Thoughts | 50 Things That Make My Soul Happy

1. Long and meaningful chats
2. Feeling confident
3. Receiving post
4. Staying in hotels
5. A book I can't put down
6. Finding a dress which fits perfectly
7. Matching underwear
8. Milkshakes
9. Pinterest boards (have a nosey at mine here)
10. Laughing so hard it hurts

11. Cocktails
12. A good cuddle (bonus points if it's with a puppy or a baby)
13. Car Boot Sales
14. Date Night
15. Receiving a lovely comment or two on a blog post
16. The run up to christmas
17. Lazy days
18. Freddos - the price however has the opposite effect.
19. Spontaneous messages from loved ones
20. Stationary

21. Taking photos
22. A "good makeup" day
23. Catching up with old friends
24. A good Rom Com
25. Cooked breakfasts
26. A hot bubble bath
27. Wicked
28. Skype
29. Not having to set an alarm
30. Musical Theatre sing-a-longs

31. Pyjamas
32. Looking through old photos
33. The Beatles
34. Fairy lights
35. Takeaway and movie nights
36. Payday
37. Manicures
38. Trying out new Lush products
39. Receiving a compliment
40. Harry Potter

41. Taking makeup off
42. Planning things
43. Fresh sheets
44. Giving presents
45. The run up to Christmas
46. Roast dinners
47. Lie-ins
48. Late night talks
49. Having spare money at the end of the month
50. Scented candles

What makes you happy? Can you relate to any of these points?

Beauty | Lush 'Dreamtime' Bath Oil

It's been a little while since I tried and tested a new treat from the gods and goddesses at Lush HQ, I'm practically having withdrawal symptoms. But today I wanted to share with you an old favourite of mine: meet the Dreamtime Bath Oil, a sleep-inducing bath time beauty.
 
At the heart of this concoction are lavender oil and chamomile oil; the dream team for ultimate relaxation. This combination will also ease the aches and pains of the day, perfect after a days work.The other key element of Dreamtime is shea butter, to moisturise your skin to perfection whilst you enjoy a completely blissful bathing experience.
 
 Even though this product (like its bath oil siblings) appears teeny tiny, you only need to pop a single one in a warm bath to create the perfect pre-sleep treat. When it is left to float, oodles of purple Lush goodness bleed from the product creating puddles on the surface. Swish the water around a tad and you'll have a purple-tinted bath of herbal beauty.
 
Although I was a tad skeptical about bath oils - being the bath bomb fan girl that I am - Dreamtime got me well and truly hooked and I'm working my way through the range. The bath oils are a lot more affordable than some of the other lush bath products, in my opinion, which will guarantee that even those of us who have tighter purse strings can enjoy a Lush bathing session.  
 
'Dreamtime' retails at £2.00 for a 20g product.
It is available online at Lush.com here.

Do you have a go-to bath product to induce a good nights sleep? 

Thoughts | The Blogger Blues

Over the past month or so, all has been quiet on this little website of mine.
 
In the past, a hiatus in blogging on Yours, Chloe has always been down to bloggers block. Occasions where the normally buzzing part of my brain that creates my post ideas has become silent and empty. On this occasion, bloggers block was far from the diagnosis. If anything, the polar opposite. My brain - and notebooks alike - have been over-spilling with post ideas: products I'd like to review, outfits I'd like to share, tales I'd like to tell. This time, inspiration was not the problem, it was motivation.
 
As of late I've been suffering with a case of what I've been calling the blogger blues; a bit of a blogging slump if you will. My mind has played all post ideas off as bad ones, created negative thoughts surrounding my photography and writing skills in comparison with my blogging colleagues and - if truth be told - made me feel pretty shit about the piece of the internet I have created. 
 
In part, I blame my mental health. At times when good mental health days feel few and far between I find myself doubting my abilities and talent in regards to all manner of things, not just blogging, but on this occasion its my self esteem in regards to my online rambles that has taken the biggest hit.
 
The blogging world has erupted in recent years. Of course at least partially due to the success of the so called "big bloggers" who are following the path of Zoella and her blogger-turned-youtuber counterparts. Whilst I'm unbelievably proud of the way that the community has grown and the amazing content that is being created, there's a growing feeling of being a small fish in a big pond.
 
