2020 has been the year that we’ve had to press pause on life. It’s not been easy in such scary and uncertain times and who would’ve thought that a global pandemic would surface and bring everything to a standstill? Words such as lockdown, social distancing and unprecedented entered our vocabulary and wearing face masks (and not the skincare kind) became the norm. The worry and stress of the situation, combined with the economic impact and being unable to see friends, family and partners, socialise and experience normal life is having a massive negative effect on people’s mental health, myself included. It feels like we’re living in some kind of dystopian society that we’d previously only read about or watched on TV or film and I’m struggling to shake that surreal feeling.
Personally, I had quite a bit planned for this year including hopefully passing my driving test and working towards buying my first home but now, neither of these things are going to be possible anytime soon and the events of this year have made me re-evaluate things anyway. It honestly feels like I’ll never get my sh*t together but I’m grateful for the people in my life, my health and that of my loved ones, along with having somewhere nice to live and a job.
As we look towards 2021, gratitude and hope are all we have to hold onto. Things are still so uncertain and we don’t know whether there will be an end to the madness anytime soon but I’m trying to think positively. Lets also hope that appreciation for our NHS and key workers extends long into the next decade and that people actually start being kinder and less judgemental towards each other. Wishing you all a Happy New year and hopefully, a more positive 2021.
One thing 2020 has taught us is to support local and/or small businesses when we can. It’s been a tough year for most so this year, along with the big, established brands I’ve looked around for small, upcoming companies for purchasing Christmas presents for family and friends (and also the odd treat for myself) Here’s my little guide for stocking fillers/small gifts under £20.
The Body Shop has been around since the 70s and I have fond memories of the 90s when bath pearls were a thing and the smell of White Musk filled the air. I used to love the lipbalms when they came in the glass pots, especially the black cherry one, yum. The products are also cruelty free which I can always get onboard with. The’ve recently released a lemon scented range which smells so fresh and reminds me of the hot towels you get after a meal in some restaurants. Hand wash and santizer have been the must-have beauty items of 2020 so this squeaky clean pairing would make a great, well used gift.
Fudging hell, look at all that sweet, creamy goodness! The Fudge People, (instagram: @thefudgepeopleuk) based in Essex offer a range of yummy fudge flavours, including festive delights such as mulled wine and Gingerbread. As I wanted to try a variety of flavours I opted for the advent bundle which should see me through most of December. The only problem is, one square isn’t enough. They have an assortment of treats on their website and are definitely worth checking out.
Santa Baby, forgot to mention one little thing, a ring… (excuse the state of my hands) Chain jewellery has been a top trend this season and this gorgeous ring is both fashionable and stylish. Simply Valerie (@simply_valerie__) have some lovely contemporary pieces that would make the perfect gift. You can also use the code CHELSEY15 for 15% off
Who doesn’t love sweets? Sweet Envy (@sweetenvy_) are also based in Essex and they offer well presented boxes and cones full of scrummy sweets. They are ideal to give as gifts or to treat yourself with. It’s been a while since I’ve had penny type sweets so I’ve thoroughly enjoyed stuffing my face (and sharing them with my family of course)
Everyone needs underwear so why not make it comfortable, a bit sexy and stylish all in one? Lounge underwear encompasses all three and is reasonably priced but feels luxe. They have bralettes, briefs or thongs and loungewear so there’s something for everyone.
I hope this little gift guide has given you some ideas. I definitely enjoyed putting it together, especially sampling the sweets and fudge. ‘Tis the season to be jolly (or bit greedy) after all
Hello dear followers, (all 4 of you) it’s been a while. I hope you’re all holding up OK and coping with the new restrictions if they affect your area. I’m just holding on to the hope that we’ll return to a world without social distancing sooner rather than later but I can’t say I’m not unsettled by the uncertainty of it all.
Anyway, there are certain items, activities and people that seem to be celebrated in popular culture that I just can’t get onboard with. I hope I don’t offend anyone so please take this all with a pinch of salt as it’s just a bit of lighthearted fun to temporarily take our minds of the madness that has become life.
