March 2017 / Charley Lucy



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Monday, 6 March 2017

Cosy Duvet Covers & Bedroom Hacks for Winter

This post features paid product placement by Yorkshire Linen.

There is nothing more I hate than being dragged from my bed - my boyfriend takes these things very seriously - on a Sunday morning in the middle of winter. I've got my warm fuzzy bottoms on, my squashy duvet and more often than not an extra blanket. I'm the definition of a cosy blanket burrito. This is because this winter I made my sleeping space as cosy af. Want to learn how to upgrade yours? Check out my tips below.

Get comfy, you're going to be spending a lot of time here

Just think about how much time you spend in your bedroom on a weekly basis. Sleeping, reading, drinking coffee as you flatly refuse to believe it's Monday already... You need to give your sleeping space the time and makeover it deserves by focussing on the things you want to feel whilst winding down.

For me that's being 1) warm 2) comfortable and 3) surrounded by as many padded, fluffy things as possible. I'm talking throw cushions, blankets, memory foam pillows, fluffy rugs - I can't tell you how much of a difference this makes in the mornings. But, for you this could be a mood-lifting diffuser, a humidifier or an extra sheet for when you kick off the duvet. Think about whatever works for you and do it! Remember, a good night's sleep can be priceless.

Make the space work for both day and night

Wipe that cheeky smirk off your face, here I'm talking removing artificial blue light and encouraging warmer tones into the room. Avoiding blue light right before bed - yes, that means you too, Twitter - is proven to help you fall asleep faster. So ditch the phone in favour of a book and your old lamp for the pleasant glow of a Himalayan Salt Lamp that has plenty of benefits for your health and mood, besides looking pretty.

For years I worked out of a bedroom office that meant I could never quite switch off from work. If possible shift your desk into another room or try and separate the workspace as much as possible within the space that you have so that your body knows when it's time to be active and when it's time to nap.


In my bedroom, the space that gets most cluttered is my bedside table. Bobby pins, hair ties, empty pill packets, sweet wrappers and old receipts. It looks like I've emptied a week's worth of my coat pockets! Recently I've bought a phone charging stand to keep my cables in check and made a vow to leave any and all pocket junk elsewhere. We can't all be perfect.

Living in a cluttered and busy environment cannot be good for switching off. Throw out the clothes you never wear so that everything fits neatly into your wardrobe, remove that chair everyone uses as a clothes rack and attempt to adult your clothes into the laundry bin.

Update your decor with new duvets, sheets and nick nacks

Now you've got the basics covered, let's focus on the look. My bedroom feels a million times better when I'm snuggled up in my favourite sheets. They're such an inexpensive way of transforming the look of the room Yorkshire Linen have a great selection of duvet covers from this quirky pom-pom set that's got all kinds of Scandinavian vibes to this geometric grey set for less than £20. However, my personal favourite has to be a set that declares just how ready I am for my Sunday duvet day. Or you can hit up Primark to find this quirky printed Toucan set to brighten up your space.

Finish things off with an easy to keep houseplant, a stack of your most recent reads whether that be magazines, comics or novels and a record player for good measure. Ah, the perfect Sunday morning. Two guesses as to what I'll be up to this weekend!

Let me know what would be in your ideal bedroom in the comments below.


Thursday, 2 March 2017

February Favourites: 2017

I'm not mentally ready for it to be March yet. To me, February always feels like a bit of a filler month. You can't really take holiday because you've just been off for Christmas, the weather is still sucky and grey and horrible for blog photos and everyone's still keen to keep to their resolutions so not much social activity happens. Obviously you've got Valentine's day stuck right in the middle there, but it's never really been my cup of tea. So, for me, February is a month for hibernating, decluttering and trying new things. Here's some of my favourites I've discovered this month:

Laundry B Frill Boho Blouse Cream


Frill Boho Blouse // Laundry B*

This month I stepped out of my comfort zone in terms of fashion with this breathtaking Frill Boho Blouse from Laundry B*. Modern twists on the traditional white shirt are going to be a big trend for spring. Whether that be embroidery, synching or cut outs. This beautiful specimen features a high lace collar and detailing, elegant bell-sleeves and a dropped waist - that, might I add, is perfect for hiding a food baby. It's one of those versatile pieces that can be dressed up with a fur jacket and a pair or heels or dressed down with some sleek sandals, pair of comfy leggings and a fedora.


