Friday, 20 July 2018

DOC COTTON


Fashion is up there with my greatest loves. I'm a lover of a bargain and fast fashion, but having a few really unique pieces in my wardrobe makes me so happy. Recently, I was contacted by the wonderful people at Doc Cotton and asked if I wanted to design an item of clothing, using their fab online service. So, with visions of creating bespoke designs for my little character in Animal Crossing in mind (who can relate? anyone??), I said a big fat yes please and thank you and got to work!


A few things to know about Doc Cotton before we get started;
Firstly, they are based in Peckham and everything is made on site, meaning it's all very local and ethically made. Not a sweatshop in sight!
The clothes are 100% cotton and made from scratch, leaving little to no waste in the production, which is amazing. I'm so all about environmentally friendly brands so it doesn't get much better than this.
All items are printed digitally, no nasty dyes used here.
They support talented people by using local and up and coming designers for their print designs. We're all about sharing the love over here so that was a major selling point for me.
You can also design your own prints as well as choosing from the huge range already on the site.


They do both men's and women's clothes including skirts, dresses, shirts and t-shirts for women and t-shirts, shirts, trousers and shorts for men, so plenty of options! The prices range from about £40-100, which while not cheap, for a high quality, 100% cotton and completely bespoke item, I think that's actually pretty bloody reasonable! The website is super easy to use - you simply pick which item and size you want, then choose your print, zip colour and thread colour. I went for this stunning palm leaf print which was by a designer called Lucy Heggie - a very talented lady indeed! I chose pink thread and a pink zip on the back, which I think go beautifully with the greens in the print. When choosing your print, you can choose how big or small you want it to be too, so each item is completely personal to your own unique tastes. While you're creating your garment, there is a mock up on screen showing you what it'll look like - this was super accurate, so you can be totally confident that you're going to LOVE your piece!


I designed and ordered my skirt on a Saturday morning and it was here by the Wednesday, meaning the turnaround was less than five days, which for something made to order totally from scratch is seriously quick! It came in a simple but classy branded cardboard box, wrapped in tissue paper with a cute brown paper label with the name of the person who made the skirt hand written on it. Zero plastic packaging, something a lot of brands should take note on! Totally bio-degradable packaging is another massive selling point for me so I loved that.


The skirt itself has been made beautifully. I ordered a size six and it is just a teeny bit big around my waist, but not so much that it's unwearable. I'd say it's true to size for a standard UK size six though, so I would definitely recommend ordering your usual size. The quality is fantastic and because its 100% cotton, it's super comfy to wear too.

So, if you're on the lookout for a super fun, completely unique piece, I can wholeheartedly recommend Doc Cotton! It's great to support local, ethical brands and this absolutely ticks those boxes.

As always, feel free to comment below or message me on Instagram if you have any comments or questions about this gorgeous brand!

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Thursday, 12 July 2018

LEESA


If you read my recent post about Habits of Productive People, you'll know that I've been making an effort lately to wake up early, so while laying in bed all day isn't really my thing, quality of sleep absolutely is. If I've spent the night on an uncomfy bed, I could've had a solid 10 hours and I'd still be grump AF the next morning. And until recently, that was happening! A couple of months ago, our mattress was so done for, that we rush ordered one of the only ones Argos would be able to do same day delivery on and OH LORD what a mistake! For about three months we suffered the worlds most uncomfortable mattress. Stupidly bouncy, loud metal on metal noises when you sat down too hard and the stabbiest of stabby springs, it was a lot. 

So, naturally I almost cried actual tears of joy when the wonderful people at Leesa asked me if I'd like to give one of their mattresses a go. After a little happy dance at my desk at work I said yes please thank you very much. I was given a code to order the mattress, which I actually prefer when an item is gifted, as it means that you do the ordering process yourself. Things like this make a huge difference to your shopping experience, so it's good to be able to review that part of the new bed journey too! I am pleased to report that ordering the mattress was super easy and very quick, so brownie points to Leesa before the mattress even showed up!

Turns out there wasn't much time at all between the mattress being in my cart and showing up at my door! The estimated delivery time said 5 to 7 working days but it turned up in just three! I'm not sure if I just got lucky or if this is a regular thing but I was very impressed.