A huge part of blogging is reading other peoples work but with that you witness the posts that get 100 comments, the posts that have faultless photography, the posts featuring bloggers who are the definition of photogenic. And you only have to spend two minutes on twitter to notice the blogger cliques that are emerging; it's like blogging has turned into a popularity contest but I'll save that rant for another day.
 
I guess in summary I need to learn to appreciate the value of the content I create and not feel the need to compare my work to the works of others. Easier said than done I know. I've taken a bit of time away from blogging, and the blog-reading and social media interactions that go with it, to clear my head and think about why I blog in the first place.
 
I blog because I love to write and express my thoughts and ideas in the creative manners of the written word and photography. I didn't set out to be a popular blogger that creates content read and adored by thousands, so why am I being so hard on myself for not achieving this? Let's get back to the real goal: staying true to myself and creating content I'm proud of.

Lifestyle | A Peek Into My UK Travel Bucket List

If you've had a peek at my 101 in 1001 you'll know that one of the things I'm eager to do is explore more of good ol' Great Britain. There's so many beautiful places hidden within this little island that I'm eager to explore and document. And whether it be by rail, road or even air, I'm determined to tick as many of them off as I can over the next year.

 
Cambridge
This beautiful university city (or is it a town? I'm never too sure) is less than an hour away from where I lay my hat but is somewhere that whilst I've ventured to a handful of times over the years, I've never truly explored. Growing up, people in my area headed to Cambridge in search for better shopping opportunities than Peterborough provides, but I'm craving a visit to admire the history and  culture on offer. I wouldn’t mind trying my hand at a spot of punting either.
 
Belfast
Next on my list is the city of Belfast in Northern Ireland. I've never ventured across the Irish Sea but I'd love to make the journey and experience the Irish charm. I'm also rather desperate to visit Belfast for its connection to the Titanic. Belfast was the place where the great ship was built and is now home to the world's biggest Titanic museum. As a self-confessed history geek this sounds truly brilliant.

Giant's Causeway
Whilst we're discussing the beauty of northern Ireland, I'd also love to visit Giant's Causeway. If you're unaware, Giant's Causeway is a unique rock formation that juts out into the sea and holds status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It looks like a truly incredible and beautiful sight that I'd love the chance to experience (and of course photograph).
 
Bath
A city defined by its amazing history and architecture. Bath is of course home to its fine Roman baths, a sight I've always wanted to see. Aside from the baths, the whole city looks beautiful; totally photo worthy. I see Bath as the epitome of a traditional English town and I'd love to be able to spend a whole weekend basking in its beauty

Isle of Wight
England's island destination. I'm all about those traditional seaside settings so from what I've heard about the Isle of Wight I'm sure it'll definitely tickle my pickle. The island boasts an abundance of scenic views, quaint little villages and towns and miles of costal footpaths. It can also provide many an opportunity to satisfy my scone addiction; what more can you ask for?

Can you recommend any UK locations that might take my fancy?

Books | Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt

Long-term readers of my ramblings will know that I'm a sucker for a good YA (young adult) novel and my latest read definitely fits right into that genre: 'Sometimes It Happens' by Lauren Barnholdt. I should also note that quick-read books (i.e. books that I find myself flying through and finishing in a mere handful of sittings) hold a special place in my heart, which partially explains my love affair with this particular novel.


Lauren Barnholdt takes authorship for this novel and this is another book that confirms my ever-growing love for her literary works. I adored her novels Two-Way Street and One Night That Changes Everything and I'm hoping to get my hands on a fair few more of her titles in the coming weeks.

'Sometimes It Happens' follows a single summer in the life of Hannah and is centred around (as the title suggests) the repercussions and regrets of a single night. To lay it out simply; Hannah has a rather awful breakup and, just when she needs her the most, her best friend Ava runs off to spend the whole summer working at a holiday camp. In her pit of despair Hannah ends up running for comfort into the arms of Noah, Ava's boyfriend. Although they have a relatively platonic relationship throughout the vast majority of the novel (which runs the course of their summer break and into the start of the new school year), one night one thing leads to another and everything changes.As someone whose current relationship did indeed begin as a friendship and evolve, this concept was something that I could definitely relate to on a strong level; minus the cheating element of the novel of course as we were both indeed single, don't you worry.

