hear the crowd and feel the pulse of the music. I was SO in my element! I was really proud of myself too, as my anxiety quite often stops me from even considering going somewhere like that but because I knew I could leave at any time and we stood near the back, I managed to keep it mainly under wraps! We watched a few fab bands that night but got a relatively early night as we were shattered from the drive up.

The next day was tourist central: we went to Albert Dock, did the Magical Mystery Tour, The Beatles Experience, The Double Fantasy exhibition in the Liverpool Museum and the British Music Experience. It was very tiring (I did 25k+ steps!) but it was absolutely amazing. The weather was stunning, I learnt so much, took lots of photos and really enjoyed the day. In the evening, we went to the most incredible steakhouse and then onto The Cavern again for drinks and music.

Saturday was shopping day: I enjoyed looking round the shops which are scarce down my way and bought a few bits (would be rude not to). My feet were actually hurting from the amount of walking we’d done the day before, but we still managed a good 5 hours out before heading back to the flat to freshen up and get ready for the evening. We went to Byron Burgers (highly recommend) for dinner and then went back to Mathew Street. It was ridiculously busy though (typical Saturday) and even my new-found tolerance for loud clubs couldn’t really cope. We found an absolute gem just round the corner though in The Hard Day’s Night Hotel bar, where there was live acoustic music and we managed to snaffle a booth right at the front, where we could listen to the musicians, have some drinks and watch the world go by on the street outside.


It was the most amazing few days and I would recommend everything I’ve mentioned here in the post: there wasn’t really anything that I didn’t enjoy or didn’t like. The city itself was really lovely: you can tell it’s had a bit of money pumped into it in the last few years as there were some modern buildings and Liverpool One is great. The people were generally really friendly and it just has a vibe about it. Almost like it’s one of the cool kids and they really know it! We walked back from the clubs late at night too and I didn’t really feel unsafe which is quite a big thing for me!

I hope you enjoyed this post about my latest road trip and enjoy the photos. Hopefully I’ll have more great trips to post about in the future!

Thank you for reading!

Love KH xxxxx


Tag: Beauty.

I’m in Liverpool at the moment on a city break (there will be a large post up about it once I’m back!) so I needed a relatively quick and easy post to do earlier in the week to schedule. It kinda’ killed two birds with one stone as I’ve wanted to do a beauty related post for a while and so this helped with that too! So here it is: The 30 Questions Beauty Tag. Enjoy!

  1. What was your first make up item bought?

I honestly don’t remember the exact item. When I was about 10, I can remember getting make up kits for Christmas but they weren’t branded, they were the type you would buy for a girl of about 10! I can also remember buying Miss Sporty electric blue eyeshadow. (Nice!)

2. Describe your perfect mascara.

I like a mascara that adds length but with no clumpiness. For a night out I like something that will darken the lashes but everyday just adding length will do. I currently use Maybelline’s Lash Sensational.


3. What kind of coverage do you like from a foundation?

I like a medium to full generally – as I don’t tend to go crazy on other aspects of “face make up” (contour, highlight etc) I like the base I do have to be worth its while.

4. Favourite high-end brand?

I generally don’t buy high-end. I don’t think I’ve had anything you’d classify as such!

5. What cosmetic brands have you always wanted to try but haven’t?

I used to go to a Uni with a girl who’d always get Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks and they looked fab. I’ve also heard lots about Nars and so would probably like to give them a go.

6. Favourite drug store brand?

I like Rimmel and Maybelline.

7. Do you wear fake eyelashes?

Very, very rarely. I wore them for my wedding but only because someone applied them for me! I’m just not great at applying them and generally don’t ever find myself in a situation where I want to wear them!

8. Is there any kind of make-up you can’t leave the house with?

I used to leave the house with my whole make up bag…how times have changed! Now I’ll generally just make sure I have lip balm on me, especially in cold weather. Other than that, not much!

9. What is your most cherised beauty product?

I love my Real Techniques brushes – they really do make a difference.

10. How often do you shop for make up? Do you buy as and when you need to or splurge all in one go?

I do find with make up I don’t splurge like I do with clothes. I’m not great at experimenting either and stick to what I know. I tend to run out of things at similar times so stock up as I need to.


11. Do you have a beauty budget?

Sort of – but as I tend to stick to the same products I kinda’ know my spending.

12. Do you utilize sales and coupons when shopping?

I’m a bit of a sucker for a 3-for-2!

13. What type of product do you buy the most of?

I find myself running out of brow pencil more than anything.


14. Is there a brand you can’t stand?

Not really – there’s plenty I don’t use but it’s not that I can’t stand them!

15. Do you avoid certain ingredients in products?

Not particularly – maybe I should become more aware?