Lets kick this off with Thongs, a type of underwear so celebrated that Sisqo sang a song about it. During the time the song was released I was a teenager and my friends were obsessed with thongs (I think we all thought wearing one would make boys like us more, even if they never got to actually see it) and the trend for a thong poking out of your low rise jeans was prevalent. I couldn’t get on with them back then and I still can’t now. I’m a practical (read, boring) granny when it comes to day to day underwear – In fact, my nan’s underwear drawer is probably more exciting than mine but I’m all about the comfort. That’s why thongs are a no go for walking around in public as I’ll be constantly pulling at it, as if I’ve got a permanent wedgie. Not a good look
Now you’re familiar with the contents of my underwear drawer lets talk about wine. It’s such a cliche that women in their 30s love a glass (or bottle) or wine regularly, either to relax at home, with a meal or to get tipsy with friends. It also seems to be some kind of bonding nectar that brings people closer together. I used to drink rose and occasionally white wine around 10 years ago but it led to many a bad decision and epic hangover. Nowadays I find that wine is a headache & acid reflux attack in a bottle and it doesn’t even taste that great. I’m partial to a prosecco or champagne but too much of that aggravates the reflux and gives me a dry mouth. The joys of ailments increasing with age. Weirdly though I enjoy a glass of mulled wine at Christmas. It seems I’m a woman of contradiction
Weddings are everywhere – there are even various programmes dedicated to brides picking their dream wedding dress and it seems to be an obsession amongst society but the thought of getting married leaves me cold. All that attention on me and all that stress and money to plan it, I’d rather not bother. I’ve never been one of those women who has dreamt about her big day since childhood and the only thing that appeals really is the big party with everyone you’re close to (although those kind of gatherings are a thing of the past at the moment) Maybe one day I’ll change my mind but for now its a no from me.
Another unrelated picture
I can’t lie, I’m fascinated by the fact that most of them look like Bratz dolls but I just don’t get the obsession with the Kardashians/Jenners. They’re always in the magazines, with a slightly different nose to the one they had last month (miaow) or on TV grating on me with their nasal voices. I applaud the fact that Kim does charity work and I don’t think they’re bad people but there’s something so superficial about them and I’m just not interested in keeping up with them.
Which brings us on nicely to plastic surgery and tweakments. Each to their own and I understand that many people turn to it to feel confident and better about themselves but I believe that rather than normalising having work done, we should celebrate natural beauty, individuality and diversity. It actually makes me so sad to see young girls feel like they need surgery, botox or fillers to look like their idols and that so many people don’t feel comfortable in their own skin. I don’t judge those who dabble and you can never say never but I’m lucky enough not to be so unhappy with my appearance that it warrants having needles stuck in my face or a scalpel slicing through my skin. I’m hoping that less invasive and virtually pain free treatments become available by the time the signs of ageing fully catch up with me but more importantly acceptance prevailing over alteration.
I’m aware that this post makes me sound a bit like a miserable, slightly preachy cow but there are plenty of things in life that I’m all for, including snacks, going out for meals, brunches and drinks, being cosy at home in the cooler months, putting outfits together, trash TV (but not the Kardashians) and some comedy, reading and going on holiday to mention a few.
Sorry, I know it’s been a while. I’ve been caught up in an Instagram frenzy and blogging seems to have taken a back seat but the urge to write has crept up again so here I am.
Until recently, most of us had been locked away for the best part of 4 months and unable to experience the things we took for granted such as going to a restaurant or sitting in a beer garden with friends. Now that many places have re-opened you may want to feel some semblance of normality and get back out there again. (If you don’t feel comfortable doing so yet that’s also completely understandable)
In mid July I set foot in a local restaurant for the first time since March. Funnily enough it was the last restaurant I went to before lockdown. I went to Roslin Beach Hotel with my friend and we sat outside on the terrace, enjoying the lovely weather, sea views and atmosphere. The restaurant is one of my local favourites anyway as the food is good quality and there’s decent ambience (as Micky Flanagan would say)
Overall, I was impressed with how the staff stuck to social distancing rules and how each table and chair was thoroughly cleaned after each customer. There was hand sanitiser (this year’s must have accessory, along with a mask) everywhere along with signs on the floor reminding people to social distance. It felt good to be outside, enjoying tasty food and cocktails and catching up with a friend. There were times when things felt almost normal but you could tell fellow diners were happy to be out and we spoke to a couple of people. I think being deprived of social interaction for so long can make people more talkative, even with people they don’t know.
I’ve since been out a couple more times to local restaurants, both outside and in a covered area and I felt comfortable both times. The way we socialise and enjoy restaurants and bars has changed so we need to adapt. It seems to be the summer of Al Fresco dining which, when the weather is good is something I can get on board with
Watching old episodes of Big Brother has made me feel all nostalgic and reading tweets slating Millennials on TikTok has inspired me to write about the joys of coming from this generation. After all, we’re not all avocado on toast eating, coffee sipping, Harry Potter obsessives.
