Chit Chat Life Update

This post will naturally not perform as well. That’s because I won’t be using social media to promote it, for the first time in two years? You’re probably wondering ‘why not use social media to promote it if it gets better results that way?’. The reason is… I’m taking a social media detox. I’ve wanted to do this for a while, but out of fear of losing engagement, I stuck with it until I completely burnt out. It’s a much needed break, I assure you. I was feeling anxious, physically, and my whole mind felt cluttered. Here I am. Still blogging, of course. Even if Instagram and Pinterest slip through my fingers, I will always keep blogging. Nothing can stop me. Nothing has stopped me for 3 years!

This post goes live in a few hours, so I haven’t taken any photos either. It’s strange not living up to my high standards. There’ll be no Pinterest thumbnail… no stress of filtering through photos last minute and editing them minutes before the upload deadline. Just me. Pure me. 

No Electricity 😥

Today the electricians are doing work on the power line, so no electricity from 9-5. No music, no kettle, no hot water. That’s why I decided to sort out my room today. We recently bought some Ikea boxes so I can organise my over-bed shelves. At the moment everything is up there, collecting dust, so I wanted to put them in boxes to a) not have to clean them all the time and b) make my room look neat. I have an audiobook lined up on my iPad (The Selection, might I add) so I can keep my mind occupied while sorting. I do love sorting, but without food for thought, I would go crackers. 

Live In The Moment

My plan through this detox is to take life as it comes. Although it would be amazing to go out for frequent walks, practise my cello a lot and wake up earlier – that’s not the main aim. I just wish to live more presently. 

Plans For Content Going Forward

You thought you could get rid of me that easily? No way Hosé. I’ll still be uploading three times a week on here. I don’t expect numbers to excel with the absence of Instagram, but blogging is about enjoyment. The numbers do matter somewhat, I would love for lots of people to read my message, but my main aim with blogging is to progress my writing and find other likeminded people. I have very successfully achieved that. Hmm, maybe my English teacher has something to say about the first one but slow progress is still progress. And writing three posts a week has got to be more than some people do, eh? 

Thank You!

Thank you for the support over the last three years. It means more to me than you will ever know. Thank you for your patience with me, and to those who have stuck with this blog through thick and thin. It’s been a wild ride and I am gladly awaiting the future. 

Have you done anything cool in the last week? Or even something small that made you feel happy?

I love chatting with you, so please leave a conversation starter in the comments. Sending love,

catherine x

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Check out what I’m reading…

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My Pinterest (I’ll still be immersing myself in cute cat photos, and aesthetic book pics)

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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The Goldfinch | Donna Tartt | Book Reviews Are Back Despite No-One Reading Them Because I Ramble Too Much

Where do I start in reviewing such a masterpiece? It’s left me feeling accomplished (since it was a hefty book) though not necessarily happier or sadder. Although it has left an impression, I can’t exactly pinpoint where or how 🤷‍♀️ That’s not to say it’s a bad book because I loved it! From start to finish, the description enticed me and the plot was so detailed.

Initially I picked this book up in aim to defeat my fear of large books. I’ve always avoided books with 600+ pages, especially if their font is small. In a way, it has helped defeat my fear. But the book was so fascinating that I forgot about the word and page count, and became immersed in the plot and characters.

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don’t know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love-and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

The Goldfinch combines vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and suspense, while plumbing with a philosopher’s calm the deepest mysteries of love, identity, and art. It is an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate. 

Theo Decker is our main protagonist. I don’t know whether to love or hate him, but I do dislike him at the very least. In the last few pages he gave a beautiful, poetic passage that seemed to come from a place of wisdom. However, that alone does not counteract the mistakes he made throughout the novel that in my opinion where stupid. Perhaps this is a spoiler, although it doesn’t affect your enjoyment of the novel if you decide to read it: Boris and Theo become really close friends. They have no support from outsiders so are left primarily to their own devices. They turn to drugs and crime in this period of abandonment. It follows them around like a shadow far into their adult life, and hinders their social abilities. The way Tartt describes and develops their characters appears to be incredibly realistic, although I have never known a drug addict/criminal 😅

I took this book slow, despite it being a page-turner. Every sentence was a work of art, and I wanted to savour that as much as possible. However this morning I woke up late, around 8am, sat on the sofa all morning and trundled through 165 pages worth of this novel until I reached the end. Do I regret rushing the last few chapters? Not at all! It felt so right, and I couldn’t put it down even though I tried. I thought, ‘I’ll just go and practise my cello, and come back to this later’ but my eyes kept moving across the page and physically could not stop reading. 

