Lifestyle | My 3 Summer Goals

I know what you're thinking: "Chloe, you're posting your summer goals now? It's nearly the middle of August". What can I say? Always late but worth the wait.

I'll be honest, I've had a rather chilled Summer so far but I don't actually feel guilty for it at all. I've had a rather challenging 2018 so far and really needed the chance to take some time out to relax and revive myself. I've been focusing on my mental health and wellbeing; something we all should be doing. So no, I haven't had the busiest Summer so far but I can say I've used my time in a valuable way, by putting myself first.

We have three or so weeks left of Summer so I've decided it's finally time to hang up my procrastination hat and get cracking on some of the things I want to accomplish before we wave goodbye to the leisurely warmer months.

1. Have A Clear Out
My room is a bit of a hot mess right now. I packed up my old flat and it's now in boxes and suitcases placed here there and everywhere in my bedroom and the rest of my family home. Not ideal. I've decided this is the perfect opportunity to have a sort out and get things back in order. Forget spring clean, we're doing a summer clean.

2. Get My DIY On
One month today I move into my new flat - wait for it - with my boyfriend. Moving in with a fella? That's proper adult territory. Student budgets mean we've only nabbed a studio flat but I'm determined to make the space as homely as possible. There's so many beautiful homeware pieces out there which would spruce the place up but I  decided to do it on the cheap and craft my way to a gorgeous new home. So far I've been reviving some old frames from charity shops but I have lots of other projects planned. Is this something you'd like to see on Yours, Chloe? Let me know.

3. Keep Up The Blogging Game
I've been a bit pants at this blogging malarkey recently as I chose to take a bit of a digital detox and focus on having some 'me time' rather than spending all my days writing blog post after blog post. Over the past couple of days I've been planing and drafting lots of new post ideas which I can't wait to share. I'm also off away later in the week which will pave the way for lots of photography opportunities; watch this space.

Have you set any goals for the latter half of the Summer?
Are you following Yours, Chloe on Bloglovin? You can find me here.

Books | 5 Books To Be Absorbed By This Summer

Summer is that time of year where every woman and her cat become avid book worms. You see it every summer, Instagram upon Instagram of people lazing on beaches with their nose in a book and in some cases you can't help but find yourself muttering that famous Draco Malfoy line "I didn't know you could read". 

There's something about this season that just draws people to books. In part I think it's because the holiday time that comes in the summer months gives us the opportunity to actually tackle the to-read pile that has been building at the side of our bed for the past twelve months. The chill relaxing nature of the summer months also create the perfect environment for getting cosy with a good read. The days are longer and it's warm enough for sitting in the garden with a glass of vino and a piece of fiction. Absolute bliss, if you ask me.

I've definitely put my book-worm cap on this summer and have been delving into a number of fantastic reads already. Today I wanted to share with you 5 of the books I've been absolutely loving; hopefully one or two at least will make it on your to-read list.

1. Rules of Summer by Joanna Philbin
"There are two sides... to every summer."

Rules of Summer introduces us to Rory McShane, a teenage girl who is about to spend her summer working as an errand-girl for your stereotypical wealthy American family, the Rule family. Whilst the concept may seem rather tedious, the novel is surprisingly engrossing. The story has a duel narrative, flitting between the lives of Rory and Isabelle (the youngest Rule). It explores their friendship and also the budding romance between Rory and the swoon-worthy Connor Rule, Isabelle's elder brother.

As well as being an aww-worthy love story, the kick-ass female friendship (despite the class-divide) really triumphs the romance. It's the perfect easy beach read and truly makes for a lovely summertime escape.

2. Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher
"Love makes life worth living, not money."

Billy and Me has been a permanent addition to my summer reading list every year since the incredible Giovanna Fletcher made her writing debut in 2016. The book follows Sophie, a young girl living a perfectly normal life in the country, who falls for Billy, a super famous actor who wants to make it to the top. The story shows the ups and downs of their relationship, and explores how Sophie copes being thrown into the limelight.

This is an absolute cracker of a chick lit novel. It's got so much charm to it and is honestly one of the most beautiful and heartwarming love stories I've ever heard.

3. To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
"Life doesn't have to be so planned. Just roll with it and let it happen."

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

This novel is such a little gem in the YA novel department; it is one of my all time favourite YA novels. Despite its romantic core it also features the important themes of family, culture and identity, creating an inviting innovative read. Jenny Han writes in a gorgeous fashion that leaves you feeling as if you were actually inside the head of the protagonist, leaving you hooked to the story and desperate for the tales of Lara Jean Covey to be endless. 

4. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
"These were the lovely bones that had grown around my absence: the connections – sometimes tenuous, sometimes made at a great cost, but often magnificent – that happened after I was gone."

The Lovely Bones tells the story of Susie Salmon, a young girl who at the start of the book is tragically murdered and then narrates the story from her own personal Heaven as she looks down at the world and people she has left behind. It shares poignant snapshots into the lives of people haunted by the loss of their daughter, sister and friend. The story also provides a unique insight into the perpetrator of this heinous offense.

This may not be the most lighthearted summer read but boy is it incredible. As soon as I read the first page of this novel I was hooked. I found Sebold's portrayal of the concept of Heaven absolutely fascinating and I believe it is this element of the story which makes it so memorable. If you've seen the film I'd definitely recommend also reading the book, it adds a whole new dimension to the story.

5. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
"But here's the truth: In movies, it's never half so lovely as it is here and now with Jase."

My Life Next Door shares the love story of Samantha and Jase, next door neighbours with vastly different backgrounds and family lives. They first meet when Jase climbs up to her rooftop perch and from there romance blossoms. We follow their story as they stumble through the awkward yet amazing territory of first love.

This novel is another one of my favourite novels of all time. It's one of those stories that makes you feel all gooey in the middle; like your tummy is now made of caramel. I challenge any girl to read this novel and not fall head over heels in love with Jase. He's funny, sweet, caring, good with kids and just so damn lovable it hurts. My Life Next Door tastefully explores some of the more 'mature' themes surrounding first love and this really adds to just how beautiful the story is. It's honestly a little piece of magic stuffed into 400-odd pages and truly makes the perfect summer read.

