Lifestyle | Good Night, Sleep Tight

Getting a good nights sleep is something I seem to be struggling with at the moment; I tend to struggle to switch off so my sleep pattern is all over the place. This seems to be a common problem amongst most ladies and gents at this time of the year so I thought I'd put together a mini guide to getting enough beauty sleep.

My number one tip has to be stick to a routine. You can program your body to sleep much better by following a bedtime ritual that works well for you. Aim to go to bed at the same time everyday so you get roughly the same amount of sleep. I try to aim for at least eight or nine hours every night but you can always overcompensate when the weekends arrive to make up the hours.

Having a tech-free evening also helps to clear you mind. Call some time out from technology for at least an hour before bed time and get your nose into a book instead. I know staying away from social media is something us bloggers can struggle with so try apps such as HootSuite and schedule tweets, or whatever kind of post tickles your peach, to go up when you're in the land of nod.

A lovely warm bath before bed always works wonders in helping me to wind down. Just hop in and let the days worries float away. Having a clear mind before bed will ensure that you get a lovely nights sleep. I recommend using products such as the Lush "Ickle Baby Bot" Bath Bomb to add to the relaxation.

The use of essential oils can purify the air in your bedroom and have a lovely overall relaxing effect. Pick up a tiny bottle of lavender oil (Boots sells them, as does the likes of Holland and Barrett) and pop some on your pillow just before you go to sleep to help you to relax and de-stress.

Product-wise I'm not too wised up on all of the lotions and potions that claim to aid sleep but I can recommend the Seascape Soothe Sleep Oil to induce relaxation. You simply apply a small amount of the product to your temples, pulse points and under your nose using a roller ball application and the gentle fragrance will help you drift off into a snoozy bliss. Another firm favourite of mine (and the rest of the world it seems) is the Lush "Sleepy" Body Lotion. I apply this on my arms and chest every night as the scent really helps me to drift off into a good nights sleep.

Adding a couple of these steps to your bedtime routine can make a world of difference to the quality of you sleep, and I really hope they work as well for you as they have for me.

Is there anything you do of an evening to help you drift of?

Lifestyle | Decorating my Uni Room

Around a month ago I moved to Sheffield and into student halls. I was lucky enough to be able to nab a room in my favourite accommodation (perks of taking a gap year - I was at the front of the queue for housing) and I'm overall really happy with how it has all ended up.

The aim with my uni room was, to the most part, to recreate my bedroom from home. I have definitely found this to help with any homesickness I've experienced in my first month at uni, as I found myself comforted by the familiar sights around my room. Today I am going to be sharing with you some of the things I have done to jazz up the blank canvas that was my bedroom when I first moved in.

The first part of the room I'm going to introduce you to is my bedside table. My gorgeous bedside lamp is from Urban Outfitters and I'm honestly obsessed with its cuteness. Joining it next to my bed is a couple of my favourite photos. Firstly, I have a little picture of my parents from before they had me, and this photo has been beside my bed since I was really little so it really reminds me of home. I also have a framed photo of myself and my boyfriend from early on in our relationship. It's in a lovely white vintage-style frame which was actually a poundland gem, believe it or not.

Also on my bedside table I have a lovely ceramic coaster from Sass and Belle (with matching mug, might I add), a golden statue of a deer from Dobbies and a little ship which features the lovely quote "we can't control the wind but we can adjust the sails". You can also see my current book of choice, which is My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. This has been one of my favourite novels for the past few years, and I did write a post reviewing it back in 2014 which you can find here.

In this photo you also get a little glimpse of my bedding, which is from Asda Living and has a lovely psychedelic feel to it which really brightens up the room.

My bed is my pride and joy; my happy place. In my room I have a 3/4 bed which definitely feels like a luxury for the girl who has had a single bed her whole life. To make my bed really comfy and cosy I have adorned it with a mass of pillows. My personal favourite pillow is from Not On The High Street (although I cannot find a link to the seller unfortunately) and displays the lyrics of the song 'In My Life' by The Beatles, which is one of my most-loved songs. My parents had it personalised for me on the reverse of the pillow for my eighteenth birthday which adds another homely touch.

One of my favourite features of my room is my pin-board which I have filled with some little bits and bobs that are particularly special to me. At the very top of the board I have pinned up a garland from Sass & Belle which displays the quote "reach for the stars". Whilst this quote is of course motivational, I must admit I do find myself singing S Club 7 every time it catches my eye. I also have my students union wallplanner which helps me to stay organised and also keep track of some of the exciting events being held by the union.

