Life in Lockdown

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.

Getting to know Me

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

Living in Loungewear

If you’re anything like me, during this lockdown period you will be dressing for comfort and reaching for the tracksuits and PJs. The elasticated waists and extra space for the snack induced podge are a comfort at this uncertain time. I’m lucky enough to have a handful of tracksuits, accumulated over the years but I couldn’t resist the lure of a shiny new set (or two) in pretty, Spring colours.

This puff sleeved knitted loungewear set was around £25 in the sale on I saw it First and it’s on trend aswell as being cosy and comfy. The sun may be shining now but I’m sure there will be enough grey days to get sufficient wear out of this beauty.

I’ve never been the sporty type but this mint green zip up sweatshirt is giving me 90s Mel C vibes. It was £14 also from I Saw it First and the black joggers were £12. This outfit is even more comfortable than the knitted set and baggy clothes can help disguise parts you may not be confident about.

On a side note, I hope you and your families are all staying safe and well in these troubling times. Remember to stay at home unless it’s essential and stay as far away from others as you can if you do need to leave the house. Lets hope that things begin to return to normal fairly soon.

Mourning

We’re all experiencing such unusual circumstances at the moment and living through strange times with no real blueprint of how to get through such a scary and uncertain change in everyday life. I have so many thoughts but I’m struggling to process them so I thought I’d share a sort of poem that I’ve written. I’d love to know what you think and if you can relate.

I’m mourning the freedom I used to have

I’m mourning the quality time spent with loved ones

I’m mourning how easy it was to buy the food and supplies I need

I’m mourning regular walks and fresh air

I’m mourning the cute Spring outfits I won’t get to wear

I’m mourning the fun occasions I had planned

I’m mourning the holidays I won’t get to go on

I’m mourning life as I knew it and although I’m struggling to see a light at the end of the tunnel I’d rather this than to be mourning anyone I love

February Feasting

The way to my heart is definitely through my stomach so what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than to enjoy a four course meal at my favourite restaurant with my favourite person? (cringe)

Last Friday my boyfriend and I had a late lunch/early dinner (linner?) at Aurum at the Seven Hotel in Southend and it didn’t disappoint. The food was delicious, the cocktails were strong but refreshing and the ambience was perfect. The place was decorated with heart shaped balloons, confetti and even the lighting fitted in with the theme of love with its red glow.

The first course was warm bread and butter washed down with Red Light and Bloody Mary cocktails respectively, followed by unbelievably tasty scallops. They were my favourite dish and I think I’d choose them every time they’re on the menu in future.

We both opted for beef mains but I went for fillet which came with buttery potato gratin whereas my boyfriend chose sirloin, accompanied by cabbage and other seasonal veg. Both of which were succulent and enjoyable and the portions were small enough to make way for dessert. I thoroughly enjoyed the creme brulee whilst my boyfriend chomped on a cheeseboard.

I’d definitely recommend Aurum for the food, drinks, atmosphere and friendly staff. My mouth is watering just typing this post and I’m already working out when we can go back.

Lighten Up

This time last year, I remember seeing pictures of the stunning and clever light installations at Canary Wharf and regretting not going to see them for myself so this time I made sure I went along to the Winter Lights Festival to immerse myself in the illuminated displays.

Different parts of the area were dotted with a variety of light attractions, including this sign above, (translated from Romanian to ‘I miss you’) messages hidden in cascading water (I’m gutted there were too many people around for me to capture this one) and lit up benches that you could actually sit on.

I went on the first Saturday which meant it was so busy it was often difficult to get decent photos and videos. Next year I’d prefer to go during the week if I can as the crowds do get a bit much after a while. I didn’t get the chance to see everything but my favourite was in jubilee park where the water features were filled with white balls with coloured lights underneath. For more pictures and some videos you can have a look at my instagram account: Instagram.com/chelseyprentice

My 2020 Vision

In a year of bad news and disappointing political events, where Brexit was meant to happen (various times) but never materialised it’s not that easy to feel positive about the future.

A new year is traditionally a time when many set personal goals so why not incorporate that into trying to offset the doom and gloom by making at least one goal something that has a positive effect on others? Whether its donating to charity or food banks, volunteering, buying something to eat or drink for a homeless person or helping those around you who are in need. Even having a clear out and donating what you no longer use to charity will benefit others. Another option is to cut down on the amount of new items you buy in an effort to help the environment.

On a personal note, I want to make an effort to blog more in 2020. I’ve had little motivation this year and let myself get distracted by scrolling social media but there is a lot going on that I should engage with rather than letting it pass me by. I feel like blogging in general is getting lost amongst the noise of instagram influencers and the like so it would be good to contribute towards hopefully the eventual revival of blog writing and reading. After all, people have a lot more to say than what can be squeezed into a caption or character limit.

I’m both fearful and hopeful about the future. We can’t control everything but we can all take steps to help those around us live easier and happier lives whenever possible.