What are you reading this Summer? I'd love to hear your recommendations.

Lifestyle | Four July Highlights

I can't bloomin' believe we're already on August's doorstep.

I've made a mental note to write monthly roundup posts a little more regularly. They give you a real insight into the real person behind the blog, showing that not everything is glam and photo-perfect. Whilst I've made a conscious effort to try to never put up that false pretense on my blog or social media accounts in anyway, these posts still provide a lovely insight into my life and who I am as a person.

Let's have a look back at the month that was...

Blogging Come Back
This month I popped my blogging hat on again and published my first posts since March. The hiatus was caused by a level of unease I had about blogging and my identity within the blogging community. I took the time to consider whether or not there truly is a place for lifestyle blogging within the blogging community. Whilst there have been a number of hugely successful lifestyle bloggers, the blogs which are really smashing it at the moment are largely beauty and fashion themed. I was torn between the two juxtaposing ideas of ultimately which kind of posts make a successful blogger and the style of blogging that truly holds my heart. But after a period of reflection I've realised that blogging success comes from passionate writing and an enthusiastic online presence, so as long as you're passionate about the topic you're writing about - whether it be lifestyle, beauty, books, fashion or otherwise, the world is your oyster. 

Solo Adventuring
July played host to my first solo adventure around Lincoln, visiting the castle and exploring its shopping delights. Although it was merely a day trip, for someone who battles anxiety daily it was a big deal. I picked a city I had visited plenty of times but an area and attraction that was new. The air of familiarity that came from previous trips definitely helped me to feel at ease and I had a truly lovely day. My inner history geek was well and truly out when I ventured around the castle and its Victorian prison, and the scenic views from the top of the castle wall were truly mesmerising. I'm so excited to embark on more solo adventures around the UK soon. If you have any location recommendations I'd love to hear them. 

Family Times
Summer would't be a summer without the odd family get-together thrown in, would it? My extended family lives here, there and everywhere so getting absolutely everybody in the same place is an occasion that only happens once or twice a year, but it's jolly lovely when it does. It was a day of family, food, frolics and an alcohol beverage or two. The perfect way to spend a sunny Saturday. 

End of First Year
July marked the end of my first year of uni, and I was absolutely blessed to discover I had finished the year with a first overall. The beginning of my university experience was a tricky one on all accounts but despite everything I managed to complete it and have a really solid start to my teacher training. Despite its ups and downs, I do have some lovely memories from my first year and am very excited to begin my second year in October and to see what the rest of my uni experience can offer me.

What was your highlight of the month of July?
Are you following Yours, Chloe on Bloglovin? You can find me here.

Thoughts | Twenty Things I've Learnt In Twenty Years

The past couple of years have been ones of personal growth and discovery. In the first two years of my adult life I've become pretty wisdomous (to quote the legend that is Joey Tribbiani) so I thought it would be a jolly good idea to share twenty of the life lessons I've learnt in my first two decades of life.

1. You can't control everything in life and that's ok.
We can't control other people or outside events, we can only control how we react to those things.

2. Wear whatever the hell you want.
It's easy to get stuck in the idea of 'this is on trend, this is what everyone else is wearing so I should do the same' but that is quite honestly crap. Your fashion style is part of your identity; it tells the world who you are and you don't want to imply that you're the same as everyone else. This is the same for things that are 'too short' or 'not flattering'; you like it, you wear it.

3. Invest in experiences rather than things.
Memories are more valuable than material items.

4. Always listen to your intuition.
Listen to that little voice inside of you; you're gut feeling, it'll tell you which path to follow.

5. Quality over Quantity.
Whilst this can be applied to most things in life, especially belongings,it should also be applied in regards to friends. It is more important to have a group of close friends who you will know will always have your back than hundreds of friends who don't really know much more about you than your name.

6. Jealousy is a natural emotion to feel, but use it positively.
Jealousy is a natural emotion to feel; we've all experienced it at some point in our lives. But this Tinkerbell-like trait won't really get you anywhere if you let it take you over. Instead we should consider what it is that's causing this envy and use it in a positive way; to make a positive change to our life.

7. Ask your parents/grandparents about themselves and their youth.
Not only is it important to hear their stories whilst they're still here to tell them, it can also help you to learn about not only them but also yourself. You will develop an understanding of where you get certain character traits or likes/dislikes from; it's truly fascinating how little things are passed down through generations.

8. You do not need to apologise for taking 'me time'. 
Self-care is essential.

9. So much joy can be found in sitting in a coffee shop alone.
Oh boy is it daunting at first but it's so so worth it. Since moving to Sheffield I've made the effort to take a trip to my local coffee shop once every two weeks or so with a book in hand. It was only when I was there that I realised just how many people sit in coffee shops alone. This is the perfect opportunity for a bit of me-time, and the perfect chance for some interrupted nose-in-book time. Bliss.

10. Be curious.
Curiosity creates opportunities for exploration; opportunities to gain a deeper understanding of life.

11. It's important to strike a balance between saving and experiencing. 
There's no point spending all of your younger years stressing about money. Be financially-conscious, of course, but don't let money worries stop you from enjoying life.

12. Live in the moment.
Don't spend your life waiting for Friday, for the summer, for the future; focus on right here right now and make the most of life.

13. You are much stronger than you think you are.
Although it may not always feel like it, you're strong and you will get through whatever life throws at you. Consider how many days you've gone through which you thought you were not strong enough to survive or bounce back from; you have and that shows your strength.

14. Don't compare yourself to others.
The only person worth comparing yourself to is the person you were yesterday.

15. It's ok to not follow the same timeline as everyone else, or the timeline that society sets. 
Create your own path through the world. Don't let society, or specific people, tell you when you should reach significant life milestones, follow the path you want to.

