Blogmas | 3 Charity Campaigns To Get Involved With This Christmas

It's very easy to get swept up into a bit of a whirlwind at Christmas. Your mind is focused on present shopping, cooking feasts and decorating your house until it looks like Santa's workshop itself. We're all guilty of letting this Christmas craziness keep our minds focused on us and our own families, but it is so important to remember that Christmas is a time of giving; a time of helping others in need. 

Today I wanted to share with you three wonderful charity campaigns taking place this December, all of which it is super easy to get involved with. There are a whole host of other campaigns taking place nationally and locally to you, so I really urge you to take the time to consider the ways you can do your bit to spread the Christmas spirit and help the people who need it most.

Christmas Jumper Day 2018
This years Christmas Jumper Day for Save The Children is taking place on Friday 14th December. The concept is simple: wear a Christmas jumper to work/school/just around the house and make a donation to Save The Children. It's a lovely way to get in the Christmas spirit whilst doing your bit for a wonderful cause. You could go down the traditional route, pick something sparkly or embrace the daft and ugly; the choice is yours. I'm going to be wearing my Christmas jumper on the 14th, are you?

You can find more info about this wonderful campaign here.

Reserve A Place At Crisis This Christmas
Crisis is an amazing UK charity which helps to rebuild the lives of homeless people, supporting them to be permanently out of homelessness. Their ultimate aim is to end homelessness completely. Their Christmas campaign asks you to donate money to support them in their efforts to help people take their first steps out of homelessness this Christmas. A donation of £28.18 gives a homeless person three hot meals (including a Christmas dinner), a bed for the night, the chance to shower and put on fresh clothes and health checks from a doctor, dentist and optician, as well as advice on things like housing and employment, addiction and mental health support, and access to Crisis' year-round education, training and support. The fact that you can offer a person in need so much with a donation of less than £30 is truly amazing.

You can find more info about this wonderful campaign here.

Cash For Kids - Mission Christmas
Each year, Cash For Kids hold an amazing toy appeal in the UK. In the craziness of our own Christmas celebrations, it's unfortunately easy to forget just how many children in this country face the prospect of waking up on Christmas morning with nothing to open. This campaign asks you to do your bit to help combat this by making a donation of just a single unwrapped gift, which will be wrapped and delivered to a child in need near you. There are thousands of drop-off points around the UK (including selected B&M stores and all branches of Wickes, Harveys and Bensons For Beds). It's a wonderful way to really make a difference close to home this Christmas.

You can find more info about this wonderful campaign here.

It's important to remember that you don't have to give a lot to make a difference, so even if you can only afford to donate a small amount it will still really help to support people in need. 

How are you going to be supporting good causes this Christmas?

Catch up on my Blogmas posts:
Day 1: My Christmas Bucket List
Day 2: What I'm Asking Santa For This Year

Blogmas | What I'm Asking Santa For This Year

With the countdown to Christmas well and truly on, I've been having a good think about what I'd love to be gifted this year.  To the joy of my family, I've always been crazily organised when it comes to my Christmas list. I hate the feeling of being asked what you'd like for Christmas or birthdays and being completely speechless, so I start compiling a list earlier in the year and pop anything on it that catches my eye in the run up to Christmas. This definitely makes my family's job of shopping for me easier, as they don't have to second-guess what I'd love to see under the tree this year.

So without further ado, here's what I've included on my letter to Santa this year:

"Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
This book first caught my eye when it was reviewed by one of the many book bloggers I follow and it's been on my to-read list ever since. I like getting my teeth into books which look at complex family dynamics and this novel seems like the perfect fit.

This is available online from Amazon here from £4.80

Busy B Birds Couples Calendar 2019
No Christmas wishlist would be complete without a little bit of stationery now would it? I'm a sucker for a good diary or notebook and this couples calendar is the best of both worlds. It has 4 columns, entitled "Me", "You", "Us" and "Birthdays". Just like the family planner that I bet your mum has in the kitchen (if she's anything like my mum, that is) but just for you and your significant other. Johnny and I have ever-changing uni/work/social routines so fingers crossed this addition to our kitchen wall will help to keep us both organised without much fuss at all. 

