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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HOW TO BUY CAR TYRES THAT ARE RIGHT FOR YOU


My car and driving isn't always something that is at the forefront of my mind during the summer, even less so my tyres. In the winter, we know we have to be extra careful, but with less rainy days and no risk of ice and snow, it's not surprising that tyres are taken for granted during the summer. The fact is, wear and tear happens year round and it's important to ensure that you're safe in your car year round. I've posted about car maintenance in the past and while I know it's a bit of a dull topic, it's so important.

Something that you might put off of proper tyre care, is the cost of new tyres. I get it, why buy your car new tyres when you could buy yourself new shoes right? Wrong! Without even getting to how unsafe bad tyres can be, they also increase fuel consumption, meaning you'll be spending even more money on fuel. It can effect your brakes, which can be very expensive to have to fix - so replacing old worn tyres can actually not only keep you safe, but save you money! For the price friendly factor, you can buy cheap tyres online at DAT Tyres here. My Husband recently bought a new tyre online after getting a nail stuck in his and it was so convenient not having to get the car to the garage with a flat!

Who loves a road trip in the Summer? We Brits travel in our cars a lot during the Summer, be it a weekend away or day trips to the beach, we spend a lot of time in the car. Wouldn't it put a bit of a dampener on your trip if one of your tyres went flat halfway down the motor way on your way to the seaside? Or worse still, if your worn out tyres were slipping and sling in the British summer rain. I'm trying to keep this post light hearted, but road accidents are all too common and can be caused by unchecked tyres. Something so quick and easy to check and fix, but all too commonly forgotten.

So, don't forget, before you head out on any trips this summer, check for punctures, check your tread depth (look up the 20p trick, it's so simple - https://www.tyresafe.org/tyre-safety/tread-depth/) and check your pressure (petrol stations usually have a free to use pressure gauge).

Happy driving!

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Wednesday, 13 June 2018

POSITIVITY AND MAKING THE MOST OF EVERY DAY

Good vibes only! What started out as a little doodle may now turn into something more! shhhhhh. More will be revealed in good time... SHAKA!


Would you say you lived for the weekend? Do you hate Mondays? Did you know that if you spend 5 days a week waiting for the weekend, you're spending around 70% of your time wishing your life away?


Yesterday, I posted a few polls on Instagram, asking my followers to rate their general positivity levels and the results, as you can see below were super interesting! On average, most people rated how they feel about Mondays and their mood on a work morning pretty low and agreed strongly with the phrase 'I live for the weekend', but rated themselves very highly when asked how positive their attitude generally. I found this really quite interesting, because while many people seem to hate Mondays and be in a fairly low mood before work (on average, 5 days a week!), they still considered themselves to be positive in general.

I'm not saying this is a bad thing at all, if anything, I think it's great that people still feel pretty happy despite these things, but it does get me thinking, surely if these otherwise positive people could maybe adjust their mindset a little, they could spread their good vibes throughout the entire week and start living for every day rather than a rather small percentage of the week! So, with this in mind, I'm going to share a few tips that help me to feel more positive and to enjoy every day!

Start each day with a positive thought
I know, I know, it's massive cliche, but something as simple as waking up and telling yourself that you're about to have a great day can massively improve your mood. Thinking negatively and focusing on the bad things can have a huge impact on your mindset right from the beginning of you day. No matter what lies ahead, try thinking 'today will be a good day' before you even get out of bed. It's amazing what a difference it can make, honest!

Make the most of every moment
Sometimes, you have to do things that you wouldn't necessarily choose to do, that's life, while there may be several things you'd rather be doing, there's no reason why you can't make the best of every moment. Maybe you're crazy busy at work, but again, a simple change of mindset can do wonders. Accept and enjoy the challenging times, breathe and relax in moments you'd typically find a bit dull and boring. Enjoy talking to your colleagues, grab the opportunity to learn new things in your job (or school!) every day.
This doesn't only apply to worky things, but to leisure time too. Do you find that you're in a rut all week? Wake up, Work, Home, Eat, Sleep, Repeat. Sound familiar? Stop! Make midweek plans, go the pub on a Wednesday night, have a cinema date on a Monday. There are so many hours that you could fill doing things you love all week long, not just on Friday night and the weekend.