16. Don't be afraid to try new foods or give previously-disliked foods another go.
Taste-buds change as you get older. If you live life staying away from foods you didn't like a while ago, or are scared to try for the first time, you may be missing out on some wonderful cuisines. 

17. Get rid of the negative people in your life.
Anyone that brings you down does not deserve to be in your life so wave goodbye and don't be sorry.  

18. The opinions of strangers or people you barely know don't matter. 
Don't get stressed at the prospect of people judging you, if anything they probably haven't even noticed.

19. Take lots of photos.
Remember to document life's adventures so you can look back and reminisce in the years to come.

20. Be kind.
"Be kind wherever possible. It is always possible" - Dalai Lama

What is the most important life lesson you've learnt so far?

Are you following Yours, Chloe on Bloglovin? You can find me here.

Thoughts | On Finding Confidence In Front Of The Camera

Body confidence has never been my forte; far from it. I've always been much more at home behind the camera than in front of it;

This is something I regret if truth be told. Photo albums from family holidays during my teenage years can give the impression I never made it on the plane and I wish I did have all of my wonderful holiday memories in photographic form. 

Blogging has also highlighted my lack of confidence in front of the lens. A significant part of blogging is upholding a solid profile on social media, especially on the likes of Instagram, and it's been well proven that the key to a successful following is flooding your feed with flat-lays and 'candid' photos of you exploring the world. That's easier said than done when your self esteem is below parr.

But this Summer I've set myself a challenge: I want every other photo on my Instagram feed to be a photo of me.

When setting myself this challenge I knew it wouldn't be a walk in the park. It's early days still but so far so good, I haven't stressed over clicking publish half as much as I expected to. There is a number of things I've done to boost my confidence in posting portraits on my Instagram which have all contributed in their own little way and today I wanted to share them with you.

One thing that has helped massively with this is getting the right editing routine going on my phone. I've found a number of apps which have found a special place in my heart and each make all the difference to photos. I'm making an effort to not over-edit any of my photos though, as that will have the opposite affect on my self-confidence to what I am aiming for. I simply brighten the photo and add a small hint of a filter when needed. I'm tempted to write a post on how I edit photos to help those who are as clueless about editing as I was before now!

I've also started taking photos at times when I'm most relaxed. I love taking my camera out with me when I take my dogs for a walk so I can snap photos of the scenery and of them, with the option for photos to be taken of me should the timing be right. Having 'blog photoshoots' as spur of the moment things that just seem right in the moment makes them much more chilled; there's not that pressure to get perfect photos as you're just taking them in opportune moments whilst you go about your daily life. It is when you're at your happiest and most relaxed that you can be your true confident self and this shows in the photos that are taken.

Another thing that can help to boost your confidence in front of the camera is getting to know your body and which your 'best side' is. I love shots where I'm playing with my hair, or looking to the side of the shot. I also love candid photos of me with my dogs or just off for a stroll. Now that I have discovered a preference for these kind of shots, they are my go-to during photo shoots and I feel automatically feel more confident in doing them.

I also don't add the confidence-barrier of shooting photos in busy spaces. As I said, I like to take photos when on a walk where there's pretty open spaces and lovely scenery. These places tend to be pretty quiet which helps me to not stress about other people seeing me being all posey. The similar summery natural backdrops have also helped me to begin to build a theme on my Instagram, which gets me extra blogger points.

I'm going to keep writing posts reflecting on my progress towards becoming Instagram-confident. As I said, I've got a long way to go until I can be one of those girls who flounce about the streets of London snapping posey photos like it's nobodies business, but every little step is one step closer.

How to you find the confidence to pose for Instagram photos?

Are you following Yours, Chloe on Bloglovin? You can find me here.

Happy Mind | 5 Simplistic Self Care Ideas

Self Care: The actions that individuals take for themselves, on behalf of and with others in order to develop, protect, maintain and improve their health, wellbeing or wellness. (Self Care Forum)

Articles about self-care often focus on the more luxurious options; the whole 'take a bubble bath' / 'have a pamper' routine. Whilst these can be fantastic self care practices, it is important to also consider some of the more simplistic examples of self care which can be instilled into your daily life.

Self care is quite simply the actions within your lifestyle you take to maintain and improve your mental health and wellbeing; the ways you take care of yourself. It's much easier than you may think to instill self-care practices in your daily routine and today I'm going to explore five of the main opportunities for everyday self care.

Make sure you're eating three meals a day.
Not the most radical self care idea I know, but an important one that so many people fail to do. Eating three healthy balanced meals a day is something which is so key to your mental health. Ensuring you're getting adequate amounts of all the key food groups, vitamins and minerals will help to maintain your mental health. Try to allocate time to properly sit down for each meal as this will not only help you to digest your food better but it will also give you a brief interlude from the craziness of life.

Settle yourself into a good sleep pattern.
The benefits of a good nights kip are well talked about and therefore getting your body into a good sleeping routine is a key way of looking after yourself. I'm not going to sit here and say you should be getting 9 hours of sleep every night because, whilst this is the ideal, it's not entirely practical when you consider the hustle and bustle of everyday life. But allowing yourself a good nights sleep every night is important and something we should all be doing.

Learn that it's ok to say no.
Identifying when you need to say no to social offers and take some me time is really important. I'm not saying shut yourself away and become a hermit, but every now and again (or as much as needed) it's ok to decline an invitation and take some time for yourself. Your friends will understand.

Drink enough water.
Again, this is a fairly obvious, but crucial one all the same. So many people don't give their bodies enough water during the day but girl you need to quench that thirst. If, like me, you're one of those people who is pretty crap at remembering to drink enough water, there's two things I do to get myself into a good drinking routine. Firstly, I bought myself a cute little water bottle which goes with me everywhere so I always have access to water. My local area has a campaign in which local cafes/restaurants/pubs sign up to provide free water when you need your bottle refilling and it's brilliant; I really wish it was a national thing. Secondly I've downloaded one of those water apps on my phone which kindly pesters me every hour and reminds me to have a little drink.