Typically a book that has cheating at the heart of its plot would leave me and my morals running for the hills, but for some reason this story got me hooked. I do believe it has something to do with Barnholdt's impeccable characterisation skills, presenting every single character with a layer of depth that you don't often come across within YA literature. I grew very quickly to despise the character of Ava, a character who quite clearly held the belief that the entire world revolved around her. I also loved Hannah's narration of the events as she was incredibly honest about the reality of the situation, there was no sugar-coating to make herself look or feel better.

I just adore the structure of this book. It's told in alternating timelines: one depicting the events of the first day of Hannah's senior year, and one featuring flashbacks to the summer just gone. With each flashback Barnholdt reveals more and more of the secrets of the summer, providing an explanation for the unravelling events of the first day of school. Using such a structural technique adds such a wonderful element of suspense to the tale and leaves you practically begging Barnholdt to let you know more, which definitely contributes to this novel's status as a particularly quick-read; you're bound to read it ever so quickly if you simply can't put it down.

Overall Lauren Barnholdt has written a wonderfully gripping, humorous tale that would be just perfect if you're after a simple, easy read covering those typically-teenage topics such as sex, relationships, heart break and friendships. 

Have you been getting your nose into any good titles lately?

Beauty | August Lust List

August so far has been a month of limited spending in the beauty department. A month of eyeing up new gems from afar whilst I work my way through Boots and Superdrug, ruthlessly letting only the essentials reach my basket.
 
But fear not, payday is looming. Oh yes, that joyous day is here again and I can finally succumb to the temptations of the world of beauty. In preparation for this fine occasion I've been mentally composing a little lust list - or wishlist if that terminology tickles your pickle - to highlight the products that will be going 'straight in my basket'. Fancy a peek?
 

 
With the true magic that is the Kat Von D makeup range greeting us UK folk in the not so distant future - only 20 sleeps to go ladies and gents - it's only right that one or two of its products gets a feature isn't it? My heart is of course longing to hold an Everlasting Liquid Lipstick as its own and, whilst shade-wise I'm far from fussy, I'm particularly in love with "double dare" and "outlaw". If you're not all clued up on the facts of this product, it applies as a gloss and then dries to a matte-yet-moisturising finish. Claims are that its 24 hour wear can stand food, drink and even (to quote a rather open twitter user) blowjobs. Perhaps too much detail on their part but it definitely doesn't sound too shabby.
 
I'm also crushing on their Tattoo Brow product. You know me, I'm never one to turn down an opportunity to get my hands on a new piece of brow magic and this one is no exception. I know it's received countless raving reviews and I can't wait to give it a test run myself.
 
The next product I'm hoping to nab is the Origins Maskimizer Mask Primer. You can't beat a good face mask and who am I to pass up an opportunity to further reap the benefits of it? Maskimizer is said to help hydrate, soften and optimise skin’s condition so it’s fully prepped to enhance your mask experience. How very snazzy.
 
Origins make a second appearance on this list in the form of their Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask. I'm a huge fan of the masks the lovely guys at Origins create; last time I tried a new one I wanted to hug it and never let it go. And mention charcoal in regards to a skincare product and I'm sold, so I'm incredibly keen to get my hands on this beauty.

I've been on the hunt for a brand spanking new eye cream for a little while now and just recently I've come across the Soap and Glory Puffy Eye Attack Turbo-Boost Hydragel (what a mouthful). For £12.50 it's not too pricy in the market of eye care and seems to fit the bill perfectly for what I'm after. I'd be interested to hear if any of you have tried this little pot of eye goodness? Give me a shout if you have.
 
So we've chatted makeup and skincare, how about nails? As I'm sure you're aware, Models Own launched their Dare to Bare Collection recently and I'm totally crushing on their HyperGel Polish Collection. Nudey nails are totally my thing and Models Own have achieved 5 simply gorgeous shades that I simply can't choose between. They also have a gel-like finish which ticks all the boxes for me. Anyone fancy buying a girl a present?

In the bodycare department, I've been eying up the Mint Temptation Coffee Scrub from Scrub Love. I've spotted this brand mentioned here and there in the world of blogging and think it would be the perfect way to satisfy my urge to try a good new body exfoliator. Although Scrub Love offer three different variations on their coffee scrub concoction - 'original lovin', 'coconut affair' and 'mint temptation' - it was the mint one that jumped out at me from my first click on their website due to the anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and pore cleansing qualities of the peppermint oil.

Is there anything you're craving to add to your dressing table?

