Saturday, 30 November 2013

Wish We'd Gone Away // Outfit

Here I am again with another excuse for an outfit post. I do try and make an effort for these things, but today I had to ask Joe to step in and be my photographer. He kept distracting me, so these images are the best in a bad bunch. Also, how do you girls do these things in winter?! It was like, half four or something when I took these and I had to have the big light on! Madness, I tell ye!

Three guesses which one has flash turned on...
Okay, so these aren't the greatest pictures you ever did see, and no I won't be winning any awards anytime soon for my editing skills. You can't see very well, but I'm wearing a lovely green hair turban thingy from H&M. Actually, three quarters of this outfit is from H&M. My H&M top (I'm starting to sound a bit sponsored by them, aren't I?) is last season, so I can't link to that and my skirt is a £5 bargain from Primark. I imagine you might be able to find this, but yeah, it is Primark so good luck with that. My last H&M item, is my super-awesome gillet thing. I think I got this in 2011 or something. Wow, this is definitely the least helpful item post ever!

My arms look super tanned in the right picture, I wish they were! I'm easily at my palest ever, I haven't been abroad since 2010 and British sun doesn't seem to tan me. Another thing I've found from these pictures is that I do not know how to pose. Look at me! How unflattering! Also, hiya red face!

That's it I guess, really. I thought I looked quite cute this morning but typing about myself now has made me think otherwise, haha! Ah well, I'll try again, maybe...

Chelsea xo

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Thursday, 28 November 2013

Christmas Tales

Whether you're fill of festive cheer or busy perfecting your 'bah humbug', now is the perfect time to get a book themed Christmas wish list out there. Plus, I stupidly suggested that I would write an article for my magazine module on books I want for Christmas so, killing two birds with one stone - let's have a look at my list!

All images stolen from the waterstones website.
The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton

First on your list should be the 2013 winner of the Man Booker prize, The Luminaries. Set in 1866 New Zealand and following a series of unsolved crimes, Walter Moody is drawn into a plot of mystery and unfolding drama. Full of illuminating narrative and a mind-bending plot, The Luminaries really captures the 'boom and bust' gold rush of the nineteenth century. If it’s good enough for the Man Booker prize, then it’s certainly good enough for milk.

Grimm Tales: For Young and Old - Philip Pullman
A must read for any fairytale fan. Award winning author Philip Pullman has selected his fifty favourite stories from the Brothers Grimm and retells them in his own unique and brilliant voice. The stories include such classics as ‘Rapunzel''Snow White’ and ‘Cinderella’, as well as lesser-known tales ‘Hans-my-Hedgehog’ and ‘Godfather Death’. Pullman's Grimm Tales truly engaging and beautifully retold, which just goes to prove these stories have stood the test of time.

A Tale for the Time Being - Ruth L Ozeki
I'll be honest and tell you that I hadn't heard of this book until I saw it on the shortlist for a book club I joined recently. It sounds like a great read, with an engaging and entertaining plot throughout. Weaving through decades and across continents, A Tale for the Time Being is an enchanting read. After discovering a washed up lunchbox by the beach, Ruth is sucked into the enchanting diary of Nao, a sixteen-year-old from Tokyo. Expressing the hopes and dreams of a young girl who is struggling to find her own voice, you will find yourself falling in love with this extraordinary novel.

Again, stolen from waterstones.
Kiss Me First - Lottie Moggach
If you’re looking for an original and gripping storyline, look no further than Kiss Me First. When Tess decided that she has had enough of living, Leila is there to carry on her life instead. At first, it is easy for Leila to use Tess’ identity, but it is soon revealed that there is more to a person than simply facts. I've been wanting to get my hands on this for months now, after finding the online campaign on twitter. A phenomenal debut novel that you’ll never want to end

Autobiography - Morrissey
I won't lie, I've already got the paperback edition of this. That won't stop me buying the hardback copy, which is rumoured to come out in December. I have no fear that big fans like myself will purchase this again. If you've ever wondered about the man underneath the quiff, then add this to your list! Oh Morrissey, how I love you so. (Link is to the paperback edition, as the fancy hardback is just a rumour for now!)