My favourite character has to Hobie. If any of you have read this novel, I’d love to know who your favourite was! He took on a father-like role for Theo, and became a solid rock for him to rely on. Unlike Boris, who often slipped away without warning. Ever since I was introduced to Boris I felt wary and did not trust him in the slightest. I don’t think Theo did either!

Theo’s character was believable, and this whole book almost felt like a retelling of a non-fiction story. It’s written in first person, from his perspective, but from other people’s dialogues you could guess that he wasn’t someone to admire. Even up to the last pages, Theo was incredibly pessimistic and brutally honest. However I did like this a lot! Many chapters just sounded like one great old moan, but it was entertaining simultaneously. It made the book more believable and almost made me feel guilty because I’m under blankets with a cup of tea while he’s committing drug abuse and being dragged into a criminal underworld… 

The reason I give this book 5 stars is for reasons I’ve just explained, but also the timeline. We see Theo grow from 13 to his mid-twenties! And it’s not as if details have been skimmed over or anything has been missed out because it did make loads of sense. 

Bought this copy from a charity shop for £2. Safe to say I’m a happy customer!

Have you read any big books recently? Or are you afraid of them?

erin x

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Advice From The Best Of The Blogosphere | Interviewing Sophie’s Corner

For a while I have been contemplating starting an interview series on my blog. They are some of my favourite posts to read, so why not start writing them? Blogging is more than just writing posts and it takes a lot of effort behind the scenes. These interviews are to show readers what it’s like to be a blogger, and hopefully it’ll be relatable for those of you that are writers! Through my blog I aim to inspire others, share positivity but also be realistic. To kick off this exciting new project, I’ve decided to interview one of my favourite bloggers (you’ve heard me mention her before) Sophie’s Corner! Sophie’s blog is incredibly inspiring, the perfect place for you to find ideas and motivation. The girl behind the screen is super lovely too. We’ve collaborated together in the past and have been chatting with each other for a really long time. It was really intriuging to read her answers, and I’m sure you’ll find it interesting too!

If you enjoy Sophie’s interview (which I’m confident you will) then head over to her blog and check out her beautiful Instagram. They’re all worth a follow! It’s like having a little sunshine in my feed. In fact, Sophie is one of my main motivators to blog. If ever I’m struggling for ideas, I head right over to her!

Without more of my rambling, let’s hop into the post:

Why did you start your blog?

I started blogging because I always had a passion for writing and I wanted to express my thoughts to the world. After I joined Instagram back in January 2019, lots of people had blogs that I enjoyed reading and I felt so inspired! So I tried it out for myself – not sure what I’d make of it – and then fell completely in love with it. Now I can’t even imagine my life without blogging!

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I get inspiration everywhere! Sometimes I will just be out & about, at the supermarket or on a walk for example, and I will suddenly get an idea for a new blog post so I’ll jot it down in my notebook which I carry everywhere with me! I also feel inspired by some of my favourite bloggers (like Natalie Kennedy, Infinitely A Daydreamer, Oh Lola, The Progress Project, Jess’s Wondering and My Blurred World) as well as all of the wonderful friends I have made through Instagram and my blog. These girls inspire me every day to be the best possible version of myself and I am so grateful for every single one of them!

Why did you decide to post daily during lockdown, and have you ever struggled with content ideas because of it?

Initially, before we entered lockdown, I was posting three times every week and I wasn’t being as consistent as I would have liked to be. When we came into lockdown, I seized the opportunity to make the best of a difficult situation and be much more active on my blog. As one of my niches is ‘positivity’ I decided that I wanted to continue spreading this positivity while we were all at home in lockdown. I wanted to lift people’s spirits and give them all some content to read through this strange time period. I haven’t really struggled with content ideas as I have a list that I constantly refer to which I have been adding to since August last year and it has hundreds of post ideas!! I also get regular emails and DMs regarding requested posts so I enjoy reading through these & then writing them out for my readers! I have also gained over 100 followers and my engagement has shot up in numbers since I started posting more regularly!