Taking up another reasonable portion of my board is a poster featuring a young Leo DiCaprio; no explanation necessary. The other poster I have is a replica concert advertisement for an Elvis Presley gig. As a lifelong Elvis fan it felt only right I brought him to uni with me. Filling up the rest of the space on my pin-board is a selection of cards I have been sent in recent months, a number of train tickets from adventures I particularly want to remember and also a variety of different shabby-chic decorate bits (collected from the likes of Sass & Belle over the years).

I'll admit, I spend a lot of time next to my mirror so it was important to jazz it up a bit. I have surrounded it with black and white quote postcards such as this one, broken up with some of my favourite photos. The feature piece is this decorative metallic C, which I have attached to my wall using a command hook to ensure it doesn't leave a mark.

Next to my desk I have a couple of shelves dedicated to beauty and whatnot. A selection of my prettiest perfume bottles live on the top shelf and I store my makeup just below it. My favourite feature of this area is my teaching quote flag, which I picked up from the card factory in the summer. I am studying primary education at university and embarking into the world of teaching so it's nice to have a couple of quotes here and there to motivate me. I also have a decorative 'home' sign which was another poundland gem.

 So those are some of the highlights of my room decorations. I do have further areas of my room I haven't explored with you, such as my photo wall, but I have decided to dedicate individual posts to those sections. This will include (fingers crossed) a bathroom tour and a tour of the storage techniques I've used to house all of my bits and pieces.

Have you got any tips on decorating your room, be it at uni or at home?

Lifestyle | Future Baby Names Tag

Various baby name tags are doing the rounds in the worlds of blogging and YouTube at the moment, so I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon. I have recently come across the 'Baby Names' tag on YouTube, which features some rather interesting questions so I thought I'd give it a shot.

Just for clarification (any my boyfriends peace of mind, should he read this by any chance) I'm not planning on having a baby any time soon; hence why I've added the world future in the title of the tag.

1. What is your favourite boy and girl's name from the top UK names list?
For this question I consulted the Baby Centre's top UK names list for 2016. 

For a boy I adore the name Noah (#3 for 2016). I have always loved biblical names for boys, despite not being particularly religious, and Noah has always ranked high on my list. 

My favourite girls name from the list was Darcie (#34). Spelling really matters to me in regards to baby names, as I prefer something which is spelt a little different to normal. For this reason I particularly liked the fact that it is spelt with an ie as opposed to ay. 

2. What is your least favourite boy and girl's name from the top UK names list?
Again, this is coming from Baby Centre's top UK names list for 2016. I feel a little bit awful for naming my least favourite names as I don't want to ever cause offence but I guess everyone has their own name preferences don't they?

My least favourite boys name from the list is Ethan (#9). I couldn't really give an in depth reason as to why it's my least favourite, I just can't imagine ever using it for my future children.

Out of the top UK girls names my least favourite has to be Willow (#42). Truth be told I just don't like the idea of naming my daughter after the crazy tree in Harry Potter. 

3. If you had twins, what would you name them? (G/G, B/B, B/G)
Double trouble. This question took a lot of thinking as you've definitely got to pick names which work well together. But here we go:

I would name twin girls Edie and Nina. For twins I really like both names being the same length, so two four letter names works well.

Twin boys would be named Finley and Freddie. I'm not too sure how I feel about having twins with the same first initial but I feel like this pairing as a lovely ring to it so I'm a bit tied.

Should I be blessed with one boy and girl in the future I would name them Jonah and Elodie. Jonah is another biblical name I adore and I think it goes really nicely with the beautiful name Elodie.

4. If you could change your name to anything, what would it be?
I'm quite fond of my own name so wouldn't really change it, but I do prefer being called Chlo by the people closest to me.

5. You have 4 children, any gender. Their first names all have to start with the same letter. What would their names be?
For this question I decided to make it fair with two boys names and two girls names, all starting with the letter S. The girls would be called Sofie and Sienna, which are two names I think are really pretty and a little bit different (especially with the spelling of Sofie) which is lovely. Their brothers would be called Shawn and Spencer

6. What's your favourite animal-inspired name?
Before now I've never considered choosing names inspired by the animal kingdom, but a quick google and I've discovered some real gems. I love the name Leona for a girl (meaning Lioness).

7. What's your favourite colour-inspired name?
I do really love names inspired by the rainbow, although I do prefer colour-inspired girls names. The name Rubie is one of my favourites, but I also love Scarlett and Sienna

8. What are your top 3 favourite boy names?
My top three favourite boys names are all names that I have mentioned previously in the tag: Noah, Jonah and Freddie. I love that they are all a little bit different, although they are becoming more popular in recent years.