Millennials are apparently defined as being born between 1981 and 1996 (although I did read some articles that went as far as 2000 but I’d say thats too broad to define a generation) Anyway, I was born in the mid-late 80s, believe it or not so I fit into this category. Obviously, you can’t always generalise across an entire generation but growing up during 9/11, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and the 2008 recession has made many of us pretty adaptable and resilliant, despite being referred to as ‘snowflakes’ by some.
My childhood featured Polly Pockets, Mr Frosty and paper arts and crafts whilst George Michael or 90s house music played on MTV in the background. I used to watch Bodger and Badger, Sesame street, Funhouse and Round The Twist. As I got older Pogs invaded the school playground and me and my friends would be trying to keep our tamagotchis alive. I also remember when pots of gunge were everywhere and people were wearing those rubber bracelets that we used to call ‘shag bands.’ So cringe when you think about it now! There was a period where I was obsessed with those Spice Girls photos and my poor grandad would buy me a pack pretty much everyday after school only for most of them to be doubles. Saturday nights we’d watch Gladiators followed by Blind Date
My teenage years were played out to a soundtrack of Garage music (I love that a revival seems to have been bubbling away for some time and that younger generations can experience the joy of Craig David) and the sound of dial up internet. The sheer impatience of waiting for the internet to connect so you could chat to your mates and crush on msn messenger was real. So was the disappointment when someone wanted to use the phone and you had to get off the internet. I’d record my favourite songs off the radio on a cassette before graduating to CDs and a walkman. the foamy bit over my headphones would always end up full of holes where I’d gradually pick away at it. After school I’d watch The Queen’s Nose, Byker Grove and Blue peter or bury my head in a magazine such as Mizz, Shout, Smash Hits, Sugar or Bliss (the free gifts were something special back then, providing you could get one before someone had nicked them all)
My uniform as a child and teenager was mostly tracksuits and trainers (I’m all about the comfort) Favoured brands included Bon-Bleu, Reebok and adidas and in my teens I was obsessed with Nike Tns. I’d accessories such outfits with tonnes of gold jewellery a la Lady Sovereign. So chic. After a bath with white musk bath pearls from The Body Shop, I’d douse myself with Impulse Vanillas, Charlie body spray or Tommy Girl and would be ready to hang about with my mates, spending time quoting Ali G amongst other things.
Excuse my long trip down memory lane but these felt like simpler times, when Trolls were just harmless but naked toys with bright coloured hair and before technology fully took over our lives. My phones as a teenager were mostly Nokia and you could create your own ringtone using ‘composer’ and while away boredom playing Snake. Peak excitement was a flashing aerial (yes, phones had aerials) and there was no internet on phones until WAP came out which most of us were too scared to click on incase we ran up a massive phone bill.
Us Millennials have experienced a rich and varied time in both general life and popular culture where many changes have taken place that have shaped who we are as people. I don’t really like avocado and I rarely drink coffee and although I may be partial to bit of Harry Potter occasionally, theres no generation I’d rather be part of. I’m a Millennial and proud
Happy Saturday! It must be like the 20th weekend in lockdown now (well, it feels like it) and creating content is keeping me sane.
I can often be a style chameleon who loves flirting with trends and different looks but there are some style staples I keep going back to. I’ve been trawling through my camera roll and I’ve noticed a lot of my outfits follow one of 5 particular patterns, without me really realising at the time.
Suits are often my go-to for weddings, christenings and everything in between. What can I say, I just love a good two-piece. Different colours, cuts and fabrics make suits look feminine and on trend as well as being a classic wardrobe staple. These suits are from Misguided, Topshop and ASOS.
In Spring and summer I favour the midi skirt and top combo in a variety of colours and prints. It’s an easy formula that works for holidays, going out for a meal or visiting family and friends. The first outfit features a bodysuit from Pretty Little Thing with a H&M skirt and Zara mules, the second is a top from New Look with a Boohoo skirt and very old Primark sandals and the final look is entirely New Look (minus the Zara headband)
For nights out I often reach for the failsafe combo of a strappy top tucked into a miniskirt, worn with shoes I can dance in. This look keeps me fairly cool whilst hiding my usually less than flat stomach. The far left photo is a Topshop top with a primark skirt, I’ve mixed it up in the middle with a blazer but I believe the bodysuit is PLT and the skirt is Stradavarius and the image on the far right was taken in Ibiza and features a neon top from New Look with a skirt from Forever 21 which I’ve had for years.
