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.