Set up was seriously easy, the mattress arrived rolled up in a box and it comes so seriously compressed, for a moment  thought I'd accidentally ordered the wrong size! But we cut away the packaging and watched the mattress grow before our eyes! Once unrolled, this thing comes. to. life. In literally minutes it was at it's full size. It does take a few hours to totally firm up, but it's pretty much ready to sleep on right away. As you'll be able to tell from the photos, it's seriously thick (there's a good couple of inches below the bed frame too!), this is because it's made up of three layers, the first a Cooling Avena foam to regulate temperature, followed by a Pressure Relieving Memory foam that delivers body contouring, then a 15cm base foam that adds strength and durability.

I can wholeheartedly say that all of these layers come together to create the MATTRESS OF DREAMS (pun entirely intended). It's been so much cooler than any other mattress I've had through this heatwave the UK has been having and it definitely suits all body types. Both my Husband and I sleep so much better, he's not into a firm mattress, whereas I prefer something with a little less give in it and this is the perfect balance between the two. Something that I particularly like is that it doesn't bounce around when you move. Meaning when I shuffle and fidget in my sleep (a lot), I don't wake Darren up! I was suffering terribly with shoulder pains from my old mattress and after a month of sleeping on my lovely Leesa I can honestly say that they have totally gone! I had no idea until now that my mattress was the problem and always put shoulder tension down to my chair at work or dodgy posture but nope, just my sad old mattress messing me up.

Perhaps the best part, when you buy a Leesa mattress, you give while you sleep! For every ten mattresses sold, Leesa donate one mattress to organisations that serve homeless and at risk men, women and children at every stage of their transition to better lives. How amazing is that? Personally, knowing that this is something they do, I'd always choose brands and companies in future with schemes like this. Knowing you're one tenth of the reason someone has a bed for the night is an amazing feeling. Not only that, but for every single mattress sold, Leesa plant one tree -  they have partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant one million trees by the year 2025, so you're helping out the environment too. As if you needed any other reason!

So, naturally if you're in the market for a new mattress, I'd highly recommend checking out the Leesa website, the reviews on the site alone speak for themselves! As an added lil bonus, you can use my code 'CHLOESWAY100' for £100 off any size Leesa mattress!

Happy sleeping!

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Friday, 6 July 2018

SHARING THE LOVE

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At it again with the amateur motivational speaking. Do you think I could do TED talks? While kindness and being good to others is something that we're encouraged to do from the moment we can speak, sometimes actual acts of kindness are something we don't make much time for. In today's every man for himself culture, sometimes it feels easier to be a little selfish.

Self love and 'doing you' is great, we're in a generation of strong, independent people achieving incredible things. Because of that, sometimes doing things to help others out or build one another up can feel almost detrimental to our own success. If, like most people, you're a generally good person, it's very rarely a conscious decision to be a dickhead, but sometimes it can feel like congratulating  someone on something they're doing before you or better than you can be difficult. It's human nature, we're born competitors, we strive to be the best and that can be our strongest characteristic and biggest downfall all at the same time.

See, while you do need to work hard and do what you've gotta do to meet you goals, there's no shame in admitting that having someone tell you how great you're doing does give you a boost along the way. For a long time, I was almost too embarrassed to tell people that I thought they were doing great things. I was always too scared it would come across ingenuine, too forward or uncool. Especially as a teen and young adult, there's almost a pressure to be confident, sassy and untouchable and basically, saying sweet things to brighten someone's day doesn't exactly fit the brand.

I am a social media cheerleader (more on why another day) and I love how our phones and laptops are the easiest platform to share your work and your message with the world. Though in doing that, it's easy to fall into the trap of feeling jealous of those where you want to be and feeling superior to those who are where you came from. And yes, you should do things ultimately for yourself, but on the whole, hardly anybody gets anywhere without a bit of recognition. A promotion at work comes with praise from your boss, a spike in Instagram followers can come with a share from another user, people helping and praising people is a beautiful thing and it's so easy to do.

It's true that you should be the change you want to see. If you want people to recognise and appreciate what you're doing, you need to do the same for others and I guarantee that the feeling you'll get from making someone else happy or proud of themselves is like no other. And hey, you'll discover some wonderful things along the way too! Be it your new favourite blog to read, some stunning outfit photos that give you fashion inspo or a musician creating beautiful songs, finding new and inspiring people and things does wonders for your creativity.

