Monday, 12 November 2018

Gift Idea and Review 1: The Kevyn Aucion Prismagic Highlighting Trio.

  

With Christmas coming up, I wanted to do a few more post reviewing products which I think would make great gifts, from beauty to books and everything in between. These will all be things I own and have used and enjoyed myself so the series will create a 'sort of' detailed gift guides for the 20 something female.

First up we have the Kevyn Aucoin Prismagic Highlighting Trio. I got this for my birthday and was chuffed for it. It makes a great gift as it's luxury and a little unusual. It's not necessarily something you'd buy for yourself with the £36 price tag for three shades but if you really want to treat someone I think this highlighting trio is pretty special.

At first glance, the shade all look a sort of off-white colour with some glitter running through, however, once you apply them to the skin, the different colours show through, and, they all have an iridescent, glitter finish, which is just stunning.

The three shades are:

Aura: a beautiful lavender blue shade
Illusion: a sparkling peach shade
Enchanted: a green with a golden edge to it


I'll admit the blue and green shades are both a little out there for highlighters, despite however beautiful a glowy they are, I'm not particularly drawn to brushing these along my cheekbones, however, they make for stunning eyeshadows.

The formula is ever so slightly crumbly, however, with how I use the shades it doesn't seem too much of an issue. They still blend well and look gorgeous on the skin. Once applied on a brush, it is difficult to see how much product you've got on there, so it takes a little guesswork, but as shades apply quite subtly, only really standing out when you hit the light, too much product doesn't seem an issue. The shadows are buildable, so there is always the option of adding more.

The colours are both subtle and stand out at the same time. They apply quite finely, adding a hint of colour and a stunning glittery glow to the skin, but despite the vibrant shades, they are not too over-powering, they are simply a little more interesting than your average pink/gold toned highlighter.

The packaging is beautiful and luxurious. There is a little swatch of each colour next to the shades to give some idea of what they look like on the skin and there is also a mirror inside the compact. It's small enough to slip into a handbag although the gold reflective outside is just beginning for fingerprints, it looks beautiful and classy nonetheless.





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Friday, 9 November 2018

27 things I've learned in 27 years.


Earlier this week, I turned 27, so today today, I thought I'd share somethings I've learnt along the way.

1) Nothing clears the mind, quite like a walk in the woods with friends.

2) You are the most important person in your life. I am the most important person in my own life. However selfish it might seem, always put yourself first.

3) Friendships change, and sometimes you need to let go of them, not everything needs to last forever

4) Not everyone will always agree with you and that really doesn't matter. Not everyone will like you, and that really doesn't matter either.

5) Kindness is always more important than it seems.

6) What you wear, who you spend your time with and the media you consume will affect how you feel.

7) Just because something looks good on paper, it doesn't mean it will be that way in reality, that goes for people, jobs and the lives of others as they're portrayed on social media.

8) If someone ghosts you, let them. There's no need to try to start a new conversation after they didn't reply. There no need to dramatically ask them what you've done wrong (nothing), and don't bother to call them out on it, you're better off using your energy elsewhere

9) The feelings can't be helped, but how you react to those feeling can be.

10) Never respond when you're angry.

11) You will make mistakes, but at some point, you've got to forgive yourself. Reliving things in your head, will not change the past.

12) You can survive without the relationship you feel dependent on.

13) It's always worth making your bedroom a nice place to be. Light candles. Make your bed every morning. Put your washing away.

14) Always pee before you paint your nails

15) Give yourself a little longer than you think you need in the morning.

16) Mediation makes a huge difference

17) At some point exercise stops being like year 10 PE, you're better off to learn that sooner rather than later.

18) If you're uninspired, take a break. You're probably not reading enough, pick up a book.

19) Love doesn't matter as much as the romcoms make out.

20) Friendships require maintenance. You need to check in with your friends, be the one to organise meeting up. Send them flowers and let them know you appreciate them.

21) Spontaneous nights out are usually the best ones.

22) You've got to give yourself a permission slip - It's down to you, to let yourself do the things you want to, and be the person you want to be, nobody else. No one else will give you a green light to go for what you want, it's all on you.

23) No one knows you, like you, listen to your intuition over other people

24) No feeling lasts forever.

25) Feminist are not 'hairy angry women'. They are strong, important men and women who want to make the world better for everyone.

26) What others choose to do with their body is nothing to do with anyone else. Whether somebody wants to change their gender, not shaving or say goodbye to make up. It only becomes your business when it's your body and your mind.

27) You're allowed to like what you like and want what you want.

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Outfit Details: 


Leopard Coat (Similar)  - Jumper (similar) - Jeans (similar) - Shoes - Doctor Martens - Headscarf (similar)

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Wednesday, 7 November 2018

5 Memories from 26.



Above, is a photo which was taken on my 26th birthday, and now, very soon I am turning 27.



Being 26, was kind of a big deal for me. I have a thing for the number 26, with no logical other than, I really like it, so, on turning 26 years old, I had big plans for the year, it was going to be the best year of my life. Well, I'm not sure that's completely true to say, but I feel like it's carried some good memories, 5 of my favourite memories from this past year.



1) Birthday Celebrations 


26 began with a bang, I made an effort to really celebrate my birthday, going for a day out with my family and both meal and night out with my friends, indulging on all the special birthday feelings. Blog post on that here.




2)Vienna 


My friend Matt and I went for a weekend away in Vienna. Over those few days, I became very fond of the city. It's strange how a place can start to feel so familiar and comforting in such a short amount of time. By far, my favourites parts of it were the National Library and the incredible greenhouse which we just happened to stumble upon. Full blog post on the trip here.


4) A Summer of harbourside walks and aesthetically pleasing coffee shops with Kelsey 


Summer was full of happy memories for me. The weather was incredible and therefore myself and my friend Kelsey spent a lot of time wandering along the harbourside, drinking coffee and sharing secrets. I laughed so much, fancied pretty much every barista, and it was wonderful.




