Finding Happiness In Your Own Personal Style

In the age of social media we so often find ourselves being told by celebrities and influencers what we should and shouldn't be wearing. When you scroll through social media (Instagram - I'm looking at you especially), you're all consumed by the world of trends and style/beauty expectations. Magazines are rammed full of pages telling you what you should and shouldn't be wearing this season and half the time I find myself saying "Really? Is that really a trend?".

People have a real tendency to follow the crowd and dress solely in the style that everyone's advocating because that's what's 'in'. As a result of this, you often find yourself getting sucked into styles and trends that aren't exactly authentic to your own true style.

The purpose of this post is by no means to slate anyone who promotes or chooses to follow fashion tends. I want to try and eliminate the pressures created by the fashion industry and encourage people to take a step back from the world of fashion influencers and glossy magazine covers and truly embrace who you are and how you truly want to look.

Finding your own personal style can be a long road and you may go around the block a few times before you find something which is authentically you. Something which just matches your personality to a T.

I've made a conscious effort to only buy pieces which truly bring joy to my wardrobe, rather than just those which you're more likely to find on the popular pages of fashion websites. In doing this, I've forged my own style in which I feel confident, happy and inspired.

The style I've gravitated towards very much reflects who I am as a person, it's personal to me and this adds a whole other layer of confidence. My personal style is very vintage-inspired; lots of tea dresses, mini skirts, floral patterns and collared shirts. I take inspiration from fashion from the 50's and 60's and the nature of these styles flatters the natural curves of my figure and puts focus on my waist; one of the parts of my body I'm most confident about.


I guess the message I'm trying to get across is embrace trends, by all means, but don't find yourself all consumed by them to the point you're not staying true to your own personal style. Be you and only you.

4 Books I've Read In 2019 So Far

In 2019 so far, I've been on a MAJOR roll with my reading and boy am I loving it. I was blessed to receive some cracking titles in my stocking at Christmas (and boy does that feel like a long time ago) and I've been loving getting my nose into them slowly but surely as the months have gone by. Don't get me wrong, it's not been a piece of cake to find time to sit down and have a good ol' read without the feeling that I should be doing 1001 other things instead, but I've been taking my own advice - from my 'How To Find Time To Read in 2019' post - and making time for this favourite hobby of mine.

I've been reading a good blend of new picks and firm favourites, and today I've tried to pick four of the titles I've read in the first part of the year which I haven't previously introduced you to. This is not only to add a bit of variety to my book posts but also so I can pretend that I haven't just been re-reading the Harry Potter books for the umpteenth time.

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
Sarah's Key is a hard-hitting piece of historical fiction which centers around the real-life event of the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup in 1942, in which over 13,000 Jewish people were arrested, held in in-humane conditions and then shipped off to Auschwitz. Much of the story focuses on the complicity of the French police in the round-up, something which has been very much forgotten by history

The titular character is ten year old Sarah, who is arrested along with her family at the start of the novel. Unaware of horrific reality of their arrest, and under the impression that they will be freed after a few hours, Sarah locks her four year old brother in a hidden cupboard before they leave. She vows to return and rescue her brother, and the novel follows her story as she desperately tries to keep this promise following her arrest. The novel interweaves the story of Sarah with that of Julia, an American journalist living in Paris and researching the events of the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup ahead of the 60th anniversary. Whilst I did find myself initially getting tired of the chapters focused on Julia - no doubt fueled by my emotional connection to Sarah and eagerness for the author to continue her story - as the novel went on and her connection to Sarah's story grew more explicit, I began to enjoy her character and what it brought to the story as a whole.

Sarah's Key is a hugely emotive and poignant novel that I simply could not put down. It's beautifully written and the historical element was truly fascinating. This was the first novel I read in 2019 and it's a story that is going to stay with me for a long time to come.

Valentine Joe by Rebecca Stevens 
We're back in historical fiction territory now and heading back to world war 1 and the battlefields of the Ypres Salient with the novel Valentine Joe by Rebecca Stevens.

Valentine Joe tells the story of fourteen year old Rose who visits the Ypres Salient with her grandad in search for the grave of his uncle. When visiting a cemetery she is drawn to the grave of Valentine Joe Strudwick, a soldier who died in 1916 at the tender age of fifteen. From this moment a slightly supernatural twist is added to the novel and Rose finds herself time-travelling back to 1915 where she interacts with the young soldier himself, taking on the role of an angel on the battlefields with a goal of changing his fate.