This is available online from John Lewis here for £9.00

Joanie 'Bronte Readers Club' Sweatshirt
Boy do I adore Joanie clothing. It would be quite easy for me to have nothing but their beautiful garments on my Christmas list, so I've been strict with myself and only included this beauty on my letter to Santa. A warm cosy jumper with a reading theme? That's the clothing dream right there.

This is available online from John Lewis here for £30.00

Cath Kidston Alpacas Lanyard Water Bottle
Does anyone else regularly buy new cute water bottles with the excuse that it might just encourage you to drink more? Join the club. And how cute are these alpacas? The perfect companion to your lunch box. Anything by the lovely people at Cath Kidston tends to be right up my street, but there's just something special about this water bottle that meant I couldn't resist including it on my Christmas list.

This is available online from Cath Kidston here for £14.00

Forever 21 Low Block Heel Pumps
A girl can never have too many pairs of shoes, now can she? I love shoes which give a bit of extra height - and make your legs look gorgeous as a result - but are still practical for everyday-wear. Enter these pumps. The almond shape toe adds a certain level of elegance and I love the look of the contrast stitch detailing.

This is available online from Forever 21 here for £20.00

Cath Kidston 'Otterly Amazing' A5 Softback Notepad
My inner stationery geek returns with yet another request, this time in the form of this lovely Cath Kidston notebook with one of the cutest puns I've ever heard. It's got real Disney vibes to it and would be the perfect companion for you to just pop in your bag for when you're on the go.

This is available online from Cath Kidston here for £7.00.

Rico Pack of Mini Yarn Pom Poms Christmas Mix
Johnny and I are moving into a nice new (and much bigger, thank goodness) flat in July so I'm slowly hoarding pretty decorative bits and bobs that I can use to make it all lovely and homely. I'm a sucker for a good pom pom garland and the colour of this mix is just gorgeous. And a Christmas decoration you can get away with keeping up all year round? Sign me up.

This is available online from Trouva here for £3.95

Frank Body Original Coffee Scrub
It wouldn't be a blogger's wish list without a beauty product would it? I've been crushing on the Frank Body scrubs for a long while now. They're so natural and I've heard rave reviews about the pamper they give your skin. This is ideal at this time of year, when your skin takes a real beating from the cold weather.

This is available online from Frank Body here for £12.95

What's on your Christmas list this year?

Catch up on my Blogmas posts:
Day 1: My Christmas Bucket List

Blogmas | My December Bucket List

Tis' the season of all things festive.

Christmas-time is a truly beautiful season but it is a stressful one in which there's lots of hustle and bustle and stress. We need to make sure to really take time to enjoy the holiday and it's festivities or you'll find that in the twinkle of a Christmas light, the season has just rushed on by.

In order to make sure I don't get lost in a sea of wrapping paper and mince pies, I thought it would be a jolly good idea to come up with a festive bucket list of things I want to do in the month ahead.

One: Visit a traditional Christmas market.
Although the dream of visiting a European Christmas market is a little out of reach this year, I'm hoping to enjoy the festive delights of a UK Christmas market or two. Sheffield has a beautiful Christmas market and I can't wait to wrap up warm and enjoy the gorgeous decorations, sweet treats and the gorgeous cinnamon scent. 

Two: Take a drive to look at all of the pretty Christmas lights in my local area.
This has always been one of the highlights of the Christmas period for me. I have so many beautiful memories of Christmas Eve family gatherings at my grandparents house followed by a long drive home, detouring to get a glimpse of houses full to the brim of festive lights.

Three: Write and post Christmas cards.
In this day and age it seems like most people have forgotten what a greetings card even is; it's become more about posting on a Facebook wall or sending a text. But I adore sending and receiving handwritten cards as they really show someone you care, which is so lovely at this time of year especially.