5) Portugal 


This year, I went on a beach holiday, something which I hadn't done for years. I forgot how calming it is sitting on the beach, with a good book, the happiness that comes with feeling the waves as you laugh with friends in the sea. Full blog post here.



5) A new start


 This memory is more recent, and I wanted to include it because it's pivotal to the rest of my life. This year, not so long ago, I left the job I'd work in for years because it wasn't on the career path I wanted to be on. So far it's been challenging, but that decision is something I know will change my life for the better.  More on that here.


Now bring on 27, I'm excited to see what you've got planned for me!


Love always,
C x



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Friday, 2 November 2018

Dear Diary,



My mum tried to, kindly, talk to me about the big 'what next'. She told me that I need to think about it. I haven't been able to stop crying since, because it's all I've been thinking about and still I don't have the answer.

Everything I want to do with my life takes the building, and it seems people in the career paths I want to be in, have been given different bricks to me. I'm not saying they didn't work for it, because I know they did. But what happens when the work doesn't seem to be paying off? When you're completely invisible, how do you make yourself seen? The work never seems to form anything tangible. Other people just don't seem to care about it, does that mean it's time to give up?

I don't want to spend the rest of my life, in a job I dislike, I want a career I'm proud of, one which I've built with my own two hands, but maybe I'm incapable of that.

Logically, I know they haven't, but I feel the people around me have waltzed into the right careers and I've barely taken a step forward since graduating if anything I've stepped backwards.

I turn 27 soon, and I don't have a job, which for someone who reads endless career books, is heartbreaking.

People keep telling me "loads of people have jobs they don't want" I know they do, but is it really such a bad thing that I want more than that for myself? Wanting to enjoy my life, is not too much to ask for, surely.

I guess there's nothing to do, but keep working, and hopefully, in the future, I'll have some more positive diary entries to share,

Love,
Chloe x


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Monday, 29 October 2018

October Round Up


October has been a quiet month for me. I've not really done all that much, but I have found myself watching a little too much Netflix so this monthly round-up could be a tad TV-heavy.

What I've been up to:


- Watching too much: Somehow this has been the month I've realised I actually love binge watching new things, it's probably a sign I've had too much time on my hands. I have discovered some great Netflix series though (more details on what in the watching section of this post).

- Moving Bedrooms - My sister recently moved out, so now her old bedroom has had a spruce up, I've moved my things across the corridor, into the bigger bedroom. I've spent a lot of time organising my belonging, trying my make my new space feel like mine.

- Going for dinner with my friend Jess: My friend Jess and I have been for dinner a couple of times this month to try out new menus and catch up, so I've eaten a lot of yummy food and had many lovely, and hilarious chats.

- Taking myself for coffee: It's been nice to get out of the house and type away while sipping a delicious latte. I'm always more productive in a coffee shop, so taking myself out for coffee has been a nice way to break up my days and ensure I'm getting the work done.

- Writing. Because that's what I do.

- A Spontaneous Night Out: Dancing in a gay club with my friends, having only decided hours before that we were going turned out to be one of the best alcohol infused nights I've had in a while

- Pumpkin Carving: After complaining to my friend Matt about my lack of Halloween plans we decided to spend a Friday night carving pumpkins and drinking hot chocolates. I was over ambitious with my pumpkin design and decided to go for, so naturally, one of the bats looked like it had a broken wing - but I had a great time doing it, nonetheless.



Watching:

Riverdale: Oh, so Riverdale... I'm a little obsessed. I'm utterly confused about the genre, sometimes it is crime investigation, sometimes it's teen romance, sometimes it's supernatural and sometimes it's musical, however, this weird mash-up seems to work. As it has gone on, my opinion of Cheryl Blossom has changed and she is now my idol. Also, I think Jughead is kind of wonderful. I'll be honest, I think the new session may have gone a little too far down the supernatural route, but it's only on the second episode as I write this, so things could change.

A Typical: I love this Netflix series a lot. It's about the life of a teenage boy and his family. Sam the main character is on the autistic spectrum. They a normal family dynamic, each character with their own issues and story. It's just quite wholesome. It's funny at times and sad at other times and all it feels very real.

The Mind of Jake Paul: This series was great, unlike anything I'd ever watched on Youtube before. I know people have been complaining that it humanised Jake Paul too much... but he is a human, so why should be not be seen as one? Yeah, I get that he's messed up before and can be seen as problematic, but it was interesting to see another side to him, to find out more of what's made him, how he is. I just thought this was great tbh.

You Me Her: I have never heard of this Netflix series before I watched it, but honestly it's great. The series is based around a married couple who both fall in love with a college student. It explores sexuality, polyamorous relationships, societies expectations of relationships, family dynamics. It's just really interesting, a lot more happens in the series that you'd expect.

All I See is You: This film is starring Blake Lively tells the story of a blind woman who regains her vision and how that impacts her marriage. This film is very beautifully shot, and very thought-provoking, but also a little confusing at times.

The Kissing Booth: I rewatched this and remember how much I love this film. The is the story of how a kissing booth brings a relationship to life. It's just a feel-good teen rom-com.

Reading

Articles:
Dolly Alderton on Personality Types in The Sunday Times Style.
Dolly Alderton on Confronting the Man Who Ghosted Her in The Sunday Times Style
Sir Philip Green named in Parliament as businessman at centre of Britain's #MeToo scandal in The Telegraph
Vera Papisova on Why Breaking Up and Being SIngle is Actually the Best in Teen Vogue


Books:
Playing Big by Tara Mohr
The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
Feminist Don't Wear Pink and Other Lies by Scarlett Curtis

Blogs:
Carly Rowena on Body Positivity
The Anna Edit: My Top Reads of 2018 so far
What Olivia Did: 5 Skincare Favourites


Listening:

Podcasts
Feminist Don't Wear Pink with Helen Fielding
On the Line with Eileen Kelly on Embracing Your Sexuality
Don't Panic on How to Host a Halloween Party


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Friday, 26 October 2018

Introducing a new blog series...Dear Diary,




I don't usually introduce the type of blog content I want to write, however, in this post, I want to talk a little about a blog series I've got planned before I go ahead and hit the publish button on some more personal posts.


