My Name Isn’t Erin | A New Chapter

My name is Catherine. Erin is an abbreviation I used for blogging. I used to need to separate my two ‘identities’: online and offline. Now I am less reliant on that idea. I am going to embrace who I am, Catherine, in all walks of life. That includes this blog. It’s just a small announcement I’d like to make because I felt like I was being dishonest to you all. The blog is still going to be Kitty Jade though!

Kitty is derived from Catherine. My mum used to call me that a lot.

My middle name is Jane, but Kitty Jane didn’t have the same ring to it as Kitty Jade. Plus Jade is a beautiful colour.

And Erin was a name I made up on a whim. But I’d much rather be known as Catherine to all of you, since that is my honest name.

Hope I haven’t confused any of you! Thank you for being so supportive through these mini-identity crises and crazy changes. The content won’t change at all. I won’t change at all. It’s only the label (like when Morrison’s change their home-brand packaging)

Signing off,

Catherine x

P.S I understand that some of you may want to unfollow, due to my lack of transparency over the last few years. Please, go ahead if you feel you need to. I deeply apologise. Anonymity was a shield I held up for myself in fear, rather than fun. Now I am confident enough to be known as Catherine on the blogosphere and I would appreciate support for that. It was fun while you were here.

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Top 5 Most Used Recipes | Perfect For Beginner Bakers | Easy, Quick & Super Tasty!

As a baker, there are certain recipes we do over and over again. Necessities, if you will, that are learned up in our baking brain like back of our own hands. In this post I am sharing my top 5 most used recipes. Most you can find on my blog, but there are a few from other places too!

  • Flapjack

We don’t need a recipe for this staple in the kitchen. Flapjack is the simplest but most yummy recipe ever! An alternative to the basic traybake are my oaty cookies. With just the addition of flour you can make these wonderful little biscuits. I often return to them as they are so simple and nothing goes wrong. Check out the recipe on my blog here.

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  • Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookies are a favourite in my family. Any type of chocolate will turn my brother’s head, but nothing beats the classic choc chip cookie. I found this recipe on Grace Ariya’s blog and it’s completely unbeatable! I have made it several times and used it as a base for other flavours. You must try it out. The combination of sieving and beating the butter comes together and forms a marvellous texture. Everything about them is just YUM! Try out for yourself by clicking on this link.

  • Chocolate Cake

The recipe for the perfect chocolate cake just went up the other week (see it here). This is one of the most basic cakes and I bake it for everyone’s birthday! It’s just like a Victoria Sponge, yet you replace a portion of the flour with cocoa. And for a brownie-like texture, add some baking soda! I know this recipe off by heart and I’ve made it twice in the same week before (one for my friend’s birthday, another for my cousin’s). With some chocolate buttercream and white chocolate piping – it’s perfect for anyone.

  • Easter Biscuits

Don’t be put off by the name, because this recipe works all year round. Around Christmas I add zesty orange and dip them in chocolate, for Spring its lemon and royal icing. You can check out the recipe here (made by yours truly) and changing things up a bit doesn’t affect the consistency at all. So add a pinch of salt, or cut them into funny shapes! From this base you can create anything.

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  • Victoria Sponge

The ratio I know by heart: 2:2:2:1 is universal for any cake. Sometimes I’ll make a grand fruity sponge, other times little fairy cakes. Just follow a recipe and whip it up into whatever tin you have! I love, love, love easy cakes like this. Here’s a recipe I found on BBC Goodfood for those of you that are new to baking.


I’ll definitely do a part two to this if you like. I really enjoying recommending recipes to you all and seeing what you create via Instagram! If you are to follow Grace’s recipe, tag her in your photos. Because she is, like me, a small teen blogger (+ YouTuber) that would really appreciate your support. All of Grace’s links are helpfully on this page.

What’s your favourite recipe/baked good?

I’m a big fan of croissants but they take such a lot of effort to make. And you know me, quick and easy does the trick! Hope you all have lovely days,

erin x

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Why You Should Stop Buying Fast Fashion | Guest Post By Ava Santa Ana | Stats, Facts + Where To Avoid

To kick-off The Plastic Planet series I have invited Ava to discuss a topic we are both passionate about: fast fashion. Through Ava I have learned a lot about this industry and stopped buying fast fashion all together. Please take a look at Ava’s Instagram and YouTube once you have finished reading this post – she constantly updates her socials with information on this subject. Before we get started, what even is fast fashion?

Hi guys – my name is Ava and I feel so honoured to have been asked to write the first post for The Plastic Planet Series! Although this isn’t technically to do with plastic, I’m going to be writing about the fast fashion industry and the implications it has on both the environment and the people actually creating the clothing.

I actually made a super in-depth YouTube video about this so if you do want to learn more then you can feel free to check it out hehe: http://youtube.com/avasantaana

Some Facts + Stats About Fast Fashion

  • 1.2 billion tonnes of carbon emissions are produced by the global fashion industry each year
  • The clothing industry is the second largest polluting industry
  • It is estimated that 60,000,000 people work in the fashion industry worldwide
  • 85% of textiles are sent to landfills which is around 21 billion tonnes per year
  • The lowest paid garment workers in the world are paid 3$ per day
  • Fashion is the most labour-dependent industry on earth
  • On average, the garment workers are working 96 hours a week
  • Garment workers are the 2nd highest at-risk product category for modern slavery

I feel like these figures really speak for themselves, but it is so clear that something needs to change now!