It was the setting that really enticed me to read this book as I've been lucky enough to visit Ypres (a beautiful town in Belgium) and the surrounding area twice before as part of my history studies. One significant location is Essex Farm, once the location of an advanced dressing station and now a cemetery and the final resting place of over a thousand soldiers who died on the surrounding battlefields. The concept of the story centering around a cemetery which I myself have visited really added an extra dimension of emotion to the novel. And just when you think your heart has been touched enough you find out that Valentine Joe was a real soldier; a real fifteen year old boy who gave his life fighting to give the world the freedom it has today.

Valentine Joe is definitely written with a younger audience in mind but even as an adult I found it to be a really enjoyable read. I did find that due to it being a shorter novel, in order to accommodate younger readers, it lacked the detail I was craving it to have. Yet it still managed to be a truly touching and heartwarming tale and one I'd really recommend if you're after a slightly shorter read.

The Girl In The Red Coat by Kate Hamer
A few months back I raided a whole heap of charity shops with my favourite book-hunting sidekick - also known as my Nanny - and, after noticing a 50p sale, left with my arms laden with lots of juicy new reads. One of these new books was The Girl In The Red Coat, a mystery thriller by Kate Hamer. I know the phrase 'don't judge a book by it's cover' is one of much importance to book-lovers, but I must say that it was the intense scarlet cover and the emphasis on the colour red in the title which initially caught my eye.

The Girl In The Red Coat shares the emotional journey experienced by Beth, who sees her own worst nightmare come into fruition when her eight year old daughter Carmel goes missing at a local festival. The chapters alternate between the narrative of Beth, as she hunts for her daughter and tries to learn to adjust to life with a piece of her missing, and Carmel, as she finds herself at the hands of strangers in a completely alien place.

Hamer has created a truly fascinating character in Carmel and it was her character's quirks that propelled me deeper into the story. I won't lie, I felt less initial attraction to the character of Beth but this did grow as the story progressed itself. I found the use of alternating perspectives carried the story well but did struggle, especially towards the ending, with the frequent jumps in time which left me with a number of questions about the occurrences we weren't privy to. I'd love to know what you think of this element of the story if you've read The Girl In The Red Coat; you know me, always up for a literary discussion!

(bonus points if you've spotted that my book is upside down in this photo - smooth Chloe, smooth)

Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land
Good Me Bad Me is a dark and intensely gripping psychological thriller which marked Ali Land's debut novel. I rarely tread into the land of thrillers but I was both thoroughly impressed and highly unsettled at the same time!

Meet Milly, a fifteen year old girl who has just been given a new identity; a new family; a new life. Why, you may ask? Her mother is a serial killer.  After turning her mother into the police, Milly begins to learn to navigate her new life but the ghosts of her horrific past loom over her and she struggles with the war that's being fought inside her head between the 'good' and 'bad' parts of her psyche.

The story is told solely through Milly's eyes; combining her internal thoughts, snippets of dialogue  and the heavy presence of her mother's voice inside her head. It explores not only Milly's new life but the build up and event of her mother's trial and the impact it has on Milly, who is forced to relive not only the heinous crimes she witnessed but also the horrific abuse she suffered at the hands of her mother.

Good Me Bad Me is an extremely well written novel which focuses on the psychological aspect of the crimes and their repercussions, sparing the reader from having to hear any of the gruesome details of the murders. The constant twists and turns and gripping pace make it so compelling, to the point that I actually devoured the whole book in one go. Who needs a life when you can stay in all day and read about serial killers hey?

I'm currently reading The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris and I'm already insanely in love with it! No doubt you'll hear me talk all about it when I've finished it.

Have you read anything good recently?

My Calm Island

Recently I have been trying new mindfulness and calming technique in the form of creating a 'calm island'. The idea is for you to create a paradise in your head; a setting of true serenity designed to help you get into a calm state of mind. In times of mental turbulence and panic you can let your mind take you to your calm island and find yourself starting to unwind into a calmer state of mind.

Over the past week or so I've been creating my own idea of paradise in my head, picturing every detail whenever I'm feeling anxious and focusing my mind on adding new details to the island. Nothing is too much or over the top; your imagination is endless. 

On my calm island you'd find endless forests for me to walk my dog through, with beautiful autumnal colours and wildlife galore. After trekking for miles, you'd come to a clearing and find yourself looking at a giant oak tree. Hanging off one of the tall branches is a rope swing; the kind that just fills your heart with nostalgia for your childhood.

