Safe Space for Self Love

02/12/2016

What's In My Bag: A/W Edition

... Welcome to Blogmas Day Two!


Whenever A/W come around, especially in December, I love to trade out my summer bag for something else. I don't like to carry a lot of weight around with me when it's cold but enough space to carry my essentials. The things inside my bag have obviously changed too and so I thought I'd share with you what I've been carrying around with me recently.

Please take note that not all things that I carry around with me are kept in this bag. I have a huge coat which keeps me snug during the cold days and so my phone and gloves etc are found in the pockets of that. Also, I should probably note: the bag is faux leather.
Over the shoulder bag: Primark
As soon as I saw this bag I knew I had to have it. It keeps everything that I need perfectly organised and doesn't allow for any space for anything I don't need which helps to keep it clutter-free!

The only time that you wouldn't see me out wearing this beauty would be if I was doing some shopping. Can you imagine trying to fit your weekly shop in here? Laughable.

It is perfect, though, for parties, catch up over coffee and can be dressed up or down for either.
As you can see, everything fits into the bag without anything being crunched up or teared but that's enough bragging about my organisation skills (lol) let's get into the bag!
2016/17 planner: Oliver Bonas
I couldn't write up a post like this without including my Oliver Bonas planner. I've been getting really into planning and thought this would be the perfect way to start getting into the whole 'bullet journal' trend without throwing myself in the deep end. I'm no artist, you see? I've even bought lots of sticky tape and stickers to decorate. I'm genuinely lovin' it!
There's really not much to say about these. They aren't anything special but they are incredibly cute aren't they? I always carry tissues around in my bag as you never know what kind of situation you may find yourself in when you need some. Whether that's a sudden need to blow your nose or wash the lipstick swatches from the back of your hand after your cheeky Boots visit. These were only around 12p each from Home Bargains.
Card holder: Primark / Glasses: Primark
A card holder is a relatively new thing for me (I know, I'm incredibly late to the party) but I've just never really seen the need for one. I was all like "where am I going to keep my change?" as if I have so much money I don't know where to place it- ha. It's honestly been a game changer for me. It's so much easier to fit into a small bag or slip in your pocket than a big bulky purse. It also means that I have everything in one place.

The next item I have in my bag is my Primark glasses. As I've said before, these are not prescription. I have not suddenly damaged my sight; I just love these glasses. I feel like they are the perfect accessory to an outfit.

What's a must in your handbag this A/W?


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01/12/2016

*The Perfect Christmas Gift With ChloBo Jewellery


... Welcome to Blogmas Day One!


"Jewellery has the power to be this one little thing that can make you feel unique."

I know a lot of people have an obsession with shoes and some will have a closet dedicated to these alone. I like to think that's exactly how I feel about jewellery. One can never have enough. The only difference being that I wear these pieces as if they are the staple item. The focus. I don't like the term "accessories" as that makes them sound like they are an added extra (or helped to commit a crime in some way, but we won't go there). I believe that as long as you have a good eye for pieces then you'll never feel like they're something you've just "thrown on" after spending hours putting together your outfit. I even work my outfits around jewellery sometimes!

When memories are attached to the pieces you wear, they become a luxury. A piece that gives you that warm nostalgic feeling inside. This is why I think jewellery is the perfect gift for the special lady in your life. Whether that be your girlfriend, mother, mother-in-law or even yourself- self love and all that.
"These stones are natural and therefore unique, so from time to time may vary in size, tone and finish. Small imperfections or 'beauty spots', as we like to call them are inherent to the character and individuality of the stone."
I had to quote this from the care information that they provide with purchase because I think having each piece be completely unique just adds to the outstanding beauty of their products. What better way to say 'I love you' than a piece made just for her.

It's also a great gift for self confessed jewellery addicts as they look perfect stacked on top of other bracelets alike! There's even a booklet included in the gift bag which shows you the best way to achieve this, in case they then decide to purchase more to sparkle alongside them.

I've never been one for chunky jewellery. I think that you can make just as big of a statement by opting for a dainty piece (or stacking dainty pieces) and this bracelet comes with a very strong elastic too so you don't need to worry about fiddling around with a clasp. Surely I can't be the only one who's constantly chasing the clasp around their wrist like a dog chasing it's tail, right?
The bracelet which I chose is made from 925 Sterling Silver and Labradorite. It also includes a moon charm standing for magic and protection which is the main reason for my choice. The decision on colour was simply down to the fact that I love nothing more than a monochrome outfit and I live for pieces that add a pop of colour!