Aldi Marble and Copper Vintage Lamp

Recently, I've been just itching to switch up my interior decor. I'm talking repainting, retiling and redoing everything from the ground up. Trouble is, I'm currently renting and it's driving me insane! So, instead of reaching for the hammer, I've been saving so many beautiful inspo images on Instagram, hunting for accessories and window shopping various textures and patterns for my next living space. It seems to be working, for now...

Playing on our love for copious amounts of copper and marble, this vintage-inspired faux Marble and Copper Lamp from Aldi has featured in blogger Instagram stories far and wide. I purchased it after coveting this very similar model on Amazon. Not only does it scream chic, industrial decor but the light is pleasant and extremely hygge when I'm up late jotting down blog post ideas. Though it's currently sitting on my desk, I can't help thinking it would make the perfect lamp for a reading nook. Alongside a squashy pillow, cosy blanket and overstuffed bookcase.


Blogger Help Posts

This month I have loved writing blogger help posts! If I'm honest I'd been feeling a little lost in the world of beauty at the beginning of the month so started to wrack my brain for other content I enthused about that would make an interesting read and continues my Blogging Hacks series. I'm a true nerd at heart. From basic SEO to great apps for photography, coding tips to stock photos. I'm trying to cover just a little bit of everything to help out those who search for it. You can read the entire series here.


How to Get Away with Murder

This month my favourite binge-wroth show has been ABC's How to get Away with Murder. Though, I also tuned into The Fresh Prince, Cuckoo, The OA, Lucifer and Are you the One? It's the right mix of lawyer that I loved in The Good Wife - coincidentally also finished this month - and straight up Rosewood drama to fill the gap PLL has left behind as I, along with the rest of the young female population, eagerly anticipate the last few episodes. If you're looking for some serious drama with a few twists and turns, this show is for you. I cannot wait for season three to come out on Netflix!

Harry Potter Potterhead Audiobook Prisoner of Azkaban Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Making Chores Less Boring:

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I've just finished listening to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix for the umpteenth time. Twenty-nine hours of commuting, laundry and cooking time well spent. I'd completely forgotten the Percy storyline, Ginny's kickass attitude to dating and just how much I love the Weasley twins. Though, I must admit I still don't ship Harry and Cho. The whole storyline, especially the darker books, roll on Half-blood Prince, is just as magical as the first time I've read it and now I get to do it over and over again with Audible. Coincidentally, I've also been binge watching the lovely Lana on Youtube as she visits Universal, platform 9 and 3/4 and hauls the most amazing Harry Potter merch. A must-watch channel for any potterhead.

Upping the Chocolate Biscuit Game:

Border Milk Chocolate Gingers

Holy moly. Border's award-winning Milk Chocolate Gingers have knocked my beloved Chocolate Digestives off my biscuit top spot for good. They're satisfyingly chocolatey with a kick of spicy and refreshing ginger that goes perfectly with a quiet cuppa tea. I get how #spon this sounds, but I really do just enjoy these biscuits! Actually, they're my favourite adulting biscuit of choice. Read: eat one, or two and put the packet back in the cupboard like the elegant and restrained, grown woman I am.

New in Beauty Haul, Makeup Haul, Smashbox Cover Shot Eye Palette Ablaze, Makeup Revolution Retro Luxe Matte Lip Kit, Liquid Lipstick


Makeup Revolution Retro Luxe Matte Lip Kit

Every blogger has raved over these suspected Kylie Lip Kit dupes this month. I've briefly talked about them here and have to say that, after a few weeks of use I tend to just go straight for the liquid lipstick and negate the liner completely. My favourite shade to wear is Noble. The formula is just so comfortable. Though I find the darker two from my haul - Glory (brown), Magnificent (dark green) - have a slight tendency to ball up later on in the day. Still, for just #6 per kit I'd say that six hours of wear is more than admirable. Wouldn't you? Have you tried any of the new Makeup Revolution Retro Luxe Matte Lip Kits?