Four: Attend a carol concert. 
When I was a young-un, back in the primary school days, little old me sang every year in a carol service at Peterborough Cathedral as part of my school choir. That experience embedded in me the idea that Christmas isn't complete without a carol concert, so I'm really hoping I can attend one this year.

Five: Visit a handmade Christmas market.
You can't beat buying gifts from small and independent businesses; they're always so special and unique. A handmade market is the best place to pick up these gifts, alongside a cute new decoration or two.

Six: Listen to the Elvis Presley Christmas albums.
I'm a sucker for a good bit of Christmas music, and you'll definitely find it blasting from my headphones all throughout December. My all time favourite festive tunes are the Elvis Presley Christmas albums; a beautiful blend of carols and more modern Christmas hits from the king himself.

Seven: Burn some beautiful Christmas candles.
Yankee Candle, I'm coming for you! I can't wait to have my flat smelling of all things festive.

Eight: Bake some gorgeous festive treats.
I'm far from Mary Berry but I'm really hoping to find the time for a spot of Christmas baking. Maybe 'festive' rice krispie cakes will be as far as I go, but hey that's a start.

Nine: Go for lots of wintery walks.
This will be made even more perfect if we are blessed with snow this year, but regardless I absolutely adore bundling up warm and going for a long walk at this time of year.

Ten: Craft some of my own decorations for the tree.
Christmas is my favourite time to get my craft on. My inner magpie comes out at this time of year; a little bit of festive sparkle never hurt anyone. 

Eleven: Have a Christmas movie marathon
You can't beat a good Christmas movie or TV special. Love Actually is one of my favourite festive films and I can't wait to enjoy cosy evenings in with a hot drink and a burning fire.

Twelve: Try lots of festive hot drinks in my local coffee shops.
It's not Christmas without a festive hot chocolate or two is it? I'm a sucker for anything chocolate orange, so here's hoping that'll make an appearance on the Costa Christmas menu this year.

Thirteen: Purchase some festive PJs all ready for Christmas Eve.
My sister and I have a tradition of wearing matching PJ's on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, and that tradition continues, even now we're all grown up. 

What are you hoping to do this December to get yourself in the festive spirit?

Lifestyle | Autumn/Winter Handbag Essentials

We're going real old school with today's blog post; it's an oldie but a goldie. Yes that's right, the classic 'What's In My Handbag' post returns.

There's a real private nature to a woman's handbag. Everyone seems to keep something different in theirs and I feel the content can really tell you a lot about the girl behind the bag. The contents of my handbag tends to change as we go through the seasons. Now that we're well into the colder months, there's a couple of bits and pieces I like to keep on my person at all times to keep me in tip-top condition, and we're going to have a good chat about them today.

I used to be one of those girls who carried around giant handbags packed full of almost everything they own. You know the drill: six lipsticks (none of which you're wearing that day), half of a supermarket snack aisle and loose change galore, surrounded by countless amounts of crap. But I just got a bit fed up with lugging everything around, so decided to downsize to something that only fitted the essentials.

My bag is a gorgeous vintage satchel style piece from Deena and Ozzy (at Urban Outfitters). I actually managed to nab it off eBay for just under £5 and it's been glued to my side ever since. The front flap doubles up as a purse, saving you space, and it fits all the necessary bits and bobs whilst looking super lovely.

1. Perfume/Body Spray
A girl's got to smell nice hasn't she? I'm currently in love with the Ted Baker body sprays which are beautiful floral scents which last forever and a day. My festive scent is still yet to be decided as I haven't found one I've fallen in love with, so if you have any recommendations for christmassy body sprays/perfumes, let me know! 