I've always been somebody who has kept diaries. On and off through the years, I've written down my emotions. I've put pen to paper to figure out where I'm at with life. Diary writing is that it's very raw, which is exactly why I want to do a blog series on it.

Something that is very important to me writing this blog is that I'm authentic, true to myself, that I'm human and I'm imperfect and learning. Blog posts in the style of diary entries will be invasive, yes. They will be real and raw, and personally, I think that's exactly how all the writing that really speaks to me is.


I'm not 100% sure what form they will take, each one may vary, but here are some things you can have:

1) Photo diaries, something more visual, using my photography to walk you through something of my favourite days.

2) Talking about the events, and the people in my life, letting you into what my ways look like, from the boring ones to the more exciting ones.

3) How I'm feeling, honestly. At the moment that I'm writing, my worries, my gratitude. All the shadow and light that crosses my mind. I'm going to try to be vulnerable here because I think that matters. The stream of conscious posts will remain that, almost unedited as if the pages in my diary.

4) Short posts

5) Long posts

6) Exploring. my relationships, my emotions, who I am, and what shapes that.

7) Hurt that I'm feeling, happiness that I'm experiencing. Good days, and bad days.

I guess it will take a while to get into the swing to writing these, so we'll soon see how they turn out.


I want this to feel like a safe space, and this may do the opposite, but I hope by giving you a real peek into my imperfect mind, others might find comfort, and maybe I will too.


I wish I'd kept all of my old journals to look back over, but they've ended up binned, so now I'll keep them here, for anyone to read. These post I'm hoping will work well with the vlogs I've started to film (you can find my youtube channel here) as I've decided to start documenting, this very lost chapter of my life, capture my life while I'm figuring things out - the first of which will go live Wenesday.


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Monday, 22 October 2018

Something has got to change.





Recently, I've found my self a little underwhelmed by my life, a little gutted that it isn't fuller. I've realised the life I'm living, is far from what I want. I've been wracking my brain endlessly, hoping for a solution to come to mind, something I can change to make everything fall into place, because where I am right now, does not feel on the money.

I've considered how to put things right, what I can change. I left the job I was unhappy in. I did a whole lot of unfollowing on social media, I spent a full day 'hinching' my bedroom. Now, I'm unemployed, my social media feeds are quieter and my room is clean, and my life is still unfulfilled.


Then something hit me, the thing I need to work on changing is not my surroundings, it's me. The life I lead now, is the life which I attracted. It's sort of a shit show, and that's all down to down to me.

I've been struggling lately. I've felt very alone and lost. I've been playing the victim, but now is the time I stop. It's the time I recognise a lot of this struggle is caused by the consequences of my own actions. My actions are something I can change and it's time for a change.

Of course, everything about this concept is daunting. Old habits die hard, you don't wake up one day and become a new person, it's a process.

So here are some things I'm going to work on changing:

1) Say yes, even when I'd rather spend my evening in the pjs reading my book  - I'm going to try to be more open to meeting new people, going to different places and just getting out more. I automatically sale my life short by choosing to stay in my bedroom when there is a whole world out there.

2) Run with ideas rather than putting them to the back of my mind - I tend to have loads of ideas buzzing around my head, and the majority of them get ignored, I guess mainly down to fear of trying. I'm going to try to ignore the fear, rather than the ideas and see how that works out for me.

3) Read more self-help and actually put the advice into practice - I'm a little obsessed with those slightly cringy self-help books. I tend to read them, but not actually do that much with the knowledge in them. I feel inspired for a day afterwards, and then I go back to living the same old life, rather than make the changes.

4) Practise what I preach: Meditate daily, write daily, read daily, keep a gratitude journal.

5) Fake it until I make it: Do the work I'd be doing if I already had the life I wanted.

6) Set realistic goals: Sometimes I think my goals can be over-ambitious, which then makes them scary, and leaves me doing nothing. I need to start concentrating on the next 5 minutes of my life instead of the next few years.

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Monday, 15 October 2018

Eyeliner Obsession | Kiko Super Colour Eyeliner Review.



If you follow me on Instagram, you might know that I recently went through a blue eyeliner phase. The electric blue liner I'd had for months was no longer forgotten at the back of my makeup drawer, instead, I used it most days. I was so impressed with the formula, I found myself spending far more than I intended to in a Kiko Cosmetics store on their 'Super Colour eyeliner' in a fair few shades.

So, after using these for a few months, I can say the shade I first fell in love with, 107 Blue Majorelle is still my favourite, closely followed by the brown shade, 102 Bronze.


Here's the lowdown on the shades I picked up and my thoughts on them:




109 Pearly Purple Cranesbill 


This purple shade has an iridescent glitter running through it, which gives it a pearly looking sparkle.


102 Bronze


This brown shade had a metallic bronze look to it. It contains some glitter but it's much finer and more subtle than the glitter in the shade 109.







108 Pearly Frivolous Pink


I was most excited to get my hands on this pink shade, however, ended up being disappointed with this colour. I find this shade takes a lot more building up than the others and without layering the colour pay off isn't as strong as I'd like. This shade had some so glitter running through it.









115 Midnight Blue  

This deep navy shade is slightly 'flatter' than the rest which is what I like about it, there's not intense glitter running through and only a slight metallic edge to it, it's more subtle and understated.



101 Shimmering Gold 

I'm wearing this shade today, and I've got to say, it feels kind of 'christmasy'. Like the pink one, I find this shade required a bit more build up to get a strong colour pay off. There is plenty of gold glitter in this liner which I think gives it the Christmas feel. The name of this shade Shimmering Gold is completely on point.