16. Do you have a favourite place to shop for make up?

I pretty much do all my make up shopping in Boots!

17. Do you like trying new skincare products?

Until I found something that worked I would try new things quite regularly. But now I tend to stick to the same things.

18. Favourite bath and body brand?

Either Soap and Glory or Champneys are rather luxurious!

19. If you could only buy from one brand which would you choose?

Rimmel as it’s where I get my base products from.

20. Which brand do you think has the best packaging?

Soap and Glory – I love their slogans!

21. Which celebrity always has great make up?

I love natural looking make up – even though it must be layered on quite thick for TV it doesn’t look caked! People like Holly Willoughby and Rochelle Humes look really naturally pretty.

22. Do you belong to any online make up communities?

No – any recommendations?

23. Do you like multi-functional products, like lip and cheek stains?

I never use them!

24. Are you clumsy putting on make-up?

Sometimes, if I’m in a rush. I’m not very skilled either so to most it’ll probably look clumsy!

25. Do you use a make up base or a primer?

Not every day – I’ve tried a Barry M primer to reduce redness before and then an illuminating base but it’s not an everyday thing.

26. How many hair products do you use on a typical day?

I wash my hair every other day and use L’Oreal Dream Lengths shampoo and conditioner. Every other time I wash it I use a the dream lengths deep conditioning mask and before I blow dry, a serum from the same range. I have naturally wavy/frizzy hair but I have a keratin treatment every six months which keeps it smooth and sleek, even when blast dried. So other than the products mentioned above, I don’t use any others!


27. How long is your hair?

It’s a few inches past my shoulders now – I am trying to grow it!

28. What do you apply first: concealer or foundation?

I apply concealer under eyes and on any real problem areas (blemishes or redness) but don’t blend. Then I apply foundation over the top and blend.

29. Do you ever consider taking make up classes?

Not really – it would help me know how to apply properly but there are enough tutorials on YouTube to help with that if I need it!

30. What do you love about make up?

That it can just make you feel that little bit fresher – cover up your dark circles from a lack of sleep or a nasty spot. I like that you can apply different levels of it depending on where you are going as well.


Love, KH xxxx

Spotify Playlists.

It’s not secret that one of my favourite things to do is – and always has been – listening to music. It suits literally every mood I can think of, can help me change a mood or help me stay in it if that’s what I need at the time.

Growing up, music was always a huge part of my life. My Dad got both me and my brother into The Beatles from the minute we were born and we also heard a broad spectrum of music growing up. He was also a DJ from when I was about 6, and he’d make me up mix tapes of all the latest tunes, whilst mixing in with lots of older stuff – he liked to educate me!

As a result, my music taste now is an eclectic mix and I love creating lots of playlists on Spotify. (You can find me under Kate Hepplewhite if you’re interested!) In this post, I thought I’d share some of my favourite playlists and why I created them. Hopefully, they’ll help you too.


I made this playlist for the ultimate chillout – I listen to it when I want to feel relaxed, whilst reading a book or even trying to sleep.


Remember what I said about liking all genres of music – soul is another genre I really like and these songs are perfect for belting out!


I LOVE the Spice Girls (I was there first time round as well!!) so I had to make a playlist dedicated just to them.


This was a real game-changer for me. When I split from a long-term relationship and I was feeling really crappy about myself, I made this playlist to keep positive, give myself some confidence and convince myself that I could indeed make it alone. Even now I’m married, and clearly not single, I add to it regularly and it’s still one of my go-to’s!


This is a playlist I created for one I feel sad, lonely or just a bit down. It may seem counter-productive to feed your sadness but sometimes you just need to stay in your mood for a bit in order to get fully out of it.


I made this playlist just after I met my husband – his taste in music features bands I’d heard of but generally not explored much. Not long after we met, we took a road trip back up to his flat in Leeds and I wanted some music we could both listen to and enjoy and thus, this playlist was born!


I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing some of my playlists. I have many others so feel free to check me out and follow on Spotify if you like.

See you soon!

Love KH xxxxx


This blog post is going to be about a lovely little ray of sunshine who burst into our lives back at the beginning of March. We’d discussed about getting a dog in the future; we just didn’t think it’d be quite so soon and I can’t believe we’ve now had her for nearly four months!

Lola was one of a litter of 9 puppies and she is 1/4 labrador and 3/4 flat coat retriever. I can remember going to look at them and all these puppies rushed over to us, jumping up, yapping and nipping. We were told there were only two left: a girl and a boy. The boy came over straight away and sat in our laps and he seemed adorable (as they all were!) This little head popped out from underneath a sofa and sat there, looking. This was the other available puppy; a little girl. It took a lot of coaxing but she plodded over and plopped herself in my lap and didn’t move. She was quiet, cuddly and didn’t nip (although that didn’t last) That was it: she was ours.