This is Halloween 2019

There’s something about Halloween. Traditionally a celebration dedicated to remembering the dead, it has evolved over the years into the pumpkin carving, fancy dress wearing, scary film fest we know it to be today. As someone who hates horror films, I’m surprisingly a big fan of halloween as a whole. The spiritual side intrigues me and my fascination with transformation (perhaps its a Scorpio thing?) is definitely satisfied during this time of year. Plus I’m always partial to a pumpkin spice latte.

I recently visited a pumpkin patch for the first time ever and I felt like a big kid, excitedly scanning the field for a pumpkin to take home and attempt to carve. (Might be best to have 999 on speed dial, just in case) I’d definitely recommend it for an autumnal day out for big and little kids alike. Pumpkin patches are a relatively new Halloween activity which was previously only really done in the US but began creeping into the UK, gaining popularity last year, mainly amongst bloggers and influencers. I visited Foxes Farm Produce who have sites in Basildon and Colchester but patches are popping up all over the country so you should be able to find one near you.

There are so many Halloween themed products nowadays from decorations to sweets and candles which demonstrates how celebrating Halloween is becoming as big a deal in the UK as it is in the US. Every year my workplace have a fancy dress competition which I love getting involved in. It’s the only chance I tend to get to dress up for the occasion, especially as I’m too old to go trick or treating. On or near Halloween, I avoid horror films but I do like watching Hocus Pocus or Harry Potter. Does anyone else have any Halloween traditions?

I imagine that this time of year is even more enjoyable if you have children in your life who you can buy or make a costume for, take trick or treating and get involved in other Halloween activities with. That said, I’m like a child myself and throw myself into it as much as I can. Any celebration that involves food, especially sweet treats is a yes from me. Now, I’m off to hunt for some pumpkin scented candles and ghostly goodies… Happy Halloween

Not to be Sniffed at

If you’re a scent commitment-phobe like me, then purchasing samples of fragrances provides the ideal opportunity for you to try before you buy and perhaps dip your toe into a world of scent that may have otherwise been financially out of reach. I tried Fragrance Direct UK because the site had good reviews and they stock brands I wanted to try such as Byredo, Tom Ford and Essentric Molecules at reasonable prices but there are other websites that may be worth a try and Ebay also have perfume samples available. The samples come in a purple velvet pouch and arrive pretty promptly.

I did originally take a picture of the bottles before they were empty but there was a problem uploading the files so I had to take new ones of empty bottles

The original fragrance is decanted into spray bottles and you can choose your sample size from 1ml up to 5ml, with some fragrances offering 10ml options. Prices are dependent on the scent but most start at around £4 with a 2ml sample costing around £5.70. It isn’t something you could do every month but as someone whose fragrance collection features mostly autumnal or wintery scents it was perfect for me to order a few samples to try for summer without committing to a full bottle.

I like quite niche brands and don’t want to always smell like everyone else but as these brands more often than not have a rather hefty price tag it’s good to try a few of them out before parting with cold, hard cash. The perfumes I’ve tried so far are Gypsy Water and Pulp by Byredo, Molecule 01 by Eccentric Molecules, Eau de soleil blanc by Tom Ford and Jardin d’Amalfi and Virgin Island Water by Creed. I love them all but there are a couple of clear favourites, one being the unique Molecule 01 which I ended up purchasing a full 30ml bottle of this month. Byredo’s free spirited Gypsy Water is definitely going on my birthday list but I’m equally in love with the burst of ripe fruitiness that is Pulp. Creed’s Virgin Island water is the perfect light summer fragrance with notes of coconut and the Tom Ford scent reminds me of suncream with a sensual edge so is ideal for summer nights.

Whilst I’m here I should really address the lack of blogging. I just haven’t felt inspired to write, I’ve felt a bit lazy and life has taken over. I also feel like Instagram has replaced blogging for many people and I’m sad to admit that. Maybe we just don’t have the attention spans to sit and read a blog post anymore? With this in mind, I’m not sure how many people will actually read my little blog but I suppose I shouldn’t let that stop me doing something I enjoy. Is anyone else still blogging on regardless?

City Social: Fine Dining with a view

Earlier this month, my boyfriend and I tried City Social for the first time to celebrate our anniversary and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Located on the 24th floor of Tower 42 in Old Broad Street, it boasts fantastic views of the City below. All of the staff were incredibly friendly and accommodating so we felt very well looked after.


Our waiter, Alex suggested I try cocktail pairing to match my drinks to the courses I ordered. The mixologist Nelson russled up two tasty martini based cocktails to compliment my seafood starter and main. Both had citrus elements but the second cocktail was my favourite as it reminded me of lemon meringue pie.

To start we both had scallops with truffle, celeriac, pickled pear and shimeji mushrooms which was delicious. For my main course I had fruit of the sea linguine with shellfish veloute which was rich, creamy and full of flavour. Desert was the best mango sorbet I’ve ever tasted followed by another cocktail.

They also gave us a chocolate cake with a Happy Anniversary message which I thought was a nice touch and extra desert is always a bonus. I couldn’t fault our experience and will definitely be returning one day for another special occasion.