Stick to your skincare routine.
A good nightly skincare routine is the perfect opportunity to take the time each day to give yourself a little pamper; a little TLC. You don't have to go all out with face masks and fancy creams if that's not you, but a simple cleansing routine will revive your skin and help you to feel better. If you can use products involving essential oils (lavender, tea tree etc.) that'll add an extra dimension to your self care.

These five things are all concepts that often go out of the window when you're going through a period of bad mental health and I know that when you're in a rough place simply brushing your hair can seem like climbing a mountain. But instilling these five simplistic self care practices into your daily life can really help to boost your mood and to make things seem even that little bit better.

Have you got anymore ideas for simplistic self care?

Thoughts | Letter To My Sixteen Year Old Self

A few months ago my little sister turned 16.

When I considered the prospect of my sister turning sixteen it inspired me to think back to when I was that age. It was only four years ago but it seems like a lot longer. I've grown so much as a person in the past four years and despite some bumps in the road here and there, they have been the best four years of my life so far. Reminiscing to life as a sixteen year old led me to consider the things I wish I'd known back then, so let me share the pearls of wisdom I've accumulated in the past four years in a letter to my sixteen year old self.

Sex isn't everything.
Yes the age of consent is sixteen but that doesn't mean there's an unwritten rule that puts any form of pressure on you to get jiggy with it (where does that saying even come from?!). I know at the moment it seems like absolutely everyone around you is in a relationship and loosing their virginity but that isn't the case, nor would it matter if it was. It will be a year or two before you meet someone special and that's ok, it's worth the wait. Don't feel like you need to rush anything or you're weird for waiting a tad longer than other people to jump on the sex bandwagon; just do everything in your own time and focus on yourself. Create your own timeline and do things at your pace, not at the pace society tells you to follow.

Working part-time will be really valuable.
Shortly after starting sixth form you'll start working part time; just 5.5 hours a week to start with. Although sometimes sacrificing your Sundays and opportunities to hang out with your friends might seem bad but the skills you'll develop whilst working this job for the next 3 years will end up being really valuable for you and help you to get jobs now that you're a grown up. It'll also instill a great work ethic in you than will put you one step ahead of a lot of your peers. Go for it girl!

Don't be afraid to forge your own path in life.
You've never been one to follow the crowd; you will always forge your own path through life with your own likes and dislikes regardless of what the 'popular kids' are doing. This determination to be yourself is one of your most wonderful qualities so don't be afraid to keep it up.

Your self worth isn't dependent on your weight.
We're getting serious with this point kid. Even though at the moment you won't recognise them as such, you have had disordered eating habits for a couple of years by now. Skipping meals, calorie counting and guilt after eating isn't healthy and I'm sorry to say that you're going to have a fight against these habits on your hands for a number of years. But please remember that food is fuel, not the enemy and the number on the scales do not impact on your self worth.

You're beautiful - clear skin or not.
Acne is a bitch. It can really ruin your self confidence without makeup and - regardless of how many skincare products you try during your teens - there's not much you can do about it. But just remember that regardless of how clear your skin is, you're still beautiful.

Friendships will dissolve sometimes, and that's ok.
As you get older you may seem to find yourself growing apart from your childhood and school friends and that is ok, it happens. During your later teenage years you'll find yourself discovering who you really are as a person and your interests, values and passions will really be established. As a result of this you may end up growing apart from friends and this is normal; and completely ok.

What message would you give your sixteen year old self if given the opportunity?

Thoughts | Is It Right To Feel Envious As A Blogger?

This post is one I've written in my head a thousand times over but have never had the courage to actually write down and publish. But I've realised lately that this is a legitimate issue within the blogging community and something that I feel a conversation needs to be started about. I'm talking about feeling envy as a blogger.

It's human nature to see the successes of other people as something of competition; as something to envy. We want to have achieved x or to be doing y successfully and that desire can often come out as jealousy towards the people who already have these things ticked off. This envy can emerge within all different areas of life but it is extremely prevalent within blogging.

You do almost feel a level of envy and frustration when you see bloggers really succeeding and you're still trying to get off the starting line. I do wish I could say that blogging is all sunshine and rainbows and cheering for each other, but this negative element to blogging does exist and should be talked about.

Ultimately no blogger can stand there and say they haven't experienced feelings of envy with regards to their progress as a blogger. You may see some fantastic content or photography and feel jealous of the blogger who has created it. An extremely common example is when we look at each others social media statistics and think 'she has 10k instagram followers; I want that'.  

Something I've definitely experienced, and I'm not ashamed to admit this, is feeling envious towards bloggers and posts which are successful when I don't necessary deem them to be deserving of such. I appreciate that such a statement makes me out to be a horrible person but I think we've all experienced this and are lying to ourselves if we say we haven't. I've read posts that have had a much better reception and much more success than my posts and my first thought is 'well I want and arguably deserve that success'.  I think anyone would find it tricky to not feel disheartened when they work for hours and hours on a post for it to then not get the reception you were hoping for. This disheartening feeling can often manifest into feelings of envy and that's ok.

Experiencing these feelings doesn't make you a bad person or a bad blogger; it's how you react to them that does. Sharing this negativity online is never going to have a positive outcome, it'll merely bring the fellow blogger down and paint yourself in a bad light. Instead we should recognise these feelings of envy and learn from them. If I'm jealous of a certain blogger's photography, what can I learn from their photos and how can I use this to information to positively influence my own content? If someone else is having great success in collaboration with brands, why do I think they're having this success and how can I work towards the same success on my own blog? Use envy as a spark for getting your creative juices flowing and bettering yourself as a blogger.

What is your view on envy in the blogging community?

Lifestyle | Current Cravings: Home Decor

In September, Johnny and I will be moving into our first flat together. Moving in with a fella; does this mean I'm a proper grown up now? 

