Friday, 31 January 2014

Chelsea & the Chinese New Year

Let me tell you a story about my childhood and my memories of the Chinese New Year. On my tenth birthday, I was given a monkey teddy. I loved this monkey. I named him Mikey (oh child Chelsea, you imaginative soul) and he became my second favourite teddy - after Peter Rabbit, of course. He would come on holiday with me, and he mostly liked to live on my bed. I still have him, but now he sits on top of our clean bedding. What a life!

What has this got to do with the Chinese New Year? Well, my little brother was born. Born in the Chinese Year of the Monkey. I thought this was amazing. I had my little cuddly monkey, and then I also had a teddy! Hahaha, but you get the idea. I found out that I was born under the Year of the Goat, and this is somewhat less exciting, but I guess goats are cool. Now, ever since I could speak, I would ask my daddy for a pony for my birthday or Christmas. I never got that pony. UNTIL NOW.

Tatty Devine Horse Necklace - £35
For £35, this horse would make my pony dreams seem slightly true. If I squint my eyes and look at it from a distance. It's so pretty! I want it! Did I mention it's pretty?! Sadly, I'm on that retched spending ban, otherwise the pretty pony would be mine. I can't even ask for it for Valentine's Day as Joe is taking me on some fancy secret trip to London. Gah, can't a girl get a break?! (I jest, of course, I'm not really a demanding and ungrateful swine)

But yeah, so I now love this Horse and I'm trying to find some sort of loophole to make it mine. Don't suppose I have any secret admirers out there? Anyone? 

Chelsea xo

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Another Thankful Thursday

I really didn't expect to be writing another Thankful Thursday post as soon after my last one. I'm quite a miserable soul, but this week I've got a shedload of things to be happy and thankful for!

Such a cool guy
Joe's birthday! I do love a good birthday, and I love Joe too so it's a good mix
going splashing in puddles with Dylan (who insists on calling them cuddles)
accidentally wearing a matching jumper to Joe. Young love, ey?
handing in a big assignment, which means...
no big deadlines for a whole month!!!
it's getting closer to travelling up North time
listening to new(ish) music
having good uni friends to whinge at (sorry guys!)
having twitter friends to whinge at (also sorry!)
crumpets and bacon for breakfast! :D

Tonight we're going over Joe's parents for a belated birthday tea - he had to work on his birthday, the poor thing. So that means double celebrations! And hopefully, I've pulled off a birthday cake surprise too, but I'll tell you about that later ;)

What have you been thankful for this week?

Chelsea xo

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Shower Saviours

 Before we get into the nitty-gritty goings on when I have a shower, can we please mention the elephant in the room? Yes, my shower tiles are awful. Yes, I hate them. Are we good? Good.

I've added a fancy focus thing to try and blur out my nasty bathroom as much as possible.
So these are the things I use in the shower. I wasn't sure what sort of photograph would be sensible here, do I take the items out of their natural habitat and picture them on my usual teal throw? That seemed a bit odd, so here they are in all their beauty on my Ikea shower shelf.

First up, I have to mention the Naked Care Shampoo and Conditioner combo. I was introduced to Naked by Danniella and I can't believe I haven't tried them sooner. I haven't been blessed with the greatest genes, and my mam has some dodgy skin disorder which I seem to have inherited a mild form of. YAY FAMILY. Where was I? Oh yes, so Naked have basically stopped my head from being patchy and sore, so that's good news. I also think that this range makes my hair shinier, which is an added bonus and one I wasn't really expecting, if I'm honest.

Next up, I have the Sugar Crush body wash from Soap & Glory. I know, I know, you've all probably seen this reviewed on every blog that exists in the history of the world, but it is such a beautiful smell. Quite tempting to have a cheeky nibble, but I wouldn't advise it, no sir. It smells sugary and limey, and it's just really great. I always feel fresh and squeaky clean after I've used this. One thing I have to mention, is Joe's reaction to it. Joe always compliments me on my smell (how romantic) when I get out the shower, yet he pretty much refuses to use it. Is it the packaging? Is it the smell that he apparently likes? Who knows, but he's costing me a small fortune in manly-smelling shower gels.