Beauty | Regime London 'Coconut Quench' Supplements*

Daily hydration is the best friend of your complexion. Whilst, of course, guaranteeing we get our eight to ten glasses of water each and every day is crucial, it's also essential that we pay extra special attention to the hydration our skin is getting through other means. There are countless products on the skincare counters focusing on rehydrating the skin from the outside but what about hydration from the inside? Enter the Coconut Quench supplements from Regime London.

Each capsule is packed with a refreshing blend of fresh coconut water (around 4000mg) and hyaluronic acid (240mg). They claim to "achieve a deeper level of skin hydration" across both the face and the rest of your body within three weeks of daily consumption. On a side note, they're also suitable for all you vegetarians out there.

Truth be told the capsules aren't the teeniest in the history of the world, they can't be when you consider how much is packed into them. But they still go down ever so easily with a glass of water so don't you stress. They're easy to slip into your daily routine; just take a single capsule each day with a lovely glass of water. Unlike some supplements they're not too fussy on when during your day you take your supplement so I chose early-evening, around the time of my evening meal.

I'd also like to mention the beautiful packaging. Whilst of course not a factor of much importance in the grand scheme of things, its simple white and gold colour scheme has a real luxurious feel to it. The kind of box you want to display on your dressing table rather than hide away in a cupboard.

Let's chat results shall we? The biggest improvement I found was around my eyes, with particular focus on my under eye circles which are nowhere near as dark and visible; despite no change in my sleeping patterns. In general though my skin feels softer to touch and a lot more plump and full of life. It also appears clearer and smoother. What more can a girl ask for?

One of the features of the supplements that immediately caught my eye was its claim in regards to making makeup easier to apply. How could a girl resist that? A little more digging revealed that the hyaluronic acid works its magic targeting some of the damage cosmetics can cause your skin
 and that in turn better prepares the skin for the days makeup. I'm delighted to note that I did indeed find this to be the case. After a week or so of taking the supplements my makeup began applying to a much smoother finish and lasted longer throughout the day without touch-ups. There's no need for fancy primers or setting sprays for all-day beautiful makeup, just up your skins hydration.

Overall I'm really rather impressed with these little beauties. Never before have I expressed much of an interest in supplements - truth be told I saw them as more for the older lady than an eighteen year old - but I may just have to keep letting my skin enjoy these ones. I'd encourage trying to drink as much water as possible alongside the supplements as I've found that it both heightens the results and of course further hydrates the skin.  And besides, this kind of thing should never be a replacement for good ol' H20, it just gives it a little bit of a helping hand; and a very good one at that.

The Regime London Coconut Quench Supplements are available online from Superdrug here with a RRP of £19.99.

Plus, if coconut water doesn't tickle your pickle they also offer Deluxe Collagen, Hyaluronic Acid and Dermal Grandeur, so take your pick!

*Disclaimer: This product was kindly gifted by AOB PR on behalf of Regime London, for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions shared on Yours, Chloe x 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.


Adventures | Sheringham, Norfolk

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside.
 
Last week I went on my second UK travel adventure of the month when my two best buds and I went on a little road trip over to the seaside town of Sheringham in Norfolk for the day. Norfolk is another land not too far away from my neck of the woods and we had a jolly good day exploring just a small portion of the beauty it has to offer.
 
Whilst there, we of course dined on the quintessential British seaside delicacy of fish and chips - or sausage and chips in my case - whilst lounging on the sea front and watching others brave the cold of the sea. An ice cream each was also enjoyed, from a parlor that offered more flavors than I'd ever be able to name. I was however too infatuated with the chocolatey creamy deliciousness I had served to me to snap a photo.
 
One of the loveliest things about Sheringham is the fact that there's lots of cute little shops to have a good mooch around in on the occasion that the weather's unkind. If I'm honest most of them (like any seaside town) sell the same products that are best described as over-priced Sass & Belle pieces so I kept my purse in my bag and just did a bit of window shopping.
 
To close the day we hopped back on in the car and popped over to Cromer. We had aspired to be mature and enjoy the likes of the pier and the rest of the seaside culture but truth be told we spend a good hour in the amusement arcade playing around on the 2p machines and performing ever so well in Deal or No Deal and Monopoly. It wasn't wasted though as we amassed enough tickets to walk away with adults colouring books and moams for all three of us. If that's not a day well spent then I don't know what is.
 