So, I'm challenging you! Spread the love, brighten someone's day and I promise you, it'll brighten yours right back.

As always, I'd LOVE to hear your thoughts on this, so please do DM me on instagram if you have anything to say and especially if you'd like to share with me someone who you think is bringing their A-game right now!

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Monday, 2 July 2018

FIVE HABITS OF PRODUCTIVE PEOPLE


How often do you find yourself wishing you'd done something earlier? How many times a week do you say 'I would, but I'm so busy!'? I hold my hands up, I've been seriously guilty of this. I work full time in a very busy 9-5:30 office job, I'm also studying at the moment, I have a home to keep tidy, meals to cook, a dog to walk etc etc. So it's very easy to forget to leave time for the things you love doing.

For me, that's my blog, it's my instagram, it's playing guitar. All of these things were becoming more of a niggling 'I must do that at some point' thought in the back of my mind rather than things I actively chose to spend my time doing. Recently though, I decided that 'too busy' was a state of mind. Yes, I work until 5:30 and yes, I do like to keep my house tidy and cook a decent meal (most of the time at least!!), but does all that really take up as much of my time and I make out it does? I realised that actually no, it doesn't. So, today, I'm going to share with you '5 Habits of Productive People', some of these I'm already doing, others I'm working on, but I hope at least some of these tips will inspire you to fit just a little more into your day!

Late nights, early mornings.
No, I'm not recommending you go to bed at silly o clock and spring back out again 3 hours later, but that said, most nights, I go to bed at around midnight and I wake up at 7am. That's a good seven hours sleep and that suits me just fine. That does mean though that I have a good 5 or so hours after work to utilise, but I don't always use the time as best I could. A friend of mine recently told me that he gets up at 5am in the mornings to fit in the creative stuff before his day even begins. I was so inspired by that, not only do you get the stuff you love to do done, it also gives a sense of accomplishment before you go about the rest of your day. Said friend is @jackburrellhq on Instagram, please do check him out, he's an incredible artist and musician, so he's definitely doing something right with all those early mornings! I'm already making the effort to fit in a little bit of editing and blogging time after work, but with this in mind, I'm vowing to go to bed an hour earlier, set my morning alarm an hour earlier than I usually do and get sh*t done - hold me to it!

Earn your down time
Do you ever feel kind of guilty when you spend hours in front of the TV? Maybe there's a reason for that! Everybody needs their chill time, but having that time after a productive day feels so much better. If you find yourself scrolling through apps on your phone or sitting in front of the TV for hours on end every evening, question if that’s something you need to be doing or if it's just habit. Going to bed feeling like I’ve accomplished something absolutely helps me sleep better at night. If I’ve had a lazy day, I find it seriously hard to sleep, because I’m thinking about the million things I could’ve gotten done! I sometimes find that it helps to section my evening, so I get in at 6:15, so by 7:30, I like to have made and eaten dinner. Then between 7:30 to 8:30, I’ll work on blog and social stuff and then from 8:30, I’ll do things like wash my hair (always at night as it frees up my morning!), do my skincare routine, fake tan etc, then after that usually from around 9:30, I’ve got a couple of hours or so to just chill out. Believe me, it’s nights like this when I sleep so much better!

Use your breaks
Productivity of course doesn't just apply to your hobbies and social media accounts (as much as I'm sure we'd all love it to!), but also to your day job. I don't know about you, but when I spend my entire lunch hour at work just scrolling through my phone, I always find it so hard to get back to what I was doing come 2pm! Of course, work can be tough and your breaks are your time, but I find that if I spend my lunch hour doing something, be that a blog post, some photo editing or just getting outside for a walk or to meet a friend, I then go back to work feeling like I've done something for myself and I feel so much more ready to get back to it! A job is a job and while we may not love every aspect of it, there's pride in knowing you worked damn hard and did your best. Also, there's a kind of smug satisfaction to getting something done in your lunch hour that you'd have otherwise had to do before or after work.