9. What are your top 3 favourite girl names?
Condensing the list of baby names on my phone into a top three was tricky but I think I've managed it. I adore the girls name Nina which isn't too common at the moment and it's a family name which makes it even more special. I also love the name Emilie (or Emily but I prefer the more unusual spelling). One of my other favourite girls names is Luna

10. What are your favourite celebrity baby names?
I could honestly talk about celebrity baby names all day, there's so many lovely and unique ones.
Zooey Deschanel's daughter is called Elsie which is a beautiful name. I also adore the name Everly, the daughter of Channing Tatum and his gorgeous wife. 

11. What is your ultimate guilty pleasure name?
One of my favourite baby names - and not one that my boyfriend is particularly fond of - is Lennon, for a little girl. I'm a massive John Lennon fan and just think it would be a really pretty name.

12. What are your most hated baby names?
I feel really rather rude sitting here and slating baby names but ho-hum. I'm not a particular fan of 'virtue names' such as Faith, Trinity and Patience. I can't really say as for why but they are just never names which have taken my fancy.

13. Choose a baby name based on a food/drink.
This question took a little bit of research as I wasn't too clued up on food and drink inspired baby names. Some of them were a little strange I'll admit - how is bacon a baby name? - but I did discover Anise (a spice) which is a beautiful name for a little girl. I also love the girls names Brie and Coco

14. Choose a baby name based on a month.
I'll admit, I have a real pet hate for month-inspired names. At a push I'd say my favourite is August but I'll steer clear from any such names if you don't mind.

15. Choose a baby name from a movie.
As it is my favourite film series (and book series for that matter) it's unsurprising that my favourite baby name from a movie comes from Harry Potter. I have mentioned it earlier in the tag but I adore the name Luna for a little girl. It's a really pretty name and I'd love to use it for a future daughter.

Have you got some future baby names in mind? I'd love to hear them.

Lifestyle | 101 in 1001

It has recently dawned on me that I turn twenty in just over six months. I'm gearing up for the end of my teenage years. Sure, I may have almost a decade before I plan on even considering 'settling down' with a family etc. but there are so many amazing things that I'd love to achieve and experience before that day comes.

I'm all about planning ahead. My head is a constant array of lists of things that I want to see; places I want to go; people I want to spend my days with. The concept of my life truly being whatever I make it to be really fascinates me and I know I owe it to myself to make it an incredible one. Sadly, my constant focus on what lies ahead does sometime hinder my ability to live in the moment and seize the day, but that is why I love concepts such as bucket lists and the 101 in 1001 project.

One of my September goals was to really seize the day and enjoy new opportunities, and I feel like starting a 101 in 1001 project is a great way to do this. When this project finishes I will be twenty two and graduating from university - what a scary thought!

The 101 in 1001 project was created by the Day Zero Project and is rather brilliant, if you ask me. Tens of thousands of people have given themselves the challenge of creating and completing a list of realistic yet stretching tasks that interest and excite them. The 1001 day time period provides the key to beating procrastination whilst still making it achievable.

I've tried to make sure that every single one of the things on this little list of mine are realistic in the space of time that I have to work with and - fingers crossed - they all will be. I'm looking forward to pushing myself out of my comfort zone and finally getting around to do so many of the things I've been aspiring to for years. I've also tried to include many ideas that can be done within a group (whether it be friends or family) because life's better when you've got someone to enjoy it with, isn't it?

Start Date: 6th September 2017
End Date: 3rd June 2020

In Progress

1. Go on a road trip around the UK
2. Visit Disneyland
3. See the Sun rise over Stonehenge
4. See more of Europe
5. Visit the Anne Frank House, Amsterdam
6. Travel first class
7. See the Northern Lights
8. Take my sister away for the weekend
9. Go glamping
10. Visit Paris
11. See Giant's Causeway
12. Stay in the Hard Days Night Hotel, Liverpool (again)
13.Visit Italy
14. Go on a mother-daughter trip
15. See more of the UK
16. Go on a spontaneous trip
17. Visit a Christmas market abroad
18. Stay in Portmeirion (again)
19. Visit Madam Tussauds
20. Visit the Lavender Fields, Banstead, England

Events and Attractions
21. Go to a drive-in movie
22. Attend a fashion show
23.Go to Clothes Show Live
24. Watch a movie at the hot tub cinema
25. Attend a music festival
26. Throw a surprise party
27. Go to IMATS
28. Watch five new-to-me musicals in the West End
29. Attend the filming of a TV show
30. See Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in the theatre
31. Try an escape room
32. Try 10 new restaurants 
33. Attend a murder mystery dinner
34. Watch Les Miserables in the West End
35. Attend a blogging event
36. Visit the Warner Bros Studio Tour again (especially at Christmas) 
37. Attend a food festival
38. Go to a concert 
39. Attend the first screening of a new film
40. Throw a dinner party
41. Attend a film festival
42. Visit a book market
43. See a traditional Christmas pantomime
44. Go on the Jack The Ripper Walking Tour, London
45. Plan a surprise day out for someone