Norfolk is far from the beautiful Mediterranean beach settings it seems like most of the blogging world have been sharing over the past month or so, but it sure does make a good alternative if you're not jetting of anywhere fancy on your holibobs this year but still want to enjoy some sea air.
 
Have you got a love for a UK seaside town?

'See more of the UK' is part of my 101 in 1001. You can see what else I'm hoping to achieve here.

Nails | Maybelline 'Rose Poudré' Gel Nail Colour

In recent months I've been having a little bit of a love affair with the Maybelline 'Super Stay' range. From a nail polish I crave something durable, affordable, fast-drying and of a beautiful colour; and their 'Rose Poudré' shade ticks each of these boxes and pops a rose coloured cherry on the top.

Describing the shade 'Rose Poudré' is a seemingly tricky task. Whilst in some lights it appears a very neutral shade, as the name suggests, it is more of a rosy pink mauvey colour that provides a very sophisticated finish. Perfect if you want your nails to look good (almost) naked but with a touch of classy colour. 

As with all of the 'Super Stay' range this polish applies super duper easily and dries very quickly (although I like to chivy it along with the assistance of my Essie quick dry drops). A mere two coats is enough to provide flawless opaque coverage with a touch of gorgeous shine, lasting a good week with only a handful of touch ups following the wear and tear you'd expect from any manicure.

I'd also like to take a moment to declare my love for the brush perfection Maybelline have created. It's wide and flat, providing optimum coverage of the nail in a totally streak-free fashion.

Have you tried any of the Maybelline 'Super Stay' range?
 
The Maybelline 'Rose Poudré' Gel Nail Colour is available online from Superdrug here or in most drug stores.


Thoughts | Anxieties Surrounding Learning To Drive*

Learning to drive is a bit of a rite of passage in modern society. One of the things that most excites sixteen year olds about blowing out the candles on their next birthday cake is the prospect of getting behind the wheel. I'm happy to admit that I was one of those kids; eager to get on the road as soon as possible and give myself the freedom that driving can bring. However, I'm now eighteen and so far the only thing I've used my provisional license for is buying drinks. Please don't judge me too much.
 
I'm actually taking a gap year between A Levels and university so I have a good amount of time to get my booty in gear and get on the road. And the sooner the better, mind you, as my reliance on public transport (and the taxi service of mum and dad of course) is limiting the shifts I can take on at work. Getting a bus at 6am doesn't really float my boat, I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear. I'm also eager to travel and explore more of the UK during my year of freedom, something that will be a million times easier if I have a car at my disposal.

But what's stopping me from driving?
 
 
Image Source

Truth be told, I'm terrified. I'm a victim of the fear of the unknown. Whilst the potential dangers of driving don't really faze me in the grand scheme of things, it's the actual learning side of things that makes me shiver. This may sound strange, I know. I'm scared of being bad at driving when I first start (an evitable, I'm well aware) and embarrassing myself in front of whoever's sitting in the passenger seat, be it an instructor or even a family member. I'm also scared of failing my test, even though that's so far into the future. Every aspect of the process of learning to drive makes me pee my pants a little, if truth be told. If I'm honest I put a lot of this down to my general anxiety and the hold it can have on so many aspects of my life.
 
One of the ways I'm trying to tackle my anxieties surrounding learning to drive is by being as prepared and reassured mentally as I possibly can, and also by doing a million and one pieces of research on every aspect of the process.

One tool I've been introduced to recently and found ever so helpful is the website Book Learn Pass. They're like a one stop shop, of sorts, for all things learning to drive. The website provides a wonderful tool for finding and booking driving lessons in your local area, tracking down intensive courses (something I've found a great help as that is one of the paths I'm considering) and booking your theory test. They also provide tips galore for all things driving, be it from driving manoeuvers to your theory test; cockpit drills to the highway code. It's all there in easy-to-understand language (no motorhead gobbledygook) and the website is super easy to navigate.

The resource on your first driving lesson is one I've found so valuable in terms of banishing the anxieties surrounding getting behind the wheel for the very first time. I'm the kind of person who likes to know every single tiny detail of what's going to happen before she tries something new, and this page on their website covers all of these details and more. I'd definitely recommend this particular site if, like me, you're a nervous newbie driver and it's definitely something I'm going to be returning to as I move through the learning to drive process.