Stay present
This point relates nicely to the last point of making the most of every moment. Sometimes, it's really easy to wish the time away and keep thinking of Friday or of 5pm, but staying in the moment and accepting for what it is helps you to stay focused and of course, you'll feel less negative if you're not wishing you were somewhere else! Perhaps you're at work doing a task that's driving you a bit mad. In these sort of situations, I stop for a second and think about how accomplished I'll feel when I'm done. I focus there and then on the task and work as hard as I can and sometimes, I even come to enjoy the challenge! Even more mundane tasks like doing the washing up have a sense of accomplishment at the end, whatever you're doing, have your end goal in mind and take pride in working hard at the things you don't necessarily love doing while you're doing them.

Be grateful
Another cliche, sorry! It's important though to remember how much you have to be thankful for. It's easy to forget the little things when you're caught up in wishing your situation was different, but when things get tough, try to stop for a moment and think. You may be at school wishing the bell would ring, but right now, you're sitting, learning new things, broadening your knowledge and mind.You might be a work on Tuesday, counting down the hours until Friday, but think about the reasons you like your job and why you applied in the first place. And if you don't like your job, think about why you're there and be grateful for the experience you're gaining and how that'll help you in future when you look for a new role.

Accept the bad
Despite having a generally optimistic outlook on life and being a huge advocate of a positive mental attitude, I'm not completely on another planet and I do know that some days are just basically crap. While I'll always push to look for the good in every situation, it's sometimes good to just accept the bad times, roll with it, have a cry if you need to. You don't always need to be super strong and sunny about everything. It's healthy to feel sad and to let your emotions run free. Talk to people you love, vent on twitter, do what you've gotta do. Letting yourself feel negative emotions without feeling bad or embarrassed about it is as important to a positive mindset as any of these other points. Just when you're feeling better again, pick yourself up and do things to help yourself stay better, see your friends, watch a movie, have a bubble bath - just don't wait for the weekend to do so!

That's all for now! I hope you enjoyed this post, this is a topic I could go on and on about for days, so if you'd like to see more posts like this, please do let me know.

As always, my DMs are always open on instagram (@chloesway) if you fancy a chat or if you've got anything to add on this topic, I'd love to hear your opinions!



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Monday, 11 June 2018

HOW TO NAIL MARRIED LIFE


Full disclosure before your eyes roll into the back of your skull at the title, I don't think I'm a relationship expert (it's not a thing, don't @ me) and I'm not claiming that I can fix your relationship problems, but that said, I bloody love being married and I like to think that myself and my Husband Darren are pretty good at it. NOT SORRY! So, to sum up, not an expert, but very happy and today I'm going to share exactly why I think that is. These aren't necessarily marriage tips, but more lessons I've learned along the way that I think help to make a happy couple (stay with me, I'm not going to get soppy).

Accept them for who they are.
This is first because it really is the most important. People can change and they do change, but you cannot make someone change. I don't mean that if someone's a messy f*cker, you should accept that and do all their washing for them, but you need to love and respect your partner for the person that they are. I do believe it's important to adapt your behaviours and habits to suit your life together and being stubborn gets you nowhere, but I wholeheartedly believe that you should be able to be 100% yourself with your partner, especially at the point of marrying them. Marriage is (hopefully!) a lifelong commitment and having to act like someone you're not for your whole life will lead to resentment. It may irritate Darren sometimes when he's mid-way through a story about his day and I turn his sentence into a song reference and I might moan about the amount of bread he wastes when he tries and fails to spread butter several times, but those little quirks are also things we love about each other. You're going to piss each other off, but those little things aren't deal breakers and sometimes you will grow to kinda like them.

Let them do them.
Something that BAFFLES me is hearing people say 'I'd never let my boyfriend..', 'no wife of mine could ever...' etc, you get the point. PSA: your partner is not a Sim with free will turned off, unless you regularly catch them staring into space with a green diamond above their heads (and maybe not even then), you cannot make them do anything. Compromise is key, not everyone gets their own way all the time and sometimes, you'll have to just watch the damn action movie, but having your partner constantly telling you can't go here/ wear that/ see them is a major red flag. If you have friends and hobbies that make you happy, the person who loves you should not want to change that. Also, if you really love someone, you'll want to do nice things for them, like cooking their favourite meal, or doing the washing up even though it's probably their turn. Thinking you can boss your partner around and tell them what to do is a recipe for disaster though, if you fully trust someone, you can trust them to make their own decisions.