Last up, I have the Nivea In-Shower Body Moisturiser Skin Conditioner for dry skin. Name and a half, that one. So this is basically a body moisturiser for the person who has enough time to slap this on in the shower and then wash it off (after you've washed yourself, as it won't clean you) but not enough time to have a shorter shower and then put some moisturiser on afterwards. To be honest with you, I rarely put body moisturiser on and thought if I had this in the shower staring at me, then I'd be more likely to use it. Meh, it kind of worked but usually when I have a shower I tend to be in a rush so I can allow my hair enough time to dry naturally. I've used it a few times and on the odd occasion it has made my arms go a bit red and patchy but this doesn't last. Maybe I'm not washing it off properly? Or maybe it isn't suitable for sensitive skinned gals? I don't know. It's okay, it smells a bit bland and makes me long for something limey...

So that's my showering stuff. I would say essentials, but yeah, that Nivea review wasn't exactly glowing. It gets me through the day, at least. Do you have any showering holy grails I need to try?

Chelsea xo

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Spending Ban Summary #1

After telling you about my spending ban here, I thought it would be a good idea to share with you how well I have (or haven't) been doing. It's only been a week, and you might think that maybe this would be the easiest week, but alas, it has been a bit of a struggle. 

One of the main things I wanted to curb my spending on, was food whilst out for uni. Sadly, I only remembered to bring a little lunch on one day - and as it turn's out, I didn't bring enough! - so I have had to dip into my purse and buy a few things to nibble. I also been quite stressed out lately due to uni deadlines and the like, so I have made a few unnecessary purchases of mini eggs and the like. 

I've been quite unorganised and haven't kept any receipts, but as of tomorrow I shall do that and I can get all scientific on you with a graph and percentages* which is totally impressive. 

Things to improve on for next week
Bring a decent lunch!
Stop buying chocolate to cheer yourself up
You don't need to buy hot drinks because everyone else is.

So, that's it for my first update. Seven days down, 93 to go! 

Chelsea xo

*definitely not going to be producing any graphs, haha!

Friday, 24 January 2014

Let's Get Together!

Long time, no speak guys! January has been a bit of a knock-off as far as blogging is concerned - I've got so many little deadlines creeping up on me. However, in order to not abandon you all completely it's time for a 'getting to know me' tag. I totally tricked you into reading this with the slightly misleading title, amiright? I am all about the misleading titles lately, what am I like?

Anyhoo! I saw this tag on the lovely Charlotte's blog, Blot and Reapply and thought I'd give it a go. I've done a few similar tags when my blog was a new'un, but now it's basically a year old and I'm a year wiser - well, kind of. Let the questions begin!

Oh look, it's my face!

1. Do you have a middle name?
Yup, it's Joan after my granny.

2. What was your favourite subject in school?
Joint favourites were English Literature and Maths, I'm such a loser, I know.

3. What's your favourite drink?
erm, either tea (woo!) or a Moscow Mule.

4.What's your favourite song at the moment?
the I've Got A Dream song from Tangled. I'm so crazy.

5.What would you name your children?
Well, I've got Dylan. If I'd have had a girlie I'd have liked Georgina.

6. Do you participate in any sports?
Apart from running around after Dylan, sadly not.

7. What's your favourite book?
The House at Pooh Corner or Wuthering Heights. Doesn't get much different than that!

8. What's your favourite colour?
Teal or coral.

9. What's your favourite animal?
Red Panda, eeeeeasily. I might be going to see some when I take my adventurous trip Up North.

10. What's your favourite perfume?
Probably Honey by Marc Jacobs. But my favourite smell is violets :)

11. What's your favourite time of the year?
Autumn as it's my birthdaaaaaaay!

12. Have you been out of the country?
Yes, but it was so long ago.

13. Do you speak any other languages?
Very basic German. I'd love to learn Turkish.

14. Do you have any siblings?
A few brothers.

15. What's your favourite shop?
It was H&M but I'm starting to fall out of love with it. Sadtimes.

16. What's your favourite food?
I love stodgy stodge stodge. Welsh Rarebit on freshly baked soda bread deserves a mention, too.