Last but not least is the uniform of jeans (In various colours and washes) with a top and blazer. This is a more casual version of a suit if you will. Each pair of jeans is from Topshop and in the left photo I’ve recycled my Topshop suit blazer, adding a MCQ T-Shirt and M&S boots, The middle features a very old In the Style blazer with a snakeskin top from New Look and the final look is very classic with a Zara top and Next Blazer.
If you have a look through your pictures you’ll probably find certain formulas that you repeat regularly by second nature or perhaps you’re the type of person who experiments often and is never predictable. Either way, I’d be interested to know
Happy Bank Holiday and VE Day! I hope you’re all having a nice day despite the restrictions. It seems typical that we’re blessed with lovely weather but can’t go out and celebrate. That said, we can still remember all the sacrifices made during that time and feel thankful to those who fought and were part of the war effort.
One of the things I miss is getting dressed up to go out for a meal, drinks or even to visit family and friends so I had a mini photoshoot in the garden today to show you how to style this Primark floral midi dress in 3 different ways. I bought this dress last summer as I was drawn to the bright print and I find the leg splits flatter my shorter frame. It was around £18 from what I can remember which is great value for how versatile it is. I’m not going to lie, I’ve packed on a few pounds since lockdown began so I couldn’t do the zip up fully but you get the idea!
The next look is also a daytime outfit but for a cooler day and is more covered up so may be suitable for work or other, slightly formal occasions. The puff sleeve top was from New Look earlier this year and the shoes are boohoo sandals which I’ve had for years as they’re so comfortable.
The final outfit is an evening look that plays on the black in the dress, with red lips and earrings so it feels more glam. the sheer puff sleeve top underneath is from Boohoo earlier this year and the heels are old faithful New Look ones. I couldn’t even tell you where the belt is from as I’ve had it for so long but it just about fits nowadays!
The current crisis is a tough time for many for various reasons. If you’re used to being sociable or having lots of plans to keep yourself busy and distracted you may be struggling even more, so here are a few ideas to hopefully beat the boredom and take your mind off things.
Whether its blogging, baking, crafting or even just putting some interesting outfits together now is a good time to get your creative juices flowing. I’ve been blogging more often, planning instagram posts and making playlists on iTunes and Spotify. Being creative is also a good outlet for stress and can give you a sense of achievement.
Reorganise your space
I’m ashamed to say but my bedroom was an absolute tip before we all had to stay at home. Stuff was everywhere, had been able to pile up and it needed a good dust and hoover. Tidying is not exactly one of my favourite things to do and I’m not a neat freak so it had fallen to the bottom of my list. To have a much tidier, less dusty room has been really nice though! I’ve also organised my dressing table and make up drawers so it’s much easier to find things. If you have a cardboard beauty advent calendar leftover from December the little boxes are perfect for organising make up, brushes and beauty products.
Sort out life admin
We all have those boring tasks we keep putting off. Well, now is probably the best time to get them done. I’ve used the time to contact companies who send me letters in the post, asking for the information to be emailed instead and it feels good to tick something off my to-do list. Next task: organise my document drawers (Can’t wait!)
Read a good book (or 5)
I love reading and there’s nothing like curling up with a book that you can’t put down. I often get a couple of books for Christmas and buy the odd one occasionally but I only usually have the time to read them when I’m on holiday so being able to enjoy books has been a treat. The last book I read was ‘And the Stars Were Burning Brightly’ by Danielle Jawando which I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s aimed at teenagers but can definitely be enjoyed by adults too. It’s something I wish I’d read at 13 years old. I also recently read My Sisters Keeper by Jodi Picoult (I know I’m late to the party) and I really wasn’t ready for that ending 😦
There are plenty of other things you can do at home such as watching much loved programmes or discovering a new series or film, reading magazines, completing puzzles, quizzes, contacting family & friends, cooking, exercising, writing, drawing, colouring, journaling, the list goes on. Just do whatever gets you through this unusual and uncertain time (within reason of course)
Every time I see the word lockdown I can’t help thinking of that Akon song, Locked Up. In a way, it does feel like we’re all locked up at home, no longer enjoying the freedom we once took for granted.
Everyone deals with things differently and my current coping mechanism seems to be mainlining all the snacks. Is anyone else with me? I’m sure there will (hopefully) come a point where I start easing off them, otherwise I’m going to end up in a ‘sweatpants are all that fit me right now’ situation.
Assuming you have some extra time on your hands, now is a good time to watch all of those films/programmes/series you’ve been meaning to watch but never got around to. I’ve already watched The Wolf of Wall Street and Toy Story 4 because I’d never really had the chance to watch them before. I’m also open to recommendations if you have any.
