Thoughts | The Importance of Avoiding Comparison In Blogging

We live in the age of social media. An age rife with people sharing their 'insta-perfect' lives full of holidays to picturesque locations, flatlay food shots and daily flawless outfits and beauty looks. With the constant promotion of this 'perfect' lifestyle, it's easy to find yourself falling into the comparison trap.

The issue of comparison is even more prevalent within the blogging world, with it being such a naturally competitive industry that relies so heavily on social media presence. It's easy to be scrolling through social media and find yourself experiencing self-doubt as a result of the 'perfect' imagery you're seeing.

If you can put your hand up and say that you struggle with comparison within your blogging life, I can tell you that you're definitely in fine company. Comparison is an evil that plagues us all at one point or another and I myself have long struggled with comparing my content to that of others.

It's human nature to compare, but it can do more damage than good as it often leaves you feeling bogged down with negativity. So let's shine a light on the importance of self-belief, shall we?

Within blogging, a large amount of what makes your blog and your brand special is its uniqueness; readers don't want to see 101 bloggers all creating the same content and rocking the same look. We all have a special thing to bring to the world - be it a character trait, talent, special quality or anything in between - and it's that thing which makes you the bloody fantastic thing you are.

It's becoming way too common to see bloggers aiming to emulate the success of full-time influencers such as Zoella, and in doing so many bloggers change the style of their content or photography, moving away from the things that made their blog beautiful in the first place and becoming a little carbon copy of these 'big' bloggers.

At the end of the day, no good can ever come from comparing your life and your journey to another's. You are not the same person; you do not have the same dreams, talents, wishes and memories. These qualities all contribute to you being the unique, creative and brilliant person you are, don't ignore them because it's not what you're seeing other people do. You should be shouting about your uniqueness from the rooftops. Focus on yourself and your own personal path because you sweetie, are killing it.

“Another woman’s beauty is not the absence of your own beauty.”

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

Lifestyle | My Autumn Bucket List

Autumn is one of my favourite seasons of the year. The forests are blooming with autumnal touches in hues of red, orange and brown, and the air is crisp and clear. It is the season of cosy nights in snuggled under a blanket; the season of hot drinks; the season where almost every sweet treat contains at least a hint of pumpkin spice.

This time of year can be a busy one. We enjoy the likes of Halloween and Bonfire Night, and we start prepping for the return of the festive season. Am I allowed to say the C word yet? But there's so much to enjoy in this season of crisp leaves and conkers, so I've decided to make a list of all of the things I want to do and see this Autumn.

1. Bundle up for long walks in the great outdoors.
The world is ever so beautiful at this time of year, with it's red, orange and brown hues and crisp wind. It makes me just want to bundle up and venture outside to breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the scenery.

2. Try a 'pumpkin spice' flavoured hot drink.
I can practically hear people loosing their minds at the idea of me having reached twenty years old having never even taken a sip of a pumpkin spice drink. Can I really be a millennial? After seeing the pumpkin spice craze return year upon year, I've decided that Autumn 2018 will be the year I give it a try.

3. Have a Halloween movie night.
I'm not Halloween's biggest fan; I'll be honest. The idea of putting myself in situations designed to scare the heebie jeebies out of me, just does not appeal at all. But I like the concept of Halloween as celebrated when we were kids; with pumpkins, decorations and a sweetie or two. So this Halloween I'm planning a good ol' family friendly movie night, with Hocus Pocus of course being top of my list.

4. Give my home a cosy, autumnal makeover.
It's Autumn, let's bring out the cosy blankets, fall themed bedding and plenty of autumnal candles. I want to create the perfect space for cosy nights in with a hot drink and a movie.

5. Go out for a stroll to pick blackberries.
Picking blackberries is something I really associate with autumnal months during my childhood. I'd take our family dogs out for a long walk with my dad and pick blackberries along the way, which we'd then make into smoothies for a sweet after-tea treat. This is a seasonal traditional I have such fond memories of and this year I'd love to introduce Johnny to it.

What are you hoping to do this Autumn?

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

Happy Mind | 4 Healthy Habits To Start This Autumn

September is such a promising month. Maybe it's due to the back-to-school anticipation that is embedded in us, even as adults, but I always feel so motivated when September pops it head around again. September also brings on the grand return of Autumn and it's crisp orange-toned joy.

The beginning of a new season is the perfect time to set into motion some of the healthy habits you're wanting to introduce into your life. Don't reserve the 'new me' mentality for new year, use it at the start of a brand new season too. Now is a good a time as ever to build a better, brighter and happier you. Is there any way of saying that without sounding like a motivational speaker?

Here a 4 healthy habits I'm going to be starting this Autumn, why don't you join me?