17. What's your favourite movie?
Erm, I don't even know. Probably Tarzan or Emperor's New Groove. Or Mary Poppins. Or Hercules, etc.

18. What are some of your favourite TV shows?
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Breaking Bad, any Alan Partridge series.

19. What phone do you have?
iPhone 5, like a bosssss.

20. How tall are you?
5 foot something-or-other.

21. Any pets?
A rather fluffy pooch named Monty.

22. Any kids?
Aye, just the one.

23. If you weren't you, would you be your friend?
Hell no.

24. What's the first thing you notice about someone?
Hair. I'm all about the hair.

25. What is your eye colour?
Hazel, they go a bit orange sometimes.

26. Scary movies or happy endings?
Nothing scary for me, thanks.

27. Favourite smells?
Bit of a duplicate question, but violets, honey and freshly baked goods.

28. Do you have any special talents?

29. Where were you born?
In a really boring town, it isn't even worth the mention.

30. What are your hobbies?
Blogging, tweeting, reading, eating, quoting song lyrics.

So that's it, really. If you fancy giving this a go, then consider yourself tagged! 

Chelsea xo

Friday, 17 January 2014

F is for...


After writing about my experience at Festival No. 6, you're probably well aware that I love all things festival related. Now that I live in Somerset, I thought I would be all up in the Glasto-hype, but it really hasn't caught my eye since moving so close. My favourite festivals all seem to be Welsh, and I don't know if that's due to the beautiful landscapes, the more intimate settings or just that they seem better curated for a girl like me. 

Last year, I attended my first ever Festival No. 6 and I am so happy to know I am going back in September. Despite the line-up being unrevealed, I have good feelings for this year! Maybe this is due to it being brought forward by a week - which hopefully means the weather will be nicer and there'll be no Welsh-equivallent to the monsoon. I've got my fingers crossed, but I'll definitely be packing more waterproofs! 

Green Man - happy tree - Laura Marling
The first 'real' festival I attended was the Green Man festival in 2010. This was my first proper visit to Wales and I really loved it. I'm really glad I went to Green Man with my friends that year, as I saw some incredible bands and also met a few of my musical heroes too! A good weekend for anyone, I'm sure you'd agree. I didn't pack any waterproofs for this festival, and barely had a decent coat, so at least I'd kind of learnt my lesson for Festival No. 6!

I love Wild Beasts - Yeah, no coat/waterproofs that whole weekend
Of course, I'm not all about the music. Bath holds a yearly book festival, as well as a film festival, and I'm always meaning to go along. I know Mark Watson has a book out this year and I might try and get myself down to a book festival if he's there. I really love his stand up shows and own 80% of his books so I have some great expectations for this next one. They say it's like the Great Gatsby with computers!

I'd love to go to Primavera Sound festival in Spain, or Pitchfork's music festival in Paris at some point in my life - we're hoping we might be able to attend the Parisian festival this year as Joe's brother will be studying in Paris from September. We actually had tickets to attend Primavera Sound when Pulp made their big comeback a few years ago but couldn't attend due to my falling-pregnantness which massively sucks. Damn those doctors and not letting heavily pregnant women fly - or attend awesome, yet heaving festivals during the hottest months of the year, ey? 

Are they any festivals I should add to my list? 

Chelsea xo

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

It's A Hard Knock Life...

With the slightly misleading title - I'm hoping you're all singing along with Annie right now - I have decided to put myself on a 100 day spending ban. It will start on January 20th and end on April 30th, meaning that I can go about spending like a mad woman in May. Not really, of course, but I could. 

Taken from here, edited by me.
Wow, I'm all over the place with dodgy film references, aren't I? Now, let's get down to it. Why am I going on a spending ban, you ask? Well, it's quite simple really. I am a simple creature, and more often than not can be swayed by a bargain. Is it really a bargain? Should I really spend an extra £5 to get £3 worth of bonus points? No, not really. Since working in Boots, I have bought something I didn't need on every lunch break. I'm lucky I only get one break during my shift, as I dread to think how much I might buy with an extra 15 minutes of spending time...