Do things for them.
This follows on from my last point, sometimes the smallest gestures can make a huge difference. Darren knows that I regularly forget to make my own lunch for work, so often he'll make it for me the night before so that I don't have to think about it in the morning. He'll put my favourite vinyl on for me and light a candle while I'm cooking because he knows I love cooking with music on and hate the house smelling of food. It's tiny things like this that just show that you really know one another. Gestures don't have to be big or expensive, but knowing that your partner has your happiness in mind means a lot.

Listen to them.
Laaaaame. But seriously, if you're in a relationship with someone, surely this means you're interested in them and what they have to say. Sure, sometimes your partner will have a moan about work/ friends/ family/ washing up and you might've heard it all before, but just listen, take the few minutes out of your day to take in what they're saying and talk things through. When you're married or in a relationship, your partner should be your best friend, you should be able to talk about anything and everything that's on your mind, whether it's a bad day in the office or the hidden secrets of the universe. Feeling like someone really values your opinion and cares about what you have to say really is a great feeling. Side note, I'm always super impressed when Darren gets me a present or does something that shows he's been really listening to me, it can be anything from buying a record I mentioned a few weeks back to putting on a TV series I briefly talked about wanting to watch.

Make time for one another.
As much as I will preach alone time and doing your own thing, I find that spending time together is the best way to feel closer and reconnect. Even if it's just going for a few drinks after a long week at work or watching a movie with a ban on all other technology one evening, it's nice to just do things as a couple. When you live with someone and you're together all the time, it's easy to blur the lines between being around one another and actually being together. Quality time is, in my opinion, essential to feel close and connected to your partner and with so many people having such full and busy lives these days, it's important to make that time for just the two of you.

Trust them.
All of my points in this post so far are my opinion and can be taken with a pinch of salt - EXCEPT. THIS. ONE. As a couple, you have a life together, but you also have separate lives. You need to be able to do thing separately and be okay with that. No one's a mind reader and no one can predict what anyone is going to do, but forever assuming the person you're with is going to f*ck up isn't healthy. This doesn't apply to everything, like I absolutely don't trust Darren when he constantly promises not to use half a bottle of Fairy every time he washes up, but for the most part, you need to feel as though your partner trusts and respects you and you them. If who you're with gets mad whenever you speak to or are friends with another girl/ guy that is a big old red flag and it shouldn't be ignored. Something I've heard a lot is 'it's not me he doesn't trust, it's other guys' - this is bullshit. If you know your partner well enough to know they're not going to do the dirty every time they go to a club without you, then you'll know you don't have to worry about 'other guys'.


Like I say, please do take this post in the light hearted way that it is intended, I by no means consider myself a marriage or relationship expert, I just wanted to share a fun post with some of the lessons I've learnt in my almost year of marriage and seven year relationship! If you'd like to see more personal posts like this on my blog, please do let me know!

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Sunday, 10 June 2018

LONDON ROCK TOUR


Well hello again! Another music related post for you all today, this time though, it’s a review with a bit of a difference. I’m not going to be reviewing a band, an album or a gig, but instead the ‘London Rock Tour’, which was a tour my Husband and I went on last summer. It’s essentially a tour of all the rock and roll ‘landmarks’ in London, from Pink Floyd’s studio to Abbey Road. If this sounds like your kinda day out, then read on!

We met bright and early at The Original Tour Reservation centre just off Piccadilly Circus and met our tour guide, Lee and all the other people who’d be joining us on the tour. Lee was just fab and made sure to get to know a bit about everyone as he ticked our names off the list. There were people from all over the world on our tour and Lee made sure to find out everyone’s names and where they were from and managed to remember these details all day! So, introductions done, we headed off at 9am to begin the tour. 