Fast Fashion Brands To Avoid

When I first began my slow fashion journey, I was really unsure of what brands I should and shouldn’t be buying from. I have chosen some of the worst for this list, but there are so so many more and I would really recommend the website/app ‘Good On You’ which has a directory ranking basically every brand on their sustainability policies.

  • Victoria’s Secret
  • H&M
  • Urban Outfitters
  • Primark
  • Zara
  • Topshop
  • Forever 21
  • Shein
  • Boohoo
  • GAP
  • Uniqlo
  • ASOS
  • New Look

I gave up buying fast fashion around this time last year. After watching some videos and documentaries about the reality of this industry, I knew it was something that I no longer wanted to be investing my money in. Although it was definitely hard at first, I have discovered some sustainable brands that I love and I am proud to say that I have become a lot more conscious of my purchases.

My Favourite Sustainable + Ethical Brands

  • Depop – my absolute fave place to shop! Buying secondhand is so underrated because you can get some really cool stuff for cheap prices because it has already been worn. I love buying vintage clothes from Depop and the overall shopping experience on the app is really nice and easy, could not recommend it enough.
  • Charity Stores – charity stores can be really hit or miss, but you can find some amazing stuff in them for absolute bargains! 
  • Organic Basics – this was the first sustainable brand I bought clothes from. I won’t lie, it is expensive but you are definitely paying for quality. Their factories ensure that their workplace is free of child labor and forced labor, their workers are surrounded in a safe working space, paid a living wage, offered employee perks like free lunch and childcare and are treated with respect at all times.
  • The Hundred Club – this is a UK based small business that only creates 100 of each item of clothing to combat waste. I love their designs and I think they are very on-trend whilst also being high quality
  • Lucy and Yak – they have the absolute cutest clothes and are also very very high quality at a relatively affordable price (and everything is made of organic cotton too) Their tailors are paid 4 times the state minimum wage, their factories are powered by solar panels on the roof and I love how transparent they are about the whole process of creating the clothing
  • TALA – this is a sustainable activewear brand, which is amazing because it is so hard to buy fitness clothing sustainably. It is run by Grace Beverley (who I completely want to be) and I think it’s amazing that she has created a brand that focuses on empowering people of everybody type, whilst also being good for the environment. Their items are created from sustainable materials and whilst they are slightly on the pricier side, I think it is definitely worth it.

Thank you so so much to everyone who has taken some time to read this! I really hope it made you reflect on your own purchases and awakened you to some of the realities of the fashion industry.

Ava xx

Would you like to know more about fast fashion?

Stay tuned for next week’s post written by the lovely Millie Button. It’s going to be another fast fashion related post. I will conclude this mini-series with my own thoughts on the fashion industry – then we shall return to plastic-based posts. However this subject is still going to be pending on my mind!

If you have something to say about fast fashion, drop me an email to be featured.

erin x

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Answering Your Assumptions! | Collaboration With Meghan’s Teen Life

Welcome to another exciting collaboration! Today’s post came from a late night chat with the wonderful Meghan from Meghan’s Teen Life. Recently, on YouTube, there has been a mass production of assumptions videos. Therefore we decided to hop on this trend and bring it to the blogosphere! The lovely Maryam has previously done a post like this, so please check her’s out too.

Meghan runs a blog where she discusses, and takes us along, with her teen journey. Behind the amazing writing is a lovely human who constantly makes effort to be positive and inspiring. As she is so underrated, I would love for you to support her blog and Instagram. To top it all off she is walking 10,000 steps a day to raise money for Islamic Relief (a charity that supports victims or conflict in Yemen). Please donate here! I am participating alongside her.

Make sure to read Meghan’s half after this one! Here are some assumptions you had about me – when I asked you on Instagram. 

You wish you could play more instruments

Unfortunately I’m not very musical, despite playing the cello. It does not come particularly  naturally to me despite how much I enjoy it. Although it would be awesome to play multiple instruments, it takes valuable time that I can’t spare! I would much prefer investing effort into blogging and school, then having cello as a little side-project.

You only have a small group of friends

This is very true! I have a close circle of 5 friends. There are about 20 people I can talk to and get along with in a friendly way, perhaps go for a walk together etc, but my five closest friends are the ones I turn to in times of need. You know who you are 😉

You’re a very organised and tidy person

Externally I appear tidy and organised. However, internally, I’m a mess. Those who say a tidy space makes a tidy mind aren’t exactly honest, because my space is beautifully organised yet my mind is cluttered!

You haven’t told anyone about your blog

This is the opposite of true. It was hard to keep a secret and I prefer to be honest; it brings comfort! Pretty much my entire school year are aware of my blog. My family know I keep a blog, but they do not know how to find it which is relieving. 

You love cats

Yes!