107 Blue Majorelle

This is the liner which led me to the others, my favourite. I'd describe this shade a bright, electric blue. There is no glitter in this one, and it's not really metallic, the colour is statement enough without it. You can see a picture of me wearing it here.


The Kiko Super Colour Eyeliner is the longest lasting eyeliner I have ever used. To test this out, I've worked in a nursery from 7.30am -5.30om and at the end of the day, my eyeliner was the only remaining makeup on my face, and it had hardly moved. I've also worn this eyeliner to work out and it's lasted. I've had a full night out, got home and drunkenly misbehaved by not taking off my make up, and in the morning although I felt hanging, my eyeliner looked fresh and fully intact.

However, the long-lasting formula does dry slightly 'crusty', it dries with a sort of hard texture to it, which doesn't always feel or look the nicest to wear, and makes the liner feel more low end, but at the £6.80 price point, it's to be expected at that finish isn't the most luxury.

I love the applicator. The wand is fine, pointed and fairly flexible towards the point, which for me takes the fear out of applying winged liner. The wands make it easy to get right, and the long lid, give some leeway with how you hold the liner when applying it.

I was a little disappointed with some of the shades, I expected a little more colour with some of the 'super colour' I found the shades of the gold, brown and pink to be a little flatter than I expected, I was hoping for something which popped a little more (as the blue does), but overall I have got use out of all the colours - more so than I have with some of my highend eyeliner.


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Friday, 12 October 2018

Chasing Little Joys.




On listening to a Nobody Panic podcast, on happiness, I found myself thinking about little joys. I'm someone who chasing tends the big things. I've found myself wrapped in sadness because the big things aren't happening to the timeline which I've decided is appropriate, and when these things do happen, I've built them up so high, that they're often underwhelming.

My main focus has shifted recently. I'm looking for happiness in all the places it hides. I'm searching for the smallest joys in my most mediocre days. Yes, this blog post is probably up there with one of the most cheesy things I've written, but I'm okay with that because I think with gratitude we become a magnet of good things. Yes, I am a law of attraction wanker.



Places I've found happiness recently:


  • One returning from babysitting one Saturday night, rather than heading straight to bed, I found myself, my mum and my stepdad crowded around a phone singing Robbie Williams Angels. I'm not sure how it came about, but it was the purest happiest moment. We're all terrible, like really terrible at singing. English is my stepdads second language so naturally, he was getting the lyrics wrong. The shambles of this heartfelt performance that my neighbours probably hated us for made me grateful, that at 26 years old, I still live with two of my favourite people. It doesn't matter that I'm an adult living with my parents when I have a bloody great time with them.
  • Wearing my favourite perfume - Spritzing on a bit of Glossier You, or Laura Mercier Ambre Passion sends a smile to my face every time I catch a whiff of myself and remember I smell delicious.
  • Listening to a good podcast - Nobody Panic Podcast never fails to make me laugh, and CTRL ALT DELETE  always leaves me feeling inspired.
  • In exercise - Crazy, I know, but there's something about only focusing on my body and nothing more.
  • In texts from friends - from chats about Joe Sugg on Strictly to messages to let me know they're proud, I've found myself smiling at Whatsapp a lot recently.
  • In books - Recently I've got into reading YA fiction again and there's something nostalgic about reading about teenage crushes and friendship, it just feels very wholesome.
  • In ticking off to-do lists - A wave of relief and the feeling of accomplishment always washes over me after a productive day.
  • In cups of tea and magazine articles - This Sunday tradition of mine always leaves me feeling content, so much so that it's become more of a daily tradition than a Sunday one.
  • A social media break - Things we're getting a bit much recently so I decided I needed a bit of social media free time, because follow counts, likes and losing the day to Instagram doesn't always make me feel great, so I deleted the twitter and Instagram apps from my phone and had a few days without worrying about what to post next and scrolling other peoples lives instead of living mine. I'm not perfect, so I obviously slip up a few times and had a peak on the newsfeeds, but I spent so much less time glued to my phone and didn't check Instagram the moment I woke. I might have lost a couple of followers but it was good for my soul.



How I'm making my day to day more joyful:


- Getting dressed every morning, wearing clothes that make me feel good.

- No saving my best, for best. Every day I should be living my best life.

- Turning off my phone more

- Buying what I want, not what's cheapest

- Listening to my intuition.

- Taking breaks when I need them but not letting them lead to unnecessary procrastination.



Photography: madeleiinegraceblogs ... I know you've seen photos from this shoot again and again in posts, I'm sorry - but I love them, so why not get my use out of them!
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Monday, 8 October 2018

Women I admire.




After feeling absolutely disgusted that Topshop took down the Feminist Don't Wear Pink pop-up, I wanted to bring a bit of girl power to my blog, so I thought I'd move forward a post I had scheduled for later in the month...


Here is a list of women I admire:


Scarlett Curtis 

Yes, I drafted this list before the whole Topshop thing, and yes, Scarlett Curtis was someone it was inspired by. Scarlett is just doing so many good things for women, she is so wise and spreading so many good messages in the work she does with the Pink Protest, in her journalism, in her use of social media and now through her book and podcast. I am obsessed with her podcast, and I can't wait to read more of her book.


Gina Martin

Gina is bloody inspiring. She campaigned to get the law against upskirting put into place, she spent some much time working to create change for other women, the world would be a better place if we were all this selfless. And beyond that, she often uses her platforms to talk about environmental issues on a day to day bases. I find her Instagram stories are the place to go to be educated on political and environmental issues in a digestible, unpatronising way.



Emma Watson

I feel my understanding of feminism grew a lot from Emma Watson's 'He for She' campaign, it taught me it's not a dirty word and it's wonderful to see someone use there influence for more than selling teeth whitening stripes.