For those of you who are being kept apart from your partner during this time I can completely relate. My boyfriend’s parents are in the vulnerable category and us not living together has hit me hard. We’ve never spent this long apart in ten years and I just feel a bit lost. We keep in touch every day but it’s just not the same as snuggling up together which is what I miss the most. I’m also missing my family and friends and the excitement of a day or night out with my favourite people. Once we’re allowed to do things again I’m sure we’ll all appreciate everything and everyone much more.
There are those who do daily workouts and eat mostly balanced meals then there are those who struggle to step away from their stash of snacks to go for a walk. I definitely fall into the latter category but if you’re the same that’s ok and you shouldn’t feel guilty. Listen to your body and mind and do what’s best for you.
If you have a hobby or activity that you enjoy and it can be done at home make sure you indulge whenever you can. This is a time when creativity can flourish and I’m finding that I’m blogging more often and creating more content for Instagram as life is no longer getting in the way. Doing so keeps me occupied and makes me happy.
As always I hope you’re all holding up ok, following the rules and staying safe and well in these testing times.
I’ve seen a few other bloggers doing posts with facts about themselves, which I don’t remember ever doing in the past (apart from those questions and answers on Facebook which are a guilty pleasure of mine) and content is pretty thin on the ground at the moment I thought I’d follow suit. I hope you and your families/friends are all safe and well and that this post provides some temporary entertainment if you’re bored during these lockdown times.
I’m 33 but I don’t look or act my age. I’ve been told I sometimes act like a teenager and others like an OAP. I can be a bit like Peter Pan in that I resist growing up and becoming an adult.
I’ve been with my boyfriend for 10 years but various circumstances mean we don’t live together and both live with our families, an hour’s journey apart. (This means so far, I haven’t seen him for 3 weeks) Hopefully this will change in the near future.
I’ve lived with anxiety from a young age and certain triggers can make it flare up, lasting anything from an hour to a few weeks. The worst symptoms are feeling really nauseous, burning up and struggling to eat and sleep. I’ve tried CBT, traditional counselling, (a long time ago) hypnotherapy, rescue remedy, breathing and listening to meditations but nothing has had a significant effect in breaking the cycle.
Driving is unfortunately one of the things that triggers my anxiety and is one of the reasons why I haven’t been able to pass a driving test. I’d love to hear from anyone else who has similar struggles with driving related anxiety or just driving in general.
I’d say I’m an introvert who enjoys spending time at home and needs to regularly recharge and (attempt to) get enough sleep but at the same time I can be quite social if I’m in the right frame of mind and love a good night out with friends. I also enjoy going for nice meals with my boyfriend and family and love any excuse to get glammed up but still need my down days wearing tracksuits and no make up.
My interests include fashion, music, food, popular culture, travel, reading and writing. Sadly, I’m not sporty or athletic and I was the one who the competitive person in the class hated during P.E lessons as I just had no interest in winning! I have exercised in the past for my mental health and to look decent in a bikini but it’s definitely something I have to force myself to do. I also find it hard to say no to treats and junk food but try to balance things a bit when I can, which has been less often than usual lately (oops)
Autumn and the build up to Christmas is my favourite time of year. I’m a November baby who loves being at home, all cosy when the weather is rubbish outside. I do enjoy a bit of sun but summers in the UK mean bad hayfever and nights where it’s too hot to sleep. I prefer going abroad where there’s usually air conditioning and outdoor swimming pools. Whenever the weather is warm and sunny I get an urge to take a dip in an outdoor pool but with the travel restrictions, I’m not sure whether that itch will be scratched this year.
Just over 5 years ago I ended up having a blood clot in my brain but luckily it was in a place that hasn’t caused much long term damage. For a year or so life was a blur of hospital appointments, medication, not feeling my best and missing out on a lot but I’d say I’m mostly back to normal now apart from regular headaches, not remembering as much as I used to and feeling less sharp. It’s a bit like restarting a computer and having a couple of files missing. My family, boyfriend and close friends were amazing during this time and I can’t thank them enough.
I’m quite a creative person and in the past I’ve enjoyed sketching fashion designs (badly) making jewellery and cards, writing stories/articles and I have fond memories of designing and making a mini cardboard kitchen at school. I need to reconnect with my creative side to feel more fulfilled so hopefully this period of downtime will allow me to do that.
I hope you enjoyed reading this and please let me know if you’ve posted anything similar as it’s so nice to find out more about the people whose blog and social media posts I read regularly