We all jumped into the minivan (with band logos and branding printed all over the sides, love) and before we set off, Lee asked each couple or group what their favourite British bands were so he could personalise the tour slightly. Though there are places they go on every tour, he said he’d try to find at least something of some relevance to everyone’s favourite band or artist, which I thought was a great touch.

Unfortunately, I can’t remember every single thing we saw and in what order we saw them, but I’ll do my best to cover what I can without giving away too many details for those who’d like to take the tour. What I do remember though, was thinking that I should’ve been taking notes! Lee had such a depth of knowledge about the London music scene and he was fascinating to listen to. The way he told stories of great British bands and their history was so natural, you could tell this was stuff he really cared about, not just words learnt from a script. You could call out the name of any British rock musician and Lee would have a story to tell. Something I particularly loved was that he’d play music from each of the artists we were discussing at the time, which re-ignited my love for many bands I’d not really listened to since my Dad used to play me all his favourites when I was a tiny kid! 


Another particularly great aspect of the tour was that it wasn’t just a ‘look at this recording studio from the window of the bus’, we actually got off the bus several times to look around and even went inside a few places to explore. One in particular was ‘Regent Sounds’, a guitar shop that used to be Regents Sounds Recording Studio where bands including Black Sabbath, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Who, The Rolling Stones and The Kinks had all once recorded singles or demos in their early careers. This studio is on Denmark Street, or ‘Tin Pan Alley’. While we were there, we also saw a site that used to be a coffee shop where David Bowie was among their regular customers. Those into music will know that Denmark Street has some of the most musical history that London has to offer, that’s why it was a particularly interesting and somewhat sad part of the tour, as Denmark Street isn’t what it used to be and lots of renovations around the area are slowly changing one of London’s most historic musical streets. The history of the area was just fascinating to learn about though and it was definitely a highlight of the tour.


Among other things, we saw Paul McCartney’s London office, the school that the kids singing in ‘Another Brick in the Wall’ by Pink Floyd came from, David Bowie’s blue plaque at Trident Studios and Amy Winehouse’s house in Camden. Again, with all of these, we spent a little time there, in some cases being shown around the area and in others just being told about all the history and things that went on there. Again, I won’t go into the details too much so as not to ruin the surprises of the tour for anyone planning on going, but each and every place had such amazing stories attached to them and Lee knew every detail! Even driving around the city, he’d point to a doorway and tell you a quick anecdote about Paul McCartney, or to a shop to tell you what it used to be. It’s amazing how much history is hidden within our city just about everywhere you look!


The final stop on the tour was the famous Abbey Road studios and Abbey Road crossing from the Beatles album of the same name. Lee made sure everyone got the iconic crossing photo and that we all got plenty of time to browse around the studio gift shop to pick up souvenirs. 

The tour lasted three hours with a break at a coffee shop in the middle and I can honestly say there wasn’t a dull moment. If you’re into Rock Music and want to learn more about and fully appreciate the history of it in the Capital, I couldn’t recommend this experience enough. It’d also be great for those new to the city as you’ll visit some parts of London that aren’t necessarily typical tourist spots, but are worth seeing none the less!


If you are interested, you can book the tour here through viator, tickets are £35 each and worth every penny (though I am biased!). 

Thanks so much for reading if you've made it this far! If you have any questions or would like to know more about what went on on the tour, please do head to my Twitter or Instagram, I’d love to chat!
x

Friday, 8 June 2018

WHY VINYL?



Anyone who knows me even a minuscule amount will know that music is pretty much the love of my life, I truly couldn’t live without it. My favourite bands announcing a new album or tour dates is like a mini Christmas for me each and every time. No matter what way you look at it, the industry has grown over the years, but arguably fewer bands that spring up nowadays have the longevity that bands and artists had way back when (this is a topic I could save for a whole other post, but I’ll save that for a another day). Part of the reason for this in my opinion is the dying trade that is ‘physical’ music. 

This brings me onto today’s topic, Vinyl records and why you should buy them! I’m going to try really hard not to sound like an unbearable hipster in this post because of course, all opinions are just that and you’re entitled to your own. That said, if I can convince even one person to check out their local record store, I’d be over the moon! So, if you can bear to hear me out and find out why I’ll always preach plastic, keep reading!