Almost English - Charlotte Mandelson
Almost English follows sixteen-year-old Marina and her delicate mother Laura as they learn to adjust to life in England. Feeling imprisoned by her Hungarian relatives and their crushing expectations, Marina can’t help but dream of fitting in with her public school friends. While Marina focuses on finding her own identity, her mother has her own struggles when a secret from her past comes back to haunt her. I really want to read this, as it just sounds so interesting to me. Kind of like a good version of that 'Half-caste' poem everyone had to do in GCSE English.

All the links on here are to the Waterstones website but you could always visit your local bookstore! Hope this has helped anyone struggling to find a nice book to get for Christmas. I've got tonnes more added to my list, but I thought I'd better stop here! 

Chelsea xo
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Monday, 25 November 2013

Guilty Pleasures.

I love music. I love all kinds of music. I would be insanely proud of myself if I were able to write music, or even play an instrument half-decently. I love singing, and I can usually be found trying to pressure people into taking me to a karaoke bar. My favourite chats with people are about music (usually!) and I love finding out I have a favourite song in common with someone. 

A terrible picture of me and the chaps from Wild Beasts
One of my uni lectures has incredible music taste, and he is probably the most passionate man alive. He moved from Australia so he could study Factory Records and has even wrote a very highly regarded book about their artwork. This post isn't about him though, it's about me. It's about me and my hate for the term 'guilty pleasures'. 

I am the biggest Morrissey fan, you might be aware of this. I loved everything (barring one shit cover song) he did with the Smiths and I've loved everything he's done as a solo artist. I defend him at every turn I get, and I know people can tell I'm clutching at straws when I do this. I just love the guy. I also love Busted, Savage Garden, Nicola Roberts, Shakira and basically every boyband from the 90s. I know all the words to Club Tropicana and probably like Party All The Time - by Eddie Murphy, no less - more than I should. Are they my guilty pleasures? No, they bloody well are not! I don't feel guilty whatsoever when I listen to these songs, and why should I? Music should be escapism, music should make you feel good. Music should make you laugh at times, and cry at times, and dance 'til you're tired, if needs be. 

Don't get me wrong, I can be a bit of a music snob, but I'm trying to fix this. You tell me you like Robbie Williams, and I'll say, "sure, She's The One was a bit of a good one" and then try to change the subject as nicely as possible. You say, "The Wanted are the best boyband ever!!!" and I'll say, "yeah, but they haven't released a song half as good as Lightening recently!" It's just like that really. I'm well aware that people hate Morrissey and people probably hate Savage Garden but I shouldn't feel guilty over it. 

Now I'm on the subject of music, I thought I'd add a few youtube links to some of my favourite songs ever. I generally listen to these during train journeys and it's just awesome. 

1. Someone Purer - Mystery Jets I didn't actually realise they'd made a video for this, oops.
6. Heart - Pet Shop Boys I've used the album version as the video is a bit... 80s

Don't say I never give you anything! :)

Chelsea xo

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Friday, 22 November 2013

All I Want For Christmas...

Okay, so I'm talking about Christmas again. I'm sorry, but I'm kind of a woman obsessed. Once my birthday is out of the way, I look straight ahead to Christmas. As I've already made a huge start on my presents for other people, I thought I'd be the kind and loving girl that I am and give everyone else hints for what I'd like for Christmas. On saying that, I'm pretty sure only Joe reads this out of my family members, so... good luck with that sweetie!

After acquiring my dream camera and then having to sell it due to financial woes, I have really felt like I am missing something spectacular in my life. Pretty much every inch of me wishes I had a nice camera and although I know that the skill is in the photographer, not the camera, I think that I would be able to better document my life with a fancy camera. To find the Canon EOS 600D Triple Lens Kit under the Christmas tree would really make my day/year/life complete. I think it's fantastic value for money, and it basically comes with everything you'd ever need! 

I think saying I'd like an iPad Mini is probably quite self explanatory. A few of the girls on my course have one, and I just think it would be so much more helpful for me to get work done on the train. My train journeys are over an hour each way, so that's a long time to be wasted! I would have to keep this little baby locked out of Dylan's sight, as I wouldn't want him thinking it's a new device to play Minion Rush on...