My friend Jaynie 

My friend Jaynie most likely won't expect to have made this list, however, I find she is someone who speaks conversationally and eloquently about issues such as slut-shaming, animal welfare and everyday sexism, so when I decided I wanted to I included someone I know in this list, Jaynie was the first person to come to mind.


Lucy Siegle

I first discovered Lucy when she came to guest lecture at my University. She spoke to us about sustainable fashion and environmental issues. Since I have followed her on twitter and have learnt so much about the impact we have on the environment from her post, she has made me want to be a better person and take better care of our planet.


Victoria Magath/Inthefrow

Victoria is a blogger whose work ethic I really admire, you can see in the quality and quantity of the content she puts out that the girl works undeniably hard. You can see she is quite literally building her dreams and that determination is something we could all do with a bit more of.


Liv Purvis

Liv seems to be the kindest most down to earth blogger, and beyond that, she recently founded The Insecure Girls' Club, and it's just what the internet needs. The fact that she decided to create a hub to make us girls feel better about ourselves is really something.



If you're looking for some new women to follow, this girl gang I think about capable of changing the world, so they're worth having on your radar!

As ever, please let me know some of the great women you admire


C x



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Friday, 5 October 2018

Improving my Relationship with my Phone.

Illustration by Ella Masters.


I am well and truly addicted to my phone, and honestly, I hate myself for it. I don't want to spend my time constantly looking at the screen, and losing hours of my life scrolling through Instagram. I love my phone, but sometimes I wonder if I was happier before iPhones were a thing. My phone is both my favourite and least favourite thing. It's great that I can fit so much technology in my pocket, that I have google maps if I get lost and I've always got a camera on me. But honestly, sometimes WhatsApp notification leaving me feeling anxious, and I feel a constant pressure to document life rather than just live it. Sometimes I find myself scrolling and before I've even realised it's happening I've wasted an hour. So with that in mind, my phone and I have headed off the couples therapy and I'm working on building a new positive relationship with it that isn't all consuming.

Here are some of the ways I'm making my time on the phone more positive:

Turning it off 

Actually switching it off, and putting it in a drawer, as if it's a Nokia 3310. It's weird what a difference this makes. It's a reminder that I can be without it, I don't feel tempted to use it as a means of procrastination and it taught me that the world will not end when it's not on. I actually get things done when it's off and when it comes back on, hell I'm reading twitter updated that I haven't already seen four times before and social media actually becomes enjoyable again.

Not sleeping with it under my pillow 

My excuse for sleeping with my phone under my pillow has always been the alarm app, but honestly, I just found myself scrolling Instagram at 2am instead of snoozing. No smart alarm is going to make me less tired in the morning if I'm spending my nights staring at the light of my phone. So, I finally gave in and started placing my phone the other side of the room before bed, it cuts out the late night phone time, which means I sleep better and getting up in the morning is so much easier when I have no choice but to cross my bedroom to turn off that alarm.


Making use of screen time 

The new iPhone update came with the Screen Time feature so you can track how much you're using your phone, only allow use on certain apps for a certain amount of time, and personally, I think it's great, it's worth utilizing. I've set the downtime on my phone so, once it hits 10pm each night, my phone locks the majority of my apps, making it harder to access them. It gives you the option to unlock them, for the night or just for 15 mins, but it's a great reminder to give myself a bit of time away from the screen before settling down to bed.


Deleting some apps 

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but I've found deleting certain apps has meant I've spent less time on my phone, using apps which I didn't make me feel good. I used to find myself spending my time on Snapchat and Facebook and really gaining nothing from it. Deleting the apps takes away that temptation.


Unfollowing 

 I'm sure you've heard it a thousand times before, but unfollowing those whos updates you don't enjoy changes everything. Laura Jane Williams once described Instagram to me as my own personal magazine which I get to curate myself, with that in mind, I tried to make sure it's a magazine which I enjoy every part of, that I come away from feeling good. I'm feeling more liberated with the unfollow button and social media has become a nicer place to be.


Forest App 

Once again, something I've previously mentioned, but if you struggling to put that phone down, or find yourself reaching for it when you should be working, this app is perfect. You set a time limit to grow and virtual tree, and you cannot use your phone until the tree has grown, it's surprising motivation working to grow fake plants.


I hope this helps if you're looking to tone down the phone addiction, I'm certainly spending less on my time looking at the little screen since I've put these things in place.


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Monday, 1 October 2018

September Round Up.






I thought it would be nice to wave goodbye to September with a little round up of my month, including all that I got up to and my favourite bits of all the media I consumed...

What I've Been Up To:

- Writing: A whole lot of writing. I finally feel as though I'm making strides on the book I've been banging on about for months. It feels good to actually be writing it, rather than just talking about writing it, which I found was happening earlier in the year. I've also been writing and sending pitches into magazines, and you may have noticed I've bumped up my blog posts to twice a week (Monday mornings and Friday lunchtimes FYI). This has been a month of getting my head down and trying to get ahead with my to-do lists, so I don't spend the rest of the year chasing my own tail trying to keep up with my writing tasks.

- Hjs Birthday: My friend Hannah celebrated turning 27 at the start of the month, so we enjoyed a birthday tea with some close friends and her family. We ate too much cake and had lots of lovely chats.

- Influencer Collective Event: Myself and my friend Madi attended the first ever Influencer Collective event, which was held in a beautiful bar in Bristol. Although I've blogged for years, I've not been to very many blogger events, so I was excited to go to this one. I was a little nervous at first, I'm naturally very shy, so I find events with people I don't know to be a tad overwhelming, but everyone made me feel very welcome. It was lovely to meet some other Bristol based bloggers and influencers. I left with a huge goody bag, and smile on my face, feeling very grateful for the blogging community.

- Wills and Emmas Wedding: This month, my big brother finally got married! They decided Vegas wedding was more suited to them, so sadly I couldn't be there, but I am so happy they finally tied the knot. We all had a drink at home as we watched the video to celebrate. It felt very surreal. I can't wait to celebrate altogether when they return from their holiday.