Days would be spent in a heated infinity pool with a view over the coastline and then I'd retire to a luxurious hammock surrounded by fairy lights where I could read to my heart's content.

I'd live in a beautiful beach house on a clifftop, full of cosy furnishings and hidden reading nooks. A huge roll top bath sits by a window will rolling views across the island. The bed is covered in the softest sheets and fluffy pillows; always at just the right temperature. 

There would also be miles of roads for road trips galore; the kind of road trip were you drive along with the roof down and the wind blowing through your hair, screaming along to all of the classic songs.

What would you have on your calm island?

Let's Talk Dainty Jewellery*

I'm a sucker for a bit of beautiful bling. Stunning jewellery can take even the simplest of outfits to a new level; it really jazzes things up a bit and adds a cute flair to your look.

A combination of rings, bracelets, earrings and a necklace or two makes me feel oh so feminine and just adds a layer of confidence to my aura. So much so that I can't help but feel a little naked if I leave the house without the companionship of at least a little bit of jewellery. 

My personal jewellery preference is for anything delicate and dainty yet powerful, with a little bit of gorgeous detailing as a finishing touch.

I also like my jewellery to have meaning; a little story behind each piece that makes it personal to me. Be it as a memento of a special birthday, a piece that comes with some family history, something containing my birthstone or simply something which was purchased on a memorable day out.

And that's where Statement Made Jewellery come in. They create beautiful hand-finished jewellery, personalised with your birth stone or initial. Perfect to gift to all of the lovely ladies in your life! And guess what? It's super affordable.

Today I'm wearing one of their beautiful silver angel wing pieces*, finished with a gorgeous emerald charm for my May birthday.

This necklace would look lovely layered with another dainty piece on a shorter chain or even just worn as a delicate solo piece to finish off an outfit.

It's also really versatile so would work just as well if you're dressing up and getting your fancy-pants on as it would if you just choose to rock it as part of your everyday look.

Are you a fan of dainty jewellery? How do you style it?


*Disclaimer: This product was kindly gifted by Statement Made Jewellery for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions shared on Yours, Chloe are always honest and unbiased regardless of whether or not the product has been gifted to me. For further details please refer to my full disclaimer

How To Make The Most Out Of Everyday

We as a society live for the weekend. You can't scroll through any social media without seeing at least one plea for Friday to come quicker; or "Fri-yay" if you prefer the social media penned name. But in all reality, does living for the weekend really make sense? After all, you spend you life waiting for these two precious days, just for them to go by in the blink of an eye.

It's important that we learn to slow down and view every single day as a gift, and a pretty fantastic one at that. We need to start making sure each and every day fulfills it's potential, and this is how you can do that.

Think Positive About The Day Ahead.
(Now, I'm going to use the joyful day that is Monday for this point but should there be a day of the week you have an even deeper hatred for, feel free to drop it in there.)
Admit it, the word Monday makes your groan internally. The feeling of dread bubbles up inside of you whilst you consider "I wonder what crap I'm going to have to deal with today?". But have you ever considered that it may not be Monday's fault and the fault of the pants day lies with your negative mindset? Look at me getting all philosophical on you. Try waking up with a positive mindset; one of those "today is going to rock and I'm going to kick ass" mindsets, it will make your day 100 times better.

Do (At Least) One Thing You Love Each Day
We all have at least one past time that has the power to make you feel all warm and fuzzy. Be it reading, cooking, crafting, photography, exercise, or anything else that tickles your pickle. Try and dedicate at least a little bit of time each day to spend doing one of your hobbies. With the hustle and bustle of life it's easy to feel like there just aren't enough hours in the day for you to be able to set time aside for hobbies, but it's important to nurture the things that make you feel happy.

Don't Just Make Plans For The Weekend.
We all do it, we all focus on the weekend first when making plans with friends or family. And whilst that can be an absolutely splendid way to spend your weekend, give a little love and attention to your weekdays too. I know the weekdays don't really allow for as much free time as the end of the week does, but you should still be able to squeeze in time to see your family or to have drinks with the girls.

Stay Well Rested.
It's impossible to have a good productive day if you're stuck in a sleep-deprived daze. Try to go to bed at a good time every night, after spending an hour or two winding down and getting yourself ready for the land of nod. Having a good nights sleep will in turn make getting up in the morning 100 times easier and you'll be more ready to take on the day.

Why are we spending our life wishing away days? Let's stop living for the weekends; lets live for everyday.

How do you make the most of everyday?
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