I’ve admittedly not been a Vinyl collector for a long time at all, though before I got my first turntable last year, I still loved to buy CDs, for me there’s just something about actually owning your favourite albums that’s a bit more special that listening on Spotify or iTunes. I’m not here to slam subscriptions services, I’m a huge Apple Music user myself and I love nothing more than being able to easily create a playlist of my fave songs to blast in my car, but for me it’s just not the same. While I love a good shuffle at times, listening to an album on a record means you listen to one artist and one album all in one go. Often songs on a record will merge into one another or link to other songs on the album in some way and without really listening to the whole album in order, you don't always catch that.
There’s something that feels quite special about going to a record store, flipping through rows and rows of LPs to find what you’re looking for. It’s much more of an experience than just downloading the tracks and playing them through a Bluetooth speaker. For me, that’s what music is all about, it’s an experience. Choosing the album I want, taking it home, sliding it out of its sleeve and putting it on my turntable. then turning it over once the side is finished is just one of my favourite things ever and makes listening to the record all the more enjoyable. I’m thoroughly aware of how cheesy that sounds, but if I’m going to get gushy about anything, it’s this!

Other than the joy that is holding and owning your favourite records, there’s the sound. There’s much debate about sound quality between Vinyl, CD and digital and while I’m certainly no expert, I don’t believe it’s as black and white as one being better than another. That being said, many people, myself included just prefer the sound quality of Vinyl. The little scratch before and after the end of the record is probably my favourite sound in the world. While it's true that Vinyl can get warped or damaged, something you don't get with digital, I do think this can add to the character of the track and create a sense of nostalgia when the same part skips over each time you listen to a song.
Of course, a huge reason to buy Vinyl is supporting your favourite bands and Artists in a financial sense also. There's no denying that people just don't pay for music any more. With it being so easy to just listen online or download a song for free, it's understandable that it's more difficult for Artists to make big money from physical record sales these days. I don't think buying into Vinyl will 'fix' this issue, but I do believe it will make a difference and it's certainly a step in the right direction. You also get that whole ‘Vinyl experience’ that I mentioned above, so that’s got to be a bonus!
I think I’ll leave this post here for now as I’m sure I’ve been banging on enough about the topic, but I’d really love to know what your thoughts are! Leave a comment below or chat to me on twitter or instragram about this as I’d love to discuss!
 If you’d like to see more Music themed posts on Chloe’s Way, please do let me know!


Thursday, 7 June 2018

REASONS WHY YOUR CAR HATES YOU



Hi everyone! So, a slightly different post today, but something I feel very strongly about. Today, we’re going to be talking about reasons that your car hates you, aka, ways you may be be putting yourself and others in danger while driving! 

While, thank goodness, I’ve never been directly affected by the consequences of dangerous driving, or poor car maintenance, I do know people that have and have heard countless stories about accidents and issues that could easily have been avoided had the driver taken better care of their vehicle. 

Something that you’d think would be an obvious point, but is all too easily forgotten is getting your MOT done. Forgetting or worse, ignoring your MOT is not only dangerous but also illegal. Apparently, many people wrongly believe that you can get away with driving without an MOT for weeks or even months after it is due, but this is not the case. While it is true that you can drive without an MOT if you are on your way to an MOT test centre, if you are stopped by the police, you must be able to prove that you are on your way to have your car tested, or else you can face a fine of up to £1000. If you have an accident, you insurance is highly likely to be invalid if you don't have an up to date MOT, leaving you to pay the costs of the damage. Essential safety features like your brakes, tyres, lights, windscreen, exhuast sytem and steering and suspension are all checked in an MOT among many other things. Lots of these are features that aren't easy to test ourselves, so getting it done is essential to your safety.

While not compulsary, there are also risks to failing to have your vehicle serviced regularly. A service generally checks levels of the fluids, including brake fluid, screen wash and coolant. It will also check the condition of the engine, such as the plugs and filter, as well as testing the batteries, lights and tyres. There are several things included in a service that are not checked with an MOT, so it's important that you get this done regularly to avoid any nasty surprises!