- Ryleighs First Birthday: My best friends Jaynie's little baby Ryleigh turned 1 which is completely insane. But nonetheless, it's cause for celebration. We enjoyed an afternoon of giant jenga, twister and baby cuddles to celebrate.

 - Decoration Plans: Not so long ago, my sister moved out of the family home, so besides the house is a whole lot quieter, it means one thing, I finally get a decent sized bedroom. At the ages of 26 I can wave goodbye to my single bed, but before doing so, the room needs a little spruce up. So this month I have begun looking at paint samples, peeling wallpaper and planning my future bedroom, please send any interior inspo my way!



Watching:

Netflix

- Gossip Girl: Now, I'm going to be completely honest, in typical a Chloe fashion, I've watched the entire Gossip Girl series twice in a row. That right. I finished the series and headed straight back to Season 1 Episode 1. As soon as I found out who gossip girl was, I felt a niggling desire to rewatch it to analyse if that made sense, obsessive I know. The first episode I found quite problematic, especially for Chuck's character, but other than that, I love the series. I'm a little obsessed with Blairs and Chucks relationship, which again, is overly problematic, but there's something about the chemistry between the two. On watching the series the second time around, I also realised, I really don't like Serena's character as much as I originally thought I did. Dorota is obviously my favourite character. Anyway, if you're late to the party like I was, it's worth attending. It's sort of like a hybrid between Pretty Little Liars and One Tree Hill - so worth a watch.

- To All The Boys I've Loved Before: I've already given something thoughts on this in this blog post. I liked this chick flick, young adult rom-com - despite being aimed at girls 10 years younger than me, this is exactly the genre of film I love, something carefree, with romance. However, I do think because of the hype surrounding it, I found the film slightly disappointing, but I did still enjoy it.

- Sierra Burgess is a Loser: Like many of the reviews I read, I did find this film problematic. Throughout the film Sierra catfishes a guy, pretending to be the pretty girl who's bullied her. Her bully then becomes her friend and helps her catfish the guy. I get what they were trying to do, but it is really not okay to catfish someone, although it might be possible to become friends with someone who has previously bullied you, there would need to be some sort of a conversation, a confrontation about your past with that person, and why on earth did Sierra's friends not convince her, that actually she is good enough for the guy as herself. I don't think films always get it right when they try to explore social media (as they did on All the Boys I Loved Before). I did enjoy watching this film, but I don't think it put across a great message. However, I bloody love Noah Centineo as an actor, and I'm pleased he's appearing in more things (next I'd like him to take on the role of the groom at my wedding tbh).


YouTube

- Sam Ozkural: As I'm enjoying learning more about the Law of Attraction, I've been watching a lot of YouTube videos on it. Sam Ozkural is someone I've enjoyed coming back to, I find after watching her videos I feel positive and motivated. I don't love the 'diet' type videos she puts up, but I just choose not to watch those ones.

- Shane Dawson: The Mind of Jake Paul: Obviously. Some think this is problematic, personally, I think it's interesting. Sure, Jake doesn't deserve the attention, but he gets it elsewhere anyway, so it may as well be in the form of a documentary trying to understand why he is how he is, right? Shane definitely got carried away with the horror style editing in the second episode of the series, but other than that, I think it's great.


TV

- X-Factor - I rarely turn on the TV. I'm just not really a TV person, if I'm watching something it tends to be either YouTube or Netflix until this time of year comes around and I sit down with my Mum and stepdad to watch The X-Factor. Now if I'm honest, I think aspects of it are outdated, and personally I kind of think it's had its time - I can't see it lasting many more series, but I've got to say, Louis Tomlinson has given it a breath of fresh air, and as much as I don't love it like I used to, I do enjoy spending time with my family watching it.

- Strictly - I'm not usually a fan of Strictly, as I just mentioned we're an X-Factor household and it tends to be one or the other. However, although I'm slightly outside of his usual demographic, I bloody love Joe Sugg, so like many, I'm curious to see him dance, dressed in sequins. I think I could get quite into it. So far, I find the episodes tend to drag a little, and sometimes they're a bit too cringe, but the dancing is impressive nonetheless, so I'm hoping I'll get more hooked as the series goes on.


Reading Material:

Books:


To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han: I wrote a full review on this here.

PS I Still Love You by Jenny Han: I've finished the second is the series of To All The Boys I've Loved Before. I won't say much as I don't want to give anything anyway, but I didn't like it as much as the first one. It was good in the sense that I wanted to keep reading, but I found a lot of the relationships in the story felt very immature. I liked the introduction of Stormy's character. There was also less of Margot's character in this book which I somewhat appreciated. There was also less of Josh's character which felt a shame, and quite a lot of John's character considering how much of a small role he played in the first book. I'm on to the third one, so once I finish that I'll let you know my thoughts on the serious a whole.

You Are A Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero: This book is great for getting in a positive mindset with money. I love the style of writing, Jen has a friendly but firm tone which I like. I find this book very motivating and inspiring. It is something you have to go into reading with an open mind, it discusses the Law of Attraction a lot throughout, you have to be open to that concept to get all you might want from the book.


Blogs
Madeleiine Grace: What I Learnt from All the Boys I've Loved

In The Frow: Why We Shouldn't Be Afraid to Praise Ourselves

Liv Purvis: Introducing The Insecure Girls' Club

Wonderful--You: My Career Journey

Hannah Gale: 29


Magazines:
Zadie Smith on Aging in Elle (Oct 18)

Dolly Alderton on Why She's Done with Dating in The Sunday Times Style

Selena Forrest on Viewpoint on Sexuality and Owning It in Vogue (Oct 18)

The Beckhams in Vogue (Oct 18)

Dolly Alderton on The Piers and Paula Theory in Red (Oct 18)

Emma Freud Interview with Ferne Cotton in Red (Oct 18)


Listening

Podcasts:

- On The Line: Break-ups with Jules Von Hep

- Feminist Don't Wear Pink with Jameela Jamil

- The Fringe of It with Gina Martin

- Millennial Love: Breaking the Stigma of being Single

- At Home with: Callie Thorpe


Excited for:

Feminist Don't Wear Pink and Other Lies by Scarlett Curtis

The remainder of Shane Dawsons In The Mind of Jake Paul

My friend Jess visiting.