Wednesday, 1 March 2017

24 Hours in the Life of Someone with Chronic Fatigue

Sleep Tight, Lightbox, Tumblr, ME, Chronic Fatigue, Spoonie

Surprise, I have Chronic Fatigue. It's been five years and I haven't quite developed a good way of telling people. Weird, right? I tend to just blurt it out in, what I judge as, appropriate situations. Spoiler: they are often not. It usually makes the other person more awkward than I intended. Apologies if this has every been you.

Having Chronic Fatigue something I sprinkle into my blog, most often calling it ME due to the negative stigma attached to this "made up" condition that affects me every minute of every day. I've even got a few posts from that brief time I thought I was losing the plot because my student GP was unequipped to deal with it: "Young women sometimes just get this way". But, as I really have no choice in the matter, I have had to learn to live with it. The only reason I decided to dedicate a full blog post to it is the incredible 24 hours in the life of someone with OCD article Thrifty Vintage Fashion wrote that really opened my eyes to what it's like to walk in another person's shoes. I know I'll never truly understand, just like, even if I told you I never, ever wake up refreshed and am always tired you, if you've never experienced it before, wouldn't be able to fathom it. I know this because I couldn't have fathomed it. It's an incomprehensible feeling.

Everyone experiences Chronic Fatigue differently. However much I wish it was a label given to lazy people and one day I'll wake up just fine and dandy, I know it's not true because I can feel it's not true. I don't want to say I'm lucky, because, I contracted Chronic Fatigue and that's pretty shit as far as things go. I likely won't every get better. Which is hard to grasp right? For-ever. I'll be this way throughout my life. On my wedding day, at parents evenings and during retirement. I'm not sure that'll ever sink in. But, after four years of pushing my boundaries and learning what I can and can't do, I am able to hold down a relatively normal life and I know that's not always possible for those suffering from Chronic Fatige. So please don't use my experience to judge that of your friend, relative or coworker. Each to their ME-riddled own.

Disclaimer done, here's what twenty-four hours of my life with Chronic Fatigue looks like. No pity parties please.

6:40 am - First alarm goes off. You don't register it.

6:45 am - Second. Nope, nothing.

6:50 am - Third. You keep your eyes open for long enough to hit the home button but as soon as your hand returns to the duvet you're already asleep, exhausted before the day has even begun.

6:55 am - Forth. Your boyfriend nudges you awake. You find this deeply annoying instead of cute. Everything's fuzzy inside your head. Why move. Go away. Sleep.

7:00 am - With the fifth alarm, you manage to move again and keep your eyes open. The slight shift has just made you realise just how much pain you're in - usually your back, neck and legs. You don't want to have to move.

7:05 am - Sixth alarm. Owy. Owy. Owy. But slightly more awake. You drag yourself out of bed to your pre-prepared bag and clothes you had to put together the night before because you knew your brain fog would make it take three times longer in the morning and you don't have time to spare.

7:15 am - It's taken you ten minutes to get downstairs, use the bathroom and dress. Not bad considering you're feeling only half-zombie today.

7:20 am - Time for makeup whilst listening to your audiobook. You're losing your lead here but skip the eyeliner and have it done in 15 minutes whilst you brain awakes to the worries of work. Your heart rate spikes, as it always does, and your Apple Watch buzzes reminding you to take a deep breath.

7:45 am - You leave the house 5 minutes late because your fatigued brain couldn't remember if it shut off the phone charger, tap or shut the fridge door. You check the door three times on your way out and make a mental note that today is Tuesday and the door is locked. Look, you're wearing that skirt, which is different from Monday so you'll remember this. Right? You get into your car and, whilst driving in the dark realise that you couldn't tell whether it was 8 am or 10 pm without a watch. Your body and mind feel the same.

8:04 am - You arrive into work late and more than likely blame it on the traffic. You vow to work four minutes late to make up for it. Computer on. E-mails up. Oh god, you have that many. Go get some caffeine, it'll help you think.

