2017: My Year In Review

Photo Credit: Amy Rebair https://amyrebair.com/

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I’m back after a little break and a hella lot of babysitting, and ready to smash this year and focus. I love this blog, it’s a way for me to look back on memories of my life and grow. Yet every year I vow to be a little bit more personal and always fail. Personal posts just at the time, feel a little invasive and I find that sometimes the things in my life that happen, aren’t really ready to be plastered all over the Internet. I did, however, want to share with you my 2017. In all of its glory and sadness. It was a tough one, a year I’ll never forget but also a year of some amazing triumphs and career wins.

Let’s start with January. Never have I wished so soon that a year would be over. In January, I lost someone so incredibly important to me. Someone who was such a big part of my life from day one, whom I looked up to and shaped me as a person. The one person I could go to about anything and whom I trusted with my life. I lost her. I remember the time I last saw her and all of the amazing memories we shared. She was taken way too soon and unfortunately, cancer won. My life will never be the same again and I know I’ll always struggle with her loss, but the unconditional love she give me will stay in my heart forever. I love and miss Mandy terribly.

That being said, career-wise I had the best year of my life. I went to London TWICE, Spain and New York. This year, I want to travel so much more and experience the world. I have so many goals I want to achieve and I have to work so hard to get them.

The wonderful Buzzoole invited me to speak at the Youth Marketing Summit in London in March on behalf of Generation Z. Buzzoole is an influencer agency who connect brands and influencers, so if you’re an influencer/blogger/youtube looking for work, head over there and sign up. I met some wonderful people and visited the Deciem store. Which was SUPER cool. I swatched The Ordinary foundations and fell in love. I met Steven Bartlett for the first time, little did I know how involved with Social Chain I’d become that year. Check out the vlogs, they’re amazing. I’m in one of them, but I cringe at myself wayyyy too much.

A post shared by Katie Meehan 💕🌸💕 (@_katiemeehan) on


A post shared by Katie Meehan 💕🌸💕 (@_katiemeehan) on

A post shared by Katie Meehan 💕🌸💕 (@_katiemeehan) on

Next up, in April I went to NEW YORK! I never ever thought I’d visit NYC and it was easily the best place I’ve ever visited in my life. I really got bit by the bug while I was there because I really didn’t want to leave. I don’t know what it is, but I just felt as though I could do anything, be anyone and achieve my goals. One of my aims for 2018 is to go back and visit some more places. There’s so much my Dad and I would do differently. I had NO idea what to wear whilst I was there and ended up just wearing t-shirts and jeans. That’s SO not me. So all those insta worthy shots I wanted? I just felt awful! Would you like a New York Travel Guide? It’s something I really want to do!

While in New York I visited IMATS. I met Kevin Bennet and Anastasia Soare (you may know her as Anastasia Beverly Hills) and it was a DREAM COME TRUE. I gossiped about YouTubers with Kevin Bennett and Anastasia is a BEAUTY QUEEN. She is classy, beautiful and gorgeous. I also bumped (legit, I randomly bumped into) WINNIE HARLOW in Sephora. Oh yes. THAT supermodel. It was pretty funny as I was just babbling on for ages about how AMAZING and inspirational she is. Then I remembered I’m a Geordie and she probably has absolutely no idea what I’m going on about. I asked her, she didn’t. We laughed, I got a photo and let her shop. I mean, how does this happen to me?!

I’ll do a separate post for New York, it will be up pretty soon. I haven’t really done one yet because I’ve been so busy and to be honest, it was such a personal experience I didn’t really feel like sharing so much of it until now.

My documentary with BBC Three came out. Skin Deep. All about my relationship with makeup and what it means to me. Such a huge achievement and something I never thought I’d be a part of. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0O8V5OHeKM&t=8s

Next up? Back to London. I won a competition to visit Dave Lackie in London and attend his dinner. I met some wonderful women and Dave was absolutely lovely. It is a dinner I shall remember forever. Then, easily the highlight of my whole year. Okay, so there’s a little backstory to this one. Do you remember Habbo Hotel? Well… around 10 or so years ago I met a girl through Habbo Hotel and MSN called Emilie. We quickly became friends and at the time, were both into the scene/emo lyf and bonded over a love of Paramore and stupidly layered hair. I was always super jel of her because she had bright hair and was SUPER pretty. Fast forward those 10 years (minus one or two because I made a new Facebook and it took us a while to reconnect) we have become besties. We have so much in common and are always there for each other. I trust her with my life and it was about TIME we met. We’d been talking about it for so long and the stars aligned that she was off work the weekend I was visiting. A few hours later, the train tickets were booked and we were MEETING. When we met, it was like slow motion. We ran and hugged each other. It was INCREDIBLE. Meeting her was like meeting my soul mate, I just love her so much! I can’t wait to see her again this year and spend some time together. Do I hear Spa Weekend?