I'm going to aim to keep this little space updated on my journey into driving so keep your eyes peeled. Also let me know if there's anything particular within the topic that you'd like to read, I'll be more than happy to comply.

Have you learnt to drive yet? Do you have any tips for my fellow newbies?

*Disclaimer: This post is a sponsored collaboration with Book, Learn, Pass. All views and opinions shared on Yours, Chloe x are always honest and unbiased regardless of whether or not the content is sponsored. For further details please refer to my full disclaimer.


Lifestyle | Clue: The Period Tracking App

Code red; monthly visitor; the blob; lady time; having the painters in; shark week; bloody mary; auntie flo. There's a hundred and one titles for the monthly visitor that greets all of us with a vagina and that is of course the topic in question for todays ramble.
 
There's such a stigma within society surrounding discussing all things menstruation, which completely baffles me when you consider the fact that not only is it one of the most natural processes in the world but also a good fifty percent of the worlds population greet it (reluctantly none the less) each and every month. The blogging community is a wonderful platform to explore such tabooed topics as periods yet unfortunately you don't see as much discussion surrounding them as one would like. This needs to change and I want to do my bit by increasing the amount I explore them on this little space. And today kicks it all off.

I have a little present for all of you who menstruate - a new best friend. Enter Clue, a period tracking app and a rather amazing tool for tackling your cycle head on. If you're like me, you've tried many an app of this variety over the years but I'm happy to announce that this is the one. It's ever so rare that I reference anything from the app world on Yours, Chloe so you know that when I do I've found a good one, and this is no exception.

It covers every single aspect of the cycle you can think of - bleeding, fluids, collection method, pain, emotions, cravings, sex drive, sleep, sexual activity and a whole range of other bits and pieces. Most importantly it gets you to pop in the dates of each period which lets the app work its magic and calculate key things like when your next one will be heading your way and when you're most fertile. Such an app makes you an expert on your own body which is super duper important as, when it all comes down to it, your health should be your number one priority.
 
 

Clue makes sure there are no more unexpected intruders, you always know when to expect your little red friend. This gives you chance to stock up in time and to *fingers crossed* prevent the awful moments we've all faced where you find yourself suddenly 'on' when you're out and about living your busy little lives.
 
You can even set it up to send you a little reminder for all sorts of bits and pieces connected to your time of the month: when your period is about to begin, if it's late, when your fertile window is coming up etc. It can also remind you about other key things such as taking your contraceptive pill (or putting on a new patch, getting your injection, popping in a new ring and so on) and doing a breast check. What more can we ask for?

 
It's power of tracking your fertility is also hugely valuable. It particularly makes it a good tool for all of you who are trying to start a family, as it alerts you of the best time to try some serious baby-making activities. Not only that but if you're having sex minus a method of contraception (or equally practicing the rhythm method) it lets you know when's safest to have your sexy time. Although I would note that of course it is better to always practice safe sex as these dates are never one hundred percent accurate so you always run the risk of pregnancy and you'll also be at risk of the world of STDs if no barrier-method is involved. Lecture over.
Clue also strikes me as a wonderful tool for educating young women on what's going on 'down there' as education on the topic of puberty, periods and sexual health is so vital yet not emphasized half as much as it should be. I'd definitely recommend mums with daughters who are nearing the start of their periods to use the app to explain the ins and outs of the world of menstruation, although of course the tracking element of it may not be as useful for girls that early on in their womenhood as early periods can be turbulent and unpredictable, to put it lightly.

I would also note that the app takes a wonderfully gender-neutral approach to period tracking (more so than any other period-tracking app I've come across). It's amazing to see such an app being so inclusive of all those who menstruate, regardless of gender identity. It's also super discreet - nowhere does it state its status as a period tracking app - which can be a great factor for those who are shy around the topic.
 
 
(note: Clue does display your height, weight and chosen birth control method on this page in a similar way to how it displays your date of birth but of course I did hide those away for privacy reasons).

The true beauty of Clue hit me about a month ago when I found myself being shipped off to good ol' A&E by my doctors. Every single medical professional I saw asked a million questions about my cycle and what not, and I don't know about you but I'm not the best at remembering all of the little details of each period. And lets be honest, even if I was a walking encyclopedia on the topic you rarely find yourself in much of a fit state to pass it all on in depth when you're in such a place as A&E. Having Clue meant that I could just whip out my phone and there lay all of my data from over a year. From the heaviness of the bleeding to the collection method used, from the pain to the mood swings, and even down to sex and sleep; everything was there, which contributed greatly to speeding up the diagnosis process. I actually think one of the male gynecologists may have fallen in love with the app there and then as it made his job so much easier. So the moral of the story is, it's always handy to have such data at the push of a button; you're never know when you're going to need it.
 