When starting work, my plan was to put all of my wages into savings, and instead I have bought a ridiculous amount of things I don't need or even use that often. Yes, I have every colour of nail varnish under the sun, but I now own at least three duplicates. I buy matte nail polishes in shades I already own, despite the fact that I own a matte top coat - so I could create this effect myself. It's silly, really.

Of course, I can't blame working for all my unnecessary spending. I spend a ridiculous amount of money on snacks or treats whilst commuting to university, and I buy hot chocolates or flat whites like there's no tomorrow. I have a travel mug, so really I could just take that in, but no. Spending over £2 for tea is easier, and from next week it will stop.

I decided to start my little spending ban on January 20th simply because it's a Monday, and it means I get a nice clean finish in 100 days time. I thought it might be a bit untidy for my mind to start it on a Wednesday and finish on April 25th. Any excuse, right?

There are things I need to buy, such as train tickets and I'll need to renew my bus pass in February, and of course if I run out of deodorant I'll buy a new one. But no more buying things I don't need to bump up a price or meet an offer, and no more buying overpriced crap from train stations. I'll either take my own hot drinks or bottles of water, and make my own lunches. I'm also going up North in February, so I'd like to be able to spend some money on days out or something, but there are ways to have fun for free and I'd like to explore all the options. (I'm so sure I'll regret this as I really, really miss the madness that is the Metrocentre and would love a spending spree in the Disney store there but oh, well!)

If you've got any good tips for me, please leave them below! 
This is something I really can't afford to quit halfway through.

Chelsea xo

Thursday, 9 January 2014

A Little Thankful Thursday

I bet if you'd spoke to me yesterday, you would have not expected me to be thankful today! Why? Because not only did I have a ridiculous amount of work to hand in for today, but yesterday I got my grade back for an assignment I completed before Christmas. Let's just say, it wasn't good at all

Wednesday's hot choc and a cracking flat white on Thursday!
Moving on to the thankfulness! After my hand-in, we had a little chat with our lecturer to talk about our next project proposals. I was completely stumped on what I could do - I'm not a fan of not having a brief, I'm so uncreative it's unreal - and needed a bit of inspiration. My lecturer suggested a few things, one of them being children's book illustrations/illustrators. At first, I negatively thought "why does everyone always think I want to do something with children's publishing?!" and then I realised it's because that is my dream. I want to working in children's publishing. I may be wrong, but I think it would be such a fun thing to do. So instead of feeling pigeon-holed, I decided to see it as just a step in the right direction - something that I definitely need!

Let's have a look at a few more things I'm thankful for:
my 'Q&A a day' journal finally arriving
my lovely boys
supportive friends
having indulgent hot drinks as rewards
Tarzan (ooft!)
chatty train-ticket men
being asked to be in an interviewing panel!
being inspired
the lady gaga & xtina collar

I hope you've all had things to be thankful for this week! If you've wrote your own thankful Thursday post then I'd love to see it - spread the cheer! Make sure you check out Lisette and Leona who are both thankful every week!

Chelsea xo

Saturday, 4 January 2014

January Lust List

I used to really enjoy creating wish list-type posts, but I think I was worried I may have overdone them. This is my first wish list in 2014 and despite having a list of things I want, it seemed to make more sense to show you what I need. You probably know that January is a Student Loan Instalment month, so this month's lust list will feature some of the more costly things that I wouldn't usually be able to just go and buy.

A new pushchair for Dylan - Passports for Joe & I  - Sleek Garden of Eden palette
I'll start with the Garden of Eden palette from Sleek Make Up. As soon as I saw this palette on The Sunday Girl's blog, I knew it had to be mine. I've said it thousands of times that I suffer from no-top-lip syndrome, and therefore can't express myself with pretty lipsticks. So naturally, the best thing for me would be eyeshadow, but as a glasses wearer, I often just leave it off as I can't see the point in it. Now that I've bitten the bullet and invested in contacts, I'm hoping to experiment a bit more with eyeshadows. Obviously, I don't see this as an extravagant buy, as it's reasonably priced, but as I don't strictly need it, I just need some sort of excuse.