A Nutritious Start To The Day
I know I'm going to sound like your mum here, but it's true: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Giving yourself a nutritious, nourishing and filling meal to kick start your day, will leave you full of energy and ready to take on the day like a true girl boss. We all have our own breakfast preferences, with mine being a good ol' bowl of porridge and a glass of juice, and it's important to plan a breakfast you want to wake up to.

Aside from the nutritional value of breakfast, taking the time to have a morning meal helps to ensure you have a calm morning. As I'm far from a morning person, my mornings are known to have gone by in a bit of a rushed haze, but taking the time to sit down and enjoy a hearty breakfast helps to create a calm tone for the rest of the day.

Get Yourself Moving
My hands are up, I'll admit it: I'm far from a gym bunny. And we're talking fairytale-like 'far far away' territory here. But getting yourself up and about, moving and grooving, can work wonders for your mental and physical health and wellbeing. I'm blessed that there is a gym in my building, which will make this a whole lot easier as there are very little excuses I could use for not walking downstairs and to the gym. But if the gym's not for you, then that's ok. Try a fun fitness class or go for a long walk with a pal. You need to find a physical activity that you enjoy and will want to do. If you see exercise as a chore then you'll find it much harder to get yourself into the active lifestyle your body will thank you for.

Have Some Tech-Free Time
In this modern age, technology is everywhere. We use it every single day for all manner of things and normally for a significant period of time. Remember those days where you'd spend an hour on the computer max? Practically Ancient History. Yes, technology is a fantastic thing; I mean how else could you watch cat videos at the click of a button or contact a long-distance friend in an instance? But we need to set ourselves time away from the screens or it's easy for our lives to be completely consumed by them. Having some tech-free time allows you to really enjoy your surroundings, to spend some time with your family and really make the most of life.

Try Something New
Personally, I'm very much a person of routine. I tend to like to stick to what I know and enjoy those moments, as that's what tends to work best with my anxiety. But I'm trying to get myself a little more 'out there' and doing and trying things which are new and a little bit scary. I'm wanting to challenge myself; a little personal development plan if you will. These new experiences will also allow me to learn new things and develop new skills, refreshing and challenging my brain.

Are you hoping to make a positive change in your life this Autumn?

Lifestyle | Going Back To Uni With Ryman*

When September rears it's head again I get a sudden urge to fill my drawers with new stationery. Ever since I was little, one of my favourite things about this new month has been buying new school supplies and this love hasn't subsided even now I'm an adult. Being a trainee teacher gives me a fantastic motive to treat myself to new stationery bits and bobs; even if my boyfriend is a little sick of hearing the "but it would be so good in the classroom" excuse every time I come home with a bag full of notebooks and pens and stickers. 

As the start of the new university year fast approaches - and second year looms - I've been getting myself all organised and ready for the year ahead. New module folders - check - new notebooks - check - pencil case - check. Uni can be ever so intense and the ever-mounting pile of work can seem a tad overwhelming to say the least, so staying organised is key.

When you start university you quickly find out how you work best taking notes and using them for later study. Some find the electronic variation works best for their mindset - they'll be the ones with laptops in their seminars - but personally I'm all about the written word. I like to have a folder per module, all labelled up with different topics, and a notebook to go with it. These sets tend to be colour-coded, making them easy to grab ahead of 9am lectures as there's no faffing about trying to see which label matches which module. Saves time and it looks pretty; win win. 

Ryman has a fantastic 'Back To Uni' range, full of so many products that my inner stationery-geek was just tingling when I scrolled through the website. I personally adore their pastel range, where you can find all your necessary stationery buys in the most beautiful of colours; perfect for colour-coding by module. I'm talking notebooks, folders, diaries, handy tools like staplers and hole-punches; Ryman stock it all. 

They also have lots of products will make your desk-space oh so aesthetically pleasing; a space you'll actually be excited about working in. Having a good work-space can do wonders for your motivation levels. Nab yourself a desk tidy, letter tray or set of drawers to help to keep your work-space (and your mind) clutter-free and ever so organised.

I've even spotted that Ryman are offering a 15% student discount via UNiDAYS until the 4th October. If you won't tempted to treat yourself to your own batch of stationery porn, you will be now!

Products Featured:

How are you getting ready to go back to uni/school?
*Disclaimer: These products were kindly gifted by Ryman, 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.

Lifestyle | Three August Highlights

Boy oh boy, hasn't August just flown by.

I absolutely adored writing my July Highlights post. Monthly reflection posts almost takes me back to my younger years of writing journals which I'd keep in a totally secure and secretive place (i.e. under my pillow). These diary posts not only give you lovely lot a little insight into the life and times of the girl behind the blog, but they also allow me proper time to sit and reflect on the highs and lows of the month gone by. It's very therapeutic if truth be told; a great way of putting the negatives of the month behind you and making sure you store the more lovely of memories in a special place in your mind.

