Food | TAMU Dessert Lounge, Peterborough

TAMU; a single word that will leave a large percentage of the population of Peterborough drooling. It's well established within the city as the go-to place for those of us with a sweet tooth and a craving for waffles, crepes and other delicious delicacies.

I do love me a good pud. It's the kind of indulgence that’s worth every single calorie. At TAMU - translating to 'sweet' in Swahili - dessert is at the forefront of the menu and they produce some of the best desserts to have ever blessed my stomach. Just writing about them now is making my tummy rumble away.
Every single trip I find myself ogling the menu for forever and a day, trying to decide which delicious treat I'm going to munch on this occasion. Each of their plates of sweet chocolatey goodness are delicious and worth every penny.

On my last visit I savoured every moment when tucking into a 'Double Trouble' waffle, a warm waffle covered in Oreos and Ferrero Rochers, smothered in Nutella and topped with a heap of ice cream, whipped cream and hazelnuts. Is your mouth watering? 

I must give a special mention to their divine milkshakes, which are literally liquid heaven. I honestly couldn't pick a favourite to recommend so I'd suggest taking a trip and making your own decision.
If your tummy is currently rumbling away at the thought of a restaurant based solely around desserts, you can browse the TAMU menu here.

Have you had a particularly wonderful dessert lounge experience?

Thoughts | Education and Mental Health

My mental health is not a common topic of discussion here on Yours, Chloe. It's always been an area that I like to keep on the hush side whenever possible, both online and off. I struggle with thoughts - as I know many people in my situation do - that nobody believes there's anything truly wrong, almost as if that which cannot be seen isn't there. This is so far off reality as mental illness is very much real and something that needs to be discussed. So, I'm biting the bullet and starting a dialogue on the topic, here on Yours, Chloe. Beginning with my experiences of the relationship between mental health and the education system. This is a post I wrote earlier this year (back in August to be exact).

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On the morning of Thursday 18th August 2016 I had an envelope handed to me; and the contents of that envelope - be it a tad on the disappointing side - marked the end of my time at school.

Sixth form was somewhat of a struggle. My mental health was all over the place and I spent a great deal of time over the two years desperate to be anywhere but inside the four walls of the school building. I sat my exams in a month rife with panic attacks, tears, poor eating habits and sleepless nights. How on earth anyone can think the current British secondary education system is of a good standard is beyond me; such unhealthy school and exam experiences as mine are far too common.

Treatment of mental health problems within education is on the brink of awful. The commonly used comparison of physical and mental health problems is so key here; break your leg and you would never have to complete a PE lesson, struggle with depression or anxiety (or anything else under the spectrum of mental health) and more often than not a grand total of 0 allowances are made for you. Even when you're at war with your own mind on a daily basis, schools expect nothing but perfection from you.

One of the biggest impacts my mental health had day-to-day at school was in regards to my concentration. "Diminished ability to concentrate" is in fact an official symptom of depression and for those in education it can have a particularly damaging effect. I found myself on so many occasions taking in little to no information per fifty minute lesson. I'd leave classrooms and have trouble stating what we'd actually been learning about. This meant that there were countless topics and units that I simply had to teach myself at a later date. It also meant that I had to deal with the frustrated comments from teachers in regards to my failure to retain information, even though every single one of them was aware of my struggles. This evoked feelings that I'd let people down.

I'm writing this on results day 2017, one whole year since I received my A Level results. It wasn't all bad that day, I did receive the amazing news that I had been given a place at my top choice university and I will be starting there this September. I've taken a year out of education to give myself a bit of a break and it has had a hugely positive impact on my mental health. Taking a gap year is something I'd hugely recommend, it has left me refreshed and ready to take on university.

There is one thing that I have learnt through my experiences at the end of my compulsory education and it is something I wish for you to take with you following this post. You are worth so much more than a single letter on an exam certificate. Exams can be re-sat but there's only one of you, so don't sacrifice your health in pursuit of good grades.

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?