You are an extrovert

Company is nice, but I prefer to go solo. Being alone brings internal energy and is usually where I think up my best ideas. On the Myer-Briggs personality test I’m 92% introverted and 8% extroverted! I do think I’m slightly more extroverted that that…

You didn’t reveal your real name on your blog because you were embarrassed people would find out

I use a pen name to set apart my two identities. Catherine is the name I use professionally and around family; Erin is the person I am when I’m productive, stress-free and letting my heart out on to a keyboard. They stay separate just out of choice, but I’m not embarrassed about my blog one bit! I should not shy away from praise for a website I have spent 3 years work on. If someone were to send hate directed at my blog I would be offended, but it wouldn’t stop me from writing. Barriers like that make me try harder to prove them wrong!

You have a boyfriend

Just my bookshelf, I’m afraid. No-one takes interest in a nerdy and peculiar girl like me. Especially since I put so much effort into school but don’t achieve highly. All this work goes toward being mediocre!

You are more of a cat person than a dog person

Nothing against dogs (they can be cute sometimes) but cats are my preference. They’re cuddly, lazy, fluffy and sassy! What more could you want?

You’ve never been abroad

Actually I’m extremely privileged to have been abroad 6 times in my life. Once to America – although I can’t remember it – twice to France, twice to Spain and one trip to Holland! I really want to travel more in the future, however the cost of the environment is worrying.

You prefer countryside to city

Again, this one is so true! The countryside is where I belong. I live semi-rurally and the city life has never been my cup of tea. My dream is to have a house looking onto the sea (by the seafront). If you have seen my brand collaboration with Mapiful, you will know I’m a big fan of Scotland too! I would love to live there in the future.

You blog because you are forced to

In some cases I will force myself to blog, but it’s always a fun process. No-one makes me blog other than internal pressure. I find it a beautiful hobby and want to continue with it for as long as possible!

Thank you for reading! Did you enjoy this post? There’s another half over on Meghan’s blog. Please check it out if you’re interested. Take the time to share love to some small bloggers today; they deserve it. All of her links are below:

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Do you have any assumptions about me? Would you like me to do a part two?

Hope you all have amazing days. This post is proof that what you assume about a person is often incorrect. I am guilty of judging a book by its cover, but I try to avoid that mindset. If you have any more assumptions about me I’d love to hear them! I reply to all of your lovely comments. Be juicy and honest, and perhaps your assumption will be featured in part two!

erin x

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I Should Have Read That Book Tag! | Ft. My Guilty Face

Thank you so much to Abi for nominating me to participate in this tag! It’s been a while since I last wrote a book tag, so my book blogging brain is a little rusty. However, I anticipate that this will be a fun post! Hope you stick to the end, as you may even be a nominee…

Rules

  • Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their post
  • Answer the questions below
  • Tag 10 others to take part in the tag
  • Enjoy the tag!

A book that a certain friend is always telling you to read

Whenever I’m recommended a book by my friend, I tend to read it straight away. Off the top of my head I can’t think of one. 

A book that’s been on your TBR forever and yet you still haven’t read it

Call me guilty for not reading Animal Farm by George Orwell yet! It’s been on my TBR for years and I want to fully immerse myself in the literature and context behind it. Do you have any useful resources for Animal Farm so that I can study it?

A book in a series you’ve started, but haven’t gotten around to finishing

A Court Of Thorns And Roses was a stunning book, but I couldn’t get into the sequel! It just didn’t vibe with me in the same way the first one did. I would love to finish the series one day but at the moment I can’t enjoy it thoroughly so it doesn’t seem worth pulling through a novel if I don’t enjoy it.

A classic you’ve always liked the sound of, but have never actually read

Jane Eyre sounds beautiful! 

A popular book that it seems everyone but you has read

I was such a big fan of Fangirl, however I’ve not yet picked up Carry On. It sounds fantastic since I loved Simon and Baz’ narrative in the original book. However I don’t have my own copy so it’ll have to wait until libraries are open again.

A book that inspired a film/TV adaptation that you really love, but just haven’t picked up yet

Swallows and Amazons is a beautiful children’s film that I enjoy to this day. Although I haven’t read its book adaptation yet. I’d be interested to know whether it’s similar or completely different from the film!

A book you see all over Instagram but haven’t picked up yet

The Poet X has been on bookstagram for ages now, and I still haven’t read it. I love Elizabeth Acevedo’s “With The Fire On High” and I anticipate The Poet X will be brilliant too. My library offers on online eBook experience and fortunately it’s available to borrow at the moment! I’ll have to read it soon.

I Nominate:

One Book More

What Rebecca’s Read

Elsie LMC

Starry Sky Books

A Fangirl’s Opinion

Marshmallow Harmonies (my favourite bookish gal on the blogosphere, the reason I write book tags today hehe, thank you Rhi!)

The Mood Reader (Yna)

Kristin Kraves Books

Reading With Daniella

Hammock Of Books

That’s all folks!

What book are you going to read next? What are you reading at the moment?

Have a lovely day, and see you on Friday for another post in The Plastic Planet series. Take care,

erin x

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