I've included Pandora charms as I am still working that whole trend. Are Pandora charms still cool these days? I don't even know, but I'll continue adding to my little collection. 

I'm yet to delve into the world of Origins, but I'd love to see the Origins Morning to Midnight gift set under the Christmas tree this year. Containing pretty much every product on my Origins wish list, it would definitely be a nice gift. I'm a simple girl at heart!

Just looking at the Burt's Bees Tips and Toes Kit makes me want to spend all my Boots points on it. Although saying that, it isn't really that expensive. I love that I'd be able to get some good use of the products featured in this, and other members of the household could use it too. I know Joe is often reluctant to use my hand creams despite the fact his hands are dry and sore due to their girly scents so something like this is rather unisex and would do us all the world of good.

I don't think you'll see many Christmas wish lists this year which don't include this Elf inspired nightshirt. While it seems a bit silly to be asking for a nightshirt and not actual pyjamas with a top and bottoms, I really want this in my life. All year round. No shame.

I hope my wish list wasn't too extensive for you all! Well done if you made it to the end haha. Of course, these are all rather trivial things, and all I really, really want for Christmas is the chance to spend some of it with Joe but I'm pretty sure he'll be needed to work Christmas Day. Waaaaah! 

Chelsea xo
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Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Christmas Tag!

Okay, so after my last post I thought I'd go in nice and easy with a Christmas Tag post, yay! The lovely Ella created this one, and I just had to snap it up when it popped up on my feed. Gah, can I watch Elf now? :)

What time of year do you start your Christmas shopping?
This year I started my shopping in October, just after my birthday. With Dylan's birthday in September, I find it quite difficult trying to buy for both occasions and remembering to separate them. It's just easier to do his Christmas stuff afterwards! With other people, I might buy something earlier if I think it would 100% be their ideal gift, but this hardly ever happens!

Do you have any festive recipes for food or drink you limit solely to the Christmas season to share?
I don't really limit them, to be honest. I've been baking a few things and using my uni friends as test subjects! I really want to nail the Christmas spice taste but so far I keep adding too much nutmeg.

Tell me how Christmas goes down in your home
This is a tricky one to answer as we haven't really had a Christmas in our own home yet! The past few years we have gone to the in-laws for Christmas day. I enjoy this, but it would be nice to have it at our own home - once we move into a home I like, that is!

Do you have any Christmas traditions?
Not as such. As I child, I always got one present early (Christmas jimmers!) and I'd like to keep that up with Dylan once he understands what the big deal is. I also like seeing Santa, as well, why the hell not?

Do you have a favourite festive coffee?
You give me a Gingerbread flavoured anything and I'll be happy.

Do you have a favourite Christmas song?
Oooh, this is a hard one! I love Christmas songs so much. Do They Know? (It's Christmastime) is one of my favourites, as is Last Christmas. I'm so 80s it hurts.

What do you do on Christmas Eve?
Last year we had a little family games time. We had a quiz which was ridiculously hard (still won, though) and just got a bit merry. I try to relax as much as I can on Christmas Eve but I imagine I might be working this year. Waaaaah!

What's your Christmas wrapping strategy? Do you have a strategy?
I love wrapping! I have most of ours done already, as I'm a massive loser (some call it organised) and I just love it. I have two sets of wrapping paper, one for boys and one for girls. That's quite sad, isn't it?

What's your dream gift this year?
This year, my biggest gift would be for more time. Maybe an extra day in the week? Failing that, I'd love an iPad mini.

Describe your Christmas tree. How tall? Real or artificial? How is it decorated?
My Christmas tree is my childhood tree, how good is that? Obviously, this means it is artificial, but I am more than happy with that. It's rather tall, about 6ft I think and it has 'snowy' branches as well as 'non-snowy' branches. I think our decorations are a bit tacky, so I'd love to update them this year.

Do you decorate just the tree or other areas of your house e.g. windows, bannisters?
We have a few little Christmas teddies that we dot about the house. I'd quite like a few more things, but we'll have to see!