For a long time, I thought that this blog and my online world would always just be a hobby. I never thought I’d really achieve THAT much and I still get an absolute buzz of excitement when packages come through the door and opportunities land in my inbox. 2017 was the year that the unthinkable happened. An email landed in my inbox that invited me to SPAIN to take part in the Feel Good Drinks campaign aimed to promote body confidence. I was not letting that opportunity pass up but I was hella scared. Flying to a foreign country on my own for the first time, with 100 other women I’ve never met before and jumping into a body of water NAKED?! Madness. I mean, what? A few days before I was complaining that my life was so boring and I wanted to do something exciting. I met some wonderful women that I hope I can see again soon. The older I get, the more friends I make in different parts of the world and it’s a little sad not being able to meet up with them more often.

A post shared by Katie Meehan 💕🌸💕 (@_katiemeehan) on

A post shared by Katie Meehan 💕🌸💕 (@_katiemeehan) on

A post shared by Katie Meehan 💕🌸💕 (@_katiemeehan) on

The trip was unforgettable, I bonded with some amazing girls and it was the trip of dreams. Ellis, Leah, Sien, Loren, Jess, Mimi, Latifah, Katie and Daisy. Some absolute girl bosses that I love so much! (Click the link on their names to follow them on Instagram!) It was such an amazing time. A few months later I went to Manchester for the reveal of the Feel Good drinks campaign we filmed in Spain and saw all of the girls again.

Of course, one thing I’ve not actually mentioned on my blog but has changed my life monumentally… I GOT BRACES. After years and years of longing for nicer teeth, I was finally put in contact with an orthodontist willing to give me them (of course, it was more complicated than usual). Due to my Cystic Hygroma, it was difficult for me to get them fitted by a standard orthodontist. I do believe everything happens for a reason and I am glad I waited because I fully trust my orthodontist and I have one of the best in the country. My teeth have changed so much already and I’m so much more confident. I’m so lucky to have such fantastic treatment on the NHS.

Another achievement of 2017, my lovely mother nominated me for a Glass Slipper award and I was shortlisted to the top 3 for Young Achiever! So in February, I shall be at the awards ceremony finding out if I won the award. You can read more here: http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/meet-inspirational-women-who-been-14007362

I also:

  • I visited the Lake District for a few days with my Dad.
  • Spent a tonne of time with my friends and family.
  • Got a new job.
  • Became so confident in myself and really learned to love who I am.
  • Visited the Social Chain offices and felt a little star struck.
  • Made lots of new friends (and lost a few).
  • Went to a tonne of blogging events.
  • Got to my Instagram goal of 20k and managed to create a really good platform for myself
  • Spent a tonne of time with my friends and made so many unforgettable memories.
  • I worked with some of my favourite brands including Charlotte Tilbury, Kiss Lashes, Magnitone, Feel Unique and more.
  • I watched a YouTube channel and one of my videos hit 28,000 views!
  • Met up with Andy White, who was imperative to help raise money so I could have the surgery I needed as a child. It was wonderful meeting him again after all of the years have passed!

Looking back, it’s easy for me to reflect on the year and brush past all of the amazing things that happened because I lost so many loved ones. Not only did I lost my Auntie who raised me, but I also lost an Auntie to MS just a short while ago, and a cousin too. I also learned a lot about friendships and how not everyone has your best interest at heart. Sometimes, people can gang up and spread rumours even though you thought they were your friends. This year, I will learn to keep my circle a little smaller. It has really put my life into perspective and I just want to have a good time, enjoy my life and take every opportunity that comes my way. 2017 was the best and the worst year of my life.

If you got this far, thank you. If you skipped most of it to get to the bottom, well. I mean I don’t blame you. It’s 1,800 words so far.

To every single person who engages with my content, thank you. To the people who support me, thank you. You do not go unnoticed and I would never be in this position without the constant support I am given by so many wonderful people.

To 2018, may it be a year of success for us all.

I love you all lots x

A Coastal Escape with Tyne and Wear Metro

I love where I live. I’m close to the coast and also the city, so if I want to escape or immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle, or chill out with a gorgeous coastal walk. I’m lucky enough that I can jump on a Metro and find myself in either destination within half an hour.

I get the Metro almost daily, whether it be going to work, for meetings or visiting friends. It’s such a convenient way for me to travel. When Metro got in touch with me and asked me if I’d like to document my day out using the Metro, I jumped at the chance. There are so many wonderful places in the North East that I love and want to show you all. For this day, I chose Tynemouth.