We said we’d come back the following week as we wanted to get everything sorted, set up and ready for her. I can remember reversing down their drive (they lived on a large farm) and seeing this chubby little puppy plod out and sit down, staring at us go and it was her. My heart nearly broke!

I bought a puppy book in preparation but NOTHING can prepare you properly. The day we bought her home, she was sick in the car and whimpered a lot, obviously having just been taken from all she’d ever known with her litter mates, mum and Dad. For a 10 week old pup, she was quite big but looking back now she just seems absolutely tiny.


She was so sleepy when she first got here and just napped for hours on end. We went straight to town with training and she’d learnt sit and lay down within the first few days. She was super cuddly and loved nothing better than being snuggled on your lap!

For the first few weeks she couldn’t go out as she hadn’t yet had her jabs and that started to become difficult the more she found her feet and her energy! We played LOTS of different games though to keep her mentally and physically busy.


Night times were a bit of a trial…we’d got her a crate as everywhere you read now tells you it’s the thing you HAVE to do. We followed all the advice and all the steps to making the crate a positive and homely safe place for her. But she just did not like it. At all. We tried leaving her to cry, letting her out to wee, moving the crate closer to the bedroom. Nothing. Needless to say, she now sleeps in our room on her own bed next to ours and we haven’t had a single problem!


I could write millions of posts on her but this was just more of an introductory one. It’s been such an adventure from the moment we got her and I do think we have been incredibly lucky with her. She doesn’t really bark unnecessarily, she hasn’t chewed any furniture (and teething is over, yay!), she’s so quick to train, loves cuddles, toilet trained well. She’s just brought us the most wonderful happiness and joy and we can’t imagine not having her in our lives!

There will definitely be more posts about Lola in future, but for now, this is her: and she’s very pleased to meet you!

Day Tripper: Portreath

My next post is another “Day Tripper” but it’s actually more of a weekend tripper! It was such a lovely few days away that I simply couldn’t not share it.

Back at the end of April, me, my husband Mark, my Mum & Dad, my brother and Lola the puppy went for two nights away to Portreath in Cornwall. We bought it for my Mum & Dad as birthday presents as their birthdays are only a few weeks apart. We stayed at a lodge called Cedar Creek which is set in the grounds of many other lodges. However, you’d have thought we were somewhere all by ourselves, it was so quiet and peaceful!


We made sure we had the Friday off work and headed down early afternoon. Lola isn’t great in the car – she used to get physically sick and even though she hasn’t done that in a while we made sure she had some travel sickness tablets. She wasn’t sick but you could tell she didn’t feel well. She was as good as gold still though, as usual ❤


Does anyone else get that buzz of excitement when they arrive somewhere to stay? I always get excited and this wasn’t any different. The lodge was brand new and you could tell – it was clean, bright, beautifully laid out and had its own, private hot tub! The kitchen was one of my favourite areas, with a gorgeous breakfast bar for everyone to sit around.


The weather wasn’t great but we didn’t let that stop us getting out. We headed off for a walk on a trail which was literally a minute from the lodge. If you follow the trail all the way it takes you to Portreath but as Lola was still only 4 and a half months we couldn’t walk her too far, so we turned back after half an hour. It was a beautiful walk.


It was so snug inside the lodge, especially with the weather outside not great but we couldn’t not have a go in the hot tub! It was bizarre to be outside in the dark, wind and drizzly rain but feel so warm. It was a real treat, something we’re not very used to.


Portreath itself is a small, Cornish town on the coast. There’s not as much to do as somewhere more touristy, such as St Ives, but it’s the quietness I quite liked. We went a lovely walk up through some woodland which Lola loved again and on the Saturday evening we had fish and chips from a takeaway in the town (highly recommended!)


The rest of our time was spent completely relaxing: we ate lots, played some Star Wars monopoly (I lost), went on a few more walks, another hot tub session and just spending time together as a family. I would really recommend the lodge. You can find booking information here: https://www.holidaycottages.co.uk/cornwall/west-cornwall/cedar-creek

It’s so lovely to get away sometimes, even just for a few nights. It felt like a truly relaxing break and we actually had some real holiday blues for a while after!

Share your favourite weekend getaways in the comments 🙂

Love KH xxxxxxx



Sharing My Art

I was never very great at art in school: even drawing the compulsory 1cm borders around the edge of my sketchbook page, I could never get them straight! Art at school was often quite prescribed as well and the thought of copying something, or using something for inspiration was frowned upon. It kind of become something I wasn’t good at and I forgot about it for a long time.