Next up on my list, is a new pushchair for Dylan. This would be Dylan's third pushchair, after having a HUGE buggy to begin with and then a smaller, more practical pushchair afterwards. Sadly, the practical pushchair is starting to show signs of wear and tear - the wheels need replacing, and the rain guard is ripped to shreds, so a new pushchair it is! This one is currently half price, so I'm leaning towards this. And it's red, which will keep Joe happy - Dylan's current pushchair is a blue colour, which goes against all things holy in Joe's football-related world.

Lastly, I've included new passports for Joe and I. You might think it's a bit cruel of me to not include one for Dylan, but to get Dylan his first ever passport is such a task when your current passport has ran out. So much paperwork is needed, which means this can wait. I'm hoping that if we have passports, then we will be more likely to go abroad. A girl can dream, right?

I think this is a sensible list, and hopefully doable. Of course, I'd love to add all the skirts and dresses I've had bookmarked, but it seems 2014 will be the year of being responsible and money-savvy, rather than spending it like it's going out of fashion...

Chelsea xo

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Holding Out for 2014

After typing up my NYR, I really didn't think I would be blogging about 2014 without actually experiencing something in 2014 - does that make sense? It might make more sense if I tell you that I'm typing this on Tuesday 31st Dec. Anyhoo, I've seen a few people blogging about what they're looking forward to in 2014, so I thought I would do the same. It seems less scary than concentrating on my Resolutions and my neglected uni work...
Anth & I - Trip to Glasto with my brothers
Chillin' with Spiderman - Throwback pic of me & my papa (wooly turtlenecks at the beach..?)
In January, I will go back to uni. This isn't exactly something I'm looking forward to (did I mention my neglected uni work?) but I kind of am. Why? Well, because it means I'll get another instalment of my student loan - yay! Also, I'll get to see my lovely uni friends again, which is always good. In January, I will also meet Leona! I am super excited and scared about this. What else happens in January? Oh yes, Joe's birthday! I'm hoping to throw him some sort of birthday surprise thing - but I can't really say much about it incase he reads this...

I'M GOING UP NORTH TO SEE MY FAMILY, FINALLY! After postponing our summer trip up North due to car woes, we are finally going up mid-february. I can't believe it's been nearly a whole year since I last saw my daddykins, so I can't wait to see him, my brothers (although who's betting they get bored of me after a few days?) and my Northern chums! Also, in February, Joe is taking me to London for a Valentine's trip which I am more than ready for. The last few times we've been to London, we haven't really experienced much of the city as we were either helping his brother move in or out of his student flat. We're such good family members.

March - April - May
I don't really have any set plans for these months, just uni deadlines. Expect things to go quiet on the blog front, it's inevitable, really. I'll probably have to make some big decisions regarding my future around this time, too. I've mentioned a thousand times that my uni course is a two year course, with the option to take a third year. Last year I was certain I would do three years, this year I am not feeling it so much. Hopefully by April I will have made up my mind and be making some sort of progress.

June - July - August
Summertime! Again, no plans as of yet, but I'd really love to tick some things off of my 101 things in 1001 days list. Oh, nearly forgot to add my anniversary - whoops!

September - October
Dylan's birthday! My birthday! Dylan will be 3, say whaaaaaat?! And I'll be 23! As 23 is my favourite all-time number, I really want to do something spectacular for my birthday. No pressure, family, but I have been asking for a pony for the last 20 years ;) Another highlight for September will be going to Festival No. 6 again - woo!

November - December
This is basically just Christmas. I would quite like to spend this Christmas with my side of the family, I think. Or maybe just at home with my boys. Or maybe abroad, that'd be nice!

I didn't realise I'd have so much to look forward to, but yay all the same. I've probably missed something super important out, but I guess it'll just be a bit of a surprise when it happens haha! Do you have much to look forward to in 2014? 

Chelsea xo
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