We've just got a studio flat for the time being. It's definitely going to be cosy and we're already looking at potential bigger places but for the time being it'll do us just fine. We're actually still going to be living within my current student accommodation for a number of reasons, so of course there are those frustrating regulations regarding what we can and can't do to make it our own. But don't you worry, I've popped my interior design hat on and I'm ready to make it work.

You know the drill with student accommodation decor; very beige and boring. But on the bright side I've got a blank canvas to work with, which is exciting. Like always, I've been browsing eBay like there's no tomorrow, tracking down bits and pieces that will help to make a flat our home without costing us a pretty penny. But whilst buying secondhand is something I love doing, it's always nice to kit your home out with some new pieces too. I have several go-to sites and stores for homey bits and bobs, and I thought I'd share some of the best pieces which have caught my eye and left me craving them.

1. 'Thank You Have A Nice Day' Cushion - Urban Outfitters 
I'm a sucker for a good cushion, especially when it is adorned with a cute little quote. Whilst I don't necessarily need another cushion, this one's too lovely to resist. Johnny has banned the vast majority of my cushions from our bed because they "take up too much room" but I'm hoping I'll be able to sneak a couple on there to jazz things up a little. If not, they'll make a lovely addition to our sofa.

This cushion is only available online here and retails at £20.00, but is currently on sale for £8.00.

2. Set of 2 Beauty & Beast Stacking Mugs - Sass & Belle
When browsing the haven that is the Sass & Belle website I came across these gems and I fell in love. I'm imagining cosy Sunday mornings in bed with his and hers mugs and a good bit of telly; sound's lush. And they stack, is there anything more satisfying?

This set of two mugs is available online here and retails at £7.50.

3. Set of 4 Rich Tea Biscuit Coasters - Sass & Belle
How gorgeous are these rich tea biscuit coasters? Definitely a sentence I never thought I'd say but hey ho. They're made from sustainable mango wood and resemble what are arguably the best biccies going. The perfect addition to any coffee table.

This set of coasters is available online here and retails at £13.00, but is currently on sale for £4.60

4. Kiss Me Goodnight Nautical Sign - Not On The High Street
I live by the rule that you should always kiss your partner goodnight and tell them you love them, especially if you've not been the best of friends that particular day. This sign embodies that idea, so as you can imagine I've fallen in love with it. It would look really lovely on one of our bedside tables,

This sign is available online here and retails at £8.00

5. The Spirit Of Christmas Metallic Lantern - Sports Direct
Put your hands up if you didn't know Sports Direct sold homeware? I definitely didn't, but it was a pleasant surprise as there are some real gems on their website. I've fallen weirdly in love with this metallic latern from The Spirit Of Christmas. The gold glitter finish is a tad on the tacky side but I actually love it even more because of that. The lantern features a flame-less candle which tackles the no-candles rule in our new flat; fantastic.

This lantern is available online here and retails at £3.00.

6. Get Naked Retro Wall Plaque - Sass & Belle
What a cheeky little plaque, I'm in love. I think this would be a great decorative touch to our en-suite. The ornate and retro look is exactly to my tastes also, so what more could I ask for?

This wall plaque is available online here and retails at £7.50.

7. Linens and Lace Shimmer Rug in Duck Egg - Sports Direct
There's nothing better than the feeling of sliding your feet out of bed in the morning and them landing on a super soft rug. I'm a sucker for anything in the colour 'duck egg' - the colour scheme for several rooms in my family home, including my bedroom - so I couldn't resist adding this rug to my new flat wishlist.

This rug is available online here and retails at £37.99

8. Ministry Of Magic Sign - Primark
Johnny and I are both super Harry Potter nerds so it would only be right that our first home together was kitted out with at least a little bit of magical merchandise. I've been so tempted to buy this sign since I first saw it in Primark stores. I want to pop it above the toilet in our en-suite for the pure reason of the fact it'll make me giggle every time I go in there.

This sign is available in store and retails at £4.00

Are there any home decor items you're craving at the moment?

Blogging | 4 Things To Do When You're In A Blogging Slump

We're all know what it's like to be in a blogging slump. Been there; done that; got the T-Shirt.

In my mind, the term 'blogging slump' simply refers to that rut you sometimes find yourself in where you're completely unmotivated and uninspired to open your laptop and do anything blog related. This rut often comes with feelings that your content is not good enough, and it truly sucks.

I've experienced more blogging slumps than I could keep count of, so today I thought I'd share four things I do to help me pick myself back up following the blogger blues.

1. Give Your Blog A Little Refresh
I find a good spring clean always helps me to refresh my mind and get my blogging booty back into gear. You could keep things simple and just give your about page a little spruce up, or rejig your tabs. Or if you feel like going the whole hog you could consider giving your whole blog design a makeover. 'New design, new me' and all that jazz.

2. Read Other Blogs
Forget about your blog for a moment and get your nose into other peoples. Get reading blogs you've loved for years and get discovering new beauties to follow. Seeing the fabulous content other bloggers are creating will help to inspire you and fill you heart with love for the blogging world again. 

3. Switch Off Your Laptop
One of the best ways I've found for getting out of a blogging slump is to, quite literally, switch off. Let your laptop have a little snooze, pop your phone away and enjoy some freedom away from the world of social media. Bloggers brains are often trying to do 101 things at once, as blogging really is a lot of work to take on especially if you already work full time/study/are a parent etc. Stepping away from the blogging world and having a bit of a chill, whilst also getting your other affairs organised, will help you to feel refreshed and ready to start again. I've also found that time away helps me to find the motivation to blog as I find myself missing it immensely. 

It's important not to set a time frame on this technology-free time; don't rush your recharge. It may last an hour; a day; a week; a month; maybe more. But that's ok, don't engage back into the blogging world until you feel revived and rejuvenated.

4. Make a List of Ideas For Posts 
Sometimes you'll find yourself in a blogging slump with a billion ideas but no idea how to move forward with them. So get brainstorming: write a list; make a moodboard; draft a mindmap; whatever floats your boat. You can consult the likes of pinterest for post ideas or dreamy photo inspiration, and read all your typical lifestyle magazines to track down articles which might light an inspiration spark in your mind.