2. Loyalty Cards and Student ID
As we get closer to Christmas, life just seems to get that little bit more expensive doesn't it? Aside from the cost of present shopping, you have the typical social events that build up at this time of year which of course all cost a pretty penny. For this reason, being money savvy is key. I'm a sucker for a good discount; I hate paying for something when I know I could get it cheaper elsewhere/at another time. For this reason, I carry a whole host of loyalty cards around with me wherever I go, with Superdrug, Boots, Tesco and Costa being my most used. My Student ID is also a lifesaver and I use it alongside the UNIDAYS  app on my phone to nab myself a discount wherever possible. 

3. A Trusty Hand Cream
I don't know about you, but my hands are far from best friends with cold weather. For this reason, I like to keep a good hand cream within arms reach at all times during this time of year. My current go-to product is one I've recently reunited with: the Lush Charity Pot. If you're not familiar with this beauty of a product, it's that little tin you can spot when you're standing at the till at Lush with your arms laden with bath bombs and shampoo bars. The Charity Pot is a real treat for your skin as it's laden with more fantastic natural products than I can name, absorbs really quickly and is ever so lightweight. And the best part is the fact that 100% of the cost of the tins goes to good causes. Aren't Lush total gems.

4. The Lipstick Of The Day
"Give a girl the right lipstick and she can conquer the world" is a quote I well and truly believe in. I don't know about you, but if I pop on a bit of lippie I feel instantly more confident and ready to take on the day. At this time of year I'm a sucker for a red lip so you'll often find a trusty red shade hiding at the bottom of my bag, ready for the days touch ups.

5. My Headphones
I'll be honest, if I leave the house without my headphones I feel like I'm missing a limb. Music has always been a very important part of my life and I'm always listening to it when travelling to and from places. I also find my headphones to be really helpful if I find myself getting anxious when out and about as they help me to zone out so I can just focus on the music and my breathing.

What do you keep in your handbag at this time of year?
Are you following Yours, Chloe on Bloglovin? You can find me here.

Happy Mind | 4 Ways To Help Your Wellbeing Through Autumn

The Autumn/Winter months can be notoriously pants for our mental health and wellbeing. The re-appearance of the long season of dark, cold days can be tough to handle so it's really important you look after yourself and your mental health, at this time of year.

I don't know about you, but the reemergence of the dark and cold days has taken a real toll on my mental health and it's been trickier than normal to keep my mindset positive and healthy. For that reason, I've implemented a handful of things into my life in order to really look after my wellbeing and to help me through the darker months.

1. Look After Your Skin
The cold wind that rears its head again at this time of year can take a real toll on your skin, so it's important to really look after your skin and get into a regimented routine that aims to rehydrate your skin and gives it a bit of TLC. Having a pamper session each evening will not only be something your skin thanks you for, but the quiet 'me time' is something your wellbeing will thank you for too. Give yourself time in the evenings - whilst you complete your skincare routine - to reflect on the day, put behind you any negativity and look ahead to the brand new day which awaits you next morning.

2. Create A Cosy and 'Safe' Indoor Space
The colder months often call for more time spent indoors so it is important to make sure that at home you have a cosy space in which you feel safe and secure. You could give your room a little autumn makeover and dig out the cosy autumnal blankets or drape fairy lights all over the place; anything that creates a space you love.

3. Make Sure You're Drinking Water
Now we're no longer in the warmer months, it's likely that your water consumption has decreased; I know mine has. But staying fully hydrated is so key for both good physical and mental health, so it's important to make an extra effort at this time of year to get your daily dose of H2O. I treated myself to a new 1 litre bottle from Primark and now carry it with me wherever I go, and this has worked wonders on my water intake.

4. Spend Some Time In The Great Outdoors
The colder weather that Autumn brings tends to not make an adventure in nature all that appealing, but bundle up and get yourself out in the open air. I've spoken before on Yours, Chloe about the restorative power of the great outdoors on your mental health and it truly can make all the difference, especially in this rather gloomy season. A long walk can really rejuvenate you, and you also get all of the wonderful benefits of a good bit of exercise. 

How are you looking after yourself this Autumn?
Are you following Yours, Chloe on Bloglovin? You can find me here.