9:00 am - You spend the next hour checking and double checking your responses to e-mails because 1) you're already a terribly fast typer and 2) you don't want your brain fog to replace any words for phonetically similar words or homophones. If the pain is still there, sometimes it goes, you'll have to pop down to the shop to purchase breakfast so you can take a prescribed painkiller. You never have time to eat in a morning because it takes you twenty minutes just to move. Occasionally, you'll stink the office out with Deep Heat.

10:00 am - You're doing a kickass job and are feeling as awake as you'll ever be. To an outsider, you're functioning at one hundred percent. But you know that by now you've at least slipped up with your words once in casual office conversation. You struggle to get the right word out, say the wrong one or stutter.

2:00 pm - Due to a last-minute crisis you're late eating again. The added pressure makes it feel like a silent alarm is going off in your brain. Everything is silently screaming. Your muscles begin to complain as your heart beats faster. Think. Deep breath. Type faster. Crisis averted. Breathe. Outwardly you haven't batted an eyelid.

3:00 pm - You're on your third cup of coffee as you try and combat the 3 pm melatonin dip your ancestors used to sleep. Not long to go now.

4:04 pm - You start packing up, pleased that you're making an effort to cut down your lieu time, it's good for your health and means you won't need to nap as much after work this week. Good for you.

4:30 pm - Home. You take either one of three roads:

1) Nap because even though you tried your fatigue has just overwhelmed you and all you can manage to do is crawl up the stairs  - sometimes literally - and hide under the duvet. Sometimes you sleep for 20 minutes, sometimes for 3 hours, sometimes you're too tired to sleep at all which leaves you frustrated and fuzzy. You move out from the duvet feeling, more often than not, less refreshed. But at least you didn't have to waste energy functioning. Thinking is sometimes too hard.

2) You've got a bit more energy and just need some recovery time. Hello, coffee machine and Netflix. An hour later you feel sufficiently recharged and mooch around reading or writing a blog post. Sometimes you get really into it and write for hours. Other times you just jot down ideas.

3) You seize the day. Now, this doesn't happen very often but sometimes you come home and refuse to sleep, you muster what energy you have and you power through the next two-hour writing copy, checking e-mails and batch editing photos. Though, you wear yourself out and spend the rest of the night between beanbag and bed.

9:30 pm - Almost bedtime. You're making a real effort to start winding down before bed now, turning off the bright lights and just chilling in bed with a cup of sleepy tea, your Twitter feed and a good TV show or book. Not ideal, but it's a start. You might even have just got out of a relaxing bubble bath which makes you ready to drop. You once read that the dip in temperature mimics that of the boy as you fall asleep so you managed to get to sleep faster. Anything to avoid the fatigue related insomnia that keeps you up for hours.

10:00 pm - Lights out. Audiobook on. Find out what I'm listening to here.

10:30 pm - You're grumpy again as your boyfriend joins you. You're running on empty and all you want in the world is to fall quickly into a restful sleep. Which, spoiler, doesn't happen, ever. You vow to try and be a nicer person tomorrow but, usually, the tiredness wins out. Occasionally you get horrible fatigue-driven down periods of days at a time but today's not one of them so you don't don't dwell on your tendency to be a horrible girlfriend who does nothing tonight.

11:00 pm - With any luck, you're now sleeping like the dead. If not, you keep your audiobook on as you mentally countdown the hours until you're awake again.

12:30 am - Congrats, you've finally fallen asleep and completely lost your place in your audiobook.

3:30 am - Pee break! Darn, that sleepy tea. You rush downstairs but it takes you a good long while to fall back to sleep again. You wonder how much concealer you'll have to apply to your bags.

6:30 am - It might as well be 11 pm. You don't even hear your boyfriend's alarm as he wakes up.

Obviously not every day is the same, some days I feel better and other days I feel much, much worse. But, after holding a steady graduate job for a year and a half now I've only ever had one fatigue-related absence. Apparently, I haven't quite made it to a place where I can do a seven-minute workout just yet.

Want to find out more about my experience of Chronic Fatigue? Or ask an awkward question? Feel free. The comment below, send me a tweet or drop me a DM. I'll be happy to help. That is, if I remember to check my DMs!

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