Tynemouth is a gorgeous place and boasts a lot of amazing features. Tynemouth Priory, Tynemouth Market and a wonderful chocolatier called Gareth James.

Just as you step off the Metro, you’re slap bang in the middle of the infamous Tynemouth Market. Filled with wonderful trinkets, food stalls and bits and bobs, it’s easy to get lost in the treasure trove of findings. My Mum and I had a wander, reminiscing the time we came here many years ago. I bought my first vinyl (still haven’t bought a record player!), a David Bowie single for just a few pounds and I was armed with my camera when I first started up photography.

Our next stop was lunch, we visited Allards to grab a bite to eat and both ended up getting the same meal – and drink. My mum and I opted for a fruity Old Mout cider and a burger. The presentation of the drinks at Allards was wonderful and the chips give a new definition to chunky! It was a lovely meal and we’d happily eat there again. Although, you are spoiled for choice for food when it comes to Tynemouth. There’s Lola Jeans, Riley’s Fish Shack and Longsands Kitchen for a lovely meal. I love Dil and the Bear for an afternoon coffee or a spot for lunch.

After a brisk walk and some outfit photos, we came to the Priory. A gorgeous building that sits right next to the beach. It is over 2000 years old and it has original beginnings as an Anglo-Saxon settlement. The gun battery built underground into the cliffs was designed to defend the Tyne in the First and Second World Wars. A historical piece of land, just on our doorstep. It’s also hosting the Tynemouth Food Festival on Sat 25 – Sun 26 Nov, so jump on the Metro and indulge in some food if you’re free on that weekend!

Tynemouth also boasts some cute and quirky shops, including Raspberry Bazarr. I could have spent hours in there taking photos of all of the cute little bits and trinkets, I’ll include some of my favourite photos. The outside is beautiful too, full of plants and flowers.

By around 4 pm, it was time for a coffee and afternoon treat. My family are big chocolate lovers, we eat more than we care to admit and I love having chocolate with my coffee. We were told we MUST visit Gareth James Chocolatier when we were there, and obviously as soon as I found out about it, it was top of my list. It’s a gorgeous shop, with lots of different flavours. I tried a brownie, which was gooey beyond belief and paired it with a mocha. Imagine my delight when I found out that my mocha contained actual melted chocolate. I think it was the best coffee I’d ever had! My Mam opted for a sticky toffee cake and cappuccino and that went down a treat too. A definite must-visit if you ever come to Tynemouth. With plenty of bits to take away.

One more place we wanted to visit before we headed home was the Green Ginger Arcade. Full of little stores, we picked up some sweets from the sweet shop, homemade fudge and jams before we headed home – I told you we liked sweet things!

Now it was time to tap back into the Metro and head home. I love how easy and convenient it is to use the Metro. Simply tapping in and out whilst topping up my pass once a month is so simple. It cuts the time of waiting for a machine to become free and I tell you, has saved me from missing many a Metro. If you commute or travel on Metro regularly then the MetroSaver is the ticket for you. I like paying for mine for the month, so I know I have it and don’t have to worry about paying for tickets later. There’s also the Pop PAYG, it is cheaper than adult Single and DaySaver tickets. In fact, it’s 20p cheaper than cash single tickets and 30p cheaper than cash DaySaver tickets. You can travel as many times as you like in a day, and you’ll never pay more than the daily cap (£2.60 for one zone, £3.70 for two zones, or £4.70 for all zones). And with an under 16 PAYG card travel on the Tyne and Wear Metro costs just 60p for a child’s single and £1.10 for a Child All-day Ticket.

To top up my POP card, I simply tap it on the orange sensor at any machine, select my ticket and pay. It’s really that simple! I love that I have the North East at my fingertips with Metro, I can escape the business and take a quiet stroll down the beach, or enjoy a day full of shopping in Newcastle city centre.

Metro also has many offers for places to visit around the North East. Next on my list is to try Hinnies in Whitley Bay, with their offer of a 3-course lunch and fizz for just £18 with a valid Metro ticket or pass. There’s a load more, including Blue Reef Aquarium and ice skating at the Centre for Life. Check them out here: https://www.nexus.org.uk/metro/offers

Visit https://www.nexus.org.uk/metro for more.

A huge thank you to Tyne and Wear Metro for collaborating with me on this post. 

Enter the Festive Season with Rekorderlig | How To Swedish Inspired Dinner Party

We’re officially in November, entering the party season and scouring Asos for some new clothes with a hint of glamour for the festive period. It’s time to step up our hosting game and have our friends over (because you know, it’s way too cold to leave the house).