46. Read 100 new books
47. Learn to cook a signature dish
48. Begin to learn a new language
49. Complete 10 DIY projects (Pinterest sourced; most likely)
50. Improve my photography skills
51. Take a cocktail making class
52. Start dancing again
53. Put together a scrapbook
54. Refurbish a Car Boot Sale find
55. Learn basic sign language
56. Go to a book signing
57. Ask 20 friends for a book recommendation and read them all.

Health, Beauty and Fitness
58. Go to the gym 3 times a week for a month
59. Try a new sport
60. Try Zumba
61. Take part in the Moonwalk in London
62. Complete the Couch to 5K Challenge
63. Try pole fitness
64. Take part in a fun run
65. Take vitamins religiously
66. Complete a Juice Cleanse
67. Try a Barre Class
68. Be able to do the splits
69. Do the Race for Life
70. Eat no fast food for a month
71. Drink 2 litres of water a day for a month
72. Answer the '50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind'
73. Go hiking
74. Experience a floatation tank

Education and Work
75. Graduate from University
76. Secure a graduate job
77. Volunteer for a cause I'm passionate about
78. Work at a Summer Camp
79. Complete an advanced first aid course
80. Take 10 classes/workshops to learn new skills
81. Create the perfect workspace/desk

82. Reach 1000 blog followers
83. Blog everyday for a month
84. Have professional photos taken
85. Send more handwritten notes and cards
86. Ride a Segway
87. Write a letter to my future self
88. Ride a Quad Bike
89. Complete a colouring book
 90. Adopt an endangered animal
91. Wake up early to watch the sunrise
92. Learn to drive
93. Ride in a hot air balloon
94. Have a Harry Potter movie marathon
95. Go indoor rock-climbing
96. Buy a lottery ticket
97. Order room service
98. Leave an inspirational message in a public place
99. Learn self defence
100. Put a secret in a balloon and let it fly away
101. Do something I'm afraid of

I plan on documenting most - if not all - of these things here on my blog so you can join me on my little adventure. To be honest I think the potential for some rather wonderful blog and Instagram posts will further motivate me to really get my derriere in gear and get cracking on the list.

Have you started a 101 in 1001 challenge of you own? I'd love to know what you're planning on doing. Also, if any of you have done any of the items featured on my list and can provide any fancy tips and tricks then I'll honestly love you forever.

Thoughts | September Goals

Hello again September, boy have you come around quickly. 2017 seems to have flashed before my eyes.

This month is going to be a busy one. I'm moving to a new city and starting university - eek. It's the start of a new chapter of my life, a chapter I'm determined is going to be amazing. I thought it fitting to create some goals summarising some of the little changes I want to make to my life, in line with the new start. 

1. Step out of my Comfort Zone
I'll be honest, just moving to Sheffield full stop is me stepping out of my comfort zone. For the first time in my life I won't have my family or my boyfriend there to hold my hand and I'll have to stand on my own two feet. Surprisingly though, I'm feeling very positive about the whole thing. I know uni will require me to step out of my comfort zone in a number of ways, for example; going on nights out (which is a rarity for me, I'll be honest) but I'm welcoming the challenge with open arms.

2. Seize the Day
September marks the start of a new life in a new city for me and I can't wait. I want to make the most of my three years at university; do new things (no matter how scary), meet a tonne of new people and just live life to the fullest. I want to seize every day, every opportunity and fully enjoy it, documenting my adventures along the way.

(Cheesy goal or what?)

3. Read More
September is going to be a busy busy month but I'm hoping to find the time to get a bit more reading done. I've always adored reading but life has taken over recently and I have struggled to dedicate  time to getting my nose in a good book. My plan is to hit the charity shops to treat myself to some new paperbacks and then get into a routine of reading every night before bed.

4. Get Active Again
Due to ill health all fitness-related activity had to be put on the back-burner a few months back. I'm hoping that if I take it steady I can get back into it. My uni accommodation has an onsite gym which I'm hoping will motivate me. I'm also hoping to try some new sports/ways of keeping fit in the new term.

5. Commit to Blogging
I had to slip a little blogging goal in there didn't I? August marked my return to the world of blogging and I want to continue working hard and staying committed in September. Regular posts, taking part in twitter chats, creating content I'm proud of etc. I have lots of blog post ideas in this noggin of mine and I can't wait to get writing in September.

Have you made any goals for the month ahead?