Crunchy Autumn Leaves.

Autumn Jumpers.



I hope you had a great month too, let me know your favourite bits from it! 
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Friday, 28 September 2018

My Bullet Journal This Month.




Something which has come hand in hand with leaving my job, and attempting this writing thing, is more use of my bullet journal. I've spoken about my bullet journal several times before (here, here and here) however now more than ever, it feels as though my bujo is well and truly my lifeline.

At the start of September, I set up several different pages in my bullet journal in an attempt to be more organised, keep track of how productive I actually am, and become more aware of my own habits. In case you were curious which of those pages were worth my time and which were a waste of paper, here is an entire blog post on them...

Blog post Ideas: 

For any bloggers, this page is essential. I have several of these throughout my bullet journal, but
there's something about having one placed at the start of the month which makes me excited for where my blog might take me in those 30 (or so) days.

September Title Page: 

I'll be honest, this page is time-consuming to create considering how pointless it is, but still I really like it. It gives a new start to this point in my journal which makes everything feel fresh, plus it looks nice.


Goals/To Do: 

I thought if I labelled my goals, 'to-do' they would feel more achievable, it would seem like I was reading a to-do list, rather than something more daunting, which seemed out of reach, however, I was over ambitious when I wrote this list and cannot keep up with it. Part of this page I do love is that I wrote why I wanted to achieve each goal to remind myself what the outcomes will be, which makes me want to put the work in.

Blog Changes:

There are parts of this blog which need changing, updating and some which I just need to push the delete button on. Keeping a list is reminding me to slowly make those changes, however, sometimes having it feels like a constant reminder of a never-ending to-do list, which can either be a kick up the bum or guilt-inducing depending on my mood.



Habits, Mood and Cycle Trackers: 

I've made it part of my evening routine to fill in my habit tracker, and I've managed it most nights. I'm actually enjoying that bit of reflection time. However next month I think I'll separate it into segments. such as self-care, writing, fitness, blogging etc so at a glance I can see what aspects of life I'm putting my all in, and where I can do with giving myself an extra bit of love. I also like to track my moods and hormone cycle on the same page so I can see how things correlate, what habits make me happy, and how my hormones affect that.

Hourly Productivity and Mood Trackers:

This great when I actually fill it out. I can look for patterns in the times which I'm unproductive and whether my mood is related to this. Also, it makes me realise how much my day was busy and how much time I was probably aimlessly scrolling Instagram. However, keeping up with it can be a pain in the ass, as you can see I've not been consistent with filling it out, but as I spoke about in this blog post, when I've filled it out, it has been eye-opening.



Tries, Fails and Successes:

 The idea for this page came off the back of a tweet about how aiming to fail a certain amount of time ultimately will lead to success. After having just a fail and success list, I soon realised with most things you don't immediately know that result, so I added it a try list where I can write things down while I wait to hear back.  This list also makes me see when I'm not trying enough when the list is looking pretty short, (as it in the photograph) I know I haven't been putting my all in.

Articles Read: 

 I decided to keep a list of the article I've been reading, to make sure I'm actually reading and just in case any articles spark some bright ideas. At first I loved this page, it made me want to read more - then one Sunday I basically filled the page and realised if I'm reading the amount I want to be reading  I'll get through a lot of paper and it's a pain in the ass to write down every time I read something.



Pitch Tracker

 I'm trying to send pitches into a magazine on a regular base, so a) I get better at pitching and as b) my words will never get published beyond this blog if I don't. So I've made myself a pitch tracker with the columns: pitch ideas, pitches written, pitches sent and pitch responses which I've found very useful to keep up with where I am at with it. At the moment it's looking a lot emptier than I want to be, which is a reminder that the work won't do itself.

Writing Tracker: 


As I left my job, ultimately to write, I'd like to make sure I'm writing more than I'm talking about writing, which is an easy trap to fall into, so I created a writing tracker for the month, so each day I can see what words I actually got down. I've found this to be quite motivating, but also quite squashed, in future I would not have an entire month on one page.




Manifest:

I'm trying to manifest the life I want. I read this list most days to remind myself of the direction I want to be heading in.

Month To Do:


You know the general stray bits and bobs you want to get done in the month which never really make it onto your daily to-do lists, well, this is that list of things, so hopefully, I can get around to ticking them off, which was unlikely while they lived in the back of my mind.

Pitch Ideas Mindmap 

I need to find ideas somewhere. Everytime one pops into my head, no matter how vague it is, I write it down here, then I can refer back and refine ideas.


As you can see from the images, these pages are all a working process, and we're taken earlier in the month, so some of them are looking a little sparse - either way if you into bullet journalling or just like to be organised, I hope you found this post useful. I'm definitely don't create a bullet journal full of perfect doodles like I often see on Instagram, but I love it none the less.




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Monday, 24 September 2018

My relationship with Exercise


Being the huge introvert that I am, when we were kids, and my brother and sister used to go out riding their bikes with their friend, I used to stay in, reading Harry Potter, watching Lion King 2, and collecting bugs in the garden. I wasn't a particularly active kid. While I was in Primary school I'd get out the car when mum dropped me off and run around the corner to the school entrance. I don't know why I always felt the desire to leg-it, but I did, every day. One day my brother laughed and told me I run like a chicken. I was then too self-conscious to run.