Blogging love
I've been working my little booty off this past month on my blog and social media accounts, trying to constantly develop my content and improve my following. Boy is it hard work, as I'm sure you all know. I have been feeling pretty down in the dumps about Yours, Chloe as of late, I won't lie. It can be pretty down-heartening to be working really hard on your blog to little or no avail, especially when other bloggers around you are taking off; you can't help but think "what am I doing wrong?". But at the end of August I decided to take a more positive look at the month gone by and I realised how bloomin' happy I am with the posts I've written this month. And ultimately it's that that matters, not the numbers or the amount of brand interest you've had that month. So regardless of what the numbers say, I think Yours, Chloe has had a great month, and I'm very proud of myself.

A good ol' staycation
As I shared in my recent post 'Slow Weeks By The Sea' I've just got back from a lovely break at the seaside. How very British. We stayed with family in Yorkshire for a week and a bit of nothing but gorgeous food, dog walks on the beach, car boot sales and a fair few bottles of wine. Bliss.

R&R time
August has been the month of R&R; rest and relaxation. Looking back at the month and the sheer amount of time I've spent doing a great deal of nothing could quite easily lead to feelings of guilt, as surely I should have spent the month doing something of worth which uses my time productively. But at the end of the day, August was the first full month I had after finishing my first year of uni, which was quite honestly the hardest year of my life and a year that took a great deal of toll on my mental health. I needed some time to do nothing but self care and really rejuvenate myself ready for my second year. So yeah, I'll admit I've done sweet f all this month and I'm proud of it. I've looked after myself and that is the most productive use of my time I can think of.

What did you get up to in August?
Are you following Yours, Chloe on Bloglovin? You can find me here.

Adventures | Slow Weeks By The Sea

I've spent the past week visiting family at the Yorkshire coast. Their house is just a stones throw away from the beach, which created a prime opportunity for a social media detox and a true bit of R&R.

The tranquility of the beach is something that is hard to describe. Not a sound can be heard except for the noises of the waves hitting the shore; of dog paws hitting the sand as they run for miles; of the dull chatter of your fellow beach-goers and of the occasional seagull making their presence known.

As you walk along the soft miles of sand, all you can feel is the fresh salty air hitting your face and sweeping your hair into a barely-manageable tangle. You can't help but feel really at peace; the beach is even one of the only places I'll happily go makeup-free without a care in the world.

For me, the beach has always been my favourite escapism. The vast open space helps you to feel free and realise just how tiny you and any anxieties are in comparison with the far-reaching ocean. It seems strange that a single setting can achieve being both calm and wild at the same time; but British beaches somehow manage this and it truly is beautiful.

Do you love spending your days on the beach?

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

Happy Mind | 5 Things To Do When You're Feeling Overwhelmed

We've all experienced that suffocating feeling of having a million and one things to do but no time to do it in.  Everyone experiences this at one point or another, even those who seem like they have their lives perfectly put together 100% of the time. When we feel overwhelmed, our inner fight or flight mechanism kicks in and for many of us, myself included, this can cause us to just freeze.

Finding yourself so overwhelmed you're frozen with paralyzing anxiety, whilst a natural reaction, ultimately doesn't help solve the situation. We need to work to fight through this and get out booties into gear, ready to take on the problem head on. Today I wanted to share with you five things I do when I feel overwhelmed.

One: Breathe
"Fill your body with deep breaths and it will fill you with peace."
A simplistic but important point. When you're feeling overwhelmed, the best thing is to take a breather and clear your head. Have some breathing exercises kept in your back pocket for moments like this one, they'll do the world of good. My personal favourite is to watch the hands of a clock tick by for a minute, whilst breathing in and out slowly.

Two: Write Yourself A List
"A goal without a plan is just a wish."
I don't know about you, but I feel a whole lot calmer when I have all of my jobs and goals written down in a concise (and aesthetically pleasing) way. When you feel overwhelmed everything just feels like it's flying around your head at a million miles an hour, but creating a physical list of your thoughts and tasks helps to put it into perspective and makes it all seem that little bit more manageable. 

Three: Prioritise
"You don't need more time in your day. You need to decide." - Seth Godin
This one goes hand in hand with writing a list. Take the time to sit down and decide which of the items on your to-do list is the most important and/or the most urgent. At first glance, everything may seem crucially important but lets be real, you simply can't do everything at once.

Four: Say No
"Learn to say no without explaining yourself."
We could all do with learning to say no sometimes. When you're starting to feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of things on your to do list, make sure you're not adding anything extra to your plate. It may be nice to be able to do a favour for someone or to take on a job at work to get you brownie points, but don't do it if it sacrifices your mental wellbeing.

Five: Break It Down
"Success comes from taking small, daily steps towards your goal."
As I said before, you simply can't do everything at once. Try breaking down your to-do list into chunks that are a little bit more manageable. Set yourself a goal of one or two chunks for each day as this will also leave you time for a good ol' bit of rest and relaxation. 

You've got this!

How do you cope with moments where you feel overwhelmed?

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

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?