Doing self checks is also very important and the easiest way to ensure that your car is safe to drive. A quick look over your tyres to make sure they’re all pumped up and not flat before you drive anywhere, checking your oil and coolant levels and tracking regularly, particularly before a long journey and making sure all your lights work when driving in the dark. These are all so easy to do, but equally easy to forget. Getting into the habit of checking these things though could be the difference between a smooth and safe journey and a potentially fatal one.

The reason I shared this post today is because while subjects like this can seem a little boring or out of line with fashion and beauty content on blogs right now, it’s something that is so important. I’m sure many of my followers drive and almost all of you regularly travel in a car and I know I’ve been guilty of forgetting these things - I even drove home from work with an entirely flat tyre once because I hadn’t checked - never again! For that reason, I hope that this post serves as a reminder to at least some of you to check when your MOT is due, do little self checks on your car and stay safe on the road!

This post was written in collaboration with KAP Motor group, if you're in the area, you can book a hassle free reservation of your MOT test in Kent with KAP, so you'll be safe in the knowledge that your car is good to go!

Thanks for reading! 

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Tuesday, 1 May 2018

DRESSING FOR THE SUMMER HEAT


Dressing for the summer heat
Social media will be flooded with summery pics and you need to make sure that you’re taking part. We’re a generation that thrives off likes, comments and shares, meaning that we must be on top of our game when it comes to the summer months.

Whatever your style is, you need to upgrade your wardrobe, and we’re going to help you do it with the help of corporate wearproviders, Dimensions.
Materials for the hotter climate
Feeling comfortable is everything when it comes to the summer months. To achieve all-round comfort in the hot weather, there are a few materials that you can wear that still make you look your best.

A new fabric technology has been introduced to help remove the fear of perspiration patches on your clothes. The last thing you want when the sun is shining is to feel uncomfortable, or even having to go to the excessive lengths of changing your outfit. So, 37.5® Technology has been designed to combat this issue. 

The fabric is able to tell whether your body needs cooling down or warming up. As well as this, the vapor stage allows it to move moisture out of the clothing before liquid sweat can form — perfect for those who like to keep active as well as sunbathe.

If you’re looking for a material that allows heat to escape the body, go for cotton. As cotton is so popular among fashion retailers, it is a very viable option for your summer wardrobe shop. Rayon is another material that is suited with the hotter climate and is made from a mix of cotton, wood pulp and other natural or synthetic fibres. The fabric has very thin threads, which allows it to breathe more than other fabrics, as well as being quite light to prevents it from sticking to the skin.

Your new wardrobe
Look your best this summer by upgrading your wardrobe with these summer essentials. We’ve collated some of the most common events that occur when summer is here to give you advice on what to wear — from colours and styles — for both men and women:

Attending a pool party
Girls:
When it comes to what to wear for a pool party — we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re ultra-confident or like to be more reserved when you attend these types of events, there’s plenty of options for you to choose from. When it comes to swimsuits, pastel colours are in this season and it’s important to remember that the lighter you go, the more heat repellent you become. This can ultimately make you feel more comfortable on your outing. However, just because light colours are sun-repellent, it doesn’t mean that you can bypass sun protection! Don’t be afraid to pair your swimsuit with a silky-cover up that can be easily put on and taken off when you please. 

Boys:
Heading to a pool party with your boys? We recommend wearing microfiber polyester shorts, and because they absorb more water than polypropylene and nylon — you can opt for bright colours. When it comes to the shirt, you want to go for something opposite to your shorts; so, if you go for bright shorts, go for a dark shirt. You should go for the tropical-look to present those true summer vibes.

Strolling along the beach
Girls:
The last thing you want to feel is the struggling of making it to the other end of the beach — to stay comfy, you need to wear light materials that will allow you to drift across the soft white sands. We recommend wearing a beach dress that is made up of viscose materials and go for something that is predominantly dark but has flushes of bright, bold and beautiful colours in. Pair these with loose-fitted sandals that can be easily removed when you’re venturing out into the water.