Rekorderlig got in touch with me and asked if I’d like to host my own Swedish dinner party and show what types of food I’d pair the different flavours with. Now, there’s a certain art to Swedish dinner parties so I’m going to talk you through the rules first.

Swedish Dinner Party Rules & Etiquette

  • Never arrive even one minute early, if the party starts at 7pm, then arrive between 7:00 and 7:15.
  • Don’t sit with your partner – the whole point of a Swedish dinner party is to meet people.
  • Don’t sit immediately – whatever you do, stay standing until the host or hostess says to sit.
  • Placement of a napkin is crucial – on your lap only, never around the neck or down a shirt – and should always be placed to the left of your plate.
  • Never refuse food. Some people have special dietary requirements, and they should call ahead and alert the hosts. But they should never ever refuse food. If something particularly ghastly is served up, one should taste a tiny little bit and then tell the hosts that you’re not so hungry.
  • Get your cheers right – don not touch your drinks until you’re told. The host will usually make a toast with a glass of white wine. Not until then should you even touch your drink. Look to the person on your right and say “cheers” or “ska!” and take a sip.

Flavours of Cider

Rekorderlig has always been my cider of choice. It’s refreshing, effortlessly balanced and pure. An amazing quality taste that you will receive time and time again. Usually the drink I will opt for when I’m dining out or at a social gathering. I truly think it is super refreshing and a great choice for anyone.

Strawberry-Lime (4%) flavour perfectly embodies a Swedish summer with the authentic flavour of freshly picked strawberries. It tastes best served cold over ice with a squeeze of lime and fresh mint. It has a sweet finish with a medium body and goes best with balsamic chicken and berry cheesecake.

Wild Berries (4%) flavour is a fresh and juicy cider with the flavour and fragrance of wild blueberries and raspberries. It is a medium body and is pale pink with a mild carbonation. It is a fruity and sweet cider and goes best with shrimp and brie!

A seasonal favourite, Spiced Plum cider (4%) has flavours of plums, cherries and a mix of spices including cloves and cinnamon. It is a rich and fruity experience, it can be served hot or cold and best served with an orange. It is a beautiful deep purple colour and is spicy, warm and fruity. It is suggested to be paired with duck and gingerbread.

The Passionfruit (4%) flavour has the fragrance of ripe passionfruit and an intense tropical flavour, I like it best over ice with lime. It is light bodied, refreshing and crisp with a tropical, tangy and slightly zesty taste. It is best paired with salmon and white chocolate (maybe not both in the same dish though…)

Last but not least, my favourite. Mango-Raspberry (4%). Rekorderlig mango-raspberry cider is sweet and tropical with the intense fragrance and flavour of ripe mango with a hint of wild raspberries. It’s light pink and a medium body with a tropical, zesty and fruity taste. It goes best with smokey pulled pork and creamy cheese – two of my favourite foods!

The Food

For this dinner party, I decided to cook a few different things for the four of us. A white chocolate and berry cheesecake, Swedish meatballs, Smørrebrød (an open sandwich) and camembert with lingonberry dip. I chose these options due to the food pairings as I wanted my food to compliment the cider, and ensure that everything was a great tasting experience. It’s important that drinks are not an afterthought when it comes to food, they should compliment each other nicely and if paired right, the drink will bring out the flavour in the food.

For the white chocolate and berry cheesecake, I made the cheesecake (recipe here) and added fruit and drizzled melted white chocolate over the top. Simple, right? Paired with either Mango-Raspberry or Passionfruit Rekorderlig.

You can find the Swedish meatball recipe here. A classic, staple paired with mashed potato or chips – no Ikea trips needed.

For the Smørrebrød I opted for avocado and tomato, cheese and prosciutto and then mozzarella and tomato. Focusing on the creamy cheese to bring out the taste of the Mango-Raspberry flavour. I loved this course, it acted as my starter and I cut all of the sandwiches up so my guests could have a taste from each. It went down a storm! 

The camembert with lingonberry dip was breaded mini camemberts and I found the lingonberry dip (sort of like jam) in my local supermarket. Such an easy course but it was a lovely one! Paired with Passionfruit Rekorderlig.

So, when will you be hosting your own Swedish inspired dinner party? Let me know your favourite flavour of Rekorderlig in the comments below. Mine is Mango-Raspberry!

I love food and I love an ice cold cider, but please don’t forget to drink responsibly and be aware of how much you are consuming, and absolutely never drink and drive. A huge thank you to Rekorderlig for sponsoring this post and giving me the opportunity to share with you some of my food photography and favourite drink!