Preparation, Preparation, Preparation
Sometimes, when all else fails and you really are just too busy, knowing you have content sorted in advance is a godsend. So, when I have a free evening or a quiet Sunday, I'll take lots of photos, draft blog posts, reply to emails etc. When your blog and your Instagram are what you love to do, feeling behind and out of the loop can be stressful and suck the fun out of it. Where possible, I do love to write and shoot in 'real time', but I do like knowing I've always got something backed up for when I have plans that are taking up my time  genuinely just run out of time. Alongside this, take notes!! I cannot tell you how many times I've had an idea for a blog post or photo and then later completely forgotten what it was! Whether it's in the notes app on your phone or in a jotter kept in your handbag, write down anything and everything that comes to mind. It's a tip that seems so obvious but believe me, it's a life saver!

Keep your dreams in mind
Ultimately, enhanced productivity helps you to reach your goals and that’s what all of this is about. While the topic of prioritising your time and maximising productivity for things like blogging, music and photography may seem unimportant to some, spending time on the things you love to do gives purpose to each and every day. Keeping in mind why you’re taking photos, or learning a particularly difficult song keeps you motivated to keep going. Doing things just because they make you happy is beneficial for mental health and can dramatically change your outlook. Spending a little time each morning or evening to learn something new, work on your blog or social media accounts or even starting  a new hobby means at least for a small part of each day, you’re doing something entirely for yourself, to better yourself or to work towards your goals and aspirations and that really is an increcidble feeling. It’s a huge cliché to say it, but life is unpredictable and that's both scary and wonderful, but in the end, you don’t want to look back and feel like it was wasted. We all have to work and we all have to do things we’d rather not do, but don’t let those things be your excuse for not doing what you love.

Feel free to message me on instagram or comment below if you'd like to share your thoughts on the topic, I'd love to know if you have any productivity tips yourself!

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Monday, 25 June 2018

ADEXE

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always struggled with watches. I love to wear one and I love the look of them, but I find that lots of watches appear too big and clunky on me. I’ve got quite skinny wrists and long hands, so I sometimes find that big chunky watches look a little bit weird! I’m also a bit fan of pretty, dainty jewellery and often a big old watch gleaming away on your wrist kind of clashes with the look of a ditsy necklace and pretty stacking rings! So, you can imagine how happy I was when the lovely people at Adexe got in touch, asking me if I'd like to receive one of their watches.

I decided to go for the 'Meek' Petite Silver Watch because, as I said, big chunky watches aren't my thing, that said though, from what I can tell, Adexe don't appear to do big, thick watches. Their bands are all quite slim, which I personally think sits nicer against your wrist. Some of the faces are bigger than this one, as they do both 'petite' watches like this and 'grande' watches. The petite watches have a watch face of 33mm and the grande 41mm. They also do a range of different colours, there was a gorgeous rose gold with a berry coloured face that I was also pretty tempted by! They do both all metal watches, like this one and leather strap watches in a huge range of styles, so there's something for everyone! I was thrilled with my choice, because its very slimline, simple and classic, meaning it goes with pretty much anything I wear.

The watch came beautifully packaged in a simple, white Adexe branded box, with the watch safely packed inside, attached by secure elastic to a padded insert so that it didn't slide around in the post. It came with a guidance card on how to use the watch and a warranty card inside a little envelope. It didn't have instructions on how to adjust the watch, but it's pretty self explanatory and easy to figure out and I'm sure you'd be able to find a video online for how to do so if you got really stuck. It also comes with a little tool to help you adjust the watch, which is great because I have had watches before that didn't come with this and have broken many a nail trying to adjust without an aid!

This watch in particular is made with Stainless Steel, so it's going to be super hard-wearing and while it isn't big and heavy, it does feel very sturdy and well made so I know it's going to last me a long time. While Adexe do use very high quality materials to produce their products, because the watches are designed in London and made in house, this reduces the number of intermediaries in between the design and production process, meaning the price tag is reduced. You can pay hundreds of pounds for watches of a similar or sometimes lesser quality, but Adexe watches range from £89 to £129, making a quality timepiece much more accessible to many people.

Let me know what you think! If you're interested in Adexe watches, you can use code 'CHLOESWAY15' for 15% off!

This watch was sent to me by Adexe as part of a gift-based collaboration. As always though, all opinions are my own and I am under no obligation to share a positive review of any product gifted or otherwise.


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