Boys:
Opt for a simple yet stylish look for your beach walk. When picking your shorts, go for a fitted chino-style that are made from cotton, as this will undoubtedly compliment the rest of your outfit and prepare you for the rest of the day if you decide to visit restaurants or a pub. Pair your shorts with a plain top and wear a pastel-coloured shirt on top without buttoning it up, as this will help you show off a mix of materials and colours. When it comes to deciding on your shoes, pick white!

Dancing at a festival
Girls:
Are you ready to go all out with festival fashion this year? Dressing for a festival all comes down to personal preference, however, there are some recommendations that we must give. Every festival goer should think about carrying a light backpack that can be easily carried around to hold your personal items, such as your smartphone, charger, purse and keys. You don’t want to be wearing a maxi dress at a festival, as this could potentially be trampled — opt for cottoned shorts that are spacious enough to let you dance the day away, as well as a light vest top that allows your body to breathe. For your shoes, go for something flat like converse or buckled sandals so your feet do not get tired!

Boys:
You have the ability to be as creative as you’d like — but here is what we think you should be wearing to stand out from the crowd. You want to wear a bright and bold silk shirt that has lots of patterns on it; something unusual that isn’t commonly worn every day. It’s not just the girls who can have fun and dance the day away; you can too by wearing comfortable cottoned shorts that aren’t too tight on your leg. For your shoes, go for black trainers that can complement the rest of your outfit.
How will you be dressing this summer?


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Sunday, 25 February 2018

THE SNUG


Hey everyone! So, as someone who lives within a very easy train ride to London, I’m pretty guilty of just heading into the capital when I want to find a great cocktail bar, quirky lunch spot or somewhere instagrammable for brunch, but lately, I decided it was about time I started searching a little closer to home.


Not only does heading out a few minutes up the road save a lot of money in travel, but sometimes you can find yourself pleasantly surprised with places right on your doorstep. Having explored most places in our own town, we decided to branch out just a little further to surrounding towns and cities. Living in Hertfordshire, just outside of Essex, myself and my Husband are within easy reach of lots of surrounding areas such as Epping, Loughton, Stansted, Cambridge and Hertford, which is where we headed for lunch today. 


After a little searching around on google, we decided to head to The Snug, which is located behind the Hertford Corn Exchange on the high street. The Snug has a few locations including Hertford, St Albans and Cambridge, (so there may well be one near you!) but it doesn’t feel like a typical chain restaurant/ bar at all because of the unique, cosy atmosphere and quirky decor. Darren and I initially intended on heading there for brunch, but after looking at the cocktail menu online, we couldn’t resist trying them and lunch felt a more socially acceptable time to do so! Don’t be fooled by the picture of the clock, we actually went at around 12:30 in the afternoon!


We sat down at a cute little table with a faux cow skin bench one side and two cute mismatched armchairs on the other. We were surrounded by exposed brick walls, daffodils in glass bottles, board games and quirky mismatched decor. I particularly loved the Wayne’s World prints on the walls! The atmosphere in there was super relaxed and cosy and even though it was midday on a Sunday and pretty quiet, there was still a really great vibe. The staff were super friendly and they can certainly make a mean cocktail! 


On Sundays, cocktails are two for one all day and on Monday to Saturday, they have a happy hour where the same offer applies from 3pm-7pm. Darren had two Singapore Slings and I had two French Martinis - both were absolutely amazing, it was quite possibly the best French Martini I’ve ever had! Something that I really loved was that all the cocktails on the menu were included in the happy hour deal, sometimes you find bars will only do certain cocktails in a happy hour deal and often it’s a pretty limited selection so to have the whole (huge!) menu to choose from was fab. 


We had lunch in there also, both of us had a sandwich from the lunch menu, they do have a main menu for the whole day too, but the lunch menu has a few bits and pieces on it for a slightly lower price. There are quite a few options including veggie and some that can be altered to be vegan. You can grab a sandwich and some tortilla chips for £5.95 which is a fab deal. We had a sandwich each and shared some chips and this with four top quality cocktails came to just over £30, which I thought was a pretty fab deal! 


If you like the sound of The Snug (and I can’t see why you wouldn’t!), definitely check out their website and their locations to see if there’s one near you as I’d thoroughly recommend checking it out!


Have you found any hidden gems where you live? Do you have a favourite spot local to you? I'd love to know!