In secondary school, I used to dread PE at school. I was never good at it, and I didn't feel encouraged to improve. As narcissistic as this might be, it felt like a lesson with the sole purpose of embarrassing me. Give others the opportunity to point out where I struggled. It also seemed that it came naturally to all of the 'cool' girls, it was torture enough getting changed in front of other girls in midst of puberty, to then have to endure a game of netball where nobody wanted to you on their team. I hated exercise.

I was born premature, which affected my flexibility, muscles and balance, so exercise never was going to come naturally to me, and the endorphins which it brings never would outweigh the hurt I'd feel (probably, imagined) laughter of the other girls. No matter the effort I put into PE lessons, I wasn't good at it, and being reminded of that over and over every week was humiliating. At my school, if you enjoyed PE lessons, you fell into one of two categories, you were either one of the 'popular' girls, or you were sporty, I didn't fit either description in the slightest and I felt out of my depth running around that field.

This false perception of working out meant  I rarely exercised as a teen, despite the anxiety-inducing PE lessons which unlike a lot of my friends I actually went to, because heck I'm not a troublemaker.


When I reached Uni, I got my first (and only), real boyfriend; he was fit, as in fit and healthy. I survived the first team of Fresher pretty much on cheese toasties and alcohol. I hated how my body looked and I became so aware of how unfit I was. I visited home and everyone, correctly told me how much weight I put on. Of course, it took a lot of crying and until my final year of uni for me to do anything about it. Then I began eating better and dabbled in a bit of running.


The first time I went, I asked my boyfriend to take for me a run, I lasted all of about 5 seconds. I could still see our house when I stopped, panting. I wanted to go back, of course, Benji wouldn't let me, but it ended up being a pretty short run because I was so unfit and could not control my breathing. But eventually, I built some momentum with it. I started going running with my housemate most evenings, and then we'd do a 'sit up challenge' which we of course completely made up. It was the only time I'd exercised and didn't hate it. I began to realise my I have a terrible relationship with exercise, which has come from the secondary school hierarchy which was often reflected hockey games, and PE teachers who chose to shout at me, rather than help me and a belief that I couldn't do it.

Since leaving Uni, sometimes I've ran a little, sometimes I haven't bothered. I never felt good enough at exercise to do anything else.

A few months back, my sister told me she was signing up with a personal trainer, who also happens to be our cousin, so I decided to do the same, thinking it would be nice to feel fitter.

That was at the start of Summer, and now for the first time I ever, I feel my relationship with exercise is a positive one. I work out on a regular basis. In my first few personal training session, I dreaded burpee's, I just couldn't do them, my form was terrible, I'd fall all over the place, and be exhausted as just half-assing one of them, in my last session, I was doing them one-legged, barely giving it a second thought.



Lauren, my trainer, has now moved away, but in the time I worked with her, I managed to rewire my brain, change how I think of exercise, not only so it became a part of my routine, but also something I look forward to. I find myself daydreaming about that hour, in the woods when I'd need to focus on my body and nothing more.

Yesterday I took myself out for a run, I found myself smiling, as I thought to all the 'mean girls' that used to laugh at me during those PE lessons. It hit me how far I've come and how I made the effort to develop my negative relationship with exercise to something positive, working out has become a part of my life which I actually enjoy.


This year my relationship with exercise has come a long way, and bloody hell I feel good for it.



As you can see, I took these pictures on the windiest day!
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Friday, 21 September 2018

Recent Poetry.



Lost my mind

Sometimes I wonder 
If I've lost my mind.
Maybe she's wandering down supermarket aisles, 
 like a child in search of Mum, after a mission to fetch bread.
Sometimes I wonder if one night I simply
put her to bed,
and she's not woken from her lie in, 
like a teenager snoozing at 2pm on a Saturday afternoon
Sometimes I wonder if she got bored of me
or peaked too soon.

 But if I'm quiet, I hear her whisper,
Her voice is loud when I choose to listen.
So maybe many
 will think I'm crazy.
 She's just been busy 
- my favourite lady. 



___

Many Things 


You were many things.
Unexpected and exciting,
Impossible,
Indecisive
Which ironically
left fate decided.

You were many things 
that I liked, 
and some things that shocked me 
Some made me smile
That made me laugh in a state joyful
   denial. 

You were many things.
But what startled me the most 
Was the moment  
I could feel the familiarity of your
   ghost.

You were many things.
Mostly wonderful 
but, that doesn't count for much when you're 
   invisible. 

____

Feeling Heavy


I think of my weight so often
 it leaves me feeling heavy
My clothes feel tight
and my mind implies
 that's not alright.

I punish my mistakes,
eat another slice of cake 
and whisper 
diet starts 
tomorrow. 

Tomorrow comes, I poke my tum
and eternalise shame
Finding somewhere new to point the blame. 
as if the shape of my body cause for complain.
as if my curve represent wrongdoings
and stretch marks are a nuisance. 

I analyse my size, wonder if I'm too wide.
But if I took a moment to push the aesthetics aside,
be cliché and think of inside,
I'd remember
it's this body is keeping me alive. 

____

Lonely 


You reminded me I was lonely 
I’d forgotten how I felt
It seemed second nature 
Not to question quiet
   with eager awaiting ears. 

I forgot the comfort 
    the slightest touch could bring
That magic lives within the warmth of skin brushing
    skin
The spark a simple stroke ignites within.

Now I remember that I’m lonely,
As I’m sitting all alone 
I can’t help but regret your reminder.
It spun your insignificance, fast. 
Leaving me unsure whether I’m looking forward
Or glancing towards the
   past.  


____

Paint the Sky

I thought of painting the sky with 
You 
I pictured
   vibrant pink, violet, red, 
   electric blue. 
But then our colours swirled together 
Our energy drained from mixing 
We created the deepest shade of 
g r e y. 

That haunted sky 
Surrounded us, silent. 
I felt each syllable I heard the quiet clouds say. 

___

I regularly post poetry to Instagram, so if you want to read more of my words, follow me on there @chloeharriets


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