What do you do when you're in a blogging slump?

Thoughts | Is There A 'Right Age' To Get Married?

The average age for a woman in the UK to marry is 30 (for fellas it's 32), but if you were to ask most 'millenials' they will express a preference to marry in their twenties. When I consulted twitter, I found that 41% of people considered 22-25 being the prime age to tie the knot. 

I'm just about to enter my twenties and it's baffling how much our lives - in terms of relationships - can vary from one another during this decade. When I consider my peers from school there is so much variation in regards to which 'life stage' we're at as we approach our twentieth birthdays. A few are married; some engaged; some parents.  A fair few of us (myself included) are in long-term relationships - within which the prospect of 'putting a ring on it' has been discussed - and a percentage of people are still playing the field, if you will. 

But is there a 'right age' to get married? 

Personally, I've always aspired to get married in my mid-twenties. My parents married at twenty-three and are about to celebrate their thirtieth wedding anniversary, so the potential joy of 'growing up together' as well as growing old together is something I've subconsciously been aware of for a long time.

 Many of our ideas on the right age to marry will have been shaped by the ages that our parents and other family members walked down the aisle; we'll expect ourselves to follow suit and follow a similar timeline in our own love lives. We must however consider the change of societies expectations regarding relationships and it's effect on the age of marriage. Now we're in an era where pre-marital sex and cohabitation is accepted, almost as the norm, there's less of a rush to tie the knot. So do we really need to marry as young as we're expecting ourselves to?

A persons aspirations are also likely to impact on their readiness to marry. I know people who chose to spend their twenties exploring the world solo, before they settled down; people who wanted to do the education thing or the career thing before they head in the direction of wedding bells. But equally there are people who wanted to do all of these things with their partner by their side; people who have already found their best friend and want to enjoy the adventures of life alongside them.

Of course it goes without saying that the age we move from Miss to Mrs will depend on when you meet that right person. If you find them when you're still young you'll be more likely to tie the knot early, but if you take a little longer to find the other half of you it might be a later wedding. But it's a fact that some people just aren't looking for anyone to settle down with just yet, so may not find themselves open to the idea of meeting a long term partner. It's all down to personal preference and what stage of life you're currently in. 

Whilst many people would say it's important to learn who you are yourself before committing your life to another human being, I want to bring to the conversation the fact that you can also grow and develop as a person within marriage/a long term relationship. I don't think there's a real magic number for getting married, it's all dependent on personal timelines and preferences. 

Whilst researching for this post I came across the most fascinating article on the topic - written by a wonderful journalist - which states something I believe best summarises my conclusion about the 'right age to get married'; that it is entirely dependent on the couple themselves.

 "I want to add to this conversation by saying that the perfect age to get married has nothing to do with the years you’ve lived, and everything to do with how you’ve lived them. Call me crazy, but I don’t think you can quantify a person’s preparedness for marriage simply based on how many years they’ve been alive."

Do you believe that there's a right age to get married?

Beauty | My Five Favourite Lush Skincare Products

It's no secret that I'm a Lush fan; my skin lives and breathes Lush products. With their super duper natural ingredients, to die for scents and fantastic results, its a tricky task to pick which one of the Lush lotions and potions is your can't-live-without gem. 

I'd thought I'd share some of my favourite beauties from the gods over at the Lush Kitchen. This is just a handful of the products I'll never hesitate to buy over and over.

Mask of Magnaminty Face and Body Mask
This little skin saviour is my favourite of the Lush masks. Its gentle yet effective ingredients are a dream come true for someone with acne prone skin. I use this mask to give my skin a little bit of TLC three or so times a week and it works wonders at calming and rebalancing skin, whilst attacking any breakouts.

Mask of Magnaminty retails is priced at £12.50 for 315g.

Celestial Facial Mosturiser
Celestial is my holy grail moisturiser. It's perfect for keeping your skin in tip top condition, even in the horrible weather conditions we've been facing lately. It has a gorgeous vanilla scent, thanks to soothing vanilla water, and truly moisturises your skin like its nobody's business. This is definitely one of the pricier items within the haven that is the Lush skincare range but a little definitely goes a long way with this product and it's moisturising super powers are definitely worth the pennies.

Celestial retails at £15.95 for 45g.

Ultrabland Facial Cleanser
I've already given this product a lot of love here on my blog. This skin-improving potion is a real gem for removing the days makeup, as it contains beeswax which works to melt the waxes found in makeup leaving your face slap-free and squeaky clean. I've found Ultrabland to be really quick at getting down to business; just a few days of use leaves your skin feeling soft and supple whilst tackling any pesky blemishes and really transforming your skin.

Ultrabland retails at £7.95 for 45g.

Ro's Argan Body Conditioner
So maybe this isn't a skincare product as such, but it works wonders on your skin so I thought it only fair to give it a mention. It has a beautiful rose fragrance and really pampers your skin, leaving it feeling soft and nourished. It's a brilliant way to really jazz up your shower routine, giving your skin a little bit of a luxury treat.

Ro's Argan retails at £16.95 for 225g.

Ultrabalm All Purpose Balm
This little pot of joy works wonders on your dry bits and bobs. You can pop it anywhere that's feeling a little on the dry side, but I find it works best on your lips and on harder bits of skin such as your elbows, knees and heels. I actually own two pots of this little gem, one is kept in my bathroom and one in my makeup bag for taming lashes and eyebrows when needed.

Ultrabalm retails at £10.50 for 45g.

What are your holy grail lush products? Am I missing out on any gems?

Thoughts | A More Mindful Approach To Social Media

I recently went for coffee with one of my closest friends and remembered to ask her about the sudden disappearance of her Instagram account. Her response? She had deleted it because she wasn't enjoying having it anymore; it wasn't healthy for her. Hearing this has made me consider the impact social media usage has on my life, and the ways I can change this for the better.