Why are you anonymous/will you reveal your face in the future?

I set my Instagram account up when I was twelve and I was super cautious about staying anonymous, just for various reasons and I didn’t really understand the Instagram algorithms so I didn’t want to expose myself too much or anything like that. I’ve not told anyone at school about my blog, just because it’s not something I really feel I need to tell them about. I also have quite a large friendship group at school so I feel like if I told anyone then it would get around very quickly so I prefer to keep quiet about it. I’m sure if my Instagram account and blog both continue to grow, I will build up the confidence in the future to possibly reveal my identity etc but for now I am very comfortable and I feel that I can fully be myself without being judged and so on.

Are there any tips you could give to new bloggers struggling with inspiration?

My advice to new bloggers is probably to be yourself, find your ‘niche’ and be patient. Engagement will not happen straight away and this will be disheartening but just stick with it & don’t give up! If you’re struggling for inspiration then I would advise that you binge-read lots of your favourite bloggers’ posts and this will probably inspire you lots! Or you could scroll through Pinterest as this never fails to make me feel motivated and inspired!

Wasn’t that as amazing as I promised? Sophie is such a talented writer, and I hope she carries her gift into later life. Please support the work she is putting into her blog at the moment. I’ve linked it here! Also, for snippets and behind the scenes, she has a wonderful Instagram that she regularly updates. 

Are you a blogger? Is there any advice you could give to beginners?

Leave it in the comment section so that anyone scrolling by, wondering whether to start a blog or not, has some advice! When I started out I was very naive and hardly knew a thing about formatting and engagement. Some help back then really would have been useful. Hope you all have lovely days! 

erin x

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Top 6 Favourite YouTubers During Lockdown

During lockdown I have spent an unhealthy amount of time on YouTube, which I’m looking to amend this month. However, through those hours of watching videos I have compiled a list of my favourite YouTubers. Previously I have written a post about my favourite YouTubers, and I don’t want to repeat myself (check out that post for more). On top of this there are plenty more, so I’ll do a part three if you like!

Millie Button

Very happy to say that Millie is actually a fellow blogging friend of mine! On top of her blog and stunning Instagram, she runs a YouTube channel which is so beautiful. The videos are always quite relaxing, especially designing videos. Make sure to check out her blog while you’re here.

Holly Gabrielle

Holly’s name was popping up all around my YouTube recommended tab so I decided to check out her videos. I do not regret it! She is such a lovely human and I’m really enjoying the book updates that she has been giving as she discovers reading for pleasure again. 

Alfie Deyes Vlogs

Never thought I’d say this, but I am quite the fan of Alfie’s vlogs. He is an incredibly lucky man, and sometimes I’m questionable about his habits but honestly such a joy to watch. Though this is a difficult time, he has been sharing lots of smiles and laughs which I’m forever grateful for. 

Eve Bennett

Would this list really be complete without a study tuber? Eve is one of those honest people who doesn’t cover up her struggles. The content is very engaging and she openly speaks about mental health which is much appreciated. While also supplying raw videos, there are plenty of smiles and positivity there too!

Sadie Aldis

I used to watch Sadie religiously but then I started a new YouTube account and didn’t re-subscribe (I’m subscribed now) Her videos never fail to motivate me! I especially love the way she incorporates Law of Attraction into her channel. If you’re searching for some inspiration you’ll definitely be able to find it here.

Louise Pentland

An all-time favourite of mine! The long, chatty vlogs incorporate many thoughts and real-life stuff. The cuteness of her children makes me smile endlessly. Like with many of the YouTubers on this list, it supplies real content and doesn’t sugar-coat over anything. You must check out her channel if you’re looking for long vlogs to wind-down with.

That’s it for today! Please leave your YouTube recommendations in the comments of this post. I’ll definitely check them out in this long expanse of time that stretches before us. 

What have you been watching at the moment? YouTube, Netflix or a bit of BBC iPlayer?

Hope you all have great weeks,

erin x

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