Monday, 12 February 2018

Valentine's Day vibes: my fashion essentials

With Valentine's Day fast approaching I thought I'd show you a few of my favourite fashion pieces that matchmake perfectly with the month of love. Valentine's Day aside, these fashion staples are 100% ready to rock all year round, not just on February 14th. Whether you're a Valentine's babe or a Galentine's girl, hopefully my wardrobe essentials will get your hot pink heart pumping and ready for the month of love to be a 12 month affair, not just a February frolic. As you know my wardrobe is a cocktail of bubbling pink so Valentine's vibes feature aplenty in my outfits all year round. "You can't wear pink and red together", I remember my mum once saying when I was a kid. "Why?" I replied. "Because those colours clash", came her answer. These days I love colours to clash and I think pink and red make a gorgeous colour combination. So, bring on my V-Day outfit essentials, I hope they leave you lovestruck and heart-eyed..... 


This sassy bag is a total speed dial to cloud nine that I'm super over the moon to have in my life. From the masterworks of magic that are Skinnydip London, this Piper Cross Body Bag  is such a cute addition to any wardrobe be it the season of romance or not. Pssst, I've also got an outfit post planned for the future that features this gingham playsuit below. I've been wearing it religiously of late, and I can't wait to show you guys the outfit post in all its gorgeous glory. 


I rock this red outfit all the time come rain or shine, it's my "outfit" for instantly feeling uplifted, encouraged and confident when I need a bit of a boost. If you read about our trip on the hot Pink Hamble Ferry  then you'll know all about this outfit. It matched perfectly with the powerful pink Ferry Shelter and as you can see, I felt right at home amongst all the hot pink heaven. 


Probably my favourite pair of shoes, these shimmering beauts have been a romantic twist on many a beachy outfit and added a bit of gorgeous glitz to sass up the sand. I've also bought the same version of the heels in white, and you can see them in their full glory in this previous outfit post


Motel Rocks are one of my favourite brands for sequins and shimmer, and their romantic vibes are forever first on my hit-list. This pink sequin metallic rose dress is still on the Motel Rocks site  amongst many other glittery gorgeous wares. 


The Skinnydip siren's going off again you say. Hell yes it is. Drink this in; a pink champagne bottle bag that you can swank around in town with? Have you ever heard of anything so extra? This bag was bought after a bubbly lust for it broke to the fore and I decided to go ahead and add it to my quirky collection of bags. Like any Skinnydip bag, it's a fabulous bit of fun to have and to hold, and I definitely intend to show it in many more an outfit post. 


Ahh, one of my sure fire favourites. Sugary sweet and the perfect scoop of dreamy, this dress has marked one of my favourite outfit posts in the past. Okay it's not all hearts and flowers, but an ice cream date with extra sprinkles is always a love match, right? 


These magical mom jeans with glitzy embroidered red hearts are denim dreamy and cuter than Cupid.  From one of my favourite stores, Liqour N Poker, they also come with black hearts and are of course, hot to rock any season you like. I featured these jeans back in an outfit post last September and sorely regret not saving them for a Galentine's outfit post. But hey, the whole point is they're stunning every season.

How are you celebrating Valentine's/Galentine's this year? No matter what I always think February 14th calls for chocolate, a bubblebath and a girly shopping trip! 


Thursday, 8 February 2018

How to shake off a disturbing dream

Dreams. They can vary as vibrantly as the colour spectrum and can often be like a cinematic experience; you might want to buy the dream as a rental replay in your head, you might never want to see it ever again, perhaps it went on too long or finished as abruptly as it started. The dreams we long to have on repeat never seem to be showing in the forefront of our minds. The dreams we fear can frequently be blasted through our eye sockets, scorching our night's sleep into a noxious nightmare.  I suffer from night terrors (maybe more about that in a future post) and often have a lot of anxious thoughts giving me grief before bed. Understandably as a snowball effect I've often had vivid, upsetting dreams that have haunted me the day after despite many attempts to shake off that horrible "I know it's not real but I still feel on edge and upset" sensation that seems to always, always last for 24 hours. 

Without giving them too much stick, dreams can be a jackpot of good and back luck. One dream gave me the final ending scene in my novel. Other dreams have inspired me, helped me, guided me, switched my mood from so-so to happy and upbeat. Unfortunately we don't have a remote control to zap off what happens after we zzzz, and they often say if we've been thinking about something, talking about something or subconsciously serious about a situation, we'll be dreaming about it. Pretty unfair then, surely, that the characters in my novel that play on my mind 24/7 rarely feature in my dreams....