What do you wear to Christmas parties and what do you wear on Christmas day?
On Christmas day I try to look as nice as I possibly can, but as simple and comfy as possible too. It's a hard mix, but usually it means a knitted dress or a Christmas jumper and some jeans. I don't have a go-to party outfit, but I think my style veers towards simple and understated than glam and in-your-face.

I feel so Christmassy now! Remember to let me and Ella know if you did this tag, 
I know I'd love to hear your answers :) 

Chelsea xo

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Saturday, 16 November 2013

A Private Problem.

You probably won't have noticed, but I recently changed myself to private on instagram. I didn't do this to make myself look mysterious, in fact, I had never really considered it until Friday evening. Yet something happened which made me feel like I was no longer choosing who could see my life. I guess it sounds silly worrying about privacy when I write a rather public blog, but for me, I needed to do it. 

As you can see, I post some really gripping stuff on instagram.
It's strange, isn't it? I've really put myself out there with this blog. I'd like to believe that what you read is a true version of myself, not someone I have made up so loads of people like me. I feel that I have made some really strong friendships with other bloggers and I'm sure that I'm friends with real people, and not some 'amplified' version of themselves. Yet, despite this openness - inviting you into my life, and the lives of those closest to me - I had to privatise instagram. 

I don't really want to go into huge detail on here, as I'm really not sure who is reading this. But I just wanted to bring up the subject. It's quite silly really, I mean, I mostly post pictures of my not-so-glorious face or food. Not even exciting food, my last food-related snap was a bag of Quavers! I do love using instagram and seeing everyone's photos, so I'm hoping that it doesn't put people off from connecting with me. Maybe one day I'll be able to go pubic again...

Have you ever been in a situation like this? How much do you share?

Chelsea xo

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Wednesday, 13 November 2013

How Sweet It Is...

The more nosy types out there may have noticed that in my 101 in 1001 days list, one of my goals is to start a perfume collection. This is something I'd wanted to do for a long time, but once you become a parent, you tend to stop treating yourself to nice things. As long as I'd had a shower in the last week and plenty of deodorant, I was good to go! (I'm such a classy bird, right?)

However, once I found out that Marc Jacobs was releasing a new scent - Honey - I had to have it. When it comes to favourite smells, I really am a Pooh bear kind of girl. Is it sweet? Will it make me hungry? Yep, I gotta have it. I'm sure you'll have read a thousand reviews on it by now, but it is quite fruity, as it includes pear and orange blossom as well as honey and vanilla notes. Another thing that drew me in was the bottle. I love the polka dot wings and gold detailing. It really makes me feel so girly, and quite floaty if you will. Give me a fringe and a pretty dress, as this is what I imagine Zooey Deschanel would smell like. 

Look at all the tiny versions of me!
And that was the start of my Marc Jacobs obsession. Working in Boots, I always find myself drifting towards the fragrance counter and spritzing myself with a lil' something. After spraying myself with Daisy Eau So Fresh constantly for five shifts in a row, I bit the bullet and bought the Christmas gift set. As it's technically a present, I shouldn't be using it... But I can't help myself. Again, this is a fruity floral mix, with wild rose, apple blossom and raspberry really standing out to me. I find that Daisy Eau So Fresh has a longer staying power, but that might just be me.

I hope you didn't find this post too boring! Are there any fragrances you think I might like going off these two? Do you have any other Marc Jacobs scents? 

Chelsea xo
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Monday, 11 November 2013

E is for...


I have a bit of a strange relationship with food, it has to be said. Growing up, I wasn't the healthiest of sprogs and that has pretty much left me as an unadventurous sort. It's a shame, seeing as Joe is training to be a chef and will no doubt cook all sorts of fancy things that I would be just too scared to try. I am getting better though. In my post about Christmas, I wrote about how yummy dinner is, but until 2011 I had never eaten a proper one. Honestly, on Christmas day I would just have some pigs in blankets, a few yorkshire puds and maybe a couple of roasties if they were extremely crispy. Exciting, right?