The most significant effect I believe social media has on us as a population is in terms of comparison; comparing yourself and your life to those which you see on your feeds. One click onto a social media site and your eyes are greeted by the highlight reels of peoples lives. Instagram in particular can lead you to believe that each morning girls are jumping out of fairy-light adorned beds wearing satin pj's and heading downstairs to eat avocado on toast against a white marble background. The reality? They're practically rolling out of bed wearing an over-sized tee with toothpaste stains and are going to eat coco-pops in a messy kitchen. But of course we don't see that aspect of peoples lives, we only see the perfect 'Instagram lifestyle'. 

We also strive for unattainable perfection. There is such a pressure for our lives to be 'Instagram worthy' in order to impress people who are, let's be honest, a bunch of strangers. If I'm completely honest, there have been a number of blog photo sessions which have left me in tears because I've been unable to attain the perfection that we see across social media. Youtube is at a significant level of fault for continuing this idea of perfection, in my mind. It's full to the brim of 'What I Eat In A Day' or 'My Morning Routine' videos where the lifestyles being shown are so primed and polished, in order to make them worthy of social media, they barely resemble the persons actual life. 

So what am I going to do to change the way social media ideals consume my life? 

As harsh at it sounds, I have unfollowed those who have feeds which - no matter how gorgeous - bring me down and followed those who build me up mentally. I'm a fan of instagram feeds that may not follow a theme; the more higglidy piggldy the better for me. I like instagram feeds that show personality, those that don't just show polished flatlays and perfect selfies. As a
blogger, unfollowing people is not something I enjoy doing at all but it's important to identify when you need to put yourself first even if it does seem 'rude'. Twitter is a much easier one to tackle thanks to the mute button. 

I'm also striving to continue to make my own social media accounts, and my blog,  realistic and honest. There's a lot of pressure for bloggers to put on the perfection charade in order to be 'successful'. After all, the vast majority of hugely influential content creators are those who share their 'perfect' lives on social media. It's become the done thing to have flat lays coming out of your ears and to have every photo as brightened as Simon Cowell's teeth. But blogging is about sharing personal experiences, views and reflections based on our actual lifestyles, not our lifestyles when you look through rose-tinted glasses. 

In the past few days, when accessing social media sites, I've made an effort to be more mindful of my usage of social media. My new mantra for when I'm scrolling through my phone is "these are merely appearances, nothing more". 

What is your view on the impact social media can have on us?

Thoughts | Why It's Ok To Cut Out Toxic People

In Autumn of last year I found myself in a bit of a rut with my mental health. I had just started university and, of course, society sees university as a time where you should be making tonnes of new friends everyday, and that puts a real pressure on introverts like me. I didn't gel with anyone really straight away but found myself forcing myself to spend time with people because it was the done thing. This unfortunately did have a negative impact on me as these people were rather toxic and impacted on my mental health considerably. When I was recovering from period of being rather mentally unwell I reflected on what had led to me getting to that point and one of the triggers was without doubt who I had surrounded myself with. The people I surround myself with should lessen my stress rather than be a source of it, and this really wasn't the case. I've come to the conclusion that yes university is a time to meet new people you get on well with but that'll happen eventually and you know what, it's better to spend time alone than to spend it surrounded by negative and toxic people. 

It's a fact that the people in your life can have a rather powerful impact on you. Therefore it's important to fill your world with people who do nothing but bring you up, and wave goodbye to those who tear you down.

Identifying when a relationship is toxic can be tricky, especially if like me you're one to give people second, third and forth chances after they hurt you. A key identifier is how you feel following interactions with them, if you feel drained then that's a clear sign you should step away for a while. More often than not, however, toxic people can identify themselves to you through their behaviours. For example, a clear cut sign of a toxic person would be someone who never comes through for you regardless of what you do for them. We've all experienced people like this.

People who disrupt and threaten your happiness do not deserve to be a part of your life, so give your contact list a spring clean (well winter when you consider the current UK weather but you get my drift) and get rid of any toxicity. Fill your life only with those who bring you peace, rather than conflict and stress; those who love you rather than hurt you.

It's important to spend time only with those who are good for your mental health. Priortise your well-being and silently step away from anyone that isn't a positive soul. It's not selfish or bad to put yourself first, don't think that for a second. Negative people will stunt your own growth as a person and therefore it is completely ok to wave goodbye to them. Let's leave toxic people behind.

Lifestyle | Treating Your Mamma When On A Budget

On Sunday 11th March it is Mother's Day. You're welcome for the reminder. 

My mamma is a real gem, and she deserves to be treated as such. Unfortunately though, my purse strings are a little tight at the moment and therefore the extravagant gifts she deserves are definitely out of my reach. Mother's Day seems even more significant this year as it is my first since moving away from home; even more reason to shower my mum with love when Sunday arrives.

I've had a ramble through the masses of online shopping havens to track down some budget friendly pressies you could treat your mum to; or any other mother figure in your life for that matter, be it grandma, auntie, friend or other loved one.

1. For The Tea Lover... 
Modern Monochrome Mum Time Teapot For One - Sass and Belle
I've never met a mum who doesn't like a good cuppa, so a teapot is the perfect gift. Mum's are always here, there and everywhere so this makes a great gift if you want to encourage your mamma to take a little time for herself. To jazz up this gift I'd be tempted to make a small little hamper of tea bags, biscuits etc to go with it. Just to add a little personal touch.

This teapot is available online here and retails for £14.00.

2. For The Sweet Tooth
Thorntons Personalised Pudding Box - John Lewis
Would it be a Mother's Day gift guide without chocolate getting at least a little mention? Thorntons do some of the best chocolate going (in my humble chocolate loving opinion) and the personalised nature of their boxes really adds a bit of sparkle.

This box is available online here and retails at £8.50.

3. For The Sentimental...
Petal Heart Photo Frame - John Lewis
Mum's love putting photos up here there and everywhere, and this frame would make a beautiful addition to any mantelpiece. To make the gift extra special you could have a photo printed you know your mum loves and pop it in there before you wrap it up. 