I still believe my first onset of anxiety really rooted from a dream I had about my Granny back when I was about 4 or 5. Funnily enough I've always felt deep down that the dream was supposed to be a happy, comforting one; I'd found her in heaven amongst clouds and people playing board games with sweets but I woke up crying, running through to my parents room. I still remember mum motioning my teacher aside in the classroom the next day and telling her if I started getting upset it was because of a bad dream I'd had. And I can still recall a little boy in my class peeking through the holes in his slice of ham at lunchtime, trying to make me laugh and cheer me up.

Point is, just how can we shake off a disturbing dream when it's settled in our mind and set to stay? 


May sound simple, even a bit stupid, but I've often found with disturbing dreams that as soon as I tell someone about it they'll either laugh, roll their eyes, smile or sympathise and then we'll move on to another subject. Trouble is, if your dream has affected you so badly that it feels real, it's hard to laugh about it or even look at it in a realistic way. Regularly throughout my life I've had dreams where people have died and they've been so disturbing I've had to make sure they're OK the next day. Talking about it to the people who have been worse for wear in my dreams usually brings on a sobering effect. Once you realise they're okay and in good humour about their fate in your dream, it's hard to take any dream - no matter how upsetting - with the same level of seriousness. 


To compensate for a shitty night's sleep plagued with destructive dreams, I think the silver lining is to focus on the thought that it was a bad dream, it's over with and any more reflection over it is wasted mind space. Often bad dreams can leave us thankful, relieved and in a hot sweat to face the bleeping alarm clock and realisation that the nightmare is nothing but that. With that in mind, let's look to the positive - the dream was bad but it isn't a reality. To have a fresh start to the day let's wash out the wrongdoing of the dream and be determined to turn the tables and have as good a day as possible.


Turning off technology has been a lifeline for me in the evenings as of late. I've taken to running a hot bath, reading a book and plastering a face mask on before bed. Yankee candles, hot chocolate and that whole vibe always works too. I've noticed (touch wood) that I don't seem to have so many (if any) upsetting anxious thoughts before bed when I've been partaking in a more relaxed routine away from bright screens and the whirr of the laptop. This also helped me immensely when I was suffering from a really bad spell of anxiety last year too, and is one of the things that helped me move forward and overcome it. 


Annoyingly the dreams we seem to long for never seem to dramatise for us. Our thought patterns predictably can throw up a person or moment or situation we're bitterly trying to forget and make it tonight's dream projection. I often dream about coming face to face with people from my past; you know the ones right? The ones we're all desperate to forget and to never see again? The ones that bring nothing but bad memories and a whole heap of bad feeling. Yep, those ones. Once I dreamt about an ex-friend and it left me feeling teary and on edge all day. A kind twitter follower reached out to me and told me to "write those feelings down, then forgive her and forgive yourself", which really struck a chord. Fortunately such bad dreams aren't a nightly occurrence, and it's important to reach into our memory bank and look to the good, positive dreams that help inspire, uplift and charge us with the feel good emotions that make life worth living. 


Chances are if you've had a good night, reamed a relaxing routine and go to bed thinking about the positive pieces of memories that made up your day then you'll avoid getting into a bad state of mind before bed. The week before last my sleep was in a pretty shocking state because of some robberies and attempted break-ins happening on our street. It really set off my anxiety and I could barely sleep and of course when I could, nightmares about what was happening surfaced. A few positive days with my thoughts switched off from the events really worked wonders, even though I was still nervous about what was happening, I wasn't giving it my full attention and my sleep improved. 


Last summer when some horrific things were happening on the news I found it hard (as I'm sure most of us felt) not to be frightened by it all. Even though we weren't really anywhere near where things were going on, I still felt like where I lived made it too close to home. I went to stay with Graham for a few days and just being out of the area made me feel so much better and more relaxed. Even though not always easy or convenient considering work patterns or general life I think a change of scene can really help when you're anxious, not sleeping well or are just downright burnt out. A spontaneous hotel stay, sleeping over at a friend's house or even going as far to redecorate your room can often be key changes in a better night's sleep. 

I hope this post is helpful + beneficial to anyone out there who may need it. 

Here's to dreaming those gorgeous dreams! 


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