Clue is completely free and available to download both on Apple and Android.
 
Happy period tracking!

Adventures | Nottingham

Last week saw my boyfriends birthday and, in light of the celebrations, we travelled up to Nottingham for a little break. It was a surprise trip, as my treat for the birthday chap, and it was a rather splendid - and well-received - adventure. Nottingham is not a million miles away from our neck of the woods, if you hop on the train it'll only take a tad over an hour, but its a location that neither of us had done too much exploring of which made the time even better. This little adventure is one I'd been looking forward to ever since I clicked 'book' a month or so ago. It was only a quick break, just a single night away with a full (ish) day either side, but it was simply amazing.
 
On a quest for brunch as soon as we arrived, we found ourselves in Bagel Nash. Bagel Nash is - you've guessed it - a caff producing mouth-watering bagels that are prepared right in front of your very eyes. Personally, I chose the 'Ham and Swiss Cheese' filling on a simple plain bagel (they feature a vast array of bagel choices for you to pick and choose from) whilst Johnny chose a 'Chicken Club' filling on a poppy bagel. Nom.
 
Now with full bellies, our first port of call was The Treat Kitchen; the sweetshop of dreams and somewhere I'd been eyeing up on twitter for a little while. Stepping into the store you find yourself surrounded by hundreds of types of sweets, all packaged up in milk bottles and jam jars. Pinterest worthy or what? My personal favourite treat on offer was their fudge - all handmade in store might I add - as oh my it was truly something. A couple of slabs may have accidentally been purchased and whilst it definitely can't be placed under the 'healthy' category, this kind of thing is the reason the phrase "treat day" exists, isn't it? Whilst I didn't manage to snap any pictures of their gorgeous shop (I was too distracted by the potential sugar rush), I just see that as an excuse to return to one of their stores for more delights.
 
Following all of the sweetie buying it was check in-o'clock so we hopped on over to our chosen hotel. Of course it was real tiring partaking in two days of doing absolutely nothing but chatting, eating and drinking so a wonderful place to lay our heads was needed. Craving a budget-friendly yet fairly luxury abode for the evening I had picked Roomzzz, an 'aparthotel' conveniently placed only a skip away from the hustle and bustle of the heart of Nottingham's shopping scene. Our room - one of the 'Grande Studios' - featured a deluxe double bed, separate soft seating area, gorgeous en-suite (featuring one of the best showers I've ever experienced - bonus points), mahoosive TV and a spacious modern kitchen, featuring all the mod-cons you have at home. One of the things I adore about Roomzzz is the fact that they offer a 'Grab & Go' complimentary breakfast of a morning. Truth be told, we didn't quite make it up in time to grab any of those treats (it's all shut up at 10am you see). I blame the comfy bed. In all honestly, I can't fault Roomzzz. It made a rather excellent change from hotel life and provided a home away from home that suited us perfectly. The size of the room was rather incredible and it was immaculately laid-out with great features that screamed luxury. It would be a true delight to stay there again and I know they're going to be top of my list for booking rooms when on future travels.
 
After a little bit of chill-time, we headed on out again to mooch around the shops for a little while and explore what Nottingham has on offer. A particular highlight was stopping by Shakeaway for my one true milkshake love: a crème egg milkshake. Oh boy do I wish they would open up a branch in my home town. We also spotted a group at least 20 adults on a pokemon go walk, equipped with speakers blaring out the theme song. It definitely made for a rather interesting sighting, particularly for someone who (I'm sorry) has never had the slightest bit of interest in it all.
 