You can purchase the bracelet featured here or take a look at all of their other beautiful pieces here.

What's your favourite piece of jewellery that you own and what makes it so special?





*items in this post may be PR samples. For more information on how this works, check out my full disclaimer.
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30/11/2016

The Fall: A Short List Of Struggles With Alcoholism

The Fall #1.
A short list we want you to know.
This week marks Alcohol Awareness Week (w.b. 14th November 2016). This also marks the time moving towards the one year mark from my last intake of alcohol; 13th December 2015. Moving into Autumn and Winter carries a weight unlike other times of the year for those who have battled and who are defeating alcohol. It is also the time of year we realise there may be absences that were once filled – both in terms of people and substances. For those outside this circle, here is a by no means exhaustive list of the challenges we face almost one year on: 
1) Social gatherings are challenging.
Apart from the “friends” who you may lose through the act of becoming a teetotaller, the friends that you keep have to be interacted with very differently than before. It simply is no longer possible to interact in the same way. By being the only one, or small minority, in a group you are set apart. Although many people who have not had a problem with alcohol may insist that “you can just drink lemonade and still have fun” or words to that effect, the fact is that this is not the case. It is a torturous mine field for the ex drinker, and continues to be. Not drinking in a social group is a continual and enormous challenge, especially when it is such a polar departure to ones previous social role.
2) Alcoholism deludes you.
Many people “post-addiction” find it remarkably easy to spot other people with even the most subtle hints of dependency. But when you are in the shipwreck of addiction yourself it is impossible to find these traits within oneself. Essentially, the evil trick of the disease is that it tells you that YOU have not got the problem! Also, you are probably the only one who cannot see this. As is the insipid nature of addiction as you spiral into certain insanity.
            This process also comes back in fits and starts during sobriety. The “go on, one won’t hurt” mentality, still comes on strong, but as time goes by ones defences become better supported and further reinforced.
3) A hobby helps.
The colossal void that sobriety provides (or should I say, that the absence of drink provides) is real, it is present and it will rear its ugly head if you let it. A hobby, or a collection of hobbies fills that void. And at the start of the journey any hobby, within reason, will do. A long sober gentleman and good friend of mine once said to me, “Just fill your time! As long as it’s not going to do you any more damage than you already have, just fill your time!”.
            Another word in replacement of “hobby” could easily be “focus”. The detoxing mind (and I’m talking serious, dangerous, dangerous detox here, not fruit and veg smoothies for those privileged with time and money) is not good at “focus”. Start with a hobby and then move towards focus. 
4) Alcohol is systemic in society. It is everywhere.
Alcohol is embedded in our culture. It is endemic, it is vastly prevalent and saturates almost every aspect of society. Almost every bill board has an advertisement for alcohol, every super market and every advert. The recently dry man will likely pick up on this far more than the rest of the public. Great marketing!
            Over time these do diminish into the general fabric of society that we all see, but this is part of society that we are no longer part of. That is just the way it is.
5) "One day at a time.”
I have a relationship with Alcoholics Anonymous, similar to the one I have with the Catholic Church (I am not going to enter into the debate that either one or both of them are a “cult” or interchangeable phenomena). I come and I go. When I attend either, it is as refreshing as a spa break. When I do not, I know that I can go back at any time. One thing I do believe, is that a lot of the one liners in AA, or “slogans” as they are recognised in the rooms, have a lot of truth in them and “one day at a time” is no exception. In fact it is the fundamental commandment. It is the one line that makes the journey realistic and bearable, achievable and purposeful. Most of all, that slogan makes the journey human. Alcoholics Anonymous, along with any other organisation with the same purpose, is primarily human.
“One day at a time”, “Just for today”, “Keep it simple”, “Powerless not helpless”, “This too shall pass”, “Easy does it, but do it”, “Poor me, poor me….pour me another drink” and “Pass it on” can become the weaponry that every person on a sober journey can use to reflect, contemplate and inform their decision making.

With that in mind, I wish every one of my comrades in sobriety the strongest of hearts and minds in the coming fall and Christmas and hope you find joy and peace in the journey of sobriety. To all my friends and comrades who are still in the horrors of their own personal war, I pray that you find the hope for a brighter day and that you too walk in the light.
“The sooner you see life as a journey and not a struggle, you’re able to have a say in the destination.”
Yours in victory,

Anon. 

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