Excuse the multiple filters. 
I've touched on this before, but Joe really did open my eyes to a whole world of different foodstuffs, and they're not even the most exotic of things. My favourite meals consist of pie, toad in the hole, gnocchi and cheese soufflé. How I haven't died yet is beyond me. Oh, and I also love cake. Yep, definitely going to have a heart attack sometime soon. 

I am trying my best to cut out the crap and to start eating healthier, but it is really difficult. I tend to get lunch on the go when I'm at uni or work, and with Joe working long and late shifts, I tend to just eat anything I can heat up quickly. I'm hoping to start making some healthy smoothies to curb my pop habit, but I kind of feel like with winter looming, all I will want to eat for the foreseeable future will be stodge and more stodge.

What's your relationship with food like? Eat to live, or live to eat?

Chelsea xo

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Friday, 8 November 2013

A Little Something...

Although I don't blog as often as I'd like to, I do truly love it. You've read it before, and I'm not adding anything different, but blogging is the greatest escape. I love that I can type whatever it is I fancy, and there is someone, somewhere, who knows what I'm talking about! After moving away from home, I really felt like blogging allowed me to connect with people I wanted to get to know, and the distance just didn't matter. I love the whole blogging community and I love being able to join in with twitter chats and blogging tags.

I recently gained 100 lovely followers on here, so I just felt like I wanted to give something back so I decided to host a little giveaway! It's all things that I have bought myself - and more importantly, would use myself - so I hope that you like it! The giveaway includes a Paint The Town Red Vaseline, Toni & Guy Sea Salt Texturising Spray, two mini Beauticology products in Vanilla Frosting & Chocolate Cupcake and a Barry M Sequin Nail Paint! Phew! Also, I think I might add a few more "lifestyle" things, as I am a lifestyle blog, but I'll leave that as a little surprise for the winner.

Erm, this is my first giveaway and sadly, it is UK only! Sorry about that! 

Good luck with the competition, and thank you all again for being such great followers :) 

Chelsea xo

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Yup, I'm a giver.

That's right guys, you heard it here first - Chelsea loves to give. Okay, time to simmer down now, as I'm obviously talking about Christmas presents. In fact, all gift-giving occasions. I'll practically befriend anybody if it means I might get the chance to buy them a birthday present or something. It's a problem I'm learning to deal with...

I thought I would show you a few gift ideas I have already bought for friends and family. Yes, I'm one of those people who has everything sorted before December has begun. Luckily the people these are for probably don't read my blog (so glad some people don't understand what a blog is - haha) so let's get to business!
Twinings Ceramic Tea Pot - £16
This cute Twinings teapot was the first thing I bought. I love the design, and was rather tempted to keep it for myself. Sadly, our kitchen has a very strong red vibe, and as Joe's football team are red, a blue teapot would be a big no! Boys, ey? It comes with a few bags of tea, in English Breakfast and Earl Grey, which is perfect for the person I have this in mind for. 

Joules Fantastic Flask set - £18
Keeping with the tea feel I've got going on, I picked this lovely Joules set up for one of Dylan's uncles. They travel a lot by train, so I thought a nice flask could be filled with their favourite winter drink, and well, cleanliness is close to godliness, so why not include some face and body wash? I love the tartan, and it's very on trend. Get you, trendy receiver of this gift! 

Sanctuary Luxury Travel Treats - £12
If you know someone who travels off a lot, then a set like this would be perfect. All the items included are 100ml or less and it comes in a cute little bag. As it's from Sanctuary Spa, it's all a bit luxurious and smells absolutely divine. Plus it's orange, and I love orange. Another big plus for me, is that it includes a bath float, which seems to be the latest thing with bathing products. I'd love to try it for myself, but alas, I am without a bath. Sadtimes! 

Laura Ashley Ultimate Indulgence Gift Set - £35
This last item, I bought for myself, with the intention that I could take a few of the items and place them in a hamper I'm making. I'm cheap like that, you see. But hey, there's only so many things I can use, so why not? Anyways, this really is the ultimate indulgence - Laura Ashley have certainly got that right! The cute box has a lovely drawstring bag inside, which contains so many wonderful miniatures in there, including hand lotion, a shower poof, and plenty of other sweet smelling goodies. I can't wait to start storing my own things in the box, as it's so pretty. I'm hoping that I can take inspiration from it and finally decorate our bedroom with chirpy birdies and delicate flowers. 