As the afternoon began to evolve into the evening we headed back 'home' for an outfit change (a girls got to take up any opportunity to dress up hasn't she) and then off we popped to our dining location for the evening - Rub Smokehouse aka "The Home of Real American BBQ Food". The restaurant, although a tad on the quiet side with it being mid-week, was rather large with urban and contemporary décor. The menu was extensive, offering both your normal size portions and the correctly named #EPICFOOD portions if you're one with a slightly larger appetite. The cocktail menu was diverse and I selected a delicious raspberry mojito which was rather amazing if truth be told. We were also eyeing up the skittles vodka shots however decided that they were perhaps more of a weekend venture. For starters Johnny enjoyed the 'Pulled Pork Garlic Bread' and I munched on the 'Rub Nachos'. I'll be honest, I'm not really a lover of spicy food and was a tad concerned that the nachos were going to blow my head off but luckily you have the choice of having the dish prepared mild, hot or insane. I, of course, went for the mild option but even that had a bit of a kick to it so I dread to think that the insane spice level would taste like. In regards to mains, I went for one of my favourite meals: a 'Rump Steak' (served rare) with the sides of fries and onion rings. Although this also had a surprising kick to it, it was rather nice none the less. He ordered the 'Full Rack of Slow Smoked Rubbed Ribs' with fries and 'dirty rice'. Although it's clear than in this instance his eyes were bigger than his belly as he was unable to finish it all (despite a tremendous effort), it received mostly great reviews.
 
Although we had planned to spend the rest of the evening out, exploring some of the Nottingham pubs, it was decided that we both felt more like a night in. Cue a stop off at a supermarket to pick up a couple of bottles of good stuff and then a night in watching late night telly.
 
When the sun rose on our second day in Nottingham and we were all checked out, we took ourselves off for a little wander into the city centre for a touch of breakfast. Booking a table for breakfast was another item that had been on my to-do list ahead of the trip and I had chosen 'Pitcher and Piano' a restaurant and bar "housed inside a striking Grade II listed church" in the heart of Nottingham's Lace Market. Of course, we couldn't resist the sound of a full English with Johnny choosing the (accurately named) 'Big Breakfast' and myself the (slightly smaller) 'P&P Breakfast'. Each came with Bacon, Cumberland sausage, fried egg, hash brown,  grilled flat mushroom, baked beans, grilled tomato and toast. Exactly what you need to start the day. To wash things down I chose a delicious 'Passion Fruit Cooler' whilst he went with a coffee. The décor and feel of Pitcher and Piano couldn't have been more to my taste, full of character and charm in such a beautiful building. The experience and food were extraordinary and I'm definitely eager to try out more of the branches of this special chain.

With our tummies ready for the days adventures we headed over to 'City of Caves', something we were both eager to explore. The entrance is situated on the upper mall level of the Broadmarsh Shopping Centre and - equipped with audio equipment and a hardhat - you can venture down and investigate part of the maze of caves that lies under the city. As a bit of a history geek, I really enjoyed taking the journey back in time and exploring the varying uses of the caves according to the time period in question. The audio tour was extremely informative (although some of the voices featured were a little on the annoying side after a while) and it was a super cool sight to see that I'd definitely recommend if history is your cup of tea.

Eager to spend the rest of our day doing more exploring we worked our way up in the direction of Nottingham castle, with the plan of having a look around and absorbing more of the cities culture. However if truth be told we did end up getting a tad distracted by a pub. But what do you expect from two eighteen year olds eh? The Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem pub came highly recommended from a vast array of sources so, of course, we had to take the opportunity to head over in that direction and see what the fuss is all about. If you're unaware of its history, the pub is actually built into the rocks that Nottingham Castle are built on and holds the status as the oldest inn in England (being born in 1189AD). As our breakfast had been wearing off and our tummies were beginning to rumble we chose to order a bite of eat to enjoy alongside our drink and I picked a 'Fish Finger Brioche' alongside some rather delicious fries with a good ol' bacardi and coke (my personal favourite tipple). It was truly delicious and the pub had such a wonderful atmosphere.

To close the trip we had another mooch around the shops (including a return to The Treat Kitchen for a bit of present buying) and a coffee or two before heading on home back to Peterborough. It was a rather amazing couple of days - a short but sweet trip - and has provided me with a real love of the city of Nottingham.

A good little break, however short, is always welcomed. It was so nice to be able to eat, drink and relax in completely different surroundings but with your favourite company. I'd definitely recommend Nottingham if you're after somewhere where there's plenty to see and do without spending a fortune. If I'm honest, this little trip has made me eager to explore more of the places the UK has on offer, so any recommendations on where to go for my next adventure would be greatly received.

'See more of the UK' is part of my 101 in 1001. You can see what else I'm hoping to achieve here.

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