This frame is available online here and retails at £8.00.

4. For The Green Thumb...
Personalised Enamel Planter - Not On The High Street
If you're mum's one with a green thumb then this personalised planter would make the perfect gift. You could even pick her up a little plant for them to pop in it, if you know your daffodils from your daisies. 

This planter is available online here and retails at £12.00.

5. For The Phone Addict...
Ted Baker Rakisha Kyoto Gardens iPhone Case - John Lewis
If your mum is a social media star then why not treat her to something new to jazz up her pride and joy. Ted Baker make the most beautiful phone cases, a gift your mum is guaranteed to love.

This case is available online here and is currently on sale for £15.00 (reduced from £30.00).

6. For The Book Worm...
Roald Dahl Matilda Mug - Truffle Shuffle
If your mum is a bit of a book worm then - firstly give her a high five from me - why don't you treat her to an appropriately themed mug to keep her company when she's got her nose in a new title. 

This mug is available online here and retails for £9.99.

7. For The House Proud...
LED Lit 'Home Is Where The Heart Is' Sign - Find Me A Gift
Does anyone else have a mum to loves to fill the house to the brim with things adorned with quotes? The wooden look of this sign has a real rustic vibe but the LED lights mean that it would add a real homely touch to any Mamma's living room.

This sign is available online here and is currently on sale for £5.99 (reduced from £7.99). What a bargain!

What are you planning on getting your mum for Mother's Day?

Thoughts | Life As A TwentySomething Grandma

'Are you actually nearly 20 or are you secretly an old person?'

A conversation with my boyfriend a few weeks back sparked a thought in my brain about how I really am old-at-heart.

I wear knitted over-sized cardigans most days and pop my slippers on as soon as I reach my front door. I have an affinity for mugs and fruit tea and crafting. I buy most of my clothes in charity shops and on eBay rather than in the likes of Topshop and River Island. One of my perfect days in would be spent with my grandmother (who's in her mid 80's might I add), hot drink in hand and a quiz show on the telly. 

Whilst most people my age are on nights out, I'd rather stay home on a Saturday in my pyjamas with a hot drink and a board game. My peers may be planning nights out to raves and clubs but, on the rare occasion I do go out, I'm buying tickets for Northern Soul all nighters. And I'd rather listen to the Beatles than Beyonce or Stevie Wonder over Stormzy. 

In the eyes of many people my age, my lifestyle is 'boring'. But I don't feel boring at all so I won't let people tell me otherwise. I'd rather live a quiet, meaningful and 'boring' life doing things which make me happy, than spend my days conforming to the expectations of me as a student in her twenties. Yes I don't fit into the student profile - or really the profile of anyone under the age of sixty - but I'm ok with that.

Monday Motivation | 3 Reasons To Love Mondays

Hello Monday!

It's a weekly occurrence: come Sunday evening social media will be full to the brim of posts damning the fact that the weekend is coming to a close and Monday is nearly upon us again.

In 2018 I'm making an effort to learn to love Mondays; to create a life in which I don't dread the start of a new week. So I'm welcoming a new series on Yours, Chloe: Monday Motivation. This series aims to share the way I'm motivating myself to kick start the week with a bang and to share my journey towards embracing Mondays as welcome occasions. This won't be a every Monday kind of series, just a here and there type of thing.

Let's kick off with my main message for this series: there are lots of reasons to love Mondays. Today I'm going to share three of them.

1. It's A Chance To Start Afresh. 
Consider how motivated society gets come the start of a new year; new year, new me and all that jazz. Now why don't we instill that mentality when it comes to the start of a new week? Monday marks the welcome of seven new days during which you can start afresh from the previous week; leaving anything negative when you turn over the new page on your calendar. 

2. Monday Is A Day Of Productivity.
Monday's are proven to be our most productive day. They're the best day to start a new habit; to get into a new routine. Be it you want to start healthy eating, or you've set a new goal at work, or maybe you're wanting to get cracking on a fitness regime... Monday is the best day to do it. So what's not to love about a day that gives you the opportunity to better yourself?

3. You Feel Refreshed.
If you've spent your weekend wisely by having a well-needed chill and recharging your batteries, you'll feel refreshed come Monday morning. Now I don't know about you, but if I wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the week, I feel a million bucks (is there an English version of this phrase?). 

Let's give Mondays a chance.

Do you love Mondays? Let me know why. 

Lifestyle | Printing Memories With Printiki*

I've always loved photographs; they can speak a thousand words. Just taking a glimpse at a photo can bring back a wave of memories and help you to remember the little, but lovely, details which otherwise may have been lost to time.

Whilst I love the ease of being able to instantly snap a photo and view it to my hearts content wherever I am, it does seem a shame to keep all these lovely snapshots of life trapped in a phone. Enter Printiki, a fantastic way of insuring that your treasured photographs

I've had a dabble on a number of other photo-printing websites in the past and I have to say that Printiki has the most user-friendly site I've come across. Uploading your chosen snaps is really easy and there's lots of tools you can use to jazz your photos up a little. You can conjure up a border, add on a filter and even pop on a little caption to make note of significant dates, places or even quotes to go alongside your photo.

As we've just celebrated the day of love, I decided to be one of 'those girls' and print a selection of photos of my boyfriend and I. When scouting out photos I fancied seeing in the printed form, I realised just how little I'm able to persuade Johnny to actually smile in a photo of us. Anyone else managed to end up with a fella who doesn't like having his photo taken? At least I can definitely say that all of our 'loved up' photos show character.

I'm not too sure as of yet what the destiny of these particular prints will be. I've got so many potential DIY ideas swirling around in my head for ways to display them for the world to see. Johnny and I are moving into our first flat together in September so it would be lovely to put them up there to make the place feel homely and ours. If anyone has any ideas for ways of displaying printed photos in jazzy ways please send them my way.

Are you a fellow lover of printed photos? How do you display them?

*Disclaimer: These products were kindly gifted by Printiki, 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.