Just under two years ago, I started doodling and tried copying a picture from a magazine. I think it was of Mrs Potts from Beauty and the Beast (random, I know!) I really enjoyed the process and it turned out surprisingly better than I thought it would be. I happened to be in town the next day and, feeling inspired, I popped into The Works and picked up a sketchpad and some pencils for next to nothing. I went home and copied a picture of Princess Belle and, again, I was really surprised. From there, a new love was born and since then I’ve been sketching and drawing lots more. It’s dropped off a little in the past few months but it’s still something I really enjoy and I’m really proud of.

I thought I’d use this blog post to share some of my favourite sketches. I love looking at other people’s drawings so let me know any recommendations in the comments! Also, if you like what you see, I have an Instagram account just for my sketches @katesketchings 🙂



Mood Lifters


Mental health is SUCH an important aspect of everyone’s life. The charity Mind says that “every year, one in four of us will experience a mental health problem.” I believe that’s probably just known cases as well. Plus. at what point do we brand something a “problem”? Some people may have mental health issues and not be aware of them, just carrying on through it and not speaking out. It is something very close to my heart and something I may do a completely separate blog post on another time.

For today’s post though, I am going to talk about things I do when I need a mood boost. Sometimes, nothing seems to work but even knowing I’m being proactive can make me feel a little better!

1. Keeping snug

Being cosy is something which helps me immensely when I’m feeling down. Sometimes, the only thing that will do is either staying in bed, or getting into bed. I love being enveloped in something and if my husband isn’t around to give me a cuddle, a snuggly blanket will do. Keeping warm helps, cups of tea, comfy clothes and, for me, a cuddle with the puppy!


2. Music

Music has always been an incredible form of therapy for me. It can put you in so many different headspaces and change your mood considerably. Sometimes when I’m feeling low, I find listening to sad songs helps me to get it out of my system, but similarly listening to happy songs can too. A few of my go-to “sad songs” are: Somebody Else – The 1975, Ocean Eyes – Billie Eilish and I’m Still Breathing – Katy Perry. My favourite songs for an instant uplift are: Friday, I’m in Love – The Cure, End of the Line – The Travelling Wilburys and Waterloo Sunset – The Kinks. Spotify is great for organising and creating your own playlists to have an instant go-to.

3. Podcasts

On the subject of Spotify, something else I love to listen to on the app are podcasts (it’s worth nothing podcasts are available in other places, if you don’t want Spotify). I love listening to podcasts when I’m at the gym, doing housework or out on a long dog walk. While it can be good at times to tune into your natural surroundings, I find listening to something uplifting can help alter my mood. At the minute, I’m loving Fearne Cotton’s “Happy Place” as it discusses a whole host of mental health issues with people in the spotlight. I find Fearne’s voice so calming as well! The other one I’m dipping into is Alice Liveing’s “Give me Strength”. It features a whole host of incredible women and provides much needed inspiration and motivation, especially in the gym!

4. Food

I mean, it would be criminal for me to write a blog post without food mentioned! Food can have different effects at different times. If I’ve been feeling low but I’ve had a burst of motivation, eating healthily helps me as it makes me feel like I’m actively doing something to help myself. I favour fruit salads covered in yoghurt, or I’ll bake some healthy oat muffins, as seen in the picture below. (I’ll be doing a blog post about these in future on my blog, so look out for that!) On the other hand, sometimes only a big, fat bar of chocolate or tub of Ben and Jerry’s will suffice, and that’s OK too!


5. Lists

LISTS ARE YOUR FRIEND. There’s nothing better than ticking off a list to feel like you’re winning at life. Keep each part of the list small and manageable. So, for example, instead of having one bullet point as “clean house”, break it down. Have: clean bathroom, tidy clothes away, wipe kitchen surfaces, hoover bedroom. You’re still making progress and you’re ticking off lots in the progress. I always feel better in a clean and tidy house too. Tidy house, tidy mind as they say.


6. Making Plans

I find that keeping busy and being productive helps me lift my mood. It can be very hard to feel productive in any way when you’re feeling particularly low, which is why I just start small. It can be meeting a friend for a half hour walk, or going shopping/for coffee with a family member. If you’re able to, plan a night away somewhere with a partner/friend or a meal out. It’s important to remember that plans don’t always have to be social though – sometimes it’s nice to make plans for just you. Plan in an indulgent bath on a midweek evening, or time to sit and do some colouring/another hobby you enjoy. Having things to look forward to always help me keep a little light at the end of the tunnel.

These are just a few things I try to incorporate into my life to keep myself ticking along. These by no means work 100% of the time but mixing it up a bit definitely helps level out my mood and give me little chinks of light!

Do you have any things you do to help keep your mood lifted? Please share them in the comments as I love to try different things! Thank you again for reading my blog, I really do appreciate it!

Love, KH xxxxxx