Are these things you'd buy for those special people in your life? 
Or would you keep them for yourself? haha :) 

Chelsea xo

Monday, 4 November 2013

Moving Forward...

I feel like I have a blogpost lurking in the darkness with the same title, but hopefully not! Following on from my last post, I thought I would write myself a little post on things I would like to achieve in November.

Have a cheesy picture of my face for no reason whatsoever.
- start working in all three of my module sketchbooks
I have mentioned before that I have sketchbooks, and I seriously hate them with a passion. I know that once I start it will (hopefully!) become easier, as it is the vast whiteness that is so off-putting. That, and the fact I have no idea what I'm actually meant to be sketchbooking... 

- keep the house reasonably tidy
Now that Joe and I are working pretty much full-time, we are therefore in the house less, and you would think that this means it will stay tidy. Obviously, Dylan likes to create as much destruction as humanely possibly whilst awake, but we need to keep on top of it.

- take Monty on some nice Autumnal walks
I love Autumn, and I love the crunchy leaves under foot. I'm sure Monty does too, so this would be great fun for the pair of us! Naturally I can't really do this much when it starts pouring down, as it makes for a soggy doggy, but I'll try and do a few a week. This ties in to my next goal...

- don't buy any more fizzy pop
Do people still call it fizzy pop? I'm basically talking about Cherry Cola, but I have been known to sway to other brands. I want to do this basically because I think it would be better for my tum and stuff. Also, autumn is the time for nice hot drinks, not cold fizzy ones!

- bake sticky toffee pudding, or a treacle tart
Purely because if I'm not getting my sugar fix from a drink, I definitely want a slice of something that could potentially kill me!

- do fun things on my/Joe's days off
This is probably self-explanatory but we hardly see each other these days. I'd love to go for a day out or even just to the cinema together! (Definitely wanting to see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, I just love Steve too much!) 

I thought I better stop there, just incase I don't actually do any of these things! I'll no doubt think of things to add to this list, but yeah. Just trying to find myself a nice work/play balance with life, so fingers crossed for me! I'd love to read your goals for the month/week/year haha :) 

Chelsea xo

Friday, 1 November 2013

101 things in 1001 days #2

Okay, so before I started typing this I actually didn't think I'd achieved very much. I guess it just goes to show how these sorts of things are a good idea to remind yourself of things you did and stuff. I'm so deep, right?

25. Go to a festival each year (1/3)
Oh yeah, Festival No.6 baby! If you missed it, I wrote about it here. I'd love to go back next year, as I'm excited to see how the festival continues to grow. Ah, take me back!

Wah, too pretty!
51. Buy an iPhone (30/09/13)
As if by fate, Joe accidentally dropped my phone on the same day that my cousin decided she would be selling her practically brand new iPhone 5. Now kids, I know that this isn't the newest or shiniest iPhone, but I don't care. This is my first ever iPhone and I love it. 

85. Watch every episode of Breaking Bad
Whhhhy? Why did it have to end? Whyyyyy? 

This rather low quality image is taken from this article about BREAKING BAD ON ICE
97. Reach 100 followers on my blog
It feels crazy amazing for me to say I reached 100 followers on my birthday! It was the greatest gift I could have received from the blogging world as I do truly feel like you guys on here and on twitter are my greatest friends. I can ask questions and do jokes and you all seem to love it. I'm getting a bit emotional at the keyboard right now so lets just end on YOU GUYS RULE! 

Okay, so it's only four things, but shush! I did read maybe 1 extra book, but that's pitiful for two months so I'mma sneak that one onto the next update and there's nothing you can do to stop me! What else did I do? Oh yes, I totally ignored two of my goals of having long flowing blonde locks and cut it off! I also dyed it all dark brown! Who am I? Crazy McGee, that's who! 

Chelsea xo
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